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🙌🐾 AJL, Community Outreach Go Hand-In-Hand  🐾🙌


Fall is in the air and we're happy to report two of our foster faves -- Chickpea and Scout --are both doing remarkably well! Make sure you continue following us on Facebook and Instagram to stay up-to-date on their progress ...

During the month of October, we held two very important community outreach events: our
FREE Microchip Event and Fall TNR DayOn October 5, we held our third -- and biggest -- chip event. We chipped 124 cats and dogs. Wow! These pets will have a greater chance of being reunited with their owners should they find themselves lost. October 13 saw our dedicated group of Trap-Neuter-Return volunteers reach their goal of TNRing 20 cats. These efforts ensure there are 20 less kitties who are breeding or fighting or contributing to the homeless pet population in Houston. We'd like to thank our vet partners Houston Home Care Vet and Cat Vet Clinic -- and our many volunteers -- for making both of these events possible. Thank you!

As always, we'll update you on Animal Justice League activities, highlight our adoptable pets and let you know about upcoming fundraisers, adoption events or outreach opportunities. We hope you enjoy this edition of The Rescue Report!


Monthly Features

Retractable Leashes Are Risky Business

At first glance, retractable dog leashes may seem like a great idea, offering dog owners the flexibility to manage their pets in  a variety of situations. But many veterinarians and dog trainers (and even Consumer Reports) say they are dangerous to both humans and pets, and they also can result in undesirable dog behaviors.

"Professionally I am not much of a fan when it comes to retractable leashes. I do not recommend them to my customers, and invariably we find a better leash solution for them to utilize," says Matt Bryant, Houston area dog trainer and owner of Texas Dogfather.retractable leash

A retractable leash consists of a thin cord wrapped around a spring-loaded reel in a plastic handle. The cord is typically from 10 to 26 feet long, and a button on the handle allows the pet owner to control the length of the leash. The big selling point of retractable leashes is flexibility: With a single leash, a dog owner can keep their pet close or allow them more freedom to roam and explore. But that flexibility comes at a cost.

"They can make things 'convenient' for the parent--sometimes, "Bryant says. "But the safe control and communication that is sacrificed is rarely worth it."

The use of retractable leashes has resulted in many reported injuries to humans. A startled or excited dog may suddenly jerk the leash, and the leash's thin cord can cause serious cuts, friction burns, broken bones and amputations. Many dog owners have become entangled in the cord and fallen.

Dogs are at risk, too. When a retractable leash runs out of line, it can jerk abruptly, startling the dog and causing injuries to its neck, spine and trachea. An animal that gets tangled in the cord becomes fearful and reacts unpredictably. Suddenly, the leash -- which was supposed to give the human control over the dog -- has created a very dangerous situation.

"In a challenging moment,  the inherent design of the retractable leash robs the parent of safe and reasonable control over their dog, " says Bryant.

Safety risks aside, many trainers advise against retractable leashes for behavioral reasons.

"I find retractable leashes undesirable for several key reasons," says Bryant. "First, they add an element of uncertainty and unpredictability when passing by other leashed dogs. This allows for and sometimes actually reinforces reactive behavior."

Bryant says that retractable leashes actually "mute" the communication that should occur between human and dog in a way that other leashes do not. And, in some dogs, the consistent tension on the leash can actually encourage the dog to resist until they are at the limit of the leash length, "essentially  conditioning your dog to pull to the leash limit every time."

martingale leashSo if retractable leashes are ill-advised, what's the best leash for a pup?  For Bryant, the answer depends on the dog, his or her particular behaviors, the abilities and expectations of the parents and the environments that they will be walking in.

"I may suggest different kinds of 'rigs' depending on whether it is a nature walk, a trip to the Farmers Market or a long ride in the country," Bryant says. "But a retractable is never one of the options. A martingale is at the top of my list although there are others that I may recommend as well."

Adoptable Highlights

Darcy & SkylaDarcy is a playful and affectionate young boy who is ready for a home to spoil him! He loves other cats and playing with toys and likes to flop over on his side and roll around hamming it up to get pets. He can’t wait to be a part of your family!

Skyla is an outgoing and sweet kitty who is very affectionate. She loves snuggling on laps, loves other kitties and is learning how to play! She’s a little leery of dogs, but could probably get along with a calm one. Her favorite sound is the sound of a can of cat food opening!

Darcy and Skyla are a bonded pair and we'd love to see them find a forever home where they can be together!
Who says unicorns are make-believe? Attie is one of the sweetest girls you’ll ever meet! She’s a pit bull/Chinese Shar-Pei mix and what a beauty she is! She absolutely loves being with people, whether it’s on the couch or outside. Attie has good doggie manners, is house trained and entertains herself when left alone. She knows sit, down, wait (for food or human to come back) and come. She has the cutest pouty snout, loves belly rubs, ear rubs and snuggles. She also will sit on your lap if you let her! Do you have room for a unicorn in your life?

Calendar of Events

Featured Event

Join us at Kendra Scott from noon to 2 pm and start your holiday shopping a little early! For every person who mentions AJL when they make a purchase during this two-hour window, Kendra Scott will donate 20% of the proceeds to us! 

And ... It’s a two-fer - fundraiser and adoption event! So, come on out to shop and meet some cute pups!

October 2019

October 26: Kendra Scott Fundraiser & Adoption Event
October 27: PetSmart Adoption Event

November 2019
November 2: Champagne and Yoga Dia De Los Muertos Party!
November 14: AJL Social
November 30: Holiday Artisan Market Benefiting Animal Justice League

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