Sunday, October 28, 2007

Talking Dogs


Thursday, October 25, 2007

Disaster preparedness: Do you have a plan for your pet?

A truck containing volatile chemicals overturns less than a mile from your house, your house catches fire, your home floods or you have to escape tornadic activity. We tend to watch the current California firestorm or the wreckage of Katrina with the assumption that this could never happen to us. The truth is that there is a long list of events that could force us to have to evacuate quickly and may prevent us returning home for some time. The ASPCA has compiled a list of things every pet owner should do to be prepared for any such emergency. Many things you may have never considered. Here are a few suggestions of my own: Have a prepared kit that is packed and ready to go or stored in the trunk of your car. This kit should include a collapsible crate or kennel, 7 days of food and water (if dry the food must be rotated every two months or per manufacturer recommendations), an emergency medical pet kit and guide book, bowls, leashes, extra collar or harness, tie out lead, a blanket and a muzzle (fear or injury can often panic even the best natured pet), one to two weeks of any medicines the pet requires, toys, litter and basic supplies, photocopies of your pet records and recent photos of your pet (for posters if lost.) Have your pet micro chipped!!! This is the best way to insure you will get your pet back if separated. Also have an ID tag on the collar that includes the pets name, your phone number and your vet's phone number. If you do not own a car, have a transportation plan in place. Even though many cabs in urban areas are pet friendly, the cab may not be able to get to you. Identify a few neighbors or friends, who would be willing to help you with transport in an emergency. Have a list of those phone numbers in addition to pet friendly cabs, your vet's phone number and your cities Office of Emergency Management number (in case alternate transport is not available.) Maintain a land phone at your home and a white page listing. Reverse 911 calls are commonly used to alert citizens who must evacuate. Cell numbers will not be contacted. If you have an unlisted number or refuse to maintain a land line, develop a call network with your neighbors, but keep in mind they may be scrambling too and forget to call. Block Clubs or neighborhood watch groups can be a very effective tool to maintain a phone database for emergencies. On October 6th, 2006, The Pet's Act was signed by President Bush. The Pets Act, Pet Evacuation and Transportation Standards Act, requires local and state emergency preparedness authorities to include in their evacuation plans how they will accommodate household pets and service animals in the event of a major disaster. Read more about the PETS ACT here. This is encouraging legislation, but it would be a mistake to assume that most cities, shelters and disaster teams are fully prepared for the volume of family pets they would have to deal with in a full scale disaster. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Have a plan in place.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Petco raises money for firestorm pets

PETCO and PETCO Foundation Aid California Wildfire Animal Relief San Diego, CA, October 24, 2007 - The PETCO Foundation today begins a 10-day emergency Round-Up program to raise money to help animals affected by this week’s wildfires in Southern California. The Round-Up is a nationwide opportunity for PETCO customers to “round up” their purchases to the next highest dollar as a contribution to the Foundation. All donations will go toward the Foundation’s ongoing efforts to aid animals affected by the fires and other incidents. PETCO and its vendors, along with the PETCO Foundation have provided products valued at more than $200,000 to evacuation centers and animal welfare groups throughout San Diego County. In addition, PETCO associates have donated thousands of hours of time to help support the effort to meet the needs of its customers, shelter partners and evacuation centers. "Since the fires started Sunday afternoon, our associates have worked together to coordinate a rapid, thoughtful response to the crisis," said Jim Myers, PETCO CEO. "Many continue to work tirelessly around the clock. Our actions have helped to alleviate the considerable stress on animals in this situation. Our response once again displays how deeply the passion for animals runs at PETCO." PETCO and The PETCO Foundation arranged for and delivered truckloads of food, kennels and other supplies to pets and their pet parents displaced by this week’s wildfires in California. Semis were dispatched from the company’s Mira Loma, Calif., distribution center to evacuation locations to help ensure the health and well-being of animals through the crisis. Through the week, PETCO stores remained opened and product shipments were expedited so that customers’ needs could be met. To donate online or to locate a store near you, visit

Pets in the firestorm. More ways you can help.

The following message comes from the San Diego Humane Society. Oct. 23, 2007 - The San Diego Humane Society’s Animal Rescue Reserve (ARR) team is currently working with the County of San Diego Department of Animal Services (DAS) to evacuate domestic animals and livestock threatened by the Harris and Witch Creek fires with first priority being given to evacuation areas in Rancho Bernardo. SDHS staff is also manning the pet center at the Mira Mesa High School Evacuation Center. Over the last two days, officers, staff and volunteers have helped in evacuating more than 400 animals and are directly assisting several thousand animals at evacuation centers throughout the county. It is estimated conservatively that between 10,000 to 15,000 animals are in evacuation centers countywide. All press releases here: These folks are working night and day to rescue animals from the evacuations zones. Please assist their efforts any way you can. Give, anything you can, to the San Diego Humane Society.

Happy Howloween

I must be frank. I really detest the concept of clothes for dogs. Winter coats are a neccesity, but the t-shirts, bandanas, smoking jackets and jewelry have never held any great appeal for me. That being said, the following costumes really are funny!!! My favorite is the knight. Enjoy!!!!

Help save four legged victims of the California fire

California Wildfires Emergency Relief PetSmart Charities dispatched two of our Emergency Relief Waggin's on Oct. 23rd to help the animals impacted by the California wildfires. Each semi-trailer contains enough donated pet supplies to support up to 500 companion animals. Both Waggin's will be received by the City of San Deigo at Qualcomm Stadium, a designated community evacuation location. You Can Help Your donations help PetSmart Charities provide food, crates, litter, beds, and funds for medical supplies and vaccinations. You can make a tax-deductible donation to help the pet victims of the California wildfires and future disasters in one of three ways: Make an Online Credit Card Donation Now Make a cash or credit/debit donation at the register inside any U.S. PetSmart store between Oct. 24 and Oct. 30. Mail in a check donation directly to: PetSmart Charities Attn: Disaster Relief 19601 N. 27th Ave. Phoenix, AZ 85027 (Please write "disaster relief" in the memo section of the check) Generous contributions made to PetSmart Charities so far have provided more than $120,000 in pet supplies to animal welfare agencies involved in sheltering evacuated pets. PetSmart Charities provides immediate emergency relief funding and supplies to assist pets affected by hurricanes, earthquakes, fire and other natural disasters. Funds raised for the California wildfires will be used to aid pets affected by this disaster. Any donations above and beyond what is needed to provide relief for pet victims of this disaster will be deposited in the general disaster relief fund to be used for future disaster relief efforts. If you are an animal welfare agency and would like to request emergency assistance, call 1-800-423-PETS ext. 2840. Blog Notes: I was pleased to see that some shelters were indeed allowing pets, but most pet owners have to camp in pup tents or in their cars. Many flee without leashes or any supplies for their pets, many leave their pets behind to fend for themselves. Muttshack, a non profit rescue agency was actively involved in the rescue of animals deserted in the California Esperanza fire. They detail the conditions below: As families fled their homes in the early morning hours on Thursday October 26, there was no warning. The Esperanza Fire southeast of Los Angeles and West of Palm Springs, California, had ballooned under the influence of Santa Ana winds to more than 19,000 acres as of the morning of October 27. No time to get the animals, no time for crates or even a leash. Sadly, owners left behind not only their horses, lamas, donkeys, chickens, rabbits, but also their dogs and cats. Many of the families who did manage to evacuate their pets found themselves in the parking lot at the Fellowship in the Pass Church Red Cross Shelter where a MuttShack Animal Rescue team caught up with them. Pam Anderson, Director of the emergency Red Cross shelter said that many people with animals had come and left. The air was thick with smoke, and ash was raining down on the parking lot where dog owners, not able to take their dogs into the shelter were camping out in pup tents and in their cars. There were no emergency shelter facilities set up for animals. Those who could afford it checked themselves into pet friendly hotels in nearby towns. Jane Garner, a small dog breeder was able to get all her animals out, and had set up her puppy runs alongside her RV in the parking lot. Others were not doing too well, having left home without as much as a leash. The same scenario played out at the Red Cross shelter at Hemet High School. Animals were being boarded in vans, trailers and cars and small travel crates. When MuttShack Animal Rescue arrived, a small fracas had sent several dogs off in different directions, running out of the school parking lot down busy streets necessitating an instant rescue response. The Incident Command for the Esperanza Animals, Ramona Humane Society in San Jacinto welcomed MuttShack‘s offer to help at the shelters. Ramona Humane Society had recently published a notice in their Newsletter about the newly passed “PETS” Act and warned owners not wait until a major disaster such as an earthquake or fire to prepare. "Be proactive to ensure that your pet will be taken care of.” MuttShack and PetSmart Charities set up ad hoc facilities for the animals at both shelters. The Red Cross shelter, run by Madison Burtchaell of the Orange County Red Cross was very accommodating about allowing a small emergency pet shelter adjacent to the School. Barbara A. Fought of PetSmart Charities, an organization active in disasters, provided crates and emergency supplies. MuttShack and Red Cross volunteers, Martin St. John, Tom Hamilton, and Steve Meissner helped assemble the crates to secure a safe environment for evacuated pets. It was a great relief for evacuees who had camped out in the parking lot to finally leave their vehicles and relax at the shelter, setting up their cots to grab some sorely needed rest. The Esperanza fire burned 34 homes, consumed 40,000 acres and cost five Firefighters their lives before it was contained four days later on October 30. Firefighting operations cost nearly $10 million. MuttShack Animal Rescue is a 501(c) 3 non-profit charity organization active in disasters and dedicated to the rescue, rehabilitation and care of lost or discarded dogs, cats and other animals. Please take time to donate to these two worthy agencies.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Dog Friendly Vacations-Galena Illinois

I decided to feature some unique pet friendly vacations and came across this gem. Not for the urban at heart, TierraLinda focuses on those that truly enjoy quiet, relaxation and nature. TierraLinda features it's own pack of dogs and is completely dog friendly to any dog that is good with pets and other people...oh yeah the dog must be neutered as well. If you are dying for downtown and culture, Galena is a short 5 miles away and is also a very pet friendly town. You are asked not to leave your pets alone at the B&B unless you arrange pet sitting with the owner or the pet demonstrates calmness in the room barking, no whining,no chewing,no scratching or howling. Armando, the proprietor, features; a weather permitting bonfire, a sandy beach with a canoe, tons of trails to bike, jog or explore, complimentary full breakfast (with a hint of latin) and complimentary drinks. There are only two rooms available. I have never stayed here but really would love to check it out. For more information click here.

Good for you Chicago and ouch..take a look at these statistics

Chicago Leads Nation to Unite Against Dog Fighting! Community Activists, Animal Advocates and Government Leaders Launch Safe, Humane Chicago Initiative. In one of the most extensive community-wide partnerships to address violence in the context of dog fighting, the Dog Advisory Work Group (D.A.W.G.), the Alliance for Community Peace, the Chicago Police Department, and other city agencies, organizations and community advocates gathered last week to announce the Safe, Humane Chicago initiative – an aggressive citywide campaign to reduce the abhorrent practice of dog fighting and other associated violence. In cities across the nation, dog fighters and animal abusers are some of the most violent offenders in the criminal justice system. Animal abusers are more likely to commit child abuse, domestic violence and other violent acts against humans. In most cases, children exposed to the ruthless violence of dog fighting and animal abuse at a very young age become desensitized to violence, resulting in children more likely to grow up and become violent themselves. “Bottom line, the real victim of dog fighting is society,” said Steve Dale, author of the twice-weekly national column “My Pet World” and host of two nationally syndicated radio programs on animal issues. “Safe, Humane Chicago is the perfect beginning to what needs to happen all around America. We need the public to understand the reality of this violence and call for it to end.” With the recent media attention surrounding the Michael Vick case, activists warned against stereotyping dog fighters as people of a certain race or culture because data shows that the only commonality that exists among dog fighters is the predisposition to engage in violence. “Whether you like dogs or not, this issue is about violence in our communities – and we must put an end to the senseless torture of living creatures and the psychological scars that dog fighting leaves on the kids that witness this brutality,” said Reverend Dr. Walter B. Johnson, Jr., executive director for the Alliance for Community Peace. “To protect our children, we are calling on the community to get involved to make our streets safer. We cannot just look the other way and let our children become recruits for the gang bangers to mold into violent criminals.” A study by the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) and Boston’s Northeastern University shows that those who attend dog fights and witness other forms of animal cruelty are five times more likely to commit violent crimes against people. ”In Chicago, data shows that 70 percent of dog-fighting and animal abuse offenders have also been arrested for violent felonies against people. Even more alarming is that 86 percent of those who have committed crimes against animals have been arrested for multiple violent offenses,” said Cynthia Bathurst, executive director of D.A.W.G. “Through education, early intervention and community involvement, we believe that we can significantly reduce violence in general by focusing on violence associated with dog fighting. This will create a more humane generation in the years to come.” Whole story here:

Tom gets Reba back!!!

Dog returned to 'speechless' Chicago panhandler By Gerry Smith | Tribune staff reporter September 23, 2007 For two weeks, Tom Finley was in a daze, holding fliers with a photo of his friend and asking passersby in the Loop if they had seen a blond husky/terrier mix with a limp. "It was hard to sleep," he said. "Hard to eat." On Saturday, the well-known panhandler received a gift no amount of loose change could replace when he was reunited with Reba, who had been missing since Finley, 69, left the 12-year-old dog outside a McDonald's at South Franklin Street and West Jackson Boulevard on Sept. 7. "I'm speechless," Finley said during a news conference at the Anti-Cruelty Society of Chicago, where Reba strained on the leash and barked at photographers. Since Reba disappeared, Finley had received an outpouring of support from the public. Office workers printed up fliers of the missing dog and a woman gave Finley a prepaid cell phone to field calls in the search. He said he received "hundreds" of calls from people claiming to have seen Reba. "Some would call and say they'd spotted her or they had her," he said. "Sometimes I thought I heard her myself." Finley believed Reba was taken by someone who thought he couldn't care for her. Officials at the Anti-Cruelty Society would not identify the woman who returned Reba around noon on Friday. "She was in tears," said Nadine Walmsley, an official with the Anti-Cruelty Society. "She just handed us the dog. We honored our part. No questions asked." Whole story here: This story brings tears to my eyes. Here is a panhandler whose plight brought many downtown office workers, executives, TV stations and rescue groups to his aid. I have it on good authority that the person that took Reba thought he/she was doing the right thing. Said person called the cell provided to Tom to tell him Reba was in a "better place." I am so glad that this person had the audacity of character to understand that love/companionship goes far beyond the boundaries of how much you make or what you can provide. I imagine returning Reba was hard, but believe this person did the right thing!

A message to all dogs and cats from their owners

To all Pet Owners: To be posted VERY LOW on the refrigerator door - nose height. Dear Dogs and Cats: The dishes with the paw print are yours and contain your food. The other dishes are mine and contain my food. Please note; placing a paw print in the middle of my plate/food does not stake a claim for it becoming your plate/food. I do not find that aesthetically pleasing in the slightest. The stairway was not designed by NASCAR nor is it a racetrack. Beating me to the bottom is not the object. Tripping me doesn't help, because I fall faster than you can run. I cannot buy anything bigger than a king sized bed. I am very sorry about this. Do not think I will continue sleeping on the couch to ensure your comfort. Dogs and cats can actually curl up in a ball when they sleep. It is not necessary to sleep perpendicular to each other stretched out to the fullest extent possible. I also know that sticking tails straight out and having tongues hanging out at the other end to maximize space is nothing but sarcasm. For the last time, there is not a secret exit from the bathroom. If by some miracle I beat you there and manage to get the door shut, it is not necessary to claw, whine, meow, try to turn the knob, get your paw under the edge or try to pull the door open. I must exit through the same door I entered. Also, I have been using the bathroom for years -- canine or feline attendance is not required. The proper order is kiss me, then go smell the other dog or cat's butt. I cannot stress this enough! To pacify you, my dear pets, I have posted the following message on our front door: To All Non-Pet Owners Who Visit & Like to Complain About Our Pets: 1 They live here. You don't. 2. If you don't want their hair on your clothes, stay off the furniture. (That's why they call it "fur"nature.) 3. I like my pets a lot better than I like most people. 4. To you, it's an animal. To me, he/she is an adopted son/daughter who is short, hairy, walks on all fours and doesn't speak clearly. Remember: In many ways, dogs and cats are better than kids because they: 1. Eat less 2. Don't ask for money all the time 3. Are easier to train 4. Normally come when called 5. Never ask to drive the car 6. Don't hang out with drug-using friends 7. Don't smoke or drink 8. Don't have to buy the latest fashions 9. Don't want to wear your clothes 10. Don't need a "gazillion" dollars for college. And finally, 11. If they get pregnant, you can sell their children.