Pet Advice - Pet News - Pet Photos

Left Behind: The Economy's Toll on Man's Best Friend
By Jennifer Lawinski - FoxNews

Humans aren't the only victims of the mortgage meltdown. The credit crisis is also taking its toll on horses, llamas, chickens, dogs, cats, alligators and the occasional iguana.

As families lose their homes to foreclosure, man's best friend and his fellow pets are being surrendered to shelters, abandoned on the streets or even left to starve in locked-up houses, according to animal welfare organizations around the country.

In Arkansas, Cheryl Lang, a foreclosed-property inspector, found three dogs left locked in pet carriers in the back yard of a foreclosed home. Abandoned without food or water, the animals had died.

Another dog that was left in a back yard of a foreclosed home in Jamaica, N.Y., met the same fate.

Lang, who has founded No Paws Left Behind, an organization that assists animals that have been deserted by their owners after foreclosure, said she has seen llamas, chickens, horses and a calf all abandoned by their owners.

According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, between 4 and 6 million animals are surrendered to shelters each year, and approximately half of them are euthanized because there is not enough space to keep them all.

Shelter operators say more animals are being turned over for financial reasons than in the past, and those that don't make it to the shelters are either set free on the streets to fend for themselves or left to starve in foreclosed houses, according to animal welfare groups around the country.

"We are just getting inundated. All of the shelters in the county have been inundated with pets surrendered or abandoned by their owners because of the huge foreclosure rate," said Judith Gardner, president and CEO of the Arizona Animal Welfare League in Phoenix.

She said about 2,000 pets pass through the group's shelter every year, and they expect to have about 300 in their custody at the end of the year.

"Maricopa County (in the Phoenix metro area) has a huge overpopulation problem. We have thousands and thousands of animals that are left at the humane society and we get them from there and can keep them until they're adopted. Because of the foreclosure problem, it's much bigger now," Gardner said.

There were 3,745 foreclosures in Maricopa County in October, according to a realty study by Arizona State University's Morrison School of Management and Agribusiness. In September, there were 3,655 foreclosures in the county.

"There are so many stories of animals being abandoned — left at a foreclosed home with no food or water. It's just pervasive," Gardner said.

In Massachusetts, horse surrenders are on the rise at the SPCA. Its Nevins Farm shelter now has 30 horses, most of which were given up because of the expense of keeping them. "It is a little bit scary because a few weeks ago we had five horses come in one week," said spokesman Brian Adams.

"Horses are one of the larger-ticket items for animal care that have been surrendered to us. We have 43 percent more horses this year than we were taking care of last year," he said. Each costs several hundred dollars a month to care for, and this month the MSPCA will spend about $15,000 on the horses.

The Michigan Humane Society has also seen more pet surrenders due to the financial crisis.

"It's always been one of the top reasons, but it's even more so today," said Nancy Gunnigle, spokeswoman for the organization.

Exotic animals, like alligators and iguanas, are expensive to keep and their surrender is also on the rise, she said. "We still find large reptiles in inappropriate housing. It's not uncommon. Those animals add a strain."

About 40,000 animals are surrendered each year to the Humane Society in Michigan, and about 10,000 are adopted. The adoption rate has dropped 5 percent this year.

Gunnigle urges pet owners who feel they're out of options to surrender them to a shelter rather than abandon them on the streets.

"If you have to relinquish your pet and you're not able to re-home them yourselves, never abandon the pet. Never leave them behind outdoors or in a closed home. It's never the right choice, she said. "It's illegal and it results in extreme suffering for the pet, because they might not be found for weeks."

Animal adoption fees start at about $50 and go up from there, the shelters say, but some don't want the fee to keep would-be owners from adopting.

The ASPCA in New York City is hosting two "Three for Free" events in December, giving away adult cats over 3-years old to would-be adopters without charging its typical $75 adoption fee.

"What we found is that there are lots of folks who make great pet owners who would love to have a cat but haven't thought of it before because of the financial burden of paying that fee," said Gail Buchwald, senior VP for ASPCA.

The society first ran the program in September and then did follow-ups with the new pet owners to see how the animals were being treated.

"These homes were not at any higher risk of relinquishment," she said. "They were solid homes with loving pet owners and these were cats that were getting adopted that would have otherwise stayed in the shelter."

Nationwide, the ASPCA is seeing an increase in surrendered dogs, Buchwald said, but cats seem to be weathering the storm better.

"Cats are somewhat less expensive because of the sheer volume of food they require versus dogs," Buchwald said. "Dogs tend to have other associated expenses, and if you're moving into a new home, it's much easier to conceal a cat. If you have to move into a rental property or a no-pets-allowed leasing facility, then it is easier to deal with a cat than it is to deal with a dog."

But Buchwald cautions that abandoning a pet is never an option.

"Putting an animal that you can't care for anymore or leaving it behind in a home that's being abandoned is not the right way to deal with a pet," she said.

"As difficult as it sounds to bring a pet to a shelter, its far better than being locked up in a foreclosed house or abandoned and put out on the street. Those fates are much, much worse for the pet than having a roof over its head, being given food and water and cared for by shelter staff."

Looking for a Place to Call Home for the Holidays
By VIKI VOLK - So Maryland News

Humane Society makes a push to get animals adopted

Dogs, cats and guinea pigs are among the pets available for adoption from the Humane Society of Calvert County.

To hear the volunteers of the Humane Society of Calvert County tell it, there are no bad dogs.

There are, however, plenty of mistreated and misunderstood dogs and cats. There are, unfortunately, mistreated pets of all sorts, explained the volunteers who crowded the front office of Fishing Creek Kennel last weekend. Their mission is to fix that.

Nearly a dozen volunteers with the Humane Society of Calvert County were on site at the kennel in Sunderland to highlight one prong of their mission: to place unwanted animals into families who want them through the group's holiday adoption drive.

The Humane Society of Calvert County's annual Home 4 the Holidays program runs in coordination with the national Home 4 the Holidays animal adoption drive sponsored by pet food maker Iams and the Helen Woodward Animal Center.

The national holiday-timed drive targets placement of rescued pets into permanent homes during the end-of-the-year holidays.

The national drive began as an animal adoption event in the San Diego area in 1999 and by the 2008 season, according to the Web site, ranks as the "largest pet adoption drive in history" with nearly a half-million adoptions so far.

At last weekend's Calvert County launch of the drive, one potential adoptive Calvert family looked slightly bewildered as they wound through dogs and volunteers crowding the kennel's small office.

It was standing room only in the office, the result of a densely packed buffet spread of sweets and finger sandwiches. The talk was loud, often struggling to be heard above the background noise of barking dogs.

The talk centered on updates of the stream of dogs and cats that had or were currently passing through the various volunteer ranks. And, given the obviousness of it, the guinea pig's mother-to-be status was discussed as Kelly St. Marie, president of the Calvert County Human Society, held the extraordinarily pregnant guinea pig aloft.

Different volunteers take on various dogs and cats who need extra care, explained board member Abby Bell-Mills and St. Marie. Their stories of these animals and their rehabilitation painted a picture of heroic efforts the Humane Society makes on behalf of mistreated animals.

This is the other prong of the mission — to make each animal whole again.

Bell-Mills and St. Marie proffered many success stories of completing the full mission, the restoring to health ill and abused animals and then finding them kind homes. The volunteers themselves often provide the homes. Bell-Mills and St. Marie each easily counted four animals in their separate homes and were either pondering a fifth or already had a fifth or were expecting more. They made clear all of the volunteers take way too many dogs and cats home. They laughed and smiled broadly as they confessed this — they shrugged, as it was part of what made up those who volunteer for animals.

The dedication to helping abandoned pets turns into a huge commitment, Bell-Mills acknowledged. And she had praise for all involved. But she also said there were two particular groups of volunteers whose commitment should be recognized in particular. "The dog walkers and the shiners," Bell-Mills said, "they are our heart."

The dog walkers' job is obvious.

"Every day," Bell-Mills said, "they walk, play with the dogs, so they're not just left in the pen. Every day."

But the Shiners, a special committee within the Humane Society, their dedication can prove the most extraordinary of all.

"Being no-kill," Bell-Mills explained the nonprofit's rejection of euthanasia, "takes on an extra level of dedication."

Their mission is to provide a good life for all animals, even those who could not be socialized with other animals or with humans.

The Shiner Committee takes these dogs home, Bell-Mills said.

"We've adopted some pretty hard dogs," she said.

Even among these worst of the worst, some are completely rehabilitated. Teri Beacham, a member of the Shiner Committee, bragged that one of her former charges has been in a permanent home for five months and "sleeps with kitty cats now."

The majority of the dogs and cats are not behavior problems of that level. During the weekend-long Home 4 the Holidays open house, a particularly well-behaved 3-year-old Jack Russell terrier made that point to the Hutchins family.

Juliet Hutchins was walking Jangles, the name the shelter gave the terrier, as her mother and brother watched. Her mother, Carolyn Hutchins, said the family lives on a farm with cats and a parrot and her husband sent them out to get a Jack Russell.

"We need to get this dog," Juliet said as Jangles danced at her feet.

Rescuing a dog rather than buying a puppy can be the best assurance a family can have that the pet they are bringing home will meet their needs. But it takes more time, St. Marie said.

To assure that their charges stand a good chance of staying in their new home, St. Marie said the Humane Society's application process includes the entire family. A home visit by Humane Society workers is required of all potential adoptive families. It might be more of a hassle than in buying a puppy and just driving it home, St. Marie said.

But with these rescue dogs, the workers have spent time with the animals.

There are "known behaviors, we know their qualities," St. Marie said.

This can go a long way toward fitting the right dog with the right family and fewer surprises, St. Marie said.

Although the Home 4 the Holidays drive is timed for the holidays, St. Marie said the Humane Society of Calvert County follows the industry-wide warning against bringing a new pet into the house on Christmas Day.

The day presents are unwrapped, unusually large gatherings of families or other unusual meals and events of the holidays are not the best days to introduce a pet into the home.

St. Marie recommends families wishing to bring a pet into the home for Christmas wrap up a dog bowl or a cat bed for the lucky recipient to open. She suggested that families bring a new pet home when they are resettled into their normal routines. - Social Network Website for Dog Lovers
by Sharon Seltzer, Pet Rescue Examiner

Social networking has gone to the dogs with The free website which launched a couple of months ago is already a popular place to visit for dog lovers who want to connect with people who share their enthusiasm for canines. is a cross between MySpace and YouTube because members feature their furry kids through pictures and videos. The goal of the website is to create friendships between members through shared stories and experiences about their pups.

SPCA of Westchester, NY Won $6,000 From a Contest!

An unexpected offshoot of is the fact that the site is becoming a fundraising source for animal welfare organizations. When held a recent costume contest for members, several rescue groups promoted it through their membership and the SPCA of Westchester, NY won. With the hard economic times, other non-profit rescue groups have also started seeking help on the site.

With 200 million members on MySpace and an estimated 75 million dogs living in homes throughout the U.S.; the "special interest" aspect of should make the website a huge success.


Ex-Mayor Challenges No-Pet Rule
By Danielle M. Williamson TELEGRAM & GAZETTE STAFF

GARDNER— Mayor Mark P. Hawke grew up having dogs and cats as pets. If it weren’t for his wife’s allergies, he said, he’d still be a dog owner.

Mr. Hawke would not, however, bring his pet to work, as his predecessor, Gerald E. St. Hilaire, did for the four years he occupied the corner office in City Hall. Sometime last summer, Mr. Hawke made clear his feelings about the separation between work and dog when he had custodians place “no pets” signs at City Hall entrances.

“I don’t see any need to bring any kind of pet into a place of business,” Mr. Hawke said. “The last straw, for me, was when someone’s dog wandered into my office and urinated on the carpet.”

Mr. Hawke was not thrilled upon learning that Mr. St. Hilaire brought his English springer spaniel, Maggie, to City Hall offices yesterday afternoon, in spite of the signs notifying visitors that pets are banned from the building. A number of City Hall employees, self-described dog lovers, lit up when Maggie walked into the offices and rolled over to have her stomach rubbed.

“I had heard there were signs,” Mr. St. Hilaire said, after women in the clerk’s office gave Maggie treats. “If I had seen them, I might have thought it was a joke.”

Mr. St. Hilaire said he’s been to City Hall without Maggie a few times since hearing Mr. Hawke had banned pets from the building. He said he brought the dog with him yesterday when he paid his tax bill. He pointed out all the attention Maggie was getting, adding that she was a great “morale booster” when he was in office.

“I think it’s common courtesy that you don’t bring your pet into a public place,” said Mr. Hawke, who did not cross paths with his former rival or the former City Hall mascot yesterday afternoon.

Mr. Hawke said he hasn’t seen any animals in City Hall since the signs were put up a few months ago.

“I’d probably ask them if next time, they could leave their pet at home,” he said. “I’m an animal lover, but not everyone likes pets, and a lot of people have allergies.”

Mr. St. Hilaire said he had not received one formal complaint about Maggie during his tenure as mayor. The dog has charmed various officials, including the governor and lieutenant governor, he said.

Maggie sat in the room with Mr. St. Hilaire and Deval Patrick for an hour when Mr. Patrick was campaigning for governor and looking for endorsements, Mr. St. Hilaire said.

“Maggie got up, went over to greet him and he dropped down on his knees and started playing with her,” Mr. St. Hilaire remembered.

Mr. St. Hilaire said he’s “not on a crusade” to allow pets in City Hall, but questioned whether the “no pets” signs could be enforced.

“I suppose if someone complained and the Gardner police came and took Maggie and I away in cuffs, I would have to get a good lawyer,” he joked.

Cathy M. Rosenthal: Readers Differ on Best Care for Feral Cats
My SA Life

In my Oct. 12 column, “For feral cats, life on the street is hard,” I invited readers to tell me if I was “crazy in the head” or if I “made a good argument” concerning the care of feral cats. Here's what a few readers said.

Dear Cathy: For this reader, your column of Oct. 12 falls squarely into the “you're crazy in the head” category. I really can't tell what you propose as a realistic solution to the problem of feline abandonment. Granted, managed cat colonies have their problems and shortcomings. Certainly life on the street can be nasty, brutish and short for feral cats. However, life in animal control facilities is even shorter; according to Alley Cat Allies. Euthanasia is the No. 1 cause of death for cats.

Everything is a stopgap measure unless we change human behavior. Until we eradicate human ignorance, apathy, irresponsibility and antipathy toward cats, we will not “solve” the problem of feline abandonment. How do we accomplish this task?


Dear Caroline: Sadly, euthanasia is the No. 1 cause of death for both dogs and cats. While I wholly support feral cat caretaking, my concern is for felines without a proper caretaker or with no caretaker at all. Unless a feral cat colony has a responsible caretaker, one who will not only feed the cats, but get them sterilized and vaccinated, too, then I believe it is more humane to euthanize them than to allow them to reproduce and live alone on the streets.

I maintain that more humane education needs to focus on cat abandonment, which is the real issue.

Dear Cathy: I think you “make a good argument.” There's a student group at my university that cares for a feral cat colony on campus. The campus is in a busy inner-city neighborhood surrounded by lots of fast-food restaurants with enticing scents and large dumpsters that attract the cats. These cats are so hungry, they will eat almost anything they're given. One night, several students thought it would be funny to feed the cats snacks from the vending machine. This broke my heart. These cats are exposed to speeding traffic, dogs and vandals who like to torture them for fun. Many don't make it.

As I understand it, the group only puts out food and water and does not keep a census or look for the cats on a regular basis. When I asked what happens when the cats are sick or who cares for them when students leave for break, I was treated like (excuse the expression) a sourpuss.

Feral is just another word for “stray.” Feral cat colonies are the result of humans failing to give proper, responsible care, which begins with spaying and neutering. Even if they are fed and sterilized, they get thrown out to fend for themselves only to become victims of preventable illnesses, accidents or cruelty.

Worried about stray cats

Dear Worried: You may want to direct the care group of students at your school to Alley Cat Allies' Cats on Campus program, which ensures they maintain the colony responsibly. If these cats aren't going to be sterilized and vaccinated and are subjected to malice by passersby, then euthanasia is a much more humane option.

Send your pet stories to Cathy M. Rosenthal, c/o Features Department, San Antonio Express-News, P.O. Box 2171, San Antonio, TX 78297-2171, or e-mail them to Cathy's advice column runs Sundays.

Dog Training - Low Maintenance Dog
by John Williams

There are so many different dog breeds and dog crossbreeds around the world now that finding the perfect dog for you can seem a hugely daunting task. Sure, your perfect dog is probably out there somewhere but finding that dog is a completely different thing.

To help you narrow your search down I have taken the time to put this article together and give my best advice on which dog will be best for you if you’re looking for a low maintenance dog for your new home, family or any other occasion.

Ok, you want a low maintenance dog breed so what is the answer? There are many aspects to this question and many dogs to consider, some are realty energetic like the Labrador, border collie and Irish setter but other breeds just seem to be pretty much as energetic as each other.

Maintenance may not mean weather the dog you want is energetic and needs lots of walks and exercise and it may be other forms of dog maintenance like grooming, dog training and bathing etcetera. These differences in dog breed personalities and care are very hard to determine and sum up into a final list of perfect dog breeds as all dogs will need time and care.

The main question here ids weather you are really ready for a dog in your home or place of residence. Dogs do take lots of time especially when they are young and impressionable puppies or dogs. If you want a low maintenance dog then the option for you is to not have a dog at all. Dogs take a big commitment in your life and need to be cared for appropriately in order to be healthy and happy. If you are unsure take more time to ponder your choices and priorities, it will save you a lot of time and unwanted effort in the long run.

Article Source:

Faces Of Pet Abuse
Author: j_hardcastle89

As much as people are fond of keeping pets, inhumane actions are often reported from across the globe. Pets serve as man's joy and relief, their furry, cozy, crawling, exotic, terrific, and enriching existence bring a few moments of joy to people's monotonous, tedious lives.

If pet owners eagerly keep pets it should be particularly clear that they fully take the charge and responsibility of their pets because animals too feel pain as human beings do.

Reports of pet abuse from all over the world shows what humans are oblivious of. There are millions of dead animals that have been found in various city corners. People out of some odd reasons and frustration tend to kill their pets and then to avoid getting caught they go and throw them near drums etc. It gives a grotesque picture of inhumanity and inconsideration.

The illiterate and uneducated people often tend to find ways of earning easy money and these are the people who make their dogs get in to fights. They train them by electrocuting them and burning their skins. When they are trained according them they are proud to win money when their dogs end up being horribly injured during fierce dog fights. Then they pat and love them which are more of an irony in the name of pet love.

There are celebrities who are known to wear fur of pet animals. Giving pets as gifts is a trend these days, just wrapped up like a commodity and presented to people without stopping to consider animals are not products.

There are people who keep horses and donkeys for carriages they too are like pets but these people beat their horses and donkeys and push them to carry extra loads without feeding them properly. They die of malnutrition and in some cases they even die of getting severely beaten up. There are vets in this world that treat sick pets with outdated medicines and they end up dead.

Some pets turn wild and hysterical because their owners treat them wildly. They would beat them, keep them chained, give them stale food and make them irritable. These kinds of pets resolve to biting and screaming to let out their feelings. Pets are found locked up in trunks, locked up in attics and forgotten till they are starved to death.

Some drug addicts drug their pets out of spite and watch their reactions as a vulgar means of entertainment. These and a million more faces of human vindictiveness, inconsideration, brutality and viciousness are widely observed yet not taken care of. Such pet abusers fail to realize that animals too are as flesh and blood as themselves.

Source: Free Articles

Click here to visit The EZ Online Shopping Network of Stores!

No comments: