Saturday, May 11, 2013
Lincoln IGA, 10:30am-2:00pm
Porkchop & Ribeye Sandwich Sale
Dog talk with Uncle Matty: Are we failing our animals?
Nearly half of the millions of dogs and cats that enter America’s shelters every year never make it out. Whose fault is this?
Does the blame lie squarely on the shoulders of those who fuel, directly and indirectly, the lucrative puppy mill industry, including pet stores and puppy brokers?
What about so-called backyard breeders? Many are responsible dog lovers who offer purebred pups that are healthy and come with proper early socialization to people willing to pay a premium for a specific dog. Are they part of the problem?
And what about the people who look to these breeders for their dogs, instead of adopting from their local rescue or shelter?
Is it the fault of every single individual who declines to spay or neuter their pet?
More than anything, I believe we are failing our animals because of an underlying notion that they are disposable. They’re great — until there’s a problem. And that’s the problem.
Too many people fail to see a behavioral issue as a problem that needs a solution. Instead, they turn on the dog. The formerly great dog is now a problem dog — instead of a great dog with a problem. What’s the easiest way to deal with a “problem” dog? Take him to the shelter. And that’s how good dogs end up sitting in cages hoping for homes.
Of course, there are other “reasons.” Some relinquish their dog to a shelter because they have to move, or developed allergies, or were wiped out by divorce. Sometimes the dog gets sick. Sometimes he just gets old. Any way you cut it, our dismal shelter population is what it is largely because people give up on their pets for no good reason.
We’d be building orphanages at the rate we do prisons if parents were allowed to treat their children this way.
A friend of a friend recently brought home a cat from his local shelter. After a week, he determined it wasn’t a good match. The cat hadn’t “warmed up” to him, wouldn’t sit in his lap long enough. He took the cat back. Word is, he thinks he wants a dog.
Thankfully, for every guy like this there are many more who love their pets like the family members they are.
Without a doubt, the puppy mill industry is a blight on our history. It’s an industry that should be shut down from top to bottom. But what allows such an abomination to exist — and thrive — in the first place? By my lights, it all comes back to this idea that animals are disposable.
Responsible breeders are not the problem. They keep lineages alive. They preserve a variety of breeds, many of which serve a useful purpose to people beyond companionship.
People shouldn’t be made to feel guilty when choosing a pup from a breeder rather than a shelter. But people should be made to feel responsible for their dog, regardless of where he comes from, in sickness and in health, till death do you part.
A shelter is not a trainer.
A shelter is not a store.
A shelter is not a home.
There’s a 50/50 chance a shelter will be a death sentence, though. Cruel and unusual punishment for most of its residents, jailed for a crime they didn’t commit.
Dog trainer Matthew “Uncle Matty” Margolis is the co-author of 18 books about dogs, a behaviorist, a popular radio and television guest, and the host of the PBS series “WOOF! It’s a Dog’s Life!” Read all of Uncle Matty’s columns at creators.com, and visit him at unclematty.com. Send your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or by mail to Uncle Matty at PO Box 3300, Diamond Springs 95619.
c.2011 Creators Syndicate _________________________________________________
DO NOT LEAVE YOUR PETS IN A VEHICLE!!! If the sun is shining, regardless of the temperature outside, your vehicle will amplify the sun's intensity and cook your pet in a matter of minutes. Please read the article from about.com, The Dangers of Leaving Pets in Parked Cars on Warm Days.
NOTES FROM LCAR:
Storms are brewing all around the country and it is time to go over your emergency/disaster plan to make sure you have included your pets, just in case the worse should happen. Does your emergency supply kit include enough water for the family's pets? Have you included dog/cat food? How about any medications the animals should need? If you have to relocate for any period of time can you take your pets with you? If not are you able to take them with you can you check on them at least once a day or do you have someone who can check on them regularly to make sure they have shelter, food, and water? Pets are a part of the family and their welfare is your responsibility even if disaster should strike.
We have a new van for transporting at risk animals to safety! A BIG thank you to the Woods foundation for the grant!!
ANIMAL PROTECTIVE LEAGUE
Please consider making a donation to Logan County Animal Rescue! Your donations are tax deductible!!