Thursday, July 18, 2013

Revised Rabies Challenge Fund Study Summary

Based on feedback indicating confusion, The Rabies Challenge Fund has revised its Study Summary for clarification purposes.
Summary of The Rabies Challenge Fund Duration of Immunity Study
A study conducted according to the USDA Title 9 canine vaccine licensing standard, was begun more than five years ago. The purpose was to determine if the duration of immunity from commercially available rabies vaccines was longer than 3 years, with the goal of extending state-mandated rabies boosters for dogs to 5, and then 7 years.
The first rabies vaccine studied was selected based on the superior response it provided in the USDA challenge trials for licensing. Another licensed rabies vaccine was administered to a second, separate group of dogs 2 years after the first study began so that a minimum of two commercially available rabies vaccines would be tested.
The second vaccine selected is the one currently administered to a very high percentage of dogs. Both vaccines demonstrated excellent protection based on antibody testing for each of the first three study years. However, fewer than 30% of dogs in the first vaccine group, now five years since vaccination, had serum rabies antibody titer levels considered positive on the Rapid Fluorescent Focus Inhibition Test (RFFIT). (Note: RFFIT is the rabies titer standard established by the Centers for Disease Control within the USA [0.1 IU/mL] and the World Health Organization [0.5 IU/mL] for export to other rabies-free locations to be adequate to protect humans, not dogs, against rabies. There is no established standard for dogs, which means that the human standards must be extrapolated when assessing protection for other species.) Some of the dogs with low or no detected RFFIT antibody were further tested to determine if they had "immunologic memory". This in vitro test shows whether memory is present or not, even in cases when serum antibody cannot be detected at a level considered to be protective. The results of this further testing indicated that most of the dogs vaccinated five years ago, even without a positive RFFIT, do have "immunologic memory". As soon as a USDA licensed facility can be reserved, we plan to challenge some of those dogs with rabies virus to determine if the memory response demonstrated actually correlates with protection.
Our conclusion from studies with the initial rabies vaccine is that the immunity conferred by that product, and assessed by the in vitro RFFIT, was excellent for the first three years, but declined during the fourth year, and continued to drop during the fifth year. The second vaccine group, which is now three years from vaccination, will remain on study for at least two more years.
Principal Investigator, Dr. Ronald Schultz of the University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine, is preparing results of the study and details described above for scientific peer review and publication. That data will be made available to the public as soon as our paper has been accepted for publication. After completion of the peer-review process, it is our hope that this data will establish the world's first canine rabies titer standard. If this data is further verified by challenge, it will provide a solid scientific base enabling states to incorporate titer clauses into their laws.

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Rabies Challenge Fund
c/o Hemopet
11561 Salinaz Avenue
Garden Grove, CA 92843

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Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Animal Shelters - the new Puppy Mills

Truth is generally stranger than fiction, but no more so than here in the US where trite sound bites become a perceived reality. "Save a tree" was a motto in support of using plastic bags. Now plastic bags are taboo! "Make love not war" sounds good in theory but of course doesn't quite reflect the reality of defending against aggression. "An apple a day keeps the doctor away" Seriously?

Here are a few more recent slogans that do their part to twist reality to suit the animal rights agenda:

"Don't breed or buy while shelter dogs die"

Heard that one? Or how about:

"If you breed, rescue. If you don't breed, rescue anyway!"

And then there's:

"For every dog bred, a shelter dog dead!"

These cute little cliched maxims ring just a bit hypocritical in the light of current events in the wonderful world of animal sheltering.

I don't want to cover ALL the atrocities covered in the name on "sheltering", but let's present a quick review of current routine practices . It's a fact that, an a regular daily basis, "shelters" kill healthy animals while blaming "overpopulation" and while blaming those who choose to breed. Shelters kill animals with minor and easily treatable illnesses. There's no money for antibiotics or vaccines or even decent food, but there is an endless supply of pentobarbital. They kill because they budget money for fancy new office space, while there is no funding for more or improved kennel space. Shelters kill friendly animals, neutered animals, and pets who dared to stray too far from home. They kill community feral cats, denouncing them as menaces to society. They kill because they can't be bothered to scan for microchips or look for owners. They kill when owners are unable to immediately come up with hundreds of dollars in redemption fees. The vast majority of the time, shelters can't be bothered with organizing low-cost adoption fairs or advertising. Killing is much quicker and easier, and at the same time the killing allows them to inure themselves with a false sense of moral superiority.

So it is rather ironic and somewhat surprising to read in the past few weeks that shelters...MAJOR public shelters....are currently brainstorming ways to get their meathooks into more puppies. Los Angeles Animal Services own Brenda Barnett presented a proposal to take in and foster out to 'selected rescues' pregnant bitches, allowing the puppies to be born, raised to salable age and then sold to raise money for the shelter.

There was actually an ad recently placed on Craiglist by a shelter in Idaho. (You know, that Craigslist where NO responsible breeder would ever EVER offer a dog for sale <rolls eyes>.)
Well this shelter was offering to buy puppies for $25 each from people in the community, so that they could turn around and re-sell them for a profit. Seems they just don't have enough puppies to go around up there in Idaho.

Shelters need puppies to sell. They need to make profit. They are GREEDY. They are LIVING OFF THE BACKS OF ANIMALS; the very offense of which they accuse breeders.

By their own twisted logic, for every dog that a "shelter" or "rescue" imports from overseas or across the border (yeah, they do that all the time) one more shelter dog dies. But, sadly, this trite expression comes to life in the reality of shelter operations. They are the ones controlling the killing and they also seek to be the sole source of pets for they imported or bred on the premises or sought out from the local community.

Since when is it OK to cherry-pick the animals you want to have on hand to sell while summarily killing anything that is older than a puppy?

Los Angeles, along with other nearby cities like West Hollywood and Glendale, has enacted a ban on retail sales of animals unless they are from "shelter" or "rescue".

Hmmm.. so now we will not only have the Shelter Pet Store but the Shelter Breeder too. San Diego is apparently next in line for this sort of monkey business, having approved a retail sales ban unless the animals are sourced from "shelter" or "rescue". How long before they look to start breeding their animals or trucking them in from Mexico?

The actual text of the ad from Craigslist. It has since been removed, but those of you with "wayback" talents may be able to pull the ad up:

Our dog adoptions at Canyon County Animal Shelter are doing great and we
have a large demand for puppies right now. If your dog has had puppies,
we will pay $25 per puppy and spay the mother for free. We are trying to
make sure that puppies adopted in the Nampa-Caldwell area are vaccinated
and spayed/neutered before being adopted to cut down on the pet
overpopulation. If you are interested in having us find homes for your
puppies, please TEXT Andrea at 208-258-5208 for all the details, or call
the shelter at 208-455-5920. Some restrictions apply. We are located at
5801 Graye Lane, Caldwell ID and our hours are Mon-Sat 10-6:00 and Sun

And here is the info about LAAS considering breeding their own puppies.

General Manager of Los Angeles Animal Services (LAAS) Brenda Barnette, issued a report on June 23, 2013, recommending that the Department:
Make dogs in late-term pregnancy available to New Hope partners (rescues) as Department fosters OR to Department foster volunteers if fosters are available.
(1) Prohibit third-trimester spaying if a foster is available; and
(2) New Hope partners (rescuers) could also serve as foster volunteers for the Department for the pregnant mother and subsequent litter.
In her Fiscal Impact statement in the report, Barnette contends:
"Fostering puppies until they are eight weeks old, and returning them to Animal Services to be adopted out, represents additional revenue opportunities through adoptions to the public or through pet shops."
However, earlier in this report, GM Barnette states, "If the New Hope partner (rescuer) chooses, they can return them [the puppies] to the shelter for spay/neuter surgery and then adopt them for the regular fees." OR "The New Hope partners can have the dog and the puppies altered and after the Department receives proof…they can be transferred to the New Hope Partners at no additional charge."

From: "Brenda Barnette | Department of Animal Services" <>
Subject: Commission Meeting 7-9-2013
Date: July 3, 2013 7:22:03 PM PDT


Board of Animal Services Commission Meeting Tuesday, July 9, 2013 @ 10:00 a.m.

Reminder: The Commission meeting is Tuesday at 10 a.m. at City Hall, 200 North Spring Street in Los Angeles, CA 90012. Our normal meeting room is 1060. We have been advised that the City Council may need that room and we may be moved to another room. Since we do not have the location yet, please come early and we will post the meeting room on the door.
This will be a presentation and a discussion of SPAYING DOGS IN LATE TERM PREGNANCY. Please join us to get your questions answered and give your input.

The meeting materials can be found at

Brenda Barnette
General Manager

221 N. Figueroa Street, 5th Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90012
(213) 482-9558

Monday, July 8, 2013

Would you castrate your son?

In 2006 an exhibition titled “Handel and the Castrati” was held at the Handel House Museum in London.  The quotes below are from an article by Sean Coughlan, a journalist for the BBC.

“In 17th and 18th Century Italy, about 4,000 boys were castrated each year, from the age of eight upwards, with the aim of making a fortune as opera singers and soloists with choirs in churches and royal palaces. Composers were enthusiastic about the more complex musical possibilities of these voices - and music lovers turned these exotic figures into the pop idols of their day.

According to historian, David Starkey, ‘It is unnatural in every way, depending on an operation that is an abomination to every man, and yet if it worked, delivered something that, in the opinion of some of the greatest composers of all time, was the supreme human voice - founded on utter and supreme inhumanity…It's horribly like the child star of today, forced into this artificiality, forced through the shocking mill of Hollywood - to deliver that ineluctable, strange, desirable thing of star quality.’"

Isn’t it appalling what parents will do to their children in the pursuit of fame and fortune? No, this isn't 17th or 18th century Italy, and we don’t castrate our kids, although high, pre-pubescent voices are increasingly popular with music fans. Would we do it? I hope not.

And yet…we’re perfectly willing to castrate our dogs for human convenience, and for a cause that no longer exists. Why are we so eager to mutilate our pets, especially in the face of studies that the procedure is bad for their health?

If you have had dogs for many years, and never bred a litter, accidentally or otherwise, how does this butchery and yes, abuse, of your dog “save lives”?

The article concludes with the statement that, “Rather grimly, only a small number of those boys who had been castrated became star performers, with the majority failing to make a career in music - even after this toughest of career choices.”

And how many dogs have suffered from the removal of healthy organs for…nothing.