This month (May) a special documentary will be airing on several PBS stations around the country. The movie, Shelter Me, is hosted by actress and animal advocate, Katherine Heigel, and focuses on the success stories of several shelter pets after they are adopted.
Episode one shows how shelter pets are helping returning war veterans cope with PTSD.
Episode two goes inside a women’s prison to show how inmates are training shelter dogs to become service animals for people with disabilities.
And lastly, episode three features the journey of two stray dogs, “from the day they are picked up on the streets and brought to the shelter until the day they become a beloved family pet.”
To find out when it is airing in your state go to ShelterMe.com. You can watch a preview of the film below.
For my Minnesota friends: Unfortunately, there are only two Minnesota PBS stations airing this special film at this time (Appleton -Pioneer Public TV -KWCM, Thursday, May 24 at 9 pm and Austin -KSMQ, Monday, May 28 at 9 pm) but I hope TPT will choose to air it soon.
With nearly 3-4 million pets euthanized annually, it’s encouraging to see some big names promoting how wonderful shelter pets can be, if only given the chance. Don’t Shop, Adopt!
When my dog, Lady, went missing in November of last year many of you were right there with me, praying and hoping and helping and spreading the word. You understood my pain and worry at not knowing where she was or if she was alright. I had a lot of things to worry about those 12 long days and nights – the cold weather, cars, coyotes, strangers picking her up, winter weather and the everlasting fear that I would never find her. It was agony that I hope never to experience again.
Throughout that awful time when she was missing, the one worry I didn’t have was the possibility that Animal Control would pick her up and euthanize her before I could I could find her. However, for many pet owners in California that fear may become a reality soon if Governor Jerry Brown has his way.
Governor Brown wants to repeal the “Hayden Law”, which was passed in 1998 to provideowners more time to find their lost pets and to improve the chances for a pet to be adopted.
– Extended the holding period for a stray or lost pet to 4-6 days (from the previous requirement of 72 hours)
– Required that shelters post lost and found lists to ensure that lost pets could be found quickly and reunited with their families
– Mandated that sick and injured animals be provided veterinary care promptly
– Ensured that other pets, like rabbits and reptiles, be subject to the same treatment and holding requirement as given cats and dogs
– Provisioned for the state of California to reimburse shelters for the additional hours added to the holding period (i.e., 3 days)
According to Nathan Winograd of the “No Kill” movement, “These provisions helped reduce the killing of dogs and cats by nearly 250,000 in just one year after the provisions went into effect.” It also offered pet owners a better chance of finding their lost pet. Now Governor Brown wants to take that chance away – permanently. Hard to believe he’s a dog lover himself isn’t it?
I know that I am not a Californian. This law and it’s repeal have absolutely no affect on me whatsoever, however I am the owner of a formerly lost dog. I know what it’s like to lose a pet and worry and wonder if they will ever be found. I know how many tears I cried while Lady was missing. I know how much sleep I lost worrying that some harm would befall her. And, I can imagine the absolute terror I would feel knowing that if I didn’t find her before animal control did, she could be dead before I could rescue her. No. This bill may not affect me personally, but it does affect many California pet owners who are going through many of the same worries and fears and emotions that I did. It doesn’t take much for me to see why this decision by Governor Brown is a bad one.
So what can you do?
If you live in California, join the rally being organized by the Best Friends Animal Society on Tuesday, March 13th.
– Hayden’s Law was named after California State Senator Tom Hayden, who sponsored the bill.
– The bill was signed into law in 1997 by Governor Pet Wilson.
– In 2004, Patricia Lock filed a lawsuit in Kern County, California to force California shelters to cpmply with the law. The case went on for two years, but Lock prevailed and won in 2006.
– In 2004, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger briefly tried and failed to repeal Hayden’s Law
– Five years later (2009), Governor Brown suspended the law as part of a deal to balance the state budget.
– In 2009, Governor Brown suspended Hayden’s Law and no further state money has been provided to shelters since that time.
– On March 13, 2012, the Animal Adoption Mandate (Hayden Law) Repeal will be heard and voted on in the California State Assembly and Senate budget committees.
– Among the people and groups opposed to repealing Hayden’s Law are: Best Friends Animal Society, Nathan Winograd, Elayne Boosler, the Barbi Twins, former state senator, Tom Hayden (the author of Hayden’s Law), Maddie’s Fund, the Humane Society of the United States, ASPCA, the San Diego Animal Support Foundation, Bakersfield SPCA, Sacramento SPCA, San Francicsco SPCA and the Los Angeles City Council.
– California reimburses shelters to keep animals alive for up to an additional three days at about $23 milliion a year
– About 80 percent of pets are claimed by their owners within the first three days, but last year, about 1,100 lost pets were reunited with their owners on their fourth and fifth days in the shelter.
– In 2008-09, the county impounded 45,903 dogs, with 54 percent adopted or returned to their owners. In 2011-12, the projected number of impounded dogs stands at 48,823, with 57 percent returned or adopted.
Read more about Hayden’s Law:
The Governor Flip-Flops on Hayden Law by Nathan Winograd (Definitely worth the read.)
Hayden Law Update via Maddie’s Fund
Hayden Law: Jerry Brown Proposal To Allow Earlier Pet Euthanization Met By Angry Activists by Kathleen Miles (Huffington Post-Los Angeles)
Humane Leaders Urge Calif. Governor to Spare Abandoned and Lost Pets
Barbi Twins Speak Out Against Hayden Law Repeal: Doom for Shelter Pets
Barbis, Boosler vs. Brown & Board of Extermination by Elayne Boosler and The Barbi Twins
Knowing that my local shelter (the one I’ve volunteered at for many years) will be closing soon is so hard to accept. So maybe this take on ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas hit me harder than it normally would, but then again, maybe not. I hope you will pass it on. It’s a good reminder this Christmas.
(This was posted on the Doberman Rescue board and shared by Ann Kinney.)
‘Tis the night before Christmas and all through the town,
every shelter is full – we are lost, but not found.
Our numbers are hung on our kennels so bare,
we hope every minute that someone will care.
They’ll come to adopt us and give us the call,
“Come here, Max and Sparkie – come fetch your new ball!!
But now we sit here and think of the days..
we were treated so fondly – we had cute, baby ways.
Once we were little, then we grew and we grew
now we’re no longer young and we’re no longer new.
So out the back door we were thrown like the trash,
they reacted so quickly – why were they so rash?
We “jump on the children:, “don’t come when they call”,
we “bark when they leave us”, climb over the wall.
We should have been neutered, we should have been spayed,
now we suffer the consequence of the errors THEY made.
If only they’d trained us, if only we knew…
we’d have done what they asked us and worshiped them, too.
We were left in the backyard, or worse -let to roam,
now we’re tired and lonely and out of a home.
They dropped us off here and they kissed us good-bye…
“Maybe someone else will give you a try.”
So now here we are, all confused and alone…
in a shelter with others who long for a home.
The kind workers come through with a meal and a pat,
with so many to care for, they can’t stay to chat,
They move to the next kennel, giving each of us cheer…
we know that they wonder how long we’ll be here.
We lay down and sweet dreams fill our heads..
of a home filled with love and our own cozy beds.
Then we wake to see sad eyes, brimming with tears –
our friends filled with emptiness, worry, and fear.
If you can’t adopt us and there’s no room at the Inn –
could you help with the bills and fill our food bin?
We count on your kindness each day of the year –
can you give more than hope to everyone here?
Please make a donation to pay for the heat…
and help get us something special to eat.
The shelter that cares for us wants us to live,
and more of us will, if more people will give.
Please adopt if you can or donate to a shelter so more of them don’t close.
And please, if you have an issue with your pet, get help. Don’t just give up.
I apologize to all my blogging friends and fans. It’s been a little busy at Mel’s Pet Pals this week (I didn’t even get to my Wednesday Winner this week!), but I did want to share an absolutely fabulous, amazing and moving video for this week’s Favorite Video Friday.
This was first shared by a great blog (if you’re not reading it your should be) called Life With Dogs. The video has been making the rounds for the past week and a half and I wanted to make sure to continue the sharing. If you have a dog, then you will love this video.
Just A Dog?