Archive for the ‘Petside Pet Net Events’ Category

Pet ‘Net 2012: Why Does Volunteering Speak to An Animal’s Soul?

Posted on November 27th, 2012

This post is part of the 2012 Pet ‘Net Pet Adoption Event – we are promoting pet adoption and proper pet care throughout the pet blogosphere. Check out all the amazing blog posts here at the hub page – there are some really cool posts!

If you visit the hub page, you can help raise money for shelter pets in your community! Enter your zip code and they’ll donate $5,000 to an animal shelter in the town with the most votes. Spread the word and remember you can vote once per day for your town until November 30th!

We are proud and honored to be a part of the 2012 Pet ‘Net Event with and NBC Universal!


I betch’ya don’t know the FULL RANGE of emotional, physiological and mental affects you have on an animal when you volunteer and/or spend time with it…

Did you know that simply reading to a dog or group of formerly abused or poorly socialized dogs can help them get used to people? Your presence alone and the consistency of your voice reading helps them acclimate and, in turn, makes them more adoptable, according to handlers at Best Friends Animal Sanctuary this past June when I visited.

But it speaks to the animal personally, too. It lets him know that you are there and things are kosher. There is nothing to be afraid of, there is nothing to be sad about, there is nothing to be on guard for. Their little (BIG) souls hear your voice and are at peace…

When you volunteer and spend time with rescue pets, it gives them hope, too.

On some days when I volunteer— time spent at the shelter is rewarding because I know that I’ve made a connection with a few dogs or a few cats. I know they’ve come a long way and recognize my voice or the fact that I’m the “treat-bringer.” They follow me around like they do the regular handlers and every-day caretakers. A connection is infinitely made with a dog no one can quite figure out (Yes – We know that Rufus likes to eat treats from your hand not the ground where there is cat competition!). Or a kitten or cat I’ve been tracking for weeks ends up negative for feline leukemia when the first test showed her positive – it’s going into remission – YES! This kitty heads for the adoptions area of the shelter. Even when shelter work is laborious— it’s hot and dry on the walking trails at Best Friends and there are snakes and lizards everywhere or the puppies are partial to pooping on their dog beds and we have to clean them every single day— by the evening I feel like ‘my cup overrunneth.’

The animals feel it too. They are content, clean, tired from the attention, and have been quietly “coerced” into yet one more day of living in a shelter with a seemingly hopeless end… but they’re HAPPY. They just had a jam-packed day of walking, reading, attention, grooming, more walking, eating, and now have a clean blanket and bed and cage to resort to. They know you did that. They understand in their hearts and heads that you have given of yourself to help them. It speaks to their souls in this way.

There are other days when I leave the rescue feeling totally negative, totally hopeless and heartbroken, totally pissed off that we don’t have more money, more supplies, more room, more foster homes, more ADOPTIVE homes, etc. I get so upset I cry and can’t even talk to people about it… I’m exhausted and the distance I’ve moved the needle (in comparison to how far we have to go) is so insignificant and minute, I can’t bear to blog about it.

A rescue kitty at Best Friends Animal Sanctuary

But I remember those faces looking at me during walk time, or during treat time or cleaning time… I remember those faces looking at me while I do everything in my power to make these animals more adoptable and to make the shelter more appealing itself… I remember those faces watching me as I fill up their food bowls…. I remember those kitty rub-ups or puppy paw-bumps as I exercise and play with them…. It speaks to their souls in these ways.

To steal a line from Leslie at “There’s something reassuring about contact with an individual [dog or cat] whose every display of emotion you can trust to be genuine… That’s when I realize something about the whole You Give More Than You Get theory. It isn’t necessarily a warm fuzzy feeling or that satisfying I’ve-done-something-nice-for-someone sensation. It’s an accessible, real perspective that only truly comes into focus in the darkest moments.”

Speaking to an animal’s soul at a rescue is something that happens every day that you are there, and I am in tears as I write this post right now.

I recall the faces and places I’ve seen and been; I recall the conditions of some of the rescues I’ve seen and of some of the animals who just can’t be helped yet because they are too feral or too afraid. Volunteering speaks to animals’ souls in that emotional way…

A rescue kitty at the Purina Pet Project Event I volunteered at

Volunteering speaks to an animal’s soul physiologically by calming them down and lowering their blood pressure – it’s scientifically proven. A human’s presence alone in the room or at the helm of the leash or at the front of the cat cage or in the cattery lets them know you’re there for THEM. It tells them it’s safe for now, it tells their souls that someone cares and someone loves them.

Just this past weekend I had an experience where I knew I had helped an animal on a higher level than just physically.

We had been watching Lionel, a feline-leukemia-positive kitten for weeks. We had brought him special toys because he gets the zooms. We had been flowering him with gifts and special attention to bring him around. He would lie in your arms and purr for as long as you were willing to hold him. We fed him, cleaned him up, cleaned his area, and more.

I started doing research on feline leukemia and talked to my vet . I desperately wanted to bring Lionel home and give him a real life for however long that would be… (feline leukemia positive kitties only live a few years usually…) I found out that he could spread the disease to my other vaccinated kitties though through grooming and saliva so it would be impossible to bring him home.

I was desperate.

I had my Dad build him a 7-foot play tower with wings and toys dangling. It’s awesome! (See picture to right)

We went into the shelter just on Sunday and found out by some miracle of God, Lionel got adopted by a lady who had another leukemia-positive kitty in her home. She saw Lionel, and after the work we had done with him to make him more appealing and adoptable, she fell in love with him at first sight just like we did. So Lionel will live out his years in a home now instead of a shelter where he had no friends and a bare-bones living  situation.

You can speak to an animal’s soul anytime you volunteer. You never know how it’s affecting the animal on a higher level – but it does.

So get out  there and start volunteering with animals today! You’ll be making a difference on a higher level for them and also rewarding yourself :)


Adopting a Neglected or Abused Pet

Posted on November 21st, 2011

When a local animal shelter rescues an animal from an abusive or neglectful living situation, there is often a large movement from the public to get it adopted into a loving home. It is not uncommon to see shelters setting up adoption clinics in malls and pet stores, and it’s hard to pass by without stopping to pet an adorable cat or dog in need. While many people want to take these animals in and shower them with love, the new owners of a formerly abused pet must be prepared to care for their pet’s lingering, and potentially permanent, psychological damage.

Your first reaction when hearing about a case of animal neglect or cruelty may be to adopt the pet to give it the life it deserves, but reports that potential adopters must ask themselves whether they truly want a pet, or are simply acting out of sympathy. If you don’t actually want a pet, but do want the best for the abused animals, it may be best to make a donation to the animal shelter or write to legislators in support of anti-cruelty bills.

Some people are fit to be pet parents to a formerly abused animal. If you’re ready to handle the responsibility, there are health and behavioral issues that you should be on the lookout for. Whether intentionally physically harmed by its previous owner or severely neglected, your new dog or cat may suffer numerous medical problems that may require special veterinary attention. Specialty pet meds such as digestive aids or cures for respiratory medications, may be necessary to treat common ailments experienced by animals left in abusive situations. Owners should be prepared for these costs and the potential need to administer certain veterinary care themselves when needed.

Many rescue cats and dogs have been deprived of food and water for a long time, which can lead to the development of eating disorders. They may gulp down their food quickly and throw it up, or refuse to eat in front of anyone. Check with your vet to make sure there are no underlying diseases affecting your new pet’s appetite. You may need to give small portions of food over an extended period of time to help your pet eat at a normal pace.

The psychological effects of abuse are some of the worst, and can cause a dog or cat to be forever timid, so it probably will not be possible to conduct normal activities such as walks in crowded areas. Animals in abusive situations are usually deprived of proper socializing opportunities with other animals, so special care must be taken to restrain unsocialized dogs since they may run away and act in fear. Reassure your new pet that its new home is a happy and safe one by rewarding positive behavior with treats.

Ensure that you’re prepared to take the proper steps to care for a special needs pet before you find yourself in a situation where you feel overwhelmed by the responsibility. With time and patience, you’ll find that these pets can make a great addition to your household.

Jackie is a writer for 1-800-PetMeds, and loves to help and support the pet community. You can find PetMeds on Twitter or connect with PetMeds on Facebook.
Please check out the Administrator’s previous posts on taking in a formerly abused or neglected pet, too!
Thanks:)’s 4th Annual Pet‘Net Event Coming Up Nov. 16th: Bloggers Raising Awareness of Adoption

Posted on November 12th, 2011

♥This Year’s Event to Shine a Light on Pet Adoption!

On November 16, 2011,, the premier site for pet owners and pet enthusiasts, will host its 4th Annual Pet ‘Net Event to

raise awareness of pet adoption.

Check out my 2010 Pet Net post here, my 2009 0ne here, and the first one in 2008 here... to read ALL past blog posts for Pet ‘Net Events, click here!

I’ve been a part of this esteemed group since the first year! I have great respect and admiration for not only the folks over at, but also for my fellow Pet Net bloggers. I’ve been lucky enough to write beside and in partnership with such beloved and leading bloggers as Caroline G. of Romeo the Cat. We’ve written about pet safety, pet rescue and more. This year we’re going back to our roots and posting about pet adoption we all know this is a topic that cannot be publicized, featured on TV, written about, talked about, or blogged about enough:)

But this year’s event is bigger than ever, and features:

- a comprehensive hub page of adoption-related articles from the web’s very best pet-bloggers

- a social media donation campaign to engage the pet community at large

- a blogger competition with the winner receiving a $500 donation from Petside to the shelter of their choice’s Pet ‘Net Event maintains its commitment to educate people and honor the pets who love them. While revisiting its inaugural topic from 2008, The 2011 Pet ‘Net Adoption Event marks the first in a partnership with IAMS on a social media donation campaign.

Calls to action on Twitter this year will yield food donations as part of Iams Home 4 the Holidays Bags 4 Bowls initiative. For all information related to the social media donation campaign, please visit IAMS has been holding Home for the Holidays for decades and has made such a huge imprint on the issues of homeless animal populations, shelter donations, food donations and more. The program is championed by Helen Woodward Animal Center President, Mike Arms, my personal hero. is ranked among the top 5 Pet Websites & offers unique editorial features, expert Q&A’s, tools and how-to videos. And, they are a great resource for all types of information on all types of animals. carefully and personally (or corporate-ly??? lol) chooses the bloggers who represent their quest to inform the animal-loving public about related issues, and thus, participate in each yearly event, so please be sure to stop by and check it out next Wednesday :)

Don’t forget:

Franklin Smith, from Ohio Basset Rescue, survived appalling conditions at a puppy mill before his rescue.

WHEN:       Wednesday, November 16, 2011                    

WHERE: and

Next Wednesday when I post, I will give you a list of the other bloggers involved! 

And…. just as a little teaser, on my blog, you will be hearing a very special adoption story — and an adoption angle not often taken. I will be telling, at length, the story of Franklin Smith, the rescue Basset Hound who is a former puppy mill stud. My sister and I (and her man at the time) drove three hours to go visit him & ended up taking him home after he got along with our other Basset, Henry the Horrible.(You gotta’ click on that link and read about Henry– he is a devil dog, counter-surfer, howler, squawker dog!)

Franklin went from surviving day to day in a hellish cage not even big enough for him to stand in — to living in my sister’s free, fun and fabulous, no-rules home environment where he is wholly loved and absolutely cherished…for the first year-and-a-half I was the dog-sitter, coming about twice a week spending about 5 hours a night.

Franklin, though so happy that you would think he actually forgot his atrocious beginnings (!!), still faces a long road, and big bumps (for sure) and debilitating detours may still remain…


Chossing the Right Rescue Dog For Your Family: Pet Net Family Event

Posted on November 23rd, 2010

* This story is being written for’s Pet Net Family Event, today, November 23rd. Check us all out at and through hashtag #petnet


Many rescuers know what some potential families might not yet know… adopting a dog is a lot of work. Throw a history of abuse or neglect into that mix and you’ve got a year-long battle on your hands… possibly longer.

Introducing a rescue pet to the family is a lot of work, particularly if children are involved. Let’s make something clear right now: if you want to adopt a dog and you have YOUNG CHILDREN (under age 8), you should  NOT be considering a formerly abused pet by any means.

Sometimes children poke and prod at dogs and one with a hurtful past may snap. Thus, it’s generally not the dog’s fault in circumstances like this, but the dog will ultimately be blamed and hence, returned to the shelter, making his life even more unworth living to him.

Also, remember: there are no bad dogs, just bad owners.

Here are the five steps to choosing the right rescue dog for your family.

Choosing the Right Dog

Almost every dog in a shelter can provide you with unconditional love and companionship, and every dog deserves a lifelong, loving home. But some dogs are better for your lifestyle than others. That’s why you should take the time to make a thoughtful choice. After all, you’re choosing your best friend who’ll be by your side for years to come here! Select the right dog and and you and your new companion will enjoy those years to the fullest!

What’s the Best Size and Temperment?

A dog’s size, exercise requirements, friendliness, assertiveness and compatibility with children should all figure into your decision. An active, energetic dog might catch your eye, but perhaps a quiet and more reserved, relaxed one would be easier for you to care for. Also, a dog who likes to be touched and is not sensitive to handling or loud noises (or lots of noise) will do better in a house full of kids. Find the most laid-back dog you can for young children. See here for a list of good dogs with children.

Should We Get a Puppy or a Dog?

Puppies require MUCH more training than adult dogs. More supervision, too. If you lack the time or patience to  properly housetrain a dog, or to correct problems like chewing and jumping on company, or if your children are too young to do so, an adult dog is a better choice than a rambunctious puppy!

Do We Want a Purebred or Mutt-i-Gree?

Purebred dogs generally conform to a breed standard set by the AKC (which is not a legitimate group, search AKC below and read why). Often, the standard results in cruel medical problems for the dog to be honest, hip dysplasia, heart disease, back problems, diabetes, and more are all typical problems associated with certain breeds. Mixed breeds, or “mutt-i-greeds” are combinations of different breeds. If you recognize the lineage of a particular mutt, you have a great chance of knowing how he’ll turn out plus clues to his temperment, full size and habits.

What To Keep in Mind When Visiting a Shelter With the Family

Counselors and adoption agents will be available no matter which shelter you go to, all to help your family choose the perfect dog. Remember, a shelter is an unfamiliar place for any animal and chances are it’s not their fault they wound up there. (Remember what I said earlier about bad owners?) If you walk past a dog  that seems aloof or unfriendly, DO NOT DISMISS THE DOG. He is sad. Or maybe he’s frightened or really lonely. Imagine if you were him! Ask the agent to let you visit with the dog in a quieter part of the shelter. If your family likes the dog, be sure you do a home trial for 24 hours after visiting with the dog several times at the shelter with all kids in toe.

Rid Ohio of Puppy Mills in Amish Country: Sign Ohio Petition to Establish Legislation

Posted on October 18th, 2010

Ban Puppy Mills in Ohio

Sign Petition to Ban Puppy Mills in Ohio FOR GOOD

Now is really time for me to launch my Be The Change Campaign, thank you very much Caroline, Tom and Yvonne at BlogPaws (and Romeo). Not only am I raising a ton of money for IAMS, but I’m launching a personal crusade to ban dog auctions and Amish puppy mills in Ohio.

Then I’ll be petitioning for felony punishments for animal abusers as it’s pretty sick that last week a guy killed a kitten by beating it with a bat to show off to his 13-yr-old girlfriend — HE GOT GROUNDED and Anger Mgmt.

It’s time Bad Breeders and Amish Country Millers STOPPED Abusing Animals, Selling and Buying at Dog Auctions, and Profiting Off Severe Animal Abuse and Neglect. PETLAND Needs to GET with the Times Too.

This should be illegal; and Ohio is so archaic in animal treatment, we are one of only FOUR STATES WHERE ANIMAL ABUSE IS STILL A LOW MISDEMEANOR.

Petition Targeting: The Governor of OH, The OH State Senate, and The OH State House

Petition Author, Creator: Jaime Lynn Smith

There are over 100,000 dogs, stud males, puppies and continually pregnant female dogs living in cramped metal cages right now in central and parts of southern and western Ohio. These dogs do not know what the inside of a house feels like. They’ve never been out of their cages.

In the Happy Tails Books publication ofDog Blessed; Puppy Mill Survivor Storiesyou can read true stories of puppy mill owners’ disdain, hatred, annoyance, lack of compassion and piss poor attitudes towards dogs (they’re no better than dog fighters or rapists), and see how the rescued dogs healed. You also hear sad stories of millers drowning or starving dogs so they don’t waste a bullet. Then there’s the story of the puppy mill dog Ruby my sister and I tried to save three years ago.

My  sister Ash never got over it and awhile back she started working with Ohio Basset Rescue. We saved a Basset Hound former puppy mill stud (he was used for breeding for days on end). He was terrified of everything and took over 6 months to rehabilitate.

  • He wouldn’t walk on a leash

    ohio amish mill dog lost 8 teeth after rescue, and a leg

  • let us put a collar on
  • didn’t know what a bone or biscuit or toy or stuck was
  • always had his tail between his legs
  • whined and cowered like he’d be beat at loud noises
  • he wouldn’t walk up the stairs
  • didn’t know what dinnertime was
  • he had no clue how to eat out of a dog dish.
  • He followed us everywhere and was timid and terrified
  • He liked to be alone and hidden behind the shed in the backyard

IT WAS HEART BREAKING.   Don’t let this happen to another dog.

Puppy mill dogs are often sold at dog auctions, which IS on the November ballot this year for eradication. These dog auctions severly perpetuate the puppy mill problem by putting loads of money intothe hands of the cruel Amish people whostatistically raise OVER 80 percent of the puppy mill farms in Ohio.

This must be stopped. Please sign the petition so we can get an issue on the ballot in November of 2012.

deplorable indoor miil in amish country ohio

Yes, we have lots of time, but we’re going to need at least 750,000 signatures.

A “puppy mill” is a facility that continuously breeds female dogs and then houses the females and their puppies in deplorable conditions. Inadequate food, water, sanitation, year-round exposure to the elements and dilapidated housing are commonplace.

As everyone re-convenes for a new session of legislation, I want to talk with you about an issue that is very important to me as a tax-payer and citizen of Ohio.                   

a sick mill pup we "borrowed" undercover & couldn't save...

I don’t know how familiar you are with Puppy Mills, but our state has become fertile ground for the “commercial pet breeding industry” because we do not have any laws or regulations to govern these facilities.

We have one USDA rep for every, like, 55 mills and “hobby breeders” and they are so lax on rules that they get paid for letting fines rest and be forgotten if they get paid in alcohol and gas money et al I’d believe.

Furthermore, we do not have enough manpower at the USDA to actually enforce the laws that are broken every day by these heartless criminals who neglect and often abuse the animals. An internal audit by the USDA’s Inspector General’s office found serious problems with the USDA department responsible for keeping breeders in compliance with the Animal Welfare Act.

Tell Petland to Stop Selling Live Animals and Start Supporting Rescue

Puppy mills are the epitome of cruelty to animals. Do we want Ohio to be associated with that? Between our fantastic colleges and universities, our top-of-the-line healthcare systems, and our gorgeous seasons and miles upon miles of national parks, I think not.

malnourished and starved mill dog who soon after rescue passed:(

Milllers, particularly in Amish Country where it has been (undercover) reported that a whopping 80 percent of mills exist there, keep helpless, sick, dying, idle dogs in tiny chicken wire cages with barely any food or water, no veterinary care, and no human contact – except when they are yelled at to be quiet. Millers OVER-breed these animals until they cannot produce anymore, then they simply throw them away, let them loose to run and die in the frigid winter air, or suffer an even worse fate.

In a state founded on high morals and values, this is a absolute atrocity. Animals, at the very least, should be respected and cared for in a compassionate way. And of course they are not equal to humans, but they have no voice and furthermore, no choice.

While other states like Pennsylvania and Virginia are passing laws and increasing regulations to reform this dreadful puppy mill industry and to advocate animal welfare, Ohio’s SEVERELY outdated and inadequate statutes have not changed, so we have become an even bigger magnet for this cruelty. We have stores like Petland making a mockery out of 9 week old puppies when an employee thought it was funny to drown them.

Ohio needs laws NOW to stop this cruel, horrifying treatment.

Make Your Voice Heard!

Currently, Illinois is proposing legislation to help deter the puppy mill industry. It is called Chloe’s Bill, and, among other things, seeks to limit the number of unaltered dogs a breeder can own. According to, the bill will:

Missouri is also looking to pass Prop B this November. Missouri has more puppy mills than any other state—and it’s very likely that a puppy from a Missouri mill is lying in a cage at a pet store near you, at this very moment. Proposition B will help these dogs by reforming Missouri’s puppy mills, but the measure won’t pass without your help.

A Veterinarian’s Prognosis For Stopping Puppy Mill Cruelty: Just last week the YesonPropB website posted an interview from A Humane Nation, Wayne Pacelle’s blog: Veterinarian Deanna Tolliver DVM, talks about why she thinks it’s such a good idea for voters in Missouri to support Prop B.

“There are 3,000 dog breeding facilities in Missouri that churn out hundreds of thousands of puppies a year as a cash crop for the pet trade. Too often, the dogs are kept in cruel and inhumane conditions, denied inadequate shelter, veterinary care, or any human kindness.”

From Deanna Tolliver, DVM:

“As a veterinarian, I took an oath to protect animal health and relieve animal suffering. Unfortunately, as a veterinarian in Missouri, I have witnessed the worst kind of suffering in dogs from puppy mills—rotten and infected teeth, mammary gland tumors, ear and skin diseases, overgrown toenails that curl into foot pads, and coats matted so heavily that the animals could barely walk. Most of these conditions result from years of neglect and could have been prevented or treated with proper veterinary care.”

“Prop B would require large, commercial breeding facilities to provide dogs with sufficient food and clean water; necessary veterinary care; adequate living space, shelter and exercise; and essential rest between breeding cycles. It would also prohibit the use of wire kennel flooring and stacked cages.

Let's Welcome All Mill Dogs to a New Life...

The measure would also limit the number of adult breeding dogs that facilities can keep to 50 (it does not apply to breeders with 10 or fewer intact female dogs). Since each female dog is capable of producing up to five or more puppies per litter, a breeder could still sell roughly 200 to 400 puppies a year, with a potential income exceeding $100,000—much greater than that of most families in Missouri.

The recent rescue of more than 100 dogs from two operations in Camden and Greene counties undoubtedly confirms that Missouri has an ongoing problem with many of its 3,000 mass puppy-production facilities. The Better Business Bureau, the USDA Office of the Inspector General and the Missouri state auditor all released recent reports detailing insufficient oversight of our puppy mill industry and the grave suffering it causes—both for the dogs and for their future families.”

dirty mill dog we couldnt save

Dozens of veterinarians from all parts of the state have endorsed the ballot measure.

At mills, dogs are crammed into small and filthy cages, denied veterinary care, exposed to extremes of heat and cold, and given no exercise or human affection.  These puppy mills are cruel and the way these dogs are treated is wrong.I surely hope that since we voted lawmakers into office that they take heed this winter, and at least discuss legislation to be introduced to stop the suffering of these innocent dogs.

And THANK GOD AND THE FATHER OF ALL ANIMALS for Mary O’Connor Shaver and all she’s personally doing to get Dog Auctions Banned on the November Ballot, all while running Columbus Top Dogs &

A paralyzed Papillion from years in a cramped cold cage

Please support any legislation of its kind, and please know you have my support if you’d like to help, more information, to volunteer or to lobby or help at petition events.

Let’s not allow Ohio to be the kind of state that follows — let us be the kind of state who LEADS! Let’s make changes to how we treat our animals TODAY.


Sign the Stop Puppy Mills Pledge (courtesy HSUS)

Puppy mills are large scale operations that force breeder dogs to produce litter after litter to support consumer demand for puppies.

These puppies are sold in pet stores or over the Internet, storefronts that mask the suffering, disease, malnutrition, and loneliness of puppy mills. Even the puppies themselves are prone to a variety of illnesses. Some die within days or weeks of purchase.

Most people are unaware that when they buy a puppy from a pet store, via the Internet, or any place they have not visited in person, they are often supporting a cruel and inhumane industry.

By choosing not to buy your next pet or any pet supplies from retail stores or Internet sites that sell dogs or cats, you are directly helping to end this cycle of cruelty.

Please sign the pledge to stop puppy mills by filling out and submitting your information below.

I will do my part to help stop puppy mills. I pledge to help end this cycle of cruelty by:

  • Choosing not to buy my next pet from a pet store or Internet site

  • Refusing to buy supplies from any pet store or Internet site that sells puppies

Thank you for your time.

Jaime L Smith, Administrator/Author/Owner/Advocate
Cleveland Pet Rescue Examiner
Board of Directors: Up For Pups

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