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Every Pet Deserves A Good Home…

Bomb-Sniffing Dog Dies, Possibly of Broken Heart, After His Handler and Friend is Killed in Taliban Firefight

Tasker and Theo, inseparable in life and in death (Photo: MoD/PA Wire)

On Tuesday, British Lance Corporal Liam Tasker died in a firefight with the Taliban in Afghanistan. Shortly after, his devoted 22-month-old bomb-sniffing dog, Theo, who was with him when he died, suffered a seizure and also died.

It’s not a big stretch to think the young, healthy springer spaniel cross could have died of a broken heart, as many are speculating.

The two had formed an incredibly strong bond during their time together. Tasker, 26, of the Royal Army Veterinary Corps, 1st Military Working Dog Regiment, spent 15 weeks at a handlers’ course with Theo. They learned to work as a team and developed their deep bond. They then went to Afghanistan. In their five months there, they recovered 14 home-made bombs and huge numbers of other weapons. According to the Daily Mail, it was a record for a dog and his handler in the conflict.

They clearly had something special together. “I love my job and working together with Theo. He has a great character and never tires,” the Daily Mail reports Tasker as saying in an interview. “He can’t wait to get out and do his job and will stop at nothing.”

The two are credited with saving countless lives because of the finds they made as a team.

Tasker’s family issued a statement about Tasker. You can see why his dog would be so devoted: “There are three words that best describe Liam: larger than life. He lit up every room he walked into with his cheeky smile.

‘He died a hero doing a job he was immensely passionate about. We are so proud of him and everything he’s achieved. Words can’t describe how sorely he will be missed.”

With any luck, Tasker is going off into the next world with a dear, devoted dog who didn’t want to give up his rightful place at his best friend’s side…

By: Maria Goodavage

h/t to Dogster

March 5, 2011 Posted by | animal behavior, animals, If Animlas Could Talk..., Just One More Pet, Man's Best Friend, Pet Friendship and Love, We Are All God's Creatures, Working and Military Dogs and Related | , | 2 Comments

World’s sixth mass extinction may be underway: study

World's sixth mass extinction may be underway: studyAFP/File – This file photo shows a colobus monkey kissing his newly born sibling. In the last five centuries, at …

by Richard Ingham and Laurent Banguet Fri Mar 4, 12:58 am ET

PARIS (AFP) – Mankind may have unleashed the sixth known mass extinction in Earth’s history, according to a paper released by the science journal Nature.

Over the past 540 million years, five mega-wipeouts of species have occurred through naturally-induced events.

But the new threat is man-made, inflicted by habitation loss, over-hunting, over-fishing, the spread of germs and viruses and introduced species, and by climate change caused by fossil-fuel greenhouse gases, says the study.

Evidence from fossils suggests that in the "Big Five" extinctions, at least 75 percent of all animal specieswere destroyed.

Palaeobiologists at the University of California at Berkeley looked at the state of biodiversity today, using the world’s mammal species as a barometer.

Until mankind’s big expansion some 500 years ago, mammal extinctions were very rare: on average, just two species died out every million years.

But in the last five centuries, at least 80 out of 5,570 mammal species have bitten the dust, providing a clear warning of the peril to biodiversity.

"It looks like modern extinction rates resemble mass extinction rates, even after setting a high bar for defining ‘mass extinction," said researcher Anthony Barnosky.

This picture is supported by the outlook for mammals in the "critically endangered" and "currently threatened" categories of the Red List of biodiversity compiled by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

On the assumption that these species are wiped out and biodiversity loss continues unchecked, "the sixth mass extinction could arrive within as little as three to 22 centuries," said Barnosky.

Compared with nearly all the previous extinctions this would be fast-track.

Four of the "Big Five" events unfolded on scales estimated at hundreds of thousands to millions of years, inflicted in the main by naturally-caused global warming or cooling.

The most abrupt extinction came at the end of the Cretaceous, some 65 million years ago when a comet or asteroid slammed into the Yucatan peninsula, in modern-day Mexico, causing firestorms whose dust cooled the planet.

An estimated 76 percent of species were killed, including the dinosaurs.

The authors admitted to weaknesses in the study. They acknowledged that the fossil record is far from complete, that mammals provide an imperfect benchmark of Earth’s biodiversity and further work is needed to confirm their suspicions.

But they described their estimates as conservative and warned a large-scale extinction would have an impact on a timescale beyond human imagining.

"Recovery of biodiversity will not occur on any timeframe meaningful to people," said the study.

"Evolution of new species typically takes at least hundreds of thousands of years, and recovery from mass extinction episodes probably occurs on timescales encompassing millions of years."

Even so, they stressed, there is room for hope.

"So far, only one to two percent of all species have gone gone extinct in the groups we can look at clearly, so by those numbers, it looks like we are not far down the road to extinction. We still have a lot of Earth’s biota to save," Barnosky said.

Even so, "it’s very important to devote resources and legislation toward species conservation if we don’t want to be the species whose activity caused a mass extinction."

Asked for an independent comment, French biologist Gilles Boeuf, president of the Museum of Natural History in Paris, said the question of a new extinction was first raised in 2002.

So far, scientists have identified 1.9 million species, and between 16,000 and 18,000 new ones, essentially microscopic, are documented each year.

"At this rate, it will take us a thousand years to record all of Earth’s biodiversity, which is probably between 15 and 30 million species" said Boeuf.

"But at the rate things are going, by the end of this century, we may well have wiped out half of them, especially in tropical forests and coral reefs."

March 5, 2011 Posted by | animal behavior, Animal Related Education, animals, Wild Animals | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

These Will Melt Your Heart…

FOR ALL THE DOG LOVERS. AND IF YOU ARE NOT A DOG LOVER I THINK YOU WILL ENJOY THESE PHOTOS ANYWAY…

This is a good way to start your day!!!!
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NEVER MAKE SOMEONE A PRIORITY IN YOUR LIFE,
WHEN YOU ARE AN OPTION IN THEIRS!

March 5, 2011 Posted by | Adopt Just One More Pet, Animal and Pet Photos, animal behavior, animals, Change Number of Pet Restrictive Laws. Ordinances and Rules, Dogs, Fostering and Rescue, Just One More Pet, Man's Best Friend, NO KILL NATION, Outreach for Pets, Pet Friendship and Love, pet fun, Pets | | Leave a comment

Justice for 37 Dogs Gassed in Ohio

Dear Pet Friend and Advocate for Life and the Law

The Brown County, Ohio Dog Warden seized 37 dogs from a home. The dogs were reported thin and possibly having mange. But this rescue into a tragedy when the warden immediately euthanized the dogs in the shelter’s gas chamber.

Demand justice for these dogs. »
Proper procedure called for the dogs to be held for 72 hours in order to form a proper analysis of the dogs’ conditions and develop a plan for what will happen to them.

The SPCA has reason to believe this euthanasia case, along with other cases at the Brown County shelter, are unjust and asked for them to turn over their reports on the case for review.

Please join us in asking the shelter to turn over the reports. »
These dogs didn’t deserve to die. Let’s make sure the shelter does what’s right in the future.

Thanks for taking action!
Lauren
ThePetitionSite

Stop the Unjust Euthanasia of Dogs in Ohio

Take action now.

Take Action!

Take action link: http://www.care2.com/go/z/e/AgCt7/zK8d/bY9np

March 4, 2011 Posted by | animal abuse, animals, Dogs, Just One More Pet, Man's Best Friend, NO KILL NATION, Pets, Stop Animal Cruelty, Stop Euthenization, Toughen Animal Abuse Laws and Sentences | , | Leave a comment

Justice for 37 Dogs Gassed in Ohio

Dear Pet Friend and Advocate for Life and the Law

The Brown County, Ohio Dog Warden seized 37 dogs from a home. The dogs were reported thin and possibly having mange. But this rescue into a tragedy when the warden immediately euthanized the dogs in the shelter’s gas chamber.
Demand justice for these dogs. »
Proper procedure called for the dogs to be held for 72 hours in order to form a proper analysis of the dogs’ conditions and develop a plan for what will happen to them.

The SPCA has reason to believe this euthanasia case, along with other cases at the Brown County shelter, are unjust and asked for them to turn over their reports on the case for review.

Please join us in asking the shelter to turn over the reports. »
These dogs didn’t deserve to die. Let’s make sure the shelter does what’s right in the future.

Thanks for taking action!
Lauren
ThePetitionSite

Stop the Unjust Euthanasia of Dogs in Ohio

Take action now.

Take Action!

Take action link: http://www.care2.com/go/z/e/AgCt7/zK8d/bY9np

March 4, 2011 Posted by | animal abuse, animals, Dogs, Just One More Pet, Man's Best Friend, NO KILL NATION, Pets, Stop Animal Cruelty, Stop Euthenization, Toughen Animal Abuse Laws and Sentences | , | 2 Comments

What Your Gun Dog Says About You

Five breeds of dogs that tell the world what kind of hunter, and person, you really are

What Your Gun Dog Says About You

By Brian Lyn

Like your chosen rifle, the dog you opt to share your home and time afield with reflects the personality and vigor with which you tackle life and hunting season. Without saying a word, your fellow hunters will peg you by the four-legged hound at your side.

The Everyman
Breed of Dog: Labrador Retriever
The most popular American Kennel Club registered breed of dog in the United States for the past 20 years, the Lab can do it all—hunt the uplands for quail or pheasants, retrieve ducks from backwoods marshes or geese from big open water and then lay contentedly by the fire while your children climb all over him. Willing to learn and desiring to please, the Lab matures quickly and can make even the amateur trainer look like a dog-whispering Cesar Millan.

Your Personality: You’re an all around good guy; a family man who loves to work hard and play harder. As a staple in middle-class neighborhoods, you’re a balanced and upstanding member of society and aren’t prone to raising hell in a bar every weekend (although you might enjoy an occasional night on the town). When not in the field, you spend time with friends and family and make new acquaintances easily, but you are more than capable of defending yourself and loved ones if the need arises.

The Loyalist
Breed of Dog: Chesapeake Bay Retriever
An all-American retriever and the official state breed of Maryland, the Chesapeake Bay retriever served a dual purpose during the height of the market-hunting days: that of guard dog and game retriever. Originating in the cradle of our country’s waterfowling heritage, the breed retrieved ducks and geese by day and protected punt guns, boats and bags of decoys while their masters hit dockside saloons at night. The hardiest of the retrievers, no water is too cold or too big for a Chessie. Retaining more than a sliver of their guarding genetics, the breed has a reputation for being a one-man dog, protective of family and turf and stubborn during training.

Your Personality: You’re hardcore in the field, as well as in life, and you know it. While you can accomplish high-level tasks, it takes someone that understands your sometimes surly disposition to motivate you. You’re not trusting of strangers or new acquaintances, and Heaven have mercy on anyone who tries to push you into a corner because you’d just as-soon throw a punch for a perceived insult as ignore it. Aloof and somewhat willful, you often seek contemplative solitude so as to avoid the mindless chatter of society. You love your family and friends dearly and surround yourself with them. You also possess a concealed-carry permit and sleep with a gun in the nightstand so as to best protect those closest to you.

The Dandy Gentleman
Breed of Dog: English Springer Spaniel
Springers shine in the upland fields. Able to quarter and make finds with the best of bird dogs, these small liver-and-white or black-and-white dogs can also pull double duty and retrieve waterfowl more than passably. Only their small stature and thin skin keep them from tackling the biggest of geese and roughest or coldest of waters. 

Your Personality: Happy and willing to please, Springer owners approach life with a proverbial bounce in their step. This gay approach to life might leave coworkers and hunting buddies under the impression that you’re a little soft but you don’t care—nothing can deter your enthusiasm. Vanity often plagues Springer owners; they must always look the part by sporting brand name and matching attire, a delicately engraved firearm (nothing less than a Caesar Guerini will do) and a coifed hairdo are just some of the quirks necessary to be considered part of the Springer glitterati. While your enthusiasm allows you to pull double duty in the marshes, cold turbulent waters aren’t your strong suit. No, you’re most happy frolicking through the dry upland fields of life in pursuit of love and happiness—perhaps you’d make a fine outdoor writer.

The Caring Clown
Breed of Dog: Golden Retriever
Perhaps the softest, most needy of all the gun dog breeds, the Golden retriever, with its long flowing locks of amber-tinted hair, is a clown that loves to perform and make its owners, and any guest or passerby, laugh. Heavy doses of show lines have hurt the breed’s hunting ability in general, but those dogs bred for the field willingly burrow through the nastiest of upland fields or take the plunge for waterfowl under any conditions. A soft disposition, plenty of positive reinforcement and a light hand are required during training.

Your Personality: As a golden owner you are eternally optimistic, and just a tad bit goofy. The likeable nerd when you were in school, you see the good in all people and all things. In social settings if you’re not acting as the center of attention, you’re the one stuck in the corner with someone crying on your shoulder. You love to make people feel better and it sometimes attracts the crazies in life, but you don’t mind. While it’s sometimes hard for you to focus on field work, what with all the socializing and shoulder-sobbing demands you must fulfill, when you do get out to hunt its generally a few weekends a year. Just as you sometimes adorn your golden in various colors of bandanas, you often wear unnecessary accessories, like Orvis waders when fishing a no-wading zone.

The Driven Loner
Breed of Dog: Pointer
Hard charging and energetic, pointers have a one-track mind and it’s all focused on finding birds. Their genetic disposition to course a field in search of feathers tends to make them bigger runners than other breeds of upland dogs. These are the elitist of athletes and at best are one-man dogs; but if that man can’t put him on birds, a pointer might not show any inclination to acknowledge the two-legged being in his life except during meal time. These hardy dogs can tackle the most difficult of terrain and will answer the call day after day during the season.

Your Personality: Like your chosen breed, you’re a hard-charging loner who’s driven to succeed. To you, second place is the first-place loser. You’re a fast thinker on your feet and love to tackle new challenges. Energetic and unable to sit still very long, you probably have more than a borderline case of Attention Deficit Disorder. With your somewhat addictive personality, you approach hunting season and life similarly, with a conquer-all attitude and nearly obsessive desire to be in the thick of either a quail-filled briar patch or pitching a board of directors on your newest entrepreneurial endeavor. 

March 2, 2011 Posted by | animal behavior, animals, Dogs, Just One More Pet, Man's Best Friend, Pets, We Are All God's Creatures | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The earth is flat, pet overpopulation exists and other myths we’ve been told

For years, most people in the United States have been told that that there are “too many pets and not enough homes”.  We have been told that there is a pet “overpopulation” problem.  We have been told that the reason that America’s animal shelters are killing millions of pets every year is because of this “overpopulation”.   We’ve heard this over and over and we have accepted this as truth without question.

Until a few years ago, I too believed that there was a pet overpopulation problem.  After all, I have seen the large numbers of animals at shelters, and who would believe that an animal shelter would kill thousands of animals every year if there actually were enough homes for all of them?  The caring and rational people who work at animal shelters would not do such a thing……. would they?

The truth is that pet “overpopulation” is actually a myth.  It does not exist.  I know this sounds heretical to many people especially to those who have fostered many animals, or to the people who watch animals being killed by the thousands at shelters every year. The first time that I read that pet overpopulation was a myth on a book cover, I thought it was crazy.  I am sure that people felt the same way the first time someone suggested that the earth might actually be round, not flat.  It is hard to change our belief system when we’ve been taught one thing our entire lives.  But, people finally realized that the earth really was not flat after all, that people were not sailing off the edge of the earth and people will soon realize that pet overpopulation is a myth as well.

But, let’s look at the numbers to make some sense of what the true facts are.   According to a national study done by Maddie’s Fund and the Humane Society of the United States, 23.5 million people in the US will get a new pet each year.  Some of those people have already decided where they will get that pet i.e.  they will adopt from a shelter, go to a breeder or get a pet from free to good home ad etc.   However, 17 million of those people have not yet decided where they will get their new pet.  So these “undecideds” are the homes that are up for grabs.  These 17 million people could be convinced to adopt.*

Today, between 3 and 4 million animals are being killed in “shelters”.   So it’s pretty clear that the “demand” for pets each year (17 million) far outnumbers the “supply” of animals being killed in shelters (3-4 million).

And the supply of adoptable shelter pets each year is actually even less because a large portion of that 3-4 million being killed are actually lost pets that should be reunited with their owners.   For example, Washoe Co., NV animal control returns 65% of pets to their owners.  Conversely, most shelters in the US average a return of only about 5%.  If Houston’s animal control i.e. BARC would utilized the same Return to Owner program as Washoe Co. with the same success, it would save the lives 8,100 more animals every year; that’s 8,100 animals that BARC would not need to adopt out or put in foster care and 8,100 empty kennels for the animals that truly are homeless.  It is also a savings of $972,000 every year which could then be directed to programs like free spay/neuter or a Help Desk to keep animals from being relinquished by their owners.

In addition, that 3-4 million “supply” could be further reduced if all shelters TNR’d (trap, neuter, released) feral cats instead of killing all of them, as many shelters do.

That 3-4 million “supply” could be reduced further still if shelters had pet retention programs that kept many of those animals out of the shelter in the first place, as mentioned above.

So we can see that adopting out all animals entering shelters is doable.  And the fact is that it is already being done in many communities.  If pet overpopulation really existed, there would be no open admission, No Kill shelters.  They could not exist. But, they do exist.

So let’s break these numbers down and get a perspective on what it means for Houston.

According to the U.S. census, there are 310,895,000+ people in the U.S.  As we discussed above, 17 million people who will get a new pet each year, have not yet decided where they will get that pet.  Those “undecided” new pet owners equal about 5.4% of the U.S. population.

The latest census shows that Houston has just under 2.2 million people.  The “undecided” new pet owners in Houston would equal about 118,800 people.  That is 118,800 people who could be convinced to adopt their next pet.

We also know that approximately 80,000 pets are being killed in Houston’s five kill shelters each year.   Again, we can see that the “demand” for pets by the “undecideds” in Houston (118,800) far outnumbers the “supply” of pets being killed in Houston’s shelters (80,000).

This means that there is no pet “overpopulation”.  It just means that the 80,000 pets being killed in Houston shelters each year could be saved if they were better introduced to the people who would be willing to adopt them.

And the numbers above are a worst case scenario because again this does not take into consideration the feral cats that should be TNR’d; it doesn’t take into consideration the number of pets that “should” be returned to their owners but who are not (see above); it does not take into consideration the number of animals that could be kept out of the shelter entirely with a proactive “help desk”.

I’m not saying that there aren’t a lot of pets entering Houston’s shelters each year.  Of course there are.  And I’m not saying that there aren’t irresponsible people in Houston.  Of course there are.  I am saying that just because 80,000 pets are being killed in Houston shelters each year does not equate to “too many pets and not enough homes”.  The numbers prove that this is false.  It is myth and propaganda perpetuated by kill shelters.

I’m also not saying it is easy to save all healthy and treatable pets entering shelters.  To the contrary, it is hard work.  But therein lies the true heart of problem ….. saving all healthy and treatable pets is hard work and most shelter directors in the U.S. still refuse to do everything necessary to save them.  Continuing on the same path of “save a few and kill the rest” is easier.  Continuing to blame the public for pet “overpopulation” is easier.

So while I will admit there is an overpopulation problem, it is not a pet overpopulation problem.  The problem is an overpopulation of ineffective shelter directors who refuse to join the 21st century and put into place the programs and services that we know will save all healthy and treatable pets.

That overpopulation problem could be solved fairly quickly…. with a pink slip.

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If you would like to learn how every shelter can transform themselves into No Kill shelters, please join us at our Building a No Kill Community workshop on April 30th.   Learn how we can stop the killing in our shelters.

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Continue reading on Examiner.com: The earth is flat, pet overpopulation exists and other myths we’ve been told – Houston animal shelters | Examiner.com http://www.examiner.com/animal-shelters-in-houston/the-earth-is-flat-pet-overpopulation-exists-and-other-myths-we-ve-been-told#ixzz1FIiv7ENF

Source: Bett Sundermeyer – Houston Examiner  – Reposted:  Just One More Pet

March 1, 2011 Posted by | Adopt Just One More Pet, animals, Change Number of Pet Restrictive Laws. Ordinances and Rules, Just One More Pet, Man's Best Friend, NO KILL NATION, Pet Owner's Rights, Pets, Political Change, Stop Animal Cruelty, Stop Euthenization, We Are All God's Creatures | , , | 10 Comments