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Archive for the ‘Animal Welfare’ Category

my summer project…

In Animal Rescue, Animal Welfare, Humane Education, Life with dogs on Sunday, 9 June 2013 at 05:37

i work in the schools, so i am off for the summer and, as all of you who work in the schools know, we probably get even more excited about this time than the kids do!  my plan was to have a nice quiet summer, but someone else had other plans for me.  first, i want to share the following article:

Do Animals Reincarnate?

I Kuthumi greet you once more. I come in request to answer the question “Do animals have multiple lives as humans do?”

This is an interesting question and will be of interest to many. First I must tell you that all animals contain a consciousness.
Some species contain a more developed consciousness than others. Yet all behavior patterns stem from DNA and consciousness. Man has often thought of the elemental, plant, mineral and animal kingdoms as lower than himself. Yet all are part of creation and all contain consciousness.

All forms of life in God’s eyes are precious.

The answer to the question asked is yes, they do. The most familiar example I can give you is the dog, often known as your faithful companion. The soul of a dog evolves with each life time of experience. As the dog evolves in each lifetime, it usually forms a close bond with a human being, often more than one. As the dog cannot speak your language, it will communicate through energy and facial expressions.

Please remember I use the dog as a example. You often feel a dogs energy. One who is evolved will provide a peaceful energy as you rub your hand through it’s fur. Older people often receive great healing on an energetic level from an animal, they feel calm, peaceful in an evolved animal’s presence. Those who are unwell will often heal more quickly with the intermittent presence of a dog.

The dog has a very faithful nature to those whom it considers it’s family. Many times the dog will energetically take negative energy from your energy field. Of course if there is a lot of negative energy the dog can and will become ill, and sometimes even cross due to the great amount of negative energy it has “taken” from you. Many animals work on an energetic level, particularly the domestic dog and cat.

Those animals who remain in their native state, what you would term wild animals, do evolve, yet at a slower rate. Their consciousness is not as developed, so their focus is on survival and caring for their young.

Now the subject of incarnation. Let me continue with the example of the dog.

The more evolved the consciousness of the animal, the more they are able to communicate their feelings.

By this I mean of course the feelings of the emotional body. Feelings of love, grief, happiness, questioning – “why, why are you going away,” for example. Also feelings of great sadness. All of this the dog is able to communicate to you through your physical eyes and your own intuitive field of energy. So when a close relationship between a dog and a human is close, a bond is formed. This is similar to what you would experience with another human. You refer to these as “soul mates.” So you can have a dog, cat or horse as a soul mate also. Remember please that this occurs only in a close relationship with an animal of evolved consciousness.

Further, just as humans decide prior to incarnation to play a part in each others lives in the coming incarnation, so can animals with a human. The animal may not look the same as in it’s previous life. The fur may be a different color for example. It may be a different breed of dog. Yet they meet and the bond between dog and human is strengthened. Both are aware of a strong feeling of “knowing” the other. This is on the soul level, which is consciously felt as a “knowing.” Both have chosen this.

This is a higher level of consciousness for the dog. The dog incarnates through choice. At this level the life path is also known before incarnating. Life situations and circumstances will place the dog and human together at the correct time in both lives. The soul growth and purpose will flow as it is meant to.

Any karma owed is also experienced and we would hope, healed. So you see there are similar soul growth experiences for both human and dog.

Often an animal will reincarnate in one humans lifetime. You may recognize previous behavior patterns of a dog you thought had left you (died).

Yet the dog remembers on all planes, just as humans remember when they cross over. Just as you carry a soul imprint, including certain character traits, so does a dog. A cat is also capable of this. I tell you as I watch this one, Lynette, conducting a reading, I see pet animals coming forward to acknowledge the person along with loved ones crossed over. When they cross they all reside on the same plane you see.

Perhaps this is a timely reminder for mankind to respect all life forms. All play a part in the consciousness evolution of man and the planet. As you prepare to enter a year of Unity, of stepping forward in respect of one another, I ask you remember the many kingdoms who also share the planet- the elemental, plant, mineral and animal. I ask you develop a new awareness for these. It is not all about you – the human. No it is not. You must now begin to awaken your consciousness to sharing – with all. For all is part of God’s great creation.

Kuthumi

Retrieved from: http://www.kuthumischool.com/en/teachings/volume8/animals.php

and now this:

THE STORY OF BALOO AND JUDE…

 just in case you didn’t know ‘the story’ and why i KNOW i am keeping jude so soon, here it is (my apologies now, because i have a feeling this is going to be a long post).  baloo was my soul dog.  i have never felt a connection like i had with baloo.  i was doing rescue one day and all of a sudden i looked up and saw this little, all black, fuzzy puppy being brought through the parking lot to adoptions.  i cannot explain the exact feeling except to say part of my heart literally jumped out and landed in this baby.  he had not even gotten out of the parking lot (he was in his foster daddy’s arms).  i immediately went to see him and there was absolutely NO question he was coming home with me.  i have never felt a ‘pull’ like that…we were already connected.  i had always adopted adults because they can be more difficult to place, but i can’t explain it, i HAD TO have this pup. i already had my maggie and sadie, so i didn’t ‘need’ another dog.  the girls were bonded to each other so closely (in fact, maggie passed from brain cancer at 18 and sadie passed 3 weeks later…i always knew that would happen…sadie was 17 but in perfect health, she missed her sister.  i was comforted knowing they were together and they had lived wonderful lives).  for two 50-ish pound dogs, 17 and 18 is a very long life.  and it was a great one.

 anyway, i took home this puppy and it was love at first sight.  he was my rock and helped me through so many things.  some ‘quirks’ about baloo: he had this incredibly long tongue and it was usually out of his mouth; it was spotted, but only on one side; he was kind of a ‘loner’ and preferred me over other dogs; he loved chasing balls and would do so until he was literally lying on the ground so tired but still wanted to chase the ball.  when we went to the dog park, while maggie and sadie happily played with their friends, baloo would either chase the ball or be by my side; he became my running partner and we eventually worked up to 7 miles (it happened very slowly adding on a bit of distance at a time); as i said, he was my rock and always there to ‘lend an ear’ and knew exactly when i needed him. describing all his wonderful characteristics and amazing personality and abject outpouring of love that emanated from him  would take forever, but suffice to say, he was my heart and soul.   he could speak to me through his eyes and i always knew what he was saying.

 we spent 13 amazing years together.  when he lost use of his left side and was starting to refuse food or water, i knew it was near.  he had taken to sleeping downstairs because of his arthritis, but once i saw he was unable to use his side, i brought him up to the bedroom.  he kept trying to roll over on his ‘good’ side and try to go downstairs.  so, i placed him in the blue baby pool the puppies are now in so he would be safe.  baloo hated going to the vet when he got older and would shake and shake (this is a dog who was never scared of anything), so i promised him i would not take him if he was at all conscious because i could not make those his last moments.  i took off from work to be able to spend however long with him.  i also have to say that baloo was incredibly stubborn.  so, i knew when he absolutely refused food and i was giving him iv’s and water through a syringe i knew that he was telling me something.  i spent the next 72+ hours by his side at all times.  we talked, i held him, we sang songs.  this all started on a thursday evening.  by Sunday morning, he was even refusing to let me use the syringe.  i put my head to his head and asked him to please, somehow let me know.  this whole time he had been completely conscious, reacting to noises, my voice, etc., and i could not take him to the vet like that.  he would know. i told him that he had been the very best dog in the world and if he was ready, please let me know what to do as i could not and would not take him to the vet when he knew where he was.  as we were lying there on sunday, i looked into his eyes and told him i loved him but that mommy would be fine and he shouldn’t worry.  i swear that he had been looking directly in my eyes until i told him that.  all of a sudden, his eyes became glazed over and he would not respond to me or to any neural stimulation.  i placed the pool into the back of the car (suv) and held him on the trip, trying to get even a pupil reaction to tell me he was still conscious.  he did not respond and i could tell from his breathing that it was his time.  my vet came to the truck and he was already pretty much gone.  this is a dog that needed a baby needle to get at his veins and, even then, it took many, many tries and the vet got it on the first try (even more difficult to do when they are dehydrated…it was as if baloo was ‘letting’ this happen).

 during his last day, i promised him that, if he ever wanted to come back to me, i would somehow, somewhere find a black, flat coat, chow mix who was pregnant and the next thing to happen in that pool would be life and not death.  i told him to wait and come back then if he wanted.  at the time, i had NO IDEA where i would find a black, flattie/chow mama (or have the time off to be able to take care of a new mom and pups).  they are not exactly the most common mix.  then, the morning of my FIRST day off work for the summer, i saw a photo of martha.  seeing her on my very first morning off, i believe, was baloo’s doing.  i HAD TO have her!!!  i have fostered over 100 dogs and never had ‘that’ feeling, I do it because they need me, not that I need them.   i am pretty stoic and not prone to crying, but i immediately felt this fervor that she was going to be with me by hell or high water and i was crying the whole time in a panic that I would not be able to get her.  i knew aau was beyond full but i was willing to take her and however many puppies on as my own and figure it all out later.  a wonderful lady called dinema  can attest to the fact that i was a bit ‘insane’ about getting martha asap, as she was her contact at the shelter and i was in such a frenzy to get her i called dinema (likely waking her up) and was amazed she could tell what i was saying through my tears.  i also sent Martha through aau approvals BEGGING them to consider her, but also knowing that, no matter what, she would be with me and i would work out the details later.  next thing i know, i got an email almost immediately from Lisa (co-founder of angels among us pet rescue (aau) and unabashed golden and flattie lover).  all it said was “yes, we will take her.  meant to be.”  so, lisa got the next crying call thanking her for this knowing we were full and low on money.

 i truly believe (and, while some might think i am just putting coincidences together, i CHOOSE to believe-as a buddhist and as my soul dog’s mom) baloo made this happen.  i wasn’t prepared when i picked martha up from the vet.  i knew she looked like baloo and even had the spots on the same side of her tongue, but i was not prepared for the fact that she looked EXACTLY like baloo, even down to this ‘crease’ he had under his eyes that i haven’t seen in any dog but him.  she is baloo’s EXACT lookalike.   martha had her puppies and this one little guy would always inch his way over when i was around. not to mention, his tongue was always out like it was too big to fit in his mouth!  i felt a pull towards this tiny little man.  as the days have gone by, i have noticed certain things which make me sure it is either baloo or the new soul dog baloo has chosen for me so that i may start to heal.  jude is a loner, always preferring to sleep away from everyone else (unless he’s eating), just as baloo was. yesterday, they were all fast asleep after having just been fed.  i’m talking puppy snores, fat asleep.  anyway, i very quietly called baloo’s name in a way that i only did with him (i can’t even begin to explain it, but he always knew it and would come running…it’s pretty distinct).  i did that same thing and jude literally jumped up!  none of the other puppies even moved and i made sure to do it quietly so they woudn’t. i didn’t expect jude to react.  so, whether i am looking for things or this is truly from baloo, jude is my man.  he may end up looking like baloo and he may not, but i feel baloo’s spirit and know jude is special.  and that heart jump the day i saw baloo…i lost another piece when i first saw jude.  he was the first one i picked up to check when martha gave birth and he always wakes up when i enter the room. 

 sorry for the VERY LENGTHY post, but i wanted to tell baloo’s story as well as how i knew jude was going to be mine.  so, while i am so happy to have given martha and nine other lives safety, love, and a warm bed, i am not the one to thank.  the thanks goes to baloo. 

 i can only hope jude is even half the dog baloo was, but i love him unconditionally already.  my heart has never healed from losing him (nor do i think that part of my heart will ever heal…the part that leaped onto him when i saw him that first day), but i believe jude will help me to fill it a little bit.  i feel baloo’s touch all over this.  and baloo, i must say, your timing was PERFECT!

 martha and her puppes were rescued because of baloo and ten lives were saved because of him.  i miss him each and every day and hope i honor him with this family and in raising jude, as well as finding loving homes for them all.

 thanks for reading this far…if you did!  sorry, so long.  truthfully, i could go on about baloo and tell baloo stories for days. 

 ❤  I LOVE YOU, MY SOUL MATE AND LOVE OF MY LIFE, BALOO. ❤

***if you would like to follow the story of martha and her pups, please join ‘martha’s’ facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/groups/512790242114895/

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awesome reading suggestions for a rainy, dark saturday…

In Animal Rescue, Animal Welfare, Genes, Life with dogs, Pets on Saturday, 23 February 2013 at 15:41

http://wp.me/p3aeUo-J

a story of rescue…

In Animal Rescue, Animal Welfare, Life with dogs, Pets on Monday, 11 February 2013 at 16:02

http://humaneedblog.wordpress.com/2013/02/11/a-story-of-rescue/

humane education and issues in animal rescue-new blog

In Animal Rescue, Animal Welfare, Life with dogs, Pets on Monday, 11 February 2013 at 06:50

http://humaneedblog.wordpress.com/

videos edited by jimmy burrito with a little help from his mom…

In Animal Rescue, Animal Welfare, Life with dogs, Pets on Monday, 28 January 2013 at 07:49

here are some wonderful videos of recent angels among us pet rescue animals.  the videos were made by a wonderful aau volunteer, janet, and recent foster failure, jimmy burrito.  when we say “foster failure” it is really the ultimate foster success as the foster parent ends up realizing that their foster animal is already right where they belong, with their foster parent!  foster becomes adopter and all us “failures” get the ultimate gift.  saving a life, then seeing that life lived out free from abuse, uncertain death, neglect.  so, in reality, everyone wins!!!

jimmy burrito, janet's recent foster failure and editing partner.

jimmy burrito, janet’s recent foster failure and editing partner.

i am proud to have my own foster failures, maddie and callie.  maddie was saved 30 minutes before she and her brother were going to be taken “back” to be killed.  they were shelter favorites, having stayed many months as part of a cruelty case. like so many black dogs (maddie has some white markings, her brother was all black), they are the first killed in shelters and the most overlooked.  they are killed more than many others because they are black.  maybe none of the interesting markings some people like?  i think black dogs are fabulous.  i have always had multiple black dogs and will continue.  

my other foster failure is callie.  callie was at the shelter with horrific acid burns down her back,  it has been reported that dog fighters do this to “bait” dogs.  at any rate, callie’s burns have healed and she has what looks like a white lightening streak where her hair is growing back.  despite whatever she has been through, she is one of the sweetest, most playful, loving dogs ever.

if you would like to help out by becoming a foster home, please look up your local rescue or, if you are in or around the atlanta area, please go to http://www.angelsrescue.org and, if you are looking to add a pet to your family, please adopt, don’t shop.

rescue ONE until there are NONE! 

http://www.youtube.com/user/JimmyAAUpup?feature=watch

maddie my foster failure...saved with her brother one hour before they were scheduled to be killed after being part of a cruelty case.  maddie has a condition called "cerebellar hypoplasty" similar to cerebral palsy.  i hope to one day take her to classes with children who have cp, so they can meet her.

maddie my foster failure…saved with her brother one hour before they were scheduled to be killed after being part of a cruelty case. maddie has a condition called “cerebellar hypoplasty” similar to cerebral palsy. i hope to one day take her to classes with children who have cp, so they can meet her.

callie in her pajamas.   all 16 pounds of her!!!

callie in her pajamas. all 16 pounds of her!!!

puppy cam…

In Animal Rescue, Animal Welfare, Life with dogs, Meditation, Mindfulness, Pets, Well-being on Sunday, 27 January 2013 at 09:13

colleges now have “puppy rooms” during final so that students (and staff) can go in and spend time with puppies during what is a stressful time with finals and late nights studying.

http://www.cnn.com/2012/12/07/tech/social-media/apparently-this-matter-puppy-room/index.html  

http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/sideshow/college-offering-puppy-room-stressed-students-225038015.html

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/12/colleges-turn-to-dogs-to-help-finals-stress_n_1512156.html

http://www.npr.org/2012/12/04/166470837/puppies-may-help-students-ace-finals

just spending time with animals has been shown to lower blood pressure, heart rate, anxiety, heighten feelings of well-being…the research consistently supports the use of “animal assisted therapy” time and time again.  i can also speak from my own experiences with my very own pet therapist, linus, who has been working in the schools with me since he was a baby (this is his 11th year!).

linus, my pet therapist...

linus, my pet therapist…

while it would be great if all places of business, schools, colleges, etc. could have a puppy room (or a pet therapist/professional pet cuddler), two of my wonderful rescue friends have created “puppy cam.”  so far, there was puppy cam I, featuring liza and her puppies who all got adopted…then puppy cam II, with the two feist puppies, and now, puppy cam III where mia has JUST HAD PUPPIES starting at about 0100 this morning!!!  so, now we have new puppies to watch!  

so, in the same vein, i am posting the link to the angels among us puppycam so that, hopefully, you can watch when you are feeling stressed or just in need of watching the unconditional and instinctual love of a mom for her pups and watch the pups as they grow and develop. 

PUPPY CAM LINK: http://www.badferret.net/puppycam/

i hope you enjoy watching mia and her babies as much as we all do!  for more information, please visit http://www.angelsrescue.org or like our facebook page https://www.facebook.com/angelsrescue?fref=ts

for information regarding some of the many benefits of pet ownership, please see : http://wp.me/p2IpfL-2q

Watch “Just One Chance: A Story of Angels” on YouTube

In Animal Rescue, Animal Welfare, Education, Humane Education, Life with dogs, Pets on Saturday, 26 January 2013 at 17:02

meet my foster babies!

In Animal Rescue, Animal Welfare on Friday, 18 January 2013 at 07:52

these sweet babies were rescued by angels among us pet rescue in alpharetta, ga.  they are some sort of “low rider” mix.  maybe doxie or bassett.  they are about 8 weeks old.  please share if you know anyone looking to adopt.  sharing and networking makes such a difference in getting animals adopted!  and please…if you are looking for a pet, adopt, don’t shop.  

RESCUE ONE UNTIL THERE ARE NONE!

for information on these, or any of our highly adoptable cats and dogs, please visit http://www.angelsrescue.org and like our facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/angelsrescue?fref=ts

kurt, the only boy in the bunch!

gretl

brigitta

louisa

adopt, don’t shop.

In Animal Rescue, Animal Welfare on Sunday, 13 January 2013 at 15:09

http://www.wimp.com/babysaved/

THIS will make you smile…

In Animal Rescue, Animal Welfare, Life with dogs on Sunday, 13 January 2013 at 04:57

i wish most people were this kind and patient.  animals are so unconditional!

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/11/puppy-stairs-video_n_2458561.html?ncid=edlinkusaolp00000003

2013…a healthy pup and a healthy you!

In Animal Rescue, Animal Welfare, Fitness/Health on Friday, 11 January 2013 at 07:30
 


Exercising With Your Dog in 2013

Is exercise on your list of New Year’s Resolutions for 2013? Man’s best friend can be your best exercise partner.

 

With your dog as your workout companion, you’ll get a loyal and eager exercise partner in return. Research has shown that you’re more likely to stick to your fitness program if you exercise with your furry friend.

Here are a few tips for exercising with your dog:

Walk or jog your way to fitness 
Ready to turn your dog walks into short exercise routines? It’s the easiest way to start and a brisk walk can be great exercise for both you and your doggie. Start slowly (10 to 15 minutes) and work your way up to longer walks or jogs. Up to 20 or 30 minutes should be OK for most dogs, depending on their breed and health.

Beyond the walk

While walking and jogging can be great activities, why stop there? Add more variety with dog-friendly activities like…

Swimming – Water dogs like Labradors, Retrievers and Poodles enjoy swimming, especially during hot weather. Keep it short, fun and safe.
Obstacle course – Set up a homemade obstacle course in your backyard or visit a dog park with a course. While your dog runs the course, sprint with him to get your own exercise.
Fetch or tag – Take the average game of fetch or tag even further. Throw a ball or toy and race him to it or play tag where you’re “it.”
Canine dancing – Choreographed dancing with your dog is a sport called musical freestyle. Create a dance routine to upbeat music and burn some calories! Here’s an example on video.
Dog frisbee – This fun outdoor game can turn into a competitive sport for you and your pet. Keep it casual or join a“Disc Dog” club for more motivation.
Doggie soccer – Can your pooch kick it like a canine Beckham? Find out if he can push a large dog ball with his nose or paws for a game of soccer. It’s OK to use a soccer ball too, just avoid kicking it at his nose or body.

Check with the vet (and your doctor) first 
Make a vet visit your first priority. During the vet check, learn of any breed-specific limitations that could affect Fido’s workout. You should get checked by your own doctor as well, before any new exercise routine is started.

Make the workout work for your dog
You may push your own limits in a workout, but don’t do the same with your dog. A Chihuahua, for example, can’t do a mile-long run, but he may be up for a brisk 20- to 30-minute walk. Be careful with smaller breeds in general and be extra careful with short-nosed breeds (pugs, boxers, chow chows, mastiffs, etc.). They can have problems breathing and cooling down effectively.

Mind the signs of health and safety
In his eagerness to keep up, your dog may overdo it, so it’s up to you to watch for signs of exhaustion or overheating. Heavy panting, pale gums, walking unevenly or lagging behind you are all signs that it’s time to stop. To stay safe, exercise in the mornings or evenings when there’s less heat and take a water bottle for you and him on long sessions.

Retrieved from: http://blog.petsupermarket.com/

animal cruelty is not just animal cruelty…we all suffer.

In Animal Welfare, General Psychology, Humane Education, Personality Disorders, School violence on Saturday, 15 December 2012 at 07:03

i have long espoused the connection between animal cruelty and future deviant/violent behaviors.  i try to explain to those that might not have the same bleeding heart for animals and animal cruelty that i have (it guts me each and every time), should they not be concerned with the violence that the animals suffer (and i don’t really understand how not, but i am sure there are people who believe an animal is a creature for us to have dominion over and we can do what we please or that there are more important causes out there that need help and support), please take note, that choosing NOT to deal HARSHLY with this type of behavior will get us ALL in the long run.  it is said that most serial killers and school shooters were cruel to animals earlier in life.  to me, to ignore such behavior and play it off as something they will ‘grow out of ‘or a result of what is seen on tv, in movies, etc., is negligent knowing the statistics and predictive validity of such behaviors.  you see, those that are cruel to animals, more often than not, “graduate” to levels of cruelty that are inflicted not on animals, but on people.  so, should you not be incensed, disgusted, enraged, gutted, immensely saddened, etc….by the kid who set his dog on fire, or the kid who microwaved his cat, or the sheer magnitude of crimes inflicted upon animals daily with absolutely no regard for their suffering (there are so very many, and they are so very shocking, horrific, and born of pure evil)…should this not sicken you or move you into action, please…realize that at some point people will more likely than not have to deal with the aftermath of this cruelty when it extends to people.  

please, please, please…be aware, be vigilant, and above all, fight for stricter animal cruelty laws.  if not for the innocent animals, then for those that will be on the receiving end of the violence that stems from those that are able to inflict cruelty on animals.

http://jaapl.org/content/30/2/257.full.pdf

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2792040/

 

help a wonderful cause and maybe win an ipad!

In Animal Rescue, Animal Welfare, Humane Education on Wednesday, 21 November 2012 at 08:32

http://angelsrescue.org/blog/event/ipad-mini-for-paws/

Angels Among Us Pet Rescue, Inc. is a 501(c)3 non-profit volunteer-based organization dedicated to rescuing dogs and cats from high-kill shelters in north Georgia. We operate through a network of foster homes in the north metro Atlanta area. Our efforts are funded by tax-deductible contributions from compassionate people and organizations who care and want to help make a difference… one pet at a time.

RESCUE ONE UNTIL THERE ARE NONE!

Pet overpopulation…an Illustration.

In Animal Rescue, Animal Welfare, Humane Education, Pets on Saturday, 15 September 2012 at 10:41

It really adds up!

please spay/neuter

 

for my fellow animal rescuers…

In Animal Rescue, Animal Welfare, Humane Education, Pets on Saturday, 15 September 2012 at 10:35

animal rescue is one of the most rewarding things i do, but also one of the most gut-wrenching, heart-breaking, and difficult.  but…the rewards are immeasurable.  still, some advice for my fellow rescuers:

“Rescuers Need Rescue, too.”

 By Chandra Moira Beal

 Animal rescue is deeply rewarding yet extremely difficult work.  To survive in this realm, one must find healthy ways to cope with the emotional challenges.

Here are 10 points to ponder:

1. You can’t save them all.  Even if you spent every hour of every day working to save animals, you still wouldn’t be able to save them all.  Take comfort in knowing that you are not alone in your efforts.

2. Work smarter, not harder.  Manage your rescue efforts like a business.  Organize tasks to make the best use of time.  For example, time spent recruiting more volunteers may make more sense in the long run than trying to do more yourself.  If you find yourself pulled in many directions, you might be more effective if you focus on one rescue facility, one geographic locale, or one species or breed.

3. Just say no.  Many people feel guilty when they can’t take care of everything that comes up.  Be realistic about how much you can handle!  If you’re feeling overwhelmed, it’s okay to say, “I can’t right now.”  Delegate to others when possible, and ask for help when you need it.

4. You are making a difference.  Whenever you question whether you’re  helping very much, remember the old parable about the man walking on the  beach, picking up starfish who have washed ashore and tossing them gently,  one by one, back into the ocean.  Another man approaches, notices that there are starfish on the beach for as far as the eye can see, and asks, “What difference can you possibly make when there are so many?”  Looking at the creature in his hand, the first man replies, “I can make all the difference in the world to THIS starfish.”

5. Celebrate victories.  There are happy endings to many rescue stories.  Rejoice in what is working.  Of course, seeing an animal go home with a loving family is the greatest reward of all.

6. Small kindnesses do count.  It’s common to think that small efforts don’t mean as much as large victories, but stopping to pet an animal, even for just one minute is worth doing.  Your touch may be the only friendly attention he or she receives that day.  Grooming, holding and comforting, or intoning softly that you care, are activities that many shelters don’t have time for.

7. Find outlets for emotional release.  Rescue work can be physically exhausting, emotionally draining and spiritually challenging.  Don’t dismiss your feelings or think you’re a wimp for being affected by it all.  Talk to someone you trust about what you’re experiencing. Cry when you need to.  Write your feelings in a journal.  Channel your emotions into action by writing to the editor of your newspaper or your local representatives about the need for animal protection legislation.

8. Take care of yourself.  Make time to do whatever makes you feel good.  Take a relaxing bath, or go out to dinner and let someone else do the cooking.  You need to recharge your batteries in order to maintain mental and physical health.

9. Don’t downplay your compassion.  When people ask me why I rescue animals,  often I’m tempted to say, “Oh, it’s not big deal” or “Somebody’s got to do  it,” when in reality I rescue animals because I care so deeply about them.  Compassion is healthy, normal and necessary for this work.  Let people know how important this cause is to you.  You just might inspire others to become involved.

10. Never give up.  When you get discouraged, it is tempting to throw in the towel.  Despite all your hard work, you may not see real change in your lifetime.  Still, giving up won’t make it any better.  Take a break, and come back fighting.  And remember the man and the starfish.

***

and for those who may not be able to actively rescue but want to help:

What Can One Person Do?

Plenty!

Here are some suggestions about items to donate and ways to volunteer. The suggestions are based on what many local animal organizations and animal control officers typically need.

Please note: It’s always a good idea to start by checking with your local rescue group or shelter to see what kind of help they really need, Some groups may be desperately in need of materials, like dogs beds, that you’d be willing to provide. Another group may benefit more by getting help with publicity. Checking with the staff first ensures that your donation or service will genuinely be of help to the organization.

These suggestions are based on what many local animal organizations and animal control officers need. Be sure to check with your local groups to see if they can use the type of help you would most like to provide. For example; if you’d like to help get publicity, you’ll want to ask in advance if the organization would like your assistance – after all, you want to be sure that your donation or service is genuinely of help.

Things you may be able to give:

Basic things many shelters can use:

•               Bedding; towels, sheets, blankets, a cat or dog bed, carpet squares

•               Cleaning supplies

•               Cat and dog food, cat litter, toys, collars, leashes

•               Scratching posts, metal bowls, dog crates, grooming supplies

You don’t have to spend a lot of money: Perhaps you are no longer using some of these items around the house, or you may spot them at a yard sale or thrift store.

Doghouses: If you have an old doghouse that isn’t being used, you can clean it up and pass it along for a dog in your neighborhood who could use it. Or give it to your local animal control agency and ask that it be given to a needy dog. Sometimes feral cat groups can refurbish and use doghouses.

Office stuff: office supplies, computers, office furniture, or equipment. The next time your office is upgrading equipment ask about donating it to the local shelter.

Coupons: Some shelters can use free or discount coupons for animal food or cat litter.

Medical supplies: Many spay/neuter clinics and some shelters can use medical supplies.

Humane traps.

Use of a photocopier: Many groups cannot afford a copy machine and would appreciate an opportunity to duplicate flyers and forms.

Prizes for fundraising auctions or raffles.

Things you may want to do:

Be a foster home. Open your home to an animal that needs a place to live and learn until he/she can find a home.

Set up a donation coin can or food program. Create donation cans and place them in area businesses OR pet food donation collection bins at local super markets.

Fix an animal. Help a friend or acquaintance fix their pet. To find a local low-cost spay neuter program call 1-800-248 PETS OR 1-888-PETS911 OR visit: http://www.1888pets911.org

Donate your special skills and talents:

•               Computer skills: Create or manage a website for a local group, or help create a mailing list database.

•               Desktop publishing skills: Create a brochure, newsletters, or posters.

•               Sewing, knitting, or crocheting talent: Offer to make pet beds or catnip mice.

•               Building/Construction skills: Make repairs around the shelter, or build doghouses or feral cat shelters

and feeding stations.

•               Writing talent: Offer to write their newsletter or an article for the local paper.

•               Organizational skills: Help out with administrative tasks or event planning.

•               Gardening skills: Ask if you can help beautify the landscaping around the shelter.

Provide care for shelter animals. Volunteer to clean cages, feed, groom, or walk the animals in a local shelter.

Feed a feral, or two, or three. . . Many organizations practice trap/neuter/return and can use help with feeding cats. Offering to help with feeding once or twice a week can provide a nice break for a busy caregiver.

Promote animal adoptions:

•               List homeless animals on an adoption website (contact us for a list of sites).

•               Photograph shelter animals.

•               Create adoption posters and hang them around the community.

Tell your friends and neighbors. Don’t underestimate the value of word of mouth. Tell others what you are doing and why. Invite them to help out too.

Larger projects you could help to organize:

Plan a fundraising event. This could be as simple as holding a yard sale and donating the proceeds to a shelter, or as involved as planning a benefit auction or walk-a-thon. We have helpful information on planning some types of events.

Organize an adoption event. We have a manual on planning Super Adoption events and off-site adoption programs.

Coordinate a local feral cat spay/neuter program or one-day event.  We can offer advice on how to do this.

Start a local organization or program. Create a community animal welfare group or volunteer Brigade to help other local groups. We can send you information on starting a local program to help the animals.

Start a community e-group to help unite like-minded people, spread the word about animals in need of homes, promote local events, and volunteer opportunities. An excellent model is the Austin Pets Alive No-Kill Handbill. You can see a sample at: http://www.io.com/~mvb/ARCHIVE/ or subscribe at: http://www.austinpetsalive.org

Create a local event: You could plan a local observance of: National Homeless Animals’ Day (www.isaronline.org), National Feral Cat Day (www.alleycat.org), or Spay Day USA (www.ddaf.org).

Start a Week for the Animals. We have a manual to help you create a Week for the Animals in your town, city or state.

Retrieved from: http://www.bestfriends.org/nomorehomelesspets/pdf/WhatOnePerson.pdf

100 Ways To Help A Rescue Without Adopting or Fostering:

Can you:1. Transport a cat/dog?

2. Donate a dog/cat bed or towels or other *bedding* type items?

3. Donate MONEY?

4. Donate a Kong? A Nylabone? A hercules? cat toys?

5. Donate a crate?

6. Donate an x-pen or baby gates?

7. Donate a food dish or a stainless bucket for a crate?

8. Donate a leash?

9. Donate a collar?

10 .Donate some treats or a bag of food?

11 .Donate a halti or promise collar or a gentle leader?

12. Walk a dog?

13. Groom a dog?

14 .Donate some grooming supplies (shampoos, combs, brushes, etc.)?

15 .Go to the local shelter and see if that dog is the breed the shelter says it is or go with rescue to be a second opinion on the dog?

16. Make a few phone calls?

17. Mail out applications to people who’ve requested them?

18. Provide local vet clinics with contact information for educational materials on responsible pet ownership?

19. Drive a dog to and from vet appointments?

20. Donate long distance calling cards?

21. Donate the use of your scanner or digital camera?

22. Donate the use of a photocopier?

23. Attend public education days and try to educate people on responsible pet ownership?

24. Donate a gift certificate to a pet store?

25. Donate a raffle item if your club is holding a fund raiser?

26. Donate flea stuff(Advantage, etc.)?

27. Donate Heartworn pills?

28. Donate a canine/feline first aid kit?

29. Provide a shoulder to cry on when the rescue person is overwhelmed?

30. Pay the boarding fees to board a dog for a week? Two weeks?

31. Be a Santi-paws foster to give the foster a break for a few hours or days?

32. Clip coupons for dog/cat food or treats?

33. Bake some homemade doggie biscuits?

34 .Make book purchases through Amazon via a web site that contributes commissions earned to a rescue group?

35. Host rescue photos with an infornation link on your website. ?

36. Donate time to take good photos of foster dogs for adoption flyers, etc.?

37. Conduct a home visit or accompany a rescue person on the home visit?

38. Go with rescue person to the vet to help if there is more than one dog?

39. Have a yard sale and donate the money to rescue?

40. Be volunteer to do rescue in your area?

41. Take advantage of a promotion on the web or store offering a free ID tag and instead of getting it for your own dog, have the tag inscribed with your Club’s name and phone # to contact?

42. Talk to all your friends about adopting and fostering rescue dogs?

43. Donate vet services or can you help by donating a spay or neuter each year or some vaccinations?

44. Interview vets to encourage them to offer discounts to rescues?

45. Write a column for your local newspaper or club newsletter on dogs on dogs currently looking for homes or ways to help rescue?

46. Take photos of dogs available for adoption for use by the Club?

47. Maintain web sites listing/showing dogs available?

48. Help organize and run fundraising events?

49. Help maintain the paperwork files associated with each dog or enter the infonnation into a database?

50. Tattoo a rescued dog?

51. Microchip a rescued dog?

52. Loan your carpet steam cleaner to someone who has fostered a dog that was sick or marked in the house?

53. Donate a bottle of bleach or other cleaning products?

54. Donate or loan a portable dog run to someone who doesn’t have a quarantine area for quarantining a dog that has an unknown vaccination history and has been in a shelter?

55. Drive the fosters’ children to an activity so that the foster can take the dog to obedience class?

56. Use your video camera to film a rescue dog in action?

57. Pay the cost of taking a dog to obedience class?

58. Be the one to take the dog to its obedience class?

59. Go to the foster home once a week with your children and dogs to help socialize the dog?

60. Help the foster clean up the yard (yes, we also have to scoop what those foster dogs poop)

61. Offer to test the foster dog with cats?

62. Pay for the dog to be groomed or take the dog to a *Do It Yourself* Grooming Place?

63. Bring the foster take out so the foster doesn’t have to cook dinner?

64. Pay a house-cleaning service to do the spring cleaning for someone who fosters dogs all the time?

65. Lend your artistic talents to your club’s newsletter, fundraising ideas, t-shirt designs?

66. Donate printer paper, envelopes and stamps to your club?

67. Go with a rescue person to the vet if a foster dog needs to be euthanized ?

68. Go to local shelters and meet with shelter staff about how to identify your breed or provide photos and breed infonnation showing the different types of that breed may come in and the different colour combinations?

69. Go to local businesses and solicit donations for a club’s fundraising event?

70. Offer to try and help owners be better pet owners by holding a grooming seminar?

71. Help pet owners be better pet owners by being available to answer training questions?

72. Loan a crate if a dog needs to travel by air?

73. Put together an *Owner’s Manual* for those who adopt rescued dogs of your breed?

74. Provide post-adoption follow up or support?

75 .Donate a coupon for a free car wash or gas or inside cleaning of a vehicle?

76. Pay for an ad in your local/metropolitan paper to help place rescue dogs?

77. Volunteer to screen calls for that ad?

78. Get some friends together to build/repair pens for a foster home?

79. Microchip your own pups if you are a breeder, and register the chips, so if your dogs ever come into rescue, you can be contacted to take responsibility for your pup?

80. Donate a small percentage of the sale of each pup to rescue if you are a breeder?

81. Buy two of those really neat dog-items you “have to have” and donate one to Rescue?

82. Make financial arrangements in your will to cover the cost of caring for your dogs after you are gone -so Rescue won’t have to?

83. Make a bequest in your will to your local or national Rescue?

84. Donate your professional services as an accountant or lawyer?

85. Donate other services if you run your own business?

86. Donate the use of a vehicle if you own a car dealership?

87. Loan your cell phone (and cover costs for any calls) to s/one driving a rescued dog?

88. Donate your *used* dog dryer when you get a new one?

89. Let rescue know when you’ll be flying and that you’d be willing to be a rescued dog’s escort?

90. Do something not listed above to help rescue?

91. Donate a doggy seatbelt?

92. Donate a grid for a van or other vehicle?

93. Organize a rescued dog picnic or other event to reunite the rescued dogs that have been placed?

94. Donate other types of doggy/kitty toys that might be safe for rescued animals?

95. Donate a roll-a-treat or Buster cube?

96. Donate clickers or a video on clicker training?

97. Donate materials for a quarantine area at a foster’s home?

98. Donate sheets of linoleum or other flooring materials to put under crates to protect the foster’s floor?

99. Donate an engraving tool to make ID tags for each of the rescued dogs?

lOO. Remember that rescuing a dog involves the effort and time of many people and make yourself available on an emergency basis to do *whatever* is needed?

 

An Important part of the Anti-Social Triad…Animal Abuse

In Animal Rescue, Animal Welfare, Humane Education, Life with dogs on Saturday, 15 September 2012 at 09:59

Animal Abuse and Human Abuse

Violent acts toward animals have long been recognized as indicators of a dangerous psychopathy that does not confine itself to animals. “Anyone who has accustomed himself to regard the life of any living creature as worthless is in danger of arriving also at the idea of worthless human lives,” wrote humanitarian Dr. Albert Schweitzer. “Murderers … very often start out by killing and torturing animals as kids,” according to Robert K. Ressler, who developed profiles of serial killers for the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Studies have now convinced sociologists, lawmakers, and the courts that acts of cruelty toward animals deserve our attention. They can be the first sign of a violent pathology that includes human victims.

A Long Road of Violence

Animal abuse is not just the result of a minor personality flaw in the abuser, but a symptom of a deep mental disturbance. Research in psychology and criminology shows that people who commit acts of cruelty against animals don’t stop there; many of them move on to their fellow humans.

The FBI has found that a history of cruelty to animals is one of the traits that regularly appear in its computer records of serial rapists and murderers, and the standard diagnostic and treatment manual for psychiatric and emotional disorders lists cruelty to animals as a diagnostic criterion for conduct disorders. (1)

Studies have shown that violent and aggressive criminals are more likely to have abused animals as children than criminals considered non-aggressive. (2) A survey of psychiatric patients who had repeatedly tortured dogs and cats found that all of them had high levels of aggression toward people as well, including one patient who had murdered a boy. (3) To researchers, a fascination with cruelty to animals is a red flag in the lives of serial rapists and killers. (4)

Says Robert Ressler, founder of the FBI’s behavioral sciences unit, “These are the kids who never learned it’s wrong to poke out a puppy’s eyes.” (5)

Notorious Killers

History is replete with notorious examples: Patrick Sherrill, who killed 14 coworkers at a post office and then shot himself, had a history of stealing local pets and allowing his own dog to attack and mutilate them.(6) Earl Kenneth Shriner, who raped, stabbed, and mutilated a 7-year-old boy, had been widely known in his neighborhood as the man who put firecrackers in dogs’ rectums and strung up cats.(7) Brenda Spencer, who opened fire at a San Diego school, killing two children and injuring nine others, had repeatedly abused cats and dogs, often by setting their tails on fire.(8) Albert DeSalvo, the “Boston Strangler” who killed 13 women, trapped dogs and cats in orange crates and shot arrows through the boxes in his youth.(9) Carroll Edward Cole, executed for five of the 35 murders of which he was accused, said his first act of violence as a child was to strangle a puppy.(10) In 1987, three Missouri high school students were charged with the beating death of a classmate. They had histories of repeated acts of animal mutilation starting several years earlier. One confessed that he had killed so many cats he’d lost count. (11) Two brothers who murdered their parents had previously told classmates that they had decapitated a cat.(12) Serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer had impaled dogs’ heads, frogs, and cats on sticks.(13)

More recently, high school killers such as 15-year-old Kip Kinkel in Springfield, Ore., and Luke Woodham, 16, in Pearl, Miss., tortured animals before embarking on shooting sprees.(14) Columbine High School students Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, who shot and killed 12 classmates before turning their guns on themselves, bragged about mutilating animals to their friends.(15)

“There is a common theme to all of the shootings of recent years,” says Dr. Harold S. Koplewicz, director of the Child Study Center at New York University. “You have a child who has symptoms of aggression toward his peers, an interest in fire, cruelty to animals, social isolation, and many warning signs that the school has ignored.”(16)

Sadly, many of these criminals’ childhood violence went unexamined—until it was directed toward humans. As anthropologist Margaret Mead noted, “One of the most dangerous things that can happen to a child is to kill or torture an animal and get away with it.”(17)

Animal Cruelty and Family Violence

Because domestic abuse is directed toward the
powerless, animal abuse and child abuse often go hand in hand. Parents who neglect an animal’s need for proper care or abuse animals may also abuse or neglect their own children. Some abusive adults who know better than to abuse a child in public have no such qualms about abusing an animal publicly.

In 88 percent of 57 New Jersey families being treated for child abuse, animals in the home had been abused.(18) Of 23 British families with a history of animal neglect, 83 percent had been identified by experts as having children at risk of abuse or neglect.(19) In one study of battered women, 57 percent of those with pets said their partners had harmed or killed the animals. One in four said that she stayed with the batterer because she feared leaving the pet behind.(20)

While animal abuse is an important sign of child abuse, the parent isn’t always the one harming the animal. Children who abuse animals may be repeating a lesson learned at home; like their parents, they are reacting to anger or frustration with violence. Their violence is directed at the only individual in the family more vulnerable than themselves: an animal. One expert says, “Children in violent homes are characterized by … frequently participating in pecking-order battering,” in which they may maim or kill an animal. Indeed, domestic violence is the most common background for childhood cruelty to animals.(21)

Stopping the Cycle of Abuse

There is “a consensus of belief among psychologists … that cruelty to animals is one of the best examples of the continuity of psychological disturbances from childhood to adulthood. In short, a case for the prognostic value of childhood animal cruelty has been well documented,” according to the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine.(22)

Schools, parents, communities, and courts who shrug off animal abuse as a “minor” crime are ignoring a time bomb. Instead, communities should be aggressively penalizing animal abusers, examining families for other signs of violence, and requiring intensive counseling for perpetrators. Communities must recognize that abuse to ANY living individual is unacceptable and endangers everyone.

In 1993, California became the first state to pass a law requiring animal control officers to report child abuse. Voluntary abuse-reporting measures are also on the books in Ohio, Connecticut, and Washington, D.C. Similar legislation has been introduced in Florida. “Pet abuse is a warning sign of abuse to the two-legged members of the family,” says the bill’s sponsor, Representative Steve Effman. “We can’t afford to ignore the connection any longer.”(23)

Additionally, children should be taught to care for and respect animals in their own right. After extensive study of the links between animal abuse and human abuse, two experts concluded, “The evolution of a more gentle and benign relationship in human society might, thus, be enhanced by our promotion of a more positive and nurturing ethic between children and animals.”(24)

What You Can Do

• Urge your local school and judicial systems to take cruelty to animals seriously. Laws must send a strong message that violence against any feeling creature—human or other-than-human—is unacceptable.

• Be aware of signs of neglect or abuse in children and animals. Take children seriously if they report animals’ being neglected or mistreated. Some children won’t talk about their own suffering but will talk about an animal’s.

• Don’t ignore even minor acts of cruelty to animals by children. Talk to the child and the child’s parents. If necessary, call a social worker.

References

1. Daniel Goleman, “Child’s Love of Cruelty May Hint at the Future Killer,” The New York Times, 7 Aug. 1991.
2. “Animal Abuse Forecast of Violence,” New Orleans Times-Picayune, 1 Jan. 1987.
3. Alan R. Felthous, “Aggression Against Cats, Dogs, and People,” Child Psychiatry and Human Development, 10 (1980), 169-177.
4. Goleman.
5. Robert Ressler, quoted in “Animal Cruelty May Be a Warning,” Washington Times, 23 June 1998.
6. International Association of Chiefs of Police, The Training Key, No. 392, 1989.
7. The Animals’ Voice, Fall 1990.
8. The Humane Society News, Summer 1986.
9. International Association of Chiefs of Police.
10. Ibid.
11. Ibid.
12. Lorraine Adams, “Too Close for Comfort,” The Washington Post, 4 Apr. 1995.
13. Goleman.
14. Deborah Sharp, “Animal Abuse Will Often Cross Species Lines,” USA Today, 28 Apr. 2000.
15. Mitchell Zuckoff, “Loners Drew Little Notice,” Boston Globe, 22 Apr. 1999.
16. Ethan Bronner, “Experts Urge Swift Action to Fight Depression and Aggression,” The New York Times, p. A21.
17. Margaret Mead, Ph.D, “Cultural Factors in the Cause and Prevention of Pathological Homicide,” Bulletin in the Menninger Clinic, No. 28 (1964),
pp. 11-22.
18. Elizabeth DeViney, Jeffrey Dickert, and Randall Lockwood, “The Care of Pets Within Child-Abusing Families,” International Journal for the Study of
Animal Problems
, 4 (1983) 321-329.
19. “Child Abuse and Cruelty to Animals,” Washington Humane Society.
20. Sharp.
21. Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine, Animal Health Newsletter, Nov. 1994.
22. Ibid.
23. Sharp.
24. Stephen R. Kellert, Ph.D., and Alan R. Felthous, M.D., “Childhood Cruelty Toward Animals Among Criminals and Noncriminals,” Archives of General Psychiatry, Nov. 1983.

Retrieved from: http://www.wilbargerhumanesociety.org/abuse.php

Can You Speak Dog?

In Animal Welfare, Life with dogs, Pets on Saturday, 15 September 2012 at 09:48

Can you speak dog?

 

http://www.peta.org/living/companion-animals/can-you-speak-dog.aspx

 

Take this quiz to find out if you’re a communicator or a dictator.

You and your dog speak different languages. Dogs have millions of years of evolutionary baggage telling them that digging in the flower bed is the proper way to store food and that barking is a vital form of communication. Your job is to explain that here in the land of naked apes, certain behaviors don’t always go over well, while others, like darting out into the road, are downright dangerous. The question is, are you educating your dog like a kindergarten teacher or a drill sergeant? Take this quiz to find out.

1) The Western you’re watching on TV has just gotten to the big shootout scene when Rover starts whining at the door. You:

a. promise yourself that SOMEDAY you’ll see this movie all the way through as you hop up and let Rover out.

b. ignore Rover until the next commercial, then let him out. Getting up now just rewards him for whining, which you are trying to teach him to stop doing anyway.

c. tell Rover “No.” He needs to learn he can’t go in and out every five minutes.

Answer: a. HELLO! Rover is VERY politely telling you he needs to go outside. (So what if he just went out five minutes ago, he obviously forgot to do something important!) Ignoring Rover’s whine is like ignoring someone’s “please” and forces him to move on to something “rude” like scratching the door or having an “accident.” If you ABSOLUTELY can’t let Rover out right away, at least acknowledge him: “I hear you, buddy-I’m coming.” Telling him “no” is the cruelest of all-imagine telling someone that you have to go the bathroom and they say “no!” Tell it to your bladder!

2) Maggie is a confirmed “chow hound.” Every night at dinner, she hovers at your chair, drools on your knee, and tries to “steal” food off the table. What should you do?

a. Slip her some tidbits every few minutes-she’s so pathetic!

b. Never give her scraps; this only encourages her and makes her want “people” food instead of dog chow.

c. Tell her to lie down and stay until dinner is over, then reward her with scraps.

d. None of the above.

Answer: c. Go ahead and give poor Maggie some variety in her life and feed her nutritious table scraps, just make sure you feed scraps at the RIGHT time. First, always feed Maggie her dinner BEFORE yours. If she still comes begging, ask her to lie down and stay. Teaching Maggie to wait for her tidbits calmly is really kinder than keeping her anxious by sporadically slipping her food. (Often, dogs doze off on a down/stay, which is as relaxing as it gets!) Slipping Maggie morsels during dinner TEACHES her to beg, unfairly setting her up for a scold when you decide that paw-swipes at your arm are no longer cute, or when you’re entertaining dinner guests.

3) Fido knocks the wind out of everybody he meets with an enthusiastic pair of paws planted firmly on the chest. How can you stop him from jumping?

a. Step on Fido’s back feet so he learns to associate discomfort with jumping up.

b. Give visitors food treats and instruct them to tell Fido to sit when he greets them.

c. Put your knee up as Fido jumps, so he hits the knee instead of you.

d. None of the above.

Answer: b. Stepping on Fido’s back feet is unnecessary and painful and could cause injury. Same goes for kneeing. Fido is jumping on people because he is happy to see them; do you really want him to associate being friendly with pain? Why hurt and confuse Fido when asking him to express his greeting in a different way, such as sitting, gets the message across?

4) Princess is busy chewing on a tasty sofa cushion. You walk into the room and wail “Princess!” She looks up, drops the cushion, and bounds over to you, joyfully wagging her tail. You:

a. tell her she’s a bad dog and give her a stern lecture on the high cost of sofa cushions.

b. turn around and ignore her.

c. bite your tongue and give her a pat and a hug.

Answer: c. This is perhaps the most important rule you can learn about communicating with your dog: NEVER, EVER, EVER SCOLD A DOG WHO COMES TO YOU WILLINGLY-no matter how long she dawdled, no matter how bad she was mere seconds before. If Princess had ignored you and kept right on chewing, then saying, “No! Chew on THIS,” as you took away the pillow and handed her a toy would have been in order; but she didn’t—she stopped her “bad” behavior and came to you instead. Coming to you should ALWAYS be a thrilling experience; scold her and she learns—not to stop chewing cushions—but that coming to you isn’t always such a great idea.

5) Benji is the Joan Rivers of dogdom. He barks at EVERYTHING: the moon, the sun, dogs, cats, squirrels, cockroaches, dust mites. How can you get him to quit that incessant yapping?

a. Give Benji a biscuit to distract him.

b. Sneak up behind Benji and startle him with a swat him on the rump as you yell, “No!”

c. Get one of those nifty electronic collars that zaps Benji whenever he utters a peep.

d. None of the above.

Answer: d. For starters, how come people can talk all day, but one peep out of Benji gets a “shut up” from you? Benji is barking because he’s trying to tell you something-“Look out, here comes that guy in the noisy truck!” or, “Hey, I’m lonely out here by myself,” or, “I’m terribly bored; can we go for a walk now?”

But what if you’re not feeling particularly interested in what Benji has to say about the trash truck at 7 a.m.? Hitting Benji and shouting at him is cruel and unfair-you’re punishing him for something he thinks is very important-alerting you to intruders (an instinct you’ll thank him for if a burglar shows up!)

Electronic shock collars are no better: They punish Benji indiscriminately (and painfully), plus they have a number of other drawbacks. Dogs trained with shock collars and “invisible fences” may develop fears or aggression aimed at what they BELIEVE is the source of that pesky shock-kids riding by on bikes-whom Benji starts to chase and bark at until he gets an unpleasant surprise-or the dog next door, who “administers” a painful jolt every time Benji runs up to play (two confused and frustrated dogs once killed a neighboring dog when he crossed the boundary to play). Dogs have also been known to run heedlessly through invisible barriers in hot pursuit of a squirrel or fleeing scary fireworks, then become terrified to cross back through it.

So what can you do? Ask Benji to do something else! Start making 7 a.m. on trash day practice-lying-down time until Benji gets the idea that lying down is the thing to do when the garbage truck comes. (Give Benji a treat only AFTER he does what you ask, not before, otherwise you will be TRAINING him to bark!) You also may try teaching Benji the meaning of the word “quiet” by GENTLY closing his mouth with your hands (no rough treatment, you’re simply showing him what “quiet” means) as you say the word. Remember, don’t lose your temper, holler, or otherwise abuse or over-use the “quiet” command-let Benji talk sometimes!

6) While you were at work, Fluffy emptied the trash can and created a lovely “mixed media artwork” of soda cans, melon rinds, and shredded plastic wrap on the living room floor. What should you do when you come home?

a. Bring Fluffy over to her “masterpiece,” rub her nose in it, and tell her “bad dog!”

b. Lock Fluffy in the garage every day until she learns her lesson.

c. Act like Fluffy’s redecorating is no big deal and figure out where to put the trash can so she can’t get into it.

Answer: c. Naughty human! What Fluffy did was YOUR FAULT for failing to supervise her! (OK, so you can’t quit your job and watch her all day but that’s not HER fault!) Corrections work only as a warning IMMEDIATELY beforehand (“Na-aah-aah, don’t even think of touching that trash can!”) or while Fluffy is “in the act.” If you wait until hours (or even minutes) later, Fluffy will think she’s being scolded for what she’s doing RIGHT NOW, such as being happy to see you!

The solution lies, as always, in prevention. Your best bet is to stash the trash in a pantry or “kid-safe” cabinet. (Confining Fluffy works for YOU, but it doesn’t solve HER basic problems-boredom, loneliness, and lots of energy.) Make sure Fluff has a variety of toys (and/or companions) to keep her occupied and that she gets plenty of exercise, particularly in the morning: A tired dog wants to sleep, not redecorate!

How’d You Score?

Give yourself a point for each correct answer.

0-2: Hey, Mussolini, lighten up! How about we yell at you for getting sick on the carpet, smack you for talking to your friends, lock you in the basement for raiding the refrigerator, and see how YOU like it!

3-4: You’re not quite fluent in “dog-ese” yet, but you’re getting there. Brush up on your communicating skills by reading a book like Dogs Behaving Badly by Dr. Nicholas Dodman or Don’t Shoot the Dog by Karen Pryor, and sign yourself up for a good training class.

5-6: Gandhi would be proud! Now go spend some quality time with that lucky pooch of yours!

Win bonus points if you do the following:

· Stop and smell the roses-and the fire hydrants! Imagine the frustration of sitting around the house all day waiting for a walk and then, when you get one, being hauled around the block without ever getting a chance to explore! Give your dog a break with a retractable leash (available at most pet supply stores): It gives him or her room to run ahead or linger over fascinating trees and can be shortened up for safety when crossing busy intersections. Also, play it safe by walking your dog on a harness.

· Many dogs, especially smaller, energetic breeds like beagles and poodles or larger, delicate-boned breeds like greyhounds, are prone to neck injuries, which can be extremely painful and debilitating. For serious pullers, try a neck-saving “no-pull” harness, which creates a slight “pushing” feeling on dogs’ chests when they tug, causing them to slow down.

· Don’t give your dog orders all the time. Try to make suggestions and ask questions, too. Learning the meanings of words and phrases like “cookies,” “outside?” “water?” “all done,” and “wanna-go-for-a-walk?” can make your dog’s life a lot easier.

· Make a housebreaking schedule and stick to it. Take puppies out at least once every two hours (or within a half hour after eating or drinking), and guide them to the same spot where they can smell having gone before. Until their bladders get bigger, they can spend the night in a crate by your bed so they can wake you up when they need to go. If you use a crate, be careful not to abuse it. Don’t leave dogs in crates for more than three hours at a time during the day and never use the crate as punishment. The dog should view the crate as a safe, secure den, not a dungeon. For more housebreaking tips, click here.

· Let your dog be a dog! The idea behind training is to set up boundaries within which dogs are free to be themselves, not control their every movement. For enthusiastic diggers, for example, don’t flat-out prohibit digging-give them their very own special places to dig. Teach them to use a “sandbox” by burying favorite toys in it.

· Be considerate! Think about how many times you go to the restroom during the day. Now imagine what it must be like for dogs to have to “cross their legs” all that time! Take your dog out at least four times a day: in the morning, in the afternoon, right when you get home, and before you go to bed. If you can’t come home at lunchtime, arrange for a neighbor or professional “petsitter” to take your dog out. Another option is a “doggy door”; however, this is safe only if your yard is fenced and locked against intruders.

 

I am a dog rescuer…

In Animal Rescue, Animal Welfare, Humor on Wednesday, 12 September 2012 at 07:37

so very true…

The story of Mike Arms

In Animal Rescue, Animal Welfare, Inspiration, Life with dogs, Pets on Wednesday, 12 September 2012 at 07:33

Mike Arms has done so much for animal welfare.  I find the story as to how he came to the profession inspiring and touching.  I hope you enjoy!

***

Our president-Mike Arms

http://www.animalcenter.org/about_hwac/our_president.aspx

Helen Woodward Animal Center President Michael Arms is a pioneer in the animal welfare industry. He is recognized worldwide as the creator of both the International Pet Adoptathon and “Iams Home 4 the Holidays”.

Mike is credited with saving the lives of more orphaned animals than anyone else in the history of the planet.

Since his arrival in 1999, Helen Woodward Animal Center has grown dramatically. Pet adoptions have leaped to record levels. Our Education program has multiplied as we teach children about the unconditional love that only comes from animals. And our therapy programs touch the lives of tens of thousands of people each year.

Mike Arms. Just one more reason why Helen Woodward Animal Center is known around the globe as, “The Animal Shelter of the Future!”

The Story of Mike Arms

Mike Arms came to animal welfare in a most unusual way. He arrived in New York in the 1960’s ready to take on the world with an accounting degree and the desire to make it big. An employment agency suggested that he might take a position at the ASPCA because it would look good on his resume. Mike didn’t even know what an ASPCA was at that time, but thought it would be a good experience to manage the finances of such a large organization. The stress of seeing the horrors that mankind perpetrated against the animals of New York quickly became too much for Mike, as the ASPCA was killing over 140,000 innocent animals a year at that time. He gave his resignation and was running away from animal welfare.

With just six days to go until his last day, Mike got a call that there was a dog hit by a car on Davidson Avenue in the Bronx. There were no ambulance drivers available, so he took off his suit jacket and put on an ambulance driver jacket and drove out to the accident scene. Upon his arrival he saw a black and tan shepherd/terrier mix lying in the street. The dog had been hit with such force that his back was broken – he was literally bent in half. As Mike approached the injured dog two men came out of a nearby doorway and asked him what he was doing. Arms calmly explained that the little dog was dying and he was taking him to the hospital. The men told him that he wasn’t taking the dog anywhere. Mike inquired as to if it was their dog and they said, “No, but we are taking bets on how long it is going to live.” Arms told them they were sick and turned to lift the dog into the ambulance. As he bent to lift the injured puppy, the men attacked him with a bottle to the head followed by the smack of a baseball bat and the sharp pain of a knife thrust into his hip and shoulder. Mike was knocked unconscious and as he lay in the street bleeding the little dog, who should not have been able to move, crawled to Mike’s side to lick him awake.

It was a true epiphany for Arms as he spoke to God and said “Let me live, and I promise you, I will do everything in my lifetime to protect them.” Mike has remained true to his word as the man who has saved more animals than any other person, living or dead, in animal welfare history.

Humane education…a cause near and dear to my heart.

In Animal Welfare, Education on Sunday, 9 September 2012 at 14:04

Some things you ‘collect’ and have no idea where they came from.  This is one.  My apologies to the author (not me) for lack of citation.

 

“Why humane education???

WHAT IS HUMANE EDUCATION

IMAGINE

  • A generation with the passion and skills to solve the most pressing challenges of our time, successfully and joyfully.
  • If each of us were prepared for our unique role in creating a better world from the time we were born.
  • If making humane choices were part of every aspect of our lives.

IMAGINE the world we would create.

Humane education is the key to creating such a world.

Humane education not only instills the desire and capacity to live with compassion, integrity, and wisdom, but also provides the knowledge and tools to put our values into action in meaningful, far-reaching ways.

Humane education enables us to find solutions that work for all by approaching human rights, environmental preservation, and animal protection as interconnected and integral dimensions of a healthy, just society.

FOUR ELEMENTS OF HUMANE EDUCATION

  1. Providing accurate information about the issues of our time so that people have the information they need to understand the consequences of their decisions as citizens.
  2. Fostering curiosity, creativity, and critical thinking, so that people can evaluate information and solve problems.
  3. Instilling reverence, respect, and responsibility, so that people have the motivation to face challenges and to act with integrity.
  4. Offering positive choices that benefit oneself, other people, the animals, and the earth, and tools for problem-solving so that people are empowered to create a more humane world.

Humane education may well be the most revolutionary and effective effort that we as a society can undertake to create a peaceful and just world.

It is time to make living ethically, sustainably, and peacefully on this planet the very purpose of education.

The World Becomes What You Teach”

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