Tag: humane society
Mention the idea of food stamps for dogs and you’re likely to get one of two reactions:
Those touchy-feely animal lovers (such as me) will say it’s a great idea that could help keep dogs from being surrendered to shelters, abandoned, or worse, by owners who can’t afford to feed them anymore.
Those “It’s-just-a-dog” types will say its ludicrous, that they’d hate to see their tax dollars used for something like that, and that, if you can’t afford a dog, don’t get one in the first place.
When the idea does float to the surface, there’s usually some quick debate — then it vanishes as quickly as a bowl of kibble.
Now, in a way, the concept is back, and it’s being carried out on a national scale — with no involvement from government, and no use of tax dollars, it should be noted. It’s the mission of a nonprofit organization formed by a New York man who describes himself as a stockbroker, journalist, entrepreneur and business consultant — a frightful combination if ever there was one.
The organization is called Pet Food Stamps, though no stamps actually appear to be involved. Instead, low income individuals can submit applications, which, if approved, lead to six months worth of deliveries of dog food from Pet Flow, an online pet food store. It’s all to be funded through private donations, founder Marc Okon says.
Pet Food Stamps and Pet Flow announced their “exclusive partnership” in February:
“Pet Food Stamps aims to provide pet food for pets of families receiving public assistance and for food stamp recipients who otherwise could not afford to feed their pets. Based in New York City, the program is open to anyone in the United States. More than 80,000 pets have already been registered …”
Okon, 36, said the idea was inspired in part by a friend going through some economic hard times who told him “she sometimes fed her cat before herself,” Wall Street Journal columnist Al Lewis reported. Also, he says, doing something philanthropic helps remove the bad taste that remains from some of his previous employment experiences in corporate America.
Okon says he briefly worked for a firm that sold dubious medical benefits to seniors in the South. “Their whole corporate philosophy was to manipulate seniors who didn’t have any type of insurance,” he said. “I could only do that for about a week and half,” Okon said. The article calls him “a man so disgusted with the lack of ethics he witnessed in private enterprise that he founded a nonprofit to hand out dog food.”
While many a humane society operates similar programs on the local level, Pet Food Stamps says it has been swamped with applications — 45,000 in the first two weeks alone, according to a press release.
Okon says the applicants often describe how they’ve lost their jobs and homes.
“Millions of pets are surrendered to shelters each year and euthanized because their owners can’t afford to feed them,” he said.
Okon says he isn’t against the idea of the government providing food stamps for dogs, but that it’s not part of the current picture.
“We’re not looking for government funding at this point,” Okon told ABCNews.com. “Should the government be willing to provide assistance further down the line, we will look into it.”
It seems a noble idea, and we hope it’s nobly carried out — with enough transparency that dog lovers who make donations know exactly how much money the organization is receiving, how much of that is going to buy and ship dog food, and what profits, if any, the private dog food company is making.
We’d point out, too, that people unable to afford to feed their pets can check with their local humane society or SPCA to see what programs might be available in their area. Some food banks distribute dog food and cat food, and some chapters of Meals on Wheels deliver pet food, too. In 2006, Meals on Wheels started the We All Love Our Pets (WALOP) initiative after finding some of their clients were sharing their meals with their pets because they couldn’t afford pet food.
For a state by state list of programs offering free and discounted services — from food to veterinary care — check out this Humane Society of the United States link.
Posted by jwoestendiek May 6th, 2013 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: aid, animals, assistance, cat food, dog food, dogs, food banks, food stamps, food stamps for dogs, help, humane society, marc okon, new york, pet flow, pet food, pet food direct, pet food stamps, pets, shelters, spca
The American Kennel Club is doing a much better job of protecting bad breeders than it is protecting dogs.
That’s the gist of this investigative report that aired yesterday on NBC’s “Today” show
The accusations aren’t exactly new, and weren’t exactly uncovered by NBC, but it’s good to see the issue getting some national attention.
The AKC, investigative correspondent Jeff Rossen notes, calls itself ”the dog’s champion …
“But critics say there’s an ugly reality you don’t see: Some AKC breeders raising diseased dogs, malnourished, living in their own filth. It’s so disturbing that now two of the country’s largest animal welfare groups, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and the Humane Society, are condemning the AKC.”
The report included an interview with one dog owner, who purchased a Great Dane from a kennel only weeks after that kennel was inspected by the AKC and found in compliance. The puppy turned out to have intestinal parasites, an upper respiratory infection and a congenital eye defect.
“Law enforcement went into the kennel just two months later, and rescued dozens of dogs,” Rossen reported.
Wayne Pacelle, CEO of the Humane Society of the United States, is featured heavily in the report, and makes the point that the AKC should be working with animal welfare groups to protect dogs instead of protecting bad breeders and fighting laws that would crack down on them.
AKC Director of Communications Lisa Peterson, also interviewed for the report, says she would give the AKC an “A” for its inspection program.
But when the reporter asked how many breeders are producing AKC-registered dogs, she said, “That’s a great question. We don’t know.” And when asked what percentage of AKC registered breeders end up getting inspected, she wouldn’t offer a ball park figure.
“We do thousands of inspections annually,” Peterson said. “We’ve done 55,000 inspections since the year 2000.”
“But what percentage of breeders actually get inspected?”
“… I don’t have that figure,” Peterson said. “I’m sorry.”
Peterson said there are nine AKC inspectors in the U.S. Asked “Do you think that’s an adequate number?” she said, ”That’s the number that we have.”
Posted by jwoestendiek May 2nd, 2013 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: akc, american kennel club, animals, aspca, breeders, breeding, club, conditions, dog, dogs, hsus, humane society, humane society of the united states, inspections, investigative, jeff rossen, kennel, laws, legislation, nbc, news, pets, report, today, today show, wayne pacelle
Police in Osceola, Wisconsin, say a man tied up a teenager he suspected had stolen from him, hung him upside down and commanded his pit bull to attack him.
Police said the 58-year-old homeowner ordered his pit bull to attack the 18-year-old three times — first as part of “interrogating” him, then a second time, then a third time after tying him up, dragging him outside and tying him upside down to the porch rafters.
The 18-year-old was treated at a hospital for for multiple dog bites and released, according to the Fond du Lac Reporter.
Police said the young man’s father witnessed, and may have participated in, the “interrogation.”
A third person who saw what was going on at the residence called police.
Charges of false imprisonment, negligent handling of a dangerous weapon, aggravated battery and bail-jumping are being referred to the Fond du Lac County District Attorney’s Office against the 58-year-old man, who is scheduled to be tried on an unrelated charge of child abuse later this year.
The boy’s father is expected to face similar charges, along with failing to aid the victim in reporting a crime.
The dog is being held at the Fond du Lac Humane Society.
Posted by jwoestendiek September 7th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, attack, bites, dog, dogs, fond du lac, humane society, hung, interrogation, ordered, osceola, owner, owners, pets, pit bull, pit bulls, pitbull, pitbulls, police, rafters, wisconsin
State dog wardens and police removed 206 Chihuahuas – many of them sick – from a home in Columbia County in northeastern Pennsylvania last week.
Dog wardens and state police executed a search warrant Thursday at the home of Albert and Thomas Ambrosia, in Benton, after receiving tips that dogs were being hoarded.
Officials removed several dead dogs from the home, and many more that were suffering from skin, eye and dental issues, said a spokeswoman for the state Department of Agriculture. State police are determining whether to file animal cruelty charges, she said.
The dogs were taken to the Farm Show complex in Harrisburg to get medical treatment and were being divided up among shelters on Friday and over the weekend.
According to the Reading Eagle, two Berks County animal shelters were among those that took in some of the dogs. The Animal Rescue League of Berks County announced Friday that it would take in 30 of the dogs, and the Humane Society of Berks County received six.
“This is one of the worst cases of animal hoarding we’ve seen in Pennsylvania, but through the efficient work of dog wardens, state and county animal response teams and local animal shelters, the dogs are one step closer to finding healthy forever homes,” said Mike Pechart, a deputy secretary who oversees state Dog Law enforcement at the Agriculture Department.
The two men who kept the dogs at their home treated them as pets and identified them by name to law enforcement officials who took them away.
The Animal Rescue League reported that 10 of the 30 Chihuahuas it received are older dogs that require more extensive care and will be placed with the group’s foster home program for older animals.
Officials from both the Humane Society and the Animal Rescue League said it is unclear when the dogs will be available for adoption.
“This is a terrible event, but we’re grateful that the Office of Dog Law Enforcement took the initiative to rescue these dogs,” said Dylan Heckart, Berks County Humane Society director of development and pubic relations. “We plan to offer the Chihuahuas the best veterinary care available and place them for adoption as soon as they’re ready.”
(Photo: Dylan Heckart, director of development and public relations at the Humane Society of Berks County, with Chihuahuas rescued from a Columbia County home; by Bill Uhrich / Reading Eagle)
Posted by jwoestendiek July 23rd, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: Albert Ambrosia, animal rescue league, animals, Benton, berks county, chihuahuas, columbia county, dead, department of agriculture, dogs, hoarded, hoarders, hoarding, humane society, pennsylvania, pets, seized, sick, Thomas Ambrosia
Dogs and cats over a year old can be adopted at Baltimore Animal Rescue and Care Shelter for free during the month of July.
The shelter – after waiving adoptions fees on cats in June — decided to expand the promotion through the end of this month.
Local shelters partnered on the promotion, aimed at finding homes for 500 cats in June.
Together, the found new homes for over 700 cats, 405 at BARCS alone.
“This campaign proved so successful in saving the lives of cats that BARCS is going to expand it, waiving all adoption fees for cats and dogs over one-year-old for the entire month of July, too,” BARCS said in a press release.
BARCS, the largest companion animal shelter in Maryland, took in 738 cats and 386 dogs in the month of June.
For more information, visit the BARCS website.
Posted by jwoestendiek July 12th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: adopt, adoption, animal welfare, animals, baltimore, baltimore 500, baltimore animal rescue and care shelter, barcs, cats, dogs, fee, foster, free, humane society, maryland, one and older, pets, promotion, rescue, shelter, spca, waived
Stepping out onto the exercise field with a dog at the Washington Humane Society is a thrilling moment — for me and the dog I’m with.
The dog knows he or she will be going for a walk or doing a training activity. I know that — as a result of the teaching, exercising, or simply socializing — the dog will be better for the experience.
After spending a few minutes walking and working with the dog I’ve taken outside, I think about how great it would be if I could always count on a second volunteer to be there at the same time.
Volunteering should be a team sport because it takes a lot of team work to provide the best experience for the dogs.
Each volunteer should be willing to do whatever is necessary to help the dogs, including exercising them and also providing care for the animals. If one person tries to do only one task, the team suffers.
That’s why I want to encourage others to volunteer at the Washington Humane Society. Volunteering is not a game or sport, but it does require acting in unison and working together, and everyone must work hard to ensure success.
If everyone works hard together more can be accomplished. A true volunteer is committed to helping in all aspects of the care, training, and exercising of the animals. Team work doesn’t always mean that each person gets attention for everything they do. The benefit to the dogs is the reward.
This brings me to a dog with whom I have spent a lot of time at WHS. Her name is Ginger. She has beautiful brown eyes and she loves sitting close to me on the park bench outside. She also loves a peanut butter kong for a special treat.
I also help train Ginger when we go outside. She is very smart and is always looking forward to “sitting” for a treat.
Participating in this “Shelter Enrichment Activity” is one of many things you can do as volunteer.
Ginger never wants to leave my side, and loves all the attention from volunteers. On Saturday, my fellow volunteer, Valerie, and I took out Ginger together with another WHS dog and they had such a nice time cooling off together in the summer heat, sitting in the cool shade of bamboo trees.
These are great moments to share with another volunteer and it is rewarding to know that we helped take the dogs out together and that they were so calm and happy out in the field.
To meet Ginger, stop by the Washington Humane Society Adoption Center located at 1201 New York Ave. NE. To see more of their adoptable pets, visit the website. If you are interested in providing anything extra for Ginger, please contact Katherine Zenzano at Kzenzano@washhumane.org.
Editor’s note: Volunteers are the foundation of most animal shelters – if not the heart and soul, at least the arms and legs. In this new feature, we invite shelter and rescue volunteers to share their thoughts. If you’ve had an experience with a particular dog, or a particular program, if you’ve found new inspirations, learned some lessons or just want to write about the day-to-day work you do with animals, send your story along, with photos if you like, including one of yourself, to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Posted by jwoestendiek June 22nd, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: adventures in volunteering, animals, dogs, experiences, ginger, guest posts, humane society, julie stack, pets, rescues, shelters, socializing, trainer, training, volunteer, volunteering, volunteers, walking, washington humane society
Volunteering at the Forsyth Humane Society has been a great experience overall. I mean, besides scooping the “bio-waste,” to put it delicately.
I spent most of my time playing with and walking dogs of all energy levels, backgrounds, and breeds.
And I spent some of my time in a costume, serving as the humane society’s mascot at community events.
Fun as it has been, I have also come to two unsettling realizations.
I have also concluded that with age and time since intake, the chances of an animal’s adoption decrease. A dog who has been there two months stands much less chance of finding a home than a new puppy. Puppies come and go quickly, whereas older dogs are often overlooked.Ideally, all dogs would find homes, and everything would be fine. A perfect world where all dogs have a lifelong home from birth probably will never exist. However, isn’t it morally wrong that the ones who have been caged up their whole lives are the ones that don’t get adopted?
Even if you don’t want to get a dog, you can still make a difference. Volunteer at your local Humane Society or shelter and interact with the animals there. You’ll have that warm feeling of having done something to help pets feel secure during a time of need. And aside from that, it can be fun, too.
Here are some of the things I did this summer at the Forsyth Humane Society, in Winston-Salem, N.C:
I walked dogs (picking up after them as I did so). If someone wanted to see what a dog was like, I’d let them walk the dog and I’d just follow and scoop. If they wanted, they could also take a dog into the playpen outside and play with them (as long as a volunteer or staff member was there).
I also did quite a bit of playing myself, tossing tennis balls to the ball-playing dogs, running with the more energetic ones down the trail, and if they were really hyper, I’d do a bit of doggie “bullfighting.” I’d hold a bone or something, and sidestep at the last second and try to avoid having the bone taken for a few minutes, at which point I’d let the dog grab on and it would become tug-of-war. It was great exercise for both me and the dogs, though I usually wound up being the one worn out first. It’s also quite fun, if you don’t mind one or two accidental scratches here or there from a paw.
But then there’s another side to the volunteering. That’s the real reason to go — the difference you can make in a dog’s life. For me, that feeling came while working with dogs like Truvy, a pit bull.I didn’t know anything about her history at the time, so I took her for a walk like I would any other dog. Someone (I can’t remember who) who was walking another dog said it was good that I was walking her because she was afraid of men, likely as a result of having been abused by one. After learning this, I set myself a goal for the day—to get Truvy to not be afraid of me.
I took Truvy to the end of the walking trail, where I sat down, and after about thirty minutes, she did too, but still cowered when I tried to reach out and pet her. When Truvy finally started to feel safe enough to lie down, a sudden boom (likely a truck on the overpass a couple hundred yards away) scared her, and we were back to square one. So we went to the playpen. It took about forty minutes to get her to try to pick up a tennis ball. She dropped it when I approached her and she ran to the corner. When I was told that it was time to put Truvy in back in her cage and let another dog in the playpen, I sat with her in the cage. She curled up in the corner, and I sat down next to her and started petting her. I sat with my arm around her for a while.
By the end of my two-hour shift (at least half an hour of which was in the cage), Truvy had curled up against me with her head on the inside of my elbow. So I wound up completely filled with that warm fuzzy feeling I mentioned earlier—except in my left arm which was numb from the elbow down.
I also enjoyed volunteering at the events like “Pups in the Park,” where dogs can come to the baseball game with you. Before the game, the Forsyth Humane Society bus, ROVER, parks in front of the stadium, and visitors are invited to walk through it and see some of the animals that are up for adoption.
Some of the volunteers walk the dogs around with “Adopt Me” harnesses on, and others hand out bags to people so they can pick up after their dogs. Then there are the people who sell T-shirts to raise money for FHS, and those who run the games that entertain kids while their parents look around.
And finally, there’s the all-important mascot duty. That was my job of choice at events — even though it got a little hot in there. I walked around in a dog costume, sometimes freaking out the real dogs. Lots of them barked at me, some sniffed me, and one grabbed my tail. Humans waved at me, hugged me and took pictures. Best of all, I got into a baseball game for free.
Do you have to go to these extremes or anything to make a difference? No. Volunteering can mean simply playing with a dog for a few minutes or taking it on a walk. These simple things help a dog learn how to interact with humans so that, when he or she does find a home, the transition can be smooth. It’s a fun, rewarding experience for both you and the animal whose life you improve with every minute you spend with them.
Can we have a utopia? Maybe not. However, we can donate an hour or two at a local shelter and make the world a better place — one pet at a time.
Editor’s note: Volunteers are the foundation of most animal shelters — if not the heart and soul, at least the arms and legs. In this new feature, we invite shelter and rescue volunteers to share their thoughts. If you’ve had an experience with a particular dog, or a particular program, if you’ve found new inspirations, learned some lessons or just want to write about the day-to-day work you do with animals, send your story along, with photos if you like, including one of yourself, to email@example.com.
Posted by jwoestendiek June 19th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: adventures in volunteering, animal shelters, animals, dogs, essays, forsyth humane society, guest, guest posts, humane society, joe woestendiek, mascot, pets, posts, rescue, shelter, spca, submissions, volunteer, volunteering, volunteers
“Macbeth” doesn’t have a particularly happy ending, but one of the stars of the Baltimore Shakespeare Factory’s production of the play might find one.
The performances of “Macbeth,” starting with a Thursday, April 12 premiere, will feature homeless dogs from the Baltimore Humane Society, including Sophia (above).
Sophia will appear in the premiere — a long way from when she was found starving and freezing on a garbage dump behind her owner’s home, able only to walk on her hind legs. Her owner said he had no use for her anymore and had not even named her for the months in which he owned her, according to the humane society. Sophia, a nine-month-old boxer mix, is now living with a foster family.
The Baltimore Humane Society says the Shakespeare Factory is also featuring adoptable dogs in the playbill and setting aside space for a humane society information table at all shows.
Baltimore Humane Society will be sharing the stage with The Shakespeare Factory throughout the rest of the year for several different plays.
Different dogs and cats will be appearing in each of the performances.
Macbeth will be performed beginning April 12 at the The Great Hall Theatre, St. Mary’s Outreach Center, 3900 Roland Avenue, Baltimore. Additional performances will be April 20-22 and April 27–28.
For more information or tickets visit theshakespearefactory.com.
Anyone who sees Sophia or any of the other Baltimore Humane Society actors will get half off the adoption fee if they mention it when they come to the shelter and fill out an application.
Posted by jwoestendiek April 12th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: adoptable, animals, appearing, baltimore, baltimore humane society, baltimore shakespeare factory, dogs, featured, homeless, humane society, macbeth, maryland, performances, pets, play, plays, shakespeare, shakespeare factory, shelter, sophia, starring
This one’s a lot like the story we told you last this week — about a German shepherd in Baltimore named Jerry Lee — but in our view it’s the sort of thing that can’t happen often enough.
Bear, a two-year-old Labrador retriever mix who months ago was just another mutt in a Kentucky animal shelter, is the newest addition to the Tuscaloosa County Sheriff’s Office in Alabama.
Dustain Vance, head trainer for Advance Canine Academy in Scottsville, Ky., adopted Bear from the Bowling Green-Warren County Humane Society. Bear had been adopted earlier, but returned by a family who had difficulty controlling the dog’s energetic behavior.
“For a drug dog, that’s what we actually look for,” Sheriff Ted Sexton, who swore in Bear as a deputy Wednesday, told Al.com. “We’re looking for a dog that has drives and instincts primarily in play and prey and hunt, and he excels in this particular area.”
The Sheriff’s Office purchased the dog from the training center, and he’s been assigned to a partner, a deputy attached to the West Alabama Narcotics Task Force.
Bear has been trained to sniff out marijuana, cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine.
Last week, Bear and his new handler returned from training to Tuscaloosa, where the dog immediately found a pound of marijuana in a FedEx package. He has since made another bust.
Deputy Nick Lolley said he and Bear are getting along well in their first week on the job. “He has to trust you and you have to trust him,” Lolley said. “That’s — I say 50 percent of it, because if a dog trusts you, then he’ll work for you.”
(Photo: Chris Pow / al.com)
Posted by jwoestendiek March 6th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: academy, adopted, advance canine academy, alabama, animals, bear, bowling green, canine, county, department, detection, dog, dogs, drug, drug-sniffing, humane society, k9, kentucky, labrador retriever, mix, narcotics, pets, shelter, sheriff, task force, training, tuscaloosa, warren county, west
Animal advocates in North Carolina are hoping last week’s seizure of 160 dogs from a large scale breeding operation in Stokes County helps propel the state legislature to finally pass a puppy mill law.
The dogs were removed from Dan River Bullies in Danbury, described by authorities as a crowded facility where dogs slept in their own waste in makeshift, mouse-infested kennels with exposed wires.
It was a “heartbreaking” scene, in the view of Kim Alboum, director of the Humane Society of North Carolina. She said she hopes it serves as a catalyst that will push North Carolina to demand more regulation of commercial dog breeders.
“My expectation is that our legislators are going to see the outcry from the general public and hopefully help us move something forward and get some regulations in place,” Alboum told the Raleigh News and Observer.
“The majority of people want to have regulations for commercial dog breeders in North Carolina,” she added. “They want to have some level of accountability.”
A bill to regulate commercial breeders passed the state Senate in 2009, but didn’t make it through the House. Alboum said she’s working with North Carolina animal control officers and legislators to come up with a new bill.
The Humane Society of the United States, which took part in the raid, estimates there are 250 to 300 commercial dog breeders operating in North Carolina. While most may be responsible and caring owners, Alboum said, not all are, and the state has been drawing unethical breeders from other states that have passed puppy mill laws.
Nationally, at least 19 states have some level of regulation in place for commercial dog breeders, the Humane Society says.
More than 500 dogs were recovered in the five puppy mill raids in North Carolina last year – in Wake, Caldwell, Franklin, Perquimans and Lincoln counties.
The dogs seized last week have ended up in shelters in Greensboro, Raleigh and Charlotte.
Marsha Williams, executive director of the Guilford County Animal Shelter, which received 129 of them, said their problems include eye issues, hematomas, heart murmurs, severe dental problems, matting and dermatitis. Some of the dogs have broken jaws and teeth.
The dogs included French and English bulldogs, Boston terriers, Shih Tzus, Yorkshire terriers and Chihuahuas.
Charges are expected to be filed against the owners, Willis and Lucile Mabe, after veterinarians finish evaluating the dogs.
(Top Photo by Brooke Cain / Raleigh News & Observer; bottom two photos courtesy of Humane Society of the United States)
Posted by jwoestendiek February 16th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal welfare, animals, boston terriers, breeders, breeding, chihuahuas, commericial, dan river bullies, danbury, dogs, english bulldogs, french bulldogs, humane society, kim alboum, large scale, legislation, legislature, north carolina, operation, pets, puppy mill law, puppy mills, shih tzus, stokes county, yorkshire terriers