Friday, February 26, 2010

Denville, New Jersey. Joe McCabe. Animals Die via Irresponsible Trash Management.

There are bits of news that are extraordinary in their nature that they are almost a source of merriment than disappoinment or joy. You know the stuff---bank robber caught in a surveillance video with his name tag on his chest; after hours liquor store intruder who couldn't get out through the broken window he used to enter the premises; a mugger who mistakenly targeted an undercover cop. Thanks for the memories and the laughs.

Well, I don't know if it is proper to compare Joe McCabe's case to those mentioned above, but certainly his level of stupidity and carelessness made those guys look sharp. In Denville, NJ this week, Joe McCabe created a string of events that landed him on the pages of NJ.Com. Who in his right mind would leave his daughter's pet rabbit on a screened porch and alongside an unsecured garbage bin in bear country? Well, Joe McCabe! I know that it pays to advertise but McCabe virtually put up a giant pulsating neon sign along a bear superhighway that said, FOOD FOOD FOOD.

Not surprisingly, a black bear came along and scrounged the unsecured garbage bin, and then tore his way into the screened porch and devoured the rabbit. This 400-lb bear was later shot down from a tree by Denville cops, opting to go lethal over a capture and release alternative. Why kill a bear that wasn't menacing people, one that already climbed a tree in fear? The responding blockheads from the Denville Police Department should be answerable to the people, but they might have a problem with articulating their thought processes even if the logical equations they made were simple. Or, is that given them too much credit?

With an 11-yr old girl traumatized, a rabbit and a black bear dead, and responding police officers having used lethal force when it was unnecessary, wouldn't you think that Joe McCabe would, at least, issue a mea culpa? Basically, it would run like, " I am a dumb ass and I am sorry for my careless actions. I will go over to Home Depot and get bear-proof garbage bins and keep pets indoors from now on. "

If not, the next time he puts out the garbage for collection, it would be nice of Joe McCabe to put himself in it too.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Florida. Tillicum. Killer Whale. Captive Animal. He Wants Out.

This is all over the news, and the media just loves this kind of stuff. The local anchorwoman began her report by saying that a tragedy occurred even before people knew what was going on. I reckon she meant the killing of the marine park trainer before a live audience.

But, the truth be told, the real tragedy has always been in plain view. They are kept in relatively small tanks, and taught to perform acts that are unnatural to them. Killer whales are not pets that you embrace, kiss, and ride. Yet, they are trained to tolerate these human acts, and marine parks make money exhibiting this tenuous state of affairs. Killer whales are social beings, vis-a-vis their own species, have their own sense of self and what is acceptable to that self. They don't belong in marine parks and are not normally subservient to humans. Even a yokel like me, doing a little bit of research, can come to this conclusion.

Is there anyone out there who can truly measure the frustration level of captive killer whales? Some claim to have an understanding of killer whales, but two trainers and a private citizen are dead, killed by the same whale, Tillicum, a few years ago. What other signs does Tillicum need to exhibit to be considered a frustrated and unhappy animal? Seaworld must have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars, perhaps even millions, on Tillicum and so it is not about to declare him dangerous enough that he has to stop performing or interacting with trainers. That would mean a loss in revenue. Tillicum's unsafe behaviour or nature will be veiled in terms of " He doesn't know his true strength and size and thus he could and has accidentally killed humans. " Another one would be that the trainer did not follow proper procedures. Never will it be that Tillicum has had enough and should be released. With all the money involved, that's not going to be an option at all. When will zoo keepers, zoologists, and captive animal trainers recognize that they can't keep wild animals imprisoned and expect them not to break? Our self-proclaimed dominion over animals is wrong.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Philippines. Dog Rescue. PAWS. Xavierville. Vangie.

This rescue occurred some time ago, but it shouldn't go unmentioned. Back in January 2010, an individual named Imon Monzon reported a disabled, stray dog to the Philippine Animal Welfare Society (PAWS). The dog's location was reported to be at Xavierville Ave in Quezon City. In her email to PAWS, Imon stated that her heart bleeds whenever she sees the dog, all gray, so thin, seemed neglected and unable to walk with its hind legs. Imon gave the dog some food and it wagged its tail. The dog devoured the food like it was its first meal in a long time. Imon continued to say that the dog was usually at the same spot, and that it had a dog tag that was unreadable. She ended her plea for help with, " Everytime I see him though, I feel like crying..:( "

PAWS responded by sending two volunteers, Daisy Medel and John Tangkengko, to rescue the dog. That dog is the one you see in the photo, and its new name is Vangie because she was found at the corner of Evangelista Street. Vangie is now safe and cared for at PAWS' rehab center. We are here by the grace of God, and through our hands his work is done.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Subaru. Compassion for Animals. Respect for the Environment. Makers of Excellent Vehicles.

Subaru never ceases to amaze me. Not only are the vehicles all-wheel wonders, but the manufacturer itself is all will when it comes to being green and compassionate. Who's ever heard of a car maker who cares about the environment and animal welfare at the same time? Well, now you have!

The ASPCA reported that, "
For the past two years, Subaru has partnered with the ASPCA as part of the “Share the Love” event, resulting in a $1.2 million donation in the first year alone. This past holiday season, the ASPCA helped connect Subaru dealerships with local animal welfare agencies around the country to promote Share the Love with fun-filled events and activities. Our matchmaking resulted in more than 350 adoptions and raised $28,000 for local agencies! "

Subaru will soon embark on an advertising campaign that features two adopted dogs at the wheel, Olive and Zelda. You can see them HERE . Did you know that half of Subaru owners have a dog? As for some kind of pet, seven out of ten Subaru owners have one.Pretty impressive stats.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Australia. Perry Bros Circus. Free Saigon, the Elephant.

There's a new effort to free Saigon, but it isn't the same one from the 1960s. Saigon, this time, is a 55-yr old elephant who is transported from town to town by the Perry Bros. Circus although she is already too old to perform. At that age, you'd think she deserves to retire after having earned enough money for the circus. Not so, the milk of human kindness does not flow through the Perry Bros Circus. Animals Australia has embarked on a petition to convince the circus to give Saigon a break, to let her have some kind of retirement life before she finally says good-bye. For pity's sake, let her free. It's not like the circus hasn't squeeze every ounce of financial profit from her. On one of the online forums, someone commented that the last of Saigon's four female companions died last December (2009), and that she has never met a male in all her life. Saigon lives alone now.

What can we do from here? You can email them directly at , or you can help by signing the petition below, and that should not take more than two minutes of your time:

Free Saigon Petition

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Philippines. International Spay Day. Free Spaying and Neutering. PAWS.

Today is quite close to the event, but this notice is not yet late. It seems that February 12 is International Spay Day, and the Philippine Animal Welfare Society is sponsoring free spaying at their Philippine Animal Rehabilitation Center (PARC). I hope that word got around extensively especially to the poor folks who can't afford to S/N their pets, and there are many of them in the Philippines. It will be a busy day at the shelter. The information is on the poster. Click to enlarge it. If you want more information about the benefits of S/N, Spay-USA is a great place for that.

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Bloomingdale. New Jersey. Chihuahua / Pug for Adoption. Kaylie.

The latest shipment of doomed animals arrived at the shelter last Saturday night, 730pm. There were about seven of them. Consider them the lucky ones, selected among many who will end up gassed in animal control facilities in the South. Driven by pure love and pity, certain individuals take to the road with the dogs in search of a place of safety, usually a shelter in the North. I have done transport myself, but those were only one-hour legs between New Jersey and Connecticut. Those unknown heroes of animal welfare, kindred spirits, they make the world a better place. Imagine the time, effort, and fuel that goes into these life-saving transports. Not too long ago in our country's history, a similar transport system was in effect. That was known as the Underground Railroad.

My new favorite at the shelter is among these dogs. She's a Chihuahua-Pug mix named Kaylie. What a joyful dog she is! Kaylie loves to play. Even when alone in her cage, Kaylie roughhouses with a stuffed animal. Then she is startled to see my face peering through the bars, and she goes into a spiral maneuver as if screwing herself into the floor---her invitation to be picked up. A great dog but a homeless one, Kaylie's status could change sooner than the others since small dogs are adopted quicker than the rest. I know that Kaylie will charm her way out of the shelter for sure.

Bloomingdale Animal Shelter Society

UPDATE: Adopted Feb. 5, 2010

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Consumer Reviews. Bloomingdale Animal Shelter. Truth in Commenting.

I have been trying to find dogs for two of my office mates who have come to a point in their lives where they are ready to take in a pet. I am not surprised that they are opting to adopt rather than buy a pet. Library people tend to be au courant with the latest " right thing to do and say. " This is true not only in terms of the environment, personal conduct, gender equality, sexual preference, but also with animal welfare. Well, not everybody here...but most of us are liberal-minded.

Unfortunately, none of our dogs at the shelter fit their requirements except for one. And that dog isn't even a perfect fit. I am now helping them find a dog in the tristate area, volunteered to drive them to any far-off place because it will mean finding happy homes for a couple of homeless dogs. While in the process, I came upon a website that contained user reviews on almost any consumer goods or services out there. There were seven reviews on Bloomingdale Animal Shelter Society, all good except for one that was posted just the end of last month. The reviewer warned the public to be wary of us, that we play egotistical games, that some volunteers enjoy power trips, that we play with people's hearts. It sounds like the person was adopting a cat, and she was denied.

Well, I don't know much about what goes on at the cattery since I am always at the doghouse. The most I do for the cats is to stick my finger through the outside wire fence so the cats can rub against it. They enjoy the tingling sensation along their ribs. They do number eights so both sides get a fair massage.

To be circumspect, or perhaps totally cynical, I can't trust a bad review as well as a good one. I don't know who is behind the good ones, and it is not being paranoid or unreasonably distrustful to say that perhaps some people close to the shelter have been posting self-serving reviews. And the people who submit negative reviews, on the other hand, have an axe to grind, reasons totally unrelated to animal adoption.

I mean, how many times have you seen a restaurant get several awful reviews, but your own dining experience has been pleasurable! And the reverse is true as well. Life is treacherous.

Anyway, the reviews didn't deny that we care for our animals and signs of animal abuse nonexistent. I can attest to that. No dogs are abused or humiliated at the shelter. We don't hit the dogs nor drag them in or out of their cages. In the nearly three years of volunteering at Bloomingdale, I haven't seen or known a situation where a dog was punished for doing something displeasing, like pooing or peeing in his/her bed or kennel a second time. In that case, we just walk the dog again so volunteers can clean up the space, put in a fresh blanket, and take it from there. We stoically deal with the matter because, at the shelter, shit actually happens and often. No need to get riled up or seek revenge on the poor dog.