Monthly Archives: November 2017

Please. Always Stop. (from Janet)

Animal Advocacy Blog Animal Welfare janet Bovitz sandefur just-do-something.org

So, tonight was going to be a different blog. But then we found Badly Hurt Cat.

My husband and I were driving home from dinner this evening, and up ahead, on the cold dark road, cars were driving over a pretty large lump on the road.

We always – ALWAYS – stop.

Tonight was no different. 

We did a u-turn and drove up to the spot where something was lying in the road. It didn’t take more than a quick glance to see that this was an adult striped cat – green eyes open, not blinking, tongue hanging out of a mouth that wasn’t closing.

I always stop, and I always wait. 

It took just another five seconds for Badly Hurt Cat to move. Making an effort to perhaps get up, or a reflex from still being alive but badly hurt from the trauma of being hit by a vehicle.

Regardless, Badly Hurt Cat was alive – barely – and breathing, and not doing much else. Not even a sound. 

We immediately put on hazards, and positioned our car so that others would no longer drive over him, or her. We called 911 and let them know Badly Hurt Cat was severely injured but still alive.

Sometimes 911 takes a while to answer a call, especially, we have found, when it comes to animals in need.

Meanwhile, while my husband is in the car with the hazards, I am making rounds to the nearest houses on all sides of Badly Hurt Cat.  S/he needed prompt medical attention, if in fact s/he would even make it to an emergency vet. Yes, Badly Hurt Cat was hurt that bad.

At least in the county where we live, you can call 911 to come and shoot an injured deer (for example), but they will NOT shoot a domestic animal, even one as badly injured as Badly Hurt Cat. Which is a shame sometimes, because on occasion, it’s kinder to put a greatly suffering animal out of misery than to have to go through the motions of taking him or her to an emergency vet where they will just humanely euthanize that animal anyway.  But the process makes that animal wait – something I disagree with when you know there is no coming back from such an injury.

And, if you get caught euthanizing a domestic animal yourself – even when doing the humane thing, you will get arrested.

Honestly, if I had had an axe, I would have put Badly Hurt Cat out of his/her misery immediately. S/he was that badly unjured, and obviously suffering a great deal. I would have glady taken a police car ride if it meant ending the suffering of an animal that needed that kind of help.  

I would not leave Badly Hurt Cat until I confirmed that 911 sent for additional help, and then they would be taking Badly Hurt Cat to the local Emergency Animal Hospital.  When we drove away, the police car moved his vehicle to our spot, blocking Badly Hurt Cat from oncoming traffic until additional help came. That made me feel better, but not by much. Because I know that Badly Hurt Cat will not be healing from tonight’s accident.

I am not sure the circumstances of how Badly Hurt Cat was hit tonight. But I am certain that the driver was aware that s/he hit something. It would have taken ten seconds to pull over and check. Badly Hurt Cat was a BIG cat. And s/he was left alive, lying in the road, so s/he would be difficult NOT to notice.  But for whatever reason, the driver left the scene without obviously stopping to check – and that is unacceptable in my book.

Dinner tonight ended sadly for me because of Badly Hurt Cat. But how blessed I am that I have the deep desire to always stop, always check and always wait. Because tonight, I came to the aide of an animal in need, and because of that, at least Badly Hurt Cat will not still be lying on a cold dark road, hurt, and not be hit again (and again) until finally that little body has had enough.  By the time I post this, Badly Hurt Cat will have been taken to the Emergency Animal Hospital and humanely euthanized.  And tonight, that is the only reassuring thought out of a horrible thing.

Please – it only takes a moment to make that u-turn, pull over, or keep your eyes open.  It matters. It mattered to Badly Hurt Cat.

Animal Advocacy Founder signature Janet Bovitz Sandefur just-do-something.orgAnimal Advocacy just-do-something.org logo Janet Bovitz Sandefur just-do-something.org

 

Continue Reading

Another Reason Not to Smoke

Animal Advocacy Blog Picture Janet Bovitz Sandefur just-do-something.org

 

The colder weather is upon us, and that means that the majority of those who smoke will be looking for warmer ways to light up.   Previously, those who stepped outside, or opened vehicle windows to take a puff, will be doing that less and less.

Ten years ago, Shirley Worthington rushed Tigger to the vet when the dog’s mouth started bleeding. When she was told he had cancer, she knew to blame her heavy smoking, an addiction she couldn’t kick until after her pet died.

Secondhand smoke can cause lung and nasal cancer in dogs, malignant lymphoma in cats and allergy and respiratory problems in both animals, according to studies done at Tufts University’s School of Veterinary Medicine in Massachusetts, Colorado State University and other schools.

The number of pets that die each year from tobacco exposure isn’t available, but vets know from lab tests and office visits that inhaling smoke causes allergic reactions, inflammation and nasal and pulmonary cancers in pets, said Dr. Kerri Marshall, the chief veterinary officer for Trupanion pet insurance.

Despite Worthington’s certainty about the cause of her dog’s death, more research needs to be done before veterinarians can definitively say whether a dog’s cancer was caused by secondhand smoke or something else, said Dr. Liz Rozanski, whose research at Tufts College focuses on respiratory function in small animals.

Worthington, 52, of Brooklyn, New York, said she was a teenager when she started smoking and she had always smoked around Tigger, who was 8 when he died in 2004. A year later, Worthington, her mom and sister all quit in honor of the bichon frise.

Then, in 2007, Worthington’s mom died while suffering from cancer.

“Cigarettes took my mother,” she said. “And they took my dog.”

Pets aren’t mentioned in this year’s surgeon general’s report, but in 2006, it said secondhand smoke puts animals at risk. The Legacy Foundation, our nation’s largest nonprofit public health charity, encouraged smokers to quit for the sake of their pets, and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals urged making homes with pets smoke-free.

It’s even more important to safeguard cats, which are more susceptible to tobacco smoke than dogs.

Lymphoma is one of the leading causes of feline death. The Tufts research showed that repeated exposure to smoke doubled a cat’s chances of getting the cancer and living with a smoker for more than five years increased the risk fourfold. It can also cause a fatal mouth cancer.

Tobacco companies acknowledge the risks of smoking in people but haven’t taken the same stance with dogs and cats. Philip Morris USA says on its website that it believes cigarettes cause diseases and aggravates others in non-smokers and that the problems warrant warnings.

But “we haven’t taken a stand on the potential impact on pets,” said David Sylvia, a spokesman for Altria Group Inc., the parent company of Philip Morris.

Symptoms of cancer in animals include coughing, trouble eating or breathing, drooling, weight loss, vomiting, nasal discharge, bleeding and sneezing. Cancer kills more dogs and cats than any other disease, according to Denver-based Morris Animal Foundation, which has been funding pet cancer research since 1962.

In addition, the recent surge in the use of electronic cigarettes has raised questions about their impact on pets. The greatest danger is the trash, where dogs can find nicotine cartridges from e-cigarettes, said Rozanski, the Tufts veterinarian.

“You wouldn’t think dogs would eat such things, but they do,” she said.

Do YOU smoke?  We’d like to hear what steps you take to prevent your pet(s) from being around secondhand smoke. Your tips may inspire another smoker to do the same – and that’s helping to save a four-legged life!

Animal Advocacy just-do-something.org logo Janet Bovitz Sandefur just-do-something.org

 

Continue Reading
Translate »

Facebook

Twitter

LinkedId

Google Plus

Follow Me on Pinterest
  • How wonderful the world would be if everyone took the time, every day, to JUST DO SOMETHING. #ROC

    Pinned: 8 Jul 2016
  • Never turn your back. #ROC

    Pinned: 2 Jul 2016
  • Sometimes, it's all up to YOU. #ROC

    Pinned: 23 Jun 2016
  • Happy Memorial Day! #ROC

    Pinned: 29 May 2016
  • Go, make a difference in the life of an animal in need. Stop talking about it and go do it. It matters. #ROC

    Pinned: 26 May 2016
  • Think about it. #ROC

    Pinned: 26 May 2016
  • Drive carefully! Warm weather is waking up our wildlife. #ROC

    Pinned: 12 Mar 2016
  • It's cold tonight. It will be cold tomorrow. #ROC

    Pinned: 29 Feb 2016
  • Never stop championing. #ROC

    Pinned: 10 Feb 2016
  • Shame on anyone who abuses or neglects an animal. And shame on anyone who does not do anything about it. #ROC

    Pinned: 10 Feb 2016