A Toledo-area rescue group is recovering from storm damage, but it’s facing repair bills nearly as big as its annual budget.
“Our annual operating budget is only about $2,000,” said Jane Huth, founder and president of You Lucky Dog in Oregon, Ohio. “This is really a huge hit for us because we are not very big.”
Storms caused the city sewer drain to back up into the facility, and while insurance covered much of the clean up, it didn’t cover the $1,500 bill to replace the waterlogged drywall and flooring, Huth said.
Huth said she went to the kennels where the group’s rescue dogs are kept after the storm and saw “water creeping toward the kennels … I knew I had to do something fast,” she said. She created a dam in front of where three dogs resided to keep the water from reaching them, according to the Toledo Blade.
The nonprofit organization, funded through donations, rescues about 25 dogs a year, most of which come from the Lucas County dog warden, Huth said. It recently celebrated its 11th year in operation and its 550th adoption.
Lucas County Dog Warden Julie Lyle said the group houses about four dogs at a time, and has found homes for many dogs rescued from the county shelter, including litters of puppies, nursing moms and dogs recovering from injuries.
Tax-deductible donations to help the rescue group can be mailed to You Lucky Dog, 1510 Blandin St., Oregon, OH 43616.
Posted by jwoestendiek January 25th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal, animals, damage, dog, dogs, donations, flooding, insurance, jane huth, lucas county, nonprofit, ohio, oregon, organization, pets, rescue, storm, toledo, warden, you lucky dog
My dog Ace likes to forage — to graze on grass, cruise for crumbs under the backyard grill, and gobble up any leftover vegetables my neighbor puts out for the squirrels and rabbits.
It’s not that he’s a glutton, constantly in search of food, but when no one is around to visit it’s generally how he passes the time. I attribute it to him spending his formative early months as a stray — scavenging meals where he could find them.
While he seems willing to sample just about anything that might be distantly related to food, he has thankfully been avoiding the mushrooms that have been popping up all over in recent weeks.
The ones above seemed to sprout overnight. Ace went over to see what they were this past weekend but turned his nose up at them, almost as if he knew they were not to be messed with.
And they’re not. Certain species of wild mushrooms are fatal to dogs, but rather than bombard you with scientific names I might misspell — like Amanita Phalloides — I’ll keep it simple:
Keep your dog away from any mushrooms growing outdoors. Beautiful as they are, they can be deadly.
It’s the wisest course of action, even if you know a thing or two about fungi. You may know the difference between a toxic species and a non-toxic one, but likely your dog doesn’t. So if he or she gets anywhere close, or starts to sniffing, holler “No!” – in Ace’s case three times usually works, though sometimes I have to add, “I mean it.”
Mushroom poisoning in dogs can cause abdominal pain, drooling, liver and kidney damage, vomiting, diarrhea, convulsions, coma and death.
There have been several cases of mushroom poisoning reported in Arizona, including one woman who, in a letter to the editor of her newspaper, reported all three of her dogs became sick from eating them
Earlier this summer, a family in Buffalo lost a second dog to mushroom poisoning. After the first one died, the family got a new dog, gave it the same name, and watched as it too got sick from eating mushrooms in their yard and died.
The ASPCA and other organizations advise making sure your dog avoids all mushrooms growing in the yard.
You, too, no matter how pretty they are.
Posted by jwoestendiek October 1st, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, avoid, damage, deadly, dog, dogs, fatal, fungi, fungus, health, kidney, liver, mushroom, mushrooms, pets, poison, poisonous, safety, sick, toxic, vomiting, warning
I think that I shall never see
a tree unscathed by doggie pee
– Not Joyce Kilmer
Maybe there are some out there — a tree or two that, in their lifetimes, have somehow avoided ever being annointed by dog.
But, sharing the country with 75 million dogs, as both trees and we do, that is unlikely — and even more so in paved-over urban areas, where dogs sometimes outnumber trees, the living things they seem to most like to pee on.
For centuries, there seems to have been an unwritten agreement — a pee-ful coexistence — between dogs and trees. But, at least for half a century or so, there have been worries expressed about the cumulative effect of the continual sprinkling that some trees undergo, especially those in densely populated urban areas.
Some were recently voiced by a Philadelphia woman with an interesting perspective. Carrie Maria owns Monster Minders, a Philadelphia dog-walking service, and she’s a graduate of the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society’s Tree Tenders program.
“Urine is highly acidic,” Maria wrote on the The Monster Minders blog. “Simply put, dogs’ urine ‘burns’ the tree’s trunk to the point that the tree becomes susceptible to diseases, pests, dehydration and nutrient loss.”
Maria’s report drew the attention of The Atlantic, which ran a lengthy piece on its blog, Atlantic Cities, complete with photos she had taken of disfigured trees in her neighborhood she says are likely victims of pee-blight.
We can’t confirm that the damaged trees she photographed (pictured here) are solely victims of dog pee — and neither could experts. But we give her credit for speaking up for the underdog, which in this particular case is trees.
“Your dog ‘marks’ the tree, then another dog walks by 10 minutes later, smells your dog’s scent and hits it again, 15 minutes later and another dog walks by, hits it again. This goes on day in and day out … One dog’s scent ends up on a tree and others just keep marking it, over and over until the tree is compromised.”
Where I live — not in a real big city, not downtown — the yard in front of my apartment has huge oak trees, planted probably a good half century ago, or more. Ace pees on his favorite one regularly, but it’s so well-established it doesn’t seem to mind, and show no signs of damage.
About this time of year, the oak trees start raining acorns, and every once in a while one drops and hits Ace in the head. He jumps up and looks around, unaware he has been the victim of poetic justice.
Impervious as the big oaks in my yard may be, saplings in cities — the ones growing in a few square feet of dirt, the ones that have become potty stops for dozens of dogs daily — are another story.
“Repeated hits with urine basically causes an ‘open wound’ right on the base on the tree. Since the bombardment from pee is semi-constant in an urban environment, the trees never have a chance to heal from past damage. These wounds open the trees up to a slew of diseases that they just can’t fight off.” Maria wrote.
Her solution: Curb your dog.
It’s an old phrase, and one that – outside of places like New York — lots of people don’t even understand. It means to pee where the street meets the curb. And while that may lead to gutters running yellow, and car tires taking on a pee-scent, thereby attracting more to dogs to take aim on them, Maria finds that preferable to the tree assault.
“It’s simple. Redirect your dog when he/she is headed for a tree,” Maria says. ”Teach your dog to ‘curb it.’”
How big a factor is dog pee, compared to all the other hazards urban trees face — like road salt, car doors, poor soil, limited room to grow and youths with pen knives? As the Atlantic Cities blog points out, experts aren’t sure:
“Whether pee hurts trees is a question that’s attracted virtually no research attention since its earliest mention in the academic literature …”
The post mentions one presentation, way back in 1959, in which a plant pathologist named Pascal Pirone warned of the dangers. In ‘Why shade trees die along city streets,’ a presentation given at the International Shade Tree Conference, he said ‘dog canker’ could kill trees up to 6 inches in diameter.”
But the Atlantic post also quoted a staff member at the Smithsonian Institution’s horticulture department as saying the trunk damage shown in Maria’s photos could have come from a number of causes, “including mechanical damage [i.e. mowers, car doors, pedestrians], southwest injury, disease [cankers], and insects [borers].”
While the extent of the harm caused by dog urine remains untallied, most experts agree it can’t be helping trees.
“We deal with it in the sense that I imagine trees get added stress or maybe anxiety” from dogs, says John Thomas, associate director at Washington, D.C.’s Urban Forestry Administration. “I don’t know how much dog urine you need to kill a tree. But there’s definitely something there…. Somebody could definitely get a masters or Ph.D. out of studying it.”
(Photos: Top photo by John Woestendiek; tree photos by Carrie Maria / Monster Minders)
Posted by jwoestendiek September 11th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: acid, animals, atlantic cities, blogs, carrie maria, curb, curb your dog, damage, dog, dogs, downtown, health, horticulture, marking, monster minders, pee, pets, philadelphia, saplings, scent, trees, urban, urination, urine
In an effort to keep putting greens pristine, and keep golfers from getting all poopy-shoed, some golf courses, like Rebsamen in Little Rock, have turned to dogs.
That’s where a 12-year-old border collie named Fern has patroled the grounds for 10 years – up until talk began about retiring her in the last month or so, and another golf course requested her services.
“She’s gotten a lot of attention the last couple of weeks because of what’s going on,” said assistant city manager Bryan Day. “I’ve gotten e-mails from people wanting us to loan her to North Little Rock,” Day told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette (Registration is required to read the story.)
About 200 geese are living at Burns Park in North Little Rock, feasting on the greens and using the grounds as their bathroom. It has gotten so bad that city officials decided to let hunters come in and take care of the problem.
Opposition from animal lovers has led North Little Rock to rethink the plan, and at least consider the far easier and less messy route of getting a dog like Fern.
Border collies are used across the country to keep geese away from airports, neighborhood ponds, golf courses and parks. Generally, all it takes is a prolonged stare from them to send geese on their way.
Little Rock bought Fern for $3,000 in 2001 from a North Carolina breeder. Costly as that sounds, it was far cheaper than the $20,000 in labor the city had spent on repairing goose-related damage.
Her presence alone keeps the geese away — and she’s earned some attention along the way. She was on the cover of Turfnet.com’s 2008 “Superintendent’s Best Friend” Calendar, which features working dogs on golf courses across the country.
Now, at 12, Fern spends her time mostly kicking back in the club house, or going for rides in golf carts. Because there are no more geese, she has it pretty easy. But because her presence ensures the geese won’t return, officials have decided not to retire her, and not to rent her out.
“She’s got 300 acres out here,” Jay Carnes, the golf course superintendent said. “She needs to stay here and be buried here.”
(Photo: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette)
Posted by jwoestendiek December 28th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, arkansas, border collie, burns park, calendar, control, damage, deterrent, dogs, fern, geese, golf, golf course dogs, golf courses, hunters, little rock, pets, poop, rebsamen, superintendents best friend
In our final days in Baltimore, Ace and I shifted from a house that was empty to one that was very full – of art, and art supplies, and things that, in the homeowner/artist’s view, could, with a little work and imagination, be turned into art someday.
Artist J. Kelly Lane, having an out-of-town house-sitting gig of her own, offered to let Ace and me stay Thursday and Friday in her South Baltimore rowhouse, which, she warned me ahead of time, had its quirks
You know you’re in bigger trouble when, in a house full of art works, you break one of them.
In the wee (literally) hours of the morning, I rose off the downstairs futon to make my way upstairs to the bathroom. I was stepping carefully through the darkness, but my knee hit a stand-up ash tray and knocked it over.
If that alone weren’t bad enough – it’s hard to find ash trays at all these days, let alone the stand up, three-foot high kind — Kelly had apparently applied her artistic skills to this one.
I’m guessing (and hoping) it was a thrift store find –as opposed to a family heirloom — one that, while already the perfect combination of form and function, she saw as being in needed a bit more pizzazz.
Someone, I’m guessing Kelly, had painstakingly painted both its post and the two serpents that make up its handle, which is the part that broke when it fell to the ground.
Now it’s 4 a.m., and I can’t go back to sleep. In addition to the guilt I feel for breaking it in the first place, I’m feeling guiltier yet for what’s popping into my mind:
Blame it on Ace. With a dog as big as him, in a house filled with so much art, an accident is bound to happen. Right?
Staying at Kelly’s house was like spending a night at the museum. Her paintings cover the walls. Walk in the front door and you’re in what looks like a studio. Enter then next room and you’re in what looks like a studio. Keep going back and you enter what appears to be a studio.
She’s applied her flair to the dwelling, too – like the stair rail and stairway risers painted in leopard skin motif. In addition to painting canvases, Kelly paints house interiors, and she’s into a host of other crafts, like hand-made Valentine’s cards and decorating items like the stand-up ashtray whose handle is now broken.
True, I have in the past blamed him for gaseous eruptions that did not originate from him, but that’s different – dogs are more easily forgiven than humans for that.
Then too, blaming him for the mishap would tarnish his image as the perfect dog. In reality, he’s not perfect – and I wouldn’t want him to be – but he comes a lot closer to it than I do. And when it comes right down to it, I – wrong as it might be – probably care more about his image than mine, except when it comes to farts.
Like a lot of dog people, I worry more about my dog – his health, his reputation, his “proper” behavior – than I do about my own self in those regards.
From previous visits, I knew there would be some risks at Kelly’s house – that a wagging tail, or Ace going into rambunctious “let’s play!” mode, could result in serious damage. As it turns out, it was I, in my pre-coffee, bathroom-seeking clumsiness — as Ace soundly slept — that sent things a kilter. And a standalone ash tray, no less – a true antique that harkens back to the days when smoking wasn’t a misdemeanor, and ash trays were respectable enough to be an entire piece of furniture.
I’d gone more than a month in our previous location – also somebody else’s house — without breaking anything. But then, it being an empty house, there was really nothing to break.
Now I must break the news, and somehow make things right.
Then, and only then, will I be able to go back to sleep.
(Postscript: Kelly was very forgiving, and didn’t seem mad at me. To find out more about her art, contact her at email@example.com)
Posted by jwoestendiek February 28th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: accident, ace, america, animals, art, artist, ash trays, baltimore, blame, broken, damage, dog, dog's country, dogs, dogscountry, freeloading, guest, home, houseguest, housing, kelly lane, museum, painting, pets, road trip, studio, travels with ace, visit
Remember those fiberglass dogs displayed around Lafayette, Indiana as part of an outdoor art exhibit — the ones that, between vandals and thieves, weren’t always treated too kindly?
They’ve gone on to raise $24,000 for the Purdue University School of Veterinary Medicine and the Art Museum of Greater Lafayette, co-sponsors of the “Dog Days of Summer” exhibit.
More than 150 people bid on 25 of the the life-sized artworks over the weekend, Channel 6 in Indianapolis reported.
Forty-one painted and decorated dog statues were placed in outdoor sites around Lafayette and West Lafayette in the exhibit, though many were later moved indoors after theft and vandalism.
Only one dog, Alfie the Alpha Dog, was too damaged to be preserved.
Organizers and art lovers, though dismayed that the statues weren’t safe in the community, said they are pleased with the auction results.
Posted by jwoestendiek October 7th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: art, artworks, auction, bids, damage, decorated, dogs, fiberglass, lafayette, money, purdue, raised, school of veterinary medicine, statues, tgheft, university, vandalism, veterinary, west lafayette
If your dog has been showing some uncharacteristic behavior problems of late, blame the economy.
According to Sainsbury’s Pet Insurance, some 3.35 million cat and dog owners have reported behavioral problems in their pets over the past 12 months, and “it is no coincidence that this comes at a time when many people are wrought with stress and anxiety” over the economy.
The study found that millions of troubled pets have caused damage to furniture, while others have suffered moodiness, aggression and loss of appetite.
Joanne Mallon, Sainsbury’s Pet Insurance manager, said this could all be due to the stress owners are under during the current economic climate.
“Cats and dogs can be very sensitive to their owner’s feelings and behavior, so changes in mood such as irritability, distress or remoteness could be sensed and leave the animals themselves agitated or depressed,” she said.
The findings come after the Sainsbury’s Bank revealed earlier this year that some 270,000 cat and dog owners have refused their sick pet veterinary treatment in the past because they could not afford it.
Posted by jwoestendiek July 8th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: aggression, animals, anxiety, appetite, behavior, cats, damage, depressed, distress, dogs, economy, felings, furniture, insurance, irritability, moodiness, owners, pet insurance, pets, problems, sainsbury's, sensitive, stress
The council has filed a lawsuit, asking the federal Environmental Protection Agency to order the removal of two chemicals — propoxur and TCVP, or tetrachlorvinphos — contained in many flea collars. Up until now, the EPA has said exposure to the chemicals in flea collars is insignificant.
The NRDC, in a report released yesterday, says the chemicals left residue high enough to pose a risk of cancer and neurological damage to children that is 1,000 times higher than the EPA’s acceptable levels.
“Just because a product is sold in stores doesn’t mean it’s safe,” said Dr. Gina Solomon, a physician and a toxicologist with the environmental group and an author of the study.
(To see a full list of flea and tick control products, the chemicals they contain and the risks they pose, click here.)
The federal agency had no immediate response to to the petition, or allegations that it failed to safeguard the public and their pets from dangerous pesticides, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
The lawsuit, filed in California’s Alameda County Superior Court, claims 16 retailers and manufacturers, including chain pet supply and grocery stores, failed to warn consumers that they were exposed to unsafe levels of propoxur in violation of state law.
The group conducted tests on nine dogs and five cats. The tests for TCVP were conducted on Hartz Advanced Care 3-in-1 Control Collar for Cats and Hartz Advanced Care 2-in-1 Reflecting Flea & Tick Collar for Dogs. Tests for propoxur were done on Zodiac Flea & Tick Collar for dogs and Bio Spot Flea and Tick Collar for dogs.
Pet owners calling the National Pesticide Information Center have complained that dogs and cats wearing collars containing the ingredients had stopped eating or drinking and showed symptoms including vomiting, twitching, diarrhea. There was no confirmation that the collars caused the problems.
In the tests for TCVP, after three days, 60 percent of the dogs and 40 percent of the cats had residue levels that exceed the EPA’s acceptable level for developing brains of toddlers who spend an average amount of time with a pet. For toddlers who have a lot more pet contact or have more than one pet, residue levels on 80 percent of the dogs and all of the cats would exceed the acceptable level.
In the tests for propoxur, after three days, all of the dogs had residue levels that would exceed the EPA’s acceptable level to for developing brains of toddlers spending an average amount of time with a pet.
You can read the NRDC press release here.
Posted by jwoestendiek April 24th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: bio spot, brain damage, cancer, cancer-causing, chemicals, collar, damage, dangerous, environmental protection agency, epa, flea, flea collars, hartz, hazardous, health, lawsuit, levels, national resources defense council, neurological, nrdc, petition, pets, propoxur, public, residue, safety, tcvp, tetrachlorovinphos, toxic, warning, zodiac
“Two dogs died in the name of sport this week, and this time it wasn’t Michael Vick’s fault.”
So begins an Associated Press commentary by national sports columnist Tim Dahlberg that recounts the final hours of Dizzy and Grasshopper, two members of musher Lou Packer’s team. The two were among three dogs that died in this year’s Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race.
“Listen to race supporters and they’ll tell you that, unlike Vick’s dogs, the 5-year-old huskies died doing what they loved. Read the official Iditarod Web site and you’ll find out that sled dogs are pampered and loved by their masters…”
On the other hand, Dahlberg wrote, “They don’t have a problem with chaining up big packs of dogs and running them to within an inch of their life for sport. They accept the fact that the Iditarod is a part of the state’s heritage, and its biggest sporting event. A lot of us in the Lower 48, though, just don’t get it.”
He goes on to ask the question on the minds of many animal right activists: “How many dog deaths are reasonable? How many more must die before the fun is finally sucked out of the sport?”
Posted by jwoestendiek March 19th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: alaska, animals, arthritis, associated press, barbara hodges, column, columnist, commentary, damage, deaths, dogs, exxon mobil corp., health, humane, humane society, iditarod, lungs, race, sled dogs, sponsors, sports, stress, tradition, ulcers, wells fargo
Here’s one way to reduce the number of birds at airports, and cut down on accidents like the forced Hudson River landing of US Airways jet last week.
Her name is Sky.
Sky (click the link above for the video) is a 1-year-old border collie about four months into her job shooing birds away from Southwest Florida International Airport.
“She’s not aggressive at all, but to the birds, she looks like a predator — a wolf or a coyote,” said James Hess, airport operations agent and Sky’s handler. Big birds or flocks of birds, in addition to getting sucked into jet engines, can disable wing tips, dent the fuselage and break windshields.
Southwest Florida International is among about 20 airports nationwide using dogs for some form of wildlife control, according to Rebecca Ryan, owner of Flyaway Farm and Kennels in North Carolina, which has supplied dogs to both military and commercial airfields.
Southwest Florida International was among the first U.S. commercial airports to employ a bird dog, beginning in 1999, according to airport director Bob Ball. Sky is the third generation of her breed to patrol the airport southeast of Fort Myers.
According to USA Today, Charleston (S.C.) International and Canada’s Vancouver International also use dogs for wildlife control.
Posted by jwoestendiek January 19th, 2009 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: accident, accidents, air, air safety, airports, birds, border collies, control, crash, damage, dogs, engines, flocks, fowl, geese, hazard, hudson river, prevention, safety, sky, us airways, wildlife