Monday, February 4, 2013

Alabama Residents - The animals & AVRAL need you!

Alabama Residents - The animals & AVRAL need you!  Many of the issues in AL are not unique to our state, but they are WRONG and changes need to be made.  If you need a reason to join AVRAL, here's a short list:

1) State legislators refused to pass a single animal welfare bill in 2012:
·         The cockfighting bill died thanks to filibusters
·         Abuse/neglect reporting for animal welfare professionals (e.g. vets & ACOs) killed because the definition of abuse was thought to be  "PETA extremist" by legislators.
·         Bill to ban bestiality was "lost in the pipeline" of bills being rushed through at the end of the session.

2) Alabama's low-cost spay/neuter clinics are endangered:
·         In 2011, the Alabama State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners (ASBVME) began trying to close down the Alabama Spay/Neuter clinics. 
·         In early 2012, HB 156 was introduced to protect the clinics and keep them open.  The spay/neuter clinic protection bill died for one reason - Speaker of the House Mike Hubbard (Lee County) refused to let it go to the floor for a vote.  Had it gone to a vote, it would have passed. 
·         In October 2012, ASBVME met to vote on closing the clinics.  Thanks to news coverage; a large attendance by citizens & media; email, letters & faxes; and those who spoke at the meeting, ASBVME members declined to vote.  They will likely try again at some point.

3) Abuse and neglect are rampant - a few stories from 2012:
·         Dog euthanized because of being driven insane by being chained 24/7.  This dog's miserable past had wasted his body and destroyed his temperament. His life had been surrounded by the most cruel form of abuse - absolute neglect and isolation.  And there is no law against it. 
      - News Article: | Picture:
·         Animal advocates had to 'fight' behind the scenes for months for the Blountsville Police to open an investigation and the DA to bring the case to the Grand Jury for indictment. - (Note: article does not mention the work of the advocates; that info is from AVRAL)
·         Over 200 starving animals (some dead) at Summerdale Purple Heart “Rescue” -
·         Animal cruelty at the Calhoun Co. Animal Control Facility -
·         Organized dog fighting in Walker County -
·         Countless dogs starve in plain view of Walker County, AL residents, officials -
·         Prichard, AL: Abandoned, abused dog chained to tree in full sight for 3 weeks -
4) There is NO Alabama agency that investigates or oversees substandard animal pounds/shelters.:
·         Rotting corpses, Dog Pound dumpster; discarded pregnant Beagle begs for shelter -
·         Mobile County Animal Shelter (MCAS) killed 49 dogs - including those that had been recently adopted - because of 1 sick dog -
·         MCAS does not quarantine or vaccinate upon intake -

5) Out of 50 states + 6 territories, Alabama ranks in the bottom tier at #43 according to the ALDF -

The 2013 legislative session starts soon.  AVRAL will be presenting legislation and we expect some pushback from rather disappointing "groups." Without BIG NUMBERS, we can't help Alabama's animals. 

Join Alabama Voters for Responsible Animal Legislation (AVRAL) if you are sick and tired of the way animals are treated in Alabama. We can change laws. We can elect people who care about animals. Join today - it's free and easy. Go to

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Grow a Pair and Speak for the Animals

On November 18, 2012, two severely emaciated American Pit Bull Terriers were surrendered to Detroit Bully Corps.  Angel died of starvation, and Shiner is expected to make a complete recovery. 

Their 18-year-old owner, Lisa Marie Precourt, pleaded guilty to two counts of animal cruelty charges on January 2 after waiving her right to trial and right to counsel.  She faces a maximum sentence of one year and 93 days in jail, plus fines and community service if she is convicted.  It is expected that she will be sentenced to probation, pay restitution, and be barred from owning pets.

One of two articles about the case states:

[...] Michigan has some of the toughest animal abuse laws in the country, but getting cities to enforce them on the local level has been a challenge.

This problem is not unique to Michigan, no matter how good (or bad) the laws are.  What it comes down to is cities not pursuing justice.  I've seen many cases where the laws allow for a decent punishment and yet the judge hands out a soft slap on the wrist.  I've also seen many cases where plea deals resulted in punishment far less than the defendant could – and should – have received.  Thankfully this is not always the case – some judges do give the max, sometimes even stating they wish they could give them a harsher punishment.  But …

What is the point of having these laws and their associated punishments when District Attorneys and judges don't or won't give the max?  What kind of statement do the more lenient punishments make?

Yes, each and every case is unique, and sometimes there are facts/circumstances that need to be taken into consideration.  Precourt’s case is one of those times.  At age 18, she is living on her own, going to school, and working two jobs.  She now admits that she never should have had the dogs in the first place.  Only time will tell if she is being sincere, or if she’s blowing smoke.  I truly hope it’s the former.

Precourt’s case aside, we have a serious problem with the justice system and the sentences handed down in cases of animal abuse, cruelty and/or neglect.  In some states, the problem lies with the laws themselves – either the penalties are too lenient, or laws don’t even exist in the first place.  It’s hard to sentence offenders to punishment when either a law and/or an appropriate penalty do not exist.

In states with appropriate laws and penalties, it’s the justice system at fault.  District Attorneys cut plea deals.  Judges give sentences so lenient that it’s nothing more than a joke.  The taxpayers foot the bill for a case (investigation + trial (plus often the cost of incarceration of the offender)) that results in what amounts to a waste of time and money.

The bottom line: State legislatures need to put tough laws with tough penalties into place.  Cities need to pursue true justice.  Taxpayers need to let their elected officials know this is what they want – and be prepared to act (e.g. vote them out of office) when they don’t do it.

Come on everyone, grow a pair and speak for the animals.


Saturday, August 25, 2012

What is the truth about Piglet – Part 3

Blossom (formerly Piglet) at the Riverside Shelter

Facebook has been acting wonky this week (and what else is new?) with posts disappearing from timelines.  Many people were hoping and praying Piglet's life would be spared.  Many contacted the shelter in support of Piglet going to rescue or sanctuary.  

As noted in my note and blog postings concerning the truth about Piglet, there were more questions than answers.  Rebecca McCullough and Mark Watson of The Heart of Leo Sanctuary ( in Colorado went the extra mile in finding out the truth about Piglet's death.  I don't want this truth to disappear because of a timeline/FB glitch (or idiocy, take your pick).

Rest in Peace and run free Blossom.


Posted by Justice for Lennox (
Status link:
on Friday, 9/24/12 at approximately 10pm Central.

Justice for Lennox

Piglet was killed. 

First, I would like to say: The people (Piglet's owners) who posted all the petitions, deceitful and false details, and who collected money for a "legal defense" were the ones who brought Piglet into the shelter after she attacked the jogger. This was Piglet's second attack. They told the shelter from the beginning of her second bite offense that they wanted her to be destroyed. After they collected money from everyone, they shut down the pages and made a false announcement that she was dead.

Riverside County has NO BSL. The ordinance in regards to bites: 1st offense considered an accident, and is forgiven but the dog must be properly cared for and restrained from then on, and a potentially dangerous dog "restraining order" is placed upon the owners.2nd offense, the dog will be impounded and euthanized. 

Piglet had attacked once. Her family neglected her a second time. Her second offense she hospitalized a jogger. The family WANTED Piglet to be euthanized, presumably because they wanted to keep the money they had collected. Executive Director Rob Miller decided that it wasn't fair. He put a "Do Not Euthanize" order on her kennel and into their Chameleon Database so he could fight it. If the family hadn't brought her in and TOLD them to kill her... If they had even TRIED to appeal it, there might have been a chance for her. 

This director stepped to the plate for her anyway, mainly, because it was obvious that she had been abused. She had been trained to attack as well. He didn't feel she should die because of the abusive and neglectful actions of her owners.


They had her evaluated over the past three weeks 3 separate times. She was taken out of the shelter by a certified behaviorist for an out of shelter evaluation as well. The behaviorist said: "Not Good." She showed aggression to all other animals. She showed extreme food aggression. She was aggressive to humans too.

Still they fought for her. 

Around the time I last heard from them, the director had ordered John Welsh to stop responding to emails and phone calls about her, because there were literally 1000's coming in every day. They had 400 other dogs in the shelter who needed to be networked out, and they needed his help coordinating transports and rescues. However, they did NOT give up on her.

He argued her case with the City of Riverside for 3 weeks to try to save her life. The city finally based their decision on the fact that they could not set a precedence. When other bad owners abuse, neglect and turn their dogs vicious, they have to be able to protect the public. By sparing Piglet, it would have effectively nullified their policy.

I would now like to say: Tracy Fry claimed to have been in contact with John Welsh. She claimed that she had a sanctuary lined up, and a full rescue proposal on his desk. John Welsh has never heard of Tracy Fry. Nor had he heard of Sienna Rose, or any of her friends.

There were only 2 organizations trying to save Piglet. One was a woman named Clarinda from "Smiling Dog Farms" in Nebraska. The other was myself, from The Heart of Leo Animal Sanctuary in Colorado. Believe me, HOL tried. From what John said, Clarinda was calling several times a day as well.

I am personally grateful to Riverside County. I am grateful to John Welsh and Rob Miller. They went above and beyond trying to save her, even though their policies said they shouldn't. Piglet (Piggy) was a victim of her owners. What they did was criminal in more ways than one. There were other liars involved in this as well. I don't know what they got out of it, but they certainly didn't help the situation. 

John Welsh talked to Rebecca McCullough, our director, for over an hour today. I am still sad, and still believe that I could have helped her. However, I now know that they did EVERYTHING in their power, and it broke their hearts that it turned out this way.

The last thing I want to say: I was going to name her Blossom, because I know she would have blossomed into a wonderful dog with love, patience and proper training. To me, that is her name.

Run free Blossom.