How 24 circles of loving arms saved Mary and George

Posted on July 30th, 2010 by Anna Nirva

“Someone found them in an abandoned old building in Floyd County”

… said the rescuer in an email.  Someone looked inside, maybe alerted by kids, and saw two thin, friendly dogs with red patchy skin, swollen faces, and runny eyes. Someone noticed how Mary’s teats dangled long and thin. Someone knew the breeding cycle would begin again soon, and decided to take them away from the horrors of backyard breeder life in coal country Kentucky. This is how Mary and George’s rescue begins. (This is Mary at left).

Mary and George needed urgent medical care and weeks of recuperation, too much for this kind but poor Good Samaritan. So they were given to someone else who searched for a rescuer to take them. Mary and George were lucky; they were purebred Boxers. An independent rescuer, Moran, took them. (This was the third temporary home.) She wrote that they didn’t even know how to eat food from a bowl. They had only been fed on hard ground.

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Watch Tip: Driveways

Posted on July 30th, 2010 by Anna Nirva

Weekly Watch Tip for week of Aug. 1:

Watch out for pets on driveways. Driveways are extremely high risk for dogs and cats who are excited to greet homecoming or visiting vehicles. They do not understand that tires will turn sharply. Speed is not the issue—even creeping vehicles run over pets. Older companion animals snoozing on warm driveways will not hear garage doors open or vehicles approach. Injuries are severe and often result in death. Please spread the word.

Crush a Critter Back on Amazon

Posted on July 27th, 2010 by admin

I guess you just can’t keep scum off the water. In that same vein, two sellers are listing Crush a Critter on Amazon for sale. Sunbear Blog friends and readers already got one dealer to remove this cruelty-encouraging product off amazon but it’s back thanks to a Knoxville-based company.

Many of us have listed the humane objections to this piece of trash on the Amazon site so anyone with half an iota of ethics or humanity would steer clear of this item. But no, these two dealers are more interested in their profits than what is the right thing to do.

So, I’m going to give you the contact info for both of the sellers. I doubt that it will do any good to add more scathing comments on Amazon so I plan to contact the sellers directly and let them know we are all STILL watching. Please feel free to let them know what you think.

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IAMS Prescription Renal Cat Food Recalled

Posted on July 27th, 2010 by admin

If you are using IAMS Renal Cat Food it’s time to check those lot numbers. Proctor & Gamble has released a recall due to possible Salmonella contamination.

Here is the basic information from the official FDA announcement.

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Watch Tip: Heat Alert

Posted on July 24th, 2010 by Anna Nirva

Watch for dogs who play or run with their owners in hot weather—they can’t regulate body heat by sweating like humans do. Heat stroke kills dogs because they run until collapse. Watch for hard panting, ropey saliva, wobbly movements, red gums and tongue, vomiting, diarrhea. Intervene immediately or the dog could die.

Summer dangers to pets

Frisbee? Fetch? Hiking? Walks on the beach? Dog park afternoons? Happy times with your four-legged friends can end in tragedy for the uninformed.

Dogs—and cats too—can’t expel heat through the skin like humans can. They can sweat through the pads of their feet and by panting. On hot days, these methods are not enough to expel body heat built up by mild or vigorous activity, or by being trapped in hot cars or hot kennels and crates.

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Book Review — Saving Gracie

Posted on July 20th, 2010 by admin

Saving Gracie is more than a well-written, compelling book that should be in every animal lover’s  collection.  This is the book that makes the case against puppy mills and their supporters in a clear voice. Moreover, if I had the money I would make sure to give a copy of Saving Gracie to every legislator in the US.

Author Carol Bradley has written a rare book. It is an important book that is also a good read. The history and information in Saving Gracie makes the case against puppy mills while the writing carries you along like a good crime novel.

This book is a slap in the face to those who deny the absolute evil of puppy mills. I defy someone to read even the first few chapters of Saving Gracie and walk away with any ability to defend puppy mills for any reason. Bradley has woven a strong story line around some very painful facts and the figures to support them.

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Watch Tip: Chronic Ill Health

Posted on July 16th, 2010 by Anna Nirva

Watch Tip for week of July 18:

Watch for signs of chronic ill health in your neighborhood’s dogs and cats as you pass. Do you see matter streaming from eyes, ears, or noses? Is the pet unusually lethargic? Is the animal very thin with a big belly, indicating parasites? Is the animal attracting many flies?—This is the sign of a maggot infestation in a wound or matted fur, a very urgent condition. Listen for coughs or sneezes. Please make every effort to talk to the owner.

Poor health causes long-term suffering and illness can spread to pets living nearby. Take action.

Learn to confidently recognize signs of illness or poor health conditions to be prepared to help neglected animals. Undertake three analyses: 1-Signs of ill health, 2-Overall condition of the animal, and 3-State of the pet-keeping environment. Take notes. Determine if urgent veterinary care is needed. All of these are common-sense judgments; you should of course be objective and rational and avoid jumping to conclusions, while trusting what you see and hear, and your intuition.

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Watch Tip: Too Many Animals

Posted on July 10th, 2010 by Anna Nirva

Watch closely any households in your neighborhood that keep large numbers of dogs or cats—they are very high risk for neglect. Look for signs: more and more animals, frequent litters, prominent hip bones, unkempt or thin fur, illnesses, and lethargic behaviors. The premises may be filthy and ramshackle. The owner may pose as a rescue to avoid intervention. Call the authorities immediately; this may be a “hoarder.”

Some animal lovers don’t understand their limits

Long-term animal suffering is the result, and in many instances, human suffering when children are involved. It is so very sad. A dedicated animal lover tries to provide a good home to a lot of animals—doesn’t that describe a lot of us? But a hoarder adds more animals to their household than they can support and care for—and this is important so please note—they deny that the care they provide is inadequate. They deny that their animals and others in the household are suffering.

What are the signs?

Look at the animals. Are they spayed and neutered (no litters)? Do they have good quality food and fresh water daily? Do they appear to be healthy and groomed? Are the animals contained safely (not roaming)? Are the premises clean, tidy, and in good repair? Does the owner invite friends and neighbors to visit, allowing access to the animals? This is an animal lover who is emotionally and financially capable of caring for many animals. As long as the situation is stable and the number of animals kept does not violate any local ordinances, there is not a problem here.

I have many friends who can be described as above. Animal lovers with some means tend to have large fur families! Many are involved in rescue and they make the world a better place for animals.

A serious problem can arise when an animal lover is mentally ill and is not able to recognize that their animals need more care. They deny that any of their animals are suffering–even if confronted about the animal carcasses on their property. They rationalize about any ill animal’s condition and the poor condition of the property, if you can coax them to converse with you at all (many are reclusive).

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Vern and Vera, and the Angel Who Loved Them

Posted on July 7th, 2010 by Anna Nirva

Early last November, I heard that Emanuel and Meko, two long-term senior coonhounds living in our nearby rural shelter, were to be adopted–together! It felt like a miracle, a blessing, a gift from heaven. These sweet old dogs had been waiting for months, and winter was coming. The shelter has heated floors and indoor-outdoor runs, but coonies have short coats and winters can be brutal in Wisconsin. “Manny” and Meko were friends, and I had often taken them together on walks. I was ecstatic and also curious about their adopter. Coonhounds are not popular dogs to say the least, and most people won’t adopt senior dogs. I heard the adopter lived in Kansas?

What can you say about a middle-aged woman who drove 1,000 miles to adopt two old coonhounds from a little country shelter in Wisconsin? In a word, wings. She was angel on earth who looked deeply at those long-eared sad old faces on Petfinder and was moved to open up her heart and home to them. (See Manny and Meko, still posted on the site). She filled out the adoption application and it passed inspection with flying colors, I heard. So she gassed up her SUV, loaded two dog crates, and headed north. And so it started. Manny and Meko became Vern and Vera, and they all became a family, along with two kitties, Bela and Shugrrr.

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Fourth of July – what to do and watch out for:

Posted on July 6th, 2010 by admin

Please keep your pets away from fireworks displays. Keep kitties inside during the days BEFORE and AFTER the 4th of July.

When you walk your dog, watch to make sure your dog does not pick up or mouth any strange objects on the grass or sidewalk – it may be an unexploded firecracker. Even if it is an exploded one, the gunpowder and other chemicals on it are definitely bad for your pet(s).

Watch for any fireworks, exploded or not, that may have been thrown on your lawn. Your pets should not find them before you do!

AND, be watchful in your neighborhood for any pets who may not have been so lucky on the Fourth of July–abused and injured pets may hide under cars, or be immobile, in plain view.

Let’s hope for a sane and safe Fourth for ALL.