JustOneMorePet

Every Pet Deserves A Good Home…

Out of Style and Up For Adoption – Hundreds Of Miniature ‘Handbag Dogs’ Abandoned by Owners

(Beth Hale, Daily Mail) — Padding along the path, Sammy the long-haired dachshund took a few steps before stopping abruptly and plonking himself down on his silky rump. Refusing to move, he looked up with a doleful pair of brown eyes, pleading to be carried.

Shelby, 2-year-old chihuahua

It was clear from the moment Sammy arrived at a rehoming center early last year that he was a dog with problems. In fact, the poor thing didn’t really know how to be a dog at all. For the best part of two years, he had been carried around under his owner’s arm or in a handbag.

The cute bundle of fur had become a prima donna on four miniature legs, with no understanding of simple things such as going for a walk or how to behave around other dogs. ‘I’ve never fallen so much in love with a dog,’ says Dogs Trust education officer Charlotte Peters.

‘He was absolutely gorgeous, he would give you those eyes that would make you melt but, oh, he was so badly behaved. His female owner had carried him around everywhere. She spoiled him rotten, treated him like a baby, so left him with a lot of problems — he’d snarl if you patted another dog in front of him.

‘He had to be the centre of attention. And if you tried to take him for a walk he would trot along for a couple of minutes, then stop, sit down and expect to be picked up.’

A sorry tale and, unfortunately, one that is increasingly being played out at animal rescue centres around the country. This week, the Dogs Trust — the country’s largest dog welfare charity — revealed the last year had seen more than 400 so-called handbag dogs being dumped at their  doors, a 44 per cent increase.

Why? Largely because the dogs’ owners became bored with them, much as a child gets bored with a new toy.

Inspired by stars who treat these tiny pets as just another fashion accessory, celebrity-obsessed members of the public have been buying the dogs on a whim, only to find they can’t cope with them or afford them. The dogs can cost upwards of $1,500, and that’s before any food, grooming or vet bills are taken into account.

The Dogs Trust is so concerned about the trend for teenagers to acquire handbag dogs simply to be ‘cool’ that it’s launching a dog-care education programme for schools.

For many, it is already too late. This is why hundreds of pint-sized pooches ranging from chihuahuas and dachshunds to shih tzus and pomeranians, once spoilt rotten as they peered out from their owners’ designer handbags,  are having to adjust to life in the less than salubrious surroundings of rehoming centres.

The trend for these pampered pooches was fuelled by the likes of Paris Hilton, who is constantly seen tottering with her chihuahua Tinkerbelle under her arm — the poor pup usually dressed in outfits colour co-ordinated to match her own.

But she’s by no means the only culprit. The list of celebrities with handbag-sized dogs includes Madonna and Britney Spears, who have chihuahuas, Eva Longoria with her pug, and Coleen Rooney with Daisy the bichon frise.

But despite their diminutive size, little dogs can be very demanding. And it seems that in the real world, many owners can’t cope.

In 2009, 285 toy dogs were handed in to the Dog Trust’s 17 rehoming centres; last year, 409 were given up. The vast majority of the animals were less than two years old.

‘People like to mimic the stars,’ says Clarissa Baldwin, chief executive of the Dogs Trust. ‘The problem is that when the new dog owner gets their pet home they realise that actually it’s not what they want after all.

‘Perhaps they get bored, perhaps they don’t see photographs of the celebrity they admired with their dog any more and, eventually, they end up getting rid of it.’

Her point could not be more sharply illustrated than in the case of Sammy the dachshund, who found himself at the Dogs Trust in Harefield, West London, after narrowly avoiding being put down.

Mollycoddled and spoilt, Sammy became so unmanageable that his young female owner made the extraordinary decision to take him to the vet and put him to sleep. ‘Fortunately, the vet called us and we were able to help,’ says Charlotte Peters. ‘But even though he had a close call, Sammy went to four homes before he found the right one.

‘Finally, in July, he went to a married couple in their 40s with two other dogs, who have worked with him to train him out of his bad manners.’

Earlier this year, the Blue Cross animal adoption centre in Southampton saw another extreme result of the handbag dog phenomenon when it took in two 20-month-old Pomeranians named — wait for it —Britney and Diesel.

‘Britney was so used to being carried that she refused to walk and was terrified of the lead,’ says centre manager Lara Alford.

‘We found out she had never been out on walks and was just used to being cuddled and fussed over. We tried everything we could to make her walk on the lead, but as soon as we brought it out she lay on the floor and played dead. Eventually, we found her a new owner, who had  to carry her home.’

Then there was Poppy, a four-month-old pomeranian puppy handed in to the Dogs Trust in Shoreham, West Sussex. Poppy was bought on a whim by a 17-year-old boy on Christmas Eve as the perfect accessory for his ‘man bag’. Perhaps he’d been inspired by Robbie Williams, who is sometimes seen carrying his pekingese in a bag.

Within a week, the teenager was bored of carrying the tiny pup around and gave the dog to his mother, who handed it to the centre a few weeks later.

Julie Bedford, head of behaviour for the Blue Cross, has seen such outcomes too many times. ‘People seem to think small dogs are easy,’ she says. ‘But they aren’t. In fact, some of the terrier breeds are very active because they have been bred to chase rabbits down holes.’

Dachshunds, for instance, were bred to go after badgers, which are ferocious opponents, so when they get scared they can be snappy.

And it’s not just behavioural difficulties that owners can find themselves dealing with. Many toy dogs are prone to conditions such as luxating patellas, in which the kneecaps on the rear legs slip out of place, causing pain, stiffness and difficulties walking.

If the dog does not get enough exercise because it spends most of its time being carried, it can put on weight, which puts more strain on the joints.

Other breeds, such as the pug, can face difficulties as a result of the very features that make them so popular. Their squashed faces can mean they are prone to breathing difficulties and eye problems, their curly tails can be associated with spinal difficulties and even the folds of their skin need careful attention to ensure they don’t gather dirt.

Yet that hasn’t stopped them becoming a celebrity favorite — with the likes of Kelly Brook, Mickey Rourke and Kelly Osbourne owning one, helping to make the breed enter the list of the nation’s top ten best-loved dogs for the first time.

Such trends alarm welfare experts, who fear they encourage unscrupulous breeders, who raise litters of puppies in appalling conditions.

In Britain the law says a bitch over eight years old can produce no more than one litter a year. But such laws do not apply everywhere, which has led to a black-market puppy trade with unscrupulous breeders selling fashionable puppies to dealers for a fraction of the market price.

‘Anyone can fall for a cute dog without thinking it through,’ says Clarissa Baldwin. ‘Small dogs are always popular, but we just want people to think about the dog’s needs and remember it is a dog and was given four feet for a reason.’

‘One of our staff members saw a lady in a pet shop choosing between two puppies, a husky and a Cavalier King Charles spaniel. She was making her choice by holding them up next to her in the mirror to see which dog suited her best. That’s not the way to choose a dog.’

h/t to Emily Moore at WIDK  -  Cross-Posted at AskMarion

This is happening in America as well as in Britain/Europe. This epidemic of returning pets to shelters or worse just abandoning them is happening in part due to the failing economy (worldwide), but it is happening primarily because of a lack of loyalty and responsibility (or any advance thought and planning) in our spoiled youth and also because of their self-love over love for a pet, grandparents, family, friends and often even their own offspring. It is a symptom of the self-absorbed ‘me’ generation. A pet is your responsibility, part of your family and should be something you love… not a toy or a possession that you discard! It is a frightening portrait of the inner thoughts of (primarily) the youth of today. (And I know it isn’t everyone… but it is far too many!) JOMP~

If you can adopt or foster just one more pet, you could be saving a life, while adding joy to your own!

October 2, 2011 Posted by | Adopt Just One More Pet, animal abuse, Animal or Pet Related Stories, Animal Rescues, animals, Chihuahua, Chiweenie, Dogs, Fostering and Rescue, If Animlas Could Talk..., Just One More Pet, Man's Best Friend, Outreach for Pets, Pet Abuse, Pet Adoption, Pet Friendship and Love, Pets, responsible pet ownership, We Are All God's Creatures | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Reverse Sneezing, Chihuahua Honks or Mechanosensitive Aspiration Reflex

Reverse sneezing:  Mechanosensitive Aspiration Reflex or Paroxysmal Respiration isn’t a sneeze at all and isn’t an illness, but it is a condition that small dog owners should be aware of.

b-and-w-chiIf you have ever been startled by your dog or cat exhibiting snorting, honking and gasping noises you have probably experienced reverse sneezing.  It makes you feel helpless while you watch your canine or feline friend appear to be struggling to breathe, but although alarming, especially to a first time pet owner, it appears and sounds much worse than it is.

There is no reason to panic. Reverse sneezing is not a serious condition andgenerally poses no threat to a dog or cat”s health or longevity. They are not having a seizure, and it also actually has nothing to do with sneezing, but is a spasm caused by an irritation of the soft palate. The soft palate is a soft, fleshy tissue extension off the hard palate, or roof of the mouth. Small dogs in particular can exhibit this behavior and certain breeds may be predisposed to it. It has sent many a distraught owner to the vet in panic.

Reverse Sneeze Videos: 

Reverse Sneeze

Maggie reverse sneezes 

Puggle Preston Reverse Sneezing

Some animals can have this condition for their entire lives, or it may develop as the dog ages. During the spasm, the pet will usually turn their elbows outward and extend their neck while gasping inwards with a distinctive snorting sound. Gently massaging the throat area or pinching their nostrils shut so they must breath through their mouth can help shorten the episode. Sometimes taking the pet outside in the fresh air stops the spasm. Once the attack ceases, all goes back to normal.

(Another technique sometimes used to stop a bout of canine reverse sneezing by behavior specialist Sarah Wilson is to try to get the dog to swallow, touching the back of the tongue if that is safe.  Sounds like it would work with a cat as well.)

It is thought that the pharyngeal spasm can be caused by a number of irritants, including dust and pollen, or household chemicals. Moreover, some dogs can launch an episode after eating, drinking or running around, becoming anxious or excited or while pulling on the leash.

If your pet (more dogs than cats suffer from it) experiences this behavior fairly frequently and the episodes are severe, a trip to the vet is in order to determine other possible causes, which can include viral infections, polyps, excessive soft palate tissue, and nasal mites. However, many cases of reverse sneezing appear to have no identifiable cause.

A small Chihuahua Beagle mix, Cela, was extremely prone to severe middle-of-the-night reverse sneezing episodes when she first came to her terrified then-foster mom (now adoptive mom) sending them both to the vet in alarm. The vet anesthetized Cela and explored the little dog’s sinus cavities as best she could to see if anything was embedded in her sinus passages. Nothing was found, and after a short course of anti-inflammatory drugs and antibiotics, Cela recovered completely.

In hindsight, it seems quite likely that the time of year, autumn, with its accompanying proliferation of allergens, combined with the stress of being in a new household, may have contributed to Cela’s pronounced reverse sneezing. Since the initial episodes subsided, the little dog has had only one or two minor incidences.

Reverse sneezing appears a lot worse than it is, generally posing no health threats whatsoever. Typically, an episode of reverse sneezing will end soon on its own. Nevertheless, understanding and recognizing the syndrome can go a long way toward helping pet owners and their dogs or cats cope with it. Reverse sneezing should not be confused with Collapsed Trachea, a congenital condition characterized by a frequent cough, a honking rather than a snorting sound, and shortness of breath.

Tracheal collapse is a progressive, chronic, debilitating disease occurring primarily in middle-aged toy-breed dogs.  Pomeranians, Poodles, Yorkshire Terriers, and Chihuahuas are most commonly affected.  The clinical signs of tracheal collapse are a chronic nonproductive cough, exercise intolerance, and varying degrees of dyspnea.  The cough often resembles a “honking-sound.”  Clinical signs are exacerbated by excitement or anxiety and may proceed to collapse and syncope. The dorsal membrane and cartilage rings are both involved in the degenerative process.  The rings become hypoplastic or fibrodystrophic and cannot maintain the normal C-shaped configuration. 

Dogs or cats suffering from a reverse sneeze may stand up, extend their neck, make snorting or honking noises, open their mouth, and appear distressed and frightened. Reverse sneezing is triggered by an irritant or activity that initiates the reflex. For some pets this can occur when they are excited, exercising or eating and drinking too fast. The pressure of a collar on the trachea during leash walking also can set off spasms. And reverse sneezing can be associated with allergies, viruses, pollen, foreign bodies, postnasal drip, perfumes, chemical odors, tumors or infections.

Another common cause of reverse sneezing in dogs is the nasal mite Pneumonyssoides caninum. These small mites live in the nasopharynx of dogs and are a source of constant irritation. The mites are extremely small and difficult to visualize, but easy to treat with routine anti-parasitic dewormers.

Brachycephalic animals, those with short noses, are more prone to reverse sneezing. Reverse sneezing closely resembles asthma, a common cause of respiratory distress in cats. Asthma can be life-threatening and should be ruled out in cats with respiratory signs.

For many dogs and cats reverse sneezing is a one-time or occasional episode that does not require any treatment.  But if the problem repeats itself and becomes a ‘chronic condition’, treatment may be necessary. The first step to treating the spasms is to identify the underlying cause. Antihistamines work well for allergic reactions, while the removal of offensive odors and chemicals will help those animals with sensitivities. If the pet has a nasal discharge or airflow through the nostrils is reduced, then other measures will need to be taken.

Rhinoscopy is the diagnostic tool of choice when examining the nasopharynx. Foreign bodies, nasal tumors or fungal infections can be diagnosed with plain film X-rays of the head.  For severe cases surgery is available.

Related Articles:

May 4, 2009 Posted by | Animal Rights And Awareness, Just One More Pet, Pet Health, Pets, responsible pet ownership | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

285 Dogs Are Out and Never Looking Back

This is why we always encourage you guys to report, report, report animal cruelty! Thanks to the complaints of folks looking to purchase dogs, a puppy mill was busted today in White County, Tennessee, where the ASPCA seized 285 dogs this morning from miserable conditions.  From Their Press Release:

“The dogs are small breeds under 20 pounds and include Boston and Jack Russell terriers, Pomeranians, shih Tzus, Chihuahuas, poodles, miniature pinschers and schnauzers. According to Dr. Melinda Merck, the ASPCA’s Senior Director of Veterinary Forensics, the dogs are suffering from a general lack of husbandry, such as little to no food or water, lack of proper ventilation in enclosed areas, and feces encrusted pens. Conditions such as matting, sores, mange, poor teeth, abscesses, and a host of other medical conditions are prevalent.”

We’re thrilled that the dogs are now getting the TLC and medical care they deserved all along. Special shoutout to the White County Sheriff’s Department of Tennessee, who requested our assistance and gave us the authority to investigate. So that’s great for the dogs, but what about the puppy mill? The ASPCA is evaluating the dogs found at the site and collecting evidence for the prosecution of the criminal case. 

 

Puppy Mill

Puppy Mill
Puppy Mill
Puppy Mill
Puppy Mill
The ASPCA’s best and brightest are currently on the ground in White County, TN, managing operations of a puppy mill raid that began Wednesday morning, February 11. Our forensic cruelty investigation team, led by Dr. Melinda Merck, ASPCA Senior Director of Veterinary Forensics, is evaluating dogs and collecting evidence for the future criminal prosecution of the puppy mill’s owners. Members of the ASPCA Disaster Response team and several of our legislative professionals are also assisting at the site. More than 285 small-breed dogs—including Boston and Jack Russell terriers, Pomeranians, shih tzus, Chihuahuas, poodles, miniature pinschers and schnauzers—were recovered from multiple buildings on the raided property. According to Dr. Merck, the dogs are suffering from a general lack of basic care, such as little to no food or water, feces-encrusted pens and lack of proper ventilation in enclosed areas. Conditions such as matting, sores, mange, poor teeth and abscesses are widespread.  Dogs in critical condition were examined immediately on the scene and in the Mobile Animal CSI Unit, and those needing emergency care were transferred to local veterinarians who have volunteered their services.

Puppy Mill

Local officials became concerned about this particular puppy mill last September after a visitor to the property—someone who had intended to purchase a dog—alerted the White County Humane Society to the poor conditions of the animals. The White County Sheriff’s Department began a formal investigation, ultimately enlisting the ASPCA’s support for this week’s raid. Other parties assisting in the rescue include American Humane Association, Nashville Humane Association, several local veterinarians and PetSmart Charities, which provided the majority of sheltering supplies and an emergency relief vehicle.
Back in June, the ASPCA assisted in the raid of a puppy mill in Lyles, TN—the state’s largest raid to date. Thankfully, the Tennessee General Assembly is taking action to address the state’s puppy mill problem—last week, a consumer protection bill addressing large-scale commercial breeders was introduced in the Senate; introduction of a House companion bill is expected soon. How can you help to ensure a safe future for dogs like these? When you donate today, you will help us in all of our life-saving efforts, including ones like the puppy mill raid in Tennessee. To learn more about the White County raid, please visit our blog to see pictures of the puppies we rescued.   
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Before your report cruelty, be sure to gather as much information as you can to help the authorities investigate. If you have evidence—photos, videos, etc.—even better!

February 14, 2009 Posted by | Animal Rights And Awareness, Just One More Pet, Pet Abuse, Pets, Political Change, Stop Animal Cruelty, Success Stories, Uncategorized, We Are All God's Creatures | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments