Animal Cruelty

I honestly believe that introducing ‘animal welfare’ into the school curricula will undoubtedly see a decrease in animal cruelty. I would therefore please ask all visitors and clients to sign and share our petition to ‘Introduce Animal Welfare into the School Curriculum’.

Animals have encouraged the moral and personal development of children, bringing social benefits to their communities. Scientific research has also proved the health benefits as well as promoting a general feeling of wellbeing.

Animals also bring out the nurturing instinct of a child and help them to understand the responsibility of owning a pet.

Therapeutic and educational benefits have been identified, especially benefitting those children with special needs. Their calming affect can also help to reduce stress, improve concentration and help to boost self esteem.

There may not be a ‘quick fix’ for animal abuse, but educating our children how to better care for our animals is a start. I would therefore ask EVERY person who reads this article, to PLEASE sign our petition. We can force change and we CAN make a difference. It is easy to tut tut at the horrific images of animal abuse, or feel sickened by the puppy who has just been put to sleep having been thrown from a motorway bridge!

I am therefore asking people to put their pen where their mouth is and to force our government to make animal welfare education part of the school curricula. Together, we can and will make a difference.

http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/38361

Autumn

I cannot believe just how the time flies and how I have neglected my blog of  late!

Harriet (our little kitten from Cats Protection), is growing into a  beautiful cat and was nutered last week.  Always a worrying time, but she has recovered well and thankfully won’t be adding further strain to rescue centres, by producing her own kittens.

We have continued to expand our pet sitting service and despite the recession have had our busiest year yet.  In fact we are still recruiting for live in pet sitters/couples in the London, Wiltshire and Devon areas, so if you are interested,  please do get in touch.

We have been extremely active on Twitter and you can follow us here or join our new Facebook page,  where you can join in some extremely interesting debates and meet like minded people.

New members to our pet sitting team are Adrienne Hasler from Woodford Green in Essex.  I hope that Adrienne will very much enjoy her time with us and is due to start in the New Year.

HELP TO SAVE BRUCE ON DEATH ROW

 

This message has just been passed to me by K9 Magazine concerning a dog called Bruce current on death row and desperately in need of our support.

July 2, 2009 by K9 Magazine News Editor

Dog lovers around the world have reacted in horror to the recent news that the high profile case of pet dog “Bruce” may finally be over as a court orders he be destroyed in a few days time ending an exhaustive twenty one month battle to save him.

Bruce was a young Staffordshire Bull Terrier living happily with his family in Northern Ireland. On September 19th 2007 Bruce was seized by council officials as an alleged “pit bull type” and taken to secluded kennels whilst his owner was taken to court for owning a banned type of dog contrary to the Dangerous Dogs Act (Northern Ireland) Order 1991.

Whilst incarcerated in kennels his family were allowed to visit their dog in October 2007, Bruce had lost weight, muscle tone and had an open cut to his muzzle. Five months later Bruce was allowed a second visit from his family in March 2008, they were shocked with what they found: The wound on Bruce’s muzzle was larger, weeping and had become infected, he tail had been amputated due to damage and infection, he had open pressure sores, was underweight and looked totally broken and rejected, yet despite the clear pain he was in, is described by experts as being a friendly dog that poses no danger to the public.

 

 

A trial was heard at Bangor Magistrates’ Court on 27th August 2008 and the court determined that Bruce was “of type” despite the evidence from two expert identification witnesses who said he was not. Judgement was given two weeks later on the 12th September and Bruce was ordered destroyed devastating his family and supporters.

A legal appeal was lodged and a brief hearing on the 12th November 2008 listed the case for mention on 12th January 2009.

A further hearing in March 2009 was scheduled to set a date for the full Appeal. But, as we understand it, at this hearing the Judge gave Bruce a reprieve, as she believed Bruce does not pose a danger to the public. It was unclear how this potentially groundbreaking ruling would proceed as the Judge did not contest that Bruce had been found to be a pit bull type but decided as he posed no danger to the public he could be returned to his owner under the conditions that apply to pit bull types in England: Bruce’s owner was trying to obtain third party liability insurance for him as a pit bull type in Northern Ireland. As it is illegal to have a “pit bull type” in Northern Ireland no insurance company was able to offer insurance cover.

A further court date was set for 29th June 2009 to decide how this ruling for Bruce could proceed and the Judge ordered destruction.

In a desperate attempt to save Bruce, owner Shannon Brown, supporters and neighbours have created petitions, online networking groups and videos resulting in worldwide support to “Bring Bruce Home”. Bruce remains on canine death row, removed from his family home, alone and unaware of the worldwide support he has to spare his life.

Despite being debated several times, Northern Ireland has not adopted the provisions within the1997 Dangerous Dogs (Amendment) Act allowing friendly pet dogs found to be unlawful by appearance, but posing no danger to the public, to be allowed to live. In England, Scotland and Wales, a dog found to be “pit bull type” by the courts can be ordered entered onto the Index of Exempted Dogs as an alternative to destruction. If the Amendment had been accepted in Northern Ireland, the court would have been able to exercise discretion as with the rest of the UK – Bruce is likely to have been home long before now, alive and well registered on the Index of Exempted Dogs.

If Bruce lived across the border in Southern Ireland where no breeds are nationally banned he would never have been seized and imprisoned at all. Bruce has been offered a place of safety with a dedicated rescue and sanctuary in Southern Ireland where he could legally live out the rest of his life; this offer has been conveyed in writing to the solicitor but has sadly not been accepted by the court.

Bruce hasn’t actually ever put a paw wrong; he is sentenced to death due to the way he looks and the fact that NI has a mandatory death penalty unlike the rest of the UK who gave the courts discretion when sentencing twelve years ago.

Bruce and his family have endured much mental and physical anguish and pain solely due to a draconian law. His owner is simply a young dog owner who has been struggling for nearly two years to save her dogs life.

All that needs to be done to let a friendly dog live is for Bruce to be allowed safe passage from Northern to Southern Ireland and Bruce needs your support again during his eleventh hour.

We are asking supporters to contact the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (Shaun Woodward MP) and Ministers urging them to use compassion and discretion by granting Bruce a Pardon removing the penalty imposed – the mandatory death sentence with the provision that Bruce is moved to the rescue placement ready and waiting for him in Southern Ireland. For a nation who claims to be animal lovers this would be the expected outcome.

As the court has ordered that Bruce be destroyed someone will be expected to administer the fatal injection. Veterinary surgeons take a sworn oath and promise to safeguard the welfare of animals committed into their care. In line with this sworn promise we are calling on all veterinary professionals within the UK to take a stand and refuse to kill Bruce – a healthy, wanted animal who poses no danger to the public & has a rescue space waiting for him in Eire. Bruce’s legal owner does not give consent for Bruce to be destroyed.

Please help by contacting the relevant authorities (template letters available) – details below to add your support to “Saving Bruce”.

For Further Information – Please Contact:

DDA Watch

Email: mail@dangerousdogsact.co.uk

www.dangerousdogsact.co.uk

Tel: 0844 844 2900

Introducing Harry

Losing our beloved Melody had a drastic impact on our lives and has been as painful as losing a human family member. Melody was unique. She was stubborn and naughty, with selective hearing, and just a tiny bit dim! Well, at least that was what she wanted us to believe! When we adopted her, along with her sister Edna (Ed for short), we had no idea of the impact she would have on our lives.

Within days of her arrival, she had fallen into our kitchen bin three times, within weeks made a hole in our brand new bed but within minutes she had quite literally stolen our hearts. So the shock of losing her to kidney failure was immeasurable. She died in Doug’s arms and in buried in our garden, where we have placed a Dahlia in her name.

Harry our new kitten

Both Ed and Luika our German Shepherd Dog, with whom she tormented mercilessly, missed her terribly and despite taking comfort from each other, Luika is still a little boisterous to share the games Ed and melody enjoyed and a few weeks ago, we began our search for another cat.

Melody will always be irreplaceable, but Doug in particular was desperate for another little long haired female, but having Luika and Melody we felt that a kitten would fit into our family just right and so our search began.

We visited numerous rescue shelters, yet the kittens we saw were either the wrong sex, reserved, or short haired. Just when we thought to give up, I took a call from a local veterinary surgery to say that a gentleman had just left the details of a litter of kittens, one of whom was long haired, black and white, male who looked adorable. Of course I made contact straight away and a visit was arranged for that very evening.

It was love at first sight. As you can see he is absolutely adorable, but at six weeks, is too young to leave his mother and siblings. Since the mother cat was adopted from the Cat’s Protection, we have to undergo a home check which is taking place next Monday. It is all a little daunting when undergoing a suitability test, but we passed our RSPCA check with flying colours, so are hoping to do the same with the Cat’s Protection.

I’m happy to say that despite Luika being very noisy at the arrival of Healther, from the Cat’s Protection, we did indeed pass our home check and are collecting little Harry on Friday morning.  Pictures and updates to follow.

Dogged determination helps MS sufferer

When my husband was diagnosed with MS some 13 years ago, it was a shock, from which in some ways, we are still to recover.  The problems that sprang immediately to mind were how his mobility would be affected, could we cope financially and would it affect our animals.

Having owned German Shepherd Dogs for the majority of our married life, we were used to the strenuous exercise and mental stimulation that this particular breed required.  Zak (our GSD at that time), was a mere youngster and was already enjoying the prolonged walks and regular training that Doug provided. We were sailing into the unknown and as anyone who suffers from MS will testify, it is a relapsing remitting condition. This makes the symptoms variable and unpredictable, and you are forced to face the uncertainty of when new relapses will occur.

In the years that followed I noticed a big difference in my husband.  In some respects his life with Zak became almost regimented.  A strong bond between dog and owner had already been forged, but Doug had become to rely on the regularity of their walks and even lengthened their duration!  Zak’s devotion was uncompromising and it was almost as though Zak’s presence increased Doug’s determination to remain well and throughout their years together our dog remained a real focus for him to retain his mobility.  Despite setbacks, Zak’s walks took priority and remained so until we eventually lost him some 15 months ago to cancer.

Our grieving for Zak had pushed us both to our emotional edge, but I will always be mindful of the wonderful gift that our dog had given Doug and the determination to continue as normal a life as MS would allow.

We now have our fourth German Shepherd whom we have named Luika.  Ironically he also has health problems, being diagnosed with cow hocks at an early age.  This condition actually limits the amount of exercise that he can enjoy, which in some sense is a little comfort.  I have now taken over the training, but Doug continues his walking duties, with all the enthusiasm and gusto he shared with Zak.  Luika is but a year old, yet already I am beginning to see those early signs of blind devotion.