Friday, September 26, 2008
Thursday, September 25, 2008
Maddison has been rehomed (a big thank-you to her adopter for a generous donation in addition to her adoption fee) and Ben and Wee Man have been reserved. Poor little Ghost is still looking. Many thanks to dogsblog for organising national dog adoption month. Without their support it's very doubtful whether we would have easily found good homes for the two older ones. One Syrian hamster and two of the kittens (Lynx and Tiger) have also been rehomed.
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Monday, September 22, 2008
Sunday, September 21, 2008
Pet Food Politics is a serious documentary which really does read like a thriller and explains how a combination of greed, dishonesty, incompetence and sheer inability to trace the complexity of global markets in food products led to the death of pets in Canada and the US. The villains of the piece used the same adulterating chemicals that caused the deaths of babies in 2008.
Fortunately pet food companies in the UK were either more careful, or just luckier.
One very interesting observation which Marion Nestle makes is the potential value of the animal health data which pet insurance companies collect as a side effect of their business. One of the first pieces of real evidence that there was a problem with US pet food was the observation of one insurance company that claims for treatment of kidney disease in cats had soared in March 2007. Clearly there are all kinds of other posible ways similar information collecting could benefit pets - for example we could get unbiased evidence of the real extent of the problem with pedigree dogs.
"If we receive a hoarding case that shows no intent.. that means the individual has mental health difficulties, then we're likely going to go with City Ordinance violation charges," said Director of Fort Wayne Animal Care and Control Belinda Lewis.
Those are mostly fine-based, and can limit that person's future legal animal ownership. Intent to harm, however, is more severe, and means the person wanted to abuse and neglect animals.
"We're going to look at criminal charges. It's not the most common direction because we rarely see intent with animal hoarding cases," Lewis said.
She says animal hoarding cases are usually the result of mental health issues.
Psychiatrist Dr. Jay Fawver explains that can stem from one of three things.
"A recent loss, such as a job loss, or a child moved away. Secondly, if there's a profound grieve from a death in the family," said Dr. Fawver.
The third involves neglect dating back to that person's childhood.
"You're trying to reverse that whole history by giving a lot of love and compassion to animals. They're well meaning when they start out, but the problem is they aren't able to keep up," said Fawver.
In Elizabeth Miller's case, they believe she didn't have intent to harm the animals, which is why she's only facing fines. That's the same situation for a case earlier this summer in Leo, where 212 cats were found inside a home. How things get so bad is largely handled in counseling, as is ways to prevent it from happening in the future.
They're apparently achieving this by creative use of a distinction between "criminal" activities and violations of local bye-laws, so it's not obvious that it would be possible to do something similar in the UK without a change in the law.
Tip: The Animal Hoarding Blog (mostly American)