Dog art and animal artists have had, in my experience, a long-time relationship with animal shelter fundraisers. Artists have focused on societal ills such as dogs and domestic violence, dogs and breed specific prejudice, but an idea from An Act of Dog was unusual, fresh. To some traditionalists in the shelter world, it is also controversial.
Mark Barone and Marina Dervan, the artist and his partner, are working to protect the lives of animals by ensuring that America’s animal shelters adopt the no kill model. Why? Because when Marina found that 5500 pets were killed every day in shelters across the US, and there was a fully-functioning no kill shelter open admission model saving lives every day, both she and Mark felt compelled to do something. That something turned out to be a big idea: Continue reading →
Bleh-Bleh-Bleh, it’s Halloween! Yes, you will be scared of Steve Dale when you watch this clip, but you’ll be even more excited by all the great costumes available for pets this season! Miss Meowsky, of Barker & Meowsky in Chicago, dropped by the studio to tell Steve about all of the fun you can have dressing your dogs (and cats) for Halloween this season. You can dress your dog up as a crayon, a skunk, a can of beer, even bacon! Besides seeing some of the best costumes, we also have pet safety tips to keep your pets safe this Halloween — in their costumes, around the candy, and when the doorbell starts ringing like crazy. And here’s a question for you: When some dogs *look* humiliated in costumes or clothes, do you think they really are?
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Imagine the horror of having your beloved dog run away from home. What would you do? How would you go about finding him?
According to statistics from the National Council on Pet Population, only 15 percent of dogs (and 2 percent of cats!) that enter animal shelters are reunited with their owners. That’s a pretty dismal number. And that’s assuming that your pet actually makes it to a shelter. Unfortunately, there are many other dangers in the great outdoors that can injure or kill an unsuspecting animal.
Even worse may be never knowing what happened to a missing pet that is never located. Wondering whether your dog is still alive, whether he’s living in someone else’s home, whether he’s being fed and cared for or forced to fend for himself, whether he’s feeling frightened and alone. Those are tough thoughts for a dog owner to swallow.
Unfortunately, that type of scenario plays out all too often. In fact, that’s exactly what happened to Mel Freer of No Dog About It when her canine companion, Lady, ran away. Mel was horrified and in tears. But she found a great source in Tammy Humphries of Lost Dog – MN to turn to for help.
In the interview below, Mel shares her experience dealing with her missing pet and Tammy offers some great tips and suggestions for helping to find a missing pet. She also talks about some of the things you should do now, before a crisis occurs, in order to be prepared in the event of an unexpected escape. I think you’ll find the interview enlightening.
Getting a puppy is a lot like having a baby. You can spend hours just gazing at their adorable faces. Strangers stop you in the street to coo over them. But then there’s the mess, the constant need for attention, the systematic destruction of your home… I should know. I often like to joke that I have three children. There are the two sons I gave birth to and then there’s my ‘problem eldest child’ – a naughty cocker spaniel called Alfie.
Alfie came on the scene a year before the kids. On the plus side, a year in his company made having children seem easy. On the minus side, trying to deal with a newborn and an excitable one-year-old dog barely out of the puppy stage would have frazzled the nerves of Mother Theresa. Continue reading →
There were billions of Menhaden running from Nova Scotia to Maine, down the East Coast and all around the Florida Panhandle over 150 years ago, and 100 different companies processing them to replace whale fat. While considerably smaller today at around 12″ per adult fish, each Menhaden filters four gallons of water a minute at the lowest estimate, 7 gallons at the highest. Clean water is important, but even more so is the staving off of an ecosystem collapse.
Menhaden eat algae (phytoplankton) which prevents algal blooms. We know algal blooms causes dead zones in bodies of water. Getting sunlight to beneficial plants at the bottom of the ocean to receive those life-giving properties is another outcome of Menhaden’s clean-up job. As Menhaden eat the algae they become rich with omega 3 fatty acids and are a fine and tasty meal for dozens of fish we eat, and several species of birds. And it’s because of the Omega 3s that their fate seems sealed – industry is hungry for cheap sources of Omega 3s for vitamins, cosmetics and other items.
H. Bruce Franklin, noted cultural historian and Professor at Rutgers, joins us today and relates a little history, a little culture, and a lot about the impact on the future of the fish we eat and the water we fish from and drink. The Professor said there is one hope. The thing about Menhaden, he said, is their fecundity – they spawn all over the place and the numbers are a protection, at least until they start schooling. If we give them a chance, they’ll come back. That is a very big “if.” They need Federal protection. You can see more of Professor Franklin’s work at his home page. Enjoy the interview. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Amazon CARES’ no kill shelter was engulfed by 6′ of torrential rain, the worst seen in Peru in 25 years. Molly Mednikow, Founder and Executive Director of the lone organization working in the region to protect and assist domestic animals, said her heart sank as she watched the waters quickly rise to cover the spacious kennels that took so long to build. Molly imagined seven years of the difficult work of social change being swept into the Amazon. That was a moment. It is never more clear what stuff you are made of than when disaster erupts.
For those who don’t know Molly or Amazon CARES beyond the no kill status and rainforest location, we talked briefly about what drove her to make such a drastic change in her life. She moved away from a successful Atlanta business to live in Peru and change people’s minds about street dogs. She opened a modern veterinary clinic in Iquitos to perform free spay/neuter to help stem teaming populations from overrunning the streets.
Relating details about Amazon CARES Humane Education program, Molly offered that volunteers are in the schools in town and surrounding villages every day teaching how to care for, respect and have compassion for animals. You take note of what she is saying not only because of the value of the programs, but because of the passion in her voice and the persistence of her actions.
Molly has had a grant from Humane Society International for her Humane Education program, Best Friends volunteers have visited, and Brigitte Bardot’s Foundation recently sent a grant that will help Amazon CARES start again. Many individuals have donated, and help is crucial right now. If I had to bet, I would put my money on who I’ve now come to think of as the unsinkable Molly Mednikow.