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Archive for December, 2010

Christmas Puppies

December 28th, 2010 1 comment

Cute Puppies for Christmas

At the risk of sounding like Scrooge, we can only hope the adorable puppies in this video montage did not come from puppy mills

We also hope that the parents in these videos who got their children dogs for Christmas are willing to take the time to teach their kids that a live animal is not a toy and that responsible pet ownership is a life long commitment.

Some shelters refuse to allow adoptions to take place around the holidays and have strict rules about adopting out animals as gifts, especially as gifts for children. 

Of course, there are many benefits for children growing up in a home with pets.  Dogs provide unconditional love and dog ownership can help children learn responsibility and compassion.  Here is an excellent article that gives some step-by-step instructions for teaching children how to care for a dog.

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Categories: Dog Health

Michael Vick Wants to Own a Dog as a Pet

December 16th, 2010 1 comment

Michael Vick Wants a Pet Dog

Professional football player Michael Vick, who spent time in prison for convictions surrounding his infamous involvement in dogfighting and animal torture, now says he would like to have a dog as a pet someday. 

Vick, who was reinstated into the NFL in spite of a public outcry at the time, says he now spends a great deal of his time working with the Humane Society of the United States and explaining to young people why dogfighting is wrong.  Michael Vick says he is working with HSUS and mentoring kids not because of a court order, but because of his own desire to help others.

Michael Vick told the website theGrio, “I would love to get another dog in the future.”  He stated, “I think it would be a big step for me in the rehabilitation process.  I think just to have a pet in my household and to show people that I genuinely care, and my love, and my passion for animals.”

Michael Vick pleaded guilty in 2007 for his role in running the dogfighting ring Bad Newz Kennels, a place where dogs were tortured in unthinkable ways.  Dogs were trained and forced to fight for the amusement of spectators who also placed bets on the animals.  Some dogs were chained to car axles and used as “bait” for the fighting dogs.  Dogs that showed little or no inclination to fight were shot, electrocuted, drowned, hanged or beaten to death.

According to a USDA investigative report, Michael Vick personally had a hand in hanging three dogs with a nylon cord tied to a tree, drowning three other dogs in a 5-gallon bucket of water, and repeatedly slamming another dog onto the ground until it died, breaking its neck and back in the process. 

HSUS president Wayne Pacelle, who has toured schools with Michael Vick since his release from prison, believes that Vick has changed and would now be a good dog owner.  Pacelle told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, “I have been around him a lot, and feel that he would do a good job as a pet owner.”

A federal judge sentenced Michael Vick to 23 months in prison and ordered that he serve three years probation after his release during which time he is prohibited from buying, selling or owning dogs.  So, until his probation is complete, there is no possibility for Michael Vick to own a dog.

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Stray Dogs and Cats in Cairo, Egypt

December 9th, 2010 1 comment

One of About 5M Stray Animals in Egypt

If you visit Cairo, Egypt, you cannot help but notice the large numbers of stray dogs and cats all around the city.  According to the Egyptian Gazette, there are approximately 5 million stray animals living on the streets of Egypt. 

Stray Dog Looks for Food in Cairo

Sad looking stray dogs slink around the tourist destinations looking starved and thirsty.  Entire litters of kittens skitter through the centuries-old Khan al-Khalili market hoping to catch a discarded crumb to eat.  Packs of dogs roam along the Nile, scrounging through trash. 

Cruel Eradication Procedures for Stray Animals in Cairo

Many of these stray animals face miserable lives that include not only deprivation, but outright torture.  And every year, numerous stray dogs and cats are shot by Cairo authorities as part of a seasonal stray animal eradication program.  According to the Society for the Protection of Animal Rights in Egypt (S.P.A.R.E.):

Recently, Egyptian authorities responded to citizens’ complaints by shooting a pack of stray dogs who were left to die slowly or left to live with broken bones and permanent paralysis.  Common killing methods of the public include drowning, starving and torturing strays for either entertainment or eradication.  Glass filled meat is also fed to dogs which causes them to suffer extreme pain as the food is being digested.

Animal Cruelty Laws Are Lacking

Stray Cat Surviving in Khan al-Khalili Market, Cairo

Animals in Egypt are not afforded much protection in the law.  Article 357 of the Egyptian Penal Code criminalizes the willful killing or harming “without purport” of a domesticated animal and provides for up to six months in jail or a fine of up to 200 LE (approximately $35 US). 

Article 355 provides for a harsher punishment for the willful killing of livestock to include a sentence of penal servitude.  According to S.P.A.R.E., Article 355 was adopted in 1937 to prevent Egyptian farmers from killing each other’s animals out of revenge.  Article 357 was added in 1982 to include some protection for non-wild animals not mentioned in Article 355.

Unfortunately, the way the laws are drafted, and considering the sheer numbers of strays roaming the streets of Cairo, a person killing or harming an animal could likely claim they were simply trying to get rid of one more stray.  In fact, as the Egyptian Gazette reports, Dr. Sayyed Hegazi, a “veterinary expert,” recently advocated mixing poison into the garbage that stray dogs and cats eat.

Fortunately, groups such as S.P.A.R.E., the Egyptial Society of Animal Friends, and other Egyptian Federation for Animal Welfare organizations are working to rescue and shelter animals, advocate for stronger animal abuse laws educate the Egyptian public about animal welfare.

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Microchipping Your Pet Can Bring Her Home Safely

December 8th, 2010 1 comment

Lost Cat Returns Home After Five Years

Reunited With Owner Thanks to a Pet Microchip

Five years after he wandered away from home in the confusion following Hurricane Katrina, Scrub the cat was reunited with his owner, Jennifer Noble of Mississippi, all thanks to a pet microchip

According to the Sun Herald, Scrub was brought to the Humane Society of South Mississippi by a woman who said she had been feeding him as a stray for a few months.  With cold weather moving in, the woman was afraid the cat would suffer if he had to be outside during the night.  Noble was contacted after the cat’s microchip was scanned and revealed Noble’s contact information. 

“This is the power of microchipping,” said Humane Society Director Tara High.  “There is no other way that cat would have found its family.”

According to High, the Humane Society has done more than 7,000 pet microchips and has seen its stray intake decrease over 34 percent.  “The animal control officers are scanning them before they even come in.”

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