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Life Arts    H2'ed 7/28/08

Power, Peace, and Puppies: Common Sense and Nonviolence

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Do the Math


Every time people buy puppy mill dogs from pet shops or through ads on the Internet or in newspapers, they inadvertently contribute to canine misery and to the puppy mill coffers. Most of these sellers insist that their puppies were raised in bucolic family settings, but authorities estimate that at least 90 percent come from mills.


Anyone who adopts from a shelter becomes the hero in the joyful salvation of a deserving dog. Wayne Pacelle, President of the HSUS notes that, "… we have 10,000 puppy mills churning out two to four million dogs a year, [while we] have three to four million euthanized in shelters … and most are healthy animals who would make great companions."[10]


When we factor in the greater incidence of degenerative conditions resulting from inbreeding—causing numerous health challenges, ranging from hip dysplasia to eye diseases—it all adds up to shelters and rescue organizations being the best places to find a furry friend. And the HSUS estimates that 25 percent of shelter dogs are purebreds. [11] (For more info see the ASPCA’s Policies and Positions on Responsible Breeding. [12])


The GHS shelter gave the rescued Yorkies their first chance for a happy life. Alyce Russell, Director of the GHS, says that all their rescued dogs—whether from puppy mills or not—go through the same intake process to prepare for adoption: they are quarantined for two weeks to make sure they are not contagious, then it’s off to the vet for spaying/neutering, and dental and medical attention. And the rescued dogs receive names, often for the first time in their lives. Russell said the Yorkies were so sweet, they were named Jelly Belly, Taffy, Peppermint Patty, Lollipop, Sugar Baby and Gummy Bear. Then they were ready for their training.


Nonviolence Unleashed


I interviewed the Director of Behavior Programs at the GHS, Paul Owens. He is the author of The Dog Whisperer: A Compassionate, Nonviolent Approach to Dog Training and The Puppy Whisperer: A Compassionate, Nonviolent Guide to Early Training and Care, and is the featured trainer on two DVDs. (


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Meryl Ann Butler is an artist, author, educator and OpedNews Managing Editor who has been actively engaged in utilizing the arts as stepping-stones toward joy-filled wellbeing since she was a hippie. She began writing for OpEdNews in Feb, 2004. She became a Senior Editor in August 2012 and Managing Editor in January, (more...)

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