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Training 911 – Know Your Dog

posted January 25th, 2014 by
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by Mary Green

As a professional dog trainer and dog behavioral counselor, every day I talk with folks who own dogs with aggressive behavior. They are at their wits’ end as to how to deal with the dogs. Questions like, “Is this normal?” or, “Will he grow out of it?” are followed by “If you can’t fix him, I have to get rid of him.”

When we opened K9 Manners & More in 2001, these calls came much less frequently. This leads me to wonder, is dog aggression reaching new heights, or are we following a “zero-tolerance” policy? According to Wikipedia, aggression is usually defined by canine behaviorists as “the intent to do harm.”

Dogs will use aggressive displays such as barking, growling, or air-snapping as distance-increasing signals, intended to get the person or dog to move away. Does this mean that the dog is showing intent to do harm (offense), or do we interpret this as his belief that he is going to be attacked (defense)? Should we be punishing dogs for acting in selfdefense?

When I was about 8 years old, I came home one day sporting a bite (barely a scratch) inflicted by a neighbor dog. I remember my mother’s words quite clearly. When I showed her my wound, mom asked what I had done to provoke the dog.

I’m sure that if this happened today, we would be having a serious conversation with the neighbors about their aggressive dog, and my behavior would not be called into question.

I’m not suggesting that pet owners should be cavalier about their dogs’ aggression. I am suggesting that they learn a bit more about dog behavior in general. For example: arousal and excitement are different from aggression; fight or flight is a biological response; and dogs that bite other dogs do not necessarily go on to bite people.

In a message I received recently, the owner believes her 23-week-old pup has fear aggression. “I can’t take her into public without her trying to bite someone if they try to touch her,” she says. “She is fine unless she is touched or walked toward but only with strangers.”

In our quest to “socialize” pet dogs, are we subjecting them to invasive handling or rude behavior (their perception) by children and adults, and not allowing them to communicate in their language? Or worse, are we punishing them for reacting in a normal dog way?

Good socialization means not overwhelming a pup and pushing her to the point of reacting by biting. At this point, a qualified trainer can help you implement a program of desensitization and counter-condi tioning before the behavior worsens.

When someone tells me that his or her dog is growling at children, my response is sometimes, “Yay! Good dog!” As I stated earlier, growling is a distance-increasing signal. The dog is telling you not to approach.

We don’t need to question their motives; we just need to believe the signal. Many times I have seen dogs that have been punished for growling simply stop growling and go directly to biting.

A recent email read, “My Husky/ German Shepherd mix is very aggressive toward children he doesn’t know. He is fine with adult strangers, but when my kids have friends over he growls and snaps at them, even if the kids aren’t doing anything to taunt him. He’s a sweet dog and I just wish I could break him of this habit.”

First of all, it’s not a habit that can be broken. It’s a clear signal of how he feels about stranger children being in his house. Age and history factor into the prognosis of behavior change. While he may learn to tolerate children being around, and not act aggressively, he likely will not ever be trustworthy with children.

People seem surprised when “out of the blue” their dog bites someone, even though he has given them his clearest communication to keep away.

A friend of mine was comparing her adolescent German Shepherd dog to the Golden Retriever she had in college. The Golden was the perfect dog, loved all people and all dogs. The Shepherd is reserved with strangers and somewhat aggressive toward other dogs.

“I have not raised them any differently,” she said. “I don’t understand it!” I reminded her that different breeds of dogs have different temperaments. We use these temperament traits to determine the dog best suited to the job: the herders, the guardians, the retrievers, etc.

In general terms, temperament refers to the aspects of personality that are innate rather than learned. Behavior, on the other hand, is an action or mannerism in response to the environment, or a result of input or stimuli.

Behavior is to temperament as weather is to climate. In other words, “You pick your vacation destination based on the climate but pack your suitcase based on the weather.”

If you have a dog with aggressive behavior, it’s not the end of the world. Listen to what the dog is saying. Open your eyes to the behavior. Enlist a qualified trainer to help you and be prepared to use a lot of management.

He may not behave like the dog you want, but he is the dog you have. Give him a chance. 

The Homeless – A Cat Tale

posted January 25th, 2014 by
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Cat Tale

by Camille Hulen

You see a stray cat outside your office. It will not come to you, so after several days you take pity on the poor kitty and put out food and water. The food disappears quickly. Then you know why. You are feeding more than one cat! You are feeding a feral colony of cats. I prefer to call them “the homeless.”

This scenario plays out all too frequently in Tulsa. Although city ordinance requires that pets be vaccinated for rabies, be registered, and be spayed or neutered, the law is not enforced.

Irresponsible owners fail to keep their cats inside and allow them to breed, then dump the kittens, or sometimes even move away, and leave their pets in vacant apartments. Is it any wonder that these cats become feral and wary of humans?

However, just feeding homeless cats is not enough. These cats will reproduce, a colony will develop, and the colony will grow even more rapidly when well-fed. If these cats are too feral to be rehomed, the most effective way to help these cats is TNR.

TNR (Trap, Neuter, Release) is a management technique whereby homeless cats are captured, evaluated by a veterinarian, vaccinated and sterilized, then returned to their habitat if homes cannot be found. TNR requires patience and diligence.

Traps must be placed and monitored, cats transported to the vet, then sheltered for recovery before release back to the colony. If you truly care, you will do this. Rather than go into the details here, I refer you to for detailed how-to guidelines.

What are the benefits of TNR? TNR programs improve the lives of free-roaming cats and reduce their nuisance behavior. When males are neutered, they are no longer compelled to mark their territory or fight over mates, while females will no longer yowl while “in heat.” Also, they are no longer forced to endure giving birth and fending for their young.

TNR can put an end to the perpetual cycle of animal control officers capturing and killing by maintaining a stable number of cats unable to multiply. Wouldn’t the job of a city employee become much more rewarding if he/she was not faced with assisting in euthanasia daily?

Through the help of Best Friends Utah, TNR has been successfully implemented in many cities as diverse as San Antonio, Atlanta and Los Angeles. Although this technique is not sanctioned by the City of Tulsa, there are several rescuers in Tulsa acting individually.

These tireless volunteers follow up TNR by going to the colony sites daily to feed the cats and monitor for newcomers, often spending several hundred dollars per month on food and care. One local Good Samaritan has maintained a colony of 18 cats for close to 10 years, and even pays a caretaker for them when he is out of town!

Organizations do exist to assist in this effort. StreetCats will loan traps and provide vouchers accepted by participating veterinarians for spaying and neutering. A StreetCats’ voucher costs the user only $20, is taxdeductible, and covers the cost of a oneyear rabies shot and sterilization.

The remainder of the discounted rate is paid by donations to StreetCats. To use this program, a person calls the SteetCats message line at (918) 298-0104 to reserve a voucher, picks it up and pays for it at the beginning of the month, and may then use it within three months by making an appointment with one of the participating vets. Through November of last year, 870 vouchers had been issued for the year.

Oklahoma Alliance for Animals also has humane traps to loan, and frequently subsidizes the cost of sterilization through SpayOK. The cost at SpayOK is only $30 and includes the sterilization and a rabies vaccine.

The mission of SpayOK is to mitigate the problem of homeless cats before they become homeless “by providing a highquality, low-cost spay and neuter service for low-income families who want to be responsible pet owners.”

SpayOK has two convenient locations: one in North Tulsa and another in Bixby. They may be reached at (918) 728-3144 or 970-4222. During 2012, SpayOK spayed 3,401 females and neutered 2,187 male cats. During its 10 years of existence, it has helped over 75,000 animals!

Yes, the task may seem overwhelming, but you the reader obviously care or you would not be reading this magazine. By all means, spay and neuter your own pets and educate and encourage others to do likewise. Do it now, before kitten season! TNR is most admirable, but if every pet owner acted responsibly, it would not be necessary.

Until then, TNR is a great tool to cut down on the homeless population. 

The Art of a Farrier

posted January 25th, 2014 by
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by Lauren Cavagnolo

Photos by Bob Foshay

ANYONE WHO’S OWNED A DOG knows there’s a fine art to trimming dog nails—holding your dog’s paw just right, not cutting too close to the quick, and if your dog is like mine, feeding him treats for the duration of the grooming. And if you’re like me, after completing the task a couple of times, you decide maybe it would be better for both of you if someone else handled the trimming.

Next, imagine trimming the nails of an animal that averages 1,100 pounds. If you’re now thinking, ‘Who do I call for that?’ Marc Munger is your guy.

Munger grew up watching his dad shoe horses and now makes his living as a farrier.

Farriers specialize in the hoof care of horses, including hygiene, trimming, disease prevention and attaching horseshoes. And though it is a profession that dates back hundreds of years, it has not changed all that much over time.

Munger’s father, Art, began working as a farrier part time in 1978. By 1992, it was his full-time job.

“I think when I was little my mother just sent me and my brothers with [my dad] to get us out of the way,” Munger said. “When we got old enough, we learned how to do it and started helping.

“I remember as a kid, Dad and I were at a job and working two horses tied to a fence as we normally would. He would trim the wall off the bottom, and I would come behind and bevel the edges on the hoof stand.”

He continued to help his father and learn the trade working summers and weekends through high school and college. He took over the family business in 2009 after graduating with a degree in agribusiness.

With only a handful of farriers in the Tulsa area and just over 25,000 in the nation according to, it’s an important job. Like nails on a dog, if the hooves of a horse aren’t properly cared for it can lead to bigger problems down the road.

“Your number one goal is preventing lameness,” Munger said. “Horses in the wild are meant to run around to water and graze and get a lot of movement. That movement wears the hoof down at about the same speed that it grows out.”

Domesticated horses need regular trimming of their hooves and not much else. Munger says a horse’s feet should be trimmed about every six to eight weeks in the summer and eight to 12 weeks in the winter, depending on the horse.

“But if you are using them hard, riding on the road, riding on rocks or doing some sort of performance, a lot of times their feet will get sore if they don’t have any extra protection,” advised Munger.

These horses require steel shoes that are nailed into the hoof—a task not done without risk.

“You’re holding that foot right in between your legs with nails sticking out of every side of it, and if they jerk their foot away when you’re trying to break a nail tip off, you can cut your fingers,” Munger said.

“If you get a malicious horse, they may try and bite you or deliberately try and kick you. Most of the time horses will kick out when they are scared, but they are not taking aim trying to hurt you except for the very rare case.”

In addition to protection, some horses require shoes for correction due to a variety of reasons including fungal infections that eat away at the hoof or bone issues.

“There is something called thrush that is really prominent in horses,” Munger said. “It’s a fungal infection that essentially replaces the horse’s foot with a deep pocket of black fungus. I would say 90 percent of horses have some varying degree of it, a small portion of which gets trimmed out each time I come.”

In all, Munger says it takes him about an hour to remove the shoes, trim the feet and put all of the shoes back on one horse. Most of his clients’ horses are trail horses or are used for cattle performance, although he does shoe race horses as well.

Race horses wear aluminum horseshoes instead of steel and require a more precise fit. Depending on the type of race horse, quarter horse or thoroughbred, it will have a toe grab on its shoe or it may be flat, Munger said. The toe grab gives the horse traction and allows them to dig into the track.

“The importance of that as a horseshoer is that the toe grab has to be dead centered with the track of the foot, otherwise it will make their foot turn and pull funny,” Munger said. “It will also make them hit their other leg with their foot or interfere and cause them not to run fast.”

Regardless of the type of horse or its use, care of the hooves is vital to the well-being of the animal. So the next time you procrastinate on trimming your 20-pound canine’s nails, just be thankful you do not have to nail steel shoes to a half-ton animal. 

Paws and Claws Disaster Response Team

posted January 25th, 2014 by
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Out of the Central Oklahoma tornadoes came help for animals in future natural disasters

by Julie Alexander

Photography courtesy of Rausch Photography

In May of 2013, two Central Oklahoma towns were devastated when an outbreak of tornadoes struck the state. On May 19, an EF4 tornado hit Shawnee, and the following day, an EF5 tornado, estimated to be two miles wide, struck Moore.

Large swaths of both towns were obliterated, and more than 50 people were killed. Thousands of volunteers from the Red Cross, local churches and other agencies rushed to help the victims. Veteran animal rescuers Joe Beene and Carol Ames gathered together some supplies and a handful of volunteers and headed to Shawnee. Their goal was to help the four-legged victims of the storms.

“We saw a post on Facebook that they were seeking volunteers to go look for animals. So we and a couple of friends gathered a truck together and supplies and headed out there, and we ended up in the middle of nowhere,” Ames said. “We went to the Red Cross. They didn’t know about any coordinated effort, and we were basically sent from place to place. There was no coordination whatsoever. We were so heartbroken.”

The devastation was overwhelming. Finding an address where someone’s pet was missing was almost impossible, and they quickly discovered there was no coordinated effort to rescue animals. They did join a group of local residents and other people who were there to help, but after a brief search, the group realized searching was futile.

Despite traveling to both Shawnee and Moore that day, they were unable to rescue any animals. They returned to Kiefer disappointed they couldn’t help, but on the drive home the group had an idea. After several months of researching and educating themselves on disaster response, Beene and Ames started Paws and Claws Disaster Response Team.

Officially founded on October 2, 2013, the group’s mission is to “mitigate the loss of animal lives and facilitate the reunion of rescued animals with their families” according to their website,

Relief efforts for human victims are well-coordinated and well-funded, but animal rescue groups who respond to disasters such as floods, tornadoes, earthquakes and wildfires do not coordinate with each other, Ames said. Owners of missing pets are usually left to find them on their own.

They both vividly recall the video of the elderly Moore woman looking for her dog in the shattered remains of her home the day after the tornado. During an interview with a local television station, the dog appeared from under the rubble much to the joy of its owner. It’s heartwarming moments like these that Paws and Claws hope to facilitate.

Ames, who serves as president, is a volunteer for the Tulsa SPCA and has rescued and fostered animals for many years. Beene, who is the director of field operations, is using his background in business to coordinate fundraising efforts and complete the necessary paperwork to establish Paws and Claws as a 501(c)(3) corporation.

Their goal is to have the resources and equipment to respond to disasters quickly and effectively. “We would like to raise enough funds and donations of all sorts to be able to be very prepared,” Ames said. “To be able to have the equipment needed to be able to do a really good job when we get out on the scene and to be really thorough and save lives—that’s what it’s all about.”

In addition to money and supplies, Ames said volunteers are the key to their success. All volunteers will undergo special disaster training that is required by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

The group is also working to establish relationships with groups such as the Red Cross, so when they are on the scene of a disaster, their efforts are coordinated and people looking for their pets have a resource to turn to for help. Local response organizations and government officials have been enthusiastic about the group’s plans, but there is still a lot Paws and Claws must do to be ready for the next emergency, Ames said.

“Initially, we will be getting a fifth wheel trailer that will be equipped with a triage basically. Something comparable to what you might find at a vet’s office,” Ames said. “Ultimately we would like a larger vehicle so that we can accommodate more animals in that emergency triage.”

Special equipment for volunteers will also be needed. Boots, gloves, even hard hats may be required when searching through rubble. When the group is fully funded, and they have all the necessary equipment, they will be on the site of disasters to search for lost pets. Found animals will be brought to the triage area to be assessed and treated if injured.

Ames said since pet owners may not have a home to return to, the group will provide temporary shelter for displaced pets. Lost animals will be scanned for microchips and returned to their owners as soon as possible. An online database of found animals will be created and animals will be held until the owners can be found.

“We want to have one central place and work with local media outlets and emergency responders to have an organized effort,” she said. Though Oklahoma has its fair share of disasters like tornadoes and flooding, Ames and Beene hope to make Paws and Claws a nationwide organization with equipment and volunteers across the country ready to help, much like the Red Cross. They also plan to respond to man-made disasters and even terrorism, according to Ames.

Though the group is only three months old, they have been busy drumming up support for their efforts locally. They held a fundraiser in November at the Riverwalk Crossing in Jenks to raise both money and awareness for their group. The event featured live music and art vendors, and several area rescue groups brought dogs available for adoption. They held a silent auction on their website just before Christmas, offering items such as gift certificates for doggy daycare, dog training, pet toys, Tulsa Oilers hockey packages and more.

As the organization grows, they will also reach out to area rescue groups to help with their efforts. Their goal is to return animals to their owners, but often in a disaster, an animal’s owner may never reclaim the pet. Since the organization does not have the capacity to keep animals long-term, area shelters and rescue groups will play a role in the effort too, Beene said.

“We plan to hold them for 24-72 hours, trying to find their owners,” he said. “Of course, some of them may be deceased. But then we will have to turn them over to the local shelter. We plan to work really close with the local rescue groups and shelters.”

Since the May tornadoes, they have not responded in an official capacity to disasters. Right now they are focusing on monetary donations to purchase a large truck or trailer for their triage. The group will eventually need crates for holding animals, leashes, dog beds, towels, blankets, food and other items.

Paws and Claws is also recruiting volunteers who are willing to be properly trained and can respond when disaster strikes. Currently, there are about 20 volunteers who meet and train regularly in Kiefer.

However, there was some good news for the group after the tornadoes. The day after their disappointing trip to rescue animals in Moore and Shawnee, another group of their friends drove to the area to help. They found and rescued three Labrador puppies in Shawnee. Ames hopes these three are the first of many four-legged victims they will help.

For more information about Paws and Claws, visit the website: . The group is also active on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. People interested in volunteering or donating can do so through their website, or donations can be sent to P.O. Box 968, Glenpool, OK 74033. Donations are tax deductible.


posted January 25th, 2014 by
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Paw Law

The University of Tulsa

by Dani Weaver/ President, Paw Law

PAW LAW AT THE UNIVERSITY OF TULSA COLLEGE OF LAW is the local student division of the Animal Legal Defense Fund, a national organization composed of attorneys who advocate for animal rights.

The beginning of every school year is an opportunity to gain new members and encourage interest in animal advocacy, and 2013 was no exception. In addition to attaining new members and educating ourselves and others about animal law, we participated in many volunteer and fundraising activities.

One volunteer opportunity that we are proud to be a part of is Meals 4 Paw Starz, a pet food program provided by Meals on Wheels of Tulsa and the Tulsa County 4H Paw Stars Club that provides monthly pet food donations to eligible Meals on Wheels participants.

Once a month, our students deliver an entire month’s worth of pet food to homebound elderly or disabled recipients who would otherwise be unable to provide for their cherished companions. Contributions for pet food are solicited from the Tulsa community, and Meals on Wheels volunteers prepare individual daily packets for the dogs and cats so that their owners can easily manage their feeding schedule.

It has been well documented that the human-animal bond can be a tremendous benefit in the healing process, and companion animals provide constant emotional support, especially for those who live alone.

We think this is an invaluable program for our community, and we are happy to be able to participate in it. To donate pet food to Paw Starz or to volunteer, contact Meals on Wheels at (918) 627-4103 or email [email protected] .

Each semester we choose a couple of fundraising events to sponsor, and this time we centered our events during the holidays. During our fall semester, we assisted the Tulsa SPCA with their cookbook sales. The books are comprised of over 300 recipes contributed by friends of the SPCA and are available year-round at their facility or at their mobile events.

We also held an online silent auction benefiting the Animal Alliance of Oklahoma. The auction, which was held on Facebook the week after our Thanksgiving break, was a huge success and something we hope to continue each year. Local businesses and sports teams donated various items for the auction, and all money raised from this event went towards the OAA’s spay and neuter program.

Spring of 2014 is going to be even more eventful for us. Our members will be heavily involved with the Oklahoma Humane Federation in their research and legislative efforts. OHF serves as an information hub for legislative alerts, encouragement of animal cruelty prosecution and information sharing among members of various animal advocacy groups.

By working with OHF, we hope to make a difference in the laws of our state and the way animals are treated.

We look forward to sharing our experiences this year with the TulsaPets readers, and we hope to encourage others to get involved in the many opportunities that are available to help animals in Oklahoma. Follow us on Facebook to keep up on events and opportunities by searching “Paw Law TU.” 

Making 2014 The Year of Advocacy For Animals

posted January 25th, 2014 by
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by Ruth Steinberger

On a miserably cold night last week, a plea for help came from a resident of a neighboring county.

Tulsa temperatures were expected to dip below 5 degrees that night. The desperate caller described a donkey that had been tethered to a tree for over a week and was about to spend another night braying out loud in apparent and severe discomfort.

I reached a frazzled sounding dispatcher who reluctantly reached a deputy for me. Thankfully, the deputy quickly got to the location, and according to anxious witnesses down the road, the donkey was immediately taken inside a barn. The owners obviously understood that the donkey was protected under the law, and a call history in the sheriff ’s logs now flags that location in case of future calls.

Animal cruelty is a crime, and law enforcement agencies are the ones who can step in to stop it. In his 2006 acceptance speech at the ASPCA Henry Bergh Award luncheon, former Chicago Police Officer Steve Brownstein noted that certain behaviors went from being treated as undesirable mischief to serious crimes in just a few decades due to public advocacy; he emphasized that animal cruelty was not one of the behaviors that was successfully challenged.

Brownstein pointed out that in 1960, intoxication was accepted as a “reason” for a fatal car crash, domestic violence was considered a private matter, child abuse was still two years away from being described for the first time in a mainstream medical publication, and animal cruelty was considered silliness.

Drunk driving, domestic violence and child abuse were catapulted to the forefront by advocates who demanded the offenses be criminalized and that a public infrastructure become available to care for the victims.

Animal cruelty still lags way behind other crimes in terms of response and prosecution; despite record levels of animal welfare awareness, many rural prosecutors have still never prosecuted a single cruelty case, dispatchers often do not know what to tell callers who are frantically trying to report cruelty, many cases that are reported are never investigated and organized animal cruelty, including dog fighting and the use of animals in pornography, are on the rise.

Throughout much of the Midwest, there are no shelters available to house an animal if a sheriff ’s office needs emergency placement for a cruelty victim. In fact, despite being a felony, an incident of animal cruelty or neglect that is reported, investigated and successfully prosecuted to the extent of the law is the exception, not the rule.

Brownstein’s point was that animal cruelty continues to be treated differently and therefore, less effectively, than other crimes. The problem is not a lack of compassion by officers, nor is it a lack of concern by the public; the problem is a quagmire of misinformation that inadvertently lets public agencies off the hook and leaves animals out in the cold.

A combination of understaffed law enforcement agencies and a seriously undereducated public leave animals suffering. Until public demand and emergency responders are all on the same page, it will remain that way.

We do not donate to private anti-crime organizations and, in turn, expect them to investigate murders. We report crimes to the police, and we expect them to act.

Animal cruelty became the purview of those who were socially opposed to it in the 1800s. Today, despite enormous public concern for animals in distress, the diversion away from municipal agencies continues.

Many people think they should report cruelty to a local humane society, a belief that is fostered by fundraising campaigns that promise to address cruelty by having viewers respond to pictures of injured pets by sending money across the nation.

Convicted dog fighter Michael Vick was jailed due to federal laws that were successfully lobbied by national animal advocacy organizations not long before his arrest. However, while national lobbying efforts indeed strengthen federal animal protection laws, stopping cruelty within our own community is absolutely a local affair that is driven by residents with the power to elect someone good to office or throw someone bad out.

Until local and state leaders view animal cruelty as a voters’ issue, the response to it will continue to be the luck of the draw. Make a 2014 commitment to speak for the animals with your vote, your voice, your purchasing power and your presence at the courthouse during a trial.

Create a letter writing tree to send a flurry of postcards to officials and letters to editors. Develop a phone tree to support animal welfare legislation during the 2014 legislative session. Ten cards or letters may be 10 more than an official has ever received.

Present an animal-friendly force at a council meeting. Every single time a candidate asks for your vote, ask for his or her sense of urgency about enforcement of animal welfare laws. If they do not care about animal cruelty, they do not deserve your vote. Shop cruelty free, especially boycotting products from China and Korea, where dogs, cats and other animals are horrifically tortured before being killed to be eaten.

Create a “red T-shirt” anti-cruelty brigade, a group of animal advocates who attend court hearings. The red Tshirts tell the courtroom you are there, that you support the prosecutor and care about what happens.

By having a group of people who commit to being available, the responsibility doesn’t fall to the same few again and again. Follow the case all the way through; don’t have four or five red shirts at just the first hearing and then vanish. Empty benches tell the judge and prosecutor that we don’t care quite enough to stay on it.

The presence of those who care absolutely makes a difference. At the end of the case, publicly thank the agencies that worked hard to bring the case to court. As animal advocates, we are the family of the four-legged victim who was dragged behind a truck, ignited by gang members, starved in a cold garage or hoarded like trash. We are the family of the victim.

The story of the donkey that was moved inside a barn on that freezing night did not end there. It was followed up by a call to the sheriff of that county to thank him for the deputy’s response. A letter went to the local newspaper, thanking the sheriff publicly as well.

Local voters are the only ones who can make the point about animal cruelty to our local elected officials… we need to do so.

If we have to stand up for hours at a hearing or protest by sitting down on the courthouse steps, animal cruelty will be vigorously prosecuted—but only when we, as local voters, refuse to tolerate cruelty one minute more.