33 thoughts on “Open Thread

  1. Big Fluffy Dogs Rescue (BFDR) in Nashville rescued almost 60 dogs from horrific conditions in, as Jean Harrison called it,”government-sponsored cruelty” in Arkansas. Now that they have removed all dogs that were there, and saved as many as possible, they are on a mission to do at least two things:

    – Find loving permanent homes for these dogs
    – Bring justice to those people responsible for these atrocities.

    They need a huge, nationwide outcry and publicity to let this be known far and wide.

    BFDR has also created a petition that needs signatures in the hopes of asking President Obama to make changes to the standards for animal care across the nation.

    Here is one of their posts about the situation:

    “Fans, as most of the world now knows, the City of Magnolia, Arkansas, has engaged in one of the worst cases of government-sponsored cruelty we have seen. The apologists are out and about fans and they are claiming that every single dog arrived in appalling condition and we should be screaming at the people who put them in the shelter instead.. This proves that people think we are stupid. When ones denies committing atrocities against animals, one would be well-served to delete the evidence.

    See Exhibit A. Patsy today and Patsy’s facebook post on April 9, 2014, the date she apparently arrived in the shelter according to their own Facebook page. Today, we removed her destroyed eye and we spayed her in her third trimester of pregnancy. Dogs have a gestation period of roughly 63 days. She’s been there 120 plus. Do the math. They put her in a kennel with unaltered dogs and left her to be torn apart.

    Patsy deserved better and she is weak, emaciated and she was let down by people who were supposed to care for her. One gentleman has posted essentially that we should be praising this shelter because had the animal control officer done what he was supposed to, the dogs would all have been shot and left to mold in a ditch somewhere. This does not make me feel better and, in fact, makes me loathe the city management that sees animals as so disposable that a bullet is an acceptable way to end an unwanted dog’s life. Government-sanctioned cruelty must always be brought to light. To do otherwise is to devalue everything this nation has always stood for and it diminishes us around the world. We are better than this.

    Keep the pressure up fans. This is unpleasant and I much prefer posting about unicorns and jackadanes and my misspent youth, but this is important and we have one chance to change things. For all dogs. You are the best fans in the world and I thank you for your support.

    Their pictures and video can be seen here: http://virtualfluffies.com/2014/08/14/the-cruelty-case-dogs-of-magnolia-arkansas/

    The petition I want you all to sign and share is here: http://chn.ge/1sZBJHi.”


    Please join BFDR, no matter where you live, in trying to bring justice to this “shelter” and others like it.

    They have a Facebook page where you can keep up with these dogs and their progress. https://www.facebook.com/bigfluffydogrescue

    They also need donations – this will cost them a lot of money to save these babies. Boarding, medical care, heart worm tests and treatment, medical care, etc.

    Please sign the petition and please alert your media to this. Let’s get a national conversation started around this. Make it go viral!

      1. Re “Patsy”, it says “we spayed her in her third trimester of pregnancy”. That means they killed her litter of unborn puppies.

      2. I see your point. While that may not have been my choice, I still support their saving the other dogs and trying to spur a dialog to create positive laws to protect animals from abuse, and abuse in municipalities in particular.

      3. Yes, that sentence made me gasp. They way they report it like it’s a good thing, made me think that maybe this mom wasn’t well enough to continue the pregnancy? But a spay is certainly as risky as a c-section…if they could have gotten her through a bit longer, surely her health would have been no worse for it?

        I have to wonder if the violent nature of the impregnation played a role in the decision-making to kill the puppies?

        I guess we’ll never know.

      4. My first thought when I saw it was that the physical condition of these dogs is SO BAD, how were her pups even ALIVE. So it wouldn’t shock me if they made the decision that her pups weren’t likely to be in a remotely decent shape (the things that lack of pre-natal nutrition can do are frankly horrifying and horrible, from improperly formed bones to improperly formed brains). I do kinda wish they’d specified why though.

      5. “Big Fluffy Dog Rescue Courtney Wilson The mother could never, ever have survived delivery. Considering she is heartworm positive (Grade 3), was already 40% below normal weight NOT counting the weight of the puppies, the odds of her successfully delivering puppies and not dying in the process were low. One of the other pregnant Moms that we pulled from there (Miranda) did not make it and her heart just quit. The odds of these puppies being viable given the starvation and disease were very low. I am sorry, but I will always choose the existing mother and fight for her survival over possible puppies every single time. Patsy has a long way to go and we are doing our best to ensure her survival which at this moment is not a given.”

      6. It’s tough when all of the alternatives are so difficult. Prayers that Patsy is going to make it. How are the others doing? I’m so very sorry that those who died spent the last days/weeks/months of their lives in the hell hole.

  2. Please, anyone who can spare a few bucks, support this rescue in the rehabilitation of these precious dogs. Big Fluffy Dog Rescue has taken on a behemoth challenge and need our help. The dogs need our help.

  3. Are there any marketing/graphic design folks out there who would be wiling to volunteer to help create a newspaper ad, please? No-Kill New Braunfels wants to pay for an ad to help us get access and photos for all the pets being killed at our local shelter. The group running the shelter does all their killing secretly….trying to change that! Please contact info@nokillnewbraunfels.com if you can help! Thanks!

    1. You can ask for “remnant ad” space which is usually last minute ad drops or blank space. It is last minute and you don’t get choice as to where your ad appears but it is cheap. The salespeople don’t like to talk about it because they want to sell ads at full price but you can get a deal sometime. I appreciate what you do.

  4. Please excuse this incredibly long comment – I’m sharing a resource for cat advocates . . .

    I just finished reading Bringing Nature Home: How Native Plants Sustain Wildlife in Our Gardens, by Douglas W. Tallamy.

    Written by an entomologist and wildlife ecologist at the University of Delaware, this book won an award from a garden writing association when it was published in 2007. A new edition came out in 2009 and the book continues to gain traction in the gardening community . . . I’ve seen several references to it just in the last few weeks on the garden blog circuit.

    The book is crystal-clear, fascinating, and very powerful – for me as a longtime gardener, it ranks in importance with Nathan Winograd’s Redemption because of its combination of history, indictment, and inspiring prescription, and because of the scope of the problem it addresses. (And interesting that it was published in the same year.)

    Tallamy explains how our native birds are in decline because the insects that constitute most of their diet cannot live on the recently introduced plants that fill up millions of acres of suburban landscape. These herbivore insects can’t adapt quickly enough to those plants, which in evolutionary terms are still too new, so they die out from starvation. Then the birds die out because there aren’t enough insects for them to eat.

    So when bird groups claim that birds are disappearing because cats are rendering them extinct, it makes no sense. The problem is us and how we have deforested the United States, removing almost all the plants that our native insects live on, and thus removing the primary food source for our birds.

    Even believing I knew something about this, I was stunned by the numbers, laid out in a devastating early chapter called “No Place to Hide”:

    “ . . . the consensus among landscape ecologists is that 3 to 5 percent of the land remains as undisturbed habitat for plants and animals. . . . In other words, we have taken and modified for our own use between 95 and 97 percent of all land in the lower 48 states. . . . As far as our wildlife is concerned, we have shrunk the continental United States to 1/20 its original size. And because our refuges and woodlots are not contiguous habitats, but survive as scattered islands from coast to coast, the effective size of undisturbed land in the United States is far smaller than those statistics indicate.”

    I should be clear that Tallamy doesn’t like cats – he references the fact that cats kill birds. But in the entire book, he devotes exactly half a sentence to that reference, grouping cat predation with killing by vehicles, birds flying into buildings (which he blames for 1 billion bird deaths a year), and birds flying into cell towers.

    And ultimately, Bringing Nature Home – like Redemption – is profoundly hopeful. The entire book is a plea for suburban homeowners to step up and plant native plants in their yards. Tallamy is optimistic about our power to make a difference at the citizen level, because he has lived this himself – creating native habitat in his own yard, watching insects return, and watching birds return with them. And he makes the whole enterprise so engaging – his deep love of insects gives him the power to tell interesting stories about them, and they are revealed as a whole universe of vital and unique life forms. Who knew that 30 percent of all animals are beetles?

    I hope cat advocates facing the absolutist, off-target claims of bird groups will take heart, and facts, from this wonderful book. And as animal lovers, almost all of us can include insects in our caring, and create homes for them in our gardens.

    To anybody who read this far, thank you!

    1. I thank *you* for letting us know about this book! I will be very glad to get several copies and pass them along to those who need some ‘education’ about things they *think* they so much about! This book sounds like it would help me get even further in fixing my yard. Native plants need a lot less care to keep going along and I am very interested in plants I can get started and then do more watching than weeding, feeding, and trimming.

    2. Thanks for the book recommendation. I will definitely look it up. My husband reaches environmental science and is always looking for things for his classes, and this looks like it would be really good.

    3. So glad there’s interest in the book! Tallamy’s work really opened my eyes to the incredible importance of insects (and, by extension, native plants).

      And that’s why this caught my eye today . . . it seems a new type of solar-power plant is killing birds who hunt insects that are attracted by the mirrored light at the plant, and there’s a massive controversy about it:


      “Federal wildlife officials said Ivanpah might act as a ‘mega-trap’ for wildlife, with the bright light of the plant attracting insects, which in turn attract insect-eating birds that fly to their death in the intensely focused light rays.”

      Interestingly, spay/neuter for cats could see some funding as a result of this problem. The company that runs the plant is offering $1.8 million in compensatory funding “for programs such as those to spay and neuter domestic cats, which a government study found kill over 1.4 billion birds a year. Opponents [the usual suspects] say that would do nothing to help the desert birds at the proposed site.”

      1. Sorry, sloppy reading . . . the $1.8 million is being offered as compensation for anticipated bird deaths at an even bigger plant currently under consideration, also to be located in California as Ivanpah is.

  5. Thrilling news out of Canon City Colorado. After a year of local advocates, No Kill Colorado and others to change management at the Humane Society of Fremont County, they have finally been forced to hire a new executive director. Although any change in this shelter could only have been for the better, the initial impression of the person they chose is surprising, and encouraging. It looks like there may be a new sheriff in town that thinks saving lives is a primary concern of a shelter. Imagine that?


    1. Thirty-three shelters participated? That’s fantastic.

      “It’s crazy,” Price said. “All I did was send an email. It warms my heart that we had so many shelters that wanted to do this. This is about saving lives.”

  6. I’m so happy that Karen posted the Dallas Morning News link about yesterday’s Empty the Shelter Day in north Texas. The article neatly sums up our movement’s talking points. First, a family who has waited two years to adopt were attracted by an effective marketing campaign and went out to adopt a dog. In fact, over 2,200 pets found homes yesterday due to great marketing. In the end, though, a shelter worker is quoted as being happy, not because the pets in his care found homes, not because his community is pleased with the campaign, but because his workload is diminished since he doesn’t “have to clean.” There’s the entire disconnect in one article. FYI – Here’s another link: http://www.nbcdfw.com/video/#!/news/local/2200–Pets-Adopted-on-Empty-The-Shelter-Day/271553351

  7. From the Not Even Trying Department, Bulloch County, GA’s weekly stats:
    Bulloch County Animal Shelter
    ▲ The shelter reported the following activity during the week of Aug 4-10:
    ▲ Surrendered by citizens — 12 dogs and 10 cats from rural county areas; one dog and one cat from City of Statesboro.
    ▲ Collected by officers — 19 dogs and eight cats from rural county areas; one dog and one cat from City of Statesboro.
    ▲ Adopted from shelter — three dogs.
    ▲ Reclaimed by owners — two dogs.
    ▲ Died at shelter — one cat.
    ▲ Euthanized — 27 dogs and 36 cat.
    ▲ Fees collected – $ 390.

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