May 24, 2013
Submitted by Marji who writes:
Carter is currently living with me in Grass Valley. He is a foster dog of Center for Animal Protection & Education (CAPE) :
PO Box 67176
Scotts Valley, CA 95067-7176
Carter is a 7-yr-old mastiff mix with a big head and bigger heart! He is blind, but that doesn’t deter him from exploring his world with enthusiasm and joy. He was adopted from Palo Alto Animal Services 7 years ago at the age of 4-months. When he was 6, his guardians returned him to the shelter without realizing he was blind. Once they found out, they took him back, keeping him for another year before realizing that caring for two toddlers and a galumphy 75-lb dog was too difficult.
Lucky for Carter, I was excited to foster him! He is a gentle-natured dog who is far easier to care for and more low-maintenance than my 14.5-yr-old 35-lb dog! He knows sit, come, stay, down. He LOVES tennis balls. Sometimes you have to pat the ground next to the tennis ball and he’ll pounce like a puppy! He runs zoomies around the yard and figures out new spaces pretty quickly.
Carter just wants a permanent retirement home, preferably with someone who is home part of the day (he loves his people).
The rescue I am fostering for would probably be willing to transport him out of state, but I’d really love someone who can meet him first…and maybe wouldn’t mind sending me updates about how awesome he is!
He would do best as an only dog, but he might do well with a large, older, VERY tolerant dog. Not many dogs can tolerate it when his nearly 80-lb frame runs into them.
Shirley, I’m really surprised to still have Carter. I guess I knew he’d be more difficult to place but living with him? He’s so easy! I’ve had him for two months and would really just love it if he could find a home where he gets all the attention he deserves.
May 24, 2013
The state of NC has released its annual shelter report but its value is clearly limited since, as Fix NC points out, some facilities don’t bother reporting, others fabricate numbers and no one verifies anything.
More bad news for pets in the NYC pound system: ACC refusing to release some animals whose holds have expired to rescue groups willing to save them.
Three dogs seized in connection with the high profile criminal case involving a Cleveland kidnapper/rapist are being cared for by fosters until the three women held captive in the home decide if they want to claim the dogs.
A puppymill in Walthall Co, Mississippi was raided by authorities this week where live Bostons, Yorkies and Chihuahuas were living in cages with dead dogs. The owner is a pastor who was selling the dogs out of his church in Louisiana. A customer tipped off police after witnessing the awful conditions. (Thanks Karen for the link.)
In TN, Hamblen Co officials investigated the cash records at the Morristown-Hamblen Humane Society and determined an employee had stolen more than $50 grand from the shelter. The employee has been fired and the investigators’ findings have been forwarded to the local DA. (Thanks Clarice for the link.)
Two would be turtle killers in TX have not been charged in connection with an incident where one of the young men was seriously injured after the homemade bomb he built, purportedly for blowing up turtles, exploded in his pocket.
May 23, 2013
Hart Co has never in its 160 years had a law on the books regarding homeless pets, even though GA law requires the county to have some sort of animal control in place. This month, county commissioners plan to discuss enacting an AC ordinance. But if you are excited at the prospect of Hart Co implementing a CAPA type law to protect the lives of the community’s dogs and cats, you need to reign in your hope-and-change horses right now.
These are the areas of concern for Hart Co:
- Zero tolerance for “the dumping of animals.”
- A simple method to determine which loose animals are strays.
- Hiring an ACO to pick up stray dogs and cats.
People who abandon their pets in Hart Co are quite possibly doing so because the county has no shelter. Commissioners don’t plan to build one either which frankly, is just as well unless they are willing to commit to no kill. By not providing a safe haven for stray and unwanted pets, Hart Co is driving people to less desirable alternatives. The new ordinance won’t change this.
The county’s idea of determining which loose pets are strays is ridiculous:
[County administrator Jon] Caime said if approved by the county commission, the county will require all dog owners to put a collar with a nametag on each of their pets.
“You can get these (tags) at Wal-Mart and PetSmart,” Caime said. “It will have the owner’s name and phone number on it. That way, the sheriff can identify which animals belong to someone and which are strays. Then if he finds an dog that doesn’t have a proper nametag on it, it will be considered an abandoned or stray animal, and he can do something legally in that regard.”
But what if your cat or dog loses his collar? What if you can’t afford a collar and personalized nametag (or replacements) for your pets? What if your cat or dog is unable to wear a collar and nametag for medical reasons (such as a neck injury) or safety concerns?
And Hart County’s plan for hiring an ACO is just as dumb:
In terms of an animal control officer, the county likely will hire a part-time person who will work only when the Northeast Georgia Animal Shelter in Lavonia is open, so animals can be taken directly there, Caime said.
Problem not solved. Hart Co will only offer services when the Northeast GA facility is open which is from 11am to 4 pm, Tuesday – Saturday. And that place kills animals so again, no safe haven for people who have pets needing to be rehomed or who find strays or who want to help a lost, stray, feral or injured dog or cat.
As far as I can tell, Hart County’s plan will simply route additional pets, stray and owned, to a place that states on it website that it kills dogs and cats deemed sick, injured, feral or wild. It will do precious little to discourage people from abandoning pets in need in the county.
I would ask the commissioners this: Have you ever considered that the reason people are abandoning dogs and cats in Hart Co is because there is no pet killing facility there? Most people don’t want to see homeless pets killed. They want to see them truly sheltered until they can be adopted, fostered or rescued. The answer to Hart County’s stray animal issue may be the building of a no kill shelter and the legal protections to support it, in the form of a CAPA type law. Just a suggestion.
But if we look at Hart County’s track record on dealing with the issue of animal control, it looks like the end result of all the talk is typically nada:
“Every time this subject has been brought up over the past eight years, they get overwhelmed with all the different components,” Caime said about the county commission response to the topic of stray animals. “It just seems to them that there’s too much to be done, so they just table it.”
Doing your job. It’s just too hard.
May 22, 2013
On the subject of how much money we spend on our pets, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics recently published “‘Tails’ from the Consumer Expenditure Survey” on its website and the Hartford Courant breaks down the information:
The average amount each household spent on pets in 2011 was $502.
Households tended to spend 1 percent of income, no matter how much or how little they earned.
The release tracked spending from 2007 to 2011, and it didn’t show any trends of households trading down to cheaper food brands during the recession, or surrendering dogs due to foreclosure.
Additional tidbits from the government:
In 2011, households spent more on their pets annually than they spent on alcohol ($456), residential landline phone bills ($381), or men and boys clothing ($404).
Average household spending on pet food alone was $183 in 2011. This was more than the amount spent on candy ($87), bread ($107), chicken ($124), cereal ($175), or reading materials ($115).
Even when spending at restaurants dropped during the recent recession (December 2007–June 2009), spending on pet food stayed constant.
From 2007 to 2011, spending on pets stayed close to 1 percent of total expenditures per household, despite the recession that occurred during this time.
The main takeaways for me:
Shelters and rescues that discriminate against poor people who want to adopt pets based on the assumption that middle/upper class adopters will spend a greater portion of their income on the pet are not only behaving unethically, their assumption is baseless. Poor people spend about 1% of their income on their pets, just like other pet owners. While it’s true poor people have less to spend overall, it’s noteworthy that everyone is on the same level when percentages are calculated. In other words, those who can afford to spend more generously on their pets, don’t.
The survey did not find any increase in surrendering dogs (presumably to shelters) due to foreclosure. This “increased surrenders due to foreclosures” is a claim I’ve heard countless times in recent years from shelters all over the country. Is there a disconnect here?
The recession does not appear to have impacted pet expenditures. To my mind, there is a simple explanation for that: Pets are family.
The long troubled Companion Animal Alliance in Baton Rouge, LA has killed owned pets before under suspicious circumstances. But even for this disturbing group, the killing of an owned pet named Bow Wow represents a new low.
Eighteen year old Bow Wow escaped his yard on May 11, 2013. His owners, Patrick and Kimberly Morris, searched for him, put up fliers around the neighborhood and visited the local pound several times. Pound workers refused to allow Mr. Morris to walk the kennels to look for Bow Wow himself, instead telling him on 3 separate visits that his pet wasn’t in the facility. In fact, AC had picked up Bow Wow the day he got lost and chokepoled the elderly dog into the pet killing facility on May 11. He was there every day the owner was turned away after inquiring about him.
Finally after one week of runaround, Mr. Morris convinced CAA to allow him to walk the kennels to look for his dog. He found him immediately and Bow Wow began going crazy with excitement. CAA refused to give the dog back without the ransom fee, even though they had held the dog for a week unnecessarily while turning the owner away multiple times. CAA forced Mr. Morris to go to an ATM for the cash to bail Bow Wow out. While the owner was getting the money, CAA oops-killed the dog.
Mr. Morris was devastated:
“I can tell you it was like losing a child.”
Patrick’s wife Kimberly says she would like to see a system overhaul at the shelter.
“There is nothing that can replace him,” said Kim Morris.
“No monetary gain. I don’t want this to happen again.”
Sadly, Bow Wow was “again”. CAA has killed people’s pets before and will undoubtedly kill more in future. CAA is in the pet killing business and they don’t discriminate between those whose owners are looking for them and those in need of new owners. And the local government backs them 100%.
Shame on Companion Animal Alliance again, and the local politicians and killing apologists who enable them to continue their reckless actions which hurt pets and people. Pets are family. CAA has no right being in the family services business. I hope local advocates will organize and demand the government kick CAA to the curb, replacing them with a group committed to no kill. It’s long overdue. And the pets in Baton Rouge can’t afford to wait.
(Thank you Joni for the link.)
May 21, 2013
The Santa Clara Co Animal Care and Control facility in CA took in roughly 2500 dogs and cats last year. Since 2008, the shelter has gotten its pet food for free from Hill’s (makers of Science Diet) in exchange for pushing the products on its website and to adopters. The contract is up for renewal and county supervisor Joe Simitian raised what sound like legitimate concerns at a recent county board meeting:
For starters, the county was giving the phone numbers and email addresses of adopting families to Hill’s, raising privacy concerns.
Moreover, the shelter wasn’t explaining why it was recommending the dog food. “The public doesn’t know the reason we’re hyping the dog food is that we’re getting it for free,” Simitian said, castigating the staff for using verbatim Hill’s language in its report.
And finally, the food has gotten less-than-rave reviews.
What are your thoughts? Shame on the county supervisor for throwing a monkey wrench into the free food deal which reportedly saves the county $19k a year? Shame on Hill’s for only offering to feed shelter pets for free if the shelter agrees to hand over personal information on adopters and read them their sales scripts? Shame on the county for failing to seek out other companies which might want to donate food for the shelter pets, simply as a charitable act? Is there some compromise which might be workable for Santa Clara Co? On the bigger issue of corporate shelter donations, should there be an industry standard where the donor is recognized in some form (e.g. via a plaque on the shelter wall) but not to the extent that Hill’s requires?