Tag: Scott Beckstead

A plea for shelter dogs in Oregon

Recognize Rescued Shelter Dogs as Oregon’s State Dog

A couple of hours ago I received an email from Scott Beckstead. Scott is the Senior Oregon Director and the Rural Outreach Director for The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS).

Scott and his wife are two people that Jeannie and I have met and they know that we are committed to supporting the HSUS. Scott was asking in his email that we promote his plea, on behalf of HSUS’s great work in Oregon, for all Oregon residents to support a proposal that comes with the catchy title of Proposal H.C.R. 16.

Because of the immediacy of this campaign, tomorrow is the deadline, I was pleased to publish what Scott sent me without delay.

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In Support of H.C.R. 16

Recognize Rescued Shelter Dogs as Oregon’s State Dog

Dogs are man’s best friend, providing many benefits to their families such as love, loyalty and an improved sense of well-being.  Yet many people are surprised to learn that nationwide, millions of healthy, adoptable dogs are euthanized in shelters annually due to a lack of critical resources and public awareness.

The number of euthanized dogs could be reduced dramatically if more people adopted pets instead of buying them. When families choose to adopt, they save a loving animal by making them part of their family and open up shelter space for another animal who might desperately need it. If more families looking for a pet dog this year would adopt their new furry friend from a shelter, we could put an end to this tragedy.

Animal shelters and rescue groups are brimming with happy, healthy dogs of every breed, shape, size, age, and color, just waiting for someone to take them home. With the help of legislation like H.C.R. 16, we can spread the word about the benefits of adoption and work to end the senseless euthanasia of homeless dogs nationwide.

Shelter dogs make great pets. Please pass this legislation to emphasize the importance of animal adoption with the support of state and national animal sheltering leaders.

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MY TESTIMONY IN SUPPORT OF H.C.R. 16

From: SCOTT BECKSTEAD, SENIOR OREGON DIRECTOR, RURAL OUTREACH DIRECTOR

THE HUMANE SOCIETY OF THE UNITED STATES

This Testimony presented to the HOUSE COMMITTEE ON RULES, APRIL 27, 2017

 Chair Williamson, Co-Chairs Rayfield and McLane, and Members of the Committee:

Thank you for the opportunity to comment on H.C.R. 16, the bill to designate the rescued shelter dog as the official state dog of Oregon. The Humane Society of the United States strongly supports this legislation and urges you to vote YES.

First it is important to recognize this bill is not intended to denigrate reputable breeders of purebred dogs. Rather, it celebrates dogs of all stripes, be they purebred or mutt- and encourages Oregon citizens to consider adopting a dog in need of a home.

With regard to the claim that many Oregon shelter dogs originated in other parts of the country, transporting dogs from areas of over-population into areas where the population of adoptable dogs does not meet the demand is an activity that has been taking place for many years, and has saved countless lives, and created many happy families across the state.   The Society of Animal Welfare Administrators (SAWA) has produced best practice guidelines for transport programs to ensure that both sending and receiving shelters are adhering to the highest standards of animal welfare and health considerations, including but not limited appropriate health certificates and veterinary inspection.

Shelters across Oregon adhere to industry best practices and appropriate oversight.  Contrary to scare-mongering from the National Animal Interest Alliance, there is no data to show that dogs within the Oregon shelter system have higher incidences of temperament issues, health concerns, or that dogs from out of state are displacing Oregon dogs in need.

When a prospective owner buys a dog from a pet store, online seller or flea market, they’re almost certainly getting a dog from a puppy mill. Puppy mills are factory-style breeding facilities that put profit above the welfare of dogs. Animals from puppy mills are housed in shockingly poor conditions with improper medical care, and are often very sick and behaviorally troubled as a result. The mothers of these puppies are kept in cages to be bred over and over for years, without human companionship and with little hope of ever joining a family. And after they’re no longer profitable, breeding dogs are simply discarded—either killed, abandoned or sold at auction.

These puppy mills continue to stay in business through deceptive tactics — their customers are unsuspecting consumers who shop in pet stores, over the Internet or through classified ads. Puppy mills will continue to operate until people stop supporting them. But by visiting your local shelter or rescue and adopting a homeless pet, you can be certain you aren’t giving them a dime.

Dogs and cats share the homes of 65% of U.S. households, providing many benefits to their families such as love, loyalty and an improved sense of well-being.  Yet many people are surprised to learn that nationwide, millions of healthy, adoptable dogs are euthanized in shelters annually due to a lack of critical resources and public awareness.

The number of euthanized animals could be reduced dramatically if more people adopted pets instead of buying them. When families choose to adopt, they save a loving animal by making them part of their family and open up shelter space for another animal who might desperately need it.

Animal shelters and rescue groups are brimming with happy, healthy pets just waiting for someone to take them home. With the help of legislation like HCR 16, we can spread the word about the benefits of adoption and work to end the senseless euthanasia of homeless pets nationwide.

Usually when you adopt a pet, the cost of spay/neuter, first vaccinations (and sometimes even microchipping!) is included in the adoption price, which can save you some of the up-front costs of adding a new member to your family. Furthermore, pets are screened for good health and behavior.

Not only do animals give you unconditional love, but they have been shown to be psychologically, emotionally and physically beneficial to their companions. Caring for a pet can provide a sense of purpose and fulfillment and lessen feelings of loneliness. And when you adopt instead of buying a pet, you can also feel proud about helping an animal in need!

Thank you for considering our position, and for your service to the people and animals of Oregon.

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Let me close with this graphic that Scott also sent me.

Please, please, if you wish to support this proposed measure then, without delay, send an email now to hrules.exhibits@oregonlegislature.gov asking for a YES vote on H.C.R. 16

Jean and I have just done so.

Chair Williamson, Co-Chairs Rayfield and McLane, and Members of the Committee,

I write to you all on behalf of myself and my wife.

When we moved to Oregon in 2012 we came with 12 dogs many of which were rescue dogs and from animal shelters. We still have 7 dogs.
Shelter dogs make wonderful pets and they always know when they have been rescued from a shelter. They offer such love and gratitude to their loving owners.
Please, Jean and I ask for this measure, Measure H.C.R. 16, to be supported.

Thank you.

Paul & Jean Handover
4000 Hugo Road, Merlin, OR 97532

On cruelty to our beloved animals.

One just cannot ignore such cruelty as this!

I am really sorry folks but both today and tomorrow I am adding my tiny shoulder to a very large and heavy wheel. Endeavouring to make a very small difference before I leave this land of the living.

But before going on to share something that was sent to me by Scott Beckstead, the Senior Oregon and Rural Outreach Director of The Humane Society, I want to repeat something that I wrote in response to a comment left to yesterday’s Picture Parade. Because it may be seen as utterly irrelevant to today’s complex world but, nonetheless, it does explain where my love of this planet comes from.

In yesterday’s post, Yvonne of the blog Pets, People and Life left the following comment:

Those beautiful dog’s spirit lives on in the air you breathe, the green of the trees, the beating wings of a hummingbird, the house where they lived and where ever they ran and played. I hope you and Jean feel their presence when things are rough and in the quiet of the night.

I was so moved by those words that almost without any further thought I replied, thus:

Wow! Wow! And Wow!

There is something wondrous about the nature of the human consciousness that still escapes science. Neither me nor Jean are believers in a ‘God’ or subscribe to religious ‘factions’ for so much pain, war and suffering may be laid at the feet of religions (excuse my rant!), but ….

But there is something magical in “the air you breathe, the green of the trees, the beating wings of a hummingbird,” that defies definition. I like to think of it as a deep, connection with the planet that is our womb and sustains us.

This really smacked into me in back in the early 90’s; something that forever changed me. That something I experienced roughly about 4 days out in a solo sailing passage from the Azores to Plymouth. I came up on deck, clipped on, and looked around me. Primarily on the lookout for steaming lights that might indicate a ship in the same patch of ocean. It was after midnight. Having checked there wasn’t a ship in sight, I looked up at what was a totally cloud-free night sky.

What I saw were stars in that night sky that were visible 360 degrees around me. Not only visible in every single direction but visible right down to the edge of that black, ocean horizon. A huge celestial dome centered over this tiny me on my tiny boat. (A Tradewind 33: Songbird of Kent.)

It put into perspective, emotionally, visibly, intellectually and spiritually, how irrelevant one human being is and yet, how each of us is, or should be, the custodian of something immeasurably precious and beautiful: Planet Earth.

(Whoops! Sorry about that! Rather wandered off topic!)

OK, here’s what Scott sent me:

In the past two weeks, USDA Wildlife Services has:

1. Killed an Idaho family’s beloved pet dog;

2. Sent the family’s 14 year-old to the hospital with suspected cyanide poisoning;

3. Killed a Wyoming family’s two beloved pet dogs; and

4. Killed a protected Oregon wolf.

All of these incidents were caused by the M-44, a device used by Wildlife Services that fires a cyanide pellet into an animal’s mouth, causing a slow and agonizing death.

Wildlife Services’ greatest regret in all of these incidents is that they brought the agency more negative press – and given their history, they will probably use all of the incidents as “teaching moments” to instruct their agents to “shoot, shovel, and shut up.”

PLEASE CONTACT YOUR SENATORS AND U.S. REP AND URGE THEM TO ELIMINATE FUNDING FOR USDA WILDLIFE SERVICES.

Scott then included a link to an article that was recently published in The Oregonian. I am taking the liberty of republishing it in full.

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Labrador killed by cyanide device in Idaho, boy knocked to the ground.

A federal M-44 cyanide device exploded Thursday, March 16, 2017, killing a dog in Pocatello Idaho. (Bannock County Sheriff’s Office)

By Andrew Theen | The Oregonian/OregonLive
March 18, 2017 at 7:30 AM, updated March 18, 2017 at 2:20 PM

A three-year-old Labrador retriever died and a 14-year boy was knocked to the ground when a cyanide device deployed by the federal government exploded in Pocatello, Idaho.

The Idaho State Journal reported the boy, who had been on a walk with his dog Thursday on a ridge near their home, watched his dog die. According to the Bannock County Sheriff’s Office, the boy was also “covered in an unknown substance” when the device known as an M-44 detonated. He was evaluated at a hospital and released.

“That little boy is lucky,” Sheriff Lorin Nielsen told the Pocatello newspaper. “His guardian angel was protecting him.”

The Idaho incident comes a few weeks after a gray wolf was accidentally killed by an M-44 on private land in Oregon’s Wallowa County. The controversial type of trap is used by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services crews around the country primarily to kill coyotes and other predators.

U.S. Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-Ore., introduced legislation as recently as 2012 to ban the trap.

DeFazio has said he would reintroduce a similar bill in Congress.

The wolf death was the first documented “incidental take” of its kind in Oregon involving the protected animal and the M-44, fish and wildlife officials said.

Federal Wildlife Services officials said there were 96 M-44 devices dispersed across Oregon as of last week and the agency was looking to remove devices that were near known wolf habitat. Oregon fish and wildlife officials have said the devices were not allowed in areas of known wolf activity.

Oregon has long paid Wildlife Services to kill invasive species and specific predators. But Gov. Kate Brown’s’ recommended budget doesn’t include $460,000 typically set aside to pay the federal agency to kill animals in Oregon.

Bannock County officials described the device as “extremely dangerous to animals and humans.”

The department circulated photos of the trap. “If a device such as this is ever located please do not touch or go near the device and contact your local law enforcement agency,” officials said.

Government officials have said the number of deaths of domestic animals and non-target animals each year is low, and officials say they are conducting an “internal review” of the wolf death.

Wildlife Services killed 121 coyotes in Oregon in 2016 with M-44 devices, along with three red foxes, according to the government’s figures. No gray wolf was killed in the U.S. last year with the cyanide capsules, according to the government.

A Eugene nonprofit says the government isn’t being truthful about the number of pets and non-target animals – such as wolves – killed each year.

“Yesterday’s Idaho poisoning of a dog and the near poisoning of a child is yet another example of what we’ve been saying for decades:  M-44s are really nothing more than land mines waiting to go off, no matter if it’s a child, a dog, or a wolf,” Brooks Fahy, executive director of Predator Defense, said in a statement.

“It’s time to ban these notoriously dangerous devices on all lands across the United States.”

— Andrew Theen
atheen@oregonian.com
503-294-4026
@andrewtheen

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I will be writing about another terrible example of cruelty to animals tomorrow. One where you have the opportunity to add your name to a petition trying to have this cruel ‘tradition’ stopped.

Because as Anna Sewell (1820-1878), the English author who was the author of many books including Black Beauty is recorded as saying:

My doctrine is this, that if we see cruelty or wrong that we have the power to stop, and do nothing, we make ourselves sharers in the guilt.

We cannot do nothing!