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News: Shirley Zindler
A Walk on the Wild Side
Discovering the mysteries of nature with dogs
With a busy and stressful job as an animal control officer, it’s critical to find ways to relax on my days off. Walking my own dogs is a great way to work off the stress and tension of my week. One of my favorite places is a local beach where dogs are allowed off leash. I usually go with friends and we bring a variety of dogs, large and small, our own and sometimes a foster or two. The dogs take...
News: Guest Posts
Grant Opportunity for Shelters and Rescues
Pedigree Foundation seeks to fund creative efforts to increase dog adoptions
Yesterday, the Pedigree Foundation announced the opening of the application process for its 2012 Innovation Grants. Ranging from $10,000 to $25,000 each, grants are awarded to qualifying organizations based on demonstrated use of creative programs aimed at increasing dog adoptions. Last year, the Foundation awarded $150,000 in the form of seven Innovation Grants (out of nearly 200 applications...
News: Shirley Zindler
A Sacred Trust
Animal control officers are often among the first on the scene when a death at home leaves a pet behind
The old man’s eyes were closed, his head rested on a pillow and covers were tucked up to his chest. Even the wispy white hair on his head looked unruffled. His arms were wrapped around his little blond Chihuahua, who gazed at me quietly. For a Chihuahua to fail to bark when a stranger enters the room is a miracle in itself. It couldn’t have been a more peaceful scene although the man was dead....
News: Guest Posts
Blind Dog Video Gone Viral
Rescue is more powerful thanks to social media
Rescue has changed a lot since I pulled my first shelter dog a decade ago. There was no Facebook or YouTube to spread the word. I plastered posters at the local coffee shops, preached to fellow obedience club members (tough crowd, that one), and emailed photos to as many friends, family and Yahoo groups as possible. I remember the birth of Petfinder; the idea that you could search for a shelter...
News: JoAnna Lou
Facebook Says No to Puppy Mills
ASPCA teams up with the social network to clean up their online classifieds
In some ways ridding the world of puppy mills seems easy. If people simply stopped buying animals from pet stores, the problem would be solved. But in reality, it sometimes feels like a battle that will never be won. Anytime a friend is looking for their first dog, I try to educate them about puppy mills and point them in the direction of reputable breeders or shelters. But many times, I've been...
News: JoAnna Lou
Finding Adopters on Facebook
Is there a balance between exposure and spam?
I remember when Petfinder revolutionized the way adoptable animals found potential homes. A dog who might only be seen by a few visitors passing through the local shelter could now be seen online by hundreds of people. Facebook has taken this exposure to a new level. Now homeless animals can be seen by people who aren't even looking for a new pet. Photos and descriptions are easily shared with...
News: Guest Posts
ASPCA-sponsored Adoptathon in D.C.
Great opportunity to adopt a shelter pup, March 31 and April 1
Whenever I see stories and emails about mega-adoption events, I always picture the “Crazy Eddie” ad man doing his nutty blow-out-blitz, the-prices-are-insane! shtick (New York, circa 1984). But just as there was a method to Eddie’s contrived madness, there is logic and a track record behind shelters’ “mega” events. Multi-shelter adoptathons—such as the upcoming ASPCA Mega Match-A-Thon (...
News: Guest Posts
The Dogs of Fukushima
One year after the earthquake and tsunami, family pets still waiting to go home
When a 9.0-magnitude earthquake and tsunami devastated Japan on March 11, 2012, it set off what is widely considered the world’s worst nuclear accident in 25 years, with still-acute consequences. In Tohoku alone, nearly 350,000 people remain displaced from their homes. Meanwhile, the beloved family pets of many of these families wait to be reunited with their families and return to the life they...
News: Shirley Zindler
Barking Up the Wrong Tree
Mistaken identity, surprising requests and strange dilemmas
Animal control officers see a lot of difficult, upsetting things. Thankfully, there are the strange requests, amusing calls and fun rescues to balance the heavy stuff. People are often confused about what we do. I can’t make your roommate clean his cat litter box more often and I can’t force your cousin to put a coat on his Golden Retriever when they walk in the rain. I can’t make your husband...
News: Guest Posts
Phoenix Shelter’s Big Secret Revealed
Eponymous donation was a surprise
The gift had to be a surprise. Phoenix businessman and philanthropist John Breslow donated $2 million to the Arizona Animal Welfare League & SPCA to construct an adoption center in honor of his wife Sonia on her 60th birthday. And for two long years he kept it a secret. On Saturday March 3, 2012 John Breslow invited a busload of 80 family and friends to watch Sonia’s reaction (photo, below)...

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