A blog by spcaLA president, Madeline Bernstein

May 25, 2012

Rihanna's Dog Got "Minxed"

coutesy instagram
Courtesy Instagram
The latest trend in manicures and pedicures is the minx manicure. It is a process where pictures and patterns are painted onto fingernails and toenails thereby instantly transforming ordinary fingers and toes into works of art.

It was only a matter of time before this new art form appeared on a pet. In this case it was  Rihanna's dog. She posted a photo of  her dog with the caption "Bitch got minx."

The product is said to be toxic, odorless, chemical free and perfectly safe for natural nails. However, before you try something like this on your pet, use common sense. When in doubt, ask a veterinarian - is this safe for pets? Procedures and materials deemed safe for people may still have adverse effect on animals.

If it's safe - make sure it's something your pet tolerates and is comfortable doing. If your dog needs a sedative to do it, it most likely should not be done.

Need I say- don't even think about this for a cat!

May 21, 2012

Food for Thought...

Courtesy FreeDigitalPhotos.net
I recently attended a conference on multiple perspectives of animals and the law. Gary Francione, a professor of law at Rutgers Law School was one of the presenting speakers. Some of his remarks have stuck with me this week, and so, I thought I would share them with you.

Professor Francione asserted that the animal rights movement focuses on reducing animal suffering while tolerating the killing of animals. This results in the widely held platform that it is permissible to use animals for food, clothing and research as long as they don't suffer in the process while ignoring both the question as to whether the use itself is moral and the consequential fact of the death of the animal.  He was concerned with this paradox.

To that end he referenced a national animal rights group that ironically euthanized most of the animals in its care. He then referenced another national humane organization that campaigns across the country to reduce the size of battery cages for hens by a few inches. While it is questionable that such a modification would even end the suffering of those confined animals Professor Francione then announced the one certain result is that this particular animal rights organization has essentially become an adviser to those who would abuse, exploit and ultimately kill animals. He used an example of a person, though opposed to water-boarding, counseled the use of a padded water-board to be used to torture the hapless victim instead! Of course this produces a bizarre result. The torture continues despite the use of pads or filtered water!! In both cases the actual killing of the animals is not seen as the main issue.

The cynical reality is that these humane groups, who "advise animal abusers" raise millions for these legislative and ballot initiatives while simultaneously easing the conscience of those who want to believe that suffering is eliminated and the use of the animal is therefore justified.

A worse thought is that the factory farmers are laughing all the way to the bank as they can charge more for their product (fewer animals in larger spaces) and tout the endorsement and approval of animal rights activists to generate corporate good will and secure more customers while still behaving in precisely the same way as before plus or minus 6 inches.

Everybody wins of course, except those who need the help.

I concur with Professor Francione that it is certainly time for those of us advocating for animal rights to engage in some self-reflection, long term strategic planning and to commit to talking about these things.


May 2, 2012

Pit Bulls -- A Tale of 2 Confused States

Courtesy Google Images
The Maryland Court of Appeals has found that pit bulls and pit bull mixes are "inherently dangerous" dogs and that the owner and/or landlord who knows that an attacking dog is a pit bull or mix is strictly liable for damages to the victim of the attack. In other words, regardless of the nature of the specific dog or the reason the dog attacked there is liability. It is therefore possible that a pit bull service dog is now declared dangerous in Maryland and a pit bull that was provoked or defending his/her human companion would be presumed to have attacked because of an "inherent" characteristic.

Meanwhile, in Ohio, the dangerous dog laws have been amended so that pit bulls, after 25 years, are no longer deemed "inherently vicious"!

This is completely irrational. Can we please focus on the specific behavior of a particular dog in the context of an actual incident rather than just profiling a breed and all the combinations of mutts in that mix?

Perhaps our legal system is “inherently contradictory”.