EDITION OF THE IDES OF MARCH 2018 [PetPowellPress] Before we get to yet another mass seizure by the SPCA of Texas, let’s look to the skies.
That is a photo of the widest contrail I have ever seen. Spotted it just before noon Wednesday as I drove west on Ledbetter approaching U.S. 67 in southern Oak Cliff.
It must be from one of those 10-engine, wide-winged spacelaunch vehicles currently under experimentation at Area 51B-Piney Woods on that secret island in the middle of Caddo Lake in East Texas where Bigfoot lives. To summarize: I have no clue.
On Tuesday, I caught an NBC story about a meteor being videoed as it streaked across Texas toward Oklahoma in the broad daylight. Not sure what might be coming out of the sky next.
But as I was typing this edition, I had the TV tuned to Close Encounters of the Third Kind (on demand with Turner Classics!). That is, it was tuned there until my personal feline The Senator flopped down on the remote and turned off the big screen. [LARRY HINT: Send photos of yours slumbering critters to email@example.com and we'll post 'em in the weekend feature Let Sleeping Dogs Lie & Napping Cats Nap.]
You’ll notice that I keep a well-worn towel on the wooden TV tray top so the cats will have a nice place to nod off rather than on my mousepad. Sometimes it works. Mostly doesn't. And don’t try to buy a remote that has the custom coloring on it -- my CleverSpouse Martha wrapped it in decorative duct tape so we’d be able to see it when we were looking for it. Sometimes that works, too. But, sometimes you can’t see it if a cat is on top of it like a husky Plymouth Rock hen nesting on her eggs.
‘ALLEGED’ PUPPY MILL
TARGET OF CANTON SEIZURE
Well, holy smoke. What in the world was going on here? We may find out if anybody goes to trial or feels like confessin’ to get it off their hearts.
The formal report from the SPCA of Texas says it was working on a tip from another animal agency, when it joined with the Van Zandt County Sheriff’s Office and the Van Zandt County Constable Precinct 2 Tuesday morning to seize “72 allegedly cruelly treated dogs and puppies from an alleged puppy mill.” They also found 12 dead dogs.
The humans associated with Tuesday’s seizure told authorities they sell the animals. It is unclear, according to the SPCA, if the people have proper licensing under the state’s large-scale animal breeders law. That may come out in a custody hearing at 10 a.m. on Friday, March 23, in the court of Van Zandt County Precinct 2 Justice of the Peace Sandra Plaster, 250 E. Grove St. in Canton.
Here’s a lovely passage from the SPCA’s news release. “Many of the dogs and puppies were found in living in feces-filled wire crates with no access to food or water. In one room, several nursing mothers with litters of puppies were found confined in small, plastic and wire crates in a closet. Other dogs roamed the urine-soaked, feces-filled house with little to no access food or water. The 12 deceased animals, including one adult dog and eleven puppies, were found individually wrapped in plastic bags in the kitchen freezer.
“The SPCA of Texas measured the ammonia level in the residence to be 22 parts per million (ppm). As a point of reference, short term exposure to any ammonia level over 20 ppm or long term exposure to any level over 12 ppm can cause health problems in humans. The animals appear to be suffering from various health issues, including fur loss, long nails, eye issues, ear issues, matted fur and more.”
See the rest of the photos HERE. And see how to help the SPCA finance feeding and caring for rescued dogs and cats at spca.org.
A SPECIAL BIRTHDAY
IN BURNS FLAT, OK.
We’ve written about Terry Lynn Fisher’s rescue work in western Oklahoma for years. This is a photo of her dog Stubby.
We’ve frequently told the story of how Terry Lynn was inspired to set things right when her big ol’ friendly girl dog Oddball was running loose by accident in the city. An officer saw the dog happily romping, called her toward his patrol car window and when she happily approached, he shot her to death. Right there. Terry Lynn vowed such things would never again happen in her town. It is why her email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. Dedication to mission.
Here’s what Terry Lynn wrote on Wednesday: “I just had to share.... This is my Stubby Dog.... Today is his 16th birthday....We took his momma in as a stray many years ago... She gave birth to a litter... we found a home for one (Tails) and ended up keeping the last 4, because I could not find good homes for them... Stubby.... Ro Ro, Runt and ODDBALL..... Stubby was the pup with his sister, Oddball, the day she was gunned down in the street... He ran home, traumatized and thankfully, avoided the gun-happy fool that killed his sister... Here he is now, celebrating his 16th birthday.... His eyesight has dimmed, his hearing is gone and he wobbles sometimes, but he is here, happy and full of love... My sweet old guy.... I love him so very much....” [LARRY ASIDE: Kind of makes me mist up. Older dogs, I love them. Younger ones, too. Heck, all of ‘em. Love critter rescuers, too. In this world, they fight great odds.]
D/FW AND UTAH
The population of Utah is 3.1 million and the population of the Dallas/Fort Worth Metrosprawl is listed as 7.1 million. And, when it comes to animals, Utah has a no-kill program for the entire state. Maybe we ought to look at the Metrosprawl population as being more than twice the opportunity to find homes for animals than they’ve got in Utah.
This compare and contrast contemplation was launched Wednesday morning when I stopped by the vet’s office for some meds and picked up a copy of the magazine Dogster, formerly known as Dog Fancy. What caught my eye was this headline: “Here’s How You Can Help Your State Euthanize Fewer Dogs.” Now, how does this connect to the Big ol’ D? Take a look at this DAS report card for the 10th of March.
That card (click on it to make it grow) shows that as of that report there were 445 dogs in the shelter and its dog area was 90 percent full. Also, there were 74 cats in the shelter and that area was just 30 percent full. And for some time now, DAS has been listing euthanasias in the double-digits per report.
[LARRY FYI: The dallasanimalservices.org page with the adoptables, on Wednesday afternoon, listed 84 adoptable dogs and 21 adoptable cats -- some have been sent to DAS satellite adoption operations. But there’s a bunch not on the adoptables pages. So, a visit to the shelter at I-30 and Westmoreland will increase the odds that you’ll save the life of your new best friend. After all, this ain’t Utah -- Big D still has the death needle for healthy animals.]
BACK TO THE DOGSTER story: Here’s the LINK -- it’s not fresh news, but it does contain many of the sermons that have been preached in Big D for decades.
Also, online I found a success story from Tuesday by reporter Mori Kessler in the St. George News, the paper in (where else?) St. George, Utah. It was headlined “Once a Center of Controversy, St. George Animal Shelter Nears 5 Years As No-Kill Shelter."
And, here’s the LINK to No Kill Utah, an organization that works and works to eliminate the needless killing of shelter animals. And you’ll recognize a familiar name involved with NKUT -- folks from Best Friends have been in town helping DAS field teams lately.
Here’s part of the the NKUT mission explanation: “NKUT is an initiative led by Best Friends Animal Society that brings together passionate individuals, city shelters, and an entire coalition of animal welfare organizations to end the killing of dogs and cats in shelters throughout the entire state of Utah by the year 2019. Our plan is straightforward: provide spay/neuter services where they are needed most so that fewer animals go into shelters, and increase adoptions so that more animals are placed into new homes. Step by critical step, we believe that together, we can bring the number of pets killed in Utah shelters to zero. Join us to help turn Utah into NKUT. Together, we can Save Them All®.”
FYI, one of the events to boost this effort is a thing called the NKUT Super Adoption -- the spring version is May 4-5 -- read about it HERE.
So, to summarize the contemplation: North Texas has the same unwanted animal challenge that afflicted Utah. Maybe a whole lot larger, too. There are so many elements at work around here -- rescue groups, sensitive non-profit shelters, promotional efforts by al shelters, spay and neuter opportunities, stray dog initiatives and on and on and on. And, yet, the numbers are still high when it comes to unwanted animals and animals that haven’t been spayed or neutered.
We'd be remiss if we didn't mention adoptables from DAS: That cat is Lina (1021832) a 6-year-old spayed tortie who, with her facial coat is inspring someone to type, "Don't let shelter euthanasia rates give Dallas a black eye while we're trying to get Amazon and any other giant company to move to town." And, of course, Concha, almost 3, is a spayed Pittie who also wears a black eye to help humans focus on the relationship between euthanasia rates and the hallowed City of Dallas Quality of Life efforts at City Hall.
Neither black eye is photoshopped! (Go to dallasanimalservices.org to see how to adopt these two -- visit the shelter to meet them and all the other unwanted critters.)
We’ll admit there’s no behavioral scientist clicking this keyboard, but, the big factor in any animal problem appears to be, yes, humans. Humans are the big factor in saving animals, too. But the good humans can burn out. It apparently takes no energy or emotional fuel at all to be resolutely stupid.
Maybe someone has a better plan than I have: Buy the King Ranch for the unwanted animals and put the state’s free-roaming village idiots in jail. That’s too flippant, but the solution really is in activating the hearts of the people who don’t care.
Thanks for reading my rambling. It’s a cry for help -- for the animals.
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