Good Morning Everyone--

It is with great sadness I announce that one of our Habibi Families had their beloved Habibi stolen from her car this weekend in a church parking lot. They literally broke out her window and stole the puppy in her crate. Authorities have been notified and a full-blown search is underway. We are trying to help locate sweet Darcy (formerly Pumpkin), and want to alert all of our families to please be aware and on the lookout for adds on Craig's List, Pet Stores etc for our little baby.

Hopefully, as a community, we can all work together to find this little one, and bring these thieves to justice. According to the local police, there is a rise in theft of puppies; both from their adoptive homes and from breeders, as people discover they can make a quick buck by selling these puppies to unknowing customers. There is also a rise in Animal Rights groups who target breeders and new puppy owners under the guise of 'rescuing' these puppies. The agenda of some AR groups are not to stop animal cruelty, but to simply end the ownership of animals, and they do not have the dog's best interest at heart. Without animal husbandry, we wouldn't have the beautiful breeds we love today. Those of us who dedicate our lives to caring for our animals, love them unconditionally and provide excellent homes and care for them in the most humane way. As lover's and caretakers of the Habibi, we all understand their importance and value as emotional support and therapy dogs, and can't imagine our lives without one of these special animals in it.

A note on the risks of socialization practices

In light of this event, I want to again, strongly encourage everyone to PLEASE refrain from taking your dogs out in the public if you are not going to be able to keep them with you. Please do not leave your dogs in your cars. The owner said that her vet had encouraged her to socialize her puppy, so she thought meeting everyone at this function would be a great opportunity for her. I feel we need to take extra precautions in keeping our babies safe if we are in the public, after hearing about this tragedy. In addition, I have always strongly encouraged my families to 'error on the side of caution' and keep their puppies around home until they are fully vaccinated, as there are huge risks of young babies contracting life-threatening diseases in the public. It's not the healthy adult dogs that you need to worry about, but the other puppies that carry diseases. When dogs are most contagious they don't show symptoms yet, and are leaving contagion everywhere they step. When our dogs are unknowingly exposed to a disease, they usually start to show symptoms in 3-5 days after exposure. While I understand and also KNOW the importance of socialization, I feel that some of the current advice from experts can put our young puppies at risk, or possibly they haven't experienced a tragedy that would cause them to rethink this advice. To prevent exposure, you can easily socialize your puppy during these formative weeks by planning puppy play days, inviting people to your HOME (just make sure people who visit have not been to dog parks, pet stores or other breeding facilities before visiting), taking the puppy in the car for little trips around the neighborhood, visiting family's homes (who don't have puppies).... but please don't take your dogs to stores, dog parks, groomers, vet offices, large functions in the public, to experience socialization. If you can alternatively have different families come to visit your home, you can provide plenty of experiences for a little puppy without sacrificing it's health and safety. Once your puppy has received it's third set of shots, you have a better chance of puppy being developed enough for it's immune system to be able to fight Parvo, Distemper or other diseases that can take a pup's life. With that being said, I have experienced both young and older puppies contracting these diseases and there are always risks, vaccinated or not. It's a matter of odds.

An example of what we have experienced::

A group of 9 vaccinated puppies- all vaccinated with one set of vaccines 10 weeks of age:

  • 6 contracted the disease and died

  • 2 contracted the disease but survived

  • 1 was naturally immune.

  • Some dogs are naturally immune to disease and don't get sick, some will get sick and survive, while most tend to become ill and die.

A litter of four puppies exposed to Parvo at six weeks of age---without vaccination

  • 2 contracted the disease and died

  • 1 contracted the disease and survived

  • 1 was naturally immune