Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Oregon Has to Stem the Tide of Yellow Journalism

Unsourced photo attached to referenced article. We don't know exactly what is going on here, or where the picture is from. But hey, it LOOKS dramatic, and the emotional impact is more important than any actual FACTS.

Just read a ridiculous article today (see link below), claiming that because "rescues" are bringing dogs from California to Oregon, California must surely have a surplus of pets. "California Has to Stem the Tide of Dogs" the headline blares. These relocated pets, according to this article, are riddled with disease, suffer from severe emotional distress and are kept in horrific conditions.

Well, claim #3 may not be far from the truth. Lord knows that some of these "rescues" lately have been busted for keeping their charges in abusive and negectful conditions.

While I agree that dogs should not be transported across state lines for purpose of “rescue”, most of this article is emotional histrionics with no basis in facts. Firstly, the misconception that the state of California is lax on sterilization and that is the reason that dogs are being transferred to other states is DEAD WRONG.

Under the Vincent Law, passed way back in 1998, California state shelters are mandated to sterilize all dogs and cats prior to release. Of course, this law was also based on the false premise that shelter problems are caused by failure to spay/neuter. It failed to take into account that, in 1998, shelter numbers had dramatically declined from the 1970s and 1980s...WITHOUT any mass spay-neuter, or forcing people to sterilize their adopted dog or cat.

But even as shelter numbers continued to decline, we couldn't leave well enough alone. Several local areas decided to pass laws requiring all pets to be sterilized. The most densely-populated areas of the state like Los Angeles County have had mandatory spay and neuter laws for several years now. And them, guess what happened? You got it, after those laws were passed, shelter intakes and deaths increased. That is the norm; such foolish, punitive and coercive laws always cause higher shelter intakes everywhere they have been tried. And, some people out there don't necessarily WANT their pets spayed/neutered as they are aware of the negative health consequences that often accompany such drastic measures.
Next, IF these shelter animals are in such horrific condition, how about holding the government shelters responsible for that, rather than spouting a stock meanigless reply about "overpopulation"? Aren't shelters the ones releasing these animals? At least, that is what is being reported here. IF the reporting is in any way reliable.

Shelters sending out dogs laden with parasites and rife with various diseases? Somehow I doubt that. But, even if true, abuse is abuse, whether the animals are being cared for by a private party, a state-run shelter, or a largely unregulated "rescue" operation.

And just because it's called a "shelter" or a "rescue" doesn't necessarily mean there's anything humane going on.

The fact is that there are so few pets available in some areas of the state, that shelters and rescues in California are IMPORTING DOGS from other states and even other countries.

That's right. “Dogs Without Borders” in Los Angeles will order you a dog from as far away as Taiwan. The Helen Woodward Humane Society in San Diego County has shipped in dogs from the south for years, and imports dogs from Europe...specifically from Romania....every month. Compassion Without Borders" has long brought homeless stray dogs into California for the rescue trade. Golden Retriever Rescue LA imports dogs from Taiwan. Beagle rescue flew 40 dogs from Spain into Los Angeles. Then we have Save a Mexican Mutt, who obviously bring up mutts from Mexico.

Gotta restock the store shelves, you know.

Now here's another interesting factoid that those in Oregon probably haven't considered. The US Border patrol did a survey recently and discovered that over 10,000 dogs and puppies are smuggled into San Diego County from Mexico, each and every year.

That's because the shelters in San Diego County rarely have any adoptable dogs.

The group “Wings of Rescue” admits that, over the past few years, it has cherry-picked about 2,000 of the most desirable young and small breed dogs from California's shelters to re-sell in Washington, Oregon, and British Columbia.

WHY is this happening? Why are animals being relocated from one area to another?

Because there is a shortage of pets in some areas.

Having a pet SHORTAGE is not desirable either. A shortage drives up prices, and promotes the black market sales of animals and indiscriminate breeding for quantity, not quality.

But the misguided well-meaning "rescuers" and the less-altruistic animal rights kooks won't rest until all pets in this country are sterilized. They dream of the day when there is a shortage of pets across the nation, just as there already exists a shortage in selected areas such as the New England states and the Pacific Northwest region. They'll be glad to fill the void with pets from Mexico, the Caribbean, Taiwan and other distant locales. (Shhh!! Some of them actually make money doing this!)

Now, let's conduct a little exercise in shelter math, shall we?

According to California's 2011 state shelter statistics (the latest year for which statistics are available) there were 176,907 dogs euthanized for the entire year in California's shelters. We don't know how many of these were adoptable dogs, but most shelter experts estimate that roughly half of all dogs killed are adoptable (ie not sick, injured or aggressive)

The population of California stands at just over 38 million. Using all lthis data, we can calculate that there was less than one adoptable dog killed in an animal shelter for every 400 citizens in 2011. That's hardly what anyone with two brain cells to rub together would be stupid enough to call "overpopulation"

Out of 400 people, perhaps just ONE might be looking for a nice dog? Do you think that shelters might possibly be able to find homes for all or even MOST of the adoptable dogs? There is absolutely no reason why not, IF they are doing their job in a proactive manner.

But don't let facts interfere with the spay-neuter propaganda agenda.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Love Hurts

Americans have always had a love affair with pets. Stories about pets are common subjects for “human interest” pieces in news publications. We read about dogs who save human lives and the lives of their canine companions. We read stories about long-lived dogs, talented dogs and ugly dogs. We read about dogs who are so faithful to their owners that they remain steadfast at their gravesite.

Cats also provide displays of affections for their owners that inspire news reports. We read about Toldo, an Italian cat who regularly visits the grave of his deceased owner. The man’s widow, Ada, said the cat “brings little twigs, leaves, toothpicks, plastic cups. A bit of everything really,” everyday to the grave of his former owner who has now been deceased for over a year. 1

Then there was the story just this week about the cat in Florida who spent nearly two months walking home after being lost from the owner’s motor vehicle almost 200 miles from home. 2

We also often read stories about animal cruelty and abuse. Tales of “hoarding” and “puppy mills” grab the interest and sell news. These stories serve to solicit contributions by the organizations who are the self-appointed saviors of abused animals. This is mostly a black-and-white issue, or so it might appear on the surface. Animal abusers need to be stopped and they need to be punished, while animal saviors desperately need our financial support. A no-brainer, right?

Well, maybe things aren’t quite as black-and-white as they might seem. Some “abusers” have themselves been affected by financial ruin, a sudden turn in their health, loss of job or home, or even a death in the family. All these factors can affect the ability to care properly for their pets. Even if the accused abuser is completely broke, or physically or mentally disabled, the reports of abuse are completely lacking in sympathy for the person down on his or her luck. Oftentimes, rabid followers publicly call for a lynching of purported “abusers”. If we were talking about children in these households instead of animals, there would be assistance available. Instead, we deliver only scorn.

Pet “rescue” on the other hand, has become the trendy activity. “My pet was rescued” Jane announces proudly. Her friends and relatives congratulate her for her largesse. Win-win, she gets to enjoy a companion and get a boost to her self-esteem at the same time. Proclaiming that you just BOUGHT a new puppy or kitten does not produce the same warm public accolades. On the contrary, you may be derided with jeers about supporting evil breeders, causing shelter deaths and contributing to pet overpopulation (all of these silly notions have been thoroughly debunked here in the past).

And never mind the fact that you do BUY pets from rescues. They aren’t giving them away, folks!

Then, oddly enough, we sometimes also have cases of saviors-turned-abusers. There are also plenty of news stories recounting tales of animal “rescues” where the care has gone sour, and the animals have to be rescued from the rescuer. Generally, what happens in such cases is that a rescue entity becomes overloaded with more animals than it has the resources to care for. Now, the very group that we trusted to “rescue” has suddenly become the “hoarder”. How can that be? How can a hero one day become a villain the next?

“Hoarder”, “abuser”, and “puppy mill” are all pejorative slurs that are thrown about handily in the popular news media. Similarly brainless terms like “rescue” and “shelter” are thrown about in a self-congratulatory, feel-good manner, when in actuality they are meaningless and do not necessarily reflect any actual beneficence on the part of the person or group being described. Such stereotypical monikers do not often reflect reality, and that is a major reason why we should refrain from using them.

Americans donate to various animal charities by hand over fist each year. The ASPCA rakes in $144 million per year, with net assets of $188 million, while the HSUS receives about $177 million each year. 3

This is mostly accomplished through donations from a generous, pet-loving public who are urged by these self-appointed saviors to please donate a certain monthly amount. Say around $19 a month? Just a suggestion, since hey, you really want to help poor suffering animals. “Look at these horrific pictures and please open your wallet!!!” And people do, by the hundreds of millions of dollars each and every year.

In February, 2012, a cat “rescue” called Caboodle Cat Ranch Sanctuary near Tallahassee, Florida was raided. The rescuer had hundred of cats on the premises. Animal rights operatives spent many months gathering up “evidence” in the form of photographs taken of sick animals that were being housed on the premises. The cats were removed from the rescue and remanded to the care of the local law enforcement agency. ASPCA immediately stepped in and sent literally HUNDREDS of people in to care for the cats.4

The ASPCA subsequently asked for $1.8 million dollars in reimbursement for care of
these “rescued” cats. From their website:

“In a letter to the judge, Director Tim Rickey of the ASPCA details how $1.2 million [as of June 22] has been spent on care for Caboodle Ranch cats. In addition to medical care and basic necessities, the cats are receiving behavioral enrichment to “remedy the effects of the severe neglect and lack of socialization they experienced during their time at Caboodle Ranch.”

Problem is, the itemized list of expenses was released to the public, and very little of those expenses were related to actual care of the cats. Most of it was for airfare, hotels and meals for the humans involved. The expense statement the ASPCA turned in was simply outrageous! Listing “plumbing”, “carpet cleaning”, “chocolates for the ladies”, “lunch at Panera’s for 100+” (totaling over 1200.00), resort hotels, $400 thousand in airfares and rental cars and the list of vacation expenses goes on and on. $1000 for snacks in a two-day period. One person even submitted the charge to replace her cell phone battery. What gall! Very little was listed in the way of actual veterinary expenses. 5

On the other hand, the owner of Caboodle cat ranch claimed to be able to produce over $90,000 in veterinary bills for the cats, that he personally had paid when the cats were in his possession. Hmmm. Which “rescue” was truly legit here? The jury seems to be still out on that.

Knowing the manipulative history of animal rights fanatics, I am very skeptical about the Caboodle Cat Ranch Rescue. If you’d like to read more information about the case, check this post on YesBiscuit (and please do read the comments):

So just how reliable is the ASPCA.....really?

Recently, the ASPCA agreed to pay Feld Entertainment a whopping $9.3 million settlement in a suit brought against them under the federal Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act. Seems they manufactured evidence. Are they admitting guilt? It certainly seems so. 6

Well, now we know how the ASPCA will use your $19 per month automatic payments; they will be sending them to the Ringling Brothers circus, even though they originally conspired to bring the circus down. Poetic justice! At least THOSE donations will actually to go care for some animals. Good deal.

The request for the $1.8 million dollars expenses reimbursement was denied. Here is the trial court ruling:

“The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, hereafter referred to as ‘ASPCA’ did NOT have an agency relationship...”

Perhaps the courts are waking up to the blatant abuses of groups who, despite their self-proclaimed sainthood status, are not necessarily the do-gooders one would expect based on their names.







Trolls - mostly kept under the bridge

I suppose it is natural that since this is a  high-traffic site, we get lots of comments from trolls. There are plenty of wild-eyed alarmists out there who cruise the web and look for places to post their nonsense.

We get many comments from trolls who can't believe the statistics, because, well, they KNOW that there is pet overpopulation, they KNOW that people are inherently "bad" and that animals have the "right" to be free of our influence. They KNOW that anyone who presents the facts about the adverse health effects of spay-neuter surely must be wrong. They KNOW that "rescue" is noble, while breeders are greedy, evil animal abusers. They want to contradict anything and everything we post here. These people have been so deeply brainwashed that they can no longer think rationally. Responding to such fools is a waste of time and energy. Therefore, long ago the decision was made to only selectively post a representative sampling of such comments.
The good thing about having a private blog is the right to deny others the opportunity to use your forum to grandstand their position. When people want to look for real, hard facts on current animal issues, they check our blog. We are not here to allow "animal rights" fanatics a place to push their extremist agenda. 

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Climate Control

"We" the responsible show breeders deserve to breed our dogs, because we are so, well, AWESOME, right? We pamper our pooches, we lose a ton of money breeding and showing our dogs. We seldom have litters, we screen our homes, we health test, we belong to breed clubs, we are motivated by love, not money.

Yes, we ARE the bees knees!!! But what about those who might have different goals and different purposes from ours? Are they less “worthy” of breeding? We seemingly don't have a problem with laws that limit those unscrupulous "other" breeders. And they may do things that most of us don't do. They sell dogs over the internet, or to "pet shops" or through brokers or they breed their bitches every year. But, we have to STOP assuming that every broker is bad, that pet stores are merchants of greed and horror, that anyone who is motivated by money is necessarily an evil abuser.

Because it's just plain not true.

All dogs are not destined to serve as primarily as "pets", although even those with jobs are usually dearly cherished by their owners. Military working dogs are procured via brokers and breeders who specifically breed for that market. Guide Dogs for the Blind organizations breed dogs for a specific “helpmate” function. They crossbreed, they breed for aptitude, and they certainly have more than one or two litters a year. Dogs used on farms and ranches have jobs to do, and those who are the strongest and smartest and demonstrate the best ability will probably be selected to be bred to provide us with the next generation.

Traditionally, we have had choice. The choice to own a purebred dog, or a mixed breed dog, to breed as we see fit, whether we want a pet litter of "doodles", or a show litter, or a litter to hopefully produce a dog who will excel at a certain function. (Even if that function is catching frisbees). Do we really want the government stepping in and setting up ridiculous breeding rules? Must belong to a breed club, must do X-Y-Z health certification, must not crossbreed, and on and on ad nauseum.

Do we really want the government demanding that we forego the purebred puppy in the pet shop, with a pedigree and a health history, in favor of imported strays with completely unknown backgrounds? Families who want a pet currently can pick up the newspaper want ads and find one to suit their needs (although last time I checked, there were NO pets advertised in our local paper). Should it be illegal to advertise animals over the internet or in newspaper want ads? Should people have to beg permission from the government in order to breed a litter? These are all issues we currently face in today's climate of government control of our hobby.

Animal Rights extremists want to replace puppies resulting from planned litters with unplanned, crossbred street dogs, many of which are from foreign countries. They've already gotten laws passed to make this the ONLY sort of pet found in a pet stores in many localities in California. They want strict government regulation of all breeding in the US. If the side effect of such over-regulation is causing most breeders to give up entirely, that would be dandy with them. If there were no pets in pet stores, or in newspaper ads, or on the internet, it would be "mission accomplished" for these Animal Wrongists.

Patti Page, famous for the songs "Tennessee Waltz" and "How Much is that Doggie in the Window," died January first at a nursing home in Encinitas, California. How different the climate was toward pets in the mid-twentieth century! Purebred puppies were regarded as one of life's treasures. Pet shop puppies went from societies’ darlings to social pariahs, because the Animal Wrongists have convinced the public that surely they are the product of unscrupulous animal abusers.
We need to get past such attitudes. We need to recognize that passing laws intended to eliminate the few "bad apple" breeders will not accomplish that goal, but such laws will eliminate all the great dogs that we love in the process. The show dogs, the working dogs, the mixed breed "doodle" pets, ALL of them! Patti Page was even pressured to re-write her "doggie in the window" song to one that promotes adoption of shelter dogs.

"Dog breeding is a privilege, not a right" someone recently commented on this blog. I think many people are beginning to fall into this sort of mindset. On the contrary, I believe it is our RIGHT to breed our dog, our cat, our bird, our hamster or our farm animals. They belong to us, and it is our right to breed them. And once we give up that right to government control or even to the discretion of dog clubs, then woe betide us.

We are a nation where choice and freedom are supposed to be guarded and cherished. Our freedom to breed in an unrestricted manner and our choice to own the pet that we want should not be determined for us by others who believe that somehow they know best. When we arrive at the "no breeding" goal of animal fanatics, life as we know it will never be the same. We'll be missing a very important part of our heart and soul.