Animal Advocacy

Conscientious Dog Owner

posted April 22nd, 2019 by
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How to be a Conscientious Dog Owner

by   Nick Burton

Conscienteous

 

As a dog owner, it may be a shock to learn that not everyone shares your love for man’s best friend. You see Spot as more than a companion; he is an essential member of your family. You accept his flaws, laugh when he tracks mud in your kitchen and love when he answers your hugs with sloppy face licks.

Others, like those you run into during a walk and your neighbors,  probably won’t share your enthusiasm, so here are a few tips to make sure that your dog isn’t a disturbance.

 

You are the master — be in control

A courteous dog owner values the importance of obedience. Some people shun training because they believe it requires a certain amount of meanness toward the dog, but it is, in fact, a crucial element to your dog’s happiness. Think about what happens in the absolute absence of obedience training. An untrained dog will likely be aggressive, destroy property and possibly hurt someone. This undesirable behavior is not because the dog is “bad,” but because he doesn’t know any better. Dogs are pack animals that look to a pack leader for guidance on correct behavior. And for your dog, you are the pack leader.

 

Train for courtesy, and your sanity

Obedience training will accomplish several goals. People appreciate a friendly, well-trained dog. It’s easier than you think to instill good behavior in your dog because your canine companion naturally wants to be led.

Consider two typical problem dog behaviors: pulling on leashes during walks and excessive barking. Simple repetition of expected actions during walks can nip lousy leash habits. Take steps to calm a dog as part of the walking process, such as slowly pulling on the leash, then stopping to do a few household tasks. This doesn’t confuse your dog, it reinforces the need for restraint and cements your position as the one in control.

Dog barking is similarly best curtailed as a process of establishing acceptable behavior, but also requires some common-sense tactics on your part. Ignoring barking, refraining from yelling (to your dog, it’s like you’re barking along with him), teaching the “quiet” command and asking for incompatible behavior such as giving a treat for going to his bed when another dog passes the house – are all training-based ways to limit barking.

If you need additional weapons in your training arsenal, look to training accessories. For example, some people opt for clicker training, others like to use training collars. The latter can be particularly effective at behavior modification, especially if your dog has a tendency to bark at the mailman or ignores commands. Whatever method you choose, remember that you’re helping your dog be a model animal citizen.

 

Wear him out

A tired dog is usually a well-behaved dog. And remember, by keeping your dog active, you’re not only helping him to expend pent-up energy, but you’re also contributing to his health and fitness. Avoid missing walks and play time to ensure your dog’s behavior doesn’t falter. If you need the extra help, look into hiring a regular pet sitter to help your dog get in his daily steps when you’re stuck at work.

 

Protect the planet from pooch poop

A courteous, well-behaved dog owner, of course, picks up after their pet. Make sure dog waste is bagged and properly disposed of during a walk – every time. And, since dog feces contain numerous nasty pathogens, it’s essential to remove it from your yard quickly, too. A yard full of dog poop is not just your problem – it can be a neighborhood eyesore, foul-smelling and unhealthy for your dog.

 

Accept others’ opinions

Not everyone is going to love your dog. Your pet could sit quietly and happily in his poop-free yard, and your neighbor across the street may still complain. Some just aren’t dog people. You may think non-dog lovers are missing out on a joy of life, but they disagree. And research suggests that the benefits of dog ownership may be exaggerated. Resist the need as a die-hard dog lover to defend the species. Accept their opinion, and do your best to prove them wrong through training and proper dog ownership practices.

 

Photo credit: Unsplash

Hudiburg Subaru

posted March 25th, 2019 by
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Hudiburg Subaru

Drives Adoptions for Homeless Pets

Steers Animal Welfare in OKC

By Heide Brandes

 

Brad Smicklas, general manager of the Hudiburg Subaru dealership in Oklahoma City’s metro area, grew up helping homeless dogs and cats in a car dealership setting.

 

He and his father, who owned the Smicklas Chevrolet dealership, created an organization at Smicklas Chevrolet called Friends for Life, a nonprofit dedicated to finding forever homes for stray animals.

 

“We took in strays. People would drop stray animals off at the dealership where we had kennels, and we found forever homes for them,” Smicklas said. “We’d hold adoption events.”

 

Today, that tradition continues. Although Friends for Life is a separately-run nonprofit now, Hudiburg Subaru is still active in the mission to help pets and animal welfare causes.

 

However, the Oklahoma-based dealership isn’t an exception for the Subaru company. Nationally, Subaru has been an active and outspoken advocate for pets, shelter animals and stray animals. Vehicles and animal welfare working together? Smicklas says, “Why not?”

 

HUMANE HUDIBURG

For several years, Hudiburg Subaru partnered with the Central Oklahoma Humane Society to host pet adoption events at the dealership.

 

“We did several adoption events with them and with PetSmart. We also had local veterinarians come in and do free vaccinations, and we also made it possible to lower the adoption fees for animals to $25,” Smicklas said. “I have four dogs that I got from the adoptions. Every time we host one, it seems I come home with a new dog.”

 

The Midwest City-based dealership also donates food, cat litter, bowls and other necessary items to local shelters but also welcomes customers’ pets into the store. Pets can go along for test drives and are allowed throughout the dealership.

 

“Animal welfare is something Subaru strongly believes in. They are big on animals, but also on the idea of doing the right thing,” Smicklas said. “It’s the right thing to do to take care of animals, because they can’t take care of themselves. But it’s also the right thing to do to take care of the earth, our teachers, the elderly and our community. Subaru has always been big on making sure each dealership gives back to their communities.”

 

Nationally, the Subaru company is also passionate about animal causes. With more than 6.5 million animals entering shelters each year, according to the ASPCA, Subaru made it their mission to keep all animals—including those in shelters—safe and healthy.

 

Every October, through the Subaru Loves Pets initiative, Subaru retailers ask citizens to donate new pet supplies at their partner stores to give to local animal organizations within their communities. It also provides shelter supply kits for animals awaiting adoption and starter kits for new pet-adopting families.

 

Since 2015, Subaru retailers have partnered with local animal welfare organizations through the Subaru Loves Pets initiative to impact over 109,000 animals in need across the country. Since 2008, Subaru has also donated nearly $22 million to the ASPCA, helped support more than1,500 animal welfare-related events and was instrumental in the rescue, transport and adoption of more than 50,000 animals nationwide.

 

Subaru also sponsored two studies conducted by the Center for Pet Safety, a nonprofit research and advocacy organization dedicated to companion animal and consumer safety.

Hudiburg Subaru has hosted pet adoption events for the past three to four years, and in that time, the dealership has adopted out “several hundred” pets, Smicklas said.

 

“Like most people, I wish we could control the stray animal population. I wish people would spay and neuter their pets,” he said. “I hope to do more adoption events this year.”

 

Hudiburg Subaru will also be a sponsor for the American Heart Walk’s Doggie Hydration Station this summer. Because many participants walk with their dogs at the fundraiser, Hudiburg Subaru will have a tent with water, doggie bowls, leashes and other items to give away.

 

“We also host other community events, but animal welfare is something we believe in,” he said.

 

Hudiburg Subaru is located at 210 East Interstate 240 Service Road in Oklahoma City.

Horse and Hound Rescue Foundation

posted March 23rd, 2019 by
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Rescue + Rehabilitation + Sanctuary:

Horse and Hound Rescue Foundation

By Amy Greene

 

Three decades ago, give or take a few years, Oklahoma’s race tracks were at the peak of popularity. The horses were fierce, lively and beautiful. They shook the ground with the sheer power of their hooves; they kicked up the walls of dust the state fought to settle in the ‘40s. Unfortunately, for all of their magnificence, Oklahoma’s racing horses were also viewed as replaceable commodities.

Nelda Kettles, the founder and owner of Horse and Hound Rescue, remembers that time well.  “When we first got started, Oklahoma had a serious problem,” Nelda says. “Injured race horses were just being sent to slaughter by owners and trainers who didn’t want to spend the time and money to fix them. We (at Horse and Hound Rescue) got in touch with those owners and trainers, as well as the tracks themselves, and worked to show them that there was another option.”

While the rescue itself was only first officially established in 2015, the owners of Horse and Hound Rescue have now been in the Thoroughbred industry for more than 30 years, specializing in Off the Track Thoroughbreds: Jockey-Club registered Thoroughbred horses that were previously racing or in training to race and have since been retired due to reasons such as injury, lack of talent or old age.

With experienced riders as volunteers and decades of experience, Horse and Hound Rescue retrains horses from top racing competitors headed for the slaughterhouse to family members with a purpose in new careers including jumping, eventing, trail work and Western discipline. In 2018 alone, Horse and Hound took in approximately 50 horses, 46 of which have already found their forever homes. However, as their name suggests, Horse and Hound Rescue doesn’t stop with equines.

When the Kettles began rescuing Off the Track Thoroughbreds dumped for being too much work or financial trouble, they also found a staggering number of special needs dogs being euthanized or dumped by their owners for the same reason. Similar to the horses, these dogs continue to come to the rescue from all over Oklahoma. However, while the horses are stopped from being sent to slaughter, the dogs are usually saved from being homeless, abandoned, surrendered or victims of tornados. Most of the dogs Horse and Hound takes in are blind, deaf, diabetic, or a combination of the three, requiring adopters to invest in the animals not only financially but with their time and energy.

Approximately five months ago, in the heat of the Oklahoma summer, one such dog was found by a woman and her grandkids. The family had decided to go for a walk together when they heard the sound of crying coming from a nearby dumpster. Peeking inside, they found a small black and white puppy baking in the 100-degree weather. The woman called animal control, but because it was a Sunday all the shelters were closed. Eventually, Horse and Hound Rescue was notified, and rescuers crawled into the burning hot dumpster to save the dog thrown out like trash. The 1-year-old mixed breed was terrified but finally safe. She was named Miss Kitty in honor of one of the rescue member’s affection for the CBS Western television show, “Gunsmoke.” With time, Miss Kitty recovered from her physical and emotional wounds and is now part of a forever family.

Unfortunately, due to the bigger investment and level of experience these special needs dogs require, not all of the animals that make it to Horse and Hound Rescue are able to have success stories as wonderful as Miss Kitty’s. In fact, the reality is that only about half of these dogs are able to be retrained and rehomed because of the severity of their conditions. Instead of giving up on these animals, however, Horse and Hound Rescue Foundation has created a sanctuary nestled into 50 gorgeous acres onsite in Guthrie, Oklahoma.

It is here the dogs, horses—and even the occasional cat—live out their days in the safety of Nelda and Larry Kettle’s home, receiving the attention and love they need and deserve. But while Horse and Hound Rescue goes to great lengths to help animals in need, they cannot do it alone.

“Nobody can make it on their own,” says Nelda. “I get tons of help from other rescues and trainers. People care, and it’s a blessing.”

WAYS TO HELP:

Donate

To fund their belief that “every horse and every hound deserves to be loved unconditionally… just like they love us,” the 501(c)3 nonprofit organization depends on a combination of grants and donations to continue making a difference. If you would like to donate, you can visit the website at www.horseandhoundrescue.com, click the convenient Paypal link, and 100 percent of your donation will go directly to Horse and Hound Rescue as they help these special animals find their place in someone’s heart and home.

Adopt

While on their website, hover your mouse over the “How to Adopt” tab at the top of the page. Here, you can check out the foundation’s list of adoptable animals, be it “horse” or “hound.” Simply fill out the adoption application also found on the website, or call (405) 206-4689 for more information and to set up a meet and greet with available animals.

Foster

Maybe a lifetime commitment isn’t an option for you right now, but a short-term commitment is. Horse and Hound Rescue is in need of foster families! Consider temporarily giving an animal a home until the right forever home is found. Fostering animals teaches them they are loved, helps their socialization adjustment, and gets them into a comfortable environment where they can thrive and their personalities will shine, all the while helping save a life! Just click the “Get Involved” tab on the website or contact Nelda for more information on fostering.

Volunteer

If you would like to help out but donation, adoption and fostering aren’t for you, consider giving your time. From the mouth of the horse hero herself, Nelda stresses the constant need for more helping hands. “I don’t want to preach,” she said, “but volunteers are always needed, even just to come out and love on the animals.” Brushing horses, walking dogs, playing ball, giving kisses, receiving tail wags, and being on 50 acres of a serene animal sanctuary may be as beneficial for you as the animals you’re helping. Visit the website or call to set up volunteer opportunities.

Spread the Word!

At the very least, anyone can help spread the word. Go to horseandhouserescue.com, look at the “Happy Tails” success stories and feel inspired! Tell your friends about the amazing things the rescue does and how they make a difference. Lastly, visit the Facebook page @horseandhoundrescue to like and share with your friends.

Faith’s Story

posted May 20th, 2018 by
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Hi.  My name is Faith and I really didn’t know what it meant to be loved until PAAS rescued me and I got to go to the Richardson Birthing and Rehabilitation Center.  At first, I was scared so I went to the laundry room and just looked at the back door.  I even slept there.  Then I realized that all the other dogs living in this wonderful place were having fun in the rest of the house.

They tell me that after a week, I finally started to play with the others and even spent some nights sleeping on a bed made especially for me in their bedroom.

Faith

Faith before and after

 I had terrible itchy skin and big sores all over me. The nice people here started giving me these wonderful baths every other day for weeks.  It felt so good, so did all the pets and loving I got. I had big scars on my side from when I had my 4 litters of babies.  They had left some stitches in and those got taken out. They gave me special food to help me gain my weight back, I was really feeling good. They said I was in a foster home. Those are great places to go to, and I loved my foster parents and gave them lots of sloppy kisses. I even learned to sit, lie down, roll over and walk on a leash like a lady and best of all to trust humans again.

Next I remember going on this long, long ride with lots of other dogs.  We stopped, in the middle of the night, so all of us could stretch our legs, water and fertilize a dog park.  Then we loaded back up and headed to Colorado.

Here’s my update – I’ve left the building (Dumb Friends League) in Colorado for my forever home.  Patti wrote this so I know it’s correct:  I got adopted by a woman with a French bulldog who has obviously been very well cared for.  I got along with her and my new Mom.  So…keep the Faith – – – I did – – and I’m home!!!!

Save Lives 90% Live Release Rate by 2025

posted May 12th, 2018 by
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Save Lives 90% Live Release Rate by 2025

Best Friends Animal Society has set a goal for Oklahoma to have a 90% live release rate for dogs and cats in shelters by 2025.  Based on what PAAS and our transport partners have accomplished the past two years, it no longer seems to be an impossible goal to reach.  Certainly, what I learned at the Collective Impact Convening Conference validated this is an attainable goal.

In the coming weeks, I will try to not sound like a broken record about spay/neuter and transport successes.  No guarantees – – just fair warning.  J  J  J.

Here’s the first installment.  Rhonda, Lacee and I attended the SAVELIVES.UNITEOKLAHOMA conference Monday, April 30th in Oklahoma City. It was sponsored by The Kirkpatrick Foundation and Best Friends Animal Society   They experienced the same “aha” moments I did while I was in Austin.  On Tuesday afternoon, we had a recap of the conference and it was fascinating to hear the excitement in their voices, the animation in their stories and the profound belief that we can have a 90% Live Release Rate by 2025 in rural Oklahoma.

Save Lives

It was especially rewarding to see all the teal blue PAAS Ride to Rescue t-shirts sprinkled throughout the conference room with the PAAS logo.  I’m writing this on a Tuesday evening, and tonight 31 dogs will head to Colorado – arriving at Dumb Friends League tomorrow morning.  Those that are “fixed” will soon have new homes, the other will join them after a brief stop in the operating room and a recovery period.

At the HSUS conference in May PAAS Pets for Life will be recognized for exceeding the goal of 400 spay/neuters in the first year of the program!!!!  We’re getting there.

Kay

 

Kay Stout, Director

PAAS Vinita

[email protected]

918-256-7227

http://www.paasvinita.com

Making Connections

posted February 24th, 2018 by
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Making Connections

Making Connections

Usually the blog is about animal rescue.  This week it’s about making connections.  It’s how PAAS came to have a partnership with Dumb Friends League in Colorado.

ConnectionsA long time ago, I attended The Pacific Institute (www.thepacificinstitute.com).  By the time I left Seattle Washington, I realized the power of thinking outside the box, visualizing results and reaching out to connect with people.

Since then, connections have opened doors, given me opportunities and provided solutions I could have never discovered on my own.  One of the most important aspects of making a connection is to just let your mind wander as you’re trying to solve a problem with the goal of “who do I know?”

All my friends know how I got an airline to send a plane to Miami to fly a soccer team to Brazil.  It was before the days of cell phones, internet connections, websites and Facebook/LinkedIn.

Today, sitting in front of a computer with a good cup of coffee, I can reach out to people all over the world.  And almost all of the time, I can refer to someone we mutually know or someone who belongs to the same Facebook or LinkedIn group.

In 2015, PAAS had a shelter full of dogs and cats, a long, long, long waiting list of owner surrenders and only a handful of potential adopters coming through the door each week.  Rhonda (veterinary technician) and I looked at each other and realized we needed a Plan B.  Fortunately, I’d just attended the Kirkpatrick Foundation’s Conference (https://safeandhumaneoklahoma.org) and made a connection.

I called him – he referred me to Bob at Dumb Friends League – and Bob said “yes” we could transport dogs to his organization on a trial basis.  The first few months were challenging, sometimes chaotic, emotionally draining and successful.  Over time we’ve established protocols that meet their standards, saved more homeless dogs and cats than we could have ever imagined and work directly with 14 other shelters/rescues.  What’s really mind-blowing is they, in turn, work with more than 30 rural rescues/shelters.

The connection started with me attending a conference and selecting the break-out session where Roger was presenting.

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