Author Archives: Steve

Working to rehabilitate, stop animal abuse

posted November 12th, 2015 by
20150115c

Anicare of Oklahoma

Working to rehabilitate, stop animal abuse

By Wilhelm Murg

 

Studies have shown a correlation between animal abuse and other social problems, including child abuse, spousal abuse and other violent behaviors.  Thirty-one states and the District of Columbia have mandated or recommend that judges order treatment for anyone convicted of animal cruelty in order to stop it before it spreads. Local teacher and activist, Martha Brown, has started a grassroots campaign in Tulsa to help Oklahoma adopt such a policy. Her newly formed organization is Anicare of Oklahoma.

The name comes from the Anicare Program designed by the Animals and Society Institute, an independent think tank based in Ann Arbor, Mich. The group is dedicated to stopping the cycle of violence between animal cruelty and human abuse, promoting new, stricter animal protection laws, and further studying the relationships between humans and animals.

The Anicare program, under the umbrella of the Oklahoma Alliance for Animals, is a combination of assessment and treatment for animal abusers built around the concepts of “accountability, respect/freedom, reciprocity, accommodation, empathy, attachment and nurturance,” according to the Institute’s literature. Brown is currently working out the details for a seminar to be held 2015 in Tulsa where the program would be taught to education, psychological and law enforcement professionals.

Brown says she was associated with a group, Psychologists for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, which transformed into ASI over the years. “It’s mostly an academic group that publishes papers on issues of animals and human problems and relationships, but they started talking about Anicare as this program they had developed for intervention in cases of animal abuse, [rehabbing] the perpetrators, which could be anyone from small children to adults,” she says.

The program is structured to concentrate on the attitude of the perpetrator. “It’s a matter of getting the abusers to accept the fact that what they have done is wrong, and to learn how to take responsibility for it,” Brown says. “Also, the counselors are encouraged to notice whether these people have been abused as children because there is a very real connection between people who have been abused who go on to abuse animals as they get older. People in their own households may have abused animals; sometimes parents hurt the pets as punishment when the kids have done something wrong, so the children are often encouraged or grow up thinking it is OK to abuse animals. They’ve wrongly learned through their families that animals have no value independently of what we can get out of them.  These attitudes are often ingrained into the people.”

Getting both children and adults to take responsibility for their actions is another one of the main goals of the program, which is actually split into two parts parts—one for children and young people and one for adults. “Very often abusers will not take responsibility for what they have done, so there is a whole series of questions, not to make them feel guilty, but to try to show them other ways of looking at their behavior and also at animals,” Brown says. “The hope is that if they change their ways of thinking and feeling about animals, they may also change their behavior toward them. It uses applied principals that are already established in psychology and psychiatric intervention to this specific problem.”

Brown pointed out that animal abuse is often connected to other problems within families so there are scenarios where the program calls for getting the abusers’ families involved with the therapy. “You have to really concentrate on some of these things because the people in therapy are quite clever at trying to change the subject or keeping away from acknowledging any kind of wrongdoing, or that they could have done something differently,” Brown says. “You have to be pretty persistent in dealing with them, and   I imagine this is true with other kinds of problems as well; if you are too accusative, then the kids tend to be defensive of what the parents have done. Often, the parents have been abusive to them as well.”

Brown does not see this as a very expensive process, but she says it does need a lot of organization and volunteers. “We have financing for training workshops, and eventually we’ll need a little more money, but probably not a great deal,” she says. “What we really need is publicity, so people know there’s somewhere to go in cases when there is suspected animal abuse. We have a list of people who are interested; we have a list of organizations that we think will be  useful in referring people, and we are putting a presentation  together so we can talk to representatives of these groups because a lot of it will be voluntary.

“There are examples in the materials of children that have been referred by school counselors or their parents who have just   noticed what was happening, so publicity is one of the main things we will need.  We’ll need the help of some judges, some lawyers,   and some psychologists that are in practice, and any counseling groups, any therapy groups. I know that in some cases, judges in places like Chicago, Kansas City and Denver have been sentencing people who have been charged with animal abuse to complete the program as part of their treatment. We know there are programs in those places that are working well, and there’s no reason we can’t do the same thing here.”

The Tulsa seminars are scheduled for Feb. 27 and 28, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., at College Hill Presbyterian Church. “The seminars are training mostly for psychologists, but the first part is for anybody    in the criminal justice system or school counselors, anyone involved in the counseling and therapy communities, for talking about the general ideas and their approach to intervention in the case of animal abuse,” Brown says.  “That would be the first morning of the two-day workshop, and the rest of the time is more technical training for people who would be doing the intervention.”

With the community’s help, Brown sees her program as a step toward building a stronger, healthier Oklahoma.

For more information on the Anicare program, visit the Animals & Society Institute website: www.animalsandsociety.org. To stay updated on upcoming seminars, volunteer opportunities and more, visit the Facebook page, Anicare of Oklahoma: Stopping Animal Abuse, or call Martha Brown at (918) 583-3652.

OKC Pets Mag Nov / Dec 2015

posted November 12th, 2015 by
OKC Pets Magazine

OKC Pets Magazine  November/December 2015

Publisher – Marilyn King  [email protected]

Creative Director – Debra Fite

Advertising Sales – Marilyn King, Steve Kirkpatrick, Nancy Harrison, Cheryl Steckler, Nicole Castillo

Web Manager – Steve Kirkpatrick  [email protected]

Editor – Anna Holton-Dean

Contributing Writers – Marilyn King, Julie Bank, Pat Becker, Nicole Castillo, Lauren Cavagnolo, Kaycee Chance, Blaize Dicus, Nancy Gallimore, Emily Perry, Sherri Goodall

PO Box 14128 Tulsa, OK 74159-1128

(918) 520-0611

(918) 346-6044 Fax

©2015 All rights reserved.

No part of this publication may be reproduced without the express consent of the publisher.

OKC Pets Magazine provides Oklahoma City area pet owners with a one-stop resource for local products, services, events and information.  Now OKC Pets Magazine Online is able to provide you with all of that and much more, interactive and up-to-the-minute!

Mustang Animal Shelter

posted November 12th, 2015 by
Mustang

OKC Pets Magazine toured the Mustang Animal  Shelter and took these pictures of adorable animals available for adoption. If you are thinking about a new family member, please consider saving the life of a homeless animal!

Visit the shelter and take home a new best friend!

Mustang Animal Shelter

Make a difference – adopt a shelter animal!

All of these pictures were taken Thursday, November 11th, by Madalyn Llewellyn

The shelter is open to the public: Mon. Tues. Thurs. Fri.
9:00am – 12:00pm & 1:00pm – 4:00pm
Wed.  9:00am – 12:00pm
Closed on Saturday and Sunday.

All adoptions are made through

Friends of the Mustang Animal Shelter (FOMAS)

Dog adoptions are $100   Cat adoptions are $75

All animals are dewormed, vaccinated, microchipped and spayed or neutered

520 West SW 59th Street, Mustang, OK 73064 

Police Dept Dispatch (405) 376-2488

This Week’s Wednesday’s Children are available through the Friends of the Mustang Animal Shelter.   There are some beautiful dogs and cats for adoption so please go rescue one today! Rescued pets make the best companions!!!  A big “THANKS” is owed to Madalyn Llewellyn for doing what she does every week!

 

Vaccinations

posted November 8th, 2015 by
Holiday Gift

Vaccinations

VaccinationsVaccinations for children are certainly a controversy.  Trust me, there’s an equal controversy about the reality of vaccinations for dogs.  Every week we see the results of those who do not believe in vaccinations for their dogs – and the dogs have heart worms or ehrlichia.  For the most part, dog owners, get it with rabies vaccinations – in large part due to municipal ordinances and the actual reality that humans are at risk if bitten by a rabid animal.

Every year many people get the flu shot – especially if they didn’t one year and caught the flu.  Well, in dogs ehrlichia can make a dog feel as though it has the flu.  If you don’t want to feel lousy – then care enough to get you dog the monthly medication  so they do not test positive for ehrlichia.

Now – the big challenge.  Heartworms.  True confession, I grew up in rural Wyoming – it freezes every winter and all the mosquitos die.  Heartworm is not the problem it is in this area.  They’re preventable with one tablet per month – the treatment if they have heartworm is expensive and the dog must be kept quiet.  What’s so sad for too many municipal shelters is the raw fact that they do not have the funds to treat heartworm.  You know the rest of the story.

And then there’s fleas – – lots and lots of fleas.  Yes, they itch – and when they’re bad enough they cause hair loss.  Dorothy (pictured below) is a visual example of a sweet little Chihuahua who was covered (yes covered)  in fleas so badly her hair had fallen out.  The second picture is Dorothy in her pink Sunday outfit – designed to keep her warm until her hair grows back.  I can only imagine how awful she felt before treatment.  Fleas itch – – they really, really do. You can prevent fleas on your dogs and cats and in your home by treating the animals on a monthly basis.  Simple, effective and guaranteed to give your animals and you an itchy/scratchy free life.

Vaccinate, Immunize, get the shots – it’s a simple solution

Kay Stout, Director   PAAS Vinita  [email protected]  918-256-7227

Do the Math

posted October 30th, 2015 by
Holiday Gift

Do the Math

Do the Math.  It’s true – there’s an Oklahoma Standard when it comes to helping in time of great need.  I witnessed it first hand following the Murrah Bombing and one of the devastating Moore tornadoes.  Recently, that Oklahoma ability to come together during a tragedy happened on the campus of Oklahoma State University.

If only that standard could be a part of the world of rescue.

We opened our doors in late April.  It quickly became apparent we would need to transport out-of-state if we wanted to save some of the homeless dogs that came into our facility.  It felt wonderful to quickly find organizations in Colorado and Wyoming that needed our dogs.  However, this great feeling of accomplishment only lasted for a few days.  Then we do the math and reality hits us and we’re once again looking for organizations out-of-state to help us.

What we are really saying is:  We don’t have an Oklahoma Standard when it comes to saving the lives of homeless dogs and cats.  We’re just sending our problems to someone else.  I know, for a fact, that Colorado is beginning to take notice and I won’t be surprised if they enact some changes.

Here’s the math for three months – – from three rescues.  A total of 584 – – YES – – 584 dogs were transported out-of-state.  Look at an Oklahoma map – – the Vinita/ surrounding area can be multiplied by at least 5 (or more) and when you do the math you begin to realize in all probability more than 2,500 dogs found new homes out-of-state.

We can set the Oklahoma standard.  Support spay/neuter clinics, be sure your pets are “fixed” or look in the mirror and understand that as the weather turns cold, the roads become treacherous, all of us will send fewer dogs out-of-state.  However, that doesn’t mean fewer dogs needs homes – it just means more dogs will die.

Kay Stout, Director   PAAS Vinita  [email protected]  918-256-7227

Connection

posted October 23rd, 2015 by
Holiday Gift

Connection

There is documented evidence of the connection between domestic, elder, animal and child abuse.  Sadly, they are all too prevalent in our society.  All you have to do is ask anyone who works in rescue, child welfare, law enforcement, education or religion.

 

For all the negative aspects, there is hope of breaking the cycle of violence through intervention.  One proven, winning, solution has been the interaction between animals, especially dogs, with those have a history of being the recipients of abuse – or were the abuser themselves.

 

My first encounter with the latter was the dog training program at Lexington Prison.  Thanks to a documentary underwritten by the Kirkpatrick Foundation, The Dogs of Lexington, tells the redemptive story of shelter dogs, prisoners, and people.  Sarge was a growly, grumpy, nippy schnauzer mix, deemed unadoptable.  Today Sarge is the resident therapy dog for the Norman, Oklahoma Veterans Center.  I personally watched the magic happen.

 

Last school year, I spent one day with middle school students in rural Oklahoma.  It was disheartening to realize how many of their lives were chaotic, except in the classroom.  The value of therapy dogs in schools, like this one, would pay rich rewards as the students transition through high school and then try to find their place in society.

 

What I have learned is that doing nothing – – solves nothing.  The abuse continues, more lives are affected and the cycle grows and grows and grows.  It has to stop somewhere – it can stop with you, the person reading this article.

Kay Stout, Director   PAAS Vinita  [email protected]  918-256-7227