35 thoughts on “Open Thread

  1. The Animal Rights National Conference is the world’s largest
    and longest-running animal rights gathering. As the movement’s annual national forum, nearly 1,000 attendees will gather to share knowledge, learn new skills, network, discuss tactics, and “recharge their batteries.
    June 27th – 30th • Washington, DC
    Hilton Alexandria Mark Center Hotel

    1. The ONLY problem with these conferences is the people who need to be there the most, the people who need to learn compassion, are the ones NOT there – the pound’s directors & administrators & those doing the killing in the pounds across America. They need to learn about alternatives to killing & practice it. Do you think they care about the conferences any more than they do about the animals they kill? They should. Eventually they’ll be replaced by the very people who DO understand & attend these conferences.

  2. I volunteered at the New York Best Friend’s Super Adoption and had some very interesting conversations with people. If you have never gone to one before and there is one in your area I would recommend going – it is a wonderful experience.

    I would like to give props to Philadelphia Animal Control – Due to some miscommunication they were only able to come one of the three days. They came with 21 animals and when they left on Friday they had adopted out 17 of them. By the end of the day Sat the remaining 4 (including one kitten in quarantine) were adopted – not bad for a group that wasn’t even there!

    I also talked to a few people who were there with cats – they were telling me that some communities that have had TNR in place for 10 – 12 years were running out of adoptable cats! So they go to a kill shelter in NY once a month and pull 30 cats at a time. TNR might be a long term thing, but you can’t tell me it doesn’t work when I hear stories like that.

    I also talked to the person who runs the boarding facility where Best Friends sends the animals it pulls from NYCACC. That was an interesting discussion – I am not sure if it was on your blog or a different one but I know people were wondering what was happening to those animals. Wonder no more – all the cats were adopted out and some of the dogs are still waiting to be adopted.

  3. I read an interesting piece on Care 2 that Alley Cat Allies is supporting letting cats live outside INSTEAD of allowing shelters to needlessly kill them. I spent some time thinking about this. Pros & cons. After looking at kill stats for so many shelters and seeing the huge number of cats that are being killed at shelters across the US I figured this might actually be a GOOD thing. Here’s a link to the article…read it and let me know what you think. God idea? Bad idea? Why?


    1. I have a few thoughts to add to the article. My concern is not with Trap Neuter Return but the suggestion that the cats be designated as wildlife. This makes the cats vulnerable to nuisance wildlife standards and removes their protection as domestic animals. Nuisance wildlife depending on the state may be killed at will of the property owner. Department of Natural Resources suggest holding animals up to the tailpipe of your car, drowning or shooting. You are also, not allowed to relocate the animal, only kill them and dispose of them. I worry greatly about cats and this unintended consequence.

    1. Glad they’re fired! Amazing that the guy thinks he was fired because of lack of paperwork, though…

  4. Next Friday, May 10th, I’ll be attending the University of Washington School of Law’s all-day Animal Law Conference in Seattle. I would love to connect there with other readers of the blog.

    The conference is free unless you want to earn CLEs.

    In the afternoon, Ryan Clinton of FixAustin will be speaking on “The Backwards Shelter System and Unnecessary Shelter Killings.” (He has been posting on Facebook about the PowerPoint slides he’s preparing.)

    After Ryan, Adam Karp will speak about police shootings of pets. Adam is the lawyer who recently won the case brought by the owners of Rosie, a Newfoundland shot by police two years ago, against the City of Des Moines (WA).

    The schedule, and info about registration, is here:


    Hope to see some other readers there and look forward to meeting you!

  5. If there are any readers in the Danville, VA area Please share this FOUND dog. He has been running loose in and out of traffic in the Schoolfield area of Danville, VA. He’s very sweet. Male about 12 lbs, neutered, no tags. There a rabies clinic today, so I’m taking him to get shots. Since I already have 6 dogs in my house, my neighbor is keeping him and he loves their dog. Please help me find his person. I have posted his picture on all the NC Facebook lost and found, but I can’t find any place to share in VA. Any help is greatly appreciated.

      1. I don’t have an account (don’t want one), I tried to post something once and it was so confusing for me.. I gave up. If someone could post it for me I sure would appreciate it.. My contact info is on the Facebook thread. any other info needed I’ll gladly provide.

    1. UPDATE.. I received a message on FB.. The owner is in jail. The neighborhood was feeding him, but no-one would commit to him. Yesterday I got him his rabies shot and 7-1 vaccine. He is now in a forever loving home with a neighbor of mine, He just loves the other dog and sleeping on a real bed, Playing and getting so much love, He is 4 years old. His name was “Killer”.. I was calling him “Merle”.. the verdict is still out on a new name for him. Happy ending for a very special little dog

      1. We need more folks like you, willing to help those in the most need. There isn’t enough people willing to go out of there way to help lost or wandering dogs on the streets. The lost dogs end up in the pound & being killed by the people who THINK they’re helping by calling the pound instead of actually helping. …Thank you Dot.

      2. thanks Buddy. In Danville, VA the shelter/pound is not open to the public for adoptions. So I am very glad I was called. He is the sweetest dog, he was neutered and is house trained When I first brought him in my house with my 6 dogs, he was very timid, I can’t imagine the impression he would have made at the pound.. They probably would have killed him just for being scared. Now he is so grateful to be inside a home, safe, warm.clean, fed with a buddy to play with and so much love. His new family is so happy to have him

  6. I would like thoughts on TNR efforts — specifically spaying of pregnant cats versus alternatives — what do you do when you can’t find a foster and the alternative is releasing a pregnant cat and hoping you can catch her again?
    I do feel that this is different than fostering a friendly cat with kittens, and different enough that I just don’t see it addressed much. Many TNR groups seem to regard late-term spays as a necessary thing … as there just aren’t enough resources. As ferals are harder to handle than friendly cats, fostering (and finding suitable fosters) is a lot more challenging too.
    Foster for the one pregnant kitty we had fell through after we couldn’t trap her and that person took in a different cat. Three spays later, we know there is one other heavily pregnant cat in our group, one with four-week old kittens that we’ve missed, and one of our spayed girls now has six-week old kittens. The kittens are somewhere inaccessible, so finding them and socializing them when they’re young isn’t an option. No idea how many were born or how many survived, so we’re unsure how many new kittens will have to be spayed/neutered in upcoming months.
    The group I was working with (which was spaying our ferals for us for free) wants us to E-spay or find another group. I’ve never brought in a pregnant cat. Never wanted to. But trapping in this season seems to mean that trapping a pregnant feral is an inevitability rather than an abstract. We have six more cats (at minimum, not including the kittens) to trap.
    What to do?

      1. Thanks. I did go back and re-read through that. It’s easier and harder both, knowing that others are trying to decide how to proceed when dealing with the same hard decision.

    1. I’ve been thinking about your post since I read it. I have very mixed feelings about the issue – and my heart breaks when I think of kittens never having the chance to be born. However, on the practical side, I understand why they do abort-spays on pregnant females who are truly feral.

      I take care of the ferals who show up in my world and had to deal with exactly that situation. I suspected she might be pregnant, but not very far along. The spay-neuter clinic I use will do the abort-spay unless the pregnancy is almost near term. They will then allow the mother to have the kittens.

      I am finding that some ferals simply will not be “tamed” and trying to care for a new mother and kittens might truly be impossible. In fact, I was warned that sometimes the feral mothers will kill the kittens if they get highly stressed.

      So I guess it depends on the individual situation. If there is a way to safely care for a feral mother and kittens, then by all means do that. If not, then the abort-spay is probably the most realistic (if heartbreaking) option.

      I think you have to get those cats and kittens trapped and spayed/neutered or you’re going to have a whole lot more to deal with than you have now. And that’s the ugly reality of the situation. (Anyone who knows me knows how hard it is for me to say this because I love them and want them all to survive and have long, happy, healthy lives. I foster cats and kittens and the thought of killing any of them rips my heart.)

  7. RE: Animal Law Conference in Seattle – I see some real hope that Ryan Clinton will be speaking.

  8. Has anyone come across a flying saucer bowl greater than 15 inches in diameter? I am looking for something to feed a group of large dogs. Maybe I need some type of livestock feeder?

      1. it’s a huge round thing and the metal one comes with a small round cut out to drain water .. size of a water hose and about 3 inches tall I use on as a chicken feeder

  9. So, I got an email from the HSUS yesterday. A contact wrote that they saw from my web site that I support TNR so they thought I might be interested in a series of articles and links on the subject. It must contain two dozen items. Really, HSUS? What’s next? An email advocating against the destruction of pit-bull type dogs?

    And totally changing gears. What do you call a shelter director who declines a free (to her), in-house, confidential consult by no kill equation subject matter experts on how to up her live release rate? A killer. That is harsh but I just don’t know what else to call her now.

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