Over 54 million pet dogs are harbored in the United States today, according to the Statistical Abstract of the US. In 1996, Americans spent over $10,000,000,000 (ten billion dollars) on health care--for their pets according to the American Veterinarian Association. These statistics prove just how much Americans love their pets. Non-fiction animal stories are timeless and thoroughly enjoyed by animal lovers of all ages.
Dog Tails contains anecdotes of numerous stray dogs that the author has encountered while working as a Dog Control Officer in Dutchess County, New York for the last fifteen years. Dog Tails is a collection of stories; some heartwarming, some comical and some amazing, but all true. The book also contains some humorous stories of wildlife encounters and a few cat tales as well.
In the first chapter, you will meet the author and her family, including their two Golden Retrievers, KC and her son, Jocko. A year after moving to Dutchess County, New York, in May of 1977, KC gave birth to eight puppies. One of the males, Jocko, had a health problem and was added to the family. KC and Jocko managed to keep their owners lives interesting with their mischievous antics. KC and Jocko enjoyed four years of carefree mischief until Jocko was stolen on Christmas Eve, 1982.
After six months of fruitless searching for Jocko, the author co-founded Dutchess County Pet HotLine, a volunteer organization. Originally, Pet HotLine's focus was to put an end to the dognapping that was epidemic in the county. In time, the organization became a flourishing clearing house for any lost or found pet. It was and continues to be the only such service available in the county. Chapter two of the book contains heartwarming tales of a number of dogs who benefited from the existence of Pet HotLine.
In chapter three, the author decides to become actively involved in the animal field and applies for a Dog Control Officer's position. This chapter briefly explains the requirements of the position and tells why dog control is a necessary evil.
Chapter four sets the stage for the stories to follow by giving an overall view of the area where the author lives and works. This chapter also details several people's reactions to some humorous wildlife encounters.
As a dog lover, the author has owned a number of dogs over the years. Two of them were obtained from the 'Guiding Eyes for the Blind' program. This chapter contains stories of her personal dogs and explains the requirements of raising a 'Guiding Eyes' puppy. The rest of the book contains stories about stray dogs.
In chapter six, the reader meets two 'vicious' Dobermans and reads of their affinity to cars. One Doberman is a carjacker; the other one finds himself trapped by a car.
Lyme disease is a horrid disease caused by the bite of a tick. It has been diagnosed in at least 47 states in the US, and has a devastatingly debilitating effect on the humans that are afflicted. When a dog gets Lyme disease, the symptoms are often mistaken for rabies. This chapter relates the tales of two dogs with Lyme disease.
Chapter eight tells the story of a little abused dog and his unique rescue.
Chapter nine is about two dogs who find themselves trapped in holes and unable to get out. The chapter relates the problems involved in rescuing them.
The next chapter humorously relates the difficulties involved with seizing stray male dogs that are enamored by bitches in heat.
Chapter eleven is about the appearance of a very unusual visitor to Dutchess County that is definitely not indigenous to the area. This chapter contains documentation of the numerous sightings of this animal.
The following chapter informs the reader as to what constitutes cruelty to animals whether by abuse or neglect. It also details several seizures of animals suffering from neglect and abandonment.
Collecting animals is a particularly convoluted form of cruelty. These individuals, often mentally ill, 'save' animals from being destroyed at a shelter and then subject them to indescribable horror. Chapter thirteen describes two seizures; one involving a collector of dogs and one involving a collector of cats. Due to the graphic nature of this chapter, reader discretion is advised.
Chapter fourteen is devoted to Pit Bulls and details several seizures of same.
Often a Dog Control Officer has to resort to various forms of trickery in order to collar a stray dog that is not cooperating. Chapter fifteen contains several stories of dogs that had to be tricked into being seized.
Sometimes a DCO is in more danger from a vicious owner that from a vicious dog. This chapter tells the story of what lengths one owner went to in order to liberate his errant dog.
It is not always the DCO who is in danger. Chapter seventeen tells the story of a resident whose psychopathic neighbor went beyond all legal limits to try to avoid prosecution for harboring a dangerous dog.
By law, a town Justice can issue a seizure order for an unlicensed dog. Chapter eighteen relates several comical encounters with dog owners who failed to renew their dogs' licenses.
Even a dog can be a hero. Chapter nineteen tells the story of one such dog, a young Newfoundland, who saved his sire's life with a 'little' help from his Dog Control Officer.
Chapter twenty relates two tales of dogs that needed to be rescued, one from the top of a mountain and the other from the bottom of a gully. Do not let anyone tell you that dog control is an easy job.
Sometimes you just cannot help laughing at some people's paranoia. Chapter 21 is about a comical pick-up that netted the author $50.00 and a really good laugh.
The next chapter deals with the issue of rabies and peoples lack of knowledge of this disease. Did you know that most victims are infected with the rabies virus while they are sleeping? Read Chapter 22 to find out how this happens.
Poor Markie -- all she was doing was taking a midnight stroll through her neighborhood and suddenly, she was gone. Picked up by an unsavory individual, this chapter relates what was encountered attempting to reunite her with her owner.
Cats, cats, cats! Dog Control Officers do not do cats, etc. Chapter 24 is about cats, hers and others. Also included is some advice for handling wildlife problems, as well.
The next chapter recounts some success stories of dogs joyfully reunited with their owners under unusual circumstances.
Chapter 26 contains several stories of eerie happenings right out of her ReX-Files.
This chapter cites two examples of what can happen to owned dogs when the owners cannot or will not take responsibility for them.
Chapter 28 is about abandoned animals and the results of unchecked reproduction.
The next chapter spells out the horror of puppy mills and the successful apprehension of three convicted puppy mill operators, fugitives from South Carolina, who started a business in Dutchess County.
Chapter 30 depicts how one dogs disappearance was responsible for the rescue of several other dogs who surely would have died if it were not for their guardian angel.
This chapter tells the saga of one misunderstood, unwanted dog stemming from a physical disability.
Chapter 32 is a tongue-in-cheek answer to the question of whether or not animals talk at midnight on Christmas Eve.
Chapter 33 outlines three serious problems that all shelters and veterinarians must face in the 21st Century and, hopefully, will rise to the task of solving.
The Epilogue tells the story of one indomitable little dog to whom the book is dedicated.
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