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Humane Society for Obama. How to recognize and report animal cruelty. PETA update. And more pet news and views.

By Nancy Ford

 
 

HumaneObama
The Humane Society endorses Obama — their first time ever.

Humane-itarians

For the first time in its history, the Humane Society of the United States has endorsed a presidential candidate, throwing its support behind Barack Obama. The endorsement was made through the group’s Humane Society Legislative Fund.

“One of the guiding principles of the Humane Society Legislative Fund is that we evaluate candidates based on a single criterion: where they stand on animal protection policies. We don’t make decisions based on party affiliation, or any other social issue, or even how many pets they have. We care about their views and actions on the major policy debates relating to animal welfare,” organization representatives said in a statement to the press.

While Republican presidential nominee John McCain’s positions on animal protection have been lukewarm, his choice of running mate cemented the organization’s decision to oppose his ticket, representatives said. “Gov. Sarah Palin’s [R-Alaska] retrograde policies on animal welfare and conservation have led to an all-out war on Alaska’s wolves and other creatures. Her record is so extreme that she has perhaps done more harm to animals than any other current governor in the United States.” —N.F.

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How to Recognize Animal Cruelty

• Inadequate food and water.
• Improper housing.
• Lack of protection from inclement weather.
• Chaining or tethering an animal 24 hours a day.
• Using a chain or tether that is too heavy or too tight.
• Hitting an animal.
• Kicking an animal.
• Beating an animal.
• Picking an animal up and dropping it.
• Abandoning an animal.
• Using an animal for competitive fighting.
• Torturing an animal.
• Killing an animal for a ritualistic ceremony.
• Common sense observations are usually correct.
• If in doubt, let an animal-cruelty investigator decide.
• Inadequate food and water.
• Improper housing.
• Lack of protection from inclement weather.
• Chaining or tethering an animal 24 hours a day.
• Using a chain or tether that is too heavy or too tight.
• Hitting an animal.
• Kicking an animal.
• Beating an animal.
• Picking an animal up and dropping it.
• Abandoning an animal.
• Using an animal for competitive fighting.
• Torturing an animal.
• Killing an animal for a ritualistic ceremony.
• Common sense observations are usually correct.
• If in doubt, let an animal-cruelty investigator decide.

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How to Report Animal Cruelty

Call Houston Humane Society at 713/433-6421. Report to Houston Humane Society online at www.houstonhumane.org. Do not attempt to intervene—let law enforcement officers take charge.

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PETA
PETA's Michael McGraw

PETA News

PETA (you know, those People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) have had their hands full in recent weeks.

Michael McGraw, PETA’s openly gay director of media relations, took the initiative to encourage the new Chicago Social Justice High School to implement a meatless menu for their students. In a letter to the high school, recently opened as a gay-friendly “Pride Campus,” McGraw told assistant principal Chard Weiden that “Oppression—regardless of the species or sexual orientation of the victim—is dead wrong. To truly succeed in teaching tolerance and fighting oppression, the Pride Campus needs to keep prejudice out of its classrooms and off its plates.”

McGraw even offered to arrange for a professional chef who has worked with major corporations to give the high school’s cafeteria staff free consultations on how to prepare tasty, healthy, and humane vegetarian meals.

As of press time, no menu changes at CSJHS had been announced.

Barely moments later, PETA also announced it has removed from its library of public service announcements an ad featuring Triumph, the Insult Comic Dog, poking fun at newly out father, Clay Aiken.

“We’d decided to go along with Triumph’s suggestion of ‘Get Neutered—It Didn’t Hurt Clay Aiken’ for the ad because of some scary things Clay had said in a Rolling Stone interview,” McGraw said.

“I think cats are Satan,” Aiken twanged in the 2003 interview. “There’s nothing worse to me than a house cat. When I was about 16, I had a kitten and ran over it.”

Aiken later clarified that the cat’s death was an accident and that he was “haunted” by the cat’s spirit.

The upside to the story is that the clever but questionable ad drove people to PETA’s HelpingAnimals.com website, which discusses the dire dog and cat overpopulation crisis in this country. Happy ending!

Details: www.peta.org. —Nancy Ford

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Zoo Do

Organizers for the 56-year-old Diana Foundation, which produces Houston’s renowned charity show and fundraiser, The Diana Awards, have announced this year’s fete will be staged March 21 at the Houston Zoo. Accordingly, Pet Patrol is one of the beneficiaries of the evening. “Diana’s concern for our fellow community members and their pets, many times their best companion, is front and center in this year’s charity activities,” said the group’s president, John Heinzerling. Bering Omega Community Service is also a beneficiary. Details: 713/639-2000. —N.F.

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Pause for PAWS Events

PAWS Houston, a 501 (c) 3 organization that helps sustain the relationship between ill pet owners and their pets, has announced two charitable events designed to help keep the puppy (and kitty) love flowing.

This month, Continental Airlines and Red Onion Mexican Grill are sponsoring a wine dinner social for the organization, offering a gourmet dinner prepared by Rafael Galindo with a different wine at each course. Includes both live and silent auctions. Tuesday, November 18, 7 p.m. Red Onion Mexican Grill, 13147 Northwest Freeway. Tickets: $75.

Next month, Continental Airlines, Momentum BMW, and PF Chang’s have joined together to sponsor PAWS Houston’s second annual Must Love Paws happy hour and fundraiser, also featuring live and silent auctions, with music provided by Mirage Mobile DJ, Oscar Gonzales. Wednesday, December 3, 6:30–8:30 p.m. Momentum BMW, 10002 Southwest Freeway. Tickets: $30.

Proceeds from both events benefit PAWS Houston. Details: 713/840-7297 • www.pawshouston.org. —N.F.
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PetsonLine
Dr. Patrick — in Pets Online

Pets Online

Founder Bambi Weavil has announced that an expansion of her Out Impact website now includes a pets and animal advocacy section, headlined by “Healthy Pets and People with Dr. Patrick.” A resident of West Hollywood, Dr. Patrick Mahaney (r) believes that many canine and feline diseases can be better managed by incorporating Eastern and Western treatments. The section also offers a monthly tip for cats by author Darlene Arden. Details: www.outimpact.com. —N.F.

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Good Dog, Bad Dog  

Does your adorable Australian shepherd make mincemeat of the couch cushions when you leave your house? Does your prized poodle make an embarrassing beeline for your guest’s nether region? Put down that rolled-up newspaper, because help is on the way.  

EssayContest
Good dog, bad dog? OutSmart essay contest!

Share your 1,000-words-or-less story about why your dog needs a disciplinary intervention to [email protected] or mail to OutSmart, 3406 Audubon Place, Houston TX 77006. If your dog emerges as the most unmanageable canine, he or she will receive a complimentary training from Bark Busters, “the world’s largest, most trusted dog training company!”

Deadline for entries is December 15, 2008; one entry per person, and owner and canine must reside in the Houston area. The winner will be announced in OutSmart’s January 2009 issue. Good luck! For more information on Bark Busters, visit www.barkbusters.com. —N.F.  

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The Incredible Fundraiser

In celebration of man’s and woman’s best furry friends, Don Puryear and the folks at Happy Tails Dog Spa present a viewing of the 1963 Disney classic, Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey.

“It is going to be a fun-filled night, complete with fabulous auction items, a heartwarming movie, top-notch doggy bags, an after-party for donors, great friends, and, of course, a fabulous cause!” Puryear says.

That “fabulous cause” is Scout’s Honor Rescue, which cares for abandoned and abused cats and dogs. A full 100 percent of the evening’s proceeds goes to the animal lovers.

Items for the silent auction, which takes place next door to the theater at Epicure Café, includes an autographed Houston Rockets team jersey from Yao Ming, floor seats to various sporting events, a woman’s Rolex watch, jewelry from Cartier, artwork from nationally renown artists, and gift certificates to some of Houston’s finest spas and restaurants. Bow wow wow, yippee-oh, yippee-ay!

Thursday, November 6, 7–10 p.m. Landmark River Oaks Theatre, 2009 W. Gray. Details: www.dogdaycare.com/Houston.

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12 SNAP Shots

The story of socialite and politico Joanne King Herring was thrust into an even bigger spotlight when portrayed in Charlie Wilson’s War, a 2007 film starring Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts. Herring is back in the headlines, now making news as one of 12 Houstonians featured in the 2008 SNAPshots calendar. “By supporting SNAP, you are helping stop the unnecessary pain and suffering of countless homeless dogs and cats.” The fashion calendar benefiting Spay Neuter Assistance Program, spearheaded by Brett Chisholm, Chloe Dao, and Elaine Turner, is available at snapus.org.

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Doggie DVD  

Dog behavior expert, Cesar Milan, is taking his canine training tips to the next level. As star of the National Geographic Channel’s popular Dog Whisperer television program, Milan’s training methods are aimed at dog owners as well as dogs. In his new three-disc DVD package, Cesar Milan: Mastering Leadership, the host offers insight on “People Training for Dogs,” “Becoming a Pack Leader,” and “Your New Dog: First Day and Beyond.” Details: www.Respond2entertainment.com.

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