Everyday I pray that the Cafos from hell be dismantled. I was profoundly saddened to learn that a Franciscan priest whose sister and brother-in-law have a hog Cafo sees nothing wrong with that. Obviously, the Franciscans generally have departed from the compassionate ways of their founder, St. Francis, in their approach to animals. And to add injury to insult, this parish is holding a fund-raising Pork Festival. Needless to say, I won't be attending. I also deposited nothing into their "extra" cash fund basket for this project as well as not purchasing the raffle tickets they sent me.
From Australia, the very, very sad news is that, despite the pleas of 60,000 Australians and a group of caring ALP members in caucus, the government has decided that exported animals will still be subjected to fully conscious slaughter in importing countries. While I cannot boast that our U.S. slaughterhouses always succeed in properly stunning our poor animals, by and large, I believe the great majority are stunned properly before being cut up. Those who are not properly stunned feel the horrible pain and suffering connected with dismemberment while alive, which must be pure hell for them. This should never happen at all. They could stop the slaughter line and re-stun those needing it, but greedy owners won't allow this. I don't know how people like this sleep at night.
From Care2.com -- "Man's Tame Deer Shot by Officials"
I'm sorry to tell you that I have little faith in most of the Wildlife Divisions that I have heard or read about. Not too long ago, I read that in Ohio you can't even save a deer or a fawn in need. I remember writing about the man who tried to save a fawn whose mother was killed. He was told that it was illegal to care for him or her. Imagine -- illegal caring for one of God's needy creatures.
Obviously, North Carolina wildlife agents even carry this notion to an extreme -- and without warning, killed nine tame deer on Wayne Kinley's property. One of the deer was recovering from an injury. One was an abandoned fawn and the other seven were exotic European deer. Their reason they said for doing so was concern for a chronic wasting disease among deer. The only problem? This disease reportedly has never been found in North Carolina's deer population.
How would you feel if you saw these innocent deer being shot by people supposedly employed to respect and care for wildlife? I believe that Mr. Kinley has employed a lawyer to look into this matter. I hope that he will receive justice for these peaceful, innocent deer and that the Wildlife Division will be censured for this cruel, unfeeling act.
Update on STAR
I have read so many stories of ill treatment to our companion animals, and each one causes me and people like me great heartache. Star's story, which happened in Malta, is particularly haunting and cruel. To recap her story: a man had owned Star for 10 years and then became disenchanted with her because he said she was shedding too much. What a gem! Star had probably given him love and affection for these 10 years, and now he wanted to be rid of her for shedding?
At the time, no one knew who was responsible for shooting her and then burying her trussed up and still alive in a shallow grave. Somehow she managed to poke her muzzled nose out of the ground in order to breathe and whimper. After 14 excruciating hours, she was discovered and dug out. The veterinarian found her head riddled with 40 pellets from being shot repeatedly with a pellet gun at close range.
Though Star seemed to be on the road to recovery, she died some weeks after being found. One website said that she died only 3 days after her rescue -- but it was still time enough to capture her wonderful presence on video where this beautiful collie looked on the mend but sadly wasn't. Personally, I believe she lived longer than 3 days because with all those pellets removed from her head, her head must have been bandaged for a long while before the traces of this barbaric act were gone.
This news was heartbreaking for all of us who had hoped for a happier ending. Now, people who knew about this terribly abused dog and who had begun loving her from the very beginning, only hoped that the cruel person who committed such a dastardly and unfeeling act would be found and punished.
Animal welfare agents and the police began a thorough investigation, which led them to 44-year-old Alfred Vella, the owner of the field in Birzebbuga where Star had been buried. He said that he shot "Buttons" (her original name) because she was old. Why in heaven's name did he take her in the first place if she was so old? And ten years is not old to any of us who treasure the lives of our dogs.
Vella admitted to charges of animal cruelty. He also admitted making the firearm himself. He was sentenced to three months in jail for illegally making and using a firearm. Unfortunately, Malta's laws do not penalize animal cruelty in terms of jail time, but Vella was fined 10,000 euros for the animal cruelty charge as a first time offender. I looked up euros and compared them to our U.S. dollars. One euro is worth about $1.50 in U.S. dollars. At Care2, we were asked to sign a petition asking Malta officials to respond to the need for stronger animal protection laws. I'm sure you can find that site on the Internet if you want to do this in Star's memory. And don't forget to find her YouTube video while there. I loved seeing her even though tears began to well up in my eyes. They will well up in your eyes too if you love and respect this beautiful creature of God who deserved so much better from man.