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This Week in Animal Protection
News and headlines for the week of June 28, 2021
The last remaining gas chamber in Ohio has now been dismantled.
The municipal shelter in Orange County, CA, cancelled its community cat sterilization program based on a misreading of state law. A New Jersey bill which would have led to social isolation and death of dogs has been defeated. A new study finds animals laugh when playing, just like us; but unlike us, they do not laugh at the misfortune of others. Broward County, FL, requires people to sign an illegal gag order before volunteering. Uber Pets allows you to bring your dog wherever you go. Vegan and plant-based foods are the fastest growing category of foods that people are ordering for delivery. Google trends shows that No Kill is an idea whose time has come. The number of communities placing over 95% and as high as 99% of the animals is increasing. And the last remaining gas chamber in Ohio has been dismantled.
These are some of the stories making headlines in animal protection:
The municipal shelter in Orange County, CA, cancelled its community cat sterilization program. In an email sent to volunteers and rescuers, the agency stated that the program violated the state’s cruelty law against abandonment. It does not.
After a child was killed by a dog kept socially isolated in a fenced backyard — as one report noted, the dog was “cooped up day and night in his owner’s backyard”; “kept outdoors all the time, even in frigid temperatures and driving snow… [where] Young boys would occasionally taunt him, even throwing stones” — a New Jersey legislator introduced legislation to crack down on dogs who bite. His answer? Require more dogs to be kept in fenced yards. In addition to ensuring that people of limited means relinquish their dogs if they cannot afford to build a fence, the proposed law would have taken New Jersey further, not closer, to increasing public safety. Thankfully, the Assembly will not hold a floor vote on the measure because of “massive public opposition.”
A new study finds that when playing, animals laugh, just like us — “play vocalizations are more widespread than previously thought. They appear in a large number of mammal species, and even in a few birds.” But there is one way in which humans and animals differ when they laugh. Animals laugh when they are having fun. Our species — and only our species — also laughs at the pain and misfortune of others.
In Broward County, FL, volunteers “are required to sign a county-approved agreement that seeks to muzzle them from posting ‘any criticism or disparaging comments’ about the agency or its leaders on social media.” Doing so is illegal.
For dogs, wherever you are, that’s the place to be. And now there is another opportunity to bring them with you: Uber Pets. “The new explicit pet policy makes things a lot more clear: previously you didn't know whether a driver would accept pets without a lengthy conversation.”
“Vegan and plant-based foods are the fastest growing category of foods that people are ordering in, according to leading food-delivery companies in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom.”
Google trends shows that in 2008, the year Redemption, my first book was published, No Kill mentions in books, newspapers, and other media skyrocketed. The book helped spur an exponential increase in the number of communities with No Kill-level placement rates, with millions of people living in communities served by shelters placing at least 98%-99% of the animals.
The number of communities placing over 95% and as high as 99% of the animals is increasing:
Animal shelter director takes facility from worst to first. After he took over, the shelter saw “an 85% decrease [in killing] in just two years” and killing declined to 3.7%.
The shelter that serves Cherry Hills, Englewood, and Littleton, CO, reported a 98% placement rate for dogs, 97% for cats, and 100% for rabbits and other small animals. For rabbits and other small animals, it’s part of the most exclusive club in the movement: those placing 99+%.
These shelters and the data nationally prove that animals are not dying in pounds because there are too many or too few homes or people don’t want the animals. They are dying because people in those pounds are killing them. Replace those people, implement the No Kill Equation, and we can be a No Kill nation today.
And, finally, the last remaining gas chamber in Ohio has now been dismantled. Webster’s dictionary defines euthanasia as “the act or practice of killing or permitting the death of hopelessly sick or injured individuals in a relatively painless way for reasons of mercy.” Unfortunately, in many animal “shelters” across the nation, animals are not being killed because they are hopelessly sick or injured, but rather out of habit and convenience. Moreover, some are killed in one of the most prolonged and excruciating ways possible: the gas chamber. In addition, animals who are young, old, or have respiratory infections take longer to absorb the poisonous gas and therefore take longer to die, causing their suffering to be even more pronounced. “There is no progressive sheltering agency of any scope or stature willing to philosophically embrace gas systems for the killing of any species of animals.” And in Ohio, that is now true. This month, it became a gas chamber-free state. Erie County, the last dog pound to use one, removed it.