Friday, January 9, 2015
Friday, December 5, 2014
How do you spell love…T-I-M-E. Relationships are not built overnight. They take time. So why do we always want to rush the relationship with a new dog? Yet, it never ceases to amaze me how many people decide to adopt a dog and within the first week have to take it out and show it off before the dog even trusts them! Then when the dog does not react well to an unfamiliar situation with unfamiliar people, the potential adopters return the dog rather then regroup and start over.
It takes at least two weeks for a dog to get comfortable in a new environment and to begin to trust his new human(s). If we take the time to lay the foundation of the relationship we are rewarded with a lifetime of love, dedication, and obedience. But just like any other relationship in our lives we cannot expect that to develop overnight. It takes time, patience, and trust.
So before you decide to adopt a dog think about your expectations and ask yourself a few questions: Are they realistic? What are your demands and what are my preferences (i.e. demand – the dog must be housebroken; preference – I would like my dog to learn to play dead)? Are you ready to take responsibility for a living creature for 10+ years no matter what (that means even when things and times get hard)? If not, please spare the dog the disruption. It is a huge disruption to the dog and their routine for someone to agree to take a dog on a trial adoption and not even give it the full week. For that reason I ask you to please make sure you can give it at least a week before making any decisions, and if you cannot commit to seven days don’t move forward. Wait until you are ready.
Wednesday, November 26, 2014
Louisiana Family Fights To Save Beloved Pit Bull After Town Bans 'Vicious Dogs'
The Huffington Post | By Dominique Mosbergen
Posted: 11/25/2014 7:53 am EST Updated: 11/25/2014 9:59 am EST
O’Hara Owens' beloved pit bull, Zeus, is hardly the “vicious” animal her hometown has branded him. Instead, he’s her indispensable companion, always there in times of need.
Every night, Zeus sleeps by the girl's side, comforting her with kisses. Owens, who has severe neck problems and uses both a halo brace and wheelchair, told Louisiana outlet KALB that if she is experiencing pain, Zeus "notices it before I even make any noise." According to CNN, the pit bull acts “as a sort of therapy dog" and rushes to alert Owens' mother if the girl has seizures during her sleep.
Though Zeus is adored by his human family and has reportedly never caused harm to any person or animal, he may be taken away from his home because of the town's “vicious dogs” ordinance. Moreauville voted to ban pit bulls and Rottweilers on Oct. 13, and people who own these types of dogs may need to get rid of their pets by Dec. 1 or risk being fined and having their dogs taken away from them.
Village Alderman Penn Lemoine told KALB that the ban was put in place because "several residents ... were complaining about not being able to walk along the neighborhoods because these dogs were basically running along town."
Owens and her family aren't giving up Zeus without a fight. They've launched a petition to save their dog, calling for Moreauville residents to repeal the ban. More than 200,000 people had signed the petition, as of Tuesday morning.
A number of jurisdictions across the United States have passed breed-specific laws restricting the ownership of pit bulls and other so-called "dangerous dogs." But animal experts have long decried the practice.
Fred Kray, an attorney who specializes in animal law and who hosts a weekly podcast about pit bulls and legislation, told The Huffington Post on Monday that there is “no evidence” to suggest that any of these so-called “vicious” dog breeds is “more dangerous than any other,” or that such breed-specific legislation is useful in reducing dog attacks.
“I think it unfortunate that small towns across the country can pass breed-discriminatory laws which result in companion animals who have done nothing to be banned or restricted,” he said. “There is no peer-reviewed study, nor does my own review of the data indicate that breed-discriminatory laws increase overall public safety. The total number of dog bites do not usually go down.”
He added that the term “pit bull” doesn’t actually refer to a specific breed of dog, but is rather a catch-all term that applies to terriers such as the Staffordshire bull terrier, American Staffordshire terrier and American pit bull terrier, or dogs that bear a resemblance to these animals. It can thus be very difficult, he says, to reliably identify a “pit bull.”
Commenting on Zeus' case Monday, actress Rebecca Corry, a vocal pit bull advocate, told HuffPost that Moreauville's new ban is “unacceptable.”
“Until our society educates themselves and admits that it is humans, not 'pit bull-type dogs' who are the problem, lawmakers will continue to keep making uneducated decisions that cost innocent victims their lives,” she said.
Zeus' family said this week that a special town meeting is being planned to address the ban. It is not clear when this meeting will take place.
UPDATE -- Nov. 25: The Board of Aldermen of Moreauville may vote to overturn the village's breed-specific ban, one alderman told area news outlet The Times-Picayune, adding that the Dec. 1 deadline will not be enforced.
"It was a mistake," said Alderman Penn Lemoine. "And it's got to be redone and reworded. And this Dec. 1 date is not going to happen."
Lemoine explained that the board would probably work out some kind of ordinance "to keep the dogs off the street." He went on to say of Zeus' owners: "If (they had) come forward and told us basically (Zeus was) sort of a therapy for their daughter, it think it would have made (the situation) a lot of different. ... I know in my eyes I wouldn't want to see (Zeus taken away)."
For more information on Zeus' story and the Moreauville ban, visit O'Hara Owens' family's Facebook page "Saving Zeus."
Animal Farm Post
It's time to clear something up: BSL is not a “pit bull” dog issue. It’s not something that only affects “pit bull” dogs and their families.
BSL denies all of us the opportunity to live in a safe, humane community.
BSL affects us all, no matter what kind of dog we have. In fact, it affects everyone, whether or not they even own a pet. As we're seeing in Louisiana now, where local veterinarians are taking a stand against BSL by refusing to euthanize healthy, safe family pets, BSL tears apart communities and traumatizes our neighbors. (see more: http://www.cnn.com/…/liv…/louisiana-pit-bull-rottweiler-ban/)
In cases like this, it's also important to consider: Are the current animal control ordinances effective and are they being enforced? Set the tone for responsible dog ownership in your community by updating current ordinances and enforcing them with those who do not comply.
Here's how BSL fails us ALL:
-BSL is ineffective and expensive (your tax dollars are being wasted). It has never been proven to increase public safety.
-BSL is time-consuming and nearly impossible to enforce. Animal control officers must spend time and resources seizing and destroying family dogs, based only on their physical appearances, rather than focusing their efforts on protecting the community from truly dangerous animals.
-BSL doesn’t treat all citizens equally. Every citizen deserves to be protected from ALL reckless dog owners, regardless of what kind of dog they own. BSL only targets certain breeds or breed mixes, based only on how they look and not based on how a dog actually behaves. Every dog owner should be held equally accountable.
-BSL has targeted more than 30 different breeds of dogs – from Boston Terriers and Chihuahuas to Siberian Huskies and Great Danes, plus countless mixed breed dogs. Think your dog is safe? BSL is a slippery slope and your dog might be the next victim.
-BSL and “no kill” are incompatible. Cities can’t claim to be “no kill” if a breed ban is in place. Euthanizing any dog identified as a banned breed, regardless of the dog’s individual temperament, is incompatible with the “no kill” philosophy. Forward thinking animal welfare policies don’t allow for discrimination.
-BSL creates an atmosphere of fear. Families who can’t move to other towns wind up hiding their dogs. Neighbors get the message that “those dogs” aren’t safe and look at their neighbor’s dogs differently. Myths, lies, and hype take the place of facts, truth, and personal experiences. Fear replaces logic.
-BSL perpetuates myths. BSL suggests we can accurately identify a dog’s breed based on their looks and that a dog’s breed is an accurate predictor of behavior. Science has repeatedly shown that both of these concepts are false. We cannot accurately i.d. a dog based only on their physical appearance. And we cannot predict or assume to know how a dog will behave in the future, based only on their breed or appearance.
Breed Specific Legislation fails us and our communities. Everyone benefits when breed neutral laws, that hold ALL reckless dog owners accountable for their actions, are in place. It’s in all of our best interests to defeat BSL.
Defeating BSL makes the world a better, safer, more humane place for ALL dogs and all humans. Those of us with “pit bull” dogs can’t get there without the help and support of the wider dog community.
If you believe that all dogs should be treated fairly and equally, please stand with us.
--Boycott towns that have BSL: don’t hold conferences, sporting competitions, or events in these towns. Take your money to places that don’t discriminate. Money talks.
--Be informed. Know your local and state laws. Watch our presentation to better understand BSL: http://www.animalfarmfoundation.org/…/Breed-Specific-Legisl…
--Don’t be silent. It could be your dogs next. Help us stop the cycle of discrimination now, so that no other group of dog owners ever has to take up this fight again. Join “pit bull” dog families in your town and demand fair and effective breed neutral polices. Let your policy makers know that you won’t stand for discrimination and ineffective laws that compromise everyone’s well being.
“Pit bull” dog families and advocates can’t defeat BSL without your help.
Please help us stand up for all dogs and join us in saying:
We want safe, humane communities and we won’t stand for or support this discrimination.
Tuesday, November 25, 2014
U.S. communities increasingly ditching pit bull bans - Aamer Madhani for USA Today November 18, 2014
U.S. communities increasingly ditching pit bull bans
Three decades after officials in
more than 700 cities throughout
the country began passing bans
and other restrictions to keep
pit bulls out of their communities,
state and local governments are increasingly reconsidering their
approach to what not so long ago was America's most vilified pet.
Since June, at least nine communities in the Midwest have
overturned pit bull bans that were on the books.
Last week, Hallsville, Mo., became the latest to lift its
ban after a family successfully appealed to the City Council
for a change in law when it learned the family dog was a pit bull mix.
Over the past two years, more than 100 municipalities
across the USA have overturned bans and other
restrictions that target dogs in the pit bull family,
the generic term commonly used to describe the
American pit bull terrier, Staffordshire bull terrier
and many mixed-breed dogs with square-shaped
heads and bulky builds.
More communities could soon follow suit.
The unified government of Wyandotte County and
Kansas City, Kan., is considering lifting a pit bull ban
that has been on the books for nearly a quarter-century,
as part of a comprehensive overhaul of its animal control
The push in Kansas City (pop. 148,000) comes as
Roeland Park, Kan. (pop. 6,800) recently began reviewing
its ban on pit bulls. The nearby community of
Bonner Springs announced this year that it was lifting its ban.
Advocates argue the bans have been ineffective in reducing
dog bites and led to millions of dogs being euthanized.
They say too often animal control officials, law enforcement
and the media misidentify offending dogs as pit bulls.
"The only ones that are being affected by these bans are
responsible dog owners,"said Janelle Holland, a pit bull
owner who was forced to leave Roeland Park more
than a decade ago after learning she was violating the ban.
There's been action on the statewide level as well.
This year, South Dakota and Utah joined 17 other
states in passing laws to prevent local governments
passing "breed-specific legislation," or BSL, making
it illegal for cities to pass bans targeting pit bulls or
any other breed. (The South Dakota law went into
effect in July, and Utah's prohibition on pit bull bans
will be law on New Year's Day.)
Breed-specific legislation began spreading in
communities throughout the country in the mid-1980s
after a surge in fatal dog bitings, including a
disproportionate number of incidents initially
attributed to pit bull-type dogs.
The pit bull was popular in illegal dogfighting rings,
and the breed developed a reputation as a favorite
accessory of drug dealers and gangsters.
This month, residents in the Denver suburb
of Aurora, Colo., voted by a 2-to-1 ratio in a
referendum to keep their pit bull ban on the books.
The Aurora vote follows a vote in 2012 in
Miami-Dade County, where voters opted to keep
the ban by a similarly wide ratio.
Jeff Borchardt, an East Troy, Wis.-man whose
14-month-old son, Daxton, was fatally mauled
last year by two pit bulls while being cared for by
a babysitter, says government leaders should
look to the Aurora and Miami examples before overturning bans.
"There's this pro-pit-bull movement that tries to
paint these dogs as nanny dogs and sweet, lovely
and kind," Borchardt said. "It's disgusting,
it's dangerous, and it's irresponsible."
Some groups, including the American Veterinary
Medical Association, the Humane Society and the
American Bar Association, have suggested governments
would be better off focusing attention on problem
animals in a community rather than banning
any particular breed of dog.
The push to end pit bull bans got a boost last year,
when the Obama administration — in response
to opponents of such laws petitioning the White House
— said it was opposed to breed-specific legislation.
Stakeholders on opposite sides of the issue cast
aspersions about the evidence the others use to
back their arguments. A lack of recent government
or third-party data on pit bull bites further muddies
the national conversation.
The National Canine Research Council, which
opposes breed-specific legislation, points to a
2013 study it partly funded that suggests a dog's
environment has more to do than its breed with
the likelihood of a dog making a deadly attack.
The study, published in the Journal of the
American Veterinary Medical Association, of 256 dog
bite-related fatalities from 2000-2009 found
co-occurring factors in more than 80% of the
deadly incidents, such as the absence of an
able-bodied person to stop the attack, a history
of abuse or neglect of the dog and the failure
by owners to neuter the dogs.
"It's becoming more and more obvious that
breed-specific legislation doesn't improve public
safety," says Janis Bradley, director of
communication for the NCRC. "Its purpose is to
reduce injuries from dog bites, but there is no
municipality or state where it's enacted where
they've been able to show that it's accomplished this."
The Center for Disease Control, which opposes
BSL, notes that fatal attacks represent a tiny
fraction of about 4.7 million dog bites Americans
suffer annually and that it's difficult to accurately
calculate bite rates for specific breeds.
DogsBite.org, a group that advocates in favor of
BSL, points to its own research, culled from news
reports of dog-bite-related fatalities, that shows
74% of incidents from 2005 to 2013 involved a
pit bull or Rottweiler.
Colleen Lynn, founder of DogsBite.org, dismisses
the suggestion from the CDC and others that BSL doesn't work.
"It's not designed to reduce all dog bites," said Lynn,
who said pit bulls are an inherently aggressive animal.
"It's breed-specific and meant to reduce pit bull
maulings and fatalities."
Even as dozens of American communities abandon
BSL, some ponder its merits.
This year, Riverside, Ala., a community about 40 miles
outside of Birmingham, weighed enacting a pit bull
ban after a 5-year-old boy was fatally mauled by
neighbor's pit bull. City officials opted against it.
Mayor Rusty Jessup said he would prefer not to
have any pit bulls in his community of 3,000.
Jessup said he didn't think his community could
enforce such a ban or even positively determine
the breeds of dogs.
"We were just afraid that we were going to get
situations where we're trying to enforce this and
people are saying, 'That dog's not a pit bull,
it's a boxer,'" Jessup said. " And doggone it, who
are we going to have to make that determination?"
Essential Oils for Dogs
I have a dog with severe crate anxiety. I tried everything I could think of to help ease his anxiety. We tried exercise, melatonin, and he already ate and slept in his crate without an issue. However, when we left and had to put him in the crate he’d have a melt down. Leaving him out of the crate when we aren’t home wasn’t an option so having exhausted what I thought were all other options I tried drugs.
We tried a moderate dose of Prozac since the anxiety was so intense. It did seem to take the edge off but I hated medicating him. About that time I started learning more about essential oils and their uses. I discovered the Dog Oiler http://www.thedogoiler.com/. After spending some time reading the site and joining the Facebook Page I purchased a diffuser and started diffusing a calming blend of oils next to my dog’s crate in the morning before I left for work. Within a week he was off the meds and the oils had the same if not better effect than the meds did!
These powerful oils work in and for many different ailments we and our dogs experience. From allergies to wound care there are many different oils, one for almost for everything! Before an expensive vet visit or subjecting your dog to manmade medicine try an alternative.
For more information on ordering the essential oils email firstname.lastname@example.org
We always welcome a new rescue effort, as it is impossible for just one organization to combat all the challenges of overpopulation, lack of spay and neuter, miseducated and misguided citizens, along with the shelters bursting at the seams. I encourage you to start slow, too many groups try and “save them all” become overwhelmed and shut down or worse turn into hoarders themselves. First, educate yourself, know the laws of Virginia, all animal law can be found by searching Virginia State Code, 3.2-6500 is the code section that starts with definitions (including animal shelter public and private). You will need to apply for a non-profit status with federal and state government, you will also need to apply to the State Corporation Commission, follow all governing rules of Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to include filling a state vet report each year and a form 102 (which allows you to accept donations). Get all of these things going before you jump in. In the meantime come with a name, stay away for things that have derogatory terms like “bully” with the bullying issue in schools you want to not be associated. You will need to write out your mission statement, get a board of directors, write bylaws, a foster, adoption and volunteer application, an adoption contract, website, figure out your accounting and know that you need to file taxes every year and make public your profits and loss, adoption, euthanasia, etc. numbers. Start slow, do it right and it will not only last, but make a lasting impact on animals in your community.
*** Note this is not everything just a quick starting point incase you are interested.