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Archive for the ‘Dog Stories’ Category

Bow Wow Meow Boutique

I’ve talked about the Animal Care Society before and about how it’s a non-profit organization and what that entails. What I didn’t go into detail on was where, besides direct donations, do shelters such as this one get their money? The answer is fundraisers and special events.

The Animal Care Society in Louisville, KY has three main fundraisers plus a few smaller ones on the side. Their fundraisers provide for 40 percent of finances needed to run the shelter.

The following video will provide a little more insight on the most recent fundraiser put on by the Animal Care Society; the Bow Wow Meow Boutique.

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I’m sure everyone has heard of dogs that assist people with visual and hearing impairments, but a new type of service dog has recently been discovered: seizure alert and response dogs.

Around 2.3 million Americans suffer from epileptic seizures and episodes can last anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes and leave the sufferer helpless and sometimes unconscious. Many who have this disorder fear to be alone while doing ordinary tasks and to leave the house often.

Seizure alert and response dogs, unlike other service dogs, cannot be trained to detect seizures. They are born with this ability and for this reason breed, size and age varies in these canines. Seizure alert dogs have a 90 percent accuracy rate. These canines warn their owner of a seizure anywhere from 30 seconds to 45 minutes before. The methods of alert vary between dogs and can include pawing, intense eye contact and/or barking.

If a dog has this innate ability for detected seizures he or she can then be trained in responding to seizures. These dogs can be trained, by a specific group or even by the owner, to do a variety of things prior to and during a seizure. They can be trained to urge their owner to a safe place or position, to fetch medication and a phone, press an alarm button, fetch a family member, or even roll their owner on his or her side.

Seizure response and alert dogs can be very pricey, sometimes reaching around $19,000. Of course, there are many non-profit organizations that donate these dogs (sometimes with just a requested donation) such as Canine Assistants and Canine Partners For Life.

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The pictures shown above were taken at the Animal Care Society in Louisville, Kentucky. The Animal Care Society is one of many no-kill animal shelters across the nation. The No Kill movement is a growing idea that animals in shelters should not be euthanized simply because they are difficult to find a home for or because there isn’t enough room to house them.

Many argue that no-kill animal shelters are ineffective because they turn away the very animals they claim to be helping due to lack of room or amenities. In reality, this lack of room or amenities is mainly due to the fact that no-kill animal shelters are almost always also non-profit shelters.

In order to be a successful no-kill shelter, some necessities include an adoption program, an inexpensive and effective option for spaying/neutering, willing foster home participants, a rehabilitation program and of course plenty of volunteers. In addition to these, the costs of the basic necessities for the animals, such as shelter and food, no-kill shelters ineffectiveness, when it occurs, is mainly based on lack of funds.

To clarify, the No Kill movement does not support denying euthanasia in all cases. In severe cases of suffering such as uncontrollable depression or rage, the animals will be given a painless release. The movement works toward changing shelters that have been known to euthanize healthy, adoptable pets simply to make more room or because they were taking too long to be adopted.

No-kill shelters aren’t perfect, but they have the right idea and they just need a little help (some volunteers or a few donations) to be a lot more effective.

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Photo Credit: Maggie Smith

Around the U.S., it has been demonstrated that some people are prejudiced against certain breeds of dogs. One type that is singled out most often is Pit Bulls. The “Pit Bull type” encompasses 42 breeds of dogs.

These breeds are the ones targeted in Breed-Specific Legislation, which are laws directed at certain breeds of dogs that have been deemed dangerous, regardless of the temperament or behavior of individual dogs.

Alexandria, Butler, Dayton, Falmouth and Fort Thomas are a few Kentucky cities that have legislative ordinances banning Pit Bulls. Breed-Specific Legislation can also include requirements for the dogs to be muzzled while in public places and requirements for them to be neutered.

Like every political argument, there is two sides to this story.

From 2005 to 2010, Pit Bulls fatally attacked 104 Americans. The Pit Bull type dogs have been singled out in particular mainly because of the common characteristic of a distinctively strong jaw, which obviously can do more biting damage.

Although the reasoning pro-Breed-Specific Legislation makes plenty of sense, the contra-Breed-Specific Legislation is much more overwhelming.

One of the reasons this legislation is ineffective is the fact that the dog temperaments are usually due to the way they are bred and raised by their owners and not due to their breed, according to Pit Bull Rescue Central. Also, the Pit Bull type dog breeds are difficult to identify and many well-behaved canines are banned or punished based on their breed.

Basically, those for Breed-Specific Legislation are simply trying to prevent canine attacks on humans and those against it are trying to protect the innocent dogs that are being punished because of it. Breed-Specific Legislation overall is ineffective. Some more effective and possibly less invasive action should definitely be considered.

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