Sunday, August 1, 2010

Rescue Ink

I just finished reading the book Rescue Ink:

I highly recommend it!! The book is a hodgepodge of stories, both contemporary, and histories of each of the guys. It is a fairly easy read, that is both entertaining and informative. Although, like the Rescue Ink guys themselves, I am often frustrated by:

"seeing animals discarded like fast food wrappers"

and learning how much neglect and abuse is really allowed under our current laws.

As I write this, our two pound puppies (Chip, a chihuahua whose black and tan coat resembles that of a minature German Shepard, and Aro - pronounced "R.O.", short for R.O.U.S, Rodent Of Unusual Size - a black and tan, rat terrier-chihuahua mix with more energy than a greyhound) are sleeping contentedly in their kennels, only opening their eyes when I make a big movement.

It has taken a little while for them both to become familiar with their kennels, which they now consider a "safe spot", and although we have the basic commands down, we certainly need to train them more, especially before the baby gets here!

As the book states, though, we're not rushing it:

Slow and steady wins the race, and the same applies to dog training: It is better to end on success, and before the dog gets bored or tired.

Chip was neglected, about half the weight he is now when we adopted him, but very friendly and quick to learn. He never had an accident in our house (aside from being violently sick from the neutering the first night we brought him home).

Aro, however, was both neglected and abused. Not nearly so bad as many of the animals discussed in Rescue Ink, but enough. His old home rarely let him out of his kennel, he was kicked often, and he was not house trained. He was very skittish when we first brought him home, and is still wary of new people and dogs. Aro came from an Amish puppy mill. When we got him he needed surgery on both his knees for luxating patellas. Basically, his knee caps didn't stay put and were rubbing down the bones, causing him lots of pain and limiting his mobility - his left knee was basically useless. Thankfully there is a fantastic Orthopedic dog surgeon here, Dr. Michelotti, who did a wonderful job fixing his knees (although there is a slight possibility one will need to be re-done because the damage was already so severe. What really upsets me about the whole situation is that this problem generally occurs, with this severity, later in life, and it is a genetic defect, meaning that his mom and/or dad both suffer from it, probably severely, and they are still being bred because they made adorable puppies that people will buy.

In the later chapters of the book they discuss puppy mills, attending the fifth annual Puppy Mill Awareness Day. It was held nearby in Lancaster PA, because Pennsylvania has such a huge problem with unlicensed breeders, especially the Amish:

According to Puppy Mill Awareness Day organizers, in 2007 Pennsylvania mills sold 124,296 dogs and puppies, with 156,534 remaining at the kennels for breeding.

Many mill dogs live in wire-bottomed cages, which splay and deform their feet bt allow urine and feces to fall through, sometimes onto the dogs below them.

You would think that would count as neglect and abuse, but not under current US law.

I just ordered a book mentioned in Rescue Ink by Jana Kohl, Rare Breed of Love. I'll let you know how it is.


Anonymous said...

You seem like a good peson. Do not get conned by 'rescue stinks' They do nothing to help animals. Their show is no longer on due to their own dirty dealing.
Good luck with your pets.
remember...stay with established charities. Not 'rescue stinks"

mathbionerd said...

Thanks :)

I tend to donate the the local charities in my area that I've worked personally with. I'm more of a "keep it local" person with everything, from food to animal rescue.

I've never seen the show, but if it is like the book, I think the purpose is more to raise awareness about animal abuse, neglect and mistreatment, which I think it does a good job of. Many of the stories in the book are not about successful rescues, which, is a bit frustrating, but I suppose that is part of working in animal rescue.

If nothing else, the book got me to write about it, and hopefully gets a few people to think about adopting from their local shelters. :)

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