Thursday, January 29, 2009
Strathmore in North Bethesda, Maryland touts itself as the intersection of art and life. Really? Evidently, that doesn't include animal life and welfare. By including Ringling Bros. Barnum and Bailey circus in their annual festival, Strathmore abdicated their high stature, their exulted position as patron of the arts and anything ethereal, to one that embraces and pushes animal cruelty. PETA has already tried to enlighten Strathmore President Eliot Pfanstiehl about the hideous conditions in which Asian elephants live in, or any of the circus animals for that matter. The gentleman was unmoved. And so ignorance and apathy, not violins and brushes, became the instruments of Strathmore.
You can help save the circus animals from forced labor and long-term detention, from days-long chaining and savage bullhooking, by sending a formatted email to the president of Strathmore. It only takes a stroke of his pen to save the circus animals from being prostituted to the public, thus lifting his organization above the muck and slime. Doing business with any part of Barnum is not acceptable. Maybe Mr. Pfanstiehl is just ignorant, and sees himself as above the welfare of animals. But he may not be totally lacking in compassion. As for those who are otherwise connected with Strathmore, those who perform or exhibit their work there, I refuse to believe that they will blindly support Mr. Pfanstiehl's cooperation with who I consider modern day barbarians and slaveholders. Strathmore should be better than that. Send your email here:
Monday, January 26, 2009
I featured Maxine on this blog a few days ago with another dog named Zeke. Zeke went home to his forever home, but we are still looking for loving humans for Maxine. Now, Maxine is a whippet and she has a lot of energy. So, we are looking for someone or a family with at least person who can keep up with Maxine. Above is a video I took yesterday in our shelter yard. As you can see, letting Maxine loose in a fenced in yard makes her very happy.
Sunday, January 25, 2009
I was walking around the Soho / Greenwich Village area last weekend, and came upon this animal. It wouldn't help to say that it stands in a street cornering Mulberry because Mulberry is a long street. At first, I thought it was a dog. Since the tail is rather long and somewhat straight, I now think that it is bovine and not canine. You might one day come upon him/her, and then you can help me decide for sure.
Friday, January 23, 2009
At the end of 2008, the ASPCA put out a bulletin entitled, What Poisoned our Pets in 2008?. Poison? Now, there's a word that can send chills down your spine. In the ASPCA's Top 10, you will find the usual suspects---lawn fertilizers, household cleaning agents, certain fruits and plants, and also mundane items such as batteries. For our pets, our human environment can be very treacherous.
But, what about hydrogen peroxide (HP)? Well, I actually recall that name with fondness. I recall my mom lovingly wiping my wounds, usually infected wounds, with a cotton ball soaked in HP. Oh, when it fizzed, it was just heaven. It felt like a lot of good was happening, fungi/bacteria/viruses getting killed, healing taking place. You see, when I was a kid, I climbed over 5-foot walls, climbed unto neighbors' roofs, fetched fruits from the trees, played marbles on the bare ground, fell off my bike quite often, jumped into rocky rivers, and sat wherever I pleased. With short pants on, my legs were always bruised and wounded. Such was my childhood in a developing(?) country in Asia.
According to the ASPCA, as good pet owners, we should always have 3% HP as part of our first aid kit. Why? Because, in amounts proportionate to your pet's weight, HP can induce vomiting. Out with the poison, in other words. And if you are going to keep a supply of HP handy, you will also need something to administer it, like a plastic syringe or dropper. Before anything else, it is best to seek the opinion of experts like your vet. Call your vet right away or call the ASPCA poison control center at (888) 426-4435. A $60 consultation fee may be applied to your credit card. With an expert on the phone, you'll have a better chance dealing with a poisoned pet.
The question remains, how much HP should you administer? According to PetPlace.com, it is going to be about a teaspoon per 10 pounds of weight. A teaspoon is 5ml. So, for my 8-lb chihuahua, that would be like half a teaspoon. I must stress though that not all ingested items will come out as easily as they went in. The HP way is just one of the ways you could solve the problem. So, it is very important to get in contact with your vet or a poison control center as soon as possible.
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Monday, January 19, 2009
Bloomingdale Animal Shelter Society
UPDATE: Zeke Adopted 01/23/09
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Well, as it turned out, D'Agostino became the latest business establishment to drop their partnership with that God awful, inhumane, saddest show on Earth, Ringling Bros. Barnum and Bailey Circus. Unaware of the hideous imprisonment and forced labor of animals practiced by the circus, D'Agostino offered their patrons discounted tickets to the show. That's okay because we can't expect every business out there to be on the ball when it comes to animal welfare. The great thing is that D'Agostino dropped the promotion after PETA enlightened them about the plight of the Asian elephants, their chaining for long hours, the loneliness, the forced separation from their children, the bullhooking, the temperature extremes, and other forms of deprivation and cruelty that Ringling believes is acceptable. My old lifeline, D'Agostino has joined Denny's, Liz Claiborne, Lukoil, MasterCard, and Sears, Roebuck and Co. in ending their sponsorship of Ringling. Good job, D'Agostino.
Monday, January 12, 2009
NJARA received a call from a whistleblower at Fort Dix, NJ informing us of the Army's plans to stab, shoot and break the legs of pigs and goats, attempting to create combat injuries, in order that medics can work on them. As with all animal experimentation, this exercise is inhumane and absurd and has no relevancy to human beings who are injured in combat situations.
They will be continuing this barbaric teaching method this week, Wednesday, 1/14 through Friday, 1/16. Please contact the base asking Colonel Thaxton to halt these experiments which may violate the Department of Defense's animal welfare regulation that requires the use of non-animal methods when such methods are available. And numerous methods DO exist, such as the military's own Combat Trauma Patient Simulator. The Air Force Expeditionary Medical Skills Institute's Center for Sustainment of Trauma and Readiness Skills and the Naval Trauma Training Center in Los Angeles both do not use animals in trauma experimentation.
NJARA passed this information along to PCRM and PETA, who have both had campaigns to end the military's use of animals. PETA acted by sending a press release and writing the base commander.
Please take a moment to email Colonel Thaxton by using Peta's emailer alert: http://getactive.peta.org/campaign/fort_dix. As asked, it is always best to write a short, heartfelt letter in your own words, and not use the sample verbatim.
Additionally, please read PETA's alert on the Army's use of live animals to train medics for combat conditions: http://getactive.peta.org/campaign/end_trauma_training. Then, write NJ's federal senators, Lautenberg, and Menendez as well as your federal representative (visit http://lwvnj.org/pubs/CG08.pdf starting at page 18). Ask them to contact the Army and insist that they ban the use of animals in such tests.
New Jersey Animal Rights Alliance (NJARA)
PO Box 174
Englishtown, NJ 07726
New Jersey Animal Rights Alliance is NJ's only statewide animal rights organization. NJARA has been advancing the rights of animals for 25 years through advocacy, public education and legislation. Visit us at http://www.nj-ara.org/.
Be Green! Visit http://www.chooseveg.com/ and explore a plant-based diet.
Saturday, January 10, 2009
Thursday, January 08, 2009
Veg Outreach Program Coordinator : Educate the public about the use of animals raised for food and the human health benefits of a plant-based diet. REQUIRED: excellent understanding of the issues, public speaking and good communication skills, computer literate, vegan. Wonderful opportunity for a compassionate person who cares about the plight of animals. Full time position, from our Englishtown office.
AskUsWhy.com Program Coordinator : The position was created to educate the public about vivisection, expose the fallacies surrounding it and give people actions they can take to help stop vivisection. Full time position, from our Englishtown office.
Project TNR Coordinator : We are looking for a passionate, highly motivated thinker who has a strong desire to improve the situation in New Jersey for feral cats. 20 hours a week, from our Englishtown office.
All the best.
Tuesday, January 06, 2009
Well, let's see what we have here. I finished my three Sundays of training in January, and I became a volunteer officially in February. That makes eleven months of shelter duty. In that time, doing two-hour shifts every Sunday morning, add the occasional Saturday, Sunday and Monday afternoons, I estimated my volunteer hours to be 144 altogether. Somehow, it feels much more than 144 hours, but that's about it. In that time, I've seen dozens of dogs get adopted, about five of which I was directly involved. I don't know how much time I spent cleaning the cages and runs: scooping up poo from the floor, hosing them down, scrubbing them with anti-bacterial agents, hosing them down again, and finally squeegee to dry. I estimated that just seven regular sized dogs can produce five pounds of poo at one time. How many pounds of poo did I haul to the garbage bin in 2008? More than a hundred, easy. Yep, if you want to volunteer at a shelter, you'd be doing some tough cleaning jobs. You'd be washing bowls, beds, feeding dogs and administering their respective medications. We also machine wash soiled blankets, pillows, and stuffed toys. A washing machine and dryer sit in the back room.
Now, we don't euthanize dogs/cats to make space. In fact, we have a dog who has been there for nearly a year and a half. My heart breaks for her. However, we do euthanize dogs for other reasons, like those who are miserably and terminally ill and those who have a history of aggression. You can't allow an animal to suffer any more when it doesn't have a chance at a good and healthy life. And you can't adopt a dog out to a family when you know that the dog can turn on them. For this reason, I believe that there isn't a true " no kill " shelter. Some people can handle tough dogs, but full disclosure is a must. In the past eleven months, I've known three dogs who went down for sure. There are others who disappeared, adopted perhaps. But, I have not asked about their true fate and I'll let that be as it is. When I expressed my sadness about seeing a dog go, one who I've known for a time, our president said, " Ted, concentrate on those we've helped and not on those we couldn't. " I am sure that euthanasia is part of the yearly report. 2009, let it be better.
Monday, January 05, 2009
It's actually our first time to walk together. The area behind the shelter is a favorite for off roaders because the trail is rough and undulating. In the warm months, the vegetation is dense and you cannot see more than 50 feet ahead. It shouldn't be a surprise if you encountered a deer, but it's the stray bear that could ruin your day. But it's winter and I trust that the bears are asleep and not on the prowl around the area.
Walking with Fred, a homeless dog like all others at the shelter, was like walking with a friend. He picked his way among the snow-covered leaves and ice-clogged ruts of the trail as I did. Fred looked back periodically, checking on me, seeing if I was alright or able to keep up. That was very nice of him, my sentient animal friend, a loving being without a loving family. We were the only ones out there, amidst slabs of basalt rock and boulders strewn all over the place when the Earth was formed, surrounded by bare trees standing still, playing dead, waiting for March. With the leaves gone from the trees, I could see farther and get a better idea of our remoteness. Our footsteps made the only sounds, spooky but I loved the privacy. It was as if all the animals in the woods had taken the day off. I took Fred to the stream but it didn't interest him too much. The water felt ice-cold; it was clear, clean, and from melted snow.
We could have stayed there for a couple of hours, but my colleagues at the shelter might send out a search party for us. When we got back to the shelter, I took Fred to the enclosed yard behind the main building and let him loose. He ran and barked at passing dogs, inviting them to play from behind a fence. The sweet dog that he is, Fred would run to where I was seated and nudge me with his head. And off again he went to check out the multitude of scents in the yard. I thought, what a pity that Fred spends many hours in a kennel. The time I spend comfortably at home, Fred spends it pent up in his kennel. A small bed, some stuffed toys, food and water bowls, those are his companions. When we close our doors at 4pm on Sundays, a dog like Fred wouldn't interact with a human again until 9am the next day. They will be fed and walked in the morning, and then several hours of solitude again until the afternoon crew comes in. A shelter is not a home.
A good dog like Fred, and there are many like him, deserve a loving home. Rest assured, we do our best at the shelter and we have found loving homes for many of our dogs and cats. I think that someone is already interested in adopting Fred; there was a yellow tag on his kennel door. If I don't find him at the shelter by next Sunday, then I know he's made his escape. All the best to you, my friend.
Bloomingdale Animal Shelter Society
UPDATE: Fred adopted February 09