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?
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.
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.
We all know that a dog’s sense of smell is many times more powerful than a human’s. Not only do they have more scent receptors in their noses, but the part of the brain that analyzes scent is much larger in dogs as well. We’ve put dogs to work because of their great sense of smell for hundreds of years…but what about a little bit of fun with smell too?
Modern Dog magazine has put together a great list of scent games you can play with your dog. Here are a few simple ways to engage your dog’s sense of smell. Be sure to check out the article for full details and more games HERE.
Hide treats around the house: Place treats in different places that your dog can find by accident. You can mix up the hiding locations and types of treats you use. For even more fun, hide a treat-filled food dispensing or puzzle toy.
Play “pick the hand”: Put a tempting treat in one of your hands and place both hands out (loose fist, palms down). Move your hands back and forth and let your dog find the treat. Praise your dog when you open your hand and give him the treat.
Play hide and seek games: You can play the classic hide and seek game with your dog both indoors and outdoors. Your dog will use her sense of smell to find you. Make sure you have a reward ready when she does.
The “shell game”: Hiding a treat under one of a group of cups and then moving them around is a canine take on the old shell game. You can increase the number of cups as your dog gets better at finding the treat.
Make scent trails: Put a scent your dog likes on a ball (a small amount of chicken fat, peanut butter, or even essential oils) and play with it. Then begin hiding the ball and putting the scent down in a trail (you can use small pieces of paper) leading to the toy. Then try removing the trail and have your dog find the ball on his own.
San Diego Pets Magazine has chosen FACE grantee Edwin Rivers and his dog Myles for their 2016 Animal Impact Award! Edwin and Myles share a very special bond, and we are proud to be a part of their heartwarming story.
Edwin was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after his military service during Operation Desert Storm in 1990-91. Edwin received treatment for his PTSD, but nothing made more of a positive impact than when he got a 9 month old shepherd mix named Myles. Edwin took Myles in for a friend who could no longer care for him. Myles soon became a comforting presence in his life and helped ease the symptoms of his PTSD.
In 2015, Myles fell and broke his femur. He needed emergency surgery that Edwin could not afford, as he was on a fixed income. The recommended alternative was euthanasia. Edwin reached out to FACE and received a grant for the life-saving operation for Myles. Myles has now fully recovered and Edwin has become a great advocate for FACE, volunteering and speaking about how he and Myles made such a positive impact on each other’s lives.
Don’t forget to use the hashtag #stoppuppymills on your social media accounts and spread the word about alternative ways to find a new puppy…especially adoption!…besides pet stores and online ads. The HSUS estimates that 2 million puppies are born into mills each year. We can help reduce that number.
The campaign has created a very moving video featuring kids talking about where puppies come from which can serve as a great learning tool for anyone interested in educating the next generation about puppy mills:
You probably remember the viral video from a while back of a young boy who would jump off his bike and run into his neighbor’s garage to give their dog a big hug. The video charmed everyone who saw it, and now there’s a heartwarming update to the story. This adorable animal lover now has his own dog to love!
9 year-old Josh Breaux of Louisiana began to visit his neighbor’s pup not long after the family dog he had since he was 2 passed away. Josh’s mom explained that they were hesitating to get another dog right away, and Josh was definitely missing his canine cuddle buddy. (His mom reports that she and Josh’s sister were dog huggers too!)
After the video went viral, the family was contacted by many people looking to give Josh a dog. As this story from ABC News shows, Josh finally got his very own puppy! A 3 month-old black lab named Drake became Josh’s new canine sibling. Drake came from a family in the neighborhood whose son just went away to college…so, a very happy ending for both Josh and Drake!