Pajama Press

Archive for the ‘No Shelter Here’ Category

On Writing, pets, and Puppy Mills Open Book Toronto interviews Rob Laidlaw

Posted on August 29th, 2012 by pajamapress

Just days before the paperback release of No Shelter Here: Making the World a Kinder Place for Dogs, Open Book Toronto has posted an interview with author Rob Laidlaw. In the interview, Rob talks about puppy mills, reading recommendations for animal lovers, and the dogs he has rescued and loved—even if it meant kicking down a door.

Click here to see the interview.

Mississauga.com Reviews No Shelter Here

Posted on August 20th, 2012 by pajamapress

Whether you are a young activist wanting to help dogs or a family considering adopting a canine family member No Shelter Here is a good book to read. Since it deals with issues affecting dogs, how to make things better for our four-legged friends, things to consider before adopting a dog as well as ways to ensure a good life for an adopted dog, this book should be available in libraries – including school libraries.
–Glen Perrett

Click here to read the full review.

Rob Laidlaw’s Dog Tales: Encountering Wild Dogs

Posted on August 17th, 2012 by pajamapress

Welcome to Dog Tales, a series where author and animal advocate Rob Laidlaw shares stories and facts from his travels and work in dog advocacy. 

4248297963_ea53a8f7c0I’m always amazed at how wild dogs can exist in the midst of heavily urbanized environments. A year ago I even saw a big coyote casually trotting down the sidewalk of a busy downtown street.  But it’s not that surprising when you think about it. Both wild dogs and feral domesticated dogs have integrated themselves into human environments for a very long time and I can’t see that changing anytime soon.

One of the dogs that criss-crosses that amorphous dividing line between wild and domesticated is the dingo, a wild dog found everywhere in Australia except on the island of Tasmania. With a short, usually golden-yellow or brown coat, dingoes are stunning dogs that inhabit a wide variety of habitats. They tend to live in pairs, but can occasionally be found in small family groups.

While no one knows for sure how dingoes came to Australia, genetic testing has confirmed that they are descendents of dogs that probably came from southern China many thousands of years ago. Their scientific name is often cited as Canis lupus dingo (meaning it is a subspecies of the grey wolf) or Canis familiaris dingo (meaning it is a subspecies of the domesticated dog). There is a lot of argument about which one is right.

2829178725_491b3721e3When Europeans first arrived on the remote island continent, they discovered dingoes living in relative harmony with Aboriginal people, sometimes serving as camp sentries or as hunting assistants.

When sheep farming was brought to Australia, dingoes found a new and easy food source. Unfortunately, killing sheep led to dingoes being treated as pests and they’ve been mercilessly hunted and killed ever since.

To keep dingoes out of southeast Australia, a 5,614 km (3,488 mile) fence was erected. Construction of the 180 cm (5.9 ft) high fence began in the early 1880s and was completed in 1885. North of the fence, dingoes are treated as wildlife, while south of the fence they were killed as pests. That’s still the case today.

However, the biggest threat to the dingo now is hybridization (breeding with domesticated dogs). Pure dingoes are very rare and many wildlife experts consider them an endangered species.

Primitive dogs, often dingo-like, can be found around the world. The New Guinea Singing Dog is a primitive dog that is thought to have been brought to the island several thousand years ago. Left alone, they developed into their own breed. Other early dogs are North America’s Carolina dog, sometimes called the American dingo,  Israel’s Canaan dog and the Pariah dogs of India.

5850114465_abdd12623b_mWild and feral dogs have been with us for a long time and for much of that time they’ve been mercilessly persecuted. That’s been the history of coyotes in North America—people waging an endless war against them. But coyotes have beaten the odds and they’ve survived and prospered. I hope the other dogs do too.

Rob Laidlaw’s Dog Tales: the Issue of Dog Fur

Posted on August 6th, 2012 by pajamapress

Welcome to Dog Tales, a series where author and animal advocate Rob Laidlaw shares stories and facts from his travels and work in dog advocacy.

Animal Aid Udaipur April 16, 2010 338 (151)According to the Humane Society International an estimated 2 million dogs and cats are killed for their fur every year. While the trade in dog fur is mostly in Asia, it seems to be growing in Russia and Eastern Europe as well.

After the dogs and cats are killed and their skins are dried, their fur may be dyed so it doesn’t look like your neighbourhood companion animal, and then mislabeled as rabbit, Asian wolf, fox or mountain cat. If it goes to buyers in other parts of the world, they may not have any idea they’re receiving the fur of dogs and cats, some of them former pets.

A few years ago, dog and cat fur trim was discovered on garments in the United States. That led to the government passing the Dog and Cat Protection Act, which banned the importation of dog and cat fur. A number of European countries, such as Belgium, Denmark, France and Italy, have also instituted bans.

In some countries however, the dog and cat fur industry is alive and well. According to the Bulgarian SPCA in 2006, there was at that time a massive industry based on the killing of dogs. Another group said almost 10,000 dogs were collected and killed in the City of Sofia every year, some of them shipped straight to fur factories from the dog pounds.

Dogs used in the fur trade may be picked up as strays, obtained from pounds, or bred specifically for fur. They may even be stolen pets.

Stopping the dog and cat fur industry is going to require a combination of education to change attitudes and new laws that prohibit the production, sale and trade of fur from companion animals. Animal welfare groups in many nations are hard at work trying to achieve both. I’m optimistic that one day, possibly soon, we’ll see a time when the only dog and cat fur we encounter is on a live, happy dog or cat.

 

9-year-old Blogger reviews No Shelter Here

Posted on July 30th, 2012 by pajamapress

Lili, who blogs at Rescue Dogs the Movie, is nine years old—the perfect age to review No Shelter Here!

I just got this FABULOUS book from the library yesterday.


It’s called No Shelter Here. I LOVE IT! It’s very sad knowing what things are happening to dogs, but it just reminds you to give your dog extra love.

It also tells you about great websites to visit that have to do with Animal Welfare and Shelter Dogs.
With each dog problem it tells you about, there’s one story of someone who helps make the world a better place for dogs.

Thank you, Rob Laidlaw, for making the world a better place for dogs.

Click here to see Lili’s full post.

Whitney Library reviews “Nifty Nonfiction Book” No Shelter Here

Posted on July 21st, 2012 by pajamapress

Are you a dog lover?  Learn about what life is like for a shelter dog and how you can help.  Kids like you all over the world are doing what they can to make the world a better place for dogs everywhere.  If you’re thinking about getting a dog, this book has lots of helpful information to guide you in choosing the perfect pet for you.  Learn the sad truth about pet stores and puppy mills and what goes on behind closed doors at some shelters.  Author Rob Laidlaw wants to spread the word about helping dogs, and he hopes you will listen!  Request this book today and learn what you can do to help dogs.
–Whitney Library

Click here to view the full post

Rescue Me! Mackin Books in Bloom celebrates books about shelter dogs

Posted on July 20th, 2012 by pajamapress

Rob Laidlaw, long-time animal advocate and international champion of dogs, provides information about the challenges dogs face around the world.  With examples from Canada, Japan, India, and several other countries in addition to the United States, he exposes the plight of these abandoned and often abused animals.  Urging readers to get involved, he relates the stories of children and young people around the globe who saw a problem and became Dog Champions.  Kids have created documentaries, raised money, and helped to make lawmakers aware of dog abuse.  This book is great for reluctant readers, dog lovers, or kids who need to do a service project.

–Tracey L, Mackin Books in Bloom

Click here to view the full post

Booklist Review of No Shelter Here

Posted on July 19th, 2012 by pajamapress

Animal advocate [Rob] Laidlaw has a bone to pick with the way some of the world’s 500 million dogs are treated. After identifying what all dogs need, the author takes a hard look at puppy mills, free-ranging dogs, dogs that are constantly chained, and dogs submitted to devocalizing and appearance-altering surgeries. While some dogs have healthy “careers” as dog sniffers, rescue dogs, and therapy dogs, the engaging text explains the perils for greyhound and sled-dog racers, as well as dogs used for scientific research. But not all dogs have it bad. Numerous profiles reveal how “Dog Champions” have initiated grassroots efforts to provide better services and protection to canines. For readers looking for their next best friend, Laidlaw explains how and why to adopt a dog and the various kinds of shelters available. Abundantly stocked with color photographs and supplemented with online resources and a glossary, this book invites children to pause and consider our friends who have paws.
— Angela Leeper, Booklist

 

Rob Laidlaw’s Dog Tales: Bedbugs Beware

Posted on July 16th, 2012 by pajamapress

Welcome to Dog Tales, a series where author and animal advocate Rob Laidlaw shares stories and facts from his travels and work in dog advocacy.

Photo of KelseyI recently read an article about dogs checking for bedbugs at a third of Hamilton’s public libraries. That’s one I’d never heard of. I’d known about dogs sniffing out loads of other things, such as bomb making materials, drugs and endangered species products, but this one was new to me. While researching my book No Shelter Here: Makingthe World a Kinder Place for Dogs, I came across some astounding “feats of the nose,” particularly in the medical field, including dogs sniffing out cancer tumors. But I’d never heard about them being used to find bedbugs. Well, apparently they do.

For any Hamilton library-goers who might be reading this, fear not. While the bed bug sniffing dogs did pick up the scent of the little critters, no actual bedbugs or eggs were found.

Rob Laidlaw’s Dog Tales: Subway Dogs

Posted on July 9th, 2012 by pajamapress

Welcome to Dog Tales, a series where author and animal advocate Rob Laidlaw shares stories and facts from his travels and work in dog advocacy.

Subway dogs editDuring the past year I’ve come across numerous articles about some amazing dogs in Russia. Apparently there are about 35, 000 stray dogs in the City of Moscow and 500 of them have learned to use the subway system. My guess is that the cold Moscow winters forced the dogs to find shelter and the subway system, being underground, was a great escape from the cold. Well that’s pretty smart, but what’s even more amazing is that about 50 dogs have learned to use the trains. They hop on in the morning—usually on the front or rear car because they’re the least busy—and then take the train downtown. They get off at their stop, go up to the surface, forage for food and then repeat the travel process in reverse later in the day. Essentially they commute to work. No one knows who was the first commuting dog or how they learned to recognize the stops, but it’s thought that they might know how long it takes to get to a particular stop or they may be triggered to get off by an odour or sound that is specific to certain stations. No matter how they do this, it’s pretty amazing. I don’t think we give dogs (or other animals) enough credit. They’re usually much smarter than we think.