courtesty of PETA
There are two basic ways to improve the life of a “backyard dog.” In some situations, only a quick call to law enforcement agencies will be necessary. In others, it’ll be up to you to build a relationship with the dog’s guardian and get permission to visit and care for the animal. Every case will be different, so carefully assess a situation before you get started.
Call Authorities if a Dog’s Life Is in Immediate Danger or if Chaining Is Illegal
Many counties and cities have laws addressing chained or penned dogs—see the list of such places on the PETA website or look up your local law at the library or on Municode.com. Even if your area doesn’t have such a law, backyard dogs must have shelter, adequate food, and clean water, and they must be provided with veterinary care if they are sick or injured. If a backyard dog is in imminent danger—for example, if the animal is very thin, obviously ill, or injured or if he or she has no shelter or cannot access it—notify authorities immediately. Refer to PETA's guide for more information about what to do if you spot cruelty to animals.
Work With Guardians to Help Backyard Dogs in Non-Emergency Situations
Your best chance to help dogs in non-emergency situations is probably to befriend the dogs’guardians. Using anything other than a polite approach will probably make them angry and hurt your chance to make a difference. You may be pleasantly surprised when guardians help their animals themselves after just one conversation.
Begin by talking to owners about what their dogs need. Avoid being confrontational. Consider starting the conversation by talking about your experience with your own dog or by mentioning that you recently learned some new facts about dogs, such as the following:
*Dogs crave companionship. They aim to please their guardians, and they really want to spend time with them and live with them indoors. Dogs are healthiest and happiest indoors with the rest of the family.
*Dogs left outside need sturdy shelter to protect them from rain, snow, cold, and wind and to provide shade in the summer. Plastic houses or barrels are better than nothing, but they offer no protection from the cold and heat up quickly in the summer. A waterproof, sealed wooden house with the floor elevated a few inches off the ground and with a flap over the entrance is better. Houses should be small enough to allow a dog’s body heat to warm the interior but big enough to allow the dog to get inside, stand up, turn around, and lie down.
*When the temperature drops below 45 degrees, straw (available at feed stores) must be stuffed inside doghouses in order to keep dogs warm. Blankets, clothing, and towels only make conditions worse when they get wet and freeze.
Dogs need an adequate amount of food every day. Food should be provided in a dry, clean dish, not tossed on the ground. Remind dog owners to give dogs more food in the winter, when they need to eat more to keep warm.
*Dogs need fresh water every day. Water should be placed in a heavy bucket or an anchored bowl to prevent it from tipping over (putting the bucket inside a car tire works well). Water helps to prevent heat exhaustion in the summer. It must be checked frequently in the winter to make sure that it hasn’t frozen—dogs will die of dehydration on even the coldest day without water.
Backyard dogs should be checked frequently for fleas, mites, and worms, which rob them of the nutrition that they need and can make even a dog who constantly eats thin. While you work with the dog’s owner to ensure the animal’s physical health, don’t forget to give the dog some attention and playtime too. A happy dog has toys, goes for walks, and spends time with people. Here are some ideas:
*Ask permission to take the dog for walks.
Offer some toys to the dog (with the owner’s approval).
Visit the dog regularly (but be careful not to become a nuisance; follow your instincts based on the guardian’s level of cooperation). Many dogs have eventually been given to people like you who have cared for them, all because of patient and friendly intervention. If you are offered or given a backyard dog—even if you cannot give him or her a permanent home—graciously accept the animal. Visit the PETA website on how to find an animal a good home.
Well, it is our responsibility to spend some quality time daily to train your dog! It will take some patience, and a lot of love. But remember, just like us human, learning as we get older, animals learn as they grow too! And what is better than to spend some quality time to bond with man's best friend?
Posted by Blog Owner at 2:36 PM
Thursday, April 30, 2009