Monday, February 25, 2013

Ask A Trainer is a fabulous blog .......

Shock Collars for Dogs? They Don't Work, and Here's Why

Such tools are often sold as harmless devices, and they're proliferating. Don't play along.
  |  Feb 7th 2013  |   92 Contributions

I'm amazed how many tools you can buy that cause dogs pain and fear. There's the SimpleLeash, a leash and shock collar combo that automatically shocks your dog every time the leash goes tight -- that is, every time she wants to smell something, investigate a new person, or lift a leg on a tree out of leash range. Which is to say, every time she wants to be a dog. Behaviorist Patricia McConnell's "Simply Wrong" examines a few of the many problems associated with these tools, including slick buzzwords meant to dupe well-intentioned owners into buy products that are likely to cause as many training issues as they solve.
There are now collars that shock your dog when he barks, collars that shock your dog at the press of a button for any reason you like, and mats that shock your dog when they place their paws on them. You can even get a handy-dandy Stay! Mat Wireless Crate, which shocks your dog if he gets up from the mat until he returns to it and lies down. Yeesh! If I am reincarnated as a dog, please don't let it be to a home where I have to use one of those.
These tools are often sold to well-intentioned pet owners swayed by a variety of euphemisms -- a shock is referred to as a "sensation," a "tickle," a "tap," a "stimulation." They would probably be a pretty hard sell if "shock" were used, or if you were told this tool would hurt your dog. If a dog is "man's best friend," we sure have a funny way of showing it.
For some dogs, these tools seem to create few unwanted side effects. Like with people, tolerance for pain varies widely among dogs, and for dogs that have a higher pain tolerance and a strong prey drive, a shock of a few seconds is easily trumped by the joy of chasing a deer -- in other words, it's worth the trouble.
For others, the side effects may be more subtle and only readily apparent to someone well-versed in reading dog body language: a succession of lip licks, yawns, and head turns, which are saying, "Please make it stop."

This dog might consider a shock collar worth enduring, just for the thrill of the chase. Dog chases horses by Shutterstock
For other dogs, the fallout is more readily apparent, as in the following situations:

1. Inappropriate urination

A client called me because her dog was suddenly frequently urinating in the house. After a vet confirmed that the dog was not physically ill, we discussed the times that this was most likely to happen. "He pees every time he hears a digital beeping sound," she told me.
When the phone rang, the microphone dinged, or a timer went off, the dog would squat and pee. This behavior did not start until after the owner had begun using a shock collar to control her dog's barking indoors. The dog associated the beeping sounds with a resulting shock -- and urinated in fear at sounds that were similar to those made by his collar.

2. Fear of doorways

Another client had a 80-pound Weimeraner who bolted through the door to chase traffic, prey, or other dogs. She installed shock mats at the front and rear entries of the home to ensure safety.

If you use a beeping shock collar, don't be surprised if your dog pees on the floor when you use the microwave. Dog scolded after accident by Shutterstock
After only a few shocks, the dog refused to approach the door -- on-leash or off-leash -- even after the scat mats were removed. She had to try to pick the dog up and carry him over the threshold just to get him to go for a walk.

3. Unwanted aggression

I worked with a Bouvier des Flandres who was reactive to visitors and my client's grandkids. She was instructed to shock the dog for growling or nipping. The dog's reactivity soon launched into full-blown aggression that required treatment by a veterinary behaviorist.
Another client used an electric fence to contain her friendly, socially gregarious Golden Retriever. He would rush to the fence line with a wagging tail to greet visitors, only to receive a shock. Within weeks, he was growling and barking as people approached because he associated their visit with unpleasant things and had adopted a "the best offense is a good defense" strategy.
All of these owners purchased shock tools in desperation, not knowing how to improve their dogs' quality of life. Some were hoping for a quick fix to long-standing behavior problems. Instead, they ended up having to address the original problem and also repair the damage done by inappropriate training tools and techniques.
Meanwhile, as the number of tools used to inflict pain on dogs in the name of training increases, so do the tools available to those of us who choose to build better dogs through compassionate training techniques. (Automated tennis-ball launcher? Genius!) You have a choice in how you want to approach training your dog, but you should know that not all techniques are equal in terms of the potential for fallout and unpleasant side effects.

Do you really want your dog to be afraid of you? Consider compassionate training instead. Little dog by Shutterstock
Moral of the story? I know there is a better way. Your dog is your partner and friend, and will gladly do what is expected of her if you only teach her what you want her to do. The truth is, it is never, ever ethical to punish your dog, if you haven't first taught her how to stay out of trouble by teaching her. 
Be proactive about preventing training problems and intervene at the first sign of an issue -- dogs don't grow out of behavior problems, they grow into them. Consulting a qualified behavior professional at the first sign of trouble will save you a lot of money, a lot of grief, and maybe the life (or at least the quality of life) of your best friend. 

Animal Care Facilities Act Program in Missouri

This department has been really stepping up and doing a great job !!! Hudson wants to express its gratitude to this entire department.

Animal Care Facilities Act Program (ACFA)

(573) 751-3076
Fax: (573) 526-2059
Matt Rold, ACFA Coordinator
(573) 751-2311
(573) 999-2031 - cell phone
Dr. Jean Stark, DVM, Program Veterinarian
(573) 522-8615
(573) 469-8067 - cell phone
Dr. Rachel Cook, DVM, Veterinarian I
(573) 301-9708
Dustin Stegeman, DVM, Veterinarian I
(417) 225-8334
Dawn Wall, Investigator II
(573) 751-2494
(573) 291-8721 - cell phone
Stephanie McLane, Investigator II
(636) 541-0168
Rachel Heimericks, Administrative Office Support Assistant
(573) 751-3076
Field Staff:
  1. Ron Praiswater, (816) 383-1830
  2. Judi Riordan-Lolli, (660) 888-0322
  3. Mary Martin, (636) 358-1690
  4. Tracy Houston, (573) 778-2399
  5. Josh Moore, (573) 301-5472
  6. Chelsea Thrasher, (573) 776-0080
  7. Erin Mendenhall, (573) 418-8347
  8. Olivia Bennett, (314) 277-0081
  9. Christine Mohr, (573) 469-1368
  10. Dave McCorkendale, (660) 890-1213
  11. Bradley Schofield, (573) 418-8753
  12. Emma Benne, (573) 298-2254
  13. Alicia Graves, (417) 321-4460
  14. Denna Tune, (417) 536-8157
  15. Cassie Driskill, (573) 469-1408

Friday, February 22, 2013

Just One Day......

On June 11, 2012, the No Kill Advocacy Center, in partnership with Animal Wise Radio, asked shelters across the country to end the killing of animals for Just One Day by putting down their “euthanasia needles” and picking up cameras instead: to photograph and market animals. 800 organizations answered the call, finding homes for roughly 9,000 animals, erasing one day’s worth of killing healthy and treatable animals. It may have been the safest day for companion animals in shelters ever.
Those participating included some of the largest animal control shelters in the nation. In Kern County, roughly 100 animals found homes. Houston’s shelter, normally closed on Monday, opened for the day and placed 231 animals. Miami-Dade Animal Services also participated and placed 116 animals. In Amarillo, Texas, the director of animal control reported, “The parking lot has been full since 10:00 this morning, it continues to be full. I’ve never seen so many people come out here all at one time, in one day.” Seventy-eight animals went home from a South Carolina shelter. Another shelter adopted out 94 dogs and 37 cats. Florence, Alabama had “amazing results.” Morristown, Tennessee did “huge” numbers of adoptions. Indianapolis did 83. At Williamson County in Texas, “[A]doption numbers reached well over three times the norm.” Boone County Animal Shelter in Kentucky saved 57 animals. Roanoke in Virginia reported 36 adoptions by mid-day and a shelter full of potential adopters. In an Arizona shelter, 88 out of 100 dogs and 28 out of 30 cats were adopted by 11 am. In another community, they ran out of animals.
On June 11, 2013, we’re doing it again and hope to do even better. Join the Just One Day campaign by pledging your shelter or rescue group:
Take the pledge:

No Kill Nation Is Coming.........

Too many shelters are not voluntarily implementing the No Kill Equation. As a result, animals are being needlessly killed. In response, the No Kill Advocacy Center has developed model legislation to help animal lovers and animal advocates achieve their goal of No Kill communities: The Companion Animal Protection Act.
This law mandates the programs and services which have proven so successful at lifesaving in shelters which have implemented them; follows the only model that has actually created a No Kill community; and, focuses its effort on the very shelters that are doing the killing. As a result, it provides a framework for success unavailable from traditional legislative models such as punitive legislation aimed at the public or through counterproductive national efforts that legitimize the killing.
CAPA highlights:
  • Establishes the shelter’s primary role as saving the lives of animals
  • Declares that saving lives and protecting public safety are compatible
  • Establishes a definition of No Kill that includes all savable animals including feral cats
  • Protects rabbits and other animals, as well as dogs and cats
  • Makes it illegal for a shelter to kill an animal if a rescue group or No Kill shelter is willing to save that animal
  • Requires shelters to provide animals with fresh food, fresh water, environmental enrichment, exercise, veterinary care, and cleanliness
  • Makes it illegal for shelters to kill owner relinquished animals without making them available for adoption or transfer to a rescue group, even in cases where the owner wants the animal killed unless the animal is suffering
  • And more…
For No Kill success to be widespread and long lasting, we must focus on institutionalizing No Kill by giving shelter animals the rights and protections afforded by law. Every successful social movement results in legal protections that codify expected conduct and provide protection against future conduct that violates normative values.
We need to regulate shelters in the same way we regulate hospitals and other agencies which hold the power over life and death. The answer lies in passing and enforcing shelter reform legislation which mandates how a shelter must operate.
For more information, including a copy of CAPA and tools to get it passed in your state, click here. (You will be taken to our CAPA website at Rescue Five-O.)
The Companion Animal Protection Act mandates the provision of low-cost spay/neuter and medical care. Because many shelters have fees which are not “low cost” despite the claim, we also recommended a fee schedule for services at public sheltering agencies.
Read why mandatory spay/neuter and licensing laws don’t work by clicking here.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Baby It's Cold Outside........

With the bad weather heading our way please keep your furry friends in mind. Bring your pets inside the house or garage. If this is not possible be sure that they have very protective shelter(plastic dog crates are not acceptable for outside protection due to the slits) and use straw instead of blankets. Blankets will freeze once they become wet, but straw will not freeze and helps keep your pet warm. Provide food and unfrozen water to your pets. Any owner who neglects to provide the above for their pets can be cited by the city, and please don't hesitate to call Animal Control(785-537-2112) to report a pet in distress as it can be life threatening. Also remember your pets can get frostbite so keep outside excursions to short and sweet. Be safe, be courteous, be smart with yourselves and furry community members.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Dogs Do Go To Heaven...

Dogs DO go to heaven: Hairless Harry finds a home

Hard-luck Harry saved from death row, ends up in a pooch's paradise

Harry the hairless dog has found a home at The Pawsh Dog salon, with owner Laurel Skuba. Harry, a border collie and Xolo cross, travelled up from Ohio through the Hull's Haven rescue network to land with Laurel.
Harry the hairless dog has found a home at The Pawsh Dog salon, with owner Laurel Skuba. Harry, a border collie and Xolo cross, travelled up from Ohio through the Hull's Haven rescue network to land with Laurel. (MELISSA TAIT / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
Harry the hairless dog among dozens of other dogs at The Pawsh Dog day care.
Harry the hairless dog among dozens of other dogs at The Pawsh Dog day care. (MELISSA TAIT / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
Harry the hairless dog sits at attention inside The Pawsh Dog
Harry the hairless dog sits at attention inside The Pawsh Dog (MELISSA TAIT / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)


Rescue organization's such as Hull's Haven are always searching for cash and food donations and families willing to foster dogs until permanent homes are found.
Sally Hull, executive director of Hull's Haven, says her group gets all its funding from adoption fees and fundraising events.
You can donate online by going to or click on the adoption button to see the dogs available on the rescue's Facebook page.
If you want to adopt a dog, you can email Hull at "We literally beg people not to get dogs off of Kijiji," she says. "Go to your shelters, the humane society and your rescue groups."


Welcome to my first official pet column, which is going to begin with an ending.
It's a happy ending. There's no sense beating around the bush, so I'm just going to blurt it out -- Hairless Harry has a home!
If you don't know who Hairless Harry is, I'm deeply disappointed in you.
By way of background, I shared Harry's heart-tugging tale in a column last week, a story that went viral shortly after it hit our website.
He's a nearly hairless two-year-old dog who went from freezing and starving in a barn in Ohio to sitting on death row in a U.S. animal shelter, before finally being transported to Winnipeg via the "Underhound Railroad," a network of volunteers who donate their time and cash to drive and fly dogs and cats to safety.
With almost no hair other than a goofy Mohawk on his head and tufts around his ankles, skin covered in sores and a rash, and suffering from a severe case of separation anxiety, Harry was not the most likely candidate for adoption.
Four attempted adoptions failed here, largely because Harry has panic attacks when left alone. His Winnipeg "foster mother" was determined to keep him, but her cancer returned and left her fighting for her life.
The woman who brought him to Winnipeg -- Sally Hull of Hull's Haven Border Collie rescue, a non-profit Manitoba group that finds homes for all breeds, but has a special focus on border collies -- told me it would take a miracle to find a home for a dog no one seemed to want.
Well, last week, Harry -- given his name by Hull because "hairy was the one thing he wasn't" -- got his miracle.
The hard-luck cross between a border collie and a Xolo, also known as a Mexican hairless, found a home and a job last week with the staff at the Taylor Avenue outlet of The Pawsh Dog, an upscale doggie salon, daycare, luxury boarding facility and training studio for pampered pooches.
It would be an understatement to say Harry is in heaven.
Laurel Skuba, owner of The Pawsh Dog's two city stores, said it didn't take long for Harry to make himself at home.
"He's doing fabulous!" Skuba gushed last week when I visited Harry's new headquarters. "The first night he came he was quite nervous, but now he's pulling toys off the shelf and helping himself to cookies.
"He knows he gets cookies when he comes and lies down on his bed. So now he jumps on his bed to get a cookie, then jumps off and then jumps right back on."
When Harry met Sally, he was saved. When he met Skuba, it was love at first sight.
"He loves me," Skuba laughs, "He instantly decided that I'm mommy. He follows me around all day, everywhere. He's pretty much been chill. He loves the other dogs and people once he gets to know them. He's a little cautious of men at first."
Which I can vouch for. When we met, Harry barked to indicate that he had his doubts about newspaper columnists, but those concerns vanished when I fed him a handful of treats.
At the dog salon, Harry has found more than a home; he's found a job. He's now the Pawsh Pooch at The Pawsh Dog, the canine version of a Walmart greeter.
"He's going to be our greeter," Skuba says as Harry drapes himself over her legs and begins snoring contentedly as she strokes his all-but hairless skin. "He'll greet you at the door and put other dogs at ease.
"He's our mascot and we want people to get to know him. He's got a Twitter account and a Facebook page that he'll use to keep everybody up to date on when he's going to be at dog events in the city."
Skuba says she's already been overwhelmed by the number of people dropping by just to say hello to Harry and thank her for giving the well-travelled hound a home.
The affectionate pooch's duties also include helping staff practise new training techniques, demonstrate skills for other dogs, test new products, and be a guinea pig for the store's new doggie massage and hydrotherapy (swimming pool) services.
Skuba learned about Harry's plight when a friend in the animal rescue community sent her a link to the column detailing the dog's cross-border odyssey. "We read it and we were both crying," she sniffs.
He already knows how to sit, fetch and shake a paw, but Harry still has issues that make him high-maintenance. "He panics when he's away from people," Skuba says. "He's never alone here. There's always dogs and people around. He doesn't have to go in a kennel if he doesn't want to."
Harry's trademark mohawk rubbed off in a kennel while he was in foster care.
When he's not working, Harry will be at Skuba's home, or having the odd "sleepover" with the store's overnight crew. "I would say this is one of the luckiest dogs going," the dog salon owner declares.
Hull, whose rescue group has placed more than 1,000 dogs since opening in 2006, was deeply emotional about finding a home for a dog some feared was a hopeless case.
"It's really hard for me not to cry now," Hull gushes over the phone from her home in Meleb. "But these are tears of joy for Harry. He couldn't have landed in a better place. We can finally stop worrying about this poor guy. I wish we could put all our dogs in such spectacular homes."
Hull's Haven, which has a network of about 40 foster homes in Winnipeg, saved Harry after a friend in the animal rescue community in Ohio emailed photos of him on death row in the U.S. shelter.
Hull says the happy ending came about because Harry's amazing journey appeared in this paper. She has at least 50 other dogs in need of homes. And there are many other rescue groups out there.
"They are all deserving of good homes," she says softly. "Rescue dogs know they have been rescued. They are the most loving, affectionate animals. I don't know how they know, but they know."

Friday, February 8, 2013

Pet Store Puppies Come From Puppy Mills...WAKE UP PEOPLE !!!

Make Your Voice Heard...

Tell Citipups to STOP selling puppies

To: Citipups, Mayor Bloomberg, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, New York City Council Members

We encourage your store to stop buying from puppy millers and brokers and to convert to an adoption or rescue-centric storefront. This business model has been successfully implemented nationally by many former puppy store operations. You can still run a successful business selling dog food,...
To encourage Citipups and all pet stores to convert to an adoption based model while still being able to run a profitable business selling animal toys, foods and other related products.
Citipups is a puppystore/petstore in the heart of the Chelsea area of Manhattan. The store has been linked to buying from some of the worse puppy millers in the U.S. by an undercover Humane Society report.
According to the 2011 Humane Society investigation: "gave breeder names and falsely stated that puppy miller/broker Sandra Blake has "wide-open spaces" for her dogs. Linked to puppy sources with problematic USDA reports, including Ruth Zuspann's Kennel in MO (See HSUS'S Dirty Dozen report update)."
You'll find two videos of the conditions and so called "wide-open spaces" of the kennels below:
Sandra (Sandy) Blakes Sanjon Kennel
Zuspann's Kennel
Here is Citipups website:
This store is protested twice weekly by dedicated community based animal rights activists every Wednesday and Saturday. If you are in the NYC area and would like to get involved with our puppy mill and pet store awareness campaign please reach out to us on our meetup and facebook pages, which are listed below:
When Katie Holmes and her daughter Suri Cruise were out puppy shopping at Citipups, we were right out front to greet them with a loud protest:
If you want to donate and help support our protests and awareness campaigns, you can do so here:
The stores owners and managers have used dirty tactics against demonstrators by leading a campaign of misinformation, harassment and intimidation. Some examples of this are as follows:
1) The store tapes up signs as soon as we arrive for our bi-weekly demonstration stating they don't support puppy mills and to come in and "judge for yourself."
2) The store engages in taunting protesters by name calling and piling trash in front of us.
3) The owner of the store, relatives of the staff and employees have engaged in physically threatening protesters while being video taped.
4) They have hired/called upon a so called "rescue organization" (1 person) who sits in front of their store 3 days a week for a half day to adopt her rescued pets. This is an obvious political ploy to whitewash the nasty record and dealings associated with this company. This rescuer also has no direct knowledge of what exactly a puppy mill is and why pet stores that sell from these operations are an utter disgrace. She has come to the defense of this store because of it's "clean" conditions.
Citipups can be reached here:
  1. Update #7

    Posted by Mikey Earthling Feldman (Cause Leader) on February 6
    Citipups stoops to new lows - Boycott Citipups 
  2. Update #6

    Posted by Mikey Earthling Feldman (Cause Leader) on January 18
    This is a video of a Citipups employee cursing out activists: Please be forewarned that there is a lot of cursing involved in this video. Boycott Citipups!
  3. Update #5

    Posted by Mikey Earthling Feldman (Cause Leader) on October 2, 2012
    If you're in NYC, please come out to our November 11th Puppy Mill Free NYC Benefit Concert:
  4. Update #4

    Posted by Mikey Earthling Feldman (Cause Leader) on September 24, 2012
    To keep up to date with Puppy Mill Free NYC's current activities, please like and share our facebook page:
  5. Update #3

    Posted by Mikey Earthling Feldman (Cause Leader) on August 28, 2012
    Thanks to a dedicated animal rights activist and lawyer, we now have an up-to-date Freedom of Information Law file on Citipups. The link below will confirm what the Humane Society's investigation has already stated: Citipups buys their puppies from puppy millers and brokers. One of the brokers they use called "Critersville Kennels Inc." based in Nebraska has a problematic history with the USDA. Some of those problems include: transporting puppies in cages too small, transporting puppies in...
  6. Update #2

    Posted by Mikey Earthling Feldman (Cause Leader) on August 18, 2012
    If you want to donate and help support our protests and awareness campaigns, you can do so here:
    Even if it's just a dollar or two, it will go towards helping us get the necessary tools to continue our battle against pet stores in NYC that support puppy mills.