Latest from the camera, Labor Day

My aunt’s new dog from the pound, Annie. My mom was going to adopt her, decided the time wasn’t right, and my aunt had decided she wanted her instead!

Annie and Sophie (doggie sisters) in an action shot

Dad was a secret doggie lover all along

Dad and Mom have adopted a new doggie too now, but if they don’t send me pictures…

While I doubt this is a “Happy Chicken,” it’s one of the more realistic restaurant signs I guess. Most would show an actually happy-looking chicken, not one plucked and jumping on a flaming grill (with sombrero and cowboy boots, of course). This sign has freaked me out for years.
Pollo Alegre, Indianapolis eastside

The big claws taking down a building at work, one chunk at a time

This sign is so old and the building has been torn down for some time that I wonder why the letters look so recent (can they not spell, or did the C blow away and the other letters blow together?). The annoying part is the brand new building someone is putting here in an already dead section of town with plenty of boarded up buildings they could use instead. I have a real problem with the double whammy of using all those resources AND not taking the opportunity to address urban blight.

That’s about it. Labor Day weekend so far: gym, gave blood, looked at bikes, LONG nap. To come: painting, mowing, Petco-ing, and hopefully more naps and less of work calling me.

Cruelty roundup

An overwhelming number of animal hoarding, cruelty, neglect, and abandonment cases have come across my email in just the past week. I have actually been unable to follow all that is going on because there are so many. And I mostly hear about rabbit cases! Dogs and cats face this crap in even higher numbers.

Close to home, Fort Wayne ACC has contacted us and other local rescues to take some of the 53 animals seized (one account says 58) in a cruelty/hoarding case where the animals were kept in a basement, from rabbits to dogs to lizards to hamsters. The house was then condemned. We (IHRS) have taken in a couple of rabbits from FWACC.

Twelve guinea pigs are part of the confiscation, adding to the other ~150 or so in rescues from Indy to Chicago. 150 homeless guinea pigs right here!! I’m adopting one and donating to another group. Some of the piggies are listed at Petfinder, and for the lame excuse “I only want a baby pig,” keeping the pet stores in business and the problem cycling, yes, there are even babies in local rescues.

119 rabbits, mostly lops, were seized from a breeder in Tennessee as part of a hoarding/cruelty case (which also included 30 dogs). Amazingly, rescues around the country (including one of our fosterers) were able to step in and all rabbits have already left the original shelter, which had no way to house and care for so many. Happy news, right? Well, there’s a brief article about ten of the rabbits who were accepted by another shelter, where many breeders have stepped in with cranky comments, not to mention the hateful “Hitler” emails to a shelter staffer. Note there are also positive comments at the article from folks more of my mindset, and this is all much like the smaller scale crankiness that occurred on this blog as I documented our volunteer work during a similar case.

360 horribly abused animals, including 50 rabbits, are being cared for in a Missouri shelter. From dogs to donkeys to rats, this case is really revolting.

Nearly 30 rabbits have been caught so far that had been running loose in south San Francisco the past few weeks. Many are now being euthanized as the shelters run out of space. Rescues are scrambling to place as many as they can.

Buffalo, NY SPCA, a few weeks ago: 46 rabbits, 10 birds, three cats seized from a home, owner charged with cruelty. Two dead rabbits were also found. Thirty rabbits still remain at the shelter and no one from the public can surrender any more as a result.

Best Friends has partnered with shelter investigators to remove 1,000 mostly small-breed puppies from a West Virginia puppy mill.

Then there’s the guy from Illinois who was arrested for beating a cocker spaniel with a hammer after its owner paid him $25 to kill it; his dogs are now sheltered and the ones who lived need new homes. Apparently he has also been paid by other people to perform this service. And there’s the woman in the Bronx who was arrested for bringing her 25 cats to the ASPCA in sealed plastic bins in her trunk. Many died.

In many of these cases, the shelters must care for the animals while court cases are pending, causing a huge drain on resources (shelter staff and volunteers, supplies, veterinary care, and of course funding). Please keep these animals in your thoughts and if you find yourself in a position to help, donations or time are always appreciated (and of course adoption of available animals!). Some days it seems so overwhelming I don’t know what to do. Even if you are far from these cases, helping your local shelter or rescue helps them all, especially as space is made in one spot that can relieve the overcrowding at another facility.

You can even donate to the ASPCA’s emergency hay fund for horses who are displaced as hay prices have climbed.

More info can be found at the national House Rabbit Society website and through the links above. HRS has an emergency fund to which anyone can donate online or by mail. The typical recipients include some of the rabbit cases described above.

All pictures came from the linked shelters and my accounts are from public information or permissioned email lists.

Hooray for Annie and Lucy, two dogs who were adopted by my family members this month.

Shame on anyone breeding or buying while shelter pets die.

A thing I can’t live without


I get quizzed a lot about these. I wear them ALL the time at work because my hands are always cold, especially the mousing hand. My mom then knitted a couple pair too! I also bought them for a coworker one year since she was always cold.

And no, that’s not me in the picture, but it looks like one I might take. It even looks like my Where’s Waldo turtleneck that everyone hated but I loved. They hated the pink and navy striped one more, though.

Anyway, there is a rare sale on them. All in stock items are 15% off through September 1. Apply the code LABOR2008 at checkout at Good luck navigating the website… they also sell through third parties so you may have seen them elsewhere.

I also saw a similar item in the Athleta catalog recently if you want to be trendier and broker.

And now a few pictures from an 18ish-mile ride the other day after work on the White River Trail and back down Central through the hood. I discovered later that my tires are way low on air which might explain why the bike felt even heavier than usual.

White River Parkway

White River Parkway

bikes on Central, Indy

And finally, more proof that people who make and paint signs are often idiots. (Right under the WANTED part in case you aren’t drawn to it immediately like I was.)

Some slightly odd foods meme (ok, not the nachos)

Another good one from Samsara! Except that link isn’t including her meme for some reason. After I posted it and traced it back I discovered it was meant to be all-veg stuff, so I guess I’d eat haggis, etc, in that format, but should you really recreate stuffed intestines?

1) Copy this list into your own blog, including these instructions
2) Bold all the items you’ve eaten
3) Cross out any items that you would never consider eating.
(I removed cross-tagging instructions… who has time for that?)

1. Natto
2. Green Smoothie
3. Tofu Scramble
4. Haggis
5. Mangosteen
6. Creme brulee
7. Fondue
8. Marmite/Vegemite
9. Borscht
10. Baba ghanoush
11. Nachos
12. Authentic soba noodles
13. PB&J sandwich
14. Aloo gobi
15. Taco from a street cart
16. Boba Tea
17. Black truffle
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes
19. Gyoza
20. Vanilla ice cream
21. Heirloom tomatoes
22. Fresh wild berries
23. Ceviche
24. Rice and beans
25. Knish
26. Raw scotch bonnet pepper
27. Dulce de leche
28. Caviar I’ve had roe, though, pre-veg
29. Baklava
30. Pate (though in the more general sense, I’ve eaten vegetable pates… I just assumed they meant some tortured goose’s liver)
31. Wasabi peas
32. Chowder in a sourdough bowl
33. Mango lassi
34. Sauerkraut that smell makes me want to barf
35. Root beer float
36. Mulled cider
37. Scones with buttery spread and jam
38. Vodka jelly
39. Gumbo
40. Fast food french fries
41. Raw Brownies
42. Fresh Garbanzo Beans
43. Dahl
44. Homemade Soymilk
45. Wine from a bottle worth £60/$120 or more
46. Stroopwafle
47. Samosas Last night for dinner! Love these. Of course I ate these for dinner because the vegetable dishes at the family party managed not to be veg*n…
48. Vegetable Sushi
49. Glazed doughnut
50. Seaweed
51. Prickly pear
52. Umeboshi
53. Tofurkey
54. Sheese (a different brand anyway)
55. Cotton candy
56. Gnocchi eh
57. Piña colada
58. Birch beer
59. Scrapple
60. Carob chips
61. S’mores
62. Soy curls
63. Chickpea cutlets but not the much-touted ones of a recent cookbook
64. Curry
65. Durian
66. Homemade Sausages
67. Churros, elephant ears, or funnel cake
68. Smoked tofu
69. Fried plantain
70. Mochi
71. Gazpacho
72. Warm chocolate chip cookies
73. Absinthe
74. Corn on the cob
75. Whipped cream, straight from the can
76. Pomegranate
77. Fauxstess Cupcake
78. Mashed potatoes with gravy
79. Jerky just got a soy jerky the other day–yum!
80. Croissants
81. French onion soup
82. Savory crepes
83. Tings
84. A meal at Candle 79 I wish
85. Moussaka
86. Sprouted grains or seeds
87. Macaroni and “cheese”
88. Flowers
89. Matzoh ball soup
90. White chocolate
91. Seitan
92. Kimchi My Korean-American roomie in college ate this… sorry, it’s stinky!
93. Butterscotch chips
94. Yellow watermelon
95. Chili with chocolate
96. Bagel and Tofutti
97. Potato milk
98. Polenta
99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee
100. Raw cookie dough I think they’ll have this in the good-themed-afterlife I hope to go to

Yeah, you know me

I just put together a self-inking stamp with tiny letters, allowing you to customize your message (I was making a boring protocol number for a document appendix). Shortly after, I examined all the black smudges on my fingers. One finger actually says O P P. hehehhe

*Complete this* meme

Got this from Samsara

1. My uncle once: had a new heart transplanted
2. Never in my life: have I been able to dive
3. When I was five: I liked to read and draw
4. High school was: full of really smart kids
5. I will never forget: getting fired
6. Once I met: my college dean’s basement pinball machine collection
7. There’s this girl I know: who was on Sesame Street
8. Once, at a bar: I kissed my boss
9. By noon, I’m usually: finally awake enough to be productive
10. Last night: we watched the U.S. women’s eight win a gold medal while we ate sushi
11. If only I had: been emotionally available about ten years earlier
12. Next time I go to church: it’ll probably be because someone is dead
13. What worries me most: is people being mean to each other and the planet
14. When I turn my head left I see: David playing the Olympic fanfare on the piano
15. When I turn my head to the right I see: Casper sacked out
16. You know I’m lying when: I say I’ll call you to go out and do something (most people anyway… but I try really hard not to lie)
17. What I miss most about the Eighties is: how the biggest problem in school was if the boys were allowed to wear an earring
18. If I were a character in Shakespeare I’d be: Emma Thompson! Oh, that was just a movie
19. By this time next year: my rabbits will be bonded
20. A better name for me would be: Arrogant elitist liberal? At least that’s what I heard today
21. I have a hard time understanding: the desire for shoes and purses. And makeup.
22. If I ever go back to school, I’ll: never get rid of my school loans
23. You know I like you if: I tell someone else about you
24. If I ever won an award, the first person I would thank would be: Casper
25. Take my advice, never: need to replace all your teeth
26. My ideal breakfast is: skipping it and sleeping in
27. A song I love but do not have is: I already stole them all from Napster
28. If you visit my hometown, I suggest you: raft down the river
29. Why won’t people: stop pitching cigarette butts out the window
30. If you spend a night at my house: you’d better like dog hair
31. I’d stop my wedding for: a stray dog
32. The world could do without: the fashion industry guns
33. I’d rather lick the belly of a cockroach than: be a telemarketer
34. My favourite blonde(s) is/are: I don’t like blonde hair
35. Paper clips are more useful than: shoehorns
36. If I do anything well it’s: remember a lot of stupid little things like gas prices and the content of a study someone wrote at work eight months ago and how many calories a Taco Bell bean burrito has
37. I can’t help but: point out mistakes in grammar and spelling
38. I usually cry: for some stupid hormonal reason
39. My advice to my child/nephew/niece: help those without a voice
40. And by the way: I heard about two hoarding cases today. Fort Wayne: 53 animals, from dogs to lizards. Tennessee: 119 minilops.

Still no cheeseburgers

This week marked two years since I stopped eating meat. So, time for my annual tally!

In 733.71 days, you have saved:
0.2760 cows
60.599 chickens
0.6733 pigs
2.0199 turkeys
0.1615 ducks
114.46 fish

Total: 178.19 animals
Thank you

See what 178.19 animals looks like

And then there was this cute popup!

This comes from a veg*n calculator, and is discussed a bit here.

That two-thirds of a pig reminds me of an irritating ad insert in the paper the other day by some Indiana pork producers’ group. It said, roughly, Indiana Pork Feeds Every Hoosier, 5 Million People Around the World, and 15 Million Americans!

Sorry, folks, you don’t feed me. And there might be a few equally irritated Jews and Muslims in this state. Their website states the group “provides the pork needs for every man, woman, and child” in Indiana, which is better phrased since at least that allows as how I might not have any pork needs. I won’t bother giving them a link and increasing their traffic.

A fur-free Olympian has been a bit controversial, but I gotta say, she’s got the abs needed for her lines of work:

Thanks for allowing me to rant today! Back to my tofu.

IACC in the fray

We’ve got finger-pointing, understaffing, underfunding (not even for food?), no accountability, bad public attitude, and where does it all lead? The animals suffer. Tonight’s board meeting at Indianapolis Animal Care and Control ought to be interesting. The Indy Star describes a complaint lodged against the city pound (the reader comments are always fascinating). The complainants make their case here as well. Yes, there are probably agendas all over the place, but the animals shouldn’t suffer as a result.

What is wrong with people?

…cats with paws slammed/stuck in the door of their cage in the receiving room overnight; a euthanasia procedure gone wrong causing a puppy to suffer a slow, painful 20-minute death; failure to rinse bleach solution from food and water bowls forces animals in the receiving room to drink from bleach-tainted water bowls if they wish to have any water at all; puppies and dogs kept in the receiving room (where cats are housed) are in cages that are too small, where they invariably step in and knock over or contaminate their food and water. They are seldom, if ever walked, so end up defecating and urinating in the cage (which is typically only cleaned once daily).

I’ve spent more time than I’ve cared to at several public animal control facilities in support of caring for animals under investigation as well as pulling them for rescue. I’ve often had a unique outsider’s view of some backroom activities because as a rabbit rescuer, I’m not seen as so much of a threat to the revelation of care and handling of the typically higher-valued dogs and cats, and since staff routinely don’t know much about rabbit care nor have the time and/or interest to participate in it, I’ve often been given relatively free reign of facilities to go find the supplies needed and to help in whatever way seems appropriate. As a result I’ve been a few feet from injection euthansias, I’ve seen the gas ovens, I’ve handled animals grossly neglected by their owners, and I’ve seen the filth. I’ve also seen caring, overworked staff, well-meaning administration, and the power of cooperation between public shelters and willing volunteers. When the politics come in, though, inevitably animals’ chances disappear or they are routed to worse “rescue” situations.

It’s too bad the politics are so entrenched in this case that I doubt there’s much hope for an overhaul. On the other hand, public controversy usually leads to short-term improved care (uh-oh, people are watching!) and brief interest from the community. I just hope some of it sticks.