Treats on the Internets

The city of Houston, which kills most of its homeless pets, estimates there are between 600,000 and 1.2 million homeless dogs and cats on the streets there.  The same article, appearing in the Houston Chronicle, says that there is a “shortage of adoptable animals” in CO. This will no doubt come as a shock to the “unwanted” dogs and cats being taken to kill rooms in CO pounds today.  (Thank you Clarice for the link.)

“Forsaken No More” is a paper on Pitbull facts by animal advocate Aubrie Kavanaugh.  It may be useful to other shelter reform advocates who are battling Pitbull stereotypes and myths in their own communities.

The SPCA of Northern Nevada is using a blood test to determine which incoming dogs need vaccinations and which already have sufficient antibodies to protect them from contagious diseases.  (Thanks Clarice for the link.)

A boy in a rural area of the Philippines wants to open an animal shelter when he grows up.  He’s putting a downpayment on the effort now.

Eighteen cats were treated to a $35,000 home renovation by their owner in CA.

A woman in Germany allowed her horse to come inside the house during a recent bout of severe weather.  He liked it.

Finnish reindeer are getting their antlers spray painted with reflective paint in an effort to make them more visible to motorists.  (Thanks Valerie.)

17 thoughts on “Treats on the Internets

  1. The problems in Houston are heartbreaking. I follow Forgotten Dogs of the Fifth Ward, Barrio Dogs, Corridor Rescue and Unity for a Solution – those groups are trying so hard to make a difference and seem to work well together (unlike so many in other communities), but they are fighting a battle that is so overwhelming.

    1. I question the city’s estimate. While I have no problem believing there are a very large number of strays on the streets in a city where people know they can’t bring them to the shelter because they’ll be killed, I question whether there are truly 1500 stray dogs and cats per square mile there. I can’t even imagine this in a densely populated city.

      1. While Houston is a big city, I would describe it as sprawling, not densely populated. I suppose it depends on your frame of reference though. I used to live in the Bay Area.

        But either way, that number does seem extremely high. I have been to Houston several times in the past few months for work, and twice to visit my brother and his family. With 600,000 – 1,200,000 strays living on the streets, I would have expected to see packs of animals running around. But I don’t recall seeing a single dog or cat on the streets.

      2. the huge numbers make this a “crisis” which allows them to kill more animals, and restrict more animal ownership. A typical tactic.

        Meanwhile people are shipping in strays from OTHER COUNTRIES and dumping them on shelters/ rescues here (the recent “sochi dogs are a fine example of this… the athletes “saved” the dogs, brought them in (no quarantine) now the shelter they left them at will have to shoulder the costs of Quarantine, vax, and care until they can find homes. Explain how that helps dogs???).

        . Or, Retail Rescues are bringing them in.

      3. Honestly, I don’t know. When stated that way, the numbers don’t sound feasible.

        But, I have been following this situation for about three years and frequently see photos of packs of stray, abandoned and feral dogs. There are many neighborhoods with poor and immigrant populations that don’t have the money to properly care for themselves, let alone large numbers of pets – they also come from a culture that seems to be resistant to spay/neuter. It’s an uphill battle, but these groups are in the trenches, doing feeding runs, pulling the most desperate dogs and cats, spaying/neutering/returning those that they can.

        If only the City of Houston would get on board on and be a PARTNER with these rescues just can’t help think what type of impact they could make. But, it’s the same in communities all over, even in my own. Guess, I’m just a dreamer…

      4. As a hypothetical example, every Houston worker who goes out for a lunch hour run that covers one square mile would be coming across MANY packs of animals. Some of course will be inclined to hide from people anywhere they can but there are only going to be so many hiding areas for these million pets. So even if we allow that half of these dogs and cats are able to remain hidden from people, this lunch hour jogger would still see more than 62 groups of dogs and cats, each consisting of 12 animals. He would barely be able to run I imagine, for all the piles of pets on the sidewalks. It just doesn’t add up to my mind.

        You are not dreaming to think of what the city could accomplish if the shelter employees did their jobs. You are being sensible. Partnering with compassionate animal advocates in the community should be a priority for every shelter, most especially one that is killing animals and claiming to have an overwhelming number of strays on the streets.

      5. When I used the term “densely populated city”, I meant to distinguish Houston from an area that might be described as “rural” or “farm land” since in those areas, a very high estimated stray population could potentially be explained away as “People don’t see them because the human population is so spread out and there are many places for the animals to live their lives away from humans”.

      6. Could it also be possible that – as with reports from Detroit – some of the ‘strays’ are owned pets allowed to roam?

      7. There’s a whole lot of controversy about Detroit’s 50,000 roaming dogs number – and a survey done recently showed it was much fewer than that. I think that approximating numbers is dangerous and often done with the idea of supporting one’s position, anyway. My guess is they are using this number to justify killing in Houston.

  2. happy to see that the NV shelter (SPCA Northern Nevada) is using blood tests (titers??) to determine if a dog (cats too?) need to be vaxed on intake. SO much better for the animals.

  3. There’s that tricky phrase “adoptable animals” again. That’s so weasely. We know that pitbull-type dogs are killed in Denver and the surrounding communities since they have BSL. There are a lot of Colorado communities that are doing a great job, though. Longmont, for example. Many of these areas do have the ability to import dogs without displacing shelter animals there. My local shelter definitely takes advantage of that but we are much closer than Houston.

  4. Eighteen cats were treated to a $35,000 home renovation by their owner in CA.

    Honestly, that seems kind of wasted. One thing to know about pets is that they don’t care about price tags. They will enjoy a stick from the yard as much as a $20 chew toy. Second thing to consider is that cats, above all, like variety and novelty. In a couple weeks, this $35k renovation won’t have any novelty to offer them. Third – wouldn’t it be nicer to give that money to a reputable shelter or rescue org rather than spend it on cats who don’t really appreciate it?

    1. The man can spend his money any way he wants, surely? And if making his cats happy makes him happy, how can you say it’s “wasted”?

      I mean, people spend all kinds of money on frilly little dog clothes. Is it a waste of money? No, because it makes the people happy and helps them bond with their pets. While I’m not a frilly little dog clothes-type person, I’m not going to judge those who are, you know?

      1. Of course he can spend it however he wants. I’m just hoping he’s not operating under the idea that the cats appreciate the price tag of the project, and that he knows he’s doing it for himself more than for the cats.

      2. I actually love a lot of what that guy did for his cats. Wish I had the money to build some of those climbing shelves and areas for my cats. They would love it!

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