It’s midnight – do you know where your puppies are?

Good morning, good afternoon, or good night! Wherever you are in the world welcome!

Lately a few of you may have noticed I have been recycling some of my older blogs because I have been sick with a nasty flu bug. Thanks to the miracle of modern medicine I have been given anti-biotics and am on the way to recovery.

So, now that my brain is back in some semblance of working order, I would like to talk to you today about backyard breeding, and why it is something you should “just say no” to.

Why is it when the economy takes a downturn those in precarious financial positions look at the unfixed female dog in their home and think “Ca-ching! I will solve my financial woes by breeding my dog!”

Now the most obvious problem we see here is this. The family dog should be fixed, she should have been fixed at six months. After all she is the family pet, and spaying her is the responsible thing to do. Secondly, it is not your dogs job to repopulate your bank account! Thirdly, (and I am sure you were wondering when I would get to this) there are enough animals without home in our society already. What makes you think that YOUR dog’s offspring is going to find homes when so many others can’t?

Okay so all that aside, let’s look at why breeding your family pet is not going to dig you out of that financial hole you have managed to stumble into.

Dog breeding is not a money-making proposition if done correctly. Health care and shots, diagnosis of problems and proof of quality, extra food, facilities, stud fees, advertising, etc, are all costly and must be paid before the pups can be sold. An unexpected caesarean or emergency intensive care for a sick pup will make a break-even litter become a big liability. And this is all assuming you can sell the pups.

Who do you expect will buy the pups? Do you think they will be snapped up simply because you advertise?

First time breeders have no reputation and no referrals to help them find buyers. Previous promises of “I want a dog just like yours” evaporate. Consider the time and expense of caring for pups that may not sell until four months, eight months or older! What would you do if your pups did not sell? Send them to the pound? Dump them in the country? Sell them cheap to a dog broker who may resell them to labs or other unsavory buyers? Veteran breeders with good reputations often don’t consider a breeding unless they have cash deposits in advance for an average-sized litter.

What about after you have sold them to anyone with the cash you are demanding?

It’s midnight – do you know where your puppies are? There are THREE-AND-A HALF MILLION unwanted dogs put to death in North America each year, with many more dying homeless and unwanted through starvation, disease, automobiles, abuse, etc. Nearly a quarter of the victims of this unspeakable tragedy are pure-bred dogs with papers.

Nonsense you say? Dog breeding is big business you say? Well, think on this…

The breeder who creates life is responsible for that life. Will you carefully screen potential buyers? Or will you just take the money and not worry if the puppy is chained in a junkyard all of its life, or runs in the street to be killed? Will you turn down a sale to irresponsible owners? Or will you say “yes” and not think about the puppy you held and loved now having a litter of mongrels every time she comes in heat, filling the pounds with more statistics – your grand-pups? Would you be prepared to take back a grown puppy if the owners can no longer care for it? Or can you live with the thought that the baby you helped bring into the world will be destroyed at the pound?

Have you given a single thought to the quality of life the pups you have bred will have? Do you care who buys them? Or is your only concern the money that you are dreaming of? Well you can stop dreaming because here’s the breakdown on what your irresponsible decision to breed your pet will cost you:

Veterinary checkups during pregnancy (at least one) $160.00 – $200.00

Prenatal vitamins for your female $25.00 – 50.00

Checkups and shots for an average litter of puppies $200.00 per pup. Let’s say there are five pups in an average litter, that’s $1000.00

Post birth checkup up for your female $160.00 -$200.00

Possible cesarean section delivery $1500.00 to $3500.00 (depending on the dog’s size and weight.)

Possible grand total for one litter of pups $4950.00 (possibly more depending on the size of the litter)

“Why should I worry?” you say. “I will make it all back and then some when I sell the pups!” or if you are one of those type of people we all know and hate you might say “Why should I bother with vets and such?” Either way you are about to come to the sad realization that breeding dogs is not as easy and profitable as you think.

Look online, how many puppy sales ads do you see? Why are people going to pick your pups over those of other breeders with decent reputations? Oh that’s right you think selling them dirt cheap without shots and vetting will guarantee they are sold. WRONG! Anyone seriously looking for a healthy family pet is going to pass over your unvetted pups for those that are vetted.

So now it is twelve weeks after the birth of the litter and you still have three of the five pups running around your home, and the phone has stopped ringing. What will you do now? Your money making scheme was obviously a big flop and what’s more the costs of feeding your pets has tripled. So much for repopulating that bank account.

So, if you have an unfixed dog in your home, go to the phone call your vet and make an appointment to have her fixed. Prevent yourself from being tempted to use your beloved family pet as a money maker. She doesn’t deserve it, and it won’t help to solve your financial woes.

Until Next Time Remember,

SPAY or NEUTER your Pets!

Everydogsmom

 

 

Put Yourself in Their Shoes

(This blog entry was originally posted in April of 2011 when I headed Let’s Adopt Canada, a position I resigned from in July of 2011 due to difference of belief in proper rescue protocol. I am reposting it today because it still holds true.)

This past week, a young girl whom I greatly admire for her efforts to promote awareness of animal welfare issues, became frustrated by the number of times she heard someone say “It’s just a dog.” She believes, as do we all that all living creatures deserve the same measure of care and compassion. She is young (17) so she has not had to bat her head against the stone wall of ignorance and stupidity for as long as most of us have. She is young, so I do not want her to be discouraged, because I know she is destined to do great things for the animal rights movement.

That got me thinking, how do I convince these people that a dog is not “just a dog”? The answer came to me as answers so often do, while I watched my dogs go about the daily business of being dogs. We are always saying things like “put yourself in his shoes!” and “oh boy! I wouldn’t want to be in her shoes right now!” So today we are going to put ourselves in the proverbial “shoes” of a stray dog.

Take away those opposable thumbs that give the gift of delicate manual dexterity. Take away that golden gift of voice that allows us to verbally communicate our needs. Take away our ability to walk upright. Take away our homes, our bank accounts, and our families. We have no home to go to, no one who cares about us, and we can not speak to others to tell them what we need. We are helpless and vulnerable, at the mercy of humans, we ARE stray dogs.

Where will we go? Will we find shelter? Will we find food enough to sustain us? We will certainly try, but whom will we meet along the way? Perhaps we will be lucky and a kind person will take us into their home and care for us. Perhaps pigs fly? No, sadly our journey is likely to be vastly different from that of the dog who is found by a kind and caring person. If a stray dog could write a journal it might go something like this:

It is dark night, we are in a back alley rooting through a garbage can for the food we can smell. We find it but after wolfing it down hunger still nags at us. It has been days since we found any real food. Yesterday some children threw rocks at us, and the day before that one of us was hit by a car and left to die by the side of the road. The puppies will be coming soon, and I am afraid. I can not feed myself, how will I feed them?

When you look at it through their eyes, maybe some of you are rethinking the way you view animals. Perhaps there is one less person in the world who will say “it’s just a dog.” Perhaps you now understand that every living creature has basic needs, and basic fears. They feel pain, anxiety, love. They suffer, they are not inanimate objects, not “just a dog.”  Hmmm, now that you have “put yourself in their shoes” do you still think “It’s just a dog”?

(Written for my friend and fellow animal advocate Carmen Rose-Locke, London, England who is light years ahead of most her age when it comes to animal advocacy and understanding. I know this girl is destined to make great things happen! NEVER give up Carmen! YOU and your generation ARE the future of animal welfare!)

Until Next Time Remember,

RESCUES ROCK!

Everydogsmom

Special Op-Ed Report: Sled dog killer sentenced in BC

Remember Robert Fawcett? The name should be familiar especially to anyone involved in animal advocacy or rescue, after all, for a while he was international news. HORRIFIC international news, at least if you are someone that has compassion for animals.

In April of 2010 Robert Fawcett cold bloodedly killed approximately one hundred sled dogs. Anyone unfamiliar with the story go here (and tell me what rock you have been hiding under!):

100 Healthy Dogs Slaughtered In BC

That was over two years ago, and now Fawcett is back in the news. The reason, sentencing for the mass slaughter of the BC sled dogs. I am lazy today, so go here for the details, then if you still feel like putting up with my drivel head on back and I will tell you what I think!

Okay so for those of you still with me, hold on to your hat here we go…you KNOW how opinionated I can be! (And let’s face it isn’t that part of the reason you read me?)

I have a serious problem with Fawcett’s sentencing. It not only let’s a person who is by his own admission, guilty of horrific acts of violence against multiple animals, get away with that violence without any real responsibility being taken by him for his actions. Nor it seems, was the Crown interested in exacting any punishment worthy of merit for the crime committed.

The Crown did not seek a jail sentence and the judge did not issue one. Mr. Fawcett was ordered to pay $1,725 in fines. He was given three years of probation and 200 hours of community service, and ordered to continue counselling. He was also handed a 10-year firearms prohibition. (Source: The Globe & Mail)

So we are to forget the hundred innocent animals that lost their lives at Fawcett’s hands? The lives of a hundred animals are worth $1,725 in the eyes of the BC courts?

“The level of fine in no way is based on the level of pain and suffering,” Judge Steven Merrick said. “Because if I were to do that, the amount of fine that I would impose would be astronomical and would never be paid in your lifetime or your grandchildren’s lifetime.” (Source: The Globe & Mail)

Um…I really wouldn’t have a problem with a fine so large that his grandchildren would still being paying it off! At least it would be an indication that courts are beginning to take these things seriously! Better still…throw his ass in jail for a few years! Er…while we are on the subject of jail time, could someone please explain to me exactly WHY the Crown was not seeking jail time? Should society not be responding to this level of animal cruelty and abuse with more than slap on the wrist sentencing? How can we be expected to stem the tide of animal abuse if those admittedly guilty are not punished accordingly?

I am a Canadian citizen, and I am proud of the country I live in, but I am ashamed of the manner in which my country treats animals. If that seems unpatriotic of me, well…give your head a shake! In my humble (albeit loudly expressed) opinion, Canadian courts need to get tougher with their sentencing of those convicted of animal cruelty, and abuse! We will never begin to prevent it until people take it seriously! Robert Fawcett’s sentence is laughable and in no way reflects the seriousness of the crimes he has committed! Until tougher sentences are handed down in these sorts of cases, the laws in place (as inadequate as they are) are not worth the time it took to dream them up!

It’s just my opinion, but I’m sticking to it!

Everydogsmom

Dispelling the Myth’s about Rescue Dogs

Seven of my eight rescued dogs.

I have been rehoming rescue dogs for a very long time, and one thing is abundantly clear,  the stigma that shelter pets have been stuck with for many years is that they are “damaged goods”. We in rescue know that while physical, as well as psychological damage may have been done, these dogs are not “damaged irreparably” as many people seem to believe. Today we thought we would try to dispel a few of the myths about rescue pets.

Myth: Shelter dogs obviously have issues, the original owners wouldn’t have gotten rid of them if they didn’t

Truth is animals are brought to shelters for a large variety of reasons, some of which are…

Their owners have passed away

An irresponsible owner didn’t get their pets spayed or neutered so they found themselves with a litter of babies that they could not keep or did not want

The animal’s owners were abusive to the animal, so the authorities have removed the pet from the harmful environment

An animal was purchased or adopted by someone who did not take into consideration all of the responsibility that caring for that pet would entail. A good example of this would be someone who adopts a pet in an apartment complex that does not allow animals and then is subsequently forced to get rid of the pet.

Fact is that there are far fewer owner surrenders to shelters than you think, and many of those owner surrenders have absolutely nothing to do with the behavior of the animal.

Myth: Animals from abusive homes will never be good pets because they have been mistreated for so long

Most animals coming from abusive homes will typically make a full emotional recovery – with proper care and attention. Don’t get me wrong you have to work with them patiently. As with humans emotional recovery takes time, but it is possible. I know, EVERY single one of my family pets has been a rescue.

Myth: You never know what you’re getting with shelter pets

Although its true that the medical history and temperament of an animal adopted from a rescue shelter are not always available, it is really no different than an animal you might get from a pet store, shelter animals actually tend to be healthier than pet shop pets.

Myth: All animals in rescue shelters are sickly or unhealthy

Once again, it certainly IS possible that a pet adopted from a rescue shelter may have medical problems, however the majority of the animals that are adopted from shelters are perfectly healthy, and just need a good home. If anything, you’re more likely to get an honest answer about an animal’s medical problems from a shelter volunteer – who is clearly there because they *care* about the animals – as opposed to a pet store owner or backyard breeder that is only it in for the money. Additionally, animals in shelters are typically treated much better than animals in pet stores, which have often spent their short lives in cramped environments with little socializing and often, unsanitary conditions.

When you go to a pet store, the animals are kept on display in tiny cages, often with multiple animals in one cage. Puppies are generally purchased from puppy mills, and are often sick before being shipped to the pet store. When they are placed together in cramped cages with other puppies the possibility for disease to spread is created.When you go to a shelter, you will usually find much bigger animal pens, where the animals have some room to move. They are usually kenneled one pet to a kennel, making the possibility for disease to spread less than in the pet shop.

Take it from someone who has NEVER had anything but rescue dogs. They are no different than a dog you would buy from a breeder or a pet shop, but they can be far more loyal in the end. They need you to understand that it is not their fault they ended up in a shelter, and you shouldn’t label them as “BAD” dogs because they did.

Adopt! Don’t shop! There really is no difference in the end, except maybe that you could be saving the life of an animal that through no fault of its own has ended up in a shelter.

Until Next Time Remember,

RESCUES ROCK!

Everydogsmom

The Dog Den: Does Your Dog Need More Exercise?

Our Mom spends her days rehabilitating rescue dogs. She doesn’t believe that you can help us rescue dogs to adjust to life in the average family home unless we live in a home during rehab training. Therefore, she lives with our pack of multiple dogs 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. 

“It’s rather like living with a preschool classroom full of 3 year olds on a daily basis.” says Mom  “However, this particular group of three year olds, doesn’t speak my language, and they will never progress mentally past the human age of three. Turn your back on them for a second and there is no telling what they might get into.”

Here is what our Mom has to say about doggies that are destructive!

Every dog is different, each has their own unique quirks of character. and traits humans see as “behavioral problems.” One dog may enjoy snacking on those $500.00 Manolo Blahnik shoes their Mom bought on her last trip to Europe, or providing her with an endless supply of crotchless Victoria’s Secret panties. Another dog may prefer mopping the kitchen floor using the water from the dish they just upended, and the clean laundry they pulled out of the basket Mom left by the door. Suffice it to say that left to their own devices, dogs can do a lot of damage.

But is all this destruction willful, or is something else at work here? Is your dog acting out because of another problem? Chances are, the answer is yes.

If you have ever arrived home to a scene like this, your dog might just be a dog in need of exercise.

What makes a dog chew and destroy? With some dogs it is boredom, with others anxiety. Large breed dogs and high energy breeds, need a LOT of exercise. They need a hour walk at least three times a day in order to burn off pent up energy. If not given the exercise they require on a daily basis they begin to get bored or anxious. They have to dispel that energy somehow, and a good chew at your shoes or a nice wet romp on the kitchen floor with the laundry seems just the ticket.

So if you are finding yourself with a larger supply of crotchless panties than one person could ever want or need perhaps it is time to assess whether you and Fido are getting enough exercise. Letting him out the back door once or twice a day is NOT enough, no matter how small he is. So get out and explore the neighborhood, visit the off leash park, EXERCISE your pooch, and perhaps you’ll actually get to wear those Manolo’s BEFORE the dog redesigns them!

Remember, a TIRED DOG IS A HAPPY DOG! But more importantly, a tired dog is less likely to be destructive.

Of course if your dog is still a puppy there are entirely different reasons as to why your shoes are so attractive. We’ll tackles those problems in another post!

Until Then,

May your feet stay furry, your nose stay wet, and your food bowl never empty!

The Perry Street Dogs

Harley, Nakita, Phoenix, Chester, Angel, Mysty, Hercules, and Yoda!

(and oh yeah! The MOM with the Opposable Thumbs! BOL!)

Responsible Dog Ownership Means Leashing Your Dog

There have been many cases of off leash dogs biting innocent bystanders in our neck of the woods lately, so I thought today I would address the subject of owner responsibility. Owning a dog is a serious responsibility, one that should not be taken lightly. But what exactly does being a responsible dog owner mean? Well, it is easy, but it does involve a few different elements.

First of all, you’ve got to make sure that your dog does not become a nuisance to others. Your dog shouldn’t be out roaming the streets, destroying property, chasing animals or children, leaving excrement in the park, barking incessantly, etc. It really comes down to proper control of your dog, good dog training, cleaning up after your good friend, and giving him or her the proper attention and exercise that is needed. Here are some golden rules for owning a dog.

You should be committed to properly training and socializing your furry friend. You might consider a dog training class if you have never trained a dog before. You should become involved in activities that both you and your dog find enjoyable, such as agility training, fetch, Frisbee, running, swimming or learning tricks. You should protect him from any harm (using a leash on walks is a good place to start,) instill good doggy manners, and teach him what is right from wrong.

You will commit to your dog as a lifelong companion. You will love and care for him, provide good nutrition and veterinary care, regular exercise, and mental stimulation. Regular veterinary check-ups and vaccinations are not optional they are NECESSARY to your dogs good health. Most importantly, you will take responsibility for everything your pet does, and do everything in your power to ensure that your pet does not harm another human or animal. This means keeping them leashed when out in public, and muzzling them if they have a tendency of aggressive behavior toward strangers.
Leashes not only protect others from your dog they protect your dog as well.

Just as it is your responsibility to teach your children, so is it your responsibility to teach your dog. But it is also your responsibility to follow the law in your area concerning animals. Walking your dog without a leash is NOT proper supervision, and in most communities it is illegal to do so unless you are in a designated off leash area. It also isn’t a very wise thing to do, and I’ll tell you why.

Animals react to body language and energy. If your body language and energy says you are tense, it will put even the most well trained dog on guard. We as pet owners love our dogs, we are not afraid of them and they behave well when with us. However, we must remember that just because we love our dog doesn’t mean everyone else does. When out in public with our canine companions it is our responsibility to see that they are controlled and do not invade the space of strangers.

Yeah I know, your dog is a wonder you can take him anywhere off leash, and he is fine with everyone. But is he? All it takes for an off leash dog to become a problem is someone else’s reaction. You can not control how someone else will react to your dog, but you can control how your dog reacts to them. Leashing your dog is not only the law, it is the smart thing to do. Most communities provide off leash dog parks of unrestricted play and exercise, use them.

Remember, the leash protects others from what your dog might do, but it ALSO protects your pet from what others might do. Be responsible, leash your pet on walks, it keeps everyone safe.

Until Next Time Remember

BE THE CHANGE YOU WISH TO SEE IN THE WORLD!

Everydogsmom

Foster Care – The Backbone of Animal Rescue

 

NEED A FEW REASONS TO BECOME A FOSTER HOME TO AN ABANDONED CAT OR DOG…

1 . Fostering is an ideal activity for people that love animals but cannot commit to having a lifelong pet. In fact, every additional foster parent that animal rescue groups can get represents in most cases the difference between life and death for animals abandoned in the streets, or removed from a life of abuse and neglect. Aside from regular day-to-day care (feeding, grooming, exercise), the responsibilities of a foster home may include basic training (housetraining, walking on leash, etc); behavior modification (to correct problems such as jumping, mouthing, barking, destructive chewing, dashing through doors, etc); socialization and temperament evaluation (to determine whether the dog or cat is good with different types of people and other animals); medical care (dispensing medication, taking the animal to vet appointments), and of course plenty of playtime and snuggling.

2 . Many animal rescue groups do not have a shelter, so they depend on the help of rescuers and foster parents to take care of kittens, cats, puppies and dogs until they are adopted. The more foster parents they have, the bigger the number of abandoned and/or neglected animals they can help. In fact, a shelter is not a good option in many ways because dogs and cats can lose touch with being in a home environment. Hereafter, a network of foster homes can take a dog or cat in and give them the care and training they need: the one that can only be accomplished at home. Fostering also bridges the gap between total abandonment and a permanent home. Just think of a shelter dog’s day: they can be in their cage (without human
contact) for more than 18 hours. If you multiply that by how many days they can be at the shelter, then the risk with a long-term dog or cat is that they lose touch and exposure to a loving home, interacting with people and even with other pets.

3 . It is a hugely rewarding experience to give an abandoned and/or mistreated animal a second chance to recover its health, as well as to provide him with love and affection while he/she is waiting to get a permanent loving home. The most amazing thing is that rescued animals respond to your care with lots of love … they cannot talk, but certainly they show how much they appreciate all your efforts. Fostering a dog or cat may seem like a formidable task, but it is a very tangible way to make a difference. Everyone benefits: the foster parent gets to spend time with a special dog or cat, while an animal rescue group gets valuable help with rescued animals. The foster dog or cat gets a break from a very hard life of abandonment and neglect, and a second chance at becoming a cherished pet. Then, the new owners get a dog or cat that is better adapted to home life, and therefore has a better chance of remaining in the new home forever.

4 . Pets reduce stress and anxiety! According to some studies, interacting with a dog or cat is a profound and effective stress reducer. It increases feelings of contentment and relaxation. Not for nothing dogs are described as man’s best friend! (even though for some people this applies to their cats!). Walking and/or playing with a pet is an effective mean of spending quality time at home, make exercise, reduce stress and anxiety, forget about the problems of the day … and to give your foster cat or dog lots of love, exercise and entertainment! Please consider to be a foster parent … abandoned animals will appreciate your help with all their hearts!

Animal rescue organizations always need more foster parents. For you it is a great way to have a “temporary” pet if you cannot adopt, or want to have a furry companion in general or if your own pet needs a friend to play and have company. By being a foster parent you get a companion and help save an animal at the same time! Some rescue organizations also need “special care” foster parents who are willing to take in sick animals or animals that require bottle feeding on a regular basis every day.

Animal rescue organizations are always grateful to foster parents because it takes dedication, time and love. When you see a five-day old kitten or puppy survive because of the efforts that foster parents make, it is a wonderful feeling of accomplishment! So, if you like the idea of being a foster parent, please check your local area for organizations in need of foster homes. There are many out there that would more than gratefully accept another foster home. Remember, more foster homes means the ability to rescue more animals in need.

Until Tomorrow Remember

BE THE CHANGE YOU SEEK

Everydogsmom

N.B: If you are a shelter or rescue group seeking foster homes please comment below. Tell us where you are, what you are looking for in a foster care provider, and what type of animals you rescue (cats, large dogs, small dogs, etc.) We will be sure to include you in the “Shelters and Rescues Looking for Assistance” post later in the week, and hopefully hook you up with some volunteers in your area!