Watch Tip: Escaped Pets

Posted on December 28th, 2010 by Anna Nirva

Weekly Watch Tip for week of Dec. 26:

The New Year holiday is a prime time for escaped pets. Watch and listen for dogs and cats who might escape while being cared by sitters who don’t know their little tricks. They might escape while traveling with families distracted by unfamiliar routines and busy gatherings. They might also escape from their fenced yards or kennels, terrorized by holiday fireworks displays. Be proactive and helpful.

New Law: “Crush” Videos Now Illegal

Posted on December 26th, 2010 by Anna Nirva

What is a “crush” video? A particularly nasty type of sexual perversion is viewing small animals, such as mice, kittens, puppies, and rabbits, be violently killed by being stepped on by a stiletto high heel. It seems unimaginable that someone would be sexually aroused by the horrific sights and sounds of an innocent young animal being tortured to death, but it is true. These sick perverts created a nice little market for some x-rated publishers, and our famed free-speech laws have long protected them.

Stiletto heels are not the only instrument of death these sick perverts seem to relish. Similar crush videos feature small animals being electrocuted, burned, suffocated, or stabbed to death. These videos are now all illegal.

The new law, the Animal Crush Video Prohibition Act of 2010, signed by President Obama on Dec. 9, 2010, makes it illegal to produce, sell or distribute any crush videos. Both houses of Congress overwhelmingly supported the newly rewritten law, an earlier version of which was overturned by the Supreme Court in April 2010 over concerns of ambiguous language that could be interpreted to prosecute hunting sports.

New Law: Truth in Fur Labeling

Posted on December 24th, 2010 by Anna Nirva

Last Saturday, Dec. 18, 2010, President Obama signed the “Truth in Fur Labeling Act of 2010.” This legislation, introduced by Virginia Rep. Jim Moran, passed in the House this summer, and passed by unanimous consent in the U.S. Senate “lame duck” session on Dec. 10, closes the long-time loophole that allowed animal fur garments and fur-trimmed garments priced below $150 to be unlabeled. Fashion fur garments and trims sourced from Asia have long relied on fur from domestic dogs, cats, and raccoon dogs, among other animals, and many have been intentionally mislabeled as exotic furs.

Garment fur trims from national retailers that may have been advertised as “faux” were sometimes found to be real fur. Do you have faux fur trim on your coat or gloves? Take a close look at the base of the hairs. If you don’t see woven fabric, that’s a bad sign. Take a look at the tip of the hairs. If hairs taper naturally to tip, instead of a clipped tip, that’s another sign that an animal was killed to trim your garment.

The Asian fur and skin trade is losing an important market for their products with this new law in place in the United States. Fewer dogs, cats, rabbits, raccoon dogs, and the many exotic fur-bearing animals, will be inhumanely farmed and violently killed for fashion. Thank you lawmakers, all of you, for your hard work to improve America for consumers and animal lovers. This law has long been needed!

What’s the ultimate goal? To outlaw fur use for fashion completely around the world. With the excellent faux fur products available, why would anyone desire real fur that is obtained through torture and death of sentient beings?

Watch Tip: Identification is Essential

Posted on December 17th, 2010 by Anna Nirva

Watch Tip for week of Dec. 19:

Watch for collars that are too loose or too tight, and that don’t have ID tags. Pets deserve better from their families. A roaming pet without identification is at high risk for being picked up as a stray and might even be euthanized. Reasonably-priced ID tags are available nearly everywhere. Speak with the owners or just do it anonymously. You may save a life.

War Hero Dog is Dead for Lack of a Collar and Tags

Target’s family didn’t put a collar and tag on her or get a microchip implanted. They didn’t prevent her from escaping from her yard. And the neighbor who found Target without wearing any identification of course had no idea who she was, so called the pound. She was picked up by animal control and her photo was posted on the internet.

Her family found her photo but did not check the web site to learn the weekend hours that the pound was open. They came on Monday to pick her up. At the pound earlier that morning, a careless employee was performing her routine euthanasia duties and picked Target by mistake, not following the organization’s process. “Oops.”

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Watch Tip: Winterize the Doghouse

Posted on December 11th, 2010 by Anna Nirva

Tip for week of Dec. 12:

Watch for inadequate winter doghouses in your neighborhood—do the owners know of newer products for dog houses? Install a vinyl door flap. A raised floor helps as well. Purchase a doghouse heating pad or line the house with 6″ of loose hay bedding and replenish regularly. A heated water bucket is a must. Tuck the doghouse next to a building to block the wind and face the entrance away from prevailing winds.

Watch Tip: Cats in Cars

Posted on December 3rd, 2010 by Anna Nirva

Watch Tip for week of Dec. 5:

Watch and listen for kittens and cats hiding in engine cavities of vehicles, now that winter is upon us. They climb into dark cozy places to get warm or they chase mice that may be building nests in your car. If you hear crying, bang on the car hood to chase them out of the car if you can. You might need assistance from your car mechanic. And make sure your poisonous antifreeze is well secured!

Kitten stuck in pickup truck engine is rescued in parking lot

My friend Bob is a manager at a big, busy, modern hardware store in southwest Wisconsin. One warm day not long ago a customer raced into the store and excitedly told him that there was the sound of a kitten yowling loudly inside a pickup truck. Bob didn’t hesitate; he ran out to investigate. He heard the frantic kitten too–sounds coming from inside a wheel well. But he couldn’t see the kitten.

Bob hurried back to the store. He told a staffer to call the humane society and the police. He asked another to try to find the owner of the vehicle. Then he grabbed his tools and hurried back to the truck. He crawled under the truck and got to work. He found the kitten. Now, how to get it out safely?

Soon the animal control officer showed up, as did a patrolman. A television station crew showed up too alerted by a report on police radio scanner!

Meanwhile, Bob freed the kitten and handed the little wiggling critter up to the animal control officer. The TV crew interviewed them; the segment aired that afternoon and evening. The kitten went to the humane society for examination and care, and would later be adopted.

I love this true story.  In a world where cats are so often devalued, there are ordinary people who will urgently do everything in their power to save a helpless kitten.