Book Raffle

I am raffling a new copy of the book The Good Food Cookbook for Dogs by Donna Twichell Roberts.  I have a copy of this book and it has a lot of interesting and fun recipes.  The raffle tickets are $1 each or 5 for $4.  Proceeds will be used to buy canned food for my local no kill shelter.  The raffle will be open for one week and I will randomly draw a winning ticket next weekend.  I will announce the winner on the blog and that person will need to e-mail me an address to mail the book to.  Good luck!

I couldn’t embed the button to buy tickets here so had to put it on a separate page.  (Stupid WordPress, I have a mind to demand my FREE back!)

BUY RAFFLE TICKETS HERE.

Treats on the Internets

CT no kill shelter gets by with a little help from its friends

KC Dog Blog: Local Humane Societies changing names, HSUS now on the defensive

Lee County, NC currently gasses pets at its shelter.  The county is looking at the possibility of changing that and some other pet related issues as well.

Cornell Alumni Magazine has an article called “Shelter Me” about training Vets to care for the community’s pets instead of just killing them.

The Lt. Governor’s race in PA involves at least one candidate talking about no kill and other pet issues

Ho, hum – more PETA shenanigans

10 animals at greatest risk from BP’s oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico

After you’re done washing the dog’s feet, can you do my windows?

Useful and free:  Printable cheat sheet for organic produce shopping

That Tingle Means It’s Working!

GA legislators approved a bill to end the use of the gas chamber in the state yesterday and sent it to the Governor for signing.  The approval was not unanimous however:

But in voting against the bill, Sen. Bill Heath, a Republican from Bremen, championed the merits of gas as the most humane way for animals – and humans – to die.

From the well, Heath recounted a story in which he was working on his car and got overcome by carbon monoxide gas. He said he experienced a “drowsy, euphoric” feeling. No pain at all.

“I wasn’t worried about anything. There was nothing adverse about the feeling and I knew that this feeling good was a bad sign,” Heath said. “I can understand why people use it to commit suicide.”

Well, isn’t that special?  Needless to say, the comments sparked some outrage:

“Between 1941 and 1945 there were about 6 million people who would disagree with you about that gas,” said Sen. Steve Thompson (D-Marietta). “I can’t think of anyone who would support that method when you have another.”

[...]

Added Gloria Butler (D-Stone Mountain): “For a senator to come to well and say [Carbon Monoxide gas] makes you feel good is inconceivable.”

Senator Heath explained himself later:

“I do know that gas is a lot less traumatic than a needle. I know that first hand. When I get a shot, I jump even now. And I don’t think there is a soul in this building that would want to hurt an animal.”

So basically, because Senator Heath is afraid of needles and because he had a swell time huffing car exhaust once, he wants all the shelter pets in his state to share his personal experiences.  I guess GA shelter pets can be glad the good Senator did not report getting a kick out of smoking crack.

Also, FYI Senator Heath, if no one in the building wants to hurt an animal, you could actually stop killing friendly pets in GA and start sheltering them instead.  Just a suggestion.

Empty Suits Running Animal Shelter in Cumberland Co

The people running the animal shelter in Cumberland County, NC need to get their heads on straight.  First off they recently had a problem with distemper.  And by “problem” I mean dogs suffered and died needlessly without veterinary care for months.  Although they shelter 14,000 pets every year, they have no Vet on staff or even one who drops by on occasion.

To be clear, the place is called an animal shelter.  It’s supposed to shelter animals.  That’s what taxpayers are paying for.  Of course nothing complements failing to do one’s job like a witty retort from your elected official:

County Commissioner Marshall Faircloth said the department’s priority is public safety, not animal welfare.

“With all due respect to animal lovers,” Faircloth said, “the animal shelter is not Club Med for animals. It is not an adoption agency, per se. It exists for the protection of the human public.”

Well since your shelter is killing 13,000 of the 14,000 pets you take in every year and letting the survivors suffer with distemper and who knows what else (no really, who knows, since there is no Vet around), I’d say you don’t have to worry about anyone thinking it’s “Club Med for animals”.  (By the way, who is protecting the human public from your smug superiority?)

The county asked two professors from the vet school at NC State for recommendations on how to prevent another distemper outbreak at the shelter.  The professors advised that (can you guess?) vaccinating all incoming pets would be the best preventive.  But of course the Animal Services Board thought that was just ridiculous:

Most of the animals coming into the shelter have to be put to sleep and inoculating them against disease would be a waste of money, according to [chairman of the board and veterinarian John] Lauby.

“To vaccinate 14,000 animals and then euthanize 13,000 of them,” said Lauby, citing annual statistics, “that’s not a prudent use of taxpayer dollars. At least, I don’t think so.”

Right.  I guess that would make sense if the sign on the place said Pet Slaughterhouse.  But since it says “animal shelter”, I can’t help wondering if the county couldn’t do that sheltering animals thing instead of killing 93% of the pets that end up there.  I get that it’s “not an adoption agency” but you know, maybe it could be?  I mean, has that thought ever crossed anyone’s mind?  Has any effort been made to do anything besides kill 13,000 pets every year?  It doesn’t have to be Club Med but I don’t see any reason it has to be Club Dead either.

ME Community Helps in Creation of No Kill Shelter

As I’ve said in past, I believe people are generally against killing friendly dogs and cats and when called upon, will volunteer and donate to work toward no kill efforts in the community.  Case in point, courtesy of Maine:

When Lorraine Monfils planned the first community cleanup day for the Ark Animal Shelter, she hoped for a little good press that would lead to some positive attention.

But what the group got the day the story appeared in Tuesday’s Bangor Daily News were numerous phone calls and e-mails with offers of donations and volunteer help — and a new building.

[...]

“The phone has been ringing off the hook,” she said. “People are coming in and it’s all positive and good.”

People also are offering to assist with grant writing to fund the sanctuary and offering to make outright donations.

No kill makes sense to people.  The public wants it.  And with the right leadership in place to get (and keep) the ball rolling, the community will step up.  We are a humane society and a no kill nation.

Montclair, NJ Community Wants to Improve Shelter

The animal shelter in Montclair, NJ reportedly has a kill rate of approximately 11%.  That’s a pretty good save rate when compared to the national average.  Apparently some local pet advocates have complaints about how the shelter operates and are asking the shelter, which was taken over by the municipality last year, to become a no kill facility:

Montclair’s municipal government is denying accusations from local animal rights activists that there is a “crisis situation” at the Montclair Animal Shelter resulting in a high euthanasia rate for sheltered animals.

[...]

Sue Portuese, the municipality’s health director, said municipal officials and shelter employees are working to correct some of the problems raised by critics. The shelter, open two hours every weekday, has increased its hours to include one evening per week, as well as weekends, Portuese said.

In addition, the shelter is planning several off-site events to promote the facility and attract possible pet owners, she added.

Those sound like good improvements.  Frankly, if they are saving 89% of their pets by being open only 2 hours a day and without offsite adoption events, I’m very impressed.  But while the shelter seems to be on the right track, there’s nothing wrong with members of the community advocating for no kill.  After all, becoming no kill is a community effort and if that’s what the public wants, I think we should encourage them, not discourage them:

In an economic environment where teachers and police officers face layoffs, it is challenging for an animal shelter to obtain the amount of money it needs to run a shelter properly, according to John Snyder, a vice president of The Humane Society of the United States.

“And if [Montclair] had not been in this business and they just walked in, they might be in a learning mode,” Snyder told The Times.

Municipalities and other governmental agencies can’t “just warehouse animals” in shelters, he said. Running a shelter requires community involvement, a good foster network, behavioral training, and myriad resources, Snyder said.

“You can’t flip a switch and say you don’t want to euthanize animals anymore,” he said.

OK thanks Debbie Downer.  I started out feeling positive and encouraged about this shelter.  Now I’m all glass-half-empty.

Montclair is already saving most of its community’s pets – it’s not like it’s a giant leap to becoming no kill.  There is no need for HSUS to sound the old warehousing (pdf) alarm.  Montclair is already doing a good job.  They would probably appreciate some encouragement.  And maybe some cash, if you can spare it.  Oh that’s right – you totally can.

Treats on the Internets

Old dog provides unique comfort to elderly man in time of despair

Rescue Chocolate sells vegan, kosher chocolate and donates profits to rescue related groups.  Profits from sales in May will be donated to the No Kill Advocacy Center.

Ohio State’s student newspaper looks at the problem of college students abandoning newly adopted pets when they move.

GA authorities continue seizing dogs in connection with a dogfighting ring bust – the number of dogs seized is now at 120.

A woman who runs a no kill shelter in GA is being fined over $3000 because a neighbor complained about barking dogs.  She may lose her shelter as a result.

VA Governor’s amendment that would prohibit shelters from killing dogs they think look like a certain breed has been defeated.

Austin rescue group is working to save shelter dogs from a Distemper outbreak

The Wife Swap/dog spa kennel owner in NC who had 97 dogs seized and was charged with cruelty is now being required to pay $50,000 or forfeit the animals.  The $50k is the amount it’s costing the county to care for the dogs for 30 days.  The owner says she could care for them for $2500 a month.  I think that’s the problem, see.  Whatever the amount the owner was spending on monthly care left the dogs with prolapsed uteri and such, causing authorities to step in, which brings us full circle.

Freeze-drying dead pets is so not for me – even if I had the extra thousands in cash.  But if it’s for you, FYI:

The owner (or a veterinarian) must place the pet in a freezer within hours, lest the body begin to decompose. (At the very least, the body should be refrigerated, which buys a day or two.) It is not possible to dig up a buried pet and then salvage the body.

“He just totally went off the wall”

New Hampshire:  If you want to buy a dog off Craigslist without even knowing the name of the seller or if the dog’s had a Rabies vaccine or has bitten 157 schoolkids, knock yourself out.  Hey, I’m not judging.  But if you do buy a dog without knowing a thing about him, you are accepting the responsibility that comes along with that.  That is, every new situation – riding in the car, walking around the neighborhood, visiting the dog park, etc – requires you to use judgment and caution since the dog is a big question mark.  You are the known entity in this equation – the dog is the unknown – and in taking him on, you are promising to keep him and those around him safe from foreseeable mishaps.

Perhaps the number one foreseeable mishap to my mind would be properly introducing the dog to your kids and at some point, introducing him to other people’s kids.  This will require your supervision and judgment and will happen over time, as the dog learns what is expected of him and adjusts to his new life.  Specifically, you’d want to avoid situations such as this like the plague:

Shawna Innie, 12, was going inside her apartment to get a drink on Saturday when the pit bull that her family had just obtained lunged at her and grabbed her arm.

Moments later, neighbor Cameron Hallstrom, 7, entered the home, and the dog bit him on the face and ear.

“He just started attacking them,” said dog owner Nancy Innie. “It’s unbelievable.”

Nancy Innie said the family got the dog, Chico, on Friday. They picked the dog up in Nashua from an owner they know only by a first name. She said they were given no documentation about the animal regarding his shots or any other history.

“We didn’t even have him 24 hours yet, and he just totally went off the wall,” she said.

Personal responsibility fail.

May I paraphrase?:  We didn’t even have him 24 hours and I expected him to read my mind and to know exactly how and from whom I wanted him to defend our home and his personal space.  Further, I expected any worries or fears he may have which might cause him to react with his teeth to evaporate instantly just because.  Now that I set him up for failure and my efforts have been realized the only logical conclusion is that “[o]bviously, he had a couple loose screws”.  Cause it wouldn’t be my fault.  Obviously.

Both of the bite victims are on antibiotics, and Cameron needed 10 stitches to repair his wounds. For now, the dog is being held in quarantine at the Manchester Animal Shelter.

Since the rabies vaccine history is unknown, the dog has to be quarantined.  And of course the new owners didn’t have time to get him a shot because they had only gotten him less than 24 hours before the screws hit the wall.  I think it was highly rude of that dog to become unhinged so quickly like that.  Hopefully the family’s next dog will be that mind reading/fear evaporating kind.  They have those on Craigslist, don’t they?

Treats on the Internets

Study suggests shelter cats may enjoy catnip

WaPo:  Trap-neuter-return program in Fairfax Co, VA

A shelter worker wonders if the public has too many choices to be capable of actually choosing a pet when the shelter is full

In Orangeburg Co, SC, a neglected pony was seized from the owner but ordered returned because the local animal control ordinances only mention dogs and cats.

In the past, when dogs on heartworm meds came up positive for heartworms, the owner got the blame – even if he felt certain he had never missed a dose.  Now the topic has resurfaced for debate.

Interesting post and discussion on puppy mill legislation and HSUS at Pet Connection

Terrierman offers his take on factory farmed hens

Open season on pythons in the Everglades is reportedly a big fat zero although officials think the cold killed many of the snakes

Unnatural Disaster: Shelter Killing in America

I love our country.  And the people in it.  When faced with a crisis, there’s no one I’d rather have in my corner.  We step up to help when we see our neighbors in need – whether they are our next door neighbors in Yazoo City, MS or our brothers and sisters in Haiti.  We open our hearts, our homes and our wallets – we do whatever we can to help.

That’s why I wish we could spread the word that there is a crisis in America happening right now – not a natural disaster but a most unnatural one:  The needless killing of friendly pets in animal shelters.

I say needless because when you look at the math, it’s indisputable – there ARE enough homes for the all the pets in shelters in this country.  All we have to do is get them there.  And I honestly believe that if the cable news shows reported this as breaking news, giving it the same sensational treatment afforded to Tiger Woods’ sex life, Americans would answer the call to help shelter pets.

Nobody would have to organize us and tell us what to do, everyone would just know to do the right thing.  Because we’re Americans and we know about doing what’s right.  We already know that killing healthy/treatable pets in shelters is wrong but we turn away from it.  We turn away by rationalizing it as a “necessity” due to so-called overpopulation or an irresponsible society.  But with a little education, everyone can learn the truth – that there is no pet overpopulation problem in this country, there is a shelter killing problem; that there is an irresponsible segment of our society but they are the minority.  And with the slightest amount of soul searching, everyone would realize that they’ve known all along it’s wrong to kill friendly pets in shelters.

It’s downright un-American.  We are a strong people who want to use our privilege and blessings to help – not kill.  We do not stand idly by while our neighbors suffer – we reach out, we offer a hand up.  And our communities’ pets are our neighbors and this is all they need – a hand up to save them from death.

Not everyone can adopt.  But everyone can do something.  Whether that means educating the public, volunteering at your local shelter, or donating some cash to your local shelter.  Maybe you want to adopt but can’t right now – could you offer to pay the adoption fee for someone else who’d like to adopt but can’t afford to do so?  Could you spend an hour at your local shelter petting cats or walking dogs who are hungry for human affection?  Could you look up information for your co-worker who needs to get a pet neutered but doesn’t know how to find a low cost clinic in your area?

Imagine if everyone who cared did something toward ending the needless killing of shelter pets all on the same day.  Imagine that.  Now imagine if everyone did a little something every day.  Could we dramatically reduce the shelter pet population in this country?  Could we transform our communities into no kill communities?  I believe we could.

When Americans demand change, there is no stopping us.  We are a country built on revolution.  There is a no kill revolution happening in this country and if you aren’t going to help, at least get out of the way.  But if you would like to stand with us, if you’d like to be on the side that chooses to end the killing, please join us.

America is better than a country that needlessly kills its pets – much, much better.  We are a humane society.  Let’s right this wrong.  This is the moment.  Change is at hand.

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