Archive for July, 2010
By Nancy E. Hassel, LIPetPlace.com
Choosing the right veterinarian for your pet is an important decision. These days there are many more veterinarians to choose from than say 20-years ago. There are specialists vs. general practioners – just like in human medicine. For routine visits, you want to choose a general practioner veterinarian.
Word of mouth is a good referral, but not the only thing you should depend on. If you hear of a vet that a friend of family member likes, do your research. Google the doctor’s name, see what comes up. If you like what you see, make an appointment without your pet to interview the doctor. This is after all the person who will entrust your pet’s health to. If this doctor refuses the interview/appointment, move on. If he or she does agree to it, you should also ask for a tour of the animal hospital while there, (if it’s not offered to you), the doctor should be proud to show you the facility. You would want to see a very clean, neat, well cared for front office and back area, and behind the exam rooms.
Find out if the doctor regularly attends veterinary seminars to keep up with current veterinary practices and standards. If they do not, this is a red flag! Many vets continue old school practices of veterinary medicine which may no longer be up to par with what is available today. Ask the doctor how long your appointment will be with your pet, a good vet will book 1/2 hour appointments, so your pet is thoroughly examined, and you are not rushed out the door. You should walk away feeling educated and informed about your dogs’ health, not with unanswered questions or an uneasy feeling. Ultimately you want to have a comfortable relationship with your veterinarian and know your pet is in good hands. Do your homework, research and keep yourself informed!
By Nancy E. Hassel, LIPetPlace.com
What’s in a horse rescue? Why do we even need a horse rescue? Well if you are not sure of those answers, you have to read this. In the US, horses are still being shipped off for slaughter across our borders to Canada and Mexico, for consumption in other countries. As disturbing as that is, we are very fortunate to have a horse rescue on Long Island, in which the founder of this NFP works tirelessly day and night to ensure the rescues she has in her barn have the best life. With 55 horses currently in her care, Christine Distefano of Amaryllis Farm Equine Rescue goes more than out of her way to make the horses healthy, safe, loved, comfortable and amazingly well cared for. Along with her daughter, Rachel, the ASPCA Kid of the Year 2007 and a handful of volunteers, the hardest part is not just raising awareness of horses in need, but raising funds. You would think living in the affluent area of Sagaponack – that it would be easier to do so, but it is simply not the case.
To hear the stories of how one horse came in with long hooves and could barely stand, starved and it’s previous owner ready to send it to slaughter, is heartbreaking. But to see this beautiful creature today, you would never know it had that background. There are numerous stories like that, and if it wasn’t for Christine and her crew, who knows what would have happened to these equines.
Amaryllis opened the Island’s first horse sanctuary. In total, 8 locations throughout the East End are at full capacity with grateful, though homeless horses. Many are aged and can no longer carry a human. And who wants a horse they can’t ride? Well I would take one if I could after seeing them, absolutely gorgeous and I couldn’t tell from a layman (or laywomen thank you very much) that they had any ailments. I have been riding my entire life, but I am not an expert.
So what can you do? Why not send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and inquire as to volunteer opportunities?! Recently there were over 2,000 people at the Extreme Makeover Home Edition pep rally, many people were disappointed that they didn’t get called to volunteer, so why not keep it local and help out Amaryllis? Or if you are fortunate enough to help out financially please do so.
This amazing, special place to see these beautiful animals so well cared for will do wonders for you. And the goat there is pretty comical. They also often have events, petting farm days and pony rides on Sundays so it is a great place to bring your family.
Visit the site www.amaryllisfarm.com
Check out this slide show of more pictures taken at Amaryllis:
By Nancy E. Hassel, LIPetPlace.com
Update! Local Law 9 was repealed last night after a long night of public outcry from dog owners across Long Island, New York City, and Westchester who were in attendance at the Rockville Centre Village hearing. Due to the large crowd, at least 250 people, the hearing was held in a larger location where everyone who wanted to speak out against this illegal law was able to do so.
A very important point that was made, was the Rockville Centre does not need to add ANY additional dog laws, that there are already state laws in place that are excellent laws to help protect citizens from ANY dog, regardless of the breed, that may be deemed dangerous. A point the Mayor and Trustee David A. Krasula clearly did not know about. Rockville Centre officials need to enforce existing leash laws, NYS Dog Licensing requirements (all dog owners in NYS need to have their dog licensed through the state), and deal with any problem dog (and owner) based on a case by case basis, i.e. the existing state law as described above.
Trustee David A. Krasula who doesn’t seem to be a dog friendly person mentioned that what if ALL dogs were to be muzzled in public, he was booed and yells of “No!” from the crowd. He then suggested what if it was based on dogs over a certain weight – again boos and shouts of no. So think about that, if they decided to add another law of muzzling dogs, ANY DOGS regardless if they have ever done anything but be great dogs, but because they are over a certain weight, they would be need to be muzzled in public? That means YOUR dog too – Labs, Goldens, Standard Poodles, Wheaten Terriers, Dalmatians, Greyhounds, Border Collies, etc. etc. etc., you get the point. This is where BAD laws like this turn too – “Well if we can outlaw certain breeds then why not just muzzle them all?” Because that makes so much sense, right? (Can you hear my sarcasm?). So I would say while we are thrilled the Mayor and trustees that originally voted, (Trustee Oppenheimer voted against the ban from the get go), to ban Pits, Rotties or any dogs that kinda sorta look like one of those breeds, I would tell the dog owning community, especially in Rockville Centre, to pay attention to what your government may try to pull next. Watch their hearing calendar’s like a hawk on their website to make sure another absolutely ridiculous, discriminatory law is not passed.
Rockville Centre needs to offer free education classes to its citizens, like the Towns of Islip does, and Huntington did – and the board of Trustee’s should be in the very first class offered.
There were also at least 25 dogs there with their owners in protest of this (in the parking lot), and while there were different breeds the majority of breeds were Pit Bulls. Every dog was perfectly well behaved, friendly, and super sweet. It is not hard to be a responsible dog owner, own a Pit Bull or Rottweiler and have one of the best dogs in town – the owners & dogs in attendance last night proved that. Two of the sweetest Pit Bulls were there, and they are working therapy dogs here on Long Island.
A sleeping giant awoken…
A huge turnout of dog owners, rescue groups (Littler Shelter, Forgotten Friends of Long Island, Bobbi & the Strays, etc.), and dog organizations, (Rottweiler Club of America, LI Dog Coalition of Dog Fanciers, LI Dog, AKC Members, Long Island Pet Professionals members, Rescue Ink and more), showed up in full force of over 350 people strong to protest and speak their opinion at the Rockville Centre Village hearing on June 28. Only 108 people were let into the actual hearing, and everyone that spoke and addressed the Mayor and Village Trustees were all completely against this ban of Pit Bulls and Rottweilers within the Village (or anywhere for that mattter). The law, enacted on June 8th unbeknownced to anyone in the dog world on Long Island or in the New York area is now suspended until July 20 where their will be a pubic hearing on the topic. It was very clear that the village officials did not expect the giant crowd that attended, and the hearing was delayed a bit before letting anyone in. The police cheif even said, “They were not expecting this many people to show up.”
News vans from ABC, CBS, NBC, News 12 and Fios1 were also there and gave great reports about on each news station. In speaking with fellow outraged dog owners, many were saying how horrible this law is, discriminatory, unfair and illegal too. There were many animal lawyers in attendance that oppose any Breed Specific Legislation and planning on coming back with even more people on July 20 at 7:30pm (Anderson Recreation Center, 111 North Oceanside Road, Rockville Centre, NY). Rockville Centre Village officials should plan to host the July 20 meeting in the local high school auditorium as everyone there plans on coming back and bringing even more dog owners with them. *Note the location change above – guess they were listening.
By Nancy E. Hassel, LIPetPlace.com
Breed Specific Legislation on Long Island?
On June 8, 2010 the Village of Rockville Centre, NY passed a new law banning two popular breeds of dog here on Long Island, the Rottweiler and the American Pit Bull Terrier/American Staffordshire Terrier — or any dog that resembles that breed. The catch is, this law is completely illegal and cannot be enforced by village authorities. Why is this law illegal? The law is illegal because New York State prohibits any municipality, (hamlet, village, town, city, county), from banning a dog based on breed alone:
New York State is one of 13 states that prohibit discriminatory breed profiling and breed specific dangerous dog laws. New York municipalities with breed specific laws cannot legally enforce them. Article 7, Paragraph 107, Section 5 of Agriculture and Markets law states:
Nothing contained in this article shall prevent a municipality from adopting its own program for the control of dangerous dogs; provided, however, that no such program shall be less stringent than this article, and no such program shall regulate such dogs in a manner that is specific as to breed.
Link to law: http://www.agmkt.state.ny.us/AI/AGM_ART_7.html
The outrage of this illegal law being passed is growing like wildfire as many responsible dog owners on Long Island are finding out about this. There was no reason or incident for the village of Rockville Centre to pass such a law, according to the LI Herald report, (http://bit.ly/bRfZdr), just complaints about one house with a few supposed American Pit Bull Terriers. Even if there was an incident, the Village is still prohibited from passing such a law based breed alone. So it makes you wonder what message the Village of Rockville Centre is really trying to get across? If there was a real problem, did RVC officials reach out to any of the many dog organizations, experts or canine behaviorists for help or guidance? Or was this yet another knee jerk reaction to a complaint on one house by neighbors?
Luckily for the dogs on Long Island we are an immensely strong community of voting citizens and will not stand for any illegal discriminatory laws against any breed of dog. RVC should take a lesson from the dog friendly Towns of Islip and Huntington who have offered and still offer Free Responsible Dog Ownership classes, which have been a huge success in helping educate dog owners of all breeds including Rotties & American Pit Bull Terriers. RVC should pay attention to the many amazing dog groups, trainers and associations that are helping every day to keep Long Island, dog friendly and dog safe. RVC should embrace the hundreds of people planning on attending the hearing at their Village Hall, (1 College Place, Rockville Centre, NY), on Tuesday, June 29 at 7:30pm, where the LI Coalition of Dog Fanciers who will be addressing Village officials. The Mayor and Trustees should be open minded and learn from the many professionals, who work and live on Long Island who happen to own dogs, including the breeds they think they can ban. We should also applaud Trustee Edward Oppenheimer as he was the only member of the board that voted against this. According the LIHerald article, Oppenheimer said he felt the village’s current vicious animal law was sufficient, and that it wasn’t necessarily right or fair to target specific breeds of dogs. (Oppenheimer for President!).
If you are a resident of Rockville Centre and happen to own one of these wonderful breeds of dog, your dog is grandfathered in, meaning you can keep your dog if you already owned it prior to this illegal law being passed under our noses. Here is a link to this absolutely ridiculous, illegal law.
RVC needs to rescind this law and apologize to dog owners in Rockville Centre, on Long Island and in NYS. If that is not done by June 29, I think the trustees should prepare themselves for a lot of dog loving and upset folks to be at that hearing.
Kayaking, boating, canoeing, fishing, swimming………It’s Long Island in the summer! Lots of people would love to include their dog in their summer water fun. Bringing your best friend along on your boat or along on your beach vacation can be great fun for all.
There are a few things you can do to ensure that everyone has a fun and safe experience in and around the water.
Pool and Beach Safety:
If your dog has never experienced water, don’t assume that he or she can swim naturally. Never throw a dog into a pool, they could panic and be unable to climb out. Introduce them gradually. Chlorine can be irritating to a dog’s eyes and skin; hose them down with fresh water when they’re done with their dip. Watch for signs of overheating, and make sure your dog always has plenty of fresh water to drink. At the beach, supervise your pet just as you would a child. If the conditions aren’t right for people, they’re not right for dogs. Make sure your dog doesn’t exhaust himself with all that swimming and chasing the surf. Dogs don’t realize that they have limitations, so you have to set limits for them.
Of course, be responsible and courteous, and pick up after your pet. Obey posted signs prohibiting dogs.
Boating With Your Dog:
If your puppy or dog is new to boating, introduce them gradually so they get used to the sights, sounds and movement. Boat decks can be slippery and hot, remember that your dog isn’t wearing boat shoes! Although many dogs love the open water, some are just not cut out to be sailors, so if your pet is happier on dry land, don’t force the issue. The goal is for you and your pet to enjoy your boating experience. If your dog is too nervous or scared, consider leaving him home.
Always have a shaded area for your dog to rest in. This is especially important during all day trips when the sun and heat can become overwhelming. Bring extra water for your dog and make sure that they take rest frequently in the heat of the day. Know the signs of pet overheating and how to respond. Very young and very old dogs are more susceptible to heat related problems, so monitor the weather closely when deciding whether to bring your pet along for the ride.
No matter what size or breed of dog, please consider using a properly sized (Pet) Personal Flotation Device. The strongest swimmer can fall overboard or encounter difficulties while swimming. Canine PFD’s usually have a handle on top that will help you if your dog does fall in.’
For more info, check out BoatUS.com/pets.
By Nancy E. Hassel, LIPetPlace.com
What happens when you combine the talent of a local Long Island Pet Professional and an award winning no-kill animal shelter? The world gets a revolutionary new way to meet pets that are up for adoption, live right on your computer! Introducing AnimalRoulette.com. AnimalRoulette.com is an incredible new technology that is going to put a new spin on pet adoptions – and transform the way potential adopters can search for pets. Being launched to go live at Kent Animal Shelter in Calverton, NY this Saturday, July 17th from 1 to 4pm – this new site, the first of its kind in the pet world was designed by Michael Ayalon, CEO of PetWebDesigner.com.
The buzz about this amazing new website has already attracted the media attention from ABC NY News, News 12, Newsday, PetSide.com, Farmingdale Observer, Levittown Tribune, Babylon Beacon and many more. Ayalon was thinking of a way to use this type of technology to help more animals get adopted, virtually if you will. After six months of development, Ayalon was ready to a launch the website and happened to meet Pam Green the Director of Kent Animal Shelter at a recent Long Island Pet Professionals networking meeting. Green was on board and said, “We are always looking for new ways to expand the number of pets adopted, so it makes sense to offer people looking to adopt a pet more than just a photo. They should be able to see the pet’s disposition live in order to determine if the pet would make a good addition to their family. AnimalRoulette.com gives us that ability.”
With technology taking us places we have never before been, why not let it take us to your local animal shelter, or one across state? This technology enables potential adopters to view animals waiting for that furever home in a live meet and greet video chat online. Viewers on AnimalRoulette.com just need a webcam and audio hooked up to their computer so they can interact with shelter staff and talk to them about the pet that particular shelter is showing. If the potential adopter is not really interested in that pet, then they can simply hit “next” and it will bring them to another randomly selected pet in a different live video chat room, hence the “roulette” in the name. This Saturday, all the pets that will be debuted on AnimalRoulette.com will be pets currently available for adoption at Kent Animal Shelter. So if you live in NYC and cannot physically get to Kent on Saturday and you want to see how a pet is, presents itself, interacts with shelter staff, other animals, you can do so from the comfort of home on your computer. All adoptions will go through normal adoption procedures through Kent if you do decide you really want to adopt one of their pets you meet while on AnimalRoulette.com, you can simply fill their an online adoption form on Kent’s website, www.kentanimalshelter.com.
Another fantastic part of this is that if you have small kids and you can’t make it to a shelter, this will eliminate finding a babysitter as the entire family can “meet” the pet live online. Also the noise in a shelter on initial visits result in people passing by that dog in the corner of the run or the one that is jumping and barking. So often overlooked pets will really benefit from this as well. People will see how great that pet is, once out of its kennel run, and in a quieter room for the live intro online.
Ayalon said, “I know how much shelters in this country struggle to find homes for their animals, and I felt that today’s opportunity of real time on the Internet provided the perfect place for pet lovers all over the country to see what’s available. We hope to make this video and audio technology improve the adoption rates for shelters all over the United States. Kent Animal Shelter was the perfect partner for the project because of their outstanding work as a no-kill shelter since 1968.”
Due to this great new idea, the ASPCA also recently named Ayalon their first ever “Animal Hero of the Week.”
So if you have been thinking about adopting a pet and were apprehensive as to what you might find in a local animal shelter, this is the perfect outlet to see the remarkable pets looking for love and a home. Log onto www.AnimalRoulette.com this Saturday, July 17 from 1 to 4pm and meet your new best friend.