JustOneMorePet

Every Pet Deserves A Good Home…

Is Your Pet a Voiceless Victim of the Tanking Economy?

More than 1 million dogs and cats are at risk for becoming homeless, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) believes.

In response to a request from DVM Newsmagazine, ASPCA officials estimate that 500,000 to 1 million cats and dogs in the country could be given up by their owners for economic reasons.

Why the huge disparity? Many shelters are not equipped to accurately report numbers and reasons for relinquishments, says Alison M. Zaccone, manager of media and communications at ASPCA.

“Economic issues aside, it is estimated that 5 million companion animals enter shelters each year,” Zawistowski adds.

“If you factor in the animals merely in danger of becoming homeless, it could result in an extra 10 percent to 20 percent increase in relinquishments to shelters. This has the potential to grow into a serious animal-welfare issue, and some regions of the United States, like Nevada — where the foreclosure rates are three times the national average  could be hit much harder than others.”

Source:  Dr. Mercola – Healthy Pets

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Up to 1 million pets at risk during economic crisis

New York– More than 1 million dogs and cats are at risk for becoming homeless, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) believes.

In response to a request from DVM Newsmagazine, ASPCA officials estimate that 500,000 to 1 million cats and dogs in the country could be given up by their owners for economic reasons.

Why the huge disparity? Many shelters are not equipped to accurately report numbers and reasons for relinquishments, says Alison M. Zaccone, manager of media and communications at ASPCA.

“According to national financial estimates, approximately one in 171 homes in the United States is in danger of foreclosure due to the subprime mortgage crisis,” adds Dr. Stephen Zawistowski, executive vice president of ASPCA programs and its science advisor, in a prepared statement. “Considering that approximately 63 percent of U.S. households have at least one or more pets, hundreds of thousands of animals are in danger of being abandoned or relinquished to animal shelters.

“Economic issues aside, it is estimated that 5 million companion animals enter shelters each year,” Zawistowski adds. “If you factor in the animals merely in danger of becoming homeless, it could result in an extra 10 percent to 20 percent increase in relinquishments to shelters. This has the potential to grow into a serious animal-welfare issue, and some regions of the United States, like Nevada – where the foreclosure rates are three times the national average – could be hit much harder than others.”

Originally Posted: Feb 5, 2009
By: Daniel R. Verdon – DVM NEWSMAGAZINE

——

In October 2008, an article appeared in The Denver Post about a woman who tried to poison her dog with an overdose of anti-anxiety pills. When it didn’t die, she shot it four times with a .22 caliber handgun.

Animal cruelty?

Yes, but at its roots, sheer desperation…

Paula Harding, age 33, told police she couldn’t afford a veterinarian due to financial problems, nor could she afford euthanasia for her sick 15-year-old terrier/poodle mix. She called her dog a “good friend” and felt she had no other option. Now, on top of her financial difficulties, she faces animal cruelty charges.

The Grim Reality

Sad cases like this are turning up all over the country. On May 28 a big semi pulled into my veterinary practice after-hours and begged the last remaining staff person to please take their ill cat. They were passing through the area and felt we may be compassionate enough to euthanize their sick cat for free. Otherwise, they told my employee, they would be forced to dump her paralyzed body along a busy street, hoping someone would find her and be able to afford a humane euthanasia.

Pets are the voiceless victims of the tanking economy and are frequently abandoned at shelters or even left behind in foreclosed homes.

Some of these abandoned and starving animals aren’t being discovered until real estate agents come to show the property, many days or weeks later. There are tales of dogs being found in state parks, cats left on doorsteps in cat carriers, and animals simply abandoned on the street.

People are having to choose between feeding their children and feeding their pets, and pets are losing. As the cost of food and healthcare rises, so does pet food and veterinary care.

So many people are feeling forced to abandon their animals that a new term is being used: “foreclosure pets.” The number of foreclosure pets is increasing while the donations and offers for housing are decreasing.

According to the New Haven Register, shelter and rescue operations are up by 15 or 20 percent, in some cases more. The number of people adopting is dropping in some areas, but increasing in others…a small bright spot in the story.

Donna Miles of Bella Vista Animal Shelter reported she receives two or three calls per day from pet owners who are no longer capable of caring for them. These calls used to come from folks who had been through divorce and could not keep their pets, but lately, the foreclosure crisis is the cause, although owners are often reluctant and embarrassed to talk about it.

Another shelter owner said the animals she used to receive were scruffy and underfed, but of late, she is receiving animals that are obviously well loved and well cared for. These pets are arriving shelters, complete with cat trees, litter boxes, favorite toys and photo albums.

This is such a heart-breaking testament to the anguish people must face in having to part with their devoted companions.

Big Hearts Are Stepping Up

Many shelters are seeing an increase in donations and adoptions. Instead of taking a vacation, some animal lovers are rescuing an abandoned pet instead.

Pet food banks are emerging in many neighborhoods.

Organizations are popping up everywhere to help with the pet crisis. An organization called No Paws Left Behind helps people find new lodging for their animals, trying to work with pet owners before the foreclosure takes place.

One of their main goals is to educate people about the types of shelters they’re selecting. Many have a No Kill policy in place. However, shelters without a No Kill policy are responsible for euthanizing more than 12 million dogs and cats each year.

The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) created a grant program in March 2008 to help with the foreclosure pets. Grants ranged from $500 to 2,000 per organization.

However, due to financial constraints, they had to temporarily close the Foreclosure Pets Fund as of May 4, 2009. Unfortunately, there are more dogs than dollars.

What You Can Do

The Humane Society website has some excellent suggestions for pet owners who are facing economic hardship. Here are some of their suggestions, and a few additional thoughts:

  1. Plan ahead. There are folks who can help you find animal friendly housing, but you must not wait until you are homeless to get your ducks in a row (or your cats and dogs). Check ads and contact real estate agents at least six weeks before you have to move. Contact your local Humane Society office, which sometimes keeps a list of pet-friendly apartments. Gather proof that you’re responsible. Once you have permission from a landlord, get it in writing.
  2. Be proactive. It is unlikely you’ll be able to rent a small apartment with 6 animals in tow. Try to find homes for your animals yourself. What about friends and family? What about a local shelter? People at church?
  3. Don’t be shy—ask for help. Reach out to fellow dog and cat owners. Put the word out. Ask your neighbors to help. Even contact a news organization!
  4. Let your vet know. He or she might be able to help by offering a discount, and by prescribing only the most vital vaccination (the only vaccine required by law is rabies vaccine) to keep your pet healthy. And vets are usually knowledgeable about local community resources.
  5. Keep the faith. There are a lot of good people out there who are looking for ways to help. Once you are on your feet again, you may be able to retrieve your pet.
  6. DON’T leave your pet behind, no matter what. No matter how hard it is to cope or how overwhelmed you are, please don’t leave your pets in your house when you move out. It can be weeks before the lender or a realtor comes to the house and finds Fluffy slowly starving inside.

If you are considering adding a pet to your life, please consider rescuing a homeless pet from a shelter, instead of buying a puppymill pet from a store. Or, if you want a slightly different experience, you might be interested in becoming a foster care volunteer for a homeless dog or cat.

The bottom line is, our pets are in need of bailout, far more than our banks. You can make a difference, and the first step is getting educated on the issues.

Our pets, who bring us many years of happiness and devotion and good health, are completely dependent on us. Don’t let them suffer in silence any longer.

Good Animal Welfare Organizations

The following is a list of animal welfare organizations that are actively involved in lessening the impact of this economic crisis on our furry friends.

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Posted:  Just One More Pet

August 21, 2009 Posted by | Animal Abandonement, Animal or Pet Related Stories, Animal Rescues, Animal Rights And Awareness, animals, Fostering and Rescue, Just One More Pet, Pet Abuse, Pet Friendship and Love, Pets, Political Change, responsible pet ownership, Stop Animal Cruelty, Stop Euthenization, We Are All God's Creatures | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 44 Comments

Orange Bone, a New Kind of Pet Store

Selling puppies in a pet store, especially since Oprah’s notorious Puppy Mill episode aired last year, can easily alienate members of the dog community, incite protest and boycott and be bad business in today’s climate. The Orange Bone, Melrose Avenue’s newest pet store, is changing its business model and selling puppies from local rescues and shelters. 

Orange Bone, working with Last Chance for Animals, is committed to saving dogs on death row. It all sounds too good to be true so I decided to check out it for myself. Not surprisingly for a store on Melrose Avenue, the place has a sleek, glossy modern look; it resembles a Pinkberry store more than a typical pet store you’d find in a mall. Los Angeles has its fill of nice looking pet boutique so I went straight to the dogs.

On a Tuesday afternoon the store was packed. I eavesdrop as Ray Maldonado, regularly referred to as the store’s dog guy by many patrons and coincidentally the vice president, talks to a couple considering a pit bull puppy. As I stand around and wait for my turn, I noticed the Orange Bone offers financing. Ray says potential buyers have the option to complete a credit application. He says for those who need it and qualify; it helps to get the dog placed a little easier. Wow. Rays reminds me, “It is all about the dogs.”

While Ray excuses himself to answer another customer’s questions, I take a second to review their sales contract. I was very pleased to see the following, “Adopter agrees if for any reason you cannot keep the puppy you will return it to Orange Bone so we may place it in a new home.” People are not guaranteed a refund, but may exchange the dog within specified timelines for another if they’re inclined. I think it says a great deal about the store that their first priority is to make sure puppies are placed in a stable and loving environment and will always accept a dog back.

Ray is still with another customer so I ask the Kennel Supervisor, Joseph Maldonado, Ray’s little brother, about the care of the puppies. He says he and Ray live nearby and are at the store nearly 20 plus hours each day. Joseph says, “I get here every morning at 8 a.m. to walk the dogs before we open at 11.” The dogs are also all supervised by monitors and short circuit camera feeds.

Ray says they only started working with shelters and rescues in December 2008 after getting some negative feedback. He was once an animal control officer for the city so he really wanted to reinvent the system to make it work for everyone. According to Ray’s records, they have placed about 150 dogs since December 2008 and it’s their goal to place a 1,000 dogs by the year’s end. Ray also happily boasts that about 25 percent, if not more, were on death row.

First impressions can say a lot and Ray and Orange Bone left an indelible impression on me and Rufus today. Ray and his team sincerely seem committed to the dogs with a real hands-on approach in their permanently placement. In the short hour that I lingered unannounced at the store I witnessed more than one person come in who had been working closely with Ray to find the perfect furry friend. It’s not hard to imagine since Ray is the kind of guy who immediately becomes everyone’s best friend.

Other notable features about the store include the Three Dog Bakery treats they offer, the wide assortment of doggie apparel, collars, leashes and stylist carriers. They also work with a trainer, Jessica Dragon, so new parents can get started on the right paw.

If you’re looking for a new dog, stop by and visit Ray. Tell him Rufus and Johnny from Examiner.com sent you.

by Johnny Ortez, L.A. Small Dog Examiner

Orange Bone
7574 Melrose Avenue 
Los Angeles, CA 90046

T. 323. 852. 1258 
F. 323. 852. 1299 
Info@orangebone.com

Mon – Sat 11am to 8pm 
Sun 11am to 7pm

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Posted:  Just One More Pet

February 24, 2009 Posted by | Animal Abandonement, Animal Rights And Awareness, Just One More Pet, Pet Abuse, Pet Friendship and Love, Pets, Political Change, responsible pet ownership, Stop Euthenization, Success Stories, We Are All God's Creatures | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Dear Dogs and Cats…

Dear Dogs and Cats,

The dishes with the paw prints are yours and contain your food. The
other dishes are mine and contain my food. Please note, placing a paw
print in the middle of my plate and food does not stake a claim for it
becoming your food and dish, nor do I find that aesthetically pleasing
in the slightest.

The stairway was not designed by NASCAR and is not a racetrack.
Beating me to the bottom is not the object. Tripping me doesn’t help
because I fall faster than you can run.

I cannot buy anything bigger than a king sized bed. I am very sorry
about this. Do not think I will continue sleeping on the couch to
ensure your comfort. Dogs and cats can actually curl up in a ball when
they sleep. It is not necessary to sleep perpendicular to each other
stretched out to the fullest extent possible. I also know that
sticking tails straight out and having tongues hanging out the other
end to maximize space is nothing but sarcasm.

For the last time, there is not a secret exit from the bathroom. If by
some miracle I beat you there and manage to get the door shut (!), it
is not necessary to claw, whine, meow, try to turn the knob or get
your paw under the edge and try to pull the door open. I must exit
through the same door I entered.

Also, I have been using the bathroom for years — canine or feline
attendance is not required.

The proper order is kiss me, then go smell the other dog or cat’s
butt. I cannot stress this enough!

To pacify you, my dear pets, I have posted the following message on
our front door:

To All Non-Pet Owners Who Visit & Like to Complain About Our Pets:

1. They live here. You don’t.

2. If you don’t want their hair on your clothes, stay off the
furniture. That’s why they call it ‘fur’niture.

3. I like my pets a lot better than I like most people.

4. To you, it’s an animal. To me, he/she is an adopted son/daughter
who is short, hairy, walks on all fours and doesn’t speak clearly.

Remember: Dogs and cats are better than kids because they:

1. Eat less

2. Don’t ask for money all the time

3. Are easier to train

4. Normally come when called

5. Never ask to drive the car

6. Don’t hang out with drug-using friends

7. Don’t smoke or drink

8. Don’t have to buy the latest fashions

9. Don’t want to wear your clothes

10. Don’t need a gazillion dollars for college, and…and…and

11. If they get pregnant, you can sell their children.

12.  Are loyal to a fault.  

13.  Always love you, no matter what, the best!

 

January 30, 2009 Posted by | Just One More Pet, pet fun, Pets, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Adoption Success Story

xavier-the-basset-hound

Deemed useless by a rabbit hunting group for his tendency to wander, Xavier the basset hound was ordered to be euthanized if a home for him wasn’t immediately found. Luckily for him, Stacy Adams, who worked on the Illinois farm where the hunting dogs were kept, decided to adopt the two-year-old dog.

For two years, Xavier trusted only Stacy. “Xavier was painfully shy and had been abused by the people who ran the hunt,” she tells us. “My dad tried hard to be his friend, but Xavey was just too frightened. And then one day, while we were watching TV, he just jumped up into my dad’s lap. I guess he decided it was time.”

Nine years later, this punchy pooch is anything but timid. Though he spends lots of time lounging, he has no problem letting everyone know when it’s time to play. He simply slaps the ground with his front feet, jumps from side to side and barks that loud basset bark.

Stacy is surprised by her eleven-year-old’s energy, but not by his disposition. “He’s the dog everyone loves,” she says. “He’s even great friends with my cat. Last year he had two herniated discs in his neck, and before surgery he let my cat clean his eyes and ears and snuggle with him.”

Now that he’s back on his feet, Xavier’s literally irresistible. “When he wants attention, he forces it on you,” Stacy tells us with a laugh. “He’ll climb up into your lap, put his head in your face and give you no choice—you have to snuggle with him.”

Source:  ASPCA Newsletter

January 16, 2009 Posted by | Just One More Pet, Pets, Stop Euthenization, Success Stories | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment