Tag: humane societies

5 reasons not to have a dog at school

Some colleges and universities are offering “dog friendly” dorm room. Those who live off campus may have a agreeable landlord, or they may decide to have one anyway. This is a good way to lose housing or have to find the dog a new home too quickly.

While dogs are definitely good companions, they can cramp college style and get left behind in the process.

Kodi the corgi was a “college dog.” Lucky for him, and us, when his owner decided to join the Peace Corps after graduation, Kodi had a home waiting for him. Not all dogs are nearly as lucky.

Here are 5 reasons not to have a dog at school

  1. Loss of spontaneity – Your friends want to take a weekend trip where dogs are not allowed. You stay home –
  2. Isolation for dog – Your dog spends most of the day inside while you are at school. At night you want to visit friends, participate in club activities or join a study group. So the dog gets a half hour walk — maybe?
  3. Medical issues – Dogs need vets from time to time. Getting there, paying for the visits, and taking time from studies all should be considered.
  4. Holiday and summer break – This is especially difficult if you got the dog after you arrived at school. How are you getting it home? And are your parents receptive?
  5. Lonely dogs – Lonely dogs are going to cry out, bark at people walking by. Others in the building may not appreciate this, even the dog lovers.

There are ways to get a “dog fix” without actually getting a dog

  1. Volunteer for a nearby rescue or humane society: Most schools require community service hours.
  2. If there are no rescues groups nearby, look for a veterinarian. You may be able to walk dogs for them.
  3. Check with others who have pets and offer to pet sit. (This includes your professors)
  4. Become a dog walker. (Again, professors)
  5. Walk around town. You are going to come upon people with dogs and people with dogs generally love to talk about their dogs. Always ask, before petting a dog.


Transforming a homeless dog into an adopted dog


This week my newspaper column was about volunteers at one of our local humane societies who use their skills to make the most wonderful transformation by turning a neglected dog into a pet that is loved again.

I was so moved by the photos I had to share.

The photo above is what “Charlie” looked like when he was brought into the humane society. Look at him now! And I am happy to say – adopted.

charlie after

So many dogs come into shelters across the country looking like this, matted, dirty, covered in fleas and ticks. The matting can also cause medical issues if the skin beneath gets pulled to the point of separating the skin and becoming infected.

If you can volunteer even a couple of hours a week or a month to groom — or even give these dogs a bath — what a difference you will make. Just ask Reno. Also adopted now I am happy to say!



reno before

And After!

Reno after


A missing pet

Window sills are one of Samantha’s favorite spots.

Even the most diligent of pet owners has lost a pet, if only for a few minutes. No matter how long they are gone the feeling is not a good one.
I had that feeling today. We are having work done on the house and the door from the kitchen into the garage was being replaced. I came home from work about 3 p.m. to find my contractors busy at work, my husband in his office, and Kodi and Buddy in their crates.

“Where’s Samantha?”

Samantha is our cat (or rather, my cat who sits on my husband’s  lap while we watch T.V.) The answer, “I don’t know,” wasn’t what I wanted to hear.

The search began. I was pretty sure my indoor kitty wouldn’t have willingly headed into all of the noise of saws, hammers and strangers going on in my garage that day, but I really needed to see she was safe for my own peace of mind.

So we searched all of her favorite spots, window sills, behind furniture, under blankets — she was nowhere to be found. I even looked in the garage – nothing.

I had to leave for a meeting so after about 15 minutes of searching I called a former co-worker at our local humane society to make a lost pet report. Samantha is chipped and that is generally the first thing any humane society or veterinarian scan for.  While I was on the phone, my husband called out that he had found her in a back bedroom.

She had found her place to sit out the ruckus in the open area between the wall and the storage/headboard in the guest room we have been sleeping in while we wait for our room to be carpeted. After my husband spotted her, she dashed under a sofa futon in the same room.

Sure I could believe him, but I needed to see her for myself. So down on the floor I went, peering under the futon, and looking back at me was Samantha.

This was a reminder that when workmen or guests are in your house, find accommodations for your cat, especially if doors are going to be opened.

The furthest Samantha usually ventures it out onto the pool deck and she is very easy to capture. If her heart was in it, she’d be much harder to bring back in.

This also demonstrates why even indoor cats (and I personally think they all should be indoor cats) should have identification. Collars can get caught or removed. Micro chips are the best chance you have of getting your feline back.

Lost dogs – 5 things you must do if you find one

Some of you may think I, myself, have been lost since I haven’t posted for several weeks.

Over the Christmas holiday, my husband and I, and Kodi the corgi, took to the road – 2 1/2 days from the east coast of Florida to Mesa, Arizona. For two old folk, and a senior pup, it was a challenge — but we did it!!

Snow in New Mexico

There are many stories coming from this trip, including the addition of another pup for the trip home.

Kodi has a new “brother,” Buddy, and not too sure about snow.

But those are for future posts- ideas to get me back to blogging.

Today we talk about lost dogs and their horrible owners. (I refer to dogs, but this also applies to cats)

As a columnist I receive requests to write about lost dogs in hopes the media attention will bring them home. Recently I wrote about Sammy, a dog missing since Thanksgiving – fast forward to the end — he was reunited with his family in time for Christmas.  If you would like to read the whole story, and the happy update:  Sammy’s home

Last week another dog went missing and there were photos of a couple picking him up and putting him in their vehicle. OK, nice thing to do — prevent a dog from getting hit by a car.

But what do you do with the dog? Too often, well meaning people (like the most recent) decided their local humane society (a couple miles away) would immediately  euthanize the animal so they took him to a “No Kill” shelter, 80 miles, an hour and a half drive away, so he would be “safe.”

How in earth will this animal have a chance to be reunited with his family? When a dog goes missing I always reccomened owners check shelters in nearby counties, and local rescues, but I doubt I would have suggested a humane society half way across the state (Florida isn’t  very wide).

Humane Socieites are generally a safe haven for lost and abaonded pets. Of course there are exceptions. It is up to you to learn about yours, first-hand, not through gossip.

There’s a lot of assumption going on here. The owners were relying on heresay  and false information about their local shetler, that actually has a low euthansia rate, and keeps the animals a minimum of 5 days to allow their family to find them, before being available for ADOPTION.

They were also assuming the owners were negligent by allowing their dog to roam. The reaction from those looking for the dog, tells me this wasn’t the case.

I have had dogs get out; jump fences, or run out an open door. We all have. It’s a terrible feeling as you search neighborhoods, call local vets and humane societies, and put up posters, wondering if you will ever have your pup (or cat) by your side again.

Fortunately the “Do-gooders” did mention where they were taking the dog and his family got him back.

Please get involved with your local shelter. Learn, first-hand,  about their policies. Did you know if you take a dog to them you can ususally put a “hold” on the animal. This means if they do not find the owner, or cannot adopt him out, you can claim him and get him to another rescue. Believe me, I have worked and volunteered for “open shelters” and they do not want to euthanize.

This is a hateful rumor and is not in the best interest of any animal. Just so you know, an open shelter (humane society) never turns an animal away – “no kill” shelters have space restrictions, and may have to turn them away, and in many cases refer people to the open shelter. There are many humane societies and resuces that work together for the common good of the animals, but there are always going to be the others. Educate yourself about what you have in your area, and not through gossip.

5 things to do if you find a dog:

  1. Approach cautiously. He is scared, he does not know you and you do not know this dog.
  2. Call your local animal control, or take him to the nearest humane society or rescue open to the public (not all are).
  3. Take him to your vet and ask them to scan the dog for a microchip. They will usually do this for free and if one is detected, they have the authorization to contact the microchip company and get the owner’s information.
  4. Even if the dog is muddy, and appears unloved, don’t assume someone is not looking for him. Any of us sleeping outside a night or two is going to look worse for wear.
  5. Snap a photo and put it on your FaceBook page, or if you have a media outlet, or a neighborhood page like NextDoor.com – post it there.