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  #51  
Old 01-25-2011, 08:13 PM
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Default Re: Animal hoarding and welfare and stuff

Winograd can be strident, but it might be partly defensive. He's been attacked pretty consistently by people who have an investment in old style trap and kill sheltering policies; and he's had his (really impressive) record for achieving no kill impugned from all kinds of different angles. PETA originated this factoid that no kill = hoarding, which gets echoed a lot. People call him a liar and an abuser and stuff like that all the time, and I can't say I entirely blame him for a little kneejerk hostility to those involved in the institutions where that's coming from.

So while I agree he's a little harsh on the low level employees by default (the ones who parrot the lies about no kill deserve it, but they don't all do that), his perception of a lot of the animal control and sheltering community is accurate.

Just to illustrate, once on an animal welfare forum, this woman who was an adoption counselor I think at a municipal shelter (could have been a rescue, but I don't think so) posted to brag about how she'd busted a potential cat adopter. They had a questionnaire where they asked a bunch of questions about what you intended to do with your pet. It included questions about whether you would get them vaccinations, take them for physicals at the vet, spay or neuter, and declaw them. The woman, who hadn't had a cat before, answered yes to all of them. So the poster rejected her and lectured her on declawing. The lady said that she answered that way because she thought that was what they wanted, and the counselor treated this as her being deceptive and just trying to say what they wanted to hear. I took it as someone who hadn't had a cat before and probably didn't understand about declawing, and who probably would have been very receptive to a non-hostile, non-judgmental education on what declawing is and why the shelter does not recommend it.

The poster wasn't having that, though, and neither were any of the old-school sheltering advocates there, either. They'd rather judge someone for not knowing everything they know, reject that adopter, and then kill the animals that don't get adopted.

In fact, I have seen adoption forms that asked if you had a declawed cat, where a yes triggered an automatic rejection. I have had a declawed cat. I adopted her that way. She was also old and swaybacked and kind of fractious and crazy and almost toothless, and I gave her a good home, as I do for every animal I adopt. I'll bet there are places that'd reject me, though, because they're so hostile to adopters that they wouldn't even think to ask or to educate. Because hell, even if I HAD had her declawed myself, why not ask about it and discuss, rather than just outright rejecting? If someone makes a mistake one time, not only do you never give them another chance, but you don't give the animals one either? Unless someone is actually abusing or seriously neglecting animals, maybe their non-ideal way of life is still preferable for the animals than the gas chamber or a heartstick.

It seems to me that a lot of people are very attached to some weird myths and dogma surrounding about sheltering and animal welfare, and they're almost always hostile to people and potentially fatal to animals.

Like the whole 'Christmas puppy' thing, where there's this notion that you can NEVER EVER adopt pets out near the holidays because they just all end up back in the shelter in February, after the giftees get tired of them. And maybe it is true that it's a bad idea for a teenaged boy to give his high school girlfriend a puppy for Christmas or something, but parents giving their kids the dog they've been asking for for Christmas? That's actually really cool, and I'll bet most of those puppies live long, happy lives. And the shelters that shut down adoptions near the holidays to avoid the gifting thing just end up losing potential adopters and sending their business to puppy mills and backyard breeders.

But even if it were true that some goodly portion of those Christmas puppies ended up back in the shelter, what of it? So they got fostered over the holidays, and now they're back, alive, probably not kennel crazy, potentially better socialized, and ready for adoption again.

So yeah. I agree that Winograd could temper his criticisms a little better, and that it ironically ends up being as hostile as some of the things that he criticizes. The idea of no kill being possible is threatening to a lot of people, and not even necessarily because they want to kill animals, but because, if they have been, they would have to admit that it wasn't necessary.

Oh hey, look. I went off an poasted War and Peace again, so The End.
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  #52  
Old 01-25-2011, 08:36 PM
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Default Re: Animal hoarding and welfare and stuff

That reminds me, I still need to upload the Xmas pix of Voltron Chickenbunny. I'm glad the rescue agency we used didn't freak out when we were up front about her being a Xmas gift. She sort of dug her bitchin' Santa suit.
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  #53  
Old 01-25-2011, 09:13 PM
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Default Re: Animal hoarding and welfare and stuff

Ha ha. I lied about The End, because I have another story.

I have never intentionally gotten a cat. I'm not really a cat person, so when I do end up with cats, it's because they have been dumped on me. I've kept quite a few of them, but I've also sort of de facto fostered some, keeping them while looking for someone to take them permanently.

One time, though, this guy dumped a really tough kitty on me. She was spottily housetrained, afraid of the other animals in the house (which might have been the cause of the housetraining issues), and it was making everyone miserable, including her, but I couldn't find anyone who wanted her. So I called a local no kill shelter to see if they could help. They said yes, put me on a waiting list, and called me when they had the space. Being a single parent and all, bitches, I drove down to the place with my kid and with the kitty, and a decent sized donation for the shelter.

They took us into a room, and the lady doing the intake was horribly hostile. I'd explained the situation, but she persisted in emphasizing YOUR CAT, and talking to TLM, who was a little kid, about how it was time to SAY GOODBYE TO YOUR CAT and shit like that.

So later that day, I'm telling a friend who worked in animal welfare about it, and she said, "Well, that's because people are always dumping their cats and claiming they're not theirs." I said, "You know that's not the case this time, but if you didn't know me, you'd chalk me up as one of those people too, wouldn't you?" She admitted she would have, but still wouldn't admit that she probably HAD assumed that of other people, and that her 'statistics' were all based on her unfounded and unnecessarily hostile assumptions. I mean, I fit the profile that she used. I knew the cat's name and history because the guy who dumped her on me told me. I had had her for some time because I was trying to find her a home or even possibly integrate her so that she could stay with us, and then I kept her while she was on the waiting list for space in the shelter. I fed her, took her to the vet, and tried to socialize her as best I could, and when I ran out of options and made the effort to find a situation where she might have a chance to find a home, I was vilified by this ridiculous, judgmental woman who tried to use my child against me in the process.

So that's another type of hostile generalization that probably leads to a lot of people not wanting to ask animal welfare organizations for help, and getting in over their heads or making other bad decisions. I won't give that shelter money ever again; and I wouldn't look to them if I ended up in that situation again, either. Personally, I probably still wouldn't leave a cat at a kill shelter or anything, but a lot of people probably would do that, or they might just turn an animal loose or something. Or not take it in in the first place and just leave it to its fate. Or, in the case of hoarding, they might keep an animal in a situation that's no good for anyone.

And that's a lot of the reason that it's so important that no kill is a broad community effort. A no kill shelter is a good thing, sure, but ultimately, the only way to effectively achieve no killing of healthy or treatable pets is cooperatively, as an overall community policy.
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  #54  
Old 01-25-2011, 09:20 PM
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Default Re: Animal hoarding and welfare and stuff

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Originally Posted by Sock Puppet View Post
That reminds me, I still need to upload the Xmas pix of Voltron Chickenbunny. I'm glad the rescue agency we used didn't freak out when we were up front about her being a Xmas gift. She sort of dug her bitchin' Santa suit.
Sure, you're all proud now, but wait till February, when poor little Voltron is back in doggie jail!
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  #55  
Old 01-25-2011, 09:22 PM
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Default Re: Animal hoarding and welfare and stuff

The stray cat I am feeding is a huge pain in the ass, and yet what am I doing? I am feeding the fucking thing. Oh and although I didn't offer it shelter, it is receiving shelter anyway because I am not barring it from my porch.

I am not taking the noisy thing in though!
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  #56  
Old 01-26-2011, 12:44 AM
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Default Re: Animal hoarding and welfare and stuff

So, Winograd's excess is due to his frustration with unfair attacks, but those of his will-kill critics are due to a deep-seated fear that he may be right? That's a hell of a double standard, Lisarea.
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Old 01-26-2011, 01:21 AM
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Default Re: Animal hoarding and welfare and stuff

It's true that I do give Winograd a pass on some of his more divisive rhetoric, but that's because he does have a track record of making no kill work.

And to be clear, I think there are reasonable arguments against some of his claims. There are plenty of things he says that can be debated. But arguments that just recite old, untrue myths about overpopulation and an irresponsible public aren't reasonable or understandable, except from the perspective of self-preservation. What would be an acceptable motivation for not even trying to save more lives, or to keep more pets in their homes? Even if you were skeptical about the results, why would you refuse to even consider changing your status quo--particularly when that status quo is killing as many as 90% of the animals that come into your shelter?

So yes, I suppose you could argue that it's a double standard, but it's not a mindless one. His goals and his results are more humane than those of his most vocal detractors, so it does bother me less to see him be a little strident in pursuit of his goals of reducing shelter killings than it is to see others stridently pursuing their desire to continue them. And he's impugning people's characters, not outright lying.

It's also worth pointing out that Winograd is one guy and not the Official Voice of a whole organization. There are plenty of no kill advocates and advocacy groups that don't use the kind of divisive rhetoric he does.
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Old 01-26-2011, 01:29 AM
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Default Re: Animal hoarding and welfare and stuff

A double standard is a double standard, mindless or not. But the your own rhetorical questions are hardly fair here either;

Quote:
What would be an acceptable motivation for not even trying to save more lives, or to keep more pets in their homes? Even if you were skeptical about the results, why would you refuse to even consider changing your status quo
This is how you describe people who are critical or Weinograd and no-kill in general? To call it poisoning the well would be a very charitable description of your rhetoric here.
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Old 01-26-2011, 01:35 AM
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Default Re: Animal hoarding and welfare and stuff

No. That's how I describe the people who dismiss the whole concept out of hand with facile arguments about hoarding, made up 'statistics' and other bald-faced lies.

There are plenty of things Winograd says that I don't take at face value. In fact, I am not totally convinced it'd work on a grand scale. So maybe I'm even a critic, or at least a skeptic. I just don't see how trying would hurt, and I'm convinced it'd be more humane than not trying.
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Old 01-26-2011, 08:02 AM
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Default Re: Animal hoarding and welfare and stuff

Note, that this:

"And to be clear, I think there are reasonable arguments against some of his claims. There are plenty of things he says that can be debated. But arguments that just recite old, untrue myths about overpopulation and an irresponsible public aren't reasonable or understandable, except from the perspective of self-preservation. What would be an acceptable motivation for not even trying to save more lives, or to keep more pets in their homes? Even if you were skeptical about the results, why would you refuse to even consider changing your status quo--particularly when that status quo is killing as many as 90% of the animals that come into your shelter?"

...is nowhere near as carfully qualified as your last statement. The object of your criticism applies to anyone who raises the issue of overpopulation in response to W. and the no-kill advocates. Some of those arguments do include made up statistics, some do not, and some involve bald-faced lies. So, do some of the arguments raised by no-kill advocates. Overpopulation is central to the existence of will-kill facilities. You can ask all sorts of questions about what can and can't be reasonably claimed about the existence of overpopulation, but your statements don't do that. You dismiss the whole issue as a myth. You groups all of these arguments under one heading and dismisses anyone making them as self-interested and deceitful. Now you say your comments are limited to those who dismiss the concept of will-lill out of hand. There is a lot of shifting going on in your position here.

If your comments were limited to those who refuse to try, that would be one thing, hell I'd agree with you then, but you simply haven't been that careful, not in your posts thus far. In effect, you've set up a narrative in which W.'s excess is explained by the excess of his critics, but their excess is just plain old deceit. That's hardly a fair take on the issue.
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Old 01-26-2011, 05:08 PM
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Default Re: Animal hoarding and welfare and stuff

I also question a few things about no kill shelters. Do they refuse a higher percentage of animals (in my very limited experience, this seems very possible), do they hand over unadoptable animals to the closest kill shelter, to allow them to truthfully claim they did not kill it? This seems somewhat plausible to me.

I questioned this at the lovely, clean, modern no kill shelter where I adopted Duck. They had nothing but attractive, healthy pets in the place, and all were young. That's not possible unless you are highly selective at intake or doing something else with unattractive, older, or less healthy animals.
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Old 01-26-2011, 06:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brimshack View Post
...is nowhere near as carfully qualified as your last statement. The object of your criticism applies to anyone who raises the issue of overpopulation in response to W. and the no-kill advocates. Some of those arguments do include made up statistics, some do not, and some involve bald-faced lies. So, do some of the arguments raised by no-kill advocates. Overpopulation is central to the existence of will-kill facilities. You can ask all sorts of questions about what can and can't be reasonably claimed about the existence of overpopulation, but your statements don't do that. You dismiss the whole issue as a myth. You groups all of these arguments under one heading and dismisses anyone making them as self-interested and deceitful. Now you say your comments are limited to those who dismiss the concept of will-lill out of hand. There is a lot of shifting going on in your position here.
I think you're parsing that wrong. I am not claiming that all statistics about overpopulation are myths. I said "But arguments that just recite old, untrue myths about overpopulation and an irresponsible public..." I used the word that to introduce an essential clause, meaning that the description applies to a subset of arguments about overpopulation. Had I intended to say that ALL arguments citing pet overpopulation relied on old, untrue myths, I would have used a nonessential clause introduced with a comma and the word which.

I AM NOT A PRESCRIPTIVIST!!!, but I do tend to write that way, particularly when it affects meaning; so when I use a prescriptive device in writing that affects the meaning of what I'm saying, odds are that the prescriptive meaning is the intended one.

I have already said that I don't think that all traditional shelter employees are responsible; and I do believe that Winograd is making the same kind of mistake as that cat shelter lady did. Instead of giving people the benefit of the doubt and educating them, he's vilifying and alienating them by painting them with a broad brush. My speculations about his motivations for that are just that: speculations. But even if you choose to assume I am lying and that I intended them as full-on justifications, even if I did think or say mean things about people and had some inexcusably hurtful double standard, so what?

So let's just say that I admit that I am a horrible, intolerant asshole and move on.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LadyShea View Post
I also question a few things about no kill shelters. Do they refuse a higher percentage of animals (in my very limited experience, this seems very possible), do they hand over unadoptable animals to the closest kill shelter, to allow them to truthfully claim they did not kill it? This seems somewhat plausible to me.

I questioned this at the lovely, clean, modern no kill shelter where I adopted Duck. They had nothing but attractive, healthy pets in the place, and all were young. That's not possible unless you are highly selective at intake or doing something else with unattractive, older, or less healthy animals.
That's why any meaningful no kill policy has to be a community wide thing. To answer your question, yes, many 'no kill' facilities are limited admission, and some are even hoarding situations to varying degrees.

Real no kill communities have been achieved, though. Some by Winograd. An actual no kill community is one in which no healthy or treatable* domestic animal in a given geography is killed for space.

Municipal shelters, which have contracts with their municipalities to take in homeless animals, are almost by definition open admission. They don't have the option of turning down animals, because they're paid by their municipalities to take whatever animal control brings them. These are usually the shelters that have the highest kill rates, for just that reason.

Communities that have achieved no kill status have usually done it using this model or some variant thereof:

No Kill Advocacy Home Page

The methods used focus very heavily on cooperation. So a municipal shelter trying to achieve no kill will, among other things, foster relationships with others in the community, including private rescues, volunteer fosters and compassion care homes, etc., and work with them to place animals as they come in.

Our local municipal shelter is in Boulder, which is a relatively wealthy and liberal area, so they have a particularly good situation, and while they are not no kill (and seem to avoid even using the term for reasons that I could speculate on), their live release rate has been consistently improving over the years as they adopt new methods. In 2009, over 88% of healthy and treatable animals that entered their open admission shelter were adopted or sent to local rescues or sanctuaries. (And they even take in transfers from other, high kill shelters, so if they stuck to just local intakes, it's possible they could be totally no kill.)

* These definitions get muddy, as different people set different guidelines for what constitutes 'healthy' and 'treatable.' Some shelters do claim lower kill rates by adopting really strict assessments and killing animals with borderline health and behavioral problems.
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Old 01-26-2011, 08:38 PM
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Default Re: Animal hoarding and welfare and stuff

A friend of mine's family has something like 30+ outdoor cats and 7 indoor cats. It's pretty disgusting and out of hand. I don't know how it started but I am sure at this point the kittens have been inbred to a degree that they are genetically diseased. Most of them have gooey eyes and scabby fur and stuff. They feed them with a plate of food, but definately not enough for all the animals on the property and I can't imagine that they could find enough to eat during the coldass fridgid winter months. The indoor cats are fed well, but the litter boxes are not changed often enough and the cats will shit where ever they want. It's ridiculous. Plus the house is sort of out in bumfuck Egypt so nobody cares.
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Old 01-26-2011, 08:56 PM
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Default Re: Animal hoarding and welfare and stuff

Feral cat colonies can be difficult to manage (and apparently impossible to eradicate), but trap neuter return programs can make a difference. See, for example, the article titled "Object reference not set to an instance of an object":

Object reference not set to an instance of an object.

There are resources for finding or starting a local effort here:

http://www.alleycat.org/NetCommunity...=379&srcid=298
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Old 01-26-2011, 09:12 PM
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Default Re: Animal hoarding and welfare and stuff

When visiting Flordia there was a colony of deranged cats that lived around this gas station and they freaked me the hell out all clawing their way towards people and hissing and meowing and shit. It was like a horrorshow.
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Old 01-26-2011, 09:14 PM
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Default Re: Animal hoarding and welfare and stuff

Are you sure they were cats and not just cranky old people?
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Old 01-26-2011, 09:27 PM
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Default Re: Animal hoarding and welfare and stuff

Or Zombies??? :eek:
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Old 01-27-2011, 04:14 AM
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Default Re: Animal hoarding and welfare and stuff

I have wondered about the ethics / legality of trap and release. Ordinarily to take in an animal and vet them is to accept responsibility for that animal, releasing them sounds like abandonment to me.

Our neighborhood has a program. I will say that it is better than gassing them all as Dallas does. They get some life and I guess it keeps the rat population down. But I worry about the toll on bird populations and disease. But the life of a feral cat isn't that great.
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Old 01-27-2011, 05:25 PM
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Default Re: Animal hoarding and welfare and stuff

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Originally Posted by Demimonde View Post
I have wondered about the ethics / legality of trap and release. Ordinarily to take in an animal and vet them is to accept responsibility for that animal, releasing them sounds like abandonment to me.

Our neighborhood has a program. I will say that it is better than gassing them all as Dallas does. They get some life and I guess it keeps the rat population down. But I worry about the toll on bird populations and disease. But the life of a feral cat isn't that great.
The purpose is sound though, reduce the feral cat population in the future. We know of at least 2-3 of them in my neighborhood at all times, and it changes because I assume they die or mosey on or maybe get taken in. Sometimes we feed ones that adopt us (I have a marmalade tabby squatting at my place right now and my mom had a pretty white one as a porch kitteh for a while), sometimes we just see them when they use our yard as a shortcut (current yard cutter is a big Smoky). Bird population is fine, lizard population is fine. There seems to be plenty to go around.

Anyway, I can't take responsibility for them, nor can I afford to trap, fix, and release them, but if there was a community program that did that, I would support it.

As it is though, this is Alabama and people are like "they're wild animals, like raccoons", which is apparently not an uncommon concept as IIRC some countries consider cats "free roaming animals" rather than pets.
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Old 01-27-2011, 06:16 PM
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Default Re: Animal hoarding and welfare and stuff

TNR sort of flies in the face of a lot of my core principles. Like I have this rule that if an animal--especially a domestic animal--comes to your house or otherwise asks you for help, it becomes your responsibility to get it taken care of and make sure it gets to a safe situation. (This, of course, is why people used to dump cats on me all the time.)

But feral cats are I think different. Apparently, you've got a pretty short developmental window to ensure a cat is domesticated, and if you miss that window, it's just going to be feral for good. So for those cats, the options are really die or be feral. They can't be domesticated. And while they probably don't seem as happy to us as domesticated housecats do, I don't know. They certainly prefer it, as evidenced by the fact that they'll fight for it. So I'm for letting them.

Legally, I know there are a lot of places where any animal you take care of in any way becomes officially yours under the law, but to that I say laws schmaws. Change, evade, or break them.

I've also seen a lot of conflicting information on the effects of feral cat populations on songbirds and other wildlife, but I haven't seen a solid compelling case that they make a big difference. There are a lot of nativist arguments that hinge on protecting "native" species, but they usually hinge on drawing some arbitrary line to delineate some date after which new arrivals aren't considered native. Ultimately, I figure they're here, they're queer, so we need to do what we can to manage their populations in the most effective and humane way possible.

And assuming that we do need to make some efforts to manage feral cat populations (which I do think we do), TNR has been shown to be more effective at doing that than attempts at eradication. And not killing them is a bonus.
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Old 01-27-2011, 06:38 PM
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Default Re: Animal hoarding and welfare and stuff

Yeah I am pretty sure these are feral as opposed to strays or free roaming pets. They won't let you near them, they hiss at you and stuff or run away, BUT they are not afraid and will happily use your porch furniture and eat any food you give them or they can steal....in fact they are downright ballsy. That tabby got right up on Auroras food platform thing WHILE AURORA WAS EATING. And Aurora let it do so! WTF?
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Old 01-27-2011, 07:35 PM
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Default Re: Animal hoarding and welfare and stuff

Kinda related Horses left on foreclosed property

The guy had a big herd, 500+, then got foreclosed on, then the property sold at auction for 2.5 mil, then sometime later the new owners called someone about the declining health of the horses. WTF? How long did they watch them starve?

Are horses part of the property and if not doesn't the foreclosing bank and/or new owner have some responsibility for ensuring the authorities are notified that there are 500 fucking horses on their property (or whatever the case may be) that they don't own and don't plan to feed?
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Old 01-27-2011, 08:34 PM
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Default Re: Animal hoarding and welfare and stuff

Here's a sort of similar case, where Wells Fargo foreclosed on an animal sanctuary, kicked the owner out with ten minutes' notice, then just left the animals to starve.

Wells Fargo is accused of animal neglect following foreclosure of Rhode Island farm animal sanctuary | L.A. Unleashed | Los Angeles Times

(The guy who ran the sanctuary is now using a rented barn and trying to get the old property back, but I haven't seen anything on what eventually happened to all the animals that were there originally.)

PS I am p. awesome for not only remembering that story, but being able to Gewgel it up like that, aren't I?
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Old 01-27-2011, 10:22 PM
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Old 01-27-2011, 11:56 PM
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Default Re: Animal hoarding and welfare and stuff

It is a sad story, and there are a lot of those.

But there's a good part about that, too. When people learned about the problem, they came out to help. And that's pretty universal, which is why that 'irresponsible public' attitude bothers me so much. I just don't think it's as true as some seem to believe.

When people know about a situation like that, there's always a bunch of them who step up to help.

Or if you haven't seen Just One Dog, do it now beneath the spoiler, and I warn you no matter how tough and badass you are, you're probably not gonna want to watch it at work of if you're wearing mascara, CRUMB you painted trollop.



And it's not just Stanley and those sanctuary animals. Pretty much every time someone puts a story like those up in people's faces and tells them how they can help, they line up to do something about it. Hell, even Mean Old Lady Marmalade up there feeds hungry kitties.

That's the same public that some people want to think is just overwhelmingly irresponsible and heartless and can't be trusted to do the right thing; and the excuse some animal welfare organizations use for their hostile and secretive policies, and for advancing notions that the situation is hopeless and there's just nothing anyone can do to stop the killing, so there's no use in even trying.
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