tagged w/ Stray Dogs
Animal rights in Egypt: Truth or myth?
Amany Aly Shawky
Sat, 04/06/2011 - 11:53
Although the term “animal rights” may sound like Chinese to many, the Cairene community seems to be becoming gradually interested in the welfare of domestic animals.
“Comparing to other governorates, Cairo is animal heaven,” says Dina Zulfikar, one of the most renowned animal welfare activists in Egypt.
She says there are 11 animal rights organizations and they are all in the capital. “There is Brooke, an international organization dedicated to improving the lives of working animals in poor countries, the donkey sanctuary, and the Egyptian Mau Rescue Organization (EMRO) for Mau cats, which also encourages adoption,” adds the activist, explaining that there are also sanctuaries concerned with the welfare of cattle. Finally, there are three animal shelters: the Egyptian Society for Animals (ESAF), the Society for the Protection of Animal Rights in Egypt (SPARE) and the Egyptian Society for Mercy to Animals (ESMA), which currently shelters 632 animals (cats, dogs and horses).
It is very hard to get correct numbers and statistics on stray animals in Egypt. According to Zulfikar the census office and the American Embassy are the most reliable sources. However, she believes that thorough statistics are really hard to get today because of the increasing number of slum areas in the capital.
Mona Khalil, chairperson of ESMA, says that “the government stands rigid against any project to gather statistics,” and the Ministry of Agriculture does not see the urgency of projects concerning stray animals. Mass killing using poison or shooting seems to be the most common method used by the government to ‘solve’ the problem of stray dogs, she adds. “Strychnine is an internationally banned poison but the Egyptian government pays in dollars to import it to kill stray dogs. It is a highly toxic alkaloid.”
According to Zulfikar, there are enough people interested in animal welfare in Egypt, but in order to make this fight a priority, they need to get involved in politics. “There has to be a serious attempt to the change the law concerning animals and that would be achieved through the parliament."
Khalil explains that the major problem related to animal welfare in Egypt is lack of awareness. “ESMA approached 20 public figures and only one showed interest and got back to us,” she says. “It is not the animals' fault that we live in a country that has no human rights! What happened to mercy?”
“In the 19th century, there were masaqy al-kelab (fresh water source for dogs) behind Al-Azhar supervised by a dedicated sheikh called al-Sawaf,” says Khalil.
Both activists think that the Organization for Veterinary Service, the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Agriculture and all society should all be involved in the passing of a new law on animal welfare. “We have the best laws for wild animal protection worldwide because they were passed through the Ministry of Environment. But domestic animals fall under the authority of the Ministry of Agriculture and are only mentioned in two vague paragraphs," Khalil says.
“The law that protects domestic animals is extremely vague, she explains, quoting the following excerpt: “It is forbidden to kill an animal without necessity,” stressing how the term “necessity” can be understood in many different ways.
"Donation money and sponsors are effective for animal rights organizations and shelters but awareness is even more important,” explains Zulfikar. She organizes events in public facilities and events to reach more people and raise awareness, for example at the Cairo Film Festival for children.
Zulfikar’s last event was “Orphans Day” in Saqqara, raising awareness on animal rights among a group of young children through games and drawing. “Children are the future,” she explains.
Breeders and pet shops also share responsibility for spreading awareness. “We all need to work together, the media, prominent NGOs, activists, animal welfare societies, law makers and enforcers, to reach a comprehensive and applicable law," Zulfikar says. “Do you know that most animal abuse is committed by kids? How do you expect to legally punish a child for abuse charges?"
“We have to refuse violations and report any incident of abuse to the police or to an animal organization,” says Khalil, addressing each and everyone one of us. “There has to be a change of attitude and animal lovers need to work together and know that they are not a minority anymore. There has to be an elaborate article in the Egyptian law concerning all types of animals, stray, owned, circus and working animals, in addition to exports and imports of animals.”Animal rights in Egypt: Truth or myth? Amany Aly Shawky Sat, 04/06/2011 - 11:53... more
Heartbreaking: Afghanistan War Hero Dog Accidentally Euthanized in Arizona Today | Her Puppies Are Safe (?) in the U.S.November 15th, 2010
06:44 PM ET
Afghanistan dog hero accidentally euthanized
A dog rescued from Afghanistan after she alerted soldiers to a suicide bomber was accidentally euthanized at an Arizona shelter on Monday.
A Pinal County Animal Care and Control employee has been placed on administrative leave for failing to follow procedures and euthanizing the wrong dog.
The dog, Target, was recently brought over from Afghanistan by a soldier who had returned from his tour of duty. Target was featured by CNN for heroism after saving dozens of soldiers from a suicide bomber on February 11.
"She got her name because the Afghans we lived with were constantly trying to off her. She's been shot in the leg. ... The Afghans actually ran over her," Sgt. Christopher Duke said, who helped care for Target in Afghanistan and has adopted her packmate Rufus. "There's no killing this dog for sure. She's pretty much been through it all, " he said upon their reunion in July in Georgia.
Target's new owner, Army Sgt. Terry Young whose life was saved by the stray, helped bring the 2-ish-year-old from Afghanistan to her new home in Arizona. She disappeared from Young's home on Friday. Facebook postings requested help in finding her.
Target saved U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan
Animal Care and Control received a call about a stray female shepherd-mix dog in the San Tan Valley area on Friday. An animal control officer picked up the dog and brought her to the shelter where the dog stayed over the weekend. The dog was not microchipped or licensed with the county, shelter officials said.
On Monday morning, the employee mistakenly took the dog out of its pen and euthanized it. The dog was not scheduled for euthanasia.
“I am heartsick over this. I had to personally deliver the news to the dog’s owner, and he and his family are understandably distraught,” said Animal Care and Control Director Ruth Stalter. “We work hard get to strays reunited with their owners. When it comes to euthanizing an animal, there are some clear-cut procedures to follow. Based on my preliminary investigation, our employee did not follow those procedures.”
In an e-mail, Young told CNN affiliate KPHO, "I'm an absolute wreck today, and it's everything in my power to hold it together for me and my family. My 4-year-old son just can't understand what is going on with Target and keeps asking me to get the poison out of her and bring her home. They don't want her to go be with God yet."
“An investigation is under way, and we will cooperate fully. We will also thoroughly review procedures to ensure that something like this does not happen again,” Stalter said. “This is unacceptable, and no family should be deprived of their companion because procedures were not followed.”
Target was pregnant when she helped thwart the suicide bomber by attacking him. She had her litter of puppies in Afghanistan. Target's puppies have since been brought to the United States.November 15th, 2010 06:44 PM ET Afghanistan dog hero accidentally euthanized... more
National Animal Control Association Comes Out Against Gassing Animals
by Ledy VanKavage September 20, 2010 11:30 AM (PT) Topics: Shelters & Adoption
The National Animal Control Association adopted a new guideline condemning the use of carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, electrocution, gunshot, and blunt force trauma for animal shelter euthanasia of dogs and cats. Their new policy reads: "NACA considers lethal injection of sodium pentobarbital, administered by competent, trained personnel, to be the only method of choice utilized for humane euthanasia of animal shelter dogs and cats."
Obviously, we all hope to see a time when there are no more homeless pets, but this policy is a good one and it's been a long time coming.Throughout the years, there have been a variety of barbaric methods used to kill dogs and cats. In the 1800s drowning and clubbing were the most common methods of death for shelter dogs. (If you read The Lost Dogs by Jim Gorant, you'll find Michael Vick and his co-defendants were fans of these inhumane methods.) Indeed, there are vivid illustrations from that time depicting iron cages filled with dogs being lowered into New York City's East River amidst a cheering crowd.
Tell the American Veterinary Medical Association: Stop Supporting Gas Chambers
To replace the drowning and clubbing with a quicker and less painful death, a steel chamber was developed into which gas could be introduced to asphyxiate the animals — the gas chamber. Yet, gassing animals takes as long as 30 minutes or more and isn't always painless. Several animals are crammed into the gas chamber at once, causing panic and, often fights, to break out in their last moments. Some animals, like Quentin of Stray Rescue fame, come out of the gas chamber alive, amidst piles of dead bodies.
Lethal injection may not have been available to shelters in the 1800s, but these days it's widely accessible and recognized as much faster and more humane than the gas chamber — hence NACA's policy.
Unlike NACA, the American Veterinary Medical Association continues to support gas chambers, despite the myriad of problems with them. The American Veterinary Medical Association Guidelines on Euthanasia state, "Carbon monoxide used for individual animals or mass euthanasia is acceptable for dogs, cats, and other small mammals, provided the commercially compressed CO is used." They also list various precautions that must be taken, like trained personnel, high quality chamber construction, placement in a well-ventilated environment, a specific flow rate and a well-lit view port to observe the dogs and cats dying.
The majority of pet lovers, and I bet the majority of veterinarians, are horrified by the use of gas chambers and would not want their pets euthanized in one. Just last week, Stephanie Feldstein described 93 dogs being killed by a breeder in a homemade gas chamber.
The AVMA should follow NACA's lead in condemning the use of gas chambers in our nation's shelters. Ask your veterinarian to contact the AVMA, too, and urge them to rescind their policy recommending carbon monoxide for mass euthanasia of dogs and cats. Until we become a nation of No More Homeless Pets, the very least open admission shelters can do is give our abandoned pets a humane death.
Photo Credit: Best Friends Animal Society
Ledy VanKavage has worked extensively on behalf of animals for over 25 years. She is currently the Senior Legislative Attorney for Best Friends Animal Society.National Animal Control Association Comes Out Against Gassing Animals by Ledy... more
In the city of Caxias do Sul, in Brazil, lies a unique animal shelter run by the NGO Sociedade Amiga dos Animais (Friend of Animals Society).
Read more and view photos:
http://www.time.com/time/photogallery/0,29307,1991134_2141653,00.html#ixzz0pkRGMQYcDogtown In the city of Caxias do Sul, in Brazil, lies a unique animal shelter run... more
Animal adoption is less expensive and more humane than municipal euthanasia programs, said an Austin lawyer and “No Kill” advocate visiting Baton Rougeans trying to sustain a “No Kill” initiative.
“I started like a lot of people start in the animal welfare world,” said Ryan Clinton, 34, who grew up in Baton Rouge. “Stumbling on a stray dog or cat or two or three or four in the neighborhood.”
Municipal animal shelters think “No Kill” too expensive, Clinton said, but “the budget of a shelter has shown to be unrelated to whether a shelter becomes ‘No Kill.’”
“There’s a long tradition that says spay/neuter is the only answer,” Clinton said. “The shelters say they do hard work all the time. But it’s spay/neuter, adopt out a few, kill the rest. It’s been that way a hundred years.”
Nonprofits and individuals pick up the tab for adoptions and spay/neuter in Austin, Clinton said.
“We have a good rapport with Hilton Cole (head of Baton Rouge’s Animal Control and Rescue Center),” said Patricia Calfee, a Baton Rouge Area Foundation project manager, who has worked with animal welfare people here on a “No Kill” initiative.
Figures provided to Calfee by Cole show 8,222 animals (3,855 cats and 4,367 dogs) put down by the East Baton Rouge Parish Animal Control and Rescue Center in 2009.
Cole is on medical leave, said Richard Byrd, operations manager at the center, but a figure in the neighborhood of 8,000 sounds right.
About 80 percent of the stray cats and dogs brought to the center each year are killed, Byrd said.
“But that’s changing drastically,” Byrd said. Adoption, foster homes, spaying or neutering saved 550 dogs and 152 cats through October 2009, he said.
The kill rate in Charlottesville, Va., is less than 10 percent.
“We could do that in Austin,” said Clinton, who with his girlfriend has provided a foster home for 14 animals.
Charlottesville has 2,000 foster homes.
Clinton estimated that Austin would euthanize 6,000 to 9,000 dogs and cats this year, but thinks just a few years ago it was as high as 14,000.
“Thirty-five percent of animals impounded in Austin die, and it was higher in past years,” he said.
A 10 percent kill rate is achievable, he said. A certain percentage of animals that end up at a municipal animal control center can’t be saved, Clinton said.
Clinton founded http://www. FixAustin.org, a “no kill” advocacy group.
He’s a volunteer foster “parent” and legal counsel with Austin Pets Alive.
Yelp BR is modeled after Austin Pets Alive, said BRAF”s Calfee.
To contribute to the “no kill” initiative, send contributions to Baton Rouge Area Foundation, The ‘No-Kill Baton Rouge Fund, 402 N. Fourth St., Baton Rouge, LA 70802.
Clinton’s research shows 40 million Americans looking for pets this year. “With only five or six million animals going into shelters,” he said, there’s no reason millions of animals can’t be saved.
“The loss of an animal means opportunity for adoption,” he said. “Adopt a pet as opposed to buying from a breeder or a pet store or convincing a friend to let his animal have a litter.”
Clinton, who’s with the Dallas-based law firm Hankinson Levinger, is the son of Ralene Cerise and Jim Clinton.Animal adoption is less expensive and more humane than municipal euthanasia programs,... more
L.A. begins a robust search for an animal services manager
Establishment of 'no-kill' facilities is expected to be a key part of a demanding job.
[These are among the 54,129 dogs and cats impounded in Los Angeles in 2009. Almost a quarter of the dogs and more than half the cats were put down. (Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times / December 9, 2009)]
Wanted: a general manager who can run Los Angeles' municipal animal shelter system.
The successful candidate must be compassionate but business-minded, able to inspire the army of staffers who care for the city's abandoned animals and lost pets; to survive interrogation by the L.A. City Council; and to appease the legions of devoted volunteers, rescuers and advocates in the city's humane community.
The new steward of the city's Department of Animal Services should be steeled for the fact that one of the "services" the agency offers is euthanizing animals. But the new manager must also be ready to devise a plan to transform the shelter system into a "no-kill" program that will pledge to euthanize no healthy animal for lack of space.
Warning: The man who last held the job tried hard but satisfied no constituency. He endured criticism from animal welfare advocates, a public upbraiding from a city councilman and near-mutiny by department staffers before he quit last June. His predecessor, who lasted only 13 months, was fired by the mayor and targeted by animal rights activists who smoke-bombed the lobby of his apartment building.
"Francis of Assisi would have trouble in this town," said Bill Dyer, a veteran animal welfare advocate who invoked the patron saint of animals more than once when speaking of the general manager's job.
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa made a point during his first campaign of telling animal welfare advocates he would take their concerns seriously. But the department's last general manager, Ed Boks, who left the job June 30, endured criticism from the moment he started in early 2006.
This time Villaraigosa has initiated an elaborate search process.
The city hired a search firm, sent an e-mail survey to 450 so-called stakeholders in the animal welfare system and set up a focus group. In what one source called "a brainstorming session," the mayor met with a small group of animal welfare experts -- including "dog whisperer" Cesar Millan and Francis Battista, one of the founders of Best Friends Animal Society, a national animal-protection nonprofit that runs its own sanctuary.
The city put out an official bulletin last week requesting applicants and listing more than a dozen sought-after qualities. ("Be confident and courageous in the face of criticism.")
There is general agreement that the goal is to stop euthanizing animals. But that may require a thorough rethinking of the agency, said Battista, who wouldn't reveal the details of his meeting with the mayor.
"The animal shelter system is an outgrowth of rabies control, and it's been nibbled at from the bottom by rescue groups," Battista said. While still protecting the public from dangerous animals, it needs to "change to being proactive. It needs to own the idea of being a compassionate humane organization."
Battista doesn't think the new general manager necessarily needs to come from the world of animal sheltering. (Some believe that the new agency head absolutely should not come out of municipal sheltering.)
Scott Sorrentino, who heads the Rescue and Humane Alliance, a coalition of animal welfare groups, echoed Battista. "The idea of adoptions and all this work that the humane community does is fairly new in the mission of the department," said Sorrentino.
"First and foremost, a new general manager needs to believe that no-kill is possible," he said. "If you come into this job and on an elemental level do not believe no-kill is possible, you're just setting a course for failure."
Carl Friedman ran San Francisco's Department of Animal Care and Control for 21 years, from 1988 until his retirement last year. During that time, his shelter system went from killing about half its impounded animals to euthanizing 15% -- none for lack of space. Still, he refuses to use the term "no-kill." Instead, he said simply, "You have to save as many animals as possible."
Friedman, now a consultant to the beleaguered San Francisco Zoo, is not interested in the L.A. job. He attributes much of San Francisco's success to partnerships with rescue groups and the local Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, which help find people to adopt stray animals.
Also, he said, "you need an aggressive spay-neuter program and you need an education program: Don't breed them."
He recalled a woman years ago going into a shelter saying she wanted to adopt a dog but not get it spayed until the dog produced a litter of puppies. "She said she wanted to show her kids the miracle of birth. I said, 'After that, bring them down here and I'll show them the miracle of death.' "
San Francisco is a smaller city than L.A. Last year, according to Friedman, it took in about 12,000 animals.
L.A., by contrast, impounded 54,129 dogs and cats in 2009. Almost a quarter of the dogs and more than half the cats taken to the city's six shelters were put down -- for untreatable illness, intractable behavior or dearth of space. A staggering 4,930 were neonatal animals that could not be kept alive without bottle feeding or a nursing mother. Most of those were kittens.
And that is despite the city's success last year at increasing the number of foster volunteers, performing free sterilizations (800 at six special community events), opening another spay-neuter clinic and completing about 26,500 adoptions of canines and felines, according to interim general manager Kathy Davis. A total of 31,000 dogs and cats did make it out of the shelters alive last year.
"Truly it takes a village to make sure animals get treated and handled the way our community wants," said Davis, who is quick to make clear that she does not want the job on a permanent basis.
"Are we ready for a new general manager? We've been through a pretty bad break-up," she said. "Like any relationship, there are trust factors. A lot of things went on. My question is, are we ready? Are we ready to let go of the baggage and embrace a new leader?",0,2872176.story L.A. begins a robust search for an animal services manager... more
For every 300 Muscovites, there's a stray dog wandering the streets of Russia's capital. And according to Andrei Poyarkov, a researcher at the A.N. Severtsov Institute of Ecology and Evolution, the fierce pressure of urban living has driven the dogs to evolve wolf-like traits, increased intelligence, and even the ability to navigate the subway.
Poyarkov has studied the dogs, which number about 35,000, for the last 30 years. Over that time, he observed the stray dog population lose the spotted coats, wagging tails, and friendliness that separate dogs from wolves, while at the same time evolving social structures and behaviors optimized to four ecological niches occupied by what Poyarkov calls guard dogs, scavengers, wild dogs, and beggars.
The guard dogs follow around, and receive food from, the security personnel at Moscow's many fenced in sites. They think the guards are their masters, and serve as semi-feral assistants. The scavengers roam the city eating garbage. The wild dogs are the most wolf-like, hunting mice, rats, and cats under the cover of night.
But beggar dogs have evolved the most specialized behavior. Relying on scraps of food from commuters, the beggar dogs can not only recognize which humans are most likely to give them something to eat, but have evolved to ride the subway. Using scents, and the ability to recognize the train conductor's names for different stops, they incorporate many stations into their territories.
Additionally, Poyarkov says the pack structure of the beggars reflects a reliance on brain over brawn for survival. In the beggar packs, the smartest dog, not the most physically dominant, occupies the alpha male position.
The evolution of Moscow's stray dogs has been going on since at least the mid-1800s, when Russian writers first mentioned the stray dog problem in the city. And that evolution has been propelled by deadly selective pressure. Most of the strays arrive on the streets as rejected house pets. Of those dogs kicked out of their homes, Poyarkov estimates fewer than 3 percent live long enough to breed. To survive those odds, a dog really does have to be the fittest.
http://www.popsci.com/science/article/2010-01/moscows-stray-dogs-evolving-greater-intelligence-wolf-characteristics-and-mastery-subwayFor every 300 Muscovites, there's a stray dog wandering the streets of... more
Naturewatch Foundation - Corrupt council bosses in Lugansk are using the forthcoming UEFA Euro 2012 Championships to kill stray animals.
Here's how it works:
Lugansk has an airport where football fans from Europe will arrive. The fans will then be transported by bus to Donetsk stadium where the matches will be played.
Corrupt municipality bosses use this event and the expected high number of visitors to suggest that all stray animals must be killed for safety purposes and this will also enhance the image of the city – it will be nice and clean and safe.
But to do this they need an allocation of money from the city. The corrupt officials then state a hugely inflated figure of strays and say they need 100h (approx 10 Euro’s) to kill each dog. Of course they say that this will be done humanely.
Then having received all the money from the city budget, they get together unemployed workers and send them out to kill strays by poison – maybe the cost is a few Euro cents per dog (after all how much does it cost to get some cheap poison and dig a hole to bury the animals – when the hole is full they just dig another one).
For every dog they kill they say they have killed ten or twenty or more. For every 100,000 Euro of budget, it is estimated that perhaps 1000 euros are spent and that leaves 99,000 Euros which is stolen and shared amongst the officials.
This kind of scam is operated in many regions of Ukraine with KYIV CITY MUNICIPALITY being the most corrupt. This has gone on for years and IS A BIG MONEY MAKER FOR MUNICIPALITY OFFICIALS. The corruption is AT THE HIGHEST LEVEL.
Naturewatch urges all football fans and all teams in Europe to write to UEFA urging that it takes action to stop this barbaric cruelty in Lugansk.
http://www.naturewatch.org/Foundation/Ukraine/News/2009Nov-UEFAeuro2012Championships.aspNaturewatch Foundation - Corrupt council bosses in Lugansk are using the forthcoming... more
Talk about survival tactics!