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Saturday, October 20, 2012


I just wanted to post here one of the most bizarre quotes I have ever seen written by someone in the animal rights movement. Right now, there are people who are trying to convince the public that overpopulation is a myth when it comes to dogs and cats. Of course, anyone who has worked in any way shape or form in rescue knows that there are too many animals- too few kennels - and too few adopters. Shelters and rescues are busting at the seams. People in rescue are some of the most hard working and dedicated people I have ever met- so it really bothers me to keep reading the propaganda stating that there is no overpopulation.. everyone knows it. If you want animals not to die or be warehoused- you need to produce less animals- duh.

I would like to dedicate this post to the bizarre quote.. until I read it in the comment section of an  article, I would have never thought that anyone would use the existence of puppy mills as a reason to why there is not an overpopulation problem. Who would benefit from this type of thought? Why the puppy miller of course! Below is the most bizarre and/or uneducated one of the year.. followed by the response I posted-- I thought this was too important to simply let sit hidden in the comment section of an article that hardly anyone is now reading.

"Since puppy mills and pet stores that sell milled animals are only in it for the money, they wouldn’t exist if they weren’t making money by selling animals. And given that they wouldn’t be selling animals if there weren’t plenty of homes available, if pet overpopulation is real, why do puppy mills and pet stores exist?"-Nathan Winograd

Well, let me explain.... the breeders and mills have large organizations behind them such as the AKC. The single largest competition to shelter animals is the AKC and its quest to promote more breeding.. therefore more money for them. Westminster dropped Pedigree because the ads were too sad- the AKC cannot have that kind of competition-- they cannot have that kind of advertising associated with them.-- because, it will make people question- if animals are sitting in shelters with no homes…. then why support breeders? So those who don't want their pocket books dented by those who say it is better to adopt than to buy-- work very hard to make the public think there really are not too many dogs and cat - they work very hard to make their buyers feel comfortable supporting mills and spending large sums of money while perfectly good dogs and cats sit in shelters. 

2.status- too many people look at animals as status symbols -- as an accessory. People will buy a hairless dog because they like the attention it brings them... then they get to brag about how they are somehow keeping that type of dog from going the way of the unicorn. (even though there are plenty of hairless dogs needing homes in shelters) Some people think having a pit bull will make them look thug- a great dane will make them look interesting like Lady Gaga - or a chihuahua will make them somehow rich looking like Paris Hilton. pet stores and puppy mills can produce what is in demand... they produce pets not based upon total numbers of open homes- but, upon what people are looking for at the moment.. Shelters hold the aftermath of when people become bored with what they have or move onto a new breed. (it is a shame more people are not aware of the large number of purebred animals in shelters - the AKC could do a much better job of promoting that fact.. it could help people fulfill their status desire and save a life at the same time)

3.impulse - puppy mills can ship dogs over the internet-- all they need to do is set up a website- toss some cute picks up and charge several hundred or thousands of dollars.. or set up a store front in the mall... combine this with the 'need' for certain looking dogs and the fact that a person can brag about overspending on a purebred dog - it allows for the person to treat the buying of a puppy akin to picking up some Jimmy Choos… using pet stores to adopt out dogs instead of selling dogs is a much better way to go- but, you cut into that impulse when you have a shelter worker actually ask the impulse buyer if they have truly thought about their purchase and are even qualified. (no one questions the buyer when they buy from a mill or a store—all that matters is if the credit card works) 

4.ignorance - this one is a bit harder since I still am shocked that there is a person alive who is not aware of the conditions in puppy mills and the huge numbers of animals in shelters.. but, there are truly people who are so ignorant that claim not to know about the truth. There are also people who are ignorant to actually believe that a puppy mill puppy is somehow healthier than shelter dog... and there are some people so ignorant to believe that the AKC fights for the rights of dogs in puppy mills-- it looks very much as though they fight hard against laws to protect them. 

5.irresponsibility - it truly is irresponsible to buy a dog or cat when there are millions that are killed in shelters.. it is very irresponsible. People still do it. Puppy mills and pet stores selling puppies/kittens exist in large part to an irresponsible society that treats its companion animals as objects that are warehoused and reproduced as products...they don't care-- those in the business thrive on irresponsibility - they make a ton of money off of it.
Over population is real.. and it is truly shocking to think that a person could possibly turn this into a simple math equation. I honestly think this is one of the most bizarre things I have ever heard. 

Just because there are 10 homes open does not mean that 10 homeless dogs will find their way into them-- you cannot put a 10 year old pug into the home of someone who wants a young colllie and you cannot think that just because a home is open that it means a dog lover will want a cat. This whole over population is a myth is so utterly bizarre in that it simplifies a complex problem. Look at petfinder and ask yourself why there are any people selling pit bull puppies when there are often times over 20,000 pit bulls and pit bull mixes listed needing homes right now. I have two large American bulldog mixes-- I love them .. they are one of the most common breeds at the Miami shelter where I adopted them- yet, it would be beyond ignorant to think that every person looking for a pet would want or be able to handle that type of dog in their life.. and the truth is that there are too many .. and therefore too many sitting in kennels waiting for people to adopt them that do not exist... saying they exist will not make it so. 

Just warehousing dogs and cats does not make less animals.. it does not make the overpopulation fail to exist.. all it does is trick the public into thinking that it is ok to keep breeding pets.. make them think all is well.. it is not. Hope this clears things up for those who might be confused.

- Mary Lundberg

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Double Dachshunds!

     I  posted before about people who have stolen my images and used them to advertise their business, groups, or used them in fundraisers without my permission. The best way to prevent that is to put a watermark on the image - or just write on it your copyright or logo. Those things will never totally prevent those who steal images, but it will make them harder to use the image. Yesterday, I came across a perfect example of how people use other's images on social media to try to gain money or support. In rescue, one has to be especially careful when posting images, because there are people who look for those sad and emotional images to rip them off for their own benefit. I am sure no one ever posts a picture of a dog in a shelter or in need thinking that someone in another state or country will take that image ..  and act as if it is their own or they are somehow associated with that image.

     Over the last week, I have seen a picture circulating on Facebook of a dog eating a loaf of bread. The image appears to be showing stray dogs with only bread to eat. I understand the image was taken in another country- Turkey ... so I was a bit surprised to see that image being used on the page of a Florida rescue called Death Row Dog Rescue .. and even more surprised to see that rescue talking about how they needed money to help save abandoned dogs in Homestead. The dog in the picture was not even in Florida. I doubt the dog hopped on a plane and flew into Homestead so that it could be saved by a rescue. If the rescue was truly helping abandoned dogs in Homestead - why did they need to post a picture of a dog in another country? Really... it makes no sense. However, people donated while those who spoke up on the thread questioning her use of the photo were just deleted. 

Screen shot of the rescue's story about the dogs in Homestead - asking for funds and the image that was posted with her request for money. 

Screen shot of the original picture.. I have no idea what it says.. but, I doubt it has anything to do with dogs in Homestead... 

      It was not surprising to see yet another picture on that same page of a dog that was not even in Florida, but that she was claiming to have saved from the Miami shelter. I knew immediately that it was not a picture taken in the Miami Dade Animal Services - where she stated that she saved the nearly dead dog. I questioned on the thread why the cage and the collar were not those the shelter uses... and then I did what we all should do when we see an image that we think may not really be what someone claims it to be... I put the image through Google image search and I was able to quickly find that the real dog had been in a shelter in Georgia and he had been adopted. The dog was never in the Miami shelter. Again, people donated based upon a story that went with a picture that was not even of a dog that the rescue took into their care. And, like before, any of my comments or other's comments pertaining to the fact that the dog was not ever even in Florida where removed. Crazy- right? If a dog is in the care of the rescue- why post a picture of the dog in Georgia? If the rescue needs a camera that badly, perhaps they should stop stealing photos to use for chip ins and instead post a chip in to get a camera. 

Screen shot of the photo as it appeared on the page of Death Row Dog Rescue. 

As you can see - there is a rather lengthy story told about this particular dog. 

Here the screen shot shows a link to a chip in so that people can donate to the care of this poor dog. If she did happen to get a dog from the Miami shelter, why would she seek out a picture of a dog in Georgia? And why not take her own picture? After all... the dog is in her care- right? 

Screen shot showing where I pointed out where the real dog really was- I was booted off her thread shortly after and am now unable to comment. 

The screen shot showing the original photo and the correct shelter the dog was in... aaaannnnddd it was not Florida. *****PLEASE NOTE- the person whose name is on this post is not in ANY WAY SHAPE OR FORM part of the misuse of the photo.. she is simply a person who was posting the REAL picture trying to help the dog in the REAL shelter in GA... and, I am sure, never thought this picture would be used to gain money dishonestly. 

     The sad thing is that this type of thing happens all too often. Dog rescue is so open to abuse it is just sickening. This is not the first time someone has posted a picture of a dog and claimed to have saved it - yet, never had the dog in the picture. It is certainly not the first time a person has used a chip in to create an online fundraiser based upon a stolen image. When I last looked, the chip in from the rescue who was using other people's photos of dogs in other states and countries... had about $800 raised. Overall, the rescue business is very unregulated and because of that - it is a prime place for those who want to find a way to raise money dishonestly. The rescue in question, based upon an email from the shelter (a public record), shows that Death Row Dog Rescue is not even an approved rescue to pull dogs from their shelter. People who are on social media do not know this- they see a sad photo and they respond. People just want to help- they don't realize what is really going on. 

Screen Shot of an email dated 2010 regarding the rescue - why are people giving a rescue money if they are not even approved to pull dogs locally? 

     So how do we combat this? First of all, when you see a known photo that is stolen and being misused, you need to contact the person who owns that photo. On Facebook, they take copyright very seriously and will remove stolen images. I have had to ask them to do it many times - and they are very quick about it-- but, the copyright holder will never know their photo is being used - unless they see it - or are told about it and given a link. Another good way to protect a photo that is posted from being misused is to watermark it or simply photoshop your name and website/shelter name/rescue name etc. on it. The people that steal photos do find ways to remove that information, but they will often times use the photos that they can easily post with no effort on their part. Of course, the owner of the work may be able to even bring a lawsuit against the person who stole it - copyright infringement. For instance, if someone was to take one of my images and use it for a chip in without my approval or their logo- I do have the right to go after them. 

     Bottom line is that sadly, people take things that are not theirs and they use them for their own benefit. Money could have been donated to the approved rescues who really are pulling dogs from the Miami shelter, but instead several hundred dollars was diverted from legit rescues to one using stolen images as a fundraising tool. We all have to be smarter about posting our images.. and we have to keep an eye out for those who are stealing them... because, when you are dealing with dog rescue.. you really are dealing with lives... now .. who wants to help start a chip in to get the bread eating dog to Homestead?