February 2012

Do Animal Control Centers Have Too Many Rights?

Animal abuse is a very real problem.  Domestic animals are completely dependent on humans for food, care and shelter, and when those needs are not being met, something needs to be done.  I don’t think anyone can dispute that we all must shoulder the burden of caring for the animals that provide us with so much love, life and even food.  The problem is, the organizations that are given the power to enforce those basic animal rights seem to be overstepping their bounds, and we keep letting them.

PETA Euthanized Record Number of Pets in 2011

Over 95% of dogs and cats in the group's shelters were killed

It's hard to say when it becomes ethical to put down a family pet. Killing an innocent, sentient creature obviously seems wrong on the surface, but when it's done to prevent inevitable suffering from illness or injury, sometimes it's the most humane option available. Letting seriously sick pets die natural deaths can just be cruel if it prolongs their pain unnecessarily. But I'm pretty sure that most of the abandoned pets PETA takes in every year aren't in the position where death is their most favorable option.

Selenium Deficiency in Livestock

In many parts of the country, the soil is deficient in selenium, a mineral that is necessary for life.  If your area is deficient in selenium and you do not provide additional supplementation, your animals will begin to exhibit signs of selenium deficiency.  Even if you provide a salt lick with added selenium, animals won’t always get what they need, so knowing the symptoms beforehand can help you save a life.

Herbal Remedies for Animals

Herbal remedies for humans are all the rage these days, and for good reason.  You have more control over what goes into your body when you start taking responsibility for your own care, and you can pick and choose the things you need from the medicines provided by nature.  It makes sense then to also consider herbal treatments for some of the more common animal ailments.  You can use herbal remedies to treat worms, skin conditions and other minor troubles, having the reassurance that comes with not giving your animal potentially harmful chemical treatments.

Florida Python Ban: Too Little, Too Late

Author Carl Hiaasen: "We might as well try to ban fleas"
Carl Hiaasen is not only a crackerjack mystery/thriller author and a regular Miami Herald contributor, he is also - by his own description - "one who once collected and bred snakes." (You learn something about your favorite authors every day!) And as such, he has nothing but withering scorn for the politicians who have only just passed a ban on invasive snake species in Florida.
 
Talk about closing the barn door after the cows have fled. The biggest contributor to Florida's python problem is widely acknowledged to be Hurricane Andrew, which "flattened rural reptile farms in the summer of 1992." Andrew also destroyed the homes of Floridians, which set free an untold number of invasive and dangerous snakes that had been kept as pets.