Tag Archives: ALWAYS ADOPT YOUR PUPPY OR DOG!

Dogs hate crates!

The Free and Easy crowd:

20170312_085603
Lilac! pics: R.T.

20170313_100954
Jett!

20170313_101017-1
Cece is growing up every day and looking oh so elegant!

By Lindsay Pollard-Post

If there were ever any doubt that dogs hate crates, a clever pup in China cleared that up last month. Security camera footage shows the determined dog unlatching the door to his crate using his tongue and teeth. After freeing himself, he used the same technique to release two other dogs who were confined to crates in the same room. News headlines referred to his escape as a “prison break” — and they were right.

Some people will retort, “My dog loves his crate!” But that’s about as absurd as claiming that inmates enjoy being put in solitary confinement. Sure, some dogs may like napping in a crate — as long as the door is open and they can come and go as they please. No animal “loves” to be locked up with no escape.

People sometimes mistakenly assume that their dogs “love” their crate because they keep returning to it, but what they may really be witnessing is a kind of Stockholm syndrome. Dogs who’ve spent much of their lives trapped in extreme confinement and isolation (i.e., crated) often develop an affinity for their crate instead of bonding with their human family.

Outside the crate, they lack confidence and are sometimes even terrified. This is because dogs can only learn how to get along in their world by interacting with their environment. Every hour spent crated is an hour of life in a kind of “suspended animation” in which their social development is stunted.

It’s not uncommon for people who crate their dogs to keep them locked up for 18 hours or more every day: Nine or so hours while at work (including commute time), another eight hours overnight, plus whenever they go out in the evening or on the weekend and leave the dog alone. All that confinement has disastrous effects on dogs’ health and happiness.

Crating prevents dogs from fulfilling their most basic needs, including walking around, relieving themselves and stretching. According to veterinarian Dr. Michael W. Fox, dogs who are crated are at risk for “multiple health issues related to retention of urine and feces and lack of exercise.”

Muscle atrophy is a concern, too. “In extreme cases, resulting from being caged from puppyhood,” he writes, “dogs can have limb deformities and become permanently crippled.”

And don’t be misled. Crating does not speed up the housetraining process. It can actually prolong it, because puppies can’t “hold it” for long (generally, only one hour for each month of age), and being forced to sit in the inevitable puddles that result can make puppies lose their instinct to keep their surroundings clean.

Crating also frustrates dogs’ innate need for companionship. Dogs are highly social animals; when kept in solitary confinement, many become severely depressed and withdrawn and can suffer from separation anxiety. As Dr. Nicholas Dodman, a veterinary behaviorist at Tufts University, explains, “For [some dogs with separation anxiety] crates are an imposition, a misery, and an obstacle to be overcome at the expense of broken teeth and fractured claws. Owners return home to find these dogs bug-eyed, in a frenzy, and salivating profusely, and may even come home to find the crate splattered with urine, feces, and/or blood.”

Hyperactivity and behavioral issues are other common consequences of crating. Driven to despair and near-madness from constant confinement, some dogs self-mutilate, chewing or licking themselves compulsively. Others wear down or break their teeth by chewing on their cage bars. Some bark and cry incessantly; others slump dejectedly, resigning themselves to their helpless state. And of course, crated dogs have no hope of escape if the house catches on fire or a natural disaster strikes while no one else is home—some have been burned to death or drowned, trapped inside their cages.

Dogs don’t love being locked up. They love their guardians, and they want to be a part of the family, which is why storing them away like a pair of old shoes is especially cruel. As Dr. Fox says, “People who claim to love their dogs and cage or crate them all day may not fully understand the nature of love or the love of dogs. Perhaps they should not have gotten a dog in the first place.”

February ramblings!💐🌸🌻🎂

img_20161204_155713-1
Go, Dorrie, go!

IMG_20170115_134513468
Dorrie does NOT wear fur – she just models it! 🐯🐶🐵🐸

By Dorrie Maynard

First, I would like to talk about my vehicle. I call it the bat mobile. Others sometimes refer to it as the Giving Van. It is beginning to be known around Worcester as the vehicle that hands out pet food on some days and necessitates to the less fortunate on other days.

It is a vehicle that is hard not to miss – a 2007 Black Toyota FJ Cruiser. I was the first person in Worcester to own one. I happened to be driving by
HarrToyota and they had one on
display. I went in with a few
friends. We had all decided that I
wasn’t buying, just looking. After I took it for a test drive, I asked: “Where do I sign?” I filled out the paperwork and waited for my “special order” to come in. It was the first new car I had ever purchased! I was so excited and, because it was so unique looking, every time I drove it, people would look and point! I vowed to keep it clean always!

Well, to those who know me, you know that never happened! My “truck” is always filled with things that are either coming or going. Almost every family member of mine has cleaned and/orsorted that vehicle out at least once. My nieces have done it several times. To people who don’t know me: if you ever happen to walk by my truck, you will think that someone is living in there
or living out of there! There are bags of bread, pet food, blankets, hats/gloves, “blessing bags,” chargers, and just general “stuff.”

IMG_20161215_190507787
Dorrie’s cutie pies!

People call me all the time and tell me that they have things they need to get rid and ask if I could come and
get them, as they know I will always find homes for whatever they are getting rid of. I drive regularly to Shrewsbury and have driven to Auburn a few times in
the past month. I love sorting things and making gift packages of items that are going to various locations. I
bring things to Abby’s House for women, the Mustard Seed soup kitchen, …

12122613_513028305523065_3293635038582036282_n-20-10-073
At a fund-raiser outside the glorious Mustard Seed for Dorrie’s CENTRAL MASS KIBBLE CONNECTION!!!

… WARL, a private, in-home cat rescue, a dog shelter in Connecticut. I also give to people that I know personally who are in need.

I am very fortunate that people who know me, know that I have this ability to “spread the love” or “share the wealth.” I hate to see things end up in the
trash or at the side of the road when I probably know someone who can use whatever is being re-homed.

I am considering starting a small non-profit that would enable me to pick up items from people and give them tax donation slips for their goods. At home I have a very large basement – I could start to warehouse items. I would run a free service to those in need and free pick up or drop off to people who want to just pass along their good, useable items.

Items would include but not
be limited to: household items, small furniture, linens, pots/pans, clothing, small appliances, etc. Of course, stipulations would have to be made: all items would need to be in clean, workable condition, as I would not
want to have to end up having to hire a dumpster to remove items that I could not pass on. … Just something
that I am thinking about as the 2017 begins.

Some other thoughts that are dancing in my head: all the pets that were adopted over the holidays that hopefully won’t end up back where they came
from or worse!

IMG_20161207_143423503
Dorrie adopted these beauties …

… and has given Rose’s little Cece so many cute toys! Thanks, Auntie D!

20170110_094023-1
pics: R.T.

20170217_081401-1

Like Craigslist “free” to a good home. I
am confident that most animal rescues and shelters do their best to make sure these “failures” are few and far between, but I am sure there are some that cats and dogs that slip through
the cracks.

Several years ago,I had been looking for another dog after my first dog passed away, so I put it out there to all my friends that I was on the hunt. I was looking for an older, small female to be a companion to my other dog. A friend emailed me about a craigslist ad, “free to a good home.” The dog seemed perfect other than they described her as “protective.” I remember calling the
woman and begging her to keep the dog until I could get there to meet her. She mentioned that she had had several other calls that said they would just “take the dog.” I wanted to bring my current dog for a meet and greet to see if they would be comptable.

It was a Friday night drive to Dorchester in the middle ofrush hour. It took me 2.5 hours to get there. I got
lost several times and was ready to give up when the very kind woman offered to start walking to meet me. She described what she was wearing and I described
my “bat mobile” to her. We eventually met up and she directed me to her
house. When we arrived, I walked in and Princess attacked me, nipped my pants and practically lunged at my dog. I thought: This isn’t good, but I was patient and kept trying to get Princess to come near me. She was so attached to her owner and her kids, but they were moving and could not take her as their new lease did not allow dogs. I ended up saying, “What the heck, I’ll take
her and make it work!” I did give the woman $100 as she looked
like she could use it to help with moving expenses.

I brought Princess into my house and she has lived up to her name ever since!

IMG_20170207_175738749

Princess is still “protective” and does not like strangers, especially men, but once guests are in my home and she knows the are “safe,” she does come around. I have no idea what her past was like, I know that I am her third and final owner, that she had been
“bred” and had had several litters. I guess that is why she gets along so well with my 3 year old dog that was
another rehoming find. They play like puppies even though Princess is 11 years old! They sleep together, play together, and eat together. I have found my pack!

Last and final rant. The streets of Worcester then and now. Many people know that I owned and operated a very “iconic” store on Highland Street. It was once known as the famous Shakie Jakes. I was there and loved
every minute of my owning my own business for 10 years, directly across the street from the Sole Proprietor.

It was a perfect spot for my business. I had always dreamed of running a resale shop but always found a million reasons why I couldn’t or shouldn’t. However,
when the opportunity came my way of following in the foot steps of such a landmark store, I had no more reasons
why I couldn’t.

However, owning and operating a small business is not all it is cracked up to be. Times change, my life
changed, other responsibilities became more important and, eventually, I decided to close shop. I will never regret following my dream of owning a resale store!

Unfortunately, the neighborhood changed, and the clientele started to become less and less desirable. Living in the
area, I found the same to be true as well. The small local businesses of Highland Street have all turned into a barber shop, a packaging/mail business, a nail and eye brow salon and a money exchange business. I am not saying they aren’t good for the neighborhood, but they are certainly not the Highland Street businesses that most remember, supported and loved to visit.

And with all that said, I will end my rants for early 2017 and look forward to sharing more stories and interests with you in the future!🌸🌻🌷

If anyone would like
to reach me for comment or questions, please feel free to email me at djmbytheelm@aol.com. All best to all!

20170214_072827-1-1
Jett 💙 the dog treats Dorrie gives him (and Lilac)! Dorrie passes out free dog and cat food to pet owners in need at the Mustard Seed, in Piedmont, every month.

Dog shows are for the birds!

20170205_103935
Lilac and Jett – a couple of all-American mutts! pic: R.T.

By Lindsay Pollard-Post

It’s awards season. Movie buffs tune in to the Academy Awards, and music fans gear up for the Grammys. But people who care about dogs want nothing to do with the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show — at least, not once they learn that this overblown spectacle costs dogs their health, their happiness and even their lives.

It’s all about appearances at Westminster. To produce dogs who are cookie-cutter replicas of the American Kennel Club’s (AKC) “breed standards” — which the judges use to decide who gets ribbons and titles — breeders engage in practices that leave many dogs with lifelong deformities and serious, even fatal, health problems.

Breeding for size extremes, to name just one example, has created a host of health woes. “Giant” and large breeds, such as mastiffs, St. Bernards, Great Danes, Rottweilers, Labradors and golden retrievers, are prone to hip dysplasia — which can cause severe pain and lameness— as well as osteosarcoma, an extremely aggressive bone cancer that tends to metastasize rapidly to other body parts.

Tiny breeds, such as Boston and Yorkshire terriers, Chihuahuas, Pomeranians and miniature poodles, are prone to patellar luxation (dislocated kneecaps), which is painful and can cause lameness. Dogs who’ve been bred to have unnaturally short legs, such as basset hounds, often endure chronic problems with elbow dislocation. Dachshunds are notoriously prone to ruptured vertebral discs, which can cause intense pain and lead to permanent paralysis.

Inbreeding — which breeders often resort to in an attempt to keep prizewinning traits “in the family” — also increases dogs’ odds of inheriting a long list of debilitating genetic afflictions. Cardigan Welsh corgis, dachshunds and basset hounds, for example, are prone to primary severe combined immunodeficiency (the “bubble boy” disease). Addison’s disease, an autoimmune disorder that affects the adrenal glands, is more common in bearded collies, Portuguese water dogs and standard poodles and can cause them to become weak and lethargic, vomit, stop eating and collapse from shock. The list of genetically linked canine health afflictions goes on and on.

But despite these risks, breeders mate countless dogs with their family members. At Crufts — Westminster’s British counterpart — the 2016 Best of Breed Pekingese award went to a dog whose paternal grandparents were half siblings. The 2015 Best of Breed pug award went to a dog whose family tree is even more twisted: His grandfather on his mother’s side is also his father’s grandfather.

As disturbing as all this is, what many people who care about animals find most upsetting about Westminster is that it worsens the homeless-dog crisis. Not every puppy breeders produce in hopes of taking home a ribbon is a prizewinner, and those who aren’t are often sold. These puppies take away the chance of finding a home from a dog waiting in a shelter.

Many purebreds also end up homeless themselves — they account for about a quarter of dogs in shelters. And by promoting purebreds and implying that they are somehow superior — even though mixed-breed dogs are just as smart and loving, in addition to being far less likely to experience the health problems that plague purebreds — Westminster drives traffic to breeders and pet stores instead of to shelters, where there are countless loving dogs in desperate need of homes.

Westminster doesn’t honor dogs; it harms them — from those who suffer their whole lives for a certain “look” to those who miss out on homes because people think they need a purebred instead of a lovable mutt. That’s why anyone who truly cares about dogs will condemn this cruel “awards show.”

This holiday season, my love for animals shines bright!

img_20161204_155713-1
Go, wonderful Dorrie, go!!!

By Dorrie Maynard

People are always asking me how and
when it – my love for animals – began. I can’t remember a specific time or event that contributed to my passion, but I do know that it has awakened something inside of me.

If I see a dead animal in the street like a squirrel or raccoon, I alway say out loud: “Poor baby, rest in peace.” I feel like they should know that someone cares that they died.

I have been saving strays for a very long time. I think it started when I was little and would find cats that were sickly and abandoned. My dad hated cats and would always tell me that I couldn’t keep them. But he would take one look at them and say, Oh that thing will be dead in a day or two – you can keep it.

Low and behold, it didn’t die!

As an adult, my first dog came from the
Grafton Flea market. I called her Grafton. Unfortunately, when I got divorced from my husband he decided to keep her because I was moving into
an apartment that didn’t allow dogs. Eventually, my ex found her a good home with kids when he moved to Florida. I was heart broken that she wasn’t staying with him, but by that time I had moved to Maine and had to let her go.

I am still rescuing stray and feral cats! For one reason or another, they always manage to find their way to me! For instance, one morning I got up and there was a beautiful cat in a cat carrier left in my driveway. I think word got around that I was feeding strays and someone knew I would do the right thing by this cat. I would
have loved to keep the feline but I know my limits. I found the a great home through networking.

The Internet and Facebook have become a great resource for animal lovers and rescuers: there are many sites and groups that help you find homes for homeless animals. There are many, many people who are involved! I find it heartwarming that so many people care and go above and beyond to help animals and place them in forever homes!

img_20161031_0904171-1
Penny at Dorrie and friends’ Spa Day for pups! She got a bath! photo by Dorrie Maynard

We have to be their voices and their earth angels, as it usually isn’t their fault that they are being re-homed. I live in a college neighborhood, and I believe students get cute little kittens and then when they start to grow or go into heat or their landlord finds out, they just let them go in the neighborhood to fend for themselves.

Last year I met one of my “rescues” because his owners got a new kitten
and this cat, named Buddy, didn’t like the kitten. So he started spending more time outside and eventually warmed up to me. He was sleeping on my porch one
day when the owner walked by and rang the bell.

He said Buddy was his cat.

I said great, feel free to take him
home because it is going to start to get cold. Well, Buddy never went home and made his way into my house for the winter. He had his own suite – I would let him roam when I was home but he never warmed up to my cats. So I eventually put him in rescue. He has
found a perfect home of his own with no
other cats.

This year’s project is a beautiful black
cat with a white tuxedo and paws. He always ran away when I approached him, but I started feeding him canned food every time I saw him. Now I can pet him and he talks to me all the time! I thought he was feral, but now I believe he either belongs to someone who doesn’t feed him canned food, and he comes to see me daily for his “meal” – or he lives outside.

I worry about him come the freezing cold nights …

I will get Mr. Tuxedo fixed and vetted through Spay Worcester and put him into rescue. He deserves a home of his own as well. I have several insulated cat houses throughout the neighborhood but not sure he would use one.

My neighbor and I have a feeding station where there are two set ups of dry food and water for the neighborhood strays, as there are several that come to eat on a regular basis.

I volunteer with Spay Worcester, trapping and then having the feral cats spayed or neutered by a vet. I have met some wonderful people who have become interested in saving strays through this
great program. Recently, I met a woman and helped her trap two kittens that are now living in the lap of luxury in her home! She has become obsessed with kitties, and I consider her a member of
the crazy kit kat lady club! I guess we are all kindred souls when it comes to saving animals.

20161210_124331
Cece in her play-room! “Auntie Dorrie” gave Cece kitten food and three fun kitty toys! Another Auntie gave Cece a bed, a bunch of adorable kitten toys and cozy blankets! We are all in this – rescuing and caring for homeless animals – together! pic:R.T.

With the holidays upon us, please keep in mind that homeless animals are in need at local shelters and rescues. “Fostering” them is a way that you can keep an animal out of the shelter and provide a space for them in your loving home until they find their forever home. It is also a great way to decide if the baby could possibly be the pet for you and your family.

And please remember that shelters and rescues are always in need of pet food, litter, gently used towels and blankets in clean condition, or in kind donations.

Worcester Animal Rescue League

Central Mass Kibble Kitchen

Buddy Dog

Big Hair Rescue

New England All Breed, just to name a few!

I can be contacted at djmbytheelm@aol.com if anyone would like further information!

Happy Holidays to all and to all the fur babies out there!

Chef Joey just adopted another shelter pup!

IMG_4772

This makes three adorable little dogs for Joey! (Vinny and Abby are pups #1 and #2.) This sweetie’s a boy and eight weeks old! Joey hasn’t named him yet – that’s how new he is to Chef Joey’s “pack”!

Go, Chef Joey, go!

Go, little dog, go!

Always adopt a dog – NEVER BUY FROM PET STORES or BACKYARD BREEDERS!
– R.T.

Pic: Chef Joey

In 2016 resolve to get your next pet at an animal shelter

By Lindsay Pollard-Post
 
Most animals sold in pet stores are raised in anything but loving, safe, healthful conditions. Pet stores are notorious for obtaining the dogs they sell from puppy mills— hellish mass-breeding factories that neglect mother dogs and their puppies and confine them to tiny, filthy cages 24/7.

This treatment causes some dogs such mental distress that they spin incessantly in circles. Kittens sold in pet stores often come from similar mills.
 
But many people don’t realize that small animals sold in stores—such as hamsters, gerbils, guinea pigs and rabbits—are also bred in and distributed from hideously cruel factories.
 
At Sun Pet, a massive Atlanta-based breeding warehouse that supplies animals to PetSmart and Petco, a PETA exposé revealed hundreds of birds, rabbits, guinea pigs, gerbils, mice and rats crammed inside extremely crowded containers. The animals were forced to eat, sleep, urinate and defecate all in the same small space. One worker tried to kill hamsters by putting them into a plastic bag and bashing it against a table. Minutes later, one of the hamsters was still alive—suffering and panting heavily.
 
At U.S. Global Exotics—a now-shuttered massive wholesale facility in Texas that sold animals to suppliers of Petco, PetSmart and Petland—PETA’s eyewitness saw thousands of hamsters crammed into litter pans, causing them to fight and even cannibalize each other. Faulty watering-system nozzles often flooded the enclosures, leaving hamsters and gerbils to struggle for hours to keep their heads above water or drown. Live animals were routinely frozen to death—including a chinchilla who was bleeding from a prolapsed rectum and a squirrel whose neck had been so badly wounded that the muscles were exposed.
 
At Triple F Farms, Inc., a Pennsylvania-based ferret-breeding factory that sells animals to Petland and other stores, PETA found ferrets suffering and dying from bloody rectal prolapses, gaping wounds, herniated organs, ruptured and bleeding eyes and other conditions. Hundreds of newborn and young ferrets fell through the wire cage bottoms onto waste-covered concrete floors, but Triple F workers were not permitted to pick them up. Instead, the tiny animals were left to die of dehydration or starvation—or to be stepped on, run over by carts or buried in feces.
 
Animals who manage to survive these awful conditions often suffer and die prematurely anyway because they’re purchased by or given as “gifts” to people who aren’t prepared to provide proper care, including the right habitat and nutrition, grooming, exercise and veterinary care. Add to that the difficulty of introducing a new animal to the family during the holidays—when schedules are jam-packed and budgets are stretched thin—and new animals often end up being neglected, sometimes fatally.
 
And then there are the animals sitting in shelter cages throughout the country, waiting for a loving family to take them home. When people buy animals from pet stores or breeders, they pass over the deserving animals in shelters, who lose their chance at a loving home, and many end up euthanized.
 
If you are certain that you or your friend or a family member has the time, money, ability and desire to care for an animal companion for life visit an animal shelter and pay the adoption fee.

October is national Adopt A Shelter Dog month!

CAM01049
Jett and Lilac, both shelter pups!

Jett and Rose’s two other dogs, the late-great Nova Scotia retriever Bailey and the elegant greyhound mix Grace were all adopted from the WORCESTER ANIMAL RESCUE LEAGUE ON HOLDEN STREET, Worcester.

WARL is open to the public 7 days a week, noon to 4 p.m. CLICK HERE to see their pups that are ready for adoption! 

What to ask when adopting a shelter dog

October is national Adopt A Shelter Dog month. Here are some tips to prospective pet parents as they take the big step of adding another member to the family.

Thousands of lovable dogs in shelters are eagerly waiting families to give them forever homes. But that does not mean every dog is a good fit.  So adopting families should ask as many questions as possible about a shelter dog’s history.

And don’t stop there. It’s just as important to ask some questions of yourself.

Ask:

Has the shelter done a behavioral assessment of the dog?

It’s standard procedure at many shelters, and can give you valuable insight into whether a certain dog is right for you, and whether you are right for that dog.

Ask for as much information as possible about the dog’s history.

Dogs grow up to be less anxious if they are exposed to a wide range of new and pleasant experiences before the age of 16 weeks, the puppy’s socialization window. Less anxious, less fearful dogs are not nearly as likely to become aggressive as adults.  Your shelter dog will likely be older than 16 weeks, and this is one reason you want to learn about the dog’s background.

You have to ask yourself:

What’s my home like?

CAM01037-1
Rose had to teach Lilac to respect the Queen – April!

How will my other pets respond?

What are my needs?

What’s my time investment?

Prepare a list of questions about a potential pet. And then ask a lot of good questions about the dog’s history. Why was he surrendered? Was he found as a stray? Was he surrendered from another shelter? Any information that you have can help you better understand how well that animal will fit into your household.

Ask if you can spend a little time with the dog in the shelter.

Especially in a quiet setting, away from a noisy kennel.  If the dog is friendly and playful, that’s a great sign. If the dog is standoffish and nervous, that’s something to take into consideration. But remember that even wonderful shelters can be stressful environments for dogs. A dog’s behavior can change after getting to your home.

Consider your own family’s ability to care for a dog.

If you have small children, it might not be the best time to adopt a dog who tends to be nervous, aggressive or needs a lot of time-consuming training. On the other hand, if you’re single with time to devote to training, this might be a challenge you can take on.

Prepare your family for their new dog.

Children, with their rapid movement, high-pitched voices and a tendency to jab fingers anywhere, can be alarming to some dogs. This can sometimes cause dogs to become anxious and snap. So involve your children in the care of your dog – such as helping with the food or water, or having the kids train the dog in basic tasks such as sitting or lying down. But also teach children when to back off – not to hug dogs while they’re eating, for example.

Give the pooch a little space.

After bringing your dog home, you might keep them in a laundry room or a confined kitchen and not immediately throw them in with all your other pets, if you have other pets. Establish relationships and give them and other pets some time to acclimate.

What if in spite of everything, my dog acts aggressively to family members or neighbors?

Seek help from your family veterinarian, or a veterinarian who is trained in behavioral medicine.