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”

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”

Kapparot: 9th Circuit argument Tuesday

What is kapparot?

The 13th-century scholar Rabbi Solomon ben Abraham Aderet considered kapparot a “heathen superstition”.

Kapparot or kaparos, meaning “atonements,” is a custom in which a chicken or money may be used.  Kapparot using chickens is practiced by some Jews shortly before Yom Kippur, the Jewish Day of Atonement.

The ritual begins with selections from Isaiah 11:9, Psalms 107:10, 14, and 17-21, and Job 33:23-24 being recited.  Then a rooster (for a man) or a hen (for a woman) is held above the person’s head and swung in a circle three times, while the following is spoken: “This is my exchange, my substitute, my atonement; this rooster (or hen) shall go to its death, but I shall go to a good, long life, and to peace.” The chicken is then slaughtered and may or may not be given to the poor for food. Continue reading “Kapparot: 9th Circuit argument Tuesday”

Time to end the Rodeo loophole… by Ed Boks

Rodeo is animal abuse

Imagine a person chasing a scared puppy across an open field.  The frightened puppy is brutally clothes-lined by a rope thrown around her neck; her legs  fly out from under her.  Her attacker grabs her, lifts her waist high and body slams her to the ground.  Terrified, the puppy’s legs are tied together so she can’t escape her tormenter; and she is dragged by the neck with the rope.    Continue reading “Time to end the Rodeo loophole… by Ed Boks”

Something wicked this way comes: the rodeo by Ed Boks

Is the Rodeo coming to your town?

Rodeo animals are generally tame creatures who must be provoked into battle

They live lives filled with stress and fear.

Contestants practice their games on numerous calves, bulls, and horses, injuring and killing many animals before even entering the ring.

A contestant’s score is based on how long he can ride a struggling animal or how quickly he can overpower an animal.

Sprains, broken bones, muscle pulls, saddle blisters, spur wounds, flank strap wounds, punctured lungs, broken ribs, hematomas, bruising, and broken necks are common.

Wounded animals are quickly removed while the rodeo announcer and rodeo clowns distract the public.

The animals who become too injured to participate are sent to slaughter.

Rodeos are state sanctioned cruelty that must be outlawed!

The last rodeo by Ed Boks

Today is opening day for Prescott Frontier Days considered the World’s Oldest Rodeo.  Established in 1888, the event has occurred over every 4th of July weekend for 130 years – and features breath-taking performances that can result in animals suffering broken ribs, backs, and legs, torn tails, punctured lungs, internal organ damage, ripped tendons, torn ligaments, snapped necks, and agonizing deaths.

How can such mayhem exist in a state where animal cruelty is a felony?   In Arizona, rodeos are exempt from anti-cruelty laws.  In fact, the State of Arizona sanctions animal cruelty in activities involving hunting, ranching, farming, rodeos, shows and security services (ARS § 13-2910.05. Exempt activities). Continue reading “The last rodeo by Ed Boks”

When it comes to pit bulls, how stupid are we? by Ed Boks

Collage by Beth Clifton

Every year, ANIMALS 24-7 conducts a national dog-breed survey.  The results of the 2018 survey were just released.  As interesting as the data collected by the survey are, I was particularly struck by a rather provocative proposition posed by Merritt Clifton, the editor/reporter of ANIMALS 24-7 and this survey.

Before exploring the thought provoking proposal, let’s set the stage:

The survey found that as of mid-June 2018, nearly 15% of all the dogs available for sale or adoption in the U.S. were pit bulls.  With that kind of market presence, one might conclude pit bulls are pretty popular in the U.S.  However, Mr. Clifton has another explanation. Continue reading “When it comes to pit bulls, how stupid are we? by Ed Boks”

Domestic Violence Shelters must be pet-friendly by Ed Boks

A recent Washington Post article Little by little, domestic violence shelters become pet-friendly reports on a widening body of research regarding domestic violence.  Over two decades of research has found that abusive partners often threaten, injure and even kill victims’ pets so as to persuade the victim not to leave.

Frank Ascione

In fact, surveys of women at shelters found that 20 to 50 percent say that fear for a pet’s safety delayed their decision to flee.  “These situations are particularly dire when victims are deeply attached to their pets”, said Frank Ascione, a University of Denver psychologist who has published numerous studies on the topic.

“Particularly in households with no children”, Ascione said, “the pet or companion animal may be the only source of safe, affectionate contact that a woman has in her environment.” Continue reading “Domestic Violence Shelters must be pet-friendly by Ed Boks”

Dogs owned by homeless people are generally healthy with few behavior problems by Ed Boks

Heather with her dog Poppy in downtown Seattle, Washington. Photograph: Annabel Clark for the Guardian

I recently came across a  study published by Pet Behavior Science in 2016 that found:

  • Dogs owned by homeless people are generally healthy with few behavior problems.
  • Even though lower body condition scores were found, only one dog was found to be underweight.
  • Behavior is not generally an issue in homeless peoples’ dogs

Continue reading “Dogs owned by homeless people are generally healthy with few behavior problems by Ed Boks”

Its time to consider targeted pit bull spay/neuter programs by Ed Boks

Ed Boks and Henry Kleinhans
Henry Kleinhans was mauled to death by his own pit bull. Picture: Solly Lottering

Over the course of my career I may have been responsible for safely placing more pit bulls into loving homes than any other person in the United States.

I have long been troubled by the fact that no dog in history encounters more misunderstanding and vilification than the pit bull; a canine category I define as the American pit bull terrier, the American Staffordshire terrier, the Staffordshire bull terrier, and any crosses of these three. I admire these animals for their tenacious athletic ability, loyalty, intelligence, and high-energy.

Word reached me this morning that Henry Kleynhans, 50, a retired police officer was fatally mauled on February 8, 2018, and his wife Rita was critically injured, by their own pit bull in their home at Belmont Park, Kraaifontein, South Africa. Continue reading “Its time to consider targeted pit bull spay/neuter programs by Ed Boks”