Saturday, November 3, 2007

The times, they are a-changing...

Posted to Spokane Craigslist. This is about the Central Washington Livestock Auction in Moses Lake. The person who posted this is Bill Demers. Well, hooray for you, Bill Demers. I am guessing you are not a "crazy animal rights activist" or a "bleeding heart woman who isn't realistic," just two of the epithets I've heard assigned to people who believe old, crippled horses should be put to sleep instead of canned.

For anybody who thinks that you can't change public this. You can. It's not just the animal activists who are disgusted when you take your old horse, that you have allowed to go downhill miserably, to the auction. It's your neighbors. Your friends. The people you work with. Everybody is getting the message that this behavior is NOT okay.

Horses for meat --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Reply to:
Date: 2007-11-01, 7:49PM PDT

The Auctioneer at Saturdays auction said no more old, crippled, injured, swaybacked or unsalable horses will be accepted. The meat market will no longer accept these. The price of feed has made the price of horses drop to unbelievably low prices. Many nice horses were not even bringing 150.00 dollars. All horses must be inspected before unloading. A 25.00 dollar fee will now be charged for all horses and must be paid before the horse is unloaded. If you have one of these horses do what is right for an old friend and have him or her put down by your vet!


Now, along the same lines...this news story came out:

Dead ponies dumped near popular trail

The news, of course, is acting like this is some kind of sadistic pony murder - which I think there's about a 1% chance of. Meanwhile, all of the pro-slaughter folks are going to jump on this and blame it on slaughter being made illegal (even though that's totally nonsensical, because the kill buyers are right there at Enumclaw, maybe 45 minutes away, tops). Now everybody is hunting down these folks. I predict what happened is they couldn't afford hay (current prices here: orchard grass: $13.50/bale, timothy: $16/bale) and they WEREN'T big enough asshats to turn the ponies over to a killer, but they couldn't afford euth and disposal. So they did it themselves, albeit in a bad location. Was it cruelty? Well, I haven't seen the carcasses so I can't tell you if they were good shots or not. But this IS going to happen until we all accept that healthy horses are going to have to be euthanized because of hay prices and the glut of horses on the market, just like healthy puppies and healthy kittens - and we do something to help the low income people who can't come up with the (in that area) $500-$600. Times two ponies, that's a $1000. It's no wonder this happened. I'll be shocked if it turns out this wasn't the reason.

One of my best friends is an animal control officer. She has to put down pets every day. Nice pets, mean pets, mixed breed pets, purebred pets, old pets, baby pets. Pets that some spineless douchebag dropped off for her or another employee to deal with. It is not a fun thing to have to do, but it is necessary. (For those of you who believe no-kill is possible, please post your address and we'll bring 75 pit bulls with various issues over to live in your yard.)

I've been heavily involved in rescue and (gasp! horrors!) animal rights for a long time. I don't eat meat, I cheer when companies go cruelty-free (and I don't care if they do it because of ethics or because they're scared of the ALF folks), I really do think you should have to sell your possessions for cash if your animal needs vet care and you're broke, but let me tell you, I do not believe no kill is possible. Not for dogs, cats, or horses. Not as long as selfish and lazy humans exist, and we all know we have no way of making them extinct. Let's just suck it up and make sure a humane euthanasia (whether it's chemical or a gunshot from a trained professional) - and a disposal that doesn't endanger public health - is affordable for everyone.

One final note: My oldest cat is being put to sleep today. His name is Bud Man (yes, he came with it) and he is twenty and he's a Russian Blue (no, not the typical blue-gray cat that everybody calls a Russian Blue, but an exotic looking wedge head that I've had breeders identify as most likely purebred). 21 months ago, I pulled him out of the West Valley shelter in Los Angeles, at age 19. His owner had been "transferred." (Apparently to the moon, where you cannot bring your nineteen year old cat.) So Pet Owner of the Year dumped him in the shelter where he sat meowing for someone to save him, and of course I saw him online and drove over on a Saturday morning and bailed his little butt out. Well, in case Bud's original owner is reading this - or you have a friend who had an old gray cat named Bud who abruptly disappeared when he/she moved from Los Angeles - Bud has had a nice 21 months. He's slept in front of the space heater and sunned himself and batted the younger kitties in the face on occasion. No thanks to Asshat Former Owner. Now his heart has gone bad and his limbs are swollen and we can't fix that, so today he will go to Kitty Heaven. Today his time is up. 21 months ago, he was fat and shiny and had a ton of life left, but you didn't care. You cared about your own convenience. And that attitude is why we have a cat problem...and a dog problem...and a horse problem...Shame on you.