Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Making owners responsible for their pets

Along with the rest of the country, the Humane Society is experiencing a down turn in funding. Because of this we will have to reduce our payroll, and figure out a way to earn more to keep our shelter open. We are reducing our dogs handled with the new dog warden agency taking in more dogs. This has helped us, but we are concerned about the numbers that the dog warden is taking in compared to the adoptions. Many dogs are in grave danger.

We must find a way to make dog and cat owners responsible for their animals. Afterall, if every citizen took his responsibility to his animals seriously, there would be no need for Humane Societies or dog wardens. The public has been taught incorrectly that they can just give over their responsibility of animal ownership to the County or an animal welfare group, usually with no great sense of conscience at all.

A recent ad in the Lima News under free pets reads--- paraphrasing--" puppies free= please come get them before they have to go to the shelter." News alert----- if you have allowed your female dog to get pregnant and produce a litter of puppies, you are the problem and should not be able to just casually give that responsibility to another. Get real--- there are low cost spay and neuter clinics, or take your female to the nearest vet and get her spayed. You are the source of the problem which results in millions of great and healthy dogs and cats getting killed each year in shelters and dog pounds. This is so maddening.

Let's all go on strike and refuse to euthanize any more animals until the city, county, and state governments pass legislation concerning domestic animals that will put teeth into the problem. Let them find the room to house them or make the decision to euthanize them. Perhaps if there was no place to conveniently dump an unwanted pet, maybe people would not make family decisions to move without the pet, or perhaps not get one in the first place. After 35 years, we have noticed more, not less disregard for the family pet.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Jewels says "Thank You"

Today Jewels played with a litter of 8 week old kittens in the lobby of the shelter. She was very gentle with them, realizing they were babies, we think. Wanting to play is a very good sign that she has forgiven the incident and wants to start anew. She really has begun protecting the office at the shelter as if it is her territory. This may not be so good as 65 other dogs live there too!!!
She is definately feeling better and her head injuries are almost completely healed. When visitors are in the shleter office/lobby she goes around to each for a scratch under the chin.

Jewels says a big "thank you to all who have expressed concern for her and have prayed that she might recover to live with trust of humans again. The cheeseburgers are good too!" She may have to buy some stock in McDonalds. Ha!

Please consider adopting a shelter dog or cat. They are all so hopeful for a new forever home. Check all our dogs and cats on achs-pets.com link petfinder.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

News Story

Yesterday's Wapakoneta Daily News and St Marys Evening Leader ran the story about Adam Heckman who was sentenced to 180 days in jail for beating Jewels with a baseball bat. It was clearly not a story about Jewels, and really was an incomplete story about the entire situation. Thus we are so glad that we ran our paid advertisements concerning this dog. Her story would have never been published if we relied on the press. Also please note that their efforts to contact us consisted of an early morning (8:03a.m.) to Sandra Harrison's home phone with no message left to return the call, and to a call to the shelter at 8:o2(a.m.) with again no message left for a return call to them. Seems that the paper did not really want to get our comment on the story, but made the attempt sound that the Humane Society did not comment.

We are hopeful that the sentence of 180 days in jail for Adam Heckman will hold and that probation will not lessen that time.

Jewels continues to improve. She had many visitors and well wishes called in to her yesterday at the shelter. We are moving her out of the office area and into a boarding area to the front of the building as she has all of a sudden developed an interest in getting outside, and the doors at the shelter open many times a day. She can be visited anytime in her new location. She really loves attention and seems to be very trusting.

Thanks to all who have prayed for her and wished her well. Thanks to all the people who left comments on her behalf on the blog, and even to those who chose to be negative in some way. Our comment to the negs is "do not criticize until you have walked a mile in our moccasins."

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Jewels update

Today we have good news. Jewels seems to be improving daily. Her head wounds are still evident and not healed at all yet, but she is walking without the previous stagger and is holding her head more upright. The "light" is seeming to come back into her eyes. Her general condition when arriving, despite her massive injuries, was not good. She had much hair missing all over her body and the hair that was there was had no sheen as a Dob should have. She may have an underlying condition which we may have to addreess later after she has recovered from the trauma.
In order to get her to eat and take her medicine, which we hid in her food, we gave her a cheeseburger on the second day. She now will only eat cheeseburgers!! People have been bringing her cheeseburgers daily. At first she ate bread and all, now she picks through the bread and gets to the good stuff. She has a big dog bed pillow in our shelter office where she spends her time. Jewels is sad looking, but we did hear her bark briefly at someone yesterday which is a good sign. A kind lady brought her a beautiful new collor and leash and some treats yesterday as well as pizza for all the workers! How nice!
Keep her in your thoughts, but the physical crisis seems to be passed. We are smiling again at our shelter.
P.S. Adam Heckman received 180 days in jail yesterday at Court for animal abuse. Not sure if any of this time will actually be served.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

"Man" beats girlfriend's dog with baseball bat

On Sunday late at night September 7th, our Humane Agent was called to a St. Marys, Ohio, residence where she found a 10-year-old mixed breed dog had been bludgeoned with a baseball bat by its caretaker. The dog was lifeless lying in a pool of blood in the bathtub of the owner of the trailer. The dog had been hit multiple times on the head with a wooden baseball bat and left for dead.

The dog was gently taken out of the tub and placed in a carrier and taken to the Humane Society shelter. It was decided by the veterinarian and the assistant to give pain relief and let the dog rest until morning in a warm place. Luckily she did not die in the night and the next day was examined by a veterinarian. The head wounds are massive and it will be a miracle if she survives. All of us have prayed for her, cried with her, and comforted her as much as we can. The rest is up to her. She continues to fight for her life at the shelter .

We have found that her name is Jewels , she is ten, was adopted from the shelter ten years ago. Her owner left her with her estranged boyfriend after leaving with her children. The boyfriend beat and tried to kill the dog to punish the girlfriend for leaving him, and he knew that she loved the dog.

This is the worst case of cruelty and violence against an animal that the Humane Society has witnessed in our 35 years. Even if the "man" is convicted of animal cruelty, there is no justice for Jewels. SLH

Saturday, August 30, 2008

The dilemma in animal welfare from my perspective

I have been working for animals for 35 years. I am finding that not much has changed in those years. This to me is very depressing. Every day at our shelter we face owners of animals who either lie to us and pretend that the animal is a stray, or admit to us that for many bad reasons they can no longer keep their animal. We then must decide to either take in the animal, which is our mission I guess, but it is seeming to me that we are just reinforcing bad behavior of these people by making it so easy to just put off their unwanted animals on an animal welfare group. Then, in effect WE, not the OWNERS who should be the responsible party, may have to make the very hard decision to eventually euthanize this animal. Since the numbers of abandoned pets has not decreased in 35 years, we may need to rethink our goals. For many groups we are becoming only a mass warehouse for stray and abandoned animals. There just isn't enough homes for them all.

Returning the responsibility of these animals to the owners may make people really think about getting a new dog, cat or whatever before doing it. Stricter law concerning abandonment( my thought is that turning an owned animal in at a shelter actually IS abandonment) , better education of children who will later become pet owners, of course spay and neuter programs would help. However, progress has been very, very slow in my opinion and perhaps more agressive tactics may be called for.

Please let me know your thoughts as I have been struggling with this lately and need to have someone either set me straight with their own facts or accompany me in my misery over the whole situation. SLH

Rescuing infant kittens

One thing on my mind today is the rescuing of kittens appearing to be without a Mom. On one evening last week while checking to see if the outside light s at our shelter were working, I noticed a plastic container on one of the outside benches. Then I heard the mews of kittens. The kittens had been left outside without a cover to fend for themselves for the entire night till workers would show up next a.m. Of course I took them home, got them a warm place and ran out to Walmart for liquid milk replacer and bottles. The kittens did not like the nipple and it was a struggle to get them to eat at all. Most of these four will not survive even with our efforts to save them. The BEST THING to do if you find kittens is to leave them where they are( if it is a safe place) and watch them to protect them but wait to see if the mother cat returns before taking them away. You are doing them no favor really by "rescuing" them if their mother is near. (90 % of rescued kittens do not survive. They need the warmth and milk that only the mother can provide. Sadly I will probably be informed this morning that one or more of them did not survive the night. SLH