How to Take Care of your Pet

Intro

My website is dedicated to pets-all -kinds of pets. What kind of housing is right for them, the best kinds of food for them, do they need warm or cool places, do they live in wide open spaces, or cozy small spots.  Are there people who can treat them for health problems?

What qualifies an animal as a pet?

When the subject of pets comes up, most people Continue reading “How to Take Care of your Pet”

Does Your Cat Have Senile Dementia?

Intro

Julie and Janie

Cats are the most delightful and surprising creatures. They can be exasperating and captivating, all within minutes. I have lived with cats almost all my life. When I have had cats, I have wished that I didn’t and when I was without a cat, I could hardly wait until I adopted another one.

I consider myself somewhat knowledgeable about cats, their peculiarities and their antics, but one thing I was not prepared for was the diagnosis of my cat’s problem by the vet. She had already been diagnosed with early stage kidney disease, but I had expected that, since she was somewhere between 12 and 16 years old. The diagnosis for her crazy behavior was -what? Senility.

That was a surprise to me. I had never considered that cats, and dogs too, could live long enough to become senile. It seems that our pets are susceptible to the same diseases and conditions as we are.

Better food, living conditions and treatments for diseases have allowed our pets to live longer and healthier lives. As they grow older, their brainpower can slip.

Signs of senility in Cats

Does your cat have senile dementia? Here are some symptoms to look for: loud vocalizing, not using her litter box, not grooming herself, acting disoriented, staring at nothing, sleeping more and more, does not want to be petted or picked up, not eating food, but eating non-food such as: litter, paper, plastic, sand. (eating non-food is a condition known as pica).

Some of these symptoms also indicate arthritis or kidney disease and deafness or blindness. Cats may suddenly refuse food they have always eaten before. Cats depend upon smell to find their food, and if they have lost a sense of smell, it may be difficult to persuade them to eat what you have put down.

With kidney disease, cats will sometimes suffer from nausea, which drives them to eat non-foods, which, in turn causes them to vomit. After these episodes, they are frantic for food and you are right back to where you were again. By the way, if she has emptied her stomach and is through heaving up, she will beg for food. Go ahead and feed her.

All of these activities will leave your cat full of anxiety.

A Tale of Two Cats: How We Arrived at Feline Dementia

I adopted two female cats through Pet Smart’s adoption program in the fall of 2007. They were litter mates and had been together since birth. One was a tortoise shell and the other was a tuxedo cat. Janie was a cat of all colors, and her sister, Julie, was black with white markings. The story was that they were about two years old and their elderly owner could no longer care for them. Julie, the black and white one, jumped all over the cage and ran her feet up and down the glass to get my attention.

Julie and Janie

She was successful. I took them home. I soon found out that Janie had stomach problems. There were days when she could not eat at all. The vet was puzzled, and so was I. I finally allowed the pet hospital to do an endoscopy. The only thing we could find after the procedure was that she had Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).

I should mention something about the girl’s sizes. Julie, the black one was a small boned cat with a normal weight of about 6 to 7 pounds. Janie was a larger boned cat with a normal weight of 8 to 10 pounds. The Veterinary Hospital I was using didn’t have much to offer on how to treat Janie.

Janie

I found a Veterinarian who practiced a blend of holistic and modern medicine. We found that Janie was allergic to almost every kind of food normal cats will eat. We put her on a diet of the foods she wasn’t allergic to and The vet also put her on a low dosage of prednisone. I soon had a brand new happy cat. She gained weight and no more constant vomiting.

I also noticed Julie’s attitude toward Janie. It was one of custodial care. Julie groomed Janie every day from head to toe. She also left some food in her dish, which Janie obligingly ate. Julie slept almost on Janie every day and night as if she was keeping Janie warm and safe.

I started calling Julie, “nurse Julie.” So it continued through the years until finally, last year Janie lost her eyesight and was no longer able to get around the house. She was completely lost. I had no choice but to put her to rest.

I’m not sure what was going through Julie’s mind. We were in the middle of covid and it was difficult getting to the vet’s office. She had a brief bout with a urinary tract infection. She has gained weight, since she isn’t saving food for Janie.

However, she is exhibiting almost all the signs of feline senile dementia, pica included.

Ways to Treat Feline Senile Dementia

There is no one way to treat senility in your cat. It is all trial and error. The first thing I had to do was stop Julie from eating litter. I think she was just licking the litter, but if she got some in her mouth, she swallowed it. She immediately vomited it up, along with anything else in her stomach.

My fear was that with clumping litter she could develop a mass in her stomach that she couldn’t pass. A blockage is serious stuff. I tried shredding newspaper for her box.  She would not use it. I tried just plain paper to line her box. No way would she use it. So I lined her box with newspaper and put just a light covering of litter over the paper. She will use that.

The newspaper lining seems to be discouraging her from trying to lick the litter. Clean up? not too difficult, Lay one complete sheet of paper as your top sheet, then put a light topping of litter over it. After she uses it, I can carefully scoop two or three times before pulling out the soiled paper.

Maintenance is not a big problem. Carefully slide out the soiled paper from the litter. It will sift onto the next layer of paper in the box. When I’m down to the last layer of paper, I clean everything up and re-line the box.

For Julie the trick is to always have food down for her. She is a grazer by nature. That is, she will eat a few bites and leave. Later, she comes and eats a few bites more. I have dry food down all the time, and she will eat it, but that is not her favorite fare. She likes the canned food and the stuff with the gravy on it.

Foods high in antioxidants, vitamin E, Beta Carotene, and fatty acids are recommended for these cats. However, some cats will not eat what you want them to eat.

Whatever your cat’s preference is for food, keep it the same. If she gets picky about the food, just try different things until she settles on a favorite.

Julie has three places to sleep in the apartment and I always look for her in those three places. You will spend quite a bit of time going through the house making sure your cat is not into something that will harm her.

Right now Julie is on Gabapentin twice a day to help with her arthritis pain. She sleeps a lot during the day, but will be up and about in the evening. If your senile cat suffers from Arthritis, your vet can prescribe something to lessen the pain.

I also have bought a diffuser with an essential pet remedy oil that seems to calm her. In addition, I have a rescue remedy that can be sprayed into the air, or rubbed directly on the cat’s head (just a drop or two), or put into her water bowl (just 3 or 4 drops).These are available through your vet, or at any pet store, or online.

Conclusion

If your cat is 14 or older and is exhibiting strange behavior-yowling, missing the box, eating non-food items, not grooming– she may be exhibiting the beginnings of senility. Check with your vet to make sure there is nothing physically wrong, before you decide she is just getting old.

Remember, along with old age, cats will have arthritis and possibly kidney disease. The vet can treat other physical causes in older cats as well.

These things you can do to help your cat cope with old age: Feed them their favorite foods, keep litter boxes clean, use a diffuser with essential oils to calm your cat, or a topical rescue remedy. Don’t change the furniture around. Leave everything in exactly the same place. Your cat may be losing her sight, but if everything is in the same place, she should be able to maneuver around.

She may not be able to jump up to her favorite spots because of arthritis, –your bed, or the couch, or in the window. In that case, set out a stool or steps, so she can climb up to her favorite place. Pet her and hold her, if she wants and lightly groom her if she likes it.  Above all, be patient. If you have had a good relationship with your cat, she will come to you, when things are not going well for her.

Squabbling over making the bed

 

Pictures are old. They were taken when the cats were young.

I’m Barbara Nelson, and I hope you enjoyed this story of my two cats. Feline Senility was new to me and I wanted to let cat lovers  know that it may happen to your older fur babies.

My thanks to Trupanion.com,  CatVills.com, and Animal  Health and Healing in St. Louis for information for this post.

6 Relationship between man and cattle

Intro

Cattle(Aurochs) have been domesticated at least two or three times, according to archaeological and genetic evidence. Cattle were probably among the earliest animals domesticated because of the many products they provide to humans.

First, primary products are food, milk and meat and blood fat. Secondary products include clothing and tools, manufactured from hair, hides, horns, hooves and bone.

Ancient History of Domestication

In early European countries cow dung was used for fuel. Cows can also be used as load bearers and for pulling plows. In communities that use commodities for trade, cows are used in bride wealth and barter.

Wild Aurochs, or wild cattle, were included in cave paintings by Upper Paleolithic hunters in Europe. Aurochs were one of the largest herbivores in Europe. The largest bulls reached shoulder heights of between 160 – 180 centimeters(5.2 – 6 feet) with massive frontal horns of up to 80cm(31 inches)in length.

Auroch Cow ancestor

Archaeologists and Biologists agree there is evidence for two distinct domestication events from Aurochs in the near East about 10,500 years ago and B.indicus(Aurochs) in the Indus Valley about 7000 years ago. There might have been a third domestication in Africa about 8500 years ago.

Recent Studies of DNA suggest that B.Taurus (Auroch) was introduced in Europe and Africa where they inter bred with local wild cattle. It is still debated whether this could be considered a fourth domestication or not. Modern cattle look quite different today from their domesticated ancestors.

A slight decline in overall body size in Aurochs, was noticed in the several sites in southeastern Turkey. This is not unusual with domestication. Small bodied cattle do not appear in the fertile Crescent until late in the upper reaches of the Euphrates river(6th millennial BC), and then all of a sudden.

Taurine cattle were traded across the planet, first into Neolithic Europe (6400 B.C.). They appear in archaeological sites as far away as northeastern Asia( China, Mongolia, Korea) about 5000 years ago.

The earliest domesticated cattle in Africa have been found at Capeletti, Algeria, around 6500 B.C. Cattle remains have also been found at African sites in what is now Egypt, as long ago as 9,000 BC.

Even though Scientists are not absolutely sure about how many domestications there were in Europe and Africa, they are confident that cattle were domesticated very early in human history.

Cattle Industry in the U.S.

Cattle are not native to the United States. The first Cattle were introduced to this country by explorers and settlers from England and Spain. The meat value of cattle and the open range eventually gave birth to a huge industry and the American Cowboy.

Calves grazing

Cattle were first introduced to the U.S. by way of Florida. In 1521 Ponce de Leon brought cattle along on his expedition, and In 1540, Don Diego Maldonado brought cattle with him on his exploratory voyage. Early colonists also brought cattle with them.

History scholars suggest that cattle from these first herds escaped and survived in the wild to make the beginnings of Florida’s cattle industry. Organized ranching began in Florida in 1565 at St Augustine, when herds were brought in from Spain and Cuba. By the 1880s, Florida’s cattle herds were a hearty cross of old Spanish and British stock.

Meanwhile, two Devon heifers and a bull were brought to the American colony of Plymouth from Devonshire, England in 1623.

Texas Longhorns

In 1493, Christopher Columbus brought Spanish cattle to Santo Domingo. Some of his cattle were also introduced to Mexico and these would eventually become the foundation for the Texas Longhorns. In 1690, the first herd of 200 head was driven north to a mission along the Sabine River. This area is now part of Texas.

When Texas became a state in 1836,the Mexicans went back to Mexico and left their free ranging cattle behind. Texas farmers began raising them for their hides and tallow. When the Civil War broke out in 1861, Texans left their cattle to fend for themselves. By the end of the war, and Texans returned, they found that Longhorns had reproduced exponentially and had grown to a population of approximately 5 million head .

Both Male and female longhorns sport horns. A bull’s horns are straight, turning a little at the end. A cow’s horns show a variety of sizes and shapes. Calves start sprouting horns at about 3 weeks. Texas longhorns are the most fertile of all beef breeds.

Another British livestock was bred in Hereford, England in the 1800s. This new breed flourished in England and were introduced to the United States in 1817 when Henry Clay imported a few to his farm in Kentucky. Since then, Hereford cattle are among the most important breeds in American cattle ranching.

Meanwhile, the three Devon cattle brought to Plymouth in 1623 have been carving out a niche for themselves. The Devon became

known as an ideal breed equally suitable for farm work, dairy production and quality beef. These cattle evolved into what is now known as the American Devon breed.

Industry Changes

Dr. Stephen Hammack- Beef Cattle professor and extension specialist at Texas A&M University has done more than study cattle history-he has lived it. In a recent interview, he said that he has observed beef history for some 70 years.

He says he has seen the industry change dramatically. Cow genetics, population growth and even the “Cowboys created the beef industry we have today.”

Hammack says the number of beef cows in the country peaked about 40 years ago. In the mid 70s. ” We reached the most beef cattle that we’ll ever have in this country.”

Statistically, beef cattle numbers peaked around 1978. Between 1993 and 2008, the number of beef cows in the U.S. declined 2.8 %. The industry isn’t producing fewer cattle, selective breeding has produced bigger cows. Beef producers use fewer cows for the same amount of meat. Even with the small decline, beef cow numbers are still higher than they were in the early 1900s. Why is that? The U.S. population has grown. The beef industry is controlled by supply and demand.

Hammack says many beef cattle are raised in large feed lots, but many small, family run farms have survived and raise beef cattle as well. He says that the size of an average beef cattle herd is 42 animals, and that indicates the presence of small farms.

There are many reasons for the survival of small cattle farms, according to Hammack. Farmers that grow crops may have poor land that won’t grow row crops, and they let cattle graze there. In Texas, land owners can get a tax break on land used for agriculture; another reason to keep cows on their land.

Some just hang on to the land for tradition. Others, who grew up on small farms want to keep the property, “in the family.” Finally, people from non- agriculture backgrounds decide to start a small farm business.

In Texas, a recent drought may change the course of ranching. Texas and much of the Midwest were hit by record- breaking heat waves and drought. Feed prices went sky high and grass on grazing land died. Cattle died, too. A lot of beef producers sold their animals early to recoup what money they could. It’s too soon to tell what changes will happen in the beef industry.

Artificial Insemination

Artificial insemination is a part of the beef cattle story as well. So why not just keep a Bull or two around? Well, that used to be the way to create herd growth, but bulls are not always cooperative. They are hard to handle, they eat a lot and are constantly stirring up unrest in the herd.

On farms, this process is used to control breeding among different farm animals. In cattle, it is used to produce genetically superior dairy cows and animals for meat production.

Around 1899 and 1900, Russian scientist E.I. Ivanoff began conducting artificial insemination experiments on cattle, horses, birds and sheep. He was the first person recorded to have accomplished the first successful artificial insemination on cows.

History of Dairy Industry

Today’s dairy Industry started in the late 1800s as people moved to the cities. The industry today provides more than just milk and other dairy products. The industry has a short history compared to the total history of agriculture, which dates back to over 10,000 years.

Humans have been drinking milk from cows for thousands of years, but modern dairy farming didn’t begin until after pasteurization and other inventions were developed.

People coming to north America in the 1600s brought cattle from Europe for meat and milk for their families. By the 1800s, cattle breeds were especially developed for dairy production. Up until this time milk and dairy products were produced for families and for local groups.

Dairy Products from Cow’s milk like butter, ice cream, and cheese. are many and good food.

Pasteurization equipment, milking machines, refrigerated milk tank cars, bottling machines, commercial milk bottles, and tuberculin tests for cattle, were developed when people began to move into the cities in the late 1800s.

Federal Regulation of the Industry

In 1895, the Division of Agrostology and the Dairy Division was established to improve quality of dairy products in America, and to make them more acceptable to markets overseas. The meat inspection act was passed in 1895 and congress authorized inspectors to enforce sanitation and hygiene standards in the meat and dairy industries.

The dairy industry began to work on manufacturing butter, condensed milk and cheeses. They also coordinated milk campaigns in cities to help with the surplus of milk created by an increase in production during World War I.

In 1926,the name was changed again to the Bureau of Dairy Industry. Ollie Reed was chief from 1928 to 1953. He is known best for his work on breed improvement. Dr. Ralph Hodgson was Assistant Chief from 1945 to 1953, and was involved in international activity regarding the dairy and livestock industry. Hodgson and Reed wrote a book titled A Dairy Handbook for Tropical America.

Private Sector Dr. Charles E North, physician, public Health officer, inventor and agricultural scientist was instrumental in gaining acceptance of laws around pasteurized Milk. His most significant achievement was the creation of a system of sanitation that helped many farms produce clean milk.

Cows and Climate Change

Scientists at University of California, Davis are measuring gases from cows stomachs that ultimately contribute to global warming. Quantifying these gasses is key to mitigating them and several researchers are investigating economical ways to make livestock more environmentally sustainable around the globe.

Plastic chambers help measure amount of gases coming from cow’s stomach.

In a year one cow can belch 220 lbs. of methane, which is 28 times more potent than carbon Dioxide. Climate Change advocates are urging the public to eat less beef. Scientists challenge that view saying that “forgoing meat is not the environmental panacea many would have us believe.”

UC Prof. is researching ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by adding essential oil to cow’s feed.

Better breeding, genetics and nutrition have increased the efficiency of livestock production in the U.S. “We’re now feeding more people with fewer cattle,” one scientist says. But reducing the carbon footprint of livestock worldwide is a big challenge.

Livestock are responsible for 14.5 % of global greenhouse gases. India for example, has the world’s largest cattle population but the lowest beef consumption. Therefore, cows in India live longer and emit more methane in their lifetime. That produces a large environmental footprint.

U.C. Davis scientists are looking for ways to make cows less gassy. One way is to make their high -fiber diet easier to digest.

This sounds simple, but finding an affordable additive so far has been difficult. One U C Davis scientist has come up with a supplement way off the ordinary cow menu: seaweed. They did one trial and found that they had up to a 60 % reduction in methane emissions by using 1 % seaweed in the diet. One drawback is the problem of harvesting enough seaweed to provide a large enough supply for all the herds. UC Davis scientists are hopeful that a feed additive will eventually be found.

Another common critic of beef production is that cows take up nearly half the land in the U.S. Overgrazing can degrade soil health and bio diversity. Yet, if managed correctly, cows help restore healthy soils, conserve sensitive species and enhance overall ecological function. Proper cattle grazing can actually help mitigate climate change.

Calves grazing

Rancher Jerry Spencer maintains about 2500 cattle on the Van Vleck Ranch east of Sacramento. Winter rains has left him with a feast of green pastures. He pays close attention to the grasses, and makes sure the animals have enough to eat but don’t overgraze. He maintains a diversity of native grasses to keep the cows healthy and rotates herds between pastures to give the plants a rest from grazing and an opportunity to recover.

Ranchers really have little or no incentive financially to let their herds overgraze or let their herd’s hooves compact and degrade soils. “Sustainability is keeping everything viable, both economically and biologically,” said Spencer. “Ranchers won’t continue to exist it either one of those are out of balance.”

Finally, some politicians have voiced an opinion that Beef as a food should be banned, because of the methane cows give off. I don’t think that is the right way to go. American scientists have always come up with things to solve environmental situations. I don’t plan on giving up hamburgers. And really, what will the country do with all those cattle herds?

Wallet, change purse, bill holder, watch band and leather book cover made from bovine (cow) leather.

 

Conclusion

It is amazing how much we depend on cattle for meat and milk for food for ourselves and our children. Not only milk but we enjoy items made with milk: butter, cottage cheese, cheeses, ice cream, cream, Not only food but leather– leather jackets, leather shoes, and buttons from horns. Cattle are the animals that keep on giving. It would appear that man and cows are quite different, but in many ways we are not so different. We are both

Leather coat

mammals. Calves are carried inside the mother until term and then are born alive. Calves can walk on all fours shortly after birth. They follow their mother for food and safety until weaned, and usually reach maturity at two years.

The next time any of us sit down to a steak or a milk shake, remember the placid cow, a distant cousin that gives us so many things to eat, to wear, and to use.

Barbara Nelson I hope  you enjoyed reading about the ever so quiet, contented Cow. Would love to hear from my readers.

Some information for this article came from: History of Domestication of Cows and Yak,. Thought Co.com; What country introduced Cattle to the U. S. Kat Walden; Cows and Climate Change, Amy Quinton; History of the Dairy Industry, Karyn Moyer; A Glimpse into Beef Cattle History, Madeline McCurry-Schmidt.

 

5 Historical Bond between Donkey, Mule and Man

Introduction

Horses, Donkeys, Mules, are usually lumped together, whenever horses have anything written about them. It just seemed to me that Horses deserved top billing. And perhaps Donkeys needed a little more than a passing mention.

All too often Donkeys are the butt of jokes, and the receiver of painful roping and throwing tricks at Rodeo’s. They are more often known as beasts of burden. Donkeys, as well as Mules, are necessary creatures in mountains and wastelands for carrying packs and supplies, where more modern modes of transportation are unable to go.

In the 19th century Gold Rush years, prospectors in California and surrounding areas used donkeys and mules as their beasts of burden. When the gold frenzy slowed and mines were abandoned, so were many donkeys. Some escaped, most were abandoned as the miners left their digging to find other ways of making a living.

History of the Donkey

Donkeys were domesticated and later turned wild in the western United States. In some areas of the West, donkeys are referred to as Burros. When the Spanish settled in Mexico and Southwest U.S. they introduced Burros as pack animals.

Burros and Donkeys are the same species. “Burro” is Spanish for Donkey. Burros are slightly smaller than the American Donkey. Both species are found in the western States of Arizona, California, Oregon, Utah, Texas, and Nevada.

The donkey has been around since 4000 B.C. and originated from the African Wild Ass. They are a member of the Horse Family Equidae. The donkey (Equus, asinus) stands about 40 inches at the shoulder. It has been beast of burden from the beginning of its existence and its relationship to man.

The Donkey can be characterized as patient, slow and sure-footed. All of these attributes are exceptional for balancing and carrying heavy bulky loads over rocky countryside. Unfortunately, man often considers the Donkey as stubborn and stupid, and mistreats him because he is funny looking and funny sounding.

Donkey, the well digger

People who have visited Desert places understand very quickly how important water is for continued life. Animals certainly know this too, especially animals who live in our southwestern states.

Donkeys and horses who live in desert climates know they need water and take action by digging wells. Yes, digging wells. National Geographic has reported on well digging activity by these animals. In doing this they not only supply water for themselves, but they create oases for other wildlife and plant life in the area.

Some of these wells can be up to 6 feet in depth. They use their front hooves to shovel sand up and backwards while the back hooves push the sand back from the hole.

This is defined as “ecosystem engineering; a phenomenon where wildlife alter their environment”. The horses and donkeys are just looking for water, but they are building a whole environment, giving life to other animals and plants.

Badgers, Black Bears, mule deer and big horn sheep and all kinds of birds inhabit the oases that support plant life, willows and cottonwoods. In the North American Sonora Desert and Mohave Desert, something like 57 species come to drink at these wells.

Well-digging by horses and Donkeys not only occurs in the U.S. but has been observed in Queensland, Australia, southern Australia, in the Gobi desert, and Sable Island, Canada.

The above story may be one good reason for the Bureau of Land Management to re-evaluate the management of the horses, donkey and burro in the Southwest. The BLM manages the wild population of about 90,000 of these animals and the federal government holds another 50,000 in corrals throughout the west at great expense as a way to curb wild populations.

Land Management Poster

Even though they may have been introduced into the environment and are not a naturally wild species of our deserts, they perform a vital ecological function. There is a lot of room in our great American Southwest, why are we so insistent on reducing their numbers when they provide a necessary ecological function?

Anecdotal Stories of Donkeys

Much of our information about donkeys comes from anecdotal bits and pieces: donkeys are funny looking, they make weird sounds called braying, they are stubborn, they won’t move until they are ready to move, they are stupid. But none of those descriptions are based on fact only.

There is an organization in Texas called Peaceful Valley Donkey Rescue, and as their title indicates, they rescue Donkeys from abusive owners, and neglect, abandonment and those being sold to slaughter for their meat and hides. Donkeys are known to be loyal to their owners, even owners who mistreat them.

Donkeys are not aggressive, but are rather gentle. With these characteristics, Donkeys actually make good pets. It seems that families with children can adopt one and know that their children can ride a donkey safely. Peaceful Valley holds adoption centers and education classes for those who are looking for a pet a little out of the ordinary.

A Long, long time ago, centuries before buses, cars, trains were in existence, people rode donkeys and mules. Move backward to Biblical times, to find stories about men riding donkeys. This account is recorded in the Old Testament Book of Numbers, Chapter 22. It’s the story of Balaam, a diviner, who has been called by Balak, King of the country of Moab, to come and put a curse on a new group of people who have settled in the country next to Moab.

Balaam decides to go, and saddles up his donkey and starts out on his journey. A little while into his trip, the Donkey veers off the road into a field, and will go no further. Balaam is angry with her and beats her for changing course. Everybody gets back on the road and continues on.

A little way down the road and the Donkey veers off the road again, and again Balaam beats his Donkey to get her back on the road. For a third time, the donkey stops and this time lays down in the road and Balaam is dumped off the donkey.

He is so angry he threatens to kill her. Now, miracle of miracles, this donkey speaks and she asks Balaam, “Am I not your own Donkey, which you have always ridden, to this day? Have I been in the habit of doing this to you” ? “No” Balaam answered.

Then Balaam sees an angel of the Lord with sword drawn, ready to kill him except for the donkey’s intervention. Other mentions of a Donkey and her colt occur in the New Testament of the bible and refer to Jesus riding on the colt of a donkey into Jerusalem.

Scriptures also indicate that Mary, the mother of Jesus, rode a donkey to Bethlehem.

Donkey

During the Gold Rush there were stories told that Donkeys saved the lives of their owners by shoving them out of the way of falling rock. Sometimes the Donkey sacrificed his life to save his master.

Conclusion

Mark Meyers of Peaceful Valley, sums up his attitude toward Donkeys: “The sad truth is that even though donkeys are intelligent, curious, and friendly creatures, they are the most abused. —these innocent animals are roped for fun, rounded up by our government and shipped to slaughter—and abused on a daily basis….. These are the same creatures that helped build America and faithfully served humans in farming, transport and even Warfare.

He continues: “they love attention, being touched, petted and will do anything for a treat. They are just like big dogs.

One other reason that Donkeys are shipped off to slaughter is that their hides contain a gelatin: ejiao or(e-gee-ow). The gelatin is made by boiling the hides of slaughtered Donkeys. It is used in a variety of products -facial creams, powders, and snacks. The largest percentage of these products are sold in China, but many can be found on Amazon and eBay.

 

Mules

Mules are the favored pack animal in the United States. I went to the American Mule Museum, via google, for information on this cross between a horse and donkey. Mules must have bred naturally in the wild where the wild Ass and the horse occupied the same territory.

Mule

Mules have been bred deliberately by man since ancient times. People in parts of Turkey were the first to breed mules. Mules were in Egypt before 3000 B. C. Mules have been in the Holy Land since 1040 B.C. The mule is the favored pack animal in most countries and the U.S. The Mule was also the favored “Royal Beast” or the favored riding animal of the Princes in ancient times. King David of the Hebrews rode Mules.

A Mule is a cross between a male Donkey and a female horse. These Mules are usually sterile, that is, they cannot breed more mules. The horse and the donkey have a different number of chromosomes. Less common is a male horse crossed with a female donkey. In that case the animal is called a Hinny.

In any case, they are large, mild-mannered, sure-footed animals that can carry much larger loads than can donkeys.

Information from Google, Wikipedia, National Geographic Magazine, American Mule Museum, The Little Book of Donkeys,  Peaceful Valley Donkey Rescue,  the Bible. Pictures from Pixabay.

I’m Barb Nelson and author of this post on donkeys and Mules. I receive nothing from the above mentioned organizations except general information used in this post.

I would love to hear from my readers. If you enjoyed reading about these animals, write me a comment.

4. The bond between horse and man

 

 

 

EARLY USE

Belgian-for pulling wagons, carts 

At first, man considered the horse simply as a source of food and for hides. But soon man decided that the horse was more valuable as a hauler of early wheeled carts. The horse was one of the most important discoveries for early human societies.

Horses were used to pull wheeled vehicles, chariots, carts, and wagons. From 2000 B. C. onward, they were increasingly used for riding. The bond between horse and man began early and has remained strong through the centuries. Horses were used in war, in hunting and as a means of transport. The average age of the horse is between 25 and 30 years.

The oldest horse known to man was a barge horse named Billy. Billy was born in 1760 in England and lived until 1822, which made him 62 years of age.

Ancestry

Some 55 to 42 million years ago, the horse ancestors were dog-like creatures. Over time, they grew in size and adapted from a damp, forested habitat to a prairie habitat.

Early horse ancestors were specialized for the tropical forests. But as the land changed, the horse changed to life on drier land. Fossils show that the foot and leg anatomy adapted to a grazing habitat and an ability to flee from predators.

The horse belongs to the Order Perissodactyla (odd-toed Ungulates). All horses share hoofed feet and an odd number of toes on each foot. The horse’s lineage shows several adaptations, which eventually reduced the horse to one Genus, Equus.

wild horses

Around 3000 B.C. people began to tame horses and to domesticate them for carrying and pulling the carts and wagons man had invented for transport.

Scientists first believed that the horse was native to Europe. In reality, the horse’s ancestors came over from the Americas by way of the Bering Bridge over a million years ago. In the 1500s, Horses came back to America by way of Florida and Mexico. Christopher Columbus brought horses from Spain to the west Indies, and Spanish Conquistadors brought horses to Mexico.

The consensus is that the horses that remained in North America eventually became extinct and their ancestors were brought back by colonists.

BREEDS

There are too many breeds to mention here. I’m going to mention a few that are fairly popular with horse people.

Hand: is a unit of measure equal to 4 inches.

American Mustang–is a muscular, athletic horse– well liked by American riders.

American Quarter Horse--stands 14.3 – 16 hands–is a talented, dependable horse with a muscular neck and deep chest. Most are chestnut color.

American Quarter horse

 

Missouri Fox Trotter–developed in the Ozarks by settlers as a reliable riding horse. Stands 14-16 hands. This horse is a favorite of Forest Rangers. The horse has a tolerance for human company.

Agriculture, work breeds

Belgian Breed-is a heavy muscular horse–carriage pullers, good-natured creatures, stand 16-18 hands.

Clydesdale– from Scotland originally. A good-natured horse with the signature white feathered feet. Stands 16.2- 18 hands.

Percheron– stands 16-18 hands. Good on performance as well as pulling.

Racing Breed

Thoroughbred race horse

Thoroughbred– stands 15-17 hands. This horse was bred for racing and special events, jumping and competitions. The Horse is described as a long, lean, racing machine. Originally born in England.

Shetland Pony -stands under 11.2 hands. This is an especially good pony for children to learn to ride. These ponies are good family companions.

Therapy Horses

Therapy Horse

The horse is the most popularly used animal in therapy today. Horses respond immediately to the rider’s action or behavior. Horses also mirror the rider’s emotions. They react like human beings in their social and responsive behavior.

Professionals who work with people who have psychological problems prefer using horses in therapy sessions because of the natural, close bond between horses and humans.

You might say that a horse can read his human counterpart “like a book.” It’s easy for patients to establish a connection, or a bond, with his horse. The therapeutic value of horses is tremendous. Just being with a horse is therapy.

Horse Therapy isn’t about riding–it’s about just being with the horse. A horse can immediately pick up the emotional state of his human partner.

Working with horses can help people heal from a variety of psychological issues. People learn how to identify emotions and how to handle them.

Horse Therapy can be helpful for those who are recovering from substance abuse, trauma, depression, and a number of other problems.

Horses need a lot of care, and taking care of a horse can actually teach a person to develop a solid work ethic.

Horse Racing Industry

Horse racing is a performance sport involving horses ridden by jockeys over a set distance for competition.

Most ancient of all sports. Basic premise: to identify which of several horses is the fastest over the set course.

Industry Statistics-by Brandon Gaille

1. Horse racing is responsible for over 450,000 jobs.

2. Pays out over $1.9 billion in taxes every year to all levels of Government.

3. Contributes more than $100 Billion worth of spending to every level of the economy

4. The average horse owner owns 4 horses There are 9.2 million horses living in the U.S.

Only 10% are actually racing.

5. Seven million Americans are involved in the industry. 2 million are horse owners- a third of those make 75 K a year.

6. Over 16,000 horses are for sale.

Most horse owners take good care of their horses, train them well and provide for them in every way.

Trivia note: In 1973, at the Belmont Stakes, Secretariat won the largest payout ever at $103 million.

The downside of the Horse Racing Industry

A report from a writer for the New York Daily News, states that a racehorse is a genetic mistake- “it runs too fast, its frame is too large and its legs are far too small.”

Racehorses are victims of a multi-billion dollar industry that is rife with drug abuse, injuries and race fixing. Many horses’ careers, and lives, end on the track or in slaughterhouses because they have been medicated to keep them running, too many times, too fast.”

In a PETA report: Most racehorses are shipped from place to place without ever having a chance to bond with anyone human being or to consider any one place as home. Remember, one reason horses are so good as therapy animals is because they mirror a human’s necessity for an emotional connection with place and creature.

Horses run too many races in a year, PETA reports. They should not run every week without rest and time out.

Horses are medicated for soreness and injury, so they can continue to run race after race. A lot of people invest in horses as if they were stocks without considering that they are investing in a live, feeling animal.

Horses often become addicted to the drugs they are fed before every race. Even their Vets give them drugs to keep them running faster and faster. Trainers pump horses full of illegal drugs to keep them running.

One Colorado study found that out of 1,348 horses sent to slaughter houses, 58 were known to be former racehorses. You always hear the story that a horse that has just won a big race will be retired now and allowed to live out his life in a lovely pasture as a reward for winning his owner a big pile of money.

The reality is that it is very expensive to keep a horse that isn’t bringing in a lot of money. Even stud services won’t pay the bills.

Thousands of horses are sent to slaughterhouses in Canada, Mexico and Japan every year.

There are no slaughterhouses in the United States yet, but congress has approved funding for inspections should any try to open. That would pave the way for horse slaughter in the U.S.

If you feel that drugging should be banned for horses nationwide, there is legislation and you can contact your legislator and ask him or her to co-sponsor the: Horse racing Integrity Act.

Update on Horse Racing Integrity Act:

 In response to a reader’s question on the above legislation: Horse Racing integrity Act was signed into law on December 28, 2020 focuses on ensuring the integrity of Thoroughbred horse racing and on the safety of Thoroughbred race horses and jockeys by requiring national uniform standards that include anti-doping and medication  control and racetrack safety programs. ( There are already lawsuits against this being filed, so it isn’t over yet.)

The cost to care for a horse

Still want to own a horse? Well, Cow Girl magazine.com has calculated the cost to keep a horse, once you get past the upfront cost of just buying the horse. All these numbers are dollars, even if there isn’t a dollar sign in front:

Upfront cost:

Horse: 800 – 4000

  1. Pre purchase Vet Exam 25 -500
  2. Tack: 400 – 1500
  3. Stable Supplies: 50- 100

Monthly:

  1. Self Boarding: 250 – 500
  2. Field Boarding: 100 -200
  3. Farrier (6 to 8 weeks) 25- 100
  4. dewormer: 15

Self-care at home

  1. Hay 40 – 200
  2. grain 15 – 30 a bag
  3. Bedding 5 -12 a bag
  4. Fencing 500+
  5. Shelter 1200+

Annual:

  1. Vaccines; 50 – 100
  2. Emergency Vet: 250+
  3. Teeth Floating: up to150

There is a lot more you could buy: Apparel, truck, trailer, first-aid kit, rubber stall mats,—-

Owning a horse can cost roughly from 9800 to 27,000 a year.

BLM Roundups of wild Mustang

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is in charge of management of Public Lands for the use of Ranchers, mining interests, and other interests as well as management of wild herds of horses and Burros.

Land Management Poster

The law declares wild horses and burros to be “living symbols of the historic and pioneer spirit of the west”— BLM and the Forest Service are responsible for managing and protecting herds which were found roaming areas of the west in 1971.

Basically, the BLM rounds up wild horses and burros and puts them up for adoption to the public. Sounds good doesn’t it? A lot of people in the west who have observed these roundups, say otherwise.

In reality, the yearly roundup results in mass incarceration of approximately 150,000 wild horses stockpiled in long term holding facilities across the country with no place to go. However, they continue these roundups every spring, and as more are put in captivity, the pressure to sell them for slaughter builds.

Helicopter Roundup

People in the western states continue to complain that the BLM’s method of roundup leads to too many deaths. The BLM uses loud helicopters and land vehicles, which terrorizes the horses and causes stampedes that leave many of the animals severely wounded or dead.

BLM schedules these roundups in early spring when mares are birthing or foals have just recently been born and cannot keep up with a stampeding herd. There are also complaints that the BLM doesn’t report the true number of deaths from the roundups.

The Wild Horse Education.org group is “devoted to protecting America’s wild horses from abuse and slaughter, and to preserve our herds and land they stand on for future generations.” For more information, visit their website.

Conclusion

Horses create intense feelings in many Americans who see them as icons of our country’s history. Horses were a large part of this country’s early development. Many of them died in battle right along with their owners. Grown men broke down in tears when they had to put down their loyal friend.

Mustangs Run Free

The bond between horse and man is probably more apparent than in any other animal/human connection. Their ability to sense our emotions and respond to our feelings makes them, at least psychologically, more closely bonded to us than other animals might be.

Information for this article came from: World Atlas.com; Equine Heritage Institute; Wikipedia; Bel Rea Institute of Animal Technology; Pet MD; Psychology Today; PETA, The Horseracing Industry: Drugs, Deception, Death; Cow Girl Magazine.com; Bureau of Land Management; Wild Horse Education.org.

I’m Barbara Nelson. I hope you enjoyed this article. I learned a lot as I researched and wrote this. I would like to hear from my readers. Let me know what you think.

 

3. Is there a bond between felines and humans?

Intro

Cats at play

It seems logical that all mammals would have a certain bond that holds them together because of certain similarities. In the scientific world, Man is included in the animal kingdom in the class Mammalia.

We have the same attributes that other mammals have; that is, we bear young alive, and we produce milk for them. Continue reading “3. Is there a bond between felines and humans?”

2. An ancient Bond exists between Canine and Human

Intro

Black Lab

Both humans and dogs went through more than one period of domestication. In fact at least one scientist-with a bit of tongue -in-cheek- has suggested that dog may have domesticated humans instead of the other way around. Regardless, both humans and dogs have inhabited the earth for about the same length of time and have learned to cooperate for the same commodity–food. Continue reading “2. An ancient Bond exists between Canine and Human”

1. What is the Human animal Bond

Intro

Is there a human /animal bond? Is there a special psychological thread that connects humans and animals together? Why do so many of us insist that we need a pet to love and care for. That pet is usually a furry, cuddly cat  or dog.

Boy and dog

Or, why is it that a person will stop their car in the middle of a busy highway and grab a turtle, that is obviously going to be smashed by an oncoming car, to put it safely on the other side?

When my 10th grade high School class started in the fall of 1947, most of us had to take a course in Basic Biology- the scientific construction of plants and animals. We learned the Kingdom, Phyla, Class, Order, Family, Genus and Species of all plants and animals. That entailed a ton of memory work. After all these years, very little has remained in the forefront of my brain.

Mammal

But studying all the kingdoms of plants and animals is not my intention . We are going to concentrate on one Species of animals- mammals to be exact. Mammals cover a huge class of animals and we are going to further concentrate on the placental species-the most common and diverse mammal species.

By definition, mammals are warm blooded animals with fur that nourish their young with milk.

There are a number of  different mammal species but all have these 3 basic traits. In addition,  Placental Mammals carry their young in a sac inside the mother’s body until birth.

There are 20 orders of placental mammals–the largest include rats, bats, dogs and whales. The most common mammals in this particular group are, humans, domesticated pets, livestock and rodents. Scientists consider placental mammals to be the most advanced species and the most recently evolved.

What are Human animal Characteristics?

Human Specialties

People have differing opinions about putting homo sapiens (scientific name for the human animal) into the same categories with other creatures that exhibit similar characteristics. Humans can walk upright. Over the centuries, our skeletons have adjusted- more growth here, less growth there, to be perfectly balanced to walk, stand, sit and lay down altogether differently than our animal brothers and sisters.

Humans have an opposable thumb. So do the monkeys- they can pick up, throw, hold, and make elementary tools that give them an advantage over other animals. Human hands have developed, with that opposable thumb,  the ability to pick-up, hold, mold, and handle tools to make all sorts of things for human benefit. With  two hands humans can build everything from skyscrapers to toys, to the most intricate machines.

Humans have learned languages. All animals make noises- meows, barks, squeaks, gutturals, grunts, wails, tweets, and more. Humans have taken sounds- which must have sounded somewhat like the sounds of other animal relatives- and began to form words, that could be repeated until they became a language.

learning to use language

Humans learned to put marks on leather, bark and eventually paper that became a written equivalent of a spoken language. Now humans could record history, as well as the present, and forecast the future.

Humans are not completely covered with fur, as were our animal cousins. Humans had to figure out a way to keep cool when the glaciers receded, and also keep warm when the glaciers covered much of our earth.

Humans learned to make clothes from the fur of animals they killed for food, and to build houses that could be heated, in order to live through extreme cold. Humans also learned to make light clothing and open shelters for comfort in extreme heat.

Humans wanted to travel everywhere, so horses were domesticated and taught to carry humans on their backs, then they were harnessed to pull carriages. As human learning expanded, humans built cars, trains, planes and ships. We even designed ships that could take us to outer space.

Humans have a brain that goes beyond instinct and basic learning skills. The human brain is remarkable. It’s doubtful any human being has used the brain to its full potential. The brain never stops- it works just as hard whether we are sleeping or daydreaming. The brain is our most valuable organ. It makes up for any degree of the senses and instinct that we may have given up as we evolved into a super animal.

Family outing

The human animal gave up or   exchanged some attributes  with   our animal counterparts. Most  animals walk on all fours- which does give them remarkable speed. Their hearing, seeing and sense of smell is elevated beyond that of the human.  They rely on instinct to figure out where they are and what to do in times of stress.

They learn simple commands and tricks because they want to please us and there usually is a food reward after they do what we ask.

Divine Nature

But is there more to the human animal? What about the Divine nature of humans? Most Humans believe in a Divine being that has made the earth, the animals and all things on and in the earth. Most also believe that human beings were created separately and in the image of the Divine and that humans were given charge of the earth and all things in it.

I’m not qualified to go into all things theological, but it seems to me that the qualities of love, care, kindness, concern and delight might be part of our divine inheritance, even though we sometimes exhibit anger and hatred – a part of us that is anything but divine.

These qualities along with the physical characteristics, make the complete human being. All these things together go into developing that special human bond that exhibits itself between the human animal and all the rest of creation.

When and where did Homo Sapiens Evolve?

Scientists who study mammals have concluded that there have been several species of man that evolved over a long time period. Like any other species of animals over the centuries, the early Homo Sapiens struggled for dominance of one group over another.

It’s the old Darwinian “survival of the fittest” theory. The stronger, the smarter, the more cunning, even the better looking, eventually vanquished their competitors until there was only one species of Homo Sapiens left.

Early Homo Sapiens evolved between 400,000 and 250,000 years ago. Modern Humans, the only and last homo sapiens to survive, originated in Africa, sometime between 200,000 and 100,000 years ago. Of all the animal species, this species had a highly developed brain and the capacity for speech and abstract reasoning.

As the species grew in number, they began to gather into small communities and then expanded into human settlements. When men started to live in more permanent gatherings, the domestication of certain animals emerged.

What was the first domesticated animal?

And which was the first of the domesticated animals to step out of the dim secluded wilderness into what would become our modern world? Many of you have guessed it .

Bernese- a big dog

About 13,000 BC, the first domesticated dog, supposed to have evolved from the ancestor of the Grey Wolf, became, probably, man’s first animal buddy. So, man and dog have lived together for thousands of years, cementing an unbroken bond of companionship.

The dog could be very helpful in tracking and finding animals for food. As man spread in to Europe, the dog may have become more of a herder as man had belongings; a family and perhaps a herd of animals to move.

When did the domestication of animals important to man begin?

Quite a few years passed before we begin to see the emergence of other domesticated animals. Goats, whose ancestor was the Ibex, was domesticated around 10,000 B. C., in Iran. Pigs were domesticated in China around 9,000 B.C. The pig’s wild ancestor was the Anatolian Boar. Sheep, with no known ancestor, were domesticated in Iran in about 9,000 B.C.

Cattle, both European and Brahman, appeared on the domestic scene in 8,000 B. C in China, western Asia, and India. The cat, springing from the North African wildcat, was domesticated in 8,000-7,500 B.C.  in the near East.

Chickens, whose ancestor was the Indian Red Junglefowl, was domesticated in 6,000 B.C. in India and S.E. Asia. Ducks, springing from the common Mallard, were domesticated in China in 4,000 B.C. Donkeys were domesticated in Egypt about 5,000 B.C. Horses, from an extinct wild horse population, were domesticated in Kazakhstan in 3,500 B.C.

Conclusion

All of these animals became extremely important to man as he began to develop his lands, his property, his home. They supplied food, clothing, bedding for his house, transportation, etc. He also learned that he had to produce shelter and food in return.

Service for service, man learned more and more about his animal cousins. Some animals became more important to him than others.

The dog became his fireside companion. In battle, his horse saved his life and often gave his life for his master. The cat kept the rodents out of the barn and the feed he had set aside for the cattle. It was a good reciprocal relationship between species.

Reproductive Cycle

One big difference between man and domesticated animals is caused by the reproductive cycle.

Humans usually have one offspring any time of the year. The child grows for nine months inside the mother and is born completely helpless. This helpless child will grow into adulthood in about 16 to 18 years.

Farm animals usually have a reproductive cycle of one year. Cattlemen look for a lot of new calves every spring. These young ones are born ready to follow their mothers on sturdy legs within minutes of birth. Pigs give birth to several piglets at one time, usually in the Spring.

All of these cycles can be managed in order to provide new animals to replace those sold or used for food or other products.

People have learned to manage animals for production of food and other uses so that, hopefully, waste is minimized.

Throwaway Pets

Animals that we consider pets, that is, cats and dogs, haven’t fared so well. All over the world, in cities and towns where humans gather, there are numerous cats and dogs, puppies and kittens, apparently homeless and scrounging for food, living wherever and however they can. In some countries, these poor animals  are even collected and sold for food .

Cats are solitary creatures. Mother cat goes off to find an isolated place for her brood. Dogs, however, run in packs and can be dangerous to humans. They are usually just hungry-and feeding them will calm them down but, if they are agitated or frightened, they can cause harm.

Mother dogs also find an isolated place to hide her pups. Cats and dogs can have two or even three litters a year.

The homeless pet situation is pitiful. Most of these animals are wild, frightened and starving. And still, a lot of pet owners will not have their pets spayed or neutered. This is not the complete answer, but it’s a good start.

There are pet shelters and people who offer their time in rescue efforts, but not all strays and throwaways can be saved. Time is always the enemy.

Pet owners must  take full responsibility for their pets . Pets are not garbage. They can’t just be tossed in the landfill.

I’m Barbara Nelson  and I hope you liked today’s post. It’s different . The bond between humans and the rest of the animal kingdom has been a topic I have wanted to explore. There will be more on this subject and more on pets other than cats and dogs. Share this with your friends.

 

Why do people abandon Pets?

Intro

One big reason there are hundreds of thousands of cats and dogs wandering the streets, vacant lots, rural areas, highways, etc., are the many owners who don’t properly care for their animals, or who think that their pets know how to take care of themselves.

Stray behind a wood fence

Family members grumble about how much time the cat or dog takes up during the day. The kid wanted a pet and now won’t take care of it. They are tired of putting up with the problem.

Female cats and dogs keep having litters and no one needs all these useless animals in the world. Puppies and kitties should know not to eat things that will poison them. No one has the money to waste on Vets. They want too much money for what they do.

The dog barks and digs holes in the back yard. The cat digs in the flower beds, and pees on a pile of newspapers in the back hall.

The boy wanted a pet, so he got a dog for his birthday. He promised he’d take care of him. Well, that lasted about a week. Can’t get the kid to feed the dog, take him for a walk, clean up the poop in the back yard. He was told that the dog would have to go if he didn’t take care of him.

In reality, a lot of people don’t realize the amount of time and money that goes into properly caring for an animal. They don’t know that a well cared for pet can be with the family for at least 10 or more years.

Parents must teach a child how to care for a pet. Children should not be expected to take full responsibility for a live creature.

Eventually, the subject of what to do with the cat or dog, comes to the surface. In conversation, the reference changes. A pet is a beloved creature who is part of the family, well-cared for, even spoiled. The “animal”, or “it”, is a problem or a nuisance.

The family seeks a way to rid themselves of an unwanted pet.

What Happens to Abandoned Animals?

Millions of dogs find themselves dumped on the streets each year. Literally thrown from a moving car or truck. If they are lucky, they aren’t hit by a passing car. Countless others are driven out into the country and left to live or die.

Female dogs, ready to have a litter, are left in a garbage dump. Sometimes, just the puppies are dumped. Many of these animals die a lonely, long, agonizing death. Some are rescued and taken to overcrowded shelters.

A lot of dog owners do not spay or neuter their pets. However, dumping female dogs will not slow down the large number of unwanted litters each year. Even abandoned animals will reproduce at least once a year.

It’s instinct. It’s nature’s way of replacing dogs that died. Dogs operate on instinct. They do not have a human’s ability to reason.

Nothing good happens to an abandoned animal. Abandoning an animal, a family pet, is about the same as killing it. They cannot find their way home or hunt adequately to feed themselves.

unwanted dog sleeps on street

They end up as street animals–with people and kids throwing things at them and yelling at them– or in a shelter along with too many other unfortunate creatures.

And that is just in the U.S. In many countries, abandoned dogs die in the cruelest ways–Electrocution, gassed, incineration, or poisoned. Any way to get rid of them.

Cats fare little better. They end up in garbage areas, abandoned buildings, overgrown areas, anywhere they can hide. Newborn kittens are very fragile. If they are left unattended for very long, they will die.

Mother cats are desperate to hide their newborn and are most protective. Even if an attempt is made to rescue them, the mother cat is a fierce opponent.

Why are Animals Abandoned?

There is no real honest reason to ever abandon a pet. Cats, dogs and even horses that have been dependent upon their owners for food, water, shelter, healthcare and affection should never be left without any way of survival.

Nevertheless, there are a number of situations when humans feel that they have no choice but to get rid of the four legged family members.

1.Illness: Some animals have, or develop, serious health issues and need special care. Some owners cannot handle the extra expense and do not have the time to care for them.

2.Behavior: Some animals exhibit destructive behavior, and owners are unable to curb that behavior.

3.Money: A pet is expensive to keep. There are Vet bills and the continuing cost of food and other incidentals.

4.Moving: The family is relocating and do not want the added problems of moving with the pet.

5.Age: Older dogs are more likely to be abandoned.

6.Boredom: Children often consider a pet a toy. When the child gets bored, the parents may consider abandoning the pet.

7.Illness or death of owner: The family doesn’t know what to do with the pet. They have many things to attend to with the loss of a loved one, and they just decide to abandon it.

8.New baby in the family: When the baby comes–the pet has to go.

9.Vacation time: Instead of finding a place or person to leave the pet for a week or two- they simply abandon it.

10.Unwanted litters: Owners don’t spay their female pets and when the litters come, they abandon both mother and babies.

11.No longer profitable: People who breed, race or fight animals, discard the older animals when they are no longer worth feeding and caring for.

Things to consider before adopting a Pet

A pet is a serious responsibility. It’s not a decision to take lightly. A pet depends upon its owner for love, shelter, food and health care. Pets give their owners unconditional love. They do not deserve to be abandoned for any reason.

There are a number of questions that people should consider before adopting a pet.

1st–take plenty of time to think about it.

2nd- Ask yourself why do you want a pet?

3rd-Have you consulted your spouse or significant other?

4th-Do you have the finances to care for a pet?

5th-Are you willing to find a Veterinarian for your pet’s health needs?

Animals need periodic checkups just like people do.

6th-Are you willing to take your pet to training classes-especially if you ‘re looking to adopt a dog or a horse.

7th-Do you accept the fact that your cat, dog, horse, need adequate shelter?

8th- Are you willing to commit to the years your pet may live?

A cat can live up to 20 years. A dog will live up to 16 years, depending upon the breed and size. A horse can live 25 years depending upon breed and level of care.

9th-If you find that it is absolutely impossible to keep your pet, because of finances, or illness or a move across country, are you willing to do everything possible to find your pet a new home, or at least leave it with the Humane Society, or a local reputable shelter?

What if the pet owner can no longer keep the pet?

Remember, a pet is a family member. Pet owners have an obligation to a living being. It is not a houseplant. Throwing it in the garbage is not an option.

First, check with family members and friends. One of them may be willing to take the animal and care for it.

Next, check with shelters that work especially with cats or dogs to place them in new homes. If there are local bulletin boards or weekly flyers, place notices on them or in them.

Check with local Vets. Most of them will put up a notice, or may actually know of someone who is looking for a cat or a dog. Some vets will take your pet and care for it themselves or until they can find a home for it. Check with the local Humane Society or Rescue Shelters. They try to find new homes for pets.

For those who live in rural areas, it may be harder to find helpful resources, but check with hardware stores, farm supply stores and Veterinarians for assistance.

Put a notice in the local newspaper(s) and on local radio stations.

Conclusion

To some people, all of this may seem like a lot of fuss over a cat or a dog. However, most people love their pets and believe that they deserve the best care. Animals perform a service to people. And they do it for a pat on the head, a good meal and a nice place to sleep.

Some dogs are taught to be service dogs and perform a valuable service to blind and handicapped folks. People who suffer from depression and other psychological distress rely upon their pets to give them a reason to live from day to day.

Dogs are trained to perform missions in war. They work with police and fire fighters to save people’s lives. Dogs and cats are wonderful visitors in hospitals and nursing homes. They bring much happiness to the sick and confined.

There is never a valid reason to abandon a pet to danger, fear, hunger, and a slow, painful death. People may tell themselves that someone will find them and take care of them, they’ll be all right. It very seldom works out that way.

Barbara Nelson-I did a computer search in my area and found several Rescue groups. Try a search in your area to find local animal rescue groups. All of them can use volunteers and donations.

Comments are always welcome-Tell me what you liked or didn’t like. I’ll answer.

My thanks to: ANIMALS:–A blog on  tips, care & everything related to the world of animals.

 

Pros and Cons of adopting a Pet

Introduction

Most all of us, at one time or another, have enjoyed the ownership of a pet. We may have grown up in a household where pets were just a regular part of everyday living.

The family had a big dog, because dad liked big dogs. Big dogs scared away trespassers and kept things safe. Sometimes, when we were little, a big dog scared us, and we couldn’t play with him because he might hurt us. Continue reading “Pros and Cons of adopting a Pet”