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Meowsa! Do our pets go to Heaven?

WND: While millions of people grapple with questions about what really happens when they die, now a brand-new book is probing what might actually happen to people’s beloved pets.

The title of the book asks the timeless question, “Do Our Pets Go to Heaven?” and features biblical analysis of the issue, along with amazing stories of pets that saved people and provided companionship as well as healing.

“I must admit I cannot recount the number of times when, as a pastor of more than two decades and as a public and media personality since, I have been approached by an adult or child – eyes filled with questions – who wanted to ask me very sincerely if I believed their pets would go to heaven,” says Tom Horn, who co-authored the book with Terry James and other contributors.

“It seems to be one of the biggest secrets in Christianity,” Horn continued, “that our Western mindset has made it difficult to discuss what people in other countries as well as theologians down through time believed to be an important and theological question. Most are also usually unaware that the Bible itself has some important things to say about the issue, and that many celebrated theologians and philosophers – past and present – concluded a long time ago based on these Scriptures that our pets most likely will be in heaven.”

Video: Do Our Pets Go To Heaven?

Ironically, the Bible itself doesn’t even say the ultimate reward of saved men and women will be floating on clouds in the sky, but it does indicate Jesus Christ will raise His true believers from the grave, grant them eternal life, return to the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem and rule with them here on planet Earth.

Yet there are plenty of verses in Scripture indicating the presence of animals in the coming kingdom of God.

The prophet Isaiah is famous for this future glimpse depicting people dwelling with animals, whose aggressive nature will have been reprogrammed and tamed by God in the kingdom:

“The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice’ den. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea. (Isaiah 11:6–9)

Horn writes in a chapter of his book:

Indeed, we find that God values His living artistry so much that He even made some of the angelic beings to reflect the animal’s faces (see Revelation 4:6–8; Ezekiel 10:14). In addition to their artistic value, God loves the company of these creatures to the point that not even a tiny sparrow falls to the ground that He doesn’t account for (Matthew 10:29). Another amazing example of God’s concern for animals comes from the story of Jonah, in which it appears that the people of Nineveh were spared destruction because God wanted to have mercy on their children and animals (see Jonah 4:11)! Of course, to the delight of my wife, Nita, God is an equestrian and has already filled Heaven with lots and lots of horses (Revelation 6:2–8; 19:11; 2 Kings 6:17). His Son, Jesus, will even return someday on one such horse (Revelation 19:11–14).

It is further written in the Bible that:

  • God holds the lives of animals in His hands (Job 12:10).
  • He, Himself, feeds them (Psalms 104:21–30; Matthew 6:26).
  • They were created for His enjoyment (Revelation 4:11).
  • God never forgets about them (Matthew 10:29; Luke 12:6).
  • People who mistreat their pets are judged by Him as “cruel” (Proverbs 12:10).
  • Those who treat their pets kindly are called “righteous” (Proverbs 12:10).

Horn notes the idea of pets in heaven is not some rogue notion among famous Christians, stating, “Billy Graham, C.S. Lewis, Mark Hitchcock, Dr. David Reagan, and hundreds of other clergy and theologians agree that the chances are very good our pets will be in heaven.”

When Graham was once asked by a little girl whose dog had died that week whether her pet would be in heaven, he replied, “If it would make you any happier, then yes, he will be.”

Horn also cites verses in Scripture stating it won’t be just resurrected human beings offering praise to God in the future:

Animals are included with men as those who are commanded to praise the Lord! This was true in the Old Testament in places such as Psalms 148:10–13, where we read:

“Beasts, and all cattle; creeping things, and flying fowl: Kings of the earth, and all people; princes, and all judges of the earth: Both young men, and maidens; old men, and children: Let them praise the name of the Lord: for his name alone is excellent; his glory is above the earth and heaven.”

And this amazing fact – that animals praise the Lord – will also be true in the future, as they are seen offering praise unto the Lamb of God extending into eternity in Revelation 5:13:

“And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever.”

But the idea that pets go to heaven or have a similar reward to obedient human servants of God is certainly not ubiquitous among faithful believers who study the Bible.

Among them is Philip Shields, a Christian speaker and online host of LightontheRock.org, who stresses there’s a clear distinction in the book of Genesis at the time animals and mankind were created.

“Elohim (God) spoke all things – including animals – into existence,” he explained. “But to mankind only did He breathe His breath into. All humans have a spirit in man, and that spirit goes back to God after our death. But not animals’ spirits.”

He cites Ecclesiastes 3:21, which states: “Who knoweth the spirit of man that goeth upward, and the spirit (breath) of the beast that goeth downward to the earth?”

Shields says, “It is this spirit in man that gives us mind (Job 32:8), enabling there to be an interface with God’s spirit so we can understand godly things, which animals don’t. Animals have their own breath, ruach [in Hebrew], or spirit, but that goes back to the earth. Man is the only one that God did mouth-to-mouth on. That did not happen to hippopotamuses and alligators, or to dogs or cats. I think that’s an important distinction, that they don’t have the breath of God.”

“I’d love to think my beloved Duchess would be resurrected or something, but I don’t think so,” he added.

“And where do you draw the line? Are the bad animals – maneaters, for example – burning in hell? Is every cockroach or mongoose or tarantula up there, too, by the billions and trillions? How about the trillions of ants and mosquitoes? And if not, why not?”

Shields also asks rhetorically, “Did Christ die for animals, too? Can animals sin?”

Anyone searching the Internet for answers about pets going to heaven will find no shortage of posts on the matter.

ClarifyingChristianity.com offers a study on the matter, and agrees animals will be present in God’s coming kingdom. However, it points out “the question is ‘Were these animals new creations or do these animals include reborn earthly creatures?’”

By the end of its treatment, the site says, “The Bible is silent regarding an afterlife for animals. However, we do have one hope. The key passage for this question does not deal with animals directly, but rather God’s promise to those who inherit God’s kingdom – those people who have gotten right with God and will go to heaven themselves. For them, the passage in 1 Corinthians chapter 2 [verse 9] applies:

“But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the ages for our glory, which none of the rulers of this age knew; for had they known, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. But as it is written: ‘Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.’”

“Obviously, what God has prepared for us is wonderful beyond comprehension. Therefore, love your pets as much as you can while they are here. Those of us who go to heaven will later understand that everything worked out perfectly regarding our pets.”

Related:

Pets and Heaven 

Heaven and Pets

Meredith and Abbey… A Beautiful Soul at the Post Office

Rainbow Bridge

Sometimes “Rainbow Bridge” Prayers Are Answered

Critter for Christmas Gift… Not Best Idea!

Pet owners cut back on gifts… but not for their cuddly dogs and cats

Is Your Pet a Voiceless Victim of the Tanking Economy?

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

Help Your Dying Pet End Life in a Kind and Gentle Way

Life in a Dog Pack: Old Age

Beck family spends time with Victor – Photos

The Kindest Decision – In Home Euthanasia for Pets

Pet Age

The Nutrient Your Pet Needs More of As They Age: Protein

World’s Oldest Dog Dies At Age 26….Requiescat in pace

The Lottie June Show – WORLD’S OLDEST CHIHUAHUA

How Long Will Your Dog Be with You? It Depends Heavily on This…

Part 2 of Dr. Becker’s Interview with Bestselling Author Ted Kerasote: The Seven Factors that Determine How Long Your Dog Will Live

Pet owners turning to non-traditional

A Natural Herb That Fights Cancer, or Chemotherapy for Your Sick Pet… Which Would You Choose?

Adopt a Senior Pet…

WCBM’s Les Kinsolving’s beautiful tribute to Brendan, Griffen, and all dogs and dog owners

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If I Should Die Before My Dog…

Tails of Love

‘Dogs Have The Intelligence of a Human Toddler’

Do Dogs Go To Heaven?

And God Created Dog…

Dogs Know

On the First Day God Created the Dog!

A Dog’s Purpose – Out of the Mouth of Babes

Are Our Pets Spiritual Assignments

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Dog, truly a gift! 

The Kindest Decision – In Home Euthanasia for Pets

Tribute to Brendon Griffen… 

‘Dogs Have The Intelligence of a Human Toddler’

How Long Will Your Dog Be with You? It Depends Heavily on This…

Books

Canine and Feline Geriatric Oncology: Honoring the Human-Animal Bond (Kindle)

Help Your Dog Fight Cancer: What Every Caretaker Should Know About Canine Cancer, Featuring Bullet’s Survival Story, 2nd Edition

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December 3, 2013 Posted by | Adopt Just One More Pet, Dogs, Dogs, Just One More Pet, Man's Best Friend, Pet Friendship and Love, Pets, We Are All God's Creatures | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Gentle Giant George, Tallest Dog, Dies

The world has lost a gentle giant.

Giant George, verified as the world’s tallest dog by Guinness World Records, died last Thursday, one month before his eighth birthday.  The official verification changed both his life and the life of his owners overnight.  George held the official record for tallest dog from 2010 – 2012.

“It is with a heavy heart that we announce Giant George died on Thursday, October 17, 2013,” his owners, David and Christine Nasser, posted on GiantGeorge.com. “George passed away peacefully surrounded by loved ones … We appreciate the love and support you have given Giant George over the last several years.”

NC giant george nt 131024 16x9 608 Giant George   The Worlds Tallest Dog Has Died

(Photo Credit: Zuma/Newscom)

Giant George, 3 feet, 7 inches from paw to his shoulder; almost seven feet long, and weighed approximately 245 pounds.  He was known for his appearance on shows like “Live with Regis & Kelly” and “Good Morning America.”

The Great Dane, owned by Dave and Christie Nasser, was actually the runt of the litter, according to the website.

“Eager to play … this big Great Dane was scared of water, scared of dogs a fraction of his size (including Chihuahuas) and most of all, was scared of being alone”, the site said.

The owners donated a percentage of Giant George merchandise to animal charities and in 2011, donated more than $500 to a Japanese animal shelter after the country was hit hard by both an earthquake and tsunami.

Family, friends and fans have all posted to George’s Facebook page with their condolences.

“Thanks to the Nasser family for sharing him with the world. He will be missed,” one fan wrote.

Also see: Imagine taking him for walkies! George the Great Dane is 7ft long, weighs 18stones and is the world’s biggest dog… but he’s terrified of Chihuahuas; lots of photos.

Giant George’s Owner Thanks Fans For Support, Not Ready For Another Dog

Related:

World’s Oldest Dog Dies At Age 26….Requiescat in pace… although like with all records, there are now 27 and 28 year old Dachshunds and a 32 year old Chihuahua.

Pint-Sized Pinto Born in New Hampshire May Be World’s Smallest Horse

World’s Smallest Horse

Harbor the Coonhound Has the ‘Longest Ears on a Living Dog’

Life in a Dog Pack: Old Age

How Long Will Your Dog Be with You? It Depends Heavily on This…

A Dog’s Life… Can Be Longer Than You Think…

Part 2 of Dr. Becker’s Interview with Bestselling Author Ted Kerasote: The Seven Factors that Determine How Long Your Dog Will Live

Pukka’s Promise: The Quest for Longer-Lived Dogs, by Bestselling Author Ted Kerasote – Available in Bookstores This Week!

Help Your Dying Pet End Life in a Kind and Gentle Way

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

Rainbow Bridge…

Heaven and Pets

Books

Giant George

Pukka’s Promise: The Quest for Longer-Lived Dogs

Canine and Feline Geriatric Oncology: Honoring the Human-Animal Bond (Kindle)

Help Your Dog Fight Cancer: What Every Caretaker Should Know About Canine Cancer, Featuring Bullet’s Survival Story, 2nd Edition

October 27, 2013 Posted by | Animal or Pet Related Stories, Chihuahua, Dogs, Just One More Pet, Man's Best Friend, Pet Friendship and Love, Pets, We Are All God's Creatures | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

A Natural Herb That Fights Cancer, or Chemotherapy for Your Sick Pet… Which Would You Choose?

Story at-a-glance
  • Dr. Nancy Scanlan, Executive Director of both the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Foundation (AVHMF) and the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association (AHVMA) talks with Dr. Becker about holistic therapies in the treatment of cancer in pets, and the role of the AHVM Foundation.
  • Major drug companies pay for most of the cancer research (human and animal) in the U.S. Unfortunately, these companies are only motivated to fund studies that facilitate the development of new drugs to sell. Natural anti-cancer agents are of little or no interest to them.
  • Raising independent funding for research into holistic and integrative cancer therapies is a very important focus of the AHVM Foundation. The goal is to provide scientific proof to veterinarians and the public of the uses and benefits of alternative therapies to treat animal cancer and its symptoms.
  • Between now and March 17, 2013, every $1 donated to the AHVM Foundation will be automatically tripled. That’s right – Mercola Healthy Pets will contribute $2 for every $1 donation to the foundation from March 11 through March 17, 2013.

Video: Dr. Becker Interviews Dr. Scanlan

By Dr. Becker

In this week’s third and final video, I’m chatting with another very special guest, Dr. Nancy Scanlan. Dr. Scanlan is the Executive Director of the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Foundation (AVHMF) and also the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association (AHVMA).

Dr. Scanlan has been a small animal practitioner for most of her veterinary career. She also spent 10 years teaching veterinary technicians. Dr. Scanlan is an authority on the use of nutraceuticals in veterinary medicine, and was certified as an acupuncturist in 1988. She gradually increased her use of holistic therapies in her practice and ultimately spent 16 years as the sole holistic veterinarian in a seven-person practice in Southern California. Since then, she’s been very involved in a variety of wonderful endeavors for the AVHMA and the Foundation.

Dr. Scanlan currently lives in the woods of northern California. Her home is off the grid, meaning that among other things, she uses solar panels as her source of electricity. I think that’s very cool!

Studies in holistic veterinary medicine – including the prevention and treatment of pet cancers — get very little funding.

The theme of this year’s AHVM Foundation Be One in a Million fundraising campaign is “Advancing Research and Education in Holistic Veterinary Medicine.” I asked Dr. Scanlan to talk about why cancer research for companion animals is such a vitally important area for the AHVMF to be involved in.

Dr. Scanlan explained that studies in holistic medicine get very little funding. If she has an herb that is beneficial in treating cancer, chances are it will be ignored by the big drug companies, which are the major source of funding for most human and animal cancer research. Drug companies only fund research that results in new drugs they can sell, so natural healing substances like herbs are of no interest to them. And this is truly a shame, because many holistic therapies used for cancer have fewer side effects than conventional chemotherapy and radiation treatments. They are less toxic to the patient and the environment, and are generally better for the patient’s overall health.

So raising independent funding for holistic and integrative cancer therapies is a very important focus of the AHVM Foundation. The goal is to provide scientific proof to veterinarians and pet owners of the benefits of alternative therapies. Currently there is no “proof” of the type the medical community relies on. It’s really not enough to say “The Indians used it all the time,” or “In China they’ve used this for thousands of years.” MDs and DVMs want and need this research.

Another reason we need independent studies of holistic remedies is to determine how natural substances can and should be used. For example, what parts of a plant are beneficial to treat different diseases and symptoms … what strengths or dosages are most effective … what type of growth environment is best … should we source only the wild-crafted plants, and so on.

As Dr. Scanlan points out, this type of research would be helpful not just in advancing the field of holistic veterinary medicine, but also for current and future holistic practitioners who want to understand the most effective ways to use natural healing remedies. And in general, good standardized research in holistic treatments is needed.

When it comes to raising funds for research and education in holistic veterinary medicine, there’s only ONE resource in the U.S. – the AHVM Foundation.

Next I asked Dr. Scanlan to give her perspective on why there is a need for a foundation for holistic veterinary medicine. She explained that the AHVM Foundation is the only organization in the U.S. specifically dedicated to research into holistic methods of treating animals. No other group currently in existence raises funds for research into holistic or alternative or integrative veterinary therapies exclusively.

As Dr. Scanlan points out, there are plenty of organizations out there dedicated to raising money for conventional medicine research (human and animal). But if you as a pet owner, pet caretaker, pet guardian or animal lover believe holistic and integrative veterinary medicine has value, then the organization you want to give your hard-earned money to is the AHVM Foundation.

I asked Dr. Scanlan what projects are on the horizon that the AHVMF is involved with. She responded that one of the Foundation’s biggest supporters is Dr. Greg Ogilvie, a DVM in southern California (you might remember his name from my recent interview with author Ted Kerasote).

Dr. Ogilvie developed the foundational research on the anti-cancer effects of omega-3 fatty acids, especially fish oil, on dogs. He has a long list of projects he would love to do if he had the funding.

I’d like to thank Dr. Nancy Scanlan, Executive Director of the AHVM Foundation, for making time in her busy schedule to chat with me today. I look forward to working with Dr. Scanlan and all the members of the Foundation to raise awareness of their Be One in a Million fundraising efforts.

How you can make a difference.

I’m tremendously excited to announce that now through March 17, 2013, all donations will be automatically tripled. That’s right! For every $1 donated, Mercola Healthy Pets will donate an additional $2. So please, take a moment right now to Be One in a Million and make a donation to the AHVM Foundation.

Related:

Using Alternative Therapies to Fight Cancer How to Check Your Pet for Signs of Cancer

Acupuncture for Dogs (Pets)

Part 3 of Dr. Becker’s Interview with Bestselling Author Ted Kerasote: Fixing America’s Broken Animal Shelter System

Part 2 of Dr. Becker’s Interview with Bestselling Author Ted Kerasote: The Seven Factors that Determine How Long Your Dog Will Live

Pukka’s Promise: The Quest for Longer-Lived Dogs, by Bestselling Author Ted Kerasote – Available in Bookstores This Week!

Pukka’s Promise: The Quest for Longer-Lived Dogs

Merle’s Door: Lessons from a Freethinking Dog

Pukka: The Pup After Merle

StemPets and StemEquine – Stem Cell Enhancers for Pets

If I Should Die Before My Dog…

Alternative Dog Arthritis Treatment Series Part 1 – An Introduction

Do Vaccinations Affect the Health of our Pets?

Natural Pet Remedies For Everyday Problems

Animal Chiropractic Success Stories

Why is This Dangerous Infection on the Rise in Pets?

8 Out of 10 Pet Owners Didn’t Recognize These Signs of Illness – Will You?

Dog Massage? Isn’t Petting Enough?

Never EVER Punish Your Pet for This ‘Accident’…

Dog Chiropractor Helps Dogs Retain Mobility

Pancreatitis in Dogs

Urinary and Fecal Incontinence in Pets

Megacolon: A Terrible Outcome for Constipated Pets

Stress in Dogs (Pets)

Pets Being Left Behind to Starve by Their Families

Pet Food Stamps

A Patchwork of Food Assistance for Pets

How the Pet Food Industry Has Helped Create "Carnivore Metabolic Syndrome"

Laser Therapy is Good Medicine for Humans and Their Companion Animals… Any Animals

Surprise, Surprise… the Best Food for Dogs Is Homemade Food

Pet Age

The Nutrient Your Pet Needs More of As They Age: Protein

March 22, 2013 Posted by | Animal or Pet Related Stories, animals, Dogs, Dogs, Holistic Pet Health, If Animlas Could Talk..., Just One More Pet, Man's Best Friend, Pet Friendship and Love, Pet Health, Pets, responsible pet ownership | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Part 3 of Dr. Becker’s Interview with Bestselling Author Ted Kerasote: Fixing America’s Broken Animal Shelter System

Story at-a-glance
  • Today, in the final segment of a three-part interview with best-selling author Ted Kerasote about his latest book, Pukka’s Promise: The Quest for Longer-Lived Dogs, Dr. Becker and Ted discuss the problem of homeless pets in North America and the need for shelters to transform themselves into no-kill facilities.
  • Ted also discusses three-and-a-half-year-old Pukka’s life as a healthy, athletic, free-roaming dog, and the benefits and risks of the lifestyle Ted has chosen for him.
  • Finally, Ted discusses two fascinating new projects – one he has just put the finishing touches to, and another he’s currently working on.

By Dr. Becker

I’m back with bestselling author Ted Kerasote for the final installment of our three-part interview. You can see part one here and part two here. We’re discussing Ted’s wonderful new book just out in bookstores, called Pukka’s Promise: The Quest for Longer-Lived Dogs.

The problem of homeless pets.

One of the huge, complex topics Ted takes on in Pukka’s Promise is the “crisis” situation in North American animal shelters. I worked in a shelter as a teenager, and Ted’s treatment of the subject in his new book has caused me to view the situation in a very different light.

I asked Ted to talk about his research into how unwanted pets are handled in other parts of the world vs. in the U.S.

Ted said he’d first like to address the use of the word “crisis” to describe our homeless pet situation. While it’s true about 1.5 million animals are killed in shelters each year in the U.S., 40 years ago we were killing 20 million per year.

The point is, progress has been made, and Ted believes credit is due the organizations that have worked so hard to bring that number down so dramatically.

How dogs are cared for in Western Europe vs. North America.

As to the question of differences between how North America treats homeless animals vs. other areas of the world, Ted explained that he traveled extensively in Europe to see how the situation was handled over there. He says you don’t see stray dogs roaming all over Western Europe, as happens in some parts of the U.S.

And the assumption is that because Western Europe is so highly urbanized, it can’t have free-roaming dogs. Everyone by necessity must control his or her dog, which is why there’s no so-called pet “overpopulation” problem. But Ted says that actually, there ARE free-roaming dogs … in Hyde Park … at the Bois de Boulogne in Paris … the Villa Borghese in Rome … and the Englischer Garden in Munich. In all these places there are free-roaming, off-leash dogs running about, under the voice-control of their people, and they’re not spayed or neutered, either.

To the casual observer, this seems risky at best. After all, everyone knows how quickly a male dog can mate with a female dog, right? So, why aren’t countless unwanted puppies being killed in shelters? The answer is that in Europe, people sequester their female dogs when they’re in heat. It’s just what they do, because it’s their tradition.

The Europeans carefully manage their female dogs when they’re in season. The dogs stay at home – in the barn or the kennel. They are walked only on a leash. There’s no way you don’t know when your female dog is being mounted by a male dog, if she’s at the end of a four foot leash and you’re holding the other end.

Ted explained that like most Americans, prior to his fact-finding trip to Europe, he didn’t really comprehend that there’s a way to have intact dogs and not have litter after litter of puppies.

Ted further explained that according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the U.S. is number 27 out of 31 countries with respect to overall poverty and the amount of social justice its citizens enjoy. In Scandinavia, for example, there are no dogs killed in animal shelters. They have a very secure social services network that takes care of citizens “from cradle to grave.” Of course, taxes are high, but everyone’s taken care of, including pets.

By contrast, in the U.S., most dogs are killed in counties with low median incomes. It’s absolutely true that you can’t determine the number of dogs killed in a shelter by the amount of money per capita that is spent in that shelter. Some shelters spend $6 per capita and kill a lot of dogs. Others spend $1.50 per capita and don’t kill that many dogs. But it’s also true that for the most part, poor communities kill more dogs in their shelters.

No-kill solutions every shelter can (and should) embrace.

So the question becomes, how can we help the shelter system work better? Better social services across the board might help. Eliminating poverty might help. Those are long-term goals. Ted says that in the meantime, there are many people working on helping shelters operate better. There’s the No Kill Advocacy Center, whose solution involves hiring compassionate shelter directors who are committed to implementing ideas that have worked all over the country to reduce the number of shelter deaths.

Some of those ideas include keeping shelters open at least one day on the weekend. Keep them open in the evening – employed people aren’t available to come see adoptable animals during the workday. Implement a foster care program to reduce the number of kittens and puppies who are killed. Send the little ones out to foster families so they can grow up to be adoptable pets.

Other ideas include partnering with local pet stores to stop selling purebred dogs from breeders and instead feature shelter pets ready for adoption. The stores make money, a percentage goes to the shelters, and the animals find homes. It’s a win for everyone.

Another idea is to do outreach programs where the shelter takes adoptable pets to places like PetSmart and Petco for adoption events. The shelters that have implemented these techniques have low kill rates. But according to Ted’s research, many, many more shelters need to adopt these ideas.

Ted also mentioned Maddie’s Fund, which helps shelters and animal welfare organizations that are trying to reduce the kill rate. Maddie’s Fund sponsors a massive ad campaign, The Shelter Pet Project, to convince prospective pet owners to adopt a shelter animal. In addition, the CEO of the Humane Society of the United States, Wayne Pacelle, told Ted that ”a no-kill nation must be one of the greatest aspirations of this organization.” But according to Nathan Winograd, the head of the No Kill Advocacy Center, out of 3,500 shelters across the country, only about 200 have become no-kill, meaning 90 percent of the dogs and cats who come into the shelter are adopted, fostered, or find other suitable living arrangements.

Ted believes that ever so slowly, we are working on the problem of homeless pets. In my opinion, it boils down to how committed and passionate each shelter is to becoming a no-kill facility.

Pukka’s life as a young, athletic, free-roaming dog.

Next I wanted Ted to talk about the role of genetics in helping dogs live healthier lives, and specifically, how he has applied the principles of his research to his own dog, Pukka, who is now almost four.

I asked Ted if he has encountered any challenges with Pukka’s health he wasn’t expecting. Ted said that overall, Pukka is a vibrant, thriving dog, who according Ted, just happens to beat himself up a lot – he’s hard on his body. He’ll jump off something, and the next day he won’t be quite as fast when he runs. He’s like many young athletes in that he doesn’t know his own limits.

Ted went on to explain that when Pukka was two, he almost died from a self-inflicted wound. He was running with a stick in his mouth, and he jammed it into the ground going full tilt. The stick broke and its jagged end pierced his tongue, severing his sublingual artery. Pukka came into the house gushing arterial blood.

Ted got the dog in his car and drove about a hundred miles an hour to the animal hospital in Jackson, Wyoming. He had stuffed a dishtowel in Pukka’s mouth, but he was still spraying blood all over the car. At the animal hospital, the vet staff clamped off the artery, but they had some initial difficulty finding the injury because there was just so much blood.

So Pukka is a healthy, athletic youngster who injures himself from time to time. Other than that, what worries Ted most is Pukka’s potential exposure to chemicals in the area where they live. Grand Teton National Park and Teton County are sprayed with chemicals every spring to control spotted knapweed. During those times, Pukka is confined to the house and walked under Ted’s supervision, even though all the literature on those sprays claims they are non-toxic.

Ted believes that Pukka, like most dogs, was exposed to many potentially harmful toxins as a puppy, for example, by chewing on dog toys. And he’s exposed to environmental pollutants just as we all are. Ted explained that he’s tried to create a non-toxic house, but Pukka also roams around the village where they live, so it’s impossible to say what he might be exposed to.

People say to Ted, “You should fence Pukka. You should lock him up.” But for Ted, that’s not an option. He’s willing to assume certain risks so that Pukka can live as a free-roaming dog.

Fortunately, Ted has a very unique situation in that he lives in a small village that provides an almost picture-perfect environment for dogs to live independently and free and to make their own choices. Of course, not all of us are fortunate enough to have such an amazing living arrangement.

Ted explained that there are nonetheless risks associated with living where he does, and they are unusual, for instance, grizzly bears … mountain lions … and wolves, the wolves posing the greatest threat to dogs in northwestern Wyoming since wolves will kill domestic dogs. They consider them interlopers in their territory. When Ted and Pukka are hiking during the summer months, or mountain bike riding, Pukka is often a half-mile ahead, doing his thing. If he runs into a pack of wolves, it could be the end of him. But Ted explained that he’s willing to take those risks so Pukka can have his freedom.

What Ted is doing now.

Ted has put the last five years of his life, heart and soul into researching and writing Pukka’s Promise. Now that it’s out in bookstores, I asked Ted what’s next. He responded that he breathed about a five-minute sigh of relief after he finished the book, and then he went back to one he started years ago, before he met Merle, about a young jaguar named Jorge, who lives in Central America. He’s just putting the finishing touches on it now. The title is The Jaguar Who Ran.

As Ted’s story goes, Jorge the jaguar doesn’t like where he was born, because he can’t run in the jungle. He’s always running into trees and slipping in the mud. His mother tells him, “Listen, jaguars slink and crouch and hide. They don’t run.” Jorge responds, “But dad ran when he went up to the land of the Still Star,” which is what the jaguars call northern Mexico and the southwestern United States. Jorge wants to run. So he goes to the land of the Still Star and gets into loads of trouble, but manages to persevere. It’s a story for all of us who dream of living a life different from that of our families and cultures.

Ted said he’s also working on a book about street dog management in developing areas of the world, where extermination has traditionally been used to reduce the incidence of rabies transmitted to people. This has not worked. Nor can adoption work since people in such places don’t have enough money to adopt and care for a dog. Since the 1990s a different approach has been tried. It was pioneered in India. Street dogs are captured, sterilized, vaccinated, and then released in the exact location where they were captured. This strategy has been very successful and has reduced both the number of street dogs without harming them, while also reducing the incidence of rabies transmitted to people.

Ted explained that he has met some very interesting veterinarians doing this kind of work all over the world. He thought their story would make a good book and might be applicable to some extent here in the U.S. because we also have a large stray dog problem in some areas. Depending on whose numbers you believe, there are 5,000 to 50,000 stray dogs in Detroit. There are stray dogs in Watts, in Baltimore, St. Louis, and on Indian reservations. The Navajo reservation is home to a couple hundred thousand stray dogs.

What typically happens is we capture these dogs, put them in shelters, and kill the majority of them. Ted wonders if it might not be a better idea to capture them, sterilize and vaccinate them, and turn them loose again – especially if they’re healthy.

My sincere thanks to Ted!

I want to thank Ted Kerasote for joining me for this three-part interview.

I’m very excited about the release of his new book, Pukka’s Promise: The Quest for Longer-Lived Dogs, and I’m so thankful I was able to get an advance copy to read. I’ve really enjoyed it, and I know our listeners and readers here today will as well.

You’ll laugh, you’ll cry … you’ll be informed and inspired by Pukka’s Promise.

Related:

Part 2 of Dr. Becker’s Interview with Bestselling Author Ted Kerasote: The Seven Factors that Determine How Long Your Dog Will Live

Pukka’s Promise: The Quest for Longer-Lived Dogs, by Bestselling Author Ted Kerasote – Available in Bookstores This Week!

Pukka’s Promise: The Quest for Longer-Lived Dogs

Merle’s Door: Lessons from a Freethinking Dog

Pukka: The Pup After Merle

StemPets and StemEquine – Stem Cell Enhancers for Pets

If I Should Die Before My Dog…

February 18, 2013 Posted by | Animal or Pet Related Stories, Animal Related Education, Dogs, Dogs, Holistic Pet Health, Just One More Pet, Man's Best Friend, Pet Friendship and Love, Pet Health, Pet Nutrition, Pets, responsible pet ownership | , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Redemption Now Available as an E-Book!

Redemption Now Available as an E-Book!

May 2, 2011 by  Nathan J. Winograd

Redemption: The Myth of Pet Overpopulation and the No Kill Revolution in America is now available as an e-book for your Nook, iPad, Kindle, or other e-reader. You can purchase it on iTunes or the B&N Nook store.

Now when someone challenges you on No Kill, the myth of pet overpopulation, why the cages are empty, PETA’s reign of terror, why feral cats have a right to live, whether we can adopt our way out of killing, the hows, whens, and whys of transport programs, saving pit bulls, and more, you’ll have it all at your fingertips.

Redemption is called “powerful and inspirational,” “ground-breaking,” and “a must read for anyone who cares about animals.” Winner of USA Book News Award for Best Book (Animals/Pets), a Best Book Muse Medallion winner by the Cat Writers Association of America, a Best Book nominee by the Dog Writers Association of America and winner of a Silver Medal from the Independent Publishers Association, the book shatters the notion that killing animals in U.S. shelters is an act of kindness.

To purchase the e-book of Redemption for your B&N Nook, iPad, etc., click here. (You can also purchase on iTunes.)

To purchase it as a regular print book, click here.

Redemption for your Kindle is available by clicking here.

You can also purchase Irreconcilable Differences, the follow-up to Redemption, as a print or e-book. Learn more by clicking here.

Source: Nathan J. Winograd  Cross-Posted at Just One More Pet

Related:

The Earth is Flat, Pet Over-Population Exists and Other Myths We’ve Been Told

From Shelter to Safety  -  The Lost Dogs: Michael Vick’s Dogs and Their Tale of Rescue and Redemption

May 3, 2011 Posted by | Adopt Just One More Pet, animal abuse, Animal or Pet Related Stories, Animal Rescues, Animal Rights And Awareness, animals, Dogs, Fostering and Rescue, Help Familie Keep Their Pets, Just One More Pet, Man's Best Friend, NO KILL NATION, Pet Abuse, Pet Adoption, Pet Friendship and Love, Pets, Political Change, Stop Animal Cruelty, Stop Euthenization, We Are All God's Creatures | , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Meredith and Abbey… Beautiful Soul at the Post Office

It is not known who replied, but there is a beautiful soul working in the dead letter office of the US postal service.


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Our 14 year old dog, Abbey, died last month. The day after she died, my 4 year old daughter Meredith was crying and talking about how much she missed Abbey.  She asked if we could write a letter to God so that when Abbey got to heaven, God would recognize her.  I told her that I thought we could so she dictated these words:

Dear God,

Will you please take care of my dog? She died yesterday and is with you in heaven. I miss her very much. I am happy that you let me have her as my dog even though she got sick.

I hope you will play with her. She likes to play with balls and to swim. I am sending a picture of her so when you see her You will know that she is my dog. I really miss her.

Love, Meredith

We put the letter in an envelope with a picture of Abbey and Meredith and addressed it to God/Heaven. We put our return address on it. Then Meredith pasted several stamps on the front of the envelope because she said it would take lots of stamps to get the letter all the way to heaven. That afternoon she dropped it into the letter box at the post office.

A few days later, she asked if God had gotten the letter yet.  I told her that I thought He had.

Yesterday, there was a package wrapped in gold paper on our front porch addressed, ‘To Meredith’ in an unfamiliar hand. Meredith opened it. Inside was a book by Mr. Rogers called, ‘When a Pet Dies
.’

Taped to the inside front cover was the letter we had written to God in its opened envelope. On the opposite page was the picture of Abbey & Meredith and this note:

Dear Meredith,

Abbey arrived safely in heaven. Having the picture was a big help. I recognized Abbey right away.

Abbey isn’t sick anymore. Her spirit is here with me just like it stays in your heart. Abbey loved being your dog.

Since we don’t need our bodies in heaven, I don’t have any pockets to keep your picture in, so I am sending it back to you in this little book for you to keep and have something to remember Abbey by.

Thank you for the beautiful letter and thank your mother for helping you write it and sending it to me. What a wonderful mother you have. I picked her especially for you.

I send my blessings every day and remember that I love you very much. By the way, I’m easy to find, I am wherever there is love.

Love,
God

–> Rainbow Bridge <–

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Let us all adopt just one more and help many more find a home!!

Posted:  Ask Marion – Just One More Pet

July 29, 2010 Posted by | Adopt Just One More Pet, Animal or Pet Related Stories, animals, Just One More Pet, Pet Friendship and Love, Pets, Success Stories, Unusual Stories, We Are All God's Creatures | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 20 Comments

Good Dogs For Kids

Over the last few years I’ve had the chance to interact with many different dog breeds and have found there are many different breeds that I would consider good dogs for kids.  In fact, a couple years ago I was so interested in dogs good with children I wrote a two part article about the top 10 dogs good with children based on information gathered from the internet and my own opinion.

Since then I’ve received many comments on the article suggesting other breeds be included in my top 10 list.  I definitely agree that dogs that are good with children shouldn’t be narrowed to only a list of 10 dog breeds.   However, that is the main reason why I wrote the article and left the comment section open to our readers.  I wanted our readers input on their experiences with dogs and their thoughts on what dog are good with children.

Good Dogs For Kids

Some might think a giant breed dog might not be good for kids.  After all a giant breed might be clumsy and knock over children or might get overly excited and play to rough possibly hurting kids.

A couple days ago I came across this video of a Great Dane playing with a very young child.  Take a look:

Big Dog Tickling Baby

Maybe I should include the Great Dane as one of my top 10 family dogs!  That is an adorable video and I love seeing how gentle a dog as large as a Great Dane can be with a young child.

What do you think?  Have you found the perfect dog for your family?  What dog breeds would you consider good dogs for kids?

Top Ten Dogs Good With Kids:

Number 10 – Bulldog

Number 9 – German Shepherd

Number 8 – Brittany Spaniel

Number 7 – Miniature Schnauzer

Number 6 – Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Number 5 – Vizsla

Number 4 – Pembrooke Welsh Corgi

Number 3 – Poodle

Number 2 – Labrador Retriever

Number 1 – Golden Retriever

Source: Puppy in Training

Posted:  Just One More Pet

April 9, 2010 Posted by | Adopt Just One More Pet, animal behavior, Fostering and Rescue, Just One More Pet, Pets, responsible pet ownership | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

‘Nubs the Dog: The True Story of a Mutt, a Marine & a Miracle’

Major Brian Dennis and Nubs the Dog today.
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

When Major Brian Dennis of the United States Marine Corps met a wild stray dog with shorn ears while serving in Iraq, he had no idea of the bond they would form, leading to seismic changes in both their lives. “The general theme of the story of Nubs is that if you’re kind to someone, they’ll never forget you — whether it be person or animal,” Dennis tells Paw Nation.

In October 2007, Dennis and his team of 11 men were in Iraq patrolling the Syrian border. One day, as his team arrived at a border fort, they encountered a pack of stray dogs — not uncommon in the barren, rocky desert that was home to wolves and wild dogs.

“We all got out of the Humvee and I started working when this dog came running up,” recalls Dennis. “I said, ‘Hey buddy’ and bent down to pet him.” Dennis noticed the dog’s ears had been cut. “I said, ‘You got little nubs for ears.'” The name stuck. The dog whose ears had been shorn off as a puppy by an Iraqi soldier (to make the dog “look tougher,” Dennis says) became known as Nubs.

Dennis fed Nubs scraps from his field rations, including bits of ham and frosted strawberry Pop Tarts. “I didn’t think he’d eat the Pop Tart, but he did,” says Dennis.

At night, Nubs accompanied the men on night patrols. “I’d get up in the middle of the night to walk the perimeter with my weapon and Nubs would get up and walk next to me like he was doing guard duty,” says Dennis.

The next day, Dennis said goodbye to Nubs, but he didn’t forget about the dog. He began mentioning Nubs in emails he wrote to friends and family back home. “I found a dog in the desert,” Dennis wrote in an email in October 2007. “I call him Nubs. We clicked right away. He flips on his back and makes me rub his stomach.”

“Every couple of weeks, we’d go back to the border fort and I’d see Nubs every time,” says Dennis. “Each time, he followed us around a little more.” And every time the men rumbled away in their Humvees, Nubs would run after them. “We’re going forty miles an hour and he’d be right next to the Humvee,” says Dennis. “He’s a crazy fast dog. Eventually, he’d wear out, fall behind and disappear in the dust.”

On one trip to the border fort in December 2007, Dennis found Nubs was badly wounded in his left side where he’d been stabbed with a screwdriver. “The wound was infected and full of pus,” Dennis recalls. “We pulled out our battle kits and poured antiseptic on his wound and force fed him some antibiotics wrapped in peanut butter.” That night, Nubs was in so much pain that he refused food and water and slept standing up because he couldn’t lay down. The next morning, Nubs seemed better. Dennis and his team left again, but he thought about Nubs the entire time, hoping the dog was still alive.

Excerpt, “Nubs: The True Story of a Mutt, a Marine & a Miracle,”
Little, Brown for Young Readers

Two weeks later, when Dennis and his team returned, he found Nubs alive and well. “I had patched him up and that seemed to be a turning point in how he viewed me,” says Dennis. This time, when Dennis and his team left the fort, Nubs followed. Though the dog lost sight of the Humvees, he never gave up. For two days, Nubs endured freezing temperatures and packs of wild dogs and wolves, eventually finding his way to Dennis at a camp an incredible 70 miles south near the Jordanian border.

“There he was, all beaten and chewed up,” says Dennis. “I knew immediately that Nubs had crossed through several dog territories and fought and ran, and fought and ran,” says Dennis. The dog jumped on Dennis, licking his face.

Most of the 80 men at the camp welcomed Nubs, even building him a doghouse. But a couple of soldiers complained, leading Dennis’ superiors to order him to get rid of the dog. With his hand forced, Dennis decided that the only thing to do was bring Nubs to America. He began coordinating Nubs’ rescue effort. Friends and family in the States helped, raising the $5,000 it would cost to transport Nubs overseas.

Finally, it was all arranged. Nubs was handed over to volunteers in Jordan, who looked after the dog and sent him onto to Chicago, then San Diego, where Dennis’ friends waited to pick him up. Nubs lived with Dennis’ friends and began getting trained by local dog trainer Graham Bloem of the Snug Pet Resort. “I focused on basic obedience and socializing him with dogs, people and the environment,” says Bloem.

A month later, Dennis finished his deployment in Iraq and returned home to San Diego, where he immediately boarded a bus to Camp Pendleton to be reunited with Nubs. “I was worried he wouldn’t remember me,” says Dennis. But he needn’t have worried. “Nubs went crazy,” recalls Dennis. “He was jumping up on me, licking my head.”

Dennis’ experience with Nubs led to a children’s picture book, called “Nubs: The True Story of a Mutt, a Marine & a Miracle,” published by Little, Brown for Young Readers. They have appeared on the Today Show and will be appearing on The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien on Monday.

Was it destiny that Dennis met Nubs and brought him to America? “I don’t know about that,” says Dennis. “It’s been a strange phenomenon. It’s been a blessing. I get drawings mailed to me that children have drawn of Nubs with his ears cut off. It makes me laugh.”

by Helena Sung – PawNation Nov 3rd 2009 @ 6:00PM
Nubbs:  The True Story of a Mutt, a Marine, and a Miracle

Great Gift for Any Child, Veteran and Animal Lover!!

Order Today: Nubs: The True Story of a Mutt, a Marine & a Miracle

Related:

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

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Checkout:  Dogwise, All Things Dog! – 2000+ Books and Doggie Goodies

Posted:  Just One More Pet

November 11, 2009 Posted by | animal abuse, animal behavior, Animal or Pet Related Stories, Animal Rescues, animals, Fostering and Rescue, Just One More Pet, Pet Adoption, Pet Friendship and Love, Pets, Unusual Stories, We Are All God's Creatures | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Hey There Dog People… A Couple Book Recommendations

Got a couple tips on some great dog lover books…   Edgar Sawtelle, a story about a young boy who grew up on his parent’s kennel and farm. It’s a great story and hard to put down, but it is a little scary at times. The other book I just finished is Merle’s Door, another fantastic story about a beautiful dog and his owner. Merle is a lost pup near Jackson Hole, Wyoming. He finds himself an owner and they travel all over the Teton Mountains. They live in a little town called Kelly where Merle becomes the “doggy” governor and makes his publicity rounds each day; but his real love is hunting elk.

I hope others will enjoy these two books as much as I have.

M~

 

Possibly related posts:

January 18, 2009 Posted by | Just One More Pet, On The Lighter Side, pet fun, Pets | , , | 2 Comments