This public service ad from France lays it on a little thick — but maybe that’s what’s necessary to get through to humans so thickheaded and coldhearted that they would abandon a dog.
Launched by French animal welfare group, Foundation 30 Million D’Amis (30 Million Friends), the video begins with a dog at his owner’s side in the hospital.
Through flashbacks we learn the owner had driven his dog to a remote area, ordered him to stay, and then drove off.
When he spots the dog in his rear view mirror running after his car he has an accident — and guess who saves him?
Each year in France, tens of thousands of pets are abandoned — most of them during the summer.
NPR reported a few years back that many such abandonments take place while families are on vacation:
“Every summer an estimated 100,000 domestic animals are abandoned in France by owners who say they are unable to take them along or find someone to look after them,” the report said.
The ad — just the latest in an ongoing campaign by humane organizations against abandonment — is being shown online and on French television.
If nothing else, it reminds us which species is the more loyal.
Posted by John Woestendiek June 17th, 2016 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: 30 million friends, abandon, abandoned, abandonment, ad, animal welfare, animals, campaign, dog, dog owners, dogs, france, french, loyalty, pet owners, pets, public service, summer, television, video
Officials in Torrelodones, a town outside Spain’s capital of Madrid, are scratching their heads after someone made off with a giant inflatable replica of dog poop — a municipally-sanctioned artwork (and we use the term loosely) intended to remind citizens to pick up after their dogs.
The victim, when on display, is brown, nearly 10 feet high, and weighs about 65 pounds.
Once the air is let out, it is small enough to be packed in a carrying case, which is the condition it was in when someone walked off with it.
The town says it will cost more than $2,700 to replace.
Speaking to the ABC newspaper, a town official said staff were shocked and perplexed by the theft, and a replacement excrement was already on order because “we know that the campaign has been a great success.”
No word on how long it may take for that to come to pass.
Nor is there any mention of a ransom note being sent by those who pinched it.
The inflatable poop is one of several symbols being used in the municipality’s “Lay an egg” campaign. Torrelodones has also placed concrete dog poops around town bearing the message “This is a big blockage to living together. If you have a dog, help us.”
Should an arrest be made, we think the suspect would be able to put on a pretty good defense.
After all, he or she was only doing — albeit on a far larger scale — what the campaign urges.
Posted by John Woestendiek June 10th, 2016 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, art, campaign, clean, display, dog, dogs, droppings, excrement, exhibit, feces, giant, gigantic, inflatable, investigation, madrid, pets, pick-up, poop, replica, spain, stolen, stolen turd, torrelodones, town, turd
Dog owners whose pets soil the streets of Madrid could soon find themselves cleaning those streets.
City officials unveiled their “shock plan” this week, saying those who do not clean up after their dogs in the Spanish capital will have to either pay a fines up to $1,700 — or go to work as street cleaners.
Municipal police will test the scheme in the two city districts where un-scooped dog poop seems to be the biggest problem, according to The Guardian.
Madrid and other Spanish cities have been cracking down on scofflaws for years now.
Last year the city of Tarragona announced it would use DNA analysis of dog droppings to track down owners who fail to clean up after them.
El Vendrell, a small town of 36,000 people in northeastern Spain, has tried setting up a canine toilet along one of its main thoroughfares.
And in the town of Brunete a few years ago, volunteers who spotted scofflaws struck up friendly conversations with them, obtaining enough information for city officials to identify them and send them a package marked “Lost Property.” Inside, they would find … you guessed it.
Madrid has launched repeated public awareness campaigns over the years, aimed at getting a handle on the problem, and it has distributed millions of free poop bags.
But, “there is still excrement in the streets, parks and other places,” the city said. Under the new plan, dog owners will have only one way of avoiding the hefty fine — by performing street cleaning duties for a few days.
The number of hours they are required to put in would be based on the size of the fine, the city says.
(Photo: TNT Magazine via The Guardian)
Posted by John Woestendiek April 27th, 2016 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, campaign, city, cleaners, cleaning, community service, dog, dog poop, dogs, excrement, feces, fines, law, madrid, pets, pick-up, poop, scofflaws, shock plan, spain, street
Dog poop is being spray painted bright orange on some forest trails in Oregon to increase public awareness of the problem — as if stepping in it doesn’t make you aware enough.
The campaign from the Oregon State University College of Forestry and local veterinarians is aimed at showing the amount of dog waste owners are leaving behind, and the potential ecological problems that could result.
Both of those are real enough concerns. But — not to question the noble efforts of organizers and volunteers — does spray painting something orange really solve anything?
If so, there are a few things (coming up in a minute) that I want to spray paint orange.
“We’ve been getting dozens of complaints from people noticing the increasing amount of poop on the trails and it’s been getting worse the last couple of years,” explained Ryan Brown, recreation and engagement program manager for OSU Research Forests. “We’re all dog lovers and dog owners and walkers of these trails and we know the opportunity to have dogs out here is super important to the community of Corvallis. And 99 percent of them are really careful and clean up after their dogs. But we want people to be aware that this is causing a lot of problems.”
“There are stream ecology studies happening in the waterways along Oak Creek and anything that gets into the water can drastically change the ecology,” Brown added. “That isn’t natural and it can really throw off the health of the streams and cause certain organisms to grow that aren’t natural to the area.”
So on Saturdays for the past month or so, volunteers had been spray painting any piles of dog poop they spot on trails with heavy duty orange paint, which really isn’t natural either.
Later — in theory, after the orange piles have made their point — volunteers return to pick up the day-glo messes.
On Saturday, about 20 volunteers picked up around 1,000 piles of poop at Oak Creek, Peavy Arboretum, Lewisburg Saddle and Calloway Creek trail, the Seattle Times reported.
I thank them for their service, but I would also note that pollution and annoyances comes in all shapes, sizes and consistencies, from all sorts of human sources, and they regularly taint our air, water and peaceful existence.
Should those get painted orange as well?
What about those signs of political candidates who leave them up for weeks, or months, after the election?
What about the ringing cellphones of people in a theater?
What about those robots who work for companies that call YOU up and ask YOU to hold for an actual representative?
What about utility and credit card companies who, while urging you to go paperless and thereby save trees, send you through the mail pounds of paperwork, credit applications, loan offers, advertising and pamphlets touting themselves?
And, while we’re at it, what about the car windshields of non-handicapped people who park in handicapped spaces, and presidential candidates who spread hate? What about handguns, or maybe just their barrels, and all the lies and bullshit spewed in the course of an average day.
Paint them all orange, I say. You know what that will bring us?
A still troubled, very orange world.
(Photo: Top photo Albany Democrat-Herald)
Posted by John Woestendiek October 14th, 2015 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, campaign, corvallis, dog, dogs, feces, forest, forestry, hiking, orange, oregon, oregon state university, pets, pollution, poop, public awareness, spray paint, spray-painted, trails, volunteers, waste
Yes, ohmidog! pokes cruel fun at “new technology” from time to time, but only when “new technology” deserves it — as is the case with this tail wagging monitor a group hopes to bring to the market.
Some Cornell University graduates have launched an Indiegogo campaign to finance the manufacturing of DogStar TailTalk, which they describe as a translator of dog emotions.
The device consists of a lightweight sensor that wraps around your dog’s tail, monitoring the speed and direction of the tail’s movement with an internal accelerometer and a gyroscope.
Coupled with a phone app, the developers say, it will tell you when your dog is happy, and when his or her tail wag may be a sign of stress.
Scientific studies conducted in Italy have concluded that the prominent direction of a dog’s tail wag is an indicator of whether he’s happy or feeling anxiety, aggression or fear.
Wagging more to the right is said to be an indication of positive feelings.
The developers of the device say the direction of the wag isn’t always discernable to the naked eye: “Tail wagging is asymmetric and includes complex emotional signals that the human eye cannot recognize.”
We’re not so sure about that, just as we’re not so sure that a dog owner, seeing their dog’s tail wagging upon meeting, say, another dog, will have time to fire up the app to determine whether the meeting is going to go well.
Like a lot of canine-oriented technology — from treat poppers to automatic ball throwers to spy cams — this little gizmo takes over a task and/or responsibility that we should be doing ourselves, thereby growing closer and better knowing our dog, as opposed to distancing ourselves from our dog and giving them the features of robots.
As the goofy video above shows, the device may have some value when used remotely, such as learning the dog really doesn’t like the dog walker at all, but that — again — is something a dog owner should be able to ascertain beforehand without gyroscopes or apps.
The design team says it consulted on the project with “professors from the famous College of Veterinary Medicine in Cornell University.”
We think we smell a class project resurfacing for the marketplace. Not that there is anything wrong with that.
Current plans call for the TailTalk app to work with iOS or Android phones, and to include features like the “Happiness Overview” function, which tracks a dog’s emotional status over the course of a day, a week, or a month. The monitoring device will be waterproof and “chew-resistant.” We can only hope that dogs, annoyed by having a tail attachment, don’t inadvertently chew through something other than the device.
So far, the campaign has raised about a third of its $100,000 funding goal.
If all goes according to plan, the TailTalk device will be ready to hit the market in about a year, and we suspect that — just as there are those who are willing to fund it — there will be those willing to buy it.
Because while the dog may sometimes wag his tail, and the tail may sometimes wag the dog, technology seems destined to almost always wag us.
Posted by John Woestendiek October 8th, 2015 under videos.
Tags: animals, anxiety, app, campaign, cornell, crowdfunding, device, direction, dog, dogs, dogstar, emotions, fear, fearful, happy, high tech, indiegogo, marketing, marketplace, monitor, pets, research, science, stressed, studies, tail, tailtalk, technology, wag, wag direction, wagging, wags
Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina, who some critics say comes across as “harsh,” showed her softer side this week by singing about her Yorkshire terrier, Snickers, during an appearance on “The Tonight Show.”
Fiorina, who many believe made the strongest showing in last week’s GOP debate, told Jimmy Fallon she often writes songs about her dogs, and volunteered to sing one of them.
The performance cracked Fallon up, but then what doesn’t?
Fiorina has two Yorkshire terriers, Snickers and Max. She performed one of what she said were four verses of a song she wrote about Snick, the lazier of the two, sung to the tune of “Rock Around the Clock.”
My name’s Snick and I’m lazy
Please don’t take a walk with me
I’d rather stay right here at home instead
I want to lie back down in my nice warm bed
My name’s Snick and you’re gonna have to carry me
It should be noted that Fiorina, in addition to humanizing herself, and showing she has a decent singing voice, also looked pretty good — contrary to what fellow candidate Donald Trump criticized as her un-electable face.
“Look at that face!” Trump was quoted as saying about Fiorina in an interview with Rolling Stone. “Would anyone vote for that? Can you imagine that, the face of our next president?”
Trump later said he was talking not about Fiorina’s appearance, but her “persona.”
When asked about Trump’s comments in last week’s debate, Fiorina offered a strong rebuke: “I think women all over this country heard very clearly what Mr. Trump said.”
Kind of makes you wonder why, between the two, or for that matter among the entire pack of Republican candidates, Fiorina is the one that gets characterized as harsh.
Wouldn’t have anything to do with her gender, would it?
Posted by John Woestendiek September 24th, 2015 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, campaign, candidates, carly fiorina, dogs, fiorina, harsh, jimmy fallon, max, nbc, pets, president, presidential, race, republicans, sings, snick, snickers, song, tonight show, yorkshire terriers
To encourage Australian men who don’t get their dogs neutered because they see it as “unmanly,” a RSPCA campaign is offering up two brand new Harley-Davidsons as prizes in a statewide “desexing” campaign.
RSPCA Queensland officials hope it will result in an extra 30,000 animals being spayed and neutered, 9News reports.
The contest, launched today, is part of an ongoing campaign in Queensland aimed at reducing pet overpopulation.
According to RSPCA Queensland, less than half of Queenslanders sterilize their pets. The vast majority of the 45,000 animals that come under its care each year have not been — as they commonly call it — desexed.
RSPCA Queensland spokesman Michael Beatty said the overpopulation of pets is so bad that a five-person household would need to own 30 cats and 10 dogs for every animal to have a home.
Much of that surplus is blamed on the dim view many Australian men hold when it comes to neutering.
“There is a percentage of men out there who think it’s offensive to their sexuality to desex their dogs,” Beatty said.
While RSPCA Queensland is encouraging as many people as possible to sterilize their pets voluntarily, mandatory desexing is another possbility — and one Beatty would like to see.
Desexing was almost made compulsory under the former Bligh government and officials in the current administration are saying they’d be willing to take another look at it.
As part of the campaign, nearly 200 vets have reduced their spay and neuter fees for three months.
Posted by John Woestendiek May 11th, 2015 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, australia, campaign, desex, desexing, dog, dogs, manly, men, neuter, overpopulation, pets, queensland, rspca, spay, unmanly