Free to a good home - the death sentence

Free to a Good Home!This is how some people see your giveaway pet:

  • Free bait to train fighting dogs
  • Free bait to train greyhounds
  • Free fish bait
  • Free snake food
  • Free money from the research lab
  • Free sacrifice for satanic rituals
  • Free animal for malicious pranks
  • Free animal to set on fire
  • Free animal to insert a firecracker into
  • Free to a good home to breed indiscriminately.

Now you know why we always screen so carefully for good homes. “Free" is all too often seen as “worthless” in the eye of the beholder.

Please, don’t offer your pets FREE to a good home, unless you just don’t care what happens to them.

Volunteers who work endless hours to save pets from the horrors of abuse and homelessness bring this message to you. Permission to reproduce this flier and distribute is granted, encouraged and greatly appreciated.

Providing for your pet’s future without you

Providing For Your Pet's Future Without You"I don't know what your destiny will be, but one thing I  do know: The only ones among you who will be really happy are those who have sought and found how to serve."

... Albert Schweitzer

Because pets usually have shorter life spans than their human caregivers, you may have planned for your animal friend’s passing. But what if you are the one who becomes ill or incapacitated, or who dies first? As a responsible pet owner, you provide your pet with food, water, shelter, veterinary care, and love. To ensure that your beloved pet will continue to receive this care should something unexpected happen to you; it’s critical to plan ahead.  In the confusion that accompanies a person’s unexpected illness, accident, or death, pets may be overlooked. In some cases, pets are discovered in the person’s home days after the tragedy. To prevent this from happening to your pet, take these simple precautions:

  • Find as least two responsible friends or relatives who agree to serve as temporary emergency caregivers in the event that something unexpected happens to you. Provide them with keys to your home: feeding and care instructions; the name of your veterinarian; and information about the permanent care provisions you have made for your pet.
  • Make sure your neighbors, friends, and relatives know how many pets you have and the names and contact numbers of the individuals who have agreed to serve as emergency caregivers. Emergency caregivers should also know how to contact each other.
  • Carry a wallet “alert card” that lists the names and phone numbers of your emergency pet caregivers.
  • Post removable “in case of emergency” notices on your doors or windows specifying how many and what types of pets you have. These notices will alert emergency-response personnel during a fire or other home emergency.
  • Affix to the inside of your front and back doors a removable notice listing emergency contact names and phone numbers. Because pets need care daily and will need immediate attention should you die or become incapacitated, the importance of making these informal arrangements for temporary care giving cannot be overemphasized.
  • The best way to make sure your wishes are fulfilled is by also making formal arrangements that specifically cover the care of your pet. It’s not enough that long ago your friend verbally promised to take in your animal or even that you’ve decided to leave money to your friend for that purpose. Work with an attorney to draw up a special will, trust, or other document to provide for the care and ownership of your pet as well as the money necessary to care for her.

A pain in the neck

Fitting Collars

Collars do not expand, but puppies and kittens grow quickly! If not loosened, collars can be deadly and literally grow right into your pet’s neck—an excruciating, constant pain.  But too often owners don’t realize how fast their pets are growing, especially the larger dog breeds.  So please check your pets’ collars at least every week until they’re full grown (that can be more than a year for the really large breeds of dog). You should be able to easily slip two or three fingers between their collar and their neck.

However, don’t let this simple task stop you from putting a collar on your young pet, since youngsters so easily get lost in their desire to explore the new world. And getting lost without ID is terribly dangerous and frightening to you both. So keep their collars on (with current ID tags), just not too tight.

Chaining or Tethering dogs

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Would you ever dream of chaining up your best friend outside?  Millions of dogs are treated like old bicycles; they are left outside in the freezing cold of winter struggling to keep warm and against the loneliness of a boring life with little to do.

Chaining or tethering refers to the practice of fastening a dog to a stationary object or stake, usually in the owner’s backyard, as a means of keeping the animal under control.

The practice is both inhumane and a threat to the safety of the confined dog or animal. Dogs are naturally social beings that thrive on interaction with human beings and other animals. A dog kept chained in one spot for hours, days, months, or even years suffers immense psychological damage.  An otherwise friendly and docile dog, when kept continuously chained, becomes neurotic, unhappy, anxious, and often aggressive. In many cases, the neck of chained dogs become raw and covered with sores, the result of improperly fitted collars, and the dog’s constant yanking and straining to escape confinement. Dogs have even been found with collars embedded in their necks, the result of years of neglect at the end of a chain. In one case, a veterinarian had to euthanize a dog whose collar, an electrical cord, was so embedded in the animal’s neck that it was difficult to see the plug.  Dogs forced to live on a chain are easy target for other dogs to attack, or thieves looking to steal animals to use as “bait” to train their fighting dogs. Chained dogs may unintentionally hang themselves if they are tethered too close to a fence and attempt to jump it. Rarely does a chained or tethered dog receive sufficient care. Tethered dogs suffer from sporadic feedings. Overturned water bowls, inadequate veterinary care, and extreme temperatures. During snowstorms, these dogs often have no access to shelter. During periods of extreme heat, they may not receive adequate water or protection from the sun. What’s more because their often neurotic behavior makes them difficult to approach, chained dogs are rarely given even minimal affection. Tethered dogs may become “part of the scenery” and can be easily ignored by their owners. A chained animal is caught in a vicious cycle; frustrated by long periods of boredom and social isolation, he becomes a neurotic shell of his former self---further deterring human interaction and kindness. In the end, the helpless dog can only suffer the frustration of watching the world go by in isolation--a cruel fate for what is by nature a highly social animal.  Any city, county, or state that bans this practice is a safer, more humane community.

Getting your Dog off the Chain

Dog owners have learned to solve the problems that caused them to tie their dogs outside in the first place.  If you would like to provide your dog with an alternative to a rope or chain, consider these suggestions:

  • Install a fence if your property does not already have one.  Or consider installing a large chain-link dog run.  If you install a dog run, make sure it meets these minimum space requirements.  Be sure to allow extra space for a doghouse.
Number of dogs Under 50 Ibs Over 50 Ibs
1 6×10 (60 sq ft) 8X10 (80 sq ft)
2 8×10 (80 sq ft)   8X12 (96 sq ft)
3 8X12 (96 sq ft)   10X14 (140 sq ft)
4 10X12 (120 sq ft)  12X16 (192 sq ft)
  • If you have a fence and your dog can jump over it, install a 45-degree inward extension to the top of your existing fence.  Many home improvement stores sell these extensions.
  • If your dog digs under the fence to escape your yard, bury chicken wire to a depth of one foot below where the fence meets the ground (be sure to bend in the sharp edges).  Or place large rocks at the base of the fence.
  • If the two previous options don’t work for your “escape artist,” consider using a cable runner or electronic fencing. These options are not perfect, but they will give your dog more freedom.  Be sure to use these options only if you also have a fence that protects your dog from people and other animals.
  • If your dog digs where you don’t want him or her to (such as in a garden or flower bed), consider putting plastic garden fencing or a similar barrier around the area.  Or provide your dog with his or her own sandbox.  Bury toys in the sandbox and use positive reinforcement to teach your dog that it is okay to dig there.
  • Enroll your dog in an obedience class-especially if his or her behavior is the main reason you keep your dog outside.
  • Spay or neuter your dog if you haven’t already had this done.  A neutered dog is less likely to roam and more content to stay at home.  These are safe procedures that have many health and behavioral benefits.  Ask your veterinarian for more information.
  • Remember that behavior problems such as barking, chewing, and digging are often the result of a lack of stimulation in a dog’s life.  By providing your dog with proper toys, exercise, “people time,” and positive reinforcement, you may alter undesirable behaviors and teach acceptable house manners.  In addition, a dog who is inside the house is much more likely to deter an intruder that a dog chained in the yard.

If you have a dog who is kept outside, please, make him part of your family and bring him in.  Isn’t that the least you can do for your best friend?