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Blog: Shirley Zindler
Hoarding
You never get used to a hoarder’s house
The stench of garbage, urine and feces hit me as I entered the home. Sunlight slanted through a broken window and illuminated the clutter and sparkles of dust in the air. Cats and small dogs bolted in every direction, frantic to hide from the stranger in their midst. The place was littered with empty pet food cans, old magazines, clothes, dishes and boxes. Ammonia stung my eyes and throat as I...
Blog: Guest Posts
Foster A Lonely Pet for the Holidays
While I rewrite A Christmas Carol
I recently watched A Christmas Carol—the überschmaltzy George C. Scott version with weirdly campy ghosts of Christmas Past and Present. It got me thinking that someone needs to make a dog-centric version of this holiday classic—not in least part to erase this one from my memory banks. Scrooge would be a lonely old man, running a huge puppy mill. His visit to Christmases Past would flash on young...
Dog's Life: Humane
The Warm Bellies Initiative
Helping deliver cozy beds to comfort shelter dogs this winter.
Shelter life can be hard on a dog. The everyday comforts we take for granted are missing, replaced with unfamiliar smells, scary sounds and cold floors. This holiday season, the folks at P.L.A.Y. (Pet Lifestyles and You) and the PetFinder.com Foundation have partnered up through their Warm Bellies Initiative to give animals in need a warm place to sleep. Every time you purchase an Artist or...
Blog: Guest Posts
Holiday Ornaments with a Mission
Make happy tails come true this December
This time of year, I’m always looking for ways to balance the excesses of the holiday with the true spirit of giving—without being a total buzzkill. It’s not always easy. But I can depend on Shelby Humane Society ornaments. For a $50 sponsorship fee, I receive a framed portrait of an adorable shelter pup in Central Alabama, where pet overpopulation makes finding dogs homes extremely difficult....
Blog: Guest Posts
Family Dog Killed by Wildlife Trap
Owners Sue U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services
My heart breaks for Doug and Denise McCurtain of Gresham, Ore., near Portland. This past August, their beloved seven-year-old Border Collie, Maggie, got caught in a nutria trap and suffered a horrific death. The McCurtains had been warned by their neighborhood association that the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services was setting out traps to control a nuisance nutria population....
Blog: Guest Posts
Mall Pet Stores Closing in Phoenix
The sale of purebred puppies in at least nine Phoenix area malls is about to end. The Arizona Republic reported in November that Macerich, the parent company of Westcor (the malls’ owner) will not renew existing pet store leases. Instead, shelters and/or animal rescues will be offered space to boost adoptions because pet overpopulation is such a huge problem in Maricopa County. In 2010,...
Blog: Karen B. London
Refusal to Load Ailing Dog On Plane
The result was being fired
Baggage handler Lynn Jones was so concerned about the physical state of the dog in the crate that she refused to load it on the plane. Its emaciated body had multiple sores, its feet were in bad shape, and the dog seemed listless. Jones fear that it would not survive the flight from Nevada to Texas was so great she defied the order from her supervisor to load the dog on the plane. She was fired...
Blog: JoAnna Lou
N.C. Breed Discrimination Reversed
Dog lovers rally against making certain breeds “unadoptable”
The Internet has been buzzing about a proposal limiting the adoption of certain breeds in North Carolina’s Cumberland County Animal Control. In October, the Animal Control Board decided to recommend that certain breeds, such as Pit Bulls, Rottweilers, Chow Chows and American Staffordshire Terriers, be considered “unadoptable.” The plan was to work with rescue groups from around the country to...
Blog: Shirley Zindler
A Day in the Life of an Animal Control Officer
I wake early to care for my latest litter of 6-week-old foster pups. I almost always have fosters at home: Moms with pups, orphaned or sick dogs, or dogs needing training or socializing. These are adorable scruffy Terrier mixes and they scramble over me in delight as I hurry to feed and clean up after them. Each one also gets picked up for a cuddle before I head out the door. I arrive at the...
Blog: JoAnna Lou
Saving the Japanese Tsunami Dogs
Rescue groups rally to help those left behind
It's been almost nine months since a tsunami-ravaged nuclear plant forced thousands of people from their homes in Japan. The photos of residents evacuating with their dogs was heartbreaking, although the number of of pet-friendly evacuation shelters was impressive. Today, access is restricted to the evacuation zone, but I was shocked to learn how many animals are still there. Most non-Japanese...

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