Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The Truth About Pit Bull Owners

Today is the day I unveil The Truth About Pit Bull Owners. I am a Pit Bull Owner and thus have intimate knowledge about The Truth. All shall be revealed. Consider yourself honored. I am risking life and limb distributing The Truth, but I feel it is very important.

Peter Gelzinis of The Boston Herald knows a little about The Truth. He is not a Pit Bull Owner, though, and so I feel it is my moral obligation to reinforce the discriminatory, irrational, hyperbolic stereotypes. I MEAN TRUTHIES.


1. We want machine guns because they have teeth that can shred our beer cans. Figure that one out for yourself, you plebes.

2. We do not own anything more valuable than our Pit Bulls. For example, I own a home, but Mina is worth more than that home. I also own a SUV, but Mina is worth more than the Ford Escape Hybrid (sorry Henrietta). Millions of studies have shown Pit Bull Owners do not own anything more expensive than their Pit Bulls.

3. We are part of a secret society that adores discrimination, racism, and prejudice. Why bother with self-flagellation when we can get Peter Gelzinis to smack us silly with his tiny words of -isms?

4. We want to intimidate you with our dogs, because we have machine guns and drugs to protect.

Be intimidated. That's a kevlar vest she's wearing (she's worth more than the vest too). It's stylish.

Mina is stylin in the rain

Monday, June 28, 2010

Around the Intarwebz

Two postal workers are recovering from dog attacks. The first was bitten by a German Shepherd. The second suffered extensive leg injuries after being mauled by an Azores cattle dog. The bites took place in Hamilton, Ontario - Pit Bulls are essentially banned.

Another woman in Ontario is looking for the owner of the German Shepherd who bit her on the thigh. The dog was leashed at the time of the bite, and the owner didn't bother to stop and help her, even after she implored him to.

A reporter writes about finding a home for a stray Pit Bull she helped.

A Labrador Retriever who bit a young female cyclist has been euthanized in Montrose, CO.

A zoo director's Great Dane has been banned from coming to work after biting several people.

After biting a woman who pet him while in the bed of a truck, a Great Dane was euthanized. The owner later found out that killing her pet didn't necessarily have to happen.

Two loose Jack Russell Terriers attacked someone in the UK, inflicting several bite wounds.

Do you feel that all those undocumented workers are stealing jobs and basking in the glory that is sub-minimum-wage w/o benefits? Well, now's your chance to take the jobs back!! If you're an American citizen and want to do the job undocumented workers are doing, sign up now! Have at it, bitchy-whiny America.

An unfortunate incident left a 3-yr-old with a bite to the face. The dog, a Chesapeake Bay Retriever, had been left alone outside of a shopping mall. The dog was tied to a bench. The little girl, whose parents were tourists, wandered 8' from her parents and approached the dog, who bit her once in the face. This may be unpopular, but leaving dogs unattended without a muzzle is a bad idea. Theft is a possibility, as is a dog reacting inappropriately (or appropriately) to a situation like this. Stop assuming that because your dog has never bite that they never will.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Billy The Kid Gets Sick, Then Better

Billy the kid likes to nom on sticks

This is Billy the Kid. He is toddler-energy embodied - leaping, jumping, twisting, nomming his way through life.

A few days ago, he got really sick. He was rushed to the vet hospital. We weren't sure he would make it.

But he did.

For that, we are thankful. The vets think acute respiratory distress syndrome, which is their fancy way of saying we're not sure what's wrong, just be glad he's alive.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Around the Intarwebz

A farm dog in the UK jumped through the front window of a car where a baby was left unattended. The dog mauled the child, causing severe injuries to the child's leg. The dog was killed. The dog was a Border Collie and the child nearly had to have his leg amputated. According to family members, the dog leaped into the car because he was "jealous".

A toddler in Youngstown, Ohio was bitten several times by the neighbor's leashed Labrador-Cocker Spaniel mix. The child was bitten multiple times in the face.

Two dogs in New York have been attacked by does. The first dog, a 30lb dog, was killed. The most recent attack occurred in the dog's backyard. The dog, a German Shorthair Pointer, barked at the doe who then turned around and began attacking the dog. The dog didn't fight back and suffered some serious injuries but survived.

Golden-Labrador Retriever mix, Shirley, is good at detecting upcoming diabetic attacks for a 6-yr-old child.

A Presa Canario show dog escaped from her flight crate, leaped out of the landed plane, and decided to take a swim in Flushing Bay. She did not eat anyone during her capture.

Probe of fatal Pit Bull attack inconclusive. The dog found near the scene and "accused" of killing the girl actually didn't - none of the dog's DNA matched. Another dead dog was tested but tests were inconclusive.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

A Golden Retriever Article That Reads Like a Pit Bull Article

At first, I thought this was a mock article on how ridiculously hyperbolic the news media often is with Pit Bull attacks.

Turns out to be a report on an actual dog attack.

The title: "Rampaging Retriever Attacks 81-Yr-Old New Bedford Woman".

I even took a screen shot.

This article even had the classic "ugly dog moment", "That dog had an ugly face and he was mean,"

Here's a more restrained version, just as back-up.

Anyway, the Golden Retriever bit someone two years ago. He's 14, so he could just be a cranky old man-dog who likes to eat old women.

This incident occurred after the dog escaped from his co-owner. He tried to bite a funeral home director, when he turned his attention on an elderly woman. He bit her a couple times, then was distracted by two men who intervened. He tried to attack them. One of the men busted out a screw-driver and told police he was going to kill the dog if they didn't arrive soon.

Animal control arrived as did police. Now, let me tell you what would have been different if this dog had been a Pit Bull - he'd be shot. The dog was so aggressive that officers drew their weapons, preparing to shoot him. Animal control was finally able to lasso the dog and took him to the shelter.

We'll see if the dog is euthanized or released back to his owner. 

New Bedford, by the way, wants to ban Pit Bulls.

Northwest Police Kill Dog In Bathroom

Police knocked on the door of Marietta Robinson, a 62-yr-old grandmother. They had a search warrant to search her property for drugs and paraphernalia belonging to her grandson. Granted, her grandson hadn't lived there for thirteen years, but whatevs.

Robinson told the officers it was fine for them to search the house, so long as she could place her dog in a confined area - in the bathroom or backyard. Should have picked the car. The officer said yes, and she placed her dog in the bathroom.

During the search, officers ransacked her home, looking for the property of a man who hadn't lived there for 13 years, some idiot officer opened the bathroom door. There is some discrepancy about what happened next. Either the officer opened fire on the 100lb dog or the dog bit the shoe of the officer, and then the police shot her. Regardless, in a brilliant display of savagery, officers shot the dog eight times. Overkill, much?

Officers found empty fortune cookie bags and called it drug residue. They also used her water cooler to wash the blood off of their hands.

War on drugs - SUCCESS! I mean, can't we just call Mission Accomplished?

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Around the Intarwebz

Sweet story of two Pit Bulls in West Palm Beach- the female stayed with her male buddy, even though he could barely keep up with the 20 lb chain dragging after his 30 lb-self. Animal control named them Brains and Brawn. You may guess who is who. You can see them here. Please note, they did not eat the two men who stopped to help them. Magical Pit Bulls, I guess.

Tide may be turning for Denver's Pit Bull ban (sorta).

This dog looks like a Lab Mix being labeled as a Pit Bull Mix. Thoughts?

Faith is needed to end spill. Hey, I may be agnostic, but if it won't hurt, I say go for it.

When I was a kid and idle, I made up imaginary friends or took a bike ride - I didn't beat puppies to death. I think beating puppies to death is an indicator of something more serious than simple boredom.

Monsanto is now allowed to plant pesticide-resistant genetically modified alfalfa seeds, per the Supreme Court. Thanks, justices.

Wild sharks testing positive for antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Good job, people, spreading the antibiotic-resistant love.

A woman who sued her parents after their dog bit her in the face has lost the $100,000 insurance claim. Geez, thanks kid! Pit bulls never sue you!

A loose German Shepherd with a history of aggression against other dogs attacks and nearly kills a Saluki mix.

Monday, June 21, 2010

San Bernardino - Press-Enterprise Mis-Reports

Calgary with it's 150 dog bites a year should just stop what they're doing and look to San Bernardino where the Press-Enterprise reports that there have been a grand total of six dog attacks (all the dogs are accused to be Pit Bulls, including these five mixed breed dogs).

In response, San Bernardino County wants to castrate all Pit Bulls and Pit Bull Mixes.

My response would be - do whatever San Bernardino is doing, because hey! they only have 6 attacks every six months!!

Except that isn't true, of course. The Press-Enterprise is lying to you. True fact!

Actually, San Bernardino is lying to you. Here's what I assume is what the Press-Enterprise is using for their story.

First Claim: In the past five years, there have been four dog-bite related fatalities, ALL attributed to Pit Bulls:
* 2006, Phelan, San Bernardino County: A man who trespassed with his girlfriend onto the property of a meth lab was killed by the 8 Pit Bull Mixed breed guard dogs living there.
* 2007, Yerma, San Bernardino County: A woman walking was attacked by four dogs. The dogs were owned by a man who had multiple, previous complaints against him and these four dogs. Apparently, SB Animal Control didn't do much. The dogs are first identified as Pit Bulls, then Pit Bull mixes, then Pit Bull types, then breed isn't mentioned.
* 2010, San Bernardino A toddler was killed by a resident Pit Bull who had been with the family 3.5 months. The father had left the child alone with two dogs, he was killed by one. The dogs are not pets. They lived in a backyard their entire lives.
* 2010, Apple Valley, San Bernardino County, A toddler is killed by the family's Pit Bull after the child is left alone in the backyard together with the dog.

Second Claim: In the past six-months there have been a grand total of six vicious dog attacks, all by Pit Bulls:
* This includes the two fatalities.
* The other four attacks?
  • See above - 5 mixed breed dogs, none of whom were Pit Bulls, several had merle coloring (not a APBT coloring) escaped and mauled three children.
  • 1 dog-dog attack fatality
  • 1 dog-dog attack
  • 1 attack by 3-loose dogs, identified as Pit Bulls
So, one of the attacks wasn't inflicted by Pit Bulls at all. Two were dog-dog attacks. One was a Pit Bull attack, so far as the media and witnesses are concerned.

But the heart of the claim is that there have only been six vicious dog attacks in San Bernardino County, and only by Pit Bulls.

Not true.

From 2008-2009, there were 686 dog bites. 20% were from dogs identified as Pit Bulls, but as we have already seen, officials in San Bernardino county have a problem identifying Pit Bulls.

Apparently none of those victims qualify as "vicious enough" to be included in San Bernardino's attack on the testicles and uteruses of dogs who look a certain way. If only they had been bitten by possible Pit Bulls, then they too could have been in the news. As it stands, none of them got their chance at 15 minutes of fame. If it isn't a Pit Bull, it just isn't sexy enough to sell.

I'm not sure what San Bernardino is attempting to do with their proposed legislation. They are not going to reduce dog bites. They are not going to improve public safety. They are probably not going to put much of a dent in the Pit Bull population, either. Places with BSL, contrary to what certain anti-dog zealots might say, don't see improved public safety, don't see money well spent, don't see elimination of Pit Bulls or biting Pit Bulls. But places like Calgary do. Why emulate a systemic failure when there are paragons of success easily available?

Montgomery Advertiser Uses Pit Bull Photo for Husky Problem

Prattville residents want tougher dog laws. The media covering this story choose to use the picture to the left to depict "dangerous dogs". This is like the go-to picture when anything about "dangerous dogs" comes up. Usually, it's a diatribe on the evils of Pit Bulls because clearly a Staffordshire Bull Terrier straining at a leash and barking is a threat to all life on earth (no other dog on earth has been known to bark and have poor leash manners).

The reason for the tougher dog law suggestion?

A husky who has killed one dog and chased both people and other dogs.

And people claim there isn't a media bias? 

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Kern County's New Licesning Plan Working

In January Kern County implemented a new licensing program called PEET - Public Education Enforcement Team. Kern County Animal Control hired two people to implement the program, at a cost of $66,000 annually.

The two officers would go door-to-door and speak with dog owners about licensing. But they didn't just issue fix-it tickets or cite anyone for a lack of a license. Instead, they timed the door-to-door program to coincide with upcoming rabies vaccination clinics. Folks could get their dogs vaccinated cheaply and get a license at the same time.

Dog owners can purchase a yearly license or a 3-yr-license. For castrated animals, a yearly license is $15, 3-yrs is $30 (way better deal). For unaltered animals, it is much more expensive - $60/year for one-year or $120 for three years. There is a senior citizen discount for neutered dogs. Kern County makes it relatively easy to license dogs and offers an online renewal service.

After six months, the program was recently evaluated. And it's working.

I don't have hands on the actual data, but the program has brought in $104,000, a profit of $38,000.

The profit will be used directly for low-cost spay and neuter programs.

I think this program works for the following reasons:
  • It does not criminalize dog owners. 
  • It dedicates two staff members to the program. That is, it's not being foisted on often over-burdened animal control officers.
  • It includes and focuses on education, using a non-offensive approach.
  • It ties in the door-door program with upcoming low-cost rabies vaccine clinics with the ability to license.
  • It includes information on low-cost spay/neuter programs and, most importantly, uses the profits from the licensing fees for low-cost neuter programs.
  • It makes it easy for people to re-new licenses online and easier to license offline.
And guess where Kern County got a lot of its ideas? Calgary (another look). The model city for a properly run animal control. They have a 91% dog licensing compliance rate and, for dogs, a 6% kill rate. It's easy to get a license in Calgary - they offer them practically everywhere, and unlike in the US, you don't need a rabies vaccine to get a license. Makes sense - the easier you make it to get a license, the more likely it is people will get it. Of course, we can't offer the rabies exemption until laws are changed, so Kern County has tried to find a way around that by pushing licensing around low-cost rabies clinics. They could (and may) offer free rabies vaccines and licenses as well.

It took Calgary almost 20 years to get where it's at, so don't expect miracles in Kern County. However I think it's impressive that they've been able to fund this education program within the first six months of its implementation.. I wish them the best - Kern County has a hi-kill rate and very low licensing compliance rates...any improvement is good.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

La Grange Police Kill Restrained, Non Aggressive Dog, VIDEO

And thankfully (not for the dog) it is all caught on video. This is why video should always be made public in these types of situations. They generally show dogs who are not dangerous enough to warrant such violent reaction from authorities. Video here and here. These are 5-10 minutes of a 68-minute long video. The longer video includes footage of police chaining the dog to a mobile home as well.

On March 31st, a mixed breed dog got loose.

A woman calls police after she claims the dog growls at her daughter. The dog is so dangerous that the same woman who called police leashes the dog and chains her to a mobile home. Talk about fearing for her life!

La Grange, Missouri police arrive in all their glory. Two full grown men with guns drawn are ready to take on this stoic, non-aggressive dog. The dog is so incredibly frightening that she is easily rechained to the truck.

When the first attempt to loop a catch pole over the dog's head fails, officers back off.

You see once again how violent this dog is - she sits down, and then in a final act of pre-mauling behavior, she lies down. A few minutes pass and the officers try to catch pole the dog again.

The dog is scared. She rears up and nips briefly at the catch pole. The officer shows how inept he is at dragging a dog over to a confined area by letting the dog run around him in circles. La Grange doesn't have an animal control department, and no one appears to have taught the police how to use a catch pole or what to do with a dog once caught.

Because instead of loading the dog up into a crate or the back of a confined truck, the officer drags the dog over to a grassy area, pauses while the dog just stands there, and shoots her in the chest.

The dog drops down. In a last-ditch effort to appease the officer, she wags her tail. For several seconds, she is down, wagging her tail, while the officer holds tightly onto the catch pole.

Finally, he shoots her in the head, killing her.

This is outrageous. The dog exhibited absolutely NO behavior that warranted two bullets. None. Nada. Zilch. According to officers, she was "violent"and "vicious" prior to the shooting. None of the video footage supports that. Growling and barking does not a vicious, violent dog make. Being able to leash and chain a dog up indicates a low-level threat.

Both officers had tasers. But instead of utilizing a less lethal weapon, they decided to mercilessly shoot down and kill a dog who, in her final seconds of life, wagged her tail at her killer.

There are a few petitions going around about this issue. This one has about 1,300 signatures. Feel free to sign it. Caveat: I think petitions are meaningful when they are from locals and accompanied by follow-up contact, but I have qualms about their efficacy as avenues of change.

Rest in peace, Cammie. You deserved a lot more - from your owner, from your breeder, and certainly from the La Grange police department.

The video is not gory. It is heart-wrenching and graphically tragic.

Rescued Goat Versus Camera Bag

Billy the kid is as tall as a camera bag
The rescued goat is as large as my camera bag! He weighs 17 lbs, my camera bag might even weigh more than that!!

Celeste's Ear Infection

As a puppy, Celeste fought off ear infection after ear infection. This was in addition to a tick-born disease she had to be treated for, malnourishment, and a flea & tick infestation. For the past two years, she has been mostly ear-infection free.

Until now.

At first I thought a fox tail had embedded itself in her ear. The sanctuary is overloaded with them.

Since I moved here a few months ago, I had not attempted to find a veterinarian. Picking the right one is difficult. I need someone who is open to home-made diets, alternative treatments, and who shows more than a passing interest in me and the dogs. They must also like Pit Bulls and not withdraw in fear when they meet petite Mina.

I figured now was as best a time as any to try a new vet. This was dumb.

The vet clinic I picked offered acupuncture and some other alternative treatments, so I thought perhaps it would be a good choice.

When I arrived, I knew automatically I could never bring leash-reactive Mina. The waiting room, while long, was quite narrow and put dogs and cats in close contact with one another. Celeste can tolerate this, Mina cannot.

You had to sign in for the appointment. This is silly. At my other vet, when you set up an appointment, you arrived at that time and within 2-3 minutes, you were in a room. Usually less. I don't want to sit for more than 5 minutes in the waiting room. I know, picky of me.

We got Celeste's weight - FINALLY a nice 40 lbs (she was a bit chubtastic at 50 lbs, eep). Oh, I had to carry her. The floor was linoleum and not the kind Celeste can handle. Carrying 40 lbs is much lovelier than 50lbs.

The vet didn't take long making a diagnosis. Celeste did have a foxtail in her right ear, but the bad ear - her left - was full of pus and infection. She wanted to flush it out.

I was already unimpressed with the dingy and dirty floors, and became even less impressed with the vet's demeanor. She was fine with Celeste, which is all I care about, but as a brand-new client, you'd think she'd want to spend more than 1.5 minutes getting to know me and my dog.

As they took Celeste back for the flushing, I made the fatal error of not requesting to go with them. Fifteen minutes later, Celeste is back. I had never seen her that stressed. Her mouth was wide-open, gums bright red, tongue dry and panting like she was stuck in the mojave desert. Both her eyes were completely bloodshot. I had to hand-feed her the water, she was too scared to drink out of the bowl. I sat on the floor with her, and all she could do was stick her panting mouth in my face and stare.

The vet said she was a trooper.

Flushing out a painful, infected ear is not fun for the dog. I would have preferred a light sedation and so would have Celeste. It took her quite awhile to come down from that stress, which I felt was entirely unnecessary.

In the end, I got what I knew I needed, which was some otic antibiotic treatment. Celeste also got some anti-inflammatory meds. I left paying a $150 vet bill for a physical Celeste didn't get and overpriced medication.

It's been a few days and Celeste's ear looks a lot better. The vet was concerned it might be antibiotic-resistant bacteria, but I'm hoping it's running in fear from the antibiotic goop I've been jamming in Celeste's ear.

Celeste has indeed been a trooper. She puts up with a lot, even though she is a lot more sensitive than stoic Mina.

I do indeed love this little mexi-mutt.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Around the Intarwebz

Even carnivores aren't really carnivores, apparently! A new study shows that foxes and martens are key dispersal animals for the rowan tree seeds. They love eating the fallen fruit and help spread the love that is the rowan all across the land.

Two Labs and a Border Collie ran nesting birds off of a cliffside and killed several chicks. Their owners encouraged the behavior while also throwing rocks at the birds. I guess columnist Jack Spillane might want to rethink his position that it's only Pit Bull owners who are "aggressive".

Classic media bias. Title = Woman uses Pit Bull to hold deputies at bay. The dog is a Pit Bull Chow Mix.

Inbred beetle sperm fertilize fewer eggs. True fact!

A Labrador Retriever Mix has been declared dangerous after the dog attacked a woman. The woman's dog interfered and was also mauled. A UPS delivery man who tried to help was attacked as well.

A 7-yr-old boy who beat his neighbor's dog to death has been considered too young to try for any crimes. Sad story all around.

Rally held in Sacramento protesting the proposed massive budget cuts to the county's animal shelter.

A Husky or Japanese Akita attacked and bit several times a Jack Russell Terrier in the UK.

Vague story about a St. Bernard left abandoned outside of a shelter. An elderly volunteer who arrived in the morning approached the leashed dog and it charged him. The article says the dog attacked the volunteer but then says he just charged the any event, the dog was killed shortly thereafter without any fair evaluation. The owner is expected to turn himself in and be charged.

A pet owner in Florida is surprised that an alligator attacked and nearly killed her Pit Bull who she let sip water out of a pond (that has signs about the whole alligator business). The dog fought back and managed to survive.

The owner of Shih-Tsu who attacked a 5-yr-old boy is trying to save the dog's life. The dog ran from his property and immediately began to attack the child, who was playing in his own front yard. The dog bit him on the face and arm, causing 10-stitches worth of damage on the child's ear. The news article decides to use quotation marks around "dangerous".  Meanwhile, in Sioux City, another Shih-Tsu - who bit two children - has been granted a 2nd reprieve. The dog bit two children on two separate incidents and has yet to be declared dangerous.

Miley the dog is lucky.  She spent two days stuck in an illegal leg trap before a teenager found her and saved her. The dog's leg had to be amputated.

The owner of a  Great Dane who mauled a boy in Ohio has been told to just "keep the dog in the garage". The dog somehow got loose and attacked a 7-yr-old boy who may or may not have been throwing crab apples at the dog. The boy suffered multiple bite wounds and possible bone fractures from bites.

Gainesville police are investigating in incident in which a police officer unleashed his K-9 on a 10-yr-old boy who had run away from a police care out of fear of being hit. The dog bit the child on the leg. There is apparently no other way to handle a fleeing 85-lb 10-yr-old but with a large dog.

A Labrador Retriever bit a woman severely in the face after she asked to pet the dog and apparently "flailed her arms" (really?).

Ex-Slaughterhouse Worker Arraigned on Animal Cruelty Charges

Last year, the Humane Society of the United States investigated Bushway Packing, a slaughterhouse that kills young male dairy calves for the bob veal industry. What they found was appalling - animals were being skinned alive, slaughtered in front of other animals, prodded and hit while down.

This wasn't the first time the slaughterhouse had been accused of egregious animal abuse - a Food Safety inspector had tried to get the plant shut down before and was essentially fired for doing so. It took an undercover animal rights investigation for anything to change...sorta. The slaughterhouse re-opened recently but under a new name, even amidst an ongoing investigation.

Now, two employees are being charged with animal cruelty. One has been arraigned on two misdemeanor charges and, amazingly, one felony charge. He faces up to five years in prison and a piddly $9,000 fine. The second man is the co-owner who fled from the law and has a warrant out on him.

Anyone who saw the video would agree the animals were treated cruelly.

But what isn't talked about much is why these days-old calves are there in the first place. The veal industry exists because of the dairy industry. Bob veal is one incarnation in which extremely young, days-old calves are taken from their moms without nursing and transported many miles to slaughterhouses. Their pale, young flesh is then sold.

While I'm glad these ex-employees are being charged with animal cruelty, I feel it misses the point. They work in an industry that kills baby animals for a living, that requires maternal deprivation, and that steals breast milk meant for a calf and gives it to human beings. That seems pretty cruel to me.

Killing baby animals is not easy work. Calves are cute, gentle, sweet animals. They often look to nurse off of their killers. I imagine the only way to cope with the mass killing of calves would be to desensitize oneself. Unfortunately the side effects of this cognitive dissonance is exemplified in every single undercover investigation of animal production facilities - people do horrible things to animals once they stop seeing them as sentient, feeling beings.

Recent Goat Rescue

True fact: Goats do not make good surprise 50th birthday gifts.

They're cute, that's for sure. But when you don't live on acreage and instead in a more urban setting, they aren't really a good addition to the backyard crew.

This little goat is currently named Bill. That will probably change, because the worst thing you can name is a male goat is Bill or Billy. It's like naming a black dog Midnight.

Recent Goat Rescue

He is 3-mos-old and intolerably cute. He's a Boer mix and will have handsome horns when older. We would like to adopt him out - he's very personable and adoptable. He would like to go to a home with land and other goats. We will neuter him but will not dehorn him.

So, if you know of anyone in the northern California area who wants to adopt a companion (as in do not eat me) goat, let me know. There's an adoption fee and form to fill out.

Anyway, goats rule. They're not my favorite ruminant, but it's hard to resist a baby goat with a piece of straw sticking out of his mouth. He's on twice a day feedings and, as evidenced by the picture, trying his stomach out with some inedible straw. HE LIKES TO SLEEP IN YOUR LAP. Pretty precious.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Around the Intarwebz

A man is dead after being mauled by at least 9 dogs of various breeds in Ohio. It is unknown why the dogs attacked.

The owner of two German Shepherds who attacked a Golden Retriever and the dog's owner faces reckless endangerment charges.

A Malamute who ripped the shirt of a girl (the shirt ripping was called a bite and attack) inspired a fight between the dog's owner and the child's mother. Good lesson to teach!

A man was killed by his "pet" boa constrictor.

The Bernalillo County DA's dog is in the news again after biting her grandson in the face. The grandson was teasing the dog by giving him food. The dog bit someone who had teased him as well - by reaching over a fence and trying to pet him on the head. Apparently the owner is confused about what constitutes teasing. Last time I checked, feeding and petting are not mocking behaviors. The dog is an Old English Sheepdog.

A Great Pyrenees suffered brain trauma and subsequent behavioral problems after being beaten by an angry neighbor. The dog was accused of barking too much. The neighbor came over to complain and claims the dog, a large dog by the way, "attacked him". That attack was so severe that the man beat the dog's head with his cane - the dog needed 3 hours of emergency surgery to repair the damage. The man was fine. The dog changed after the attack and subsequently bit a cyclist. The dog has been euthanized and, strangely enough, the charges were dropped against the neighbor who beat the dog.

Companion therapy rabbits cuddle with seniors.

A lurcher cross attacked a Dandie Dinmont terrier.

Don't mess with groundhogs. They could be rabid and KILL YOU DEAD. Minus the kill you dead, except if you don't get the shots afterwards.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

True Fact About Chicks

They are cute. Here is one of 8 rescued chicks we recently took in. Mama is in the background. She is good.

Here's another true fact about chicks. They can be very serious.
Angry Chick

And then very, very innocent.

Serious Chick

Tortoise Love

I certainly hope the video-taker did not a) flip the tortoise over and b) would have helped the tortoise had the other one failed to do so.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Montgomery County Animal Care Kills Healthy, Adoptable Dogs

If you surrender a dog to the Montgomery County Animal Care and Control in Clarksville, Tennessee and they happen to look like one of the following breeds, consider that a dead dog walking:
* Pit Bull
* Akita
* Chow Chow
* Malamute
* Shar-Pei

The Montgomery shelter will consider Rottweilers and German Shepherds for adoption on a case by case basis, none are currently offered for adoption on their petfinder page.

A woman in Montgomery County found this out the hard way. She rescued a stray Pit Bull. The dog was friendly, but she was unsuccessful in finding a home for the dog. After two weeks, she brought the dog to the shelter where she was told the dog would possibly be placed.

Instead the dog was killed. It is the policy of Montgomery County Animal Care to kill dogs based on look, not behavior.

I like mission statements. They encompass the core values of an organization. Ideally, every municipal and non-profit entity should have one and should adhere to it.

Montgomery County Department of Animal Care includes this statement as part of their mission: "Promoting animal placements by increasing animal adoptions." and "To promote and enforce the humane treatment of the animal population."

In my mind, placing animals increases animal adoptions. Killing them based on physical structure alone does not.

Policies that end the lives of perfectly healthy, adoptable, temperamentally sound animals are bad ones. They have no place in a humane society. Either the shelter should change it's policy to better reflect it's discriminatory, dog-killing one or they should start considering the placement of dogs with wrinkles, sled dogs, dog with floofy hair, and dogs with mushy heads. I prefer the latter. The dogs probably do too. Every dog deserves a chance at a permanent home. Every dog.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Strange Title for Dog Attack Article

Rejected police dog bites, critically injures Midvale officer's toddler

Talk about a misleading title. Does it not make you think the dog has a history of biting or aggression? Or that he failed because he attacked the wrong people? That's the impression I get.

Turns out the dog has a degenerative eye condition. I wonder if this played a role in the attack.

The dog is a Belgian Malinois. He was being trained to detect narcotics and replace another dog. When it was discovered he had a medical condition, the officer had an option to keep him as a pet. Otherwise the dog would be sent back to California and, check it, the company that sold him would kill him. Nice. The officer chose to keep him as a pet.

Now, here is where it gets tragic. The dog has been with the family for one week. This is a dog in an entirely new environment AND with a medical condition that may affect his vision. He's put in a home with a small child, probably not something he is at all used to. In a really, really bad move, the child is left alone in the backyard with the dog.

For whatever reason, the dog began to attack the child. It took several minutes for the mother to pry the dog off of her son's head. The dog was incredibly focused on the attack. He did not harm the mom or attempt to bite anyone else.

There is a chance the toddler will die.

If you want a manual for what not to do with a brand-new dog - this would one of many cautionary tales that could be included.

A new dog placed in a new environment with people he is unfamiliar with and left alone with a child. This has nothing to do with his "rejected" status as a police dog and everything to do with responsible and safe care of a dog. When a small, physically sensitive, inquisitive toddler is around a brand-new dog, you have to go above and beyond "safe" and into "anal retentive". A toddler is no match for a dog.

I really hope the toddler pulls through. These stories are always so heart-breaking because they are so preventable.

Thanks, Horse Journals.Com

I'm serious.

A few days ago, a rescue dog who does not like horses was being taken for a walk by a volunteer at the Philadelphia Animal Welfare Society.

Philadelphia still offers tourists the opportunity to ride in a horse-drawn carriage. You can see where this is going.

The dog, described in every single article as a Pit Bull, became frightened, slipped her collar, and bit the horse. The horse kicked her, the carriage driver hit her on the head with his whip. The horse suffered a bite wound to his chest/leg, while the dog may have a broken leg from the encounter.

I think City Pittie has enough of a breakdown of the "attack" that I don't need to. She actually knows the dog, named Kelly, and has some personal insight into the situation that I can't offer.

The news media had a field day with the story - Pit Bull was in every single title.

The dog is a mixed breed. She may be part Pit Bull or American Bulldog or something. But she isn't a purebred APBT. For one, she has a double coat. reported the known facts of the story - a dog bit a carriage horse. And they do it in like a 100 words. Color me impressed.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Misdemeanor Case Pursued in Dog Bite Fatality

In November of 2009, Karen Gillespie set off from her home in White Mill, Kentucky to take some photographs of a schoolroom. She never returned home. A search revealed Gillespie dead, a victim of head wounds suffered during a dog attack.

The owner of the dog had run-ins with the law before. The dog in question and possibly another dog at the residence had attacked at least two people prior to Gillespie's death. This is a person who has shown an inability to keep his dogs properly confined and to keep dogs which have a propensity for aggression towards people.

In the original articles, the dog is described as a Pit Bull and an American Bulldog.

This is the dog:

That is not a Pit Bull or American Bulldog. That is a Boxer. And as you can see, he is not always aggressive. He is being physically manhandled by unknown, uniformed forensic inspectors.

Gillespie's husband had hoped a grand jury would indict the owner of the dog on felony level charges, but recently they discovered that that would not occur. Instead, the irresponsible owner faces misdemeanor charges stemming from the fatal attack. Even though this man showed a flagrant disregard for the safety of his neighbors and dog. Even though he knew his dog got loose and knew his dog was aggressive.

And that is the tragedy of it all. We have a dog owner who did not care about the law. He did not care about the safety of his neighbors. He did not care enough to properly confine or train his dog. He exhibited selfish behavior at the cost of a woman's life. Karen Gillespie should still be alive. She should still be tramping through the woods and fields by her home, enjoying life. She should be with her family, making memories.

But she's not, and her killer - the dog's owner - will face nothing more than a light tap on the wrist.

Dogs are notoriously safe animals. Even though they are toothy carnivores who convey messages with claws and teeth. More than 70 million of them live inside and outside of our homes, share our sofas, romp with us in fields and yards. They supervise our children, comfort our elderly, and provide support with a willingness few humans can muster. When that relationship breaks down, when people put dogs in situations they cannot handle - this is what happens. The Boxer pictured is not malicious. Dogs aren't capable of that. He reacted to a situation in a way we don't want our dogs to react. He acted like a dog in a human world, and that cost someone her life and the death of a dog. What an egregiously great unfairness!

How The Irish Waste Money

A year ago, a Pit Bull Cross escaped from his flat and went on a rampage so violent, so deadly, so filled with blood and gore that a woman had to get new shoes.

The dog bit the shoe of a guard. That bears repeating: The following story results from a bite to the shoe.

The officer was so shaken by the incident that she was able to walk the dog by the collar back to his flat. Wow.

After a year of social isolation in a shelter, the dog has been reunited with his owner. A whole year.

Now, do I think the owner of the dog is a responsible guardian? Not really. Someone who gets drunk all the time may not be the best person to have a dog.

I'm just glad the dog wasn't killed. This is unusual. I would prefer the dog went to a rescue agency and was placed in a more appropriate home, but I'll just hold on to the fact that the dog isn't you know, dead.

Golden Retriever Transformed into German Shepherd

A couple days ago, I posted a story in an "Around the Intarwebz" wrap-up about a "German Shepherd" attacking a smaller dog.

Turns out the dog - who bit both the smaller dog and the dog's owner - is actually a Golden Retriever.

German Shepherd biting dog = sexy. Golden Retriever = not so sexy.

Bolivian Lions Arrive

In 2009, Bolivia showed the world the right path when it comes to circus animals - they banned them! All animals, domestic and wild, have been banned from being used and exploited in the Bolivian circus industry. They are the first country to include domestic animals in their ban.

Animals do not belong in circuses. Period. End of story. Done. It's embarrassing that the United States hasn't done the same.

Recently, four of those animals arrived at a sanctuary in California, PAWS. The lions had spent their entire life in a small, metal cage. They had never touched grass or truly stretched their limbs. They have been deprived of so much, and you can tell how tentative and intrigued they are by what should be normal occurrences - grass, other lions, freedom.

We can do better than circuses. They exist for entertainment. That is not reason enough to exploit, abuse, kill, or otherwise use animals. It just is not.

The film is a tear-jerker for me, because the reactions of the lions is exactly the same as hens from the egg industry I've personally helped rescue. They live 1.5 -2 years in cages so small they cannot stretch their wings. To see them touch grass for the first time, run, flap their wings, interact in a normal fashion with other birds - it's both heart-breaking and uplifting at the same time. We do so much harm to other species, these small measured acts of kindness can mean so much and hopefully create true, meaningful change for the animals.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

The Best Cow on Earth is an Awesome Lounger

A cow just like Sadie inspired me to go vegan. Perhaps that is why I love Sadie so much. She is a sensitive, gentle soul.

Today is a good day to settle down in the dry grass and just zone out. Sadie is good at the lounging. It is her specialty.

Good day to lounge

She is also talented at looking both beautiful and personally affronted at the same time.
Sadie saying hi

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Around the Intarwebz

A paralyzed Pit Bull named Red is looking for a home. Someone adopt him already!

The owners of two German Shepherds who mauled a miniature bull to death rejected a plea deal in their case.

Two Labrador Retrievers and one Chow Chow have been killed after they attacked an older gentleman in a parking garage. The owners have not been charged with any crime, as of yet.

A German Shepherd Mix being walked off leash attacked a smaller dog and the dog's owner, leaving both with puncture wounds. The owner of the German Shepherd, in an amazing display of callousness, left both the bleeding woman and dog on the trail.

A Husky sits on death row waiting for her execution date. She killed a toy poodle and bit two other dogs. Her owners are trying to fight the one-strike death sentence.

After being bitten by a German Shepherd mix, an officer draws his weapon and shoots the dog dead.

Why Doggy DNA Testing isn't Conclusive

So, out of desperation, we called Joshua Akey, an assistant professor of genome sciences from the University of Washington.

Akey explained that canine DNA testing is still in its infancy, and the accuracy is dependent primarily on whether or not a particular test has "markers" for the breeds that may be present in your dog. Much of the info for these markers seems to have been provided to companies by the American Kennel Club and other dog-fancier organizations.

In some cases, breeds not recognized by the American Kennel Club aren't represented well in the tests. In other cases, a test may have better markers for some breeds (say Labs and goldens) than others (griffons and otterhounds).

Akey explained that it's virtually impossible to get these companies to reveal the genetic markers they're using — so as a result, it's almost impossible to say which tests are most accurate, and the accuracy may really vary from breed to breed. So ultimately, dog DNA tests put owners in the ballpark, but they're rarely conclusive.
From, The Case of the Mysterious Puppy Solved (Sort Of)

Only in California

I remain flabbergasted that this woman will be Barbara Boxer's competition:

I mean, really? Really? Geez Californians, I know you're angry, but come on!

Also, Californians, why did you pass Prop 14? You hate third parties so much? Fail!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Around the Intarwebz

An infant is dead after being mauled to death by at least one Husky while the infant's owner sat outside on a balcony to smoke. The child was left unattended in a portable car seat. The mother is being charged with manslaughter.

The Nebraska Humane Society is "investigating" an incident in which a call about a hot dog in a hot car took six hours to respond.

The owner of a Labrador Retriever and a Mixed Breed dog is being sued by a farmer who lost four alpacas to the dogs' attack.

A Pit Bull who killed a neighbor's loose dog while tethered is being spared death himself. It is unclear where the attack occurred. The Pit Bull had a tether long enough to access the adjacent yard. The other dog was allowed to run loose on his property.

If we feel trapping cats with a steel-jaw leg trap is inhumane, don't use it on any other animal, kay? The cat had his leg amputated and is available for adoption in Indianapolis.

A man is arrested after he threatened a woman with a rock. The woman had been walking her two leashed dogs when a Labrador Retriever being walked without a leash attacked one. The woman kicked the dog to stop the attack. That is when the other dog's owner told her daughter to get her father. He came back and threatened the woman with a rock. He was then arrested.

A neighbor's Akita dug under a rickety fence and mauled to death a Pug puppy. There are five dogs living in one backyard and they are constantly kept outside unattended.

Mina's Wonky Stomach Part Deux

Mina had a bit of a relapse. She started pooping black, tarry stool. That's always a bad sign. She vomited her food again. I started panicking.

I cooked up some plain old rice, waited a couple hours from her vomit-fest, and then started feeding her in 1/2 cup increments. Healthy appetite, that's for sure.

That was last night. This morning she pooped dark black stuff followed by some slightly more normal looking stuff.

So I think she is allergic to something in her diet.

The possible culprits:
* Potatoes
* Rolled Oats
* Barley

All the other ingredients she has never been intolerant of, and so I'm crossing them off the list for now.

I went back to look at the dog food she had horrible problems with and it has both pearled barley and potatoes. The pearl barley, however, is listed in the first five ingredients.

So I'll cut out the barley and see how that goes. Having her on an already simple diet makes figuring what could be causing her digestive problems a lot easier!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

What Do You Feed Your Dog?

A recent New York Times article indicates that "premium" dog and cat kibble contain essentially the same ingredients as non premium kibble and that none of it is actually "human grade". So just buy cheap kibble, I guess.

I'll admit it, I'm a bit of a dog food snob. I hate kibble. With a passion. I don't look down upon people who feed it, but I've always felt it was the lazy way out. Don't get me wrong - I have fed kibble. My previous dogs and foster dogs were fed kibble. Mina was fed kibble for the first four years I had her.

When she nearly died from kibble that caused internal bleeding, I had to re-evaluate what and how I wanted to feed my dog.

I switched her to an all raw meat diet. When I adopted Celeste, she went on a raw meat diet as well. They have been on this diet for the past four years (three for Miss Celeste). They've been happy and healthy.

A month ago, I found it ever more difficult feeding meat to my dogs. I'm vegan. I work for a farmed animal sanctuary. I literally rescue animals who I am feeding to my dogs. There is no difference. It has been an ethical dilemma for the past years, but it's started to wear on me emotionally.

So I decided to try a cooked diet that contained limited amounts of animal products. I read Monica Segal's books and was quite surprised by the suggestion to "start a spreadsheet" and literally map out every single nutrient that went into my dogs' bodies.

I don't do that for myself and unless there is evidence of dietary deficiencies, I'm certainly not going to do that for my dogs. No wonder people feel a home-made diet is overwhelming - almost all the information out there makes feeding dogs akin to performing brain surgery. Great if you're a brain surgeon, not so much if you're like the rest of us.

Now the dynamic duo still get meat, dairy and eggs (from the sanctuary chickens), but they get more grains and veggies - barley, rice, rolled oats, cereal grains soaked, beans, potatoes, lentils, split peas. They do get some meat and yogurt, but I'm spending a lot less money and feeling a smidgen less guilty. Celeste refuses food without animal products in it, Mina does a lot better on a more grain based diet.

So far, they are doing great. Mina had an upset tummy from a raw chicken bone that she won't be getting again, but other than that, both are looking shiny and healthy.

Do I spend more time making food for my dogs? Not really. I eat a lot of what they eat, so I'm cooking for the both of us minus any animal products. I use a rice cooker which cuts down on time. And I soak a lot of the stuff, which breaks it down, makes it more digestible, and then just needs a light cooking.

I like knowing the ingredients of my dogs' food. I like knowing where it came from. I like keeping it simple, because my dogs like simple diets (like I don't feed everything I listed at once, I usually pick a grain for the week and add some other stuff to it).

To my kibble feeding friends - do what works for your dog. If you want to try a home-made diet, go for it. If not, stick with what works for your dogs. I may hate kibble, but I don't hate you! :)

(Only quibble with the article is the notion we have 472 million dogs and cats in this country. I do not believe that is accurate. Perhaps it is a typo.)

Friday, June 4, 2010

The Doggles Shot Goes International

I love checking my flickr stats to see from where people are viewing my photos. I noticed a sudden spike in viewership of the photo below. The photo is of a friend's dog. The car looks like it's going faster than it is - 15 mph. It's the only part of the road the dog gets to stick her doggled head out the window.

Anyway, the picture was posted at Gigazine, which is apparently Japan's most popular blog. I like anime and I like my doggled-dog picture, so I figure this is a win-win for me. :)

Mina and Her Wonky Stomach

Some dogs drill a hole in your heart and, when you least expect it, wiggle that drill around. Just to hurt you, I think. Mina does this. She is my little heart dog, my spitfire, friend, source of endless amusement and frustration.

She is not the ideal dog - dog selective, stubborn, intense, a little confusing, a Pit Bull in a world that doesn't love them so much.

She is the ideal dog - people focused, devoted, an avid snuggler and kisser, adorably adorable, a Pit Bull who is surprisingly well-loved by almost all who meet her.

I love her dearly. Perhaps too much, some might say. Pish-posh I say to them. My heart is capable of expanding, even painfully so, for those I love too much.

For a few days, Mina has had bad diarrhea and an upset tummy. Then she started vomiting and acting lethargic. I started to panic, thinking obstruction or pancreatitis or the big C. That is how I roll when it comes to Mina, and it is most unhelpful.

I haven't had time to find a local vet who does not freak out when I say "she's on a home-made diet". So I drove the hour and a half to the vet who has seen her for the past four years. She gets to the vet and is perky, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed.


As the vet leaves the room to get me a price quote, she turns back and notes, "I see her tail is quite happy and healthy." Mina wags her tail harder hoping, oh hoping, that she might come back and massage her back some more. Or treats, she could give her treats. When the vet leaves, Mina stills, her tail droops a bit, and she looks up at me in confusion - no massage? no cookies? Refund, please!

I decided against radiographs and bloodwork because, well I'll be honest, an $80 bill is a lot more appealing than a $400.

Instead, Mina got an anti-nausea injection and some metra-something-or-other for her rear end.

She's feeling a lot better. She is holding her food down. No poop yet, but there is hope.

Mina has me wrapped around her little white-socked paws. I do not begrudge her this. She lets me dress her up in clothes and jingly objects. 'Nuff said, really.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Wildflowers at the Sanctuary

There are more than a dozen varieties of wildflowers at the sanctuary. It has been a lot of fun trying to figure each species out. There are also a lot of different grasses, many of them with dangerous foxtail heads. Yuck.

Back to the flowers. Here are a few from Celeste's hike.

Here are some wild lupines of the legume clan.
California wild blue lupines

A Mariposa Lily with a fan of foxtail grass in the background:
California wild mariposa lily

I'm not sure what this is - monkey flower? Any thoughts. It's very small, btw.
Yellow flowers

Some blue dicks flowers with some grass/foxtail:
California wildflowers and grasses

Not sure about these, any guesses. There's some dandelions or another daisy type flower. Not sure what the white flowers (both species) are.
California wildflowers

Around the Intarwebz

While conservative pundits blame the Sierra Club for the oil spill (I mean, really?), the avian and marine life continue to suffer immensely. Here are some photos from June 3rd of oil-drenched birds struggling to simply breathe on Louisiana's East Grand Terre Island. These photos are heart-breaking. These birds and thousands like them will die. Even with intervention, they will die. Very few soaped up birds survive after their cleaning. BP CEO says he just wants his life back. Tell that to these birds and other wildlife. They're dead. I'm sure they would like their lives back too.

Walking her dog turned into terror as a woman was attacked. The dog, a Staffordshire Bull Terrier, ran and barked at the man, biting him once on the pants before the assailant took off.

A Jack Russell Terrier is left with serious wounds after being attacked by a Rottweiler and Bull Mastiff. What is amazing to me is that either dog could have killed the smaller dog with one shake. Not saying it wasn't a significant attack.

A 12-yr-old Staffordshire Bull Terrier defends her owner from a vicious machete attack, taking a cut to the head. the dog is expected to survive.

A Westie was mauled by a German Shepherd in the United Kingdom, another BSL-state failure.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Celeste at the Sanctuary

I bring Mina in the morning. We go on a long walk before heading home for lunch. Then it's Celeste's turn. After work, Celeste and I go hiking through the sanctuary. We generally just wander around and get lost. It's fun for us both.

Here are some pictures of Celeste enjoying our late afternoon stroll.
Shiny Celeste

Happy Celeste

Celeste running with a smile

Celeste romping with a smile