Dog Blog

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Thank you for sharing your concerns with me about the proposal to lift restrictions on hold times at animal shelters.  I value your input during these challenging economic times.

As you know, we are in the midst of the greatest economic crisis since the Great Depression. We now face a budget shortfall that has grown to $24.3 billion.  I have proposed cuts that I would have never proposed except in a worst-case scenario, including eliminating General Fund support for programs like Healthy Families, CalWORKS, Cal Grants and State Parks.  This was not an easy decision for me.  As a dog owner myself, I have always supported animal welfare and have worked to ensure the humane treatment of animals.

Currently, the state requires all shelters to hold stray animals for four to six days and reimburses them for the associated costs.  To address our budget crisis, I have proposed to suspend some Non-Proposition 98 mandates, including the reimbursement funds for these shelters.  To help local shelters deal with the challenges of this difficult budget situation, I have also proposed that the state no longer require the four to six day hold time.  Shelters still have the flexibility to keep the animals for more days, but my proposal avoids placing an unnecessary burden on local communities.

As I work with my partners in the Legislature to find solutions to these problems, know that I will keep your thoughts in mind.  Working together, I believe we can weather this storm and start the slow but steady march back toward prosperity.


Arnold Schwarzenegger

While you're at it, Governor, why don't you just kill all the old, ill, and indigent citizens of California?  That would also save some money.  Of course, his solution to this budget mess may well result in the deaths of many people, too.  

If you care anything about the welfare of your animals, ensure that they do not stray from your yard or while in the care of others, or you may not get them back.  
Please give shelter animals a chance to live.  Adopt your next pet from a shelter instead of purchasing it from a breeder.


Monday, June 08, 2009

By the hair of a dog's tail, I almost took on more tragedy from the city pound.  A male basset I'd had my eye on for a week (posted on their Web site) was going up for adoption on Saturday before last.  I managed to talk my husband into going down to have a look at him, but when we got there, he and also the female he came in with were nowhere to be found.  The shelter attendant didn't seem to know anything about any bassets.  I later found out from someone else that he had still not been administered his behavior test (contrary to what the shelter manager had written to me in an e-mail Friday afternoon) because he had been exposed to Parvo, at the shelter I assume.  The female is pretty and apparently adoptable, but I wouldn't dare adopt her because she was brought in with the infected dog and probably kenneled with him, too.    

I doubt that I will be looking for any more dogs to adopt from that place.  After our tragic loss of four-month-old Bramble in 1995 to distemper, I couldn't bear to lose another adoptee to a completely preventable disease.  It's been 14 years, and I still haven't gotten over the trauma of losing that beautiful pup to such a devastating disease.  All people have to do is vaccinate their pets, but of course they don't.  Then when the animals end up in a shelter for whatever reason, they are exposed to deadly viruses and sometimes don't survive, like poor little Bramble.   

This same facility was in the media spotlight a few years ago for its poor management.  Things don't seem to have changed much from what I've seen thus far.  I know that the budget crisis is making things difficult for every public agency, and animal welfare services seem to be a low priority, but high on the list of services to be slashed.  Things will get much worse if Governor Schwarzenegger has his way.  Under his latest decree, shelter dogs would destroyed in only three days, which means even fewer will be reunited with their owners or get adopted into new homes.  It makes me so angry I can't stand to look at his picture in the paper.  And to think I voted for this guy, the only Republican I've ever voted for in my life.  I wonder when was the last time Arnie visited an animal shelter and watched someone's pet be euthanized?  Perhaps if he did, he might see things differently.  If this edict becomes policy, he'll really be living up to his Hollywood title, The Terminator.

So much for the city pound.  The search for basset love continues... 


Sunday, June 07, 2009

Peaches is gradually coming out of her shell.  It's only taken two and a half years and the death of her fearless leader, Bubba, to bring it about.  I think now that she is the only dog in the household and has no other dog to rely on, she has had no choice but to assume his role of leader of the pack.  She seems less fearful and reactive to new situations these days.  For example, last night some neighbors dropped by unexpectedly with some wine to share, and we all sat in the front garden and chatted.  Peaches barked a bit at first but then settled down on her mat and was quiet the whole evening.  This is much different behavior than I would have seen when we first adopted her and far different than Daisy's.  We didn't have many visitors while she was alive.  I miss her but not her craziness.  Thank goodness that Peaches isn't that bad.  One Crazy Daisy per lifetime is enough.

This morning at the park, Peaches walked up to a strange woman and made friends!  This is a first for her.  Of course, the woman was crouched down and looked less threatening to her, which helps with fearful dogs.  Little by little, we are making progress.  The more experiences she has, the better she gets, but it's a very gradual process.  I only wish I knew what Peaches went through in the three years before I found her.  Or maybe I'd rather not know.

I'm considering taking her to Golden Gate Basset Rescue's Waddle in Novato on July 4, although I'm not sure how she would handle a large crowd of people and hundreds of other dogs, even if they are bassets like her.  Plus the Waddle starts at 10:00 and it's a long drive to Novato.  Perhaps there's a pet-friendly hotel nearby where we could stay overnight.  I'll look into it.  It would be fun to go to a waddle again.  It's been seven years since my last one.  There's the added bonus that there are likely to be dogs there to adopt, and we might find Peaches a friend.  

However, if I am looking for a basset to adopt, I guess I should visit Daphneyland, a basset rescue organization in Southern California.  I was watching an episode of "Groomer Has It" last night on Animal Planet, which took place at the basset ranch where there are probably 100 hounds.  Many appeared to be seniors, sadly.  I've never understood people who can just dump their faithful old friends that way, just because they get expensive or troublesome to care for.  It's not the case with all the old dogs, I'm sure, but probably most.  The groomers had to identify a dog they had seen only briefly from all those hounds, going only by their markings--a nearly impossible task.  It was hysterical to watch, especially when they opened the gates to release all the hounds at once, all of them waddling and baying.  Gotta love those hound dogs!  

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