Sunday, September 30, 2007

Bear Bridge Rescue

Now here is a bear rescue you won’t want to miss. There are 3 links listed to the same photos with slightly different write-ups because news stories sometimes are archived and disappear within a few days and this is one of those once-in-a-lifetime rescues.

Nevada Appeal

The ability of men to come up with innovative ways to overcome a problem or meet a need is amazing. So, why is it that some men will go to great lengths to save the life of an animal while others treat animals with disdain and brutality?

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Snippets, Sp 29, 2007

Tanya Head. It is sad to read the recent news story of Tanya Head, who is accused of posing for the past six years as a 9/11 survivor. My question is, if Head is not who she says she is (even her name is now in doubt), why has it taken six years to figure this out?

On the surface, it would seem she might have been drawn to the attention and status her survivor’s claim accorded her. Although she did not apply for nor receive financial compensation, this did put her in the limelight where she had occasions to meet prominent politicians, lead tour groups, and become a fundraiser and president of the charity World Trade Centre Survivors’ Network.

For the past six years, she was somebody – a survivor of the World Trade Center attacks and the subsequent collapse of both towers. If she did lie about being on or above the 78th floor when the plane hit the south tower, she must be some actress!

Did she lie? If she did, she must be a very lonely person with some deep needs her pre-9/11 life and friendships couldn’t fill.


Locked in a CT scanner. Yes, this is a true story.

Elvira Tellez, who has been diagnosed with bone cancer, went to a clinic in Tucson, Arizona one afternoon for a CT scan to see if her cancer has spread. After being placed in the scanning machine about 4 o’clock, the lights were dimmed to relax her, she was told not to move, and the technician walked away, forgot about her and went home.

Hours later, after screaming for help, Elvira managed to wiggle out of the machine, only to find she was locked in the clinic. Panicked, she called her son and then 911. She was able to unlock the door for deputies. They then contacted the office manager who claimed to be unaware of the situation. Elvira spent the night in the hospital.

That’s not bad enough. A physician at the clinic admits this is not the first time a patient has been locked in the office after hours. How does one forget a patient left helpless and scared in a CT scanner?

The moral of this story is that the next time you have to visit a clinic for any type of testing, take along a friend with a good memory, one who will miss you when the clinic doors are being locked and you haven’t returned to the waiting room.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

End of a Chain

I have no sympathy for anyone who would tie one or more dogs in the yard and allow them to die at the end of a chain, without food, water, or medical care.

Anti-tethering laws are popping up here and there across the nation and gaining momentum. Chaining a dog outside is inhumane and can lead to aggression. Consider this; would you want to spend your life on a chain that constricts your ability to exercise and in some cases on a chain so short you can barely move at all? Or even on a longer chain that wraps around any nearby object as you pace and has the potential to choke you to death? If you have a kind owner, you might have a doghouse, but many chained dogs don’t have any type of shelter, not even a nearby shade tree in the summer or a place to curl up in when the weather turns stormy or cold.

Many chained dogs are neglected. It is easy to “forget” to feed and water the chained dog. Out of sight means out of mind in too many cases. In an open yard, chained dogs are vulnerable to attacks by other dogs. They can’t hide or get away. They are also susceptible to “teasing:” abuse by children. That dog doesn’t think it is funny to be poked with a stick or to have his food or water bowl taken away “in fun.” But when the dog eventually bites someone taunting him, stealing his food, or entering his chained territory, he is deemed dangerous and disposed of.

Dogs are social animals. Chaining them denies them interaction with other canines and with their owners. Picture yourself living in prison in solitary confinement, without interaction with others of your own species.

Thankfully, many areas are passing anti-tethering laws. There are times when tying a dog outside for a short period of time is a necessary or temporary convenience, but to confine a dog solely to a lonely life at the end of a chain is cruel.

It is suspected that those who would most vocally oppose an anti-tethering law would be those who own but neglect a dog and those involved in dogfighting. Fighting dogs are kept chained separately because they are trained to be highly aggressive to other animals.

So, this said, you can guess I am not on the side of the folks who used to own a dog rescued from death in a yard at the end of a chain and named Doogie by his rescuer. His rescuer’s name is Tammy Grimes and she is scheduled to go on trial in Pennsylvania for saving the dog, getting him medical care, and refusing to return him to die at the end of a chain. The way the previous owners treated him was cruelty, against the law, but the law there has refused to prosecute them. Instead, they are prosecuting Tammy Grimes.

When will men stop thinking of animals as inanimate objects? It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out animals can experience fear and pain, and deserve far better than they often receive. If you want something to help you relax at the end of a hard day that requires no financial commitment for upkeep and no effort to care for, get a porch swing. But if you want to be greeted with enthusiasm and affection, get a dog. He’s worth the effort and expense.

But don’t chain him in a far corner of the yard and forget he exists. Doogie had five months of freedom from a chain before he died. Five happy months with vet care, medication, nourishing food and loving contact.

And for that freedom, for Doogie and other chained dogs, Tammy Grimes is willing to go to jail. Perhaps the DA will have a change of heart and the previous owners who chained him and left him to die will be prosecuted instead. When you read the story of how law enforcement and the judicial system has dealt with the rescuer instead of the abuser, you might wonder which species – animal or human – in certain cases best fits the derogatory term “dumb animal.”

Click here to visit Tammy's website, Dogs Deserve Better.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Sneaky Snake Bite

You can add another reason to your list of why over-imbibing disconnects your brain cells from reality.

First of all, I have doubts about the mentality of anyone who would keep a snake as a pet, and I know a number of people would argue against me on this subject, but I stand firm on this point. And here is a good example.

An Oregon man had a few beers with friends, opened his mouth and inserted his pet Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake’s head. (This is North America’s largest venomous snake.) What would most people assume would happen? Well, it did.

He was rushed to the hospital with enough venom in him to kill 12 to 15 people. His tongue swelled, filled his mouth and obstructed his airway. With an obstructed airway, he had only seven minutes to get major medical help before he died of asphyxiation.

The doctors put him in a medical coma for three days. Three weeks later, he is home, recovering well, and still handling his rattlesnake as casually as someone else would a pet Chihuahua. Since he is keeping the snake, he would be smart to give up the beer. But I doubt it.

To read one news report, click here.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Tomorrow Has Come

A tribute to my mother, who passed away one year ago today.


By Janice Price

How swiftly do the years flow by (comparing now with then).
The hands that rocked my cradle then, now barely hold a pen.
The feet that paced the floor with me are sore and wracked with pain.
The sturdy legs that climbed the stairs reluctantly abstain.

A stroke, some falls, a shattered hip – all things we couldn’t share.
Determinedly, her swollen feet propel her “rolling chair.”
Where once we could stand back to back and match at five-foot-four,
Her body’s lost the war with time. Her neck bends toward the floor.

Her eyesight faded years ago. She legally is blind.
She keeps up with the daily news to exercise her mind.
She once could hear a silent sin. Her hearing was acute.
She now maintains volume control is languishing on “mute.”

Her hair remains quite dark and fine, with just a touch of gray.
She misses how her gardening once brightened up her day.
Tomorrow was a future date. No way we could foresee
She'd live in prison, physically, though technically she’s free.

One day tomorrow came to pass. My mother has grown old.
We need to share more memories - relate the tales untold.
She smiled her way through failing health. One day she’d rest a while.
Tomorrow’s here. Let’s share a joke. And launch that impish smile

But now her time on earth has passed. Her steadfast faith endured.
No longer deaf or blind or lame – of this we are assured.
We buried her beside her son, through tears – emotions numb.
Though death is not the journey’s end, tomorrow sure has come.

© 2000, 2007 Janice Price

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Outrage Over Abuse

Hardly anyone in the United States today does not know who Michael Vick is. He has come to symbolize public outrage against the bloodthirsty and criminal “sport” of dogfighting. He is not, however, the first sports figure to be involved. More than one black sports player has expressed astonishment at Vick’s arrest and defended him. After all, dogfighting abounds in their home state. Well, those guys might know where all the local dogfights are held, but that doesn’t make dogfighting popular with the masses or an integral part of their “culture.”

Vick’s defenders claim the clamor is racially motivated and he is being unjustly persecuted. Well, I am not racially motivated in my outrage against any dogfighter. I don’t care if he is black, white or pink with purple polka dots. What he is doing is despicable! Thankfully, today it’s also illegal.

Dogfighting is not a harmless sport! And the victims are not those like Vick who are arrested, but the dogs which have been trained, specially bred and sometimes pumped up on steroids to fight other dogs. The humans might go to jail, but the dogs are killed. Even though they are gentle and obedient with humans, they are trained to be dangerously aggressive toward other animals.

In fact, in this “sport,” one of the tools used to train one of these dogs might have been the Labrador Retriever, the Chihuahua, or the cat that was stolen from your back yard. Or it might have been the kittens or puppies you gave away “free to a good home” in the Wal-mart parking lot or with a sign on the tree in your front yard.

What stirred me to write this is an article by Rowland S. Martin. He echoes the sentiments of other editorials written in recent months, which purport that the outpouring of outrage was solely because Vick is a celebrity. I understand what he is saying. Readers and viewers are more interested in Britney Spears or any other famous person than unknowns who are violently and senselessly abused and often killed.

Because where, he asks, is the outrage when violence is perpetrated against humans? I don’t know about you, but I am still outraged when I read or hear of any type of abuse. There is so mind-numbing much of it worldwide, but the outrage still exists.

For many of us.

But for others, their consciences have been seared, their hearts hardened, and all traces of empathy have been washed away. There are no tears left for the pain and suffering of another living being, whether man or beast. Society often faults latchkey children, the popularity of violent video games, gory movies, the necessity of joining a gang to survive in some areas, etc.

Shouldn’t misplaced hero worship be added to the list? Just because an actor or a sports player earns – excuse me, is insanely paid - an astronomical sum, that person is not automatically a person of character or one to be emulated. But young folks don’t understand that, any more than they understand that if Dad takes them to a dogfight, a cockfight, or a hog-dog rodeo, the violence they encounter in such an atmosphere will condition them to become insensitive to bloodshed and the pain of living beings.

And so we are inundated in the news with horrid details of teenagers and even young children perpetrating unbelievable abuse against animals. It is basically only a matter of time before they graduate to criminal abuse against humans – if they haven’t already. The lack of remorse some of these young people demonstrate concerns law enforcement and the judicial system.

Shouldn’t we be grateful there has been a vocal and sustained outcry against what Michael Vick subsequently admitted to doing? Let’s teach our youth that it is not okay to hero worship and imitate Michael Vick, who played football well but was cruel to animals and gambled heavily. And let’s put all the Michael Vicks out of business! There are too many like Michael Vick who believe their fame and money places them on a pedestal and protects them when they mess up or break the law. Vick, the hero Quarterback, let his team down when he gambled and lied about it. He let his idolizing fans down. He broke state and federal dogfighting laws. His actions deserved a public hue and cry of outrage. Prominent people are not above the law - man’s law or God’s law.

It should be no more permissible to abuse an animal than a human being, and although many will be quick to protest that animals are not human, that is no excuse for the pain and suffering of the animals men subject to dogfighting, cockfighting or any other vicious blood “sport.”

Don’t support abuse by ignoring it, condoning it or participating in it.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Thank you, Sheriff Conway

Just over a month ago, Sheriff Butch Conway offered a reward of $10,000 – from his own pocket, mind you – for information leading to the arrest and conviction of dogfighters in Gwinnette County, Georgia. Way to Go, Sheriff!

Georgia has the most deplorable dogfighting laws in the country. Law enforcement has shown little interest in pursuing these lawbreakers because little or nothing results from the investigations and arrests. But it looks as if that might change.

Thanks to Sheriff Conway of Lawrenceville, the Georgia Sheriffs' Association is now offering up to $2500 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of anyone involved in dogfighting.

Thank you, Georgia Sheriffs' Association! It isn’t much of a reward in comparison to Sheriff Conway’s offer, but it gives hope that law enforcement intends to buckle down and pursue those involved in dogfighting.

Forcing any type of animals to fight, often to the death, is a despicable form of animal abuse! Parents who bring children to these “sporting events” should be charged with child abuse. Children are not only exposed to the bloody brutality of fighting, but these fights attract heavy betting and drug sales/usage.

Already Sheriff Conway’s offer of a reward has resulted in a raid in Snellville. Four men have been charged with dogfighting, 10 pit bulls have been seized, and drugs have been confiscated. Unfortunately, it is the dogs that will receive the harshest penalty. Pit bulls live to please their masters. Their reward for obedience? They will be put to death.

It’s way past time for Georgia to get serious on sniffing out dogfighters and meting out swift and stiff punishment to them.