Take a look at this great precedent for Los Angeles regarding rescue dogs and cats. It will be interesting to see if other cities and/or states will follow their example. I do feel for the smaller mom and pop pet shops that have good, well-behaved pets from good breeds; however, I do think this is a big step in the right direction. There are too many dogs, cats and pets euthanized each year.
Los Angeles lawmakers on Wednesday voted in favor of an ordinance that will make L.A. the largest city in America to ban pet stores from selling dogs, cats and rabbits obtained from commercial breeders.
The ordinance, which the City Council voted 12-2 to approve, targets puppy mills and is designed to cut down on the tens of thousands of animals euthanized each year in city shelters.
Under the law, individuals will still be allowed to buy directly from breeders, and pet stores will be allowed to sell animals that come from shelters, humane societies and registered rescue groups. Stores found to be selling animals from breeders may face misdemeanor charges and a first-time penalty of $250.
Animal rights activists hailed L.A.’s approval of the ban as a signal to other large cities to follow suit. Irvine, Hermosa Beach and West Hollywood are among the more than 30 cities across the United States and Canada that have passed similar measures in recent years, according to Elizabeth Oreck, who has been leading the legislative effort on behalf of Best Friends Animal Society.
L.A.'s ban also sends a message, she said, to breeders who frequently cut corners to keep costs low at the expense of the animals.
But pet shop owners complained the ordinance is misguided and unfair.
“It’s just making us suffer,” said Candice Ro, whose family has been selling small dogs, including Yorkshire Terriers and English Bulldogs, at its Koreatown pet shop for 11 years.
Ro said her store, Olympic Pet Shop, buys nearly all of its dogs from local breeders who take good care of their animals. “If we were getting puppy mill puppies that were sick we wouldn’t have stayed in business this long,” she said.
The ban was championed by Councilman Paul Koretz, a longtime supporter of animal rights who said lawmakers have a duty to stick up for animals who “cannot speak for themselves.”
The measure was opposed by Councilman Mitchell Englander, who voted against the ban along with Councilman Bill Rosendahl.
Englander said the city doesn’t have the resources to enforce the law, and said it will put L.A. pet stores at a disadvantage. During economically difficult times like these, he said, government should be focusing on other things.
“With the limited resources we have, we’ve got to focus on the core services,” Englander said.
Because Wednesday's vote was not unanimous, it must come back for a second reading next week.
Halloween can be a fun time for your kids and your pets. Most adults love it. However, just as Halloween can be dangerous for children, it is important to keep some safety tips in mind for your pets. Below are some ways to keep you and your pet happy and safe on Halloween.
Halloween Decorations and Fire Hazards
If you like to decorate your home in the Halloween spirit, take into consideration what you're putting on display and where the decorations will be placed. Easy-to-reach decorations or candles can be eaten or knocked over, potentially leading to choking electrical shock and even burns and a household fire.
Choose a Safe Pet Costume
If you choose to dress up your pet, try an easy-to-wear- costume, the simpler, the better for your dog or cat. Pets can become tangled in elaborate, tight-fitting costumes with strings, ties, belts and sashes. This can lead to bodily injury or even pinch at your pets’ neck.
Try not to leave your pet unattended while he or she is wearing a costume. Small parts of a costume can become chewed and ingested and dangerous for your beloved pet.
Noise Affects Pets
Dogs and cats can become skittish and anxious when there is a lot of noise. And, of course, on Halloween, there is the constant ringing of the doorbell, squeals and chatter of kids just outside the door that can leave your pet scared. Further, the arrival of strangers dressed in unfamiliar and scary costumes can alarm some pets, increasing their anxiety.
Take extra precaution on Halloween by gauging your pets’ reaction. If they seem upset, you should consider leaving your dog or cat in a back room of the house or apartment for the night.
Candy and Chocolate Are Toxic
Candy and chocolate are never good for dogs or cats, and on Halloween there is an increased chance that your beloved pet may consume treats that aren’t good for them. Just make sure that all candies are out of your pet’s reach. Keep an eye on your pets to make sure they haven’t ingested any chocolate and/or something dangerous like a lollipop.
Watch your dog or cat so they don’t run away
Take caution and keep your pets indoors with you, or escort them outside on a leash if you plan on including your pet in neighborhood festivities. Sudden noises and strange-looking costumes can also spook your pet causing them to run away. As always, it’s a good idea to makes sure that your pet wears a collar and identification tags in case you become separated.
If you take precautions, you and your pet can enjoy Halloween and the adorable pictures that go with it!
October 16th was National Feral Cat Day. Although we recognize feral cats on that specific day, it is an issue that needs to be addressed and remembered on a daily basis.
In fact, I wish for a day that every cat has a safe and loving home and that the streets and shelters are not overpopulated with literally millions of cats. Sadly, not only is the dream a long way off, but many people don’t share that same mindset and that is why today, National Feral Cat Day, is so important. Feral, or outdoor community cats as would be the proper term, are part of the fabric of society and until the world at large has a greater knowledge about these animals, the battle of escalating overpopulation, misconceptions, lack of respect, and mistreatment will continue to exist and my hopes will be nothing more than an elusive dream…
Communities did not become overrun with outdoor cats as a random consequence of nature. Feral cats are actually a domestic species that were released into the wild, many years ago, unaltered, primarily to rid cities and farms of rodents by mankind. When days turned into years, that turned into decades, that turned into centuries, it is no wonder we have an overpopulation epidemic of upward of 70 million stray and feral cats in the United States alone, according to the ASPCA.
The message and solutions are actually quite simple in theory:
1. We must educate on the imperative need to implement community wide TNRM programs (Trap, Neuter, Return, Manage) to stabilize and manage colony populations.
2. We need to dispel the misconceptions that feral cats are wild, dangerous, disease ridden animals so that those that do live outdoors can do so in peace and dignity without persecution.
3. We need to act responsibly in the first place by NOT dumping unwanted, unaltered cats on the streets.
In order to spread the message and solutions in an effective way to institute positive change, it must be presented in easy to understand concepts that people can share with other people so that eventually the information becomes mainstream vocabulary, second nature, and community wide. Many people genuinely have no clue that a problem exists, or the extent of it, and many people are just too overwhelmed by the scope of it to think they can help make a difference or that it is their problem to solve in the first place. To aid in that aspect, I have put together a very simple list of the misconceptions of feral cats so that people can arm themselves with information. Knowledge is power and it is the first step to change:
1. Even if you don’t have a cat, or don’t like cats, by virtue of living in a community it should be your civic duty to be responsible. Stray and feral cats roaming the streets will procreate and the cat overpopulation will continue to escalate unless TNRM programs are instituted. Support your community shelters, either by donations, volunteering, or by understanding how important it is for these programs to be put in place and managed. If you chose to turn your head and have the attitude that it is not your problem, nothing will be solved.
2. Feral cats are not dangerous and do not attack people. While they may become familiar with a caretaker, these cats tend to avoid humans and usually only come out at night.
3. It is not cruel for a feral cat to live outdoors. Because they are not socialized to humans or indoor settings, they are typically unable to cope and do not adjust to the confinement or human contact. In fact, it can actually be detrimental to the cat to try to tame and socialize it. A feral cat may exhibit adverse behavioral problems in an indoor setting that are insurmountable to change, which often results in the cat being unfairly brought to a shelter where they are labeled “unadoptable” with an almost certain consequence of euthanization (according to Alley Cat Allies, almost 100% of feral cats brought to shelters are euthanized).
4. Feral cats are not responsible for the depletion of wildlife. In reality that is caused by urbanization, global warming, pollution, and construction. A managed feral colony is actually well fed and does not have a need to excessively hunt for food.
5. TNRM works. Trap-Neuter-Return-Manage is the safest and most beneficial program available to both the feral cat and the community. The colony’s population decreases (and stabilizes) and the negative behaviors associated with cats such as spraying and noises from mating and aggressive fighting is significantly reduced.
6. You can identify a cat that has already been part of the TNRM program by the universal practice of clipping the tip of the left ear of the cat.
7. If you do not know how to properly trap a cat or don’t have a trap, this should not dissuade you from helping. Contact your local shelters for assistance, or call a national organization like Alley Cat Allies for advice. Typically they will send someone out to help so that the cat is trapped in a humane manner and can be spayed or neutered, ear tipped, and then released back into the colony after it recovers from surgery.
8. Feral cats are not a filthy and disease ridden creature. In actuality, feral cats have a low rate of diseases and live a long and healthy life. This is particularly true because the feral cats that have been spayed or neutered are also vaccinated.
9. Cats can reproduce at an alarming rate when not managed. An unspayed/neutered cat pair leads up to 5,000 cats in 7 years. Because only 2% of feral cats are sterilized, there is an enormous need to institute proper TNR programs within a community. Most communities offer low cost or free spaying and neutering programs, so expense should not be an excuse to be irresponsible for not altering a cat.
10. There is a distinct difference between stray and feral cats that can often be confusing. A feral cat that is not adoptable should be returned to its outdoor home after it has been spayed or neutered. A stray cat found on the street at one point in its life had social contact with a human and can usually be adopted. A stray cat who is frightened might act like a feral cat when trapped and might mistakenly be brought to a kill shelter. The cats need several days of observation after being trapped to determine what type of cat they are.
11. Feral kittens can be socialized and adopted into a home if they are accustomed to people at an early age.
12. Feral cats are considered a domestic animal and are protected by anti-cruelty laws. Any crime against a cat should be reported to the proper officials.
All I ask is that we give meaning to National Feral Cat Day. Whether you share my post and videos, or you write your own post to share, or maybe it is a conversation or a story about a feral cat in your life… just please, talk about it and share. The more we give voice to the cause, the better off we will be. And lets all make a promise to try to think outside of the box so that our message begins to spread beyond our current circle of cat people. Let’s make National Feral Cat Day an everyday mainstream event.
I know that both cats and dogs are not exactly thrilled about being taken to the veterinarian. I certainly don’t enjoy going to the doctor, but I know that it is important to have my annual exams. And similarly, we need to take our pets for their annual exams in order to ensure that they remain healthy and live a very long life.
Obviously, our pets can’t tell us when they are down and out; therefore it is up to pet owners to look out for signs of health changes that might occur and/or bring our pets to the vet for their annual check-up and vaccinations. If pet owners schedule regular exams and make sure that our pets maintain a good diet, it can prevent further health issues later.
Here are 5 reasons to take your pet to the vet annually:
1. Annual Exams
By taking your pet to the Vet on a yearly basis, you have the ability to catch potential problems early. It is less expensive in the long run and can let you know what problems may or could develop as your pet gets older. Blood tests and physical exams will help you know if your pet is developing any health issues that might need special attention. (It is not that dissimilar from keeping up with your annual car inspections/maintenance).
Looking healthy, Fido!
Like humans, as pets get older, their dietary needs change; they need different amounts of protein, vitamins, and fatty acids depending on their age and health. A vet can advise the right diet for your pet. Further, portion control is also important to maintain a healthy weight. There are so many great, healthy food choices on the market that it is easy to keep your beloved dog or cat healthy. Just make sure the food has a high protein base and few additives.
Just like people, in order to keep your pet healthy, it is important to keep them active. This is more difficult in cats as you can’t take them for walks (although I know that some owners have tried). However, you can play with them to make sure they run around and don’t sleep all day. Throw them a mouse or their favorite toy.
Keeping your pet active also can mean they don’t get bored and in turn try to destroy things around your house (their idea of fun)! In fact, if you take your dog for a walk every day, it is healthy for both you and your dog and great for bonding.
4. Dental Care
The good news is that you don’t have to take your pet to the Dentist. Your vet will look for any signs of oral disease, but you can also help prevent problems by brushing your pet’s teeth on a regular basis at home. I know it is more difficult in cats, but just do the best you can. You can find snacks that are good for your pet’s teeth and can help break up the tartar that builds up.
If your pet has a bad or a weird smell coming from his or her mouth, it can be a sign of a digestive problem or a bad tooth that may need extraction. Take your dog or cat to the vet for a check up.
5. Fleas & Ticks
Once you see the first sign of a flea or tick on your beloved, make sure to take your pet to the vet immediately. These annoying insects are hard to destroy so if you catch them early on, that is very helpful. Better yet, prevention is the best medicine. Routine exams can catch intestinal parasites. You can also purchase flea or tick medicine that prevent them from invading your innocent pet.
If you take good care of your beloved pet by keeping up with his or her annual check ups, your pet will live a long and thriving life!