BE KIND TO ANIMALS week
+ PREVENTION OF ANIMAL CRUELTY month
written by Andrea of everydogsdelight
I have had this passion in my heart for animals since I was a small girl. I was always bringing home strays because they could feel that love vibe inside me for them... and I must say I drove my father crazy doing that!
I have been a volunteer for Friends of Pets (FOP) since 1999 in Alaska and the AK SPCA for 4 years. I give my talents of jewelry making, donation and time for both organizations. FOP is an excellent mode to teach the public the basics of proper dog and cat care.
We are out in the community with events such as Reading Rendezvous; where the kids read books to the dogs; Dog Jog where all dogs come together for a fun walk/run and we have lots of booths to give out info and talk one on one with owners who have issues with their pets. We encourage them to not give up on them. What you teach them (if it’s done properly), is just like our human children. You get back what you put into them.
I believe that learning how to be kind to animals starts with the parents of the children who adopt pets. This doesn’t just apply to dogs/cats but to all animals!
Just yesterday, I was in the AK SPCA Spay/Neuter clinic and I saw a young man of 4-5 years old poke a basset hound in the eye. I gently went up to him; grabbed his hand and said “Be gentle to your best friend. You wouldn’t want your eye poked would you?” I then proceeded to teach him how to pet her gently and the light went on his brain. Always with gentleness, I find is most effective.
I am not one of these people who stand by and do nothing when I see an animal abused. I go through this routine. I go and talk to the parent first. If no changes are obvious, then I call Animal Control and report it and write a statement. This specific incident had 4 adults including me write a statement and Animal Control did nothing. I then witnessed more abuse and got video of it; submitted another statement to Animal Control along with the video. It was turned over to local law enforcement. Eventually, this sweet little pit-bull puppy was taken away (not broken in spirit) and a good home found for him.
I encourage everyone to be proactive and not stand by if they witness abuse or neglect. Be persistent! In Alaska, it is a felony to abuse and neglect animals now. Hooray!!!! If I see someone abusing their animal, I call 911, especially if you have witnesses, OR NOT.
These wonderful animals give us so much unconditional love and deserve the best treatment by humans like us with the passion of rescuing and loving these animals. I have adopted several dogs who had behavioral issues because of abuse, but with patience, kindness and love, they eventually learned to trust again and came full circle. They learned to be a real dog and know that they would not get any negative reinforcement from me.
Discipline, exercise and love are the way to go with most dogs. With the abused ones, gentleness and showing them they won’t be dumped and that they are with me for the rest of their lives no matter how long or short it is; I really believe they know they have a second chance at life.
I know many of us understand they aren’t just property.
They are pure love !
I was crying the other night and my Raina girl came up to me with such a concerned look on her face and comforted me. Thumper then came up and licked some of my tears away. My latest adoptees, Milo and Wilson, (2 old goldens- 8 and 11 years young, who would have been put down), came up to me and licked me till I was completely free of tears. I had quite a slobbery, wet face which made me smile! I was a golden sandwich!
I could go on forever about this subject and I hope that my article will garner responses from our EFA members & friends. Bless all of you and the love and kindness you give to our wonderful 4-leggeds, 2 winged friends, piggies, horses etc !
I believe education is the key.