Open Thread

Post anything animal related in the comments, anytime.  New Open Threads are posted weekly.

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Name That Animal

This is just for fun and the only rule is:  no researching.  Post your guesses in the comments.  Reading other people’s answers before posting your own gets you sent to the kiddie table is optional.  Answer will be posted in the comments tomorrow.



PETA Can Shove Its Fruit Basket Up Its Walk-In Dead Pet Freezer

When PETA got caught on surveillance camera trying – and failing – to lure an owned Chihuahua named Maya off her porch last year, ultimately stealing and killing the beloved pet, the group sent the cranks back to the scene of the crime.  They knocked on the door, told the family they had killed their dog and gave them a fruit basket.

As it turns out, the heartbroken owners didn’t feel PETA’s basket of crazy was fair compensation for killing a member of their family.  Wilber Zarate and his daughter Cynthia are now suing PETA and the two screwballs, seeking more than $9 million:

Cynthia was distraught after Maya was killed, Zarate said of his daughter in the lawsuit.

“She cried for weeks, became lethargic, lost sleep, refrained from eating and lost weight,” he said. “Maya was irreplaceable.”

Apparently a fruit basket did not make it all better.  So weird.

Before anyone has a sad because PETA may have to cough up $9 million, let’s remember that PETA collects that amount many times over every year from donors.  Some donors are probably honestly duped into believing the group does the opposite of things like operating a pet slaughterhouse, others are willfully ignorant but eager to congratulate themselves on their charitable giving.  I tend to toss celebrities with deep pockets and small brains into that latter category.

The money won’t be a problem for PETA.  The lawsuit, and the media attention it will hopefully attract, will be.  Look how many people had their eyes opened by the press coverage of PETA’s 2007 Piggly Wiggly dumpster trial.  Any opportunity to shine a light on PETA’s pet killing is worthwhile.  Nothing can bring Maya back, but by suing for such a large sum of money, her family is sending a clear message bound to garner widespread attention:  Pets are family.  PETA kills pets.

(Thanks Laura.)

CA Rescuer Charged with Cruelty, Pound Manager Not Charged with Irony

buell case dog

One of the dogs seized in the felony cruelty case against Buell, as shown on the NBC Los Angeles website.

In April 2015, Apple Valley Animal Services seized 13 starving dogs from rescuer Sherre Kay Buell.  One dog was dead in a trash can on the property, one died on the way to the vet, and two had to be euthanized due to their poor condition.  Buell has been charged with 12 counts of felony animal cruelty in Apple Valley and 3 counts in Hesperia (where she reportedly used to live).  A preliminary hearing is scheduled for December 3.

Starving dogs is unacceptable.  Full stop.  There is video at the link of a little girl trying to comfort a severely emaciated dog who is too weak to stand.  It’s heartbreaking.

Killing pets, which is what they do at Apple Valley Animal Services, is also unacceptable.  And there is no hope of recovery from death.  Which puts the manager’s comments on the case in rather a – what’s the word – stupid light:

“I think that’s one of the most difficult things for any of us in the animal welfare position. Why do people hurt animals?” asked Gina Whiteside, the manager at the Town of Apple Valley Animal Services.

Yes please killsplain to us why people hurt animals while I browse through page after page of all the animals killed at your facility every month.

“There needs to be some animal action at the state level that regulates animal rescuing,” Whiteside said.
While shelters are regulated by law to humanely care and provide for the animals they take in, the same rules are not in place for rescue groups or the people who foster, explained Whiteside.

The Real Problem. Identified.

So we want to hold rescuers to the same legal standards as shelters that hide and kill animals. Because that would be better, somehow.


Whiteside acknowledged animal cruelty issues extend beyond the cases against any one individual, calling for progress to be made in laws and procedures dealing with general animal services.
“In my opinion, anything short of changing the ‘status quo’ when it comes to ‘saving animals lives’ does not signal that we (shelters, rescues, the community) want better outcomes for animals in need of our services (at every level),” she wrote.

*Mother of All Coffee Spews*

Being starved and alive with the hope that someone might save you is actually a better outcome than the “services” offered in Apple Valley’s kill room.  The status quo at far too many so-called shelters like Apple Valley is convenience killing. Any interest in changing that?

The Apple Valley Municipal Animal Shelter dealt with its own controversy this summer after Richard Marx and other celebrities on social media criticized the shelter for euthanizing four puppies, which officials had first unsuccessfully tried to house in foster homes. Whiteside said the criticisms, however, were the result of misinformation and distorted facts.

Probably the case for the many, many, really a lot many animals killed at Apple Valley.  Just a bunch of hooey.  If only we had harsher laws for rescuers!

(Thanks Clarice.)

Treats on the Internets

The director/supervising ACO at the North Jersey HS Shelter, Vincent Asolese, has been fired after being charged with 14 counts of animal cruelty. An August inspection report of the facility describes sub-standard conditions and says that Asolese slit the throat of a fawn who was impounded on June 29, letting her bleed to death.

Lost Dogs of Wisconsin explains why a proposed bill which reduces the holding period for lost pets in shelters is harmful. (Thanks Clarice.)

AC seized 11 dogs and puppies from what they claim to be a “hoarding situation” in Lacey, Washington. The dogs shown in the video appear to be in good condition, despite the allegation that some of them were being starved. I know nothing about this case beyond the few details provided in the article but it’s problematic when authorities toss around the “hoarding” label without careful consideration.

After children were seen taunting a beloved neighborhood stray dog in Michigan and violent threats were made against him, a feral dog sanctuary took him in.  The article gives you a glimpse into the process of how feral dogs are acclimated to people over time at the sanctuary with the end goal being adoption.

1700 wild horses, bought for $10 each from the Bureau of Land Management by a single buyer, were sold to slaughter in Mexico at a high profit.  The government declined to prosecute.  (Thanks Terri.)

This piece may give you a new appreciation of pigeons.

Weekend Jade

sleepy 11212015

Rainy Sunday.

Open Thread

Post anything animal related in the comments, anytime.  New Open Threads are posted weekly.



Sumner County’s State of the Art Shelter Stands on Crappy Floors

Sumner Co AC in TN is a hot mess.  After the pound’s vet was caught on hidden camera heartsticking fully conscious dogs in 2007, reform was promised and the pound was put under the control of the sheriff’s department.  Taxpayers spent $1.3 million to build a new facility in 2011.

The sheriff ended the volunteer program, won’t let anyone post pictures of the animals online and in fact, won’t let anyone past the lobby.  If you want to save an animal, you have to look at pictures the sheriff’s office provides in the lobby.  Despite all these swell reforms, killings are up and live release outcomes are down.  So weird, right?

And there’s more bad news:

When taxpayers spent $1.3 million dollars on this state of the art shelter in 2011, complete with its own flushing system, concrete crews poured a flat floor— a $52 thousand dollar mistake.

As a result, urine and feces pools on the kennel floors, which should have been built sloped in order to allow debris to drain into the flushing system.

A great dane named Chief was held at the Sumner Co pound for 10 days in August following a bite.  Owner Jason Corlew was on vacation but called several times to make sure his pet was ok.  He says none of his calls were returned.  When he picked Chief up from the pound, he was startled to see the dog’s condition:

“He comes out covered in feces, and has urine burns all over him,” recalled Corlew. “His paws, the skin was peeling off because he had been standing in feces for so long.”
Corlew estimated Chief lost about 40 pounds and also had a blood infection.

burned paw

One of Chief’s burned paws, as shown on the News Channel 5 website.

Mr. Corlew has filed a lawsuit against Sumner Co:

The lawsuit is seeking $1,000 to cover bills from the veterinarian. It is also asking the county to upgrade the facility to improve the floors so feces and urine will properly drain away from the animals.

I doubt a lawsuit will do what has clearly needed doing at the Sumner Co pound for many years – put a figurative match to the place, run the pet killers out of town on a rail and start doing the work to actually shelter animals.  Taxpayers need to make their voices heard if any not-fake reform is to ever happen there.

(Thanks Clarice.)

NY Dog Control Officer Charged in Connection with Dog Death

Shaheen R. Shaheen, the dog control officer for the Town of Tupper Lake, was arrested by NY state police this week and charged with “one count of torturing or injuring animals or failure to provide sustenance, a class A misdemeanor, and one count of neglect of an impound animal, a class U misdemeanor.”

Shaheen had reportedly picked up a stray dog on October 2 after receiving a call about a loose dog in need of help from a neighborhood resident.  He took the dog, who police say was in rough shape, to the Tupper Lake Animal Shelter.  It’s not clear what else, if anything, Shaheen did for the dog after leaving him in a cage:

“The dog was in poor health at the time of confiscation, and its health continued to deteriorate while at the shelter,” the [state police press] release said.
“Shaheen failed to provide the dog with proper care and needed veterinary service.”

The dog was found dead at the shelter on October 26. The town council met with Shaheen about the death on October 27 and the town supervisor requested his resignation. He resigned his position, effective October 31.

Shaheen is due to appear in court on November 25.

(Thanks Clarice.)

Remembering Pets Who Died in Their Cages at the Memphis Pound: September 2015

Animals impounded by Memphis Animal Services fall over dead in their cages every month.  Here are the records for the pets who died in anonymity in September at MAS.

I am using this post to memorialize one of those pets who was impounded in “normal” condition then died in his cage the next day.  There are no notes to indicate why an apparently healthy dog suddenly died and no notes indicating anyone at MAS took the slightest interest:

281650 cage card  281650 med records

I’m sorry your last hours on this earth were spent alone in a cage at a pet killing facility. You are loved and you are not forgotten.

How many more, Memphis?


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