I just found an interesting web site called Find Toto which purports to help you find your lost pet. The idea is intriguing and I wonder if it works? If your pet is missing, Find Toto will place calls to your neighbors, alerting them with your pet’s description and your contact information. The number of neighbors called will depend upon the package that you purchase. The basic price is $85 and 250 neighbors will receive calls. The most expensive package is $875 for 10,000 neighbors called. Wow. Find Toto will also post your pet’s photo, description and your contact information on their web site.
I hope that none of us will need to use this service but nice to know that there are services available to help. The ARL will assist you if your pet is lost. Remember that we have a form on our web site to report lost or found pets.
I am very pleased to be a speaker and part of a panel discussion this Wednesday at Drexel University. The event is called The Puppy Economy and is presented by People for Animal Welfare. Other presenters will be representatives from United Against Puppy Mills, the American Kennel Club, and the Bureau of Dog Law Enforcement. I am representing Delaware Valley Golden Retriever Rescue (DVGRR) and will be talking about my experiences with rehabilitating mill dogs, DVGRR’s incredible Project Home Life for helping Goldens rescued from mills get acclimated to being in a home situation, and I also will touch on the health and behavior issues of puppies born from mills. Additionally, a clip of the documentary that I co-produced, Uncaged: Second Chances for Puppy Mill Breeder Dogs, will be shown.
Any opportunity to educate the public on why they should not buy puppies from pet stores or disreputable breeders is a good thing and I’m hoping for a big turnout. I wish that colleges and universities in this area would have similar events because, as you know, we’re right in the thick of puppy mill country, sad to say. The majority of people I speak with who purchased dogs bought them from pet stores or farms.
If you know of anyone who lives in or near Philadelphia and would like to attend, here’s the link for more information: http://thepuppyeconomy.eventbrite.com/
CNN reports that the thoroughbred horse industry is finally seeing the downturn from the poor economy of the past couple of years. The once untouchable wealthiest of the wealthy aren’t bidding as much money to buy race horses as in years past. The article says that auctions brought a whopping 27% less in 2009 than in previous years. They attribute this to not only the economy but an overproduction of thoroughbreds. Oh great. A glut of horses. Just what we need to hear in the animal rescue world. The ARL recently brought in several horses that could no longer be cared for properly by their owner. This situation is not encouraging – if the very rich aren’t buying horses, then who can afford them?
And, if you’ve read our blogs and newsletters, you know that more and more surplus U.S. horses are being shipped to Canadian and Mexican slaughterhouses. Will these surplus racehorses face this fate? You bet. I hope that the decline in revenues from horse racing encourages the breeders to not breed so many horses. But that doesn’t sound like it’s going to happen as more and more foreign countries get into the business.
Read more in the article: http://www.cnn.com/2010/LIVING/01/16/horse.auction/index.html?hpt=Sbin
Does the public realize that there is something called Black Dog Syndrome? Sad but true, large black dogs are often overlooked at animal shelters, especially older males. There are several theories as to why black dogs are the last to be adopted. It could be that the lighting is dim in some shelters, making it more difficult for the dogs to stand out and be noticed. Another possibility is the misconception that some large black dogs are vicious. It’s unfortunate that movies and TV shows in the past have created that stigma – think about mysteries with black dogs lurking in cemeteries or jumping out of bushes as watch dogs. And another possibility is the unwarranted bad reputations of big black dogs like Dobermans and Rottweilers. These may be the subconscious reasons that people pass by the black dogs.
Black cats also suffer from prejudice stemming from Halloween legends that black cats are associated with witches and the old-wives tale that if a black cat crosses your path, you’ll have bad luck. There’s nothing prettier than the shiny coat of black kitty.
Hopefully, our society has evolved to realize that all of these superstitions and preconceived ideas are nonsense. Come into the shelter and visit with Jingles, the black Lab. High energy, yes, but vicious, no way!! And then there’s Sammy, the black medium-haired cat. What a sweetheart.
I can’t resist the faces of black dogs as they age. Those grey muzzles contrasted with the black fur are so kissable!
I like to frequently come out of my office to see what’s going on in the shelter and to chat with staff and visitors. But some days, I wish I hadn’t. Today, I watched as a couple of people were walking shelter dogs through the parking lot. One dog started to bark at another dog and the person handling the barking dog screamed at the dog to stop. He made no attempt to remove the dog from the situation. As he berated the dog, the dog strained more and more and was getting increasingly agitated. The other dog began to bark too, understandably. The person walking that dog proceeded to smack the dog on the muzzle which also agitated the dog more. Neither of these people made any attempts to move the dogs apart. I tried to stand between the dogs to block their views and give the walkers a little coaching but when it was obvious that they weren’t listening to me, I had to go inside. I watched from the window as one man walked up the hill and the other person followed, causing even more agitation to the situation! Dog fights get started this way.
We are deeply appreciative of the people who come to walk dogs here and we try to instruct them to keep dogs at a safe distance. But some people fail to listen. I wish that they understood a few things: 1) If a dog fight occurs, someone may get hurt and one of the dogs will now be labeled as “not dog friendly” and that will diminish its chances of adoption. 2) Yelling at and/or hitting an already agitated dog will only make the dog more agitated and will escalate aggression. The dog will have an even greater reaction when he sees another dog in the future. You are teaching a dog NOTHING when you yell at it or hit it. The dog cannot reason that he is getting hit because he’s barking. 3) Removing the dog from the situation will help the dog to calm down and behave better. A calm dog is a better-behaved dog.
I'm so disappointed in the behaviors of these people, especially the one who smacked the dog. I thought he was a loving, compassionate and intelligent person.
I’m back in my office now, envisioning myself smacking those guys on their muzzles!! Oh, never mind, I guess I need to practice what I preach, huh?
Well, it's here again, time to begin anew with a fresh year and a with renewed motivation to make our lives better. From my many years of making and breaking resolutions, I've finally learned to keep my resolutions as achievable as possible - "baby steps" is the catch-phrase I've been hearing on TV lately. I'm wishing that people will include helping the animals into some of their resolutions. It doesn't have to be a huge commitment because every little bit helps.
Will you share your ideas for resolutions to help the animals in 2010? Let's hear them!!