Sunday, May 31, 2009

Hell is for animals too

One of the most poignant songs I've ever heard is, "Hell is for Children", sung by Pat Benatar. Pat was, of course, referring to child abuse and one line in the song was especially powerful, " shouldn't have to pay for your love with your bones and your flesh."

Nor should animals. I hate to report this, but according to, Florida is #1 in the nation when it comes to cruelty to animals. When I read that, it hurt my heart. There are so many wonderful, loving people in this state, many who, with limited financial and physical resources, devote their lives to the well-being of all kinds of animals.

Given that, I have reason to believe the trend can be reversed.

One area where change is starting to manifest itself is the way in which domestic violence shelters deal with their clients who have left pets in the very homes they fled. Many had little choice at the time. Most domestic violence shelters don't have accommodations for pets. I used to work at such a facility years ago and I once mentioned this very topic to our director. While she was a sympathetic cat person, her reply was a bit out of touch, "Well, the men won't hurt the pets."

Well, yes, they do. Unfortunately, we've learned that when a woman leaves, the chance for harm to come to the remaining "family" pet nearly quadruples. The anger, the violence, hasn't left the house and a dog, cat, rabbit, or other smaller animal makes a handy and helpless target.

Harbor House of Central Florida and the Central Florida Humane Society’s PAWS program have joined forces to create an on-site kennel for about 15 pets. Now women who have fled a violent life with their companion animal can be assured of the pets protection as well. The project will be complete in early 2010.

You can help! To donate or support the program, please contact Carol Wick at Harbor House at 407-886-2244.

For those needing such services, Harbor House has a 24-Hour Crisis Hotline which can be reached by calling 800-500-1119.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Found: Canine Octo Mom

The headline reads, "Florida couple's pit bull gives birth to 20 puppies". The mom, a pit bull, is barely 1-1/2 years old. The couple's 13-month-old male pit is the father. There are 10 males puppies and 10 females.

The couple said they would like to keep all 20 puppies, but can't, so in lieu of that, they said they just "want them all to go to good homes."

Oh, really? Well, if that happens, they will go to homes where their human guardians will have them spayed and/or neutered as soon as they are old enough so they will never have to go through what their parents just did!

The couple didn't say if they'd be placing a "FREE PUPPIES" ad to find those great homes for all those puppies, but if they do, these precious darlings will more than likely be relegated to a life in the dog fighting industry. But if they get that "good home" the couple fantasizes about - and we pray that they will - they will not be used as a "feeder" pup or one of the dogs trained to fight another to the death.

If indeed however, 20 loving, humane families are found for the puppies, they will get quality veterinarian care, timely immunizations, regular heartworm testing and weekly or monthly heartworm and flea/tick preventatives. They will be warm in the winter and cool in the summer. They will not live outside, will not be tied to anything, but when outside to do their business and to romp and play, they will be protected by a fenced yard and a watchful guardian. They will not be allowed to roam the neighborhood and will be properly leashed and supervised when in public. They will be humanely trained to earn the distinction of "good dog!"

It would be nice if the puppies' parents could have that kind of life too.