Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Hey all!

We moved!

I am now posting blog entries over here.

C'mon and join me!

Stewie to the Rescue

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Eff The Hobbit

At least 27 animals were killed during the filming of The Hobbit.

Can you believe this shit?

Here's a quote from the article...

"...27 of them died because they were housed on a treacherous farm full of “death traps,” including bluffs, sinkholes and jagged fencing. The dead include a miniature pony called Rainbow, hired as a hobbit horse, who crashed off a bank on the farm and broke his back. When the wrangler found him in the morning, he was still alive, and later had to be euthanized..."

Awesome... all in the name of our entertainment! Are you not entertained?!?

I love this quote at the bottom...

"... (Peter) Jackson had adopted three pigs used in the making of the trilogy..."

For what? Bacon?

Harris Bloom

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Is This Why Julie Bank Suddenly Resigned?

(BTW - I hope Helena's family sues the shit out of the city, and Boles)....

The Real Reason Julie Bank Resigned

by Urgent Part 2 - Urgent Death Row Dogs on Thursday, September 27, 2012 at 9:38pm ·

(By Jeff Latzer, co-founder of Adopt NY, in collaboration with Urgent: Pets on Death Row)

Behind every corrupt politician’s sudden resignation to, “spend time with family” is a dark scandal hidden from the public; the same goes for Julie Bank – who was, until yesterday, the Executive Director of Animal Care & Control. Buried behind her official press release is a tale of negligent homicide that also brought the firing of Doug Boles, AC&C Director of Operations. The heartbreaking story is the result of a shelter system that has always found ending lives more convenient than rescue or adoption; killing at AC&C is routine, rife with errors and, until now, never subject to any sort of accountability.

Helena was a charming, mellow pit bull with a black coat and brown eyes who would whimper softly in her cage, waiting for a walk from a volunteer, or a new family to adopt her. She would quietly cuddle with volunteers in Thomas Jefferson Park on 112th Street, but had a tendency to avert her eyes around cameras. Helena also had a family looking for her.

Since Helena was a black pit bull, she was put on the kill list almost immediately after arriving at the Manhattan shelter as a stray. She was put on the at-risk list on September 19th, pulled off of it for unknown reasons, and then put on the kill list again on September 20th. At this point, the family that had been looking for their lost dog located her online, and arrived at the shelter at 9am the following morning to be reunited with Helena.

The family paid the reclaiming fee. A memo was placed in the Chameleon computer system which removed Helena’s EUTH command, rendering her safe. For unknown reasons, the family was told by the front desk staff to come back at 5pm to receive Helena-- even though adoptions typically begin at noon. Seeing no other choice, they left the shelter and returned at 5pm sharp.

Since AC&C kills anywhere from 10 to 30 dogs and cats each day in each shelter, the often unlicensed vet techs can spend about half of their work day putting animals to sleep. At 3:00pm, one such vet tech in Manhattan checked his handwritten list of dogs to kill, and came across A0945637. He typed the number into Chameleon, only to find the system had crashed – a routine occurrence. Sitting in the room connected to the industrial body storage freezer, the vet tech called Doug Boles, Director of Operations for all of AC&C. Despite not having access to the computer system, Boles told the vet tech to end Helena’s life. Once the computer system was restarted, and the vet tech entered a new memo in Helena’s file, appearing right next to her anxiously waiting family’s credit card receipt. “PTS,” it read. Put to Sleep.

At 5pm, Helena’s family returned to the shelter. AC&C staff apologized, then removed Helena’s body from the industrial freezer, providing the family with a last glimpse of their beloved pet. According to a shelter memo, the family was offered a free cremation.

On September 26, six days after Helena’s death and amidst an ongoing lawsuit, Julie Bank offered her resignation; in an email sent to all volunteers, she wrote, “I have family issues that I need to address and I am sure you understand that family always comes first.” Unheard amidst the Department of Health’s flattering press releases documenting her accomplishments was that they also fired Doug Boles on the same day.  Today, two more heads rolled.  A staff member from the Brooklyn New Hope Department and a Brooklyn Shelter Manager.  Who will fall tomorrow?  We don't know, but we'd be happy to put forth a few suggestions!

The killing of Helena follows another gruesome incident of employee neglect inside the Manhattan shelter – this one caught on video camera. A volunteer was very badly bitten as she walked a dog.  Despite her screams the only people to come to her aid were other volunteers.  Two staff members stood by and did nothing while two more staff members ran briefly to the scene only to see what was going on and then left to return to the yard (without rendering any sort of assistance) where they resumed playing with dogs while the volunteer was still being actively attacked. Also troubling is the "security system" which requires codes be punched in to both enter and exit doors.  That several people had difficulty remembering the code to punch in during a crisis delayed help... it is also scary to think about what would happen if someone's life hung on the ability to recall said code in order to EXIT a door under the stress of a life-threatening emergency.

When a shelter system is structured around euthanasia as its sole method of operations, mistakes happen, and at AC&C they happen very often. This is not the first animal AC&C killed by mistake; many other erroneous deaths can be read about here on Urgent. But Helena’s death is particularly indicative of an institution managed by those who do not place any value on the lives of the animals in its care. As long as the Department of Health maintains control of the city shelter system, and the shelter’s Board of Directors is stacked with appointees of the Mayor’s political choosing, the shelters of New York City will never change.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Dogs May Deserve Better Than Dogs Deserve Better

In "Didn't see THAT coming!" news, the founder of Dogs Deserve Better, the group that took over michael vick's property in Virginia and turned it into a dog sanctuary, has been charged with animal cruelty.

Allegedly, they used mace and tasers to discipline the dogs held there (though that's a weird charge to make up, who knows, it may be the result of some disgruntled ex-staff looking for revenge).

In addition to the mace and tasering charges, the article states...

"...and dogs are being crated for long periods, up to 19 hours a day. According to the warrant, injured and sick dogs are not getting proper veterinary care..."


That sounds a lot like our not-so-friendly neighborhood animal "shelter," doesn't it?

Why isn't the ASPCA using their legal powers to enforce animal cruelty laws in NYC?

Harris Bloom
Stewie to the Rescue

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

ANOTHER Reason Not To Dump Your Pet At The Shelter...

According to this article, babies growing up with animals are healthier than those who don't, as their germs may actually help our immune system.

ANOTHER reason not to dump your pet at the shelter just cause you're having a baby!

Harris Bloom
Stewie to the Rescue

Monday, August 20, 2012

The Royal Dog Boy???

This is obviously a sad story, as it appears that a few of the Queens' dogs attacked one of Princess Beatrix's dogs.

Having said that, there are a few funny takeaways from the article linked to...

1 - An insider described the person walking the dogs as "The Queen's dog boy."

First of all, the "dog boy" is a person, right?  England doesn't have half-human, half-dog things runnin' around, I presume.

Also, is that how the Queen refers to him (it?)... Dog Boy? Why am I picturing the Queen ringing a bell, while summoning him with, "Oh dog boy, come hither!"

2 - The title of the story puts quotes around the word "attack."


Is the editor telling us something here without saying it? Does he (or she) not believe that those bite marks were made by the dogs in question?

3 - To confirm my suspicions, the sub-heading uses the word "allegedly" while referring to the corgis "attack."


Are they saying allegedly as it hasn't been proven in a court of law that it was, in fact, the Corgis? I can't wait for that trial.

Maybe they can't believe it wasn't a pit bull, given England's feelings about pitties.

Or, is The Telegraph telling us they don't think it was the Queen's Corgis? Do they know something here? Maybe they did their own investigation, and though they don't have they think it was something else, or maybe someone else. Or maybe both... that's right...

Dog Boy!

Harris Bloom
Stewie to the Rescue

Friday, August 17, 2012

Next Time, Bring A German Sherpa, Rather Than A German Shepherd

This story, at first moves me to tears, then infuriates me...

Quick synopsis - This guy goes hiking up a 15,000 foot mountain with his German Shepard and another hiker. Due to a storm moving in, and the dog's already poor condition, he left the dog up there when they scaled back down.

Another hiker, along with his wife, found the dog a few days later. The dog was injured and too big (over 100 pounds) for them to get down to safety, so they patched her up as best they could and went down for help.

Eventually, a team of rescuers made it up to the dog, and they saved her! Tears!

Now, for the infuriating part...

The owner, one Anthony Ortolani, wants his dog back.

He's got to be kidding. I understand him leaving the dog up there, but to make no attempt to find her after the storm passed!

Not only wouldn't I give him "his" dog, but I hope he gets cited for animal cruelty (which may be forthcoming)...

Note to Anthony - Next time you scale a mountain, bring a German Sherpa, rather than a German Shepherd.

Harris Bloom
Stewie to the Rescue

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

My Friend, The Idiot

Knowing that I recently became a vegetarian, when my friend invited me to his barbeque, he felt the need to pull me aside to say, "Don't worry, for you, I am making turkey burgers."

Harris Bloom
Stewie to the Rescue

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Book Covers

Dunno if any other animal, and specifically pit bull, advocates feel this way, but although I preach not to judge dogs by their breed (or looks), I can't help but judge people in my neighborhood, when I see them walking an un-neutered pit bull with a chain, or spiked collar.

I assume they are an asshole.

Harris Bloom

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Pet Ownership Down Since 2006

Dunno if you've seen this, but it looks like the economy has definitely affected pet ownership.

Americans own 2MM fewer dogs and over 7MM fewer cats than they did in 2006. Not a shock.

What should be shocking (but isn't) is that people are spending more on vets than ever. Dog owners spent 18.6% more in 2011 than  2006, a huge increase, especially given the lower ownership. Expenses for cats rose 4.2%.

There really needs to be something done. Vet expenses are insane. People don't bat an eye to pay when Dr. XXX says Muffy needs x-rays. MRI's and surgery's when Muffy is hurting, because our pets are our children... but unless these costs get under control (and vets become more human), pet ownership will continue to fall.

Harris Bloom
Stewie to the Rescue