Tuesday, November 23, 2010

They're just dogs, right?

We're about to travel for the holidays, a short trip flying within the USA. Which has me thinking about the TSA scanning/patdown issue. If you watch any news at all you cannot have avoided this - the anecdotes, the hyperbole, the lies, the statements of policy, and I am sure there's some truth in there somewhere.

What strikes me the most is the incredible amount of energy and resources being spent, and by some arguments the rights that we are giving up (see Fourth Amendment to the US Constitution), for absolutely no positive outcome beyond the Theater of Security. TSA's measures have been responses, not proaction, to various failed attempts to harm American travelers and aircraft. Shoes, then pat downs, now full body scans. As one comedian said recently, they tried to assassinate a Saudi ambassador by putting an explosive device in nether regions - so, body cavity searches next? Fortunately the would be assassin died, and the ambassador was only slightly injured. The sad truth is that NONE of the new measures in place today would have stopped the 9/11 attacks. Not one. Did you know that the personnel who service the plane - food, gas, cleaning, supplies, etc - do NOT got through those security procedures?

So why rant about this in a dog rescue blog? Well, because of the energy that is put into a completely ineffective and highly obtrusive program. Contrast that to the years-long effort, that has been thwarted every year, to strengthen the laws in NC that deal with animal cruelty, with preventing puppy mills, that deal with hording and neglect, that push for spay/neuter and responsible breeding laws, and that beg for humane euthanization of companion animals in our shelters. The opponents are loud and effective - they decry the gubment intruding in their bidness. Two powerful men continually thwart these effort every year, by lying to pig farmers that any such legislation will affect them (because animal welfare, including companion animals, is an affair of the Department of Agriculture), and by playing the TwoFace card with no embarrassment (the man in charge of the Ag Dept area of animal welfare sells gas-based euthanization equipment and makes bank on teaching shelters how to use them - Conflict of Interest anyone?).

We spend billions as a nation putting Security Theater into play, intruding on our rights with searches without probable cause, and most security experts agree that it provides practically no additional protection. However, we cannot muster the humanity to pass legislation that will stop the problems that lead to thousands of dogs having to be rescued from cruel neglect and puppy mill slave status, and that lead to millions of dogs and cats being euthanized - gassed to death - in shelters every year. Every year. Millions.

They're just dogs, right?

Sunday, November 14, 2010

This one I just don't get... greed, maybe?

One of the ladies who used to volunteer with PMR called us earlier this week about 6 German Shepherd Dogs (GSDs) about six months old that were coming into a shelter with what was almost certainly canine parvovirus, or "parvo". Parvo is deadly to puppies, especially if they have not been getting their immune system booster vaccinations, or DHPP (distemper, hepatitis, parvovirus, parainfluenza). Typically, puppies are fully vaccinated by four months of age, and out of danger from parvo.

Seeing pups with parvo in shelters is, unfortunately, not too uncommon. What makes this one just baffling is that the owner of these pups claims to have whelped them from AKC registered parents. When they got sick, he decided he could not or would not pay for their veterinary care, which for six pups could be in the low thousands depending on the vet.

Our former volunteer wanted to know if we would take them in and try to save their lives. Well, our president is a huge fan of GSDs, and we did not hesitate, we said yes. We made arrangements with a GSD breed-specific rescue in the area to take two of the pups, and we picked them up and started the fluids (it was after normal business hours, so we put them on fluids until the vet could take them in the morning). We got them to the vet, who put them on IV fluids, broad spectrum antibiotics, and minor nutritional supplements. Sadly, one of the pups passed that afternoon.

So far, the others are hanging on. A couple of them are still in a very fragile state, with an almost negligible white blood cell count. Prayer is what may be keeping them with us at this point.

What I cannot fathom is why someone would breed AKC registered GSDs and choose to not vaccinate the pups. It is maybe a couple of hundred dollars for all six. Other than a level of ignorance that is hard to accept, the only explanation that makes sense to us is greed. And now one gorgeous pup is dead, two are barely hanging on, the three more are still in danger.

PMR will do what it takes to keep these pups alive, and find them new happy forever homes. It will be expensive. If you have the wiggle room, or know others who do, please consider contributing to their fund. Their pictures are on our website, www.pawfectmatch.org.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Poor Boy... Happy Boy!

The story goes that there were something like twelve pups running loose, and no one could catch them. Well, Animal Control caught one of them, because he had an injured foreleg, but we never saw the rest again.

Vaughn was a cute little beige hound mix, extremely loving, very playful. But his front right paw did not work. He could not extend it at all. The vets said that he was likely hit by a car, and the nerves that control paw flexion were pull away from the spinal cord. Sometimes they heal on their own, a millimeter a month. We decided to give him three months to see if his nerves reconnected.

That was a daily chore. Changing gauze bandages and wrapping with stretch wrap, and putting a booty on it to protect it and keep it dry. Sometimes he would chew the wrappings off, but most often they just came off from his incessant playing. All it took was some playing on the patio concrete for 20 minutes and he had a new hole worn into his numb paw. It got bad one night, and required some repair and stitches. We worked extra hard after that to keep the paw protected.

He did use that leg, and even the paw to some extend. He just could not extend the paw, and seemed to have no feeling in it at all.

So, last week, we took Gimpy in - yes, we call him Gimpy now - for his neuter. We all decided that the nerves were not coming back, so we agreed to get that useless paw out of the way while he was under. Dr. Monce did a great job, and the wounds have healed nicely.

Practically everyone who sees him says "Awww, poor boy!" But I will tell you, he is one VERY happy dog. He chases Randi the Australian Cattle Dog mix around the back yard with NO problems. He can dig a hole, a deep hole, about as fast as any dog I've ever seen dig a hole. He shoots right up the steps and down again. He even climbs onto Aida's desk with not fear.

You will be very hard pressed to find a happier, more loving dog, than Vaughn the Gimp. No Poor Boy about it, he is one Happy Boy!