19th Annual “Grateful” Dog Walk & Pet Fair
[dropcap]F[/dropcap]or the past three years I have been attending the Monmouth County SPCA’s Annual Dog Walk and Pet Fair and this year it was the best one we have attended. Monmouth County is located in central New Jersey and is a lovely place to live and work. Only 35 miles south of New York City and my home for over 30 years.
The Grateful Dog Walk and Pet Fair was held on the campus of Brookdale Community College in Lincroft, New Jersey and a beautiful day it was. Thousands of attendees and their beautiful dogs attended the event, many in their Halloween costumes.
It is truly a wonderful sight to behold. So much love, dogs that all seemed to understand they had to be on their best behavior today. They sensed it was indeed a special occasion, one where they could meet and sniff other dogs to their hearts content as their owners shared stories on how much their dogs mean to them. It was indeed a love fest of animals and humans and one we would not want to miss.
Of course the campus was filled with all sorts of activities from animal friendly vendors that offered interesting doggie goodies, clothing, toys and services to contests for the best costume and even one that recognized the “inner beauty” in dogs that may not be considered “beautiful on the outside”.
We agreed on the importance, for those of us that have public voices, to spread the word and to inform people about pet shop puppies and where they come from. At the same time we should all encourage them to support the many rescue shelters, like the ones run by and supported by the MCSPCA.
There was no shortage this year of veterinarian’s and medical support personnel. Many attended the walk from animal hospitals, mobile vet services, walk-in vet centers, and traditional practices. Some of these new services now offer emergency and many of the routine services like, check ups, vaccinations, dental services, all at affordable cost. I was told they can offer these at up to 40% off the standard rates. They save money by not having to equip their clinics with expensive medical equipment and in many cases will staff it with trained vet technicians and may not even have a vet on premise.
Naturally their cost of operation is much lower and they can pass the savings on to their patients. I have to laugh at the idea of pet clinics now. You see, I just went to my local CVS drug store and in minutes got my annual flu shot. No appointment necessary, no waiting, no charge for the shot (my insurance covers it) and it was done in a few minutes.
These walk-in pet clinics are usually owned by Vet Hospitals and full service practices that are looking to broaden their patient base and create a new revenue source for their businesses. If you need to take your pet in for a routine examination, vaccination and visits, this can be an affordable and convenient option.
One of the affordable care operations we spoke to, BasiCare Vet Clinic, is now running a promotion. For $49, they include the office visit and up to three vaccinations. If you have their $5 coupon, it comes down to $44. Now every dog and cat can get their shots on time, get their heartworm, fecal and parasite tests, even get microchipping. They even provide discounted costs for euthanasia and cremation.
Watch our video and learn from one of these professionals the proper way to give your dog CPR in an during a medical emergency.
The walk always has a 50/50 drawing and this year one lucky winner walked away with over $25,000 dollars. What a a great drawing, it raised that much for the MCSPCA and added a lot of excitement to all of the ticket holders at the event.
This event is there biggest fund raising venture and last year it raised over $120,000, this year they raised $130,000. A great event with so many hard working and generous people that made the event such a success.
[box_light]Puppy Mills, My Story and My Cause[/box_light]
Five years ago, we became the proud owners of a beautiful little Chihuahua/Jack Russel mix that we thought was a purebred Chihuahua. We discovered after a year or so with the help of an online dog DNA test that our pure bred Chi, was actually a mix. As a journalist, I started to do research and discovered that not only this store but all puppy stores actually purchased their puppies from “Puppy Mills” or wholesalers who in turn bought their “stock” from puppy mills. These mills are located around the country and breed dogs in the most horrid conditions imaginable.
The male and female breeding dogs are usually confined to a small cage and virtually never leave it. Most will breed up to 5 or even 6 times each year. Some are in such poor physical and mental health that it is understandable that their litter will suffer many health issues. Ours had “Kennel Cough” that is some cases if not treated can become pneumonia and the dog could die. Many others dogs we have met, have other major deformities and behavioral problems and their owners admit they purchased their dogs from a puppy store, many from the same store I bought Georgie.
When I discovered the deception and learned more about the awful conditions these breeder dogs live in, I decided I had to do something. As much as we love our Georgie, I just wouldn’t allow these people to not only continue to defraud their customers, but maybe, just maybe, by me standing tall and taking them on, I could make a difference.
After months of listening to their lies, I decided to do what I have done before and looked to the Small Claims court in my county. For $23, I was able to file my complaint and have the court issue a summons for the owner to appear before me and the judge in small claims court.
Once he understood that I was serious, he decided it would be wise to refund the full $1,000. Georgie now has a wonderful, loving home and his own Facebook Fan Page too. LIKE him at I Love Georgie on FB.
So I want to share my story with all my readers and urge all of you to help us stop these puppy stores by not patronizing them and look to the good people at the legitimate rescue shelters and SPCA’s around the country when planning to adopt a dog or cat.
Remember, if you think you purchased a dog from a puppy store that may not be purebred, purchase a dog DNA test not only to demand a refund if it was not what you were supposed to have received, but more importantly it will let you understand what traits they should exhibit and what their future medical history might be.
“So this is the reason I go to these events and the reason that this year I wanted to share my story with my readers.”
Remember that those that buy a dog or cat from a pet shop only helps these businesses thrive. You support them, they support puppy mills and puppy mills kill and maim hundreds of thousands of animals each year.
My video of the Grateful Dog Walk and Pet Fair is dedicated to all of the poor dogs that are still being tortured and forced to breed in the puppy mills and to those offspring that come into this world and never have a chance to live a healthy and long life.
Every week the MCSPCA receives transports of some far out puppies from at-risk shelters in the South so that they can save a life while keeping with the animal welfare message of “opt to adopt.” If not a dog, perhaps a fab kitten is what you had in mind for your next animal companion!
Every September the Homeward Bound Adoption Center is filled to capacity, due to what is commonly referred to as kitten season. These kittens are the result of the “free love” that occurs when cats are left to roam without being spayed or neutered. If you can’t make the Walk and would still like to visit some cute young adoptables, visit the MCSPCA Homeward Bound Adoption Center at the Freehold Raceway Mall. The mall location specializes in puppies, kittens and a full assortment of funky toys, treats and treasures for all of the pets in your family.
Visit the MCSPCA Adoption Center and check out all of the beautiful, loving animals, that I can assure you will never stop loving you and will soon become your friend for life.
The Monmouth County SPCA Homeward Bound Adoption Center is located at 260 Wall Street, Eatontown so check out the animals in their digs before you bring them back to your pad. For adoption information, call 732-440-1525. To learn more about the dog walk or vendor and sponsorship opportunities, contact Stephanie Attaway at 732-440-1558.
The lives of more than 4,000 animals were saved in 2011 alone, and your support will directly impact our ability to save even more in 2012. Won’t you donate to this wonderful cause now. You can help save one of these animals with your donations. Click here to make your tax deductible donation.