Friday, April 30, 2010

Happy Cows are Happy

We moved the cattle to a new pasture. They were happy.

Maddie, a perdy Holstein lady
Maddie enjoying new pasture

Howie, a handsome Charolais steer. He likes hugs.
Howie heading out

Taking the first steps

Sadie, best cow ever (tm)
Sadie going out to new pasture

Elsa knee deep in grass. Eat those foxtails, dammit!
Elsa munching on grass

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Around the Intarwebz

A toddler was left with puncture wounds to the face after a West Highland Terrier bit her.

While serving court papers to the wrong address, police shot and killed a family's dog. The dog was chained. He got loose and ran at a deputy. The deputy shot and missed. Others arrived. The dog chased some cars and charged the officers. Then the dog committed a fatal sin - he growled. And so a deputy shot him to death.

Roller coasters are killing your ears dead!

Witnesses cannot tell the difference between a Rottweiler and a Chow Chow, but all agree on the Pit Bulls. I'm not sure if I trust the account of folks who confuse a really hairy dog with a smooth-coated one. I am sorry that a little dog died, though. That much I know.

Blood sucking insects take your blood, leave their DNA - not a fair trade!

This article describes a 14-minute-long attack by two Border Collies on a cat. The cat was on her property when the loose dogs began their aggressive, predatory encounter. No charges are being filed against the owners of the dogs, even though the dogs were loose and the owners bagged up the dead cat and left the scene. If you can stomach it, there is video of the attack. I watched about 3 seconds and stopped it - it was sad. The family is now left with the mother cat's kittens. While I'm not a fan of loose cats, the cat was on her property when the attack was initiated. I know dogs don't understand property lines. People do, though.

Offshore drilling for oil is super awesome, except when it's not.

A 6-yr-old Golden Retriever kept his deceased guardian's body company for six days before being found. His owner probably died of a heart attack.

An animal control officer repels 80' down a cliff to save a little Corgi mix stuck on a ledge.

Cute Pit Bull ties up traffic two mornings in a row, happily jumps into back of car for trip to vet.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Ontario Dog Bites Not Reduced

Ontario has not seen a significant reduction in dog bites as a whole since introducing legislation to phase out Pit Bull type dogs in 2005.

A caveat: In theory, Pit Bulls are being phased out of Ontario. Pit Bulls born before 2005 could be grandfathered under the law. Dogs are supposed to be muzzled off of their property. Again in theory, Pit Bulls would be completely phased out in, at most, 15-18 years. This is when dog bite statistics would be most salient.

That said, there is nothing surprising about what Ontario is experiencing. My guess is, if things go on as is, dog bites will actually increase over the years.
  • 2005 (law enacted) - 5,428
  • 2006 - 5,360
  • 2007 - 5,492
  • 2008 - 5,463
  • 2009 - 5,345 
This article brings up some concerns about the study.

"The study does not show the number of dog bites compared to the number of dogs in the province. Nor does it adjust for changes to the province's population or for the severity of attacks."

It would be impressive if Ontario has seen a dramatic increase or decrease in the dog population during a five year period. My guess is it has not. But I do agree that the dog bite rate is probably more useful than total dog bites. Demographic information, along with severity data would be helpful too.

From the numbers presented, though, it would appear - on the surface - that Ontario is no safer from dogs in 2009 than they were in 2005. Now, if all the dog bites in 2005 were so severe as to require hospitalization and the bites in 2009 are not, then sure, I'll change my tune. If all the dog bites in 2005 were caused by Pit Bulls AND were so severe hospitalization was required, and that isn't true in 2009, then sure, I'll alter my opinion.

I'm pretty confident when I say that that is probably not the case. Breed specific legislation does not work. It does not improve public safety. It does not eliminate targeted breeds. It does not eliminate dog bites nor does it ensure that all future dog bites won't be severe.

Dogs are amazing animals. They show incredible self-restraint. They rarely bite. When they do, they generally don't bite hard. I still remain impressed by dogs.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Around the Intarwebz

The owner of two German Shepherds who have attacked several dogs and bit people (who interfered in the fights) still haven't been found. Even though apparently everyone and their mother knows where the person and the dogs live.

Greyhounds used to hunt coyotes, takes its toll on both.

New South Wales legislators want to allow dogs at cafes. Unless you have a Pit Bull or other restricted breed. Then, your dog is not welcome.

Proof that worms are cool (or creepy): They can regenerate a new brain and head!

Firefighters saw chair in half to get at stuck dog.

A matador is (deservedly) gored in the groin whilst trying to stab to death a bull.

A man was arrested, accused of tying up a Pit Bull and leaving the dog to die in a field. The dog is safe, friendly and will be placed with a rescue group.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Dogs at the Sanctuary

This is what all dogs should get to do.

Yesterday was my day off and I spent part of it at work! I took the dogs to the 600-acre farmed animal sanctuary where I work. There are parts of the sanctuary where none of the farm animals roam. The dogs and I hiked through meadows. It was so freaking beautiful. I saw three does, a buck, two king snakes, a bunch of lizards and some wild turkeys.

I love the turkeys here. Back at the old sanctuary, the turkeys had a short flight distance. You could get 15-20' from them. So could hunters. At the new sanctuary, the turkeys have a large flight distance. Like a 100'. I support this. :) They are also bigger. All the wild animals out here are bigger. The coyotes are larger, the deer are larger, but I'm hoping the mountain lions and black bears are actually tiny. Like invisible tiny, heh.

Anyway, here's the video of the dogs. You will get to see Mina wade ankle-deep in a spring-fed mini-pond. Celeste expresses her inner (actually outer too) wild dog. Both dogs will channel their inner puppy monologue at the end. Mina will voice this monologue outloud. She's a talker when she plays. I realize her age when she cannot keep up with Celeste and cannot make sharp turns like she used to. It hurts to watch. She is not allowed to age.

Friday, April 23, 2010

The Jersey Inquisition

Four sevenths of our cattle herd is comprised of Jerseys. Here are three of them. Elsa is the 15-yr-old cow in front. She is from a small school who, after fifteen years, wanted to kill Elsa. Unacceptable! The two babies are not hers. They are not brothers, either. Freedom and Summer are male dairy calves. They are by-products of the dairy industry. Big or small, nearly every dairy farm in the country removes calves the day they are born. Males are sent to auction where they will be sold for veal (bob, milk-fed and grain-fed), cheap dairy beef or for backyard slaughter. Females replace their moms when they are slaughtered.

Summer and Freedom will be celebrating their first birthday in May.

That's a 5' fence.

Jersey cattle are short!

The Jersey Inquisition

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Mina at Work II

On breaks, Mina and I go for walks around the 600-acre sanctuary.

Mostly I see this:

Pit Bull Butt

Which necessitates me posing Mina so I can get pictures like this:

Noble Pink Nosed Pit Bull

I took Celeste into work yesterday afternoon. She was embarrassing. She growled at every dog, although she did meet one of the dogs without much fanfare.

But! We went on a glorious hike and she ran, leaped, sniffed and muddied herself thoroughly. It was wondrous. I found meadows and some of the loveliest old oak trees. We followed deer tracks and listened to bird song. Unlike Mina, Celeste orbits, then zooms back to me for a check-in (Mina could care less). There was a threat of rain, so no pictures. I'll try bringing Celeste again next week in the afternoons. She will do better in open land with the other dogs. Closed in, she gets very concerned and reactive.

Why do I have the two trouble maker dogs? :)

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Dogs Declared Dangerous for Barking

ETA: A couple folks asked about contacting people on this case. I am not familiar with the details. However, there is a Facebook page set up specifically for the two dogs, Shelby and Riley. It has a post from March 29, 2010. These dogs have been evaluated a number of times and, heck, there is controversy involved w/ the evaluations. You can see some video of the dogs here. These dogs have been at the shelter since November of 2008. How is that right?

Two dogs in Crawford County, who happen to be Pit Bull mixes, have been declared dangerous by a judge. He mailed the owners his ruling.

The dogs are guilty of barking at a neighbor.

That's it.

The shelter, where the dogs have been housed consider the dogs friendly.

Now the owners have the following options:
* Kill the dogs
* Sign the dogs over to the county to be killed
* Allow the shelter to adopt them out

I'm sorry, really? Why not option 4, in which the dogs remain with their owner? Why add dogs to the shelter system when they already have a home? Why do tax payers have to pay for the cost and care of two dogs who have done nothing wrong?

The owners spent $15,000 on this case.

This is, in my opinion, a horrible misuse of judicial discretion.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Husky Attack Not As Popular

A girl was bitten in the face, requiring several stitches by a white husky-german shepherd mix in Kenton, Ohio.

It was reported once.

The attack of a child by two Pit Bulls which left a girl needing several stitches was reported more than 20 times.

Further proof that "Pit Bull" sells, random mixed breed dogs don't.

Baby Elephant Seal Enjoys Human Companion

I want to know the background for this story.

Rhodesian Ridgeback Confused for Pit Bull

On April 17th, a 9-yr-old girl was attacked by a dog. The victim was playing in the dog's yard with a friend. The owner of the dog left the 1-yr-old dog alone with the two children. When she looked out the kitchen window, guess what she saw? Her dog mauling her daughter's friend.

The original Daily News article

The breed of the dog was not in the sheriff’s report, but Lyons said it was a pit bull. 

Seems that being a fire official makes you a breed expert. 

Problem is, the dog turns out to be a Rhodesian Ridgeback, not a Pit Bull.

Animal control officials confirmed that the dog responsible for the attack was a Rhodesian Ridgeback. Initially San Leon fire officials who responded to the scene reported that the dog was a pit bull.

That is the Galveston County Daily News shirking any responsibility by foisting culpability on the fire official...even though the Daily News knew the fire official didn't know the breed of dog. They reported it as a Pit Bull anyways.

The dog was killed.

The girl will be okay, although emotionally and physically scarred from the attack.

How a Loose Dog-Dog Story Becomes Something Else

In Florida, a Shih-Tsu was running loose.

No one seems to care about this fact.

Two other dogs get loose. They happen to be Pit Bulls.

They attack the smaller dog.

The owner of the smaller dog tries to separate the fight and is bitten once on the hand.

You don't need to read the comments, but that is the reason for the title. 100 Comments and counting over a story about two irresponsible dog owners.

Monday, April 19, 2010

A Bull Arab Cross Attacks

No picture available.

I'm trying to figure out what kind of dog this might look like. (According to this article, the dog is just a regular 'old Pit Bull!)

This is a tiresome story: Parents are minding a neighbor/friend/relative's dog. They leave toddler/infant/juvenile child alone with dog. Dog bites/mauls/kills/nips child. Dog is killed.

At the very least, parents, don't leave your child alone with a dog who isn't your own.

The Best $75 I Have Spent

Today I paid a dental specialist $75 to tell me I don't need two root canals.

Two root canals = $2,600, not including permanent crowns.

All without dental insurance.

While I still need some work done, I'm quite happy to know that my nerves are quite alive and well inside two particular teeth.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

This Dog Not A Pit Bull ... Or A Boxer-Lab Mix

This dog is 7-mos old. He lives on a tiny, slender chain. He is accused of biting (or, if you are the dog's owner "nipping") a child. The victim's mom claims the dog broke the "chain". The owner claims otherwise.

I'm looking at that chain and, well, I know a 15-lb terrier who could break that chain, let alone a 55-lb large puppy.

The dog is called a Pit Bull in the bite report. This dog is not a Pit Bull. The owner claims this dog is a Boxer-Labrador Retriever mix. That is about as accurate as calling the dog a Pit Bull.

He looks like a Catahoula to me, but that does not make him one. I can eliminate "pure breeds" he isn't, but I have no evidence to prove the breed or mix he is.

Regardless, what breed gets put down for the registered report? When statistics are gathered, which label will this dog be given in the amassed data?

This is the problem with legislation based on phenotype. The only data set you have to work with are generally witness reports, not pedigrees or genetic analysis. We know witnesses are notoriously unreliable - this is seen in car crash reports as much as dog bite reports.

Anti-dog zealots do not care. They see this dog and he is enough like the look of a Pit Bull to be called a Pit Bull. They use bite reports as factual evidence that some breeds of dogs are worse than others. I'm not adverse to using bite reports, but it must always be with the caveat that they rely on potentially faulty and inaccurate source information. Treat dog bite reports as suggestions, not as facts. Don't use them to legislate against types of dogs. Makes sense. Except to some lawmakers and all anti-dog zealots.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

A Year Ago Today in Photos - Rabbits and Goats Galore

Charmain may look like a guinea pig, but she is actually a rabbit.
Charmain guinea pig rabbit hybrid

Gilbert is a handsome goat.


More photos from a year ago today here

Friday, April 16, 2010

Mina at Work

I brought up my heater because my office is ice cold and without a direct heat source. And thus my cubicle has become dog central. Wendall is the obnoxious white dog. Mina is Mina. Wendall has hopes of becoming Mina's boyfriend. Mina thinks he nuts. She puts up with him for heater action. If she could date a heater, she would.

Wendall and Mina At The Heater

Around the Intarwebz

University of Guelph professor is creating a video game to help children, aged 3-6, learn how to better and more safely interact with dogs. Neat idea.

A 9-yr-old Akita is declared dangerous after he broke free from his minuscule tether and killed a small dog being walked on lead.

Cats recognize faces faster and more efficiently than supercomputers. This is further evidence of their inherent evilness.

Lucas County commissioners won't let new director do her job.

80 dogs go missing from a shelter. It didn't take long for employees to notice, though. Their relocation is not known - it's a Native American reservation and it involves spirit guides (apparently every Native American wants a dog, tru fax).

A man in Calgary has been banned from owning pets for 10 years after he assaulted his wife and tried to hang her dog.

Man beats off a Greyhound with a broom after the dog attacks a smaller, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.

Raccoons the size of Orange Tang!

The Chicago Sun-Times is, I think, creating a problem where one does not actually exist (the foreclosure cause might exist).

Or, if it does, then biologists everywhere should be flocking to Chicago to check out these orangutan-sized raccoons!

A woman in Chicago is concerned because raccoons have invaded her neighborhood. These are not just any raccoons, though. They are the size of "orangutangs". The correct spelling is orangutans. I know this may blow your mind, but they are not actually named after Tang.

Maybe all the raccoons look like Bandit here, a really fat raccoon who weighs more than 70 lbs. If they are, then sure, they are close in size to small orangutans. But generally speaking, raccoons aren't all that large. They certainly are not the size of orangutans.

I don't mess with raccoons. They are clever and have sharp nails. I once saw one cleave a plastic garbage bin in half. I said to myself, self, that's not an animal to mess with. I have lived by that credo ever since. Saved my life. I kid. But really, leave the raccoons alone.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

$149 Dollars for 100 Stitches

That is the citation fee issued to a woman whose Great Dane shook an 11-yr-old like a rag doll, leaving him with wounds requiring 100-stitches to close.

She plead no contest to keeping a dog in an annoying manner.

I know this is legal lingo, but seriously? Carrying around a healthy little dog is keeping a dog in an annoying manner. A dog who causes 100-stitches in injury is a smidgen more than annoying.

The child has since recovered. He was bitten during a privately funded dog-walk. His own dog had gotten loose and he was chasing after him. At some point, he tripped and fell. He either fell into the dog's gaping maw or fell into the dog, causing him to unleash the hound of hell onto the boy's face.

I do not find a biting dog to be repulsive. Dogs use their teeth in a variety of manners. It is one way in which they communicate. But I do find it discomfiting that the dog did not just bite once and release, thus removing the "threat" - he clamped down and shook. Perhaps, to the dog, his response was appropriate to what he felt was a very, serious threat. Of course to the child...he was lucky the dog's bite didn't kill him. Dogs are generally safe carnivores (or toothy omnivores). It is, to me, surprising they do not bite us more often.

Still, a $0.67 cent/stitch fine seems a little on the low side.

Mina Loves Coming To Work

Finally, after six years, I get to bring Mina to work. I am so happy, it is ridiculous. Mina loves it too. When we are more settled in, I will bring Celeste too. Right now everything is too stressful. Celeste requires special 1:1 intros with dogs. She's special.

On breaks, this is what we do:
Mina is smaller than a pig
Mina is obviously the dog in the coat. Susie is the pig. This gives you a general impression on their size difference. Susie weighs about 500 lbs, Mina 40lbs.

The grass is tall here:
Pit Bull in Tall Grass

Mina is impressed with her domain
Pit Bull Mina Checking It All Out
Mina is good with cattle, pigs, sheep and goats. I could let her in their pastures but won't. The pigs would not mind. The goats and sheep would be frightened. The cattle might accidentally kill Mina.

Mina is not good with rabbits and chickens. I am always impressed with dogs who can withstand the allure of chasing fast-moving, furry/feathered animals. Mina is not one of those dogs. But, she will ignore them when there is a fence between her and them.

There are 5 other dogs who come to work too. When the admin person begins, that number will jump to 7. This is not including Mina or Celeste. I have created a cubicle. I call it the enclave. This will be Mina and Celeste's safe space.

Mina likes dogs. But she is an easily aroused terrier. In close contact, she can only safely do 1:1 play-time. Which she isn't interested in, by the way. She's 11 and beyond that play thing, except in small doses. She likes the other dogs, though she finds 1-yr-old Wendall, a 55-lb Pointer mix (like Celeste, he was supposed to be a 25-lb Mexi-mutt) absolutely, convincingly obnoxious. Most dogs have found him that way. Us humans too. Then there is 9-yr-old Pixie, a terrier mix; 1-yr-old Marty, another terrier; 14-yr-old Sally, a something or other Chi/thing mix; 6-yr-old Ralph, a poodle thing and soon two BC mixes.

Coming to work with me has made Mina more relaxed. Plus, we go on hikes several times a day (yeah, I work too!) and she is zonked out at the end of work. I've been spending solo time with Celeste in the evening. We go to an 80-acre park. She cannot be off-leash, but she seems content with just being with me on a 20' lead. I think she will like coming to work but won't really enjoy the other dogs too much.

That is all.

Man Escapes Run-In With Pit Bull, I Mean Boxer, I Mean What?

This is a weird story.  I would have to say police handled it poorly.

A man and his 2-yr-old daughter are out for a walk. Suddenly (and apparently quite dramatically) three dogs emerge from the fog (j/k) and begin their run-in with the man and daughter.

Actually, that isn't quite what happened. First, someone called about three loose dogs. Pit Bulls, specifically. Bring out the troops! Police arrive. One deputy sticks his hand out the window and the white dog approaches and growls. The deputy wisely withdraws his hand. The brown dog decides everyone else is crazy and runs into a backyard. The black and white dog is probably sniffing a blade of grass.

The deputy follows the two remaining dogs. By this point, the white dog is pretty agitated. When he sees the man and his daughter, he growls and barks. So naturally the man hits the dog with his bike. The dog gets more agitated and then the black and white dog gets agitated and redirects onto the white dog. It's a minor scuffle with no major injuries.

Continuing with the "naturally" theme, the deputy then tries to run over the dogs. Instead, he hits the man and his bike, injuring him. The man and daughter are ushered into the cruiser. As the deputy is about to shoot the dog, a neighbor comes out and notifies the officer he knows the owner of the dog. He calmly leashes the black and white dog (who is probably happy to have a bit of direction) while the white dog runs off. The owner of the white dog says he has the dog for protection and will, you know, close that pesky gap in the fence.

All is well with the world.

Here is the white Pit Bull
I know, right? It's like Lorain took a page from the Mitchell, South Dakota Manual on How to Mangle a News Report.

The owner of the white "Pit Bull" claims that it was the neighbor's black and white dog, a real Pit Bull, who  let the white "Pit Bull" out. I guess the real Pit Bull has to be blamed for something, right?

Around the Intarwebz

Owner of "friendly" German Shepherd who bit 2-yr-old in face walked off after the bite.

Orca "plays" with dog on a fishing boat. No one asks what would happen if the dog had dove into the water.

A German Shepherd bit a 15-yr-old on the arm after she tried to grab her dog away from four off-lead dogs. The other dogs had overwhelmed the smaller dog and were acting aggressively. They included two German Shepherds, a Golden Retriever and a Rottweiler.

Therapy Golden Retriever enjoys the attention given to her at prisons, unintentionally provides great benefits to the inmates as well.

Two dogs, a Boxer/Pit Bull mix and a German Shepherd/Lab mix (not sure how the witnesses knew that mix) attacked a woman. There has been an ongoing problem with loose dogs in this community.

PBS looks at bonds formed with service dogs. Show premieres April 21st.

A loose German Shepherd attacked a 2-yr-old.

Both candidates for a Toledo Commissioner vacant seat support stopping the automatic killing of Pit Bulls at the Lucas County dog warden's facility.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

A Year Ago Today in Photos - Purple Flowers

Flowers thinking of singing a song

The cheese stands alone

More here

Celeste and the Hardwood Floors

Celeste hates my home's hardwood floors. Mina loves them.

Since we arrived on Sunday, Celeste spends her days on one of the few rugs I have.

Today, I'm going to start clicker training her to like hardwood floors. Or at least find them not so stressful. This morning, she took her time and got down the hall to one of the spare bedrooms. She got to drink the remains of my cereal bowl as a reward.

I could just put a lot of rugs in (and I will) but I want her to find laminate and hardwood floors to be a neutral substance, something she does not need to panic on or be afraid of.

Sunday, April 11, 2010


The move of the sanctuary was a success! It took a total of 11 hours to load up and transport all the animals to their new 600-acre sanctuary. All things considered, everything went smoothly. I imagine it will be a week or more until we get video evidence of "smoothly" (which did include one pig escapee who I lured back with the magic of tortillas).

Saturday, April 10, 2010

We Don't Feel the Dogs Are Aggressive

Two Labrador Retrievers wandered off of their property and approached a horse and rider. The dogs charged, barking and nipping at the horse. The equine reared up, unseating his rider, who fell to the ground and suffered what appears to be a concussion. One dog chased after the horse, biting him several times. The other remained by the rider, barking.

The two dogs have been declared dangerous.

One of the panelists had this to say: "“We don’t feel that the dogs are aggressive, but are dangerous by statute”.

Is charging a horse and rider aggressive? Biting the legs of a fleeing horse? Barking at a human?

To me, the reverse is partially true. These dogs acted aggressively, although they probably are not aggressive in all/most circumstances. But context is important. These dogs may not show any aggressive behavior in any other situations. Kept confined, leashed or fenced in, they would  have no opportunity to aggress toward horses or people. Desensitized and redirected, these dogs could even learn to engage in appropriate behavior rather than dangerous behavior (dangerous is a descriptor here, not an indication of who the dogs are under most circumstances). I think the dangerous designation is not appropriate, but I do feel labeling the dogs behavior as aggressive is entirely accurate.

If these dogs were Pit Bulls, I think would be editorialized differently. Perhaps the decision would have been the same, but I think the perception about whether the dogs were dangerous or aggressive would have been different.  Point of fact: A similar incident involving three Pit Bulls resulted in more than a dozen news reports. The girl fell off her horse and hit her head, resulting in significant brain trauma. The horses were not seriously harmed, although the Pit Bulls did get into a couple of scuffles with the victim's dog (who ended up fine as well). By luck, the victim in the above mentioned attack was stunned after her fall but not as physically traumatized. The Lab attack was not reported in the media at all.

Friday, April 9, 2010

The Big Moooooooove

Tomorrow I will be assisting in the process of moving nearly 200 chickens, turkeys, cattle, pigs, sheep, goats and rabbits to their new home. I'm moving too. It ended up making a lot of sense to buy a home, so that's what I did (and for under $200,000 to boot). The sanctuary will be relocated 90 miles from Vacaville, CA to Grass Valley, CA. We're moving from 60-acres to 600-acres.

I am trying to get over the fact that Grass Valley gets snow. Not a lot, but enough for me to cringe.

But I love my job so much that I will endure and overcome my distaste of the cold through fifty layers of warm clothing items. Mina will benefit - she'll get a new wardrobe! Once I'm rich, of course. Which will probably be never, but that is too pessimistic.

I imagine it will be quite hectic tomorrow. Moving chickens and rabbits is easy. Sheep and goats will be mostly drama free. But the pigs. The cows. Oh, I just cannot even think about it too much. Plus, we'll be videotaping everything. All the obscenities issuing forth will be cut.

My parents are really excited about my new home and have been helping out immensely. I could not have done it without them (literally, buying a home is no easy task!) On Sunday, I'll be heading up to help out with my house and then, hopefully, officially moving in!

Monday is the scariest day for me. Four of the cattle won't be moved until Sun-Wednesday. Partly because two have to go to the vet and the other two are going to be difficult. If something happens, we don't want it to happen in front of all the stock trailer volunteers or the cameras. And on Monday, the cow I can only describe as my "heart cow" (think "heart dog" but in bovine) will be loaded up and transported up to the new sanctuary. She has a lame rear leg and is really not in love with the stock trailer. She broke her leg b/c of an improper load up at the vet. In fact, she's fallen down every time she's gotten in and out of the trailer, one time bad enough she concussed slightly. Think good thoughts for Sadie. She has gone through so much in her life and I want her to enjoy her twilight years in peace and comfort at the new sanctuary.

I have a couple posts pre-scheduled to post over the weekend. I had stopped comment moderation, but I'm re-implementing it until I get back or until I get internet at my new place (theoretically on Monday). So please be patient if your comment doesn't get posted on Sat or Sun or Mon.

Wish us luck! We'll need it!!!

Fort Worth Police Shoot Dog - Video

If video is ever available in these situations, they should always be made public. You can see the short, 24 second video of what transpires here (nothing graphic).

A Forth Worth police officer pulled over a truck that had people illegally riding in the bed. As the truck pulls into a driveway, you see a dog come out of the front yard and happily greet the teenagers jumping out of the truck.

Unfortunately, the police officer makes a very big error when approaching the kids. I don't know if he's yelling or talking loud, but he's waving his arms, gesticulating wildly. The dog reacts by trotting over and barking. He does not appear overly aggressive (i.e. trying to bite), but is warning the officer in clear and simple terms. The officer backs up and, even though there are two teenagers mere feet away (one who could have easily been asked to grab the dog), draws his service weapon and shoots the dog twice. The video does not show the actual shooting of the dog - it occurs slightly off camera and below the dashboard.

You do see the kids react to the fact that, hey, there are now bullet fragments in their bodies and their dog is lying, gasping for air on the ground. One teenager has bullet fragments embedded into his leg, the other received a graze wound. The dog is alive.

Yes, officers should defend themselves. Yes, sometimes lethal force is necessary.

But I think the video highlights some gross misunderstanding of dog behavior and a rather heavy-handed response to a dog barking. Since police officers do encounter dogs on a semi- to completely regular basis, helping them learn to diffuse situations involving barking or outright aggressive dogs without using lethal force FIRST...well, that seems like a good idea.

Mina Alpha Rolls Celeste

That is an exaggeration. This is Mina and Celeste playing. First they roll in grass because, why not? Then there is much alpha rolling. Celeste is a superb self-alpha-roller. Toward the end, when Mina roams off to chomp on grass, I have to kick Celeste. Just kidding. I nudged her, in a valiant, but embarrassingly unsuccessful attempt at deterring her from eating mud. In response, she looks like a crazy dog.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Denver and Aurora Face Federal Class Action Lawsuits for Alleged ADA Violations

Two military veterans and a disabled woman are suing the city of Aurora, county of Denver and the head of Denver animal services for violating the federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Both Aurora and Denver include service animals in their Pit Bull ban. That means Pit Bulls who are service animals, providing physical or emotional support to their owners, can legally be killed or removed from the city.

Denver already spends thousands annually on fighting court cases over its breed specific legislation.

The lawsuit is being filed by Allen Grider who is a Vietnam war veteran. He has a dog, Precious, who has provided emotional and psychological support. The dog is a mixed breed and was rescued from a shelter. She spent 10 days in Aurora's animal shelter before Grider's friend - from a non-bsl city - could rescue her. The dog has been with Grider for seven years. She has since been reunited with Grider.

Two other plaintiffs, a gulf war veteran and a disabled woman, have certified service animals who happen to be Pit Bulls. One lives in Denver.

This will be an interesting case. Most cities with breed specific legislation exempt certified service animals. Denver and Aurora don't. I think the cities face an uphill battle on this one, but we'll just have to wait and see. Great use of taxpayers funds, am I right?

Denver Continues to Spend Thousands on Ineffective Pit Bull Ban

In 2008, Coco, a mixed breed dog was killed by Denver animal services. He was identified as having 11 of the 25 physical markers of a Pit Bull. Two of the three animal control officers responsible for sentencing dogs who look like Pit Bulls to death agreed the dog was enough Pit Bull to warrant a death sentence. One animal control officer disagreed. Coco had been confiscated once and his owners given a chance to relocate the dog. When the owners found out Coco had ended up in a subpar home, they reclaimed their dog. Unfortunately, enforcing breed specific legislation hinges upon neighbors turning against neighbors and police/animal control going door to door and taking people's pets. Coco was confiscated a second time. At the time, Pit Bulls in Denver get one chance. If they are caught a second time, no matter whether they were taken from their own home or confiscated while being walked by a petrified owner - well, before Coco, these dogs were always executed.

But then came Forrest. Forrest was also seized twice by Denver animal control. But unlike Coco, Forrest received an extraordinary amount of press coverage. Suddenly Denver animal services was once again in the spotlight wanting to kill a beloved, nonviolent family pet.

So even though Coco had been killed three weeks prior to Forrest's second confiscation, the publicity created by Forrest's story ended in the dog being shipped out of state to be placed.

Denver changed its evaluation policy (in light of Coco and Forrest) - all three animal control officers need to concur on a dog's Pit Bull-ness now and Pit Bull owners now have an opportunity to place their dogs outside of Denver, even after a second seizure.

Coco's owner sued the city and was awarded $5,000. The city spent $15,000 in December 2009 and January 2010 fighting cases related to the Pit Bull ban.

Denver has killed nearly 4,000 dogs since it implemented its ban, most occurring in the past five or six years. More provocative is this fact: Denver has one of the highest rates of dog bite related hospitalizations than any city in Colorado. Places without breed specific legislation have lower rates of dog bite related hospitalization. Some claim that Denver spends nearly $250,000 a year enforcing its Pit Bull ban.

What slays me is that council members seem to think this law is working (with one notable exception). They refuse to relax the law or eliminate it outright. Even though Pit Bulls still bite. Even though other dogs still bite. Even though Denver residents are more likely to be hospitalized by a dog than neighboring cities. Even though tens of thousands of dollars are being spent on court cases and enforcement in a city that could use a little extra money. Even though thousands of nonviolent, family pets have been killed instead of thousands of violent, aggressive dogs I assume the law was targeted at killing. That's the rub about BSL - it kills more nonviolent, family pets than it does dangerous, aggressive dogs. Is that something for which Denver should be proud?

Around the Interwebz

Doberman Pinscher kills several lambs, injures several more. This is the same farm in which a Labrador Retriever worried the mothers of these lambs a month or so ago.

Pit Bull tied up and pummeled with rocks and bricks, receiving treatment.

Labrador Retriever mix spared euthanasia after mauling an 11-yr-old child. The dog will be living at a sanctuary specializing in the care of aggressive dogs.

Man whose two family pet Pit Bulls were accidentally killed at a shelter has refused $800 offered by animal control to compensate him for the loss. 

A mastiff kills a Yorkshire Terrier mix at a dog park.

Owner disputes officer's claim that their loose Labrador Retriever was acting aggressive when he was shot (he survived) by police.

Several different breeds of dogs involved in six different attacks.

A German Shepherd and Labrador Retriever attack a child in Prince Frederick. The dogs needed to be beaten off with a stick.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Pennsylvania SPCA Needs Foster Homes

More than a 120 dogs are in need of placement or foster homes in Pennsylvania. An outbreak of a streptococcal bacterial infection has led the Pennsylvania SPCA to perform a complete disinfection and removal of all current animals. The dogs are being warehoused in a garage under less than ideal circumstances. Getting them into permanent homes or, at the very least, temporary foster homes (or rescue agencies) is of great importance.

PSPCA's foster home form is here.

You could be fostering Athena here who is like Mina but not quite as cute. This is not her fault and do not tell her she is not as cute as Mina. Those ears will no doubt do strange things and she will go emo on you. Emo Pit Bull = SADDEST THING EVER.

You can also reach them by phone:
(215) 426-6300
Adoptions: ext. 251, 234

or email
General questions:

Go get your fostering on, kiddos!

Is This Dog A Pit Bull Mix?

On March 31st, the dog pictured bit the face of a 2-yr-old child. This was a hard, dedicated bite that involved tearing and thrashing. The dog needed to be beaten off of the child. The toddler spent four days in ICU. The dog, a six-year-old, was killed.

The Jackson Clarion Ledger reports that this dog is a Pit Bull mix. There are only 7 comments but they all refer to Pit Bulls as evil, awful, dangerous dogs.

The article from which I screen-capped the picture is here. They identify the dog as a black-mouth cur. There are only three comments in this article- one suggests there might be a medical problem, the other two suggest they would have killed the dog themselves. None seem put-off by the type of dog, which is also called a mixed breed cur dog.

Of course the dog pictured is not visually a Pit Bull or a mixed breed Pit Bull.

But isn't it interesting that when you insert "pit bull mix" into an article, people can't help but comment about how awful the breed is, but when you call the exact same dog, committing the exact same bite, a "mixed breed cur", then everyone sings a different tune. Nothing has changed. A two-year-old has still been physically scarred, perhaps for life and perhaps emotionally as well. A dog is dead. And yet how the dog is framed, how he is visually identified, shifts the conversation from "how did this happen?" to "another Pit Bull attack, god they are so awful, see, see here is my evidence!"

I wish the child a speedy recovery.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The Daily Republic: Ban Pit Bulls, The Boxers Have Menaced

Last Thursday, three Boxers got loose. They menaced a woman walking her dogs. No dog or person was hurt.

The article called the dogs Pit Bulls. Talk of banning Pit Bulls is discussed. As you know, three dogs not attacking someone is reason enough to ban a breed of dog not actually involved in the incident.

Well, even when evidence emerged that the dogs were Boxers, not Pit Bulls, Mitchell's newspaper, The Daily Republic, published this piece, "Time for the city to enact pit bulls".

And some people claim there is no media bias?
However authorities shake this out — i.e., determining the breed of the dogs and their potential for danger — it puts Mitchell in exactly the same spot it has been in several times in the past. Another dangerous dog — possibly a pit bull — has stricken fear in another Mitchell resident.
 Possibly a Pit Bull. Um, Daily Republic editor, have you seen the photo? Those dogs are not possibly Pit Bulls, they are Boxers. If Mitchell had a Pit Bull ban, these dogs would probably be included due to the fact that the Daily Republic editorial board thinks they are and so does the city. Logic and pedigrees saying otherwise be damned!
Other towns have done so for the sake of citizen safety. Denver, for instance, is a metropolitan city that by law doesn’t allow pit bulls.
Ah, a shining beacon for anti-dog zealots. Denver. The city that has killed thousands of family pets. The city that spends thousands on court cases. The city that kills puppies who look a certain way. The city that criminalizes residents and forces them out of town if they want to keep their dogs. The city that still has Pit Bulls and still has dog bites and still has Pit Bull bites.


It’s true that the dogs in the most recent case may not actually be part pit bull. The owner says they’re not; the city says they are.

That doesn’t matter to us. What matters is that without a city ordinance banning certain breeds, there will be a pit bull attack in Mitchell. Perhaps not this week or this year, but eventually.
Read that. Read it again. The editors of this paper are saying they don't care if those dogs aren't actually Pit Bulls, but because they got loose, Mitchell needs to ban Pit Bulls. If not now, eventually, there will be another Pit Bull attack, and don't say we didn't tell you. As you know, banning Pit Bulls ends Pit Bull attacks and improves public safety. This is true in Ontario and in Denver and most true in the United Kingdom. Banning a breed is the 100% most successful way to end dog and Pit Bull attacks. Since it has worked for Denver and the United Kingdom, it will surely would work for Mitchell. Oh. Wait.
No matter what their owners say, pit bulls cannot be trusted. They are dangerous and temperamental. It’s in their DNA to attack.
 Well, Daily Republic editors, here is a DNA-model. Please educate me. Tell me where the dangerous and temperamental markers are!

I eagerly await your expert response on the magical "dangerous" and "temperamental" alleles. If you can show them to me, and show they are unique to Pit Bulls, then hells yeah, I'll jump on the ban 'em all bandwagon!! Until then, put me down as skeptical. But thanks for your irrational fear mongering!

A Year Ago Today in Photos - Japanese Tea Garden

Evidence that I don't just take photos of farmed animals and dogs!

More from that day here


Bird enjoying the view

$500,000 Court Case Ends in Death Sentence for Dog

Tango is a pedigreed American Staffordshire Terrier and a former resident of Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia.

For six years, his family fought to avoid a death sentence. They spent $500,000 on court cases involving Tango and 57 other dogs (successfully overturning cases of misidentification).

And today, the Supreme Court ruled that the dog is actually an American Pit Bull Terrier and, as such, should be confiscated and killed.

I'm not going to talk about whether an American Staffordshire Terrier is an American Pit Bull Terrier. It's moot.

Queensland prohibits American Pit Bull Terriers along with four other breeds. New South Wales, where Tango currently lives, has labeled APBTs and the four other breeds dangerous/menacing by virtue of their phenotype. They can live there, but they are supposed to be muzzled.

That is the problem. $500,000 in court costs is the problem. More than 50 court cases in which dog owners are fighting for the right to have a nonviolent, friendly, family pet in their home is the problem. Killing nonviolent dogs is the problem. Criminalizing law-abiding citizens and their family pets is the problem. Spending thousands of dollars trying to save nonviolent dogs serves no one. The good tax payers of Queensland helped (and will continue to) pay for these court cases.

Are anti-dog zealots seriously proposing that killing dogs like Tango improves public safety?

Monday, April 5, 2010

Circle of Friends Shelter and Rabies

On March 9, two dogs were picked up as strays and brought Circle of Friends Humane Society in Grand Forks, North Dakota.

One was a cattle dog. The larger dog was deemed unsuitable for adoption and killed. The cattle dog was sent to a foster family on March 20th. She started to exhibit some severe medical problems, including vomiting, shaking, inability to control her body. The foster family brought her back to the shelter on March 27th where she was euthanized and samples of her brain sent in for testing. She tested positive for rabies.

The public, volunteers and staff who may have interacted with the dogs between March 15-20 were told to call the public health department.  Most of those who called were considered low risk and the health department suggested all visited their physician. None had been bitten by the dog, but even though no one was bitten, at least 10 people were told to get the prophylactic series of vaccines.

Cookie, the rabid dog, never had contact with other dogs at the shelter. But on April 3, the Board of Animal Health rec'd 35 dogs be killed.  Twenty-six of those dogs are at the shelter, while the remaining nine are in adopted homes. Remember, Cookie did not bite any person or animal.

Rabies is not something to mess with, for sure. At the same time, it is a difficult virus to transmit, and during its incubation period, the infected animal is not contagious. Not that I am suggesting folks just wait until the animal starts going all neurotic on them, just that the likelihood of Cookie transmitting the virus to animals and people she never interacted with is incredibly low.
"It’s also possible that some of the 35 dogs have vaccination records and their previous owners still have such records. Officials are looking into this possibility, Keller said, but, at this point, Circle of Friends doesn’t have any such records..”
I am confused. Every state or city/county has laws regarding the rabies vaccine. Most shelters require adopted animals be vaccinated. Some shelters vaccinate incoming animals, while others save money by only vaccinating adopted animals.

So while I can understand that Circle of Friends would not have vaccine records for the 26 animals at their shelter, they should have vaccine records for the animals they adopted out. If Circle of Friends does not vaccinate adopted animals, then perhaps they should refrain from casting aspersions on other people who don't. It's a bit of the kettle calling the pot black, yes?

Right now, none of these dogs are contagious. It is unlikely any have the disease. Being responsible is good, and I think responsible dog guardians should vaccinate against rabies and distemper appropriately. Define that how you will. For me, it means I get Mina's titers done and Celeste will be vaccinated every 3-5 years or titered. They romp in the woods and would have no qualms scuffling with local, angry, rabid wildlife. We could be India, and for that reason alone, I take rabies and its prevention pretty darn seriously. But I don't think one isolated case of rabies involving a dog who had no contact w/ other dogs and limited contact with people should result in the death of 35 dogs or the prophylactic vaccination of >10 people.

Around the Intarwebz

Patricia McConnell has something to say about dominance: The Concept Formerly Described as Dominance

The New York Times asks, Can Animals Be Gay? Watch out, the big a-word*is practically a catchphrase for this article.

Pennsylvania legislator drops bill that may have permitted cities and counties that option of banning dogs based on how they look, not how they act.

A minke whale spent 2 hours swimming alongside a woman paddling against breast cancer. She originally raised $6,000 but after the whale's arrival and subsequent media blitz, she's raised more than $100,000.

State of California says they won't provide the extra funding to keep animals alive an extra week-day. Contra Costa Animal Control really wants to kill animals in 3-business days (defined to include any weekend that the shelter is open), while the state appeals court says, well no, you have to wait 4 business WEEK-DAYS before killing them. 

*Anthropomorphism, people.

When Language Attacks

Let's start with the title, "After Thursday attack in Mitchell, pit bulls come under scrutiny"

O-ho-ho, we has an update!

Here are the dogs:

 Those are not freaking Pit Bulls, you idiots. I call serious exaggeration and fear mongering on this one. "“They’re not pit bulls,” Contreras said. “We hate pit bulls.”" Oh, well, geez, thanks. We hate you too. Just kidding. But anyways, the dogs aren't Pit Bulls, but hey, let's ban Pit Bulls. Logic, I lost it!

An attack implies physical contact. I can safely report that thankfully this was not the case.
"For 20 years, Diane Odegaard has enjoyed morning walks near her home in Mitchell."
So for twenty years this person has walked near her home without incident. That means for 20 years no dog has threatened her. Yet now that she has been "attacked", the entire city has to be concerned about Pit Bulls? 

“They fanned out about 6 feet apart right in front of me,” said Odegaard, who had two of her own dogs with her. “I was about hysterical because I thought these dogs were going to attack me and my dogs and kill us.”
 Now I am not diminishing this person's fear. Having three unknown, loose dogs approach is scary. Somehow, some way, these three dogs did not go on a mauling spree. In fact, all they seemed to have done is expressed an interest in interacting. Three really aggressive, tenacious, "game" dogs would hardly be deterred by space, pepper spray and a piddly barrier like a shovel. Point of fact, Odegaard is right and we are to believe what anti-dog zealots say about Pit Bulls, she and her two dogs should be dead! 
Parker said the dogs — a male and two puppies — are pit bull/boxer mixes. 
Wait a second, Pit Bulls are under scrutiny because three mixed breed dogs approached a woman?
“The pups were very friendly when I was down there,” Parker said. “I had no problem when I met them. They’re probably a little more boxer than he is.”
Well, I don't know, Parker. Either these dogs are so dangerous that they required pepper spray and a shovel to ward them off or they're so friendly that you had no problem with them. And if they are so friendly, well golly-gee, by Parker's logic it must be because they have a "little more Boxer"in them. ETA: Well, Parker, you are an idiot. All three dogs are purebred Boxers. So the dad? All Boxer.
Sebert said a recent fourmonth survey conducted by public safety officers found that approximately 10 percent of all local calls for assistance involve complaints about animals. He wasn’t sure of the legality of banning certain dog breeds within city limits, but he said he would be in favor of banning pit bulls in Mitchell.
It's a bit like grasping at oily straws to claim that since 10% of local calls for assistance involve animal-related complaints, Mitchell should just ban Pit Bulls. If I told you that 10% of calls for assistance involve vehicle-related complaints, what would your response be if I then suggested a solution of eliminating blue SUVs?
Sebert said pit bulls can be raised to be “a very friendly dog,” but he also believes them to be a “dangerous breed” that can be trained to be fighters.
If a dog can be a "very friendly dog", can they be members of a "dangerous breed" as well? Either they are "very friendly dogs" or they are all members of a "dangerous breed". You cannot have it both ways.

In the end, though, we have an article discussing the ban of Pit Bulls based on the following evidence:
* Three loose dogs approaching a woman and her dogs
* 10% of calls for assistance are animal related
* The three dogs are Boxers.

Well, gosh-darnit, I'm convinced that Mitchell really needs to ban Pit Bulls, aren't you?

And even though none of the dogs hurt anyone, the entire family is moving from Mitchell to avoid having the father of the two puppies killed. Classy, Mitchell, classy.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

She's Fine, Usually

"She's fine, usually." I don't know about you, but when I look at 18-mos-old Roxy, I can't say she looks "fine". She looks a bit angry and uncomfortable, and if you stepped any closer, I imagine Roxy would find it fine to do to you what she did to this kid.

Roxy mauled the face of a child as she was walked past him by another child. The victim happened to be at face level with Roxy and, best guess here, he made eye contact, that didn't go well with Roxy and she bit him. This was a hard, dedicated bite too. No restraint on the Husky's part.

New South Wales tallies all dog bites, as required by law. I wrote about their stats before.

Roxy may be fine, usually. But she exhibited a real behavioral flaw before the age of two. My guess is she isn't always fine, and she's showed signals of discomfort around certain people, at certain times. The picture alone shows that Roxy is a pretty defensive dog. I'm not saying she should be killed, but I don't think her current guardians can handle her. A dog who has a low bite threshold, no bite inhibition, and who bites hard over what should be a non-threatening gesture (sitting on the gutter, at face level) is a dog who needs some behavior modification.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Missing Ear, Missing Dog, Missing Information

All I can discern from this story is that a child got bitten on the head. This is a story that highlights the public and media's schizophrenic relationship with dogs based on how they look. Let me guarantee this for you: If this dog had been a muscular, short-haired, blocky headed dog, there would be no question as to who was at fault. But because this is a long haired, golden-looking, dog, questions arise!

According to this story, the child had wandered off and was bitten by a dog.

Here's NewsChannel3's article which describes the attack as such: The child is playing in a neighbor's yard with his father and relatives. Somehow everyone misses a large dog leaping over a fence and biting the child on the arm, leg and face. And somehow no one can identify the dog, but they guess its the Golden Retriever living next door.

The story garners 50 comments. One commenter claims to be the grand-daughter of the dog's owner. She claims that the dog wears a shock collar all the time, and thus is incapable of barking. And she says that the dog just scratched the kid and that the ONLY thing wrong with the kid was the fact that he had half his ear missing. But hey! grand-daughter, who is in medical school, claims that her grandmother says that it was just a flesh wound, so geez people, chill out. Nail in the coffin? Well shoot, there was a Pit Bull in the kid's house and THAT is the dog who bit him! So there. She said she said she said = FACT! Or, if it wasn't the Pit Bull, it was some piece of metal that sliced the kid's ear right clean off his head. She then goes on to claim that MAYBE the dog is also a seeing eye dog. Maybe. Like is she for reals?

Another commenter says s/he's been around Golden Retrievers all his/her life and, well, it just isn't possible for them to be mean. Amazing, folks. In fact, there are several comments along the same line. If a dog bites, that dog cannot be a Golden Retriever, even if he looks like a Golden Retriever or has the pedigree of one. Must be a different dog. Irrational logic for the fail!

The absolute final comment is that the dog was actually a Pit Bull and they had updated the article (they hadn't). Well world, breathe a sigh of relief. Order has been restored.

What No Kill Can Mean to a Dog

A picture:

Yeah, that's Dustin. He's got a tongue a mile long. Also, that's him in the back of his brand-new car as he heads on to his brand-new home.

You see, Dustin has spent his entire 3 years of existence at the Humane Society of Greater Kansas City. No one wanted to adopt him. Can you believe it? He's like adorable and, that tongue!

Dustin is one of several dogs and cats who got a bit of extra press coverage and now will spend the rest of his life with a human family.

No, I don't want to see shelters warehouse dogs indefinitely. But I'm tired of this animal shelter paradigm that demands we kill animals instead of giving them an acceptable level of care in a shelter until a home can be found. Does Dustin look like he would be better alive or dead? Does he look like he is suffering, that he has been irremediably damaged from living 3 years in a shelter? I don't think so.

Now there are dogs who do not thrive in a shelter. And maybe there are no foster homes available or rescues to take them. A good shelter has a bevy of volunteers who can mentally and physically stimulate or gently calm the dogs. They can provide enrichment and do everything in their power to make that dog's life better. Then they can focus on finding that particular dog a home. Very few dogs are so damaged by an acceptable quality of life that the only alternative is killing them.

The Humane Society of Greater Kansas City has some other animals in need of a new home. Give them one!

This is Turner and he is also all tongue but unrelated to Dustin. He's been at the shelter for sixteen months. He'd like to fetch balls in your backyard. Tennis, soccer, basketball, it doesn't matter.

Hey people, this is Gilmore. He's a distinguished gentleman and has been at the shelter for 14 months. He would like to give you this woe is me look five million times a day. He'll greet you like this in the morning, over breakfast, during lunch, on his walks, and right before you go to bed. You will melt from this look and wonder why on earth you adopted this dog. Then he will put his head on your lap and all doubt will disappear. Gilmore has that kind of power. He is that kind of dog.

Meet other adoptable animals here

These dogs and cats deserve a no-kill nation.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Sioux City - Waiting Until Next Week to Kill Your Dog!

Back in 2008, Sioux City officials had a problem" with Pit Bulls.

So they banned them based on this logic, "Pit bulls tend to become more dangerous as they age, especially in the last years of their life". Those were the words of Council member Jim Rixner. Well, I'm sold!

Last year, Pit Bull owners had to register their dogs.

This year, officials noticed that more than 150 dog guardians had not re-registered their dogs. So they extended the deadline for registration.

After that? Well, next week, police will be going door to door checking for dogs.

If they find a Pit Bull who is not registered? Well, owners do not have any legal recourse to protect their dog. Instead, the dog will be confiscated and killed. They say euthanized but I say taking the life of a healthy, loved companion dog is killing, not a "gentle death". 

Please tell me how killing 150 family pets improves public safety?

California Legislation Affecting Animals

This is not an inclusive list of all animal related legislation. If you live in California and like or dislike any of these bills, make your voice heard. Legislators take emails and letters seriously. You are representing hundreds of other constituents and voters. Each hyperlink will take you to: the language of the bill, the author's home page (where you can send a letter of support/opposition) and links to the contact information for each committee.

AB 2000, rabies vaccine exemption: Assemblymember Hagman
I disagree with Assemblymember Hagman on a lot of issues, but I am in total support of AB 2000, which allows for an exemption of a rabies license with a veterinarian's permission. You would have to renew the license annually but it offers a way to reduce the number of rabies vaccinations given to an animal. It will be heard in the Assembly Committee on Agriculture on 4/14/2010. Get your letters in by Friday, April 9th or Monday, April 12th.
You can mail your letter to:
Assemblymember Curt Hagman
State Capitol
Sacramento, CA 95814

SB 1277, animal abuse registry: Senator Florez
The bill would create an internet registry with the names, addresses and physical identifying markers of those convicted of felony level animal abuse. My opinions on this proposal can be found here and here. Suffice it to say, I do not support this legislation, although I support some of the logic behind it. The bill will be heard in the Senate Committee on Public Safety on 4/20/2010. Get your letters in by Friday, April 16th.
You can mail your letter to:
Senator Dean Florez
State Capitol, Room 313
Sacramento,  CA  95814

AB 2411, pet insurance regulation: Assemblymember Jones
This bill would include pet insurance along with other regulated providers of insurance. It would prohibit denying coverage based on pre-existing conditions (six months after coverage is approved), among other regulations. I support this bill. It will be heard in the Assembly Committee on  Insurance 4/7/10, so get your letters in by Monday.
You can mail your letter to:
Assemblymember Dave Jones
P.O. Box 942849
Sacramento, CA 94249-0009

AB 2716, reduced licensing fees for puppies: Assemblymember Mendoza
This bill would reduce the licensing fee for puppies by up to half the normal licensing fee. It will be heard on the Assembly Committee on Insurance 4/21
You can mail your letter to:
Assembylmember Tony Mendoza
P.O. Box 942849
Sacramento, CA 94249-0056

SB 1185 - Tax deduction for adopted animals: Senator Maldonado
People who adopt animals would be able to deduct up to $250 in food and supplies associated with the cost of that animal. It would be applicable for the taxable year in which a person adopted an animal. I fully support this bill. It does not have a hearing date but will be heard in the Senate Committee on Revenue and Taxation
You can write letters to:
Senator Maldonado
State Capitol, Room 4082
Sacramento, CA 95814

AB 1656, label of fur products: Assemblymembers Ma & Lieu
This bill would require the labeling of all products, no matter their price, if they contain fur. Current law exempts the labeling of products containing fur that are priced at $150 or less. It has passed committee and is currently on the floor. If you support this bill, contact your legislator and ask them to vote yes. You can find your legislator here (click on Find My District on left nav bar).

Thursday, April 1, 2010

A Year Ago in Photos - Potbellied Pigs and Polish Roos

Frank, Charlie and Olivia (from back to front) are three of the seven potbellied pigs who live at the sanctuary. There is not much to say about potbellied pigs, except that they are the most melodramatic species at the sanctuary.
Olivia, Charlie and Frank

But sometimes they are just cute.
Charlie is hungry

Everyone loves El Diablo. He's a crested Polish, a ridiculous breed of chicken with an interesting genetic quick of poof-headedness. Being ridiculous has not diminished Diablo's coolness factor.
Diablo is cool