Let’s Stop Lying and Stop Using the Words Euthanize and Animal Shelter

In our book RESCUE RENEW REHOME we laid out 20 intelligently thought out points to dramatically increase homeless pet adoptions in America. A 20 point program to end the killing of 4 million dogs and cats in our animal shelters each year. For this article we want to share with you point number #20.

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 To me this was the most difficult point to create. While the others are logical and use un-common, common sense, developed in our 10 years in dog rescue this last point was the hardest to say out loud.

I always try to be optimistic. I try to never judge anyone. I practice Zen and meditation and try to always focus on happiness. So this final point has weighed hard on my soul. But I could not write this book unless I expressed what I felt in my heart.

And that is: If we are to finally end the killing of healthy, loving, homeless animals in America we must speak the truth.  We must look inside ourselves and really ask, why do we allow 4 million animals to be killed every year in America?

The first reason we kill shelter animals is because as I said earlier in this book… we are a disposable society. If we don’t like it we get rid of it. If something shinier comes along we get rid of it. If our pet acts out we get rid of it. If we tire of it we get rid of it.

The other reason is because as humans we always prefer to run from and avoid reality…and  then lie to ourselves about it to make ourselves “feel good” rather than speak words of truth and own what we have done.

What are the two lies we tell ourselves?

The two lies are the two words we use to make ourselves feel good about doing something bad…something real bad…killing.

To deny it to ourselves we use two nice sounding words “Shelter” and “Euthanize”

 

But Shelter is not a truthful word. The definition of a shelter is …a place of safety and refuge. A shelter saves lives and brings help and hope to those that go there. So knowing that – why do we continue to lie to ourselves and use the word “shelter” when our supposed shelters are not shelters?  What do you call a place that kills the homeless beings that come to it? I don’t need to name it, but we all know that “shelter” is not the name.

The other lie we tell ourselves to stay in denial and feel good about ourselves is the word “euthanize“.We tell ourselves that we “euthanize” homeless pets. We should use the word of truth –  which is kill, not the lie of euthanize.

 The definition of euthanize: (Medicine) to kill (a person or animal) painlessly, esp to relieve suffering from an incurable illness.

What incurable illness do our 4 million homeless animals have?  What suffering do these 4 million homeless animals endure? And the procedure most shelters use is not a 2 step euthanize, but a one step. And that one step is not painless!  What we are doing is killing. We must stop killing and stop using the word euthanize.

We must be honest with ourselves and our children and talk words of truth. The truth shall set you free. And if we start telling the truth we will set our souls free from the horrible burden we are bringing upon our society, by allowing innocent animals to be killed, while we use words that lie, keep us in denial and cover it up.

Steve Monahan, founder

Green Pets America

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Author RESCUE RENEW REHOME

10-16 - 2014 Revised Book Cover from DD

It’s Black Dog Friday today.

It’s Black Dog Friday today

 Please adopt a black shelter dog the least adopted most killed of all America’s shelter dogs.

Please Share With Your Friends.

An Adoption Program of Green Pets America.

The 5 Most Important Facts about Ebola and Your Pets

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The ongoing epidemic of Ebola has raised questions about how the disease affects the animal population, and in particular, the risk to household pets. While the information available suggests that the virus may be found in several kinds of animals, CDC, the US Department of Agriculture, and the American Veterinary Medical Association do not believe that pets are at significant risk for Ebola in the United States.

1. Can dogs get infected or sick with Ebola?

At this time, there have been no reports of dogs or cats becoming sick with Ebola or of being able to spread Ebola to people or other animals. Even in areas in Africa where Ebola is present, there have been no reports of dogs and cats becoming sick with Ebola. There is limited evidence that dogs become infected with Ebola virus, but there is no evidence that they develop disease.

2. In the United States, are our dogs and cats at risk of becoming sick with Ebola?

The risk of an Ebola outbreak affecting multiple people in the United States is very low. Therefore, the risk to pets is also very low, as they would have to come into contact with blood and body fluids of a person with Ebola. Even in areas in Africa where Ebola is present, there have been no reports of dogs and cats becoming sick with Ebola.

3. Can I get Ebola from my dog or cat?

At this time, there have been no reports of dogs or cats becoming sick with Ebola or of being able to spread Ebola to people or animals. The chances of a dog or cat being exposed to Ebola virus in the United States is very low as they would have to come into contact with blood and body fluids of a symptomatic person sick with Ebola.

4. What if there is a pet in the home of an Ebola patient?

CDC recommends that public health officials in collaboration with a veterinarian evaluate the pet’s risk of exposure to the virus (close contact or exposure to blood or body fluids of an Ebola patient). Based on this evaluation as well as the specific situation, local and state human and animal health officials will determine how the pet should be handled.

5. Can I get my dog or cat tested for Ebola?

There would not be any reason to test a dog or cat for Ebola if there was no exposure to a person infected with Ebola. Currently, routine testing for Ebola is not available for pets.

GREEN PETS AMERICA.COM

View the CDC website for Ebola and Pets updates.

When all the Animals Are Gone

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 “When all the trees have been cut down, when all the animals have been hunted, when all the waters are polluted, when all the air is unsafe to breathe, only then will you discover you cannot eat money”

Cree Prophecy

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What is a “Green” Animal Shelter?

Green Pets America eco green animal shelter
Green Pets America eco green animal shelter

People often ask me; how did you come up with the name Green Pets America. They generally say I understand pets, and America, but why green? They laugh and ask are your rescued dogs green? Well they aren’t green, but green is very important to us. Green plants us {excuse the pun} into the green movement.  

What is the green movement?

The green movement as we think of it today has evolved considerably since the early days. To understand the modern green movement, we have to trace its origins back to the beginning.

So, let’s get started: While many people associate the beginning of the green movement with Rachel Carson’s breakthrough book Silent Spring green environmentalism is in fact rooted in the intellectual thought of the 1830s and 1840s. In fact, the “environmental movement” is a significant thread in the fabric of American philosophical thought most famously accredited to Henry David Thoreau. And later tangibly expanded upon during the era of American pragmatism in the latter half of the 19th century. Green Environmentalism is at once innovative and practical, idealistic and active, one could easily define modern environmentalism as quintessentially American.

“Green Conservation is as American as Teddy Roosevelt”

Though the federal government had begun taking actions to preserve our open lands in the late 1800’s, it was Teddy Roosevelt and John Muir who publicized and popularized conservation. Teddy’s visit to Yosemite in 1903 gained national publicity. By 1916 the National Park Service had been established with leadership by Stephen Mather.

But just as swiftly, the World Wars – sandwiching the traumatic Great Depression – forced environmental concerns to the background of public thought. While the Sierra Club continued to grow rapidly and became instrumental in establishing many vast National parks during these years, environmentalism as we know it today was not a concern for most Americans – or, consequently, the federal government.

It would take disasters and threats to bring environmental issues out of the sciences into the mainstream America again. Green environmentalism in America today is defined as leaders who advocate and educate for the sustainable management of resources and stewardship of the land and the environment through changes in public policy and individual behavior.

And, in its recognition of humanity as a participant in (not enemy of) ecosystems, the movement is centered on wellness, ecology, health, and human and animal rights.”

What is a Green Business?

What does it really mean to be a green business? Sure, many businesses are talking the green talk, but are they really walking the green walk?

  • People, Planet, Profit  – Triple Bottom Business Line
  • People, Planet, Pets, Profit   – Quadruple Bottom Business Line

A  “green business” has the environment, a social benefit to America, as well as profit. Hence the term Triple Bottom Line; standing for Profit, People, and Planet.

Essentially, the triple bottom line takes ecological and social performance seriously, building it into a three-part organization model that functions along three axes: people, planet, and profit. In other words, rather than considering only profit in measuring a business’ success, the triple bottom line gets companies thinking beyond money to social and environmental factors as well

“Green” is a term that’s thrown around a lot these days to refer to all types of things. From consumer goods, to automobiles, to building to lifestyle choices, everyone’s talking green.

At the very core, green businesses choose to operate in an earth-friendly fashion. They work to adapt their policies, practices, and principles so that they produce a positive result for the environment–whether they’re trying to solve an environmental or societal problem, or they’re just attempting to produce a product that has a smaller footprint.

Green Pets America is a green non-profit business. We have to mentally operate as a profit business however to carefully manage our resources and assets. We however go one step further. We add one more criteria. We expand from a triple bottom line to a quadruple bottom line. We add Pets. Our “Green” definition is People, Planet, Profit, and Pets.

So, in practical terms what does “Green” in our name have to do with the green movement? It means many things on multiple levels. It ties us into the green movement. People, who understand and respect green, understand our values. They understand and relate to our mission and goals. Green is a mission and a value to us. It means we focus on the triple bottom line as any good 21st century business, planet, people, and profits.

But we also add pets. Those who practice “green” understand the desire to not dispose of garbage and pollute our waters and land. Those who respect our planet and people and businesses making profit understand if we should not dispose of garbage, shouldn’t we not dispose of our animals as well. So it means don’t dump, discard and dispose of 4 million shelter animals a year. To us green means recycle, it means fresh and new and sustainable. We educate about the green concept of rescue and recycle. Recycle means adoption. It means foster homes. It means save lives, not destroy lives.

And Green means community animal shelters that are built green. Green shelters protect the environment. They save money for taxpayers. They are cheaper to maintain. They respect the land. And green shelters are good for the animals and the employees and volunteers who work there. Green shelters are open and airy. They are beautiful places for the communities’ citizens to go reclaim a lost dog or adopt an abandoned dog or cat. Green shelters save more animals.

Green Pets America – the leaders in eco green shelters. The future of animal welfare in America”

A New Model of Innovation – Compassionate No-Kill Community Animal Shelters

Jack Russell Terrier Picture GPA

No Kill is an innovative, cost-effective model of animal sheltering that allows open admission animal control shelters to save all healthy and treatable animals. Unlike the “adopt some and kill the rest” form of animal sheltering that has dominated in the United States for the past 100 years and is responsible for the needless deaths of millions of healthy and treatable animals every year, No Kill shelters are saving as high as 99% of all animals entrusted to their care.

How It Works

No Kill shelters implement a series of programs and services collectively known as “The No Kill Equation.” The No Kill Equation decreases a shelter’s impounds and increases a shelter’s reclaims while vastly expanding adoptions. The programs of the No Kill Equation include augmenting paid staff with community volunteers, foster care for sick, injured, unweaned or traumatized animals, neuter and release for feral cats, medical and behavior rehabilitation, partnerships with rescue groups, pet retention and effective public relations among others. When implemented comprehensively and with integrity, these programs are transformative.

Achieving No Kill is not complicated, but it does require replacing the traditional model of animal sheltering which is passive, complacent and plagued by convenience killing, with a proactive, can-do attitude and work ethic that rejects killing. The programs of the No Kill Equation require dedication and effort and for this reason, are sometimes portrayed by the traditional sheltering establishment as “controversial.” They are not. They are simple procedures that Americans would be shocked to learn shelters are not already doing.

When a shelter director says they are “opposed to No Kill, It means they reject foster care in favor of killing, reject vaccinations and medical care in favor of killing, reject knocking on doors to get lost dogs’ home rather than killing, and reject adoptions in favor of killing. In other words, they are advocating killing in the face of readily-available, cost-effective alternatives to killing. The same is true of each and every program of the No Kill Equation, because when a shelter implements them comprehensively, they achieve No Kill.

Success across America There are now hundreds of communities representing roughly 500 cities and towns of every conceivable demographic (rich/poor, conservative/liberal, large/small, Northern/Southern, urban/rural) across America that are saving in excess of 90% of all animals.

They range from new communities which have recently achieved that level of success to communities which did so and have continued to do so for more than a decade; from small communities taking in a few thousand animals to large ones taking in as many as 23,000 animals a year. Even Communities with high rates of impounds, foreclosures, unemployment, poverty and transient populations have achieved save rates in the mid-90th percentile.

The vast majority of communities which have achieved success have done so in six months or less. Over one new community per week saved in excess of 90% of all animals in 2012.

More Cost-Effective Than Killing No Kill is good policy that reduces costs associated with killing, enhances community support, increases user fees such as adoption revenues, and brings in additional tax revenues.

Statistics Disprove the Traditional Excuse for Killing There are roughly three million dogs and cats killed in U.S. shelters annually because they lack a home, but about 23.5 million Americans add a new dog or cat to their households every year. We do not have a “pet overpopulation” problem; we have a market share challenge. When shelters compete for the market share of homes and keep animals alive long enough to find those homes, shelter animals are saved rather than killed.

Consistent with Public Safety Since the No Kill philosophy does not mandate that truly vicious dogs and irremediably ill or injured animals be adopted, it is consistent with public health and safety.

Good Public Policy – Popular with Voters Seven out of 10 American believe that it should be illegal to kill animals in shelters unless those animals are suffering or are dangerous. As such, No Kill is a bipartisan issue with broad public support. A No Kill shelter can be a public, municipal agency and there are many No Kill animal control shelters run by government to prove it.

America’s 4 Million Shelter Animals Deserve Better Regardless of whether or not a shelter director believes No Kill is possible, he/she is obligated to try. Even if a shelter director fails to implement the No Kill Equation to the point that it replaces killing entirely, they will certainly save more animals than they would without it, and that is worth doing.

In short, No Kill is a humane, sustainable, cost-effective model that works hand in hand with public safety while reflecting the compassionate, animal-loving values of the American people. To learn more contact Steve Monahan at Steve@GreenPetsAmerica.org

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Rescuing “Starbucks” the Jack Russell Terrier

Jack Russell Terrier Picture GPA
“Starbucks”

Jill and I were just getting ready to leave Pet Smart about 5:00 pm on a cold Tuesday evening. Our rescue Group, Green Pets America is usually only at this Pet Smart in Canton, Georgia on Sundays, but we were here because I was making a special effort to get one of our lovable rescues a new home. This special rescue was a big scared lab and he needed a permanent home to feel safe and really loved again. So as we left I loaded Sam, the big goofy yellow lab in Jill’s little eco car and walked back in the store to make sure we left nothing behind.

All of a sudden this young guy comes running in with a little white and brown Jack Russell Terrier. The little dog was shaking and his leg was sticking out looking like it may be broken. Jack Russell’s are funny and crazy and always wired up. They all seem to be caffeine hyped 10 Starbucks ahead of all the other dogs we rescue.

The kid asked if I was “the rescue guy” that came on Sundays. I said yes. He immediately said he was in a hurry and was late to work, but I needed to take this dog. He said he was driving to work on the highway right near us and saw this little Jack Russell jump out of a car onto the highway and scamper to the side of the road. So this kid, I was referring to him in my head as “Lying Dude” said he turned his car around and picked him up and drove him here for someone to take him. I know I may seem coarse but we hear all kinds of reasons when someone wants to give up their dog. So I was hoping he was really a Good Samaritan, but skeptical that he may also just want to get rid of his own dog.

As we talked “Dude’s trying to get out of the store as quickly as possible. I’m holding the little scared dog…with his lease attached to his collar. So, I had to ask. When “Jack” jumped out of the moving car, did he have this leash on him at the same time?

He looked at me for a second, kind of dumb founded and said; yup he jumped with the leash as well.  We talked a bit and just as he was leaving I said to him, looks like this poor dog he hasn’t eaten in a while. “Dude” said, no he ate this morning and ran to his car. So much for “Good Samaritan”

The truth is I am glad “Dude” did bring him to our rescue group at Pet Smart. He actually did the right thing. Sometimes “Dudes” abandon their dogs in the woods. Little house trained dogs just don’t survive long on their own. Or had he taken him to a shelter, as an owner turn in, with a broken leg as well, the little guy would probably be immediately euthanized. Many shelters feel if you as the owner turn in your own dog, the dog must have bad issues and they won’t readopt them, they euthanize them. Also, most shelters are community, tax payer funded kill shelters. As such most do not receive sufficient local government funding to surgically fix all the dogs abandoned.

So, “Starbucks” as I started calling him was saved. He was taken to a No-Kill Rescue Group. Our Tag line at Green Pets America is…Rescue – Recycle – Relove. Little Starbucks was now rescued. Over a couple of months in a Green Pets foster home he would be Recycled and made new. And when little Starbucks got adopted, which he did, he became reloved.

If you love dogs, please what ever you can to help your local rescue no-kill groups and local animal shelters. Volunteer at your local community animal shelter, or donate a small amount of money to a local rescue non-profit group like ours so they can rescue more little ones like “Starbucks” and get them Rescued – Recycled and Reloved into new homes.

P.S. Sam, the big goofy yellow Lab I had taken a special interest and took to Pet Smart that day also got adopted. My son Stephen and his wife Trish adopted him a couple of weeks later. He now lives happily after ever with four of their other rescued dogs. It seems rescuing dog’s runs in the Monahan family.

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K 9 Heat Sensor Chip Technology by Virtual Armor

GREEN PETS AMERICA EDUCATION BULLETIN

K 9 Heat Sensor Chip Technology by Virtual Armor

 k9 dog green pets america communities law enforcement memorial

K 9 Clli attentively followed his partner’s every command: scrambling over a mountain of barrels, dashing through a car window and effortlessly clearing an obstacle course despite the triple-digit heat.

“Atta boy!” Officer Howard McDonald said, praising his canine companion as they circled the K-9 district office of the Arizona Department of Public Safety in Casa Grande.

In warm months, vigorous physical activity for a police dog like Clif can warrant concern from a handler: K-9 officers are required to frequently check on their dogs to make sure they don’t become overheated.

But a new program lets DPS officers monitor their dog’s temperature and location with the help of an Android app.

Officials say the technology could also be used to avoid potentially fatal scenarios, like when a police dog is inadvertently left behind in a patrol car in the Arizona heat.

DPS implemented the yearlong pilot program in January using technology firm Virtual Armor and three of the department’s police dogs: Clif, GoGo and Nico.

“With the high drive of the dog, he doesn’t want to stop. We need to pay attention so we don’t run him into the ground”.

  Officer Brian Greene, Arizona Department of Public Safety

 Arizona DPS is one of the first law enforcement agencies nationwide to try out the technology, according to Scott Schulze, senior program and engineering manager for Virtual Armor.

“Our goal is to get as many in place as we can,” Shulze said. “We are certainly going to get practical experience (in Phoenix) this summer.”

The technology involves a device implanted in the dog’s neck with a sensor to monitor body temperature and a GPS component to aid in location. Once the dog’s temperature approaches critical condition, the handler is notified by e-mail or text message. A Virtual Armor app also lets the handler track the dog’s temperature in real time.

Last week, Officer Brian Greene checked on Nico’s internal temperature as the dog practiced biting an officer wearing a thick, black dummy suit. The high that day was 104 degrees.

Greene explained that when Nico gets worked up, the dog doesn’t seem to recognize when he needs to take a break.

“With the high drive of the dog, he doesn’t want to stop,” Greene said. “We need to pay attention so we don’t run him into the ground.”

After Greene saw that Nico’s temperature had reached 102.3 degrees, up from 99, he took the dog to rest in his air-conditioned truck.

“It’s exciting for us in law enforcement to see this kind of technology,” said Capt. Jenna Mitchell, K-9 district commander for DPS. “It allows us to provide an extra layer of occupational health and safety for our canines.”

The initial investment is $6,000 per dog in the first year, which includes the device and related technology.

If the yearlong pilot is successful, Mitchell said, DPS will expand the program’s use to include more dogs on the team.

The technology could be especially relevant during the summer months, when the K-9 dogs — which cost Arizona DPS about $7,000 to buy – and thousands more to train — are at risk for injury or death if left in squad cars.

In the past five years, as many police dogs have died in heat-related incidents as have been shot in the line of duty, according to the Pennsylvania K-9 Assistance Foundation. The foundation says 15 to 18 police dogs die of heat-related injuries each year.

Schulze said his company’s technology could have prevented the death of Ike, an Arizona Department of Corrections K-9 left inside the vehicle of his human partner, Officer Jesse Dorantes, for about seven hours in April. Ike was found dead in the back of the SUV, which had been sitting in 98-degree heat.

An analysis showed that Ike died of cardiac, pulmonary and major-organ failures caused by hypothermia.

Dorantes admitted he forgot about Ike after returning his work vehicle to the Arizona State Prison Complex-Lewis in Buckeye. The officer left work early to tend to a sick child at home.

In Casa Grande, DPS Officer Joey Kretschmer created a scenario where his dog, GoGo, could practice searching for lost evidence. During the 15 minutes they were out in the sun, GoGo’s temperature increased from 100 to 102 degrees.

Kretschmer said the technology was crucial for determining when it was time for GoGo to take a break from the heat.

“We can eliminate a heat problem before it ever occurs,” Kretschmer said. “When we get to a level where we need to bring them out of the field, we can immediately do that and we don’t have to wait until we see signs of heat exhaustion in the day.”

As his partner vigorously sniffed for evidence, Kretschmer was able to monitor his health with the touch of a finger.

“It’s peace of mind,” Kretschmer said. “I get to know that I can focus on my job and let him focus on his job, and the technology will focus on the temperature issue.”

 

HAPPY RESCUE DOG STORIES – SWEET`PEA

A Very Yappy Ending.Sweet Pea Picture

 

I often wonder where she was born, what she was like as a puppy and why she became abandoned. She is just the most serene, and cutest pure bred miniature dachshund you could lay your eyes on. Your heart melts when she looks up at you with her big brown eyes. When I am in her company my energy is at peace. Like a clear lake top, peaceful and serene.

Our rescue group Green Pets America rescued Sweet Pea. She was left behind for some unknown reason in her empty home. Worse yet she was abandoned with her two puppies as well. They were just the most beautiful and adorable little family. We’re not sure if her owners were foreclosed on and left the 3 behind or if they went to jail. I can’t tell you how many times this is how we have wound up rescuing a dog.

I and our group used to cart Sweet pea and her puppies, along with a dozen of our other rescue dogs every Sunday to Pet Smart, where we would try to find them new loving homes. It is not easy work rounding all the dogs up, getting their cages in the pickup and cars and unloading them and setting up the puppy play pen and adoption table… but it’s a work of love. It allows us to be with these wonderful rescues and meet fellow pet lovers. And when we get one adopted we’re happy, but also sad to see them go. These little and sometimes big brutes become your kids.

Well after a few weeks both of Sweet Pea’s puppies did find new homes. I’d like to say they lived happily ever after, but one suddenly died shortly after adoption. Seems the little guy, being a nosy puppy opened the door under the families sink and ate some drain cleaner and died. I must tell you we all cried. I just don’t know why things like that happen in life. This poor little guy had a rough start and a rough ending. Thank God however when he was with us, he had a wonderful and happy middle. If you have pets please baby proof your home. These little ones are curious and will always be looking for new adventures. Please, please keep them safe.

Well with both puppies adopted we still had Sweet Pea. My wife started to really bond with her and one Sunday when I was heading off to Pet Smart Lynne said, “if she doesn’t get adopted today please lets take her ourselves”.

Well as life would have it just at the end of the adoption event a woman came up to one of our Directors and wanted to see Sweet Pea. So Susan took her out of the small dog play area. I watched the ladies eyes and in a flash I saw the woman immediately take to Sweet Pea. Adoptions are like that. There seems to be an immediate connection. Well I did something I never did before. I ran over and scooped little Sweet Pea from Susan’s arms. Susan looked at me like I was crazy I guess. But, my heart said that I had to step in and take Sweet Pea home that minute. I just could not bear to possible put her in a situation like what happened to her puppy. After 8 weeks of being with her I couldn’t let her go.

I put her in my car right that minute. After we packed up the pound puppies and big brutes as well Sweet Pea came home to live with us and our other three rescue dogs forever.

I have never regretted my crazy or rude act of sweeping her away and taking her home.

She is the calmest of all our rescues and she’s also the peace maker of the pack. Sweet Pea like all our rescued dogs is a true gift from God. They give everything and ask only for love and protection in return.

For Sweet Pea Monahan and for the whole family it was a Very Yappy Ending...

 

Steve Monahan, founder

Green Pets America.org

Rescue Renew Rehome

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You will help write another happy ending for a homeless pet sitting in a shelter today.

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Did Dogs Come From Wolves?

wolf

Dogs were probably the first tame animals. They have accompanied humans for some 10,000 years. Some scientists assert that all dogs, domestic and wild, share a common ancestor in the small South Asian wolf.

Today humans have bred hundreds of different domestic dog breeds—some of which could never survive in the wild. Despite their many shapes and sizes all domestic dogs, from Newfoundlands to pugs, are members of the same species—Canis familiaris. Although they have domestic temperaments, these dogs are related to wolves, foxes, and jackals.

Domestic dogs still share many behaviors with their wild relatives. Both defend their territories and mark them by urinating on trees, rocks, fence posts, and other suitable sites. These scent posts serve notice to other dogs that an animal is occupying its territory.

Many pet dogs also bury bones or favorite toys for future use, just as their wild relatives sometimes bury a kill to secure the meat for later feasts.

Dogs communicate in several ways. Scent is one method, another is physical appearance. Body position, movement, and facial expression often convey a strong message. Many of these signals are recognizable even to humans, such as the excited tail-wagging of a happy dog or the bared teeth of an angry or threatened animal. Vocally, dogs communicate with a cacophony of sounds including barks, growls, and whines.

Domestic dogs serve as more than companions; many earn their keep by working hard. Dogs herd livestock, aid hunters, guard homes, and perform police and rescue work. Some special animals even guide the blind—a poignant symbol of the dog’s longstanding role as man’s best friend.

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