42 thoughts on “Open Thread

    1. I saw this and figured it must be one of those vids where you need to have the sound on because I watched it w/out sound and it wasn’t all that exciting, hehe.

      1. I love this! I provided a respite from the MAS mess. Love the dog.

      2. I watched this video late last night while letting all my furbabies out for their last romp for the night, and didn’t have the sound up, then turned the sound up…it was hilarious !! The dogs didn’t think so…they all started barking and moaning like what is that ???

  1. Well, I don’t think this is a deep thought, but it is Friday-how to stop a 3 legged counter surfing-trash diving doberman?

    1. What about putting up a pet gate or keep the door shut and keeping him out of the kitchen when you are not there to watch and correct him.

      Crate him when you are not home if he has to be kept in the kitchen. Make the crate a good place — feed him raw beef bones in it.

    2. If you can’t beat it, join in. That’s what I do. Actually, it can be rather fun. hehe

      1. She taught my smaller pit bull mix to do it too, but she is not tall enough so she grabbed the towel and pulled! The other dogs ran the other way! It was time for new plates anyway!

    3. Yea, my guys have similar MO’s. They can usually join forces with the brightest to figure out how to get what they want. Be cautious, though, to keep all medications out of their reach by placing in an upper cabinet! Lol, my guys think that anything on a counter is fair game, those shameless savages! :-)

      1. I can’t believe nobody has made a politically incorrect, insensitive, yet totally hilarious comment about the 3 legs. Come on people, I’m holding back in order to let somebody else have it but sheesh, all y’all are off your game!

      1. Well I mean “How do you stop a 3 legged dog from counter surfing?” is a question that to me, is just crying out for an answer like “Chop off another leg”.

        I like my humor dry. Parched, whenever possible. It’s usually possible.

      2. Oh, well, I love mine cracked and dry…I MUST be off my game. But I did have a good hoot on that one.

      3. It’s not the kind of thing I would say to strangers but you know, this is the internet – I know everybody on the internet.

      4. I never had any problems with Charlie dumpster diving until he went on high doses of steroids recently due to cancer. Now he acts like he is absolutely starving all the time and goes in the trash every chance he gets. I have been tempted to reduce his appendages more than once but I feel a little bad because of the cancer thing.

    4. My rescue dog was a dumpster diver. He would do it when he was mad at me. Like when i had to go to work, or go somewhere and leave him alone. I tried putting in the little eye hooks and using a bungee cord to pin the trash cans to the wall. Then he couldn’t knock them over. Then he got smart and learned how to lift the lid and pull things out of it. He taught my pitty girl how to do it to. Since he’s passed on now…I occasionally come home to empty containers on the floor. Can s of things that smelled so good, she couldn’t possibly leave them in the trash to tease her.

      The number one solution is EXERCISE. Wear them out before you leave home, other than that. Leave the trash can in a bathroom when you leave the house.

      go with the suggestion of chop another leg off. Ha ha, that was funny.

      1. Thank you! I was planning on creating a blog through wordpress. Is posterous, better or animal specific?

      2. Posterous is nice if you also have twitter and facebook accounts as you can send out one email and post to all at one time — which is helpful when you are trying to save shelter pets!

  2. Molly the 11 year old foster basset went on a sleepover last week and it seems they are happy with her! The adoption is pending…next step is a wellness check-up at Raven Vet and the turning over of legal paperwork. YEA!
    All five of my 8 month old sled dog pups have now been spayed/neutered and are ready for adoption. If you’d like an active, intelligent and sometimes vocal working partner and pet, please contact me!

  3. Couldn’t resist a deep thought for those feeling despair today:

    “Neither fire nor wind, birth nor death can erase our good deeds.”

    ~The Buddha

  4. Just gott his from a friend: seems Nathan heard our cry after all:

    May 05, 2011
    Increasing the power to kill (and the story of a failing shelter)
    In November, 2009, news began to trickle out about a horrifically abusive situation in the Memphis Animal Shelter. The incident involved a puppy that was dropped off at the shelter on August 18. A mere three weeks later, the puppy was starved to death at the shelter.

    This wasn’t the only problem at the Memphis shelter mind you. It was just a single story of that brought to life the story of a shelter that was failing on many levels — including having an attrocious adoption rate.

    The city of Memphis responded by firing the shelter directer — and eventually hiring Matthew Pepper — who also had a questionable track record of shelter management.

    In October of 2010, the city was still struggling with high impounds and a high kill rate — with about 16,000 pets a year being killed at the shelter. So they passed a law that required all dogs and cats be altered. I noted at the time that it was doomed to fail, because, well, it always does — but it was a particularly bad idea in Memphis.

    See, most people spay/neuter their pets — and for the ones that don’t, they list price as the #1 factor why they don’t. Memphis’ problems are even worse, with over 25% of the population living below the poverty line. Mandatory legislation in this case will do little except create a reason for more animals to be impounded — and taken to a high-kill shelter.

    Meanwhile, the shelter is still failing. And over the last few weeks, Shirley over at Yesbiscuit! has done a phenomenal job of covering the shelter situation in Memphis. Stories include a lot of visuals from the recently installed webcams and include visual footage of puppies being brought to the shelter and killed only a few days later — having never even been put on petfinder, ACO’s dragging dogs to the kill room on choke polls, failed pleas for help, dogs apparently lifted five feet in the air to be put in a kennel via their neck on a choke poll, cages being sprayed down with dogs in them, noting that 357 dogs died in their cages last year (a 40% increase) — you get the idea — all leaving Shirley with a lot of good, unanswered questions.

    But today’s post has a lot of numbers, even beyond the horrible anecdotal stories.

    Based on numbers she received from the shelter — here are the Jan-April stats for 2010 and 2011:

    MAS stats

    Jan 2010/Feb 2010/Mar 2010/Apr 2010

    Intake 877/996/1358/1290=4521

    Adopt 133/165/142/109=549
    Died 43/28/23/19=113
    Euth 562/654/1083/1007=3306
    Foster 4/1/4/22=31
    Missing 2/0/20/57=79
    RTO 50/55/95/96=296
    Transfer 12/6/17/36=71

    January – April 2010 rates:

    Adopt 12%
    Died 2%
    Euth 73%
    Foster less than 1%
    Missing 2%
    RTO 7%
    Transfer 2%

    Jan 2011/Feb 2011/Mar 2011/Apr 2011

    Intake 1270/1033/1357/1233=4893

    Adopt 130/183/168/107=588
    Died 23/10/12/16=61
    Euth 999/754/1150/612=3515
    Foster/relocate/permit 2/2/2/5=11
    Missing 40/?/?/? (not reported for Feb/Mar/Apr)
    RTO 82/57/78/63=280
    Transfer 28/24/47/154=253

    January – April 2011 rates:

    Adopt 12%
    Died 1%
    Euth 72%
    Foster less than 1%
    Missing (not reported for Feb, Mar or Apr)
    RTO 6%
    Transfer 5%


    It should be noted, that Matthew Pepper has been talking about the improvements going on at the shelter — because of their very modest 7% increase in adoptions this year vs the last. It should also be noted that the shelter has had a 6% increase in euthanasia.

    There are a lot of things I could highlight here: a horrible 12% adoption rate, a worse 6% Return-to-owner rate, virtually no attempt to work with rescues with a mere 5% transfer rate, no use of foster homes, and more than 100 animals dying in their shelters.

    But I want to also note the increase in impounds.

    In October of 2010, the city passed a law mandating spay/neuter — a law that has almost always led to an increase in impounds. In the first four months of this year, vs 2010, had an 8% increase in impounds from 4521 to 4893.

    This goes back further than just the first four months of this year. If you look at the shelter’s 2010 anual report, on page 3, you’ll note that for the first 9 months of 2010, the shelter intake numbers were pretty consistently lower than the year prior — with impound levels below the previous year’s impound levels in 7 of the 9 months (and the two higher months were barely higher). Then, in October, the number went from three consecutive months of lower impounds by 200-300 animals, to almost even numbers, and then higher impounds (by 200-300 animals) in November and December 2010 vs the year prior. The numbers are virtually identical for euthanasia as well (slide 5).

    So, almost like a spicket that got turned on, as soon as the MSN got passed in October, the shelter went from lower intake to higher intake — now going on 6 consecutive months. And this is higher intake at a shelter that is killing over 70% of the animals it impounds. A little math shows about 700-750 incremental animals that have been killed in Memphis (beyond the normal high kill rate) since the introduction of Mandatory Spay/Neuter just 6 months ago.

    It’s results like this that is the reason a growing number of organizations — including the AVMA, ASPCA, Best Friends, American Humane, No Kill Advocacy Center and many other local, no kill organziations are opposed to Mandatory Spay/Neuter laws – because they increase impounds, and increase killing.

    And it’s a shame that so many people still support such laws, in spite of their documented failure.

    Memphis’ shelter is failing. So is their law. And it is time for the city to undergo an extensive overhaul of all of its animal services…and fix this mess.

    And it’s time for the few of your who are not on board yet with promoting low cost/voluntary low cost spay/neuter programs over mandatory ones to learn from the failures of others and get on the bus FOR voluntary programs and AGAINST mandatory ones.

    1. Morgana, the above was on the KC Dog Blog in yesterday’s post, not Nathan’s.

      1. Thanks Arlene – it was sent by a friend to me but it DOES have Nathan’s signature on it.

    1. And this is exactly why we need to change things! Not all shelters are like this, and the people in charge have the ability to make a difference and NOT let this happen. Let me go point by point here on the most common excuses…

      “We’re moving and can’t take our dog (or cat).”
      It really does happen. Of course, it’s better to search out and find a good home yourself, but there may be time constraints that are unavoidable. Yes, I know it isn’t always the case, but there are times when this is a valid reason.
      “The dog got bigger than we thought it would”.
      Adopting a rescue puppy can surprise you with growth. And if somebody, say, has a medical condition and can’t handle a larger dog, then this could be reasonable too. Now, I’m not saying that there aren’t a lot of people that are idiots out there making any old excuse, but pointing out that in *SOME* cases it isn’t unreasonable.
      “We don’t have time for her”
      Sometimes people have to work more than one job, and are gone for 14+ hours a day. Once they get home, how much time do you suppose they have for the dog when they need to sleep and eat?

      Yes, many times there are behaviors that are undesirable which can be resolved by training. So why not work with local trainers to provide inexpensive classes and help for those kinds of issues? Work with owners to find solutions. Plenty of shelters have a great outreach into their communities and don’t HAVE to euth animals.

      And for the record, a GOOD breeder is not letting their pups wind up in shelters, but is taking the pups back at any age to find them good homes.

  5. I know MAS sucks (believe me, I know) but there was a little thing called a category 5 tornado in the south. At least tens of thousands of animals are displaced and the shelters, I am told by a friend in Birmingham, are COMMITTED TO NO KILL so these animals can get back to their owners. We are collecting supplies here in Austin and are driving a truck and trailer with 1,000 lbs of donated food and whatever we can get donated. Almost anywhere you live I can direct you to somewhere to donate material items and if not you can give money, if you are so inclined, to the two hardest hit shelters, the Greater Birmingham Humane Society and the Humane Society of West Alabama.
    My friend in Birmingham writes:

    “rescues have had to spring up everywhere, shelters have promised a no-kill policy here. These storms left more than “””13000″” homes destroyed or damaged across six states. Imagine how many animals were displaced in those homes. The companies can donate, but they don’t support long term. Iit will take so very long to adopt the unclaimed animals out and get supplies out to the newly formed rescue sites. They are literally begging on every site I see for kennels, leashes, meds, litter. It will never be too late. sigh. Send him with me tomorrow…they can’t even put cows, goats, or horses back to pasture for all of the debris in them. It will kill them.”

    1. Kelley,

      I’m sorry I haven’t gotten a chance yet to mention the shelters in need in AL after the tornadoes. Can you share some links for people wanting to donate?

      1. Of course. The largest shelter in the state is the Greater Birmingham Humane Society. They claim they are working with affected shelters and not knowing them I am not going to say if that is true or not, but always give directly to local shelters if you want to make sure that’s where your money goes.

        Tuscaloosa is the hardest hit. Humane Society of West Alabama

        Both shelters have wish lists that are being updated on a regular basis.

        alabamastorm.crowdmap.com has a list of needs you can filter – so you can go there and search for volunteer opportunities. For instance this site says Hale County Alabama needs volunteers, the Tuscaloosa Metro Animal Shelter was running out of food on 5/5.
        There is a list of local shelters and their phone numbers here:
        If I lived close I would volunteer, because I think that will be the biggest ongoing need, but I don’t, so all I can do is take a couple thousand pounds of pet food and supplies down there.

    2. COntact United Animal Nations EARS program coordinator – they are trained to come to disaster areas and coordinate these things. They will come if asked, and if not already there.

      1. Last I heard there was some HSUS action in Tuscaloosa, and one major pet food manufacturer had donated food. Don’t know if EARS was called.

      2. ARRRGH!! HSUS! SSSSSSS. Call UAN. At least they won’t send the uncollected animals off to be killed in “partner shelters”.

      3. @Morgana – I have no affiliation with any of these shelters. I have a good friend in Bham and SHE doesn’t have any affiliation with any of these shelters. She passes on needs to me as she hears of them – and she does social work so is good at identifying needs. Lots of these areas are too small to even HAVE shelters – Hackleburg is population 2,000 and was basically destroyed and the national guard was not letting people in until Saturday. What bothers me is that a lot of folks outside the south don’t even seem to be aware of the tornadoes. I’m told that the devastation is so great that first responders who were there after Katrina were crying. I have not been there personally yet, leaving later in the week.
        Long after the big agencies left NOLA there were needs, especially in regards to feral cat population soaring – when I first started rescue the first thing I got was an email from a cat rescue in NOLA STILL trying to deal with cat overflow.

      4. I am very aware of the tornadoes and the torment that mmust be ravaging the counties. One does not need an affiliation with an org. like UAN to ask for help! Just find them on the net (uan.org) and get going!

  6. “Teach this triple truth to all: A generous heart, kind speech, and a life of service and compassion are the things which renew humanity.”
    ~The Buddha

    PS: Someone pass this on to Mr Pepper

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