Monday, August 31, 2009

Cebu. Animal Cruelty. Stray Dogs Lynched and Gassed. Greyhound Racing.

As some of you know, there is a great legislative battle in the Philippine senate over two bills that proposes to make greyhound racing legal and operational in the city of Mandaeu on the island of Cebu. These two bills ( 5291Cebu and 5648 Luzon ) have already passed through the lower house, and it is up to the senate to defeat them. Thank goodness that at least half of the twenty-three senators have already pledged to oppose these bills for the obvious reasons of extreme animal cruelty and an aversion towards another form of gambling where the poor will get poorer while the entrepreneurs get richer.

The proponents of these bills, namely Representatives Ben-hur L. Salimbangon (Cebu), Nerissa Corazon Soon-Ruiz (Cebu), Ferjenel Biron (Iloilo), have come up with the most naive arguments for greyhound racing. They argued that no blood is spilled in greyhound racing and therefore it isn't cruel. They stressed that active dogs will be cared for while retired dogs will be turned into police dogs. As for unwanted dogs, they will be shipped back to Australia where they came from. And if all else fails, surely the dogs be adopted by the public. Perhaps, in a perfect world, these options will work out just fine but we don't live in one. They must think that the Filipino public is as dumb as they are.

Here is an article that described the day to day cruelty that exists in Cebu particularly towards stray dogs. Remember, this is the place where greyhound racing is intended to operate. You can read Mr. Jerry Tundag's eyewitness acount here :

Cruelty to dogs continue in "world class" city
TO THE QUICK By Jerry Tundag (The Freeman)
Updated July 20, 2009 12:00 AM

At about 4:15 very early in the morning of last Friday, July 17, as I was bringing the wife and kid to the pier to take the first trip of the Supercat for an unplanned trip to Leyte, we passed by a most gut-wrenching sight along Happy Valley road in Cebu City.

Three men were dragging a stray dog they had caught with a length of wire. The poor dog was twisting and struggling in the air because the men had raised the wire so that its feet no longer touched the ground.

The entire length of the tongue of the dog was flailing outside its mouth but I doubt if the poor animal managed to make a sound because the noose was clearly drawn very tight and was eating into the hide around its neck, effectively strangling and depriving it of breath.

As the dog struggled vainly to break free, jets of shit and urine burst from its orifices and I did not know if its was from the physical struggle for life or from its sheer terror and emotional distress.

In the back of my car, my nine-year-old daughter was screaming at the sight, horrified by what the men were doing to the dog. I did not know if she was crying, but I can sense the terror and the trauma in her voice.

I hurriedly left the scene because I did not want my daughter to see any more of this godforsaken atrocity committed by those three grownup men. As I passed by their vehicle, I saw that it was a Multicab owned by the Cebu City government by the logo on yellow background.

I was not able to see the plate number of the vehicle, though, because of my haste in wanting to flee the scene of such horror. Finally I was able to see with my own eyes what I saw only in previously published newspaper photographs.

A few months back, a similar scene was caught by camera and published in the newspaper. Based on what I saw from the published photo, I wrote a piece objecting to the manner in which stray dogs were being caught, using pieces of steel wire.

I also recalled previously published stories about how dogs caught by the Cebu City pound were being disposed of in case their owners did not show up to claim them. The hapless dogs were gassed to death using toxic fumes from the exhaust pipes of motor vehicles.

An official of Cebu City whom I believe happens to be directly responsible for the city pound wrote a rejoinder completely denying everything I wrote at the time. I was aghast at the denial, as if photographs would lie.

But God works in mysterious ways and the truth will always come out. No very long after that official vehemently denied the cruel manner in which the city pound was carrying out its campaign against stray dogs, it was placed on the spot by foreign animal rights advocates.

The foreign animal rights advocates happened to be in Cebu City at the time and made their own observations and drew their own conclusions. Among its findings — the stray dogs were being caught and disposed of cruelly and not in accordance with proper standards.

The official who issued the strong denial was compelled to own the shortcomings and promised to reform and change its methods. That was several months ago. Judging from what I saw with my own eyes last Friday dawn, no changes were ever made.

I would like to invite any and all animal rights advocates to come and visit our city, which is also known as the Queen City of the South, and visit our city pound to see for themselves, talk to the people around, and draw their own conclusions.

Of course, it may be that by the time they arrive, some changes shall have been made, in which case it is all for the better. But they must come, because it appears local officials who even drive non-Cebu City patients out of the city hospital, couldn’t care less for dogs.

By the way, this piece is not intended as an opposition to the city ordinance on stray dogs nor as an effort to interfere with the work of the city pound. I am just complaining about the cruel way in which the city pound carries out its responsibilities.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Elephant Rescue. Tina and Jewel Confiscated by the USDA.

Guess who is at the San Diego Zoo? Tina and Jewel. Their saga is finally over, or least their captivity under the abusive handling of Willie Davenport. In Defense of Animals informs us that Tina and Jewel were confiscated by the USDA on August 20 2009. It was reported that Jewel is very ill and she will need immediate care. The San Diego Zoo was good enough to take them in temporarily, provide the medical care, before the elephants are permanently homed at the sanctuary in Tennessee (See Correction in Comments). All involved are intent in keeping these two elephants together. Tina is 39 years old while Jewel is 40. They are considered dangerously underweight. It seems that you can judge their proper weight by the area behind their eyes. When this area is sunken, there's a problem. You can see it in the photo. The seizure occurred in Leggett, Texas where Mr. Davenport argued that he had done nothing wrong. The Davenports have been in the circus business for generations. Willie Davenport’s father was fined $200,000 and barred from the exotic animal business several years ago when one baby elephant named Heather was found dead in the back of a poorly ventilated truck in Albuquerque. Done nothing wrong? Yup, in that case, I am Neil Armstrong.

Attention is now turned to Queenie, the elephant who is still in the hands of the Davenports. She needs to be freed as well
. Three years ago, an undercover video taken by Animal Defenders International showed the kicking, beating, hooking and the use of an electric shock device on Queenie and Chrissie. Elephants in circuses, or any animal for that matter, who are held in cruel captivity and then forced to perform unnatural acts for our entertainment indicate how low we have become as a species. It's deplorable all around.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Spider Rescue. Animal Shelter. Compassion for All.

The shelter is for all animals including insects. While quite focused on my task, hosing and scrubbing a kennel at the far corner of the shelter, I heard a scream from one of our volunteers. Upon investigating the source of this alarm, I found out that a large spider was hanging out in one of our dirty sinks. I reckon that pitbulls are not as scary as spiders, for some people. Well, something had to be done about the gentleman with many legs. He seemed so out of place. Before killing him became an option, I took the latex glove on which he was clinging to and gingerly took it outside to a place, I thought, suitable for web spinning. And there he remained until I left four hours later. I guess one can call this a rescue. Even spiders in dirty sinks should be given the benefit of animal rescue.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Pet Adoption. Television. Licked to Death by a Pitbull.

It's another pet adoption segment gone wrong. By wrong, I don't mean a bad thing. These segments on television that are devoted to pet adoption do a lot of good; they reach more people than a website does, in my opinion. Here's one that is a sure attention-getter :

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Philippines. Tarlac. Dogs for Adoption. Animal Kingdom Foundation.

Approximately an hour or so North of Manila is the city of Tarlac. That's home base for the Animal Kingdom Foundation (AKF), a non-government organization dedicated to combating the dog meat trade among other animal welfare issues. They work with the Philippine National Police (PNP) in intercepting dog transporters by spot checking vans along the highways, usually operating off tips from concerned animal lovers. The AKF/PNP teams also conduct raids on eateries that serve dogmeat. It's pretty nasty work, but the AKF is up to the job. The natural byproduct, of course, are the rescued dogs. They are taken to a large shelter in Tarlac where they are treated and brought up to snuff for adoption. Here are several survivors from the dogmeat trade, all set to bring love and joy into the homes of those willing to give them a chance at a decent life. When you look at these dogs, you wonder about those who didn't make it out safely. The dogmeat trade has given the Philippines a very bad reputation, but I ask those who are inclined to quickly condemn to also consider that there are ten-fold more citizens who disapprove of the trade.


For More Information, Click on the link for the AKF.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

New York. Leona Helmsley. Trustees Challenged. Where's the beef?

Be careful when you're alive but it seems you should also take care when you die. Leona Helmsley, unfairly labeled as the Queen of Mean by the media, wasn't so mean after all. She earmarked the enormous wealth she left behind ( five billion) to be spent largely on animal welfare, but there is a problem. The ASPCA, the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and Maddie’s Fund, filed a lawsuit last week in New York Surrogate’s Court to intervene in the allocation of Helmley's wealth, claiming that her wishes are not being fulfilled by her trustees. This lawsuit targets an earlier ruling that allowed the trustees to disregard Mrs. Helmsley’s specific instructions that her wealth be spent helping dogs. In other words, spend the money the way the deceased wanted it spent. Because of that earlier ruling, less than 0.1% the trust’s initial round of grants went to dog-related charities.

Marsha Perelman, ASPCA Board Chair, stated that “Just a fraction of the money involved in Mrs. Helmsley’s estate is a game-changer for animal welfare...The fate of dogs in this country could very well rest on the decision of this lawsuit—it is that critical. " Ed Sayres, President and CEO of the ASPCA chimed in as well: “Mrs. Helmsley understood the importance of animal welfare. She wanted her worldly estate to make our society better for dogs and animals—and if distributed as she intended, it definitely has the power to do so.”

This sort of misdirection should alarm everyone, and you don't have to be a billionaire. Is there any respect out there anymore? You put your dying wishes in legal form and by some legal gymnastics by the very people you trusted turn your wishes into mush. I give this lawsuit two thumbs up, one for seeking to uphold Mrs. Helmley's will and the other for setting a precedent that trustees---not only Helmley's but all those who were bequeathed with enormous funds--- will be held accountable for their actions.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Northern New Jersey. Cats for Adoption. Bloomingdale.

We were a bit shorthanded last Sunday at the shelter, but we managed to get the job done nevertheless. Much of the work on any regular day is concentrated on cleaning every kennel and its run. That means washing, scrubbing, rinsing, and squeegeeing the dogs' living areas. We also collect the soiled blankets and replace them with fresh ones. A couple of volunteers prepare the food at our small kitchen counter. It's more time-consuming than it sounds. Of course, the dogs need to be walked. We walk the dogs before the cleaning begins, and then walk them again about an hour after they are fed. We begin the Sunday shift at 8am and by around noon we're done.

I realized that I have been partial to dogs in showcasing our animals at the shelter. This comes naturally since I do my volunteering exclusively at the dog house and I rarely enter our cattery. The cattery has its own very dedicated group of volunteers and hired employees. They have their own separate building, a small and enclosed outdoor area, and another building for quarantine. The cat department shares this Q building with the animal control department.

So, here are several cats up for adoption at the shelter. I wish had some first hand knowledge of how they are but I don't. Nevertheless, featuring them here would be additional exposure and that could mean better chances at adoption. If you don't see anyone that fancies you, please come to the shelter and see the rest of the cats.


Cat gives Dog a Licking. Peace and Harmony.

Finally, the first hot day of summer arrived yesterday. It was great. I drove up to Warwick, New York and found myself at a country store where I was at last Winter. It was one of the coldest days, 7F. I remember when I walked into the store the owner asked, " Is it cold enough for you? " I said, " Nah, but it's getting there. " Denial can have a warming effect. Anyway, yesterday was the hottest day so far at 92F. Down the hill, the antiques store placed a nice and comfortabe oak chair out on the sidewalk from where I watched people pass while my wife shopped the store. Even the local freight train came rumbling by. The breeze was wonderful, and the killer humidity absent.

Here's a very nice and soothing video I found on the web. It's great to see traditional enemies live in harmony.

Friday, August 07, 2009

Philippines. Greyhound Racing. Urge More Senators to Defeat Bills 5241 and 5648.

Things have moved on a little since I wrote the PETITION and my last blog post on the subject. There are now eleven senators who have pledged to oppose the passing of Bills 5241 & 5648. These bills seek to establish greyhound racing in city of Mandaue, Cebu and Luzon respectively. Twenty-three senators make up the Philippine senate, and so eleven is almost 50%. Mind you, it doesn't mean that the rest are supporting the bill. They just haven't come out with their official position on the matter. For example, Senator Miriam Defensor was reported to be in the United States as part of Pres. Gloria Arroyo's entourage. I trust that the well-educated Defensor will reject this cruel and decadent business proposal. Below are the names of the senators who have yet to commit, their email addresses, and a formatted letter to them.

I implore all animal lovers to copy and paste the information into your very own personal email and send it off ASAP. You don't have to be a Filipino. Time is of the essence, and your immediate response could save thousands of greyhounds from a cruel existence at the tracks. Here is the info:

Senator PanfiloLacson
Senator Lito Lapid
Senator Loren Legarda
Senator Kiko Pangilinan
Senator Bong Revilla
Senator Antonio Trillanes
Senator Jinggoy Estrada
Senator Juan Ponce Enrile
Senator Dick Gordon
Senator Miriam Defensor
Senator Edgardo Angara
Senator Joker Arroyo

Here are their email address :,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

Here is a formatted letter for copying and pasting:

The Senate
14th Congress
The Philippines

Dear Senators:

Eleven of your colleagues have already pledged to reject Bill 5291 and Bill 5648. Both bills seek to establish greyhound racing in Cebu and Luzon respectively. Cardinal Vidal of Cebu also condemned the bills. There are other ways to raise revenue and create employment that do not combine abject animal cruelty and the corrupting influence of gambling. The animals and the poor will not benefit from greyhound racing, but a select few who hide behind great corporate names. We should not take advantage of the animals' innocence for personal and commercial profit.

I declare my objection to gambling and animal cruelty and I respectfully urge you to join your colleagues in taking the right course of action. Vote NO on Bills 5291 and 5648. Let us solve existing problems, and not create new ones.


Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Bear Killing in Vernon, New Jersey. UPDATE.

The New Jersey Animal Rights Alliance (NJARA) reported that approximately fifty people attended the demo in Vernon last Saturday. Comparing that with the demos I have attended against Ringling Bros. Barnum and Bailey Circus, fifty people is a pretty good turnout. I reckon people are getting sick of non-violent bears getting murdered. According to NJARA, people drove by the demo honking their horns in support. If you haven't tried your hand at public demonstration, I can tell you that those horns are music to the ears. When complete strangers give you a sign of support, that is very reassuring. I am sorry that I had to be at work that day.

This last bear was reported to be walking the neighborhood, enticed into someone's yard, treed, tranquilized, and then executed by a combined force of Vernon police and the Department of Fish and Wildlife. Pretty nasty stuff that would make you wonder who is the real beast. Wildlife are not just animals flying through, swimming along, or walking around. They are our natural heritage. For heaven's sake, we even name sport teams after them. Authority in the hands of people who have no compassion for animals is reckless and irresponsible. Saving a bear's life should be the first option, killing it the last.

NJARA wants us to do a few things:

1) Please take a moment to send a short note of thanks to Pastor Alec of the Vernon United Methodist Church, 303 Route 94, PO Box 345, Vernon, NJ 07462 for the use of the church's parking lot. We may need to use the lot again and it would be nice if he got lots of letters from us.

2) Please write to Mayor Austin Carew, 21 Church Street, PO Box 340, Vernon, NJ 07462, asking him to use his power as Mayor to stop the police from killing bears.

3) We are also considering attending upcoming Vernon Township Council meetings to let our voices be heard. The Vernon schedule is as follows: Please let us know if you would be interested in joining us.

4) Please feel free to write letters to your local papers. One such letter was printed in the Daily Record today. One such letter was printed in the Daily Record today. See below:

August 4, 2009

It is still summer, but those seeking a bear hunt are inciting the public to kill. It doesn't get enough press in Morris County, but two bears were executed in Vernon last week. They hadn't killed sheep and they hadn't chased children. At least for one of them, the crime was attacking bait (food) placed on his property by a Vernon resident. This hunter then proceeded to chase the poor creature until he/she was treed. The State's Fish and Wildlife representatives then tranquilized the frightened creature ... so that the heroic Vernon police could kill him/her. Why? Yes, I'm anti-hunting and participated in the protest against these killings held Saturday in Vernon. But this is beyond a question of hunting. Did this resident bait (illegal) the creature? Why has the state not enforced the bear feeding ban law? Who is enforcing the trash containment program in Vernon? Not the Vernon police. Were the Vernon police justified in killing this defenseless (tranquilized) creature? All of these questions (and more) need to be answered in a public forum. Municipal and state funds are being expended on these actions and their repercussions. Was there a better and, yes, more humane way for Vernon to handle the situation?


Monday, August 03, 2009

Cats for Adoption. Philippines. PAWS. PARC. August 2009.

For those of you who come to this site from the Philippines, here is a slide show put together by May Angela Felix, a PAWS volunteer and intrepid rescuer of abandoned animals. While you're at it, I urge you to explore her website particularly the photos section and see the commitment this lady has made to animal welfare. I am very impressed by her compassion for animals. This slide show showcases the cats that are up for adoption at the Philippine Animal Rehabilitation Center (PARC) located right next to Ateneo University. PARC is run by PAWS. If you don't fancy any of them, I invite you to visit PARC in person and have a look at the rest of them. Click on the map to enlarge it. Please call 475-1688 for an appoinment.

Cats for Adoption