tagged w/ Euthanization
"It seems very morbid to me but unfortunately as the dog was their property, it was perfectly legal."
By Brett Wilkins on April 4, 2013
The relatives of a blind Indiana woman who died of cancer are under fire after carrying out her dying wish to have her beloved guide dog euthanized and buried with her.
UPI reports that 68-year-old Sheila Stadler of Brazil, Indiana died of cancer on March 8. Days later, Stadler's son Andy had her perfectly healthy 5-year-old guide dog Toffee euthanized so that the animal could be buried in the same coffin with her. Toffee was displayed in Stadler's coffin during her wake and then buried with her at Summit Lawn Cemetery outside Brazil.
Stadler's obituary said that she "loved Toffee, her seeing-eye dog and constant companion for five years."
According to MailOnline, Andy, a tax accountant, claimed that Toffee had shown signs of mourning and "wandered aimlessly" after Stadler's death.
Andy's actions raised eyebrows and ire in Brazil and beyond. He has reportedly received death threats and has even been slammed by members of his own family.
"It got totally out of control," Gregory Reilly, a veterinary assistant at Honey Creek Animal Hospital in Terre Haute, is quoted on MailOnline. "The neighborhood was really angry. People were saying they should burn in hell. Terrible things were said." Reilly said he was caught up in the drama as people wrongly accused him of euthanizing Toffee.
"We would never euthanize a dog," Reilly insisted. "We simply find them a new home. All I did was try to find out whether what the Stadlers did was legal."
"It seems very morbid to me but unfortunately as the dog was their property, it was perfectly legal," Reilly said.
Things got so bad that a local TV station, WTHITV, removed a story about the incident from its website.
According to NBC News, the practice of euthanizing pets when their owners die is not uncommon. A man named Donald Ellis left explicit instructions that Tom Tom, his beloved and perfectly healthy 2-year-old Yorkshire terrier, be euthanized and buried with him after his death. Ellis believed that "nobody would love [Tom Tom] like he did," according to his sister Marilyn McDaniel. McDaniel complied with her brother's wish to have Tom Tom put down.
"They were very close," she told NBC News. "I've gotten a lot of grief for doing this, but it's what my brother wanted.""It seems very morbid to me but unfortunately as the dog was their property, it... more
Beautiful video story of the rescue of Edie, a dog about to be euthanized but who, instead, was given her second chance at life... a REAL life.
Link above doesn't work. So please take the two additional seconds to click on THIS link (below) -- it'll be worth your time!
Beautiful video story of the rescue of Edie, a dog about to be euthanized but... more
Los Angeles Times...
L.A. Zoo's only hippo euthanized after weeks-long illness
January 20, 2012 | 6:56 pm
Jabba the L.A. Zoo's hippo had to be euthanized
The sole hippopotamus at the Los Angeles Zoo was euthanized Friday after being ill with an unknown ailment for a month and not responding to treatment, zoo officials said.
Zookeepers noticed in December that the 28-year-old hippopotamus, Jabba, had a decreased appetite, abnormal bloating and was not responding to medication, zoo spokesman Jason Jacobs told City News Service. The hippo was under close veterinary care, but his condition rapidly worsened in the last few days.
The zoo's staff made the "difficult decision" to euthanize Jabba, according to a statement released by the zoo.
Jabba had been at the zoo since 2009. Before that, he lived at the San Diego Zoo for several years, where he sired several calves.
His body will be taken to the California Animal Health & Food Safety Laboratory System at UC Davis for a necropsy.
.Los Angeles Times...
L.A. Zoo's only hippo euthanized after... more
December 28, 2011 11:31 PM
Rescue group in crisis mode after cat euthanized
In a Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2011 photo, Daniel Dockery is pictured at his job in Phoenix, Ariz. Dockery's 9-month-old cat Scruffy, was euthanized recently by the Arizona Humane Society not because of her wounds but because Dockery couldn't immediately pay for her treatment. He had been searching for Scruffy for three weeks ago and learned of her fate Tuesday, Dec. 27.
(Charlie Leight,AP Photo/The Arizona Republic)
PHOENIX - Animal lovers threatened to pull donations to an animal rescue group and the public flooded the agency with scathing comments and calls after a man's cat was euthanized when he couldn't afford its medical care, prompting the Arizona Humane Society to go into damage-control mode Wednesday.
The group has hired a publicist, removed dozens of comments on its Facebook page and directed a team of five volunteers to respond to the overwhelming calls and emails it has received since The Arizona Republic published a weekend story about Daniel Dockery and his 9-month-old cat, Scruffy.
Dockery, a 49-year-old recovering heroin addict, told the Phoenix newspaper that he took Scruffy to a Humane Society center on Dec. 8 because she had a cut from a barbed-wire fence, an injury that he described as non-life-threatening. The agency said it would cost $400 to treat Scruffy, money he didn't have.
The Humane Society cited policy when it declined to accept a credit card over the phone from Dockery's mother in Michigan or to wait for her to wire the money. The staff said if he signed papers surrendering the cat, Scruffy would be treated and put in foster care, he said.
Instead, Scruffy was euthanized several hours later.
Dockery told the Republic that he was devastated.
"Now I've got to think about how I failed that beautiful animal," Dockery said. "I failed her. ... That's so wrong. There was no reason for her not to be treated."
He described the cat as helping him stay off drugs for more than a year, the longest he had ever been clean. He hand-fed the feline before she opened her eyes at 4 days old, giving her fresh tuna and letting her sleep on his pillow.
Stacy Pearson, who was hired by the agency specifically to deal with media questions about the cat, said Dockery's case has led to two changes. The Arizona Humane Society has set up an account, funded through donations, that would cover the costs of emergency treatment of animals whose owners need a day or two to come up with money for payments. And the group is now accepting credit card payments by phone, Pearson said.
Dozens of scathing comments have since inundated the group's Facebook page, with animal lovers demanding to know why the cat was put down. Pearson said angry comments were removed because of their content: One called for the staff to be euthanized, while another said what happened to Scruffy was murder.
Pearson said Scruffy was put down over a number of reasons, including Dockery's lack of immediate funds, a lack of veterinarians to treat her and what Pearson described as a very serious cut on Scruffy from her abdomen to her knee that went to the muscle.
She said the Arizona Humane Society at the time didn't accept credit card payments over the phone because of possible fraud and can't treat pets with only a promise from owners that they can pay the next day. She said staff had every intention of getting Scruffy the help she needed but the number of animals requiring help at the group's second-chance clinic was too much for the resources available.
If Dockery had been able to pay, Scruffy would have been treated at the facility where he brought her, Pearson said.
"There was no malicious intent to take Scruffy away from her father," Pearson said. "Pulling funding is only going to make a problem like this worse."
On Facebook, where only the agency's executive director is allowed to post comments now, Guy Collison wrote that "Scruffy's story is heartbreaking, and underscores the worst-case-scenario of need eclipsing resources available." He said that his agency has always done what's best for animals.
In less than an hour after his statement was posted, more than 100 people responded, with most slamming the agency and some defending it as doing the best it can with available resources.
Pearson said the group told Dockery on Tuesday that when he's ready for another pet, he could come in and pick one out, but he declined, telling them: "No thanks."
December 28, 2011 11:31 PM
Rescue group in crisis mode... more
Los Angeles Times...
Los Padres sanctuary goes to the rescue of wolf dogs
29 animals are seized from an Anchorage attraction accused of possessing them illegally. 'It was heartbreaking to see,' one of the rescuers said.
Matthew Simmons is greeted by one of the 29 wolf dogs rescued from a roadside attraction near Anchorage and brought to the Lockwood Valley Animal Rescue Center in the Los Padres National Forest. "Overall, they honestly seem to understand that this is a better environment than where they came from," said Simmons.
(Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times / December 22, 2011)
By Louis Sahagun, Los Angeles Times
December 27, 2011
Chained to posts on a half-acre lot, the 29 wolf dogs languished for years behind stockade fencing at a roadside attraction near Anchorage.
The wolf hybrids were unable to touch one another except when they were bred through chain-link fences. Several had sore backs and legs because they had never been able to move more than a few yards at a time.
The animals were seized by Alaskan authorities as evidence in an ongoing criminal investigation and scheduled for destruction before the Lockwood Valley Animal Rescue Center intervened. The center had the wolf dogs spayed and neutered, then transported by plane and truck to its sanctuary in the Los Padres National Forest, about 90 miles north of Los Angeles.
They arrived at the 20-acre sanctuary Dec. 12 and will live the rest of their lives unchained, in sprawling enclosures and networks of wire holding pens.
Striding toward a pen shaded by scrub oaks and pine trees, Lori Lindner, co-founder and president of the nonprofit sanctuary, introduced visitors on Thursday to members of her new "packs": a black female with dark honey-colored eyes featured in Sean Penn's 2007 film, "Into the Wild," and a large male that fathered seven of the rescued wolf dogs.
Lindner, 46, recalled with a sigh arriving at the Wolf Country USA attraction in Anchorage earlier in the month to begin preparing the animals for the long trip to California.
"It was heartbreaking to see so many of these animals on chains," she said. "Wolf dogs are products of human vanity and machismo."
The trouble is that crossing wolves, which have been bred by nature for millions of years to be wild, with dogs, which have been genetically manipulated for thousands of years to serve humans, creates a conflict of innate behaviors. As a result, they are often chained up or given away, turned loose or killed, or they escape and are shot or poisoned.
In a 2½-acre enclosure dubbed "wolf mansion," Lindner's husband, Matthew Simmons, called out to six juvenile wolf dogs that were adjusting to a measure of freedom.
"No more pain," said Simmons, 38. "They're getting along amazing well, although there have been a few tussles in which one girl pushed another girl around. But overall, they honestly seem to understand that this is a better environment than where they came from."
The Humane Society of the United States has taken a hard stand against wolf dogs as unpredictable, destructive and rarely trainable. At least 16 states ban them, and California and 20 other states have restrictions on ownership. Alaska prohibits ownership of wolves or wolf dogs unless they are spayed or neutered, fitted with microchips and registered with state authorities.
Lindner and Simmons were alerted by sanctuary accreditation officials that Wolf Country USA was under investigation, accused of illegal possession of wolf dogs. The zoo-like attraction boasted "the largest wolf pack in Alaska" and charged $5 to walk along a path close enough to the animals to take snapshots and, in certain cases, pet one.
"We flew to Alaska and met with the assistant attorney general," Simmons said. "He told us that the state had no place to keep them, and if we didn't take them he was going to dispatch state troopers to shoot them and toss them into a freezer until the court battle with Wolf Country USA was resolved."
In a telephone interview, Werner Shuster, owner of Wolf Country USA, denied that the wolf dogs had been mistreated or that he had broken the law.
"We raised them since they were pups, each one had 12 to 15 feet of space and they were the healthiest animals on the planet," said Shuster, 82. "They do better on chains. That way they don't fight, and people can pet them."
Money to take the wolf dogs to the sanctuary came from a $5,000 donation from the Humane Society and a "very, very large donation" from Bob Barker, who hosted the TV game show "The Price is Right" for 35 years, Simmons said.
Because of their histories, size, strength and often unstable temperaments, the wolf dogs need lots of care. The nonprofit International Fund for Animal Welfare donated $43,000 to construct nine new enclosures with 10-foot-high fencing.
The sanctuary needs $3,000 a month for maintenance and about $350 a day for raw meat, day-old products bought from local grocery stores at a discount. It is also negotiating the purchase of a nearby 180-acre property that would be devoted to dozens more rescued wolf dogs and wolves. "We need $250,000 for a down payment on the property," Simmons said.
To help reduce the costs of the operation, which already housed 20 rescued wolf dogs, the sanctuary launched Warriors and Wolves, a program designed to pair wolf dogs with combat veterans volunteering there to try to overcome physical injuries and lingering anxieties.
Stanley McDonald, 48, who was diagnosed with severe post-traumatic stress disorder after he returned from the Gulf War and Operation Desert Storm, is among veterans who have become full-time volunteer ranch hands at the sanctuary.
Stepping through the gate of an enclosure where three wolf dogs paced warily, McDonald said, "I see a lot of myself in these animals. Like them, I was lost and troubled until I came here. Now, there's a lot of healing going on."
.Los Angeles Times...
Los Padres sanctuary goes to the rescue of wolf dogs... more
Los Angeles Times...
L.A. fires animal shelter worker over his euthanization practices
Civil Service Commission says the technician failed to sedate the dogs he was trying to euthanize, brought dogs into a room with other dead animals and inserted euthanizing needles into jugular veins.
PHOTO: Volunteers exercise two shelter dogs Tuesday at the West Valley Animal Shelter. (Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times / December 13, 2011)
By David Zahniser, Los Angeles Times
December 14, 2011
A veterinary technician at a Los Angeles city animal shelter was fired last week after officials found that he had subjected dogs to inhumane treatment while euthanizing them.
Manuel Boado, 64, was discharged by the city's Civil Service Commission, which concluded that he failed to sedate the dogs he was trying to euthanize, brought dogs into a room with other dead animals and inserted euthanizing needles into jugular veins — a practice officials say was not permitted.
With allegations reminiscent of a Stephen King novel, case records open a rare window into the most unpleasant task carried out by the Animal Services Department — killing animals that have no owner when its shelters run out of room.
One shelter worker testified during the termination proceedings that she heard Boado tell a dog to "just die already," according to a report submitted to the commission. A second worker said he walked into Boado's work area and found two dead dogs on the floor and a third half-covered in blood.
A third employee, animal care technician Carolina Martinez, said she became sick to her stomach working alongside Boado, where animals were "struggling, shaking and urinating." She said she had to temporarily leave the room at the West Valley shelter in Chatsworth.
"By trying to jab them with the needle, he was causing them to bleed a lot," said the report prepared for the commission. "Martinez said she had never seen so much blood before or witnessed anyone do what [Boado] did to the animals."
By failing to provide sedation, putting live animals next to dead ones and yelling, Boado needlessly created a "fear factor" among animals being euthanized, said Brenda Barnette, the department's general manager who recommended his firing.
"It is totally unconscionable to add an element of fear if you're about to take an animal's life away," she said.
Terry Porvin, Boado's lawyer, denied that his client treated animals cruelly and said he had, in fact, taken several ailing dogs from hospitals into his home. Porvin also contended that his client, who earned about $58,000 annually, never received proper training from the department in how to euthanize the animals.
Boado, who was hired in 2007, brought dogs into a room with other dead animals because the refrigerator used to store animal carcasses had been broken "for some time," Porvin said. Had Boado opened it, it would have emitted a foul stench — a situation that would have made his work more difficult, the lawyer said.
"Out of sheer frustration from the totality of the circumstances, he probably blurted out something he shouldn't have," Porvin said.
The firing comes at a time of turmoil for the department. Barnette's agency is investigating whether employees stole dogs at a Lincoln Heights animal shelter and sold them for a profit. In recent months, the department also placed five employees on leave during a probe into allegations of time card fraud.
Barnette said she did not consider referring Boado's case to the district attorney's office for prosecution, focusing exclusively on removing him from her department. Nevertheless, the department added a line in its protocol manual barring veterinarians from inserting needles with sodium pentobarbital, the chemical used for euthanization, in the jugular vein of dogs and cats. Barnette said that she believed the manual already made the prohibition clear but that the new language makes the ban explicit.
Officials with the Pasadena Humane Society said needles they use during euthanasia are injected into a dog or cat's front leg — a practice they described as more humane than jugular injections. Shelters run by Los Angeles County rarely use the jugular, officials said.
To euthanize animals in an L.A. facility, Boado had to show he had a certification from the state of California showing he is a registered veterinary technician, personnel officials said Tuesday. Boado told a hearing officer that he had used the jugular vein as much as half the time and had learned the practice during a non-city training session.
But Doug Fakkema, the veterinarian Boado said provided the training, told city officials he never would have advised Boado or anyone else to use the jugular vein on healthy dogs and cats. Such a procedure should be used only in "extreme circumstances," he said. In an email to The Times, Fakkema said an injection into the jugular vein can be used for livestock but is "more likely to cause pain" for a dog or cat than injection into a vein in the leg.
Barnette sought Boado's termination, but last month a city hearing officer found that penalty to be "too extreme."
Hearing officer Stephen Biersmith recommended that Boado be reinstated and only have his pay docked, saying the department had not consistently enforced policies for its employees. He also argued that Boado had not intentionally violated the rules.
The Civil Service Commission reviewed the case and voted unanimously for termination.
.Los Angeles Times...
L.A. fires animal shelter worker over his euthanization... more
Justice for Dog Whose Face Was Blown Off By Fireworks!
Please sign the petition -- these two ugly humans need to be punished.
Justice for Dog Whose Face Was Blown Off By Fireworks!
Justice for Dog Whose Face Was Blown Off By Fireworks!
signature goal: 100,000
Target: Federal Ministry of Justice of Bosnia and Herzegovina
Sponsored by: International workers for animal rights
Please share Vucko's story on Facebook.
SARAJEVO -- Two intoxicated youths duct-taped a firework in a German shepherd's mouth and blew off his face. But the torture didn't stop there. The poor dog, known as Vucko, wandered for five days, unable to eat and with maggots infecting the meaty pulp of his ruined face. Vucko was finally picked up by authorities and euthanized after vets were unable to perform reconstructive surgery.
Click on the link in the story if you can bear viewing EXTREMELY GRAPHIC footage of Vucko being examined by vets. Notice the firework's shell casing still embedded in the dog's head.
We must bring the animal abusers to justice and ensure that this inhumanity is never repeated; sadly, animal welfare laws are practically nonexistent in much of Eastern Europe. Sign this petition urging Bosnian authorities to hunt down the guilty parties, expose the severity of animal abuse, and create proper legislation that will protect animals. Don't let Vucko die in vain!
Pas Vucko je uzasno stradao kad neki su zalepili vatromet za usta od psa I zapalili to. Od explozije je pas tesko bijo ranjen u lici. 5 dana se vrtio u ulice od Sarajevo dok su ga nasli. Na zalost nista nije se moglo ucinit da se ga spasi i Vucka se trebalo eutanizirat. Te ljude koji su ucinili tu uzast bi trebalo da se osudi.
.Justice for Dog Whose Face Was Blown Off By Fireworks!... more
Los Angeles Times...
Southern California -- this just in
Nearly 60 animals seized at 'death trap' in rural San Diego County
December 2, 2011 | 4:51 pm
Fifty-eight animals in the rural community of Campo were seized Friday by San Diego County sheriff's deputies and animal services officers in a raid on a small ranch that one animal services officer called a "death trap."
The animals included goats, sheep, llamas, cattle and horses. Many of the animals were sick, were on the verge of starvation and had overgrown hooves, investigators said.
On Nov. 9, animal control officers had found nine dead goats and a dead llama on the same property. Necropsies determined that the animals had probably died of starvation.
The owners were given a warning about the remaining animals but apparently were not following through on their promises to provide better feed and care, according to Lt. Dan DeSousa of the county Department of Animal Services.
"We were not going to allow these animals to remain and suffer the same fate as the others," DeSousa said.
The animals were taken to a county-run facility in Bonita. Investigators are gathering evidence and will present a report to the district attorney about possible animal cruelty charges against the property owners, DeSousa said.
Deputies and investigators allowed several dogs, several chickens and a pig to remain. "But we'll be monitoring to see how they are doing," DeSousa said.
Campo is an hour east of downtown San Diego. The owners were not home at the time of the raid.
.Los Angeles Times...
Southern California -- this just in
Nearly 60... more
Los Angeles Times...
U.S. Supreme Court takes up treatment of pigs
The National Meat Assn. challenges a California law that says slaughterhouses must remove and 'humanely euthanize' animals unable to walk.
By David G. Savage, Washington Bureau
October 29, 2011, 6:17 p.m.
Reporting from Washington—
The Supreme Court has decided plenty of cases concerning cruelty, inhumane treatment and executions, but until now, none was about pigs.
The case of the "nonambulatory pigs" involves a dispute between California and the pork industry over how to handle pigs unwilling or unable to walk when they arrive at a slaughterhouse.
The issue, which the justices will take up next week, has already gotten the Obama administration in trouble with the Humane Society of the United States, which faulted government lawyers for joining the case on the side of the pork producers.
Under a 3-year-old California law, a slaughterhouse operator must immediately remove a "nonambulatory animal" from a herd and "humanely euthanize" it.
Federal law says animals that are lying down must be removed and inspected, but most need not be kept from the slaughterhouse.
"Sometimes the pigs are stressed or fatigued from the trip, or they're just stubborn. Usually, they recover, and if they're fine, they go into the food supply," said Minneapolis lawyer Steven Wells, who represents the National Meat Assn.
"We're not concerned about a pig who is taking a nap," said California Deputy Atty. Gen. Susan K. Smith in Los Angeles. "Our definition of a nonambulatory pig is one who is unable to stand and walk without assistance." She said the state's law, which is on hold pending the legal challenge, would protect the human food supply and prevent animal cruelty.
The lawyers concede there is no happy end for the pigs regardless of which side prevails. The pigs are either euthanized separately or sent into a slaughterhouse.
Wells, of the meat association, said there would be a "severe financial impact" on the pork industry if a typical slaughterhouse were forced to cull 200 to 300 pigs a day because they were lying down.
He is urging the high court to strike down the California law on the grounds that it is preempted, or trumped, by the federal law.
Under California's approach, the sick pigs "will be euthanized, but it ends their suffering," Smith said.
Though the case before the court is all about pigs, it began with shocking scenes of weak and wobbly cows being prodded, dragged and bulldozed into a slaughterhouse in San Bernardino County. A secret surveillance video showing the abuse was released by the Humane Society in January 2008.
The revelations triggered the largest meat recall in American history. They also prompted President Obama to issue an order in 2009 that forbids "downer" cows from being sent to slaughter. Because mad cow disease can be transmitted to humans in rare instances, all sick cattle must be kept from slaughterhouses, federal officials said. However, no such ban was imposed for pigs and other farm animals.
That disparity set the stage for the legal dispute over California's broader ban on downer animals at slaughterhouses.
The National Meat Assn. sued on behalf of the pork producers and argued that California did not have the authority to impose its rules on slaughterhouses. Their lawyers insisted the federal regulation was better because it required inspections of sick animals rather than automatically killing them. These inspections of live pigs are crucial for detecting swine diseases, such as foot-and-mouth disease, that can devastate a herd, they said.
A federal judge in Fresno agreed with the industry and barred the state from enforcing its law, ruling California lawmakers had overstepped their bounds.
"Hogwash," wrote Chief Judge Alex Kozinski of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in a 3-0 decision siding with California. He said states have always had the authority to say that certain animals, such as horses, may not be slaughtered for food.
Wayne Pacelle, president of the Humane Society of the United States, said the major pork producers "have a history of mistreating downer pigs, often while USDA inspectors are present." He cited reports of "conscious pigs being dragged from trailers" at a slaughterhouse in Los Angeles County.
PHOTO: California's deputy attorney general says the new law, which is on hold pending the legal challenge, would protect the human food supply and prevent animal cruelty. Above, pigs at an Oklahoma farm.
J. Pat Carter, Associated Press
.Los Angeles Times...
U.S. Supreme Court takes up treatment of pigs
The National... more
July 9, 2011
From the pages of the Toronto Sun
CALGARY - A horse has been put down after it suffered an injury on the opening night of the Stampede.
The Rangeland Derby got off to rough start — Rookie driver Cliff Cunningham’s right wheel horse went down with a broken leg going into Turn 2 and Cunningham was forced to pull his wagon to a stop.
Stampede spokesman Doug Fraser said the veterinary team was on the scene immediately.
“During the fifth race, one of Cliff Cunningham’s horses suffered a broken leg,” Fraser said.
“This is considered a catastrophic injury, and the vet made the decision to euthanize the animal immediately.”
Fraser said the type of injury the horse suffered is not uncommon in the racing world.
“It’s one of the most common types of musculo-skeletal injuries that you’ll see with thoroughbred racing,” he said.
“It’s not just with chuckwagon racing. “But we will send a blood sample out to toxicology to determine if there were any contributing factors.”
The Stampede cut the number of outriders in half in an attempt to reduce the number of equine casualties. Every outriding horse finished Friday night’s races without issue.
“With all the different measures we’ve taken over the past year to increase animal safety, we are greatly saddened by what happened.
“We’ll review all the circumstances to see if there’s anything that could have been done differently and to see if we can learn from it.”
.July 9, 2011
From the pages of the Toronto Sun
CALGARY - A horse has... more
Los Angeles Times...
San Francisco considers banning the sale of all pets
The proposal started with dogs and cats, expanded to birds and hamsters, and now includes any animal that walks, flies, swims, crawls or slithers — unless you plan to eat it.
By Maria L. La Ganga, Los Angeles Times
June 26, 2011, 6:29 p.m.
Reporting from San Francisco—
The first vision was simple and straightforward: To curtail puppy mills and kitten factories, the sale of cats and dogs should be banned in San Francisco, where the loving guardians of animal companions come to regular blows — politically — with the loving parents of children.
The ban was put on hold last year after animal advocates broadened it to include anything with fur or feathers. Now it's back, with a new name and a new strategy: More is more. The Humane Pet Acquisition Proposal is on its way to the Board of Supervisors, and it hopes to protect everything from Great Danes to goldfish.
Yes, goldfish. And guppies, gobies, gouramies, glowlight tetras, German blue rams. No fish, no fowl, no reptiles, no amphibians, no cats, no dogs, no gerbils, no rats. If it flies, crawls, runs, swims or slithers, you would not be able to buy it in the city named for the patron saint of animals.
Representatives of the $45-billion to $50-billion-a-year pet industry call the San Francisco proposal "by far the most radical ban we've seen" nationwide and argue that it would force small operators to close. Animal activists say it will save small but important lives, along with taxpayer money, and end needless suffering.
"Why fish? Why not fish?" said Philip Gerrie, a member of the city's Commission of Animal Control and Welfare and a coauthor of the proposal. "From Descartes on up, in the Western mindset, fish and other nonhuman animals don't have feelings, they don't have emotions, we can do whatever we want to them. If we considered them living beings, we would deal with them differently.… Our culture sanctions this, treating them as commodities and expendable."
The commission voted earlier this month to send a proposal to the Board of Supervisors recommending a ban on the sale of all pets in the city to shore up the adoption of unwanted creatures from shelters and rescue organizations. Commissioners are now looking for a supervisor or two to sponsor such an ordinance.
Snake food was almost exempt from the proposal. After all, pythons have to eat, and they like their lunch alive. But at a heated meeting, Commissioner Pam Hemphill questioned how it could be humane to sell live animals to be fed to other live animals.
"If a snake is caught with a rodent in a box, the rodent can scratch its eye and cause an infection," said Hemphill, who noted that reptiles on display at the California Academy of Sciences eat dead, frozen prey. "The snake can't escape, and the rodent might be stuck for one or two days in the box with the snake because the snake's not hungry right then.
"So it doesn't seem very humane to me," she continued. "And if the frozen [food] works, then I think the killing of the animals to be food is probably more humane."
It is legal in San Francisco to sell live animals for eventual human consumption, and the proposed ban would not stop markets from selling live fish, poultry, turtles or seafood for that purpose.
Rebecca Katz, director of San Francisco Animal Care and Control, said her agency supports a ban on pet sales — particularly one that includes the so-called smalls, such as hamsters, which are euthanized at her city shelter at a higher percentage than any other domesticated animal. Although she did not advocate for the inclusion of fish, she is not against it.
"We're the agency that receives the old, filthy fish bowl with the goldfish at risk and have to determine whether we can make them healthy and adopt them out or flush them down the toilet," Katz said. "These are the lucky ones. Most people just flush them themselves."
Jennifer Scarlett, a veterinarian and co-president of the San Francisco SPCA, notes that only a handful of stores in San Francisco sell animals of any kind and that the effect of a ban would be largely symbolic. But she said that symbolism, and the conversation that it raises, is critical in improving the lives of millions of helpless creatures.
"For us as an organization, we've identified the larger problem of online purchasing of dogs, and we hope this is an avenue to get to that," she said. Still, when it comes to birds and fish, "there's a lot of cruelty around where they are sourced from. We see the cruelty."
But Jonathan Ito finds the proposal to be far more than symbolic. To the owner of Animal Connection — who has sold fish, birds, reptiles, amphibians, rats, mice and hamsters for a generation — the ban is a threat to his livelihood.
"It would put us out of business and our employees out of work," said Ito, who believes there is "no cause and effect" to the proposal.
Pet stores, he said, do not cause overcrowding at the shelters. They do not promote impulse buys of small, cute creatures that will later be tossed aside by bored children. And they work hard to educate prospective pet owners.
"The animal-rights activists are trying to drive a wedge any way they can in order to get a foothold on changing the ownership of animals," Ito said. "They don't believe they should be bred. They don't believe people are responsible to care for them.… They are about eliminating animals as pets."
PHOTO: Jonathan Ito is the owner of Animal Connection in the Sunset District. The city's Commission of Animal Control and Welfare voted earlier this month to send a proposal to the Board of Supervisors recommending a ban on the sale of all pets in the city to shore up the adoption of unwanted creatures from shelters and rescue organizations. (David Butow, For The Times / June 22, 2011)Los Angeles Times...
San Francisco considers banning the sale of all pets
Japan to launch massive search for quake bodies
By SHINO YUASA, AP
4 hours ago
TOKYO — Japan will send nearly 25,000 soldiers backed by boats and aircraft into its disaster zone Monday on an intensive land-and-sea mission to recover the bodies of those killed by last month's earthquake and tsunami, the military said.
Agriculture officials also plan to send a team of veterinarians into the evacuation zone around a stricken nuclear plant to check on hundreds of thousands of abandoned cows, pigs and chickens, many of which are believed to have died of starvation and neglect. The government is considering euthanizing some of the dying animals, officials said.
About 14,300 people have been confirmed dead so far in the catastrophic March 11 tsunami and earthquake. Another 12,000 remain missing and are presumed killed. Some of their bodies were likely swept out to sea, while others were buried under the mass of rubble.
Cleanup crews have discovered some remains as they gingerly removed rotting debris to clear the area for rebuilding.
But the two-day military search operation will be far more extensive, Defense Ministry spokesman Ippo Maeyama said Sunday.
"We will do our utmost to recover bodies for bereaved families," he said.
A total of 24,800 soldiers will scour the rubble, backed by 90 helicopters and planes, he said. Another 50 boats, along with 100 navy divers, will search the waters up to 20 kilometers off the coast, he said. Police, coast guard and U.S. troops will also take part.
"It's been very difficult and challenging to find bodies because the areas hit by tsunami are so widespread," he said. "Many bodies also have been swept away by the tsunami."
The operation will be the third intensive military search for bodies since the disaster last month. With the waters receding, Maeyama hopes the teams will have more success.
The search was complicated by the decomposition of some of the corpses, he said. Some had already turned into skeletons.
"You have to be very careful in touching the bodies because they quickly disintegrate. We cannot tell the bodies' gender anymore, let alone their age," he said.
The searches will continue, however, "as long as families want us to look for their loved ones," Maeyama said.
Meanwhile, the government in the Fukushima prefecture will send a team of six veterinarians into the 12-mile (20-kilometer) evacuation zone around the radiation-leaking Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant to survey the livestock there.
Farmers in the area were estimated to have left 3,000 cows, 130,000 pigs and 680,000 chickens behind when they hurriedly fled the area last month when the nuclear crisis started.
With no time for burials, veterinarians who find dead livestock will spray lime over them to prevent them from spreading disease, agricultural officials said.
The government is also considering euthanizing dying animals, but only after getting permission from their owners, said Yutaka Kashimura, an agricultural official in Fukushima.
"Killing animals is the very last resort," he said.
Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewriJapan to launch massive search for quake bodies
By SHINO YUASA, AP
4 hours ago... more
2 years ago
Andrew Quay Wee Meng, Law Student, Repeatedly Stomped Bird Because It Allegedly Scared Him
The Huffington Post
Posted: 03/17/11 02:58 PM
A 25-year-old law student was sentenced to 120 hours of community service yesterday for repeatedly stomping an ibis to the point that it had to be euthanized after the bird apparently scared him while he was eating a sandwich in Brisbane, Australia.
The Australian reports that Andrew Quay Wee Meng was eating lunch when a bird "snuck up from behind" him and jumped onto his table:
Quay Wee Meng threw his food down, wrestled the bird to the ground and stomped on it five times. The court was told the bird's wing was shattered and a blow to its neck caused it such difficulty in breathing that it had to be put down.
Meng's lawyer explained in his defense that he has had a heightened fear of birds ever since he was "attacked by a large crow," and that this may have provoked the future lawyer's rampage.
But Meng was not given a harsher sentence because of his "youth" and his lack of a criminal past, according to the Australian paper The Herald Sun. The judge also explained that a conviction might keep Meng, who just finished his law degree, from getting a job.Andrew Quay Wee Meng, Law Student, Repeatedly Stomped Bird Because It Allegedly Scared... more
Hawaii pilot spots badly injured whale
Birds in Paradise owner-flight instructor Gerry Charlebois photographed this mortally injured humpback whale off the Hawaiian island of Kauai.
February 9th, 2011
12:06 PM ET
A humpback whale with an apparently broken back has been spotted in waters near Hawaii, a newspaper reports.
Gerry Charlebois, who takes student pilot/tourists for coastal excursions in ultralight aircraft, spotted the injured whale from the air Monday in shallow water near Kauai.
"He wasn't moving his fluke and was just staying near the surface and sort of limping down the coast," he said. "It's kind of sad to see a full adult whale in that condition. ... It's definitely something he's not recovering from."
"This is one of the most disturbing sights I've ever experienced while photographing whales," Charlebois, the owner of Birds in Paradise Flight School, told The Garden Island Newspaper. "It was freaky. The whale was bent in half. Obviously some kind of blunt force trauma on the side. The poor guy was in trouble."
A large boat or ship must have struck the whale, which hasn't been seen since Monday, he said. Humpbacks normally are pretty agile, so this one may have been old or sick an unable to move out of a ship's way, he said.
Birds in Paradise manager Kirk Johnson said Charlebois and others on the flight first thought they'd seen an albino whale, but when they came around to take another look, they could see that it was discolored instead.
Ed Lyman of the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary on Maui told the paper the whale appeared to be in poor health - emaciated, shedding skin and surrounded by parasites - and there is no established method for euthanizing a large whale.
These big whales tend to die slowly, Charlebois said. When they do, they sink to the bottom until decomposition gases make them float to the surface, where they attract large numbers of hungry sharks, he said.
"It's amazing to see these 15-foot sharks all feeding on a whale," Charlebois said. "You don't want to be snorkeling around there. You don't want to be in that neighborhood."
Charlebois said he and his three other pilots would look for signs of the injured whale again today.
About 2,000 humpback whales live in the waters off Alaska, and many of them migrate to Hawaii's warm waters between November and May, according to Earthtrust.org. Whale watching is a major part of Hawaii's tourism industry. Adult humpbacks range in size from 35 to 48 feet, and weigh about 1 ton per foot.Hawaii pilot spots badly injured whale
Birds in Paradise owner-flight instructor... more
After mass dog slaughter, stressed man files workers' comp
February 1st, 2011
11:28 AM ET
An animal welfare group is investigating the execution of 100 healthy sled dogs in Vancouver, British Columbia, after tour business got slow following the Olympics, according to Canadian news reports.
The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is investigating the animal cruelty allegations after a Howling Dog Tours general manager filed a claim with the provincial workers' compensation board saying he suffered post-traumatic stress after slaughtering the dogs in a two-day cull.
The claim says the dogs were killed in front of each other, causing them to panic and attack the worker, The Vancouver Sun reported.
“By the end, he was covered in blood,” the review board wrote January 25, confirming the worker’s claim. “When he finished, he cleared up the mess, filled in the mass grave and tried to bury the memories as deeply as he could.”
Attorney Corey Steinberg told Vancouver radio station CNKW that his client either shot or slashed the throats of the canines.
“It wasn’t always a clean, one-shot kill,” Steinberg said. “Inevitably, (the employee) ended up seeing and having to put the end to some horrific scenes.”
Marcy Moriarty of the British Columbia SPCA told the station she was most disturbed by the “description where he notes that one of the dogs he thought had been killed was crawling around in this mass grave. ... Honestly, I had to put down the story then.”
The employee, who was compensated for his claim and no longer manages Howling Dog, sought treatment for depression, panic attacks and nightmares five days after the killings, The Sun reported.
Steinberg told the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. that his client tried to find adoptive homes for the animals, but when that failed, he and company executives agreed to euthanize the oldest and sickest dogs. The Sun, however, said the workers' compensation report claimed a veterinarian was contacted but refused to kill healthy animals.
“He just wanted the greatest happiness for the greatest number of dogs," Steinberg told CBC. "He had to choose: Do I keep 200 dogs and make their lives great, or do I stick here with the 300 that I have?”
Moriarty countered that “blowing off half of the dog’s head while it ran off” – as one of the executions was described in the worker’s compensation report – did not constitute euthanasia.
She further told The Sun she isn’t moved by the manager’s claim that he named the dogs and had “developed a strong emotional bond of mutual love.” She added, “I don’t feel sorry for this guy for one minute.”
“I’ve no doubt he has suffered post-traumatic stress, but there’s a thing called choice,” she said. “I absolutely would not have done this, and he could have said no.”
The Vancouver Olympics closed February 28, 2010, and Canadian Employment Law Today reported that the company decided to kill the dogs - reportedly a third of its kennels - when business dropped off.
Twitter users have homed their sights on Outdoor Adventures Whistler, which had a financial stake in the company but didn’t take operational control until May 2010, a month after the incident.
“Outdooradventures has the guts to shoot captive animals, do you?” read one.
Another said she “Is truly ashamed to live in Vancouver because of these dog slaughterings taken place in Whistler. I never want to go back there. Idiots.”
Outdoor Adventures, which also offers snowmobile, snowshoe and horseback excursion in Whistler, issued a statement saying it was aware of the “relocation and euthanization” of the Howling Dog animals but was “completely unaware of the details of the incident” before reading a report Sunday.
Spokesman Graham Aldcroft said in the statement that there are no longer firearms on the site, and in the future, sled dogs will be euthanized in a veterinarian’s office.
Tourism Whistler, which has marketed the company’s dog-sled tours for six years, told The Sun that it has suspended dog-sledding reservations for the company and is offering refunds to anyone who has booked a tour.
On Monday morning, Outdoor Adventures was still advertising dog-sled tours on its website, saying that its “lengthened tour means more time with the puppies.”CNN...
After mass dog slaughter, stressed man files workers' comp... more
The New York Times
December 30, 2010
Abandoned Horses Are Latest Toll of Drug Trade
By MARC LACEY
PHOENIX — Found tottering alone in the desert with their ribs visible and their heads hung low, horses play a backbreaking, unappreciated role in the multibillion-dollar drug smuggling industry.
Mexican traffickers strap heavy bales of marijuana or other illegal drugs to the horses’ backs and march them north through mountain passes and across rough desert terrain. With little food and water, some collapse under their heavy loads. Others are turned loose when the contraband gets far enough into Arizona to be loaded into vehicles with more horsepower.
“We would pick up 15 to 20 horses a month, and many more of the animals would get past us,” said Brad Cowan, who spent 28 years as a livestock officer for the Arizona Department of Agriculture before retiring a few months back. “They wear poorly fitted equipment. It’s obvious they were not well taken care of. The makeshift saddles rub big sores in their backs.”
Even once rescued, the horses face an uncertain future. Since they are not from the United States, the state of Arizona must draw their blood and conduct a battery of tests to ensure that they do not carry any disease that would infect domestic livestock. Then the horses head to auction, where some are bought and shipped back to Mexico for slaughter.
Others are luckier. They find their way to equine rescue operations, which help place them with homes.
“We just got a horse in, and he’s sticks and bones, and his feet are horrific,” said July Glore, president of Heart of Tucson, a rescue operation that nurses the horses back to strength. “We get calls all the time about abandoned horses. How many do I have right now? One, two, three.”
One, named Lucky, had his tongue almost cut in half from the sharp wire bit put in his mouth. “I was told he was a drug horse,” Ms. Glore said.
Farther north, at the Arizona Equine Rescue Organization in New River, Soleil K. Dolce said drug horses were just part of the problem. Ms. Dolce responds to police calls about horses that have escaped from illegal rodeos and are running down the street. Horses are also left at freeway off-ramps or tied to fences by owners who no longer want them, she said.
Rehabilitating them is expensive and time consuming, Ms. Dolce said, and there is the possibility that some horses will never be adopted.
“I can’t even describe the suffering these horses have gone through,” Ms. Dolce said, petting Rim Rock, who was abandoned in Tonto National Forest, east of Phoenix, several years ago and still suffers problems in his hooves.
It is sometimes not clear when a horse is discovered exactly how it came to be abandoned. State officials say the economic crisis has led to many more animals being let loose by owners no longer able to care for them. But the horses that are found with Mexican brands are presumed to be smuggling horses. And sometimes the authorities have no doubt: groups of horses or donkeys are discovered in the act, with bales of drugs on their backs and their human guides hiding.
Last year, seven horses laden with 971 pounds of marijuana were discovered by Border Patrol agents in the Patagonia Mountains in southern Arizona. The human smugglers had fled.
“I’d get angry when I’d see the condition these horses were in,” Mr. Cowan said. “The smugglers would buy them or steal them on the Mexican side and then work them almost to death. They have horrible sores that can take months to heal up.”
He recalled one horse he came across in Pima County, not far from the Mexican border, that had deep wounds in its hide, was clearly malnourished and was so weak that it was trying to sit back on its hind end to take the weight off its legs. Mr. Cowan and a co-worker had to carry the horse into a trailer.
Still, he said, horses are resilient. “They can come back from a lot,” he said.
Some of the abused horses end up back in the rugged border region where they were first found, Mr. Cowan said. Instead of smuggling, though, they are sometimes used by law enforcement agencies to pursue the traffickers who mistreated them.The New York Times
December 30, 2010
Abandoned Horses Are Latest Toll of Drug... more
Let's make Peta history
The animal rights organisation treats women like meat and does animals few favours – this dreadful group needs to disappear
* Julie Bindel
o guardian.co.uk, Thursday 28 October 2010 12.00 BST
Pamala Anderson PETA Campaign Launch - London Peta's latest poster campaign features Pamela Anderson portrayed as a collection of cuts of meat. Photograph: Mark Cuthbert/UK Press
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta), has done it again. Apparently never tiring of offending women with its horrifically misogynistic campaigns, it has now gone and upset British film-maker Victor Schonfeld over its use of footage from The Animals film, first released in 1982. Schonfeld, himself committed to animal rights, has long criticised Peta's vile anti-women gimmickry and has taken serious offence at his film being exploited by them. Many decent people – men and women – do not wish to be associated with an organisation that depicts women as pieces of meat in order to challenge folk that treat animals as, er, pieces of meat. A Peta spokesperson claimed that Schonfeld has "an axe to grind". I sincerely hope he has. We need all the support we can get to put a stop to this dangerous promotion of women as stupid slags, sexy sluts and brainless bimbos.
Peta does not just dehumanise women, although we are definitely its favourite target. Racist imagery can also be found in more than one of its campaigns – such as the juxtaposition of a photograph of African American men accused of raping white women being lynched in the American deep south with that of a bull being strung up in preparation for butchering. Then there was the campaign that depicted a semi-clad black man as a "wild" animal in a cage.
Females with low self-esteem due to weight or size can also rely on Peta to make their lives just that little bit worse. A billboard erected in the US had "Save the Whales. Lose the Blubber: Go Vegetarian" in massive lettering next to a picture of a woman in a bikini. In a press release, Peta executive vice-president Tracy Reiman said: "Trying to hide your thunder thighs and balloon belly is no day at the beach."
Peta is unrepentant and unconcerned when confronted about images of extreme acts of violence against women, such as a poster showing a woman being murdered on the street. It also does few favours for many animals. Peta received $32m in public donations last year and yet it does not run animal shelters. According to public records from the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Peta euthanised 2,124 pets in 2008 and gave fewer than 18 to adoptive homes. Since 1998, a total of 21,339 dogs and cats have died at the hands of Peta workers, making it more like a slaughterhouse than an animal rights campaign.
Peta using working porn stars in its campaigns such as Sasha Grey confirms its liking for an industry that sexualises the notion of women as meat. Peta is as guilty of doing so as Hustler magazine, which famously put a picture of a woman being pushed head-first through a meat grinder to make hamburger in the 1970s, one album cover shortly afterwards displayed a woman's naked, clingfilm-wrapped body sectioned off like cuts of meat in a butchers shop. Men are often heard guffawing at dinner when asked if they want "leg or breast".
The wonderful Carol J Adams, animal rights activist, feminist and author of the acclaimed, The Sexual Politics of Meat, is a staunch critic of Peta. "People say 'sex sells'. I say sex sells sex. Peta conflates sexualisation and animal exploitation and this harms animals."
In my opinion, having made several complaints to Peta over the years, it will never care what you or I say to them about the offence and suffering it causes for women. The attitude of Peta staff and volunteers I have spoken to in the past reminds me of the small number of hunt saboteur extremists who planted shards of glass in Epping Forest a few years ago to "make a point" about fox hunting. My dog almost died when cutting herself on the glass, which was meant for the horses. When I interviewed a Peta campaigns director a couple of years ago, she told me:
"Using a woman's body to show that animals are made of flesh and blood and bones, just like you, is a very serious point that we are trying to put out, so that people can think of animals as sentient human beings, not just pieces of meat on supermarket shelves. The results we are getting for the animals is part of our main aim, which is to alleviate their suffering."
Let us stop bothering to appeal to Peta's better judgment. Now is the time for serious action against the organisation. Let those of us who care about the harm it is doing try to shut them down. The harm they do to both women and animals is enough to justify calling on even the most passionate animal rights activist to support us in the campaign to close this hate-filled organisation.GUARDIAN.CO.UK
Let's make Peta history
The animal rights organisation... more
Police in New York state say two women were found living with 86 cats in their cars. WTEN reports.Police in New York state say two women were found living with 86 cats in their cars.... 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
Katherine Heigl pledges $1 million to help animal shelters
September 24, 2010 5:17 p.m. EDT
Photo: Katherine Heigl plays with a pooch at a press conference on September 23.
* Katherine Heigl donates $1 million to help no-cost spay and neuter programs in L.A.
* More than 50,000 of 80,000 shelter animals in L.A. County were euthanized last year
(PEOPLE.com) -- It's more than just puppy love. Katherine Heigl is behind a $1 million initiative to help no-cost spay and neuter programs in the Los Angeles area.
The Jason Debus Heigl Foundation, named in memory of the actress's late brother, will work with the Cesar Millan's Millan Foundation, the City and County of Los Angeles and various other organizations on the project, called the Compassion Revolution.
Heigl, who herself has six dogs, three of them rescues, told PEOPLEPets.com at the press conference to announce the pledge that she and her mother had felt hopeless and overwhelmed by the pet population crisis in L.A.
Over 50,000 of 80,000 shelter animals in Los Angeles County were euthanized last year, according to the Heigl Foundation.
"How can we change the results for these animals?" she said. "[Shelters are not only] euthanizing sick, old dogs. It's gotten brutal, you know. It's inhuman, really."
The Heigl Foundation wanted a solution -- training and education on how to reduce the pet population compassionately, instead of having to put down healthy animals. Heigl says that her upbringing influenced her when it came to the importance of spaying and neutering.
"When I was growing up, my mother and father had zero desire for any one of our animals to have a litter," she said. "I think it's a lot of work, it's a lot of energy. Then, as an adult, because of the way I was raised and because I had the means to do it, [spaying and neutering] goes without question.
"But there are a lot of communities that don't have that education, weren't raised that way and don't see their pets that way," she added. "They have no idea that a litter of 10 means a litter of, like, 400 in the future. We can tell them and educate them, and provide a way for them to spay and neuter their pets."
For more information on the initiative, visit compassion-revolution.com.
See the full article at PEOPLE.comKatherine Heigl pledges $1 million to help animal shelters
September 24, 2010... more