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This Week in Animal Protection
News and headlines for the weeks of July 5 and July 12, 2021
Over 99% of people agreed to build the largest land bridge in the world, stretching 200 feet across 10 lanes of traffic to help P-22, a lonely mountain lion, find love and stay safe. The land bridge will also save thousands of other animals every year.
A new law in Cleburne, TX, makes it illegal to care for community cats. After 15 years, dogs identified as “pit bulls” are welcome again in Dayton, KY. A new study that looked at “compassion fatigue” among volunteers found a positive correlation between killing and emotional harm. A land bridge over the nation’s busiest freeway will help a lonely mountain lion find a mate and stay safe. A Delaware bill provides funding to sterilize community cats, the pets of low-income families, and shelter animals before adoption. The U.S. Supreme Court is being petitioned to overturn a ban on cockfighting in Puerto Rico. Dogs like it when we share food, but a study suggests they would not share with us. The number of communities placing over 95% and as high as 99% of the animals is increasing. And a new book defends the killing of dogs, promotes the killing of dogs, and rationalizes their abuse. Sadly, it is part of a growing wave of anti-animal books.
These are some of the stories making headlines in animal protection:
The Cleburne, TX, city council recently passed a local law making it illegal to care for community cats. Although of questionable legality, the new ordinance also allows animal control to enter private property without a warrant when the owner is not home to round them up. It is a cruel ordinance that punishes compassion.
Out of the shadows and into the sun. After 15 years, dogs identified as “pit bulls” are welcome again in Dayton, KY. Banning dogs based on how they look is immoral. It is also ineffective.
A new study that looked at “compassion fatigue” among volunteers found a positive correlation between killing and emotional harm. The higher the rates of killing; the higher the rates of burn-out and attrition. “In the end, if we want to help people who volunteer at shelters feel better about the work they do, we need to reform the pounds. Not only does doing so protect animals, but it radically transforms the culture of a shelter, making it a safe, hospitable, even rewarding place to volunteer.”
P-22, a mountain lion living in the Santa Monica Mountains, is lonely. But he can’t find a mate because his habitat is cut off by one of the busiest freeways on earth. In 2019, residents were asked if they would pay to build the largest land bridge in the world, stretching 200 feet across 10 lanes of traffic. Over 99% said yes. The land bridge will keep him safe and save thousands of other animals every year.
Delaware legislators have passed a bill that will provide funding to sterilize community cats, the pets of low-income households, and shelter animals before adoption. The services are paid for by an annual registration fee on pet food manufacturers. The bill now goes to the governor for his signature.
The U.S. Supreme Court is being petitioned to overturn a 2018 ban on cockfighting in Puerto Rico. (The ban also applies in the 50 states and other territories.) The cockfighting groups and their allies that are asking the High Court to do so admit that, “Congress criminalized the practice because federal legislators found it ‘barbaric’ and ‘inhumane.’”
Dogs like it when we share food. But would they share their food with us? A new study says No. But to be fair, the study was probably irrational to the dogs. Why would they give what little food they have to humans who — from the dog's perspective — have all the food they could possibly want? All we have to do is open the magical box (refrigerator) in the kitchen.
The number of communities placing over 95% and as high as 99% of the animals is increasing:
Gunnison County, CO, reported a 97% placement rate for dogs and 98% for cats.
Garfield County, CO, reported a 98% placement rate for dogs, 99% for cats, and 100% for rabbits and other small animals. For cats and rabbits, it is part of the most exclusive club in the movement: those placing 99%+.
Chaffee County, CO, reported a 99% placement rate for dogs, 96% for cats, and 100% for rabbits. For dogs and rabbits, it, too, is part of the most exclusive club in the movement.
Archuleta County, CO, reported a 97% placement rate for dogs and 98% for cats.
Teller County, CO, reported a 98% placement rate for dogs and 97% for cats.
Cedaredge, CO, reported a 97% placement rate for dogs and 94% for cats.
Grand County, CO, reported a 94% placement rate for dogs, 98% for cats, and 100% for rabbits and other small animals. For rabbits and others, it is part of the most exclusive club in the movement.
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, a new book by Harlan Weaver, a professor of gender studies at Kansas State University, calls on animal “shelters” to kill more dogs. It blames racism for the prosecution of Michael Vick and considers him and other animal abusers “victims,” even though Vick drowned dogs, electrocuted dogs, hanged dogs, shot dogs, and beat dogs to death. It criticizes the kind, caring, stable types of homes the surviving Vick dogs were placed in because, in the author’s view, they promoted “a white-supremacist ideal of family formations.” It argues that we should not prosecute dogfighters like Vick, but instead abolish capitalism. It says that promoting the use of technology, like wheelchairs, to allow disabled animals to run again “erases” disabled people and does “violence to nonnormative bodies.” It argues that rescuing dogs and finding them homes is worse than leaving them on the street because family homes with “picket fences” are “rather terrible” and promote “settler-colonial and racist dynamics of land allocation.” It defends backyard breeders, including those who sell puppies to supplement drug dealing income. And, not content with sacrificing dogs, it also promotes the killing of other animals, including the harpooning of whales and clubbing of baby seals.
Although it is a work of staggering inhumanity, it is not alone. Weaver is joined by other academics making similar claims, such as Kevin Morris who calls for leaving dogs on chains; Andrew Rowan who encourages animal protection officers to ignore dogfighting; Katja Guenther who defends sadistic animal abusers, and those who advocate human “pansexual” relations with animals — defending the rape of dogs.