Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Goodbye to Murmur

? - January 9, 2020

Miss Murmur somehow came to be lost and alone in the extreme heat of a southern California desert.  I
have no idea how she came to be there, where she came from or for how long she wandered alone.  Fortunately she was found and taken to a shelter in Bakersfield.  She was adopted by a family, but was immediately returned to the shelter - why? because the family learned she "WASN'T PERFECT" - she had a heart murmur.  When she was returned she was placed in the 'euthanasia wing' and scheduled to have her life ended.  A wonderful employee at the Kern County shelter saw something special in her and called Cindy Marabito, the founding director of Reunion Rescue in San Francisco, California and Austin, Texas to ask for help in trying to save the dog.

As I viewed the long lists of new puppies online over a Valentine's Day weekend, I saw an ad titled "SOMEBODY PLEASE HELP THIS DARLING GIRL".  Looking at the photo of a sadly pathetic dog who obviously needed someone to love her, I called immediately; the timing of my decision turned out to be critical.  During my lengthy interview Ms. Marabito had suggested the perfect name for this special dog, "MURMUR".  I've been told in the past I have always adopted dogs nobody else wanted - it's true, I've always preferred adopting a dog who needed me most.

Reunion Rescue went to work immediately from Texas to get Murmur out in time.  People were waiting outside the shelter to save her on the Monday morning she was due to be euthanized  - just a day and a half after my call.  She was taken in briefly by a volunteer family who kept her with them until Murmur's transport to me in the Bay Area was arranged.  When all the volunteers had been gathered, Murmur's journey began.  When she finally arrived, she was so ill and frightened she had to be laid down on the sidewalk in front of my home.  The marvelous couple who brought her the final miles of the trip and I spoke briefly and they left with my permanent gratitude and thanks.  I took her up in my arms, carried her into the house, up the stairs, and placed her on her very own brand new comforter on the floor next to my bed.  She collapsed into a deep, safe sleep and never again left my side.  I have always felt terrible Murmur suffered through so much fear, trauma, and then rejection.  I can only say the family that deemed her unworthy and imperfect, had no idea how truly perfect and wonderful Murmur was.

The shelter employee, Ms. Marabito, and I were not the only ones who found Miss Murmur special.  The group of volunteers who transported her to me were so moved and inspired by Murmur and her story that they formed their own special animal transport group THE STREETS OF BAKERSFIELD, and since Murmur's first transport in February, 2009, they have transported more than 5,000 rescued animals to their new "forever homes".  THE STREETS OF BAKERSFIELD still exists and continues to transport rescued animals to their new homes - a continuously stellar and dedicated group of volunteers.

Almost two years after I adopted Murmur we moved half way across the country to a tiny rural village of slightly more than 100 people where Murmur found new dog and human friends, as well as the love of lots of open space.  I knew she needed her own special companion and after some local searching I mentioned to Ms. Marabito I was looking for a companion for Murmur, she said "I HAVE THE PERFECT DOG FOR YOU AND MISS MURMUR!" - she was right.

Mr Hub's adoption was secured, but he had been through terrible traumas; he is one of approximately 200 surviving dogs from a dramatic rescue operation amidst hundreds of others tragically discovered dead or missing.  After some months of recovery, veterinary care, evaluations, etc..., and the gathering of wonderful transport volunteers, Hub began his journey from Texas.  He landed by private plane in a tiny nearby airport thanks to a wonderful young couple.  An excited volunteer from my own little town drove us on the last leg of the transport back home - she was completely overwhelmed learning how many thousands of people volunteer nationwide every single day to help animals get to their new families.

Upon entering his new home for the first time, there was none of the usual posturing between newly introduced dogs for Hub.  Instead, Murmur welcomed him inside with a huge smile, kissed him immediately all over his face, and said "WHAT TOOK YOU SO LONG TO GET HERE?  WE'VE BEEN WAITING FOR YOU!  WELCOME HOME - I'M YOUR NEW DOG MOM, MISS MURMUR!!!!!"

It was a mutual love fest for eleven years.  And even though her muzzle had turned mostly white, Murmur continued to be beautifully enthusiastic in her love and joy at being alive, safe, and part of a family.  She woke up smiling with kisses for Hub and me, then she was ready to hustle and bustle as "head of our household", with places to go, things to do, and people to see.  She was always a very "paws on" mom to her beloved baby, Hub - he couldn't get away with a thing!  She still had her comforter and Hub has his "comforter cave".  The two of them were busy at work day and night watching over me, as well as the birds, bunnies, squirrels, deer, and neighboring dogs surrounding our home.

Murmur was always at my side - keeping watch and knowing she was safe with me.  She never lost her fear of being without water, so the water bowl was always full.  Without Murmur and Hub, my life would have been less joyful, without as much laughter, and without their constant companionship.  All my dogs have always been my family, my mentors, my guardians, and my teachers.  Each day Murmur inspired me to be a better and stronger person, to be thankful, and reminded me life is worth living.  I am so fortunate - she brought Hub and me happiness and inspiration every day.

Murmur's story was one of brave survival despite fear, loneliness, and deprivation of basic necessities for life in the dangers of extreme desert heat.  And her story was one of total rejection for no good reason - her loving, "imperfect" heart kept beating strongly all her life.  Hers was perhaps not the most dramatic rescue story, but it was an ordeal that was traumatic enough.  The point being, that every lost dog, unwanted dog, elderly or imperfect dog, dog in a shelter, dog needing to be "re-homed", or dog headed toward euthanasia, is a dog that if given the chance to live and be happy, can make a positive difference in this world and in others' lives.

My much loved Murmur made a difference not just in the lives of Hub and me, but to the lives of thousands of people and other animals in her own quiet way.  By inspiring all those who helped rescue and transport her to see and respect her absolutely perfect and generous heart, those individuals have continued to carry that love forward to many others.  Miss Murmur's single rescue has inspired me, Reunion Rescue that continues its' outstanding daily dedication to rescuing, sheltering, and finding safe and loving homes for animals in need,  and so many others who have since that day in February, 2009, volunteered to help more than 5,000 rescued animals and families find life and joy together.  My joyfully resilient and perfect Miss Murmur was living proof of the potential every rescued animal has to bring love, hope, and purpose into others' lives and our world.
We love you dear Miss Murmur.  Hub and I know you are now watching over us from amidst the stars.


Saturday, November 25, 2017

#themtoo movement for animals at risk under Trump

The Trump administration is currently doing away with all protection for animals. One by one, animal programs are being wiped out with a simple signature courtesy of Donald J. Trump.

Trump's appointed pick as Secretary of the Interior, Ryan Zinke, tweets regularly about hunting and even installed a hunting and killing video game in the cafeteria.

The Trump sons, Don Jr. and Eric, love killing animals and post photos of their activities all over social media, often donning the offspring in look-alike hunting gear.

One of the most truly evil Trump moves has been to authorize the killing of hibernating bears and wolf pups.

Practically no animal does not come under fire.

"The United State Department of Agriculture removed public access to tens of thousands of reports that document the numbers of animals kept by research labs, companies, zoos, circuses, and animal transporters—and whether those animals are being treated humanely under the Animal Welfare Act. The same goes for inspection reports under the Horse Protection Act, which prohibits injuring horses’ hooves or legs for show.

The agency said in a statement that it revoked public access to the reports “based on our commitment to being transparent … and maintaining the privacy rights of individuals.”
Killed while hibernating

According to Science Magazine, "inspection reports contain little, if any, personal information about individuals. Although the act covers animals like dogs and chimpanzees, it does not cover rodents like laboratory mice. The Humane Society of the United States said in a statement: “This action benefits no one, except facilities who have harmed animals and don’t want anyone to know.”

Wild horses are under the gun, too. In a recent Washington Post article, "It’s an escalating equine-
population problem, and the fiscal 2018 budget President Trump proposed this week suggests a solution: using “humane euthanasia and unrestricted sale of certain excess animals.”

Think for minute about the Trump plan to escalate drug testing. Are you aware of what this means to animals? Animals like beagles and other dogs. Cats and rabbits. Monkeys. Already, under the Trump administration, protection has been removed for these companion pets.

According to a piece in Science Magazine, "The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today removed public access to tens of thousands of reports that document the numbers of animals kept by research labs, companies, zoos, circuses, and animal transporters—and whether those animals are being treated humanely under the Animal Welfare Act. Henceforth, those wanting access to the information will need to file a Freedom of Information Act request. The same goes for inspection reports under the Horse Protection Act, which prohibits injuring horses’ hooves or legs for show.

The agency said in a statement that it revoked public access to the reports “based on our commitment to being transparent … and maintaining the privacy rights of individuals.”

We are living in the stuff of horror movies. Safekeeping is being removed from the very beings we are entrusted to protect. What kind of society do we live in? The president's daughter, Ivanka, who presides over much of this decision-making owns companies that perform horrible tests on animals. Ivanka Trump's company also sells millions of hats made from skinned rabbits, many skinned while still alive. Both Donald and Melania Trump own cosmetics companies that test on beagles and other pets.

This is not ok. Most Americans do not approve of the horrible treatment of animals under the Trump administration. Show your support by sharing #themtoo.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Tell H & M to remove dogfighting fashions

A petition has been created objecting to H & M Department store's dogfighting hoodie.

According to the petition, "dogfighting is one of the most heinous activities that takes place in our society. It forces what is truly our "best friend" to battle to the death for the "entertainment" of humans, and is not only illegal, but an act of brutality against the humanity of the dogs as well as anyone with a conscience."

The photo was taken at the H&M store at Sugarloaf Mills in Duluth, GA. The hoodie displays the wording "Dogfight in Random Alley" in their window. The petition is beseeching animal lovers to object by signing and sharing this petition.

"Most people view such a bold placement to be a statement of what they find acceptable to their patrons, and the culture and mentality of the store's board of directors and investors. We need to let them know that it is not only UNACCEPTABLE, but that we will not walk through their doors with such an article in that store for sale."

"We also need to look at the big picture here. This is not about just one item for sale. This is about a mindset that sees something like this as acceptable. Innocent dogs lose their lives on a regular basis because of people that deem this acceptable."

Citing boycott as a way to empower messaging,  the petition has been released during the holiday season to raise awareness. "We vote with our dollars friends. The busiest shopping season is upon us. Let H&M feel our outrage by our unwillingness to shop in ANY of their stores nationwide.

As a group, we demand that H&M remove these hoodies from their inventory world wide, destroy them, make a pubic apology, and put their money where their mouth is by contributing a LARGE amount of money to a verifiable Anti-Dogfighting Campaign in the United States."

H & M Sugarloaf Mills
Duluth GA

H & M Corporate
Phone +46 8 796 55 00
Fax +46 8 20 99 19
Communications Director
Kristina Stenvinkel
+46 8 796 39 08
Investor Relations

Head of Media Relations
Katarina Kempe
+46 8 5780 85 54

Friday, October 27, 2017

Your president is an animal abuser

Yesterday, President Trump and his wife, Melania, a former model of sorts, launched a plan to fund a huge effort in their war on drugs. One of their main objectives is to make huge tax-free funds available to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to develop non-addictive pain killers. What most pet owning and animal loving Americans do not know is how these drugs are developed.

House cats, little beagles and other dogs, primates, rabbits, guinea pigs and white mice among others are tortured beyond any reasonable understanding day in and day out. And, you pay for it!

Mr. and Mrs. Trump have a long history of animal abuse. Sandwiched between the groping and the nude modeling, both Trumps created perfume and skin-care companies that routinely torture millons of animals to sell product. Animal abuse is no stranger to these two. Both Trumps gave lengthy speeches citing addicts to drum up sympathy for their launch.

"At my direction, the National Institute of Health, headed up by Francis Collins, has taken the first steps of an ambitious public-private partnership with pharmaceutical companies to develop non-addictive painkillers and new treatments for addiction and overdose.  So important.  (Applause.)
I will be pushing the concept of non-addictive painkillers very, very hard.  We have to come up with that solution.  We give away billions and billions of dollars a year, and we're going to be spending lots of money on coming up with a non-addictive solution." Translation, willing to spend billions more performing hideously cruel tests on animals.

The NIH explains its work as 'exciting'.

"This is an exciting time for medical research. Every day, NIH-funded scientists make advances that will lead to safe and useful drugs, therapies, and cures. These advances are due to many different kinds of research, from the laboratory bench, to computers, to animals - including testing in humans."

This Web site provides information reflecting the important role of animals in research and their contributions to the improvement of health and quality of life for both humans and animals. Our goal is to provide key information to the researchers who work daily to improve the Nation’s health, and to the public we serve"

The NIH makes their intention well accessible with tons of online brochures like they're selling time-shares or insurance plans. What they're selling is pain, plain and simple.

Starve 'em:

"Food or caloric restriction is necessary for some of the animal models described. These animals are sometimes maintained below their free-feed weight in an effort to encourage response to food and drug reinforcements. Studies have shown that ad libitum food access does not necessarily provide the optimum feeding conditions, and longer healthier life spans are associated with limited caloric intake across multiple species."

Solitary confinement:

"Often, because the drugs being tested have behavioral effects or because they need to be administered by means of a chronic indwelling device, animals need to be housed singly to safeguard the device or to protect the animals from aggressive behavior that may be associated with a drug effect. This need presents challenges for environmental enrichment. Although some compensation for the lack of cage conspecifics is desirable, enrichment itself can be a variable affecting experimental results and therefore may need to be minimized or avoided if scientifically justified.

The models often require long-term studies in either rodents or nonhuman primates, surgical procedures including chronic instrumentation, food or caloric restriction, specialized housing and testing equipment, substantial use of controlled substances with its associated issues of drug reinforcing behavior and withdrawal symptoms, and administration of novel drugs with potentially unknown clinical effects."

Yeah, exciting stuff, all right. What kind of monsters do this for a living? And, what kind of mega-monsters use the government, federal funds and huge media presence to pitch this kind of abuse?

Maybe you see a guy and his wife shilling for government funded drugs like they've shilled for perfume and cold cream over the years. Maybe, they've gotten pretty good at it.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Dog to be shot in Oklahoma

This is urgent, folks. Marietta, Oklahoma...transport available to Texas for anyone who will save this pup! Very sweet dog! Info below. Please someone.. Help.

My friend's boss is ordering him to shoot a dog that is on their company property. The dog is apparently very sweet, and my friend is begging for someone to help the dog before something happens to her. I believe this is in southern OK, and the area is not exactly enlightened when it comes to animals nor do the shelters get much public attention. Basically, she seems to have a death sentence whichever way you look at it where she is now. .

Facebook link:

I'm quite sure I could transport her if there is someone who could help.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Odin...the story of a champion

Roland Tembo Hendel is one of so many who have lost their homes and much else during the northern California fires. This is Odin, his Great Pyrenees and this is his story.

“Even now as I write this, I am crying tears of gratitude and awe at (my dog’s) bravery and devotion."

This is Odin.

He is a hero.

Despite the fire, he never left the goats he was in charge of.

Here’s what Roland Tembo Hendel wrote about his dog:

As many of you know, Ariel, Scott, Stephen, and I lost everything we had in the Tubbs fire that devastated our forest home in Sonoma County earlier this week.

We had minutes to load up the animals and run from the advancing firestorm.

Despite the sounds of exploding propane tanks, twisting metal, and the hot swirling winds, Odin refused to leave our family of 8 bottle-fed rescue goats.

Hours later when we had found relative safety we cried for Odin and our goats.

I was sure I had sentenced them to a horrific and agonizing death.

Days later, when we were able to make it back to the property, we found a burned, battered, and weakened Odin, surrounded by his 8 goats, and several small deer who had come to him for protection and safety.

Odin was weak, and limping, his once thick and beautiful coat singed orange, his whiskers melted.

Since then, Odin has been reunited with his sister Tessa.

He appears to be getting stronger, and his sister's presence will surely help to lift his spirits and take some of the burden off his giant shoulders.

Also the wonderful volunteers at Sonoma County Fairgrounds gave Odin a check-up and said he is in remarkable health given what he’s been through.

He was limping and lying down more often than usual because his poor paw-pads are burned.

But he will make a full recovery.
Tomorrow he gets a shampoo, a grooming, and nice steak.

And with that, we are going to enjoy a pizza and a beer and a good night’s rest.

Thank you all for your thoughts and prayers and for sticking with us through this roller-coaster ride.

—Roland Tembo Hendel

What an an amazing Dog!


God Bless Odin!

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Here today, gone tomorrow: 100's of missing Harvey dogs from Houston SPCA

Three of the pets from Houston SPCA website...gone. Where are we?
Pit Bulls and Other Animals has been tracking the Ford Center dogs and other animals since Houston SPCA stormed in and took over the operation September 3, 2017. The highly funded public charity pushed out Best Friends and other first responders which raised huge concerns as HSPCA has a long history of killing pit bulls.

Social media went viral with reports of 40 some odd pit bulls that disappeared and were suspected of being killed by Houston SPCA. Best Friends created a petition begging Patti Mercer, director of Houston SPCA to keep the animals safe until owners could be reunited. Mercer refused. The HSPCA did post over 200 dogs on their website, but these dogs have mysteriously and suddenly disappeared.

We have placed several calls to Houston SPCA, but they seem to be very tight-lipped about the animals. We were referred to their media person Julie K who has not returned our calls. What is the big secret?

The only response we have been able to squeeze out of the tight-lipped Houston SPCA was this on their Facebook page:

At the time of this post, there were only a total of 47 dogs on the Houston SPCA website for adoption. Hundreds of animals disappeared from the Harvey link which is no longer offered on their site.

Where are these dogs? Were they, at best, shipped off to other shelters and rescues? With all of the horrors in the news regarding high-kill shelters and dangerous rescue organizations, we are concerned about these Beaumont, Texas animals and their well-being. Are they still alive?

Or...were they killed as has been the history at Houston SPCA to kill all pit bulls and other animals they deem not cute enough to raise huge funds like the present I Walk for Animals campaign. The Houston SPCA rakes in about $40 million a year as a public tax-exempt charity. This means these animals are publicly owned and the Houston SPCA must account for the whereabouts of these dogs and cats.

The Houston SPCA's number is 713-869-7722. These dogs and cats need to be accounted for and by law, the Houston SPCA owes an explanation for each and every animals they impounded.

No name pittie will die at Houston SPCA is a Facebook page dedicated to the animals missing or killed by the Houston SPCA.

We can only hope that the missing hundreds of dogs placed into the care of Houston SPCA which has always killed all pit bulls are safe. If only this institution placed a fraction of the effort they put into fundraising drives like their I Walk for Animals event and Chevron sponsored Run For a Reason, maybe there wouldn't be so many missing and dead pit bulls and other animals.