25 thoughts on “Open Thread

  1. Does anyone know if Itchmo forums are down? I’m getting a “you’re banned from using the forum” message and cannot find any way to contact admin to ask. I know that there was talk about inactivating the forums, but they were certainly the best place to talk about pet food safety…

  2. This is not about dogs, horses, cats, pet birds, but it IS important

    Terrible things are happening again in Japan, in the tiny town of Taiji… the dolphin killing season that runs until March has begun. They surround and herd pods of wild dolphins, use boats and noisemakers to herd them into the killing cove. Trap them in the shallows, then the slaughter begins. A few are sold to aquaria/ marine parks in the middle east, japan, phillipnes and a few other countries. (NONE go to the US or UK). They are the lucky ones… the rest are brutally slaughtered… or drown in nets. The h u nters use steel rods with sharpened ends to stab I to the area behind the heads of panicked dolphins, often missing the mark (spinal column). They stab over and over… the dolphins usually bleed out slowly

    NO slaughterhouse ANYWHERE in the world would be allowed to use such inhumane practices….

    The government/fisheries claim it is a “traditional” hunt, yet it has only been in place since the 1960s. Not a tradition. The meat from the slaughtered animals is inedible due to toxic contaminants, especially n heavy metals. There is no justification for this hunt…

    Please write, email, call your elected state and federal representatives; ask them (nicely) to reqest the Japanese government end the unnecessary slaughter of wild dolphins.

    You can use this link to find your congressional representatives

    If you have family, friends, business acquaintances or other contacts in Japan, please ask them to contact the Japanese government as well. Many Japanese have no idea this is even happening… and feel free to share this info and spread the word.

    Thank you all for your patience, and time…

      1. it’s not justified for ANY reason… they’re using the ‘tradition argument to keep it going. the minister of fisheries doesn’t see a problem… he calls them ‘fish’. sigh…

      2. I agree wholeheartedly, but that’s not what I meant. I should’ve added a bit. What I meant was, even when practices actually are traditional – as this one is not – it’s not a good enough reason to protect them. By extension, it’s not sufficient to use ‘tradition’ as the sole reason to defend a practice. Thing is, actual traditions can be appalling, unethical, cruel and destructive – like any practice they need to be proven to be of greater worth, to deserve protection. It’s not enough to say, ‘we’ve always done it this way.’

        Also … fish are themselves capable of feeling pain and distress, so dismissing dolphins as ‘fish’ … well. I know what’s meant, I’m a commercial fisherman’s daughter, but that’s BS too. In fact just recently a popular book’s been published on long-term shark research which has shown them – at least some species – to be social, thinking creatures. Here’s an article on it:

  3. At least 34,973 cats and 22,909 dogs lost their lives in Michigan in 2013 at county run and private animal “shelters” who refuse to implement successful No-Kill programs which would keep these animals alive and able to be adopted. After returning some of the stray pets to their owners, state shelters killed 33.6% of the dogs and 39.4% of the cats they had a responsibility to care for and adopt into new homes. Although the shelter statistics from the Michigan Dept. of Agriculture no longer track how many of these pets are litters (six months or younger), a staggering percentage of these babies have been continuously killed over the years by shelters who don’t spend any time or resources to save them.

    On September 11, 2014, Michigan Senator Steven Bieda along with many other Michigan senators introduced Senate Resolution 0178 – No-Kill Legislation. Their resolution encourages Michigan animal shelters and pounds to adopt a “No-Kill” philosophy in dealing with homeless pets.


    1. Knowing those yahoos (I also live in Michigan) we will need to push them to get something passed. At least there are more who realize we don’t have to kill so many pets. Wish their resolution did more than “encourage” though.

  4. Bulloch County, GA Statistics:

    Bulloch County Animal Shelter
    ▲ The shelter reported the following activity during the week of Sept. 1-7:
    ▲ Surrendered by citizens — six dogs and six cats from rural county areas; one dog from City of Statesboro.
    ▲ Collected by officers — eight dogs and nine cats from rural county areas; six dogs from City of Statesboro.
    ▲ Adopted from shelter — nine dogs and four cats.
    ▲ Reclaimed by owners — two dogs.
    ▲ Died at shelter — three dogs and three cats.
    ▲ Euthanized — eight dogs and 27 cats.
    ▲ Fees collected — $770

    1. I like to give them names. The females are named Lola The Patio Anole, the males are called God’s Gift to Female Lizards. We have lots of baby anoles inhabiting the container garden. Then there is Paddy O’Possum, who is self-explanatory.

      1. The breeder I got my Tibetan Mastiff from lives in VA, when she gets alot of rain, causing the ground to stay wet for an extended period she gets crayfish moving into her yard yup. She says the dogs think they’re crunchy lol.

  5. There is a rescue organization for dogs that I am extremely fond of. The reason is that not only does this organization rescue dogs from shelters and deserts but then they rehab those dogs that were for all intents purposes and adopt them out. The dogs that they have are used for therapy, reading programs, recovery programs. It is life altering for both the dogs and the people they interact with. I have great respect for this man. Let me introduce you to Zack Scow;

  6. Anyone interested in birds? Cornell University will be streaming a seminar, Reflections on the Tragic Centenary of the Last Passenger Pigeon, on Monday, September 15, 7:30 – 9:00 PM ET.

    The Passenger Pigeon was once the most abundant bird species before humans caused the bird to become extinct. The very last Passenger Pigeon, named Martha, died in the Cincinnati Zoo in September 1914.


  7. Another book recommendation from me — I just read it and have to share, especially given Adrianne and Eucritta’s exchange about dolphins and sharks:

    Deep: Freediving, Renegade Science, and What the Ocean Tells Us about Ourselves
    James Nestor


    Published this summer, “Deep” has amazing, very moving sections about whales and dolphins and how they communicate, and the author’s direct contact with them. Nestor also writes about our own profound connection — both spiritual and literal — with the animals of the ocean. From an Amazon reviewer:

    “Humans activate something called the mammalian dive reflex when we enter the water and our bodies physiologically prepare for submersed deprivation by pooling blood closer to organs. At depth, our lungs can be squeezed down to the size of baseballs without damage. As we go deeper we pare away at the modern layers of evolution exposing our aquatic ancestry, and Nestor sidebars on echolocation and magnetoreception in humans, and the useful side of freediving, as opposed to the numbers racket of the competitive divers who close their eyes and deliberately shut out the marine environment, lest their visual processing power waste precious oxygen.

    “Some oceanographic researchers are getting much closer to cetaceans and sharks without any equipment and hypothesize strange and beautiful spatiodimensional languages that can also see inside their prey, or echo-stun it. Dolphins might be holding two simultaneous ‘conversations,’ it’s all so new and we just don’t know.

    “Nestor does it all, venturing forth in a homemade submarine to -2500 feet. His body is vibrated by the clicks of sperm whales that are judging his character, intentions, and possible tastiness. He interviews researchers who have discovered the largest cells on the planet, amoebas that are four inches across yet consist of a single cell. And the book is wonderfully organized, each chapter a new depth. The science is pioneering and only a few people are engaged in it. Life on earth probably originated around hydrothermal vents, so studying the primordial ooze is not just exotic and superfluous, but necessary and fascinating.”

    Be advised that early on, “Deep” has a single page recounting horrific experiments that were done on animals to explore water-related questions. In the hardback edition, the page is 28. The experiments are also described in a footnote to page 28. If you get someone to post-it-note the page, make sure they also post-it-note the footnote. It will be harder to avoid this short but awful section in the Kindle edition, so be warned.

    To see the kind of diving that returns the human animal to a much earlier epoch in the life of the planet, you can watch this video of Guillaume Nery, who is mentioned in the book, doing a single-breath dive in the Bahamas several years ago:

  8. “Tracie, the daughter of A. E. Hotchner, who founded Newman’s Own Inc. with his friend and neighbor, actor Paul Newman, added: ‘I knew she made sure to leave very clear provisions for all of them; it struck me that in our world today, dogs have become accepted as such essential family members that providing for them well in life, and after death, is considered quite normal, whereas not that many years ago it would have been considered eccentric to mention children, grandchildren and dogs in the same context.

    ” ‘She loved her [rescue] dogs dearly, and they meant so much to her because with her hectic lifestyle of travel and performances, her pooches were her touchstone to normalcy and genuine affection – just as they are for the rest of us!’ ”


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