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Help Chained Dogs This Valentine’s Day

The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) has called for dog lovers to support the Dogs Deserve Better group in it’s efforts to end the practice of perpetually chaining dogs.

Help Chained Dogs This Valentine's Day

This Valentine’s Day, Dogs Deserve Better will be sending Valentine’s Day cards and dog treat coupons to the owners of chained dogs across the country during it’s “Have a Heart for Chained Dogs” week. The gift is accompanied by a brochure for the dog’s owner, explaining why the practice is a form of abuse and encouraging them to bring their dog indoors or to re-home the animal. This year the group hopes to send 15,000 such packages.

The HSUS points out that because dogs are social animals they need regular interaction with their family, and that chained dogs will experience boredom, loneliness, and isolation, which will eventually lead to territorial and aggressive behavior. This is illustrated by the fact that almost 300 children were killed or seriously injured by chained dogs in 2003, with a recent high-profile case being that of 2 year-old Matthew Clayton Hurt who was killed in Arkansas in October 2009 by a chained dog protecting her puppies. California, Maryland and Nevada have all passed laws that limit the tethering of dogs, with Pennsylvania, Hawaii, Maine, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas and Washington currently working on laws that will limit this activity.

The charity wants dog owners across the country to take action to help end the practice by assisting the Dogs Deserve Better group in identifying chained dogs. If you know of a perpetually chained dog you can anonymously provide the dog’s address to the group. Other ways members of the public can assist is in making Valentine’s Day cars, donating pet treat coupons and donating directly.

Photograph courtesy Dogs Deserve Better.

Source: Pet People’s Place

Posted:  Just One More Pet

January 21, 2010 Posted by | animal abuse, animal behavior, animals, Just One More Pet, Pet Abuse, Pets, Political Change, responsible pet ownership, Stop Animal Cruelty | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Is Your Pet a Voiceless Victim of the Tanking Economy?

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

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

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

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

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

Source:  Dr. Mercola – Healthy Pets

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Up to 1 million pets at risk during economic crisis

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Animal cruelty?

Yes, but at its roots, sheer desperation…

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

The Grim Reality

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Big Hearts Are Stepping Up

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

Pet food banks are emerging in many neighborhoods.

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

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

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

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

What You Can Do

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

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

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

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

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

Good Animal Welfare Organizations

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

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

The HSUS Assists with Seizure of About 400 Dogs at Wash. State Puppy Mill

Brenda-Stanton-HEART.jpgKENNEWICK, Wash. — The Humane Society of the United States assisted the Benton County Sheriff’s Office today with the seizure of hundreds of dogs from a puppy mill here.

Prosecutors are considering charges in connection with the seizure of the dogs. Ella Stewart, who was recently charged with misdemeanor animal cruelty, is the owner and operator of Sun Valley Kennel. The dogs—all Miniature American Eskimos—lived in deplorable conditions: some were confined to shopping carts, while others spun circles in rusty pens caked with feces. The smell of hot urine emanated from the property, which was lined with pens and more makeshift cages created with plywood and rusty metal doors. Some of the dogs suffered from malnutrition, urine burns and overgrown nails.

“None of these dogs have felt the security of solid ground beneath them nor the comfort of a loving home,” said Dan Paul, The HSUS’ Washington state director. “Cases like this illustrate the exact reason why enacting legislation like S.B. 5651 is so critical. One person cannot reasonably take care of this many animals, period.”

S.B. 5651, recently signed into law by Gov. Christine Gregoire, will crack down on puppy mills by putting a cap on the number of dogs these facilities can keep and by establishing some basic animal welfare standards. The law takes effect Jan. 1, 2010.

The Humane Society of the United States, assisted by United Animal Nations and Spokane Humane Evacuation Animal Rescue Team (HEART), worked throughout the day to assess, examine and catalogue the animals. The dogs will be taken to a temporary shelter under The HSUS’ care.

The HSUS’ Emergency Services division assists with puppy mill raids throughout the country, in addition to helping law enforcement with other animal cruelty raids, including hoarding situations and animal fighting rings. This operation is made possible in part from funding provided to The HSUS by Kenneth and Lillian Wilde, who created the Wilde Puppy Mill Task Force to rescue animals from abusive puppy mills. PetSmart Charities donated shelter supplies, and local veterinarians and technicians provided their time and services.

pup.jpg

Facts

  • Breeding dogs at puppy mills must endure constant breeding cycles and are typically confined to a puppy mill for years on end, without ever becoming part of a family.
  • There is little regard for the breeding dog’s health or any existing genetic conditions that may be passed on to the puppies.
  • Dogs at puppy mills typically receive little to no medical care, live in squalid conditions with no exercise, socialization or human interaction, and are confined inside cramped wire cages for life.
  • Puppies from puppy mills are sold in pet stores, online and directly to consumers with little to no regard for the dog’s health, genetic history or future welfare.
  • Breeding dogs are also subjected to dog auctions where puppy mill owners buy and sell dogs for breeding. Puppy millers dump dogs they no longer want, and other mass dog producers come looking for a deal. These dogs are auctioned off like used cars with little or no regard for their health and well-being. A typical dog auction sells at least 250 dogs.
  • Consumers should never buy a puppy from a pet store or Internet site; instead visit an animal shelter or screen a breeder’s facility in person.

Posted:  Ask Marion –  Just One More Pet

May 29, 2009 Posted by | animal abuse, Animal or Pet Related Stories, Animal Rescues, Animal Rights And Awareness, animals, Just One More Pet, Pet Abuse, Pet Adoption, Pet Friendship and Love, Pets, Political Change, responsible pet ownership, Stop Animal Cruelty, We Are All God's Creatures | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Honda Dog Friendly Element reveal from the Ny Auto Show – Gets Humane Society Approval

Honda’s recent release of its “Dog Friendly” Element concept introduced built-in facilities to aid canine transport. A finalized version of the model is scheduled to debut this fall. But do the added components represent anything more than gimmicks?

View Video View Accompanying Video

Dog-Friendly Car Gets Humane Society ApprovalMajor components of the new concept include a a cushioned pet bed in the cargo area with an elevated platform; second row and cargo area pet restraint systems and an extendable cargo area load-in ramp. Other components include a 12V DC rear ventilation fan, seat covers, rubber floor mats and a spill-resistant water bowl.
The equipment has been engineered specifically for the Element and the restraint was designed by one of the world’s leading automotive safety systems suppliers. Honda says that the restraint concepts are intended to complement the potential of the vehicle’s existing restraint systems by helping to protect the dog and helping to prevent injuries to other vehicle occupants due to an unrestrained dog impacting them in a collision.
“In-vehicle pet restraints should be part of every dog owner’s safe travel practices,” said Wayne Pacelle, President and CEO of The Humane Society of the United States. “The expanded availability of manufacturer-based restraints and features can help elevate pet comfort and convenience for owners. Good ventilation and access to water on longer trips should also be primary concerns.”
While many of the components of the “Dog Friendly&trade” Element could be added to any SUV – for example a non-spill bowl – Honda is probably setting the pace for American car manufacturers by fitting restraints specifically designed for dogs.
By Daphne Reid – Pet People’s Place
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April 23, 2009 Posted by | Animal or Pet Related Stories, Animal Rights And Awareness, animals, Just One More Pet, Pet Events, pet products, Pet Travel, Pets, responsible pet ownership, Success Stories | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments