Tag Archives: Best Friends Animal Society

Re-visiting Old Friends

Old Friends

Today, I worked at Old Friends.  This is the ‘old people’s home’ of the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary.  Besides helping to take dogs for walks in the cooler morning hours, I also got to use my massage skills on some special needs dogs.

Google

Google

Google was rescued from Kanab, Utah.  He spent most of his life chained; and as a result he has neck problems.  Because of his neck problems, his back, mid-thoracic, is also tight.  Google thoroughly enjoyed his massage.

Google has been at Best Friends for some time; he's over the age of 12 and still looking for a home. He's also been a blood donor for other dogs. Some nice person is sponsoring him so he can receive a free flight anywhere in the USA if adopted.

Google has been at Best Friends for some time; he’s over the age of 12 and still looking for a home. He’s also been a blood donor for other dogs. Some nice person is sponsoring him so he can receive a free flight anywhere in the USA if adopted.

Wrangler, who is suffering from heartworm

Wrangler, who is suffering from heartworm

Wrangler had just had his second injection as part of heartworm treatment.  Dogs undergoing this treatment have a series of injections and are restricted in exercise to ensure that the worms don’t dislodge from the heart causing respiratory arrest.

Wrangler needed very light massage (so not to stress his system) and few acupressure points for relaxation.

By the end of his massage, Wrangler rewarded me with a smile

By the end of his massage, Wrangler rewarded me with a smile

I am convinced that there is a role for massage therapy in the shelter environment, particularly for long-term residents and those with special health needs.

I am grateful to the caregivers at Old Friends who allowed me to work with these animals.

Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, The Balanced Dog Ltd, Christchurch, New Zealand

Advertisements

When a military dog retires…

Photo courtesy of Best Friends Animal Society

Photo courtesy of Best Friends Animal Society

The US military trains and uses dogs for a variety of reasons – and the dogs and their handlers develop a deep bond with one another.

The 2016 fiscal year military appropriations bill recently passed the House of Representatives and included a provision that mandates that all suitable military animals be made available for adoption. It also says that each animal’s handler — the person who these veterans most trust and rely on — shall be given priority when it’s time to adopt.

The bill is making its way to the Senate and it’s time to let Washington lawmakers know that you think this special provision should stay in the final version.

The Best Friends Animal Society has started an online form that enables you to ask your U.S. senators to support section 594 of the bill.   Follow this link to the Legislative Action Center to take action.

Over the years, I have written a number of stories about dogs, military service, and the health and welfare of these special service animals.  Visit these posts:

Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, The Balanced Dog 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

 

Mine: The Movie

Mine the movie

Followers will have to forgive me for taking so long to see this film.

In my defense, I have tried to view it since the film came out in 2010.  I made contact with the filmmakers at the time and there we no screenings in New Zealand that had been planned. Our local independent cinema chain never responded to my enquiries (by phone and email) to show the film and then we had our big earthquakes of 2011 which not only destroyed our arthouse cinemas, but also took my attention away for a considerable time.

I have finally managed to watch the DVD while visiting relatives who rented it on Netflix. I’m so glad we did.  It was everything I hoped it would be.

This award-winning documentary follows the story of pet owners who were separated from their animals during the haphazard and uncoordinated evacuation of New Orleans in 2005 before Hurricane Katrina hit with full force.  The animal rescue efforts were undertaken by many volunteers, but without infrastructure for central coordination.

This film tells the stories of Bandit, JJ, Precious, Max and other dogs and their owners and their fight to be re-united.

Be prepared with tissues – some of the footage and stories are heart-breaking; others joyous.

Hurricane Katrina taught us a lot about animal disaster planning and I hope we never face a catastrophe on this scale again.  My friends at Best Friends Animal Society continue to care for some Katrina survivors today.  Their numbers are, of course, dwindling with time.

If you have a Hurricane Katrina story to share, please reply to this blog post.

Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, The Balanced Dog, Christchurch, New Zealand

Celebrating all of the mothers

Sunday is Mother’s Day.  The Best Friends Animal Society have put out this lovely video to celebrate all mothers – four-legged ones too!

Daisy is a mother; I’m Daisy’s Mum.  We have yet to decide how we will mark the occasion but we will pause (paws) to celebrate.

Happy Mother’s Day!

Behavioural problems in pet store dogs

Dogs purchased from pet stores are more likely to have a range of behavior problems than those purchased from small, non-commercial breeders, says a study by researchers at the Best Friends Animal Society and the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine.

The study was published in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association.

The study involved 413 dogs purchased from pet stores.  Psychological and behavioral characteristics of these dogs were compared to the same characteristics in 5,657 dogs obtained from small-scale, private breeders.  (Most puppies sold in pet stores in the USA are sourced from large-scale, puppy mill type commercial breeders).

Results show that dogs obtained as puppies from pet stores showed significantly more aggression toward human family members, unfamiliar people and other dogs. Dogs purchased from pet stores were almost twice as likely to exhibit aggression directed toward unfamiliar dogs than dogs purchased from small non-commercial breeders.

The pet store dogs also a displayed greater fear of other dogs and typical events in pet dogs’ lives, had more behavior problems when left alone at home, and experienced more problems with house-soiling.  These behaviors in young adult dogs are reasons typically cited by people who surrender their pets to animal shelters.

“The results were so one-sided that in the wide range of behavior problems we included in our analysis, pet store dogs failed in every single case to even obtain one more favorable score than the comparison group of dogs” says Dr Frank McMillan of Best Friends Animal Society.

The research team acknowledges that the exact causes of the behavioral problems observed are not known; until these causes are understood, they recommend avoiding purchasing puppies from pet stores.

Source:  BusinessWire media release

See my related post about the ASPCA’s No Pet Store Puppies initiative

 

 

 

Sanctuary

A sanctuary is a place of refuge or asylum.  Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Kanab, Utah is a place of refuge for homeless animals; it is also a relaxing and peaceful place for the humans (like me) who visit and volunteer here.  Think of it as a refuge from the rat race of everyday work and life.

If you would like a holiday where you can give back and help homeless dogs and other animals, I hope you will think about Best Friends!

May Peace Prevail on Earth

Dedication on Peace Pole