Houston SPCA caring for dogs seized from filthy trailer

Owner says circling UFOs made the animals unhealthy

Copyright 2008 Houston Chronicle

Dec. 13, 2008, 8:56PM

James Nielsen Chronicle

Dr. Dev Rajan, of the Houston SPCA, holds one of the terriers seized from a trailer in Fayette County earlier this month.

Houston SPCA veterinarian Roberta Westbrook lifted a trembling toy English fox terrier into her arms Saturday afternoon to examine the dog’s emaciated body.

The spine and ribs of the malnourished terrier were visible. The dog’s nails were overgrown and her tiny paws were soiled from living in her own feces. The dog was among 42 terriers brought to the Houston SPCA Friday from the Gardenia E. Janssen Animal Shelter in Fayette County.

Authorities in Fayette County seized the dogs on Dec. 3, after they were found living in a 5-by-9 foot trailer — eating, sleeping and giving birth in their own waste — with a woman who claimed the terriers were unhealthy because UFOs were circling above her home, said Houston SPCA spokeswoman Meera Nandlal.

“We don’t know if she was breeding them or why she was living with them in such a small space, ” Nandlal said.

Authorities in Fayette County could not be reached for comment on Saturday. It is unknown at this time if any charges will be brought against the woman.

The animal shelter enlisted the Houston SPCA’s help to house and care for the 40 dogs, some of whom are as old as 10. The terrier Westbrook was examining gave birth to two female puppies since she was removed from the trailer.

Most of the dogs are in poor physical condition. Two of them are missing limbs for unknown reasons.

“They could be purebred, but not the best standard,” Westbrook said.

All the dogs will undergo medical and behavioral evaluations. After being cleaned and treated, healthy dogs will be put up for adoption, Westbrook said, adding that those who need more time to recover will be placed in foster care.

The Houston SPCA often sees many large animal seizures, Nandlal said. Recently, the organization took in 70 feral cats.

“Unfortunately, it’s not unusual, ” she said. “There are all kinds of animals that are put into situations they have no control of.”

– A New Puppy for the Holidays-


It seems like only yesterday that we were packing up our pumpkins and other Halloween décor (actually it was last weekend) and now mid November is almost here and we are trying to decide on turkey or ham for our Thanksgiving festivities.

Christmas, Hanuka, and Kwanzaa are just around the corner and many of us are scratching our heads in bewilderment as we ponder the quest for the perfect gifts.

Those of us with children look forward to the excitement that is contagious as presents are opened by our youngest ones bright eyed and full of expectation.

An age old gift parents like to surprise their little ones with is a bright,shiny, living and breathing, you guessed it, brand new puppy.

This particular article in essence is to address the perils of rash decision making, such as the purchase of an animal.

If you are thinking about introducing a puppy into your family circle, make sure you are fully aware of the responsibility you are taking on and all that it entails.

Puppies are cute and adorable, but for most of us that cuteness can wear off in the span of 24 hours. Usually beginning after your newest family addition has kept you up half the night howling from loneliness and self pity, caused by being separated from it’s mother and litter mates.

After a few more days of constantly cleaning up puppy droppings and puddles the sudden realization of what we have gotten ourselves into hits home, and hits home hard.

The newest addition to our family is similar to acquiring another toddler, extremely needy and of the diaperless variety.

But that is not by far the least of it, a chewing monster with a taste for anything and everything has been unleashed, upon your leather couches and designer Italian shoes.

Shelters and rescue organizations everywhere are full of unwanted animals that people were unprepared for. So before making a commitment you may regret make sure you are prepared.

Below is a check list which can help assist you when purchasing a new family member.

  • Your wallet will be affected.

    Pets cost money, they need shots, worming and may have health issues just as humans do.

    They need nutritious diets and supplementation to help keep them healthy and live long lives.

  • Educate yourself in what breed may best compliment your family and lifestyle.

    For example certain breeds are better suited with children, other breeds are extremely people oriented and when left alone for long periods of time (IE: when you are at work) become very destructive. And then there are those that are extraordinarily ‘high’ maintenance and therefore expensive (such as English Bulldogs due chronic to skin problems, allergy issues and so on that is associated with the breed itself.) Some breeds need a lot of exercise and room to run, while others need specialized grooming and maintenance.

  • Buy a crate -familiarize yourself with crate training.

    There are differing opinions on crating an animal, but dogs are den animals and in my opinion it is the most humane way to ensure your sanity and teach your pet.

  • Research the proper food and nutrition – be very aware of the vast pet food recall and the companies that are involved. Avoid using these brands like the plague. Always remember ‘anywhere’ that sells pet food including Vets and pet stores make profit off their sales. Trust no one’s word, do your own investigation. All of this information is available to anyone who takes the time to look , via the internet.

    NOTE: Always remember the most expensive food is not necessarily the best food.

    Hopefully these tips have given you a good guideline to start you off.

Dog emotions and body language

Below is a great articled I borrowed from spirit dog, okay I stole it….but the point is why rewrite something that is already so ‘aptly put’

I love the study of an animals body language I find it utterly fascinating. Your animal can truly communicate with you if you only learn what he is trying to tell you.

Dog emotions and body language

Reading dog emotions and body language is key to a better understanding of our dogs.

Our dogs emotions although complex, are on par with a one year old child’s emotions. The particular emotions that are being displayed by our dog at any given time is devoid of any intelligent reasoning. Which simply means, a dogs emotion is an immediate response to an external stimulus.

Example A ;

We come home and find that our dog has chewed something up, or has gone to the bathroom in our home. We often misinterpret the submissive behavior as guilt, shame, regret, remorse, disgrace, a guilty conscience and so forth. A dogs mind can no more understand the definitions of those words, than a one year old child can. Never the less the concept of what those words mean.

A contributing factor or more to the point, main factor in our dogs behavior in this matter can be us. This usually happens once our dog has chewed something up in the past. Because we are anticipating some sort of destruction when we come home. Instead of walking in the door with a smile on our face, we walk in looking to see what got chewed up. Our dog reads this body language as anger, and we mistake his submissive body posture as guilt.

Example B ;

Often in a home that has multiple dogs, when one dog passes on. We can mistake our dogs initial confusion and unsureness that is related to the change in pack structure, as a feeling of sorrow and loss. What happens most often in this scenario is, we project our feelings and emotions onto our dog. In this case our dogs emotions, are an appropriate response to our body language, which is displaying sadness, sorrow and loss. We can help our dog in this situation, by us not showing him our sadness.

Example C ; If our dog does something we do not like, and we lose our composure while yelling at him to stop it. He will process this information based on our body language and emotions. And since our body language and emotions are out of control at that time, our dog responds accordingly. That’s to say, our dog will act more crazy because that’s how we are acting. Again, we will mistake his excitable behavior as being defiant or as challenging us.

For some of us this reality about a dogs brain can be very disheartening, and it shouldn’t be. That would be like us loving our one year old baby less because he doesn’t understand words. Yet we are easily able to communicate with our child by using our emotions. Our dog is no different, emotions are our dogs language.

The Spirit Dog

Need to be a better alpha, practice your acting skills

Palin is the pits

I have a year and a half old female blue nose pit bull. I sit in fear every day that one more ignorant owner is going to bring the BSL down on my county. I already have to hide her to get home owners insurance!!!

Thanks Sarah for putting one more nail in our dogs coffins!!!

In light of all the ruckus over Sarah Palin and her ‘pitbull’ comments it’s no wonder she’s not doing interviews. I can see it now Palin showing up on Opera wearing a wolf fur trimmed outfit. (And that is another insidious story.)

This move by Mcain to bring her on still bewilders me his publisist had to know this was bound to happen.

Here’s my conspiracy theory for the night it’s all a ploy to get votes for the ‘anti-Christ’  Obama.:)

This dude is way too smooth for my radar.

Pitbull Owners Blast Palin

Pitbull Owners Blast Palin

Comparison ‘Offensive,’ Dog Fanciers Complain

Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, who famously compared herself to a pitbull in her vice-presidential acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention, appears to have antagonized a key voting bloc in the upcoming election, the nation’s pitbull owners.

While Gov. Palin’s assertion that the only difference between a hockey mom and a pitbull was “lipstick” drew a loud ovation from the Republican faithful in St. Paul, it raised the ire of the Pitbull Anti-Defamation League, a powerful association of pitbull fanciers who monitor the portrayal of pitbulls in the media.

“As someone who has owned pitbulls for the past twenty years, my jaw dropped,” said Carol Foyler, the group’s executive director.  “Most of us are thinking the same thing: enough is enough.”

Ms. Foyler said that for pitbull owners who have grown weary of their prized dogs being defamed and mistreated, Gov. Palin’s wisecrack was the last straw: “We’re all like, first the Michael Vick thing, and now this.”

Tracy Klugian, an irate pitbull owner from Buffalo, New York, echoed Ms. Foyler’s sentiments: “I can think of many differences between pitbulls and Gov. Palin – for starters, pitbulls don’t try to get their ex-brothers-in-law fired.”

With Sens. Barack Obama (D-Ill) and John McCain (R-Ariz) fighting for every last vote, a coveted voting bloc like pitbull owners could very well decide the 2008 election, political insiders believe.

While Gov. Palin was not available for comment on the pitbull controversy, a spokesperson for the McCain-Palin ticket offered this official statement: “Gov. Palin does in fact have one thing in common with a pitbull: neither is capable of answering questions from reporters.”

I had to pull the copy and paste deal on this article!!! I could not pass it up.