just be good to each other

"Go into the world and do well. But more importantly, go into the world and do good." Minor Myers, Jr.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Do You Shop at Petland?

With almost 8,000 dogs and puppies rescued from puppy mills in the U.S. just since February of this year, I would have thought that the atrocities inflicted in these operations would by now be nationally recognized and condemned, especially by companies devoted to selling products for pets. However, a recently completed, eight-month long investigation by the Humane Society of the United States has revealed that the national pet store chain, Petland, is selling dogs from cruel puppy mills to unsuspecting customers. The investigation into Petland stores in Florida, Indiana, Minnesota, Nevada, Ohio and other states showed that many of the puppies sold at these stores came from massive commercial breeders in Missouri and other Midwestern states where hundreds of breeding dogs live their lives packed into filthy, crowded cages. These dogs spend their lives birthing litter after litter, with minimal human contact, no exercise, and never knowing the love of a family.

Please take the time today to ask Petland to stop supporting the puppy mill industry. You can do this by clicking
here to send them an email through the HSUS's "Stop Puppy Mills" campaign, by contacting your nearest Petland store, or by calling their corporate headquarters at 740-775-2464 or toll-free at 800-221-5935.

OR... why not do all three! The more we bombard them and let them know we will not shop in their stores until they are no longer selling puppies the more important the issue becomes to them!

Speak for those who cannot speak for themselves!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Prop 2 Passes!!!

What a great day for farm animals! Californians have stood up to big Agribusiness and let them know that their practices are unacceptable! Thank you to everyone who voted to pass Prop 2 in California - you have truly made a difference for farm animals all across the country!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Californians... Vote YES! on Prop 2

This November 4, Californians should vote YES! on Prop 2 – a modest measure that stops cruel and inhumane treatment of animals, ending the practice of cramming farm animals into cages so small the animals can't even turn around, lie down or extend their limbs. Voting YES! on Prop 2...

Prevents cruelty to animals. It’s simply wrong to confine veal calves, breeding pigs, and egg-laying hens in tiny cages barely larger than their bodies. Calves are tethered by the neck and can barely move, pigs in severe confinement bite the metal bars of their crates, and hens get trapped and even impaled in their wire cages. We wouldn’t force our pets to live in filthy, cramped cages for their whole lives, and we shouldn’t force farm animals to endure such misery. All animals, including those raised for food, deserve humane treatment.

Improves our health and food safety. We all witnessed the cruel treatment of sick and crippled cows exposed by a Southern California slaughter plant investigation this year, prompting authorities to pull meat off school menus and initiate a nationwide recall. Factory farms put our health at risk—cramming tens of thousands of animals into tiny cages, fostering the spread of diseases that may affect people. YES! on Prop 2 is better for animals—and for us.

Supports family farmers. California family farmers support YES! on Prop 2 because they know that better farming practices enhance food quality and safety. Increasingly, they’re supplying major retailers like Safeway and Burger King. Factory farms cut corners and drive family farmers out of business when they put profits ahead of animal welfare and our health.

Protects air and water and safeguards the environment. The American Public Health Association has called for a moratorium on new factory farms because of the devastating effects these operations can have on surrounding communities, spreading untreated waste on the ground and contaminating our waterways, lakes, groundwater, soil, and air. Prop 2 helps stop some of the worst abuses and protects our precious natural resources. That’s why California Clean Water Action and Sierra Club-California support YES! on Prop 2.

Is a reasonable and common-sense reform. Prop 2 provides ample time—until 2015—for factory farms using these severe confinement methods to shift to more humane practices. Arizona, Colorado, Florida, and Oregon have passed similar laws. The Humane Society of the United States, the ASPCA, hundreds of California veterinarians, including the California Veterinary Medical Association; California family farmers; the Center for Food Safety, the Consumer Federation of America, the Center for Science in the Public Interest, the United Farm Workers, and the Cesar Chavez Foundation; Republican and Democratic elected officials; California religious leaders; and many others.

To learn more about this important issue, visit YES! on Prop 2's website.

Click to contribute to the cause!

If you live in California, register to vote so you can make a difference to farm animals in your state and across the country!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Scotty Goes Home

Well, Scotty left last weekend... Saturday morning I took all three dogs to the research park one last time together and then I went home, dropped off the girls, brushed Scotty, and headed out to the drop-off location for his Homeward Bound transport. I talked to him all the way out there and told him he was going to live with his new family and to be a good boy and that we would miss him. I wished he could understand.

I didn't think I was going to cry but when we got to the girl's house I couldn't leave him. I asked to sit there with him for a while and I just sat on her couch hugging on him and rubbing his belly and breaking down intermittently. Luckily, all the Homeward Bound people are animal lovers too and they totally understood. They let me stay with him as long as I wanted while they got everything ready and I did... for an hour and a half. :-) I just couldn't overcome the (probably irrational) feeling that he would think I was abandoning him.

So, I finally pulled myself away from him and walked, crying, to my car, then drove, crying hysterically, home. I felt like I was giving away one of my own dogs... and, in a way, I was. The experience I've had with him has meant so much to me.
So, where is Scotty now, you ask? Well, after a short stint with a family who, due to unforseen circumstances, decided that they were no longer in a position to have a dog, he is now at the home of the owner of Luke's Place, the New Jersey rescue he was adopted through. I spoke with Pat, the owner, last night and she just raved about how great a dog he is! She said he and the other dogs she received from the transport were all a little shaken up after the 15-hour van ride, but that he was doing wonderful now and can already heel and shake. She said he is great with her three-year-old granddaughter, which is a relief because I had never seen him around children. As I was talking, she said his ears were perking up so she let me say "Hi" to him, haha :-) She also said if he didn't get adopted in the next day or so, she really just wanted to keep him! I am just elated over how well this has worked out for my sweet Scotty and I feel really grateful for having been a part of it.
Fostering has been such a fulfilling experience. Really, it is saving a life, because in most cases you are helping shelters keep more animals and give them a better chance at
adoption. As long as people continue to neglect spaying and neutering their pets, we will always have an overabundance of animals and shelters will never have enough room for all of them. Four million dogs euthanized each year is a tragic, sickening number. You CAN help though!

  • In fact, you can quite literally save a life by going to Dogs In Danger and entering your zip code. It will show you adoptable dogs in your area who are soon to be put down, most often due to space limitations.

  • Foster a dog or cat! Contact your local animal shelter to find out about their foster program and see just how rewarding it can be.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Getting To Know Scotty: 20 Things I Know About My Foster Dog

1. I have no idea where he came from before my brother's girlfriend found him wandering with his friend, a white lab puppy.

2. He has a beautiful blonde poofy tail.

3. His favorite wrestling move is sitting on his opponent's head.

4. When he was still asleep from being neutered and I came into the room, his tail unconsciously started wagging.

5. His smile is made of sunshine.

6. He likes to run under dogs that are taller than him.

7. He likes to mess with kittens, but never hurts them.

8. He loves to ride in the car.

9. He is slightly skittish around big men, but not all men.

10. He has never met a dog he didn't like.

11. He knows "Sit," "Get down," "Come here," and "No."

12. He is a sucker for some petting -- he leans into you and won't let you stop. :-)

13. He looks like a big gold bear cub.

14. He can often be found sleeping spread-eagle on his back.

15. He likes treats OK, but to him, nothing is better than hearing "Good boy!"

16. He will happily sit through any kind of grooming - baths, brushing, ear cleaning, etc. - he just eats it up!

17. He is part Golden Retriever, part Chow.

18. He loves to chase birds.

19. He is a very polite dog and not dominant.

20. I am going to miss him terribly.

Friday, August 29, 2008

A Very Happy Ending


We are all so absolutely thrilled and joyful! Actually he is going with the next Homeward Bound transport to a rescue in New Jersey, who will easily be able to find a great home for him! Hooray for Scotty! He is such a special guy and deserves to live as a beloved pet. The family that gets him is quite lucky.

When I find out more details about the rescue, etc. I will post them here. Right now I am simply ecstatic! When I got the news yesterday, it brightened up my whole life. It is so rewarding to know that I have made a difference to this one dog. If he had gone to the shelter, especially here in Starkville where the euthanization rate is about 65%, he probably would have been put down after a week. Now he has a chance at a wonderful life making some family very happy with his sunshine-y spirit.

What people don't understand is that, when they BUY a puppy from a pet store or breeder, they are perpetuating the cycle of abuse and keeping puppy mills in business, like the one in West Virginia where 1,000 dogs were rescued last week from horrible conditions.

On the other hand, when you ADOPT a pet, you are actually saving another living creature's life. And in return, adopted pets teach you about forgiveness, grace and joy. They know they have been rescued and spend every day for the rest of their lives thanking you. They are the epitome of devotion and, in the end, you realize you were the lucky one.

So be a hero and adopt your next pet!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Adult Male Golden Retriever Mix Seeks Loving Forever Home

This is Scotty. My brother's girlfriend found him wandering across from her work with a little white lab puppy and she picked them up and called me. Our local shelter is so full that we decided they (especially Scotty - a Golden Retriever/Chow mix) would have a better chance on the street than in there. So, after boarding them for one night at the vet clinic where she works, Lauren drove them back out near where she found them but deep in a neighborhood to drop them off. After driving them around in the neighborhood asking everyone she saw if they knew who the dogs belonged to, the last person she talked to said she would put them in her yard for a week to give us a chance to find them homes.

Here they are in the nice lady's backyard. We put up "Found" signs and I posted them on my Facebook profile. After a week and a half, they had to be moved so they spent the weekend at the clinic. On Monday they would have to be moved again and that night I lay awake thinking about them. The shelter would be a death sentence for the Golden mix. But from the time I had spent with him, I knew he was a great dog -- too good of a boy to not be given a chance. He looks at you with such attentive eyes and is so calm and easy-going. I knew I had to do something!

So I came up with a great plan for fostering him and Paul actually agreed to it! We took the lab puppy to another area shelter who said he was "highly-adoptable" and I'm trying to work with Homeward Bound of MS to get Scotty to a rescue or home up North; but I'm also making use of every other resource I have, like this blog. I already know if he doesn't get adopted I will not be able to just dump him at the shelter. He deserves a loving family who will spoil him like I do :-)
He is already beginning to become a part of our family. He follows the girls around and they show him the ropes. The kitten loves to mess with him and get him to chase her... but he is always gentle with her so I just let them play. Here he is below with his buddy, Lux the kitten. He is a very smart, calm boy. He already knows how to sit and walk on a leash and since he is grown there is no destructive or unruly puppy behavior to deal with!

He gets along with everyone, even other un-neutered males. He is a little skittish around Paul -- I think he may have been abused by a man at some point or he's afraid of the beard (a lot of dogs don't get beards, haha). But he will lick his hand if Paul isn't looking at him and he hangs around Paul, like he's curious about him so I think he'll come around with time. It's very strange not knowing where he came from or where he has been, but it is the most rewarding thing I have ever done. I've gotten him to trust me and I have taught him things and showed him that it's all going to be OK. He leans up against me, hungry for ear scratches and "Good boy"s.

Oh, and did I mention he is beautiful?! He has gorgeous strawberry blonde fur and a crimped light blonde poofy tail. His gold eyes are soulful and his smile is pure sunshine! :-)

Scotty will be neutered and up to date on shots next week and ready to go to his forever home! Transport can be arranged for him to anywhere so if you or anyone you know is looking for a calm, happy, devoted companion to be a beloved member of the family please contact me for more information at 662-694-0347 or esdmsu21@gmail.com.