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Author Topic: For All Daemon Souls and Dog Lovers  (Read 15556 times)
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« Reply #405 on: Aug 26, 2014, 08:12 AM »

It's World Dog Day, let's think about the whole dog

Veterinarian, DVM, PhD
By: Kati Loeffler
Posted: Tue, 08/26/2014

Dogs need freedom to keep body and soul together: the freedom to move, to meet friends, to avoid non-friends, to choose where to rest, to greet loved ones, to go to the toilet away from where one eats and sleeps. On a hot, dusty afternoon in South Africa last spring, a man approached our mobile veterinary clinic with five dogs radiating on bits of rope and chain from his hand like so many spokes on a wheel.

The man settled in the shade of a little tree and patiently waited his turn. Four of the dogs settled down with him. They were plump and shiny and panted gently as they watched the chaotic queue of people and dogs and cats and puppies and children bouncing everywhere.

The fifth dog couldn’t settle.

He strained at his chain, lunged and twisted and barked at everyone and everything. He was a tall, athletic dog, but very thin and mangy and his fur dry and patchy.

He was clearly stressed out of his mind.

When the man’s turn came, he explained that he had recently acquired this frenetic dog from someone who wanted to abandon him. He was worried that the dog was not eating well and had bitten people and other dogs.

The other four dogs had come along just to keep the family whole on this excursion, and for us to see how well they looked: the man was proud of how well he took care of his dogs.

He worked as a night security guard at a school, and his dogs went with him to his job. While he spoke, he stroked them in turn, and they blinked and panted and returned his affection with their soft, brown gaze. But the new dog whom he had saved from abandonment couldn’t be stroked: he was too restless and jumpy.

The man explained that the dog had been chained at his previous home, and he kept him chained now because he was so “crazy”.

He was only a young dog, just a year or two.

The man asked if  he was possessed?

Perhaps an angry neighbor had put a curse on the dog for barking too much?

We frequently need to dispel superstitions about animals in our work around the world, but in a way, yes, it was a curse.

It was the curse of perpetual chaining.

This young, gorgeous animal was being driven out of body and mind by restriction of one of the most fundamental things that any creature - dog, human, hedgehog, parakeet, wombat, kudu, whale, butterfly and everything in between needs to keep body and soul together: the freedom to move, to meet friends, to avoid non-friends, to choose where to rest, to greet loved ones, to go to the toilet away from where one eats and sleeps.

Living permanently on the end of a chain or in a cage takes away all of an animal’s choices for the most basic decisions, natural behaviors and social needs that we take for granted.

Boredom, isolation, lack of exercise, the elimination of all choices, restriction from the opportunity to interact with the world.

This is what we do to dogs when we chain or cage them.

Taking the dog for exercise and play is as important as feeding her. Moreover, a dog is built to move – particularly a young dog, and one built like our thin, frantic friend.

They must run and play and work their muscles hard.

If they can’t, their minds can’t work properly, just like a child who doesn’t get enough exercise can’t concentrate in school. Add to this the incessant frustration of not being able to do any of the other things that a dog needs to do, and we end up with a mad dog who can express his frustration only by biting and barking and straining at the tether.

He isn’t a “bad” dog.

He isn’t inherently crazy.

He isn’t cursed.

He’s chained.

This problem isn’t restricted to dogs who are chained in a dusty shanty town in Africa.

I see it all over the world – from American suburbia to urban China – where dogs are confined to long, lonely, boring days in the house or chained to a stake in the yard while the owners are away at work.

They wait all day for the moment that we return home and take them to the park to run and run and run and play, and to do that with us.

We are their Person, their Pet Human, the Most Important Thing in their World.

We owe them this daily time for exercise and play for what they bring to our own lives, and as responsible and humane guardians of animals.

Taking the dog for exercise and play is as important as feeding her.

Every day.

So, we did what we do – we looked beyond the immediate problems of bad skin and poor appetite, and looked at the whole dog.

We helped the lovely man with his five dogs fix the fence around his house, and then he removed the thin dog’s chain. We dewormed and vaccinated the dog as standard measures of preventive health care, but he didn’t need any drugs for his skin. His skin would heal as his mind healed.

We also neutered him, which of course is essential for the dog to want to stay home rather than to go out chasing estrous-fragrant lady-dogs all over the county and getting hit by cars and fighting with other boy dogs over said fragrant lady-dogs. In many areas of the world, a dog’s main job is to guard the home.

A neutered dog who is properly exercised and who is made to feel part of the family will stay home and look after that family with a loyalty and commitment that no high-tech alarm system can duplicate.

He or she can’t do that if s/he is chained and isolated and frustrated.

Every day, the man took his dogs into an empty lot in the township where they could run and play until they sank into happy exhaustion.

At home, the dog now mixed with the other four and soon behaved as part of the family. A month later, when I saw him for his booster vaccinations, the dog was filling out and his fur growing in thick and shiny.

His tongue lolled in a happy grin.

He was still very energetic, but this time when he lunged, it was to plant a big slurp on my face.

His Person stroked him and smiled.


Learn more about IFAW efforts for cats & dogs on our campaign page:

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« Reply #406 on: Aug 26, 2014, 08:20 AM »

Chartered flight brings rescued baby elephant “Ntubya” to Zambia orphanage

Sarah Davies, Public Relations Manager, Game Rangers International
By: Sarah Davies
Posted: Mon, 08/18/2014

"Ntubya" being fed in her travel crate as she arrives at Lilayi Elephant Nursery.Last Wednesday, an 18-month-old elephant calf, named “Ntubya” after the village in which she was rescued, safely arrived safely at the Lilayi Elephant Nursery.

People living in the remote village of Ntubya in Musungwa Chiefdom, bordering Kafue National Park, found her scared and alone after she had been sighted without her herd several times over the last three weeks.

They knew that she needed help and called the Zambia Wildlife Authority who asked the Elephant Orphanage Project to respond.

In this isolated area of Zambia, local residents have limited access to electricity or phone signal but they still managed to get a message out to help this little elephant. The team at the Kafue Release Facility travelled straight to Ntubya and found the calf severely emaciated and dehydrated. It is thought that she has been away from her mother for at least 2-3 weeks.

She is very weak and all our efforts are being concentrated on stabilising her condition.

Also on  On World Elephant Day in India, a “thumbs-up” for the elephants

A rescue mission like Ntubya’s could not have been possible without chartering a plane for which we have to thank Royal Air Charters.

We would also like to thank our partners the Zambia Wildlife Authority for veterinary support, the Millers of Lilayi Farm for logistical support and the communities of Ntubya in Musungwa Chiefdom.

Ntubya has a tough few weeks ahead of her...your support is key to upping her chances.

The Elephant Orphanage Project and Ntubya herself have a tough few weeks ahead of us.

She will be given 24-hour care and all of her medical and emotional needs attended to.


Your support is one of the keys to increasing Ntubya's chances. Donate now:

The Elephant Orphanage Project (EOP) is a project of Game Rangers International, which works in close collaboration with the Zambia Wildlife Authority and is supported by the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) and the David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation

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« Reply #407 on: Today at 06:40 AM »

Illegal wildlife trade along the Burma-China border - in pictures

The Guardian

The town of Mong-La in Burma's Shan state, close to the border with China, is at the crossroads of illegal wildlife trade routes that are sucking the forests, jungles and plains of India, Burma, Laos and Thailand dry of their native animals and plants – many of them endangered

Click to view:

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« Reply #408 on: Today at 07:50 AM »

VIDEO: Unheard stories of the unsung heroes working to save India's tigers

By: Sheren Shrestha
Posted: Wed, 07/23/2014

A tiger in the Kanha Tiger Reserve, one of the animals that Ram Singh Dhubre died protecting.

Every year a number of frontline staff lose their lives while protecting India’s natural heritage.

They often face better-armed poachers, and other threats including wild animals themselves.

To ensure the welfare of the guardians of the wild, IFAW-WTI runs a unique accident insurance plan for the frontline staff, providing them and/or their families quick relief in case of injuries or death on duty.

Also on Death of elephant tusker Satao in Tsavo must not have been in vain

Around 20,000 frontline staff from over 23 Indian states are registered under this insurance plan, and since its launch in 2001, more than 110 families have gratefully received its benefits.

The video below tells the story of a family of one frontline staff member, Ram Singh Dhubre, who worked as a daily wage labourer with the Kanha Tiger Reserve Forest Department.

Dhubre was killed in an accident on duty in December 2012 and his family was provided with relief from the insurance plan.


Your support helps keep this insurance program running, consider a donation to IFAW today.

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