Showing posts with label Christmas. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Christmas. Show all posts

Monday 25 December 2023

Animal shelter has a true miracle at Christmas: empty cages

Brilliant empty shelter at Christmas at the Adams County SPCA in Gettysburg
Brilliant empty shelter at Christmas at the Adams County SPCA in Gettysburg. Image: Facebook

What better Christmas gift for shelter staff than achieving the Holy Grail of sheltering: all cats and dogs adopted for Christmas? None left at the shelter. It is empty except for the staff twiddling their thumbs! Well not quite because there was one tabby kitten (believed) remaining for adoption probably because he came in quite recently.

The shelter I am writing about is the Adams County SPCA in Gettysburg and they announced their miracle moment on their Facebook page.

The post says it all. It is the first time in 47 years that they have been empty (bar one kitten who I hope has been adopted by now).

"It's a true miracle. To say that we are beyond excited is an understatement."

P.S. please forgive the occasional typo. These articles are written at breakneck speed using Dragon Dictate. I have to prepare them in around 20 mins.

Monday 11 December 2023

Same old story as dogs are favoured over cats at Christmas

OPINION: News media today tell us that researchers found that pet owners will spend 27% more on dogs and cats this Christmas. It's always been like this. Dogs get taken to the veterinarian more often than cats. Dogs are more closely connected to their owners and cats because they look up to their owners as the alpha, leader dog and they fawn all over them and a very needy towards their owners. 

This creates a very close connection whereas the solitary, independent-minded domestic cat can tend to have a looser connection with their owner.

Image: MikeB

This appears to inevitably lead to spending less at Christmas on the animals! And other things. 2000 pet owners were surveyed. They found that typically cats received £19-worth of gifts whereas dogs received gifts worth £25.

There are many gifts for dogs and cats available these days. Typically cats received toys and some food treats. Chew toys apparently are top of the list for dogs.

It doesn't surprise me that quite a lot of money is spent on cats and dogs her Christmas because they are very much part of the family and in some instances they are the entire family and in other instances they are more important than human family members!

John Lewis reports that sales of pet gifts are up by 19% this Christmas. The pet gifting buyer at that organisation said that "everything from edible Christmas cards and chew toys, to litter robots and DIY cross stitch collars have been flying off the shelves this year. All throughout the year, we have so many pet parents coming into our stores looking for that perfect gift for their cats and dogs and we are always delighted to help find that special something for them."

Separately, it is said that dogs are slightly better behaved than cats at Christmas with 11% of cats described as being naughty while only 8% of dogs are in that category.

That said, 72% of cat and dog owners say that there companion animals make Christmas celebrations all the more special when they share Christmas festivities with them.

Survey: believed to be OnePoll poll from America.

P.S. please forgive the occasional typo. These articles are written at breakneck speed using Dragon Dictate. I have to prepare them in around 20 mins.

Wednesday 7 December 2022

"Cats try to RUIN Christmas trees" discuss!

It is that time of year when websites sometimes discuss the interaction between cats and Christmas trees 😎. And this is where it goes wrong 😢. There's one website from New Zealand called Stuff which has a title as follows: "Watch: 12 times cats tried to ruin Christmas trees". This is a big website with an influence, and I don't like the title (Kiwis don't like cats!). I am being too serious, but this is a title which imports speciesism into the discussion.

Domestic cat pulls over Christmas tree
Domestic cat pulls over Christmas tree. See video below.

Domestic cats don't try and ruin Christmas trees. They try and climb them because that is what domestic cats want to do. They need to entertain themselves in the sterile human environment in which they are placed and forced to live. Strong words.

@yoilseari please send tips so this won’t happen again #cat #catsoftiktok #christmas #cats #fyp #foryoupage ♬ original sound - Ilse ◡̈

So why criticise them for trying to ruin Christmas trees? They are simply climbing them and enjoying the experience. If that results in the Christmas tree falling over and smashing to bits so be it.

It is not a conscious effort by a domestic cat to ruin a Christmas tree. I am spelling out the obvious and I'm sure that I am being incredibly tiresome and boring in doing so.

However, the title that I refer to on the Internet is a misdescription and a form of speciesism.

No doubt there are many videos of domestic cats pulling over Christmas trees. There are an equal number of methods to protect Christmas tree such as putting kitchen foil all around the tree. This works pretty effectively because it looks sort of Christmassy while at the same time protecting the tree because domestic cats hate to walk on tin foil. They don't understand it and it makes a funny noise which puts them off very effectively.

My theory is that the sound of tinfoil being walked on sounds a bit like a viper or a rattlesnake. Cats don't like snakes although it must be said that they are very effective at killing snakes particularly the sand cat. This is made possible by the fact that the domestic cat's reflexes are sharper than those of the snake!

Back to Christmas trees. The video on this page I think is priceless. That is a bit of a pun because there is a financial price to pay when a cat knocks over a beautiful Christmas tree as we see in the video.

Saturday 26 November 2022

This Christmas don't buy a smuggled puppy or a cheap online kitten

Christmas is upon us. Some people will be buying a purebred dog or cat. There are many online adverts for what appear to be charming puppies. The same applies to kittens. Sometimes the prices look good; almost too good to be true.

Puppies at Christmas
Puppies at Christmas. Image: MikeB

These "too good to be true" puppy adverts have probably been placed on social media websites such as Facebook because the overheads of the breeder are particularly low. And the likelihood is that they are low because they been bred in Eastern Europe and smuggled into Britain against the law.

The problem is this: often these puppies are the offspring of abused breeding dogs, living in squalor without proper veterinary care. These are puppy mills and there is no place for them and certainly the purchase of a puppy should not be supporting them unwittingly.

Over the Covid pandemic many thousands of people did indeed unwittingly support puppy mill owners. They were supporting illegal activity and animal abuse.

A problem is that 30% of buyers don't care. They don't even care about the health of the puppy that they are buying. They are fixated on the appearance, and they don't really want to dig into the background of the animal. This is a shame.

Cheap online kittens are another problem. Anybody who knows about purchasing purebred cats strenuously advise that you purchase from a breeder registered with a cat association and that you visit her home. The last bit is a challenge, but it will help to select the right kitten and to ensure that the woman is bona fide.

However, even visiting a breeder's home cannot guarantee that the breeder is treating her cats with care and respect. But it will help. And you can then check that they have a pedigree. All purebred cats should have a pedigree if you are purchasing one. This means a family tree with all the parents and grandparents also purebred and registered with a cat association.

If you buy online without seeing this documentation you are likely to purchase a purebred cat mix which is not the real thing.

Dogs Trust has warned of a growing trend to search online adverts for the perfect pooch, but they say that this trend is a "perfect storm" for puppy smugglers.

Health problems of flat-faced dogs

The surge in demand for fancy but inherently unhealthy, flat-faced, puppies has encouraged the growth of puppy smuggling. Without demand there would be none obviously. It's a supply and demand issue.

Dogs Trust has reported a 60% increase in the number of pregnant dogs and puppies seized at UK borders since 2021 according to a news media report.

The veterinary director at the charity, Paula Boyden, wisely said that it is easy to fall into the trap of making decisions "with your heart" when a more business-like approach is required. It is a very big step to adopt a puppy because it really should be for the life of the companion animal but regrettably when adoption is conducted on impulse the outcome isn't always great.

Boyden said: "Unknowingly buying a smuggled puppy could have very real consequences for the owner too. The puppy might be too young to have been legally imported or have health issues that you don't necessarily notice until too late."

6 tips to find a healthy puppy to adopt

The most smuggled breeds seized in the UK by the border force are English bulldogs, Pomeranians, French bulldogs and Dachshunds. The Dachshunds and French bulldogs are the most popular breeds currently in the UK judging by what I see in the parks. And that I think is a good guide.

They look cute too many people but if you go behind the veneer of what you see and dig around and ask about health issues and socialisation issues you might see a different less pleasant story.

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