Articles

Love, Loyalty and Pain

By VJ, co-founder of Bikers Against Animal Cruelty www.bikersagainstanimalcruelty.org

VJ from BAAC

Let me just start by saying, I’m a dog guy. Love 'em, always have, always will. So when I speak of animal cruelty, I tend to always steer towards dogs, I can't help it, I’m a dog guy! I do however despise every and all forms of animal abuse, and neglect! Hundreds of cases come through our organization daily via e-mail. My wife is tasked with the unenviable job of sorting through them nightly. It is case after case, from the most horrific cases of abuse, to the totally avoidable cases of neglect, such as embedded collars, or simple mange left untreated for months. In 99.9% of the cases that come in, none ever have the number one detail that I want, who and where is the owner? It just makes my blood boil, when I look at these pictures, and read the brief description of their condition, and I only see 1/10 of what comes in. Puppies starved, broken bones left to heal by themselves, burns, chopped ears, and my all time number one reason for fighting animal cruelty, bait dogs! As I said, in all these cases the details of who had the dog, or exactly where he or she came from is never available, and I guess for my own freedom, and certainly for the perpetrators' well being, that is for the best. I just want to find the person or persons responsible and show them what it is like to have the fear of God in their hearts, while writhing in more pain then a living being should be able to endure and still be breathing. Too graphic? Well I was taming it down for ya. The real vision involves a blowtorch. These cancers on society, steal, buy, and adopt good natured dogs, tie then to a stake, or tree, and then train their fighting dogs to attack. This goes on day after day, with little to no medical attention rendered to all the wounds inflicted upon them. When they are done, when they are turned into hamburger meat, they are left to die, in a dumpster, in the woods, or sadly, the lucky ones, are killed in some other grotesque way. The "bait dogs" that have a little too much fight in them, have their teeth removed, or filed down, and not by a dentist. They have even been blinded! Just turns your stomach to think about it. Fighting dogs is bad enough, but when you see or hear the measures that are taken to "train" these dogs to fight, it’s even worse then the fights themselves. At least in the ring, they have a fighting chance. This is not the case for the bait dog. He or she stands NO chance, it is seen to by the so called human beings that are involved. Dog fighting speaks volumes about both the dogs involved, usually pit bulls of which I own three, and the so called humans. The dogs that fight, need to be "trained" to fight, it is not in their nature. They are beaten, starved, and made to attack other dogs by humans. If it was in their nature to fight, they would only have to be put in a ring and it would happen. The problem is, doing that would more then likely end up in some butt sniffing, a game of tag, a drink of water, and nap time, rather then a fight to the death. If you have ever owned a dog, you know they don’t want to fight. They want a blanket, a warm house, a bowl of food and water, a ball to call their very own, and your love. That's it. That's their nature. Even the few bait dogs that escape or are found alive, once seeing a vet, and a whole lot of TLC, they are affectionate, and loving, even after all they have been through. Dogs are gentle, loyal and loving, everything we as humans should strive to be. Sadly, it is not in our nature. The humans are another story. These underdeveloped, knuckle dragging, drooling morons are the animals. What kind of person, could perpetrate such cruel, and heinous acts against a defenseless, innocent animal? It angers me to no end. I want to find them and hurt them. To me, they are no better then a person who hurts children. Unfortunately, the courts don’t see them in that way at all, but that's a whole other story. I'd rather have a drug dealer, or even a hooker, living next to me then one of these people. They are truly the menace to society. They have no honor and no balls. They are small people, with even smaller minds who need to feel big, or macho at the expense of the animals. I guess in some way we should feel bad for them too, but naaah, screw that; they deserve pain. The word Dog has always denoted the negative in the English language. Sick as a dog. Ugly as a dog. Dog breath, well that one is based on fact. Still, I just don’t understand how this came about. Calling somebody “a dog?” That should be a compliment! We can learn a lot from dogs. They offer us love and loyalty unconditionally, and have for centuries. Most other species would have taken their ball and gone home decades ago; given up on us! A dog would never do that, and that’s their nature. So as I see it, it is our job to protect them from those who mean to do them harm. They’ve earned that much. To Say Nothing, To Do Nothing, Stops Nothing! Find the Pit Bull

Easing the Transition -- Your Newly Adopted Dog

By Veronica Sanchez, M. Ed, CPDT, CABC Cooperative Paws LLC February 2008 Adding a new family member is an exciting time. New guardians have been dreaming of leisurely walks in the woods, a fun visit to the dog park or a relaxing cup of coffee in an outside café with their dog. Now that your dog is home, it is hard not to want to do all those fun things right away! For the dog, however, the transition from an animal shelter or a foster home to a new home can very stressful. Many new guardians inadvertently add to the dog's stress level by overwhelming him or her. It's important to allow for settling in time. Give your new dog an opportunity to relax, explore his new environment and introduce new experiences slowly over time as you and your new dog get to know each other. Remember that it takes time for a dog to adjust and the behavior you see the first few weeks after adoption may not be the same behavior you see later on. This is especially true for adolescent dogs between the ages of approximately five months and two years (adolescence may last even longer for some dogs). Like human teenagers, adolescent dog behavior often fluctuates. Some Tips for New Dog Guardians: 1. Your new dog needs to be in your line of sight or safely confined to a dog-proofed area or crate. Do no not assume your new dog is house trained or has learned not to chew furniture. 2. Provide outlets for stress. KONG toys and other similar type toys can be stuffed with your dog's foofood or special treats. Always supervise your dog with a new toy to make sure it is safe for him. 3. Allow for down time and short periods of alone time. You can help make this time fun for your dog by providing a long lasting chew toy. 4. Familiarize yourself with indications of stress in dogs. Be ready to remove your dog from situations whwhere he seems anxious or fearful. 5. Have healthy treats available so you are always ready to reward behavior you like. 6. Introduce other family pets carefully and give animals breaks from spending time together. Provide additional exercise, chew toys and play time for other pets too. Remember that adding a new family memember can be challenging for them as well. Be ready to get professional support if you see any behaviors that worry you. Even older dogs benefit from training using gentle, reward-based techniques. Every dog is different, some dogs will "be themselves" in a few days. Other dogs may take weeks to months to completely settle in. Have fun getting to know your new family member! For the dog, however, the transition from an animal shelter or a foster home to a new home can very stressful. Many new guardians inadvertently add to the dog's stress level by overwhelming him or her. It's important to allow for settling in time. Give your new dog an opportunity to relax, explore his new environment and introduce new experiences slowly over time as you and your new dog get to know each other. Remember that it takes time for a dog to adjust and the behavior you see the first few weeks after adoption may not be the same behavior you see later on. This is especially true for adolescent dogs between the ages of approximately five months and two years (adolescence may last even longer for some dogs). Like human teenagers, adolescent dog behavior often fluctuates. Some Tips for New Dog Guardians: 1. Your new dog needs to be in your line of sight or safely confined to a dog-proofed area or crate. Do no not assume your new dog is house trained or has learned not to chew furniture. 2. Provide outlets for stress. KONG toys and other similar type toys can be stuffed with your dog's foofood or special treats. Always supervise your dog with a new toy to make sure it is safe for him. 3. Allow for down time and short periods of alone time. You can help make this time fun for your dog by providing a long lasting chew toy. 4. Familiarize yourself with indications of stress in dogs. Be ready to remove your dog from situations whwhere he seems anxious or fearful. 5. Have healthy treats available so you are always ready to reward behavior you like. 6. Introduce other family pets carefully and give animals breaks from spending time together. Provide additional exercise, chew toys and play time for other pets too. Remember that adding a new family memember can be challenging for them as well. Be ready to get professional support if you see any behaviors that worry you. Even older dogs benefit from training using gentle, reward-based techniques. Every dog is different, some dogs will "be themselves" in a few days. Other dogs may take weeks to months to completely settle in. Have fun getting to know your new family member! Courtesy of www.GoodDogz.org

How Our Pets Can Reduce Our Stresses and Anxieties

By Stanley Popovich Animals and our pets can be a great way to reduce our every day stresses and anxieties.  It is not easy to deal with our fears and anxieties, however, spending time with animals can makes us feel better.  Here is a list of ways of how animals can help us to better cope with our fears, anxieties, and stresses. Spending time with animals can be a great source of companionship. Whether you have a pet or go to your local shelter, spending time with an animal or pet can help us to feel better.  Also many people talk to their pets and this can help us to get their problems out in the open.  Animals can be of good company to all of us and can prevent the fear of being alone during our troubles. Helping animals and other people through community service can be a great way to overcome our anxieties.  There are many animals out there who could benefit from your time and talents. Doing something that will help your pet or other animals can give you a source of pride and accomplishment and also can lead to possible friendships with others. Sitting around and accomplishing nothing will not make things any better whether its dealing with the fear of being alone or something else. Animals can help us to be active and to focus our energies on working with them instead of worrying about things that may or may not happen. This will prevent us from worrying about our current situation. One of the ways to manage stress is to challenge your negative thinking with positive thoughts. Animals can help us to relax and help us to focus on the good things in our lives. This will help us to focus positively on any situation.  Playing with animals can help reduce our fears and anxieties in any situation. Animals can get our minds off of our problems. A person could do an activity with their pet or other animals that will give them a fresh perspective on things. Spending time with animals will get your mind off of the problem and give you the energy to do other things. Most importantly, playing with animals will give you the self-confidence that you can cope and that you can get through the day. Remember that there are many ways that animals can reduce the stresses of our every day life, however, they are not a substitute of getting professional help.  If your fears and anxieties become overwhelming, then you will need to talk to a counselor. The next time you feel stressed, spend some time with your pet or other animals and you will be better able to cope with your worries. BIOGRAPHY: Stan Popovich is the author of "A Layman's Guide to Managing Fear Using Psychology, Christianity and Non Resistant Methods" - an easy to read book that presents a general overview of techniques that are effective in managing persistent fears and anxieties. For additional information go to: www.managingfear.com