Friday, December 19, 2008

HSUS Victories in 2008

Friday, December 12, 2008

Ohio House Bill 418

Important news from the ASPCA Advocacy Center...

Currently pending in your state’s senate, Ohio House Bill 418 is important animal welfare legislation that will:

· increase the penalties for certain acts of animal cruelty;

· mandate psychological counseling for juveniles who commit animal cruelty; and

· give Ohio’s courts the power to include pets in protective orders.

Sadly, animals often are used as pawns in domestic disputes. Sixty percent of female victims of domestic violence have had a pet killed by their abuser(s)—and up to 40 percent of battered women delay going to a shelter because they fear what will happen to the pets they must leave behind.

Many states have already passed laws allowing pets to be included in court-issued orders of protection. This is your chance—help Ohio become the next state to take this important step in the fight against domestic violence and animal abuse.

What You Can Do
HB 418 has already passed the Ohio House and now has to pass the Senate to become law. However, this must happen by the end of this month—if the bill doesn’t pass by December 31, it dies.

Please call your Ohio State Senator now!
Visit the ASPCA Advocacy Center to learn more and to find your Ohio state senator’s phone number.

Thank you, Ohio, for joining the fight against domestic violence.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Dog Tags

I found this wonderful story on the Petcentric website...

The Washington Humane Society (WHS) recently launched a brand new program, "Dog Tags," which provides a very different kind of training to soldiers. Injured soldiers recovering at Walter Reed Army Medical Center come to WHS's new Behavior and Learning Center, located across the street from the hospital, twice a week to learn and study animal training and behavior. The soldiers in the program work with the homeless animals in the care of WHS. They teach the dogs behaviors that will help them succeed in their new homes, and the soldiers gain new skills, which prepare them for future careers in animal training and behavior.

To read the entire article, please click here.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

If I Didn't Have a Dog or Cat

If I Didn't Have a Dog... or Cat

I could walk around the yard barefoot in safety.

My house could be carpeted instead of tiled and laminated.

All flat surfaces, clothing, furniture, and cars would be free of hair.

When the doorbell rings, it wouldn't sound like a kennel.



When the doorbell rings, I could get to the door without

wading through fuzzy bodies who beat me there.

I could sit on the couch and my bed the way I wanted,

without taking into consideration how much space

several fur bodies would need to get comfortable.

I would have money and no guilt to go on a real vacation.

I would not be on a first-name basis with 6 veterinarians,

as I put their yet unborn grand kids through college.


The most used words in my vocabulary would not be: out,

sit, down, come, no, stay, and leave him/her/it ALONE.

My house would not be cordoned off into zones with

baby gates or barriers.

I would not talk 'baby talk'. 'Eat your din din'.

'Yummy yummy for the tummy'..

My house would not look like a day care center, toys everywhere.

My pockets would not contain things like poop bags,

treats and an extra leash.



I would no longer have to spell the words B-A-L-L,,

F-R-I-S-B-E- E, W-A-L-K,, T-R-E-A-T,, B-I-K-E,, G-O,,R-I-D-E,, would not have as many leaves INSIDE my house as outside.

I would not look strangely at people who think having ONEdog/cat ties them down too much.

I'd look forward to spring and the rainy season instead
of dreading 'mud' season.



I would not have to answer the question 'Why do you have

so many animals?' from people who will never have the joy

in their lives of knowing they are loved unconditionally by

someone as close to an angel as they will ever get.

How EMPTY my life would be!!!




Peaceful Rally Against Puppy Mills - Columbus, Ohio

On November 20, 2008, The Humane Society of the United States revealed the results of an eight-month investigation into Petland Inc., the country's largest chain of puppy-selling pet stores. The results showed that many Petland stores across the country are supporting an abusive puppy mill industry, even while telling unsuspecting customers that the dogs only come from reputable breeders. Founded in 1967 and headquartered in Chillicothe, Ohio, Petland, Inc. currently has 140 stores in the United States and 63 in foreign markets.

According to Mary O’Connor-Shaver of Columbus Top Dogs, “HSUS investigators visited 21 Petland stores and 35 breeders and brokers who sold puppies to Petland stores. They also reviewed interstate import records of an additional 322 breeders, USDA reports and more than 17,000 individual puppies linked to Petland stores. At many of these large-scale breeding operations, investigators saw appalling conditions: puppies living in filthy, barren cages reeking of urine, with inadequate care and socialization.”

In response to findings revealed during The HSUS’s recent investigation, and in support of Companion Animal Protection Society’s (CAPS) 2008 North American Protest against pet stores that sell puppy mill dogs, Columbus Top Dogs will be hosting a peaceful rally on Saturday, December 20, 2008 from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM near the entrance to Petland stores located in Hilliard, OH and Lewis Center, OH.

The goal of this event is to raise awareness of Petland and its relationship to puppy mill breeders and to solicit support from the community asking that Petland stop selling puppies while Central Ohio homeless dogs and puppies wait to be adopted.

Columbus Top Dogs, based in Columbus, Ohio, is a group of independent pet consultants for Shure Pets, the premiere direct seller of pet products and accessories. Since 2005, the team has donated over $64,000 in financial and in-kind contributions to 33 animal shelters and rescue organizations located throughout Franklin, Delaware, Licking and Fairfield counties.

The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) is the nation's largest animal protection organization — backed by 10.5 million Americans. For more than a half-century, The HSUS has been fighting for the protection of all animals through advocacy, education, and hands-on programs.

As the only national nonprofit dedicated exclusively to protecting companion animals, Companion Animal Protection Society's (CAPS) foremost concern is the abuse and suffering of pet shop and puppy mill dogs. Founded in 1992, CAPS actively addresses this issue through investigations, legislative involvement, puppy mill dog rescues, consumer assistance and pet industry employee relations.

For More Information:
Mary O’Connor-Shaver
Columbus Top Dogs (Shure Pets)
Cell: 614-271-8248
www.ColumbusTopDogs.com

Let's Say Thanks

Dogs Singing Christmas Song

This is just too cute!

Studies Show Dogs Have Sense of Fairness

This is a wonderful article that I found online:
http://license.icopyright.net/user/viewFreeUse.act?fuid=MjE1MjQzMA==

Dog Rescued from Drainage Pipe

I monitored this story from start to finish. There were some awesome rescuers who fought hard to get media coverage for this dog. Without it, he probably would have died in that drain pipe.

Enjoy this heartwarming tale:
http://www.nbc4i.com/midwest/cmh/news.apx.-content-articles-CMH-2008-12-03-0022.html

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Mortgage Meltdown Results in Pets Going to Pound

MIAMI, Florida (CNN) -- Furry signs of a down-trending economy peer dolefully from every kennel at the Broward County Humane Society shelter in Florida and hundreds of others across the country.

Bentley, a 3-year-old Lhasa apso, was given up by his owners because they just couldn't afford to keep him any more.

Tinkerbell, a sweet, docile house cat, was surrendered by her owners after they found out that they had lost their home.

With foreclosures disrupting life, from the family house down to the dog house, and as Americans toil through a tough economic landscape, some of their pets face an even bleaker future in the pound.

"People lose their homes and have to move to apartments that don't accept pets, so they give them up," says Cheryl McAuliffe, a spokeswoman for the Georgia State Humane Society.

Read the article in its entirety by visiting CNN.com.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Dog Nurses Motherless Kittens

This is a wonderful story of a Lab mix in a shelter in Burlington, Iowa that nurses 3 litters of motherless kittens. Enjoy!

Group Calls for Resignation of CAHS Director

A group of Ohio rescuers recently formed the Coalition for Responsible Shelter Practices. The group is calling for the immediate resignation of Capital Area Humane Society director Jodi Lytle Buckman and the complete reorganization of the organization.

As a rescuer, I have heard countless appalling stories from former volunteers of Capital Area Humane Society. One such story is of a kittens being euthanized by holding them up and sticking needles in their stomachs... and then allowing them to run around in agony for 20 to 30 minutes until the poison finally kills them.

If you are interested in learning more about the Coalition's claims against Capital Area Humane Society, please visit www.capitalarea.org.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Tanner's Story

This is a wonderful story written by Terry Weaver, a guest columnist for Columbus Messenger newspapers. This true story details beautifully the importance of obedience training as well as the perseverance that saved a rescued dog's life... a second time.


My friend Jenny is the director of a dog rescue group. She learned of the need for Dalmatian rescue when the movie "101 Dalmatians" came out and so many people felt they wanted one of those cute spotted dogs only to learn later that they require a ton of attention and exercise.

They are a great breed, but they just are not the right dog for everyone.

Because of my friendship with Jenny, I felt that getting a dog from a rescue was the way to go. My husband went on a mission to find the right dog for us, one that desperately needed a forever home. He found Tanner, a two-year old Sheltie. Our house was his fourth home in two years. Tanner didn't tell us his sad story in words, but after he got comfortable in our house his behavior soon showed us that he came with quite a bit of baggage.

Tanner started out barking and acting crazy at other dogs in the neighborhood when I would walk him (if you could call it walking). His behavior got worse as time went on. He got out of control in the house when any person or dog would walk by. I had to stop taking Tanner for walks because he barked constantly, lunged at others, and tried to chase cars. It was a mess. I had to lock him in the bathroom if company was coming over.

The final straw was when my brother came to visit and Tanner jumped up and nipped his hand. Luckily there was no real damage, but I knew I could not trust Tanner around people, animals, or cars.

I tried working with him for three years, but all my attention and love wasn't helping and his behavior worsened. I thought there was just one thing I could do -- I had to put Tanner to sleep before he got hurt or he hurt someone. My youngest let me know his feelings right away. He thought I was taking the easy way out and that we needed to try and work harder for Tanner. I agreed to try harder to help Tanner, but I was out of ideas. Into the picture came my friends Anne and Jim.

I told them about my failure with Tanner. I didn't know it then, but Jim takes their dog to Columbus All Breed Training Club. He suggested I give them a call to see if there was a class that would be right for us. I found a person who has a strong understanding of how Shelties are and decided to sign us up for the beginners obedience class and give it a try.

That first class was nerve wracking -- Tanner is barking and lunging and circling and was just beside himself. I was nervous and embarrassed, but I had to at least stick it out for the eight week session.

I am so glad I stuck it out. It has been an amazing journey. I learned so much in that short time. I discovered it was me who was making Tanner worse. As I l earned the correct things to do, Tanner relaxed and began to enjoy going to the classes.

I was still wary, but it was Jim who changed my stance on letting Tanner close to anyone. He came in one night and just walked right up to us with his beautiful Belgian Sheepdog, Race. Tanner sniffed Race and Race sniffed Tanner. Oh my stars... that's the first dog that Tanner has been friendly with!

It's been a year since that beginner's class and oh how Tanner has changed for the better! I've continued with obedience classes going up to more advanced levels with Tanner rising to the challenge each time. We can enjoy a leisurely walk, he can take a ride in the car, and we can have company over. Tanner even knows when it is a dog school day, he just can't wait to get to class and hang out with his friends.

Tanner was 24 hours away from being put to sleep a year ago. Now I'm thinking about registering him for the AKC Obedience Trials next spring... Yep, obedience training saved Tanner's life.

I Rescued a Human Today

This wonderful essay was written by Janine Allen of www.RescueMeDog.org:

Her eyes met mine as she walked down the corridor peering apprehensively into the kennels. I felt her need instantly and knew I had to help her. I wagged my tail, not too exuberantly, so she wouldn't be afraid.

As she stopped at my kennel I blocked her view from a little accident I had in the back of my cage. I didn't want her to know that I hadn't been walked today. Sometimes the shelter keepers get too busy and I didn't want her to think poorly of them.

As she read my kennel card I hoped that she wouldn't feel sad about my past. I only have the future to look forward to and want to make a difference in someone's life.

She got down on her knees and made little kissy sounds at me. I shoved my shoulder and side of my head up against the bars to comfort her. Gentle fingertips caressed my neck; she was desperate for companionship.

A tear fell down her cheek and I raised my paw to assure her that all would be well. Soon my kennel door opened and her smile was so bright that I instantly jumped into her arms. I would promise to keep her safe. I would promise to always be by her side. I would promise to do everything I could to see that radiant smile and sparkle in her eyes. I was so fortunate that she came down my corridor. So many more are out there who haven't walked the corridors. So many more to be saved. At least I could save one.

I rescued a human today.

Stray Pit Bull Saves Woman, Child from Attacker

I found this wonderful story on the ZooToo website. Click below to read:
http://www.zootoo.com/petnews/straydogsaveswomanchildheldatk

Monday, November 10, 2008

Unlikely Friends

Here is a wonderful YouTube video of two very unlikely friends -- a crow and a kitten. Enjoy!

3-Legged Dog Inspires Next President


How a 3-legged dog inspired our next President
to make history
…and got a Congressional bill proposed in her name

During the campaign, then-Senator Obama and his wife promised their daughters that they would get a dog after the election. This made lighthearted news after the President-elect mentioned it in his acceptance speech, but there is a tragic side to the story, due to a special 3-legged dog named “Baby” who found her way into Barack Obama's arms when he was a newly elected Senator.

The public promise to adopt a rescue dog is unprecedented for a First Family, and has the potential to strike a crippling blow to one of the cruelest industries imaginable- dog breeding- an industry that costs taxpayers billions. Most Americans aren't aware that their hard-earned tax dollars are squandered to the tune of billions a year on animal control due to pet overpopulation, an epidemic perpetuated by the dog breeding industry. The economic crisis we now face demands that every sector be scrutinized for greed, mismanagement, and deception-not just Wall Street.

The houses-of-horror known as “puppy mills,” where breeding dogs are locked in cages 24 hours a day, spinning endlessly in circles as they go insane from lifetime confinement, never allowed to walk on solid ground, covered in their own feces and that of the dogs stacked in cages above them, maimed or diseased yet still forced to breed every heat cycle, is an industry that has gone unchecked and is nothing short of legalized torture. The scores of puppies churned out of these mills each year mean a death sentence for millions of homeless shelter dogs, who wait in vain for someone to adopt them, only to be dragged to the gas chamber. Every time someone buys a puppy from a dog breeder instead of adopting one of those deserving critters, it not only seals their sad fate, it costs you and me a bundle. And yet the dog breeders continue to churn out their cruel cash crop, an income that many brag is easily hidden from the IRS.

One survivor of these hellholes is a dog named “Baby” who found her way into the spotlight with then-Senator Obama. Known previously by a number, “94,” tattooed in her ear, this gentle creature had her vocal cords cut by the mill owners so they wouldn't have to hear her cries to be let out of her cage, and after her rescue had her leg amputated as a result of osteoporosis that is common among breeding dogs.

When I learned the shocking truth about the dog breeding industry, I vowed to adopt rather than buy a dog from one of these animal abusers, and to tell the country their dark secret. I enlisted my new Senator, Barack Obama, to help tell Baby's story to the world, and several of his colleagues, Republicans and Democrats alike, as well as celebrities from all walks-Judge Judy, the New York Mets, Steven Tyler, Bill Maher, even rabbis and priests who I contacted to weigh in on animal cruelty from a religious perspective. Those essays and portraits comprise the book, A Rare Breed of Love: The True Story of Baby and the Mission she Inspired to Help Dogs Everywhere (Fireside, an imprint of Simon & Schuster), which has sent Baby and me on a grueling cross-country tour the past several months, culminating in a proposed bill named for her that would ban lifetime confinement of breeding dogs. “Baby's Bill” (H.R. 6949/S. 3519) is co-sponsored by Representatives Sam Farr (D-CA), Jim Gerlach (R-PA), Lois Capps (D-CA), Terry Everett (R-AL), and Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL), and would require that breeding dogs be let out of their cages for 60 minutes of exercise a day-a baby step as far as I'm concerned, yet one that's likely to be opposed by dog breeders, “Cruella de Villes” that they are.

I remember the photo shoot we did with then-Senator Obama, when he held Baby close, snuggled and kissed her, distressed to hear of her abuse, and an email he later sent to his Illinois constituents, telling them about her and his commitment to stopping all forms of animal cruelty. President-elect Obama has made history in so many ways, and now the incoming First Family has achieved another first that could not only end a cruel industry, but would also save taxpayers billions. The simple act of acquiring a family pet through adoption will undoubtedly inspire millions of Americans to follow their lead, meaning that millions of homeless dogs slated for death may instead find loving homes, drastically reducing the cost of animal control. The dog breeding industry will see their sales drop dramatically, and countless victims like Baby, locked away at this very moment, prisoners condemned to life behind bars, will be spared that nightmarish existence.

Like all the members of the House and Senate who posed with Baby for the book, Barack Obama understands that this kind of legalized cruelty must end. What the Obamas also see is a wonderful opportunity to teach their daughters a lesson in compassion and mercy by bringing a homeless pet into their family. One of the greatest ways to build character in our children is to encourage compassion toward animals, as the National Parent-Teacher Association states.

It was fitting that we chose the Lincoln Memorial as the backdrop for President-elect Obama's portrait with Baby. President Lincoln himself was an animal lover who once saved the life of a dog, a poignant story recounted in Baby's book. I believe the 16th President is looking down in approval upon our 44th, for so many reasons.

And little does a voiceless, 3-legged dog know, she has helped make history, too.

Jana Kohl, Psy.D. is a psychologist, animal welfare advocate, and author of A Rare Breed of Love: The True Story of Baby and the Mission she Inspired to Help Dogs Everywhere (Fireside, an imprint of Simon and Schuster). Having worked for the Simon Wiesenthal Center for Holocaust Studies for many years, she has long been concerned with how cruelty becomes legally sanctioned by society. She is a member of the board of HumaneUSA.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Petition for Maximum Penalty for Men Who Hacked Puppy To Death












Poor little Peanut is the victim of a brutal slaying by two vicious men. The 7-month old Fox Terrier pup was tortured, mutilated, and hacked to death in Mackay, Australia. Please sign the Care2 petition asking for the MAXIMUM penalty for this horrifying crime! They need 100,000 signatures and still have a way to go. Please sign the petition TODAY! Thank you!

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/maximum-penalty-for-the-men-who-hacked-up-a-puppy

Puppies for the Holidays are a Very Bad Idea

With the holidays approaching, I thought this press release, published by CAPS (Companion Animal Protection Society) in Boston, MA, would be fitting.

A puppy under the tree with a big red bow around its neck seems like the perfect image for many families; but Deborah Howard, President of the Companion Animal Protection Society (The only national nonprofit dedicated exclusively to protecting companion animals) warns that this only adds to the problem of shelters being filled with unwanted dogs.

Before you buy a puppy, Deborah Howard has created the following checklist to see if you are ready for the new member of the Family:

1. Did the companion animal you plan on bringing into your home come from a shelter, reputable breeder or from another location where you can trace its whereabouts?

2. Have you prepped the entire family for the new member of the family?

3. Who will be responsible for the dog’s socialization?

4. Who will be accountable for the animals care? Feeding? Walking? House training?

5. Have you calculated the cost of raising your animal? Vet bills? Food? Toys?

Many breeders and pet stores are often motivated by money and the holiday craze. Such sellers are not likely to cut into profits with pesky screening for genetic diseases, nor are they likely to care about the importance of socialization. These attitudes may cost you in the long run, both in dollars and in heartbreak. The most important rule of thumb is to realize that puppies are not toys. They are living creatures that need a lot of attention and essentially should be regarded as a new member of the family.

“One should never purchase or adopt an animal as a present to be given during the holidays. There is too much excitement and stress during holidays for an animal that has to adjust and adapt to being in a new environment and home. Instead, give a gift card stating that there will be an animal after the holidays. Don’t expect children, even teens, to provide consistent care for this animal. The responsibility is going to be with the parents. Don’t ever buy a dog at a pet shop or online. Most of these puppies come from puppy mills – commercial breeding facilities that mass produce dogs for resale to pet shops or individuals. Potential animal guardians can make a difference by adopting an unwanted animal from a shelter or rescue organization. Most shelters and rescue organizations are listed on http://www.petfinder.com/. ” – Deborah Howard


###

About CAPS:
The Companion Animal Protection Society is the only national nonprofit dedicated exclusively to protecting companion animals, CAPS' foremost concern is the abuse and suffering of pet shop and puppy mill dogs. Founded in 1992, CAPS actively addresses this issue through investigations, education, media relations, legislative involvement, puppy mill dog rescues, consumer assistance, and pet shop employee relations. For more information please visit http://www.caps-web.org/.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Top 10 Reasons to Adopt an Older Dog

From ASPCA, here is a great list of the top 10 reasons to adopt an older dog:


  1. What You See Is What You Get
    Older dogs are open books—from the start, you’ll know important things like their full-grown size, personality and grooming requirements. All this information makes it easier to pick the right dog and forge that instant love connection that will last a lifetime. If you’re not so into surprises, an older dog is for you!
  2. Easy to Train
    Think you can’t teach an old dog new tricks? Hogwash! Older dogs are great at focusing on you—and on the task at hand—because they’re calmer than youngsters. Plus, all those years of experience reading humans can help them quickly figure out how to do what you’re asking.
  3. Seniors are Super-Loving
    The stories you submitted about your senior dogs were wonderfully varied, but they all contained beautiful, heartfelt descriptions of the love your dogs give you—and those of you who adopted older dogs told us how devoted and grateful they are. It's an instant bond that cannot be topped!
  4. They’re Not a 24-7 Job
    Grownup dogs don’t require the constant monitoring puppies do, leaving you with more freedom to do your own thing. If you have young children, or just value your “me time,” this is definitely a bonus.
  5. They Settle in Quickly
    Older dogs have been around the block and already learned what it takes to get along with others and become part of a pack. They’ll be part of the family in no time!
  6. Fewer Messes
    Your floors, shoes and furniture will thank you for adopting a senior pooch! Older dogs are likely to already be housetrained—and even if they’re not, they have the physical and mental abilities to pick it up really fast (unlike puppies). With their teething years far behind them, seniors also are much less likely to be destructive chewers.
  7. You Won’t Bite Off More Than You Can Chew
    There are those who yearn for a doggie friend of their own, but hold back because they worry what might happen in their lives in the years to come. And they are wise to do so—a puppy or young dog can be anywhere from an eight- to 20-year responsibility, which is not appropriate for the very elderly or those with certain long-term future plans. Providing a loving home for a dog in her golden years is not a less serious commitment, but it can be a shorter one.
  8. They Enjoy Easy Livin’
    Couch potato, know thyself! Please consider a canine retiree rather than a high-energy young dog who will run you ragged. Not that older dogs don’t require any exercise—they do—but they’re not going to need, or want, to run a marathon every day.
  9. Save a Life, Be a Hero
    Older dogs are often the last to be adopted and the first to be euthanized at shelters. Saving an animal’s life offers an unparalleled emotional return on your investment, and you’ll feel the rewards every day you spend together. There’s nothing like that twinkling in an older dog’s eyes when he finally gets adopted and realizes that after a lifetime of searching, he’s home.
  10. They’re CUTE!
    Need we say more? For proof, check out our new photo feature In Praise of Older Dogs!

I have dedicated a page to the senior dogs I've rescued on my website. Please stop by to check it out:
http://www.joannsfosteranimals.com/view.php?pageid=19.


I Am Your Dog

This beautiful story has been passed around for a long time. The author is unknown.

I am your dog, and I have a little something I'd like to whisper in your ear. I know that you humans lead busy lives. Some have to work, some have children to raise. It always seems like you are running here and there, often much too fast, often never noticing the truly grand things in life. Look down at me now, while you sit there at your computer. See the way my dark brown eyes look at yours? Theyare slightly cloudy now. That comes with age. The gray hairs are beginning to ring my soft muzzle.

You smile at me; I see love in your eyes. What do you see in mine? Do you see a spirit? A soul inside, who loves you as no other could in the world? A spirit that would forgive all trespasses of prior wrong doing for just a simple moment of your time? That is all I ask. To slow down, if even for a few minutes to be with me. So many times you have B een saddened by the words you read on that screen,of other of my kind, passing. Sometimes we die young and oh so quickly, sometimes so suddenly it wrenches your heart out of your throat. Sometimes, we age so slowly before your eyes that you may not even seem to know until the very end, when we look at you with grizzled muzzles and cataract clouded eyes. Still the love is always there, even when we must take that long sleep, to run free in adistant land.

I may not be here tomorrow; I may not be here next week. Someday you will shed the water from your eyes, that humans have when deep grief fills their souls, and you will be angry at yourself that you did not have just "One more day" with me. Because I love you so, your sorrow touches my spirit and grieves me. We have NOW, together. So come, sit down here next to me on the floor, and look deep into my eyes. What do you see? If you look hard and deep enough we will talk, you and I, heart to heart. Come to me not as "alpha" or as "trainer" or even "Mom or Dad," come to me as a living soul and stroke my fur and let us look deep into one another's eyes, and talk.

I may tell you something about the fun of chasing a tennis ball, or I may tell you something profound about myself, or even life in general. You decided to have me in your life because you wanted a soul to share such things with. Someone very different from you, and here I am. I am a dog, but I am alive. I feel emotion, I feel physical senses, and I can revel in the differences of our spirits and souls. I do not think of you as a "Dog on two feet" -- I know what you are. You are human, in all your quirkiness, and I love you still.

Now, come sit with me, on the floor. Enter my world, and let time slow down if only for 15 minutes. Look deep into my eyes, and whisper to my ears. Speak with your heart, with your joy and I will know your true self. We may not have tomorrow, and life is oh so very short.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Outcome of Trial Could Effect Right to Rescue Strays

This is a press release from my friend Barbara McGrady of the Society for the Protection of Animals...

S.P.A. Member Personally Sued for Rescuing Stray Dog!

The appeal will be argued to a panel of 3 judges of the appellate court on November 10th, 2008.

If S.P.A. loses this case, no one may be able to help stray animals without running the risk of being sued, even if acting on behalf of a non-profit organization. Please, if you are involved with rescue, take the time to read this. It is a very important court case.

For Immediate Release...

PLEASE READ THE FOLLOWING LEGAL BRIEF which is now public record! IT IS VERY INTERESTING AND COULD AFFECT EVERYONE IN RESCUE, ESPECIALLY IN OHIO!

~This hearing will be heard in the 6th District Court of Appeals~ Its outcome will affect ALL animal rescuers in Ohio and most likely all rescuers across the U.S! If SPA does not win the appeal, it may be necessary to take the case to the Ohio Supreme Court.

The outcome will set precedence for those who rescue stray dogs and cats!

TO REFRESH YOUR MEMORY:
Terry McGrady, an S.P.A. member, was sued for rescuing a stray dog and ordered to pay $500 to the man claiming to have lost the dog. This dog had been missing one week before he began to look for him and the dog was not licensed to him at that time.

Again, S.P.A. is appealing this decision because they feel they made every effort to locate the owner. This man who claimed that the dog got away from him A WEEK BEFORE called the number listed in the Found Ad in the local paper and accused McGrady of stealing his dog, and said that he needed to give him back.

When McGrady asked why he hadn't looked earlier for the dog he was missing, he said he was too busy farming to look for the dog earlier in the week. He said he was "trying the dog out" and that it actually belonged to a guy he worked with.

Mr. Terry Lodge, a top notch Toledo attorney (and an animal advocate) felt that Terry McGrady should appeal the ruling that Judge Adams made in the small, village court of Woodville, Ohio. He prepared the attached brief and will appeal this case soon before 6th District Court of Appeals.

Read the complete press release at:
http://www.spaohio.org/news_34219265048945.php.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

October is National Adopt a Shelter Dog Month

October is Adopt a Shelter Dog Month and The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) suggests people who are looking for "man's best friend" to check out the millions of dogs at local shelters across the country. However, responsible pet ownership requires more than simply agreeing to take an animal into your life; the potential adopter should be ready to make a commitment that will enhance the lives of both the human and the animal.

With nearly 10 million animals entering local shelters across the country each year the Adopt a Shelter Dog Month helps focus attention on the pet population problem we face in this country.

Renowned dog trainer Joel Silverman also says that shelter animals make good pets, and that proper training is the key. Silverman's many canine pupils have starred in commercials, television shows, and feature films and often come from shelters. According to Silverman, pet owners that train their dogs have better relationships with their pets and less problems in the home.

"Most people don't realize that training is not as difficult as they think," says Silverman. "Training should be fun for both the pet owner and the dog and, in fact, usually strengthens the bond between them."

In a recent study conducted by the National Council on Pet Population Study and Policy, researchers surveyed people turning animals in to 12 various shelters around the country to try to find our exactly why animals end up there. The study was published in the current issue of the Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science, and can be seen at The ASPCA's Web site (http://www.aspca.org). The study's researchers reviewed reasons why people gave up their dogs up for adoption, and found the following frequency of answers:

  • 29 percent surrendered their dogs due to behavior problems
  • 29 percent surrendered their dogs because of the family's housing situation
  • 25 percent surrendered their dogs citing incompatibility with the family's lifestyle
  • 15 percent surrendering their dogs due to the family's preparation and/or expectations.

According to The ASPCA, people bringing a companion animal into their lives need to thoroughly review their lifestyle and their readiness to take responsibility for the animal's care. The ASPCA advises people to consider the five questions below before they adopt a dog:

  1. Am I ready to make a long-term commitment? Adopting a pet means being responsible for it's health and happiness for the rest of his or her life, which could be up to 15 years for dogs.
  2. Is the animal right for my household? A strong, active pet may be too much for a young child or elderly person to handle. Small pets may be too delicate for rough play with children. Always make sure that everyone in the household agrees to adopt an animal.
  3. Who will be the primary caretaker for the animal? One adult in the home should be designated as the primary caretaker so that the pet's needs do not become lost in the shuffle of busy schedules.
  4. Can I afford the animal? The cost of a pet is more than just the purchase price or adoption fee; remember to include the cost of food, pet supplies, veterinarian bills and training.
  5. Am I ready to commit to making this dog a good canine citizen? A well-trained dog is a pleasure and is welcome in public parks, on walks, and as a visitor. Research shows that people who take the time to train their dogs are more likely to keep them longer than people who don't.

Looking for a dog to add to your family? Consider adopting a shelter dog!

Article from DogHobbyist.com.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Adonis: Saved From the Dog Meat Trade

This story about a dog named Adonis is from Humane Society International. Adonis was one of the dogs saved last year from a shipment of 100 dogs bound for the dog meat trade in the Philippines.

Originally nicknamed Brown-Brown by rescuers, he was soon adopted into a loving new home and has since become a therapy dog, visiting hospitals and bringing joy into the lives of hundreds of children.

Dogs just like Adonis are rounded up in the streets, stolen, or even bought from their unknowing owners for an insignificant sum. Dog meat traders take advantage of the animals’ trusting nature -- they bind their muzzles, pack dozens of them into a small cage, and then drive the dogs for hours to their final destination -- a cruel death.

Warning: This video contains graphic footage.



For more info (and for ways you can help), please click here.

Friday, September 26, 2008

The Test of a Civilization

From PETA TV, below is a video showing the reality (and horrors) of animals being used in lab experiments. Hundreds of millions of dogs, cats, rats, mice, and primates are used and killed every year in the name of science. Many experiments are agonizing, unreliable, and pointless.

Please note: This video contains graphic and disturbing images and information.

For more information, visit:
http://www.stopanimaltests.com/

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Help My Rescue Win $10,000

Hello everyone! Care2.com and Adopt-a-Pet.com are running a campaign to promote awareness of pet adoption. They are awarding $10,000 to the rescue with the most votes.

PLEASE vote for my rescue! Even though I'm a very small operation, I have been very fortunate to have saved a lot of little lives and helped to rehome a good many others.

This money would allow me to branch out, finally become a 501c3 and save a whole lot more.

The contest runs from September 22 through November 1, 2008.

Click the link below to vote for Jo Ann's Foster Animals:
http://www.care2.com/animalsheltercontest/73772

Thanks so much for your kindess and support!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Puppy Mill Update on Oprah this Thursday 9/25

Be sure to watch this Thursday's (9/25/08) episode of Oprah - http://www.oprah.com/index. During this show, viewers will meet the tiniest and most talented dogs in the world. Then, a puppy mills update. The first show was just the tip of the iceberg... why we need everyone to watch again!

Humane Society Legislative Fund Endorses Obama

I’m not trying to get in the middle of a political war, but I feel people should know where these candidates stand on animal rights.

Thanks,
Jo Ann

September 22, 2008

Humane Society Legislative Fund Endorses Obama-Biden

One of the guiding principles of the Humane Society Legislative Fund is that we evaluate candidates based on a single criterion: where they stand on animal protection policies. We don’t make decisions based on party affiliation, or any other social issue, or even how many pets they have. We care about their views and actions on the major policy debates relating to animal welfare.

It stirs controversy to get involved in candidate elections. But we believe that candidates for office and current lawmakers must be held accountable, or they will see the animal protection movement as a largely irrelevant political constituency. In order to have good laws, we need good lawmakers, and involvement in elections is an essential strategy for any serious social movement, including our cause.

While we’ve endorsed hundreds of congressional candidates for election, both Democrats and Republicans, we’ve never before endorsed a presidential candidate. We have members on the left, in the center, and on the right, and we knew it could be controversial to choose either party’s candidate for the top office in the nation. But in an era of sweeping presidential power, we must weigh in on this most important political race in the country. Standing on the sidelines is no longer an option for us.

I’m proud to announce today that the HSLF board of directors—which is comprised of both Democrats and Republicans—has voted unanimously to endorse Barack Obama for President. The Obama-Biden ticket is the better choice on animal protection, and we urge all voters who care about the humane treatment of animals, no matter what their party affiliation, to vote for them.

Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) has been a solid supporter of animal protection at both the state and federal levels. As an Illinois state senator, he backed at least a dozen animal protection laws, including those to strengthen the penalties for animal cruelty, to help animal shelters, to promote spaying and neutering, and to ban the slaughter of horses for human consumption. In the U.S. Senate, he has consistently co-sponsored multiple bills to combat animal fighting and horse slaughter, and has supported efforts to increase funding for adequate enforcement of the Animal Welfare Act, Humane Methods of Slaughter Act, and federal laws to combat animal fighting and puppy mills.

In his response to the HSLF questionnaire, he pledged support for nearly every animal protection bill currently pending in Congress, and said he will work with executive agencies such as the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Department of the Interior to make their policies more humane. He wrote of the important role animals play in our lives, as companions in our homes, as wildlife in their own environments, and as service animals working with law enforcement and assisting persons with disabilities. He also commented on the broader links between animal cruelty and violence in society.

Obama has even on occasion highlighted animal protection issues on the campaign trail, and has spoken publicly about his support for animal protection. In reaction to the investigation showing the abuse of sick and crippled cows which earlier this year led to the largest meat recall in U.S. history, he issued a statement saying “that the mistreatment of downed cows is unacceptable and poses a serious threat to public health.” He is featured in Jana Kohl’s book about puppy mills, A Rare Breed of Love, with a photo of Obama holding Baby (shown above), the three-legged poodle rescued from an abusive puppy mill operation, and his political mentor, Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), is the author of the latest federal bill to crack down on puppy mills.

Importantly, Obama’s running mate, Sen. Joe Biden (D-Del.) has been a stalwart friend of animal welfare advocates in the Senate, and has received high marks year after year on the Humane Scorecard. Biden has not only supported animal protection legislation during his career, but has also led the fight on important issues. He was the co-author with Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) in the 108th Congress on legislation to ban the netting of dolphins by commercial tuna fishermen. He was the lead author of a bill in the 107th Congress to prohibit trophy hunting of captive exotic mammals in fenced enclosures, and he successfully passed the bill through the Senate Judiciary Committee.

On the Republican ticket, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) has also supported some animal protection bills in Congress, but has been inattentive or opposed to others. He has voted for and co-sponsored legislation to stop horse slaughter, and voted to eliminate a $2 million subsidy for the luxury fur coat industry. But he has largely been absent on other issues, and has failed to co-sponsor a large number of priority bills or sign onto animal protection letters that have had broad support in the Senate.

The McCain campaign did not fill out the HSLF presidential questionnaire, and has also not issued any public statements on animal welfare issues. He was silent during the downed animal scandal and beef recall, which played out during a high-point in the primary fight. Yet he did speak at the NRA convention earlier this year, and is the keynote speaker this weekend in Columbus, Ohio, at the U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance rally—an extremist organization that defends the trophy hunting of threatened polar bears and captive shooting of tame animals inside fenced pens.

While McCain’s positions on animal protection have been lukewarm, his choice of running mate cemented our decision to oppose his ticket. Gov. Sarah Palin’s (R-Alaska) retrograde policies on animal welfare and conservation have led to an all-out war on Alaska’s wolves and other creatures. Her record is so extreme that she has perhaps done more harm to animals than any other current governor in the United States.

Palin engineered a campaign of shooting predators from airplanes and helicopters, in order to artificially boost the populations of moose and caribou for trophy hunters. She offered a $150 bounty for the left foreleg of each dead wolf as an economic incentive for pilots and aerial gunners to kill more of the animals, even though Alaska voters had twice approved a ban on the practice. This year, the issue was up again for a vote of the people, and Palin led the fight against it—in fact, she helped to spend $400,000 of public funds to defeat the initiative.

What’s more, when the Bush Administration announced its decision to list the polar bear as threatened under the Endangered Species Act, Palin filed a lawsuit to reverse that decision. She said it’s the “wrong move” to protect polar bears, even though their habitat is shrinking and ice floes are vanishing due to global warming.

The choice for animals is especially clear now that Palin is in the mix. If Palin is put in a position to succeed McCain, it could mean rolling back decades of progress on animal issues.

Voters who care about protecting wildlife from inhumane and unsporting abuses, enforcing the laws that combat large-scale cruelties like dogfighting and puppy mills, providing humane treatment of animals in agriculture, and addressing other challenges that face animals in our nation, must become active over the next six weeks to elect a president and vice president who share our values. Please spread the word, and tell friends and family members that an honest assessment of the records of the two presidential tickets leads to the inescapable conclusion that Obama-Biden is the choice for humane-minded voters.

Link to article: http://hslf.typepad.com/political_animal/2008/09/humane-society.html

Friday, September 19, 2008

Dude, Where's My Feather Duster?


This hysterical photo of "Dusting Dude" was sent to me by my webmaster Angie. Angie's mother Nancy owns a residential cleaning service in Central Ohio. She snapped this photo of her client Marsha's black Labrador named Dude. Dude (and Marsha's yellow Lab Pearl - who's leg and tail are visible on the left-hand side of the photo) like to "help" out the team on cleaning day!

Those of us who have a Labrador in our lives know all too well how entertaining they can be!

On a slightly related note, it's almost hard to believe that black dogs (particularly black Labradors) are most often passed over at the shelters, resulting in an alarming rate of euthanization... hence, the epidemic known as "Black Dog Syndrome".

You can learn more about Black Dog Syndrome by reading my previous post or by visiting this very educational website called http://www.blackpearldogs.com/.

Please share how a "black dog" has made your life more wonderful. Just click on Comments at the end of this post to spread the joy!

Thanks Marsha & Nancy for allowing me to publish this wonderful picture! Keep up the GOOD WORK, DUDE!

A Rescued Katrina Dog's Happy Ending


Thousands of pets perished in the Hurricane Katrina disaster in August 2005... and thousands more went homeless. Fortunately, animal rescuers from all over the country came in to save and re-home as many pets as they could.

One lucky surviver is a yellow Labrador named Pearl. Pearl's mom Marsha Keefer (who also is mom to "Dusting Dude"), shared Pearl's wonderful story with me...


My husband and I adopted a Katrina refugee from our local animal shelter last October. She is a Yellow Lab mix and looks very pretty with our Black Lab (male) named Dude. At first we were considered foster parents while she was still under medical care from the shelter. She had stage two of heart worm disease and was very sick. She was also on Valium and Prozac due to the trauma of Katrina and also from being caged and transported from Pearlington, Mississippi to Ohio. It took quite a few months (and a lot of patience on our part) for her get over her much paranoia. I am happy to say that she is now negative with the heartworm disease and is no longer taking any medications.

Pearl is a very happy dog and has made herself right at home with us. Not only have my husband and I taught her a lot, but Dude has played a huge part in helping her adjust to living in a new home.

I wanted to tell other people that if they have adopted a Katrina animal that is battling with emotional problems, to just give it time and a lot of patience and I guarantee that your pet will eventually pay you back with endless love and affection.

Pearl has turned out to be a real “gem”, no pun intended!

Marsha & Al Keefer
Pickerington Ohio

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Transport Volunteers Make the Difference Between Life and Death

Photo of me saying goodbye to German Shepherd mix.

I was so pleased to see this wonderful story on the front page of the September 14, 2008 edition of The Mansfield News Journal. I was even more surprised to see my picture along with the story!

Click HERE to read the article.

I helped drive transport on Saturday, September 14th, moving 36 dogs from as far away as Georgia. This was a two-part transport involving lots of volunteers. These beautiful animals were all rescued from death row, some right here in Ohio. Some were pure breed dogs, others just mutts, but all 36 were successfully transported to rescues in Pennsylvania, New York, Michigan and Canada.

Part A and Part B of this transport separated in Columbus. Some went on to Pennsylvania and New York, and the others to Michigan and Canada. Some were even added on. My leg was to drive 2 Pyrenees to Mansfield, OH, along with three other drivers to hand off our passengers so they could continue on to the next leg of their north bound journey.

When we arrived, we were greeted by a newspaper reporter who was covering the story, and a crowd of supporters. What an awesome WELCOME we received and the publicity was greatly appreciated by ALL volunteer drivers.

It’s hard to explain what all goes into making a “rescue” successful. There are many, many volunteers involved. The people on the “pull end" -- the ones responsible for getting these dogs out of a kill shelter. The ones who spend hours and hours making phone calls or cross-posting to other rescues across the nation and Canada to see who has space available. Our wonderful “sponsors” who donate pull fees and the money for vetting these animals.

All animals crossing state lines MUST have all vaccinations up-to-date and health certificates with them when they travel. This is MANDATORY, not an option. Once that is completed, the next task is to get these animals where they’re going, thus .... the “transporter”. These people volunteer their time, their vehicles, and their gasoline to make over hundred mile runs getting these babies to the next leg of their final destination -- safety and the chance for a new life -- and they do it 52 weeks out of every year.

The transport coordinator's job must be a nightmare. They are the ones responsible for filling these legs with drivers, keeping track of everyone on the road, making sure everyone is on time to meet the next leg, having back-up drivers in case some one breaks down or can’t make it. Making run sheets that are sometimes 20 to 30 pages long. Tagging all animals so that they can be identified by the drivers so that health certificates do not get confused. That could cause a major disaster should a transporter get stopped by Highway Patrol or at the Canadian border.

The coordinator tracks all drivers' names, their car makes, models, color, year of vehicle, license plate number, and cell phone numbers so that every one can stay in contact. The coordinator MUST man the phone at all times when these transports are moving in case there is a problem. These people are also volunteers.

The next phase is the receiving rescue or No Kill Shelter which also relies upon volunteers to either provide foster homes or to come in and care for these animals daily until they are adopted. In the meantime, these rescues are still bombarded with local animals as well.

Hopefully, the newspaper story will enlighten more people as to what these dedicated volunteers do 365 days a year in order to save as many lives as possible. It doesn’t really matter which end of rescue you’re on -- all are important and are being carried out by volunteers who receive no compensation for their time and dedication to these homeless animals.

So, the next time you’re out for a Saturday or Sunday afternoon drive, and you come across a convoy of vans, cars, and station wagons, moving down the interstate, with several animals on board -- blow your horn, smile and wave, give them a big “thumbs up”.... and please say a silent prayer for their safe journey.

Thanks,
Jo Ann & “gang”

Little Pieces

This beautiful story was written for those who foster by Grace Saalsaa of MidAmerica Border Collie Rescue. Enjoy!

Melissa sat on the floor, unable to sit straight and tall like her mother had always admonished her to do when she was a child. Today, it would be impossible. And tomorrow... it probably wouldn't be possible then either. Her mind was too busy thinking about the dog that lay across her lap.

When he came to be with her, he had no name. She remembered that day very well. The first sight of him was enough to break her heart into little pieces.

The woman, who had taken this dog from the rough streets where he had lived, had tried to save him because she was unable to watch this young dog find his own food in a dumpster outside the crack house where he lived. Nobody cared that he was gone.

His fur was very thick; so thick that she had to wiggle her fingers down to feel his bony body. And as she pulled her fingers away again, they were coated in old dirt. Black and white, he was supposed to be. But on that day he was beige and dust.

He sat in the back of her car panting continuously, ears laid outward for he had lost his courage and couldn't keep them proud and tall. He sat motionless, waiting and limp.

But the thing that was the most disturbing was the look in his eyes. They were quiet eyes, sunken into his head - and they watched her. They were alive with thought. He was waiting for her to do something "to" him.

Little did he know at the time that, instead, she would "give" something to him. She gave him one of the little broken pieces of her heart.

She reached out to stroke his head and he instinctively squinched his eyes shut and dropped his head, waiting for the heavy hand. With that little bit of movement she gave him another one of the broken pieces of her heart.

She took him home and gave him a bath. She toweled him dry and brushed some order back into his coat. For that, he was grateful and even though his own heart was loaded with worms, he accepted yet another piece of her heart, for it would help to heal his own.

"Would you like some water, big boy?" She whispered to him as she set down a large bowl of cold well water. He drank it up happily. He had been dehydrated for a long time and she knew it would take him most of the week to re-hydrate.

He wanted more water - but it was gone. Ah... that's how it is, he thought to himself. But he was grateful for what he had been able to get. "Would you like some more?" and she gave him another bowl along with another little piece of her heart.

"I know that you are hungry. You don't have to find your own food anymore. Here's a big bowl of good food for you. I've added some warm water and a little piece of my heart."

Over the four months that he stayed with her, his health improved. The heart full of worms was replaced piece by piece with little bits of her loving heart. And each little piece worked a very special kind of magic.

When the warmth of love and gentle caresses are added, the little broken pieces knit together again and heal the container it resides in. That container becomes whole again.

She watched each little broken piece fill a gap in the gentle dog until his quiet eyes radiated the light from the little pieces. You see, kind words gently spoken turn the little pieces into illumination for the spirit that resides within.

He rested beside her, happy to be with her always. Never had he known such kindness, such gentle caresses; such love. His health had returned, his spirit was playful as a young dog's should be and he had learned about love.

Now his heart was full. The healing was complete. It was time to go. There was another person who had another heart that was meant to be shared with him.

So she sat shapeless on the floor because all the broken pieces of her heart were with the dog. It is difficult to sit tall when your heart is not with you. She wrapped her arms around the dog that sat with tall, proud ears for her. Lean on me, he said.

And she gave him one last thing that would keep him strong; that would keep the pieces of her heart together long after he had gone on to live his new life. She gave him her tears and bound them to the pieces with a simple statement made from the ribbons of her heart.

"I love you, Joe." And Joe lived happily ever after.

Melissa sat on the floor, straight and tall like her mother had always admonished her to do when she was a child. Today, it would be possible. And tomorrow... it probably would be possible too. Because her mind was busy thinking about this, the next dog that lay across her lap.

Where did she get the heart to help yet another dog, you ask? Ahhh... it came with the dog. They always bring a little bit of heart with them. And when the rescuer breathes in that little bit of heart, it quickly grows and fills the void left by the last dog.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Sarah Palin's Shameful Record on Wolves

Dear Fellow Animal Lovers:

I usually don’t get involved in politics. I am not a “political party” person. I vote for the best candidate regardless of his or her party affiliations.

However, I feel obligated to share this with my friends, family, and fellow Americans who still care about our Wildlife, especially our wolves.

Please take a few minutes to view this video and then make your own conclusion as to whether you want this type of person as a Vice President of the United States of America.

Jo Ann & “gang”


After watching the presentation, please visit
Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund for more info.

WARNING: VERY GRAPHIC VIDEO!!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

National Puppy Mill Awareness Day

National Puppy Mill Awareness Day is Saturday, September 20, 2008.

Events will be going on nationwide. Please visit http://www.awarenessday.org/ to find an event in your area and for more information on the horrific realities of puppy mill operations.

Why Crating Your New Dog Is Always Recommended


This hysterical photo was sent in by my friend and fellow rescuer Barbara McGrady of S.P.A. (Society for the Protection of Animals). A couple of years ago, she and her husband were fostering a dog that got very upset after they left to run into town shortly after his arrival to their home.

Barb got him settled into a relatively large kenneled area of her garage. The area was created for his utmost comfort with a nice chair, some blankets, a window, music, a chew bone, and food and water. He seemed so happy and appreciative and gave no indication whatsoever of any pent up anxiety!!

Monday, September 1, 2008

What Is Really In Your Pet's Food?

This article was written by my friend and fellow rescuer Dawn Groth:

Hello all,

Yet another disturbing trend has been brought to my attention by the ASPCA. After reading the articles and doing a bit of research on my own. Just google the words "what's in your pets food" and see what comes up. It's disgusting, and yet true. And I'm not just talking about your cheap generic brands... but Major brand names such as Purina, Kibbles, etc... I know I am going to be very careful from now on what I feed my pets! Thought I would give you all a heads up so you can make your own choices. One of the articles I've linked to has a number of brands that are supposed to be more safe.

"What most consumers are unaware of is that the pet food industry is an extension of the human food industry, also known as the agriculture industry. Pet food provides a place for slaughterhouse waste and grains considered "unfit for human consumption" to be turned into profit. This waste includes cow tongues, esophagi, and possibly diseased and cancerous meat. The "whole grains" used have had the starch removed and the oil extracted -- usually by chemical processing -- for vegetable oil, or they are the hulls and other remnants from the milling process. Some of the truly whole grains used may have been deemed unfit for human consumption because of mold, contaminants, or poor storage practices."

"The problems associated with a commercial diet are seen every day at veterinary establishments. Chronic digestive problems, such as chronic diarrhea, are among the most frequent illnesses treated."

"Many commercial pet foods are made with ingredients that have poor protein digestibility."

"Urinary tract disease is directly related to diet in both cats and dogs. Plugs, crystals, and stones in cat bladders are caused by commercial pet food formulas."

What's really in Pet Food... report by Animal Protection Institute
http://www.preciouspets.org/report.htm

Excellent Article with alternate foods noted at the end of the article.
http://www.squidoo.com/safe-healthy-natural-cat-food

Get the Facts.... what's in your pets food?
http://www.api4animals.org/facts.php?p=359&more=1

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Cat Spay in 5 Minutes

After watching this very information YouTube video, you'll have a better idea about the spay process. This video is of an actual surgery using a technique that limits the amount of time that a cat is under anesthesia.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Warning to Pet Owners in Columbus Area

The Capital Area Humane Society has issued a warning to all pet owners in the Columbus, Ohio area due to the recent killings of two dogs with a cross bow. There was also an attack on two cats earlier this year.

Pet Safety Warning
Second Attack on Area Pet

The Capital Area Humane Society is issuing a warning for all pet owners. A second dog in the Columbus area has been shot and killed, the apparent victim of an attack with a cross bow. The Humane Society is advising pet owners not leave their dog or cat outside unattended.

“Two families have lost beloved pets this week to what appears to be brutal acts of cruelty,” said Jodi Lytle Buckman, the Capital Area Humane Society’s Executive Director. “Our investigations into both cases are ongoing and we are asking anyone with information that may be relevant to either case to contact us immediately.”

The latest victim was a 13-year-old German Shepard dog in his own yard surrounded by a privacy fence. The Capital Area Humane Society’s initial investigation indicates that the dog may have been shot through a knothole in the fence at close range on Friday evening near Sawmill and West Case Road in northwest Columbus. Just a week ago, a Rottweiler mix in south Columbus near Rumsey and Lockbourne Roads was also shot with a cross bow and later died at an area veterinary hospital.

“While we do not know if these two cases are related, it is clear is that the senseless killing of two beloved family pets within one week, with a cross bow, is cause for grave concern and caution,” said Buckman. “Our thoughts are with both families who have experienced such a devastating and senseless loss.”

Earlier this year, the Capital Area Humane Society offered a reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the perpetrator of similar attacks upon cats living near the Millstone Apartment complex. Although it is not clear that these crimes are related, the Humane Society has extended the reward to include these most recent acts of violence.

The Capital Area Humane Society is asking anyone with information contact the Humane Society’s Cruelty Investigations Department at (614) 777-7387, ext 250.

For more information about the Capital Area Humane Society, visit http://www.cahs-pets.org/.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Petition to End the Use of Gas Chambers

Please sign the Care2 Petition now online asking federal legislators to end the CRUEL use of gassing chambers as a means of euthanasia!

Every day across the United States, thousands of unwanted dogs and cats are put to death by use of gassing chambers, an unnecessarily cruel and horrible manner of death.

Gassing chambers are atrocious and cause great amounts of stress and prolonged agony to the animals.

They are sometimes ineffective in their task, necessitating its repeated use on the animals who simply did not die.

We hope to make residents of states who still employ this barbaric form of death aware of the fact and hope to enlist the help of many of our citizens who want this horrible form of death to be abolished to let their legislators know our feelings.

Click HERE to go directly to the petition site.

Thank you!

Monday, August 25, 2008

The Foreclosure Dog's Letter To His Person

I found this "letter" on the blog of Elaine Vigneault. It says so much in today's bad economy.


You bought a house! You finally had a yard so you decided it was time for a dog. You chose me out of all the other dogs. As a puppy, I entertained you with my antics and I made you laugh. You called me your baby and carried me closely. Despite some chewed boxer shorts and a few broken mini-blinds, I became your best friend. Whenever I was “bad,” you’d shake your finger at me and ask “How could you?” ­ but then you’d relent, and roll me over for a bellyrub.

My housebreaking took a little longer than expected, because you were terribly busy, but we worked on that together. I remember those nights of nuzzling you in bed and listening to your secret dreams. I remember running in your new, big backyard. I believed that life could not be any more perfect. We went for long walks and runs in the park, car rides, and BBQs. I took long naps in the backyard sun waiting for you to come home at the end of the day.

Gradually, you began spending more time at work to get paid for overtime. I waited for you patiently, comforted you through the bill-paying frustrations and the debt collector's calls. I never chided you about bad decisions, I never cared about your FICA score, and I never threatened to garnish your wages or repossess your car.

The letters kept coming. The phone kept ringing. Your employer froze wages and stopped giving overtime. Your new second job helped, but is wasn't enough. You stroked me kindly when they took away the car. You told me you'd buy us a new one and that everything would be OK.

Then the bank took the house.

There had been a time, when others asked you if you had a dog, that you produced a photo of me from your wallet and told them stories about me. These past few months, you just answered “yes” and changed the subject. I had gone from being “your dog” to “just a dog,” and you resented every expenditure on my behalf.

Now you will be moving to an apartment that does not allow pets. You’ve made the right decision for your financial future and your family, but there was a time when I was your family too. There was a time when I wasn't just a backyard accessory, I was your "baby."

I was excited about the car ride until we arrived at the animal shelter. It smelled of dogs and cats, of fear, of hopelessness. You filled out the paperwork and said “I know you will find a good home for him.” They shrugged and gave you a pained look. They
understand the realities facing a middle-aged dog, even one with “papers.”

You had to pry your son’s fingers loose from my collar as he screamed “No, Daddy! please don’t let them take my dog!” And I worried for him, and what lessons you had just taught him about friendship and loyalty, about love and responsibility, and about respect for all life. You gave me a goodbye pat on the head, avoided my eyes, and politely refused to take my collar and leash with you. You had a deadline to meet and now I have one, too.

After you left, the two nice ladies said you probably got in over your head. They shook their heads and asked “How could you?” They are as attentive to us here in the shelter as their busy schedules allow. They feed us, of course, but I lost my appetite days ago. At first, whenever anyone passed my pen, I rushed to the front, hoping it was you ­ that you had changed your mind ­ that this was all a bad dream…or I hoped it would at least be someone who cared, anyone who might save me. When I realized I could not compete with the frolicking, happy puppies, I retreated to a far corner and waited.

I heard her footsteps as she came for me at the end of the day and I padded along the aisle after her to a separate room. A blissfully quiet room. She placed me on the table and rubbed my ears. She told me not to worry. My heart pounded in anticipation of what was to come, but there was also a sense of relief. The prisoner of love had run out of days. As is my nature, I was more concerned about her. The burden which she bears weighs heavily on her, and I know that, the same way I knew your every mood.

She gently placed a tourniquet around my foreleg as a tear ran down her cheek. She said she never got used to this. I licked her hand in the same way I used to comfort you so many years ago. She slid the hypodermic needle into my vein. As I felt the sting and the cool liquid coursing through my body, I lay down sleepily, looked into her kind eyes and murmured “How could you?”

Perhaps because she understood me, she said “I’m so sorry.” She hugged me, and hurriedly explained it was her job to make sure I went to a better place, where I wouldn’t be ignored or abused or abandoned or have to fend for myself. A place of love and light so very different from this earthly place. And with my last bit of energy, I tried to convey to her with a thump of my tail that my “How could you?” was not directed at her. It was you, My Beloved Person, I was thinking of. I will think of you and wait for you forever.

May everyone in your life continue to show you so much loyalty.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Pet Toy Badly Injures Dog - The Chai Story


I received an email to check out the following blog about a dog named Chai whose tongue was caught in a toy made by Four Paws Pet Products. The toy in question is a Pimple Ball with Bell. The injury to poor Chai's tongue was so severe that it had to be amputated!

Chai's owner Daniel has launched a blog that tells Chai's story. He is updating the blog regularly with information about his dealings with Four Paws to have the toy recalled.

Please visit:
http://www.thechaistory.blogspot.com/.

Sadly, Daniel reported on his blog this morning that he was contacted by another dog owner whose dog Cole was injured by the same toy in 2005 and had to be euthanized. Daniel was going to accept a settlement from Four Paws until he learned of this news.

Be sure to visit The Chai Story blog for continuing updates!

Then Buy a Dog

This has been emailed around countless times, but I still think it's so cute. Enjoy!


THEN BUY A DOG
If you want someone who will eat
whatever you put in front of him
and never say its not quite as good as his mothers...

than buy a dog.


If you want someone always willing to go out,
at any hour, for as long and wherever you want...

then buy a dog.


If you want someone who will never touch the remote,
doesn't care about football, and can sit
next to you as you watch romantic movies...

then buy a dog.


If you want someone who is content
to get on your bed just to warm your feet
and whom you can push off if he snores...

then buy a dog.


If you want someone who never criticizes
what you do, doesn't care if you are pretty or ugly,
fat or thin, young or old, who acts as if every word
you say is especially worthy of listening to,
and loves you unconditionally, perpetually...

then buy a dog.


BUT, on the other hand, if you want someone
who will never come when you call, ignores you
totally when you come home, leaves hair all over the place,
walks all over you, runs around all night and
only comes home to eat and sleep, and acts as if your entire existence
is solely to ensure his happiness . . .

then buy a CAT!


Now be honest, you thought I was gonna say... marry a man, didn't you?

Send this to all the women you know to brighten their day.
Send this to all the men just to annoy them.

Friday, August 15, 2008

The Ohio Pet Directory

A number of pet rescue groups have recently been solicited by The Ohio Pet Directory publication. The publication, that has long offered advertising to pet stores, has recently decided to offer its services to pet rescue groups.

My friend and fellow rescuer Mary O'Conner-Shaver of Columbus Top Dogs wrote an exceptional response to her solicitation...


Solicitation Letter from Ohio Pet Directory...

Hello,

My name is Karen Butcher, I am contacting you today with regards to the Ohio Pet Directory, brought to you by the Cleveland Canine Magazine. We are looking for pet friendly companies to advertise through this specialized directory which will cater to the pet lovers community. We have special rates for rescue groups $20 for a two line add, per year. And I'm hoping that advertising your pets for adoption through the Pet Directory will help those lovable animals get forever homes. I have attached the media kit.

Please contact me within a few days, at your earliest convenience, to place your order.

Thanks,
Karen Butcher


Mary's Response...

Dear Karen Butcher:

A number of individuals have forwarded your e-mail regarding solicitation of special advertising rates which you are extending to animal rescue groups. Given our group's dedication to raising awareness of Ohio dog auctions, puppy mills and the entities that support and keep them in business, it is our practice not to participate in any media advertising which promotes pet stores.

As you may already be aware, Ohio ranks among the top three states in the country with the highest percentage of puppy mill breeders. The sad truth behind the friendly facade of pet stores is that there often lies a puppy mill. The documented problems of these mass breeding facilities include overbreeding, inbreeding, minimal veterinary care, poor quality of food and shelter, lack of socialization with humans, overcrowded cages, and the killing of unwanted animals. To the unwitting consumer, this situation frequently means buying a puppy facing an array of immediate veterinary problems or harboring genetically borne diseases that do not appear until years later.

Take a look at the financial impact of Columbus Petland - http://petland.com/FindPetlandStores/Ohio.htm - stores on Franklin County, OH (statistics provided by the Director of Franklin County Animal Shelter, Lisa Wahoff, in November, 2006):

7-10 Petland dogs per day are admitted to the shelter. 80% of those dogs are:

*not spayed/neutered
*are in very poor health and/or mental state
*have no microchip reigstered to anyone other than the broker, and no owner can be tracked. Petland takes no responsibility.
*are not an appropriate match to the owner, resulting in owner release within one year of the purchase.

The Results?

A low-end average of $30 per day for each Petland dog (if the dog is healthy) X 7-10 dogs = $210-$300 per day!

It is my firm belief that until the public truly understands and appreciates the cruel aspect - not to mention the consumer fraud - connected with "dealing dogs", Ohio pet stores will continue to generate millions of dollars for their breeders and distributors. Thanks in advance for your consideration.

P.S. Given the shoestring budgets many of these rescue groups currently operate under, I would recommend to your senior management team that they extend FREE advertising space to help expedite the placement of animals needing safe and loving homes.

Mary O'Connor-Shaver

Friday, August 1, 2008

A Pet's 10 Commandments

A PET'S TEN COMMANDMENTS...


  1. My life is likely to last 10-15 years. Any separation from you is likely to be painful.
  2. Give me time to understand what you want of me.
  3. Place your trust in me. It is crucial for my well being.
  4. Don't be angry with me for long and don't lock me up as punishment. You have your work, your friends, your entertainment, but I have only you.
  5. Talk to me. Even if I don't understand your words, I do understand your voice when speaking to me.
  6. Be aware that however you treat me, I will never forget it.
  7. Before you hit me, before you strike me, remember that I could hurt you, and yet I choose not to bite you.
  8. Before you scold me for being lazy or uncooperative, ask yourself if something might be bothering me. Perhaps I'm not getting the right food, I have been in the sun too long, or my heart might be getting old or weak.
  9. Please take care of me when I grow old. You, too, will grow old.
  10. On the ultimate difficult journey, go with me please. Never say you can't bear to watch. Don't make me face this alone. Everything is easier for me if you are there, because I love you so ALWAYS!

Take a moment today to thank God for your pets. Enjoy and take good care of them. Life would be a much duller, less joyful experience without God's critters.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Creative Help for Rescuers

I was recently informed that a new organization of volunteer creative professionals was created to provide services for animal welfare organizations.

If you have a rescue organization that is need of professional creative services -- such as web design, writers, logo design, photographers, editors -- be sure to read Linda Formichelli's note below:

I recently started an organization called Creative Professionals for Animal Welfare (creativePAW). The organization's mission is to help animal welfare organizations find creative professionals (such as writers, editors, illustrators, photographers, and web designers) who are willing to do volunteer work to help with the orgs' marketing, education, fundraising, and PR efforts. These creative professionals help animal welfare organizations publicize their causes and educate the public about homeless pet issues. Our volunteers can create newsletters, websites, logos, brochures, press releases, and more. (Note: Our volunteers typically work remotely over the Internet and are not available for in-shelter work.)

I announced the new website in mid-February, and we already have more than 600 volunteers -- writers, web designers, videographers, editors, illustrators, photographers, PR people, and even actors and voice talent. If you could use the services of any of these volunteers, please sign up (it's free) to search the volunteer database. Before you sign up, please read our 'How We Work' page to learn more about how we can help you. creativePAW's website is http://www.creativepaw.org/.

If you do end up contacting a volunteer through creativePAW, be sure to mention to the volunteer how you found him or her. Also, please keep creativePAW updated on any volunteer projects so we can post about them on the site!

Linda Formichelli * http://www.lindaformichelli.com/