A blog by spcaLA president, Madeline Bernstein

Jun 30, 2013

Athletes Unload Their Pets via Twitter

Recently, professional athletes are using Twitter to unload their family pets
courtesy Google images
Kendrick Perkins  (basketball), Anthony Davis (football) and Isaiah Stanback (football) all posted the desire to sell their dogs on Twitter, and at least Perkins and Davis sold their family pet in under an hour with the requirement by Davis to "Just don't be mean to him".
As I am willing to defer to the professionals in sports, I would ask that they, in turn, let me and other credentialed professionals find unwanted pets new homes. Notwithstanding the difference between merely getting rid of a pet to the first bidder and actually finding a pet a new home-(The former accepts the tweet for the highest bid while the latter searches, screens and tries to assess compatibility with the family)- there are darker issues at play here. Is the allure of the pet the fact that is belongs to a famous athlete? Is the intention to re-tweet and resell to the highest bidder? What is the effect on the dog who must travel, and readjust to new surroundings. Is this the message that pro athletes, often viewed as role models, want to convey to our youth about commitment and responsibility?
I would advise these athletes and those that will imitate them to turn their pets over to a local humane society or spca with a donation sufficient to ensure their well-being while they wait for a new family. 
While it is certainly possible that a good home may be found using Twitter. gambling with a pets' life is not the game these athletes should be playing.  

Article first published as Pro-Athletes Unload Pets Via Twitter on Technorati.

Jun 11, 2013

Hens will Suffer in Push for Big Government over State Sovereignty

courtesy Google images
When California voters passed Proposition 2 which requires egg farmers to give egg-laying birds room to stand, spread their wings and move around, then Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) added an additional requirement that all eggs sold in California must come from farms that meet California standards- a decree in keeping with the republican mantra of less federal government and more state sovereignty.

Permitting assault weapons, governors refusing to enact the Affordable Care Act, regulating abortions and same sex marriages, to name a few, are all example of issues and instances where the tenet of states' rights was and is invoked as sacrosanct.

Yet, in this case,  Republican Senator Steve King has added a section to the proposed farm bill that would prohibit states from imposing conditions on another state's agriculture production thereby effectively allowing big government to trounce California's law and Californians message that basic humane treatment of animals, even food animals, should be required which, by the way,  is not inconsistent with the sentiments encoded in the Federal Animal Welfare Act. Yes, the Senator represents Iowa, a major egg producing state, so there is certainly self-interest at play here, so how should this be resolved?

It seems to me that our elected officials should cross party lines and attempt bipartisan action to improve civil rights, guard our constitutional protections and develop policies that foster humaneness and compassion.

Why not, instead, require all egg laying birds to have some comfort rather than trample the law? Why "chicken out" from standing up to special interests whose concerns are not always in the best interests of all?

Why insist that Iowa has a superior right to treat hens their way but California does not.