A blog by spcaLA president, Madeline Bernstein

Aug 21, 2014

The Arrogance of the Ignorant

courtesy spcaLA
In response to members of the public and legitimate animal welfare organizations advising people to use caution if they wish to dump an ice bucket on their dog, a spokesperson for an animal welfare lobbying organization  glibly responded that there are more important things to worry about. Notwithstanding that those of us in the "hands on" business see endless cases of well-meaning accidents gone bad; it is a prime example of the arrogance of the ignorant.

There is always something worse to worry about. Watching your son beheaded on the internet, acts of genocide in Iraq, incurable diseases, climate change or intentional acts of violence against the vulnerable are all good examples of worse things than pouring water on a dog. But imagine if any of us in the nonprofit sector or anyone pursuing a passion stopped their work because there is always something worse out there that is not remedied. We would all be paralyzed in existential hell. It is only because we all keep improving our little corners of the world that big things happen. Otherwise - why bother?

Instead, I, your spcaLA president, am thrilled and honored that so many of you paused to consider whether or not including dogs or any animal in an ice bucket dump was a good idea. That, in and of itself, is a great thing, and I thank you for that.

Having a corporate representative speaking so ignorantly on behalf of an organization - also something to worry about.

Aug 14, 2014

I Do Have A Real Job

Courtesy of MSN.com link
When people ask me - "why don't you get a real job" or "why did you give up prosecuting people" or "why should we care about animal abuse" - I show them an article like this -http://news.msn.com/crime-justice/after-5-year-manhunt-fugitive-couple-arrested  Note the treatment of both their children and animals.

I never changed jobs - I changed my primary victim focus. But guess what! The defendants remain the same.  Criminals are criminals, bullies are bullies, and sadists are sadists. The connection between animal abuse and people abuse particularly in the areas of domestic violence and in the development of serial killers is air tight. We must stop the cycle of violence as early as possible, as soon as it is manifested, even as young as a preschooler. spcaLA, alone, has programs to do that which include the only alternative sentencing mandate for qualifying juveniles, a domestic violence safety net, and others targeting youth from at  risk communities. (There is no national/umbrella spca in this country.)

I don't ask people to love animals, but rather to agree with me that it is wrong to gratuitously harm them. I ask people to fund spcaLA as a way to support compassion for our lost and abused animals but also as a way to eliminate violence against people.

Protecting our vulnerable classes against bullies protects us all.

 I think that is a "real job"!

Aug 3, 2014

What is Leonardo, Raphael, Michelangelo, Donatello and Salmonella?

not ninjas

Four fictional ninja turtles and one real disease.

I love the ninja turtle movies but I also love turtles. Real turtles are not ninjas, not appropriate pets for youngsters, and not legal to sell if their shells are less than 4 inches in diameter.

not a turtle
Real turtles also carry salmonella which transmits to children and adults when hands are put in mouths, eyes etc without serious washing in between. Salmonella can be fatal to the young, elderly and vulnerable. Turtles also don't provide the type of sustained interaction that children like which often results in their being flushed, illegally dumped in a pond, or accidentally killed. Who needs that?

It is also illegal in California and other places to sell animals on the street. Therefore if you see a vendor selling turtles, large or small, on the street, report it rather than buy one.

Unfortunately, history tells us that whether the featured movie animal is a dalmatian, chihuahua, cat or turtle the ending is always the same. Parents are exploited, pets are harmed, children are left unsatisfied with the wrong lessons learned, while the breeders/vendors laugh all the way to the bank.

Let us not be doomed to relive history. Stick with the toy turtles and enjoy the film!