Open a store – what could go wrong?

We are still digging out from under the nightmare of our first store location – a horror story involving, in no particular order, a PTSD victim hoarder as a neighbour on one side of us, a crazy cat lady hoarder upstairs from us, and a burned out acid freak for a landlord. The entire shitstorm culminated with our ceiling collapsing into the middle of the store (did I mention this was due to the upstairs celing being soaked in an over abundance of cat urine? Super fun!). It has been an experience I strongly suggest avoiding at all costs, not to mention a timely lesson in “why we have insurance 101”.

Having to move 1,000 square feet of merchandise (what we could salvage of it, that is) will try the patience of the strongest person. Needless to say, I am spending about 18 hours of every day trying to get the new location running smoothly. This would have been easier if we could have renovated *before* we moved in, instead of afterwards – for example, it’s generally easier to remove an entire wall when you don’t have shelving attached to it.

Hopefully, things will calm down by mid September. I’m excited about adding new product lines – Orijen, Acana, Blue Buffalo (by customer request) and Solid Gold. Possibly Earthborn and Halo, too – anyone have feedback on them?

Animal Control Greenville, SC – Lose Your Dog, Get a Lecture

When Joe, Elise Jerozal’s Parson Terrier, went missing, her mom Katie  Jerozal knew all of the steps to follow to bring home a lost pet. She put up flyers, canvassed the neighbourhood, posted messages on Facebook, and even posted a video to Youtube featuring Elise asking for help in bringing Joe home.

It’s no surprise Katie knew what to do – after all, she’s got an awful lot of experience with dogs. Katie’s mother showed dogs, and Katie herself competed in Junior Handling, taking her Pug to Westminster one year to as one of the top Junior handlers in the country. Part of the reason Katie bought Joe for Elise was so that Elise could show him in Juniors, and possibly train him for the obedience ring. Getting Elise into showing would make show dogs a third generation family tradition – Katie didn’t stop her involvement  with show dogs when she outgrew Juniors. She’s now a small scale, ethical breeder of French Bulldogs, owning a handful of top winning Frenchies, including a Best in Show and Best in Specialty show winning boy she still proudly talks about on her Lucida French Bulldogs website.

It’s Katie’s website that caused problems when she got in touch with Greenville Animal Control to report Joe as a missing pet.

Katie sent Greenville Animal Control a precise, well detailed email regarding Joe, via their website –

Joe is a 1 year old Russell Terrier. he was bought for my daughters 7th birthday to do obedience with. He was last seen in our yard where, we think, he was taken.
He was mostly white with brown markings
He went missing last night around 8 pm from (address redacted) ln Taylors SC
Katie got back an email asking her to clarify that Joe was missing from Greenville, to which she responded in the affirmative. The next response she got was this –

I noticed that you breed Frenchies. Have you ever thought of discontinuing that? There are cancers associated with breeding (mammary tumors, testicular cancer, etc.) that result from not spaying and neutering. Also, Frenchies, like any other breed, end up in shelters.

I would imagine that if you love your Frenchies, you would not want them or their offspring to be in harms way.

Susan

 

No suggestions on how to find Joe. No confirmation that someone would check the shelter to make sure Joe hadn’t been turned in. Instead, all Katie got was a lecture on how her insistence on having intact dogs (intact dogs she was BREEDING!) was the reason that dogs die of cancer and end up in animal shelters.

Did this idiotic and heartless response come from some well meaning but poorly trained shelter volunteer?

Nope. It came from –

Susan Bufano
Community Relations Coordinator
328 Furman Hall Rd.
Greenville, SC 29609
(864) 467-3986
(864) 467-3294 Fax

Community Relations Coordinator! Holy crap! Talk about a lack of essential job skills. I’m going out on a limb here, but I’d think that a large part of the job description of a Community Relations Coordinator for Animal Control involves actual public relations skills, the kind that support community members, instead of alienating them.

Of course, this is all on top of the fact that Susan is spouting the same tired and inaccurate myths about how keeping dogs intact is some sort of automatic cancerous death sentence (by this reasoning, I’m a little bit surprised that Susan didn’t also suggest Katie should look into getting Elise a hysterectomy before it’s too late, since ‘intact’ women could also grow up to get reproductive cancers). Her insinuation seems to be that Katie is some sort of irresponsible jerk who lets her dogs run around Greenville willy-nilly, clogging up the Animal Control shelters and generally forcing well meaning people like Susan to kill them against her will.

Sigh.

Look, I get the impression that Greenville AC is one of the better run municipal shelters. They have a vigorous volunteer program, they offer Animal Care Summer Camps for kids, and they offer low cost veterinary services, microchipping and spay neuter clinics. I understand that Susan’s intentions might have been good, but she’s letting her own personal agenda (her personal Facebook page talks a lot about animal rights and her veganism) get in the way of servicing her community – the very job her title conveys she is meant to be filling.

Greenville AC’s webpage features this on the very first page –

Screen shot 2013-08-02 at 10.17.13 AM

 

If you want to be the ‘first place’ people go when their pet is lost and missing, please start doing a better job of being supportive, instead of misguidedly judgmental. Greenville AC made an already traumatic time for Katie’s family even worse, by failing to support her in any way that could help to bring Joe home.

UPDATE

Joe is home! As Katie tells us via Facebook:

‘we were out handing out flyer to everyone in our neighborhood. I was cutting through a yard and I heard him bark. Elise ran into the yard and he was on an enclosed deck. How she didn’t see our flyers is odd. They weren’t home so we took him and left a thank you note’

Good news, and good job, Katie!

 

Man Frees Coyote Trapped in Fence – Video

Coming fresh on the heels of the video of a Nova Scotia woman removing porcupine quills from a Raven is this video of an unnamed Canadian man helping to free a trapped coyote from a barbed wire fence.

The good samaritan is understandably cautious, repeatedly telling the Coyote, “Don’t bite me, ok?”, but he gets the job done, and seems thrilled when the coyote finally makes his escape.

Canadians – helping wounded wildlife is just what we do (and then we celebrate with a double double from Timmies).

 

Toronto Dog Park Poisoned & Barrie Dog Poisoned in Own Yard

A Barrie, Ontario Veterinarian is issuing a warning to other residents of the city to be on the lookout for poisoned hotdogs, after his own dog was poisoned this weekend.

The poisoned hotdog was left in Dr. Martin’s own yard, leaving no doubt that this was an intentional case of attempted poisoning.

“I let my dog out, and he was out in the backyard and I saw him eating something in the corner of the yard. I took a look at it, grabbed it out of his mouth and it was a hotdog that was sliced down the middle. there were three tablets.”

Martin says those tablets were extra strength Tylenol and his little dog Marcel swallowed one.

Martin rushed his dog to the animal clinic and then to the animal hospital to induce vomiting. He says the dose would have killed his dog because of his size.

Luckily Martin was able to get the drug out of his dog’s system in time.

“If I had just let him out and went back in the house he would have eaten the whole hotdog and he would have died that day or the next day,” Martin says.

Read more: http://barrie.ctvnews.ca/vet-issues-warning-after-pet-poisoned-in-barrie-s-north-end-1.1387612#ixzz2aSCdJUfh

Meanwhile in Toronto, rat poison has been found in the off leash dog park located inside High Park. The deadly poison, still in its packaging, was found in the popular dog park by two women walking their own dogs. They contacted police, who are actively investigated whether this was a deliberate poisoning attempt.

If so, it would not be the first time.

Last year, three Leslieville area dogs died after ingesting poison, and at least fifteen more dogs became seriously ill.

A High Park dog owner summed it dog owners’ fears, saying –

“This is becoming a common occurrence that happens every summer and dogs have died,” Phillips said. “It is concerning because some dogs eat everything and because this is such a big space you don’t notice what your dog gets into. It is hard to know who the suspect could be.”

Read more: http://www.torontosun.com/2013/06/27/dog-owners-concerned-after-rat-poison-found-in-high-park

This is a good time to remind people to be aware of their surroundings, and to be extra careful about letting dogs off leash. It’s also a good time to start training the “leave it” command, to reinforce that dogs should not eat random items they find on the ground.

A good overview is here – http://drsophiayin.com/blog/entry/dogs-who-eat-things-off-the-ground-training-leave-it

 

Raven Asks for Help After Encountering a Porcupine

I’ve heard about at least seven dog versus porcupine cases this year so far. One unlucky customer’s dog has had two porcupine encounters this year so far – the first one required a trip the University and a $700 surgery.

Last week, when I took Phoebe in for her shots, I urged a walk in client to go ahead of me at the vet clinic, when they arrived with a dog literally BLANKETED in quills, including inside his mouth, nose and ears. They were still working on him – under sedation – when we left.

Apparently even the birds in Canada are having a hard time of it this year – this Raven actually came to a person and seemed to ask for help after a porcupine encounter.

By the way, if your dog encounters a porcupine, and there are just a few quills to deal with, you can usually remove them yourself. Get some rubber gloves, a pair of needle-nose pliers and someone to help you hold your dog. You may need to cover his eyes at first so he doesn’t see the pliers coming.

Stay calm and talk to him softly. Next, grasp each quill near the point of entry and pull straight out. Your pooch will probably pull back, making it easy to remove the quills. Try not to break any of them. Once you’re done removing the quills, apply a topical antiseptic to the affected area.

If the quills are in the eyes, the mouth, the ears or there are an excessive amount of them, a trip to the vet is in order.

More here: http://atlantic.ctvnews.ca/caught-on-cam-n-s-woman-pulls-porcupine-quills-from-raven-s-face-1.1363534