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PetSmart Charities’ 2014 US Shelter Pet Report contains some interesting findings that show progress on the animal-welfare front. But it should be noted that one of the troubling aspects of the report explains that about 8 million homeless pets are entering US shelters every year and only half find homes.
Some of the other findings include the chart that shows the number of households with pets increased from 63 percent in 2011 to 81 percent three years later.
The percentage of those are choosing adoption over buying a new pet rose from 58 to 66 over the same 2011 to 2014 time frame. Only 28 percent purchased the most recent dog addition to the family.
The education level is rising within the American public, thankfully. But we can’t scale back on the effort. The more people who receive the message, the better.
One of the many great sections of the report notes “adoption is one of the safest ways to acquire a pet.” It is the safest means. Purchasing a pet is only safe if the person engages in significant research into the breeder and visits the breeding facility for a FULL tour.
But still, if you ask the right questions at the shelter or when dealing with a rescue group, you can be more assured that you’re getting the right pet for you.
And of course, spay/neuter is a key element in the battle to greatly reduce the number of pets dying in shelters. Clearly education is so important, as noted in the PetSmart report, where 85 percent underestimated the number of pets euthanized every year.
I found this statement from the report interesting: “In the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, the Association of Shelter Veterinarians says that spay/neuter surgery is safe for pets as young as 8 to 10 weeks old.”
I would tend to suggest going a bit older, if possible, just to be safe. But how about this stat – 86 percent of pet dogs and cats are spayed or neutered. Of course, we still have a bigger problem with roaming cats and dogs.
So the end result is, progress is being made and we’re moving in the right direction. But we still have a long road to travel and far more in the way of education is needed.PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic
I will routinely lead in post such as this with a statement of general support for law enforcement officers. A vast majority are in their jobs because they want to fight crime and protect the innocent.
But we’ve seen a number of cases of late where the innocent has been the target of a few officers. The latest case where an animal is concerned is in Michigan, where a team of officers surrounded the wrong house, in engaging in raid to arrest a wanted suspect.
The Huffington Post reports that even after the group realizes they are at the wrong home, an officer in the back yard shoots the family dog – an elderly mixed-breed dog.
Thankfully, the 15-year-old canine survived, after struggling through three surgeries. The article states the family is not getting a response from either the Michigan Department of Corrections or the Michigan State Troopers.
Clearly, a 15-year-old dog would not be perceived to be a threat. So any officer in a case such as this who fired the shot should be – at minimum – suspended for a long period of time and forced to undergo extensive daily training on both the use of a firearm and how to handle cases where they encounters dogs.
If the facts of this case show no more important evidence in favor of the officer, he should be fired and his permit to carry a gun revoked.
We can’t have law enforcement officials encountering the public (including pets) anywhere, with little or no apparent training in the use of a dangerous weapon.PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic
Two recent articles point to troubling trends for our oceans. If only more than a few political leaders had the courage to stand up to their Big Oil/Big Coal donors – and then move in the right direction on climate change.
Climate Central describes the oceans as “warming and acidifying.” And recent reporting indicates 90 percent of the planets warming is on the seas.
Before you think, “oh, it’s only the oceans,” read this from the article – “That rapid ocean warming has consequences for the Earth’s climate and its shorelines.”
And then there’s the Daily Beast, from October 5. Despite what the anti-science crowd is putting out, Antarctica is melting fast. It is even reportedly impacting the Earth’s gravity.
Over a three-year span of a recent study, three Antarctic glaciers lost about 2014 billion US tons of ice each year.PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic
The Wall Street Journal published a recent article concerning decline in wildlife populations worldwide. Scientist from groups such as the World Wildlife Fund and the Zoological Society of London report the downward spike in wildlife numbers is worse than they had previously thought.
It seems from 1970 to 2010, the overall animal population of animals fell 52 percent. This is a horrible rate of decline. Key factors sited for land, rivers and oceans, are habitat destruction, commercial fishing, hunting and climate change.
Of course, humans have a role in all of it. A previous report from 2012 put the rate of decline at 28 percent.
And while the animal population plummets on planet Earth, the human population continues to expand. And this sentence from the WSJ article offers a stark warming: “With the planet’s population expected to swell by 2.4 billion people by 2050, the challenge of providing enough food, water and energy will be difficult.”PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic
The Humane Society Legislative Fund has released two important web pages, where voters can go to see how their area representatives rank on animal welfare issues.
The 2014 Animal Protection Voter Guide allows users to click on their state for a list of candidates with good animal-welfare records.
The Humane Scorecard offers a detailed report on how the current Congress is performing for animal welfare.
The sites offer good tools for helping voters decide which elected officials are voting with a level of compassion.PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic
It is on the one hand comical and other hand troubling and sad to continue to read statements from political leaders and pundits who are battling against science.
Too many are denying there is a human factor to climate change. Rep. Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia is among ranks of those who either don’t understand the science at all or just want to deny science is real.
File this story under the heading – Really good news – But not really good enough.
The Miami Herald reports two elected officials – Sen. Chris Smith (D-Fort Lauderdale) and Rep. Kevin Rader (D-Boca Raton) of Floria – have introduced the the Greyhound Safety Act, a state bill that should strengthen protections for racing greyhounds.
It is a solid step forward, but what the dogs need is a complete ban on greyhound racing – or at least a decoupling bill that will end the requirement that the racinos hold races. With a decoupling, the facilities can completely drop greyhound racing.
Currently, one of the most idiotic laws on the United States requires the gambling sites to hold so many races per year. Did I say it was idiotic? No – it’s more than idiotic.
The article notes the bill includes a provision that would ban those “convicted of a felony for animal cruelty, child abuse, aggravated assault or battery from obtaining a license or permit from the Division of Parimutuel Wagering …”
Let’s review more in the way of bad press for the greyhound racing industry – much-deserved bad press.
The Miami Herald went all scathing on dog racing earlier this month, in terms of “lax regulations.” The article led with information about a convicted kidnapper being allowed to race dogs in Florida.
One of the key sentences in the piece – “But, based on dozens of cases reviewed by the Miami Herald and Tampa Bay Times, the implementation of the rules are lax, and the penalties are often weak.”
And it is noted the state regulators dished out 80 licenses over the last year to individuals previously convicted of everything from “cocaine, heroin and amphetamine possession to assault and battery.”
Solid reporting there by the Miami Herald.
Inquisitr.com puts the death numbers that I previously blog about in these terms: The rate of death at Florida greyhound tracks is one every three days. A volunteer from GREY2K USA is interviewed for the piece and states advocates were actually underestimating the number of annual deaths.
Now that reporting is required by law, the real extent of the problem is being uncovered. But of course, the industry defends itself by reporting percentages, compared to overall numbers of greyhound.
This does little for the huge number of dogs who are dying each year. This article puts the number of greyhound deaths at 149 at the 13 Florida tracks – between May 2013 and July 2014. That is a horrible and troubling number.
To minimize the tragedy with percentages is disgusting.
PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic
I was stunned when an article popped up Tuesday night on the Pack News Wire, concerning a so-called “Masters” greyhound racing program in Australia.
Some dogs will be forced to raced past the typical age when they are shut down from racing. The stark cluelessness on the part of the racing industry plays out in the following paragraph from the piece posted on the TheDogs website.
Masters racing is an important initiative that prolongs the careers of NSW racing greyhounds and reiterates GRNSW’s commitment to greyhound welfare by maximising the racing opportunities available.
The nerve of suggesting this is a commitment to the welfare of the dogs is sickening at best.
The industry will try anything, from propaganda and more, to keep this horrible industry afloat.PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic
It’s been an impressive month or so in the news media, in terms of focusing on greyhound racing, as the horrible industry it really is.
The public across the board is against it and only a tiny segment of gamblers support it. So the only roadblocks remaining are the lobbyists and the few politicians in states like Florida who continue to block important legislation that might shut down the tracks for good.
How these few state legislatures can continue to hand over state funds to this industry and offer it protections no other industry enjoys is beyond belief. This industry should be shut down today, across the globe.
So this week, I’ll be reviewing some of the media coverage. Let’s start with an editorial from the Pensacola News Journal, posted Tuesday on the News-Press.com site.
The writer notes enforcement is “almost nonexistent” from the Florida Division of Parimutuel Wagering, in regard to rules that should ban or suspend those convicted of a felony or of abusing animals. (More on this in an upcoming post.)
Since a new reporting law went into effect last year in Florida, 93 racing greyhound deaths occurred. In a single year – 93 dogs were killed. And this doesn’t include the injuries or I fear, the dogs killed before they even began their racing days.
The editorial goes on to suggest an end to dog racing is a “moral imperative.” It is an incredibly important phrase to use. The state legislature needs to step up in its next session and take the moral path, in at least decoupling dog racing from the casinos.
Greyhound racing can no longer exist in this country without being propped up by public funds and the few state laws that require casinos to hold races. It’s crazy – despite the reports on the troubling rate of deaths and injuries and the history of abuse, some elected officials are still supporting dog racing.PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic