Pets and the Internet
By Barbara Masi
Facebook is a fabulous place to network our animals and their antics – love of them and grief when they pass. Quite frankly I do not agree with the posting of the animal abuse – dead animals – videos where the videographer is as guilty as the individual performing the abuse – except if it is to locate the person and prosecute them.
But there are many things posted on Facebook that are entirely wrong and are passed along as “cute” for others to see. Pictures of children riding animals or stepping on them – even videos of them approaching a sleeping animal or one that is clearly stressed from too much interaction with the child are not what I like to see. The animal is not at fault when the child is bitten, but the parents will “get rid of” the animal either by taking it to a shelter or having it euthanized.
Why don’t people realize these are living, breathing creatures? They deserve to have some personal time as they sleep / rest or even as they eat. Children need to learn to respect the animal and take good care of it – not treat it as another toy. This will only be accomplished with the parents teaching the children.
NEVER post a dog as being available on Craig’s List – that is the first place people look for dogs when they are searching for bait dogs for dog fighting and also for selling to laboratories for animal experiments. And yes – even here in good old Palm Beach County there is dog fighting – although we do everything to prevent / combat it.
I am personally on quite a few of the dog Facebook sites and find some of the postings extremely disturbing. Another one of my pet peeves is a dog with an “outdoor” collar on in the house. No need for a choke collar or martingale in the house – just a loose tag collar will do. Personally, I do not use the tag collars with the D rings – nor do I have the tags on the collars when in the house. I use the collars with the embroidered name and phone number (see photo) which will do the trick should you need to corral the dog around the house and it also is sufficient to ID the dog immediately if it gets loose.
I also see dogs in crates with chain or martingale collars on or others with D-rings. These can get caught on the crate and the dog will hang himself trying to get loose. The best precaution is to take the collar off the dog when it is crated and have it hang outside the crate to be put on immediately upon letting the dog out.
Another hint to remember is to contact the microchip company when you first get your dog. He or she will be registered to the former owner or adoption group and not to you until you make the change. You need to update the information on the dog so you will be contacted if the dog is found loose. My adoption group always recommends that the “second contact” remains the organization as they usually have someone available to assist in the finding of the lost dog – should this ever happen.
As we teach our children to be kind to animals, we are also teaching them to be kind to humans as it is a well-known fact that many / most of those who are incarcerated for crimes against humans started with crimes against animals.