Christmastime - that magical time of the year when sleigh bells ring and every charitable organization in the world is trying to convince you that THEY are the place you should donate your hard earned money to.
There have been some interesting ads in major publications. Last week there was a full page anti-HSUS ad in USA Today. I think it's content was factual but the underlying agenda of the source was questionable.
Yesterday there was a half page full color ad for PETA in the Wall Street Journal. I just about choked on my coffee when I saw it. It featured a celebrity who had sprouted wings to look like a Victoria's Secret Angel holding a chihuahua. The text reads "Kara DioGuardi and Tikki for PETA. Be an Angel for Animals. Walk your dogs every day. Don't ever crate or chain them."
That was it. There was no explanation for their statement, no qualifications. Just "Don't ever crate or chain them."
Really? I guess as far as PETA is concerned, they're better off dead than in a crate or on a chain.
Here's a picture of our dog Pixie in the backyard. We don't have a fence and she is a high flight risk, so she gets tied out. Is this chaining? Is this cruel? She looks kind of happy to me. Lots of times she is tied to a piece of firewood - just heavy enough for her to drag and explore the yard, but too heavy for her to escape (with any speed, anyways). I call it the "dog on a log" technique. Works for us and also supports the "A Tired Dog is a Good Dog" theory.
Is it horribly cruel if a person leaves a dog in crate when they can't supervise them? I put my dogs in crates when we are at flyball tournaments. Is this cruel? Is this what PETA means?
If you disagree with chaining - instead of giving your money to PETA why don't you approach your city council to get an ordinance passed that limits the amount of time a dog can be tied out.
Someone told me once that they thought that dogs that spend more than seven days in a kennel are better off dead. We're going on vacation soon and we leave our dogs at a kennel. Should we kill them before we go and get new ones when we come back?
I am getting so tired of these "better off dead" cliches that result in guilty consciences, surrenders and shelter deaths.
So, just a word of warning. Before you open up your checkbook, check out the true agenda of the organizations you donate to. Better yet, volunteer at your local shelter or rescue and if you decide they are following the mission you believe in, make your holiday donation to them.