animal rescue, dog rescue, foster dogs

Retractable leashes. Yay or Nay?

ElvisMylo

Retractable leashes seem to be the go-to leash for just about everyone these days except for dog trainers and people who know better. Retractable leashes are those that you can let out or reel in like a fishing line if you don’t want little Fluffy to wander too far from you. I’ve seen them extend out to more than 10 feet. Ughhh… These leashes give the dog confusing messages on boundaries and limitations. This time you allow your little furball to walk out the full 10 feet, but then you reel him back and before you know it you have a four-legged yo-yo at the end of your arm. The dog’s confused. You’re confused. It’s a mess.

Dogs are creatures of habit and thrive on consistency. Besides not being consistent with your message about how far out in front you allow the dog to walk, they are also a danger to yourself, the dog, and others. Have you ever had your dog wind herself around your legs as you’re trying to walk down the sidewalk? She didn’t do it on purpose, but the 10 feet of line can be pretty entangling just by itself nevermind adding an excited dog to the mix. Besides being a trip hazard how much control do you really have over the dog when using a retractable leash? Not much is the answer. A walk for a dog is akin to a hunt for them. The leash is used to maintain that physical link between you and your dog. The yo-yo effect from a retractable leash takes the control away from you and gives it all to the 10 or 75 lb family pet at the end of the leash. Some vet clinics do not allow retractable leashes in their clinics for this very reason.

The best type of leash is one that is sturdy and comfortable for both you and your four-legged companion. Dogs are not born knowing how to walk on a leash and like any skill needs to be taught correctly. Starting out with a 4-foot leash is a good place to begin. A training collar, also known as a Martingale, can be used as it will allow you to use slight changes in the pressure on the neck to let the dog know if a correction is being made. They should be used under the supervision of a trainer and never left on unattended as they may strangle the dog if it were to be caught on a fence or other object. A Martingale is different than a prong collar.

There are tons of DIY videos online on how to teach a dog how to walk on a leash, but as with any training tool, it is only as good as the presenter. Finding a certified trainer in your local area is always the best way to go. Training means consistency and it doesn’t end when the lessons are over. Success or failure happens at home. Take notes and ask questions. A relaxed walk with your dog in the evening after a nice supper is the best way to end the day.

animal rescue, dog rescue, foster, foster dogs, fosterme.org, Uncategorized

Hoarding Situation in Monroe County, AL

An animal hoarding case in Monroe County, Alabama has brought in 21 small dogs, mostly Chihuahua mixes. The shelter is not releasing them for adoptions since they all are in need of medical care. The shelter has reached out to rescues and fosters are needing in order for the rescues to help them. Donations for medical care can also be made to the rescues once foster homes have been arranged and the dogs are out of the shelter.

Hoarding situations are heartbreaking for everyone involved, but mostly for the animals who suffer from abuse and neglect. Unsafe and unsanitary conditions can wear down even the strongest of animals over time. Many people who find themselves overloaded with too many animals may have started out with good intentions, but were unable to keep up with the care. I know of several situations where people drop off found and unwanted pets to a friend or neighbor they know who have helped in the past. More and more pets end up being dropped off and before you know it spirals out of control.

Some hoarding cases come about when backyard breeders take in as many unaltered dogs as they can and try and turn a profit out of sheer volume of puppies delivered and sold. The conditions are horrendous that the dogs must endure and sadly, many die from disease and neglect only to be replaced by the next dog added to the mix.

The pictures below are just a few I received from one of our partnered rescues who is trying to help these dogs. There are 21 dogs in total that were brought into the shelter and need our help. If you can foster, please submit the rescue’s application at jotform.us/gcurgents/application. If you can’t foster, please share this story so others can read it and maybe they can help. As a community, we can make a difference.

 

animal rescue, dog rescue, foster dogs, fosterme.org

Senior dogs need homes too.

When many people think of bringing a new dog into their homes they usually think about a puppy. Now, don’t get me wrong I love puppy breath just as much as the next person, but have you ever thought about an older dog? Older adult dogs find themselves dumped at shelters all over for a variety of reasons, but if you read just a few rehoming pet sites you’ll see a trend. New puppy, having a baby (you had 8 months to find a home for the dog and you just now decide you can’t make time), moving and can’t take the old girl with you, etc. Sadly, the list goes on and on.

When a frosted face shows up at a shelter it is heartbreaking to see. You see the fear and confusion in their eyes and they try as hard as they can to make themselves as small as possible in the back corner of their concrete kennel. Hoping and praying that nothing bad happens to them since they were just left by the only person they have known.

Ok, that’s the super sad part, but here is where it gets better for him or her. Once a rescue has a foster or adopter interested in the opening their home and heart to the dog, the next step is for the rescue to contact the shelter and let them know they want to pull the dog. Depending on the situation either the approved foster/adopter may pick the ol’ Frosty Face from the shelter and take it home or a volunteer transporter with the rescue may. The rescue will want to get the dog to their vet as soon as they can for a full medical checkup and shots. Depending on how old the dog is they may not be medically cleared to be spayed or neutered.

Senior dogs are house-broken, won’t chew on your favorite table legs (my coffee table legs still have puppy teeth marks on them) or rip apart your bunny slippers. Members of the Frosted Face age group just want to find the perfect sunny spot on your living room floor and comfortably nap all day. Sounds like the perfect dog, huh? They may already know how to properly walk on a leash and a few obedience commands. I met an older dog at the shelter who knew several commands and loved to show them off for a treat, of course!

Princessa is an older girl looking for a home. This sweet girl found herself at the Miami-Dade Animal Services shelter back on January 12, 2018. Here we are 4 months later and a rescue 10 hours away on the opposite side of the state and in a different time zone heard about her from a Facebook post and has taken her in. Another life saved. She has a temporary foster, but just for a week or so until they can find another foster who can take her for a bit longer. The shelter listed her as a Labrador Retriever mix, but what do you think?

Princessa
Princessa is a senior girl, 8 or 9 years of age, but with the heart of a younger dog. She was rescued from the Miami-Dade Animal Shelter. Can you FosterMe?

If you can open your home to Princessa, please fill out the application so the rescue can contact you about her. Can you FosterMe?