K-9 Cares Academy

K-9 Angels Rescue would like to present:  K-9 Cares Academy!

** Class starts at 7p, meet and greet starts at 6:30p**
5533 Weslayan  Houston TX 77005

This class will be offered the 3rd Thursday of every month, is open to the public, and will cover the following:

– How to have positive, non-judgemental conversations about spaying and neutering and pet care with animal owners.
– What to do when you find a dog.  Debunking shelter myths.
– Some basic pet care words in Spanish to aide in conversations with Spanish speakers.
– Comprehensive listing of low-cost or free services available in the Houston/Harris County areas.

This class and resources will be geared towards dogs, but can be useful for cat lovers as well!

This can be a great opportunity for rescue groups to network and get to know each other.  Please share!

We hope to see you there!

This class will be held the 3rd Thursday of every month.  If you cannot make this date, look out for the next one!

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‘Skinny Vinnie’ Makes His Foster Home A Permanent Residence

'Skinny Vinny' makes his foster home a permanent residence

Sunday, June 19, 2016 06:25PM

A wiener dog that gained national attention for his pudgy frame — and again later for his incredible weight loss — finally has a family.

The husky dachshund arrived at his foster family’s home with the name ‘Fat Vincent’ but after he shed 38 pounds, he earned a new nickname: ‘Skinny Vinny.’

Fat no more

Now it appears that Skinny Vinny’s foster family has decided to keep him around permanently.  The dachshund recently was adopted by them.

Congrats on finding a permanent home, Skinny Vinny!


April 15th 2016

Local News Video   HERE

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This Is What Happens When The Pavement Is Too Hot For Your Dog

All-over-it dog lovers know the basics of keeping dogs safe in summer: Bring lots of water with you on walks, watch for the signs of your dog overheating and never, ever, ever leave a dog in the car — even on days that don’t seem that warm.

But it might come as a surprise to even the most type-A pup owners that the very pavement beneath your dog’s paws could be sizzling hot.  And hot pavement can have gruesome and painful consequences.

“Asphalt gets very hot and can burn your pet’s paws, so walk your dog on the grass if possible,” the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) urged. But sometimes it can be hard to tell.

Luckily, there’s a quick and easy test to see if the street temperature is safe enough for a walk with your dog.  Put the back of your hand on the pavement, and if you can’t keep it there for five seconds, it’s too hot for your pup’s feet.

If the pavement fails the test, walk your dog when the temperature drops a bit (if he can wait) or stay on the grass.  If walking your dog on hot pavement is unavoidable, there are things you can do to be prepared, like using special dog booties or dog paw wax designed to protect your dog’s sensitive paw pads from the heat.

Want to know more about how to keep dogs safe this summer?  Learn how to tell if your dog is overheating.

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Skinny Vinnie: The Overweight Dachshund Who Lost Half His Size And Gained A Forever Home

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After nearly a year of diet and exercise, Fat Vincent has transformed into Skinny Vinnie!

The 9-year-old Dachshund from K-9 Angels Rescue of Houston began his weight loss journey at 38 pounds last August, making him morbidly obese for a dog of his size.  Now the pup is walking with a cheerier swagger, weighing in at a healthy 15 pounds.

His foster owner Melissa Anderson, who recently decided to adopt him, tells PEOPLE he is a much happier dog now.

“He’s a very good example of strength and endurance,” Anderson, 54, says.  “All of the things that have happened to him — it kind of helps put your life in perspective.  We all marvel at his accomplishments because we’ve been here with the whole time and not for one day has he been reluctant or expressed any kind animosity about all of the things he’s had to do like limit his food and follow the rules of this house.”

Vinnie was rescued by Anderson and her family last August and she suspects one of the reasons he weighed so much was from eating non-dog food with his previous family.


“I typically go through the Starbucks drive-thru in the mornings and the first time I went through with him in the car, he absolutely freaked out,” Anderson previously told PEOPLE in December.  “He jumped up into the passenger seat and then he came over to the window.  I think he was probably getting a lot of fast food — when the owner went through he also got something.”

After agreeing to foster Vinnie, he was put on a healthier diet combined with swimming up to four to five times a week and walking for about an hour a day to not only lose weight, but also lower his cholesterol level.

Now Vinnie is much more mobile.

“I’ve got like four steps down to my yard and getting up and down those steps he couldn’t do,” Anderson says.  “So, I had to carry him down the steps and up the steps, but now he just zips right up them.  It’s really made a huge difference in his energy level.”

Vinnie has also experienced great change in his emotional being.  In December Anderson said the initial signs had pointed to depression.

“First of all, he didn’t eat for two days.  This is a huge dog that obviously has a tremendous appetite.  Then he goes under the covers and just pretty much stays there,” she explained.  “He still has a little bit of an occasional sadness to him.  He’s very happy when he’s out on walks, in the swimming pool, he loves to cuddle, but he gets his feelings hurt easily and he goes under the covers.”

Anderson says he would spend most of his day on his side barely lifting his head up.

“It was just really sad.”

But by mid-October, after a few months of exercise and a better diet, his spirits were lifted.

Anderson (who has three other Dachshunds) says her initial plan was to find him a forever home with another family, but she fell in love with him too much to give him away.


“I can’t imagine letting him go.  He’s always looking to see where I am and when I leave and come home, he’s the happiest dog in the house that I’m home,” she says.  “It’s just that feeling I have that he’s worried [about] when am I going to leave and never come back again.  I can’t do it.”

Anderson, who strongly advocates for dogs like Vinnie to be rescued from shelters, says he has also added a lot of happiness to the lives of her husband Mike, 62, and daughter Emily, 17.

“We just want him to know what a forever home is like,” Anderson says.  “I thought I could find him the best home ever with all the publicity he’s gotten — he’d probably be flying on private jets, you know.  But, I just feel like I don’t want him to go through it again.  I just really feel like he needs to stay right where he is.”

To learn more about Skinny Vinnie’s weight loss journey, pick up the current issue of PEOPLE Magazine — on newsstands now!

UPDATED 06/09/2016 AT 5:14 PM ET

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Brandon McMillan: Training Rescues, Unleashing New Rewards

OLD DOGS, NEW TRICKS:  A pet doesn’t have to come from a breeder to be properly trained. Conditioning a dog out of a shelter and into a home is part of its domestication.
What inspired you to work with rescue dogs?
Brandon McMillan:  I trained animals for film and television for 15 years. During that time I worked at a company that had very old-school thinking, where you always go to breeders for dogs — not rescues.  We had just lost our Rottweiler and were in the market for another one.  I convinced the owner of the company to let me go to the shelter and rescue a Rottie instead of going to a breeder.  There was a lot of pushback with that thinking but eventually, after about 20 arguments, he let me do it on one contingency: My job would be on the line if I were wrong.The next day I went down to the shelter and found a 1-year-old Rottie named Raven.  After a few months of training she was sent out on her first job and she knocked it out of the park.  In fact, she became one of our best working dogs.  Proving it wasn’t a fluke, I rescued a dozen or so more over the next few years till eventually our entire pack was rescues — and they were some of the best working dogs in the industry.  It’s safe to say I got to keep my job after that.

A NEW SHELTER: McMillan attests that when a dog has been saved from a shelter, they know they’ve been rescued and he’s happy to be a part of the healing process.

What is the biggest benefit to rescuing a shelter dog? 

I can attest from rescuing hundreds of dogs over the years that they know when they’ve been saved.  When a dog is suddenly thrown into a small concrete block cell with jail bars as a front door, it affects them big-time.  The longer they spend in that cell, the more it affects them, eventually altering their personality.  When you rescue them from a situation like this now you’re starting the healing process of what they just went through.  Time will heal them, and it all starts with a new home.  It’s a win-win for both.

What is the most challenging part of training dogs? 

No two are alike.  Dogs are like a thumbprint, so the method that might work on this dog doesn’t necessarily work on the next dog.  It’s almost like solving a riddle every time.  I usually have a game plan when I work with a dog, but that game plan is only good if the dog goes along with the entire plan.  Most likely, there will be some pushback on their end and I’ll need to instantly change the game plan without pausing for even a second.  I need to have a plan B, C and D already lined up, knowing that there’s a good chance this animal won’t learn off plan A.  That’s what I love about it: the challenge.  I like that it’s often not easy, because if it were easy, everyone would do it.

“My job is to teach an animal everything it needs to possibly know living in the domestic world.”

You’ve worked with many wild animals in the past. What has been your favorite? 

I like working with them all because they all require different methods.  Big cats are very fast so I have to make quick decisions when training them. Primates think a lot like us so it’s a chess game when I work with them.  Bears, believe it or not, are just like working a dog.  They’re very intelligent and very trainable and they love to learn new things.

But if I have to pick a favorite I’m going to have to go with the great whites.  Not that I can train them or anything, but I’ve dived with them for years and find them to be one of the most fascinating creatures this planet has ever produced.  I host a Shark Week show on Discovery every year about great whites, which has allowed me to not only work face to face with them but also study their behavior.  What I’ve come to realize is they’re not as scary as people think.  I feel the most at peace when I’m face to face with an 18-foot great white.

APPROPRIATE EMBRACE: Adopting and rescuing a dog is a great thing to do, but McMillan advises that the pup you choose suits both your lifestyle and theirs.

What is your favorite aspect of being a trainer? 

My job is to teach an animal everything it needs to possibly know living in the domestic world.  We as humans set rules for our dogs and the dogs are taught to follow our rules and guidelines.  I took a lot of different forms of martial arts for a lot of years.  What I noticed with every instructor I was a student under was their passion was teaching us everything they knew — from the details of the technique to the muscle memory, locking it into our bodies forever so we’d never forget it.  That’s the same rule I live by as an animal trainer.  I’m a technician that educates animals.  It’s a rare craft and I absolutely love doing it.

What advice would you give our readers who are thinking of adopting a dog? 

Be sure the dog is adequate for your lifestyle.  Don’t just adopt off aesthetics alone.  Sure, we all have an idea of the look we’re going for.  But make sure that dog is the right size for your home.  Make sure their personality complements your lifestyle.  Make sure their energy level is right for yours and most importantly make sure you have time for a dog.

I always tell people to take your time, don’t make any impulse decisions you might regret a week later because you didn’t think all of this through.  That’s the number one reason dogs are returned to the shelters — because people adopted them on an impulse decision, not thinking everything through.


Brandon McMillan Training Rescues Unleashing New Rewards

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How Vets Stop Their Own Dogs From Peeing in the House

By Dr. Becker


You love your dog and everything about him — except, perhaps, his penchant for urinating in the house.  It’s a very common problem with multiple causes and getting to the bottom of why your dog is peeing in the house is essential to stopping the behavior.

Unfortunately, some pet owners give up on their dogs all too soon; up to 25 percent of dogs relinquished to animal shelters by their owners are given up due to housebreaking problems.

Hopefully you understand that, challenging as it may be, you owe it to your dog to work through such issues instead of simply abandoning him.

Fortunately, this isn’t an issue you have to simply learn to live with because, in most cases, your dog can be taught to stop urinating in the house and/or it can be resolved with proper medical treatment or behavioral training.

5 Top Reasons Why Dogs Pee in the House

There are many reasons why your dog may be urinating indoors.  It’s essential to find out your dog’s reason before moving on to remedying it.


Some dogs piddle on the floor when they’re overly excited. This may occur when you come home from work, when a new visitor comes over or while your dog is waiting for a coveted toy, treat or activity (like a walk).

Often, your dog may wiggle, jump and otherwise continue on with his excitement all while urinating.

2.Submission or Fear

Urination can be a submissive behavior your dog displays when he’s scared or overwhelmed.  While submissive urination occurs most often in puppies, it can occur in any age dog, typically after your dog has been scolded or put in an uncomfortable or scary situation.

3.Housetraining Problems

Dogs must learn the appropriate place to go potty.  If your dog hasn’t been taught properly, he may urinate indoors simply because he doesn’t know any better.


Does your dog release small amounts of urine in specific areas around your house, like the corner of your couch or on a pair of shoes you’ve left by the door?  Your dog is marking his territory and asserting or maintaining his social standing in the pack.

Dogs may also overmark or countermark, which is marking over another dog’s urine.  If you have multiple dogs, once one dog starts marking it can trigger marking in the other dogs as well.

5.Medical Issues

Anytime a dog urinates in the house, especially if this is a new behavior, medical problems should be ruled out.  Urinary infections, bladder stones and crystals, cystitis, kidney disease, Cushing’s disease and diabetes are examples of health conditions that may cause your dog to urinate in the house.

Excitement-Related and Submissive Urination Are Behavioral Issues

If your dog urinates due to excitement or submission, this isn’t a housebreaking issue — it’s a behavioral one. In the case of excitement urination, helping your dog learn relaxed behaviors such as lying down or sitting quietly to greet people, can help.

You should also greet your dog calmly (and instruct visitors to do the same) to keep your dog quiet. It may also help to give your dog frequent walks and opportunities for rigorous exercise and play.

This will help him expend some of that exited energy. If you know your dog will be meeting a number of visitors, for a party at your home, for instance, let him make acquaintances outdoors so any accidents will be outdoors too.1

If your puppy displays submissive urination, he may grow out of it. Do not punish your dog for this behavior, as it is a natural method of communication for young dogs; it’s their way of letting you know they’re not challenging “the boss.”

Punishing your dog may actually make submissive urination more frequent and likely to continue into adulthood.

In older dogs, a trainer can help you to teach confidence-building protocols such as targeting his nose to your hand during greetings (this is a more assertive behavior). A positive training class can also improve communication between you and your dog.

You can also cut down on this behavior initially by completely ignoring your dog when you arrive home, then by turning your body sideways during greetings, avoiding direct eye contact and waiting to touch him until he’s settled down.

When you do kneel down to touch him, scratching him under the chin (not on top of the head or back of the neck) may help.2

How to Remedy Housetraining Problems

There are three keys to successful housebreaking, no matter what your dog’s age:

  • Consistency
  • Positive reinforcement
  • Patience

In addition, there are four primary principles that will work to teach virtually any dog the appropriate place to potty, provided you apply the three keys above. They’re explained in detail in my video above but here’s an overview:

  • Stay with your dog at all times. If you leave your dog unattended, it gives him an opportunity to have an accident. For times when you can’t give your full attention to your dog, let him stay in his crate. If your dog is outside the crate, I recommend you clip the leash on your belt buckle, so you can keep a keen eye on him when you’re going about life.
  • Feed your dog on a schedule. This creates a more predictable schedule for when your dog will need to go out.
  • Reward good behavior. When your dog eliminates outdoors, immediately praise him with words (spoken in a soft, loving tone) and offer a treat within three seconds of him finishing his job.
  • Avoid punishing accidents. Yelling at your dog for a mistake will not teach him appropriate behaviors; it will only confuse him, scare him and possibly make the problem worse.

What to Do If Your Dog Marks Indoors

This is another behavioral issue that can be challenging to correct, but it’s entirely possible. Positive reinforcement behavior training is key to stop urine marking in the house, and this is the strategy I used for my dachshund rescue Lenny — who marked the corner of every piece of furniture in our home when we first brought him home.

To reduce this totally undesirable behavior and reinforce healthy housebreaking, we put a belly band on him. We called it his loincloth (and Lenny became known as “Lenny Loincloth”). A belly band is a little diaper that holds a dog’s penis to his abdomen.

Dogs innately do not want to urinate on themselves; they want to pee and mark on objects. By belly banding him, we reinforced good behavior like going potty outside and not marking in the house. I’m proud to say that in one month’s time, this strategy helped him kick his marking habit for the most part. Constant positive reinforcement was really necessary with Lenny, as it is with all dogs.

If You’re Not Sure Why Your Dog Is Urinating Indoors, Have Him Checked by a Vet

There are a number of medical reasons why a dog may urinate indoors, and it’s important to rule these out if your dog is urinating indoors and you’re not sure why. If your dog has been housebroken her whole life then suddenly begins peeing in the house, it’s safe to say there’s probably a medical issue that needs to be identified and treated.

Diabetes, kidney disease, Cushing’s disease, bladder infection or bladder stones can all cause urination issues, as can certain brain diseases that cause your dog to forget his housetraining skills. A trip to your veterinarian will be necessary in this case to get any necessary medical care.

If medical issues are ruled out, you can then assume the problem is largely behavioral and proceed with the appropriate positive reinforcement strategies. You may want to seek the help of a professional for indoor-urination issues, and please don’t give up or turn to negative, fear-based punishment that usually makes the situation worse.

With the correct and consistent behavior modification, most dogs can learn to relieve themselves appropriately outdoors and in the rare cases when they cannot the use of piddle pads, pet gates and belly bands can protect your home from being soiled.

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Source:  Dr. Becker

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The Ugly Truth about Animal Shelters

** Warning: this is a departure from my typical blog post.  However, anyone who knows me well at all, knows there are two things I’m passionate about: God and animals.  You might find this post unpleasant or perhaps, dare I say, offensive …. but there’s nothing pleasant about this subject.
You’ve been warned. **  – Source

An article caught my eye the other day.  It told the story of a vet, Jian Zhicheng, who worked at an animal shelter in Taiwan.  She had euthanized 700 animals in two years – many of whom were healthy and perfectly adoptable.  The fact was there was no space to keep them and no one to want them.  She worked hard to promote adoption over buying.  But animal rights activists threatened her and called her a butcher.

She took her own life.  Distraught by the overwhelming burden of euthanizing animals who have nowhere else to go and being labeled nothing short of a killer by her fellow humans, she injected herself with euthanasia drugs from the shelter.

This story hit me hard.  Anger swelled inside me: this woman’s life has needlessly ended.  She took on the weight of other people’s criticism, the weight of solving a problem that came to feel insurmountable.  The problem that Jian Zhicheng faced is one that many, many shelters in our own country face daily.  Too many animals, not enough homes.

Having worked in animal shelters, I have heard no end of criticism of the “kill shelter.”  I have seen the distrustful glint in the eyes of the public and even volunteers.  I guarantee that if you’re an average member of the public, you hear the words ‘kill shelter’ and a shiver runs down your spine.  You automatically think of a horrible place filled with horrible people that murder animals rather than try to find them a home.

Let’s break it down, okay?

Kill shelters are in truth open admission shelters.  An open admission shelter is required to take in whatever animal crosses its doorstep.  Let’s say they have space for 100 dogs and 100 cats.   On Monday, they start out the week with 80 dogs and 80 cats.  Someone comes in to surrender their 13-year-old golden retriever that has lived with them forever.  They’re moving and can’t be burdened by an arthritic dog with a weak bladder any more.  Right behind the golden comes a mama dog with a litter of 6 puppies.  Twenty minutes later, two dogs that were adopted on Saturday have been brought back because they peed inside the house.  Three cats come in – all from the same place – their owner died and the daughter wants nothing to do with litter boxes.  Two 1-year-old labs are dropped off – baby on the way so no more time for high-energy dogs.   A litter of kittens come in with their mama, still nursing.  Five minutes later, another litter of kittens come in but there’s no mama – and they’re only four weeks old.  So, we’re up to 86 dog kennels needed (the pups stay with mama in one kennel) and 84 cat kennels (the motherless kittens have been frantically placed with the last available kitten foster).  Whew.  Still space, right?

Then the animal control officers come in.  Officer One has brought in  7 cats – three from traps and four abandoned – and 4 dogs, all without collars, tags or microchips.  Officer Two has brought in 3 more dogs who were reported for chasing chickens.  Officer Three has been very busy – 2 abandoned kittens, 3 cats roaming at large and 9 stray dogs nosing through the trash at the landfill.  That brings our grand total up to 102 dogs (plus the puppies with their mama) and 96 cats.  Two dogs more than the shelter can hold.  A rolling cage is wheeled into the laundry room to hold one of the dogs – a chihuahua shaking with fear.  A staff member takes home the elderly golden retriever to administer meds and free up a kennel.

It’s only Monday.  And the shelter has room for 4 more cats and no more dogs.  And yet Tuesday will come with more dogs and more cats.  Followed by Wednesday with more dogs and more cats and a couple of parakeets.

Potential adopters stroll up and down the aisles, peering into kennels.  The mutt with a gentle soul and good manners is given barely a glance as one couple shakes their heads and leave, complaining that there were no yorkies.  or pomeranians.  or westies.

A young woman brings her son to see the animals, only to turn right around and leave when she finds out it’s a ‘kill shelter.’   She pauses just long enough to look over her shoulder in disgust at the front desk workers, her gaze saying,”How can you be so cruel?”

Another potential adopter wants a dog who is housebroken and already knows commands for sit, stay, lay down, shake, roll over, play dead.  Yet another wants a puppy and the puppy must be fluffy.  The little pittie-hound mix pups are totally ignored.

In the background, a shelter worker crosses her fingers that her favorite, a 10-year-old border collie with a heart murmur, weak hips and the sweetest disposition will finally find a home.  She’s been here a long time – longer than she has any right to be.

Thursday comes.  Adoptions were good this week but with so many owner surrenders and strays, the shelter is at capacity – technically over if you count the three rolling cages stuffed into the back hallway to hold the three little dogs who did not get along with their family’s new puppy.

It is euthanasia day.  Who gets to live and who will die?

And who are the people behind that grim decision?

They are the ones who everyday open their hearts to the sure prospect of hope mingled with a bitter disappointment.  They are the ones who look past the mange, the stinky ears, the overgrown nails, the tangled hair to see animals who were created with intention by God.  They see the souls – the sometimes gentle, sometimes fearful question in the eyes of those animals: is it going to be better now?

As they bathe 6-week-old puppies, frail from blood loss because they have been covered in so many fleas, these shelter workers vow silently to show these creatures that yes, it is going to be better now.  When officers bring in an emaciated dog, abandoned inside a kennel for weeks – they passionately swear that yes, it is going to be better now.  When a recently adopted dog is picked up as a stray and the ‘owner’ says to just keep him, the worker who did the adoption kneels down in front of those questioning eyes and promises, it will be better.

And when it isn’t – when no one chooses them, when the shelter runs out of space – their hearts break completely.  And these workers go home and smile for their families and try to bury the guilt they feel that they were not able to help that one.  and that one.  and that one.

The ugly truth of the animal shelter isn’t the workers pulling up the syringe of pentobarbital.  It isn’t the shelter director who is agonizing in his office about the high intake and low adoption rate as he brainstorms new ways to attract potential adopters.

It’s you.

The person who thinks it’s fine for their intact male dog to roam the neighborhood, spawning litter after litter of unwanted puppies.  Puppies that end up at the shelter for someone else to deal with.

The person who thinks they’ll make big bucks by backyard breeding … until the inbreeding starts creating puppies with deformities … puppies no one wants.  Puppies that end up at the shelter for someone else to deal with.

The person who spends $500 on the puppy for sale in the back of the truck at Wal-mart, encouraging that backyard breeder to keep right on breeding, never knowing the mama lives a mostly neglected life in a filthy cage outside until she becomes so covered in mammary tumors that she ends up at the shelter for someone else to deal with.

The person who takes that puppy home and loses interest once the puppy reaches 7 months old and starts digging or chewing or barking – time to drop her off at the shelter for someone else to deal with.

The person who decides they’d like to travel more and it’s time to dump their senior dog, the one with lumps and sores, at the shelter for someone else to deal with.

The hunter who abandons the gun-shy dog on a back road, driving away in a cloud of dust, leaving him for someone else to deal with.

The nice middle-class family who refuses to get their dog spayed and complains when a wandering intact male leaves her with a litter of unwanted puppies.  Puppies that end up at the shelter for someone else to deal with.

The person who hides behind a computer screen and leaves nasty messages, calling the shelter employees cruel, cold, unfeeling … all while petting the dog they purchased from a pet shop – shelter mutts are for someone else to deal with.

The person who complains that too much of their tax money has gone to the shelter – how could they possibly want to increase their budget for things like spay & neuter clinics or humane education or microchipping?   That should be left for someone else to deal with.

The person who complains about the massive and daunting problem of animal welfare in this country … without offering any solution or any help.  That’s for someone else to deal with.

For someone else to deal with.

The ugly truth is that so many people want to pass off their responsibility to someone else, anyone else.  That’s why animal shelters exist.  The emotional burden of what happens to those unwanted animals is passed off too – to sit squarely on the shoulders of the shelter workers and the volunteers and the rescues trying their damnedest to make a difference, to save lives.

The ugly truth is there is no easy answer.  The real answer is simple but it is so hard because it requires persistence and endurance – there is no instant gratification.  The only answer is spay and neuter.  Pet overpopulation is an overwhelming problem and the only way to solve it is by reducing the population.  Right now, society’s answer has been to reduce the population on the back end – i.e. killing.   According to the Humane Society of the United States, 2.4 million adoptable cats and dogs are euthanized every year – that’s an animal every 13 seconds.  The ASPCA reports a higher estimate of 2.7 million euthanized animals per year.

That’s madness, isn’t it?

Let’s change that.

Spay and neuter your pets – there’s no excuse for Rex to be accidentally spreading unknown litters around the neighborhood.

Adopt, don’t shop – shelter pets have every bit as much love to give as one from a breeder.

If you must buy, do your due diligence and fully inspect the premises of the breeder.  See where mama lives full-time, not just when buyers come by.  Ask about mama’s vet care.  Ask for references.

Accept responsibility for the animal that you brought into your family.  Dogs and cats don’t speak our language – they have to learn what we ask of them and that requires patience and consistency from you.  They want to love you and that requires attention from you.  They will get sick, they will get hurt, they may be inconvenient to care for – but that’s what you signed up for when you picked out the puppy with the waggly tail and the kitten with the fluffball fur.

If you do none of these things, then do this at least – look closely at those shelter workers and think – THINK about the pain they willingly take on every day because someone else chose not to hold up their end of the bargain.  And swallow the criticism that can float so easily to the surface.  They are in the trenches – and what’s more, they repeatedly choose to be there because if not them, then who?

And that is the thought of every committed person involved in animal sheltering – if not me, then who?

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