Thursday, January 15, 2009

Rescued Pit Bulls Make the Big Screen

January 14, 2009 : 2:11 PM
Best Friends Attends Opening Of Hotel For Dogs

By Cheri Moon

Usually, when Hollywood comes out with a movie that features a breed of dog, rescue groups cringe and brace themselves. Films such as 101 Dalmatians, Beethoven and Beverly Hills Chihuahua resulted in increased sales of Dalmatians, Saint Bernards, and Chihuahuas. This in turn leads to an upswing of these breeds at animal shelters because many new owners surrender their dogs after realizing their lifestyles aren't conducive to owning a specific breed.

With the opening of Hotel For Dogs, instead of cringing, rescue organizations are applauding. The main difference between this movie and other dog movies is that Hotel For Dogs is about rescuing dogs. Specifically, it's about kids rescuing dogs.

Movie Producer Is Devout Pit Bull Lover
Movie producer Ewan Leslie is a devout pit bull lover who works with Karma Rescue in Los Angeles. Says Leslie, "When we started working on the movie, I told Mark Forbes, our head trainer from Birds and Animals, Unlimited, that we had to have some pits in the movie."

Film producer Ewan Leslie insisted that the movie Hotel For Dogs include pit bulls. Here Leslie poses with his two rescued pit bulls Mack and Luka. (Luka and Mack are the featured dogs for January in PBRC's Happy Endings 2009 Calendar. Click here.)

Film Crew Rescued Dogs During Movie Shooting
"Chelsea," the three-legged pit bull, who appears in the movie, is actually the very first pit bull that Karma ever rescued who happened to be adopted by a dog trainer for movies. During production, Karma rescued Pearl, a young blue pit bull who was abandoned in a parking lot. Leslie brought Pearl to the set everyday. Pearl soon became the set mascot and was adopted by two crew members. Pearl's floppy ears and wrinkled expression appear on the movie poster.

Pearl, a blue pit bull, appears on the promotion poster for the movie Hotel for Dogs and was adopted by a film crew member.

While shooting for two days at the West Valley Pound, the cast and crew chipped in and sprang six dogs—five of whom were pit bulls. According to Leslie, a crew member adopted a brother and sister duo, and Karma Rescue found homes for the rest.

Best Friends Attends Opening In Vegas
Hotel For Dogs includes pit bulls, many types of pure breed dogs as well as some mixed breeds. Says Danielle Aymar, adoption manager for Best Friends Animal Society, "It's great to be able to support the basic premise of the movie and to see something come out of Hollywood that embraces the rescue movement."

A group of Best Friends volunteers and some adoptable dogs will be attending the opening this Saturday at the Rainbow Promenade Theater in Las Vegas from 1:00–4:30 p.m., located at 2321 N. Rainbow Blvd. on the corner of Rainbow and Lake Mead. Says Aymar, "We were invited to attend the opening by the Rainbow Promenade Theater. We'll have lots of information about adoption and reminding people to consider their lifestyles before adding a dog to their family."

Friday, January 2, 2009

Pets as Gifts

Well, it's January 1, 2009 so why are we talking about giving pets (puppies and kittens) as gifts? The holiday season is over, shouldn't this have been the December entry? Well, actually and unfortunately this is not a seasonal phenomena. Pets are given as gifts all throughout the year for birthdays, anniversaries but also at Christmas and Valentines Day. Aww, it's such a cute picture, your child or significant other snuggling that cute kitten or puppy with the big red bow. Let's sigh and say Aww again just for effect. Yes, that's cute and very Norman Rockwell-ish but it's not real. There are so many reasons this is a bad idea, it's actually hard to put a number to them.

Giving a pet is very unimaginative. Nothing says I have no imagination whatsoever and I've never listened to a thing you've said you wanted all year, so I'm taking the easy way out. After all who wouldn't LOVE a new pet that requires daily care, training, vetting.... Pets are expensive, not just to buy, but to maintain for at least the next decade. Getting someone a gift that continues to cost money isn't a very romantic or considerate thing to do. It's like getting someone a trial membership to a gym that is self renewing (and not paid by you), you just don't. Even if your significant other has been talking about getting a pet, unless they have put action to it, it's just talk and the decision hasn't been finalized.

Then speaking of the decade, that makes this a very huge and very personal decision. Most people like to make those big decisions themselves, if they are going to pick out a companion that is going to live the next 10-17 years. Pets have personalities and not all of them will be suitable for all different situations. It is important to consider what you want from a pet and then choose an appropriate type/breed and then interview different ones until you find just the right one that fits. There are things to consider such as budgeting for the expense, finding a vet, making sure your housing accomodations will support a pet. If you are considering a pit bull puppy, you have to make sure that the local laws will allow it and your landlord or home owner's insurance will permit you to have one. Those considerations do not end, they are life long for this breed. I am sure the giver may have the very best intentions, but they are not informed intentions and often the pet pays the price.

Consider the pet. If you haven't considered all of the above, please consider the pet itself. It's a life and not something to be treated with disrespect. It is defenseless and can't take care of itself. Pets live on our good graces and we should respect their needs. If the recipient doesn't want the pet, it won't be appreciated, it won't be as loved as if they had picked it themselves and it could even be given away or taken to a shelter as soon as it is no longer convenient. Pets form bonds with people and it hurts them to mistreated and unwanted and then other behavior problems can begin to surface.

The very best gift to give someone that is considering a pet is a puppy care package. A coupon for an adoption fee so that the person can pick out their own pet. Some toys, collars, leashes, treats, pet bedding, a certificate to an obedience program (that doesn't expire) and a credit on a local vet for the first set of shots. Another good idea is a gift certificate to pay for the spay/neuter of the new pet to ensure it's health and well being.

Consider making 2009 a better year for the pets.