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.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Employers Offering Pet Health Insurance

"If your pet is injured its trip to the vet could end up costing you some serious money. But now some companies are offering pet insurance as an employee benefit. Home Depot, T-Mobile, and Chipotle are all offering this rare benefit to workers who would otherwise be faced with staggering veterinary bills."

Wow. Just wow!

These companies get it. A small cost to them, but a huge incentive to work at these companies.

With so many people owning dogs these days, it only makes sense that if you are looking to work someplace for long hours, and especially if your significant other... or no other... isn't around to watch the dogs... then you're going to feel obligated to protect your dogs.

These companies are clearly acting on internal data showing that quality employees are more likely to be people that will sacrifice for their dogs. Dog owners are a special group, and they show the typical characteristics of the kinds of people that any good employer would want on their team.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

When Innocent Dogs Attack

"The witness who saw the attack and called 911 told officers the dog’s owner “would hold the dogs and wait for someone to go by and would release them” in order to attack people in the area of Freeman Drive and Nowhere Road"

If this story is accurate, then in my opinion, dogs that attack people in these circumstances are innocent, should be taken away from their owner, and given to a good home. (I've seen people do this with their dogs, to get their dogs to attack other dogs or cats, too).

Bad people can force innocent dogs to attack people. The dogs are doing what they "think" is the right thing to do, to protect their owner or handler. This is not an indication of a vicious dog, but of a vicious owner or handler.

In these cases, if convicted, I think the person who sent the dogs after innocent people should go to prison.

Sunday, June 09, 2013

Abandoning Dogs To Let Them Suffer And Die

"Mixed with the trash dumped illegally, they have continued to find dogs; some are left clinging to life and others are dead. “This half-mile area has just become a killing field for dogs,” Hudson said"

In every major city, there's a place where people abandon dogs to let them suffer and die. It should be a crime, punishable by prison time.

Sometimes, these are the losing dogs from underground dog fighting rings. Other times, they are just dogs that people abandon, for a variety of reasons, ranging from poverty to cruelty.

This is where the police should intervene, investigate, arrest and seek prosecution. Criminals who victimize dogs typically don't just commit one type of crime, they are involved in other crimes, as well.

Get them. Prosecute them. Then put them away for a very long time.

Thursday, June 06, 2013

Animal Abuse In Animal Shelters

"In a disturbing video, however, an animal shelter in Memphis was exposed for actually inflicting the very things that we have come to believe shelters are protecting animals from. Some of the allegations and photos show dogs being muzzled for eight hours without food and water and one dog with an embedded collar left untreated for days. These are examples of workers violating city policies, and it's happening elsewhere. Abuse at animal shelters, is something on the rise."

We tend to think that animal abuse only happens by some weirdo at their home. What we don't expect is that the dogs that are being rescued and housed by animal control, a government agency, are being abused.

I have heard countless stories of animal abuse at animal control. I've been in shelters where the dogs are starving, covered in flies, injured... and the government workers just walk on by. And good luck exposing the crimes and getting the abusers fired, fined and imprisoned. The average citizen can't do this... it is up to the police to do something about it... only the police have the power... but will they do it? Will they investigate other government workers?

Imagine a traumatized dog being brought into a government shelter, only to be tortured to death. Yes, it is happening.

All shelters should have full time web cams on all their operations. Full time security cameras in all areas, and requirements to keep the recordings. Even the area where the dogs are euthanized should be open to the public to view what's going on. And accurate statistics need to be kept of the condition of all the dogs.

If we treated zoo animals or farm animals the way we do dogs and cats in shelters we'd be appalled. The time for change... and criminal convictions... is now.

Pet Flipping Is Theft

"For pet owners, the thought of someone else claiming their dog and selling it is devastating. It is a scam called "pet-flipping," and it is on the rise"

Dog theft has always been around. Old stories of dogknapping have been published since before I was a kid.

But, there seems to have been a marked increase in the past few years, and now that is being confirmed in more news stories.

Moral of the story: protect your dog by...

1.) Having your dog microchipped;
2.) Installing burglar alarms and, yes, cameras;
3.) Don't leave your dog unsupervised... in your yard, car, or tied outside a store;
4.) Have a "lost dog" file on your computer so you can put out notices immediately if your dog is taken.

And for those looking to buy a dog, don't be a dummy....

Take any dog you're interested in to the vet to be scanned for a microchip before you hand over your money. Get the name, address and phone of the person selling the dog. In fact, a better way to get a dog is to work with a reputable dog rescue organization.

We can't stop this, but we don't have to be dumb, either.

Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Pit Bulls Attack Kid?

"Riley, 48, entered the house where the boy was being attacked and, armed with a wooden plank, walked into the rear dining room. He found two pit bulls, each weighing more than 150 pounds, biting the boy... Langford said the boy apparently wandered in on the dogs, one of which may have been agitated after having recently given birth"

OK, first, let's always remember that the media does a horrible job of reporting the facts of any dog bite story. I never trust what they say. So, when I comment on such a story, they are only my opinions, always written as if what is being reported is the whole truth... and we know it isn't. We know stories are often changed, manipulated, and such by the reporter and the editor. I know this from personal experience, being interviewed and then reading back the published story, with words and concepts attributed to me that I never said. Further, obvious flaws in logic are not even worked out, such as with this story. So, let's assume the story is truthful and go from there...

The reporter says that the two "pit bulls" were each more than 150 lbs. I have never met a pit bull that was over 150 lbs. So, what kind of dog are we talking about here? Pit bulls get slammed in the media all the time, blamed for attacks, and leaving the impression with the public that they are at fault for all these horrific injuries we see in the media. An American Staffordshire Terrier, the purebred version of the pit bull, is between 35 to 80 lbs in size. The same is also typically true of the "pit bull", which is a mixed bred dog that is part bull breed and part something else.

Second, we see that the child was apparently unsupervised by the parents or his relatives. Why isn't that the headline of the story? I tell people all the time that kids under 10 years of age should not be left unsupervised with dogs, regardless of the breed or mix.

Third, it is NORMAL dog behavior for a female dog to guard her puppies. You will see this in almost every dog, from Chihuahua to Great Dane. If you are going to breed a dog, then this comes with the process. Knowing this, you keep kids and strangers away from the mother and her puppies. We know that if you get near a momma bear with cubs, she's going to attack. It happens with cattle. It happens with lions. It happens with chimpanzees. If a 3 year old child wandered into a barn with a female pig and her piglets, the momma pig would attack him. Would you blame the pig? So, the attack is NOT an indication of abnormal behavior, not an indication of the dogs being vicious.

Fourth, why were these dogs being bred? Who breeds a "150 lb" pit bull? You breed dogs to make money, usually. So, if it is a business, then treat it as a business.

This is a tragic accident. But, from what I see here, I blame the parents and relatives, not the dogs. Some day I hope the parents and relatives explain to this kid why they didn't care enough to protect him or their dogs from this tragedy.

Sunday, June 02, 2013

Hoarders And Animal Cruelty

"When officers got there, they found a home in deplorable conditions with trash piled two- to three-feet high in some areas. Inside, they also found several dead dogs"

This story looks to me like a case of a hoarder. Hoarding is a serious mental health issue that affects not only the hoarder, but everyone and every animal involved. The home becomes a health and fire hazard, and anyone or any animal that lives there is at risk of disease, injury or death.

I'm all for the Constitutional protections of private property, and that your home is your castle. I get that. But, there comes a point where what another person does on their property affects others. For example, you can't torture someone on your property. You can't build a nuclear bomb and detonate it on your property. And you can't criminally neglect animals on your property.

Hopefully the one surviving dog can find a new, healthy home. And this person, if found to be guilty, gets the appropriate mental health assistance, including a trustee, and some bright lines by the court as to future conduct.

Rat Bastard Rapes Pit Bull

"A 50-year-old man who had been on a tour at the city pound was charged with having sex with a pit bull, prosecutors said in court today. Gerardo Perez, of the 2500 block of West 38th Street, was charged with having sexual conduct with an animal, a felony, and burglary, according to police. Perez was arrested after he and a group took a tour of the Chicago Animal Care and Control Facility"

Do I have to explain why this is so wrong, so sick, and should result in a long time in prison? Bestiality wrecks a dog. And is a sign of someone who none of us wants to ever have in public ever again. Here we are trying to save all these abandoned animals in shelters, and some sick bastard comes along and does this.

There are a lot of crazy people. You can't cure crazy, so lock them up.

Take this case to trial... innocent until proven guilty and all... but if he did it and is guilty, then let's give him 20 years in prison. Don't remind him to not pick up the soap off the shower floor...

Saturday, June 01, 2013

What Should Be Done With Wolf Hybrids?

"A gentle, big dog at the Sacramento city animal shelter that experts say has a bit of wolf in him may be sent to a sanctuary in Southern California. "We had him evaluated by a wolf organization called Never Cry Wolf," said Gina Knepp, shelter manager. "He is on the low spectrum, less than 25 percent wolf. So he does have wolf in him, according to the experts. How much? We don't know without DNA testing."

This is a dog. It's not a wolf, and it isn't behaving like a wolf. It is silly and inhumane to take a wolf hybrid like this and send it off to a sanctuary. It's abuse. Give the dog to a good home and be done with it.

This is all the result of silly dog laws and eco/ enviro- nuts influencing such laws. What in the heck do you think a dog is? It is a domesticated wolf. Take a wolf, and put enough dog in it, and it is a dog.

My Thoughts Regarding: ‘I’ve never seen a dog do that much damage’: Neighbor shares harrowing details of dog attack on Bibb County woman

"The black dog scaled an 8 to 10 feet fence with ease and started charging at the deputy... “I was in great fear for my life, at which time I shot at the dog,” Mock said in his report. The dog ran off back into the trailer park, leaving bloody paw prints on the road and a driveway. Fearing others were in jeopardy, Mock drove his patrol car around to near Lot-13, where the dogs stayed in a small pen that backs up to McNicholas’ property. On Thursday, boards were stacked on top and along the bottom edges of the fence and appeared to block prior escape routes."

Here are my thoughts...

Dogs are animals. They do what dogs do, do what animals do. They guard territory. You can't breed that out of a dog. All dogs guard territory because their wild ancestors, the wolf, guard territory. It is part of being a dog. Can a dog read a law book? Read a sign? Can a dog know right from wrong like a human? No. So, the responsibility is ours and ours alone to prevent these kinds of things. And in fact, in many cases like this, if you were properly introduced to the attacking dogs, the dogs would most likely be friendly and totally safe. It all depends upon how you house, socialize, contain, supervise, and train your dogs of any breed or type.

Speaking of types of dogs, pit bulls are a type of dog, not a breed. They are often a mix of many dog breeds, and therefore vary a great deal in their general behavioral patterns. Let's put it another way... If a person is half Italian and half English, and the person beats their wife... is it the Italian part of them or the English part of them that is at fault? Or do only half Italian, half English men beat their wives? You could have this kind of attack with lots of dog breeds, if they were set up to escape in groups. People who want to ban pit bulls are saying, whether they know it or not, they want to ban mixed breed dogs. There are lots of breeds that I could mix to create a guard dog that would bite people, never using any type of bull breed at all in the mix, which if they escaped would do this same exact thing. It wouldn't be that hard to cross a Chihuahua with some giant breed and create a dog that would do this same exact kind of damage. If I could ban some people from ever owning a dog, I would. I see abused dogs all the time, for example, from my rescue friends, of all breeds. I wish there was a way to keep dogs out of the hands of some people. There's just no fair and legal way of doing that which also is congruent with the principles of living in a free society according to the Constitution. So, it comes down to personal responsibility, and laws that enforce personal responsibility, and laws that spell out exactly when a dog is or is not allowed to bite. Otherwise, we'll end up banning dog ownership altogether, or it will only be for the rich and famous, the well connected, the police, military and influential politicians.

I have said over and over again, that what people don't value, they don't take care of as much. When people get a dog for free, or for a couple hundred bucks, they tend to not take as much care to train the dogs as if they spent $2,000 for the dog. Lots of pit bulls fall into this category. There are always more pure bred dogs in dog training classes than mixed bred dogs. And there are relatively few people who live in low income areas that train their dogs at all. In some low income communities, the dogs are allowed to run the streets in packs. In this article, does the fencing used sound like a well made, well kept fence or a piece of junk? It sounds like a piece of junk to me. And I don't see anywhere in the article that the owner was anywhere to be found when it happened. I see lots of dogs become way too territorial when left in a yard with nothing to do and with the owners away or not supervising.

Lastly, what should happen here?

As I've said for years: "when a dog bites, then the owner and dog should be judged by the severity of the situation and punished accordingly".

If all I have to go on are my hunches, and what this article says, it would be my opinion this will be found by a court to be an unprovoked attack. If the dogs were alive, then I would have recommended that they be evaluated by professional dog behaviorists. If the dogs were vicious then put to death, otherwise given to a new owner. It is very possible, in cases like this, that in different hands, these dogs would never have escaped, and would have never harmed anyone or any animal. Regarding the owners, I think that they should be made to go through the legal processes, and laws should be written and enforced to hold dog owners responsible for the actions of their dogs if an attack is unprovoked, according to the severity of the attack. Should a court of law determine, after a fair trial, hearing all the facts, and given expert testimony from those who understand dog behavior, that the owner is at fault, then the appropriate penalties should apply for the level of injury that person's dogs inflict. I'm guessing that might mean prison time and serious financial consequences in cases like this. In most cases, we don't need new laws, we just need the ones we have to be enforced. On the other hand, we need clear definitions of when it is OK for a dog to bite, so there is a clear bright line to tell everyone what is allowed and what isn't allowed.

For the victims of cases like this... they often don't get any money, unless the owner has renter's or homeowner's insurance. Yes, that can amount to hundreds of thousands of dollars, but that doesn't really seem to cover the injuries that these people receive. No amount of words can make this kind of thing right, either.

Update: One thing that has to be considered in these cases is that the reports we get in the news aren't always accurate. The owner of the dogs has been charged with "two counts of failure to restrain the dogs and two counts of failure to inoculate the dogs... The Bibb County District Attorney conferred with investigators last week and decided not to file criminal charges. Deputies consulted with the Bibb Solicitor’s Office to determine which misdemeanor charges would be appropriate"

Failure to restrain and failure to inoculate are kind of BS charges as far as I'm concerned... sometimes prosecutors feel the need to charge people just so it looks like they are doing something... and they have to also deal with the fact that if they bring a bogus case to court that it blows their credibility and can get them sued, as well. I can think of several alternate scenarios that might have happened here which might have led up to this case, and the police and prosecutors probably know that, was well. So, clearly, there's more to the story than originally reported. More than once has a person been accused, tried and "convicted" by the media, while the real story comes out later, new facts emerge, and then your opinion changes 180 degrees. I wish that reporters would hold back a bit, do more investigation, before publishing their stories. So, I now have no idea what really happened, and I don't think the public now knows, either. Certainly, those people who are condemning the owner of the dogs in the comments section of these articles don't know, either. Let's see how this gets settled. I feel bad for everyone involved.

Safety Tip: Using A Leash For Your Dogs

"Martin says when they arrived at a family member's home, the owner's dogs, although friendly, came running toward Abbey, frightening her and causing her to run into nearby woods"

I presume this case is an off leash situation, based upon the way this article is written. And if I'm right, then it's another case, out of millions, where dogs run away when the owners take them off leash in situations where the dogs aren't capable of being managed off leash.

I see this kind of thing all the time. I saw it this morning while hiking. A couple took their Golden Retriever off leash as they walked down the trail towards the parking lot.... about 3/4 of a mile away. Yes, the dog stayed relatively close, but clearly the dog didn't obey their verbal commands to come back when it was getting too far ahead. These people took way too big of a risk with their dog.

I saw another case a few days ago with one of my students. The husband let the dog off leash in the garage simultaneously when the wife came home in her car and opened the other garage door with her garage door opener. The dog started running down the driveway, and the husband didn't even see what was happening. Fortunately, I was there, just arriving for a lesson, called her to me, she came, and all was well. I've told them repeatedly not to let the dog loose until it is inside their fenced yard, because they've been lax in their supervision a number of times, including leaving side doors to the home ajar, and therefore their dog has gotten loose, and learned how fun it is to get loose, from the property.

I generally do not take dogs off leash in public places, and only certain dogs that I know very well, and know that they will obey in the circumstances I'm putting them in. Hunters, for example, let dogs off leash in the wilderness to hunt for animals. But, they don't do that with untrained dogs. Police will let dogs off leash to search for and capture criminals, but again, those are very well trained dogs.

Most people don't have well trained dogs. Shelters are full of untrained dogs, or dogs that have been abusively handled by people who did their own, stupid, do-it-yourself dog training. So, the dogs get loose, cause mayhem, or get injured or hopelessly lost.

Keep your dogs on leash. I know your dog isn't well trained. Don't be stupid. Don't put your dog at risk. This story had a happy ending. A lot don't.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Protecting Your Dog From Bears

"Woman Attacked by Bear While Protecting Dog... a black bear and its two cubs had wandered into her yard and attempted to attack her dog Maggie. The 200-pound female bear chased the dog as it ran towards the house... The bear was euthanized and tested for rabies as a precaution, according to state officials. The cubs were deemed old enough to survive on their own and will be released into another area"

This is normal behavior for a mother bear with cubs. They aren't going to let another predator near them, whether it is your dog... or you.

If you live in bear country, then the responsibility lies with YOU to educate yourself about bear behaviors and take necessary precautions. It isn't the bear's fault for being a bear.

So, now a momma bear is dead and the cubs are being released into the wild earlier than would normally happen.

All wrong. All. Wrong.

Protecting Your Dog From Coyotes

"A Department of Environmental Control official and an animal advocate recommended high fences – not invisible ones. They also said people should haze coyotes – throw rocks and bang pots and pans – to scare them away. CBS 2’s Lou Young reported Tuesday that a coyote den likely has been established in Chappaqua, and its members consider other canines to be competition – and occasionally food. “They’re having they’re pups; they’re getting a little more protective of their territories,” said animal trapper Jim Horton. “You know you leave you little Fluffy out in the yard and they’re going to take advantage.”'

I am amazed how people turn to government to wipe out species when the problem lies with the people. Look, we don't need to kill more coyotes, foxes or wolves. The problem is that if we decide to live near the habitats of wild animals, then we need to practice good supervision and containment of our domesticated animals, including our dogs. In addition, stop putting out "bait" for wild animals... such as food scraps... or unattended dogs.

We either come to terms with nature, or we wipe it out. That's the choice. We don't need more laws, we need more common sense, and we need to understand that nature isn't what we see in a Disney cartoon.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Another Stupid Dog Law

"Quarantine law comes as shock to dog owner"

So, a woman is playing with her dog, and her finger gets nicked by the dog's tooth when they both reach for the fetch toy at the same time. She goes to the doctor, the doctor is obligated by law to report it to the authorities. The authorities then want to put the dog, a very old and friendly dog, in quarantine for 10 days.

Stupid. Stupid. Stupid.

First, most dog bite laws are written by dog hating politicians. So, one bad incident is used to punish millions of innocent dog owners and dogs.

Second, most dog laws have nothing to do with the behavioral and social reality that people face. We need to define what is a health hazard, and when it should be OK for a dog to bite. In this case, the dog isn't vicious, not a danger to society, and the woman's health (and yours) was never at risk.

Politicians pass laws that stay on the books long after they have retired to a nice fat pension, while we pay the price for their stupidity. This is another good example why we need limited government.

Protecting Your Dog In Case Of A Disaster

"Dog Pulled From Rubble A Week After Tornado Hit Moore"

Very few people have plans for what they should do if a disaster hits their community. Even fewer people have plans for protecting their pets in case of a disaster.

In an ideal world, you'd have a special kennel for your pets. Here are some ideas for such a thing: How To Build And Operate A Home Dog Kennel

What would you do if a tornado, flood, earthquake or terror attack caused you to flee your home without your dog? Would your dog survive? Think about it.

And do something about it.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Loose Dogs Attacked Jogger

"Sydney jogger's heart was visible after dog attack"


How many times do people have to be told that they MUST contain and control their dogs?

Dog training is more than just teaching your dog a bunch of tricks. A good dog trainer will help you look over your situation and give you suggestions on how to more safely manage your dogs and prevent escapes. I do this kind of thing all the time. The more experience you have with dogs, the more you recognize potential risks that the average person might not notice.

So, go hire a trainer for a lesson where they evaluate your home and situation, and get some professional advice on ways to prevent your dogs from escaping.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

It's Not Safe To Leave Dogs Unsupervised

"The thieves stole loaded guns, electronics and beat up her dog Maddie. “They threw cinder blocks and used firewood that was for our fire pit in the backyard to hit our dog,” said Daily. “They could have just shot her and left, but thank God she’s alive.”'

I don't believe it is safe to leave dogs unattended in a back yard. Yes, I know that for some people, that is their best option, but it is also important to understand the risks to you and your dog.

I suggest that every home with a dog have a security system. Get the best system you can afford. If you are really poor, at least have signs, pretending that your place is alarmed and under surveillance. Get involved in a neighborhood watch program. Install cameras and alarms if you can.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Should Stray Dogs Be Put To Death?

"As a result, Flagler County animal control officers are putting residents in that community on notice — wandering dogs could lead to the owner being fined. If an owner can't be determined, the dog will be taken to the kennel. Officers will be patrolling the area daily, Voigt said. After a dog is brought to the shelter, it will be assessed to determine whether it is adoptable. If not, it will be euthanized, she said"

It is one thing to capture a free roaming dog. It is quite another to kill it.

First, shelter evaluations are, on average, not valid representations of the temperament of any dog. The staff aren't qualified to make the assessments, and they are evaluating extremely stressed dogs and expecting them to act like a Disney movie cartoon dog. The evaluators are often not much more qualified to assess temperament than the checkout person at the local pet store.

Second, if the owner can be found, it is irrelevant what the dog's temperament is, provided the dog hasn't been involved in some kind of crime. Give the dog back. Killing the dog is, in my opinion, a taking of property by the government without due process, and unconstitutional. This can and should be challenged in court. It is not clear, in the article, whether dogs with known owners, who want their dogs back, can get them back. That should be spelled out.

The stray dog problem in any city is a problem. Draconian solutions only de-legitimize the efforts of animal control. If the punishment doesn't fit the crime, then it is immoral and will be defied. Innocent dogs will be condemned to death by the government.

I think the government had better re-think what they are doing. Could you live with killing an innocent dog, knowing you are incompetent to make that decision, and knowing that the owner is going to be harmed, as well? Most sane people couldn't kill a dog like that. It won't pass public scrutiny for long.

Dogs Poisoned, Police Investigate

"2 Dogs Being Treated For Antifreeze Poisoning In Fayette Co... she came home to find her dogs unable to move, and she found vomit everywhere"

If I can give a tip to the owner and the police, it would be that these situations usually revolve around some crazy neighbor getting angry about barking dogs. There are goofy people out there that will take the law into their own hands and kill your dog.

I tell people all the time to not leave their dogs unattended in the yard, especially if you have a known nasty neighbor, or if your dogs are known to bark a lot.

Few things make people go mental over a dog more than barking.

Another target are dogs that poop in neighbor's yards. It drives some people nuts. It can also be someone that is a dog hater in general.

Lastly, some people are psychopaths or psychotic, and they will kill dogs.

But, if I was placing a bet, it would be on the guy that hates barking dogs.

I hope these dogs recover, and the person responsible sent to prison for a good long time. I think it is reasonable to figure this was not an accident.

Cougar Kills Dog

"State wildlife officials are searching for a mountain lion that killed a dog in Boise Tuesday, but say it may have already left the area."

At some point, we are going to have to come to a truce with nature, where we accept the risk and responsibility for preserving the wild habitats, and animals that go with them, instead of always going out to kill a wild animal that kills a human or one of our domesticated animals.

I have a real problem with killing wildlife when we choose to put ourselves and our domesticated animals at risk in rural areas. Cougars, wolves, coyotes, lynx, and such are just trying to survive. As we encroach upon their habitats, what else are they to do?

We manage habitats very poorly in this world, here in the US and abroad. That's why we are facing the extinction of so many species of plant and animal.

This is not about eating meat, or hunting. That's a separate topic, and I've addressed that in other articles I've written.

So, unless there is an imminent danger to a human or domesticated animal, then I think we should leave the wild animals alone... and not put temptations in their path... like leaving little fluffy dogs unsupervised in rural communities.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Don't Be Your Own Veterinarian

"Man played at-home vet by stitching up his cut dog with twine and clamping mouth shut with duct tape so it couldn't whine"

This kind of thing happens more often that you might realize. I've been around the dog world for a very long time. I've seen situations about this bad a few times. In every situation, the person had a substance abuse problem, was a cheapskate, and did the surgery themselves because they screwed up and the dog got hurt and didn't want others to find out.

This stuff is felony / prison territory folks. It is better to take the dog to the vet than to have the police take you to jail. And it is cruel to do medical procedures that you are unqualified to perform.

Monday, May 20, 2013

What Kind Of Punishment For Killing Dogs?

"Matthew David Jensen is accused of breaking into three different homes between May 8 and May 9, and in the process, killing the family dogs who were inside of the homes. The dogs allegedly killed by Jensen were either stabbed, strangled or killed by blunt force trauma"

What should be done with folks like this? What kind of punishment, treatment and such should the law require? What do you do with violent offenders?

I have a hard time believing that people that do violent things like this ever change. Look at the crimes here, and tell me how this turns around some day?

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Friday, May 17, 2013

Los Angeles worst city for dog attacks on mail carriers

"Los Angeles was the worst with 69 attacks, followed by Seattle and San Antonio with 42 each and Chicago with 41. The city with the least attacks was Wichita, Kan., with 20. Tacoma, Wash., had just 21."

Look, I don't want anyone to get bitten by a dog... but 69 dogs in LA, which is one of the biggest cities in the world, with all the problems including gangs and such... isn't that big of a number. I know they are trying to promote National Dog Bite Prevention Week, but this statistic tells the reader just the opposite, that it isn't a problem to worry about.

Dog bites are a problem, and there are better ways of addressing it... supervision, containment, proper medical care, not leaving dogs unsupervised with kids under 10 years of age, socialization, happy and active life for the dog, and completing basic obedience.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Kids up to no good? Drug-sniffing dog now for hire

"If parents ever wondered if their children were using or selling drugs, a local man is starting an unusual business by renting a drug dog."

I have no problem with this. In fact, I think that employers would be the bigger client of this dog owner. Every smart business wants to be drug free.

I like this... a lot.

Can You Identify A Breed Or Mix?

"In a new study that was just released, researcher Victoria Voith once again exposes the challenges of identifying dominant breeds of mixed breed dogs, even by "experts" in the field"

The folly of pit bull breed bans is that there is no reliable way to identify a breed of dog. All you can get are probabilities, and even then, experts can disagree. That is even true of pure bred dogs. Many pure bred dogs are not really pure bred. First off, many breeds have gone extinct and have been recreated in the past 100 years. Second, it isn't unusual for a breeder to slip in a related breed, to bring in some characteristic, and then sell them as pure bred dogs. It happens more frequently than you might imagine.

Can you make a guess? Sure. Should dog bite laws be designed around those guesses? No.

Hat Tip: KC Dog Blog

Either Contain Your Dogs, Or Lose Your Dogs

"A prize one ton bull had to be put down after it was savaged by two American bulldogs"

Look, you know I love dogs. Love all of them. But, with dog ownership comes a lot of responsibility, which includes making sure your dogs don't get loose and harm someone else, some other animal, or someone else's things. This means using proper containment.

Most of my dog training students need to be educated... and reminded... about how to properly supervise and contain their dogs. We go over proper doors, fencing, gates, crates, kennels, procedures, and such. The law is intolerant of escaped dogs, as it should be.

Obey the law, or your dog might end up dead, and you'll be at fault... and possibly also get a big fine, a huge financial judgment, and even time in prison.

Royal Oak To Require $1 Million ‘Dangerous Dog’ Insurance

"Royal Oak is about to unleash new regulations on dog owners. The new rules, which go into effect Thursday, require owners of “dangerous dogs” to carry $1 million in liability insurance, post signs, complete an obedience class with the dog, and keep the dog in a locked, fenced-in area. Owners must also comply with seven pages worth of other requirements to keep their pets in the city."

We have a Constitution. We have the right to own private property, which includes a dog (which is why I oppose current legal efforts to change ownership into guardianship, since that affects what you can and can't do with your dog). Thus, the government can't just put restrictions on the ownership of things without a reasonableness test... and I don't think this is reasonable... and therefore it can be challenged on Constitutional grounds and probably beaten. It is the same as requiring someone to have $1,000,000 in liability insurance to exercise their free speech, to vote, to own a gun, or in case you might decide to own slaves. This fight will cost the city a lot of money. It is effectively a ban on private ownership of dogs, based on a messy, long dog bite law that will have to support this requirement for each and every sentence and clause.

For example, a nip is different than a bite. A provoked bite is different than an accidental bite. A bite from a Chihuahua is different than a bite from a St Bernard. Do all of these require $1 million in insurance and all 7 pages of these other requirements? No way.

See: When Should It Be OK For A Dog To Bite?

Monday, May 13, 2013

How severe is Anchorage's pet poop problem?

"Anchorage has a lot of dogs -- an estimated 74,000 of them, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association. And they poop a lot, producing 8 million pounds per year, according to the city department that monitors such things, Anchorage's Animal Care and Control Center"

Isn't it interesting that Alaska is also home to the most wild animals per square mile, but no one is asking to control their poop? Yes, people should be considerate and pick up. But, a lot of this is also usually driven by the squeaky 1% of dog haters out there. Everything in moderation, folks

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Don't Abandon Your Dog, It Is A Crime

"Ms. Malliotakis, who's sponsored a number of pet-friendly bills, said folks who can no longer care for pets, for whatever reason, shouldn't leave them to fend for themselves, as Charlie was. They can bring the animals to a veterinarian, no-kill shelter, police or groups such as Anarchy Animal Rescue"

It's shocking the number of dogs that are abandoned by their owners... in the desert, left behind when people move, put in dumpsters, thrown out of cars, and on and on. Laws need to be stiffened for such abuse and cruelty. There are places that will take a dog if you can't keep it.

Otherwise, suffer the consequences. They are committing a crime.

You have to figure those that abandon dogs need some serious prison time. If they are this callous about a helpless dog, then they need some serious punishment.

Thursday, May 09, 2013

Animal Rescue Takes Over Former Pet Store Location At Superstition Springs Center

"The idea of a mall location came in the fall when Elek read a story about Superstition Springs Center’s parent company, Macerich, looking to put animal rescue facilities in former pet store spots. It took months of contact and work, Elek said, but in March, Pawtique had its “soft” opening. Since then, the facility has averaged about one adoption a day. The Pawtique only carries cats and small dogs, but Panacea takes in dogs and cats of all sizes."

I think this will be a new trend in animal welfare. Think about it. If a pet store can sell puppy mill dogs for $3000, why can't a rescue "sell" dogs for $300? Of course they can, and people will buy. And they will also buy supplies to support their efforts, which will bring in even more revenue for the rescue operation. Shopping mall operators could also use these stores to generate additional traffic to help support their other tenants. So, it is a win for everyone. This is one idea that you should be studying if you are into animal rescue.

Pit Bull Abuse In Australia

"The attack on this staffordshire terrier, whose owner allegedly cut his throat with a boning knife, has been described as one of the worst animal cruelty cases seen in the country"

Once again, some loser gets a pit bull and abuses it. I'm still asking why losers are attracted to pit bull types of dogs. I've trained lots of pit bulls, and they are great dogs in the right hands.

I hope this guy gets a long prison term, and gets a good does of his medicine by the other prisoners while there... but considering it is Australia... he'll probably get a slap on the wrist and a fine... typical socialist country.

4 Pit Bulls Blamed for Southern California Jogger's Death

"Authorities in rural Los Angeles County were warning people to be on the lookout for four pit bulls suspected of killing a 63-year-old jogger Thursday"

I don't understand why so many losers are attracted to owning pit bull type dogs. I really don't get it. You take a perfectly good dog, wreck it by not socializing, supervising, giving appropriate health care, caring for, or training it... and what else do you expect the end result to be?

I know of a situation happening right now in the Phoenix area, where a neighbor is allowing his two pit bulls to wander from his home. The dogs have bitten a horse twice, animal control has been consulted... and now the police have been called. These dogs are now on the path to being killed, and most likely, the owner will get away with it all. And pit bulls will be blamed for the actions of another loser.

In the above tragedy, please explain to me why four pit bull dogs are roaming loose. Do you let your dogs roam loose? I'm sure you don't. No normal person does.

Doesn't this infuriate you?

Owning A Dog Can Make You Healthier

"Dog owners have healthier hearts than people who don’t have pets"

I do believe this.

When I graduated from college, my mom wanted to give me a graduation present. I remember the day she asked me if I would like a dog. I told her I thought that was an interesting idea, but I'd have to think about it. A while later, I came back and told her that I thought it was a great idea... and that was the beginning of my dog, Kate, the Bouvier.

One reason I decided to get a dog was because of my dad. My dad never took care of himself, always had health problems, always overweight... and I just didn't want to turn out like he did in so many ways. I figured if I got a dog, it would force me to walk many miles a week for at least a decade... and of course, that became true.

Even today, I look way younger, feel younger, act younger, and think younger than my peers because I decided to get a dog instead of a car or some other silly object.

It was the right decision then, and it is probably the right decision for you, too.

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Puppy Found In Locked Car Nearly Month After It Was Towed

"A puppy survived for nearly a month locked inside an impounded vehicle at a Kansas City tow lot by foraging on leftovers in fast-food bags and, apparently, cigars. The scared dog is scrawny, but is expected to survive. The 12-week-old puppy was found inside a Buick, but has been named Kia."

In my experience, tow truck drivers and tow truck yard operators aren't the sharpest tools in the shed. Their mentality is more like that of a predator. So, it doesn't surprise me that they didn't even take notice if what was inside the vehicle that they towed. What if it had been an abandoned baby?

Thank goodness this dog is safe. Hopefully someone socializes it and finds it a good home.

Karma? Police Officer Kills Dog And Accidentally Shoots Fellow Cop, Too

"A Chicago police officer was shot in the leg by a fellow officer who had fired at a charging dog in the Englewood neighborhood"

Cops shooting dogs is becoming a very big story. Animal welfare advocates are getting mighty angry, and so are many dog lovers, over stories like this.

Those of us that know dog behavior, or do dog rescue, know how to deal with loose dogs. We work with them every day, and most of these dogs are just overly stressed, poorly managed dogs that would be fine in the hands of responsible dog owners. We want to be called by the cops, or we want animal control called, when a dog is loose. That's what animal control is for, that's what we are paying our tax dollars for.

We know a lot of innocent, poorly managed dogs are being murdered (yes, I'm using that language) by overzealous, poorly managed, unprofessional cops. Yes, we also know there might be instances where there is no choice... but that's not majority of these cases. If the police don't clean up their own act, then we'll clean it up for them.

We want legal reform, and we want owners to be able to claim five figure damages. And we want harsh legal penalties for cops who violate these laws. This has got to stop.

Monday, May 06, 2013

Dog Owners Could Be Forced To Tie Up Dogs In Case They Bite A Burglar

"Dog owners might have to tie up their pets to stop them attacking burglars, police have warned – amid growing controversy over a clampdown on dangerous animals. The Association of Chief Police Officers say planned amendments to the Dangerous Dogs Act could leave householders 'liable to prosecution' if their dog bites a burglar while they are out"

This is the most ignorant, stupid, appalling, proposed dog law I've seen in years. All to protect the rights of the criminals over the victims. What rational person would support such a law? This is what happens when you cede too much power to government. Government should be limited, not unlimited.

I have had it with the do gooders in government and elsewhere, haven't you?

I have a fundamental natural right to protect myself, my family, my friends, the helpless, and my property against criminals. I don't care what the law says, I have that God given right.

This is too far. This is inhumane to the dogs and to the victims. This is too much.

Don't you agree? And if so, what are you willing to do about it?

Woman Books Dog Into Boarding And Leaves Kids Home Alone

"Round Rock woman abandons two children but books dog into pet hotel, according to arrest warrant"

This is one of those "man bites dog" stories. According to the article, this woman booked her dog into a PetSmart pet hotel, but left her kids alone so she could travel from a town in Texas to St. Louis.

It's jaw dropping, really. Who would do such a thing? I just don't get it. I really don't.

Dog Runs Away One Too Many Times, Owner Faces Jail

"A Fairbanks man has paid almost $1,800 in recent months to repeatedly bail his runaway dog Toby out of the doggy jail. Then he shot a moose, ostensibly to protect the Siberian husky, and now Toby's owner could face jail time himself."

Here's the deal, this sounds like a typical, fun Husky... and if they get a chance to run and roam, they will. But, after 4 escapes, this owner should have gotten a clue there was a problem and hired a professional dog trainer to help him.

Now he is facing jail, because the dog got loose, tangled with a moose, the owner shot the moose dead to protect the dog, the dog was off leash... and so the owner might be without a defense.

I feel bad for the dog, because it is being allowed to learn how to escape, and the dog's life has now been endangered. This dog owner isn't doing him any favors, and hopefully has learned his lesson.

Good dog ownership means proper supervision and containment. I can't call this guy a good owner based on what I've read in this article.

Dog Saves Family From Fire

"Dog alerts east Macon family to burning house, one person suffered burns"

I have read numerous stories of dogs alerting their owners to a fire. I find it fascinating that dogs do this kind of thing. I have never seen an article on a wild animal doing such a thing, such as a wolf, but it wouldn't surprise me. Animals are much more complex than most people realize, thinking and feeling, and doing behaviors that promote their survival and the survival of those to whom they are bonded.

Dogs Save Lives

"Sasha is very obedient — he never jumps, whines or barks, and he’s adorable with children — but at some point in Arbelovsky’s nap, Sasha heard something, she said. He jumped on the bed and woke her. She pushed him off and pulled the covers over her head. But he jumped back up. “Sasha, go to bed,” Arbelovsky said she told her dog. But Sasha wouldn’t. He grabbed Arbelovsky by the shirt sleeve and pulled her out of bed and to their back door. What Sasha heard, Sullivan later said, was his cries for help, as he knelt bleeding in Arbelovsky’s neighbor’s yard. “I think that’s an incredible animal,” Sullivan said."

Many of us grew up watching episodes of Lassie on TV. And even though it was a fictional story, we knew, just knew, that our dogs would be there for us when we needed them.

Dogs are more than just pets. They play a crucial role in our lives, and can't be replaced, even with all our modern technology.

Saturday, May 04, 2013

Man's Best Friend

"A loyal dog waited by its owner for 12 hours after she became stuck in a sinkhole in the woods of Haliburton in Ontario."

How many true life stories have we read of dogs that have comforted, and even rescued, people in emergencies? Dogs play a major role in human society.

Had this woman been trapped even longer, it's possible that this dog would have been the main reason she survived.

Take that, all you dog haters.

Friday, May 03, 2013

Police Dog Dies In Patrol Car Overnight

"A Perry County, Mississippi, police dog was left in a patrol car overnight and died. Three-year-old Napo was found dead in the Perry County sheriff’s vehicle, after spending the night locked inside"

Yes, I'm sure it was an accident. Yes, I support the police. No, there is no excuse. The officer should be fired.

Car Accidents With Elderly Drivers And Pets

OK, here we go... I'm going to make someone angry...

"As reported by NBC News, drivers over the age of 70, traveling with a pet in the car, double their risk of an accident. People who travel with their pets can easily become distracted, which may be dangerous or fatal"

Look, I'm a darned good driver. I drive a LOT. If you don't like driving, and aren't good at it, don't become a dog trainer. That being said, I see a lot of craziness on the roads every day.

I see two types of elderly drivers, the first type are the ones who are still good. The second type are the ones that are so bad they should be off the road permanently. In the Phoenix area, we have a few over 55 communities where it is dangerous. I don't like driving those streets, and I have to be very careful.

I've watched elderly drivers
a.) run right through stoplights,
b.) go way too slow and get other drivers angry with them,
c.) merge over into your lane without even looking,
d.) pull out into traffic without even looking,
e.) had them back right into my car in a parking lot, and then drive off without even  noticing or stopping, and
e.) I had one encounter in a grocery store parking lot where I had to run on foot to get out of the way of the driver as he went straight at me to get into a parking space.

Here's the deal. At some point, you have to accept that your abilities are not what the used to be, and you need to take yourself out of the driver's seat. In some cases, this creeps up on some folks, and the families have to take the keys away from their elderly parents. I have a friend that had to do that with her mom, who began to drive 80 mph in 35 mph zones, and after a police chase, she forced her mom to never drive a car again. Dementia had set in.

Regardless of your age, however, dogs can be a dangerous distraction in a vehicle. You have to know your abilities and your dog's propensities. If you aren't a very good driver, then take back streets, go the speed limit, and be careful. If a dog is in the car, it should be fastened into the back seat with a belt buckle and harness (you can buy them at pet stores). Or, you use a proper crate setup in the back of your vehicle. I also think it is stupid to have a dog in your lap while you drive. You are endangering yourself and others... and for what? Look, if your dog needs some adventure, go for a walk. They don't need to be in your lap while you are driving.

I believe the stats in the article above. The risks are much higher with the elderly, with diminished capacities, and an unrestrained dog in the car. Be wise. And if it's your parent, then maybe it's time to have that talk.


Puppy Severely Injured... Prison Doesn't Turn Most People Around

Here's a guy that's been arrested for severely hurting a young pit bull puppy. The pup was found bleeding with a huge tear to it's lip. Deneoval Joel Derrick "had just been released after serving 15 years in the state penitentiary for child abuse"

I used to think that when people went to prison, it was a wake up call, and that most would turn their lives around. I don't think that any more. I think only a handful are regretful, remorseful, and will come out a better person and do what they can to make right what they did wrong.

Prison's main benefit is to remove losers from the public for a while so we can be safer. That being the case, for some of these losers, they are broken in the head, and I think we'd be better off just implementing the death penalty and getting it over with.

Who knows what this guy did with this puppy and why. If he's convicted of this charge, then tell me why he should ever be in public ever again. And why should we be paying tax dollars to feed and house these losers at all?

We've all done things wrong in life. Some worse than others. But where it goes from there is up to you. When I do wrong, I agonize over it, and I diligently work to puzzle out a way to make things right, and then I do what has to be done and I face the consequences. I discipline myself so others don't have to. I think that's the right way to go. I don't pretend to be a saint, but I'm using myself as an example. Therefore, I don't understand why others don't do the same. I've dealt with people like this guy, however. They don't turn around. Like a dog, they'll return to their vomit and eat it again.

I'm fed up. Try him. Convict him if guilty. And then kill him.

Thursday, May 02, 2013

Dog Thefts More Than Double

"With the economy the way it is, a lot of people are in a bad way, and we're seeing more dogs get stolen for all kinds of reasons"

I've watched the "dog news" for many years, and I've seen a nationwide increase in dog thefts across the US. The increase is HUGE.

You have be some kind of low life to steal from anyone, and especially if you steal their dog.

And you are taking a huge risk if you leave certain types of dogs alone in a yard or vehicle, such as little cute dogs, certain valuable pure bred dogs, or pit bulls. You're just putting your dogs at risk. Further, I'm now of the opinion that every dog owner, especially if you have one of these types of dogs... and even for rescue volunteers doing dog foster work in their own homes... that you should install a good security system. With video surveillance.

What Is Pit Bull Trunking?

"Some of the dogs might have been victims of “trunking”: locking two dogs in the trunk of a car that is driven around with music blasting and letting them fight to the death in the confined space."

I can't fathom the brutality of some people. What kind of sick mind would do this to a couple of dogs? This should be a very serious felony, with a penalty of at least 20 years in prison with no possibility of early release. This is really sick.

It is also sick that pit bulls are banned in Miami-Dade county. That is also a form of cruelty, resulting in the seizure and death of innocent dogs. The difference is that those who do this kind of thing are not put in prison, yet the dogs end up traumatized and dead in the end. I also think that is sick.

Hopefully the dogs are given to a rescue group, rehabilitated and re-homed..

Is Your Non Profit Dog Rescue Operating In An Unprofessional Manner?

"The San Diego Humane Society will have to pay its former president more than $1.1 million after an arbitrator ruled that the organization illegally fired him because of his medical conditions"

Wow, that's a lot of money.

In my experience, I've seen a number of non-profit entities that are not as diligent regarding the risks of being "in business" as most for profit companies tend to be. At least, that's been my observation over the years. In fact, I'm betting most companies, non and for profit, are not even aware of the risks they face with employment liability laws, especially in California.

This should be a warning to all non profits... you need to examine your operations and policies, including getting professional legal advice regarding employee issues, and also having liability insurance in place to protect you in case of a major claim. In this case, it appears that this organization had consulted with council... yet, the arbitration result was a finding that they were at fault. Who knows what really happened, we can only see what is reported in the news. My main point here isn't about this particular case. I have no idea who any of these people are.

My main concern is that I've seen rescue organizations can become a big entity at some point, and when things get bigger, many organizations still run as if they are small operations. You just can't do things that way because eventually you will be involved in situations like this, and you need to be operating at a high level. A million dollar judgment can destroy some entities.

My other concern is for those working at these non profits. It can falsely be assumed when working for some non profit organizations that you'll sacrifice anything to work there. It can also be assumed that non profit also means less than professional. And for some reason, I think that non profit organizations can tend to become internally very political and petty, and it is better to not work at a place if you see that kind of environment. Otherwise, you might one day be someone who is damaged by your non profit employer, and you'll be forced into a fight.

The San Diego Humane Society may be a fine organization, and may have done everything I would have done in the same circumstances. Or they might be creeps. I have no idea. I also don't know any of the people involved, whether they are good or bad. Whatever happened isn't my business. But this article did concern me...

I am concerned about you: what about your organization? Is your non profit operating to the highest levels possible? Do you understand employment laws? Do you consult with legal council in making your policies? What is your dispute handling procedure? Do you have sufficient liability insurance? And if you work at a non profit, is this a place where you want to make a career? Do you see red flags that you should address before something blows up? Are they going to treat you well?

I don't see many non profits and their employees considering these issues as seriously as they should. You have to wonder how this particular situation will affect the reputations of the organization and people from this point forward.

Start reviewing what you are doing immediately, and hire professionals to sort out the details. A million dollars is a lot of money.

Dog Bowl Starts A Fire?

"The couple didn’t realize the dog bowl had started the fire on their deck until an engineer with the fire department took a look at the situation. He explained that sunlight had refracted off the bowl and ignited the fire on the side of their house."

I like watching survival shows. I like Les Stroud in Survivorman, for example. In one episode, he used a polished soda pop can bottom in the sun to focus light onto some tinder, and he started a fire. In Dual Survival, they used a plastic bag of urine to start a fire, making a type of lens. So, I completely understand how a dog bowl could reflect and focus sunlight to start a fire. They are lucky the dog alerted them.

My bigger question is why was the dog bowl left in the direct sunlight? I have seen numerous dog bowls left in the sunlight, making the water so hot that the dog couldn't drink it... and in the meantime the dog was overheating.

Now I have a new thing to teach people about managing their dogs.

Passersby Filmed Dog Attack On Their Phones Instead Of Helping Victim

"A MAN mauled by a pack of savage dogs has lashed out at passers-by who filmed the attack rather than help him."

I see two major issues in this article:

First, why were there four loose American Staffordshire Terriers roaming the streets of this town? I'm getting sick and tired of hearing about dogs getting loose from their property and attacking people. Day after day, week after week, there are stories of loose dogs mauling people.

Second, what kind of sick world do we live in where people will film a person being attacked by a dog, to post on Facebook or some other social media site, but not get in and help someone who is being attacked by a pack of dogs? We live in some kind of Lindsay Lohan type of world, where people are wanting to be famous for being famous, and want to be part of the media part of a story. It's sick. It reminds me of the Eloy in The Time Machine. In that supposed future, some people were predators, and the other were the helpless prey. In one scene, a predator is attacking one of the prey, and the prey don't do anything. The hero of the story asks them what's wrong with them.

I'm asking the same thing: what's wrong with you people?!!

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

This Is Not A Vicious Dog

"A rescue dog bit off part of an Ohio prison inmate’s nose after the prisoner tripped while chasing a ball during recreation and fell on the dog... Thor was taken back to a shelter after the incident, the report said. The dog’s status and the inmate’s current condition weren’t immediately available today"

Years ago, back when I lived in Seattle, there was a dog bite incident at a kid's ballgame. A family had brought their Labrador Retriever watch the game. Near the dog, some young kids were goofing around. One of the boys tripped and fell on top of the dog, and the dog mauled the kid. This was an otherwise friendly dog.

The dog owner was sued, the dog was put to death, and the story was used by the media to whip up the legislators to pass a stricter dog bite law.

This was a travesty. This was an innocent dog that was provoked to bite. Any animal will defend itself, and this was clearly a provoked bite. The kids were acting stupidly, no parent apparently intervened, and an accident happened. This dog defended itself. It wasn't vicious.

I wonder now what has happened to the dog in the story above. Hopefully, someone who understands dog behavior won't condemn this dog to death for the accident of this prisoner. In this case, the dog was the victim.

What Kind Of Mental Case Kills A Dog?

"A family is demanding answers after their ten pound dog was shot dead in their backyard. The Garlands want the person responsible to know how much pain they have caused"

I really want to understand what kind of a mental case kills a helpless dog like this? Because... I don't understand. I will not understand. I want people like this found and sent to prison for a very long time.

I do know this... something is seriously wrong with our society. We are suffering from a moral and spiritual sickness. Our worst fears are here, and most of us don't really even know it yet. This stuff is just a sign of things to come. The barbarians aren't at the gate anymore... we've become the barbarians. The problem is us.

Society is breaking down right before our very eyes, and I don't think most people even see it. Did the Roman Empire, the Greeks, the Egyptians know the point at which they were about to collapse? I wonder.

Woman Smuggled Australian Dingoes Into US?

"A SELF-STYLED saviour of Australia's native dingoes smuggled six pups into the US disguised as look-alike Japanese pooches, a court has been told."

I'm not sure how I feel about this. First, a dingo is a feral dog. Not quite as wild as a wolf, not as domesticated as a dog. In the article, they say that if the dingoes were crossed with dogs, they would be considered dogs, which should tell you something. Second, any dog with a lot of wild traits doesn't make a very good pet in most cases.

The only reason I can see for breeding a Dingo to a dog would be to isolate traits that might be useful in a dog. It is rumored that the Australian Cattle Dog is part Dingo, same with the Kelpie, so it can handle heat better than the average herding dog. I tend to believe the folklore on this. I have experience with Kelpies, able to tolerate the hottest Arizona weather and not needing much water to stay cool. Really amazing animals.

We definitely don't need another wild invasive predator let loose in our wild habitats. Look what has happened with the feral hogs around the world. The US already has wolves and coyotes to do the job. Who knows what the effect would be if Dingoes were released.

I'm really not opposed to someone owning a wolf or coyote as a pet. I've read numerous stories of people successfully owning them, and most dog trainers eventually will work with a wolf hybrid. I would NOT recommend going out and getting one, however, when there are so many good dogs you can otherwise get, such as dogs in shelters or from reputable hobby breeders.

Should the exportation be illegal. Not sure. Should this person be prosecuted? Well, you should obey the laws, and if you have trouble with the laws, then work to change them instead of violating them. Let's see how this court case plays out. This article says the accused is a Dingo savior, implying that the Dingo is threatened with extinction. I'm hoping that isn't the case, because that might affect my opinion on this if Australia isn't taking steps to protect the Dingo. Not that I'd advocate breaking the law, but I do want to hear her side of the story, and then take a position regarding conservation laws in Australia.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Is This The Kind Of Boyfriend You Want If You Have A Dog?

"A brutal coward threw his girlfriend's six-month-old dachshund's out of their sixth story window -- to its death -- after an argument in their West 129th Street apartment, officials said today. "I don't care about the dog," Keith Rogers, a 27-year-old violent felon, told cops according to a criminal complaint charging him with aggravated cruelty to animals. "It's $1,300. I'll buy a new one," he allegedly told cops. "I don't give a f--- about the dog."'

Again and again, we read about boyfriends killing their girlfriend's dog or kid. I'm shocked at how stupid women are when picking a boyfriend. Everyone knows you should look for a responsible, decent, nice guy... but nice guys finish last for a lot of women. And I get tired of hearing about women complaining about their nasty boyfriends when they knew he was a jerk all along.

Being a nice, single guy, I have watched this phenomenon again and again over the years. I've practically given up on finding someone decent, with good judgment. Pretty women are a dime a dozen, but who can find a virtuous woman? I just don't know these days. It's starting to seem better to just remain single. And many of my guy friends are saying the same thing. We're tired of all the BS.

If this guy is convicted, then I hope he gets at least 10 years in prison. And I hope this woman gets some counseling to figure out why she was attracted to such a loser.

Poor dog. It deserved better. A lot better.

Overgrown Hair On Neglected Dog

"The male poodle mix was recently found in north Scottsdale. He was so matted and full of debris that he was hardly recognizable as a dog. "His hair was so long, matted and full of burrs, thorns, dirt and debris that you couldn't see where his legs or ears or face were," said Betty Drake, one of the good Samaritans who rescued him. "The only clue was his nose, which you could see if you knew where to look."'

Several years ago, I watched a dog groomer working with a dog that hadn't been properly groomed for years. This dog was completely matted all over, feces stuck to its bottom so that it could barely defecate, the dog was filthy and smelled horrible. It took nearly all day for the groomer to remove the dog's hair. What was left was a completely shaved dog, and a pile of hair and dirt that was bigger than the dog.

This dog was brought to the groomer by the owner's family. The owner was a senile elderly woman who couldn't really care for the dog any more.

Here is the story of a similar case. I urge you, if you know of someone with such a dog... please intervene, for the sake of the person and the dog. And if this person is no longer capable of taking care of the dog, then please find the dog a new home through a reputable rescue non-profit group.

Pit Bull Taken Off Death Row

"Brooklyn’s caretakers discovered last week that the dog was deaf, and that this could have contributed to why the dog bit the girl last year"

I have said over and over again, that shelter temperament evaluations are often NOT VALID. And here is another case. This dog was impounded for biting a child. It took the shelter A YEAR for anyone to figure out this dog was deaf, and that the bite was a result of a medical condition, not a faulty temperament.

It is shameful how many dogs are put down in shelters every year. It is even worse when those tasked with evaluating the dogs, and the situations that got the dogs in trouble, aren't competent enough to get a determination within the first day of bringing the dog in. I evaluate dogs on a daily basis, and with experience, it isn't rocket science.

Thankfully, this dog is getting a second chance, but millions of dogs are being put to death in government run shelters all over the US, and a good many are a result of incompetence and a lack of passion for animal welfare.

K9 Dies Of Heat Stroke In Police Car

"A K-9 dog with the Edmond Police Department died Monday afternoon after authorities say he became overheated in the back of a police SUV"

It's that time again where we will hear of summer deaths of dogs and kids left in hot cars. In this case, the police are trying to determine the cause of death. Was it mechanical or human caused?

Take this as your Spring Warning of 2013... don't let this happen to your dog.

Owners Set Dogs On Alley Rats

"Recently, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority agreed to let an Arizona-based company test a form of rat birth control by setting out bait in some subway stations this summer.... While dog owners may see it as time-honored pursuit, rat-hunting riles animal-rights advocates. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, which opposes hunting in general, expressed outrage after video of a dog snatching rats in a New York City park surfaced online two years ago. PETA Spokesman Martin Mersereau calls the alley rat quests "a twisted blood sport masquerading as rodent control."'

So, do we have an ethical dilemma here?

First, rats are a disease vector for humans, meaning they carry diseases that can be harmful or fatal to humans. A restaurant with a rat problem will be shut down by the authorities. All restaurants are required by law to be free of such rodents.

Second, the use of poison on rats can also indiscriminately kill other desirable animals. A new form of rat poison was approved recently that is more lethal to dogs than ever before. Do we want more poisons put out in public to kill wild animals, including birds, dogs, cats and such? People ARE going to be killing rats, the question is how.

Third, is using a dog to kill rats a blood sport? What if you got a cat to do it? What if all the neighbors in a block got cats and let them roam the town? Are cats any less lethal or painful than a dog when killing a rat? Obviously, no.

I'm never for the indiscriminate killing of any animal. On the other hand, we have a right to protect our health.

My Three Rules: This is why I support hunting and fishing, if a.) you aren't destroying a species; b.) you aren't wasting the meat and byproducts; and c.) the kill is made quickly as reasonably possible. Some animals are killed, but are unsafe to eat, such as rats, so I append that to My Three Rules as an exception. Animals kill and eat other animals in nature every second, minute, hour, day, year, decade, and century. If you believe we are descendants of primitive primates, then we are also animals. I am therefore not opposed to hunting and fishing. I am also not opposed to killing living things, plant or animal, according to My Three Rules. Tell me which of you wouldn't kill cockroaches that infested your kitchen, rats in your restaurant (and which restaurant you'd eat at if it was infested with rodents), or eat a fish or other animal to save yourself or to feed your children. Believe me, no animal rights nut would eat at a place where the kitchen was overrun by rats. These guys are full of bull. And if controlling the population of one species causes the survival of another, so that both survive, how is that wrong?

I hate the way we manage species and habitats. I think it is done all wrong. I hate the way we kill wolves, for example. I also hate poaching, which destroys a species, such as what is happening to the African Elephant.

So, is it OK for dogs to be trained, bred and used, instead of cats or poison, to control rats? I have no problem with it.

Pet cruelty alert as Preston’s RSPCA shelter crisis grows

Dog rescue groups are always struggling for money, and if you love dogs, then you should budget some donations to help them out. Most rescues lack the professionalism necessary to sustain the costs necessary to do their missions. There are plenty of business savvy people out there that could help, but oftentimes rescues are in their own bubble and they don't obtain the advice they need. And the dogs can suffer or die as a result.

Dog decapitated, head found in Pickering park over the weekend

There are some crazy people out there. What kind of mental case decapitates a dog? It sickens me to hear these stories, over and over again. If this person is caught, why shouldn't it result in the death penalty? Seriously. Why not? Anyone crazy enough to do this is crazy enough that society should remove them from the gene pool.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Veterinarian Malpractice?

"Their lawyer, Andrew Siben, said Herndon prescribed the anti-inflammatory drug Rimadyl, which carries a warning of potentially deadly side effects. The couple alleged they were never told of the risk."

If you take your dog to the vet, and the dog dies,
1. Is that a case of malpractice;
2.) should you sue; and
3.) How much should the damages be?

I'm not someone who trusts the court system, nor do I think it wise to go to court. Courts aren't where right and wrong are determined, they are just a place to settle disputes, to end a fight. Not always do the good guys win and bad guys lose.

Further, dog law is still in its infancy. What might seem logical for a human isn't so logical when it comes to a dog.

In this case, I have no idea who is right or wrong because I haven't heard the evidence and I'm no lawyer. I'm guessing this vet will be found not guilty in this case. I'm not sure that a vet can be sued for all the potential side effects of every drug they prescribe. I just don't know. I do know of dogs that have died at the vet office, and what I heard made me believe the vet was at fault. But, what do you do? The financial awards in these cases, if you do win, will never cover the cost of the trial. So, it becomes about either revenge, justice, or both, because now, not only is your dog dead, you're going to be out tens of thousands of dollars.

Maybe your best defense is social media, because that can do more damage than your lawsuit ever will. You'll never get your dog back, either way.

Is that fair? No. But who said life was fair?

How a Top Training Facility Turns Rescued Dogs into Rescue Dogs

I donate my time for rescue dogs. One of the biggest issues is the debate between telling people to adopt vs buying a dog. This is especially an issue when it comes to people who want to use a dog for professional purposes. The dog you adopt has to be carefully screened. The purebred was (hopefully) chosen to be bred, which is demonstrated by many generations of healthy working dogs.

Many dogs that could do work are put to death at shelters because of their extreme abilities. For example, dogs that show normal aggression that would be appropriate to be a police dog would be killed. High drive, high energy dogs are overlooked or rejected by people who just want a couch potato dog. The shelter system, nationwide, needs to be revamped, so that more rescued dogs can be adopted by professionals. But, for now, they are mostly concentration camps, where half of the dogs are killed every week.

Many purebred dogs aren't suitable for work any more, however. Genetic faults have been created, both health and temperament, which now exclude them from doing professional work. The German Shepherd Dog has mostly been wrecked as a breed, and it is going to take a couple of decades for the breed to recover, if it ever does.

This article shows that rescued dogs can be used for service work, and that's a good thing. For now, this group had to screen thousands of dogs to find 40 dogs to put into service. The shelter / rescue temperament evaluation and adoption process isn't helping professionals do this kind of research. For now, it is still much easier to get a purebred dog for the work. Can rescue dogs do professional work? Yes? In this case, these dogs have been turned into search and rescue dogs. Can purebreds do the work? Obviously, yes.