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.