What is HELP FIDO?

Humane Education Leads to Progress
For Informed Dog Owners

Vision Statement: We envision a society free from discrimination, where responsibility, education, love and compassion allow humans to fully respect and understand man's best friend.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Ohio House Bill 14

As we mentioned previously when it was Ohio House Bill 79, in the new session of the Ohio House it is Bill 14. But the content remains the same: it would amend § 955.11 of the Ohio Revised Code to remove “pit bulls” from the definition of “vicious dog”. Ohio is the only state in the country that singles out dogs based on breed or way they look like without regard to behavior. We believe all dogs should be judged based on their behavior only. National organizations such as Best Friends strongly support this change in the law as do local Ohio organizations such as the Ohio Coalition of Dog Advocates, join them on Facebook here. Proponent testimony for HB 14 is scheduled for this Wednesday, February 9th at 9 AM in Room 114 of the Ohio Statehouse. There was a great group of supporters last year in support of this bill and we need to do the same now. If you have questions or would like more information, please email helpfido@gmail.com.

Friday, July 2, 2010

4th of July Safety Reminder

A 4th of July reminder to dog owners. This weekend will be the busiest weekend of the year for animal shelters. Thousands of dogs are lost when they panic from the fireworks. Please bring your dogs inside, or put them in the garage. A backyard is not the place for them when the fireworks are going off. If you chain your dog, please bring it in. Many dogs will end up strangling/hanging themselves in a panic.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

I buried your dog today

Today I buried your dog. I don’t know what your story is or why you wouldn’t try to find your dog. He was a great dog. That cold December day when I found him wandering the streets, cold and emaciated, I thought for certain someone had to be looking for this kind, old soul. When I called animal control to come and pick him up, I did it with full certainty, knowing I was making the call that would reunite this happy, old boy with his family. When I found out three days later that he was never claimed, I drove to the shelter to pick him up and bring him home, certain I would see Lost Dog signs somewhere. We never did see those signs, our found dog ads were never answered. Trying to keep some faith in humanity, I imagined that perhaps he had an elderly owner who had died and the remaining family didn’t know to look for him. Once upon a time he had a family who must have loved him. He was housebroken, loved to lay in doorways and was elated to go on car rides. Somewhere, he had to have a family that had loved him for the past 14 years. But that family never appeared.

So in December, we argued with the local shelter in order to get the old guy released to us. With his being emaciated, eye infections, ear infections, horrible teeth, deaf, mostly blind and covered in lumps and tumors, he was deemed by the shelter to not be a candidate for adoption – “not even to a rescue” With some persistence, we were finally able to get him released from the shelter and headed towards our home. That’s when “Tucker” or “Old Man” moved in.

From the start, it was his house. He walked right in, met all of our resident pitties and settled right in. He quickly became one of the gang and a best friend to Charlotte and Izzy, a patient chew toy for the foster pups, and the bane of Rags’ existence. He was an attention hound who loved having the little spot right above his tail scratched and would turn and head butt you if you dared to stop. He would take turns lying in doorways blocking all entries, only raising his head every now and then as both humans and dogs stepped over him. He would get so excited and bark his hoarse bark, urging you to hurry and get him his food, and “whoooof, whooof, whooof” again if he wasn’t happy with what he found in his bowl. Over the course of the next month, Tucker put on weight, going from 44 pounds up to his goal weight of 71 pounds. His ear infections were cleared up as were the eye infections. He got to experience the fun of being groomed and thought the high powered blowers were pretty nice.

He had the most perfect winter. He loved the snow and would spend hours rolling around like a horse, making his own little snow angels. His face was almost always blanketed in the cold white powder. When he wasn’t out in the snow he could be found lying next to my Grandson’s bean bag chair or Hoovering through the house looking for stray pieces of kibble. When spring arrived and the snow melted, Tucker’s new love became rolling in mud puddles. There were many days he would walk back into the house completely covered in a thick, sludgy layer of mud, the only red fur showing would be a strip running down the center of his back which would leave us scrambling to find enough blankets to cover the carpeting before he could plop down and take one of his famous eight hour cat naps.

We thought that summer would bring new joys for Tucker, days being spent out under the shade trees or splashing in a baby pool. Unfortunately we were wrong. Tucker had a couple of strokes which he bounced back from but they worsened his Laryngeal Paralysis. The warm summer weather would only exacerbate the condition and make it nearly impossible for the poor guy to breath. Today as Tucker lay next to me, looking up at me with those soft brown eyes, gasping for breath, it became clear that it was time for Tucker to move on to his next destination.

So today, I buried your dog. I no longer care what the reason is for your not looking for him. I only wish you would have lost him a little earlier so that we could have had more time with him. So whether you care or not, please know that in his last months he brought so much love and joy into our home and left an impression that will never be forgotten. He was loved, so thank you.

Tucker came into our home December 11, he took over our house but more importantly he took over our hearts. Tucker will be greatly missed.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

HumaneWatch.org - Telling the truth about HSUS

We've addressed this topic in the past as part of the Michael Vick case and HSUS (Humane Society of the United States) has been a target of other humane organizations and animal welfare groups for a long time. But recently, HSUS has come under even more attack and for good reason. KC Dog Blog does an excellent job outlining many of the reasons. In the past couple months, a new website - HumaneWatch.org has launched which is a collaborated effort by many people to be a "watchdog" for HSUS.

HSUS is VERY slick in their marketing efforts. It wasn't until 4 or 5 years ago that I found out the truth about them and their director, Wayne Pacelle. I'm now embarrassed to admit I gave money to HSUS in the past. Although Anna and I have cared about animals and dogs for a long time, it wasn't until the past 5 years where we began to get more involved in dog issues after adopting one and then two rescued pit bulls and migrating through the many problems with Breed Specific Legistlation. As I read more and talked to more people, I quickly realized that there is HUGE difference between our (and likely yours as well) local Humane Societies and HSUS. The Capital Area Humane Society in Columbus, for example, has absolutely nothing to do with the HSUS. They receive zero dollars from HSUS and are completely independent from them. The ONLY thing they share is part of a name. We quickly stopped giving money to HSUS and now only give money to local Humane organizations where we know exactly where the dollars are going. HSUS is not at all what they seem or what many donors think they are. I encourage everyone to check out HumaneWatch.org and think carefully about where your donations go. If you'd like to join our email list, please send an email to helpfido@gmail.com.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Huge Changes in Toledo!

Some more good news has come out of Toledo in the past month. After a 22 year reign of terror and incompetency, Tom Skeldon "retired" back in November. Since that time, Lucas County (of which Toledo is a big part) has been making a number of significant changes to improve the lives of dogs and dog owners, while also working to increase safety in their community.

One huge change is a new dog warden - Julie Lyle' who clearly feels MUCH differently about how to do things than her predecessor, Tom Skeldon. Our friends at KC Dog Blog have a great post with many more details about the new warden.

A second huge change is the Toledo Humane Society's reversal on their long-standing position to prohibit adoption of "pit bulls". As the Toledo Blade explains, the Humane Society plans to adopt out "some" members of the pit bull population that previously were killed pretty much immediately. Now this brings up a whole set of other issues such as: 1) what exactly is a pit bull? Breed identification is risky business; 2) many dogs fail the temperament testing by Humane Societies, regardless of breed. But some dogs are given the benefit of the doubt on testing while "pit bulls" often are not. Nevertheless, this is a positive step in the right direction.

We are hopeful things will continue to move forward in a positive direction. And special thanks to our friends at Ohio Coalition of Dog Advocates for their hard work in Lucas County.

These are the dogs of HELP FIDO...our dogs...this is why we are here...