Sadly few dogs simply pass away naturally. Many become old, weary, in pain and suffering from disease which inevitably warrants euthanasia. How do you know though that is time and can you cope with this trauma?
As we age we all become more acutely aware of how the years fly by. For our beloved pet dogs, this time passes by seemingly at the speed of light. With each dog year roughly equating to seven human years their precious lives all too soon slip away. If you are a caring dog owner, you will do you very best to ensure that your dog is well, healthy and never suffers. This can mean that sooner or later you will be faced with the job of having your dog put to sleep.
As medical care for animals improves the average length of a dog's life has improved also. Dogs with heart problems, diabetes, arthritis, thyroid disorders, amputated limbs and more can all have a good quality of life. We must remember though that every living creature has to die eventually. It is not easy knowing when it is time to put your dog to sleep but the advice below will help.
Most vets will offer a quality of life assessment for your dog. They will discuss the animal's quality of life, medication, diagnosis and prognosis with you in order to establish the best course of action. Of course, the ultimate decision will be yours. You know how the animal is on a daily basis and whether or not it still has some quality of life.
A dog soon becomes part of the family and will be greatly missed by all. Talk to the family members so that everyone knows what is going to happen. This can be a hard time for children. If necessary buy a book on this subject, which is aimed at helping a child to understand.
Signs and symptoms
Over the years, we all get to know our pets well. You will obviously notice some age related changes in your pet. Other signs may show that it is time for euthanasia. These may be total loss of appetite, severe weight loss, painful tumours or constant pain.
Often a dog knows when its time has come. The dog may look at you almost pleading for release. Heed any signs and warnings and take the appropriate action. Sometimes euthanasia may be needed in a younger animal. This could be due to disease, illness or an accident. The dog's veterinarian will be able to advise.
Putting your dog to sleep.
Knowing this is the right course of action does not make it any easier. Your vet will try to make the process as calm as possible for all concerned. When you book the appointment make sure that your vet understands your requirements. The dog is usually injected with a lethal injection, which acts fast. In a matter of moments, your dog will drift away.
Many owners find it too painful to stay with the dog until the end. If you think that you will be too upset, settle your animal down say your good-byes and wait in the waiting area. In some ways staying with your animal until the end seems the final act of kindness to it. As long as you are not in too much of a panic this will help the animal settle and make the process easier. Remember though that if you get very stressed so will the dog. This will make it harder for the animal also. Some dog owners include their other dogs for this final goodbye but this is up to you.
These days you can opt to have your dog's remains cremated or buried. Both can be costly. If you have the pet cremated you can scatter its ashes at a familiar spot, bury them in your garden or keep them as long as you want. You may alternatively opt to bury your dog in your garden. The pet undertaker will collect your pet's remains from the veterinarian's surgery and contact you when it is ready for collection or delivery.
All of the above can be very traumatic to a dog owner. You must give yourself time to grieve. It is probably not a good idea to take another dog into your home immediately although some people find it does help. However, remember that you will never replace the lost animal, as all dogs are different and individual.
It is so easy to feel a traitor having had a pet you love put to sleep but, in your heart, you will know that you did the right thing. You will have countless good memories and the knowledge that you made your dog's last journey as easy as it could possibly be.
We always thought that Shark fin soup was something of the past. It is not. Classed as a bit of a delicacy and sign of wealth in China
the apparently bland tasting soup comes at a high price, not least to shark populations.The following information can be found online:"Every year tens of millions of sharks die a slow death because of finning. Finning is the inhumane practice of hacking off the shark's fins and throwing its still living body back into the sea. The sharks either starve to death, are eaten alive by other fish, or drown (if they are not in constant movement their gills cannot extract oxygen from the water). Shark fins are being "harvested" in ever greater numbers to feed the growing demand for shark fin soup, an Asian "delicacy".
Not only is the finning of sharks barbaric, but their indiscriminate slaughter at an unsustainable rate is pushing many species to the brink of extinction. Since the 1970s the populations of several species have been decimated by over 95%. Due to the clandestine nature of finning, records are rarely kept of the numbers of sharks and species caught. Estimates are based on declared imports to shark fin markets such as Hong Kong and China."At the weekend we watched a documentary about fishermen in a part of Africa. With little income they were happy to supply the shark fin market. Sharks are caught and drown as they are dragged back to the coast. There the shark's fins
are hacked off and the rest of the shark returned to the waters to rot. In other parts of the world the shark's are treat more brutally.The fishermen are paid around 40 dollars for a set weight of the fins. They are of course just the middle men and further along the line are others making huge sums of money.
In Hong Kong a bowl of shark fin soup will cost upwards of £63.Many 21st Century Chinese want to prove that they area a civilised
nation. With a terrible track record as far as human rights and animal welfare goes they still have a mountain to climb. Instead of their quest for social improvement by the slaughter of many sharks they would be better addressing these issues.The depletion of the shark population world wide should be a cause for concern to us all. Apart from harvesting for fins sharks are often killed in order to protect tourism. Fine beaches with perfect bathing have to be shark free these days. It does not have to be like that though.The delicate balance of our Oceans and Seas relies on all of the waters inhabitants. Sharks protect the fish stocks available for traditional fishermen.
Without sharks these stocks are doomed. Education will go some way to solving all of these problems. The fishermen in Africa are being taught how to make a living from tourism. Tourists are being taught how to understand a shark's behaviour and why shark slaughter is neither necessary nor practical. Finally the Chinese who foolishly pay the earth to buy a relatively unpalatable dish that is a status symbol
need to be educated. Now that will be the mammoth task.More about the brutality of Shark fin fishing here
Our latest update from PETA concerns the plight of yard dogs during the long hot Summer of 2012. In particular dogs that have been chained or tethered in a yard.
As temperatures have soared dogs who usually live in yards have struggled to survive. Before we post PETA's communication though please consider the welfare of any animals in your care, during this hot period in the US. Pets will need to be provided with shade, plenty of water and more. Never leave a dog in a locked car during the heat of the day. Most of the care needed is common sense, however all too often insensitive pet owners seem to lack even basic common sense as far their animals goes.Do not let you animal literally "die for a drink"
PETA, Help chained dogs this scorching hot summer
"Imagine if your only shelter during this summer's record-breaking heat were an overturned garbage can. For a small dog named Ms. Feisty, the plastic trash can that comprised her only home provided no relief from the blazing sun and torrential storms in her North Carolina backyard.
PETA fieldworkers learned about Ms. Feisty's miserable situation and replaced that can with a sturdy new doghouse, instantly providing her with a shady overhang as well as protection from the elements throughout the sweltering summer days and bone-chilling winter nights for years to come. Will you help PETA give more animals like her much-needed shelter from the elements by becoming an "Angels for Animals" doghouse sponsor right now?
Ms. Feisty—living up to her name—jumped enthusiastically into the air when her new home was delivered. Our fieldworkers later transported her to and from a spay appointment, helping ensure that she will never give birth to an unwanted litter out there in the yard and so will never contribute to the puppy-overpopulation crisis that puts so many dogs' lives at risk.
While we always want dogs to live indoors with their families—and we work hard to persuade people to see how much better that is—many families can't be convinced that their dog is much more than a cheap burglar alarm. If conditions do not violate the meager provisions of local laws, our fieldworkers do everything they can to change that dog's life for the better and educate the owners about basic, humane care. The expressions of pure joy from dogs like Ms. Feisty show just how much the vital "Angels for Animals" program means for dogs who need help right now.
PETA's Cruelty Investigations Department is on the front lines when it comes to helping sorely neglected dogs like Ms. Feisty nationwide. In the impoverished areas near PETA's headquarters, PETA fieldworkers help not only by delivering the first real shelter from the elements that many of these dogs have ever had but also by providing dogs who are burdened by a heavy chain with lightweight, tangle-free tie-outs; proper collars; and clean, sturdy water containers. And every dog gets a toy—always a first! In addition, PETA treats the dogs for flea infestations, ticks, and ear mites that interrupt their sleep and make their lives uncomfortable. And we stem the flow of new homeless animals by making sure that the Ms. Feistys of the world are spayed (and Mr. Feistys neutered) and even driven to the veterinary clinic and back if that's what it takes.
The cost of providing a lonely "outdoor dog" with a proper doghouse and vital care is $265, and any donation that you make today will be put to work immediately to help a dog out there who needs someone to care.
For just $44 per month, you can sponsor a dog, giving him or her a new doghouse, a caring visit to assess that dog's needs, and other necessary care. And setting up your payment is easy using PETA's online system. Just choose the amount that you want to give and the number of months, and we'll bill your credit card at the same time each month. Your scheduled payments will continue automatically until your "Angels for Animals" sponsorship is completed, and you can cancel at any time!
Ms. Feisty was lucky to have been spotted. In the last year alone, PETA delivered more than 350 doghouses, but the need to provide dogs with shelter from the elements is so great that we will be out in impoverished areas searching for more Ms. Feistys and delivering many more doghouses before the year is out. Won't you help us reach these animals by becoming an "Angels for Animals" doghouse sponsor today?
By making a commitment to sponsoring this lifesaving program right now, you can help a dog survive both the hottest days of the summer and the most frigid of winter nights that lie ahead. I hope you'll join the team by becoming an "Angels for Animals" doghouse sponsor today.
P.S. It was "Angels for Animals" sponsors who helped us improve Ms. Feisty's situation so dramatically. Won't you stand up for a dog like her who may be suffering in the summer heat right now?"Tags: PETA, dogs, pets in heat, 2012 US hot summer, animal welfare
In Canada it is time for the annual Calgary Stampede. This spectacle is much enjoyed by many but is it cruel? Last year the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge
dropped by but little was mentioned about animal cruelty. It was more about who wore what and how exciting the whole affair was. That may be so, but not if you are one of the poor animals literally "roped in to help".
In 2011 standards of animal welfare at the events were said to have been greatly improved. Even so one horse had to be euthanised following a chuck wagon race.
The UK has its own cruel events such as the Grand National which once again this year led to the death of too many horses.
Whilst all of these events may provide spectators so inclined with an exciting event, whether or not they remain appropriate in the 21st Century is debatable. The improvements outlined have included a reduction in outriders which accompany chuck wagons and the micro chipping of horses. This, vets claim, will enable them to monitor the health of the animal before, during and after the event.
The VHS, Vancouver Humane Society, still has many concerns though. It raises issues regarding the treatment of calves in the Calgary Stampede and more. Their dedicated website page reads: The Calgary Stampede – a spectacle of animal abuseLatest news:
"VHS is publishing a thought-provoking ad in a Calgary newspaper condemning rodeo calf-roping. The ad, appearing in Fast Forward Weekly on Thursday, July 5, highlights the young age of calves used in the event by juxtaposing a photo of a calf and a human baby, underlined by the words: “Just 3 months old – Would you abuse a baby to entertain a crowd?” Urgent: Please ask the mayor of Calgary to stop cruel calf-roping."
Calf roping was renamed tie down roping some time ago. That may sound better but the end result is the same. The Calgary event attracts tourists and visitors but it now also attracts those who attempt to protect animals from unnecessary suffering. Calf roping remains on of the most cruel events during the Calgary Stamped, claim the VHS.
Check out the link to VHS
to read their assessment of calf roping and the fear it will instil in a young calf. It does not take a genius to realise how terrified the creature will be. Whilst at events such as the Calgary Stampede, enthusiasts will claim it is part of their heritage and a reminder of their past, but VHS maintain that is bunkum and that the event is simply a concoted spectacle.
VHS also maintain that rodeos, which have heeded their pleas and dropped spectacles which are cruel to animals, have remained popular. In other words the changes have not cost the organisers in money nor attendance.
If this is the case what point is there in continuing as they are. None it would seem apart from perpetuating animal abuse.Read also Calgary Stampede young horse slaughter here
Tags: Calgary Stampede cruelty, animal abuse, animal cruelty, animals, Canada, VHS, Vancouver Humane Society
One of our favourite animal charities in the UK has sent an email regarding their latest rescue. Hillside Animal Sanctuary
has helped in the rehoming of the Romanian Under Dogs but offers care to a myriad of creatures. Pigs, horses, ponies, turkeys, sheep, dogs and more have all been helped by this charity. Some have been rehomed but others have needed to remain at Hillside for life long care. It is possible to donate or buy gifts from their online store plus you can sponsor an animal for example as a gift to someone.The latest small creature to benefit from Hillside's care is a very young piglet.How he came to be alone on a road with no pig farms in the vicinity is a bit of a mystery. However it is assumed that his pregnant mother was on her way to slaughter when the piglet was born. If she was been moved in the usual transport there would have been room for the piglet to drop onto the road.
Poor little mite.This little piggie was brought to Hillside by the builder who found it on the road. The latest information received yesterdays says,
"We sprayed her umbilical cord which was still wet from being born and fed her colustrum during the night. This morning she is looking much brighter and we are hopeful she will survive. In July there are plans to parade farm animals in the Olympic stadium to portray England's green and pleasant land
. For most farm animals, life is brown, dark and excretia-covered! The farming industry is heartless! Obviously, it's a sham to make out the rural scene is delightful but also, clearly, it will be a nightmare for animals. All the noise, especially fireworks, could permanently traumatise them!Please protest about this and write to...
The International Olympics Committee
I Church Place
London E14 5LN"Yes once again the welfare and well being of animals will count for nothing as opposed to the temporary pleasure of humans.
When you take that cute little puppy into your home, it is easy to forget that sooner or later this animal will get old. Aging is a fact of life, for all living creatures. How quickly a dog will age though, does depend on certain factors. Like people, there will be genetic predispositions toward certain health problems. Different breeds of dog have different life expectancies also. On the whole, though there are some obvious signs that your dog is getting old.
Older dogs often have poor hearing. That once alert dog, who heard the slightest rattle of the garden gate, may hear little these days. In fact, a burglar may be able to enter, raid and leave your home without your dog hearing a sound.
Weight gain can also be associated with age in dogs. Some of this will depend upon how well you have cared for your dog. Giving the animal too many treats to show your love is not really a kind act. Make sure that your dog has a healthy diet and reduce the amount of food accordingly as the animal becomes less active. An older dog generally has less nutritional needs.
Creaking joints affect a dog in much the same way as a person. The animal's mobility may decrease and it may be in pain. If a dog shows signs of pain be assured that, the animal is suffering. Dogs tend to hide their pain well. No dog should ever be allowed to suffer so consult your veterinarian in order to receive advice and treatment regarding pain management.
Poor eyesight affects dogs in much the same way as people. An older dog may develop cataracts. Many eye problems are treatable but can be expensive. Some breeds of dogs are more susceptible to have eyesight problems than others.
Dental problems can cause older dogs problems. Tooth pain and infections may mean that the animal finds it difficult to eat properly. If your dog has bad breath this could be a sign of dental problems. A good dental routine, started when the animal is young, will help. Tooth scaling is possible, at the veterinary surgery, but will be costly. You also have to remember that the dog will need to be anaethetised, which may be problematic for an older dog.
Heart problems and even heart failure can occur in dogs. If the animal has led a healthy life style with a sensible diet and plenty of exercise this may be minimised. Your dog's hair or fur will probably turn a little grey and the texture will change. You may notice that the dog's coat is less sleek and shiny and is more wiry and sparse.
As we see our pets everyday, it is often a person who visits rarely who will notice the changes in your dog. You may find that you have to walk more slowly and less far with your pet, raise the height of the dog's feeding bowl because it has back problems or even help the animal to its feet at times. As long as the dog is not in pain and has some quality of life this part of aging is simply nature running its course.
First published at ezine
Our latest correspondence from PETA
relates to dogs in the Ukraine. It makes for grim reading but the message regarding animal cruelty and welfare must be brought to the attention of the general public. Please share the following and support in anyway that you can:"Did you know that in Ukraine, dogs are being shot or poisoned and left to endure agonizing deaths? Watch the new PETA video to see the shocking animal abuse that the Ukrainian government is trying to hide from the rest of the world. The 2012 European Football Championship will begin next month, and host countries Poland and Ukraine are busily preparing for the games. In Ukraine, this preparation includes a barbaric attempt to purge the streets of homeless animals in order to keep the misery of abandoned and neglected dogs out of the public eye. While the clearest solution to animal overpopulation is to promote spay-and-neuter initiatives, homeless animals in Ukraine are being caught and then shot or poisoned and thrown into mass graves or crematoriums to be burned.Because you've taken action for companion animals before, we know that you share our heartbreak at what's happening in Ukraine, and we urgently need your voice. The homeless dogs who are being killed in Ukraine are no different from the faithful canine friends in many of our homes and have the same capacity for love, fear, and pain. Even the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA), the organization behind the championship, has criticized Ukrainian authorities for the massacre. UEFA also offered financial support to animal protection advocates for humane spay-and-neuter initiatives in the country after being contacted by PETA Germany. Yet the Ukrainian government has done little to end the mass extermination. We can't let this massacre continue. Please take action now: Watch the video and sign the petition to ask the Ukrainian Embassy in the United States to speak out against the cruel killings and push for a humane solution to animal homelessness! Kind regards, Ingrid E. Newkirk President P.S. In Ukraine, dogs' bodies are being tossed into crematoriums and burned, some while the animals are still alive. Seven thousand dogs are being killed every month in the region around Donetsk alone. We must speak out against this cruelty-- sign the petition to end the abuse!"Tags: Ukraine, animal cruelty, dogs killed, animal welfare, PETA
Hillside Animal Sanctuary is notifying would be visitors that it has had to cancel planned open days. The problem is the recent wet weather which has left venues waterlogged. The Sanctuary's communication read:"Due to the extreme wet weather conditions and the grim long-range forecast, we are regrettably having to cancel our Open Days both at West Runton and for 20th May at Frettenham because much of the visitors' area is water-logged and inaccessible. We hope to resume our Open Days at our Shire Horse Sanctuary, West Runton on Sunday 3rd June and at Frettenham on Sunday 17th June when we hope the weather will have returned to normal. We are sorry for any disappointment caused to our supporters for these unavoidable measures. We look forward to welcoming our visitors back in June, but please check our website or telephone us on 01603 736200 for an update before travelling." Open days amongst other things help gain useful funds and donations to charities such as Hillside. You can still help by visiting online, donating and or buying a few cards or the like. The email also carried a brief report on Sasha the horse:
"Sasha is just one of several horses we have recently taken in to save them from being slaughtered. Sasha had been used as a carriage horse to give holidaymakers cart rides along Great Yarmouth seafront. You may be interested to know we have lots of new gift ideas and greeting cards which you may consider purchasing to help feed and care for our rescued animals." ThanksTags: Hillside Sanctuary, animal welfare, animal rescue, cancellations, open days, wet weather
As the economy in so many countries contracts and money becomes tight people rein in their spending. Often one of the first spends tp be cut is charitable donations. This can make a double whammy for charities who struggle to survive. Our previous reports was with regards to the RSPCA
in England and today it is PETA
. Here is their latest correspondence:"PETA's Investigations & Rescue Fund was founded with a single purpose in mind: to provide the reliable support that we need in order to investigate, expose, and stop the often-hidden abuse of animals.From revealing cruel military training exercises and the shameful practice of hoarding animals to exposing the misery of cows on factory farms and horses destined for the slaughterhouse, every eye-opening case that I've shared with you in recent weeks was able to be investigated by PETA only because of the generous donors to this vital fund.
The UK likes to think of itself as a nation of animal lovers. That is it used to. With so many reports of dreadful acts of animal cruelty in the UK it would be easy to think the reverse is true and that we were a nation of animal abusers.
The RSPCA is one organisation that attempts to fight animal cruelty in the UK but it is suffering under the weight of a significant increase in animal abuse.
The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals has been in operation since the early 1800s. Today's news of the charity's struggle to survive is sad news. It shows just how far we still have to go. Footage of a dead dog in a squalid house, slaughter men abusing stock and of dogs spurred on to fight for spectators to make money looked reminiscent of the dark ages. 21st Century living it is not.
The RSPCA has experienced a huge increase in its workload. The number of animal cruelty and neglect cases has risen by a quarter. In the UK there are many other smaller charities also trying to do their bit. These include this blogger's local Hessle Dog Rescue, PDSA, Blue Cross and Hillside Sanctuary. There are hundreds more which gives some idea of the scale of the problem.
According to the Telegraph "1,300 people were prosecuted for the crime last year, a rise of 23.5 per cent, while more than 2,100 were convicted for cruelty to dogs, representing a rise of 22 per cent. The overall number of convictions is the highest since records began and the RSPCA warned that the soaring figures had left it facing a funding crisis. The charity said it showed zero tolerance to animal abusers but warned that it could only deal with the number of cases for which it had capacity."
All too often the courts let us down. Abusers of animals deserve a tough sentence not a slap on the wrist. Weak sentencing does not act as a deterrent plus it makes the work of the RSPCA that much harder. The Chief Executive of the RSPCA said, "The RSPCA faces a crisis that is stretching us to breaking point."We need the courts and councils, police and people who care to join us in standing up and getting justice for Britain's abused animals."
Recent cases have included "a dog repeatedly stabbed with a potato peeler and a blind kitten found dumped in a carrier bag. An emaciated dog was found dumped on Christmas Day and another ate her dead mate to survive after being abandoned."
None of these reports surprise this blogger. Working to help a local dog rescue she has known of a dog with nails hammered into its head, a dog being made to drink bleach, starvation of animals, abandonment, and on sicko who was feeding live puppies to his pet snake.
There are many charities needing donations so it is up to you. If you can help the RSPCA or other animal charities please consider doing so. Your help does not have to only be money as it could be supplying old bed linen for rescue shelters, organising a sponsored walk or supermarket bag pack, working in a charity shop, walking dogs in a rescue shelter, fostering a dog on a short term basis or adopting a dog for life.
Above all NEVER turn a blind eye or deaf ear to an animal that is suffering. We need to all act in order to support organisations such as the RSPCA and be zero tolerant of animal cruelty in the UK and around the world in general. Reading the report last week of a puppy in the US who had lighter fuel poured onto it before, to the laughter of observers, it was set alight, shows just how sick some members of our society are. They must be stopped and brought to justice.
Note: Look online and you will soon see that setting dogs on fire is not as rare as you may hope. What a world.