Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Nathan Winograd's take on the THLN and HB 3450

With thanks to the anonymous commenter, I visited Nathan Winograd's blog to read his take on the THLN's decision to oppose HB 3450 (aka CAPA).

Winograd is not a mealy-mouthed individual. Here is an excerpt on his take on the THLN's stance:

"Calling for shelters to continue gassing animals, to continue killing in the face of a rescue alternative, and more, THLN’s position reveals sour grapes, stunning hubris, and a serious case of misplaced priorities."

Winograd's entire March 29 blog entry regarding the THLN is well worth a read.

And, if you haven't already figured it out, the folks at THLN are seriously in bed with the HSUS. A cursory glance at the THLN Web site confirms this. One of their top members, Skip Trimble, is holder of a PETA Activist Award - an award he downplays when anyone asks him about it. I guess he has it tucked under his bed along with Kent Robertson.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

THLN opposes HB 3450...and here's why

While surfing another site, I decided to visit the Texas Humane Legislative Network (THLN) site to see if they had an opinion of HB 3450, aka Companion Animal Protection Act, or CAPA (see previous posts).

Seems that the THLN folks oppose this bill, as they didn't get the chance to talk it to death first. Awwwww...

Here's an excerpt from their Web site.

It is THLN’s belief that it would be more productive to defer this legislation to the 2013 legislative session so it can be fully reviewed and discussed by the entire Texas animal welfare community. This will give all stakeholders the opportunity to debate the issues, offer their ideas as to solutions to the problems addressed and to determine how to best achieve the solutions sought by the bill – whether through statewide legislation or local ordinances or incentives.

THLN recommends that consideration of this bill be postponed and the entire Texas animal welfare community, the Texas Veterinary Medical Association, the Texas Animal Control Association, the Texas Municipal League and other interested parties work together during the interim period with the goal of bringing a comprehensive and well thought through bill next session that can be supported and endorsed by all stakeholders.

This all sounds nice, but who's going to actually arrange that "interested parties work together"? They left out that part. And why should we wait until 2013 to introduce a major strategy that could reduce the killing in shelters?

Also, unless they're keeping it a secret, THLN has spent zero time researching how well this sort of legislation has fared in other states. Houston's No Kill folks have done so:

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.

Last but certainly not least, THLN has completely overlooked the fact that morale might improve in city shelters if the employees didn't spend so much time killing animals. This, in itself, is sufficient reason to pass this legislation.

But then research and empathy might cut into the THLN members' committee-sitting time. Can't have that happen, can we?

Saturday, March 26, 2011

If you REALLY want the killing to stop in Texas...

From the brilliant Yes Biscuit blog, here is information about the Companion Animal Protection Act.

HB 3450 was introduced by State Rep. Jessica Farrar.

To support the act, visit the Houston No-Kill Web site.

I have copied the following directly from the Yes! Biscuit blog, as the author has done a bang-up job of outline the act's provisions. They include:

* Shelters can no longer kill pets when an adopter or rescue group is willing to take them.
* Shelters can no longer kill savable pets at the owner’s request.
* Shelters can no longer kill owner surrendered pets immediately upon intake.
* Shelters can no longer kill pets when the facility has empty cages/kennels or when the pet can share a cage/kennel with another pet.
* Shelters can no longer kill pets when a foster home is available.
* Shelters can no longer kill nursing litters of puppies and kittens impounded without their mama unless they have exhausted all avenues of rescue and foster care, documented these efforts, certified in writing why the shelter itself can not provide care for the litter at present and what’s being done to change that situation. Said certification must be available for public inspection upon request for at least 3 years.
* Shelters can no longer refuse to adopt out pets based on arbitrary criteria such as breed, age or color.
* Before a shelter can kill a dog with confirmed parvo or a cat with confirmed panleukopenia, a licensed vet must certify in writing that the pet’s prognosis is poor, even with treatment. Said certification must be available for public inspection upon request for at least 3 years.
* Any agency – public or private – which kills pets must seek out and maintain a list of rescue groups willing to take pets and adopt them out. The agency must contact each group on the list who is willing to take the type of pet the agency wishes to kill before killing the pet.
* When shelters do kill pets, it must be done by IV injection after sedation (with limited exceptions made for IP injections and heartstick on unconscious pets under the direction of a licensed vet). Shelters can no longer kill pets in view of other pets.
* All municipal shelters must provide low cost spay-neuter programs to the public, volunteer opportunities, and pet retention programs.
* Shelters – both public and private – must report their stats monthly and those reports shall be available for public inspection upon request for at least 3 years.

Now - let's see if our local committee-sitters will support this act.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

generosity at work

When I posted the Chipin link last weekend, the donation total was only around $11,000. I'm glad to see how many people have donated to the rescuers.

For anyone who's wondering, I have made donations to the animal rescue, and two "people" nonprofits, including Americares.

Charity Navigator is a good place to check out the nonprofits currently working in Japan.

(Uh-oh...the HSUS' international arm has a 1-star rating at Charity Navigator. The report describes the division as being in "deep financial trouble". The HSUS is wallowing in money, so what's going on here?)

Monday, March 14, 2011

Help for animals in Japan

After some research, I located two groups who are on-site in Japan, helping animals made homeless by the earthquake/tsunami. If you have additional links/information, please leave them in the Comments section. If you have problems leaving a comment, click Preview before Post.

Here are some links:

Arkbark has a Paypal donation site. You can view the Paypal pages in English - click on the pull-down at the top right to toggle between Japanese and English. But you'll have to convert Japanese yen to your currency on another page. Here's a currency converter link:

If you donate 2,000 yen, it comes out to US$24 and change.

Another group is actually three groups: HEART-Tokushima, Animal Friends Niigata and Japan Cat Network. Here is their blog and donation link:

The Chipin donation widget wasn't working for me yesterday, but the donations have increased since then, so I am assuming heavy traffic is causing the problems with Chipin. (It may go to Paypal, anyway; Chipin can be redirected.)

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Animal rescuers file lawsuit against East TX city - KLTV 7 News Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |

Animal rescuers file lawsuit against East TX city - KLTV 7 News Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |

I haven't done any research into this - yet...

HB 963: No right of appeal unless you're rich

HB 963 is a proposed bill that mainly relates to the judicial proceedings regarding anyone accused of animal abuse/cruelty.

The alleged author, Rep. Will Hartnett, has a black sense of humor in my opinion. Check out this clause:

(3) order the animal humanely destroyed if the court decides that the best interests of the animal or that the public health and safety would be served by doing so.

Since when is being killed in an animal's best interests? Sheesh.

(Rep. Hartnett may be attempting some damage control, as his plans to sell off Parrie Haynes Ranch as a means to help pay off the state's big fat deficit are not making any Texas Parks supporters happy.)

Since the RPOA* has already accurately described the true aim of HB 963 - to eradicate the appeals process for anyone accused of cruelty - I've reproduced their observations here.

This is an attempt to make the appeals cost prohibitive and force the owner to relinquish ownership of his animals to shelters for resale.

Just because an owner is accused of cruelty does not mean in every case the authorities got it right. It is an attempt to prevent an appeal without changing the statute to not allow appeals. The proposed law would require the owner to pay 150% of the “estimated” costs, again attempting to prevent any appeals.

One section is to ensure that not all of the appeals are trial de novo in County Court. This bill is supported by the HSUS and Texas Humane Legislation Network that opposed appeals altogether and said they would be back this session to overturn Rep. Mark Homer’s bill in 2009 that granted the right of appeal again.

It will likely have the support of humane shelters that stand to benefit and which were opposed to appeals including SPCA of North Texas, Houston SPCA, Houston Humane Society, and other similar corporations.

* Responsible Pet Owners Alliance