Blogging About Critters Since 2007

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Prevention of Equine Cruelty Act Passed House Judiciary

It amazes me that legislative business is still being conducted in DC these days, what with the US economic sky falling. Especially animal business.

The Prevention of Equine Cruelty Act (H.R. 6598) is a bill that criminalizes the sale and transportation of horses for slaughter. It was approved and recommended to the House of Representatives by the House Judiciary Committee on September 23. The bill must be passed by the House and Senate before it can become law.

There are some powerful opponents to this bill, however.

The American Quarter Horse Association, American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP), American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) and National Cattlemen's Beef Association (NCBA), among many others, oppose the bill.

According to a statement from the AQHA, “The majority of horses processed for slaughter in the United States [prior to slaughterhouse closures in this country] were no longer viable for their intended use, unmanageable or simply unwanted by their owners. This bill would severely limit the rights of owners to manage their private property and subject horse owners to criminal prosecution should they sell or transport their horses for processing for human consumption, even if that is not their intention.”

Lovely quote. It's all about private property, not living things.

Man Caught Smuggling 200 Birds

A man was arrested at the airport in Sao Paulo, Brazil after 200 canaries were found in his suitcase. Sixty of them were dead from suffocation and thirst.

How horrible.

Animal Rescue Fund Celebrity Calendar Coming Soon

Read about it here. Here is a list of the participants.

Scott Adams
Trace Adkins
CSI Cast Members
Paige Davis
Kasey Kahne
George Lopez
Ana Ortiz
Rissi Palmer
Maggie Q
Adam Sandler
Rob Schneider
Barbara Walters

H/t to Ecorazzi. Check out their site, as they are really really good.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Rising Chef David Chang Won't Kowtow to Vegetarians

What's the big deal about having vegetarian dishes? Since when are vegetarians so threatening? Why the discrimination? And what's with the dead pig?

David Chang seems over the top to me. And a few other choice words that I probably shouldn't write.

But, he's a STAH! And the bigger a jerk he is, probably the more media he'll get.

Court Overrules Federal Government on Wolf ESA Decision

Good news for wolves in the Great Lakes area.
TRAVERSE CITY - State officials say they're not pleased with a federal court's ruling overturning the government's decision to remove the gray wolf from the endangered species list for the Great Lakes region.

The ruling today affects wolves in Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin. It's in response to a lawsuit filed by several environmental groups, including The Humane Society of the United States. The U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., says the 2007 decision by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service was not supported by the federal Endangered Species Act.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Michael "Sick" Vick Update

Remember Michael Vick? That was the big story last summer. I came across a September/October 2007 issue of Best Friends in which the editorial was about the Vick dogs. I slapped my forehead, "Oh yeah!" It's so easy to forget how BIG that was what with China and wolf-hatin' Palin.

As for Sick Vick himself, he filed for bankruptcy in July and the contents of a storage unit were sold to pay his bills. He's in the middle of a 23-month sentence on federal charges related to dog fighting.

Art Auction for Cheetah Conservation Fund

Video has the details:

Saturday, September 27, 2008

The Push for "Ecological Fur"

People out there are still trying to argue that wearing fur can be ecological, reusable, renewable and ecologically friendly.

I don't buy it, but decide for yourself.

Knut's Keeper Dies

Remember Knut the polar bear at the Berlin Zoo? Well, his keeper died and it sounds like a very sad story.

He played with Knut, swam with him, and strummed Elvis Presley songs on his guitar to lull him to sleep. Man and bear even celebrated Christmas and New Year together, joined in the straw-lined pen by Doerflein's girlfriend, Daniela Kaiser, and her six year-old son, Louis....

But then, last December, everything suddenly changed. Doerflein was summoned to the office of Berlin Zoo director Bernhard Blaskiewitz and told that he would no longer be caring for Knut. The extraordinary bond which had been built between bear and man was to be severed.

Doerflein was distraught, demanding to be allowed to continue looking after Knut. He was overruled and now, just nine months later, he's dead, apparently from a heart attack. But many of his supporters believe that Thomas Doerflein - who was only 44 - died from a broken heart.

Pick Your Favorite Shelter, Win $10,000

OK, I'm having trouble posting about this contest. Read about it on the link, and give money!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Quote of the Week

But for the sake of some little mouthful of flesh, we deprive a soul of the sun and light and of that proportion of life and time it had been born into the world to enjoy.


Thursday, September 25, 2008

Chinese Milk Sickens Animals Too

Apparently, tainted Chinese milk is sickening animals as well. More melamine contamination.
Two baby orang-utans and a lion cub have become the latest victims of China's contaminated milk crisis.

The animals, at at Hangzhou Zoo near Shanghai, developed kidney stones after being fed milk powder tainted with the industrial chemical melamine.

Chinese media report that the animals had been fed on milk powder made by Sanlu Group for more than a year.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Humane Society Endorses Obama

Not a big surprise considering McCain's VP choice.
I’m proud to announce today that the HSLF board of directors—which is comprised of both Democrats and Republicans—has voted unanimously to endorse Barack Obama for President. The Obama-Biden ticket is the better choice on animal protection, and we urge all voters who care about the humane treatment of animals, no matter what their party affiliation, to vote for them.

Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) has been a solid supporter of animal protection at both the state and federal levels. As an Illinois state senator, he backed at least a dozen animal protection laws, including those to strengthen the penalties for animal cruelty, to help animal shelters, to promote spaying and neutering, and to ban the slaughter of horses for human consumption. In the U.S. Senate, he has consistently co-sponsored multiple bills to combat animal fighting and horse slaughter, and has supported efforts to increase funding for adequate enforcement of the Animal Welfare Act, Humane Methods of Slaughter Act, and federal laws to combat animal fighting and puppy mills.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Well, I Have Something

Bringing back extinct species. Scientists keep saying they can do it. Should they?

The latest example is an extinct Galapagos tortoise species.

I just don't feel it's right, as great as it would be to correct the mistakes we've made. It cheapens life and makes the original seem replaceable.

What next? Mass-production of blue dodos? Designer velociraptors?

Remember Jurassic Park?

I Got Nothing

Weiner dog races!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Ag Subsidies Cut for Scottish Landowner Using Pesticides

It's the largest civil penalty imposed under EU legislation in which wildlife protection is a condition for receiving funds from the EU's Single Farm Payment Scheme.

This guy
is the third Scottish landowner to have subsidies cut under these regulations.

(Don't worry. He's a millionaire. He'll be okay.)

John Dodd, the multimillionaire co-founder of Edinburgh-based Artemis Investment Management, has lost £107,000 after illegal pesticides were found on the Scottish shooting estate he owns.

He owns the Glenogil estate in Angus and has suffered the largest ever financial penalty under European Union legislation that demands landowners protect wildlife to qualify for farm subsidies.

His 2006 subsidy was docked by a third by the Scottish Government last month because of suspicions that pesticides found on his estate were being used to kill birds of prey.

Mr Dodd denies there has been any persecution of birds of prey on his estate.

Ecorazzi Web Site

This is an interesting website. Called Ecorazzi, they cover environmental issues as related to popular culture. Think TMZ with an eco-bent. They have a large number of contributors, and put out a pretty slick product. Highly recommended.

Animal Fact Guide Website

We're always interested in promoting sites about animals. Here is a new website. From their press release:
A fun, educational website about animals called Animal Fact Guide ( has just been launched. The site provides articles about interesting and endangered animals from around the world. Each article features an animal's physical characteristics, habitat (including a distribution map), diet, breeding patterns, unique traits and behavior, and when applicable, conservation and tips on what the public can do to help.

In addition to wildlife articles, the website also showcases cute animal illustrations and offers fun downloads like kids' coloring pages, word searches, and desktop wallpapers. Teachers also can download educational worksheets relating to wildlife.

Animal Fact Guide came to life when Abi Cushman combined her skills as a web designer/illustrator with P.A. Smith's experience in the field of education. Cushman and Smith also manage a website about pet rabbit care and behavior called

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Brilliant David Horsey Cartoon

David Horsey is the brilliant political cartoonist for the Seattle P-I.

This cartoon summarizes Sarah Palin to a "T."

Baby Squirrels Rescued from Hurricane Ike

Nice rescue news for a Sunday.

For more news of SPCA of Texas' hurricane work, go here.

Seattle Animal Shelter's Critter Team

Here is an article in the Seattle Times about the lesser known small animal area at the Seattle Animal Shelter. We used to volunteer for that program.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Quote of the Week

The average dog is a nicer person than the average person.

~ Andrew A. Rooney

Friday, September 19, 2008

Prop 2 Opponents Accused of Laundering Money

This news is from early September and is reported by Wayne Pacelle of the Humane Society.

YES! on Prop 2 - Californians for Humane Farms - has uncovered an election scam and is charging the measure’s opponents with laundering money in violation of state campaign finance laws.

In a complaint filed September 3 with California’s Fair Political Practices Commission, YES! on Prop 2 charges that the United Egg Producers (UEP), the No on 2 campaign, and its donors are concealing out-of-state contributions to the political campaign against Prop 2, in clear violation of California campaign finance laws.

These Prop 2 opponents are laundering donations through a trade association, and sidestepping California campaign finance laws that exist to allow the public to understand what groups and individuals are financing political campaigns. These disreputable tactics and deception should not be tolerated either by state authorities or by the voters—and indeed, these donors could face fines and criminal prosecution for concealing out-of-state agribusiness money.

Arrgh! Ahoy There Mateys!

Hey, it's Talk Like a Pirate Day. OK, I know that doesn't have much to do about critters. Well except for this.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

King County Animal Shelters Still in Trouble

After all the brewhaha about improving the conditions at the King County animal shelters in Washington State (where we live), I'm still seeing this kind of stuff.

A group of veterinarians that volunteered this year to treat sick animals at King County's two animal shelters has quit, citing a lack of accountability and a reluctance from shelter staff to fix a broken system.

In a searing letter to the county last month, one veterinarian stated that "pervasive negativity" and an unwillingness to change led the vets to stop offering their services at the Kent and Bellevue shelters.....

The vet setback is the latest for King County Animal Care and Control, which has come under fire in the past year for running understaffed, overcapacity shelters with high euthanasia rates.

Two reports, one from a citizens committee in 2007 and a follow-up from a group of veterinarians at the University of California, Davis, called conditions at the Kent shelter deplorable, and pointed to poor sanitation, outbreaks of canine parvovirus and feline upper-respiratory infections, failure to vaccinate some animals and no place to isolate sick dogs.

When is King County going to clean up its act? What is up with this "progressive" county government?

Seattle Considers Ban on Pit Bulls

I am totally opposed to this. Instead of banning the breed, why don't we we crack down on mistreatment of these animals and on unlicensed owners? It's the humans, not the animals.

Stupid people.

We're Back!

More posts to follow later in the day!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Wildlife Crime Unit Established in UK

Interesting article about the National Wildlife Crime Unit (NWCU) in the UK.

The NWCU was established almost two years ago in North Berwick to co-ordinate a UK-wide crackdown on an international black market worth up to £6 billion a year. Its eight officers cover the whole of the UK.

Consequences of wildlife crime are far reaching, with the profits from the illegal trade of plants and animals used to fund other criminal activities such as drug smuggling and people trafficking.

Since the establishment of the NWCU, specialist officers and prosecutors have started to make a real impact and prosecutions have risen dramatically.

"Wildlife crime is like any other crime and is now slowly getting on to the radar in terms of it being a priority among police forces," says Brian Stuart, whose career with Lothian and Borders Police spans almost 20 years.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Bloodless Bullfights No Longer Interest Me

I used to support the bloodless bullfights held in California. These bullfights are allowed because they are part of religious festivals in the Portuguese-American community. But within the last year, an animal cruelty investigation almost shut one down because spikes were being used to antagonize the bull. This was a clear violation of animal law.

We are in Gustine and we were invited to the spectacle being held tonight. I said no. Next time, though, I might want to hook up with an animal rights group to protest.

They are just stupid and really have nothing to do with religion. Anyway, here is an article that describes the practice and provides some background on the Portuguese-Americans in California.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

The Gustine Festa

Here is a picture I took at the Our Lady of Miracles parade in Gustine. I have video of it too, that I'll be posting at some point. The picture doesn't do it justice, but that's all I have right now.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Defenders of Wildlife Blast Palin in New Ad

Nice and effective. Let's hope we see more of this from environmental groups.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

More on Outrageous Animal Cruelty Verdict in Puerto Rico

Here is the BBC article on that travesty in Puerto Rico. If you care about animals, don't give them your tourist dollars. This is just one of many of a long line of animal abuse problems there.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Three Workers Acquited of Animal Cruelty in Puerto Rico

These are the guys that allegedly threw 60 or so dogs off a bridge. The judge said there wasn't enough evidence. Baloney. Remember this the next time you think about going to Puerto Rico. Or better yet, don't think about going there. Disgusting.

We're Here in Gustine

Well we made it to Gustine CA. We don't have wifi. Fortunately, someone else does and they don't protect it. OK, I know that sounds wrong, but I don't plan on streaming any videos etc. So, we'll be posting from here every day.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Going to California

We'll be taking a week off in the wonderful town of Gustine CA, so we'll see about the blogging. We have a laptop, but internet connectivity may be spotty. The town will soon be chock full of Portuguese (Azoreans, to be exact). Lots of good old time religion, overeating, and cows. Muito Bem!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Thai Police Rescue Monkeys Bound for Restaurant

Just awful. Thank goodness these were rescued.

Thai Highway Police in Sa Kaeo province have rescued 24 baby crab-eating monkeys, arresting a Thai driver and five undocumented Cambodians attempting to smuggle the endangered species to Cambodia, where they were destined for cooking pots in....Chinese specialty restaurants in Cambodia.

Why am I not surprised that they were going to Chinese restaurants?

Goodbye to Pilar and Blanco

Two hammies checked out on me in the past week, both due to old age.

Sweet dreams to Pilar and Blanco the white dwarf.

Sarah Palin's Sellout of a Speechwriter

Seems that the guy that wrote Sarah Palin's convention speech was none other then noted conservative and alleged animal rights supporter Matthew Scully.
The Palin-Scully pairing is anything but a guaranteed fit, though. Palin is known as an avid hunter; Scully is best known for his vigorous defense of animal rights. A vegetarian who is regularly critical of the NRA and much of the hunting community, he is a passionate advocate for doing away with the more brutal versions of blood-sport, including aerial hunting, which Palin supports.
What a complete and utter whore (and no, I'm not talking about the bible thumping wingnut from Alaska). No amount of advocacy for environmental or animal welfare issues advocacy can make up for his support of Palin/McCain. I guess he likes putting lipstick on pitbulls.

More on Palin and Wolves

Glad to see other bloggers picking up on Palin's barbaric wolf policies.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Another Mass Extinction on the Way?

I can't believe we are still debating this.

In an article published online in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, UC Berkeley researchers argue that substantial die-offs of amphibians and other plant and animal species add up to a new mass extinction facing the planet.

Of course, as Ron my coworker and John Ashcroft groupie says, clearly if they can't compete with humans, then they should go extinct!

Six Thousand Leave Virunga, One Ranger Killed

Six thousand people (over 1,000 Congolese soldiers with their families) have left Virunga National Forest where so many of the remaining mountain gorillas live. This development is the result of an agreement between the army and the Congolese Wildlife Authority.

It's great news because it takes stress off the habitat and the species.

Sadly, though, another ranger in the Congolese Wildlife Authority was killed by rebel guns. You can donate to his family here.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Sarah Palin Scares Me

I'll be honest. I was never planning on voting for John McCain in the first place. But I wasn't freaked out about this election the way I am now. I thought that if we could survive 8 years of w, we could survive 4 years of McCain. He couldn't be worse.

Then he picked this woman. And the more I learn, the worse it gets.

NOW, I'm freaked out.

I can't tell if she's a true fanatic or an opportunist that acts like a fanatic. But fanatical behavior is fanatical behavior no matter what. And all I see in this woman is cruelty and callousness that puts Dick Cheney to shame.

Don't get me wrong, Cheney is a dark, cruel man. But, for the purposes of this blog, 1) his attention never completely turned to wildlife and the environment and 2) he is a smart man that knew how to play his cards.

I believe Palin will happily support Cheney's inhumane policies on torture and attacking other countries. When it comes to wildlife and the environment (to which I'll limit myself in this post) I think she will also have a strong motivation to continue and EXPAND her Alaska policies. I believe she will be an even MORE anti-environmental voice in the White House. If fact, I believe she'll be a passionate advocate because it will be an opportunity to punish the "liberals" who challenged her and called her a "redneck." I also believe that there will be absolutely no thought behind any of her behavior. Anyone who challenged w's environmental policies as too liberal is a true hater of anything she can't eat or kill for fur. Sorry, but it's how I feel.

Palin truly shows that you shouldn't support a woman because she's a woman. The traditional (some say stereotypical) qualities of compassion, cooperation, empathy, and intuition are missing. She represents a part of the American society that fears everything and wants to turn back the clock. Keep women in their place and remember to hunt and kill the wolves and any other animal that gets in their way. The woods are a scary place and must be cut down and tamed.

She is the worst America has to offer and she scares the hell out of me.

Palin's Rotten Environmental Record

The Independent has a good roundup of her environmental record.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Stats Are Up!

Nothing like glomming on to a popular topic to get those stats up. In this case, it's been Sarah Palin's rotten attitude towards animals. And no, that's not because she is a hunter. It's because she's a global warming denying wingnut who also has rotten policies regarding predator control (in this case wolves).

And yes, we have posted about her before she became VP nominee.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Terri Irwin in Fight with Mining Co.

A mining company is fighting the widow of Steve Irwin over the use of some leased land. She claims that mining it will damage plants and animals. The mining company says she only wants the land to expand her cattle operations. Looks like a long and nasty fight ahead.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Shut Down Domestic Ivory Markets?

This guy provides an interesting analysis of the ivory trade.

The real cause of increased elephant poaching, which does seem to be a reality, is being obscured by the debate over international ivory sales authorised by Cites. The real cause is legal domestic ivory markets existing while legal raw ivory sales to supply those markets are prohibited.....

THERE IS ENOUGH IVORY originating from natural deaths and the elimination of rogue elephants to supply current global demand. However, there is too much corruption built into the supply system by the 18-year Cites ban for legal trading to recommence on a regular basis.

The only way I see of rooting out the corruption is to shut down the entire system for a specified period. Shut down all domestic use and selling of ivory. In the interim, governments and conservationists should launch a dedicated campaign to reduce consumers' desire to buy ivory, aimed primarily at Asia.

Quote of the Week

As long as there are slaughterhouses, there will be battlefields.

--Leo Tolstoy

Pets Do Better This Time During Hurricane

Better planning has led to happier endings with many pets in the path of Gustav.
Pets fared far better in Hurricane Gustav than in Katrina, experts say. Early reconnaissance by rescuers who have been allowed into storm-damaged areas indicates the vast majority of pets were evacuated with their owners and thousands of evacuees took advantage of the pet-friendly centers and transportation made available.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

I Got Nothing Today

Here is a dog who is reported to be awesome. Really.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Best Friends Gears Up For Hurricane

While the Republicans gear up for operation "Operation Photo-Op", Best Friends is getting ready for hurricane Gustav.
As Hurricane Gustav roared toward the Gulf Coast Sunday, Best Friends Animal Society was already on the ground helping to make sure the animals of New Orleans get safely evacuated before the storm hits.

By Sunday, the Best Friends Rapid Response Team had helped get 200 animals at the Jefferson Parish Animal Shelter ready for transport to Georgia, far outside the hurricane’s expected path. When Best Friends heard about people not being allowed to board evacuation buses with pets who weren’t in crates, Best Friends made sure 3,000 carriers were available to anyone who needed them.

WWII Pigeons Spread Disinformation

Interesting story out of the BBC.
British spy chiefs drew up secret plans to use pigeons to spread false rumours about the impending D-Day landings.

The plot in 1943 to drop the birds into German-occupied France is revealed in newly declassified MI5 files released by the National Archives.

Germany had been intercepting pigeons carrying Allied notes, the files say, so MI5 moved to drop false information.
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