Most people involved in animal rescue know that homeless dogs in America are routinely shipped from southern shelters to northern ones to improve their chances of adoption.
But here’s a canine pipeline I hadn’t heard of — dogs from Las Vegas, like Pono (above), are being flown to Canada to find new adoptive homes. He was the 1,000th dog to make the trip.
Pono, a 3-year-old male Pomeranian, left a Las Vegas animal shelter in September and ended up either for sale or up for adoption (depending on your point of view) at Petcetera, a large pet store chain in Canada.
He made the trip through a program called Foreclosed Upon Pets Inc., which has been operating since 2008. The non-profit organization began shipping Las Vegas shelter dogs to Vancouver two and a half years ago, and now ships eight to 16 every week.
Both stories describe what’s happening — troubling as it is on some levels — as a simple matter of supply and demand: The U.S. has millions of surplus dogs; Canada, with its stricter regulations on spaying and neutering, has what some might call a shortage, especially when it comes to smaller breeds.
“For whatever reason, we have a shortage of small dogs here, and to be quite honest, we were shocked at the size of the problem in Las Vegas,” said Richard Kaga, the executive vice president of Petcetera, which operates big box pet stores from Alberta to British Columbia to Nova Scotia.
“Over here in the United States, we’re just one big puppy mill,” said Everett Croxson, FUPI executive director. “Las Vegas included … Let’s face it. People are breeding for money in their backyards, and the concept of spaying and neutering never enters their heads, even if the laws exist. Even if there are such laws on the books.”
Every week, Croxson picks up dogs from the Lied Animal Shelter in Las Vegas and takes them to the airport. After a layover in Seattle, they arrive in Vancouver. Since the program started in 2010, Croxson said he has exported as many as 1,100 small dogs, nearly three-fourths of them Chihuahuas. Croxson calls Las Vegas “the Chihuahua capital of the world.”
He started the organization to find homes for dogs that had been abandoned due to foreclosures, most of which ended up at Lied Animal Shelter, a very high volume regional shelter that takes in more than 100 dogs and cats each day. In 2012, nearly 43,000 unwanted animals — nearly 23,000 dogs and 18,000 cats — came in, and many never left. An estimated 65 dogs and cats are put to sleep there every day.
Given that ugly alternative, it’s hard to find any fault with a program that’s bringing dogs happy endings in another country.
But what’s happening seems to make a pretty sad statement about our own country: “No, we can’t take care of our own.” “True, we tend to shirk responsibilities.” “Yes — cough, cough — our economy is a little unhealthy right now.” America in 2013 is producing refugees — albeit canine ones — who must be airlifted out of the country to stay alive.
Kaga, the Petcetera official, says there are no puppy mills in Canada and that Canadian pet owners “would not think of having a pet” without spaying and neutering it. Some might argue with that, but clearly Canada is a step ahead — or at least enough ahead that, when it comes to canines, it’s accepting our tired, poor, homeless and hungry.
Noble as it appears, the adoption program isn’t hurting business at Petcetera stores.
Kaga says the $500 fee the store is paid for each adopted pet covers the cost of the animals’ transportation, spaying or neutering, shots, health certificate, and their care and boarding at Petcetera.
But each dog adopted is going to need some food, and toys, and treats, perhaps a dog bed, and maybe a nice warm sweater.
“Like people, dogs have to have toys and food,” he says. “When we adopt a dog out, we hope the customer will come back to us for all that dog’s needs for the rest of its life. It’s worked out really well for all concerned — especially the dogs.”
(Photo: Foreclosed Upon Pets, Inc.)
Posted by jwoestendiek December 4th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: $1, $500, 000, adopt, adopting, adoption, alberta, animal, animals, breeds, canada, canine, chihuahua, demand, dogs, economy, euthanasia, everett croxson, export, fee, foreclosed upon dogs, foreclosure, import, las vegas, neuter, nova scotia, over-population, petcetera, pets, pipeline, pono, population, refugees, rescue, responsibility, richard kaga, shelters, small, spay, stores, supply, surplus, united states, vancouver
There’s a new world’s shortest dog.
A one-pound brown Chihuahua from Puerto Rico, named Miracle Milly, is shorter than a soup can, standing at 3.8 inches when measured from backbone to paw, Guinness World Records announced Thursday. Miracle Milly takes the title from Boo Boo, a long-haired Chihuahua from Kentucky that stands 4 inches tall.
Whether Milly is the world’s smallest dog depends on how you’re measuring.
By height, the 2-year-old Chihuahua is the clear winner, Guinness says. By length, a six-inch-long Florida Chihuahua named Heaven Sent Brandy retains the title.
Milly fit in a teaspoon when she was born — too small to nurse from her mother. She slept in a doll’s crib, next to her owner, Vanesa Semler, who fed her milk every two hours from an eyedropper.
She now sleeps in a baby’s crib, and eats only human food, preferably salmon or chicken. She has a habit of sticking her tongue out when her photo is taken, Semler told The Associated Press.
She doesn’t bark and enjoys chasing birds in Semler’s backyard. Inside, Milly, one of 10 Chihuahuas that Semler owns, enjoys spending time with Paco, a yellow Chihuahua plush toy twice her size. “We give her a new toy almost every week,” Semler said. “She likes to cuddle with them.”
You can keep up with Milly on her Facebook page.
(Photo: Guinness World Records 2014 Edition)
Posted by jwoestendiek September 16th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, book, chihuahua, dogs, guinness, guinness world records, milly, miracle milly, pets, puerto rico, records, small dogs, world, worlds shortest dog, worlds smallest dog
John Simpson, who is living at a hospice and who doctors say has only days to live, saw his dog last Saturday, when a neighbor caring for the Chihuahua brought him by for a visit.
His hopes for one more visit were dashed when, the next day, Mr. Cutie escaped by digging a hole under a fence.
“I really think he was looking for John,” neighbor Ann Marie Gemmel told MyFoxTampaBay.com.
Simpson, who was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2012, said in an interview after Mr. Cutie went missing that the dog was his “spark of life,” and what he was living for.
“When you’re growing up you’re asked, ‘If you could have one wish, what would you wish for?’ Back in those days, I used to say, ‘As many wishes as I could wish for.’ Now my only wish would be for my dog to come home,” he said.
On Friday, Mr. Cutie was found by Missy Figueroa, who didn’t know Simpson. She took photos of the dog and posted them on the website FidoFinder.com.
A Fox 13 viewer who had seen the TV news report on Simpson’s missing dog saw the post and called the TV station, which passed the information along to Figueroa.
Unsure whether it was Simpson’s dog, Figueroa brought the Chihuahua to the hospice.
The reaction of dog and owner upon their reunion confirmed it was Mr. Cutie she had found.
“Seeing this person that I don’t even know, you know, so excited to see his dog, it just makes me happy that I actually got to be here for that and just make him happy,” Figueroa said.
Said Simpson, “I’m about to cry …”
Posted by jwoestendiek June 11th, 2013 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, chihuahua, death, dog, dogs, dying, dying wish, fido finder, fidofinder, found, fox, fox 13, hospice, john simpson, last, lost, missy figueroa, mister cutie, mr cutie, news, pancreatic cancer, pets, stranger, tampa bay, veteran, vietnam, wish
I’m a proponent of spending more time with your dog, and less with your computer, but here’s an interesting, and interactive, presentation from WNYC in New York, which has mapped out not just what breeds dominate the city’s neighborhoods, but what names as well.
Citywide, the top three female names for dogs are Bella, Princess and Lola; the top male names are Max, Rocky and Lucky and the top breeds are Yorkie, Shih Tzu and Maltese.
(Actually the most popular dog in New York is the mutt, and WYNC does report that elsewhere. Somehow they didn’t rate getting on the map, though.)
What’s the most fun though is scrolling through the boroughs to see where Lola tops Lucy, where Buddy beats Buster as the name of choice, and what breeds are, from neighborhood to neighborhood, most predominant. While Yorkies dominate most areas, there are enclaves where Labs and Chihuahuas and pit bulls are owned in the highest numbers. There’s a major English bulldog contingent in lower Manhattan, and pit bulls are the highest in number in Bed Stuy.
The list is based on information WNYC obtained from the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, which runs the city’s dog licensing program.
The feature has some other bells and whistles, too, including opportunities to play games and make a t-shirt.
Just after WNYC came out with its map, Gothamist put together an interactive map of its own – this back in January — claiming to show not where the dogs are, but where their poop is, or at least where it’s most complained about. The map shows what neighborhoods have the most barking dog complaints, too.
One wonders what would happen if those two interactive maps were to interact. Would that reveal large dogs named Brutus leave bigger droppings than Chihuahuas named Princess? That Sparky barks more than Snoozy?
Somewhere we have to draw line on all this interactivity with our computers — especially that share of it that’s presenting information that’s just everyday knowledge or common sense or entirely bogus.
In those cases, your time would be better spend interacting with the dog.
Posted by jwoestendiek April 23rd, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, barking, boroughs, breeds, bulldogs, chihuahua, complaints, dog, dog waste, dogs, gothamist, interactive, labrador retrievers, maltese, maps, names, neighborhoods, new york city, nyc, pets, pit bulls, poop, popular, popularity, shih-tzu, WNYC, yorkie
Three-and-a-half-year-old Jason Bragg was standing on the edge of the lake watching as Chloe fell through the ice, then struggled unsuccessfully to pull herself out of the water, according to the Union-Leader in Manchester.
That’s when Police Chief Donald Briggs Jr. arrived, jumped in the water and began smashing the inch-thick ice to work his way 30 feet from shore to the yelping dog.
“It was obvious that the dog needed to be rescued,” he later told the newspaper. “The dog kept slipping and going into the water even deeper and my fear was that it was going to drown.”
Briggs brought Chloe back to the beach, where she was wrapped in a blanket and rushed to Plaistow-Kingston Animal Medical Center. Chloe was treated for hypothermia and reunited with the family Tuesday afternoon.
Chloe had escaped from the deck of her home and wandered onto the ice. Jason and his mother were able to find her, but when they called her back, she fell through the ice. The boy’s mother, who called 911, said it was fortunate the chief arrived quickly.
“I appreciate it so much. He basically saved her life,” she said. “The vet said that if she had been in there any longer, she wouldn’t have been so lucky.”
(Photo by DAVID LANE / Union-Leader)
Posted by jwoestendiek April 1st, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, chief, chihuahua, chloe, dachschund, dogs, donald briggs jr, fell, frozen, ice, jason bragg, kingston, lake, new hampshire, pets, police, police chief, rescue, rescued, save, saved, saves