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Protect Greyhounds – End Dog Racing! Interview with Christine from GREY2K USA

We have 2 beautiful brindle Greyhounds in our building and every time I meet them I catch myself staring at these majestic-looking gentle dogs. I know that one of them is a veteran female race dog and I just love her; the other one is our neighbor’s dog on the same floor. Tall and slim, with deep chests and the walk of a proud aristocrat, greyhounds are known to be calm and relaxed. They make very well-mannered and loving family dogs. Modern Greyhounds are descendants of an ancient identifiable breed that goes back to the Egyptians and Celts. While they love physical activity and love running, they are unfortunately exploited in an industry for human profit and abused for dog racing.

How did I meet Christine from GREY2K USA? We started a petition a while ago on change.org and one of Christine’s petitions popped up on my news feed. She is collecting signatures for different petitions including an end to dog racing. At that time it was her goal to encourage people to sign her petition to boycott Skechers for promoting dog racing during the Super Bowl. Sketchers filmed a commercial at Tucson Greyhound Park showing greyhounds racing (and losing) against a smaller dog wearing the company’s shoes. I signed her petition, along with 125,000 other caring animal advocates.

Christine Dorchak and her dog ZOE lobbying at state house

I connected with Christine, the co-founder, president and general counsel of GREY2K USA and wanted to learn more about her work and organization. GREY2K USA is the largest greyhound protection organization in the United States. As a non-profit organization, they work hard to pass stronger greyhound protection laws and to end the cruelty of dog racing on both national and international levels. They also promote the rescue, rehoming and adoption of wonderful greyhounds across the globe, but they do not have a shelter facility or adoption center. (If you are interested in adopting a greyhound please see the links at the bottom of this article.)

Christine A. Dorchak’s dedicated work has made a tremendous change and we are honored to share her interview with our audience. As a passionate animal advocate we all have to know more about this cruelty to greyhounds – and we have to raise awareness. Please take 10 minutes and read Christine’s highly informative and eye-opening interview; also please share, network and support the work of GREY2K USA to make a positive change. ~ Thank you.

How and when did your personal adventure in animal advocacy begin?

I have always cared about animals and grew up loving the natural world. This love was fostered by my mother, who always taught me to respect nature. As a child, I loved the squirrels, the chipmunks, the birds, the snails and all the animals around me! Then, when my parents allowed us to adopt two beagles – a boy and a girl – whom my brother and I found running lost around our neighborhood, I got my first experience with “rescue.”

After college, I began reading about the animal protection movement in earnest. I collected aluminum cans and donated the proceeds to my local shelter. I gave direct donations as I could. It was clear that my love for animals was still very important. But then in 1992, my world changed forever. While on a walk with my dog Kelsey early one morning, we were struck by a speeding trolley. I suffered severe injuries to my head, neck and back, crushed my spleen and could not walk. My poor dog had broken her hip trying to pull me to safety.

When I finally came out of my coma, and realized what had happened to us, my first words were “How’s Kelsey?” All I could think about was the dog who had saved my life … I vowed that if I ever got up again, I would devote my life to helping dogs. I would make a difference. But how?

I finally got my answer when I learned of a campaign to end dog racing in Massachusetts. I became an animal attorney to better understand the process, and for the next ten years, I would find myself living and breathing the local and then the worldwide effort to save greyhounds.

You can see a video about our experience on the GREY2K USA bio page here.

Why greyhounds?

After my accident and following several years of difficult recovery, I began volunteering for organizations like the Doris Day Animal League, In Defense of Animals and others. I worked at shelters, attended rallies, distributed pamphlets on vivisection, hunting, rodeos, circuses and more. I even did some radio interviews and started my own cable access show called Animal Agenda. Then, the greyhounds became my focus when I realized that their fight was one that could be won legislatively. I could see that there was a clear pathway for them, and that they were just one successful ballot question away from getting the second chance they needed. The idea that everyday people could actually make laws – that we had the power to effect change just by voting – really appealed to me.

Unfortunately, the first Massachusetts campaign for the greyhounds failed at the ballot box 49 to 51, and was one of closest voter questions in state history. The greyhounds set another record that year, but not a good one! That was in 2000. With an eye to writing a new ballot question and figure out how to create a stronger campaign, I decided to become a lawyer. This would never have been possible unless good fortune had smiled on me. I was awarded a full scholarship to attend the New England School of Law in 2001. Since I had no money, this was the only way I could ever have succeeded. Ironically, my tuition was paid for by a local track owner who happened to be on the board of the school. (How grateful I was that he did not learn of this until the night before graduation!)

That summer, I sat right down and drafted the Greyhound Protection Act. This became the ballot language which prohibited dog racing in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in 2008. The question passed and the greyhounds had won!

Injured greyhound in cage

You are working hard to pass stronger greyhound protection laws and to end the cruelty of dog racing. Can you explain to us why dog racing is cruel and how greyhounds became racing dogs?

Greyhound racing is simply cruel and inhumane and causes thousands of dogs to suffer each year. Racing greyhounds endure lives of nearly constant confinement, kept in stacked cages barely large enough for them to stand up or turn around. While racing, many dogs suffer and die from injuries including broken legs, paralysis, cardiac arrest and heat stroke. Additionally, many greyhounds are destroyed every year, because the number of dogs retiring from racing always exceeds the number of adoptive homes.

Beyond the industry standards of confinement, injuries and fatalities, and the killing of young, healthy dogs, the industry has a fundamental problem of perspective: In the eyes if racetrack promoters, dogs are merely short-term investments. Even the fastest dogs only race for a few years, and are expected to generate enough profit during that time to make up for the cost of their food and housing. The pressure to generate profits can lead to negligent care and outright cruelty such as the use of drugs to alter a dog’s performance.

Another essential problem with dog racing is that thousands of dogs are overbred every year in an effort to find younger, faster dogs. The older ones are then displaced, and their very lives put in immediate jeopardy. Will they be rescued or will they be destroyed? The lucky ones who do reach adoption will then displace other needy animals (cats, dogs, rabbits, etc) also seeking homes. In this significant way, the racing industry aggravates a homeless animal population which is already overwhelming and immensely sad. I believe that best answer is to get to the root of the problem and end dog racing as quickly as possible.

The pastime of dog racing began in the early part of the Twentieth Century with the invention of the mechanical lure. Illegal “flapper” tracks began springing up all across the country. At one time, there were at least sixty-five facilities from West Coast to East. Ironically, California was the birthplace of the industry, but it also became the first state to shut its dog tracks down. At the same time, other states like Florida, then Oregon and Massachusetts, worked to legalize the activity. The first state approved, pari-mutuel dog track opened in Hialeah, Florida in 1931. No one foresaw the direct cruelty that would result nor could anyone envision the problems of companion animal overpopulation that were soon to develop.

Pari-mutuel wagering is a system in which people bet among each other, and the winners of a given race each share a percentage of the total pot. The host state and the dog track owners also take a share, as do the owners of the dogs. There is something in this system for everyone – except the dogs, of course.

GREY2K USA was the first organization to successfully outlaw dog racing. Since your formation, twenty-six tracks all across the country have closed for live racing. What needs to be done to protect greyhounds and why is it still legal in some states? 

The mission of GREY2K USA will not be complete until dog racing ends everywhere. As a non-profit 501(c)4 organization, we work to pass stronger greyhound protection laws and to end the cruelty of dog racing on both national and international levels. Primarily through our 501(c)3 sister organization, the GREY2K USA Education Fund, we promote the rescue, rehoming and adoption of greyhounds across the globe. Giving the greyhounds their second chance is job #1 for both organizations!

At the present time, there remain twenty-two operational dog tracks in seven states. When we first formed in 2001, there were nearly fifty tracks in fifteen states, so we have truly cut the industry in half. Additionally, the number of greyhounds bred into the industry has also been halved over these last ten years. The outlook is very good that greyhounds will soon be dogs again – just dogs, and not commodities as they are in the racing world.

Meanwhile, we are actively working to block the expansion of dog racing into other countries. In 2010, I helped draft the language that made betting on dog races illegal in Guam. That same year, South African officials listened to our testimony and that of other advocates around the globe and refused to legalize the activity as well. Currently, we are working with ANIMA in Macau to shut down the track there, which is called the Canidrome.

A lot of people are passionate about animal welfare, yet not in a political way. Can you share why you think that it is important to have a political stance to make a change?

In a word, greyhounds ARE political animals. Dog racing, unlike most other cruelties that non-human animals suffer, is a state-regulated activity. No one “regulates” dog fighting or horse tripping for example, but the state plays an active role in dog racing. This is because, at least initially, government profited by it. In the early days of dog racing, betting and wagering on live racing generated tax revenues because each host state shared in the winnings. Nowadays, revenues are so diminished that in some cases, states are actually paying for dog racing. In other words, the costs of regulation actually exceed the taxes paid. This is the case in Florida, where state records show nearly a 100% decline in the “handle” or amount of money bet on live races.

Could you give examples of laws you’ve helped establish – and tell us how long it takes to enact a law?

The first bill I helped draft was the statute requiring dog tracks in Massachusetts to begin reporting on the number of injuries suffered by greyhounds, and also to document their fate after racing. The bill also mandated the creation of the first state-sponsored adoption fund, which was truly ground-breaking. Since we had lost our first attempt to prohibit dog racing on the ballot, we wanted to make sure that the dogs would at least be better protected.

The reporting law was truly the beginning of the end of dog racing because it established a solid record of cruelty. It was this record that became the basis for our successful legal case to end dog racing via the ballot initiative process. During the campaign, I’d walk around with a stack of injury and death reports and ask voters, “Would you treat your dog like this?”

I went on to draft successful legislation to restore greyhounds to the anti-cruelty statute of New Hampshire, to strip the three tracks there of millions of dollars in subsidies, to “decouple” or remove the state mandate requiring tracks to host live racing, and then finally, we passed legislation to end dog racing in the Granite State altogether. This is one example of the many steps it takes to help the greyhounds!

Similarly, I have drafted legislation to end dog racing in other states, including Rhode Island, Florida and also (as previously stated) the US Territory of Guam. It took six years to end dog racing in Rhode Island, and while we were able to pass into law better legal protections for Florida dogs, the bill to ban has yet to be passed. In Arizona, we also continue to work on a prohibition. This year we worked with the track to pass a decoupling measure, and hopefully, next session we will see a complete end to dog racing. Every legislative session brings new hope!

From your perspective, which laws are the most needed at the moment?

The end to dog racing cannot come soon enough!

What are your biggest obstacles?

According to state records, thousands of dogs are seriously injured each year at commercial racetracks, including dogs that suffer broken legs, cardiac arrest, spinal cord paralysis and broken necks. As long as dog racing continues, greyhounds will suffer. The thought that a dog may go down and break his neck at any makes me very sad and frustrated. But it also motivates me to keep working until this cruelty ends everywhere.

What are your next steps? On what project are you currently working?

CHRISTINE AND ZOE IN OFFICE (SEPTEMBER 2011)

Our next steps involve writing and passing legislation to end dog racing in the seven remaining states where it yet exists: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Iowa, Texas and West Virginia. We will also continue to network with groups in other countries to aid in their fight against dog racing. At the present time, we coordinate with Animals Asia, Animals Australia, GreytExploitations (UK), and the NSPCA(South Africa).

Meanwhile, we are also actively working with ANIMA in Macau to shut down the track there. The Canidrome is the only Chinese dog track, and all the dogs are eventually put to death. There is no adoption program and hundreds of greyhounds die each year. One of these dogs is named Brooklyn. Read Brooklyn’s story here.

Of course, our legislative campaigns in the US revolve around the formal state house sessions, and at this point, lawmakers are in recess. So are emphasis right now is on public outreach and community education. Believe it or not, at one time, greyhound racing was considered a fun pastime. Only in the past several decades, thanks to increased education, have most people come to realize that dog racing is a losing proposition for the greyhounds involved. Even dogs that are released by their owners may be burdened for life with injuries and socialization issues resulting from their time at the track.

Our Greyhounds in the Classroom project (through the GREY2K USA Education Fund) is helping to make sure that kids know that greyhounds are family friends, and not racing machines. They belong in homes not cages. When kids meet our rescued greyhounds, they know this to be true. Greyhounds are their own best advocates! Learn more at www.grey2kusaedu.org/education/classroom.html

Similarly, the Education Fund is now running a greyhound adoption campaign on all trolleys in the city of Naples. With thirteen operting facilities, Florida is home to more dog tracks than all of the other six states combined — so there is a great need for promoting the adoption of ex-racers. We also hope to place digital bullletin boards in ten key cities across the state by this Fall, but full funding is still needed.

How can someone adopt a greyhound?

No matter where you are, a needy greyhound is waiting close by! We offer a referral list on both of our web sites along with a Q & A about adoption. What may surprise many to learn is that greyhounds are some of the quietest dogs of all – they rarely bark – and what they like to do best is sleep. Greyhounds are commonly called 45-mile-per-hour couch potatoes, and for good reason. When you adopt a rescued greyhound, you not only save a life but you will also bring home a wonderful family friend. Learn more here.

Do you need volunteers? How can people help GREY2K USA and the greyhounds?

The easist thing to do is to sign up for action alerts from the GREY2K USA homepage. You will then start receiving petitions to sign online, information on campaigns, and requests to help pass legislation by calling lawmakers at key times. You will also receive information on how to participate in our “Governors Initiative” and other letterwriting programs. Of couse, donations are also needed but we also like to inject a little fun by hosting auctions and fundraising contests throughout the year. Helping greyhounds is really a “greyt” thing to do! Sign up here and start today!

What would you say is your personal goal?

I would like all greyhounds to get a second chance, like my own dog, Zoe. She is a ten-year-old brindle girl with a bit of a limp but I love her dearly!

GREY2K USA is committed to ending dog racing and we will keep lobbying and educating until greyhounds become just dogs again, to be loved and treated like the family friends we know them to be. Someone once said ‘Race cars, not dogs.” I heartily agree!

*****

Kahlua is an adult greyhound for adoption at Southern California Greyhound Adoption; http://www.socalgal.org

As you know, adoption is the key! If you want to adopt a greyhound please visit Adopt-a-Greyhound.org or click here and see a list of rescue groups. Many beautiful purebred dogs are waiting for a home.

 

GREY2K USA’s website: www.grey2kusa.org

GREY2K USA educational platform: www.grey2kusaedu.org to join our team and check out the links to groups all over the world who have joined together to end the cruelty of dog racing.

Twitter: @GREY2KUSA

Facebook: GREY2KUSA

YouTube Channel: GREY2K USA

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Adoption Animal Stories Articles Causes and Petitions

Dear Charlie Bear, we are looking for a home for you ~ Please, don’t give up!

Charlie Bear is a special dog to me: Because of him, I was introduced to dog rescue and animal welfare in the U.S. Meeting Charlie Bear and taking care of my (now deceased) dog Samson, who suffered from a similar condition as Charlie Bear, inspired me to start our website PackPeople.

I met Charlie Bear in 2010. While on my way home from a dog walk, at popular Griffith Park in Los Angeles, CA, I spotted Charlie Bear laying on the grass with his wheelchair next to him. Ingrid, one of his care-takers had taken him for a outing to enjoy the fresh air and sunshine. There was this stunningly handsome dog and I wondered: WHY DOES THIS DOG NOT HAVE A HOME??? Well, despite his good looks and amazing personality, Charlie Bear has been living in a kennel facility for several years and needs a foster or family urgent! Please read Charlie Bear’s story below and help us, help Charlie Bear to get out of boarding and into a permanent FOSTER / HOME!

Here is what Ingrid, Adoption Coordinator of Pacific Coast Dog Rescue has to say about Charlie Bear:

Charlie Bear, our handsome red/golden Corgi / Akita mix is bound to a wheelchair but that doesn’t stop him from enjoying life. If Charlie Bear was a human, he would be a motivational speaker. One of these fascinating people like Nick Vujicic of Australia who was born without arms and legs but has inspired thousands with his lookout out on life. Just like for Nick, attitude is altitude for Charlie Bear.

Charlie is always happy and smiles.

Charlie Bear and his buddy, a beautiful Chow Chow, were originally found on the streets and brought to a rescue. The rescue shut down before Charlie Bear and his friend were adopted and they came to Pacific Coast Dog Rescue. Charlie Bear’s buddy found a home but nobody came for Charlie Bear. Back then, Charlie Bear used to run and jump like a pup and go for daily walks. But suddenly, Charlie Bear’s hind legs started to give out. After rushing him to the ER and over time, visiting 3 different specialist, there is still no proven diagnosis. The first specialist felt that Charlie Bear might have degenerative myelopathy which is a progressive disease of the spinal cord. It begins with the loss of coordination of the hind legs and eventually leads to complete paralysis and the animal has to be euthanized. 

The second and third specialists did not agree with this assessment and felt that Charlie Bear suffers from one or more herniated discs and severe arthritis in his legs and elbows. The only way to find out, is to conduct an MRI but even with this expensive testing procedure, the specialists indicated, that Charlie Bear could probably not be cured. Charlie Bear has regressed over the past year. He initially was able to walk a couple of steps and then would fall. He was also able to somewhat walk with a sling as support. In September of 2010, we were able to get a doggie wheelchair or also called a cart.  Until just recently, Charlie Bear did very well with it and loved to go for his daily walks.

Charlie Bear loves to smell the bushes and wanted to “race”, especially when he saw a kitty to chase! But Charlie Bear is now getting weaker on his front legs and most days, he only wants to go for very short walks. Charlie Bear is not only very handsome but he is a favorite because of his strong personality! Charlie Bear will greet you with a big smile and give you soft kisses. He will goof around and challenge you, to entertain him. He will melt into your arms and be pushy to get his treats. He is just an amazing dog! THE MOST AMAZING DOG! But there is not denying that he is getting weaker. All his caretakers watch this with great concern and a deep feeling of helplessness.

Ingrid and Charlie Bear

We all love him so much (and tell him every day) but we have to start asking ourselves what is fair to Charlie Bear. He still eats like a horse, plays with toys and LOVES his peanut butter KONGS. But he can’t move much anymore. Thanks to some wonderful people, Charlie Bear has a state of the art wheelchair and a soft and comfortable mat to lay on. Even though, our staff takes care of Charlie Bear around the clock and he gets lots of attention, our dream for Charlie Bear is, to spend the remainder of his life (and who is to tell, how long that will be) in a home environment. We would love for Charlie Bear to have a grassy yard to lounge in and a quiet, peaceful place to rest. Can you help us, make this dream come true for Charlie Bear. Can you open your heart and home to Charlie Bear? Or do you know somebody who would sponsor Charlie Bear to live with a caretaker in their home?

Please share Charlie’s story and help to find a foster or forever family for this awesome dog! He lives in Burbank, California.

Please contact us today, to come visit Charlie Bear, give him a Foster / Home , sponsor Charlie Bear or simply make a donation for this care to www.pcdogrescue.org. If you are interested in Charlie please hurry and shoot us an email to info@packpeople.com.

And please don’t forget to share Charlie Bear’s story with everybody you know!!!

Ingrid recommends following links:

Visit Charlie Bear: http://www.pcdogrescue.org/available-dogs.html?task=detail&id=2

Nick’s website: http://www.attitudeisaltitude.com/aboutus-nick.php

Charlie’s desease explained: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canine_degenerative_myelopathy

If you see a typo, please let us know at info@packpeople.com. If you have a story idea that you would like to share, please drop us an email ~ Thank you.

Categories
Advocacy and Activism Animal Stories Articles Causes and Petitions

Oscar – A miserable, lonesome dog in Indiana

Gunter - Chow Chow Mix
This is not Oscar. This dog is waiting for a forever home at the North Central Animal Control & Care Center/L.A. CA. His ID# is A1177509. Please contact (888) 452-7381 if you are interested in Gunther.

We published Sadie’s story last week and mentioned that there is a 2nd dog in need in Indiana, involving the same dog advocate as in Sadie’s case. She’s been trying to get the dogs out of this horrible situation for over 10 months now and is devastated. She has reached out to Dogs Deserve Better and the Border Collie Rescue, without success. She contacted PackPeople in February and told us about Oscar and Sadie, hoping we would listen to their stories.

“For the past almost 10 months and sadly there’s no help out there. It’s a long story and the list of people/organizations I contacted. Please contact me and I would like to share so it can be voiced. I am seeking help for a couple of dogs who are facing extreme neglect from their owners. I am trying to find help to team up with rescues to reach out to the families with education & compassion to either have them bring the dogs inside their house as part of the family or have the dogs go to families that would accept them and provide care.  I want to ask you if you know any dog lovers here in Indiana that can team up with me and reach out to this family with education and compassion to the family for these poor dogs…“.

As an animal welfare platform we think that it is our duty to share these stories and raise awareness for these poor neglected dogs. We want to give Sadie and Oscar a shout out and try to help by publishing both dogs’ stories. Please contact us and we’ll provide the contact information for this dedicated animal advocate. Unfortunately, we don’t have any pictures of Oscar, but here is the concerned advocate’s email about Oscar’s miserable life:

OSCAR’S SITUATION:

This dog is an Aussie Shepherd named Oscar in Westfield, IN was abused all his puppy life. At the age of a year and a half Oscar got adopted by a lady who groomed him, took him to obedience school, loved him… in short gave him a better life. Soon after Oscar was adopted, the lady passed away leaving behind a husband and 3 children. The husband took the dog out of the house and placed him in a cage to live there 24/7, away from the house down the hill. It’s been over 7 years since Oscar is in a miserable state there. The house is out in the country. Oscar can only see light in the house from where his cage is. He barks all the time craving love and attention.

One cup of food a day gets thrown at him…food has been cut down to minimum as they think the dog is fat whereas it’s only hair, dirty cold water to drink, cage gets cleaned once in 7 to 10 days.. he’s forced to lay around his poop. He doesn’t get groomed anymore either, no activity or human interaction at all. Oscar’s bark echos in that wilderness.

The man (owner) still wants to keep the dog but he also said he has no time for the dog. He thinks that dog is an alarm system and that he lets him know if there’s someone outside, whereas the dog is barking himself to death out of misery and pleading to let him out. I think that man might be willing to let him go to a family that would accept him as a part of the family. He has absolutely no education about the dog’s breed or basic needs.

I really need help myself in order to reach out to Oscar. Would you please know of anyone that can team up with me to reach out to Oscar… or if you would help me with this in some way I would truly appreciate.

I am human, if you see a typo, please let me know at yurda@packpeople.com. If you have a story idea that you would like to share, please drop me an email. Thank you!

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Articles Causes and Petitions Cool and Fun Stuff Created for Rescues and Non-Profits Fun Stuff and Pet Companies

A new rescue program launched by Ruff Ruff & Meow

What would your pet say if they could talk? Ruff Ruff & Meow? Let your pets express themselves through their apparel and allow them to make a statement and be heard!

Caroline Leedom, founder and president of Ruf Ruff & Meow explains to us her new rescue program to support animal rescues & non-profit groups. Not only does her program offer support but it also brings a creative and fun approach to doggie apparel.

Listen to the short 7 minute chat with Caroline and learn how you can save money and support a cause.

Get your favorite pic on canvas

You can learn how to support your favorite rescue group, get a discount on Ruff Ruff’s humorous doggie apparel or sign up your organization to receive a donation. Caroline also shares with us her new products like the canvas prints and the baby line.

Furthermore, we are happy to announce that Ruff Ruff & Meow partnered with PackPeople, YAY! We are going to list the top 25 items from Ruff Ruff & Meow in our upcoming PackPeople shop and donate 20% of our profits to small, struggling rescue organizations. For more information about this innovative company, you can listen to our audio interview with Caroline here.

Enjoy the chat and spread the word to help animals and rescues in need!
RUFF RUFF and MEOW Update – New Rescue Program launched by PackPeople

Sample coupon for potential rescues
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Advocacy and Activism Animal Stories Articles Causes and Petitions

Help Sadie – Neglected and Unloved

“I am seeking help for a couple of dogs who are facing extreme neglect from their owners. I am trying to find help to team up with a Dogs Deserve Better rep and to reach out to the families with education & compassion to either have them bring the dogs inside their house as part of the family or have the dogs go to families that would accept them and provide care.
I want to ask you if you know any doglovers here in Indiana that can team up with me as a dog deserve better rep and reach out to this family with education and compassion to the family for these poor dogs…”Last month, a worried animal advocate contacted me and asked desperately for help with 2 poor, miserable dogs kept under inhumane circumstances in Indiana, that’s how her email started. I hope some of you guys can help, give advice or support her – PLEASE! It’s heartbreaking.
She forwarded me both dogs situations. She needs help in every area. Both the families have absolutely no education about the dog’s breed or basic needs.
Help needed for a GSD living a miserable, crated life – Please share Sadie’s story to free her!
SADIE’S SITUATION
This is a full-blooded German shepherd dog in in Indianapolis, Indiana. The owners keep her in a crate in the garage 24/7 with no potty breaks all night till next day noon/1:00 pm. Sadie is excessively crated for 22 to 23 hours daily and 14 to 16 hours at a stretch with no food, water, potty break. Garage is neither insulated nor ventilated. There are leaks in the garage and Sadie’s crate is loaded with stuff on top of it and around it. Regardless of weather conditions Sadie is kept there in that loaded messy garage.
Sadie taking a little break from the endless lonely crate living.

Sadie doesn’t get any exercise nor is she allowed in the house, no view, no toys, no treats and no companionship. Soaking wet Sadie gets shoved back in the crate. She is always alone in that dirty place and 99% of her life is forced to spend viewing the trash in the garage. This family leaves her crated in the garage when they go out of state depending on someone irresponsible who lets her out just once in 24 hours. She’s made to stay in the same condition during 115 heat index days too. Sadie had a choking tight collar that the owner mentioned has never been touched ever since they got her. So this means her collar was never adjusted as she grew! The lady has beaten dogs in the past as she also mentioned to me that she once beat the dog so badly that she could not move for 7 days!

This is Sadie in her crate for more than 20 hours a day. Picture is provided by samaritan.
Animal Control came into the picture but the investigator sided with the family and all the neglect going on. He said he lived in Afghanistan for 1 year and was used to the heat, therefore the dog will adapt to 115 heat index too. This ACO blocked all the possible help that could come from other sources.  Someone always gives this family a dog and their dogs die early deaths. They think it’s the dogs fate that they don’t get to live good years of life and their being hyper/aggressive etc is built in personalities. Whereas they don’t realize that it is the result of their mistreatment toward the dog. I tried to show them by examples of how I take good care of my dog and later have even volunteered help for Sadie but it was not received well. The family does not care about making a few changes in their habits that would be a reasonable remedy/relief to avoid this unjustifiable pain being caused to Sadie, resulting in continued neglect.

 

Dogs have a smaller bladder and can get infections like human beings. Sadie is forced to hold potty for hours every day (all night till next day noon). The lady wears ear plugs during the night and thus doesn’t get up to let Sadie out for potty. Sadie has no morning potty break either until noon. In the mornings, the lady along with her daughter passes by Sadie through the garage to get to work, school. This highly intelligent and loyal German shepherd was given to them by someone and Sadie is not welcomed as part of the family. Laziness in getting out to the garage and meeting her needs outside the house is another big factor in not providing care. Sadie’s food and water bowls are old rusted pans kept outside the house and if there’s water/food in her bowl, it’s either very hot in summers or freezing cold in winters.  Sadie is heart worm positive. There’s more neglect that takes place on daily basis. I’ve been trying very hard to find help for Sadie for the past 1 year now but have not been unsuccessful to help her out of this situation.

 

Dogs are companion animals and being separated from the pack means death to the dog. She is starved for love and attention. She’s harmed herself out of anxiety and has broken her tooth while probably chewing on the crate. She needs to be rescued before she breaks the rest of her teeth.
I am trying to do a chip in to offer money to the family to free Sadie from her situation, to treat her heart worm and then re-home her to a welcoming loving family. Also need help with a foster home for her or a permanent home. Below is the link to the chip in http://freesadie.chipin.com/dog-facing-neglect-in-crate-in-garage
I look forward to your help for Sadie.
I am human, if you see a typo, please let me know at yurda@packpeople.com. If you have a story idea that you would like to share, please drop me an email. Thank you!
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Advocacy and Activism Articles Causes and Petitions Get informed and educated News Pit Bulls

Craigslist’s shady pet advertisers contribute to mass killing of healthy animals [Updates]

Ad seen on craigslist December 22nd 2011

We all love craigslist, right?

When David and I first moved to the U.S., I always heard: “check craigslist” or “list it on craigslist.” It was very interesting that such a simply-designed platform is the most popular online classifieds marketplace. Easy to handle, you can get your product up and running to sell on the platform, or find whatever you desire, all in a few minutes. I don’t have to explain craigslist – so many of us use it.

Besides the fact that you can find furniture, cars, apartments, new friends and tickets for an upcoming event, you can also purchase living creatures — and that’s what bothers me. We are not talking about ads and postings of pet rescues or individuals who foster a pet and try to use the platform to find a new loving home. I even posted my little kitty “Thursday” on craigslist but wasn’t very happy with the results I got. People were looking for an X-Mas gift or just a free cat. Sometimes you are really lucky and can find a new responsible owner/pet parent through craigslist, the way Rufino found his little Ringo Star. Ringo had been listed by Happy Angels Dog Rescue and it helped him find the best home ever, in Ringo’s case. I’m also not discriminating against responsible certified breeders – so please don’t write me ugly emails.

Took me 10 minutes to flag 10 ads.

Today, I want to write about the shady business of backyard breeders, puppy mill operators and other irresponsible people that is widespread on craigslist. You can find tons of inhumane breeding, stud services, pit-puppies, unaltered dogs and advertisements and postings of dogs, cats, birds, horses…. on a daily basis. Animals sold for profit, stud services… traded for iPods or bikes…and the list goes on…

My rescue friend Ingrid made me aware of a friend of hers, who is herself fighting with this issue, and for many months now. I received an email asking for my help and thought, That’s something we have to support – we have to take action. Craigslist is not showing any kind of interest, and while I understand that filtering bad from good ads is very difficult, perhaps craigslist will develop a filter in the future, or I can get feedback from this post.

The only way to clean this platform at the moment is to flag each single irresponsible posting. The more people flag, the more ads will disappear. Many rescue groups are working very hard and people are fighting this but have not been able to stop it, so the more people made aware of it, the better. Craigslist doesn’t do a thing about it and neither does Marcia Mayeda, Director of Los Angeles County Animal Care and Control nor does Brenda F. Barnette, General Manager, LA Animal Services! Lots of these poor animals end up at the shelter, as bait or in research labs!

It’s terrible and contributes big time to the mass killing of innocent and healthy dogs and cats in shelters. Various organizations claim 5 – 12 million healthy and adoptable animals are killed in shelters annually, for lack of homes. If you have 5 minutes check http://losangeles.craigslist.org/pet and see for yourself. I also want to give you some numbers and info regarding why you should support the efforts of individuals in flagging dubious craigslist ads.

52 million dogs live in 35 million US households

6.2 million dogs die each year – 2.4 million in shelters

About 4 million dogs enter shelters each year:

400,000 puppies come from households that produce litters but do not place the pups in new homes.

About 2.2 million strays; reclaimed by their owners: about 600,000, (leaving 1.6 million strays available for adoption).

About 1.8 million owner surrenders, (300,000 for euthanasia and 1.5 million for adoption).

1 million of the 3.1 million dogs available for adoption do get new homes, leaving 2.1 million additional dogs euthanized.

Craig Newmark is the founder of craigslist.org. He has an awesome blog craigconnects and many other very interesting online projects, like the Craigslist Foundation, and he is a supporter of many good causes. Let’s see if we can connect with Craig or Jim Buckmaster CEO of CL, who runs the business, and remind Craig of his statement which he has published on his blog: Using technology to give the voiceless a real voice and the powerless real power. Now, we want to remind you that these animals are all voiceless and powerless… we are their voice. This is reality and we really need your help. I also sent Craig an email and I’m excited to hear his feedback. I’ll post an Update for sure.

Update, December 28, 2011: I’m not surprised, we haven’t received any reaction from Craigslist. Social Media is great – the article is getting a lot of attention and Craigslist shouldn’t underestimate this. Diana from bitrebels.com, a business friend of my husband, is willing to help us. I started a petition today and we need you to collect 10,000 signatures of animal lovers who do care. If you have any suggestions or you are interested in our efforts, let me know and I’ll provide the embed code for the petition widget. Please take action, it takes 1 min!

Sign the petition here!

Update, December 29, 2011: We need supporters to help us build awareness. Being a petition promoter is easy, all promoters need to do is post our petition on Facebook, email or IM friends, or get some bloggers to put up our widget. Remember, word of mouth is still the most powerful way to gain support for any online campaign.

Update, January 3, 2012: The support of the animal/pet community is amazing – thank you. Many discussion forums are dealing with the topic: chatting, talking, educating each other. I love it – we kicked the ball and it’s rolling!I know some people still think that the Craigslist postings are not really an issue, and aren’t seeing their connection to the mass killing of animals. I have started to collect pet ads on Craigslist just in the L.A. area to show how serious this really is. I’ll do this for a week from today on, and will put some statistics together. I will also try to show the difference between a posting from a rescue or foster home, and a posting from a backyard breeder.

This is an ad where someone wants to sell the KOIS as soon as possible with the words – very cheap!

Update, January 27, 2012: I’ve received feedback from several people more or less involved in animal welfare and it’s clear to me that some are still really not aware of the effects of posting animals for sale online. Only a few are upset; others are thrilled by what we’ve started. I also want to mention that we’ve recently interviewed PupQuest (an awesome source of information) and urge all to check out their reasons as to why animals should not be posted/traded online.

As I’ve mentioned, I’m keeping track of Craigslist pet ads and have recognized a pretty impressive number of them in the past 3 weeks. I couldn’t check Craigslist ads every day, but tried every other day. How did I do it? I recorded the ads people post to sell, trade, breed or give away a dog/cat/bird/rabbit/horse. I also realized that the Craigslist terms of asking a rehoming fee is just a joke. I’ve noticed many ads asking for a rehoming fee of 50$ or less… or even statements that the advertisers are actually willing to trade the animal, or simply give it away, because they have to move or for other weak, unacceptable reasons.

Some breeders weren’t so amused by the article and asked me to find a hobby to keep myself busy… to which I say, LOL, and thanks. I do have many hobbies and one of them is caring about the well-being of animals. One of them asked me in a private email: “Do you want me to dump the puppies? It’s better to sell them.”

This guy sells chicken. Text of ad: She is humped back from inbreeding or something

Let’s get back to the numbers: Approximately 50 ads are posted every day by individuals in the Los Angeles area selling (with a rehoming fee:)) or trading animals (many of them puppies). Approximately 5 people are looking for a dog to breed on their own. I just checked Craigslist’s pet ads this morning to find, again, many, many, many animal posts (puppies, young dogs, reptiles, rabbits…). With approximately 350 ads a week, this presents a total of 1400 questionable ads a month posted by individuals, and I’m not talking about rescues and animal welfare organizations.

Some of the puppies are given away too early, at only 5 or 6 weeks old, and here is one of the most common lies on Craigslist: “I hate to let go of him/her but I have to move and where I’m going doesn’t allow pets.”I’d also like to show how what a truly irresponsible ad looks like; here’s a recent example: “ALBERT” IS A GREAT DOG – I AM SHOWING HIM TODAY IN MALIBU – PLEASE RESPOND IF YOU ARE INTERESTED – I AM LEAVING TOWN THIS WEEKEND AND NEED TO GIVE AWAY MY DOGS AND PUPPIES. Craigslist asks people to flag with care. Yes, I did flag with care….all of the private, questionable, irresponsible shady ads, as “prohibited”.

I know that other platforms such as ebay, local classifieds in newspapers and magazines and online classified platforms are an issue too. We’ll get there…:)

I haven’t received any reaction from Craigslist. I know that many people are joining the fight against this inhumane practice and flagging the shady posts themselves. This upsets some breeders and other sellers, who in turn complain and ask Craigslist for a solution…which is excellent. Our petition will be available until July 2012.Please pass the petition to your friends, family and neighbors. We need your support to make a change. PETITION

Update, February 13, 2012: Bloggers like Ariel support our mission. Thank you so much. Ariel published an article about pets ads on Craigslist last year and explained the dangers of putting pet ads on the internet. See her articles: “Pets in Danger on craigslist” and “No Free Puppies or Kittens”. Diana from bitrebels.com published an article using our  post as the core idea. Thank you! Read the article here.

After many requests we do have the article in spanish. Please read the article in spanish here.

Update, May 11, 2012: I’m checking Craigslist almost every other week and I get frustrated every time when I search for key words; ‘Puppies’ or ‘Pitbull’. I find people advertising with puppies of all breeds, young dogs and cats. The figures are not decreasing and I have the feeling that there is a flood of puppies on craigslist at the moment.

Please also read this article if you want to know more about how dogs end up as bait dogs. Read the story of a former bait dog published on Pet Pardons news blog.

This is another story of Jeffrey Nally, from New Cumberland West Virginia. Nally was accused of mutilating and killing 29 puppies that he obtained through classified ads and Craigslist “free to good home” ads. http://news.petpardons.com/free-to-a-good-home-craigslist-dog-killer-sentenced-in-west-virginia/

I heard about another story where dogs get stolen from backyards and later advertised on Craigslist to be sold for $50 to $75.

We need to get the attention of Craigslist’s CEO via social media. If you want to get involved please send a direct message on Twitter to the CEO of Craigslist @jimbuckmaster or the founder @craignewmark with: Stop pet ads on craigslist! #Craigslist #Pets or contact craigslist here.

Here are some examples of ads on craigslist:

2 friends are looking for a male poodle to breed with.

Ad’s of 3 days – old listings (not available anymore)