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Dogs ... the best medicine of all Print E-mail
Thursday, 29 June 2017 13:08

It has long been accepted that dogs are good for people, physically and mentally. They encourage us to take exercise resulting in lower blood pressure and other benefits and help the lonely to make friends. For many older people, a dog is their sole companion and lifeline.  Which is why it is so depressing that 70% of UK care homes ban pets - unlike the US, France, Norway and Switzerland who have laws forcing providers to accept elederly residents' pets.  Each year thousands of dogs are destroyed because their owners go into care homes while more than 100,000 are rehomed.  Recently the Royal College of Nursing said it thought pets should be able to visit their owners in hospital since such a visit helps patients recover more quickly.  Of course nobody is suggesting that horses, dogs, cats and rabbits start galloping around in intenisve care but surely a well behaved dog would not disrupt a long stay or rehab ward? 

20 minutes is 20 minutes too long Print E-mail
Wednesday, 21 June 2017 13:20

The current heatwave is a mixed blessing for us humans but for dogs it is utter misery.  We have been appalled to see how many people are walking their dogs in the heat of the day; they simply do not need this.  Walk them first or last thing or, if that's not possible, don't walk them at all.  And despite all the publicity, people are still leaving dogs in cars.  In the last few days officers in Devon and Cornwall have been called to 40 cases - and that's in just two counties!  Yesterday a man from Kent was arrested in Sussex for causing unnecessary suffering to his dog after leaving it for more than four hours at lunchtime.  The police say even 20 minutes is too long, in these temperatures.

And while we are on the subject of cruelty, we were shocked to learn of the owner who had more than 30 dogs living in such appalling conditions that three of them had to be put down.  Margaret Greaves has been banned from keeping dogs for life, sentenced to 12 weeks in prison suspended for 12 months and fined £615.  Is that sufficient punishment for such wanton cruelty?

Dognapping on the increase Print E-mail
Monday, 19 June 2017 11:25

It's alarming to discover that five dogs are reported stolen every day.  Last year 1774 dog thefts were reported to the police which is a 19% increase on the previous year.  And it is thought that the numbers may be higher as not everybody reports a dog theft.  The majority of dogs are stolen from their owners' garden or from outside shops but some vanish on walks.  What happens to them?  Depending on age, breed and sex, some are sold online, others end up on puppy farms.  A minority are used as bait in dog fights.  Unfortunately the police tend to regard dog theft in the same way as any other "property" such as a mobile phone - rather than as a treasured member of your family.

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