A blog by spcaLA president, Madeline Bernstein

Oct 28, 2015

Who ya gonna call -UBER KITTEN!!

Uber - now a noun - "order an Uber". A verb - "let's Uber". An adjective - "it's an "Uber like" system and probably more. On October 29th, one can Uber Kitten. Yes - click on the kitten option on your app and an Uber will arrive with kittens for 15 minutes of love, stress relief and some adorable in your day. A portion of the proceeds will benefit your spcaLA!

Fun notwithstanding, it is an opportunity to spread the message of adoption, the significance of your local shelters and, the critical importance of corporate philanthropy.

Uber - a good corporate citizen and spcaLA Friend for Life!

Oct 20, 2015

Please help spcaLA fund our much needed domestic violence program

Abusers use everything at their disposal to terrorize and control those they batter - including the family pet, often threatening to harm or kill an animal if the domestic violence survivor dares leave. We are now in the worst of it as incidents of domestic violence increase exponentially with the start of footbal season and extreme heat - both occuring right now!
puppy with ball

Since the mid 1990s spcaLA’s Animal Safety Net (ASN)™ provides a safe refuge for the domestic violence survivors’ pets, free-of-charge, so that they may leave a dangerous situation without fear for their animals’ lives. Unfortunately, there is great demand for this help and we must expand these services. 

There are 3 ways to help us help these human and animal victims, one of which is to help us win a contest!
1. Vote. Help spcaLA earn $100,000 to help expand ASN in the LA2050 Challenge - with enough votes between now and November 3, 2015, we can make LA a safer place to live.
2. Donate. Help survivors of domestic violence and their pets right now. Make a special, one-time donation.
3. Shout. Tell your friends about ASN. Ask them to vote. Ask them to donate.
Where domestic violence is present, child, elder and animal abuse usually are too. If animal abuse is suspected, spcaLA investigates, gathers forensic evidence, and builds a case against the abuser. While under our care, animals receive veterinary treatment, vaccinations and spay/neuter surgery. Families remain in contact with their pets through photos and updates until they are safely out of the shelter and reunited.
At its core, ASN gives domestic violence survivors peace of mind. The comfort in knowing their adored pet is protected and cared for helps survivors escape, persevere, and begin building safer, healthier lives.
Please, help us help them. Vote, and if you’re able, donate today.

*If you don’t already have one, you will need to create a Good account using your email or Facebook in order to vote. Just one vote per account between now and November 3, 2015 at 12pm. More info.

Oct 8, 2015

The OTHER reason the bullhook veto hurts

Courtesy Google Images
In his message vetoing the ban on bullhooks, the governor stated that he did not want "to create a new crime", lamenting that there are so many, and that "our jail and prison population have exploded".

For the most part I agree that we should not criminalize every individual type of behavior when such behavior would be subsumed under a general, elastic, broad statute. The reason is that when there is a list of specific prohibited conduct, and a criminal does something not on the list, the door is opened for the defense to argue that if the legislature intended this to be wrong - it would have added it to the list. Bullhooks however, though instruments of torture, were universally accepted as a necessary training device, a likely defense to the crime of animal cruelty, and therefore needs its own statutory language. But that is NOT the reason for the veto. Prison overcrowding is the reason to the detriment of elephants and the rest us.

Our country uses prisons to house the mentally ill, the homeless, minor drug offenders, and an assortment of others hapless souls. California is already under Federal decree to reduce overcrowding in prisons. Therefore, there is an impetus to avoid the creation of new crimes, reduce sentences and release broad categories of prisoners back into society. Various broad stroke propositions like 109 (which realigns categories of crime) and 47 (which reduces penalties) among other things govern this exodus. The problem, is that these are general, clumsy, thoughtless ways of emptying the jails with no targeted and tailored programs on the other end that will reduce crime, aid re-entry, and prevent recidivism. Additionally, violent offenders who need to be incarcerated squeak out under these "fixes", (Note the increase in crime in this state!) It is analogous to cutting off an arm to treat a splinter!  The splinter is gone but the process, without more, leaves a person in serious peril.

Thus the veto on our bullhook ban. A new crime needed to be created but now won't be because of massive mismanagement of the system.

We can pass city by city bans to help our elephants as we have been doing - but who do I see about fixing the rest of this mess for us all?