When There’s a Fox in the Henhouse, aka a Traitor in the White House

When living with a narcissist, or under a narcissistic president, victims (citizens) often become numb.

Hopeless—at least until it becomes a fight for their lives.

Because the narcissist is so good at gaslighting, that he or she (yes, there are plenty of women narcissists) gathers a gaggle of groupies and easily convinces said groupies to punish and pummel the victims with whatever lies they’ve been fed, whereupon the victim ends up feeling crazy and helpless.

And alone.

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Here in America those who see the so-called president for what he is are far from alone. Yet we are accosted on a daily basis with lies, misdirection, and outright villainy by a government that has now proven itself to be nothing more than a puppet to Russia.

Even though after Helsinki this fact can no longer be dismissed for conjecture, we still have to put up with family and friends who say ridiculous things like “The media is to blame.” Or “Hillary’s emails.” Or “Barack Obama was a socialist dictator.”

None of which make sense OR does a thing to stop the fascist progression of our country.

Maybe those who hide and bury their heads in the sand do so because they feel hopeless and helpless, and, look, I totally get that. I’ve gone to DC to protest three times, made the phone calls, facebook posts and tweets, and signed a bazillion petitions, and yet it’s not nearly enough. I still feel like a slacker and need to do more.

Because after Helsinki, everyone in America who isn’t a white supremacist SHOULD HAVE THEIR EYES WIDE OPEN.

The man TOLD US EXACTLY WHAT HE IS.

The man betrayed America to our enemies. The man BLATANTLY SOLD US DOWN THE RIVER FOR THE WHOLE WORLD TO SEE.

And what I want to know is, WHO ARE WE? WHO ARE YOU?

He showed himself to be the traitor that he is. And if you aren’t, if our elected representatives aren’t, standing as ONE AMERICA to say this treasonous fool must go, then each and every one of you are complicit as well.

Trump took an oath to uphold our constitution, and he has failed in that oath, and must be removed from office. He has proven that he doesn’t hold the best interests of our country over himself repeatedly, but never more clearly has he shown that he puts Russia before us than he did in Helsinki.

My favorite quote from the articles I’ve read is as follows: “The fact is that [Trump]’s behaving like a controlled spy,” he said. “If all signs are that there’s a fox in the chicken coop, then don’t think that there was probably a lightning bolt — there’s probably a fox in the chicken coop.”Glenn Carle

Did you know that foxes don’t just kill one chicken and leave the rest? Nope. They kill them all.

I spoke to a girl who runs a local farm, where chickens run through the field and are bedded inside two mobile henhouses for protection each night. She told me they’d recently lost about 20 chickens that they couldn’t find the night before, and all 20 had been slain by a fox or foxes, yet not eaten.

These poor chickens were demolished and left where they lay to be discovered the next morning. Apparently foxes go into a murderous frenzy and kill everything—but then only take one to eat and leave the rest behind.

The U.S. is the henhouse.

Trump and Putin are the foxes.

And THEY ARE INSIDE.

Dig your heads out of the sand and stand up. Please. And for God’s sake, vote this November. It’s never been more crucial.

P.S. For those of you who come here for animal issues, consider this: Animals are nothing in Trump’s America. Do you really think those who cage kids at the border give a rat’s ass about protecting a dog on a chain? Come on. Even if your hands are full with rescued and dumped animals, make sure you vote these folks out this year, if you ever want a chance for better lives for the animals.

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An Open Animal Rescue Like No Other Before: When Love is the Motivation

I was, am, and probably will always be, the lone wolf type…which is often not a good thing when trying to make a difference in the world.

When I was rescuing chained dogs, even though I instinctively knew the more people I could get to stand together the more difference we could make, I struggled to bring that dream to fruition.

Yes, DDB had more success than had ever before been seen for chained dogs, but I dreamed of a day when a community would stand as one against a dog chainer, and INSIST, no, DEMAND, that the dog be given up to a better life. Where community pressure and love for the dogs would blow away any ridiculous notions of property rights as they applied to our animal friends.

Mostly, my stands for animals resulted in just me being arrested, and while that created a ripple, it didn’t create a wave.

But this week that wave was created on behalf of another animal: chickens caught in the brutality of factory farming, and—even though I had nothing to do with it—I couldn’t be prouder of the 500 people who took action on behalf of the animals.

THIS is how lasting change will be made…

By an entire community of people standing, in love, and for reasons of love, against those of ownership, hatred, disregard, and abuse.

The folks who participated in this action have my deepest respect, and my deepest thanks. Below, I highlight the words of Wayne Hsiung, leader of Direct Action Everywhere, as well as photos from his page.

Thank you, Wayne, and each and every one of the 500 people who stood by your side. You’ve done what so many of us have dreamed of.

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From Wayne Hsiung:

“Just a small handful of the powerful photos from yesterday’s #MassOpenRescue. We walked into a vile factory farm with around 500 activists, and we walked out with 37 lives.

• When we first walked down into the facility, a huge group of activists with white flowers were tasked with supporting us, as we confronted hell on earth. (Another group stood outside on the public road, to be our public face for the media.) This image shows the buffering effect that our support team had on us. We could literally look up and see that we had allies to back us, and to bear witness, as employees or police assaulted us.

• The police arrived within 30 minutes. I discussed with them the “right to rescue” – our statutory and common law right to enter animal abusing facilities and take victims out. They mostly refused to listen, and just wanted us to get out. But the fact that we had a legal basis for our actions gave them pause. And our rescuers continued their life-saving work as I negotiated with the police and owners for most of the next hour.

• Despite being commanded by the owner to leave animals behind, and in the face of extremely intense negotiations with officers who were armed and prepared to use violence to stop us, we walked out with 10+ birds, almost 1.5 hours after we first arrived. We walked right past a police line, with flowers in our hands and love in our hearts. We showed the officers the rotting, cannibalized birds in our hands, and they declined to stop us. So the last 10 birds got home, allowing us to rescue 37 in total.

• We had been promised—by the owner and the police—the right to resume our inspection and rescue any dying birds. But the owner took that off the table, and refused to allow the media to join us in inspecting the facility. I suspect they just wanted to separate me and other leadership from the rest of the activists, arrest us, then hope that eventually the other activists would dissipate in the heat of the sun.

• But that didn’t happen. The activists on site felt strongly that we had the right to remove, at least, the injured animals — and yes, perhaps them all — so we walked back on the farm, nonviolently with red flowers in one hand, and rescue packages in the other. And 40 of us were arrested as we descended on that police line.

• There are so many other stories to tell, but here are 4 of the most important. Thanks to each and every one of you who was at #ALC2018. You are the ones who saved these 37 lives, and garnered media attention across the globe.”

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Join Direct Action Everywhere to be part of history for animals.

Isle of Dogs: The Weirdest, Coolest, Littlest, Biggest Dog Rights Movie You’ll See this Year

Have you seen the trailer for Isle of Dogs, in theatres now? I admit, when I saw said trailer (numerous times), I thought, that looks so freakin’ weird—I just don’t think so.

Yet, I was intrigued, despite myself.

Plus, it has some awesome stars providing character voicing…Edward Norton, Bryan Cranston, Scarlett Johannson, Bill Murrayand MORE!

So. To see or not to see? That was the question.

In the end, I had every intention of blowing it off. I knew the hubby wouldn’t want to see it—he’s not a cartoon fan—so, an intentional effort would have had to have been made by me. And I didn’t feel strongly enough to put in the effort.

But then one of my FB friends raved about it.

And I was sold. Aw, the power of social media.

Here’s the official synopsis: “When, by executive decree, all the canine pets of Megasaki City are exiled to a vast garbage-dump called Trash Island, 12-year-old Atari sets off alone in a miniature Junior-Turbo Prop and flies across the river in search of his bodyguard-dog, Spots. There, with the assistance of a pack of newly-found mongrel friends, he begins an epic journey that will decide the fate and future of the entire Prefecture.

The movie is at once weird, cool, little, big, sweet, and horrible. My emotions were on a roller coaster ride throughout, and I laughed a lot more than I thought I would.

But I was also disgusted, angry, perturbed, sad, and upset by turn.

The bottom line of the movie was that dogs were treated like crap, and the many, gullible citizens simply went along with dastardly government actions and decrees without any significant pushback. (Sounds creepily familiar, doesn’t it?)

Dogs, members of their families, were simply dumped on a garbage heap of an island—some STILL LOCKED IN THEIR CRATES (WTF!)—and left to die there.

The movie brought up big issues such as rampant animal abuse, conspiracies within governments, the power of the few to stand up to corruption, and the often overlooked ability of the young to see through the evil of older generations.

There were many, many laugh out loud moments for me. One of my favorite lines was when Chief, who was a stray dog, told Atari, the young boy “I am not your pet. I never liked you. I don’t care about you. And I bite.”

And then “Don’t ask me to fetch that stick. I don’t fetch…fine. I’m only doing it because I feel sorry for you.”

Do I think you’d enjoy the movie? As long as you have even a little tolerance for the bizarre, then yes. I love bizarre, as long as it makes sense. If it’s weird and strange, or weird and funny, I’m all in. If it’s weird and I don’t understand WTH is going on, then I get frustrated and want out.

This movie was amazingly good bizarre, for me at least.

And the overall message rocked.

Dogs are people too.

P.S. And the bad guys all had cat fixations. Just sayin’…I’m a cat lover myself, but the way this obsession was tucked into everything was silly and the laughs snuck up on me. Be looking for them…they’re easy to miss.

As Dogs Die in the Cold, Humans Flaunt their Lack of Morality, Compassion

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A PA dog I never succeeded in freeing from his tether, watching him suffer for years.

“Don’t read the comments…don’t read the comments,” I muttered to myself, as I angrily and helplessly perused a particularly gruesome article about a dog frozen solid on a Toledo, Ohio porch, just days after Christmas.

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After all, everyone knows most online commenters crawl from the boggy swamp each morning and slither back into its putrid depths as even daylight flees their remonstrances.

It’s madness to entertain the notion of reading this swill.

I read the comments.

“WHY do I read the comments?” I muttered to myself, as the next wave of anger crawled up my gullet and lodged in my thyroid, causing the death of millions of necessary cells and an immediate need to increase my dose of levoxyl.

One might reason that no one could logically argue that a dog left to freeze to death, curled up on the porch of an abandoned home, was within the bounds of humane treatment.

Yet online commenters—suffering from an obvious lack of morality and compassion—would once again cause me to lower the bar on what I perceive as the most subhuman level of societal dreghood.

Besides the whole gamut of “It’s just a dog” comments, one particularly egregious human posited that—because people are so much more important than dogs—if the guy had run into financial troubles, it followed that he would choose himself over the dog.

This was met with an odious amount of agreement from the peanut gallery of her fellow bog-dwellers, and I was forced by my remaining unexploded blood vessels to comment that a moral obligation to take care of humans in no way precludes the very same moral obligation to care for the animals we’ve taken responsibility for.

I also told them they were sick people. Sick, sick people.

Because they are.

In truth, though, I almost envy these heartless beings. Might it not be nice to be entirely unmoved by the plight of others?

To not hurt for the dogs left outside in the cold winter months? To not feel the excruciating and needless death of this poor creature as a black mark on the collective soul of our society?

Sometimes I wish I didn’t care. It turns out that caring is exceedingly painful.

Last night it dropped to 11 degrees in Culpeper County, Virginia, and below zero in many areas of the country. It’s set to dip even lower as the week goes on.

What do I do with this pain?

Even before I officially began advocating for backyard dogs in 2002, I remember the heightened anxiety I experienced on cold winter nights, and the very real fears for the survival of chained and other dogs left outside to fend for themselves in temperatures that would freeze a human within moments.

Now that I’m off the front lines of animal rescue, I find myself continuing to experience extreme anxiety in the severe cold, the knowledge of what these dogs must survive never relinquishing the space it has carved into my spirit.

As I walked to my chilly bedroom last night, changed into my flannel jammies, and threw on my space heater for a few minutes to warm up the room, I tried to push the pain aside so I could free myself (and maybe them?) in dreamland.

I shivered at what I perceived as the frigid touch of my blankets, feeling immediate shame that I could tolerate so little cold while the dogs didn’t even have the luxury of losing themselves in sleep, spending their 14 hours of darkness locked in a battle for basic survival.

I put myself in their fur for just a moment, feeling the wrap of the chain around my neck, the cold metal flash-freezing to my exposed skin, my hopeless and fruitless search for someplace, anyplace, within the reach of my tether to provide even a moment’s escape from the subzero windchill. I would huddle in the corner of my drafty house, wishing for bedding that didn’t exist, and a kindness and empathy from my guardians that would not be forthcoming.

I was depressed, despondent, terrified of death’s approach.

But I was just a dog, after all.

I pulled myself from the vision. The air around my bed was heavy with suffering, both mine and theirs, and I was wrapped in a cloak of misery.

What do I do with this pain?

That, I still have no answer for.

This Christmas, Finally, Pennsylvania Chained Dogs Will Find a Gift Under the Tree

(This Op-Ed appeared in an edited version in today’s Philadelphia Inquirer, and can be read and commented on at this link. I encourage you to post a comment, as it will encourage the paper to print more animal opinion pieces.)

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In the past, Pennsylvania winters have brought the gift of anxiety to both dog rescuers and caring citizens forced to witness the suffering of neighborhood dogs from the warmth of their kitchen windows.

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While some humans hung lights from their porches and stockings from their chimneys, their dogs hung from tethers in the backyard—cold, hungry, thirsty, miserable, and, most of all, isolated.

Anyone who stepped forward to ease the suffering of these forgotten dogs was told to “mind their business”, or, worse, arrested for the “crime” of providing food, water, or medical care to one of God’s creatures.

As founder of the first national nonprofit focusing solely on backyard dogs, I spent 13+ years leading efforts to free dogs from chains in Pennsylvania. In just one example, I recall watching two Cambria County dogs fight to stay alive in the subzero temperatures of a miserable January day. The skinny white husky huddled in her flimsy, strawless house, while a short-haired boxer in the same yard shivered and shook as she devoured every morsel of the food I offered, skin taut over protruding ribs.

It was obvious to all Pennsylvania citizens who possessed a beating heart that these dogs—and the thousands like them left chained to suffer the frigid elements—deserved better than the life to which they’d been sentenced.

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Yet Pennsylvania law lagged behind what most understood to be moral truth.

This holiday season, for the first time ever, Pennsylvania chained dogs will find the gift of a law under their trees, and animal advocates and caring citizens alike will be the bearers of a merrier, i.e. less anxiety-ridden, Christmas.

In June of this year, Pennsylvania passed a comprehensive animal care package, which benefits chained dogs by prohibiting tethering for more than nine hours a day, and—even better—30 minutes or less in temperatures below 32 degrees.

While some may argue that a nine-hour law will be difficult to enforce, I maintain that a difficult law is better than no law at all when it comes to protecting Man’s Best Friend.

During my tenure on the front lines of efforts for chained dogs, I was left with no legal recourse to help chained dogs. I’m thrilled to say that is no longer the case.

To ensure that the new laws are enforced and upheld by humane agents and police officers, I offer three tips for concerned citizens:

  1. Keep a copy of the law on-hand. Most humane officers are well-versed in the new laws, and will make a reasonable effort to ensure they are enforced. However, many police officers will be less familiar with new animal laws, and you will want to have a copy of the law in hand while discussing the case with officers. You can find and print a copy of the law at this link: https://www.animallaw.info/statute/pa-cruelty-%C2%A7-5536-tethering-unattended-dog
  2. Document the case. No one is more concerned about getting a neighborhood dog help than you are, because you’re witnessing the neglect daily. In order to relieve both your suffering and the dog’s, do the legwork required to prove the law isn’t being followed. Keep a journal of the times of day you see the dog left chained in the yard. Take photos, and consider setting up a live feed that records more than nine hours if necessary. An investment of a few days on your end can save a dog from a lifetime of misery on a chain.
  3. Accept the responsibility to testify when necessary. A humane officer may drop a case if he/she doesn’t have eyewitness testimony. While I know it can be scary, the dogs need us to be their voices. Remember that they cannot speak for themselves.

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When I chained myself to a doghouse on the Pennsylvania State Capitol steps for 54 days advocating for passage of our anti-tethering law in 2010, my steadfast dream was that this day would come for chained dogs. It didn’t happen then, but now, in 2017, animal advocates and concerned citizens who came together to make this dream a reality can lay this gift at the feet of the chained dogs, finally presenting them with the justice they deserve.

I, for one, couldn’t be happier about it.

Five Ways for a Citizen to Tell if a Dog is Living Chained 24/7:

  1. There’s no grass. When dogs live chained for life, they end up with patches of dirt or mud instead of a grassy area, especially in the circle at the outer edge of the chain’s reach. The dogs run the perimeter out of frustration or boredom, and the chain’s dragging pulls out the grass.
  2. The doghouse is broken down, chewed up, decrepit. If a dog is chained 24/7, there’s a good chance he/she has been there for years, and this may not be the first dog to be sentenced to this fate. In these cases, the doghouse is old, falling apart, and has holes or other structural damage that make it an unsuitable shelter for the dog.
  3. The dog looks unkempt, smells badly. Dogs who spend their lives outside rarely if ever receive baths, and so their fur is dirty, matted, scruffy.
  4. The dog has fleas, ticks, other parasitic issues. A dog who spends 24/7 outside with no preventative will suffer flea, tick, worm, and other parasitic infestations. These become obvious to the casual observer, and without medical intervention, can prove deadly.
  5. The dog becomes angry, territorial, depressed, or shows signs of mental deterioration. According to the CDC, chained dogs are up to 3x more likely to bite, due to lack of socialization with humans and the fight or flight syndrome. A chained dog is unable to flee, therefore he/she must be on the alert and prone to increased aggression.

About Tamira Thayne:

capitolbookcover16loTamira Thayne pioneered the anti-tethering movement in America, forming and leading the nonprofit Dogs Deserve Better for 13 years. During her time on the front lines of animal activism and rescue she took on plenty of bad guys (often failing miserably); her swan song culminated in the purchase and transformation of Michael Vick’s dogfighting compound to a chained-dog rescue and rehabilitation center.

Tamira’s spent 878 hours chained to a doghouse on behalf of the voiceless in front of state capitol buildings nationwide; her organization rescued and rehabilitated thousands of chained dogs, finding them new, inside homes and families.

In 2016 she founded Who Chains You, publishing books by and for animal activists and rescuers. Tamira is the author of The Wrath of Dog, The King’s Tether, Foster Doggie Insanity, and Capitol in Chains, and the co-editor of Unchain My Heart and Rescue Smiles.

How Much Crating is Too Much? After the New OAS Book, Some Thoughts on What Constitutes Over-Crating of Dogs

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My dog Khronos (left) and Sam (right) one of our two houseguests playing in front of open crates.

lostcoverlo-dropI left active rescue in 2015, so it’s been awhile since I thought much about the use of crates for dogs, in rescue or otherwise.

But between the release of our latest book from Who Chains You Publishing— I Once Was Lost, But Now I’m Found: Daisy and the Olympic Animal Sanctuary Rescue—and my occasion to use crates this week for two dogs I’m babysitting, I was forced once again to look the issue in the eye and give it a good mulling over.

My dog Khronos has been with us for over a year now, so he’s trained to a doggie door and is a perfect gentleman inside the house, no longer needing or using a crate.

Yet we still have one or two of them, folded up and gathering dust in the back basement room, most likely to get used soon when I foster a dog. It’s always good to have a crate around, even when your pack is stable and you have no foster doggies…just in case.

But just how much crating IS acceptable? When does crating a dog become cruelty?

I’ve always been a big believer in the ultimate freedom for our companions…which to my mind meant chain-free AND cage-free was the ONLY way to go.

So when I came into rescue I’d never used a crate before, viewing them as borderline cruel. However, eventually—and through multiple foster dog situations—I was forced to change my mind and opinion when matters of safety and sanity reared their ugly heads.

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George, my other little houseguest. Yes, that underbite is just too cute…at least all the rescue ladies think so, cooing when I post his pic on my page.

Sam and George’s dad doesn’t crate them at home anymore, either. He’s had the boys with him for years, and both are well-trained to his house and know their daily schedule.

But I asked him to bring his crates with the dogs for the 12 days they’d be staying here. Because the truth is, when you combine new dogs with your own family dog(s) and/or cats or other companions, one never knows what can happen, and it’s much better to be safe than sorry. A crate is a useful tool that can and will keep everyone secure at bedtime or if you have to leave the home for work or errands.

The boys have now gotten used to my dog, and the three have started playing quite nicely together, but I still wouldn’t leave them alone without crating our visitors. Why? Because I’m not going to take the chance that I get up in the morning or come home from town to discover that play turned violent and someone’s been injured, or something was destroyed and eaten that could harm one of them. If I’m not here to directly supervise, the crates will be used.

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Khronos and Sam posing for their pic like good boys.

So I crated Sam and George for bed both nights so far (and probably will every night they’re here so I don’t lay awake worrying). Then today I wanted to go to town for a few hours, and I’m not gonna lie—this put me in a dilemma.

I felt hella guilty about crating them again after they’d spent eight hours in the crate overnight.

But I knew I had to. For my peace of mind and their safety.

So to assuage my guilt, I took all three dogs for a half mile walk on our property. Then I fed them. Then I took them for another half mile walk. Only then did I feel they’d had enough exercise to sleep in their crates while I was gone.

And when I came home a few hours later? I immediately took them for another half mile walk, fed them, and walked them again.

And guess what? I STILL felt guilty about leaving them in the crate for the time I was gone!

Which got me to thinkin’…

If I feel distressed about leaving two dogs in their crates at night and while I run out to do errands—when I know it’s for their safety AND only after making sure they get some good exercise—WHAT KIND OF MONSTER IS PSYCHOLOGICALLY CAPABLE OF LEAVING A DOG IN A CRATE FOR DAYS, EVEN YEARS, ON END?

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One of the crates outside the Olympic Animal Sanctuary. Note the hardened and crystalized urine encrusted on the top. Can you imagine the suffering?

Seriously, don’t you wonder that, too? Who can emotionally handle that kind of guilt?

Unless…unless you just don’t feel guilt.

Unless you don’t feel empathy for other beings, feel responsible for their welfare, feel any of the emotions that a normal human being should feel.

Because leaving a dog crated for years on end, forcing him to sleep in his own defecation and urination, refusing to walk the dog, allow him to stretch his legs, or provide daily food and water? That’s just the definition of heartless. And that’s exactly what Steve Markwell, founder of the Olympic Animal Sanctuary in Forks, Washington, did to the dogs in his care. He went out into the world, misrepresented himself as the ultimate dog trainer, got rescues to send him their difficult dogs under the guise of rehabbing them, and then plopped them in crates as if they were nothing more than props, wandering back out to repeat the pattern.

And I just don’t understand HOW. HOW could anyone do that?

If you’re a dog rescue or foster home who’s working out of crates, think long and hard about the appropriate amount of time a dog can be crated without slipping into the realm of cruelty and neglect.

Dogs need daily walks, AND they need time to just BE DOGS. To wrestle around with other dogs or their humans. To play, to lounge, to loll, to eat, to drink. If you’re crating dogs longer than bedtime and while you’re at work or out running errands, it’s too long.

If dogs can’t have hours a day to be a (supervised when needed) part of the family, IT’S NOT ENOUGH.

I still believe dogs deserve as much freedom as humanly possible. I’ve grown to understand that this often includes the use of appropriate crating, living INSIDE the home with the family, playtime, and a walk daily or as often as possible.

No matter if you’re a home-based dog rescue or a family fostering or training a new dog, keep in mind that crates are tools, nothing more. The ultimate goal of crating is to achieve the point where your dog no longer needs the crate—but for those dogs who see their crate as a den, it can remain available in the home with the door open so they are free to go in and out as desired.

lostcoverlo-dropIn the case of the OAS dogs, many of them eventually earned their freedom from crating hell, thanks to those in the rescue community who did their parts and kept up the pressure on Markwell until the goal was achieved.

As Laura Koerber, the author of I Once Was Lost, But Now I’m Found: Daisy and the Olympic Animal Sanctuary Rescue states, “the OAS rescue was an epic narrative that extended over several years and featured small town politics, protests, assault, lawsuits, arrests, and a midnight escape, all played out to a nationwide audience.”

If you haven’t read it yet, I highly recommend the book; the story is nothing short of astounding. I think you, too, will be left with the same burning question I am: HOW?

HOW could anyone do that?

I just don’t know the answer.

Interested in the book? Here’s the links to read more or buy:

Buy on Amazon | Buy on Kindle | Buy from Createspace and $1 Will be Donated to our Charity of the Year

When You Fight AGAINST Dog Breed Discrimination but FOR Human “Breed” Discrimination

You might be a Nazi.

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Debi Day, No Kill Nation founder, according to her own facebook posts, marched in Charlottesville.

For the longest time, I never realized that caring about people receiving equal treatment made me a liberal. I thought it made me human.

I’ve been even more confused when I discover that people who fight for equality for the animals are not by default standing on the side of equality for humans, too.

How can that be?

This weekend it came out that Debi Day, founder of No Kill Nation, was marching with the Nazis and white supremacists in Charlottesville, according to Animals 24-7: “Facebook postings from Day herself and other ‘Unite the Right’ participants, including video of allegedly armed marchers, appear to put her prominently on the scene at one of the largest white supremacist events of the 21st century.”

The article goes on to state that “Day was also identified by the Miami Herald as one of the funders of a failed August 2012 attempt to repeal the lightly enforced 1989 Miami-Dade County ban on possession of pit bulls.”

Day and her organization, No Kill Nation, (a very ironic name given that she’s taken to marching around the country armed to the teeth) have also been financial supporters of the No Kill Advocacy Center. Founder Nathan Winograd was blindsided by the news, and has put out a very eloquent and heartfelt statement concerning his position and the position of his organization.

I have a very hard time understanding the dichotomy of Day’s two positions.

From where I’m standing, they appear to be exact opposites in nature:

Number 1:

NO, PIT BULLS SHOULDN’T BE DISCRIMINATED AGAINST. THEY ARE EQUAL TO ALL OTHER DOGS. NO, ANIMALS SHOULDN’T BE KILLED IN SHELTERS. KILLING IS WRONG.

Yet, then…

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And then Number 2:

ONLY WHITE PEOPLE ARE WORTHY OF EQUALITY. WITH OTHER WHITE PEOPLE. ANYONE WHO PROTESTS THIS POSITION AND STANDS FOR EQUALITY FOR ALL SHOULD BE AT BEST THREATENED INTO SILENCE BY OUR WEAPONS, OR AT WORST, RUN OVER OR KILLED IN SOME HORRIBLE FASHION.

What. The. Hell.

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Love this saying. You can get these shirts all over the internet.

What kind of a disconnect must this woman be embracing if she doesn’t notice or care that her two positions are in exact opposition to one another? How can people advocate for equality for animals but not humans?

I will never understand.

What I do know is this:

It’s incredibly important that white people speak out now and let the victimized know we do not support what is going on in our country.

I am white. (Although I have been mistaken for other nationalities on occasion.) Even as a white person, I struggle every day with self-esteem issues. And yet, how can my struggles to feel good about myself compare to those who are treated so unfairly by racists in America? How must they struggle to feel they deserve to BE here in America, they deserve to feel good about who they are and the color of their skin?

I had a pretty shitty childhood, and grew up with a fair amount of abuse within my own family. My family imploded as a result, and I remember, even many years before I became vegetarian, my brother—usually when he was drunk—saying things like “We should kill all the gooks,” or “We should hold all the vegetarians down and shove meat down their throats.”

As young adults he and I would sometimes get into brawls over the things he said. Growing up in an angry, intolerant, yet supposedly ‘religious’ family, I WAS BORN INTO THE DEMOGRAPHIC THAT ELECTED TRUMP.

But even then, I was the outsider to this family and way of thinking. Even then, I knew it was wrong to talk about other nationalities that way. Even then, I loved animals, wished I was vegetarian, but I was too selfish to give up my own pleasures (for many years).

Even then, I just wanted to get away from my own family. I struggle every day since Trump was elected with fear and depression over the way other nationalities (and women, and skin colors, and LGBTQ, and…and…) are treated in our country and my own feelings of powerlessness to stop it.

I can walk away from my family. I cannot walk away from my country.

I stand against all those of my race—MEN AND WOMEN, animal advocates or not—who do not accept other races or sexual orientations as our equals. I believe in fairness, and although I’ve learned along the way that life will never be fair, that is the ONLY morally acceptable position for anyone with a brain and a heart to embrace. Everyone deserves equality.

Anything else is unacceptable.