Animal advocates in Maryland will probably recognize a familiar face or two in this public service announcement, scheduled to premier this week at Maryland Humane Lobby Day.
The PSA will officially premier on Thursday, Feb. 21st, during the Maryland Humane Lobby Day event at the Maryland Statehouse and Legislative Buildings in Annapolis.
The event will include awards, briefings, and an opportunity for people who care about animals to meet directly with their elected officials.
Thirty-four states have established funding mechanisms to support spay/neuter programs, leading to significant reductions in their euthanasia rates. New Jersey witnessed a 61 percent decrease and New Hampshire saw a 75 percent decrease after implementing state programs. In New Hampshire, statistics showed for every dollar invested, $3.15 was saved in reduced costs for shelter care and euthanasia.
The Save Maryland Pets Spay Awareness PSA, directed and produced by Dani Englander, features some of Maryland’s most dedicated animal advocates, workers, officers, and friends.
Appearances are made by Del. Barbara Frush, sponsor of the Maryland spay/neuter legislation, and Sen. John Astle and Del. Ron George, co-sponsors of the bills.
Among the other animal lovers and advocates who appear are Carolyn Kilborn, Tami Santelli, Matt Wieters, Valerie Leonard, Michelle Kownacki, Caroline Griffin, and Wendy Cozzone. The video was filmed in Annapolis and Baltimore.
Posted by jwoestendiek February 18th, 2013 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: adoption, advocates, animals, annapolis, baltimore, bill, costs, dogs, funding, homeless, humane lobby day, legislation, lives, maryland, maryland votes for animals, neuter, pets, program, proposal, psa, public service announcement, save, save maryland pets, saving, spay, spay-neuter
If you’re wondering why you’re hearing so much about spaying and neutering your pets these days — everything from low-cost clinics to fund-raising ”SPAY-ghetti” dinners — it’s because this is Spay/Neuter Awareness Month.
February will see a host of events across the country, all leading up to World Spay Day on Feb. 26, which promotes working together to bring an end to the euthanasia and suffering of homeless companion animals, feral cats and street dogs.
This year, PetSmart Charities is providing grants, under a program called “Beat the Heat,” to 61 clinics, aimed at spaying and neutering 15,500 cats. The Doris Day Animal Foundation is awarding a $75,000 grant to fund spay/neuter programs for pets in 16 towns and cities in 14 states.
The HSUS is partnering with the ASPCA to host a low-cost spay/neuter event for pets in East Harlem in New York City on Feb. 23. The Iowa Humane Alliance plans to host “Twenty Bunny Monday” on Feb. 25, a day reserved solely for spaying or neutering twenty rabbits. East Tennessee Spay Neuter hosted “Hunka, Hunka Furry Love” — featuring a singing dog named Melvis — over the weekend to sign up low-income clients for pet spaying and neutering.
And here in what’s my home base for now, Winston-Salem, N.C., scores showed up — including the young couple above doing their best Lady and the Tramp imitation — at a “SPAY-ghetti” dinner yesterday to raise funds to reimburse veterinarians who offer low cost spaying and neutering.
The dinner at the West End Cafe was sponsored by Humane Solution, an all-volunteer, nonprofit organization that believes spaying and neutering is the key to reducing pet overpopulation and reducing euthanizations.
Humane Solution is a coalition of area shelters, including the Forsyth Humane Society, that relies solely on donations, grants, and fundraisers to make the low-cost spay/neuter program possible. The organization also sponsors rabies and microchipping clinics several times a year that help fund the program to help pay for spay/neuter surgeries.
As part of Forsyth Spay Day, on February 23, the organization will be handing out vouchers for spaying and neutering to qualified applicants at six different locations.
World Spay Day got its start as Spay Day USA in 1995, sponsored by the Doris Day Animal League. It now includes participants in 45 countries. Events include low and no-cost spay/neuter clinics for under-served communities, fundraisers to benefit spay/neuter programs and educational campaigns.
Since Spay Day’s inception, it is estimated that more than one and a half million animals have been spayed or neutered in conjunction with the campaign.
Its partners include The Humane Society of the United States and Humane Society International, the Doris Day Animal Foundation, the ASPCA, the House Rabbit Society, the Humane Alliance, the Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association, Petfinder, and PetSmart Charities. World Spay Day 2013 is sponsored by Abaxis. To find a World Spay Day event near you, visit worldspayday.org.
“Sterilizing dogs and cats is the best way to stem the overpopulation of cats, dogs and other pets, and to prevent homelessness and suffering,” said Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of The Humane Society of the United States. “World Spay Day allows caring people the world over to come together and raise awareness about the life-saving benefits of spaying and neutering …”
The HSUS is hosting a World Spay Day 2013 online Pet Pageant. Participants can upload their pets photo until March 19, and all proceeds will benefit local U.S. non-profit organizations participating in World Spay Day.
Posted by jwoestendiek February 11th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, aspca, awareness month, cats, clinics, dogs, doris day animal foundation, events, forsyth county, forsyth humane society, funding, grants, hsus, humane society of the united states, humane solution, low cost, neuter, north carolina, overpopulation, pets, petsmart charities, programs, rabbits, spaghetti, spay, spay day, spay day usa, spayghetti, vouchers, west end cafe, world spay day
Monika Wesolowski wanted to adopt the pit bull mix she became a foster mom to this summer, after he was found in northwest Georgia with his throat cut.
But, given his ability — once he recovered — to jump over her chain link fence, there was no way she could keep him unless a fence was to magically appear.
Now it looks like a fence is going to magically appear.
The dog was brought into Murray County Animal Control in July with a slash across his neck so deep his trachea was visible. A Facebook post about the dog, named Braveheart by animal control staffers, led the Animal Rescue League of Northwest Georgia to pick him up, take him to a veterinary clinic for surgery and search for a foster home.
When Braveheart was to be put up for adoption last month, she told the Rome News-Tribune, “I just had a meltdown. I was like, ‘I can’t do this.’”
She wanted to keep the dog, but, with two dogs of her own and a backyard fence Braveheart could easily jump, she felt he’d be better off elsewhere.
When she described the dilemma on Braveheart’s Facebook page, suggestions poured in, and when she followed one of them, establishing an online fund drive, money poured in, too – enough to build a new fence.
Wesolowski has raised $1,500 to help build a privacy fence around the back yard of her home, and Walker Landscape and Fence, LLC, has offered to build it and charge her only for materials. A Lowe’s store in Rome agreed to give Wesolowski the materials for the fence at cost.
By the end of the first day, more than $400 had been donated to Braveheart’s fence fund on GoFundMe.com.
“I cried for three days straight, probably because it just blows my mind,” Wesolowski. “I know people give money all the time to charities but a dog just hits people right in the heart.”
Dogs Deserve Better,the Virginia rescue now heaquartered in Michael Vick’s former house, donated $200. About 60 other donors gave money to the fund. Wesolowski said she wants to have a plaque with a list of donors put on the fence.
Braveheart has a scar on his neck, but whoever is responsible for it hasn’t been arrested. The Animal Rescue League has offered a $2,500 for information that leads to an arrest and conviction.
“I just can’t see how anybody could hurt a creature like this,” Wesolowski said. “He’s such a nice dog.”
(Photos: Braveheart’s Facebook page)
Posted by jwoestendiek November 6th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: adopt, adopted, animal control, animal rescue league, animals, braveheart, cut, dogs, donations, facebook, fence, foster, fund drive, funding, georgia, gofundme, lowes, mix, monika wesolowski, murray county, new fence, pets, pit bull, rome, slashed, slit, throat, walker landscape
After enrolling fewer than two dozen of a planned 230 dogs in the study — all paired with vets with PTSD — the VA has announced that the study has been suspended, and that, from now on, service dogs will only be paired with veterans with visible disabilities.
The new policy goes into effect today.
For the 400,000 veterans diagnosed as having post-traumatic stress disorder, that means dogs — despite all the positive effects that have been reported — will no longer be part of their treatment and recovery.
Among those blasting the decision is the American Humane Association.
Just days before its second annual celebration of hero dogs, the organization took time to put together a petition, calling on the Department of Veterans Affairs to reverse the new policy.
“Our focus on animal-assisted therapy dates back to 1945 when we promoted therapy dogs as a means to help World War II veterans recover from the effects of war,” the AHA said. ”We know from years of experience that the human-animal bond is a source of powerful healing, whether they are children suffering from cancer or military men and women who have suffered the stress of battle.
“Service dogs, in particular, are an amazing, positive resource for assisting our nation’s best and bravest though their physical pain and mental anguish. We call on the VA and the United States Congress to stand up for our veterans…”
Specifically, the new VA policy ends the program that reimbursed veterans who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder for their use of service dogs while in recovery.
“It’s of the utmost importance that we provide our vets with every option available to treat service related ailments,” said Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-NY), who was also shocked to learn of the new policy.
“Especially as the wars are winding down, and more and more soldiers are returning home with mental trauma, the VA must continue to allow their doctors and mental health professionals to provide benefits to veterans who need mental health service dogs,” he said.
Congress mandated that additional scientific study be conducted on the impact of service dogs paired with PTSD vets several years ago. But apparently that study never got off the ground — at least not as ambitiously as planned.
Launched in June 2011, the study planned to follow 230 PTSD vets and their service dogs, tracking them and their families through 2014. Only about a tenth of that number were registered for the study, though.
The study was halted, according to reports, because of concerns about dogs biting children, dirty and cramped living conditions, and faulty record-keeping.
According to the VA, there are about 400,000 veterans currently in treatment for PTSD, and that group has higher than normal rates of divorce, substance abuse, unemployment and suicide. There are 32 to 39 suicide attempts daily among vets with PTSD, about half of which result in death, according to a column by the Chicago Tribune’s Steve Dale.
Dale’s column looks at the benefits of programs such as those provided by Paws for Purple Hearts – an improved quality of life, fewer flashbacks and nightmares. Vets paired with dogs are said to be more likely to find jobs; less likely to become recluses.
“One hallmark of PTSD is avoidance (of going outdoors and socializing with others),” says Robert Porter, executive director 0f Paws for Purple Hearts. “That’s hard to do with a 60-pound dog who just wants to go out and play.”
The study was a chance to prove, beyond the anecdotal, just how much therapy dogs could help vets with PTSD. But, for reasons that make little sense, both the study and the concept were canned.
Most of the dogs in the study were from Guardian Angel Medical Services of Williston, Fla., and its founder and director, Carol Borden, says there were no biting incidents reported.
Borden says that in the organization’s history, veterans with PTSD nearly always benefit from having a dog. Some patients have been able to cut their medication in half, or stop taking it altogether, she said.
That has raised questions among some about whether pharmaceutical companies lobbied for the new VA policy. That’s conjecture, of course — conjecture being something that tends to occur when no logical explanation is given.
The VA owes vets, not to mention Congress, an explanation.
And we all owe veterans afflicted with PSTD a chance to get past it, or at least cope with it. Ruling out dogs and dropping the study is an oath broken, a promising avenue bypassed, and a slap in the face to veterans.
“We’ve not experienced a single suicide attempt as far as we know,” Borden said of vets paired with dogs under the Guardian Angels program. “I have letters from wives thanking us because the husband has returned, and it all happens because of a dog who provides unconditional love.”
Posted by jwoestendiek October 5th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: aha, american humane association, animals, benefits, ceased, charles schumer, congress, department, disabilities, divorce, dog, dogs, dropped, drug abuse, employment, funding, guardian angel medical services, halted, paws for purple hearts, petition, pets, post traumatic stress disorder, programs, promised, ptsd, ptsd dogs, reimburse, reimbursement, senator, service, study, suicide, terminated, therapy, va, vet, veterans, veterans affairs
The Purina ONE BeyOnd “Shine a Light on Shelters” project has narrowed hundreds of submissions down to 40 finalists, which you can vote on here until August 20.
“There is so much good work going on in animal shelters across the country and we want to recognize it,” the dog food company says. “Join the Shine a Light on a Shelter Challenge and you can win a $10,000 grant for a shelter you think goes above and beyond to make a positive difference.
You can find more details on the contest at http://budurl.com/purinashinealight.
You can find the list of finalists, and check on the online vote tallies here.
This could get ugly, if it hasn’t already.
This week, a newly formed national organization called The Humane Society for Shelter Pets (HSSP) began making itself known, with full-page ads in national newspapers aimed at discouraging people from contributing to the Humane Society of the United States.
The new organization’s point: HSUS, despite public service ads that seem to indicate it helps dogs and cats in shelters, provides little direct funding to local shelters, which need help more than ever.
While polls show 71 percent of Americans believe HSUS is affiliated, represents or helps fund local humane societies, HSSP says “the reality is that just 1 percent of HSUS’s $126 million budget goes to needy hands-on pet shelters.”
“The Humane Society of the United States continues to fundraise on the perception that they give millions of dollars every year to local pet shelters with misleading advertising campaigns. Unfortunately for the dogs and cats in our local pet shelters, that is not the case,” said Diana Culp, HSSP co-director. (Culp is a former director of education for HSUS and former supervisor of animal control in Frederick County, Maryland.)
HSSP, while noting on its website that it doesn’t contribute directly to shelters, either, does provide a database enabling visitors to obtain all the information they need to donate to local shelters.
However philanthropic that may be, and whether or not you agree with HSSP that HSUS is misleading the public in its fundraising approach, HSSP may not be the angelic organization it makes itself out to be.
For one thing, it has ties to Richard Berman, who, through his Center for Consumer Freedom, has been a long-time, highly vocal critic of HSUS. Berman has raised millions from industries that, at least in the view of HSUS, are cruel and abusive to animals.
In response to the HSSP ads — they’ve appeared this week in USA Today, the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune and New York Times – HSUS CEO Wayne Pacelle fired back earlier this week.
On his blog, A Humane Nation, Pacelle, called Berman a “king of charity fraud,” and went so far as to show a photo of Berman’s mansion in McLean, Virginia.
“He sets up phony front groups to do the dirty work of bad actors in industry. He takes their money and then takes on their critics. He runs ‘charitable’ organizations, like the Center for Consumer Freedom (which fights The HSUS), the American Beverage Institute (which fights Mothers Against Drunk Driving), and the Center for Union Facts (which attacks public employees and unions), yet his groups don’t feed one animal, shelter one homeless person, or provide any other tangible social service.
“They are charitable organizations in name only, and Berman and his for-profit public relations company pocket a large share or even a majority of the total revenue. It’s a personal enrichment scam of the highest order, and he’s the architect of the con job. He’s got the mansion in McLean, Va., and the Bentley in the driveway as the spoils, with his accountant wife standing by to tally the profits.”
Pacelle said the HSUS has never presented itself as an umbrella agency that funds local shelters, and he points out that HSUS television ads include a small-print disclaimer: “Local humane societies are independent from HSUS.”
While the HSSP ad states that HSUS gave just 1 percent of the $131 million in donations it received last year to local shelters, Pacelle says that figure doesn’t include the campaigns HSUS has conducted nationally and globally to fight such things as puppy mills, dogfighting, animal cruelty laws and pet overpopulation.
Pacelle says about 20 percent of the Humane Society’s efforts involve companion animal issues, and that, in the last five years, HSUS has given more than $43 million in grants to other animal organizations.
Berman, while not listed as an official of HSSP, has been hired to do its public relations work and to help bring HSSP “to fruition,” said HSSP Co-Director Jeffrey Douglas.
“… HSSP is a product of the efforts of a group of individuals with deep ties to the animal welfare community and dedicated to improving the well-being of shelter animals across the country,” he added. “Who we hired as our PR firm should be immaterial to the project.”
As Pacelle sees it, though, Berman is its backbone: “Now, this Beltway con artist — who has probably spent as much time as anyone in recent years fighting against animal welfare — has formed a new supposed animal welfare charity … He’s the man behind the curtain … He’s reached a new level of fraud and deception.”
Pacelle said that between CCF and HSSP, Berman’s outfits have taken out 25 full page “attack” ads in national newspapers, at an estimated cost of $2 million.
Berman, meanwhile — whose full response to Pacelle’s comments can be found here — says HSSP has been welcomed “warmly” by the shelter community.
The question the HSSP ad raises is not entirely illegitimate: Are those heartstring-tugging HSUS ads, even with disclaimers, contributing to the misperception that the national organization helps foot the bill for all local shelters that call themself by that name?
But a question can also be asked of the HSSP: If you really care about animals, why not, instead of those full page ads, send that $2 million to animal shelters?
Posted by jwoestendiek December 2nd, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: ads, advertisements, animal cruelty, animals, attack, campaigns, causes, center for consumer freedom, charities, chicago tribune, con man, diana culp, dogs, donate, donations, fight, formed, full page ads, fund raising, funding, hssp, hsus, humane society for shelter pets, humane society of the united states, industries, jeffrey douglas, lobbyist, local, local shelters, logo, los angeles times, misleading, misperceptions, money, national, new york times, newly, non profits, perceptions, pets, politics, polls, psas, public, public service announcements, richard berman, shelters, wayne pacelle
San Francisco is considering terminating its $1.4 million in art contracts with Brooklyn sculptor Tom Otterness, who once shot and killed a dog on film and called it art.
San Francisco’s Arts Commission, which is in charge of publicly funded art projects, will hold a meeting today to vote on whether to rescind the contracts, according to the San Francisco Examiner.
The commission awarded Otterness earlier this year with a $750,000 contract for 59 bronze sculptures in the Moscone station of the proposed Central Subway project. That was in addition to a $700,000 contract he received last year for a sculpture at San Francisco General Hospital.
The commission said it was unaware of the incident in his past when they approved the contracts, the second of which was signed in September.
Apparently they missed out on the hubbub on the east coast when, in May, Otterness was awarded $750,000 to sculpt a set of lions to sit outside the Battery Park City branch of the New York Public Library.
Otterness, when he was 25, shot and killed a small black and white dog he adopted from a shelter for an art project — basically a repeated loop of film showing the execution. He called it ”Shot Dog Film.”
The incident has repeatedly surfaced during the career of Otterness, who is famous for his whimsical sculptures of people and animals, and it did again after he received the second San Francisco contract. After media reports and amid public complaints, San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee placed a hold on both contracts, pending review.
Arts Commission Chairman PJ Johnston said that review is completed, and discussions have been held, but he declined to discuss them and said he was unsure how he would vote. He said he was concerned with the commission “getting into the position of judging the artist rather than the art.”
If I may boldy opine: I don’t understand that statement, or piece of one, but I’m not a real artist. I see nothing wrong with judging both the artist and the art, or, for that matter, the actor and his acting, the football player and the football play, the author and the book, or the arts commissioner and the art he commissions. Doing something well should not relieve one of the responsibility of being a decent human being, or following the rules everyone else lives by.
End of bold opining.
It’s unclear whether the city, if it terminates the contract, will be able to redeem the $365,750 in payments it has already made to Otterness, the Examiner reported.
The San Francisco Animal Control and Welfare Commission, called for the termination of the contracts in an Oct. 14 letter sent to the mayor and the Arts Commission.
“The city of St. Francis cannot display, with public funding, art from someone who has committed such an unconscionable act of animal cruelty,” the letter said.
St. Francis, after whom the city is named, is the patron saint of animals.
Posted by jwoestendiek November 16th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, art, artist, arts commission, central subway, commissions, complaints, contracts, dog, dogs, ed lee, filmed, funding, haunted, judging, killed, mayor, moscone station, new york public library, past, pets, public art, san francisco, san francisco general hospital, sculptor, sculpture, shot, shot dog film, st. francis, termination, tom otterness
Two dogs at a small town animal shelter in Oklahoma were partially eaten by other dogs being held there.
Town officials said two sick dogs were placed with healthy dogs in the shelter in Wewoka and died before a veterinarian was able to visit. After they died, they were partially consumed by other dogs, KFOR-TV in Oklahoma City reported.
Mark Mosley, Wewoka City Manager said the dogs in the shelter are well cared for, but admits the city made a mistake when it mixed the sick and healthy dogs.
“We run the shelter like it’s supposed to be run and some of the moments that we might have a slip up is the ones that really kinda tend to bite us back,” he said. “We believe that we feed and water the dogs daily and treat them right.”
Mosley said the shelter will segregate sick dogs from now on, and also plans other improvements, including additional dog runs and an automatic watering system.
“We’d already planned on making changes before hand, but because of the stories and because of the negative light that it did put us in, we kind of rearranged some of our budget,” said Mosley.
The city is seeking grant money to help fund the shelter, which takes in 10 to 12 dogs per week.
A major expansion of the adoption center at the Maryland SPCA was announced last week.
“We need facilities to reflect the changes that have enabled us to adopt out every healthy pet in our adoption program for the last two-and-a-half years,” Mary-Ann Pinkard, board president, said at the March 11 reception where the announcement was made.
The expansion will include creation of the Morton Gorn Center for Animal Adoption, a new area for adoption interviews, a waiting area, office space and two “animal showcases” for dog and cat housing of “long-timers” to promote their adoption.
A new animal intake center, separate from the adoption area, is also planned, including spaces to assess animal behavior and a dog exam room.
Construction is scheduled to begin this summer, and work is expected to be completed within six months.
Other projects announced will be an expanded cat room, fire safety improvements, and improved accessibility.
The new adoption center is being named in memory of Morton Gorn, a real estate developer who cherished his dogs and his horses. The gift to name the center in his memory was made by his widow, Arlene Gorn, who was introduced to the Maryland SPCA by her daughter, Karen Colvin.
“Mrs. Gorn and the Colvins motivated and inspired us to move forward with this project at a time when many people were pulling back because of the economy,” said Aileen Gabbey, SPCA executive director. “Their generosity was an important cornerstone to making this project happen.”
The project is estimated to cost $1.8 million.
Posted by jwoestendiek March 15th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: adoption, aileen gabbey, animals, announcement, arlene gorn, cat room, cats, center, dogs, exam room, expansion, fire safety, funding, improvements, intake, mary-ann pinkard, maryland spca, morton gorn, news, pets, projects, rescue, shelter, showcase
What do you get when you bring together 225 pit bulls, 204 volunteers, the woman to your left in the flowing white dress and six recent prison parolees on a ranch in the canyons of southern California?
A reality show, of course.
Tia Maria Torres, 49, started Villalobos Rescue Center – the largest pit bull rescue in the United States – 14 years ago. Three years ago, she began taking in ex-cons, including her prison pen pal Aren Marcus Jackson, a tattoo artist who would become her second husband.
According to an Associated Press report, the rescue has tried some novel fund-raising approaches in the past, including opening a brothel — a legal, Nevada one – but it burned down. Now Torres, it seems, is turning to an even shadier source for funding — the reality show.
Animal Planet’s “Pit Bulls and Parolees” will debut next month.
Producer Michael “MikeyD” Dinco was a student in a pit bull class Torres taught years ago. Intrigued by the combination of pit bulls and parolees, he decided to pitch the reality show idea to the network.
Torres said the show will help cover the $20,000 in monthly bills, including a ton of dog food a week, as well as its $25,000 vet tab. The rescue is located on 17 acres of rugged terrain in Canyon Country.
The television show will focus on the interaction of the dogs and men. “The dogs bring out the best in these guys,” Torres said.
Torres grew up a in an a upper-middle class family, but fell into the gang life. That led to six years in the Army, followed by work as a youth counselor in Los Angeles. After 13 years in social services, she started training animals for the film industry before opening the shelter.
Posted by jwoestendiek August 20th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal, animal planet, brothel, california, dogs, ex convicts, funding, parole, pit bulls, pit bulls and parolees, prison, reality, reality show, rescue, television, tia maria torres, torres, tv, villalobos