Tuesday, April 28, 2009

What to do about Mike

The big news of the day in the Capital Region is that the Albany Firebirds have offered Michael Vick a contract with the provision that Vick give $100,000 to the Mohawk and Hudson River Humane Society. At first blush it sounds great for the Society to receive a huge influx of money to support our programs and save more animals' lives, but at what cost?
I believe in redemption. I know that people can change and be better people. I don't believe that you make change by paying someone else any amount of money. Vick has already paid almost a million dollars for the care of the dogs that survived his dog fighting ring. I don't think that anyone would say that changed him as a person. Did going to prison change him? I suppose it might have, but we really don't know.
Rather than money, I would like to see Michael Vick become a member of the Capital Region community who works to prevent animal cruelty and put a stop to dog fighting. I think that his time and proper use of his fame will be a much better indicator of a change in attitude than writing a check, even if it is to a worthy cause.

I would love to know your opinions on this issue. Please click on comments below and let me know what you think.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Ping and another great gala

Friday night was our second annual Around the World for 80 Strays Gala. There was a huge turnout with almost 300 animal lovers coming together at Wolferts Roost to support the Humane Society. Our Emcee, Anya Tucker from Channel 10 News, did a wonderful job keeping the night going and our Auctioneer, Jamie Roberts from 810 WGY's Pet Talk had hands flying up in the air during our live auction.

One of my favorite things about this year was that we had pictures on every table of animals that had been adopted or were available for adoption from the Humane Society. When you first walked into the dining room there was a sea of furry faces looking back at you.

The pictures had all been taken at Picture People in Crossgates Mall over the last several weeks. One of the pictures was of a very special cat named 'Ping'. Ping was brought here with 5 other cats because their family lost their home. Ping is a big beautiful cat, but for some reason all of the other cats in his family have already been adopted. Ping is still waiting.

So the night was fun and everyone had a great time, but Ping is still here on Monday, hopefully he will find a home soon.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Going Around the World!

This Friday night is our second annual Around the World for 80 Strays gala at Wolferts Roost Country club. I am very excited about this year's event. We have plans that will make this a great night for animal lovers in the capital region. Our honorary chair is Bocker the Labradoodle. You can see his website at www.bocker.tv Bocker will be at the gala to meet our guests and congratulate the winners of this year's Humane Awards.

Channel 10's Anya Tucker will be our M.C. and Jamie Roberts, host of 810 WGY's Pet Talk, will be our auctioneer.

We will have some fantastic items up for auction this year including a basketball signed by the entire Siena basketball team and the coach, three baseballs signed by some of the Yankees best pitchers of all time, a fabulous Saratoga get away and of course, the cover of our 2010 cutest pet calendar will be auctioned off.
Please join us for fun, music and dancing at the capital region's number one animal gala!

You can purchase tickets now just click here

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Watch Out for the Heat

It can be hard to stay inside this time of year when the weather is warming up and the flowers start blooming. We all like to get outside and if you're like me, you like to bring your dog with you everywhere you can.
One of the great things about having a dog is the fun that you can have taking them for long walks, and hikes or just to play at the dog park. The warm days also make me think of something else though, all the dogs that I have seen locked in cars during the summer. Years ago, I was an animal control officer and cruelty investigator. I can't tell you how many times I was called to a parking lot where someone had left their dog locked in a car. The windows were usually cracked a little, but that doesn't really help. I had to remove many dogs from cars and rush them to the veterinarian to treat heatstroke. If they hadn't been removed they could have suffered brain damage or death.
Cars work like greenhouses, all windows letting in the heat from the sun and surfaces that retain the heat. It can take just a few minutes for the temperature in your car to rise to 20 degrees or hotter than the outside air, which can be fatal for your pet.
Dogs do not have sweat glands to cool them like we do. They cool themselves by panting, which is intended to bring cooler air and water into their bodies. The problem in the car is that the air continually gets hotter and there is no way for dogs to cool off.
If you're like me, when summer comes the first thing that you do when you get in your car is roll down a window because the heat inside is stifling. Imagine if you had to sit in there for just 15 minutes while someone runs into a store. That's what many dogs experience all summer long and its not something that I would want happening to me.

So do the right thing for your pets this summer. Leave them home when you have to make stops or go shopping. By leaving them in the car, you may be risking their lives.

Monday, April 13, 2009

A wonderful weekend

It was a happy Easter for the animals at the Humane Society. 22 of the 55 dogs that came from a breeder in Hoosick have been adopted since Friday. Each day, there were lines of people outside our door waiting for us to open so that they could give these little dogs a better life.
It wasn't just those dogs that were adopted though, 13 other dogs and 14 cats were also adopted. Those animals were the stray and abandoned dogs that we get every day, but thanks to a caring community they all have homes.
More of the dogs and cats that came from the breeder's home will continue to become available over the next couple of months. Some of the puppies are so young that they are still nursing from their mothers. In the mean time there are many more animals in need of homes every day, so please tell your friends to check our site for their new best friend.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Little Dogs, Big Day

People were already lining up at 8:00am this morning to adopt the dogs that were on the news yesterday. By the time we opened at 10:00am there was a huge crowd. We started handing out numbers to everyone who had lined up and began introducing them to the dogs that were available today. Only 15 dogs and puppies out of the 55 that we took in were ready to go. The rest still need veterinary care or to be spayed or neutered. All of the dogs that were available today were adopted, but more will be ready tomorrow so we hope to find homes for all of them.
There are also 4 litters of puppies still nursing from their mothers. Those puppies will need about 6-8 weeks in foster care before they are ready to go. Our staff and volunteers have been running non-stop for two days to get these little guys ready and cared for.
A special thanks to Chiloe from the Animal House for coming in early this morning to groom some of the dogs that were in desperate need of a little TLC.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Hoosick Breeder Closes Her Doors

We are having an especially busy couple of days here at the Humane Society. A tip was called in to State Police that a woman living in a single wide trailer was selling puppies that were too young to be separated from their mothers. The State Police called us for help. When they called, the Police believed that there were over 20 dogs and ten cats in the home. When Humane Society investigators and staff arrived at home, there was still a sign outside offering puppies for sale.

The owner turned over 55 dogs and puppies- including 4 mothers nursing litters -and 14 cats. The dogs include Pomeranians, Chihuahuas, Dachshunds and others. It took most of the day to catch them all, identify them and get them back to the Humane Society’s Animal Center in Menands. They have all been examined and treated by the our Veterinarian and some will be spayed and neutered today and tomorrow.

The dogs and cats are in varying degrees of health, but seem to be social and friendly. Some of the animals may be available for adoption as early as Friday afternoon or Saturday morning. The younger puppies will need weeks in one of our volunteer foster homes before they can be adopted. All of these animals are really putting a strain on our space and resources so we are hoping to do a lot of adoptions this weekend.

We don’t know how many dogs have been sold by this woman over the years, but now at least one supply of puppies in the area has been closed, hopefully if we can get more breeders to close, we can start to control the problem of pet overpopulation .

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Beanie Babies, Not Bunnies

These are just two of the Rabbits at the Humane Society need homes, and will be spayed or neutered before leaving.

Every year, people around the country go out and buy baby bunnies and chicks for Easter. Sometimes the little babies are dyed pastel colors for the season. They are often impulse purchases for excited children who may think that these babies are the most exciting things they have ever seen, so mom and dad give in and bring one home. But then what happens?
Baby chicks become chickens and little baby bunnies become full grown rabbits. Most people don't have an appropriate place to keep a chicken and they often wind up abandoned or given up to farm rescues right away.
Many people make a go of keeping the rabbits they have purchased, but children may soon lose interest and parents come up against the reality of how much care a rabbit really needs. In just a few months, people who bought more than one bunny may find out that they start reproducing at a very young age (yes that reputation is well earned). Soon there may be many bunnies, more than anyone planned for.
So, after a few months of good efforts, the rabbit ends up at the Humane Society, or maybe at a rabbit rescue like the rabbit resource http://www.therabbitresource.org/. We are preparing for an influx of these baby bunnies, but we are really hoping that people will forgo their Easter baby bunny and chick purchase to begin with.
To discourage the purchase of live bunnies and chicks, the Mohawk and Hudson River Humane Society will give away a free beanie baby to any child who comes in and pledges that they will not get a baby bunny or chick this Easter. The give away starts today and will continue through Easter or while supplies last.
Let's choose stuffed toys this year, not live animals.

Monday, April 6, 2009

The Bobble Head has been chosen

Bubba the Akita and I just got back from a press conference at the Holiday Inn Express downtown to announce the winner of the Valley Cat's weatherman bobble head contest. I am happy to say that Steve Caporizzo from WTEN won the voting so a bobble head of Steve will be produced and given away this summer.
Steve was competing against 3 other Capital Region weathermen for the honor of having bobble head made in his image. Voters could go online and pick their favorite. Each weatherman chose a their favorite charity and Steve chose us! That means that the Vally Cats gave us $500 plus tickets that we can sell as a fundraiser to a Valley Cats on August 12th. The contest was sponsored by the Holiday Inn Express. The bobble heads will be given out at the Valley Cats game on August 22nd.
At the press conference Steve Caporizzo surprised everyone when he announced that The Pet Connection was going to give an additional $1,000 to the Humane Society to support our programs. As if that wasn't enough, Steve and the Pet Connection are going to purchase an additional 500 bobble heads to sell as a fundraiser for homeless animals.
The event was a lot of fun. One of our orphaned dogs, Bubba, was there and did a great job. Everyone loved him and he showed off how well he sits and shakes hands (with both paws). Hoprefully in addition to all of the great support we've gotten, Bubba will find a home.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Radio Day

I had another great show this morning with Jamie Roberts on 810 WGY's Pet Talk. Jamie is a big animal lover and does a great job on the show. Today we mostly talked about the shelter's need for volunteer foster parents. Spring is upon us and kittens are being born. This means that we need people to open their homes to kittens so that they can grow old enough to be adopted. Almost 1,000 animals went through our foster program last year and we hope to find even more foster homes this year.

Today was also the second day of Paws for a Cause at the empire state plaza. I really love going to this event every year. The plaza is filled with animal lovers of all kind. There is an incredible diversity of non-profit groups, animal service businesses and veterinarians all taking different approaches to help animals. The speakers range from vets talking about the latest in stem cell treatments to a trainer who dances with her dogs. It is great fun and I love standing at our booth and just chatting with everyone who stops by. I'm already looking forward to this event next year.

Friday, April 3, 2009


Hello everyone, and welcome to the official blog of the Mohawk and Hudson River Humane Society. This month marks my second full year as Executive Director of the Society and I thought that it was about time to share up to date information about the Society online.

This blog will be a place where you can come and learn about the latest happenings at the Society, news about animals in our community and tips about animal care. I will have friends, volunteers and other Society staff guest blogging from time to time as well so that you can learn directly from their expertise.

Today I spent most of the day at Paws for a Cause in the Empire State Plaza. It was great to see all of the different vendors, animal protection groups, and veterinarians out together educating the public about animal care.
My favorite presentation of the day had to be the dancing Corgis. Really, they dance.

Paws for a Cause continues tomorrow and the Purina Dog Team will be there for several performances throughout the day.
I will be on 810 WGY's Pet Talk tomorrow from 11am to noon along with other guests talking about animals and animal health. Please listen in.

That's it for the first post, please check back often for news and updates.