Dogs by the Numbers

Dogs by the Numbers

Thought I would try something a little different today… a doggy infographic. Love this new way of communicating. Lots of  little factoids on a colorful design. What do you think?


dogs by the numbers

Pet ownership statistics

The smallest dog on record was a Yorkshire Terrier, at 2.5 inches tall and weighing 4 ounces.

The largest dog on record was an English Mastiff, 98 inches tall and 343 pounds.

The estimated number of dogs and cats on the planet today, 9,000,000 or nine million.

The undisputed number of years dogs have been around, 14,700. 

The number of years some experts believe dogs have been around: 36,000.

Percent of homes that have a dog: 36.

Percent of homes that have a cat: 30%

The average number of dogs per home: 1.6

The average number of cats per home: 2.1



According to an online survey of more than 27,000 people across 22 countries conducted by global research firm GfK, more than half (56 percent) of people internationally have at least one pet living with them.

This survey was conducted by global research firm GfK and quoted in Modern Cat.

Dog napping with a happy ending

Dog napping with a happy ending

When this cutie went missing in Ottawa, Canada’s capital city, owners acted fast to get him back.

sage-stolen-dogWhile a couple enjoyed a Saturday lunch downtown, dognappers got to work and stole this Lab/Shepherd cross who’d been tied up outside. The owners were aghast; they flagged down a passing police cruiser and explained the situation.

The officer told them to go back to the restaurant — the scene of the crime — where police could get more information and interview potential eyewitnesses. He also suggested the owners use the power of social media, and post to both Twitter and Facebook. Besides doing that, the owners directed their posts to a local Lost Dog group, and the message spread fast.

The police officer’s third recommendation hit pay dirt: he told them to call nearby pet supply stores and pet food outlets. A clerk in one of these stores recognized the description of the dog and after viewing the store’s security video, the couple immediately identified Sage as their missing dog.  The dog was returned within hours, unharmed but “quite a bit more clingy” according to the owners.

What they did right

checklistWhile leaving their dog outside the restaurant, out of their site while they ate, was clearly a careless mistake, the couple did several things very well:

  • they reacted very quickly, contacting police at once
  • they leveraged the power of social media, posting on Facebook  and Twitter, and sharing their posts with other animal lovers in the area
  • instead of randomly running all over the neighbourhood, they returned to the restaurant so the police officer could interview potential witnesses
  • they called nearby pet food and supply stores looking for the suspect


Rise in dog theft

Dog theft is definitely on the uprise, Why are pets stolen? Besides being sold to research labs or pet stores, they are used in bait and for dog fighting rings, in puppy mills to breeders, for fur (yes fur!), as breeding partners for dogs, and by sadistic individuals. This is definitely something you DO NOT want to think about for your little Morkie. So please take more care than ever, in this strange new world.


Another way to protect your Morkie and other outlets, offer pet GPS devices which help you track exactly where your animal is at any given moment. One which comes highly recommended is shown below – the XCSource Pet GPS. It’s a little on the larger side for really small dogs (2″ disk), but check it out. There are others as well.

They work by tracking your Morkie in four dimensions: Realtime tracking,GSM quad band network, all global GPS location. You can see where he is, by checking the company’s website, using an App for your phone, or by having a message sent to your phone’s text.

For more resources, please check out Adopt-a-Pet’s Lost and Found Guide here.





Dognappers and other Dirtbags

Dognappers and other Dirtbags

In Toronto, Canada there have been two shocking dognapping crimes within days. What can we learn from them to help us protect our Morkies?


Incident #1

dog napping victim

This man was punched in the face and a knife was held to his neck, during a dognapping in a Toronto park.

4 thugs on bikes stole a small dog from the owner at knifepoint in a North York park on November 15th.

Police say a man was walking his dog when he was approached by four men, all riding bicycles. They say one of the men punched the dog owner, another put a knife to his throat, then the group took the dog and fled.

“Charlie,” a white female Shih Tzu-Pomeranian mix, has  not been seen since and the owners are absolutely distraught. Charlie is four years old, has long white hair, weighs 10 to 15 pounds and was wearing a blue Maple Leafs sweater and a black harness.

Missing dog

Charlie, the missing Pom-Shih Tzu mix who was stolen at knifepoint from her owners.


Incident #2


Two of the missing 16 dogs in Toronto. All were quickly recovered safe and sound, when the thief abandoned the van holding them.

Just 3 days later, a white Ford panel van containing 16 dogs was stolen outside a condo in the Fort York area of Toronto! The dog walker who owns the vehicle says the van was left running, but was locked.

This city of nearly 3 million went crazy. Social media went crazy. Who would steal a truck full of dogs? And did he want the truck and just got the dogs? Or the other way around?

This incident has a happier ending than our first story; within 24 hours, all 16 stolen dogs (and the dog walker’s van) were found. All dogs are safe and sound, and very happy to be home.

The thief hasn’t been found yet, but Toronto’s finest are not giving up.



cute morky puppy

An adorable Morkie like this could net a thief lots of money on the resale market.

What can we learn from these two very different incidents?

Police say purebred and designer dogs are prime targets — especially smaller breeds like Pomeranians, Yorkies and Boston Terriers — but even larger and mixed-breed dogs can be vulnerable. An adorable Morkie would make an ideal victim.

The ugly trade of pet theft is a serious problem. It is an organized, multimillion dollar business that lurks in shadows and goes unnoticed until it strikes your community, your home, your pet. Protecting your dog takes due diligence.


  1. First, never ever leave your dog outside a store or restaurant. It takes a thief just a moment to grab your pet.
  2. Second, think twice about leaving him alone in your yard – even if it’s the back yard, unless the fence is at least 6 feet high and padlocked. Again, thieves can jump a fence quickly and grab him. The safest place for your pets when you’re not home is INDOORS. This includes cats, too!
  3. Third, if in doubt, treat your dog like you would your child. NEVER! — leave your dog unattended in a public space. Just as you wouldn’t dream of leaving your child locked in the car while you shop or tied to a pole while you stop to get coffee, it’s never safe to do these things to your dog, either.
  4. Fourth, always check references. If you are considering hiring a pet sitter, dog walker, groomer or even a trainer, do your due diligence first. Ask for references and call them. Read online reviews. Ask your veterinarian to recommend a professional he or she knows and trusts. Criminals can easily pose as professionals.
  5. Fifth: get your dog some form of permanent identification, like a microchip, and make sure you have all of the documents necessary to prove ownership of your dog in case he or she ever does go missing and is recovered. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for dogs to be stolen by a former romantic partner or roommate. Some experts suggest that you never put your dog’s name on his tag. The thinking is, that a dog is much more likely to go to (and with) a stranger who calls him by name.
  6. Six: Spay or neuter your Morkie. While your veterinarian will probably recommend that you do this anyway for good health, spaying or neutering your dog will help make your best friend less desirable of a target to thieves, since they won’t be able to produce — and profit from — offspring.


Next: a happy ending for one dognapping – and the lessons learned.

Could your Morkie be a service dog?

Could your Morkie be a service dog?

When we talk about dogs with jobs – specifically those who help humans – we’re really talking about three different roles.

And Morkies are ideal for at least one of those roles. Maybe YOUR Morkie is waiting to serve!

There are 3 kinds of dogs-with-jobs:

  1. The traditional Service Dog, often a German Shepherd or Lab
  2. Emotional Support Animals – not limited to dogs
  3. Therapy dogs – perfect role for a Morkie

Let’s look at each a little closer.

Service Dog

  • this is a highly trained assistant animal, meeting the needs of someone whose disability is easy to prove, such as blindness or deafness – these dogs are trained for a specific owner
  • some Service Dogs can detect medical conditions such as seizures
  • medical OK is needed for “Service Dog” status
  • the dog is intensively trained for at least 2 years
  • typically Service Dogs are Labs, Golden Retrievers and German Shepherds although any breed can be a service dog if trained well. In fact, there are a number of miniature horses trained as service animals!
  • (only trained and certified Service Dogs are protected under anti-discrimination laws in most countries – Emotional Support Animals and Therapy Dogs are not)


This miniature horse is a wonderful service animal to the man in the wheelchair

Emotional Support Animal (ESA)

  • companion to people who have a psychological disability such as panic attacks or post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • this disability must be recognizable, and be identified by a medical professional, so it’s not just ‘cause I said so
  • however, the support the animal provides to his owner, is the companionship
  • an ESA doesn’t typically have intensive training to serve, and isn’t necessarily as highly trained as a Service Dog
  • ESA dogs are not officially classified as Service Dogs (but under the lawy, they can go on airplanes with owners)

Therapy Dog

  • can be used to provide comfort and affection to many different people in hospitals, retirement homes, nursing homes and disaster areas
  • the therapy dog can provide comfort to any number of people just by being there
  • they are not assistance dogs or service dogs but some dogs can be both
  • some organizations require that a dog pass the equivalent of the American Kennel Club’s Canine Good Citizen test
  • in Canada St. John Ambulance provides therapy dog certification
  • in the UK Pets as Therapy (PAT) provides visiting dogs and cats to organizations where they aren’t otherwise allowed


See what the University of British Columbia is doing with therapy dogs: 

Therapy dogs such as Morkies


How to develop your Morkie into a Therapy Dog

If your Morkie has the personality, he’s needed!


Can your Morkie pass the requirements to be a Therapy Dog?

Therapy Dogs must be confident, friendly, patient and gentle in all situations.

Besides a great personality, your dog must be:

  • accepting of a friendly stranger
  • be able to sit calmly to be petted
  • walk on a loose leash
  • walk through a crowd, including getting around wheelchairs and canes
  • follow the sit, stay and come commands
  • react well to another dog
  • be able to handle distractions such as noise
How happy would someone be to have a visit from this Morkie therapy dog?

How happy would someone be to have a visit from this Morkie therapy dog?

Typically, you’ll need to pass a criminal check; take a course or two (at no cost) and register with an organization, often for a small fee to cover costs.

If you think you want to share your Morkie’s love, with people who really need it, please consider the Therapy Dog program. Google “local therapy dog groups”; most post very helpful information on what’s required, the possible postings for therapy dogs and what the handler must know or learn. They’re always looking for good volunteers.

The First Therapy Dog?

Smoky the Yorkshire Terrier, WWII. Believed to be the first ever therapy dog.

Smoky the Yorkshire Terrier, WWII. Believed to be the first ever therapy dog.

Many (including Animal Planet researchers) believe that Smoky, the war hero dog from WWII, was the first therapy dog.

Found wandering in the jungles of New Guinea by an American soldier, Smoky was a full grown 4 pound female Yorkshire Terrier. Not able to find the owner, eventually Smoky turned over as winnings in a card game, won by American Corporal William Wynne. (Value: about $6)

She served with Wynne for almost 2 years, living in primitive conditions, running on coral in equatorial heat and surviving on army rations. Smoky was so smart and easily trained, that she performed many valuable functions for the army.

Just one example came during the building of a crucial airfield in Luzon, an island in the south Pacific. Smoky carried a telegraph wire through a 70-foot-long pipe that was 8 inches in diameter. Soil had sifted through the corrugated sections at the pipe joints, filling as much as half of the pipe, giving Smoky only four inches of headway in some places. But she did it.

That one job alone saved 250 men from having to dig a trench out in the (dangerous) open, across the flightpath. It also saved them moving 40 airplanes off the tarmac.

During her service, Smoky even parachuted!

Smoky and Wynn

Smoky and Corp. Wynn

After the war, Smoky was so talented, that Corp. Wynne began taking her to see wounded veterans in hospital. One of her first visits was to the Mayo Clinic where she cheered up servicemen. She soon became a regular visitor, as doctors noted her positive effect on the patients.

Smoky also appeared on more than 42 live TV shows without ever once repeating a trick.

She worked as a therapy dog until her death at the age of 14. Wynne and his family put her to rest in a World War II .30 caliber ammo box in the Cleveland Metroparks, Rocky River Reservation in Lakewood, Ohio.

A good reminder about i.d. for your Morkie

A good reminder about i.d. for your Morkie

Last week in the news, you might have seen this story: as writer JudyM (@judymolland) put it — it’s a sad but beautiful story. It’s the story of the amazing loyalty that one dog had for another, and ends up as a cautionary tale about why it’s so important to have your dog microchipped or well-identified with i.d. tags.

A Great Pyrenees dog named Brian was spotted on the side of the road in Dallas-Fort Worth, standing guard over another dog who’d been hit and killed by a car.  Brian had even dragged this bloody Shepherd mix off the road. 

Brian, the dog who stood watch over his fallen friend

Dallas Animal Services was able to coax Brian into its care. After posting requests on social media to help identify the dog, they finally found his distraught family.  It seems that both the Shepherd mix and the Pyrenees got out of their yards and ran away. Without i.d. of any kind, and no microchips, they couldn’t be easily returned and in fact, one won’t be going home again.

Animal Services took care of the Pyrenees, and neutered and microchipped him before returning him to his family.

Judy ends her story with this request:

But animal lovers, be sure to get your cat or dog microchipped and give him a collar with name, address, and phone number attached. 

(Read more:

Do Morkies need microchipping?

Probably, because all dogs should have the best possible chance to get home if they go astray. That includes microchip i.d. and/or up-to-date identity on the dog’s collar.

“Don’t microchips cause cancer?”


A microchip, highly magnified. Real size, is about the same as a grain of rice.

There’s no scientific evidence that microchips cause cancer.  However, like anything put into the body, they CAN cause some health problems in a small number of cases.

Opponents of microchipping note that while the chip might not cause cancer, it can trigger an allergy, causing itching and discomfort.

There is also some evidence that the chip can migrate to another part of the body, making it useless for identifying the animal and potentially causing other health issues.

NEVER get a chip online and try to insert it yourself

Although you can buy a microchip (complete with directions on how to insert it) online… that’s not a good idea. They should be inserted by a veterinarian doctor and in a very hygienic setting. Be wary of the breeder who offers to chip the puppy herself.

How do microchips work?

The microchip is about the size of a grain of rice. A tiny computer chip housed in a type of glass, the microchip is made to be compatible with living tissue.

The microchip is implanted between the dog’s shoulder blades under the skin with a needle and special syringe. The process is similar to getting a shot. There’s little to no pain – most dogs do not seem to even feel it being implanted.

Once in place, the microchip can be detected immediately with a handheld device that uses radio waves to read the chip. It scans the microchip, and then displays a unique alphanumeric code.

Best collar identification 

collar with id copyHaving owned more than 20 small dogs over my lifetime, I understand if you say you don’t like the jingle-jangle of dog tags. That’s why I’ve switched to a small engraved nameplate which is riveted onto the dog’s collar for permanent (noise free) identification.

You can get an inexpensive version at big stores like PetSmart (a machine there will engrave your info onto the nameplate on-the-spot); the plate comes with rivets for attaching to your own collar.

Or you can order a beautiful version like this one at left, online at

dog collar with name

dog collar with name and other stores.

All you need on the nameplate is your name and phone number, possibly “Microchipped” or my choice, REWARD.  You can also order just the name plates online. Kept up to date, this has been a great identification system in my experience.

Lonely, sick and cold

Lonely, sick and cold


Menno and Voila Streicher, just two Ontario Amish convicted of running a horrific puppy mill. Not looking too godly now are you?

That’s life for a puppy mill dog.  Sheer hell.

Canada, shame on you!  We like to think that these mills are all ‘down south’ in the U.S.A. somewhere and we act like snobs.

Amish and Mennonites

But the fact is that there are two very big hotbeds for puppy mills in Canada and they don’t show any signs of slowing down:

  • the province of Quebec
  • the Mennonite and Amish communities of Ontario
Amish puppy mill

Mennonites and Amish routinely auction half-dead “breeders” to one another.

What can WE do about it?

You can take the Pledge to Stop Puppy Mills today by reading and signing this form.

You can promise to NEVER, EVER buy a dog or puppy from a pet store, a flea market or fair, or from the side of the road.  No matter what the seller says, these are 100% guaranteed to be puppy mill dogs.  Sure they got out, but what about the parents left behind?

Never buy a dog site unseen from a website.  You can try to FIND a dog online, but NEVER buy one that way. Visit first. Watch for these Top 7 Signs you’re dealing with a Puppy Mill: 

  1. The “breeder” is local, but no, you can’t visit.  Instead, he or she wants to meet at a halfway point, a mall or car-park.
  2. You can visit – but you see 3 or more different dog breeds running around. This is a red flag that the breeder isn’t committed to one breed or hybrid and is just breeding whatever dogs she has around in order to make money. 
  3. Dirty or stinky facilities. Genuine breeders love their dogs and put their care first. The home and puppy area should be clean and tidy and a safe environment for the puppies and parents.
  4. Hand painted signs on the road,  advertising puppies for sale.
  5. Puppies are always available, and the breeder will not a good signlet you take one at Christmas, Easter, etc. No caring breeder will release a puppy during these high-stress times and no responsible breeder always has a handy supply of puppies.
  6. For sale in public places. Stay away from anyone who’s selling puppies at a public place like a flea market, yard sale, swap meet or pet store, or out of the back of a pickup truck, car or van.
  7. Be suspicious of the seller who doesn’t demand that you spay or neuter your puppy. A genuine breeder will ask you to sign an agreement that your dog will NOT be bred.

To Kill a Snake Cut off its Head

Puppy mill operators are lower than snakes – so to shut them down, let’s cut them off where it hurts – their wallets. They’re greedy, despicable people and don’t deserve your hard-earned money!

OMG Australia wants to kill Yorkies!

OMG Australia wants to kill Yorkies!

feat11Luckily, Johnny Depp’s two Yorkies, Pistol and Boo, did in fact bugger off out today before Australia’s Minister of Agriculture had a chance to exercise his threat: euthanasia!

Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce underlined the fact that there are no exceptions to their strict animal quarantine laws (even if you were the sexiest man alive, twice).  In fact, if the Yorkies in question didn’t bugger off, in his words, they were dead. 

It seems Johnny Depp and his wife Amber Heard, had brought the Yorkies into Australia (and for an extended period) on a private jet and did not register them properly with the authorities.  All animals must undergo a 14-day quarantine before being officially allowed to enter, in Australia and many other countries. 

In fact, it’s almost impossible to bring a dog to Great Britain; when Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton were there to make a movie in the 60s, she was not allowed to bring her 4 dogs into the country without a SIX MONTH quarantine.  Their famous solution – rent a 120′ Bolivian yacht and keep it in the Thames River as a floating kennel, so that technically the dogs had not set foot in the country!

But meanwhile in Australia, Depp and Heard were in huge trouble with government officials and it all went (hilariously) viral.

From the hashtag #WarOnTerrier to newscasters holding up signs on camera, “Bring Boo and Pistol home” … the internet was alight.  But what’s the big fuss?


Australia has strict biosecurity requirements for good reasons—to protect Australia from exotic pests and diseases that can seriously harm humans, animals and their economy. All animals entering Australia must have an import permit, which means they’ve passed the stringent requirements to get in.

Dogs can carry diseases

The problem is that dogs can carry diseases, including rabies, ehrlichia, leishmania and leptospirosis among others.

Huh? What?

We know all about rabies, but what are these other diseases?

Ehrlichia is a tick-borne disease and is also called ‘tracker dog disease.’ There are 3 phases and all involve a lot of pain for the animal.  Dogs in phase 3 with chronic ehrlichia usually die.

Leishmania isn’t about leashes, it’s an infection carried by parasites (the sandfly) and is more common in the Mediterranean area than in North America.

It’s also known as black fever. Signs and symptoms include emaciation, kidney failure, joint pain and more. This disease can be treated but it never really goes away; and…people can catch it from their dogs.

Leptospirosis is a serious bacterial infection. Although there is a vaccine against it, it’s very dangerous for small dogs (with the highest rate of adverse reactions) and it’s effective against only 3 or 4 of the 120+ strains of the virus. 

Lepto as it’s called, can result in chronic fever, vomiting, dehydration, renal failure, severe infection and ultimately, death. This is another zoonotic – that is, people can catch it too.

If you’re travelling…

Be sure and check out – at this link, they summarize all the requirements for visiting other countries. 

More photos

johnny depps dogs groomers

The Australian dog groomers who let the cat, er Yorkie, out of the bag by posting this pic of their celeb guests.

Johnny Depp and Yorkie

One of Johnny Depp's Yorkies

One of Johnny Depp’s Yorkies

Be a humane host at your next party

Be a humane host at your next party

Great idea from the Winnipeg Humane Society.bella martini glass (7)

Next time you’re having a party or other event and someone asks, “what can I bring?” you could say “please bring nothing; however I will be accepting donations to support (my local humane society’s name)”

Collect donations for your humane society or shelter

Instead of another bottle of wine or flowers that will die in a few days, why not suggest that if they wish, guests bring:

  • a bag of dog kibble
  • canned kitten food
  • clumping kitty litter
  • gift cards to pet or grocery stores
  • quality toys – suggest Kong brand
  • Wet Cat food
  • Dry kitten and cat food

Some other ways you can help?

Don’t worry about what to give as a wedding favour – let your guests know that you’ve made a donation to your humane society in lieu of party favours.

Birthday party?  Instead of gifts you don’t need, suggest donations – monetary or otherwise.  This is a GREAT idea for today’s children who have everything.

Some guidelines

Here are some great suggestions from The Knot, a leading wedding and engagement advice site.

Don’t print up cards for every guest, or cards for every place setting; that’s making too big a deal of it (“look how great we are!”)  Instead mention it once, or make up one subtle sign for near the entrance or the bar, and leave it at that.

Don’t say the donation is being made “in your name” – because what if that person doesn’t care at all about your causes? Instead, make it “in lieu of ….”  For example, for a a birthday, “In lieu of gifts, if you’d like to bring one of these things for our local humane society, (guest of honor) would certainly appreciate it.” Then list the kinds of items you’re trying to collect.

As The Knot suggests,

“Do not put anything about the donation being “in honor of” your guests or in their name.  First of all, it gives the impression that you have now publicly linked your guest’s name to a charity that they had no say it, which is rude at best and can be REALLY bad if it’s a charity they oppose.  And secondly, it’s a lie.  The charity does not need or ask for a list of your guests’ names.”

And above all, don’t let these details derail you from doing a really good thing for animals.

More pictures… 


yorkie in wedding party

Celebrity Morkies

Celebrity Morkies

midi the morkie

Singer songwriter Jann Arden with her Morkie “Midi”

There are famous Yorkies, or Yorkies owned by celebrities and famous Maltese – Maltese who are owned by celebrities… and now there are famous MORKIES!

Here’s a list of just some of the celebrities who own Morkies … Singer songwriter Jann Arden has a little Morkie called Midi (midi is short for Musical Instrument Digital Interface) is a technical standard for music that’s just too complicated to go into. You may remember that two years ago, Ms. Arden and Midi were tossed off Via Rail between Ottawa and Toronto.  Even though Midi and her dog carrier were perfectly visible throughout the trip, including check-in, an overly zealous porter noticed she as travelling with a dog around Oshawa, and offered her the choice of stashing Midi in the baggage car or finding another way to get to Ottawa.  Midi and Jann were soon standing on the platform as the train pulled away.

Miley and Lila

miley and morkie

Little Lila, Miley’s Morkie

Another well known singer/actor who has a Morkie?  Miley Cyrus.  Sadly she used to have a Morkie, called Lila who was the love of her life based on her Tweets about Lila.

miley cirus

Miley Cyrus and her Morkie Lila

In December 2012 little Lila passed away. Lila had been through surgery earlier and seemed to be healing just fine. But Miley’s other dog, a much larger one called Ziggy, “grabbed” Lila during play and that was it.

Miley took a long time to get over the loss, and to this time will mention Lila wistfully.

Jesse Tyler Ferguson and his partner Justin Mikita with their Morkie "Leaf."

Jesse Tyler Ferguson and his partner Justin Mikita with their Morkie “Leaf.”

This past June (2014) Miley suffered another dog-astrophe. Her 2-year-old dog Floyd, a huskey mix, was killed during a horrible coyote attack.  She’s replaced Floyd with a Collie called Emu. We wish her the best of luck with her new dog!

Modern Family’s Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Morkie Leaf

Ferguson is one of the most talented actors in Hollywood today – starring in the award-winning Modern Family. In fact he has received 3 Emmys in a row for his part as the uptight lawyer Mitchell Pritchett.  On the Golden Globes red carpet in 2012, Jesse told Ryan Seacrest that he had a message for one of his little ones – Morkie pup, Leaf. “You be good, Leaf, and go to bed,” Ferguson said. “That’s what I’m going to say when I win. Oh wait – I wasn’t nominated.”

More Morkie Stars

Rapper Drake and his new Morkie (with the breeder)


English actor Orlando Bloom and his Morkie Frankie.


Take the No Hot Dogs Pledge

Take the No Hot Dogs Pledge

Let’s have no hot dogs this summer, says the Ontario SPCA.

no hot dogs

The Ontario SPCA is asking all of us to SIGN A PLEDGE to make this top-of-mind.  

It’s simple – just go here: Sign now

It’s so easy to do – to forget that is

It’s easy to do – so why not just leave your dog at home?  A couple of summers ago, even the POLICE left a dog in a super-hot cruiser and the dog died.  It’s a terribly sad story:

Jeg was left in a hot police car for over an hour; officer Korey Lankow is “emotionally ruined” by the incident.

When Arizona Department of Public Safety officer Korey Lankow switched squad cars last Wednesday before responding to a rollover crash, his mind was focused on the job at hand.

Unfortunately, in the midst of changing vehicles and responding to the emergency, Lankow forgot that his partner, 7-year-old Belgian Malinois Jeg, was sitting quietly in the backseat of the first squad car.

With outdoor temperatures of approximately 98 degrees in Tucson, Ariz., on the day of the incident, Lankow’s squad car reached between 100 and 115 degrees, with poor Jeg locked inside the vehicle.

After an hour passed, Lankow realized that he’d forgotten Jeg in the back of the other squad car. In a panic, he raced back to headquarters, where he found Jeg overcome by heatstroke. The Tuscon Fire Department was called to respond, and in the meantime, Lankow tried desperately to cool Jeg down with water and ice.

Jeg was rushed to the Southern Arizona Veterinary Specialty and Emergency Center for treatment Wednesday afternoon. While his condition initially appeared to improve, by Thursday afternoon, the dog took a turn for the worse.

Veterinarians explained that Jeg had suffered irreparable organ damage due to prolonged exposure to the extreme heat inside the squad car and, despite all efforts, would not recover. Officer Lankow, along with his family and Canine District Commander Captain Jenna Mitchell, stood by Jeg’s side when at 2:35 p.m. July 12, the Belgian Malinois was put to sleep.



Here’s why puppy mills continue to thrive!

Here’s why puppy mills continue to thrive!

Outrageous news yesterday about the father-daughter team just outside Paris Ontario who had 80 suffering Morkies seized from their filthy, feces-filled house last July.

Darlene Dougherty, who lives at 831 West Dumfries Road, Paris, pleaded guilty to one count of causing an animal to be in distress.  She has been placed on probation for two years and ordered to pay restitution of $3,357.89 to the SPCA.

The Provincial Offences Act court, the provincial prosecutor and the justice of the peace decided in their infinite wisdom that this “negotiated settlement” is just.

She even gets to keep one dog and one cat!

When you’re in the puppy mills business like the Doughertys, $3,300 is nothing. Puppies sell between $500 and $1,000 and even more… so one litter could easily pay off the court fines.

“Rescued from a disgusting home”

You may remember reading about Dougherty and her father, Marshall Dougherty.

In July 2013, OSPCA workers raided the Paris home and found innumerable cats and some 80 small dogs, nearly all Morkies.

ASPCA rescuer at puppy millOfficers entering the home had to wear protective clothing, gloves and masks due to the “unsanitary” conditions.

All the dogs have been subjected to dreadful conditions, neglect, underfeeding and total lack of medical care.

The fur was so badly matted that it couldn’t be combed out and the dogs had to be shaved, the SPCA reported at the time. Some also had rotting teeth, according to earlier reports.  Their paws were red and inflamed from the filth.

Worst case of animal cruelty in 10 years

When this case broke it was reported that “the Brant County SPCA is dealing with the worst case of animal cruelty it has seen in 10 years.”

If convicted, the penalty could be as much as a $60,000 fine, two years in jail, or both. There is also a lifetime ban on ever owning an animal again.

Instead – only one of the two got probation and a $3,300 fine.

OSPCA inspector Brandon James says they’ve never had to rescue so many dogs at once. 80 Maltese and Yorkies — from puppies to 16 years old — were living under the same roof on West Dumfries Road in Paris.

When James entered the residence with his team, he said he was unsure of just how many animals they’d find.

“We were expecting approximately 15 dogs, so you can imagine when you walk into a house with over 80 dogs, it was disgusting,” he said. “The smell and the sanitary conditions were a shock to the system.”

Next door neighbour Karen Groh says a dozen of the dogs ran out in front of her car on the road the other day. She’s seen at least three of them hit by cars and killed.

Dougherty no stranger to legal entanglements

If you google “Darlene Dougherty” you’ll see she’s been active in a number of local land-use hearings, objections  about Title Insurance and other court-clogging complaints. She’s definitely no stranger to laws and by-laws.

What can we do? 

Start with your local member of provincial parliament.  You can find out who that is here: your Ontario member of parliament.

Many have email addresses for easy contact.  Tell them you’re disgusted and appalled with this case and ask what they can do about our toothless animal cruelty laws.




Two visitors check out the Morkies rescue form Dougherty’s nightmare home. Since the rescue, all dogs have been checked out and received medical treatment. In all, dozens have been adopted out, with families lined up to apply for the rest.

A Hot Mess!

A Hot Mess!

It’s that time of year again – people leaving their dogs, cats and KIDS in hot cars.

People – really? Is winter so long and cold that some of us forget just how hot summer can be?

Dog Walker Leaves SIX dogs in car to die

You’ve probably read about dog walker Emma Paulsen who reported the six dogs in her care were stolen on May 13.  She had the dogs in a secured canopy truck in Langley, British Columbia.  She said they were stolen when she visited the Brookswood dog walking park and had to use the restroom, and a massive search began. Petsearchers Canada, a detective agency, was brought in by owners to help find missing animals.

Several days later, police recovered the bodies of all 6 dogs, dumped in a ditch.

Paulsen admitted she was inside a business for about 45 minutes and left the dogs inside her truck — on a hot day. They all died of heat exhaustion.

Buddy, Teemo, Oscar, Mia, Salty and Molly all died a horrible, strangulating death as the temperature soared inside that truck.

What happens during heat exhaustion? (Warning graphic)

From :

It begins with  heavy panting and difficulty breathing. The tongue and mucous membranes appear bright red. The saliva is thick and tenacious, and the dog often vomits. The rectal temperature rises to 104° to 110°F (40° to 43.3°C). The dog becomes progressively unsteady and passes bloody diarrhea. As shock sets in, the lips and mucous membranes turn gray. Collapse, seizures, coma, and death rapidly ensue.

Animal cruelty charges urged

The SPCA, which is leading the investigation into the alleged mistreatment of the dogs, will recommend that authorities pursue animal cruelty charges.  But that’s little consolation for owners like Louise Scott, 80, who attended a dog walk to remember Molly, her five-year-old dog that died in the back of the truck. “This is not easy,” she said of losing her dog to the neglect. “I still hope she will walk through the door.”

Let your voice be heard

Visit the dogs’ page on to add your condolences and thoughts, or click to sign the petition to make animal cruelty a severe indictable offense under the criminal code. In the USA, it is a felony in all 50 states.

How to find a dog walker you can trust

Global News has a good feature here on finding someone you can trust with your dog.