Saturday, November 26, 2011

41 Beagles Saved From Spain

Photo: Andy Holzman
Yesterday, I saw a story on the news about 72 beagles being saved because an animal research lab was closing in Spain. All I could think of was there were all these dogs like my Homer out there who were suffering.

Luckily, the Beagle Freedom Project was able to bring 41 of these dogs home on Thanksgiving. Shannon Keith, the president of the organization maxed out her credit cards to make this trip possible. Currently 16 of the 41 beagles are staying temporarily at her LA home. The The other 31 dogs were adopted out in Europe.

It is believed that these dogs were being used to test for human drugs. Beagles are frequently chosen as test subjects because of their calmness and docility. The age of these beagles is between 4 to 7 years old.

The dogs have never seen anything but the inside of a crate. Now, as they wait to be fostered and/or adopted, they are in pens where they can move freely. Many got the chance to feel grace under the feet for the first time in their life.

Many of the dogs were given celebrity names like Tom Hanks and Sylvester Stallone since they were headed to LA. They seemed to have settled into their surroundings just fine.

How You Can Help

Originally, the Beagle Freedom Project started in December 2010 when a research lab from California gave Beagles their shot at freedom. It's been going strong ever since.

There are still beagles out there who are looking for a foster home or a forever home. The group also accepts donations. At the end of the year, their 2012 calendar will be coming out too.

Let's Discuss!

Have you known a dog that was rescued from a research lab?

Related Posts

Pit Bull Nation
Why Not Draw The Dog
Leaving On A Jet Plane
Home For The Holidays
One Day Can Make A Difference

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Pit Bull Nation

Pit Bull Nation

Pit Bulls are dogs that are constantly under the eye of scrutiny. Articles like this one show the typical attitude of the media when it comes to this breed. It’s a shame too because most times, the reader gets only half the story. I’ve been a long-time advocate of this breed because they have been so unfairly judged. When I was asked to review Pit Bull Nation by Cindy Marabito, I jumped at the chance.

Book Review

One of the biggest misconceptions is that many people think this breed of dogs are monsters. This book helps to dispel that myth. It’s a collection of stories that narrate one women’s journey from being a steadfast animal lover to a fearless animal crusader.

The book begins in 1995 when Cindy Marabito and her husband Scott move from Texas to Northern California. While they are settling in to their new life there, Cindy becomes a volunteer at the CCACC (Coastal County Animal Care and Control). Known for its strong reputation, we are taken on an eye-opening journey through the author’s time there while volunteering. At first, Cindy was afraid to even be in the breed’s presence, but after working at the shelter for awhile, she discovered aspects of this special breed never fully realized.

In order to help save more of these incredible dogs, she founded Round Up Rescue in 1998. The book shows how starting a non-profit is no easy task. Each victory is offset by a setback. If I were to use one word to describe this book, it would have to be honesty. It’s an informative and
passionate view into the world of shelters and rescue groups.

We meet such lively and memorable dogs. One of which was named Mookie wound up choosing them and always sat by their door until his negligent owners decided to give him to them. Another was named Martha who loved to play with tennis balls. Many other dogs like Junior, Girl, Pip and Arthur have unique and remarkable stories that stay with you after the book is finished.

Photo: 123RF Stock Photos
There are many stories that have fantastic outcomes. Yet, like life, not every one of these has a fairy tale ending. This book shows how the more important a situation is, the more power and politics come into play. We learn how rescue groups originate and the difficult battles they endure every day to save dogs who otherwise would be euthanized.

I highly recommend this book. If you are a dog lover or have been curious about the pit bull mystique, this book is a must-read. However, because the stories are real some of them may be hard to handle for the faint-hearted dog fans. Still, the message from the author is powerful. She has such a passion for saving animals it’s incredible and shines through.

You can learn more about Cindy and her rescue group through the following websites:
Pit Bull Nation Website (Every book purchase goes towards building the best shelter possible for Reunion Rescue)
Reunion Rescue Facebook Page
Amazon Link

Let’s Discuss!

What are your thoughts on this breed? How has a pit bull touched your life?

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Monday, November 21, 2011

Home 4 The Holiday Hits A New Milestone

Photo Resource: 123RF Stock Photos
Each year, over eight million animals are found homeless. Half of those animals wind up being euthanized.

Some of you may remember the Home 4 The Holiday blog posts from last year. Well, IAMS is back helping pets to find new homes again this year. Their goal is to have 1.5 million animals be placed permanently and give out 5,000,000 bowls of food to shelters in need. Since October 1st, over 413,000 animals have been adopted, as you can see below.

Home 4 The HolidaysStats
Dog/Puppy 214,741
Cat/Kitten 190,484
Other Animal Adoptions8,678
Total adoptions so far: 413,903
Total meals donated so far:/td> 1,525,920
They've been going strong in helping animals find forever homes and recently hit a new milestone. On Friday November 19, over 6,000,000 animals have found a new home!.

Help Animals This Holiday Season!

I'm very excited to announce that Too Kool Doggies is doing a special joint promotion with Home 4 the Holidays on Twitter. If you're on Twitter, you can feed hungry animals by just typing a few characters. Each tweet that includes @Iams and #TKD4Shelters in their tweet will give 10 meals to shelters. This will be happening from Tuesday, November 22nd to Tuesday, November 29.

If you're not on Twitter but still would like to help, you can also create a special holiday card through the Iams Facebook page. Each time a person likes the Facebook page, comments on a post or photo, Iams will donate a free bowl of food.
Have you recently adopted a pet? You can spread the news and help animals at the same time. Use the Iams Card Creator to create a special announcement and Iams will donate bowls of food for each card created.

Let's Discuss!

Are you bringing a pet home this holiday season? What do you love most about this program?

Related Posts

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One Day Can Make A Difference

*Special Thanks to Chad Darwin of Citizen Payne for making this possible.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Adventures In Doggy Day Care

Dogs are great pets, but sometimes, it's hard to fit them into our day to day routine. Most of us have to work, and many times, dogs aren't allowed in the workplace.

Ever since I've been working a contract position full-time, I've been taking Homer — and in some cases all three dogs — to doggy day care. The main reason I started, was the fact that Homer has such extreme separation anxiety issues when all of the dogs were left home alone. Homer would bust through the baby gates into the area of our house that we had sectioned off. His only way to cope was to run around, even if it meant going to areas of the house that were off-limits.

While the Thundershirt worked pretty well, it got to the point that whenever Homer saw it he would run and hide. Why? Because any time I'd take it out, he'd associate it with being home without humans.

That being said, the Thundershirt is a great product but in order for me to have it work in the best way possible, I have to start putting it on Homer on times where there's someone at home, to desensitize the situation for him.

A New Routine

Because my time has been limited, I decided to try out doggy day care as an option. I called the daycare center to learn about their program. After taking Homer the first day when I was most concerned, I received no phone calls at work. Instead I called the center more than once because I was uncertain of Homer's actions toward other dogs. To my surprise, I was told that Homer was being a good boy and if that he started misbehaving, I would have been called. Many times while I was walking him on leash, his encounters with other dogs would be unpredictable.

When I came to pick up Homer that day, I was relieved to hear that he had a good day. He of course was elated to see me, yelping cries of joy. When we got home, he was pretty tuckered out and mellow.

After a couple more daycare sessions, I noticed a change in Homer on our walks. When we would come in close proximity to other dogs, he didn't feel the need to challenge them. His reaction was more like I want to say hello and be your friend. It was apparent that doing day care was an ideal solution for weekdays when everyone in the house had lots to do.

A Recent Discovery

Probably what surprised me the most about my dogs at day care was the reaction of my oldest dog Cookie. I had forgotten that Cookie hadn't been crated in a long time. I had let the center know that she had past injuries and to be careful when handling her.

Since it was her first day, I called the center again just like I did with Homer. The lady told me that Cookie let out a horrendous cry when they tried to put her in the crate. (The dogs are crated for a short time before their play session would begin at 9am). Instead, Cookie was staying with one of the workers while he did his tasks and they kept her separate from other dogs.

I then told the center that Cookie would be fine with other dogs, she just doesn't like being crated. Cookie has always been a good girl, we never really had to crate her since she way past her puppy stage when we brought her home. The center worker agreed to mix her with the other dogs, and I checked in later. She then told me everything was fine.

Positive Results

I think that doggy day care is an excellent alternative for handling their schedules on days one needs to work long hours. Here are some of the benefits:
  • They get socialized with other dogs in a neutral territory.
  • A full day at day care will tire out your pooch. It's a great release for excess energy.
  • You know that someone will be there looking after them. They are experienced in handling dogs and will make a dog's stay as comfortable as possible.
  • The cost is pretty reasonable. While taking your dog every day may add up, taking them occasionally is the price equivalent of two walks.

Some important features to look for in a good dog daycare business are:
  • It's important that the place is clean. Most day care centers will have a doggy odor smell but that's a given considering so many dogs are staying in one area. It's common to see them constantly wiping up accidents with a mop and pail nearby.
  • The way the employees treat their customers. I'm far more likely to take my dogs to a place where the employees are glad to see my dog instead of acting like everything is routine. While taking care of dogs isn't the most glamourous job in the world, people who choose to work with dogs, do it because they love it. A dog owner shouldn't settle for less.
  • Find a place that has ample space. All doggy day care places are not alike. Some places segment their areas and the dogs are kept confined most of the day. A good daycare establishment will have access to indoor and outdoor spaces.

Other Alternatives

While most big cities have dog daycare centers, smaller cities and towns may be more limited with this option. Other alternatives may be hiring a dog sitter or dog walker, having your dog as an outside dog during the day or leaving him with a close friend or relative during the day.

Let's Discuss!

How do you balance work and life with dogs?

Related Posts

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