“Humane Puerto Rico” Initiative Gears Up to Save Animals

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The Humane Society of the United States recently announced the creation of their new “Humane Puerto Rico” initiative. Puerto Rico is a commonwealth of the U.S. and according to HSUS, there are many dogs, cats, and other animals there that are in urgent need of help. Did you know that the euthanasia rate for shelter dogs and cats is 95%, and that many thousands of homeless pets roam the streets of this island?

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What will the initiative do? There will be a multi-faceted effort to improve the lives of the animals of Puerto Rico in several areas, including:

  • Training law enforcement officers and prosecutors on animal cruelty crimes.
  • Donating law enforcement evidence-gathering kits.
  • Cracking down on puppy mills.
  • A humane education program that will reach every K-12 public school student.
  • New tools and technology for animal shelters on the island.
  • Partnering with Humane Society International on low-cost spay/neuter programs.

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Puerto Rican government officials signed an agreement pledging their cooperation to help solve critical issues such as animal cruelty, the street dog population, and the euthanasia rate. HSUS notes that many tourists visiting Puerto Rico have been struck by the number of homeless animals in poor condition wandering the streets, and have contacted various organizations to see what can be done.

Interested in learning more about the HSUS Humane Puerto Rico initiative? Click HERE for the original story.  For an update on what’s been going on lately, including a contraception program for the free-roaming horses of Vieques, and the launch of the Sister Shelter Project, in which shelter professionals from several states will provide assistance to Puerto Rican shelters, click HERE.

 

Proposed Legislation Gives Hope to CA Pet Owners Facing Large Vet Bills

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Here’s some good news for California pet parents…a bill introduced by State Assemblyperson Devon Mathis (R-Visalia) seeks to provide assistance to pet owners seeking help for large veterinary expenses. The proposed legislation, Assembly Bill 942, would provide for an income tax credit that would let California pet owners write off half of the money spent on veterinary care, up to $2,000 per year.

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According to an article in the Sacramento Bee, this tax credit would be for dog and cat owners only, and would cover expenses like vaccinations, check-ups, surgery, X-rays, and prescriptions.

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Mathis was inspired to introduce this bill based on the sad fact that pet owners sometimes have to euthanize a seriously sick or injured animal because they cannot afford treatment. The FACE Foundation was founded to end the tragedy of economic euthanasia by providing financial assistance to qualified pet owners for life-saving veterinary care.

We applaud the effort by Assemblyperson Mathis to help end economic euthanasia across California. As he says, “It helps everyone across the state, every family and every pet lover out there.” We couldn’t agree more!

 

Senior Dog Adoption Rate is On the Rise

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Senior dog advocacy group The Grey Muzzle Organization has released the results of a survey on the adoption of senior shelter and rescue dogs. There’s been a growing interest in the adoption of senior dogs over the last few years, and the numbers prove it. Once considered virtually unadoptable, senior shelter dogs (and cats) are now benefitting from a senior pet “trend” across the U.S.

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Why the growing interest in senior dogs? Grey Muzzle reports that more people are open to the idea of adopting an older dog, and they recognize the benefits of bringing a calm, well-trained, and adaptable dog into the family.

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Grey Muzzle provides grants to organizations that assist at-risk senior dogs (including the FACE Foundation!) and they surveyed 30 grant recipients that helped dogs in 2016. Here are the key findings:

  • Two thirds of respondents reported that the situation for homeless senior dogs has improved over the last 2 years.
  • 80% of the respondents said they have seen positive changes in the public’s perception of senior dogs.
  • The majority of senior dog adopters choose older dogs for altruistic reasons…to provide them with a comfortable home for their remaining years.

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  • One half of the respondents said that more younger people are seeking out senior dogs. Social media may be a factor…seeing pictures of dogs they want to help, and also the “trendiness” dynamic.
  • Two thirds of survey respondents report that senior humans are still the most likely adopters of senior dogs, since a low-key pup is just the thing for humans who have slowed down a bit.
  • Most respondents agree that the main factors in not adopting a senior dog are fears of the dog passing away quickly, and also high veterinary bills. Advocates note that the word “senior” can be used for dogs as young as 7. For many, that’s just middle age. As for vet bills, Grey Muzzle notes that they and their grantees (like FACE) provide assistance for veterinary care to qualified pet owners.

 

Dogs and Chocolate Marijuana Edibles: A Toxic Combination

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A recent report in The New York Times highlights a dangerous and increasingly common health threat to our pets (especially dogs) – eating recreational or medical marijuana…and chocolate desserts that contain marijuana. Most pet owners know that they should keep chocolate, a known toxin, away from their animals. But if that chocolate brownie also happens to contain marijuana, your dog could be doubly at risk.

According to the article, consuming marijuana can cause symptoms like lethargy, unsteady gait, urinary incontinence, excessive salivation, and sensitivity to noise, light, and movements. But the ingestion of marijuana alone is rarely fatal. Your vet will induce vomiting and provide extra hydration during recovery. New York City’s Animal Medical Center reports that it treats several cases of pet marijuana poisoning every week.

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Consuming marijuana alone can be harmful enough, but if your dog consumes a chocolate marijuana edible like brownies, the effects could be life-threatening. The director of the ASPCA’s poison control center reports that any canine deaths from marijuana ingestion pretty much always involve the dog consuming chocolate as well.

The toxic component of chocolate, a compound called theobromine (combined with the chocolate’s caffeine) can cause vomiting, diarrhea, thirst, restlessness, increased heart rate, and excessive urination. In serious cases, dogs can experience tremors, seizures, and heart failure. Older dogs with underlying heart conditions can die. As with marijuana poisoning, your vet will induce vomiting and give extra fluids.

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It’s important to keep all forms of marijuana and chocolate out of your curious dog’s reach. When the two are combined into one edible, be especially careful to make sure your dog cannot access this tempting but potentially deadly food.

Rachel Bloom’s Rescue Dog Wiley Has Her Own Talk Show!

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Are you a fan of the show Crazy Ex-Girlfriend? Then you’ve probably seen some commercials during the show featuring Rachel Bloom and her adorable little rescue dog Wiley. Wiley just happens to talk in a voice that kind of sounds like Rachel’s…and when Rachel drops her off at doggy day care, Wiley hosts her own doggy talk show. Here’s a recent video of Wiley doing a show on pet supplies…because sometimes we just need a good laugh!  Enjoy!