Suddenly it doesn’t seem like it was such a bad year after all!

Well, here we are folks! New Year’s Eve. As many of us do at this time of year I have been sitting here and thinking about the year just ending. When I started my reminiscing I was of the mind that 2012 had been a horrible year. It was a year that brought with it many things that my heart could not allow me to wrap my head around both personal and animal welfare related. I said as much in personal posts on Facebook and on the Everything Worth Knowing Facebook page. That’s when YOU, my readers and followers reminded me of the GOOD points of 2012.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMy good friend Anne Craig reminded me that this was the year fate brought me the newest addition to our pack. Nine year old Yoda, the Dachshund saved from a high kill Northern California shelter in the nick of time by my friend Pascale Milhau, was a cross boarder rescue aided by my friend Carole Harden-Taylor and many other amazing people.

Thanks to Pascale Milhau for providing me with the brand new sewing machine that keeps my special needs boys in belly bands! Thanks to Carole Harden-Taylor for providing us with Ambassador Yoda’s Royal chariot which enabled us to get out and talk to people about adopting senior dogs like Yoda. Also thanks to Anne Craig for following Yoda’s rescue and transport so closely and providing me with as much pertinent information as possible to aid in his rehab training.

My friend and fellow Worldwide Canine Crusade member, Jetz Maddox reminded me that this was the year I was discovered by the WCC and asked to appear on their radio show. That radio appearance broadened my animal advocacy network considerably, and introduced me to some very exceptional people who are as passionate as I am about changing the face of animal welfare. It was also the radio broadcast that saw people from many different countries work together to see that an innocent dog got the veterinary care he needed in a BSL ruled country where people are afraid to take their short haired dogs to the vet.

It was the year we saw many places overturn their breed bans and legislate owner responsibility. It was also the year that the US government finally decided that K9 members of the armed forces should be treated like the veterans they are by eliminating their “military equipment” designation so they would not be left behind.

It was the year I launched the BSL is BS poster campaign. Thanks Rick Galluzzo and Margarita Amelia Siliézar for providing me with the photos of your dogs that inspired the series (surprisingly none of the “BSL is BS” dogs are mine! LOL)

Hercules in June 2010 one year after rescue.

Hercules in June 2010 one year after rescue.

But on a more personal note, it was the year my puppy mill rescue finally began to come out of his shell. Hercules, a tiny little toy poodle who came to us three years ago with his buddy a little miniature poodle we named Romeo. (Click here to read Hercules story) Romeo was adopted out in no time, but Hercules just didn’t make ANY progress. He got as far as mostly trusting my husband and I, but he still ran when approached too quickly. This year we started to notice some major changes in Hercules. He began to seek out our attention, climbing into our laps when we sat or jumping up to greet us when we came through the door. It is clear, that after three years with us the little guy is really starting to heal and trust. He is becoming a happy dog who knows he is loved, and THAT alone in my books makes 2012 a record year!

Well, like I said before it’s New Years Eve, and as many of you are doing I am sitting here thinking about the past year, and you know what? Suddenly it doesn’t seem like it was such a bad year after all! Funny how that works! When you start looking at all the positives instead of dwelling on all the negatives, it makes you optimistic that 2013 will be an even better year!

Happy New Year Everybody!

Everydogsmom

 

How to have a safe and happy holiday season…without visiting your vet!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAChristmas and the New Year is a time of joy and cheer for us and our families and is also often a time of stress, rushing about and pulling your hair out!

Here are some handy tips for you to help maintain your sanity and keep you and your dog happy and safe over the festive season.

Once a year we fill our rooms up with trees, dangling objects, lights and even hang food around in odd places. We know what is going on, but our dogs probably just think we have gone a bit nuts in the nicest of ways!

Dogs can easily be caught up in tinsel and find hanging decorations particularly appealing and ripe for pulling off.  Life will be a lot easier and safer if you limit your dog’s access to the area if you need to and don’t leave tree and dog unattended!

  • Electrics: Make sure you keep your tree lights and any other electrical decorations safely out of your dogs reach-especially if your dog is inclined to investigate or chew through exposed electrical cord. Electrocution can easily be caused.
  • Trees: If you have a real tree, the needles which fall daily can become stuck in your dog’s paws and are also dangerous if eaten, vacuum daily and keep your dog (and other animals) away from them. Don’t let your dog drink the tree water. Some dogs like to mark out against them (why else did human bring a tree indoors but to save going out in the cold?) so bear that in mind too!
  • Tree Decor: From a dogs point of view – the Christmas tree with its dangling goodies is pretty tempting and begging to be investigated, trees can easily topple over especially once weighed down with decorations and lights etc so try to secure the tree down so it does not fall over so easily if bumped into by your dog (or wagging tail). Trees do tend to look better by the window rather than being worn round the house by your enthusiatic dog!
  • Plants: Many Christmas plants including Mistletoe, Holly, Pot Pourrie and Poinsettias are toxic, keep them out of your dogs reach and seek immediate veterinary advice if you think your pet has ingested.
  • Decorations: Those which are edible (or not when they are ten years old) to humans, e.g. hanging chocolate tree decorations may be sniffed out by your dog with his amazing nose detection capabilities, so keep these away. Chocolate is just pure poison to your dogs system, tinsel, tin foil, cling film etc can also be dangerous if swallowed and cause serious internal problems. Fairy lights look lovely, problems can arise when dogs get tangled up in any loose wires left lying around.
  • Spray snow – the type in the cans, is attractive on the insides of your windows, check you dog isn’t interested in licking/scratching it off, chemicals=poisons.
  • Blu-tack and similar adhesives may cause drooling, vomiting and/or diarrhoea if eaten by your dog. Silica gel found in packaging can have the same affect-contact your vet for advice.
  • Plastic bags and balloons are also a hazard-keep them away from your dog.
  • Candles: If you like to use candles-do place where your dog, e.g. your dogs waggy tail, will not accidentally knock over.

Christmas Presents:

  • Your goodies: Many dogs will be intrigued by the sudden appearance of wrapped boxes and who could blame them, so if you don’t want yours unwrapped by Santa’s little helper, keep them boxes hidden!
  • Wrappings, trimmings etc can be very dangerous if chewed or swallowed, so keep safely away when not in use & bin after.
  • Doggie presents: Make sure your dogs own Christmas present(s) are ’dog proof’ – suitable for your dog, robust enough and safe for use.

Christmas Day can in some households seem like a day gone mad from a dog’s view, then there is the excitement of the present opening, the paper, the noise, all those socks too!

If you have more than one dog and are giving out a present to each dog bear in mind how each dog is going to react with their new possession around the other dogs, sharing might be right out the window to begin with. Give your dogs space and maintain control – it’s not like you ‘re too busy right? You are after all supermum and superdad – dogs need your help too.

Festive Food, more food, did I mention there’s more food and treats:

Some of the foods we love to fill up on over Christmas are actually toxic for our dogs. It can be a tough job to keep a watch on your dog even with the extra set of eyes you have developed in the back of your head, but you’ll need to be one step ahead.

Cooked foods left on top of the oven are very tempting to your dog and many a time the whole lot has been reached and knocked back in one or two gulps; bones, trimmings, stuffing the lot-this can lead to an expensive out-of-hours veterinary visit or if you are lucky it will pass though and you will need one hell of a shovel or plastic bag out in the garden on Boxing Day, plus you’ve missed your lunch so watch out.

  • Diet – We often get carried away with extra festive treats and unusual foods this time of year, it’s nice to include our dogs and treat them too – but don’t forget that a sudden intake of unusual foods, or too much of anything is likely to cause diarrhoea and/or vomiting, so watch out for how much and what exactly your dog is being offered – keep an eye on any guests sneaking in the treats too, or Fido will end up with an upset tummy and it could be a messy and uncomfortable Christmas!
  • Chocolate is a definite NO! It contains a chemical called Theobromine which is actually poisonous to dogs and even just a small amount can be lethal for some. Chocolate poisoning can cause vomiting, diarrhoea, seizures and death. If you want to treat your dog – buy treats designed for dogs, our rescue dogs loves to chew on a carrot or apple, keep them safe and keep them healthy.  If you suspect chocolate poisoning – contact a vet immediately.
  • Sweetcorn isn’t digested and corn on the cob is very dangerous, cobs can easily cause an obstruction which will require surgery to remove if it doesn’t kill your dog. If you have corn on the cob-dispose of the cobs where your dog can’t reach and never ever feed to your dog.
  • Bones – you may have more cooked meats around and your dog is sure to have spotted exactly where all his goodies are! Bones can be dangerous, cooked ones becoming brittle and easily breaking into sharp pieces which can choke a dog, don’t give anything you wouldn’t usually.
  • Coffee – alcohol – sweets – yummy for us but NO NO NO for our canine friends. Give your dog a nice Christmas and keep well away.
  • Grapes, raisins and sultanas should not be fed to your dog, these are now known to be toxic to dogs and can cause poisoning. Cases of kidney failure have been documented. Other foods such as liquorice, avocados, onions and some nuts can also cause problems.A poisons leaflet produced by the British Veterinary Association is available online here.

Fun, parties & visitors over the holidays:

Some dogs will enjoy extra people around, for some it can be very stressful-just because you are enjoying ‘festive fun’ it, doesn’t mean your dog must too.

  • If you’re hosting a party/get together: Some dogs will becomeoverexcited or frightened when around unusual noises such as children toys, balloons popping, party bangers, flashing lights etc and intoxicated visitors can also cause a dog to feel uneasy – being grabbed, cuddled and told your a good boy over and over by auntie who has hit the sherry early is not a dog’s idea of a fun day out, so plan in advance to help keep your best friend relaxed. If your dog is known not to cope well with these types of situations, or you haven’t owned your dog long enough to find out, don’t take chances, be ready with your dog’s ‘retreat area’:

Make sure your dog(s) has a retreat somewhere familiar where he can go and relax away from all the noise and excitement if he needs too or you need to put him somewhere safe, for example a room upstairs or a dog crate somewhere familiar and quiet. This is especially important if you are likely to become putting it bluntly – drunk and not much use to your dog. Provide some favorite chews, or a stuffed Kong to help keep him occupied,where he likes to be, leave the radio/TV on to help block out some noise, make sure he has the remote control handy too but don’t let him on the karaoke! Exercise in advance to help him settle down whilst you get on enjoying  yourself!

  • Extra guests: Many households will receive extra guests, relatives and often young children, so bear in mind that if your dog isn’t used to the extra attention, noise etc, have a quiet retreat as mentioned above. If your dog is happy mixing (not the cocktails hopefully) – keep an eye out for him becoming too excited and step in if that is the case.
  • Ground Rules: When your family and friends arrive, try laying down some house rules – ask your guests not to overfeed your dog or leave food and alcohol on the floor to help keep party food and drinks out of reach to your dog. But remember, when the booze is flowing, rules are out the window so be prepared in advance, you don’t want to end up trying to pull a trapped object out of your dog’s throat after he’s just found himself a plateful under the chair.
  • Children: Letting off steam at Christmas is all part of the fun, they are off school, enjoying themselves, excited and often charging about. Parents are knackered, stressed out and tired. It’s at times like this when dogs can be let down unintentionally and placed in awkward situations.

Please do not leave children and dogs alone attended-always make sure children and dogs are supervised by a competent adult at all times. If it is too much for your dog – just remove your dog from the situation, be vigilant and prevent accidents.

  • Exercise: Try your best to keep your dogs normal routine as much as possible – getting away from the washing up with the excuse of walking the dog does come in handy!
  • Fireworks are often used over the holiday season, especially on New Years Eve, read up on our firework advice here.
  • Extra people in and out increases the risk of your dog being let out of your home by mistake; always make sure doors are closed and that you know where your dog is – safely inside. Each year dogs go missing during the holiday period – is your dog wearing a collar and Id tag, is your dog identi-chipped?
  • Pain killers and human drugs for hangovers etc often get left lying around and these packets can be of interest to your dog, if you think your dog has swallowed any of these products contact your vet.

Record your vets number somewhere safe, just in case, be careful and give your dog a big hug from us this Xmas!

Merry Christmas & A Happy New Year to you all and your dogs!

The blog is shutting down for the Christmas season. We will be posting i the week between Christmas and New Years, but our next post will not come out until December 27th, 2012. We wish you all a safe and happy holiday! See you in the new year!

Until Tomorrow Remember

Merry Christmas to all! and to all a Good Night!

Everydogsmom

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Dunaway…you just shouldn’t have gone there!

The events that took place in Newtown Connicticut last Friday shocked and saddened the world! The senseless loss of the lives of twenty children eleven days before Christmas at the hands of an armed madman left us all reeling. Well most of us that is! But not the BSL supporters, no they decided to look to the tragedy for ways of denigrating “pit bulls” and their owners.

Showing the height of bad taste, on Monday December 17,2012 BSL supporter Pat Dunaway posted an article on opposingviews.com entitled: 20 Children Murdered, Not in Connecticut, by Pit Bulls this Year. We find this highly inappropriate, and feel that they have gone too far this time. So in the true tradition of Everything Worth Knowing, we are about to take apart Dunaway’s attempt at aligning his fight with such a tragic loss of life.

Let us forget for a moment that “pit bulls” had absolutely nothing to do with the tragic events which took place on December 14th, 2012 and focus on the fact that at a time when an entire world is mourning the loss of these children, Dunaway has the audacity to bring “pit bulls” into the equation. This is not our fight! This is not even something closely resembling our fight! This is not the kind of news story you trot out to prove your badly researched opinions on dog bites. Yet Dunaway does JUST that! With no respect for the family’s of the slain children he dismisses them as if “pit bulls” were the real focus all along.

Just 18 hours prior to the Connecticut massacre of 20 children, the 20th pit bull child murder was committed. And in the last seven weeks, pits have murdered a child every 12 days. 

Where does this guy get his information? Don’t you think if the number of child deaths had recently risen due to “pit bull” attacks we would have heard about it? Where are the news stories about all these children “murdered” by “pit bulls”? I haven’t seen a single one! I had better review the system by which I get my animal news, they must be missing something.

These stats are false as far as I can tell, but let’s ignore that for the moment and move on:

We’ve all sobbed and lamented about the deaths of the school children in Connecticut, as we should. We should be ashamed as a nation that this has been allowed to happen. Yet, 20 children this past year, and the year before, and the year before, were brutally killed by pit bulls. Did the president speak at their funerals, did he even send a card? Did the whole nation mourn for these children murdered by pit bulls? Where is the shame for these pit bull murders.

If death by “pit bull” is becoming so prevalent Dunaway, then by all means point me to the myriad of “Legitimate” information and stats you used to write this article. I am a dog lover, but if as you say this is such a prevalent problem then as a journalist I really need to address it! Oh, what’s that you say? dogsbite.org was your source? Well then I guess I have nothing to worry about then do I? Everyone knows that dogsbite.org was set up by “pit bull” haters to denigrate the breed as much as possible in the hopes of eradicating “pit bull” type dogs. Not a single thing they have to say is based in fact!

But Dunaway is not done yet, he goes on to say that the Connecticut children are not special:

What is the difference here? Why do the children in Connecticut rate more than those children who were murdered, brutally, by pit bulls? Why isn’t this issue garnering the same attention? The answer lies in the minds of those who follow the No Kill Equation.

What’s the difference? OMG! Did he just say that? I mean really? Is he actually asking us why the tragic death of twenty children at the hands of a madman is getting more attention than his trumped up manufactured lies about “pit bull” type dogs? Are you serious?

Okay, so we as Anti BSL activists have done battle with the likes of Colleen Lynn for years now. We are never surprised by the tactics she and her supporters use to try and denigrate “pit bulls” and their owners. THIS article however, knocked us on our asses! We are still reeling from the fact that BSL supporters actually have the audacity to take such a tragic occurrence, and try to use it to further their fight against our dogs.

I for one shut down my page on Friday after the news broke, many of my Anti BSL friends did the same. We thought that out of respect we would remain silent in contemplation. One of the only things posted to our page that day was our condolences to the families of the slain children. We were shocked and saddened by the tragedy and did not feel that at such a time it was appropriate to discuss the fight for our dogs. We felt it was a time for prayer and quiet contemplation.

BSL supporters have sunk to a new low with this one! Did Dunaway honestly think that ragging on the president for attending the funeral of a child killed by a violent madman was going to make him brownie points with anyone? Do Lynn’s dogsbite.org supporters honestly think that attempting to overshadow the Connecticut massacre with their “pit bull” propaganda is acceptable, or that no one will notice their sad and pathetic attempt to use the Connecticut tragedy as their own private forum for “pit bull” hatred?

To this we only have one thing to say! SHAME ON YOU Dunaway! How dare you trample on the memory of innocent children with your negative propaganda about dogs. How dare you try to lessen the seriousness of this incident with your petty attempts at journalism! Grow up! This is not the time or the place for your ridiculousness! Have some integrity, have some class, you shouldn’t have gone there but you did, now the least you can do is apologize to the families of the Connecticut children for trying to trivialize their murders with your witch hunt!

NUFF SAID!

To the families of the Connecticut victims we say, we are SO sorry for your loss, and our prayers are with you. We want the world to remember your children, to never forget that they were loved and had the world in front of them. Our fight is not important right now, what is important is remembering those lost to us, and to that end we wish to apologize for the likes of Pat Dunaway and friends. We will not allow their ilk to trivialize your tragedy for their own ends!

We leave you with this youtube video of Eric Clapton’s “Tears in Heaven” Know that our prayer candles are burning and the Connecticut victims and their families are in our hearts and prayers.

Until Next Time Remember

BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD

Everydogsmom

 

Saved Again! By a Global Community Working TOGETHER!

(Originally posted Sept. 27, 2010 when I was heading Let’s Adopt Canada, a position I resigned from in July of 2011 due to differences of opinion on rescue policy.)

Look at this face…could you abandon her in an empty apartment?

Sundays are usually slow and peaceful, we spend time with the dogs, play with the cats, and do the weeks laundry. Not so this past Sunday. One of my rescues was abandoned in an empty apartment BY HER FOSTER CARE PROVIDER. My husband and I made the mad dash to Toronto, and re-rescued Chloe.

Chloe is safe now, and a wonderful couple from Niagara Falls have stepped up and offered to foster her until we can find her a wonderful forever home.

Chloe will have spay surgery before being movedto her foster home early next week. My daughter has agreed to pay the seventy five dollar fee to have the cat fixed and her shots brought up to date.

Two people have already stepped forward to make a difference for this cat. We begin to see a community of people working toward a common goal.  

Chloe will never again worry whether she will have food, never again cower under a dumpster in a cold driving rain, never again give birth to a litter of kittens that die from starvation or exposure. Chloe is safe tonight because someone cared. She will be taken care of because someone answered my call for help. She will live a life of love because a community cared enough to work together and make things happen.

This IS rescue the way it should be! This is the kind of work that saves lives and makes a difference! Are you a part of the problem, or are you a part of the solution?

UPDATE: Chloe’s foster family can not bear to part with her. They have become foster failures and adopted her! We’re good with that!

Until next time remember,

BE THE CHANGE YOU WISH TO SEE IN THE WORLD

Everydogsmom

 

Kitten Mills are Overlooked in the Fight Against Abuse

Last week I discussed puppy mills, those horrible places where dogs are incarcerated and forced to produce litter after litter for the satisfaction of a greedy human who cares nothing about their health or welfare. We all know they exist, we all hate them, and we all want the suffering stopped. But were you aware that kitten mills also exist?

Cats like these spend their entire lives in crates.

The media has given puppy mills at least enough attention to make the phrase a commonplace euphemism for “bad puppy breeder,” but little attention has been given to kitten mills. The truth is, any type of animal can be milled, and any time people are willing to financially support these mills, there will always be more that crop up and more that win the battles that try to shut them down. Due to a lack of public attention, many former puppy mill breeders have switched gears, and now offer a multitude of cats to the public as well as private organizations without concern for the drastic over–breeding of the animal, the conditions it lives in, or its fate once the kitten leaves their property.

Kitten mills are of course just another example of humanity’s supreme reign over the animal kingdom, we have the power to torture for profit, and thus we do. However, when enough people bond together in an effort to limit or minimize this form of torture, something can be done to prevent the ongoing abuse. While these kitten breeders tend to focus highly on the over—production of “purebred” cats, the truth is that the vast majority of cat owners do not know the difference between most breeds of cats, notwithstanding the most obvious types; Siamese, Himalayan, and the like.

A few startling statistics for the cat world can really shake up our perception of the need for anyone anywhere to breed cats at all, let alone in vast quantities. According to the Humane League of the United States, most cats are adopted via a casual rescue effort. About 48% of human owned cats are taken in as strays, or found by someone who gives the kitten or cat to a friend, or is adopted directly from a rescue league. A much smaller percentage, 14%, adopts their cats from shelters, especially high kill shelters. The remaining percentage goes directly to either breeders or pet stores. However, with all this kitty purchasing going on, 71% of all cats or kittens that find themselves in the unfortunate position of being in a shelter are euthanized before suitable homes can be found. Only one out of every five kittens and cats are destined to live in one home for their lifetime. Most cats find themselves abandoned or left on the shelter doorstep when they are either too much responsibility or lose their cute little kitten appeal.

So, we already know that pet overpopulation is a big problem in this country, and many other countries. Yet, really, what would keep a cat breeder of one hundred and fifty kittens in business. Unfortunately, what doesn’t make it out into the public as a birthday present for a loved one or as a new companion for a home with love to spare, end up being sold in bulk to laboratories and other testing facilities. This statistic alone makes someone like me want to run out and purchase two or three of the kittens I could give good homes to in order to prevent those few a treacherous life of abuse and neglect. However, once I give the kitten mill a single dime from my own pocket, I am giving them my business. And the business of abuse is not one that my dollar, nor anyone else’s who claims to have even a shred of love and compassion in their hearts, should support.

So perhaps you are reading this and you are enraged and affected and you think the human race needs to be taught a great big lesson in compassion and responsible and ethical behavior toward all living creatures.You would be right. But when this article is finished, are you going to stop reading, tell a few important people in your life what horrid things we do to the innocent for a quick and easy buck, and then resume your daily business? Or do you think you might be affected enough to take on a little action?

You have probably just learned something you did not already know. The focus for years has been on puppy mills. Kitten mills fall through the cracks, because people don’t see cats as a commodity in the same way they view puppies. Both so called “business operations” abuse animals, both must be stopped, so why is the focus always on puppy mills? Kitten mills are easier to hide, cats don’t make as much noise as dogs, a dogs bark is louder than a cats meow. People are unaware that kitten mills exist, therefore when they fight such abuse they focus on the problem they know about, puppies.

So today I give you a challenge. You are going to surf the net today anyway aren’t you? That is probably how you ended up here reading this. So now I challenge you to find any information you can on the subject of kitten mills. Inform yourself, share that information with a friend and then decide how you will take action. Will you start a petition? Join your local shelter’s volunteer list? Speak to your senator or MPP? Or will you shake your head and say oh that’s terrible, and move on to the next article? What will you do with the information you now possess? The ball is in your court, will you step up and try to make a difference?

Until Tomorrow Remember.

BE THE CHANGE YOU WISH TO SEE IN THE WORLD

Everydogsmom

Just an Update on the situation at hand…

I write to you today covered in blankets and awaiting a furnace repair man. Yes I know it isn’t THAT cold yet, after all it is only December, but my small breed dogs would beg to differ if they cared to emerge from their blanketed cocoons and have their say that is! They (thankfully) remain blanketed and warm. I however am not happy with the fact that our inefficient furnace company has taken over 48 hours to address this problem while we all freeze our tooshes off!

So what do you do with eight dogs when there’s no heat and you live in Central Ontario where some nights in December can go below freezing? Simple you gather them all up pile a lot of blankets on the bed and sleep in a pile humans and dogs alike! The only problem being the spatial issue. Let’s just say I seriously need a nap, right after a very hot bath.

But it did bring me to the point of today’s blog. I have a question for you, are you prepared for a furnace outage? Now for our big dogs this isn’t such a tragedy. They will all sleep together in a pile bringing their blankets to the big kitchen floor and hunkering down to keep each other warm. But what abut our small breed dogs, especially our little Californian import Yoda? As I said before lots of blankets, and a vigilant Mom who makes sure no one gets down off the warm blanket filled bed to seek private sleeping quarters. It was a long night!

We made it through our second night without heat and now we all sit wrapped in blankets waiting for the furnace repair guy who could show up any time between 10 and 2. Hopefully our sojourn with the cold will end by two this afternoon and life can get back to normal. So if I seem a little incapable of writing today it’s only the cold, and the fact that typing in mittens is virtually impossible! I just wanted to let you all know that we will be back tomorrow in fine form and perhaps making far more sense than we do today!

Keep warm everybody! See you all tomorrow!

Everydogsmom

Jus’ Sayin’ (Updated!)

Aside

Salem, Massachusetts 1692 – Mass hysteria takes over the population and anyone with the slightest deviation from what is considered normal is hunted down and burned at stake accused of being a witch.

Sikeston, Missouri 2012 – Authorities begin rounding up all dogs that “look” like “pit bulls” and impounding them for later euthanization.

Do you see a parallel here? How is it that society can get so irrational? The answer to that is quite simply “hysteria is contagious.” All it takes is one irrational nutbar (enter Barbara Kay of the National Post) and a wild half-baked theory blown out of proportion, and you have mass hysteria!

In the late 1600’s it was witches, now today in 2012 it’s “pit bull” type dogs. If we go back through history we can find a thousand and one examples of mass hysteria created by one or more people who weren’t quite in their right mind.

I could perhaps understand the contagious mass hysteria of the Salem Witch trials. I mean after all man was not so technologically and scientifically advanced back then. It is not unseemly to think that a less educated population could be more prone to flights of fancy such as belief in and need to eradicate witches. A more primitive society would have a strong desire to eradicate that which they can not understand or explain. To the more primitive society of the 1600’s, different meant dangerous.

I can not understand that attitude in today’s society, where we preach tolerance and acceptance, where we say the accused are innocent until proven guilty. How therefore can a society which claims to be so forward thinking condemn thousands of dogs for the actions of a few?

How are the authorities in Sikeston, MO any different from the German army in world war two? (yes I went there!) Hitler had his troops round up all Jewishs people and people who looked like they might be Jewish, many of whom were later marched into gas chambers and murdered for their religious beliefs and their looks. (Hitler was determined to create the perfect blue eyed blonde haired race. Look it up, it’s true.)

Now here we are generations later and now the target is the “pit bull” or anything determined to “look” like a “pit bull.” Have we learned nothing from history?

Okay so by now maybe I have lost some of you, but those of you still with me are starting to see my parallel, aren’t you? You are wondering how we can have come so far in our knowledge and understanding of so many things yet still be draconian in our thinking when it comes to companion animals.

Once again the answer is a simple one. We are human. We do not like to accept new ways of thinking or acting. The ideals of our parents generation that companion animals have no feelings, emotions, or attachments, have been drilled into us since we were barely able to crawl. The phrase “it’s just a dog” is familiar to us all.

However, there are people who think differently, people like me who have learned first hand that animals are far more complex than we give them credit for. People who understand that it’s not “just a dog” it is a living breathing being that has a right to live.

Barbara Kay attacked Cesar Milan for saying that bans of pit bulls are “prejudicial” and miss the point: “It’s just like an anti-Mexican or an anti-gay law.” She thinks that one can not be prejudiced against a dog because dog’s are just “consumer items.” (her words not mine.)

Therein lies the problem. The BSL supporters out there take offence when you compare them to Hitler, but mass genocide is what they are proposing for “pit bull” type dogs. They act as if they have only to eradicate every “pit bull” type dog on the planet and no one will ever again be victim to a dog bite. Isn’t that kind of like saying if we eradicate every Mexican there will be no more illegal immigrants, or if we eradicate every gay person every human being born after that will be straight?

Ridiculous notions to be sure, but some people actually believe their own fancifully hysterical imaginings. Unfortunately for us and our dogs, sometimes those irrational thinking hysterics are given a public forum. They then use that public forum to create mass hysteria. That mass hysteria results in things like the Sikeston, MO “pit bull” roundup.

The only thing we can do to combat this mass hysteria is stick to our guns and continue to speak up for our dogs. We must make others understand that these types of hysterical reactions are not the answer. Education and understanding are the answer!

If we as a society take responsibility for our decision to keep companion animals then we have a responsibility to see that those animals do no harm. If we are going to claim superior intelligence to the animal kingdom, then we can’t really put all the blame on them when things go wrong now can we?

 

Jus’ Sayin”

Here is an update on the situation in Sikeston, MO

Everydogsmom