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An update on my post last week….. The West Hollywood City Council passed an ordinance on February 16, 2010 banning the sale of cats and dogs in pet stores unless from rescues and shelters.  I was overwhelmed by the number of people wanting to know, how can they do the same thing in their own town?

bear_in_joliet_snow2

I contacted Carole Davis with the Companion Animal Protection Society (CAPS) to get the information.  They did the work to get this passed.  The Animal Legal Defense Fund and Humane Society of United States helped as well.   CAPS now helps other cities with the drafting of legislation against puppy mill sales in other communities.  Here are excerpts from The American Dog Magazine, with links to each article and videos.

If your state has the puppy lemon law then move forward by going to your pet stores and asking for information about the breeder they buy from.  If not, ask your legislators to get the Lemon Law.  This law allows you to get the information about the breeder from the pet store.  Once you have that information, go to CAPS website and fill out a puppy complaint.   Please read all of the information below if you have interest, or know someone who does.  It was very time consuming and costly for CAPS to do this, but it has been worth it.

1. Pets, Lies & Legislation

Puppy mills are a hot political issue. Public outrage is growing over the legal multi-billion dollar puppy-producing business that forces millions of breeding dogs to endure inhumane treatment in factory-like conditions until death. They’re kept 24/7 in wire cages caked with their own feces, with no veterinary care or socialization. Average dog lovers want puppy mills to become illegal.

Consequently, a war about dogs is escalating in America –  a battle as complex as any fought in the history of social movements and waged with a proportionate scale of strategists, lobbyists, and commanders vying for control, power, and money.

To puppy mill investigators, the idea that commercial breeders are treating their dogs well or socializing them is laughable. A miller’s idea of playtime is to throw a bunch of females in heat with a male in one cage. As for being responsibly placed, mass volume breeders use brokers to ship barely weaned (and often sick) pups indiscriminately to pet retailers around the country. The dogs are crated in trucks for thousands of miles at an age when they need food and water every two hours. They are also sent in crates to buyers across the country on long flights with layovers. Transporting eight-week old dogs that way isn’t safe, and according to Lewis Turner, owner of the Petcare Company in California, four out of ten dogs that were trucked in to him by brokers Lambriar and Hunte were sick, “with green liquid coming from their eyes or nose.” Hardly “responsible placement” by any standard.

To Read More about This Subject Click Here.


2. Spay and Neuter Laws ……..Humans Debate While Dogs Die

It’s Tuesday, 9 AM at a Los Angeles shelter and a worried little terrier has just been “red-listed.” Unless someone adopts her, she’ll be killed. Another dog will take her place and that dog, too, if he isn’t adopted, will be killed. Could spay and neuter laws make a difference in this dog’s life?

In California, in 2008, municipal shelters reporting to the California Department of Public Health took in 833,304 dogs and cats. Of those, 429,987, or 51%, were killed. That would be a sad enough number for the whole country but it’s just for the state of California. In the U.S., the number of pets killed in shelters is astounding. The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) reports that every year, between six and eight million dogs and cats enter U.S. shelters and three to four million of those animals are killed because there aren’t enough homes for them. In 2009, uncontrolled breeding compounded by record job losses and home foreclosures are causing the number of animals flooding our shelters to rise sharply. When the figures are finally reported, they’ll be tragic.

Until we get a handle on this crisis, we need to refrain from buying animals and adopt from shelters instead. We ought to promote adoption to our friends. And we must fix the dogs we have.  To Read More About This Click Here.

3. Undercover Investigations Prove Pet Shop Puppies Were Coming From Puppy Mills

Though there has been lots of press coverage on the subject, there are still people who don’t know that pet stores are supplied by large brokers and inhumane breeding operations. There is no other way for pet shops to have a constant supply of puppies of different breeds. It was time to take a stand and convince puppy buyers to stop shopping and start adopting. Los Angeles, the second largest market for pets after New York, was the perfect place to tell the public about the ugly truth behind the pretty store fronts.

In California, they have a Puppy Lemon Law, which requires pet store owners to post the name and address of the breeder of the dogs on their display enclosures. Putting that law to use, people were recruited who were willing to do some reconnaissance trips to pet stores. They wired themselves up with undercover cameras and disguised themselves.They fanned out across the city, hitting all the pet stores to find out exactly where the puppies were coming from.

They called on some professional investigators from LCA (Last Chance for Animals) to go and film the addresses they provided. When the photos and video came in, the proof was irrefutable. Bingo. Just like they expected, the puppies at Posh Puppy were coming from a puppy mill.

What they found out through their in-store investigations is that pet stores are openly defrauding the public – not just Posh Puppy in Beverly Hills, but all the pet stores they visited. They discovered that pet store owners, managers and employees routinely lie to people.   To Read More About This Subject Click Here.

4. A March for Free Speech for Those Who Have No Speech – PUPPY MILL DOGS

On December 19, 2009, the Saturday before Christmas, eighty animal welfare activists marched in a silent vigil for dogs suffering in puppy mills. The grass roots group was also marching for the five million companion animals who are killed every year in the shelter system because there are not enough homes for them. Local activists had been planning the event for months following an investigation by the Companion Animal Protection Society (CAPS), which claims that Barkworks, a pet store chain in California, sells animals from puppy mills. The CAPS investigation included evidence from the United States Department of Agriculture inspection reports that the Midwest commercial breeders supplying the stores had multiple violations.

The puppy mill awareness drive that took place on the busiest puppy-buying day of the year, was intended to raise the awareness of consumers and to steer them to the overcrowded Los Angeles shelters to adopt or rescue a pet for Christmas.  Read More Here.


5. Victory for Dogs as Pet Stores Go Humane

Sadly, millions of dogs are suffering in shelters and puppy mills. This year, a record number of dogs are being dumped and euthanized at shelters because of the current economic crisis. Commercial breeders and pet stores are also feeling the pinch. “People just aren’’t buying puppies right now,” says pet store manager Justin Vanert.

Growing numbers of commercial dog breeders in the Midwest are selling their homes for a pittance – advertising them as “turnkey investments,” which often include kennels with hundreds of breeding dogs “free with the property.” As bleak as it all sounds, this recession just might have a silver lining for the dogs who are wasting away in puppy mills and shelters.  Perhaps this economic downturn might be a dog’s chance to get out alive.

The dog trade is showing signs of weakness. Successful business is all about supply and demand and right now the demand side is shrinking as buyers of puppy mill dogs snap their wallets shut. But the reasons aren’t just the economy – it’s a combination of decreased spending, public awareness of inhumane breeding practices, legislation that limits and criminalizes dog factory cruelty and effective campaigns led by animal rights activists.

This spring, a group of Los Angeles activists celebrated yet another victory. After five weeks of protests, the owner of Elaine’s Pet Depot signed an agreement to hand over all of her puppy mill dogs to Good Dog Animal Rescue for adoption. The agreement with the lynchpin store of a national chain of pet stores included a statement that reflected the store’s commitment to working with rescue organizations. The store agreed to hold adoptions and end its sale of puppy mill dogs. Reliable sources from within the franchise claimed that the entire Pet Depot chain was considering conversion to a humane business model within a few months. If the large chain stops buying from brokers and mass volume breeders, the strategy to cripple the puppy mill industry by hitting them where it hurts, in the wallet, is working.

The “go humane or go out of business” campaign has been able to gain momentum by combining its ability to exploit the current economic downtown and its skilled use of visual evidence from undercover investigations. The stores that were protested saw as much as 70 percent of their weekend business deterred by activists brandishing signs depicting graphic photos of dogs suffering in mills. An increasing number of stores in the heart of Los Angeles have been closed down or converted – more than a dozen so far in a little over a year.  Learn How You Can Do This, Click Here.


6. Now the Internet is overflowing with puppy mill sales

As the animal protection movement wages its battle against the maltreatment of dogs in puppy mills, it faces a powerful new enemy –  the Internet Pet Store. The Internet, as helpful as it has been for rescuing animals with sites like AdoptAPet.com, has become a perfect stealth shield for abusers of animals looking to make a buck. A Google search for information on dog breeds will lead any gullible browser to tens of thousands of online breeders. For the buyer in a hurry, there are Web portals to make shopping easy, like NextDayPets.com, which unite hundreds of dog dealers on one site. With a click, you can pay to have a pup mailed to you in a crate. Though it’s a convenient way to buy a dog, you might be inadvertently contributing to animal abuse.

Deborah Howard, president of the Companion Animal Protection puppy dealers. “One should never, ever buy a dog on the Internet because you’re not seeing the conditions under which the puppy is being raised,” she said. “There are no good ones because reputable  reeders don’t sell puppies this way.” “The HSUS receives hundreds of complaints about sick and dying puppies sold over the Internet,” says Kathleen Summers, Deputy Director of the puppy mill campaign of  The Humane Society of the United States. “In fact, several of the puppy mills that the HSUS has helped close down recently were Internet sellers, including a mill in Tennessee with almost 700 dogs and a millin West Virginia with almost 900 dogs. Both of these facilities posed online as small family breeders.”

A lot of them arrive sick with Parvo, worms, Giardia, coccidia, kennel cough or pneumonia. It’s even more dangerous than buying in a pet shop because legal recourses are more challenging. You have to file a complaint with the Attorney General’s office in the state of the breeder and if you want to sue the seller, you have to go to small claims court in their state, not yours. These Internet sellers know this.

Many of the sites linked to substandard breeding operations will say anything to deceive buyers into believing the business is ethical or humane. They often describe themselves as “Christian” and “familyrun.” A common lie is that their dogs are “raised in the home.”

Read More About This Here.

I want Friday’s to bring awareness to other organizations that are doing wonderful things for animals. If you have information you want to share, send me a paragraph on the topic with a link to the website, by 11am on Thursday.  I will do this each Friday.

fox in cage1. I did not realize that fox hunting was still alive and well in other parts of the world. I was sent some information about a campaign going on in the UK to repeal the hunting act.  Hunting of foxes, deer, hare and mink by using hounds, has been illegal over there sine 2004.  Now, a guy by the name of David Cameron, who is running in an election, wants to repeal the act.

I wanted to learn more about this type of hunting, since I don’t know much about it.  What I read disturbed me.  A fox will be trapped.  Then, rather than kill it right away, it is let lose so that it can be caught by the hounds and killed later.  This is a sport for the people involved.  The hounds, horses, men and children will chase the fox through the countryside with blasting horns.  The fox is gripped with fear and stressed beyond capacity until finally, with the internal organs failing and exhausted, the fox will be unable to continue.  To read more about this please click here to visit the site where you can learn more, and help.

Fox That Was Caught

Fox That Was Caught

There is a man by the name of Clifford Pellow.  For more than 2 decades he was a professional Huntsman with several packs of Fox hounds in England and Whales.  Because he is a stickler for rules, he became more and more outraged at the abuse the foxes were enduring because the Hunt Master continued to break the hunting code of ethics.    Eventually he could no longer stomach it, he protested and lost his job as a Huntsman.  To read more about Clifford, the cruelty in fox hunting and what Clifford is doing, check out his story here.

Lab picture

Lucy

2. Did you know there is an organization that helps rescued Labradors in need of medical attention? I had no idea until they contacted me.  The organization, Labmed, was founded in 1996 and has funded a total of 1,132 dogs.  These dogs would most likely not be alive if it had not been for this organization.

Here is a photo of one of their newest applicants, Lucy, who needs emergency surgery for internal bleeding in order to save her life.  If you would like to help other dogs and learn more about this organization, click here.

Dr. Greg Martinez

Dr. Greg Martinez

3. After almost 30 years as a veterinarian Dr. Greg Martinez has spent 10 of those years treating his patients, and his own pets, with a combination of medical and nutritional science. He believes that pet owners have it within their power to cure many of their animals’ most common ailments.  He says that healthful eating is critical to human’s well-being and that pet junk food, empty calories and food allergies are making our dogs and cats similarly sick.  He has published a book called, Dr. Greg’s Dog Dish Diet.

He has lots of positive feedback from clients and readers.  He says it amazing that there could be any doubt that food allergies have such a great role in skin, ear, stomach, bowel, anal gland, obesity, and seizure problems. Veterinarians are still taught that the incidence of food allergies are low, even though thirty percent of his patients respond to elimination of allergens and addition of healthy food ingredients.

If people start to pay attention to what they are feeding their animals, maybe they will do the same for their families. He wants to spread the word that successful nutritional management of the above chronic diseases will get educators and researchers to take another look at canine nutrition, and help avoid needless misery, medications, and money for millions of dogs. When you buy the book, Dr. Greg’s Dog Dish Diet, you are helping spread the message.


Paige and Horse

Donna Paige and Rescued Horse

There are lots of horse issues rearing their heads.  From horses being bred then discarded for not performing, to horses being roundup in the wild, captured and kept in corrals.

This past weekend I asked my local TV station go with me to our local polo fields.  I wanted to do an interview with a local Restaurateur, Jaymie Klauber, who is a polo player but also rescues horses that need a home.  If she did not adopt them, they would be sent to the slaughter house. She takes them then trains them to play polo.  They have a wonderful home and a productive life playing polo.  The day I was with her she got a call that other horses needed to be rescued.  If she can’t take them she does find them homes.  She will not let them go to the slaughter house.  If you are looking for horses, let us know.  We can get you in touch with Jaymie.

Jaymie Klauber & Her Horse

Jaymie Klauber & Her Horse

I also met with Larry Robinson, NHL Hall of Fame, Stanley Cup winner and on the board of Animal Connection.  Larry is a polo player and also rescues animals that need a good home.  He was raised on a farm and has always had a special place in his heart for animals.

Donna Paige, Larry & Jeannette Robinson

Donna Paige, Larry & Jeannette Robinson

Click Here to see the interview with Larry Robinson and Jaymie Klauber.

wild horsesNot all horses are cared for as well as these polo ponies. There is an issue going on in the Wild West…..there has been a big roundup going on in Nevada.  There have been over 2,500 wild horses captured.  They use helicopters and horseback riders to herd them into corrals.  These corrals are in the Black Rock Range, a chain of mountains 100 miles North of Reno.  The local Land Management estimates there are nearly 37,000 wild mustangs. About half of them live in Nevada, with others concentrated in Arizona, California, Oregon, Utah and Wyoming. The Land Management feels if this is not controlled now, the horse population will double in 4 years.  They also say that many of these horses are ill.  The challenge, where will these horses end up?  The plan is to have the horses adopted or sent to holding facilities in the Midwest since the space near Reno is full.

The roundup has upset a lot of people for many reasons.  Using helicopters frightens the horses which can cause injuries like broken legs, and is inhumane.  If a horse breaks its leg it has to be put down.  There is also the risk of respiratory illness to these horses.  Foals also can’t keep up and get separated from their mothers.horses in corral

There are a number of celebrities who do not approve of this roundup.  Two of these include Willie Nelson and Sheryl Crow.  Willie Nelson has said he feels these animals will become extinct if this continues.

Please give us your feedback and thoughts in the “Comment” section below.


buddy 1On December 30, 2009, between 2 and 2:30 a.m., a German Shepherd named Buddy was dragged to death at the Colorado National Monument. Steven Clay Romero, 37, of Grand Junction. was arrested for the death of this dog. He is charged with a felony count of intentional animal cruelty. Romero and his sister are alleged to have stolen the dog — Buddy, a German shepherd-blue heeler mix — from Joe and Sacha Leber in Delta. He allegedly took the dog to the Colorado National Monument early Wednesday, tied the dog to his truck and dragged the dog. Paw prints in the snow were found to show Buddy at first walking, then running, then dragging, for 3 miles.

“Demand Justice for Buddy” is a group formed to support the prosecution of Romero, his sister, and anyone else involved with this senseless kidnapping and brutal murder. There is a petition being delivered to the prosecuting attorney in Grand Junction, CO, Jan.27 at 3 p.m. and again before each trial date for Romero. We want to get the maximum penalty the law allows. We support the US attorneys office to ask for the longest prison sentence possible.
SIGN PETITION HERE

“Do It For Buddy” will truly honor Buddy. He was a shelter dog who was rescued by the Lebers and lived 4.5 happy years in their home with Joe and Sacha and their three heartbroken children. In Buddy’s name, we ask that each of you please donate food, blankets, toys, pillows, cash and/or volunteer your time to your local animal shelters. Please tell them “Buddy sent You.”

Feel free to post on Facebook and tell us what you brought to which shelter. If it’s cash, send us a photo of the receipt and we will display it proudly.

ringling picElephants working in the circus have been a hot topic for quite sometime.  Recently people have been commenting on the footage, and pictures, I took at the Ringling Brother’s Center for Elephant Conservation.    Several months ago I had been invited to go see the Ringling facility, as well as the new born baby that was only one month old at the time.  Obviously they knew I was coming so they were prepared.  I was limited to certain areas of the facility.  They told me it was for my safety as well as the elephants.  The people I met were very nice and knowledgeable.  Many of them had been with Ringling their whole lives and so had their parents.  It seemed like a “family”. You can also read the specific piece I did on the Asian elephant back on December 10, 2009.

cesar

I am not an expert in animal training or behavior.  I have seen dogs being trained by ”experts” and in my opinion it was extreme.  There are a lot of people who criticize Cesar Millan and say he is “abusive” in the way he trains dogs.  In the end, the goal is reached, the behavior is changed and the dog does what Cesar, and the owners, wants them to do.

A few months ago I had been notified of a local dog sanctuary.  They take dogs most people would not want because they are aggressive and untrained.  These dogs might not be alive if it had not been for the man who has the sanctuary.   He seems to be able to bond with these dogs and the dogs listen to him.   They live out in the swamps of Florida and the conditions are brutal.  My heart went out to these dogs because of the environment they were living in.  Then I realized, this guy lives on the property with them.  If he can do it, why can’t the dogs?  I’ve spoken to some dog trainers and behaviorists who have sent dogs there.  They told me that the dogs love this man.  The dogs don’t know how rough the living conditions are.  They are fed, have lots of other dogs for companionship and get love from this man.  That is where the difference between humans and animals can be so different.  Animals seem to want very little but give so much.

elephant kneesI was sent pictures and information from PETA.  Here is an excerpt:  Bound with ropes in the practice area, baby elephants are wrestled by several adult men—some using sharp bull hooks and electric shock prods—slammed to the ground, and aggressively pushed and pulled into positions that will eventually be incorporated into a circus routine. The frightened baby elephants cry out, but according to the whistleblower, Ringling uses loud music to muffle their screams.

The whistleblower is former elephant handler Sam Haddock, who worked at Ringling’s Center for Elephant Conservation, a breeding and training center, in Polk City, Florida, off and on between 1997 and 2005. His late wife had urged him to do the right thing and expose Ringling’s torturous treatment of elephants at its so-called “conservation center.”

elephant legs

The pictures really bothered me and I wished I could take these animals home with me.  I sent the pictures and information to a friend of mine who is in Asia helping the elephants over there.  Here is what she wrote to me regarding the Ringling elephants:

What is this world coming to? My God…it’s heartbreaking!

Actually the sad truth is, what happens in real life is far, far worse than those Ringling pictures. What I saw in Asia, those poor elephants had so many deep cuts and lots of blood from their ears, head, legs, chest and sometimes their eyes are gouged to render them blind (easier to control),  it’s that brutal! The beatings happen round the clock too- they take turns for days and nights in a row until the elephant is dead or almost, no food or water is given to them for a week. If it is unfortunate to survive the torture, the rest of its life will be succumbed to slave-like conditions, daily beatings, poor nourishment, no love and neglect.  And/or they get shipped around the world to zoos and circuses only to endure the same treatment, as you can see. The white man is no better!

The video footage, the pictures and what I saw in person was far more disturbing, which is why I couldn’t turn my back on it, it made my blood boil! But sadly, yes those pictures are very similar to what I saw. I guess it’s standard practice everywhere to torture and abuse the animals into submission. In Thailand this process is called  “the Pajaan”, in India they call it “The Kraal” etc. AKA “Spirit Crusher”…believe me it’s not just the elephant’s spirit that is crushed!! Anyone with any humanity will be crushed seeing that, I don’t understand those “people” who can do it, and have they no ounce of compassion?

So many battles to fight…

elephant side

I don’t have the answers but I do want to put information out there so that people can see what is going on, different points of view and can take action in their own way.

Here you can watch the birth of an elephant.


elephant wallThe Asian elephant is an endangered species.  I have always heard that they are very sensitive, loving and emotional animals.  When babies are separated from their moms they become extremely depressed.  I have always been told they have feelings that match the feelings that humans have.  My friend, Hanna,  is in Asia doing a documentary about them called “Elephant Nature Park“.

One elephant she told me about is Menaka.  She was rescued by the Forest Department.  Menaka was emaciated and had a bad case of gangrene when she was picked up.  She could no longer dance or even stand on her feet.  She had been housed in appalling conditions in a garage in a Gayatri Temple in Yeshwantpur.  The only water was she had access to was from a small spicket.  The 17 year old elephant had been exploited. She is in such bad shape it is assumed she will not make it.  She receives medical services at Bannerghatta, Biological Park, and animal shelter.  Unfortunately, there are 9 other elephants that are being treated as well.  They were all rescued from Temples in the area.  It is so costly to care for these animals (RS 15 K a month for food alone) that they can only stabilize the animals before sending them on.

baby elephant

Menaka had been born with 22 other elephants in an elephant camp.  At 3 years old she got separated from the herd and was sold to Gayatri Temple, where she has been earning revenue for the temple.  She was made to walk on tarred roads in the scorching sun damaging her health and psyche.  The captive elephants suffer from untrained and unaffectionate mahouts and lack of water resources, which is essential for bathing.  The animal can turn violent if it is subjected to unlivable living conditions.

Lek, which means “little” in Thai, is a very special lady.  The name might mean little but she has a lot of courage!  She is now touring and filming a documentary, Elephant Nature Park”.  The Indian elephant is the symbol of the Asiatic elephant.  There is an urgent need to protect the wild elephant, as well as the ones suffering in human captivity.  Lek was successful in creating an artificial forest close to a village for rescued elephants.  Today 33 elephants live a hassle-free life on the 50 acres.  The Maytag River cuts across so the elephants have a lot of water.  Currently elephants have no support from the Government in Bangkok.   Lek says there are ways to help end the conflict between humans and animals.

elephant head

Currently, elephants that are captured are brought to submission so the can do hard physical work, paint for the public, give rides, etc.  Many don’t survive the process of “breaking” them.  If they do it can be a very hard life.  Elephants bring in a lot of revenue for the Asian people.

I will be posting more information once I get updates from Hanna.  Here is a link to a photo gallery.

Here is a statement Hanna sent to me:

“When you meet one in life and look into their eyes, it is so painful to think of how they are treated. They are such intelligent animals with compassion (they do weep!) and incredible memories. At Lek’s sanctuary- all of them come from a morbid past, and  though they have suffered for years at the hands of humans, they can forgive and are extremely gentle with all people who surround them. Probably because they can feel the love and a safe environment. It’s the closest to paradise they’ll get!”

elephant woods

Here are some facts about Asian elephants:

1. Giant herbivores, Asian elephants can tear down huge tree limbs or pick up small objects with their muscular trunks.

2. Physical Description: Asian elephants are huge gray animals inhabiting Asian tropical forests. Their gray coloration conceals them in their shady habitat. Elephants’ trunks, unique among living mammals, are versatile, enabling them to reach the ground, manipulate tiny objects or tear down huge tree limbs, squirt water over their backs or into their mouths, or blow dirt onto their backs during dust baths. Female Asian elephants usually lack visible tusks as do males in some populations, such as those in northeast India. Wide, padded feet enable them to walk quietly. Large, flappable ears help these huge animals cool off, although elephants often must retreat to the shade or water during the hottest part of the day.

3. Size: Asian elephants grow up to 21 feet long, stand up to 10 feet tall, and weigh up to 11,000 pounds. Females reach around eight and a half feet tall and weigh less than males. Despite their size, elephants are able to walk silently.

4. Geographic Distribution: Asian elephants live in large blocks of forest near water sources and grasslands, habitat that has been greatly reduced in the last half century. They inhabit India, Sri Lanka, Myanmar (Burma), Indonesia, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, Malaysia, Nepal, Bangladesh, and southern China.

5. Status: The Asian elephant is listed as endangered on the World Conservation Union’s (IUCN’s) Red List of Threatened Animals.

6. Habitat: Asian elephants inhabit a variety of tropical forest habitats from moist, evergreen lowland forest to dry semi-deciduous teak forests to cooler mountain forests up to 10,000 feet. They also frequent adjacent grasslands and farm areas. Their varied diet enables them to live in disturbed forests as long as they have plenty of space to move around and exploit different foods without coming into conflict with people.

7. Natural Diet: A dexterous trunk and large, rasping molars allow Asian elephants to gather and process a wide variety of vegetation, including grasses and herbs, leaves, fruit, farm crops, and bark.

8. Reproduction: Older and larger males—especially those in musth (condition of heightened testosterone levels) dominate the breeding, winning the acceptance of females in heat. Gestation takes 20 to 22 months, and usually only one calf is born. Female Asian elephants can usually breed by age 14 and usually give birth to one young every four years.

9. Life Span: In the wild, Asian elephants may live up to about 60 years but most do not live that long.

10. Behavior: Female and young male Asian elephants live in cohesive herds of related adults and their offspring. The matriarch, usually the oldest and largest female, sets the pace of the group’s activities. Herds often join with others to form large groups called clans. Males leave herds at puberty, around their 13th year, and travel alone or in bachelor groups. Elephants wander widely in search of food. Movements vary widely depending upon food availability. Asian elephants communicate via rumbles, growls, bellows, and moans. Some of these varied, low-frequency sounds may travel a mile or more.

Past/Present/Future: Asian elephants once ranged from Iraq east through Asia south of the Himalayas, into southern China and possibly south to Java. However, centuries of hunting and habitat destruction caused dramatic declines. Males are still killed for their tusks, although this happens less often today thanks to a global ivory ban, in place since 1989. Today, Asian elephants thrive mostly in large remote reserves as well as in and among human habitation. Where elephants and people inhabit the same area, conflicts often occur.

Elephants can cause great damage to crops, and they occasionally kill people. Males in musth are responsible for the majority of attacks. Elephants play important roles in the cultures and religions of countries in most of their range, which inspires support for habitat protection measures, continued studies about elephants and their conservation needs, and efforts to mitigate conflicts between elephants and people.

Information found here.

baby & PitI hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving.

I have a friend who sent me a video of a new born kitten she found.  It was barely alive and was covered with fleas, ticks and hungry.  She brought it home and nursed it back to health.  She will be taking it to the veterinarian this week.  My friend owns a Pit Bull.  When the kitten and the Pit Bull met they clicked.  She took some footage of the interaction.  Keep in mind that her dog is NOT nursing but was willing to allow this kitten to enjoy what she had to offer anyway.  My friend also has a young daughter.  The child and dog get along very well together

Please Enjoy This Video

This is an example of how loving the Pit Bull really is.  I decided to do a piece on this breed.  I have found that a lot of people have no idea about this dog.  If you say, “Pit Bull” most people become fearful and think of fighting and danger.  Until the Mike Vick incident, a lot of people never realized how common fighting rings are in communities across the U.S.  I assume it is the same in other countries.

Rachael Ray

Here are the names of people you might know, who have all owned Pit Bulls:

Jessica Alba,  Fred Astaire,  Jessica Biel,  Mel Brooks,  Adam Brody,  Linda Blair,  Humphrey Bogart,  Jack Dempsy,  Thomas Edison,  Kevin Federline,  Jamie Foxx,  Michael J. Fox,  Ken Howard,  Jesse James (West Coast Choppers),  Helen Keller,  Ann Bancroft,  Pink,  Madonna,  Bernadette Peters,  George Patton,  Brad Pitt,  Joey Porter,  Rachael Ray,  Theodore Roosevelt,  Jon Stewart,  Alicia Silverstone,  Sinbad,  Usher, Jan Michael Vincent.

What Is A Pit Bull?

The purebred American Pit Bull is America’s greatest working dog.  They have their roots in “Olde England”, where butchers specifically bred “gripping dogs” for use in controlling bulls and cattle. No other breed had (or has) the courage and determination to stick to the dangerous task of controlling a mad bull. The dog’s desire to complete the task of holding the bull often saved his master and other humans. In the middle ages, there were no guns or easy means to control a bull.  These dogs were highly prized and carefully bred heroes.

Pit puppies

These bull dogs (not to be confused with the modern AKC show version “bulldog”) were used in exhibition contests against bulls called bull baiting. When bull baiting was outlawed in the 1800’s, bulldogs were contested against each other, seeing which dog had the determination and drive to keep at the task in the face of pain, fatigue and even death. Because two handlers and a referee were in the pit with the dogs, the breed was selected for amazing stability; a calm, friendly manner with people….even under extreme pressure. Dogs which lashed out at humans, even strangers, while fighting or in pain were not tolerated.

The pit bull’s athletic build and legendary determination to get the job done makes him a perfect candidate for detection work. Nothing deters him, heat, cold, fatigue, etc.  If drugs or explosives are there, the Pit Bull will find them. It’s in his nature.

Today’s American Pit Bull

The American Pit Bull has a strong pleasure to please. They have more human emotional response than any other breed that exists today.  By no means are these dogs people-haters or people-eaters. Their natural aggressive tendencies are toward other dogs and animals, not people.  If they are trained properly they are not aggressive with other dogs or animals either.

LittleRascals

The pit bull enjoyed wide popularity during the period of 1840 – 1950 as a family pet and farm dog. At the turn of the last century, the pit bull was one of the most popular of dogs.  Pete the Pup on the Little Rascals Our Gang comedies was a purebred, registered American pit bull.

The Pit Bull is a good-natured, amusing, extremely loyal and affectionate family pet, which is good with children and adults. Almost always obedient, it is always eager to please its master. It is an extremely courageous and intelligent guard dog that is very full of vitality. Highly protective of his owners and the owner’s property, it will fight an enemy to the death. It is usually very friendly, but has an uncanny ability to know when it needs to protect and when everything is okay. They are generally okay with other pets if they are raised with them from puppy hood.  They are not good match with every owner.  They need to know who is boss in the house.  If someone is meek and lets the dog take over, and doesn’t know how to discipline properly, the dog will think it’s the owner.

The Pit Bull has been exploited by back yard breeders, criminals, dog fighters and others who abuse the breed’s amazing strengths for their own selfish gain. The press encourages fear and hysteria because fear sells.  In addition to the Mick Vick incident, whenever someone is hurt by a strong, broad, short haired dog it is reported that the breed was a Pit Bull.  In reality, the dogs might be another breed that looks very similar to a Pit Bull because of their build.

Professional dog trainers, and those who know the breed, understand that the properly bred and raised Pit Bull is one of the sweetest dogs with people.  Although, most Pit Bulls will not back down from a challenge from another dog.

Pit Bulls don’t see strangers as a threat or “the enemy”. Each person is a “new best friend”! This makes them ideal for those situations where a non-threatening dog is required.

Why We Use Pit Bulls

Pit bull and police

With Homeland Security concerns elevated, the need for explosives and narcotics detection dogs for law enforcement is increasing. There are programs that connect cops with outstanding working dogs – many of whom might otherwise be euthanized for lack of a home.

Because they are a “fad breed” right now, there are literally thousands of pit bulls being euthanized in American shelters every week. There simply aren’t enough homes, and breeders keep breeding to make money. Many of the Pt Bulls are being used adopted from shelters and used as working dogs with police and military.

Taxpayers should know about these issues. Find out if police departments in your area utilize free, or low cost, animals before they spend several thousand on an untrained “green” dog from Europe or a dog vendor.  There is a myth that there is a shortage of good detection dogs in America. This is simply not true. It is time people became aware of this breed and others in this country.  We should learn more about our own, American, working breed and use them accordingly.

Today I got some emails I wanted to share with you.

vegan food guide1. Did you know that November is “Go Vegan” month?

I, honestly, was not exactly sure what vegan meant.  I hear “vegan”, “vegetarian”, raw diet”, etc.  Because of this information,  I learned a lot more about being vegan.  I was aware of Georges Laraque, the NHL player,  who went vegan this summer to bring awareness to animal rights and issues.  I also knew that Portia De Rossi and Ellen Degeneres also became vegan earlier this year.  Until now I never really investigated it.  If you would like to learn more here is one website you can check out.  Vegan month.

diabetes2. November is also, National Pet Diabetes Awareness Month.

Today 50 percent of our pets are overweight or obese, which certainly can predispose them to developing diabetes. Both dogs and cats develop the same two types of diabetes seen in humans. The greater majority of dogs develop Insulin Dependent Diabetes Mellitus where the body simply does not produce any insulin.

Most cats, on the other hand, develop Non-Insulin Dependent Diabetes Mellitus. In cats the disease is due either to not producing enough insulin or an inability to utilize the insulin that is produced in the body — the same as Type 2 diabetes in humans.

Treating and caring for a diabetic pet takes a huge commitment in both time and dollars.  Initial symptoms of diabetes are excessive thirst and urination, possible sudden weight loss and frequent urinary tract infections. Lack of energy and listlessness also are on the list.

Be sure you take your pet to the vet at least once a year for a full physical.  Make sure it is, and stays, healthy!

Proud mom and dad

3.  Here are some pictures a friend of mine took of some Javelina.. also known as Collared Peccary.   They are so cute I had to share them with you.  He had 14 of these critters come out from under his house a few weeks ago, with a couple of new born babies!!!
If you would like to learn more about these interesting animals just check out this link.

JavelinaBabyJump

turkeys 1

4.  This came from Judy Landers, one of my board members:

With Thanksgiving right around the corner, we are working urgently to help stop the intense suffering of turkeys. Their situation is grave. The abuse they endure on factory farms is difficult to even imagine. Farm Sanctuary’s public awareness campaign to expose the hidden horrors of commercial turkey production, combined with our efforts to rescue and provide refuge to the victims of this cruel industry, are having an impactopening hearts and minds and creating real change. But we need your help to expand our reach even further. Please help END the abuse.

pig5. ALSOThis Sunday night 60 Minutes will feature an unprecedented exposé on the factory farming of pigs in Australia which has been underpinned by an investigation conducted by Animals Australia.  You can learn more from this link.


dolphins6.Denmark is a big shame

The sea is stained in red and it’s not because of the climate effects of nature. It’s because of the cruelty that the human beings (civilised human) kill hundreds of the famous and intelligent Calderon dolphins. This happens every year in Faroe Island in Denmark. In this slaughter the main participants are young teens.
WHY?   To show that they are adults and mature….

In this big celebration, nothing is missing for the fun. Everyone is participating in one way or the other, killing or looking at the cruelty “supporting like a spectator”. Is it necessary to mention that the Calderon dolphin, like all the other species of dolphins, is near extinction and they get close to men to play and interact in a way of PURE friendship . They don’t die instantly; they are cut 1, 2 or 3 times with thick hooks. And at that time the dolphins produce a grim cry extremely compatible with the cry of a new born child. But he suffers and there’s no compassion till this sweet being slowly dies in its own blood.

MAKE THIS ATROCITY STOP NOW!

catStatistics show that people who abuse animals are prone to doing the same thing to humans.   If young people are doing this then I would think it only gets worse as they get older if they don’t get help.

I’ve found that animals can actually help a lot of people with all kinds of issues.  There are prisons that now bring in dogs to be trained by the inmates.  The inmates do better, have less depression and are more productive.  The dogs are happy because of the attention.  Many of the dogs are trained for specific tasks and lead productive lives in the “real” world.  Other animals are used in nursing homes and hospice because of the love they comfort they provide to the patient.

Please let us know your thoughts on the issue of animal abuse and how to turn it around.

Another headline:

Good News For Accused Cat Killer Judge Rules Tyler Weinman Can Leave South Florida

MIAMI — The teenager accused of killing cats in his Miami-Dade neighborhood received good news from a judge on Tuesday.  Tyler Weinman, 18, remains on house arrest in his Palmetto Bay home.  Weinman is charged with killing and mutilating cats in Palmetto Bay and Cutler Bay.

On Tuesday, the judge ruled that Weinman can travel to Orlando for the Thanksgiving holiday.  He also ruled that Weinman can leave his house to go to the gym.

Many people think this is a travesty of justice.  If you would like to express your displeasure to Judge John W. Thornton about his decision, you may call him at (305) 548-5110 or send mail to:
The Honorable Judge John W. Thornton, Jr.
Criminal Division, Associate Administration Judge, Section CF 15
Miami Dade Circuit Court
Richard E. Gerstein Justice Bldg.
1351 NW 12th Street
Miami, Florida 33125

***Remember the judge’s name come election time.

We have had so many wonderful comments, ideas, etc.  You can view them under “comments”.

As a P.S. to some, please read below.

Here is the article regarding the boy…
A teenager was arrested early Sunday and accused of committing a string of gruesome cat mutilation deaths that had horrified residents of his Miami area community, authorities said.

For the past month, shocked pet owners in the Palmetto Bay and Cutler Bay neighborhoods have reported finding more than two dozen cats killed and mutilated. Some of the dead cats were missing fur and appeared to have been cut with a sharp, straight instrument, police said.

Tyler Weinman, 18, was taken into custody early Sunday at a party, police said. Weinman was charged with 19 counts of animal cruelty, 19 counts of improperly disposing of an animal body and four counts of burglary.

Police put the home of one of Weinman’s parents under surveillance several weeks ago after receiving tips from community members, said Miami-Dade Police Department Maj. Julie Miller.

“This terrible time has drawn us together as a community, further emphasizing the importance of knowing our neighbors, communicating with each other, and always staying vigilant to suspicious activities whenever or wherever they may occur in our village,” said Palmetto Bay Mayor Eugene Flinn.

Weinman was being questioned by police Sunday. It was not clear if he had an attorney. Messages left at phone numbers for his parents were not immediately returned.

In all, the deaths of more than 30 cats were under investigation, but Miller said some of those cats were likely killed by dogs. She said additional arrests might be forthcoming, but she declined to name other suspects.

“I sincerely hope that with his arrest, the residents will feel relieved and their cats will be safe once again,” said State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle. “It is expected that the vicious crimes that have plagued these communities will not be repeated.”

Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/2009/06/14/2009-06-14_teen_tyler_weinman_arrested_in_.html#ixzz0WqfbmeUZ

Snake-150x150I was so shocked to hear about this because I always had people call Justin if they had an issue with a wild animal.  I love Mixon Fruit Farm and thought Justin was doing the right thing.  A veterinarian I know very well always told me he had concerns about the animals in Justin’s care.  You never know who people really are.

This story needs to be told.  It is about abuse of an innocent creature. Whatever you think of snakes in general, and pythons in particular, you would at least have to agree they do not deserve this sort of treatment.

(JUSTIN HAS BEEN CHARGED WITH A THIRD DEGREE FELONY AND WILL NOT HAVE A LICENSE IN FLORIDA AGAIN.)

A Florida wildlife trapper who owns a wildlife rescue company has admitted that his highly publicized capture of a 14-foot python last month was staged.

Justin Matthews, the owner of Matthews Wildlife Rescue in Manatee County, bills himself as a wildlife expert and recently partnered with Mixon Fruit Farms in Bradenton, Florida, to found a wildlife refuge.  The stated mission of Matthews’ joint venture is to “rehabilitate injured wildlife for release back into the wild, and to promote education, appreciation and respect for wildlife.”

Not Much Respect for Wildlife

Matthews, however, has a not-so-funny way of showing his appreciation and respect for wildlife, or his inclination toward their rehabilitation.  According to reports, Matthews purchased the reptile legally more than a month ago from a shop.  He then placed the snake in a concrete pipe in Manatee County near a supermarket and a day care center.  But not before planting rumors of a python sighting in the area and pretending to find a “belly track” near the drain pipe.

While onlookers, firefighters and members of the media crowded around on July 25, Matthews staged a phony battle with the female python while it hunkered in the concrete pipe.  As part of the so-called rescue, Matthews struck the snake in the head with a stick a number of times.

Justin Matthews later gave a statement to the media in which he insisted he staged the capture as an educational public service, to draw attention to the fact that there are so many pythons on the loose in Florida.  However, his excuse lacks credibility.  He initially lied to state investigators about the incident, maintaining that the incident was a true capture.  And his claim materialized only after the media exposed the capture as a ruse.

The incident makes one suspicious of Matthews’ other publicized wildlife captures, including the 2008 capture of a 13-foot python in the same town.

Matthews Deserves an Animal Cruelty Charge

At the least, Matthews could be charged with failure to microchip the snake as required by Florida law.  However, prosecutors should consider charging Matthews under Florida’s animal cruelty statute, which provides that any person who “unnecessarily . . . torments . . . any animal . . . is guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree.”  Animal is defined in the statutes as “every living dumb creature;” thus, snakes are included within the meaning of “animal” for purposes of the Florida animal cruelty statute.

Justin Matthews’ crime fits the elements of the statute in that he unnecessarily tormented the python by placing it in the drain pipe and staging a “rescue” during which he beat the reptile about the head.

Misdemeanor cruelty to animals in Florida carries a punishment of up to one year in jail and a $5,000 fine.

Sweetie can Feel Pain

After the dramatic “rescue,” Matthews named the snake Sweetie and has been keeping her in one of his exhibits.  Sweetie, like all snakes, is capable of feeling pain.  According to the Venomous Snake Research Center, scientists are discovering that pain perception in reptiles is more advanced than previously thought.  Therefore, Sweetie felt the blows to her head.

She did not deserve the treatment she received, and the State of Florida should investigate this incident thoroughly and prosecute Justin Matthews appropriately.
**** Follow up from a viewer:

HE HAS BEEN CHARGED WITH A THIRD DEGREE FELONY AND WILL NOT HAVE A LICENSE IN FLORIDA AGAIN

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