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‘G-Force’ movie likely to put guinea pigs atop pet list

The Disney movie “G-Force” shows a squad of specially trained, computer-generated guinea pig spies coming to the world’s rescue. But animal activists say it may end up being real-life guinea pigs who need rescuing.

Some guinea pig rescue groups already have posted pleas to those who might rush out to buy the furry little rodents. “I can tell you, every single rescue in the United States and abroad took a look at that movie trailer and said, ‘Oh, God, here we go,’ ” said Whitney Potsus, vice president of the Critter Connection in Durham, Conn.

The Orange County Cavy (aka guinea pig) Haven in Costa Mesa already has posted urgent Internet pleas to parents asking them to say no when their children beg for guinea pigs, because the animals are too fragile for young children.

It’s happened before. Some call it “101 Dalmatians syndrome,” after the live-action Disney movie that sent thousands rushing to buy the black-and-white spotted pups. When the dogs failed to act like those in the movie, families gave them up, breeders said.

The popularity of Chihuahuas soared after the movies “Legally Blonde” and “Beverly Hills Chihuahua” and when Taco Bell featured a talking one in an ad campaign. Ferrets were the animal of choice after “Along Came Polly,” and guinea pigs were in demand after “Bedtime Stories.”

In “G-Force,” Agents Juarez, Darwin and Blaster drive cars, parachute, use blowtorches, swim, talk, walk on two legs, live in tanks with mice and rats and use G- Force Guinea Pigs hamster balls, Lyn Zantow, a volunteer for the Orange County group, warns on her Web site.

In real life, guinea pigs are noisy, eat and poop all the time, require big and clean cages, don’t swim and can be expensive to care for if they get sick, she said, adding that they should be kept out of the hands of young children.

“We can only hope … parents will all do their research before bringing any critters home. Otherwise, when the novelty wears off, rescues everywhere are going to have their hands full with surrenders,” Potsus said.

A guinea pig can scare or startle easily, and if a child doesn’t have a good hold, it will run off. “Guinea pigs can’t jump,” said Fenella Fpeece, president of Wee Companions Small Animal Adoption in San Diego. A fall, even from a sofa, will paralyze them, break their backs and then “they are probably as good as dead.”

She is worried about the big plastic balls used in the movie and sold in pet stores. They are made for hamsters and mice, she said. “Guinea pigs don’t have flexible backs and they don’t go in wheels.”

They also have delicate digestive systems. “Kids get distracted. If you forget to feed it, it’s done. Its little life is over,” Fpeece said.

She already has been asked if she has a guinea pig that looks like one of the agents. And ads on Craigslist are offering ” ‘G-Force’ type guinea pigs. I am really worried,” she said.

Activists say there are several waves of worry ahead: during the movie’s run in theaters, when it comes out on DVD and when the novelty wears off.

About 795,000 homes have guinea pigs as pets, according to the American Pet Products Association, based in Greenwich, Conn. Volunteers from most guinea pig rescue groups have beefed up public education programs in an effort to prevent impulse buys, said Susan Lee, director and CEO of the Costa Mesa group.

Jan Davidson, founder of Deerbrook Guinea Pig and Rabbit Haven in Oakhurst, said other rescue workers have been asking her what to do. One said she was afraid to post new adoption notices because “it is hard enough to find good homes for them as it is.”

Disney is aware of the power of the movies and works to promote a strong pet responsibility message, a studio spokeswoman said. For “Beverly Hills Chihuahua,” Disney made sure most of the animals in the movie came from shelters and each was adopted when the movie was over.

For “G-Force,” a statement is posted on the movie’s Web site and on other promotional materials, advising viewers to be responsible and research any pet “to make sure that it is suitable for your particular situation” and consider adopting from a shelter.

Potsus, who has four guinea pigs, hopes parents will fudge a little to protect the animals.

“We hope parents will use money or time as an excuse,” she said. “We like to think the bad economy would cut down on some impulsive decisions.”

Instead of delicate animals who can’t talk, shoot or travel through space, Davidson suggested an alternative for children who want to re-enact stunts with the movie’s stars: guinea pigs of the stuffed or plastic variety.

By Sue Manning – Associated Press

Posted: 07/31/2009 12:00:00 AM PDT

Updated: 07/31/2009 02:36:45 PM PDT

Posted:  Just One More Pet

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August 1, 2009 Posted by | Animal or Pet Related Stories, animals, Just One More Pet, Pet Adoption, Pet Friendship and Love, Pets, responsible pet ownership, Stop Animal Cruelty | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Alternative Oscars: The Most Humane Animal Movies

doggie-movie-starAs America celebrated “Oscar Night” last Sunday, the American Humane Association saluted those films that earned the coveted “No Animals Were Harmed” end-credit.

American Humane, through its Los Angeles-based Film & TV Unit, has a long-standing presence in Hollywood.  Since 1940, it has overseen the use of animals in filmed entertainment. American Humane is the only organization authorized to monitor the safety of animals on the sets of movies, TV shows, commercials and music videos. Productions that make sure to have an American Humane Animal Safety Rep on set and follow American Humane’s “Guidelines for the Safe Use of Animals in Filmed Media” and keep animals safe on the set are awarded the famous “No Animals Were Harmed” end-credit disclaimer.

“The use of animals in filmed entertainment celebrates the roles of animals in our history, in our families and in our lives,” said Marie Belew Wheatley, president and CEO of American Humane.

American Humane’s Film & TV Unit, when asked what films it would recognize if the organization had its own version of the Oscars, named the following, all of which earned the right to say “No Animals Were Harmed.”

Best Movie Magic Featuring an Animal: The Dark Knight  – The film features a very dramatic sequence in which dogs attack a man and then are attacked themselves. Rest assured, no dogs were harmed. The production used a combination of techniques, including playing with the dogs, filming the dogs from various angles and using prop dogs, to achieve a realistic effect. 

Most Poignant Movie Illustrating the Human-Animal Bond: Marley & Me – If you saw it, you had to dig out some tissues. This movie shows that even an overly rambunctious dog is still a valued and important member of the family, and the loss of a companion animal is truly the loss of a friend.

Best Behind-the-Scenes Rescue Story: Beverly Hills Chihuahua According to Chris Obonsawin, American Humane’s Certified Animal Safety Representative™ on the set of this film, one of the lead dogs who played Papi was a day away from being euthanized before a trainer discovered him in a California animal shelter. The dog now lives with the movie’s head trainer. Many trainers find their animals at animal shelters – trainer Frank Inn adopted a mutt from a California shelter in the 1960s. The mutt became Benji.

Best Group Effort to Protect Horses: Appaloosa In Appaloosa, there is a scene in which men on horses cross a stream, then gallop up a ravine. The Animal Safety Representative, Ed Lish, explained that sending the horses through a stream, where sharp rocks or other dangers might be hidden under the water, would be against American Humane’s guidelines. The entire crew immediately jumped in to scour both the stream and the ravine to clear the way of debris and ensure safety and comfort for the horses.

Best Rescue by a Snake: Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull – When Mutt grabs a vine to save Indy, who is sinking in quicksand, they find themselves grasping a snake. The production used a real python for some gentle “establishing shots”, then brought in a prop substitute for the “real” action.

By:  Daphne Reid/Pet People’s Place

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February 27, 2009 Posted by | Animal Rights And Awareness, Just One More Pet, Political Change, Stop Animal Cruelty, Success Stories, Unusual Stories | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Shelters Full of Chihuahuas

By FIELDING BUCK
The Press-Enterprise
 

“Beverly Hills Chihuahua,” which earned $29 million over the weekend and topped the Inland box office, is alarming some animal advocates who fear it will lead to an upswing in abandonment.

“I’m appalled by this movie,” said Meredith Brittain, who runs a small pet-rescue operation in Devore.

Rescuers say they were already overrun with abandoned Chihuahuas because of the stalled economy’s impact on pet owners and media overexposure to the breed from Taco Bell commercials and Paris Hilton paparazzi shots.

The arrival of an eye-poppingly cute Disney picture filled with talking critters is the equivalent of one more bank closure, they say.

“It’s been the worst year ever,” said Ann Pollock, of a San Diego County Chihuahua rescue operation.

Experts urge people who may be thinking about getting a Chihuahua to adopt at a shelter or rescue agency instead of breeders, stores or online ads. People who have seen “Beverly Hills Chihuahua” say it may send a positive message about abandoned animals. The title character is homeless after being stolen.

      

Carrie Rosema / The Press-Enterprise
Shelter officials say people interested in adopting Chihuahuas do their research and don’t judge animals solely on looks.

Both its canine leads were adopted by the film’s animal trainer. Rusco, the male who plays Papi, was saved from Moreno Valley Animal Shelter in November 2006, after his owner refused to claim him.

“Fantastic movie! I loved it,” said Denise Raymond, office supervisor for animal services, who went over the weekend just to see Rusco’s big debut.

The fear, however, is that the film will cause a repeat of what happened in 1996 when Disney released its live-action “101 Dalmatians.” Filmgoers rushed out to purchase purebred puppies they quickly found they didn’t want.

Brittain said problems begin with buying instead of adopting.

“They buy puppies. They dump them when they turn into dogs.”

Brittain fears people will see “Beverly Hills Chihuahua,” go out and buy a male and female and then try to sell the resulting litter at $50 a pup.

      

Experts urge people who may be thinking about getting a Chihuahua to adopt at a shelter or rescue agency instead of stores.

She said a “flood of unwanted dogs” has created gridlock in the rescue system. If potential owners are waiting, then rescuers can’t place the dogs.

“We’re doing this out of our grocery money, most of us,” Brittain added.

She said can she can only handle one or two dogs at a time and does not publicize her activities because if she did she would get eight to 10 calls a day.

There is a high percentage of Chihuahuas in the animal-rescue system, experts say.

Kathleen Summers, program assistant, for puppy mills with the Humane Society of the United States, said that when the organization heard about the “Beverly Hills Chihuahua, it did an informal survey of Southern California shelters.

“Almost all of them said they were the most common breed they rescue.” She said five had Chihuahuas come in on the day of the call.

Rescue Me… Please!
      

Carrie Rosema / The Press-Enterprise
Stacie Gendreaux, of the Riverside County Department of Animal Services, holds a Chihuahua.

Brian Cronin, division chief for San Bernardino County Animal Care and Control, said that on Monday there were 21 Chihuahuas or Chihuahua mixes and about 50 small-breed dogs out of 172 dogs in the shelter system and 297 animals total.

Among them are two “five-week-old guys” that had to be bottle-nursed in foster homes provided by staff.

John Welsh, spokesman for Riverside County Department of Animal Services, said that on Monday there were 94 Chihuahuas or Chihuahua mixes in the county’s four shelters.

Determination of breed is done by the staff. “None of our animals ever have papers,” Welsh said.

Teryn Hartnett, Riverside County’s senior animal behaviorist, said the region’s shelters see a lot of pit bulls and Chihuahuas because of “two different demographics”: the people who breed pit bulls for defense and the people who see paparazzi favorite Paris Hilton posing for photo ops with her pet, Tinkerbell.

A happy ending isn’t guaranteed animals that enter the shelter system. Welsh said Riverside County handles about 30,000 animals a year and about half have find homes. The rest are euthanized.

“It’s a statistic we’re always trying to improve.”

Cronin and Robert Miller, director of Riverside County Animal Services, took steps to neutralize the impact of “Beverly Hills Chihuahua.” They are on the board of California Animal Control Directors Association, which drafted a letter of Disney president and CEO Robert Igor.

Dated Aug. 8 and signed by board president Kathleen Brown, it states that in California shelters, one animal is euthanized every 63 seconds and that “Chihuahuas are small, easy to acquire and frequently abused in high-volume breeding operations.”

Cronin and Welsh said that Disney responded by including a pitch for responsible pet ownership in the film’s publicity.

Chihuahuas are high-energy dogs that require a high level of commitment. Hartnett said one factor to consider is whether you’ll enjoy taking them for regular walks.

Chihuahuas will be a companion for a long time. Small dogs can live up to 20 years, Hartnett said.

“That dog might be in their house longer than the children,” she observed.

She advises people who are thinking about adopting animals do their research on breeds and then bring their whole families to shelters to meet the animals. Don’t judge on looks or color, she said. Judge on temperament.

Summers advised people to be realistic in their expectations. “Beverly Hills Chihuahua.”

“They don’t understand the difference between a cute Chihuahua that jumps into your arms in the movie and a Chihuahua in your house.”

Riverside County: www.rcdas.org

San Bernardino County: www.sbcounty.gov/acc

Moreno Valley Animal Services: www.moreno-valley.ca.us/resident_services/animal/ index_animal.shtml

Permalink: https://justonemorepet.wordpress.com/2008/10/10/sheltors-full-of-chihuahuas/

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October 10, 2008 Posted by | Animal Abandonement, Animal Rights And Awareness, Just One More Pet, Pet Abuse, Pets, Political Change, Stop Animal Cruelty, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Chattanooga: Chihuahua Movie Raises Puppy Mill Concerns

(Chattanooga Times/Free Press – McClatchy-TribuneInformation Services via COMTEX) – Papi, the talking lead dog featured in today’s release of the film “Beverly Hills Chihuahua,” says he puts “the ‘wow’ in ‘chee-WOW-wa.'”

But pet advocates are worried Papi’s big-screen presence could spark an unfortunate increase in demand for the tiny canine species. Such a spike encourages puppy mills and might fill shelters with abandoned animals after the movie’s appeal wears off, advocates say.

“Unfortunately, whenever a breed becomes suddenly popular, puppy mills will try to cash in on the trend,” said Leighann McCollum, Tennessee director for the Humane Society. “Chihuahuas have already seen their own detrimental spike after the launch of Taco Bell ads featuring the breed and celebrities making them a popular ‘purse dog.'”

As a species, Chihuahuas can be aggressive, territorial and bark a lot, pet advocates say, and they tend to bond only with a single person, even in a family household. When overbred in bad conditions, some of these bad qualities can be amplified, said Guy Bilyeu, executive director of the Hamilton County Humane Educational Society.

“Small dogs, the Chihuahuas and rat terriers, are some of the more notorious biters out there,” Mr. Bilyeu said.

Giving animals human-like qualities, as happens in “Beverly Hills Chihuahua,” is dangerous, says Donna Deweese, spokeswoman for the McKamey Animal Care and Adoption Center in Chattanooga.

“Movies like this always irritate me, because they have a tendency to portray Chihuahuas as accessories rather than living creatures,” Ms. Deweese said. “People see the animals as jewelry, and they don’t think about their needs.”

That sometimes means animals that are cute at first will find a home at the shelter in a few weeks, Mr. Bilyeu said.

“The first thing people are going to do after this movie is look in the newspaper for Chihuahua pups, but our advice is to know your breeder,” he said. “If you find a breeder, ask to see their facility. Any reputable breeder will be proud to show off their operation.”

“We have a few (Chihuahuas) in our shelter right now,” he said, “and you want to make sure that these animals have been brought up with the quality you would want to have in your home.”

Disney, the company releasing “Beverly Hills Chihuahua,” warns viewers on its Web site not to rush out to adopt or buy the animals.

“Owning a pet is a major responsibility. Dogs require daily care and constant attention. Before bringing a dog into your family, research the specific breed to make sure it is suitable for your particular situation,” the Disney Web site warns.

Ms. McCollum said the Humane Society helped expose a puppy mill in Hickman County, Tenn., in June. About 700 dogs were rescued from the mill southwest of Nashville, and most were Chihuahuas, she said. They were kept in small cages and were diseased, she said.

“We have seen cages of Chihuahuas living in despicable conditions during our recent puppy mill raids, including this summer in Tennessee,” said Stephanie Shain, director of the Humane Society of the United States’ Stop Puppy Mills campaign. “They are one of the most common breeds being churned out by mills due to their small size and the ease in which they can be bred in cramped cages.”

And if you are going to get a dog… decide what type of breed you want, or better yet, don’t want, and then check the shelters and rescues first.   If you buy one at a pet shop, make sure you know they are reputable and do a some questioning and checking into where they get their dogs (animals).  Also ask yourself if you have the ability to properly care for a pet or make arrangements for them if are gone a lot.  Pets like children are a full time commitment and should be a lifetime decision.  

And if you suspect pet abuse or that people are raising pets in unfit or unsanitary conditions, report them.

Permalink: https://justonemorepet.wordpress.com/2008/10/04/chattanooga-ch…-mill-concerns

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October 4, 2008 Posted by | Animal Rights And Awareness, Just One More Pet, Pet Abuse, Pet Events, Pets, Political Change, Stop Animal Cruelty | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

More Photos From The Beverly Hills Chihuahua Premier

   

Beverly Hills Chihuahua Movie Premier photos 

Photo by: Marion Algier – the UCLA Shutterbug

A Great Time Was Had By All!!

More Photos 

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September 20, 2008 Posted by | Just One More Pet, On The Lighter Side, Pets, Success Stories | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Special Screening of Beverly Hills Chihuahua Movie for Chihuahuas and Their Owners

Some Days Just Go To The Dogs…”

 

Disney Sponsored a Beverly Hills Chihuahua Movie Premier Yesterday, 9.13.08 at the Fine Arts Theatre In Beverly Hills

 

 

300 Chihuahuas and Chihuahua Mixes Gathered With Their Humans for Photos, Goodies and the First Public Screening

of Beverly Hills Chihuahua, For “Meet-up” Chihuahua groups from Irvine and Los Angeles

 

 Fun was had by all.

 

 

Papi, one for the two main characters of the movie was found and rescued from the Moreno Valley Animal Shelter as were many of the dogs featured in the film; who were rescued from shelters in both the Los Angeles area and Mexico.

 


Doggie Treats and Souvenir T-Shirts Were Given to Each Chi…

Their Humans Had To Buy Their Own Treats 😉

 

Our Gang Modeling Their Souvenir Tees…

 

The film opens nationwide on October 3rd. 

“Owning a pet is a major responsibility.  Dogs require daily care and constant attention. Before bringing a dog into your family, research the specific breed to make sure it is suitable for your particular situation.  Learn about and be willing to undertake the serious responsibilities of dog care. Always consider adopting from a reputable shelter or rescue program.”  Animals are not toys… they are live creatures who need love and attention and want to become part of your family.  But there are thousands of animals who are euthanized because they can’t find a home and the shelters are over-crowded… so Adopt Just One More Pet if you can!

By Marion Algier/Ask Marion – Photos by Marion Algier – The UCLA Shutterbug

Related Articles:  Shelters Full of Chihuahuas

September 15, 2008 Posted by | Just One More Pet, On The Lighter Side, Pet Events, pet fun, Pets, Unusual Stories | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment