Animal Advocacy

Supply and Demand

posted March 18th, 2017 by
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Supply and Demend

Supply and Demand

Supply and DemandThere is a direct correlation between supply and demand.  A long time ago, there were Cabbage Patch dolls.  My daughter was the target age at that time and, yes, her world included one of the dolls.  Were they overpriced – – yes; did they remain a collector’s item – no; did supply eventually exceed demand –  – yes.  The same philosophy applies to limited edition cars, trucks, jewelry, and clothing.  Yes I have one expensive purse.   Is the brand as expensive today as it was 10 years ago – – No, not even close.  The supply eventually outnumbered the demand, other purses caught the attention of women and today you can buy one of the purses at a reasonable price.

This correlation also applies to dogs and cats in rural Oklahoma.  There is a consistent over-supply of cute, adorable, big, little, fluffy dogs and sweet, purring cats.  Because the supply far outweighs the demand, their value in the marketplace is diminished in Oklahoma.  Thankfully for all of us involved in rescue, the demand outstrips the supply in other states.  As a result, every week hundreds of Oklahoma dogs (and many cats) find themselves in a van, the back of an SUV, or riding shot-gun – headed to their new home. 

An example is Miss Dixie and her puppies.  She was homeless.  Fortunately, for her and her puppies, she was rescued and gave birth at the Richardson Birthing Center. Fast forward several weeks.  Miss Dixie and her puppies arrived at Dumb Friends League in Denver, Colorado.  Within a week all of them (including Miss Dixie) had new homes.  They have a demand, we have the supply.

We are working very hard to diminish the over-supply.  Once that happens, Oklahoma dogs and cats will have a higher value.  We’re working very hard to make this a reality.

Sarge

posted February 25th, 2017 by
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Supply and Demend

Sarge

Sarge changed my life.  While I was at Second Chance Animal Sanctuary in Norman, they were (and continue to be) part of the Friends for Folks dog training program at the prison in Lexington.  I’d worked out an agreement with Lee, who ran the program, that he could select 3 dogs and we would get to give him one. 

Lee came into the facility, picked his three and I then took him to Sarge’s kennel.  He was met with growls – lots of growls – from a grumpy, irritated gray schnauzer.  Lee said “I’m not taking that dog”.  My response was “We had an agreement.”   It took a few minutes of convincing, but Sarge went to the training program.

Fast forward 6 months, the phones are ringing, dogs are barking and the cats are serenading.  Lee calls me and says something to the effect “We have a dog who is going to the Norman Veterans Center to be their resident greeter.”  I’m sure I responded appropriately.  Then he said “Do you know which dog?”  My answer “No”.  He said “Sarge”.  I know there were a few seconds of dead silence before I said “Sarge, are you sure it’s Sarge?”.  Yes it was Sarge.

We were also privileged to be part of the documentary The Dogs of Lexington.  You can go to you tube – type in the title and select the one by John Otto.  43 minutes long, so have your beverage of choice handy while you watch.  You will see Sarge at his grumpiest, his transformation under the care of Mr. Miller – an inmate- at the prison, and his triumphant introduction to the veterans at the center in Norman.

Then in 2015, the Oklahoma Veterinary Medical Association gave their “Hero Dog of the Year Award” to Sarge.  It still gives me goose bumps when I remember watching Sarge confidently standing on the stage, then a few minutes later he realized one of the veterans who was in attendance needed reassuring.  Sarge quietly went over to his wheelchair and jumped up in his lap so he could be petted.  Sarge just knew.

SargeToday, PAAS is involved with a training program at NOCC (Northeast Oklahoma Correctional Center).  We see the transformation in the inmates chosen for the program as well as the shelter dogs who live with them.  Programs like this change lives – – those of the inmate, their family, the shelter dog, those of us at PAAS who witness the transformation, and the lucky people who adopt a PAAS/NOCC graduate.

This is a picture of Sarge – – – – miracles do happen –  he’s one of them.

Kay Stout, Director

PAAS Vinita

[email protected]

918-256-7227

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A Better Life

posted February 17th, 2017 by
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Supply and Demend

TA Better Lifehe program at NOCC (Northeast Oklahoma Correctional Center) is a continuing reminder of a better life through the power of forgiveness that can happen between a person and a homeless dog.   We see it every week when we visit.

Google the following:  Pawsitive Change (a division of www.marleysmutts.org); celldogs.org (the original program started by Sister Pauline Quinn); go to youtube- type in The Dogs of Lexington (submitted by John Otto); and Camerado, I Give You My Hand.  This is a start to a journey that can be life-changing not only for the dogs, but especially for the inmates who train them.

With more than 61,000 inmates in the Oklahoma prison system, we have the second highest incarceration rate in the country; are prisons are at 119%+ capacity; and 77% of Oklahomans personally know someone who has been sent to a correctional facility. 

If you do further research on the internet, you will find countries that have low incarceration rates.  This translates not only into money saved, but the lives of their families.  Data proves 70% of the children who have one or more parent incarcerated will become one of the statistics.

We see the transformation of the inmates as we work with them. They learn compassion, how to give and receive love, confidence in training a high-energy, goofy, scared, big, little, four legged animal.  At the same time, they transform the life of the dog in their care.  Attend a graduation, witness the transformation, learn more about changing the outcome.  Ask anyone who works for PAAS – – we’ll be happy to regale you with true stories.  We believe in second chances.

Beat the Heat!

posted February 14th, 2017 by
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Indoor vs Outdoor Cats

Alley Cat Allies Reminds Communities to Spay and Neuter Cats Before Kitten Season to Prevent Litters

Beat the HeatJan. 30, 2017 – Alley Cat Allies today reminds communities that winter is the ideal time to beat the heat and  spay and neuter cats to get ahead of prime kitten season and end the breeding cycle before it starts.

“The time for prevention is now,” said Becky Robinson, president and founder of Alley Cat Allies. “Cats may even be pregnant before the snow melts. For community cats, Trap-Neuter-Return is the most effective way to reduce the impact of kitten season by preventing litters.”

Every year animal shelters experience a rise in the number of kittens brought to the shelter throughout spring and summer. According to Alley Cat Allies’ analysis of ten years of data from their Northern Virginia spay and neuter clinic, pregnant cats brought to the clinic peaked in March—over half of all female cats were pregnant. However, less than one percent of female cats were pregnant from October through December. Cats are therefore breeding in the winter and birthing their kittens in the spring and summer, making spaying and neutering efforts during the wintertime essential. By spaying and neutering cats now, communities can prevent the peak of pregnant cats and new litters in the spring.

Spring is a notoriously difficult time for animal shelters in every community across the country because multiple litters of kittens are impounded every day once kitten season begins. “Most animal shelters are not equipped to care for young kittens who have been separated from their mother too early,” says Ellen Jefferson, a licensed veterinarian who serves as Executive Director of Austin Pets Alive! and an advisor to Alley Cat Allies. “Neonatal kittens require around-the-clock care from trained staff or foster homes. Without a network in place to care for neonatal kittens, many, if not all of them, will be killed in the shelter.”

Jefferson noted that cats can become pregnant as early as four months of age, meaning the kittens you see today will be having kittens of their own come springtime. With a 63-day (nine-week) gestation period, kittens are usually conceived in January and February and born in the spring.

Kittens can be safely spayed or neutered at 2 months old, or as soon as they weigh two pounds. Veterinarians consider pediatric spaying and neutering for cats an easier, faster procedure. Research has shown that kittens spayed or neutered before 12 weeks of age have fewer complications from surgery than those older than 12 weeks. Kittens also rebound much faster after surgery with less stress than cats over 6 months of age.

In a Trap-Neuter-Return program (TNR), community cats—also called feral cats—are humanely trapped and taken to a veterinary clinic for spaying, neutering, and vaccination. The tip of the cat’s left ear is painlessly removed while under anesthesia, indicating that the cat has been neutered and vaccinated. Unsocialized cats are returned to their outdoor homes, while friendly cats and kittens are fostered before adoption. TNR ends the reproduction cycle, and stops behaviors associated with mating such as yowling and spraying, thereby addressing community concerns and decreasing calls to animal control.

Most communities that embrace a TNR program see fewer cats entering animal shelters, allowing shelters to focus their efforts and taxpayer dollars on adoption programs and community outreach and education. In addition to the over 600 nonprofit groups nationally practicing TNR, there are more than 450 cities and counties with official ordinances or policies endorsing TNR for community cats.

Individuals can find additional help at www.alleycat.org/GetHelp or request a list of local resources, including spay/neuter clinics and community cat organizations at www.alleycat.org/Response.

ANIMAL WELFARE DATA

posted February 8th, 2017 by
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Kirkpatrick Logo 2

ANIMAL WELFARE DATA

USDA SENDS ANIMAL WELFARE DATA INTO DARK HOLE

 

Kirkpatrick Foundation Renounces USDA Action that Removes All Animal Welfare Protection Data

Animal experts, advocates, and researchers underscore the need for continuing the USDA’s decades-long transparency.

 

Last Friday, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced that inspection reports, annual reports, and other information on facilities holding animals protected under the Animal Welfare Act and the Horse Protection Act will no longer be available through searches of Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service’s (APHIS) online database. These files have been available for easy and ready research for decades until last Friday’s swift action to hide them.

Kirkpatrick Foundation strongly repudiates this action and urges the USDA to return all data to online access, believing animal welfare reports on the USDA’s online database are essential to maintaining transparency in the interest of animal welfare. The foundation is concerned that the USDA will issue further orders to remove data on the humane handling of livestock compliance and enforcement actions and food safety violations.

This action essentially eliminates the public’s ability to know what is occurring in nearly 9,000 facilities across the U.S. including animal breeders, dealers, exhibitors, transporters, and taxpayer-funded animal research facilities. These reports will now be accessible only through Freedom of Information Act requests, which can take years for approval.

In Oklahoma, more than 260 facilities and individuals have licenses or registrations under the Animal Welfare Act including dog and cat breeders, zoos, exotic animal parks, and research institutions. Information obtained through searches of APHIS’s online database was an essential component of research gathered for The Oklahoma Animal Study, published by Kirkpatrick Foundation in 2016. Principal Investigator Kristy Wicker says that there would have been no way to determine the number, location, and status of animals located in the state or even fact-check information without access to the database. http://kirkpatrickfoundation.com/uploads//the-oklahoma-animal-study-final.pdf

Louisa McCune, editor of the report and executive director of Kirkpatrick Foundation, concurs. “The Oklahoma Animal Study is a landmark report on the condition of Oklahoma animals that would have been impossible to achieve given this new action by the USDA. Anti-humane corporate interests who wish to shield information about these practices are undoubtedly behind this government action.”

Adds Wicker, “This information is vital to understanding the welfare of animals in our state. Without it we would have no way to respond quickly and effectively to reports of animal abuse such as those that came to light in recent years at Oklahoma research labs and roadside zoos. The public cares about these issues, but without ready access to this information, there is little accountability and much would go undetected.”

Kirkpatrick Foundation program associate Manda Shank, co-author of The Oklahoma Animal Study, attended the Animal Welfare Act at 50 Conference at Harvard University two months ago in December 2016. The federal law, signed by Lyndon Johnson in 1966, is the only law that regulates the treatment of animals in research and exhibition. “Friday’s action contradicts the spirit of the Animal Welfare Act,” she says. “ The AWA is designed to protect animals and this shadowing of data does just the opposite.”

The foundation echoes the statement of National Geographic: “These records have revealed many cases of abuse and mistreatment of animals, incidents that, if the reports had not been publicly posted, would likely have remained hidden. This action plunges journalists, animal welfare organizations, and the public at large into the dark about animal welfare at facilities across the country. The records document violations of the Animal Welfare Act, the federal law that regulates treatment of animals used for research and exhibition. The USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), which has maintained the online database, cites privacy concerns as justification for the removal. Critics question that reasoning. The agency has long redacted sensitive information from these records, and commercial facilities do not necessarily have the same right to privacy as private individuals.”

 

You can access a PDF of the 2.8.17 press release, here. Also please visit our Kirkpatrick Foundation’s webpage for more information about Safe & Humane and he Oklahoma Animal Study.

Program Associate Manda Shank can be reached by calling (405) 608-0934 or email [email protected]

A New Year

posted January 21st, 2017 by
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Supply and Demend

A New Year – A New Home –A New Job

A New YearLate last year, when they were calling me “Sasha,” I went to live with Gail for a few months.   She was my foster Mom while I had the treatment for heart-worms.  I knew I was a lucky girl, so I did everything she asked of me.  What she didn’t know is that I really wanted to just be her “girl.”

Four months later, my treatment is through, she’s decided she really wants to call me Sugar and yes she’s realized I need to be the newest member of her family.  Gail has had lots of medical challenges and I learned that the most important thing I could do was sit quietly beside her in her recliner so she would know she wasn’t alone.  It worked – it really worked.  She’s all better now and I’m an important person in her life.

Gail has a giving heart so she decided to visit people who were in hospice care.  One day I learned a gentleman, who’d seen my picture, wanted to pet me.  So, Gail took me to meet him.  I knew I had to be on my best behavior with all the people, the staff and any other four-legged friend I might meet.  I passed the test and spent 45 minutes with the gentleman so he could gently stroke my coat and I could give him comfort.

So now Gail and I are frequent visitors. We know we’re spreading happiness and giving people a chance to enjoy my company.  Yes, this is our picture. 

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