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Letters to the Editor: Issue 57

A Life Saved!
I volunteer at our local shelter in Spokane, Wash., which also serves as county animal control. One of the dogs there, a Pit/Lab mix named Wally, was a high-energy and fun-loving boy, but the attributes that made him a wonderful dog also made it difficult to find him a home. Space at the shelter is limited and Wally was at the end of his options, but “Waterwork” (Aug. ’09) saved him. After reading it, I contacted Barbara Davenport and shortly thereafter, Wally was transferred into her program. Following State protocol he will first be trained as a drug detection dog, and if that doesn’t work out, he’ll go into whale scat conservation work. If he doesn’t make it through this program, they will find him a good home. Without this article, Wally would never have had a chance.
I’m also one of the Adoption Coordinators for F.I.D.O. (Foundation for Invested Dog Ownership) so I always enjoy reading your articles and sometimes make copies that I think would be beneficial to new adopting families
—Karen Allen
fido4dogs.com

Subscribers Support
Rather than renew our subscription, we thought we’d just pick up Bark one at a time, or borrow it. After all, we wondered, what more we could possibly learn about dogs at this point? Then we read the amazing articles in the current issue and realized: a lot!
—Teri Wimberley
Ashland, Ore.

I just received my Sept/Oct issue of Bark Magazine. As with every issue, I dove into it with one of my Chihuahuas neatly curled up on my lap (he is one of our four rescued pups)! Before continuing on with my reading I felt compelled to email you with a thank you! Thank you for such a great magazine and hard work, but thank you for acknowledging the tough economic times by lowering your subscription rate, which compared to much larger publications I can imagine that will affect your bottom line.
Of the many publications I receive monthly, you are the first to lower your price, but more importantly, to thank your readers and subscribers for their loyalty. In response, I will be acting exactly as your team would hope—renewing my subscription as well as sending a gift subscription to a friend!
—K.A Hurley

Feed Them Well
Thank you for the article “Pet Food Confidential” (Aug. ’09). Given the absence of publicly funded research on (and testing of) commercial dog foods, why don’t we try some field work of our own? Say, a diet of nutrient-dense, highly processed, nutritionally balanced and relatively dehydrated foodstuff—perhaps premium, high-end meal-replacement bars, preferably organic. Add supplements like high-quality Omega-3s, probiotics, digestive enzymes and anti-oxidants. After a couple of months of this, we may be able to make a more informed decision about whether a quality kibble diet “should be okay” for our canine companions.
—Mason Small
Toronto, Canada

Digital Bark
Just wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed the new Oct. ’09 digital magazine! I went through it right away and watched all the videos—really loved the Halloween Parade. While my first choice remains the print version of the magazine, having the online version at my fingertips no matter where I am makes referencing articles or ads very easy. The e-zine also gave me the opportunity to see my smiling dogs (Bud and Daisy) in the double-page spread. What fun!
—Dianne Houghtaling
Lansdale, Pa.

Words of Encouragement
I live in Ohio, near the Kentucky border. My “rescue life” started nine years ago, while I was living in the Boston area. I had two German Shorthaired Pointers and was inspired to do more for the breed. I started fostering and volunteering for a small group affiliated with the Mayflower GSP Club. When I left Massachusetts in 2005, I returned “home” to the West Virginia/Ohio/Kentucky tri-state area, where I continue to be involved in GSP rescue work.

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Submitted by DogCatcher | August 30 2010 |

There was a letter to the editor in the previous issue that mentioned high quality meat meal as an acceptable ingredient. Yes it is. But the original reports in the 90's that rendered proteins (meat meal) from independent plants may contain euthanized animals (including pets) is still a very real issue. Many rendering plants no longer accept carcasses from animal shelters. Some still do and those that don't do accept roadside pick ups. Until it's resolved, meat meal as an ingredient may or may not be okay depending on sources your food manufacturer uses. This information is not published.

EPA document from 1995 http://www.epa.gov/ttn/chief/ap42/ch09/final/c9s05-3.pdf

Meat rendering plants process animal by-product materials for the production of tallow, grease,and high-protein meat and bone meal. Independent plants obtain animal by-product materials, including grease, blood, feathers, offal, and entire animal carcasses, from the following sources: butcher shops, supermarkets, restaurants, fast-food chains, poultry processors, slaughterhouses, farms, ranches, feedlots, and animal shelters.

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