Several cities have banned the sale of dogs and cats in pet stores. West Hollywood, CA and Albuquerque, MN are just two of an increasing trend to try to put an end to puppy mills and encourage adoptions from shelters. According to an article on MSNBC, adoptions are up in the shelters supporting these cities. Would a strategy like this work in our area of Pennsylvania where you can just drive to a local farm and find the dog of your dreams? As much as I would love to encourage Reading and other area cities to enact legislation to ban sales of dogs in pet stores, I fear that it would not decrease the number of puppy mills in our area. The only thing that will work is education and getting people to care.
I recently met a college student who is heading up an animal welfare group. They asked me to speak at one of their meetings. After the meeting, he asked me if I knew where he could buy a certain breed of dog. He said he had his heart set on this breed. I threw my hands up in frustration! Here we have a person who is involved with helping the animals but still didn’t get it.
Do you think that banning the sale of dogs in pet stores would be effective in shutting down puppy mills and encourage adoptions at shelters in our area?
Get ready, here it comes! The forecast is predicting high temperatures in the 80’s this week, just the beginning of several months of hot weather. While you may love these temperatures, your pets may not. They don’t have the ability to take off their sweaters and long pants! Pets overheat very quickly so here are a few reminders to ensure your pet’s health during hot weather:
Always remember that your pets are wearing fur coats. Even though you may think it's not too hot, they might disagree!
When you hear that someone abandoned their pet, you usually think that they dumped the animal at a farm or opened their car door, let it out and sped away, or simply allowed the pet to wander off without going after it. These are all despicably cruel and cowardly acts but did you know that when someone leaves their pet in the ARL’s stray room, this is also abandonment? Even if they include their contact information, it is still by law considered as abandonment. The PA law states: It shall be unlawful for any person to abandon or attempt to abandon any dog within the Commonwealth. Anyone convicted of abandoning or attempting to abandon any dog within the Commonwealth shall pay a fine of not less than $300 and not more than $1,000, plus costs.
It is shocking to see how many people try to leave their pets in our stray room. First, how they could possibly be so callous is a mystery. Second, when a pet is abandoned we have no information about it. The more information we can obtain about the pet, the better off the pet will be. Finally, we have ways to finding out if the pet was owned. Many people who abandon their pets are caught. So, it’s much less expensive to pay the small surrender fee than to be charged with abandonment.
If the pet is surrendered properly, we can place the pet up for adoption right away instead of having to wait the mandatory 48 hours. Please, have a heart. If you find that you cannot keep your pet, bring it into the shelter and let us know as much as you can about your pet to give it a better chance of finding a new home.
Please tune into BCTV tonight at 7:00pm for the ARL's monthly TV show. Our guest is Dr. Jennifer Fry, president of the Fairchild Foundation. We will be discussing why there is such a huge stray cat problem in Berks County and how we can all help. Your calls are welcome. The call-in number is 610-378-0426.
Then at 10pm, don't miss Animal Planet Investigates! The show focuses on how large-scale commercial breeders - puppy mills - supply puppies to Petland pet stores.
This will be an evening of education to help our pets - don't miss!
I watched as a small, matted, dirty dog trotted down the hallway of the ARL last week and felt so bad for the poor little guy. That matted hair must have been pulling painfully on his skin. Often, dogs with matted hair will start to bite or scratch at it because it is so annoying, and then hot spots ensue. What’s a hot spot? Otherwise known as pyotraumatic dermatitis, a hot spot is a result of the dog’s continual licking one area. The fur is lost and inflamed skin is exposed. Untreated, these terribly painful sores will become infected.
My dog presently has a hot spot which arose literally in a couple of hours. It was not caused by matted hair. His was a result of full anal sacs. He was trying to convey that he had discomfort so he chewed around that area, his only way of telling me of his distress. Other causes of hot spots can be allergies, especially to fleas, and ear infections. And some dogs with anxiety will obsessively lick themselves and cause hot spots.
How do you treat hot spots? If caught early, first the hair around the sore must be trimmed. Then the area should be cleaned with a gentle antiseptic. Do not bandage the sore; it needs to breath in order to heal. Finally, it is imperative that the dog cannot gain access to the sore to continue licking it. An Elizabethan collar is recommended. If the hot spot does not heal or continues to get worse, the dog must see a veterinarian to receive antibiotics.
Prevention of hot spots is best: Frequent grooming to avoid hair matting and to clean ears, and prevention of fleas by applying topical solutions such as Frontline.
Oh brother, the kittens are pouring into the ARL. With all of the media information about spay and neuter, how come they just keep on coming? What will it take to stop the constant overbreeding of unwanted cats? It's too heartbreaking.
Do you know people who could use some education about spaying and neutering cats? Here's a really well-done video that may convince them. The video is fun and upbeat, and is accompanied by the Beatles tune, Help! Here's the link, and it will also be placed on our web site in the next few days: http://www.ochd.org/spay.html
If you know of anyone who is feeding stray cats, please encourage them to bring them to the vet for spay and neuter.
The ARL launched two programs last year, the foster dog program and Seniors for Seniors. Placing over 50 dogs through the foster program over the past year is quite an accomplishment but today was more proof that these programs really are effective. Some dogs go into foster care and are adopted relatively quickly, like Frank the Pug who received over 30 inquiries for adoption. Just about everyone wanted Frank. But one 14-year-old dog was a true test of a successful foster program. The old, spry guy waited patiently for several months in his foster home with no one inquiring about him. He was no trouble at all to his foster mom who actually considered adopting him, but she preferred to keep an “open slot” for a foster dog. We knew that this feisty boy had a home out there somewhere; it was just a matter of waiting for the right person/people to find him. Getting dogs out of the shelter and into foster homes gives them a better chance for adoption, especially when they are older.
A couple of senior citizens came to the ARL today and were introduced to the old dog and immediately fell in love with him. They said that he reminded them of a Golden Retriever they had several years ago. The adoption took less than an hour and the dog was already settled into his new home when his foster mom called to check on him several hours later. A senior pet is an ideal match for a senior citizen. The pets don’t require a lot of strenuous exercise or a lot of tiring play time.
Do you know of a senior citizen who wants a pet? Consider telling them about the ARL’s foster program and Seniors for Seniors.