The Interior Department’s new secretary (Trump appointee Ryan Zinke) has told his employees that he plans to let them bring their dogs to work on a trial basis.
Zinke announced in an email to employees Thursday morning the start of “Doggy Days at Interior,” a program that will launch with test runs at the agency’s Washington headquarters on two Fridays, one in May and one in September, the Washington Post reported.
“I’m taking action to establish a pilot program for Doggy Days at Interior!” Zinke said in the email to Washington-area employees. The email included two photographs of him with his wife, Lolita, and their 18-month-old black and white Havanese, Ragnar.
Zinke made a splash when he rode a horse to work on his first day on the job.
Whether it ends up being an open-ended and ongoing invitation, or just a couple of days a year when employees can bring their dogs to work, the new policy would make Interior the first federal agency to go at least a little dog-friendly.
While former CIA director Leon Panetta was known to sometimes bring his dog to work, government rules prohibit it. General Services Administration Rule 102-74.425 states that: “No person may bring dogs or other animals on Federal property for other than official purposes.”
Particulars of the Interior Department pilot program remain to be worked out, such as whether there will be size or weight limits. Likely, participating dogs would have to be housebroken, be up to date on vaccinations and stay on their leashes.
Zinke, an avid hunter, former Navy SEAL and congressman representing Montana, portrays himself as both an outdoorsman and a dog lover. Earlier this this month, he arrived at his new workplace astride Tonto, a bay roan gelding who belongs to the U.S. Park Police and resides in stables on the Mall.
His email referred to his own dog, and the times they have shared.
“Opening the door each evening and seeing him running at me is one of the highlights of my day,” it reads. “I can’t even count how many miles I’ve driven across Montana with (Ragnar) riding shotgun, or how many hikes and river floats Lola and I went on with the little guy. But I can tell you it was always better to have him.”
Zinke said his dog policy’s primary goal is to boost morale at the agency, which includes the National Park Service, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Bureau of Land Management and six other departments.
Interior ranked 11th in employee morale of the 18th largest federal agencies in last year’s Best Places to Work in the Federal Government survey, with just 61 percent of its 70,000 employees saying they’re happy in their jobs.
(Top photo: Zinke, wife Lola, and dog Ragnar, courtesy of Department of Interior; lower photo from The Washington Post)
Posted by John Woestendiek March 24th, 2017 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, boost, cabinet, department of the interior, dog, dogs, dogs in workplace, federal, federal government, government, havanese, interior department, morale, offices, pet, pets, pilot program, policy, ragnar, ryan zinke, test, trial, Trump, washington, work
If you notice ohmidog! has a slightly different look as of today, it’s because I’ve purged the site of advertising.
Except for a brief period when I first fired this website up, eight years ago, advertising has never brought in enough money to cover expenses.
That was the plan, but I never invested much effort in it. And what little effort I did put into it — much like my efforts at “search engine optimization” — was not an enjoyable use of time.
Life is too short to spend it wooing Google.
So, as of today, ohmidog! — while still planning to dazzle you daily, and remain your most trusted source of dog news — takes another step away from being a business, and another step closer to being a hobby.
That said, we are forever grateful to those advertisers that have been with us from the start and helped get us off the ground. We’re hoping the fact that we haven’t charged you for four years makes up for the abrupt break up.
I’ve come to the realization that I’m not a businessman; I’m more of a storyteller. And while the two can mix, I’m not good at mixing them.
Of course, I will still advertise myself (as any self-respecting blogger must) and tout from time to time the words I string together.
Those mentions — and who knows what else — will now move to the right side rail. (The ad for Bark magazine, as I sometimes write for them, falls under that category.)
All those shelters, humane societies, rescue organizations, animal advocates and doggy do-gooders that do what they do for something other than profit are now on the left side rail.
(There’s room for more. If your group would like its logo to appear there, write us at firstname.lastname@example.org.)
There is, of course no charge for that and, as promised long ago, there will continue to be no charge to read our daily posts, no registration required, no annoying pop-ups, no hidden links and no advertising disguised as editorial content.
If you’d like to donate to ohmidog’s continuing operation, I won’t stop you. But I won’t twist your arm, either, and I promise we won’t have a week-long fundraising drive — at least not yet.
An animal control officer in Durham declined to free a dog from a hot parked car for about two hours Saturday, despite the pleas of the woman who reported the situation.
As temperatures inside the car climbed to 117 degrees, Jennifer Miller urged the officer to take action, angrily posted pictures on her Facebook page, and pushed ice cubes through the cracked window of the car to the panting pit bull inside.
Miller, of Danville, Virginia, had called animal control Saturday afternoon after seeing the dog in the car, parked at The Streets of Southpoint Mall.
The officer who arrived checked the car, stuck a probe inside to take the temperature, but declined to take any action to remove the dog.
Instead, Miller said, he sat in his air conditioned vehicle and waited for the owners to return.
Miller, who serves on the board of a wildlife rehab center and volunteers with a humane society, said the dog, about six months old, was showing signs of heat stroke, but the animal control officer seemed unswayed by her opinion.
“He (the dog) was panting. His gums had actually already started to turn white,” she said. “It looked like he was kind of foaming at the mouth, that really thick saliva. And he was unsteady.”
The owners of the car, which had Maryland license plates, finally showed up about 4 p.m. The officer filed no charges, but told them to take the dog to a vet to be checked out.
Miller wasn’t satisfied with that ending. She continued to complain about how the incident was handled — and it paid off.
On Monday evening, the Durham County Sheriff’s Office announced a change in policy concerning animals left in vehicles.
Officers will no longer have to wait for animals to show signs of distress.
Under the revised policy, deputies will document the interior and exterior temperatures of a vehicle at least twice, and the deputy will use his or her discretion in determining whether the animal should be removed from the vehicle.
The new policy also allows deputies to decide whether to return the pet to its owner or pursue criminal charges after taking the animal to the local shelter.
“The Durham County Sheriff’s Office appreciates and listens to feedback from concerned citizens,” said the statement from the sheriff’s office statement.
Miller, despite winning a victory of sorts, sounds like she continues to be disturbed by it all.
“It is very clear that they could have charged this person. They did not have to wait two hours to get the dog out,” Miller told ABC11. “But the officers were not listening. They were very rude and belligerent. And it was very sad the dog suffered for two hours at least.”
Posted by John Woestendiek August 11th, 2016 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal, animal control, animal control officer, county, cruelty, deputies, dog, dogs, durham, heat, heat stroke, hot cars, law, mall, north carolina, owners, parked, policy, sheriff, southpoint, suffering, unattended
For years, there were only two ways for an unclaimed pit bull, Rottweiler or chow to get out of the Guilford County Animal Shelter in Greensboro, N.C.
One was for a rescue group to step in, take custody of the dog and find it an adoptive home.
The only other alternative was euthanasia.
Due to “liability concerns,” the shelter had a policy against allowing pit bulls, Rottweilers and chows to be adopted — instituted by the non-profit group that managed it for 15 years.
That group was ousted last year, and last week the Guilford County Board of Commissioners reversed the long-standing rule.
The old policy was established under the United Animal Coalition, a Greensboro-based nonprofit that ran the shelter until last year — when its licensed was revoked after an investigation into charges of animal cruelty. The county assumed management of the shelter.
Last Thursday, the Board of Commissioners voted to change the policy that prevented the adoption of certain breeds, according to the Greensboro News & Record.
According to the shelter’s director, Logan Rustan, about 8 of every 10 dogs in the shelter at any given time are pit bulls.
“A lot of our cages stay empty because I cannot put these three breeds on the floor, and that’s most of what we get,” Rustan told the commissioners. “If I can have this approved … I guarantee when I get back today I can fill the adoption floor, fill it full, with adoptable animals.”
Rustan said the shelter had worked with area rescues to find pit bulls, Rottweilers and chows adoptive homes, but was often left with adult pit bulls that could not be placed.
The change in policy is in keeping with recommendations from the state Department of Agriculture, which has urged the shelter to give more consideration to a dog’s temperament than to its breed when assessing its adoptability.
(Photo by John Woestendiek / ohmidog!)
Posted by John Woestendiek April 11th, 2016 under Muttsblog.
Tags: adoptions, animal shelter, bans, behavior, board of commissioners, breed, breeds, changed, chows, greensboro, guilford county, north carolina, pit bulls, pitbulls, policy, rottweilers, shelter, shelters, united animal coalition
The board of a ritzy Manhattan co-op is requiring some residents undergo testing of their blood and spit to determine if they are pure enough — and of the proper type — to live there.
As of last month, dog owners living in the luxury tower at 170 West End Avenue must have their veterinarian sign off on the canine’s pedigree and, if the pet is a mix, detail the percentage of each breed, according to DNAInfo.com
The policy is designed to purge the building of any pedigrees the board deems troublesome.
And the board deems many breeds troublesome — 27 in all, including the Pomeranian and the Maltese.
Residents were informed of the new policy a few months ago.
The board policy says the 27 breeeds were chosen based on “documented information regarding their tendency towards aggressiveness.”
In the case of mixed breed dogs, the co-op board is requiring owners to have their pet undergo a DNA test. If the test shows a dog to be made up of more than 50 percent of one of the outlawed breeds, it will have to leave the building.
Initially, they wanted to require mandatory DNA testing of all dogs, but they amended the policy to require the testing “at the board’s discretion.”
The latest version of the policy, issued on May 26, says that if a dog’s breed is unknown “the board at its sole discretion may require a resident to perform DNA testing.”
The 484-unit, 42-story cooperative is one of eight buildings that comprise Lincoln Towers, a 20-acre property near Lincoln Center managed by FirstService Residential. Each building has its own co-op board and makes its own policies.
The board policy also requires that residents register their dog and provide a mugshot of the canine.
The list of banned breeds includes St. Bernards and German shepherds, pit bulls, basset hounds — and even the tiny shih tzu.
“It’s like dog racism essentially,” one resident said of the new policy. “It’s beyond offensive, it’s intrusive.”
(Photo: From NYcurbed.com)
Posted by John Woestendiek June 17th, 2015 under Muttsblog.
Tags: 170 West End Ave., animals, banned, board, breed bans, breeds, co-op, discrimination, dna, dog, dogs, german shepherd, Lincoln Towers, maltese, mandatory, manhattan, mixed breeds, new york, pets, pit bulls, pitbulls, policy, pomeranian, racism, shih-tzu, st. bernard, testing, tests
Let’s hear it for the San Francisco Board of Supervisors.
By a 10 to 1 vote, supervisors went on record opposing a federal proposal to restrict dogs in parts of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area.
The National Park Service earlier this year proposed to “completely or significantly reduce” the off-leash areas in the recreation area to “strike a balance between park landscape, native wildlife and the 16 million visitors.”
The park service is considering mandating leashes in open spaces where dogs currently roam free and banning them entirely in some popular dog-walking areas.
Dog lovers responded to the proposal swiftly, labeling it “extreme environmentalism,” and even considered suing the federal government if the proposal passed, according to the website Curbed.
In early April, Supervisor Scott Weiner introduced a resolution in opposition to the proposed dog policies. This week, all but one of the supervisors voted for it — in part out of concern that restricting dogs on the federal park land could overburden city parks.
The National Park Service has proposed restricting dogs from San Francisco’s Crissy Field, Ocean Beach and Fort Funston, which are among the most popular places to take dogs in the city.
Federal officials are still taking public comment on the plan and expect to put new rules in place next year.
Posted by John Woestendiek April 28th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, board of supervisors, changes, crissy field, dog friendly, dogs, environmental, fort funston, golden gate, golden gate national recreation area, impact, leash, national park service, ocean beach, off-leash, park service, pets, policy, proposed, restrictions, san francisco, supervisors, unleashed
Lees-McRae College, located in the mountains of North Carolina, has designated its first pet-friendly dormitory, allowing students who live there to bring along their dogs, cats, birds, fish, ferrets, and hamsters.
With the opening of the Spring 2011 semester, Bentley Residence Hall went co-species.
“I am so excited that Lees-McRae College has joined the ranks of pet friendly colleges and universities. We love our pets and we recognize that students who are pet owners are generally responsible and caring individuals,” said Barry M. Buxton, president of the Presbyterian college. “We want to encourage pet adoption and awareness that all of God’s creatures are sacred.”
Students living in Bentley Hall are now allowed to bring their pets from home to school with them to live in their rooms. Under the new policy, qualifying students can have fish, hamsters, gerbils, guinea pigs, birds, ferrets, cats and dogs under 40 pounds. (We’d argue dogs over 40 pounds are sacred, too.)
Previously, students were only allowed to have fish in residence hall rooms.
Under the new pet friendly policy, faculty and staff are also encouraged to bring their pets to campus.
“It is great to be able to have my two dogs for companionship while I am studying and doing homework in my room,” said student Lauren Lampley, owner of Shih Tzus Heidi and Buckley. “This responsibility also forces me to manage my time well enough to take care of them and make sure I make time to spend with them.”
The approved pets for the inaugural pet friendly program include a Boston Terrier, a small Labrador retriever, two Shih Tzus, a pomeranian/Chihuahua mix, a miniature dachshund, a Maine coon mix, a Siamese mix, a leopard gecko, a Dutch rabbit, two ferrets and two birds.
The new policy represents the latest in a trend toward colleges welcoming pets, noted Joshua Fried, director of Petside.com: “We know how much the companionship of a pet can benefit a college student, particularly in the form of stress-relief and as a remedy for homesickness.”
“Now I have two alarms,” one student joked. “When I ignore my alarm clock, my dog licks my face and my nose until I get up. She really cares about my education.”
Lees-McRae College, a four-year, co-educational liberal arts college, is located in the Blue Ridge Mountains of northwestern North Carolina in the town of Banner Elk.
(Photo courtesy of Lees-McCrae College)
Posted by John Woestendiek January 28th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: allowed, allows, animals, banner elk, bentley hall, birds, campus, cats, colleges, dog, dog friendly, dogs, dormitory, education, ferrets, gecko, guniea pigs, hamsters, lees-mcrae college, life, new, pet friendly, pets north carolina, policy, rabbit, stress, students, universities