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Pennsylvania Dog Law, Blueberries, and “Shrimp”


According to Deputy Secretary Jesse Smith, the Dog Law Advisory Board meeting has been moved to May 14th. Rep. David Millard has scheduled a meeting with Smith in his Bloomsburg office on the 8th. Since the Dog Law Bureau has decided to take the new regulations through the legislative process, anyone who has concerns should write, call or email Millard. Wouldn=t it be nice if Representative Merle Phillips and Senator John Gordner would join in this effort to gather information? Phillips, by the way, was one of the first elected officials to target and promote the need for dog bite prevention education–especially for toddlers. You might even call Phillips the AGod Father of UGH DOG@ ( symbol for a dangerous dog designed to warn those who cannot read that there is a biting dog on the premises). UGH DOG is part of the Dangerous Dog law and was whelped in Columbia County, drawn by an artist who was a dog bite victim, and later modified by the Geisinger Medical Center.

I urge all dog lovers to take the time to read breed columns in various all-breed magazines and also to seek out magazines that are specific to a breed. For example, understanding terriers is most important. Not only are terriers an endangered group in the world of dogs, but many of the dogs that need homes in our shelters and rescues are terriers. Fostering and owning terriers or terrier mixes has unique problems special to these breeds. It is important that we understand their history and purpose and appreciate these wonderful companions–or we may lose them. Breed-specific legislation (BSL) and dwindling registrations are taking a toll on terriers. Cesar, the renowned dog trainer, is leading the way by making his Ademo@ dog and companion, “Daddy” and “Junior”, a five-month-old blue pit bull, TV examples of good dogs. Also, organizations and groups should donate dog books and magazines to local libraries to promote all-breed understanding. An example of a great terrier magazine is Just Terriers, published four times a year. Besides stories and articles on terriers, the magazine provides readers with book reviews of interest to all dog lovers– one example is AThe Miss Fido Manners complete book of dog etiquette@ ; another is AWinterdance: The Fine Madness of Running the Iditarod@, plus such provocative articles as the use of bloodroot in tumor treatment and the new AAngel on a Leash@ therapy dog movement. Angel is led by the famed David Frei of Westminster fame, accompanied by his two Brittanys, and usually has Westminster winners making the rounds of children=s hospitals.

When I read about the value of blueberries in a dog=s diet I added them to my Springers’ breakfast fare. Blueberries, of course, are an excellent source of antioxidants, and the article by a noted nutritionist in the AKC Gazette told how the fruit was added to the diets of Westminster winners. Most veterinarians moan about dry diets being over- processed to the point that much of the nutritive value put into the bags isn=t as beneficial as natural sources of the same substances. One veterinarian in a letter to the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association suggested that canned food had a higher nutritive value than dry foods since it wasn=t subjected to the same degree of over-processing. He suggested adding canned food to a dry kibble for a better diet and, of course, adding t/d to make sure the teeth and gums remained healthy. Unfortunately, t/d is high calorie and so one has to watch amounts of this excellent formula.

The same issue of the journal contains a study of oral dental chews shaped like toothbrushes. These treats are now quite safe because the manufacturer has changed the formula so the chews dissolve more quickly and don=t cause blocking problems. Make sure, however, the toothbrush-shaped treats are marked post-2006.

And finally, the breed or combination of breeds of the poster dog for Pennsylvania puppy mills, AShrimp”, owned by Mainline Rescue=s Bill Smith, and seen on “Oprah”, is a subject of debate and interest. Shrimp has a history of being a purebred AKC-registered Poodle and originally looked starved, neglected and inbred. Shrimp is currently a Maltese Poodle mix. There is a way to determine Shrimp=s lineage and we have to when Shrimp’s owner will take the steps necessary to answer this question, now that Shrimp has become a celebrity dog. Doing so will allow us to get on to the real problems of spay/neuter and most especially designer dogs who are probably the largest population found in Pennsylvania shelters.

Apr 12, 2008 | Comments are off | Dangerous Dog Law, Dog Law Advisory Board, UGH DOG, Uncategorized, blueberries, dog magazines, oral dental chews

Take a look at “Modern Dog”

If you haven=t seen a copy of Modern Dog or read this quarterly all-breed magazine, you are missing an interesting adventure in a world of dogs far outside of our area of Pennsylvania and one that you cannot even experience on the Internet–yet! One of my favorite issues has a cover picture of Tori Spelling. Spelling calls herself an animal lover and even has her own rescue–AMuch Love Animal Rescue@. Here we must pause and take a doggy leap (but not the type done in any agility course).

One of the recent articles was about hoarding, which has been recognized as a mental illness. Those who suffer from the affliction cannot refuse a needy kitten or the soft eyes of a begging dog. More and more dogs, cats and other pets are accumulated. Money and time soon are insufficient and neglect turns into cruelty.

Jesse Smith, Special Deputy of Dog Law Enforcement, recently was able to stop a hoarder after 20 to 30 dead dogs were discovered in the home. As part of the sentence the judge mandated that this person could not own more than three dogs and is subject to inspection to make sure the sentence is adhered to. Life would truly be unbearable without a pet in the home and I am glad the judge allowed this person to continue to share her love–now more wisely. It is easy to be a hoarder if you love animals. And, yet we can give only a few the quality of life they deserve. Ordinary, everyday pet lovers hoard. They are not deliberately cruel.

Back to Tori Spelling and celebrities who begin rescue organizations. Betty White once told a friend of mine that Doris Day always had room for another abandoned dog or cat. AShe would even put them in closets@, White said. The Doris Day Animal League is a result of this need to help animals. So why not Tori Spelling?

Back to Modern Dog. Even the advertisements are different. Of course, there are ads for all kinds of collars with bling, but the most interesting one was a collar that had a pet communication system that enabled the owner to speak to a pet for up to 12 miles. It has a Acall owner@ button, a GPS tracking system, and LED lights with 2-mile visibility and is available for both cats and dogs in both a harness and collar form. Visit Also available from the company is a rain-or-shine bed (it has an umbrella), a pet bed with arthritic magnets and an airborne chew (with fluoride).

More on Modern Dog and other publications in other blogs to come.

FFI   A Hard Look at Pennsylvania Animal Shelters and Rescues by John Yates

Mar 26, 2008 | Comments are off | animal rescue, dog magazines, pet hoarding
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