Stray dogs and cats are a public problem

Constant companionI’ve been waiting for this moment on Where’s Pom. The story where Lancaster and the mission of this blog combine. Unfortunately, this post covers some well traveled territory – the ongoing public battle between townships and the local Humane League. It was only last December that Lancaster Online covered the same story – Humane League raises fees and local townships start complaining publicly.

The breakdown of the problem goes something like this:

  • The local Humane League takes in about 12,000 animals a year, two thirds of which are cats.
  • The Humane League assumes costs for housing, feeding, and caring for strays caught in the county.
  • Local townships have no facilities to keep dogs and cats nabbed in their jurisdiction.
  • Townships pay a per capita fee to bring animals into the shelter.
  • The shelter argues that per capita fees are the only fair way to assess the costs of strays. In the absence of contracts and set fees, townships argue about exactly where an animal is found to avoid a “per animal” fees.

Just over half of Lancaster’s 60 municipalities have a contract with the Humane League for 2011. Contracts are up for renewal soon, and several more municipalities say they won’t pay due to budget constraints. Back in December, Manor Township reported hauling their strays to Berks County to avoid local fees. Given $3.50-$4.00 gas and the cost of paying an employee to drive a stray to Berks County, this hardly seems like a fiscally sound idea. Moreover, as writer Tom Knapp points out for municipalities, “The cost of doing business with the Humane League is up again this year, and some municipalities are looking at options for 2012. Short of building and staffing their own kennels, there aren’t many.”

Stray dogs and cats fall clearly into the realm of “public” problems–the kind of thing you pay local taxes to take care of. Feral cats are sometimes carriers of rabies, so considering most of the stray animals caught are cats, this is also a public safety issue. Municipalities are, of course, free to consider other shelters, but in the interest of fiscal stewardship, they should also consider the additional costs incurred in transportation and compensation to transport strays.

The Humane League of Lancaster County does an admirable job of caring for and placing stray dogs and cats. The cost of their service includes a personality matching service that helps match owners with animals that will better fit their lifestyle and needs thus assuring the animals won’t be returned. Local municipalities are ill equipped to provide this same service nor should they. This blog hopes the public complaining ends and that municipalities work quietly to resolve their differences with the Humane League and continue their working relationship.

Sources:
Dog Shelter Loses Support
Stray Dogs A Costly Problem

 



Dachshund’s Owner Punches Bear

Dachshund Fudge with owner Brook CollinsFudge the Dachshund is a lucky dog, or his owner is a brash 22-year old with a death wish. Either way, we admire her moxie.

In the same year that two people were mauled by bears in Yellowstone, dog mom Brook Collins punched a bear in the face after it grabbed her dog Fudge.  The bear wandered into her yard in Juneau, Alaska and grabbed Fudge “like a salmon.”

As she reported to the Juneau Empire, “It was a stupid thing but I couldn’t help it.  know you’re not supposed to do that but I didn’t want my dog to be killed.” And neither do we, Brook. You’ve set a new standard for dog parents everywhere.

Read more: [Gawker] [Juneau Empire] [Gaurdian]

 



Large dog, Will fit on your lap

Large dogs on their owners' lapsWeb site blinkdog.com did us a favor and assembled some great shots of people with large dogs on their laps. Owners of large dogs often say things like “oh, he thinks he’s a lap dog,” and these pictures prove it. Enjoy.

Source: Blinky Dog

 



Chewy the Biker Dog

Chewy the Biker DogAt Where’s Pom, we love stories of owners inspired by their dogs. We can’t help but love Chewy the Biker Dog, a rescue who rides on the back of a motorcycle with his owner, Butch. Chewy frequently rides in support of veterans and was recently nominated and accepted as an Associate Chapter Member of the American Gold Star Mothers (Dogwood Chapter). As explained on his blog, “I ride with a lot of people to honor our Fallen Heroes, but because I’m a dog, I tend draw more attention to what my driver and I do.”

Have a photo of a biker dog? Submit it to Chewy’s blog below.

Read More: [Chewy’s Blog] [Chewy’s Facebook] [Gold Star Moms]

 



Operation Heroes and Hounds

Author and dog trainer Tamar Geller recently launched an initiative to help injured members of the United States Military. Operation Heroes & Hounds’ allows military personnel to coach and live with shelter dogs. As Tamar explains, “The focus of the program is on personal transformation through The Loved Dog™ method, a playful and nonaggressive approach to canine coaching. Both service members and shelter dogs learn a new set of skills that will make a positive impact on their future.”

Tamar’s program is not unlike many prison-based programs where inmates get a chance to work with shelter dogs training them for service or as pets. Such programs are often praised as a way to provide therapy for both the individual and the dog.

Sources:

http://www.tamargeller.com/outreach-heroes.php
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/15014860/ns/health-pet_health/t/prisoners-rehabilitate-death-row-dogs/#.TlE2bjtZbR0

 

 



Dognapping

Don't leave Fido unattendedThe American Kennel Club made news this week with its report of increased rates of dog theft. If you leave Sam the Retriever tied to a tree while you run in for a latte, there is now a 32% greater chance that he’ll be missing when you return. Dogs have also been reportedly nabbed from yards, cars, and houses.

The AKC reports that dogs are stolen for a variety of reasons including resale and an aversion to paying an adoption fee. As most dog owners can tell you, whatever price you pay for your new best friend is just the downpayment. The ASPCA estimates the cost of down ownership from $580 to $875 a year with large dogs requiring more food and medical care. If you can’t pay the adoption fee, do yourself a favor and adopt a Chia Pet instead.

See the AKC link below for how to protect your pet.

Sources:

http://gawker.com/5830763/
http://www.akc.org/news/index.cfm?article_id=4468
http://www.aspca.org/adoption/pet-care-costs.aspx



Elliott Erwitt Instagram Tribute

Elliott Erwitt was a advertising and documentary photographer. He was known for his ability to coax oddity from the human condition in an uncritical manner which fostered wide appeal.

Some of his most iconic photographs featured dogs and their owners. He could wait patiently for that moment when dog and owner shared that proverbial look, that similarity between dog and owner. He was particularly fond of jumping dogs.

In conjunction with a retrospective in New York City, NPR asked its Instagram followers to tag their dogs. They posted the result in this slide show called Dogs In Flight.



GOP debate bell vexes dogs across America

Dog bellAs first reported by WaPo’s Mike Rosenwald, the bell used during the GOP debates on August 11 was the same one many Americans employ as a door bell causing dogs across the nation to lose it like Rick Santorum on a Log Cabin Republicans’ cruise. As Rosenwald noted, “Twitter is filling up with tweets about dogs similarly losing their minds.”

At the Where’s Pom house, we have no doorbell, but the Pom has been known to freak out at barking dogs, Marcus Bachmann, and random noises generated by the television.

[WaPo]



Breedbreakdown helps you find your next dog

Bulldog image from breedbreakdownThe Breed Breakdown can help you choose your next dog. Select the attributes you’re most interested in, and the pages of tiles shuffles to help you make your choice. Want a medium size dog that is difficult to train but “decent” at keeping intruders from stealing your electronics, then you need a bulldog, my friend.

 

 

 



Sora and the iPhone App

Sora can balance items on her headAt Where’s Pom, we can’t resist any story featuring a dog with special talents. The Instagram user community recently attracted our attention with the story of user @umetaturou’s border collie, Sora, who has attracted a following with her ability to balance objects on her head. She has even inspired other users to create artwork of her. Check out his photos.

If you have an iPhone, consider downloading the Instagram app. It’s a free, fun way to style and share photos. For the latest Instagram news, visit their blog.