Is it possible that traditional conservation science is a pathological disorder driven by an obsessive, distorted belief that the environment can be, indeed must be, restored to some idyllic, imaginary state of being at any cost – including, and perhaps preferring, the killing of anything that gets in the way?
They have big hearts, clownish grins, and wildly wagging tails, but pit bulls do pose tough challenges to the humane community. In 2018, nearly half of U.S. pit bulls were homeless.
Many people wrongfully demonize pit bulls as an inherently dangerous breed. Others overlook challenges specific to the breed in their efforts to defend people’s rights to own them. These opposing views often lead to a vitriolic debate that winds up at City Hall. Continue reading “Pit Bulls Are Not Monsters”
In 2006, New Yorker columnist and bestselling author Malcolm Gladwell used pit pulls to demonstrate the dangers of generalization.
At the time of his article, the belief that Pit Bulls are deadly, menacing animals was so accepted that it had resulted in over 700 pit bull bans in municipalities across the United States. Continue reading “Focus on the Deed, Not the Breed: Why Pit Bull Bans Can’t Solve Fatalities”
A seemingly simple solution to a problem can have traumatic, unintended consequences. Consider tethering. A tether is a rope, leash, or chain used to restrict the movement of a dog. Some people believe it controls and tames a misbehaving pet.
In 2005, the Los Angeles City Council disputed that notion by passing a tethering ban. Tethering your dog in Los Angeles can result in a $1,000 fine, six months in jail, or both! Continue reading “Ban the Tether: Why Chaining Up Dogs Should be a Crime by Ed Boks”
More than a policy and statistical objective, “no-kill” is a principle, an ethic, and once applied the practical consequences begin to fall into place. The principle is that animal shelters should apply the same criteria for deciding an animal’s fate that a loving pet guardian or conscientious veterinarian would apply. That is, healthy and treatable animals are not killed simply because of a lack of room or resources to care for them. Continue reading “Applying the No-Kill Ethic by Ed Boks”
WASHINGTON – Congressmen Vern Buchanan (R-FL) and Ted Deutch (D-FL) today introduced the “Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture (PACT) Act” to outlaw and make it easier to prosecute those involved in the gruesome killing of animals.
Disturbingly, in so-called “animal crush videos,” individuals brutally kill, mutilate and torture small and defenseless animals as a perverse form of entertainment to be shared over the internet. And while Congress passed legislation in 2010 to prohibit the creation and distribution of these horrific videos, the underlying acts themselves are still legal under federal law. Continue reading “Buchanan, Deutch Introduce Bill to Combat Depraved Forms of Killing & Torture of Animals”
Imagine a person chasing a terrified puppy across an open field. The puppy is suddenly and brutally clothes-lined by a rope thrown around her neck from behind. Her legs fly out from under her and she falls on her back with a thud. Her attacker grabs her, lifts her up off the ground and body slams her. She would cry out, but she can’t breathe. In shock, the puppy’s legs are quickly tied together so she can’t run from her tormenter; and she is dragged by the neck with the rope.
Now imagine this scene occurs not in an open field, but in an arena filled with hundreds, perhaps thousands, of cheering fans; and the puppy is not a dog, but an animal sometimes referred to as a “doggie” – a baby calf. Continue reading “Rodeo: Legalized Cruelty by Ed Boks”
In the BBC’s News From Elsewhere it is reported that Iran’s capital city has banned the public from walking pet dogs, as part of a long-standing official campaign to discourage dog-ownership.
Tehran Police Chief Hossein Rahimi said “we have received permission from the Tehran Prosecutor’s Office, and will take measures against people walking dogs in public spaces, such as parks”. Continue reading “Tehran bans dog walking in public spaces”
Imagine being responsible for the life or death of 55,000 dogs and cats every year. As the General Manager for the City of Los Angeles Animal Services Department, the desperate need of these animals weighed on my mind every day. I was determined to end pet homelessness and the practice of killing and disposing of our society’s surplus companion animals.
Today, most cities and towns across the nation share this noble and ambitious goal. Achieving this requires robust community participation, and our cities desperately need the support of an overlooked constituency−landlords. Continue reading “Business-Savvy Landlords Allow Pets: Cities Should Make it the Default”
In Judeo/Christian literature the word “sin” originates from the idea of “missing the mark”. Our understanding of missing the mark has been explained by theologians through the ages as resulting from sins of commission and sins of omission.
While pondering this idea, I wondered how the concept of sin, or “missing the mark”, might apply to our responsibility for the environment and the animals who inhabit it. It occurred to me that there are three deadly sins we commit when we fail in our responsibility for animals: cruelty, neglect, and hoarding. Continue reading “The 3 Deadly Sins: Cruelty, Neglect and Hoarding by Ed Boks”