Archive for June, 2010

Bans on Animal Sales in Pet Stores Is Spreading Across North America

It looks like more and more cities are stepping up to stop the flow of animals from puppy mills and reduce the pressure on animal shelters and rescue group who deal daily with an overpopulation of domestic animals in our communities. Check out these link:

San Francisco’s proposed ban on the sale of animals in pet stores

San Francisco enforces ban on the sale of rabbits in pet stores

West Hollywood and many other cities too!

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Check out Ocean Dog Rescue!

See the Ocean Dog Rescue website at:  http://www.ocean-dog-rescue.org/

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Animal Overpopulation

by Christie Lagally

I was reading over the agenda, report and minutes from the March 2, 2010 City of Richmond General Purposes Committee (GPC) meeting on the proposal to ban the sale of dog from Richmond storefronts.  This issue has been overdue for discussion, since abandoned and surrendered dogs have been a major issue in Richmond for a very long time.  These dogs often come from pet stores, but also come from pet dealers, otherwise known as ‘puppy mills’, selling directly to the public.

Some interesting ideas were tossed around by the Richmond City Council and since dogs and cats are abandoned and abused every day in Richmond, we urgently need to address this issue.

Some solutions considered by council included:  the development and enforcement of regulations for dog breeders; a resolution to the Union of British Columbia Municipalities (UBCM) seeking provincial standards for dog breeding; and amending Richmond’s bylaw so that the keeping of puppies is included in the three dog per household limit.  These three ideas have merit in that they address the issue of impromptu ‘puppy mill’ style breeding operations in the home of individual residents.  This is definitely needed, and I encourage city council to move forward with these ideas.  But the issue of animal overpopulation, surrender and abandonment in Richmond will not be solved until we, as a community, recognize the magnitude and the severity of animal overpopulation in Richmond, shut down the puppy and kitten mill operations, and ensure that all our pets are spayed and neutered.
The Human Society of the US has the best statistics in North America on the number of animals that are bred and sold in each year that end up being euthanized in shelters because there are simply too many of them.  Approximately 7 million dogs and cats enter animal shelters each year in North America.  Of those, about half (3.5 million animals) are immediately euthanized due to the fact that there aren’t enough homes for them all.  According the HSUS, 25% of those dogs in shelters are purebred, but in Richmond over 57% of dogs in the Richmond Animal Shelter are purebred dogs.   So although I think that dog breeding should be regulated to prevent ‘puppy mill’ style breeding facilities, with 7 million dogs and cats entering shelters every year, should we really be selling animals at all?
In fact, we have plenty of animals in shelters, rescue group foster homes, and breed-specific rescue groups to supply Richmond residents for a decade or more.  According the GPC meeting minutes, local pet stores sell more than 200 puppies annually and pet dealers sell even more.  However, with just one search on Petfinder.com (a database of animals for adoption by local rescue groups), I found that there are currently 798 dogs for adoption in Richmond and the surrounding area!  Of those 798 dogs, 53 are puppies.  I don’t think we need more dogs or cats being bred and sold in Richmond when we have such a huge number that are already homeless and so many end up at the Richmond Animal Shelter.
The costs of pet abandonment and surrender are felt by Richmond’s residents everyday when we pay our taxes to deal with this disturbing and ever-expanding issue of overpopulation.  Please contact City Council and encourage them to proceed to legislation to restrict animal sales in Richmond.   Well over 798 dogs will thank you.
Note: If you have never used Petfinder.com, it’s a wonderful resource for someone looking for a new pet.  You can enter your city or postal code and find all the dogs, cats, birds and rabbits for adoption in your area.  You can even search for a new pet by age, gender, size, and breed.  In addition, Petfinder.com is a wonderful resource for individuals who want to learn more about getting a dog or cat for the first time.  Check it out!

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Bring the family, even the dog

By Christie Lagally, Special to the Richmond News June 4, 2010

When an event claims that “there is something for the whole family,” they usually don’t mean for the family dog, cat or rabbit as well as the kids.

But I recently found out about one event that you and your whole family are not going to want to miss!

On June 19 and 20, rescue groups, breeders, pet product suppliers, veterinarians, trainers and animal experts are gathering at the Hellenic Community Centre in Vancouver to hold the Petnership Trade Show and Lecture Series.

And this event really is for the whole family — kids, parents, couples, singles, dogs, ferrets, horses and, yes, even cats!

And the entrance fee is just $10 per person, but half-price coupons are readily available at the Richmond Animal Shelter.

Your fee is good for both days.

The Petnership Project is an effort to share information on holistic health and wellness for your pets — and all pets — including those in shelters and even horses just off the racetrack.

The event will include: exhibitors teaching us about raw pet food, healthy dog treats, holistic veterinarian care, positive dog training, healthy litter and so much more.

In addition, I’m really looking forward to the showcase of rescue groups and the lectures series on everything from teaching children how to safely approach a dog to lectures on “happy, healthy cats” and “pet first aid.”

Did you know there is clicker training for cats? You can learn all about that too.

The Petnership Project was started by owner, Sandi Hildebrand, about a year ago.

She had first-hand experience using holistic pet care and feeding raw food, and was keen to share the new-found information.

However, she quickly realized the incredible scope of information that encompassed the holistic pet care, and the opportunity for a trade show and lecture series seemed clear.

Hildebrand’s Petnership Project was started just over a year ago; the momentum of this project has increased exponentially as she has met more people and rescue groups who are trying new ways to care for the mind, body and spirit of animals.

However, Hildebrand wanted to not just share the information, but also to partner with rescue groups to help them share their message as well.

The Petnership Project has partnered with the Richmond Animal Protection Society (RAPS), the Vancouver Orphan Kitten Rescue Association (VOKRA) and New Stride Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation to put on this event.

Sonya Kamp, manager of RAPS’ Richmond Animal Shelter, has volunteered much of her time to work with Hildebrand, and to organize a rescue group showcase and shelter dog show.

The showcase will feature animal groups from all over the Metro Vancouver area including breed-specific rescue groups like Boxers Without Borders, Westcoast Rottweiler Rescue and TNT Sharpei Rescue.

As more cities across North America follow suit with places like South Lake Tahoe, California and Albuquerque, New Mexico to ban the sale of animals from retail outlets, it will be good for the public to know that purebred dogs rescues as well as responsible breeders are good places to search for a purebred dog.

But this event isn’t just for dog lovers. Greyhaven Exotic Bird Sanctuary and Vancouver Rabbit Rescue will also be represented along with the RAPS Cat Sanctuary.

For more information on the Petnership Trade Show and Lecture series, see the website at http://www.petnerships.com.

But more importantly, much of the proceeds from this gathering will be going to RAPS, VOKRA and New Stride Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation, so your attendance means that the stray and homeless animals in Richmond will benefit as well. I hope to see you and meet you there!

Christie Lagally is a freelance pet columnist for the Richmond News.
© Copyright (c) Richmond News

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You’ve gotta be there! Check out the Petnership Project!

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