I Chortled

Terrierman has a post up about Veterinarians pushing for twice yearly well pet exams.  One justification is the idea that every year is actually 7 “dog years” so you’re really only bringing your dog in every 3.5 years.  No sale there:

Question: Do you think this vet tells hamster-owners that because their animals live for only three years, “every month in a hamster’s life is really two years in human years, so you need to bring in your hamster every month just to see what’s going on.”

*coffee spew*

I tend to agree with much of the post although I don’t get my dogs’ teeth cleaned at the Vet’s under anesthesia.  That’s not to say I wouldn’t if some situation ever arose where my dog needed to have a veterinary teeth cleaning in order to maintain a good quality of life.  It’s just that situation hasn’t presented itself yet (knock on wood).  I don’t brush my dogs’ teeth either.  File that under Things-I-haven’t-found-the-need-for too.  I’m not knocking anyone who does provide veterinary and/or at-home dental care for their dogs.  My motto is Do whatever works for you and your pets.

I do think vaccines probably last for the life of a dog (except in cases of vaccine failure) and I don’t revaccinate mine as adults, except as required by law for Rabies.  I wish there was a more reliable and cost-effective means of testing how long vaccines remain effective.  My Vet requires titers if a dog has to be hospitalized and the owner doesn’t revaccinate.  Titers give us only limited info and really don’t answer the question of whether the dog still has any immunity from a prior vaccine.  But I understand she has liability issues as well as other clients who follow her yearly revax protocol.

Needless to say, I don’t bring my dogs to the Vet for semi-annual well pet exams.  For starters, I can’t afford to do that.  And that pretty much negates the need for providing any additional reasons.  But even if I win the lottery tomorrow, I don’t envision myself changing on that point.  A visit to the Vet means stress for the dog.  And I’m big on minimizing stress.  I tend to think stress contributes to the deterioration of otherwise healthy animals in a much bigger way than is often considered.  That’s just my opinion, not based on scientific studies of the effects of stress on pets or anything like that.

Anyway, I enjoyed the post and thought many of you would as well.  Plus with so much bad news in the media this weekend, it’s good to laugh and read a little plain talk.

Happy Memorial Day

Thank you for your service, one and all.

This WOULD be funny…

…if PETA didn’t already operate the country’s most depraved pet slaughterhouse themselves:

There could be a new “sequel” to the Amityville Horror: PETA wants to move in.

The animal rights group has asked to lease the famed haunted home in order to transform it into an exhibit that would scare people out of eating meat and using animal products.

Regardless of whether you are a meat eater, a vegetarian, or a vegan, I think most of us will agree that this latest PR stunt from PETA has a certain whiff of crazy to it.  They are wanting to use a reportedly haunted house to scare people about the horrors of food animal slaughterhouses when they themselves run a pet slaughterhouse that would haunt the conscience of anyone wise enough to check the facts.

As reported to the government of Virginia:

PETA’s 2006 kill rate of pets in their “shelter”:  97%

PETA’s 2007 kill rate of pets in their “shelter”:  91%

PETA’s 2008 kill rate of pets in their “shelter”:  96%

PETA’s 2009 kill rate (pdf) of pets in their “shelter”:  97%

PETA’s PR stunts don’t scare me.  What scares me is that anyone with a mind to donate money to help pets would consider PETA a good beneficiary for their donation.  PETA kills pets.  Donate to your local no kill shelter or rescue group instead – they actually care about and for pets.

Another No Cook/Cheap Eats Score

After They are What They Eat alerted me to these Cloud Star dog treats available at Big Lots, I decided to trek down to ours and see if they had them too.  They did and we bought a box of every variety!  I see them online for around $6 a box but we got ours for $2.50.  So no need for firing up the oven and taking up precious space in the freezer baking and storing homemade treats for a little while anyway.

261 Dogs Seized from Polk Co FL “Rescue”

There are 3 notices highlighted in red/white on the home page of this FL Labrador Retriever rescue’s website.  Two of the notices are to remind applicants to pay the $25 application fee if you want to be considered for adopting a dog.  (If you are approved, they’ll knock the $25 off the $265 fee required to actually adopt a dog.)  The other notice is that there is a “temporary hold on pet surrenders”.   To wit:

In what authorities are calling the largest case of animal abuse in Polk County history, a Polk City husband and wife were arrested Thursday and each charged with 261 counts of animal cruelty.

[...]

Upon investigation, Animal Control officers and Sheriff’s Office deputies found 226 dogs and 35 puppies of various breeds malnourished, infested with fleas and parasites and in very poor health.

[...]

“According to the deputies that were on scene during the investigation, the house wasn’t fit for humans or animals,” [Polk Sheriff Grady] Judd said. “Our deputies had to wear gas masks or protective cover over their mouth and noses because the stench (of urine and feces) was so bad in the house.”

Judd said one of the dogs died while the animals were being removed from home for transport to the Animal Control center for examination and treatment.

According to the O’Malleys’ arrest affidavit, dogs were found in every area of the 3,000-square-foot house – the kitchen, the bathrooms, the three bedrooms, the closets and the porches.

In addition to the inhumane living conditions, a Vet found that many of the dogs had hookworms and whipworms, were severely malnourished with ribs and spines easily visible, and likely had not been fed in several days.  The dogs had apparently eaten a black leather couch as well as part of the couple’s bed.

The dog breeds included Labrador retriever, golden retriever, lab mixes, great Dane, cattle dogs, sharpei, dalmation [sic], shepherd mixes, bulldog and Belgian malinois.

According to the Sheriff’s Office, several of the dogs had not been neutered or spayed, which is a violation of policy for animal rescue organizations.

Perhaps this is where the “lab mixes” referenced above comes in.

Is this a case of well intentioned rescuers becoming overwhelmed?  Or maybe just plain old bad people trying to make a buck off “rescue”?  Something else?  I have no idea.  While I understand that rescues count on adoption fees to help cover operating expenses, I do have a thing about rescues charging too much money.

Let’s face it, if I want a Lab mix or a even a garden variety purebred Lab, I can go to my local shelter and get one, probably neutered and vaccinated, for far less than $265.  And in the case of this “rescue”, they either couldn’t afford to feed the dogs or simply were refusing to do so.

In these circumstances, perhaps it would have been best to stop accepting dogs before you got arrested for animal cruelty and maybe to have adopted a bunch out at greatly reduced fees – at least until you got your number of dogs down to a manageable level.  I am not sure where these folks got the idea that $265 is a reasonable fee to adopt a malnourished dog loaded with intestinal parasites and living in filth.  Even at my local kill shelter, they at least clean the kennels regularly and you know – feed the dogs.

Dinner at Chez Dog

Puffins cereal is on clearance at my local grocery store.  I hope they’re not discontinuing it and that it was only on clearance because the expiration date is within a few weeks.  At any rate, I am always looking for alternatives to slaving over a hot stove once the heat and humidity hit Africa levels.  So I scooped up a couple boxes of Puffins and will be feeding that to the dogs with some homemade yogurt and applesauce from a jar.  (I did have to cook the milk last week to make the yogurt but that was worth it to make 4 quarts of yogurt.)

Puffins – at least this variety – is a corn based cereal and I know some people don’t like to feed corn to their dogs.  Mine have never had a problem with it and in cold weather, I make corn bread to share with the dogs quite often.  (I really prefer it warm and fresh out the oven so the dogs are a handy disposal for all that “cold” corn bread later on.)  So I get today off from cooking.  Anyone else have any no (or low) cook dog dinners to share?

Treats on the Internets

NC Pitbull breeder charged with two counts of transporting animals for the purpose of fighting, 16 counts of dogfighting and 11 counts of cruelty to animals.  18 dogs were seized in connection with the arrest.

Charming story about the life of a Beagle who knew his way around the neighborhood

Part 1 of an interview with Nathan Winograd, Part 2

KC Dog Blog on the implications of cities banning pet store sales of pets

Too much photo retouching=fried kitteh

Not directly pet related but our dogs do consume a lot of carrots and I thought this was interesting

Blog housekeeping note:  Ever since I moved the blog to this new address, the number one referrer continues to be… my old blog.  I interpret that to mean that some of you who have been misdirected kind enough to include me on your blogrolls may not have updated to this new address.  If you get a chance to update the link, I would appreciate it.

Tha Hell?

I can’t figure this website out.  (In fairness, it does say it’s under construction.)  Maybe some of you smart people can chime in with your interpretations.  And by all means, if you have any additional information on the no kill shelter mentioned on the website, please share.

Basically, what I’m getting is that this place has been a no kill shelter for dogs, cats and horses in WI for 13 years.  I can’t figure out what the name of the shelter is.  I’ve tried some searches but – nada.  Apparently the person who operates the shelter finances it by selling Golden Retriever and Standard Poodle puppies.  I can’t figure out if they sell dog houses too.

The home page has several photos of Goldens and one dog that I guess is a Poodle with a weird haircut.  If you click on that dog’s photo, you can get a link to his pedigree.  His AKC registered name contains the word “Goldendoodle” which would of course be a cross between a Golden and a Poodle but that’s not what’s being advertised on this site, at least with what they’ve got up so far.

There is a photo page called “Puppy Training” which shows 2 litters of Golden pups crammed into a wire crate in front of what might be the biggest ball of tin foil ever.  I don’t know, I think I’m just punchy from reading the text on that site.

There are no photos of any dogs, cats or horses that are current or past residents of the shelter.  Maybe those photos are still to come.  It seems a little odd because most rescues with websites put up info on the pets they are trying to rehome ASAP.

Thank you to reader Clarice for sending me this link!

Something Sucketh This Way Comes

A man in Orange County Florida had a one year old Lab who apparently got run over by a car several weeks ago and suffered a broken leg.  Rather than take the dog to a Vet or doing any number of other sane things, the guy put the dog out with the trash:

Dillinger’s owner put the canine in his crate, covered him with a blanket and placed him by the curb to be picked up with the rest of his garbage, officials said.

Dude, unless you are severely mentally disabled and the person supposed to be looking out for you is dead in a ditch somewhere, you suck.

A local rescue fixed the dog’s leg and is now looking for a home for him with someone slightly less dirtbag-ish.  Authorities are conducting an investigation into the incident.

Dillinger is in good spirits, according to the pet rescue, and is available for adoption. He is said to love other dogs and people despite the circumstances.

Keep the faith, pup.  We are not all asshats, I swear.

More on OH Dairy Farms

Regarding the link I shared yesterday to a post from a dairy farmer which was itself a response to the horrible abuse footage at Conklin dairy farm, a reader writes:

*eye roll* to the “defense of dairy” blog entry, but hey to each their own…I notice you didn’t include the reason for that blog entry.

I did not include a link to the OH dairy farm abuse footage but I’m not sure what the inference is here.  Did I not include it because I believe it’s staged footage or because I think abusing cows is swell?  No, on both counts.  Did I not include it because I think the timing is suspect and the release of the footage is being used by HSUS to further their quest for new farming laws in OH?  No, although I am doubtful that the timing is merely coincidental.  The reasons I did not include a reference to the abuse video are rather pedestrian:

1.  I knew the blog post I was linking to mentioned the abuse footage so in that sense, I felt it was covered.

2.  I purposefully try to avoid seeing animal abuse images because I find them too disturbing.  I see many in the course of surfing the net but as of the time I posted that link, I had not seen the Conklin dairy farm footage and was hoping to avoid doing so.  (I’ve since seen snippets from it on television, unfortunately.)  Since I had already written a post yesterday with links to graphic abuse images, I really wasn’t that keen on including another.

3.  I count my readers as fully capable of using Google to find the footage for themselves, if they felt inclined to do so after reading about it in the link I posted.

More from the reader’s comment:

As I keep wanting to know – how many undercover investigations, how many videos does it take for people to stop thinking these are “bad apples”? There are hundreds currently. Does it take thousands? Tens of thousands?

There is no set number I could think of that would personally sway me into believing that animal abuse is the norm in farming.  Maybe I am naive or just out of touch with reality but I do believe that most people on this earth are inherently good, or at least not sadists.  I believe, perhaps wrongly, that if I were to watch footage of every farm in America 24/7 for a year, that it would be mainly animals being taken care of in a humane manner with some small amount of the footage showing cruelty.

Similarly, while I do often post on stories of cruelty to pets, I believe that those are aberrations and that the overwhelming majority of owners treat their pets humanely.  In theory, I could collect hundreds of stories of pet abuse, and pose the same question asked above – How many will it take to convince people that these are not bad apples but rather the norm?  But I don’t believe that’s true.

And finally:

We don’t need the breast milk of another species to survive. We never have. Why take part in maternal deprivation, slaughter, veal, artificial selection for unhealthy animals when you don’t have to?

I don’t need cow’s milk to survive – true enough.  Nor do I need a car or a computer or air conditioning to survive.  But I have those things because they are available and I enjoy them.  I strive to be a mindful consumer but perhaps I’m just fooling myself so that I don’t have to face my own awfulness.  I hope not.  My dream (we’re talking lottery dream here) would be to have my own farm where I could have cows and chickens to keep as pets and to provide me with food.  I would love that.  But the reality is that if I want dairy products and eggs – and I do – I must buy them.  I support the choice to be vegan for those who desire it but I don’t choose it for myself.

I did want to mention that I first learned about the Conklin dairy farm abuse footage yesterday on Twitter – from the farmers I follow.  I saw a number of tweets from farmers condemning farm animal abuse and referring to the video.  Now I’m not so naive as to fail to recognize that the agricultural community likely feels a business obligation to issue these type of statements.  But again, because I do believe most people are not sadists, I have no reason to doubt those farmers who say this abuse makes them sick and they would never treat their animals this way.  That’s exactly how I feel when I read about pet abuse cases and I would hate for anyone to judge me and how I take care of my pets by the actions of sadists who set their pets on fire or what have you.  Those stories make the news because they are not standard fare.

I hope I’ve explained my thinking and answered the questions posed.  I always appreciate reader comments.  Civil debate is one way that I learn and expand my views and for that I am grateful.

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