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Every Pet Deserves A Good Home…

Crews Killing Thousands of Dogs for Sochi Olympic Games

Dogs look out of their cages from a truck on a motorway on the outskirts of China's capital Beijing April 8, 2006. REUTERS/Reinhard Krause

Examiner – According to Friday’s CTV News, in anticipation of the upcoming Olympic games in Sochi, Russia, countless homeless dogs currently roaming the streets are being culled.

Local officials have cited "safety" for visiting guests as the reason for the mass killing; according to the publication, a company has been hired to do the dirty work.

Nightly, roaming dogs are captured in baited traps…then killed with poison.

Rescuers in the area are doing their best to get to the stray dogs first…they try to capture the dogs, get them sterilized and vaccinated, and ultimately adopted into homes.

Unfortunately, the number of un-sterilized, stray dogs makes the rescuers’ job difficult – new litters are constantly being born and the killing crews continue on with their dark, unsavory work.

According to USA Today, last April, the government had stated that they were backing off of their plans to kill an estimated 2,000 dogs, but it appears that the dirty work of killing has simply been transferred to a non-government agency.

Click here to watch the CTV News clip

Just like in China before the Olympics, animals are being killed and abused in Russia. 

Dog Meat In Beijing Ordered Off Menu For Olympics

Olympic Clean-up Chinese Style:  Beijing’s Shocking Cat Death Camps

No Dog Slaughters: End China Dog Culls 

Dogs slaughtered for meat in Vietnam… Stop the Dog Meat Trade 

‘Dogs Have The Intelligence of a Human Toddler’

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January 31, 2014 Posted by | animal abuse, Animal or Pet Related Stories, Animal Rights And Awareness, Dogs, Dogs, If Animlas Could Talk..., Just One More Pet, Man's Best Friend, Outreach for Pets, Pet Friendship and Love, Pets, Political Change, Stop Animal Cruelty, Stop Euthenization, Toughen Animal Abuse Laws and Sentences, We Are All God's Creatures | 9 Comments

Three Nuns Adopt the Senior Pit Bull Nobody Else Wanted

Remy now has a forever home with the Sisters of Our Lady of Christian Doctrine in New York

Dogster: It sounds like the title of a movie we want to see: Three Nuns and a Pit Bull. Only, this story is real, and it happened a week ago in New York, when three nuns, all over 70, walked into the Hi Tor Animal Care Center with one intention, according to the Huffington Post. To adopt a dog who no one wanted.

(Tears.)

"I wanted to bring a dog home that might get euthanized if we didn’t take her," Sister Veronica Mendez said to News 12. "And when I noticed the sign said ‘9 years,’ I said, ‘Virginia, we want this one, because nobody else is going to want her.’"

The dog in the cage was a Pit Bull. A gray-muzzled, friendly old Pit Bull named Remy, 9 years old, who had spent months in the shelter. She was soon heading to her new home at Sisters of Our Lady of Christian Doctrine.

"She was very friendly right away, and she seemed like she belonged," said one of the sisters. "She’s a senior and we are seniors, and she is a gentle dog and seems happy and content."

"She’s given a lot of joy to our house."

Remy is the second dog these sisters have owned, and part of her role will be to comfort the nuns, who are coming off a great loss.

"We had a dog in the home for the last seven or eight years, and our dog just died a week ago," said one sister. "We loved that dog very much. It was hard to find a successor, but we found a good one!"

West Artope, executive director at Hi Tor, said he believes Remy found the perfect home.

"Most people have a pretty bad understanding of Pits," he told HuffPost. "But Remy was sensitive to the sisters, especially to Sister Virginia, who walks with a cane. She kept up with her and was so attentive."

"Whatever time she has left, she’ll have good years," said Sister Mendez.

January 29, 2014 Posted by | Adopt Just One More Pet, Animal or Pet Related Stories, Dogs, Fostering and Rescue, If Animlas Could Talk..., Just One More Pet, Man's Best Friend, Pet Friendship and Love, Pets, Stop Euthenization, We Are All God's Creatures | 6 Comments

Paralyzed dog found dragging himself through streets begging for food

 Saving Thor Examiner January 26, 2014: Earlier this month, a paralyzed, homeless dog dubbed "Thor," was living on the streets in Mexico.

Prior to being discovered, Thor dragged his useless rear legs and begged for food from anyone who would acknowledge his existence.

After a photo of the beleaguered dog began to circulate via social media, an international rescue effort kicked off and soon, Thor was off of the streets, connected to I.V. fluids and receiving care at a veterinary hospital.

In the United States, the rescue agency, The Mutt Scouts, learned about the disabled dog and they made arrangements to have him transported to Los Angeles, Calif.

Less than a week ago, Thor made his journey to California and already, he is like a new dog.

On Jan. 22, The Mutt Scouts shared the following:

The ENTIRE Team – alongside his three doctors – will negotiate this boy through these next weeks, months, whatever is needed, as we get him Stronger, tend to his wounds, his malnutrition, rid him of parasites, understand who he is, address his every need, introduce him daily to movement via his Hot Wheels….and Ready Him for his specialist.

Today, Thor has a new light in his eyes – a light of hope.

Today, he has a wheelchair which will enable him to move with ease and comfort.

Today, Thor’s stomach is full.

Today, Thor knows that he is loved.

January 28, 2014 Posted by | animal behavior, Animal or Pet Related Stories, Animal Rescues, Dogs, Dogs, If Animlas Could Talk..., Just One More Pet, Pet Friendship and Love, Pet Health, Stop Animal Cruelty, Success Stories, Unusual Stories, We Are All God's Creatures | 1 Comment

Two By Two… Was Noah’s Ark ROUND? 3,700-year-old clay tablet reveals giant boat was made out of Reeds and Bitumen

Noah's Ark is typically portrayed at a traditional ship, such as in this Italian mid-16th century painting

Noah’s Ark is typically portrayed at a traditional ship, such as in this Italian mid-16th century painting

  • Dr Irving Finkel has translated cuneiform text on an 3,700-old clay tablet
  • The ancient script details the Mesopotamian story of Noah’s Ark
  • The text also contains instructions on how to build an ark to escape a flood
  • But its describes the craft as being a round 220-ft diameter coracle
  • The design is very different to the popular imagining of a traditional ship

    Mail Online: It was a vast boat that saved two of each animal and a handful of humans from a catastrophic flood.

    But a controversial new theory claims that in fact, Noah’s Ark was round – and made of reeds.

    a leading academic claims a recently deciphered 4,000-year-old tablet from ancient Mesopotamia (modern-day Iraq) reveals the striking new details about the roots of the Old Testament tale of Noah.

    Irving Finkel, curator in charge of cuneiform clay tablets at the British Museum, poses with the 4000 year old clay tablet containing the story of the Ark and the flood, that claims the Ark was actually round

    Irving Finkel, curator in charge of cuneiform clay tablets at the British Museum, poses with the 4000 year old clay tablet containing the story of the Ark and the flood, that claims the Ark was actually round

    INSTRUCTIONS FOR AN ARK

    The text describes god speaking to Atram-Hasis, a Sumerian king who is the Noah figure in earlier versions of the ark story.

    He says: ‘Wall, wall! Reed wall, reed wall! Atram-Hasis, pay heed to my advice, that you may live forever! Destroy your house, build a boat; despise possessions And save life! Draw out the boat that you will built with a circular design; Let its length and breadth be the same.’

    The ancient Babylonian text describes the ark as a round 220-ft diameter coracle with walls 20-ft high.

    According to the tablet, the ark had two levels and a roof on the top.

    The craft was divided into sections to divide the various animals into their own sections.

    The 60 lines of text, which Dr. Finkel describes as a ‘detailed construction manual for building an ark’, claims the craft was built using ropes and reeds before being smeared with bitumen to make it waterproof.

    It tells a similar story, complete with detailed instructions for building a giant round vessel known as a coracle — as well as the key instruction that animals should enter ‘two by two.’

    The tablet went on display at the British Museum today, and soon engineers will follow the ancient instructions to see whether the vessel could actually have sailed.

    It’s also the subject of a new book, "The Ark Before Noah," by Irving Finkel, the museum’s assistant keeper of the Middle East and the man who translated the tablet.

    Finkel got hold of it a few years ago, when a man brought in a damaged tablet his father had acquired in the Middle East after World War II.

    It was light brown, about the size of a mobile phone and covered in the jagged cuneiform script of the ancient Mesopotamians.

    ‘It was really a heart-stopping moment — the discovery that the boat was to be a round boat,’ said Finkel, who sports a long gray beard, a ponytail and boundless enthusiasm for his subject.

    ‘That was a real surprise.’

    New revelation: According to an ancient Babylonian tablet, Noah's Ark was a 220-ft wide coracle with walls 20-ft high

    New revelation: According to an ancient Babylonian tablet, Noah’s Ark was a 220-ft wide coracle – the equivalent of six London buses – with walls 20-ft high

    Finkel believes a round boat makes sense.

    Coracles were widely used as river taxis in ancient Iraq and are perfectly designed to bob along on raging floodwaters.

    ‘It’s a perfect thing,’ Finkel said. ‘It never sinks, it’s light to carry.’

    Elizabeth Stone, an expert on the antiquities of ancient Mesopotamia at New York’s Stony Brook University, said it made sense that ancient Mesopotamians would depict their mythological ark in that shape.

    The tablet records a Mesopotamian god’s instructions for building a giant vessel, two-thirds the size of a soccer field in area, made of rope, reinforced with wooden ribs and coated in bitumen.

    Finkel said that on paper (or stone) the boat-building orders appear sound, but he doesn’t yet know whether it would have floated.

    A television documentary due to be broadcast later this year will follow attempts to build the ark according to the ancient manual.

    The 4000 year old clay tablet containing the story of the Ark and the flood stands on display at the British Museum in London

    The 4000 year old clay tablet containing the story of the Ark and the flood stands on display at the British Museum in London

    A PRICELESS TABLET

    The artefact was discovered in the Middle East by Leonard Simmons, who indulged his passion for history while serving in the RAF from 1945 to 1948.

    The relic was passed to his son Douglas, who took it to Dr Finkel to translate.

    The tablet went on display at the British Museum today, and soon engineers will follow the ancient instructions to see whether the vessel could actually have sailed

    The flood story recurs in later Mesopotamian writings including the ‘Epic of Gilgamesh.’

    These versions lack the technical instructions — cut out, Finkel believes, because they got in the way of the storytelling.

    ‘It would be like a Bond movie where instead of having this great sexy red car that comes on, somebody starts to tell you about how many horsepower it’s got and the pressure of the tires and the capacity of the boot (trunk),’ he said.

    ‘No one cares about that. They want the car chase.’

    ‘Already in 1872 people were writing about it in a worried way — What does it mean that Holy Writ appears on this piece of Weetabix?" he joked, referring to a cereal similar in shape to the tablet.

    Finkel said he has no doubts.

    Irving Finkel, curator in charge of cuneiform clay tablets at the British Museum, poses with the 4000 year old clay tablet containing the story of the Ark and the flood.

    Irving Finkel, curator in charge of cuneiform clay tablets at the British Museum, poses with the 4000 year old clay tablet containing the story of the Ark and the flood.

    ‘I’m sure the story of the flood and a boat to rescue life is a Babylonian invention,’ he said.

    He believes the tale was likely passed on to the Jews during their exile in Babylon in the 6th century B.C.

    And he doesn’t think the tablet provides evidence the ark described in the Bible existed. He said it’s more likely that a devastating real flood made its way into folk memory, and has remained there ever since.

    ‘The idea that floods are caused by sin is happily still alive among us,’ he added, pointing out a local councilor in England who made headlines recently for saying Britain’s recent storms were caused by the legalization of gay marriage.

    ‘Had I known it, it would have gone in the preface of the book,’ Finkel said.

  • January 27, 2014 Posted by | Animal or Pet Related Stories, animals, Just One More Pet, Unusual Stories, We Are All God's Creatures | 2 Comments

    Contagious Cancer In Dogs Leaves Prehistoric Paw Prints

    The sexually transmitted cancer is common in street dogs around the world

    The sexually transmitted cancer is common in street dogs around the world.

    Noel Celis/AFP/Getty Images

    NPR – January 23, 2014 3:31 PM:  Our four-legged friends suffer from many of the same cancers that we do. But one type of dog tumor acts like no other: It’s contagious.

    The tumor spreads from one pooch to another when the dogs have sex or even just touch or lick each other.

    "It’s is a common disease in street dogs all around the world," says geneticist at the University of Cambridge. "People in the U.S. and U.K. haven’t heard of it because it’s found mostly in free-roaming dogs in developing countries."

    Now this strange disease just got even stranger.

    Alaskan malamutes were bred about 4,000 years ago and are the closest living relatives to the ancient dog that developed the contagious cancer.

    Alaskan malamutes were bred about 4,000 years ago and are the closest living relatives to the ancient dog that developed the contagious cancer Alaskan -  Alaskan Breeds Only True American Breeds Study Shows… (iStockphoto)

    Murchison and her colleagues found that the infectious cancer is a living fossil. The modern tumors contain the DNA of an ancient pooch that hung out with prehistoric people thousands of years ago.

    The first arose about 11,000 years ago in a wolf-dog hybrid that’s most closely related to an Alaskan malamute, Murchison and her team Thursday in the journal Science.

    About 500 years ago, the tumor jumped from continent to continent via the world’s pooches. And the cells have been living and hiding out in dogs ever since.

    "When I look down the microscope and see these cells that came from a dog 11,000 years ago, it boggles my mind," Murchison tells Shots." It’s really incredible."

    So how did she figure all that out?

    To start off, she and her team sequenced the DNA of tumors from two dogs: a cocker spaniel from Brazil and an aboriginal camp dog in Australia. They then compared the genetic patterns of the tumors with more than 1,000 modern dog breeds.

    Their conclusion?

    The contagious cancer first appeared in a dog that looked something like an Alaskan malamute: gray-brown or black coat, short straight fur, pointy ears and a medium-size snout.

    But this pooch probably wasn’t as cuddly as a malamute. The ancient doggie also contained a fair number of wolf genes, Murichson found.

    "The dog was around during the early days of domestication," she says. "But it seemed to be relatively inbred and had some signs of domestication." For instance, the dog probably could digest carbohydrates, she says, which is a trait found in Fido but not his wolf cousins.

    Veterinarians have known about the contagious dog cancer since the late 1800s, Murichson says. The disease even offered scientists one of the first tools for studying live cancers.

    "When Russian scientists figured out the tumors were transmissible in the 1870s, it was a hugely important insight," Murichson says. "At the time there wasn’t a model for [studying] cancer. Scientists could only study it in people who had already died."

    After the discovery, she says, many labs started trying to figure out how cancer arises and spreads in the body.

    Now Murchison hopes the genome of the dog tumor will help solve one of the major outstanding questions about human cancers: how they evade the immune system.

    "We found mutations that confer that ability in the dog tumor," she says. "They could potentially offer clues for human cancers, as well."

    January 26, 2014 Posted by | Animal or Pet Related Stories, Animal Related Education, animals, Dogs, Dogs, Just One More Pet, Man's Best Friend, Pet Health, Pets, responsible pet ownership | 2 Comments

    North American Veterinary Conference

    Here are some 2014 North American Veterinary Conference highlights from Orlando

    NAVC Decoding-Your-Dog, Steve-Dale

    Steve Dale of Pet World

    The poster for the book, Decoding Your Dog….The book was the talk of the conference!

    Decoding Your Dog: The Ultimate Experts Explain Common Dog Behaviors and Reveal How to Prevent or Change Unwanted Ones (Kindle)

    January 25, 2014 Posted by | Animal or Pet Related Stories, Animal Related Education, Dogs, Dogs, Holistic Pet Health, Just One More Pet, Pet Events, Pet Health, Pets | 1 Comment

    Terrified, Injured Pit Bull Gets Rescue of a Lifetime

    1.23.14 - Eldad Rescues Mountain Pit Bull1

    Life With Dogs: When Hope for Paws received a call about an injured pit bull in the LA area, they got to work on his rescue. Like most of their cases, this boy was a challenge. He wasn’t just scared, but a runner. Though there was a massive struggle, Eldad Hagar managed to catch him before he got too far up a mountain.  He was named Wallace, treated for his injury, and within a month the perfect home was found for him.

    Eldad had been trying to catch a timid, limping dog for three days, but none of his usual tricks worked. Few have the patience and take the time to save so many dogs in bad shape, so if Eldad can’t catch a dog, who can? He finally had to resort to using a tranquilizer gun.

    1.23.14 - Eldad Rescues Mountain Pit Bull2

    Dr. Amsel was brought in to administer the shot. Though he had a limp, the dog kept running – right into the mountains. He sat down, and it looked as if Eldad’s chance was coming. While waiting for the drugs to take effect, Eldad fell down a hill, but that didn’t stop him. Back on his feet, the heroic rescuer kept trying to catch the dog, who growled and ran up the slope.

    Finally, the tranquilizer began working, and Eldad fastened a catch pole loop around the dog’s neck when he lay down. But he didn’t stay down: the loop didn’t even make it all the way over his head before the boy started bucking and trying to yank himself out.

    1.23.14 - Eldad Rescues Mountain Pit Bull3

    Though obviously scared, the dog, called Wallace, was remarkably sweet and friendly – even with other dogs. He was treated at the Veterinary Care Center, where it was determined that the only injury he had was an infection in his ankle.

    Lisa Chiarelli, a Hope for Paws volunteer, brought Wallace home to foster. One month later, he found his forever home, and hopefully his happily ever after.

    1.23.14 - Eldad Rescues Mountain Pit Bull4

    Video: Mountain rescue of an abandoned injured Pit Bull – Please Share…

    January 24, 2014 Posted by | Adopt Just One More Pet, Animal or Pet Related Stories, Animal Rescues, Dogs, Dogs, Fostering and Rescue, If Animlas Could Talk..., Just One More Pet, Man's Best Friend, NO KILL NATION, Pets, Success Stories | 1 Comment

    World’s Best Skateboarding Cat

    Posted Tuesday, January 21st 2014 @ 12pm

    The Patriot – AM1150: World’s BEST Skateboarding CAT! Go Didga! The Action starts when Ollie, a skateboard, takes his friend Didga, a CAT, for a ride around a beautiful beach town. On the way Didga "shows off" by jumping on, off, up and even over obstacles. One of those obstacles happens to be a large Rottweiler dog.

    Video: CAT Super Skateboarding Adventure! Go Didga! (ORIGINAL)

    January 23, 2014 Posted by | Animal and Pet Photos, animal behavior, Animal or Pet Related Stories, If Animlas Could Talk..., Just One More Pet, On The Lighter Side, Pet and Animal Training, pet fun, Pets | 1 Comment

    The Iditarod on 12,000 calories a day

    Extreme cold in Alaska makes the race even more challenging – and dangerous

    Rick Casillo dog racingGuest essay by Paul Driessen – What’s Up With That? – Cross-Posted at True Health Is True Wealth

    This winter’s record Midwestern freeze made any outdoor activity a real challenge. It also made us appreciate modern housing, heating, transportation and hydrocarbons – and what our frontline troops have endured in the Aleutians, Korea and Afghanistan. I’ve been in minus 20-50 F weather, and it is brutal. 

    The nasty weather reminded me of the Iditarod racers and spirited sled dogs I met last summer in Alaska. Trekking 1,100 miles from Anchorage to Nome, across Sam McGee’s wilderness in the dead of winter in nine to twelve days, is not for faint-hearted humans or canines. It’s equivalent to jogging from Chicago to Tampa or from Washington, DC to Kansas City – with temperatures ranging from a “balmy” 10 or 20 degrees F (-7 to -12 C) above to a bone-rattling and deadly minus 50 (-46 C) or lower for the entire trip.

    It helps explain why far more people have reached the summit of Mt. Everest than have finished the annual Iditarod race.

    This difference: some 4,000 to Everest’s peak versus around 900 individual dogsledders, many of whom are the same hardy men and women racing year after year. About 2,550 dog teams of 16 dogs each have competed since Dorothy Page and Joe Redington, Sr. launched the Iditarod dogsled race in 1973.

    Rick Swenson has entered the race 33 times and won it five times, logging more than 82,000 miles in training and racing. DeeDee Jonrowe has started 27 races and finished 25, including 2003 when she began three weeks after finishing chemotherapy for breast cancer! (Go here for still more Iditarod trivia.)

    “The coldest I’ve ever been in during the Iditarod was minus 60, and I actually camped out on the trail that night with the dogs,” Rick Casillo told me. “It’s by far the coldest I have ever been. I went to sleep after taking care of the dogs, woke up two hours later and was starting to get hypothermic. I had to get out of my bag and get moving fast. When you’re dealing with temperatures like that, there is no room for error. You have to plan and execute each step perfectly.” Jack London’s “To build a fire” comes to mind.

    Rick and his wife Jennifer operate Battle Dawgs Racing, Aurora Heli-Expeditions and the Knik River Lodge west of Palmer. But Battle Dawgs is not just their dog kennel. By partnering with Alaska’s Healing Hearts, they’ve made it a wounded veterans rehabilitation program that enables military personnel and their families and loved ones to experience wild Alaska, restore their souls, and meet kindred spirits through hunting, fishing, mushing, flying, hiking and snowmobiling.

    James Hastings, director of operations for AHH and a retired U.S. Army veteran, says their goal with Battle Dawgs is to have a year-round camp with cabins and facilities that can accommodate warriors in wheel chairs. Adds Jennifer, an Air Force veteran and reservist, aircraft mechanic and chopper pilot: “For a wounded veteran, the true battle often begins when they get home.” That’s why the dogs are important. “The healing capabilities of canines are legendary,” Rick says. “You can’t spend time with these men and women, and not want to help out by offering them some life changing experiences.”

    Some of warriors will actually be members of Rick’s “pit crew” during dog races. One will be on his sled for the “ceremonial” portion of the 2014 Iditarod, from Anchorage to Eagle River, where the teams regroup and start the actual race. Few can imagine what goes into this race.

    Pre-season racing is like pre-season football, Rick says. “You use it to gauge younger dogs and give them valuable racing experience. I’m looking for attitude, recovery time, eating habits, drive and desire. These dogs are all born to run, but I need dogs that can do these runs over and over, willingly and happily.” Usually he spots these characteristics by opening day, but sometimes there are surprises.

    “The toughest situation I was ever in was easily in 2007 when I was going up the Alaska Range from Rainey Pass,” Rick recalls. “The temperature was minus 30, with 40 mph winds – making it feel like minus 71 – and we were climbing in a complete whiteout. My goggles froze up solid and were useless. I was forced to take them off. Minutes later, frostbite set in on my nose, cheeks and eyelids. Sometimes I had to walk in front of the team to find the trail. All of a sudden, an 18-month-old dog started demanding to be up front, leading. Normally I would never rely on a young dog in a situation like that, but Grisman was jumping five feet in the air, howling to go. So I gave him a chance. Once I put Gris in lead, he never balked once. Not only did he take us up and over the range. He continued to be one of best dogs in that race and went on to be the best dog I have ever run.”

    That experience underscores what are perhaps the six most important factors in Iditarod racing. (1) Bond and trust. “If you don’t have the dogs’ trust, you have nothing,” Rick emphasizes. (2) Mental and physical toughness, for dogs and musher alike. By the end of the race, each musher is tired, battered and cut up – attesting to the difficulty of the trail and weather, and to the need to just keep going, no matter what. (3) Logistics. More on that in a minute. (4-6) “Dog care, dog care, dog care. As the dogs go, you go.”

    For UPS and Amazon, logistics are vital. “Brown” even has a jingle about logistics, and Amazon.com hires numerous veterans because of their logistical skills. But for the military and Iditarod racers, logistics mean the difference between success and failure, life or death. “We’re on our own out there,” Rick told me. “No cell phones, no communications. Careful planning and preparation are critical.”

    Each dog burns 12,000 calories a day during the Iditarod, Rick points out. That’s what Olympic swimming champion Michael Phelps reportedly consumes on racing days. Rick’s dogs eat a combination of beef, horse, fish and chicken; beef fat and turkey and chicken skins; tripe and high-grade dry dog food; salmon oil and natural supplements. They wear booties to protect their feet from the cold and bruising.

    Mushers are required to carry a sleeping bag, ax, snow shoes, extra dog booties, a veterinary care book, a dog food cooker and sufficient food for the dogs, in their sleds at all times. So they are hauling about 60 pounds of food and gear in sleds similar to what Inupiaq and Yup’ik Natives used for centuries. For each musher, some 3,000 pairs of booties and 2,000 pounds of food and personal gear are divided up and airlifted by volunteer flyers two weeks before the race to each of 20 check points along the route.

    “We cover 125 to 150 miles a day. Our average runs are 60 miles, followed by a four-to-five-hour break to eat, rest, massage and care for the dogs – and then we do it again, and again, until we reach Nome,” Rick explains. Mushers are also required to shut down completely for two 8-hour and one 24-hour rest periods. Tough hills, rocks, swollen creeks, high winds, frigid temperatures, storms, whiteout conditions, accidents and injuries to dogs or mushers, and other adventures can slow that pace down. But somehow they need to make it to the next check point, where volunteer veterinarians examine the dogs and they can replenish their supplies. More volunteers fly any injured dogs from the nearest checkpoint back to Eagle River, where Hiland Mountain Correctional Center inmates care for them until the mushers finish the race.

    The hard training and careful preparation pay off. Rick has entered and finished four Iditarod races and is now preparing for his fifth. He’s also competed in many other dogsled races. This year he plans to run at a slower pace that requires less exertion and less rest – and results in less fatigue and healthier dogs that can chew up miles. That’s a bit different from a musher who “ran” all 188 miles to Rohn with minimal breaks in the first race of the 2013-14 season. It will be fascinating to watch all the mushers’ strategies in action.

    They’re all straining, sweating and freezing for the $50,000 first place prize – and smaller cash prizes for the next 30 top finishers, plus the joys and thrills of just being in this premier race. But competing in the Iditarod costs $30,000 or more in fees, supplies, dog care, preparation, training and prelims.

    So follow Rick Casillo on BattleDawgsRacing.com and all the mushers, preparations, history and thrills of this amazing race at Iditarod.com. Buy some gear and DVDs. Support your favorite mushers and dogs with donations or by volunteering. And watch the race on television. It starts March 1 – and now you know enough to really understand and appreciate “the last great race,” the Iditarod.

    _______________

    Paul Driessen is senior policy analyst for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow, author of Eco-Imperialism: Green Power Black Death (Kindle), and a huge fan of Rick Casillo, Battle Dawgs and all they do.

    Related: 

    Iditarod Trail Race Headquarters, Palin and Alaskan Tourism 

    Iditarod Dog Found 7-Days After Disappearing From Team 

    Pet Detectives Capture Iditarod Dog on the Lam in East King Co. for 6 Weeks 

    Iditarod Dog Saved With Mouth-To-Snout CPR 

    Alaskan Breeds Only True American Breeds Study Shows…

    January 22, 2014 Posted by | animal behavior, Animal or Pet Related Stories, animals, Dogs, Dogs, Just One More Pet, Man's Best Friend, Pet and Animal Training, Pet Events, Pet Health | 3 Comments

    Thousands of Shelter Pets Killed Every Day Yet Half of Americans Uninformed and Unaware

    “Our research reveals a huge disconnect in what happens to our animal friends in shelters and what Americans think happens”

    Best Friends Animal Society Launches Initiative to Save Them All™

    EON: KANAB, Utah–(EON: Enhanced Online News)–The majority of Americans significantly underestimate the number of dogs and cats killed in America’s shelters each day, a new national survey has revealed. The research, released by Best Friends Animal Society, the only national animal welfare organization focused exclusively on ending the killing of dogs and cats in America’s shelters, found that most people aren’t aware of the magnitude of the issue or how simple it is to save these pets.

    In fact, the new research shows that nationally, 50 percent of Americans estimate that 500 or fewer cats and dogs die each day in shelters across the country – far fewer than the more than 9,000 that actually die in shelters each day because they don’t have a safe place to call home. Forty eight percent of those surveyed believe that shelter animals are eventually claimed by their owners, adopted or transferred to another rescue organization. In fact, for millions of animals that go to shelters, it is their last stop.

    Best Friends released the survey results today in conjunction with the launch of the organization’s Save Them All initiative, which encourages the public to play a role in solving this problem.

    “Our research reveals a huge disconnect in what happens to our animal friends in shelters and what Americans think happens,” Gregory Castle, co-founder and chief executive officer of Best Friends Animal Society said. “Like people, pets are unique individuals. Their special characteristics create the bonds with us, as humans and animal lovers. This makes the fact that so many lose their lives each day in shelters almost unthinkable. Best Friends wants to rally the support of Americans, because if we take simple steps together, we can save them all.”

    Misconceptions about Shelters Persist

    While three quarters of Americans (74 percent) acknowledge that shelters provide proper care for animals, those surveyed cite other factors as the biggest contributors to the death rate at shelters. These include:

    • Shelter resources and budget (45 percent)
    • Lack of adopters (40 percent)
    • Lack of shelter space (32 percent)

    Yet most Americans seem unable to connect the need for more involvement with these shelters with the ability to help save these animals. Only 32 percent say they donated money to animal welfare and just 15 percent say they adopted a pet in the last year.

    Progress in Ending Homeless Pet Problem

    Despite these challenges, Best Friends, its partners around the country and many other animal welfare organizations have dramatically reduced the number of animals killed in shelters. Thirty years ago, when Best Friends was founded, approximately 17 million pets died in shelters each year. Today that number is down to about 4 million, thanks to the continued hard work of animal welfare groups, including Best Friends, partnerships with local municipalities and innovative programs that encourage pet adoption and provide low-cost spay-neuter services.

    How to Help Save Them All

    Helping animals in shelters is simpler than most pet lovers think. There are many ways to get involved:

    • Donate: Donations and grants fund life-saving programs for pets in need. Donating as little as $25 to Best Friends can help.
    • Adopt: Adoptions get animals out of shelters and into homes. Remind friends looking for a family pet that animals in shelters make wonderful pets.
    • Spay/neuter: Spaying and neutering means fewer animals entering shelters and improves your pet’s health and behavior. Many shelters around the country provide free or reduced prices for these important services.
    • Volunteer: Volunteering powers the “no-kill” movement. Find a shelter in your area and donate your time to this worthwhile effort.
    • Spread the word: Amplify the urgent message of pet homelessness and educate family and friends on these startling statistics. Help increase awareness by showing your support on Facebook or Twitter.

    Today, Best Friends is also encouraging consumers to share their commitments to help end the killing of animals in shelters through Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Google Plus or their favorite social channel using the hashtag #SaveThemAll.

    To become a part of the Save Them All™ movement and make a huge impact on the quality of life for homeless pets everywhere, visit www.bestfriends.org/SAVE.

    About Best Friends Animal Society

    Best Friends Animal Society® is the only national animal welfare organization focused exclusively on ending the killing of dogs and cats in America’s shelters. An authority and leader in the no-kill movement since its founding in 1984, Best Friends runs the nation’s largest no-kill sanctuary for companion animals, as well as life-saving programs in partnership with rescue groups and shelters across the country. Since its founding, Best Friends has helped reduce the number of animals killed in shelters from 17 million per year to about 4 million. Best Friends has the knowledge, technical expertise and on-the-ground network to end the killing and Save Them All.

    Survey Methodology

    Best Friends Animal Society, in partnership with Ketchum Global Research & Analytics and Braun Research, conducted a phone survey of 1,007 adults 18 and older in the U.S. The survey was fielded August 9, 2013 through August 16, 2013.

    Results are reported at the 95 percent confidence level, and have a margin of error of +/-3.1%. Data have been weighted to adjust for variation in the sample relating to geographic region, sex, race, Hispanic origin, marital status, age, education and the number of adults in the household. The statistical weights were designed and applied from the United States Census Bureau statistics.

    Oversamples were surveyed in Los Angeles (202 respondents), New York City (202 respondents) and Salt Lake City (201 respondents).

    Contacts

    Best Friends Animal Society
    John Polis, 435-644-4858
    johnp@bestfriends.org
    or
    Kristen Commander, 310-689-3406
    Kristen.commander@emanatepr.com

    Join the ‘NO KILL’ NATION and get invovled

    January 20, 2014 Posted by | Adopt Just One More Pet, Animal Abandonement, Animal or Pet Related Stories, Animal Related Education, Animal Rescues, animals, Dogs, Dogs, Fostering and Rescue, Just One More Pet, Man's Best Friend, NO KILL NATION, Outreach for Pets, Pet Abuse, Pet Adoption, Pet Friendship and Love, Pets, Political Change, Stop Animal Cruelty, Stop Euthenization, Toughen Animal Abuse Laws and Sentences | 10 Comments