What does it mean to be involved?

Here are Ways that Others Have Become Involved

I read with interest the article in Thursday's Union-Tribune 'State lawmakers to push animal welfare'. One thing appears to be at odds in the article in that the headline speaks of animal welfare while most of the people promoting the bills are identified as animal rights activists.  Animal welfare and animal rights are not the same.  I believe that almost everyone is in favor of animal welfare but animal rights are the subject of much controversy.

Assemblyman Cameron Smyth's bill to reward shelter animal adopters with a tax break is a bit of fresh air compared with the punitive nature of most bills pertaining to animals.  San Diego is blessed with a Shelter system that is head and shoulders above the rest of the State in pushing adoption programs and striving for a 'no-kill' record regarding adoptable animals. A tax break will add to this record.

I totally support any bill that would do away with dog fighting by severely punishing promoters and spectators at these barbaric events.  

Senator Nava's bill to limit dog and cat breeders to 50 animals at one time should not be necessary if existing laws are enforced.  All too often in recent years the terms 'puppy mills' and 'backyard breeders' have been used to justify restrictions on all dog and cat breeders..



By Peri Norman

Judging California Junior Handler of the Year competition was a tremendous honor for me.  Junior showmanship judging is the most important judging that takes place at the dog show and the show committee, the competitors, the coaches and the spectators should be encouraged to give it the attention and respect it deserves.  Sun Maid Kennel club of Fresno has accomplished this in fine fashion and they are to be congratulated

Brat writes:
Our canine-assisted therapy group has several events that we do in the community. We have a tent at DOGGY DERBY, a local event, to introduce our working therapy dogs, talk about our programs, etc. There are usually events such as: agility, best costumes, obedience, law enforcement canine demos, and CGC testing.

We host a wine & cheese event in Napa Valley to showcase our "Calendar Canines" (hoping to sell lots of our calendars). Several area vineyards and restaurants make donations. Our volunteer teams do "meet & greets" there and talk about the role of working therapy dogs. We hand out lots of literature and talk about the facilities where some of our dogs visit (particularly school programs for responsible ownership, training opportunities for obedience and CGC, and the R.E.A.D. program).

Then, one of our bigger events is SANTA PAWS and I am the chairperson. Lots of kids. Lots of dogs. Santa. He will be arriving this year in a red convertible (my car) with my husband as his driver. Some of our volunteers dress as Santa’s helpers to assist our photographer. We pass out tons of literature while everyone waits for their photo with Santa, gift bags of goodies, info on upcoming training and classes on obedience and CGC. Our canine evaluator is also there to answer questions.

DOGGIE DERBY is in cooperation with one of the local SPCA "no-kill" shelters. The wine & cheese calendar launch is mostly for fundraising purposes to bring in new area supporters (like Mumm's and Taittinger). SANTA PAWS always is a big draw. This year's Santa is a former police chief in Napa Valley and now an executive director of a local television station and radio. Our therapy organization has been on TV in the past talking about responsible dog ownership and promoting upcoming events for people to do with their dogs.

In recent weeks, I have been getting involved at the county level. Yesterday I met with the Board of Supervisors while we discussed the role of non-profits in the county and how to have partnerships and collaborative relationships with other non-profits and the county. Very interesting study session. Long session but very worthwhile.

As I was leaving, one of the people pointed out a magazine that was available that features the role of "working" dogs in the county. The magazine is printed by the county library and distributed widely. The cover story was about "Letters from Wolfie." It is an award-winning novel that is inspired by real events. All about sacrifice, loyalty, patriotism, and dogs.

While perusing the magazine, I saw a big article about the role of working dogs in our county. Police dogs. Sheriff K9s. And ... PAWS FOR HEALING!! Yeah!! I grabbed enough copies of the magazine for every board member and a few to send to some of the area businesses and organizations that support us financially through grants.

We have over 200 active volunteer teams and participate in established programs at 70 facilities in Napa, Solano, and Sonoma counties. We are in hospitals, assisted living facilities, libraries (the R.E.A.D. program is extremely popular), elementary schools, adult day care facilities for people with Alzheimer's disease, and hospice. We always have people contacting us for requests for therapy dogs to be assigned to hospice patients. And ... my favorite facility will always be Travis Air Force Base. When the returning wounded arrive from Iraq and Afghanistan, they are always surprised to find a dog waiting for them. The best medicine!

It feels so good that I can finally re-direct my energies to this organization. I almost forgot what life was like "before" AB1634. Working with the county from "within" might have numerous benefits in the future, too.”

Diane writes:
Important is going to local meetings (Councils, Supervisors, etc.), task force meetings. Write politicians. Telephone politicians. I would visit them if I had the time off of work. I am part of the Channel City Kennel Club Canine Ambassador program.“In the spare time and with funds she no longer has she would enjoy photography and travel however she'll continue to fight to keep her one licensed dog intact.”

Dana writes:
The things I do are:
My involvement with purebred dogs began nearly 30 years ago with a pet Doberman. Ultimately I moved on to breeding and showing Doberman Pinschers and produced several champions. For over 10 years I served as the Secretary of Shasta Kennel Club and managed the club’s information phone. I also was the Legislative Director for the Doberman Pinscher Club of America for approximately 5 years and am still active as the DPCA’s California Representative. At this point in time my energy has been directed to Doberman Rescue and the development of an efficient network of Doberman rescues and volunteers to monitor all Dobermans in California shelters, with the aim of seeing that those not placed by the shelters are provided with secure foster facilities and ultimate placement in new homes with caring owners.

Bev writes:
I'm involved in the community by chairing a Wheaten research collection clinic for 2 health projects.

There are many activities involving dogs and cats that benefit us. Animals that herd, animals that help farmers in their everyday activities are very important. Farmers are able to use their natural instincts in this work. The animals are happy doing what comes naturally, and we are very lucky to have their help.

How about animals that are able to help those with disabilities? Some natural instinct coupled with good positive training, and then paired with a person who really needs help to live an independent life equals a positive effect. And there are the search and rescue animals, animals that help in the wars. Just recently the Doberman people celebrated their 100th anniversary by honoring people who served in the armed services and did their work with the help of Doberman.  Positive?  Absolutely!  Just ask those soldiers!

Everyday dogs are our companions.  They give us so very much, and in return we love them, and care for them.  Many take their dogs into obedience training to help them be good companions, and learn that this training strengthens the bond between them. Dogs, cats, and humans enjoy activities like herding, agility classes, competition, conformation classes and competition.  

There is constant research in various breeds searching for resolution to health problems? Testing done prior to good breeding is done to protect the offspring as best we can.  Progress will be made because of the enormous amount of money and effort put into these research projects. "

Part of being a responsible dog owner is being active in your community with your dog.

Santa Barbara has had a Dog Parade for many years sponsored by Big Dog’s. That parade was cancelled in 2009. A local on line news source, joined with an existing human State Street Mile race came up with their own walk “2009 Platinum Performance Dog Mile.

100% of the proceeds from the Dog Mile will go the Santa Barbara County District Attorney's Office Crime Victim Emergency Fund (same as the State Street Mile).


Animal "Rights" Quotes:

"[A]s the surplus of cats and dogs (artificially engineered by centuries of forced breeding) declined, eventually companion animals would be phased out, and we would return to a more symbiotic relationship--enjoyment at a distance." Ingrid Newkirk, PETA President, "Just Like Us? Toward a Notion of Animal Rights," Harper's, August 1988, p. 50

"We need a drastic decrease in human population if we ever hope to create a just and equitable world for animals" Freeman Wickland, Animal Liberation League, & editor of "No Compromise," September 1996

"There is no rational basis for saying that a human being has special rights. A rat is a pig is a dog is a boy. They're all mammals." Ingrid Newkirk, PETA President The Washington Times August 29, 1999

"We need a drastic decrease in human population if we ever hope to create a just and equitable world for animals" Freeman Wickland, Animal Liberation League, & editor of "No Compromise," September 1996

Audience member: "If you were aboard a lifeboat with a baby and a dog, and the boat capsized, would you rescue the baby or the dog?" Regan, "If it were a retarded baby and a bright dog, I'd save the dog." Tom Regan, "Animal Rights, Human Wrongs" speech at University of Wisconsin, Madison, October 27, 1989

"Six million Jews died in concentration camps, but six billion broiler chickens will die this year in slaughter houses." Ingrid Newkirk, PETA founder, President & former national director, Washington Post, November 13, 1983

PETA on targeting children: "Everything we do is based at adults." Ingrid Newkirk, PETA President on CNN, March 21, 2002


"Our campaigns are always geared towards children and they always will be." Dan Matthews, PETA Vice President, on FOX News, Dec 19, 2003 


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