Monday, December 31, 2012


CAPS Files Law Suit Against Barkworks. Pet Store Closes Under Pressure From Anti-Puppy Mill Group 

Following a protracted anti-puppy mill campaign by The Companion Animal Protection Society, the Barkworks pet store, situated in Los Angeles’ Westside Pavilion, will be closing. Despite the closing of the flagship store, CAPS filed a law suit against the California pet store chain for selling sick and dying dogs and for defrauding consumers.

CAPS conducted undercover investigations of Barkworks’ suppliers and found dogs suffering in substandard breeding operations called puppy mills. The commercial breeders selling puppies to Barkworks were found to be violating state animal protection laws as well as the federal Animal Welfare Act. Barkworks breeding dogs were found living in cages exposed to harsh weather conditions, were sick, injured, covered in excrement and acutely distressed. In addition, Barkworks’ breeders had multiple and repeat violations on their USDA inspection reports. The Barkworks chain of stores was also found to be defrauding consumers, telling them that the puppies were raised by “home breeders” or “small private breeders in the home.”

CAPS also obtained and analyzed several years of veterinary records that gleaned evidence that the puppies being sold at Barkworks were often sick and in some cases, died from congenital and infectious diseases.

Making animal rights history, CAPS conducted dozens of protests, some with over 150 activists, inside the malls where Barkworks’ stores are located, upholding a California Supreme Court decision stipulating it unconstitutional to bar the boycotting of a store on private property.

CAPS’ undercover investigations of Barkworks’ suppliers were included in its report to the Los Angeles City Council, leading the L.A. to be the 28th city in the U.S. to pass a ban on the sale of factory-bred dogs and cats in pet stores.

“Pop the champagne corks! The cries of dogs in puppy mills and in our shelters have been heard by the community. L.A. consumers want a cruelty-free pet and Barkworks ignored them. We are that much closer to a time when puppy mills fade into history and when every homeless shelter pet is adopted by a loving family.” ~Carole Raphaelle Davis, West coast Director, Companion Animal Protection Society

Media inquiries: Carole Raphaelle Davis 310-990-5758

Friday, December 28, 2012

Man Rescues His Dog From Alligator

Malamute breeder sentensed......

Mike Chilinski was sentenced last week to serve 30 years in the Montana Department of Corrections after a jury found him guilty of 91 counts of animal cruelty in the lives of 176 malamutes seized in October 2011 by theLewis and Clark Humane Society in Helena and the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS).
According to, the judge suspended 25 years of the prison term, but also banned Chilinski, 52 of Helena from owning or caring for any dogs for the next 30 years, and to surrender all of the dogs to Jefferson County.
When the dogs were seized, most were undernourished, sick, and injured. The HSUS donated $377,000 towards the care and rehabilitation of the dogs and were instrumental in the legal proceedings against Chilinski.
© 2012 Microsoft Corporation© 2012 Nokia
Helena, Montana
46.58975982666 ; -112.0212020874
The extended prison sentence is the longest jail term anyone convicted of animal cruelty has ever received in Montana, and Gina Wiest, executive director of the Lewis and Clark Humane Society hopes this delivers a strong message to substandard breeders.
The Independent Record says all of the dogs will now be available for adoption. For over a year 40 males, 61 females, and 75 puppies have been under the care of the Lewis and Clark Humane Society with their own special task force of caregivers who have helped the dogs gain weight and become socialized. The dogs will be spayed and neutered, and with the help of the American Malamute Assistance League, many of the dogs will be transported to other states including Virginia, Washington, and California to be adopted. Approximately 40 of the dogs will remain with Lewis and Clark Humane Society for adoption.
It is estimated that the costs for the care of the dogs has exceeded $500,000. A restitution hearing is scheduled for Jan. 2, 2013.
Follow the incredible work of the Lewis and Clark Humane Society on Facebook by clicking here.
Congratulations malamutes. Your silent voices were heard loud and clear.
Please call 406-442-1660 for more information about adopting any of these dogs.
If you would like to continue receiving the latest news on pet issues and how we can help those who cannot speak, please click the "Subscribe" icon.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Man Gives $1.5 million dollars to NO KILL Shelter....

Not many people knew Sylvester Czopek during his life. But now many animal lovers will come to know his name after his death.

Czopek bequeathed over $1.5 million to local animal shelters, but only the kind that follow a no-kill policy.
The 84-year-old died in a Joliet hospice in October 2011, but not before setting up a trust that would direct his estate's assets solely to animal shelters that strive to nurse and adopt out their clients.
Czopek was the last of five brothers from Lemont, all of whom never married. Czopek's lawyer says he did not know how much money came to him -- mainly through family real estate -- but was delighted when he realized he could make a difference to the beings that meant the most to him.
The $1.5 million will be split between five no-kill shelters:

  • Will County Humane Society in Shorewood
  • West Suburban Humane Society in Downers Grove
  • Naperville Area Humane Society
  • Animal Welfare League in Chicago Ridge
  • PAWS Chicago Adoption Center

PAWS Chicago has grown into the country's largest no-kill shelter. In 15 years the number of animals brought in has dropped by more than a third, and the number killed is down 60 percent.

The Ten Commandments From A Dog's Point Of VIew

The 10 Commandments From a Dogs's Point of View
  1. My life is likely to last 10-15 years; any separation from you will be painful for me. Remember that before you buy me.
  2. Give me time to understand what you want from me; don't be impatient, short-tempered, or irritable.
  3. Place your trust in me and I will always trust you back. Respect is earned not given as an inalienable right.
  4. Don't be angry with me for long and don't lock me up as punishment; I am not capable of understanding why. I only know I have been rejected. You have your work, entertainment, and friends, but I only have you.
  5. Talk to me sometimes. Even if I don't understand your words, I do understand your voice and your tone. You only have to look at my tail.
  6. Be aware that however you treat me, I'll never forget it, and if it's cruel, it may affect me forever.
  7. Please don't hit me. I can't hit back, but I can bite and scratch, and I really don't ever want to do that.
  8. Before you scold me for being uncooperative, obstinate, or lazy, ask yourself if something might be bothering me. Perhaps I'm not getting the right foods or I've been out in the sun too long, or my heart is getting old and weak. It may be I am just dog-tired.
  9. Take care of me when I get old. You too will grow old and may also need love, care, comfort, and attention.

Fatal Attraction

Okay... so every dogs dream in life is to find a family who absolutely adores them.... then their is Maggie. I know this girl has my back any day of the week because she can't let me out of her grip 24/7. She completes me if you know what I mean. She is my BFF even though she rarely takes me on walks or plays freesbie with me but she is the #1 Best Snuggler in the WORLD !!!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Pet Industry And Animal Welfare Industry Join Forces To Try Fight Puppy Mills

 — Pet industry associations and animal welfare organizations have joined forces in an industry-wide effort to improve conditions for dogs and puppies kept by substandard commercial breeders and sold to consumers. The goal of the group is to create lasting change in the commercial breeding industry to ensure proper and humane care and safety of all dogs and puppies.
While additional outreach to other stakeholders is underway, participating organizations dedicated to the endeavor to date include: American Pet Products Association (APPA), The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), Pet Industry Distributors Association (PIDA), Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council (PIJAC) and retailers Petco and Petland.
“The ASPCA has witnessed first-hand the unspeakable cruelty and horrific conditions of substandard puppy mills, and we are committed to working with key industry leaders to help end the inhumane treatment of dogs in these facilities,” said ASPCA President & CEO Ed Sayres. “We are pleased that the industry has come together in a meaningful way to acknowledge this abuse, and confront it head on.”
The participating organizations have agreed to a definition of a puppy mill, which is often a very controversial and misunderstood term. The group has defined a puppy mill as a dog-breeding operation, which offers dogs for monetary compensation or remuneration, in which the physical, psychological and/or behavioral needs of the dogs are not being fulfilled due to inadequate housing, shelter, staffing, nutrition, socialization, sanitation, exercise, veterinary care, and/or inappropriate breeding. For more details on this definition, visit
Organization representatives recognize that this has been a challenging issue and understand the importance of working together for meaningful change for the benefit of animals. The project is intended to improve conditions for dogs used for commercial breeding, while at the same time ensuring that consumers who choose to purchase a puppy have a reliable and more humane source for obtaining them.
“As animal welfare and pet industry leaders, we have no greater responsibility than to ensure that dogs in our country are treated humanely,” said Wayne Pacelle, President and CEO of The Humane Society of the United States. “This unprecedented collaborative effort is an attempt by stakeholders involved either commercially, recreationally, or philanthropically with pets to deal with the worst actors in the dog-breeding trade and define types of conduct as out-of-bounds for our society.”
Leading pet industry associations and retailers also applaud the effort.
“This effort demonstrates tremendous collaboration among organizations, associations, companies and individuals all working together to protect and further enhance the lives of pets and we are proud to be an instrumental part of it,” said Bob Vetere, President and CEO, American Pet Products Association.
"PIJAC has long been committed to ensuring that prospective pet owners have the ability to acquire dogs and puppies from responsible breeders. It is our hope that this collective effort of our organizations will make certain that all animals are raised in a humane manner," said Mike Canning, President and CEO of PIJAC.
“While we have never sold dogs and promote a Think Adoption First philosophy at Petco, we do believe that all dogs bred for commercial sale should be treated humanely and cared for responsibly, that is why we are participating in this coalition effort,” said Charlie Piscitello, Senior Vice President of Petco, and President of the Petco Foundation.
The groups involved are excited about the potential of this endeavor to institute meaningful change for animals and look forward to inviting the participation of other stakeholders as the effort moves forward.
About APPA:
The American Pet Products Association (APPA) is the leading not-for-profit trade association serving the interests of the pet products industry since 1958. APPA membership includes more than 1,000 pet product manufacturers, their representatives, importers and livestock suppliers representing both large corporations and growing business enterprises. APPA's mission is to promote, develop and advance pet ownership and the pet product industry and to provide the services necessary to help its members prosper.
About the ASPCA:
Founded in 1866, the ASPCA is the first animal welfare organization in North America and serves as the nation’s leading voice for animals. More than two million supporters strong, the ASPCA’s mission is to provide effective means for the prevention of cruelty to animals throughout the United States. As a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation, the ASPCA is a national leader in the areas of anti-cruelty, community outreach and animal health services. For more information, please visit, and be sure to follow the ASPCA on FacebookTwitter, andPinterest. Media Contact: Rebecca Goldrick, 646-291-4582,
About HSUS:
The Humane Society of the United States is the nation’s largest animal protection organization, rated the most effective by its peers. Since 1954, The HSUS has been fighting for the protection of all animals through advocacy, education and hands-on programs. We rescue and care for tens of thousands of animals each year, but our primary mission is to prevent cruelty before it occurs. We're there for all animals, across America and around the world. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty -- on the Web at
About PIDA:
The Pet Industry Distributors Association, was organized in 1968 for the purpose of promoting progress within the pet industry and to conduct programs and activities on behalf of the wholesaler-distributor. Our mission is to enhance the well-being of the wholesaler-distributor, to promote partnerships with their suppliers and customers, and to work cooperatively with other organizations in fostering the human/companion animal bond.
About PIJAC:
For 40 years, PIJAC has been protecting pets and the pet industry. Companion animals are the backbone of our industry, and keeping pets available is PIJAC’s top priority. PIJAC promotes responsible pet ownership and animal welfare, fosters environmental stewardship, and ensures the availability of pets. It is a nonprofit, service-oriented organization comprised of Members who care about pets and the pet industry.

Please try to convince just one person to adopt and go to their local shelter/rescue. It's one life saved and another saved by making room !!!

Monday, December 17, 2012

A Dog's Last Will and Testament.....

A Dog's Last Will and Testament
To a poor and lonely stray I'd give:
- My happy home.
- My bowl and cozy bed, soft pillows and all my toys.
- The lap, which I loved so much.
- The hand that stroked my fur & the sweet voice which spoke my name.

I'd Will to the sad, scared shelter dog, the place I had in my human's loving heart, of which there seemed no bounds.

So, when I die, please do not say, "I will never have a pet again, for the loss and pain is more than I can stand."

Instead, go find an unloved dog, one whose life has held no joy or hope and give MY place to HIM.

This is the only thing I can give....
The Love I left behind.

Author Unknown

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Best Friends ANimal Society Try TO Lend THeir Support

Subject: Stop the pet roundup occurring in Sikeston, Missouri
Trouble with links or images? Click here to view an online version of this email.
Best Friends Animal Society
Take Action
Dear Members and Friends,
“Pit Bull Terrier Dogs and Short-Haired Muscular Mutts Being Seized”
According to reports, Sikeston has seized approximately 20 dogs from families that they are alleging are “pit bulls,” citing their current breed-discriminatory ordinance as the reason for the seizure. We all want safe and humane communities, but studies show that breed-discriminatory laws fail to protect public safety. Breed prejudice also deprives people of their property rights -- their pets.
Please CALL the mayor and the city council members and ask them to enact a good generic dangerous-dog/reckless-owner ordinance to protect citizens against any dangerous dog and prevent reckless owners from owning pets. Ask them to repeal their breed-discriminatory ordinance, as Wentzville, Town and Country, Manchester, and Chesterfield have done, and reunite these pets with their owners.
Politics is not a spectator sport. Thanks for taking action for animals.
You can click this Take Action button to email the city council, but polite phone calls are the most effective way to get the city council to act. Their phone numbers are listed below.
Sikeston City Council:
Mayor Jerry Pullen 573-472-0654
Council member Mike Bohannon 573-471-5287
Council member Bob Depro 573-471-1191
Council member Mike Conway 573-471-2753
Council member Kathy Teachout 573-471-6207
Council member Maude Harris 573-472-4119 
If you have a question or concern about animal welfare please email

Friday, December 7, 2012

Photo's With Santa

    This weekend Dent County Animal Welfare Society is doing pix with Santa at the Brentwood Petsmart. Please bring your fur kids for a fun time & a great cause! See attached flyer & come out & support this wonderful rescue.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

The Puppy Mill Project Rocks ......

"It's Not Cool to be Cruel" Campaign Launches!
In the NewsDecember 2012


Lush Cosmetics Awards Grant to The Puppy Mill Project for educational billboard and more.
December 5, 2012
Just in time for the holidays, a 20 x 60 ft billboard was installed at North Ave. and Kingsbury heading eastbound in the heart of Chicago.

The "It's Not Cool To Be Cruel" campaign launch is crucial because the holiday season is upon us and puppies are high on the wish list for many children. Cari Meyers Founder of The Puppy Mill Project would like more parents to get the message that puppies aren't presents and that they cannot be easily be returned when things go wrong.

When people purchase puppies from pet stores or through the Internet they are contributing to the cruel puppy mill industry. So many people don't realize the origin of these pets. They are led to believe they are purchasing a healthy puppy from a reputable breeder.  The Mothers in puppy mills suffer in cramped cages with no veterinary care and no socialization. They are sentenced to a caged life in a cruel mill. 

"We are really excited to have the support of LUSH Cosmetics, which is a socially responsible company that has donated millions of dollars to non-profit groups," says Meyers, "The more people we can educate, the closer we are to ending animal cruelty."

LUSH is also including The Puppy Mill Project in their Changing The World, One Pot at a Time Charity Pot Program.  

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Cat Friend VS Dog Friend

You Don't Get Any Better Than Mark and Jamie Buehrle

Blue Jays pitcher Mark Buehrle and his wife want Ontario to overturn pit-bull ban
John Lott
Thursday, Nov. 29, 2012
In his first conference call with Toronto reporters, new Blue Jays pitcher Mark Buehrle spent almost as much time talking about his dog as about baseball. Lynne Sladky/The Associated Press
On the mound, Mark Buehrle does not throw hard. In the clubhouse, he’s known as a quiet, even-tempered veteran who leads by example.
All of that changes when he starts talking about pit bulls. And in his first conference call with Toronto reporters, the new Blue Jays pitcher spent almost as much time talking about his dog as about baseball.
Pit bulls have been banned in Ontario since 2005. Buehrle and his family have four dogs, one a pit bull named Slater. Almost immediately upon hearing the stunning news that he had been traded from Miami to Toronto, Burhrle learned that Slater was an outlaw in Ontario.
Now, the Buehrles are trying to figure out where they will be living next season. Miami has a similar ban so they currently live in Broward County, north of the city.
“I think it’s a discriminatory law. Just because of the way a dog looks, I don’t think that dog should be banned from someplace,” said Buehrle, a key piece in the 12-player trade that also brought pitcher Josh Johnson and star shortstop Jose Reyes to the Jays.
“I was kind of joking around with my wife, saying that they probably shouldn’t let me in the country [if] they don’t let my dog in because my dog is so loving and so awesome.”
Already Buehrle and wife Jamie have joined lobbying efforts with Ontario groups seeking to overturn the ban. In Florida, Mark and Jamie taped public-service announcements supporting a bill to repeal that ban, and Jamie was a hard-working advocate to save pit bulls targeted for euthanasia in overcrowded shelters.
In Miami last August, [external] voters chose to keep the ban in place by a 63.2% to 36.8% margin.
Buehrle called the Ontario law a major “obstacle” to his family’s plan to move to Canada.
Although Jamie has recovered from her initial shock over the trade and the pit-bull ban, Buehrle said he worries about the ongoing impact on his family.
“If the family has to stay home [in Florida] because of the dog and I go to Toronto by myself, then that’s going to be tough on her,” he said.
Of the family’s four dogs, two – including Slater – were rescued. Eventually, they will add more dogs to the family, he said.
“We’ve got four and two kids. That’s kind of the max right now. But I have a feeling when I’m retired … we might be on Hoarders for having so many dogs. That’s how big of dog people we are.”
A year ago, after spending his entire career with the White Sox, Buehrle signed a four-year, US$58-million contract with the Marlins. Miami does not grant no-trade clauses, but based on owner Jeffrey Loria’s stated commitment to winning, Buehrle expected to remain a Marlin through 2015.
The trade came as a shock.
“The next day or two, it was just kind of a whirlwind,” he said. “I was just kind of trying to figure stuff out. Obviously, having to do a move again and everything that’s involved in switching teams. I think it was just craziness going on for a couple days.”
Shortly after the trade, a bitter Buehrle issued a statement saying the Marlins had lied to him. But gradually, he said Thursday, calm prevailed. Now, his dog problems aside, he looks forward to playing on a revitalized team that many believe can make it to the playoffs for the first time in two decades.
And he says Toronto has always been “one of my favourite baseball cities.”
“Taking it with open arms and looking forward to moving my career,” he said. “I’m liking what Alex is doing with the team and the guys he signed … It’s going to be an exciting team.”
Alex, of course, would be Alex Anthopoulos, who swung the deal to bring Buehrle, Johnson and Reyes to Toronto, along with utility man Emilio Bonifacio and catcher John Buck. He also has signed free agents Melky Cabrera and Maicer Izturis to multi-year deals.
“With the guys coming over from Miami, I think you’re going to enjoy everybody,” Buehrle said.
He said he believes Johnson will rediscover the form that made him an elite starter before a shoulder problem derailed him in 2011. Johnson struggled at times in 2012 but finished strong.
Both Reyes and Bonifacio are speedsters who bring a high energy level to the club every day, he added.
“[Reyes] wants to play every day. He goes out there and loves stealing bases, loves getting on base, loves being a pest on the bases. I think everybody’s going to like him. He’s energetic, he’s smiling all the time and he wants to win.”
And when it comes to attitude and energy, the “super-fast” Bonifacio’s is a match for Reyes.
“He loves having fun, probably more than Reyes. He’s always dancing. He’s a great guy to have in the clubhouse. I think that’s one guy you guys are going to love.”
Given the Jays’ key holdovers from 2012 and the recent additions, Buehrle said, “you’ve got to like your chances of getting to the playoffs.”
His kids cannot comprehend the upheaval the family is facing. But when the season starts, they will be quick to notice the absence of former Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen.
“I think they’re going to be more upset whenever they find out that they come in the clubhouse and Ozzie’s not in there with a bucket of candy that they get to take home.”

Head To Your Local Shelter.....

Puppy Mill Project

Make a Donation
The Puppy Mill Project
 Like us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter View our profile on LinkedIn Find us on Pinterest View our videos on YouTube Visit our blog

The Puppy Mill Project 2013 Calendars are now available.  
(Link to purchase at the end of the video preview)

Twelve months of outstanding photographs from Best Dog Photography are highlighted in this annual calendar.
Page after page of animated pups, including funny interview excerpts from the owners and their dogs.
LAYLA... My most
embarrassing moment... "When, in a deep slumber, I rolled off the bed", I still think Herman pushed me!"

Monday, November 19, 2012

5 Long Years.........


Our Miniature Dachshund went missing back in 2007, after hundreds of flyers and searching for two years we finally came to the realization that our "Velvet" was lost forever. Not knowing what happened to her led to long nights thinking about her. I got a call from the Albuquerque Animal Services today and at first I thought it was a prank call. 

The control officer indicated they located me via the HomeAgain microchip service center and assured me it was not a prank. In total shock I asked if she was alive and the officer said "Yes, she is sitting here wagging her tail! "

Wow! I went to the shelter and after verifying all the information she was released to me. Animal Services didn't realize they just found a dog missing for over 5 years. My wife didn't know and I should have video taped the reunion between them when I got home. It was so emotional! I immediately took Velvet to our vet and they were so happy too! We talked about all the missing pet posters on their wall and how they should never give up hope even after 5 YEARS! Thanks so much HomeAgain! Chip Chip Hooray!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Here's To All The Incredible Animal Rescue People....WE LOVE YOU !!!

Dog Loves God

This beautiful dog goes with his mom when she does her  adoration at church. Is this not the cutest thing ever ? Even a dog realizes we all need God in our lives !!!

Monday, November 12, 2012

I Died Waiting ...

 The Pit Bull, Once the number one choice family dog in the USA, a sweet intelligent, loving and loyal dog. Now the number one killed breed in shelters, and yet people still breed them. Adopt~Don't~Shop and save a life

Thursday, November 8, 2012

What Are The Causes Of Pet Overpopulation ?

What are the causes of pet overpopulation?

Irresponsible Breeding 

Despite increased public awareness over the past 40 years about the need to spay and neuter pets, 35 percent of pet owners in the U.S. still choose not to do so. Many among this group intentionally choose to breed their pets, either for profit or for what they mistakenly believe to be a "fun" experience. Others choose not to spay
 or neuter out of ignorance, believing that their pets won't breed accidentally.

However, the urge to breed is extremely powerful and it is very frustrating for pets when humans try to put up barriers. Both males and females will run out the door, break through screens, chew through leashes, and jump, climb or dig under 6-foot fences to get to a potential mate. Dogs can even mate through a chain link fence. Simply put, there is no such thing as "accidental" breeding. Spaying and neutering is a conscious choice. Puppies and kittens can be safely spayed or neutered at 8 weeks of age, well before they reach sexual maturity -- so there is simply no excuse for an "accidental" litter.

Many people who breed their pets believe they aren't adding to the pet overpopulation problem if they find homes for all their puppies or kittens. But consider this: Every puppy or kitten sold by an irresponsible breeder means there is one more shelter animal that will not find a home. And many of those same kittens and puppies will end up in shelters themselves at some point in their life. There are currently about 163 million pet cats and dogs in the U.S., and about one out of every 20 ends up in a shelter each year.

Choosing Not to Adopt

It is a common myth that pet overpopulation means there are "not enough" homes for all the shelter animals. In reality, there are more than enough homes, but not enough people are choosing to adopt from a shelter. Seventeen million Americans acquire a new pet each year -- that is more than double the number of shelter animals! Sadly, only 3.5 million people, or about 20 percent, choose to adopt their new pet. The rest choose to buy their pets from pet stores or breeders, or they choose a variety of other cheap or free sources, such as friends, neighbors or Internet ads.

Virtually all puppies sold at pets stores come from puppy mills, where dogs live miserably in tiny cages with little or no opportunity to exercise, play or socialize. Although there are many responsible breeders, there are far more irresponsible ones who are breeding for profit without regard for good health and temperament or the pet overpopulation problem.

While acquiring a puppy, kitten or adult animal from a friend, neighbor or Internet ad might seem innocent enough, in reality you are contributing to the pet overpopulation problem by creating demand for irresponsible breeding or enabling owners to have a convenient, guilt-free and often profitable outlet for disposing of unwanted pets. In many cases, these people will go on to become repeat offenders, engaging in a continuous cycle of irresponsible breeding or pet acquisition and disposal because they know they can easily find a new home for the animal(s).The majority of pets acquired this way are not spayed or neutered, which also perpetuates the cycle of overpopulation. The only way to break this cycle is to choose not to participate in it.

By choosing to adopt, you will not only save a life, but you will also ensure that your adoption fee is going to help the next unwanted pet that comes in the door of that shelter. The adoption fees at most shelters include spaying or neutering, vaccinations, micro chipping, worming, and heartworm or feline leukemia testing, and they are typically hundreds of dollars less than what you would spend to have all of these services performed at a veterinarian's office.

Disposable Pets

The continuous flow of animals into shelters across the country is not just made up of litters of puppies and kittens. In fact, most shelters receive a greater number of stray and owner-relinquished adult pets. The majority of stray pets arrive at shelters without any identification, and most are never reclaimed by their owners. Average owner reclaim rates for stray dogs are less than 50 percent and for cats they are less than 10 percent.

While there are some situations when it may be absolutely necessary for an owner to relinquish a pet, hundreds of thousands of pets are relinquished to shelters each year simply because they have become an inconvenience or because the owner did not consider the time and financial commitment required to properly train and care for them.

The number-one reason for pet relinquishment is "moving," despite the fact that the vast majority of rental properties in the United States are now pet-friendly. For example, in the Denver metro area, 97 percent of managed rental properties allow cats, 93 percent allow small dogs, and 66 percent allow large dogs.

The other top reasons given for pet relinquishment include "behavior problems," "not enough time," "cannot afford care," "allergic" and "new baby."

So why do so many people consider pets to be disposable, and what can we do to change this way of thinking? This is a question that most shelter professionals ask themselves every day, and unfortunately, there is no simple answer. To solve this problem, we would need to effect a cultural change in which every individual fully considers all of the responsibilities and consequences of pet ownership before adopting, and then makes a lifetime commitment to their pet. That perfect world may not be realized anytime soon, but you can do your part by thinking carefully about pet ownership before you adopt.

What you can do to combat pet overpopulation:

Always spay and neuter your pets.

Always adopt your pets from a legitimate shelter or nonprofit rescue group.

Consider all the responsibilities and consequences of pet ownership before deciding to get a pet and always make a lifetime commitment to your pet.

Educate your children, friends, family members and co-workers about pet overpopulation, adoption and the importance of spaying and neutering.

You can help stop generations of suffering. Have your female pet spayed and your male pet neutered. Don't allow them.

Animals In Print
The On-Line Newsletter
February 28, 2012