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Archive for August, 2009

Philadelphia Eagles on the PR Defensive over Michael Vick Outrage

August 15th, 2009 2 comments

Almost immediately after signing Michael Vick to a two-year, multi-million dollar deal, the Philadelphia Eagles are on the defensive, responding to public criticism over their choice to sign a confessed animal torturer to play for their team.

The Philadelphia Enquirer reports that the Eagles issued a note to their high-dollar suiteholders (their “premium-service clients”) claiming they “understand” that their decision to sign Vick “may result in some personal soul-searching for you, along with some public debate in the coming days and weeks.”  The letter went on to ask the suiteholders not to allow this debate to “distract” from their relationship with the Eagles.

Eagles president Joe Banner included a statement that Vick deserved a “second chance” and asked that these clients join the Eagles in their “support and optimism” for Vick as he “commits to showing Philadelphia and the country he is a changed human being.”

Who is Joe Banner Talking About, Anyway?

Is Banner talking about the same guy who blatantly lied to Roger Goodell’s face when the charges first materialized?  Only to have to finally admit their truth when the evidence against him was too compelling to continue to deny?  Is this the person we’re supposed to believe is now a “changed human being”?

Can someone who has a long history of torturing innocent creatures – for fun – be truly capable of becoming a “changed human being” simply because he was caught and punished for his atrocities?  I doubt it.  Had he not been caught, Michael Vick would likely still be engaged in his dog fighting operation.

Let’s be perfectly clear about what he did.  The dogs in Michael Vick’s dog fighting ring were forced to fight to the death.  The dogs that did not die in the ring were often electrocuted, drowned, hanged, shot or beaten to death.

This went on for years.  And if Vick had not been caught, his Bad Newz Kennels would probably still be operating.

Protesting the Eagles’ Decision to Sign Michael Vick

While the Eagles try to paint sunshine and roses for their suiteholders, the website sackvick.net continues to inform concerned fans and dog lovers how they may contact Eagles sponsors and voice their outrage over Vick’s signing.

One football fan that I know reports that he made several telephone calls to sponsors yesterday, including a call to Anheuser Busch.  While speaking with the representative, he got the impression the company was fielding many such phone calls.  Nevertheless, the Anheuser Busch representative commented that there was little the company could do, since the decision was made by the Eagles organization.

Well, for starters, they could pull their sponsorship from the team.

But they’re not going to do that unless it becomes economically unfeasible for them to continue the sponsorship.  That is why concerned individuals need to continue to call the individual sponsors and respectfully let them know you won’t be buying their products if they continue to sponsor the Philadelphia Eagles and Michael Vick.

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Boycotting the Philadelphia Eagles Over Signing Michael Vick

August 14th, 2009 5 comments

Boycotting the NFL and the Philadelphia Eagles Over Michael Vick’s two-year deal to play for the team.

Here is an informative blog called sackvick.net.  They have information about how to voice your concerns to the NFL and the Philadelphia Eagles over Michael Vick’s multi-million dollar deal to play for the Eagles.

The site also has information about Eagles’ sponsors for those interested in boycotting the products of those sponsors.  If you scroll down into the comments section, a helpful reader posted contact information for the sponsors.

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Categories: Uncategorized

Dog Obedience Training: Obviously We Have a Long Way to Go!

August 14th, 2009 2 comments

With two young, rambunctious Lab mix dogs, it sometimes feels as if dog obedience training is an uphill climb.  Actually, some days Frankie and Lucy are model citizens.  They come when called, sit when told, back away from contraband when directed and otherwise behave like furry little angels.

Then there are days like today.

Rambunctious Dogs in Need of Dog Obedience Training

Rambunctious Dogs in Need of Dog Obedience Training

Cheap Canvas Dog Collars

Let me begin at the beginning.  Our dogs wear cheap canvas dog collars.  They are soft and easily adjustable.  They come in a variety of attractive colors.  (Frankie and Lucy are currently adorned in matching red collars.)  They’re inexpensive.  And, until Lucy came into our lives, we thought they were relatively durable.  Frankie wore the same green canvas collar for almost a year without incident.

And then we adopted Lucy.

These two dogs get along better than we could ever have expected.  They can play nonstop, with their two favorite games being play-fighting and tug-of-war.  And they’ve developed a favorite routine for combining their two favorite games.  Lucy will grab Frankie by the scruff of his neck.  He has very thick skin there, and she will grab a mouthful of it and shake it around.  Frankie will pretend to fall down.  (I say “pretend,” because Frankie is literally twice Lucy’s size and a great deal stronger.  He’s not going down unless he want to do so.)

So, Frankie pretends to be bested.  He collapses onto his back with Lucy tugging at the scruff of his neck with all her might.  They wrestle around, play-biting and play-growling for a while.  And then Lucy invariably grabs Frankie’s collar.  With a little acquiescence from Frankie, she slips the collar over Frankie’s head.

And then the game of tug-of-war commences.  Next thing you know, they’re all over either the living room or the back yard, tugging Frankie’s cheap canvas collar with all their might (and with all their teeth).

That is when the phrase “you get what you pay for” comes to mind.  Once they get going, it doesn’t take long for a cheap canvas dog collar to become a pile of worthless pieces of canvas and plastic.  Lucy has been with us for about six weeks, and Frankie is currently on his third cheap canvas dog collar.

Today’s Lesson in Dog Obedience Training

Today’s lesson in dog obedience training was that I need some help with dog obedience training.

There I was first thing this morning, still in my PJs giving Frankie and Lucy a quick break in the back yard before walks.  I turned away for just a couple of minutes, and when I looked back, they were tugging away with Frankie’s brand new collar.  I think they skipped the wrestling sequence and went straight for the tug-of-war part of the game.

Without saying anything, I quietly and calmly walked up to them, intending to just reach out and take the collar away.  They waited until I had my hand on the collar.  Then, as if on cue, Frankie released his grip on it and Lucy took off running with it.  I made the mistake of running after her.  I guess that’s just not something you should do when your dog is in possession of contraband.

Lucy ran the length of the yard with the collar in her mouth and me following behind, ugly neon orange Crocs slipping in the wet morning grass.  Just as I had her cornered near the far fence, Frankie raced up and grabbed the collar out of her mouth and took off running in the opposite direction.

Now, mind you, before I interjected myself into the situation, they were engaged in a fierce, take no prisoners, fight to the death tug-of-war.  But with me flailing along behind, the game suddenly became keep-away.  Them against me.  And I was losing.

This went on for several laps around the back yard before I came to my senses.

At this point, I knew the only way to get Frankie’s collar away from them was through bribery.  So I distracted them with a tasty treat long enough to retrieve the collar.

Dog Obedience Training Tips

Why Can't They Always be this Sweet?

Why Can't They Always be this Sweet?

Here are the dog obedience training tips Frankie and Lucy taught me through this little incident:

  • Keep plenty of cheap dog toys on hand.  Clearly, Frankie and Lucy love to play tug-of-war.  They already have a number of tug toys, but they quickly get bored with the same old toys.  Keep a number of different tuggable toys.  Hide the ones they’re bored with until the dogs have forgotten about them, and then bring them back out.  If they always have a “new” and exciting toy, maybe they’ll be less likley to play with something they’re not supposed to play with, like shoes or rugs or collars.
  • Don’t chase after your dog to try and take something away from her.  This is a game changer, in that it changes the game from whatever they were initially playing to a game of keep-away.  And you’re going to lose.
  • When all else fails, cave in to extortion.  If the dog is in possession of contraband and won’t give it up, exchange it for a treat.  This might not be the most elegant solution, but if Fido is in possession of Daddy’s bottle of Viagra, it might just be the quickest and easiest way to avoid catastrophe for everyone involved.

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Dogs and Cats Rescued from Texas Puppy Mill

August 13th, 2009 1 comment

Five Hundred Dogs and 15 Cats Rescued from Puppy Mill

More than 500 dogs and 15 cats were rescued on Tuesday from an alleged puppy mill in Kaufman County, Texas.  According to news reports, the Humane Society began investigating the operation when someone came to them asking about dog food donations for the animals.

Puppy Mill Kept Dogs in Deplorable Conditions

The Humane Society of Cedar Creek Lake and the Kaufman County Sheriff’s Department conducted the raid, and found the animals being kept in deplorable conditions.  Mainly consisting of small breeds such as poodles and Chihuahuas, the dogs were housed in filthy conditions where they were exposed to the elements at all times.

Many of the dogs, in addition to having severely matted coats, were found suffering from a range of serious medical conditions, including infected wounds, internal and external parasites, and skin and eye infections.  According to the Humane Society’s report, “It is obvious that many of these animals have never known life outside their wire cages.”

All of the animals were quickly removed and transported to an emergency shelter specially set up for this rescue operation.  The Kaufman County Sheriff’s Department has provided 24-hour security to the emergency shelter to ensure the safety of the rescued animals, which were all given appropriate emergency medical care by a team of veterinarians.

The operation was made possible in part by funding provided to the Humane Society by the Kenneth and Lillian Wilde Foundation, who created the Wilde Puppy Mill Task Force to rescue animals from abusive puppy mills.

How to Put Puppy Mills Out of Business

Put Puppy Mills out of Business by Adopting Your New Best Friend from a Shelter

Put Puppy Mills out of Business by Adopting Your New Best Friend from a Shelter

In addition to the good work being done by groups such as the Humane Society of the United States and legislative efforts going on in several states to try and stem the tide of abusive puppy mills, the best way to put puppy mills out of business to starve them out economically.  That means refusing to purchase any dog that is the product of a puppy mill.

The Humane Society offers the following tips for making sure your next puppy does not come from a puppy mill:

  • Adopt a puppy from a shelter.  These animals need you as much as you need them.  Both of our dogs are adoptees, having been abandoned by their original owners.  It gives us satisfaction every day to know that we saved their lives.  They bring us immeasurable joy without a dime having gone into the pocket of a puppy mill breeder.
  • Find a responsible breeder and pay a personal visit to their facility.  There are many responsible breeders out there.  A personal visit to the breeder will allow you to assess how the facility is housing and caring for the dogs.  At a minimum, they should be receiving adequate food, water, exercise, grooming, socialization and veterinary care, and should not be spending their lives confined to cages.
  • Avoid pet stores.  Period.  They buy their dogs from puppy mills.  How else would they make a profit off of each animal?
  • Don’t be fooled by advertising claims that a breeder’s animals are kept in humane conditions.  In other words, going back to a previous point, don’t purchase a dog from a breeder if you can’t personally visit the facility and ensure it is not a puppy mill.
  • Don’t try to “rescue” a puppy from a puppy mill by purchasing it.  Every dollar you put into the pocket of a puppy mill breeder perpetuates the scourge of puppy mills.  If you encounter a breeder you think might be operating a puppy mill, contact your local authorities and the Humane Society immediately.
  • For more great tips, see the Humane Society’s Puppy Buyer’s Guide.

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