MAGGIE: the dog who changed my life

MAGGIE: the dog who changed my life
Click photo to visit

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Dogs’ DNA Used to Track Their Abusers: 17 Plead Guilty in Dog Fighting Case

ST. LOUIS — "Scientists and animal rights advocates have enlisted DNA evidence to do for man’s best friend what the judicial system has long done for human crime victims. They have created the country’s first dog-fighting DNA database, which they say will help criminal investigators piece together an abused animal’s history by establishing ties among breeders, owners, pit operators and the animals themselves."'
Read the full story in the New York Times

According to Care2, 17 abusers in the multi-state dog-fighting raid last July have plead guilty as a result of dogs' DNA evidence.

Posted By:

Dawn Kairns  

Twitter: themaggiebook

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Dogs Are Not Mere Possessions: Tethering Dogs Becomes Illegal in More Communities

Many of us would never consider chaining our precious dogs for hours, or worse, for days or months. But too many people don't give it a second thought, forcing their dogs to endure even extreme weather conditions without exercise or companionship. Tethered dogs tend to be more aggressive and anxious, not to mention being horribly lonely.  Kudos to Alexandria who just passed a law against this miserable practice. They have limited tethering a dog to 3 hours maximum. Read the full story here on the Care 2 Blog.

With dog deaths and injuries up during the summer months due to the heat, chaining dogs may also soon be illegal in Guilford County, North Carolina. May many communities soon follow your wonderful examples and make dogs a part of the family, ending their suffering and isolation at the end of short chains.Read the full story here.

Posted By:

Dawn Kairns  

Twitter: themaggiebook

Monday, June 21, 2010

Is Humane Education For Kids the Answer to Preventing Animal Abuse?

Last week when my therapy dog, Maddie and I visited the juvenile center, I added something new to my usual humane education talk: I brought in my counseling background and talked to the kids about finding the unconscious positive intention behind their "criminal" behavior. We went on to discuss separating their positive intention from negative behavior; to find a beneficial way to meet that positive intent so they can let go of the behavior that isn't working so well for them or society. As Maddie and I continue our weekly therapy visits to the juvenile center, I can't help but think that widepread humane education programs in schools could really help kids understand the value of kindness to and love for animals; that humane education programs might help decrease the rising incidence of animal cruelty among children. 

Then I read this post today on the Care 2 blog, and realized we are on the same page regarding humane education: 

The Answer to Preventing Animal Abuse: Humane Education?  

posted on the Care 2 blog by Megan Drake

"We seem to constantly hear about animal abuse in the news.

Philadelphia just reported of a young, female pit bull found hanged on a playground.  In Baltimore there seems to be an epidemic of animal abuse amongst the youth, which includes a puppy beaten to death, another dog pelted with stones and yet another set on fire -- just this year alone.

With all the animal abuse happening in the world, there might just be a solution -- humane education.  Citizens for a No-Kill Philadelphia provides a Humane Education Program to fifth graders at John Wister Elementary School. CNKP is a group of Philadelphia citizens, led by Garrett Elwood, who have organized with the goal of making Philadelphia a no-kill city by 2018.

One of the many stops along the road to achieving that goal is to educate Philadelphia's youth about kindness toward animals. CNKP reports "Many incidents of animal abuse and neglect occur simply because of ignorance. We feel that our children could make better decisions for the future if only given the proper information on which to base their decisions."

The CNKP Humane Education Program is provided free of charge.  Once per month, for the entire school year, Claire Tillman, Program Director, visits fifth graders at John Wister Elementary School.   

Teaching Goals include ..." Read the full story here on Care 2 

Posted By:

Dawn Kairns  

Twitter: themaggiebook

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Feeling Powerless About the Gulf Oil Spill? 10 Ways You Can Make a Difference

Many of us feel so powerless to help or change how the continuing oil spill catastrophe in the Gulf is damaging wildlife, the environment, and people's lives. So anything we might be able to do may ease a tiny part of our helplessness is important. On June 13 I posted "How You Can Help Gulf Animals Impacted by BP Oil Spill -- Or Why Can't We?"

Beth Buczynski posted the following on the Care 2 blog the next day. I want to share part of her post with you here, too. To read Beth's original post on Care 2 go to

"Even if you can't physically make it to the Gulf to lend a hand, here are 10 important ways you can make a difference to those who are on the ground fighting to keep up with this tragedy:

1. Boycott BP
Yes, this catastrophe could have happened to any petroleum company, but no matter which corporation is ultimately at fault, consumers MUST communicate their disapproval with the most powerful weapon they have: their pocketbooks. BP brands to avoid include Castrol, Arco, Aral, am/pm, Amoco, Wild Bean Cafe, and Safeway gas. For more news on the boycott already in progress, visit the Boycott BP page on Facebook.

2. Tell the Government, "Enough is enough!"
The only way to help prevent future disasters it to let our politicians know that off-shore oil drilling is dangerous, and we want it to stop. Sign the Care2 petition telling President Obama to reconsider his plan to expand offshore drilling and invest in clean energy resources instead. It's always powerful to contact your representatives directly, too. Help Oceana reach its goal to gather 500,000 names on a petition to stop offshore drilling permanently.

3. Shave Your Head
Ok, maybe just trimming off a few inches is enough. Matter of Trust, an ecological charity based in San Francisco, has a hair mat, oil-spill program that uses human hair to produce super-absorbent mats that can be used to clean up messes including oil spills (pet hair works too!).
Since putting out the call for hair to help soak up the BP oil spill, Matter of Trust has collected 400,000 pounds of hair and sent it to addresses along the Gulf Coast, but more is always needed.

4. Purchase Dawn Dishwashing Detergent
If you remember the tragic 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill of 1989 you likely remember that the chemical composition of Dawn detergent makes it perfect for animal rescue. Purchasing a bottle or two of Dawn dishwashing liquid at your local grocery store gives you two ways to help: a) you can enter the bottle's activation code at triggering a $1 donation to wildlife conservation efforts from the Marine Mammal Center and the International Bird Rescue Research Center, and b) you can donate your bottle of Dawn directly to the Gulf clean-up efforts through the Facebook page Help Us Help the Gulf Wildlife.

5. Donate Essential Supplies For Volunteers
Suncoast Seabird Sanctuary, which was a significant workforce in the disastrous Tampa Bay 1993 oil spill and has experienced avian care professionals on-staff desperately needs donations of kennels, towels, gas gift cards, paper towels, and bottled water to assist their avian hospital in treating and rehabilitating wildlife that has been affected by the oil spill.

6. Support Those Saving The Wildlife
The National Wildlife Federation has set up mobile giving services to support their work in the Gulf Coast. Donors can send a text message with the code "WILDLIFE" to 20222 to automatically give a $10 donation to help wildlife affected by the oil spill.
The International Bird Rescue Research Center (IBRRC) lets you support the 16 members of their Oil Spill Response Team, as well as other non-profit organizations working in the region, by "donating, becoming a member or adopting a bird."

7. Become A Hero
Sign up with The National Audubon Society to get trained and volunteer to help local birds.
Register through to volunteer or join a cleanup organization.
Volunteer with Global Green, an organization that plans to spend the coming months working to protect injured wildlife and lobbying Congress to enforce tougher regulations on the oil and coal industries.

8. Save A Fisherman
The mission of the Gulf Relief Foundation is to provide relief to the fishing community of the Gulf Coast and their families, and to address the long-term challenge of restoring and protecting America's coastal wetlands.
Text "GULFAID 10" to 27138 to donate $10 to Gulf Aid. Replace "10" with the number of US dollars (no $ sign) you'd like to pledge, donate as little or as much as you like. You can also visit Faux Pas Prints for the latest official merchandise. Portions of the proceeds go to the Gulf Relief Foundation.

9. Join Hands
Begun in Florida, Hands Across the Sand is an international movement concerned with protection of our coastal economies, oceans, marine wildlife, fishing industry and coastal military missions. Cities all across the world are pledging to stage peaceful demonstrations on June 26th during which thousands of people will join hands to convey a simple, yet powerful message: NO to Offshore Oil Drilling, YES to Clean Energy. Learn more about how to organize or join an event in your area.

10. Get Connected and Inspired
Join the Facebook group 1 Million Strong Against Offshore Drilling. Check out the action page for more suggestions of how to lend your voice to the anti-drilling movement."

Posted By:

Dawn Kairns  

Twitter: themaggiebook

Sunday, June 13, 2010

How You Can Help Gulf Animals Impacted By BP Oil Spill -- Or Why Can't We?

Sea turtle

National Wildlife Federation

Wildlife casualties in the Gulf of Mexico from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill are adding up. Numerous sea turtles, dolphins and migratory birds have died or are dying on gulf beaches. Sadly, this is just the beginning of the uphill battle for wildlife in the region.
Many people have wondered how they can help these animals. The National Wildlife Federation reports that they are on the front lines helping to assess damage and deploy resources to restore delicate nesting and breeding grounds. According to the National Wildlife Federation, you can donate money to their organization to "help protect the over 400 species of treasured wildlife that stand to lose so much from this devastating tragedy. Your support will go right to work protecting wildlife and wild places impacted by the BP oil spill disaster." You can learn more about NWF's Gulf Oil Spill Restoration Fund...

They are also helping coordinate the on-the-ground volunteer effort, including Gulf Coast Surveillance Teams, which are being deployed to monitor the coastline for wildlife in distress.

NWF also encourages you to speak up by telling your senators that now more than ever we need to pass comprehensive legislation that provides America with cleaner and safer energy choices.

If you live in the area and find injured wildlife, NWF advises NOT to attempt rescue yourself, but call the "Oiled Wildlife hotline" at 866-557-1401.

To learn more visit the National Wildlife Federation online at:

Coalition to Restore Louisiana
According to Connie Chan in her June 4, 2010 post on Yahoo! Green, Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana maintains a list of volunteers prepared to help with wildlife recovery, monitoring and photographing oil movement, and providing boats and drivers for response activities. You can donate to Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana or register to volunteer. This is for registration only as they do not appear to actually be taking volunteers.


Connie Chan also mentions the following organizations in her story:

Wildlife Sanctuary of Northwest Florida
Ready to mobilize and provide appropriate care to injured or orphaned indigenous wildlife. You can find volunteer opportunities with Wildlife Sanctuary of Northwest Florida or donate.

The National Wildlife Federation Gulf Coast Surveillance Teams look for volunteers to track and report impacts of the oil spill, support wildlife rescue and rehabilitation efforts, and restore damage to delicate coastal ecosystems in the Gulf of Mexico. You can sign up with them to volunteer.
An article titled The Gulf Coast Oil Spill: How to Help in Take Part originally listed numerous organizations to volunteer with, but many of them appear to now be closed to volunteer sign up. I mention a few of the organizations here who apear to be the currently active wildlife organizations. Most emphasize that volunteers must be trained.   

International Bird Rescue and Research Center has sent a team of specialists to the region to help with any oiled wildlife. The center's site has a comprehensive Spill Response FAQ for those who want to learn how oiled birds are cleaned and treated, and answers to many other questions such as the survival rate of the affected birds. IBRRC says that  because BP has committed to paying for the clean-up and wildlife rescue efforts in the Gulf of Mexico following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, "your donations cannot be used to fund bird rescue operations in the Gulf of Mexico spill." You can visit the IBRRC website to learn more here:  

National Audubon Society appears to be recruiting volunteers to be trained to respond to the oil spill. Register to volunteer here. Donations also are a way you can help.  

Deepwater Horizon Response Unified Command The group is soliciting the public's ideas for stopping the flow of oil, containing or recovering it, or cleaning it up. Click here to submit your suggestion or call 281-366-5511  

Sierra Club has a sign up for volunteers who are Gulf Coast residents. Sign up online.

It is a mystery to me that with such a massive oil spill where the numbers of oiled, sick, and dying birds and wildlife are increasing with each passing day, and with so many willing volunteers, that volunteers are not being accepted by many organizations. I understand the need for trained volunteers. But people can be trained to help in such a dire emergency. It may be the only chance for these innocents coated in oil.

Is it that there is a liability concern because of the toxins in the oil and dispersants that volunteers will be exposed to? Is it BP not letting volunteers in? When I watch BP security guards on a public beach trying to stop a media person from interviewing workers, I can't help but wonder what it is that we the people don't know. What do you think the reasons are?

Posted By:

Dawn Kairns  

Twitter: themaggiebook

Friday, June 11, 2010

Family Dog Playing With Baby Video -- What A Belly Laugh!

Okay, my posts have been pretty heavy recently with my focus on the animals affected by the Gulf oil spill. I thought a fun, happy video that will make you laugh was in order. Enjoy!

Isn't this precious? What a belly laught this child has!

Watch for a post later today or tomorrow on how you can help the Gulf animals.

Dawn Kairns  

Twitter: themaggiebook

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Numbers of Oil Soaked Animals in the Gulf Increasing: What It Takes to Help Those Rescued

The number of birds found alive in the past several days has increased to 289 with 86 arriving on one single day according to Sharon Seltzer on her Care 2 blog post.  They are primarily brown pelicans thickly covered  in oil, and some are hardly recognizable. Another 547 birds have been found dead.

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, 278 sea turtles have been hurt by the spill.

Scientists and others with specialized skills in marine life are on standby to either receive animals or send their teams to the area.

"All of the rescued wildlife exposed to the oil must be thoroughly cleaned. The process for the pelicans is painstaking and a large warehouse in Louisiana is being used for the job. And after the procedure the birds remain at the make-shift rehab center for 7 to 10 days before being transported to Florida and released...

Some are flown in by helicopter and others arrive at the warehouse in dog carriers.  All are stressed by their unfamiliar surrounding and handling by humans.  ABC News explained the details of the cleaning process..."

The next few weeks will be critical for all wildlife affected by the oil spill...

Read full story here at the Care 2 blog by Sharon Seltzer

Posted By:

Dawn Kairns  

Twitter: themaggiebook

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

First Aid for your Pet

Photo: Chloe, age 11, soon after we adopted her

Pet first aid is something we pet lovers and guardians can all benefit from knowing. Today's guest post on this important topic comes from colleague Ingrid King's blog, The Conscious Cat

By Ingrid King, author of Buckley's Story

Would you know what to do if your pet had a medical emergency?  Administering first aid until you can get your pet to a veterinarian can save your pet's life.  Most of us have some basic knowledge of first aid for humans - but would you know what to do for your pet?

The following situations will generally all require the attention of a veterinarian, and are only designed to help you stabilize your pet until you can reach your veterinary hospital.


Arterial Bleeding is an immediate, life-threatening emergency.  Arterial blood will be bright red, bleed in spurts, and will be difficult to stop.  For any type of bleeding, place a clean cloth or sterile gauze over the injured area and apply direct pressure for at least 5-7 minutes.  Don't apply a tourniquet unless absolutely necessary.

Loss of Consciousness

In case of drowning, clear the lungs of fluid by lifting the animal's hindquarters higher than his head and squeezing the chest firmly until fluid stops draining.  In case of electrical shock, DO NOT touch the pet until it is no longer in contact with the electrical source, or you'll get shocked yourself.  In case of airway obstruction, check for a foreign object and attempt to gently remove it (see Choking).  If the animal is not breathing or has no pulse, begin CPR.


Pets vomit for many reasons, not all of them are medical emergencies.  In order to determine whether you're dealing with an emergency, examine vomit for blood or other clues as to cause.  If you suspect poisoning, bring a sample of the suspected poison, preferably in its original packaging, to the veterinarian.  Gently press the pet's stomach to check for any abdominal pain.  Abdominal pain, enlarged stomach, and unproductive vomiting are serious signs - call your veterinarian immediately.


Gently pull your pet's tongue forward and inspect mouth and throat.  If you can see a foreign object, hold the mouth open and try to remove it by hand,with tweezers, or a small pair of pliers.  Take care not to push the object further down the animal's throat.  If the animal is not breathing, start CPR.

Heat Stroke

This is a life-threatening emergency.  If you can't get your pet to a veterinarian immediately, place the pet in a cool or shady area.  Bathe the animal with tepid water, and monitor rectal temperature.  When temperature drops below 103°, dry the pet off.  Continue monitoring temperature while transporting your pet to the clinic.

Bee or Wasp Sting

Bee stings are acid, use baking soda to neutralize the venom.  Wasp stings are alkaline, use vinegar or lemon juice to neutralize the venom.  Apply a cold pack to the sting.  Watch for allergic reactions - in case of severe swelling or difficulty breathing, transport your pet to a clinic immediately.


Lay the animal on his side and remove any airway obstructions.  If the airway is clear, extend the animal's neck, hold the tongue out of his mouth, and close the animal's jaw over his tongue.  Holding the jaws closed, breathe into both nostrils for 5 to 6 breaths.  If there is no response, continue artificial respiration.

If there is also no pulse, begin cardiac compressions.  Depress the widest part of the chest wall 1.5 to 3 inches with one or two hands:
Dogs over 60 lbs:  60 times per minute
Animals 11-60 lbs:  80-100 times per minute
Animals 5-11 lbs:  120-140 times per minute
For very small animals (1-5 lbs), place hands around the pet's ribcage and begin cardiac massage.

Continue artificial respiration:
Dogs over 60 lbs:  12 breaths per  minute
Animals 11-60 lbs:  16-20 breaths per minute
Animals less than 10 lbs:  30+ breaths per minute

Normal Vital Signs

Normal temperature for dogs and cats:  100.5° - 102.5°
Normal heart rate for cats:  160-240 beats per minutes
Normal heart rates for dogs:  70-160 beats per minute
Normal respiratory rate for cats:  20-30 breaths per minute
Normal respiratory rate for dogs:  10-30 breaths per minute

The American Red Cross offers Pet Safety and First Aid check lists and training.  Check your local chapter for a course in your area.  They also offer cat and dog first aid books that come with a DVD demonstrating some of the techniques.
(c) Ingrid King 2010
(reprinted with permission from the author) 

Photo: Allegra, Ingrid's cat

Posted By:

Dawn Kairns  

Twitter: themaggiebook

Monday, June 7, 2010

Entire Species Could Be Lost Due to Oil Spill

I saw this on Care2 and thought you'd like it as well. Care2 is the largest and most trusted information and action site for people who care to make a difference in their lives and the world.

by Sarah Laskow, Media Consortium blogger
posted by: Nicole Nuss June 5, 2010

A cap placed over a severed pipe is siphoning some oil from the broken BP well in the Gulf Coast, the company said today. The company's CEO said this morning on CBS that it was possible that this fix could capture up to 90 percent of the oil, but that it will take 24 to 48 hours to understand how well this solution is working. Adm. Thad Allen, the former Coast Guard chief and oil spill inci
dent commander, called the cap "only a temporary and partial fix."

Despite the capping procedure, it became clear this week that the onrush of oil from the BP Deepwater Horizon rig will not cease any time soon. Even in the best case scenario, thousands of barrels of oil will still flow into the ocean. Destruction is already spreading along the Gulf Coast, and before the oil stops leaking, species might be extinct and industries destroyed.

In the coming months -- it's not clear how many -- oil will continue to pollute the Gulf of Mexico. BP and the Obama administration are talking about August as the end of this crisis, but other experts have projected that the spill could last until Christmas.

As Justin Elliott reports for TPMMuckraker, BP told the government it could handle a spill much larger than this one. In the initial exploration plan for the well, BP claimed "it was prepared to respond to a blowout flowing at 300,000 barrels per day -- as much as 25 times the rate of the current spill," Elliott writes. BP cannot, it turns out, respond to a blowout flowing less than 20,000 barrels per day, and the consequences for the Gulf communities are only beginning to emerge. The first casualty will be Gulf ecosystem and its inhabitants. The second casualty will be the livelihood of Gulf communities that have depended on fish, shrimp, and oysters for survival.

How long?

In 1979, another company released torrents of oil in the Gulf of Mexico, in much shallower waters than where BP was drilling. As Rachel Slajda writes for TPMMuckeraker, the clean-up methods the oil industry relied on three decades ago are similar to the technology BP is trying now. The Ixtoc spill was comparatively easy to address; yet it still took 10 months to stop.

During that spill, the nearest state, Texas, had two months to prepare for the oil to hit shore, and still "1,421 birds were found with oiled feathers and feet," Slajda writes. The fishing industry escaped much damage, but the tourism industry lost 7-10 percent of its business.

Dead fish

In Louisiana, Mississippi, Florida, and other states affected by this spill, fish, fowl, restaurateurs, and oystermen won't get off easy. As Care2 reports, the National Wildlife Federation has already documented the deaths of more than 150 threatened or endangered sea turtles and of 316 seabirds ("mostly brown pelicans and northern gannets").

And BP is trying to keep images of the animal victims away from the public. Julia Whitty, reporting from Louisiana, writes for Mother Jones:

All up and down this shoreline angry and scared people told me some scary and infuriating stories in the past few days. I heard about the the dead and dying wildlife we're never going to see because the victims are being carted away to early responder ships and to inaccessible buildings onshore. I've seen some of those photographs which can't be shown (according to BP's new orders) of dolphins swimming through thick gunky oil, struggling sperm whales trailing wakes a mile long in thick gunky oil, dead jellyfish in gunky oil.


The impact of the oil spill goes beyond those individual bodies, though.   As Inter Press Service reports, environmentalists and scientists "are beginning to reckon with the reality of a massive annihilation of sea creatures and wildlife."

"You could potentially lose whole species, have extinction events," Michael Blum, a Tulane ecology professor told IPS. "Brown pelicans were just taken off the endangered species list. On this threshold, a big dieback and mortality event, they would be pushed back into a situation where they could be endangered." Also at Care2, Jay Holcomb, Executive Director of the International Bird Rescue Research Center, demonstrates a brown pelican being de-oiled, her feathers shampooed with Dawn detergent, her head and pouch cleaned with Q-tips.

Livelihoods destroyed
For generations, Gulf Coast residents made their living by fishing. Their fishing grounds are now off-limits. Some have found short-term work with BP fighting the oil. But those jobs come with new hazards.

Some clean-up workers have reported dizziness, nausea, and shortness of breath that they think comes from exposure to chemical dispersants. BP is not providing safety gear that would clean the air workers breathe and has threatened to fire clean-up workers who bring their own, Colorlines reports.

In the long-term, Gulf Coast fishermen may have no source of income and will have to abandon their homes and professions.

"It's a way of life,"shrimper Dean Blachard told Democracy Now!'s Amy Goodman this week. "They destroyed a way of life, a way of life that if you take it away too long, you can't learn this in a school. This is passed from generation to generation, so the daddy teaches the son, and the son teaches his son. And, you know, once the chain is broke, you're never going to get it back."

It's understandable that the residents of the Gulf Coast might want BP to pay for the damage. At The Nation, Chris Hayes reveals that BP could be on the hook for mitigation, the cash value of injured property, and for punitive damages-all beyond the cost of cleanup itself. But, as Zygmunt J. B. Plater, a law professor who chaired a legal task force on the Exxon Valdez spill, explains:

"In Alaska, most of the damage was suffered by communities who had their quality of life destroyed, and there's no way to put a dollar value on that."

This post features links to the best independent, progressive reporting about the environment by members of The Media Consortium. It is free to reprint.

Posted By:

Dawn Kairns  
Author of MAGGIE the dog who changed my life

Blog: Dawn Kairns and Maggie the Dog  
Twitter: themaggiebook

Sunday, June 6, 2010

The Animals of the Oil Spill We're Not Seeing (Video)

Why am I, an author of a dog book, spending so much time sharing often difficult to look at photos of animal casualties of the Gulf oil spill? Because I am an animal lover and my blog, although usually oriented towards dogs and animal issues such as puppy mills, is also devoted to animal rescue and showing the incredible beings of light that animals are. Who is in more need of rescue right now than those animals suffering in the Gulf? (The human plight of loss in the Gulf is, of course, another story). I have been to the Gulf in the past, have seen her beauty, and delighted in the magnificence of the pelicans, seagulls, sandpipers, egrets, dolphins and more. To see them in the shape they are in now is heart wrenching. Many of these innocent ones of the Gulf oil spill tragedy will not be helped by what I write and share. But may we all, in seeing their suffering, find our voices to do whatever it takes to be sure this never happens again ...

The Spill We're Not Seeing (YouTube): Reporter Matthew Lysiak of the New York Daily News gets into off limits area along coast of Louisiana near Grand Isle and photographs dead marine animals. See more photos and story at 

The Dead and Dying Animals BP Doesn't Want You to See (YouTube video) The animal photos are in the middle of this MSNBC broadcast clip:

Gulf of Mexico Wildlife Casualities/Wildlife Species in Danger (You Tube)

Posted By:

Dawn Kairns  
Author of MAGGIE the dog who changed my life

Blog: Dawn Kairns and Maggie the Dog  
Twitter: themaggiebook

Friday, June 4, 2010

How Pelicans Rescued from Oil Spill Are Washed & Learn Oil Effects (Video)

See How an Oiled Bird Is Washed and How You Can Support the Effort

Oiled Brown Pelican upon intake May 20, 2010 at Fort Jackson, Louisiana Oiled Wildlife Center.
source: IBRRC photostream on Flickr

If you are as concerned about the effects on birds and wildlife from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill as I am, you’ll be interested in watching this video and seeing how help is being given one bird at a time. The pictures and video tell the story.

As the severity of the Gulf Coast oil spill increases a number of wildlife rescue organizations are on the front line. Among the most prominent are the bird rescue specialists from International Bird Rescue Research Center (IBRRC). IBRRC is working with Tri-State Bird Rescue, the lead oiled wildlife organization on the ground, to set up and staff rehabilitation centers in Louisiana, Alabama Mississippi, and Florida, where the growing oil slick will most impact the birds. To support the IBRRC’s efforts go here.

In this video from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Jay Holcomb, Executive Director of the IBRRC, explains to us what happens when a bird becomes oiled and demonstrates how an oiled bird from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill is washed at the Fort Jackson Rehabilitation Center in Louisiana.

Before & After: Oiled Brown Pelican Washed at Fort Jackson, Lousiana Oiled Wildlife Center   source: IBRRC photostream on Flickr

Posted By:

Dawn Kairns  
Author of MAGGIE the dog who changed my life

Blog: Dawn Kairns and Maggie the Dog  
Twitter: themaggiebook

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Leading trainer says even fearful dogs can be helped with gentle approach

Fetch Blog,

Of all the dogs that nationally known dog trainer and author Nicole Wilde helps, fearful animals are close to her heart.

“This is the issue that is so, so important,” the California-based Wilde said Friday. “At stake is the dog’s quality of life and even whether or not it will have a home.”

That’s because a very large proportion of what people call aggression issues actually is fear-based, she said. “Its like, ‘hey, big person, stay away, stay away,’ ” she explained.

Wilde, who has written a book titled “Help Your Fearful Dog” (, will present an all-day workshop June 12 at the Humane Society of Boulder Valley focused on helping fearful dogs. Attending will be a variety of animal care professionals, but Wilde hopes everyday dog owners will come, too.

“I love it when owners come,” she said. “They leave with specific techniques to help their pets.”

Wilde and her partner operate a company called Gentle Guidance in Santa Clarita, Calif. She presents seminars around the world to trainers, rescue/shelter workers and dog owners. She has written eight books and writes an Ask The Expert column for Modern Dog magazine.

She believes there are a number of reasons dogs can be fearful. One is simply genetics, possibly due to over-breeding. Maybe the animal has been traumatized. The biggest problem may be that the pet has not been adequately socialized with people and other dogs.

“The window for optimal socialization is 4 to 12 weeks of age,” Wilde said. “You can socialize a dog after that, but it is more difficult.”

based on force won’t work, she said.

“Be patient and work at the dog’s pace,” Wilde explained. “You’re not forcing the dog to confront its fears. Introduce the dog to things in a gradual manner.”

She describes this as classical conditioning, a principle drveloped by the Russian scientist Pavlov.

Shelter dogs are not necessarily more fearful, Wilde said, even though some may suffer separation anxiety as a result of being abandoned.

“If you get a shelter dog as a puppy you have a better shot,” she said. “But even if a shelter dog has fear issues, you still can make progress.”

Wilde may be at the top of her profession, but she served her time in the trenches.

“A lot of my background came from wolf-dog hybrids,” she said, “I worked for a shelter and even went to people’s homes for free. My whole goal was to help them keep those animals. This
is why I got into it.”

But she had to work outside jobs to keep her efforts going, so she helped form Gentle Guidance.

Now, Wilde is a faculty member and on the advisory board for the Companion Animal Sciences Institute.

For information about her June 12 appearance in Boulder or other opportunities at the Humane Society of Boulder Valley

Posted By:

Dawn Kairns  
Author of MAGGIE the dog who changed my life

Blog: Dawn Kairns and Maggie the Dog  
Twitter: themaggiebook

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Dog lovers come to aid of overwhelmed shelter

From Pawprint Post, USA Today

Volunteers had a busy Memorial Day weekend helping care for more than 200 dogs seized in Winter Haven, Fla., from the owners of the Mid-Florida Retriever Rescue. What took so long for someone to notice and do something about the neglect of these poor dogs? One volunteer said the bath water was red because of all the flea bites. Volunteers from Tampa, St. Petersburg, Daytona Beach, West Palm Beach and Orlando offered to help after Lisa Moehring, president of Save Our Homeless Pets, posted an item on her Facebook page about the arrest of the owners. The Polk County Sheriff's Office is still asking for help and volunteers.

Posted By:

Dawn Kairns  
Author of MAGGIE the dog who changed my life