Advocacy Matters!

Advocacy and Animal Rescue

Lots of people equate “animal rescue” with the simple act of saving a dog or cat from euthanasia at an animal shelter.  However, there are many facets of rescue including adopting, fostering, transporting, fundraising, and advocating.  All areas of rescue are important, and combined efforts enable employees and volunteers in the rescue community to save lives.

Advocating on behalf of animals is also varied.  Most people involved in rescue are happy to preach “Don’t breed or buy while shelter pets die!” to anyone willing to listen.  Others tackle the issue of animal cruelty, and unfortunately rescuers are all too often witness to its victims. 

Beginnings In a Fondness For Animals

My path to animal advocacy began early.  As a child I was innately drawn to animals and always loved them.  I had dogs as pets growing up.  Fortunately, I am married to someone who shares my fondness for animals and for many years we have had dogs and cats as part of our household.  For a long time we have been proponents of the “adopt, don’t shop” mantra, and we support our local humane society with financial contributions when we can.

My “official” leap into the world of rescue came as the result of an animal cruelty case.  In December 2011 a young female pit bull was found abandoned and in terrible condition at Joyce Park in Fairfield, Ohio.  She weighed only 27 pounds and had pressure sores over the bony protuberances of her frail body.  The first temperature reading obtained after she was rushed to a veterinarian was a mere 91 degrees, (normal is 101-102 degrees).  Her feet were so swollen and infected from being confined in wet, dirty conditions that she was unable to stand.  She also had scars from old wounds on her body, the causes of which would never be determined.  Her saviors named her “Audrey”.

I learned of Audrey’s story on the local evening news from the warmth and comfort of my kitchen table while I was having dinner.  I was overwhelmed by the vision of her struggling, skeletal form on the television.  I was also shocked.  Joyce Park is less than 3 miles from my home.  I couldn’t imagine someone leaving this dog to die “right in my back yard”.  I was angry.  When I learned that the perpetrator, if caught, would only be charged with a misdemeanor I was positively enraged, and an advocate/activist was born!

justice for audrey

Sadly, after Audrey, other stories followed locally.  One such case was that of Bruiser, a 10-month old pit bull mix puppy who was starved to death by his pregnant 19-year-old owner in Hamilton, Ohio.  Then there was Joseph the German shepherd.  He had been tied to a tree in a backyard in Middletown, Ohio for up to 4 yrs.  He was emaciated, heartworm positive and had horrible chronic ear infections when he was rescued.  I attended courthouse rallies, wrote letters, placed phone calls to judges and state legislators, and met lots of other animal lovers in the process.  Each case only served to strengthen my resolve to “DO SOMETHING!”


Today I am on the steering committee for Ohio Voters for Companion Animals, or OVCA.  The organization was formed in January 2013 and is an Ohio-citizen driven, community based organization dedicated to increasing the engagement of the Ohio animal community in public policy.  We strive to elect officials who believe that all companion animals should be treated humanely. 

OVCA’s focus is on grassroots engagement to influence legislation to improve Ohio companion animal-welfare laws.  We would also like to educate and support the law enforcement and judicial communities in the enforcement and administration of Ohio’s animal welfare laws. 

OVCA firmly believes that a critical step in achieving its goal of eliminating cruelty to companion animals within Ohio is to elect candidates who demonstrate an understanding of the issues and support policies to address and criminalize deliberate acts of cruelty. 

We have an active face book page which to date has garnered nearly 10,000 “Likes”, (, and a comprehensive web site (  Our focus is on tracking companion animal legislation in Ohio, although we sometimes also look to other states for examples of good legislation.  We follow many ongoing cruelty cases throughout Ohio to monitor what kinds of sentences judges are handing down with guilty verdicts.

OVCA makes lobbying easy for the novice.  We help to educate you on the legislative process, and we can assist you in identifying who your legislators are.  We even give you tips on what to say when contacting a Senator, Representative or Committee Chairperson.  Lobbying for a cause you believe in does not have to be daunting or intimidating!

voting for animals

The following bills are currently pending in the Ohio legislature:

1. HB 57 would require an individual to file proof of successful completion of training with the county recorder prior to being appointed as a humane society agent and to require the revocation or suspension of an appointment under certain circumstances.

2. HB 243 would require a child who is adjudicated a delinquent child for cruelty to a companion animal to undergo a psychological evaluation and, if recommended, counseling, to require the court to sentence other offenders who commit that offense to probation supervision, and to include the protection of companion animals in temporary protection orders, domestic violence protection orders, anti-stalking protection orders, and related protection orders.

3. HB 274 (aka “Goddard’s Law”) would strengthen penalties against companion animal cruelty. It would revise the provisions and penalties regarding treatment of companion animals, it would revise the definition of “companion animal” in the Offenses Relating to Domestic Animals Law, and it would provide a state collaborative effort to assist veterinarians in identifying clients who may use their animals to secure opioids for abuse.

4. HB 310 would revise current law to include persons diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder as mobility impaired persons for purposes of the statutes governing assistance dogs and to prohibit misrepresentation of a dog as an assistance dog.

5. SB 177 would include the protection of companion animals in temporary protection orders, domestic violence protection orders, anti-stalking protection orders, and related protection orders.

6. SB 217 would require the State Veterinary Medical Licensing Board to inspect the place of business of a person that is licensed, registered, or permitted under the Veterinarians Law and would establish requirements and procedures for those inspections.

7. HB 251 would restore sentencing provisions to allow prison for offenders of felony animal cruelty.

8. HB 569 would strengthen penalties against animal fighting.

OVCA will be closely monitoring the activity of these bills at the Ohio Statehouse. You can stay up-to-date by watching for information or “Action Alerts” on our face book page. You can also sign up for email alerts at our web site.

Please join OVCA on the quest to better the lives of companion animals in Ohio. Channel anger about animal cruelty into something positive and be pro-active in demanding change. OVCA aims to become a strong citizen based lobby at the statehouse, one that will help control and influence companion animal legislation in Ohio. Your participation is vital since the more members we have, the more influence we will have with Ohio legislators.

Advocacy is an oft overlooked but important piece of the rescue puzzle. It simply takes you caring and speaking up to be successful. Make sure our legislators can hear you!

lisa holbrook

Lisa Holbrook is a Registered Vascular Technologist (RVT) at a community hospital in suburban Cincinnati. She lives with her husband Bryan and fur-kids in Fairfield, Ohio. Besides being active in companion animal advocacy, they foster kittens for Animal Friends Humane Society of Butler County. You can contact her at

Fostering A Pet

rescue angels

Dogs And Puppies Need Your Help

Having foster homes is very critical to an animal rescue simply because it helps Save Lives. Foster homes are crucial when 90% of the animal rescue’s in-take are dogs and puppies pulled from high kill shelters and pounds. There are more dogs and puppies needing rescue than the rescues can take in due to lack of foster homes. The more foster homes a rescue has, the more dogs and puppies that can be saved from being euthanized and given a second chance to find a wonderful loving family to love them for the rest of their days.

How To Get Started Fostering A Pet

What does fostering a pet entail you ask? It is quite easy. All the rescue needs for you to do is 1.) open your home and your heart to the animal, 2.) provide love, a safe haven and socialization, 3.) be able to transport the pet where ever it may need to go (such as the vet or an adoption event) and finally to love love love getting licks and playing!  It is that simple! In return for the above, the animal rescue will provide the vet care and food for the pet while it is in your care.

Fostering Through An Animal Rescue Is Specific To The Pet

Don’t get me wrong and please understand that every rescued animal is different in personality and socialization. Some of the animals may not like children.  That animal would need to go into a foster home without small children or any children at all. Some animals may have a fear of men.  That animal would need to be socialized with men to work on the fear of being around men, which may result in a foster home without men. Or an animal may not like other animals…so a foster where that animal will be the only animal may be needed. There are many different situations with being a foster home but only one thing will always remain the same with each animal you foster–their love for you!

foster homes needed

FAQ About Fostering A Pet

In case you have some questions, here are some Q & A’s that will hopefully help.

  • Can foster parents adopt their foster pets?

Yes! As long as foster parents meet the shelter requirements that are necessary for adopting, foster parents have the first choice to adopt their foster pets, unless otherwise specified.

  • Are foster animals contagious? Will my pets or my health be jeopardized?

It is always a health risk to expose your animal to other animals, whether at the off-leash areas, the vet waiting room or other common animal areas. If your pets are current on their vaccinations, maintain healthy diets and lifestyles, and are not immune compromised, then the health risk should be minimal.

If someone in your household is immune compromised, consult the doctor before fostering. If you are pregnant (or someone in your house is (or plan to become) pregnant, talk to your doctor before fostering cats. You may need to take some special precautions during your pregnancy.

  • Are purchases made for foster care tax-deductible?

Purchases made for foster care may be considered donations to the shelter and would be tax-deductible. Please check with your shelter or rescue group regarding their tax-deductible status. If the organization is a non-profit, keep your receipts.

  • What do I do if my foster animal needs veterinary care?

It’s always best to speak with the specific shelter or rescue about how to handle medical emergencies, as each group may have a preferred way of managing crisis, require notification prior to treatment or have a preferred veterinarian. I’ve included some rough guidelines below, but it’s always best to sketch out a plan ahead of time with your foster contact.

pet first aid

Animal Rescue Emergencies

If you have an emergency during business hours, please call the shelter or rescue directly. If something happens after hours:

  1. Restrain the animal to prevent it from hurting itself or anyone in the area.
  2. Evaluate the situation and need for assistance.
  3. Is the shelter or rescue’s veterinary office open for business with vet staff available?
  4. Call the shelter.
  5. Get the animal in to see the vet immediately.
  6. Is the animal’s life in imminent danger? Is the animal’s airway obstructed or is the animal having trouble breathing? Does the animal have any broken bones or open wounds?
  7. Call for emergency clearance.
  8. Get the animal in to see the vet immediately.
  9. Is the animal running a fever of 104F or greater?
  10. Look at the animal’s gums. Are they white or healthy pink? Is the animal eating or drinking?
  11. Is the animal able to urinate and defecate? Look at the animal’s stool. Is there blood in the feces or urine? Are there obvious parasites present?
  12. If the situation is not an emergency, call the shelter vet staff first thing on the next business day.
  13. If emergency medical attention is needed, or if you are uncertain, call for emergency clearance. Have the animal’s name, impound number and any information about the situation available so the staff can advise you of the appropriate steps.
  14. Once you are cleared to go to the emergency veterinary clinic, a shelter representative will contact their office and let them know that you are coming. In many cases, the medical treatment of the animal will be billed to the shelter. However, some rescue groups do ask you to pay and be reimbursed.
  15. ALWAYS check with the shelter staff before making an appointment with a veterinary clinic. Without proper clearance, the shelter cannot reimburse you for any medical costs.


  • What does fostering a dog involve?

When you foster, you agree to take a homeless dog into your home and give him or her love, care and attention, either for a predetermined period of time or until the dog is adopted.

  • Why do adoption groups need foster homes?

There are many reasons a dog might need foster care. Some of the most common include:

  1. A rescue group doesn’t have a physical shelter and depends on foster homes to care for dogs until suitable homes are found.
  2. A puppy is too young to be adopted and needs a safe place to stay until he or she is old enough to go to a forever home.
  3. A dog is recovering from surgery, illness or injury and needs a safe place to recuperate.
  4. A dog is showing signs of stress such as pacing or hiding in the shelter.
  5. A dog has not lived in a home before or has not had much contact with people and needs to be socialized.
  6. The shelter is running out of room for adoptable dogs.
  • Why should I foster a dog?

Fostering a dog is one of the most rewarding experiences you can have (other than adopting, of course). By taking an animal in need temporarily into your home you’re:

  1. Freeing up a spot so the shelter or rescue can take in another dog.
  2. Giving your foster dog the time he needs to be ready for adoption.
  3. Helping the shelter or rescue learn more about the dog so he can end up in the best home possible.
  4. Socializing the dog to a home environment and possibly getting him used to being around other pets and different types of people.

love to help

How You Can Get Started Fostering A Pet

Now, you are probably wondering how to go about becoming a foster home. That is simple too! Just find a rescue or shelter on and view their websites for the foster application. Once you apply to become a foster home you will meet a rescue supervisor who will go through the whole foster home process with you.

You are not only giving an animal a new life but you are helping to save a life. For more questions please don’t hesitate to contact me through my email  below or by phone at: 513-615-6726.

Robyn Moore

Robyn Moore, our Rescue Editor, is the Founder and Owner of Lil’ Paw Prints Animal Rescue Haven, which she founded in 2006. She has lived in the Loveland, Ohio area for over 30 years. Robyn loves the outdoors and traveling. She also adores animals and helps them every way she can. You can view her rescue’s website at You can contact her at

Police Kill Dogs–Stop This Now!


I don’t often write posts that make me angrier as I go, but I have to say that this is the single pet cause I’ve written about lately that makes me the most outraged. How often lately have we read the headline “Dog Killed By Police Officer”? Way, way too often. The fact is police kill dogs. They kill them for no reason. And sometimes they even like it. When I was a kid I was taught that I could feel safe going up to a policeman on the street if I was lost or needed help—that they’re our friends and are trained to protect and serve. Later, I even dated a cop. I got an insider’s view of police culture. And I came to respect these people even more.

But these days what I see is not always to be respected.

police kill dogs

Kelsey Markou and family, and their remaining dog.

In November of 2012, Kelsey Markou was walking her dog in Champaign, Illinois when another dog came up and attacked it. A passerby called the police, and when they arrived the policeman shot both dogs. Eight times, he shot them. Kelsey’s dog died…for being attacked during a walk. The attacking dog went to the vet.

Police Kill Dogs All Over

In August of 2013, the Bullock family of Cincinnati, Ohio returned to their home after a funeral to find blood on their porch and a note to call the Blue Ash police department. It seems their 5 pound Chihuahua mix, Jack, had gotten out. When two officers tried to catch him, he fled to the front porch. Cornered, he bit one of the officers who tried to pick him up. He was then tased, then shot three times. The family described their five year old son calling to the dog every day since its murder to come back. They didn’t have the heart to tell him how Jack had died, and the boy was told he ran away. This story made me ashamed to live in Cincinnati. Here’s a video that describes what I too feel about this.

cali and girl

Cali, giving kisses.

cali and family

Cali, with the family baby.

Police Kill DogS, TheN Lie And Are Protected

In March of 2014, a policeman in Ardmore, Oklahoma shot Sarah Jo Ellen Brown’s dog because it had escaped the yard and he didn’t want to wait for animal control officers. And then he laughed. He is quoted as bragging, “Did you see her collar fly off when I shot her? That was awesome!” Although the dog, Cali, had done nothing to provoke this, the reply from the animal control officer reportedly was, “We’ll just write in the report that it tried to attack you and others in the neighborhood.” This particular police officer had already been reported several times, once even by another officer, who wrote that he suffered from, “intentional infliction of emotional distress.” Other violations had previously included searching homes without a warrant and even the fatal shooting of a suspect after lying about the man having attacked him. He was later discovered to have failed the psychological tests required to become a police officer.



Police Kill Dogs, Even When They Are Already Restrained

The following is from the Facebook Page “Justice For Arzy”, created by Bayou Bullies Rescue & Rehabilitation, Louisiana:

On April 30th, 2014 two men from Maine and their dog were traveling through Calcasieu Parish, and stopped to take shelter from the rain inside a cargo truck outside the offices of the Southwest Daily News in Sulphur. The men were in the back of the truck for about ten minutes when someone from the newspaper called Sulphur Police. The dog’s owner, Brandon Carpenter, says police officer Brian Thierbach came up to them with his gun drawn and ordered them out of the truck. Brandon tied his dog, named Arzy, to the bumper of the truck and explained to the officer the dog was not going to be a problem. As Brandon and his friend were handcuffed and arrested for trespassing, the officer proceeded to search the truck, then suddenly, without warning fatally shot Arzy. A witness, who works for the Daily News, said the dog did not act out in any way. After doing some research we found out that In April 2013, Thierbach was placed on administrative leave by state police, pending an investigation, saying he “posed a significant hazard to the efficiency of the public service,” and that his conduct was “unbecoming of an officer.” It’s not clear from the documents what exactly led to the action, but three days after the notice was written, Thierbach resigned from the Louisiana State Police. On May 9th Sulphur Police Chief Lewis Coats said Thierbach submitted his resignation prior to final disciplinary action being taken against him. Coats said that the joint investigation found that Thierbach “violated the Sulphur Police Department’s Departmental Policy and Procedure regarding Use of Force and Personal Conduct and Behavior.” The SPD investigation is over but The Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office is going forward with a criminal investigation into the shooting.

“He thought I was just a train-hopping punk, and he could shoot my dog and get away with it,” Brandon Carpenter said. “You messed with the wrong traveler.”


Officer Ike


Officer Ike On Duty

Police Officer Dog Killed By Police Officer

On April 9th of this year, a Phoenix, Arizona corrections officer left his K9 partner, Ike, a Belgian Malinois, in a car for seven hours in heat exceeding 98 degrees. (As we know, temps inside cars get significantly warmer.) How did this happen? He forgot. Another officer discovered Ike had died and of course tests determined this was due to major organ failure consistent with elevated temperatures. This officer, like at least one before him, had had a sick child on his mind—so…why was he on duty? If he was a hazard to his own partner, how could he possibly help anyone else?

Ike, running

Ike, running.

Police Kill Dogs, Even When They Are Running Away



Less than a week ago, a family in Anderson, South Carolina was enjoying time at their home with friends. Four children were playing in the driveway, when several police cars pulled in. The family dog walked out to meet them. Teeth were not bared; there was no growling. Yet officers shot the dog. And when it ran into the bushes, shot it again and killed it. Adrien Best, owner of the dog, named Cream, was later informed the police were on the track of a stolen cell phone. As it happened, one of her son’s friends was at the house and had found the phone at school, which he was carrying. Take a look at this video—does it look to you as though these people are desperados, where that many cars were needed in the first place? Let alone what happened to this poor animal?

It seems more than evident that this country has some serious issues in how it chooses and trains its cops. And when officers are routinely reprimanded and released to continue to do more harm than good in our communities, how can we any longer feel like we are safe, let alone our pets? What can we do when an officer allows his own partner to die due to neglect? The average postal delivery worker receives more training than a police officer on how to recognize and handle an actual dog attack. And when there is an average of 69,926,000 pet dogs owned in this country, that’s just crazy. Here are some resource links, if you’d like to learn how citizens can take a stand on this issue, and how to protect your pets:

Justice For Arzy FB Page

The ASPCA’s Position

Animal Legal Defense Fund

Colorado’s “Don’t Shoot My Dog” Bill

A Police Officer’s Insight On Keeping Your Dog Safe

I still have police officer friends.  I know there are good officers out there, who in no way would ever harm a pet.  I’m hoping that they, and those reading this post who love them, will pass this along with their own outrage and suggestions on where citizens can go for help.  This is not just about pets—it’s about the safety and rights of all people, as well.

 Joy Jones, our Editor In Chief, is a syndicated columnist living with her husband Dave in Anderson, Ohio. When not working on Your Pet Space, she writes a metaphysical column called The Midwestern Buddhist as well as urban fantasy and humor. You can e-mail her at as well as follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

How To Train An Abused Dog

Often you will come across a dog that has been abused at one point in his life. These dogs are difficult to deal with, as the normal things we do cause them anxiety and fear. You can, however, increase your chances of teaching an abused dog to trust with a few simple changes in approach and a lot of patience.

Dog under tableHow To Approach A Once-Abused Dog

When interacting with this dog, bend down to appear less threatening. When talking to him, keep your voice low and cheerful. A loud or frustrated tone will cause him to fear. Call him to you; don’t approach him. If he makes an effort to obey, praise him. Don’t wait for him to obey completely. Remember, he may be used to getting hit when he approaches someone.

When you do get to pet this dog, avoid his head. Keep your hand palm up as it approaches him and gently rub under his chin or on his chest. Rubbing either spot tends to calm a dog. If he moves to step backward, let him retreat. In time, he will stay longer.

Nervous puppyWhen A Dog Is Nervous

When a dog is nervous or you have a skittish dog, he will often wet the floor involuntarily. If this should happen, it is important not to allow your frustration to show. It is not a deliberate attempt at disobeying and will likely disappear as he gains trust in you.

How To Train An Abused Dog

When training or retraining an abused dog, keep any sessions short, with just a few minutes of actual touch each time. You can gradually increase the time as his trust grows. Often, just sitting quietly and waiting for him to approach you will make him feel comfortable. If your initial attempts fail, try this.

found dog in Honduras named LuckyThese Dogs Make A Great Pets!

A once-abused dog can be as trusting and loving as any other.  Working with abused dogs takes patience on the part of those in their lives. A crouching position, low voice and appropriate touch will win them over eventually.  The effects of animal cruelty can manifest in many nervous dog symptoms.  But love and time really do conquer all.

Where to Adopt

Here are a couple of links we recommend for awesome shelter and rescue organizations in Cincinnati.  If you need a referral in another location, feel free to contact us!

Lil Paw Prints Animal Rescue Haven

Rescue Me.Org

The Cause For Adopting A Pet

new kitten cat eyeAdopting A Pet When You Are Also Adopted

There’s a reason why I am your Pet Space’s “Adoptions Editor”.  Not only have I adopted animals of my own over the years and grew up with fellow adopted pets, I am adopted myself!

Being an adoptee has given me a unique bond with my pets and the adopted pets of my friends and other family members.  Every fur-creature in my life came to me through random chance and or because I went to a place and selected ones with whom I /my family felt a special connection.

Adopting a pet, like adopting a child, implies great responsibility and sensitivity on the part of the new (pet) parent.  Your home, even inviting and loving, is a completely foreign setting for the new addition.  Your recently-adopted furry family member may be feeling overwhelmed with newness, uncertainty and change in routine. They may experience pangs of loss for former companions if they came from other human owners or lived with litter mates and or their feline/canine mother.  Feeling insecure may be the reason for some inappropriate pet behaviors until the period of adjustment passes.

Even an animal coming to your fabulous home from a less than desirable setting might exhibit unwanted behaviors because of the change in their lives.  The old setting, good or bad, was their “normal”.  It’s the only thing they understood, but with consistency, persistence and lots of love, improvement will happen.

new kitten two catsAdopting A Pet When You Have Other Pets Already

Many people adopt a new pet and already have other pets in their home.  Be sure to still spend time with your first pet(s), reassuring them that they are still a part of your life.  You can possibly use an old towel or blanket and pass it between the first pet’s living space to the newer pet and vice-versa.  Allow for supervised together time and time apart so that all animals can socialize but regroup in their personal spaces.

new kitten white catResources For When You Adopt A New Pet

Years ago, I subscribed to Cat Fancy Magazine and read many articles by feline behaviorist, Carole Wilbourn.

Where to Buy Books By Carole Wilbourn

. Wilbourn is a successful pet therapist who promotes methods for introducing new pets to existing pets in a household.  Her style of acquainting animals became known at “The Wilbourn Method”‘ and is now known as “The Wilbourn Way”, because the scope has increased to greater forms of cat therapy, including Reiki.Every time my family has acquired a new kitten, I have incorporated many of Wilbourn’s teachings when introducing pets.  We buy extra toys, spread the old scents and new animal scents among cats with fabric items like old socks and towels.  We may hold one pet and refer to it as the other pet’s “baby”, “buddy”, “love” or something like that.  We time out the animals so that they can ease into their new lives together with a few breaks.  Depending on the personality and ages of your pets, this process can take a few days to a few weeks.Above all, as you transition a new pet into your lives, whether with an existing pet or not, remember that the animal(s) might regress until their worries subside.  In many ways they are like small children. They form attachments and have a limited understanding and fewer life experiences to draw from. Introducing a new dog or cat takes time and patience on everyone’s part, but will enrich everyone’s life with beauty, companionship and hopefully years of joyful memories.
Paige StricklandPaige Adams Strickland, our Adoptions Editor, is the recently published author of, Akin to the Truth: A Memoir of Adoption and Identity. She is a Spanish teacher in Cincinnati, Ohio and is married with two daughters and a son-in-law.  She has owned both cats and dogs but currently has four cats.  Her book blog is, and she welcomes visits and comments there. Her book is available on iPad, Kindle and as a print version at:    
or: Akin to the Truth: A Memoir of Adoption and Identity at Amazon.

The Cause Of The Feral Cat

feral cat with bird

Feral Cat Or Stray?

If you see a stray cat in your neighborhood that is overly cautious or unfriendly and seems to have no owner or home, it is most likely not one of the feral cats. The cat may seem very cautious or frightened around people, but it is not considered truly feral if it maintains any type of human/cat connection (called “socialization”).  A stray or abandoned cat, even a frightened one, will remain close to humans if only to get food, but a truly feral cat will avoid all human contact if at all possible. A stray cat, if taken in, can resume a socialized role in a home. The same is true of kittens of feral cats if human interaction is introduced early enough.

feral cat hiss

Feral Cat As Loner

Unlike stray and abandoned cats, feral cats are rarely seen in our everyday lives. They live in out-of -the way places, in groups or colonies of related cats. While it may seem like a free and easy life, their lives are constant searches for food, daily fighting, injury and disease. While an indoor/outdoor pet may have a life expectancy of 16-18 years and beyond, a truly feral cat will probably have a lifespan one-third of that. Without proper medical care and shelter, frequent fighting, dogs, poison left where the curious cat may find it, malicious humans and other causes will all contribute to a hard scrabble life that ends all too soon.

feral cat toughBecause cats can reproduce as early as five months, three or four times a year, this can result in an overpopulated colony that cannot be sustained by local resources. Competition for these resources will take a heavy toll and many feral cats will not make it out of adolescence.

What’s to be done? It’s hard not to care, whether you are a cat lover or just a concerned citizen. You may feel moved to act in some way to either make life a little better for these cats or to end the sometimes inconvenient damage to the environment brought about by such large populations. One solution described in detail at The Humane Society’s Web page describes the Trap-Neuter-Release program (TNR) with recommendations on safe and effective ways to alleviate over population among these feral cat colonies thereby ending unnecessary cycles of suffering from over breeding).

feral cat colony signYou can read more about TNR here.

John Jordan YPS Facebook page manager.John Jordan is a technical writer with 20 years in magazine publishing.  After that, he became a medical proposal writer competing for the creation of VA clinics, and now
he does contract copywriting, illustrating and animating, as well as maintaining the YPS Facebook page.  Raised on a farm in Brown County, Ohio, John was always surrounded by animals of every stripe and spot, on farm and in forest. This instilled a deep sense of the complete interaction of all natural things.
His favorite animal stories include all of the “All Creatures Great and Small” books.
If you have a pet story, product or service that might be of interest for Your Pet Space
readers, you can contact John at

Adopt A Senior Dog!

Ever thought about adopting a senior dog? There are many reason to consider adopting one. It can be much more devastating to the older dog that ends up at a shelter.  So you are saving a life!
        First off, at what age is a dog considered a senior? Vets suggest around the age of seven. Smaller dogs mature slower then larger dogs.

   So why adopt a senior?  Shelters are full of seniors that often get overlooked through no fault of their own. These are a few reasons why older dogs are given up: the pet’s family has lost their job or home, death of a guardian, change of lifestyle. Those are just a few.

Older dogs are often looked at as problem dogs. This is not the case.  Older dogs can be calmer and less energetic.  Most of the time, older dogs are potty trained  These dogs make great companions, and YES, OLDER DOGS CAN LEARN NEW TRICKS!

  So next time you are looking for a new dog consider a senior dog!

Check out these vids on senior dogs!


Tina CaldwellTina Caldwell has been training dogs and their families for about twenty years. She likes to work with all kinds of dogs and people, and has shown and competed in many different events over the years.   Some of her specialties are conformation, obedience and agility trials.  Her favorite breed of dog is the Cane Corso. You can contact Tina through Petsmart Eastgate in Cincinnati, or at

The Thousand Dogs of Sochi

dogs of sochi

photo: Kevin Liles, USA TODAY Sports

 Animals don’t behave like men,’ he said. ‘If they have to fight, they fight; and if they have to kill they kill. But they don’t sit down and set their wits to work to devise ways of spoiling other creatures’ lives and hurting them. They have dignity and animality.

My heart has joined the Thousand, for my friend stopped running today.

― Richard Adams

These quotes, of course, are from a book called Watership Down, that was made into a movie of the same name.  In the story, it’s rabbits that are destroyed when a construction crew tears apart their warren.  And they felt the same sort of horrified bewilderment I feel in writing this.

If you’re like me, you’d never heard of Sochi, Russia before this year’s Olympics.  But when I learned that the Russian government was targeting thousands of stray dogs there with poison, no less, I was appalled.  Apparently, so were many Russian animal rights activists, a few athletes and even a Russian billionaire.  So much that the latter, one Oleg Deripaska, put up the funds to create a shelter where the rescued dogs can wait for new homes.

Still, at least one protest took place on Red Square, where activists carried a banner reading “Bloody Olympics” that depicted a puppy covered in blood.  One of the protestors was arrested.

But, in the aftermath of an estimated 5,000 already killed, what happens next to the dogs of Sochi?  Don’t think that I haven’t thought of sending an e-mail somewhere to get our own adoption started—but, because of too many regulations in place in both Russia and other countries, the fastest adoptions will take place with people already in Sochi attending the Olympics.

Here are some helpful links and related news about what’s happening in Sochi, including info on how you or someone you know can help the Thousand–before they stop running.

dogs of sochi 2

–USA Today sports


Former Olympic Athlete Urges IOC to Stop Sochi Street Dog Cull

Olympian Tom McMillen Says “Nyet” to Street Dog Slaughter

Adopting a Sochi Street Dog

Joy Jones

Joy Jones, our Editor In Chief, is the Vice President of Your Pet Space, a cage free dog boarding facility serving the greater Las Cruces, NM area.  She is also a  syndicated columnist living with her husband Dave (below). When not working on Your Pet Space, she writes a metaphysical column, as well as urban fantasy and humor. You can e-mail her at as well as send her a friend request on Facebook.

Greyhounds: You Are The One

a greyhound track view inside“I know you’re out there. I can feel you now. I know that you’re afraid… you’re afraid of us. You’re afraid of change. I don’t know the future. I didn’t come here to tell you how this is going to end. I came here to tell you how it’s going to begin… I’m going to show these people what you don’t want them to see. I’m going to show them a world without you. A world without rules and controls, without borders or boundaries. A world where anything is possible. Where we go from there is a choice I leave to you.”

“Why do my eyes hurt?”
“You’ve never used them before.”

–The Matrix

“Compassion is most important for happiness. We must treat fellow human beings as equal, that is very important, but also all beings who have capacity for feeling. So the innate desire for happiness that is the basis of human rights extends to all sentient beings, including animals and insects.”

–The Dalai Lama

When our greyhound, Seba, first came home—they call it “going into retirement”—I learned they must be taught about things like stairways, glass doors and shiny floors. Previously, this has not been part of their life experience. At the time, I quipped, “Wow, it’s like we just unplugged her from The Matrix.”

Greyhound racing began in 1912 when the mechanical lure was invented. Today, tracks still operate in seven US states (Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Texas, Florida, West Virginia and Iowa)—despite well publicized reports of animal cruelty, poor care and restricted daily lives of the dogs. How is this allowed to go on, you ask? One word: money. And lots of it.

When I was deciding which greyhound would be right for us, I was provided a link to Seba’s pedigree. Curious about her parents, I came across a photo of her father wearing a banner showing that he had won $50,000 for his owners in a race. That’s when I really got it—these dogs are nothing more than money makers.

Much like in the fictional Matrix, tens of thousands of greyhounds are bred each year for one purpose: to energize a “winning” bloodline. Their racing careers are generally over at four years, but they may be kept longer if they are fast or killed by the track at any age if they are injured or lack racing potential.

Seba was rescued at less than two years. I believe she was retired because she prefers to stay with the pack when running instead of lead it to the finish. But for every dog that comes home, thousands more are still killed each year—often by gunshot, bludgeoning, abandonment, and starvation. Only a few are humanely euthanized by a vet.

Those that are allowed to live and race spend most of their lives in cramped crates. Their kennels are not climate controlled, so they suffer from heat and cold exposure. They are fed raw 4D meat (this is meat from dying, diseased, disabled and dead livestock) and are hosed down, not given baths. They are infested with ticks.

It is unclear how many of these dogs are still destroyed each year because there are not enough homes to accept them. Current estimates range from 3,000 to 8,500. This includes culled puppies and “retirees” who were not rescued. They may be sold to research labs, used for breeding or sent to foreign racetracks with even more appalling conditions.

Unlike animal breeding, zoos, circuses, and animal transportation via airlines—greyhound racing is not governed by the federal Animal Welfare Act. The Humane Society of the US investigates industry abuses and initiates legislation to ban greyhound racing. But they need your help. Here’s what you can do:

  1. Tell everyone.
  2. Consider a greyhound if you are interested in adopting a companion animal.
  3. If you can’t adopt, volunteer your time or donate to a rescue organization.
  4. If you live in a state that operates greyhound racing tracks or your state has not yet banned it (Colorado, Connecticut, Kansas, Oregon or Wisconsin) write to your state officials. Contact The HSUS for model legislation to ban greyhound racing.
  5. Distribute copies of this web page:

Greyhound Racing: Death in The Fast Lane

seba 300Every time I look at Seba, out in the back yard tossing a toy around and running to catch it, leaping about like a happy gazelle, she makes my heart sing. Every dog should have this life. And just like Neo of The Matrix, YOU ARE THE ONE who can make that happen.

Don’t give up—for all their sakes.

Author’s Note, 10/15/15–Have a first hand perspective of a greyhound track, positive or negative?  Please send us your assenting or opposing article.

 Joy Jones, our Editor In Chief, is the Vice President of Your Pet Space, a cage free dog boarding facility serving the greater Las Cruces, NM area.  She is also a  syndicated columnist living with her husband Dave. When not working on Your Pet Space, she writes a metaphysical column, as well as urban fantasy and humor. You can e-mail her at as well as send her a friend request on Facebook.

E Books E Books E Books!

cat writerAs we have posted numerous times recently, Your Pet Space will be building a collection of pet-related electronic books for sale on our site.  We’re very excited about offering our own e books, for a number of reasons:

1.)  E-Books don’t kill trees!  ‘Nuff said.

2.)  They’re faster to obtain.  If you’re a pet owner, you need answers about your fur babies NOW, not at the leisure of UPS.

3.) They’re portable.  You can read an e book anywhere, and carry many more than if they were paper books.

4.) Find what you need fast!  You can do global searches within an e book that are impossible in a paper version.

5.) You can be a published writer, and make some change doing it.  We can not only showcase new writers about their own pets, but create an affiliate program so you can create income by helping to promote our books.

6.) They’re affordable for everyone.  The average e book costs between $3–$37.00, depending on the content.  We plan to offer our books for $5-$15, depending on the book and creators, as well as production costs.  So you’ll be able to afford to purchase some you like, help shelter pets, and help keep YPS on the air, all at the same time.  😉

7.)  Upgrades can be offered free!  For any e books we create, we will update them for free to our customers.  (So your info is never out of date.) 

8.)  We can load them with useful links.  Our e books will be full of resources–they’ll be virtually (hehe) chock full of information as vast as the internet.

9.)  E-Reader technology can only get better.  Woot!


Re-Thinking Of The Pitch Your Breed Project

A few months ago, we released an appeal for writers to contribute a paragraph on their pets to helps us create our first two e books.  Originally, we intended that a portion of the proceeds would be donated to a local shelter.  But we’ve since decided, in keeping with our deepest goals in starting this site, and our theme in 2014 of a PET REVOLUTION, that these books will be written by shelters and rescues, and will be descriptions of pets currently needing forever homes.  Further, ALL the proceeds (except production costs) will now go to a rescue in need.  (We’ve chosen Lil’ Paw Prints Animal Rescue Haven as our first recipient organization).

Any contributions of pet owners will go into one of our other pet e book projects, such as…

Other E Book Ideas We’re Kicking Around

Your Good Pet  (training)

Your Holistic Pet

Your Heroic Pet

Your Senior Pet

For this purpose, among others, we’ve recently acquired a sister domain,, which currently re-directs back to YPS, but may be used in future to promote e books exclusively.  In the meantime, we’d LOVE to hear what ideas you have!  And of course we’d love to hear from you if you have something to contribute to any of our e-books.

Just request guidelines or send submissions to Joy@YourPetSpace.Info