tales from straydom . . . . . . tips, stories and resources for pets

When rescue turns to search for Faith…

We received this message from Kalena’s husband this morning and so we turn our energies from rescuing Faith back into the family she saved to finding her a home outside the utterly unfathomable idiocy of Ontario’s BSL. Perhaps by saving this woman’s life, Faith was actually saving her own. Having even the appearance of what people identify as being Pit Bull could be the eventual scarlet letter of death for her in Ontario.

Here’s the message we received from Kalena’s husband:

“I am the husband who found my wife outside with Faith the dog standing over her. It was truly an amazing sight. Now this dog needs your help. Brant SPCA has renamed her Casidy. She needs a home outside of Ontario. Kalena and I would like to thank the 100s of emails we have received. But Kalena and I agree it’s not about us, it’s about saving this wonderful dog, Faith.”

We are now seeking foster care and a forever home for Faith (aka Casidy at the shelter). She has done her part to show what an incredible character she has; to show her true moral fiber; and to show the values we used to admire in Pit Bulls from years past.

Remember that bystanders just stood and watched whereas this young dog risked her life for a stranger she had never met!

Please, if you have room in your home and your heart for this baby or if you are interested in fostering (outside Ontario), contact the Brantford SPCA in Brantford, Ontario:

539 Mohawk Street

P.O. Box 163

Brantford, ON

N3T 5M8

Telephone: 519.756.6620


Robin Kuchma, Branch Manager

Adoption Inquiries

Adoption info & applications

Transportation from Ontario to Calgary and points along that route may be possible in a couple weeks via a kind soul’s offer.

Though we are not out of the woods yet, I would like to extend heartfelt kudos to Kalena and her family. Had she not said a word about this event, this canine heroine would likely have been quietly killed because of her parentage of which no one knows for sure, at least not that anyone will admit. Last I knew, the people she came from have not stepped up in her defense.

Please take the time to educate yourself about the true evil of BSL and do not ever assume your dog will be immune. Do an internet search for the results of studies from communities around the world that are repealing their BSL legislation because it has not worked, is costly and causes such needless emotional distress to families… among other tested reasons. Regardless of breed, the list seems to grow each year.

When I changed my homeowner’s insurance this year, I was asked if any of my dogs were on their list of troublesome breeds. It was a lengthy and surprising list.

Take a look at your dog and imagine what it would feel like if suddenly you were required to surrender him/her to be killed. Then support anti-BSL in your province and beyond.

Ciao, Holly

ps… the photo on this page is NOT Faith. I have requested one from the SPCA but have not received it yet.

Keeping Faith

If you were in a life-or-death situation and someone came to your rescue, would you turn them away because of how they looked? Or would you be grateful for the kindness of a stranger to risk their life to save yours? And what if you could help them in return? Maybe your lives were meant to collide.

Saturday, July 23 at around 11pm, I was crossing the street on my way home from Tim Horton’s. I have a rare heart condition which branches off other medical issues. I was three houses away from my home when, according to bystanders who watched in amazement (but never helped me), I passed out on the road. This street is very busy.

Bystanders say a dog appeared almost out of nowhere and stood over me barking at cars as they honked their horns and drove around this dog.

My husband, wondering what the commotion outside was all about, came outside to see a Pit Bull cross standing over me risking her own life to save me. He lifted me into the house giving me my medication and I was fine. The pup followed. She stayed by my side for 3 hours getting alone fine with my other two dogs and when she went to walk past my 7 pound cat, he swapped at her. She ran in the corner with her tail between her legs. The dog was horrified of my cat.

Due to the Breed Specific Legislation that Ontario ridiculously clings to, this 10-month old heroine is not allowed in the town, much less the province… even though she is essentially a mutt, a Pit Bull mix. I wonder why she is not called a Lab mixed with Pit Bull. Seems as legitimate a claim as labeling her a “Pit Bull mix.”

But she is also a whole lot more. Faith, as Kalena started calling her, is little more than a puppy yet had the wherewithal to recognize that Kalena was in distress and needed help. Bystanders saw her fall, yet they did not leave the sidewalk. However, this dog not only left the sidewalk, but stood over her barking at the cars coming down the street!

Facing a minimum $5000 fine and a minimum of 30 days in jail because Pit Bull cross’s are illegal in Brantford and Ontario unless they were born before 2007, my husband called the emergency line to the SPCA who told him they don’t deal with strays at night; to call the police.

I wanted to keep her so bad as she cuddled with me on our couch. I named her Faith.

A really nice Brantford police officer came out. At first, he was leery of her but then she jumped up on him and licked his face. He was so gentle with her and talking to her as he put her in the car. I cried as he left with my Hero who saved my life and risked her own.

I believe the powers that be can create an exception to the rule regarding BSL and I believe this dog has shown that she deserves to be that exception.

I ask everyone reading this to email the Brantford SPCA and the Mayor of Brantford and ask them to pardon Faith. And let her go home to Kalena and her family. I also ask everyone to please share this story with all your friends and family and ask them to email the Brantford SPCA and the Mayor.

Brant County SPCA

539 Mohawk Street

P.O. Box 163

Brantford, ON

N3T 5M8

Telephone: 519.756.6620

Fax: 519. 756.6910

Email Robin Kuchma,

Branch Manager

Brantford Mayor

Mayor Chris Friel

100 Wellington Square,

P.O. Box 818,

Brantford, ON

N3T 5R7

Telephone: 519 759-4150

Fax: 519 751-7109

Email Mayor Chris Friel

Local Media – ask them to write a story about Faith

The Expositor Brant News


I am doing everything I can because I want my baby back. She saved my life and is my Hero. It was Love at First Sight. If not for her, the cars would have not seen me at night and I would not be typing this (in tears). The SPCA changed her name to Casidy and she is only allowed to be adopted out of Ontario. If not she will be….. I can’t even type it.

All I know is Faith, as I still call her, is a Hero and to her I owe my life. I am trying to get the Brantford government to make a exception for her because she saved my life. If anyone you know lives outside Ontario and can temporarily take her until I have gone through all this red tape, please contact me through here or at our new email: Saving-Faith@hotmail.com

PLEASE HELP ME SAVE FAITH! I will pay any cost involved with traveling and getting her out of the SPCA, as well as her expenses for food, etc. I just need about a month. PLEASE HELP US!

Together, we can save this dog. And together, perhaps we can get her placed with the woman whose life she saved. Please step up and be a voice for Faith.

Ciao, Holly

ps… the photo at the top of the page is NOT Faith. I have requested one from the SPCA but have not received it yet.

And let me close with at least 12 reasons to oppose BSL or BDL (Breed-Discrimination Legislation).

Why shelters kill animals in their care

mia DF shelterDog 615 Why shelters kill animals in their care

This list shows reasons why an animal may be killed in one of our kill shelters. In my opinion, it is simply a list of excuses for the purpose of either easing someone’s guilt about needlessly taking a life or granting them a pardon for their laziness in finding homes for the homeless in their care. I say this because my pets are wonderful individuals, but some would die in a shelter based on this list of “reasons” even based on interviewing them at home on their own turf. Now add the shelter environment which hardly seems like a warm and friendly place…

I can’t see why killing animals based on this list is necessary. Did anyone think to ask them if they wanted to die? I have seen animals more dead than alive choose to fight the fight for life… and win. But that’s a whole other post.

How do your pets stand up to this test?

  1. Aggressive towards humans
  2. Behavioural
  3. Blind
  4. Cat flu
  5. Compulsive, obsessive, stereotypic behaviour
  6. Congenital defects
  7. Contagious (quite vague)
  8. Critical distress
  9. Deaf
  10. Declared dangerous
  11. Dental disease
  12. Dominance aggression
  13. Dominant behaviour
  14. Ear mites
  15. Escape behaviour
  16. Excessive vocalization
  17. Failed BA (behaviour assessment)
  18. Fearful/aggressive
  19. Feline leukemia
  20. Feral
  21. FIV positive
  22. Guarding behaviour
  23. Hair loss-demodex
  24. Hair loss-non specific
  25. Hair loss-ring worm
  26. Head trauma
  27. Heartworm positive
  28. Humane grounds
  29. Hyper reactivity to stimuli
  30. Hyperactive
  31. Idiopathic aggression
  32. Injured
  33. Kennel cough
  34. Kennel crazy
  35. Lack of pigmentation (albino)
  36. Litter box aversion
  37. Neurological problems
  38. Old
  39. Orthopedic problems
  40. Owner request
  41. Parvo
  42. Parvo contact
  43. Poor condition
  44. Seizures
  45. Separation anxiety
  46. Sick
  47. Spraying stress
  48. Tick paralysis
  49. Timid/fearful with accompanying anxiety
  50. Too many cats (space)
  51. Too many dogs (space)
  52. Too young
  53. Trauma
  54. Unsocial
  55. Wolf hybrid
  56. And of course, in some areas, just because of BSL (Breed Specific Legislation: the dog “looks” kind of like a Pit Bull or other legislated breed)

I myself fail this test on many points. Please don’t take me to a shelter when I get even older than I am.

Can you help us return a stolen dog?


miss329250 300x225 Can you help us return a stolen dog?In May 2010, Missy was stolen from her owner’s car in Tucson when they stopped at a gas station to ask for directions. In the more than a year that has past, her owner, Amber, has not stopped looking for her — regularly checking with the shelter, placing ads on Craigslist, etc.

Even after she returned to Nebraska, Amber kept looking for Missy.

Now there has been a break. Missy has been found. She is in the Pima Animal Care Center in Tucson, Arizona. Above is a photo of her as she looks now.

Time is of the essence. We are asking for everyone’s help. Is there a rescue or a kind soul who will step forward and pull Missy from the shelter?

Contact Amber at 402-601-7086 or via Facebook. Or comment on this post.

UPDATE: Amber and a friend are driving to Tucson to pick up Missy. We will update you as details become available. I wish them a safe journey and a happy reunion.

miss doll2 300x223 Can you help us return a stolen dog?

Got Room? …for a street dog?


boomer3 225x300 Got Room? ...for a street dog?About eight weeks ago, Boomer was spotted walking down the street near North Main and I-45 in north Houston following a man who appeared homeless. A very pregnant woman just a couple weeks shy of giving birth stopped and asked the man about the dog. The man said he was taking Boomer to a friend who had a room to see if the friend could keep Boomer. The next day, the man appeared again with Boomer in tow. His friend was unable to keep Boomer and neither was he. He asked Marcia to please find him a good home.

Boomer got into her car and off he went to start his new life. His first stop was the vet’s office to get checked out. He had an infection, so the doctor prescribed a round of antibiotics for him. Once he completed his round of meds, he was scheduled to be neutered. Then back to the kind lady’s house to recoup.

The lady has given birth and with a new baby and the space limitations of a townhouse, she and her husband are now looking for a forever home for Boomer. He is a handsome young man about a year old. He still has lots of puppy energy and seems to have had little training. He is a bit rambunctious, but he listens.

He loves people and seems to get along well with other dogs. He hasn’t had any formal training — except he knows “sit,” so his manners are a bit rough, but he wants to please and is quick to learn.

If you have a fenced yard, time to train and some room in your heart for this guy, please call Lucy at 713-302-2433. She can tell you more about him. And please share his story.

Click images to see larger version

What to do when Animal Control comes knocking

windowCats 300x207 What to do when Animal Control comes knocking
by George J. Eigenhauser Jr.
(an attorney at law licensed in the State of California since 1979 and practices in the areas of civil litigation and estate planning)

What Every Pet Owner Needs to Know

Pet owners and ethical breeders are increasingly being targeted. Disgruntled neighbors may retaliate against pet owners and many other reasons drive complaints, and anti-pet enforcement action, which many times may be conducted illegally. The following text outlines methods of inquiry and enforcement which may be used by local officials in attempts to enforce ordinances in your community and suggested techniques of response. These techniques are entirely legal and based upon the rights of citizens as stated by the U.S. Constitution. No one wants to have Animal Control come knocking on the door…but if they do, it will help if you know what your options are.
Remember, Animal Control is law enforcement. They are bound by the same Constitution as any other government agency. To protect yourself, you need to know your rights. These vary slightly one jurisdiction to another, but some general principles apply. One rule applies everywhere: never physically resist an officer.

When Animal Control is At Your Door:

1. Do not let them in, no matter how much they ask. Animal Control generally cannot enter your home without a warrant, or your permission. While regular police can enter in emergency situations when human life is at risk (i.e. they hear gunshots and a scream inside), there are few, if any, situations in which Animal Control can enter your home without a warrant. Simply tell them they may not come in.

2. If you let them in, anything they find in “plain sight” can be used against you. In some circumstances Animal Control officers, unable to find a legitimate reason to make an arrest, have reported building or zoning violations. This may include caging you attached to a wall without a building permit, that extra outlet in the puppy room, having more pets than allowed by zoning, even extension cords in violation of fire codes! No matter how clean your kennel, if they want to find a violation, they will.

3. Do not talk to them from an open doorway. Step outside an close (and lock if possible) the door behind you. This is necessary because:

  • Anything they see through the open door is “plain sight” and may be the basis for an arrest, or probable cause for a search warrant.
  • If they make an arrest or even feel threatened they are usually permitted to search for weapons in your immediate area. Do you keep a baseball bat inside the door for your protection? Even if you don’t, once they step inside to look, they are in your home and may continue to search.
  • It is hard not to be intimidated by someone in authority. Some animal control is even done by local police, who carry guns. It is easy for them to get “in your face”, causing you to back up into the home. Once you go in, it will be interpreted as an invitation to follow.

4. If they claim to have a warrant, demand to see it. In general, a search warrant must be signed by a judge. A warrant to search your home for pets does not include an inventory of your jewelry box. A warrant to search your kennel in the garage or in the barn does not include a search of your home.

5. In some locations, pet owners may have obtained special “breeder permits” that stipulate that Animal Control has your permission to enter at any time. If you have signed such a permit they still cannot enter against your wishes, since you can revoke the permission at any time. However, if you refuse permission it may allow them to cancel your breeder permit, so you have to weigh the consequences.

6. Warning – anyone in lawful possession of the premises may be able to give permission for a search. Make sure your roommate, babysitter, pet-sitter, housekeeper and other know that they should not let animal control into your home or on your property (i.e.backyard, garage, etc.).

How to Handle Questions:

1. Don’t answer any questions beyond identifying yourself for the officer. Anything you say to the officer in your defense cannot be used in court (hearsay). Anything you say that is harmful to you will be used in court (confessions are not considered hearsay). You cannot win, except by remaining silent.

2. Be polite but firm. Do not argue, bad-mouth, curse, threaten or try to intimidate the officer.

3. Do not lie to an officer, ever. However, it is NOT a lie to exercise your right to remain silent.

4. Keep your hands in plain sight. People have been shot by police when common objects, such as a wallet, were mistaken for a gun.

5. Do not touch the officer in any way. Do not physically resist an officer, no matter how unlawful his or her actions.

6. Don’t try to tell your side of the story, it cannot help.

7. Do not threaten the officer that you plan to file a complaint for their actions.

8. If the questioning persists, demand to speak to a lawyer first. Repeat as necessary.

Gathering the Facts:

1. Get the name and badge number of each officer involved. If he/she does not volunteer this information, ask.

2. Ask the name of the agency they represent. Different agencies have different enforcement responsibilities.

3. Ask why they are there. Request the factual basis of the complaint and the identity of the complainant.

4. If they have other people with them (Humane Society, press, etc.) get the names and organizations for all present.

5. Note the names (and addresses) of any witnesses to the encounter.

6. If you are physically injured by an officer, you should take photographs of the injuries immediately, but do not forego proper medical treatment first.

7. Write down all of the information, as well as the date and time of the incident immediately, while details are fresh in your mind.

8. If you rights are violated, file a complaint with the appropriate body.

If You Are Arrested:

1. Remain silent. Answer no questions until you have consulted with a lawyer.

2. Don’t “explain” anything. You will have time for explanations after you have talked to a lawyer

3. Within a reasonable time they must allow you to make a phone call to get a lawyer or arrange bail. They are not allowed to listen to your phone call to your attorney, but they may “monitor” the rooms for “your protection”. Do not say anything you do not want them to overhear; save that until after you are out on bail.

Telephone Inquiries or Threats:

You may receive telephone inquiries concerning the number of pets you own and whether any dogs or kittens are for sale. Other questions may also be asked. Your response should be to inquire “Are you interested in a puppy?”. If the answer is “yes”, ask that person for his/her name, address and phone number. Suggest that you or a responsible breeder will contact that person at a more convenient time for you. If the answer is friendly and genuinely inquisitive, invite the person to look at your puppies. If the question asked is “What is the price of each puppy?”, simply say that puppies of this type are being sold for between “X” and “Y” dollars. Never say that you are selling them. If the question asked is “Are these your puppies?”, you should ask, “Why do you want to know?”. If you conversation indicates that the person is representing the county clerk’s office or allegedly representing an official body, ask the caller for: -Full name, title and phone number -Agency’s full name and full address -Their supervisor’s full name and phone number -Nature of the inquiry (what it is about) -Why the inquiry is being made -How your name and phone number were obtained -Ask that all future questions from that agency be submitted in writing

Preventative Measures:

1. Always keep you kennel clean and take good care of your animals.

2. Consider a P.O. Box or other address for business cards and advertisements. Keep descriptions of your location general ( i.e. Southern California , rather than the name of the city where you live). The internet can provide anonymity for initial contacts. You can even buy a “remote prefix” to get a number from a nearby community forwarded to your phone or to a voice mail. Avoid local newspaper classifieds, they are often monitored.

3. Screen any potential pet buyers carefully.
Always be alert that they may be Animal Control or even Animal Rights working under cover.

4. Don’t allow strangers into your home until you have screened them.

5. Be fair and honest in all of your dealings, and be on good terms with your neighbors. Most animal control contacts are complaint-driven. Some complaints may arise as harassment by people with unrelated grievances against you. It may be a disgruntled pet buyer or a cranky neighbor who doesn’t like you parking in front of his house.

6. Anything about you that can be observed in “plain sight” from the street or sidewalk can become probably cause for a warrant. Even areas on your property open to visitors can be dangerous. Be aware of which areas of your home are visible from the outside and plan accordingly.

7. If you are confronted by Animal Control and turn them away, assume they will be back. Use the time available to make sure everything is clean and presentable. If you are over the limit on the number of pets, find friends who can provide temporary shelter for your dogs. Whatever you do, stay calm and keep your wits about you. Just say “no”, no matter what threats or promises of leniency they make. When in doubt, say nothing and speak to a lawyer afterwards.

Why shelters might kill an animal

mia DF shelterDog 615 Why shelters might kill an animal

This is a partial list that is being circulated around showing reasons why an animal may be killed in one of our kill shelters. In my opinion, it is simply a list of excuses for the purpose of either easing someone’s guilt about needlessly taking a life or granting them a pardon for their laziness. I say this because most of my pets would be dead based on this list and that would be based on interviewing them at home on their own turf. Now add the shelter environment which hardly seems like a warm and friendly place…

I can’t see why killing animals based on this list is necessary. Did anyone think to ask them if they wanted to die? I have seen animals more dead than alive choose to fight the fight for life… and win. But that’s a whole other post.

How do your pets stand up to this test?

[column size="1-2"]

  • Aggressive towards humans
  • Behavioural
  • Blind
  • Cat flu
  • Compulsive, obsessive, stereotypic behaviour
  • Congenital defects
  • Contagious (quite vague)
  • Critical distress
  • Deaf
  • Declared dangerous
  • Dental disease
  • Dominance aggression
  • Dominant behaviour
  • Ear mites
  • Escape behaviour
  • Excessive vocalization
  • Failed BA (behaviour assessment)
  • Fearful/aggressive
  • Feline leukemia
  • Feral
  • FIV positive
  • Guarding behaviour
  • Hair loss-demodex
  • Hair loss-non specific
  • Hair loss-ring worm
  • Head trauma
  • Heartworm positive
  • Humane grounds
  • Hyper reactivity to stimuli
  • Hyperactive

[/column] [column size="1-2" last="1"]

  • Idiopathic aggression
  • Injured
  • Kennel cough
  • Kennel crazy
  • Lack of pigmentation (albino)
  • Litter box aversion
  • Neurological problems
  • Old
  • Orthopedic problems
  • Owner request
  • Parvo
  • Parvo contact
  • Poor condition
  • Seizures
  • Separation anxiety
  • Sick
  • Spraying stress
  • Tick paralysis
  • Timid/fearful with accompanying anxiety
  • Too many cats (space)
  • Too many dogs (space)
  • Too young
  • Trauma
  • Unsocial
  • Wolf hybrid
  • And of course, in some areas, just because of BSL (Breed Specific Legislation: the dog “looks” kind of like a Pit Bull or other legislated breed)
  • [divider]

    I myself fail this test on many points. Please don’t take me to a shelter when I get even older than I am.

End of Days


Poem by Marge Piercy

Almost always with cats, the end
comes creeping over the two of you —
she stops eating, his back legs
no longer support him, she leans
to your hand and purrs but cannot
rise — sometimes a whimper of pain
although they are stoic. They see
death clearly though hooded eyes.

Then there is the long weepy
trip to the vet, the carrier no
longer necessary, the last time
in your lap. The injection is quick.
Simply they stop breathing
in your arms. You bring them
home to bury in the flower garden,
planting a bush over a deep grave.

That is how I would like to cease,
held in a lover’s arms and quickly
fading to black like an old-fashioned
movie embrace. I hate the white
silent scream of hospitals, the whine
of pain like air-conditioning’s hum.
I want to click the off switch.
And if I can no longer choose

I want someone who loves me
there, not a doctor with forty patients
and his morality to keep me sort
of, kind of alive or sort of undead.
Why are we more rational and kinder
to our pets than to ourselves or our
parents? Death is not the worst
thing; denying it can be.

“End of Days” by Marge Piercy,
from The Hunger Moon: New and Selected Poems, 1980 – 2010.

Will you vigil for the sled dogs on April 23rd?

Wiggles Phlinki pan Will you vigil for the sled dogs on April 23rd?About this time a year ago, someone was sitting in the office of their business and looking over the financials. The expected boom from the recent Olympics had not worked out as expected, so changes had to be made. The easiest and quickest change would be to reduce the number of dogs this sled dog touring company had in its inventory. So he decided: 100 dogs needed to be killed.

And word was sent to the man who lives among them — the dogs’ very lifeline. It would be the job of their caretaker — the man who fed them, attended to them; the man who named them, and even kept one of them as his family dog — to kill them.

Reports that I have read say that he tried to find homes for as many as he could. And he was largely unsuccessful. The BC SPCA reportedly turned him down saying that sled dogs are unadoptable. This is not true.

But what I read that has stuck with me the most was the report released from Work Safe BC:

suzie 300x200 Will you vigil for the sled dogs on April 23rd?“As a result of the panic, mid-way through April 21st, he wounded but did not kill one dog, “Suzie”. Suzie was the mother of his family’s pet dog “Bumble”. He had to chase Suzie through the yard because the horrific noise she made when wounded caused him to drop the leash. Although she had the left side of her cheek blown off and her eye hanging out, he was unable to catch her. He then obtained a gun with a scope and used it to shoot her when she settled down close to another group of dogs. When he went to gather her body he was attacked by one of the other dogs and bitten in the arm. Although because he had a thick shirt on he was not injured, the moment was horrific given his fear when attacked combined with his feelings about the culling of the dogs.”

“On April 21 ,2010, he put down approximately 55 dogs. As he neared the end of the cull that day, the dogs were so panicked they were biting him; he had to wrap his arms in foam to prevent injury. He also had to perform what he described as “execution style” killings where he wrestled the dogs to the ground and stood on them with one foot to shoot them. The last few kills were “multiple-shot killings” as he was simply unable to get a clean shot. He described a guttural sound he had never heard before from the dogs and fear in their eyes.”

I do not doubt that this man has PTSD. I would be forever haunted. I want to scream at the computer that he could have done more and should have done more. But I have not walked in his shoes to fully understand.

Instead I feel that on some level, in some parallel universe, or sadly in THIS universe, we ALL failed these dogs. We failed to realize the nature of this industry to periodically cull their dogs for business’ sake. We have failed to pull together as a society to be open and responding to their needs, we failed to help these babies..

kyber 199x300 Will you vigil for the sled dogs on April 23rd?Most rescues and shelters are full… and likely responded as such if/when they were approached by Outdoor Adventures Whistler. Would/could they have responded differently if they had realized the very real urgency here?

As we finally start to really embrace a more humane lifestyle for our animals — pets, farm animals and wildlife, we must make ourselves available to the situations we encounter and respond appropriately. Both the situations that we know of and those that will arise. We need to improve our animal welfare legislation. We need to stop animals from being categorized as mere property and respect their sentience. We need to create a more effective countrywide network of rescues and shelters so that people in trouble can more easily tap into this community of caregivers when they need help. We need to do it for the animals.

On April 23, 2010, the last of the dogs were killed. And not in a pretty or humane way. They died terrified.

On April 23, 2011 in many communities across the globe, people will be marching or gathering in vigil to the victims who were given no say about their very own lives, the ONE thing that truly is our own. It’s not too late to organize your own vigil — whether it is a march, a gathering in a park or even inviting your friends to join you in your backyard. In remembrance of these dogs, we MUST enact better legislation for the welfare of our animals. And we must enact stiffer penalties for animal abuse/cruelty.

And remember: Get out and vote. Reading a blog or carrying signs for the news cameras won’t change the world. Voting can.

More photos of Outdoor Adventure Whistler sled dogs | Thanks to Amie Wills for posting their photos

glacier Will you vigil for the sled dogs on April 23rd?

Texas HB 3450 Saves Lives!


HB 3450 would mandate practices that have ended killing across the country!

noKillHouston logo Texas HB 3450 Saves Lives!Houston shelters kill roughly 80,000 animals a year. San Antonio, Dallas, and other shelters kill tens of thousands as well. But that number will soon plummet if legislation introduced into the Texas Legislature becomes law. The Texas Companion Animal Protection Act (CAPA), H.B. 3450 introduced by Representative Jessica Farrar, would require shelters to follow practices that allowed communities like Austin, Texas to save 92% of all dogs and cats last month.

Similar laws have been passed elsewhere including California, where it was passed with overwhelming bipartisan support (96 to 12) and signed into law by the then-state’s Republican governor. In Delaware, it passed both houses of the legislature unanimously. And parts of it are in place in Austin, Texas, where the City Council voted 7-0 in favor.

CAPA mandates policies and procedures which not only helped Austin end the killing of savable animals, but that have created No Kill communities nationwide including Reno, Nevada, Shelby County, Kentucky, Marquette, Michigan, Tompkins County, New York, and elsewhere.

If passed, CAPA would:

  1. abolish the gas chamber;
  2. abolish “heart sticks” as a method of “euthanasia” except under certain specific
  3. ban “convenience killing” (killing when there are empty cages);
  4. mandate collaboration by requiring shelters to work with non-profit rescue
    organizations to maximize lifesaving;
  5. mandate transparency by requiring shelters to report how many animals they kill;.
  6. ban the killing of animals based on arbitrary criteria such as breed, age or color;
  7. prohibit selling shelter animals to research labs;

windowCats Texas HB 3450 Saves Lives!And more……

Texas CAPA is based on model legislation written by the No Kill Advocacy Center.

If history is any guide, CAPA will face opposition from shelters who do not want to be regulated, and the large, national organizations which defend those shelters.

We need your help to pass this law. Texas CAPA was recently sent to the Public Health committee for consideration. The members of the Public Health committee need to know that you support this bill.

Please telephone, send a letter, e-mail each committee member to express your support for the H.B. 3450 aka the Companion Animal Protection Act.

We have created a sample letter for you to use.  Please personalize your letters before mailing or faxing.

Click here for contact information for Public Health committee members.

If you can’t send a letter, please sign our petition. When you sign the petition, it will send an email to each committee member.  There is a space to write your own comments.  Please do personalize your email.

Please also contact committee members through their Facebook and Twitter pages asking them to support this bill. Click here for links.

Talking points FOR HB 3450

CAPA saves the lives of animals
A 2010 statewide survey of rescue groups in New York State found that 71% of non-profit animal welfare groups have had at least one NYS shelter refuse to work collaboratively and then turn around and kill the very animals they were willing to save.  This is also happening in shelters across Texas.  This is inhumane and bad policy.  CAPA would make it illegal for a shelter to kill an animal when a qualified non-profit organization, that specializes in adoptions, is willing to save that animal. This maximizes the number of animals who are saved, while reducing the numbers killed.

CAPA saves taxpayers money from having to care for, kill, and dispose of animals
CAPA is modeled after a similar law which has been in effect in California since 1998. An analysis of that law found that sending animals to non-profit animal rescue organizations saved the City and County of San Francisco $486,480 in publicly funded animal control costs. CAPA saves taxpayer money by mandating public-private partnerships that not only reduce expenses associated with having to care for, then kill and dispose of an animal, but which transfers expenses from taxpayers to private philanthropy.

CAPA improves the emotional well-being of shelter staff
Studies show that staff members responsible for killing animals in shelters are vulnerable to emotional trauma, exhaustion, and burnout. CAPA would spare staff from killing animals when those animals have readily available lifesaving options.

CAPA protects public health and safety
CAPA specifically excludes dangerous dogs and animals who are irremediably suffering from untreatable diseases or injuries.  It also requires shelter to implement best practices that reduce disease, ensure animals are medically screened, thus protecting both employee and public welfare.

CAPA puts Texas on par with the most progressive states in the country
CAPA is based on a similar law in California which was passed in 1998 with overwhelming bipartisan support—96 to 12. It made no sense to California legislators that taxpayers were spending money on killing animals when non-profit organizations were willing to spend their own money to save them.  Legislators also found that public shelters that killed animals, when those animals have a place to go, did not reflect the humane values of their constituents. In addition, the State of Delaware recently passed similar legislation unanimously. And New York State is considering a similar law this year.

reprinted from Bett Sundermeyer’s email

Bett Sundermeyer, President
No Kill Houston


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