Watch Tip: Finding My Old Companion

Posted on February 5th, 2012 by admin

We have a guest blogger this week, Jeannette P. Ward, PhD. Jeannette is a retired physiological psychologist and animal behavior consultant. She lives with two older Weimaraners.


Well, it’s all good now.  My companion and I are all snuggled up together on the big couch.  It has to be a big couch because he is a really big boy.  This happy story is about how I found my companion.  You may find some of these points helpful.

A few months ago I retired from my job of many years.  For awhile I was busy with farewell parties and lunches out with friends and relatives.  But soon the retirement activities slowed and my little house got very quiet.  Oh, there were still outings from time to time, but in between times, most of the time when I’m home alone, it is very quiet, even sometimes lonely.  So it came to me that I needed a full-time companion, a 24-hour buddy. Read the rest of this entry »

Watch Tip: Fraudulent Animal Rescues

Posted on September 5th, 2011 by Anna Nirva

Watch Tip LogoWatch out for fraudulent animal rescues. While the majority of rescues are trustworthy and perform near-miracles every day, saving neglected, abused, and homeless pets and domestic animals, some are not. Some are “fronts” for puppy and kitten mills. Others are resellers who believe they get higher prices posing as rescues. Some are failed rescues that hoard animals in neglectful conditions.

Before You Adopt, Do Your Homework

Your money is a tool that helps bad rescues continue or great rescues thrive, so think strategically in addition to following your heart. There are many bad rescues in operation today; the pet industry is growing and many seek ways to make what appears to be “easy money” by preying on the soft-hearted. Adopter beware! When you decide to bring a rescue pet into your family, do some research first to ensure that the adoption fee will support those groups that reflect your values–and that you can trust to provide you a healthy adoptable pet with a good temperament.  Read the rest of this entry »

Andy Nibley is the Director of the new documentary, Madonna of the Mills, running August 24th on HBO.  Author, Sunbear Squad Board Member and Editor Emeritus of Dogster’s own For Love of Dog Blog caught up with Andy for this interview.


Andy: The idea behind the film was really to show a couple of things. One, that ordinary people can do extraordinary things. Laura is an office manager for a dentist on Staten Island and yet she, on weekends on her own nickel, rents vans and drives down to Amish country and picks up somewhere between 35 and 50 of these puppy mill dogs who have spent their entire lives in cages the size of dishwashers. They’ve never been petted. They’ve never been walked. They’ve never been bathed and she’s saved over 2000 dogs and she’s done that all on her own.  So that was one thing.

The other was what happens when you spare a life? So I follow four of the dogs that get saved and you see them rehabilitated from the point where they couldn’t walk because they’ve spent their lives in cages. There’s a nice story about an autistic boy and a golden retriever and one about a childless couple who end up with a cocker spaniel. It really shows these dogs can make wonderful pets if they’re adopted.

Read the rest of this entry »

Madonna of the Mills — Catch this documentary on HBO!!!

Posted on August 19th, 2011 by admin

Set aside the evening of August 24th for the HBO unveiling of the insightful documentary “Madonna of the Mills.” This is a film that will stay with you long after the credits roll. The filmmakers have done an excellent job of revealing both aspects — the rescuers and those who run the mills. Director Andy Nibley and his team have crafted a film that needs to be seen by every American.

You’ll remember the enchanting determination of Laura, the woman who, with her family and friends, has rescued over 2000 dogs from the living hell of puppy mills. You won’t be able to look at the misleading pictures of seemingly gentle Amish country folk without remembering the ugly truth of the torture of puppy mills behind the barn doors. Of course, you’ll remember the dogs who Laura and her friends help escape. But what I hope stays with you and I know will stay with me is the casual craven disregard for the animals that is so ubiquitous among the puppy millers and their defenders.

Read the rest of this entry »

What??? Are you wondering how something like that could happen? You helped a down, seriously ill animal owned by a neighbor. You lived across the street. You visited the suffering horse on the neighbor’s property with knowledge of the neighbor’s caretaker for most of two days. You brought blankets and water to the horse. You sat by the horse and comforted it. Your interventions resulted in a vet evaluation, and the vet recommended euthanasia, but because the owners were unavailable and the house-sitter couldn’t make this decision, the vet left.

You made numerous calls and sent phone pictures to the authorities to get help for the horse. You finally succeed in getting the suffering horse humanely euthanized by asking the state representative of the Humane Society of the United States to call the sheriff to politely request intervention by law enforcement. The vet comes back and finally ends the horse’s suffering.

Then a day later, you go back to your neighbor’s house to pick up your blankets and are told by the caretaker that you are not allowed on the property. HUH? Shortly afterward, you are notified by law enforcement that you have been charged with two counts of trespassing!!!

What is wrong with this scenario! How can you be charged with trespassing? You were helping a neighbor’s sick animal. You were never told by the caretaker to stay off the property during several visits. In fact, you believed your help was welcomed. You knocked on the door when you visited to alert the caretaker that you were there, and he participated in conversations about the sick horse. He walked out with you to visit the horse. The property was not posted with trespassing signs either.

If you cross the street and provide help to a neighbor’s sick or injured animal on their unposted property, can you later be charged with trespassing? I’m afraid to learn the answer to that question! Find out on June 10, the court date, in Tigerton, WI. A demonstration asking that trespassing charges be dropped and animal protection laws be strengthened is planned for earlier on the same day.

Read more about the case and demonstration here.

Can you spare $5 or $10 for legal expenses?

Thank you, readers, for any contribution. This is a case that strikes at the very heart of being a Good Samaritan for animals.

The rest of the world is slowly advancing but not the people of the Gaston County, NC Animal Shelter. They have a $6400 budget shortfall so guess what they want to do to save money? They want to skip those time-consuming adoptions and just kill all animals in their clutches.

Read the rest of this entry »

Major Rescue In Rural Oregon

Posted on December 9th, 2009 by admin

The Oregon Humane Society is working to save as many as 100 dogs who have been living with barely any food and left outside in freezing conditions.

Here are the details from the OHS website.

HarneyCo_2Most of the dogs are living without shelter on a rural property in Princeton, Oregon, about 20 miles outside of Burns. Some of the dogs are living underground in holes covered with planks, others are chained to farm equipment and have little or no shelter from the snow, wind and sub-freezing temperatures common in the high-desert country.

The rescue team is expected to return to the OHS shelter in Portland on Wednesday, Dec. 9 at approximately 4 pm. A three-person OHS team traveled to the property Monday and returned with 14 dogs, including four puppies who are one-week old and six puppies who are three- to four-months old.

The dogs being rescued were subsisting on cattle carcasses obtained from a local meat processing plant. The property was littered with piles of bones and cattle skeletons. Also visible were the unburied remains of at least one deceased dog.

OHS is perhaps the only animal shelter in the region with the resources to care and find homes for so many dogs at one time. “Most of these dogs, despite their living conditions, are friendly to people and want to be around us. I hope we can get them into loving homes in time for the holidays,” said OHS Executive Director Sharon Harmon.

OHS was called on by Harney Country Sheriff David Glerup, who arrested three individuals and charged them with five counts of animal neglect.

The case was brought to Sheriff Glerup’s attention by county social workers who were investigating an unrelated complaint against the owners of the dogs brought by an 11-year-old child living on the property. Officials have since removed all children from the property.

The individuals charged have surrendered the dogs allowing the OHS to be able to put them up for adoption.  A few of the dogs will go to past owners who will keep them in their home as as part of the agreement to surrender the remaining animals.  I don’t really get the last part because if the dogs had been surrendered by the owners at an earlier date they obviously weren’t wanted, I can’t see why they would be given back.

This is a horrible situation, thank goodness the OHS has stepped in to give these dogs a chance at life.  If you would like to donate to help these dogs get the medical care they deserve and eventually into  loving forever homes go to the OHS website where you can make an online donation.

Humane Society Launches National ‘Puppy Mill’ Tip Line

Posted on December 7th, 2009 by admin


Great news from the Humane Society Of The United States, they have started a tipline to help dogs being abused at puppy mills. While there have been tiplines for dog fighting for a while there was not one specifically dedicated to report puppy mill abuse.

Dogs Don’t Deserve Lifetime Confinement for the Sake of Profit

(Dec. 3, 2009) – To help end the misery associated with large-scale dog breeding operations known as “puppy mills,” The Humane Society of the United States has launched a national telephone tip line and encourages callers to report suspected cruelty or unlawful activities involving such breeding facilities.

The hotline, 1-877-MILL-TIP, is available to anyone with information of a possible crime involving puppy mills – but particularly welcomes information from those with “insider” knowledge, or from law enforcement officials who might be aware of such operations.

“Puppy mills are a national scourge,” said Justin Scally, manager of The HSUS’ Wilde Puppy Mill Task Force. “Hundreds of thousands of dogs across the country are trapped in constant confinement their entire lives, producing puppies to profit the puppy mill owner. This tip line will be a vital tool to help free these dogs from a life of abuse.”

The Wilde Puppy Mill Task Force investigates puppy mills and works with law enforcement, animal shelters and other agencies to stop abuse and to ensure enforcement of existing laws. The task force also provides expert guidance to local, state and federal agencies in the prosecution of animal abusers as it relates to the operation of puppy mills. Since its launch in June, the Task Force has assisted in the rescue of more than 1,200 dogs and puppies from abusive situations at puppy mills.

The announcement of the new national tip line comes during The HSUS’ 3rd annual Puppy Mill Action Week, which is dedicated to educating the public about how to find a new best friend without supporting the abusive puppy mill industry. Puppy Mill Action Week runs Nov. 30 through Dec. 6, at the start of the peak holiday puppy buying season.

The Wilde Puppy Mill Task Force is named in honor of Kenneth and Lillian Wilde, who donated a portion of their estate to The HSUS to help dogs. Thanks to the Wildes, The HSUS was able to expand the organization’s capacity to rescue more animals from the inhumane puppy mill industry and to raise national awareness of the pain and tragedy that can lurk behind the inviting visage of a young puppy for unwary buyers.

Puppy Mill Facts

· Dogs at puppy mills typically receive little to no medical care, live in squalid conditions with no exercise, socialization or human interaction, and are confined inside cramped wire cages for life. Breeding dogs at puppy mills must endure constant breeding cycles.

· Dogs from puppy mills are sold in pet stores, online and directly to consumers with little to no regard for the dog’s health, genetic history or future welfare. Consumers should never buy a puppy from a pet store or Internet site; instead visit an animal shelter, breed rescue group, or visit a breeder’s home and meet the puppy’s parents.
· The HSUS supports compassionate breeders who provide for their dog’s physical and mental well-being. Quality breeders don’t sell puppies through pet stores or over the Internet.

Oprah’s show on puppy mills aired back in April 2008 making the public, most for the first time, aware of what a puppy mill is.  Although I knew you shouldn’t buy pets from a pet store I really had no idea the reason behind it, I didn’t know what a puppy mill was.   I could never have imagined the horrific conditions and horrible abuse these dogs suffer without seeing it with my own eyes.

As hard as the Oprah show was for people to watch once the puppy mills ‘dirty little secret’ was out there was no going back. Thankfully since the show there have been raids of abusive puppy mills, changes in legislation, and new laws.  While we still have a long way to go, each step like the new tipline,  gets us a little closer to hopefully one day ending puppy mills altogether.