Sunday, October 12, 2008

What's Happening This Week - October 12, 2008

Monday, October 13 7:30 pm - Rochester Hills City Council Meeting
There is a movement to put snipers in trees to kill deer in Rochester Hills. The city council will be dealing with the issue. The most recent proposal involves Oakland CountySheriff Department putting together a sniper team to shoot deer in the city. Deer in Rochester Hills died off this year from a viral infection called blue tongue. A statewide ban went into effect to stop feeding or baiting deer. There is no need to employ violence to kill deer. People, plant things the deer don't like to eat for heavens sake. Here's the location of the meeting:
WHEN: Monday, October 13th at 7:30 p.m.
WHERE: Rochester Hills City Hall - Auditorium (access the building and go down the stairs and to the left) 1000 Rochester Hills Drive in Rochester Hills, MI 48309 (almost at the corner of Livernois on Avon)

Tuesday, October 14, 2008 TV ALERT - OPRAH
Lisa Ling went on assignment - her task, to find out where the meat American's eat comes from. This should be an eye opening and frankly game changing moment for vegans and other who cannot tolerate the barbaric cruelty of the factory farm system. Oprah is on different times in different areas, so check listings and watch.

Weds., October 15, 2008 - Eaton County Commission Meeting
7 pm in Charlotte. This is your chance to help the county change its shelter operations so the people and animals are the main focus, not bureaucratic ineptitude. For more information visit

Weds, October 15, 2008 - Waterford City Council Addressing Pit Bull Ban
SPCA of SE Michigan wishes to build a shelter on donated land in Waterford, however, Waterford bans pit bulls and pit mixes from the city limits. The SPCA is addressing the Waterford City Council to convince them to lift the breed ban.
Meeting this Wednesday night at 6:30 pm October 15th
Waterford Township Hall
5200 Civic Center Drive, Waterford 48329

Have a great week and make a difference in someone's life. Remember kindness counts.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Tattoo Saves Rusty From Laboratory

In 2003, a sweet little Shepherd mix puppy was tattooed with an identification number that would get her back home if she was lost. In 2005, Rusty was lost by her family in Florida. Three years later, the tattoo saved Rusty's life and exposed fatal flaws in Michigan's sheltering system.

At 8 am on Monday, October 6th, 2008, Julie Moscove, owner of Tattoo-a-Pet, received a phone call from James Woudenberg of Howard City Michigan. He stated that he was a Class B Dealer who had a dog with a tattoo and he wanted the family contact information so he could get them to sign off on the dog. He picked the dog up from a shelter, would not tell Julie where, nor would he provide any further information. Julie told him the dog was reported missing in Florida in 2005 and she would need time to find the family, but the dog was not to be sold. Woudenberg told her that he would hold the dog only until the USDA told him what he had to do.

Julie contacted the USDA immediately to alert them that this dog has an owner and should not be shipped to a lab or killed. The USDA doesn't answer phones, or email and to date still has not responded to Julies calls. Julie performed a web search about the dealer because she was concerned about getting the dog returned. Through the web, Julie located and the stories we have done about R & R Research.

Julie contacted the Michigan Department of Agriculture, Dr. Michelle Finateri, who is the head of the animal shelter program. Finateri told her that it wasn't an MDA issue, she should contact the USDA. I wrote to Finateri and informed the MDA that this is a sheltering issue, that a dog was shipped to a research dealer with a tattoo and that the registry never was contacted. I was sent an email by the MDA press office stating that the MDA would not act because it had no jurisdiction, clearly an abdication of regulatory responsibility by the MDA.

Both governmental agencies that are supposed to deal with shelters and Class B Dealers didn't do their jobs, what a shock.

What did happen - Woudenberg returned the dog to Gratiot County Animal Control Shelter in Ithaca Michigan. The dog's family contacted the shelter and we hooked the family up with a rescue transport group that is able to help get Rusty home.

Thanks to the persistence of Julie from Tattoo-a-Pet Rusty is going to live another day. She avoided a miserable existence as a research subject only because she had a tattoo. If ever there was an advertisement for Tattoo-a-Pet, Rusty is it.

Although this is a happy ending, we must ask a couple of questions.
1. Why does the Michigan Department of Agriculture refused to enforce Michigan laws when B Dealers are involved? Why is paying their salaries?
2. Why isn't the USDA answering phones or emails about Class B Dealers?
3. Why didn't the shelter contact the tattoo registry to locate Rusty's family? It's scary to think that only a B Dealer did his job in this case. In fact that should terrify every one who lives with animals.
4.When are we going to demand that shoddy shelters like Gratiot, Montcalm and Mecosta counties have accountability for how they treat people's companion animals?
5. When are we going to demand that B Dealers and research institutions stop taking our pets?

Previous Stories and Resources:
Gratiot County Animal Control violates the law
Montcalm Abuse Case Dogs Given to Research Dealer
American Eskimo Rescue Nightmare
Montcalm County Unholy Alliance

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Speak Up for Eaton County Michigan Animals – October 15, 2008

Eaton County Animal Control Shelter in Charlotte Michigan is like many Michigan animal shelters. No effort is made to find homes for the animals that end up in the shelter. Until May 2008, the shelter sold or gave animals to research or research dealers. Volunteers are not allowed in the shelter. Shelter animals are rarely on the shelters website and the shelter does not use petfinder or any other internet adoption service. Strangely, the shelter has a rule that adopters are not allowed to meet an animal outside of a cage. In other words, if you see a dog that you want to adopt the first time you can touch him outside of the cage is after you have signed the adoption paperwork and paid the adoption fee.

Obviously, this is government inaction at its worst. The shelter is run by the Eaton County Sheriff who obviously finds this job to be beneath him. The lack of compassion for animals and for their families is why there is nothing being done to save animals lives in Eaton County. You can help change things.

To quell public outrage over Eaton County Animal Control’s failure to rescue abandoned animals and its dismal adoption statistics, the county commission set up an Animal Control Task Force. Its job is to make recommendations on improving the operation of Eaton County Animal Control. After months of research and work, the Task Force released its 18 recommendations. A complete list may be found:

The sheriff is not willing to accept the recommendations so unless the County Commission passes a resolution supporting the recommendations, nothing will change.

This is one of those times when you have a chance to make a real difference in how your government operates, but you must stand up and speak out if things are going to change. If you want Eaton County to operate an animal shelter instead of a pound, then stand up and speak out. If you want Eaton County animals to find homes with loving families instead of living as a lab animal being experimented on until they are killed or die, then stand up and speak out. It is time to make government live up to our constitution. The preamble is not we the bureaucrats or we the giant multi national corporations or we the lobbyists but instead it is "We the People". Let us start living up to our end of the bargain and force government to live up to its pledge to act on behalf of "We The People".

Stand up and Speak out on behalf of Eaton County Animals on October 15, 2008 at 7 pm.

Here’s more information about this issue – a letter that we received
from Task Force members Judy Oisten and Helen Schneider:

Support the Eaton County Animal Control Task Force Recommendations

The following update is from community representatives; we do not speak for others
on the Eaton County Animal Control Task Force.

After February's incident involving the abandoned dogs and cats in Carmel Township, three Eaton County citizens, Judy Oisten, Patti Roost and Helen Schneider, started attending Board of Commissioners and Public Safety meetings. We asked the commissioners to set up a task force to review practices and policies at Eaton County Animal Control and to seek a halt to the sale of shelter animals to research.

The public safety committee then appointed eight people to the
task force. The group was told that Eaton County Animal Control was part of the
sheriff's department and the sheriff would have the final say on the

Task force members were given a tour of ECAC. Some members went on to visit the animal control shelters of other counties. Observations and interviews of the directors, particularly at Ingham and Ionia, revealed many differences in practices and policies between ECAC and the others. Other counties' shelters place greater emphasis on pet adoption (and revenue generated from it), allow volunteers, have business hours that accommodate working people, and a user-friendly atmosphere. The other shelters had already stopped the sale of their cats and dogs to research, and all post photos of adoptable cats and dogs on

Hours were devoted to condensing this information into 18 recommendations, which were unanimously approved at the August 14 task force meeting. They can be viewed at: //

The recommendations were presented to the Public Safety Committee on September 4. Sheriff Mike Raines sent his reply in writing to a special Public Safety Committee meeting on September 25. He opposed most of the recommendations. We appreciate the fact that he did issue an order in May that stopped the "sale" of ECAC animals for "medical" research. Concerned that Eaton County's lost pets were still being transferred (given away), one of the recommendations is a resolution from the Board of Commissioners to prohibit the "sale" or "transfer" of animals for research, including transfer to a Class B Dealer who then profits by reselling the cats and dogs to be used in research.

We are grateful to EC Commissioner Theresa Abed who chaired the task force. She spent many hours obtaining information and communicating with people. Thanks also to all task force members and participants who spent hours in meetings and engaged in beneficial debate. The EC commissioners have acted in good faith in
allowing community representatives to participate on the task force and in
developing recommendations based on updated policies and practices already
in place in other counties.

On Thursday, October 15, the recommendations of the task force will be presented to the Board of Commissioners at a 7:00 p.m. meeting at the EC courthouse, 1045 Independence Blvd. in Charlotte. Pet owners and taxpayers in Eaton County, please
seriously consider attending this meeting and/or writing to your commissioner and the sheriff.

Judy Oisten, Helen Schneider

Prior Michigan Animal News Story - Adoption and "Euthanasia" Statistics from Eaton County

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Michigan Animal News Endorses Carey Torrice for Macomb County Commissioner

In February, 2008 published The Story of How Macomb County is Failing Our Pets. The article exposed the high death rate of animals at Macomb County Animal Control Shelter and the lack of effort by county staff to find homes for shelter animals. Carey Torrice, a Macomb County Commissioner representing a portion of Clinton Township read the story and immediately jumped into action. She offered legislation to set the Macomb County Animal Shelter on the path to no-kill status. Better yet, after the resolution passed, Torrice continued to pressure for changes at the shelter. She is still working hard to make certain that the shelter moves toward no-kill status. She kept her word, which is a refreshing change.

Carey Torrice is taking some hits from the old guard. The gossip website TMZ named Torrice the "Hottest Politician in America". This apparently irks her opponents and others who ride moral high horses. Sadly, even with the near destruction of our way of life by the morally superior crowd, there are those who will still vote based on something called "values". Carey will not be on their list, but she should be.

Carey Torrice has the exact kind of values we need today. We need someone who will do what she says, no matter what obstacles are thrown in her way. We need someone to take a fresh look at government and demand that it function as it is supposed to. Carey is that person.

The truth is, all of those politicians taking pot shots at Carey Torrice allowed Macomb County's government to fail. The animal shelter is a perfect example. The shelter did nothing but kill animals for years. No one from the Macomb County Commission did a thing about it until Carey read my article. In fact, Carey Torrice is the only Commissioner who actually contacted me to talk about the shelter and how to change the culture of death and failure that permeated its staff. The rest knew for years and didn't care enough to do a thing about it.

So yes, Carey Torrice may have some provocative photos on her website but who really cares. The woman is a professional actress and model after all, isn't she entitled to make a living? We should wish that all of the people representing us took their duties to heart like Carey Torrice does, maybe the country wouldn't be in such a terrible mess if they did.

Carey Torrice has earned your vote, please pull the lever for her on November 5th in Clinton Township. She is running for reelection to the Macomb County Commission from the 16th District.
Other stories:
Carey Torrice's website

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Vreba-Hoff Not Giving Up in St. Joseph County Michigan

No, they are not going away without a fight. Vreba-Hoff the European dairy factory farm owner and promoter resubmitted an application to the Michigan Departmet of Environmental Quality for the Leonidas County farm. The originial application claimed that over 3000 cows would be held on the farm. The DEQ rejected the application because of the potential damage to the community caused by the factory farm. Water, air and land are at risk from the urine and manure produced by 3000 cows. Now, Vreba-Hoff is claiming they are going to lower the number of animals on the 275 acre to 2260. According to the Kalamazoo Gazette, the manure and urine produced by 2260 cows is equivalent to that of a small city of 54000 people.

Here's what I know. Let's start with the environmental devastation caused by factory farms. The UN recently released a study that reported the environmental devastation caused by livestock operations. The biggest indictment is that 18% of the CO2 spewed into the atmosphere is a direct result of livestock operations. Yes, laugh as you may, but cows really are the cause of global warming, well, really people are, since if they didn't eat cows and pigs and chickens then the mega farms would not be on earth. So if you care about global warming, you need to speak out about Vreba-Hoff.

Don't care about global warming, then let's try clean water. The urine and manure from the cows will make it's way to the streams, rivers, lakes and yes, even the Great Lakes. Ground water and aquifers that we rely upon for drinking water will be polluted by nitrogen, ecoli, pathogens, anti-biotics and ammonia.

Don't care about water? Well, let's go for the one no one wants to talk about the suffering of the cows. Two thousand two hundred cows stuffed on to 275 acres. Two thousand and two hundred cows annually forced to become pregnant, give birth and have their calves taken from them within the first 24 hours, all so humans can drink the milk of another species. The suffering of the calves is obscene. The male calves become veal calves. They are locked in crates by chains for their entire lives. They are fed a formula that causes anemia so their meat will be white. They are essentially tortured for their entire short life.

Don't care about suffering of thousands of animals? Well, then I guess all that I can say is good luck to you. Imagine if we choose to treat the earth like this and we choose to treat living beings like this, how will we choose to treat humans in a few years?

Stop Vreba-Hoff and it's misery. Go to the DEQ public hearing on October 20th at 7 pm at the Leonidas Township Hall on Kings Road. Leonidas is in St. Joseph County. Written public comment will be taken until October 29th. A link will be posted as soon as the DEQ puts it on their website. Our air, water, land, animals and planet count on you to speak out.

Please Don't Vote!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Are You Registered to Vote? Deadline Looms

If you are not registered to vote, run, don't walk, run to the nearest Michigan Secretary of State office or you local city hall and REGISTER. Yes, I'm yelling. REGISTER TO VOTE. The Michigan deadline is October 6. There are no excuses for not voting.

It is an understatement to point out how important voting is this year. On the presidential level there is a definative choice. Remember, Al Gore would have been president if just a few more Democrats voted, so don't say you vote doesn't count. Al Gore - George Bush we wouldn't have suffered the miserable past seven years if just a few more Gore supporters voted.

And it's not just the presidential elections that are so important. It's about time we elected people who intend to serve, who actually believe in public service and not people who are just looking for a place to land so they can retire to a fat pension check and a lobbying career. You must vote if things are going to change. You must vote if people have even a tiny chance at beating out the big corporate interests that run this country. You cannot vote unless you are registered and you must do that today.

Finally, if you do not register to vote, please do me a favor and stop reading my blog and website.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Why Promoting the Vegan Lifestyle is My Calling

Pigs Being Abused at Hormel Supplier

I've been in one of those contemplative moods lately, trying to decide how to best express myself without ranting. I've actually written and rewritten this blog post 5 times in the last 2 weeks. I feel compelled, actually driven to spend more time and effort on behalf of the billions of farm animals living in hellish conditions and dying horrible deaths. So to start my mission off on the right foot I need your help. Please, if you are a meat eater, read this post, don't turn away. Consider my plea, really think about the issue. I know that changing minds normally does not work if someone feels insulted or belittled, so I will try not to do so. I ask that you put aside any bad feelings created by the post and instead have empathy for the pigs. Not sympathy, but empathy. If you stand in their place you will understand what is really at stake.

The release of the PETA undercover video showing the hideous abuse of pigs at one of the largest pork producers in the US is nothing but shameful. If you eat Hormel products you are paying money to support sick and disgusting cruelty. There is no sugar coating it, factory farms are cruel, animals suffer hideous lives and deaths and if you eat meat or pork or fowl then you are part of the problem.

Ah you say, but the abusers were violating company policy and acting as individuals, these are independent criminal acts, you cannot be responsible. For the sake of this post, I'll agree. Illegal individual action was responsible for much of the heinous abuse. But, there is that little phrase industry standard, that you are responsible for, since it is done in your name.
"At one point in the video, workers are shown slamming
piglets on the
ground, a practice designed to instantly kill those baby pigs
that aren't
healthy enough. But on the video, the piglets are not killed
instantly, and in a
bloodied pile, some piglets can be seen wiggling vainly.
The video also shows
piglets being castrated, and having their tails cut
off, without
Temple Grandin, a leading animal welfare expert who
serves as a
consultant to the livestock industry, said that while those are
industry practices, the treatment of the sows on the video was far
it." PETA Video of
Pig Abuse Triggers Investigation

Did you read that? Imagine an industry where the standard practice is to slam babies on a concrete floor to kill them. Imagine that it is not considered shocking that babies are piled, bloody, squirming and quite alive, one on top of another, left to die painful deaths. That is what your love of meat brings. Try reading that paragraph while eating a ham sandwich or a bacon, lettuce and tomato. Is it worth it?

Hard as I try to put it nicely, I cannot. You are just as guilty as the person slamming piglets on the concrete floor, ignorance is not a defense. Ah you say, but the abusers were violating company policy and acting as individuals, these are independent criminal acts, you cannot be responsible. For the sake of this post, I'll agree. Illegal individual action was responsible for much of the heinous abuse. But, there is that little phrase industry standard, that you are responsible for, since it is done in your name.

Every dime you spend on burgers, hot dogs, steak, chicken, roasts, sausage or any other meat product goes into the pockets of the people torturing animals. Without buyers, there would be no market for animal products, so guess what, pigs, cows, chickens, goats, bunnies and other food animals would no longer live hideous lives and then die. Is the convenience of McDonald's worth the cost in lives? Can you live with your choice?

It's all very simple isn't it? Every bite of food that you eat, gets into your body because you make a choice.Reject the hold that corporate greed has on your life, reject cheap and easy food, because the cost is too great. Choose life and help end the hell of life on factory farms. Become a vegan and do it today.