Friday, July 31, 2009

Judging a book by its' cover

One of the situations which continually amazes me is how people judge animals or people by their looks.
Several years ago a young man came in to the shelter where I volunteered looking for a specific dog he had seen online. He was with his mom, was in his early 20's with a buzzed haircut and he didn't have a shirt on. He was carrying a shirt, but did not put it on until he entered the building. I was matchmaking at the time and had several people, volunteers and staff alike tell me not to allow this young man to adopt a dog. He looked "trashy" to them. (the no shirt in the front door put them off) After I explained, having grown up in this hot and humid state, many young men do not wear shirts but bring them inside when they enter a building. This comes from growing up without air conditioning and everyone I knew when I was young did the same thing.
He met the dog he saw online, it was love at first sight and when the adoption was being done, it was noted he was a veteran, just returning from Iraq. So just on the basis of a shirtless young man, many people would not have allowed him to adopt the dog he wanted. He did get to adopt the dog, and as far as I know, the dog and he are still living happily down south.
The same can be true when you adopt a shelter animal. Sometimes what you think will be the perfect dog or cat for you, is based simply on your likes and dislikes of the way the animal looks.
Maybe you like the coloring or size, perhaps the name strikes a chord or the animals reminds you of a cherished family pet. The problem with this scenario is the way an animal looks may not fit in to your family's life. Just because you like the way a dog is brindled doesn't mean the dog is going to like your kids or your cat, your mother-in-law or your other dog.
If you decide you want to adopt this weekend, and I encourage everyone to do that, please make sure you base the adoption on all things about the animal, not just the way it looks. When you base an adoption strickly on those slim parameters, you are setting the pet up to fail. In many cases, this could be the last chance the animal has to find a forever home. Please don't judge by the cover, but look inside and ask questions. Do it for the animals.

Dog wishes / human actions

When we have pets, we are all guilty of attaching things we think are important to the pets. I am as guilty as the next animal lover. What I think will make my dogs happy, may not be what makes them happy.
The perfect example in my house is my yard. When I purchased my home in Sarasota, I was coming from a beach house with a small lot. I had two big rottweilers and when I saw my house in Sarasota, the yard was almost a 1/2 acre. I fell in love immediately and thought what fun my dogs would have out in my big back yard since they had always had such a small yard before.
The truth is neither one of them spent a lot of time in the yard. They were much more contented to be laying on their beds in the house if I was in the house. If I was in the yard they would simply sniff for a few moments and then follow me around.
My dogs now are the same way. They go out when I first get home from work and right before bedtime, but other than that, they want to be with me or near me and what I am doing. Now, if it is a Saturday in July, the air is on, but I am doing outside work, they will follow me back and forth, back and forth all afternoon. In reality, I am sure they would much prefer sleeping the afternoon away on their bed in the air conditioning, but it is more important they be with me.
So the next time you think how much your dog/cat would enjoy something, make sure you look at it from their point of view. They want to be with their people. It really is that simple.

Labrador available for adoption

Hi, I am Godiva, a beautiful 7 year old chocolate lady. Being a little older is a good thing! I am out of the puppy stage but I still like to have fun, I am out of the chewing stage but I do like my treats, I am out of the stealing socks stage but would love to learn to fetch your paper and I am out of the independent stage....because I always want to be with you.
I am a sweet girl that has great house manners and is very appreciative of any attention you will give me. I am good with children and other dogs...cats I am not sure. I am not high energy and would do well with a family that is settled . My favorite thing in the whole world is to be with YOU! I live with a foster family but I really would like to find a permanent loving home. If you want a settled, loving, mature lady than I am the one. Come visit and lets take a walk and see if you really like Godiva chocolate.
If you are interested in meeting or adopting Godiva or one of our other labs contact Labrador Retriever Rescue of Florida by visiting our website http://www.labradorrescue.net/ or call 1-866-464-LABS.
LRROF has all our Labs microchipped, spayed or neutered, up to date on shots and each adoption comes with a 30 day pre-paid pet health insurance plan. All applicants will have a home inspection and vet reference (if applicable).

Comments on Michael Vick

I have heard some interesting comments since my last post about Michael Vick. These have come mainly from animals lovers who simply want him to go away. There is a problem with that line of thinking.
Michael Vick is not going to go away as long as there is a chance he can revive his NFL career. The hope in most animal lovers discussions is no one team will be willing to suffer the wrath of the animal welfare community, who are against this man ever making money the way he was again. Speaking for myself, I think he should be required to take a job as a kennel technician and do some hard work for very little money. Pay his bills and take care of his family like normal people and ex-cons have to do. The chances of that happening are probably pretty slim, but I am all for keeping his name out there, keep people talking about the horrendous acts he committed, keep it fresh in everyone's mind. Don't forget. Don't give him the ability to sweep it under the carpet.
As long as people remember, we can have an impact. It is when horrendous acts are not discussed and debated, people forget. We don't EVER want anyone to forget what he did.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Labrador available for adoption

Hi everyone! My name is Buddy, a happy-go-lucky boy, with a thick, shiny black coat and the sweetest, most expressive face. The nice people at Lab Rescue took me in after my family had to move, and couldn’t take me along to their new house.
I am 5 years old and have lots of energy to play, but also like to lie at your feet while you’re watching TV. I love, love, love to play fetch, especially with squeaky toys! I get along great with my two foster sisters. I am an all-around good boy – I like to ride in the car, I take treats very gently, am trustworthy in the house, and I walk right by your side when I’m on a leash. My foster mom says that I have had some seizures in the past, so every day I have to take two pills called Phenobarbital. I don’t remember any seizures – but I like taking my pills because she covers them in peanut butter and they keep me healthy!
I am hanging out with with my foster family but looking for my new home...so please come visit me and I’ll show you my toy collection and then we can take a walk!
If you are interested in meeting or adopting Buddy or one of our other labs contact Labrador Retriever Rescue of Florida by visiting our website http://www.labradorrescue.net/ or call 1-866-464-LABS.
LRROF has all our Labs microchipped, spayed or neutered, up to date on shots and each adoption comes with a 30 day pre-paid pet health insurance plan. All applicants will have a home inspection and vet reference (if applicable).

Please don't wait

I was having a conversation with a person I work with who has a beautiful German Shepherd mix dog. (funny how all my conversations seem to be about pets) She mentioned she was taking him to training classes and how much fun she was having and what a character he was. Then she mentioned the two girl dogs in class, her's is a boy and how she really needed to get him neutered before something happened. She just didn't have the money right now to have it done.
After I congratulated her on taking her dog to training classes, which is so important for dogs and their owners, I mentioned several area programs with low or no cost spay and neuter.
She had heard of none of them. She lives in Manatee County but works in Sarasota County. I thought the programs were doing a much better job of getting the word out about their availability. Apparently not, so please take note of several numbers where you can call and see about having your pet fixed.
Thousands of animals in our counties dies each month because of overcrowding in shelters. Please have your animal fixed and don't breed.
Animal Rescue Coalition: To schedule your pet for free -cost spay/neuter, call: Sarasota County 957-1955 ext. 4 or Manatee County 749-5842
Humane Society of Manatee County: Spay/Neuter Clinic 941) 747-8808 X302 Monday - Friday
Humane Society of Sarasota County: 955-4131
Suncoast Humane: 941-474-7884 or email information@humane.org.
Honor Sanctuary: 941.302.0933

Puffy Paws Kitty Haven needs volunteers

Puffy Paws Kitty Haven's Kitty Care & Companionship Program
Puffy Paws Kitty Haven is looking for volunteers for the Kitty Care & Companionship Program.
KCC volunteers improve the kitties’ chances for adoption by providing necessary companionship through socializing, exercising, and grooming.
Volunteers also assist in maintaining a clean environment for the kitties. Shifts start at Noon until 4p.m. or 4 p.m. until 8 p.m., Mon through Sat. Full or partial shifts available. Please call 941- 623 -8904 or go online at www.puffypawskittyhaven.com for more information.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Letter from Dixie

Hello out there to all my devoted readers. Boy, we had quite the week around my neck of the woods. It was busy, busy, busy and my neck was getting a strain just watching the people come and go. I simply couldn't keep up. Whew! I am glad it is evening time and I can take a rest.
So the big news of the week is Jake spent some time at the vet. Now, I know that doesn't mean much to you guys. You don't live here. Jake is a barker. He barks at every little thing. It can be quite annoying when I am trying to get my beauty rest. Woof, woof, woof, woof and woof. I really hope he is a little calmer after having his teeth done and getting snipped. (my friend told me he was having all that done and that is why he was gone for a few day.)
One other bit of news: I was told yesterday I wasn't quite as perfect as I have been telling you. It seems when I walk by the feeding table, I have been swiping treats and thinking I was getting away with it. It is one of the reasons my figure has become quite plump. Okay, busted, but if that one little thing makes me not perfect, then answer this for me: how many of you can resist that one little piece of chocolate they give you after dinner? Huh? You see, that doesn't make me a thief really, just a hungry girl who likes to eat.
I also got out for 3 walks today. I was so excited. I just love to walk and smell. But I don't like the cats who hang around. I can smell them and I would simply chase them if the humans would allow it. They won't, so I must be contented with sniffing.
I noticed these two new ladies today. They were working with the boys, Benson and Junior. (they are kinda young and obnoxious) and they worked with Libby and Drew. Not me, since my kennel is in the back and they were only there an hour. I think everyone just about got out 3 times today. It was quite interesting because then we get 3 treats. (plus the extras the walkers throw in when we do silly things like sit and down.) I have no idea why humans are so obsessed with making us sit. We know how. Do you think we are dumb? Well, most of us know how anyway. I have my doubts about Winter and Jilly. I don't think they will ever get it. Sit equals treat. I'm game.
Even Spike and Goober, who live in a separate room got to go romp and play a few times. It was thundering a little but they seemed okay. Spike is blind and Goober is his seeing eye dog. Spike follows Goober everywhere. They are both scared of thunderstorms.
Well, I am still here and still hoping. When I took this job I had no idea I would be telling stories every week. I guess my home is out there somewhere. The humans are just going to have to look a little harder for me. (this is my hint to you to tell everyone about me)
Love,
Dixie

Labrador available for adoption

Sadie is ,female Lab about a 1 year old, who weighs approximately 50 pounds. She is fairly mellow for a young gal but does have her bouts of playfulness and puppy energy. She likes to chew and needs to be crated when you are not home. She is good in the car, she is learning to walk nicely on a leash, and Sadie wants more than anything to please.
As with all ,basic obedience is critical and Sadie would benefit not only from the sessions but this would be a perfect way for her new family and her to bond. We do not know her child history but she is good with the ones she met in the neighborhood.
She loves to sunbathe in the yard. As a matter of fact, it is her favorite thing to do....see her picture! She is a sweet girl and is hanging out with her loving foster family until her new family comes into her life. She very much wants a permanent loving home. If you are looking for that new princess to be in your family, Sadie is the one.
If you are interested in meeting or adopting Sadie or one of our other labs contact Labrador Retriever Rescue of Florida by visiting our website http://www.labradorrescue.net/ or call 1-866-464-LABS.
LRROF has all our Labs microchipped, spayed or neutered, up to date on shots and each adoption comes with a 30 day pre-paid pet health insurance plan. All applicants will have a home inspection and vet reference (if applicable)

Puffy Paws Kitty Haven needs donations

Puffy Paws Kitty Haven’s Donation Center is looking for used books, electronics - computers, small furniture - appliances - DVD‘s - VHS Tapes- Video Games and systems - etc.
All donations benefits the community's unwanted kitties. All donations are tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law.
If you have any items to donate you may drop them off or call for a pick-up 941-623-8904. Please go online for more information at www.puffypawskittyhaven.com.
The Donation Center is located off San Casa Drive on Woodgate Ct , which is the east entrance to Englewood’s Walmart, if you face the front entrance to Walmart. Look right and you will see a set of storage units. We are unit E. Look for the “ Free Stuff " sign.

Update on Winter

When baby steps are necessary to begin to see the real dog you are dealing with emerge, it is sometimes excruciately difficult to see improvement when you are around the dog alot. I got to spend extra time this weekend with one of my project dogs and he is beginning to show signs of comfort with me. He is still shy, no doubt, but he walked with me two days in a row with his head up and his tail wagging. I have not seen that behavior before in any time span but moments.Today he actually walked with another volunteer who has also taken up his cause and although he was quite nervous with her and kept looking back at me for reasurrance, he did great. He is no longer balking at the front gate. It does not hold a threat for him any longer.
Another volunteer is working on him with his crate hiding. He seems to be terrified of men in general but his fear is lessening as the days go by.
I don't want you to think we are all work with him and no play either. He got lots of romp time and even rolled on his back like a normal dog and played a short (very short) game of chase with me.
He loves to have his back scratched and to be brushed and I, of course, must throw in some hugs and kisses because that is what I do. I still can't get him in a car. I tried last weekend to work on that with real chicken but the activity level was high and he was on edge. He did like the chicken, just not the cars.
I don't know how long it will take to find him a home. I do know he is much happier with being stimulated and working with different people. It may still take us several months before his comfort level increases to the point of actually liking to be around new stimulus.
Now, about those cars.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Prey drive in dogs

This topic comes up quite frequently among animal welfare folks and is debated at conferences and dinner parties alike. Some feel a dog with a high prey drive can never be adopted out to a home and others feel as long as the owners' are aware of the drive, everything will work out okay.
The internet is full of articles on this subject and you could read opinions for hours about dogs with prey drives. I had a dog like that. He would chase anything that moved; lizards, squirrels, cats, birds, small dogs, it simply didn't matter what it was. If it moved, Jasper would chase it and kill it if he could. He was not that way with larger dogs like he was, only small ones. He was never any problem unless the unsuspecting creature walked in his yard. Then it was gone. No bark, no growl, nothing but attack.
High prey drive dogs can make great pets. They love competition and do well in those areas. They also make great search and rescue dogs because they are so focused. Most of the time they cannot live with small animals and expect if they catch one in your yard, they will bring it to you as a present. (Carmella, another of my dogs brought me a squirrel one day while I was in the shower. Despite my inclination to scream, I simply removed her from the room and had my son come and dispose of the squirrel.)
If this subject interests you, check out these articles to get more background. There really is a reason why dogs bring in dead critters for you to praise them.
http://www.best-behaviour.com/prey-drive.html
http://www.canismajor.com/dog/hidrive.html

You just might be surprised

Everytime I see a new article about dog bites, the hair on the back of my neck rises and I am prepared to write the author and tell them exactly what they don't know about dogs. Then I receive in my in box an article like this one, http://www2.tbo.com/content/2009/jul/24/beware-labradors-well-pit-bulls-summer-bite-season/life-pets/ which tells the story in a calm, educated fashion without the prejudice of most journalists.
It was refreshing to read. We should have more of this balanced reporting, even for the web.

Special cat in Englewood

Meet Nero.
He thinks he runs Puffy Paws but we just let him think that.
Check out Nero and all the kitties up for adoption when you come out to our Open House every Saturday from 1 p.m. until 4 p.m. at 270 Lakeview Lane in Englewood.Puffy Paws also needs volunteers. You can go online at http://www.puffypawskittyhaven.com/ or call 941-473 - 5406 for more information.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Labrador available for adoption

I am Kandy, a 5 year old yellow Lab. I am very affectionate and active. I get along with other dogs, but I really love to be with people. I am a good girl and just want to please. I was a little plump, but I am slimming down nicely with regular exercise. I do love the water and would be a great pool partner. I also love to play ball and to take walks.
If you are looking for that loving special partner ....look no further....it is me. Come visit and lets play catch and just sit or walk. Who knows we may be the perfect pair.
If you are interested in meeting or adopting Kandy or one of our other labs contact Labrador Retriever Rescue of Florida by visiting our website http://www.labradorrescue.net/ or call 1-866-464-LABS.
LRROF has all our Labs microchipped, spayed or neutered, up to date on shots and each adoption comes with a 30 day pre-paid pet health insurance plan. All applicants will have a home inspection and vet reference (if applicable).

Low cost microchip/vaccinations plus adoptathon

Suncoast Humane Society and Build-a-Bear Workshop Bear Hugs Foundation are partnering to offer a low-cost microchip and vaccination clinic, along with an adoptathon, in North Port. The event will be held from 8:00 a.m. until 12:00 noon, on Saturday, August 8, at the Society’s North Port Thrift Store, located at North Port Place, 14942 US 41.
Microchipping is an important measure that can be taken to better assure the safe return of your pet, in time of displacement. This is especially important during hurricane season.
There will be affordable prices on vaccination, flea & tick prevention products, microchipping and heartworm tests and prevention.
Special vaccination packages will be available for as low as $39 for canines and $28 for felines. Rabies vaccinations will be given for $8. Your pet can be micro-chipped for $25.
Dr. Randy Hitesman, Suncoast Humane Society’s veterinarian will lead the medical team in conducting the event. All proceeds will benefit the animals at Suncoast Humane Society.
If you have been thinking of adding a pet to your family, you may want to consider one of the dogs or cats that will be featured for adoption. Special adoption fees will be $50 for canines and $35 for felines. The microchip, vaccination, and adoptathon event also offers an ideal time to donate items for sale, and/or shop at the Society’s new North Port Thrift Store.
Phil Snyder, Executive Director of Suncoast Humane Society states, “Microchipping can be the best insurance for a safe return of your pet, if he/she becomes lost. This is also a great opportunity to bring your pet up-to-date on all needed vaccinations, if you have had to put this off because of the economy.”
Please contact Suncoast Humane Society for more information at 941-474-7884 or visit their website at www.humane.org .

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Labrador available for adoption

My real name is Taffy but my foster mom describes me as Chocolate Taffy because I am so sweet with a chocolate coat. I am about 10 months old and about 40 pounds, guess you could say I am petite or a pocket lab.
I was at the shelter for a long time before Labrador Retriever Rescue of Florida found me. Now I love the freedom to run in a yard, play ball, and chew on sticks and I am even willing to try the pool if you have one. The feeling of my paws running on the soft ground and laying down in the soft grass is so nice and it certainly beats the concrete floor at the shelter. I love kids and I am good with them. I do like to give them kisses! Because I am still learning the ways of the world my foster mom thinks I would do best with children 5 and over as I am curious as to what they are eating and could knock the little ones over.
I know some of my basic commands but I am a fast learner and would love to go to obedience school with my new family so I can show them how smart I really am. I get along with other dogs and I am curious about cats - sometimes I am even afraid of them. I am house trained, good in my crate and I love to be with people. The only thing I really want is to find the right family to love me. Please come visit....lets play catch, roll in the grass and hang out together. We may be the perfect match.....Chocolate Taffy is loved by everyone!
If you are interested in meeting or adopting Chocolate Taffy or one of our other labs contact Labrador Retriever Rescue of Florida by visiting our website http://www.labradorrescue.net/ or call 1-866-464-LABS.
LRROF has all our Labs microchipped, spayed or neutered, up to date on shots and each adoption comes with a 30 day pre-paid pet health insurance plan. All applicants will have a home inspection and vet reference (if applicable).

Monday, July 20, 2009

Writing to the NFL

Michael Vick's ankle bracelet is reportedly coming off today. He is suppose to schedule a meeting with NFL Commission Roger Goodell to discusss reviving his career in professional football. After the atrocities he committed towards animals in his care, I will never watch him play again. If that means no more NFL, then I will be content with watching and supporting the high schools and colleges in the state.
If the reinstatement of Michael Vick bothers you, please drop Roger Goodell a note and let him know what you think at Roger.Goodell2@nfl.net .
It is possible to make a difference.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Special Labrador available for adoption

Every animal I feature on this blog needs a home. Some are harder to place than others and many have issues which humans are not willing to deal with. For every one who turns up their nose at the special ones, two more people seem to come available who love and appreciate all animals, with all their quirks and issues. This dog grabbed my heartstrings when I read the story. If you can help with this special cutie, please contact Labrador Rescue. You won't regret it. She has not had 1 family ask about her in 5 months.

Nyla is a special puppy who has a big heart and has no idea she is medically special. When Nyla first came to Labrador Retriever Rescue of Florida she had just been diagnosed with Neospora. Her physical condition left her with absolutely no control of her hind limbs.
LRROF has been working on flexibility in both her hips and hind limbs and a great improvement has been seen. Amazing progression by such a determined little pup. Time has moved on and Nyla has been in rescue 5 or her 7 months. "Special Needs" does not apply to her anymore. She may look a little different physically, but she is absolutely no different than any other loving, playful puppy. Her only challenge is going UP an entire flight of stairs. Nyla can come down on her own and she has absolutely no problem with small steps.
She is completely independent and requires no assistance to function like a normal puppy. Nyla can swim, run and play. She will play fetch with anything you are willing to throw for her. She has been recently named the "lap lab" as she is smaller than a pocket lab (about 35 lbs.) and fits perfectly on your lap(and will remain there until you physically force her to leave :)) She has been around children and infants and has done great with everyone.
Nyla is also cat tested and passed with flying colors. Nyla likes to run and play but truly she is a VERY mellow lab and would do just fine with a family in a condo or town home where space for a large lab might be limited. Her only requirement is continuous love. Nyla is house trained, crate trained and knows basic commands. She has an amazing disposition and joy of life.
At 7 months, Nyla still has puppy play, but she is not a chewer and is also out of the very early puppy phase behaviors. Nyla is one of the sweetest labs we have ever had the opportunity to meet, learn from and love. Labrador Retriever Rescue of Florida would be more than happy to answer any and all questions about her and we welcome the opportunity to do so. Nyla's youtube videos have also been updated and can be found here: Http://www.youtube.com/user/Nyla2TheBone
If you are interested in meeting or adopting NYLA or one of our other labs contact Labrador Retriever Rescue of Florida by visiting our website http://www.labradorrescue.net/ or call 1-866-464-LABS. LRROF has all our Labs microchipped, spayed or neutered, up to date on shots and each adoption comes with a 30 day pre-paid pet health insurance plan. All applicants will have a home inspection and vet reference (if applicable).

Letter from Dixie

Well folks, another week has come and gone and I am still here, still the perfect dog, and still homeless.
I am not sure what is going on with folks this days. I heard it had to do with money, but I don't cost that much for upkeep. I would make the perfect girlfriend. Not possessive or pushy, and a cheap date. Don't you think that is the route to go?
We had lots and lots of company this weekend. I got to go on lots of walks with new people spending time with me. I am having a really good time, but still dream about a home of my own. My special friend didn't even get to walk me today I was so busy with other volunteers. She brought chicken and we were all behaving perfectly to try and get a piece. She was fair and no one got left out. But....if I had gotten to go on a walk with her I bet I would have gotten even more.
We did get another new guest but I haven't seen him. They called him maybe a papillion/long haired chihuahua mix but I don't think they really know. That is just a guess. I heard his mom died and there was no one to take him because he is snappy. Aren't all little dogs snappy? All the ones I have every known have been. He is going to stay with us and the trainers are going to work with him. He won't have a problem though, because he is small. I don't snap but I am a big girl, so no one wants me.
Winter, who is in the kennel across from me got taken out by a new person today. He is such a scaredy cat around new people but they say it is good for him. Handsome Harry took a treat from Mark, who also took me for a walk. Harry is sometimes shy around men, but he went right up to the dude like he knew him or something. (I think Harry is pulling an act and would follow treats anywhere, regardless of who had them. This guy Mark actually was in the kennel with Elmo, and no one does that, so he is pretty brave.) You know Elmo really isn't that big and bad, he is scared of Winter who is scared of everything. He does put on a convincing act, though. He is a Weimaraner and a big boy. He will always live here in the sanctuary part because he can be so obnoxious.
Well, that is a little piece of my world for the week. I hope you enjoyed it and will come back for updates. This gig is a pretty good one. I tell you the gossip, and then get extra treats.
Until next time I will remain faithfully your gossip girl,
Dixie
P.S. By the way, if I have peaked your interest in any of the dogs in my column, please don't hesitate to email Caroline. I promise I won't be jealous if you like someone more than me. I won't know why, since I am perfect, but I won't be real upset about it.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Denver could lose this one

As many of you know, I am a Florida girl and simply love the state in which I live. Seven generations of my family have called Florida home and my son is the 8th one. But, if I had to pick a state which I would be comfortable in and I love almost as much as Florida, it would be Colorado. (We won't discuss the differences here since this is about animals.)
The only down side to Colorado as far as pets go, is the horrendous pit bull ban Denver enacted in 1989. Any dog who was a pit bull or was perceived to be a pit bull in the city could be taken from your home and killed, simply due to the ban. Many people moved out of the city because they would not give up their pet. An underground railroad was started to get dogs to safe spots before the city od Denver could remove then for euthanization. Now mind you, the dog didn't have to do anything wrong. Simply because some yahoo who thought it was a pitbull, they could take your dog from your home and kill it, and you had no recourse. The court system gave them that right. Since the original ruling it is estimated 1,100 dogs have been killed due to this law.
This battle has been raging since in the courts of Colorado. When it finally made it to the United States District Court for the District of Colorado the case was dismissed. The plaintiffs appealed to the Tenth Circuit.
Now, finally, the Tenth Circuit reversed the District Court for dismissing the plaintiffs’ substantive due process claim at such an early stage of the litigation and they have a court case. Now the case will go back to the District Court to be heard.
It is not the perfect option, but at least it is an option. The Animal Legal Defense Fund has an article on exactly what the court said. You can read it here.

Special cat in Englewood

Meet Scooter. He is a great cat.
He loves to hang out and play.
If you want to meet Scooter and all the kitties up for adoption come out to our Open House every Saturday from 1 p.m. until 4 p.m. at 270 Lakeview Lane in Englewood.
Puffy Paws also needs volunteers.
You can go online at http://www.puffypawskittyhaven.com/ or call 941-473 - 5406 for more information.

Labrador puppy mixes available for adoption

Angel was all set to go to her new adoptive home at the on July 10th....but she had a surprise waiting....9 puppies delivered July 5th. No one knew she was pregnant and even had a scar where her spay surgery should have been. All 9 pups are thriving, and there are boys and girls. When they are 4 weeks of age, visitors can select their pup and then pick up their pup at 8 weeks of age. We are not sure who Daddy is, but the pups are very cute. Angel and her pups are fostered in St. Petersburg.
If you are interested in meeting or adopting one of Angel's puppies or one of our other Labs contact Labrador Retriever Rescue of Florida by visiting our website http://www.labradorrescue.net/ or call 1-866-464-LABS.
LRROF has all our Labs microchipped, spayed or neutered, up to date on shots and each adoption comes with a 30 day pre-paid pet health insurance plan. All applicants will have a home inspection and vet reference (if applicable).

Update on Winter

I got to spend lots of time with one of my project dogs this week. We have been slowly working on his shy/scared with everything behavior. He has made wonderful strides in the past few weeks and today was no exception.
When I got to Satchel's this morning and went to greet the dogs, Winter came out of his crate with his head up and tail wagging. He let me put the leash on him by the gate and we went for our morning walk.
His head was up high and although crossing Clark Road is still a challenge, walked across the road with me to the church to welcome in sunrise. He balked a couple of times, once when a truck was stopped in the middle of the road with a loud radio and the guys was looking under the hood, and once walking by the retention pond when the bullfrogs were really loud.
We spent some time in the play yards and he let me brush him and leaned up against me for a hug and kiss. That in itself means the trust is building with him. It is still slow, easy going for right now.
Tomorrow it is chicken as a high value treat and we will work on vehicles a little more. We must get him over the fear of cars or at least the ability to get him in a car in order for him to make it to a new home.
I will keep you posted and you keep your fingers crossed.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

A certain death

One of the most popular programs in many shelters is the adoption to elderly people. I don't have any concrete numbers, but senior citizens seem to relish adopting an unwanted dog or cat from a shelter. For many, these animals provide companionship and love in an otherwise lonely existence.
On the flip side, what happens to these pets when their owner dies. I have seen wealthy seniors leave money to make sure the animal is cared for, but have also seen children or relatives dump the senior's animal at the closest rescue they can because they cannot deal with it.
My Mom has a little terrier mix named Jordan. Jordan is almost 15 now and a little feeble. She is going blind and is snappy. She has been since my mother first adopted her a couple of years ago. There is no doubt if she outlives my Mom, she will come to my house. My dogs and her will just have to coexist with me and like it. I would not put an elderly dog who just lost their owner in a shelter situation.
Each individual when faced with a situation like this must do what is right for them, but for just a moment, think what the dog or cat must be going through. Their whole life as they have known it is gone. Their owner, who they loved, has gone somewhere and not come back. Strangers are wondering through their home and nothing is as it should be. They are then taken to an even stranger place with more animals and the pet is mortified. This is why many animals whose owners have passed away never make it out of a shelter alive. They snap or are scared and end up being euthanized as an unadoptable dog.
That fact makes me kind of sad when people continue to treat companion animals as a throwaway commodity. Instead of figuring out a way to make it work, it is easier to make it someone else's problem.

Labrador available for adoption

They call me Maverick, I guess because of my free spirit. It's just that spirit that landed me in a shelter where I was found by Lab rescue. Boy have I got it good now. I'm thinking I'd like to keep it this way. I have something they call heartworms so I'll need some treatment for them before I'll be back to my old self. I'm four years old and appear to get along with other dogs. Since we don't know my past, I can't be adopted out to families with children under 7. If you're looking for a new companion, I'm fostered in Riverview.
If you are interested in meeting or adopting Maverick or one of our other Labs contact Labrador Retriever Rescue of Florida by visiting our website http://www.labradorrescue.net/ or call 1-866-464-LABS.
LRROF has all our Labs microchipped, spayed or neutered, up to date on shots and each adoption comes with a 30 day pre-paid pet health insurance plan. All applicants will have a home inspection and vet reference (if applicable).

Monday, July 13, 2009

Backyard breeders

One of the most irritating topics animal welfare people hear, is the propaganda of backyard breeders. Now, I am not talking about a family who simply fails to fix their pet and they get pregnant, or another dog gets them pregnant. That is a whole topic of itself. I am speaking of people who intentionally breed their dog over and over for puppies to sell.
They think they can justify this by telling people how much they love the breed. They sometimes use their children as objects saying they want the kids to experience the wonder of birth. They use many excuses but the bottom line is really the answer. They can make money if they can sell puppies.
The reason I bring this up now after simmering on the back burner several months is due to a sign I saw driving home from work today. It was a decorated sign, in a nice, deed-restricted community advertising Jack Russell puppies for sale. It irritated me, it really did.
With the economy being in the tank right now, and hundreds, if not thousands of companion animals being housed in shelters and rescues, some simply awaiting their execution, with well over 200 Baby Jack Russells or mixes of Jack Russells on www.petfinder.com, I stopped counting at 200 in the southern states alone), some idiot is still breeding more dogs and putting them in the population to make more money.
When are people going to stop this insanity of indiscriminate breeding all for the sake of money? When are states going to simply enact some laws to license breeders to stop the influx of new animals? The amount of money counties must now spend on animal control is astronomical. All to kill animals. The more animals is the general population, the more animals are put to death because there are no homes available.
There has to be a better solution. It is simply up to us to find it.

Labrador available for adoption

Taffy is a young, 9 month old female chocolate Lab. She has lived most of her life in a shelter but luckily, the good folks at Lab Rescue were notified and able to take her in to give her a chance of the life she deserves.
Taffy has lived with children before in the earlier months in her life and is good with other dogs. She is curious about cats and may chase them if they run. Taffy would benefit from an obedience class though she knows how to sit. She is petite at about 40 pounds and probably will not get much bigger than that. Since Taffy has spent so much time in the shelter we really do not know if she is housebroken but with crate training and a consistent schedule this can be accomplished but it will take a patient family. Taffy is very sweet like her name and loving. She is in the SW Florida (Ft Myers/ Cape Coral) area.
If you are interested in meeting or adopting Taffy or one of our other Labs contact Labrador Retriever Rescue of Florida by visiting our website http://www.labradorrescue.net/ or call 1-866-464-LABS.
LRROF has all our Labs microchipped, spayed or neutered, up to date on shots and each adoption comes with a 30 day pre-paid pet health insurance plan. All applicants will have a home inspection and vet reference (if applicable).

Pet hair: any idea?

As I was sweeping and vaccuming, trying to remove the gobs of hair from the place I call home, I once again thought about the wonders of pet hair.
Pet hair can hide in corners and on rugs. It can be sucked up in the refrigerator coils. It floats under furniture and drifts on tables. It has a life of its' own.
The copious amounts I remove every time I clean, which isn't more than a couple of days a week, could stuff a mattress or make a pillow. I wish we could use it for those purposes.
I have two dogs. Both shed and they are different colors. Light colored clothing picks up Gypsy's black hair and dark clothing picks up Buzz's blond hair.
I have read how different people are trying to do different things with dog and cat hair and I know Angora comes from a rabbit, but don't you think someone would invent something we could make out of dog and cat hair? It wouldn't be itchy and it wouldn't have that wet dog smell after you washed it.
Any ideas?

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Letter from Dixie

Hi folks, back again. I bet you thought I would have found the perfect home by now, huh? Yeah, well lady luck doesn't seem to be on my side this week. I am still hoping, but for right now I am just going to be contented that I do have a place to stay, nice humans and plenty of food.
The goings on at Satchel's this week have been pretty interesting to watch. They moved another kennel. I know that doesn't mean much to you, but to us it is a major big deal. We have had people coming and going, going and coming. Some of the dogs here keep barking, but I simply lay in my kennel like a lady with my legs crossed, and watch the excitement.
We had a guest this week who belongs to someone who works here and man was she noisy. She had Missy so upset, she had to go to the doctor. Of course, Missy was found almost dead from heartworms, so she is very fragile and doesn't really like anyone who lives here but the humans. She is now in the air-conditioned suite with Drummer. Drummer is 16 so he gets the air-condition, too! Now my next door neighbor is Pepper. She is a dalmation mix who is deaf. She gets to live here the rest of her life. She hasn't had an easy one since she can't hear but she seems happy most of the time.
Oh yeah, and this new handsome dude moved in. His name is Brody and he is a black lab mix. Young and handsome let me tell you. (He isn't perfect like I am, but he sure is cute.) I bet he won't stay here very long.
When I went on my walk today I learned how to sneak a treat off the feeding table. My friend caught me and she wasn't very happy with me. She says I need to get my girlish figure back, so to prove a point to her, I did the same thing coming back from my walk. I can be a sneaky one when I want a treat. How I would love a home where all the treats would be mine.
New humans, oh my gosh, we have new humans coming in. How exciting for us. They all want us to do the same thing: sit, stay, down, you know the drill. The amazing thing about that is we really enjoy doing that. Now we get to hunt for our treats in the kennel because they hide them to make us use our noses. It is funny to watch. We have been pretty spoiled and have always known the treats would be waiting on us when we came back from play time. Not any more. Now we have to hunt them down. It is really quite fun, just don't tell the humans or they will think we are having too good a time. Sherman, who is a sanctuary dog is the funny man. He wants everyone to think he can't find the treats and gives a really sad look. The humans don't fall for it and he has to hunt like everyone else. Well, most of the humans don't fall for it but there are a couple who are iffy.
I am going to sign off for now to take my siesta. We get one everyone afternoon because of this heat. Most of us just don't have the energy to play with this temps in the 90's. But remember, I am still here waiting on you. You can take my test any time. Just ask. Dixie is the name. You wouldn't ever regret it.

Licks and paws,
Dixie

Special dog needs special home

grace (gras) n. the unmerited love and favor of God toward mankind.
My name is Gracie. I don't think they were thinking of the meaning of grace when they named me because I sure haven't been treated like my name.
I was raised in a family for 18 months, from when I was a puppy. They had kids and I was happy, but I am shy and have always been that way. I heard some of the humans talking and they said it was genetic and I would probably always be that way. My family decided to move to another state. It was one of those states where they don't accept dogs. I don't know they name of that place but they were going to take me to a shelter since they couldn't take me there.
The neighbor had a dog which I liked and some kids and he took me in so I didn't have to go to a shelter. His dog and I began exploring the neighborhood. I liked his dog because I would never have the courage to go off on my own, but my new dad didn't see it that way. He said I was a bad influence on his dog so he dumped me.
That is the story on how I ended up here. I like other dogs and have been around kids, but am painfully shy and until I get to know you, will hide from you if you come close. Once I am comfortable with you, then I will let you pet me. I live with another dog in a kennel now and we are fine together, although he can be a little bossy. His name is Hunk.
I am a lab/greyhound mix and people say I have beautiful coloring. I would probably not do good with smaller dogs or cats because I am a big girl and love to chase small critters. They might not be safe with me in the yard. I am pretty housebroken and would probably adjust really well to going out on a regular schedule should you decide to take me home.
I am not even 2 years old, still lots of love and kisses inside, I just don't know how to get them out.
Could you be the family who would take me home and teach me about love and kisses? It might take you a little while, but it would be worth it.
Contact Caroline at comments@satchelslastresort.com and arrange to come out for a visit. I bet after I met you a couple of times, we would fall in love with each other and you would love me and not discard me.
Gracie

Then, the flip side

Why is it so many dog owners think their dog has the right to do whatever they want? I have seen it happen time and time again. You remove your dog because my dog doesn't like other dogs. You keep your dog on a leash because my dog is so sweet, he doesn't need to be on one. You pick up your dog's poop because my dog is little, so there isn't that much. I have heard it over and over.
This story really frosted my mug. Here is this man walking with his daughter and his dog and another dog comes out of nowhere and attacks the first man's dog. Strange dog bites daughter, (misdirected aggression), first man stabs loose dog to stop fight, now dog is stabbed, daughter is bitten and the guy who was irresponsible threatens the first man and ends up being arrested.
Is there somewhere you can go to get a dose of common sense? (For the reporter of this story, was the dog who was attacked on a leash? I wonder.)

Positive pit bull press

I love to see stories which are actually pretty accurate about pit bulls, or any dog for that matter. I tell people all the time it doesn't matter what kind of dog you have, they will protect your home because it is their home, too. They are a great deterrent for would-be home invaders.
This story at least didn't end up with the death of any person or animal. The dog did his job.
Check it out.

Special cat in Englewood

Meet Biff. Black kitties rule ! Biff will love you fur-ever.
If you want to meet Biff and all the kitties up for adoption come out to our Open House every Saturday from 1 p.m. until 4 p.m. at 270 Lakeview Lane in Englewood.
Puffy Paws needs volunteers. You can go online at http://www.puffypawskittyhaven.com/ or call 941-473 - 5406 for more information.
Thank you Sarasota County, for all you do for the animals.

Joint effort busts dogfighters

This story happened earlier this week. When animal welfare organizations cooperate, they can move mountains.
Check out the story here.

Labrador available for adoption

Hi folks, I'm Kawaii, that is prounced like Hawaii but with a 'K'. That means "cutie" and everyone tells me I am the cutest 3 year old! I had been living outside when Lab Rescue took me in and now am loving being indoors. I LOVE people and like to give you kisses... even on car rides. My previous owners had young kids and I was a lady and did not knock them down. I lived with other dogs and I LOVE to play with my stuffed bear. I have to get rid of something called heartworms but I will be ready to go in no time! I'm staying with my foster in New Tampa. I want to find a family that I can love!
If you are interested in meeting or adopting Kawaii or one of our other Labs contact Labrador Retriever Rescue of Florida by visiting our website http://www.labradorrescue.net/ or call 1-866-464-LABS. LRROF has all our Labs microchipped, spayed or neutered, up to date on shots and each adoption comes with a 30 day pre-paid pet health insurance plan. All applicants will have a home inspection and vet reference (if applicable).

Friday, July 10, 2009

Forgiveness and mercy?

I am really tired tonight after spending my birthday last night with some wonderful friends of mine with dinner and cake and talking animals. I was going to hold off on publishing anything on the blog tonight and hit the bed early, when I can across the most appalling story of a firefighter who took his dogs to his basement, tied them up and shot them because he couldn't pay boarding fees for them while he went on a cruise. It angered me so much, I had to write about it and post it for all my readers.
I continue to be amazed at the audacity of humans believing they can kill and maim helpless creatures at will and not be punished, or have the punishment so lax, it doesn't faze them to serve a 90 day sentence and just continue on with their lives.
They are always "sorry" or " "have remorse" for these horrendous acts, but the animals are just as dead. Talk about a throwaway society. It does not present mankind in a very good light.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Non-native species

Most of my blog features companion animals like cats, dogs and pocket pets. After the death of the 2 year old from a python last week, I thought I would write about non-native species.
This subject comes up every time something which is not native to the state I love does something horrific to a person or a companion animal.
I have discussed with numerous people the difference between alligators and pythons, but many people lump them in the same category, which is unfair to the native species.
Florida, along with Texas, has some of the most lax exotic species laws in this country. You can pretty much have anything you want on the premise of personal rights.
Unfortunately, this includes species which can have such an impact on the native critters, they become a problem.
The Sarasota Herald-Tribune has an excellent editoral in the paper about a new bill and the impact it would have on eradicating non-native species from my beloved state.
I have nothing against snakes, and in fact go out of my way to keep the native ones in my yard for rodent control. The difference is, the natives won't eat my dog, much less kill a child and they fall in the natural food chain of the state. Even the snakes I grew up learning to avoid, like water moccasins and rattlers have a place. I wouldn't own them as pets or think they should be allowed to be sold as one.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Foster homes desperately needed

A terrible double homicide in the Venice area (http://www.mysuncoast.com/Global/story.asp?S=10614065) has left four Golden Retrievers homeless and in desperate need of help. Unfortunately, the son of the female victim had no choice but to turn the dogs over to Animal Services.
There are 3 dogs at AS and one dog at a veterinarian's office. The dogs at AS are a 5 year old unneutered male, two spayed 8 year old females that are sisters. There is also a blind 10 year old female at a veterinarian's office being treated for diabetes.
GRRSWF is committed to helping these dogs however, we are in need of foster homes in order to be able to do so - for the blind, diabetic 10 year old in particular; this poor girl must be even more confused and terrified than her housemates.
Who has room in their home and their heart for any of these additional victims of this tragic event? Animal Services and the veterinarian would like to transfer the dogs to GRRSWF as soon as possible; we can board the dogs for a night or two if necessary, as long as we know that there is a foster home available for them.
Please help us help them!
Golden Retriever Rescue of Southwest Florida, Inc.
If you can help in any way, please contact Golden Retreiver Rescue 239-369-0415

Labrador available for adoption

Meet Max ! He is approximately 2 years old and is currently being treated for heartworms so he is keeping quiet until those nasty worms are gone. Max is a people dog; very sweet and loving. He is good with other dogs, big and small and is good car rider. We are not sure about cats, though. He is housebroken and walks okay on a leash. If you would like to know more about this sweet boy, he is being fostered in Naples.
If you are interested in meeting or adopting Max or one of our other Labs contact Labrador Retriever Rescue of Florida by visiting our website http://www.labradorrescue.net/ or call 1-866-464-LABS.
LRROF has all our Labs microchipped, spayed or neutered, up to date on shots and each adoption comes with a 30 day pre-paid pet health insurance plan. All applicants will have a home inspection and vet reference (if applicable).

Special cat in Englewood

Meet Penny Lane. She is one Kool Kat.
She is looking for that special family to love and hold her.
If you want to meet Penny Lane and all the kitties up for adoption come out to our Open House every Saturday from 1 p.m. until 4 p.m. at 270 Lakeview Lane - Englewood.
Puffy Paws needs volunteers. You can go online at http://www.puffypawskittyhaven.com/ or call 941-473 - 5406 for more information.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Letter from Dixie

So another week has come and gone and I am still in a kennel, surrounded by other dogs with no home to call my own.
I am a happy dog for the most part, but am getting a wee bit depressed thinking I will never have my own family. Don't get me wrong, the humans who take care of me love me and pay as much attention to me as time allows, but I really crave my own yard, where there is no one else to worry with.
I could chase lizards or squirrels, play in the pool or simply lay under the tree and watch the world go by.
A home where I could lay on my bed while the humans were watching that box, or have someone brush me until my coat gleamed. You see, I have a condition called demodex mange. You wouldn't know it unless I told you, but I have to have this medication every day to keep my coat pretty, otherwise, I will become hairless and scabby, which is what I was like when I came here. But look at my picture now. You can't tell, can you?
I keep thinking if the humans would show up to look at me, they would fall in love with me. I am doing well in my no jumping thing and besides that, I told you. I am perfect so I can't imagine what the problem is.
It is nice I have been going on long walks and yesterday I played in the splash pool for a while, but then the humans got busy and had lots more dogs that needed to be taken care of so I had to return to my kennel.
Sorry to end on a sad note this week but that is the way I am feeling: pretty sad. If you know of anyone who would love to take me home, please have them contact Caroline at comments@satchelslastresort.com and ask about me. Remember, the name is Dixie.

Labrador available for adoption

My name is Ted. I am an active 5 year old, beautiful yellow boy. Not much is known about me because I was found as a stray. However everything my new foster family knows about me is good. I am friendly with other dogs and cats. I am housetrained and walk well on a leash. I am learning to like the water, too. Please come see me at my foster's place in Sarasota.
If you are interested in meeting or adopting Ted or one of our other Labs contact Labrador Retriever Rescue of Florida by visiting our website http://www.labradorrescue.net/ or call 1-866-464-LABS.
LRROF has all our Labs microchipped, spayed or neutered, up to date on shots and each adoption comes with a 30 day pre-paid pet health insurance plan. All applicants will have a home inspection and vet reference (if applicable).

Update on Winter

Winter, who is one of my project dogs at Satchel's is improving on a weekly basis. If you didn't know him at first, you probably wouldn't be able to see the improvement, but I can.
This weekend he made it walking across Clark Road, all the way down to the church and the big oak tree. There were moments when I didn't know if he would follow me, but his confidence is growing. Baby steps to be sure, but growing all the same.
When we arrived back at Satchel's, we walked round and round the cars. I opened my truck doors and then walked around it a couple of times. Then I slammed the doors with him right there but acted like nothing happened. That is the thing you see, you cannot coddle scared dogs but simply introduce things to them slowly and then act like it is a normal occurance.
This morning it was trying to coax him out of his crate while in his kennel. I used freshly baked chicken and it took a few minutes, but he couldn't resist that chicken. I don't believe he has ever stood outside his crate and eaten a treat for more than a couple of seconds. He is still scared, but is gaining confidence a little at a time.
.He is going to make someone a wonderful addition to their family. If you think he would be a good project for you to take on, please contact Satchel's at comments@satchelslastresort.com and ask Caroline about him. If you are loud or scream alot, he might not be the dog for you, but if you have a calm household and like to see a good dog overcome a lifetime of being shuttled back and forth from shelter to shelter, check him out. You won't regret it.

Harry's true background surfaces

Hi everyone. Harry here. I haven't spoken to you in a while, so after spending some time with friends yesterday, I thought I would check in and tell you what they discovered.
The feel like I am a sailor. You know, the old-fashioned kind who hung around in bars when they were on liberty and got into a bunch of fights? Yep, that's me. A couple of my ears have some pieces missing and the scars on my face could be the result of a barroom brawl but sweetness is there, too! The shelter calls me Handsome Harry, but I know some people might not think my face is handsome. I say I have character. They also say I probably suffer from something called the Napoleon complex since I am part Whippet and am small, but I say it is because I don't like bullies and I have met several in my life. Satchel's recommends I be the only dog.
The port I have landed in, Satchel's, is the best one yet, but I am longing to settle down and take permanent liberty. I found I may have a brother who lives outside Port Manatee in Palmetto. His name is Emmitt. We aren't sure yet, but I guess Emmitt's mom may come and visit me.
I am glad Emmitt has had smoother sailing than I have, but I am sure my next port of call will be my last. I just have to find it.
I have reached middle age and still have no permanent home so if you are searching for a dog who really needs to dock his ship and stay landlocked for a while, please contact Satchel's Last Resort at comments@satchelslastresort.com and speak to Caroline. She can give you the latest news on my life and maybe you will think my face has character. I sure hope so.

Harry

Friday, July 3, 2009

They never stood a chance

I get so angry sometimes when I read the news from this country about the treatment of animals by humans, who are supposed to be caretakers of lesser creatures I could simply crawl into a hole and forget about the human race.
Apparently, a guy in Arizona was jailed and left behind 50 or so dogs on his property with no one to care for the animals. The county simply went in and shot all the dogs. Period. End of Story.
No attempt was made to have any animal control out to see if the dogs could be saved, or if not, to humanely euthanize them.
So let's have a rodeo and see who can shoot the most "aggressive" dogs. And we are supposed to be the most civilized of creatures. Remind me again why this shouldn't make us all angry.

Ongoing conversation about Michael Vick

I was taking a break yesterday and several people sitting around me were having a conversation about Michael Vick. So, of course I joined in.
The discussion was football and which team was going to sign him. I heard he had been speaking to the Dolphins and as a longtime fan, I said if they signed him I would NEVER support them again. One of the other people is a Redskins fan and she said she would. If he joined the team and the team did well, everyone would forget about the dogs he killed. She said the money he would generate would erase all the bad things he did, even if he wasn't remorseful. She stated he had served the time given him and should be allowed to come place to his livelihood.
I disagreed and we discussed how he knew what he was doing, was not upset the dogs died and hoped the fans would not support him if he tried to comeback.
I love football. I grew up with the sport, everyone I know played the sport and I have been a fan since I was a little girl. I buy merchandise. I cheer on my favorite teams and players. If the NFL ever tries to bring Michael Vick back into the fold of professional football, that support will stop. I hope there are several hundreds of thousands of like-minded fans, but the truth is there probably isn't.
You can bet they won't get any support from my little corner of Sarasota. When you put it all in a pot and boil it down, as my Nanny used to say, the dogs are still dead and there will always be wolves in sheeps' clothing. Michael Vick is one of those.

Breeders and puppy mills

I have been having an ongoing conversation with an old friend who was looking for a second dog. He lives out west now and was searching high and low for a companion for his beagle. I urged him to scour all the shelters and adopt a shelter dog, but in the end, he got a dog from a breeder. After writing him of my dismay, I urged him to at least have her spayed, so no more puppies would come into the mix of homeless dogs. I feel I failed in not convincing him to find a shelter or rescue dog, but maybe can convince him to have her fixed.
Then I read where they busted another puppy mill in Florida and they may give the dogs back to the man if he complies with the law, which he has already broken.
The discouragement seems to come in waves. How can people continue to support these atrocious places where dogs are kept in small crates with no thought to their happiness, only the money they bring in?
PLEASE? I cannot stress enough the value of not supporting puppy mills and backyard breeders for the type of dog you want. Investigate the opportunities of shelters and rescues to find your new pet. Help me get the word out and let's not keep these places in business.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Don't get above your raising

One of the fascinating aspects I have noticed in animal welfare is the disparity of common goals among shelters and rescues.
One of the reasons is because each rescue decides themselves what parameters they are going to follow in the job at hand.
Although saving animals is always at the top of the list, many decisions are made simply due to the personality of the person who is doing the rescuing. I found it interesting because with the announcement of the possible closure of a rescue in the area, many of the local groups I heard speak about it were very quick to write off any help because of the person running the rescue.
Okay, so you don't like where he is located, or you think he is a drunk. Maybe the woman wears ugly dresses, or they are not your brand of responsible. Does this make the lives of the animals any less valuable? Are we as a community so willing to allow an animal to be euthanized simply because we don't like someone's personality?
Now, I am not saying I have all the answers, but I think we all need to decide who, exactly, we are in animal welfare for. Are we in it for the animals, or for the glorification of what we perceive our personal mission with animals is?
I have a friend who has a saying which is, "There are two types of people in the world. Those who do good and those who are the do-gooders." There is a difference. Let us all work towards the goal of people who do good and not let all our personalities get in the way of our mission to save the animals.

The scoop on poop

Now this may not be your favorite topic of conversation, but when you are dealing with animals all day long, it is bound to come up.
The reason I am writing about it is a simple fact. It is something I think everyone who is involved in animal care should be addressing, and a fact that gets buried and never discussed.
I have met people over the last few years that don't do poop. They don't scoop it, pick it up, dispose of it and most times simply ignore their dog while the dog is doing it.
I have heard kennel workers say, "I don't pick up poop." Excuse me? What was that? You don't pick up poop?
Now, correct me if I am wrong, but sanitation is a big thing in animal shelters. All kinds of diseases can be carried through feces to other animals and humans. Feces also attracts flies and other bugs which carry disease. When one person doesn't do their part in cleaning up after an animal they are caring for, it makes the load that much heavier for the other responsible people to have to carry.
So the next time you workers are not picking up poop, just remember the folks who are walking after you. Just remember they may be carrying hookworms, or roundworms, pinworms or tapeworms back to the other animals in your care. Think about the consciencious people who carry a baggie around, or grab the nearest pooper scopper to pick up the mess the dog you are working with is responsible for.
Don't place that job on other people's shoulders. If you work with dogs, you will have to clean up poop. If poop bothers you, maybe you should think about another line of work.

Labrador available for adoption

Hi folks! My name is Chatham, but please call me Chad, as all my friends do. As you can see I have a shiny, classic black coat, and I'm very handsome. I'm 3 years of age and very friendly, but I don't have any history with children under 7, so I can't be adopted by anyone with young (under 7) kids.
I love people and get along well with other dogs. My foster mom says that I have wonderful house manners. I walk nicely on my leash and I love to please people. I'm currently undergoing treatment for heartworms, but I'm not letting that hold me back. Take a look at my video on the Lab Rescue website to see me in action. I'm bunking at my foster's place in New Port Richey, so let's go for a walk around the neighborhood.
If you are interested in meeting or adopting Chatham or one of our other Labs contact Labrador Retriever Rescue of Florida by visiting our website http://www.labradorrescue.net/ or call 1-866-464-LABS.
LRROF has all our Labs microchipped, spayed or neutered, up to date on shots and each adoption comes with a 30 day pre-paid pet health insurance plan. All applicants will have a home inspection and vet reference (if applicable).

The brave, new puppy



A friend sent me this photo she took of a new doxie puppie with the resident cat. This is just too cute. Talk about a dog having no fear. I would say the doxie is fearless, even at 9 weeks old.

Your pets and the 4th of July

Thank you to Suncoast Humane for the following press release.

4th of July celebrations will subject our pets to the noises and lights caused by fireworks displays. These displays can also be very dangerous to your pets. Loud noises and flashes of lights can frighten some pets into running away. Even a dog miles away from the fireworks can feel the vibration and hear the noises from the explosions.

After the fireworks, signs pop up around many neighborhoods by people searching for pets that have run away. Far too many animals end up in animal care facilities the next day and many get hit by cars while fleeing the loud noises.

The following are a few pointers for pet owners during the celebrations:
· Keep your pets indoors while fireworks are being displayed in your area
· Put identification tags on all of your pets, in case they escape
· If you shoot off fireworks, do not do so around animals. Animals can sustain serious burns from fireworks.
· Keep a TV or radio going in your home to drown out the explosive noises.
· Even if you are convinced your pet will do fine at a firework display, do not take them.
· Never approach someone else’s pet during a fireworks display. A normally friendly animal can snap when scared.
· Exercise your dog well before the display, so that they will sleep well.
· Before you let your pet back into the yard, do a quick survey to make sure that there is nothing there to harm it, especially objects it might try to eat or sniff. If you think your animal has ingested a harmful chemical, call your veterinarian immediately.

For more information, please call 941-474-7884 or visit our website www.humane.org.