Thursday, February 10, 2011

Just A Little Bit

Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day is for most people, the day of lovers. It's a romantic day in which people buy expensive stuff to show their love.

But I want to make it different this year. I want to change it from Love to Friendship, Loyalty and... Dogs.

Yes, you read me right. It's not that we will forget that it is the day of lovers, but let's include other as important aspect in our life. And let's not forget our most loyal friends, our dogs.

So this is my suggestion. Why not honor them on Valentine's Day? Why not choose your favorite shelter and/or charitable organization and donate a few dollars? It doesn't need to be that much, just a few dollars. But if everybody donates only a few dollars, can you imagine how much that would make?

Please share this post with your family and your friends and encourage them to donate, just a little bit.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Product Reviews Coming

Stay tuned for our next product reviews. We are currently reviewing some really awesome and cool products for you, Green Dog readers!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Is Hoarding Dogs a Crime?

I first heard about hoarding a few years ago. I think it was on a tv show about people having disease (hoarding) and instead of collecting rocks or stamps, they were collecting pets. Some were collecting cats, other dogs or other different animals.

Although I do understand that hoarding is a disease, I personally think that it is overlooked as a crime.
That might sound harsh for many, but I think that the general population tend to be more forgiving of hoarding because it has a medical explanation.

Is hoarding taken seriously?
The problem is that nobody thinks about the animals that are taken hostage in the hoarder disease. Those animals are loved, in a way, by the boarders that can't financially support them. Just imagine the daily cost, let's start with food, for feeding let's say 15 cats. Now add the litter. Now add the medical cost. No, that's right, there are no medical costs because hoarders usually (and I accept the fact that I could be wrong) don't have the finances to afford 15 cats x 15 spay/neuter surgery x 15 yearly shots x 15 daily healthy meals.

Hoarding is a serious problem and it should be taken seriously. But, in this post, I am not siding with them. In this post, I am siding with the animals that are, in my opinion, the real victims here because nobody can speak for them.

The punishment for hoarding should be serious and the boarder should be put in some type of probation. Again, that sounded harsh. And it is. But if we make hoarding as unattractive as possible, maybe we will be able to save animals that are not properly care for (even if they are loved).

The same applies for every other crime. If, for any other addiction, only a slap on the hand is given, how can a recovering addict can learn a lesson and not act on how/her impulsion?

In my mind, as long as somebody can care to the psychological, behavioral, nutritional, financial and physical needs of the animals, I will mind my business. But if those needs are not fulfill, I feel it is my duty to speak for the animals.

This post was entirely written from my ANDROID phone

Puppy Mills - or The Legal Puppy Hell

Green Dogs readers, I must warn you. This is an opinion text. It contains my own opinions and you might not agree with me. I hope this text will invite dialogue about Puppy Mills and I would like to hear your opinions.

For people who are not dog lovers, a puppy mill is a vague, unknown concept. But for me, a person who is owned by two dogs, puppy mills are very real and for me, they have the face of evil.

A puppy mill is "a breeding enterprise that produce dogs in significant numbers for profit". (source)

I have a hard time conciliating the concept of breeding for profit and adoption of a living being. Is it because I consider "owning" a dog not a business relationship? Or because of my personal experiences/upbringing? I don't know and, to be honest, I don't really care for the whys. In my opinion, it's just not right.

To have a better understanding of what is a puppy mill, words are often not enough. I could explain it to you until I am black and blue in the face, and your mind could never picture the atrocity that is a puppy mill.

These two videos will explain it to you better than I could ever do. But I must warn you, the images are chilling and the pleas for help and attention coming from the dogs are going to break your heart.

I'd like to hear your thoughts about the first video.

 From National Geographic

Every year, between 2 and 4 millions of dogs coming from puppy mills will be sold to honest people.  Puppy mills exist because, simply, people want to buy pure breed dogs. This is the only reason. The more demand there is, the more puppies are breed and sold.

Why is it wrong?
My opinions are based on these factors:

A female breeder dog, from a puppy mill
- Will never see the light of the day in her love. Until the day she will be discarded.
- Will never feel grass or snow under her paws.
- Will never interact with humans.
- Will be pregnant, throughout all her heat cycles.

Dogs, puppies and adults :
- Never interacts with humans.
- Never seen by veterinarians.
- Because of in-breeding, they suffer from an array of medical problems.
- Are disposed of when they are judged too old or too sick.

There are states that are known to "allow" puppy mills profitability because there is no existent laws forbidding the practices. Amongst those states, let me mention: Pennsylvania, Missouri, Nebraska, Kansas, Iowa, Arkansas and Oklahoma.

But there are states that are trying to make it right. Even thought I think it's not enough, at least it is a beginning. Louisiana,Virginia, Oregon and Washington have passed a law that limit the total number of animals a commercial breeder may possess. This limit is 50 dogs.

Why nothing is being done to protect those animals?
It is a good questions. And because there answers are aplenty, nothing is done concretely to stop the practice. I don't know why, but my first guess is that there might be a monetary factor involved. Again, this is my opinion.

There is various laws in place at the moment that regulates certain animal activities. Obviously, it is not enough.

The Animal Welfare Act
The Animal Welfare Act (AWA), a federal law passed in 1966, regulates certain animal activities, including commercial dog and cat breeding. The AWA defines the minimum standards of care for dogs, cats and certain other species of animals bred for commercial resale and exhibition. It also requires that certain commercial breeders be licensed and routinely inspected by the United State Department of Agriculture (USDA). However, violations regularly go unpunished, and there are innumerable loopholes and faults within the current system. For example, only animal-breeding businesses considered "wholesale" operations—those that sell animals to stores for resale—are overseen by the USDA. The AWA does not apply to facilities that sell directly to the public, including the thousands that now do so via the Internet. Read more about the Animal Welfare Act. (Source)

The 2008 Farm Bill
With the evolution of Internet commerce, puppy mills have sprouted up all over the world to provide poorly bred puppies of every imaginable breed and designer mix directly to the consumer. As a result, the U.S. market was flooded with imported dogs in bad health and/or possibly carrying diseases that could harm people and other animals. Because foreign puppy mills are not subject to U.S. regulations—such as the standards set forth in the Animal Welfare Act—many of these dogs are bred and raised in extremely inhumane conditions. (Source)

In a major victory, in May 2008 the ASPCA and other animal welfare groups successfully fought for an amendment to Congress’s 2008 Farm Bill that prohibits the importation of puppies under six months of age for the purpose of resale.

The 2008 Puppy Uniform Protection Statute (did not pass)
In September 2008, the Puppy Uniform Protection Statute (PUPS), or “Baby’s Bill” (in honor of Baby, a three-legged puppy mill survivor), was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives. This legislation sought to close the loophole in the Animal Welfare Act that allows commercial breeders who sell puppies online and directly to the public to escape licensing and regulation. It also would have required all dogs held by licensed breeders to be exercised out of their cages daily. Because of its late introduction, Baby’s Bill did not have a chance to pass during the 110th session of Congress (2007-2008). However, the introduction of federal puppy mill legislation is a major landmark unto itself.(Source)

The 2010 Puppy Uniform Protection and Safety Act (pending) In May 2010, a new version of PUPS called the Puppy Uniform Protection and Safety Act was introduced in both chambers by Senators Richard Durbin (D-IL) and David Vitter (R-LA) and Rep. Sam Farr (D-CA). Similar to its predecessor, PUPS 2010 (S. 3424/H.R. 5434) would require any breeder who sells or offers to sell more than 50 dogs annually directly to the public—including over the Internet—to also be licensed and inspected. The bill would also require all dog breeders licensed under the federal Animal Welfare Act to exercise every dog every day, including allowing the dogs to reach a running stride without the use of treadmills or similar devices. Please help the ASPCA secure passage of the PUPS Act—contact your federal legislators now. (Source)

I don't know of any dog coming from a puppy mill
Or so you think. The puppies born in this horrible type of capacity can be found for sale in pet shops and other various markets. They are often sick, suffering from contagious diseases that are easily preventable with canine vaccinations. Parvovirus, worms, anemia, earthworms, mange, joint and skeleton problems and behavioral problems are only some of the many faces of the health problems a puppy can suffer from.

One of the aspect of puppy mills that really breaks my heart is the fact that when these puppies finds their way in a pet shop or for sale in the newspaper, it is already too late. Not too late to love them, no, it's never too late for that. But it's too late because they are already suffering. They already have been abused by more than one unscrupulous person and although they might not show it yet, their health is already compromised. The only thing they know is that they are alone in a tiny cage, sleeping directly on a cold, hard floor.

But how to stop puppy mills?
Now that you know what is a puppy mill, you are aware that there is very unscrupulous people out there that are ready to take advantage of dogs. And as the saying goes, KNOWLEDGE IS POWER. It is in your power to help stop this madness. Share this article with your friends and family.

What you can do :
A) Before adopting/rescuing a dog, ask questions. Ask for the dog's history and if the answers to your questions are evasive or unclear, don't hesitate and investigate more.

B) Don't buy a dog/puppy in a pet shop, even when you are told that their dogs come from a reputable breeder. Why? Because NO reputable breeder would EVER sell their dogs in a pet shop. Good breeders will often have a waiting list of screened prospective adopters. Also, very rarely (mostly never) will one breeder have available puppies for adoption all year long. The reason is simple: it is recommend that a female have one litter a year, no more.

C) Try rescuing a dog instead of adopting.

D) Write to your city officials. Write to your senator. Write to your governor and ask them to pass laws against puppy mills. Ask them to allow a change and that people guilty of running a puppy mill do jail time and be fined at their first offense.

E) If you think you saw, or know of a puppy mill, please call the Animal Control of your city. The more complaints about it, the more chances we will create a wind of change.

Because dogs can't speak for themselves and because they depend on us for their survival, we must be their biggest and loudest advocate.

Visit these websites for more information.
United Against Puppy Mills
Humane Society
Puppy Mills Rescue
Love them, don't abuse them