Thursday, June 21, 2012

Save animals from the gas chamber - support Daniel's Law

Having previously posted on the use of gas chambers in animal shelters, I feel compelled to inform my readers of Daniel's Law, which will ban the use of gas chambers in US states; named for Daniel the "Miracle Beagle," who survived a gas chamber in an Alabama shelter. He was subsequently rescued by Eleventh Hour Rescue and placed in a loving home in New Jersey. Fittingly, Daniel was named for the Biblical figure who survived being put in the lion's den.

Daniel's Law is currently in the process of being passed in Pennsylvania, and Daniel himself has a profile on Hero Dog Awards, where you can vote for him and/or make a donation.

According to his profile,
Daniel has taken nicely to the fun-loving life of a dog in a house with four other dogs. However, Daniel has also become quite the celebrity with appearances on local, national, and worldwide news outlets, highlighted by an exciting appearance on Anderson Cooper Live. Such renown has brought Daniel the opportunity to make a difference. Daniel’s adorable face and affable personality have made him a hero dog to thousands of his other canine brothers and sisters as he has become an advocate for shelter adoptions and anti-gassing laws in various state legislatures. "Daniel's Law" will soon be passed in Pennsylvania to outlaw the use of the gas chamber.
Just click on the links above to see how you can show your support for Daniel's Law, either by spreading awareness, writing to your local senators, or making a donation.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Help me find a home for Riley!

For those of you unfamiliar with the Humane Society of Fargo-Moorhead in North Dakota, here is the mission statement from their website:
The Humane Society Fargo Moorhead is a non-profit organization dedicated to:
  • The prevention of cruelty to animals
  • The education of proper and humane care of animals
  • Finding permanent, loving homes for our animals
The Humane Society Fargo Moorhead (officially known as ‘Humane Society, Inc’)  was organized  in 1966 to serve the animals and communities of Cass and Clay counties. We are a pound rescue organization that takes in animals from the three municipal pounds after their time is up and their owners have not claimed them. Before the animals arrive at our facility, they are examined by veterinary staff and given all the appropriate vaccinations. These animals stay with us until they are adopted and we provide medical care as needed. Every effort is placed into the rehabilitation and placement of all of our animals. 
Our Mission is to care for, protect and place animals for adoption in life long homes, and to prevent cruelty to animals by educating our community in the proper and humane care of all animals. 
We are located in the Yunkers Farm Park in North Fargo. Please stop by for a visit! 
1201 28th Avenue North
Fargo, ND 58102
I came across Riley's photo and he reminded me of my own cat, Caramel. When I read his story, I knew I had to help this poor darling find a home. Doesn't he look like a sweetie?

Poor Riley...he's been waiting nearly 6 months for a home. Six months ago, a man stopped into our shelter with his daughter's cat...she left it with him, and he was on his way to Mpls. and threatened to just dump the cat alongside the road on his way out of town. That's how Riley ended up in our care... He was lucky in that we had been able to prevent him from being left like that, but unlucky in the fact that he's been with us for so long. Riley is much like Plato, the office cat, in some respects. Neither tolerate large amounts of petting, and Riley seems to get some entertainment out of "play biting" when he gets overly stimulated. But that's no reason he should have to sit in a kennel for months on end...who knows, perhaps some of it is out of pure frustration from the situation he is in. So, let's show Riley some love and find him a new home soon!
My Caramel has that "play biting" habit as well, and was given up by his previous owner, but luckily never had to spend any time in a shelter; he was delivered directly to me. Every cat should be so lucky.

Riley is a domestic short hair, not declawed, and up to date with his vaccines. For more information, visit the FM Humane Society's website. 

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

A lesson in saving your pet with CPR

I came across this photo on Facebook and knew it was essential that I shared it with everyone I know. Humans aren't the only ones that can be saved with CPR. 

Those wanting to do further research on first aid for pets can look into taking classes with PetTech, or downloading the Pet Saver App on your iPhone, iPad or Android. Another useful source is

There are also books on the subject available on Amazon, or the Red Cross Store.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

The truth about greyhound racetracks

We’d like to believe that certain forms of sadistic entertainment are a thing of the past, such as dogfighting, cock fighting and bear baiting. While the public endorsement of such blood sports has declined, they are far from being a thing of the past; underground fighting rings are frequently raided by police, while other exercises of animal cruelty are publicized to audiences who lack knowledge of what’s going on behind the scenes. One of these blood sports is greyhound racing.

Greyhounds are an ancient breed thought to have originated in Egypt. Sometime before 900 A.D., they were brought to England by traders, and later brought to America by Spanish explorers in the 1500s. They are the fastest dog breed in the word, able to run up to 40 miles per hour. They are intelligent dogs with a gentle, laid-back disposition, and are generally good with children. Because they are often timid, early socialization is important. Their coat is smooth and short, therefore easy to groom. Aside from a brisk daily walk, they are relatively low maintenance and make wonderful pets.

In pop culture, racing greyhounds are often portrayed as pampered pets of the upper class that revel in racing and win big trophies. In reality, the daily existence of a racing greyhound is no picnic.


These dogs spend the majority of their lives in crates, pens or fence enclosures, with limited human contact, for 18-22 hours a day. Bedding in these enclosures are things like shredded paper or patches of old carpets. Many tracks use wooden crates, which are not only fire hazard but are also hard to clean; as a result they are often urine-soaked and unsanitary. 

Animal welfare investigators often find the greyhounds infested with fleas and ticks, carrying potentially deadly diseases. Rescued greyhounds more often than not test positive for worms and parasites—illness that are easily preventable with vaccinations. Dermatitis is also common, along with bad teeth and gums. The dogs also often suffer from untreated injuries, such as missing or broken toes, broken hocks and musculoskeletal injuries.

Not only that, thousands of wild and domestic rabbits are killed in the greyhounds’ training process every year, as the dogs are made to pursue and kill them in order to learn to run faster. Although the use of live lures is illegal in most states, these laws are often difficult to enforce.

Also unsanitary is the diet of most racing dogs. They are routinely fed what is known as 4-D meat, the meat of dead, dying or diseased animals. The meat is sold cheap as it is deemed unfit for human consumption by the USDA. Predictably, dogs that are fed this diet often get seriously ill.

At this point you may be wondering, why are the greyhounds treated so badly if they’re a source of income for their owners? Surely an unhealthy dog wouldn’t be a good racer. It wouldn’t be practical to mistreat a moneymaker, right?

Well, caring for dogs costs money. Neglecting dogs is cheaper.

In most cases, the owner/investor of a racing greyhound is not the same person who is responsible for the day-to-day care of the dog; that’s left up to the trainer and their assistants. The owners only have to sit back and let the dogs bring in the money.

Given that greyhound racing is first and foremost a business, the dogs themselves are expendable, depending on how much money they generate. Every year the industry breeds tens of thousands of greyhounds in an attempt to produce “winners.” Although the average lifespan of a greyhound is 10-12 years, racers are usually disposed of after 4 years in order to bring in a fresh batch; sometimes younger dogs are disposed of due to injury or lack of racing potential.

Once they’re not useful anymore, they’re either put up for adoption, sold to research labs, returned to breeding facilities where they serve as breeding stock, or sent to foreign racetracks in developing countries.  Thousands of these greyhounds are euthanized each year due to lack of available homes, including around 7,000 puppies at breeding farms deemed ineligible for the racetrack, and another 11,000 retired dogs. Given that money is the top priority, these greyhounds are often disposed of with the least expensive methods, such as gunshot, bludgeoning, abandonment and starvation.

Of course, the wellbeing of greyhounds does not matter to the state racing commissions that oversee and regulate the industry. Their primary function is to protect the state’s financial interest; therefore the industry is not governed by the federal Animal Welfare Act or any other such laws.

Luckily the Human Society of the United States has been doing its part to investigate industry abuses and initiate and support legislations to ban greyhound racing. They also educate the general public of the inherit cruelty of the industry, thereby gaining more momentum for the movement. Seven states—Idaho, Maine, North Carolina, Nevada, Vermont, Virginia and Washington—have banned greyhound racing, while 46 tracks operate in 15 other states, 19 of which operate seasonally; the rest operate year-round. Two of these states widely publicize the sport on local news outlets.

The only reason the sport became legal in many states was because lawmakers thought they were a way to raise revenue. However, the industry has taken a nosedive in the past twenty-odd years, and the generated revenue currently amounts to less than one percent of a state’s annual income.

So not only is it inhumane, it’s also economically unsound. Tell me, why is this still legal?

If you would like to take part in banning the practice of greyhound racing, head to If you’d like to look into adopting a retired greyhound, head to or check your local animal shelters.