Friday, February 19, 2010

Need a little help from your friends?

NHSPCA financial assistance programs for spaying and neutering

Did you know that a kitten can have her first litter at 4 months?

The New Hampshire SPCA has three different plans if you need assistance getting your pet spayed or neutered.

"Fixing" or "Altering" your pet will not only decrease the population of pets in shelters and on the streets, it is beneficial to the health and well being of your pet.

I urge you to step up to the plate and tell the world that you have enough balls for you and your pet.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Don't feel sorry for my boy.

As more and more people come over to the house and meet our pack of dogs we of course get questions about all of them, where we got them, names, ages, sex, and what is that weird blue looking one? These are questions we are used to answering about our kids, no problem.

Colbert still has his quirks. He doesn't come, or even sit, on command. He barks like an alarm whenever someone new is in the house...for several minutes as if to make sure we know they are there. He sings. His face has gone prematurely white at the age of 3. When we explain about his history of being feral and abused it understandably makes people sad, it still makes me sad. I may call him my Autistic Darling, but please don't feel sorry for our little Corgi.

When we took him on as our first foster in 2007, we did not have a fence and he was a flight risk. He wore a harness 24/7 because it made him easier to get a hold of him. He spent nearly all of his time in a corner of the living room where he could see everything and still get away quickly if need be. Day or night he would also spend this time under a dog bed with just his nose poking out. And this was after he spent a month by himself in his own room with a dogloo to hide in. Keeping him in one room of the house made it easier to spend alone time with him and to catch him for potty breaks or vet visits.

The benefits of having 3 'normal' dogs is that this little Corgi eventually popped out of shell, provided we stayed still and quiet, to play with our other dogs. Buela still being a puppy and wanting to perpetually play and Max being a fetch fiend helped greatly. Even Corona got in on the play action and still does.

Colbert really has come a long way from his beginnings at the shelter; not even wanting to be looked at never mind held fed or loved.

Monday, February 8, 2010

From the Contra Costa Times...makes you think twice.

This article WILL put you off your lunch.

Definitely something to think about the next time you are in the market for a new family member, and will make you want to be a conscientious organic vegetarian.

Remember, don't shop or buy, while homeless pets die.

click here for full story

Firm gives remains of euthanized pets another use
Michael J. Sorba, Staff Writer
Posted: 02/08/2010 03:36:37 PM PST
Updated: 02/08/2010 03:43:29 PM PST

Tens of thousands of animals are euthanized each year in animal shelters throughout San Bernardino County, but few people realize what becomes of the remains of dogs, cats and other critters.

Animals that aren't adopted after several days are euthanized with injections of sodium pentobarbital, then picked up by D&D Disposal, a firm out of Vernon, near Los Angeles.

Once there, the remains are boiled, ground and processed into animal by-products that are then resold for use in lubricants, polish, soap, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, gelatin and fertilizers, according to a 2004 report by Los Angeles County.

That came as a surprise to some officials at the Humane Society of San Bernardino Valley, which also contracts with D&D and plans to review the way its remains are handled to ensure the process is consistent with the wishes of people who drop off animals.

"As a Humane Society, we would never consent to allowing the bodies of these precious animals (to be) used in research or any medical uses and research, or certainly not to be re-used in a form of food for any purpose," said Carin Orange, a development coordinator with the local Humane Society who said she was under the impression the remains were cremated.

Many families that turn animals over for humane euthanasia think of the pets as family members and could be upset to discover how the remains are handled, she said.

"Anyone who has loved a pet feels that little body
is forever a part of their heart, their love, their memories, and it's very disturbing to think they would not be resting in peace in the manner of which they agreed to," Orange said.

County animal control officials said they weren't surprised.

"I've heard of those potential uses for the animals' remains," said Brian Cronin, division chief for San Bernardino County's Animal Care and Control Division. "The reality is that those responsible pet owners who would elect to dispose of their animals through other means can choose to do so."

Owners of euthanized animals can opt to have them cremated or buried at their own expense, Cronin said.

"Unfortunately, for government agencies, this is the most cost-effective option that's available and it's my understanding that's why every other agency uses this service," he said. "In our priorities, we prefer to invest in those animals that are alive and in the shelter and in the community."

Bill Gorman, president of D&D Disposal, said the firm doesn't conduct media interviews and declined to discuss what his company does with animal remains.

But the April 2004 report by Los Angeles County Animal Shelters detailed how euthanized animals are recycled in a process known as "rendering."

"The remains are placed in large vats and heated to a high temperature in excess of 265 degrees Fahrenheit, at which point they become sterile and free of pathogens," the report states. "Then a series of mechanical (processes) occur that separate the fat, liquid and proteins into separate collection systems."

According to the report, every public animal shelter in Southern California pays D&D - also known as West Coast Rendering - to pick up and dispose of euthanized animals.

The firm also handles larger animals like deceased horses and livestock. In some cases, the remains of appropriate animals are processed into feed for livestock, pets or even shrimp.

San Bernardino County pays D&D $13,800 a year to dispose of animals, county officials said. Last year, 16,416 animals visited the county's Devore shelter and 10,350 were euthanized.

At the San Bernardino City Animal Shelter 18,251 animals visited last year and 13,396 were euthanized, said city spokeswoman Heather Gray. San Bernardino spends about $20,000 a year for D&D's services.

State law requires animals brought to a shelter be held at least 72 hours, before being euthanized.

San Bernardino County mandates animals be held at its shelter for at least 96 hours, Cronin said. Dogs and cats that shelter officials feel are highly adoptable are held longer.

Orange, of the local humane society, said the recycling of remains should serve as additional incentive for communities to reduce pet populations in the most humane ways.

"It's a fact that many cats and dogs end up in the shelters and will never be adopted and find a loving home," she said. "That is preventable if people would spay and neuter their pets."

2 years ago today...

We officially adopted Colbert to stay with us in his forever home. He still has his quirks, but the nightly yodeling sessions and occasion 'meows' make it all worth it.

3 years ago we brought home Buela as yes, 2 years in a row I got puppies for Valentines. Last year I got a washing machine.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Home in NH.

I love him too.

We have been in NH for nearly two months now. Everyone has settled in and has lost weight from hopping through snow banks. D is 55% of the way through sub school in CT which will make the dogs happier because he will be home during the week instead of 48 hour stints. (D will be happier to be home as well ;])

So what has happened in the last 3 months you ask?

We officially adopted our 10 year old foster, Oreo, on veterans day, fitting since he used to be an USAF dog and is now a USN dog. We have taken to calling him Grandpa, he grumbles like a grandpa, snores like one, and occasionally smells like one, especially when you play "pull my paw" with him. His foreleg has finally healed from the constant anxiety licking, we are just waiting for fur to grow back, and yes, where his fur is black, so is his skin.

This is my couch; damn kids.

Our drive from SC to NH was 'fun' to say the least. Previous snow storms and the upcoming holiday (we started out Dec 22nd) bogged up traffic. We hit lunch traffic in Philly trying to stop and see one of our esteemed rescue contacts Liz Hathaway.

Colbert and Buela in Lizzie's backyard.

In NJ there was an accident so bad that staties made traffic exit in the middle of nowhere causing us to take Rt 1 across...making what was usually a 2 hour drive into 4. Rush hour on the Geo. Washington Bridge in NYC caused me to add facebook to my phone. We finally made it into town around 1 am, and of course I was going by memory and not looking at signs, which was a bad idea seeing as they had flipped the exit around a few weeks before we showed up, a U-Turn with a stretched F150 hauling a trailer is not fun, nor easy. Needless to say the dogs do not look forward to car rides lately ;).

Digging in snow banks and sniffing under the porch are favorite pass times of Buela. Corona likes to blend in with and tromp around through the thickets. Max likes to catch snow balls. Oreo is in sniffer heaven, and since there isn't a fence he as learned the command "Too Far" I am sure the neighbors have too. Poor little Colbert doesn't want to leave the porch at night because of his light phobia.

Buela after digging to China in the snow.

Max catching sight of something small and prey worthy, I love the color of his coat in the sunset.

Mr Handsome, Jr after his bath at K9 Kaos in Dover, NH.

Everyone who comes over tells us how great and well behaved they all are. Everyone wants to steal Corona and or Max. They also want to see Colbert and win him over, I tell them that Colbert doesn't even come to me someday's but they persist. It is good for him.

The girls went to the vets the other day for boosters and general physicals. All their tests came back perfectly normal, despite Roni needing to shed a few pounds and having a faint heart murmur. The Dr said that she has probably had it her entire life, just no one had caught it.

Her favorite place to be, snuggled in bed on my pillow.

D is on his way home for his weekend leave and will be here at 3:30pm EST. Everyone will be so excited, even me. ;)