End Ignorance- Require educational training seminar for all dog owners in U.S.

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Our lives are dedicated simply to bettering the lives of dogs.  We operate a dog rescue Grateful Doggies Rescue Retreat (gratefuldoggies.org) as well as a transport service for rescue dogs Grateful Doggies Canine Freedom Transport (gratefuldoggies.net) and have recently launched a national movement called The Rescue Sunflower Project (rescuesunflowerproject.org).  All of our efforts are aimed primarily at shelters.  We work to keep dogs out of the shelter, save dogs from the shelter and help the dogs with their transition out of shelter life.  The Rescue Sunflower Project is our catalyst for change so that euthanasia in U.S. shelters stops, removing the need for all of the efforts, resources and heartaches that go into saving dogs from the weekly euthanasia lists.  750,000 dogs are euthanized in U.S. shelters each year. There are so many problems that cause dogs to end up in the shelter system but none more prevalent than ignorance.  We travel through 15 states weekly and have traversed the continental nation in our rescue efforts and the biggest problem we see is that people just don't know what a dog needs to live a healthy and happy life.  They don't have knowledge of the importance of vaccines, spay/neuter, heartworm preventative, proper exercise, training, everyday dangers and regular Veterinary necessities. These are all things that should be known prior to owning a dog and this knowledge will avoid many of the issues before they happen. We now petition Congress for help, for change.

So as the first part of the movement we are creating this petition to ask Congress to create a mandatory informational seminar that must be attended by all current dog owners in a reasonable amount of time and new dog owners prior to adopting or purchasing a dog.  The seminar will be offered in two ways, online or in a public venue and a certificate will be issued upon completion.  This certificate must be presented to obtain a local dog license.  The seminar will be a Dog Ownership 101 informational course that touches on a range of topics that begin with questions to ask yourself before choosing a dog as pet like "Is dog ownership right for me?" or "Where should I get a dog and why?".  Topics will also include training, exercise, spay/neuter, heartworm disease and prevention, veterinary relationships, pet insurance, living conditions, abuse, local laws and more. Literature with resources will also be presented at that time. The target length of the seminar would be a manageable 60-90 minutes.  With this requirement met, every single dog owner in the U.S. will have the basic knowledge they need to be a responsible dog owner and be aware of what is and isn't acceptable.  I never pass a teachable moment and I see people from all walks of life change after they know. So many people live their lives in the dark and this sheds light for everyone. This leads me to believe that with knowledge we will immediately see a better country of dog owners, less dogs in the shelters and less euthanasia. We see similar education concepts that work already such as Drivers, Motorcycle and Boaters safety courses. There are many more drastic changes that can be made but I think this is a realistic change that can make a huge difference immediately and open the door for more changes in the future.  

The required seminar for dog ownership is not going to stop all the issues immediately but just by making the public aware of what is right and what is wrong, it will create a new accountability that will be present and new expectations that will be commonplace thus leading to a better overall life for the dogs in our country. Join us as we push the agenda of our grass roots movement forward and remember that your voice is needed to create the shout to Congress that the nation wants change for our dogs. 750,000 dogs die a year in U.S. shelters, isn't that enough reasons to give something a shot? Please sign and share.

Thank You,

Steve Quilliam