Tag Archives: shelter

Dogs raised for meat rescued, find Oregon homes

Megan Watkins never wanted a dog until she met Florence, a Tosa mastiff rescued from a South Korean dog meat farm.

Watkins, who manages a Starbucks in Bend, Oregon, hosted a grand opening block party in August. She remembers stepping outside the coffee shop and happening to see Florence being walked by Humane Society of Central Oregon Outreach Manager Lynne Ouchida.

Watkins, an owner of two cats, knew she found her dog.

“I felt instantly connected to her,” she said. “She just had this really tough, sweet, calm energy.”

Watkins offered the dog a puppuccino, a small cup filled with whipped cream that Starbucks employees give to customers’ dogs.

“We say it was a match made over a puppuccino,” Ouchida said.

Rescued dogs

Florence is one of 28 dogs brought to central Oregon in March from a dog meat farm in Wonju, South Korea. All but three of the dogs have since been adopted, and two had to be euthanized, reported The Bulletin.

Humane Society International, a global animal protection organization, goes to dog meat farms and trades services and goods for the dogs. The group teaches farmers how to grow crops or offers rice and berries in exchange for the dogs.

A total of 250 dogs were rescued from the South Korean farm and sent to Humane Societies around the United States.

The Humane Society of Central Oregon in Bend took 17 dogs, and BrightSide Animal Shelter in Redmond took 11 dogs. The breeds vary with mixes including Labradors, mastiffs, Jindos and elkhounds.

Each dog had major medical and behavioral issues. The dogs had infections, orthopedic issues and broken teeth from being confined in small cages. Many were fearful at the Humane Society shelters and would hide in their kennels.

“These dogs were not raised with human contact. They were not raised in a social environment,” Ouchida said. “They were raised in wire cages. Their interactions with humans were extremely limited.”

Florence had two deformed legs from growing up in a small cage. She had surgery in September, paid for by Humane Society International. She is now recovering with her foster owner, Watkins, who will be able to formally adopt her from the Humane Society after she recovers.

“We came into her life through the worst of it,” Watkins said.

Two dogs from the farm remain at the Bend shelter; Owen, a 1-year-old Jindo, and Addi, a 2-year-old Tosa-Lab mix. Staffers continue to socialize and train the two dogs before they will be put up for adoption.

Jesse, a 1-year-old Jindo mix, is in foster care with the Redmond shelter.

Overall, 23 of the dogs have been adopted.

“This has been extremely successful for the dogs,” said Karen Burns, Humane Society of Central Oregon manager. “Yes, we have had some heartbreak along the way, but I would like to focus on all the positive we have done. These are success stories. These are dogs that are part of someone’s life and family now because of what we did.”

Changing the culture

Bend resident Debby Bever grew up in Taiwan, where it is common to see dog meat at the markets. She never got used to the sight.

“There were dogs at the market all the time,” Bever said. “There would be chicken, fish and then you would see a dog carcass.”

Consuming dog meat is a cultural tradition, Bever said, where some Asian people believe it will keep them cool in the summertime. The tradition is still popular among older generations, she said, but younger people are slowly changing the culture.

With the experience of seeing dog meat firsthand, Bever felt compelled to help the dogs that came to town in March.

She offered to be a foster owner for a Tosa mastiff puppy named Lana. After less than a month, Bever adopted the young dog.

Bever, who owns two mastiffs, said it has been fascinating to see how Lana interacts with her two large dogs. Lana almost immediately bonded with them, while remaining distant to any human contact. Over time, she has warmed up to Bever.

“They just attach to other dogs and don’t want to be by themselves,” Bever said. “All they knew were dogs and mean people.”

‘Part of the family’

At her home in Redmond, Watkins had a ramp, doggy door and outdoor enclosure built for Florence.

“She is part of the family now, and we set up the whole house for her,” Watkins said.

After meeting Florence at the block party, Watkins visited her at the Bend shelter for two weeks before bringing her home. During those two weeks, Watkins convinced her husband, Jason Watkins, they needed the dog.

He agreed, and Florence has fit into their family ever since.

“I just feel very lucky to have her in our lives,” Watkins said.

On the Web

Humane Society International.

Maine governor uses clout to adopt dog wanted by a private citizen

A woman is angry with a shelter for breaking its own rules to give Maine Governor Paul LePage a stray dog the day before the dog was put up for adoption.

Donna Kincer, development director of the Greater Androscoggin Humane Society, acknowledged the Jack Russell terrier mix was supposed to be made available a day later and on a first-come, first-served basis.

“The governor walks in your front door and it sort of shifts things a little,” Kincer told the Sun Journal, acknowledging elected officials get special privileges over ordinary citizens at her shelter.

Kincer said she hoped for good publicity from the governor’s adoption of the rescue dog from Louisiana.

LePage is a right-wing extremist who was dubbed “America’s craziest governor” by Politico. His positions on a wide range of issues have put him at odds with the Legislature in a state known for centrism. As a result, LePage is Maine’s veto champion.

With that in mind, the governor, who refused to attend a Martin Luther King Jr. Day Breakfast and then told the NAACP on camera to “kiss my butt,” named his purloined dog Veto.

But what was a happy moment for the governor, who thinks windmills are run by electric motors, proved heartbreaking for Heath Arsenault. She burst into tears upon learning the governor adopted the dog she wanted.

Arsenault said she’d been going through an emotionally difficult time and hoped the adoption would boost her spirits. She’d already talked to shelter staff about the adoption and she’d taken the day off from work to be first in line when the dog now known as Veto became available for adoption.

“I felt like they lied to me,” she said.

Meanwhile, the governor’s family had been looking for a new dog after the death of LePage’s Jack Russell named Baxter.

The governor’s family alerted him to the dog after spotting him on the shelter website. The governor visited the shelter the day before Arsenault had hoped to adopt him.

“He just stopped in to see the dog,” said LePage spokesman Peter Steele. “He was very pleasantly surprised when (the shelter) allowed him to take the dog home.”

Arsenault says the shelter was wrong to give the governor the dog he wanted while other people must wait in line.

“No one should be given special privileges, even if they are the governor,” she said.

Right at Home: Green is a go for spring decor

When we start thinking “spring,” one color comes to mind. Tender pea shoots, that soft fuzziness on budding trees, a new lawn — there’s a palette of green that herald nature’s shift to the warm seasons.

And there are many fresh ways to bring green indoors with paint and furnishings.

“Green is Mother Nature’s favorite color. It’s so abundant in the world around us that we’re accustomed to seeing it as a background color,” says Lee Eiseman, head of the Eiseman Center for Color Information and Training near Seattle.

She also points out the “good-for-you” connotations of green — eating fruits and vegetables, juicing and so on — and the generally calming nature of the hue.

“We’re looking for that restful shade to bring the outside in, and provide balance in our lives,” she says.

Dee Schlotter, the spokesperson for PPG Brands, design and color marketers and makers of PPG Paints, says, “Green is restorative, rejuvenating and fresh. Being in nature brings an ease or a relaxation that’s almost immediate. Recreating that feeling in the home is very popular right now.”

The company has chosen Paradise Found as their 2016 color of the year. It’s a soothing gray-green with a hint of blue.

Greens like this play well with others. Combining gray-green with matte black modernizes a traditional space. Paired with white, the color becomes more mineral and organic.

Farrow & Ball has a new, leafy, verdant hue with historic provenance to help commemorate the paint maker’s 70th anniversary.

“Yeabridge Green was originally found in an 18th century Georgian farmhouse in the (United Kingdom) county of Somerset,” creative director Charlie Cosby recalls. During renovation, an original gun cupboard was removed, revealing the paint color.

Rich and earthy, it’s a green in the family of avocado, olive and evergreen.

Crate & Barrel’s Marin collection of artisan-made stoneware comes in a relaxed yet sophisticated lemongrass shade. There’s a soft wool rug named Baxter in the hue as well. (www.crateandbarrel.com )

If you’re trying green for the first time, Eiseman advises looking at the blue-greens. “They’re the most universally pleasant and least risky,” she says. “Particularly teals and deep turquoise.”

West Elm has a little midcentury-style desk and wooden counter stools in a gentle blue-green they’re calling “oregano.” (www.westelm.com )

CB2 has a sleek, low-profile dresser done in high-gloss mint lacquer. They also have a mint, powder-coated steel filing cabinet, and an array of minty trays, vases and napery. (www.cb2.com )

Saturated shades like chartreuse, citron and lime give a “pop” to walls and home accessories. At All Modern, find bold, zigzag-printed throws and slipper chairs from Amity Home, Deny Designs and Handy Living. (www.allmodern.com )

Kitchenaid’s mixers and tools come in a fresh apple green. (kitchenaid.com)

Looking for other colors with which to pair green?

“Reach across the color wheel and choose the complementary colors,” Eiseman says. “It’s the rose tones, wines and warm purples that are very effective with shades of green.”

Social Security must be preserved

Social Security, one of the most successful government programs in U.S. history, marked its 80th anniversary this year. As it enters its ninth decade of providing basic income security for older Americans, GOP presidential candidates are working to undermine faith in it.

They decry Social Security as an “entitlement” and warn of its insolvency. Using their favorite tactic of divide and conquer, they claim the money won’t be there for young people. They say Americans can get better returns from investing the same small sliver of their paychecks in private markets. So why should the government take the money?

Please don’t drink their Kool-Aid. 

Social Security is not an entitlement. Each of us pays for it through a deduction of 6.2 percent from every paycheck. Our employers match that 6.2 percent and send the total amount to the federal government monthly.

When we draw from Social Security in retirement, we receive money we have invested in the system our entire lives. The earliest age to claim Social Security is 62. The monthly check is larger if a person waits until full retirement age, which is 66 or 67, depending on your year of birth.

Social Security is not insolvent, and young people need only look at how the program benefits their grandparents to see what a valuable investment it is. All of my older relatives and friends rely on Social Security as an important part of their retirement income. They are not moochers. They have earned their benefits.

Social Security was championed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt and adopted by bipartisan Congressional majorities in 1935. Private charity had never fully met the needs of the poor and elderly poverty, a scourge that predated the Great Depression, grew more severe during the economic crisis.

The Social Security Act included old age insurance (the focus of this column), unemployment compensation, welfare benefits for the poor and survivor benefits for widows and orphans. Welfare — Aid to Families with Dependent Children — was abolished under Bill Clinton in 1996.

Many studies confirm that in the second half of the 20th century, Social Security helped significantly to reduce poverty among the elderly. Without Social Security today, 48 percent of Wisconsin seniors would descend below the poverty line.

Concerns about the solvency of Social Security have been addressed over the years in several ways: raising the retirement age; increasing the percentage of contributions; and raising the amount of income subject to Social Security taxes.

Currently, individuals do not have to pay Social Security taxes on income above $118,500. Lifting the payroll cap to $250,000, which Bernie Sanders proposes, would secure Social Security for at least the next three generations.

Of course, the GOP opposes any new taxes — even for a successful program that keeps millions from destitution. The financial windfall for investment firms is the real motive behind those who want to privatize Social Security. 

Why should Americans hand over our one small reserve of secure savings to the banks and Wall Street, whose practices have become more secretive and whose history is full of reckless speculation? Have we forgotten the near crash that took place only seven years ago? They not only stole our money, we had to bail them out!

Social Security guarantees all of us a minimum retirement income when we grow old. It must be preserved.

PETA turns 35, still using sex and shock for animal causes

PETA has done a lot with a little sex, shock and shame.

One of the longest-running and sexiest stunts you will see in online ads around the world is a group of naked women who choose to wear nothing rather than wear fur, said Ingrid Newkirk, president and co-founder of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.

For shame, there are photos, group posts and videos, like one of an angora rabbit screaming as its fur is yanked out one tuft at a time.

For shock value, two of the hundreds of petitions and lawsuits PETA has filed over the years stand out. One in 1982 sought to make PETA the guardian of all animals used in research experiments; and another in 2011 asked a federal court to declare five SeaWorld orcas to be considered slaves in violation of the 13th Amendment.

PETA did not win the guardian case, and whales were not declared slaves. But the Norfolk, Virginia-based non-profit is still using attention-getting tactics to fight for animal welfare as it marks its 35th year. It now has 3 million members and supporters, including celebrities ranging from Paul McCartney to Bill Maher. Its fundraising brought in nearly $52 million in 2014.

“Animals are not ours to eat, wear, experiment on, use for entertainment or abuse in any other way,” is the organization’s credo. And while its push for animal rights has coincided with larger trends, like the popularity of vegan diets, it’s also led to real achievements, like an end to using live animals in car crash tests following a PETA campaign.

But wacky stunts and some questionable dealings complicate PETA’s standing in the animal rights world. The group sometimes clashes with researchers and other organizations.

“By campaigning against animal research, PETA presents a threat to the development of human and veterinary medicine. Only days ago we saw the Nobel Prize awarded to Tu Youyou, whose work in monkeys and mice paved the way for the use of artemisinin to protect against malaria, saving over 100,000 lives every year,” said Tom Holder, director of Speaking of Research, an international British-based advocacy group.

“If PETA had got their way 30 years ago, we would not have vaccines for HPV, hepatitis B or meningitis, nor would we have treatments for leprosy, modern asthma treatments and life support for premature babies,” Holder said.

Newkirk was in charge of a Washington, D.C., animal shelter in 1980 when she co-founded PETA to publicize what was going on in slaughterhouses, factory fur farms and laboratories. One of PETA’s first targets was the Ringling Bros. circus. After PETA acquired images of baby elephants being yanked from their mothers and trainers using whips and bull hooks, the U.S. Department of Agriculture fined Ringling Bros. $270,000 for violating the Animal Welfare Act.

Thousands of PETA demonstrations later, the circus pledged this year to stop using elephants by 2018.

Former “Baywatch” star Pamela Anderson, who’s been working with PETA for 20 years, says she thinks PETA’s methods are “brilliant,” especially the out-of-the-box campaigns. “Humor can bring attention to something that is difficult to listen to,” she said.

One thing PETA’s been criticized for is the euthanasia of animals at its lone shelter in Norfolk. PETA’s 2014 annual report showed the shelter placed 162 cats and dogs, but euthanized 2,454. Newkirk notes that 500 of those animals were brought in by owners who wanted to relieve their pets’ suffering from old age, illness or injury. Many of the other animals euthanized were feral, aggressive or otherwise unadoptable, and had been rejected by no-kill shelters.

“Animals don’t evaporate if you refuse them admission to your shelter, which is the new game in town,” Newkirk said. When shelters refuse to accept animals, pet owners “let the old dog die slowly on the rug or throw it in the woods.”

PETA does not charge for euthanizing animals, and the shelter also spayed or neutered 10,950 animals for free or at low cost; provided free medical care for 1,500 pets; took 312 adoptable animals to shelters with more foot traffic, and helped 2,500 people work through behavior problems with their pets.

In addition to its big campaigns, PETA works with local groups. Projects with the San Diego Humane Society included the rescue of 83 rabbits from a backyard breeder. “We’ll do all we can to give animals a second chance,” said Gary Weitzman, president and CEO of the San Diego Humane Society.

Kathy Stevens, founder and executive director of the Catskill Animal Sanctuary in Saugerties, New York, says she doesn’t agree with all of PETA’s tactics. But, she adds, “I think they have been an important voice in our work for a more compassionate world.”

On the web

www.peta.org

Police: dog tied to bowling ball drowns

Police say a dog was found drowned with a bowling ball tied to it in a Northern California river and they’re looking for a suspect.

The Sacramento Bee reported on Sept. 28 Sunday that the 12-year-old border collie named Zelda was found in the American River with a leash on its collar tied to a bowling bag with a ball and a rock inside.

Sacramento City Animal Care Manager Gina Knepp says the dog had a microchip that was traced to a Sacramento woman. She told them she’d put the dog in the care of 47-year-old William Meek, who is now being sought as an animal cruelty suspect.

Knepp says Meek told the woman he surrendered the dog to a shelter.

She says a necropsy showed it died from drowning and had neck trauma from the struggle.

Feds housing hundreds of migrant minors in makeshift center in Arizona

Officials are working to improve conditions at a makeshift holding center in southern Arizona where immigration authorities are housing hundreds of unaccompanied migrant minors.

A federal official said that mattresses, portable toilets and showers were brought in over the weekend for 700 of the youthful migrants who spent the night sleeping on plastic cots inside the Nogales area center.

The Homeland Security official told The Associated Press that about 2,000 mattresses had been ordered for the center — a warehouse that has not been used to shelter people in years.

With the center lacking some of the basics, federal officials have asked Arizona to immediately ship medical supplies, Gov. Jan Brewer’s spokesman Andrew Wilder said.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security started flying undocumented immigrants to Arizona from the Rio Grande Valley in Texas last month after the number of immigrants — including more than 48,000 children traveling on their own — verwhelmed the Border Patrol there.

Immigrant families were flown from Texas, released in Arizona, and told to report to an Immigration and Customs Enforcement office near where they were traveling within 15 days. ICE has said the immigrants were mostly families from Central America fleeing extreme poverty and violence.

The Homeland Security official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because there was no authorization to discuss the matter publicly, said the holding center opened for unaccompanied migrant children because the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services had nowhere to turn.

At the holding center, vendors are being contracted to provide nutritional meals, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials. The Federal Emergency Management Agency, meanwhile, will provide counseling services and recreational activities.

The Homeland Security official said the number of children at the warehouse was expected to double to around 1,400. The warehouse has a capacity of about 1,500.

The Arizona Daily Star reported that Jimena Díaz, consul general of Guatemala in Phoenix, visited the center and said there were about 250 children from Guatemala, with the rest coming from El Salvador and Honduras.

Diaz told the newspaper that the children are being kept in separate groups, divided by age and gender. Most of them are between 15 and 17, Diaz said, with a few much younger than that. Teenage mothers with their children are also being detained separately, he said.

The warehouse began sheltering children flown from South Texas in early June. And there are flights scheduled through mid-June.

Federal authorities plan to use the Nogales facility as a way station, where the children will be vaccinated and checked medically. They will then be sent to facilities being set up in Ventura, California; San Antonio, Texas; and Fort Sill, Oklahoma.

Customs and Border Protection in Arizona “is prepared to and expects to continue processing unaccompanied children from South Texas,” said Victor L. Brabble, a spokesman for the agency in Tucson.

The children being held in Nogales are 17 or younger. The official estimated three of every four were at least 16.

Nogales Mayor Arturo Garino visited the facility Saturday, but he did not get inside the site where the children were being held. Garino said he did meet with Border Patrol officials. He was told some of the children are as young as 1 year old.

“I have all the faith in the world as mayor and as a citizen of Nogales that our Border Patrol is doing the best and the most kind and humane thing with the children,” Garino said.

The town has begun collecting clothing donations for the kids, he said.

“Border Patrol has always been good to the city of Nogales, and they work very closely with us,” Garino said. “Now, as a city, we need to help Border Patrol so that they can accomplish their goal of making sure these children are all taken care of.”

Immigration officials can immediately return Mexican immigrants to the border, but they are much more hard-pressed to deal with Central American migrants. The Homeland Security official said that legally, only their parents or guardians can take custody if the government makes the children eligible for release.

Officials in Central America and Mexico have noticed a recent increase in women and children crossing the border. Father Heyman Vazquez, the director of a migrant shelter in Huixtla in the southern Mexico state of Chiapas, said he and others advise children that it’s too dangerous.

Yet Vazquez is seeing more and more youths heading north.

“I remember a little boy of 9 years old and I asked if he was going to go meet someone and he told me `No, I’m just going hand myself over because I hear they help kids,’ ” Vazquez said.

Programs for LGBT homeless youth get $1 million grant

A $1 million government grant will help homeless gay youths in New York state who’ve had run-ins with the law get their lives on track.

The money from the New York Department of Labor will fund job training and education.

Carl Siciliano leads the Ali Forney Center in Harlem that takes in lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender young people who end up on the street. Siciliano says many of them are kicked out of their homes by families who don’t accept them.

And some end up in trouble, trying to survive through drugs and prostitution.

The money will pay for them to instead finish school and learn job skills.

The $1 million grant is shared by three organizations: Ali Forney, the Hetrick-Martin Institute and the NYC LGBT Center.

NY shelter for homeless LGBT kids struggles after Sandy

An emergency center for homeless LGBT youth is struggling to recover after Superstorm Sandy wiped out its humble Manhattan space.

“It was a disaster in a disaster,” said Carl Siciliano, the founder and executive director of the Ali Fortney Center. The Oct. 29 storm waters wrecked the street-level center near the Hudson River, which provided showers, medical care, education guidance and temporary housing help. Some services were temporarily relocated to a nearby LGBT community center.

The center now is raising money to rebuild the drop-in facility in the Chelsea neighborhood. Many of the youth who use the center have been kicked out by their families and live wherever they can find a warm spot.

On Sunday, the center staff organized a fundraiser co-hosted by actress Ally Sheedy and photographer Mike Ruiz. 

The New York City Council says LGBT youth represent about half the city’s nearly 4,000 homeless children. About 150 young people would arrive daily at Ali Forney looking for a bed. Two hundred city shelter beds are reserved for youth, and Ali Forney can offer only 77.

“Every day is a disaster at the Ali Forney Center,” said Siciliano. “And this was the biggest crisis in our 10-year history.”

About $400,000 must be raised to replace what was lost in Superstorm Sandy; the money will go toward a new 24-hour site in Harlem.

The center is named for a homeless young man who was shot to death on a Manhattan street.

On the Web… 

http://www.aliforneycenter.org

A message from the director…

Center director Carl Siciliano posted this message on the Web: 

Dear Friends,

On Friday we were finally able to inspect our drop-in center in Chelsea, half a block from the Hudson River. Our worst fears were realized; everything was destroyed and the space is uninhabitable. The water level went four feet high, destroying our phones, computers, refrigerator, food and supplies.

This is a terrible tragedy for the homeless LGBT youth we serve there. This space was dedicated to our most vulnerable kids, the thousands stranded on the streets without shelter, and was a place where they received food, showers, clothing, medical care, HIV testing and treatment, and mental health and substance abuse services. Basically a lifeline for LGBT kids whose lives are in danger.

We are currently scrambling for a plan to provide care to these desperate kids while we prepare to ultimately move into a larger space that will better meet our needs. The NYC LGBT Center has very kindly and generously offered to let us temporarily use some of their space,…. Also,  I am especially thankful that none of our housing sites were affected by the hurricane and that none of our clients or staff were injured by the storm.

It is heartbreaking to see this space come to such a sad end. For the past seven years it has been a place of refuge to thousands of kids reeling from being thrown away by their parents for being LGBT. For many of these kids coming to our drop-in center provided  their first encounter with a loving and affirming LGBT community.

I thank all of you for your care and support in a most difficult time.

Soup kitchen operator boils over Paul Ryan’s staged photo op

Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan’s stop at a Youngstown, Ohio, soup kitchen for a weekend photo opportunity got the director of the homeless service boiling.

Ryan, according to various reports, stopped at the kitchen and dining room with his family after a rally at Youngstown State University.

The Wisconsin congressman, his wife and three kids put on aprons and, according to the press pool report, pretended to wash some pots – the dishes already had been cleaned – for the cameras.

Ryan, the press reported, recalled the calluses he had on his hands after one summer of washing dishes.

Brian J. Antal, president of the Mahoning County St. Vincent De Paul Society that operates the kitchen, complained to the Washington Post: “He did nothing. He just came in here to get his picture taken at the dining hall.”

Later Antal told TMZ.com that Ryan, who arrived after the meal was served and the hall emptied and cleaned, did rinse a few dishes.

He still complained that the campaign arrived without notice and barged into the kitchen without permission, a concern since such political activity could cause problems for a faith-based organization.

A Ryan spokesman said the stop provided an opportunity for the candidate and his family to show the importance of volunteerism and local charities.

On the Web…

Clean dishes or not clean dishes? 

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/election-2012/wp/2012/10/15/charity-president-unhappy-about-paul-ryan-soup-kitchen-photo-op/