Survey Says – We’re making progress on adoption and spay/neuter messages

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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

Legislative news out of Alabama and Texas

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The Waco Tribune-Herald reported last week on a proposal to require most Waco, Texas pet guardians to have their pets spay or neutered and microchipped. The proposal came from the city’s Animal Welfare Advisory Board.

The article states:

The proposal would prohibit keeping or selling intact animals unless the owner is registered with the city as a breeder or the animal is younger than 4 months or medically unfit for sterilization.

And there is some really good news out of the Circle Road animal shelter, where the monthly rate of euthanasia for homeless animals dropped from 45 percent last December to a reported all-time low of 16 percent in April.

In Alabama at last report, a bill that would increase the criminal penalties for acts of animal cruelty just needed the Governor’s signature. Under the law, a Class A misdemeanor those found guilty could serve up to a year in jail and face a $1,000 fine.

Extreme acts of torture to animals could become Class C felonies, according to Fox 10 TV.


PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic

Pack Topics: Spay/Neuter and Rescue

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The link to a very good column crossed the Pack News Wire this morning, concerning the topic of spay/neuter. From what I can gather from the site, Shela Boynton writes a regular column known as “Speaking for the Animals” for the Idyllwild Town Crier out of California.

In this particular piece, Boynton challenges the most common, falsely-developed arguments against sterilizing our pets – from the risks of surgical procedures to the really misguided excuses such as causing weight gain; going against nature and wanting kids to experience birth.

And of course, she notes the health benefits of spay/neuter. She also cites the statistics – the estimated 70,000 dogs and cats born every day in the US to the 4 to 5 million killed each year before they can find loving homes.

AND in St. Johns County, Fla, a dog who was stabbed and had her throat slashed is being adopted by the Sheriff’s deputy who saved her life.

The idiot who tried to kill Amber, stabbed and slashed her and then drug her into the woods to die, as reported by News 4 Jax. On the other end of the humanity scale are the deputy and the kind animal lovers who donated the $2,000 to cover her veterinary bills.


Pack Topics: Homeless pure-bred dogs; and teaching kids compassion

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The Go San Angelo website featured a great editorial last week by Jenie Wilson, under the headline – “Teach children pets are living beings not to be cruelly discarded.” Wilson is the executive director of Concho Valley PAWS group.

Wilson encourages animal lovers to get involved with local rescue groups, promote spay/neuter and adds, “The only way to enact change is to be a part of it.”

And this is equally important “… thousands of purebred dogs are euthanized by San Angelo Animal Control every year.” So here is someone on the front lines in Texas who reports purebred dogs are dying by the thousands each year in a single shelter.

Yet, the folks on the other side, who constantly fight against any and all new regulation on dog breeding, continue to spread the lie that only mutts and pit bulls are in the homeless ranks. Their propaganda has their pants on fire.

HBO documentary “One Nation Under Dog” premiers June 18

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A new HBO documentary “One Nation Under Dog: Stories of Fear, Loss & Betrayal” is scheduled to premier at 9 p.m. June 18.
According to the synopsis on, the three segments within the show will be: Part One – Fear, Part Two – Loss and Part Three – Betrayal. The write-up suggests this will be a “portrait of America’s complex relationship with dogs.”

In the Betrayal segment, the producers reportedly explore issues such as overpopulation, shelters, rescuing and spaying and neutering.
The synopsis includes a mention that 25 percent of dogs in shelters are purebreds. I would say the percentage is actually higher, if we expand the view to the cross-section of all homeless dogs. Breed-specific rescue organizations routinely pull purebred dogs from shelters. And in other cases, purebred dogs are taken in by purebred rescues before they ever make it to a local municipal shelter.

And what about the purebreds rescued by organizations that are not classified as breed-specific organizations. Twenty-five percent seems to me to be on the low side.

Just a quick thought on birth control

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We all know the responsible thing to do is spay and neuter when it comes to our cats and dogs. In this regard, birth control is the responsible way to go.

But weren’t all of us baby boomers taught by our parents that being careful as human adults was the responsible thing to do? Weren’t we taught that unwanted pregnancies were a bad thing and that we needed to use birth control to avoid any surprises?

Yeah. It’s called being responsible – for married or unmarried couples or pet guardians. At this point in Earth’s history and with the current level of booming human population growth and the overpopulation of homeless pets, birth control IS the responsible way to go.

I’ll brace for being called to the carpet for comparing puppies and kittens to babies, but I’ll take that heat to make an important point.


Pack Line Headlines: Puppy mill rescue, animal welfare, exposing factory farming, homelessness

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Dozen of dogs removed from puppy mill: A customer reported an online breeder in Illinois which led to the pulling of 12 of the 41 dogs there on Monday.

The Aledo Times Record reports all of them had ear infection, some had periodontal disease two of suffered from rotting skin. Hopefully, we will continue to see more breeders like this uncovered.

Restaurant owner starts animal-welfare organization: The owner of two restaurants (that I would certainly have on my favorites list if I lived in the area) has founded Uniting to Save Animals (U2SA). The organization helps low-income residents in funding the cost of spaying and neutering their pets and promotes adoption from local shelters and rescue organizations in Maryland.

States trying to criminalizing whistle-blowers who expose animal cruelty on factory farms: out of Florida is rightfully going after the state legislatures that are trying to pass bills that would criminalize undercover video, audio or photos that expose animal cruelty on factory farms.

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Pack Lines Headlines: Animal welfare, budget cuts, puppy mill petition

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IFAW – Within the animal welfare movement, reasons for hope: An editorial ran Dec. 23 with this headline on the International Fund for Animal Welfare’s website.

The piece reflects on areas of success such as the European Union ban on seal products and an increase in the survival rate for stranded marine mammals on Cape Cod.

Low income spay-neuter program defunded in Missouri: The Kansas City Star reports a spay-neuter program for low-income families has been defunded in Jackson County.

It’s a bass-akwards way to cut a budget, when the costs for operating shelters will rise with more pets being born into homelessness.

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PETA’s petition on White House website calls for mandatory spay-and-neuter law

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The White House has a new “We the People” website, where people or groups can create petitions. PETA has joined forces with renowned animal advocate Bob Barker on the “Stop Animal Homelessness at Its Roots” petition.

It was one of the first to reach the 5,000-signature threshold, meaning it is in line to be reviewed by the Obama Administration. The goal is – “a mandatory spay-and-neuter law for all animals adopted from animal shelters or bought from pet stores, puppy mills, and breeders until all homeless dogs and cats in the U.S. have been placed in loving homes.”

Also from the PETA press release –

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