Now more than ever, you are needed to donate your old blankets, towels, and sheets to your local animal shelter. With financial cut-backs, repairs on shelters are often put off, so if it's drafty, the animals suffer. I know my shelter uses rags to stuff under doors. No kidding! Empty out those closets... this is your chance to get rid of stuff and do something useful!

Friday, December 31, 2010

Last Day for Georgia's Gas Chambers -- Happy New Year!

You may remember this post on the subject. 

Thank you to Georgia Representative Tom Knox, who pushed HB788 through the Georgia legislature in 2010, and canine hero, Amazing Grace, who survived the gas chamber at the now defunct Liberty County Animal Control Center in 2006 and went on to become dog celeb lobbying against this barbaric practice. Because of them, from now on animals will no longer be euthanized in this excruciating, painful, prolonged, and inhumane way.

Louisiana, on the other hand, is not so humane in its treatment of animals in shelters. The gas chamber is still used regularly there, and now the animal rescue community will focus its efforts to eliminate it.

Read a quote from an article about Georgia's use of the chamber:
“Euthanasia” is a gross misnomer for the killing of pets as a means of population control. It is doubly unacceptable to use the term to describe a method in which animals can experience prolonged and extreme distress. Rabbi and Macon City Councilman Larry Schlesinger witnessed the gassing of seventeen dogs and was instrumental in the dismantlement of the Macon chamber. He wrote of the experience:
"The sounds of shrilled panic and desperation that I heard through the gas chamber's thick cinderblock walls clearly indicated to me that those canines were quite alert and conscious that something terribly out of the ordinary was happening to them. Their chorus of 'squealings' continues to haunt me, and as a result, I am thoroughly convinced that there is nothing at all 'humane' about this practice."
In the meantime, look here to see efforts being made to end the chambers use in Louisiana. Note there is a video towards the end of this link that shows the actual use of it, and it's very hard to watch.  If you've ever wondered what this is all about, take a look.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

ASPCA Announces $100,000 Shelter Challenge Winner

via the ASPCA's site:

Humane Society of Boulder Valley
Wins ASPCA $100K Challenge

After months of life-saving efforts and herculean data keeping by all of our $100K Challenge contestants, the ASPCA is pleased to announce the contest’s grand prize winner and recipient of $100,000 is the Humane Society of Boulder Valley.

In total, Boulder Valley saved 2,640 animals’ lives—an increase of 968 lives saved over the same time period in 2009.

See here for more information about this impressive shelter and it's dedicated staff.

See other funding that the ASPCA granted for work well done.

Click here to order your free "Animals Inside" sticker from the ASPCA.  They are so helpful!


Mobile Adoption Near You... in New York City that is

The wonderful ASPCA has a mobile adoption van that goes into different areas to encourage adoption within the five boroughs of New York City. I think this is a wonderful idea. Sadly, this is only in the New York City area but at least it's happening.

From their site:
All of our animals are spayed or neutered, up-to-date on vaccinations, microchipped, and come with a leash or carrier, as well as a certificate for free follow-up veterinary care at the ASPCA Bergh Memorial Animal Hospital. Adoption fees range from $75 to $200. Our knowledgeable adoption counselors are on hand to provide all the information you need and help you find the purrfect match.
For more information about our Mobile Adoption schedule, please call (212) 876-7700 ext. 4120.


Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Animal Rescue Site Contest Winners

You can vote daily for shelters you know, and they can win serious money for their mission... saving shelter pets. Visit the Animal Rescue site for the contest (new one to begin Jan. 10th) and the daily clicks-for-food-bowls ongoing program they have. I will put up the links when the contest begins again, but you can go to this link to click daily to give away a bowl of food to a shelter pet.

Winners for The Animal Rescue Site $100,000
Holiday Shelter Challenge
- together with

Congratulations to the 72 groups who have won prizes during our Holiday Shelter Challenge, especially to the 29 groups who have never won before! More than 13,000 rescue groups, all part of the Nework, participated in this Challenge, raising awareness of the plight of homeless animals everywhere.
The millions of votes cast have encouraged us to plan a whole new $300,000 Shelter+ Challenge for 2011, beginning on January 10th. Stay tuned for details!

Dark Horse Prizes:
Our top rescue groups that have never won before
will each receive a $1,000 grant to help animals!
Save a Sato Foundation San Juan , Puerto Rico

The Animal League of Green Valley Green Valley , AZ

Angel Dog Rescue, Inc. Georgetown , GA

Kitten Action Team Fountain Inn , SC

Citizens for Animal Protection Houston , TX

Bristol Animal Shelter Bristol , RI

Collierville Animal Services Collierville , TN

Animal Haven Merriam, KS

The Grand Prize, a $10,000 grant to help animals, went to:
Best Friends Animal Society of Kanab, UT.

Second Prize, a $5,000 grant, went to:

Rolling Dog Ranch Animal Sanctuary of Lancaster, NH.

Third Prize, a $2,000 grant, went to:

Blind Cat Rescue & Sanctuary, Inc. of St. Pauls, NC.

Adoption Events in NYC - January & February 2011

via Mayor's Alliance for NYC's Animals, a most wonderful collaborative effort.

January 2011

Neighborhood Cats / NYC Feral Cat Initiative/ SaveKitty Foundation:
Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR):
How to Manage a Feral Cat Colony Workshop

Saturday, January 22, 2011
10:30 a.m.–2:00 p.m.

Queens Library
21-45 31st Street, 2nd Floor
Astoria, Queens (NOTE: not wheelchair accessible)

Come learn how to care for the feral and stray cats in your community and make use of the many resources now available to assist you. All steps in setting up a managed colony will be covered, including establishing good community relations, feeding, building and placing shelters, arranging vet care, finding recovery space, safely handling feral cats, and trapping (with an emphasis on conducting a mass-trapping of an entire feral colony at once). All workshop attendees will become TNR certified, and NYC residents will gain access to no-cost spay/neuter and trap rental. Join the 3,100+ caretakers trained to date! There is no fee to attend this class, but advance registration is required.

For more information or to register, contact SaveKitty Foundation at (718) 507-6843 or, or visit the NYC Feral Cat Initiative website.

Neighborhood Cats / NYC Feral Cat Initiative / Staten Island Feral Initiative:
Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR):
How to Manage a Feral Cat Colony Workshop

Saturday, January 29, 2011
Noon–4:00 p.m. (includes half-hour lunch break)

Blue Heron Nature Center
222 Poillon Avenue
Staten Island

Come learn how to care for the feral and stray cats in your community and make use of the many resources now available to assist you. All steps in setting up a managed colony will be covered, including establishing good community relations, feeding, building and placing shelters, arranging vet care, finding recovery space, safely handling feral cats, and trapping (with an emphasis on conducting a mass-trapping of an entire feral colony at once). All workshop attendees will become TNR certified, and NYC residents will gain access to no-cost spay/neuter and trap rental. Join the 3,100+ caretakers trained to date! Suggested donation of $15 payable at the door; advance registration is required.

To register, e-mail or leave a voicemail with Neighborhood Cats at (212) 662-5761 with your name, address, phone number, and date of workshop you wish to attend. For more information, visit the NYC Feral Cat Initiative website.

February 2011

NYC Bar Association Committee on Legal Issues Pertaining to Animals:
Putting the Safety and Welfare of the Horse First

Tuesday, February 8, 2011
6:30–8:30 p.m.

The Great Hall of the New York City Bar Association
42 West 44th Street (between 5th and 6th Avenues)

Issues to be discussed include: Changes proposed by veterinarians to promote health and decrease injury, insurance fraud, racehorse registries and use of registry fees, federal and state bills to prohibit horse slaughter for food, providing for and funding humane retirement for racehorses, and owner/breeder perspectives. Moderators will be Frances Carlisle and John Douw. Speakers will be Terry Finley, Dr. Scott E. Palmer, and Diana Pikulski. Admission is free.

For more information, visit the NYC Bar Association website.

Rational Animal: GIMME SHELTER Rock & Rescue

Thursday, February 17, 2011
7:00–10:00 p.m.

Morrison Hotel Gallery
313 Bowery

This event supporting Rational Animal and the Picasso Veterinary Fund will feature a rock headliner, with special guests to be announced. Complimentary beverages, gourmet vegetarian and vegan food, silent auction with gifts ranging from a private party at the SoHo Morrison Hotel Gallery loft, spa treatments, and more! Festive attire. Tickets are $100 for individuals, $150 for couples; a portion is tax-deductible.

For more information, contact Emma at (917) 257-4648 or, or visit the Rational Animal website. For tickets, contact Susan Brandt at (212) 965-5102 or


Monday, December 27, 2010

A few things...

I just came across this interesting group and the new book they are promoting. Got good reviews. Fight Dog Cancer is compiling treatment stories for dog owners to read and share for the benefit of us all, and they will donate $1 for your story to a dog cancer treatment organization.

Other good  news, and some that's not:

Seems dogs can help detect arson now, as well as track counterfeiting!

And read about three dogs who have returned the favor of being rescued, Gee Whiz, Holly, and Max, all dogs who saved their humans' lives.

They do these amazing things, and yet some humans can be cruel.

Not this man, who gave his life for his companions. God bless you, Frank "Poncho" Kruse.

And finally, Delta Airlines better get its act together where transporting pets is concerned. This is the second story of a lost pet I know of. I've stopped flying them, until they figure out a new system or train their people better. Over the summer, I had occasion to book 35 flights for a group I volunteer for, and not one was for Delta. I made a point of it!


Thursday, December 23, 2010

Merry Christmas to All!

As we all run around like chickens getting ready for the holiday, let me take this opportunity to thank you for reading my bits and pieces over the year, for your support of shelter animals, and wish you and yours
a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy and Healthy New Year!

Enjoy this photo montage of those pets that found homes that cherish them, as they deserve.
Please consider adoption!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Thank this guy for the good laugh!


Tuesday, December 21, 2010


GoodSearch: You Search...We Give!

Know what it does? I'm glad you asked!

If you go to this site, and input your favorite charity's name, and if that charity is registered with Good Search, each time you search using Good Search you will generate money for the charity!

I received a most excellent mailing from Cloud Nine Rescue Flights yesterday, and though I have made all the 2010 contributions I can (and then some), I searched them today for a friend who needs to transport a dog. I noticed the Good Search logo on their site and started clicking to learn more.

If Cloud Nine Rescue had just 1,000 followers using Good Search in stead of Google or Yahoo, etc., almost $7,500 a year could be generated and sent to Cloud Nine Rescue! That's a lot of operating money, especially considering Cloud Nine uses about $2,000 for each rescue flight (which can rescue upwards of 20 animals at once). This would be a great help to them!

So I have made them my favorite charity (at least, for the purposes of searching online -- there are too many charities I love to list) and will be using Good Search from now on. While there are many worthy organizations, there does seem to be a threshold that needs to be crossed to make the effort worthwhile, so it doesn't help if you list a group and you are the only one listing that group. Let's channel our effors and help a national organization.

You can look here to see that with a little help, we can save a lot of dogs.

Let's help Cloud Nine Rescue get those search numbers SKY HIGH!

Have a good day!


Blanket-and-Bed Time at Yonkers Animal Shelter


39 BEDS are confirmed as purchased or pledged!!

Thank you to anyone who helped in this effort. I cannot tell you how much it means to those dogs.  The volunteer who organized this effort said she saw the new beds being put out, and the dogs were jumping up and down at being given something new, and sniffing, and wagging their tales.

We still need 5 more for the dogs in runs (that is, indoor/outdoor concrete areas), but with your help we're getting there.  Here is the updated link to a new kind of bed, for the dogs that like to chew or destroy out of boredom (these beds are practically indestructable), and we use them for dogs that can't handle the nicer heavy-duty cloth on the Kuranda beds in the previous link.

Thank you!! You have made the holidays a little brighter for a lot of little souls!

Occasionally I post something about Yonkers Animal Shelter, which is the place where I walk dogs on the weekends. Mostly we have pitbulls and I've learned, like many people, what a maligned breed they are. Fortunately it is a low kill shelter, so not only is that obviously good for the dogs, but we have a honest chance to socialize the would-be pets so they are more adoptable. It works! We get numerous dogs adopted each month. Just recently a dog I was worried about, Fido, whose picture I've posted in the left hand column, was adopted. Same with Patchy Patch, Tatey Tate, and Female Oreo (we had a girl-Oreo and a boy-Oreo, both black and white!) whose pictures also appeared. These were all favorites of mine and the other volunteers. Actually they are all our favorites, but never mind that.

You can drop off blankets, toys,  and food to the shelter any time and many people do. Here's an assistant principal who organized a week-long food drive in his school. We were so grateful! That donated food alleviates what the City has to pay and that means less pressure fiscally, which means more dogs stay alive longer.

On a related note, it's cold here in New York and that means it's the time of the year when we start to have blanket drives. This year, I'm happy to report that even if you don't live in the area you can be helpful.  The beds in this link are great because they are high enough off the ground that the dog stays warm, dry, comfortable, and -- they are the most durable beds on the market, bar none!  The best to order are either the standard 40 x 25 or the aluminum 40 x 25 which fit best into the dog runs.

Please consider buying a bed and donating it to the shelter. You just have to click this link and the bed you buy will go to a dog at Yonkers Animal Shelter.  It's an unglamorous place, to be sure, but one where the dogs get a great deal of love, attention, plenty of treats (and food), and many people looking after them. We are just a municipal shelter, so spending any money on nicer beds is a tough case to make. I've bought one of these for two senior dogs we house together and it's held up really well. (They are the shelter's unofficial mascots, Debbie and George, and they literally are like two old people). FYI -- the bed they are on in this picture taken outside is not the one I bought; that was just to keep the rickety old people comfortable while they sunned themselves.)

So if you live in the NY, NY area, please look around your house for sheets, blankets, towels, comforters, pillows, even tablecloths, and bring them in.  If you are not in the area, please consider buying a bed for a dog this holiday season.



Sunday, December 19, 2010


via Triangle Business Journal:

Kroger Co., the largest U.S. grocery-store chain, recalled kitten, cat and dog food sold in stores in North Carolina and 18 other states because of the possible presence of a toxin in the food.

The brands are Pet Pride, Old Yeller and Kroger Value food sold in packages ranging in weight from 3 pounds to as much as 50 pounds, the company said in a statement.


Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Whiskers in Wonderland: New York, New York, Dec. 18 & 19

The largest adoption event of the season.


Holiday Gifts and a Recipe

This calendar's proceeds supports keeping pets in their own homes when their owners are having a tough financial time.  Check out the website of the Pet Assistance Network and click on their food assistance links. Great stuff for folks having trouble buying dog food in Tennessee.

Best Friends has a $100,000 matching challenge going on. Now is the best time to make a contribution to this important and impressive organization. You can double your gift's power to them!

Animal Farm Foundation has merchandise with a mission. I've mentioned their note cards and post cards before. High quality stuff. Great pics.

Here's a whole slew of books about shelter dogs. Good stuff for kids, and adults!

Pinups for Pit Bulls puts out an annual calendar that has become increasingly popular over the last couple of years. This calendar is reminiscent of the old timey pin-up calendars of the 1940's and 1950's featuring pretty women in sexy outfits striking PG rated poses --and in this case, along with pit bulls. For the right person, this gift will be a real hit.

If you're not into pinups, try this.

A great children's book that teaches them not to judge a book by its cover.

Don't forget you can buy a specially priced bed for a dog at Yonkers Animal Shelter. Already 16 beds have been purchased!  I bought two of them and the shipping was reasonable, as well.

The very awesome group Mutts N Stuff also has a calendar. All proceeds support their much-needed and excellent work.

And here's a recipe for dog biscuits from Mutts N Stuff's site:
From the Kitchen of Chloe & Paco
Everyday Holiday Biscuits


2 cups whole flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 cup peanut butter (smooth or chunky)
1 cup skim milk
1 teaspoon cinnamon


Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Mix flour, baking powder, and cinnamon in a bowl. In another bowl, mix peanut butter and milk (microwave peanut butter to soften before adding milk if necessary.) Add peanut butter mixture to flour mixture and mix well. Put on lightly floured surface and roll to 1/4 inch thickness. Using cookie cutters, cut out biscuits and place on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 20 minutes or until lightly golden brown. Let cool completely and store in an airtight container.


Friday, December 3, 2010

Angels Among Us... and Happy Hanukkah!

I know this very small group personally as I have contributed to dogs that they were saving at one time or another. They put out a calendar to raise more money to rescue other shelter dogs. Take a look. Makes a great gift! All the dogs were saved due to people pulling together, making a small contribution here and there, and pullers, fosters, and adopters stepping forward.

The same group is also in the running for the Animal Rescue Site's latest contest. Please vote for them; they are currently in the number 2 spot in Georgia. This group can use your help!  You click "Georgia" as your targeted state, and type in Angels Among Us Pet Rescue.


And, Happy Hanukkah!


Sunday, November 28, 2010

Where Do Stolen Pets Go?

It's sad but all very true.

Please do not leave your dog in the yard unattended. Two million pets a year get stolen and many meet bad ends. I am guilty of the second to last one, though I stopped doing it some time ago. I had to ask myself, what would I do if a car pulled up and grabbed my dog while I walked into a store, even if I can still see my dog and he can see me? I'd be helpless to do anything.

What You Can Do to Protect Your Pet

  • Keep your pet indoors, especially when you are not at home. Do not leave animals unattended in your yard; it only takes a minute for thieves to steal your pet. Do not let your pet roam free in the neighborhood.
  • Remember that indoor cats live longer, safer lives.
  • Keep companion animals safely inside your home when you are expecting repair personnel, meter readers, or guests.
  • Properly identify your pet with a collar and tag, microchip, and/or tattoo.
  • Know where your pet is at all times.
  • Maintain up-to-date licenses on your pets.
  • Keep recent photos and written descriptions of your companion animals on hand at all times.
  • Spay and neuter your pets. Fixed animals are less likely to stray from home.
  • Be aware of strangers in the neighborhood. Report anything unusual such as suspicious neighborhood activities or missing pets to the police and animal control.
  • Padlock your gate; outdoor dogs should be kept safely behind a locked gate.
  • Make sure that your animal is not visible from the street.
  • Keep your pet on a leash whenever you go outside.
  • Do not tie your pet outside a store to wait for you.
  • Never leave an animal unattended in a car.
Pay close attention to the section about re-homing your pet.


Thursday, November 25, 2010

Have a Blessed Thanksgiving.

Remember those who have less, or nothing, and do something about it.

I am so thankful for the blessings in my life, not the least of which are my two little guys.

Here's a good link on what not to feed your dog this holiday season.

The most important foods to be aware of are:

• Rich, fatty foods like turkey skins, gravy, etc. can contribute to pancreatitis. This inflammation of the digestive gland is painful and can be a serious health issue, requiring emergency veterinary assistance.

• Small, soft bones (poultry especially), raw or cooked, can easily splinter and become lodged in a pet’s throat. Apart from choking, these splintered bones can cause an impaction in the intestines, which would require surgery. Larger bones may also splinter and cause internal injuries, as well as cause cracking in the teeth.

• Onions in holiday stuffing can lead to canine anemia if consumed by your dog.

• Grapes and raisin toxins can cause kidney failure in pets.

• Raw bread dough can result in vomiting, severe abdominal pain and bloating. If eaten, your pet’s body heat will make the dough rise and expand in their stomach, which can quickly turn into a life-threatening emergency, requiring surgery. Bloat is serious. Read this embedded link, please!


Sunday, November 14, 2010

Spay Neuter Clinic in Yonkers, New York - Nov 21st

A good group is hosting this important event.

All stray cats, Pit Bulls and Pit Bull Mixes are FREE (woohoo!!!)

All "owned" cats are $25 and all non-pit "owned" dogs are $100

Pre-register to reserve a spot for you pet:
please call (718) 325-7162

or email

(if you email, please put spay/neuter clinic in the subject line)


Puppy Mill Dogs Often End Up As Laboratory Dogs

Did you know that? Of course, when they are no longer useful as volume breeders, that is.

Here is one group of little ones saved from that fate.
Thirty-eight small-breed dogs and puppies were rescued from puppy mills in Missouri, where they had been headed to an auction house where they would have been sent to laboratories or sold as "breeders."

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Check Out The Good Work At the ASPCA

I love this group and am so grateful they exist.

Some highlights:
  • ASPCA Assists in Interstate Transfer of Puppy Mill Rescues
  • Three Finalists Announced for the ASPCA Community Engagement Award
  • Baltimore Mayor Signs Anti-Animal Abuse Advisory Commission into Law

May The Force Be With You


Friday, November 12, 2010

Need A Good Laugh?

Check out Steve's story about Widget The Wonder Beagle, over at Rolling Dog Ranch.

Worth the read.


Staten Island Dog and Cat Adoption this Weekend

Saturday (Nov 13)

Dog and cat adoptions: Meet dogs and cats in the care of Pet Lovers United Together as One (P.L.U.T.O.) Rescue of Richmond County, at Petco in Charleston Shopping Center, 2752 Veterans Rd. West, noon to 3 p.m. View the animals on P.L.U.T.O.’s Web site at

Saturday and Sunday (Nov 13, 14)

Cat adoptions: Members of the Staten Island Council for Animal Welfare will be in the cat adoption room at Petsmart, 1520 Forest Ave., Port Richmond from 1 to 4 p.m. to help visitors get to know the cats available for adoption.

Sunday (Nov 13)

Dog adoptions: Dogs in the care of the Staten Island Council for Animal Welfare may be seen at Country Estate Kennels, 4838 Arthur Kill Rd., Charleston, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. For additional information, phone Barbara at 718-356-2334. View the animals on SICAW’s Web site at


Cat adoptions: Cats in the care of Feline Rescue of Staten Island may be seen at The Animal Pantry, 1801 Hylan Blvd. Dongan Hills, during store hours.

Cat adoptions: Cats in the care of the Staten Island Council for Animal Welfare and Animal Care and Control may be seen in the adoption room at Petsmart, 1520 Forest Ave., Port Richmond. View the animal’s on SICAW’s Web site at

Cat adoptions: Cats in the care of Pet Lovers United Together as One (P.L.U.T.O.) Rescue of Richmond County at Merry Mutts Play-and-Stay, 90 Wakefield Ave., Travis, daily 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.


Thursday, November 11, 2010

Honor a Veteran, Foster a Soldier's Pet

This Veteran's Day, please consider honoring a Veteran by fostering a current soldier's pet as he or she is deployed. It's a contribution that will save a life. Many soldiers end up having to leave their beloved pets at shelters -- which I cannot imagine -- due to being an upcoming deployment. Here is a great group that fosters the pets of soldiers, until they come home. 

Please contact Guardian Angels for Soldiers Pet if you can help out by fostering a beloved pet.


Thursday, November 4, 2010

Two Losses at Rolling Dog Ranch

Earlier in the week, while scanning my favorite dog-related blogs and sites, I saw that Rolling Dog Ranch in New Hampshire (formerly of Beautiful Montana), lost one of their beloved dogs - Blind Helen.

You might know or remember that Rolling Dog Ranch takes in dogs that others have deemed disabled and are in danger of being put down due to their "handicap." Steve and Alayne are two of the biggest hearted people on this planet, and they left their corporate jobs to start the ranch ten years ago. At any one time there are some fifty dogs on the premises, as well as blind horses and some cats. They have a blog that keeps their fans up to date, and they were highlighted in the 25th anniversary issue of Best Friends Animal Sanctuary's magazine, as well as being covered in People magazine.

Today they announced that Callie, a beloved dachshund, also passed away. They and all their eaders are sad, but that saddess is somewhat tempered by the knowledge that Callie had five great years with Steve and Alayne, and all the other dogs at the ranch. On their blog, they posted the following video of Callie, which I have never seen, and which I have already played three times tonight while laughing out loud.  Dachshunds are the funniest people.

Enjoy! And if you want to laugh more than you cry, go to this site and see that these dogs are anything but handicapped.


Wednesday, November 3, 2010

A Big Win, By A Hair

There was a question about whether this was going to pass and for a bit late last night it didn't look good. But pass it did and the many puppies and their Mothers in puppy mills now are protected by law.

For some background go here.

And please, do not buy dogs from pet stores. By and large, responsible breeders do not place their puppies in stores to be sold.  Puppy mills exist for one reason; to breed in volume. One person makes money, yet thousands deal with the aftermath of overpopulation, abuse, strays, shelters needing reform, and this doesn't even begin to deal with the degradation of the breed that is taking place when all the breeder cares about is whether the dog looks like Paris Hilton's latest fetish. Instead, go to a shelter and rescue a dog. You won't believe it took you so long. If you must have a specific breed, try a rescue, try calling around to shelters, or look on Please make contacting a private breeder your last resort.

When you read the below proposal, consider how basic some of the listed items are, and then you may recognize how terrible life is for dogs in puppy mills.

2010 Initiative Petitions Approved for Circulation in Missouri

Statutory Amendment to Chapter 273, Relating to Dog Breeders

2010-085, Version 1

Be it enacted by the people of the State of Missouri:

Section A. One new section is enacted, to be known as section 273.345, to read as follows:

273.345. 1. This section shall be known and may be cited as the ”Puppy Mill Cruelty Prevention Act.”

2. The purpose of this Act is to prohibit the cruel and inhumane treatment of dogs in puppy mills by requiring large-scale dog breeding operations to provide each dog under their care with basic food and water, adequate shelter from the elements, necessary veterinary care, adequate space to turn around and stretch his or her limbs, and regular exercise.

3. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, any person having custody or ownership of more than ten female covered dogs for the purpose of breeding those animals and selling any offspring for use as a pet shall provide each covered dog:

(1) Sufficient food and clean water;
(2) Necessary veterinary care;
(3) Sufficient housing, including protection from the elements;
(4) Sufficient space to turn and stretch freely, lie down, and fully extend his or her limbs;
(5) Regular exercise; and
(6) Adequate rest between breeding cycles.

4. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no person may have custody of more than fifty covered dogs for the purpose of breeding those animals and selling any offspring for use as a pet.

5. For purposes of this section, and notwithstanding the provisions of section 273.325, the following terms have the following meanings:

(1) ”Covered dog” means any individual of the species of the domestic dog, Canis lupus familiaris, or resultant hybrids, that is over the age of six months and has intact sexual organs.
(2) ”Sufficient food and clean water” means access to appropriate nutritious food at least once a day sufficient to maintain good health; and continuous access to potable water that is not frozen, and is free of debris, feces, algae, and other contaminants.
(3) ”Necessary veterinary care” means, at minimum, examination at least once yearly by a licensed veterinarian; prompt treatment of any illness or injury by a licensed veterinarian; and, where needed, humane euthanasia by a licensed veterinarian using lawful techniques deemed “Acceptable” by the American Veterinary Medical Association.
(4) ”Sufficient housing, including protection from the elements” means constant and unfettered access to an indoor enclosure that has a solid floor; is not stacked or otherwise placed on top of or below another animal’s enclosure; is cleaned of waste at least once a day while the dog is outside the enclosure; and does not fall below 45 degrees Fahrenheit, or rise above 85 degrees Fahrenheit.
(5) ”Sufficient space to turn and stretch freely, lie down, and fully extend his or her limbs” means having:
(1) sufficient indoor space for each dog to turn in a complete circle without any impediment (including a tether);
(2) enough indoor space for each dog to lie down and fully extend his or her limbs and stretch freely without touching the side of an enclosure or another dog;
(3) at least one foot of headroom above the head of the tallest dog in the enclosure; and
(4) at least 12 square feet of indoor floor space per each dog up to 25 inches long; at least 20 square feet of indoor floor space per each dog between 25 and 35 inches long; and at least 30 square feet of indoor floor space per each dog for dogs 35 inches and longer (with the length of the dog measured from the tip of the nose to the base of the tail).
(6) ”Regular exercise” means constant and unfettered access to an outdoor exercise area that is composed of a solid, ground level surface with adequate drainage; provides some protection against sun, wind, rain, and snow; and provides each dog at least twice the square footage of the indoor floor space provided to that dog.
(7) ”Adequate rest between breeding cycles” means, at minimum, ensuring that dogs are not bred to produce more than two litters in any 18 month period.
(8) ”Person” means any individual, firm, partnership, joint venture, association, limited liability company, corporation, estate, trust, receiver, or syndicate.
(9) ”Pet” means any domesticated animal normally maintained in or near the household of the owner thereof.
(10) ”Retail pet store” means a person or retail establishment open to the public where dogs are bought, sold, exchanged, or offered for retail sale directly to the public to be kept as pets, but that does not engage in any breeding of dogs for the purpose of selling any offspring for use as a pet.

6. A person is guilty of the crime of puppy mill cruelty when he or she knowingly violates any provision of this section. The crime of puppy mill cruelty is a class C misdemeanor, unless the defendant has previously pled guilty to or been found guilty of a violation of this section, in which case each such violation is a class A misdemeanor. Each violation of this section shall constitute a separate offense. If any violation of this section meets the definition of animal abuse in section 578.012, the defendant may be charged and penalized under that section instead.

7. The provisions of this section are in addition to, and not in lieu of, any other state and federal laws protecting animal welfare. This section shall not be construed to limit any state law or regulation protecting the welfare of animals, nor shall anything in this section prevent a local governing body from adopting and enforcing its own animal welfare laws and regulations in addition to this section. This section shall not be construed to place any numerical limits on the number of dogs a person may own or control when such dogs are not used for breeding those animals and selling any offspring for use as a pet. This section shall not apply to a dog during examination, testing, operation, recuperation, or other individual treatment for veterinary purposes; during lawful scientific research; during transportation; during cleaning of a dog’s enclosure; during supervised outdoor exercise; or during any emergency that places a dog’s life in imminent danger. This section shall not apply to any retail pet store; animal shelter as defined in section 273.325; hobby or show breeders who have custody of no more than ten female covered dogs for the purpose of breeding those dogs and selling any offspring for use as a pet; or dog trainer who does not breed and sell any dogs for use as a pet. Nothing in this section shall be construed to limit hunting or the ability to breed, raise, or sell hunting dogs.

8. If any provision of this section, or the application thereof to any person or circumstances, is held invalid or unconstitutional, that invalidity or unconstitutionality shall not affect other provisions or applications of this section that can be given effect without the invalid or unconstitutional provision or application, and to this end the provisions of this section are severable.

9. The provisions herewith shall become operative one year after passage of this Act.


Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Howloween!

Mr Wiggins and Renaldo: it's amazing how they each responded to being in outfits. I think this was the first time Wiggins had been in costume. Renaldo, old walrus that he is, took it to mean he was going outside.

And, it was Dog Transport Sunday. Two dogs are happily on their way up the eastern seaboard as I write this, headed to Maine.

Porkchop, with his one posession in the world, his stuffed fish:

And Midnight, the most ubiquitous name for a black dog that there is. One day, I am going to name a black dog Whitey or Blue or Old Yella, just for kicks.

Here they were as they were dropped off by the travel leg before me. They seemed to know they were with a friend! And, they didn't even mind when I got lost and took an extra half hour getting to the next leg of the transport.

New England Lab Rescue is who organized their lives being saved. Woot-woot!  26 (travel) legs later... they'll be fetching LL Bean slippers by the holidays, sitting on big plaid beds, and have their own stocking by the fire. Maybe Porkchop will get another fish for his collection.



Friday, October 15, 2010

Nation's First Animal Abuse Registry in Suffolk Country, New York!

via Fox News:

Suffolk County, on the eastern half of Long Island, moved to create the nation's first animal abuse registry this week, requiring people convicted of cruelty to animals to register or face jail time and fines.

Go here for full story. What great news! Way to go Suffolk County, Long Island!

Monday, October 4, 2010

St. Francis - Please Look Out For All The Animals

A re-post from last year... and don't you know I was just in San Francisco, again, like last year!

As you may have noticed, this blog's Patron Saint is St. Francis. What does that mean?  Well, I like to think he looks over the place and all the animals that I and others advocate for. In my family, St. Francis takes on a prominent role. First, my Grandmother was named Frances, and when she passed away, my own Mother, also named Frances, built her a memory garden at the nursing home where she spent the last two and a half years of her life, and in the center of this garden is a five foot statue of the saint. He also occupies no fewer than three spots in my Mom's own garden. In my own house - well, I go a little crazy. He's an important saint.  He brought the concept of joy to Catholicism, a return (back then) to simple living and total devotion to God, and he was known for giving sermons to the birds in the rural area outside of Assisi. Why did he do this? For the value of proclaiming God (Jesus, in his and my case)-  anywhere and to anyone

(This person's calligraphy work seems beautiful!
Take a look at this link.)

St. Francis was actually not a priest, but a deacon, and he began a Catholic order of friars - the Franciscans- whom he attracted because of his insistence that they live meager lives and be totally devoted to preaching the Gospel through their actions, the way they lived, and their regard for others. Wealthy people who were used to being considered the top of the food chain in 12th century Europe, were struck by his message (really, His message,) that anyone could enter into the kingdom. A young woman named Clare began to follow him and she ended up charting out a path for women who wanted to live this way. She cut her long locks, relinquished all her money and the intention to marry (to the horror of her wealthy family), walked barefoot, wore a burlap sack for clothes, gave away all her possessions, and chose to live a poor life -- all to not have any distraction as she worshipped God. Today she is credited with founding the Poor Clares, an order of Catholic nuns who live simply, obedient to the Church, and who incidentally have been sprouting monasteries up all over the place.  But that's another story for someone else's blog.

How did we get from a devoted young man in the early 1200's, to where people like me have statues and plaques and call upon him to help any animal in need, even yorkies?  It's a good question! I think it can be summed up by saying he struck a chord of the authenticity of Christ, and people were moved to follow him because of it.  Till today, there are many, many people who admire and reach out to him, and try, even in small ways, to emulate his example of loving people and creatures around him. He allowed himself to be a reflection of Jesus' love for us all.

I don't happen to know the whole timeline, but I will share some personal reflections, and some links to stories about Francis I hope will do some of the explaining.

First, some personal pics:
This wonderful one was made in El Salvador (above).

Hanging out with the family!
(Note who is in the picture behind St. Francis... Little Guy, dressed in his Santa outfit!)

Funny, I just placed this up on my bookshelf and it landed in front of Nicholas Sparks's book
called The Guardian, which features a dog that saves the day!

I got this statue in Las Vegas.
I bought it the day my little dog, Miss Maddie, fell ill
while I was away on vacation. I did not know she was sick until I got home, as the neighbor who was watching her did not realize how bad off she was.
I always felt like St. Francis was going to look out for her after she died because I got this statue on the day she got sick. While she was in intensive care for three days, I had a St. Francis medal taped to the wall of her holding cage. He couldn't bring her back to me, but he walked with her then, and does now, I believe, till we can be together again.

Miss Maddie...she was something! I was heartbroken when she died, truly. I never felt that way over a lost pet. She knew every mood, even facial expressions, and she was beloved by everyone in my neighborhood. She went with me to the stores, to vote, and she slept right next to me; had to have her little back touching my leg. Everyone knew her name. This picture was taken in Las Vegas, during Easter (this was her "Easter Outfit"), about two years before she died. I have family out that way and am there often.

A friend of mine bought a house and the man who owned it before left this hand crafted painting/drawing. His wife loved cats and it was her's. When she died, he left the house almost unchanged for 19 years. Then he finally moved to Florida, leaving many things just as they were.
 My friend gave it to me.

Back to St. Francis:

Here is a good and reliable link to a very complete story about St. Francis.

That about says it all! I highly recommend spending some time at that link.

Here are some pictures of him I've saved over the year:

Saint Francis and the Wolf

Saint Francis and the Jack Russell

I love this one (above)! And I made a Rosary box using the below image.

Beautiful painting (above), that can be purchased at:
Note the beautiful representation of the Stigmata on his hand!

A wonderful film project, it seems! 

And, my favorite, by Giovanni Bellini. The original of which is at the Frick Museum in New York City.
It is a magnificent painting!
I notice, with delight, that people stand in front of it for a long time, contemplating.

I am struck by all these different representations of St. Francis.  He's touched so many lives. 

St. Francis, please look out for all the animals;
the one's who need you most, who have no one to feed them or care for them;
who may be hungry and in danger.
Please reach into the hearts of those who would do them harm, and soften those hearts. 

Animals give us such joy; they are a reflection of God's love for us,
asking for nothing in return, loving us without condition.
We are challenged each day to say thank you to Him
through our actions towards all creatures.
Help us, St. Francis, to do better in showing our appreciation to Him.

I wish I could go to the Blessing of the Animals in my church again this year,
but I'll be on a business trip in San Francisco!  No kidding!

So, for now: