Archive: January, 2011
Some citizens of Frugality, PA are indeed frugal. Frugal with their hearts.
A stray German Shepherd seeking shelter at a church in Cambria County town at Christmas was not only turned away, he was shot in the head and left to die.
A caring parishioner called Dogs Deserve Better founder Tamira Ci Thayne, who you may recall spent almost two months camped on the Capitol steps last summer seeking passage of a bill banning 24/7 dog chaining. Thayne went to the church with video camera and kibble in hand.
Born Free. For anyone born at the tail end of the baby boom those words - and that film score - evoke memories of sitting in front of the black and white TV riveted to the the story of Elsa, the orphan lion cub succssfully raised by George and Joy Adamson and released into the African bush.
The movie, "Born Free," helped shape a new consciousness about growing threats to wild animal population, but also confirmed the astounding bonds that could be made between humans and creatures of the jungle. More broadly, the movie helped the world understand the individuality of wild cats - once considered vermin by Africans and trophies by big game hunters - and their role in the fragile ecosystem.
Now, a PBS documentary, "Elsa's Legacy: The Born Free Story," which airs tonight at 8 p.m. on (WHYY/Philadelphia) and other PBS stations, examines the Adamsons often stormy relationship, the harrowing existence of life in the wild - both for man (and woman) and beast - and how Elsa transformed the lives of many involved with telling her story. Among those forever changed were actors Virginia McKenna and Bill Travers, who played Joy and George Adamson in the movie. They would go on to found the Born Free Foundation, a UK-based group that calls attention to the plight of wild animals in Africa.
My colleague Mari Schaefer reports that Pennsylvania SPCA has launched a new program matching needy animals with the new generation of men and women who will soon be caring for them.
Homeless animals at the PSPCA are now getting a little help from veterinary students across the county. And the vets-in-training are getting exposure to shelter medicine.
This week, fourth-year veterinary students began a two-week externship program designed to teach them more about how caring for animals in a shelter differs from a general veterinary practice.
Calling all Philly dog lovers, it's time to cast your vote for the new Anti-Poop Pooch, otherwise known as the spokesdog for the Philadelphia Water Department.
Anyone who logs on to www.phillyWatersheds.org/Spokesdog can vote daily for the hounds they feel best represent "Philly Water’s Best Friend."
More than 80 dog owners have declared their pets’ candidacy. Each dog entry has a photo and bio to help voters decide if the dog's lifestyle is eco-friendly enough for the job.
Has an air war erupted over pigeons in the skies of Pennsylvania? An animal protection group fighting to ban the practice of launching live birds out of boxes to be shot at close range, says they think someone shot down their mini-drone on Sunday that was carrying a camera to document a Berks County pigeon shoot.
On Tuesday the group SHowing Animals Respect and Kindness (SHARK), seeking legislation to end pigeon shoots in the last state where they are legal, took their case to the crowds of people - lobbyists, lawmakers and their families and supporters - who flocked to the Capitol for swearing-in day. In the crowded Rotunda, Shark displayed graphic video of wounded pigeons flailing around a field.
Among those in attendance at the Capitol yesterday was Robert Tobash, who once served as chairman of the infamous and now defunct Hegins pigeon shoot in Schuylkill County (his son Mike is a newly-elected lawmaker) and Bucks County District Attorney David Heckler, who animal welfare activists say has failed to prosecute the Philadelphia Gun Club for holding shoots - which they argue constitutes animal cruelty - over the Delaware River in Bensalem.
The state of Illinois has just cracked open a window on the commercial puppy sales industry. A new law there that took effect Jan. 1 requires pet dealers who sell dogs and cats to identify their breeder by name and address.
We are not aware of any state with a similar law. Neither Pennsylvania nor New Jersey have any such requirements, though some pet stores display breeder information voluntarily, among them the Shake-A-Paw chain and Wentz K-9 in Fogelsville, near Allentown.
At Wentz a potential buyer could take down breeder's name, go home and check it against USDA and/or state inspection reports before purchasing a puppy. What they would find is that virtually all come from commercial kennels in Pennsylvania and across the midwest.
Give Chrome is home. At last. The standardbred gelding found in October near Gettysburg, attached to a cart with a harness so tight it had carved deep, open gashes in his haunches, is now enjoying the good life on a Kentucky estate.
It was a pre-Christmas miracle of sorts for this forgotten horse. One of the top standardbred breeders in the country and his wife - founder of a large horse rescue group - decided to adopt him from the Adams County SPCA which had seized Chrome after responding to calls about an injured horse found in a supermarket parking lot.