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Tag: limit

NC dog rescue group fighting to stay open

suerogers

Zoning laws often lack logic, but this one, in Davidson County, N.C., seems especially bone-headed.

A rescue organization in Thomasville that shelters dogs while trying to find them homes has been told that county ordinances allow kennels to have no more than 10 animals per five acres.

Exceptions to the rule are made for those who keep show dogs, those who keep hunting dogs, and those who keep or train guard dogs.

But for an organization like Ruff Love Rescue that saves dog’s lives and tries to find them adoptive homes? Sorry. Up to now, no exceptions have been made, and the county has threatened to shut them down.

ruffloveThe Winston-Salem Journal reported yesterday on the rescue, the problems it is facing, and how it is attempting to surmount them.

While the nonprofit rescue has been operating for nearly 20 years, the county issued it a zoning violation in 2015, saying, as a kennel, it is subject to rules limiting the number of animals to 10 for every five acres.

The notice followed an investigation that was prompted by a neighbor’s complaint.

The rescue’s owner, Sue Rogers, appeared before the county’s planning and zoning committee last week to again seek an exception. The committee voted in favor of allowing the rescue to have more than 10 animals as long as Rogers adds trees or other sound barriers.

That still requires approval from the Davidson County Commissioners. They are scheduled to discuss the proposal on April 11.

Rogers has argued that the rescue should receive the same exception that owners of household pets, and trainers of guard animals, show dogs and hunting dogs receive.

“So you can have 71 hunting dogs or 71 show dogs or 71 pets, but because we are a rescue, that’s a problem?” Rogers said. “What are those ‘exceptions’ doing for Davidson County? I’ll tell you what we’re doing, saving a heck of a lot of lives.”

She has a point. Shouldn’t a rescue get at least the same break that the county has granted to the owners of show dogs, guard dogs and hunting dogs? Since when is grooming dogs for beauty contests, or training them to hunt, or teaching them to get aggressive with intruders more important than saving their lives?

Given all the shortcomings over the years at the Davidson County Animal Shelter, shouldn’t the county be appreciating Rogers efforts, instead of punishing her?

The county shelter was one of the last in the state to stop euthanizing animals in a gas chamber. It has had traditionally low adoption numbers. Even after it’s operation was turned over to a nonprofit group, it had its license revoked in 2015 when investigators found, among other things, that sick and injured animals were going untreated.

Rogers started her independent rescue in her 5-acre backyard in the late 1990s. In 2015 she took in about 400 dogs. Last year, she took in 220 dogs, most of which were adopted.

The rescue regularly pulls dogs from the Davidson County shelter and other county shelters.

“I take the dogs that don’t have a chance because no one wants to invest the time and money to get them better,” Rogers said. “A lot of the dogs I take in have medical issues, like broken femurs or fractured pelvis, and would be euthanized otherwise.”

She estimates she has spent $50,000 on legal fees to keep the shelter open.

“It’s been a hard fight, but I’m not giving up,” she said. “This is my passion, this is my life, this is what I do.”

An online petition to keep the rescue open has received 1,400 signatures in a week.

(Photos: At top, Ruff Love Director Sue Rogers loads toys, treats and food donated at an adoption fair Saturday; lower photo, one of Ruff Love’s dogs is greeted at an adoption fair in Greensboro; by Allison Lee Isley, Winston-Salem Journal)

Chicago dog owners warned to not let their dogs socialize with other dogs

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Dog owners in Chicago are being warned to keep their pets away from the city’s dog-friendly parks and beaches to help control the spread of the dog flu, which has killed five dogs in the area and sickened more than 1,000 more.

On Friday, the Cook County Department of Animal and Rabies Control urged pet owners to avoid not just dog parks, but group training activities, doggy day care, groomers, boarding facilities and other environments where dogs congregate or socialize until the outbreak — or epidemic, as some are calling it — subsides.

Signs posted at dog-friendly parks and beaches read:

“The Canine Influenza Virus (the Dog Flu) is causing illness throughout the Chicago area. All unvaccinated dogs may be at risk. Even dogs showing no sign of illness may carry this virus.

“PLEASE ENTER THIS DOG FRIENDLY AREA (DFA) AT YOUR OWN RISK.

“The virus is extremely contagious. Unvaccinated dogs exposed to the Dog Flu are more likely to contract the disease.”

The signs go on to list the symptoms of the dog flu: coughing, lethargy, difficulty breathing, nasal discharge and lack of appetite.

While people can’t catch it from dogs, the dog flu is is extremely contagious between dogs that come into close contact with each other.

Forty states have experienced outbreaks of the dog flu since the virus was discovered in 2004.

Experts say nearly every dog exposed to it will get the virus. About 25 percent of those don’t show signs of the sickness, but can still pass it on to other dogs.

Limiting socialization with other dogs is the best way to fight the illness, said Dr. Cynda Crawford, who helped discover the virus in 2005.

Crawford, with the Maddie’s Shelter Medicine Program at the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine, told Steve Dale’s Pet World, a blog on ChicagoNow.com, that owners often aren’t aware their dogs are ill.

She advises limiting all socialization, including letting your dog be walked by a dog walker who takes dogs out in groups.

While there is a vaccine for dog flu, it is new, expensive, requires multiple shots and, as with the human vaccine, fails to guarantee a dog won’t catch the virus.

Chicago animal control officials said the outbreak could last several more weeks.

(Photo: from ChicagoNow.com)

Chicago rethinking proposed 5-dog limit

Chicagoans can continue to enjoy a three dog night, or even four or five or six dog night — at least for the time being.

The Chicago City Council deferred making a decision on a proposal to limit dog ownership to no more than five Monday in the face of criticism from pet lovers, veterinarians, and animal advocates, Chicagoist.com reports.

The city council has been considering limits on pet ownership for more than a decade, and the latest proposal has support from the Chicago Police Department and the head of the city’s animal control department.

But many residents and a few aldermen oppose it, including Freddrenna Lyle, who is concerned that the proposed ordinance has no “grandfather clause.” As a result, pet owners could be forced to choose, within 30 days, which pet or pets to get rid of — and how.

Another alderman, Isaac Carothers said the ordinance fails to address the root problem. “Some people might have ten dogs and have a wonderful, clean environment, take care of ’em and do everything. But, I know people who’ve got two dogs and people complain all the time how they don’t clean up after ’em, the dogs always run loose.”

While the ordinance is believed stalled for now, it’s a safe bet we haven’t heard the last of it.

In Guangzhou, one dog will be the limit

sosImagine authorities knocking on your door — well, we’d hope they’d knock — and informing you that owning more than one dog is against the law, and to choose which one you’d like to keep.

In another two weeks, that will be the situation in Guangzhou, as it already is in Beijing.

Beginning July 1, each household can raise only one dog. The regulation won’t be grandfathered in, so families with two or more dogs will apparently have to decide which one gets to stay, according to an Associated Press report.

“It’s a cruel regulation. These dogs are like family. How can you keep one and get rid of the others?” one owner of two dogs — a terrier mix and a Pekingnese —  told the Associated Press. She declined to give her full name because she feared the police would track her down and seize the dogs.

The regulation appears to be part of an effort to control stray dogs in Guangzhou, a city of 12 million that was once known as Canton. It’s one of the richest cities in China.

Many of those getting pets are first-time pet owners, don’t bother to spay or neuter their animals and end up abandoning them, leading to a large population of strays in Guangzhou, which is preparing to host the Asian Games next year.

People were quick to react to the regulation when it was announced in March, said Mao Mao, who six years ago founded a shelter for stray dogs called Family of the Pet. She said that before March, she would receive only a few calls a month from dog owners who wanted to give up pets. “Since March, every day we get about 10 calls a day,” said the woman, who takes in only strays and advises pet owners how to find new homes for their animals.

“I’m afraid there are going to be many more stray dogs in July when the one-dog regulation becomes effective,” she said.

Many other Chinese cities, including Beijing, have long had one-dog policies. Officials commonly launch mass roundups of dogs when the canine population is deemed too big or infected with rabies and other diseases. In 2006, Beijing authorities caught 29,000 unregistered dogs in one month — a campaign that sparked public anger and protest.dogcullappeal

In the city of Hanzhong, in China’s central Shaanxi province, all dogs found outside homes in areas hit by a rabies outbreak are not being “culled” by “dog-beating teams” who canvass the area and beat dogs to death on the spot — even those registered by their owners, according to a report in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal.

The cull, which began May 23, is one of the largest in recent years, and has led to some outrage, most of it expressed in anonymous online discussions.

Meanwhile, back in Guangzhou, dog owners aren’t sure if the one-dog policy will be strictly enforced. Often Chinese authorities announce a tough new law, launch a crackdown, then ignore the measure.

(Photos: Scenes from Hanzhong, where dog culling is underway, and leading to demonstrations; courtesy of animalsasia.org)

5 dog night: Over the limit in Wheeling, Ill.

Margaret Bucher has five dogs.

The town she lives in only allows four.

That, after the village board turned down her pleas Monday night, leaves Margaret with only a couple of options — ditch one of her beloved canines, or get the heck out of Wheeling, Illinois.

Bucher on Monday did her best to get an exemption from the rule, bringing a letter of support from her mail carrier, and a letter “written” by her dogs: “Please let us stay in our home. We are house dogs and live in a clean home. We have to depend on our owner to fight for us. She loves us very, very much.”

Only a handful of people attended the meeting, and only one person spoke out on Bucher’s behalf, according to the Daily Herald in suburban Chicago. 

Trustee Robert Heer blamed Bucher for “creating a circus atmosphere … You talked to every radio station and newspaper you could.” (Does Wheeling restrict the number of media outlets one can speak to, as well?)

“Laws are for all people,” Heer added. “You come with this idle threat of moving. If you choose to leave, then leave.”

Village officials had given Bucher until April 1 to give up one of her dogs or face a fine of between $50 and $500 per day. Officials later extended the deadline to give Bucher time to work out a plan. But Bucher said she couldn’t possibly choose which of her five dogs – a Pomeranian, two Maltese, a shih tzu and a Maltese/shih tzu mix – she would give up to comply with Wheeling village code.

If the village doesn’t let her keep all five dogs, she said, she’ll move.