Monday, September 29, 2014

Dr Sophia Yin's Death

I am sorry to post that Dr. Sophia Yin has passed away. I have followed her work for quite a while and was a quiet fan. Her work was excellent.

Her family has asked for some privacy, which is understandable. Like myself, a lot of people must be asking, "What happened?" Well, we'll find out over time. It really doesn't matter. She helped a lot of people, and did a lot of great work for animals, and she will be remembered fondly by those who followed her.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Save Mickey

If you haven't been following the story of Mickey the pit bull, you should. Bottom line: supervise kids and dogs. Now a kid has had his face mauled terribly, and a dog may be killed for being a dog. In my opinion, both the child and the dog are the victims here.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

How To Break Up A Dog Fight

Here is my general game plan for breaking up a dog fight.

Monday, September 23, 2013

2 Pit Bull Attacks

Yesterday, there were 2 dog attacks in the news, one in Gilbert, AZ and the other in Queens, NY. Both stories shared the some elements. First, they both involved "pit bulls". Now, when any of us hear that term, we all should know that could mean just about any kind of mixed bred, or even pure bred, dog. There are 2 types of pit bulls, the pure bred American Pit Bull terrier, or a type of bull breed that could be mixed or pure bred. The media is notorious for mislabeling dogs in the news, but until we hear differently, these were some kind of bull dog. Second, they involved a dog fight. Dogs fight for various reasons, too complicated to list all of them here. A dog fight is a scary thing. Third, someone got in the middle of the fights. In the Gilbert case, a babysitter was injured and a 2 year old child was killed. In the Queens case, a woman was injured. Both women were friends of the other people involved.

There is no safe way to break up a dog fight. I tell that to everyone who asks. One of the first rules, however, is to remove all minor children from the area. I always practice people safety first, then dog safety.

I've been criticized by a friend for posting these articles, saying a dog trainer shouldn't be hurting the pit bulls by linking these articles on Facebook. There is a saying: Don't shoot the messenger. a metaphoric phrase used to describe the act of lashing out at the (blameless) bearer of bad news. The advice "Don't shoot the messenger" was expressed (very obliquely) by Shakespeare in Henry IV, part 2 (1598)[1] and in Antony and Cleopatra: when told Antony has married another, Cleopatra threatens to treat the messenger's eyes as balls, eliciting the response 'gracious madam, I that do bring the news made not the match'.[2] Prior to that, a related sentiment was expressed in Antigone by Sophocles as "No one loves the messenger who brings bad news".[3] 

On a daily basis, I look for dog news. I stay informed, because animal welfare is my passion. Most of my friends here are also animal advocates, and we all share good and bad dog stories here. We like to be informed.

I have been a responsible dog ownership advocate for 16 years. Most dog attacks could have been prevented. People come to me to ask about aggression prevention, and I stay well informed. Today, the Gilbert story will be national news. Not because of me, but because of the magnitude of the tragedy. If we, as animal advocates, bury our heads in the sand, hoping it will all go away, we'll see breed specific legislation proposed for Arizona. My position is to face the tragedies and see what we can learn from them, and then also to be able to expertly defend why it isn't fundamentally about the breed but how we manage our dogs. In the Gilbert case, going off the news reports and assuming they are accurate, we can summarize the following: a.) the more dogs you have in a home, the greater the chance for a dog fight; b.) we need to be better informed regarding the risks of owning a dog, and the methods for having a dog safely; c.) children must be properly supervised around dogs, and if a dog fight breaks out, the children should be removed first before anything else is done; d.) the more non family humans in a home with multiple dogs increases the stress among any dog pack, and we should exercise heightened awareness in those circumstances; e.) pit bulls are used, and have been used, and selectively bred, to fight other dogs. Knowing this, we need to understand how to properly manage them when living with other pit bulls, otherwise, get some other breed. f.) parents should be more aware of what kind of situation they are putting their kids in. I've read too many stories of kids being attacked by dogs at a friend's house. There were 4 dogs and, I believe, 4 small kids at that home. That is a lot of supervision for just one adult. I worked with 3 year olds back in the 1990's, and just one 3 year old is a handful. 4 small kids is a zoo.

We can't control the media, but we can speak up. But, we can't speak up if we don't know about what is happening, or if we don't know enough about animal behavior and the tendencies for public outrage when a kid is harmed. In Seattle, a child mauling resulted in a horrible new city and statewide dog bite law. We either stay informed and involved, or we'll lose the right to own a dog at all.

Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Cops Shooting Innocent Dogs

"The 130-pound, 3-year-old Rottweiler named Max was shot to death after he escaped through a window in a parked car and ran over to his master, Leon Rosby, who was being arrested for filming the scene on his phone"

There have been numerous cases of innocent dogs being shot to death by dogs in the news. Way too many.

In most cases, the cops have gotten away with it. In a few, the cops have been sued and had to pay out money.

This has to stop. We all know it is wrong, and they do, too.

This is a country of laws, and at some point, the laws are going to catch up with the police and put them in jail. It's time for dog lovers, and good hearted people, to advocate for laws to severely punish trigger happy police officers and the cities that employ them who are not doing their jobs, but abusing the public trust.

My recommendation: Unlawful shooting of a dog by a police officer: 1 year in prison plus a $100,000 fine. Minimum. Aggravated shooting of a dog: 10 years in prison and a $1,000,000 fine.

Further, if you look at this article, the man was arrested for filming the police in public. This is already being addressed in the courts, and the police have been found guilty. We have a 1st Amendment, and it's about time to enforce it. This would be the aggravating factor here in putting every one of these crappy police officers in prison for a very long time. Let them explain themselves to the other prisoners.

The being trained on how to arrest for filming them and getting away with it. they are being instructed to simply say the filming innocent citizen was in the way. You know and I know that won't hold up in front of a jury. Demand a jury trial if this happens to you, and then sue them back into the Stone Age.

First Amendment: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances

Fourth Amendment: The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Fifth Amendment: No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation

Sixth Amendment: In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.

Eighth Amendment: Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Dog Scares Off Birds To Protect Airplanes

"Sky the dog just one part of airport's efforts to combat bird strikes... Southwest Florida International Airport uses dogs as part of strategy to keep wildlife from aircraft"

Dogs continue to play a vital role in the lives of humans. There is almost no end to the number of creative things dogs can do... bed bug detection, seizure alert, therapy, guide, hearing ear, hunting, drug detection, bomb detection, oil pipeline rupture alert, and so forth.

And your dog can earn you money for doing all that fun stuff...

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Monday, June 17, 2013

Dogs With Cancer - Pain Evaluation And Euthanasia

"She pointed out that chemotherapy for dogs, unlike humans is usually palliative rather than curative. In this study, two-thirds of the dogs survived. But all of the owners, she said, reported their dogs had a better quality of life after six weeks of treatment for pain."

Dogs with cancer are often in pain. Chemotheraphy for dogs tends to reduce pain (which is what "palliative" means), but it doesn't usually cure the cancer.

Pain management is an important consideration when deciding whether to euthanize a dog. I have addressed this in my article, "Euthanasia Criteria". It all comes down to the dog's quality of life.

I also think it is important for veterinarians to be absolutely clear about the dog's chances of survival and the possible and probable outcomes. The death of a dog is extremely traumatizing for a dog owner, and they need to know that they are doing the right thing. They can only do that with honest advice.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Siberian Husky Rescue

Huskies and sled dogs are being abandoned at an alarming rate and going into pounds across the UK. As a breed, sled dogs are massively increasing in population because they have become so popular. Unfortunately, people may not always research the breed before getting one or their circumstances might change leading to the dog being abandoned. Huskies and sled dogs are highly intelligent and need a lot of mental stimulation. They also have higher exercise needs than other dogs. Historically, they were bred to pull fast and light sleighs across the Arctic tundra. They are very energetic and lively animals and are incredibly attractive. Some people are getting them as puppies when they are small bundles of fluff but when they mature into a large bundle of hyperactivity, they are finding it hard to cope.”

I'm surprised how many people get a dog without doing any of the necessary research beforehand. Every breed is different, was created for different purposes, and therefore will have certain enhanced characteristics.

Each breed also has specialized care and training needs. You know, most dogs are never trained professionally. Our shelters and rescue operations are full of untrained and abused dogs. You can't learn dog training watching a TV show. It isn't like raising kids. It isn't like what you see in a cartoon. When I got my first dog, I didn't have a clue... so a paid for lessons. I attended them diligently. That's what you've got to do.

Mixed bred dogs are mixes of pure bred dogs... so they come with the traits of all the genetics of their parents. These dogs deserve the same care, investment, time and training that all other dogs require. But, owners of mixed bred dogs do even less for their dogs than those with pure bred dogs.

Bottom line is: don't get a dog if you are a lazy, ignorant cheapskate. Dogs deserve better than that.