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Stray Dogs Deserve Back Rubs
We kill millions of pets every year. Who cares if a few get posh shelters and humane laws?
January 14, 2005

OK. So I tend to think people who insist on calling themselves pet "guardians" instead of "owners" are exasperating and a bit wrongheaded, and that such uber-PC thinking does almost nothing to change or improve the behavior of the thousands of animal abusers in this country.

And I tend to agree with fabulous dog writer Jon Katz that such semantic sidestepping does more harm to the animals than good, and leads to naive treatment, lack of decent training and an outright ignorance of the creature's very cool dogness.

What about all those new ultra-posh pet boutiques and the concomitant trend toward the wild overpampering of our "companion" animals? Silly if not outright depressing, really, given how we appear to be projecting ourselves, our desires and habits and need for intimate TLC, onto an animal that really couldn't care less.

Further, I think the shift toward treating dogs and cats as full-blown family members, as surrogate kids or surrogate mates or surrogate babies, is even worse, as we are loading up our animals with far too much emotional liability and psychological complexity, granting a completely unique species an impossible array of human traits and emotional responses they don't have or need or understand, which then only causes stress and resentment and chewed shoes and deeper personal depression as you, the "guardian," slowly realize the dog can't have meaningful sex with you or take you to dinner or help decorate the Christmas tree or talk to you calmly about just what the hell is going on with your hair.

However.

Let us not get carried away. There are issues of pet treatment and animal care that are vital and urgent and necessary, that speak to our moral fiber and emotional core and our ability to have compassion and love and a sense of humane decency and passable kibble.

Let us allow for new rules that give our pets some basic rights and desist, furthermore, in comparing a given city's treatment of found strays and rescued pooches to, say, our treatment of the homeless, an issue that just came up again in San Francisco as the City just passed new laws redefining what constitutes minimal humanitarian treatment of our pets (a city, by the way, that already officially uses guardian instead of owner) and a few officials were concerned about that very point, that we were treating dogs better than people, to which we can only say, oh please.

One: no, we're not. Two: yes, maybe we should. And three: get over it.

Let us now, instead, hold up the positive pet-treatment issue overall as righteous and good and necessary in this time of puppy mills and overbreeding and general degradation and destruction and war and Bush.

It's a large and increasingly important issue, floating over our wildly pet-lovin' culture like a giant question mark: What do our animals deserve? What are their true rights? What constitutes humane or decent treatment in the face of a culture that casually kills millions of unwanted pets every year and openly massacres billions more animals for food and doesn't blink an eye?

And what infinitesimal steps, more broadly speaking, can we as a species take to maybe just slightly lighten the load of massive destruction we heap upon the animal kingdom in general and pets and/or food animals specifically?

Let's just say it outright: in terms of social care and protection and basic rights, dogs (and cats too -- but I focus on dogs here because I know them better and cats come with a different set of strange and baffling issues given how you can apparently own 157 of them and still pretend to function, and I think cats are generally odd and alien and generally speaking most really wouldn't mind if we humans just vanished from the planet altogether -- but, hey, that's just me), dogs deserve every goddamn luxury we can throw at them.

Look. Nearly every homeless person in any city possesses free will and functioning bipedal brains and has access to food and shelter and social services, and most can take advantage of them whenever they like and I know, I know, it's more complicated than that and fraught with a hundred other issues and policies and health-care woes, claims of overcrowded shelters and drug addictions and horrific psychiatric problems. Fine. But it's essentially true.

Whereas. Dogs are 100 percent dependent. On us. Completely at our mercy, unable to exert any sort of control over their own fate or their own health and we as a nation show very little of that mercy overall, killing as we do about 5 million unwanted dogs and cats every year. That's million.

Abused, abandoned, sick, too large too small too loud too furry too unstable too slobbery, unwanted for a thousand different reasons, bred for fighting or for aggression and therefore unadoptable once they've been dumped by their brutal and small-minded owners, or they're diseased and left tied to trees and malnourished and beaten with chains. And each one, unlike humans, completely innocent of its domestic circumstances, and completely powerless to change them.

Five million. That's about 14,000 animals put to death every day. Or 600 every hour. Ten animals every minute. Go ahead. Pause right here. Wait one minute. There you go, 10 more dead pets. OK? You want to compare suffering of a species for our rather selfish benefit to that of the deeply complex but far more psychologically accessible homeless issue? Give me a break.

Look. Ask any Humane Society or rescue worker and you'll get an earful about how we overbreed and underprotect pets and don't spay or neuter nearly enough, and we as a culture don't seem to really give much of a crap about the overall toll, about the sheer volume of death and neglect and abuse, out of sight out of mind and let's just all smile at the shiny happy golden retrievers at the beach while the shelter quietly puts down yet another pit bull that should never have been bred in the first place.

And hence right now despite the slightly annoying and highly gushy politically correct attitude of many dog advocates here in S.F. and Berkeley, I am overall still just incredibly proud to live in a city that has voted to give a tiny bit more power to the underfunded and understaffed Animal Care and Control people to enforce some basic laws of pet treatment and care (clean water, basic shelter, edible food, no inhumane constraints). I mean, so what?

Hell, plethoric are the places in this nation and on this planet where animals in general and dogs in particular are largely still considered disposable hunks of barely tolerated meat, where they are regularly kicked to the curb or thrown out of speeding trucks or blasted in the groin with shotguns for fun or bred by inner-city thugs to mutilate each other in fight pens, and maybe you'll agree: give me stricter pet laws and posh dog-rescue digs and more expensive no-kill shelters in the world's most progressive American city any goddamn day.


Los Angeles

The activists who were issued warrants had their proverbial--and literal--day in court on Wednesday (see press release below this posting) and as always, they marched the battle for the animals right smack into the courtroom--educating the judge, prosecutors, public defenders, court clerks, and stenographer! With their heads held high, they appeared before Judge Rico. Three of them were represented by a stellar civil rights / police misconduct attorney; one went in pro per (representing herself); and a fifth activist employed the services of a public defender. The A team was complete!

Judge Rico was mandated to stay all warrants upon being apprised that none of the activists had received the voluntary-appearance letters that were to have preceded the issuance of a warrant. That “oversight” is pure and outright harassment by the City Attorney's office--and these slimy, underhanded machinations will boomerang to bite Rockhard Delgadillo and his deputy city attorneys right in their shifty asses!

The prosecutor--an arrogant megalomaniac named Edward Gauthier--would not even look the activists in the eye. He refused to answer any of their questions--and, in fact, when they politely posed any, he would pirouette to proffer his boorish backside--holding the ignominious posture until they “got the message”! It was empirically obvious that everyone--not just the defendants--in the courtroom considered him a real wing nut. He endeavored to convince the judge to give the "San Pedro Five" a stay-away order from Hahn's house. His specious reasoning: "I don't want any problems while this case is pending!" Well, he already HAS a problem--his innate MENTAL INCOMPETENCY, of which intractable delusions of grandeur are only ONE manifestation! He is a self-appointed, self-anointed judge, jury, and executioner whose Orwellian stance is “guilty until proven innocent.” When the activists' civil rights attorney argued that the judge cannot go against the California Constitution, the latter backpedaled and retracted his contemplation of the bogus stay-away order.

The San Pedro Five are all due back in court on February 22nd at 8:30 A.M., 210 Temple Street, Criminal Courts Building, Division 56, downtown L.A. They would appreciate an appearance in solidarity by as many people as possible to show Mayor Hahn that he is NOT above the law and that, as a public official, he must accept the fact that activists have the right to protest (even in HIS neighborhood) to enlighten the public about his substandard mayoral track record and to urge that he be duly unseated.

Another case heard on Wednesday dealt with none other than the protuberantly philandering David Diliberto--who has now initiated an affair with yet another femme fatale subordinate, whose fetching features and carnal candy he promises to reward with the perennial promotion. This lubricious Lothario is a sinister sexual predator who pushes himself on female employees dependent on him in his function as Commander. With a wife and four children at home, Dave is incontrovertibly unfit for the roles of father, husband, and Field Commander of the LAAS! With the collusion of the City Attorney’s office (the taxpayer is footing all his legal bills), he is currently conspiring against activists--alleging that during a protest in June of last year two of them encroached on his property and rang his doorbell, with the unpardonable criminal intent of offering him some information about the pounds.

Diliberto was deposed by one of ADL-LA's attorney's on video tape last year ( see http://www.animaldefense.com/4pa - diliberto.htm ) and scroll down to the video link to view him answering questions under oath. He admitted to being on a prescription medication--the nature of which he refused to disclose (we suspect Viagra). He confessed that the entire shelter system has problems. He also revealed that his neighbor stated that he should have taken a gun and blown away the activists "to the ground"--that such would have constituted “the right thing to do.” And Diliberto AGREED! This is revelatory of the character of the man who is overseeing the shelter system--and we wouldn't be surprised if Diliberto believes that the animals, too, should be similarly "blown away." We figure that since he’s SHOOTING BLANKS with his girlfriends, he now wants to PUMP REAL BULLETS into activists and animals. Hey, Dave--in lieu of synthetic testosterone, we suggest an extended course of anti-psychotic medication to control your fulminating, fetid fantasies. We further propose that an indefinite stopover at the nearest psychiatric asylum might be of prophylactic (pun intended) value! See the Diliberto page and the clip stream of his deposition at the link above.

Bottom line is that these court cases serve as eminently effective extensions of our protests! We have the opportunity not only to educate an entire population--the (in)justice system--that would be otherwise inaccessible, but also to garner substantial media interest which lays bare even more of the corruption unleashed on an unsuspecting public by festering civic carbuncles like Hahn and Diliberto.

KPFK conducted a seven-minute interview with two activists that night regarding Hahn’s horrendous treatment of our city’s lost and homeless animals--and LA Weekly was there, as well, for a good part of the day. In addition, both Copley News Service and the L.A. Times interviewed activists with respect to this issue.

The activists stated that they are very excited to once again be court-bound on February 22nd. They love getting the truth out to people who are in the dark about what's going on inside our six city Death Camps. They plan to take these cases to trial in order to inform even more people about this issue--and continue to expose how corrupt, incompetent, and mismanaged the LAAS truly is under Hitler Hahn and Deadly Diliberto.

Finally, we would like to submit these closing remarks to the political, law-enforcement, and judiciary powers-that-be: There are people out there robbing, raping, and murdering…Why don’t you surprise us and go after some REAL criminals for a change?

For general information on the campaign, please visit the website
www.StopTheKilling.net. Nothing in this email is intended to encourage illegal acts of any kind.

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January 12th, 2005

MAYOR HAHN AND CITY ATTORNEY ROCKHARD DELGADILLO SHRED THE CONSTITUTION AND SERVE SPECIOUS WARRANTS ON ACTIVISTS

ACTIVISTS TARGETED WHO DARED TO PROTEST IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD OF MAYOR JAMES K. HAHN

Los Angeles, California - Animal Defense League Los Angeles (ADLLA) member Pamelyn Ferdin and four other activists will go to court on January 12th to turn themselves in after receiving warrants for their arrest stemming from a legal protest against Mayor Hahn more than four months ago (see http://www.animaldefense.com/news_demo_hahnAug.htm for more information on the actual protest) See also www.HahnSucks.com and www.StopTheKilling.net

According to animal rights activist and ADLLA member, Pamelyn Ferdin, “The city is aiming to make an example of a few activists by serving us with these facetious warrants.” When the activists were originally arrested on August 7th of 2004, they were brought to San Pedro jail and released eight hours later on their own recognizance. They subsequently appeared at a scheduled arraignment in the Long Beach court two weeks later--only to be informed that the charges would not be filed and that they could have back all their evidence. After retrieving their confiscated banner, placards, and bull horn, they assumed that the charges had been dropped.

On January 3rd, Delgadillo’s office sent out letters stating that warrants had been issued against all five activists! Natalie Norcross--one of the activists arrested on August 7th --commented, “Not only is Mayor Hahn a Hitler to the homeless and lost animals of this city, but he is also a very vindictive man who thinks that because he’s the Mayor he has the power to silence and intimidate peaceful protestors whose only ‘crime’ was to have a legal protest against him in his own neighborhood.”

The bail amount on each warrant was set at $1,000.00 (one thousand dollars). Michael Acfalle, another activist arrested that day, states, “We were already in jail and then released on OR. These surprise and illegal warrants amount to plain and simple harassment from a Mayor and City Attorney’s office hell bent on preventing activists from exercising their right to protest and on squelching free speech.”

Ferdin adds, “Delgadillo has been on the hot seat lately for spending fifty million dollars of taxpayer money to pay private law firms to do the City Attorney’s work, and he has refused to allow Laura Chick, our City Controller, to investigate. Hahn is up to his ears in corruption and pay-to-play politics. If anyone should have warrants out for their arrest, it’s Delgadillo and Hahn--not peaceful protestors wanting to STOP THE KILLING of thousands of innocent homeless and lost animals in our six city pounds.”

Where: 429 Beauchet Street, Court room 80
When: January 12th, 9:30 A.M.