Chains of Love or Abuse? by Ed Boks

It’s interesting how a seemingly simple solution to a perceived problem can have traumatic unintended consequences. Consider tethering. A tether is a rope, leash, or chain used to restrict the movement of a dog.

On August 3, 2005, the LA City Council passed a tethering ban in Los Angeles.  Since that date, tethering your dog in Los Angeles can result in a $1,000 fine, six months in jail, or both! Continue reading “Chains of Love or Abuse? by Ed Boks”

Applying the No-Kill Ethic 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”

Buchanan, Deutch Introduce Bill to Combat Depraved Forms of Killing & Torture of Animals

Vern Buchanan (R – FL)

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.

Illustration by Grace Wilson

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”

Rodeo: Legalized Cruelty by Ed Boks

Rodeo: Legalized Cruelty

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”

Tehran bans dog walking in public spaces

One man and his dog (Photo by KAVEH KAZEMI/GETTY IMAGES)

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”

Business-Savvy Landlords Allow Pets: Cities Should Make it the Default

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 constituencylandlords. Continue reading “Business-Savvy Landlords Allow Pets: Cities Should Make it the Default”

The 3 Deadly Sins: Cruelty, Neglect and Hoarding by Ed Boks

How to deal with sin.

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”

Think Globally, Give Locally by Ed Boks

Imagine how you would feel if your boss told you he was so happy with your work performance that he decided to give a bonus to your coworker.  I suspect you would be dumbfounded.  Yet, in my line of work, it is not uncommon to hear, “I really love the work my local humane society does – so I sent a donation to the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) or to the ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) to help support you.”

One of the greatest misunderstandings in most communities and biggest challenge animal welfare organizations face is the belief most people have that HSUS and the ASPCA are affiliated with local animal welfare organizations. Continue reading “Think Globally, Give Locally by Ed Boks”

FIV-positive cats can live long, healthy lives by Ed Boks

Ed’s 15 year old FIV cat, Oliver

In the quest to achieve No-Kill (which I define as applying the same criteria a loving pet guardian or conscientious veterinarian would apply to deciding a shelter animal’s fate), we must learn to overcome the many widespread myths regarding shelter animals.

The fact is some shelter animals have issues. Equally true is the fact that these issues are seldom the animal’s fault and they can almost always be resolved. Knowingly adopting an animal with special needs is one of the noblest acts you will ever perform; you are truly saving a life. Continue reading “FIV-positive cats can live long, healthy lives by Ed Boks”

Are We Naturally Compassionate? by Ed Boks

Compassion doesn’t have to be taught, but it can be unlearned.

I recently posted the pictures to the right on Facebook with a personal observation that “compassion doesn’t have to be taught; but it can be unlearned.”

It wasn’t long before I was challenged by a friend who countered that “actually, compassion is part of EQ and as such is a learned behavior.”

This prompted me to do a little research. Continue reading “Are We Naturally Compassionate? by Ed Boks”