Archive for February, 2010

Heat Strokes and Dogs

February 23, 2010

Is it a problem just yet? No at least not if you’re living on the East coast of the US, in case you haven’t checked it’s quite cold outside…so why talk about heat strokes and dogs? Because in the UK a police officer killed his dogs by forgetting them in his car…he forgot about his dogs! This sadly isn’t just a problem in the UK, have you ever watched or read the news in the summer time, there’s a different story everyday about a dog left in the car who died. Hundreds of dogs every summer end up in veterinarians office just for showing signs of heat stroke. The summer isn’t here yet but it will be, better to learn early about heat strokes than when it’s too late.

Symptoms that both dogs and people are subjected to while having a heat stroke include but aren’t limited to shortness of breath, vomiting, weakness, thirst, or even shivering. I don’t know about you but I’ve been out in the sun, thirsty, tired, shivering, feeling like being sick would be my savior. It’s horrible. I don’t like it why would a dog? The difference between a dog and me; I have opposable thumbs and the means to take care of myself.

Dogs, not so much. If it’s hell for a human to have that onset of shivering and nauseousness then imagine what it must be for a dog waiting for its owner to return and save it from this living hell. Unfortunately in Nottingham two dogs were forgotten about by their police handler. For Jet and Jay-Jay their savior from heat stroke was organ failure. Sound fun? I think not. If you want to read more exact details of the incident I am talking about you can check out the article here.

The man started out with three dogs in his car, took one out, and forgot about the other two. Several hours they were left unattended and forgotten about. Unintentional as it was, abuse and death like this happens all the time during the summer months. People who either don’t know dogs can get heat stroke or don’t know what to look for. Did you know that a car can heat up from 85 degrees to 102 in ten minutes and reach 120 degrees in twenty minutes. My source for that particular information came from this site.

Even if that site isn’t accurate there are stories out there of dogs dying after being left in a car for two hours, even four hours when it wasn’t terribly hot out and the dog was rescued from the car alive but died later that night…

What gets me is that ok, yes some people will naturally forget that their dog is in the car, and it can be an honest mistake. But the animal dies! It suffers alone at the expense of its owner or handlers forgetfulness. I don’t think I would ever take my dog in the car if I was just going out to the store or somewhere where the dog would be left in the car for hours at a time. The police officer running late or not should have taken care of the dogs before even thinking about going to his meeting. At the very least he could have gotten somebody else to do it for him, it’s a police station for goodness sakes, you telling me there isn’t one other dog handler that could have borrowed the man’s keys for half an hour to get the dogs to safety?

I just can’t believe it, it’s really sad certainly not as horrible as previous things I’ve posted but it’s a problem in every country that people own dogs. They either get left in the car or left outside for entirely too long. I just wanted to take the time now before it got hot to bring up the issue of heat strokes.

Symptoms of heat stroke in dogs are: “outside on a warm day with or without exercise, usually without access to shade or water, body temperature above 104 degrees, red gums and tongue, thick and sticky saliva, rapid panting, bloody vomiting and diarrhea, bloody nose, collapse, coma, and death. (If your pet goes into shock, which can happen if the body temperature rises above 106 degrees, the gums will be pale).” I just copied this from the site but it can’t hurt to have it printed in several places. The more you read it the more it will stick to memory. To read this and other information refer back to this site please.

If it’s too late for the animal and the symptoms are there,get them to a cool area immediately. Same thing goes for people get cool quick, don’t put yourself into shock but get a fan get somewhere air conditioned. If you’d do it for yourself do it for the dog too. You’ll be able to tell if the dog is in shock or passing out, in that case call the vet let them know and get the dog in.
This blog was more relaxed than my previous blogs have been, not because there isn’t abuse out there but the truth of the matter is this is a problem everywhere and I really did just want to take the time to point out the problem. It happened to a police officer, to an animal rights activist. Just goes to show anybody can forget about their dog, it only takes a few seconds to forget, but an hour or so later the dog is dead and a life is gone for a simple lapse in judgement.  I’m hoping people will read this and take the problem seriously, if not than at least now you’ve been informed that dogs can in fact have heat stroke and now that you know the symptoms you will look for it in dogs that are tied up or locked up in a car with or without the windows cracked because although it might help a little it won’t keep the car from heating up enough to kill the forgotten pet.
I’ve never understood why somebody would take their dog with them while they do five hours of errands perhaps somebody can explain that to me, but leaving your pet in a car is not smart. There’s just no need for a pet to go on errands too. Keep an eye out for the signs of heat stroke as the summer gets closer and progresses.

West Hollywood Takes a Swing at Puppy Mills

February 17, 2010

Before I get to the good news of West Hollywood, let me inform you of what exactly a puppy mill is. Some of you may or may not have heard the term before, if you have it might be that you aren’t sure what it is.

Puppy Mills by definition are places where puppies are bred for profit. That doesn’t really tell much now does it? For all anyone knows a puppy mill could be nice cages where dogs give birth once a year and are cared for in the best conditions. Unfortunately that idea of a utopian dog breeding facility does not exist, at least not when connected to the term ‘puppy mill.’

What the definition should say is, puppies are harvested for profit. As that would give a better picture of what they truly are. A place where “dogs are kept in small wire cages for their entire lives. They are almost never allowed out. They never touch solid ground or grass to run and play.” You can find this information and more by following this link.

Using the same link as before, to give a quick rundown of what goes on at a puppy mill, these dogs are bred to death. Could you imagine being killed as soon as you are deemed worthless? Bred with your own puppies and siblings so there is massive in-breeding of dogs and illness?

The people running the puppy mills are all in it for the money, would they tell a potential buyer that their dog is diseased? Heck no, as long as a dog can be passed off as healthy long enough to fool the buyer, it’ll be sold. If it can’t be passed off as being healthy it’ll either be used to breed or killed. They have no use for worthless animals.

The animals live in small cramped cages, hardly ever cleaned out, covered in feces and urine. The dogs live in absolutely horrid conditions. Literally bred to death, these animals have no chance of happiness. The unfortunate truth is, is that puppy mills will never go away as long as people buy from them. That will never stop because pet stores, not all, but a lot buy from these puppy mills and with that money they are able to thrive and continue business.

Really what is there to do though, on one hand you say ‘screw you puppy mills’ and then all those dogs don’t get bought which means they are killed if a rescue doesn’t find them in time, and they will be killed if they become useless or aren’t selling. Or you say ‘I can’t let this dog die, regardless of where he comes from’ and which case you’re saving a dog but possibly sentencing dozens of other dogs to death.

The win would be to get rid of puppy mills altogether but it’s a lose-lose situation trying to stop them. With over 3000 puppy mills nationwide not every mill will be busted before the dogs can be saved.

I personally am taking a stand and when I can get a dog will only buy from a shelter or private seller where I meet the parents and see their living conditions. Both my dogs came from private sellers, we didn’t see Scout’s parents or living conditions, it’s feasible he came from a puppy mill but not likely. Leo on the other hand came from a farm where my parents saw the parents and the living condition.

Clearly there’s an ethical choice to be made, to boycott or not to boycott. You can ignore the blatant signs that a dog is from a puppy mill and hope they don’t die within days of being bought, or you can do the research and make sure what you’re buying isn’t from a puppy mill.

It’s a situation where you have to decide if you support raising dogs in cramped dirty conditions, and the dogs physical/emotional/and mental well being doesn’t matter. Or if you choose to take a stand. They are fed generic mass produced food that has no health value to it, thus rotting out there teeth so even after the teeth and jaw are beyond repair they are still forced to eat dry food…if they can. Where broken legs and ripped paws from a wire bottom cage doesn’t matter if they can still breed, in-breeding and illness is the norm and where cleanliness and love doesn’t exist. Thousands of dogs each year die without ever knowing love or freedom, not even the feel of honest ground, and grass under their paws.

The freedom that most dogs take for granted, a ball being thrown once or twice a day and still not being happy with it when there are hundreds or thousands of dogs that wish it could be thrown for them just once in their lifetime. Clean water and food just once in their life but instead forced to drink urine/feces/and dirt filled water whereas domesticated dogs beg for human food everyday and get it even though they aren’t supposed to. Being out of their cage once before death would be like heaven for them but instead they leave the cage only when their breath is gone and when the flame of life is snuffed out of them. If living and life even exists in them, for all we know they die months even years before their physical form gives out. When most dogs in a shelter wait to be adopted instead of euthanized, these dogs wish they had the play room that those dogs have at least then they would have a chance to be saved. If it was you, wouldn’t you want that chance to feel earth, love, and good food.

Love, a simple request but impossible to fulfill, at least for the thousands of dogs that die each year without even the tiniest taste of freedom.

There are petitions and legislation galore out there advocating for puppy mills to be shut down. To find out more about puppy mills in your area and in general follow these links:

http://www.prisonersofgreed.org/Commercial-kennel-facts.html

http://www.sheltersurvivors.com/Puppy-Mill-Facts.htm

http://www.humanesociety.org/issues/puppy_mills/

http://awarenessday.org/

If you would like to read articles where puppy mills were busted follow these links:

http://www.seattlehumane.org/adopt/in-news/puppymill

http://www.examiner.com/x-22179-Elgin-Dogs-Examiner~y2010m2d12-Rescue-Alert-Over-50-dogs-seized-from-alleged-puppy-mill

http://www.myfoxdc.com/dpp/mornings/pet-project-a-forever-home-rescue-021510

On a seperate note, not to change the subject but in West Hollywood, there is a new ordinance being passed where dog and cat sales are banned. You can read the whole article in the San Francisco Chronicle. The ordinance allows shelters and private owners to sell their dogs and cats, however it bans pet stores from getting their animals from puppy mills. Not a big deal in West LA because as it states in the article, there aren’t really any stores that sell animals. This ordinance was more to get other cities where it is a problem to adopt the idea and create the law. Would that stop puppy mills entirely, no, but it would decrease their income and hurt them financially.

If you read the article you’ll note that other municipalities have already asked about the ordinance so they too can copy it. It’s not going to stop the problem entirely but it is a hit on puppy mills. It’s a start in the way that there really isn’t a lot of laws out there that really hurt puppy mills. There are a lot of petitions being sent around to stop them, and there are rules and regulations to breeding however with the few inspectors there are, puppy mills can get away for years without being caught, meeting the absolute bare requirements if that, they can’t be stopped until real evidence of abuse surfaces.

Not the biggest hit on puppy mills but like everything it has to start somewhere, if enough municipalities pick up this same ordinance maybe it will turn into something bigger and eventually stem the flow of money to puppy mills enough that it’s not worth it for the owners to continue doing their inhumane activities.

Finally as a last little shout-out I’d like to give props to the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show that was on Feb. 16 and 17. I’d like to give props to them for saying “Just because it looks good on screen doesn’t mean it will be good in the home.” They are also advertising for dogs in the shelter, saying that most of them are pure bred and they need homes too. Not only saying be careful about the dog you get but do research and just because it can live in an apartment doesn’t mean it won’t need exercise. To check out there site go here. Just thought it was nice that although most of their dogs are pure bred and very high class they are pushing for adoption from shelters as well as trying to deter people from buying a dog just because it looks good.

Dog in High Speed Chase and Puppies in the Puppy Bowl

February 7, 2010

Not exactly dog abuse in the way that I’ve been talking about it, but still pretty sad. So this owner unnamed in the video went for a high speed chase with her 1 year old terrier in the front passenger seat. A sweet dog according to the policeman in the video and one that is now up for adoption. The owner had 5 days to get the dog and didn’t. Check out this video the dog is absolutely adorable!

http://www.comcast.net/video/dog-homeless-after-riding-shotgun/1406084507/Comcast/1405765602/

I mean really who does this, it may not be beating the living daylights out of the dog or leaving the dog on the side of the road. But they endangered the dogs life by bringing it on a high speed chase not to mention now the dog is without home. On the plus side being so young and absolutely adorable also nice, this dog has a good chance of survival and adoption. Which is great but dogs should never have to end up in this situation.

My family has two dogs, their picture is actually the header picture at the top of my blog, and from experience with them and any dog I’ve ever met, they just want love. It isn’t hard to care for a dog if you want one and are willing to put in the time, love, care, food, an occasional visit to the vets and haircuts every few months. When I say easy I don’t mean it won’t be time consuming or terribly hard. They are a lot of responsibility but when it comes to the basics it isn’t much. They do require a lot of work but not a lot of stuff.

This isn’t abuse in the sense that  I’ve been talking about it but it’s the general lack of care and respect for the pet that bothers me. It isn’t just driving in high speeds that gets a dog put into a pound, it’s doing other illegal activities while you own a pet and it’s deciding that you’ve stopped loving the dog.

It happens in every kind of relationship but it shouldn’t with a dog, you make a choice when you buy a dog and you make a promise to that dog to love and care for it until the end of its days. A home, food, and somebody to snuggle with when the day is done. So why get a dog when you’re going to pull some stupid stunt for no reason, a stunt I might add that could have ended a lot worse than it did, when your dog is in the car? And then on top of that be given the option to go and get said pet from the shelter and just not. You know where your pet is, it’s not that hard to get out of the shelter. He’s the cutest darn dog I’ve ever seen and he looks as sweet as can be.

How can an owner just give their dog up like that? People do that kind of thing every day. The sad part is when it’s a owner giving up their pet they have less time in the shelter than most. No one is coming to claim them. There is no certainty that they will be adopted. With enough dogs in the country for each person to own several dogs there’s a big possibility that they won’t be saved. A lot of people either don’t like dogs or they aren’t in a living situation where they can have one. Although I’m sure the shelter this dog is at doesn’t have a gas chamber, there are still shelters that do. Could you imagine giving your dog up, fooling yourself into believing he will be ok, and then ultimately have it killed via gas?!?

It’s not physical abuse but it’s emotional and mental abuse to the dog. They might not be the smartest creatures in the world but you go to any shelter in the US and you can tell they are scared and hurt. They cry out, they bark, they know what’s going on not directly but they know they aren’t where they are supposed to be. It’s people like that, that anger me. This dog lives, yes, this dog is young and cute and nice, will it get adopted…probably.

What about that 12 year old hunting dog, is he going to get adopted…not likely. Is that pitbull going to get adopted, not in general. Not with it’s reputation. So why do it? Why sentence a dog to an uncertain death. Because an owner is sick of their pet, new living situation, economy? Their lives aren’t nearly as important as ours? Yet in studies it’s been proven that dogs can emotionally help people. Pets can help people emotionally and mentally.

Two sites to read about this interaction between animals and humans are:

http://advance.uconn.edu/1999/991101/11019911.htm

And

http://www.psychiatrictimes.com/display/article/10168/54671?verify=0

It’s interesting and it’s aggravating that anyone would just give up their pet like that. Just because the animal hasn’t been physically abused doesn’t mean that it hasn’t been abused in some other way. It doesn’t even have to be giving the dog up to the shelter that causes this. Dog’s can be emotionally/mentally abused in the home life. If you’ve ever watched animal cops: http://animal.discovery.com/tv/animal-cops/

It shows how the home life can be bad for a dog. Being tied up outside for days without being fed, or even being left in their home when the owners move. There are a lot of situations that are abuse to a dog without any physical signs. Not a lot of people look out for it. Keep an eye out in your neighborhood, if something doesn’t seem right with someone’s pet or you see a dog very emaciated call the local animal control asap. Even if nothing is going on, it’s better to have them check on a complaint than to do nothing and let the dog suffer in silence. Watch out for the signs, and don’t put yourself in danger but do something! As a parting word and link, the ASPCA has a page on how to recognize animal abuse if you want to help here it is: http://www.aspca.org/fight-animal-cruelty/top-10-ways-to-prevent-animal.html

In other news dog saved from flooded river and was returned to owner: http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/unleashed/2010/02/spikey-dog-rescued-from-flooded-la-river-during-rainstorm-is-reunited-with-owner.html

Spikey Saved from Flooding River

Spikey PhotoGallery

Ok sorry more to add, I’ve just finished watching Puppy Bowl VI. In honor of the Super Bowl I didn’t think I could pass up talking about it and adding a link so that next year if you want to watch something really cute animal planet is the place to be! Puppies galore! With toys toys toys!!! So it starts out with the puppies being checked out behind scenes, followed by their names and picture being put up on screen. Afterward mayhem ensues! It’s a big puppy playpen, where the dogs “play” football. With lots of footballs to bring to the end zones you’d think they’d make some touchdowns. You can check out the lineup here. Puppies and toys everywhere, running playing, pouncing, pushing, fighting. However! Biting is not allowed, nor is napping at the end zone that becomes more of a problem at the end when all the puppies are pooped…They certainly know how to make the game interesting giving what play by plays can be made, interceptions, passes, and tackles. Not to mention the bunny cheerleaders and “rogue hamsters” flying the blimp.

I did have to say I loved the camera angles, they have a water-cam that looks up so when a dog drinks from the water dish you are looking right into their faces which is cute, a new aerial view from the blimp, as well as ground shots which are extremely cute. They also show “tailgaters” which are just dogs watching the puppy bowl on TV behind scenes.

Of course with any bowl there has to be a halftime show. This one beat all, a kitty halftime show. The whole show was crazy music and thee most INSANE kitty playground I’ve ever seen. As my roommate said “torture for college students.” Animals we can’t have behaving in the most adorable fashion ever. There was one particular long haired black and white kitten that I would gladly take home. He was just looking around like every other cat was insane! And to be fair they kind of were…haha but very cute. You can watch highlights of said halftime show by following this link.

All this was very cute and I must say a lot more entertaining than the Super Bowl which I surprisingly watched and as intense as it was, cute and fuzzy beats all in my book. Especially when it’s a bunch of pups “straight from the shelter.” Jake the chihuahua pug mix, who you’ll find in the line-up link from earlier was the MVP.  I’ll be honest I don’t know football terms or anything like that, not that they apply to the puppy-bowl but watch it, it’s cute at least the highlights because these dogs are too cute! Two hours of pure puppy play with the occasional ‘touchdown’ and amazing narration by Jeff Bordner who’s been in the business of voice acting for 25 years. Wonderful play by play re-caps.

Well that’s all folks, I just thought I’d add in something about the puppy bowl since it’s cute and fun and I know my other posts were quite depressing. I hope you got to watch at least part of the Puppy Bowl, if not maybe next year. It does tie in though, the animals dogs, kittens, and bunnies did come from shelters and you can go to their rescues by following this link! As previously mentioned in my blog, before adopting do research and plenty of it! Hope this entry is a bit more fun than my last ones.

Puppy Bowl