Recycling smelly old gym towels

Ok, so an interesting title for a blog post but hear me out.

I work for a large corporate and we have changing rooms in the basement where staff can have a shower and get ready for the working day after cycling or running to work. Sometimes in the hustle and bustle of getting ready for work people forget stuff – Yay! Now this is where the smelly towels come in. At the end of the each week, any towels which are unclaimed are bagged by security up into rubbish bags and put aside for charity.

I enquired with security about what happens with the stinky towels and mentioned that I would like to take them to line dog crates and donate to rescue. They mentioned that at the end of each month they are donated to charity … suffice to say early morning dash to collect three huge rubbish bags of towels for charity before the carpark fills up and then off to park the car in town somewhere that won’t cost more than the towels are worth and I am on my way!

After doing six loads of laundry at the Drummoyne Laundromat which does a bag load for $4.50 I had loads of clean towels ready to be hung out to dry at home. Beautiful soft fluffy towels are folded and ready to go to Monika’s next time I do a Saturday morning run.

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How can we reduce kill rates at pounds around Australia?

Over 250,000 cats and dogs are euthanised in animal shelters across Australia ear year due to the fact that no one wants these animals and the pounds just don’t have enough room to house all of the animals that are surrendered.

One NSW Pound is working towards a zero kill rate for rehomable animals by June 2011 and has seen the number of animals euthanised reduce from 60% down to 22% over a 2 year period.

A commonsense measure such as compulsory de-sexing of every animal that leaves the facility is a fabulous initiative as it prevents accidental breeding when a dog “escapes” from his or her owners property.

Further, a de-sexed animal is of no value to a backyard breeder for obvious reasons. “Wyong pound” (Central Coast, NSW) is looking at other programs to re-home animals into the community and is investigating funding pets for therapeutic reasons to assist the elderly and disabled. Many dogs and cats in the pounds are old timers who would be well suited as a companion animal for elderly or less active person.

Why are our pounds overflowing ?

Many animals find themselves in the pound through no fault of their own. Often when an owner’s circumstances change; the first thing to go is the dog or cat.

In addition, if an animal is no longer suitable such as the impulse buy puppy that has now grown into a much bigger dog who needs regular exercise to keep them out stimulated and out of mischief.

Add in the lucrative business of the backyard breeders who advertise through the trading post and cats and dogs essentially become weapons of mass production for commercial gain.

Foxy Daschund X from the poundPet shops also keep freighting in more animals to meet consumer demand, although there are animals on death row at the local pound
through no fault of their own. 

I strongly urge you to check out the local pound when considering buying a dog.  Consider Wyong Council which includes the following for all cats and dogs sold from its facility.

Prices for dogs include microchipping, lifetime registration, desexing, C5 vaccination, heartworm test, health check, 5 dog training sessions and a 14 Day Health Warranty. Prices for cats include microchipping, lifetime registration, desexing, F3 vaccination, health check and 14 Day Health Warranty – information copied from Wyong Council

 Alternatively, if you can’t handle the barking and decision making process of choosing a dog at the pound, then opt for an animal from a rescue organisation such as www.doggierescue.com or www.paws.com.au as it makes way for another dog to be rescued from the pound.

Introducing Dogelicious

How much is that doggie in the window?  The song in that was penned in 1952 is a favourite for children worldwide, however the reality is that in order to keep up with demand placed on the Pet Shop industry many stores purchase from Puppy Mills. Believe it or not around 30,000 dogs are euthanised each year in NSW pounds alone and there are multiple sources generating thousands of animals each year to keep up with consumer demand!

Puppy Mills fulfill the consumer need for large quantity supply of dogs. These dogs are born specifically for distribution in pet shops.  This coupled with the fact that a pet shop is targeting an impulse buy means that things can go from bad to worse for the animal in question

Backyard breeders work on a much smaller scale and operate through the trading post or local newspapers selling at “discounted” rates compared to pet shops as they let their dogs reproduce again and again.  Furthermore there are no guarantees as to just how big a cute little puppy is going to grow as you have no comeback on what it has been crossed with, so it’s an extreme case of buyer beware.   

Registered breeders on the other hand will give you a background on the animal, as well as a guarantee on how big the animal will grow to as an adult.  Purchasing from a breeder is not without risk as there can be genetic health issues which are just unavoidable and can end up generating costly vet bills.

Often dogs are sold by without a microchip, which makes it impossible to locate the owner when the animal is dumped or found wandering the streets by a council ranger.  For this reason, all impounded dogs are micro chipped on release when owners come to reclaim them.

For the animals that are surrendered or remain unclaimed the pound is not always the end of the road when they are matched up with the rescue organisations located around Sydney. 

The purpose of this blog is to raise awareness that pound and shelter dogs are truly deserving of a kind loving forever home where they are welcomed as part of the family. 

Whilst you will see purebreds in pounds and shelters there often mutts meaning the likelihood of genetic health issues is reduced.  Another benefit of a rescue dog is you will see how large the dog is fully grown as well as its temperament with other dogs.

All dogs sold by rescue organisations are micro-chipped, de-sexed and come with a C5 vaccination which is a pre-requisite in Australia if you want to attend obedience classes or any form of doggie day care.

So how to adopt a dog from rescue?

After completion of the adoption application form which is much like a job application with yard size and lifestyle questions, as well as where will the dog sleep and eat, the matching process begins.  The fact the rescue organisations spend so much time going through an application and interviewing potential owners means the owner is well informed, and the rescue organisation can be confident that the animal they have rescued and nurtured will go to a suitable loving forever home.

By adopting from a pound or rescue you save one life and make room for another animal to be rescued.  Don’t be deceived by the romantic notion that you are rescuing an animal from a pet store, as there are thousands more being bred for supply.

Resources

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2AkLE4X-bbU
http://www.saynotoanimalsinpetshops.com/
http://www.smh.com.au/environment/new-leash-of-life-20100213-nyox.html
http://www.examiner.com/dogs-in-national/those-darn-dog-rescues-with-all-of-their-rules-and-questions-what-gives
http://www.wheredopuppiescomefrom.com.au/
http://www.hillsnews.com.au/news/local/news/general/callous-owners-leave-little-penny-for-dead-in-north-rocks/1795114.aspx?src=email
http://www.dogsacrossaustralia.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=104&Itemid=37
http://www.canismajor.com/dog/microchp.html

Thunder and lightning, very very frightening!

Tonight a huge storm came over Sydney at around 7.00pm.  Unfortunately for me I didn’t see it coming and by the time I saw the first lightning flashes Richie was already hysterical and past the point of medication.  The only thing to do was ride out the storm and hope he didn’t drive me nuts in the process.  I managed to put the telly on, with the surround sound so we had the 7pm project at movie sound levels – oh joy!  Funny to note, in the middle of the storm with all the barking and carrying on 2 words made Richie, stop and listen.  The magic words “chicken wings” said with a Southern American accent.  Unfortunately the spell of the chicken wings lasted about 20 seconds until the next thunder crack or lightening flash.

Richie in the back yard wondering what the scary thing mum is using to make all that noise (aka Camera).

The thing to note, is that whilst I can medicate the little fellow with his Valium prescribed from the vet, I have to do whilst he is still calm so he kind of eases into the storm in a relaxed state.  Trying to bring him down to relaxed when he has literally hit the roof is impossible and just means he is medicated and dribbles unecessarily.  Happy to say the weather has calmed down, as has little Richie and he is wiped out from his performance earlier on.  Yay, lets hope he sleeps through the possums mating in the big trees outside.

Why do dogs lick pillows?

Ok, so this is an interesting one.  Whenever I forget to close the bedroom door open there is a huge risk that the dog will take matters into his paws, head off to bed and wait for his humans.  Now whilst his bed is in the master bedroom, he often decides to jump up on our bed and for some reason licks our pillow cases, leaving little damp patches all over the case.

This is very frustrating as the last thing I want to be doing at night before bed is having to change the pillow cases.  I’m guessing he is seeking salt from the perspiration (sounds gross I know) but he does it more in summer so this must be the reason.  Potato chips are also one of his favourite treats!

Richie resting on Geezer, his favourite toy

Dog Rescue Organisations Sydney and surrounds

Here is a list of Dog Rescue Organisations in Sydney, please post a comment if there are any others that should be added to the list.

Why Dogelicious?

Imagine getting to the point where you are about to select your new best friend.  You’ve sought approval from the Strata, made sure the back yard is safe and now it is time to choose a dog.

After countless hours spent online researching the type of dog that would be suitable and taking into account whether to choose one with fur or hair to some may seem an easy exercise but to others can be an extremely daunting process.

Which one to choose? 

Fur is generally lower shedding and better for allergy sufferers but requires much more maintenance with grooming. 

How much exercise would be required for this potential pooch? 

It’s no good getting an energetic dog if the owner is a couch potato.

These are the decisions that need to made before heading to the nearest animal shelter because it is a sure bet that once you get there, all planning goes out the window with the sight of up to 100 dogs running around.

When I first went to Monika’s Doggie Rescue at Ingleside on 1 September 2008 I had been researching the website for weeks trying to find a suitable dog.  I went armed with a shortlist of 6 dogs including a long haired Dachshund crossbred called Liberace. After I “trialed” walking with some other “more suitable” dogs I got to meet Liberace (aka Richie) and it was love at first sight! Needless to say he came home with me and has been my little best friend ever since that day.  We have had some ups and downs over the past few years, such as his penchant for socks and underwear, and his unending fear of thunder and lightning which results in medication… not sure if the Valium is for him or me though!

After adopting Richie as he now called I wanted to do further work to help the animals that find themselves in a predicament through no fault of their own, which is how I came to be a driver for Monica’s Doggie Rescue.  Each week I load up my car with up to 7 crates (6 little ones and a big one) and drive down the M2 out to Blacktown Animal Holding Facility. 

Just seeing the dogs when they are micro chipped makes my heart melt but I know they are headed to a happy place and will be ready for a new home in a few weeks once they are vet checked, de-sexed and vaccinated at North Rocks Vet.  They are then transported to the adoption centre at Doggiewood in the Sydney suburb of Ingleside where many prospective owners make their way out there to be meet their new best friend after completing the adoption process which is not unlike a job interview to ensure the doggies go to the best homes.