12.09.2005

What YOU can do....

Have you ever suspected abuse of animals/pets in your neighborhood?

Do you know if your local Humane Society has a branch for investigations?

Last week while having lunch with a coworker, she mentioned her neighbor who walks his dog in front of her home. This man blantanly abuses the dog while they are on the walk, including whipping the pet with its leash. She has seen it many times and was telling me how upset it made her especially when her 2 year old son is in sight. I asked her if she had ever reported it. Bless her good heart, she did not even know that was possible!

In Hawaii, our local humane society has a terrific webpage, where you can find many links to all sorts of resources (housebreaking tips, local bark parks, etc) including info on how to report animal abuse. By calling them and opening a report, you initiate an investigation.

I have done this myself and let me tell you how pleased I was with the results. A neighbor of mine has 4 pit bulls who roam free in his yard and often escape. I have no prejudices against pits, but when one broke through my fence and encountered my dogs, I was severly upset. I also witnessed the pits fighting many times on their property and saw no real effort by the owners to break up the fight or offer the dogs any medical care. I called the number and spoke to a case worker. She asked many questions and told me an officer would inspect the site and the animals. If abuse was found, appropriate measures would be taken to correct it. Within 48 hrs an officer from the Humane Society visited the property, inspected the dogs and then called me to give me his report. He let me know that the animals had no scars or wounds, appeared to be decently fed, had shelter available and that he had discussed the roaming with the owners. Other neighbors even ventured over during this visit and complained to the officer IN PERSON that they would like to see these animals better cared for.

What a satifying use of the system!! I hope my coworker calls soon about her concerns. I hope all of you will go seek out your Humane Society website and use the resources there to change the lives of pets you know as well. I recommend even adding the site to your bookmarks because it is a great way to keep tabs on pet news and events in your community. When there is a doggie day or local event for pets, you can bet your humane society will be involved. Good luck fighting the stupid humans!

Janimal

12.01.2005

Christmas is here!

Just a few ideas for your family and friends who have pets. I think any of these are great gift ideas for pet owners.

1. A donation in the person (or pet's ) name to a Humane Society, rescue organization, worldwide animal fund, etc. It shows your loved ones that you support their love of animals.

2. Kong Toys. These nearly indestructable toys can be refilled with any number of inventive treats. This toy is genius because it stimulates the animal mentally/physically as it tries to work the treat out of the toy and also is an unbelievably safe item for dogs. They last for years and the owner is apt to enjoy watching the pet use the toy, or even take advantage of the free time while the pet is occupied.

3. Gift certificates. Try your local pet store or even your vet. Many vets allow for credits to be left on an account for the next visit. You can prepay for FIDO's next nail trim or bag of Greenies, etc.

4. Classes. Agility, obedience, trick classes. Most owners would love this idea as a way to spend more time with their pet.

5. Accessories. Not sweater and hats, mind you, but maybe a new dish, collar, leash. Most owners make do with what they have but would happily accept new items if offered!

6. If you have a neighbor, friend, relative who may be struggling, try leaving an extra bag of food/litter by the door. Stress about making ends meet during the holidays is awful and you can help alleviate that and ensure their pet is well cared for. Plus, this feels awesome!

Good luck with you shopping everybody, enjoy the holidays! Merry Christmas...

Wanna Go For A Ride?

Today after I left the post office, I noticed a van parked in the lot with 2 poodles inside. The windows were cracked a few inches and the car was not in direct sunlight. The temp outside was at least 85 degrees. This pissed me off (I explain why in a sec) and I decided to wait a few moments until either the owner returned or until it would be necessary for me to intervene (fortunately the owner returned an excruciating six mintues later and her dogs were apparently okay).

No big deal, right? Wrong. Being left in a car is the #1 cause of heatstroke in canines every year. A car, EVEN WITH WINDOWS OPEN, can easily become an oven. Temps inside of cars in sunlight can soar 10-30 degrees PER MINUTE!! This becomes lethal to a dog. See, it has nothing to do with how hot the car is, it has to do with how hot your dog is internally. Their normal body temp is about 101 - 102 degrees. As they rise above 104/105 range, deadly consequences are possible. This happens when dogs cannot release body heat fast enough, through their skin or by panting (which helps evaporate moisture from the lungs). Your dogs' temp can rise this high even if the internal car temp is still below 100 degrees.

What to do? ACT!! If you ever see a dog in a car, go and take a closer look. Rapid breathing, dry mouth, grey lips or very red lips can indicate a severe problem has already developed. Try to locate the owner. Call police, humane society, etc. As a last resort, smash the window and rescue the animal yourself, believe me, the authorities will have to do the same and the owner may thank you for saving the pets' life. I would happily apologize to an angry owner and pay the costs of the smashed window if it meant that I could save the pet. Finally, set a good example yourself. Never leave a dog unattended if you can help it. In Janimal's dream world, I'd win the lottery and then donate a huge chunk to HSUS, then establish a PSA campaign to educate our nation's public to be better pet owners...when's the next drawing?

Fight the Stupid Humans,
Janimal