July 31, 2009
July 31, 2009
July 30, 2009
July 28, 2009
Dear Michael Vick,
Is it ok to kill dogs if we feel they are in some way “underperforming”? Maybe a rescue dog underperforms in an evaluation, for example – exhibits fearful behavior during the test. Or maybe a competition dog underperforms in the venue of the owner’s choice, for example – doesn’t win.
Considering that you have never publicly expressed remorse nor accepted legal responsibility for the cruelty you inflicted to your dogs, and taking into account the USDA report on your criminal case, I assume your answer is an unqualified YES. To use your words, “They got to go”.
But what are the best methods for killing dogs? I know you personally have employed hanging, shooting, electrocution, drowning and repeated body slamming to kill your dogs. But now that you’ve partnered with HSUS, I’m wondering if you still feel those are the best methods or if you’ve been influenced to believe that an injection is more appropriate? Or should I say, an injection after a dog has been given an unfair evaluation which determines he should be killed, preferably after farming the dog out to a third party so the blood is not on your hands?
If my assumption that you remain in favor of killing underperforming dogs is wrong, please let the public know in clear terms. And if that is the case, definitely get as far away from HSUS as you can, since their actions would seem to be at odds with your changed beliefs.
July 27, 2009
Michael Vick has been reinstated by the NFL. That is – the dog torturing, dog fighting, dog killing Michael Vick, who has never publicly expressed remorse for the horrific cruelty he inflicted upon his dogs, is once again primed to be in a position as role model to young people everywhere.
The NFL can suck it.
July 27, 2009
Dogman vid – now enhanced!
Female bear smarter than the average
Blind dog has guide dog
Should we impose a ban on canaries now?
Poacher’s trap left baby elephant for dead but Cambodian rescuers saved him with a prosthetic foot
Oh honey, I do
Pet eagle not interested in your stupid human tricks
Dog translator comes with answering machine
July 26, 2009
Although I’m not prepared to put as much thought into this post as would be required to answer such a question, I am ready to put down a few thoughts on the subject. I’m sure at some point I will add on to these and hopefully eventually come up with an answer, albeit a subjective one, to my own question. Perhaps this can be viewed as an installment series or some similarly lofty sounding endeavor.
To me, dogs are pets. What constitutes living a good quality life as a pet is interpreted differently by individual owners. For me, it means living in the house as part of the family, and receiving daily personal care, exercise, discipline, affection, and good food. I can however, understand how another owner, for example someone who keeps a dog to protect his sheep from predation, might specifically want his dog to live primarily outdoors. So long as adequate shelter is provided in conjunction with meeting the personal needs of the dog I mentioned previously, I can agree that this is good quality life for a pet, even though it’s different from my personal choice. Similarly, I can imagine other variations outside my individual choices where the dog is ultimately treated as a member of the family and as such, I would agree that the dog has a good quality of life.
There are some practices though that fall so far outside my comfort level, I view them not just as different but as cruelty. In a broad sense, that would include any dog who is not treated as a member of the family. Specifically, a dog who spends most of his day to day life unattended in a cage or kennel, on a chain or roaming the streets. Keeping the area of confinement clean, while a good practice, does not make up for the dog’s social deprivation. Nor does putting out a bowl of food for a dog allowed to roam the neighborhood – again, good practice to feed a dog regularly but that doesn’t make the dog a family pet to my mind.
This is not strictly a numbers issue for me. I can envision a family with plentiful resources being able to provide a good quality of life for a large number of pets just as I know that an owner of a single dog can be neglectful. Put another way, where numbers come in is anytime there is neglect. If a family is neglecting some or all of their dogs, there is a problem. If a breeder is neglecting some or all of his stock or pups, it doesn’t matter to me if that breeder produces 2 litters a year or 2 litters every 10 years – there is a problem.
What I think would be helpful:
Educate the public about responsible breeding and buying including the importance of having a personal relationship with the breeder and the benefits of getting a shelter dog.
Encourage more responsible breeding. The demand for responsibly bred dogs far exceeds the supply. This is the main reason people I know have turned to pet stores – they couldn’t find the pet they wanted in a shelter and/or were turned down by rescue and/or didn’t want to be placed on a lengthy waiting list with a responsible breeder with no guarantee of getting a pup ever. My vision is to increase the supply of responsibly bred pups while promoting the benefits of adopting shelter dogs. If we could convince the public that these are the two best ways to obtain pets, we could reduce (eventually eliminate?) the demand for pet store pups. It’s not like it’s a hard sell: going to a shelter saves a dog’s life in many cases and buying from a responsible breeder means having a personal relationship with someone who cares about what happens to their pups enough to screen buyers and provide support for the life of the dog.
I know lots of people hate these ideas. Some people are stuck on the “don’t breed or buy while shelter pets die” mantra. The reality is that, while we can and absolutely must do everything possible to promote shelter adoptions, some owners will not adopt from a shelter. Rather than ignore that fact or condemn those folks, I’d rather provide them with an alternative: buy a responsibly bred pup. Right now, there are not enough of those and so people turn to other sources. I’d like to increase the supply of responsibly bred pups.
Other people hate the idea of promoting breeding for pets. Breeders who compete with their dogs often consider the only justifiable purpose of breeding to be the production of more competition dogs with “pets” being a leftover effect. The reality is that most owners do not want competition dogs – they want couch snugglers, jogging partners, ball chasers, etc. Ignoring that fact or condemning those folks to wait indefinitely on your waiting list in case you have a “leftover” at some point in future drives people to other sources.
I often use a personal experience as an example. I once wanted a Papillon. In fact I’d still like to have a Papillon someday (in case you are reading Santa). I checked every shelter in my area for a Pap or even a Pap-ish mix – no luck. I applied to Pap rescue but the number of applicants far exceeded the number of available dogs and honestly, the process seemed humiliating to me. I am all for screening buyers but there has to be some reasonable limit on that. My experience turned into a competition – literally. I bowed out. I inquired to several responsible breeders but it was explained to me that Pap breeders are breeding to supply themselves with a new pup. Sometimes they make an agreement with the stud dog owner to give a pup in lieu of stud fee. As such, one or two pups from each litter were already spoken for. Since Paps have small litters and many breeders have just one or two litters per year, the best I could hope for was to be placed on a waiting list and perhaps in some future year, I might get a call about an available pup. I didn’t want a Pap in some future year, I wanted one at the time it was appropriate in my life. Should I be condemned for wanting a Pap within a reasonable time frame? Should I be condemned for not taking a shelter dog instead? I know some people would answer “yes”. For the record, I did end up adopting a shelter dog instead. But I know more than one person who has turned to alternate sources when faced with the situation I was in – they bought from pet stores or irresponsible breeders. Like me, they wanted to rescue a dog or buy from a responsible breeder but the supply fell short of the demand. I do not condemn them. Rather, I want to see the supply of responsibly bred pups increased in conjunction with education about the benefits of rescue.
OK obviously my random thoughts did not wind up answering my title question. Good thing I said that “installment” thing at the beginning. I’ll try to answer my question eventually and I hope if you have some answers, questions, or random thoughts, you’ll join in the discussion. I always enjoy hearing different views.
July 25, 2009
My little dog Emily is of unknown age but presumably “old”. She had some tumors removed from her mammary chain in 2007 and recently a couple more have appeared. We took her to the Vet today and her blood work and chest x-ray looked pretty good. She has a heart murmur (Grade 2 or 3 of 6) but otherwise ready for surgery next month to get these latest lumps removed.
We had her blood glucose checked on suspicion of diabetes as she seems to be so hot all the time lately, drinking lots of water and urinating often. But that was normal, so that’s good. I’m guessing that perhaps because she is now almost completely deaf, she is generally more anxious, causing her body temperature to increase, which causes her to drink more water and in turn, urinate more frequently. I noticed she is now scared of thunderstorms, which didn’t used to bother her, and I attribute that to the hearing loss as well.
At any rate, she’s still full of piss and vinegar and I always say about her, “Hate keeps you young”.
July 24, 2009
To be honest, I thought HSUS would back out of this stunt before it got off the ground. Apparently not:
“He’s going to be contributing to our anti-dogfighting campaign next week.” Pacelle said of Vick, who vowed to spread the Humane Society’s anti-dogfighting message with inner city teens. Pacelle refused to elaborate on further details.
Refused to elaborate. Gee, what a promising start. I’m all like, filled with hope n’ stuff now.
Although HSUS tried to set it up from the outset as a “no way WE can lose” situation, not everything is about HSUS. To me, this is about a pile of dead dogs. Dead dogs whose blood is on the hands of HSUS and Michael Vick and others who are directly responsible for killing dogs abused in fight rings. Vick tortured and killed dogs, HSUS has historically done it “cleanly” by going to court and “advising” shelters to kill bust dogs, even puppies still nursing from their dams.
Now that both Vick and HSUS have been busted for their dog killing (Vick by the justice system, HSUS by the court of public opinion), they want to say they’ve changed. And they’re teaming up to stop dogfighting. Sorry but – cover your ears children – no fucking sale.
My parents taught me that the first step in righting a wrong is to make a sincere apology. Not a “sorry I got caught” apology but an unscripted “I’m sorry for what I did because it was wrong”. I haven’t heard anything of the sort from either Vick or HSUS. Vick offered a vague apology of sorts at the time of his guilty plea but there was no mention of the dogs he tortured and killed. HSUS of course – *crickets*. (Although they do have the audacity to demand Vick demonstrate sincere remorse.)
I am by nature a forgiving person. I think most people are. If I hear an apology from someone and it feels sincere to me, I am eager to forgive. That doesn’t mean I forget, it means I am open to hearing whatever comes next. As of the start of these shenanigans with HSUS and Vick teaming up to stop dogfighting, I am so not there. All I can see is two remorseless peas in a pod, with dollar signs in their eyes and blood on their hands.
July 23, 2009
LA shelter gets grant from the HSUS for a new death room
Go Senator Franken!
Rescue help needed for 400 dogs seized in multi-state dogfighting bust
Newspaper article examines the practice of shipping shelter dogs from the South to MN
Attorneys try to keep beach in La Jolla suitable for seals
Adoptable: Seems like he’d be a pretty good dog (Richmond, VA)