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Archive for September, 2009

I wish to introduce you all to Philly’s Corner:  Dedicated to the health and welfare of companion animals.  These are a series of articles which I am priveledged to write and have published in my local newspaper, their purpose is to educate and to improve the plight of animals in the Canadian North.

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Philly and his Bud

The “Five Freedoms”
Five Part series:  Part 1

Hearty congratulations to those who have taken the plunge, made the commitment and now have your ‘fur ball’ home.  Life as you once knew it will be changed forever, you are about to enjoy  enthusiastic boundless energy, curiosity and the mischief of youth. In the coming years you will watch in awe the unique  ‘personality plus’ that will develop each and every day. You will experience the thrills of sheer joy, laughter and amazement and best of all you will be the recipient of unconditional love.  You will also worry when they become sick, you will feel helpless when they are injured or just not their playful self, just as you may be to a child, you are a parent to your new companion.   Just as a child does, your dog or cat will look solely to you to provide for their every need.  They will turn to you for comfort, security, nutrition, medical care, companionship, exercise, interaction and love.

You will and should want the very best for your new family member.

Which now brings forward the following provisions as excerpted from the B.C. SPCA  Charter and which pertain to the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act.

These Five Freedoms are contained in the BC SPCA Charter and express the dedication of the BC SPCA  ensuring that all animals are healthy, happy and cared for.
An excellent policy which I am hoping will be adopted by the NWT in the coming Animal Protection Act and the interim Amended Dog Act.

“Adequate care is defined as making provision that enable the animal to experience Five Freedoms” (BC SPCA Charter)

    “Freedom from thirst, hunger and malnutrition
      Freedom from discomfort
      Freedom from pain, injury and disease
      Freedom from distress
      Freedom to express behaviour that promotes well-being”

“The PCA Act defines Distress as follows:  if an animal is:

a)    Deprived of adequate food, water or shelter,
b)    Injured, in pain, sick or suffering
c)    Abused or neglected”

By Definition, the term “Well-Being includes both emotional and physical health”

“Physical Well Being: the animal is free from clinical symptoms of disease and does not show evidence of current or old injuries left untreated;

Emotional Well-Being:  the animal shows evidence of normal behaviour and an absence of abnormal behaviour (specific to the species).”

The Five Freedoms will be discussed in a series of articles; the first one addressed here is one that due to the harsh climate conditions of the NWT is close to all of us.

“Freedom from discomfort:  from thermal and physical discomfort”: by ensuring that an appropriate environment (shelter) is provided for your animal, a shelter which provides warmth and protection from the elements. (extreme cold, snow, ice, heat and rain).

All outdoor dogs must have access to a shelter, one that is built to take into consideration the weather conditions of the particular region, the health, age, coat and body condition of the animals is an important factor.  Breed type must be considered. Not all breeds have the thick layer of undercoat needed and while clipping or shaving an animal down may be a convenient method to save on grooming time, the clipped animal has NO protection against the elements be it the rains, heat and sun of summer or the snow, ice and cold of winter.

In the northern climates dry bedding is essential particularly in the winter, (hay is excellent and should be provided as well as changed when damp or soiled) the doghouse should be placed preferably in a protected area, with a windbreak, shade, be draft and waterproof.  “The doghouse should be large enough to allow the dog to stand, turn and lie down but not so big that their own body heat cannot be trapped to warm the interior space in cold weather.”  Here in the NWT doghouses should be insulated and raised off the cold ground.

The following Internet Links will provide you with FREE doghouse patterns in order that you may build that perfect shelter for your companion.

Always remember that in adopting your pet, you have made a commitment for life, the life of that animal.  It is your responsibility to provide for every need of that animal.  Your dog may have a thick luxurious coat and you may feel that the animal will become acclimatized to the harsh weather conditions faced here in the North, however always remember that tails, noses, ears, footpads and eyes that are exposed to pounding frigid winds and subzero temperatures WILL freeze.  No animal should be left outside in extreme cold and subjected to these dangers.

In addition to proper shelter, body condition is just as essential to your dog to help him/her fight the effects of extreme cold.  A thick fur coat is not enough.  The dog requires proper nutrition to maintain body and muscle mass, a layer of protective fat to ward off the cold.  The fur coat needs to be free of mats, clean and thick to protect from the cold.  The essential oils which are produced by the animal and which protects the fur providing waterproofing and thermal insulation increase through proper nutrition and grooming will distribute these natural oils throughout the fur.

An underweight animal has no protection against the cold, a matted fur coat is not only uncomfortable and can lead to skin problems, it does not provide the necessary thermal protection to the animal.

Pregnant and nursing females and pups, injured and sick animals, should not be left outside to face extreme weather conditions. Nor should the Senior dog as these older animals face many health complications and many may be suffering from arthritis, rheumatism, loss of weight and other underlying issues.  Comfort, warmth and special consideration needs to be given to your Senior companion at all times.

Free Insulated Dog House Plans by: WayneOfTheWoods@yahoo.com :  a detailed picture, plans, description of materials is provided for a basic insulated doghouse at this site.

Other excellent sites include:
http://www.diynetwork.com/how-to/how-to-build-a-doghouse/index.html

http://www.rewarddog.com/pamper.htm

http://dogs.lovetoknow.com/wiki/Free_Dog_House_Plans

http://tidewaterkc.org/projects/insulated_dog_house.htm

http://www.ashcustomwood.com/

http://dogs.suite101.com/article.cfm/how_to_build_a_doghouse

http://www.pet-memorial-urns-online.com/selecting-the-best-free-dog-house-plans/

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The Rainbow Bridge

Babe at 6 months oldA Dedication to all of those battle weary rescuers who continue to carry on the Mission of Unconditional Love.  The author of this beautiful story is unknown.

Now at the Rainbow Bridge……(story)

Unlike most days at the Rainbow Bridge, this day dawned cold and gray. All the recent arrivals at the Bridge did not know what to think, as they had never seen such a day. But the animals who had been waiting longer for their beloved people to accompany them across the Bridge knew what was happening, and they began to gather at the pathway leading to the Bridge.

Soon an elderly dog came into view, head hung low and tail dragging.

He approached slowly, and though he showed no sign of injury or illness, he was in great emotional pain. Unlike the animals gathered along the pathway, he had not been restored to youth and vigor upon arriving at the Bridge. He felt out of place, and wanted only to cross over and find happiness.

But as he approached the Bridge, his way was barred by an angel, who apologized and explained that the tired and broken-spirited old dog could not cross over. Only those animals accompanied by their people were allowed to cross the Bridge. Having nobody, and with nowhere else to turn, the dog trudged into the field in front of the Bridge. There he found others like himself, elderly or infirm, sad and discouraged. Unlike the other animals waiting to cross the Bridge, these animals were not running or playing. They simply were lying in the grass, staring forlornly at the pathway across the Rainbow Bridge. The old dog took his place among them, watching the pathway and waiting.yet not knowing for what he was waiting.

One of the newer dogs at the Bridge asked a cat who had been there longer to explain what was happening. The cat replied, “Those poor animals were abandoned, turned away, or left at rescue places, but never found a home on earth. They all passed on with only the love of a rescuer to comfort them. Because they had no people to love them, they have nobody to escort them across the Rainbow Bridge.”

The dog asked the cat, “So what will happen to those animals?”

Before the cat could answer, the clouds began to part and the cold turned to bright sunshine. The cat replied, “Watch, and you will see.” In the distance was a single person, and as he approached the Bridge the old, infirm and sad animals in the field were bathed in a golden light. They were at once made young and healthy, and stood to see what their fate would be. The animals who had previously gathered at the pathway bowed their heads as the person approached. At each bowed head, the person offered a scratch or hug.

One by one, the now youthful and healthy animals from the field fell into line behind the person. Together, they walked across the Rainbow Bridge to a future of happiness and unquestioned love. The dog asked the cat, “What just happened? The cat responded, “That was a rescuer.! The animals gathered along the pathway bowing in respect were those who had found their forever homes because of rescuers. They will cross over when their people arrive at the Bridge. The arrival here of a rescuer is a great and solemn event, and as a tribute they are permitted to perform one final act of rescue. They are allowed to escort all those poor animals they couldn’t place on earth across the Rainbow Bridge.”

The dog thought for a moment, then said, “I like rescuers.” The cat smiled and replied, “So does Heaven, my friend. So does Heaven.”

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A Special Thank You to all of you who care so much, to those who have committed and dedicated themselves to making a positive difference in the lives of so many innocent and helpless animals.  So many remain helpless and filled with despair, out there somewhere….our work will continue, carried out with unconditional love.

YK 2PUP YK 1

I WOULD’VE DIED THAT DAY IF NOT FOR YOU–

I would’ve given up on life, if not for your kind eyes.
I would have used my teeth in fear, if not for your gentle hand.
I would have left this life, believing that all humans don’t care.
Believing there is no such thing as fur that isn’t matted… skin that isn’t flea bitten,

Good Food and enough of it……. Beds to sleep on…….Someone to love me…………to show me I deserve love……. just because I exist.
Your kind eyes……….. your loving smile…….your gentle hands….. Your big heart saved me!!!!!
You saved me from the terror of the pound.
You have soothed away the memories of my old life.
You have taught me what it means to be loved.
I have seen you do the same for other dogs & cats just like me.
I have heard you ask yourself in times of despair.. why you do it????
When there is not more money….. No more room…. No more homes…. I see you open your heart a little bigger……stretch the money a little tighter….. Make just a little more room…..to save one more like me.

I tell you this with all the gratitude and love that shines in my eyes.
It is the best way I know how…….
Reminding you why you go on trying….
I AM THE REASON
The dogs & cats before me are the reason

As are the ones who come after.
Our lives would’ve been wasted…… Our love never given….. WE WOULD’VE DIED THAT DAY IF NOT FOR YOU!
-Author Unknown
– from the Manxalot Rescue

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Knowing how us animal lovers are, I felt you would all enjoy seeing the pictures of these adorable wee ones.  They are all safe in their new home in British Columbia.  Truly amazing how these little furballs united total strangers isn’t it?

To Quote Foster Mom Linda:

“Just a quick note to let you all know that the babies have settled in nicely with their new Mama…my dog Cassie. Cassie is 12 years old and has raised many orphaned litters of kittens, pups and even baby chicks. She LOVES her new babies and won’t let the other dogs come too close to them so the other six dogs sit in a cirlce around them and stare. The pups have settled down since being able to snuggle with Cassie. I give them to her after they have been fed so that they don’t root around for a nipple and get frustrated. Enjoy the photos.”

To quote our Hero Meghan:

“This has been a true adventure and a success story beyond measure. It wouldn’t have been possible to get the puppies to safety if it wasn’t for everyone who came together from so many different places.  This has showed me what a positive attitude, lots of prayers and a whole bunch of love from so many people can really do. I want to thank you all from the bottom of my heart, this has meant so much to me, and has meant the world to the five little babies that are finally home.”

Mom & Pups   YukonMom & Pups   Yukon.    2 JPGReal Mom in Yukon, pups 1- 1/2 weeks old

Yukon Pup 5

YK 2

YK Pup 1

YK3

Yukon Pups 2

Yukon Pups 1Yukon Pups 3

Below:  pups travelling to BC and with surrogate Mom in BC a week later.

Pups with surrogate momSurrogate mom in BC

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Further good news is coming out of the Northwest Territories, Canada.

On Page 7 of the Hay River Hub’s September 9th’s edition, www.hayriverhub.com; you will able to view the whole article written by  Editor, Patrick Francis Tesky.

Having received and shared with Mr. Teskey the correspondence I received August 2009 from the Hon. Robert McLeod, Minister for Municipal and Community Affairs, NWT concerning the Animal Protection Act which I have been pushing for here in the Northwest Territories, a follow-up telephone interview was conducted by Mr. Teskey with the Ministerial Offices responsible for implementing this much needed piece of Legislation.

Below you will find excerpts from the Hay River Hub Article.

“”Mike Reddy, the senior policy analyst with the department” Justice Department, “said they are currently (in) the final stages of research to determine what legislative model to adopt in the NWT”.”   My  Comment:  I take this to mean a comprehensive Animal Protection Act utilizing the Canadian Provincial Acts I submitted as templates.

“January 2010 was identified hopefully as the timeline for the department that’s responsible for submitting the legislative proposal, for them to do so,” he said.””

Further in the information obtained in Mr. Teskey’s interview with the Hon. R. McLeod, MACA is “is plowing ahead with plans for a revamped Dog Act.” As was confirmed in the corrspondence I received from their office in August2009.

Per Mr. McLeod “We should have a legislative proposal ready for review in January 2010.”

This is the first step in the right direction, however the revamped Dog Act, as I have pointed out to the Ministers involved, concerns ONLY dogs, it does not touch on issues involving any other animals.  I have been advised by MACA that this revamped Dog Act is an “interim” measure to address the situation as it now stands until such time as a comprehensive Animal Protection Act for the NWT is legislated.

While I would have liked to see the revamped Dog Act coming into effect this year, time is crucial to provide protection to these animals, patience on my part needs to be exercised.  The wheels of government turn slowly at best as we all know.

Headway is being made however and that is a very good thing.

To view the full article please go to the Hay River Hub Website at www.hayriverhub.com

A special thank you to the Hay River Hub, and Patrick Teskey for his continued media support in this issue.

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Yukon Puppy 1Yukon Pups 2 Five 1-1/2 week old puppies rescued from Old Crow, Yukon now safely in Vancouver, British Columbia.

How wonderful it truly is to be able to share a remarkable success story for a change.  One that overcame great difficulty, one that united total strangers from other areas in Canada to allow them to work together to save five one and a half week old puppies from certain death.
A very courageous, committed, determined and compassionate young woman allowed the voices of these tiny angels to be heard.
Here is Meghan’s story and the story of the lives she saved.

September 8, 2009 an email was sent out by this young Waterloo student, doing field research in Old Crow, Yukon.  Her concern was about five puppies, only 1-1/2  weeks old.  These pups were born to a female of a racing team, and due to the fathers breed, they were ‘deemed useless for racing’ hence their young lives would be ended.

This young student acted quickly convincing the owner not to kill them, the individual agreed to this, if she could figure out a way to get them home with her.  Hence she sent her email looking for assistance.

Air transportation in the North is extremely expensive, plus there are airline rules and regulations that posed roadblocks.  Animals are normally flown in cargo holds, these puppies were far too young and fragile for that. They could very well freeze to death. Further they required constant monitoring and it was feared and rightly so, that they would not surive without their mother.

Thankfully, through an exchange of emails between total strangers, contacts were made and a joint rescue effort was underway . A wonderful woman with the Whitehorse Humane Society met her at the airport, taking care of the puppies while she got ready for her flight.

Air Canada who inititally stated they would only allow three of the five puppies in the cabin as per their rules, finally agreed, due to this young womans persist pleas to allow all five of the puppies in the cabin with her.  Graciously, Air Canada also did NOT CHARGE  for these puppies.

We are all happy to report that “5 very chubby, very healthy and very noisy puppies” arrived in Vancouver late last night.

To quote one member of this amazing team that these young puppies brought together: “we accomplished a near impossible task of getting five 1-1/2 week old puppies from Old Crow, Yukon to Vancouver via two flights that weren’t initially cooperating.”

A heartfelt THANK YOU to Meghan, a courageous young Waterloo student, who stepped up to the plate and despite so many obstacles saved these tiny lives from certain death.

To all of those wonderful individuals, total strangers, who became involved in this rescue, you are all amazing.  My personal gratitude goes out to each of you.

A very special THANK YOU goes to the five tiny furry little angels that united total strangers, bringing kindred spirits together.  We will always remember.

As well, let us not forget Air Canada for being the means to a successful end to this story.

Thank you:  Meghan, Jan, Traci, BetterLifeDog Rescue, Cause4Paws, Whitehorse Humane Society, Air Canada.

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