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Blog: Shirley Zindler
To Spay or Not to Spay
 I recently read an article about a study from UC Davis, showing an increase in some cancers and joint problems in Golden Retrievers that are spayed or neutered as opposed to intact. As a shelter worker, this is so concerning. There are endless studies showing many health and behavioral benefits to spaying and neutering. It’s critical to look at the overall benefits to neutering before deciding...
Blog: Shirley Zindler
Shelter Pups Need Love
Even though I work mostly out in the field as an animal control officer, and love it, the animal shelter is still my baby.  Almost every day I walk through at the beginning and end of my shift to check on the animals. As I passed through one of the small dog areas recently, I noticed an adorable terrier mix puppy in a cage. The puppy begins to growl as soon as he sees me. Teeth showing, eyes...
Blog: Letters
Teaming Up in Encinitas
I volunteer about 20 hours per week at Rancho Coastal Humane Society in Encinitas, Calif. (which happens to be the first solar-powered humane society in the U.S.). We have a very successful callback program that involves calling and/or emailing every adopter of a dog from our shelter at four to five days, six weeks and three months post-adoption. We give advice on shelter-dog transition and...
Blog: Shirley Zindler
Animal Control Officers
A Dangerous Job
As animal control officers, we put our lives on the line every day trying to make a difference. We go in with other law enforcement to dangerous situations, drug busts, domestic violence, murders and other crimes. We deal with aggressive animals and unstable people.  Often we are called in because someone has lost everything, their money, their home, their pride. When we arrive to take their...
Blog: Guest Posts
Testing Food Additives on Dogs
Beagles being used by food industry
What happens when a 15-year-old vegetarian learns that a controversial food additive, one that is patented as a flame retardant, is allowed to be added to her sports drink? Sarah Kavanagh, of Hattiesburg, Miss., started a petition on change.org, asking the manufacturer to remove it. Brominated vegetable oil is allowed by the Food and Drug Administration as an additive “generally regarded as safe...
Blog: Shirley Zindler
Another Microchip Save
Uniting Dog with Human
Our department recently received a report asking us to check on the welfare of two dogs.  When I arrived I found the dogs in an open side yard. The weather was cold and wet and the dogs were living in filth. There were feces and garbage everywhere, no food, no water and no adequate shelter. The stench of their conditions hit me from 15 feet away and one of the dogs was seriously underweight. He...
Dog's Life: Humane
Why Foster? Make a Dog Ready for a New Home
Every dog needs a forever home, fostering helps dogs to find one.
Mac was the hardest for me. He arrived about a year ago, just before Thanksgiving. He was my sixth foster dog in about as many months, and the first one who truly tested my commitment to the big-picture cause of rescue. He was still a pup, less than a year old, a purebred yellow Labrador who would command well over a thousand bucks from any breeder with a decent website. Mac’s body, though, made...
Dog's Life: Lifestyle
Team Up It (can) take a village
A few months ago, one of our dog-park friends passed away unexpectedly while backpacking. Her two dogs — an older Husky and a young Jack Russell Terrier — were at home with their dog sitter at the time. There were no instructions or nearby relatives to help decide what to do with her dogs. Luckily, the Husky was quickly adopted by a friend, who had his sibling, but fi guring out what to do about...
Blog: Guest Posts
PetMed: low cost veterinary care at the Arizona Animal Welfare League
Every day worried pet owners called the Arizona Animal Welfare League (AAWL) for low-cost veterinary care. Only affordable vaccinations and spay/neuter services were available. All that changed on April 9, 2011 when Judith Gardner, president and CEO, announced the opening of PetMed, a veterinary clinic to serve low income pet owners. Funded by private donations, PetMed opened with once weekly...
Blog: Shirley Zindler
What a Good Dog
On a recent dark, chilly fall evening, a three year old child wandered out of his home un-noticed by his parents. His departure was, however, observed by the family dog, a large neutered  male Pit Bull, who took it upon himself to follow the little boy and stay close by his side. They were a good distance from home before they were seen by some passers-by who stopped to help. The child was unable...

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