The attached is a draft of a presentation on dogs rescued from Homeward Bound in Ky:hb

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How I Failed as a Rescuer: Lessons from a Sanctuary

Interesting, in light of this week’s events in Laurel County, Ky:

notes from a dog walker

This has been a heavy, heart breaking week in the world of animal welfare. A few days ago a formerly reputable sanctuary in Texas called Spindletop Refuge was raided by authorities. Close to 300 dogs, mostly pit bulls, were discovered living in terrible conditions. It was just one of many failures this week.

The reason why this particular case is so upsetting is that this was supposed to a “good” sanctuary. Rescue groups and families from around the country have been sending their dogs to live there, paying hefty boarding fees, in the hopes that the dogs would have a chance at another life out in Texas. Some dogs were adopted out, others lived at the sanctuary for life.

Apparently on the surface, this place seemed a like a good one. People have come forward to say that they visited Spindletop as recently as the first week of July and…

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Ky recount


If you, like other Kentuckians, are concerned about the fact that Republican Matt Bevin won the governor’s race, feel free to sign and share the above petition. Although Democrats won other races and were projected to win the governor’s race, Bevin handily won. This begs the question of voting fraud or error.

Bevin wants to dismantle the highly effective kynect system, which has provided thousands with health insurance. He also wants to excuse Ky clerks from signing marriage licenses.

Please sign the petition and ask for a recount!

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ky woman

kimdavisI am a Kentucky woman. I have a hick accent, grew up in the country and like sweet tea. However, unlike another infamous Ky woman Kim Davis, I don’t wear ankle-length skirts and hair and am not a homophobic hypocrite.

Today, after flouting the Supreme Court twice, Davis and her staff appear in federal court on contempt charges. I hope she gets fined. However, any fine she is assessed will probably just be paid from her Liberty lawyers’ coffers. In the unlikely event she gets jail time, she will just be martyred by her brethren.

Ky is already deservedly or not the victim of stereotyping by others around the nation and world. This situation has only increased the comments, mostly along the lines of “Well, it is Kentucky” or “Don’t they all marry their cousins”. Whatever happens in court, I just hope Davis goes away, the sooner the better. Better to let Ky be known for fast horses, beautiful women and good bourbon than dowdy, overweight gay-bashers with multiple marriages.

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Dammit! I care more (about the right things) than you do.

Yes, yes, 1000 times yes!

word of a woman

Cecil_the_lion_in__3388298b1It seems lately I am not allowed to care about anything without someone saying I care about the wrong thing or that I must also make it clear that I care about something else more.

I am not allowed to care about the death of Cecil the lion unless I have already made it clear that I care more about aborted babies or police brutality or the death penalty.

Some don’t want me to say that #blacklivesmatter unless I also say #alllivesmatter.

We are not supposed to celebrate Caitlyn Jenner’s courage because soldiers (or someone else) are more courageous.

Etc., etc., ad nauseam.

How is it that all of a sudden compassion, caring and courage have all become competitive sports? Something to be won at the expense of others? Has it come to this? Are all our best qualities now just another thing to use against one another? Is empathy…

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RIP Sam DuBose


Sam DuBose was the black man killed by a Cincy officer last week during a traffic stop. This was just the most recent case in the news of officer shootings.

What I did not realize until reading the above article was what a loss this death also was for the animal community. Apparently DuBose operated under the radar in animal welfare work for some time. He saved dozens of pit bulls from suffering in fighting rings.

Just one more reason to mourn his senseless death…

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Big cats and human complexity

Well said!

The Trailhead

This weekend I spent time at the Exotic Feline Rescue Center near Brazil, Indiana. Most of the cats at the Center are tigers, due in part to the popularity of tiger ownership as a status symbol, as well as the obsession with breeding white tigers. Such breeding inevitably produces many non-white tigers, which then require sanctuary.

White tiger. White tiger.

There really are very few places that one can get so close to big cats; in the wild it’s unwise, and in zoos there always seem to be greater physical barriers, whether through glass or moats or just sheer distance. The EFRC keeps the cats in wooded, fenced habitats. Some of the cats are quite affectionate, and would come up and rub their faces against the fence when our guide called them, just like ordinary kitties.

010Others, though, behaved very much like one would expect wild tigers and lions to behave. I stood…

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ARRS committee meeting on expanding bear hunting-7/14/15

bearThe ARRS committee of the KY state legislature met today to discuss, among other things, Kentucky Division of Fish & Wildlife Resources’ proposal to increase bear hunting tags and seasons in the state. Committee member Tommy Turner welcomed General Counsel David Wicker, biologist Steven Dobey and others who appeared on behalf of Fish & Wildlife. Dobey stated that the bear population has increased since the first bear season in 2009 to 500-700. He said the proposal would increase the cap on bagged bears to 35. Wicker said the season would end if/when that total was hunted.

Kathryn Callahan, new HSUS state director, read a statement on behalf of HSUS. She stated that Dobey had previously given much smaller numbers as estimates for bear populations in the state. The main populations fall into two groups: those in the southern Big South Fork area and those in the eastern part of the state. She said the bears do not need to be hunter earlier, in a bigger area or with hounds, and she asked the committee to find the proposed regulation deficient. Doug Morgan, Kentucky Houndsmen, Ed Morris, League of Kentucky Sportsmen, Chet Hayes, Fifth Federation and Robin Webb, a legislator, all gave support to Fish & Wildlife’s plan. Hayes took the opportunity to criticize HSUS, but Co-chair Marzian politely returned the discussion to the issue at hand.

The proposal passed the committee, but, as it must still go before the Natural Resource Committee, no final decision was made on the regulation today.

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Wake Up, Murica!


terroristisisThe last week has been a whirlwind in the U.S. Between talks of taking down the Confederate flag from state capitols and gay marriage becoming the law of the land, Americans have had to digest unbelievable changes in a very short time. Although the fights for such measures have gone on for decades, their fruition still seems fairly shocking.

It’s shocking in a good way for liberals, gays and many blacks. Let’s face it: we’re still celebrating! And it’s hard not to gloat a little bit, after all the hateful rhetoric that has played on.

It’s even more shocking (not in such a good way) for many older people, conservatives and evangelical Christians. Some continue to rail against changes that have already occurred. Bless their hearts, it will take them some time to accept reality.

Meanwhile, Donald Trump couldn’t make it a week into his campaign before losing his TV show, after pissing off a third of the US population with racist remarks about Mexicans.

One thing is true for all Americans though. These issues, great as they may be, have distracted the nation from even more important concerns. A real danger continues for America in the form of terrorism, both domestic and foreign. Roof, the Charleston shooter, whose full name I won’t give him the satisfaction of typing, is as much an enemy of the entire US as he is of blacks (as illustrated by the above pic). ISIS continues its rampage of terror throughout the globe without any concern for life. One thing Trump is right about, despite the fact that he expressed the view in a disgusting manner, is that terrorists can enter our country through lax borders.

At this point, I believe we need to show no mercy for any terrorists, American or not. We may have to accept a certain amount of loss of personal privacy to allow effective phone and internet surveillance. We have to secure the borders, in a way that is humane to undocumented workers and/or children already here. We also have to beef up airline security in a commonsense way that doesn’t just make little old grannies take off their shoes and jewelry.

Personally, on the eve of our Independence Day,  it’s terrorism, human and ecological, that scares the shit out of me. I don’t know about you, but I ‘ve never felt threatened by throngs of Mexican migrant workers or gay rights activists…

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mfaWow is all I can think to say at this point. This has been a really bad week for bigots and racists, and I couldn’t be happier.

America is a little better place today that it was just a few days ago. The Confederate flag is coming down (eventually) in public places, and everyone now has the right to marry (or not) whomever they choose. We are seeing slow but steady progress (except in Ky) on animal welfare issues. The Pope has even decreed that we must improve our treatment of animals and the environment. These changes don’t right all of society’s wrongs, but they’re a hell of a step in the right direction.

We still have much work to do. Terrorism, both domestic and foreign, continues to fester. Just surviving paycheck-to-paycheck remains the norm for much of the middle class and working poor. Some Christians seem to have forgotten the example of Jesus, whom the religion was founded upon.

However, just for today, let’s celebrate equality and victory. A victory for all!

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