Category Archives: animal welfare

Dog of the Year

Forget the Golden Globes…

Don’t even think about the Screen Actors Guild awards…

And even pass by the Oscars…

The awards show of early 2015 was the World Dog Awards, broadcast earlier this month on the CW Network in the USA.

Dog of the Year was Hank, the Ballpark Pup. Hank, a suspected Bichon Frise cross, made headlines last year when he wandered into the spring training camp of the Milwaukee Brewers professional baseball team.   A veterinary check revealed that he may have been hit by a car.  Outfitted in Brewers’ official gear, he became the team’s mascot.  A children’s book, beach towel, and other merchandise have also been produced, with 20% of the proceeds going to the Wisconsin Humane Society.

The title “Dog of the Year” was given to honor the dog that made the most impact on popular culture during 2014.   Hank received his Golden Hydrant statue from celebrity Paris Hilton.

While this award show may be seen my some as ‘over the top’ – Hank’s story helped to highlight the plight of homeless pets and the need for people to think ADOPTION first.

Good dog, Hank.  Good Dog.

Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, Canine Catering Ltd, Christchurch, New Zealand

A new twist on abandonment

The Scottish SPCA has reported a dog that was abandoned along with a suitcase of his belongings.

The Shar Pei cross, Kai, along with his suitcase (photo by SPCA/PA)

The Shar Pei cross, Kai, along with his suitcase (photo by SPCA/PA)

The dog named Kai (identification details that were found on his microchip) was discovered tied to a railing outside Ayr station.  His suitcase contained a pillow, food, toy and bowl.

When Scottish SPCA inspector Stewart Taylor checked with the owners, whose details were registered against the microchip, he was told that they had sold Kai on a website in 2013 but they didn’t know to who!

“This case highlights the potential consequences of selling an animal online as it often leads to the impulse buying of pets that people know very little about.  Regardless of the fact Kai was left with his belongings, this was still a cruel incident and we are keen to identify the person responsible. If anyone can help we would ask them to get in touch as soon as possible,” said Scottish SPCA inspector Stewart Taylor.

Abandonment is an animal welfare offense that in Scotland and, if convicted, the persons responsible are likely to be banned from keeping animals for a specified period of time.

The bottom line on this case is that abandonment is still abandonment.  And the ‘new’ owners weren’t even responsible enough to have Kai’s microchip updated.  However, the previous owners are also responsible in that they failed to check on the people who were adopting Kai from them, ensuring they had legitimate credentials, viewing their home, etc.

Dogs are not disposable!

Source:  The Telegraph

Swiss chocolates (yes); Swiss roast dinner (no)

I, like many women, love chocolate and the Swiss are known for it.  However, some Swiss nationals, particularly farmers, regularly eat dog and cat as a meat source.

The advocacy group SOS Chats Noiragigue is leading a campaign to ban the consumption of cats and dogs with a petition to parliament.  As of late November 2014, 18,000 signatures had been gathered including that of famous actress and animal rights activist Brigitte Bardot.

Actress Brigitte Bardot is just one signatory on a petition to outlaw the consumption of dog and cat meat in Switzerland

Actress Brigitte Bardot is just one signatory on a petition to outlaw the consumption of dog and cat meat in Switzerland

Dog meat is primarily used in sausages.

In Switzerland, a proposal needs 100,000 signatures out of a total population of around 8 million for a national referendum to be held on the issue.

With the power of the internet, animal lovers from around the globe can sign a petition to help add weight to this cause.  The Force Change petition is here.

Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, Canine Catering Ltd, Christchurch, New Zealand

Now Paw-tucket can live up to its name

The city of Pawtucket, Rhode Island had a 10-year old ordinance banning the ownership of pit bulls until earlier this week.  A judge ruled that a 2013 state law banning breed-specific legislation meant that the city’s law was now illegal.

This is a win for the fight against breed specific laws and restrictions.

Pit bull owners in Pawtucket celebrated on Sunday with a parade.  There was also a free dog training class offered afterwards.  A local group, Pit Bulls for PTSD, also participated in the parade.  The group trains pit bulls to become service dogs for autistic children and veterans suffering from PTSD.

Please remember:  punish the deed and not the breed!

Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, Canine Catering Ltd, Christchurch, New Zealand

Sheltering people and pets from domestic violence

In the late 1990s, Dr Frank Ascione from Utah State University published some scary statistics:  48 percent of domestic violence victims will stay in an abusive situation because they fear leaving their pets behind.

In New York City in 2013, the Urban Resource Institute teamed up with sponsorship from Purina to launch a pilot program:  People and Animals Living Safely (PALS).  PALS is a co-sheltering program that allows pets to escape domestic violence and remain with their owners in pet-friendly apartments.  A first for New York City, it’s been remarkably successful.  The apartments are always full.

So this year, the program was expanded to include a dog park and play area for the sheltered animals.  Aptly called the Purina Play Haven and Dog Park, this park, full of enrichment activities, was designed by a professional architect.

In these videos on YouTube, have a look at the dog park and hear about how this program fills a need for those unfortunate enough to have become the victims of domestic violence.

Sometimes ‘big corporate’ money can be used for a higher purpose!

Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, Canine Catering Ltd, Christchurch, New Zealand

 

Life lessons from the Vicktory dogs

I do not support breed specific legislation.  One of the agencies leading the way in changing the perception of pit bulls, and breed specific legislation more generally, is Best Friends Animal Society.

In this TEDx talk filmed in Salt Lake City, Julie Castle, the Chief Marketing and Development Officer for Best Friends Animal Society, talks about the 22 pit bulls rescued from Michael Vick’s fighting kennels that were sent to the Best Friends sanctuary.  Alongside their journey of recovery, Castle discusses how Best Friends built a coalition to change perceptions about pit bulls and to advocate for saving rather than killing pit bull dogs.

I hope you find this story as inspirational as I do.

Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, Canine Catering Ltd, Christchurch, New Zealand

 

The dogs that conquered space -The Guardian

Space walkies … a postcard of Belka and Strelka in their rocket. Photograph: Fuel Publishing

Space walkies … a postcard of Belka and Strelka in their rocket. Photograph: Fuel Publishing

In the Soviet era, space travel was a major goal and stray dogs collected from the streets were the first explorers in the space program.  This article, by Oliver Wainwright, provides some insight into the propaganda behind the program and how they matched with reality.

It is a rather sad tale of how dogs were exploited in the name of progress, but such exploitation still occurs today in the name of science (arguably, with varying degrees of success, with more standards and controls in place).  Read the story by clicking on this link:  The dogs that conquered space | Art and design | The Guardian.

I have previously blogged about Laika the space dog; so be sure to check out that column for more information on Laika.

Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, Canine Catering Ltd, Christchurch, New Zealand