Tag: social media
Did you hear the one about the gay bulldog?
Of course you did.
The story that quickly rose to the top of the dog news charts yesterday all stemmed from a Facebook post by a Tennessee woman who regularly visits her local animal shelter and posts photos of animals who might be euthanized if they’re not adopted.
This week, she met Elton, a bulldog — actually a bulldog mix — at the shelter in Madison County, and was told that his owner had surrendered him because he had seen Elton hump another dog and thought he was gay.
She took a photo of Elton and put it on Facebook, along with Elton’s not exactly confirmed but fairly sensational story:
“… His owner says he’s gay! He hunched another male dog so his owner threw him away bc he refuses to have a “gay” dog! Even if that weren’t the most assinine thing I’ve ever heard, its still discrimination! Don’t let this gorgeous dog die bc his owner is ignorant of normal dog behavior! He’s in kennel 10L and he WILL be put down tomorrow bc there is no room at the inn!”
The post was picked up by the website Gawker, and went viral from there, with news articles appearing in everything from the Daily Beast to the Daily Mail. It also led to a barrage of phone calls to the shelter, mostly from people who wanted to adopt Elton — one of whom did Thursday.
“Stop calling the Madison County animal shelter — the gay bulldog was adopted hours ago,” the Nashville Tennessean reported yesterday.
The Facebook poster is a mother of four who calls herself “Jackson Madison Rabies Control Stalker” (rabies control being what the animal control office in Madison County calls itself).
According to the biographical information on her Facebook page, she started visiting the shelter a year earlier and adopted a schnoodle that had both a neurological disorder and, it turns out, parvovirus.
Because of the dog’s suffering, she and her husband decided to have it put down, but changed their minds and called the veterinarian back 15 minutes later, which was too late.
What followed, she says, was a depression that lasted for weeks:
“I felt like all my joy and happiness left with that schnoodle! my depression went on so long my husband became concerned! i told him there was nothing to replace my loss, and i didnt know how to get over wanting the schnoodle back!”
A month later, her family adopted another schnauzer-poodle mix in Memphis, and named her Tess.
“… Tess came into my life and the healing began for me … But, I sit here crying even now … I will always feel as if I gave up on the (first) schnoodle, like I never gave him the chance he deserved. I will always wonder if I had tried, would he have made it.
She adds, “I hated Jackson Rabies Control for the parvo. I blamed the place for my heartache. Until I went back, a few weeks later….I went back and started taking pictures and sharing their stories. and friend requests came in and I sent more out….and my page blew up with people who had no idea Jackson TN had a kill shelter…
Her other recent posts depict a dog at the shelter who she says was being overlooked because he is black, and a dog who was “allegedly poisoned.”
Posted by jwoestendiek February 1st, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: adopted, adoption, animals, bulldog, dog, dogs, euthanasia, facebook, gay, gay bulldog, humping, media, networking, news, owner, pets, plea, posts, presumed, shelter, shelters, social media, surrendered
We came across this scene in Tanglewood Park in North Carolina and have been wondering how best to present it — especially after our report yesterday on how the power of the Internet is sometimes less than responsibly used (See nails and cheese).
Should we go with a fear-mongering, tabloid version: Enjoying a day of peaceful contemplation in the park, an unsuspecting human stares ahead as a vicious Great Dane, clearly on a rampage, sneaks up behind him and prepares to sever his well-shaved head with a single bite.
Or the blog version: OMG! Dude’s about to lose his head! ROFL! Arf, arf! LOL! Share this. Like this. Digg this. Fark this.
Naaah, let’s just keep it simple and go with the boring old truth: A man and a dog enjoy a lazy day in the park — so lazy that, after a good yawn, this big dog gives his owner’s dome a lick, circles once or twice and plops down beside him.
Posted by jwoestendiek October 5th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, bite, dog park, dogs, great dane, head, internet, north carolina, park, pets, photography, responsibility, social media, tanglewood park
As wonderful a tool as social media is for defending, locating, rehoming, advocating for and generally protecting man’s best friend, there are times when its power gets embarrasingly out of control.
The “nails in cheese” story is a case in point — one that proves yet again that, when stories go viral, not even a dose of truth can slow them down.
“New trend at dog parks, nails in pieces of cheese, if you take your dogs to dog parks, please be careful!!” Eric “Pack Ethic” Bellows, one of many overspreading the news, reports on his Facebook page.
It’s not a “new” trend, or even a trend at all — at least it wasn’t before the photo started getting “shared” all over the Internet.
It apparently was one incident, three months ago, at a dog park in South America.
True, it was a heinous act, and should be reported, but calling it a trend, blowing it out of proportion, making it sound like it’s happening next door, is irresponsible. And scarier yet, once that starts happening, it’s often irreversible — almost out of control.
In addition to planting evil seeds in twisted minds, the photo is unnecessarily alarming thousands of dog lovers, who, always willing to speak out from the heart about mistreated dogs, sometimes don’t check the facts first.
Bellow’s Sunday Facebook post on spiked cheese — the photo and a brief and vague description – had drawn nearly 2,500 comments by Monday, and been shared by nearly 3,900 people. By this morning, there were 9,000 comments and 12,000 shares.
Most of the comments, as you can imagine, address how reprehensible the act was, and what should be done with the perpetrator, once caught.
A few ask when and where it happened — information not included in Bellow’s post.
Of course Bellows, who runs a rescue organization out of his home, is not the only one inflating the story to mythical proportions.
Through through social networking sites like Tumblr and Facebook, the nails and cheese story is spreading like wildfire, according to ThatsNonsense.com.
The website reports the single incident – a dog walker found the spiked treats in in Centennial Park, on the outskirts of Buenos Aires — was reported locally and then picked up by Perfil.com.
“After research on the Internet, we were unable to find any other stories … thus making it unlikely that this is a “trend” — rather an apparently isolated incident many months ago.
“Whilst it is difficult to ascertain for definite whether this has ever happened anywhere else before, we have to acknowledge we live in a big world full of sick, twisted people so the likelihood that some future events linked to the message above happening again is certainly possible, if not likely – however this appears to be nothing more than a relatively isolated incident – there is no trend or serial “cheese spiking” occurring, and circulating this message is most likely going to be a total waste of time rather than helpful.”
Posted by jwoestendiek October 4th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, cheese, concern, dog park, dogs, facebook, facts, fear, incident, internet, isolated, myths, nails, nails in cheese, pets, photo, rumor, social media, south america, spiked, spreading, story, tacks, treats, trend, truth, warning
More than 500 dogs being trucked to a slaughterhouse in China were freed from that fate when an animal activist spotted the truck transporting them on the highway, went on line and used social media to arrange an impromptu blockade.
Around 200 people helped block the truck at a toll booth for 15 hours — until they were able to negotiate the dogs’ release for $17,000, saving the dogs from being slaughtered and served as food.
While farm-raised dogs are traditionally eaten in China and some other Asian countries, the man who arranged the spontaneous road block over the Twitter-like social media site Sina Weibo, in addition to being an animal activist, reportedly suspected they were stolen.
After spotting a truck packed with hundreds of whimpering dogs on a Beijing highway, he put out a call begging fellow animal lovers to come and help him force the driver to release the animals.
Many of the animals were dehydrated, injured and suffering from a virus; at least 68 have been hospitalized, and one has died, the Associated Press reports. Video footage taken Tuesday showed the animals barking and whining in cramped metal crates.
“They were squeezing and pressing on each other and some were biting and fighting, and I saw some were injured or sick,” said Li Wei, manager of Capital Animal Welfare Association and one of the people who participated in the rescue. Li said at least one dog had died in the truck.
The rescue was remarkable on several levels. It was a rare successful case of social activism in China, a sign that new sensibilities are rising when it comes to dogs, and that the traditional practice of eating them is, for many, intolerable.
China has no animal protection laws for dogs or livestock, but animal welfare movements are growing there and in much of Asia.
The activists reached an agreement with the driver to purchase the dogs for about $17,000 dollars — most of which was contributed by a pet company and an animal protection foundation, Li said.
AP reports that dozens of volunteers have flocked to the Dongxing Animal Hospital in Beijing where they are helping to clean cages and mop floors. Sixty-eight dogs were at the hospital, many of them bandaged and hooked up to intravenous drips. Most were severely dehydrated and some had parvovirus.
The rest of the dogs have been taken to a property on the northern outskirts of Beijing where Li’s group is caring for them.
“When I saw the poor dogs on Twitter, I cried and cried, but I thought there was no way they could stop the truck. So I was very surprised when they did it and I wanted to help,” said Chen Yang, 30, a woman who tended to a dog that had given birth to four puppies just after the rescue.
The volunteer response indicates a growing awareness for animal rights, said Lu Yunfeng, a sociology professor at Peking University.
“Dogs were historically on the food list in China and South Korea, while they were loved in Western countries,” Lu said.
But in China, “as people became well-off, they had money to raise dogs, and while raising these dogs, they developed feelings for dogs,” he said.
Posted by jwoestendiek April 19th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: activism, animal rights, animal welfare, asia, attitudes, beijing, block, blockade, cages, changing, china, cramped, dog, dog meat, dogs, eat, eating, freed, meat, movement, purchased, released, rescued, road block, saved, shipped, sina weibo, slaughterhouse, social media, truck, trucked, video
Nala, a pit bull-Labrador mix living at an animal shelter in Washington state, made headlines in December when she helped save another dog — a blind cocker spaniel she found freezing to death in a ditch while on a walk with a shelter staffer.
Despite the publicity and her newfound hero status, no one stepped forward to adopt Nala — who has what the Humane Society of Redmond describes as “some behavioral issues” – and, as of March, her stay at the shelter had stretched to a year.
This month, though, there was one more publicity push by the shelter, which established a Facebook page for Nala — and that helped lead to her adoption this week by Janet Roberts, 63, the Bend Bulletin reports.
A week ago, the Humane Society teamed up with a photographer, held a photo shoot with Nala and created a Facebook page for the dog. Reese Mercer, a board member, provided “first person” updates, from Nala’s perspective, about her hunt for a home.
As a result, Nala had fans from as far away as Finland, all of them rooting for her to find a home — but few of them volunteering to provide one.
Nala’s new caretaker, a court transcriber who lives on 80 acres in Powell Butte, first heard about Nala’s story in December. When she learned Nala was still without a home months later, Roberts offered to take her home for a trial visit. Roberts has four cats, two horses and an older dog. The dog spent the night Tuesday, and the next morning, Roberts decided it was for keeps.
“She was ever so sweet, and fit in really well,“ said Roberts. “She was so respectful of everyone here … She really wants to please people, which is really endearing,” said Roberts.
The official adoption took place Thursday.
“It’s going to be tough to say goodbye,” said Alan Borland, the shelter staff member who was walking Nala when she found the cocker spaniel.
Borland told the Bulletin the couple that the Roberts family has invited him to come visit Nala, but said he probably won’t.
“She needs to get on with her life, and forget about the year she spent at the shelter,” he said.
(Photo: From Nala’s Facebook page)
Posted by jwoestendiek April 16th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: adopt, adopted, adopting, animal welfare, animals, blind, cocker spaniel, dogs, facebook, freezing, home, humane society, janet roberts, labrador, mixed breed, nala, pets, pit bull, publicity, redmond, rescue, saved, shelter, social media, washington