Animal Advocacy

Rehabilitate, stop animal abuse

posted November 7th, 2015 by
  • Share
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.

Do the Math

posted October 30th, 2015 by
  • Share
Looking Back

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
  • Share
Looking Back

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

Getting Dumped

posted October 16th, 2015 by
  • Share
Looking Back

Getting DumpedGetting Dumped

Getting dumped in the country is not OK.  Not sure why too many pet owners make the decision that it is.  While they may think that the farmers/ranchers in this area are just waiting for a new dog or cat to join the clan – – the real answer is not hardly – – no way.

I realized just how frustrating it is for all of us today when I got royally chewed out by a very irate person.  She had lots of dogs and a few cats/kittens that needed new homes today and she wanted to bring them to the shelter.  Once she heard the word “no” in our response the conversation did not go well.  Did she yell – – absolutely;  was she mad – – without question; did it change the situation – – no.

The area shelters and rescues work tirelessly to find homes for as many dogs and cats as possible.  All of us are committed to saving lives – – each organization may do it differently – but in the end – – we’ve collectively made a small dent in the problem.

The heartbreak is that for all our hard work and expense – there will still be more dogs and cats needing homes.

My ears are no longer ringing from the irate person on the other end of the line. I know it will happen again and again and again.  However, all I have to do is look into Megan’s eyes, or see Zelda go out the door purring – and even being yelled at with threatening words is still worth knowing we make a difference.  For me – it has been a significant contributor to my white hair.

Blaze’s Tribute Equine Rescue

posted October 12th, 2015 by
  • Share
Blaze's

Blaze’s Tribute Equine Rescue – October 12, 2015

Blaze’s Tribute Equine Rescue, Inc. located in Jones, Oklahoma, is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization that strives to improve the lives of neglected, starved, and abused horses.  We provide equine rescue regardless of age or disability.  We promote and teach horse care and humane, natural methods of training horses.  Our primary focus is Animal Cruelty Cases.  We work closely with the Oklahoma City Animal Welfare Division and the Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office with their Equine related Animal Cruelty Cases.  We also assist any other local/rural county sheriff’s office who request our assistance.

Urgent Assistance Needed:

Blaze’s Tribute Equine Rescue is asking for your assistance.  We understand that times are tight for many right now, but the smallest amount can go a long way in the rehabilitation of our rescued horses.  Our Donations and Adoptions have dropped dramatically and we are having to turn horses away that need rescued.  We have several horses that are waiting for much needed surgeries.  Please help, any amount that you can spare is greatly appreciated.  All donations are tax deductible and 100% of your donation goes towards the horses in our care.  Please consider making a donation today!  

 

Or Donate online at:

www.blazesequinerescue.com

If you are new to our program, please watch our video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3SkqZy8lQm4

Here is a breakdown of our immediate needs:

Many of you may know Double D.  A beautiful horse that came into our rescue program shortly after Rudy arrived in January.  Double D and Rudy are best friends.  They both rely on each other for emotional support.  Double D has gone through 2 surgeries to remove squamous cell carcinoma from his eyelids and his penis.  He had several large masses on his penis that were excised by our Veterinarians.  We treated the cancer with cryosurgery and implantation of chemotherapy slow release beads on his eyelids and his penis.  Both appeared to be a huge success, however, the mass on his penis has returned and once again, he will need surgery.  This surgery will need to be much more aggressive to make sure they are able to get all the way to the cells that are producing the cancer, after the removal of the tumors, he will again be treated with the cryosurgery and implantation of chemotherapy slow release beads.  We are praying that this surgery will be successful and the mass will not grow back.  Double D is a happy horse and enjoys his days with Rudy.

In case you are just now learning of Rudy or Double D.  Please follow their stories here:

http://blazesequinerescue.com/Rudy.html or http://blazesequinerescue.com/Double%20D.html

You can also see a wonderful video of Rudy and Double D here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ym6SMrLDB_s

We also have another rare case!  Shemar came into our rescue program in April from the Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office.  Shemar is a beautiful, Black, Quarter Horse Stud.  He is estimated to be 7 years of age.  He came in very thin, body score of a 3, infested with internal/external parasites.  Shemar appears to be a double crypt-orchid and will need surgery.  However, before we can address his needed surgery to remove his testicles, we have ran into some liver conditions.  Shemar shows no signs of being ill.  He is a happy go lucky horse and we would never know he was having any form of complications had we not pulled blood work prior to sending him to surgery.  Shemar’s blood work shows that he is going into some form of liver failure.  However, we don’t know what would be causing this.  We have taken Shemar to OSU for diagnosis and possible treatment.  However, I came back from OSU just as confused as I was before going.  If you have been following us for a while, you know that we always seem to have the rare cases.  OSU diagnosed Shemar with a rare disease, so rare, OSU has only seen it 3 times in the last 20 years.    

Sadly, we just didn’t find the positive answers we were hoping for. Shemar has been diagnosed with a severe Pulmonary Disease Due to “Multisystemic eosinophilic epitheliotropic Disease” (MEED). MEED occurs primarily in young horses, ranging in age from 3 to 13 years. The disease is histologically characterized by eosinophilic and lymphoplasmacytic infiltrates and the formation of eosinophilic granulomas in different organs. The clinical signs vary according to the organs affected. The prognosis of horses with MEED is invariably poor. However, attempted clinical management includes treatment with hydroxyurea and dexamethasone.

They still have a few tests that we are waiting on results to come back from, but we aren’t expecting any different of a diagnosis. Shemar’s liver is smaller than normal and due to the location we didn’t feel necessary to risk pulling a liver biopsy. So, that leaves us with a lot of thinking and deciding what is best for Shemar. We still have the fact that he is a stud and surgery is still needed.  His last diagnosis leaves me more confused, as he has done incredibly well since we returned home.  He has gained about 100 pounds, he looks amazing, and he seems to be feeling just as good as he looks.  However, his blood work still shows him to be in some form of liver failure.  If you know me, you know that I don’t give up easily on our horses.  I want to see Shemar live out the life he deserves.  I want him to be able to run in the pasture and play with other horses.  Before I can do that, we must prepare him for surgery.  At this time, OSU felt that he could still undergo surgery, as nothing shows that he physically can’t endure the surgery.  We need assistance to continue to proceed with getting Shemar the care he needs.  I just feel like there should be more answers available than what I am finding.  I am asking for you to please help me, help Shemar!

First picture is Shemar upon arrival, Second & Third picture is Shemar today!

Blaze’s Equine Rescue purchases grain weekly.  We spend $925.34 each week on the required grain we need to feed the horses in our rehabilitation program.

We purchase 24 round bales of hay weekly.  24 round bales with delivery cost us $1400.00 a week.  Sadly, we don’t have grass and have to feed hay year round.

We purchase shavings and fat supplements weekly.  Cost $294.75 a week

Our veterinarian expenses are much higher than our typical years past, due to the extreme medical cases that we have seen this year.  Typically we spend $30,773.92 a year.  We have currently already spent $40,570.45 this year alone on medical expenses and this is only October and we still have extreme cases that require a lot of medical care and expenses.  On average we spend $2500.00 to $5000.00 a month for veterinary care.  Keep in mind that is not only surgeries, etc., but also basic care such as pulling a negative coggins, vaccinations, deworming, teeth floating, castrations, injuries, physical examinations, lameness issues, etc.,  

Our farrier expenses average $500.00 every 2 weeks. 

It is an expensive endeavor caring for over 100 horses daily.  We can’t do this alone and we are asking for your assistance.  Please help us continue our rescue efforts. 

Of course that is only part of our everyday needs.  We also have many projects that we need completing, such as repairing structures and fencing for our rescued horses.  Our needs are always great.  We have saved over 1,290 horses in the last 15 years and we have adopted out One Thousand and Fifty Six horses to forever, loving homes. 

If you or anyone you know is looking to add a horse to their family, please check out our adoptable horses.  We have so many great horses seeking their forever, loving family.  Adoption is another great way of helping.  All adoption fee’s go back into the program to continue to assist other horses in need.  Adoption saves 2 lives.  The one you adopted and the one you opened up a place for a neglected horse to enter our program. 

Remember every little bit helps tremendously and we simply cannot thank you enough for your continued support.

Donations can be sent to:

17667 Markita Dr.  Jones, OK  73049

(405) 399-3084 or (405) 615-5267

[email protected] www.blazesequinerescue.com

Federal I.D. 43-2024364

Collaboration in Rescue

posted October 12th, 2015 by
  • Share
Looking Back

Collaboration in Rescue

CollaborationCollaboration works – – just visit downtown OKC. If you think the people behind the MAPS program always agree – – you’re wrong. What they do agree on is rebuilding OKC, they’re willing to work collaboratively – and they’ve been more than successful.

I’m constantly dismayed at the verbal shots fired by people in rescue to and about other rescue organizations. The dogs and cats do not care WHO saves them – so long as somebody does.

Many people involved in rescue are there for all the right reasons.  They want to find new homes for as many animals as possible.  From there it moves slowly in an arc until you are working with people who truly care about the animals in their rescue and have a policy of only adopting after a home visit.

When it comes to those who rescue cats – the range is from those who feel passionately they should always be in-house pets. At the other end of the spectrum are the farmers and ranchers who need barn cats – – they really do.  If there is one common ground it is declawing – – I almost never, ever talk to someone who believes in this painful process.

Add to the mix the transport out-of-state for rescued dogs.  Some go by plane, some by car caravans – which is fascinating to see how 5 to 10+ people, using social media, will transport one or more dogs long distances to new homes.  In addition there are rescues, both shelter and foster, who send dogs to out-of-state shelters that need, yes need, dogs.  Here’s where the disconnect and sometimes nonprofessional bashing comes in to play.  Not sure why – it certainly doesn’t help the dogs.

I believe rescue can be as successful as downtown OKC – – we’re Oklahomans and we can work together.  I’ve seen it first hand – – downtown Oklahoma City.

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