Here, better than any ski jumper, snowboarder, or twizzling ice skater, Keith Olbermann nails it.
His take on the stray dogs being captured and killed at the Olympics in Sochi – at the same time that pampered pooches are on parade at the Westminster Kennel Club dog show in New York — provides some contrast, some context, and shows lots of conviction.
Who is really the biological trash, he asks — the dogs being exterminated, or the exterminators?
Posted by John Woestendiek February 11th, 2014 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: 2014 olympics, animals, contract, cull, culling, dog, dogs, espn, extermination, keith olbermann, killing, killing dogs, olbermann, olympics, pets, rescue, russia, save, shelter, Sochi, sochi strays, strays of sochi, street, westminster dog show, westminster kennel club
The tens of thousands of stray dogs that roam the streets of Bucharest would be captured and killed under a plan proposed by the city just days after the fatal mauling of a four-year-old boy.
But first they will give voters a say — a referendum is scheduled for Oct. 6.
After the fatal mauling of a boy playing with his brother in a park, Romanian President Traian Basescu called on the government of Prime Minister Victor Ponta to pass a law that would allow for stray dogs to be killed.
“Humans are above dogs,” Ponta said.
Mayor Sorin Oprescu, in announcing the referendum, said, “We will do what Bucharest’s people want, exactly what they want.”
The controversial plan has divided Bucharest, a city of 2 million people.
In recent years, a Bucharest woman was killed by a pack of strays, and a Japanese tourist died after a stray severed an artery in his leg.
But it was the killing of a boy earlier this month that has brought the debate over strays to a fever pitch. Hundreds have demonstrated both for and against the proposed measure and have vowed to continue rallying, according to the Associated Press.
Those who see the dogs as a threat and nuisance say — ironic as it sounds — that exterminating the strays will make for a more civilized society.
“We want a civilized capital, we don’t want a jungle,” said Adina Suiu, a 27-year-old hairdresser. “I will vote for them to be euthanized. I drive a car most of the time, but when I walk around my neighborhood, I am always looking over my shoulder. If we don’t stop them now, we will be taken over by dogs.”
Burgeoning stray dog populations are a problem in several countries in the former Eastern Bloc. In Ukraine, authorities in Kiev were accused of poisoning strays as they prepared to host the Euro 2012 soccer championships. In the Kosovar capital of Pristina, officials gunned down nearly 200 strays in a three week “culling” campaign.
Vier Pfoten, an animal welfare group, says the solution isn’t killing strays but sterilizing them. The group has sterilized 10,400 dogs in Bucharest since 2001, but says a far more massive effort is needed to control the canine population.
Bucharest’s stray dog problem became more acute in the communist era when former Communist leader Nicolae Ceausescu razed large swaths of the city. Residents, forcibly moved into high-rise apartment buildings, had to abandon their dogs.
“When the great demolitions came, many houses were knocked down and owners moved to apartments and could not take dogs with them,” Livia Campoeru, a spokeswoman for Vier Pfoten said. “People are irresponsible, they abandon their dogs, and there is a natural multiplication.”
Among those speaking out against the mass extermination is Brigitte Bardot, the French actress and animal rights activist. “I am extremely shocked to find that revenge, which has no place here, will be taken on all the dogs in Romania, even the gentle ones,” she wrote in an open letter to Basescu.
(Photo: Top photo by Eugen Visan, Associated Press; bottom photo by Vadim Ghirda, Associated Press)
Posted by John Woestendiek September 11th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal welfare, animals, boy, brigitte bardot, bucharest, capture, demonstrations, dog, dogs, euthanasia, extermination, government, kill, killing, mauling, nuisance, park, pets, rallies, romania, stray dogs, strays, street, thousands, vier pfoten
It’s probably safe to assume she meant well, but a 70-year-old disabled woman has been cited by police for letting her dog walk run down the street while she followed it in her car.
The woman’s car was stopped by police in Madison, Wisconsin, and she was ticketed for permitting her dog to run at large, according to Madison.com.
Police had been tipped off about the woman’s habit by neighbors, who had complained about the dog running free.
“At the time of the complaints, the officer tried, without success, to contact the pet owner,” said a police spokesman. “Now, after seeing the little white dog strolling down East Mifflin with a car following close behind, it rang a bell and he had the chance to talk to her.”
The woman explained to the officer that she walked her dog that way because she is disabled.
“The officer was sympathetic but explained she had to find another way to exercise her canine,” the police spokesman said. “He suggested putting up a fence and then issued a citation for permitting a dog to run at large.” The ticket is for $114.
Posted by John Woestendiek April 1st, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, car, citation, disability, disabled, dog, dog walking, dogs, leash, madison, pets, street, ticket, unleashed, walking, wisconsin
Life is good on the Street of the Little Motels.
Wednesday took us from Kanab, Utah, past Lake Powell and into Page, Arizona, a destination chosen only because it was where we were by evening, once again facing the prospect – having not planned ahead (ahead, of course, being the best way to plan) — of finding another dog friendly motel.
Crossing over the Glen Canyon Dam and pulling into town, I checked my AAA handbook, “Traveling With Your Pet,” which listed all the usual suspects – Motel 6, Best Western, America’s Best Value and the other lookalike big chains that rarely exude the slightest local color.
But as I was tooling down the main drag, I saw a little sign pointing toward what was called the “Street of the Little Motels,” and I followed it.
Actually, it’s two or three streets, occupied by row after row of squat cinderblock structures, many of them brightly painted, with names like “Debbie’s Hide A Way,” “Bashful Bob’s” and “Lu Lu’s Sleep Ezze Motel.”
I figured the little motels on the Street of the Little Motels — though none of them show up in most travel guides — were probably more reasonably priced, being little, than those on the street of big motels, so I stopped in one, the Red Rock Motel, and asked the proprietor, Dail Hoskins, if dogs were allowed.
He said they were, but that he liked to meet them first and interview them before making a commitment. So I fetched Ace from the car and walked back in. Dail and Ace hit it off right away.
Still, there were conditions. “I have three rules,” he said. The first was dogs can’t be left unattended in rooms. Though I disagree in principle, I conceded. I asked him what the second one was. “Dog’s aren’t allowed on the bed.” I conceded to that one, too. “What’s the third?” I asked. He rubbed the Fu-Manchu mustache that forms a grey horseshoe on his tanned face and looked up at the ceiling.
“Can’t remember,” he said.
With that we closed the deal — $44 including tax. On the street of big motels, with boaters arriving for the long Fourth of July weekend, I probably would have paid in the $70s.
By the time the paperwork was filled out, Ace had grown on Dail even more, and he invited him over to meet his dogs, Marley and Mo. He went so far as to offer his fenced backyard to Ace, in the event I wanted to go out.
I parked in front of my room, 108 B, and was pleased to see it had its own sand yard, a grill, and a picnic table out front. Inside was a full and fully equipped, if somewhat retro, kitchen, with a linoleum floor that, being cool, Ace found quite to his liking.
In addition to my spacious kitchen, there was a roomy bedroom, with TV, bath, and the all-important, in Ace’s view, air conditioner. It basically had all the comforts of home, which, not having a home, I haven’t had – at least to myself – in a while.
I unpacked, did a little nesting in my room for the night, and took Ace to meet Dail’s dogs before hitting the Safeway, where I bought a small bag of charcoal, a six pack of Shiner Bock (which I developed a fondness for while in Texas), some hamburger meat, a single bun and some beans. (They’re cooking as I write.)
The Street of the Little Motels in Page’s Old Quarter is just a couple blocks off the main road through town. The motels aren’t packed with amenities, but for my money (What! That’s all I have?), they’re a far better choice than the big name competitors. The big motels say sameness, the little motels ooze character.
I’m enjoying the hominess of it, Ace likes it better than any motel we’ve stayed in so far, and I’m pretty sure I won’t have a nasty note taped on my door. So we’ve booked a second night.
The structures on the Street of the Little Motels went up in the late 1950s, when work was beginning on Glen Canyon Dam. They were built to handle the influx of thousands of government-hired dam workers who moved to the then-isolated Manson Mesa, a portion of which was procured from the Navajo in a trade.
After the dam was completed in the 1960s, the cinder block buildings were sold, mostly to serve as motels, and for a while – what with Lake Powell having been formed, turning the area into a prime recreation destination – they prospered. Along with the boaters, though, the big motel chains moved in, making life a little harder for the little motel guys. Dam shame.
Some of the individually owned little motels are apartments now, or hostels, some are a little down at the heels, but a handful, like the Red Rock, are alive and well, well-kept and worth visiting – not just a room but a home away from home.
That’s all for now. My beans are burning.
(To read all of “Dog’s Country,” from the beginning, click here.)
Posted by John Woestendiek July 1st, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: ace does america, animals, arizona, chains, dail hoskins, dam, dog friendly, dog's country, dogs, dogscountry, glen canyon, lake powell, little, lodging, motels, page, pets, red rock motel, street, street of little motels, traveling with dogs
Paul Railton was fined and barred from driving for six months after taking his dog for a walk while sitting behind the wheel of his car.
Prosecutors said he was spotted by a cyclist driving slowly along a country lane in December, holding his dog’s leash through the car window as the animal trotted alongside.
Railton pleaded guilty Monday to not being in proper control of a vehicle, but told the court that “a lot of people exercise their dogs in that manner,” MSNBC reports.
His lawyer said Railton, 23, acknowledged “it was a silly thing to do and there was an element of laziness.”
Railton was ordered by magistrates in Consett, northeast England, to pay a fine of about $100. He also received three penalty points on his driver’s license, leading to him being barred from driving for six months.
Several British newspapers reported that Railton was involved in an attempted murder case last year (drive-by shooting?), but that the case was dismissed because of police misconduct.
Posted by John Woestendiek March 3rd, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: alongside, banned, barred, car, dog, dog walking, dogs, driver, driving, england, fine, laziness, lazy, lazy brit, leash, news, paul railton, road, street, walk, walking
On the streets of Moscow, the evolution of dog is playing out in reverse.
So contends Andrei Poyarkov, a biologist and wolf specialist who has dedicated himself to studying the city’s vast population of strays — the 30,000-plus dogs that, while learning such new urban skills as using the subways, are in reality moving back to something closer to a wolf-like state.
His efforts were recounted in an enlightening piece in yesterdays Financial Times.
Poyarkov began studying the strays in 1979, starting with those living near his apartment and the ones he encountered on his way to work. He made recordings of the sounds that the strays made, and began to study their social organization. He photographed them and mapped where each dog lived.
Poyarkov, who works at the A.N. Severtsov Institute of Ecology and Evolution, says Moscow’s strays are somewhere between house pets and wolves, in the early stages of the shift from the domesticated back towards the wild. It’s a process that he believes can’t be reversed, at least not in individual dogs. The strays are resistant to domestication, and many can’t stand being confined indoors.
Most of Moscow’s strays rarely wag their tails, are wary of humans and show no signs of affection towards them. A few remain comfortable with people, but more have moved on to a second stage, where they will approach people only to get food.
A third group interact mainly with other strays and get their food from garbage bins.
The last of Poyarkov’s groups are the wild dogs. “There are dogs living in the city that are not socialized to people. They know people, but view them as dangerous. Their range is extremely broad, and they are predators. They catch mice, rats and the occasional cat. They live in the city, but as a rule near industrial complexes, or in wooded parks. They are nocturnal and walk about when there are fewer people on the streets.”
Posted by John Woestendiek January 19th, 2010 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: andrei poyarkov, animals, behavior, city, dog, dogs, domestication, evolution, feral, moscow, pets, research, reverse, russia, stray, strays, street, study, subway, urban, wild, wolf, wolves
My dog Ace gets a lot of compliments — far more than I do — but yesterday he got a doozie.
A burly, fortyish man in shorts and a sleeveless t-shirt, passing us on the sidewalk in south Baltimore (we’re slow walkers), turned after he passed and said, “If I was a girl dog, I’d hook up with him.”
To which, a few seconds later, he felt it necessary to add, “Don’t get me wrong, I’m not gay or nothin’.”
“It’s just that he’s a beautiful dog,” he explained, then continued on his way.
I don’t know if it was love at first sniff, but the two dogs in this video clearly took a liking to each other outside Kildare’s Irish pub in the Manayunk section of Philadelphia.
The video was shot by Don Groff, a former colleague of mine from Philadelphia, during the Manayunk Arts Festival last weekend.
“I shot it Saturday … while seated at a sidewalk table,” Groff says. “It’s short on plot and dialogue … but viewers might grin over how two urban dogs can turn a patch of Main Street into a gleeful romping field.”
Don also does a blog, which you can find here.
Posted by John Woestendiek June 30th, 2009 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: arts festival, behavior, dogs, don groff, friends, kildare's irish pub, manayunk, philadelphia, play, street, urban, video