North Carolina English Shepherd Rescue Update

english shepherd

I thought I would give everyone a quick update about the dog rescue effort going on in North Carolina.  Some of you might remember I posted about the rescue effort.  From what I heard now the National English Shepherd Rescue (NESR) will be taking over the handling the care of the Farm Collie mixes in Pilot Mountain from the Scotch Collie Association to my understanding.

Currently there are 14 total dogs still there, 11 adults and 3 pups. These dogs have their origins in a breeding pair of an English Shepherd many years ago.  The owner continued to breed dogs to work his cows so although more recent breeding is unclear, NESR feels they are close enough to English Shepherds to help.  Right now NESR has team members heading to North Carolina this week to assess the situation with the dogs and will be coordinating vet care which will include spays/neuters, vaccinations and treatment for injuries.  As well treatment for the mother and pups who appear to have mange.  Some of these dogs will leave on a transport north to Minnesota.  Due to limited vehicle space, NESR will need to coordinate a second wave of transport and routes will be determined based on where the foster homes are.

At this point, NESR needs specifically foster homes for these dogs and help with transporting them.  They are also desperately in need of donations of towels to serve as bedding in the crates they will be transported in.  If you can help or would like more info please contact the NESR.  Donations of money to NESR will be appreciated as well as I am sure they will need it.  They are working on getting general info and recent photos up on the website so watch out for those.

These dogs will also eventually be looking for loving homes.  You can visit NESR’s website to learn more about their adoption process.  If you’re interested in adopting one of these English Shepherd dogs or fostering, you’ll find the application at the bottom of this page.

The community has already received a number of offers of help but more is needed.  NESR could use all the support they can get, so please help these dogs if you can.

 

Pet Blogger Challenge

Pet Blogger Challenge Jan. 10

Pet Blogger Challenge

I noticed this Pet Blogger Challenge being put on by GoPetFriendly.com and thought I would answer the questions just for kicks even though we are one day late.  Hopefully this will encourage us to kick start SingingDogs.net into an even more awesome dog blog with better content for 2013.

1. When did you begin your blog?

I started Singing Dogs on May 21st, 2012 with this post!

2. What was your original purpose for starting a blog?

To showcase and keep people and fans updated with Cody and Sierra also known as the Singing Dogs.  As well as showcase their talents by posting videos.  It was also so it would be easier for media to find and contact us.

3. Is your current purpose the same?

Generally yes, it has served it’s purpose well.  We were contacted by Good Morning America via this blog to use one of Sierra’s videos for New Year’s.  Many other website and blogs have picked up our videos now.

If so, how do you feel you’ve met your goals?

I think we have meet our goals pretty well.  I would like more traffic ( like all bloggers) but we are doing pretty well.  We were mentioned on the MSN, Huffington Post, Buzzfeed and a ton of other websites and I feel 2013 will only bring more great things for Singing Dogs.

4. How often do you post?

Not often enough!  Sparringly once a week maybe but I will work on improving that in the coming months.  More content but shorter posts probably.

5. Do you blog on a schedule or as the spirit moves you?

More as the spirit moves me.  I feel that’s better than forcing yourself to put out content you don’t like or want to write.  The blog is mainly for keeping people updated with Cody and Sierra.  I will move into doing product reviews and showcase adoptable dogs.

6. How much time do you spend writing your blog per week? How much time visiting other blogs? 

I read a lot of other blogs but they are mainly not pet related.  Mostly for internet and web marketing and researching new SEO techniques.  I do keep up with other pet bloggers via Twitter though.

7. How do you measure the success of a post and of your blog in general (comments, shares, traffic)?

Even if a post hasn’t gotten a lot of shares but is bringing in good targeted traffic, I consider it a success.  I think not ever post has to be SEO friendly and get lots of traffic.  Many bloggers get too caught in making ever post great, when that just can’t happen all the time.

The pet and dog niche is specific.  The visitors here like to comment and share and I feel if someone has commented I have done a good job.  So please comment! 🙂

8. If you could ask the pet blogging community for help with one issue you’re having with your blog, what would it be?

Probably to share Cody and Sierra’s videos more!  We want to go viral around the world! 🙂

9. What goals do you have for your blog in 2013?

I have a lot of goals for this blog and my other websites.  I want to learn to graphic design and more coding to make this blog look better and do some funky stuff.

I also hope that I can turn Cody and Sierra into worldwide internet sensations and in the process raise awareness about animal cruelty.  I think there is way to use our videos to raise money for animal shelters and drive adoptions, but haven’t quite figured that out yet.  Singing Dogs seems to make everyone happy.

Follow the Singing Dogs on our Facebook Page and Twitter feed to keep updating with new videos and posts.

1-800-PetMeds Next Pet TV Star Contest

1-800-PetMeds is running their “Next Pet TV Star Contest” for choosing the next dog or cat (I assume) that will be featured in their newest TV commercial.  On top of your pet being in a TV commercial you will win $1000 (seriously… I a company like 1-800-PetMeds could have sprang for a lot more money!) and be flown down for 3 days and 4 nights to Ft. Lauderdale, Florida for a tour of the 1-800-PetMeds headquarters with all expenses paid.

Since this sounds like a pretty awesome contest, I deiced to enter Cody and Sierra.  Instead of trying to pose them in a cute or funny picture I looked through my massive library of dog pictures.  I thought I would just use this picture we took of the wonderful handmade dog outfit’s made by Ada Nieves.  These outfits were given to my dogs as a gift from Anderson Cooper when we were on his show “Anderson” last year.

singing dogs
Cody and Sierra wearing New Year’s Costumes

What I like best about the picture is it says something about the dog’s experiences.  It also shows the stark contrast between Cody and Sierra.  Cody looks a little embarrassed to be wearing a dog tuxedo but Sierra was quite taken with the dress she had and was happy to be posing for the camera. She knows she is a photogenic dog!

Hopefully this photo will be our ticket for winning the Grand prize and be in the TV commercial, win the money, and the trip to Florida.  Cody and Sierra deserve more TV time in my opinion.  The first place winner recieves a lifetime supply of flea and tick medication and the second place winner will get to choose a petgear product.

If you are interested in entering the contest visit the 1-800-PetMeds Contest site to upload a picture of your pet.  You can also use Twitter and Instragram to enter the contest simply by using the hashtag, #PetMedsTVstar, when uploading a picture.

The contest runs through November 14th 2012 to November 28th, 2012.  The public voting period is between November 29th to December 14th, 2012

Just make sure to submit a good picture as it will be hard to beat Cody and Sierra in this pet contest! 🙂

 

Don’t Fly United Airlines With Your Dogs! They Could End Up Dead!

Can you imagine paying an airline $1800 to fly your dog (not including the airplane tickets for yourself by the way), then your dog ending up at your destination dead?  That’s exactly what happened to supermodel Maggie Rizer’s beautiful Golden Retriever, Bea, on a United Airlines flight from New-York City to San Francisco.  On her blog Bea Makes Three Maggie posted this:

Two weeks ago, on our way back to San Francisco after a great summer vacation on the east coast, Beatrice lost her life due to the negligence of United Airlines.  I’m writing this with my anger aside, in the hopes that someone looking for advice will read this and not make the mistake of trusting United with their pets as we did.

Beatrice had a perfect health record.  She received a full examination and a health certificate four days before the flight, as is required by the Pet Safe program. This program is United’s branded on-board pet safety program. In addition to Pet Safe’s stringent requirements, we took every extra precaution we could think of.  Both the dog’s kennels were labeled front to back with emergency numbers, flight information and warnings.  Their kennels were purchased specifically for the measurements and design specified by Pet Safe.  We purchased special water bowls which we filled with ice to ensure that the water wouldn’t spill and that it would last longer. We drove the six hours to New York City from our house in Northern New York State, so the dogs wouldn’t have to make a connecting flight.  We paid United Airlines $1800.00, in addition to our plane tickets, to ensure the safety of our pets. Albert and Bea were very prepared travelers.

When we arrived in San Francisco to pick up our dogs we drove to the dark cargo terminal and on arrival in the hanger were told simply, “one of them is dead” by the emotionless worker who seemed more interested in his text messages.  It took thirty minutes for a supervisor to come to tell us, “it was the two year old.”  Subsequently we requested that our dog be returned to us and were told that she had been delivered to a local vet for an autopsy. Whatever thread of trust remained between us and United broke and we then insisted that she be returned to us for our own autopsy by our trusted veterinarian, Shann Ikezawa, DVM from Bishop Ranch Veterinary Center. Over the next two hours the supervisor’s lie unraveled as it became clear that Bea was right behind a closed door the whole time and he had been discussing how to handle the potential liability with his boss who had left and sticking to the divert and stall tactic that they had been taught. Eventually Bea was returned and we drove her to the vet at midnight.

Maggie was obviously very through and Bea was a perfectly healthy dog.  What is most ridiculous about the situation is not only United Airlines negligence but the way they have gone about handling it.  Well… not handling!  Maggie continues:

It will be two weeks since Beatrice was killed by United Airlines and since then United has refused to give us any information about what happened to our beloved little Bea other then, “our internal investigation does not show any irregularities, as evidenced by the fact that your companion dog and other animals on board did not suffer the same fate”.  I’m not sure why the fact that the other dogs were not killed clears United Airlines but, they seem to think it does.

Of the many reasons I don’t fly United, this now just gives me another reason to NEVER fly with them.  It’s clear United is more worried about a lawsuit (which Maggie should definitely pursue at this point in my opinion) then actually telling the Rizers’ useful information, issuing an apology, or giving them Bea.

I am writing this to help make people aware that airlines are incapable of ensuring the safety of our pets.  All it takes is for one employee to not follow the proper procedure and then like me, your dog is dead.

I can’t say exactly what happened to Beatrice on the plane two weeks ago.  If United had been able to be honest, it would have helped us to find closure.  All I know is what the necropsy told us, Beatrice died from heatstroke.  It is said to be an agonizing death.

I can’t imagine how heartbreaking this must be for Maggie and her family, since the death of Bea could have been easily avoided.  If you read the entire post on Maggie’s blog you can clearly see the airline was extremely embarrassed and obviously was/is flustered by the situation.  I am not sure what United expects to happen with such poor handling of this situation though

The story was been picked up by the auto blog Jalopnik and several other major new publications.  Maggie’s post has 191 comments. 1800 Facebook likes, and 207 Tweets as of this writing.

I can only hope that the story gains more steam and more people hear about it.  I would be furious is this happened to Cody or Sierra.

 Rest in Peace Bea