Thursday, April 24, 2008

This Is Why We Have Dogs In Shelters!

With all of the negative publicity about dog breeders and legislation to regulate, control and end dog breeding, it really ticks me off when I see something like this. As a breeder, I take great care in placing my puppies into homes where they will hopefully live forever. I have a written contract which states that if the owner can't keep the puppy, it will be returned to me. My puppies go to their new homes with health check ups from the vet and the owners go home with the assurance that I have done everything that I can do to make sure their puppy will live a long and healthy life.

Then I get the following ad from my local freecycle.

"Free Puppies

chocolate lab and black and tan mixed
8 are ready for homes now
6 will be ready next week
and 5 will be ready the week after

some of the chocolate colored pups have blue eyes, all are real cute
need to find homes quickly or they will end up at the pound and no body
wants that."
This person is not a breeder, they just don't care. My bet would be that these pups have not seen a vet, a vaccination or even a worming. They have probably not been raised in clean, sanitary environment and they are the most likely candidates for Parvo which has been rampant in the area this spring.

The laws and regulations won't touch them because "they aren't making money" or "breeding for profit". Do you want to make a bet on how many of these puppies end up in shelters either now or in the future? Yup, it ticks me right off!

Sunday, April 6, 2008

The Dog Blog Carnival - April 6th Edition

Welcome to the April 6, 2008 edition of the dog blog carnival.

Dog Care

David presents Kindness Is For The Dogs posted at Toxic Kindness, saying, "A heartfelt plea and suggestions to prevent the needless death of millions of dogs every year."

Dog Stories

Sassy at Dogs Rule and Cats Drool is pouting today as you can see in her post The Heartbroken Kitty

Ishtar presents » Does aggressive have a tender side? Esther Garvi: aka Ishtar News posted at Esther Garvi.

Tony Clements presents the simple and the difficult posted at tuesdays, saying, "saying goodbye to my buddy reggie."

Daniel Lafleche presents Sell Sheet Sampler: Cool Video Clip about the Entrepreneur Behind ?Doggie Daycare? posted at The IPEX VIEW Blog, saying, "A fun video post that looks at how one woman turned her love for dogs into a successful business."

Lindsey Moore presents The Super Fickle Pickle: January 2008 posted at The Super Fickle Pickle.

Dog Tips

Michele Pulis presents Human Foods Toxic to Dogs posted at Learning through Life.

Kent Tay presents Dog Problems - Mouthing posted at Dogs - Man's Best Friend, saying, "When your dog uses your hand rather than a bone as a chew toy, you may have a potential problem. Nip mouthing in the bud!"

Tip Diva presents Tip Diva | Top Ten Tips - Getting A New Pet posted at Tip Diva, saying, "Tip Diva has had many animals over her lifetime, including fish, cats, dogs, gerbils and prairie dogs. Having a pet brings a lot of love and fun into your life, but also brings a lot of responsibility. Before buying or adopting a pet, there are many factors you should consider and steps you should take."

Dan Stein presents Tips For Renting With Pets: Finding a place to live with your dog posted at The Dog Guide, saying, "A short guide written to aid renters with pets. It can be challenging to find an apartment or condo that allows dogs, so I compiled these tips to try and make the process a bit easier (I have been doing it myself for over 10 years!)."

Kay Stephenson presents Have a New Puppy? Ten Things You Need to Know posted at Dog Dialogue.

That concludes this edition. Submit your blog article to the next edition of
the dog blog carnival
using our
carnival submission form.
Past posts and future hosts can be found on our

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Monday, March 31, 2008

Stay Tuned - The Dog Blog Carnival is Coming Up

The Dog Blog Carnival is coming up this weekend. If you have a post that you would like to submit, the deadline is Saturday night. Submit your posts here

Will this be the last edition of the Dog Blog Carnival? The Carnival is looking for new hosts. If you would like to host the carnival you can contact me via the page above and let me know. It's not difficult to host and you get links back from all of the participants.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Field Trip to the Dog Show

Julia and I took a short field trip to Raleigh, NC to the dog show last week. We wanted to see the different breeds competing and being groomed for competition. It's always good to pick up tips and pointers from the professional handlers and breeders who compete weekly. They groom differently than we do for pets but there are still ideas that we can use. I thought I would share a couple of the pictures that I took before my camera died.

These are the Bernese Mountain Dogs in the show ring. The judge looks at their conformation and the way they trot to select the best dog.
These are the English Bulldogs. They are so cute.

This is a Shih Tzu getting ready for the ring. They spend hours brushing and drying their coat. You can see that he has his moustache rubber banded up to keep it out of his water when he drinks.

We had a great time and learned a lot. We got to drool over all the beautiful dogs and even got in some shopping.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

The Dog Blog Carnival - St Patricks Day Edition

Welcome to the March 16, 2008 edition of the dog blog carnival.

Waldo presents Waldo and His Leprechaun saying "Waldo wants to dance a jig in his St Patricks Day hat"

Dog Care

Christine Wilhelm presents The Cat / Dog Log: Be aware of what's in your dog's treats posted at The Cat / Dog Log.

Christine Wilhelm presents The Cat / Dog Log: Does your dog have separation anxiety? posted at The Cat / Dog Log.

Theodore Pappas presents Remembering Susan Butcher (Champion Musher, 1954 - 2006) posted at Britannica Blog, saying, "What's interesting about this post is not so much the post, linking to Britannica entries on the ongoing Iditarod dogsled race and its four-time winner Susan Butcher, but the comments, which feature a pointed debate on the issue of sled dogs and the accusation by some activists that the race animals are abused. The Chief Veterinarian of the Iditarod counters the accusations in detail."

Allie presents My Dog?s Microchip May Have Given Him Cancer posted at Allie's Answers, saying, "Think before you microchip. It may not be as safe as it seems."

Laura presents Grow Old With Me... at Children & Chocolate and Other Paths to God posted at BeutlerBlogger.

Dog Pictures

Sonja Foust presents Midnight Snack posted at Sonja Foust, saying, "Sydney the black lab enjoys watching the consumption of a midnight snack."

Gloria presents No More Pictures!! posted at Saddeyezz Scraps & Snaps.

Alanna presents What's one more animal....???? posted at Fare all'uncinetto.

Dog Stories

Lalaine presents Hello World! posted at Eating with Mocha, saying, "This the story of my baby Mocha. :)"

Silveral presents Celebrity Pets – And Their Owners. | Celebrity News, and Gossip posted at Celebrity News, and Gossip.

General Dog Stuff

Debie presents Save a Schipperke posted at Dogs Dollars & Sense, saying, "Here is a chance to win a new laptop, router and printer AND help rescue dogs at the same time.Check out this story of the woman and the Schipperke!"

Country Groomer presents Why Responsible Breeders Do Not Support Anti Pet Legislation saying, "This is a look at why responsible breeders are fighting spay/neuter, anti breeding, anti pet legislation."


Madeleine Begun Kane presents May I Please Have Your Paw In Marriage? posted at Mad Kane's Humor Blog.

That concludes this edition. Submit your blog article to the next edition of
the dog blog carnival
using our
carnival submission form.
Past posts and future hosts can be found on our blog carnival index page. The Dog Blog Carnival is looking for blogs who would like to host the carnival for future editions. You can apply on the Carnival Page or leave me a comment here. It's easy and lots of fun.

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Why Responsible Breeders Don't Support Anti Pet Legislation

This letter was written in response to a post from the VA PAWS group. While it is specifically talking about one group, it applies to many and illustrates more than anything I could say why responsible breeders do not support the anti pet legislation being proposed across the country by the Humane Society of the US. If you are in rescue, ask yourself if you have ever been guilty of any of these things. (Highlighting is mine and this is posted with permission. )

Fri, Mar 14, 2008 at 11:48 AM, Lila Borge Wills <> wrote:
> Robin, I don't know where you got the information. VA PAWS board members did
> not go to Richmond and did not work with Teresa on this legislation. Teresa
> and others did this on their own.


I was in Richmond during all of the committee meetings on HB538 and
was not aware of any VA PAWS members there, though I believe the
organization was mentioned in Teresa's testimony as a supporter.

Lila, I don't imagine that there is a soul on this list who does not
applaud most of VA PAWS efforts in education, the human-animal bond,
rescue, etc. The trouble is that you have fallen in with bad company.
The Virginia Federation of Humane Societies and its mothership, HSUS,
are dedicated to making it more difficult,more expensive, and more
legally dangerous to own pets. If you look at the legislation they
promote, NONE of it is helpful -- it is all designed to punish people
they do not think are "good enough" to own pets. I won't even get
into the whole HSUS animal rights agenda, but if you want to know more
about it, go to and click on "The Future of Dogs."

The reason you run into such hostility on this list is that none of us
really want to be here. We don't want to have to spend our lives
fighting for the right to own and breed animals. We'd rather spend
our time with our pets and families. We believe that if current
welfare laws were ENFORCED, that along with leash laws and noise
ordinances, that's all we need.

We love animals -- many of us on this list rescue, volunteer at
shelters, have therapy dogs, you'd be surprised.. Walt and I have had
many shelter dogs and one of our older girls is a Lab/Chow mix I found
in the woodpile when she was four weeks old. I've been involved with
rescue since before it was rescue, when it was just "picking up

The trouble with "modern" rescuers is that many of them have gone from loving animals to hating humans. Because they DO see the worst, they assume all owners are terrible people and they spend their lives
looking for ways to separate people from their animals.

You see this in rescue organizations whose criteria for "adoption" are
so strict that only one out of ten people could pass.

You see it in shelter workers who would rather put an animal to sleep
than release it to a less-than-perfect (by their definition) home.
(And yes, I have heard that said out loud by the DIRECTOR of a large
shelter in Virginia)

And you see it in organizations like VVAW and VFHS who want to pass
laws that will prohibit anyone from breeding and even from owning more
animals than *they* think can be properly cared for.

These people are bitter and damaged and if you listen to their
conversations, they nearly always center around "stupid" or "cruel"
owners or how abused or neglected an animal was that they took into
care. They completely overlook the fact that for every mistreated dog
or cat, there are HUNDREDS AND THOUSANDS living happy, healthy lives.
People who rescue or work in shelters are there to help the EXCEPTION.

But for many of them. the longer they stay in these positions, the
more they begin to believe that hardly anyone is "good enough."

The dog spends its day in the yard? Poor thing, probably never gets
any attention.
In the house? Probably spends all day crated without water.
Families got kids? You know they just drive that dog crazy and are mean to him.
No kids? That poor dog will never get any exercise and will be alone...
And on and on and on. I have actually heard a rescue say she would
not approve a family whose "house was too nice." Why? Because what
would they do if the dog peed on the rug? (Probably the same thing
that our puppy buyers who are doctors, lawyers, architects, and
stockbrokers do -- clean it up.)

Of course this is not true of all rescuers and shelter workers, but
these people are where the punitive laws come from. And it is why
those of us who believe people and pets belong together spend far, far
too much time fighting this kind of legislation,

The educational efforts you mention are good, Lila, and if you can
keep burnout from infecting VAPAWS with the "Rescue Messiah Complex,"
you'll do some good.

And I'll make you a deal. I can't speak for anyone on the list except
me and Walt, but if VA PAWS would
-- cut completely its ties with HSUS, VFHS, VVAW, and all other
organizations involved in passing legislation
-- stay out of commercial breeder seizures and "investigations", (that
is what animal control is for)
-- and stick with your non-punitive, non-judgmental programs to HELP
people and animals,

we would not only support you but would send you a check. A small one
because we don't have much money, but we'd put it where our mouth is.
Okay, where MY mouth is.

Think about it. A real non-political animal WELFARE organization we
could encourage people to support. Right now we just tell them to send
donations to their local shelters if they are not AR-leaning, or to
the AKC Humane Fund. I'd love to be able to support yours instead.
(and I am serious)


Sharyn and Walt Hutchens
Timbreblue Whippets

Saturday, March 15, 2008

The Dog Blog Carnival - Coming TOMORROW

We have a selection of great posts for tomorrow's carnival. Don't forget to stop by and check them out. If you have a dog post, it's not to late to submit them. More informations can be had by clicking here.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Groomers Story: "Oh By the Way..."

In order to understand this story, you have to know a little bit about being a groomer. People bring us their dogs and leave them in our care for a few hours or a day. They trust us to take the very best of care of them and it's a responsibility that most of us take very seriously.

I groom in a very small town and I know most of my client's dogs almost as well as I know my own. I know their personalities and their health problems. Unlike many grooming shops, I do a fair number of elderly dogs. My oldest client is 20. Grooming seniors is special. They often have severe life threatening health conditions that the stress of even the most careful grooming can make worse so I am always a little concerned that something might happen at the shop.

I have one client in particular who is elderly and has a congestive heart condition. She requires special care while she is here and she is here frequently. I always, always worry about her until she is safe in her owner's arms.

A month or so ago, I was checking her out and heaving a sigh of relief that we had made it through another day without any crisis when her owner looked at me and said,

"Oh by the way, she died last week."

The first thing that hit me was confusion, you know the pet semetary kind of confusion because I am looking at a very much alive dog or her twin sister. I believe my jaw must have hit the floor.

He said, "Yup, I went in the kitchen and she was laying on the floor, not breathing and her heart wasn't beating."

I think I managed to stutter an "Oh My God!"

"I thumped her on the chest a couple of times and shook her and she came back to life."

Ok, so now I am having a heart attack. This dog is the constant companion of a retired couple and their sun rises and sets with her. I can't tell you the things that were going through my mind but I did manage,

"Could you let me know if she dies again BEFORE I groom her?"

So the moral of this story is that if your dog has been born again, please let your groomer know of that or any other health conditions when you drop them off. This pup gets the royal treatment when she is with me and I still worry that something might happen and I might not be as quick to do CPR as her owner was.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

The Dog Blog Carnival - March 2 Edition

Shiba Inu Puppy

Welcome to the March 2, 2008 edition of the dog blog carnival. Some submissions were not included as they were not related to dogs.

Dog Stories

Bonnie Story presents What about the Scottie and Chihuahua Mix? posted at Pepper: Scottish Terrier and Chihuahua Mix!, saying, "I don't promote "designer dog" mixes but this little dog that I rescued is really something else! Here are some tips about terrier/Chi mixes in general and lots of pictures to boot."

Dog Tips

Sagar presents How to: Travel with Pets - the Ultimate Guide posted at Travelhacker.

DoggieWoggie presents Learn Your Dog’s Body Language posted at Doggiewoggie - All About Dogs.

Vera Lang presents Make Your Own Dog Food With Only All Natural Ingredients posted at Fine Pet Care .com, saying, "The call for natural, no preservatives, no additives canine food has increased, ever since it was discovered that some brand name dog foods might be harmful to our dog’s health ... Find Your ALL NATURAL Answer Here!"

poetloverrebelspy presents Westminster Dog Show: Traveling with Pets in NYC posted at Less Than a Shoestring, saying, "Last month's Westminster Dog Show left me with a burning question: where do those thousands of dogs and their owners stay in New York City? Find this answer and other advice for keeping your pets in top form on your travels in this post."

General Dog Stuff

Anindita Gupta presents Seven Indian dog breeds you did not know existed posted at Paws Awhile.


Riley presents Working at the Dog Wash, Yeah posted at All Rileyed Up, saying, "A brief story about washing the dog."

That concludes this edition. Submit your blog article to the next edition of
the dog blog carnival
using our
carnival submission form.
Past posts and future hosts can be found on our

blog carnival index page

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Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Poll Results: Who Do You Agree WIth

Like most of you, I love dogs and it causes me great pain to think that they are mistreated, abused and abandoned. I believe that most people feel the same way and that this is why they donate money to Animal Rights groups like PeTA and Humane Society of the US.

I would like to preface this key by pointing out two things.

Mandatory Spay and Neuter Laws don’t work. They drive people who can’t afford to have their dogs spayed or neutered into hiding. What does work is programs to reduce the cost of spaying and neutering so that people can afford it. An example of this is Connecticut where they are now importing dogs and cats into the shelters from other states and even Puerto Rico.

The money that people give to HSUS and PeTA does not go to help the animals. Yes, they do some high profile raids but after the publicity dies down they are gone and the problem still remains. An example of this is the “puppy mill” in Virginia where HSUS spent 6 months undercover. The only violation that the kennel has been charged with is having more dogs than they had a license. HSUS went in and reported it, garnered the publicity for their own political purposes and left. The remaining 500 dogs are still there, in the same condition and the kennel is still selling puppies. HSUS NEVER reported the kennel to USDA who would have inspected the conditions that the animals were being kept in and would have held the kennel to the 62 pages of requirements for animal care. To my knowledge, this has still not been done.

If you want to help homeless dogs and cats, find your local animal shelter or breed rescue and donate funds, towel, newspapers, etc. They desperately need your help and they are not supported by either HSUS or PeTA who use your money to further their goals of eliminating pet ownership.

  1. "Pet ownership is an absolutely abysmal situation brought
    about by human manipulation."
    Ingrid Newkirk, national director,
    People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals
    (PeTA), Just Like Us?
    Toward a Nation of Animal Rights" (symposium), Harper's, August 1988, p. 50.

  2. "I don’t have a hands-on fondness for animals... To this day I don’t feel bonded to any non-human animal. I like them and I pet them and I’m kind to them, but there’s no special bond between me and other animals." -- Wayne Pacelle quoted in Bloodties: Nature, Culture and the Hunt by Ted Kerasote, 1993, p. 251. (Wayne Pacelle is the current President of Humane Society of the United States)

  3. "If I had my personal view, perhaps that might take hold. In fact, I don’t want to see another dog or cat born." Wayne Pacelle quoted in Bloodties: Nature, Culture and the Hunt by Ted Kerasote, 1993, p. 266. (Wayne Pacelle is the current President of Humane Society of the United States)

  4. "We are not especially 'interested in' animals. Neither of us had ever been inordinately fond of dogs, cats, or horses in the way that many people are. We didn't 'love' animals” Peter Singer, Animal Liberation: A New Ethic for Our Treatment of Animals, 2nd ed. (New York Review of Books, 1990),Preface, p. ii

  5. "The cat, like the dog, must disappear... We should cut the domestic cat free from our dominance by neutering, neutering, and more neutering, until our pathetic version of the cat ceases to exist." --John Bryant, Fettered Kingdoms: An Examination of A Changing Ethic (Washington, DC: People for theEthical Treatment of Animals (PeTA), 1982), p. 15.

  6. "[A]s the surplus of cats and dogs {artificially engineered by centuries of forced breeding) declined, eventually companion animals would be phased out, and we would return to a more symbiotic relationship--enjoyment at a distance." --Ingrid Newkirk, PeTA"Just LikeUs? Toward a Notion of Animal Rights" (symposium), Harper's, August 1988, p. 50.

  7. “I believe that every animal should be well cared for. No animal should be mistreated, abused, abandoned or neglected. It breaks my heart to think that there are dogs who are unwanted and alone.” Me… Country Groomer, Feb 2008
Poll Results: All votes were for #7

If you would like more information on the differences in Animal Welfare and Animal Rights, please see the following website which although somewhat dated gives an excellent view of the dfferences. Animal Rights vs. Animal Welfare

I believe that HSUS and PeTA could make a significant difference in the lives of thousands of pets and animals but as long as they are led by these extremists whose sole purpose is to further their own political and personal agendas, this will not happen. Help to bring them back to mainstream beliefs by NOT donating to them until they are headed by people who love animals and want to see them taken care of. Loss of income is the only thing that will bring them back to helping take care of the animals instead of their goals of eliminating them.

Friday, February 22, 2008

We've Gotten Awards!

Notes from a Country Groomer has been honored to receive 2 awards this week. The Blog was nominated for the Bloggers of the World Award by Rebecca and Spencer at Dogs Rule and Cats Drool.

We have also been awarded Excellence Award by Mrs. Mom at Oh Horsefeathers and Other Twisted Tales.

I am honored to have been nominated to receive both of these awards and want to thank them both for considering my blog.

I will be passing the Bloggers of the World Award on to the following blogs:

Fine Pet Care


Dog Health

And the Excellence Award on to these blogs

Kay's K9's You have got to see these handmade miniatures.

Pet Rescuer Central Good information on Pet Rescue

Paws Awhile Dedicated to rescuing the dogs of India

Cats Big and wild cats. While we are usually most concerned about our pets, let's not forget their wild cousins.

Nearly Dr Ferox Ever wonder what Vet School would be like? Find out here.

Thanks again to Rebecca, Spencer and Mrs. Mom for nominating me.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

A Light Look at Pet Grooming

The following video is presented by Petside. I thought you might enjoy it.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Poll: Which Quote Do You Agree With?

The following are quotes about animals from somewhat famous people. Do you know who said it? Which quotes do you agree with?

  1. "Pet ownership is an absolutely abysmal situation brought
    about by human manipulation."

  1. "I don’t have a hands-on fondness for animals... To this day I don’t feel bonded to any non-human animal. I like them and I pet them and I’m kind to them, but there’s no special bond between me and other animals." --

  1. "If I had my personal view, perhaps that might take hold. In fact, I don’t want to see another dog or cat born."

4. "We are not especially 'interested in'
animals. Neither of us had ever been
inordinately fond of dogs, cats, or
horses in the way that many people are.
We didn't 'love' animals”

5. "The cat, like the dog, must disappear... We should cut the domestic cat free from our dominance by neutering, neutering, and more neutering, until our pathetic version of the cat ceases to exist."

  1. "[A]s the surplus of cats and dogs
    {artificially engineered by centuries
    of forced breeding) declined, eventually
    companion animals would be phased
    out, and we would return to a more
    symbiotic relationship--enjoyment at
    a distance."

  1. “I believe that every animal should be well cared for. No animal should be mistreated, abused, abandoned or neglected. It breaks my heart to think that there are dogs who are unwanted and alone.”
These are all legitimate quotes. I'll tell you who said what when the poll ends. I can't put the whole quote in the poll but will use the first five or six words.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

The Dog Blog Carnival Edition #2

Camry courtesy of laruth

Welcome to the February 17, 2008 edition of the dog blog carnival.

In honor of the Westminister winner "Uno" I have highlighted the posts that are beagle related. If you are considering purchasing a beagle, please read

Laura presents 8 Things to Know Before You Buy A Beagle posted at BeutlerBlogger.

If you are considering hiring a Beagle then this video is a must see.

John Phillips presents The AEPA must be changed. posted at The Word On Employment Law, saying, "A cause worth joining"

Again, if you are considering buying a beagle, please LISTEN to this video. This is Beagles doing what they were born to do.

Dog Care

Kathleen Marrero presents Healthy Food For your Pet posted at Healthy Dogs.

Matt M presents Why Dogs Burrow posted at The Pet Haven.

Spencer Jones presents Pets and Colloidal Silver posted at Colloidal Silver Secrets, saying, "Dogs and cats alike love colloidal silver. They seem to have an innate sense that it is good for them. If you have a sick pet, and you place a bowl containing some colloidal silver next to their water bowl, your pet will inevitably choose to drink from the bowl containing the colloidal silver every time. Here's why..."

Dog Stories

Daniel Lafleche presents Sell Sheet Sampler: Charming clip from TV series 'Animal Crackers' posted at The IPEX Blog, saying, "This is a really cute clip about an extreme sports enthusiast and his Jack Russell terrier who surf, kayak, cliff jump, and mountain climb together."

TherapyDoc presents The Heart Has Its Reasons posted at Everyone Needs Therapy, saying, "You know that dogs are good for prisoners. But have you heard THIS story? Front page, Wall Street Journal. The victims are the canines."

Dog Tips

Teri Salvador presents Parsley Water Builds Your Dog?s Immune System posted at

Sagar Satapathy presents How to: Travel with Pets - the Ultimate Guide posted at Travelhacker.

Dog Training

Kathleen Marrero presents Training your Pet posted at Training your pet.

Lexi Sundell presents Regulating Puppy Energy Fields posted at Energies of Creation, saying, "Here is an unusual way to integrate a rambunctious puppy into an artist studio/gallery so everyone is happy!"

General Dog Stuff

Marilyn Terrell presents Pop Omnivore: Every Dog Doesn't Have Its DNA Day: National Geographic Magazine posted at Pop Omnivore, saying, "If you have a mutt and want to figure out which breeds he came from, you can get his DNA tested."


Amber presents An Open Letter to Britney Spears posted at Rubinman, saying, "A bichon frise offers advice to Britney..."

Rebecca Camarena presents Puppy Love! « Dogs Rule and Cats Drool posted at Dogs Rule and Cats Drool, saying, "Spencer's love for Amber, a yellow Labrador Retriever can only exist in cyberspace."

That concludes this edition. Submit your blog article to the next edition of
the dog blog carnival
using our
carnival submission form.
Past posts and future hosts can be found on our
blog carnival index page

This post was also submitted although it has nothing to do with dogs, I decided to go ahead and include it here.

Rob Moshe presents Live Your Best Life By Serving Others posted at Rob Schaumer, saying, "This is not necessarily a fitting post for your carnival. Once the project starts, each day I will recognize a fellow blogger that "Helped""
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Wednesday, February 6, 2008

How To Groom Your Own Dog Series: Training Your Dog to be Groomed

How do I groom my own dog is something that I am frequently asked in the grooming shop. Most of my pet owners are very interested in keeping their pet well groomed at home and either they just don’t know how to groom their particular dog or their dog is resistant to being groomed. And I will start out by saying that this is not something I can cover completely in one post. I am going to break it up into an ongoing series.

Training Your Dog to be Groomed

The most frequent issue that most people have when attempting to groom their own dog is the dog itself. Dogs need to be trained to be groomed. Once trained and if done regularly, the grooming process should be a time for relaxing and bonding with your dog.

Optimally, you will begin to train your dog when it is a puppy and it will grow up enjoying the special time that it spends getting your undivided attention. Most dogs are not trained from puppyhood, however, and chances are that you are starting this process with a dog that is resistant to being groomed.

Dogs learn this resistance because in most cases they are not groomed until they have tangles or matts. Pulling out matts hurts them just as much as ripping tangles out of your own hair. Imagine for a moment someone pulling the hairs out of your armpits. It's not a pleasant thought and not many of us would lie there complacently without complaining.

So how do you train your dog? The most important step is to start out with a dog that is already groomed. The absolute best time to start is the day your dog comes home from the groomer. I know you are thinking that this makes no sense. You just paid money so that you didn't NEED to groom your dog. You would be absolutely correct. Your dog should come home from the groomer tangle and matt free. You should be able to comb and/or brush your dog without it being a painful or long process.

You are going to spend some time retraining your dog to think of grooming as a pleasant experience and not a painful one. You are also going to be retraining yourself to enjoy the process and to incorporate it into your routine. While few of us have time to groom our dogs daily, it should still be a regular routine and one that is rewarding to both you and your dog.

Encourage your dog to lay down on it's side. Pick a time when your dog is calm and relaxed. If your dog is small, have them lay in your lap. If your dog is large, have them lay on the floor and sit beside them. You want your dog to relax so talk calmly to them and pet them for a few minutes. I repeat the word "down" while I am doing this so that it becomes a command.

If your dog struggles against laying down this may be as far as you go for the first groom training session. If your dog is calm, take your comb or brush and run it over the dog lightly. Your goal here is to teach your dog to like being groomed. There should be no issues with tangles or matts so this should be a short pleasant session. Always speak softly to your dog while you are grooming as it will help to calm and relax him. These first few sessions should be more like stroking your dog with a brush or comb.

Try to do this daily for at least a week. The sessions do not have to last more than five minutes at a time and because you started with a freshly groomed clean dog, you can focus more on just getting you and your dog relaxed. Do not try to accomplish much more than having a quiet calm dog. If they have long hair on their ears or tail and are enjoying being brushed, you may want to be sure to comb or brush that part of them.

At the end of the first week, if you have a dog that will lie calmly for 5 minutes while being brushed you have accomplished much. You should be able to start a more thorough brushing and do it less often than daily. You can gradually extend the amount of time that you are spending and you can attempt the problem areas such as behind the ears, under the armpits and the back of the legs.

If at any point in the process your dog struggles or becomes upset, go back to the first steps of lying down and being stroked lightly. Some dogs are resistant to certain areas of their bodies being brushed and you will need to go back to stage one on these areas frequently. Get them used to lying quietly while stroking or massaging the area with your hand. Once they are relaxed, try the brush or comb lightly again.

I usually recommend to my clients that they do this while watching tv in the evening. Both people and dogs are usually more relaxed and winding down from the day. You will not achieve a calm dog if the kids are running around, people are coming in and out and things that your dog wants to investigate or be a part of are going on.

Upcoming in the series, I will cover specific topics such as

  • ¨ How and when to bathe your dog
  • - Health issues that regular grooming can help
  • ¨ Double coated dogs like Collies, Shetland Sheepdogs, Australian Shepherds, etc.
  • ¨ Long coated dogs like Shih Tzu, Lhasa Apso, Maltese, and Havanese
  • ¨ Non shedding breeds such as poodles and bichons
  • ¨ Harsh coated dogs such as Terriers
  • ¨ General Grooming such as ears and nails
  • ¨ Grooming tools that you will need at home
You will notice that there are several different topics on breeds or coat types. This is because each different type of coats require different types of care including a different types of brushes and different techniques in brushing. There isn't a one size fits all answer and that is why professional groomers spend thousands of dollars on their tools. The brushes that work on a Shih Tzu won't necessarily work on a poodle or a collie.

You can subscribe to get future posts by RSS feed or by email in the form on the top of the page. Feel free to ask questions at any time along the way or throw in a comment about issues you have with your own dogs or things you would like to know.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Save Our Shelters – PenPals Program

I was invited to prison yesterday. One of my clients had recommended me to the Principal of the nearby state correctional facility to teach grooming to the inmates. I went to the initial interview with a little trepidation about what I would find and how I felt about it. I was very pleasantly surprised.

This particular facility participates in the SOS-PenPals program. PenPals rescues unadoptable dogs from area pounds and shelters and places them in correctional facilities. There a select group of prisoners work with the dogs, training them, socializing them and teaching them to be good citizens and pets.

The principal at this particular facility is expanding the program to train the inmates in animal handling so that when they have served their time, they will have training for jobs in the pet care industry. They should be qualified as groomers assistants, trainers, doggie day care attendants, etc.

I got to meet both the dogs and their trainers. The dogs were happy, healthy, very well trained and obviously devoted to their handlers. The guys were very proud of their animals and took the time to introduce me to each one. I truly think that they are better trained and behaved than my own dogs.

When the dogs are brought into the program they are assigned two handlers. These handlers share a room with the dog and it is never left alone. They get two handlers so that when one is not available, the other can care for the dog. Due to regulations, dogs have to be kept on lead at all times unless they are in the exercise yard.

The dogs are well socialized and very responsive to their handlers. They use operant conditioning (clicker training) to train the dogs and you can see it in the way the dogs respond to their handlers. These are very happy dogs.

The guys were full of questions about the opportunities in the pet care industry, dog training and when I could start. They asked the type of questions that I would expect from a new class in college and it was fun to share some of my experiences with them and to talk about the methods that they use in training.

Ann Cavan, the principal at the facility’s school and the originator of the animal handler program said that there have been unforeseen benefits for the inmates as they learn to relate and train the dogs. She is excited about giving them the opportunity to choose a career in the pet care field.

All in all, I enjoyed my visit to prison. Sounds strange, doesn’t it? I am looking forward to working with them and feel like I am giving back to not only the dogs but also the men who have paid for their crimes and only want another opportunity to succeed. I hope that they find it out there.

I hope that if you are considering donating to an animal welfare organization, that you will consider SOS-Pet Pals. They are quietly going about the business of not only saving pets but also of helping the inmates. You can read more about it on their website.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

I Am Planning Next Years Attack on Fleas!

In the last few years, it seems like there have been more and more fleas and they have been harder and harder to get kill. Being a groomer, my world revolves around fleas and flea control from June through November. Flea control is more of a challenge every year. I end up using harsher and harsher chemicals to kill the fleas on the dogs, in the shop and at home.

I have always been a huge natural dog care proponent and feed my dogs natural foods, farm raised eggs, goats milk and vegetables. This keeps them in glowing good health but then I sabotage it all by dousing them with poisons. This year, I am going to try something new.

Natural Flea Control

I have been studying natural flea control methods and products. Diatomaceous earth (DE) seems to be the big winner. This basically very fine crushed fossilized skeletons of microscopic organisms. They have very sharp edges. They are so small that they won’t hurt you or your pet but cut fleas up so that they dehydrate and die.

You can sprinkle DE on your pet, in your yard, your carpet, on your furniture and some people even give it to their dogs orally to kill internal parasites. DE is totally non toxic and the fleas can’t build up a resistance to it because it works mechanically (by cutting them up) instead of chemically.

With everything else that I do, I don’t have time to concoct my own so I have looked at prepared products. The product that I have decided on is sold by one of our sponsors, All Natural Flea Control for Dog & Cats at Only Natural Pet Store . The reviews seem to be mixed but I believe that part of that is a) incorrect application and b) expecting immediate results!

With any natural product, you are not going to see the immediate kill that you do with chemicals. It takes time for the fleas to come in contact with it and then to die from the exposure. You will also want to follow the directions with regard to the amounts to use on both pets and carpet. The last time I spoke with Dr. Swann, she was using DE to control fleas and parasites on her own animals.

This product covers all three zones, the dog, the house and the yard. You can't beat that.

The Dog Blog Carnival Edition 1

Photo Courtesy of YTaP

Welcome to the February 3, 2008 edition of the dog blog carnival. I enjoyed reading the articles and I hope you will enjoy them too. I have included a couple of videos for your enjoyment.
My favorites in this edition are:

If you have ever lost a dog, you will understand why this article is one of my top picks. Matt M presents TIPS ON LOCATING LOST PETS posted at The Pet Haven, saying, "Tips on what to do if you ever have the unfortunate experience of losing your dog."

Haven't we all learned something from our pets? I wish that more people would learn the things that Shirley did. Shirley presents Things I’ve Learned From My Dogs. posted at Fun Spirit, saying, "My two little fuzzy bundles of joy have taught me many great lessons over the years. Here are just a few:"

Pet Care Tips

Annette presents China, poisons and dogs toys posted at Maholia, saying, "with the scare of poisoned toys from China, what does a person do who wants to give their pet toys? Make your own! :)"

Riayn presents Puppy Preschool posted at Petulance, saying, "A post about the benefits of puppy preschool and some important questions to ask before enrolling your puppy."

Raymond presents Buy Pet Food In Bulk Online To Save Money posted at Money Blue Book, saying, "Applicable to dogs too!"

A Dog's Life

Karen Shanley presents No Hurries, No Worries. posted at Karen Shanley.
Karen talks about helping her rescue dog along the road to emotional recovery.

Mogley G. Retriever presents A Dog's life, the real story!: Better Homes and Dogs posted at A Dog's life, the real story!, saying, "I am a young Golden Retriever that writes his own blog to keep in touch with his friends back at the rescue kennels. If you are a dog, you know how hard it is to communicate with humans. If you are a human, you need to learn what us dogs think! Read my blog and love a dog."

WhatWorksForUs presents Ball? Someone? Anyone? posted at What Works For Us. You will recognize this look.

Tony Clements
presents tuesdays: chase and bunny posted at tuesdays, saying, "a shaggy dog story about my childhood buddy CHASE and the neighbor's...bunny."

Rebecca Camarena presents Millionaire Mutt « Dogs Rule and Cats Drool posted at Dogs Rule and Cats Drool, A Cat's look at why some dogs are luckier than cats.

Cindy S presents A Day In the Life of A Farm Cavalier posted at Not Again! Farm. A view of farm life from a non-farm type dog.

Just For Fun

Waldo presents WALDO For President posted at Waldo's World, saying, "Waldo runs for president!"

Day presents How it all started posted at Today's Day. If you have a dog, I'm sure you will relate to this story.

Gourmetxpress presents Dog Pictures posted at Website, saying, "Everyday a new dog is featured on the website. Also has homemade dog biscuit mix for sale.

That concludes this edition. Submit your blog article to the next edition ofThe Dog Blog Carnival using our carnival submission form. Past posts and future hosts can be found on ourblog carnival index page. The Valentines Edition submissions are due by 2/16/08.

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Friday, February 1, 2008

Pets Lose Homes and Families in Foreclosures

You have reached the end of your financial rope. The bank takes your house back or sells it at auction. You are suddenly faced with finding a place to live and no money to move. Do you move in with family? Rent an apartment? What do you do with the family pets?

For too many pets, it means being left in the home. Shut up in a room or tied in the back yard, people are being forced to abandon their pets when they lose their homes. Banks legally cannot release personal property for a certain period of time and are resisting having the animals removed. It's a bad situation for the pets involved.

Abandoning a pet to starve in an empty home should NOT be an option. There is no way to predict how long the pets will be there before someone finds them and it's almost a given that they will go to the local pound. Here are some suggestions that may help you re-home these pets or help the ones who have or will lose their homes.

  1. Check with your friends and family to see if there is someone who can keep your pets temporarily while you get back on your feet. Perhaps co-workers or one of the local rescue groups.
  2. If you know someone who is having financial difficulty, ask them if they have made arrangements for their pets. This may be somewhat futile as people facing the loss of their home, don't go around shouting it out.
  3. Put an ad on Craigs list. While you don't go into the gory details of your financial life, you might want to say "forced to move, these dogs will go to pound". Looking for permanent or foster home for .... Many times, people will take the dogs in on a temporary basis while you are looking for a home where you can keep them. It is a good idea to ask some kind of small fee to protect your pet.
  4. Put an ad on Petfinder. Again, mention that you are forced to move and that the pets are desparately in need of a home either temporarily or permanently.
  5. For those of us who are aghast that people would abandon their pets, step back for a moment and realize that these are not necessarily bad, irresponsible or uncaring people. These are usually good people in a bad situation and it's happening A LOT right now. We can help.
  6. If you can find it in your heart and room in your home to help, consider fostering a dog while the family gets back on their feet. Realize that it may be a longer term situation until the family can get settled and that you may end up re-homing the pet yourself if you choose not to keep it.
  7. Check Craig's list, pet finder and offer to help. Post lists of shelters of no kill shelters in your area.
  8. Contact your local shelter or rescue group and offer to foster a pet. Shelters are already over flowing but may be able to help out with the vet expenses for a pet. This will at least help to make room for the pets who are facing foreclosure.
  9. Donate to your local shelter or rescue group. If you have been donating to Humane Society of the US or PETA, take those dollars and send them to your local shelters where they will be used to help the animals and not to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars to lobbyists.
Maybe we should start a National database of people who are willing to foster pets on a temporary basis. I would be willing to start organize this if people are interested and would be willing to help out.

Photo Courtesy of Katayun

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

What Can You Do With Dog Hair?

Being a groomer, I have one by product for which I would LOVE to find a use. Dog Hair! We produce dog hair in massive quantities but try as I may, I have not been able to come up with any use for it. I know of at least one groomer who spins it and then knits purses and felts them but I don't spin or knit.

You would think that dog hair would have some value. It comes in an amazing array of colors and textures. It must have some insulating value or dogs wouldn't grow it. It can be soft or spikey, black, blue, white or red, curley or straight. It's all natural and 100% organic.

I have been wracking my brain for years trying some way to recycle it so I decided to throw it out here for my readers. Does anyone have any thoughts or experience on what it might be good for? Could you use it to stuff pillows, dog beds, toys? Have you used it to knit, crochet?

What is Self Service Grooming

Self Service Dog Grooming salons and Dog Washes are popping up all over the country. So what's it all about? A Self Service Dog Wash is just that. Think of it as a Car Wash for your pet. It's a place where you can take your dog and bathe it in a professional tub with professional dog dryers. This keeps the hair out of your drain and off your walls.

What can you expect if you use a Self Service Dog Wash? At Happy Tails, if you come in for Self Service, you can choose from several options. You can pay the minimum charge, provide your own shampoo and conditioner and have the use of the tub and dryers. For a bit more, you can use our professional shampoo and conditioner. We might differ a bit from some Self Service dog washes as there is always a professional groomer available to answer your questions or give you a hand.

Most of the Self Service Dog Washes are not staffed by groomers but by franchise owners and their employees. While these may be very knowledgeable, they also may not be. If you are asking advice or help, it pays to ask a little about their experience and training.

If you are taking your pet to give it a bath, there are a few things you can do in advance to make your job a little easier and give your pet a more pleasant bath experience.

Be sure to brush your pet out completely before bathing. Tangles in the coat tend to tighten up into mats when they get wet and then dried. This may make it impossible to brush them out after their bath. It is always best to be sure that your pet is tangle free before his bath. You can do this at home to save time.

Put Cotton Balls in their ears. Getting water in a dog's ears is uncomfortable and will cause them to shake repeatedly. Your dog will be more comfortable and you will stay dryer if you put a cotton ball in each ear. Make sure that you do not put it too far in, you will want to retrieve it after the bath.

If you have ear cleaner to clean or flush their ears, be sure to do it prior to their bath. They will shake their heads and the wax, oil and dirt will come out onto their coats. You will want to wash this away during their bath.

Trim nails before bathing. Long toenails have a way of getting caught in the grates. Trimming them prior to bathing will keep you from having to try to disengage a toenail while your wet and paniced dog is struggling against you. This can cause injury to your pet.

Bring Your Own Shampoo. If you use a special shampoo or conditioner, bring it with you. While the Self Service shop may supply shampoo and conditioner, dont depend on them to have the same kind that you have been using.

Ask how to use equipment before your dog is in the tub. The time to ask questions is before you get your dog in the tub. You will also want to ask about the proper way to use the high velocity dryers as these can actually harm your dog if used incorrectly.

The Self Service shop should offer the essentials such as towels, basic shampoo and conditioner, a high velocity dryer, toe nail trimmers and a table to use to dry and brush. Expect to bring your own combs, brushes and any special sprays or conditioners you might use.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Tales of Picture Day at Happy Tails

Picture day was a blast! It was a long day but what fun!! They got some really good pictures of all the dogs and some great ones of some of them.

The photographers got there about 11 o'clock to set up. Julia graciously offered her dining room for them to use and they took about 45 minutes getting set up and ready. Then the fun began. I don't know if any of you have met Julia's little white dog. She came from Southside SPCA and is older and very cranky. She doesn't like strangers. Well, let me rephrase that... she doesn't like anyone but Julia and she attacks like she was a policedog on duty.

To give us credit, we warned the photograhers. We did. We told them that she would bite. Julia held her in the first couple picture and she did fine. Then Mark wanted to try a few of her by herself. They put a big bean bag down and Julia made her comfortable. They snapped a few and decided to do some valentines shots.

They went well too until the Mark went to move the roses and Dixie very politely reached over and bit at his hand. He laughed it off and said that if she had really wanted to bite him, she would have. Uh huh... those of us who know Dixie well, won't go in the house unless Julia is holding her. Believe me, she wanted to bite him, she is just getting a bit older and slower.

They took a few more shots with Mark keeping his hands well away from her. Then Dixie decided she was bored with the whole affair. She jumped off the beanbag and went right after Marks ankle with Julia was trying to grab her. Mark was very brave and Dixie didn't even rip his pants leg off although it sounded a lot like she was. What a way to start the day!

We promised them that the rest would be easier. Then it was my turn. You would think that sweet loving Cavaliers would be a joy to photograph. Not! With four of them, it was almost impossible to get all of them still at once unless they were all licking my face. We would get 3 looking perfectly angelic and the 4th would be jumping down. They perservered and I think they got some great shots but they had to work for them.

After Julia and I had them all broken in, the rest of the day was easy. The dogs were well behaved and they even got some shots of a couple of the dogs with a leather jacket on. Look out James Dean!

We get to see the pictures on February 1st. I can't wait! I am as excited to see everyone else's as I am to see my own. I think we will do this again in the fall for Christmas pictures.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

How to Potty Train Your New Puppy

You have brought your new puppy home and now it’s time to start potty training it. In reality, if your puppy is under 16 weeks old, it is more a matter of it training you. Puppies are much like small children and don’t have much control until they are about 4 months old.

The first thing that you will need for a young puppy is a crate. If your pup is young and is going to be staying in his crate while you are at work for some hours, his crate should be big enough to house his bed and a small area to use as a potty. Puppies younger than 16 weeks should not be expected to hold it for 8 hours a day. Some breeds may but generally if your young puppy can, you should celebrate.

I personally use a playpen the size of the portable ones for babies. I put his bed in half and newspaper in the other half along with their water. Dogs, as a rule, do not like to go potty in their bed so eventually they will be able to wait until you get home. When you take him out, immediately take him to his assigned potty place and wait for him to go.

Even though your pup might not be ready to be totally trustworthy in the house, the time to start house training is now. You want him to develop good habits. You are going to spend the first several weeks observing your pup and trying your best to get him into his assigned potty place when he is ready to go. I bet you are asking, “How am I supposed to know when he has to go potty?” It’s actually pretty easy once you start watching him.

Signs and Times That Your Pup Has to Go…. NOW!!

  • Waking Up. Unlike babies, puppies don’t go in their sleep so as soon as they wake up, it is a pretty safe bet that they will have to go. When you wake your pup up, take him outside right away. Don’t talk to him or play with him until he has gone potty.
  • After Eating. Within a few minutes to a half hour after eating, most pups will need to go. Again, once he has finished eating, take him out and wait for him to go. Potty time is not play time so wait to play until he has finished his business.
  • Circling: If you watch your pup outside when you take him out for a potty break, you will notice that almost all dogs run or walk in circles while sniffing just before going potty. You might notice that he doesn’t come when he is called when he is thinking about ‘going’ and the circles may get smaller and smaller until he finally goes. If you see him sniffing in circles in the house, it’s time to go out. Some young puppies don’t sniff but you will notice them doing the circling behavior.
  • Going Away: Another behavior you might notice in your pup is that they will disappear into another room when they have to go. This is common once he has made a mistake or two and you have yelled or gotten upset with him. If you notice your normally attentive puppy suddenly withdrawing or going into another room, it is probably time to take him out.

More Housetraining Hints

Use the same command every time you take him outside. It is a better idea if the command is short; perhaps a word or possibly two. “Go Potty” “Hurry Up” or even just “Potty” will work. Use whatever command you are comfortable with because you will want to say it each time you take him out.

If you are consistent and pay attention, you will have a housetrained puppy by the time he is old enough to really control it. If you are not consistent and the puppy makes frequent mistakes in the house, you are making a habit that will stick with him forever and be difficult to break at a later date.

When he makes a mistake indoors, don't make a big deal about it. Clean it up with a solution of vinegar and water to remove any odor and take the pup outside. If you do not use some sort of solution to clean the odor out, he will return to this spot again and again. This is why they prescent housetraining pads.

If you have a small dog and you choose not to take him outside to potty, you can use the same technique with housebreaking pads or newspapers. Instead of taking him outside, you would take him to his pad and gently keep him on it until he goes. The important thing with a puppy is not to yell, spank or otherwise reprimand him if he makes a mistake. This will only drive him to find that quiet spot behind the living room chair to go where you can’t see him.

Be consistent, be kind and remember not to scold him. It is your responsibility to get him to his potty place when it is time to go.

I hope you have enjoyed this and if you have any questions or feedback, please feel free to leave a comment or email me. I am always glad to help out. I will be posting a follow up about how to house train an older dog or older puppy at a later date.

Monday, January 21, 2008

The Other Side of the Mandatory Spay/Neuter Debate

**To post a comment, click on the word comments below or on the title above to read comments.

I heard from a reader this morning who wrote in support of the pending legislation. She didn't know how to leave a comment but wanted to express her opinion. I am posting it here today because it is one that is shared by many. I will also post my response as well.

My general idea...I volunteered for rescue for 3 years. We had to pass the pups on spayed or neutered, or if puppies, with contracts that they will be. Why? Most of the dogs we brought in were puppy mill dogs. These dogs were horribly abused - left in cages in their own feces, the only human touch they had was during breeding or feeding. They had rotten teeth. Scared to death of humans. These breeders in some instances, instead of turning the dogs over to rescue when they dont suit their fancy, will kill them. Unmercifully. so in a way, I commend the legislation to put a stop to all the breeding that is going on...dogs that are unwanted, or that sit in shelters for many years. Dogs in puppy mills. Dogs that are dumped at the side of the road because the mom got pregnant by the neighbor dog, all because nobody took the time to get her spayed.
On the other hand....I believe that folks that want to show their dogs, or are on a very small scale breeding facility...that can be licensed or prove that their dogs are well cared for....thats a different story. Unfortunately, its the bad guys that make life miserable for those who are well meaning individuals. It goes that way for everything in the world today. Folks ruin something good for those who wont abuse it.
I know there are many well meaning breeders in the world. And I also know there are thousands of unwanted dogs sitting in shelters who will never have the love of a real home...they will be there till they die.
Somehow....we have to do something to end all that.
Just my 2 cents.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Virginia Forces ALL Pets to Be Spayed Or Neutered

Pending legislation in Virginia could force all pets to be sold with a mandatory Spay/Neuter contract. Delegate Robert Hull has introduced last minute legislation that would require all dogs and cats sold in the state of Virginia to be Spayed or Neutered. Not including this clause in your contract could cost both the buyer and the seller a fine of $150 unless you qualify for one of the three exemptions for "good" breeders. Pet owners will no longer have a choice in whether to spay or neuter their pets.

Without going off onto a rant, this totally removes any "choice" either the breeder or purchaser has in spaying or neutering your pet. You WILL do it within 30 days of purchase or within 30 days of it becoming 6 months of age or you will be breaking the law and subject to fines.

So what does this mean to the average person? It means that unless you are actively showing or competing with your dog, you no longer have any choice in having a litter of puppies. The law graciously allows that a "hobby" breeder may have one litter of puppies as long as they find homes for them all and don't make any money from it. It means that the price of buying a puppy or a kitten is going to go up. It means that the only place you will be able to buy a puppy is from a "dealer". Isn't that the very thing they are trying to stop?

What it won't do: It certainly doesn't penalize the people who let their dogs run loose and then dump the resulting puppies on the side of the road or give them away without any care about what kind of home they are going to live in. It does nothing to address unwanted litters. It does nothing to address the thousands of mixed breed dogs and cats that populate the county shelters and are passed off by well meaning but less than knowledgeable shelter employees as purebred dogs.

They have tried to prevent the euthanasia of unwanted dogs and cats by legislating spay and neuter and it has failed. You can read about some of them here:

National Animal Interest Alliance

Mandatory Spay and Neuter Resources

Shelter Population

How are they going to enforce it? Are we going to have to have an attorney to buy our kids a puppy? Are they going to pull police off the streets and have them out inspecting contracts on every kid with a new kitten? As a breeder, when I sell a pet puppy, I do so on a spay/neuter contract but this law requires not only that I add it to my contract but I can be fined if the buyer doesn't comply within 30 days.

This is just another example of our politicians wasting our time and money by making useless, unreasonable laws that no one will ever be able to enforce. We already have good laws in place in to protect animals as was proven in the Michael Vick case and the Puppy Mill case.

We already have no one to enforce them

If you wish to contact someone and express your opinion, here are the addresses. Be polite and be specific. Voice your opposition or support in the first sentence of your letter or email and then go on to explain why:

Contact the Ag subcommittee below and ask them to OPPOSE HB 1570. Be polite.
Bobby Orrock (address him "Dear Chairman Orrock") General Assembly Building
P.O. Box 406
Richmond, Virginia 23218
Phone: (804) 698-1054
Fax: (804) 786-6310
Legislative Assistant: Renee Hudson

Ed Scott
General Assembly Building
P.O. Box 406
Richmond, Virginia 23218
Phone: (804) 698-1030
Fax: (804) 786-6310
Legislative Assistant: Lisa Drummond

Danny Marshall
General Assembly Building
P.O. Box 406
Richmond, Virginia 23218
Phone: (804) 698-1014
Fax: (804) 786-6310
Legislative Assistant: Mary K. Franklin

Matt Lohr
General Assembly Building
P.O. Box 406 Richmond, Virginia 23218
Phone: (804) 698-1026
Fax: (804) 786-6310
Legislative Assistant: Audrey Berkshire

Charles Poindexter
General Assembly Building
P.O. Box 406
Richmond, Virginia 23218
Phone: (804) 698-1009
Fax: (804) 786-6310
Legislative Assistant: Brenda Bowman

James Shuler
General Assembly Building
P.O. Box 406
Richmond, Virginia 23218
Phone: (804) 698-1012
Fax: (804) 786-6310

Lynwood Lewis
General Assembly Building
P.O. Box 406 Richmond, Virginia 23218
Phone: (804) 698-1000
Fax: (804) 786-6310
Legislative Assistant: Laurie Naismith

Bobby Mathieson
General Assembly Building
P.O. Box 406
Richmond, Virginia 23218
Phone: (804) 698-1021
Fax: (804) 786-6310
Legislative Assistant: Jason Robinson and Brent McKenzie