Wednesday, November 20, 2013

USDA: Please Stop Random Source Dog Dealers

Petition - The Humane Society of the United States

Our undercover investigation revealed that Georgia Regents University buys dogs from a random source Class B dealer, Kenneth Schroeder, who obtained multiple dogs from unauthorized sources and has serious animal housing problems, among other violations. Class B dealers obtain dogs and cats from "random sources," such as auctions, flea markets, or questionable means, and sell them to laboratories. Pets can get caught up in this pipeline.

We are pleased that USDA is bringing federal enforcement action against Schroeder, but we must urge the agency to crack down on the remaining handful of random source Class B dealers that have ongoing animal welfare violations.

Watch our undercover investigation video here featuring actress and advocate Kim Basinger, then fill in and submit the form below to send a message to the USDA.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Puppy and the Treadmill

Dog Treks 10 Miles in Freezing Cold to Find Beloved Mate


This is the best canine love story you will read today – or possibly ever!

If you thought dogs don’t have feelings, get ready to change your mind.

Ben, a 4 1/2-year-old mixed breed (above left), and Jade, a 1-year-old German Shepherd mix (above right), were two strays who met on the streets of Terre Haute, Indiana, and fell in love. (Yes, dogs can fall in love.) The pair was well known and cared for in the local community, but when Jade became pregnant last summer, the Terre Haute Humane Society (THHS) brought them to their shelter.

The couple were initially kenneled together, but after Jade gave birth to six puppies, a THHS adoption counselor Kali Skinner took the mom and babies home to take care of them for eight weeks. She eventually found homes for all six puppies. Jade was timid, but a “very caring mother,” Skinner told the Tribune-Star.

The new mother and father were reunited back at the shelter until Courtney and Jason Lawler decided they wanted to adopt Ben, but not Jade. They decided that one pet was enough, partly because they have a 3-year-old son who can be quite a handful himself.

They should have checked with Ben before separating him from his mate.

Read the full story on

Scientist Says New Research Proves 'Dogs Are People Too'


Do you ever think that your dog knows exactly how you feel? It probably does. According to the Daily Mail U.K., Gregory Berns, a professor of neuroeconomics at Emory University, has discovered that dogs have emotions just like humans.

Read the full story on

Petition against animals on Craigslist

UPDATE April 2, 2014:  During the six months since I started this petition asking Craigslist to change their policies on pet ads, many positive things have happened, including media coverage, attorneys, and multiple communications sent directly to Craigslist.

The latest news is that on February 3rd 2014, my attorneys, David Feldman and Norm Sherman from ForeverCare Pet Mediation sent a second communication to Craigslist's CEO, Jim Buckmaster. This letter was confirmed received by his office, as it was signed directly by a Craigslist employee. Since he has not responded, I wanted to share the content of that letter with all 380,000 of you.

I created my own website to keep everyone updated so please visit to sign up to receive updates. You can also read the entire letter to Craigslist and view a complete timeline of the story.

Thanks again for all of your signatures and support!

Justice for Puppy Doe: Tell Craigslist to Help Stop Violence Against Pets


Petition by Joyel E.
Braintree, MA
On August 31st 2013, a young, small, female dog named ‘Puppy Doe’ was found brutally tortured in a Quincy, Massachusetts park, and we were all left wondering who could let this happen to any animal. The dog’s injuries were so violent and severe that the only humane thing to do was to euthanize her. She had been starved, burned, stabbed, and limbs pulled from her joints in what’s been described as a “medieval’ style torture.

It was later determined that the original owner of the dog had to give her up for undermined reasons. According to media reports, the owner decided to put the dog, named Kiya, up for adoption on Craigslist. Craigslist is often a go-to source for animal abusers looking for victims because it is anonymous and there is no accountability or screening process like regular shelters and rescue groups provide. I'm asking Craigslist to change their policies on these re-homing ads, and only allow registered shelters and rescues to post adoptable pets so it is never again a part of tragedies like what happened to Puppy Doe.

The before and after pictures of "Puppy Doe" speak for themselves. How many more times does this have to happen before Craigslist stops allowing people to give their pets away to strangers without any background checks or accountability? They already prohibit the sale of these animals, so I want them to update their policy to not allow the re-homing of pets by anyone not working for a registered shelter or rescue group that is able to conduct background checks to make sure animals are placed in loving homes.

I'm passionate about this cause because no animal should have to suffer anything close to what 'Puppy Doe' endured.  I'm a passionate animal lover who grew up in Quincy, Massachusetts and remember playing at the playground where Puppy Doe was found.  I’ve tested the Craigslist platform since this horrendous incident and there are no warnings whatsoever on the ‘Pets’ section about the dangers of posting these re-homing ads. These are breathing, feeling, loving animals we’re talking about, not old sofas or televisions -- we need to challenge Craigslist to do better by adopting a new policy that protects these vulnerable animals.

It's beyond words that this sweet, innocent dog, that once knew love had to suffer this violent, evil fate. If actions were taken to change the "free to a good home" style ads, there would be some justice in Puppy Doe's name knowing that another pet will never suffer such violence as a result of being dumped on Craigslist.

I have been gutted since the moment I heard about Puppy Doe, and recalled hearing about the "dog serial killer" who tortured dogs he collected off of Craigslist last year, along with other countless horror stories. Also, we must not forget the story of the notorious Boston 'Craigslist Killer' murders which led Craigslist to ban the "erotic services" section on their site.

I believe strongly that this petition is an effective way to make a difference. I will take it as far as it can possibly go to make sure Craigslist updates its policy to not allow any re-homing of animals through its site unless done by proper shelters and rescue groups.

To Puppy Doe: Rest in Peace sweet angel girl, and know that there are thousands of people who love you and are seeking justice.

Dog and elephant are best buddies

By DogTime Staff

Dogs may be known as man’s best friend, but one unlikely pair is proving a dog’s best friend is probably not man at all, but a mammal with much larger ears, rougher skin, and a long trunk.

Black Labrador Retriever Bella was abandoned at South Carolina’s Myrtle Beach Safari by her owner, a contractor hired to construct a pool at the wildlife park back in 2007.

But Bella didn’t have to wait long before finding a new friend — and she found one in the park’s star elephant, Bubbles. Together, the pair play catch and keep-away in Bubbles’ pool, Bella climbing up on Bubbles’ back, and Bubbles splashing her loyal Lab friend with water from her trunk.  

Read the full story on

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

After We Say Good-Bye

By Jon Bastian
Cesar's Way

It’s a sad but unfortunate fact that dogs do not live as long as humans, so it’s also inevitable that every dog lover must say good-bye to their beloved pet at some point. However, gone does not mean forgotten. Recently, we asked Cesar’s fans how they have memorialized their pets.

The answers were numerous, but there were many similar themes. Here are some of the most common ways that you have kept your pets’ memories alive.


It’s quite common for people to have their deceased pets cremated, but there are a large variety of ways that people handle the ashes afterwards. For some, scattering them in their dog’s favorite place, like a special spot in the yard or a hiking trail, is the method of choice.

One family’s experience is typical and moving. They explained how they “hiked up to Vivian Creek with Vinnie's ashes. We placed him on this rock outcropping facing the valley below, next to a waterfall.” After setting some flowers on the ashes, they “watched as the wind start(ed) to slowly carry him away. Now he is part of this place he loved. A beautiful final resting place for the best dog ever.”

Special urns and memory boxes are very common, with some unusual variations. Cesar fan Julie McMaster reports that, after their dog Heidi passed, they “had a small portion of her ashes sewn inside a custom teddy bear, for the sake of our two young children. It is embroidered with her details and a lovely quote, and whenever they miss her they can cuddle the teddy and feel close to her.” The rest of her ashes are in an urn that looks like a rock, in the back garden under her favorite tree.


Others prefer to create living memorials with the ashes. Linc Turner explained his ritual for his dogs. “They each get their own dogwood tree planted, with some of their ashes placed in the hole, white flowers for the boys, and pink flowers for the ladies.”

Planting trees is a rather common form of memorial, as well. Rafael Uribe reported to us, in Spanish, that he saves the hairs from the tip of the dog’s tail, and plants a sapling for each of them. Misty Selling Dueck planted a tree in honor of her dog Scout. She told us, “The kids sit by the pretty tree when they want to remember him.”


A number of people have used their pet’s passing as incentive to help others, through businesses, foundations and charities. Brian Arnold started the Cyrus Foundation, named after his Doberman. Their mission is to help people with final expenses, from vet bills to memorials.

Working mostly from veterinarian referrals, in addition to helping with those expenses, Brian explains, “I drop off teddy bear urns and small pendants the day of so that they don't have to go home empty handed. My memorial to Cyrus is to continue to spread the "dog love" that he so selflessly and patiently taught me about.”

Read more:

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

How Pitbulls Really Fight

Woman Squeezes Lifetime of Love into One Week


Annie had never known happiness. She had been beaten, neglected, and starved all of her life, and then she was dumped at a shelter to die. Annie waited on death row, terrified and lonely, crying every night for someone to help her. She was very ill, and the pound asked if I was willing to take her. Yep, I’m on my way.

I was asked to share the story about what I do for special case dogs on death row in shelters. I do realize that this might not be the most popular idea with all of you, but I’m hoping that maybe it will inspire someone to do the same. If you ever have the chance to do this, it will change your life. When there are terminally ill dogs on death row, I’ve made the decision to do something very special for them.

Because treating these dogs for their conditions would cause them immense suffering, I choose not to treat them. However, I also choose not to leave them in the shelter to be killed. In short, I bring them into my home for a few days. I adopt them into my heart. I love them with all that I have. And then I do what’s best for them… and let them go…

Before She Goes to Heaven – Annie Needs to Know Love
When I saw Annie, it was obvious that she was very sick. She was underweight, coughing, and having trouble breathing, in addition to skin and eye issues. The vet told me that Annie had advanced heartworm disease, congestive heart failure, and several other severe medical conditions. It was highly unlikely that she would pull through any of the treatments, and she would suffer tremendously throughout the process. The vet asked me if I wanted to go ahead with euthanasia. “No. I’ll bring her back next week. Before she goes to Heaven, she needs to know love.”

Read full story at

WAG! Fest - August 24, 2013 - Hillard, OH


As the region’s largest dog event, WAG! is a perfect day’s adventure for dogs and people together. Taking place in the beautiful Darby Bend Lakes area of Prairie Oaks Metro Park, there will be pet-friendly trails to wander and lakes to splash in…where the route to activities leads past appealing booths, where attendees can stop, shop, and learn from the area’s best dog-related product and service providers.

Admission is FREE.

Activities include:

  • The WAG! Marketplace will include exhibits of products, samples and services from pet retailers, clubs and organizations dedicated to the health and well being of canines.
  • Dogs can take a dip at the Water Bark Beach off-leash swim area.
  • Demonstrations, entertaining programs and contests at the Take a Bow-Wow Stage. Pups that stand out from the pack will have a chance to compete in the Top Dog Contest.
  • Guests can meet experts from various area rescue groups to learn about the best four-legged match for their home and lifestyle at the Meet the Breed Pavilion.
  • The icy oasis of the Canine Ice Castle will provide for a cool canine respite on a warm afternoon.
  • Captivating disk demonstrations and dog agility demonstrations by some of the area’s most talented canines.
  • Canine companion adoptions available through various dog rescue groups. And much more!
WHEN:   Saturday, August 24, 2013  10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

WHERE:  Darby Bend Lakes Area of Prairie Oaks Metro Parks, 2755 Amity Road, Hilliard, Ohio 43026

WHY WAG!:  Supports dogs in need. We help over 30 Central Ohio dog-serving organizations reach thousands of donors and potential adopters each year.


Saturday, June 22, 2013

Cat nurses week-old abandoned puppy

A pit bull rejected by its mother is being taken care of by an unlikely surrogate: A mama cat.

When Noland was merely 1 day old, he was taken to the Cleveland Animal Protective League without his mother.

"Obviously a 1-day-old puppy, even in the best of circumstances, [the chance of survival] is pretty iffy," Sharon Harvey, president and CEO of the CAPL, told Yahoo News by phone. "We want to give him every chance we could."

The staff decided Noland's best chances were to join a litter of nursing kittens. The question: Would the cat accept a puppy into her brood of four? Amazingly, mom-cat Lurlene welcomed the outsider.

The image says it all: The pit bull is being nursed back to health by a very tolerant feline.

“They’re a happy family now,” said Harvey.

Read the full story on Yahoo News.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Petition: Black Bear Shooting in Uniontown, OH

Calling for an investigation of the recent shooting
of a black bear by police in Uniontown, OH

 The tragic incident of a young black bear killed by police on May 31, 2013, as he wandered through backyards of Uniontown in Ohio, can only be described as an unjustifiable, misguided and a tragic overreaction by police officials. Their unprofessional behavior, coupled with the complete absence of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) has led to the death of a young, healthy and non-threatening wild animal—a black bear, who had simply lost his way in search of a mate and food and protected as an endangered species under OH’s wildlife law.

This unnecessary and tragic outcome could and should have been easily avoided. Neither was the police officer “forced to shoot the bear,” nor was killing of the bear “necessary for safety reasons,” as claimed by police, the Ohio Department of natural Resources (ODNR). The real reasons for this tragic incident are the fact that Uniontown’s police officers are untrained to solve encounters with wild animals in nonlethal manners—they didn’t even have a tranquilizer gun--and the ODNR, being unresponsive and unavailable for more than 13 hours after the first sighting of the bear was reported to the state wildlife agency. Why?

Please take action today and request an investigation of the circumstances that led to the killing of a harmless, young healthy black bear, who simply got lost in our urban jungle in search of a mate and food. Send a letter and follow-up with a call to John Kasich, Governor of OH and the Trustees of Lake Township, Stark County, OH, who oversee the Uniontown Police Department, and let them know that you want questions answered.

For more information, please contact

Monday, June 17, 2013

Sign Petition Against Ohio Kitten Shooting

From Alley Cat Allies:

A "humane" officer in North Ridgeville, Ohio, shot and killed five kittens in a resident's yard on Monday, June 10. This is a clear act of cruelty in violation of state law—but this officer will have no charges brought against him.

Please sign our petition urging North Ridgeville Mayor David Gillock to meet with Alley Cat Allies immediately to discuss more humane measures for feral cats, including community-supported Trap-Neuter-Return.

Calling this brutal killing “euthanasia” and claiming it was a public safety issue is absurd. Officers should be educating residents about how to treat animals humanely and coexist peacefully, not shooting kittens in front of children.

We can’t stand by while more cats are needlessly killed. Urge Mayor Gillock to meet with Alley Cat Allies—and to issue an immediate order halting the “euthanasia” of healthy cats.

Alley Cat Allies will be on the ground in North Ridgeville on Monday, June 17, for a rally protesting this cruel kitten killing—and we will present your signatures at the City Council meeting that evening. We need as many signatures as possible by Monday, so please ask your friends and family to sign!

Thank you so much for taking action.


Becky Robinson

UPDATE 6/19/13:  Alley Cat Allies Meets with North Ridgeville Police Chief about a Humane Approach

Pit Bulls: Responsibility

Cesar Millan
Cesar Millan

 A Letter from Cesar Millan:

A month ago today in Little Rock, California (a small town located forty miles northeast of downtown Los Angeles), a woman named Pamela Devitt was out for a jog when she was attacked and killed by a pack of four dogs.

Of course, the dogs were immediately identified as pit bulls in the headlines, whether they were or not. So far, only one dog’s photo has been released, and it is clearly a pit bull mix — but the problem with most news stories about people being attacked by dogs is that every dog becomes a pit bull in the headline.

This is nothing new and only the breed changes. At various times in the past, it would have been Rottweiler, German shepherd or Doberman pinscher. However, in the tragic case of Pamela Devitt, authorities have gotten one thing absolutely right, and it offers a bit of hope that things may be slowly changing when it comes to anti-breed prejudice.

Three weeks after the attack, Alex Donald Jackson, the owner of the four dogs, was charged with murder by the LA County district attorney — possibly a first for the area, according to prosecutors. They decided to do so because, since January of this year, there had been at least three reports to police about his dogs attacking other people.

Ultimately, the courts will decide Jackson’s fate and I’m not going to discuss his case specifically. However, this incident should be a reminder to dog lovers everywhere that, ultimately, we are responsible for our own dogs’ safety and behavior, and we are the ones who should face the consequences if they should ever attack someone.

Read more:

100 Problem Puppy Mills

The Humane Society of the United States

May 9, 2013

As part of its seventh annual Puppy Mill Action Week, The Humane Society of the United States is releasing “A Horrible Hundred,” a report listing 100 puppy mills. The HSUS is calling on authorities to more closely monitor these and the thousands of other facilities across the country and is also urging state legislators to pass stronger laws to protect dogs in puppy mills. The puppy mills were selected based on the conditions documented in publicly available inspection reports and on evidence obtained during HSUS research and investigations.

“Every year, millions of puppies are born in horrific puppy mills and sold to unsuspecting families,” said Melanie Kahn, senior director of The HSUS’s Puppy Mills Campaign. “We urge consumers to do serious homework before buying a puppy, and we ask lawmakers, law enforcement officials and the pet industry representatives to support laws that will crack down on this cruelty.”

During Puppy Mill Action Week, The HSUS asks supporters to spread the word about the realities of puppy mills by sharing this video, pledging not to buy a puppy mill dog from a pet store or Internet site and by always considering adoption from a shelter or rescue or purchasing only from a responsible breeder they have met in person.

The HSUS is not charging that these are the worst 100 mills in the nation, but these are operations with deficiencies and inadequate attention to animal welfare. They are indicative of the puppy mill culture that has become widespread and causes immense suffering for dogs.

Some states require pet stores to post the names of the breeders in a visible location, such as on the dogs’ cages, so consumers have additional information about where the puppies came from, and other large-scale commercial dog breeders sell directly to consumers over the Internet.

The HSUS found that:
  • Most of the 100 facilities have been cited repeatedly by federal or state inspectors for violations such as injured and sick dogs who had not been treated by a veterinarian, animals left in the freezing cold or blistering heat without protection, filthy conditions, and, in some cases, operators who performed surgeries on dogs without a veterinary license or shot and killed unwanted dogs.
  • States with the highest numbers of puppy mills on this list include Missouri (24), Ohio (15), Kansas (11), Iowa, (8), and Indiana and New York (6 each).
  • More than half of the puppy mills listed had more than 100 dogs and puppies on the premises according to their most recent state or federal inspection reports. At least 30 of the facilities had more than 200 dogs and puppies, and one (Clearwater Kennel in Minnesota) had more than 1,100.
  • The report covers puppy mills in 20 different states, but puppies from these breeders are shipped to pet stores and Internet buyers across the country so consumers never see the real conditions in which they were born and raised.
  • Many of the facilities in the report claim to be affiliated with the American Kennel Club. The AKC increasingly lobbies against laws that would require puppy mills to be more uniformly licensed and inspected.
  • The HSUS urges the USDA to swiftly finalize a rule to require all large-scale commercial puppy sellers to be uniformly licensed and inspected, including those that sell directly to consumers over the Internet. Additionally, the USDA needs to streamline its procedures for reporting problem operators to law enforcement and preventing operators from re-starting under a new name or license number.
See the list by state here.
Read the full report here.

  • Puppy mills are mass-breeding facilities that churn out puppies for the pet trade with an emphasis on profit over welfare. Breeding dogs in puppy mills have no real quality of life, often living continually in small wire cages with little or no personal attention, exercise or veterinary care.
  • In recent years The HSUS has assisted in rescuing nearly 10,000 dogs from more than 50 different puppy mills across the country churning out more than 2 million puppies per year for the pet trade.
  • While The HSUS stands ready to assist law enforcement with closing down illegal puppy mills whenever feasible, there remain an estimated 10,000 puppy mills across the United States, and many of them are legal. 
Media Contact: Niki Ianni, 301-548-7793, 610-999-6932,

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Chester's Music

This letter was written and submitted to the website An Open Apology.  The owner of the website invited me to share this letter with my readers:

You were filthy. You were matted. Your teeth were a mess, jutted-out-under-bite, yellow, and neglected. There was dry poop crusted onto your back leg, something I mistakenly assumed might bother you. When I tried to clean it off, you tried to bite me with those ridiculous teeth of yours.

Chester, you were not my dog. I was nobody to you. Your somebody left you at a vet’s office months ago and never came back. I suppose they had been trying to do the kinder thing by not leaving you at the shelter, knowing that at eleven years old, your chances would be so low. Knowing that with a big tumor on your side, your chances would be so low. And really, chances for everyone there are so low.

The vet called me because he knows I foster dogs. Because he knows I’m insane like that. Because he knows that I care. And I did care, Chester; and I wanted to help you. But that Wednesday, I just could not. I could not because I was caught up in the ego and in the trivial and in the me me me. I justified to myself that I always care too much. I asked myself how good could I possibly be for you being spread so thin? On that day I was drowning from the inside out, my heart already bursting with pain for the suffering of animals. That ache lives right there, just exists and hangs, so thinly veiled that I’m almost never without it. On that day, it was furious and it overtook my insides, and it shredded me. I had nothing left for you.

So after only a few hours in my home, I took you back to the vet because my fingers feared your mouth. Because I didn’t choose to give you time to bloom. Because that Wednesday I wanted faster and easier. I vowed to come walk you. I vowed to come see you. I vowed to bring you home once more. But deep in my belly, even as I waved goodbye, I knew I should’ve give you a chance. I knew I was your last hope. I knew you would perish there, after months of calling a kennel your home, and it is not a home - the concrete floor and the constant barking and the coldness. I knew that it would be a tragedy to end a life you never got to live. Because how good could it have been before we met? Because what kind of a person leaves their pet behind?

Now I’m on the phone with the vet’s, put on hold. I’ve called for you, Chester. It’s me. I’m here. It’s been a few days, and I want to take you on a stroll so you can feel the sunshine on your skin. I want to try again. I told them I would try again. You deserve someone to try again. Yvette, the head vet tech, sounds small when she returns to the line, smaller than her usual mousy self. “They decided to euthanize him,” she says. And I think she’s confused you with some other shaggy old Terrier. Because there had been vows and there had been promises. But she is not confused. I’m just too late.

They didn’t call me, Chester. I swear I told them I’d be back. I even bought you mushy treats to eat out of my hands so you could meet my smell again and warm to me. But I had you here and the moment was then, and I let you down. I’ve yanked my car into a Trader Joe’s parking lot because I can’t drive through my streaming tears. I’m sitting in front of a dumpster, and I want to jump into it. I want to throw away this regret. I want that bin to be a time capsule that takes me back and lets me do it over, and lets me do it better. I want it to bring you back to life.

And I don’t know if anyone held you as they slid the needle into your vein. I don’t know if you felt affection escorting you out of this world. I don’t know if someone wept by your side. And I know you were old and sick and discarded, but somebody should have held you anyway. It should’ve been me. And now all I can think is: how did you go?

I get hundreds of emails every day, Chester, a constant punch of pleas for homeless pets like you. I see countless faces every weekend, each eager for belonging and safety and tenderness. But I can’t stop thinking about how many animals we never see at all. How many don’t get their stories shared. How many faces we don’t notice. And then - who knows they were ever even here? I want you to know that you were here. I learned of your story and it affected me. I heard your feet on my wooden floor and it made music. I pushed the coarse fur out of your eyes so you could know what friendship looks like.

But real friends don’t give up so fast, the way I did. Real friends care, the way I always thought I would. That one day I had you here, I wasn’t your friend and I didn’t care enough. I took a moment to harden my flooded-heart. I took a moment to create a divide between you and me. I took a moment to put your situation aside, murmured, “wait for me, I’ll try again when it’s more convenient with my schedule.” But it wasn’t up to you; you couldn’t wait. And it cost you your life. My uncaring moment cost you your life. And it cost me something, too: the price of living with guilt and with shame.

Don’t feel bad for me, Chester. I am not a martyr or a saint or an angel. Others are heroes; I am not. I have terrible road rage and I’m impatient and I don’t always wash my hands. But I care. I care deeply. I care deeply and yet I failed you. And I don’t think I like people anymore because people leave their animals in the dust. And where was your “owner” on that day? Huh? Where? It’s not that it’s a bother for me to hold this now. It’s not that it’s a drain. It’s just that it demands so much strength.

I don’t even know if I am good anymore, Chester. All I know is I can’t breathe. Caring takes so much time and so much energy, that I forget to breathe. And I want to shout, “Help me! No one can do it alone!” I want to insist, “You are somebody! It takes all of us to stop this!” I want to declare, “I am not an enabler, I am not a doormat. I must not absorb it all!” But I can’t tell anybody what to do. And at the end of the day, only the animals suffer for my rebellion. Like you.

Some may say, “he was just a dog.” But you were a life, and now you are not. And why should it be this way, this calloused way, why should some live and some die? Why do we get to decide when we are so flawed and so faulty? My husband says, “you can’t care that much every single time.” My mother says, “you’re doing the best you can, more than most.” My father says, “you cannot save them all.” But I can’t hear them.

All I hear is the rhythm of your paws on my floor. And sometimes it feels like too much. It always feels like too much. It feels like I am wearing a hundred cloaks. A thousand. A million. It is hot and humid, and I am lost in fabric. You may never see me again, it is so heavy. I am a hangar, I am a coat rack, I am here to carry cloth. The weight of all that fur. But the alternative is not to care and look where that led me. You are gone.

heart breaking

The Pet Cremation Conspiracy Theory

This is an excerpt from a blog post written by Minette of The Dog Training Secret:

The Pet Cremation Conspiracy Theory and the Hardest Lesson I Have Ever Learned

I hate conspiracy theories, I am not a believer but I think I have uncovered one!

This is probably the hardest article I have ever written.  Usually writing comes pretty easily to me, don’t get me wrong I have my bad days and my writers block days where I want to write but clear thoughts don’t really enter my mind in a coherent way; but this article is different.

It has taken me 7 months to get to a place where I could even contemplate writing it and it breaks my heart, but I am hoping my story will save other people the heart ache I have gone through.

As many of you know, my “angel in fur” my “furry soul mate” my “heart dog” died in September of last year.

Cancer had invaded his lungs and I didn’t know until it was too late, I woke up he was having trouble breathing and he had to be euthanized that day;  he had been so stoic that there was no warning that he had been battling cancer.

A piece of me died that day, a big piece.

Euthanizing your pet, your family member is hard enough, it is devastating to say good bye and I realized it is almost equally hard to pick up your pet’s ashes post euthanasia and cremation; but I had always wanted to be buried with my special dog when I died.

I was a vet tech for many years, so I guess I just trusted the veterinary/cremation process and took some of my knowledge and expectations for granted.  I made sure after my dog had been euthanized that I would be getting him individually cremated and that I would get just his remains… I paid for that, but I didn’t drill the ER clinic about who they contracted with and what my expectations of his treatment post death would be;  I assumed that the rituals I had known as a vet tech were standard in all/most (especially a well- known ER clinic) within the veterinary world.

I guess this was my mistake and I am here to make sure it is not yours.

When I went to pick up my baby’s ashes, he had been disposed of in a Ziploc bag, which had then been put in a velvet bag; however  the Ziploc bag had sustained several holes in transit and so his ashes had spilled out into the velvet bag and to add insult to injury there was no documentation of substance.  There was a tiny paper hand written tag that had been looped onto the bag with his name on it, but that was it.

There was no information or certificate on when he died, who had cremated him and when, how much he weighed or any kind of certification at all; no metal tags that had followed his body through the process… there was just nothing.

Click HERE to read the full story.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

We Must Make Laws Tougher in 2013

From Amy Beichler, Director
PAWS Ohio (Public Animal Welfare Society)

Dear volunteers, friends, family, fellow animal welfare advocates,

I am requesting strongly that those of you who have a Facebook Page, please post the flyer image (below) by our volunteer Tricia Ringholtz concerning Forrest, the beautiful Mastiff that was chained to a tree in Cleveland Heights, Ohio, and shot 2 times and left to die.

Forrest was shot on Sunday afternoon of November 25, 2012, Forrest lay bleeding all night long.  Forrest was discovered by a dog walker the following morning and rescued. Please know, unfortunately HB 108, otherwise known as Nitro’s Law, WOULD NOT protect a situation like Forrest, and make it a felony to shot him. The individual that has been arrested in conjunction with the Forrest shooting has been charged with a second degree misdemeanor.   Herbie, the dog in Lorain Ohio, neglected and tossed aside, unfortunately HB 108 WOULD NOT make it a felony for the neglect and abuse this helpless dog suffered. We need HB108, but we also  need more.  Someone shot a dog, left him to die, and under Ohio law could only be charged with a second degree misdemeanor.  Please see below the focus of HB 108:

Two Democratic lawmakers say they will reintroduce legislation allowing increased criminal penalties against kennel owners who abuse or neglect pets.

State Rep. Ronald V. Gerberry, from Austintown, and Rep. Bob Hagan, from Youngstown, offered comparable legislation last session after an incident at a Youngstown kennel.

“If you are the owner of a kennel and you mistreat an animal, the county prosecutor or the city prosecutor should have the right to charge you with a felony,” Gerberry said. “[I’m] not saying they have to but saying they should have that option.”

The proposed legislation would have enabled prosecutors to seek felony charges against kennel owners who abuse animals in their care. About 45 other states already rank some animal- cruelty charges as felonies.

“The abuse of someone’s pet is deplorable and disgusting,” Gerberry said in a released statement.

Hagan added in the statement: “Every time you pick up the paper or turn on the news you hear about another case of animal abuse. This bill will give local prosecutors the necessary tools to punish those inflicting cruel and unusual punishment on pets.”

The two lawmakers offered the legislation in response to an October 2008 incident in which humane agents found 15 dogs dead or dying at the High Caliber K-9 on Coitsville-Hubbard Road near Youngstown.

The kennel operator initially faced 19 counts of cruelty to animals, but those charges were later reduced to four with misdemeanor penalties.

The bill is being called Nitro’s Law, after one of the dogs that died at the Kennel. Comparable legislation cleared the Ohio House last session on a split vote but died in the Ohio Senate.

As a community that values our companion animals we need to work together to support not only HB 108, but also the other 6 below:

ACTION ALERT!  It's important for Ohioans to recognize that SEVEN companion animal bills languished in the 129th General Assembly! All of these bills dealt with companion animal cruelty - three of which recommended prosecution of criminal offenses as a felony of the fifth degree - in one form or another:

1. Ohio Dog Auctions Act (would have banned Ohio ‘puppy mill’ dog auctions)

2. HB 25 (would have included companion animals in domestic violence/stalking protection orders)

3. HB 108 - Nitro’s Law (would have provided discretion in prosecuting kennel owners, managers and employees who knowingly committed an act of animal cruelty as a felony of the fifth degree)

4. HB 138 (would have required a person to file proof of successful completion of training with the county recorder prior to being appointed as a humane society agent)

5. HB 289 (would have made bestiality a felony of the fifth degree)

6. HB 290 (would have made an assault against a dog warden, deputy dog warden, humane agent, or animal control officer a felony of the fifth degree)

7. HB 300 (would have provided protections for search and rescue dogs)

Cruelty to animals and violence towards people share common characteristics. Until recently, however, violence towards children and the elderly, and other domestic violence had been considered to be unrelated to violence towards animals. A correlation has now been established between animal abuse, family violence, and other forms of community violence. A growing body of research indicates that people who commit acts of cruelty towards animals rarely stop there. People who abuse animals are not only dangerous to their animal victims but may also be dangerous to people.

2013 must be a year of new beginnings – for every aspect of companion animal cruelty in Ohio. It is my firm belief that until our legislators reorder their concerns, those atop the food chain will continue to be the victim of violent crimes as long as Ohio continues to have some of the weakest animal protection laws in the nation.


1. Write to to learn more about plans for a 2013 Ohio Companion Animal Legislative Summit!

2. Read the Animal League Defense Fund (ALDF), 2012 U.S. Animal Protection Laws Rankings™ - Ohio ranks 34th!

Thank you for supporting and advocating for animals,

Amy Beichler, Executive Director
Public Animal Welfare Society of Ohio (PAWS Ohio)
A Nonprofit Humane Society Serving the Animals & People of Greater Cleveland and Cuyahoga County Since 1976
Follow us on
Twitter: @PAWSOhio

Dog uses the toilet and flushes it

Now I have seen it all!


Dog Thoughts

How to Choose a Kid-Friendly Family Dog

I have been invited to share with my blog readers this very good article by

In the age-old “cat people versus dog people” debate, the votes have been tabulated and the results show that your household is a “dog family.” The only problem is that you don’t actually have a family dog. Remedying the situation provides everyone in the household with companionship and entertainment, helps to teach kids about the responsibility of caring for another living thing and puts a stop to the endless begging, cajoling and whining for a dog. The only thing left to do is choose your dog, but how do you make such a big decision?

Do Your Research

Before you make a selection, you’ll need to have a bit of basic knowledge at your disposal. Purebred dogs purchased from a breeder may have a genetic disposition for certain health problems, but their personalities can be predicted more precisely when they’re still puppies. Mixed breed dogs tend to be healthier than their purebred counterparts, but may be a bit more difficult in terms of personality and predictability.

Visit a Shelter or Breeder

Choosing to adopt from a shelter rescues a dog that may otherwise be euthanized, allows you to brag about making a socially-conscious choice and gives you the option of adopting an adult animal, rather than a rambunctious youngster in need of training. Purchasing a puppy from a reputable breeder allows you to select a particular breed and bring home a young animal that you can train to suit the needs of your family. Whichever route you choose, you should make a few kid-free visits before making a decision so you can observe the environment the dog is accustomed to, learn more about their individual personalities and make an informed decision before the younger members of your family become attached to a dog that’s ultimately a bad fit with your collective lifestyle.

Think About Your Family Routine

Choosing the right dog for your family will require you to carefully examine the routine of your household. If everyone is away from the house for hours on end, you may want to select a more independent animal that requires less affection and dedicated play time. If you homeschool, have kids that haven’t yet reached school age and one parent stays home, you can comfortably select a dog that requires more attention.

Consider the Age of Your Youngest Child

If you have a toddler or infant that doesn’t yet respond well to verbal direction, you’ll need to make sure that the dog you bring into your home is patient and mature. In these situations, an adult dog may be more suitable than a puppy. Breeds that are known to be anxious, like Chihuahuas, will almost certainly be too nervous when the boisterous attention of a very young child is focused on the dog.

Realize That Babies and Puppies Don’t “Grow Up Together”

The idea that your baby and your puppy will “grow up together” is a charming one, but it’s just not feasible most of the time. Juggling the demands of an infant with those of an untrained, excitable puppy can easily prove to be overwhelming, which is why so many great dogs find themselves in a shelter. An adult dog may be a better choice for families with very young children, while a charming puppy is fine for households with older kids that can understand the proper handling and treatment of a fragile, high-energy puppy.

Keep Size in Mind
The adorable pup that fits in the palm of your hand will one day grow up, and its size will have an impact on how you care for it. Remember that even Saint Bernards start off relatively small, but they grow quickly and can be too much for a small household with young children. Before you fall in love with a puppy at the shelter, try to determine how big it will be when it reaches adulthood. A Great Dane-sized animal simply won’t fit in a small apartment.

Choosing a dog is an exciting milestone, but it’s not a trial-and-error situation. Surrendering a dog because he isn’t right for your family will almost always endanger his life, a situation that simply isn’t fair to the defenseless dog in your care. Rather than making an impulsive choice that you later discover was a bad one, take your time and determine exactly what sort of dog will be best for your family. When you’re patient and committed to making the right choice the first time, you’re making a wonderful addition to your family and are not risking the life of an innocent animal.

Surfin´ Bulldog

Former first dog Barney Bush dies

Yahoo! News
Published February 1, 2013

Former first dog Barney Bush, the black Scottish terrier who romped on the White House grounds in George W. Bush’s time there, has died at age 12, the former president said in a statement. The playful pooch had been suffering from lymphoma.

Barney played a starring role in the presidential mansion, notably in “BarneyCam” holiday specials featuring footage from a camera that caught a dog’s eye view of senior aides like Karl Rove. He was also a reliable fixture on the White House website.

Read the full story on Yahoo! News.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

‘Dog who wouldn’t die’ home after surgery

Yahoo! News
Published January 13, 2013

The dog who was found shot in the head and face with a pellet gun, stuffed in a garbage bag and left to die earlier this month was released from a Texas veterinary clinic on Saturday, following eye surgery paid for by a Facebook campaign.

The 3-year-old male mixed breed--nicknamed "Buck"--had the estimated $3,000-to-$5,000 surgery at the North Houston Veterinary Clinic on Thursday to repair entry wounds to both of his eyes.

Click here to read the full story.

Related story:  Dog who wouldn't die

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Otter Pup Swim Lessons

Adorable video footage from the Columbus Zoo!

Otter pups aren't born with any innate knowledge of how to swim or handle themselves in the water. And since otters depend on water to survive, mom has to teach her babies how to be as home in the water as they are on land.

Dog who wouldn't die

January 8, 2013

A dog found shot in the head and face with a pellet gun, stuffed in a garbage bag and left to die is recovering from his injuries at an animal clinic in Texas. And it's thanks, in part, to a Facebook campaign launched to help pay for his veterinary bills.

The bag containing the 3-year-old male mixed breed was discovered tied to a fence in Conroe, Texas, earlier this month. When local residents opened the bag, the dog emerged, took a few steps and collapsed, according to the Montgomery County Police Reporter.

The dog was covered in blood, said neighbor Tami Augustyn, leading her to believe he was a "bait dog"—or a dog used by fight dogs for practice.

Augustyn rushed the dog to an emergency animal clinic, where he was treated for multiple bird-shot pellets to the face, eyes, mouth, neck and shoulders, and hypothermia from being left outside overnight.

Read the full story on Yahoo! News.