Archive for November, 2012|Monthly archive page

Of Profits, Principles, and Dead Fish

Tuesday, November 20th, 2012

The American Pet Products Association projects that Americans will spend $52.8 billion on pets and their needs in 2012. Of that, $2.15 billion will be spent on live animal purchases.

Most of us in the animal welfare community focus the majority of our attention on dogs and cats, our most familiar animal companions. We emphasize adopting from a shelter or rescue organization. But we often overlook the plight of rabbits, ferrets, gerbils, guinea pigs, sugar gliders, birds, fish and reptiles acquired on a whim or as the trend of the day. Did you know the next most common abandoned animals behind dogs and cats are rabbits and ferrets? Where do people purchase these animals? What happens to them when the novelty wears off?

Underfunded and under-recognized exotic rescue organizations are often the only hope for these small creatures. When the fashion changes or the “pet” is no longer amusing, such animals are often relinquished to the municipal animal facility or worse, simply abandoned to fend for themselves in the wild, where their chances are even slimmer. Exotic animal rescues do their best to care for, foster, and adopt out these at-risk animals.

The question is not “Can they reason?” nor “Can they talk?” but rather, “Can they suffer?”
— Jeremy Bentham

Where do they all come from?

Billions in revenue are generated by retailers who acquire these animals from breeding facilities that house them in unsanitary and over-crowded conditions – little different than the conditions dogs experience in puppy mills. Retailers then house and showcase these animals in a captive and over-crowded environment. Those who become ill, suffer and die will vanish quickly from the floor… hopefully before the public discovers their condition. Notice in the fish section of a pet store, there’s always a kid quick to point and say, “Look at the dead fish!”

Most of the local retail pet stores do provide adoption venues for local dog and cat rescue organizations, yet many of them still contribute to animal suffering by selling rabbits, ferrets, gerbils, turtles, birds, and the entire list above.

True industry leadership in action

There is one notable exception: Pet Supplies Plus INDY. PSPINDY does not profit from the sale of any animal, fish or reptile. Furthermore, PSPINDY franchise owner Nick Milano is a strong supporter of local animal welfare organizations large and small, offering adoption venues at his stores, no-cost dog washing for foster dogs, gift card donations, and fundraising assistance. Active support for animal welfare plus the refusal to profit from the sale (and suffering) of small animals adds up to a big “plus” for these Pet Supplies Plus locations:

2238 East 62nd Street
Indianapolis, IN 46220
(317) 475-9603

8810 South Emerson Avenue
Indianapolis, IN 46237
(317) 889-6311

521 Noble Creek Drive
Noblesville, IN 46060
(317) 770-1707

9871 U.S. 36
Avon, IN 46123
(317) 209-1030

Please consider rewarding this responsible leadership by shopping for your pet’s needs at one of these four PSPINDY locations!

Bringing exotics out of the shadows

Small, independent rescue groups that work with dogs and cats get little enough attention from the public, but exotic animal rescues are all but invisible to those seeking an animal welfare charity to support. Yet these exotic rescue ministries are just as important as those for cats and dogs. Relinquished exotic animals depend on these organizations, and they too deserve our support.

Consider a holiday donation to one of these groups, or a gift at any of the other holidays during the year. Purchase a gift card from PSPINDY and send it to one of them to assist with the needs of the animals in their care. When someone asks what you want for Christmas or your birthday, think about asking that a donation be made in your name to one these organizations:

Indiana House Rabbit Society
PO Box 421746
Indianapolis, IN 46242-1746
(317) 767-7636 (voicemail only)
Specializing in: domestic rabbits

Ferret Rescue and Halfway House
7150 State Rd. 44
Martinsville, IN 46151
(765) 349-0265
Specializing in: ferrets

Exotic Animal Rescue and Pet Sanctuary (EARPS)
PO Box 736
Brownsburg, IN 45122
Specializing in: rats, mice, hamsters, gerbils, rabbits, guinea pigs, exotic birds, and reptiles

IndyCLAW Rescue
Southside Indianapolis
Specializing in: Dogs, cats, rabbits, exotic birds, and other small mammals

A Critter’s Chance
Fishers IN 46038
Specializing in: rats, mice, hamsters, gerbils, rabbits, guinea pigs, exotic birds, reptiles, and wildlife

Indiana Turtle Care
Specializing in: turtles

When you’re writing that check for the animal welfare organization nearest to your heart, please also consider the organizations that are forgotten, who care for the forgotten species: the exotic rescue organizations.

And when you’re out shopping for that special animal in your life, consider going that extra mile to the pet supply store that goes the extra mile for the animals: Pet Supplies Plus INDY.

“Not to hurt our humble brethren is our first duty to them, but to stop there is not enough. We have a higher mission — to be of service to them wherever they require it.”
— Francis of Assisi

Nothing new here

Tuesday, November 20th, 2012

There is now widespread recognition of the ‘sentience’ of animals, which reinforces our responsibility to protect their welfare. The European Union has officially recognized animals to be “Sentient Beings” (1997). Sentience implies that animals:

• Are aware of their own surroundings
• Have an emotional dimension
• Are aware of what is happening to them
• Have the ability to learn from experience
• Are aware of bodily sensations – pain, hunger, heat, cold etc.
• Are aware of their relationships with other animals
• Have the ability to choose between different animals, objects and situations

Of course, this surprises no one who has loved, lived with, and learned from animals. But it’s nice to have it “officially” recognized.

Rescue Rally 2012

Thursday, November 1st, 2012

The 2012 move to ACT Rescue Rally is in full swing and eleven all-volunteer rescue organizations have joined the two- month initiative. More than 360 animals have left Indianapolis Animal Care and Control alive in the last two Rallies.

In 2011, 14,881 dogs and cats entered IACC. 2,152 (14%) were untreatable and euthanized. 5,771 (39%) were adoptable but killed. 2,042 (14%) were adopted, and 4,383 (29%) left alive via transfer (rescue organizations). The cost to return these animals to health after acquiring shelter-related illnesses can range from $200-$1,000+ before they leave the rescue organization and into a permanent home.

As you can see, small, all-volunteer animal rescue organizations play a big role in the life-saving safety net for at-risk animals who find their way to IACC – but like IACC itself, they receive only a small fraction of the community’s attention and support.

100% of donations to the Rescue Rally goes to supporting these quiet champions while at the same time increasing the number of animals that leave IACC alive to find their way into a foster and/or new home!

Join us in recognizing this year’s participating organizations:

Love of Labs Indy
Heart for Dog Rescue
Lucky Dog Retreat Rescue
Every Dog Counts Rescue
Beagle Buddies
A Critters Chance
Waldo’s Muttley Crew
Mended Hearts Indy
Indianapolis Poodle Rescue
Indy Great Pyrenees Rescue
Chihuahua Rescue

If you would like to help these organizations that help the animals at IACC – please support the Rescue Rally.
Donations can be made on line, or you can write a check to move to ACT and mail to:

move to ACT
PO Box 68658
Indianapolis, IN 46268

If you, or someone you know, is considering adopting an animal – please direct to IACC or any of the small, all-volunteer animal rescue organizations. And please remember to visit and thank those businesses at the bottom of this page that support the Rescue Rally.