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Saturday, November 14, 2009

Think Locally


It's no secret that I'm a dog breeder. I am also an avid animal lover and very concerned about animal welfare. Not animal rights...animal welfare. There's a difference.

Since the 1980s, I've been showing, and occasionally breeding Siberian Huskies. These past few years I've pretty much let that sport fall by the wayside, I prefer to let others do the actual breeding and nurturing of puppies, while I pick my fluffy and later show it. Part of the reason that I choose to do this is that it's my way of addressing the issue of pet overpopulation. (Especially in my yard! LOL!)

A few years ago, an older breeder underwent some serious life crises and lost control of her kennel. Holes showed up in fences, and bitches were bred indiscriminately. Now these were all top quality show dogs, but still, she ended up with dozens upon dozens of unwanted puppies. Over a period of 3 years, my friend Barb and I, assisted by a local Siberian Husky rescue organization placed over 100 of these dogs and puppies.

Here's the deal. If they'd gone into a shelter, statistically, about 65 to 85 of those dogs would have been placed, the others would have been euthanized. Of course, that's based on the idea that a shelter would have had room for that many animals.

If they'd been rescued by PETA, 2 to 3 would have been placed, while 97 would have been euthanized. HSUS? Well, they're a political organization, and as far as I know, they don't do rescue. In fact, remember that money you sent to HSUS after Hurricane Katrina? Well, most of it didn't go to the animals affected by the hurricane. In fact, the majority of the money that wasn't sucked into the organization went overseas.

Surprised? Well, you should be. Horrified? Angered? Yes. Think of all that money that PETA rakes in. Only 1% is filtered to animal rescue. At their shelter in Norfolk, VA, only about 13 of over 2000 "rescues" find homes. The others die. This is the difference between animal rights and animal welfare. Ingrid Newkirk of PETA chastised President Obama for killing a fly during an interview, yet her organization routinely and apologetically KILLS thousands of companion animals on an annual basis. (see PETA Kills for documentation.)

As an animal expert, I frequently get queries about how to help animal. Well here's my answer: Support your local shelters. Seek out animal welfare organizations that support a "no kill" policy. Be realistic, in spite of those lofty aspirations, some animals are simply not physically or mentally healthy enough to be placed. There are few sanctuaries in the US that accept animals like this. One is Best Friends in Utah.

Investigate where your money goes. In my county, if our kennel club donates funds to the County Shelter, it gets sucked into the general fund and doesn't go to the animals. Instead, we try to meet other needs, such as purchasing raised kennel platforms to get the dogs off the concrete. We've also donated microchip scanners and tattoo guns, as well as dog food and medicine.

Donate your time. It's painful, but volunteer to go and socialize kittens or groom and walk dogs. If those animals don't survive their time at the shelter, at least you've made a difference in the life they've been allotted.

Spay and neuter your pets!!!

In times of crisis, there are sites you can research that have volunteer and donation guidelines. The following post was specific to Hurricane Gustav, but has some helpful information in the event of any emergency.

Remember that old phrase? "Think globally, act locally." Here's how to make a difference.


The following post was written by Lynn Szymurski, who lives in New Orleans.



Date: Sat, 30 Aug 2008 01:16:42 -0500From:

Lynn Szymurski Subject: Gustav links foraide & support
Hi all,I've put this together very hurriedly tonight to send out to those of =you that have requested info regarding Gustav and the links I promised. =I hope this will answer your questions and inquiries for you, and I will =forward more on as I locate them. I really need to think about packing, =but too much on my mind for that.

This is a nationwide website where you may select a state and find out =ways to donate during disasters that affect any part of the state. The =link for LA is listed below. You may find access on how to donate =financial support, products and how to volunteer to help.
http://www.aidmatrixnetwork.org/fema/states.aspx?ST=3DLouisiana

FEMA's Hurricane Gustav links and timelines regarding new releases: =http://www.fema.gov/hazard/hurricane/2008/gustav/index.shtm

Thankfully, in 2006, the Pets Evacuation and Transportation Standards =(PETS) Act mandates FEMA to ensure all state and local emergency plans =address the needs of individuals with household pets and service =animals. Good article at this link: =http://ohsep.louisiana.gov/newsrelated/petplan70908.htm =20

Great website for the entire United States in preparing for any type of =disaster. Contains links on how to evacuate during every possible =scenario, gives listings of every state's contact information and phone =numbers during emergency situations. Everyone should have this website =bookmarked: http://www.ready.gov/america/index.html

For volunteer work in LA: =http://www.volunteerlouisiana.gov/1800Vol/OpenIndexAction.do
For product donations and details of what is actually needed, this =webpage will list the items needed, when needed by, etc.

=http://www.aidmatrixnetwork.org/fema/PublicPortal/ListOfNeeds.aspx?Portal=ID=3D19

This is the legitimate site of links to legitimate nonprofits in =Louisiana and secure ways to donate. =http://www.aidmatrixnetwork.org/CashDonations/Default2.aspx?ST=3DLouisian=a
Thank you for your support and concern for us. It is greatly =appreciated....Permission to crosspost granted.

Siberianly,Lynn SzymurskiRichlynn SiberiansNew Orleans,

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