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Summer Guide for Your Dog

Summer is here and how marvellous it is to be walking in glorious sunshine surrounded by other people enjoying the current UK heat wave. How ever, your dog might not be loving the rise in temperature quite as much as you perceive so here is some quick tips for keeping your canine companion cool this sunny season…

1. Water
Seems pretty simple and logical and you may be rolling your eyes at me like “durr, obviously my dog needs water”, but what you might forget is that you will need to be refilling and cleaning that bowl much more often that usual. Besides your dogs extra water intake to remain hydrated emptying the bowl every few hours, the rise in temperature will also be evaporating the water quicker. You might want to relocate the water bowl so that it is always in shaded spot away from any windows to keep it cool and lasting a little longer.
Keeping your dog’s water bowl fresh and clear of scum will ensure your dog is not put off hydrating themselves by a murky, half emtpy, luke-warm water bowl. Adding ice cubes to your dogs water when you go out will help keep the water cool and also act as a slowly added water supply. If your dog is not a big water drinker then add some water into their dinner and mix it up to secretly hydrate them.

water summer

2. Walkie Times
Now that it’s summer you must resist the temptation to walk your dog during the day in the hottest times. The pavements beneath your protective footwear are lava hot and will burn your dogs paws causing severe pain, blistering and possible infection.
Try to go before the sun really heats up and rises high in the sky and after it has dropped in later evening. Alternatively, find somewhere that is completely 100% grass such as a field or large estate where you can carry your dog to the cool grass and let them pad around freely. It is important to be well stocked up on water during as well as after the walk.

burnt paws

3. In The Car
Oh yes, i’m going to say it; do NOT leave your dog in a car. Even with the window open, it is too hot. Even in a shady spot with all 4 windows half way down, a car sat completely still in the humid heat will drive your insane, and if you still think i am being OTT on this subject, i suggest you go and try it, see how long you last before you wish to be zooming down a motorway at 70mph. A dog left in the sun or even just the heat, in a closed car can physically bake to death and in the UK this year it was made legal for members of the public to break into any closed car in the sun containing a dog.
When travelling in the car, please be sympathetic to the pure fact that automobile air con does not affect the rear of a car as efficiently as it does the front, and therefore you may have to suffer the ‘windswept and interesting’ look from open windows on the motorway oppose to air con that wont even cut through your dogs fur to relieve any heat.
Always travel with plenty of water and a bowl.

hot car

4. Pool Party
You don;t have to be rich to throw your dog a mini puppy pool party. Children’s sandpits and plastic paddling pools can be bought for next to nothing, fill it with water and watch your dog cool off in complete bliss. Get the hose on and give them a cooling spray, also a good way to allow your dog to exercise in the garden to relieve some energy without over heating. The water will also get off some of that excess hair pup has been malting all over your house.

pool party
5. Sunscreen & Shade
Sun cream is an essential item on our children’s and our own summer shopping list, so why aren’t we conscious of the dangers to our dogs’ exposed skin? White dogs and dogs with thin coats (eg. the greyhound, bulldogs) are particularly susceptible to sun burn but all dogs have areas that require keeping an eye on this summer: the muzzle and areas around the nose and mouth, the belly and undercarriage including around the genitals and the ears; edges, behind and exposed internal area. Specialist doggy sun creams and wipes are available online and large high st pet supply retailers.
Always allowing your dog the option to remove themselves from the sun to be in the shade is essential. Most dogs will choose to lie indoors usually on a lino, wooden or (the favourite) tile floor oppose to carpet as it has a wonderfully relieving cooling effect.

It is a strange fact that although when it comes to their birthday or Christmas, what they wear or even their discipline method (doggy time out is not effective), we treat our dogs like people, humanising them physically, emotionally and psychologically. Yet when it comes to summer we forget that they are as susceptible to things like dehydration, sun burn and sun stroke as children are, mistaking their open mouth panting in the baking sun for “a smile whilst sunbathing”… Every dog is different and whilst some may cope in the summer heat without issue, others, particularly those in the UK born in any time other than a Summer month, may be severely effected by the heat and humidty with extreme malting, loss of appetite, diarrhoea and lethargy, even if kept in the shade. Be mindful this summer about your dogs condition and should any severe blistering or significant changes occur please consult with your vet.

To donate to the rescue dogs at Broken Souls Rescue saved from Death-row in the UK pounds please give via Paypal to:
broken-soulsrescue@outlook.com

Thank you.

One Dog At A Time: Foster For A Rescue

“By saving that one dog i may not change the world, but i will change the world for that one dog…” 

Running a dog rescue in the UK i hear all the time from the 1000’s of dog lovers from across the country how wonderful what i do is and how they wish they could work in dog rescue like me because it must be so rewarding… Well it is and you can! Without my voluntary staff of foster homes i could not run a dog rescue, and you reading this right now could volunteer for your local dog rescue to take in one dog at a time…

So you have definitely heard of foster homes for children who are waiting to find their forever families and be adopted, well this is much the same. Fostering a dog basically means the dog lives with you until somebody adopts them. The majority of rescues will financially reimburse or provide food and care equipment as well as taking full responsibility for any veterinary needs.

So what is required of a foster? A foster placement may well be the first proper ‘home’ a dog has been in, the dogs pulled from pounds may have been kept outside or in very poor conditions and many have suffered abuse.
The foster’s first job is to introduce the dog into this new environment and guide the dog through the process of adjusting to family life, being prepared for issues such as toilet training and redirecting chewing behaviours is essential as the stress and upset of moving can upset even well trained, indoor dogs.
Patience and understanding is also extremely important in those first few days of a new foster arriving. A foster’s temperament must be patient, loving, knowledgeable and calm to balance out correcting and teaching the dog with comforting and love.

Ellie 2.jpg

Foster’s come from all walks of life, it isn’t about how much money you have or how big your house is. As long as you have the space for one more dog in a clean, tidy, hygienic, secure and safe environment, your stature in life really isn’t important. Time management is crucial when fostering a dog, making sure you split your time correctly and don’t push out any of your own pets, as this can create resentment and tension. In reality, fostering a dog friendly dog really doesn’t affect your routine except you have to hold an extra lead, carry an extra poo baggy and make up an extra dinner. Fostering dog aggressive dogs can be a more difficult but not at all impossible situation, as long as you have the extra space to separate and manage them. A spare bedroom or unused back room can be converted into your foster’s room to chill, sleep and eat, but time management here is essential to allow all dogs their walk, play, cuddle time etc. Fostering for a rescue is a flexible way to get involved, taking breaks when you feel like it and joining the team again when you are revitalised, but each dog’s length of stay varies between just a couple of weeks to 7 or 8 months, this is why commitment and dedication is necessary.

The lengthier the stays, the more ‘foster fails’ are seen. This is when a foster family becomes so attached to their charge that they decide to actually adopt the dog. Now this is obviously wonderful for the dog’s in question, but this does tend to take that specific foster off the rota unless they do own a large property.

When you join a rescue as a foster home, you will find yourself becoming more involved emotionally with the overall efforts and actions of the organisation. This is a fantastic opportunity to become part of a community and meet like minded people but it also means you will be effected by the frequent negative occurrences in the rescue world, such as adoption cancellations, adoption failures, behavioral issues, social media trolling and much more… Please don’t let this put you off.

Rescues across the UK are desperately appealing and scrambling for foster homes to join their team as more and more dogs are left in the pounds everyday to face being put to sleep after just 7 days…

The dedication and commitment of all staff, volunteers and supporters to a rescue is what makes them special; the resilience against the negativity, the patience and empathy to put up with mishaps, the love they have to give over and over to new faces in need.

To Foster for Broken Souls Rescue in the West Midlands UK, please visit:
www.broken-souls-rescue.org/foster.html

#18DogsADayUK

The Lepto 4 Crisis: To Vaccinate or Not to Vaccinate?

Canine vaccinations are an important and vital ingredient in your dog’s health schedule as well as their monthly flea and worming treatments. Once a dog has had it’s initial vaccinations from 10-12 weeks old, they are only necessary to boost every 12 to 36 months, or extras if you’re planning to travel to certain countries with your canine companion (Rabies, kennel cough etc).

Your puppy’s veterinary visit for their first vaccination will usually occur around 10 weeks of age and at this visit your puppy will be vaccinated against:
Distemper, Parvovirus, Hepatitis (Adenovirus), Parainfluenza and Leptospirosis.
2 weeks later, you will return for a second round of vaccinations, these are like a booster against:
Distemper, Parvovirus, Hepatitis and Leptospirosis again.

vaccine schedule

So What Is The Issue?

Lepto 4 is causing adverse, parvo-like and fatal effects across the UK with dogs becoming extremely ill almost immediately post vaccination. Dog’s temperatures rise, they can have appetite loss, sudden behavioural changes, diarrhoea, vomiting, gastrointestinal bleeding, renal failure, heart failure, blindness, brain damage and death. The amount of reported cases are mounting, yet the vaccination is still on the market with many vets across the country refusing to even acknowledge, never mind discuss the issue with concerned and confused owners.

Leptospirosis is a cork screw shaped bacteria that drills through the skin into the system and slowly infects the urine and blood. It is a zoonotic bacteria, meaning it can be passed from canine to human through bodily fluids such as urine, blood and semen. It attacks the liver and kidney as well as other organs and depending on how quickly it is diagnosed and treatment is begun, it is a nasty infection causing life changing problems and is fatal in 20% of cases, mainly due to the subtle nature of its development. It can cause organ failure and blindness in more severe cases but more common symptoms are:
raised temperature or fever, stiff or sore muscles and reluctance to move, shivering, weakness, lethargy, loss of appetite, depression, increased thirst and rapid dehydration, excessive urination, dark speckled gums, yellow eye whites, increased breathing rate, runny nose, cough, vomit and diarrhoea possibly with blood.

So now we know how awful Leptospirosis is, where does it come from? Well mainly tropical climates with areas of water in humid temperatures, however let’s just say for the sake of the UK, large unclean bodies of water such as warm canals, marshes and bogs. It can also be transmitted in the urine of other animals such as rats and cattle. However, it is rare to actually be contracted in the UK, with the last official statistics of human contraction having been done in 2012 with only 25 cases reported to be contracted without occupational or international cause and only 72 cases in total with 80% of them being traceable back to another country of recent travel or having been in water or on a farm. It should be noted here that people are not vaccinated against Leptospirosis in the UK. There is no official report of cases of Leptospirosis in dogs in the UK, only a estimate from a veterinary game of Chinese whispers, however we can assume it is extremely small, especially if it has not been significant enough to bring about an official report.

However, there is an official report that over 2,000 cases have reported severe adverse affects from the Lepto 4 vaccine and over 150 deaths since 2013 when the new Lepto 4 was brought in.

What’s New & Why Now?

Previously up until 2013, the vaccination against Leptospirosis used was a pharmaceutical called Lepto 2 and protected against 2 strains or ‘serovar’ of Leptospirosis, where as it is claimed that the new Nobivac Lepto 4 vaccine protects against 4 serovars (types) of Leptospirosis.

The noteworthy pharmaceutical components in Lepto 4 compared to Lepto 2 are interesting as they both contain Thiomersal (mercury) which is known to have adverse effects on the brain in both canines and humans, having been found to cause autism and other neurological development issues. However, Lepto 4 also contains a multitude of new noted ingredients; Sodium Chloride (adding a high concentration of salt to our dog’s injections…hmm) causes a sudden increase in thirst, dehydration, vomitting, disorientation and even coma can be caused by this. Potassium Chloride, a key player in the human lethal injection to cause cardiac arrest, can also cause gastrointestinal issues,  and too much potassium in the blood causes hyperkalemia which is the weakness and pain in muscles and movement. Potassium Dihydrogen Phosphate which can cause; renal failure, heart failure, cardiac arrest, high blood pressure and death. Now none of these have anything to do with actually vaccinating your dog against Leptospirosis and were either not present in Lepto 2 or were sneakily not displayed on the ingredients list…

vaccine

What Are the Regulator’s, Manufacturer’s and Veterinary Surgeon’s Saying?

The manufacturer (Merck Animal Health) Nobivac have claimed to have done all the necessary testing on this vaccination and the veterinary pharmaceutical regulators in the UK “Veterinary Medicines Directorate”(VMD) have listed the ‘adverse side effects’, (under statement of the century), in alongside the side effects of the overall vaccinations. They claim there is no way to connect the apparent reported cases of reactions and fatalities to the use of the Lepto 4 vaccine despite the obvious direct relation to dogs who have had the vaccine recently administered.

Yet, the  European Medicines Agency (Eu MCA) managed to find and publish in their report in 2014 that Merck Animal Health should compare the adverse effects of their new L4 to the previous L2 and felt it had significance enough for a mention in the EU report.

Veterinary practices across the UK are rightly facing confused and worried owners, who the majority seem to be subduing with simple reassurances of scare mongering and scientific jargon.

What’s My Opinion?

With 100’s of dogs and puppies in the rescue to initially and booster vaccinate throughout each year, i also face the decision of to vaccinate or not to vaccinate? I have opted to speak with my vet firmly but politely to inform them that my own personal dog will be receiving his annual booster vaccination against; hepatitis, parvovirus, distemper, parainfluenza and kennel cough, but that i do not consent for the Lepto 4 vaccine.

Lepto 4 is not a required or ‘core’ vaccine that dogs must receive in the UK (unlike the others, which i would never skip or advise against). The fact that there are over 300 serovars of Leptospirosis, and the majority of the few cases brought into the UK come from abroad meaning they could be any of the 300 strains, this coupled with a lack of Leptospirosis cases across the country; versus the extremely and significantly high amount of reported illnesses and fatalities directly following an L4 vaccine leaves me with no choice but decide that the negatives outweigh the positives.

In my opinion, the Lepto 4 vaccine should be taken off the market and owners should refuse consent to apply.

If the Merck Animal Health and the UK VMD are so sure that the Lepto 4 vaccine is safe and not the cause of the sudden outbreak of adverse reactions and deaths, then fresh primary screening tests should be done for Lepto 4 alone with particular attention paid to the follow up results in a wide variety of dogs from the isolated vaccine and have the results openly displayed. Currently with no official statistics on reported cases of Leptospirosis in dogs, a lack of information purely on Lepto 4 and an avoidance of the subject from all parties involved, dog owners can’t help but feel like our pets are being used as guinea pigs with devastating effects.

Simply put: refuse the Lepto 4 vaccine.

To support our rescue work with pound dogs across the UK please visit:
www.broken-souls-rescue.org/donate.html
or like us at www.facebook.com/brokensoulsrescue 
Follow us on Twitter @souls_rescue. 

Donate via Paypal “Friends & Family” to: broken-soulsrescue@outlook.com

The Ugly Side of Dog Rescue in the UK

I hate to burst the bubbles of many Animal Studies, Animal Sciences and Zoo-ology students but working in dog rescue is not cuddling cute puppies, bottle feeding, playing with dogs and going on lovely walks…oh no. Obviously, there is a fair amount of kennel cleaning, picking up s**t, mopping up wee, being covered in fur, bathing, flea combing, disinfecting and wiping up vomit just to name a few, all of which you can be trained for to some extent.

However, what you cannot be genuinely trained for, is the constant roller-coaster ride your emotions will be swept along as you begin to realise the imbalance of occasional positive occurrences dotted amongst the relentless waves of heart wrenching and soul destroying situations you will be thrown into the middle of. So let us delve into the darker, uglier and less spoken about world of rescue.

You might well have all seen the horrific images splayed across billboards and television screens depicting dogs and cats who have been discovered by organisations such as the RSPCA and Dog’s Trust, campaigning for donations and animal cruelty legislation changes. But what you do not see, is the worker assigned to that emaciated and sick dog who works tirelessly medicating, nursing, rehabilitating, building trust, a bond with. That person does not stop at the end of their working day carefree; they go home and worry, care and make plans on how to make it better tomorrow. They love. You do not see the day that dog takes a turn for the worse physically or crosses it’s third strike behaviourally,  and that worker must sign the papers and carry the dog to take it’s final endless sleep on the veterinary surgeons cold metal table. How they will hold that dogs paw, apologising for failing them and promising them they were loved. They could wait outside, but they refuse to allow that dog to die alone, not knowing it was loved.

This week, I lost 2 very young puppies at just 10 weeks old to the destructive Parvovirus after a week long battle. They had been 4 healthy 7 week old puppies with a minor flea allergy causing a scabby skin condition that was easily remedied. Playful, active and growing well. Then after 2 had been adopted i was informed they had both been admitted into the intensive care units at their respective vets. 2 days later a third puppy still in the rescue care became sick and was placed on medications. I nursed her day and night, cleaning her kennel at every slightest wee, poo or sick. I cooked her every meal under the sun and tried to hand tempt her which worked at first, and syringed her water every 2 hours. I cuddled her and let her sleep next to me at all times. I had her admitted after a severe blood loss and she picked up for 36 hours, so much to the point i was hopeful to bring her home, in this time one of her adopted brothers, the beautiful Paddy, had passed away. The next morning the vet told me in a very sombre tone that in fact Ciara had become half the pup she had been overnight and was wasting away in front of her very eyes and was in extreme pain. We had to put her to sleep immediately. I could not be with her and hold her paw. She did not know how loved she truly was.

Oh, how i cried. I howled.

ciara 2

Left with the devastation of overwhelming veterinary bills, an upset and angry out-of-pocket- adopter, the rescue’s reputation at risk and a shadowing feeling of frustration that i had done everything by the book in terms of isolation, observation and reservation until 2 weeks had fully passed and our vets were happy with them, yet this had still happened… Whether it is the loss of loved rescue dog, a stolen charity pot, verbal abuse from those to whom you are trying to aid, social media trolling, a serious internal staffing issue or another day where you have to turn away dogs in need due to a lack of space… Each day will bring about questions such as;

“Why am i doing this?”
“Am i even making a difference?”
“Why did this happen?”
“The more i try to help the more seems to go wrong, is it me?”

This time i will answer for you; keep going, four paws at a time. Each dog adopted, saved, rehabilitated and medically treated is a win for the animal world. Even the most experienced and long standing rescue managers, founders and workers still question themselves, still feel drained of all emotion and faith. But it is those who wake everyday and trudge on through the darkest and ugliest side of animal who make the greatest impact, they will comfort others and continue on to save another life.

It is this simple fact that i bare honestly to you: every day in the world of animal rescue we are faced with the blunt, insatiable truth that life is not fair and justice does not prevail in the majority of cases. No matter how accurate, educated, experienced, cautious or reputable you are; there will be a daily shit storm that will leave behind destruction that you will have to rebuild faith, finances, emotional resilience and credibility constantly. Welcome to animal rescue, we need you, but we warn you; you have commenced in an uphill battle.  

To support our work at Broken Souls Rescue visit www.broken-souls-rescue.org 
Follow us on Twitter @souls_rescue and #18dogsadayuk #endBSL 

Feature Photo: Paddy, 11 week old Shepherd x Collie x Terrier puppy. Passed away at the vets from Parvovirus. 

Blog Photo: Ciara, 11 week old Shepherd x Collie x Terrier puppy. Passed away at the vets from Parvovirus. 

 

 

Dog Training Methods: Cesar Millan vs. Victoria Stilwell

There is an international dog training dispute going on that has been rumbling away in the background of the canine community for years. If you work in the canine industry or just really love dogs, there is a chance you watch some form of dog themed TV show, as more and more documentaries, welfare series and training reality shows hit our screens.

So what the real arguments revolve around is the difference in ethical opinion between the use of positive and negative reinforcement methods in dog training.
1)Positive reinforcement is the training of specific behaviours through rewarding the desired action.
2) Negative reinforcement is the training of behaviours through making an undesirable behaviour ‘uncomfortable’ or through a form of punishment. 

Now personally as a dog trainer, i have watched both Animal Planet’s “The Dog Whisperer” and Channel 4’s “It’s Me or the Dog” observing the common but effective methods utilised by both trainers. Now many trainers out there are just as good as those who have their own TV shows, but the effectiveness of any tool or method is the way in which it is carried out, this is where most dog owners find themselves dumbfounded as they copy these TV techniques and yet still fail to see any improvement in their dog’s behaviour. Any form of training strategy, if done incorrectly, can cause more damage than good.

Cesar Millan is often trashed in the canine world as intimidating with a style of training and thinking from cave man days. His dominant methods of becoming the ‘pack leader’ are labelled as old school and his frequent use of the ‘touch’ is thought of as abusive. His steps of often triggering the behaviour that requires rehabilitating can be perceived as over bearing and almost in the dogs face. He is seen as a trainer who uses negative reinforcement by forcing the dogs to become submissive.

Victoria Stilwell uses positive reinforcement through and through with clicker training, treats, toy drive, distraction and other such techniques. Since moving to the USA she has become involved with other dog TV and media such as USA Dogs, America’s Greatest Dog and of course It’s Me or the Dog USA. Positive training method use is her mission in life with her website even being http://www.positively.com. However, the case studies that Victoria publicly handles could arguably be called less severe in comparison to Cesar and on frequent occasions i have felt she could have assessed the family and owners more thoroughly and done more to change the human’s behaviour to make more of positive impact on the dogs training. I also feel that perhaps as we have seen no evidence yet, she would not be able to rehabilitate a human aggressive dog.

As a private and rescue dog trainer what do i think?

I see every kind of behavioural issue from simple lead pulling on a walk and jumping up to severe fear trauma, dog and people aggression. I find that in most cases, the root problem is fear, insecurity or learnt behaviour. The psychology of a dog versus dog training is where i find these lines can cross when rehabilitating a dog, because a dog’s basic psychology comes down to pack hierarchy and instinct. In severe cases where for example a dog has become human aggressive and a trainer must gain this dog’s trust and respect to begin to work with it, i feel some of Cesar’s alpha tactics could have the upper hand. Whilst i would always try to sit next to the dog (with a form of barrier of course) and allow the dog to go nuts and then over time calm down as it becomes habituated to me, there are some dogs that just won’t quit or there is no barrier and pen available. In this instance a completely dominant attitude and the approach to follow the dog until it submits is actually very useful and effective. I also feel that the “touch” that is most widely discussed and debated, is only used in situations where the dog is the one first willing to “touch” you, or to put it less subtly, bite. In this case we should look back the dog as an 8 week old puppy, developing its social skills amongst it’s litter mates, playing rough and boisterous. Puppies will bite each other with more malice and a different energy when a sibling causes genuine pain and injury during play to correct them that “this bite was too hard”. By a small sharp touch to the neck and shoulder joint, you are not hurting your dog anymore than a poke to snap their brain from an instinctive train of thought back to reality and inform them that their behaviour is too aggressive. This is not hitting, kicking, beating or smacking a dog, these are abuse. This is synthesising a natural correction in the canine world.

Cesar’s Techniques

Calm and confident energy that releases a leadership role or alpha male, but can be difficult for owners to understand and recreate within themselves.
Not allowing your dog to lead in front on walks or through entry ways.
Ensuring a dog is always invited onto the furniture oppose to when it wishes
His thought process of nose-eyes-ears to appreciate how your dog is perceiving you
His skills of observing and reading a dog’s body language to know when to correct or treat or sit back
Small touch/poke to snap the brain from instinctive thinking in more serious situations such as food or dog aggression.
No touch, no talk, no eye contact to almost immediately resolve bad behaviour with guests.
Use of other dogs or a whole pack to rehabilitate and build confidence, “Power of the Pack.

 Victoria’s Techniques

Food, toy, attention and fuss based rewarding
Fabulous clicker training
Her skills of owner interaction, explanations and education
Experienced and perfected timing of rewards
Application of consistency, patience and routine
Use of activities to build confidence
Use of techniques and tools that with practice anyone can mirror.

As a dog trainer for the every day owner; i feel that Victoria Stilwell wins the debate here, she has a more approachable persona and better skills at explaining how she does things and really educating owners. She instils a new way of thinking within the household and highlights the importance of consistency whilst using tools that can cause minimal damage whilst owners get to grips with the technique. Her methods can be learnt by anyone who really wants to train their dog with ease where as Cesar’s energy cannot be replicated so easily and once back in the owners presence it is often the case that the dog reverts back to it’s old negative behaviours. However it should be noted that when Cesar does make an effort with the owners themselves to teach them how to properly utilise his methods, he can really make a significant difference in that human’s overall confidence and life attitude.

Cesar fascinates me and will always have my support because of his deep understanding of canine psychology and his learnt connection with dogs. His ability to accurately read a dogs body language and to adjust his own so as to carry out a silent conversation is amazing and can have such positive effects on those dogs that are shut down or are on a completely basic level of social skills. It cannot be said at all that Cesar Millan is in anyway cruel, although he may appear forceful and not be to everyone’s liking. Cesar is simply adapting techniques that canines would show every day in a pack in the wild or with their mother and litter mates, so that he may connect with and utilise the natural behaviour instincts and canine psychology to make the greatest impact in each rehabilitation he embarks upon. His methods if performed incorrectly, (as has been done by many wanna-be trainers), could be seen as cruel and abuse but this is because ignorant people confuse the difference between the dog being responsive due to fear or due to respect…

Each dog training endeavour can only be successful if the owners put in the work with patience, persistence, positivity, consistency, calm and basic canine knowledge. In other words; if the owner doesn’t put the work in each and every day, you can’t expect a trainer to make miracles happen. Although you would probably liken my sessions more to that of something Victoria might take part in, it must be noted that in situations where i see an extremely aggressive dog or a dog particularly difficult to understand the root cause, i always think, “Cesar would be able to fix that case…”.

I offer dog training one to one sessions across Coventry and the West Midlands, UK at £20 per session plus £10 travel charge to some outer areas. To book a private session with me or to support the rescue work we carry out please visit: http://www.broken-souls-rescue.org

#EndBSL #18DogsADayUK

3 Amazing Reasons to Neuter Your Dog

Oh here she goes again, another boring lecture from another animal welfare advocate about getting your dogs reproductive bits removed. Well you can stop rolling your eyes at me because not a day passes that i don’t see a whole pack of dogs with their wedding tackle dangling or in heat when I’m out and about walking the rescue dogs, so clearly some of you haven’t heard yet….

Neuter & Spay: The Basics

Neutering is a general term for the surgical removal of reproductive organs from your pet, spay refers only to the female procedure. Every veterinary surgery across the world offers neutering options and the prices do vary from around £60-£150 (male dogs) £88 – £220 (female dogs). Cats and smaller animals are much cheaper as the surgery tends to take less time and require less anaesthetic drug. Animal charities such as Cats Protection and Dogs Trust (UK) and SPCA (USA) often offer free neuter and spay months or weeks and for those in financial difficulty the PDSA in the UK offers a low cost neuter. If you think these costs are outrageous, let’s see how you feel about the costs of problems that could be found later on in the animal’s life as discussed below…

The Surgery

The surgery for your pet doesn’t actually take that long and is a routine operation with minimum risks unless your pet has underlying medical issues which may be affected by anaesthetic. A sedative is given which takes around 5-8 minutes to kick in and then your pet will be shaved in the area of the operation to avoid any hair making the surgical site dirty. A male dogs surgery will take only 20-30 minutes usually as an external removal is much simpler than the female internal organs. The female surgery usually takes around 45 minutes to an hour depending on the size of the dog. Your pet will be observed in their vet kennel as they come round from the surgery and can be picked up just an hour or so post op! A follow up will be required a few days after to check the site for infection and again in 2 weeks to remove stitches. Your dog will probably be sent home with a few days worth of pain killers and either a vet cone or body grow vest.

Ok so why am i telling you to do this?

The Good Bits

  1. Prevents any accidental puppies being brought into the world from risky rendezvous in the dog park and adding to the over population problem. 

2. Prevents multiple types of cancers developing in your dog which are becoming more and more common such as; testicular, ovarian, uterus and cervical. These cancers if left untreated can spread through the hormones, blood and lymph system to grow and could develop into other types such as lung or even bone cancer which will be fatal. 

3. Prevents negative behaviours in both male and females such as: increased energy levels and hyperactivity, possessiveness, territorial, aggressive, resource guarding, humping/sexual behaviour, lack of attention, difficulty training. 

So what are you waiting for? The main culprits of the anti-neuter brigade, and i’m not being sexist i’m being honest, are the men who feel they are being cruel to “take away their man hood” or end their favourite hobby of licking their balls… Well guys if the Big-C wasn’t enough to scare you and you still want to argue that you are a responsible dog owner who will never allow an “accidental litter” to occur, let’s put it like this;

Imagine your dog is allowed to keep his “manhood”, and you are a responsible dog owner who never allows him to mate….Your dog is running around pumped full of hormones and no way of releasing them! You cannot allow  a dog to mate with a spayed female because the female will not feel the urge to mate and therefore you will be technically raping the female dog… There is no justification for allowing your dog to remain un-neutered. Get it done.

balls lick neuter

Many dogs who are found in the county pounds left as unclaimed strays appear to once have been well loved family dogs, and we often wonder why they haven’t been found, what happened? More often than not, after a full vetting, we find the dog is riddled with cancer and instead of the previous owner taking the difficult but responsible road of euthanising or treating the dog, it has been dumped.

18 dogs are euthanised in the pounds alone every day across the UK. Let’s end this now. To support our efforts pulling dogs from deathrow go to http://www.broken-souls-rescue.org

#AdoptdontShop #18DogsADayUK

CRGV (Alabama Rot) – The New Incureable and Unpreventable Deadly Canine Disease

“Cutaneous and Renal Glomerular Vasculopathy” is otherwise known as CRGV or ‘Alabama Rot’, and is in the simplest terms a disease causing small blood clots to form in the blood vessels of the skin and kidney in dogs. These clots form blockages and damage to both the skin and kidney resulting in ulcerations, lesions and renal failure.

Symptoms are initially thought to be ulcers and lesions on the skin, in particular, the paws, legs, under carriage and mouth and tongue. Now obviously dogs cut their paws and legs running around the park or garden quite often, so let’s not all rush to the vet with every minor skin issue. Other symptoms from more progressed cases are lethargy and tiredness in your dog, a loss of appetite, vomiting in general, diarrhoea and both of the latter may contain blood. However, i feel it is extremely important to note that the skin ulcerations and lesions are not always present! Your dog may just suddenly seem not themselves and begin presenting with bloody fluid from both ends…It is an almost dreaded ‘Parvo’ like disease shutting down the kidney function causing havoc across the entire system of organs. A dog can go downhill in a matter of 12 hours and in 9 out of 10 cases: it is fatal.

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So how do you prevent your dog from getting CRGV? Well to be honest; the vets don’t know. There is no vaccine against CRGV currently as the exact cause and specific bacteria causing this outbreak is unknown. The only tips available is to wash your dog down thoroughly after every walk paying attention to the paws and legs and in particular, to dry these areas thoroughly. Other than that, the areas of known cases in the UK is currently at 56 and i suspect many more cases left uncounted.

If your dog appears to be showing signs of or to have contracted CRGV what should you do? Get to your vet. The most important thing is topical treatment of the lesions, IV fluids, nutrients, electrolytes and vitamins as well as glucose. A dog who is not eating and is vomiting and excreting blood needs to be seen immediately to give the dog a chance of fighting off the disease. However, it really needs to be noted here that even once in the care of a vet, they will be dumbfounded as their is no cure or treatment for this disease. Application of antibiotics will negatively influence the already failing renal system and may push the kidney beyond its toxin limit.

There are cases of dogs becoming ill with bloody excretions and vomit across the country with outraged owners suspecting the vaccination “Lepto 4” as the cause. We ourselves as a rescue lost a mama dog and 5 of her 7 puppies and another 4 month old pup to an unknown “infection or disease” that caused loss of appetite and severe sudden weight loss in a matter of 12 hours followed by extreme bloody vomit and blood coming out of the back end like a tap had been turned on…. The antibiotics seemed to make the situation worse and we lost all of them. There was no raised temperature present in any of these cases which would be a usual indicator of infection and illness.

CRGV, Alabama Rot, what ever you wish to call it, is fast becoming a deadly disease with absolutely no information or medical aid to battle it. Anderson Moores Veterinary group are currently the leading UK researchers on it and need urgent funding.

Forget Parvo; CRGV is here UK. RIP Miami who we lost to “Unknown” January 2017.

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UK Pit Bulls: Let’s Talk Legislation

There has always been the dog breeds perceived as dangerous, from film and media use to the general public’s commissioning these dogs into their lives as security guards and status symbols. In the 80’s it was the Doberman and the Alsatian and the infamous Hooch dog; Dogue de Bordeaux, being walked down the street to cause you to cross the road, leash your dog or suddenly change direction in the park. But the most famously “dangerous” dog of all is the Pit Bull.

With a false reputation as a monster with a lock jaw, who is always dog aggressive and will eat your children; the pit bull has been dealt a bad hand by the very people who over bred and misused these dogs as status symbols and sport. I won’t go on and on in this post, but let’s just set the record straight: this is all bulls**t. Pit bulls were originally bred for a couple of uses, one being as nanny dogs to keep rats away from sleeping children and to accompany lords hunting. If we were to trace back the origins of almost every dog breed, there would be a connection to hunting or working in some manner from the jack russell as a ratter to the labrador, retrival and water dogs, you could argue that al dogs are dangerous and were designed to kill, (if you were on the pig headed, ignorant and discriminatory BSL side of the debate).

So it was decided that after the influx of illegal back street dog fighting utilising the Pit Bulls resilient and loyal nature, to deem them as Dangerous Dogs to be banned from being owned, bred, bought, sold or given away in the UK. Any dog found to be of pit bull breed was euthanised between 1991 – 1992 in the UK. The other 3 breeds found on this legislation also have strong hunting origins and are the: Dogo Argentino, Japanese Tosa Inu and the Fila Braziliero.

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Fila Brasiliero

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Dogo Argentino

So what should you do or will happen if you currently own one of these dogs in the UK? Well, your first option is emigrate. But should you choose to stay on the island, your options are slim.

  1. Try and stay under the radar and hope nobody realises or reports your dog for its breed.
  2. Go though the courts and apply for a Certificate of Exemption.
  3. Wait for somebody else to report your dog and apply for the certificate of exemption.

Taking option one requires having extremely unaware or friendly neighbours, walking your dog only in the dead of night or before sunrise and of course, as i would demand anyway, your dog is beautifully behaved and trained up to the eyeballs.

Option 2 is the most responsible and law abiding way to go about things, but by no means will it be easy… A dog will be handed over to the police for a 6 month stay in custody as an inmate under the courts ‘guardianship’ to be kept in almost isolation to be put under behaviour and temperament testing such as; food aggression, reaction to other dogs and people. The owner is not permitted to visit their dog during this time. Then the dog will be taken through the court (yes literally; your canine companion could be facing the judge just as a person does), the evidence and results of blood DNA and behavioural testing will be presented the by police and if the dog is passed as “not dangerous”, it will be given a certificate of exemption.

This Certificate of Exemption must be presented to any official council staff, dog warden or police on the spot or within 5 days or face your dog being seized again.
The dog must be muzzled and on a leash at all times in public.
The private home must be to the utmost security to prevent escape.
The dog must be neutered.
The dog may be tattooed or “tagged”  by the police before release.

If the dog is deemed “dangerous” through test failure, the dog will then be immediately put to sleep after the decision has been made final in court. There are now many lawyers and barristers becoming specialists and well acquainted in the Dangerous Act as more and more of people’s pets are being reported as “Type” dogs who are then seized, and owners are beginning to step up with the support of breed advocates to appeal and fight seizures and death sentences. As the mania spreads through uneducated owners not training their dogs and the media having field days with splattering the front pages with staffordshire bull terrier attacks, the staffy is now being suspected as Type and many are being seized for DNA genetic testing and only pass if their breed is found to be less than 20% pit or type.

The USA also has 12 states that currently do not allow the Pit Bull breed to be owned, sold or bred from: Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Kansas,Kentucky, New Mexico, Ohio, Utah, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Washington, D.C. The laws and procedures differ slightly and would need separate investigation.

Every dog, no matter the breed, depends on its upbringing, training and owner education to become a “good”, friendly and family dog. It is all about how we the humans, the public, the UK’s citizens, respond and react to the media circuses, the legislation changes and additions suggested, the illegal activities criminals carry out that produce money and false rumours and reputations for these dogs. It is up to owners and advocates to ensure they are as well educated as can be to bring up a dog with boundaries, limitations and respect as well as a relationship with humans.

To donate to our cause of pulling unclaimed dogs from UK deathrows please go through Friends and Family PayPal to: broken-soulsrescue@outlook.com or visit:
http://www.broken-souls-rescue.org

Thank you for your support and please share our posts.

To Today’s 18; sleep tight over the rainbow bridge my darling’s RIP #18dogsadayuk

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The Dog Pound: UK

We all remember the dog pound from Disney’s “Lady & the Tramp”, the dog catchers portrayed as evil with their catch poles crawling about in their cage van searching for dogs to catch and take back like it was their hobby. A dark and dingy place full of dogs in cold kennels looking sad, lost and alone. The little brown mutt too sad to sing who was crying always made me cry as a child. But having been in the animal industry for 13 years now, i know that the reality of UK dog pounds somewhat brighter, (thank goodness).

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Dog wardens in the UK are mostly people who actually adore dogs and want to be first on scene to respond and ensure each animal is treated with dignity and love. They don’t have time to be hunting down hiding doggies to make up their numbers; the kennels are already crammed and the calls keep coming in about stray and dumped dogs. I have also found that dog wardens are very active in the Lost & Found pet world to try and reunite any of their charges with their families outside of their work hours on their own time, and failing this,  they are extremely active in the rescue world, seeking out pound pulling organisations and rescue back ups to take the dogs in when their 7 days are up.

So what are our pounds actually like? Well think of the bottom end of the scale of boarding kennels and you’re pretty much there. UK country dog pounds are a council service or contracted purely for council dog warden intake, and therefore do not often have the biggest resources to be refurbishing their premises or improving their resources. Time is the biggest problem, the staff are usually spread thin keeping a full kennels clean and sanitary with feeding times and daily walks. Luckily, many pounds have volunteers who come in to walk dogs, spend time playing and being affectionate as well as helping to train out any behavioural issues.

Unfortunately, like everything in life, there are pounds who try to make profit from their rehoming services by selecting certain breeds of dog deemed more adoptable to extend their time in the kennels and put other breeds (like the staffy) to sleep without hesitation. Pounds can also be difficult when dealing with rescues trying to pull dogs from death row. Most pounds also won’t work with any rescue that publicly states a dog has been on death row, it says it gives the dog warden service and that particular “rehoming centre” a negative connotation. Posing as a rehoming centre and not allowing true no-kill rescues to be more honest and open about the problem is meaning their is little to no public awareness of the 18 dogs a day issue in the UK.

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So is their really a clock ticking? Yes. Once admitted into the kennel and found to have no chip or not be able to contact the owners or have the dog released to the kennel by the owners; the dog has 7 days to be claimed or bought from the pound. Once the 7 days are up, it is all down to how full the kennels are as to how much extension each dog will get. 99% of the time, the pounds are full. If no rescue steps forward to pull an un-“adopted” dog from death row, the dog will be euthanised via lethal injection. Put to sleep. Killed.

Call it a rehoming centre, a county kennel or a high kill shelter; the pound represents the stray, abandoned, dumped, unwanted dogs of the UK being turned away by large rescues due to their breed and smaller rescues are too full to help. The 18 dogs a day in the UK being killed.

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Dog Death Row…Yes; It’s A Real Thing.

If you haven’t seen the brutal yet underground documentary “Death Row Dogs”on Netflix yet, i suggest you take a peep to catch just an edited glimpse of the UK’s dog death row situation. The documentary focuses on those dogs who have been reported as “dangerous” to police and are seized for genetic and behavioural testing.

In the UK, should a neighbour or family spat turn sour, no longer is it just the social services being falsely called with reports of addresses to inspect; now your Staffy could be reported for being dangerous or suspected “pit type”. The police must respond to every report, and the manner in which they respond is truly quite horrific and needs some serious revision. Picture a team of 5-10 officers dressed in full riot gear bursting through your front door 10pm at night, shouting, brandishing shields and acting like they’re searching for Osama Bin Laden. You’re dog is separated from you, barking in fear trying to protect you and itself, as they corner it, catch pole in hand. Looped and tightened, you watch screaming in protest as they drag your poor dog down the stairs, out the front and into a dog van where they slam the door shut as if your loving family pet is an alligator.

Where is your dog going? To a concrete kennel block to be kept in isolation for “observation” and DNA testing to determine what percentage is Pit Bull and whether your dog is friendly or not… Disorientated, confused, defensive and with negative connections to these people manhandling them, being kept in quarantine with minimal human contact; what chance does any dog have of passing the test? How would you be affected after 6 months in isolation; could you interact normally? Even if your dog passes this emotional and mental mountain, should it be more than 20% pit bull DNA, it will be euthanised any way. Because of it’s breed. Nothing else.
What world are we living in where a country calls itself an “Animal Loving Nation” yet turn the other cheek to such a horrific system that puts healthy and happy dogs to sleep simply because of their type, or in human terms; race? The UK classes itself as having the best animal rights legislation’s in the world, yet we allow the system to try our canine family members in court because of their heritage, this would be the same as determining without any biological proof that all white people are criminals because of their skin.

This is without even beginning to talk about the pound dogs who have their 7 days to be claimed and removed from kennels by their owners after paying a release (“boarding”) cost. 18 Dogs are euthanised in the UK every day just in the county pounds… yet people continue to breed and buy puppies…

Support our work pulling dogs from UK death-rows, rehabilitating and rehoming them via online donation through PayPal “Friends & Family” to: broken-soulsrescue@outlook.com or visit http://www.broken-souls-rescue.org.

Thank You for your support.

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