Monday, November 30, 2009

Cesar Millan on the Magic of Fostering a Dog

This is a FANTASTIC article from the Cesar Millan blog on fostering:

Being fostered is a wonderful opportunity for a dog to prepare for his forever home. He will have more one-on-one time with humans, and he can experience more of the world around him instead of being limited to the confines of a shelter. It can significantly increase his chances of fitting in with his next family.

And of course, his foster parents can make sure his new family is the right fit by helping them to understand his energy level, any issues that are being worked on, and any special needs the dog has.

Fostering isn't just good for the dog – it can do wonders for the human as well! A dog needs daily exercise, and that helps us to get up, get out of the house, and experience simplicity. Dogs help you to appreciate the world around you. They smell the ground so intensely. They look at the trees as though they are seeing them for the first time. It helps us to remember the wonders that we take for granted. So if you're stressed or anxious, it goes away for that moment when it's just you and the dog. People say I do magic, but it's the dogs that do magic. In an instant, they can help you feel calm. They just come in and make it happen without a word.

But I think it's important that you don't form too much of an emotional attachment with the dog. Remember, you are preparing the dog to detach himself from you and live with another human. If not, it can be damaging to his relationship with his new family. He can move on, but it will just make it harder for him. The way I think this can be achieved is by switching dogs. They use this system to train dogs for the blind. If people stay with a dog for a month and then get a new one, the dog doesn't become confused. When he is in his forever home, he will know he is with his new pack! As a professional, I have to do this with dogs I work with. If I am going to help a dog that is not mine, I can't connect all the way. I need to let the owners finish it!

Stay calm and assertive!

Cesar Millan

Click HERE to read this article on Cesar's Way!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Toledo Dog Warden Skeldon Resigns

A most pleasant follow up for the Lucas County post on the blog. Mr. Skeldon has resigned!!

From the November 19th issue of The Toledo Blade:

Skeldon says he will step down Dec. 31,
but Konop wants him dismissed immediately

Lucas County Dog Warden Tom Skeldon has submitted a letter of resignation, effective Jan. 31, but Commissioner Ben Konop wants the warden to leave his office immediately.

"I am not comfortable with him as our dog warden for even another day," Mr. Konop announced at a Thursday afternoon news conference.

The commissioner, a vocal critic of the warden, commended Mr. Skeldon for "having the courage" to step aside but said he plans to introduce a motion at Tuesday's commissioners' meeting for his immediate dismissal.

If that motion fails, Mr. Konop said he will then seek the warden's suspension until his retirement date.

Read the full article at:

From Barbara McGrady of
Please write "Notes of Thanks" to Jean Keating who will share your comments with other Ohio Coalition of Dog Advocates. They worked hard to create the positive changes happening at the Lucas County Dog Pound!

Email: canineadvocate1 [at]

We have Jean and her group to thank for this

Friday, November 20, 2009

Demand Justice for Oreo

Pets Alive Animal Sanctuary has started a petition to demand the resignation of ASPCA President Ed Sayres. According to the petition, Pets Alive says:

"Ed has demonstrated that he no longer has the capacity to act in the best interest of the animals in their care.

One of many examples is the case of Oreo. The MIRACLE dog, thrown from a six story building, and LIVED. After getting her broken bones fixed and her health restored, Mr. Sayres believed her to be a danger to society and ordered her euthanasia.

Pets Alive, a no kill animal sanctuary - one of the largest in the United States offered sanctuary to Oreo and was rebuffed. When the head of the ASPCA decided that DEATH is better than rehabilitation under a well respected organization, it is time he GETS OUT.


Also see the following article on
Oreo The Dog Is Dead, Blame Game Is Not

Although I understand that some abused dogs can be extremely difficult to rehabilitate, I still feel that every effort should be made to at least try. Perhaps the ASPCA didn't have the qualified personnel to understand and correct Oreo's behavior issues. However, other options should have been considered before making the decision to euthanize. We have several good rescues and sanctuaries that are well qualified to deal with abused, aggressive animals. We also have Cesar Milan who has performed miracles with this type of dog. I'm sure Mr. Milan would have been happy to access Oreo's behavior, provide a much more accurate evaluation, and possibly even been able to get her back on track to becoming a good canine citizen. So sad that the ASPCA believes they are above asking for outside help and chose to kill instead.

Perhaps we should choose to reconsider our financial support the next time we receive that URGENT request for donations so they can SAVE another animal in need.

The ASPCA spent lots of donated money to save this dog's life... only to end up killing her. Does anyone else, besides me, see anything wrong with this?

A Boy and His Dog

This is a really great poem for all dog lovers!

A Boy and His Dog

I want my boy to have a dog
Or maybe two or three.
He'll learn from them much easier
Than he will learn from me.

A dog will teach him how to love
And bear no grudge or hate,
I'm not so good at that myself
But a dog will do it straight.

There never yet has been a dog
That learned to double-cross,
Not catered to you when you won
Then dropped you when you lost.

I want my boy to have a dog
To be his pal and friend,
So he will learn that friendship
Is faithful to the end.

By Marty Hale

Animal Shelters Send Pets to Research Facilities

I received the following information from a fellow rescuer:

By Jennifer Vegas | Mon Nov 16 2009

As a former animal shelter worker, I was horrified to learn that five U.S. States require shelters to send animals that aren't adopted to research facilities.

The states are:
*If a research facility makes a request

The Humane Society found that 30 other states also either permit shelters to surrender animals for research under certain circumstances, or have no laws concerning the matter, meaning shelters can make the decision on their own.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has been reporting on this, and the matter was recently also covered by Utah's desert News after PETA launched an investigation on University of Utah test animals.

Aside from the lab work itself, money is the driving force.

So how much is the life of a dog or cat worth in such transactions?

Utah has an "experimental animals code" that permits shelters to charge researchers a minimum of

$15 per cat
$20 per dog

Animal rights activists in the affected states are concerned, but say it would be difficult to enforce bans, and some facilities aren't even funded by the states, so they aren't subject to certain laws.

The reality is that, with or without the testing, many shelter animals are killed. But, as Martin Stephens, vice president of Animal Research Issues for the Humane Society of the U.S., points out, the animals at least deserve to die without prolonged suffering.

PETA has started a letter writing campaign directed toward ending animal suffering at University of Utah labs. You can also support PETA's work in stopping the abuse and suffering of animals used for testing.

Although it can take a decade or more to change laws, I also hope that concerned individuals in the previously five mentioned states, along with the gray area 30, will rally together to pass legislation that will prohibit animal shelters from providing animals for research. Fifteen states already have such bans:

New Hampshire
New Jersey
New York
Rhode Island
South Carolina
West Virginia

To help ease the overall problem, I also urge you to:
  • Have indoor-only pets.
  • Always keep your dog on a leash when it is out on the street.
  • Microchip your pets. If they become lost and wind up at a shelter, staff there can then easily ID them.
  • Spay and neuter all pets.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Soldier Welcomed Home by Dogs

This touching video is of a soldier being greeted by his dogs after returning home after 14 months in Iraq. WELCOME HOME!

Toledo Dog Warden Has Got to Go!

My dear friend, and fellow rescuer, Barb McGrady with the Society for the Protection of Animals, sent the following to me.

It seems that Tom Skeldon has a long history of killing dogs under the "protection" of his job as Dog Warden in Lucas County, (Toledo, Ohio area).

YES... Mr. Skeldon has got to go. There simply is no reason why good, healthy animals should be euthanized without the opportunity of ever being placed up for adoption first. Euthanization should be the LAST resort, NOT the only option.

The rescues and volunteers have met with a great deal of resistance from this man while trying to get these dogs to safety. His "7%" rate of dogs successfully getting out of his pound is mostly due from owners who are reclaiming a lost pet. Not very good statistics, in my opinion.

It would seem that Mr. Skeldon would rather KILL the animal than allow a handful of volunteers to take pictures, post on the internet, and allow rescues groups the opportunity to pull some of these dogs in hopes of finding them new, loving, forever homes.

Most of the dogs, who were unfortunate enough to find themselves in the Lucas County pound, are the direct result of human irresponsibility and negilence. Once again, folks ... SPAY OR NEUTER YOUR PETS.

All attempts to remove this dog warden have been met with resistance from his cousin who happens to be a Lucas County Commissioner. She continually defends him by saying that "Cousin Tom" is performing a great civic duty in keeping Lucas County citizens safe from stray dogs. WHAT??? Kinda sounds like these two could pass for "Eva and Adolf" in the 21st Century.

Instead of wasting tax payers money on killing innocent little lives, it would seem much more productive to spend that money on some much needed spay and neuter "education" in their community.

The amount of "tax dollars" spent in this country each year to euthanize the overpopulation of unwanted animals is phenomenal.

A little more common sense and responsibility from our pet owners could eliminate a great deal of the tragedy that befalls too many homeless and unwanted pets. Those tax dollars could be spent much more wisely on things that REALLY matter in the "human" communities... you know... the "homeless"... "the sick and elderly," and the list goes on and on.

There are lots of Spay/Neuter programs available to everyone. Some you don't even have to pay for... and we even have the Mobile Vet Hospitals who pull up at your front door. There simply is no longer an excuse for NOT spaying or neutering a pet, and it's the only answer for eliminating the problem of pet overpopulation, plus providing a "good excuse" for the Tom Skeldon's in this country to continue killing innocent lives each and every day.

Most reputable dog wardens will honestly try to save as many lives as possible and will gladly work with volunteers and rescue groups to get these animals to safety. It appears that Mr. Skeldon isn't one of them and he needs to be removed from the position of Dog Warden so that these unfortunate animals can have at least ONE more chance at life... a life that came into being because someone forget to spay or neuter "the dog."

Jo Ann

From Barbara McGrady, S.P.A.

Look into the eyes of each of the dogs held in dank cages on death row at Lucas County's Dog Pound. You'll see horrific amounts of fear, hesitant hope, and confusion. But you'd better hurry: 75% of them will be killed and incinerated as soon as possible. They aren't held for long. It's easier that way. It's much easier to say, "They're just dogs," when you aren't looking directly into their eyes.

Their crimes? Irresponsible human ownership, not being spayed/neutered, or being behaviorally damaged from human abuse and aggression.

Tom Skeldon doesn't seem to have a problem looking into their eyes and then killing them. Perhaps if we looked into his eyes we'd see a deep, dark abyss completely void of compassion. Mr. Skeldon accuses rescue organizations of "cherry-picking" and fighting over which dogs to save as the reason to euthanize thousands of them, instead. That's an unbelievable statement about compassionate volunteers who for years have tried to intervene but have been met with rejection and insult.

What is the motivation of a dog warden who feels compelled to kill so many when their are so many ways in which their lives might be spared?

I think Dr. Albert Schweitzer said it best...

"Ethics, too, are nothing but reverence for life. This is what gives me the fundamental principle of morality, namely, that good consists in maintaining, promoting, and enhancing life, and that destroying, injuring, and limiting life are evil."

The Ohio Coalition of Dog Advocates is actively working with Best Friends Animal Society to help make Lucas County a more humane community. Lucas County has one of the highest kill rates in the state of Ohio and even kills puppies. This despite dog owners paying the highest license fees in the state.

The dog warden's first cousin, Tina Skeldon-Wozniak, has refused to listen to the public outcry calling for a change in leadership at the dog pound. We need help to continue to educate the public about the horrendous conditions at the Lucas County Dog Pound.

The Ohio Coalition of Dog Advocates is seeking donations to pay for printing and distribution costs so that we can circulate the following flyer to residents asking them to contact their local politicians and demand change.

Please donate whatever amount you can
to help OCDA
cover printing and distribution costs!

Click Their Paypal Link Below:

or mail contributions to:

PO Box 4624
Toledo, OH 43610

You can help stop the killing!
Stand Up, Speak Out, Teach Tolerance

Happy Ending for Dogs Caught in Dogfighting Raid

Hundreds of Pit bull dogs rescued in the largest dog fighting raid in U.S. history have been waiting since July to learn their fate. Now dozens are finding new homes.

More than 120 of the dogs are headed to foster homes, thanks to the help of pit bull rescue groups across the country. And another 117 pups are waiting to be shipped out soon.

Read this great article in its entirety on

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Coyote Alert and More Pet Safety Tips

I am a member of the Fur Babies Need Luv Yahoo Group. Bobbie, another group member and fellow rescuer, made a great post this week regarding pet safety... especially in the Ohio Valley.

Please take a few minutes to read her post:

Hello everyone,

It's Fall weather, many are raking leaves, going for walks and just enjoy time with your dogs.

I have received emails of missing dogs recently, some found but unfortunately some never returned home.

Below is critical information that some of you may be aware of and some never heard of what these terms mean but could save the loss of your dogs.

Free to a good home
Typically women put on a loving performance for your dog or cat, promising them a wonderful home, or say they have a pet that needs a companion. They perform a theatrical sales job for your benefit. Never offer your pet for free! If for some reason you are unable to keep your pet, contact an ethical rescue group to take the pet, or, if you have a "no kill shelter," ask for their help. Always check out the rescue group by asking for five referrals and make the follow-up calls. You are determining your pet's life or death. You should feel obligated to find your pet a good home.

These ruthless people will primarily steal domesticated small dogs and cats. The small dogs are used as bait for the fighting dogs in preparing for a fight. Small dogs are no match for a fighting dog like the pit bull. The owners of fighting dogs want it this way because they do not want their fighting pit bull to be injured. Declawed cats are preferred. Cats with claws will cause damage to their fighting dog during a training session.

These are people that steal dogs from pet owners' yards. They usually work in pairs; however, they are fully capable of working independently. Once a "bunch" of dogs have been contained, they are typically sold to research facilities. Research facilities find domesticated dogs the most desirable to use in studies.

Caution: Leaving your dog outside unattended is risky. Your dog could end up in the hands of ruthless people.

Never leave your pet outside unattended. Bunchers and dog fighters will watch your home, taking notes on your habits with your pet. When the timing is right, within seconds, they have taken your pet, and you will never see them again.

I see many invisible fences used to contain pets. This type of fencing may keep your pet contained, but how does it protect your pet from other dogs entering your yard and attacking them? This type of fencing also allows your pet to become an easy snatch for bunchers and dog fighters.

Pets contained in traditional fences are less likely to be attacked by other dogs, however, bunchers and dog fighters do not hesitate to enter your traditional fenced yard to snatch your pet as well.

In Ohio in the Dayton/Cincinnati and Worthington areas, coyotes are surfacing. Coyotes have killed several dogs and one being a Rottweiler. Please be aware Coyotes will attack and kill all breeds. Also, cats.

Monday, November 9, 2009

November is Adopt a Senior Pet Month

From Cesar Millan's Blog:

November is Adopt a Senior Pet Month, and I can't think of a better way to honor a dog's life than to give it a balanced and loving home in its twilight years. I've spoken before about the benefits of adopting a senior dog: they have a much calmer energy, require less strenuous exercise and less often, and are most often already housebroken. They can also be invaluable tools for attempting to balance other dogs in your pack. Nothing beats a senior dog when it comes to showing younger dogs how it's done! Daddy has filled that role for me for many years, and I hope that I can expect many more.

Adopting a senior dog is a noble decision in another important way, too. In many shelters and rescues across the country, senior dogs are the first to be euthanized. Between an adorable, young puppy and a seasoned old veteran, the decision is almost always made in favor of cute faces and tiny, tumbling bodies. Most people don't want to deal with the extra care and commitment that comes with adopting an older dog, despite the many advantages. So by adopting a senior dog, you may be saving a life. That's no small accomplishment!

Read the entire article at: