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National Museum of Animals & Society Blog
October is Adopt a Shelter Dog Month! Approximately 6 million animals enter into a shelter every year, and 60% of dogs in shelters are euthanized due to being unable to find good homes. This month, consider the joy you can bring to man’s best friend by becoming his new best friend. These dogs have not done anything wrong, they are animals who have been abandoned by their former families or never given a chance. According to the National Council on Pet Population Study and Policy (NCPPSP), 25% of these dogs are purebred, and nearly half of them were once companions.
Now is a great time to think about adding to your family. Dogs are a wonderful addition, being loyal, protective, and providing both a natural alarm system (useful for those who live in cities) and unending friendship. There are dogs of all personalities available in the local shelter. A quick search on the ASPCA website tells me of over 2000 available dogs within 25 miles of my hometown.
Consider Poochini, a poodle and bichon frise mix who was brought into the Sparky and the Gang animal shelter with an injured leg. Who could resist that adorable face? He’s a child friendly and cat friendly, a little dog good for families.
Or maybe Jozette from Southern California Golden Retriever Rescue suits your home best. Ending up in the shelter as a stray, Jozee learned how to use the doggy door on her first day in foster care. She’s good on a leash, in the car, and even loves to swim! This beautiful dog- and cat-friendly girl is looking for a home where she will get the love and attention she deserves.
Or perhaps open your heart to Joey at Dharma Rescue for Cats and Dogs. He is a good-natured terrier mix who was paralyzed by a terrible car accident, but is now equipped with a doggy wheelchair. A pet with special needs is a big commitment of course, but no less deserving of love. Who couldn’t adore this sweet mutt?
These are just a few examples from local shelters. On the ASPCA website you can find them and thousands of others in your area by searching your zip code.
Adopting a dog is a truly rewarding experience that will benefit both you and your new pooch. This October, consider making the commitment. It will be worth it for both of you!
Previously on the blog, we introduced readers to America’s Favorite Animal Shelter Contest that runs until July 10. NMAS Intern, Michelle Wong, writes today about her choice and their innovative programming…
For this year’s America’s Favorite Animal Shelter Contest sponsored by Care2, Adopt-a-Pet.com, and the ASPCA there’s a snazzy place I’d like to nominate that is filled with love and compassion. The Santé D’Or Foundation, a nonprofit, no-kill, holistic animal shelter, is a place where animals are rescued, cared for, and given homes. Located in Los Angeles, California they operate through donations and currently house cats, rabbits, and dogs.
The animals that are rescued and brought into Santé D’Or are given a second chance of finding a loving home with individual pens cleaned daily, three square organic meals, clean filtered water, and plenty of recreational activity. Litter boxes are cleaned multiple times a day and fresh vegetables are provided from the farmers’ markets for the rabbits; these animals are encouraged to exercise, socialize and sunbath. Due to the tender loving care from volunteers these rescues learn to trust humans and show affection; Santé D’Or has rescued and given homes to nearly 1,400 animals so far.
“The mission of Santé D’Or Foundation is to rescue and provide shelter and holistically-based medical care to animals, while attempting to secure them permanent homes. We act as an educational resource in our community through our rescue and adoption services and community outreach efforts.”
There is a diverse group of individuals all with distinct personalities that are suited for different families. Some are shy and quiet while others are more amusing and rambunctious, but each have their own perks and can offer companionship. All of the animals have their vaccinations, are spayed or neutered when they reach the appropriate age and are house-trained. The physical and emotional health of the residents are a top priority as the name Santé D’Or or Health of Gold implies and each are given proper and immediate medical treatment when needed. Since the animals are given time to socialize with other before they are ready for adoption they make ideal additions for households with multiple pets and/or children.
It is because Santé D’Or is able to provide a nurturing atmosphere for animals in need while operating only through donations and volunteers that I have given them my vote for this year’s America’s Favorite Animal Shelter. Santé D’Or appreciates their volunteers by providing them with refreshments and prizes through monthly raffles. Rather than trying to clear out pets as soon as possible, each adopting residence is given a home check first to ensure that it is a good fit for the animal under consideration. Pets can also be returned if the owners or pets are unhappy since the well-being of the pets is most important.
Sante D’Or is opened Fridays through Sundays to the public for adoptions, although you can also find a profile and match through PetFinder. Donations and volunteer opportunities are also available through their website at www.santedor.org where you can make a difference in an animal’s life.
To vote for Sante D’Or or your own favorite animal shelter, click here.
If you have any comments or suggestions regarding animal shelters, adoptions, or cute kittens and puppies we’d like to hear them! Was your fluffy or scaly companion also a rescue, and what joy have they brought into your life? Do you want to recommend an animal shelter for volunteering or adopting? Then please comment, and remember “a dog wags his tail with his heart” –Martin Buxbaum
Care2.com, the ASPCA and AdoptAPet.com have teamed up to sponsor America’s Favorite Animal Shelter contest. Until July 10th, you can vote for the shelter of your choice. The shelter with the top votes will earn much-needed funds in the amount of $15,000! But, this isn’t your average contest. Even shelters that don’t rack up the votes have a chance to win. Every week, a random organization will be awarded $500. Not too shabby!
So what are you waiting for? Send your friends and family an email, post your shelter’s contest page to Facebook, tweet the contest out, or go old school and print out a flyer.
My vote’s going out to the Butte Humane Society in Chico, CA. Who are you casting your vote for?
The head of the Los Angeles police union, the Humane Society of the United States, and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals are all calling for an end to a controversial new mobile phone application that allows players to breed, train and fight virtual dogs, as well as earn points and rewards for killing other dogs.
KG Dogfighting, originally released as the free application Dog Wars for Google’s Android smart phone operating system, is a creation of Kage Games LLC and sports a picture of a blood-splattered pit bull above the tagline “Raise your dog to beat the best!” Los Angeles Police Protective League President Paul M. Weber has called the game’s concept “repulsive and sickening,” noting that, in addition to simulating an activity which is classified as a felony in all 50 states, the game also virtually provides players with a “gun for police raids.” In a statement to the Los Angeles Times, Weber expressed concerns that the game would stimulate a real-world rise in dogfighting activity amongst local gang members and encourage violence toward law enforcement officials. He has called for Google to permanently ban the app from its marketplace.
Both the ASPCA and HSUS have released official statements condemning Kage Games for its actions and calling for a public boycott of the game and company. In a blog post dated April 25, HSUS President and CEO Wayne Pacelle voiced his belief that KG Dogfighting could have very dangerous consequences for dogs in the real world, and could in fact be used as a virtual training tool for potential dog-fighters:
This game gives detailed instructions concerning the selection of dogs, food, a feeding schedule, and items to properly condition dogs for fighting. These are virtually identical to the conditioning methods our anti-dogfighting team typically finds when working with law enforcement to raid these criminal operations.
However, Kage Games has defended its right to release KG Dogfighting, stating that “just because something is illegal in real life in certain countries, does not mean it is illegal to make a song, movie, or video game about it.” They go on to claim that the game is meant to be taken as “a satire about the ridiculousness of dogfighting” and note that “it has been in our operating agreement from the start of this project that a portion of the proceeds go to animal rescue organizations.”
The fear of players of violent video games blurring the line between fantasy and reality has weighed heavily on the minds of Americans ever since the 1999 Columbine High School massacre. However, a tangible link between engaging in virtual violence and real-world violence has so far remained elusive. Do games like KG Dogfighting promote real-world violence against animals, or do they act as a harmless outlet for aggression?
Kage Games has cited two of the most popular video game franchises, Call of Duty and Grand Theft Auto, as fellow examples of games which allow players to engage in virtual activity that would be illegal in the real world, but which have not been met with as much criticism and controversy as the KG Dogfighting app. However, following Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick’s 2007 arrest and conviction on felony charges of dogfighting, it has become obvious that there is still a need to raise awareness of the cruelty of fighting dogs, which is still seen as a socially-acceptable form of entertainment in some communities and parts of the world. In light of this fact, is Kage Games’ comparison to Call of Duty and GTA appropriate, or does KG Dogfighting have the potential to set back the cause against dogfighting, one which has recently proven it still has a long way to go?