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Friday, September 22, 2006

Greetings from New York City

I'm here with my dad, sister, and brother-in-law for Rosh Hashanah, and I want to wish everyone who celebrates the Jewish New Year a happy, healthy, peaceful, and fulfilling holiday. As regular blog readers know, my mom passed away in July, so this is one of those sad "firsts" that we all have to get through. You who've been through it know what I mean.

I'm always tickled when I'm here to see professional New York dog walkers on the street with their charges, sometimes 10 at a time. You'd think it would be like a pack of sled dogs towing the walker down the sidewalk, but somehow they all seem to behave properly: no fighting, no biting.

I checked out a couple of local dog-walker websites just for fun (and dog pix), and offer the following links just for your fun: petaholics.com and dogwalkernyc.com.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Hulk Hogan Gets Tough for Animals

I personally wouldn't want to get on Hulk Hogan's bad side, but a boxer named Roy Jones Jr. has. He bought a cock-fighting arena and brought down the wrath of the wrestler, who thinks that this is a barbaric (which it is), sport (which it isn't).

Click here to read about it on the Humane Society of the United States site.

Canine-Americans: Polticial Correctness Gone Dog Wild, or Just a Joke?

Apparently it's the latter, but certain people with a tin ear for satire didn't quite get it.

Seems that Humane Society of the U.S. President/CEO Wayne Pacelle was goofing on the notion of political correctness by saying that some folks don't want to call a dog a dog anymore, but prefer Canine-American. It was a laugh line that an agribusiness trade group - smarting from the recent Congressional ban on horse slaugther - totally missed, and reported Pacelle's quip as a call for actually using the term.

Sheesh.

Click here to read a recap of this silliness.

Proposed Pets-in-Condos Legislation

From Maida Genser, godmother of the pets-in-condos cause:
Citizens for Pets in Condos would like these bills introduced in 2007:

Votes to reverse no-pet rules only require a simple majority vote of condominium unit owners. Unit owners may openly campaign for this rule change without repercussions, including posting signs and going door to door to other unit owners.

Details: Existing vote requirements and fear of reprisals do not allow positive change away from life-style and health restricting no-pet rules.

Condominium association boards must accept, without question or legal challenge, a letter from a duly licensed medical or mental health professional prescribing an emotional support animal. Animals used for this purpose, in private homes, do not require any specialized training.

Details: Abundant evidence exists that companion animals can reduce loneliness, stress, anxiety, depression and even blood pressure. Letters from psychiatrists, social workers or psychologist who do psychotherapy, cardiologists, and any licensed physician who prescribes tranquilizers, anti-anxiety and anti-depression drugs should be accepted. Federal disability and fair housing law already make it absolutely clear that accommodations must be made for emotional/mental as well as physical disabilities.

Condominium association boards may not request removal of pets that have already been in place for at least two years as long as there are no unresolved nuisance complaints. A board cannot use no-pet rules to cause removal of the animal. Simply being there, against the rules, is not sufficient reason to remove an animal that has not been the cause of any mess or disturbance.

Details: If an animal has been present for two years and has caused no complaint, that is implicit acceptance.

New condominium complexes or conversions cannot have no-pet policies, only pet agreements. This would assure that responsible animal guardians can have pets and that people who don’t clean up after their dogs or otherwise allow their animals to create a nuisance are the only people who pay the price.

Details: Pet guidelines that specify rules regarding cleanup of animal waste, where pets may be walked, and other clear directives have been successful. Pets are not the problem. Owners who allow their pets to be a nuisance to others create the problem.

Condominiums are not allowed to add “poison pill” clauses to their pet-related declarations. If pets are allowed, they cannot add a clause that says that when pets die they cannot be replaced.

Details: People have a difficult time finding affordable places to live that allow pets. They agree to move in, even with a poison pill, just to be able to keep their beloved companion animals. The issue of pets being allowed keeps coming up as their animals pass away. A lot of grief could be avoided if pet laws were open-ended.

In the future, Citizens for Pets in Condos would like to see similar bills introduced for other types of common interest ownership communities. We would like to see a gradual shift towards punishment of irresponsible owners and removal of animals that cause continued nuisance complaints. Pet guidelines allow responsible people to experience the health benefits of companion animals.


For more information about this cause, click here.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Petey the Party Pup Needs a Home

He's Pet of the Week at Miami-Dade Animal Services, a chunky, short-legged basset hound mix, about a year old, id# 899306. Contact Aileen at 305-805-1778.

There's a pet adoption party planned for Oct. 7, 5 p.m.–9 p.m., 7401 NW 74 St., to celebrate the department's first anniversary as an iddependent agency. Bring a dog or cat toy.

Good PR for Pits

Worried about proposed legislation targeting the American Pit Bull Terrier as a dangerous dog, the United Kennel Club is hosting the National American Pit Bull Terrier Association’s Dog Show, October 7, at the North Texas State Fairgrounds in Denton, "to see the true nature of this breed as a gentle, hard working and eager to please breed, as well as the positive results that come from responsible dog ownership," according to the group, which notes that pits are "one of the most popularly registered breeds in America."

From the group: Established in 1898, the United Kennel Club is the largest all-breed performance-dog registry in the world, registering dogs from all 50 states and 25 foreign countries. More than 60 percent of its 12,000 annually licensed events are tests of hunting ability, training and instinct. UKC prides itself on its family-oriented, friendly, educational events. To find out more about registration and events, call or visit our website. Phone: (269) 343-9020, or visit www.ukcdog.com.

Train Stopping (Not a Typo)

For anyone who thinks New Yorkers are hard-hearted and unfeeling, this New York Times story about how even harried commuters understand a subway slowdown to protect an errant canine. Click here to read the story.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

The Peanut Gallery

These little critters are part of John and Jeannie Lutz's backyard menagerie in North Miami. The spend upwards of $40 a month satisfying the squirrels' peanut addiction, but it pays off in entertainment value.

John calls them "my squirrels," and says that most have names.

They "jump from the tree to my balcony. Sure does get hectic feeding them, the doves and bluejays," adds Jeannie.