The Lions Club Dog Park is located at 25 Talbot St., just west of the Jumbo statue in St. Thomas.
We are also on Facebook. If you are on Facebook we invite you to join.
Christmas may be over, hunger isn’t-
People may have packed away their Christmas decorations and donated to Christmas Care, but unfortunately most of us still breathing need to eat long after Christmas dinner is over. And so do the pets of those who rely on local food banks to survive. It is far cheaper to keep pets in the homes of anyone needing assistance than to have them surrendered to local animal shelters and rescue groups.
We are in need of cat food for our local food banks. The demand has stepped up for our Pet Food Donation program, which is an effort to help keep pets with their owners instead of surrendering them to our already overcrowded animal shelters. If you can help with dog or cat food donations please email Darlene Austin, or phone 519-207-1008. And Thanks.
Local Places to Go
We’ve added a page on Dan Patterson Conservation Area to our section of Local Places, and have updated our page on Pinafore Park as well, shown below in the fall. Dan Patterson, with its trails and open field, has been a favorite destination for many area residents seeking a quiet place to walk. It is located off Highbury Ave. north of St. Thomas.
Above– the Yarmouth Natural Heritage Area, a 208 acre site located east of Sparta. It features a 24 acre wetland preserve know as The Herb Kebbel Wetland, named after a prominent Ducks Unlimited member and resident of Aylmer. Below–one of the many great spots in our area– the Fingal Wildlife Management Area.
On the left side of this page under “Local Places” we also have info on Archie Coulter Conservation Area, the Aylmer Park System, Aylmer Wildlife Management Area, Dalewood Conservation Area and Waterworks Park. And please, don’t forget to pick up after your dog.
St. Thomas Dog Walkers
Dog walking can be one of the most beneficial things for your body, soul, and mind. It is also an opportunity to let your dogs socialize with other dogs, if they are so inclined. If you are interested, there is a Facebook Group called the St. Thomas Dog Walkers that shares information and you may find useful for exploring the wealth of interesting areas in our community. Enjoy. [photos courtesy John Blake]
Two And A Half Cats
by Linda Spencer June 7, 2012
I thought the girls might like to hear a story about how I ended up with another kitten~
There are a lot of homeless cats living outside. They have kittens in the spring and fall, sometimes it is late fall and by the time the kittens are old enough to venture out on their own the temperatures will be below freezing and often, there is snow on the ground. To be able to raise fall kittens is a testament to the devotion of cats being good mothers. Sadly, when cats are faced with survival out in the elements the kittens are on their own much earlier than those who live in houses. Many will not make it.
This is the story of a kitten that found a way to beat the odds even though he is terrified of humans which is very sad as we are the ones that could help him. After all, who can resist a sweet baby kitten?
Dog Food Recall
The presence of salmonella has resulted in a dog food recall in the US and Canada, with some brands recalling as a precaution. Among the brands affected (May 8, 2012) are Solid Gold, Apex, Diamond, Canidae, Wellness, Natural Balance, and Kirkland. You can check out current recalls on Dog Food Advisor and other sites.
Charges laid in Whistler sled dog massacre
Charges have finally been laid in the Whistler sled dog slaughter which took place over two years ago in April of 2010, but only came to light after a WCB claim was made public in January of 2011. The WCB claim was for post traumatic stress by an employee/general manager of Howling Dog Tours, Robert (Bob) Fawcett, after he had been told to “cull the herd.”
The investigation, which included the exhumation of 54 bodies, reportedly cost over $250,000 and resulted in a charge being laid against Bob Fawcett. No mention was made in this Vancouver Sun article about Joey Houssian of Outdoor Adventures Whistler, who actually owned 80% of Howling Dog Tours at the time.
Our page Whistler Sled Dogs tracks the story from the beginning, and it is telling to read it again and remember how information was not forthcoming at all after the incident. See also Massacre in Whistler, Sled Dogs–The Fix is In, Timeline–Whistler Sled Dogs, and Aftermath of Whistler.
Redemption: Shelter Plan B
“If … motherless kittens are killed because the shelter doesn’t have a comprehensive foster care program, that’s not pet overpopulation. That’s the lack of a foster care program.
“If adoptions are low because people are getting those dogs and cats from other places because the shelter isn’t doing outside adoptions (adoptions done off the shelter premises), that’s a failure to do outside adoptions, not pet overpopulation.
“…If animals are killed because working with rescue groups is discouraged, again, that’s not pet overpopulation. If dogs are going cage-crazy because volunteers and staff aren’t allowed to socialize them, and then those dogs are killed because they’re quote-unquote “cage crazy,” because the shelter doesn’t have a behavior rehabilitation program in place, once again, that’s not pet overpopulation; that’s the lack of programs and services that save lives.”
Continue… St. Thomas Dog Blog
Wilma the Cat
We are still raising money for Wilma the Cat. Wilma’s surgery was successful, but we are dealing with the $400 vet bill to cover costs. If you can help, please contact Linda Spencer through Facebook, or contact Beaver Creek Animal Hospital (519-637-0966) to make any donation in her name. The story from the St. Thomas Dog Blog is reprinted below:
From March 27, 2012 ~ Wilma had surgery to remove her damaged teeth and also a hernia in her abdomen. She’s recovering nicely. She has domesticated herself and it seems she would love to live indoors. But in her present home, there are dogs that really wouldn’t do well with her presence inside. So a foster or, ideally, a permanent home for her would be wonderful. Contact ABCR or me if you have a place in your home or barn for a lovely cat.
Turns out she was already spayed, so she had been lost or abandoned. I don’t know which, but there are a lot of Wilmas in our city. They need help. There are also a lot of truly feral cats who likely will never allow themselves to be tamed. They too need help.
Continue… St. Thomas Dog Blog
BSL — A Contentious Issue
From the St. Thomas Dog Blog March 22 ~
I don’t often agree with Peter Worthington, but I did with what he wrote last week about Pit Bulls and Ontario’s Breed Specific Legislation. He calls BSL a “Ku Klux Klan law”, “akin to deciding guilt based on appearance, not behaviour.” Like him, I applaud Cons. Randy Hillier, NDP Cheri DiNova and Lib. Kim Craitor for bringing forward a private members’ bill to rescind it. No law should apply to a specific breed and dogs who look “substantially similar”. Continue… St. Thomas Dog Blog/Pittie Myths
People & businesses help for Food Banks
We want say a special THANK YOU to three businesses that really came through in a pinch– Beaver Creek Animal Hospital, Tabby’s Treasurers (next to Animal Aide), and Dixie Dairy Bar & Tackle Shop. We are extremely grateful for your help. More on this on the St. Thomas Dog Blog.
And with ice fishing season here, we’d like to give a special plug to Dixie Dairy Bar & Tackle Shop. And we’ll also give a plug to their German Shepherd, Dixie.
We also have a new drop off location– Dudes and Dads Barbershop. Remember, we make it easy for you: there are donation bins, you drop it in, we bag it and deliver it to the people who need it. If you can help, there are 12 locations with donation bins listed on our Pet Food Donations page, It can also be dropped off directly to the Caring Cupboard at the corner of Mondamin & Talbot during their business hours Mon & Thurs 9:30 – 3 pm, Tues noon – 3 pm. Thanks.
Committee Presents to City Hall
The Animal Welfare Advisory Committee presented to City Hall on Feb. 6th outlining possible solutions for the cat overpopulation in our community. This is the first time in history that a City Council in St. Thomas has heard a consideration for a TNR (Trap, Neuter & Release) and Community Cat Program. The idea is that it is cheaper (and more humane) to take a proactive approach to the problem than cope with a never ending surge of kittens year after year. What positive changes might be implemented in St. Thomas remain to be seen. Other communities have implemented programs, such as the feral cat colony on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, shown above right.
See also Charity Cat
Chicken Jerky Treat Warning making the rounds
You will probably get a Facebook message or email that will look something like this:
Before you re-post or forward the email on you might want to read this first from Snoops.com: snoops.com/chicken-jerky. You will see that the Warning has not been proved at all, and “appears to be a misparsing” of a 2007 complaint about 70 dogs getting sick from treats.
Please consider checking out the 25 Hottest Urban Legends before automatically re-posting alarming messages or emails. Your friends will thank you later.
Lost & Found Pets
Current Projects -
- 1. Fundraising for improvements to the Lions Club Dog Park such as poop bag dispensers and benches.
- 2. Working with the City of St. Thomas to improve conditions at the St. Thomas Animal Shelter.
- 3. Caring Pet Cupboard donation and distribution program of pet food to local Food Banks and Animal Rescue Groups.
- 4. Working with the City of St. Thomas to create a 2nd Off Leash Dog Park.
- 5. Working with local Animal Rescue Groups to assist relocation of animals.
Current Issues -
- 1. People not cleaning up after their dog.
- 2. Children in the Dog Park.
- 3. The state of The St. Thomas Animal Shelter
- 4. Puppies being sold on Kijiji and by backyard breeders.
- 5. The overwhelming number of animals hitting the shelters.
What giving a damn can do-
Hard to believe it’s even the same dog. On the left – Bosco, Sept 30, 2010, left tied to the fence at the St. Thomas Animal Shelter. On the right, Bosco Jan. 2011 in his new home. This is due to the efforts of ABCR and people like you who contribute to the vet care of these animals. More on our page The Bear & Bosco Story and on the St. Thomas Dog Blog– Bosco’s New Year, Dumped and Found, and Bear and Bosco go to City Hall.
Children & the Dog Park
There continue to be incidents with small children in the park which is mainly due to a lack of understanding of the purpose of an off leash dog park. The Lions Club Dog Park is a park for dogs, hence the name. A children’s playground is for children and most parents would find it unacceptable if dogs were running wild in a designated kids playground. There is ample information on this, here is one example from About.com: “There are many good reasons to keep children out of off-leash dog parks, and no good reasons to bring them in. The possibilities for accidents are staggering.” And from Suite.101: “Your child should never be allowed to run, scream, chase dogs or even approach them unless given specific permission from the owner.
Update Oct 4- City installs signage regarding children
St. Thomas Dog Blog
Australia Honours Smoky
by Dorothy Stewart – August 10, 2012
On July 20th in Brisbane, Australia, Smoky the little war dog was awarded posthumously the Australian Defence Force Tracker and War Dog Association medal for military service. At the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital, US Consul General Niels Marquardt accepted the medal on behalf of Bill Wynne, Smoky’s person.
The ADFTWDA Secretary, a tracker team veteran of Vietnam, read a poem in remembrance of all Military Working Dogs, especially those left behind. It was Connie Chronister’s I Wait By The Gate:
In a strange land I was sent, not knowing my fate;
In a pen I was put and I sat by the gate.
I watched and I wondered what do I do now?
Then I looked up and saw you, as you walked up with a smile.
We trained and we worked and I showed you my best;
You rewarded me and petted me and I did the rest.
Through trails and paths and roads we did go;
And I was to smell, for traps that would blow.
Many times I stopped you from ending your life;
From an enemy trap wire that was set to end your life.
Never have I thought that we would ever part;
Because of the love that we had in our hearts.
Oh, I was proud to walk by your side;
With all of your friends and being your guide.
Then one day you put me back into my pen;
You smiled, you petted me, you said, “Goodbye my friend.”
… continue Austraila Honours Smoky
Whistler Sled Dogs: Bob Fawcett takes a bullet
by Jim Stewart - April 20, 2012
Bob Fawcett was finally charged with the Whistler sled dog massacre that happened over two years ago. So why don’t I feel happy? Because I still wonder whether a patsy got hung out to dry, that a depressed, weak and vulnerable man took the fall for a rich kid with a 2 billion dollar family.
I’ve written lots on this and it doesn’t get any better with the re-reading. It’s sick, no matter how you look at it, and might better be titled “Our Disposable Society.” I hope some good comes out of it.
The page Whistler Sled Dogs tracks the story as it unfolded from the beginning. More… (if you can stand it) Massacre in Whistler, Sled Dogs–The Fix is In, Timeline–Whistler Sled Dogs, and Aftermath of Whistler.
Back to Jim’s Notebook.
Dog Urban Legends
We’ve started a page on Dog Urban Legends.
Strange & Wonderful
It’s strange, and it’s wonderful. More stuff on our Strange & Wonderful page.
Tabby’s Treasures at 335 Talbot St. in St. Thomas is a neat little gift shop if you’ve never been inside. Next to Animal Aide of St. Thomas, all profits go to Animal Aide to help with the enormous cost of animal rescue. We should also mention that Tabby’s is also a collection point and a big supporter of the Caring Cupboard Pet Food Donation Program. Many a bag of dog and cat food has been funneled our way and made it’s way directly into our local Food Bank.
New Pet Store & Dog Bakery in Aylmer
“Yorkie Doodle Dandy” by Bill Wynne
Review by Dorothy Stewart
I don’t know much about WWII, and even less about the American campaign in the South Pacific. I learned a lot, and felt it, reading about a Yorkshire Terrier. William Wynne’s book about his dog Smoky takes you to the war with him. He explains it so clearly, the geography of battle, the military sorties and the day-to-day existence of the soldiers.
Military history was not his purpose in writing Yorkie Doodle Dandy. The book is the story of a dog he acquired in New Guinea while he was stationed there as an aerial photographer. One part of the story of how Smoky came to be with Bill really struck me. Another soldier found her alongside a road, trying to get out of a foxhole. He didn’t like dogs, but he couldn’t leave this little scrap of a being to fend for herself. So he brought her back to camp even though he wasn’t even remotely tempted to keep her. That, in an environment where death, killing and suffering are part of everyday life, is the act of a truly good man. Continue… St. Thomas Dog Blog.
Update: Australia Honours Smoky
Also, more books on our Books & Movies page.
Treasures in Our Own Backyard
With the good weather upon us, here is an overview of some of the great places to go in our area. Above — conservation areas within the Catfish Creek Conservation Authority, and below within the Kettle Creek Conservation Authority. We have more info in Maps under our Local Places section. And please, don’t forget to pick up after your dog
Our little dog park in the woods.
Incredible aerial photos by Corey Casimir of St. Thomas from his flying machine, a powered Para Glider. Looking south, in about the center of the photo, you can just barely see people standing in a small clearing. Right above them to the south is the Old Talbot Rd. with the trails curving off the end into the Lions Club Dog Park. A white van is in the parking lot due southeast, and Kettle Creek is to the north, which is the boundary of the park. In the background to the south is the old CASO train trestle. This is a historic part of town going back well over 150 years, at the intersection of creeks and roads. More photos on the Lions Club Dog Park page stdoa.ca/lions-club-dog-park/.
Merlin, a Shepherd/Husky cross, passed away recently. He was a lot of fun and a big fan of the dog park. He was there from the beginning, when the park was being formed from a group of people who were meeting at the New York Central Ball Diamond because there was no where else to go, hence the need and founding of the Lions Club Dog Park in St. Thomas. Merlin was about 10 years old. He will be missed.
Stormy, a Greyhound rescue from Wisconsin, recently passed away. He is also show here at the Grand Opening of the Lions Club Dog Park.
Robbie, another big fan of the Dog Park, recently passed away after a big battle with cancer. Robbie had many friends among the rescue circle, and like most family dogs, was a treasured member of his family.
City Launches New Animal Services Website
A new website has been launched by the City of St. Thomas to centralize information on lost and found pets and animals up for adoption. The website, called cityanimalservices.ca is fairly easy to use–you can upload a photo and description of a lost or found pet yourself and easily see what animals are available from the City Pound, ABCR, Animal Aide, and Pets/Friends for life.
This is a great idea whose time has come and we have to compliment the City of St. Thomas for listening to ideas about making the best of our available resources. Hopefully this will make a positive contribution to the already overcrowded shelters in our area. We will also add a link on our Lost & Found page.
The Face of a Volunteer
Great picture of Yolanda, one of the enduring volunteers we’re blessed to have at the Lions Club Dog Park, who has worked tirelessly along with others to try to keep the dog park clean. Like other volunteers in St. Thomas, none of these people expect a thank you or take anything from the public purse. Without them our society would be poorer place to live. Perhaps a thank you and maybe a bit of help wouldn’t go astray.
Luanne Demers, Founding President
Those of us on the executive of the STDOA met Luanne three years ago when she began bringing her dogs, Lab crosses named Katie and Buddy, to play with our dogs. I remember her watching Katie and Buddy wrestling with each other and anyone that would play, and saying “what we need in town is a proper dog park.” The response of some, like me, was “yeah, like that’s going to happen! Been tried, hasn’t worked.” She said, “well, it’s gonna happen this time.”
Continue…St. Thomas Dog Blog
Your Membership is Important
2013 Memberships are due for the St. Thomas Dog Owners Association. A Not-for-Profit organization, your Membership of only $20 per household goes towards improvements to the Lions Club Dog Park and other projects, plus entitles you to vote on issues. Or, if you don’t like joining groups, donations are gladly accepted and appreciated. Either way, you can mail new Membership Forms or donations to:
STDOA Treasurer, 63 Rickwood Pl., St. Thomas, ON N5R 5Z4 Thank You.
St. Thomas Dog Owners Association promotes off-leash dog parks and supports responsible dog ownership and the welfare of dogs.
For information on Membership please go to our page http://stdoa.ca/membership/