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 (http://www.facebook.com/heartofleo) 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 (http://www.facebook.com/JusticeForLennox)
Status link: http://www.facebook.com/JusticeForLennox/posts/128985370580003
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.

Friday, August 24, 2012

What is the truth about Piglet – Part 2





Part 1 was done as a note on my Facebook page.  Due to the nature and length of this update, I am posting Part 2 on my blog.  Part 1 gives the basic background of Piglet’s story.  As noted in Part 1, there have been NO official (from the shelter itself) updates on Piglet since August 7.




On August 7th, Justice for Lennox posted he had spoken with the shelter’s public relations person on the 6th.  [posted as a comment on Piglet’s picture posted August 3rd on Justice for Lennox]



Supporters of Piglet began contacting Mr. Welsh to express their appreciation of the shelter’s efforts to give Piglet a chance. 

After this, there were no further updates.  There were plenty of questions, especially ones asking if anyone had heard anything from the shelter.  No one had.

On Wednesday, August 22, Sienna Rose posted a picture of Piglet on Save Wicca with the following caption:


To say some of us were stunned would be an understatement.  The last we had heard, the shelter was open to options and accepting proposals from qualified rescues, sanctuaries and individuals.  All proposals would be given consideration.  A number of individuals, including Justice for Lennox – who runs The Heart of Leo  Animal Sanctuary – had been trying unsuccessfully for two weeks to communicate with someone at the shelter by phone or email.

Some are wondering if there was a campaign of sorts to ensure Piglet’s death.  One name kept popping up on posts that were copied/pasted from elsewhere.  I know of only one (1) direct communication with a page by this person, which occurred on August 4:



The full size image is available at: http://www.heartofleo.org/fry1.jpg

On August 9, the following status was posted on Scooby’s Doghouse:

[from] Tracy Fry We have heard back from Riverside. Nothing is going to happen this week, presumably, I just wanted to keep you in the loop that there is still currently a “do NOT euthanize” order by the director. Please I ask you again, stop emailing them. They are still receiving mass emails everyday, and they are unable to effectively do their business having to sift through them all ♥

I did not think to take a screen shot at the time as I had no reason to do so, and it is not available on Scooby’s page at this moment (presumably a Facebook issue since her posts jump from August 21 to June 26 on her timeline), but I did copy/paste it on Piglet’s picture of August 3 on Justice for Lennox:


On August 17, yet another copy/paste of a Tracy Fry post appeared on Piglet’s picture:


No one was able to confirm the information given in this post.  Once again, attempts to speak to someone at the shelter were unsuccessful.

Tracy Fry is an anomaly.  Her personal profile only became active on August 15, 2012 -- at least by what Facebook is showing on her timeline.  She joined Facebook on April 27, 2007.  Her timeline show no posts before 2011: between April 4 and October 15, 2011 she answered 4 questions in polls, and on December 21, 2011 she updated her cover picture.  In 2012, she changed her cover picture on 3 occasions (March 12, April 4, and June 29), and on July 11, she commented on a link concerning Lennox. 

There is no information other than gender in her “about” tab.  She does not like any pages, or has opted not to show them.  In the posts showing on her timeline, not a single one contains a reference to the sanctuary she says she is a part of (see the Heart of Leo screenshot above).  Very little of what is posted has anything to do with animal advocacy, and only from the broad perspective.

Sienna Rose, who posted the death notice of Piglet on Save Wicca, is also an anomaly.  She joined Facebook on August 17, 2010, but her timeline shows even less than Tracy’s does.  It shows no activity prior to June 4, 2012.  While the pages she likes do show, none were liked prior to 2012, and none seem to be a sanctuary.  She has made only two posts (both links) – July 28 and August 17.

There is discrepancy with Tracy’s communication with Heart of Leo concerns John Walsh of the Riverside shelter.  First Tracy calls him the director:


When Mark Watson of Heart of Leo corrects her, she continues with the discrepancy:


Two independent sources name Robert Miller as the director.  The first is a news article from 2010, which happens to mention both men: http://www.pe.com/local-news/politics/politics-headlines-index/20101112-riverside-county-animal-services-to-cut-15-employees.ece

The second is the Riverside County Community Health Agency page which lists all the county animal services information: http://www.rivcocha.org/svcsdir1.html

You may also notice in the screenshot above that Tracy declines to give any information at all about her sanctuary.  Since this was a private communication with an administrator of a 501(c)(3) sanctuary who was trying to help Piglet, there was no reason why she could not have given her sanctuary’s name.  Mark would have respected privacy wishes and not disclosed that information. 

Between August 1 and the announcement of Piglet’s death, Tracy was posting frequently, especially to Save Wicca, for people to stop emailing the shelter.


I just checked all the posts by other people during the month of August on Save Wicca, and not a single one of Tracy’s posts are there.  They have all been removed.

As near as anyone can tell, Tracy has not made a single post since mid-August.  The last reference I know of is the screenshot above of a copy/paste of a Tracy Fry message on Piglet’s August 3 picture

There are far too many questions about Tracy Fry for any of us to feel comfortable, and leaving us wondering if this was indeed a ploy to keep Piglet from being saved by a reputable rescue or sanctuary.

Who is Tracy Fry?  What is the name of her so-called sanctuary?  Why has she disappeared off of Facebook?  Where is her proof of anything she posted?  Why have all of her posts disappeared from Save Wicca?

Why, for two weeks, did anyone at the shelter not respond to emails and calls about Piglet – including those from an administrator of a 501(c)(3) sanctuary?   

To be continued …










Tuesday, August 14, 2012

CALL TO ACTION: Trussville, AL Residents Only



FOR TRUSSVILLE, AL RESIDENTS ONLY
Mayor Melton has said he does not want to hear from non-residents.  Please help us fight the proposed ordinance by respecting this.

The proposed ordinance to ban pit bulls in Trussville, AL is still on the table.  It is not dead, so we can still defeat it.

ALL Trussville, AL residents who oppose breed specific legislation need to let Mayor Melton know this ordinance should not become law.

Please write polite and respectful letters or emails, or make a polite and respectful phone call.  A sample letter is below.  Feel free to use it when contacting Mayor Melton.

Tip from StopBSL.org - As you communicate, break any stereotypes associated with ownership of a targeted breed. Use proper English and good grammar, and be respectful and calm.

For additional tips, including what not to say, see:

If you write your own letter, keep it short. Elected officials get swamped with correspondence every day. They are less likely read an essay.

Please share this call to action with everyone you know in Trussville.


Proposed Ordinance

***
NOTE: Address the envelope and your letter as below

Honorable Eugene A. Melton
Mayor of Trussville
City Hall
131 Main Street
P. O. Box 159
Trussville, Alabama 35173

Dear Mayor Melton,

As a resident of Trussville, I am writing to let you know that I do not support any animal ordinance that targets a specific breed of dog.  Numerous professional groups have written position statements against breed specific legislation.  You can read them at http://stopbsl.org/bsloverview/the-lack-of-professional-support/ .

I live in the community and I share your concern for public safety. We can make the community safer through dog ordinances that all dog owners have to follow, no matter what their dog looks like. 

Please make our community safer by supporting a dog ordinance that does not single out specific breeds.

Sincerely,


***

Additional Contact Information:

Telephone (205) 655-7478
Direct (205) 661-4052
Local cell 1-888-619-9997


Friday, July 27, 2012

Fighting BSL – Assistance Needed


I have always stood against injustice, prejudice, ignorance, and the sheer stupidity that result in prejudice and injustice.  Breed Specific Legislation (BSL) certainly fills the bill.  Thanks to ignorance about banned breeds and dog behavior, the proliferance of dog fighting, irresponsible owners, and media sensationalism, BSL has become a monster of epic proportions.  From the mass extermination of pit bulls in Denver from 2005 to 2008, to the killing of Lennox, Wicca, Bear, and Kooda in 2012, thousands upon thousands of dogs and families have been affected by knee-jerk reaction laws and actions.

Dogs have been deemed dangerous just because of their breed and/or how they look no matter their behavior and history.  Dogs have been ripped from their families’ arms and homes, and executed.  Owners have been forced to buy excessively expensive insurance and follow other restrictive measures, and many forced to re-home their beloved pet to insure its safety.

To say I hate BSL would be an understatement.  In honor of Lennox and all the other dogs who have died or are otherwise victims of BSL, I am doing two things.

First, as a part of my Facebook page, I want to create an album for the victims.  I haven't decided on an album title yet, but it will be along the lines of "Why We Fight BSL - The Victims".  I already have two BSL albums - Lennox and Pit Bulls - and this new one is intended to compliment them.  The first entries will be Lennox, Wicca, Bear and Kooda, and Ace.

Second, as a member of AVRAL, I will be working against BSL in Alabama.  We will be looking to stop proposed BSL laws, hopefully get BSL repealed where it already exists, and hopefully bring about the passage of a state law making BSL illegal in Alabama.

How You Can Help

1. Provide pictures and information about victims for inclusion in my new album.  Links to pictures can be sent to me via message or posted to my wall.  It is important that I have the link where you found the picture so that I have whatever information was with it, as well as photo credits.  The type of information I'm looking for is:

* Dog's name
* City/State (e.g. Denver, CO) or City/Country (Montreal, Canada)
* Date killed
* Why/What - the "meat" of the issue - what happened (and why when known) that caused the dog to become a victim
* Facebook page (if the dog has one)
* Links to any relevant news articles (if they exist and you have them - I will also research)

2. If you live in Alabama, I need your help in staying on top of BSL.  I will be researching everything sent to me, but the more info you can give me, the better because it's from the viewpoint of a resident.  If I need to directly attribute anything to you (such as a quote), you will only be identified by initials unless you give me permission to use your name.

* If there is BSL in your city/town - where, when it was enacted, why it was enacted, any known results (is it being enforced, are dog bites/attacks down, are owners re-homing pets elsewhere)

* If BSL is being proposed in your city/town - where, why, and if known, the date of the next meeting of whichever government body is handling it

We can only fight BSL with your help.  The more info you can provide, the better my group can work on this.  We do not have members in every city and town in the state, so we need you to be our eyes and ears.

3. Support AVRAL.  If you live in Alabama, and are not yet a member, please join.  It doesn't cost anything, other than some time, to be a member.  Even if your only participation is through email campaigns and voting, it will make a difference.  No matter where you live, donating to AVRAL either through direct donation or by buying a tshirt, helps.  We need funds for flyers, office supplies, and the many other things that are needed to effectively fight for the animals of Alabama.

In Conclusion

I have been working on this post for about 2 hours now, my hands shaking and tears in my eyes.  This morning I heard that our efforts to save Wicca had failed, and she was killed yesterday.  I am still outraged about Lennox, and then I hear of Wicca’s death – my emotions, both sadness and anger, are running high.

Ever since I became an animal advocate, I have been searching for my niche … the one area where I will devote a significant portion of my advocacy time and energy to.  There are so many different areas that need to be addressed in resolving the problems with companion animals and shelters in this country (you might want to read my Stop the Killing series of posts for an idea of what I mean).  It’s difficult to pick just one. 

But today I made my decision, pushed over the brink by the execution of Wicca. 

Today I pick up arms in the battle against BSL.  


Update: The album, Why I Fight BSL - Remembering the Victims, has been created.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Vacation – Days 2, 3 & Home

I was going to write a daily post while we were away, but between a serious lack of sleep due to the extra extra firm bed, and having 2 adults and 3 dogs confined to a space smaller than our living room, the last time I actually had the quiet and ability to think was early Sunday morning after hubby went back to bed once the dogs had gone out to potty and had been fed.  The dogs went back to sleep too.  I was in too much pain from the bed to even think about sleeping.

The first night, we both slept on the bed, along with Angel and Merlin.  The next two nights, hubby pulled out the sofa into a bed and slept there.  Angel and Sassy slept with him, and Merlin slept with me.  Merlin is a bed hog, and no matter how much room is in the bed, he has to sleep either immediately next to or on top of us.  I spent all 3 nights sleeping tossing and turning on less than half the bed, and waking up tired and in pain.

The "You shall not sleep" torture device, also known as the RV bed.

Aside from the bit of Saturday rain, it was sunny while we were at the park.  It was also blazing hot and muggy (someone who shall remain nameless decided we needed to take our trial trip in the middle of July even though we live in the south), so walks were limited to cooler morning and late afternoon hours.  But we wanted to be able to have them outside and not strictly confined to inside the RV.  Hubby came up with the idea of a “doggy yard”.  It wasn’t very pretty, but it was functional and served the purpose. And just so you know, the white table with only 2 legs was placed over a fire ant mound to keep the dogs out of it.

The Schatz Pack Doggy Yard

All 3 dogs took turns lying on the sofa, but Sassy opted to spend a lot of time under the table (and on our feet) or laying on the bare floor nearby.  Merlin decided the bed was his spot and he spent a lot of time there.  If Angel beat Sassy under the table, she slept there for awhile, otherwise she was on the sofa.  Monday morning we left the sofa bed pulled out, and all 3 were on it at the same time.  We rarely see all 3 on the same piece of furniture at home.  Alas, hubby’s claustrophobia set in and he put it back into sofa mode.



Pups on the sofa

At any rate, Sunday was a mostly quiet, sort of lazy day.  Angel, our little scaredy dog, barked at the scary monsters (aka RVs) that passed our spot as they entered or left the park.  She also barked at the various sounds the other campers made.  Luckily, she stopped when we told her to, although it did sometimes take 2 or 3 tries.  Sassy and Merlin barked mostly because Angel barked rather than starting it.  The dogs quickly figured out they could see out the front windshield by standing on the center console.  Sassy and Merlin also figured out they could jump up on the dashboard, which is huge compared to a car. 

Sunday dinner didn’t go quite as planned.  Hubby was going to grill marinated chicken but experienced technical issues and ended up bringing them inside for me to cook on the stove top.  Having learned our lesson about cooking on the stove the evening before, I opened the roof vent, turned on its fan, and opened the window in the “kitchen” before I even pulled out the skillet.

  The Kitchen - You can't really see it, but the pantry is directly right of the refrigerator.

Monday morning he had to work (gotta love being able to work anywhere you have an internet connection), so after I finished with my morning computer stuff, I sort of puttered around until he was done so he could have more space on the table.  I just couldn’t get into the puzzle book or any of the other non-computer stuff to do.  I was probably just too tired to even try.  Thankfully, hubby (mostly) fixed the technical issues with the grilling and he grilled a couple of rib eye steaks for dinner.  They came out rather well, and he learned a couple of lessons.  Now he just needs a charcoal grill to get some more practice.

Hubby spent a lot of time just sitting and looking out of the front window at the water … at least until the glaring afternoon sun hurt his eyes too much and forced us to pull the curtain closed.  When we weren’t outside with the pups, and he wasn’t looking at the water, we played Phase 10 (the dice game version) or Scrabble.  We also watched a few of the VCR movies we brought with us.  The RV had a dual VCR/DVD player, but since we no longer have a working VCR, we opted to bring movies we don’t get to watch anymore. 

After dinner, we took down the doggy yard, as well as packing unneeded items.  Unfortunately, Merlin decided the dashboard was the place to go when daddy started packing stuff into the outside storage compartments.  He was in a combination goofy-scared mood, and I spent a good 20 minutes getting him down because he kept jumping back up.  He finally decided staying down was a good idea after I hit my head on the edge of the backup camera while getting him down for the umpteenth time.  The spot is still quite tender and painful.

Tuesday morning, the dogs had us up early (again), but instead of going back to sleep, hubby decided to start getting stuff ready for us to leave.  He said he wasn’t rushing me, but he turned off the water and dumped the tanks before I could brush my teeth or do any cleaning.  We took the dogs for a last walk and threw out our trash, then pulled out of the park shortly after 7:00am.

The drive home was less eventful (no “oh s**t moments or turtles trying to cross the road).  We did get stuck behind a slow poke county truck that couldn’t or wouldn’t go the speed limit.  The worse part about this was that there are few stops along the road where an RV can easily pull in and out.  I needed a bathroom break, and was fussing at the driver of the truck under my breath.  He finally turned off just before a BP station that was big enough for the RV.  Hubby was so excited to be rid of the slow poke that he accelerated past the BP.  I whined and gave him a withering glare.  He said “Oops”.  So we continue down the road and end up behind another slow poke.  More fussing under my breath.  OMG, construction zone!  Thankfully the workers were not stopping traffic, so we were able to keep driving, albeit at a slower speed.  I spotted a gas station up ahead and told hubby he had better pull in there or else.  Wouldn’t you know, the slow poke driver in front of us pulled in there too.  Luckily for her, she didn’t need the restroom, which is a good thing since there was only one for both men and women.  Once I had used the facility, hubby filled the gas tank, we let the dogs out for a break, and we started home again.

We arrived home about 10:45am.  First order of business was getting the dogs into the backyard.  As we headed into the living room to get to the back door, we screeched to a halt and stared at the mess our son left.  After a few deep breaths and muttered expletives, we went out on the deck.  There we discovered more stuff, including one of the water bowls from inside and some dog poop.  WTH?  Yeah, the kiddo was in doo-doo when he got home from school and work.

After the initial shock, we let the dogs back inside while we started the process of unloading and then cleaning the RV.  We finished around 3:30, and the only thing left to do was to gather the towels left to collect the water after turning off the refrigerator and leaving it open – which we did this morning before hubby left for the office.  Then we went out to eat since we hadn’t eaten all day.  It was rather nice eating on real plates again with real glassware.  After dinner, other than feeding the animals, we pretty much vegetated, too tired to do anything.

Today I get to wash 4 loads of laundry, and unpack and put away everything from the trip, along with a run to the store for some groceries so I can feed us and the dogs.  By the time I’m done, I expect that I’ll be exhausted.  I’m still tired from the lack of sleep in the RV, the unloading and cleaning of the RV, and being woken up at 2:30 this morning.

I think I need a vacation from my vacation.  A housekeeper would work too.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Vacation – Day 1

Our view out of the windshield - the empty spot has been occupied since this was taken.













As is typical when we're planning on going somewhere, hubby says we're not in a hurry to leave this morning, he's not going to rush me (rushing me results in a panic attack), yadda yadda. He got up shortly after I finished feeding the dogs this morning. We're not supposed to leave until between 7 and 8. At 4am - while I'm still groggy and working on my first cup of coffee - he wants to load the refrigerated foods into the RV.

After some dirty looks and total disinterest from me, he decided to go upstairs to play on his computer for awhile.  I had more coffee and did my normal postings to my Facebook page.  Once I had about 3 cups of coffee in me and beginning to feel more civilized, I put together the refrigerated foods.  Then I started gathering the last minute stuff – and of course I kept finding things that I had not yet packed.  There was also a last minute, quick run to the grocery store for a couple of items hubby didn’t pick up last night.  By the time we left … well within our target time frame at 7:40am I might add … I was a frazzled mess. 

The drive to Florala State Park was uneventful, although the narrow 2 lane road that made up most of the last 2/3 of the trip gave us a few “oh s**t” moments.  Hubby still needs to learn that when he looks right, he does not necessarily need to turn the wheel right.  I spent a fair amount of time telling him “LEFT!” whenever he drifted right.  The pack was well-behaved, although that could be due to the fact they were in their crates.  It could also be due in part to the Benadryl we gave them before we left.  We figured it would be easier on all of us if they were a tad sleepy.  I think Sassy was the only one who actually went to sleep.  Angel doesn’t like car rides, and Merlin typically rides co-pilot.  I’m pretty sure he was wondering why he wasn’t in the passenger seat.

We arrived, found a spot, backed the RV in without a problem, and proceeded to set up.  We didn’t’ do a whole lot, just some basic necessities such as electric hook up, the “landing gear” (I’m sure that’s not what they’re called, but it works for me), and putting the crates away.  They’re those little things you need to do before you can do anything else.  Then the dogs were fed, and I spent some time locating some things before we had lunch.  Hubby had pretty much stuck everything somewhere with little rhyme or reason and absolutely no organization.  The remainder of the afternoon was spent doing some organizing, taking the pack for walks, and generally just relaxing. 

It has rained at least 3 times since we arrived.  Clouds rolled in and out, there were a few thunder rumbles (although no lightening or boom-booms), and the rain was brief, belying the initial downpour.  Sassy spent her time under either the ‘dinette table’ or the steering wheel.  Angel huddled either on the sofa or the floor next to the table.  Merlin laid on the couch or tried to climb into daddy’s lap (for attention, not because of the rain).  Sassy and Merlin like to step onto the console between the driver and passenger seats to look out the windshield.  Most of the time they just look, occasionally it results in barking at a passerby – especially if said passerby is walking a dog.  We don’t think they’ve noticed the resident ducks yet.

Cooking in the RV for the first time was an experience, and one that I’m not sure I liked.  The limited counter space is a challenge, as is the small cutting board and stove.  The bok choy was longer than the cutting board, which made trimming and slicing an exercise in shuffling everything around as I went in order to get it done.  Cutting the onions wasn’t bad except these were STRONG.  Thank goodness there’s a vent right above the counter area.  We opened that and the odor problem was solved.  Cooking the rice was not an issue.  Cooking the bok choy (stir fried with onions, garlic, ginger root, and Sweet Thai Chili Sauce) and the pork chops (marinated in Yoshida Sauce) was another matter. 

We got the stove lit and I pre-heated the skillet on high, then turned it down a smidge.  Added the oil, the onions, garlic and ginger.  Apparently the fire/smoke alarm – which is situated on the ceiling less than 2 feet from the stove – is very sensitive.  I did not see any smoke coming from the skillet, and I use a high smoke point oil.  The alarm went off, scaring the bejeezus out of us as it pierced our ear drums (especially mine since I was at the stove).  I turned off the burners and hubby opened the window.  Everything was fine other than the skillet was cooling off and the rice was not bubbling.  I assume the heat from the cooking, and maybe the fumes from the cooking onion, set it off.  I started cooking again.  Finished the stir fry, which took longer than it does at home and started the pork chops.  The rice was finished cooking and set aside to steam until we were ready to eat.  Despite using a stainless steel skillet, cooking the pork chops wasn’t as quick or as easy as it is at home.  The flame on the RV stove has a small diameter, and trying to pre-heat your skillet so it’s screaming hot to make up for that sets off the smoke/fire alarm.  But dinner was finally done, and other than needing to zap the pork chops in the microwave for 30 seconds, it came out rather well.

The park has satellite hook-ups, but sadly the number of channels is very limited.  When we checked (over the course of about 20 minutes), all we found were The Weather Channel, an old movie channel, 4 sports channels, and 2 or 3 that we have no idea about since all we ever saw on them were commercials.  I’m sure those channels show something other than commercials during the course of their broadcasting day, but I was tired of flipping channels.  So we left it on TWC since it was running “specialty programs” such as hurricane hunters and true-life weather emergency stories.  About 8:30, hubby decided he wanted to watch one of the movies we brought.  Nope, didn’t happen.  The DVD player wouldn’t work.  While we brought a few VCR movies, and the VCR works, hubby decided we should just go to bed.

We went to bed, but I didn’t get a lot of sleep.  While Angel and Sassy slept on the floor, Merlin insisted on sleeping in the bed with us.  At home this is not a problem since we have a California King.  The RV has a queen.  The bedroom was either hot or cold, depending on whether the air conditioning had kicked on or not.  The bed is quite firm (almost hard).  Merlin is a bed hog.  Needless to say, I’m not a very happy camper this morning.  Thank goodness for the Keurig and coffee.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Lennox News from 12 July 2012




To all Lennox supporters and those against BSL. Please read this from my colleague Jim Crosby and share with as many people as you can. This is vitally important. When I was brought onto the case a year ago I received a copy of the BCC's 'expert's' report. This report was only supposed to be an evaluation of Lennox's measurements to determine whether Lennox was of pitbull type (which is laughable in itself.) The last paragraph of the report states that even though this expert knows that he has only been brought in to measure Lennox he still offers his opinion of Lennox's behavior, which he questions. That's it - one paragraph. I also have the behavioral evaluation reports from both David Ryan and Sarah Fisher - pages and pages of detailed, intelligent, unbiased and thorough investigations of Lennox's behavior. Yet the BCC stand by their 'expert' and so did the courts, discrediting the evidence of two qualified behavioral experts. Is that justice? Is that fair?

It is also public knowledge now, even though I have said nothing on this matter, but because it is already out there I will have to answer your questions truthfully, yes, the BCC's 'expert' did try to sue me for speaking out against him and questioning his credentials, and yes he did expect money from me to settle the dispute. He was not successful because all I did was speak the truth. But these are the kind of people that the family,myself and all those who have supported Lennox, have been up against. I will finish by saying that I do not approve of threats and intimidation being done to anyone on either side and would appeal to those who conduct themselves in such a way to stop - you are not helping matters. But also be aware that those of us who have supported Lennox and the family themselves have also received threats, some from the very people that BCC employ.

So onto Jim's report - this is a window into how it should be done:

Lennox: The gloves come off.

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Honor Lennox by helping pets with donations of food, money, time, and items. Please click the blue "Join" button at the top of the page. Please share this event with family and friends.


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To honor & remember Lennox - 1/2" 'I AM LENNOX' VIVID Leather Bracelet that is also a fundraiser.


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Don't email Belfast City Council, they will just delete the message. Use this address to write...EVERY LETTER THEY RECEIVE THEY WILL HAVE TO PAY FOR!!! Belfast City Council have a FREE POST address, meaning that any mail they receive, THEY have to pay for. That payment doubles when it's from INTERNATIONAL ....

Corporate Complaints
Belfast City Council
FREEPOST
BT1 5BR

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A well-written note by an ACO here in the US regarding the execution of Lennox.

When a Good Dog is No More 

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A must read article.  As like many of us, Victoria Stilwell questions the date of Lennox’s death.

Lennox is gone, but questions and outrage remain

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Another must read article. 

What we must do for Lennox

Vacation Time (?!)



Starting tomorrow, we (me, hubby and our 3 dogs) will be at Florala State Park in a RV and will return home on Tuesday, 7/17.  At least that’s the plan. 

I have my reservations …

  • Will my back be able to handle it? (Ibuprofen and aspirin packed)
  • Will the dogs be able to handle it? (Calmplex, doggie Xanax & Benadryl packed)
  • Will I be able to handle it? (Stuff to do packed)
  • Will hubby drives me bonkers because he’s not handling it? (Nothing to help with this!)

This is our first RV trip.  It’s something hubby’s wanted to do his entire life (so he says).  As we all know, the reality often does not match the fantasy.  Last month, he dragged me to a local RV dealer to look at the different types of RVs and talk about a trip.  I told him about my reservations/doubts.  We talked about a possible trip in September.  He settled on a date in mid-July and made reservations for an RV.  What happened to going in September?  This is a mini, trial trip to see how we all handle it and if a longer trip (like 2 or 3 weeks) will be do-able. 

So for the past few weeks, I’ve been looking at where to go and making the reservation; creating lists of things we need to take; packing things as I can and checking them off the list; and all the other stuff that goes with preparing for a trip.

The worst part is the food.  Dogs are taken care of.  Food for us is still up in the air.  Having changed how and what I cook over the past couple of years, this is a challenge.  It’s supposed to rain tomorrow (50%), so no grilling, and rain is possible (30 – 50%) for the remaining days of the trip.  I’ve never cooked on a limited range and mini oven, never mind cooking in a RV.  I no longer cook from boxes and cans – preferring fresh, frozen veggies when necessary, and limited canned goods (mostly tomatoes and beans).

So here I am, the day before we leave, and I still have no idea what to cook so I can buy the food we’ll need.  I have no idea which pots/pans and ‘accessories’ to bring, although I know which utensils (I have a basic few that I use on a regular basis).

Another biggie is whether or not we’ll have internet access.  The state park only has internet in their office.  It’s a small park (only 28 spots), so maybe our modern and up-to-date technology will be able to pick up a signal.  If not, the backup plan is to use hubby’s phone to connect (assuming cell coverage is decent). 

I do plan on doing my regular postings in the morning and evening.  Tomorrow morning is not an issue since the cats insist on waking Angel at o’dark thirty, which means I’ll do my morning posts as usual.  After that, if you do not see any posts from me by Sunday morning, you can safely assume that we cannot access the internet.

In this event, I hope that one of my friends/fans will post the nightly lists from Pets on Death Row – Urgent Death Row Cats and Urgent Part 2 – Urgent Death Row Dogs on my wall. 

I also hope that my friends/fans will post items of interest (news stories, blog posts, pics, etc) on my wall to fill in for me while I’m away.  I urge everyone who reads my page to switch the page over to “Posts by Others” (the default viewing is “Highlights”, which are posts by me).  This way you can see what’s been posted by those who regularly post to my wall as well as those who are filling in for me while I fume about a lack of internet access. J

Hopefully all will go as planned, the dogs will behave themselves, hubby won’t be bored, I won’t be bored, and my back won’t bother me too much. 

Once we arrive at the park and get all set up, the remainder of the day (aside from cooking) is for chill-axation.  I’ll need it after my panic attack today (yeah, pretty much all day) and probably tomorrow morning as I frantically try to make sure all the last minute stuff gets packed and on the RV (not to mention all the other stuff on my lists).

I hope everyone has a great weekend.  I will be back to regular postings by the morning of Wednesday, 7/18. 

Thursday, July 12, 2012

A Message from Boycott Belfast until it frees Lennox and addresses its BSL failings



Boycott Belfast until it frees Lennox and addresses its BSL failings
posted on Facebook 11 July 2012

Today, we mourn for Lennox, a seven-years' old innocent who was killed by order of the belfast city council. What did he do? For five years, he lived peacefully with his family, knowing the warmth and love to be had there, being the "bestest friend in the world" to Brooke, only to be torn from them two years ago on the evidence of a tailor's measuring tape, a cheat-sheet, and the evidence of a warden whose evidence given in court has been contradicted by the photographs showing her and Lennox enjoying quiet time...peace...a little warmth from a concrete cell lined with straw and little else. Little did Lennox know that she, that warden, would be instrumental in the death verdict initially given by Judge Rodgers in 2011, and interestingly upheld by the self-same judge on initial appeal. Again the Barnes family appealed, with hope, with faith, and after presenting it to a panel of three judges on the Supreme Court, the Barnes family waited...and waited...and the judges waited, until the Olympic torch run had passed through belfast, and only then did they release their verdict, knowing of the many thousands of Lennox supporters that also waited, and their verdict? Death.

Every avenue open, was taken by the Barnes family; we, as individuals, coming together in a common cause -- Lennox -- gave them our support, our hope, our love. Lennox was our hope, and our love.

And today Lennox is dead. Did the Barnes family do anything wrong? No, they did not -- they fought with every fibre, every bit of scrap they had...Did we do anything wrong? No, we loved Lennox, raised him as a call to why BSL and DDA are wrong, and we fought for him...Lord, did we fight for him

Did Lennox do anything wrong? No, Lennox was a dog, a family pet, loved and held and kissed and cared for...

What did Lennox do wrong, belfast city council? What did Lennox do wrong, dog wardens of belfast? What did Lennox do wrong, judges of belfast?

What did Lennox do wrong, that his family could not re-home him safely away from belfast's lauded "Duty of Care?" What did Lennox do that he could not have the Barnes family, HIS FAMILY, with him as he died? What did Lennox do wrong that the Barnes family could not have his body back for respect and burial? What did Lennox do wrong that the Barnes family could not have Lennox's collar back, as a treasured keepsake and memorial?

What did Lennox do wrong, belfast city council?

Today we mourn Lennox, as a loved pet should be mourned; tomorrow, we march on belfast, with Lennox as our banner --

Who will mourn for you, belfast city council, as your city's reputation dies as you killed Lennox?

A Message from Animal Farm Foundation


Animal Farm Foundation 
posted on Facebook 11 July 2012

Our hearts go out to the family of Lennox, a family dog who was executed today by the Belfast City Council under the Dangerous Dogs (Northern Ireland) Order 1991. This law discriminates against "any dog of the type known as the pit bull terrier," a determination that is made by the court based on the dog's physical characteristics, not his behavior or, more important, the owner's behavior. 

Wherever breed discriminatory legislation (BDL) has been tried -- abroad and in the US -- it has consistently failed to enhance public safety and protect the public from reckless owners. This paper from the National Canine Research Council outlines the worldwide failures of BDL: http://nationalcanineresearchcouncil.com/uploaded_files/tinymce/World-wide%20Failure%20of%20BSL.pdf

BDL not only fails to meet its objective of public safety, it also wastes precious taxpayer dollars and resources that could otherwise be used to build better communities for people and pets alike. Imagine what could have been accomplished in the two years Belfast spent targeting Lennox? Imagine the improvements that could have been made to the Belfast community, had its leaders invested in effective dog laws instead of being guided by fear?

We hope everyone who advocated for Lennox will continue their efforts for dogs here in the US. Every day places like Denver, Miami-Dade County, Prince George's County (Maryland), and small towns across the country execute family pets like Lennox just because of the way they look. Every day US taxpayer dollars are wasted, US families are torn apart, and US communities fail to thrive because of needless hysteria and ineffective legislation. Every day there is a need -- and an opportunity -- to "Save Lennox."

But let us not lose sight of the significant progress being made. As of 2012, more communities are rejecting or repealing BDL than are passing it. The current industry standard is to evaulate dogs as individuals and hold humans accountable for their actions. Most animal shelters provide "pit bull" dogs with the same treatment and opportunity as other dogs, based on their individual behavior. The overwhelming majority of "pit bull" dog owners -- like all dog owners -- are responsible people who care deeply about public safety and their pet's well-being. And as a result, dog bites throughout the US are at historic lows and communities are safer than they've ever been, despite increases in both human and canine populations.

The story of Lennox came to a tragic and cruel end today. But together we can start a new chapter in the human-canine bond so that history stops repeating itself and the human-canine bond continues to thrive.