Monday, July 23, 2012

Baby Iguanas

HAWS currently has two of these cute little guys.  They were  brought in a couple of weeks ago by someone who had won them at at County Fair and decided they really weren't the kind of pets he wanted to keep.  That was a good decision.

As cute as these guys are, they really can be problematic as pets.  After all, who would believe that something so cute and so small could possibly grow to be  or 56 feet long and weigh 18 pounds?  

This is the first time I've ever seen a baby Iguana.  Usually HAWS gets them surrendered when they reach about two to three feet long.   This is when they start to require a much bigger cage than most people are able to provide. 

One of the things that appalled us at HAWS was the fact that these guys were given away as prizes.  Pets are meant to be members of a family and require knowledge of their care, and are a daily responsibility.  Because of this, those of us in the animal welfare field feel that getting a pet should take careful consideration and research before bringing the animal into the home. 

Handing out live animals as though they were fabric covered toys stuffed with sawdust is just reprehensible.   Getting a pet this way doesn't allow for the family to know what they are getting themselves into or prepare for their new arrival, much less make an informed decision.

It is also most likely inhumane for the animals being given out, since who knows how long they are carried around fairgrounds before their new owners decide it's time to go home.  And people who don't know much about how to care for their new pet may end up providing inappropriate or even dangerous housing for the animal, and feeding them something that might be unhealthy or even cause medical problems. 

I commend the man who brought these two little guys in and gave them to HAWS.  He was smart enough to realize that he wouldn't be able to provide the home they needed, and brought them to a place where they could obtain the proper care.  Hopefully we'll be able to find them a good home.  Does anyone want a six foot long reptile that will need an enclosure the size of a walk-in closet?  Do your research and then come to HAWS if you decide the answer is yes -- we have two to choose from.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Kids 'N Critters in the News

Laura Langemo from Fox 6 News in Milwaukee was kind enough to feature HAWS Kids 'N Critters Camps in the interview portion of the Fox 6 WakeUp yesterday morning.  We knew she was coming and that the segments would all air between 7:15 and 8:45am, which is before the 9am start time of camp.  Because she was going to profile our Camp Gone to the Dogs kids, I e-mailed the parents requesting that if possible they bring their kids to HAWS at 7:30am.  I figured that we'd maybe get 4 or 5 kids from that request.  To my surprise all 16 kids were able to attend! 

The whole morning was wonderful.  The first segment was of HAWS Public Relations extraordinaire -  Jennifer Smieja talking about the history of HAWS camps going back to the 80's.  The kids had their dogs to work with and during my interview they did some training in the background, and the camera man even walked around and got shots of the kids training their dogs.  Laura was kind enough to make the third segment about the kids -- she walked around and talked to the kids and the campers showed a trick that they were working on with their dog.  It made me pretty proud to hear one of the campers talk about "putting the trick on cue". 

The last segment was an interview with me while I talked about the final activity of camp, which is Mystic's performance.  My interview was followed by showing off Mystic's "kid agility" course using the kids.  Laura even got into the act by standing in as two of the weave poles.  The video of that last segment is embedded below. 

I'm very proud of HAWS camps, and it's wonderful to get the word out about what we're doing here.  And I'm very grateful to Jennifer Smieja for working so hard to promote HAWS, and especially for helping to promote our education programs.  I'm also grateful that Laura Langemo saw this as a really great addition to Fox 6 WakeUp and was willing to profile us. 

All 4 of the segments can be seen the Fox 6 website.