Posts Tagged ‘pets’

How To Spot Animal Abuse In Your Community

Posted on August 17th, 2012

Today we’re looking at a difficult subject: animal abuse.

It’s often hard to spot the signs of animal abuse, as we can put a lot of tell-tale signs down to a pet’s personality, or illness or simple paranoia on our part.

What’s important to remember, though, is if someone is investigated for animal abuse and there’s no evidence that abuse is taking place, nothing bad happens (and you can report possible abuse anonymously) – whilst if someone is allowed to continue abusing their animal, a wonderful and loving pet could die before they find the equally wonderful and loving owner they deserve.

So long as you report suspected abuse to the relevant authorities, rather than trying to enforce justice yourself, there is very little that can go wrong.

Here are the most obvious signs of animal abuse.

5. Extremely Skinny Animals

‘Abuse’ isn’t just a term reserved for physical harm; failing to provide your pet with an adequate diet is equally life-threatening! If an animal looks undernourished, it is suffering.

This might not even be something the owner is aware of. Aging cats that once caught some of their own food might not be able to fend for themselves so well, and pets of all kinds that develop dental problems will lose weight fairly rapidly.

Weight loss might also be due to an illness. Look for additional environmental factors, such as being tied outside in the same spot every day, or an abnormally large number of other pets in the same household.

4. Obvious Confusion and Disorientation

Animals that are confused and disorientated are much more likely to be suffering from abuse right now than animals who are timid or aggressive.

Timidity and aggression can be lifelong reactions to abuse at an early age. Although tragic, these features might not be the owner’s responsibility.

Confusion and disorientation, though, are symptomatic of undernourishment, untreated illness and a lack of appropriate stimuli in the animal’s environment.

3. Weakness or Awkward Gait

An awkward gait, or significant weakness, often shows up very late.

As always, it’s important to remember that this could be due to illness or old age, but if the animal looks young, and if the animal shows confusion and disorientation or is very bony, then the possibility of animal abuse is very real.

If an animal looks like it’s struggling to get around and its owner doesn’t seem particularly bothered, or never seems to be around, it might be worth reporting.

2. Absent Owners

If there are signs that an owner is rarely present, such as lights that never come on or off regardless of time of day, or the animal in question is always seen in the same place – for example, always tied up in the garden – this could constitute neglect.

There may have been a misunderstanding but owners should not be away from their pets for more than a few days at a time, and obviously ideally they should avoid even that! In fact, young puppies shouldn’t even be left alone for more than a few hours on end.

Absent owners might lead to serious health problems, dehydration and starvation.

Image by Graeme Law

1. Visible Wounds

Of course, the number one sign is visible wounds. It sounds obvious, but people often don’t think of abuse even when they see signs like this.

Many of my friends have stories of driving through deprived areas, and seeing signs of poverty such as burnt-out cars, trash dumped in front gardens… and flea-ridden, mangy dogs with scabs all over their bodies.

It often takes a full minute of me staring at them in disbelief before they realize:

“Hey, maybe I should have called someone about that dog, huh?”

_

This is the most important takeaway: it’s easy to see signs of abuse without really seeing them.

It’s our responsibility, and no-one else’s, to report these signs as soon as we see them, to as many authorities as possible.

You may just save a life!

 

Louise Blake writes about animal care for Anicura, which offers a range of pet sprays and shampoos designed to take care of skin conditions such as eczema and mange in pets.

Do’s and Don’ts With Pets This Summer

Posted on July 31st, 2012

We all love to include pets in summer plans and outdoor activities, but it’s important to keep a few safety precautions in mind.

With the season in full swing, take a glance at the following ‘Do’s’ and ‘Don’ts’ on behalf of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT) to help keep our four-legged friends safe and happy!

Do’s

  • Whether hiking, backpacking or traveling, remember to bring plenty of treats and water along for your pets (and yourself)!
  • Road-tripping? Bring Fido along! Include pets in summer travel plans and remember to properly secure them in the car to help avoid driver distraction and keep everyone safe on the road.
  • When walking dogs, try to get out early morning or later in the evening when it’s cooler to help prevent paws from burning on hot pavement.
  • Don’t forget to reward pets for good behavior! Whether you are teaching basic or advanced commands this summer, remember to treat Fido and reinforce the importance of following your orders.

Don’ts

  • Unless you are in a designated area, don’t unleash pets while walking or hiking. For the safety of everyone on the path, make sure dogs are properly and comfortably leashed and by your side at all times.
  • Don’t leave pets outdoors for long periods of time without proper sun protection and safety precautions. Ensure they have plenty of clean and cold water, food, shade and entertainment!
  • Don’t leave pets in the car. Overheating is a serious issue; be sure to look for signs including excessive panting or difficulty breathing.
  • With all the delicious scents in the air during barbeque season, make sure pets stay clear of hot grills and food. Instead, provide dogs with their own tasty treats and kibble.

Top Ten Most Expensive Pets (to Insure…)

Posted on April 24th, 2012

About 62 % of U.S. households own a pet, which equals to 72.9 million pet-owning homes with about 377.4 million pets.

While most pets have to take trips to the vet at some point in their lives, some particular breeds are more prone to ailments and diseases than others and need more expensive or frequent medical treatments.

PetInsuranceComparison’s new infographic “The Top Ten Most Expensive Pets” reveals which pets are high maintenance and rack up the highest vet bills in the course of a year.
Pet Insurance Comparison

(Petinsurancecomparison.net is a service which provides information about pet insurance and pet insurance-related topics.)

Top Ten “Mean Things Owners Do to Their Pets…” Written By a Real Blockhead!

Posted on January 15th, 2012

I was asked politely to post this — and I agreed…

… but I stipulated that I will not be endorsing the author’s point of view.

This post is about (supposed) “mean” things” that pet owners do their animals; some are plain old silly, some are natural, & some, I have no idea why the author wrote what she did…I’m not even giving the link juice out…

I do agree with a few – the actual mean one or two that are in here… the others, well, I just want my readers to see how bat-shit-crazy people are sometimes, and the things they will write to get attention and for the sake of controversy. (Trust me, ThoughtsFurPaws doesn’t need it).

You will notice that after some of these points I have listed a “point” of my own opinion…

Here goes:

“The relationship between a person and their pet is a powerful one, but every once in a while, pet owners take their love to a … new level of absurdity … downright meanness. Even seemingly innocent activities like pushing a cat in a stroller or putting bows in a dog’s hair can be torturous and … cruel. Unless you want your pet to hate you or feel like less of an animal, steer clear of these pet peeves of the pets. (Okay, that’s a cute saying…) Here are the 10 meanest things owners love to do to their pets.”

1. DRESS THEM UP: Today’s pet owners are obsessed with dressing up their dogs and cats in ridiculous costumes and clothing for holidays and virtually any occasion. As if being dressed isn’t humiliating enough, owners have the nerve to take their dressed up pets out in public. Let’s face it: pets hate clothes and accessories, so stop torturing them with such silly costumes.

2. PUT TAPE ON THEIR PAWS: THIS ONE I agree with Pets withstand a lot of humiliation, but one of the meanest things that owners love to do to them is put office or Scotch tape on their paws. Pet owners have a blast watching cats and dogs squirm and stick to the floor with every sticky step. This seemingly innocent prank is actually just plain mean!

** I have seen this and it’s flat-out animal cruelty for one reason – because it SCARES the animal. They dont’ understand and are afraid. I believe that this factor makes this an actual mean thing to do… ***

Per #1, Franklin had a BLAST as Elmo at Halloween being dressed up!

3. WAKE THEM UP: There may be nothing cuter than a curled up kitten or a snoring dog, but that doesn’t mean it’s OK to wake them up when they’re sound asleep. Pet owners have no problem waking their furry friends as they catch some Zs, but we hate it when they do it back. Just like you wouldn’t wake a sleeping baby, you should resist the temptation to wake a sleeping pet.

4. TEASE THEM: Some pet owners are downright mean and love to tease their dogs and cats with toys and treats. You might get a good laugh watching your dog search relentlessly for a ball you never threw, but this kind of teasing can come back to bite you big time. Teasing and play-fighting can cause dogs to become aggressive and disobedient.

*** Special note, the author used the famous 2011 YouTube video, Ultimate Dog Tease for an example of this. That video was NUMBER ONE for the YEAR with MILLIONS of hits, and by no real means even teased the animal…. IT WAS A JOKE LADY

5. PUT CATS ON LEASHES: Let’s say it together: Dogs walk on leashes, not cats. Sadly, there are too many cat owners out there who don’t understand this concept. Cats don’t like leashes and probably never will. If your feline wants to walk with you, they’ll follow you without a leash.

6. MAKE THEM DANCE: Unless your dog is related to the salsa-dancing golden retriever on YouTube, he or she probably doesn’t like to dance. And cats? Forget about it. People love to swing around their pets and make them stand up and dance against their will, but this cruel activity often ends in biting, scratching, and a hatred for dancing.

7. PAINT THEIR NAILS: Some pet owners have taken dog grooming to whole other level of wacky by getting their pooches’ nails primped and polished. And the worst part is male dogs are also at risk of having their nails painted. When will people learn that pets are animals and not dolls?

*** While not mean, I kinda think this is a bit too much, but I think I feel that way becuase I had early over-exposure to it when I lived in The OC. All the seriously wealthy women came into Nordy where I worked with their pimped out Pomeranians… getting manis and pedis and I was shocked because the dogs didn‘t like it… ** If your dog enjoys it – by all means, it’s cute as hell - but if she doesn’t, maybe think twice next time about some large thing coming at you with stinky colored stuff and scissors and clippers…

8. PUT THEM IN STROLLERS AND PURSES: Four-legged creatures are meant to walk, not be strolled or carried by their owners everywhere they go. You might think you’re spoiling your dog or cat by toting them in a stroller or bag, but you’re actually humiliating them and taking away valuable exercise time.

*** Um, how else are you supposed to carry a teacup breed in the 21st century – hee hee???? ****

*** And Im sure any dog who is spoiled enough to get a free ride in a Fendi gets PLENTY of exercise….! ***

9. PUT THEIR EMBARRASING MOMEN TS ON YOUTUBE: Pet owners get a lot of entertainment from watching their dogs and cats every day, but that doesn’t mean you should share their embarrassing moments with the whole world. Pet owners love to videotape their animals playing, sleeping, and making complete fools of themselves and put these moments on YouTube for all to see.

*** Are you a… something not smart??? One of the greatest joys of pet ownership is sharing your fur-baby’s silly antics with other pet-lovers – online or where ever – blockhead. ****

10. TAKE GLAMOUR SHOTS: You may love to take photos of your fur babies, but some people go as far as having them professionally photographed. Although some dogs and cats can sit still for a photo session, most don’t have the patience for stillness, bright lights, and the silly props that come with most pet glamour shots.

Let me know what you think… are these things mean – or are they normal and natural? OR BOTH? What’s your opinion?

And to the original author – please take no offense to me calling you a blockhead; but I disagree and believe this is horse-puckey.

 

 

IAMS Home 4 the Holidays Going Strong… Animals Open NYSE! Progress Amazing!

Posted on January 8th, 2012

In mid-December, IAMS and the Home 4 the Holidays (IH4TH) team helped ring the opening bell at the NYSE with some unspeakably adorable four-legged friends from Bideawee, a rescue organization participating in the program that has several locations in New York…!

IAMS, HWAC and Fur-Babies Open NYSE in December

 

 

According to the website, Bideawee is “a community of compassionate caregivers, volunteers, and friends dedicated to helping people and animals build safe, loving, long-term relationships.”

Anyhow, take a look at the cute pix from the NYSE day – and also, check out the latest information below about the IAMS Home for the Holidays program — its almost done! Our progress is AWESOME and totally noteworthy…

** 1,074,532 pets adopted since Oct. 1, 2011 – Our goal is to help 1.5 million pets get into loving forever homes…

** 4,998,792 meals donated through Bags 4 Bowls since Oct. 1, 2011 – Our goal is to give 5 million

You, as readers, can continue to help spread the word about the importance of pet adoption, and encourage friends to get involved and make a difference for the homeless animals in our country.

Trader Christopher Carella and Mabel, a dog up for adoption through IH4TH

Here are some easy (and fun) ways to help:

Adoption Announcement & Holiday Cards: 

Visit Facebook.com/Iams and share your creation with your friends… meals will be donated to pets in need.

Badges:

Go to the Iams Facebook page to download and share “Paw It Forward” badges touting whether you’ve donated, volunteered or adopted!

♥♥ In case you forgot, IAMS Home for the Holidays is the world-famous adoption program started by Helen Woodward Animal Center (HWAC) and their President, Mike Arms (my personal hero). Since it’s inception, the program has homed over 5.7 million homeless animals. ♥♥

♥♥ For more information, check out HWAC and IAMS. ♥♥