Simba has been REUNITED !!!

It's been over two years since Ben, Dionne, Nicholas and Jordan saw their dog Simba. On December 22 they drove from their temporary home in Virginia (where they've been living and working while awaiting their return to New Orleans) to the shelter in NJ where they were reunited with Simba.


$5000 Reward for Dog Stolen & Tortured in the City of Brotherly Love

Bill Whiting with his dog, EdnaBill Whiting’s little dog, Edna, disappeared on Halloween nite, October 31. He was visiting a friend and believes she slipped out the door when trick-or-treaters showed up.

When he notice the very friendly and trusting dog missing he scoured the streets for her calling her name. The next day he put up missing fliers with Edna’s picture, his cell phone number and a promise of a $500 reward for her safe return. He hoped that someone would bring Edna back “either out of the goodness of his heart or desire for the reward.”

Bill was devastated over his missing dog. Edna “was so gentle that Whiting took her to hospitals, where patients cheered up as they petted her. Edna had pointed bunny ears, warm brown eyes and was Whiting’s “constant companion” since he adopted her a decade ago. She had never known anything but kindness from human hands.”

“This is one of the most horrible things that has ever happened to me,” said Bill Whiting and describe how he made sure that Edna always wore her collar. Attached to her collar were her vaccination tags, showing she was a healthy dog, and her name tag with Whiting’s information, showing she was a loved dog. When Edna walked, her tags jingled.

He waited, hoping everyday for some word. On November 10 he got a phone call on his cell phone he will never forget.

He heard two voices that sounded male and young. The first said he was 16, his brother was 9 and they had his dog. He wanted Whiting, 57, who works for the University of Pennsylvania’s Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, to talk with his brother.

At first, Whiting says he could barely understand the younger boy, speaking in what he described as “American ghetto slang.” Whiting slowly realized the boy wanted $600 to ransom Edna.

“I was to bring cash, by myself,” at midnight to a location Whiting could not decipher.

Whiting agreed to pay the money but not to a midnight meeting. “They said they wanted the money now, and told me they’d kill the dog, repeating, ‘You don’t believe me, Mister, let me hurt it so you can hear.’ “

Whiting heard Edna yelp in pain. When he heard the jingling of her tags, Whiting knew they had his beloved little brown dog.

“I couldn’t believe how evil he was,” says Whiting. “He said, ‘You know, Mister, I want to kill your dog.’ “

Whiting pleaded with them not to hurt Edna, offering to give them even more than $600 if they would keep Edna safe until the morning.

The line went dead.

Bill Whiting immediately called the police and filed a complaint. A few hours later he got another phone call, this time on his home phone, land line, a number that was not on his fliers but was listed on her tags.

“I’ve killed your dog, it’s dead,” he said and hung up.

Whiting then thought to call his cell phone provider, Verison, and get the numbers the torturers were calling from to give the information to the police so they could track them down.

“I made about five calls and kept getting people who were good at passing the hot potato,” Whiting says. He was told police know the procedure.

The police then got a warrant to Verizon for the information and it took 12 days, 12 very long days for Verizon to respond with the requested information and then to top it all they actually sent a bill to the police for the information. A bill for $150!

In most cases, says Verizon spokesman Lee Gierczynski, “the company charges no fee or a nominal one,” but in a “very small percentage of cases, Verizon will charge reimbursement fees for gathering information it does not routinely maintain.”

The fee covers some of Verizon’s costs and it makes no profit, he says. In a wired world, I find both the slow service and the high cost hard to swallow.

A crime has been committed. Another police source tells me the service is no better for other crimes, such as kidnapping, when time is crucial.

In Edna’s case, the detective says, he must now get another search warrant to connect the phone numbers he has to subscribers. He couldn’t say what the charge would be or how long it would take.

More delay and more expense.

Bill listened as his beloved dog was tortured and then was called and told she was dead. Then he has had to deal with BS and red tape which should not have happened.

Whiting will live for a long time, maybe forever, with the pain of hearing his little brown dog tortured. But he doesn’t want Edna to have died in vain. As her legacy, he wants the phone companies to act faster and cheaper. He thinks telecommunications companies should provide free assistance to police “as a public service. It’s not like they have a narrow profit margin.”

I find this unbelievable and unacceptable! Philly police and Bill whiting may have lost their chance for justice for Edna because of foot dragging on the part of Verizon, a company which is well paid to offer a public service. Are other cell phone providers any better? This is not a shot again Verizon but against any company that could needlessly impede a criminal investigation and then profit from it!

Will something like this happen to you when you need it the most. Information denied, a run around and precious time wasted.

The Pennsylvania Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to an arrest, of which $3,000 came from an anonymous donor.

If you have any information, please call police at 215-686-3093 or -3094.


And one more reason why cats may be smarter than dogs

.…or at least why cats have more refined taste than dogs:

Last night I rummaged around in my car for the can of Pounce I keep there after a very sweet cat came to my house and meowed loudly for attention. I rattled the can and called to her and she came running to me. But she wouldn't eat a single Pounce. And who could blame her - they were as hard as pebbles.

I found a can of cat food in the house which she ate and I soon forgot about the Pounce.

This morning as I walked out of the house with the dogs, I noticed that the can of Pounce had rolled down the driveway and landed by the curb. I assumed it was empty for any number of reasons.

Murphy noticed the can too and by the look on his face you would have thought he found the Holy Grail.

He wanted it badly but didn’t want to alert Mickey and Ruby to this newly discovered treasure, so he very quietly picked up the entire can (which I still assumed was empty) and nonchalantly carried it in his mouth.

I was afraid that carrying his trophy on our walk would distract him from the reason we were out on a walk, so I took it away from him and put it in my pocket, and was surprised to see that it was still full of Pounce pebbles. Which meant that neither the cat that was at my house nor any of the other cats that were out prowling last night lowered themselves to eat such nastiness.

When we got back to the house I tossed the Pounce pebbles into the bushes but several spilled on the ground right in front of Murphy and Mickey who inhaled them in a millisecond.

And if further proof was needed about the dignity of dogs (or lack thereof) - while all this was going on, Ruby was walking toward me across the lawn with a big dried turd in her mouth.




$1000 Reward for 14 yr. old American Eskimo Dog

The dog was stolen from Northeast Philadelphia and is desperately missed by his family. If you have any leads or information, please email Freeby1031@comcast.net or noanimalleftbehind@gmail.com. Please Help! Thank you!


Coast Guard rescues pets from NW floods

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

SEATTLE - Petty Officer Second Class Steve Sergeiko delivers a rescued dog into the hands of an emergency service worker Dec. 4 at Chehalis High School's football field in Chehalis, Wash. The Coast Guard along with several other state and federal agencies rescued 106 people and six animals from flooding in the Pacific Northwest over the course of two days. (Official Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer Second Class Shawn Eggert)

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

SEATTLE - Petty Officer 2nd Class Travis Vanzandt carries in his arms a young child followed by family members and their dog during the Northwest flood incident in Washington today. Rescues were conducted in remote and inaccessible locations where people were in need of immediate evacuation and medical assistance. The helicopter crew is homeported at Coast Guard Air Station Astoria, Ore. (Official Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Mariana O'Leary)


2007 Artivists Awards & Film Festival to screen Katrina animal rescue films

The feature length documentary, Dark Water Rising and the short, Animals of Katrina, will screen tomorrow afternoon as part of the 2007 Artivists Awards and Film Festival in Hollywood, CA.

Details and ticket information can be found by clicking on the above link.

Tim Maddock, who helped rescue pets from flooded homes and volunteered at Lamar Dixon after Katrina will be part of a panel discusison following the films.

Tim's play, Because They Have No Words, written about his experience as a Katrina animal rescue volunteer, is up for an Ovation Award on Monday in Los Angeles.


$2000 Reward for Safe Return of Doberman

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Saga is four years old, neutered with cropped ears and tail.

The day Saga disappeared there was a dark green Jeep Wrangler soft-top seen on the property in Paradise Mountain in Valley Center CA. The Jeep had an American flag on the rear. This is a generic photo of a Jeep Wrangler:
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Here is the Google map to the location of the property.

You can email Saga's owner at sharryn.roberge-mounts@baesystems.com
or send information and/or anonymous tips to noanimalleftbehind at gmail dot com.


Still searching for Oreo - a much-loved and missed Katrina dog

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Oreo was last seen in Lake Charles, Louisiana during the evacuation for Hurricane Rita. Her owner was forced to turn her over to an officer who later claimed no knowledge of her whereabouts.

$500 reward offered for any information leading to the reunion of Oreo with her family.

Tips or leads can be sent to noanimalleftbehind at gmail dot com.


Do these look like death-row dogs?

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

These are just a few of the dogs adopted out by Mutts & Moms. One of my many objections to the debacle over Iggy was the claim made by Marina Baktis that they were saving death-row dogs. While some of these dogs were said to have been found on the streets, she "rescued" most from shelters.

The dogs in the photos above are not the dogs that typically get euthanized at shelters. If you want to see a few of the dogs that really need to be saved - the ones that are euthanized at an alarming rate every day because of too many dumb-ass pet owners, look here.

I don't know if the word "rescue" fits the scenario of taking cute fluffy and/or pure breed dogs from shelters (where the adoption fees are usually between $20-100), sending them off for a nice grooming, and then charging a much higher adoption fee in addition to requiring a "DONATION" of $250.

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines donation as: a free contribution.

Marina Baktis stated the following on her website under The Adoption Process:

Am I willing and able to make a minimum suggested donation of at least $250? We are looking for "rescue partners" who understand that in order to continue doing our life saving work, we must find adopters who are financially stable, are able to make the commitment that a
substantial contribution implies, and are willing to help us save the next dog. Donations are not a purchase price nor an adoption fee but a contribution freely given. Donations are not refundable.

It's vulgar to require people to make freely-given contributions.

And what is your idea of financially stable? Would you adopt one of your dogs to a loving working class family? Or a single mom who lives in a pet-friendly apartment? Or God-forbid, someone living in a trailer?

Do animals pray?

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket


At least one comparison to Katrina is true

So nice of you to finally make an appearance in San Diego on Day # 5, George.

If I remember correctly, wasn't it Day 4 or 5 before you showed up in New Orleans?

Or rather over New Orleans?

I can't wait to see how much Federal disaster relief is going to help illegal, undocumented workers from Mexico and not to the people of New Orleans and St. Bernard Parish who are still living in toxic FEMA trailers and gutted houses.

Does The Road Home ring a bell with you?

Have a nice day.

Update on San Diego Wild Animal Park

Of the over 3,500 animals that reside at the Park, two animals (a clapper rail and a kiang) were lost due to complications from the fire. More than 600 acres of Wild Animal Park property were burned. These were open buffer zone areas and not exhibit or public access space.

The California condors and other endangered bird species, as well as other animals that had been relocated to the Paul Harter Veterinary Medical Center’s fire-safe area, have been returned to their home habitats.

Although trees suffered from wind damage, and wildfires scorched several perimeter areas of the Park, animals remain safe and secure within their expansive 60- to 80-acre habitats. These habitats are heavily irrigated and contain no flammable material, creating a safe zone for many species.

The animals remain safe, secure, and have weathered the firestorm well. The Wild Animal Park did lose one of the empty condor breeding facilities to the fire as well as a storage facility containing Festival of Lights event materials. Winds have damaged trees throughout the Park, but again the animals and exhibits have weathered the storm. A core group of employees is on hand to care for the wildlife. Other employees and some contractors are currently assisting with clean up and restoration efforts. As an energy conservation measure, the Wild Animal Park has voluntarily removed itself from the SDG&E power grid and is operating on generators.

Many people have asked how they can help the Wild Animal Park restore habitats affected by the Witch Creek fires.

Situated in the San Pasqual Valley, the Wild Animal Park is no stranger to the threat of fires. Over the past years, we have been actively working to minimize these threats through a Greening Campaign. This campaign has enabled us to create hundreds of acres of nutrient dense, eco-irrigated land that functioned as a natural safety blanket for our animals during the recent fires. Although we have already converted much of the Wild Animal Park’s dry, arid, fire-prone land into environmental sustainable landscapes, at a size of 1,700 square acres, the Park needs further help. Your contribution today to our Greening Campaign will allow us to continue our greening efforts at the Wild Animal Park.

Should you care to make a donation to the Greening Campaign for the Wild Animal Park via personal check please make it out to the Zoological Society of San Diego (or ZSSD for short) and mail to:

Zoological Society of San Diego
Attn: Development- Wild Animal Park Greening
The Zoological Society of San Diego
P.O. Box 120551
San Diego, CA 92112-0551

Animal shelter information for San Diego fire evacuees

The San Diego Humane Society's Animal Rescue Reserve (ARR) team is currently working with the County of San Diego Department of Animal Services to evacuate domestic animals and livestock threatened by the Harris and Witch Creek fires with first priority being given to evacuation areas in Rancho Bernardo. Over the last two days, officers, staff and volunteers have evacuated more than 400 animals and are actively assisting more than 1,000 animals at our shelter locations throughout the county. However, experts estimate that between 10,000-15,000 animals have been displaced countywide.

Currently we are not able to assist or escort individuals into burned areas. All resources are active at this time in areas needing immediate evacuation.

If you have animals or livestock that you cannot evacuate yourself or that need to be rescued, call (619) 236-4250 and press "1" for emergency services.

The San Diego Humane Society is asking for donations of the following items:

-Cash donations to support rescue efforts

-Pop-up tents for shade and shelter

-Lead ropes for livestock

-Broodmore halters

Cash donations can be made online at www.sdhumane.org or by calling (619) 299-7012. Items may be brought directly to the San Diego Humane Society campus at 5500 Gaines Street.

Volunteers are not needed at this time, but the San Diego Humane Society is keeping a list of names for people interested in helping.

If you have a stable or other areas that can house a number of large animals and livestock that need to be evacuated, please call the San Diego Humane Society at (619) 299-7012.

Residents that need to evacuate their homes are asked to take all companion animals with them. If possible, place your pet in a crate or carrier and bring any necessary supplies including leashes, food, water, and medications as supplies at evacuation centers may be limited. More tips can be found online at www.sdhumane.org.


The El Cajon Animal Shelter is accepting pets and can still take in domestic animals and small livestock for boarding from pet owners who have been evacuated. The shelter is located at 1275 N. Marshall. For more information, call (619) 441-1580.

Red Cross evacuation centers are accepting pets in carriers. If you do not have or were unable to put your pet in a carrier or need pet supplies, bring your pet to one of the following Red Cross evacuation centers:

El Camino High School
400 Rancho Del Oro Dr.
Oceanside, CA 92057
Space for horses, livestock and small animals
(No People, ONLY Animals)

Fiesta Island

1500 Fiesta Island Rd
San Diego, CA 92109
Accepting 500 owners and animals
Space in Thermal and Indio is available as a back-up site. Call (760) 399-2716 for information.

Fiesta Island Lakeside Rodeo Grounds is currently only available for animals being evacuated by County of San Diego or San Diego Humane Society officers and is not available for public animal drop off.

Qualcomm Stadium
9449 Friars Road
(Small Animals)

Camp Diggity Dog
in San Diego is offering free boarding to any dogs displaced by the fires. For more information.
1835 Imperial Ave
, San Diego

Email: Bark@CampDiggityDogs.com

Note to pet owners: be aware that this is a private, for-profit business making a kind and generous offer to fire victims. If you leave your pet with them or anyone offering free boarding of any kind, please be sure to get something in writing that makes the terms of the arrangement very clear to both parties. If possible, visit and spend time with your pet every day or as often as possible until you can take back your pet. Also, if possible, offer what you can afford to pay for this service and provide your own pet food if you can.

Large Animal Sites:

The following sites are FULL and are no longer accepting animals:

Lakeside Rodeo Grounds - FULL
Del Mar Fairgrounds - FULL

If you have animals or livestock that you cannot evacuate yourself or that need to be rescued, call (619) 236-4250 and press "1" for emergency services.

The Tijuana Valley Equestrian Association is helping to place horses in private ranches in the Tijuana River Valley area. The association has placed 200 horses and has room for more. For information, evacuees with horses can contact John Gabaldon, the chairman of the Tijuana Valley Equestrian Association at (619) 920-1282, and he will provide directions to the location of the corrals.

Rohr Park in Chula Vista has plenty of room for horses. It is a large community ring in Rohr Park, located at the intersection of 4600 block of Sweetwater Road, near Winnetka Dr. They can handle 50-60 horses and have plenty of water. Evacuees with horses can call Dave Braithwaite. 619-203-1640.

San Diego County Animal Services has opened a shelter for large animals located near Gillespie Field, 1960 Joe Crosson Dr. in El Cajon.
Directions: Take East on Hwy 67; exit at Bradley Avenue and turn left; right on Cuyamaca; and left on Weld Blvd. The animal evacuation shelter will be on the right hand side of the road.


Terri Crisp & former Noah's Wish volunteers ready to assist animal rescue from California fires

Terri Crisp founded and served as Executive Director of Noah's Wish, and earlier this year she founded Animal Resources: Providing Disaster Management Solutions. She has rescued more animals from more disasters than any other person, and has provided excellent training to thousands of volunteers all over the U.S. and Canada. She wrote two books about her experiences, Out of Harm's Way in 1997 and Emergency Animal Rescue Stories: One Woman's Dedication to Saving Animals from Disasters in 2002.

Animal Resources, based in Northern California, is ready to respond to the wildfires if and as soon as they are called upon. Fire updates regarding the animals are posted on their website.

Since 1983, Terri has rescued animals from more than 60 disasters including earthquakes, fires, floods, hurricanes, oil spills, tornadoes, and tropical storms.

In 2005 alone, she and Noah's Wish volunteers and coordinators responded to both the Tsunami in Sri Lanka, and then to Hurricane Katrina, where she spent over 2 1/2 months in Slidell, LA.

In spite of later criticism from a few outsiders and disgruntled ( but highly vocal) volunteers (including a veterinarian) who refused to follow established guidelines (and were asked to leave Slidell) during the emotionally-charged weeks and months following Katrina, Noah's Wish had a recovery rate of over 75% and was later commended by the Office of the State Vet of Louisiana for their work in Louisiana.

None of the rescued animals were "lost" from the shelter managed by Terri Crisp in Slidell because Katrina was not a dress rehersal for her and her coordinators.

By contrast, animals were "lost" and stolen from the other emergency shelters set up following Katrina - those operated by the Humane Society of the United States, Muttshack, Pasados, Best Friends, and the independently run Camp Lucky and Winn-Dixie shelters. Some of this was due to lack of established policy and procedures; some due to the lack of experience on the part of those running the shelters; some due to the large-scale chaos and confusion; a lot due to rescuers and volunteers making judgements about the owners of the animals not being worthy of getting them back. Pit bulls were stolen and scammed out of several shelters until fences and guards were put in place.

And a lot was due to volunteers seeing Katrina as an opportunity to go pet shopping.

That recovery rate of over 75% is more than three times the reunion rate claimed by any of the other organizations that rescued animals and established temporary shelters in the Gulf Coast following Katrina.

The recovery rate from a disaster includes not only actual reunions, but the percentage of owners with whom contact was established. Following a disaster of the enormity of Katrina, many people who lost their homes had no choice but to surrender their pets either immediately or later.

Terri Crisp made sure that multiple efforts were made to contact the owners of every animal removed from every residence or street corner. She even established contact with the owners of all 50 cats she agreed to take from the Lamar Dixon shelter, operated by HSUS and reunited most of them.

A few shelters receiving pets from the Gulf Coast also had high recovery rates due to their ongoing commitment and dedication to reuniting pets with their owners. These include The Humane Society of Monterrey Bay in Northern California; Animal Ark of Minnesota, Spindletop Pit Bull Refuge in Texas.


Shame on you Marina Baktis / Mutts and Moms

for your decision to place Iggy in another home rather than return him to the family who loves him. Up to that point, you could have done the right thing, you could have made the decision that was best for Iggy. And in turn, best for yourself and best for other pet rescue organizations.

Mistakes were made all around; Ellen made a mistake in not reading the contract, or possibly ignoring the part that said Iggy needed to be returned to you if things didn’t work out; the lunatics who made death threats against you made horrendous mistakes, and I’m sorry that the crazy “animal lovers” crawled out of their slime-holes and did felt the need to do this. And if you find out who made the death threats, I hope you and your attorney are willing to press charges.

But… regarding the battle over Iggy, you have consistently shown poor judgment and a worrisome lack of compassion, and you made mistakes far greater than any that Ellen made. And you are the one who turned this into something much bigger and uglier than it needed to be.

But in the end, those who lost the most are the most innocent of all – Iggy and the family that loves him.

I don’t know you and I obviously don’t know Ellen but even if this involved someone who was not a celebrity, I would be saying the very same things because the issue at hand is one little dog and two young girls, and to me, it has nothing to do with the celebrity of the original adopter. I have to wonder if you would have behaved the same if a non-celebrity who was a friend or acquaintance of yours adopted Iggy and then gave him to close friends?

Ms. Baktis, aside from the lack of compassion and judgment you have shown, there are some other worrisome issues. Since you state on your (former) website that you are a 501c3 organization, where were the members of your board of directors throughout this fiasco? I find it had to imagine that your board would not have advised you to handle this differently since they are accountable, legally and financially, for your actions. Did not one of the members of your non-profit board of directors advise you to give Iggy back to the family that loves him and perhaps handle this differently?

The overall sense from what I read (articles and opinions on the web taken with several grains of salt as well as what I read on the Mutts and Moms website) is that you seem to be something of a control freak which explains why you felt the need to start up yet another rescue group rather than work with one of the hundreds already established in southern CA.

Your adoption application would eliminate most good dog owners I know including myself.

Your stipulation that all adopters need to make a minimum $250 donation to Mutts & Moms is insane (this required donation is in addition to your adoption fee).

I’m not disparaging the work you have done placing dogs into loving homes, but looking at the “success stories” on your website, most of the dogs were not saved from imminent death as you imply.

Most adoption contracts are not legally binding documents because of the way they are written; some claim that the rescue group always retains "ownership" of an animal even months and years after adoption. Adoption contracts are at best a set of rules, not LAWS. Even if you had an attorney review and approve the contract (which it appears you did not) it does not mean that it would hold up in court.

So while Ellen either didn’t read the contract or read it and didn’t abide by it, at the worst, she broke or bended some rules. She didn’t break any laws. Nothing she did caused any harm to any other person or animal. Yet your actions were unnecessary, selfish, spiteful and mean. You made this into the ugly media battle that it was. And while the death threats against you were ethically, morally and legally wrong, they would not have happened if you had behaved in a kind and humane way from the beginning.

The best animal rescue organizations and shelters include numerous rules and policies in their adoption contracts which give them the right to enforce some or all of them as they choose. I’ve adopted a lot of pets over the years and have never had a home visit though that is in every contact I’ve signed. I’ve also “adopted” pets from shelters (sometimes known as “pulling” an animal in some sort of danger) and like Ellen, also signed a contract stating that I would return the dog to the shelter if I could no longer keep it. But that was the last thing I was going to do which is why those dogs were pulled in the first place.

Now I hate to start this off by saying that “rules are meant to be broken” but I will, not because I believe in anarchy but because we all know that many rules are stupid. Any business owner or boss or teacher can make rules that are often just their own attempt to have some control in the world.

For example (un-related to Iggy or any other animal), there are four restaurants near where I live that all have some version of the following printed on their menus and posted at the register: No credit card purchases under $10 (or $5.00). That is the restaurant’s rule but it is against the law to limit the amount of credit card purchases.

Most rules are created for the greater good of everyone. But not always. Sometimes they're just stupid and petty.

And Mutts & Moms was a small animal rescue organization (that finds homes for dogs pulled from shelters), not the CIA or Homeland Security.

It was only an animal rescue organization, and getting animals into good long-term homes should be the goal and purpose. The goal should not have been the rigid, anal enforcement of your own rigid, self-created rules.

All of this has heightened the growing issue I have with the word “rescue.” I have friends who rescued cats and dogs from flooded houses in New Orleans after Katrina; Terri Crisp and her team of volunteers and coordinators responded to over 60 natural disasters, including the Tsunami and Katrina in the same year. But taking a dog out of a shelter is not rescuing it – it’s already been rescued which is how it ended up in the shelter. In the case of some animal control facilities, you might be saving an animal's life if it is scheduled to be euthanized but the animals you below are rarely the ones euthanized. They are usually the first to be adopted. These are your Happy Tails.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at <span class=

Dog Starved in the name of ART

This was so unbelievable that when I first heard of it I first had to check to make sure it wasn't another urban myth. Sadly, it is not.

A Costa Rican "artist"named Guillermo Habacuc Vargas used a starved dog (that he paid some kids to bring to him) as a work of art and allowed the dog to die tied up in a corner of the gallery as part of the “exhibition.”
He was chosen to represent Costa Rica in the Bienal Centroamericana Honduras 2008. A petition (in Spanish) has been created to voice support of a boycott of him receiving this honor.

While all of the photos are shocking, the most shocking to me is the one of the gallery-goers schmoozing and sipping drinks a few feet away from the dog. Did the "artist" also prohibit people from offering the dog a small bit of comfort while it lay suffering and dying as he prohibited anyone from offering food and water? Not that the people seen in the photo looked to be particularly interested in or concerned about the dog.

This makes the mind numb and the heart heavy. It's startling that no one tried to rescue or steal this poor dog from the gallery. There are animal rights activists in Central America just as there are everywhere.

While all forms of animal cruelty and neglect are painful to see or hear about, cruelty in the name of art is incomprehensible.

The artist was trying to make a point about the starving street dogs of Central America, but if he had any real imagination - perhaps imagination fueled by compassion - he would have found another way to make his point by expressing himself in a more creative and less cruel way than using a starving street dog in a twisted form of performance art.


"Because They Have No Words" Nominated for TWO Ovation Awards

Congratulations to Tim Maddock and Lotti Louise Pharriss / Weirdsmobile Productions, LLC for the extreme honor of being nominated for the 2007 Ovation Awards in two catagories: World Premiere Play and Ensemble Performance.

Tim wrote and starred in this play about his experiences rescuing animals and volunteering at Lamar Dixon in the aftermath of Katrina.

Because They Have No Words will be performed at the Piven Theatre Workshop in Evanston, IL this spring. Don't miss it.

Original blog posts about the premiere of the play here and here.


Katrina dog goes home after 2 + years

This is Rascal who was rescued from his Bywater home in September 2005 and taken to Lamar Dixon. From there he was sent to another emergency shelter in Monroe, LA run by UAN (United Animal Nations). From Monroe, Rascal and 80 or so other dogs were flown to eastern Pennsylvania on a flight chartered by the ABKA (American Boarding & Kennel Association, a branch of the AKC). This airlift was orchestrated by Bob Paine, the owner of Molly's Country Kennels, a boarding kennel and doggie day care center in Lansdale, PA. Bob just happened to be the president of the ABKA at the time.

When the flight landed in PA, the dogs went to Molly's, 44 miles away. Within a few days, most of the dogs were farmed out to 19 or so other boarding kennels/doggie day care centers in the suburban Philadelphia area as well as Maryland and Virginia.

Every piece of information that came with or on the dogs was entered into Petfinder records created by UAN staff and volunteers. Thankfully for those pets and their owners, these Petfinder records were created BEFORE the dogs left Monroe.

Most* all of the animals that were flown to PA by the ABKA/Molly's are OWNED by families in New Orleans. The Petfinder records include rabies tag numbers, rescue addresses, and owner's names if known.

For example, Rocket (who was finally released and sent home from Doylestown by Lynne Welsh last November) had his owner's name and address right there on his Petfinder record. So did Ragnar. Yet it took lawsuits filed on behalf of the owners of both of those dogs to get them returned.

This particular kennel got four Katrina dogs. In a local newspaper article in the fall of 2005, the owner of the kennel states:
"Since their rescue, each dog has been given a clean bill of health, vaccinated and microchipped for identification. The four dogs have passed initial evaluations with flying colors."

Yet, despite this claim, one of the four dogs died from heart worm treatment; another one had heart worms so severe that the vet recommended he be euthanized, and Rascal tested weak heart worm positive and treated. The dog that was almost euthanized wasn't known to have heart worms for almost a year - until he was finally adopted in June 2006 and tested when his new owner took him to the vet.

When I asked the owner of the kennel if Rascal has been on monthly heart worm preventative since he completed his treatment, she said "no, we don't have a problem with heart worm around here."


By some oversight, Rascal's 2005 Rabies tag and ID tag did not make it into his Petfinder record. BUT... the rabies tag number was on his paperwork (paperwork which I saw for the first time a few months ago, after lawsuit #3 was filed over another Molly's dog). All of the dogs were accompanied by paperwork or copies of their paperwork when transferred from Molly's to the other kennels. So even though no one else knew that Rascal had a current rabies tag - both of the PA kennels knew.

It took two phone calls, a post on a neighborhood forum and a few emails with a friend of Rascal's owner to make contact. His owner doesn't own a computer or have an email account so it was a few more weeks before I was able to send him photos to confirm it was his dog for sure.

I won't go into the rest of the negotiating with the kennel story here (it's been shared with friends and other Katrina reunion volunteers and those who need to know) but the bottom line is that Rascal was flown home on Friday.

And this dog who spent the past two years living in a kennel, mostly isolated and described as un-adoptable, is acting like "his old sweet friendly self" according to his very happy owner.

Oh, one more thing. The kennel never bothered to have him neutered in the two years they had him there.


Chewed Up Vick Cards Sell for $7,400

Updated 2:07 PM ET August 29, 2007



KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - The eBay auction for 22 Michael Vick football cards, chewed up and slobbered on by two Missouri dogs, ended Wednesday as the winning bidder dished out $7,400 _ with the money expected to be donated to the Humane Society.

The success of that auction, with 31 different bidders, created a craze of 25 other postings this week offering torn up cards featuring the disgraced NFL superstar.

But so far, the original post from Rochelle Steffen, of Cape Girardeau, Mo., has been the only auction to attract droves of bidders.

Steffen gave Monte, her 6-year-old Weimaraner, and Roxie, her Great Dane puppy, every Vick card she owned to destroy. The result: The cards worth $1-to-$10 were crumpled, crimped, chewed, torn and generally in a sorry state. Some even had corners missing.

"When I started this, I only expected to get $100 for a local shelter," Steffen told The Associated Press on Wednesday. "But it's received so much attention. It's for such a good cause."

The gnawed cards were the most expensive Vick items on eBay, with well-preserved rookie cards, autographed jerseys and other collectibles selling for far less.

Vick pleaded guilty to a federal dogfighting charge this week. He will be sentenced Dec. 10.


2nd (almost) Annual Dog Pool Party

Attention all dogs and their people who live in Wilmington, DE and surrounding areas...

Plan now to attend the upcoming Doggie Pool Party on Sunday, September 16th from 2:00 - 4:00 p.m. (with a one-hour rain delay if necessary).

Suggested donation of $10.00 for one dog and $15.00 for two dogs

It will be held at the Graylyn Crest Swim Club located on Marsh Rd. between Silverside and Grubb and convenient to I-95 and Naamans Road.

More details and info soon.


Former Hokie goin to the Pokey !

Michael Vick's lawyer said today the NFL star will plead guilty to federal dogfighting conspiracy charges, putting the Atlanta Falcons quarterback's career in jeopardy and leaving him subject to a possible prison term. The offense is punishable by up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine, although federal sentencing guidelines most likely would call for less. Vick's plea hearing is Aug. 27.

Vick Jerseys Used To Clean Kennels

This article is copyrighted so I can't post it here, but click on the above link to read it.

Additionally, it would be great if students, alumni and fans of Virginia Tech gathered up his "retired" VT jerseys - # 7 - and donated them to a local animal shelter. Here are two shelters close to the VT campus:

Montgomery County Animal Control/Shelter
434 Cinnabar Road
Christiansburg VA
(540) 382-5795

The Humane Society of Montgomery County (no-kill)
1183 Flanagan Dr.
Christiansburg, VA 24073
(540) 382-1166


An Open Letter to Michael Vick

Thank you Peter for expressing what so many of us think and feel about Vick.

From Peter Shankman, an Entrepreneur, an Adventurist, and the CEO of The Geek Factory, a PR and Marketing boutique firm in New York City.

Dear Mr. Vick:

It would have been very simple to write a brief mention of you, noting that I hope you get the book thrown at you, hoping you get abused and beaten in prison, tortured and eventually left to die just like the animals on whom you wagered… But what would that accomplish?

Rather, I write this, not so much that I hope you’ll read it, but rather, on the chance that millions of other people will see it, and feel the anger, the absolute rage, the disgust that I share the same title as “human being” with something as foul as yourself.

I write this because you’ve failed, Mr. Vick.

You've failed as a person.

You’ve failed as an example to children and adults the world over.

You’ve failed as a sportsman.

You’ve failed as a human being.

You had everything. You had “the life.” You had “the image.” You had the endorsements, you had the backing of the fans. You literally had the world at your feet. You had the gift of being one of the most talented athletes in the world, good enough to earn a $100 million dollar contract with the Atlanta Falcons. You had “Star Quarterback” labeled on you wherever you went.

In fact, the only thing you seemed to be missing was compassion.

You took everything that you had, and rather than do something good with it, thought it better to kill animals for your own amusement.

I’ll say that again. Mr Vick, you are an animal murderer. You sir, murder animals, and you do it under the guise of “sport.”

There is nothing sporting about making animals kill each other for your own personal amusement, Mr. Vick.

You sicken me.

For what reason, Mr. Vick, would you do this? You didn’t need the money. You could have gone to Vegas if you felt the need to gamble. You could have taken drugs if you needed a high.

Instead, you felt the need to murder animals. Animals that had no ability to save themselves. They couldn’t call their assistants to bring the limo around when they wanted to go home. They didn’t have the ability to call a time-out and regroup. They had to fight until they were dead, or so bloody and injured that they prayed for death.

And you gave them death. According to the Associated Press, your dogfighting ring allegedly executed underperforming pit bulls by hanging, electrocution or other brutal means, including slamming them into the ground until they were dead.

Well done, Mr. Vick. Your mother must be so proud of you. The NFL must be thrilled to have you among their ranks. Except that you were uninvited to training camp. So it looks like they’re not.

With a $100 million dollar contract, you couldn’t purchase one person to be a part of your entourage with any soul? Anyone who could have said, “you know, not only is this illegal, but it’s also terribly cruel. Why would you want to get involved in this?”

And don’t give me any stories about how it’s what they do in the projects, or it’s how you were raised, or it’s your culture, or your socio-influence. I simply don’t care. Hurting animals, deliberately, and for your own sick pleasure is wrong. Nothing you can say, can ever, ever, justify that.

Someone in your camp asked how this is any different than a celebrity getting busted for having Cocaine in her pockets… I’ll explain how, Mr. Vick. If a celebrity wants to blow lines until his or her heart explodes, he or she is free to do that. In fact, if they die, it’s probably more proof that Darwin was right. They’re not torturing and murdering animals in the process.

You, however, hurt those that did nothing to you. You didn’t hurt yourself when you forced animals to fight to their deaths. You didn’t hurt yourself when you shoved electrical wires up the anus’s of dogs who didn’t perform “well enough” for you.

But now, Mr. Vick, you’ve hurt yourself.

Nike has dropped you.

Reebok has dropped you.

Upper Deck has dropped you and removed your cards from unsold packs.

No training camp for you.

Your “buddy,” another heartless being, Tony Taylor, turned on you, copped a plea, and is helping the government build a case against you.

Your teammates are saying very scripted things, like “he hasn’t been convicted yet,” and “it’s an unfortunate situation.”

You know what those lines are called in the PR world?

They’re called “distancing one’s self from the situation.”

How does it feel to be a pariah?

Chances are really, really good that you’re going to wind up in jail, Mr. Vick.

And it’s not going to be a quick 15-day-sentence, either.

You’re looking at hard time, Mr. Vick.

Years, possibly. Your career is more than likely over.

I mean, honestly – who would want you, knowing what you do behind closed doors for “amusement?”

They say the universe tends to work itself out as it should. Looks to me, as your friends turn on you, as all your sources of income dry up, and as you’re left out to rot, on your own, with no friends, no team, and no entourage to back you, that the universe is working out just the way it should, indeed.

Perhaps in prison, you’ll learn something about compassion. Perhaps it’ll come at the hands of someone bigger than you one night when the guards aren’t there to protect you. Perhaps someone with an electric plug will teach you about compassion, about love, about feelings, about caring.

Or perhaps you’ll be in so much pain, you’ll be unable to learn. And then you too, just like the dogs you murdered, will pray for death.

But then, it seems to me, as you take stock of the complete one-hundred-eighty degree turn your life has taken in the past fourteen days, you might already be doing that.


The NAACP is wrong about the Vick case - it is not a "racial" issue

Floyd Boudreaux, considered the "Godfather" of dog fighting, is white. So is Guy Boudreaux. So is Darren P. Williams from Franklinton, LA who goes on trial next week. And so are many many more of those responsible for the long tragic history of this form of animal cruelty.

Floyd and Guy Boudreaux's dog fighting kingdom was finally broken in March 2005 thanks to the work of Jeff Dorson of the Humane Society of Louisiana. Jeff even went undercover at dog fights - something that we who care deeply about the welfare of animals would find very difficult if not impossible.

Boudreaux dogs are the foundation of some of the most prominent fighting lines in existence today.

Vick is a black redneck.

A black redneck animal abusing criminal.

The following editorial by Drew Sharp in the Detroit Free Press sums it up perfectly.

NAACP is out of line in Vick case
July 31, 2007

The NAACP should just remain quiet.

The civil rights organization's Atlanta chapter came to Michael Vick's defense Monday, chastising those rushing to judge the embattled Atlanta Falcons quarterback before he has fully exhausted the criminal court process. But in its rush for sufficient camera time, the NAACP conveniently forgot that nobody has compromised Vick's constitutional or civil rights.

If the NAACP demands involvement in Vick's legal and career difficulties, it should concentrate on shedding more public light on the sadistic subculture of dogfighting and possibly how prominent the role of the millionaire black athlete is in this disgusting practice. It should question its own hypocrisy in having no critical complaint whatsoever with Vick and other high-profile black athletes making millions off the exploitation of financially challenged black kids who must have the right athletic shoe even if it costs 200 bucks, but then rips Nike for severing ties with Vick last week simply because Nike buckled from intense public pressure after the dogfighting charges.

There's a corporate lesson here that even the most morally vacuous business organization still has limits to its tolerance.

The NAACP should look at the Vick investigation as the impetus for looking deeper within itself and demand similar introspection from its constituency. Merely framing Vick's self-inflicted legal and career difficulties as a budding racial conflict is counterproductive.

Vick's problems involve race only from the human race perspective.

"If Mr. Vick is guilty," Atlanta NAACP chapter president R.L. Price said during a news briefing Monday morning, "he should pay for his crime. But to treat him as he's being treated now is also a crime."

The NAACP, in this regard, is guilty of that comfortable "picking on the brother" mentality that perpetuates a culture bent toward reflexively painting itself as the perpetual victim of social injustice.

Vick doesn't need the NAACP watching his back.

He's getting his due process more than the average defendant. Does every defendant have access to one of the country's premier criminal defensive attorneys, Billy Martin? Does every defendant have access to powerful public relations firms commissioned to soften a hardened national image before he faces trial in November?

The constitutional protection of "innocent until proven guilty" pertains exclusively to government criminal accusations. That's it. It has absolutely no legal bearing on a private employer, such as the NFL, Nike or Reebok, that bases its business judgments on public consumption. That requires keeping a hand on the pulse of public opinion, and that's a court where a lesser standard of character evaluation weighs heavily in the final assessment.
It's been nearly two weeks since the Feds indicted Vick and his associates on dogfighting conspiracy charges, but it's only now that the NAACP felt compelled to render its thoughts. What took it so long? I hope it's not because it was blindsided by the spreading national outrage over animal cruelty.

It's personally revolting listening to those questioning the tremendous outpouring of contempt as "they're only dogs, not people."
There's a singular distaste surrounding the alleged depravity listed in the federal indictment that separates this criminal investigation from the other high-exposure cases like Kobe Bryant and the Duke lacrosse rape allegations.

Whether or not you believe his story, Bryant's defense was that it was consensual sex with a hotel employee.

Did the pit bulls buried on Vick's property offer their consent for such perverse manipulation?
The NAACP has successfully positioned itself as a defender of the defenseless, but in this particular case, it missed the mark.

Contact DREW SHARP at 313-223-4055 or dsharp@freepress.com.


Howie is Reunited

Thanks to the work of several volunteers, Howie the funny looking little chihuaua mix is now back with Betty, his loving owner.

Eileen, a volunteer from Wisconsin had been seaching for Howie since the fall of 2005; due to Betty's determination and Eileen's compassion, they never gave up. Eileen recently flew from Wisconsin to New Orleans for the reunion, but then ended up flying from New Orleans to Oklahoma to pick up Howie and fly him back to New Orleans and deliver him to a very grateful Betty, when the original transport plans changed.
Thanks Eileen!

And thanks spiritsmom for posting Howie/Louie and the thousands of other found and rescued Katrina pets on your Flickr site!!


Please work to get a spay/neuter bill passed in your state

A friend of mine from Texas who made countless rescue trips to New Orleans post-Katrina sent me this video made by fellow-Katrina rescuer from California.

If you work or volunteer for a good shelter, or one that is "no-kill"* , then consider, along with a group of like-minded friends, adopting/sponsoring a very bad shelter in the south. You can help write grant applications for low-cost spay-neuter; arrange for spay/neuter clinics; work with local schools and arrange for humane education and much more.

To simply continue pulling death row dogs out of the horrific shelters in the south and importing them to the north and Midwest is akin to trying to stop a levee breach with a few sandbags. It obviously helps those dogs and cats saved and adopted into happy new homes, but for all the time and energy expended by hundreds of caring people around the country, and the tens of thousands of gallons of gas used in transporting these animals from one place to another, it does not stem the tide - the cause of the problem is not being addressed or affected in any way.

Regardless of how archaic a local animal control or shelter may be, there are intelligent, compassionate and humane people who live in that town or parish who want the same for the animals as you do. A good first step is to work with local residents to put and end to the use of gas chambers to euthanize animals.

There can be a balance between rescuing/saving those that can be adopted elsewhere and working toward ending the suffering for the others left behind and those not yet born.

Jake, the 911 and Katrina rescue dog, dies


To the person who got rid of their cat near my house

Sunday morning I walked with my dogs to the small wooded area two blocks up the street from my house. At the edge of this area, almost directly under the large Verizon platform, sat a small animal carrier. I felt instant dread as I walked around to the front to look inside, expecting the worst. But the small metal door was open and inside was only an empty can of cat food, dirty newspapers and bowl full of water.

So, to the person who thought this was the responsible way to get rid of this cat:

It Was Not.
Did you leave this cat in my neighborhood because you assumed and hoped it would not find its way back "home?"
I pray it didn't try to, only to be disposed of again.

Could you not wait till Monday when the SPCA re-opened?
Did you call the Humane Association to see if they could take the cat on Sunday, the same day you dumped it?
Or are you one of those pet owners who does not feel that you should have to donate/pay a fee when you want to get rid of one of your pets?
Do you believe that any shelter should be thankful to have your unwanted cat or dog and therefore, it's a personal affront to be asked to make a small donation for this?
It's unlikely that this was a feral cat because anyone re-releasing a feral would know what they were doing; it would have been released directly from a trap after being altered and not from a dirty carrier that was left there.
I really wonder what you were thinking?
That the opened carrier would protect your no-longer wanted cat from the ferals who live around there, or the raccoons or foxes who live well within smell-range of this carrier?
I pray that this was an indoor-outdoor cat and is able to survive until one of us can find it or it finds one of us.


Puppies are Biodegradable

The FUEL Gallery in Old City, Philadelphia held the opening of an art show entitled Puppies are Biodegradable on Friday evening. The Gallery is a great space for any art show, and this one was well curated toward the goal of making people aware of the horrific conditions of puppy mills.

In addition to the art, there were tables were set up around the Gallery with literature from the ASPCA, HSUS, PETA and some local groups working to end this Canine Auschwitz.

Yes - puppy mills have always reminded me of concentration camps - the poor dogs live out their lives completely neglected and abused - barely alive at all - and their lives are then ended by being incinerated. Dogs - the most social of all animals and our closest companions - are made to suffer in unimaginable ways....ways that are closer to torture than just neglect.
The title of the show was inspired by comments made during a 2005 Lancaster County zoning board hearing when a dog breeder was asked what happens to unsold dogs. He said they were "exterminated" and their carcasses spread over fields as fertilizer. "They are biodegradable," he said.
I do believe that we can make an impact on puppy mills if we focus our collective energies and pick our battles. This is essential as there are many animal lovers who feel that any dog breeder is evil and that all dog breeding must end.

This will never happen so I believe it's a waste of time and energy trying to fight all breeding and make the good ones the enemy.

There are many very good breeders who produce small quantities of healthy and highly socialized puppies. The quality of life among these dogs and puppies is good. The bitches and stud dogs are family pets. Many of these breeders hold the belief that most potential buyers of their puppies do not measure up and are rejected; they are very picky about who gets their puppies.

Additionally, they usually do this out of a deep love of a particular breed and not for profit...there are many easier ways to make a lot more money. A good breeder stipulates that all puppies be spayed/neutered.

These reputable breeders are not the enemy.

Those who operate puppy mills are the enemy, but I believe we can make an impact. Pet shops selling puppy mill dogs (which is what most pet shops sell) can be boycotted and prospective puppy buyers can be educated and enlightened. Humane societies, SPCA's and rescue groups can work together in their local communities.

Even if there are no puppy mills near you, there is a good chance there are backyard breeders whose dogs live in similar conditions to those in commercial puppy mills.

Here are some websites that are helping...

Prisoners of Greed
United Against Puppy Mills
Stop Puppy Mills
North Penn Puppy Mill Watch
New Jersey Consumers Against Pet Shop Abuse


MasterTank & Nila- Reunion videos

Click on above link to view a video of Master Tank and Nila happy once again at home with their people.

And here for another one.


Tiger the Miracle Kitty

This is an unbelievable story; a tear-jerker; one that will make you cry and smile and have hope once again. And it's because of two selfless and very caring people - Denise, the cat reunion coordinator extradinoire for NALB and Jessica B., a resident of St. Bernard Parish.

This is the story:

Tiger was one of the many thousands of cats lost in the aftermath of Katrina. He lived with his family in the Lexington subdivision in St. Bernard Parish and was never found after Katrina; never showed up on Petfinder or anywhere else. Being a young (6 months old at the time) and declawed cat, there seemed to be little hope for a happy ending.

On May 22, 2007 (!!) Jessica felt the need to get out of the house. Well, out of the FEMA trailer where she's living with her cousin. Her drive took her down Judge Perez, through Violet and to the Lexington subdivision where she drove around. One her way back out she noticed a small cat sitting in an empty lot, and continued to sit there as she approached. She said, "Unlike most animals that have been out there for so long, he didn't run. He let me approach him."
Jessica picked up the starved, dehydraded little thing who was covered in sores but still wearing his blue collar, and took him to her mother's house. She decided that she was going to find this guy's owner and get him home.
Tiger was one of the many cats that Denise had helped search for/reunite beginning in 2005, so when Jessica sent her the photos, and told her that he was found in an empty lot just outside the Lexington subdivision, and wearing the blue collar, Denise knew that this must be Tiger and sent the photos to Lisa, Tiger's owner.

Lisa and her daughters drove to Chalmette to meet Jessica and knew that the ragged little cat was in fact their Tiger. They were all overjoyed, but perhaps no one more than Tiger - as soon as was back in the lap of his young companion, he started rubbing his head all over her and hasn't stopped.

He was been seen by a vet and in spite of being very thin and weak, flea-ridden, covered in sores, and with one of his back paws split with raw skin exposed - he was free of diseases and should recover just fine. He is curled up in his new bed and purring away. And probably sleeping deeply and well for the first time in 21 months.

Tiger never wandered far from home, waiting and hoping for his people to come back. He was very much loved before Katrina, and deeply missed for the past 21 months and is finally basking in that love again.