Wednesday, April 20, 2011

There are MANY Patricks out there ...

By now, anyone interested in animal welfare is aware of poor Patrick, the pit bull that was starved almost to death then dumped like garbage down a chute. This sweet pit somehow found the will to survive and the caring intervention of a lot of people have seen his gradual and remarkable improvement.

My heart, like everyone else's goes out to this brave boy - and hurts when I think of how neglected, unloved and horribly he was treated.

So MANY people want to adopt Patrick!

If even half of those who are not chosen could PLEASE go to your nearest shelter, rescue or pound - look around and see the many, many neglected, unloved and hopless dogs are OUT there - as deserving, as needing and as hopeful of finding a place to call home.

Think of our own new and wonderful Toronto Humane Society

Check out Toronto Animal Services.

There is Bear in St. Catherine's ...

What about Mrs. Potts at the Niargara Humane Society?  And many other beautiful dogs too

There are thousands of loving, deserving dogs (and other animals) out there.  Patrick can only find one home - but one home is all ANY of these dogs need.

Open your heart to a shelter dog and make their lives bloom.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Easter is NOT the time to buy a rabbit!

Easter is coming and pet stores are chockful of sweet, cuddly little bunnies.

Impulse buys, rabbits by the thousands are dumped with weeks of Easter Sunday as the realities of pet care sinks in and the novelty of having an "easter bunny" dissipates. 

I have a memory which haunts me.

Many years ago, when I was first house-hunting I went into one house where an older couple were looking to sell - downsizing. In their spotless basement was a wire cage - wire floor, nothing else - a water bottle, the little white rabbit sat there, alone in the basement, by himself, his feet being punished by the wire cage bottom.  Spotlessly clean... and all I could think was he sat there, hour after hour, day after day, week after week, the only interaction when they changed his water or fed him. no affection, no company, no love, no exercise.  I didn't even have a lot of knoweldge about rabbits then but all these years later, that little rabbit haunts me ..... in hindsight, I wish desperately I had done something - offered to take him, found him a home.  But caught up in my own life with 4 small kids, 3 cats, a needy dog and a fulltme job I didn't.  I suffer for that now, thinking of that sad little rabbit.
A Toronto Star article this morning aptly describes how the thoughtless actions of silly people bring anguish, abandonment and often death to thousands of little rabbits every year.

“Easter sucks to be a rabbit,” says Lush, whose Milton-based charity places bunnies with volunteer foster families until permanent homes are found. There are 50 rabbits in foster families at any given time.

Rabbit Rescue has some excellent advice on rabbits - and details clearly the time, care and work that goes into caring for a rabbit. Rabbits make terrific pets - but you have to be cognizant of what is involved.

Some facts about bunnies:
  • lifespans can be 10 years or longer
  • require regular exericse - will suffer if left to languish in a cage
  • require regular interaction - they are social, affectionate and curious
  • "bunny-proofing" is a MUST - rabbits chew and electrical wires and other hazards must be avoided
  • spaying or neutering is HIGHLY recommended as they reach maturity
  • they do NOT make good pets for small children - small children want to pick them up and cuddle them and this will frighten and make the rabbit kick or nip to get away and OFTEN results in severe injury
The House Rabbit Society has an excellent overview of what pet rabbits require - and are blunt that rabbits require almost as much effort and work as a dog.
So PLEASE think twice and then again before buying a bunny for that one moment on Easter Sunday ... and give your child a stuffed rabbit or a chocolate one instead.

by Mary Brandolino
In memory of all the bunnies we couldn't save.

I remember Easter Sunday
It was colorful and fun
The new life that I'd begun
In my new cage.

I was just a little thing
When they brought me from the store
And they put me on the floor
In my cage.

They would take me out to play
Love and pet me all the time
Then at day's end I would climb
In my cage.

But as days and weeks went by
I saw less of them it seemed
Of their loving touch I dreamed
In my cage.

In the night outside their house
I felt sad and so neglected
Often scared and unprotected
In my cage.

In the dry or rainy weather
Sometimes hotter sometimes colder
I just sat there growing older
In my cage.

The cat and dog raced by me
Playing with each other only
While I sat there feeling lonely
In my cage.

Upon the fresh green grass
Children skipped and laughed all day
I could only watch them play
From my cage.

They used to take me out
And let me scamper in the sun
I no longer get to run
In my cage.

Once a cute and cuddly bunny
Like a little ball of cotton
Now I'm grown up and forgotten
In my cage.

I don't know what went wrong
At the home I did inhabit
I just grew to be a rabbit

In my cage.
But they've brought me to the pound
I was once loved and enjoyed
Now I wait to be destroyed
In my cage.