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Additional advice for owners: Don't take dogs for granted


Published: Fri, March 3, 2006 @ 12:00 a.m.


Additional advice for owners: Don't take dogs for granted
EDITOR:
The Vindicator had two articles about canines Feb. 19. One was about the success of the new Columbiana County Humane Society and the other was about aggressive dogs in Warren. Both of these articles show the need for the area to be more compassionate as well as more aware of our responsibilities to our canine companions.
Unfortunately, the Valley has a major pet overpopulation problem, which all of us who have dogs need to address. This means that we need to spay and neuter our animals, but we also need to realize that our animals need us to teach them. I cannot stress the need to have our dogs obedience-trained, as well as the need to teach children, especially, the proper way to interact with animals. There are many trainers in the area who teach positive reinforcement classes and provide dog daycare and playtime for canines. When owners involve themselves as well as their companions in these dog-positive activities, they have a happier and healthier animal. They also have taken the time to make their canine a good citizen to their community.
I work with the general public and their dogs, and I see a huge need for improvement in these areas. Owners need to change their thinking about the relationship they have with their animals to a more positive one. I hear stories of owner frustration with training as well as behavior. The issues can be resolved with training. These same correctable issues are also a major reason why canines are surrendered and end up homeless in shelters here and across the country. Thousands are euthanized every year and could have been saved if their owners took the time to train their dogs.
Having a dog is like having a child, and the public needs to take this realization seriously before owning a a dog. My dogs are my kids and my responsibility.
Finally, we all need to continue to support our shelter and rescue groups in the area by adopting and fostering canines. Please stop buying dogs from puppy mills and the businesses that support their operations. Please visit petfinder.com to see what is available in our area as well the American Kennel Club website for information on purebred dog ownership and reputable breeders.
Remember, dogs are man's best friend. Let's' treat them this way.
OLIVIA FLAK
Boardman
Just think of the mink
EDITOR:
Nancy Tullis and The Vindicator deserve credit for taking a look at one of our most fascinating backyard neighbors, the mink ("If mink stole your fish, beware, or fur will fly," Feb. 27).
Mink are indeed semi-aquatic, and in the wild will cover large territories alongside streams and rivers, foraging and diving for food. However, on modern fur farms, mink are crammed into tiny wire mesh cages, and are denied all access to swimming water. For a high-energy animal designed to swim, this must be a special kind of hell.
By choosing to buy only fur-free clothing, consumers can reject this callous treatment of millions of mink, and measurably reduce the amount of animal suffering in the world.
PIERRE GRZYBOWSKI
Deputy Campaign Manager, Fur
Humane Society of the United States
Washington, D.C


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