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.
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”
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”
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.