Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Who is killing the seals on Cape Cod?

The battle between fishermen and tourist continues on Cape Cod where the carcasses of 6 grey seals have been found. With all the talk about saving creatures, I thought this story had some valid points on why some locals hate the seals and some love them.
Check it out here.

Pets displaced by Joplin tornado find new homes

I was pleased the ASPCA was working hard to rehome the pets displaced by the Joplin tornado. They had an adoptathon planned and succeed in finding over 700 animals new homes.
This kind of made me sad, too! How many of those animals lost their families and now must adjust to a new one and on a second thought, how many of them would still be waiting in a kennel for a new home if the tornado had not hit Joplin. The reason I point this out is people come out of the woodwork whenever there is a tragedy of this kind. The problem is although their hearts are in the right place, they act emotionally and then end up returning the animal several weeks later. Just my observation, nothing concrete. Check out the story here.

Weekly nature trek

I knew I would see lots of wild critters on my trek to Lakeland last weekend. After being so dry the past several weeks, the much-needed rain we received on Friday was sure to bring out the critters.
Was I disappointed. I think I saw fewer wild animals this trip than any of my previous ones. I did notice a very large wild hog, laying dead on the side of the road with all 4 legs straight in the air. I wondered who hit the hog and how much damage was done to the vehicle.
On my way hope, I noticed the hog had almost been picked clean. The buzzards had done their job well, with only a couple still approaching the carcass to see if there were any scraps.
So this week it was a dead hog, a dead armadillo and a lot of buzzards doing their job.

DNA to enforce the rules

I find the science of DNA to be one of the most facinating I have every read about. Because we are such complex creatures, to have the ability to break down to one single hair follicle or skin scaping, those things which make us so individual is amazing.
Now the latest, which I think will become a matter of practice, is testing dog poop for DNA.
An apartment complex is so fed up with residents not cleaning up after their dogs, they are going to send it for DNA testing.
Apparently you must submit a DNA sample of your dog when you move in the complex. If the owners who shirk the responsibility of picking up after your pet, the apartment complex will know which dog it is. They can then be fined.
I love this idea of holding those responsible who are responsible and not punishing responsible dog owners who live in the complex. Check out the story here.

Animal hoarding is a mental illness

Hoarders come in all shapes and sizes, even though most of us think of little old ladies with their cats. There is even a television show on A&E called "Hoarders" which deals with people who hoard things, not necessarily animals.
I found this article in the Orlando Sentinel about the problem of animal hoarding and thought it was interesting, especially considering the number of hoarding cases in Florida this year. Check it out here.

Friday, June 24, 2011

So charge the guy already!

Dealing with victims of domestic violence tends to alter your sense of what is fair tremendously. No human should be subjected to abuse, whether physically, verbally or emotionally.
This story, which happened in Brazil, brought out the differences in countries. The offender was not charged with domestic abuse since the attack was not highly dangerous to the woman, but they may charge him with animal neglect because the dog died. What? Yep, you read that right. Remember, this was Brazil and not the good old USA.

I love Betty White

I adore Betty White and always have. This week she received an award in Denver for her 40 years of working with the Morris Animal Foundation. Check out the story here.
The good ones always shine through.

Amazing adjustments

Pekoe the cat is now in his new home. After what seemed like an extremely long trip of listening to him caterwhauling in my ear, he arrived safely and was ensconsed in a kitty condo at his new home until his adjustment to his new surroundings.

After being on the street for who knows how long and watching his territorial behavior at the DV shelter where I work, we were concerned he would take on all the other residents in the house to establish his dominance.

Well, after only one night in a kennel, amid piteously sad crying, he was allowed to come out into the house with the other residents and simply made himself at home. Of course, the other cats are used to having new ones come in so maybe no one has really challenged him yet. Bridget Bin Laden may, since she can be a terror, but she has sight problems and maybe he smells okay to her. Who knows what silent communication goes on between the cats or maybe it is as we rescuers have always known.

Rescued animals know they have been rescued and are appreciative. They don't want to mess up the opportunity afforded them so they adjust. I wish I could find them all homes like this. It simply isn't that easy. We, unfortunately, cannot save them all and are simply trying to do it one animal at a time.

Victory for Victims

I have long thought inflicting the death penalty on dogs found after a dogfighting ring was busted was a cruel punishment to be inflicted on these dogs who had no choice in how they were living.
Check this article out from Best Friends. It won't happen in Florida any longer. They must be given a chance.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Ty is still looking for the right size

Another plea to provide a home the right size for Ty.
Check this out and give if you can.

Missouri animals still homeless

There have been several mainstream animal rescue groups helping the homeless dogs and cats in Joplin, Missouri.
Unfortunately, many of those have still not been matched back with their owners or are looking for homes. With the overcrowding situation in our counties right now, it is easy to forget the other creatures who are also in need.
Check out this story about the 900 animals still not back with their families in Missouri.

Pekoe is going to a new home

I have written a couple of times about our shelter cat, Pekoe. Unfortunately, the turnover of children and some adults who have never been instructed on the proper treatment of animals have passed through our doors and for their safety, he is on his way to a new home. He was a stray who someone dumped out and found his way to our shelter where we have been caring for him.
This led to a discussion with a resident who could not wait for her personal cat to have kittens, since she had never seen a cat giving birth before. The discussion then led to being a responsible pet owner, how Pekoe had ended up at the shelter, and how many cats and dogs were killed every day because there were simply not enough homes for them.
This then led into the hoarding case in Sarasota County which increased its' numbers by 26, which doesn't sound like a lot but none of these animals had been vetted.
The ending of the discussion was this hoarding case in Orange County. All of these cats, 40 of them, were euthanized.
If we can only educate people, one at a time to spay and neuter their animals, maybe we wouldn't have to write about stories such as these.

Some great tips for your pets

I have argued this point with so many people I simply get tired of arguing about it. Many, many people think shaving their dogs in the summertime is the way to keep their pets cooled off. Wrong! Can I say that again? Wrong!
I have never seen this addressed in a column about summertime pet care before now and was pleased to see it in this column.
Dogs have coats to protect them from the heat of summer and the cold of winter. When you shave the coat, a dog can get sunburned skin or even skin cancer.
So please read this column and see what else you can do to help your pet tolerate the heat of Florida in the summertime.

Cutest Canine Photo Contest

Okay all you aspiring photographers. The Sarasota Herald-Tribune is looking for a few good photos. Photos of dogs, specifically cute dogs. We know your's passes the test for cute. So check out the rules and regs here and send those photos in. It could mean $1,000.00 gift card for the lucky winner and I know of some rescues who could always use that money. Get snapping.

Sarasota County Animal Services is overcrowded

The supervisor at Sarasota County Animal Services says she has never seen them this crowded before.
They have over 100 cats plus 16 kittens which are ready to find a new home. They have just had to take in 26 cats from a hoarder situation and NONE of these animals have even been vetted. Because they are the county facility, they must make room for hoarder or cruelty cases, even when there is no room.
There are now double the number of dogs the facility was built for and the animals just keep on coming. They have many dogs still awaiting their new homes who have been waiting for months. The only solution they have when they have no room is euthanasia.
If you have love in your heart and room in your home, please consider visiting Animal Services and adopting one of these precious animals.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Always a misunderstanding

I read with interest the news report of the protest and meeting of the Manatee County Commissioners and thought how quickly they backed down when confronted by two or three hundred voters protesting the possible elimination of the adoption portion of animal control.
To give the commissioners credit, though, they did asked how the animal activists planned to work towards a no-kill county.
At least the citizens turned out to protest. The animals have that going for them. Now the protestors must prove they are not talking out of both sides of their mouths and really can come up with a plan to reduce the costs to the county. Let's begin with education, shall we?

Happy Father's Day

To my wonderful father, who taught me to respect all living things, this Father's Day is honoring you and all the fathers who are still living. Although it has been 20 years since your passing, you are remembered with love and respect every day.
I still miss you Daddy and wish you were here so I could celebrate with you. I love you.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Peaceful protest

When I first heard the rumblings of budget cuts in Manatee County, I wondered how they were going to justify cutting Animal Services. the time has now come to protest what would surely be a criminal offense, killing healthy, adoptable animals becaus you want to cut your budget. Check out the story here and please attend the peaceful protest to show the commissioners we will not put up with this.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Rally to stop budget cuts to MCAS adoption center

Please check out this link to the page and attend if you can. The animals are always the ones to suffer during a down economy. Manatee County Animal Control is trying many innovative ideas to save more animals. Please don't allow the county to let them fail.

Teenage memories

Keep reading. This memory has to do with a critter, not being a teenager. A very misunderstood critter.
When I was a teenager, as was the style of the day, I had long, long, blond hair which I wore down all the time. Of course, every other teenage girl was doing the same thing.
My best friend at the time, Illana, had long, long brunette hair and she lived around the corner and down the street from me in what is now the historic district of Lakeland, Florida.
The streets are crowded with 100 year old live oak trees whose branches shade the brick roads we used to travel in our bare feet. High up in those trees live bats. I don't know what kind they are, but I do know they are plentiful.
Every evening in the summer, being inseparable as we were at the time, we would walk one another home down these brick streets overhung with oak branches; at dusk. You all know the mosquitoes come out in full force at dusk but we had to be home by dark. As we were walking, the bats would swoop down after the mosquitoes and sometimes get caught in our hair. More in Illana's than mine. Maybe because she was a brunette. We would laugh and laugh, never even thinking about being scared.
I was reminded of that this past weekend as I was sitting on my Mom's front porch watching the bats at dusk, leave their homes in the oak trees and swoop and glide through the dusky sky. It was extremely peaceful evening with very little traffic or noise and the bats were thick as the mosquitoes which were biting my legs. I couldn't seem to pull myself away from watching them glide. Maybe it was the calmness which came over me or maybe it was a memory of a simpler time. It sure was nice to go back.

Bird watching

The birds were out in big number the other morning. I know many of the species, but the most interesting thing which happened was watch a Red-Tailed Hawk. He landed on one of our lamposts and before half a minute went by, the Mockingbirds began dive bombing him trying to get him to leave.
You can imagine the Hawk's reaction to the Mockingbirds: he laughed or he would have laughed if he knew what laughter was. I do to I laughed.

Happy birthday

My son, Jeremy, turns 33 years old today. I remember the day he was born like it was yesterday and only hope he continues to grow and mature as he has done the past several years. Jeremy was raised very much like I was. We had critters from the time he can remember. Several of them had a huge impact on his life. His first pet was a huge white cat he named Fluffy and she was. He also had some goldfish which didn't make the trip to Anna Maria Island. Although we tried to transport them, they did not survive.
In his early years, we had Jinx, then Jasper. When Jinx died we got Jessie. When Jasper died, Junior came home with us. Our "J" dogs were all Rottweilers and Jeremy loved those dogs and they loved him. I believe any of them would have sacrificed themselves to save him. He cried when each of them died, even though he was a teenager and young man.
He was then around some of the time with Carmella, Gypsy and now Buzz. He has two dogs of his own, McKenzie and Hazel, but both are small and came with his girlfriend and he would love to get another big dog.
When he was 14 and staying with me on the other coast during a business trip, he wheeled a heron with a hurt leg on his skateboard into the lobby of a snazzy hotel and demanded they call a bird rescue for the heron. Later on in the week, he was a one man policeman, patrolling the beach for sea turtles and keeping the tourists away when they hatched. He observed a sea turtle coming out of the water to lay eggs for the first time that summer.
So to my adorable son on your 33rd birthday: Have a great one Jeremy! You have grown into a wonderful man.

Teaching your children

I read the most horrifying story in the St. Pete Times this morning. I know abuse of animals goes on every single day here, but to be charged with abuse and then charged with two counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor means she was showing or teaching her children how to be cruel. How can you do that? How can you knowingly abuse an animal and then show your children how to abuse one?
This is a disturbing story.

Veterans and service dogs

Knowing I am an Army brat, knowing I know lots of vets who could use a little help and knowing how much I love dogs, how could I resist this organization?
If they can get 5,000 "like"s on their Facebook page, another service dog can go to a veteran. Check out the page and then click. Do it for the veterans.

Please help Ty get a kennel which fits just right

Satchel's Last Resort is a wonderful sanctuary/rescue which gives shelter to any number of cats and dogs. Unfortunately, they are very full now and are working towards finding many of their adoptable animals homes. Until then, Ty, doesn't have a kennel which is the right size for him. Gulf Coast Gives is helping them raise the money for a new kennel for Ty and to bring exposure to this little known sanctuary which does so much good for this community.
Please check out this link and then give a couple of bucks if you can. Or a hundred or whatever your budget will allow.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Swamp people

One of the advantages of having roommates is the availability of cable television. Many of my favorite shows are on cable channels which you don't get when you subscribe to basic, basic cable. In cruising the channels, I have stumbled on several shows which have swamp in the name. Swamp men is about a sanctuary in the Everglades and I enjoy that.
Swamp people on the other hand, is set in Louisiana and is a reality show about different people who hunt alligators for a living.
Many would say this is cruel, but they obviously are not hunters. These men are continuing a tradition which is normally passed from father to son and if their life. the are issued tags for a certain number of alligators and the alligators are skinned and harvested for their meat. They don't over hunt them, kill them with a bullet so it is swift, and then sell them to be processed.
I guess it is no different than raising cattle which are then sent off to the slaughter houses for your Publix ground beef.
These people depend on the alligator for their livelihood. I don't want to watch what they do, but I don't hate them for doing it.

Kumba has been reunited with her new family

In the excellent news category, Kumba, the lost dog, was found this morning and reunited with her family.
They are very thankful for all the helping eyes from everyone in the area and we wish them a long and happy life with Kumba back in the family.

Missing dog, please post and cross post

Several weeks ago I featured a beautiful German Shepherd on here. Her name was Kumba. she was adopted and jumped the fence at her new home and is still missing. If you live in the Myakka Valley Ranches area or know anyone who does, please read this poster and keep your eyes out for us. Her new family is broken-hearted and wants her to come home.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

When is a rescuer wrong?

I know there are people who are going to disagree with me and this next blog post but I believe discussion is how problems are solved. If I am wrong, show me how.
I heard about a young woman who believed she was rescuing a couple of cats. They were young and she took them home because she wanted to save their lives.
Her family, including her, were more of a dog family and the two cats were banished to a spare bedroom where they have lived for the past two years. The woman's mother made sure they had vet care, food and water, but because they were a dog family, there was no love or socialization with the cats even by the young woman who "rescued" them.
Mom and Dad have now bought a house and Mom says the cats are not coming with them. So where are these two, unsocialized and almost feral now going to go? No rescue that I know of.
The young woman now wants to find a "no kill" shelter to dump these cats off at since her parents will not allow them in the new home.
So was the young woman right in what she did? I do not think she was. I think the cats would have had a better chance at life had they been taken to a shelter when she first found them instead of being imprisoned in a spare bedroom with no human interaction or socialization.
This is not a made up story. I have actually met all the parties involved. How sad in by doing what they thought was the right thing, turned out to be so wrong.
So if you think you could provide a home for two, almost feral cats, please contact me. I am taking bets no one contacts me.

Missouri shelter needs help

I have a really good friend who has a shelter in southern Missouri close to the Arkansas border. Many animals Hank comes in contact with are not treated as treasured family members. He has a situation now where a momma dog and her puppies are in danger. He has as many as he can take and all his foster families are full.
The owner is threatening to shoot all the dogs (which they can do legally as property and Hank is at his wits' end trying to find someone to rescue these babies.
Their website is www.ksarc.org and the phone number is 1-573-857-2044. Please contact them if you can help them.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Patrick, the pit bull

I am following, with lots of interest, the story of Patrick the pit bull. For those of you unfamiliar with Patrick, his story has been making the rounds through Facebook and the news wires for the last month or so.
Well, it seems due to Patrick's celebrity, the money is pouring in to cover the cost of his care. Now the two groups, one who rescues and one who is treating, had to go to court and let them decide who actually has custody of the dog. Check out the story here.
Children, let's not fight. The last I checked there were plenty of pits to go around. Oh...I get it...the money is what is making you play tug-of-war with this dog. Well, just cut it out.

Firefighters rescue dog from blaze

A German Shepherd named Koda was a very lucky dog on Saturday. He was rescued along with a pet turtle from a fire by Ormond Beach firefighters.
Check out the story here.

When things get back to "normal"

For all my regular readers, my posts are very sporadic right now but there is much going on in my personal life which has nothing to do with animals. I am trying to keep on top of all the adoptable animals, but unfortunately, am hard-pressed to find time some days when I am actually at home in front of my computer.
Keep your fingers crossed things may be back to normal, or what my idea of normal is shortly. At least, I hope it is shortly. I miss my volunteering and all the animals who need a home and I simply have not had time to post.
For my sweetie, I miss you and know you will be back soon since I can't get away to come up there. For my homeless critters, I am working on doing better and for my Mom: Keep hanging on Mom. We are all pulling for you.

As the birds fly

I observe some of the most interesting things early in the morning. Whether at my house in the backyard or at the shelter, the animals seem to come out right at dusk or dawn and watching and observing how they interact with themselves and each other is one of the more interesting things I do when I am by myself.

Last week, around 6:30 a.m., I watched a juvenile egret land on top of one of the light poles where I work. It kept looking around as if to say, "Where am I and where is the water?"

Five or six minutes later I hear a ''Caw, caw, caw." Then the bombardment by big, black crows. There were probably four or five of them and they began dive-bombing the egret. The egret kept ducking his head and opening his mouth as if to say, "What the heck is going on? What did I do?"

This went on for several minutes and the crows flew off so I figured they were warning the egret of something.

I was wrong. Not two minutes later they were back. The continued dive-bombing the egret when all of a sudden out of nowhere, six or seven seagulls showed up. They began chasing the crows and before you knew it, the crows were gone. The seagulls hung around for a couple of minutes and they flew off.

The egret looked at me as if to say, "Did you see that?" Several minutes later he flew off to unknown places.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

At-risk teenagers and shelter dogs

In my new line of work, I am exposed to a lot of teens. Unfortunately, many of these kids are in a high-risk group for getting into trouble because of trouble at home.
I know of several different programs where shelter dogs are trained to make them more adoptable by prison inmates. I know of several programs where shelter dogs are trained by volunteers. I had never heard of the non-profit group which places at-risk teens with shelter dogs. What a superb idea.
As we continue to see the economy falter and the at-risk teen population continue to grow at an alarming rate, why not pair them with dogs at risk of losing their lives from being in a shelter?
I am sure the first thing which pops in my readers's thoughts is insurance. How do you insure against dog bites when many private citizens are locked out of homeowner's insurance due to the breed of dog they own.
Well, all dogs benefit from training. All dogs. There are no exceptions. Many shelter dogs have very correctable behaviors if given the proper training.
Maybe someone in this area would be interested in trying to begin a program here much like this story points out they did in San Diego. It is worth a shot to get these at-risk teens off the street and give these shelter dogs a second chance.
Check out the story here.

Man gets year for killing his dog with knife

When I first blogged about this story, I was appalled this man was so nonchalant about killing his dog he "loved." I hoped because they charged him with animal cruelty, he would actually do some time for the crime and not be slapped on the wrist. Well, a year still doesn't cover a death, but he did get a year so for that I am thankful.
Check out the story here.

10-Year-Old Boy Drags Gator Home From Canal

I really had to laugh when I read this story. You see, growing up in Florida we developed a healthy respect for alligators, but as I girl, I left them alone. The boys I knew, on the other hand, behaved in much the same way as the young man in this story.
If a 10 year old can drag an almost 5 foot alligator home with him and only get minor scratches, what do others raise so much hell when they see one floating in a body of water. Like I said, this story made me laugh at the folks who are so petrified of alligators, they scream if they even see one.

High School Students Training Police K-9 in Alachua County

I read this story and thought what an inspiring idea. Students who have an interest in becoming police officers, now have a donated German Shepherd puppy who is in training to become a K-9 Police dog. the teenagers are training him. How great is that?
Even should these students decide not to follow a career in police work, what they will learn about training dogs can be used in their every day life, including training their own pets to be better K-9 citizens.
I think any opportunity to inspire kids is one we should use. Maybe there is an interest in this area about having the same kind of program.

Evacuate your pets safely

June 1 begins the 2011 hurricane season and as always, evacuation could be required of you if a major storm should come our way. After the debacle with the evacuation of New Orleans pre-Katrina, we all witnessed what happened to many beloved pets when their owners evacuated and left them behind.
Check out this story and remember to take your pets with you if you must evacuate. It is the only way you will be assured they will be okay.

Officials Probe Missing Animals At LA Shelters

Someone is stealing animals from a Los Angeles animal shelter. An estimated 64 have gone missing in the past year. The shelter manager says most of the missing animals are dogs and they are the young and cute ones. That figures.
Check out the story here.

3 California Condors die of lead poisoning

I was sad to see they had three California Condors die of lead poisoning and three more had taxic levels in their bloodstream.
California Condors are sacred birds to the Native Americans of the west and were determined to be almost extinct in the 1970's with only one or 2 dozen left in the world. A captive breeding program was begun and in 1992 the birds were being re-introduced into the wild. Scientist are not sure why they almost died off, but the birds do not begin reproducing until they are between six and eight years old. There are still only an estimated 127 in the wild and mortality rates are still high, especially around developed areas with powerlines.
Check out the story here.

BLM asked to keep domestic horses from mustangs

Due to a highly contagious and often fatal virus, the HSUS has asked the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to isolate the herds of wild mustangs from domestic horses which may be grazing on public land.
Check it out here.

Eastern wolves are hybrids

As more and more people are calling for the protection of wolves, I found this interesting article about Eastern Wolves, which scientists have determined are actually a hybrid of wolves and coyotes and the Eastern coyotes are actually hybrids of coyote/wolf/dog.
Check it out here.