Sunday, April 26, 2009

1 year old killed by family dog

Not very many details about this case, police say it will take "days" to piece all the details together.

Police probe death of child by family's pit bull

The boy was attacked by the dog shortly before 3 p.m. Wednesday. The father, whose name was being withheld, shot the dog to death with a handgun.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Support Your Local Puppymill

The 70's were a disaster for pets. Overpopulation was a serious problem. The top barbie breeders ran high volume commercial kennels, and neutering was almost unheard of.

But the 70's were (to Ms. X's constant surprise) 3 decades ago and counting. And the pet overpopulation problem of the 70's is relatively non-existent today. Neutering is very common, and the top barbie breeders despise commercial kennels.

Things have improved GREATLY. This despite an increase in human population, that one would naturally think would correspondingly increase the unwanted pet population. And it was all done without a lot of horribly restrictive legislation and regulation.

Why then, are we today attempting to cure the cure by destroying freedom?

We can compare it to current mainstream economic thinking. Economically, we are facing a problem of past catastrophic proportions. In the 'Great Depression', we attempted solutions that failed utterly. Today, we are attempting the same solutions, only much more strongly.

In one case, we did nothing (no governmental control), and things got better. In the other case, we enacted a lot of governmental control, and things got worse. At first glance you might think there is no correlation between the two problems, and solutions then and now.

But there is. It is this.

The correlation is control. One group wants to control a larger group, so they do it by government-proxy. When a person can't morally, or legally, force their neighbor to bend to their will, they do the next best thing and troll up an emotional frenzy in a few people to get their government to do the dirty work of forcing their neighbor to bend to their will.

Control by government proxy.

Peta-tics wanting to end pet ownership are the animal equivalent of the Trilateral Commission promoting world monetary policy.

Keynesian policies are the popular response to the current economic crisis because of control. They ENCOURAGE, even MANDATE governmental control. And that, ultimately, is what people want.

Peta-tic policies are popular because they too ENCOURAGE and MANDATE government control.

The facts that one will bring economic ruin and commmie style breadlines, and the other the practical end of pet ownership, are so inconceivable to most Americans that they are dismissed out of hand.

I am not certain most Americans would care if they did believe it.

If you think stacks of cages and piles of excrement are distasteful under basic animal cruelty laws, you are badly prepared for the cruelty you will see under black market, profit only breeding systems.

If you thought banning cockfighting and dog fighting would simply end the cruelty and life would continue as normal for everyone who did not force roosters or dogs to fight each other, you might want to pay attention to the ongoing attempts to have the post office censor your mail.

The attempt is an end run around the first amendment, which so far has protected free speech even if it involves things that make you ill. Videos, for example, of bullfights are legal to own and view (for the present) as long the content was not filmed in this country.

But could they get the post office to censor bullfighting magazines and refuse to transport them through the government (tax-payer funded) mail system?

"Hey! I pay taxes, and I don't want my tax money to transport bullfighting magazines." the suddenly fiscally concerned citizen protests.

Most people have no problem destroying the first amendment (or any freedom) if it allows them to control (by proxy) what they don't like.

They will say it is worth it, after all, if more roosters are killed and genetic diversity lost and freedom of speech trampled but *cruelty* is stopped. And should a video of roosters fighting without human provocation land some one in jail?

Collateral damage. Not just the purview of neocon warmongers.

But now, NOW the horrifying cruelty of a dog with matted fur and a wire cage (designed to keep him out of his feces) has spawned an equivocal grasping for control and we stand witness to unprecedented attacks on the gentle pastime of dog breeding.

Bo's breeder has joined the self-destructive brigade, expressing alarm that the painfully small genepool of the Portuguese Water Dog might be expanded at the hands of puppymillers. Perhaps she reasoned, an offensive barb might shield her from the fate of VP Biden's GSD Breeder.

Dog wardens from the state showed up at Brown's Wolf Den kennel, repeatedly, for inspections.

"I was cited for a piece of kibble on the floor and five strands of dog hair. They took a picture of that, they walked around, snapped pictures and don't tell you why," Brown told the newspaper.

She was found "not guilty" for each citation, but hiring a lawyer for the court hearings has cost her $4,000 so far in legal fees.

Brown says she and Biden both received death threats from animal activists.

The Obama Aura might protect Bo's breeder, but daily the rest of us are regaled with attempts at stringent and invasive control over the free dog market.

Ohio "Cracks Down" on puppymills
Washington State "Cracks Down" on puppymills

Ohio wants to mandate "appropriate protection against parasites". Will it allow for holistic approaches?

Ohio also wants to set up a "kennel control authority board" which would include a representative from the AKC. That's right. The "non-profit" dog registry wants CONTROL AUTHORITY over how every dog is bred and raised.

Perhaps they want to make sure every dog will qualify to star in films like this?

It's okay though, says the executive director of the Ohio Veterinary Medical Assocation. "Such legislation is warranted".

"The vast majority of breeders are responsible and they do a wonderful job taking care of their animals, but there are some bad apples," he says.

Just a few bad apples. Would those be real puppymills? Or just breeders that don't like AKC?

Does it really matter? "Puppymillers" (by any definition) are more hated than Micheal Vick.

The reactionary assault will have devastating consequences. Care to wager if it will be years or months before a wonderful little book like "Raising Puppies for Profit and Pleasure" is no longer protected under the First Amendment?

This is in part, a crisis of confidence. Breeders have no confidence in their pet buying public. Who is for real, and who is a peta-tic spy? They are withdrawing into themselves and closing ranks. They are, justifiably, abandoning the practice of welcoming customers to their kennels - the one practice that in wide usage could do more to stamp out substandard breeding facilities than anything. Even large commercial operations under full government oversight are scared of peta-tics and reluctant to welcome outsiders.

So while shelter numbers are at all time lows, and adoption rates are at all time highs (and the 70s are only a bad memory), the fever pitch of the anti-puppymill crusades are guaranteeing we will never truly minimize the real travesties.

Instead, the fear that closes kennels to the public on one side, and the legislation that drives more breeders underground on the other, will fixate the real puppymills as permanent features of society. Regulation and mob-rule by government proxy always serves to de-civilize our world.

So go on. Do something about it. Stand up for the right of your local puppymill to exist.

Be Mencken.

The trouble with fighting for human freedom is that one spends most of one's time defending scoundrels. For it is against scoundrels that oppressive laws are first aimed, and oppression must be stopped at the beginning if it is to be stopped at all. - H.L. Mencken


Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Words that have no meaning.

Troll. In the early days of the internet, "troll" meant someone who lurked on a discussion board and intentionally wrote inflammatory rhetoric, for the purpose of stirring the pot and causing conflict and consternation.

And example would be a discussion board devoted to knitting cashmere, and a troll might come along and post (usually just once) that angora was far superior to cashmere, and cashmere devotees where insane.

Now consider a discussion board devoted to the merits of knitting, where in one poster starts a thread titled "I love cashmere, do you?" Someone posting on this thread that angora was superior to cashmere would not necessarily be trolling, even if they used the term "insane".

This is the Age of Obama, and Troll now means anyone who has an idea I don't like. Even if I have invited counter opinions.

The Fox News headline read "Obama's Effort at Online Transparency Stymied by Internet Trolls".

But the article said this:

Obama held an online "town hall" forum on the economy and invited the public to post questions on the White House Web site.

Three and a half million people participated in the event, but the "trolls" had their way: Following a coordinated campaign by marijuana advocates to vote their topic to the top of the list, questions on the future of the U.S. dollar and the rising unemployment rate were superseded by questions about legalizing pot as an economic remedy.

How often does the general public get access to the President to pose questions? Not very often, and probably less since Joe the Plumber did. So how exactly is a question about the economic benefits of legalizing pot a trolling question?

It's not.

Unless you are using the new meaning of "troll", which is someone making a point of argument that someone else does not like.

What does this have to do with dogs?

How about the word "puppymill"?

In it's original meaning, puppymill meant a facility so foul that the owners could not escape animal cruelty charges. A puppymill almost always operated exclusively outside of any regulatory jurisdiction, such as the USDA or state inspections. The animals from a puppymill were by definition in horrendous physical condition, evidencing signs of grave neglect.

Is that what you think of when you think of puppymill? Or do you use it to describe any facility without carpeting where a dog spends part of its time in a crate? Perhaps for you it just might mean a facility (irregardless of condition) that has several breeding dogs, 10 or 20 or 50 or more.

What number you think constitutes a puppymill is most likely a function of your own health, physical fitness, age and imagination. When mom is cold, she assumes everyone is cold. If dad can't see to read his book, he assumes the room is too dark for anyone to see to read. If you don't think there is any way on earth you could manage the care of more than 20 dogs, 20 dogs is probably the number you think a puppymill starts at.

Nowadays, as some have said before, a 'backyard breeder' is anyone who doesn't run a facility the way you think they should, but has less dogs than you. And a puppymiller, in modern terms, is anyone who doesn't run a facility the way you think they should, but has more dogs than you.

These words have no meaning, yet everyday people urge their legislatures to seriously limit freedom based on these words alone.

The Washington State Legislature did it just the other day, as reported in the AP:

OLYMPIA, Wash. - The Washington state Legislature has approved a measure cracking down on dog breeders who operate puppy mills.

Under the bill, dog breeders and owners would be barred from owning more than 50 dogs over six months old that are not neutered or spayed.

The word "puppymill" has become empty but inflammatory rhetoric. The original work of Trolls.


Tuesday, April 21, 2009 the poke?

The half-grown Portuguese Water Dog that inhabits that White House is now old news, and the controversies that surrounded the selection are beginning to die down.

So I'll bring up a new one. While everybody was busy whining about the bad example the Obamas' were setting for the entire country by not "adopting" a "rescue" dog, Ms. X was fretting over the bad example the Obamas' were setting for the country by not performing due diligence in their purchase of the puppy.

The problem of animal shelters is not one of over-population, as the Border Wars dude pointed out recently, it is a problem of home-retention. One of the best ways to tackle the problem of Home-retention is due diligence in the pet purchase process.

The Obamas did not set a good example.

The Obamas accepted a dog from a breeder they had never met.

The only way to end the travesty of substandard breeding is for the pet buyers to personally review the facility their new pet comes from, and approve of it with their money.

Equally important, the pet buyer should be comfortable with the breeder they are dealing with. They are buying a living creature, that they will have to support and sustain for 10 to 15 years. This is best accomplished with a pleasant and trusting relationship with the animals breeder. And such a relationship is best established in person.

The Obamas accepted the dog from a breeder who did not even own both parents.

A pet buyer is well advised to meet both parents of the puppy they want to purchase, and any other extended family members possible. Meeting both parents is one of the critical elements of pet purchase, as far as I am concerned, and a primary mark against purchasing from pet shops. You, the puppy buyer, are buying a personality that must fit with your family. You are not buying a breed description. You are not buying a show ring title. Some breeders do puppy temperament tests, and try to match the puppies in a litter with what they know about the humans who want to buy. That is all well and good, as an additional activity to the pet buyer meeting and liking the personality of both canine parents.

Don't blindly trust the breeder, especially if the breeder does not live with both parents themselves.

The Obamas accepted the puppy as a gift. A puppy is a long term commitment. A gift has all the negatives above (didn't meet the parents, didn't meet the breeder) as well lacking the level of dedication that only comes from the hard work of achieving a goal. As most of us learn when we are children, half the value of anything is the hard work that goes into achieving it. A puppy is no different. Putting the time, and the effort into visiting breeders, meeting dogs, not to mention the actual financial outlay, increases the value of the prize, and increases the level of commitment.

The Obamas bought a dog from a barbie breeder. Neither Mister or Missus Obama had pets growing up and the current Obama children have never had a pet either. So for a pet they pick a traditional hunting breed from a top show kennel. The Obamas don't hunt. Nor are they likely to be spending their weekends on the showring circuit. They should have sought a breeder who specialized in pet dogs. (Yes, sometimes Ms. X asks the impossible, but if you don't have expectations, they'll never be met.)

I want dogs to stay with their owners for life. Getting that relationship right means starting right at the beginning. If we don't have a good example, a well publicized bad example will do just fine.

I give Bo 2 months.

Humor Ripped From Today's Headlines

Director For ASPCA Commercial Demands Sadder Looking Dogs

LOS ANGELES—According to witnesses, commercial director Nathan Foster, 40, is irate over the insufficiently pathetic condition of the dogs being used in the 30-second television spot he is directing for the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. "These dogs are barely morose, and they need to be fucking pitiful!" Foster was overheard yelling at his casting coordinator during the shoot. "They look like they could start frolicking all over the place any minute! You couldn't get me even one mutt with a missing eye or three legs or something?" At press time, sources said that Foster has ordered production assistants to viciously beat the dogs for several hours so the animals can at least cower convincingly

As the term 'puppymiller' gets looser, and the raids become more frequent, the plights of the 'misery puppies' become less and less traumatic. And the shortage of three legged dogs brings this Onion headline closer and closer to reality.


Saturday, April 18, 2009

Dogs are more dangerous than Terrorists

In a weird twist of logic, Camp Lejeune has banned pit bulls and other "agressive" dogs from its base housing.

The ban comes after a 3-year-old boy was fatally bitten last May in base housing by a pit bull owned by a family friend from off base who was visiting.

Flateau said the "brutal, violent attack" prompted the change and added that in the past year there have been 12 reported dog attacks on base.

"To the extent possible, we want to prevent unnecessary injuries resulting from dangerous or potentially dangerous animals," Flateau said. "These specific breeds present an unreasonable risk to the health and safety of our residents."

Maybe it's wartime paranoia? A dog can pose an unreasonable risk to the health and safety of the Marines that regularly ship out to Iraq and Afghanistan?

Warfighter body count
Civilian body count
Warfighters wounded

But hey, nothing is more important than the lives of our soldiers.


Thursday, April 9, 2009

7 month old killed in dog attack

In this tragic story from San Antonio, it seems the grandmother left the child alone with the two dogs while she went to warm up his bottle. The article does not say where the child was when left alone with the dogs, whether in a crib, or on the floor.

The dogs are described as 'large breed', one report calling them 'pit bulls'.

The grandmother stabbed the dogs with a kitchen knife in an attempt to get the baby away from them, and in doing so was injured severely enough to require hospitalization.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Is Irradiation Safe?

A new study is being reported about serious side effects in cats that ate a diet of irradiated food.

Irradiated food causes demyelinating neurological disorder in cats

Scientists studying a mysterious neurological affliction in pregnant cats that have been fed irradiated food have discovered a surprising ability of the central nervous system to repair itself and restore function when placed back on a normal diet.

In a study published today (March 30, 2009) in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a team of researchers from the University of Wisconsin-Madison reports that the restoration in cats of myelin - a fatty insulator of nerve fibers that degrades in a host of human central nervous system disorders, the most common of which is multiple sclerosis - can lead to functional recovery.

“The fundamental point of the study is that it proves unequivocally that extensive remyelination can lead to recovery from a severe neurological disorder,” says Ian Duncan, the UW-Madison neuroscientist who led the research. “It indicates the profound ability of the central nervous system to repair itself.”

The new study arose from a mysterious affliction of pregnant cats. A company testing the effects on growth and development in cats using diets that had been irradiated reported that some cats developed severe neurological dysfunction, including movement disorders, vision loss and paralysis. Taken off the diet, the cats recovered slowly, but eventually all lost functions were restored.

Now the first thing some technophile is going to say is "but we're not cats!"

Of course we're not. But cats are like our canaies. You are what eat I guess (lol). Cats are much more sensitive to chemicals and such than we, or even dogs are. Speaking personally, if it kills my cat, I don't want it anywhere near my kids.

This study comes as no suprise, though, to students of Francis Pottenger. Pottengers' studies with cats has been responsible for converting many a pet owner to a BARF diet for their pets, and taking a long and hard look at their own diet.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Homeowners pets brutally murdered.

They shot the dogs for no reason at all"

Rita Patterson said she was cooking dinner in the kitchen when she heard loud noises at the side door. Hanavan was upstairs taking a nap, and at first she thought he may have fallen out of bed.

Before she knew what was happening, police wearing masks and helmets and carrying automatic weapons had broken through the door. They tied her hands with a zip tie and put her on the floor.

Her father pleaded with police not to shoot the dogs, but they wouldn’t allow him to grab the dogs and put them in another room, Patterson said.

One of the officers started firing a shotgun at the two dogs, one a pit bull and the other a pit bull-boxer mix.

One of the dogs was shot three times: once in the throat, once in the back and the last time in the leg while trying to run away, Rita Patterson said.

The other dog was cowering behind a table. Neither was a threat to the police, the residents said.

Oh wait. They were pitbulls. :-(


Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Probiotics for your dog

Dr. Mercola has a great article on pet health to consider:

Dogs, cats and snakes are carnivores, with sharp, interlocking teeth designed to grasp prey.

Cats and snakes are obligate carnivores, which means they must consume a meat diet to maintain health, whereas dogs are scavenging carnivores, who, in addition to a meat based diet, can consume other types of foods without dire consequences.

What Happens if My Pet’s Gut Bacteria Gets Out of Balance?

Immune reactions provoked by an imbalance in intestinal bacteria can seriously compromise your pet’s health.

Inflammatory conditions and several types of arthritis have been linked to abnormal GI responses in both people and pets. Intestinal permeability is increased in a wide range of diseases. When excessive amounts of antigens (small reactive proteins) are absorbed, all sorts of systemic reactions can occur.

An overgrowth of bad intestinal bacteria can contain proteins that your pet’s immune system may mistake for healthy proteins, sparking an abnormal immune response.

This inflammatory cascade can create a number of symptoms and degenerative changes in your pet’s body.

In people, the link between dysbiosis and atopic dermatitis, chronic pancreatitis, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and rheumatoid arthritis has been established.

Can any of these conditions develop in your pet? Yes -- all of them.

Parvo at the 'rescue'.

Selling sick puppies is commonly touted as the MO (modus operandi) of a puppymill. After all, people that actually *cared* about dogs, like a rescue or a responsible breeder, would never sell somebody a sick puppy.

So when you are one of the most prestigious rescues in Chicago, and you sell a sick puppy to Oprah Winfrey, what are you?

Oh, well, in that case, parvo can happen to anyone.

He described PAWS as "lush" and a "closed door boutique shelter," not the kind of place one would automatically link to a contagious canine disease.

But as Rubin said, "this can happen at any shelter, for any reason."

A "boutique shelter"? WTF?

The Spaniel Journal sounded the alarm on Paula Fasseas, founder of PAWS, last year over her involvement in mandatory neuter legislation.

Paula Fasseas, the Founder and Chair of PAWS Chicago, a private and well-funded animal shelter whose policies closely ally it with those of the HSUS, provided much of the venomous breeder-hating language used in this proposed ordinance. In fact, PAWS Chicago�s press release of April 30, 2008, which announced the fine details of the ordinance, predated the City Council�s official release of the ordinance draft to the public by more than two weeks!

NoPitBullBans has a take on the Chicago situation.

As Nathan Winograd in his recently-released book Redemption: The Myth of Pet Overpopulation and the No Kill Revolution in America noted,

“Studies show the primary reasons people do not sterilize their pets are cost and lack of access to spay/neuter services…The higher the cost, the lower the rate of compliance….Punitive legislation will only discourage people from caring for homeless pets or drive disadvantaged people “underground,” making them even harder to reach and help.” (112)

So those “underground” who already aren’t licensing their pets will continue to stay underground, and added to their ranks will be those who, for whatever reason, will not comply with a mandatory spay/neuter ordinance.

Taken a step further, the quality of black market goods is a lot lower than the quality of the same goods on a free market. People who won't comply with neuter laws, or breeder registration etc., will continue to breed, not only to get dogs for unlawful activity, but to supply the black pet market that will, WILL, rise. And those people will be in it ONLY for the money, and the quality will be exactly what you expect.

But then, sick puppies can happen to anyone.