Category Archives: Animal Welfare

Porch Chickens

Chickens,backyard chickens,free range poultry

Truly 'Free-Range' birds

With all the kerfuffle about the meaning or “free range” and setting humane standards for production egg layers and meat birds, I have provided a few images of what a free range bird looks like.

As in free. To range.

These are some of my porch chickens. Because, you know, they’re free, to range…

Duh.

 

Free Range rooster in the literal and figurative sense of the word

Looking to score some pesticide free apples...

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Filed under agriculture, Animal Welfare, Back Yard Chickens, Chickens, Chikin TeeVee, Food, Locavore, Poultry, Soup Of The Day, Sustainable Agriculture

Trolling for Puppies: The TRUTH??? To be filed under Gimme a $%^& Break

Grand Opening of Woof Worx in Los Angeles features animal shelter rescued pups. Purebreds no less…..

In their sincerest belief that they are providing assistance to “puppy mill dogs” and shelters purportedly overrun with unwanted pets, they are offering purebred puppies for sale, er ‘adoption’ through a sanctioned pet store.

A Puppy-Store-Free LA‘s tag-line “…is to end the sale of puppies at pet stores in L.A.”

But it’s OK if they do it, right?
___________________________________________________________________

Excerpts from the article follow, anything within the parentheses are mine.

“Eight months ago, Best Friends LA launched A-Puppy-Store-Free LA to stop pet stores from selling puppies because, sadly, that doggie in the window comes from a puppy mill. Not only is this a heartbreaking situation for the dogs being forced to breed in deplorable conditions, but for the new pet parents, as well.”

(Sadly, there is still a doggie in the window, but this one is BETTER because you are SAVING it from the horrors of being sold in a pet store. Do you honestly think that the source is any different or any better for these pups? What is THEIR source for dogs? Have they started their own captive breeding program???)

“A puppy purchased from a pet store can cost up to $1,500. More often than not, these sweet new additions have congenital disorders and may die with in the first two years of life due to inbreeding and unhealthy living situations. Few families can afford the thousands of dollars on unexpected vet bills and many puppies are surrendered to shelters, where they are euthanized or wait in vain for a new home. Most never get that second chance.”

(But a puppy purchased, er ‘adopted’ through us is an endorsement of our belief that all breeders are bad and that our pet shop is different and somehow better than other pet shops. Cuz we sell designer pet clothes and green products, and and and, puppies!!! Yeah. Ok. Uh Huh? But few families can afford the undisclosed vet costs for unforseen events from your puppies either, can they? Or have you specifically selected for genetic defects in your shelter dogs and screen for congenital defects in your neonates and follow the most astringent health conscious protocols available? I want to see a guarantee that the buyers, uh, ‘adopters’ of your pound pups are contractually bound to return the dog to YOU if something goes wrong. What’t that? As an agent of the shelter who provides your product, you can’t make such a guarantee? Indeed. And you are better than the Hunte Corp and PetLand how?)

“Best Friends has been hard at work to find an alternative, and collaborated with Woof Worx (formerly Pets of Bel Air) on the idea to sell wonderful, healthy, purebred puppies that come from local shelters. For a mere fraction of what it would cost at a traditional pet store, people can adopt one (or more) of these dogs, support a business that’s doing the right thing, and save a life.

(An ALTERNATIVE? Are you nutz? Wonderful, healthy purebred puppies from WHERE? Where are the local ‘shelters’ getting them from? Oh, oh Sorry I forgot! From the confiscation of animals by the new ordinances being passed like wildfire in your state and others thanks to our pals at H$US. For a ‘mere fraction’ of the cost at a traditional pet store! YOU ARE A TRADITIONAL PET STORE!!! Adopt my ass. Buy. Face it. You offer a commodity and people are paying you MONEY for that commodity. But of course, under the protection of the law that should come as caveats for anyone falling for this bunk. What is your guarantee that these pups will not fall victim to congenital defect, hereditary defect, communicable disease or die by the age of two? Are you going to take them back? Are you going to pay for their vet care when it is discovered that your product is as defective as PetLand’s? What is the recourse for the consumer, er, ‘pet parent’? Adopt one or more? What happens if one gets returned at say, 4 or 5 months old because it is a behavior issue or the owners are ‘moving’ or whatever the lamest excuses that shelters usually get. What then? Where do the puppies go? Hold on a minute there Nelly, in a community that is endorsing the limitation of pets owned by it’s citizens, are you actually telling me that your employees are going to do ‘home visits’ and all that? Riiiiiiiiight….. And the save-a-life thingy. Sounds like a marketing ploy to me…..)

“Jamie Katz, owner of Woof Worx, proudly opened the doors last weekend to over 150 supporters of this new concept. Veggie hors d’oeuvres and wine were served at the beautiful, high-end pet store in the heart of Bel Air.”

(I bet she was proud. Came up with a really good way to make money, uh, stay in business, er help the plight of puppy mills being sold in pet stores and make it look like she was doing something good for the community. To 150 supporters no less. At the beautiful, high end PET STORE in the heart of Bel Air!!! Who is buying this crap? Are the people of this Nation so indoctrinated that they can no longer see the forest for the trees?)

“Available dogs were there to celebrate their new lives, as well. This is not a typical store where puppies are kept in cramped confinement on newspaper or plastic flooring. Think of it as an indoor dog park. The puppies had toys, individual soft beds, even an indoor pet potty. A comfy couch is in the puppy room for anyone who wants to get acquainted with their potential new family member or just be covered with puppy kisses.”

(Available dogs are everywhere, like at traditional shelters who could really benefit from this kind of BS PR. This is not a typical store. OK, then mandate that all pet stores, just like your pet store, are as wonderfully equipped. Tell me. After operating hours, where are all the dogs housed and how are they cared for? Is there someone there to clean up after the potential family members overnight and on days where the shelter, uh, non puppymill supplied pet store is closed? Lemme guess, they are ‘free range’ in the indoor dog park.)

“We are so thrilled to be partnering with Jamie Katz, the owner of this beautiful store, and to support her in her efforts,” says Elizabeth Oreck, BFLA manager. “We truly believe that traditional pet stores that sell dogs from puppy mills will soon be a thing of the past, and that a store like Woof Worx will become a national model for cities all across the country.”

(Oh I bet! Especially that part about traditional pet stores being a thing of the past, since yours will represent a new age income stream because instead of your product coming from puppy mills or from unscrupulous dealers who will find a way to continue to supply the new niche you have just created, it will be stocked with purebred puppies born…where? Are shelters going to start their own breeding program for purebred dogs? Gonna have to if HSUS has it’s way and effectively shuts down hobby breeders who actually care about the quality, health and longevity of the animals they create.)

“This is not only a great way to showcase rescued animals who need homes, and to help lower the number of dogs and cats in our drastically overcrowded shelters, but an opportunity to educate the public about animal welfare issues. And we are so grateful to Jamie for taking that leap and being willing to show the rest of the country that a successful pet store can be modeled on compassion rather than cruelty.”

(A better way would be to stop offering purebred puppies and bring adult shelter dogs of ANY breed or mix of breeds and sell, uh, adopt them instead!! Drastically overcrowded shelters? C’monnnnn! Stop importing dogs from the islands, overseas and focus on the ones in your own back yard!!! And besides we all know that shelter population numbers are an amalgam of both cat and dog numbers when in fact the cat populations outstrip dog populations in shelters 3 to 1.*
Thanks for making a cunning business decision and finding a way to keep the doors open and showing the rest of the country how to game the system and still make a profit!! Sure the store is nice, with all of the high-end Californication trappings of wealth and do-goodery, but thanks for admitting that it’s still a pet store.)

Katz was an employee of Pets of Bel Air when BFLA began its peaceful protests.

“I always knew in my heart that selling puppies this way was wrong,” she says. “I’m a huge animal lover and advocate of animal welfare.”

(And probably had really good grades at business school)

Katz acquired the store when the original owner of Pets of Bel Air lost his lease, due in part to Best Friends’ protests.

(Whalp, waddya know? And this was on her own capital or through funding of BFLA?)

“Jennifer Krause, puppy mill campaign coordinator, thanked all the volunteers, supporters and Jamie. “This is a huge victory, and we couldn’t have done without them. Jamie just gets it.””
(Why Shore it is, for all of the MBA’s in business, let this be your model.)

____________________________________________________________________

Here’s the thing. I hate pet stores that sell pets, and I hate the suppliers who provide them with product at such considerable cost and sacrifice to living, breathing animals.

I also hate duplicity and being wanked by the absolute bullshit that surrounds a campaign by those who allegedly (new favorite word) are in it for the animals.

I hate that the gubmint is trying to dictate to me the number of animals I am allowed to own, that they have bits and pieces that are their birthright and that this movement is being endorsed by people who claim to have the best interests of animals at heart.

Many questions emerge:

1) Who is supplying this new demand for purebred dogs if all of the breeders are put out of business and shelters are advocating spay and neuter for every animal that crosses their doorsteps?

2) Dogs are going to be the new crack cocaine if this comes to pass. How can this organization reconcile the belief in an overpopulation problem and turn around and endorse the continued sale of purebred dogs in pet stores? I would LOOOOOOOOOVE to have seen THIS business model!!!

3) Why can’t they make this believable, even palpable, by just creating a storefront in affluent areas to elevate the consciousness of the wealthy elite to the plight of dogs of every stripe, not just purebreds, not just puppies?

4) What do you think is going to emerge from this new business model?

*Statistically, this figure bears out across the nation. Stray cats comprise the largest single number in shelter populations for both animals housed and animals euthanized. But we are dealing with California here, so I am using a California statistic. More info can be had here.

The question arises about the actual accuracy of supplied numbers from a variety of recognized sources. Usually the number of animals in a shelter is defined as dogs AND cats as opposed to dogs, then cats. Statistics can be parsed to say anything and should be viewed with concern for their accuracy in accounting for the segregation of the total numbers.

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Filed under Animal Rights, Animal Shelters, Animal Welfare, Breeding Dogs, companion animals, Dog Adoption, Dog Genetics, Dog Politics, Mutts, Puppies, Puppy Mills, Rescue dogs, Shelter Dogs

Toxic Asset Mikey Vick to be released to Home Detention Soon

It’s just dogs, folks. No-one cares. So he beat up a few pit bulls and forced them to suffer in horrible, painful ways.

So he tormented them, brutalized them, made money off of their pain, what’s the big deal?

Surely you must see the greater good in allowing this loser to play ball again?

Surely you must know that the fine institution of football is infinitely more important than a bunch of stupid dogs, right?

They have to make their money back off of him somehow.

And our demented friends at PETA seem to think that subjecting this sociopath to a ‘brain scan’ will somehow absolve him of his sins and make it all better again, because “science” will have proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that he will never do it again?

Really, they have suggested this.

They are hitching their wagon to Vick to capitalize not so much on the crimes he has perpetuated against other living things, but to align themselves with yet another cash cow to fill their coffers when they themselves are responsible for the mass euthanization of animals. A litany of charges follow PETA, stemming from the activities of several of their members transporting dogs and cats from the Carolinas to Virginia ostensibly for “placement” in homes, but instead turned up dead in dumpsters by their collective hand, with their endorsement.

PETA even admits this.

What about what Vick did? He should be forgiven for these insidious acts? He should be allowed to play football again?

On what planet and in what solar system is it OK for a person to do this?

Have we as a culture been so imbued with the importance of “celebrity” that we will consciously forgive this?

The significance of celebrity has so outnumbered, outweighed our moral obligation to punish wrongdoers of these vicious crimes? We scream about steroids but care nothing about the pain he inflicted on unsuspecting animals? On other living things?

Without a conscience, some football team will allow this deviant to play again. The short memory of the public will soon forget the nature of his crimes.

I don’t buy for a minute his claims of remorse.

I don’t buy for a minute his concern over what kind of image he has portrayed to his fans.

I don’t buy for a minute his worthiness to leave prison and join the ranks of law abiding citizens anywhere, let alone fully expect to be paid to play a game where somehow his life is considered worth more than those animals. Or mine.

Like what he does really matters.

Since they don’t have adequate space in the halfway house he was purportedly assigned to, post a stake out to an old 55 gallon barrel or better yet, tie his selfish ass to a logging chain attached to a rusted old car bumper and toss him some stagnant water and a few crumbs of bread every other day.

If there were ever a hope of me becoming a football fan, it has been forever lost with the haunting prospect of that slime-ball rejoining any team.

His early release from prison is a powerful message to people everywhere.

Oh, I’m sorry, I must have forgotten. They were just dogs. And he’s a football player.

What was I thinking?

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Filed under Animal Welfare, Dangerous Dogs, Dog Abuse, Pit Bulls, Rescue dogs

Minnesota Prepared to Enact New Dangerous Dog Act

On January 14th of the current year, District 66A Representative John Lesch ( rep.john.lesch@house.mn ) and Representative of District 64B Michael Paymar ( rep.michael.paymar@house.mn ) introduced a bill that would require owners or those individuals identified as owners of ‘dangerous or potentially dangerous dogs” to participate in responsible dog ownership classes. Additional information on this bill indicates that yet again the government is insinuating itself into the affairs of the people without truly addressing the needs of the community at large.

Read more here: https://www.revisor.leg.state.mn.us/bin/bldbill.php?bill=H0115.0.html&session=ls86

You may have to copy and paste the above link.

I have taken the liberty of posting the whole sordid mess here:

H.F. No. 115, as introduced – 86th Legislative Session (2009-2010) Posted on Jan 14, 2009

1.1A bill for an act
1.2relating to dogs; requiring certain dog owners to take responsible dog owner
1.3classes and pass certain tests; requiring maintenance of a database; proposing
1.4coding for new law in Minnesota Statutes, chapter 347.
1.5BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA:

1.6 Section 1. [347.57] DEFINITIONS.
1.7 Subdivision 1. Applicability. The definitions in this section apply to sections
1.8347.57 to 347.67.
1.9 Subd. 2. Animal control authority. “Animal control authority” means an agency of
1.10the state, county, municipality, or other governmental subdivision of the state which is
1.11responsible for animal control operations in its jurisdiction.
1.12 Subd. 3. Class training manual. “Class training manual” means the materials used
1.13to train the facilitator and the materials used by facilitators to train the dog owner.
1.14 Subd. 4. Dog owner. “Dog owner” means the owner of a dog that has been declared
1.15dangerous or potentially dangerous.
1.16 Subd. 5. Facilitator. “Facilitator” means a person who teaches the responsible dog
1.17owner class and administers the test to the dog owner.
1.18 Subd. 6. Program manager. “Program manager” means the person who oversees
1.19and coordinates the responsible dog owner class, trains the facilitators, and handles
1.20recordkeeping of the classes.
1.21 Subd. 7. Responsible dog owner class. “Responsible dog owner class” means a
1.22class for owners of dogs that have been declared dangerous or potentially dangerous
1.23under section 347.50.

2.1 Sec. 2. [347.58] RESPONSIBLE DOG OWNER CLASS.
2.2(a) The owner of a dog that has been declared dangerous or potentially dangerous
2.3under section 347.50 must take and pass the responsible dog owner class lasting
2.4approximately four hours. A photo identification of the dog owner is required at the time
2.5of the class to confirm ownership of the dog. The dog owner must enroll in a class within
2.630 days of the dog being declared potentially dangerous or dangerous. The dog owner
2.7must attend the class at the next scheduled class date. The class is for the owner of the
2.8dog only; dogs are not allowed in the class.
2.9(b) Dog owners who own dogs that were previously declared dangerous must
2.10take the responsible dog owner class. The dog owner must attend the class at the next
2.11scheduled class date after the effective date of this section.
2.12(c) The Department of Public Safety must charge the dog owner a reasonable fee for
2.13attending the class.

2.14 Sec. 3. [347.59] PROGRAM MANAGER.
2.15(a) The program manager must be:
2.16(1) a veterinarian in good standing in Minnesota with a minimum of three years
2.17experience; or
2.18(2) a person with a minimum of five years experience working in an animal-related
2.19field, including knowledge and training of dog behavior and education of the public on
2.20dog behavior.
2.21(b) A background check must be performed on a person applying to be a program
2.22manager. The applicant must pass the background check without any violations prior to
2.23being appointed. No person who has been convicted of animal cruelty under Minnesota
2.24law or any other state law may be a program manager.
2.25(c) The Department of Public Safety shall employ the program manager and
2.26determine how much the program manager shall be paid for providing program manager
2.27services.

2.28 Sec. 4. [347.60] FACILITATOR.
2.29A facilitator must have a minimum of five years experience in dog training or in
2.30educating the public on dog behavior. A background check must be performed on a
2.31facilitator and a facilitator must pass the background check without any violations prior to
2.32that person being appointed and trained. No person who has been convicted of animal
2.33cruelty under Minnesota law or any other state law may be a facilitator. A facilitator must
2.34receive retraining by the program manager every three years to remain a facilitator.

3.1 Sec. 5. [347.61] TRAINING.
3.2Ongoing training must be provided by the program manager to facilitators, including
3.3updating the class training manual and teaching facilitators current information.

3.4 Sec. 6. [347.62] ANIMAL CONTROL AUTHORITY DUTIES.
3.5The animal control authority that declares a dog dangerous or potentially dangerous
3.6must provide the following information to the program manager and the Department of
3.7Public Safety:
3.8(1) name, address, and telephone number of the dog owner;
3.9(2) description of the dog;
3.10(3) a tracking number to identify the case; and
3.11(4) any other pertinent information.

3.12 Sec. 7. [347.63] NOTIFICATION.
3.13The program manager must send a written notification to the owners of dogs
3.14declared dangerous or potentially dangerous that they must register for a class within 30
3.15days, how to register for the class, and any other pertinent information.

3.16 Sec. 8. [347.64] CLASS TRAINING MANUAL; FORMS; CURRICULUM; TEST.
3.17(a) The class training manual and curriculum must address the basic needs of the
3.18dog, both behavioral and physical, and include education on dog care and dog behavior.
3.19The class training manual, forms, test, and curriculum must be prepared in consultation
3.20with a study commission and printed by the Department of Public Safety.
3.21(b) Upon completion of the responsible dog owner class, a facilitator must administer
3.22a multiple choice test to the dog owner and grade the test. A dog owner who fails the
3.23test must retake the test within two weeks.
3.24(c) If the owner of a dog declared dangerous fails the test twice, the animal control
3.25authority must seize the animal and provide for disposition of the animal pursuant to
3.26sections 347.54 and 347.541.
3.27(d) If the owner of a dog declared potentially dangerous fails the test twice, the
3.28animal control authority must make the determination as to disposition of the dog.
3.29(e) If a dog owner fails to register for a responsible dog owner class or fails to appear
3.30for the class and take the test, the dog owner must be considered as having failed the test.
3.31(f) A facilitator must provide a certificate of class completion to a dog owner upon
3.32successfully passing the test. A facilitator must forward a verification of completion or
3.33non-completion form and the tests to the program manager. The program manager must
4.1verify the information and forward it to the animal control authority and the Department
4.2of Public Safety.

4.3 Sec. 9. [347.65] LOCATION OF CLASS.
4.4Responsible dog owner classes must be offered to dog owners at locations
4.5determined by the program manager on a quarterly basis, as needed.

4.6 Sec. 10. [347.66] TRANSFER OF OWNERSHIP.
4.7If ownership of a dangerous or potentially dangerous dog is transferred to another
4.8person, the new owner must take a responsible dog owner class and pass the test.

4.9 Sec. 11. [347.67] STATEWIDE RECORDS; REPORTING; DATABASE.
4.10A database must be maintained by the Department of Public Safety containing
4.11records of all dogs in Minnesota declared potentially dangerous or dangerous, and
4.12owner information, including any convictions for violations of section 347.51; 347.515;
4.13347.56; 609.205, subdivision 4; or 609.226, subdivision 1 or 2; and any dogs owned
4.14by that person that have been ordered destroyed under section 347.56, as well as other
4.15information pertinent to enforcement of sections 347.50 to 347.565. The database must
4.16also contain information regarding the test results of the responsible dog owner class.
4.17The commissioner of public safety, in consultation with animal control professionals,
4.18must determine what information will be kept in this database. This database must be
4.19accessible, only for purposes of law enforcement, to all police and sheriff departments
4.20and other local government departments responsible for conducting or overseeing animal
4.21control operations in their jurisdictions, with the exception that private animal control
4.22authorities contracted to local government agencies may only access these records
4.23through, and with the permission of, those local government agencies. All Minnesota law
4.24enforcement agencies and animal control authorities must report in a timely manner to the
4.25Department of Public Safety any information required under this section.

4.26 Sec. 12. EFFECTIVE DATE.
4.27Sections 1, 3 to 6, 9, and 11 are effective the day following final enactment. Sections
4.282, 7, 8, and 10 are effective six months after that day.

*AUTHOR’S NOTE*

This bill was introduced one week prior to the State of New York bill that I had addressed last week.

It would seem to me that the lawmakers might want to consider enforcing their existing laws as opposed to this dreck which has absolutely no provisions for what constitutes responsible ownership, who makes that determination and who is responsible for the selection criterion for “Program Managers”, “Facilitators” or what constitutes appropriate curricula?

A state pronouncement does not extol one with the necessary virtues of either the actual training of a dog, nor the skills necessary for the instruction of a dog’s training.

What are these people smoking?

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Filed under Animal Welfare, Breed Specific Legislation, Dangerous Dogs, Dog Laws, Dog Politics, Dog Trainers, dog training, Dogs, Puppy Training

A Bit off the Beaten Path

I am confident that everyone is either in the grips of news about the Economy or the upcoming election. How this relates to our dogs is multi-fold.

When the economy suffers, there is a distinct rise in the surrender rates at shelters across the country as people determine the hierarchy of priorities for themselves and their families.

Animals suffer as a result.

As for the election, whom we vote for as our leaders determines the interventions and subsequent loss of freedoms that affect our ability to own the animals of our choice and care for them in a way that is beneficial and productive for both species.

Margot Woods of Applewoods Dog Training in Laurel Maryland has a few interesting additions to her blog regarding her views on Animal Rights verses Animal Welfare that address significant issues to animal owners in the United States of America.

It is important to understand that the political candidates who support such radical views as HSUS and PETA do so exclusively for one of two reasons. The first is the principal of money; the politician needs money to run his campaign and the HSUS and PETA operatives are quick in their approach to candidates who will gobble at the proverbial election campaign contribution “carrot on the stick”.

The second principal is simply one that the candidate may simply not be aware of the agendas and sign on in support because they are unfamiliar with the tactics and true ideals behind their new-found allies.

It is important for us to become more involved in the politics that determine not only our fates, but the fates of our animals, our rights to own them and care for them in time honored, respectful ways. The infringement of an oligarchy over the ownership of animals speaks directly to our rights as citizens of this nation and our rights under the Constitutional Laws of our fathers.

No one is opposed to animal WELFARE; the conscious and deliberate acts of protecting animals from abuse and cruelty. Do not be deceived however, by the conscious and deliberate acts of Animal Rights groups to strip you of your rights to own animals.

Forewarned is fore-armed.

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Filed under Animal Rights, Animal Shelters, Animal Welfare, Dog Politics, Uncategorized