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Showing posts from June, 2009

Animal Shelter. Volunteer Work. Time and Effort. Animal Welfare.

Yesterday was a busy Sunday afternoon at the shelter. I am usually there in the morning, but the afternoon crew was shorthanded and I was asked to help out. As it turned out, only two other volunteers worked the shift aside from myself and one of them spent most of her time at the cattery. That left me and this newly minted volunteer to work the dogs. He plans to be a vet tech in the future, and so he is doing volunteer work for experience. All dogs have to be walked, watered and some of them fed a second time in the day. The scrubbing and washing of the kennels is the morning crew's job. With approximately seventeen dogs at the shelter, we had some work to do ourselves.

As always, the entire dog population throws up a cacophony of barks, howls, and plaintive cries as we led one dog after another for their walk outside. Everyone wanted to get out, but they had to wait their turn. This is typical. When I walk a dog, I don't just go one trip up and down our walkway and access ro…

George Custer. Dogs of War. The American Civil War.

George Armstrong Custer. Who does not recognize the name? His grave is a must-see for me at West Point. That was pre-9/11 when people could freely tour the academy in their own car. The cemetery is some ways up from the main grounds, and there you can visit the graves of many heroes. Custer, himself, was a graduate of the academy (1861) just in time for the war between the states. And, as always cited in many treatises upon his life, Custer graduated number thirty-four in a class of thirty-four.

Here are three photographs of Custer, two during the war and one taken during a hunting trip after the war. It seems that the gentleman was a dog-lover, but not a complete animal-lover according to our modern terms. I found a photograph of him with a bear he shot dead. I despise hunting and hunters, but I realize that Custer was a product of his times. The ASPCA wasn't in existence yet and the concept of organized efforts directed at animal welfare would be analogous in impertinence to ou…

Northern New Jersey. Dog for Adoption. Box. Shepherd Mix.

Good boy, Box, good boy. I have become better friends with Box in the last few weeks, and I know that when he is adopted he will not be returned. There's not a bit of aggression in him, and he's not hard-headed at all. Box constantly sniffs around when walking, and that's probably from his days as a tethered backyard dog. One of our shelter volunteers, probably our President, saved Box from a life of misery and loneliness. I heard that he lived in a " box " that was inadequate in providing shelter and warmth. Well, Box is getting a lot of socialization and care at the shelter nowadays. He's a medium-sized dog although he looks big in the photo. Box has been with us for approximately two months now, and he's ready to go.

Bloomingdale Animal Shelter Society


Kentucky. Fawn. Animal Rescue Breaks the Law. Kindness vs. the Law.

It's another case where human kindness ran afoul of the law. Transporting wildlife across state lines is illegal, so they say. Obviously, somewhere in labyrinths of the law, there have been exceptions made because we know that the cruel Barnum and Bailey Ringling Bros. Circus does it all the time. I hope something more humane could be worked out for both the rescuer and the fawn. This fawn looks so sweet that euthanizing it ought to be against the law. The authorities are going to kill it to check for diseases. Why not just quarantine the fawn, and then release it back to the wild?



New Jersey. A1669. Bowhunting on Sundays. Gov. Corzine Signs A1669 into Law.

This bulletin from the NJARA arrived last week, but I haven't had the time to cross-post it until today. If you have followed the course, you would know by now that Governor Corzine signed into law A1669, allowing bowhunting in Sundays. Do I feel betrayed? Yes, I do. Many pro-animal rights citizens including an equestrian organization have contacted his office about vetoing this bill. But in the end, the governor was unswayed. There truly is no other way to understand this but to accept that the governor believes another day of hunting and killing animals is fine. Well, I certainly will remember Jon Corzine on election day. The fight isn't over because for animal rights advocates the fight is never over. There have been comments made at this site by pro-hunting people on the signing of this bill, but I have not published them because of their celebratory nature. Joyous comments on the killing of animals have no place here. Below is NJARA's bulletin:

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New Jersey. AB 3803. Say No to Excessive Tethering of Dogs.

My fellow New Jerseyans, there is an assembly bill introduced by Assemblyman Anthony Chiappone that addresses the plight of tethered dogs in our state. This bill is known as AB 3803, and it seeks to limit the amount of time a dog can be tethered in a 24-hour period. Specifically, a dog cannot be tethered between 10pm and 6am, or for more than an hour outside of those times. When tethering is allowed, additional provisos include disallowing choke-type tethers, tethers that are less than ten feet long, tethers that are heavier than 1/8 of the dog's weight, prohibiting more than one dog per tether, and prohibiting the confinement of a 6-month or older dog to a permanent enclosure that is less than 150 square feet.

So far, so good for me. The rationale behind this bill centers on the relationship between tethering and the hostility it engenders in dogs. Dogs, because they are social beings, do not react well to excessive tethering. After prolonged tethering, what was once a nice dog is…

Dog Rescued, Rehab, Rehomed. Hagrid. Mastiff. Philippine Animal Welfare Society. June 2009.

Here's a story of rescue, rehabilitation, and adoption that will surely warm your heart. Coming out of the Philippines, this is the story of Hagrid, a mastiff abandoned by his owner on the street.Of course, he was left there to fend for himself and ultimately to die from hunger and apathy. Fortunately, a member of the Philippine Animal Welfare Society ( PAWS ) chanced upon him and took action. I don't want to sound like a bitter, cynical man but sympathy isn't enough. Sympathy usually makes OUR conscience feel good, but action makes the abused animal feel better.

This is a wonderful story, and so don't be afraid to read through it. I won't regurgitate. Instead, I am reposting the article that appeared last week in the animal welfare advocates forum. The article is unsigned but I am almost sure that it was written by the Director of PAWS, Anna Cabrera.

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He was found in an advanced state of malnourishment alon…

Tengteng in Art. Animal Abuse. The Apotheosis of a Stray Animal.

There are innumerable cases of animal abuse, and surely there are scores of them being enacted right at this very moment in various places around the globe. But some of them stand out for one reason or another---the locale, the time, the identity of the abuser, their relevance to a greater issue presently pressing upon the world, or the level of inhumanity. If you haven't heard of Tengteng, the month-old kitten stomped to death by a university student named Joseph Carlo Candare, you can read about her tragedy HERE. Since the petition went online, thousands of people from all walks of life have become familiar with her short life and death. She's become one of the standard bearers for defenseless and abused animals. I urge you to sign the petition and send your very own stinging email to the school authorities who have decided to act as Mr. Candare's defense team rather than the prosecution.

Janette Ramos, a self-declared neophyte digital artist, took Tengteng's photo an…

New Jersey. Dog for Adoption. Jasmine. Bloomingdale Animal Shelter.

Oh Jasmine. Why art thou still at the shelter? It has been approximately three months since you arrived. I know that there are people already interested in you, but you should be given as much exposure as possible. You are sweet and behaved. I love the way you lick my face when I hug you. And you sure love the way I rub your chest and back. We don't train dogs to jump on our laps, but you can always put your paws on my thighs while I jingle your ears and run my thumb across your cheeks. You're one of the sweetest dogs I have ever met at the shelter. A home, we shall find you.

Bloomingdale Animal Shelter Society