Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Dogs that smell like corn chips

In Dogs I Have Met, I write at one point about how when Brando was younger, I thought he smelled like Christmas cookies. But most people seem to think their dogs smell like corn chips. I mentioned this to my newly dog obsessed friend Elizabeth Crane and she thought I was crazy--and then confessed that her dog Percy had paws that smelled like corn chips. I was reminded of all of this today when I got an email from a reader who gasped at that passage, because she is obsessed with dog paws and their corn chip smell.

Elizabeth has a new book out today: You Must Be This Happy To Enter.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

PETA's euthanasia rate: a staggering 97%

NOTE: When I saw this report, I thought I'd just cut and paste the whole article/press release, so that people would know where it came from. Some people have pointed out, accurately, that the Center for Consumer Freedom is pretty sketchy. But, in this case, the numbers they are quoting are completely accurate. In the comments section there is a link to the report PETA filed with the state of Virginia. I had considered deleting this and replacing it with just the numbers, but decided to leave it as it is.

Here's a report from the Centre Daily Times:

PETA Killed 97 Percent of 'Companion Animals' in 2006, According to VDACS
Center for Consumer Freedom

WASHINGTON, Jan. 10 — An official report from People for The Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), submitted nine months after a Virginia government agency's deadline, shows that the animal rights group put to death more than 97 percent of the dogs, cats, and other pets it took in for adoption in 2006. During that year, the well-known animal rights group managed to find adoptive homes for just 12 pets. The nonprofit Center for Consumer Freedom (CCF) is calling on PETA to either end its hypocritical angel-of-death program, or stop its senseless condemnation of Americans who believe it's perfectly ethical to use animals for food, clothing, and critical medical research.

Not counting animals PETA held only temporarily in its spay-neuter program, the organization took in 3,061 "companion animals" in 2006, of which it killed 2,981. According to Virginia's Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS), the average euthanasia rate for humane societies in the state was just 34.7 percent in 2006. PETA killed 97.4 percent of the animals it took in. The organization filed its 2006 report this month, nine months after the VDACS deadline of March 31, 2007.

"Pet lovers should be outraged," said CCF Director of Research David Martosko. "There are thousands of worthwhile animal shelters that deserve Americans' support. PETA is not one of them." In courtroom testimony last year, a PETA manager acknowledged that her organization maintains a large walk-in freezer for storing dead animals, and that PETA contracts with a Virginia cremation service to dispose of the bodies. In that trial, two PETA employees were convicted of dumping dead animals in a rural North Carolina trash dumpster.

Today in Southampton County, Virginia, another PETA employee will face felony charges in a dog-napping case. Andrea Florence Benoit Harris was arrested in late 2006 for allegedly abducting a hunting dog and attempting to transport it to PETA's Norfolk headquarters.

"PETA raised over $30 million last year," Martosko added, "and it's using that money to kill the only flesh-and-blood animals its employees actually see. The scale of PETA's hypocrisy is simply staggering."