Saturday, December 19, 2009

Dogs Deserve Freedom

Emily is a volunteer at her local Humane Society and an animal advocate, using her Dogs Deserve Freedom blog to share her thoughts and ideas on how we better live in harmony with dogs. She's another shining example of a person using her talents and skills to support dog rescue. I hope you'll be inspired to do the same!

HTB: What was the inspiration to start your blog, "Dogs Deserve Freedom?"

Emily: I began blogging on "Dogs Deserve Freedom" on October 15, 2008 because I needed an outlet for my frustrations. I had just finished rehabbing the most gorgeous dog I have ever met and was exceedingly frustrated that people judged her by her looks. She was (at best guess) a Rottweiler/Thai Ridgeback mix who had not had a great start in life (being tied up to a tree for the first year and then taken to the pound by canine control will do that to a dog). She didn't trust anyone and would snarl at people/dogs/anything if they pushed her too far too fast. Unfortunately, this bought her an extended stay at the pound and the discussion was begun about possible euthanasia. I took her in and after a few months of extensive rehab/retraining she ended up the most friendly, well rounded, happy go lucky dog ever.

HTB: What is the philosophy behind "Dogs Deserve Freedom?"

Emily: I wrote a few blog posts about this. To read the full explanation, check out my post Dogs Deserve Freedom - Say What? or read my first post.

Here's a summary... Dogs Deserve Freedom means that all dogs deserve:

- freedom to live without the need for crates, leashes and other training 'tools'
- freedom to live without fear and anxiety
- freedom to be outside without the need for fences or other containment items
- freedom to interact and play with animals, children, adults, etc without the impulse or need to bully or do harm
- freedom to be a valued member of a family enjoying the love and companionship freely given within the boundaries of this relationship

The beliefs that spur my theories and thoughts are:

- I believe in Crate Training
- I believe that dogs should be able to function on leash without harming themselves, their owners, or other people/dogs.
- I believe you should be able to trust your dog to interact safely with children/other animals/adults in any situation
- I believe that breeders should breed responsibly and that BackYardBreeders (BYB) are making more problems by helping us fill our shelters with poorly bred dogs
- I believe you should be able to take your dog to a restaurant and your dog should be well enough trained to take a nap under your table without begging for food or bothering anyone around

It is the responsibility of dog owners to train their dogs properly in order to fulfill these needs.

HTB: What do you hope to accomplish with your blog?

Emily: Mainly, I want to raise awareness. I am a big advocate for the shelter dog, and I hate puppy mills as well as back yard breeders, with a vengence. If I can convince one person to adopt instead of buying a dog or "saving it" from the pet store, I've done a good job.

I want people to know that they don't have to donate all their food money in order to make a difference. I want them to know that even if they spent one hour per week volunteering at a shelter or charity, then they have helped. Many rescues and shelters are SCREAMING for volunteers. I want the dog walkers to know that if they went and took one dog out for an hour long walk once a week, that they would change the outlook of that dog. What most people don't get is that it's not a matter of how many dogs can you walk in the 60 minute time frame, it's the quality of the time you have spent.

In the next year, I want to show people the fun things they can do with their dogs when they are properly trained. I believe this is likely where the blog will go, so stay tuned!

HTB: Tell us three things that everyone should know about proper dog care:

Emily: Proper dog care should include three key elements:

- Adequate nutrition (see your veterinarian for details)
- Thorough training (both soft skills and obedience)
- Spay / Neuter

Since I know you will probably ask ... am I against breeding? No. If your dog is worthy breeding stock, than by all means. That means the dog is purebred, registered, has NO genetic malformations, has healthy parentage (no genetic malformations), has no history of crazy temperaments in the entire litter, has earned it with championships (could be obedience, agility, herding, conformation, etc.), is not aggressive in any way/shape/form and there is a need for the breed. That means there shouldn't be over 1,000 unwanted dogs in rescue of that particular breed (did you know that the Labrador Retriever is over 20,000! That's not including the dogs that have been subdivided into "Black Labrador Retriever, Yellow Labrador Retriever and Chocolate Labrador Retriever).

No comments:

Post a Comment