justareader (Jerri Johnson)

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Lawrence considers code changes as a result of fire at pet boarding business

John-you did not account for any expenses in your calculations. So let's say that you only need one employee to watch over those 6 dogs, clean cages, do laundry, monitor play groups, feed and medicate, do you bookkeeping, figure taxes, maintain your building, keep records, maintain the fire and alarm system, answer phones, take reservations, etc. For argument's sake lets say they are willing to make a career of this for no benefits and $9/hr - heck, let's say we don't even pay employer income taxes on them. That would be a labor cost of $360/wk. Now let's add on some other expenses. Gas, Electricity, and water for 2000 sq. ft. - let's be incredibly generous and say $400 month or $100/wk. How about insurance - State required worker's comp, liability, animal bailee - again, let's be conservative $2000/year or $40/week. I almost forgot about our lease or loan payment for the building. The going rate for a commercial lease low end is $13/sq.ft. Per year in Lawrence. Which is $500/week. So now our fixed expenses for those 6 dogs are up to $1000/week and we haven't even paid our taxes, bought any cleaning or office supplies, financed any late paying clients, paid any licensing fees or paid our owners/investors any money.

What I'm trying to say, and what I have tried to say from the beginning is that this is a complicated issue both from a business, legal and moral stand point. Most of is in this business are breaking our backs trying our best to do the right things. For most, of us in small and micro business, it is a day to day struggle to stay in bussiness. It takes hard work, intelligence, and creativity to just keep going. My hope is our city will work with us to solve problems not just come up with new code that costs additional fees. Otherwise you will only have big corporations and box stores like Dick's and Petsmart to serve you or drive to KC to board your pets. Gone will be the days of Francis Sporting Goods, Pet World, Wagmore Canine Enrichment and the like.

Happy Holidays Everyone

December 16, 2014 at 8:13 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Lawrence considers code changes as a result of fire at pet boarding business

John - I don't know of anyone in the dog rescue, boarding or daycare business making much of a profit. And I am in no way advocating that reasonable care not be provided. Nor do I see pets as merely property. My boarding facility has permanent kennels (no plastic travel cages), and smoke and fire alarms that are wired to the fire department. I don't have a sprinkler system but have considered it. The cost runs from $2 - $7 per square ft. to retrofit the building I lease. That would be roughly 1/10 to 1/3 my annual revenue- that is revenue not profit. That would force my business to close.

It seems to me a more reasonable step for the city would be something along the line of enforcing current code, and kennels having basic safety procedures like not having pets in travel crates with portable fans on top.

December 15, 2014 at 1:38 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Lawrence considers code changes as a result of fire at pet boarding business

Unfortunately pets are treated as property under the law. That is why it's OK to choke them, shock them...heck, even shoot them if you choose, with no or little penalty. Let's face it - this is just a chance to generate some revenue. Will vet offices that board dogs be required to comply? What about rescues?...shelters? Fosters? Pet stores? Horse barns? It's a real can of worms folks!

December 14, 2014 at 3:27 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Dog instructor lauds electric collars in teaching obedience

Your comments call to mind a quote I read...To use shock as an effective dog training method you will need:
A thorough understanding of canine behavior.
A thorough understanding of learning theory.
Impeccable timing.
And if you have those three things, you don't need a shock collar.
--Author unknown

January 16, 2012 at 2:32 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Dog instructor lauds electric collars in teaching obedience

Just to be clear and make sure I understand...If the there is no shock and only a buzz - is the buzz used as a a reinforcer or punisher?

January 16, 2012 at 10:43 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Dog instructor lauds electric collars in teaching obedience

Oh I might also add that its very irresponsible to print an article with only one side of a hotly debated argument. If the the Lawrence Journal World and the article's author new much about the current state of professional dog training, a one-sided article like this would never have passed the editor's desk.

January 16, 2012 at 10:08 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Dog instructor lauds electric collars in teaching obedience

This article lauds the shock collar as THE WAY to train. This is BUNK pure and simple. It has been proven in scientific study over and over that there are more effective and humane ways to train. I would direct those in doubt to the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior's Position on Punishment http://www.avsabonline.org/avsabonlin.... No responsible behaviorist or trainer believes that shock collars should be the first choice in training. I would really like to see Greg Lyon's educations and training in the areas of animal science, and ethology. I encourage anyone wishing to train their dog to closely examine the qualifications and methods of the trainers they use. Irresponsible trainers can harm dogs and the relationships they have with people, the community and their environment. Ask your trainers what education they have, how much continuing education they receive each year and what certifications and affiliations they maintain.

This trainer says the shock collar is "not used for any kind of correction. It's used to get the dog to pay attention, essentially." When I want my dog's attention I say its name. I taught it to look at me initially by saying its name and giving it reinforcement for making eye contact. 12 years later, it works just fine. When I say "Fido", Fido expects something good to follow so she gives me her uninterrupted attention. Its simple humane and effective. No special equipment needed.

January 16, 2012 at 10:02 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Midge Grinstead reinstated as executive director of the Lawrence Humane Society

I don't know Midge but I know the shelter isn't one person. I also know the place is broken and needs and overhaul. I've given volunteering an honest, full hearted try but volunteering is an exercise is overwhelming futility. The dogs are so stressed that getting them from a kennel without getting covered in feces and clawed to the point of injury is nearly impossible. If you can get a dog to a yard without it choking itself to exhaustion, you better just let if off leash, because it won't make eye contact, probably doesn't know its name and mostly just wants to run the fence line to either try to get out or bark at the dog in the yard next to it. After all it spends most of its time in the shelter looking at another stressed out dog barking back and forth. Oh yeah and good luck trying to put a leash on it, when your ready to take it back inside. It knows as soon as the leash goes on, it goes right back in the same stressful urine and feces laden kennel.

When you've spent a couple of hours walking across wet floors, inhaling the sweet smell of urine and trying to give the dogs a few moments of peace, then deal with the ever so helpful staff. You might ask "are we using clothes pins on the kennels or writing down names or checking off boxes so we know which dogs have been walked"? Make sure you ask, because there is never a consistant system in this most simple of tasks. Don't ever expect a smile or anyone to go out of their way to help. And don't expect that when you go to the orientation and fill out the part on the form where you list your special qualifications or intrests that anyone reads them. You will never get a response. Basically, the orientation is just a formality. No one will ever email you, call you or even refer to you by name.

My experience with the Lawrence Humane Society has been extremely negative, yet I keep giving hoping that I make a difference to the animals. The place is in desperate need of a change. Perhaps new management or some outside consulting would do the shelter some good.

I hope everyone contributing to this blog signs up for an orientation, walks a few dogs, cuddles a cat, etc. I have donated $'s for years but I never got to know the Lawrence Humane Society until I started putting in some elbow grease. Now I find myself wondering if my efforts are just a waste of time.

December 1, 2010 at 2:22 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Building bust

Perhaps the reason Jack Hope is having such a hard time is because he doesn't pay his subcontractors. My company did work for him over a year ago and we've yet to get paid in full. It makes me sick to listen to him whinning whe he has knowingly created so much hardship for others.

January 28, 2008 at 8:10 a.m. ( | suggest removal )