« ‘Pet Food Politics’: My interview with Dr. Marion Nestle | Main | Guide dogs for the blind? PETA staffer says forget it »

08 January 2009


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.


As far as pit bulls are concerned, they are banned here in Ontario.

Thing is, there are many dogs that may look like pit bulls but are not, a fact that can make for some pretty confusing situations.

In the news here over the last year there have been numerous cases in which owners of mix breeds that look like pits have been cited for owning actual pit bulls.

What majestic dogs they are, its a shame people do not know how to handle them properly.

Alex in Welderland

Thanks for the great article. I also just ordered his book.

The only thing I have an issue with is:

"The animal movement has been living with … the notion that despite all the evidence to the contrary...that Americans are irresponsible and somehow don’t care enough about animals."

All his evidence sounds like it is from a certain, more educated, demographic than what really exists in America. And not the one that lives in my neighborhood. In my valley, not a day goes by that I do not see 5-6 dogs in the middle of the street. Every day different dogs. Most dogs are outside only dogs. They are living alarm systems. I would be hard pressed to find a dog that has been spayed or neutered, or with a collar and tag. Most people I have spoken to think a dog should have at least one litter of puppies. Many have more. Dogs tied and chained are a common occurrence. All this is so rampant that it is the one thing that has made me think of moving because it is just too hard to deal with every day. (I am not, and am working for change, but the desire to run away from it is there)

Sadly, in many, many places, I am still waiting to see the evidence.

Gina Spadafori

There will always be people who don't take the best care of their pets. But that may be a failure of knowledge or lack of finances.

Consider this: Would you say that most people love and do their best to care for their children? I bet you would. And yet, every day you see evidence to the contrary. It doesn't change the fact that most people love and want to do well by their children (and their pets). But sometimes, they need information, and sometimes, they need help.

When BADRAP went into what many would consider a troubled area with offers of vaccines, food and more, they had lines of people who came to learn and get the assistance. They heard from people who loved their dogs and wanted to do better for them -- and with some help, they could!

The bottom line: People are mostly not evil or bad. Sometimes they need help, sometimes they need information (not lectures). Provide these and they'll usually do what's right.

Sometimes I find that the attitude towards "those people" says more about our own socio-economic status that it does about theirs.

Alex in Welderland

I am in total and absolute agreement with you! You,pretty much repeated what I had said with better elaboration:). I was sharing what the results of a lack of opportunity and access can, and often does, result in.

I do think we still have a way to go in terms of education. I did not imply anything to the contrary at all. He just had used 'anecdotal' evidence, at least that is the way I read it (I could be completely wrong), and so I did as well, and we really need to be careful of that...

(and now I am off to google BADRAP, thank you!)

p.s. I think people not having information they need is somehow the saddest thing. As they would offer their pets better options if they knew that was needed. ("they" referring to the demographic that doesn't take the best care of their pets, no other "they" intended.)

Alex in Welderland

Derail: I just read my post and it sounds a bit intense. I am just getting used to commenting and trying to stay succinct in getting my thoughts out. So if it sounds argumentative, my apologies, no such intention at all. :)

Gina Spadafori

No apology necessary. If we didn't care, we wouldn't share our thoughts in such a forceful way.

The other day there was a snippet from a blow-hard radio talk-show host in which he stated that poor people were that way because of a failure of hard work and morals. In other words, it was their own darn fault.

I think there's a certain amount of this attitude in the in the animal-rescue community as well. Especially the vigor with which the shelter industry makes an example of "bad" pet owners -- not by helping them, but by blaming them and killing their pets.

I am old enough to remember when battered women were told their domestic situation was their fault -- they weren't being "good wives" or "you made your bed, now lie in it."

Now, of course, we offer shelter to these women and their children.

I am very much looking forward to seeing a similar change in attitude take hold in the animal shelter industry. A "shelter" shouldn't be a place where you are told you're shit for not keeping your pet and that by taking the animal to a "shelter" you're likely signing a death sentence.


looks like shelter dogs will get another boost in a week:


And I didn't realize that some of the "Marley labs" are shelter dogs:

"The main dog that plays "Marley" in the film is, himself, a dog from a rescue - proving that great dogs can be found at our nation's shelters. In the movie, "Marley" chews, shreds and wreaks havoc, but his unconditional love inspires."



I hadn't been paying too much attention to specifics about the Marley movie. I found out about the labs after seeing a commercial for Hotel for Dogs and couldn't remember the movie name. I googled "shelter dog movie" and came up with all the Marley stories.

And it looks like both movies are giving a bit of press to shelter adoptions:


I had the pleasure of knowing Picasso that the fund in the article is named after. Great dog with great "pet parents".


The comments to this entry are closed.