Vermont’s Animal Cruelty Response Summit

November 13, 2014 in Animal Shelters, Animal Welfare, Dogs by Mark at DBDT

A couple of weeks ago I attended a Vermont’s Cruelty Response Summit hosted by the Vermont Humane Federation and supported by a generous donation from the ASPCA.  After the summit I wrote this brief article for a local animal magazine called 4 Legs and A Tail.  The complete article wan’t picked up by the magazine, but they will print a portion of the article in the Fall/Winter edition.  I enjoyed writing this article so I thought I would share it here. Enjoy!


 

On a slightly overcast day in the middle of October over 40 people gathered in the Old Labor Hall in Barre to discuss the advancement of Vermont’s Cruelty Response System (CRS).  The meeting was organized by Joanne Bourbeau of Vermont Human Federation (VHF) and VHF’s Animal Cruelty Response Coalition with the intention of developing specific steps that can be taken to improve and strengthen Vermont’s statewide response to crimes involving animals. 

Vermont’s Animal Cruelty Response Coalition is made up of various agencies and individuals who have an interest in quick and effective enforcement of animal welfare laws.  Members of the coalition include: shelters and rescue groups; Animal Control Offices; veterinarians; municipal officials; prosecutors; local, county, and State law enforcement ; and concerned citizen and volunteers.  Together the members of the Coalition seek to make a difference for Vermont’s large and small animals through communication, education, and training around best practices in handling crimes involving animals. 

The Cruelty Response System (CRS), which is a part of the work of the Coalition, has been developed to help distribute the responsibilities of animal welfare law enforcement across several resources so that no single agency or individual is overburdened.  One of the key components of the CRS is the complaint website ReportAnimalCruelty.com(www.reportanimalcruelty.com) and its associated toll-free number 1-877-9HUMANE.    

ReportAnimalCrueltylogo

ReportAnimalCruelty.com is a user-friendly website that allows Vermont’s citizens to report suspected animal abuse into a confidential system.  After a report is made into the system, the information is immediately disseminates to the lead enforcement and investigative agency in the county of the compliant.  ReportAnimalCruelty.com has been a part of CRS since 2008 and has been collecting data about the reality of animal welfare issues in Vermont ever since.

 This data collected from ReportAnimalCruelty.com, and its companion case management system known as “Animal Tracks”, is helpful in the advancement of legislative action and funding for animal welfare enforcement.  However, these systems do not capture all of the animal cruelty complaints. Last year Vermont’s Department of Public Safety noted that there is a need to improve the current data collection system and create a centralized and uniform process that will include all sectors involved.

Capitalizing on the momentum and excitement from last year’s successful initiatives which included an “Animal CSI” workshop at Forget-me-Not Farm where teams of students practice investigative skills by processing a mock crime scene and a “Farm Animal Cruelty” workshop which covered acceptable livestock husbandry, Bourbeau, the Vermont Humane Federation, and the Animal Cruelty Response Coalition hosted the Animal Cruelty Response Summit in order to provided a platform to tackle hard issues like a centralized reporting system and other issues related to the promotion of animal welfare.   

During the Summit’s day long activities, the participants divided up into four teams in order to develop action plans related to Cruelty Response System’s three focus areas: enforcement, training, and legislation.  After eight hours of hard work, the teams reconvened in the central meeting room of the Old Labor Hall to reveal their action plans.  Each plan demonstrated how the teams had progressed from identifying needs towards concrete next steps.  A few of the next steps presented included support for law enforcement agencies in the implementation of standardized reporting, legislative awareness strategies, and training for humane society staff.  Each plan focused on ways to successfully integrate law enforcement, local and state municipal agencies, and the private sector to better manage complaints, handle cases, and ultimately lead to better outcomes for the animals and agencies involved.  

By the time Joanne presented her closing remarks, it was clear to see that there is significant interest in advancing animal welfare issues in the State.  The reality is that the conclusion of the Summit actually marked the beginning of the next chapter in the hard work being tackled by Vermont’s Animal Cruelty Response Coalition.  Hard work that would not be possible without the dedication of Vermont’s concerned citizens and professional who believe that through a collaborative effort we can promote positive societal changes for the benefit of animals and humans. 

The Animal Cruelty Response Summit was made possible with the generous support of the ASPCA.

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Photo from www.aspca.org/fight-cruelty/report-animal-cruelty


Damien’s Best Dog Toys donates dog and cat toys to area shelters. To date we have donated 463 dog toys and 6762 cat toys. You can support our work by visiting our Etsy.com store and purchasing your very own handmade, rugged, rope toy that is perfect for playing fetch, tug, and positive reinforcement training!

Tuesday’s Tails: Lyman

November 11, 2014 in adoptable cats, Tuesday's Tails by Mark at DBDT

Welcome to Tuesday’s Tails Blog Hop hosted by DogsnPawz.com and Talking Dogs.

Tuesday’s Tails blog hop features shelter animals. Come join the fun and help a furry friend find a forever home! And while you’re at it, don’t forget to visit the other blogs and share their dogs, cats, rabbits, and all the other animals that need forever homes on your social media sites. Please spread the word!

November is Adopt a Senior Pet Month and this week we are featuring Lyman! Lyman is senior domestic long hair cat now staying at North Country Animal League.

lyman 1

Lyman is a super cool senior awaiting his purrfect retirement home!

lyman 2

This laid back cat wants nothing more than a lap to claim and some sun to soak up. He is good with kids, cats, and dogs.

lyman 3

Lyman has some digestion needs that an adopter will need to consider.

Visit Lyman’s Petfinder page to find out more about her or the other dogs and cats available for adoption at North Country Animal League. 

Myrtle’s photos were taken by the staff at NCAL

Adopt a Kitten

Don’t forget to visit all the other wonderful adoptable animals featured in this blog hop!

Damien’s Best Dog Toys donates dog and cat toys to area shelters. To date we have donated 463 dog toys and 6762 cat toys. You can support our work by visiting our Etsy.com store and purchasing your very own handmade, rugged, rope toy that is perfect for playing fetch, tug, and positive reinforcement training!

Tuesday’s Tails: Bailey

November 4, 2014 in adoptable dogs, Tuesday's Tails by Mark at DBDT

Welcome to Tuesday’s Tails Blog Hop hosted by DogsnPawz.com and Talking Dogs.

Tuesday’s Tails blog hop features shelter animals. Come join the fun and help a furry friend find a forever home! And while you’re at it, don’t forget to visit the other blogs and share their dogs, cats, rabbits, and all the other animals that need forever homes on your social media sites. Please spread the word!

This week we are featuring Bailey! Bailey is an 6 year old female Beagle now staying at North Country Animal League.

Bailey

Bailey is a happy girl that wants nothing more than a comfy bed and a nice lap to lay down on.

bailey 2

Bailey prefers to be the center of attention, and does not like sharing the light with other dogs but she is okay with having a kitty friend around. Bailey is an all around sweet girl who deserves nothing more than her perfect forever home.

bailey 3

Visit Bailey’s Petfinder page to find out more about her or the other dogs and cats available for adoption at North Country Animal League. 

Myrtle’s photos were taken by the staff at NCAL
Adopt a Dog

Don’t forget to visit all the other wonderful adoptable animals featured in this blog hop!

Damien’s Best Dog Toys donates dog and cat toys to area shelters. To date we have donated 451 dog toys and 6512 cat toys. You can support our work by visiting our Etsy.com store and purchasing your very own handmade, rugged, rope toy that is perfect for playing fetch, tug, and positive reinforcement training!

Tuesday’s Tails: Myrtle

October 28, 2014 in adoptable cats, Cats, Tuesday's Tails by Mark at DBDT

Welcome to Tuesday’s Tails Blog Hop hosted by DogsnPawz.com and Talking Dogs.

Tuesday’s Tails blog hop features shelter animals. Come join the fun and help a furry friend find a forever home! And while you’re at it, don’t forget to visit the other blogs and share their dogs, cats, rabbits, and all the other animals that need forever homes on your social media sites. Please spread the word!

This week we are featuring Myrtle! Myrtle is an 8 year old DSH now staying at North Country Animal League.

Myrtel Sitting

Myrtle is a lovely cat who hasn’t had the easiest life. The poor girl only has two teeth left! She is incredibly sweet and would make an excellent lap cat.

Myrtel Standing

Myrtle would like to be the only cat in your home, but would be okay living with a calmer dog that knows when she needs some space. She is good with most kids as well.

myrtel close

Visit Myrtle’s Petfinder page to find out more about her or the other dogs and cats available for adoption at North Country Animal League. 

Adopt a Kitten

Myrtle’s photos were taken by the staff at NCAL

Don’t forget to visit all the other wonderful adoptable animals featured in this blog hop!

Damien’s Best Dog Toys donates dog and cat toys to area shelters. To date we have donated 451 dog toys and 6512 cat toys. You can support our work by visiting our Etsy.com store and purchasing your very own handmade, rugged, rope toy that is perfect for playing fetch, tug, and positive reinforcement training!

Steeler climbs Worcester Mountain

October 24, 2014 in Dogs, Hiking with Dogs by Mark at DBDT

Worcester Mountain maybe the least visited mountain of the Worcester Range Peaks located in central Vermont. The other peaks in the Worcester range are Mount Hunger, Stowe Pinnacle, and Mount Elmore. The 2.5 mile Worcester Mountain trail starts just outside of the town of Worcester, VT. From the parking lot, the trail ascends 1970’ through a variety of mixed woods with several water crossings.

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Trail up Worcester Mountain

One of the water crossing

One of the water crossing

I have climbed this mountain several times and I am always delighted when I reach the stand of birch trees located in a sag of the trail near the final rocky ascent. These birch trees signal that the summit is close.

Steeler in the birches

Steeler in the birches

After leaving the birch trees, the trail definitely becomes steeper and large rock formations take over the trail.

Uphill

Uphill

At about the 2.2 mile mark, the trail turns sharply left as it meanders through some thick scrub on its way to the summit.

Climbing the rocks

Climbing the rocks

A very intriguing part of this hike for me is the Skyline Trail. The Skyline Trail connects Worcester Mountain to Stowe Pinnacle and to Mount Hunger. It would be great to one day hike up Worcester and across the ridge to come out on Stowe Pinnacle.  This picture isn’t the best but it says that the Pinnacle is 4.5 miles away and Mount Hunger is a little over 5 miles away.

Trail sign

Trail sign

But for today Steeler and I just headed up to the summit and back.

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The total hike took about 3.5 hours and we only ran into 3 other people. Because of the relative quick trip up and back and the uncrowded trail, Worcester Mountain trail is another one of my favorite hikes.

FitDog Friday

Please enjoy our FitDog Friday Blog Hop brought to you by SlimDoggy and our co-hosts To Dog with Love and My GBGV Life. Join the Hop or just enjoy the links below – lots of fun fitness tips and advice!

Damien’s Best Dog Toys donates dog and cat toys to area shelters. To date we have donated 451 dog toys and 6512 cat toys. You can support our work by visiting our Etsy.com store and purchasing your very own handmade, rugged, rope toy that is perfect for playing fetch, tug, and positive reinforcement training!

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Fall Foliage from the Pinnacle

October 22, 2014 in Dogs, Hiking with Dogs, Photo Post, Wordless Wednesday by Mark at DBDT

Welcome to Wordless Wednesday!

Back in June, Veruca and I hiked up to the summit of the Pinnacle in Stowe, VT.  After I posted the summary of that hike, it was mentioned that I should go back in the fall and get some photos of the leaves changing color. (You can read that complete post here.)

So, a couple of days ago, Steeler and I ventured back out to the Pinnacle trail.  My goal was to get a couple of foliage photos from the summit.  I may not have traveled up at peak foliage season, but I think I was able to get several good photos.

Let us know what you think.  Do you have a favorite photo?

Meadow view

From the meadow at the start of the trail.

Steeler on the trail

Steeler on the trail.

Rocky path to the summit

Rocky path to the summit

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Arriving back at the meadow.

Arriving back at the meadow.

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Follow the link below to visit all the other great blogs participating in this Wordless Wednesday blog hop.

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Damien’s Best Dog Toys donates dog and cat toys to area shelters. To date we have donated 451 dog toys and 6512 cat toys. You can support our work by visiting our Etsy.com store and purchasing your very own handmade, rugged, rope toy that is perfect for playing fetch, tug, and positive reinforcement training!

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Tuesday’s Tails: Carlos

October 21, 2014 in adoptable dogs, Tuesday's Tails by Mark at DBDT

Welcome to Tuesday’s Tails Blog Hop hosted by DogsnPawz.com and Talking Dogs.

Tuesday’s Tails blog hop features shelter animals. Come join the fun and help a furry friend find a forever home! And while you’re at it, don’t forget to visit the other blogs and share their dogs, cats, rabbits, and all the other animals that need forever homes on your social media sites. Please spread the word!

This week we are featuring Carlos!

carlos 2

Carlos is a young hound mix who is now staying at North Country Animal League.

carlos 1

Carlos is a local stray who is quickly learning the benefits of belly rubs and the comfy beds at the shelter.

carlos 3

Carlos is a well mannered, intelligent dog that keeps his kennel nice and tidy. He is starting to work on learning commands and will do anything to make you happy (and for a treat of course!).

Visit Carlos’ Petfinder.com page to find out more about him or the other dogs and cats available for adoption at North Country Animal League. 

Carlos’ photos were taken by the staff at NCAL
Dog Adoption

Don’t forget to visit all the other wonderful adoptable animals featured in this blog hop!

Damien’s Best Dog Toys donates dog and cat toys to area shelters. To date we have donated 451 dog toys and 6512 cat toys. You can support our work by visiting our Etsy.com store and purchasing your very own handmade, rugged, rope toy that is perfect for playing fetch, tug, and positive reinforcement training!

7 Questions for Adam Fitzgerald from FCHS

October 16, 2014 in 7 Questions, adoptable cats, adoptable dogs, Animal Shelters by Mark at DBDT

Welcome to this week’s installment of the 7 Questions blog series.


 This week I am very excited to hear from Adam Fitzgerald.

Adam is the President of the Board of Directors for Frankiln County Humane Society (FCHS) in St. Albans, VT.

FCHS promotes the health, welfare, and humane treatment of animals in Northwestern Vermont by providing temporary shelter for them with the ultimate goal of finding them good, permanent homes within the community.  FCHS has grown from an all volunteer driven effort to an incorporated 501 ©3 non-profit organization housed in a 3500 square foot building that can comfortably house approximately 23 dogs and 30 cats; numbers which more often than not are exceeded.  The future of FCHS depends on caring, generous individuals to ensure its ability to shelter these animals until they can find their rightly deserved loving permanent homes.

Adam has graciously agreed to take part in Damien’s Best Dog Toys 7 Questions Blog Series in exchange for a donation of 3 Damien’s Best Dog Toys in his name to FCHS.


7 Questions for Adam Fitzgerald

DBDT: Adam, Can you tell me about some of the animals residing at Franklin County Human Society?

Adam: With over 100 animals currently residing in the shelter, picking just a few to highlight is tough! One of my favorites is Molly, an 18 month old husky mix. She’s a beautiful, friendly pup who has great manners and would love to go to an active family who will take her for walks and play fetch with her! Right now we’ve got a kitten here at Walker’s Farm, Home and Tack (we’re a remote adoption site) named Teddy. He’s a black cat with a perfect white mustache under his nose. His brother Oreo is hanging out with him and they’re both looking for their forever home!

DBDT: Can you talk about how you became the President of the Franklin County Humane Society’s Board of Directors?

Adam:  I joined the board in 2011 when they were looking for directors with a business background. After the first year I was on the board there was a lot of turnover, and I took on a more active roll. I was elected vice president and was able through my position here at Walker’s to start hosting and planning more events. When the previous President stepped down last year I was nominated and elected, and was just elected to my second term earlier this month.

Snoop Dog

Snoop Dog At FCHS

DBDT: FCHS has been around since 1964, can you talk about how the organization has changed in the past 50 years?

Adam: FCHS was stared in an old building on the radar base on Fairfield Hill with just a few members and a passion for helping animals. In the mid 1990s we built and moved into a more modern facility in St Albans City. This space has allowed us to help find forever homes for countless dogs, cats, rabbits, birds and more! As well as start programs like Trap, Neuter, Release, to help control our feral cat population and out Low Cost Spay and Neuter program to offer the community an affordable way to get their animals fixed. As we’ve grown, so have the communities we serve, and with them the animal population. Now there is more of a need than ever for the Franklin County Humane Society.

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Franklin County Humane Society in winter

DBDT: As a member of the Board of Directors, what do you see as your most important role?

Adam: I believe that the Board of Directors main role is to make sure the shelter is financially viable so that they are able to continue the work that is so desperately needed. My goal is for the board to stay out of the day to day running of the shelter and take a more over-arching view to guarantee the future of the shelter.

Princess at FCHS

Princess at FCHS

DBDT: From your perspective, what is the biggest issue facing animal rescues and shelters?

Adam: I believe that education is the biggest issue facing our shelter, and others as well. Servicing a primarily rural area, we see so much neglect because of a lack of understanding of the basic needs of animals. My belief is that if we are able to educate the next generation of animal owners we would see less neglect, more spaying and neutering and happier animals and humans. Our goal is to start an education program that targets middle school students on these issues.

DBDT: What is one thing that you have learned from working with animals that you would like share with the world?

Adam: That the love and care you give to animals will come back to you one hundred fold.

Sam at FCHS

Sam at FCHS

DBDT: What is your favorite animal related memory?

Adam: This is a tough one! This past may we were able to take part in the Maddie’s Fund Adoption event and we were able to find homes for 100 animals over two days. It was free to adopt, but the adopters did have to be preapproved. Seeing so many happy families with their new family members is something I won’t forget.

To see some of the dogs and cats available for adoption at FCHS visit their website.


Are you interested in participating in Damien’s best Dog Toys 7 Questions Series?

Visit the 7 Questions Info page to learn more, or use the Contact Us to find out more.

Damien’s Best Dog Toys donates dog and cat toys to area shelters. To date we have donated 451 dog toys and 6512 cat toys. You can support our work by visiting our Etsy.com store and purchasing your very own handmade, rugged, rope toy that is perfect for playing fetch, tug, and positive reinforcement training!

Wordless Wednesday: Chase Away K9 Cancer5K

October 15, 2014 in Animal Medical, Wordless Wednesday by Mark at DBDT

Welcome to Wordless Wednesday!

Last weekend Veruca and I went to Burlington to participate in Vermont’s 4th Annual Chase Away 5K.

registration

Registration

 

Here is Veruca posing for her pre-race photo.

Waiting for the race

Waiting to run.

Little did we know we were being filmed by the local news. See if you can find us in the video.

WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Vermont’s Chase Away 5K is part of the National Chase Away K9 Cancer movement.

 Founded in 2006 by Cera Reusser, Chase Away K9 Cancer brings together people and dogs from all walks of life to combat and eventually defeat this horrible disease. Chase Away K9 Cancer is a grassroots effort with volunteers from all across the country where donations and net proceeds from merchandise fund canine cancer studies and help to raise K9 cancer awareness. Chase Away K9 Cancer is a fund held within the National Canine Cancer Foundation which is the parent non-profit 501c3. Read more at chaseawayk9cancer.org

 

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Follow the link below to visit all the other great blogs participating in this Wordless Wednesday blog hop.

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Click here to enter your link and view this Linky Tools list…

 

Damien’s Best Dog Toys donates dog and cat toys to area shelters.  To date we have donated 451 dog toys and 6512 cat toys. You can support our work by visiting our Etsy.com store and purchasing your very own handmade, rugged, rope toy that is perfect for playing fetch, tug, and positive reinforcement training!

Tuesday’s Tails: Maxamillion

October 14, 2014 in adoptable dogs, Tuesday's Tails by Mark at DBDT

Welcome to Tuesday’s Tails Blog Hop hosted by DogsnPawz.com and Talking Dogs.

Tuesday’s Tails blog hop features shelter animals. Come join the fun and help a furry friend find a forever home! And while you’re at it, don’t forget to visit the other blogs and share their dogs, cats, rabbits, and all the other animals that need forever homes on your social media sites. Please spread the word!

This week we are featuring Maxamillion! Maxamillion is an 18 month old Beagle staying at North Country Animal League.

Maxamillion sitting

Maxamillion is a lovable boy that wants to run and play. He needs lots of exercise and would love a canine friend to pal around with or a fenced yard at home.

Maxamillion by tree

Maxamillion is good with children and promises to bring joy to his new family everyday.

Visit Maxamillion’s Petfinder page to find out more about him or the other dogs and cats available for adoption at North Country Animal League.


 

Not ready to adopt, but still want to help out adoptable dogs?

 Join Petfinder.com and Beggin in celebrating #Howloween.

Howloween JPEG

For every photo or video tagged with #Howloween in the month of October in 2014, Beggin’ will donate 1 bag of Beggin’ (up to 10,000 bags) to one of Petfinder’s thousands of shelters across the country because every dog deserves a treat during #Howloween!

Additionally, Beggin’ will be donating $10,000 to the Petfinder Foundation to further help homeless pets!

To find out more about #Howloween visit Petfinder’s blog here.

 

Don’t forget to visit all the other wonderful adoptable animals featured in this blog hop!


 

Damien’s Best Dog Toys donates dog and cat toys to area shelters. To date we have donated 451 dog toys and 6512 cat toys. You can support DBDT’s in its initiative to donate dog and cat toys to area shelters by visiting Pet360!

This week at Pet360! Find the top trending Halloween Costumes for all Pets!