Month: November 2014

Life Is Hope

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The number one cause of death for companion animals in the US is the animal shelter. Every single day more than 6000 companion animals are being needlessly killed by people that are suppose to protect them and care for them.

Tragically, in the U.S. today, we have a system of facilities where animals are routinely neglected and abused, places where the normal rules of compassion and decency toward animals to which the vast majority of people subscribe simply do not apply. And most ironic of all, given that we are told that these facilities protect animals from our own neglect and abuse, is that this system of death camps is defended and celebrated by the nation’s largest animal “protection” organizations: HSUS, the ASPCA, and PETA. These organizations tell us that the killing is not the fault of the people in shelters who are actually doing the killing. But it is their fault. They are the ones who do it. It is right in their job description. They signed up for it. And that is not what kind hearted animal lovers do. And because kind hearted animal lovers won’t do it, they don’t work in these agencies. Or if they do, they don’t last.


To man whose mind is free there is something even more intolerable in the sufferings of animals than in the sufferings of man. For with the latter it is at least admitted that suffering is evil and that the man who causes it is a criminal. But thousands of animals are uselessly butchered every day without a shadow of remorse. If any man were to refer to it, he would be thought ridiculous. And that is the unpardonable crime.”

Romain Rolland, Nobel Prize 1915


While this quote was written in 1915, in many communities across the country it still holds true almost 100 years later. Luckily, the landscape of animal welfare has dramatically changed in the last 15 years and hundreds of communities across the country have implemented life saving measures for companion animals in animal shelters. Communities raised up to protect and care for companion animals in “their” community, creating a safe heaven for lost or unwanted pets.

Community members introduce Legislation, like CAPA (Companion Animal Protection Act), to make sure that companion animals are protected and cared for instead of being taken to the kill room and needlessly killed.

To learn more about how to get involved in changing YOUR community to a true animal welfare community that values life, visit the following websites:



The 800lb Gorilla in Maryland

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Yesterday, the Maryland Department of Agriculture announced the recipients of the spay& neuter grant:

The Maryland Department of Agriculture (MDA) – through its new statewide Spay and Neuter Grant Program – is awarding nearly $475,000 in grants to 14 nonprofit and governmental organizations across the state to provide low-cost spay and neuter services targeted to low income pet owners. A total of 51 applications, requesting more than $1.8 million were received.

From the Maryland Department of Agriculture:

This exciting program is designed to reduce the number of unwanted cats and dogs euthanized in shelters across the state.

How was the money distributed? 14 organisations in Maryland received grant money for spay & neuter efforts. From this 14 organisations:

5 Organisations are in the Baltimore area, receiving a total of $158,615

4 Organisations are in Prince Georges County, receiving a total of $163,062

Leaving just $153,323 for the rest of Maryland.

It needs to be noted that Prince Georges County has a Breed Specific Legislation in place that will kill any Pit Bull type dog by default.

The organisation Maryland Votes for Animals as well as the HSUS are the main parties behind the law that made the spay & neuter grant possible. Both organisations are hailing the grant program as a way to reduce shelter intake and shelter killing in the State of Maryland.

Studies have shown that spay & neuter alone does not reduce shelter intake or shelter euthanasia. As example, Dr. Ellen Jefferson from Austin, TX pointed out in her study “Using data to make Austin a No Kill City” that altering 60,000 animals in Austin between 1999 and 2008 did not lower shelter intake or shelter euthanasia in Austin, TX.

The real issue with the spay & neuter grant in Maryland, and the 800lb Gorilla, is the fact that it does not address or help the animals that are mostly being killed in Maryland’s so called animal shelters: stray and feral cats. It is specifically mentioned in the grant that the money can not be used for TNR efforts which of course leaves the doors wide open to continue the mass killing of stray and feral cats.

Way to go, MVFA and HSUS. The stray and feral cats thank you for your efforts.

Shelter Stories: Mikey

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Here at the Allegany County Animal Shelter in Cumberland, MD we are proud of what we are doing. We believe that every animal entering the shelter deserves a chance of a new life. Most animals we take in are being adopted out in to loving homes rather quickly. Every now and then however, for reasons we don’t really understand, animals are staying at our shelter a little bit longer. So did, as example, Mikey who was with us for 2.5 years. For some reason he always was overlooked by potential adopters, was too big, too strong, one of “those dogs”, too dangerous and many other things. Dogs like Mikey, who are with us for a longer period of time, receive special attention through individualized kennel enrichment and socialization tailored to the individual dog. On October 18th, we had our largest Adoption event of the year, “Barktoberfest” Downtown Cumberland, MD. About 2 month prior to the event, I started preparing Mikey for that special event. My goal was to make it special for him and my idea was to use him as a camera dog, wearing a GoPro Camera on his back:

Mikey6In the morning of October 18th, Mikey and I went in to the Truck and we drove Downtown. We both were nervous but after about 30 minutes we became comfortable with the unusual situation and the fun started:

Mikey9    Mikey8

Mikey met a lot of people and a lot of other dogs, just being himself like he had always done that. Then, Mikey caught the attention of two young Ladies who really seem to love him. Some pictures were taken, phone calls were made and then……Mikey was adopted. A last hug and good bye to Mikey: Mikey4 Mikey went home with a wonderful family and now is living a wonderful and well deserved life: Mikey10 There is so much to learn from Mikey’s story which is why I wanted to share his story. Mikey’s story also is my story and our story. It is who and what we are: The Shelter of Hope