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An Ode to My Dogs

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My dogs are nothing special, to anyone but me.

They won’t learn any tricks, they would rather watch TV.


Bree is black with polka dots, Brock's black as black can be;

Cheiss is a fluffy, orange dog who always seems grumpy.


They won’t learn how to sit, only Cheiss knows how to fetch;

Brock and Bree just sit there, a ball they’ll rarely catch.

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Escaping Domestic Abuse: Taking Your Pets With You

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When Pamela Isaac made the emotional decision to leave her abusive boyfriend, she was faced with the thought of leaving her cats behind with her abuser, or to take them to the local high-kill shelter to be euthanized.

“If not for the URIPALS program, I would have had to take them to animal control, and if they weren’t adopted, they would have been euthanized,” she said. “They were five years old. They were my family. To leave them would mean leaving my babies.”

Studies show that as many as 48% of domestic violence victims stay in abusive situations out of fear of what would happen if they left their pets behind, and more than 70% of pet owners who enter shelter report that the abuser has threatened, injured, or killed family pets. Among New York City’s 50 domestic violence shelters, URIPALS is the only one that accommodates pets.

“A program like this is really important, because when leaving your batterer, you’ll sometimes stay and you’ll take abuse longer if you can't take your animals with you,” said Isaac. “Our pets are also traumatized when we stay in abusive relationships. So if women are able to leave with their pets, and have somewhere to go, it’s better for everyone. “

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National Dog Fighting Awareness Day

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April 8 is National Dog Fighting Awareness Day and we can’t think of a better way to spend a day than talking about this important topic.

Dog fighting occurs in every corner of the world and has a long and sordid history - you know what they say about history. If you don’t learn from it, you’re bound to repeat it.

This year, we are participating in a Google+ hangout that will be moderated by Dan Harris from ABC News – we hope you will show your support for stopping the horrific practice of dog fighting by joining in the discussion.

The Hangout will discuss the issue of #dogfighting , the +ASPCA's efforts to tackle this brutal crime and what people can do to help. We are also giving away a kit that will help you make a public statement against fighting. Read on!

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An Open Letter to Animal Rescuers

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Dear Animal Rescuer,

This letter is a simple attempt to acknowledge the hard work you do each day keeping animals safe. I want you to know that your work has not gone unnoticed and I want to say thank you.

I know how many nights you've spent in your car, waiting for a stray cat to make the decision to enter a metal cage for a bite of food. I know that you are the first ones on the scene of disasters, long before HSUS shows up with their cameras. I know how many dogs and cats you've picked up from County at the twelfth hour, minutes before they were going to be euthanized, and I know how you often pay boarding costs out of your own pocket to give them a chance at life. I know that you spend hours late at night searching Craigslist for "free to a good home" ads because you are one of the few who realize these animals will be picked up and sold as lab animals, or used as bait animals for illegal dog fights, or worse...

I know how frustrated you are with humans, and that you are often called “crazy” or “eccentric” or “unbalanced” for your allegiance to animals. Please don’t worry… most people are not emotionally equipped to see the potential beauty of a mangy dog, or keep their compassion for a cat that has just bitten them. There are many humans who will never understand you.

But, I do...

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My Dogs Ate Your Elf on a Shelf

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I’m sure this post will strike fear into the hearts of Elf on the Shelf fans everywhere. It will probably give little kids nightmares and send shelf elves scurrying home to the North Pole forever. But you know I had to write it…

If you’re not familiar with the concept of Elf on a Shelf, (and as an animal lover who doesn’t allow impish elves to lie idly around the house, you may not), allow me to enlighten you. 

Elf on a Shelf was invented as a way to make human kids behave during the holiday season. All it does for animal lovers is create another mess to clean up, but that’s another story.

As the story goes, the Elf on the Shelf is a family’s “personal elf” sent by Santa himself to keep an eye on the family’s behavior during the holiday season. Each night from Thanksgiving to Christmas, the elf reports back to Santa with either a good or a bad progress report. He does this through magic. If you touch the elf, it loses its magic and therefore can’t report to Santa, which is very bad. If you don’t touch the elf, and he successfully reports back to the toy man, you get a good stash of holiday goodies. The Elf on the Shelf also determines whether you make it onto the “naughty” or the “nice” list. If you’re nice, you’re in the clear. If you’re naughty, no gifts for you. And Elf sees everything.....

When I was growing up, we had something similar - but we called it “coal in the stocking” and in cases of severe trouble, we had “wait until your dad gets home.” I guess kids don’t have that anymore. Instead they have magical elves silently judging them.

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