Behavior problems are the main reason dogs end up in shelters, the main reason they get returned, and the main reason that some of them never get out.
So it only makes sense that helping dogs and the families that adopt them resolve those issues would lead to far more happier endings and far fewer dogs being put down.
Realizing that, Best Friends Animal Society in Utah has developed a new program in conjunction with the Monmouth County SPCA that matches dog trainers with shelters and families whose dogs have behavioral issues.
Sam Wike, the first trainer accepted into the program, is shown in this video working with Rufus, one of the first dogs referred by Best Friends’ Community Training Partner program. Wike is the lead trainer at Purr’n Pooch, a pet boarding/training/grooming facility in New Jersey.
Rufus, who was in the Monmouth County SPCA, needed a “finishing school” environment in order to be ready to be adopted, Best Friends says. Now he’s completed the training and is ready for adoption.
The main goal of the program is to lower the number of dogs returned to shelters and to counsel people considering relinquishing their dogs because of behavior issues.
When a family comes into the shelter to turn in their dog, a staff counselor sits down with them, and talks through the reasons the family is considering giving up their pet. Owners then are offered the option of training and behavior modification for their dogs, which is funded through the Best Friends program.
“We started this January working with the staff and we’ve also initiated doggy play groups with the shelter dogs,” Wike said. “The play groups help the dogs to learn how to interact appropriately with other dogs. The dogs burn off excess energy romping with each other and it’s a great showcase for their personalities when potential adopters come by the shelter,” Wike said.
Posted by John Woestendiek February 22nd, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: behavior, behavior modification, behavioral, best friends, best friends animal society, community training partner, counseling, issues, monmouth county, new jersey, program, purr'n pooch, relinquish, return, sam wike, shelters, surrender, training
The Humane Society of the United States thinks it’s time animals have a representative in the White House — a human one.
Both the society and the Humane Society Legislative Fund are asking the Obama Administration to appoint an Animal Protection Liaison who would work with the executive agencies and Congress to advance animal protection policies.
The liaison would get involved in matters such as protecting dogs from abuse at large-scale puppy mills, enforcing the federal laws against animal fighting and inhumane slaughter and defending the international ban on commercial whaling.
“These are just some of the critical animal protection issues that depend on the active involvement of federal agencies — in fact, there are 18 different agencies that oversee animal welfare!” HSUS says.
“We have developed a change agenda for animals, which outlines 100 immediate steps the Obama Administration can take to help animals — including millions of pets, farm animals, laboratory animals, and wildlife. With your help, we can ensure the Administration is addressing these critical animal protection issues in an ongoing and sustained way.”
The Humane Society is urging people to sign the online petition to ask President Obama to appoint an Animal Protection Liaison.
Posted by John Woestendiek November 6th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abuse, animal, animal welfare, dogfighting, government, hsus, humane society of the united states, issues, liasion, obama, petition, president, protection, puppy mills, whaling, white house
It’s a familiar chain of events in many a city — a particular neighborhood, usually by virtue of its location, emerges as desirable. Young and affluent people move in. Real estate prices rise and, with them, taxes. The old neighborhood bars get upscaled. Mom and pop shops close down. Oldtimers start leaving. A Whole Foods opens. Then you step in dog poop.
The fancy word for it is gentrification — and while dogs are, for the most part, innocent bystanders (byrunners? bypoopers?) they often seem to surface as the issue around which gentrifications wars play out.
I couldn’t help but notice the similarities between a recent story out of Venice, California, appearing in the Santa Monica Daily Press, and our situation right here in South Baltimore.
The story looked at a growing conflict between long-time black and Latino members of a Venice neighborhood and affluent newcomers and their dogs. Long-time residents are complaining about the presence of off-leash dogs in the park.
“When families in the neighborhood see the blatant disregard for the law and there is signage throughout the park, it sends a message that they’re above the law and privileged,” said Lydia Ponce, who serves on the Oakwood Park Advisory Board, “It sets up a cultural divide.”
Dog owners, meanwhile, say they are simply seeking a place for their dogs to run — an activity that, properly monitored, impinges on no one’s rights or space. “We’re law-abiding citizens and we don’t want to get tickets for exercising dogs in the morning,” said Dr. Douglas Stockel, who has lived in Venice for five years.
Posted by John Woestendiek June 17th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: baltimore, california, cultural divide, divisions, dog owners, dog parks, dogs, gentrification, gentrified, gentrify, issues, leash law, neighborhoods, off-leash, parks, perceptions, residents, stereotypes, tensions, venice
The Humane Society of the United States does not run or regularly fund the nation’s 3,500 animal shelters.
HSUS President and CEO admitted that yesterday on his blog, “A Humane Nation.”
Of course he would have told you that a month or year ago as well, because, despite an “investigative report” out of Atlanta, later retracted, and despite the criticism from a group called the Center for Consumer Freedom, HSUS has not become the mammoth non-profit that it is by proclaiming it provides shelter for America’s homeless pets.
It has implied that it cares about animals, and that it works to improve their lives. It has tugged at your heartstrings in its fundraising spots, and it has made the most of publicizing its work. It has done some things I wouldn’t agree with and failed to do some things I wish it would have. To disagree with its priorities, or some of its policies, is one thing. But to say its an organization built on deception — that it has tried to lead Americans to believe it’s tucking shelter dogs in at night — is off the mark, and overlooks the work the organization does.
“If anyone reads my daily blog, looks at our website, reads our magazines, or scans our email and direct mail letters, you’ll find no claims that we run America’s 3,500 animal shelters, or serve as a granting agency for them—or that any one organization serves this function,” Pacelle wrote on his blog yesterday. “Their accusation is a fiction.”
“CCF and our opponents would love it if we just gave money to shelters. That way, the corporations that fund CCF would have much clearer sailing in conducting their animal exploitation activities … Right now, we’re their worst nightmare, and we are not going away.”
Some critics say HSUS has a secret “vegan agenda” — that it wants to take our steaks away. As a meat lover, and a smoker, and a person who likes smoked meats, I say, even if that were the case, so what? The animals I eat deserve a spokesperson.
“It would be a terrible dereliction of duty if we did not address the other problems of animals in society,” Pacelle wrote. “There are 10 billion animals raised for food, principally on factory farms, in America every year — and that’s nearly 30 million a day. There are tens of millions of animals used in laboratory experiments. More than 100 million killed for sport. Tens of millions killed in the fur trade, and tens of millions killed worldwide in cockfights and dogfights.
While most animal lovers have a pet issue, Pacelle notes, HSUS is trying to look at the big picture, and the roots of what it sees as the biggest problems.
“We have to be there for as many animals as we can, and use our finite resources in a highly strategic way to achieve the biggest impacts,” he wrote.
“While we help many thousands of animals in distress … our primary strategy is to strike at the root of the problem, rather than to address the symptoms. Whether it’s in the field, in the courts, in legislatures, in influencing public opinion, conducting undercover investigations, or by some other lawful and mainstream means, there’s no group that is a greater agent of change or brings the arsenal of tools we do to the fight for animals.”
Posted by John Woestendiek May 30th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, atlanta, center for consumer freedom, criticism, experiments, farms, funding, fur, hsus, humane nation, humane society, investigation, issues, laboratory, priorities, report, resources, strategy, tv, vegan, vegetarian, wayne pacelle