Pawsitively Humane

Friday, April 27, 2012

Pit Bull mix Spared from Death Row

Pit Bulls often get a bad reputation for being overly aggressive. Dogs of all breeds will have certain temperaments and therefore dogs with more energy (ie. Dalmatian, Jack Russell and other terriers) will require more training and exercise than other dogs. Hence the responsibility lies with the owner. One of our favorite shows is Animal Planets' Pitbulls and Parolees. We love this show because it not only educates the public about the true nature of the pitbull, but the leader of the sanctuary, Maria Torres, offers jobs for recently release parolees to work with the dogs. Both get a second chance. On that note, here is a happy ending for a pitbull that was sitting on death row.


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Thursday, April 26, 2012

Emmitt Thunderpaws Welcomes Home his Military Dad

This is a heartwarming video of the welcoming of a US Serviceman by his dog Emmitt Thunderpaws. Just another example of the genuine feeling and mutual love between a man and his best friend. They don't easily forget you. Often they never forget you. This video has received over 1.8 million views. We thank and salute all the US servicemen serving overseas. We are a newly incorporated nonprofit with a goal to reverse homeless pet population through education. Won't you support us by Following us on Facebook? Thank you!


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Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Nowzad Animal Shelter in Afghanistan Needs Help

The only animal shelter in Afghanistan, Nowzad, is facing eviction.

Sergeant Pen Farthing was deployed to Afghanistan in November of 2006 with the Royal Marines. Their mission was to provide stability for the local people during a period of ever decreasing security. Farthing soon realized that the local people weren’t the only ones who needed help; the local animals needed help, too.
They have three months to raise $250,000 and build a shelter from ground up. Our servicemen are going "beyond the call of duty" and helping the local people and the local homeless pets that also suffer in war-torn conditions.  

Please help with any donation! 
Read the story, view the photos and video, and make your donation of any amount.
Thank you!


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Sunday, April 22, 2012

Heartfelt post about Loews Hotels Cats on Earth Day

Here is a heartfelt post about the Loews Hotels cats in relation to Earth Day today.

Mosaic tile artwork inside Loews Portofino Orlando featuring cats
Much of their artwork features cats throughout the hotel


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Wednesday, April 18, 2012

How People Select a Pet--an ASPCA study

As a nonprofit that rescues stray or abandoned pets, we take great care in nurturing these dogs and cats and placing them in the right home. The latter is very important.  Most shelters do not have the luxury to do home inspections and multiple interviews. You would be surprised the number of hoarders out there that we discover.

The application and interview process is critical.  This is important because matching the right pet with the right owner reduces the risk that the pet will be returned or in some cases, dumped and abandoned for the second time.

The ASPCA recently announced results of a study that shows whether appearance or behavior were the main factors in selecting a pet.  For those of us in the field, the results were not surprising.

Click here to read the article on the Wall Street Journal.

We encourage anyone interested in adopting a pet to please be patient with the interview process. Private nonprofit organizations will take extra steps such as home inspections and more than one face-to-face interview.  Some potential adopters complain about the time involved with this process but do not realize the number of adopted pets that are later dropped off at a kill-shelter because the puppy or kitten grew up,  and the adopter no longer wanted the responsibility, or they adopted a high-energy dog when in fact they wanted a lap dog or cat.

This is a reminder why adult cats are easier to adopt than kittens. You'll know the personality and habits of the cat. Will Jasmine scratch up your furniture or will she be a Ms. Manners and use all her scratching posts? Take the time to learn everything about the pet from the shelter or foster parent.

Thank you for adopting a rescue pet!


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Friday, April 6, 2012

Loews Orlando Hotels Begins Inhumane Trapping of Harmless Outdoor Cats

ORLANDO, FL (April 4, 2012) – Loews Hotels, whose pet-friendly slogan claims "Loews Loves Pets" hired a wildlife animal exterminator this past week to trap their outdoor cats and take them to the county animal shelter. Because outdoor cats are commonly euthanized in places like this, the move ignited concerns from animal lovers across the country, including hotel guests, who have come together to fight back and save the cats from death.

Outrage has increased after photos of the cats being trapped were released. One cat was trapped Friday and four others were captured and delivered to the local county shelter on Monday. Non-profit group CARE Feline TNR has stepped up to bail them to avoid euthanasia. CARE volunteers have been deeply saddened by the state of these once-healthy cats after being trapped, sharing photos of the cats with bloody noses, covered in urine on the Save Loews Cats Facebook page – signs that trapping is not being done humanely.

Gash on the head of Shadow

Loews has ordered that no one is allowed to feed the cats on the property as of Wednesday of last week. Employees who were once permitted to care for them are now being threatened with losing their jobs and disciplinary action if they continue. Without food, the cats are starving and suffering. One employee reports that one cat appeared to be "skin and bones" due to withholding of food and water.

"These cats have lived there for years. This is their home. They have food and caretakers, like any indoor pet. More importantly they each have names and a story" says George Ricci, the bellman who started the effort and was the main caretaker.

Employees monitored and fed the cats on their own time and money. The controversy stems from the fact that the Loews Orlando hotels once employed TNRM (Trap-Neuter-Return-Manage)—a proven model to address outdoor cats that are not adaptable to the indoors. The cats are all trapped to get spayed/neutered, dewormed, rabies vaccinated, then returned to their outdoor home environment and managed by caretakers. The TNRM was successful at the Loews Portofino Bay and Loews Royal Pacific in Orlando for years. The cat population remained at below 20. Furthermore, these cats were like barnyard, outdoor pet cats given Loews' extensive grounds like a farm. These Loews cats all had beautiful Italian-theme feeding stations, to compliment the Portofino theme, but still way off the guest path.

Gracie at feeding station

Loews cites a general statement from the Florida Department of Health that "feral cats pose a continuous concern to communities due to the persistent threat of injury and disease" to back their trapping and removal. Yet, since 1975, there have been no reported cases of a cat transmitting rabies to a human in this country. The risk that feral cats, who tend to be shy by nature and fearful of people, could transmit rabies to humans while at large is thus minimal, according to experts Dr. Julie Levy and Cynda Crawford authors of Humane Strategies for Controlling Feral Cat Populations, in the Journal of American Veterinary Medical Association, 225:1354-1360.

"These cats are not feral or free-roaming. They have a home, shelter and caretakers who monitor them daily. The fact that they are dewormed and receive rabies vaccinations, mitigates concerns for zoonotic disease" says Charlene Grall, president of The Cat Network.

"I’m beyond shocked Loews would do this" says one employee who asked to remain anonymous for fear of losing their job. "Loews allows other indoor ’domesticated’ pets inside the hotel in close proximity to children and other guests. No one knows the temperament of a dog or any pet. As staff, we know of the persistent problems of fleas and dog urine in the guest rooms.

"Just this past January, a large dog of one guest attacked and killed the small dog of another guest at the Loews Royal Pacific. We’ve had more incidents with indoor guest pets and none with the outdoor cats. Getting rid of the cats doesn’t make any sense".

While Loews may ask hotel guests bringing pets to provide proof of vaccination, this practice is not necessarily enforced or verified. Also, only guests with pets are asked to sign a waiver.

This issue first originated in January 2012, when Christine Michaels, of Riverfront Cats, upon concluding a case study of the successful Loews TNRM program, learned of the current intention to get rid of the cats. She shared their decision with fellow animal lovers and bloggers, and they unleashed their fury on social media.

After seeing the public outcry, Loews initially backed down to investigate other alternatives for the cats. Experts and leaders of major animal welfare organizations reached out to Loews to help. To this day, Loews Hotels never returned emails or phone calls of leading cat experts such as Alley Cat Allies.

"This is so sad given that other businesses and communities are starting to embrace TNRM with positive results across the country" Michaels says. "Disney has been doing this for many years. Now a San Antonio country club in Texas has also brought in a bunch cats to join their security force. I manage 20 outdoor cats around three upscale condos in downtown Miami. It works".

Michaels says the biggest obstacle is constant misconceptions of feral or free-roaming cats and little to zero awareness of the epidemic rate of homeless cats and dogs.

"The word ’feral’ invokes images of aggressive, disease-ridden rodents" Michaels says. "On the contrary, managed cats do not have rabies or worms, and are likely to be shy or scared of strangers and hide. Also, not all outdoor cats can adapt to indoor life. Friendly outdoor cats can become extremely nervous indoors with limited boundaries and walls. Education is key. "

According to outdoor cat caretakers, cats form bonds with their environment and they protect their territory and chase away predators, and even keep other cats away. By eliminating these closely managed cats from Loews properties, they invite a new colony of unsterilized cats, as proven by what is called the "vacuum effect".

"We see this all the time. What will Loews do? Keep sending cats to their death costing taxpayers? TNRM worked" Michaels says. "It controlled the population humanely at no cost to Loews".

Concerned animal lovers are not sitting quietly. They have leveraged social media and voiced their anger on the "Save Loews Cats" Facebook page, growing it to over 1,250 followers in just four days. The page is regularly updated with news, photos and recommended next steps for supporters to arm themselves with more facts about outdoor cats.

Closeup of Houdini with blood on forehead and nose

Christine Michaels


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Update on Florida Animal Rescue Act

We learned that a Florida law SB 818, which was passed unanimously in the Senate Community Affairs committee, and despite overwhelming public support, never reached a vote.  On the last day of session, one senator had the power to save the lives of Florida's shelter animals but instead killed the bill due to a procedural objection.

The Florida Animal Rescue Act would have saved the lives of thousands of Florida's sheltered pets, would have saved taxpayer money, and would have set statewide standards for rescue groups.

Please tell Senator Thrasher that the Florida Animal Rescue Act must pass in 2013.  Senator Thrasher can be reached at his Jacksonville office at (904) 727-3600;  via e-mail:; or by mail at Senator John Thrasher,  9485 Regency Square Blvd., Suite 108 Jacksonville, FL 32225-8145.

Thank you for taking a moment of time to make a difference and save thousands of lives. You are the voice of voiceless, homeless pets.


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Monday, April 2, 2012

Easter Lilies and Dark Chocolate Very Dangerous for Cats

Your home is suppose to be a haven for you, your family and pets. It's important to know the household items that can hurt or kill your pet. Just like baby-proofing a home for the arrival of a newborn, a pet owner needs to know which items are a dangerous to have around pets.

With Easter around the corner, cat owners need to avoid having Easter Lilies and dark chocolate bunnies, candies and other treats. 

Dr. Justine Lee writes a blog The Daily Vet for Pet MD. In this blog posting, Why Veterinarians Hate Easter, she explains the parts of the flower that are dangerous, the ingredient in dark chocolate that is lethal if ingested by dogs or cats, and the signs symptomatic of poisoning.

During the week of Easter, calls related to chocolate poisoning in dogs to Pet Poison Helpline increase by nearly 200 percent.

 If your pet exhibits any abnormal signs, always call a veterinarian immediately. Have a safe Easter!


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