Ellen DeGeneres' Problems Explained:
The news this morning is that TV host-comedienne Ellen DeGeneres adopted a dog from some crazy canine rescue called "Mutts and Moms." The dog did not work out for Ellen due to conflicts with her cats, but she placed it with her good friend and hairdresser whose family was delighted
to have a second dog to play with their first. "Hold on,"
said the Mutts and Moms folks who also run a "canine boutique. " "We are the deciders of what a good home is
," and we have very narrow definition of who qualifies. And a hairdresser with 11- and 12-year old daughters does not
make the cut no matter what Ellen DeGeneres (a huge donor to animal causes) may say about the matter. And so they are yanking this small dog from its new home
where it is well-loved. Whoa! Is someone power-tripping or what?
Well yes, but it's actually a bit more than that. Gina Spadafori explains all
in this delightful piece that was written several days before
the Ellen blow up. This one is strongly recommended reading, and it's not just about dogs, is it? Read it, read it, read it
!Bully Good News I:
Remember Michael Vick's dogs? The good news is that 49 of the 50 dogs are going to be adopted out
after temperament testing was done on them. Hmmm.
Makes one really wonder about two things: 1) the notion that all
pit bulls are dangerous (especially the ones that have been fought), and; 2) that no
pit bull is dangerous. Nice to see common sense at work here, and in the end it is common sense that is always a benefit to the dogs. For the record, you might remember that Humane Society of the United States President Wayne Parcelle
said "Officials from our organization have examined some of these dogs and, generally speaking, they are some of the most aggressively trained pit bulls in the country." HSUS
advocated killing all
of the dogs. In fact, no one from HSUS
had even seen
the dogs. Apparently
the standing policy is: Kill 'em all, sight unseen.
Later HSUS sent out a direct mail letter
saying they were raising money to "save" the dogs which, they said, were in their care. In fact, the HSUS
never had anything to do with these dogs at all, and they were never in their care for one second. Which is why they are still alive. The FBI is reportedly investigating the Humane Society of the United States for their scam of a fundraising appeal.Bully Good News II:The Washington Post reports
that a judge has ruled that the Loudoun
County, Virginia Animal Shelter cannot euthanize a dog based solely on its breed type. It's amazing that a court had to actually rule on this, since Virginia's Comprehensive Animal Laws specifically states
that "No canine or canine crossbreed shall be found to be a dangerous dog or vicious dog solely because it is a particular breed." But never mind the law: the Loudoun
County Shelter wants
to kill all pit bulls, and they have been killing pit bulls and other dogs even when they have lots of empty cages at hand.
The good news it that Virginia Attorney General Robert F. McDonnell put a hitch in their giddy-up
when he stepped in and issued a nonbinding opinion that publicly funded shelters could not legally euthanize dogs based solely on their breed. Now a judge has said the same thing, while the Animal Rescue League of Tidewater
has filed suit
County shelter to allow adoption (and transfer) of pit bulls.Virginia's Attorney General Rides Again:
Virginia Attorney General McDonnell is not just stepping in to combat craziness
County (see above story), he is also trying to prevent craziness
where the City Council, at the behest of PETA, has tried to make it illegal
for pet owners to dock puppy dog tails and remove dew claws. Virginia's Attorney General correctly notes that in Virginia the owner of an animal or the owner's employee are exempt from state requirements that they be licensed by the Board of Veterinary Medicine -- a common sense policy in an agricultural state where farmers routinely dock sheep tails and turn bull calves into steers. For more on the general topic, see this previous post
from this blog.I Like Kate Middleton Already:
It seems that Prince William's girlfriend, Kate Middleton, has PETA's
underwear in a knot. Her transgression (and I could not make this up) is that she shot a gun at a metal silhouette target. No matter: Kate Middleton looks pretty nice in camouflage
and one has to laugh at the idea that the so-called "League Against Cruel Sports" would have the temerity to lecture anyone
about deer management considering their own deer herd is starving to death and riddled with disease
. Check out that
footage!Deer Management Works in Pennsylvania:
In Pennsylvania the push to shoot more does and allow more bucks to get bigger has had a tremendously positive impact
on hunting in that state. The average Pennsylvania buck used to weigh just 100 pounds field-dressed, but deer processors are now complaining that hunters are bringing in such large animals they have to be quartered in order to carry them to the cooler. Meanwhile, the state rack size has jumped an average of more than 7 points. For more on this topic, see this older post
from this blog.Ban Pointy Knives!"British Medical Experts Campaign for Long, Pointy Knife Control
." No, I did not make this headline up
. The original editorial
in the British Medical Journal concludes "The Home Office is looking for ways to reduce knife crime. We suggest that banning the sale of long pointed knives is a sensible and practical measure that would have this effect." Right.
Got it. And no, they are not kidding.A Siegfried Line for Wildlife?
In Germany, the latest controversy
is whether the 400-miles of broken rubble and pill box shelters which are the remains of the "Siegfried Line" of World War II, should be carted off to make it easier for farm machinery to move about and to avoid liability from children playing on the ruins. The push back comes from those who say the ruins are now wildlife habitat. But, as Sebastian Schön of Friends of the Earth International explains, "It's been hard for us to deal with this issue because in Germany you're immediately labeled as some kind of neo-Nazi if you say anything positive about the bunkers." And perhaps with cause: badger, fox, and feral cats hardly need concrete rubble piles to make their way in the landscape -- even in Germany.First Ida Hurt Memorial Hunt:
Matt Mullenix reports that the First Annual Ida Hurt Memorial Hunt
went off without a hitch, with two falconers, one whippet and a Harris hawk in attendance. Somewhere, on the edge of the wind, Ms. Ida is smiling.Bigger than McDonalds:
A report from the Congressional Sportsmen's Foundation
says that America's 34 million hunters and anglers spent $76 billion last year on ammunition, land leases, fishing hooks, dogs, guns, and decoys. Some other stats:
He's Kind to Animals:
- More people hunt and fish in the U.S. than watch the nightly newscasts of the three major networks - ABC, NBC, and CBS (34 million vs. 27 million).
- Spending by hunters is greater than the revenues of McDonalds ($23 billion vs. $20 billion).
- In 2007 hunters and shooters paid $233 million in Pittman-Robertson excise taxes for hunting and fishing land conservation.
- Eighty percent of sportsmen are "likely voters," and 8 in 10 hunters always vote in presidential elections. Approximately 20% of the entire population of major swing states hold either a hunting or fishing license, or both.
Over in Maricopa County, Arizona, Sheriff Joe Arpaio has managed to combine the dog pound with the prison, to the benefit of both. Prior to Sheriff Joe taking it on, the County was spending approximately $18 million a year on stray animals. Now the Sheriff has the prisoners taking care of the animals
which are housed in an older cell block that is no longer used. The result: the price for running the shelter has dropped to $3 million
a year. A hat tip to Ann Kim for sending this one. Getting Rich at the Dog Pound:
While doing a little background research on animal control in Maricopa County, Arizona (see story, above) I came across a 2001 article in the Phoenix New Times
entitled Pet Peeves
, in which Maricopa County, Arizona Humane Society Director Ken White is reported to have stubbornly refused, for more than a year, to sign off on to efforts to obtain a $10 million grant that would have ended the euthanasia of dogs and cats in Maricopa County, Arizona. What the hell?
Curious, I looked up Ken White to see what he's doing now. It turns out he is President of the Peninsula Humane Society & SPCA in San Mateo County, California where he makes ... wait for it ... $303,000 a year for killing dogs and cats
. For those who have not yet read Nathan Winograd's excellent book Redemption
(review and summary at link), the Peninsula Humane Society in San Mateo, California is the place that killed five cats and three dogs on television -- a public execution that was applauded by Ingrid Newkirk of PETA who said, "We're hoping that this sort of approach is going to catch on." Uhhhh, right. No need to even try to adopt out any of those dogs and cat, eh? Kill them all!
A close reading of the
Peninsula Humane Society web site finds that the shelter has a policy of killing all unweaned kittens and puppies, and also kills any dogs or cats it deems to have "behavior" problems. No numbers are given as to how many dogs and cats that actually is, but since the Humane Society and SPCA have, in the past, routinely said that 60 percent of all dogs and cats are "unadoptable," that could be a very high number indeed. What we know for sure is that the Peninsula Humane Society takes in only about 15,000 animals a year, according to their own web site. What that means is that Ken White's salary works out to his personally
getting $200 for every dog and cat "handled" by the shelter. But wait, there's more.
It seems Mr. White also lives rent-free in a $1.5 million house
paid for by the Peninsula Humane Society/SPCA. Unbelievable.
Labels: Animal Rights, coffee and provocation, deer, forest fragmentation, guns, rescue