Dogvocate – A person who advocates for dogs
Adopt Don’t Shop
Tucson and Southern Arizona have dozens of rescue groups and shelters. Consider adopting vs. buying from a backyard breeder or pet store.
What’s a backyard breeder? Someone who posts a sign on a telephone poll in order to sell puppies for hundreds of dollars and then wants to meet you in a Walmart parking lot to deliver the dog. A reputable breeder will allow visits to the property. Do your research.
Don’t buy pups from pet stores. These pups come from puppy mills. What’s a puppy mill? According to the ASPCA, “a puppy mill is a large-scale commercial dog breeding facility where profit is given priority over the well-being of the dogs. Puppy mills usually house dogs in overcrowded and unsanitary conditions without adequate veterinary care, food, water or socialization. In order to maximize profits, female dogs are bred at every opportunity with little-to-no recovery time between litters. Puppy mill puppies, often as young as eight weeks of age, are sold to pet shops or directly to the public over the Internet, through newspaper ads and at swap meets and flea markets.” Buyer beware.
Get involved. Check out Puppy Mill Free Tucson and SPEAK Tucson on Facebook.
Spay and Neuter Your Pets (cats too)
10 Reasons to Spay and Neuter
–Your female pet will live a longer, healthier life.
Spaying helps prevent uterine infections and breast cancer, which is fatal in about 50% of dogs and 90% of cats. Best to spay before her first heat but if you miss that deadline, just do it.
–Neutering provides major health benefits for your male.
Besides preventing unwanted litters, neutering prevents testicular cancer.
–Your spayed female won’t go into heat.
While cycles can vary, female cats usually go into heat four to five days every three weeks during breeding season. In an effort to advertise for mates, they will make loud screams and urinate all over the house.
–Your male dog won’t want to roam.
An intact male will do just about anything to find a mate! That includes digging his way under the fence and making like Houdini to escape from the house. Once free to roam, he can be inured in traffic and get into fights with other males.
–Your neutered male will be much better behaved.
Neutered cats and dogs focus their attention on their human families. On the other hand, unneutered dogs and cats may mark their territory by spraying strong-smelling urine all over the house. Many aggression problems can be avoided by early neutering.
–Spaying or neutering will NOT make your pet fat.
Lack of exercise and overfeeding will cause your pet to gain weight.
The cost of a spay/neuter surgery is less than the cost of having and caring for a litter. It also beats the cost of treatment when your unneutered tom escapes and gets into fights.
–Good for the community.
Stray animals pose a real problem as they prey on wildlife, can cause car accidents, damage the local fauna, frighten people walking their dogs and frighten children.
–Forget about the miracle of birth.
Letting your pet produce offspring when you have no intention of keeping is not a good lesson for your children, especially when so many unwanted animals end up in shelters. There are books and videos to teach your children about birth in a more responsible way.
–Prevent pet overpopulation.
Every year, millions of cats and dogs of all ages and breeds are euthanized or suffer as strays. These high numbers are the result of unplanned litters that could have been prevented by spaying or neutering.
All too often we hear on the news horrific cases of animal cruelty – a dog’s ears were cut off, someone poured gasoline or put a firecracker on a kitten, puppies found in a dumpster, graffiti on a horse, dogs were tied up outside with no shelter or water. Incidents that break our hearts and tortures our souls. When you see it, report it to your local law enforcement office or Pima Animal Care Center. If someone you know is committing the cruelty, call the anonymous reporting line 520-547-0260.
Never, never, never put your dog (or cat) on Craig’s List with an ad for” free to a good home.” While CL might be a place to sell your couch, it’s scary to give away your pet as they may fall into unsavory hands who use dogs as bait for dog fighting, blood bank and laboratory experiments, target practice, etc. Search Google for more info. Ask a friend or family member whom you trust; relinquish to the Humane Society of Southern Arizona for a fee; or take to Pima Animal Care Center.