Cookie—Just Another Dog

Last December many of us were deeply moved by the Just One Dog video of sweet Stanley’s rescue from a California shelter.  Sadly we have another stark reminder that Stanley’s story is only unique in the he was noticed by someone who could help.  Cookie, pictured above, was just another dog suffering a tortured existance in a Georgia county shelter that appears to have some serious problems.  Fortunately, he is out of the Floyd County shelter, is now being treated by a vet, and is getting pain medications, treatment to ease his itching, and treatment for all his underlying problems.  Cookie has a Facebook page documenting his progress.

I think so many public shelters in the U.S. are overburdened, understaffed, and underfunded and the Floyd Co. Shelter where Cookie was found is no different. For instance, in 2009 a proposal to expand the facility was stopped by the County Commission.  Earlier this year though, the Floyd County animal shelter began working with volunteers from 52 rescuce groups to improve things.  Then in September, the Georgia Dept. of Agriculture investigation of a case of animal hoarding lead to the discovery that not all of the resuce groups were following regulations.  A press release from the county says:

reference-checking has been delegated to others outside of Floyd County, animal tags have been falsified, and licenses apparently used improperly in the rescue of animals….animals from the Animal Shelter (were) transported to uncertified rescues and persons who are not legally compliant in their home cities/counties…

So the volunteer program was suspended until it could be reexamined.  Shelter director Jason Broome and the County Commission are ultimately responsible for these problems and Broome has publicly said he takes full responsibility.  Cookie was found in the aftermath of this upheaval.

If there is to be any finger pointing though, I think that finger should be pointed right back at us, the public. I believe a lot of us don’t want to think about what goes on in our public animal shelters.  I know I don’t.  And the problems there can seem insurmountable.  However:

  • We need to speak up and demand that our animal control departments recieve proper funding.
  • We must demand that progressive, qualified directors be hired to oversee operations and to set goals.
  • If we visit a public shelter and see problems, we need to act—contact the director to politely voice your concernes & contact your representatives to let them know.
  • Spay & neuter your pets.  Don’t contribute to the numbers of unwanted cats & dogs.
  • And, please, think long & hard about buying a pet when there are so very many cats & dogs in shelters who desperately need someone who cares.

Hero Dog From Afghanistan Accidentally Euthanized In Shelter

I don’t want to write this post.  In August I told you about 3 dogs in Afghanistan who thwarted a suicide bomber and saved 50 human lives.  The 2 surviving dogs, Rufus & Target, were brought to the U.S. and later their offspring came too. Such lucky dogs.  Target went to live with Sgt. Terry Young and his family in Arizona.

Tragically, Target, who helped stop the suicide bomber by attacking him, was killed in an Arizona animal shelter due to a mistake.  To have survived so much, only to be killed in an animal shelter just breaks my heart.  I can’t imagine what this soldier and his family are going through.  You can see how important these dogs were to the men who befriended them in this piece from when Sgt. Young was on the Oprah Show.

Green Roof Round-Up

A few issues ago, Sunset magazine had an article on how to plant a vertical garden to create a lush, tropical look. It reminded me of how much I like the look of green roofs done nicely.  I love the aspect of pointillism in the ones planted with succulents, but I like how they also look like an aerial view of some amazing garden.  (Sunset also has an article on a vertical garden with succulents.)

I don’t think cats or dogs should just be left outside, but even pets who spend most of their time indoors may need some shelter from the heat or rain when they are outside. A house with a green roof would work great and look nifty too.

Want to build your own?  I have two posts on DIY Green Roof dog houses.  Be sure you get a safe version of pressure treated lumber, or use naturally rot-resistant wood like cedar or cypress, or plastic lumber.

The first project is for a veranda with open sides and a raised floor.  Love it!

The second project is for a pretty simple, but cute house.

 

If you’re not handy, you can buy a green roof dog house from Sustainable Pet. They’re pretty expensive, but I think prices have come down some since I first wrote about them.  They have some fun design ideas.

So what’s so cool about green roofs?  Greenroofs.org has a TON of information on the benefits of green roofs. Briefly, green roofs:

  • provide thermal and sound insulation
  • reduce rain run-off
  • are aesthetically appealing
  • reduce energy use
  • absorb CO2
  • reduce heat islands

Of course, a green roof dog house alone won’t save the planet, but:

  • it can get you thinking about green roofs
  • you can use it as a small scale test for a larger roof—which plants work in your area, try different planting mediums, etc.
  • your dog will have a cooler or drier place to hang out
  • you can show people what a green roof is & looks like
  • create more gardening space at your home