JustOneMorePet

Every Pet Deserves A Good Home…

Pet Abuse Registry Started in NY by Suffolk County SPCA… An Idea That is Waaaay Overdue and Needed Everywhere, So Let’s Do It!!

Tough New Law to treat animal offenders like sex offenders…  Does it go to far… Heck NO!!

It has been proven that child molesters, serial killers, wife beaters, and deviates of all kinds often started as animal abusers or do both through their lives.  It is our job to stop all these types of abuse… and why is abuse of a helpless animal of less importance than child or spousal abuse?  elder abuse?  Or any type of abuse?

Animal abusers of New York’s Suffolk County on Long Island will now go to jail and on a registry for which they will have to pay $50 to maintain the program

The abusers will be registered and their information will be listed online and on lists for rescues, pet stores, and all animal type programs who will be required to check these before selling any pet.  Abusers can also do jail time, public service time and pay larger fees as part of the the program.

Checkout SuffolkSPCA.org

The new program is sparking National Interest!!

Time to create a National registry and database to help abused animals and often their human counterparts that their abusers encounter.

An idea that is waaaaay overdue and Needed everywhere… Let’s do it.  Let’s take it National!!

Backers of this new law and registry hope the law will be named Justin’s Law for a dog who was rescued literally taking his last breath from being starved to death and the abuse looking online to buy a new puppy… obviously to torture again… Justin was saved and is now doing well…

Animal Abusers Will Appear on Sex Offender-Like Registry in N.Y.

Published October 14, 2010

FARMINGVILLE, N.Y. — You’ve heard of Megan’s Laws, designed to keep sex offenders from striking again. Now there’s a law created in the hope of preventing animal abusers from inflicting more cruelty — or moving on to human victims.

Suffolk County, on the eastern half of Long Island, moved to create the nation’s first animal abuse registry this week, requiring people convicted of cruelty to animals to register or face jail time and fines.

"We know there is a very strong correlation between animal abuse and domestic violence," said Suffolk County legislator Jon Cooper, the bill’s sponsor. "Almost every serial killer starts out by torturing animals, so in a strange sense we could end up protecting the lives of people."

The online list will be open to the public, so that pet owners or the merely curious can find out whether someone living near them is on it. Some animal abusers have been known to steal their neighbors’ pets.

Cooper is also pushing legislation that would bar anyone on the registry from buying or adopting a pet from a shelter, pet shop or breeder.

The law was prompted by a number of animal abuse cases in recent months, including that of a Selden woman accused of forcing her children to watch her torture and kill kittens and dozens of dogs, then burying the pets in her backyard.

Animal welfare activists hope the law, passed unanimously Tuesday in the suburban New York City county of 1.5 million people, will inspire governments nationwide in the same way Megan’s Law registries for child molesters have proliferated in the past decade.

A spokesman for county Executive Steve Levy said he intends to sign the legislation. It then requires a 30-day review by state officials before it goes on the books.

As Fred Surbito took his Yorkshire terrier, Sasha, in for grooming at a Farmingville pet store this week, he applauded the legislation.

"It’s very, very important," he said. "If you don’t love an animal, you should not have an animal. An animal is part of your family. Like your children, they should never be neglected or harmed. Anybody that does should never own a pet again."

More than a dozen states have introduced legislation to establish similar registries, but Suffolk County is the first government entity to pass such a law, said Stephan Otto, director of legislative affairs for the Animal Legal Defense Fund.

The Suffolk County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals will administer the database, to be funded by a $50 fee paid by convicted abusers. All abusers 18 or older must supply authorities with their address, a head-and-shoulders photograph and any aliases. Convicted abusers will remain on the registry for five years. Those failing to register face up to a year in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.

After the 2009 arrest of Sharon McDonough, accused of burying kittens and as many as 42 dogs in her yard, neighbors whose pets had disappeared feared the worst. But authorities later concluded that McDonough — who is expected in court this month and could get up to two years in prison if convicted — bought the animals or adopted them through shelters or other traditional outlets.

While some abuse is motivated purely by cruelty, Suffolk SPCA Chief Roy Gross said, some recent cases are linked to the poor economy.

For instance, an emaciated Doberman mix was recently found near death inside a foreclosed-on home, he said. And sometimes, pet rescuer Cathy Mulnard said, elderly people on fixed incomes must decide between eating, or feeding their pets.

"They don’t mean to be bad to the animal, but they get overwhelmed and don’t know how to ask for help. They may be innocent abusers," said Mulnard, a founder and co-director of Second Chance Rescue, a Suffolk animal shelter that works closely with the SPCA.

Mulnard called the legislation "a godsend for the animals."

"We take care of our animals and love our animals the way you do your children," she said. "We need to protect every animal that’s out there because they don’t make the decisions in their life; human beings do."

Related:

NY county creating list of animal abusers

Videos for Suffolk County Pet Abuse Registry


Time for an AnimalAbuse Registry ?  -  Suffolk found at 0:20

video.foxnews.com/v/4377263/time-for-an-animal-abuse-registry

 

Dogs in Danger: www.dogsindanger.com

Declaration of the No Kill Movement of the United States

The No Kill Movement

Related:

Dog Fighting Must Be Knocked Out

NY Woman Arrested for Allegedly Starving Two Terriers

Ditch Your Dog To Save The Planet:  I Think Not!!  – Really??

Stop Killing Dogs Campaign

Dog Dragged to Death

Couple’s Chihuahua Pitched Into the Catoctin Creek  –  See links in this post

Demand Justice Petition Story… for Tortured Dog

The Verdict is Guilty!  YES!!!!  Guilty

Teen Kills Kitten in Oven; Faces 10-Year Sentence

Teen Girl Who Kills Kitten in a Horrible Way Only Gets One Year in Prison

Police Dog Killer Gets Life Without Parole

Domestic and Animal Abuse

Father Arrested for Allegedly Killing Family Dog in Front of Children

Warning Signs That Your Child’s Behavior Is Dangerous To Pets

Manhatten Man Arrested For Beating Dog and Girlfriend

Alabama Dog Fighting Bust

People who abuse animals and pets are sick or bad people… but either way, they don’t stop and they don’t get better on their own!!

October 24, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | 5 Comments

Help Stop Abuse… Animals, Pets, Seniors, Spousal, All Abuse

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Twitter: Diana L. Pizarro@Tudorican

EVERYONE WHO FOLLOWS ME. PLEASE LOOK @This Scum Bags FACE. PLS RETWEET. HE HAS TO GET CAUGHT. PLS RT, PLS RT pic.twitter.com/H5MN3xBFMF

If you now who this scum bucket is, know (or know of) any other scum like him or if you know of any abuse… Get-involved, Step-In if you feel you can, and definitely Report It…

Animals abusers are almost always abusers throughout their lives!!

Please share this photo with everyone you know and help find this abuser.

Related:

Severely beaten dog found in Columbus is dead 

Patrick: Abuser Located and Charged

Domestic and Animal Abuse

The S.A.A.V. Program – Sheltering Animals of Abuse Victims Program

Pet Abuse Registry Started in NY by Suffolk County SPCA… An Idea That is Waaaay Overdue and Needed Everywhere, So Let’s Do It!!

Father Arrested for Allegedly Killing Family Dog in Front of Children

November 2, 2013 Posted by | Adopt Just One More Pet, Animal or Pet Related Stories, Animal Related Education, Animal Rescues, Animal Rights And Awareness, animals, Dogs, Dogs, If Animlas Could Talk..., Just One More Pet, NO KILL NATION, Outreach for Pets, Pet Abuse, Pets, Stop Animal Cruelty, Toughen Animal Abuse Laws and Sentences, We Are All God's Creatures | , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

DOMESTIC ABUSE LAW WILL PROTECT PETS

DALLAS (AP) — Protective orders that prevent an abuser from hurting, threatening or harassing a person will soon be extended to pets thanks to a Texas law taking effect this summer.

The law was designed to help when someone abuses or threatens to abuse an animal to intimidate or coerce a victim. While a first offense would be a misdemeanor, two or more offenses would bump the crime up to a third-degree felony, The Dallas Morning News reported Saturday.

“It’s really not about overzealously being protective of pets in Texas,” said Sen. Wendy Davis, a Fort Worth Democrat who wrote the legislation that Gov. Rick Perry recently signed into law. “It’s about protecting women who are battered.”

When the law takes effect Sept. 1, Texas will join about a dozen other states that have extended protective orders to pets.

“Everybody that has pets is very passionate and loves their pets,” so an abuser will use that passion against the victim as a show of power and control, said Dallas police Lt. Scott Walton, interim division manager of Dallas Animal Services.

According to the American Humane Association, 71 percent of pet-owning women entering shelters reported that their abuser had injured, killed or threatened family pets for revenge or to psychologically control them.

Mary Silman of Arlington, who endured prolonged physical and psychological abuse, recalled the traumatic beating of a pet dog she loved.

“My husband just started beating up the dog with his fists … trying to crack its ribs,” the 56-year-old woman said. “It was yelping. I couldn’t do anything or say anything because I was too scared … that he was going to do that to me.”

Silman said an abuser will keep a victim’s pet or kill it out of spite, and “no innocent animal needs to be caught up in that.”

Advocates say victims may be more inclined to seek help if they don‘t have to worry about their pet’s safety.

But some people who run shelters say the new law might pose new challenges for animal and domestic abuse shelters. For instance, some people staying at shelters are allergic to animals, and several shelters lack the space needed to even house pets.

The Family Place in Dallas encourages victims to contact a friend to house the pet or to call animal and domestic abuse shelters to discuss possible solutions.

People increasingly are also using social networks such as Facebook and Craigslist to find foster homes for pets.

Source: the Blaze

July 5, 2011 Posted by | Animal or Pet Related Stories, animals, Dogs, If Animlas Could Talk..., Just One More Pet, Man's Best Friend, Pet Abuse, Pets, Political Change, Stop Animal Cruelty, Toughen Animal Abuse Laws and Sentences | , , , | 1 Comment

Abused and abandoned pets need our help

Please join me in giving them the greatest gift you can give
Sarah McLachlan video I’m Sarah McLachlan. Please watch and share my new Silent Night video.
Watch the Video
Donate Today
Every day, thousands of cats and dogs are abandoned and left alone to suffer.
Most die on the streets or have to be euthanized.
Photos of cats and dogs Please watch my new video and join me in supporting the ASPCA.   

There’s an animal waiting for your help. Make a special gift today.

Save a Life. Make a Gift.

November 29, 2008 Posted by | Animal Rights And Awareness, Just One More Pet, Pet Abuse, Pets, Political Change | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Safe Haven for Pets… For Animals

One of my dreams for quite some time has been to purchase land (in the US) and set up a temporary (and forever for some) haven for pets/animals.  I would love to hire some computer wiz-kids to set up a national registry to connect all the shelters, rescues, etc. around the country so people looking for them, a particular pet can find them.  Then set-up a network to transport the pets to the people who want them, their forever homes.  And for those who need longer, they could come to us, to the center, until their forever home comes available or their forever parents find them. 

I believe there is a forever home for every pet… for every animal and they we are all God’s creatures, so need to work together.

Marion at JOMP~

So this really touches my heart!!

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Tribune:

Ayesha Chundrigar with an ACF shelter dog. ALL PHOTOS COURTESY: AYESHA CHUNDRIGAR FOUNDATION

Growing up in a house full of pets gave Ayesha Chundrigar an informal, intuitive education in empathy and respect for animals at a young age. She was only nine years old when she began volunteering at an orphanage during her summer holidays, and by the age of 15 she was teaching at various non-profit schools in katchi abadis around Islamabad, where she was living at the time. She was also helping at refugee camps in the city in the aftermath of the 2005 earthquake in the northern areas of Pakistan, but her true altruism shone through when she launched her NGO, the Ayesha Chundrigar Foundation (ACF), in Karachi, which among other things, aims at giving a voice to the voiceless – animals.

Apart from the Pakistan Animal Welfare Society (PAWS), ACF is now the second non-profit organisation which aims to rescue abandoned, abused or injured stray animals. Chundrigar who took up the challenge of managing and maintaining Edhi Foundation’s animal shelter in Karachi, says that the place was in an abysmal state when she first visited it. “There were animal carcasses and dead puppies and donkeys lying in pools of blood. I still have nightmares about it,” she says. “I found the number of a vet listed on a board close to the shelter and gave him a call saying he had to help me and that was it.”

All animals coexist in perfect harmony at the shelter.

Chundrigar started with four dogs and some savings. The shelter now houses over 100 animals, including donkeys, dogs, cats, eagles and pigeons. Although she has used up all her savings, she finds her job truly worthwhile. ACF has rescued over 600 animals in Karachi and has long-term plans of opening its own animal sanctuary instead of only managing Edhi’s animal shelter. “We have been given a piece of land for 10 years and we are ready to begin construction,” informs Chundrigar, adding that the new shelter will be able to house over 300 animals, with designated sections for donkeys, cats, dogs and other rescued animals.

Although the current shelter lacks electricity and water supplies, the Edhi Foundation is making do. They are preparing to install a water tank and solar panels. The animals are fed fresh food every morning and there is a general atmosphere of hope and recovery. “Our cats and puppies eat together and play together,” says Chundrigar. “I can stay and look at these sights forever.”

But this is not always the case. “Dogs have come in a paralysed and crippled [state] or with horrific wounds, but I’m lucky enough to see miracles every day. These animals [eventually] become strong, loving creatures that shower you with unconditional love.”

Dr Farid nurses the fore limbs of a donkey at one of the camps.

At the present, ACF’s core team of seven members, including Chundrigar, volunteer. The only ones on a payroll are their three veterinarians: Dr Khalid Memon, ACF’s senior vet who is a professor at the Baqai Veterinary College in Karachi, Ghulam Farid, a junior vet who is a final year veterinary student at Baqai, and Salman Wali, a manager and trainee vet at Baqai.  Together they embrace the animals that society discards.

With the help of Edhi Foundation’s service, ACF conducts most of its rescue missions around the city in an ambulance. Public transport, however, is also used by vets when the ambulance is unavailable. Once the injured animal has been rescued, its wounds are treated and then begins the long rehabilitation process.

Ayesha Chundrigar with her team at a recent donkey camp.

Although most rescue operations end on a happy note, some have tragic endings. When Chundrigar first saw the image of a female dog, with a disfigured face lying on the ground almost lifeless, on Facebook, she didn’t just comment on the extreme sorrow she felt, instead she took a hands-on approach. “Five of her puppies were snuggled near her tummy [in the picture] and I sent my team to rescue them [from Chundrigar Road],” she says. “The wounds … were definitely a few days old, her eye sockets were empty and she was severely dehydrated and malnourished, but by some miracle she stayed alive to feed her babies. We bandaged her up and started her treatment,” she says, adding that the puppies were fed formula milk although their mother was still determined to feed them herself. Although after a day the dog had gained enough strength to stand up on its own and take a few steps, she eventually succumbed to her injuries. “Unfortunately her wounds were too deep and after I petted her for hours and gently explained to her that I’d take care of her puppies, she let go.”

But dampened spirits don’t last at ACF for long as the team finds solace in the animals they have successfully rescued and rehabilitated. Bravo, a dog so thin and malnourished that he could barely lift his head, was nursed to health by Farid who was determined to see him stand on his feet. After several blood tests, X-rays and consistent monitoring, Bravo has not only regained its health but is currently ACF’s guard dog. “[Bravo is the] biggest, strongest and healthiest dogs at the shelter,” Chundrigar says proudly. “He gives me the warmest, most welcoming hugs every time I see him.”

ACF also holds regular donkey camps. “The way donkeys are treated in this country kills me and I wanted to somehow change that,” says Chundrigar. “The donkey camps started with literally just me and my senior vet standing on the roadside in [areas where donkey-carts are readily used], asking people to let us medically treat their donkeys for free.” While initially Chundrigar’s team was met with suspicion, with some cart owners believing that they were here to harm their sole source of income, they soon warmed up to them once they were convinced that the team was only there to help. Over 50 donkeys are fed and treated free of charge twice a month, in various parts of Karachi, including Sohrab Goth, Korangi and Nipa Chowrangi. ACF also conducted a ‘hydration drive’ last year when biscuits and chilled water bottles were distributed to people around the city.

Dr Farid gives one of the dogs eye treatment at the Edhi Foundation animal shelter along the highway.

Like PAWS, ACF relies heavily on social media to raise awareness about animal cruelty in Pakistan. “People see updates on our animal rescue activities and donkey camps and want to help out,” says Chundrigar. And it was through Facebook that Chundrigar teamed up with Zain Mustafa, an architect and die-hard animal lover, who is now a part of ACF’s core team. Many have even shown interest in adopting ACF’s rescued animals. “The encouraging part is that people are positive towards something being done for animals in this country,” she says. And while on the topic of showing compassion towards animals in the country, Mustafa adds, “It can be done by introducing the value of animals into our mainstream education system and curriculum at a very early age…  By getting children to physically interact with a variety of animals and bridge the widening gap between ‘us’ and ‘them’.”

ACF’s second project is also currently in the pipeline. It will aim to provide a therapeutic centre for healing that will focus on conducting individual counseling, art therapy and support groups. “We will be working with sexually and physically abused women, children and transgenders. [The project] will also include education for donkey-cart owners that, I believe, will gradually help change their behaviour towards the animals,” says Chundrigar, who is training to become a certified counselor.

But with limited funding, the ACF can only do so much. Although people have been donating cash and tangibles such as food via the information provided to them on social media, the funds are trickling in slowly. “What we get is enough to manage our current animals’ food and medical treatment,” says Chundrigar, adding that the monthly cost for food and supplies at the shelter is well over Rs100,000 and keeps increasing as the organisation rescues more animals each day. “We still need help starting our new shelter, acquiring ambulances and starting an inner-city emergency unit.”

Even though Chundrigar is positive about the path ahead for ACF, she admits that for Pakistan, animal welfare and charity is something quite “out of the ordinary,” with people often mocking her work. “They said I was crazy to think I could do something for animals because the situation is too far gone. Also, it’s an uphill battle explaining to people why animals deserve love and a chance at having a better life.”

Donation details:

Ayesha Chundrigar Foundation

Iban number: Pk33BAHL1036008100660001

Account number: 10360081006600012

Bank Al Habib, Kh-e-Hafiz Branch, Karachi.

For food donations and volunteering queries, please write to:

ayeshachundrigarfoundation@gmail.com

Sonya Rehman is a writer/journalist based in Lahore. She tweets @sonyarehman

Published in The Express Tribune, Sunday Magazine, June 15th, 2014.

Please Donate if you Can!!

June 27, 2014 Posted by | Adopt Just One More Pet, Animal Abandonement, Animal or Pet Related Stories, Animal Rescues, animals, Dogs, Dogs, Fostering and Rescue, If Animlas Could Talk..., Just One More Pet, Man's Best Friend, NO KILL NATION, Outreach for Pets, Pet Friendship and Love, Pets, Political Change, Stop Animal Cruelty, Stop Euthenization, We Are All God's Creatures | 3 Comments

Logan’s Law passes big hurdle in attempt to create Michigan animal abusers registry

Logan, a husky owned by Matt Falk of Wales Township, died from complications of someone allegedly spraying acid in his face.

Logan, a husky owned by Matt Falk of Wales Township, died from complications of someone allegedly spraying acid in his face. / Gannett Michigan

By Nicole Hayden – LSJ.com 

Gannett Michigan:  Logan’s Law, a package of four bills designed to fight animal abuse passed through the Michigan House of Representatives Judiciary Committee on Thursday.

“We are pretty excited about the bills being passed through the committee,” said Rep. Paul Muxlow, R-Brown City.

Muxlow sponsored House Bill 4534 of Logan’s Law. The bill stipulates that before someone can adopt a shelter animal, the shelter must use the Internet Criminal History Access Tool, which is a Michigan State Police database, to search for a history of child and spousal abuse and other violence.

The other bills include language that non-profits do not have to pay to access ICHAT; state police will prepare an annual report of animal abuse offenses; and convicted abusers cannot adopt an animal for five years after their time has been served.

The annual report will serve as a registry of animal abusers.

“This is a very big victory for Logan’s Law and for all of the animals in Michigan,” said Matt Falk, owner of Logan, a Siberian husky for whom the law was named.

In 2012, someone splashed Logan, who was in his outside kennel, with acid, Falk said.

“(Logan) liked to sleep outside because it was much cooler,” Falk, of Wales Township, said. “When I went to bring him inside in the morning, I noticed he had red burns on the right side of his face. We immediately rushed him to the vet.”

Falk said that it took four to five days to neutralize the acid.

The bills will now move to the Michigan Senate floor for a vote, then back to the House floor for a full vote before going to the governor to sign into law.

Falk said he hopes “the law will be signed by the summer or early fall of this year.”

Falk, along with House and Senate members, have work on passing the law for two years.

“There has been about 12 different bill numbers for the animal abuse registry all together,” Falk said. “Most of the original bills didn’t make it through the process.”

Falk said he wants to protect other animals from what his dog suffered.

“Logan lost his eyesight, and his sense of smell,” said Falk. “There was a time when his face was just melting off.”

Four months after the attack, Logan died.

“Through our investigations we found there is a lot of animal abuse,” said Muxlow. “There is much more animal abuse than we will ever know or assume of.”

If the bills pass, Michigan will be the first state to enact an animal abuse registry.

“This will be historic legislation,” said Falk. “The bills will set a precedence for other states to begin legislation for registries of their own.”

*Nicole Hayden is a reporter for the Times Herald in Port Huron

February 11, 2014 Posted by | Adopt Just One More Pet, animal abuse, Animal or Pet Related Stories, Animal Related Education, Animal Rescues, Animal Rights And Awareness, animals, Dogs, Dogs, Fostering and Rescue, If Animlas Could Talk..., Just One More Pet, NO KILL NATION, Pets, Political Change, Toughen Animal Abuse Laws and Sentences, We Are All God's Creatures | 2 Comments

Why I’ve Had a Change of Heart About Neutering Pets

Story at-a-glance
  • Once a huge advocate of spaying or neutering every dog early in life, after being in private practice for a few years, Dr. Becker noticed many of her canine patients were developing endocrine-related disorders. After a conversation with an expert in the field of veterinary endocrinology, Dr. Becker realized her practice of insisting on early spays or neuters for every dog patient had left many of them with serious health problems.
  • Dr. Becker quickly changed her recommendation for her patients from automatic spays or neuters, and the younger the better, to a more holistic approach in which surgeries, including sterilization and de-sexing, should only be performed when there’s a medical necessity. She also believes shelter pets should be sterilized rather than de-sexed (spayed or neutered) in order to preserve their sex hormones.
  • Scientific evidence is mounting that gonad removal can deliver serious consequences to a dog’s future health. Among those consequences: shortened lifespan, atypical Cushing’s disease, cardiac tumors, bone cancer, abnormal bone growth and development, CCL ruptures, and hip dysplasia.
  • Options to traditional full spays and neuters are hard to come by both in the U.S. and Canada, because veterinary schools don’t teach alternative sterilization procedures. Fortunately, we’re slowly waking up to the fact that spaying and neutering – especially in very young animals — are creating health problems that are non-existent or significantly less prevalent in intact pets.
  • Ownership of an intact dog, male or female, is not for everyone. It takes time, effort, vigilance, and often, a thick skin. Dr. Becker discusses the ins and outs of owning an intact male or female dog and the steps necessary to prevent pregnancy.
  • For those who are up for the ownership of an intact dog, or even a pair, it can be an amazing experience! (JOMP)

Video: Dr. Becker on the Truth About Spaying and Neutering

By Dr. Becker

Whenever I discuss scientific evidence related to the health risks of spaying and neutering here at Mercola Healthy Pets or on my Facebook page, I receive a lot of negative feedback from people who are absolutely certain I’m encouraging pet overpopulation and irresponsible pet ownership. So, I decided to make a video to explain to those who are standing in judgment why nothing could be further from the truth.

I Was Once a Huge Advocate of Spaying or Neutering Every Dog at an Early Age

I started volunteering at an animal shelter when I was 13 years old. I started working there when I was 14. I cleaned cages. By the time I was 17, I had become certified as a euthanasia technician by the Iowa State College of Veterinary Medicine. The ten years I spent working at a kill shelter and the exposure to certain clients and cases in my veterinary practice over the years have taught me more than I ever wanted to know or could share in this video about abused, neglected, and unwanted pets.

When I first opened my animal hospital, I was so adamant about my clients spaying their female pets before the first heat cycle, that if they didn’t follow my advice, I really became upset. I tried not to show it outwardly, but I suggested that those clients might be more ethically aligned with another veterinarian who didn’t feel as strongly about the subject as I did.

That was my politically correct way of saying, “Maybe you should go to another vet,” because I would literally lose sleep over having intact patients in my practice. I spayed and neutered thousands of my patients when they were very, very young, assuming I was completing my moral task as an ethical veterinarian.

Five Years into Private Practice, Many of My Canine Patients Began to Develop Endocrine Imbalances and Related Diseases

About five years after my practice opened, many of my patients started to develop endocrine issues. This was obviously very concerning to me, as these animals were not over-vaccinated. They were all eating biologically appropriate, fresh food diets.

The first light bulb went off in my head when I started researching why up to 90 percent of ferrets die of endocrine imbalance, specifically adrenal disease or Cushing’s disease. Mass-bred ferrets that enter the pet trade are desexed at about three weeks of age. The theory behind why most ferrets develop endocrine imbalance is that juvenile desexing creates a sex hormone deficiency, which ultimately taxes the last remaining tissues of the body capable of producing a small amount of sex hormone – the adrenal glands. So I began to wonder… could the same phenomenon be happening with my dog patients?

By 2006, the number of dogs I was diagnosing with hypothyroidism was at an all-time high. Diagnosing low thyroid levels is very easy compared to the complex adrenal testing required to show that a dog has adrenal disease. I started to wonder if hypothyroidism was just a symptom of a deeper hormonal imbalance in many of my patients. Because even after we got those thyroid levels balanced, the dogs still didn’t appear to be vibrantly healthy or entirely well.

I contacted Dr. Jack Oliver, who ran the University of Tennessee’s adrenal lab, and posed my theory to him. I was stunned when he told me that indeed adrenal disease was occurring at epidemic proportions in dogs in the U.S. and was certainly tied to sex hormone imbalance. Now, whether veterinarians were testing and identifying the epidemic was a whole different story.

In a Flash of Recognition, I Knew My Insistence on Desexing All My Patients at a Young Age Had Created Serious Health Problems for Many of Them

At this point, I became overwhelmed with guilt. For many years, I insisted my clients follow my advice to spay or neuter their pets at or before six months of age. It hit me like a lightning bolt that I was making this suggestion not based on what was physiologically best for my patients, but rather what I felt was morally best for their owners.

As all of the patients that I desexed at a young age cycled through, many of them with irreversible metabolic diseases, I started apologizing to my clients. I apologized to my patients as well. Through my blanket recommendation that all pets be desexed because humans may be irresponsible with an intact animal, I had inadvertently made many of my patients very ill. As a doctor, this revelation was devastating.

I began changing my recommendations on spaying and neutering. I advised my clients to leave their pets intact. Now, you must realize my veterinary practice is filled with wildly committed owners. I am not dealing with uneducated, uncaring, or unreliable clients.

Of course, there were and are exceptions to my advice against desexing. But in general, my recommendation as a holistic vet is to perform any surgery – including spaying and neutering – only when it’s a medical necessity and not an elective procedure.

I recently adopted a stray Dachshund who is intact, and I plan to leave him intact. I am an intact female myself. I am proud to say that I have not experienced a single unplanned pregnancy in my personal life or in my career at my practice as a holistic vet catering to thousands of intact animals.

If you are an irresponsible pet owner who allows your intact pet outside without a leash and direct supervision, this video is not for you. Please sterilize your pet before allowing him or her outside again, as you are contributing to the overpopulation problem. Please rethink how you care for your pet, or consider not having pets.

My Views on Sterilization of Shelter Pets

The subject of spay/neuter is a huge one, and if I were to attempt to cover every aspect of it, this video would be three hours long. Suffice it to say that until we get our nation’s shelter systems revamped, animals will continue to be spayed as juveniles. For now, that’s that. We won’t change anything with this video. Are we pushing for shelter vets to learn ovary-sparing techniques that allow for sterilization without sex hormone obliteration? Yes. But for now, that isn’t happening.

I could have made a dozen different choices in my professional career that would have been satisfying, including being a shelter vet. If I were a shelter vet right now, I would be pushing for sterilization techniques that preserve normal endocrine function. I chose the path of a wellness veterinarian because that resonated the most with my personal goals in life. As I’ve explained, I’ve made many mistakes. I’ve apologized directly to the owners and the dogs that I desexed as puppies before I knew any better.

I am as committed as ever to preventing and treating illness in individual family pets. I’m not, however, advocating the adoption of intact animals to people who may or may not be responsible pet owners. Shelter vets don’t have the luxury of building relationships with their adoptive families, so all the animals in their care must be sterilized prior to adoption. I totally agree with this. I don’t necessarily agree with the method of sterilization being used.

Why I Believe Sterilization, Not Desexing, Is the Better Option

As a proactive veterinarian, I have dedicated my life to keeping animals well. I have learned and continue to learn the best ways to help pets stay healthy and the reasons disease occurs. I am also a holistically oriented vet, which means I view animals as a whole – not just a collection of body parts or symptoms.

I believe there is a purpose for each organ we are born with, and that organ systems are interdependent. I believe removing any organ – certainly including all the organs of reproduction – will have health consequences. It’s inevitable. It’s simply common sense.

There is a growing body of evidence suggesting that desexing dogs, especially at an early age, can create health and behavior problems. When I use the term “desexing,” I’m referring to the traditional spay and neuter surgery where all the sex hormone-secreting tissues are removed. When I use the term “sterilization,” I’m referring to animals that can no longer reproduce, but maintain their sex hormone-secreting tissues.

In my view, I would not be fulfilling my obligation as an animal healthcare professional if I chose to ignore the scientific evidence and not pass it on to Healthy Pets readers and the clients at my practice who entrust me with the well being of their animals.

Health Issues Linked to Spaying and Neutering Dogs

Before I discuss some of the health issues now associated with desexing dogs, first let me point out that there are two medical conditions that actually can be totally eliminated by desexing: benign prostatic hypertrophy or BPH (enlarged prostate), and pyometra (a disease of the uterus). However, a wealth of information is mounting that preserving innate sex hormones, especially in the first years of life, may be beneficial to pets, whereas the risk of pyometra or BPH in an animal’s first year of life is incredibly low.

Recent research has also discredited a couple of myths about the supposed benefits of early spays and neuters, including:

  • A study from the U.K. suggests there isn’t much scientific evidence at all to support the idea that early spaying of female dogs decreases or eliminates future risk of mammary tumors or breast cancer. This has been a much promoted supposed benefit of early spays for decades. But as it turns out, it’s based on theory rather than scientific evidence.
  • Similar to the situation with early spaying and mammary tumors, there’s a common belief that neutering a male dog prevents prostate cancer. However, a small study conducted at Michigan State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine suggests that neutering – no matter the age – has no effect on the development of prostate cancer.

And now for some of the disorders and diseases linked to spaying/neutering:

Shortened lifespan. A study conducted and published in 2009 by the Gerald P. Murphy Cancer Foundation established a link between the age at which female Rottweilers are spayed and how long they live. Researchers compared long-lived Rotties that lived for 13 years or more with those who lived a normal lifespan of about 9 years. They discovered that while females live longer than males, removing the ovaries of female Rottweilers before five years of age evened the score. Females who kept their ovaries until at least 6 years of age were four times more likely to reach an exceptional age compared to Rotties who were spayed at a younger age.

I spayed my rescued Rottie, Isabelle, when I adopted her at seven years of age. She lived to be 17, and she was still unbelievably vibrant at 17. She slipped on the floor in a freak accident and became paralyzed, which ultimately led to her euthanasia. But she was the oldest and healthiest Rottweiler I have ever met.

With Isabelle, I provided literally no medical care because she didn’t need it. Her body naturally thrived throughout her life. I fed her a balanced raw diet. I checked her bloodwork every six months, which was perfect until the day she died. Isabelle was a great example of a thriving pet that lived above the level of disease. I believe her sex hormones greatly contributed to her longevity and her abundantly healthy life.

Atypical Cushing’s disease. It’s my professional opinion that early spaying and neutering plays a role in the development of atypical Cushing’s disease as well. Typical Cushing’s means the middle layer of the adrenal gland is over-secreting cortisol. Atypical Cushing’s involves the outer and innermost layers of the adrenal glands and occurs when other types of hormones are over-produced, usually estrogen and progesterone.

When a dog is spayed or neutered before puberty, the endocrine, glandular and hormonal systems have not yet fully developed. A complete removal of the gonads, resulting in stopping production of all the body’s sex hormones (which is what happens during castration or the traditional spay), can force the adrenal glands to produce sex hormones because they’re the only remaining tissue in the body that can secrete them.

Over time, the adrenal glands become taxed from doing their own work plus the work of the missing gonads. It’s very difficult for these tiny little glands to keep up with the body’s demand for sex hormones. This is the condition of atypical Cushing’s. Hormone disruption is a central feature in Cushing’s disease. Any substance or procedure that affects the body’s hormonal balance should be absolutely evaluated as a potential root cause.

Cardiac tumors. A Veterinary Medical Database search of the years 1982 to 1985 revealed that in dogs with tumors of the heart, the relative risk for spayed females was over four times that of intact females. For the most common type of cardiac tumor, hemangiosarcoma, spayed females had a greater than five times risk vs. their intact counterparts. Neutered males had a slightly higher risk than intact males as well.

Bone cancer. In another Rottweiler study published 10 years ago for both males and females spayed or neutered before one year of age, there was a one in four lifetime risk of developing bone cancer. Desexed Rotties were significantly more likely to acquire the disease than intact dogs. In another study using the Veterinary Medical Database for 1980 to 1984, the risk of bone cancer in large-breed, purebred dogs increased two-fold for those dogs that were also desexed.

Abnormal bone growth and development. Studies done in the 1990s concluded dogs spayed or neutered under one year of age grew significantly taller than non-sterilized dogs or those dogs spayed or neutered after puberty. The earlier the spay or neuter procedure, the taller the dog. Research published in 2000 may explain why: it appears that the removal of estrogen-producing organs in immature dogs – both females and males – can cause growth plates to remain open. These animals continue to grow and wind up with abnormal growth patterns and bone structure. This results in irregular body proportions, possible cartilage issues, and joint conformation issues.

Higher rate of CCL ruptures. A study conducted at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center on cranial cruciate ligament injuries concluded that spayed and neutered dogs had a significantly higher incidence of rupture than their intact counterparts. While large-breed dogs had more CCL injuries, sterilized or desexed dogs of all breeds and sizes had an increased rupture rate.

Hip dysplasia. In a retrospective cohort study conducted at Cornell University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, results showed that both male and female dogs sterilized at an early age were more prone to hip dysplasia.

Breed-specific effects of spay/neuter. A recent study conducted at the University of California Davis involving several hundred Golden Retrievers revealed that for the incidence of hip dysplasia, CCL tears, lymphosarcoma, hemangiosarcoma, and mast cell tumors, the rates were significantly higher in both males and females that were neutered or spayed compared with intact dogs.

Other health concerns. Early spaying or neutering is commonly associated with urinary incontinence in female dogs and has been linked to increased incidence of urethral sphincter incontinence in males.

Spayed or neutered Golden Retrievers are much more likely to develop hypothyroidism.

A cohort study of shelter dogs conducted by the College of Veterinary Medicine at Texas A&M University concluded that infectious diseases were more common in dogs that were spayed and neutered at under 24 weeks of age.

The AKC’s Canine Health Foundation issued a report pointing to higher incidence of adverse reactions to vaccines in spayed and neutered dogs as well.

Among the reports and studies pointing to health concerns associated with early spaying and neutering, we also find mention of increased incidence of behavior problems, including noise phobias, fear behavior, aggression, and undesirable sexual behaviors.

Options to Traditional Spaying and Neutering

Veterinarians in the U.S. and Canada are trained only to spay and neuter, which is unfortunate since there are less invasive alternatives, such as tubal ligation, hysterectomy, and vasectomy. These techniques are quick and easy and certainly effective. In fact, commonly, once the technique is mastered, they’re faster, less risky and potentially less costly than a full spay or neuter.

But unfortunately, nobody knows how to do them in this country. The reason they’re hard to come by is because U.S. veterinary schools simply don’t teach these alternative procedures. They’ve never had a reason to. And until pet owners start demanding sterilization options beyond spaying and neutering, the status quo will remain.

As author Ted Kerasote and I have discussed on numerous occasions, in many European countries, there are intact free-roaming dogs running about under voice control of their owners. When female dogs go into heat, owners simply manage the situation by removing them from group social events until their heat cycle is complete. They’re kept at home, sequestered away from males. They’re walked on a leash.

Ted tells the story of a British veterinarian he interviewed who said most of the requests he gets to neuter dogs come from U.S. and Canadian citizens who are living in London. Rather than immediately complying with the request, the veterinarian talks with the pet owner about the actual necessity to desex the dog. For example, if the dog is always on a leash and always under the owner’s control, then how exactly would the dog become pregnant (or mate with a female) if it’s constantly with the owner and never off leash? The veterinarian says that he rarely has a British pet owner request a spay or neuter procedure.

Most Americans can’t even comprehend that it’s possible to keep intact pet dogs and not have millions of litters of unwanted puppies. That’s because we’ve been conditioned to believe that a responsible pet owner means spaying and neutering your dog. I was taught to believe the same thing — that keeping an intact pet was considered irresponsible even if the owner is meticulously careful about not allowing the pet to breed.

Of course, our dependence on spaying and neutering as the only form of birth control is the result of generations of irresponsible pet owners and millions of unwanted dogs and cats that are killed annually in our animal shelters.

It is a vicious cycle, and it’s a very frustrating cycle to witness. Irresponsible people need to have sterilized pets. No one’s going to argue that point. Unfortunately, spaying and neutering responsible people’s pets doesn’t make irresponsible people any more responsible. They remain the root cause of the overpopulation crisis in this country.

My problem with the spaying and neutering issue is it’s the only current solution to the overpopulation problem. We’re not just halting the animal’s ability to reproduce, we are also removing incredibly valuable sex hormone-secreting tissues like the ovaries and the testes. These organs serve a purpose.

We’re slowly waking up to the fact that in our rush to spay or neuter every possible animal we can get our hands on – the younger, the better – we are creating health problems, sometimes life-threatening health problems, that are non-existent or significantly less prevalent in intact pets.

Responsible Ownership of an Intact Female Dog

First of all, you should know that not everyone is cut out to be the owner of an intact male or female dog. Part of the popularity of full spays and neuters vs. other means of sterilization is that it’s just plain convenient for pet owners. Not only do spays and neuters render the animal unable to reproduce, but they also remove all of the messiness of female heat cycles and most of the pet’s key mating behaviors for both sexes.

Female dogs don’t have monthly periods like humans do. They have one, or usually two heats a year. You can typically tell a female heat cycle is on its way when your intact female’s vulva begins to enlarge. Just like humans there’s bleeding involved, but unlike human females who are not fertile during menstruation, dogs are just the opposite. Female dogs can get pregnant only during heats for about three to four days as unfertilized eggs ripen in their bodies.

Some dogs will signal during this time by flagging, which means lifting the tail base up and to the side. Some females will stand and can be mounted at any time during their heat cycle, including before and after they’re pregnant or fertile. Others show no behavior signs whatsoever. Owners of intact female dogs must be certain of the signs of heat in their pets, so that they can separate them from male dogs during this important time.

Never underestimate the determination of an intact male dog that wants to mate with a female dog in heat. I’m telling you, if you have a female dog, male dogs will come visit her from across a tri-state area because she’s putting out some very attractive pheromones.

With proper training, reinforcement, and constant supervision, however, male dogs can learn to be in the presence of a female while supervised, even when she’s in heat, without mating. Some people with both an intact male and female don’t want to put the effort into managing male dogs around cycling females and simply ship them off to a friend or relative’s house until the heat cycle is over.

If you have a female dog in heat, you should never leave her outside alone even for a second. It doesn’t matter if you have a fenced-in yard. If there’s an unsupervised male around, there’s absolutely a risk of impregnation through the fence (or over the fence, or under the fence).

The heat cycle of a female dog lasts about three weeks, but the menstrual bleeding can be unpredictable during that time. It’s neither consistently heavy nor is it every day, all day. Many owners of intact female dogs invest in special diapers or panties that can hold a sanitary napkin to contain the discharge.

At my house we just get a baby gate, and we gate our special lady of the month in the kitchen area. We put a dog bed in there, and then we just mop a couple of times a day. Typically, female dogs are incredibly good at keeping themselves very clean. Most of the time, there’s very little mess.

Responsible Ownership of an Intact Male Dog

Intact males should receive positive reinforcement behavior training to stop urine marking in the house as well as any humping behavior that may occur.

The intact, male, adult Dachsie we just rescued – his name is Lenny – became Lenny Loincloth after a few days in our house for obvious reasons. He acquired his last name because he marked absolutely every corner of every piece of furniture we own. To reduce this totally undesirable behavior and reinforce healthy housebreaking, we put a belly band on him. We call it his loincloth. It’s a little diaper that holds his penis to his abdomen. Dogs innately do not want to urinate on themselves; they want to pee and mark on objects. By belly banding him, we reinforce good behavior like going potty outside and not marking in the house. I’m proud to say that in one month’s time, we’ve really helped him kick his marking habit for the most part.

Constant positive reinforcement was really necessary with Lenny, as it is with all dogs. We also discovered the first day Lenny was in our house that he liked to hump everything in sight. He preferred humping pillows and dog beds. We simply picked those pillows and dog beds up. We didn’t give him access to objects that tempted his undesirable behavior. He hasn’t humped anything in three weeks. So there are ways to positively reinforce good behavior and extinguish negative intact male dog behaviors if you put in the effort.

Your unneutered male should never be off-leash unless you are absolutely sure you won’t run into an intact female dog or he’s under constant voice control around all dogs. You also need to be in control of your dog while he’s leashed. If your intact male or female dog is able to jerk away from you when he or she gets excited, then your dog is not under your control despite the leash.

I recommend positive reinforcement behavior training for all dogs, especially intact dogs. And it’s an absolute necessity for powerfully built, intact male dogs. Remaining in obedience class for a dog’s first 16 months of life is an excellent foundation for good manners for the rest of his life.

If your dog becomes assertive, desexing (a full neuter) can be an important part of managing long-term behavior issues. Again, in this instance, if you have an aggressive dog, we must evaluate the risks vs. benefits. The health benefits of leaving a temperamental dog intact do not outweigh the greater risk of this aggressive animal being re-homed, dumped, or abused – or hurting another animal or human. With behavior issues, spaying or neutering can be a logical choice. It’s better to have endocrine disease but be in a loving home, than be disease-free but dumped at a kill shelter for a behavior problem.

Keep in mind that out in the world, at least in North America, you and your intact dog will not have a whole lot of company in this day and age. You won’t be able to take your dog everywhere a spayed or neutered dog is allowed to go. If your dog is a male, prepare to deal with plenty of prying questions and even anger from people who will pre-judge you as totally irresponsible.

When Lenny sees people, he flops on his back and says, “Hello, hello, hello!” Everyone’s comment is, “What are those?” And then “When are those coming off,” pointing to his testicles.

What About My Cat?

Luckily, thus far, research has shown that our feline companions don’t have the same negative long-term physiologic consequences associated with desexing that plague our canine population. We may identify potential links in the future, but thus far, it appears our canine companions are more negatively affected by spaying or neutering.

I made this video so you could understand why I no longer take a cookie-cutter approach to desexing all juvenile pets. The decision to sterilize, spay, or neuter your pet, at what age, and with what technique is a very personal decision that is based on your dog’s breed, temperament, personality, and your commitment to training, lifestyle management, and responsible pet ownership.

Related:

Life in a Dog Pack: Old Age

‘Until One Has Loved an Animal, Part of Their Sour Remains Unawakened’

‘Zeutering’ offers dog sterilization in a ‘shot’

Urinary and Fecal Incontinence in Pets

An Alternative to Surgery to Sterilize Male Dogs

Early Neutering: We’ll Call This Myth Busted…

Pet Sterilization Laws Raise Health Concerns

Caring for Pets Before, During and After Anesthesia

Illegal in Scandinavia, Surgical Sterilization Is Still Routine in America

October 2, 2013 Posted by | Animal Related Education, animals, Dogs, Dogs, Holistic Pet Health, Just One More Pet, Man's Best Friend, Pet Friendship and Love, Pet Health, Pets, responsible pet ownership | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Portuguese Water Dogs & Pit Bulls: The Politics of the President’s Pets

By Edie Jarolim | Published: August 26, 2013

Will My Dog Hate Me?:  Anything that President Obama does is news, which goes with the Leader of the Free World territory. And when the President does something warm and fuzzy, like getting a pet for his family — as opposed, to say making recess appointments of agency heads – more sections of the blogosphere than just the usual political ones pay attention.

Bo and Sunny

Bo and Sunny, First Dogs (actually, first and second ‘First Dogs’)

The official announcement on the White House blog on August 19 read:

Today the Obamas welcomed the newest member of their family – a little girl (puppy) named Sunny!

Sunny was born in Michigan in June 2012, and arrived at the White House today. Just like Bo, she’s a Portuguese Water Dog, which works great for the Obamas because of allergies in their family.

Sunny is the perfect little sister for Bo – full of energy and very affectionate – and the First Family picked her name because it fit her cheerful personality.

In honor of Sunny, the Obamas are making a donation to the Washington Humane Society.

Lots of people had something to say about this. 

Normal people’s reactions

Here is the typical normal pet lover’s reaction to the following film, released by the White House along with the article:

Awww!! She’s so cute! She plays so well with Bo, who was lonely for doggie company before Sunny came along. It’s nice that the family got a breed that Melia, who has allergies, could enjoy. It’s nice that the Obamas donated money to a shelter.

Awwww!! Ooooh! 

Reasonable and useful reactions from the pet community

This is a teachable moment. The Daily Beast had a sensible article by a veterinarian that includes information about whether you should get a second dog, introducing the second dog to the first dog, etc.

All good things to know. 

Well intended but misguided reactions from the pet community

A piece from the Christian Science Monitor, titled New White House pup Sunny: Why not a rescue dog? is typical of the reactions of the “should have adopted” community. After a feel-good introduction, so as not to antagonize everyone who had the above-mentioned “awwww” reaction, such pieces cite a well-known figure in the animal welfare community to make the case.

Cue Wayne Pacelle, director of the Humane Society of the United States:

[Pacelle] noted on his blog Tuesday that the Obamas made little reference to exactly where Sunny came from, other than to note that it’s the Great Lakes State.

But given her pure-bred status, it’s unlikely that Sunny came from a rescue organization or a shelter. [emphasis mine, and not sourced to Pacelle]

“As we always say in such circumstances, we hope the Obamas considered adoption or rescue as the first choice in obtaining a pet,” wrote Mr. Pacelle.

Like all the other should-have-rescued articles I came across, this one misrepresents or ignores one bit of important information: That about 25% of dogs in shelters are purebred. There is a breed rescue for Portuguese water dogs, as there is for most breeds.

The fact is, the Obamas went through a reputable breeder for both Bo and Sunny. If they had ordered Sunny over the internet or bought her at a pet store, the pet community would have something to squawk about. But reputable breeders play an essential role in the world of animal lovers. It would be a good thing to emphasize that more, and scold less. 

Off-the-wall reactions from the pet community (or an ostensible member)

Yes, pit bulls can be sweethearts

Yes, pit bulls can be sweethearts

This article from Salon.com titled Another Portuguese Water Dog? The Obamas Should Have Made A Different Statement is likely just link/click bait because it is both ill-informed and wildly off kilter. It starts:

Bo Obama, America’s first dog, has a new playmate named Sunny and the first family is getting criticized for not adopting a mutt from the animal shelter. If the Obamas had gone to their local shelter, the Washington Humane Society, they wouldn’t have found a purebred Portuguese water dog. Instead, they might have come home with a pit bull — and that would have been a good thing.

There are three problems right off the bat.

  • The link in “the first family is getting criticized” clause directs us to PETA. A writer who knew anything about animal welfare would know that criticism from PETA means diddly squat — and especially in the context of an article related to pit bulls. PETA advocates that all pit bulls that turn up in shelters be put down.
  • What part of “the Obamas need a certain breed of dog because Melia has allergies” doesn’t the author understand?
  • As I noted above, 25% of dogs in shelters are purebred. You cannot say with authority that the Obamas would not have found a purebred Portuguese water dog at the Washington Humane Society.

I have written often here about how pit bulls are unfairly demonized. But bringing a rescued one into the White House is a ludicrous idea, for many reasons; they are detailed in the 300 plus comments that this piece drew. I couldn’t have summed it up better, however, than commenter “Schmoopi”:

You are fucking kidding me, right? You want the president who can’t do anything without it being made political and a “Black thing”… to adopt a dog that is the stereotyped official dog breed of the ‘hood?…

I like pits. They are a much maligned breed. They are naturally sweet-natured, loyal and affectionate….Pitbulls are also heavily abused and over bred by idiots…. Nevertheless, I find the suggestion that my President, our first Black president, a man who spends every day being “nibbled to death by ducks,” should deliberately do something that would enable the racist trolls of our country to hit new heights of asshattery to be the dumbest thing I have heard all summer.

This leads me to…

Bat-shit crazy political reactions

The supposition that the name Sunny was chosen because it’s close to Sunni, the sect of Islam to which Obama purportedly belongs, may be a joke, but the observation made by the right wing Daily Caller wasn’t:

With the addition of Sunny, the Obamas now have two black Portuguese water dogs.

The Obamas do not have any white dogs.

As for more comments about how diabolical the decision to get Sunny was, see Atlantic.com’s Best Conspiracy Theories About the Obamas’ New Dog, Sunny., and you be the judge…

Boring but important political pet news that got lost in the Sunny fuss

While the President was busy not adopting a pit bull, he did something much more important. The White House responded to a petition asking it to “Ban and outlaw Breed Specific Legislation (BSL) in the United States of America on a Federal level!” with the following statement:

We don’t support breed-specific legislation — research shows that bans on certain types of dogs are largely ineffective and often a waste of public resources.

In 2000, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention looked at twenty years of data about dog bites and human fatalities in the United States. They found that fatal attacks represent a very small proportion of dog bite injuries to people and that it’s virtually impossible to calculate bite rates for specific breeds.

The CDC also noted that the types of people who look to exploit dogs aren’t deterred by breed regulations — when their communities establish a ban, these people just seek out new, unregulated breeds. And the simple fact is that dogs of any breed can become dangerous when they’re intentionally or unintentionally raised to be aggressive.

For all those reasons, the CDC officially recommends against breed-specific legislation — which they call inappropriate. You can read more from them here.

As an alternative to breed-specific policies, the CDC recommends a community-based approach to prevent dog bites. And ultimately, we think that’s a much more promising way to build stronger communities of pets and pet owners.

That’s a far better use of the President’s bully pulpit — pun intended — than making the family dog into a political statement rather than a pet.

What I would add is that at least the next time Bo gets to go on vacation on his own jet… he will have a four-legged companion to travel with… JOMP~

You be the judge…

Related:

Yet Another Taxpayer Paid Luxury Vacation For The Obamas, Including a Private Jet For The First Dog… Again

Obama admits to eating dog … fur finally flies

Bo Obama’s dog trainer dies at age 52 (Jan. 2011)

Bo the First Dog and His Trainer Arrive in Martha’s Vineyard… – Bo travelled on his own jet on the taxpayer’s nickel in 2011 as well. I’m as big of a pet advocate as anyone… but really? Guess we are off the green kick and global warming???

The mystery of Bo’s ‘Hawaii trip’ is solved: White House says he stayed in Washington and never went on holiday with First Family

President Bush and His Pets

Arrival of New First Pooch Imminent

Bush and Barney, Just Like Old Times

Busts of presidential pets Barney and Miss Beazley at George W. Bush Library

Presidential Pet Museum.com

August 28, 2013 Posted by | Animal or Pet Related Stories, Dogs, Dogs, Just One More Pet | , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

New Hope for Fear and Anxiety in Abused Dogs

Story at-a-glance
  • Recently the ASPCA opened the Behavioral Rehabilitation Center in Madison, NJ, a first-of-its-kind facility dedicated exclusively to helping rehabilitate dogs that have been victims of animal cruelty.
  • The center’s patients will come from shelters across the country as well as from ASPCA-involved seizures, and will primarily be victims of puppy mills and hoarding situations.
  • Dogs with extreme fear disorders are in danger of being euthanized unless they can be rehabilitated – a job that typically falls to shelter workers and rescue groups. The ASPCA’s new center, which is launching a two-year research project, has committed to share its findings with shelters and rescue organizations across the U.S.
  • The Behavioral Rehabilitation Center has over two dozen kennels, treatment rooms, “real life” rooms, and common areas. There are 10 staff members, including two behavior experts, plus volunteers and daily caretakers. The ASPCA invested over a half a million dollars in the center, and will pay for all patient expenses, including vet care.
  • For many animals, being rescued from a lifetime of neglect and abuse is just the beginning of a long journey to recovery. The Behavioral Rehabilitation Center’s goal is to provide rescued dogs with customized behavior therapy and more time to recover, which will increase their chances of being adopted

 

Dog Rehabilitation

By Dr. Becker

Recently the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) opened the Behavioral Rehabilitation Center at St. Hubert’s Animal Welfare Center in Madison, NJ, as part of a two-year research project.

Per an ASPCA press release, the center is “the first-ever facility dedicated strictly to providing behavioral rehabilitation to canine victims of cruelty, such as those confiscated from puppy mills and hoarding cases.” According to center director Kristen Collins, the center will also treat a certain number of dogs that have been confined for long periods because they are “evidence” in court cases.

The Behavior Rehabilitation Center’s canine patients will come from shelters across the U.S. as well as from ASPCA-involved seizures from puppy mills and hoarders. According to Collins, the center is the first facility of its kind in that it will be focused exclusively on providing rehabilitation for dogs that are victims of animal cruelty.

The Center’s findings as part of the two-year research project will be shared with shelters and rescue organizations throughout the U.S.

Dogs with Extreme Fear Disorders Are Euthanasia Candidates

Dogs suffering from extreme fear are prone to symptoms such as shaking, cowering, loss of bladder control, growling and biting. In some cases, the fear is always present and causes the animal a great deal of pain. These cases are very hard to treat.

This level of fear is commonly seen in dogs that have survived life in puppy mills or hoarding situations. Once free, fear consumes them because their previous miserable, often abusive existence is all they’ve ever known. Typically these animals are turned over to shelters and rescue groups who try to work with the dogs to help them overcome their fears. The alternative for many of these dogs is, sadly, euthanasia.

Dogs cowering in the back of their shelter kennels certainly have no quality of life, and prospective owners seldom choose them. If they do get adopted, without treatment they are ill-prepared to blend into a family environment, and many new owners are disappointed or at a loss to know what to do to help their new four-legged family member.

One of the things the ASPCA’s research project will do is provide some statistics to work with. Presently, no one really knows how many dogs with fear disorders are placed in adoptive homes, or how they do once they go to their new families. The Behavioral Rehabilitation Center staff will follow up on placed animals to document how well they are doing in their new environment.

Most Dogs Will Stay at the Center for Six to Eight Weeks

The ASPCA’s new center has over two dozen kennels, treatment rooms, “real life” rooms, common areas, and an office. There are 10 people on staff at the center, including two behavior experts from St. Hubert’s. There are also volunteers and caretakers who feed the dogs and clean their kennels.

Center behaviorists will provide customized behavior modification therapy to reduce fear and anxiety in abused dogs. From a recent press release:

Treatment plans will incorporate the use of scientifically sound techniques designed to reduce the dogs’ fear of people and other dogs, acquainting them to unfamiliar objects, sounds, living areas, and real-life situations that can induce trauma and severe stress among this population.

The ASPCA spent over half a million dollars on the center, and will foot the bill for all patient expenses, including veterinary care.

Most dogs will stay at the facility for six to eight weeks, with some requiring a more lengthy or shorter stay, depending on their individual situation. “Graduates” of the center will return to a shelter for placement, and ongoing therapy will be provided as needed.

"For some animals, the reality is that after a lifetime of neglect and abuse, the rescue is just the beginning of their journey to recovery," said Dr. Pamela Reid, vice president of the ASPCA’s Anti-Cruelty Behavior Team. The Behavioral Rehabilitation Center’s goal is to provide rescued dogs individualized behavior therapy and more time to recover from past abuse. This will increase the likelihood of successful adoption.

Rescued Alaskan Malamutes Some of Center’s First Residents

Some of the first patients at the new center were a few Alaskan malamutes taken from a Montana breeder who was convicted in December 2012 of over 90 counts of animal cruelty. A total of 213 malamutes were rescued from starvation and filthy living conditions in that case. The dogs were transferred to other kennels and kept as evidence for 16 months during trial preparation.

Eighteen of the dogs were pregnant, one of which weighed just 48 pounds (the average weight of an Alaskan malamute is 75 pounds). She delivered a litter of eight puppies. Only one survived.

Once the dogs were no longer “evidence,” they were sent to a humane society in Helena where they were spayed and neutered. Another animal welfare group helped begin placing the dogs. Some of the malamutes have found new homes; some are living in rescues awaiting adoption.

One of the dogs was adopted by the president of the Alaska Malamute Assistance League in Anchorage. The dog, a 6 year-old female named Cinder, is missing the tip of one ear, has broken teeth and a broken toe – all caused by food fights among the starving dogs while they lived at the breeding facility in Montana. According to Cinder’s owner, many of the malamutes are missing their tongues for the same reason.

Cinder’s owner, Bob Sutherland, says she has come a long way:

"We took a shy dog, and she’s all grins and giggles now. If you work with these dogs, they rise and shine. That’s why this ASPCA facility is so valuable to us. We were super excited to get these dogs in there to go through a training regimen. It saves us a lot of heartbreak about what we do with these dogs.”

Hope for the Future of Mistreated Animals

Sadly, there will be dogs that cannot overcome their fear, no matter how extensive the rehabilitation. But the center’s behaviorists are committed to do everything possible to help dogs recover. Euthanasia will be a last resort for dogs with an extremely poor quality of life, or those who pose a significant threat to people or other animals.

The Behavioral Rehabilitation Center will only be able to handle about 400 animals during the two-year project, so it won’t take much burden off shelters in the immediate future. The hope is that researchers will develop new ways to treat fear, anxiety and shyness in dogs that have been abused, and those techniques can be shared on a broad scale with other facilities and groups doing similar work.

According to Collins, success with this project could expand future projects to include fighting dogs, and even cats.

Related:

Humane Society of the U.S. finally changes its policy on fighting dogs

Great Update About Dogs Removed From Michael Vick’s Compound

May 10, 2013 Posted by | animal behavior, Animal or Pet Related Stories, Animal Related Education, animals, Dogs, Dogs, Fostering and Rescue, If Animlas Could Talk..., Just One More Pet, Man's Best Friend, NO KILL NATION, Pet Adoption, Pets, Stop Animal Cruelty, Stop Euthenization, Success Stories | , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Hundreds of family pets, protected species killed by little known federal agency

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Fox News: It was an August morning two years ago when Maggie, a spry, 7-year-old border collie, slipped through the backyard fence of her family’s suburban Oregon home. Minutes later, she was dead – her neck snapped by a body-gripping trap set by the U.S. government less than 50 feet from the home she shared with the four children who loved her.

"It is an image that will never leave me," Maggie’s owner, Denise McCurtain, of Gresham, Ore., said of her death. "She was still breathing as we tried to remove the trap. Her eyes were open and she was looking at me. All I could say was ‘I’m trying so hard. You didn’t do anything wrong.’"

Maggie’s death at a minimum was one of hundreds of accidental killings of pets over the last decade acknowledged by Wildlife Services, a little-known branch of the U.S. Department of Agriculture that is tasked with destroying animals seen as threats to people, agriculture and the environment. Critics, including a source within the USDA, told FoxNews.com that the government’s taxpayer-funded Predator Control program and its killing methods are random — and at times, illegal.

Over the years, Wildlife Services has killed thousands of non-target animals in several states – from pet dogs to protected species – caught in body-gripping conibear traps and leg hold snares, or poisoned by lethal M-44 devices that explode sodium cyanide capsules when triggered by a wild animal – or the snout of a curious family pet.

The McCurtains, like many other families, were never informed that such deadly devices were placed so close to their home in grass near the edge of a pond where their young son kicks his soccer ball and their daughter catches turtles.

The traps, set on communal property owned by the neighborhood association, were meant to kill an infestation of nutria, rat-like pests that pose no danger to people but can be harmful to the environment. The only warning sign was a small placard in the grass that identified the device as government property and cautioned against tampering with it. The neighborhood association told the McCurtains it never would have approved such traps had it known they were so deadly.

"It’s unconscionable that anybody with an ounce of common sense would set these traps in an area frequented by the public and their pets," said Brooks Fahy, executive director of Predator Defense, a national watchdog group that advocates non-lethal predator control.

"It’s unconscionable that anybody with an ounce of common sense would set these traps in an area frequented by the public and their pets."

– Brooks Fahy, executive director of Predator Defense

The M-44’s intended targets are coyotes that kill or harass livestock primarily in the western states, where Wildlife Services is most active and critical to farmers protecting their livestock.

But, like Maggie, there often are unintended victims — like a puppy belonging to J.D. and Angel Walker of Santa Anna, Texas.

In February 2011, the couple’s 18-month-old pit bull was killed when it sniffed and pulled on a meat-scented M-44 placed about 900 feet from its home.

Kyle Traweek, the Wildlife Services employee who set the device, violated at least three M-44 restrictions set by the Environmental Protection Agency, according to Texas officials. In a June 6, 2012, letter reprimanding Traweek, the Texas Department of Agriculture said he broke EPA rules by placing the cyanide in an area where "exposure to the public and family and pets is probable."

Click here to read the letter

Traweek is no longer employed by Wildlife Services, although his departure was not related to the incident in Texas, according to a spokeswoman with the Animal Plant and Health Inspection Service (APHIS), a division of the USDA that oversees the program.

It is difficult to verify the number of accidental killings of pets each year by Wildlife Services, in part because many go unrecorded, according to multiple sources.

A management source within the USDA claims Wildlife Services employees are told not to document the accidental killings of pets if it can be avoided.

"They are told to get rid of the leash and bury the dog," said the source, who spoke to FoxNews.com on condition of anonymity.

The source also alleged that in some instances in Arizona, California and Minnesota, the killings of pets are intentional – often with the knowledge, approval and encouragement of upper level Wildlife Services management.

"There have been cases of them shooting and killing dogs," the source said. "They’ll just claim it was feral, vicious or rabid. They think they can do anything they want."

In court documents obtained by FoxNews.com, Christopher Brennan, a California-based Wildlife Services employee, told a Mendocino County Superior Court judge that he has shot hundreds of "free-ranging" dogs who he claimed were preying on livestock. During the Sept. 1, 2009, hearing – involving a restraining order between Brennan and a neighbor – the judge asked Brennan how many dogs he has killed as a government trapper over the last 10 years.

"Probably close to 400," Brennan replied, according to the court transcript.

Carol Bannerman, an APHIS spokeswoman, confirmed Tuesday that Brennan is still employed as a "wildlife specialist" for the agency. Bannerman claimed Brennan works in an area where there is a large number of unleashed dogs that harass or kill livestock — and said there is a "significant population" of privately owned guard dogs, mostly pit bulls, that are allegedly left to roam freely so they can protect illegal marijuana crops.

"None of the feral and free-ranging dogs lethally removed in California last year were non-targets," Bannerman said. "Some non-target dogs were trapped and released."

In January, a Wildlife Services employee was arrested in Arizona and charged with felony animal cruelty after allegedly using a government trap to capture a neighbor’s dog he deemed problematic. The employee, identified as Russell Files, set up the leg-hold device during work hours to trap the animal, which was covered in blood from trying to chew its way out of the device when police arrived on the scene. An APHIS official would not comment on whether Files is still working for the government, citing an ongoing investigation.

Wildlife Services described the overall harm to pets and non-target wildlife as “rare.”

"Wildlife Services provides expert federal leadership to responsibly manage one of our nation’s most precious resources — our wildlife," APHIS spokeswoman Tanya Espinosa said in a statement. “We seek to resolve conflict between people and wildlife in the safest and most humane ways possible, with the least negative consequences to wildlife overall.”

The program said that accidental killings account for less than one percent of wildlife removed for damage concerns – and claimed that number is even lower for pets.

Wildlife Services, which has been in place since 1895, touts its mission as critical, priding itself on protecting the country’s agriculture and natural resources from destructive wildlife – damage that can be costly for landowners and businesses.

According to a 2010 report by the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), U.S. farmers and ranchers spent $188 million during 2010 on non-lethal ways to protect their land and livestock. That number has declined from 2006, when NASS estimated annual investments in non-lethal methods to be at $199 million.

The USDA says that despite such investments, approximately 647,000 cattle, sheep and goat are killed by predators each year, resulting in an annual loss of more than $137 million. The lost animals do not include chickens and turkeys.

But Carson Barylak, federal policy adviser of the Animal Welfare Institute, is skeptical of the USDA’s statements. She said the danger posed by predatory animals is exaggerated.

"The very reports that Wildlife Services cite for these figures show that [attacks by wild predators have] a relatively small impact on the livestock industry. In the case of cattle, for instance, under a quarter of a percent of the nation’s stock was lost to predators in 2010 according to the program’s records."

The exact number of pet animals and protected species killed over the years by the agency is one that will likely never be known.

A report by the Sacramento Bee, which investigated the program last year, claimed its employees have accidentally killed more than 50,000 non-target animals since 2000, including federally protected golden and bald eagles. The newspaper also reported that more than 1,100 dogs, including family pets, were destroyed by government traps or poison within those same years. Other known cases include serious injuries to pets that result in leg amputations, as well as harm to humans who come in contact with the cyanide.

Doug McKenna, a longtime criminal investigator for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service – a separate agency that falls under the Department of Interior – said he probed many killings of non-predatory and protected species by Wildlife Services over the years.

"The Bald Eagle is a scavenger bird, so of course if it flies down to investigate a carcass that is placed near a leg hold trap, it will get caught in it," he said. If the trap is not checked in a timely manner, the eagle is left to die. Such deaths are a violation of federal law, like the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act, first passed in 1940.

McKenna said that in the case of M-44 cyanide devices, state governments must grant employees permission to place them as well as post warning signs for the public.

"Any access point into the property has to have signs that M-44’s are being used and it has to be in English and Spanish," he said.

For pet owners, seeking legal recourse against the government is a daunting and tedious process – requiring individuals to file a tort claim that typically results in families losing more money even if they win.

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"Most people do not pursue litigation when they realize the financial cost, the time involvement and the limit on recovery for damages being the actual value of their pet," said Oregon-based attorney Daniel Stotter, who handles many of these cases.

"The bottom line is that the federal government has limited liability in all lawsuits involving tort claims, damage to property or persons. You can sue the federal government for certain things, like negligence, but you cannot seek punitive damages," he said, adding that victims are responsible for covering their own legal fees.

“The government knows that when they injure or kill an animal, they’re more likely to not have financial repercussions," he said.

For families like the McCurtains and Walkers, there is no price to be paid for the emotional toll of losing a pet.

"It is losing a member of the family," Angel Walker said. "You can’t really get past it."

March 15, 2013 Posted by | Animal or Pet Related Stories, Animal Rights And Awareness, animals, If Animlas Could Talk..., Just One More Pet, Man's Best Friend, NO KILL NATION, Pets, We Are All God's Creatures, Wild Animals | , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment