Sunday, August 29, 2010

Helter Shelter

This is an older piece, tough to read for many, but I believe it is important to have it available to those who wish to. Easily one of the most powerful pieces about shelters, shelter workers and euthanasia I've ever read.

Helter Shelter: A grim tale of the needle and the damage done 

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Sunday fun

I try to make a habit (with rare exceptions) of only posting happy things on Sundays. Don't we all get enough unhappy news the other days of the week? Keeping that in mind, enjoy!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Saturday Pet Blogger Hop

Yep, I'm back for pet blogging fun on a Saturday! Want to check out bunches of pet blogs? Jump in below!

Top of the food chain?

As I stood there this morning, bleary-eyed from not having gotten nearly as much sleep as one might reasonably expect to be entitled to on a Saturday morning, cleaning out the cat dish after letting out the seniors to enjoy their backyard cement pond and outdoor litter box, I decided it was time to admit what I always suspected: That being at the top of the food chain, is a crock.

If there were an ounce of truth to the notion that we pet owners stood as ruler of our domain, why is it that my pets get to go back to bed at 8 a.m., bellies full, bladders emptied and affection delivered while I am already at work, earning the paycheck that keeps the food on the floor?

Why do I spend more time reading the labels on the treats I purchase than the nutritional information sheet at the venue where I eat lunch?

Why is it that despite my offerings of food, treats, love and devotion I still have to get up at crack-o-dawn-thirty most every freakin' day of the year to satisfy their desire to drink out of the pool, rather than the three water dishes provided for their health and well-being?

How did it come to pass that I own a puppy bag (similar to a baby bag, only, you know...) to tote along Darby's must-haves, should we take to the road for a visit with friends or family?

Or that I should need to plan time to take care of Darby's hair and nails, knowing full well that both my hair and my nails haven't seen the inside of a salon since sometime before Valentine's Day?

And let us not even begin to delve into the whole cleaning up o' the poo topic...

Really, is this what the view of world looks like when you're on the top? Pooper scooper in one hand, squeaky toy in the other, trying desperately to maintain my balance walking across the room in between the dog toy landmines and the cats using my legs as weave poles, all so I can get into the kitchen to deliver another round of Stella & Chewy's treats to my four-legged housemates?

I could go on for days, but Weebs is scratching at the glass, wanting back indoors for the fifth time this morning, Darby's looking for someone to throw his toy, Bo's wanting more pool water and Musette is reminding me that she can use a little more salmon.

Ahhhh, life at the top.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Jack Palance giclee to be sold to help dogs

I received this email from Chelley Kitzmiller, of Have-A-Heart Humane Society and want to pass it on as quickly as I can. If you are interested, or know someone who may be, please share.

Have-A-Heart Humane Society is selling a signed and embellished Jack Palance giclee to benefit two stray Tehachapi dogs who have been badly injured and are undergoing treatment at Tehachapi Vet Hospital . The giclee was a gift to Chelley and Ted Kitzmiller, the directors of Have-A-Heart, and is signed on the front and on the back of the canvas in Jack’s flamboyant hand. Before gifting the giclee, Jack repainted some of the areas on the canvas that he felt still needed a little something more. 

100% of the funds raised from the sale of the giclee—best offer over $400—will be put on the vet account by the buyer. The first dog is Mimi, a 3lb Chihuahua , whose eye was badly injured and needs surgery to remove it. Mimi’s blood work shows her to be suffering from anemia, so she will have to be on medication for a couple of weeks until she is strong enough to undergo surgery. 

Faith, a once beautiful Cocker Spaniel, was mauled by her kennel mates. Faith has numerous large wounds which show raw muscle. She, too, is on medication but will heal in time.

Both dogs need foster homes to help them through their recovery or permanent loving, safe homes. 

Any and all donations are greatly appreciated. The receptionists at Tehachapi Vet Hospital (661-822-6731) will be happy to accept your donation and put it on the Have-A-Heart account to pay for these dogs, or you may drop a coin or two in our donation boxes at Radio Shack, Books & Crannies, It Makes Scents, Don Perico’s or Tehachapi Vet Hospital, (all located in Tehachapi). 

If you are interested in fostering or adopting either or these dogs, please call Chelley at 661-823-7649.

(note: I have photos of the dogs mentioned in this piece. If anyone is interested in viewing, get in touch with me and I will forward them to you. I felt they were a little graphic for the site.) 

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Kill the "kill fee"

It’s high summer, and in Kern County that means you can’t hardly walk twenty paces in any direction without encountering them. Sometimes they appear to travel alone; other times you’ll find small groups lurking in the shadows.

Yes, cat season is in full swing, although given the relatively temperate conditions in the Central Valley, it’s hard to find a time when cats aren’t in season. Our cat overpopulation problem may not be the worst in the country, but I assure you that we easily rank in amongst the top locales, both for sheer quantity and for the ways in which we fail them. And we’re apparently set to fail them again.

Starting August 9, Kern County Animal Control (KCAC) will begin assessing an “extended service fee” (their words) of $5 for each stray or kitten brought to the County animal shelter.

I’m certain the County has some perfectly reasonable-sounding explanation for the fee, having already braced themselves for the criticism they can’t help but to expect to follow a decision such as this. In fact, it already sounded good enough for KCAC to create the fee and get the support of the Board of Supervisors to implement it. But frankly, from where I’m sitting, it doesn’t wash.

Shelters, by their very design, are supposed to be the place where people take companion animals for which they can no longer provide care. They are also supposed to be the place where people bring in abandoned/stray pets in hopes of getting them into the homes of someone who will care for them and, failing that, a place where they can receive a slightly more humane death than that which awaits them on the streets. It’s a message that humane groups throughout the country have spent decades trying to get to people: Don’t dump your pets by the side of the road to suffer and die. If you can no longer care for them, at least get them to a shelter where they can be treated as humanely as possible.

So what is KCAC telling people now? That they only care about cats if you’re willing to pony up? Otherwise, feel free to dump them on the side of the road/toss them in trash/leave them on your neighbor’s doorstep. Anything other than bother your local government-funded shelter with them, because the shelter-peeps don’t really care what sort of bad end they come to if you aren’t willing to pay their freight. And please spare me the whole “it’s irresponsible people who must be made more responsible through increased penalties” argument, as I’ve yet to see where that particular train of thought has gotten us much traction thus far, especially since we don’t help people be more responsible by providing anywhere near enough low-cost spay/neuter services for a community as economically-challenged as is Kern County.

Isn’t it enough of a turn-off already for people bringing in kittens to be told how the shelter is going to kill them straightaway because they are too young/too sick/too numerous? Now you want to charge them for the needle and the Lethal-Plus under the guise of an “extended service fee”? Funny, I thought taking in stray and homeless animals is your service. Why not just call it a “kill fee”, since in June 2010, 78 percent of the cats taken into KCAC didn’t make it back out?

No matter what you call it, cats will continue to die in large numbers in Kern County until we have a proper low-cost spay/neuter clinic. Implementing a fee for taking them in only ensures that more will die even less humanely than before.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

I joined the Blog Hop!

Life with Dogs introduced me to the coolness of the Saturday Blog Hop and I'm already hooked! There are so many terrific pet blogs to see (I'm number 80) that this may become a Saturday necessity.

Sunday, August 1, 2010


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