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Sam Dobson Writes: Man's Best Friend...

Friday, March 9, 2012

Man's Best Friend...

     I’ve worked with dogs for about six years now. Not only are we a boarding and daycare facility, we also function as a rescue. We take in homeless dogs and foster them until we can find them forever homes. We pick families based on best fit and the impression that they will care for and love these animals as long as they live. Unfortunately, even the seemingly perfect family can decide to give up their pet for a trivial reason.
           
      When did pets become temporary and disposable? It makes me sad to hear some of the excuses people give to explain why they cannot keep their pet. I have rescued both of my pups, one from a local animal shelter and the other from our rescue group. Under no circumstances would I give up my dogs. A common excuse we hear within the dog community is the loss of a home. While I appreciate the severity of the housing crisis, I can without a doubt say that if I were ever in that predicament, I would be in the back seat of my car, spooning my dogs at night. They are essentially my children. It is my job to protect and care for them and in return, they provide me with unconditional love.
          
     I'm sure some of you may be wondering if I am one of those crazy ladies who dresses up her dogs and feeds them people food from a fork. While I have dressed my little one in a sweater to keep him warm and I do make rice for my boxer when her tummy acts up, I can assure you that I am not one of the crazy ones. In defense of the super neurotic dog owners, although they may be a pain for me to deal with when taking care of their dogs at work, they do take amazing care of their pets. These are not the pet owners who get fed up with their dog's high energy, and instead of exercising him more, they just drop him off at a shelter. These are the people who would pay the $2,000 vet bill if some unexpected illness fell upon their dog. I applaud these dog owners for taking their responsibilities seriously, and then some.
            
   As I said, I would never give up my dogs. I can't imagine dropping them off at a county shelter where they would be given about three days to get adopted before they were euthanized. That is what happens to dogs who wind up at the county shelters for one reason or another. If the shelter employees decide a dog is "too aggressive" they move that dog to the top of the euthanasia list. Because of the ever lacking space for these dogs, even a dog who is simply shy can be labeled "too aggressive" in order to free up more space. The blame is not to be laid on the shelters; they simply don't have enough funding to create more space or to put more effort in to getting these dogs adopted. It's a sad reality that won't be changing anytime soon. I always remind our customers to keep a collar with current contact information on their pets at all times. You don't want your pup getting lost in the shelter system.
           
    Listening to a talk radio station one night last week on my way home from work, Governor Jerry Brown's new California budget plan was being discussed. Of the many funding cuts he has proposed, one will directly affect the animal community. Working for a rescue, this information immediately caught my attention. I decided to feature this information in our monthly newsletter. I have included the blurb from the newsletter in this post so you can educate yourself and others about this potential threat. If you would like to help put a stop to Gov. Brown’s repeal of Hayden Law, go to my facebook.com page for a direct link to the petition.
         
     So, with all of this being said, go home and give your pet a little extra loving tonight, maybe a special treat or an extra belly rub.

Sincerely,
Sam, Hades (the boxer), and Ignatius (the little mutt)

From the Paws March Newsletter:

              The animal community needs your help. For those of you that haven’t kept up on local politics, Governor Jerry Brown is attempting to repeal SB 1785, better known as Hayden Law, which requires shelters to keep stray or lost pets for four to six days before they can be euthanized. This California legislation that went into effect in 1999 does more than just require a holding period. This legislation also requires that shelters post lost-and-found lists for owners who may be searching for their pet. Shelters are also currently required to provide veterinary care for injured or sick animals and mandates that other animals, such as rabbits, be given the same protection and care as dogs and cats. These segments of Hayden Law face the threat of being removed by Governor Brown’s repeal for the 2012-13 California budget.

              If you love animals as much as we do, visit our Facebook.com page for a direct link to the petition to help stop this repeal from happening. It is up to us to protect and fight our animal friends. They give us unconditional love and comfort, the least we can do is sign a petition. Spread the word to fellow animal lovers. Make sure your friends and family are aware of the impending danger to our animal community.

            This is also an important reminder to always keep a collar with identification on your pup! Contact your vet for information about getting your pup chipped to ensure they can be identified by a shelter if they ever become lost. Please don’t allow your pup to become one of the countless dogs to be lost in the shelter system. It’s time for the animal community to take a stand and protect our loyal, animal friends.

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