Tag Archives: Humane Society of the United States

Crate training

I like crate training, particularly because it helps ‘future proof’ your dog.

If your dog needs surgery or rest from an injury at any time, having them used to comfortably resting in a crate saves a lot of time and stress (for both dog and owner).

If you need to travel with your dog, whether for a holiday or for relocating, crate training helps you manage your dog’s comfort as well as your own (e.g. limits the risks of accidents in hotel rooms that will charge you an additional cleaning fee).

Greyhound in crate

Izzy, mostly in her crate, but enjoying a summer breeze coming from the back door. Izzy’s crate is her safe place (the way it should be)

Crate training can be particularly useful for re-homed dogs because dogs will seek out a place that is safe (den-like if you are thinking of wolves).  Giving a re-homed dog a place they can retire to – and not be bothered – is useful for getting them accustomed to life in a domestic home.  It’s also a useful boundary for children to learn.  If the dog is in its crate, then leave it alone.

Unfortunately, over the last 10 or so years, as crate training became more normalised as a concept, it also has been abused.  Owners who are not consistent with their training or not taking the time to truly get their new puppy or dog settled in their home (taking on a dog is a lifetime responsibility, but initially you have to put in the time to get your dog set up for success  for life), have begun using crates as a cage.  A place to go when the owners are out at work (all day, in most cases) or when the dog has mis-behaved and the owner has had enough.

That’s the wrong use of a crate.  There were even stories of dogs locked in their crates during the Christchurch earthquake of 2011 – the dogs were up to their necks in liquefaction by the time they were saved.  That’s not a heartening story if you ask me.  That’s a story of an irresponsible dog owner.

There are many resources to help owners learn crate training.  The Humane Society of the United States, for example, has this useful video:

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

How to Choose a Boarding Kennel for Your Pet

Just in time for the pre-Christmas madness, the Humane Society of the United States has published this very useful list of things to consider when choosing a boarding kennel for your pet.

How to Choose a Boarding Kennel for Your Pet : The Humane Society of the United States

Is your dog joining you for holiday celebrations this year, or are they going to a kennel?  In our area, most kennels are fully booked for the Christmas holiday period.

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

7 Steps to a Happier Pet

This holiday season, the Humane Society of the United States would like to share its 7 steps to a happier pet:

  1. Make sure your pet wears an identification tag
  2. Make sure you enroll your new puppy in behavioural training classes to prevent problems
  3. Animal behavioural problems can be health-related.  Make sure your pet has a complete medical exam by a veterinarian at least once a year
  4. Prepare for disasters and make sure you have a plan for your pet in the event of a hurricane, tornado, fire, flood or earthquake
  5. Plan for your pet’s future in case something happens to you
  6. Learn how to prevent dog bites and how to prevent your dog from biting; visit the Humane Society’s website.
  7. Have a heart, be smart, and make sure your pet is spayed or neutered.

Stopping random source dog dealers

An important message is circulating from the Humane Society of the United States this week.  I support it.

It’s about stopping random source dog dealers. These are Class B dealers in the United States who obtain dogs and cats from “random sources,” such as auctions, flea markets, or questionable means, and sell them to laboratories.  It’s very possible that lost or abandoned pets get captured and sold to these dealers.

The video you are about to watch is heart-breaking and shows dogs bought from one Class B dealer by Georgia Regents University for testing of dental implants.  These dogs had their own teeth removed in order for them to suffer the pain of an implant, only to be killed at the end of the experiment so the researchers could sample their jaw bones.

Watch the HSUS and then sign the petition to the USDA.  And once you’ve done that, follow the link to implore Georgia Regents University to stop using Class B dealers and to cease unnecessary animal testing.

367 lives saved

It’s been just over two weeks since 367 lives were saved in a multi-state raid in the United States, the second-largest dog fighting raid in U.S. history.

Photo by the ASPCA

Photo by the ASPCA

The Humane Society of the United States and the ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®), called in by the United States Attorney’s Office and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), assisted in seizing 367 dogs in Alabama, Mississippi, and Georgia.

‘The lowest places in hell would be reserved for those who commit cruelty to our animals’  George Beck, U S Attorney, Middle District of Columbia

Dogs were found in appalling living conditions, with little shelter from the area’s sweltering summer temperatures.

Federal and local officials also seized firearms and drugs, as well as more than $500,000 in cash from dogfighting gambling activities that took place over the course of the investigation. Remains of dead animals were also discovered on some properties where dogs were housed and allegedly fought. If convicted, defendants could face up to five years in prison, as well as fines and restitution.

The dogs, which ranged in age from days-old puppies to 12-13 years, are now receiving medical care and are being assessed for adoptive homes.

These videos show the condition of some of the dogs that were seized during the raid as well as the living conditions they were found in:

The rescue was the result of many agencies working together.  Agencies assisting the ASPCA and the HSUS with the operation included the Florida State Animal Response Coalition and Sumter Disaster Animal Response Team (Bushnell, Fla.), University of Florida (Gainesville), Humane Society of South Mississippi (Gulfport), International Fund for Animal Welfare (Yarmouth Port, Mass.), Asheville Humane Society (Asheville, N.C.), Charleston Animal Society (Charleston, S.C.), Louisiana SPCA (New Orleans), American Humane Association (Washington, D.C.), Greater Birmingham Humane Society (Birmingham, Ala.), Atlanta Humane Society (Atlanta, Ga.), PetSmart Charities (Phoenix, Ariz.), Code 3 Associates (Longmont, Colo.), Montgomery Humane Society (Montgomery, Ala.), and Dr. Melinda Merck.

Tim Rickey, Vice President of the ASPCA’s Field Investigations & Response Team, participated in the raids and has commented on the realities of dogfighting:

When I first walked on the property, I stared across the yard and saw more than 100 dogs, most of them tied to heavy log chains, anchored to dilapidated dog houses. The dogs ranged from old to young, living on a worn dirt ring that likely had seen generations of dogs come and go to a sad fate.

Most were chained nose-to-nose to their neighbors to ensure continuous arousal.

This cycle begins with being chained at such an early age with little to no positive human or animal interaction. The burden continues with heavy chains, often with additional weights, to drag around their entire lives. The constant noise, arousal and anxiousness push them towards aggression to or from their yard mates. If they don’t respond, their life may end quickly, but if they do, they have sealed their fate of a long, torturous life.

Their only reprieve from the chain is death or brief release to be tested against another dog, eventually going back to the chain with little attention to their wounds. What follows is weeks of intense training and significant human interaction with the person who will commit the ultimate betrayal and force them into a barbaric battle for entertainment and profit. If they survive, they go back again to the chain: A vicious cycle that could go on for years until these dogs finally have no value or fight left in them and are discarded.

Donations to support the care and rehabilitation of these dogs, to any of the organisations involved, will be gratefully accepted.


HSUS media statement

ASPCA media statement

DOGTV for the home alone dog

I wish we lived in San Diego, California where DOGTV is currently aired on cable television. There are plans for rolling it out to other cable providers but who knows if it will ever make it to New Zealand?

Since I use relaxation music in my massage practice, I know that dogs respond to certain cadences of music and it makes sense that they are visually stimulated by certain movements and shapes, too.

DOGTV offers special content for a dog’s sense of vision and hearing and aims to support a confident, happy dog, who’s less likely to develop stress, separation anxiety or other related problems.  It seems a must for the home-alone dog, particularly the younger dogs who have energy to spare when you are not able to be home with them.

DOGTV has been recognised by the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS).

If you are not in San Diego, you can subscribe to a streaming online service with prices that start at US$9.99 per month.  Make sure you understand the impact of this on any data caps you have with your internet provider.

Here’s a sample of DOGTV.  Bring your dog over to the screen to watch!

Meet Billy…

The Humane Society of the United States has introduced a new video this holiday season.  This is the story of Billy, a Chihuahua rescued from a puppy mill and Adam, his rescuer and new owner.

After you watch this video, please donate to the HSUS or the animal welfare agency of your choice this holiday season.  Animal rescues are always in need of funds and your donation can make a difference.

Pet personality quiz raises funds for animal welfare

By taking a simple pet personality quiz, you can help raise funds for the Humane Society of the United States.

The quiz is sponsored by Petplan insurance.  For every completed quiz, $1 will be donated to support the Society’s animal welfare efforts.

Take the quiz here.

Protecting pets on US flights

The US Department of Transportation has proposed a strengthening of regulations involving the transport of animals on airplanes.

The proposal would require 36 airlines to report companion animal incidents that happen in the cargo holds of their planes.  Currently, only 15 airlines are required to submit annual reports.  Carriers also would have to report the number of animal losses, injuries and deaths and the total number of animals transported each year.

The Humane Society of the United States has endorsed the proposal.  The Society regularly receives complaints about animals who are injured in cargo holds or – worse – die.  Animals transported as cargo are exposed to excessive temperatures (hot and cold) and rough handling.  There have been reports of poor ventilation and lack of oxygen, too.

Another significant change is that the regulations also would apply to dogs and cats being shipped for commercial sale. With an upsurge in online sales, particularly of dogs,  many operators of inhumane commercial breeding facilities (puppy mills) transport dogs to pet stores and to new owners via airplanes.

Inga Fricke, the Director of Sheltering and Pet Care Issues for the Humane Society says  “We applaud the Department of Transportation for proposing to expand this rule because it will keep dogs and cats safer on planesRequiring stronger reporting requirements of airline carriers will force carriers to better handle animals during transport, providing the oversight needed. It would also give consumers clarity when choosing an animal friendly airline, and travelers would be able to compare carriers’ rates of animal deaths and injuries.”

A letter to my dog

A letter to my dog is the website collecting stories for photographer Robin Layton’s book project.  Dog owners from across the United States are encouraged to write a letter to their dog, include a photo, and upload both to the site.

This year, Layton will select some of the submissions and visit the dogs and their owners for professional photographs – and the letters and photos will go into his book.    A contribution from the proceeds of the book will be donated to the Humane Society of the United States.

What I like about the site is that people can include the breed of their dog as part of their submission (and there’s a category for mixed breeds, too!).  If you’re partial to the Dalmatian, for example, you can click on the Dalmatian link and read all the stories submitted by Dalmatian owners.

What I really like about the site is that it is a great pick-me-up after a long day.   It’s  dedicated to the bond between dog and owner and gives owners a chance to express their great love for their dog.  Excellent reading!

Some excerpts:

Full of jokes and hugs, you always know how to make me laugh, even in my darkest depression.

The way you look at me, it makes me feel as if I am every thing good in the world, because that is what you see in me.

I am so happy to have you and I hope you live a lot more years.

How could we have known when we walked into the animal control (the pound) the special connection and impact you would have on our lives.

I adopted you 9 years ago, and I still have vivid memories of that day when I came to pick you up.

This might seem a little odd because you can’t read, so I’ll explain it to you over a beer and a few treats very soon.

You instantly won my heart and even managed to win over my mom.

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