Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The Circus

I love the circus. Truly I do and for me the very best part are all the animal acts. A circus just isn’t a circus without the animals.

First, I’ll write about the elephants and not just because they were the biggest animals, but also because they have been the center of much unwanted attention by a few malcontents. There was one rather small female who just seemed to be smiling almost all the time. I spotted her during the opening parade. She came out looking just like those in front of her and those behind her. Once in the big ring she appeared to be looking around and then her mouth opened just a bit and the corners of her mouth turned up and she got a bit of spring to her step. It was just enough different that I found myself not just watching her, but actually looking for her every single time the elephants came through the entrance door. Sure enough, she would make it about a quarter of the way around and here would come this really delightful smile and that bit of a spring to her step. She looked like she was having the time of her life, a sort of a “I’m so happy you all could come to my party” look.

The dog acts followed and brought about my only real complaint. Both dog acts were on at the same time in different rings. BOO! HISS! To truly enjoy what the dogs were doing required a person to split into two people and try as I might, I just can’t seem to master the split. The act right in front of us used standard poodles and smooth fox terriers. They were great and cleverly made use of the terrier personality. One little terrier played the ‘naughty’ dog who earned more than one laugh from the audience. Sam and I both found a ‘trick’ or two that we will be teaching some of the dogs around here, just for fun. I liked the idea of having one of the dogs run out and knock the jumps over rather than actually jumping and Sam liked the little ‘dive-bomb’ terrier. So we came away with some stuff to play with on rainy days when everyone is pretty much stuck inside.

As for the other dog act, well all I can say is Sam spotted a Maltese. More than that I really can’t say since we were just too far away to be able to see what they were doing.

I was totally captivated by the Friesian who led the horse act. His coal black and super glossy coat along with a high-stepping trot that showed off his feathers made it almost impossible for me to watch the rest of the horses who followed him. Most of the horses we saw were Fjords and quite lovely. I have to say most because I honestly don’t remember if there were any other horses or not. I did manage to glance at the striking black and dun stripped manes of the Fjords only to find myself going right back to that lovely Friesian. Truth to tell, I don’t honestly know what was going on in the other rings, because I was so enthralled by the horse act.

Lions and tigers and bears, oh my. Nope, these days the circus only has tigers. Of course I can only speak for the show we saw, but is was fine. The tigers all appeared to be about as relaxed and comfortable as big cats ever get.

I realize every circus has much more to it than the animal acts and the human acts were all interesting, entertaining and not animals. What can I say? I just love the circus animals in all their glory and pride of doing a job and doing it not just well, but the very best they can. I love the circus and Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey are and always have been my favorite.

The only downside was having to deal with rude adults and uncivilized children. There were the two 9 to 10 year old boys sitting in front of us who never stopped waving brightly lit wands around, except for when they were climbing on the backs of their seats. The urge to strangle was strong. Then poor Sam was crashed into during the intermission and had soda spilled all over her clothes, face, hands and hair. The ‘owners’ of the brat responsible didn’t even bother to acknowledge there might be a problem. On the positive side all the 1st Mainer employees were not just polite and helpful but actually nice about it. Over all, a wonderful, if tiring evening and I look forward to doing it many more times in years to come.

Monday, April 19, 2010

The animal rights agenda

Subject: FW: The animal rights agenda - a personal story - a must read for dog (and cat) owners

Anyone who breeds, shows or owns dogs and cats in southern California needs to read this. Please note, the writer gives permission to cross post - I would strongly suggest you all do so. It doesn’t matter where you live. This, or something similar, is happening in every state, all across the country.

I have permission to cross pst.
This is a note from a friend in S. CA. It is getting bad there with animal rights groups. this is not the first time this has happend to my friend. She lives in Riverside County and in the canyon and everyone has horses etc. do not understand these people, they are just plain crazy I guess !!!


I have not listed my house yet. I can't until I get out of here ! I can't have people coming thru with both cats and dogs. My four dogs are licensed dogs and I have 10 cats on our 6 acre property. My husband fixed up the building behind the patio so I keep the intact cats there as they are very intense when they are cycling. But animal zealots are really agressive here so we can't take a chance. I can't even place my 3 spays for fear of problems. I met a woman at San Diego show who wanted to come see my neutered male. She worked at San Diego U and I checked the staff roster there. She did. She came and I had weird vibes. Asked all the wrong questons.. left with out taking him home. Find out that she'd been sitting up the road for hours before the appointment with a big animal control truck. He left just after she did. So then I did a more intense look up online and find out that she is HSUS rescue .. deeply entrenched. So it was a sting attempt. There were 3 cats here in my house. But Dave and I were really furious. Dave said don't risk it again. Keep what you have until we can get out of here. Thats why we are so limited in price. We can't get any money out of this house until we can sell. Can't sell until we can get out. Vicous circle.

Oh yes.. at the Palm Springs Kennel club show in Jan, there were 25 PETA drones there collecting business cards. Posing as prospective pet inquirers or just interested spectators. I was talking to the superintendents and they knew some of them and told me heads up. Lately, when I am at the cat shows [take one cat] and have time to chat with spectators. We talk a while and they always ask for a card. I don't have any or put any out. Nothing to sell. After that, they end up telling me that they are animal services employees. More of the same.

AS does not have the staff to do this. But the groups associated with AS.. the 'drones' are making it their personal cause to search out breeders by posing as pet buyers all over soCal. As you may know, PETA purchased a big building in LA recently and brought 40 of their key go-getter staff here.

Oh yes.. one more thing. AS arrested a woman in San Bernardino recently with 8 cats. Reason: selling a kitten less than 8 wks of age. Now a 3mo kitten is the equivalent to a 2mo puppy. So my guess is that she took a deposit and that is a transaction before 8 wks of age. They swamped in on her and now in jail for animal cruelty and her cats were euthanized immediately.

Compared to the man who raped and killed the young woman in north county San Diego who got 5 yrs. Its insane.

This is how dismal the situation is here for breeders. I have commercial zoned property for kennel, cattery, horses, .. no limit. We would have to sign a waiver allowing AS to come into our home and take photos and allow them access at any time w/o prior notice. If I do not let them in to go thru every room and every building on the place at any time, my license would be revoked immediately and charged simultaneously. A hobby kennel is a snap .. just put up 10 chain link pens on dirt away from the house with partial cement slab or raised floor, roof and dog house. I would never use it because coyotes would bait the dogs and pull their legs thru the fence. Its illegal to own 5 house trained dogs who play and exercise on the lawn to potty, on 6 rural acres. Incidentally,I would be allowed to have 25 unvaccinated horses on same property all running together in one fenced area with no shelter.

In most all counties across the country, vets are mandated [paid by AS ]to turn over owner information to the country of origin of any owner who gets a rabies vaccination. Now those who don't license, don't get rabies either. The only people who get rabies vaccinations who may not license are breeders/show exhibitors. For shipping purposes. Keep in mind, no one is checking incoming pets into LAX. AS staff [maybe the emotially charged volunteer drones] cross-checks rabies vaccinations with licences to find owners who are out of compliance.

Back to this issue. Highly likely that it would be frowned on to have a kennel and a cattery. 9 cats requires a commercial facility. Building permit would be $20K plus health department fee $6500 plus $17K for transportation study to determine if the cattery business would impact the area. So before the building can begin, its about $45K. From there, add $60 for the cost of a qualifying building to house 9 cats comfortably. I will never make $100K from my cats nor to I want to sell a lot of cats. I just want to own and show some dogs and cats. I do well and take very good care of them. We would have been wealthy years ago if we did not spend all our money taking such good care of our animals and providing beautiful place for them. Even if I make such an invest ment [$120K for both dogs and cats]they will harrass us continually. Breeding permit fees are starting and that will be a way to tax good breeders to pay for irresponsible pet owners they won't control [too risky for AS].

Let me tell you what I discovered last year. Riverside County CA cleverly re-zoned and re-classified every parcel in the county. Keep in mind that the requirement to have a hobby kennel has always been a one 1 acre minimum zoned RR, RA or A-1. Now only 1/2 acre parcels are RR or RA. 1-20 parcels are all now RE [rural estate]. Under this classification .. we are assured that its animal friendly environment. The statement is something like this: Mature animals okay but no offspring. So you can collect animals in rural estate but cannot breed them. AG zoning starts up again at 20+ acres. So they have effectively zoned out kennels and catteries in this animal friendly county.

You have to dig around to find a printout of the complete classification descriptions. This master plan [indeed !] was developed by a subcontractor and format was probably developed by HSUS. I wonder how long existing kennels/catteries will be allowed to operate as most are out of compliance now. The sleuth squeeze

A copy of this can be obtained from Riverside County RCIP or type in search: Riverside Master Plan or by going to http://www.rcip.org/generalplan.html

Sandy Kiever