Sunday, January 30, 2011

Just what Florida needs

I am not a squeamish person for most icky things. I am amazed when I watch one of my friends squeak and run when a June bug is flying around or run from a room when a spider is sighted demanding someone kill it.
Roaches are in the same category. I don't have my house sprayed with any pesticides and only notice a cockroach or two after we have heavy rain for a day or so. I know they live in the oak leaves and when those become saturated, they hunt for higher ground. This doesn't bother me. I don't want them crawling over my dishes, or anything like that, but all in all, they are simply part of the landscape I grew up with so are no big deal.
What is a big deal is this yahoo who tried to import another species of roach into the state with a forged permit. We have more roach species than any other state along with more problems with exotics which have been turned loose to reproduce and overpower the natives of the state.
They should throw the book at this guy so anyone who is thinking of importing any exotic without a proper permit will think twice. Check out the story here. If you aren't squeamish about these things.

Bison trucked back to Yellowstone

Sometimes, even the best laid plans fail. I was closely watching the program in Montana, which sought to allow some bison off Yellowstone to wander freely. This practice has been banned for many years due to disease control.
They spent a lot of money and the program has failed. The reason it failed is the animals cannot be kept from wandering on to private property. Well duh!
Having lived several years in Lawton, Oklahoma, which has a huge wildlife refuge, I have seen bison up close and let me tell you, I am not going to try and make them go somewhere they don't want to go.
Maybe the state learned from this and maybe not. If the wild animals cannot roam freely outside of Yellowstone, they may simply live in Yellowstone the rest of their lives.

Another reminder about Michael Vick

We will be inundated with football for two more weeks but this story in the paper brought the Michael Vick dogs back to the front page. I am determined to make sure this story never dies. I want people to be reminded of the atrocities he and his cohorts committed every time his name is mentioned. The writer of this article does just that.
Although he is playing in the Pro Bowl, the strides his former fighting dogs have made and are making should still be the news of this story. The story should not be about some glorified man, who abused and fought dogs and then killed them if they didn't perform. Please see how well the dogs at Best Friends are doing.
I will not be watching the Pro Bowl. I will also not be watching the Super Bowl. As long as the NFL continues to support humans who have such a disregard for weaker creatures, the advertisers won't get my money. It is the only thing which talks.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Enjoying the days

Sometimes when we least expect it, we have a couple of days in a row which turn out so good, we simply want them to last for a long time.
I love the ambience of Sarasota. The ability to have a spur-of the minute, unexpected lunch with my sweetie watching the water and the birds in all of Sarasota's beauty gives you the ability to forget the bumper-to bumper traffic and all that entails this time of year. All the frustrations we feel during tourist season fall away while seeing the dolphins frolic in the bay or the sandhill cranes slowing making their way, very unconcerned through a cow pasture.
Then this morning, I took Buzz to visit my Mom, who lost her little dog several months ago but due to her health, cannot care for another.
I don't believe Buzz was ever exposed to a car (or in my case, truck) ride with the windows down, breeze blowing, enjoying the day, kind of trip. He sat, or should I say cowered on the front seat, awaiting his destiny. I think he believed he was being taken somewhere he didn't want to go.
I always travel the backroads on trips home or to Orlando because they remind me of how much I love this state I call home and how much I appreciate the natural beauty of it. I was not disappointed this morning.
When we finally got out of the traffic and on the back roads, the wildlife was out in full force. I saw some gators resting in the morning sun on the side of a pond, several snakes making their way across the warm road and the normal dead coons and possums with flocks of buzzards cleaning up their remains.
The highlight of the morning trip was a beautiful bald eagle, which made me actually stop the truck, get out and watch. The nest was on a light pole and the eagle was feeding chicks and I have never actually seen a bald eagle in person feeding babies.
Then more gators, several deer and even a huge flock of sandhill cranes in a cow pasture, which I almost missed because they blended in so well with the dirt and browned grass. The groves were loaded with orange fruit, the tomatoes were turning red and the beans were coming up in the planted fields and I remembered once again, how lucky I am to live in such a wonderful place, brimming with wildlife and wide, open spaces. To anyone who simply does not see this beauty in my beloved state, please contact me. I will try and explain it to you.

Friday, January 28, 2011

The Puppy Love Connection

Woof Gang will be hosting The Lakewood Ranch Humane Society.. Come out and help the cause!! An Adoption Counselor will be here to help you choose the right puppy for your lifestyle. There will be raffles with great prizes, snacks, and exclusive deals!! 10% of all purchases during this event will go to the Lakewood Ranch Humane Society!

Saturday, February 12 · 12:00pm - 3:00pm
Woof Gang Bakery - Lakewood Ranch

Hope to see you there. Sounds like lots of fun for humans and puppies alike.

HSUS Expo in Orlando

Although I do not agree with many things Wayne Pacelle says or does, I have attended the expo the HSUS presents once a year and the information gleaned from the seminars and classes I attended were invaluable as an animal advocate. This was where I first met the founders of Bad Rap, the small, pit bull rescue group located in Oakland, which came to public awareness after the Michael Vick tragedy.
This year the Expo will be in Orlando May 4th through 7th and anyone who can go, should. Unfortunately, I have no time available to go this year, but please check it out here.

Fundraiser for Canine Assistants

Please pass this along to anyone who might be interested.

Canine Assistants(r) is a non-profit organization, which trains and provides service dogs for children and adults with physical disabilities or other special needs. All dogs are placed with recipients free of charge.
Please visit their web site at for additional details. I have worked with them for the past three years and they are a class outfit. There has been specials on PBS about the organization and many local and national news casts.
People's Pottery, on St. Armands Circle, is hosting a fundraiser for which 20% of all the purchases made on Saturday February 12, 2011 from 12:30 to 3:30 will be donated to Canine Assistants.
The favor I need is if you guys could spread the word about the event to try and get people into the store, I know you guys travel in a circle of animal lovers so I was hoping you would forward the attached to as many people as possible.
Marie and I will be there with one of Canine Assistants service dog, this is the rare opportunity for people to be able to interact with these very special animals.
Thanks in advance for you help.
Steve and Marie Cohen

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Dog tales

A friend of mine sent me this link:,9171,2041093,00.html?hpt=C2 which is in Time magazine.
It is a great article which talks about animal books. It brings up some interesting points.
I love books about animals and read them all. Some are better than others, some I would keep a copy of, some are just okay, but they have all touched me in some way. I think that is the reason for animal book popularity. The books put us in touch with some emotions which no one else can, those bonds we have with our pets.

K-9s for Veterans

I got an email with this interesting information about veterinary treatment for veteran's animals.
This events are in the Tampa area, but I thought it was a cool program maybe someone could begin in this area for our veterans. We do owe them a lot.

Sweetbay has proudly partnered with K-9 for Veterans to bring convenient, affordable pet vaccination services to you and your family companion.
Costs of Vaccinations
Rabies – 1 year - $10
Rabies 3 yr –$ 25
DAPPV - $15
DHLPP - $25
Bordetella $15
Heartworm test - $25
Cat specific Vaccines
FVRCCP - $15
FVRCCP + FeLV - $ 25
Locations & Times
K-9 for Vets will be visiting select Sweetbay locations on the scheduled dates below (Dogs must be on leashes, and cats must be in carriers.):
4317 Gandy Blvd, Tampa, FL, 33611
2525 N Dale Mabry Hwy, Tampa, FL, 33607
2333 W Hillsborough Ave, Tampa, FL, 33603
15692 N Dale Mabry Hwy, Tampa, FL, 33618
5320 Ehrlich Rd, Tampa, FL, 33624
17649 Gunn Hwy, Odessa, FL ,33556
13016 RaceTrack Rd, Tampa, FL, 33626
10617 Sheldon Rd, Tampa, FL, 33626
6929 US Hwy 301 S, Riverview, FL, 33578
16751 Fishhawk Blvd, Lithia, FL, 33547
10665 Big Bend Rd, Riverview, FL, 33579
252 Harbor Village Ln, Apollo Beach, FL, 33572
8775 Temple Terrace Hwy, Tampa, FL 33637
2535 State Rd 60, Valrico, FL, 33594
750 W Dr Martin Luther King Jr Blvd, Seffner, FL 33584
205 W Alexander St, Plant City, FL, 33566
2460 East Bay Dr, Largo, FL, 33771
1681 Main St, Dunedin, FL, 34698
1360 Tampa Rd, Palm Harbor, FL, 34683
7095 W Waters Av, Tampa, FL, 33634
9017 State Rd 52, Hudson, FL, 34669
6400 Massachusetts Ave, New Port Richey, FL, 34653
3406 US Hwy 19, Holiday, FL, 34691
8833 Mitchell Blvd, New Port Richey, FL, 34655
17605 Bruce B Downs-Tampa, FL 33647
6425 County Line Rd–Tampa, FL 33647
21605 Village Lakes–Land O Lakes, FL 34639
27301 State Rd 54–Wesley Chapel, FL 33543
4317 Gandy Blvd-Tampa, FL 33611
2100 W Swann Av-Tampa, FL 33606
2525 N Dale Mabry Hwy-Tampa, FL 33607
2333 W Hillsborough Ave-Tampa, FL 33603
15962 N Dale Mabry Hwy-Tampa, FL 33618
4519 Gunn Hwy-Tampa, FL 33624
4056 Fiesta Plaza-Tampa, FL 33607
805 E Martin Luther King Blvd-Tampa, FL 33603
1023 N Tamiami Trail-Ruskin, FL 33570
3410 US Hwy 301-Ellenton, FL 34222
5805 Manatee Av-Bradenton, FL 34209
5201 33rd St E-Bradenton, FL 34203
1171 S Pinellas Av-Tarpon Springs, FL 34689
3406 US Hwy 19-Holiday, FL 34691
9101 Little Rd-New Port Richey, FL 34652
8833 Mitchell Blvd-Trinity, FL 34655
1861 N Highland-Clearwater, FL 33755
2519 McMullen Booth-Clearwater, FL 33761
1360 Tampa Rd-Palm Harbor, FL 34683
7095 W Waters Av-Tampa, FL 33634

Come meet ShiShi, Singa and Tau

We think they look like lion cubs so we gave them all lion names. (ShiShi means lion in Japanese, Singa means lion in Sanskrit and Tau means Lion in African/Tzwana).
Their mother is a big, red, hound type dog with very short hair so they bear no resemblance to her. The father is unknown but from the look of the puppies he could have been some sort of cur/mastiff/shepherd mix. We believe these little guys are going to grow up to be very large dogs as they are already very big at only six weeks old.
If you would like to adopt one of these precious puppies, please call Caroline & Ralph at 941-870-1944.
We are fostering them for Sarasota County Animal Services so if you after having met them should decide you would like to adopt, we will give you an application to fill out and bring to Animal Services for approval. We would like to keep them together until they are eights week old which they will be the weekend of February 5-6. We do, however, suggest you come and meet them this weekend (Jan 29-30). Then if interested you could have your application processed during the week and be all ready to take your new family member home next weekend.

"Stressed" Pit bull needs a home

There is another great dog at Sarasota County Animal Services who desperately needs a home.
His name is Turbo and he is very stressed being in the kennel there.
If have room in your heart and your home for this special boy, please contact Sarasota County Animal Services
His ID # is A274725 so please call 941-861-9523 to inquire about this sweet boy.

Having a real home

So I can go on and on about pets on leashes, pets on chains, pets kept outside all the time and sometimes feel like the issues will always be around and will never be resolved.
Then a situation happens like the one I was privy to last week where a dog, a puppy really, followed someone to our office and would not leave. He was a very happy dog and because all of us are animal lovers, we took him in the offices and began trying to find his owner.
He had been neutered but had no collar, which led me to believe had must have come from a shelter somewhere, since most strays I have come in contact with have not been altered. He was a happy boy, with a tail wagging constantly.
We put out some calls and finally located a tatoo and called the appropriate place. We were told his name and his owner's number and when we called and left a message, it was two days before they got back to us. According to them, they didn't want the dog any longer because he kept getting off his chain. They were not willing to come get him but advised us to turn him loose and he would find his way home again if he chose to come. My problem is why, if you take the time to go to a shelter, adopt a dog and bring it home, would you then simply discard it like it was worth nothing to you? I mean really, why bother?
Well, that isn't going to happen with us in charge of him and one of my co-workers has now provided him with a new and loving home, complete with kids to play with, plenty of food and a real family to call his own.
I am glad he found us. He will have a much better life now.

Monday, January 24, 2011

HSLWR Kickoff yields great results

The Humane Society at Lakewood Ranch held their Kickoff Fundraiser at the Marinaccio home at The Concession in Lakewood Ranch. More than 200 people turned out to support this new nonprofit and enjoyed food, drink and fun. The outpouring of support for this new non-profit resulted in much needed operating funds and a new place to call home.
Thanks to a generous donation of a 2500 sq. ft. building in LWR Corp to Sanborn Studios by Mark and Connie Gellner of Stanley Steemer, the Humane Society at Lakewood Ranch will soon begin operating their adoption center/clinic at 7334 Trade Court in Lakewood Ranch. Estimated opening will be late February. The volunteers will begin setting up the new center this week .
A Grand Opening will be held upon the completion of the center.
Because of limited funds and an all volunteer effort, the Humane Society at Lakewood Ranch is seeking donations of office equipment and furniture, supplies of dog and cat food, crates and treats, along with towels and cleaning supplies.
If you would like to help in any way, please contact the Humane Society at Lakewood Ranch via their website at or by phone, 941-840-4055.

Humane Society at Lakewood Ranch
7334 Trade Court
Sarasota, FL 34240

Why we do it.

The hours I work in my new job do not allow me to spend as much time with the dogs at the rescue as I used to, so sometimes I miss out on the exciting things which happen when I am not there.
One of my favorite dogs, Brownie, was a rescue case from horrible conditions in north Florida. She would take a while to warm up but then it was kisses and wiggles non-stop.
I had promoted her on the blog, on my facebook page and in person whenever I could and still she sat waiting for that perfect family for her.
Last week, that perfect family arrived, complete with a 13 year old boy who she will be able to romp and play with. This neglected pit bull mix, who was scared of her own shadow and had always lived outside, now has a home and a family who seem to adore her.
According to her new Mom, she apparently picked them. She is doing wonderfully in her new home, no accidents, and follows her new boy all around.
To all who adopt these special animals, those who believe in our mission of no more senseless killing, who donate, foster and love these animals others have given up on, Thank you.
Go with love Brownie and know we all are so happy you have a home.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Unchaining dogs

Thanks to a friend who posted this link on my Facebook page.
With all the talk of what living on the end of a chain can do to a dog, I believe this video best represents how a dog must feel once that chain is removed. Watch the transition as the dog observes the building of a fence so he will no longer have to live on a chain.
What a wonderful organization this is. Check it out here.

HSLWR Kickoff Fundraiser

Check out the article and photos from the Kickoff Fundraiser for the Humane Society at Lakewood Ranch.
More update information will be coming on the results from this fantastic night.

Another rescuer featured

Michelle Sampson impressed me the first time I met her because she is a dynamo who never stops moving. She is passionate about homeless animals and stopping the euthanasia of adoptable animals.
Check out this article in the Herald-Tribune today.

Please voice your opinion on this to the state

I am disturbed to read this story in the Orlando Sentinel about the possibility of opening up hunting to include Florida Black Bears.
All the numbers show the increase in black bears in the state, but should they allow hunters to go after them again, the numbers could diminish. It has happened before and could happen again.
For the record, I am not against hunters. I also realize the only predator the black bear has is man. But the population of Florida and the population of the black bear are in such disproportion, it doesn't seem quite fair to me that we have protected the bears and now that they are coming back, we should allow man to hunt them again.
If you travel the center part of the state, through what used to be woods and swamps, you can see the empty developments left by the real estate slump and bank foreclosures. Acres upon acres of empty subdivisions, especially north of Orlando and up the the Ocala National Forest.
When a bear wanders down to a settled area, people become frightened and have no idea what to do. Most don't want the bears destroyed, but don't want them living in their backyards.
There is controlled hunting of alligators to try and maintain their population. Maybe controlled hunting of bears, by permit only, would be a way to help control these shy creatures.
Please voice your opinion to the state and let your voice be heard. Every gun toting man in Florida is going to be itching to shoot a bear. I don't know why, as most of these folks are not going to be harvesting the meat, only the skin. Control is the key to this problem. I hope the state doesn't call for open season on bear.

Depressing news

Every day there are articles about animal cruelty. As the economy continues to be slow to improve, more and more pets become homeless and rescues and shelters are filled to capacity.
Then there are the idiots like the man in this story who stabbed his own dog because he was tired of the dog barking.
The dog is dead and the owner is in jail. Check out the story here.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

HSLWR partners with Best Friends

Recently HSLWR was asked to help with the 129 dogs taken from a hoarding situation
in Arkansas. Dubbed the Razorback Rescue, dogs were being transported all over the
United States and many found their way to rescues and shelters in Florida.
One very lucky dog, a black beauty named Ruby came to the Humane Society at Lakewood Ranch. “We took Ruby, a young Lab mix who is absolutely fabulous and in need of a new
family. She needs some training but is just wonderful with everyone,” said Debbie
Rubin, VP of HSLWR.
“Our main focus is the many dogs and cats needing help in Manatee and Sarasota
counties, but we also know that when other groups need help, that is what we are here
for. And Best Friends has been a good colleague to us, we are glad to help.” Said
Autumn Solomon, President of HSLWR.
Many of the dogs were in need of medical treatment and disease was rampant. Lucky
for Ruby that our vet, Dr. Erik Walker, was able to examine her immediately and ensure
she is in good health. What she needs is a family to adopt her and begin enjoying all
the love she has.

The Humane Society at Lakewood Ranch is a non profit no kill rescue and shelter
providing foster homes for dogs and cats. For more information on adopting Ruby,
fostering another dog or cat in need, or volunteering, please email:
or call, 941.840.4055. Visit our website: for more information on how
you can help, donate and support the animals.

New medical director at HSLWR

The Humane Society at Lakewood Ranch is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Erik Walker to the position of Medical Director at the new facility.
Dr. Walker is a graduate of the University of Tennessee who became interested in shelter medicine through his volunteer efforts at spay/neuter clinics while attending school, his rescue work after Hurricane Katrina and most recently, his volunteer duties with the Sarasota Animal Rescue Coalition and Buddy’s Feral Cat program.
The goal of Dr. Walker in accepting this position is to create an innovative shelter program that advances the no-kill philosophy and serves as a model for shelter medicine in Sarasota and Manatee counties.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Pitbulls on PBS

For anyone who is interested, there is going to be an hour program on PBS beginning on Friday, January 21st about the Pits Bad Rap took charge of after the Michael Vick case.
According to the PBS website, it will be on Channel 3, WEDU at 9:30 Friday night and then will repeat throughout the weekend.
According to the email I received from Bad Rap, it was very well done with intelligent questions so check it out.

Sarasota. The new Key West?

I like the idea of fresh eggs. I like the idea of being able to have laying hens out back so when I wanted fresh eggs, I could have them.
I don't like the idea of chickens wandering aimlessly about because their owners decided they didn't want them any longer.
I am sure this idea has merit and the folks in Sarasota proper who want to keep chickens are all great pet owners.
But has anyone questioned what will happen to these chickens if their owners decide they are too much work, are moving somewhere that doesn't allow chickens, can't afford to care for them any longer and the list can go on and on.
These questions should have been asked. We see how people treat their pets and although these chickens are not supposed to be pets, they are still live creatures who must be cared for. I hope we don't see the day chickens are wandering through downtown Sarasota like they do in Key West. Let's let Key West keep that particular quirk.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Still need events or adoptable animals

I am sadly lacking in any upcoming events for the animal world and would love to publish them on the blog for everyone to see.
Although I love to interject my opinions on the blog, after all, that is what we do with blogs, I still need your input for events or adoptable animals.
So please email them to me and I will get them on in time for the event. If I don't know about them, I can't post them.
Press releases can be sent also. I am not picky, but should just deal with animals or animal issues.

The photo of the week

Leao sits for a second consecutive day next to the grave of his owner Cristina Maria Cesario.
When I first glimpsed this photo, I thought it was a picture of Buzz, but then I noticed the cross sticking out of the ground and knew it could not be him. This was taken by a photographer who was documenting the mud slides in Brazil and this dog's owner died.
In searching the internet, many, many people have posted on different blogs about Leao and asking about adopting him or making sure someone adopts him.
I wonder why they don't rush down to their local shelter and adopt one of the dogs waiting there for a new home. Do they think this is the only dog who is now berefit and without? Do they believe he is the only dog who will show this kind of loyalty and love?
People continue to baffle me about things like this. Obviously, this dog was well loved and cared for and it is a tragedy his owner died. There are HUNDREDS of dogs in this area who are faced with the same thing. Why not adopt one of them, instead of trying to figure out a way to adopt this dog from Brazil?
I hope he gets a new home, but I also hope this story and photo inspires one person to go to their local shelter or rescue and adopt a dog. Just think how many might find a home all because of one photo showing one dog's love and loyalty.

Hillsborough County AS video

Watch this video! It is a nicely done video which was filmed at Hillsborough County Animal Services and showcases some of the hundreds of dogs they receive weekly.
Hillsborough County was nice enough to let whoever made this video come in and film these animals in hopes they get homes, and then throughout the video they talk about high kill shelters.
I am a proponent of not calling any shelter high/low/or no kill. I believe it does a disservice to the animals we are trying to protect. Many people disagree with me because they want to put a sad spin on these dogs' stories.
The truth is, even if you put a sad spin on the story, many, many animals are still going to die. I argue the point every time I am asked about this subject. No kill shelters euthanize. So do low kill and high kill. Dead is still dead. The no kill shelters mask the euthanization with terms like aggressive or medically necessary, but humans are making the rules on what is aggression or what animal is not a candidate to be saved. In common terms, how much money is it going to cost to save the animal and how much space do we have available?
My Buzz was one of those animals. When he came into shelter he was in very sad shape. It was only through the efforts of two women, Michael VanderWoude and Rhys Miller and a fantastic shelter vet, Dr. Robin, he was treated for all his issues and put up for adoption. He was old, was high positive for heartworm, was covered in fleas and ticks and every rib in his body was showing. He was missing most of his hair and had fatty tumors all over.
This dog has become such a great part of my life and the joy he brings me each and every day cannot be described. This was all because a few people believed in him. It could have easily gone the other way.
The answer to pet overpopulation is simple. Spay/neuter your pets and educate people who own pets. Begin legislation to stop backyard breeding and shut down the puppy mills. Of course, you cannot legislate morality, so the problem is still going to exist because humans are still humans and many believe because pets are property, they can do with them what they want. But these steps could make a dent in the number of animals actually being born. I would like to see this happen in my lifetime, for Buzz and all the shelter animals like him who won't make it out alive.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Buzz is getting two roommates

In less than a month, Buzz is having two young ladies move into the house with him. They are not going to be permanent roommates, but simply belong to my son's significant other and will be staying with us while Emily and Jeremy both go back to school. (they are moving in also, but I don't expect any problems with them. I am still the mom)
I am not sure how Buzz will adjust to having to share his space with two little girl doxies, but we will have them meet beforehand to see how it goes. He gets along with other dogs and used to share the house with Gypsy, my old hound, but she was here first, so he did the adjusting. (she put him in his place very quickly)
Because it has been a while since Buzz and I shared our space with anyone else, it will be an adjustment period for us both. I will keep you posted on the progress.

Who gets the pet in a divorce?

It was interesting to me to see this story on AOL, which talks about the relatively new field of animal law. The article says animal law has only been around for 10 years, and in most cases, the pet is treated as a coffee table or bed, a piece of property if you will. It also says that is changing in many areas and in many law schools. Check it out.

Brevard County discussing no kill philosophy

How inspiring is it to read this story about the effort in Brevard County to go to a no kill philosophy? Pretty damned inspiring for me. To read a story where the county calls a meeting with all the rescue groups in the area to discuss working together to stop the euthanasia of unwanted animals.
The key words here are working together. Do you think we could get something going like that in this area? No, probably not. You see, I think many people in this area simply have their own agenda, which is more important to them than saving animals. I would like for them to prove me wrong.

Cats and stress

It was interesting to see they are studying the effect of stress on cats and how related the stress is to disease.
Check out the story here.

Ranchers shoot zebras

The following story is an excellent example of why exotic animals should not be kept on private property, if kept at all.
Hearst Ranch used to be one of the largest private zoos in the world, but William Randolph Hearst had the kind of money to do that and there were no regulations against it. The zoo was pretty much shut down in the 1930's except for some goats, sheep and a herd of zebras. Three of the zebras got loose and wandered into neighboring ranches where they were apparently hassling the horses and cattle living there. So they were shot. Which doesn't seem quite right to me, but as the ranch owners, they had the law on their side. The statement which really got to me was when one of the ranchers said he was going to send the dead zebra to the taxidermist for the hide because it seemed a shame to waste it.
Yeah, right! Now you can hang a trophy skin on your wall and brag about it. I have a problem with that. Check out the story here.

Unbelievable and depressing numbers

I like to think I live in a very progressive area. We have educated, artistic, giving, caring people who live in this area and most have some kind of pet. I speak, sometimes weekly, on the value of spay/neuter, abolishing backyard breeders, the value of training and education and on and on.
I hope every item I write has an impact on someone. Perhaps someone will adopt a pet. Maybe they will have their pet spayed or neutered or sign up for a behavior class.
Then I start goofing off on the internet just to see what I can dig up and I decide to check out, where I recommend everyone begin their hunt. Now, I will preface this by saying there are still rescue groups in this area, including Sarasota County Animal Services, who do not use Petfinder so you can just average those numbers in if you go to their website.
On, if you are looking for a dog, put in your zip as I did, 89 pages of dogs came up. 89 pages of dogs in this area. Each page has 25 dogs who need homes for a total of 2,225. This doesn't even include cats so you could double it and still not come close.
These numbers are APPALLING. What are we doing to our pets? Where are all these unwanted animals coming from? Is no one listening?
It is pretty sad when one of the most progressive areas of Florida still show these kind of numbers. Can you imagine what poorer, rural area numbers are like and how many animals are dying on a daily basis. It simply makes me sick.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Keeping the squirrels out

I love animals. Wild and domestic alike, they have provided me with hours and hours of fun, simply watching them be animals.
I have always loved to watch the squirrels frolic and chase each other through the backyard and up and down the trees. They are so cute and seem so harmless.
The problems arise when squirrels decide to make your home theirs. They are, in fact, rodents, much like rats and can destroy wiring, facia boards, and attics. If they get in your attic, they can actually chew through the wood and drop down in your cabinets. They will store food, have babies and generally do what wild animals do, all while living in the comfort of your home.
Several months ago, I found a spot in my overhang where the squirrels had chewed through the screening and were using this as their new home.
I kept thinking I would get some metal grating and fix it when time got away from me and the chore didn't get done.
Last weekend, after watching these bold squirrels run right by Buzz and I, disappear in the eave of the house, I figured the time had come to put a stop to their squatter behavior.
Off to Home Depot I went with gift card in hand to purchase the necessary hardware to seal up the holes.
After cutting the wire grate in strips with the tin snips, I began to staple them to the underside of the eave and finished rather quickly. "Wow, I thought. That took very little time out of my day." I put all the tools away and began working in the yard.
Several hours later, my son arrived and while we were sitting at the outside bar talking, he looked up and said, "Mom, did you know you trapped a squirrel in the eave when you put up that grate?" Sure enough, there was a squirrel, chewing frantically trying to get out of my house.
Out comes the ladder again, with the tools to pull one corner of the metal away so the squirrel could get out. It took him about 10 minutes to figure out there was now a hole, and out he went, up the sea grape tree and off to points unknown.
I stapled the grate back up and have checked it on a daily basis to make sure the squirrels have not been able to get back in.
Success! No holes in the metal and no sign of them in any other part of the house. I guess they found another eave to destroy but no wildlife was harmed in the fixing of mine.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Trial starts in Orlando

The trial for the man accused of shooting two huskies in a cow pasture outside Orlando began yesterday. The man's lawyer is arguing the right to shoot based on the danger the cows were in. The owners say the cows were in no danger. I posted the video several months ago and the dogs survived, but check out the trial. The video is also posted on this link.

Animals' sixth sense

Many of us who own pets know our animals' have a sixth sense. Of course, those who don't own animals will argue this point.
I was excited to see a report in the newspaper this morning about this subject. It was very well done. Check it out here.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Puppies, puppies, whose got the puppies?

Are you looking for simply the cutest little pups imaginable? I saw some last week and I must tell you, I was tempted. But Buzz would never forgive me.
I met Momma and all the pups. Momma is gold with longer hair. She reminds me of a golden retriever mix, but could have some shepherd in her. The pups are all black and white and look like border collies. I don't know who daddy was, but the pups are cute, cute, cute.
They are in a foster home now but are available for adoption so please contact the Humane Society at Lakewood Ranch for more information and see about bringing one of these little bundles of energy home with you.

Room with a view by Boris and Natasha

Hello, hello, hello!
Boris here and I am back, raring to go. I understand Natasha told you I was feeling a little under the weather. The truth is, I had a drain tube in my forehead for an abcess which was simply not a pleasant thing to have happen to you. Now, the tube is gone and I can carry on with all my normal activities. I simply hate being under a doctor's care. They have so many rules and stuff that I don't like to follow. But, that is over now. Yippee.
News from the shelter is good and bad. We have had lots of our adoptable dogs go home. We are doing well for the year. The bad news is Brownie, who we have featured on here several times is still looking for her forever home. So once again, if you would love to have this beautiful, brindle girl become the love of your life, please contact Satchel's Last Resort at and ask about her. She wants to be a lap dog and loves to give kisses but she likes to play in the water and may make a good dog for your boat. You never know.
The other bad news is be have had some of our residents come back because their new home didn't work out. That is pretty sad for them. They don't understand what happened. I heard the humans talking about a revolving door. I don't know what that is but apparently it means a homeless pet keeps coming back over and over again, even when it is not their fault. My door on my kennel only opens and closes. I don't think it revolves.
Natasha is her happy, playful self. She was gloating a bit when I was under the weather but now that I am back, she is a little more reserved. Well, reserved around me, not anyone else. She is still like a teenager out in the yard running and playing.
I heard many of our adopted dogs are doing well in their new homes. I sure hope so. I hate to see them sad. We still have lots of dogs who need homes, though. Brownie seems to have been around the longest, but we have Beck, Brody, Autumn and the list goes on and on.
So why don't you start your year off right. Opt to adopt a shelter dog and save a life. We would appreciate it and so would they.
From Boris and Natasha, have a great month. Stay warm with this cooler weather and visit our website to checkout our latest dogs. We will talk to you in a couple of weeks.

the male half of the Turbos

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Memories of Copper

Several years ago, I came in contact at the shelter I volunteered at with a dog named Copper. He was turned in by his family with the name Gingo, which is military speak is an acronym for garbage in, garbage out. When we finally figured out this scared, skinny, beautiful red dog needed a name change, I suggested Copper, since he was the color of a new penny and was beginning a new life.
After many hours of work by many dedicated volunteers, Copper found a wonderful home with a single father and his two kids. He came back several times to visit and the change in him was wonderful to see.
This video made me cry. This dog, Kermit, looks so much like Copper they could be brothers. He, unfortunately, may not have much time left.
If you watch this and would like to adopt him, please contact the information on the video or pass this information along to someone who is looking for a good dog.
We believed in Copper. Kermit needs someone to believe in him.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Keeping Michael Vick in the forefront

Here is another excellent blog about why Michael Vick should NEVER be allowed to own another dog.
If you wants facts, check this out.
Then write President Obama and the Eagles and Wayne Pacelle. I have and although it probably is much like catching the wind, I cannot sit by and do nothing.

Loving your dog to death (again)

I wrote this column almost two years ago and it still rings true today. Animals are still dying due to problems such as these. Please read this and think about it. It could save your dog's life.

published originally 1/28/2008

I have seen this situation happen over and over again. A dog gets adopted, goes home, is the perfect dog for a couple of months and is then returned.The reason is the people can't control the dog. Now, I don't know about you, but my dogs don't pay my mortgage, or the light bill, or even buy their own food. I do. So guess who the leader of the pack is in my home? You're right, me. When families take home dogs, regardless of what they are like in a shelter environment, it takes them several months to settle in. Once they settle in, they are a lot like a two year old child, and must be taught how to behave.
If you give a command to a dog, you must make them mind what you say. If you don't, the dog begins moving up in the heirarchy of the pack. Now, before you start giving me all the excuses we have heard before: but I love him, but she is a shelter dog, but she had a horrible life before she came here, read what I said. Moving up the heirarchy of the pack.
If you don't believe me, watch Cesar Milan, read any book on dog training, or speak to any professional dog person.
Once they move up, they, in their mind, become the leader and as leader, get to make the rules. Unfortunately, the rules they want to follow, may not be the rules of society. Dogs cannot bite people, even when in their mind they are being protective. They should not jump on people, no matter how happy they are. They need to be taught not to do these things.
The reasons are very simple. If you don't control your pet, and the pet hurts someone, regardless of intent, the pet will die. That's right. It will, in most cases, be euthanized. People will talk about what a horrible dog it was and how uncontrollable it became and how it is not their fault. The dog was great to begin with.
The reason I write about things like this is so maybe, just maybe, one person will read this and save their dog. In one person's mind, the lightbulb will go off and they will realize what they are doing or have done to their pet.
Dogs are not toys to be put on a shelf after the new wears off. They must be taught and the teaching must be reinforced on a daily basis. If you take care of the bills in your household, don't allow your pet to be the leader. It is a sure way to end your dog's life.

Monday, January 3, 2011

A "not so favorite" thing

Driving home from work every day, I see lots of things which are not my favorite ones, but seeing a puppy, running loose as I turned down my road is my least favorite of all.
I pulled in my driveway and watched the pup traveling from yard to yard, sniffing each bush and mailbox with no apparent cares in the world.
As he approached my yard, I whistled for him and he looked up. He had no collar, no leash, no visible sign he was owned by anyone. I attempted to get him to come to me with no luck and then an armadillo crossed the road and he took off to investigate the armadillo.
He ended up crossing the road which joins mine and trotted off in the woods toward Wilkinson Road like he knew where he was headed.
Perhaps he did. Maybe he simply escaped a back yard and was going home. His owners may let him loose every evening when they come home. Who knows?
I know this: if he had come to me, he would be in my house and I would be attempting to contact someone who had a chip reader to check for a microchip and then he would have gone to a shelter. He was a cute thing, looked like a smooth-coated collie, which are not inexpensive dogs and was about 4 to 5 months old.
Please, please, please don't let your dogs roam. Please look for them if they are missing. I am going to worry about this little guy for the rest of the night since I never found him and can only hope he made it home safely. Apparently I am more concerned than his owners. I sure hope not.

The beginning of a new year

After spending the last 3 days or so welcoming in the new year, I was happy to return to work today and get back on some kind of a schedule.
Don't misunderstand, I love having time to relax and simply enjoy my life, but I function much more efficiently if I have a schedule to follow or a job to do.
My schedule always includes updating any animal news I have come across or re-posting an animal which really, really needs a home.
A couple of weeks ago, I received an email from Lee County about several dogs they have in their facility who are exceptionally nice dogs who really need out of the kennel. Most of the dogs sent had been in the kennels for months and one really caught my attention.
It may have been his name, which is Rufus, but I think the thing which really captured my attention was the reason he had lost his previous home. He is a hound mix, looks like my favorite Florida Brown Dog, who knocked a child down. My understanding is this was not aggressive or anything like that, but he was simply overly-rambunctious and clumsy and the child was knocked down. He was returned to the shelter and their solution is to not send him home with small children to avoid this from happening again.
So we have the really, really nice dog who needs a home with no small children, has had lots of training and I want to find that home for him. The following is the email I received pleading one last time for this special dog.

My name is Rufus, ID A471615. I am a great looking hound mix who has been through a lot of training through the Cell Dog Program with Lee County. I actually got adopted! But then, I guess I was too excited and so one of my kids in the house got knocked down by me. I didn't mean to be so clumsy but sometimes when I get excited, I jump up and say "Hi! Want to Kiss Me!" Ok, it didn't go over very well, I guess. So, here I am back at the shelter. I'm very happy that Lynn, the trainer comes out weekly and plays and trains with me but then I get sad because I have to go back in my kennel. There is a sign on my kennel that says "no small children". I guess I can understand that but I don't want anyone to be afraid of me. I just got overly excited. Please come meet me soon. It is hard to be content in a kennel when you know what a "real home" feels like. I am a good boy who is big and kind of silly sometimes, but hey, I think having fun is important in life. I love to run and play. I hope you do too. I'm healthy and energetic and I so want to please my new owners. I really do deserve a second chance. Look at my photos, come meet in person and I dare you not to fall in love! Please also share my photos with someone who might want to help me. Foster, Rescue or a Forever Home. I just want to be safe and happy. Happy New Year! Email Belen Brisco for more information or call Lee County Domestic Animal Services at 239- 533-7387. Just say Rufus sent you. :) Location: 5600 Banner Drive, Fort Myers, Florida