Category: Animal rescue

A book about a terrible happening!

A massive cull of pet cats and dogs in the UK during WW11.

Out of the blue the other day Margaret from Tasmania sent me an email.

Hi Paul,
I happened to come across this rather sad but interesting story.
Thought you might like to read it.
Warm regards
– Margaret (from Tasmania)

The email contained a link to this very sad information.

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The little-told story of the massive WWII pet cull

By Alison Feeney-Hart
BBC News Magazine

12th October, 2013

This dog was treated by a vet, but many were put down at the outbreak of WWII

At the beginning of World War II, a government pamphlet led to a massive cull of British pets. As many as 750,000 British pets were killed in just one week. This little-discussed moment of panic is explored in a new book.

The cull came as the result of a public information campaign that caused an extraordinary reaction among anxious Britons.

In the summer of 1939, just before the outbreak of war, the National Air Raid Precautions Animals Committee (NARPAC) was formed. It drafted a notice – Advice to Animal Owners.

The pamphlet said: “If at all possible, send or take your household animals into the country in advance of an emergency.” It concluded: “If you cannot place them in the care of neighbours, it really is kindest to have them destroyed.”

The advice was printed in almost every newspaper and announced on the BBC. It was “a national tragedy in the making”, says Clare Campbell, author of new book Bonzo’s War: Animals Under Fire 1939 -1945.

Campbell recalls a story about her uncle. “Shortly after the invasion of Poland, it was announced on the radio that there might be a shortage of food. My uncle announced that the family pet Paddy would have to be destroyed the next day.”

After war was declared on 3 September 1939, pet owners thronged to vets’ surgeries and animal homes.

An RAF serviceman delivers a stray to Battersea

“Animal charities, the PDSA, the RSPCA and vets were all opposed to the killing of pets and very concerned about people just dumping animals on their doorsteps at the start of the war,” says historian Hilda Kean.

Battersea Dogs and Cats Home opened its doors in 1860 and survived both wars. “Many people contacted us after the outbreak of war to ask us to euthanise their pets – either because they were going off to war, they were bombed, or they could no longer afford to keep them during rationing,” a spokesman says.

“Battersea actually advised against taking such drastic measures and our then manager Edward Healey-Tutt wrote to people asking them not to be too hasty.”

But Campbell cites an Arthur Moss of the RSPCA who, “gloomily pronounced that the primary task for them all would be the destruction of animals”.

In the first few days of war, PDSA hospitals and dispensaries were overwhelmed by owners bringing their pets for destruction. PDSA founder Maria Dickin reported: “Our technical officers called upon to perform this unhappy duty will never forget the tragedy of those days.”

In Memoriam notices started to appear in the press. “Happy memories of Iola, sweet faithful friend, given sleep September 4th 1939, to be saved suffering during the war. A short but happy life – 2 years, 12 weeks. Forgive us little pal,” said one in Tail-Wagger Magazine.

The first bombing of London in September 1940 prompted more pet owners to rush to have their pets destroyed.

Many people panicked, but others tried to restore calm. “Putting your pets to sleep is a very tragic decision. Do not take it before it is absolutely necessary,” urged Susan Day in the Daily Mirror.

But the government pamphlet had sowed a powerful seed.

“People were basically told to kill their pets and they did. They killed 750,000 of them in the space of a week – it was a real tragedy, a complete disaster,” says Christy Campbell, who helped write Bonzo’s War.

Historian Hilda Kean says that it was just another way of signifying that war had begun. “It was one of things people had to do when the news came – evacuate the children, put up the blackout curtains, kill the cat.”

It was the lack of food, not bombs, that posed the biggest threat to wartime pets. There was no food ration for cats and dogs.

As war approached, families increasingly worried about feeding their animals

But many owners were able to make do. Pauline Caton was just five years old at the time and lived in Dagenham. She remembers “queuing up with the family at Blacks Market in Barking to buy horsemeat to feed the family cat”.

And even though there were just four staff at Battersea, the home managed to feed and care for 145,000 dogs during the course of the war.

In the middle of the pet-culling mayhem, some people tried desperately to intervene. The Duchess of Hamilton – both wealthy and a cat lover – rushed from Scotland to London with her own statement to be broadcast on the BBC. “Homes in the country urgently required for those dogs and cats which must otherwise be left behind to starve to death or be shot.”

“Being a duchess she had a bit of money and established an animal sanctuary,” says historian Kean. The “sanctuary” was a heated aerodrome in Ferne. The duchess sent her staff out to rescue pets from the East End of London. Hundreds and hundreds of animals were taken back initially to her home in St John’s Wood. She apologised to the neighbours who complained about the barking.

But at a time of such uncertainty, many pet owners were swayed by the worst-case scenario.

“People were worried about the threat of bombing and food shortages, and felt it inappropriate to have the ‘luxury’ of a pet during wartime,” explains Pip Dodd, senior curator at the National Army Museum.

“The Royal Army Veterinary Corps and the RSPCA tried to stop this, particularly as dogs were needed for the war effort.”

Ultimately, given the unimaginable human suffering that followed over the six years of the war, it is perhaps understandable that the extraordinary cull of pets is not better known.

But the episode brought another sadness to people panicked and fearful at the start of hostilities.

The story is not more widely known because it was a difficult story to tell, says Kean.

“It isn’t well known that so many pets were killed because it isn’t a nice story, it doesn’t fit with this notion of us as a nation of animal lovers. People don’t like to remember that at the first sign of war we went out to kill the pussycat,” she says.

Follow @BBCNewsMagazine on Twitter and on Facebook

Bonzo’s War: Animals Under Fire 1939 -1945 is written by Clare Campbell with Christy Campbell.

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Now there’s a little bit more information on the Duchess of Hamilton, namely:

The Duchess of Hamilton, 1878-1951

  • Nina Mary Benita Douglas-Hamilton, notable animal rights campaigner
  • Established animal sanctuary in a heated aerodrome in Ferne during war
  • Founded Scottish Society for Prevention of Vivisection in 1911

The Duchess at the National Portrait Gallery

It’s very difficult to make one’s mind up. As was written there were no food ration cards for pets.

But at the same time this huge pet cull was too much, too soon.

As was written, “The story is not more widely known because it was a difficult story to tell, says (Hilda) Kean.

“It isn’t well known that so many pets were killed because it isn’t a nice story, it doesn’t fit with this notion of us as a nation of animal lovers. People don’t like to remember that at the first sign of war we went out to kill the pussycat,” she says.

It was a most interesting link albeit a very sad one.

It’s been hot here in recent days.

And not just here!

This story comes from Mexico, a country renowned for being a hot place. Even in Northern Mexico it can be flipping hot (and that’s putting it nicely). Let’s face it I met Jeannie in San Carlos, Mexico in 2007. San Carlos is in the county of Sonora, just along the coast from Guaymas and about 270 miles South from Nogales on the Arizona border.

Anyway, back to the story which comes from The Dodo.

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Nice Store Opens Its Doors To Homeless Dog During Heat Wave

“He came to us for help.”
BY

PUBLISHED ON THE 27th August, 2019.

Recently, on a scorching hot day in northern Mexico, Adolfo Pazzi Ahumada witnessed love in its purest form.

After noticing he was out of milk at home, Ahumada decided to brave the 104°F weather to make a quick stop at his local market. When he arrived, he saw sweet scene unfolding out front.

“A stray dog was being fed and getting water from the [store] clerk,” Ahumada told The Dodo. “Then I saw they let the dog inside.”

Google Maps

Once Ahumada entered the store, he decided to ask the clerk about the dog. Ahumada recounted that conversation to The Dodo: “He has been here the past [few] days. We suspect he was left behind by his owner. He came to us for help,” the clerk told Ahumada. “We could only provide him with food, water and some toys from the store that we paid with our money.”

But the shop’s kindness doesn’t end there.

“We let him inside because the temperature outside is really hell-like. We feel bad for him, but he looks happier around the store,” the clerk said.

Peeking down one of the aisles, Ahumada observed that firsthand:

Adolfo Pazzi Ahumada

The downtrodden dog had found people who cared.

In the time he’s been there, the dog has shown kindness to the clerks and customers in return. The store hopes perhaps a shopper will see fit to adopt him into their home.

Unable to be that person, Ahumada paid for his milk and bought a treat for the dog to enjoy after his nap — resting assured the pup was in safe and caring hands until that day comes.

Adolfo Pazzi Ahumada

“I felt bad for what the dog has passed through,” Ahumada said. “But he is now receiving the love he deserves.”

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 I find myself staggered at what this dog has endured yet at the same time how very quickly he settled in at the store. Well done to all the staff at the OXXO store. It would have been so easy to let the dog suffer and in all probability die in the heat.

Please, let the sweet dog find a loving home as soon as possible!

A rescue plus!

Ninety-nine percent of the time it’s a match of dog and human.

Today, Tuesday, Jean and I went to visit one of the retirement homes in town. The woman who saw us at this particular one, Cindy, was a dog lover and had two dogs. But while we toured the home and saw this and that all three of us were much more interested in speaking about our dogs.

It came to mind while we were talking about our dogs, and remarking how we loved them and how life wouldn’t be the same without them, that dogs occupy a place in our hearts that is so special. Now it’s not unique; cats and horses to some are also special. (And there are some dog owners who don’t really endear themselves to their dogs.)

But there’s something about the dog that for most people is magical.

This came to mind when I was reading this post; something magical about the humble dog. Taken from The Dodo.

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Frightened Shelter Dog Completely Transforms When She Meets Her New Human Brother

She couldn’t stop smiling!
BY
PUBLISHED ON 16th August, 2019.

After Tricia Carter and her family lost their beloved dog Bailey back in November, it was hard to imagine another dog could ever take her place. But when Carter’s friend texted her pictures of a sweet pit bull/bulldog mix, just like Bailey, at their local shelter, she decided maybe her family was ready to adopt again.

“Once I saw pics, I couldn’t stop thinking about her and the next morning I went to the shelter,” Carter told The Dodo.

Tricia Carter

The shelter didn’t know much about the dog’s past except that she’d passed through more than one shelter, and that she was likely used for breeding by her previous owner and cast aside once she was no longer useful. The poor dog, named Lola, seemed defeated as she came out to meet Carter, but Carter could tell that she was so sweet and just needed to find the right family to love her.

“She had a very quiet, calm nature at the shelter,” Carter said. “Didn’t really react one way or another to other dogs, seemed to hang her head for the most part.”

Tricia Carter

Poor Lola had already been adopted and returned to the shelter once before, and after meeting her, Carter knew she wanted to give her a chance. The official deciding factor would be if Lola got along well with her teenage son. Two hours later, Carter headed back to the shelter with her son — and as soon as the pair met, Lola’s demeanor completely changed. It was as if this was the person she had been waiting for all along.

Tricia Carter

“The moment she looked into his eyes, they both fell in love,” Carter said. “She had the biggest grin and it hasn’t gone away since.”

Tricia Carter

It was such a beautiful moment, and no one could believe how much the pair connected right away. Carter immediately made the adoption official, and sweet Lola couldn’t stop smiling the whole car ride home.

Tricia Carter

Lola arrived in her new home and settled in immediately, and slept the whole night with Carter’s son. The next day, her personality really started to shine through, and it was as if she knew she had finally found a place to stay forever.

Tricia Carter

To this day, Carter’s son is still Lola’s absolute favorite person, and she spends most of her time snuggled up with him. She also loves playing with the family’s other two dogs, and seems to feel more like a part of the pack every day. At the shelter, poor Lola could barely lift her head, but now she’s found exactly where she belongs, and she’s never looking back.

Tricia Carter

“She’s so happy and fun-loving — I can’t help but smile every time I’m around her,” Carter said. “No matter what her backstory might be, she’s a sweet girl who just wants to love, play and be loved.”

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And there’s something more to this story of love and friendship – we can only guess at what the dog is thinking.

For sure this dog is very happy, and shows it, but for an animal that for years and years has bonded so closely with us we really don’t understand what’s going on.

But it is still very beautiful!

Is your community no-kill?

A timely republication of a helpful article.

The Best Friends website has a useful article under their 2025 Goal aim.

It follows nicely yesterday’s post.

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2025 Goal

No-Kill for Cats and Dogs in America’s Shelters

You believe that animals deserve compassion and good quality of life. You also love your community and want to take action for the pets and people in it. Here’s how.

Last year, about 733,000 dogs and cats were killed in our nation’s animal shelters, simply because they didn’t have safe places to call home. Together, we can change that and achieve no-kill for dogs and cats nationwide by 2025.

Is your community no-kill?

Explore lifesaving nationwide using the interactive tool below and see which shelters in your community need your support. When every shelter in a community achieves a 90% save rate for all cats and dogs, that community is designated as no-kill. This provides a simple, effective benchmark for our lifesaving progress.

This dashboard presents a dynamic data set that is being updated regularly with the most current information available. We welcome your feedback to help ensure that our data is the latest and most accurate information.

Go here to access the map!

Common elements of a no-kill community
All no-kill communities embrace and promote:

Collective responsibility: We hold ourselves accountable for the welfare of pets in our animal shelters and communities.

    • Individual community members are willing to participate in lifesaving programs.
    • State and local government are poised to support those programs.
    • A transparent shelter staff is working with their community to save more lives.

Progressive lifesaving: We value compassionate and responsible actions to save animals.

  • Decision-making is data-driven and anchored by best practices in the field.
  • Quality care is provided to every pet and quality of life is a priority.
  • Programs are designed to save the animals most at risk of being killed.
  • Programs are designed to tackle the root of the problem rather than the symptoms.

True euthanasia: We recognize that, for some animals, euthanasia is the most compassionate choice. This is why the no-kill benchmark for save rate is 90% and not 100%. In some cases, shelters may not meet the 90% benchmark, but do meet the philosophical principles of no-kill, which are:

  • Ending the life of an animal only to end irremediable suffering.
  • Ending the life of an animal when the animal is too dangerous to rehabilitate and place in the community safely.

End-of-life decisions are made by animal welfare professionals engaging in best practices and protocols.

Visit the “Community Lifesaving Dashboard Frequently Asked Questions” page to learn more.

Working together to save more pets

About the lifesaving community maps

These community maps are the first of their kind in animal welfare. They represent an enormous undertaking on the part of compassionate organizations and individuals throughout the country and a commitment to collaboration and transparency from more than 3,200 shelters across the country.

Learn more about how these maps were created and how you can help make them more accurate and powerful for the pets in your community and beyond.

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Once again, go here to view the maps.

The best of luck!

A no-kill approach!

Funny how things come around!

I just happened to click on the ‘signature’ of a follower that took me to a blog where I was truly enthralled. It was called Who Will Let the Dogs Out? and I was fascinated by what was being written.

Now I already follow this blog but had been very reluctant to go across to their place and read the posts. Shame on me! I have no idea why!

How about this post, that I am taking the liberty of republishing.

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No Kill is Not Rocket Science.

BY CARA SUE ACHTERBERG

July 25th, 2019

Ian and I are still processing what we saw and what we learned in Tennessee, each in our own way.

He is taking a break and feels he can’t look at the pictures for a bit. His pictures capture the emotion of the dogs caught in our human failure, and that is hard to look at. I know eventually he will be ready to edit them and to hopefully share more here on the blog. He took thousands of pictures. My big son has a very big heart, and it truly broke in Tennessee.

For me, seeing the conditions in western Tennessee made me furious. This should not be happening. We should not be leaving the responsibility for lost and surrendered animals to a handful of citizens who are quite literally standing in the gap left by a government that neglects its duties and an unaware public.

I cannot look away. So, I am doing what I do– writing and talking and making a nuisance of myself. I’m working on articles, blog posts (like this one), and even a book. I am in the midst of signing a publishing contract for 100 Dogs and Counting, a follow up to Another Good Dog: One Family and Fifty Foster Dogs that will recount more of our fostering adventures, and then take the reader south to discover where these dogs come from and what they can do about it.

I am also planning another trip in September– this time back to Tennessee, and then on to Alabama. Ian will be in school, but I will bring along another talented photographer and excellent co-pilot, Nancy Slattery.

One of the people I am excited to see on this next trip is a rescue hero of mine — Aubrie Kavanaugh. I’m excited to introduce you to her today in the following interview. Aubrie is not only an expert in the fight for a No-Kill nation, but a talented writer, a wickedly smart and funny person, and a dog-hearted woman relentlessly and methodically committed to changing the situation.

Enjoy!

The biggest first – the question everyone asks me – Why are there so many unwanted dogs in the south?

I honestly try to avoid the word “unwanted” because it implies that no one wants the animals when that is not necessarily true. Having said that, we have so many in need of homes for a host of reasons, some of which I’ll explain.

In many locations, there is a complete disconnect between animal control agencies/animal shelters which have animals needing new homes and the general public who could provide those homes. The shelters presume no one wants the animals and the public presumes the animals all find homes. The chasm between the agencies and the public is wide and leads to animals who otherwise may be saved being destroyed.

We have issues with most municipalities who manage animal shelters continuing to use the outdated “catch and kill” method of sheltering because they have not learned about or embraced No Kill programs and philosophies which could both reduce shelter intake and increase shelter output. Rather than educate themselves on how to keep animals alive which still ensure public safety, they hold firm to the status quo with the mindset of, “its’ not broken, so don’t fix it.” But the shelter system is broken and it does need to be fixed.

Many people are quick to ascribe what has been called “The Bubba Factor” to the south which essentially means that people here are too woefully stupid or callous to care about what happens to animals in need. We do have cultural differences regarding the value of animals in our lives (“it’s just a dog”) or where animals live (inside v. outside) and there are some people who could care less about animal welfare. Most people, however, do care at most about the welfare of animals and at least about how their tax dollars are spent. People can be informed not only about how their tax dollars can be best used, but also about how they can make better personal choices which affect how shelters operate (like the value of spay/neuter, how to keep pets contained, how to rehome pets in the event of their death or some life crisis, etc.). Many see themselves as stewards of the species we have domesticated and for them this is an issue of ethics, but they need to be informed of the need to address the need.

In many parts of the south, there is also very limited access to spay/neuter at all, let alone at a reasonable cost. This means that in some places, pet populations are not contained and just continue to grow over time. The more animals there are in any particular community, the more animals are apt to end up in animal control systems.

Define what ‘no-kill’ means to you.

No kill means we don’t kill healthy and treatable shelter animals using our tax dollars or donations.

Some try to portray the phrase as controversial or complicated when it really is not. When we use the intended meanings of words like “euthanasia” and “kill,” the phrase makes more sense.

If you have ever made The Terrible Decision to euthanize a beloved pet who is suffering, you know exactly what euthanasia means. It is an act of mercy to end or alleviate suffering. If a shelter ends the life of a healthy dog, that is not euthanasia no matter how many times we call it that. If someone outside an animal shelter setting were to end the lives of healthy animals, we would not say those animals were euthanized. We would say they were killed. We should not alter the meaning of words based on the location where the act takes place.

There will always be animals in shelters who are suffering and for whom euthanasia is the only responsible action as an act of mercy. There will also always be a very small number of dogs who are so broken as to be genuinely dangerous (as opposed to scared, traumatized or undersocialized) and who cannot be adopted out because they present a public safety risk and those dogs must, unfortunately, be euthanized. No Kill does not mean animals do not die. It means we keep the healthy and treatable animals alive because that’s what the public expects and because it is possible using a progressive business model.

I blogged about this topic recently for No Kill Movement and the blog explains a bit more about what No Kill is and what it is Not.

What made you get involved in no-kill advocacy?

We had our 16-year old German Sheppard mix euthanized on Earth Day of 2006. We knew for years that the day was coming, but it was heart-wrenching. I found I was not coping well in the wake of our loss. I began donating to the animal shelter in the city where I work in her honor and to help me cope with the loss by doing something positive.

I was on the shelter website a few months later when I came across a promotional video which began harmlessly but then transitioned to footage of an outwardly healthy dog being taken from his kennel to be killed. It shocked me. I had no real clue prior to that that the shelter was destroying healthy and treatable animals. When I later asked if the dog in the video had actually died, I was told five words that changed my life: “nobody wants Beagles these days.”

I got upset, then I got angry and then I began educating myself about why this was happening not just in my area, but all over the country. I wanted to do all I could to make it stop. I now consider myself an unapologetic No Kill advocate. For me, this is an issue about free speech and municipal accountability. I see my advocacy as a moral imperative. Shelters operate using tax dollars and it is up to us to hold those places accountable for how they spent our money and in our name (while sometimes blaming us for the process). As a country, we are better than this.

Is no-kill truly possible and if so, what will it take?

I absolutely believe that any community can become a No Kill Community and that as more places take this step, we move closer to a time when the killing of healthy and treatable animals will become part of our shameful past. Change can come in one of two ways. Municipalities can get ahead of this issue by adopting progressive programs. If they will not do so, the burden passes to citizens to educate themselves and then speak out to demand better of elected and appointed officials. If elected officials will not listen to the will of the people, they need to be replaced.

I support and promote the No Kill Equation which is a one-size-fits-all DIY solution for any community which was first published by Nathan Winograd in 2007. It is an all-in series of programs which work in concert with each other to reduce shelter intake and then move animals who are in the shelter through the system as quickly as possible. I group them into “keep them out” and “get them out” programs. Anyone can learn about the No Kill Equation by reading Nathan’s book, “Redemption: The Myth of Pet Overpopulation and the No Kill Revolution in America.” They can also read about the equation on numerous websites including those for the No Kill Advocacy Center, No Kill Movement, No Kill Learning, my Paws4Change website or our No Kill Huntsville website. I also go into a lot of detail about the Equation in my book and explain a bit about how each of the programs works.

What can someone who is not in the rural south do to help?

Every area can improve. If you live outside the south, find out how your local shelter is functioning using your tax dollars. Many shelters claim to have high release rates when, in fact, they are playing a numbers game or are using words in different ways than they are used by the public to condone or excuse killing. If you don’t like what you learn, speak out and ask for better. Only when more places across our country change will those changes ultimately become infectious everywhere, including in the south.

Even if your local area is doing a great job, you can connect with people you know in the south and encourage them to educate themselves and perhaps become politically active about their local shelter. It often falls to the public to speak out and demand better. Only those who live in the area can speak out for better use of their tax dollars in ways which are consistent with their values.

If you don’t know anyone in the south, you can help rescue and advocacy organizations in the south which are doing some of the heavy lifting to keep animals alive. If that is the help you choose to provide, please also encourage the rescue group or advocates with whom you engage to speak out to seek better. While I have the utmost respect for people “in the trenches,” who are keeping animals alive, they are doomed to provide that role indefinitely unless the system is forced to change through public demand. I have a section in my book called “For Rescuers,” which addresses this need to go beyond saving X dog and Y cat to becoming a catalyst for change so there are fewer animals in need of rescue or help. As simple as it sounds, nothing will change unless something changes to alter the process.

I love the title of your book because that’s what I’ve concluded, too – It’s not Rocket Science. Tell me a little about why you wrote the book and what you hope people take from it.

I formed an advocacy group called No Kill Huntsville in 2012 to speak with one voice to persuade the City of Huntsville, Alabama, to stop destroying healthy and treatable animals using tax dollars. The live release rate at the shelter at the time was about 34% and my individual efforts going back to 2008 to bring about change had failed. Fast forward a few years and things have changed remarkably. The live release rate at the shelter has been above 90% for more than four years and while there is still work to be done, the culture at our shelter has changed. It was an incredible struggle for a long time. It got ugly with some strong opposition from some unlikely sources. But we’re proud of what we did working together as a coalition.

One day last fall after a city council meeting which set some new guidelines for the shelter, I was thinking back to all the times people have contacted us asking for help or asking what we recommend. People contact us from the south, from other regions and even from other countries. I decided to write the book to help others learn from our path. We didn’t get everything we wanted and our work is not over, but the worst is behind us and I think people may learn something from our methods and from our mistakes. I think the content in the book about the opposition we faced is almost as important as the No Kill Equation we promoted and still promote. If advocates are not prepared to counter opposition, their arguments in support of animal shelter reform may fall short.

Anything else you’d like to add?

The phrase No Kill is on the public radar and is not going away. We do better to educate people on what it means and to help people learn how to promote change than to try to sugarcoat what is happening in our shelters using our money. We should be respectful in our advocacy, but there truly is no polite way to say, “please stop killing healthy and treatable animals using our money.” No Kill advocates are not the enemy of shelters any more than the public is the enemy. I always encourage people to focus not on the messenger, but the fact that the message is necessary in the first place.

There are some who use the phrase No Kill and do so in ways which are inconsistent with our social movement. Some of these people engage in criminal acts for which they should be prosecuted. We should absolutely call out those bad actors when we find them. Those people who co-opt the phrase No Kill for illegal or unethical purposes are no more representative of our social movement than unethical breeders of animals represent all breeders. If an organization calls itself No Kill and destroys a lot of animals, keeps them for years, or does not provide for their care, they are using the words without the actions to support them. My book covers this topic and I touch on it in the No Kill Movement blog.

I believe a time will come when all shelters in America will be No Kill shelters. How long that takes is up to all of us. We must educate ourselves on what his happening in our own communities so we can decide if our money is being spent in ways of which we approve. When it is not, it is up to us to ask for better and, when necessary, be advocates for change. The lives of animals depend on it.

Aubrie Kavanaugh is an Army veteran who has worked for decades as a litigation paralegal doing defense work; her clients are mostly municipalities and law enforcement officials.

Aubrie became an animal welfare advocate in 2006 after learning about the deaths of animals at her local animal shelter. She manages the Paws4Change educational website, blogs on animal welfare issues, creates video productions and public service announcements for animal shelters and nonprofit organizations across the country, and is involved in advancing animal welfare legislation on the local and state level. She also leads an advocacy group called No Kill Huntsville. She lives in northern Alabama with her husband, their dog, and the enduring inspiration of their dogs to whom they have said farewell for now.

Her book, “Not Rocket Science: A Story of No Kill Animal Shelter Advocacy in Huntsville, Alabama” is available on Amazon. It is priced to print.

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Well done, Aubrey!

And if you go to that Amazon Books page you will read this:

America is an animal friendly society. Approximately sixty-eight percent of U.S. households own a pet – about 85 million families. Most of us consider our companion animals family members. We recognize that they enrich our lives in countless ways, improve our physical and mental health, and make us better people. We value the fact that they don’t care what we look like, where we live, what we do for a living or how much money we make; their love for us is unconditional. And we agonize over our decisions when the time comes to say farewell to them due to advanced age or disease.

But there is a dark side to our relationship with companion animals which is our collective shame. We destroy millions of healthy and treatable animals in our tax-funded animal shelters every year. Many people simply do not know about what happens at their local animal shelter using their money and in their name. Some who know about this tragedy believe there is no other way to function. There is.

“Not Rocket Science” is a story of no kill animal shelter advocacy in Huntsville, Alabama, which explains how a group of animal welfare advocates joined forces to speak with one voice to save the lives of healthy and treatable animals in the municipal animal shelter. This advocacy helped change the shelter from one which destroyed more than half of the animals entrusted to its care to a shelter which saves the lives of all healthy and treatable animals instead.

Any community can be a no kill community. Sometimes it just takes the courage to try something new. And sometimes it just takes a group of people willing to band together and speak out with one voice to say “enough. We are better than this.”

The book is priced at $5.52. I have ordered a copy!

Dog in the road!

An incident yesterday serves as an introduction to today’s post.

I went biking yesterday morning.

I decided to go down Azalea Drive to the end and return the same way; a total of 19.5 miles.

Now about 2 miles into my return I came across a dog playing in the road. Azalea Drive is a pretty busy road and as I approached the dog I had to wave down cars. Soon I was up to it and I noticed it wasn’t wearing a collar but it looked well-fed. It was incredibly friendly and came instantly up to me and allowed me to caress it around its head and ears. It was a black Labrador.

Now not wanting to leave it and the two gates alongside where I was, on the same right-hand side of the road, being padlocked shut I decided to walk a good half-mile down an opposite drive to find someone. I was pushing the bike in my righthand and the dog was walking very happily by my left leg. Eventually I got to the house and rang the bell. Pat and Earl came to the door; it wasn’t their dog as evidenced by the barking of their own dogs. Pat suggested trying the next house South. I left my bike there and Pat gave me a leash to walk the dog with.

So the dog and I walked back down the drive and up the next driveway South. I knocked on the front door.  Several people came to the door. It wasn’t their dog either but a young man kindly offered to take the dog and return it to the property where it lived across the road. Apparently it wasn’t the first time that this had happened; the owners worked all day and the dog had found a gap in the fence.

So I left the beautiful Lab with the young man, thanked him profusely and walked the three-quarters of a mile back to fetch my bike. Thinking that some people didn’t deserve such a beautiful dog!

Now to my post for the day, courtesy of The Dodo.

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Dog Left Tied To Tree Gave The Biggest Smile To Rescuers

PUBLISHED ON 07/31/2019
Photo Credit: Facebook/Patrick Harden

As a group of road workers were collecting trash along a highway in Dutchess County, New York, they suddenly heard barking. They were basically in the middle of nowhere, and couldn’t imagine why a dog would be wandering around there. Still, they knew they had to investigate, and so they followed the barking — and found a dog tied to a tree, deep in the woods away from the highway.

The workers were shocked to find the poor dog tied to the tree, away from where anyone could have spotted him, and he was just as shocked — and overjoyed — to see them too.

Photo Credit: Facebook/Patrick Harden

“He was very happy and excited to see anyone,” Lynne Meloccaro, executive director of the Dutchess County SPCA, told The Dodo. “He had been there for quite a while in 100-plus [degree] weather. He’s clearly got a strong will to live.”

After the New York State Police were contacted, the very excited dog was taken in by the Dutchess County SPCA, who decided to name him Pesci. The staffers there were dumbfounded by how anyone could have abandoned such a happy, upbeat dog. Even after everything he’d been through, he was so thrilled to meet all of his new friends, and didn’t seem to be scared of people one bit.

Photo Credit: Lynne Meloccaro

“He is a very sweet soul,” Meloccaro said. “He’s happiest when he’s with people — he loves to play and get cuddles.”

Besides being dehydrated, Pesci was surprisingly healthy. He’s now thriving in the care of all his new rescue friends, and simply can’t get enough of all the love and attention he suddenly has. The police are now actively investigating how he came to be abandoned, so they can hold whoever did it responsible.

“That he was so far off the road suggests that whoever put him there did not intend for him to be found easily,” Meloccaro said.

Photo Credit: Lynne Meloccaro

Luckily, Pesci is safe now and is already so loved, and the shelter has a feeling he won’t have to wait long before he’s adopted into the best forever home.

“He will be ready for adoption very soon, and given the public interest in this case, I think he will find his forever home in a shorter amount of time than he spent tied to that tree,” Meloccaro said.

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The contrast between the dog I found, or rather the owners, and Dutchess County SPCA is stark!

As I said some people have no right to a loving dog.

Diya’s story

With thanks to Michelle Orcutt.

I am not a great Facebook user. I have nothing against the app just prefer not to be active in terms of my comings and goings. However, I do automatically send posts from this blog across to Facebook. Some of my followers come from FB.

As was the case with Michelle Orcutt.

I went across to her FB ‘page’ to leave my thanks for her follow and read a wonderful account of Diya.

Michelle kindly gave me permission to republish the article in this place. Here it is.

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Diya’s Story

By Michelle Orcutt

Most of my friends know I adopted Diya, originally a street puppy from India (aka a desi dog, an Indie, a native Indian dog, pariah dog, or a streetie), almost 4 years ago. I wrote this for her rescue’s private Facebook group a year ago, in hopes of encouraging a better understanding of street dogs, and have had some requests to make it public, so here it is:

What follows are my own musings, not anything coming from ISDF. I think about dogs a lot!😁 Through Diya’s rescuer’s visit to the Twin Cities, I was able to meet and observe 7 other Indian-Minnesotan dogs. Thinking about some common difficulties voiced by these dogs’ people, and also about some of the worries and frustrations recently expressed in group and my own challenges with Diya, I feel like sharing my perspective.

To a person, the Desi adopters I met here have been patient and accommodating towards their dogs, yet most of the dogs continue to have difficulty in certain situations. These are dogs, working from what their DNA and experience gives them to go on, in a wholly other environment from where they emerged into the world. Especially with random-bred, pariah type dogs like many from India, Oman, and Thailand, these dogs’ lives center around finding food and water, protecting themselves and their territory, avoiding harm, and successfully breeding, bearing, and raising pups. Certainly the pursuit of pleasure and comfortable resting spots plays into their lives too.

We ask these dogs, who are dogs as dogs are truly meant to be—to become “ours” when they arrive in America. We subject them to foreign constraints like crates and leashes, and saddle them with our own expectations. We spend a lot of time telling dogs they are good and that they are bad. But bottom line, they’re dogs, not just our fur babies, or our charges, but entities deserving of respect in their own right. This isn’t to minimize the difficulty and emotional toll of trying to change worrisome behaviors.

Our dogs think hard to get a handle on us; they interpret and build their own sense of the meanings behind our facial expressions, movements, words, tone, touch, habits, clothing, and smells. Their language is far broader than English, Hindi, Arabic, or Thai. They are another form of intelligent life in our midst, in our cars, on our sofas, under the covers and curled into the bend of our knees. Yet they can also be incredibly distressing as they bark at our friends, growl at our guests, lung at terriers, chase cats, and destroy door frames.

Dogs are incredibly adaptable; this is one of the reasons for their success as a species. A terrified dog rescued from meat trade smugglers in Thailand can transform into a remarkable beauty at ease in a Chanel boutique (😉😉Sparkle Stern); a dog from torrid Muscat can thrive in snow (you Omani pups know who you are). A Delhi puppy fated to starve in the same spot her mother died, can instead run miles through the Michigan woods and “go to work” in an air-conditioned office with her human mom and other people with their own dogs (yes, that’s you, Miss Lily). These changes don’t happen magically or automatically (except in the case of snow), but through initial acts of grace followed by steady and hope-fueled progression.

The things that come easiest to most of these former street puppies and dogs, are the ones that overlap with their natural instincts. Bonding with people who treat them well and provide their food, comfort, and positive mental stimulation is relatively straightforward, though many of our dogs retain more of a capacity for independence than common American companion breeds. Diya is always watching for suspicious people and crows; I live in a part of St. Paul where it’s not uncommon for neighborhood Facebook group posts to start out, “Was that gunshots or fireworks?” so I appreciate her sharp eyes and formidable-sounding bark (I love my city neighborhood, by the way. I love crows too—this is one of the points at which Diya and I differ).

It’s the things that are really weird for street dogs that are hard: being expected to be outgoing, friendly, and trusting of all people and other dogs…always having to stifle your growl…tolerating being left in a wire or plastic box for hours…not being able to run away when you get nervous or to sniff as many spots as you think you need to gather information…to have people decide what you need…going to the vet, going to dog parks, etc. Dogs are social animals, but their idea of social life is different from ours (and also very different from wolves’), and each has their own unique relationship with their person or people, and to the other animals in the household.

So when you are flustered and upset by your dog’s behavior, step back, and think of all we are expecting them to learn and all we are asking them to put aside. Learning new things can be very uncomfortable and anxiety-provoking, especially when going against strong instincts. Living alone with my dogs and cats, and being an introvert by nature, I’ve tended to avoid some trying situations that other families have to work through, but Diya and I have still come a long way. I look forward to finding out where all we’ll go and what we’ll teach each other.

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If you just glanced at this post then make a note, a firm note, to come back and read it fully and carefully.

For Michelle captures precisely what it is to be a dog, especially a street dog.

It is a profoundly wise article and it is a great honour to be able to republish it in this place.

This is some mother dog!

A share of a story from more than a month ago.

From my file of stories that I keep for Learning from Dogs comes this one about a mother dog that raised a kitten.

It’s a delightful article and I have great pleasure in sharing it with you.

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Dog Mom Raises Tiniest Kitten As One Of Her Puppies

“She was trying to tell us, ‘This little creature belongs in my family.’”
BY
PUBLISHED ON 06/12/2019

Nala was just a newborn when she was abandoned alone in a dirt alley. A kind neighbor heard the tiny tabby’s cries and brought her to the Spokane County Regional Animal Protection Service (SCRAPS) in Spokane, Washington.

The little kitten had never known a mother’s love, but soon, two unusual moms would step forward to help her grow up strong.

Jamie Myers

Found at such a young age, Nala had to be placed with a foster family to have the best chance of survival. When Jamie Myers saw a plea for help on Facebook, she jumped at the chance to take in the kitten. She was fostering a cat who had recently lost a number of her babies and knew Nala would fit right into the little family.

“She was about a week and a half younger than my group, so I said, ‘My mama is pretty wonderful. She’s been very accepting so let’s see if she can’t nurse,'” Myers told The Dodo. “Nala nursed straight away and mama took her in instantly. She started licking her, and grooming her and showing her acceptance and love.”

Jamie Myers

By the time the mama cat and her babies were ready to be adopted, Nala still wasn’t quite big enough to find her forever home. “She did everything later than the rest of the group,” Myers said. “When they all opened their eyes, she still had her eyes closed, and when they started toddling about, she was still latched onto Mama nursing.”

Nala was alone once again — but not for long. Myers had taken in a dog named Izzy who had recently had puppies. Izzy’s paws were full nursing her own litter, but she was still determined to adopt the lone kitten.

Jamie Myers

“The mama dog kept trying to get Nala and pick her up and put her in with the rest of her babies,” Myers said. “She just thought one of the babies was out and missing — she kept trying to put it back and put it back.”

Izzy became more and more insistent that Nala belonged with her, so eventually, Myers decided to take a chance. “The kitten could not walk across the floor without Izzy getting up from nursing to hunt her down,” Myers said. “She was trying to tell us, ‘This little creature belongs in my family.’”

Jamie Myers

To help the mama dog settle down, Myers placed Nala in Izzy’s pen and supervised their interactions. A remarkable change occurred as soon as Nala joined the group, and Myers knew that she had done the right thing for both dog and kitten.

“As soon as we put Nala in with her babies, she settled and was happy and all was right in her world again,” Myers said. “And Nala just all the sudden had all these little warm bodies for snuggles and love, and a new fur mama to care for her, and she just fit in with her second foster family.”

Jamie Myers

Nala quickly adjusted to her new routine with her dog family: “She would get in and out of [the pen] on her own. So when she was done snuggling, she’d get out and go eat her kitten food and play for a little while, and then she’d go right back in,” Myers said. “Whenever she wanted to sleep, she was always in there sleeping with them.”

Jamie Myers

With the love and care of her three foster families — dog, cat and human — Nala grew bigger and was finally ready for adoption.
But for Izzy, Nala finally leaving the house was bittersweet. Luckily, Myers knew just what to do to settle Izzy down again.

She agreed to foster a bonded pair of kitten sisters desperately in need of some love and attention. And Izzy couldn’t be happier, Myers noted: “Now Izzy has two more kittens she’s loving on.”

Jamie Myers

Izzy proves a mother’s love knows no bounds — no matter the species.

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This is an interesting tale. The last statement: “no matter the species.”, is almost certainly not true. But this dog has shown that this kitten is to be loved.

I’m not sure that a mother elephant would be able to raise a baby snake, for example, but it doesn’t take anything away from the story!

Dog food alert – Salmonella!

Once again an alert and this is especially important.

This dog food alert came in on Monday.

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Dear Fellow Dog Lover,

You’re getting this alert because you signed up on our website and asked to be notified. If you no longer wish to receive these emails, please click the “unsubscribe” link at the bottom of this message.

The U.S. Center for Disease Control (CDC) is expanding its investigation into an outbreak of Salmonella in 27 states due to contaminated pig ear dog treats.

For more information, including which states are listed in the CDC announcement, please visit the following link:

Salmonella Outbreak Linked to Dog Treats Expands

Important Best Dog Foods Update

We’ve recently updated 2 of our Best Dog Foods pages. Both lists now include more grain-free and grain-inclusive recipes to satisfy your personal feeding preferences.
Click here to view our 20 Best Dry Dog Foods for July 2019

Click here to view our 20 Best Wet Dog Foods for July 2019

Please be sure to share the news of this alert with other pet owners.

Mike Sagman, Editor
The Dog Food Advisor
Saving Good Dogs from Bad Dog Food

P.S. Not already on our dog food recall notification list? Sign up to get critical dog food recall alerts sent to you by email. There’s no cost for this service.

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And if you go across to that first link then you will see the following:

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Salmonella Outbreak Linked to Dog Treats Expands

July 17, 2019 — The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has announced its investigation into an outbreak of Salmonella infections due to contaminated pig ears dog treats is expanding to 27 states.

Related Recall

In a related story posted July 3, 2019, by The Dog Food Advisor, Pet Supplies Plus recalled bulk pig ears stocked in open bins because they might be contaminated with Salmonella.

Link to Dog Treats Confirmed

The CDC has uncovered scientific evidence to indicate that contact with pig ear dog treats is the likely source of the outbreak.

DNA “fingerprinting” conducted by the CDC has linked the bacteria found on pig ears dog treats with the following 3 genetic strains:

  • Salmonella infantis
  • Salmonella newport
  • Salmonella london

About the Outbreak

As of July 16, 2019, a total of 93 people infected with the outbreak strains of Salmonella have been reported from 27 states.

Twenty ill people have been hospitalized. No deaths have been reported.

Illnesses might not yet be reported due to the time it takes between when a person becomes ill and when the illness is reported. This takes an average of 2 to 4 weeks.

What States?

Affected states include Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Utah, Washington, and Wisconsin.

About the Investigation

During the investigation, the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development gathered pig ear dog treats at retail locations where ill people reported buying the products.

A common supplier of pig ear dog treats has not been identified. Pet owners can take steps to keep their families healthy while feeding pets.

This investigation is ongoing and CDC will provide updates when more information is available.

About Salmonella

Most people infected with Salmonella develop diarrhea, fever, and stomach cramps 12 to 72 hours after being exposed to the bacteria.

The illness usually lasts 4 to 7 days, and most people recover without treatment.

In some people, the illness may be so severe that the patient needs to be hospitalized. Salmonella infection may spread from the intestines to the bloodstream and then to other places in the body.

Children younger than 5 years, adults 65 years and older, and people with weakened immune systems are more likely to have a severe illness.

Pets with Salmonella infections may be lethargic and have diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, fever, and vomiting.

Some pets will have only decreased appetite, fever and abdominal pain.

Infected but otherwise healthy pets can be carriers and infect other animals or humans.

What to Do?

Consumers should not feed suspected pig ears to their dog. Throw them away in a secure container so that your pets and other animals can’t eat them.

Even if some of the recalled pig ears were fed to dogs and no one got sick, do not continue to feed them to pets.

Wash containers, shelves, and areas that held the recalled pig ear dog treats with hot, soapy water.

U.S. citizens can report complaints about FDA-regulated pet food products by calling the consumer complaint coordinator in your area.

Or go to https://www.fda.gov/petfoodcomplaints.

Canadians can report any health or safety incidents related to the use of this product by filling out the Consumer Product Incident Report Form.

Get Dog Food Recall Alerts by Email

Get free dog food recall alerts sent to you by email. Subscribe to The Dog Food Advisor’s emergency recall notification system.

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Or follow this place because I always promote the Dog Food Alerts.

As before please share this with other dog owners.

This is so beautiful!

Another gorgeous story from The Dodo.

I make no apologies for featuring so quickly another article from The Dodo.

It’s just so beautiful and another example of the special characteristics of dogs.

Just see for yourself.

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Rescue Dog Won’t Let Orphaned Foal Sleep Alone

The foal knew that the dog was trying to help him.

BY
PUBLISHED ON 06/27/2019

At only 9 days old, a foal named Tye lost his mother. But that same night he gained an unexpected friend — an Australian cattle dog named Zip.
Zip had never shown much interest in his horse siblings. “We raise foals every year, and he would kind of look in the door and just look at them,” Karla Swindle, Zip’s mom, told The Dodo.

But on that fateful night in March, it was as if the 5-year-old rescue dog could tell he was needed.

Facebook/Karla Swindle

Tye’s mother became sick days after giving birth, and despite treatment, quickly went downhill. When things looked their bleakest for the mother and baby, Swindle stayed by their side. As always, Zip tagged along after his owner.

“I spent the night at the barn taking care of the mama horse, hoping that I could pull her through,” Swindle said. “Zip stayed with me in the alley of the barn all night — the foal was laying in the alley, and he just lay there beside the foal.”
“He was whining,” Swindle added. “You could tell that Zip knew something was wrong that night.”

The next morning, Tye lost his mother, but he wasn’t alone.

Zip insisted on keeping the newborn horse company, comforting the little animal with his presence. When Zip was around, Tye was relaxed and happy. “It seemed to me that the foal knew that the dog was trying to help him,” Swindle said, “which is so sweet.”

Facebook/Karla Swindle

For six weeks, Zip wouldn’t let Tye out of his sight. Whenever Swindle went to feed the foal, Zip was first in line to greet the little horse. “Every time I would take off to the barn, Zip would run to the stall, and stand in front of the stall and wait for me to get there,” Swindle said. “He would beat me to the barn every time.”

“As soon as I opened the door, he would about knock me down before I could get in there,” she added. “If the foal was laying down, he would go over there and lay his head on him.”

Facebook/Karla Swindle

As months passed, Tye quickly put on weight, growing into a healthy young horse — in part, thanks to his adoptive dad.

Now, Tye spends most days out in the pasture with his older sister, who is teaching him the ins and outs of being a horse. And while Zip still accompanies Swindle to the barn, he doesn’t beg to go in the stall with Tye anymore.

Facebook/Karla Swindle

“The foal is a little rough now,” Swindle said, “raring up, trying to play, so Zip kind of stays away from him now.”

The proud dad understands that Tye needs to test his independence, and it doesn’t make their relationship any less special.

“You could tell that when the foal needed Zip, Zip was there for him,” Swindle said. “And now Zip knows that the foal is OK, so they kind of went their separate ways.”

Facebook/Karla Swindle

But it seems the little horse has opened up room in the older dog’s heart — space that he has since filled with another baby.

“He loves my granddaughter,” Swindle said. “Whenever she comes over here, he goes directly to her. He treats her like he did the foal. He just loves to be around her.”

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We have mentioned it time and time before. That dogs are so special. And then one comes across an account of something that is even more special.

All of the photographs are delightful but that third one shows the intimacy that is in the relationship. The caring that is being shown by Zip!

I have said it before and no doubt will say it many times more: Dogs are incredibly wonderful.