31 thoughts on “Open Thread

    1. The video makes it pretty clear its an unprovoked attack unfortunately, the kid wasn’t even “acting like a prey animal”. The cat is awesome though!

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      1. The team isn’t saying *how* Tara will make the pitch, mind.

        I’ve been wondering why the dog was loose, myself. One of the articles I ran across on the case stated that the dog’s owners were aware he ‘didn’t like’ children or bicycles … so why was he loose and unsupervised? I can think of reasonable excuses – sometimes despite our best efforts pets do slip out – but none of the articles I’ve seen have offered any reason.

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    1. Not all tv trainers use dominance training. Victoria Stillwell uses positive reinforcement methods. The only reason He Who Must Not Be Named is more popular is that with all the violence and struggle he puts into it, it is high drama. Dog training should not be high drama. Oh, and by the way, Sophia Yin should really have her own show.

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      1. Victoria Stillwell’s show has plenty of drama too, with the humans! It’s funny how they usually think they have dog problems that are causing relationship problems, but Victoria gets in there and figures out that it’s the other way around.

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  1. Kindness in training always always trumps abuse and violence. Love your “He Who Must Not Be Named”. He has many followers and just think of the hurt they inflict on those poor dogs.

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  2. Our local high-kill city shelter in New Braunfels, Texas (operated by the New Braunfels Humane Society) refuses to post pets at the shelter online during their stray hold period or allow public access to them because “people will try to claim pets that are not theirs.” Never mind the hefty reclaim fees they have to pay. Even many of the pets available for adoption are not posted online. The secrecy works well to shield the humane society from accountability of pets disappearing from the shelter into the kill-room, but it’s not in the best interests of families looking for lost pets. Has anyone else run into this excuse to hide pets from the public? How did you overcome it? Thanks!

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    1. My shelter refused to post cats because they “were too busy”. Not too busy to stuff them into the gas chamber, though…

      Find out who is in charge of the shelter – in my county, it’s the County Administrator – and go directly to them with your concerns. If you don’t get satisfaction, start making it public. Talk to reporters, make a FB page, etc. Remember to attack policies, not people (you never know who is related to/friends with/sleeping with whom). Be clear about what you want and why. Oh – and in my case, it helped to NOT talk about the animals, but to talk about the PEOPLE who were affected by the situation. Animals don’t vote or pay taxes, you know?

      If your shelter is funded by tax dollars at all, you can get the statistics via FOIA. Having data helps your argument.

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      1. Thanks for the advice! I have done those things, but the status quo is ENTRENCHED here. Basically the same people have been running the shelter for decades with virtually no oversight. The New Braunfels Humane Society has refused to release information regarding humane society & shelter policies, or even the pets in their care. I have filed all the appropriate complaints, and have been trying to raise public awareness. I can get invoices from the city regarding how many pets they take in and kill–the humane society gets paid per pet for intake and for killing–but no information about individual pets such as which ones they are killing and why.

        New Braunfels, Texas, is a tourist town so I’m hoping that raising awareness outside of our town and state will help persuade city & county officials to make contract changes that will ensure transparency:

        1 List ALL the pets at the city animal shelter online at intake (with a photo, unique ID, intake date, breed, age, and gender information) so their families can find them.
        2. Allow public access to view ALL animals at the shelter (except those in state-mandated rabies quarantine) because it’s just common sense that taxpayers should be able to see the animals that are at the shelter.
        3. Provide notice to the public BEFORE killing pets, to give the public and rescue groups a chance to save these doomed dogs and cats.

        https://www.facebook.com/NoKillNewBraunfelsTX
        http://www.nokillnewbraunfels.com/

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      2. I have tried to get records of pets. The city claims they don’t have responsive documents. The New Braunfels Humane Society ignores the requests. I filed a FOIA complaint with the Texas Attorney General. It’s still pending.

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  3. A couple of hints of a better future ahead, both from The New Yorker . . .

    The May 12th issue looks at changes within The Nature Conservancy — specifically, at the organization’s tentative efforts to move away from nativism, the dogma that has been so damaging to feral cats.

    http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2014/05/12/140512fa_fact_max

    And in the May 19th issue, the magazine profiles an architect charged with remaking the National Aquarium in Baltimore. Included in the design brief is finding a way to free the Aquarium’s dolphins from their life of performing on command.

    http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2014/05/19/140519fa_fact_waldman

    Both of these stories are too new to be available in full to non-subscribers, but the issues will be in local libraries. They’re well worth a look.

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  4. The Tri-cities, WA, apparently one of the pounds is killing a lot of dogs (and blaming “the community” of course): http://www.keprtv.com/news/local/Euthanizations-on-the-rise-258711471.html

    The article is poorly written and confusing. There is no organization called “The Benton County Animal Shelter.” They’re probably referring to the Benton County Animal Control.

    It says that “since the start of the year” (so, in a 5 month period??), 23 dogs have been put down, while 27 were adopted out. So, they only 50 dog intakes in 5 months, is that what I’m reading? (they accept only stray dogs, no owner surrenders).

    For comparison, there’s a no-kill shelter in the same city (Benton-Franklin HS) that took twice that number in one MONTH in 2012 adopted out three times as many: http://www.bfhs.com/about-us/

    Or another comparison, south of them about 45 minutes is the Pendleton, OR shelter (which contracts to take in strays also). They service a smaller, more rural city and yet manage to adopt out about 20 dogs per month, and euthanize less than one per month.

    It’s fishy.

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  5. DAWG is a foster-based rescue in a township northeast of Detroit. There’s some really nasty stuff going on there. Please check this out if you are interested/local and are inclined to share the word.

    Detroit Animal Welfare Group (DAWG)
    13 hours ago
    Did you know that the WORST CHARITY IN AMERICA per Charity navigator is right here in Shelby Twp. It is the Humane Society of Macomb who kills almost 80% of all the animals that walk in the door. Did you also know that this killing field is allowed in a residential zone (R15) but foster based rescues who are no kill and actually save all the animals are not allowed in Shelby Twp residential zoning! Please write the township and express your opinion as tax payers! BE THEIR VOICE!!

    https://www.facebook.com/DetroitAnimalWelfareGroup

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  6. But if the dog is being quarantined and turns out to not be sick, why kill him? If he’s healthy, shouldn’t he be allowed to live? That’s just plain stupid, not to mention cruel. Once he has his health certificate, he should be released to a rescue group. There’s no point of making sure someone is healthy if he’s just going to be killed. Stupid people; this just makes me sick. I wish I could adopt him.

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    1. Anne,

      I do not know the backstory on this dog or if one has even been made public. One possible scenario: If this dog had been declared dangerous by a judge and the owners ordered to keep him confined and he got out and attacked this child, the killing may have been court ordered. It’s also possible the impounding agency has a policy that all dogs who bite are killed. Many things are possible here. I just don’t know anything about the situation. If anyone has seen an article providing any background on this, please share.

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      1. Ah, a possible reason – a one-line update on TMZ:
        http://www.tmz.com/2014/05/14/cat-saves-boy-dog-attack-video/

        ‘We’re told the dog was picked up Tuesday by animal control — in an extremely aggressive state — and a decision has been made to euthanize the animal.’

        Now my question is, what’s an ‘extremely aggressive state’?

        My interest in it is because I’ve got an aggressive cat who’s *also* wigged out in terror when being handled by strangers, and the two states don’t have all that much to do with one another. Her worst aggressive episodes, she was deliberate and focused rather than fearful, and did a lot more actual damage with almost no noise. But she’s a cat, and cats are not dogs. Still, it has me wondering.

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    2. Which rescue group? Very few rescues have the resources to work with a dog like this. From what we can see, it was a completely unprovoked attack, meaning this dog likely has some serious issues. I’d like to know if the dog has ever been evaluated by a behaviorist, and I’d also like to know what the owners were doing for his aggression, if anything. It may or may not be a fixable problem, and we don’t have nearly enough information to make that determination.

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  7. If this dog is going to be killed at the end of the quarantine, why wait? They can figure out any disease problems from an autopsy.
    I think this is inhumane to have an animal sitting in a cage waiting for the inevitable. I AM sorry for this child’s injuries, seemingly unprovoked. & YAY! for this cat!

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    1. I don’t quite get that either. Normally the quarantine period is to see if the dog shows signs of rabies, so maybe the thinking is that if they do the quarantine they won’t have to do the testing? I don’t know which is more expensive or requires more paperwork.

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