Monday, September 5, 2011

A Shelter Dog Finds a Home

At the Mercer County Shelter in Kentucky, Ziggy was known as "Spot," a thin, 3 year old Beagle mix with asymmetrical eyes and long, soft ears, a stray who either got lost or who was dumped.  When a dog enters a shelter as a stray and isn't claimed, I figure he's been dumped.  Had he been lost, his family could have found him.

I advocate for dogs adopted through the Mercer Humane Society, having become Facebook friends with Kathy Whitelock, a woman whose tireless efforts have helped to save the Mercer shelter dogs.  I was immediately struck by the dog called "Spot" while going through Kathy's album of adoptable Mercer dogs to see who was new. 

I'd already decided to adopt another dog when I first saw him.  I was just trying to decide how to decide what dog to adopt. I'd settled on one main criterion: the dog had to be on a euth list.  And Spot, being a shelter newcomer, wasn't on that list.  But he was small, and I had also decided a smaller dog would work out best.  And he was part Beagle.  I always feel especially sympathetic toward the Beagles and Beagle mixes in shelters, and missed Bailey, my Beagle who had passed on some time ago.  And I figured that sooner or later, Spot would more than likely be on the list.

I suppose I expected Spot, who became Ziggy, to be like Bailey -- fairly quiet, though playful.  But Bailey had been between 6 and 8 years old when I adopted him from the local shelter.  The first few days, Ziggy was manic.  I wondered if he slept more than an hour a day.

He's been with me, Kita, and Perry 3 weeks now, and he has calmed down, though he's very active.  He and Kita play like crazy, and I've just begun taking him to the dog park where he gets a good work out with the other dogs.  He caught on to "sit for treats" really fast.  He's catching on to house-training.  His worst habit is to chew -- pillow cases, blankets, anything soft, shoes.  In many ways he still acts like a puppy.  I think he's the happiest dog I've ever seen.

I think Ziggy's greatest joy when freed from the shelter, like Kita's, was to simply be able to run in his new home's fenced in yard.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Puggles, Labradoodles, Breeders and Death

The names sound like cartoon characters, or words a group of 5 year olds would make up while playing make-believe:  Chiweenie, Puggle, Labradoodle, Goldendoodle, Schnoodle, Pomapoo. 

There's something disturbing about these childlike names. 

The breeders who created designer dogs were cold, calculating, cynical, their only intent to cash in on their creations.  And they were very sharp and skilled marketers.

Understanding the power of labels, they chose names that not only conveniently reflected the two breeds from which the designer dog sprang,  but more importantly that made the cute pet shop puppies sound even cuter and more appealing:  Schnoodle -- it sounds like a sweet breakfast roll, a reward you give yourself on weekends; Pomapoo -- a wind up toy to play with; Labradoodle, Godendoodle -- doodles, little scribbles you don't take seriously, but that are so much fun. 

And that's the message:  these dogs are fun, fun, and more fun.  They weren't bred to do jobs, like German Shepherds or Black Labs, Great Pyranees or Border Collies.  They're even less serious than lap dogs, such as Pomeranians and Pugs.  Designer dogs are the quintessential play thing, with names more akin to toy stuffed animals than to real dogs.

But they are real dogs.  They bark, shed, tear things up in their teething and teenage years, create messes and need to be house trained, fed, watered and walked.  Only their names are toy-like.

Of course these pet shop pups, like their purebred counterparts,  come from puppy mills.  Anyone who buys one, whether because they've been swept into the Schnoodle fad or they couldn't resist the adorable puppy with the cute name when they idly wandered into the mall pet shop, supports puppy mills.  And puppy mills are a living death for the mill breeder dogs.

And now designer dogs show up not only in pet shops, but as older pups or adults in rescues and kill shelters as well. They're listed for free on Craig's list and even simply abandoned when no longer wanted.

Perhaps they get adopted in the kill shelter; perhaps a rescue pulls them.  This is terrific.  It is not their fault they ended up homeless, facing shelter death.  They did not deserve this fate in the least.  It is not their fault that they were created when there was already an over abundance of dogs in the world.

But because breeders created these dogs and because, predictably, some end up in shelters and are adopted or rescued,  another dog -- a mixed breed dog who is perhaps rather plain and who lacks a cute, cuddly "breed" name for people to latch onto -- dies.

 Dog breeders: the problem is they create more death than life.

Puggle for Adoption at the Kenton County Shelter, KY

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Animal Cruelty and Pro Dog Legislation

I've seen too many horror stories about dog abuse in the past couple of weeks.  Of course, even one story in a lifetime is too many.

The Bad

This week there was an article on a dog nearly decapitated, but found alive.  Though veterinarians tried to save her, she died.  The perpetrator was caught. 

 Tonight there's an article on a puppy being stomped to death.  The man who did it was retaliating against his girlfriend, who would not go out to buy him more beer.

There's the sheriff in Kentucky who killed a stray dog and her newborn puppies.  The dog, chained, lunged at him, he said.  So he shot her, and said he took the just born pups to a shelter to be "euthanized."  Did he consider that the dog probably felt threatened and was defending her pups?  Rescue had been arranged, but the woman who took the dog in was out on a 15 minute errand when the killing occurred.

The Good 

Jerry Brown, governor of California, has signed a bill to prohibit the sale of pets on public property, such as street corners.  Thank you Jerry Brown.

Texas has passed puppy mill legislation, setting minimum standards for puppy mills.  This, at least, is a step forward, I suppose, but mills need to be entirely shut down.

Suffolk county New York is working on legislation to ban the sale of puppy mill dogs in pet shops.  Thanks to those legislators who support this bill; hoping it passes.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Which Dog To Save?

I've been remiss again, neglecting this fledgling blog. I might blame it on the ennui of summer; extreme heat, the air warm, heavy, damp, like breathing in fog. I close the blinds against the sun, and feel I'm in a cave. Mainly, I miss taking Perry and Kita for trail walks. It's too hot, and, anyway, it's tick season. Perry and Kita lie around, tired after briefly trying to dig lizards out from their hiding spots.

This post is purely personal, though I suspect anyone who does rescue, and many who have adopted from a kill shelter, have had the same dilemma I'm going to write about.

I've spent too much time looking at the "URGENT" lists for two rural shelters east of the city, both over an hour away. The shelters are small, poor. This morning, after putting in a few work hours, I was going to rush to one, save a particular dog who was to be killed today. But last night I saw that the dog I was going to get was rescued, and the other dogs had been given a brief reprieve, until Monday. But more dogs were added to the list.

The second shelter is perhaps sadder, with photographs of dogs in indoor kennels that look rather dark, the floor traditional cement. The adoption fee is only $20 for a dog, $30 for a younger puppy. The dogs are not vetted.

There's a sad Beagle mix, a rather plain looking dog. His write up says he didn't know what treats were when he came to the shelter, and didn't understand human affection. Then there's a 5 month old black dog, a lab mix, who looks so frightened.

I want to bring them both home. I want to bring them all home. How, after all, do you leave behind the matronly, older Beagle? Or the beautiful but thin and frightened Bluetick Coonhound?

I cannot really afford even one more dog. Perry needs his teeth cleaned, and it's time to buy more heartworm preventative. I buy Blue Buffalo, which isn't cheap, and at 78 pounds, Kita goes through it rather quickly. My truck needs work and I need new work boots. Hell, I need new sandals and a visit to the dentist myself.

And I know what it costs for an unvetted dog: Heartworm test and preventative (and hope the dog doesn't have heartworm); vaccinations; general check up, and hope the dog is healthy. A friend spent $400 on his Beagle from the local shelter, clearing up worms and other maladies, and the Beagle had his full set of vaccinations and was neutered when adopted.

But mainly, it's deciding which dog to bring home. How do you leave others behind, facing death if no one else wants them? How do you decide? I've done it before. I'm not sure how -- I probably told myself the others would find homes. But I no longer delude myself in that way.

So I talk myself out of taking in another dog, for now, a rational decision, an inability to save one and leave others behind, perhaps a personal failing.

Added Two Days Later:  The day after writing the above, still haunted by the two dogs I especially wanted to get out of the shelter, I went to the shelter's Pet Finder page.  There had been around 12 dogs and a litter of puppies at the shelter.  But yesterday, there were only 2 dogs and the puppies.

I knew that 10 dogs hadn't been adopted overnight.  I knew they had been killed.  I told them I was sorry.  I cried without making a sound.  I told myself at least someone was grieving for them, but that rang hollow.  What good did my grieving do?

This is what failure feels like.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

This Week's Ups and Downs for Dogs

 Many Thanks To:

Gov. Neil Abercrombie of Hawaii for signing a bill to make dog fighting a felony. And thanks to the legislators who sponsored and supported this bill.
Governor Signs Bill Making Dog Fighting a Felony

The Colorado Springs Humane Society Officer who broke a car window to save the dog left in the hot car, and the person who reported that the dog was in the car. Everyone should take action when they see a dog left in a car on a hot day!
Humane Society Rescues Dog Left in Hot Car

David Sharpe who founded Pets for Vets. Shelter dogs find homes with veterans with PTSD or other needs. Sharpe himself was saved by a dog he adopted from a shelter.
Desperate Vet Finds Healing Power in Pound Pup

Thumbs Way Down For:

South Bend Animal Control for giving strays only 48 to 72 hours to be claimed. I guess strays don't even get a chance to be adopted? A woman's lost dog was killed just 3 hours before she arrived at the shelter.
Owner Calls South Bend Dog's Euthanasia Unfair

The man who ran over a Border Collie on purpose during a cattle drive. He also struck several cattle and sped away. Police are looking for him.
Sierra County Cattleman's Dog Fights for Life

Anyone who leaves their dog, cat, or kids in a hot car
. Another dog left in car, but this one didn't make it.
Dog Locked in Car Dies, Owner Arrested

Saturday, June 18, 2011

This Week's Good and Bad for Dogs

Thumbs Up For:

Legislator Jon Cooper for proposing a ban on the sale of puppy mill dogs in Suffolk County, New York.
Suffolk Would Ban Puppy Sales at Pet Stores

The Invisible Fence company for its "Project Breathe" campaign, which donates pet oxygen mask kits to fire departments.
Local Firefighters to Get Pet Oxygen kits

The state of Nevada for making first offense "willful or malicious cruelty" to an animal a felony.  (In my own state of Ohio, cruelty is not a felony crime).  I wish Nevada had passed SB 364 to ban horse tripping as well.
Humane Society Says New Laws Mean Nevada Is Now Nicer to Animals

Thumbs Down For: 

Responsible Pet Owners Alliance, American Sporting Dog Alliance, The Lone Star State American Pit Bull Terrier Club, and the Sportsmen's and Animal Owners Voting Alliance: these groups were against  legislation passed in Texas to make the lives of mill dogs less horrible.
Texas Puppy Mill Bill

Tony Ed Bloodsworth, an animal control officer and Mayor of New Brockton, Alabama, Lenwood Herron.  Both were charged with cruelty due to "deplorable" conditions at the New Brockton animal "shelter."
Animal Control Officer Indicted in Animal Cruelty Case

The person who stole a disabled dog's wheelchair in West Roxbury, MA.  (and thumbs up to who replaced the wheelchair free of charge).
Dog's Wheelchair Stolen

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Temperament Tests: An Unfair Way to Decide Who Lives and Dies

You have to click the link at the end of this post to a video by Eldad Hagar. I came across  Hagar  a couple of  weeks ago on the internet.  Put simply, he and his wife rescue dogs in L.A., calling their rescue Hope for Paws.

Hagar creates powerful videos of  rescues as they happen. I wish they were shown on TV -- on the mainstream news, on 60 Minutes, on the morning talk shows watched by women.  I can't imagine anyone who's seen one of his videos not saving a dog in a kill shelter instead of buying a pet.

Hagar rescues dogs who are so down and out that if picked up by animal control they would no doubt have been killed rather than being put up for adoption, and he also saves shelter dogs slated for death at the shelter.

One such dog, Chase, was to be killed the day Hagar rescued her. A small dog with dirty, matted hair,  abused by her owner then dumped at a shelter, Chase curls back her lips in a snarl and jumps at Hagar's hand when he reaches into her cage.  Who would adopt this dog?  And if the shelter used temperament testing to determine if she were adoptable, certainly she would fail. 

The video made me think about temperament testing, which can be used in one of two basic ways: 1) to determine what type of home the dog would best be placed in and what type of training it might require, and 2) to determine whether the dog should be put up for adoption or killed. 

Chase probably would have failed the test before it even started.  What's the point of testing a dog who tries to bite when you reach into her cage?

How many dogs are never given a chance because they are terrified at the shelter, victims of abuse, have never known any kindness, and only know to try to protect and defend themselves as best they can?

This video is worth a thousand words.  Watch it and you'll know what I mean.
Chase: Rescued the Day She Was Scheduled to be Euthanized

Saturday, June 11, 2011

This Week's Ups and Downs

Thumbs Up For

The Beagle Freedom Project, an organization that takes in Beagles who are released from research projects. This week they saved 9 Beagles who had spent their entire lives in a laboratory environment.  The dogs are fostered, and when acclimated to the real world, put up for adoption.
Beagles Rescued from Lab
Beagle Freedom Project

Stephanie Henshaw  from Luv 4 Paws Rescue and firefighters in Kansas City, Kansas.  When the city's Animal Control said they "don't do roofs" in response to two dogs stranded on a roof for 6 days, Henshaw and firefighters stepped in. (A sad update to this article reports that one of the rescued dogs died).
Dogs Rescued from Roof
Firefighters Rescue dogs Stranded on Roof

Mae Frances "June" Mims, a California woman who left $240,000.00 to the Capistrano Animal Rescue Effort, an organization that rescues homeless dogs and cats.
Rescue Receives $240,000 from Estate

Thumbs Down For

Pennsylvania Governor Corbett and his wife for buying two Airedale puppies instead of adopting.  Perhaps he should visit some of his state's puppy mills and animal shelters.
PA Governor Buys Puppies

The state of Oklahoma for allowing dogs to be branded with a hot iron (I don't know if this barbarity is legal in any other states).
Dog Heard Screaming as Owner Brands Him

Missouri state representative Mike Lair for saying (and believing), "Dogs are property. Dogs don't have rights." This apparently is his argument for not supporting the will of Missourians when they voted for curbs on puppy mills in their state.
Groups Vow to Support Anti-Puppy Mill Law

Visit the Gallatin KY County Animal Shelter on Petfinder: Gallatin County Animal Shelter

Saturday, June 4, 2011

This Week's Heros and Villains

Thumbs UP For:

9 year old Jamarea Mills who stood up to a 12 year old bully who was beating up a tiny kitten.  Unfortunately, the kitten died, but Jamarea is being celebrated as a hero.
Jamarea Finds His Calling

Elizabeth Oliver, a 70 year old British woman who went into the Fukishima radiation zone to save animals left behind.
Braving Radiation to Save Animals

Edward Gardner who was killed Memorial Day weekend when he stopped on an Illinois interstate highway  to help ducklings on the freeway.  He was described as someone who loved animals. To lose someone this compassionate is a sad loss for the world.
Memorial for Man Who Died for Ducks

Thumbs Down For:

Those in the Maine legislature who rejected instituting an animal abuse registry (similar to registries for sex offenders).  This is a measure all states need; it would help raise awareness of abuse and let those with pets know if an abuser lives near them.
Maine House Rejects Animal Abuse Registry Proposal

Tammy and Larry Gowin in Iowa who abused two Boxers, starving them almost to death. They put the dogs in cages and dumped them in a ditch.  Someone spotted the dogs, who are now recovering.
2 Charged after Dumping Abused Dogs in Ditch

Pet  Shops that sell puppy mill pups  (and kittens): Highlighted this week:  Pets Plus (VA, PA, NJ and elsewhere? They're on FB, also).  Like them, leave a few comments, and then unlike.

Adoptable Pets at Gallatin KY Shelter

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Working to Ban Dog Auctions in Ohio

On Memorial Day weekend, I spent a few hours Saturday and Sunday at the dog park, collecting signatures on a petition for The Ohio Coalition to Ban Dog Auctions.  The hope is that banning dog auctions in Ohio will put a dent in Ohio puppy mills, and also hurt those mills in other states that come here to auction dogs.

This is the second time around for the petition drive, since not enough votes were collected the first time. With enough signatures, the measure to ban dog auctions will be put on the Nov. 2012 ballet.

I'm hopeful, but worried.

Does the general public know enough about puppy mills to vote against dog auctions?  Even a few of the dog park people hadn't heard of puppy mills.  Will anti-puppymill groups be able to raise money to help educate the public about the horrible lives (or living deaths) mill dogs live?  Will the news media provide coverage of the issue?

My dogs have gone out to lie on the grass in shade.  I think of how happy and comfortable they look, then I think of mill dogs in cramped cages in dark barns where the air doesn't move.  I think of matted hair, flies gathering around open sores, mosquitoes carrying heart worm.  The mill dogs spend their lives like this, no doubt going quietly insane.

If everyone knew the conditions of puppy mills, would mills still exist? 

I continue to work on new dog welfare designs and messages for my POD shops, convinced it's one thing I can do to try and help spread the word about homeless dogs and puppy mills.   Bringing the plight of mill dogs to everyone's attention and educating others is critically important. It's something everyone can do.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

The Good and the Bad for Dogs This Week: In the News

Thumbs Up

Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster who took action against two puppy mills, resulting in one being shut down while the second, under a temporary restraining order, is in effect shut down.

Sadly, in the first case, the judge ordered the dogs to be either auctioned or turned over to a shelter. If auctioned, the dogs will probably end up in another puppy mill.
Puppy Mills Shut Down

Wes Snyder who ran to a park when he heard Jamie Kanzler screaming; her Lab had gotten a ball stuck in his throat, blocking his breathing. Kanzler couldn't get it out.  Snyder was able to pull it out, saving the Lab's life.
Stranger Saves Dog's Life

Honolulu prosecutor Keith Kaneshiro who said, "The Prosecutor's Office has made animal cruelty one of its priorities . . . because people who are cruel to animals are also cruel to other people."  This month, his office charged a puppy mill with 153 counts of cruelty.  The mill dogs were taken in by the Hawaiian Humane Society.
Prosecutor Makes Animal Cruelty a Priority

Thumbs Down

Linda Smith who ran LOLAA Kennel, a puppy mill in Nevada. She's been charged with 10 counts of cruelty (only 10?)  At a Nevada Senate hearing on regulating Nevada puppy mills, a LOLAA Kennel employee testified that Smith would shake, slap, and whip the dogs if they were noisy.
Puppy Mill Owner Charged with Cruelty

The person who abandonded a month old puppy in a trash can in Texas.
Puppy Tossed in Trash Can

Shelters that still use gas chambers (which are banned in 17 states) to kill dogs and cats.
Protests at Ohio Shelter that Uses Gas

Visit Pet Pardons on FB 
Jeffrey was rescued! 

Friday, May 20, 2011

Busy Spring

Okay, it's harder keeping up with a blog than I'd hoped it would be. I could write about anything, but I would like to offer relevant material, and that takes a bit of time.

I plan to do a weekly "Thumbs Up/Thumbs Down" entry, summarizing the good and the bad dog stuff I've come across in a week, with links. I'll aim to begin this next Friday.

It's spring, though, and part of the way I earn a living is as a professional gardener, so it's the busy time of year.

For now, a couple of photos of the two dogs I share my life with, Perry, the little guy with a Snoopy toy, and Kita, the big girl. Isn't Perry cute? He's the love of my life, but don't kid yourself; he gets absolutely vicious when it's time to take his toy away.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Saving a Shelter Dog Two Thousand Miles Away

Once I helped save the life of a dog a couple of thousand miles away.

At that time, I was only beginning to learn about dog rescues via the internet. This was all a while back. I'm not even sure Pet Finder was around at that time.
But animal welfare advocates and rescues had begun to network, set up sites, and post dogs that needed help.

The hardest part then, as it is now, was seeing the photos of so many shelter dogs. Though I knew shelters killed dogs and cats, I still wanted to believe that all the dogs I saw posted would find homes, but the facts sank in: so many of the dogs and cats on those web pages would be killed.

Among the many photos, I found this little guy in Los Angeles's South Central Shelter:

He reminded me of my own Perry, the love of my life -- the same size, shape, color, the same type of face and eyes. I kept thinking of him, alone, afraid, and without hope in an overcrowded shelter which few who entered left alive.

One wants to help them all, which is impossible. But I knew that I had to do something for this dog, even if it meant flying to California myself, as irrational as that may seem.

And it was irrational. A few miles away dogs languished at my own city's shelter. Why didn't I simply do something for one of them? It came back to this dog reminding me of Perry.

Since the L.A. dog was listed as part Pug, I emailed the two Pug rescues I could find at that time. One in Georgia got back to me, saying she had contacted a rescue in L.A. after receiving my email and had passed along my phone number and email.

A day later the L.A. rescuer phoned. She'd been to the shelter earlier that week to pull dogs, had seen the Pug mix and passed him by because his temperament seemed "iffy." But after learning of my concern for him from the Georgia rescue, she went back, spent time with him and, finding him calmer, pulled him. She was sure her rescue would be able to find him a home.

I sent her a donation, and later talked to her for the last time. The little Pug mix had been adopted by two screen writers who thought him absolutely wonderful.

A few months later, even though I already had a houseful of my own dogs, I started fostering.

Helping one small dog a couple of thousand miles away -- that will always be one of my best moments, leaving me forever grateful to two women I'll never meet, one in Georgia and one in California. It proved to me what can be done, even long distance, if those who care work together.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Is It "Euthanizing" when Healthy Pets are Killed? Language Matters

The euphemism is "euthanize." It's the term shelters use, though usually it's not the correct word choice. Used most precisely, "euthanize" means to painlessly end the life of an animal who is suffering and will not recover from that suffering.

Some shelters do not end the life of dogs and cats painlessly. Some shelters still use gas. I've heard of at least one that uses direct injection into the heart, but without first giving the dog or cat an injection to put him out. And then there's the Chesterfield "shelter" in South Carolina, currently under investigation for shooting dogs, perhaps even using them for target practice.

And as for the question of "suffering," thousands and thousands of pets who are perfectly healthy, including puppies and kittens, are "euthanized." Some would argue that any animal in a shelter, even if physically healthy, is suffering emotionally, is depressed, lonely, afraid, and if that animal does not find a home, his or her suffering will be endless. And there are not homes for all of them.

True on both counts. They do suffer emotionally. There aren't homes for all of them. There isn't enough room in shelters to keep dogs and cats forever. There aren't enough rescues to save all the animals on the "urgent" lists.

But language matters. We use "euthanize" to sanitize an ugly event.

Plenty of rescue workers and animal welfare advocates use other words. They send out pleas on Facebook and Twitter: Young friendly Beagle mix to be destroyed tomorrow. Urgent: 10 week old kittens will be killed this Tuesday. And some post the word "Dead" in red text over the photos of shelter dogs and cats that didn't make it out.

Maybe if everyone, including shelters, used these words instead of "euthanize," fewer people would so easily give up their pets to a shelter. Maybe fewer people would buy a pet and more would adopt, and thus puppymills would breed fewer dogs. Maybe more people would spay and neuter instead of believing their pet needs to have just one litter to be "fulfilled."

This was two year old Bentley. He was killed at a Florida shelter the same day this entry was posted.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

I Can't Keep My Dog (continued)

It's a chilly gray Spring Saturday, raining on and off. I've been working on the computer, which means I check my city's Craig's List pet ads every once in a while. Yes, I am a "flagger." I flag the back yard breeders listing their puppies for sale, and occasionally I post a sarcastic paragraph in response to an ad. My posts, in turn, get flagged. It's a merry-go-round.

So here I am, on the same theme as my last post: people who dump dogs.

Today I copied parts of some CL ads, adding emphasis and my own commentary in italics.

6 month old female tan chi. My family is not home enough to train her and she needs to go to a home that can provide the time needed for her. Subtext: she was a cute puppy, but now I'm tired of her.

I have an 8 month old pom puppy she is fun energetic. I am asking a rehoming fee to ensure she goes to a good home. I love her but just don't have time for her. Hmmm, will you get rid of your husband/wife when you don't have time?

Her name is ally she is the sweetest dog ever. My husband and I just moved and cant have her. We want her to go to a great home. She is our baby but we have to do whats best for her. She is free to good home. She is spayed and up to date on shots. Hope you don't have kids since it's apparently okay to give your "baby" away.

i have a boxer mix puppy that i am giving away free to a good home. The dog is well behaved I just dont have the time the she needs. That old time thing again.

Lexie is a 4 year old Grey (blue) Chihuahua. (Very rare color) She needs a new home because we have signed a lease on a new home with a zero pets policy. (I've posted our other beloved pet also.) We are heartbroken about this and will not allow her to go to any home less than excellent. Bet your "beloved" dog is more "heartbroken" than you.

This beautiful 5-yr old female Great Pyrenees is in need of a loving new home due to relocation of owners to a house without a suitable yard. Subtext: We don't want the dog ruining the grass and we don't feel like walking him.

Rottweiler puppy: 9 weeks old ... male no papers ... Bought 4 my son an he is being way 2 rough with him. Subtext: I just can't control the kid and fear for the dog's life.

I have a female tri Aussie dob 02-07-11 she is very smart and minds well, upd on shots & wormed. I do not have time for her. Time, sigh . . .

I have a toy rat terrier that is about 8-9 lbs I can't care for any longer. It's not a money issue. It's just that this dog needs alot of attention and I work to much to care for it. She is about 7 or 8 months. Another cute puppy gets big enough to tear up pillows and other stuff.

Two Sharpeis: I moved and my yard floods so I need to find them a better home that is not muddy and wet. I just don't feel like cleaning up muddy dogs before letting them in. Okay, I could be giving this person too much credit. Maybe the dogs live outside all the time.

New Puppy Green and Black Bumper Sticker from

Monday, April 4, 2011

Dumping Dogs at Shelters

Dogs for Adoption
View dogs and cats for adoption at the Gallatin County Shelter in Kentucky

At 18 I left home, taking my dog Tippy with me, from Illinois to Boston, later to Buffalo, back to Illinois, to New Hampshire, and finally to Cincinnati. Leaving Tippy behind at any of those points never occurred to me.  It simply wasn't an option.  She'd been dumped once in her life, and it wasn't going to happen again.

But many adults, supposedly more mature than an 18 year old, dump their dogs without a second thought.

Some excuses would be hilarious if they didn't result in a homeless pet:

My 5 year old isn't taking care of the dog like I thought he would.

I'm moving and the new house isn't big enough for the dog. (Are you moving into a Doll House?)

I redecorated and the dog doesn't match the new color scheme.

My guess is that of the many reasons given for dumping a pet, the "We don't have time for Spot" excuse is one of the most common.

People who use this excuse are quick to explain, "We really want Spot to have a good home.  We're just so busy.  He deserves so much more than we can give him since we just don't have time for him."

I wish they would simply admit the truth:

We're dumping our dog because we don't have the patience to deal with him.

We're really very lazy and it takes too much effort to walk and feed him, and way too much effort and organization to house-train him.

It's too hard to figure out how to prevent him from chewing stuff up.  We have to put so many things away all the time.

We'd rather watch TV, surf the net, talk on our phones than spend 15 minutes a few times a week training the dog. 

The dog just isn't as much fun as we had hoped.  In fact, instead of fun, we're finding he's a lot more work than we wanted. 

Ultimately, we're really very shallow, selfish people.  We got the dog to benefit ourselves with no thought to what the dog needs or feels.

We hope he finds a home with someone better than us, with someone more mature, caring, patient, and kind, traits we so sorely lack,  but if not, well, like we said, we're really very shallow so if you at the shelter have to kill him to make room for more dogs left by people like us, well, that's too bad, but there's really nothing we can do about it.

In reality, dogs don't  take a lot of time. They're extremely adaptable, tolerant, patient, and so capable of getting by with so little.  And ultimately, the excuses people offer for dumping their dog say so very, very much about them, but nothing about the dog.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

First Note

Right now I'm staring at a blank blog, and it's not a pretty sight.  In fact, it's rather intimidating.  I thought this would be easy.  But right now I'm remembering all the times I've said, "How hard can it be?" and the various disasters that followed.  Oh well. 

My dogs are dozing off, each on his and her own loveseat.  Earlier I was back on Whoopi Goldberg's FB page, joining in with the rants against the statement she made regarding pet stores and dogs.  I can't go back there right now.  I become too angry. 

The blog is no longer blank.  It wasn't so hard after all.

 Mt. Airy Dog Park on a Chilly Spring Morning (Cincinnati, Ohio)