Sunday, October 18, 2009

Time’s running out for this cute puppy

From our Facebook friend, Jennifer Warner:


Sooo cute!!! URGENT "Max" 5 month rednose chocolate kissabull pup is on the euth list if space is needed (so at any time) at the Pasadena shelter. Max was adopted out when he was tiny, but returned when their dog attacked him. His wounds healed perfectly. He is energetic and shelter staff reported he will play tug of war with the leash, and was stiff at first when introduced to the female tester dog, but then initiated play with a bow. Here's his adorable video of him showing off his sit like a star: -- please msg me if you can FOSTER or to adopt or rescue call 626-792-7151 for #A256278

Friday, October 16, 2009

Vick’s insincerity becoming more apparent

Earlier this week BAD RAP, the Oakland-based pit bull rescue organization that was instrumental in determining the fate of the Vick dogs, made the difficult decision of extending to Michael Vick an invitation to visit with some of his former dogs while Vick is in town with his new team, the Philadelphia Eagles, to play against the Oakland Raiders on Sunday.

Although it may have been a painful meeting it would have been an opportunity to bring healing and closure on many levels. It would have been a positive gesture on Vick’s part toward the rescue community, pit bull advocates, and dog lovers in general, not to mention the dogs themselves.

Vick didn’t even bother to answer himself. Through the Eagles’ PR director he declined.

Considering the fact that Vick has never mentioned the dogs in his many apologies and that his participation in the Humane Society of the United States’ anti-dog fighting campaign has consisted of three speeches at community-based events Vick seems to be coming way short of his pre-prison term promise to “redeem” himself.

His “no” answer also brings up other questions.

Whose advice is he following or is this solely his decision? If it was for legal reasons would he want to if legalities were not an issue?

As of this writing it has been a little more than 24 hours since Vick’s “no” to BAD RAP made the news. BAD RAP has a full post about it on their blog site. In Defense of Animals has a story along with plans for a protest at this Sunday’s game. The story’s being reported by all major news agencies. Since Vick now works with the HSUS why have they remained absolutely silent about it? I’ve been monitoring their website along with HSUS President Wayne Pacelle’s blog site. There hasn’t been a peep. What is the HSUS’s position on Vick’s answer? As the one animal rights organization that chose to associate themselves with him I think they owe us an explanation.

If this answer was solely Vick’s decision I’d like to know why. Is it that he doesn’t care about them and couldn’t be bothered? Are you too ashamed? Are you afraid of looking those dogs in the face or facing the questions of their new owners?

Are you afraid that the dogs might remember you? Are you afraid that they might attack you like you trained them to do or are you afraid they’ll cower?

In Defense of Animals is planning a peaceful protest of Vick at the Raiders-Eagles game at the Oakland Coliseum this Sunday. Visit the IDA website for more details.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

BSL issue heats up in Denver

From the Denver Daily News:

Were innocent dogs killed?

Pit bull advocates wonder if city has put down misidentified dogs

Peter Marcus, DDN Staff Writer
Tuesday, October 13, 2009

“Pit bull advocates would like to know just how many innocent dogs have been killed by the city simply because the dogs were wrongly identified as being part of the banned breed.

Suggesting that hundreds of innocent dogs may have been killed by the city, advocates are calling for an immediate re-evaluation of the city’s controversial ordinance.

At the center of the debate is a recent case in which an administrative judge ruled that animal control officers wrongly labeled a boxer-mix as a pit bull. Three so-called experts with Denver Animal Care and Control had labeled Kevin O’Connell’s dog Dexter a pit bull. But O’Connell’s own experts — American Kennel Club judges and professional dog handlers — testified last week that Dexter was in no way a pit bull.

The ruling was a victory for O’Connell and Dexter — but it came with a price. The owner will spend thousands of dollars in legal and city fees by the time all his bills are paid — all for an error on the city’s part. He will even need to pay boarding fees for the 10 days his dog was locked up — during which time Dexter developed kennel cough just from being inside the shelter.

While O’Connell was fortunate enough to have the money to fight for his dog, many are not, pointed out Jennifer Edwards, founder of the Wheat Ridge-based Animal Law Center and O’Connell’s lead attorney. She and her organization believe hundreds of dogs wrongly identified as pit bulls may have already been killed by the city or are currently sitting on “pit bull row.”

“It desperately needs to be addressed,” said Edwards. “I am positive that there are potentially hundreds, if not thousands of dogs that are similarly situated to Dexter, and I think that we need to call into question Denver’s procedures as far as their breed recognition and determination of these prohibited breeds.””

Click here for the full text of the article.

The horror of what’s taking place to Denver’s pit bulls can easily happen in any community where BSL is allowed to pass. That’s why we cannot give up and continue to fight. Kudos to the anti-BSL movement in Denver for not accepting defeat.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Dog fighting ring busted in Buffalo

This is from the Buffalo News. The full article can be read here.

This is one of three pit bulls found Thursday at 39 Laurel St., where the attic floor was coated with animal waste.

Harry Scull Jr./Buffalo News

Battle against dogfighting brings rescue of 25 pit bulls

In less than 24 hours, dogs found at 6 sites by animal control officers

By Lou Michel


Updated: October 09, 2009, 12:34 AM / 3 comments

In the battle to halt illegal dogfighting in Buffalo, animal control officers rescued 25 pit bulls in less than 24 hours at six locations.

Score a win for the battered and scarred dogs now safe in sanitized kennels at the city's Animal Shelter on North Oak Street. The owners of the dogs have not claimed them, and no arrests have been made so far.

In rescuing the dogs, animal control officers once again yanked back a curtain exposing the secretive world of dogfighting.

It wasn't a pretty picture.

"This dog was tied to a one-foot leash at the top of the stairs leading to the attic. You can see where railings to the banister have been chewed," said animal control officer Mark Young, pointing to wooden posts that were nearly shredded in half.

In the attic at 39 Laurel St. were even more disturbing sights: animal waste coating the floor, shredded stuffing from seat cushions, kennels bedded with straw to keep down the flea population, and dry dog food scattered amid the filth.

What’s more disturbing is the first reader comment below the article:

“I hope every da.n one of those pitbulls are put down.
An absolutely worthless and very dangerous canine.
I will not enter a building/home that houses a pitbull nor will I interact with any moron who publicly displays their total lack of concern by walking a pitbull w/out a muzzle.
The owners should be forced to wear muzzles as well.”

This is the kind of ignorance and prejudice we’re fighting. I hope this helps serve to spur us on to keep going.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Michael Vick’s new Nike commercial

The new commercial was recently debuted on the Jimmy Kimmel show.  Check it out.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Top honors given to Richmond dog park recently named it’s “Top 10 Dog Parks in the U.S.”. Topping the list is the dog park at Point Isabel in Richmond, California.

Having visited the park a few times myself I can tell you first hand what a great place it is to take your dog for a terrific off-leash experience. It’s located on the shores of the San Francisco Bay so there’s a usually a cinematic (but often fogged) view of the San Francisco skyline.

At the park’s entrance you’ll find the Sit & Stay Cafe where you can enjoy some very good sandwiches, gourmet coffee, sodas and ice cream. Situated right next to it is Mudpuppy’s which offers a dog wash along with treats, doggy toys, leashes, and other supplies. Many dog owner clubs use the facilities for meet-ups.

The approximately 1/2 mile paved path turns inward where a creek runs alongside giving water loving dogs a nice opportunity to romp and get themselves nice and muddy. Not to worry about the dirty factor, there’s a rinse-off at the end of the path.

I’ve only been there a few times but it’s always a treat to see dogs of all sizes running and playing together, catching frisbees, and just having a pleasant off-leash walk with their owners.

If you live in the San Francisco Bay Area and haven’t yet paid a visit, come see for yourself why this is the best dog park in the nation. You won’t regret it.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Please help this victim of extreme cruelty

From Facebook (warning: the pictures on the link are extremely graphic):cezar

The story:
”My sister called me today while I was doing transport for the pregnant pitty. She had went to a yard sale in Kings Mtn, NC. The guy came out side and a dog came out with him that was skin and bones. The guy yelled at the dog and forced it back inside. When the dog turned around my sister noticed the back end of the dog was missing and appeared to have flies and bugs all over it. She called me....

I called animal control who did go there and the man denied it. He said the dog ran away. The officer searched his house and property but no dog was found. After speaking to a neighbor I confirmed the dog has been there for the last year or two and has been roaming the neighborhood with this wound for at least 2 weeks. I decided to take matters into my own hands and went and explained to the gut that I was not with animal control and am an independent rescuer and that if he would sign the dog over to me I would get it taken care of. He said ok and went outside and got the dog out of a drain pipe. He put the dog in my car and signed the papers. I informed animal control of this and he said he would take care of it from there.

The owner, if that is what you call him, claims the dog chewed his tail off and he could not afford to take it to the vet. In my opinion the it looks like an axe was used and chopped his tail off to make a wound for a bait dog.

Now, I have the dog at my house. If anyone is interested in helping with medical bills please let me know. The Shar Pei rescue of Virgina has agreed to take the dog if they can find a home for it. Until then he is here at my house.

10/3/09: I brought Cezar to the vet and vet tech at my local animal control who suggested that I get him on antibiotics and pain medications ASAP. I started him on some Keflex and Tramadol. They gave him a rabies vaccine. I brought him home and made him a soft bed which after he did his scratching the blanket to make it comfy just for him he took a nap. I gave him dinner and had to give water by syringe. He slept well.

7:00 AM 10/4/09: I got up this morning to check on Cezar and took him outside where he did urinate and then promptly wanted to go back in. He ate his breakfast but still did not want to drink water so I gave it to him by syringe again. He looked up at me and gave me some kisses. I cried my eyes out. He then went back to his bed an went to sleep.

10:00AM 10/4/09: Got a message from Samatha that she knew a vet that would see him today. I went and got Cezar and he went to his water bowl and drank by himself. Went outside and he urinated again and then off to the vet.

11:15 AM 10/4/09: Just left the vet. The vet says that his wound looks older, but needs to be cleaned and have the rectum evaluated since the wound does encompass the rectum. The vet gave him a pain shot and is going to give him some anesthesia so the wound can be cleaned today. He is going to put in a drain to help the infection drain. He also think that one of Cezar's front legs has been fractured in the past and has healed bad, but does not appear to give him any problems. He says that he has typical Shar Pei eyes with excess skin and does not think the infection is a problem.

12:45 PM 10/4/09: Just got a call from the vet and he says Cezar did wonderful and is up and awake. He said there was a dead piece of bone lodged in the wound (probably part of his tail) that he removed. He did put a few stitches in that area because it was so deep. He said it will need to granulate closed. As for his rectum he said that it was not as bad as we expected and is actually barely involved in the injury, just towards the bottom of the wound. He is keeping him overnight and will call me tomorrow. He thinks that Cezar will be just fine.

Thanks to Samantha Hodge, I was able to get a vet to take him in today with out emergency charge fees:

Dr. Thomas A Wallrichs, DVM
Animal Hospital of East Burke
202 Eldred St, NE
Valdese, NC 28690
***Please let him know how much you appreciate him coming in on a Sunday morning to take care of Cezar!!!!

Donations can be sent to my paypal account I just set up for him: (Cezar's Medical Funds):

Marin Humane Society shuts down San Rafael pet adoption center

from the San Jose Mercury News

SAN RAFAEL — The Marin Humane Society shut down an animal rescue group's San Rafael operations after uncovering "shocking conditions" at the center.

The Milo Foundation was forced to close its adoption center and animal holding site at 2060 Fourth St. on Friday, one day after an inspection by the Marin Humane Society uncovered health and safety violations including triple the number of dogs and cats allowed at the site, animals living in their own feces and untreated for contagious diseases and inadequate staffing or medical supervision.

"It was overwhelming," said Capt. Cindy Machado of the Marin Humane Society. "After witnessing shocking conditions for the animals at Milo in San Rafael, we issued a directive to the Milo Foundation that operations at its San Rafael facility must stop immediately."

Machado said last week's inspection was in response to complaints of mismanagement at the San Rafael site. In July, she accompanied an inspection of the foundation's sanctuary in Willits by the Humane Society of the United States that uncovered similar animal health and safety issues of inadequate housing and lack of care. That inspection was prompted by complaints from former sanctuary staffers.

Lynn Tingle, Milo's executive director, disputed the allegations, although she agreed the center had more dogs on hand than its city permit allowed. She said the foundation was in the process of requesting the city to update its permit to allow an additional 10 dogs on site.

"I disagree with their findings," said Tingle, of Berkeley. "I just think there's a big difference between animal control and animal rescue. We're about saving lives. We're going to fight this."

The foundation surrendered 19 animals to the Marin Humane Society for treatment.

The San Rafael center opened in 2008. The nonprofit foundation was created in 1994 to provide homes for unwanted pets.

The Milo Foundation is a reputable and well-established animal rescue in the San Francisco Bay Area and has found homes for countless cats and dogs over the years. Let’s hope their issues get resolved and the adoption center gets to re-open soon.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Update on a volunteer’s journey

My June 21, 2009 posting was about my attempt to join the volunteers at the Contra Costa County Animal Services facility in Martinez, California. I haven’t posted an update because, well, there’s nothing to report.

I didn’t realize this at the time, but until recently I’ve been ineligible because, frankly, I’ve been an irresponsible dog owner. The county requires that any volunteer that owns dogs must have their registrations up to date and I had foolishly allowed one of my dogs’ registrations to expire. This has now been taken care of.

I will be giving the shelter’s director a call this week to see whether or not I need to re-apply. Stay tuned and cross your fingers.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Another dog magazine to avoid: Atomic Dogg

While visiting a local book store’s magazine section I ran across a title I had never seen before nestled amongst all the dog magazines. I had never seen a copy nor had ever heard of “Atomic Dogg”. I turned to the first page of the magazine and was instantly disappointed. It was a full page ad from a pit bull breeder.

With trepidation I began thumbing through the rest of it, finding more and more to dislike with each turn of the page. There were pictures from various “bully events” that all had a similar theme to them. Tough guys in their best gansta poses holding their pit bulls that I guess were supposed to look similarly “gangsta”. Most were heavily muscled with cropped ears. Many were wearing collars with long metal spikes. There were a few pictures of dogs doing dead weight pulls.

What was even more disturbing were the breeder ads. They all boasted of things like their dogs being from “Gotti” and “Razor’s Edge” breeding lines and impressive pedigrees. This is the same kind of breed prejudice that produces the slanderous attitude that shelter dogs are somehow inferior.

Sprinkled throughout the magazine were a couple of phrases that might sound good to the rescue community, “helping to dispell the myth” and “stop BSL”. But not a word about “shelter” or “rescue”.

Even the pictures of the dogs themselves were disturbing. All the adult pits had their ears cropped and were all so heavily muscled they looked like they were all on steroids. Clearly, the owners of these dogs have gone to great lengths to give them a sinister appearance. It was particularly hard for me see pit bulls that looked that way. There are two things I love about the way pit bulls look. In addition to their big goofy smiles their ears are just the right length for them to give them the absolute perfect-looking ear flop. Seeing all those cropped ears just made me cringe.

Out of a morbid curiosity I visited their web site. (I’m not going to put a link to it.) The home page has videos that start playing automatically when the site comes up. The videos themselves were uninteresting. More tough guys in gangsta poses, more roided out pits with cropped ears. What did pique my interest is that one video began by saying it was being sponsored by “Killinois Kennels”.

What? I looked again. I did see it correctly the first time. “Kill”-inois. At this point I had to know. It’s that same kind of curiosity that keeps you staring at a train wreck in spite of the moral part of your brain that tells you to stop.

Sure enough “KILLinois Kennels” were based out of Springfield, Illinois. On the home page they tell us “Our dogs will possess immense strength for such activities as weight-pulling, along with quickness & agility, as well as non-stop determination & drive. Our dogs do not sit in kennels all day; we have a very large yard and our dogs use every bit of it: they have 200 foot zip lines to run on all day and get the exercise they need.” Of course, there’s a disclaimer near the bottom of the page they’re not bred or sold for illegal purposes but who are they kidding? Hmm, what kind of person needs a dog that “possess immense strength”, and needs to have quickness, agility, non-stop determination, and drive? We’re certainly not talking about ones that are going to be taught to catch frisbees. And maybe they didn’t realize that outside of the dog fighting community telling us that they’re chained dogs is not you should be boasting about.

Did I say dog fighting? I’ve been dancing around that term the whole time just like this magazine does. They might as well call this rag “Dog Fighting Illustrated”. At best it’s dog fighting culture they’re promoting.

Another cute catchphrase they used was, “protecting the breed”. This is what these people use to justify their activities as breeders. Don’t be fooled into thinking they’re doing something noble. These people are the rescue community’s worst enemy. It’s not bad enough that they’re breeders, but they’re breeding pit bulls. Aren’t our shelters filled enough with unwanted pits?

Let’s be frank about why they are on the same side as us when it comes to BSL. They don’t care about the injustice of breed prejudice like we do, it’s because it would hurt their pit bull breeding businesses. For people like us BSL is an issue compassion and justice, for them it’s all about protecting their bank accounts.

If you should happen to see this piece of trash magazine at your local book seller or newsstand please encourage the owner to stop carrying it. I’ll publish a copy of the letter I’m sending to Barnes & Noble.

And just FYI, frisbee-catching pit bulls do exist. One of them is named Wallace, and he’s incredible! And guess what? He’s a rescued shelter dog. Wallace’s owner also fosters Hector, a Vick dog


Friday, October 2, 2009

Orphaned newborn chihuahua taken in by an unlikely foster mother

If you’re the type of dog lover that doesn’t particularly care for cats take a look at this news report from 3TV in Phoenix.  You may feel a little different about them afterwards.