Ten thousand dollars worth of supplies were stolen from a California rescue organization that helps homeless and low-income people care for their pets.
Mohave Desert Animal Rescue, based in the Victorville area, said their warehouse in Apple Valley was broken into twice over the weekend.
The organization’s founder, Annie Lancaster, said the stolen supplies would have lasted for a year, and if there aren’t enough new donations, the non-profit organization may have to close.
The rescue provides food, leashes and care so the homeless, sick and recently unemployed can keep their pets. It also dispenses clothes, toiletries, sleeping bags and tents to the homeless, according to KABC in Los Angeles, which last year featured the organization in its “Pay It Forward” campaign.
“How low on the food chain do you have to go to find somebody who will steal from homeless people and their animals?” Lancaster said. “It makes me sick.”
“One thing people don’t seem to realize about homeless people is they take incredible care of their animals,” Lancaster added. “They’ll go hungry to feed their own animals. That pet is their everything, it’s their heart, it’s their best friend, it’s their confidante.”
Posted by jwoestendiek January 10th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal welfare, annie lancaster, burglary, california, food, homeless, kabc, leashes, mojave desert animal rescue, news, non-profit, nonprofit, organization, pay it forward, pets, poor, rescue, sleeping bags, supplies, tents, theft, victorville, warehouse
Delegates of the American Veterinary Medical Association voted overwhelmingly last week to adopt a policy encouraging people to avoid feeding their dogs a raw meat diet.
They they went on to attend the AVMA’s four-day convention in San Diego, which featured a performance by Smash Mouth and a party on the USS Midway — all sponsored by, among others, makers of dry dog food.
A lot of people are finding that a little fishy.
An AVMA wrap-up of the meeting says the new policy — which it notes has “certainly been a controversial topic” — was approved last Thursday.
After discussion, the AVMA House of Delegates approved a slightly amended version of the proposed policy on feeding raw or undercooked animal-source protein diets to pets. Instead of using the words “never feed,” the proposed policy was amended to read “avoid feeding.”
(My mind sees no distinction between the two, other than the latter sounding slightly less bossy.)
While the AVMA has said scientific research is behind the decision, comments on the AVMA website criticize not just the soundness of the policy, but whether the sole reason for it relates to the funding the AVMA receives from big dog food companies, like Hills and Purina.
Said one commenter: “Please know that I will be having a discussion with my vet about membership in the AVMA, which is voluntary. I will make sure she knows that I have NO respect for an organization that bases it’s recommendations not on sound science (there have been NO studies on raw vs kibble diets from a canine health perspective), but on the all mighty dollar. So I’ll take my dollars to a vet that believes as I do, that the AVMA is not an organization to support.”
Another called the policy “nothing more than a Hail-Mary pass for a PFI desperate to hold onto their profits and using every bit of leverage they can to do so (how pathetic the AVMA allowed themselves to be so used). It will, I believe, make spreading the word about raw feeding more difficult in the short term… but the truth will prevail in the end.”
Another commenter, who likes capitalizing for emphasis, wrote: “Why don’t you just LOOK at who the ‘sponsors’ of the AVMA Convention are? On the FRONT PAGE of your ‘newsletter’ brief on the convention is a 1/8 PAGE ad from – who else? PURINA! You are all NOTHING more than PAID OFF CRIMINALS! I hope the Illinois State Attorney General and the IRS see fit to become involved. You are NOT a Non-Profit Organization, you are a SHILL for Big pet Food manufacturers (Purina and Hills in particular) … The AVMA has ZERO credibility and I will NOT patronize any vet who is a member. If that means I have to travel, then so be it.”
The final outcome of the vote was 90.9% in favor of the amended resolution, the AVMA said.
According to the AVMA website, all delegates in attendance were requested to disclose any potential conflicts of interest, such as connections to dog food companies, before the vote. The AVMA says that is standard procedure in such matters.
“Please keep in mind that this policy is NOT a ban on raw foods for pets,” the website notes, “and it is not a regulation that requires veterinarians (regardless of whether they’re AVMA members or not) to comply, or even agree with it.
“It’s not a debate on the healthiness of or risks associated with raw foods versus other commercial pet foods. Nor is it an attempt to force a ban or restrict pet owners’ rights to feed their pets how and what they want.”
What is it then, one might ask. To point to the risks of one type of dog food and ignore the dangers of another (like the risks of bloating and the nutritional lack of many a dry dog food) might be a good strategy for fundraising, but it’s not good policy when it comes to consumers and dogs.
Posted by jwoestendiek August 10th, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: american veterinary medical association, animals, association, avma, conflict of interest, consumers, convention, dog food, dogs, feeding, fund raising, house of delegates, influence, meat, non-profit, nonprofit, pets, pfi, policy, public-private, raw, raw diet, san diego, smash mouth, sponsors, undercooked, uss midway, veterinarians, veterinary
The Wake County SPCA, which received a finger-wagging warning from a wealthy music conglomerate after it had the audacity to use an Abba song to try and save animals’ lives, has managed to get their inspiring lyp-synch video back online.
We showed you the video not long after it was posted on YouTube. And we told you about it when Universal Music Group, the world’s largest music content company, polititely instructed the Wake SPCA, in Raleigh, to take it off.
The SPCA did so, but now it’s taking another chance on “Take a Chance on Me,” the Abba song which staff and volunteers lip synch in the video, all while showing off adoptable pets.
Performing a little magic of its own, the SPCA returned the video online in a silent version, providing instructions on how to link simultaneously to a recording of the Abba song that’s already on YouTube, one that has somehow avoided the wrath of the corporate giant.
If you time your click right, you can hear the song from the other source while watching the SPCA video, which is silent except for a few barking dogs in the background, and the voices of staff and volunteers singing at the end.
The SPCA explains on its website that it came up with the solution after trying to convince UMG that its video was not a commercial, that it was similar to hundreds of other user-created YouTube videos using the same song, and that, as a charity, it was using the song for noble purposes.
“So we begged, we pleaded, we promised to single-handedly bring Abba back to the U.S. pop charts, and finally we tried to purchase the license. The animal loving music rep in Calilfornia reported that the songwriters actually watched the video, and the answer was still, ‘no, it’s a commercial.’ But like we said, we don’t blame them. After all, homeless pets and animal shelters aren’t everyone’s cup of tea.”
Because of its popularity during its short life — 65,000 viewed it on YouTube in six days — the SPCA came up with the alternative viewing method, which, though it requires a little more work, is still worth the effort.
The SPCA says it holds no ill will toward the production company:
“We don’t blame them really. Who could believe that our total budget was only $32? Who could believe that an incredible production company would be so committed to helping animals that they would work for hours and hours without pay? Who could believe that more than 50 volunteers and staff would be so dedicated to helping homeless animals that they would come together and pretend to sing and dance and be silly for the animals? Well, we all can believe this, but lawyers in Sweden can’t.”
Posted by jwoestendiek November 8th, 2011 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: abba, adopt, adoption, animals, charity, commercial, dogs, homeless, lip-synch, non-profit, ownership, pets, production, rights, shelter, song, spca, staff, take a chance on me, umg, universal music group, use, video, volunteers, wake county, warning, youtube
UPDATE: The Wake County SPCA video is back — in a fashion. Find details here.
Wouldn’t you just know it: The Wake County SPCA’s inspiring music video — lip-synched to Abba’s “Take a Chance on Me” — has been taken down, apparently after threats by the giant music company that holds the rights to the song.
The following message is displayed where the video once was.
“This video contains content from UMG, who has blocked it in your country on copyright grounds.”
UMG stands for Universal Music Group, a global corporate giant and the world’s largest music content company.
Another message adds, “Sorry folks. We are working to convince them of video’s educational content and promo value.”
We could all boycott Universal Music for being such sticks in the mud, for putting their turf concerns and profits above saving the lives of dogs, but that would mean no:
Akon, Erykah Badu, Justin Bieber, Black Eyed Peas, Mary J. Blige, Bon Jovi, Mariah Carey, Sheryl Crow, Dr. Dre, Eminem, Melissa Etheridge, Fergie, 50 Cent, Nelly Furtado, Vince Gill, Godsmack, India.Arie, Lady Gaga, Lil Wayne, Jennifer Lopez, Ludacris, Maroon 5, Nicky Minaj, Rihanna, Gwen Stefani, Sting, George Strait, Shania Twain, Stevie Wonder, and Kanye West — just to name a few.
I could handle that, particularly the Justin Bieber part.
How ridiculously greedy. How uncivically minded. How, in a word, bullying — why else would the company feel the need to flex its muscles at a non-profit organizatiion trying to save the lives of dogs.
We hope the SPCA can work things out and get the video back online.
They seem to be taking the matter in stride, and not calling UMG a bunch of greedy, selfish, joy-smashing pigs — that’s just me that’s doing that.
The Wake County SPCA website offers this explanation:
“Sorry about this folks, we got a very cordial email from the folks in Sweden that we are using this commercially (as opposed to non-commercially). So while we try to convince them of its educational content and value and that we will single-handedly bring ABBA back to the top of the US pop charts, please enjoy another SPCA of Wake County video.”
Visitors to the website are taken instead to another SPCA video featuring scenes from the shelter and songs by Sara McLachlan and The Beatles.
Posted by jwoestendiek October 11th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abba, boycott, copyright, justin beiber, lip-synch, music, non-profit, removed, shelter, spca, take a chance on me, umg, universal music group, video, wake county spca, youtube
Van Dusen, 59, is a former family-law attorney who lives alone (not counting the cats) in Oakland, Calif., where she’s a volunteer and foster care provider for an organization called Fix Our Ferals, which traps, neuters and cares for stray and feral cats.
In her 2004 tax return, Van Dusen deducted $12,068 in expenses related to caring for foster cats in her modest home – food, veterinarian bills, cat litter, paper towels, garbage bags, and a portion of her utility bills.
The IRS, as you might guess, said no, declaring the costs she incurred caring for strays as “nondeductible personal expenses,” as opposed to charitable contributions.
Van Dusen — and we’re sure all 70 cats agreed — didn’t think that was right and contested the IRS decision.
In 2009, the case wound up in Tax Court, where Van Dusen represented herself because she couldn’t afford a lawyer.
“If it came down to helping a cat with a medical problem or saving for retirement, I would spend on the cat’s care—as will a lot of rescue workers,” she told the Wall Street Journal, which carried a story Saturday about her victory.
According to the Journal, it was also a victory for animal rescue volunteers across the country, and volunteers in general. There are more than 1.5 million IRS-recognized charities, the article said, and the ruling makes clear that unreimbursed expenses incurred by volunteers working for them are deductible.
Van Dusen learned she had won her case earlier this month. “I was stunned,” she said. “It feels great to have established this precedent.”
She said her pretrial dealings with the IRS were “intimidating.” Once in court, she said, the agency’s lawyers “tried to portray me as a crazy cat lady.” The judge, Richard Morrsion, patiently allowed her to state her case.
“He had to go through all these receipts from Costco and ask questions like, ‘What were these paper towels used for?’ ”
Under his ruling, Van Dusen was allowed to deduct most of some bills and half of others for care of the feral cats. The judge stopped short of granting her total deduction because she didn’t have a valid letter from the charity acknowledging her volunteer work.
The IRS declined to comment on the case. It has 90 days to contest the ruling in federal appeals court.
(Photo: By Michael Mullady; source: Wall Street Journal)
Posted by jwoestendiek June 16th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal rescue, animal welfare, california, cat lady, cats, crazy cat lady, deduct, deductions, feral, fix our ferals, foster, foster care, internal revenue service, irs, jan van dusen, judge, law, neuter, non-profit, nonprofits, oakland, organizations, ruling, spay, stray cats, strays, tax court, trap
(WARNING: The contents of this video are disturbing.)
Angel’s Gate – an animal sanctuary you may have seen Oprah Winfrey and Rachel Ray sing the praises of — bills itself as a non-profit organization that cares for disabled, abused and abandoned animals, providing them a place to live out their years in dignity and comfort while receiving holistic treatment and spiritual support.
PETA — hold the harp music — calls it “a chaotic hellhole.”
The hospice and rehabilitation center in Delhi, New York — founded and operated by Susan Marino — takes in “special needs animals” from all over the U.S., and provides for them through donations from the public. Marino promises both donors and people who send her animals that animals will “live out their days in peace, dignity and love.”
PETA says photos and video from its investigation show “Angel’s Gate was a chaotic hellhole where animals whose conditions required special, individualized, round-the-clock care were deprived of basic necessities and quality of life.”
PETA’s undercover investigator, posing as a volunteer, documented paralyzed animals dragging themselves until they developed bleeding wounds; animals kept in the same diaper for up to two days until they suffered urine scald; dehydrated animals denied access to water; animals confined to crates, bathrooms, cribs and a bathtub; animals denied treatment for pain, seizures, tumors, open wounds, respiratory infections, eye infections, ear infections, and mouth, gum and skin infections; and crowded conditions so stressful that fights broke out daily.
Despite claiming to provide “hospice care” and “rehabilitation” to hundreds of animals, Angel’s Gate does not have a veterinarian on staff and most animals were denied veterinary care for a variety of ailments, from simple to terminal, PETA reports.
Among the investigator’s findings:
- An elderly Chihuahua named Malcolm, sent there from Animal Care and Control in Brooklyn, suffered for about two weeks before he finally died — anemic, lethargic, thin, dehydrated, and unable to balance, walk, or even eat.
- Medications that had been prescribed for Shifty, a bulldog suffering from seizures, and Tucker, a dog with hydrocephalus, was untouched almost a week after a veterinarian had dispensed them.
- A miniature horse named Mimi was denied veterinary care for respiratory distress for days before she finally died. More than four months after Mimi’s death, Marino still solicited sponsorship donations for Mimi’s care on the Angel’s Gate website.
Angel’s Gate, like any facility that houses the sick, terminally ill and handicapped — be they dogs or humans — is bound to have messy moments and daily disasters. But the investigator’s video goes a long way toward documenting that, whatever love Angel’s Gate may, as it promises, be providing, ”peace and dignity” are far from ever-present.
Some of PETA’s findings may have been judgment calls: “Horribly suffering animals on death’s door were deprived of the dignity and relief of euthanasia.”
Others clearly were not: “The bodies of dead animals were left out for days among live animals. Animals were fed rancid, raw meat that had been left unrefrigerated.”
PETA says that in 2004, the IRS listed Angel’s Gate as an organization that failed to establish its status as a public charity, and in 2010, it was listed by the IRS as being at risk of having its charity status revoked.
Marino, PETA points out, has been featured positively on national TV, prompting public donations — one lottery winner apparently sent $50,000 — and what PETA says is the “false impression” that Angel’s Gate is a good place for animals.
PETA has turned over evidence gathered by its investigator to Delaware County District Attorney Richard Northrup Jr., and it is asking its members and others to urge his office to file animal cruelty charges against Marino.
Posted by jwoestendiek April 22nd, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abandoned, abused, angel's gate, animal, animals, attorney general, cats, delhi, disabled, dogs, donations, hellhole, horses, hospice, investigation, new york, non-profit, opray winfrey, people for the ethical treatment of animals, peta, pets, rachel ray, sanctuary, susan marino, undercover
Fidos for Freedom, a non-profit organization that trains and provides service and hearing dogs is having its annual fund-raising walk on Saturday.
The Fall Stroll ‘n Roll starts Saturday at 9 a.m., and runs until noon, at Centennial Park in Ellicott City.
The event includes vendors, games, prizes, a bake sale, demonstrations, dog contests and the walk around the lake.
Fidos for Freedom, in addition to working with service and therapy dogs, also operates the DEAR (Dogs Educating and Assisting Readers) program.
Posted by jwoestendiek October 30th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: assistance, dogs, ellicott city, events, fall stroll 'n roll, fidos for freedom, fundraiser, hearing, lake, non-profit, organization, program, reading, service, therapy, walk
On Wednesday the Whole Foods at Harbor East will be donating 5 percent of their sales for the day to the Baltimore Animal Rescue and Care Shelter (BARCS).
Volunteers from BARCS will be outside the store all day, with dogs available for adoption, dog bite prevention information and tips, and information on disaster planning for families with pets.
BARCS is the largest animal shelter in the Baltimore area and cares for 11,000 animals each year. It became a non-profit organization in 2005. BARCS’ mission is to prevent cruelty to animals by rescuing animals, finding homes for the neglected and abandoned animals, and promoting the health and welfare of animals through education, advocacy and pet population control.
Posted by jwoestendiek June 2nd, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal welfare, animals, baltimore animal rescue and care shelter, barcs, cats, dog, dogs, donating, grocery, harbor east, june 5, non-profit, percentage, pets, rescue, sales, shelter, wednesday, whole foods
If you’re doing your spring de-cluttering, keep BARCS in mind.
The Baltimore Animal Rescue and Care Shelter is holding its annual fund-raising yard sale this weekend, and organizers are looking for gently used items to be donated. They can be dropped off at BARCS on Thursday and Friday, June 4 and 5, from 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. All donations are tax-deductible.
Once you’ve done that, you’ll probably be in need of some household items. So we’d suggest a visit to the BARCS yard sale. It’s Saturday from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., rain or shine, at the shelter grounds, 301 Stockholm St., behind M&T Bank Stadium. (Directions can be found on the BARCS website.)
Items for sale will include infant’s and children’s clothing, household goods, toys, sports equipment, kitchen ware, books, furniture, knick-knacks and collectibles, as well as movies and music CDs and more.
Since 2005, BARCS has operated as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. During that time, it has increased animal adoptions by more than 2,000 percent.
For more information on the BARCS Yard Sale, contact Frank Branchini (410-385-4695, Ext. 5, or at Frank.Branchini@baltimorecity.gov).
Posted by jwoestendiek June 1st, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: adopt, adoption, animal shelter, animal welfare, baltimore, baltimore animal rescue and care shelter, barcs, dog, dogs, donate, donations, fundraiser, goods, household, items, non-profit, pets, rescue, shelter, yard sale