Business-savvy landlords allow pets By Ed Boks

Ed Boks and landlordsOne of the biggest challenges communities face in achieving “no-kill” comes from landlords who refuse pets despite hearing from their own colleagues and professional journals that permitting pets makes good business sense. In fact, a survey conducted by The Foundation for Interdisciplinary Research and Education Promoting Animal Welfare found:

• Fifty percent of all rentals nationally prohibit pets;

• Thirty-five percent of tenants without pets would own a pet if permitted;

• Tenants in pet-friendly housing stay an average of 46 months compared to 18 months in rentals prohibiting pets;

• The vacancy rate for pet-friendly housing is lower (10 percent) than “no pets allowed” rentals (14 percent); and

• Twenty-five percent of applicants inquiring about rentals in non-pet-friendly housing are seeking pet-friendly rentals.

With such a sizable potential tenant pool it seems there should be enough pet-friendly housing to meet demand. According to economic theory, in perfectly functioning markets (where people make rational, profit-maximizing decisions, with full information and no significant transaction costs) pet-friendly housing should always be available to renters willing to pay a premium to cover any extra costs to landlords.

Why then do so many landlords overlook opportunities to increase profits by providing pet-friendly housing? With nearly 70 percent of American households having companion animals and over half of renters who do not have a pet wanting one, why are so few pet-friendly rental units available?

The report found that among landlords who do not allow pets, damage was the greatest concern (64.7 percent), followed by noise (52.9 percent), complaints/tenant conflicts (41.2 percent) and insurance issues (41.2 percent). Concerns about people leaving their pet or not cleaning common areas were rarely cited (5.9 percent).

Although 85 percent of landlords permitting pets reported pet-related damage at some time, the worst damage averaged only $430. This is less than the typical rent or pet deposit. In most cases, landlords could simply subtract the damage from a pet deposit and experience no real loss. In fact, the report finds landlords experience no substantive loss. There is little, if any, difference in damage between tenants with and without pets.

Other pet-related issues (e.g., noise, tenant conflicts concerning animals or common area upkeep) required slightly less than one hour per year of landlord time. This is less time than landlords spend for child-related problems and other issues. Whatever time landlords spend addressing pet-related problems is offset by spending less marketing time on pet-friendly units by a margin of 8 hours per unit.

The study found problems arising from allowing pets to be minimal; and benefits outweigh the problems. Landlords stand to profit from allowing pets because, on average, tenants with pets are willing and able to pay more for the ability to live with their pets.

YHS receives many wonderful pets because of this unnecessary housing shortage. Imagine if all Yavapai County landlords permitted pets. That would create a demand far greater than the number of pets dying in our shelters, allowing our community to maintain its status among the safest communities in the United States for pets.

Unfortunately, too many landlords overlook the opportunity to increase revenue, tenant pools and market size by allowing pets. While the benefits to landlords are easily quantified in a profit/loss statement, the benefit to our community’s homeless pets is incalculable. Landlords can make a profitable, life-saving choice by simply permitting pets.

Compassion is not a finite commodity By Ed Boks

Ed Boks and strategic planningIn many communities, decisions regarding animal welfare are complicated by a host of competing priorities. When evaluating competing priorities it’s easy to look to the bottom line. When that happens, the questions of conscience concerning animal welfare can be overlooked.

There will always be enough injustice and human suffering in the world to make animal welfare seem less important. But compassion is not a finite commodity. We demonstrated the power of compassion in 2012 by ending euthanasia as our community’s method for controlling pet overpopulation. That is no small achievement; indeed, it places us among the nation’s most humane communities.

Still it’s not difficult to understand how decision makers can feel strongly that human need and wants are more important than animal needs and wants. When this happens, animal welfare can be reduced to a simple equation of what’s affordable, profitable or expedient. We can almost fool ourselves into thinking we’re dealing with widgets rather than lives. It’s at this point that our moral fiber emerges.

German philosopher Immanuel Kant opined that “We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals.” Indian Prime Minister Mahatma Gandhi expanded on this truism stating the moral progress of an entire community “can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” No less than Abraham Lincoln said he considered animal welfare as important as human welfare for “that is the way of a whole human being.”

Ed Boks and Matthew Scully
Ed Boks and Matthew Scully

Matthew Scully, senior speech writer for President George W. Bush and author of the book Dominion, put it this way: “We are called upon to treat animals with kindness, not because they have rights or power or some claim to equality, but because they don’t; because they all stand unequal and powerless before us. Animals are easily overlooked, their interests easily brushed aside.”

The danger now is that we return to thinking there is only enough compassion in our community for our elderly but not for our children; or just enough love for our children but not for our mentally ill; or just enough kindness for our human populations but not for our animals. St. Francis of Assisi taught that to regard the lives of animals as worthless is one small step away from regarding some human lives as worthless.

We compound community wrongs when wrongs done to animals are excused by saying there are more important wrongs done to humans and we must concentrate on those alone. A wrong is a wrong, and when we shrug off these little wrongs we do grave harm to ourselves and others.

“When we wince at the suffering of animals, that feeling speaks well of us… and those who dismiss love for our fellow creatures as mere sentimentality overlook a good and important part of our humanity.” (Scully: Dominion)

As 2012 comes to a close, I want to thank the Yavapai County Board of Supervisors, the Prescott City Council and the Prescott Valley Town Council for their support in 2012 and ask them to kindly remember animal welfare as they begin to build their 2013/14 budgets.

If you want to live in a community where the circle of compassion includes animals, let your elected officials know how important their support of the local shelter is to you. You can also help this humane initiative directly by making a yearend donation; including your shelter in your will; joining their volunteer program; or adopting a pet from them. Together we transformed our community into a showcase for “that good and important part of our humanity.” This can continue into 2013 and beyond – but only with your help, involvement and support.

Beat the Heat by Ed Boks

Ed Boks and spay/neuterFebruary is National Spay/Neuter Awareness month. Awareness can sometimes be uncomfortable. For instance, are you aware that 2.7 million dogs and cats are killed in American animal shelters every year? Are you aware that many of these deaths are unnecessary? Are you aware that few societal problems are easier to solve than pet overpopulation?

It’s true. While most of us say we understand the importance of spay/neuter programs, too many of us still find excuses to not spay/neuter our own pets. This inaction often directly contributes to the 2.7 million deaths in American animal shelters every year.

Let me try to illustrate the scope of the problem. Imagine 7,776 beans in a jar. This is the number of offspring a single un-spayed dog can produce in five-years.

That’s right, one un-spayed dog and her offspring can produce over 7,776 puppies in just five years (calculating six female puppies per litter bred every 12 months).

This awareness helps us understand how easily pet overpopulation can get out of hand. The reason more than 2.7 million cats and dogs are euthanized in shelters each year is due to our reluctance to have our own pets spayed or neutered.

The Yavapai Humane Society (YHS) urges pet guardians to do the right thing – get your dog or cat fixed. To help encourage you to make this life-saving decision, let me help you overcome some of the reasons used for not making the life-affirming decision that directly helps solve the pet overpopulation problem in our community.

Are you aware of the many benefits a spayed or neutered pet enjoys? Spay/Neuter neutralizes the many bothersome behaviors of pets in heat, such as howling, spraying, fighting, and the urge to roam and the risk of getting lost.

Are you aware that spay/neuter surgery helps keep your pet healthier? A spayed or neutered pet is protected from certain cancers. Are you aware that, according to a USA Today report, a neutered dog lives 18 percent longer than an un-neutered dog? And a spayed dog lives 23 percent longer than an un-spayed dog. This reason alone makes spay/neuter a no-brainer.

Were you aware that having your pet spayed or neutered could result in so much good?

Another reason a pet guardian might choose to not have their pets spayed or neutered is the cost. But are you aware of the very low cost of spay/neuter at the YHS Spay/Neuter Clinic?

And when you schedule an appointment in National Spay/Neuter Awareness month you will receive an additional 20 percent off our already low cost to have your pet spayed or neutered.

Call the YHS Spay/Neuter & Wellness Clinic today to schedule an appointment in February. Low-cost spay/neuter surgery is offered by appointment Tuesdays through Thursdays all year round. When you call, ask if you might qualify for a free spay/neuter surgery through the YHS Big Fix program.

Ed Boks and Beat the HeatFebruary is our one chance each year to “beat the heat” and reduce the number of pets able to multiply the number of shelter pet deaths throughout the rest of the year.

There are few societal problems easier to fix than this one. All you have to do is pick up the phone to schedule your pet’s appointment, thereby helping to save lives and solve this problem. Beat the heat; call before the puppy and kitten season. Schedule an appointment in February and you not only save lives, you save 20 percent off our already low prices!

State sanctions county, municipal feral cat programs by Ed Boks

Ed Boks and feral catsThe Yavapai Humane Society (YHS) does not accept feral cats. Taking unadoptable feral cats into an animal shelter is a death sentence and is contrary to the YHS no-kill ethic. Rather than employing the “catch and kill” methodology used by many shelters, YHS champions trap/neuter/return (TNR) as the only viable and humane method for effectively reducing feral cat populations.

The Arizona state legislature recently came out in strong agreement with YHS on TNR. Arizona’s governing body overwhelmingly passed SB1260. The new law encourages animal control to return healthy “stray” cats to the vicinity where they were captured after being sterilized; the very definition of TNR.

Coincidentally, perhaps the strongest scientific support for Arizona’s robust endorsement of TNR comes from a 13-month study conducted by the Tasmanian Department of Primary Industries in Hobart, Australia. The study, entitled “Effects of low-level culling of feral cats in open populations” appeared in a recent edition of the journal Wildlife Research, 2015. The findings, trumpeted by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Discovery Science, and other media, directly contradict the Australian government, and its environment minister Greg Hunt, who has called for the “effective” eradication of all feral cats by 2023.

Biologist Billie Lazenby, who led the study, says she expected to validate the use of lethal culling (catch and kill) promoted by the Australian government but instead found, to her dismay, that culling markedly increases the numbers of feral cats in an area.

Lazenby and her team of researchers used remote trail cameras to estimate the number of feral cats at two southern Tasmania study sites before and after a 13-month “low-level culling.”

However, Vox Felina blogger Peter Wolf observed, “The effort was anything but low-level. Over the course of 13 months, researchers managed 2,764 trap-nights-an average of seven traps every day of the culling period. Each trapped cat was, after being left in the trap for up to 12 hours or more, ‘euthanized by a single shot to the head from a 0.22 rifle using hollow point ammunition.'”

“Contrary to our prior expectations,” reported Lazenby, the “number of feral cats rose 75 percent at one test site and 211 percent at the other.” Of particular interest, “Cat numbers fell, and were comparable with those in the pre-culling period, when culling ceased.” Suggesting feral cats fill a stable self-regulated ecological niche.

The researchers ultimately concluded the surprising population explosion was the result of “influxes of new [adult] individuals after dominant resident cats were removed.” A phenomenon YHS refers to as the “vacuum effect.” When cats are removed but natural conditions (such as food sources) remain the deterrents of existing territorial cats vanish and neighboring cats quickly invade and overpopulate the newly open territory.

When culling feral cats, Lazenby now says “You may be inadvertently doing more damage than good.”

“What we should focus on when managing feral cats is reducing their impact; and you don’t reduce impact by reducing numbers.” In fact, a growing number of studies conclusively prove lethal culling induces a biological imperative that causes feral cats to overbreed and overproduce to survive. Counter-intuitively, lethal culling directly exacerbates feral cat problems.

Gratefully Arizona has a legislature who understands the science and through SB1260 is directing county and municipal animal control agencies to recognize TNR as the only viable, humane solution to our communities’ vexing feral cat problems.

Arizona is leading the nation through this ground breaking legislation. How wonderful would it be if Yavapai County and local municipalities took the lead by building an effective and humane trap/neuter/return program on this historic foundation?

Putting cats to work helps them and us By Ed Boks

Ed Boks and feral catsIn a perfect world, all cats would have a loving home, they would be spayed or neutered and they would be kept indoors. Stray cat problems arise because unaltered pet cats are permitted to roam freely outdoors and they either become feral (wild) over time and/or they produce feral offspring.

The only time a cat should ever be allowed outdoors is when it is too feral to keep indoors and then only if it is spayed or neutered so it doesn’t contribute to feral cat overpopulation. However, the responsibility for making sure feral cats are spayed or neutered often unfairly falls to a compassionate person who voluntarily steps up to feed them.

Truth be known, these caregivers and their feral cats deserve our respect and our support; they provide an important service to our developing communities. They help alleviate pressure on our overcrowded shelters; they help keep rodents in check without the use of pest control chemicals that are toxic to the environment and dangerous to pets, wildlife and children; and they help reduce rodent related public health risks, such as the plague, the fatal Leptospirosis, Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome, Murine Typhus, Rat Bite Fever, Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium, and Eosinophilic Meningitis.

Feral cats have taken the place of the diminishing wild animal populations in preventing an overpopulation of rodents. This is why more and more U.S. communities are joining Denmark, England, Israel and other countries in relying on feral cats to serve as a “green” (environmentally friendly) rat abatement program.

The reason feral cats are so effective is because rodents flee neighborhoods where these cats make their presence known. They actually give off an odor through their paws as they prowl about and once rodents get a whiff of feline, they quickly vacate the premises.

Less grisly than glue traps — and much more effective – feral cats go about their “work” naturally. They prowl, they eat and they sit in the sun; although they prefer to spend much of their time hiding from view.

And the oft heard complaint that feral cats are a public nuisance can be humanely remedied through a formalized feral cat program – because, contrary to conventional wisdom, you can herd cats. Feral cats tend to follow the food bowl. Unobtrusive feeding stations established in out of the way locations ensure feral cat nuisance complaints are greatly reduced if not eliminated altogether.

I encourage municipalities to support feral cat caregivers through a program called Operation FELIX (Feral Education and Love Instead of X-termination). Through Operation FELIX, feral cats are spayed or neutered, vaccinated, micro-chipped and ear-tipped (under anesthesia while the cats are being altered, veterinarians notch an ear tip, the widely recognized sign that a feral cat is altered).

To truly be effective, local municipalities should allocate funding to support Operation FELIX in their respective jurisdictions, as they are typically the recipients of feral cat complaints. Until that happens, YHS depends on donations and grants to help support our community’s volunteer feral cat care givers as they voluntarily provide this valuable community service.

If you want to help support this innovative, non-lethal feral cat program please make a donation to your local shelter and specify “FELIX” on your check.

For more information on Operation FELIX or how to solve feral cat problems in your neighborhood contact me.

If you have a rodent problem in your home or place of business, consider adopting a Working Cat as a humane solution.

In the cold weather, be sure to tap the hood of your car before starting it. Cats often look for warmth under the hood and this simple practice could save a life.

No Kill here to stay? by Ed Boks

Ed Boks and Reigning Cats and Dogs
Ed Boks and Board President Gloria Hershman present the prestigious YHS Founder’s Award to Kathy Coleman, John Tarro and Max Fogleman.

What a celebration! I’m talking about the Yavapai HumaneSociety’s annual Reigning Cats & Dogs Gala this past Saturday. This year we celebrated YHS’s 41st anniversary and the role the organization has played in transforming  Yavapai County into the safest, pet-friendliest community in the nation!

As we celebrated the many successes of the past four decades, a big question concerning YHS’ future was put before the over 350 Gala celebrants. That question was this: Is no-kill here to stay? Was the success of the past three years an anomaly or a beachhead?

The resounding response of the gala guests was “Yes, no-kill is here to stay” – and their commitment to the “no-kill” ethic was demonstrated by a record yield in donations dedicated to funding the Yavapai Humane Society’s many life-saving programs.

At this year’s event, YHS Board President Gloria Hershman presented the prestigious Yavapai Humane Society Founder’s Awards to former board members John Tarro, Kathy Coleman and Max Fogleman. This dynamic trio helped guide YHS through some of its most difficult years while laying the foundation for YHS’s most recent successes.

One of the livelier auction items was for naming rights for the new YHS Cat Care Center. The opening bid was $10,000 and, after a fun and exciting bidding war with Hooligan’s proprietors Pat and Nancy O’Brien, Don and Shirl Pence emerged the winners with a $32,000 bid.

In addition to winning the naming rights for the new Pence Cat Care Center, Don and Shirl served their traditional role as this year’s Founders of the Feast by underwriting another year’s gala. Without their generous support, and the support of so many others, YHS could never accomplish all that it does.

The Pences were recognized along with Lou Silverstein and Peggy Stidworthy in the first-ever Founder’s Award Presentation at last year’s gala. The vision, leadership and generosity of all our founders laid a sure foundation for YHS and we are profoundly grateful to them all.

Would you like to help make sure “no-kill” is here to stay? Please consider joining these visionaries in their support of the “no-kill ethic” through the YHS PAWS program. Together we can continue to make our community the safest in the nation for pets.

You can do this by donating just $10 a month to ending the killing of adoptable pets. What a difference that would make! With that kind of steady support, YHS could reliably continue to save animals’ lives, fight cruelty, and rescue and protect lost, homeless, sick, abused and neglected animals in our community.

And it’s easy to participate in the YHS PAWS (Planned Automatic Withdrawal Service) program. You’ll be joining a growing number of people who are making our entire community a true humane society. By joining PAWS you simply choose the amount that feels comfortable to you; and you can change or cancel your participation any time.

A monthly contribution of just $10 (or more) helps feed hungry homeless animals, provide life-saving medicine to ailing animals, and vaccinate and spay/neuter needy pets to help reduce pet disease and overpopulation. Where else can so little do so much?

The most dangerous week of the year for pets By Ed Boks

Ed Boks and dogs and pets and fireworksThe next 10 days is the most fun and raucous time in most communities.  The festivities culminate around the 4th of July with outdoor celebrations, picnics, barbecues, and of course, fireworks. Before you pack up to the lake or the outdoor arena, stadium or even your own front yard to enjoy the pyrotechnic delights of the holiday, be aware of your pets’ needs and fears.

Animal shelters across the nation experiences a significant increase in the number of lost (and injured) pets brought into their facilities after every July 4 holiday.

Even pets who are normally calm and obedient can show unpredictable behavior when frightened. Dogs and cats can become frightened or confused by the excitement and loud noises of the holiday. I have rescued terrified pets who have chewed through their tethers, jumped through plate glass windows or over fences, and escaped “secure” enclosures.

Dogs attempting to flee the frightening, and even painful noises of the fireworks may lose their sense of direction and run long distances risking injury or death as they dart in and out of traffic. This is one of the most dangerous times of year for your pets.

Up close, fireworks can burn or injure your pets, but even if they are far away, they still pose a unique danger to your companion animals.

To minimize the danger to your pets take these few simple steps before you set out to celebrate this Fourth of July:

• Keep pets indoors in an enclosed area that they are familiar with to minimize fear. If possible, turn on a radio to mask the noise of the fireworks or other celebratory noises.

• If your pet is excitable, consult with your veterinarian ahead of time to arrange administration of a proper calming drug.

• If you have to be away for an extended time, board your pets with family or friends you trust and can assure you that the pet will be kept confined and cared for.

• Always be sure your pet has a current microchip. A microchip is the best identification for a pet because it is always with him and it makes it easier for YHS to find you should the unthinkable happens and your pet manages to escape.

• Even if you think your pet is ok with fireworks and noise, do not let him out when fireworks are being lit and set off. The pet may run at them and sustain serious burns, or bolt and run.

If your pet happens to escape during the holiday festivities, be diligent in visiting your local shelters every day, and posting “Lost Dog” or “Lost Cat” signs and canvassing surrounding neighborhoods. Place a yard sign in front of your house with a picture of your pet and your phone number. People who find lost pets will often walk or drive around the area attempting to find the owner.

Remember, fright can drive an animal to new and unfamiliar grounds, many miles from your home. So exhaust all avenues. This 4th of July holiday can be the best ever if you take these precautions to keep your pets safe and happy while you enjoy the festivities without having to worry about the family pet.

Life-saving microchips can be purchased at most shelters.  Please protect your pets this 4th of July.

Study fails to debunk Trap-Neuter-Return by Ed Boks

Ed Boks and feral cats
Best way to protect birds from feral cats is Operation FELIX

Nature Communications is a journal dedicated to publishing research in the sciences. They recently published a controversial report on the findings of a Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute study. The results quickly became fodder for an uncritical media willing to accept its dubious findings.

Curiously, the authors elected to place their “results” in the mainstream media rather than submit them for peer review – suggesting the report was never meant for scientists, but to misinform policy makers.

The study estimated that domestic cats in the United States kill a median of 2.4 billion birds and 12.3 billion native mammals, like shrews, chipmunks and voles, a year.

This estimate is two to four times higher than mortality figures previously bandied about, making the domestic cat the single greatest human-linked threat to wildlife in the nation – greater than automobiles, pesticides and poisons, collisions with skyscrapers and other so-called anthropogenic causes.

The report comes with many uncertainties and seems purposely designed to fuel the sometimes vitriolic debate between environmentalists who see free-roaming domestic cats as an invasive species and animal welfare advocates who are concerned with the millions of cats (and dogs) euthanized in animal shelters each year.

Both sides do agree on two points; pet cats should not be allowed to prowl the neighborhood at will, any more than a dog or a horse; and cat owners who insist that their felines “deserve” a bit of freedom are both irresponsible and not very cat friendly.

Projects like Kitty Cams at the University of Georgia attached cameras to the collars of indoor-outdoor pet cats to track their activities. Cats were not only filmed preying on cardinals, frogs and field mice but were also seen lapping up antifreeze and sewer sludge, dodging moving cars and sparring violently with large dogs.

This is why the I say if you love your cat, keep your cat indoors.

However, the real purpose of the study is to call into question the well established Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) method for humanely decreasing feral cat populations through attrition. TNR is the practice of trapping, spaying and returning un-owned cats to a managed colony in the area from which they came. The authors of the report failed to understand that TNR is the only known means for reducing feral cat populations and as a result reducing the number of wildlife killed by feral cats.

The report deduces eradication is the best remedy for dealing with feral cats, not recognizing that decades of such efforts across the United States irrefutably demonstrates eradication does not work.

Feral cats have a strong survival drive, which means attempts to catch cats for extermination triggers a biological imperative to over-breed and over-produce. The consequences are exponential; rather than one litter of two or three kittens per year, a stressed female will have two or three litters of six to nine kittens annually.

Even if a community could remove all its feral cats, a phenomenon called “the vacuum effect” quickly lures neighboring cats into the newly open territory bringing with them all their annoying behaviors, including increased wildlife killing.

As we’ve seen time after time in locations all over the country, the end result of “catch and kill” is always the same: vacated neighborhoods are swiftly overrun again with feral cats fighting and caterwauling for mates, over breeding, and spraying to mark their new territory – sometimes leading to demands for stronger eradication efforts, which as we know, only exacerbates the problem.

The only way to save our wildlife is to reduce the number of feral cats. The only proven way to do that is through well managed Trap/Neuter/Return programs.

Hypothyroidism is no reason not to adopt a dog; Roseanne’s story by Ed Boks

Ed Boks and hospice
Roseanne has hypothyroidism and is available for adoption to an understanding family.

The Auburn University School of Pharmacy estimates 3 to 8 percent of the American human population have hypothyroidism, and the incidence increases with age. I was surprised by this number because when I conduct a poll among friends and acquaintances the percentage seems much higher. Everybody I asked seems to be on thyroid medication. So I’m hoping Roseanne’s story finds an empathetic audience.

Roseanne is a 7-year-old female Labrador Retriever mix surrendered to YHS by her owner because of Roseanne’s medical condition. This happened on Saturday, June 17. From day one, Roseanne captured the heart of employees and volunteers alike. To say Roseanne has personality is an understatement. In fact, she is borderline mischievous – with a heart of gold.

Roseanne is the most popular dog at YHS. Everybody who meets her wants to adopt her on the spot. That is, until they learn she has hypothyroidism.

The YHS medical team diagnosed Roseanne’s hypothyroidism after noticing a slight head tilt that gradually became worse. Hypothyroidism is a common disease in dogs and occurs when the thyroid gland produces insufficient hormones to regulate the metabolism. This causes a variety of symptoms including weight gain or obesity, hair loss and skin problems. Most hypothyroid dogs respond readily to treatment.

Roseanne has been on treatment (a pill in his food morning and night) for several weeks and her desire to play and be more active is palpable; and her coat has improved too. Many dogs suffer from a low thyroid hormone level for years without treatment. If your dog has recurrent skin problems, or unexplained weight gain, she may be suffering from hypothyroidism and you should talk with your veterinarian.

Although the onset of clinical signs is variable, hypothyroidism most commonly develops in middle-aged dogs between the ages of 4-to-10 years. The disorder usually affects mid- to large-size breeds, and is rare in toy and miniature breeds. Breeds that appear predisposed to the condition include the Golden Retriever, Doberman Pinscher, Irish Setter, Miniature Schnauzer, Dachshund, Cocker Spaniel and Airedale Terrier. German Shepherds and mixed breeds appear to be at a reduced risk for contracting the disease.

Hypothyroidism in dogs is easy to treat. Treatment consists of placing the dog on a daily dose of a synthetic thyroid hormone called thyroxine (levothyroxine). The dose and frequency of administration of this drug varies depending on the severity of the disease and the individual response of the dog to the drug. A dog is usually placed on a standard dose for her weight and blood samples are drawn periodically to check her response and then the dose is adjusted accordingly. Once therapy is started, the dog will need to be on treatment for the rest of her life. Usually after the treatment is started, the majority of the symptoms resolve.

Roseanne’s improvement is obvious; she lost 17 pounds, weighing in now at a svelte 79 pounds. Her head tilt has also vanished. She is ready to be adopted into an understanding home. If you are interested in adopting Roseanne, come by YHS at 1625 Sundog Ranch Road in Prescott, off the Prescott Parkway for a get acquainted meeting. Roseanne is a senior dog so adoption fees are waived for citizens 59 years of age; $40 for all others.

If you would like to make sure dogs like Roseanne get the medical care and treatment they need, please make a donation to the Special Treatment And Recovery (STAR) program at your local shelter.

Pet friendly landlords key to attaining and sustaining “no-kill” status by Ed Boks

Ed Boks and landlordsIf achieving no-kill is likened to an Olympic moment then sustaining no-kill is a marathon. Ending killing as a method to control pet overpopulation requires the involvement of an entire community. We are all responsible for its use, and we can all play a role in its abolition.

For instance, landlords can play an important role in attaining and sustaining a no-kill status. According to a report issued by The Foundation for Interdisciplinary Research and Education Promoting Animal Welfare, 50 percent of all rentals nationally prohibit pets.

Pet-forbidding landlords should consider these findings: 35 percent of tenants without pets would own a pet if their landlord permitted; tenants in pet-friendly housing stay an average of 46 months compared to 18 months for tenants in rentals prohibiting pets; the vacancy rate for pet-friendly housing is lower (10 percent) than “no pets allowed” rentals (14 percent); and 25 percent of applicants inquiring about rentals in non-pet-friendly housing are seeking pet-friendly rentals.

According to economic theory, in perfectly functioning markets (where people make rational, profit-maximizing decisions, with full information and no significant transaction costs), pet-friendly housing should be available to renters willing to pay a premium to cover any extra costs to landlords. So, why do so many landlords overlook opportunities to increase profits by providing pet-friendly housing?

With nearly half of American households having companion animals and more than half of renters who do not have pets reporting they would have pets if allowed, why are there so few pet-friendly rental units available?

Well, among landlords who do not allow pets, damage was the greatest concern (64.7 percent), followed by noise (52.9 percent), complaints/tenant conflicts (41.2 percent) and insurance issues (41.2 percent). Concerns about people leaving their pet or not cleaning common areas were rarely cited (5.9 percent).

Although 85 percent of landlords permitting pets reported pet-related damage at some time, the worst damage averaged only $430. This is less than the typical rent or pet deposit. In these cases, landlords could subtract the damage from a pet deposit and experience no real loss. In fact, the report finds landlords experience no substantive loss with little difference in damage between tenants with and without pets.

Other pet-related issues (e.g., noise, tenant conflicts concerning animals or common area upkeep) required less than one hour per year of landlord time. This is less time than landlords spend for child-related problems and other issues. Whatever time landlords spend addressing pet-related problems is offset by spending less marketing time on pet-friendly units by a margin of eight hours per unit.

The study finds problems from allowing pets to be minimal, and benefits outweigh the problems. Landlords stand to profit from allowing pets because, on average, tenants with pets are willing and able to pay more for the ability to live with their pets.

Animal shelters across the United States are experiencing a huge increase in the number of pets surrendered because of the housing crisis. Imagine if all landlords permitted pets.  That would create a demand far greater than the number of pets dying in our shelters, allowing our communities to end pet euthanasia to control pet overpopulation altogether.

Landlords are hearing from their own colleagues and professional journals that permitting pets makes good business sense. Many landlords may be overlooking a significant, low-risk opportunity to increase revenue, tenant pools and market size just by allowing pets.

Certainly, the benefits to the homeless pets who are dying for the lack of a home each year cannot be overstated. Landlords can make a profitable, life-saving choice simply by permitting pets.