Let me update you on the rescue that started my blog.

Let me update you on the rescue that started my blog.

Meet Chester, the once afraid, hard to catch, living on the streets for months in our little city of Paducah, Kentucky.  In my heart and the heart of Animal Control, Mop, the once named abandoned dog, had all but given up.  It was a cold rainy day and Mop had held up in an area doghouse trying to stay dry.   ACO had received the call that he was sighted. When AOC arrived and tackled Mop, there was no fight left in him.  It was as if he was grateful to be caught.  

Chester was immediately adopted.  As you can see, he is the dog with a big heart. He is happy and has a place to call home. 

Happy endings. 

 

Dog Welfare and Adoption in the United States

Dog Welfare and Adoption in the United States

The State of Things…

According to the latest research and data, the United States is more popular than ever, with some 65.1 million US households owning at least one canine companion which accounts for 49.5% according to a recent study by the Insurance Information Institute. In total, there are over 100 million dogs that are owned in the United States, and that number figures to continue rising in the coming decades. The American Pet Products Association’s National Pet Owners Surveys found that pet expenditures more than doubled between 2012 ($53.3 billion) to 2021 ($123.6 billion). From a dog’s perspective, it is seemingly a great time to be alive-owners are dishing out substantial amounts of money to provide their dogs with comfortable, enjoyable lifestyles. Sadly, not all dogs are fortunate enough to find a loving home to spend their lives in.

Treatment of dogs that end up in animal shelters has long been a topic of controversy in the United States, and though much of the criticism the country has received is warranted, there has been considerable progress made in the past decade. Overall, fewer dogs are being housed in shelters, with the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) reporting that the number decreased from 3.9 million dogs in 2011 to 3.1 million dogs in 2019. Likewise, the United States has made drastic improvements in reducing the number of animals euthanized by shelters, dropping from 2,000,000 per year in 2015 to 347,000 in 2020—a whopping 83% reduction in animals euthanized! While these numbers are encouraging and certainly worth celebrating, there remains much work to be done when it comes to the treatment of dogs in shelters.

Dogs in Shelters

Though more households in the United States own dogs than ever before, this does not necessarily correlate to greater numbers of dogs being adopted from animal shelters. A recent ASPCA study found that only around 23% of new dog adoptions are from animal shelters, while a Best Friends National Shelter Data study from 2020 found that number to be closer to 39% of new dog adoptions being from animal shelters. In either case, there is room for improvement regarding both public perception of animal shelters and the adoption process used by animal shelters.

Common barriers that prevent individuals from adopting from shelters include poor communication from an animal shelter, strict requirements or invasive questions during the adoption process, delays during the adoption process, and rejection of adoptions. While some barriers such as questioning an applicant are necessary to ensure that a dog goes to a safe environment, others such as poor communication and delays during the application process can easily be prevented with timely responses and transparency during the adoption process.

Public Perception of Dogs from Shelters

There is a significant amount of misinformation that exists when it comes to adopting dogs from animal shelters, so knowing how to discern the accurate information from the inaccurate is a good place to start when considering a shelter dog. As stated by the Best Friends National Shelter Data study from 2020, about 56% of households that own dogs have a purebred dog. Unfortunately, many of these households never considered adopting their purebred from a shelter because a common misconception about animal shelters is that every dog that they have is a mix of some sort. The reality is that about 25-35% of pets that can be found in shelters are purebred. Breed-specific rescue groups also exist throughout the country, and they can provide ample opportunities to find a specific breed that you may have your heart set on. Adopting purebred dogs from animal shelters or accredited rescue groups can negate the demand for such dogs from puppy mills or other locations that do not raise dogs in a responsible manner.

Health considerations

Another common misconception about adopting a dog from a shelter is that they will be in poor health and require substantial amounts of money to be invested into them. While the prospect of spending thousands of dollars on a new dog that was adopted from the shelter is undoubtedly daunting, it is an irrational fear to have. The fact of the matter is that dogs from shelters are typically healthier compared to those from breeders because they have fewer inherited genetic conditions. Moreover, the majority of dogs that come from shelters are already spayed or neutered, so pet owners could potentially save considerable amounts of money by adopting a dog from a shelter.

When it comes to improving public perception of dogs from animal shelters, there are a number of tried and true methods that can be employed. Having a website that features the animals at a shelter is paramount to animal adoption, but other methods that have been known to boost adoption rates include the creation of infographics or flyers relating to an individual dog, making a video, or generating an illustration-anything that makes a dog seem more personable to the public will increase their chances of being adopted.

Adopting your canine companion from a shelter can be an immensely rewarding experience. Not only does it have the potential to save you money compared to a purchase from a breeder, but you can also have the satisfaction of knowing that you are making a meaningful, life-changing difference for the dog that you choose. With more people owning dogs than ever before, now is a fantastic time to visit your local shelter and find your best friend!

How Service Dogs Help People With Disabilities

How Service Dogs Help People With Disabilities

Millions of people have dogs as pets, but for some dogs can be an extension of themself. If you have a disability or care for someone with a disability, Becky’s Animal Rescue Blog shares what you need to know about service dogs and how they can improve your quality of life.

Reasons to Get a Service Dog

All dogs are great for providing companionship. Service dogs take that one step further with special training that enables them to aid people with disabilities. You may need a service dog if you have intense anxiety or have a debilitating medical condition such as epilepsy. Service dogs can also aid with mobility and help you live a more independent life.

 

Characteristics of a high quality service dog.

It’s important to remember that not every canine is suited to be a service dog. Certain breeds make better service dogs than others, but ultimately, it comes down to an individual dog’s temperament. A service dog must have the following characteristics:

  • Focus
  • Energy
  • Gentleness
  • Eagerness to please

Breeds that are historically aggressive rarely make good service dogs. They can be great for protection, but they are not usually good for calming anxiety or gently aiding mobility. Gentle, friendly breeds such as golden retrievers, Labrador retrievers, and poodles often make the best service dogs. If you are looking for a service dog for your family, you may want to start by looking at these breeds

Steps for Adjusting to Life With a Service Dog

It takes time to adjust to having a service dog in your home. It’ll take a few weeks for you to start bonding with your new pet. Focus on spending plenty of quality time with your canine companion while you develop a bond. You should also take measures to minimize stress because all dogs are highly sensitive to stress. The adjustment period will take much longer if you or our new dog is stressed out, so make sure you practice self-care.

 

Tips for Caring for a Service Dog

Caring for service dogs is similar to caring for canines that do not have the same training. All dogs need affection, food, water, and exercise to thrive. If you can provide these four things, you are ready to be a responsible dog owner.

However, having a fence is crucial for service dogs. Not only do you want your furry companion to stay safe while hanging out in your backyard, but you may not be able to chase down your pet if it escapes. A fence is the best option for both of you. If you don’t have a fence and are preparing to bring home a service dog, you may want to talk with local fencing contractors to get quotes.

The quote should include the cost of fencing materials in addition to labor. The size of the fence will also affect the final cost. Rather than opting for the most cost-efficient quote, make sure you look at online reviews to make an educated choice on which fencing contractor to hire. Only use licensed and insured professionals, and make sure you make them aware of any potential hazards such as underground utility lines.

Service dogs are invaluable assets for people with disabilities. Canines can drastically improve your quality of life in many ways, and getting a service dog is a great way to be happier and more independent regardless of your disability.

 

Authored by Linda Chase

Image via Pexels

Porter the Gentle Giant – Rescue and Adoption Video

Porter the Gentle Giant – Rescue and Adoption Video

Success!

Porter was successfully adopted!

 We’re happy to report that Porter was successfully adopted on July 7th, 2022.

 

 

Fostering a gentle giant.

 

I’ve had the pleasure of fostering Porter for the last week, and it’s hard to believe that a dog like him can end up in a shelter. He’s an affectionate, gentle dog that has gotten along GREAT with my family. 

We weren’t told much about Porter other than he was an owner surrender. It seems to me that at one time Porter was well adjusted and socialized. He is very attentive and has been taught the basic commands, plus he is house broken. Being inside of a home was not a foreign experience for him and I can attest, we didn’t have a single accident in the house while he was here.

Three dogs in a kitchen

The one peculiar thing about Porter is his extreme fear of storms. There is something about the rumble of thunder that causes him to seek out a dark corner and hide. It will be important for Porter to have a kennel and safe space for moments of high anxiety, especially when the midnight thunderstorm comes through.

 

Porter is being transported to Taps No Kill Animal Shelter in Pekin, Illinois, just 20 minutes south of Peoria. If you’re in the area and looking for a dog, don’t overlook this loving boy.

Best Dog Treats for Training Your Dog on a Consistent basis

Best Dog Treats for Training Your Dog on a Consistent basis

Best treats for training your dog – treats from the kitchen for training your dog at home and in the field (in our opinion…).

Training your dog takes time and patience, and the willingness to fail over and over again until you get it right. One sure fire way to keep your canine engaged and interested in your commands is by enticing them with treats, but that means at times you’ll go through a lot of treats before things start going your way.

Keeping that in mind, it’s important to consider what treats you use for training purposes specifically. These aren’t your normal “just because I love you” delights. These flavors have a purpose, and there are a few characteristics that matter when taking a treat into the field.

Training treats for dogs need to be small, portable, and have some (or at least neutral) nutritional value. We want to be able to fill up a plastic bag with treats, and have the one bag last all day long. Now, let me preface, we are not veterinarians, animal nutritionists, or certified trainers, but we speak from experience, and this is our opinion on practical training treats for dogs, regardless of what discipline you’re working on.

If you’re looking for something that’s produced specifically for the task we recommend Pet Botanics Training Rewards.  I have found a lot of professional trainers use them.  These treats can be found at Petsmart or ordered online.

Animal Rescue Blog Trick

If  you’re looking for something from the kitchen that may be more readily available as you wait for your order to arrive then look no further. Here are our favorite treats from the kitchen to train your dog. 

Carrots

If you have a dog that gets excited about carrots, use them! They have exceptional nutritional value, are extremely clean and portable, and travel well during training exercises. Some dogs absolutely love the crunchiness of a carrot, and the hard textures help keep your dog’s mouth healthy by fighting plaque and gum disease. It’s a win-win-win if your dog is into them, so we recommend trying them first and seeing how your animal responds.

Blueberries

If your dog doesn’t care for carrots, the next best food to try is blueberries. We choose to freeze ours as it helps them last a bit longer in the field, and our dogs seem to always be a little more interested in the temperature change as well as the taste. Frozen blueberries will definitely pique your dog’s curiosity and keep them engaged through your training exercises.  The only real downfall of blueberries is they can be a bit more costly, and aren’t quite as durable for prolonged use, especially when compared to the hardiness of a carrot.

Dog school training

Plain Popcorn

Popcorn can be another great training treat as it has a naturally salty  flavor profile and is extremely low in calories, not to mention it is very friendly to pack around in a plastic bag. It’s important to emphasize plain popcorn, as the butter and seasoned varieties are really adding processed ingredients that aren’t great to add to your dog’s diet. They are unnecessary, unhealthy additions to a treat that does a very good job of making an otherwise distracted dog care about what you have to say.

And last but not least…

Hotdogs

Yes we said it. Hotdogs make a great treat for one reason and one reason only. It is guaranteed to hold your dog’s interest and they will be very willing to do whatever it takes to get another taste of that savory goodness. If nothing else will hold your dog’s attention, you can bet your bottom dollar that a hot dog will get the job done. This is by far the least healthy option, so be sure to use small pieces of meat when you reward your dog, using small pinches of meat each time to make each hot dog last. You’ll be surprised how many reps you can get out of each frank if you mind your pinches.

Good dogs paying attentiong

In conclusion, if you’re thinking about putting in time with your dog to teach them an advanced discipline, it’s worth putting a little forethought into the technique, and specifically your reward system. Treats can be a great way to hold your dog’s attention, and encourage the positive behaviors that you’re trying to cultivate in your animal. Bonding with your animal, through time, patience, and routine, is a beautiful thing.

Yorkie Training