Thanks to everyone who reached out to me after yesterday’s blog post. It’s tough to know your crowd — some folks don’t get it. Thankfully, they have kept their mouths shut to me (and I mean thankfully for them. I do not go gently into anything. Good night)
Today my son reached out to me with a dreadful tale about animal abuse. Some (can’t really call them human, or even people, so I will go with the most polite moniker with which to bestow them) ASSHATS decided that owning a puppy was too hard. After their 8 month old labradoodle chewed up a pair of tennis shoes, they took the puppy to the woods and shot it.
Luckily, the police were called. The puppy is doing well, and will be adopted by one of the police officers.
The Asshats are in the brig. Hopefully the Navy can punish them more than a civilian court. In most instances, animal cruelty/abuse/neglect is a misdemeanor. In Washington state, where this happened, I believe the minimum punishment is $150 fine, the max is $10,000 and five years in jail, presumably for repeat offenders. ( found this link helpful, btw: http://www.dopplr.com/animal-cruely-laws/).
Here in Minnesota, my rescue just last night brought in an owner surrender Dachshund named Uno. Uno is struggling, but making it so far. (to donate to his care, go to https://www.facebook.com/SecondhandHounds/)
Nope. This is not a stray. This woofer had an OWNER.
Today I want to reach out to all of you animal lovers out there. So many folks have asked what they can do for me and my family in our time of grieving for Penny — a dog who may have come from a breeder (I didn’t know better back then) but has helped so many foster dogs learn how to be forever pets.
You can help by:
- Fostering. Find a local foster-based rescue and open your doors to an animal. At our rescue, there is no cost to the fosters — all expenses are covered by Secondhand Hounds (including massive, expensive medical care). Fosters choose which animals they foster, and they choose the animal’s new family. Most rewarding thing I’ve ver done. Yes, it’s hard to let them go. But it’s worth it (in 5 years we’ve never kept one!)
2. Adopt, don’t shop. Don’t use a breeder. Yeah, there are good breeders out there. But there are far more animals killed daily in shelters (some of them purebreds, if you care about that) than you want to know:
NEW YORK, N.Y.– The ASPCA® (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) today released national shelter estimates showing dramatic decreases in shelter intake and euthanasia of homeless dogs and cats. The ASPCA reports that an estimated 1.5 million companion animals are euthanized in U.S. animal shelters nationwide every year, a decrease from about 2.6 million estimated in 2011. Contributing to this reduction is an 18.5 percent increase in national adoptions. An estimated 3.2 million shelter animals are adopted each year (1.6 million dogs and 1.6 million cats), up from 2.7 million adoptions in 2011. (March 2017) https://www.aspca.org/about-us/press-releases/aspca-releases-new-data-showing-remarkable-progress-homeless-dogs-cats
So yes: the numbers are better. But 1.5 million animals last year!!!
3. Spay/neuter your pets. yes, you love your Fluffy. But don’t breed “just to see” what the pups/kittens will be like. Every litter brought into this world means another litter dies.
4. LOVE your animals! Get them preventative care (you do NOT want me to put up pictures of a heartworm-ridden hart). Vaccinate. Keep their teeth clean.
Do not leave your pet in a car. ‘Nuff said. (and fyi: the police are getting more and more ok with breaking windows to save animals. So there’s that).
5. Support bigger penalties for animal cruelty. The animals are insanely forgiving. We don’t have to be.
I would love to invite you all to share your stories with me — pets you have loved and lost, your forays into rescue, etc. If I can convince just one person to help in Penny’s name, it will help ease our pain.
Now: go hug your pet! Walk your dog, stroke your cat, make googly eyes at your fish. Enjoy them!