Blogging About Critters Since 2007

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Cruelty in a Romanian Zoo

Now this is just sad. Zoo workers in Romania had police set dogs onto Gaya the elephant because wouldn't move to her winter quarters. She panicked, fell and broke a leg, and ended up laying there until she died.

Romania, which will be joining the EU, now faces new regulations for zoo care. The problem is, they don't have the money to upgrade.

Chained Dogs

Dogs Deserve Better is an organization that is campaigning against chained up dogs.

On Sunday activists will be chaining themselves up across the country to bring attention to the issue.

I saw quite a bit of that when I was in the Azores. It was always very sad to see. But this is, of course, a problem that knows no national boundaries.

150 Hens Liberated

Um, maybe this is a dumb question, but where do they go exactly? Are they released into the woods? The happy happy hen field? A sanctuary? I'm just curious, because I doubt they would survive in the wild, and I wonder if the people that do this have the means to take care of them. Maybe they do.

American States with Pet Trust Laws

Wonder if you can create a pet trust in your state? Thirty states have pet trust laws so far. Use this map and find out if you are in one of them.

If you click on a state WITH pet trust laws, you will be linked to a page with statute information about them. If you click on a state WITHOUT pet trust laws, nothing will happen. (Sorry, Louisiana and Oklahoma residents. Looks like this applies to you).

Aussie Wool Industry Settles Lawsuit Against PETA

PETA has been fighting the Australian wool industry over a Mulesing.

This is a process where loose skin is cut from the skin of wool bearing sheep in order to discourage flies. Here is more info.

The wool industry brought a lawsuit against PETA over it's efforts to stop the practice. After mediation, PETA agreed to stop it's campaign against specific retailers who sell Australian Wool. Here is PETA's news release that outlines the agreement.

Pets and the Poor

Here is an interesting article in the NY Times about people in places like Appalachia who end up with too many pets.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

History of Domesticated Cats

Unlike their drooling tail wagging rivals, cats seem to have domesticated themselves.

It's a very interesting article.

Mitt Romney - Animal Lover

It appears that Mitt Romney strapped a dog in a carrier to the roof of his car for a 12 hour trip. That's right, 12 hours. Nice.

And here I was thinking the worst thing about him was that he was a flip flopping say anything to get elected political hack.

But I guess he's not in favor of treating people any better
.

California's New Mandatory Spay/Neuter Law

Here is an article on California's new mandatory spay/neuter law that is making it's way through the legislature. Opinion is decidedly mixed.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

More on Primarily Primates

Here is more information on the lawsuit against Primarily Primates. Thanks to one of our readers for providing the link to the site.

Here is a link to Chimp Haven.

In Honor of Minnie Monster

This post is in honor of our oldest dwarf hamster Minnie, aka Minnie Monster.

Minnie may be the longest-lived hamster we have had yet. Most of my reading about dwarf hamsters has shown different estimates of lifespans, but the average appears to be about 2 years.

Tiny, delicate animals such as mice and dwarf hamsters can pass away very quickly and unexpectedly. We had a dwarf once with such a bad case of wet tail that it had to be humanely euthanized because her system was deteriorating so rapidly. Another dwarf passed away at the vet while being given fluid and oxygen. She had been running on her wheel a little over 24 hours earlier. (I can't imagine such a tiny thing on a respirator...wow.)

Then there are those dwarfs that don't seem to know when to go. Minnie is definitely one of them, although it appears that her time has finally arrived.

We adopted Minnie from the animal shelter when she was still pretty young. She was always a lively little girl. She didn't like the exercise ball, but had her fun on the wheel and running along my arms. She liked yogies, nibbling on little crunch toys and was the smelliest little hammie I have ever had. Even my pet-sitter said so.

Minnie began growing old a few months ago. She is a gray ham, but her fur started to turn whitish. Then her back legs started losing control and she dragged herself about. Then her whitish fur started to turn brownish around the neck. She had little tumors grow. But she kept eating, drinking and allowing herself to be picked up. If she ever had any pain, I never knew it, because I would not have kept her alive if her quality of life were suffering in any way.

Tonight, Minnie is barely moving, although she did snack on a yogie earlier. For the past month, we have been amazed every day we checked and she was still here. I'd like to think that she enjoyed life too much or was too well cared for to feel the need to leave. But who knows?

I don't think Minnie will be around in the morning, but we have enjoyed her company and admire her perserverance. Amazing how even the littlest being can maintain such a tenacious hold on life. It is indeed a very precious thing.

Live Animals For Sale on Internet

Looks like live animals are easy to find on the internet according to the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW).

Sahabat Alam Malaysia
is the author of the above editorial.

What Dogs are Thinking

Looks like dogs are smarter than we think according to recent research.

But they still aren't as smart as our cats...

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Cute Pot-Bellied Pig

Here's a cute pot-bellied pig for you...just because!

Successful Feral Cat Spay/Neuter

The Feral Cat Spay/Neuter Project is a great group out of Seattle that has been very successful with establishing a feral cat spay/neuter clinic. They are a model of efficiency. We toured the place once a few years ago and were amazed at how many animals they were able to handle due to their organizational skills. They are also a useful resource for all those rescuers caring for feral cat colonies...not too shabby!

There is a link to their clinic model that is worth looking at if you are interested in setting up this kind of project.

Gnasty Gnomes

I have never been a fan of those ceramic gnomes on people's lawns. They creep me out a bit. And what are those chubby cheeks hiding anyway?

So I'm not surprised to learn they have been put to another nefarious use....wildlife smuggling!

Monday, June 25, 2007

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Animal Rescue in Texas

Here is a great article on Animal Preservation of East Texas

They do great work.

State of North Carolina Asks No-Kill Shelter to Get Rid of 800 Animals

The founder of North Carolina’s largest no-kill animal shelter said the state is asking her to get rid of 800 animals and construct two buildings to house the rest.

McKee Project in Latin America

We are pretty excited about a new organization we just learned about. The McKee Project is dedicated to animal welfare in Latin America, particularly Costa Rica. I never knew how bad the situation was for animals in these countries until I read their material. We'll start following this group's work.

By the way, we found them via an article in the Best Friends Magazine AND we checked them on the IRS web site. They are a real charitable organization.

You can also read about The McKee Project's work in Spanish. (Se puede leer sobre Programa McKee de Costa Rica en espaƱol).

Stop Dogfighting in the NFL

Best Friends Animal Sanctuary is one of our favorite groups. They are savvy, visionary, global and quick to respond.

Following up on this Michael Vick/NFL dogfighting scandal that we've been tracking, we'd like to encourage you to sign Best Friends' petition to stop dogfighting in the NFL. The petition calls on the NFL and other professional sport leagues to do the following:

  • Announce policies condemning dog fighting as a cruel, illegal activity that will not be tolerated

  • Establish stiff fines and suspensions for any high profile athletes or league employee who associates in any way with dog fighting

  • Cooperate fully with investigations of athletes alleged to be involved in dog fighting.

The NFL really needs to step up on this issue. Its inaction reflects poorly on the league, its employees and its players.

Scientists Find Gorillas Have Good Table Manners

I'm more of a wipe my hands on my jeans kind of person.

Happy Sunday

Here's a puppy.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Ending Animal Testing in Lab Research

The University of Nottingham has expanded and remodelled it's medical lab in a £240,000 overhaul designed to hasten the development of effective non-animal techniques.

The lab is a joint effort by the university and the Fund for the Replacement of Animals in Experimentation.

World's Ugliest Dog

Now that is one ugly dog. Fortunately, Elwood has a great home.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Expanding Animal Rights to Invertebrates in UK

OK, at this point, it looks like it's a long way from any sort of implementation. But, the article is about how the Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs is investigating whether invertebrates should enjoy the same protections as dogs and cats.

Israel to Ban Products Tested on Animals

Looks like most products tested on animals will soon be a thing of the past in Israel.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Be a Smart Supporter

If you are reading this blog, chances are that you have given money to an animal welfare or environmental organization at some point in your life. Here's some good advice that we learned the hard way....investigate those groups you support and make sure they really are who they say they are. AND make sure they are using your money properly.

We learned this lesson thanks to Primarily Primates, a sanctuary in San Antonio, TX. We supported this group for years. Last year, serious allegations and evidence of abuse, neglect and hoarding led to the seizure of the sanctuary by the Texas Attorney General. The State of Texas finally settled with a revised sanctuary Board of Directors, but we felt that our money had been wasted for a long time. If we had just done some research, we may have been better informed. Here's the whole unpleasant story of that place following the initial seizure. For a more up-to-date status on this mess, click here.

First and foremost, do some internet research on the group and see what kind of press they are getting, if any. In the US, check with the IRS to make sure the group really is a charitable organization and to make sure it really is a 501(c)(3) if it claims to be so (a 501(c)(3) status means that donations to the group are tax-deductible). Check with watchdogs too, like the Better Business Bureau's Wise Giving Alliance to see how these organizations rate.

It's the worst feeling in the world to think that you are helping animals and it turns out you've only been hurting them.

"Pocket Pets" on the CBS Early Show

CBS has a four minute clip from the Early Show about guinea pigs, hamsters and mice. Overall not a bad piece. The woman showing the animals was a vet. The part about the hamsters seemed a bit harsh (that they hated being handled), but it was pretty informative.

It would have been nice if they promoted adoption. We used to volunteer at the Seattle Animal Shelter, so we often saw animals bought and then dumped when people tired of the animal.

Then again, I don't know how many other shelters deal with the wee ones. The Seattle program was pretty much volunteer funded and staffed (paid staff do very little with a few exceptions).

Speaking of wee ones, here is a group in San Diego that specializes in rescuing small animals.

Air Canada to Ban Pets on Passenger Planes

Looks like the airline is getting so many bookings, it has no room for them. But, they can still go on cargo planes.

Another Reason to Hate Paris Hilton

Reliable gossip says she doesn't treat her pets very well.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Pets Alive Auction

Pets Alive is Having an Ebay Auction. They are a sanctuary in NY.

H/t to Best Friends, who have this story. If you've never heard of this group, their site is worth a look. They do wonderful work.

Kangaroo Culling Will Bring Protests From Activists

Looks like the Australian Govt. plans to kill 3200.

The govt. says that overpopulation will cause starvation for kangaroos, and threaten other endangered species habitats. Although the article quotes activists who plan to protest, they don't really say what the alternative is. Not that I agree with the Australian govt. but it does raise the question of what should be done.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Canadian Inspectors To Have Kits That Detect Bear Parts

Environment Canada is going to start testing kits which can detect bear protiens in traditional medicines.

The kits, which cost 15.00 each, are being provided by the World Society for the Protection of Animals.

Australia is doing it too.

Firefighters Save Cats and a Rat

No mouth to mouth required.

They had a little mask to resuscitate small animals. I thought that was interesting.

Europe Set to Block Cat and Dog Fur Imports

I don't believe in wearing fur in the first place, but who in the world would want to wear dog or cat fur? I guess there is a market for everything.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Animal Cruelty in the UK

Here is an article about Bernard Matthews employees kicking turkeys and committing other acts of cruelty. There is a video at the end of the article that shows some of it.

When the Swiss Regulate Things, They Don't Mess Around

Geneva Canton just passed a law regulating dogs and their owners. To start with, everyone has to go to obedience school. And if you walk someone else's dog, you'll need a license. Owners of so-called "dangerous" breeds will have to have a license, as well as have some other restrictions.

Pets on Prozac

Although there are times I've wanted to feed Thorazine to some of our cats, I'm not real sure giving pets Prozac is a good idea.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Green Lake Rabbits

Last Friday, a story broke in Seattle about a rabbit relocation project sponsored by the Seattle City Parks Department. The story by a local television station alleges that poor conditions, disease and stress have led to the death of a number of rabbits. According to the story, the Animal Liberation Front has been blogging about the project and security has been stepped up around the rabbits' shelter.

We are personally familiar with the project which is why we are writing about it. It's also a good case study of an all-too-common scenario with rescue efforts.

Like many other communities, Seattle parks are the site of many animal dumpings, particularly the dumping of rabbits after the Easter season. These animals have a very high mortality rate, but those that survive breed and produce feral offspring. These offspring breed, and breed, and breed.

The trapping of rabbits in public parks serves several important purposes. First of all, the humane reason to trap and remove these animals is that they live miserable existences due to the irresponsibility of humans. There are no native rabbit populations in Seattle. They pretty much all result from the initial abandonment of domestic pets. Secondly, some of the rabbits, being ferocious eaters, actually pose an environmental problem by eating vegetation and altering their environment. Finally, there is a public health issue where there are large populations of animals with high mortalities. You may find rats and other scavengers congregating nearby to feast on their remains.

Anyway, the “planning” for this project began over a year ago. As far as I can tell, a group of rabbit rescuers got together and approached the City about rescuing and relocating the feral rabbits in Greenlake and Woodland Park. They got permission and then things fell apart.

The model for this project was a huge rescue project that occurred in Redmond, WA. That one had its major controversies too. One of the key people involved in Redmond was also involved in the Seattle planning. But some disagreements came up and she left the project.

Apparently, people kept leaving the project due to disagreements, particularly over the planning. At the end, the only rescuers left were a college kid named Mark Pilger and his fiancee. Not really experienced trappers or even experienced planners.

The trapping began in January and the rabbits were housed in an old chapel in Discovery Park (ironically, a park with its own rabbit problem, but not on the list of trapping locations), I spoke with Mark Pilger in the early winter. He seemed very disorganized, but seemed to have the basics down. He was getting volunteers, he had a good idea of caring for the animals, and he had vets signed on for spaying and neutering.

However, he had no real answer to the key question....where exactly are these rabbits going to go?

The original story was that they were all going to a federal sanctuary. Well, Mark said that wasn't quite right. They hoped to relocate about thirty maybe, but they weren't sure. Some might be adoptable. But, they really needed volunteers to come up with the solution for where the animals would go. Very hard pitch for volunteering, but we said no.

Number one rule in our household is don't volunteer for a rescue unless you know where those animals are going to end up. Otherwise, you end up with a bunch of animals in a hoarding or warehousing situation.

Unfortunately, that may be what is happening. I don't think these animals are being mistreated. I know a couple of the people involved as volunteers and I cannot believe they would continue there if there was mistreatment. But there is a problem with finding homes for these animals. It's been six months, there are about 100 animals in the chapel, and Mark Pilger is still trapping.

The deaths are not surprising. It appears that a virus circulated about and such things can spread quickly in close conditions. The death of two newborns is also not surprising, although unfortunate. Stress is a killer for animals that have no idea what is going on and are suddenly confined in small spaces.

I do believe that KIRO, the television station, has been very irresponsible on this story. I think it's the typical story of a disgruntled volunteer who is not happy about animal conditions, poor leadership, and no clear end game in sight for these animals. Typical for any rescue effort, but not unusual. If you look at the “evidence” posted with the article, it is pretty weak. Unfortunately, they presented the story in an inflammatory manner to suggest poor treatment. But I guess that's what the media does nowadays.

It's a good story of what NOT to do when you rescue. Plan where your rescues are going before you start rescuing. If you have a plan, then it's easier to lead, easier to accomplish and easier to finish what you started.

Critters of The Week

These are some Stellar's Jays in Alaska. They built a nest on top of a friend's parents greenhouse.

Breeding Tigers in China

Something tells me that the Chinese have a little more interest in the dollar potentional of tiger parts rather than saving a species.

Here is another article in the Washington Post. But, unlike the article above, in with an official talks of his dream of chopping the tigers up for market, this one quotes the same person's goal of "releasing" them into the wild. How touching.

Is the writer so uninformed as to not realize that the Chinese have been pushing to lift the ban on the sale of tiger parts and thus, might have an agenda in breeding them?

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Friday, June 15, 2007

Activists Free Dancing Bears in Bulgaria

Animal rights activists bought the last 3 remaining "dancing" bears and will send them to a mountain sanctuary.

The group that did this is the Four Paws Foundation. They look like a good group based in Austria but with offices in other European countries.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Wildlife advocates disagree on how humans fit into picture

So, it looks like a resolution was raised at CITES to consider the potential impact of wildlife trade restrictions on impoverished local communities. As the article says, this seems like a simple and practical request.

But it's not. It's actually very dangerous and, frankly, a bit delusional.

The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species is the only international organisation beside the International Whaling Commission with the power to institute a total ban on the commercial exploitation of a plant or animal.

The purpose of CITES is to protect endangered species, not humans.

Now, some people may throw their hands up in the air and say, aha! so you don't care about people after all! It's all about the plants and animals. What are you, an animist?

Well, that's not the point. The point is that by introducing people issues into the equation, it provides false leverage to those who want to look at these plants and animals, not as treasures to protect or a vital part of a healthy ecosystem for all Earth's inhabitants, but merely as an economic product to harvest. The individual worth and legacy of each species is subsumed to what they can offer humans. If you introduce human concerns into the discussion, you can make an argument that any protection effort is going to hurt someone.

Of course, I don't even buy that. How much are the poor really hurt by a ban on the trade of certain products? What about the pre-Rwanda war when Mountain Gorillas were the source of a lucrative ecotourism. Weren't there any economic benefits there? And even if there were a negative consequence, how much would it really hurt? How much is really being made in the short-term by harvesting a nonrenewable resource? Is it a long-term investment in the health of a community or a short-term gain that disappears in a short period of time with no lasting impact?

Is the poverty due to protection of endangered species or worse issues like the imbalance between rich and poor nations and the exploitation of the poor by the rich? Who exactly is buying the ivory, the hides and the furs? It's those who can afford to buy them and let's be honest, the only person getting rich is the middle person, not the harvester or hunter.

And if anyone thinks that linking endangered species with poverty is going to create some sort of fundraising windfall, they have got to be deluding themselves there too. Poverty is not sexy and it doesn't seem to get all that much attention on its own.

Ending Bullfighting in Spain

This is really interesting. It looks like the Catalan Nationalist Party is looking to ban bullfighting in Barcelona. Part of it is motivated by cruelty of the it. Interestingly enough, part of it is a Catalan nationalism.

Here is a little more info on Spanish style bullfighting.

Dogs Vs. Cats

I thought this was very funny.

DOG DIARY
8:00 am - Dog food! My favorite thing!
9:30 am - A car ride! My favorite thing!
9:40 am - A walk in the park! My favorite thing!
10:30 am - Got rubbed and petted! My favorite thing!
12:00 pm - Lunch! My favorite thing!
1:00 pm - Played in the yard! My favorite thing!
3:00 pm - Wagged my tail! My favorite thing!
5:00 pm - Milk bones! My favorite thing!
7:00 pm - Got to play ball! My favorite thing!
8:00 pm - Wow! Watched TV with my people! My favorite thing!
11:00 pm - Sleeping on the bed! My favorite thing!

CAT DIARY
Day 983 of my captivity.

My captors continue to taunt me with bizarre little dangling objects. They dine lavishly on fresh meat, while the other inmates and I are fed hash or some sort of dry nuggets. Although I make my contempt for the rations perfectly clear, I nevertheless must eat something in order to keep up my strength. The only thing that keeps me going is my dream of escape.

In an attempt to disgust them, I once again vomit on the carpet.

Today I decapitated a mouse and dropped its headless body at their feet. I had hoped this would strike fear into their hearts, since it clearly demonstrates what I am capable of. However, they merely made condescending comments about what a "good little hunter" I am. Bastards!

There was some sort of assembly of their accomplices tonight. I was placed in solitary confinement for the duration of the event. However, I could hear the noises and smell the food. I overheard that my confinement was due to the power of "allergies." I must learn what this means, and how to use it to my advantage.

Today I was almost successful in an attempt to assassinate one of my tormentors by weaving around his feet as he was walking. I must try this again tomorrow -- but at the top of the stairs.

I am convinced that the other prisoners here are flunkies and snitches. The dog receives special privileges. He is regularly released - and seems to be more than willing to return. He is obviously retarded. The bird has got to be an informant. I observe him communicate with the guards regularly. I am certain that he reports my every move. My captors have arranged protective custody for him in an elevated cell, so he is safe. For now...

Louisiana Moves to Outlaw Cockfighting

Seems to be hurting the state's image. I can't imagine why.

Dalai Lama and Animal Rights

Here is an article about his visit to Steve Irwin's zoo.

Better Treatment for Farm Animals in Canada

Here is a general article about trying to improve the treatment of farm animals in Canada.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Yikes

Here is an article that provides a snapshot of the meat industry in India.

Illinois Horse Slaughterhouse Fights To Stay Open

And Europe Weeps...

Nursing Home for Dogs

OK I know we have doggie day care now, but nursing homes? A crack team of puppies will be employed to make them feel young and bug them all day by trying to bite their tails.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Allowing African Nations to Manage Elephants and Ivory

Here is an article in which the author argues for allowing African nations to manage elephant populations as well as ivory sales.

I'm not sure I agree with the idea, but it is worth reading.

Frogs and Meteors

Not sure I see the connection.

India Seeks Help in Conservation

India will seek the support of the international community for the conservation of wildlife, especially in its endeavour in protecting the endangered tiger, at the ongoing Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) of Wild Fauna and Flora at The Hague.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Animal Hoarding as Mental Illness

Here is an Australian article about whether animal hoarding should be classified as a mental illness.

Menu Foods Lawsuit in Canada

Here is an article about class action suits against Menu Foods in Canada.

Russia Establishes Second Tiger Parkhttp://www.blogger.com/img/gl.link.gif

Looks like Russia is doing a little more to protect Siberian Tigers.

Light Blogging Today

Light blogging today. We brought our cat Charlotte back from the vet. She purred the whole way home, then walked around the house purring. She'd been at the hospital for a a couple days, and I don't think she quite believed she'd be back home. She's one very happy cat.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Death of Elephant Sparks Debate

The recent death of Hansa the elephant in Seattle has sparked a debate as to whether they should be kept or bred in captivity.

Critter of the Week, Sick Edition


Here is a picture of Charlotte. She's been at the vet hospital with pyothorax.

She's actually doing much better, but she has a tube in her chest. Tangled up tubes.

BC Govt. and Animal Protection

Looks like the BC Govt. doesn't care much about protecting animals.

Drug Dogs Fired For Sexual Harrassment

Two Dogs seemed to take a special interest in the legs of female passengers. They also liked to whiz on the luggage. No word on whether they also used the ever popular nose in the crotch manuever.

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Friday, June 8, 2007

Animal Welfare From a Rancher's Perspective

Here is an article from someone with a low opinion of animal rights organizations. I don't agree with some of the things he says, but it's a voice worth listening too. He makes a few over-generalizations, but I think that happens on both sides of these issues.

Critter of the Week - Minnie

This is Minnie. She doesn't have an orange nose, she's scarfing on a carrot. We don't know how old she is, but she is definitely a creaker. We've had her over a year (she looks like she is about 100 hamster years).

Animal Law Review

In our continuing campaign to let you know about animal law resources, here is a link to Lewis and Clark's Animal Law Review. It's the nation's first law review devoted exclusively to animal issues.

Chad Fights Against Elephant Poachers

Chad's President Idriss Deby Imo announced that they are detaching 400 regular army soldiers to help combat poaching.

Bird Feeders and Disease

This is an article about a Salmonella related disease being spread through bird feeders. Although this is local to the Washington State area, I thought it would of interested to everyone, as these kinds of things can happen anywhere. We have 3 bird feeders in our backyard.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Chernobyl Now Home to Wildlife

Looks like the "dead zone" at Chernobyl is now teeming with life.

Let's hope they are fairly normal.

Illicit Wildlife Trade

If I had a choice of smuggling cocaine or ivory, I think I'd pick the ivory. Nobody gets hanged for illegal animal trafficking. Or does any serious jail time for that matter. As long as the risks are high and the penalties low, it's going to be a growing problem.

Undercover TV

I just came across this program on Public Access here in Seattle.

This is a very good organization.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

German Pet Pampering

Looks like the German like to pamper their pets. I've had readers from Iran, Italy, Brazil and many other countries. But, none yet from Germany. I'd like to give them credit anyways. If you know any Germans, tell them about this site, because I need the traffic.

Animal Law

Looks like animal law is becoming more popular with lawyers.

Here is a blog about these issues.

Ebay Joins Fight Against Ivory Sales

Ebay is going to ban the sale of Ivory.

Looks like they are moving to counteract negative publicity from the sale of banned items. I don't think that's been an intentional thing on their part. But, good for them for being so aggressive on the matter.

Mutts

I really like this comic.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Pyothorax in Cats

Well, one of our cats, Charlotte, has Pyothorax. This is an infection in the chest cavity that causes a good deal of pus to build up. Treatment generally involves putting in a chest tube and draining out the fluid over several days until the infection can no longer be detected.

And, expect it to drain your wallet, as this has to be done at a vet hospital. Total cost at the hospital will be 2 to 3000. That doesn't include the 900 we spent with our regular vet prior to figuring out she needed to go to the hospital. So, she will be there for the next 3 0r 4 days.

Here is the clinic we took her to. At first I'd thought it was one of those corporate vet care places (they seem to be taking over the vet world). But, this one is actually owned by 2 vets. It's pretty impressive facility. They operate 24/7.

Feds Sued Over Removal of Grizzly From Threatened List

Environmental groups are suing over the removal of the grizzly from the threatened list around Yellowstone.

Monday, June 4, 2007

Who knew? Freshwater Crabs Thrive in Roman Ruins

Whenever I feel blue about the state of the world and its species, an
article like this pops up. It shows again that even if human civilization falls, life still finds a way.


Bollywood and Animal Welfare

Looks like animal welfare activists are making positive changes in Bollywood as far as animal safety in movies.


Tax Deductable Trusts for Pet

An Oregon congressman has introduced a bill that would allow people to set up tax deductable trusts for pets for after you die.

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Gardening for Wildlife

The National Wildlife Federation has a program where you can get certified for having a wildlife friendly garden.

We have 4 bird feeders in our yard (one of which serves a gaggle of squirrels), and I have to say I love looking at the birds and animals in our back yard. But, I'd like to do more if I can.

States Cracking Down on Puppy Mills

Good article about puppy mills.

Saturday, June 2, 2007

Critter of the Week


This week it's Che. I have to say this is one of my favorite cat pictures.

More Wildlife Trade in Asia

Here is a good overview of issues in the wildlife trade in Asia.

Dog Therapy in Malaysia

Here is a blog by a person involved in using dogs in therapy for human patients in Malaysia.

Here is a link to the news article about it.

Friday, June 1, 2007

National Animal Control Association

This is an interesting site for the mere fact that this organization
exists. The fact that there is a National Animal Control Assocation
reflects the fact that people in this line of work are actually looking
at themselves as professionals and taking their jobs seriously.

The stereotype of the animal control employee is that of the
"dogcatcher," a menial job that requires manual labor and little
education. You didn't even have to like animals to have these jobs,
just do your work, catch the animals and put them down after three days
or so. But I'm seeing that animal control is slowly seeing itself in
other ways: as administrators, animal care professionals, humane law
enforcement and advocates.

This is not to say there isn't still a long way to go. There are many
"old-school" animal control people out there who are just getting by on
their way to retirement. And it really depends on how the shelter is
run. If the intent is to simply run a holding pen for lost animals,
those are the kind of people you are going to hire.

BUT, one example of progress is the change undergone a few years ago
when Seattle Animal Control renamed itself Seattle Animal Shelter. It
may be just words, but it is a significant reorientation of its mission
and self-perception. Here's hoping this trend continues.