Apologies and Well Wishes

While my commitment to and belief in No Kill has not wavered in the slightest, I’ve been unable to keep this blog updated due to lots of other writing commitments. I hate to disappoint readers, as I know y’all are committed animal lovers looking to stay updated on the progress of the movement!

So while this blog may no longer be a source of current No Kill info, there are plenty of others which are. Please, keep reading the work of Nathan Winograd, Ryan Clinton, John Sibley and others like them. They’re fighting the good fight, and No Kill will prevail.

Until next time – peace, love and furry kisses forever.

Posted in Shelter Issues | Leave a comment

Ridiculous Pit Bull Ban Proposal Pulled in Broward; Submit Your Cute Pibble Pics

So thanks to the ignorant chatter of one Barbara Sharief (vice mayor of the Broward County Commission) there was a lot of talk recently about introducing a pit bull ban in Miami’s neighbor to the north.

pit bull

This was wrong for more reasons than I can possibly list, including the categorical failure of these bans nationwide, the fact that Florida state law prohibits BSL (Miami’s was grandfathered in), the unnecessary cost to taxpayers, the fact that pibbles are absolutely sweet, adorbs and LESS aggressive than other breeds – and just plain stupidity. LUCKILY, Sharief pulled her proposal, but not after igniting public hysteria. Sorry lady, but we love our pit bull babies.

The least our overpaid public officials could do would be to invest in a little research before they start running their mouths.

Anyway, in the midst of all this absurdity, the Broward New Times wants to focus on the cuteness. Amen to that. So please send your pibble pictures to alex.rodriguez@miaminewtimes.com. Only one email with fewer than five pictures, please.

So let’s all toast to the awwwwww-inspiring pibbles of South Florida. Don’t worry pups, we won’t let these Cruella de Vil-wannabes get you!

Posted in Shelter Issues | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

When Rescuers Do It the Wrong Way

If there’s one thing shelter pets need, it’s HOMES. They don’t need overly zealous protectors or “good intentions.” Remember, the road to hell is paved with good intentions…

Sadly, far too many shelters and rescue groups turn away potential pet parents for all the wrong reasons, based on just such “good intentions.”

While I am a die-hard advocate for spay/neuter, and see absolutely no need for dogs or cats to breed – EVER, I also think that when rescues turn away people who feel otherwise, they do the animals an injustice.

Recently, a family I know attempted to adopt a second dog. They have one dog, and she’s not spayed. While I disagree with their choice not to spay her, they are extremely responsible owners, and love their current dog dearly. They’ve even considered breeding her because of her exceptional personality (which I also disagree with, but I digress, that’s my personal opinion). This week, they found another dog they like, a female who’s already spayed, and put in an application for adoption.

They were categorically denied due to the fact that they have an un-spayed dog in their home. Granted, both dogs are females, and the other one is already spayed – so it’s not a matter of risk.

In response to the rejection, the family sent a polite, but disappointed response email, expressing their confusion as to the decision. The group wrote back, in a not-so-pleasant manner, and it turned into a nasty, mean-spirited email chain.

In the long run, this group has absolutely alienated a loving, responsible family. That family will go elsewhere for an animal. They won’t buy one (I’ll help them choose otherwise), but they will manage to adopt one from elsewhere. And they’ll come away from the situation with an extremely negative view of rescue groups. Not to mention the fact that the group was spouting inaccurate, overplayed, “irresponsible public” language about pet overpopulation.

Who did this situation help? An animal lost the chance at a loving home, and the family will forever speak negatively about this particular rescue group. By engaging in such an unpleasant dialogue, the group did themselves, and the animals, no favors. Undoubtedly they’re telling themselves that it was justified, and that an animal is better off than in such a home. But they’re wrong. THIS type of reaction is part of the overall problem we’re facing. Dogs are better off in loving homes, PERIOD. Overly onerous restrictions help no one, and do nothing but demonstrate a cynicism and distrust of humans by the rescuers involved. Dogs in homes = lives saved. PERIOD.

Here are a few quotes from emails sent by the rescue group. I was privy to ALL of the emails on both sides, and believe me when I say that the nastiness was uncalled for. I will not divulge the parties involved because I do not want to cast a negative light on any rescue group, for fear of reducing their animals’ chances for adoption. Nonetheless, see some of their responses below:

“There is HUNDREDS of dogs and cats put to sleep (in this city) every day due to space issues in shelters, no matter how many we save, the problem will never reduce unless people spay and neuter their pets. We are the ones who have to look into the eyes of these little ones every day knowing we can not save them all and that if someone had spayed their mommy they would not be sitting on death row in a shelter. I’m sorry, but I simply can not understand how someone who loves dogs, and I am sure that you do, would willingly add to the problem. Any puppy that would be born to your dog takes away the chance of a home for a shelter baby, the cycle then continues when the puppies themselves go into homes and are not spayed or neutered.”

“You are a disgrace to contribute to this problem and then bashing the people trying to fix it. We try to educate people that don’t know, but some people are just too stuborn or dumb to take the time to learn and understand.”

Well that’s sure not winning any supporters, now is it?

Posted in Rescue Stories, Shelter Issues | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

No Kill Starts at Home: Adopt, Foster or Volunteer for the Holidays

The business of saving lives starts with us – with the animal-loving members of any given community. We’ve seen that No Kill is achievable in cities large and small – rural, urban and suburban – wealthy, middle-class and poor. But getting to that 90% save rate requires the participation of a compassionate public.

There are countless ways to help, regardless of your situation. Adopt, if you’re looking to add a new pet to the family. Foster, if you’ve got the space and time but can’t make a permanent commitment. Volunteer, if you’ve got a few extra hours on the weekend. Donate, if you’ve got a few extra bucks in the bank. Share, if you’ve got a large social media network.

Every single action, no matter how small, helps us get one step closer to our ultimate goal. And every pet deserves to be in loving home for the holiday season, noshing on turkey, howling along to carols and posing with Santa (however unwillingly).

If you’re in the Miami area, there are tons of organizations that could use your help. Miami-Dade Animal Services is having a doggie sweater drive (Lord knows they need assistance in every capacity) and a huge upcoming adoption event at Marlins Stadium on December 1. And Felix Varela High School (the only one in the area with a veterinary science magnet program) is in urgent need of help with their on-site shelter. They have to reduce the number of dogs by about 50, so they need foster and adoptive homes immediately. They work in conjunction with Friends Forever Rescue, so anyone who wants to help can reach out to the rescue via email, Facebookon their website or by phone at 305-283-7118.

And if you’re not in the Miami area, it’s still pretty easy to find ways to help. Look up rescue groups or shelters in your community who need volunteers – donate dog food or sweaters – send a few bucks to an organization like the No Kill Advocacy Center or a local No Kill group. Every little bit helps.

(As a side note, below is my newest foster pup from Friends Forever Rescue. His name is Pugster, he’s available for adoption and he’s utterly and absurdly adorable.)

Posted in From My Heart to Yours, Rescue Stories | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Support the Pets’ Trust, Vote Yes on #240

Miami-Dade Animal Services has a long way to go. The adoption of a No Kill resolution was an excellent first step, but a 90% save rate doesn’t happen without aggressive implementation of all steps of the No Kill Equation. (We know this because more than 50 communities to date have achieved No Kill status through employing said principles.)

We can applaud the progress they’ve made thus far. They’re working more actively with the community, various rescues and other animal advocacy groups. I’m stoked that they just held a fabulous 24-hour adoptathon in Tropical Park. But far too many animals are still dying daily at the hands of staff.

On our upcoming ballot, we have the chance to get Miami-Dade several steps closer to our No Kill goal. The Pets’ Trust is working to create a dedicated source of funding to support low cost, high volume spay neuter facilities, low-cost vet care, pet adoption and retention programs, and educational programs – all of which are key elements of the NKE.

While it does mean an increase in taxes, it’s minimal. “When enacted by the County Commission the measure will increase the County’s millage rate by 0.1079 mills. The average Miami-Dade County homeowner would pay about $20 per year.”

That’s a small price to pay to help save lives.

(You can follow the Pets’ Trust on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @petstrustmiami)

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Michael Vick Confirms He Has a Dog

After much speculation, Michael Vick has admitted that he once again owns a dog.

Despite his claims of treating “all of God’s creatures with kindness and respect”, this is a man who tortured and murdered innocent dogs with his own two hands – and laughed about it.

There’s no going back from that, phony PR posturing or not.

Acquiring a dog also demonstrates a bold sense of entitlement. He doesn’t believe he’s at fault. He’s never apologized for his behavior. Therefore, he doesn’t see any reason why he shouldn’t own a dog.

After all, according to him, the dog fighting business and subsequent torture, murder and disposal of animals was just “something that happened.”

Let’s all pray for this pup, shall we?


Posted in Animal Rights | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Michael Vick – Dog Owner?

In a story that sent a cold chill down my spine – there’s speculation that notorious animal abuser Michael Vick might once again own a dog.

Vick Tweeted a picture of he and his daughter working in the kitchen, and a box of Milk Bones was visible in the background. He then deleted the photo and replaced it with a new one – box no longer visible. An obvious attempt at subversion.

While some are saying he should tell the world if he’s acquired a new pup (since it’s now legal for him to do so) – I can understand why he hid it. It doesn’t matter what he says, how many half-hearted speeches he gives or disingenuous books he writes – his behavior has proven him a sociopath, and there’s no coming back from that. The backlash is bound to be ugly, as well it should be.

Let’s not forget that he and his buddies killed at least 13 dogs by methods including wetting & electrocuting, hanging, drowning, shooting and slamming them into the ground.

Anyone who’s capable of such behavior should never, ever be allowed the privilege of pet ownership again. Unfortunately, our legal system doesn’t seem to agree. And despite the consequences and public backlash, Vick still seems to believe he’s blameless, that his actions were just “something that happened.”

But Americans love their football, so rich celebrity, he remains.

Let’s all say a little prayer for any dog that might be a member of the Vick household, shall we?

Posted in Animal Rights | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments