Video: Bad To Chase Bunnies At The Rodeo?

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One bunny had a broken jaw and was missing its tail. Three more wound up at the home of a Cottage Grove employee after a co-worker said her kids couldn’t keep them. “Video at end of this post”!

Heather Crippen of Red Barn Rabbit Rescue says that those were a few of the results of a previous “animal scramble” at the Cottage Grove Rodeo.

Bunny at recent animal scramble. Photo Scott Becstead/HSUS

Crippen started Red Barn with her daughter and runs the small rescue out of her farm in Creswell. She says with 50 rabbits already and a waiting list of 20 more, she wants to avoid more hurt and homeless bunnies. She has been asking the rodeo, which will take place July 12-13, to sponsor a different event for children.

Rabbits are fragile and the event stresses, sickens and even kills them, she says. In the animal scramble last year, and at a recent one at Myrtle Creek in Douglas County, rabbits were tossed out of trailers or pickup trucks and into an arena where hordes of children were unleashed to chase and catch them.

Red Barn’s video of the 2012 scramble shows bunnies getting stepped on and, Crippen says, paralyzed with fear. If the kids catch a rabbit at the event, they keep it. An attendee at the Myrtle Creek scramble was reported to have said to his child, “You going to catch us a rabbit? Going to help dad butcher it?”

Crippen has offered to donate money to the Cottage Grove Riding Club (CGRC) for a different, animal-friendly event, such as one that hides money and prizes inside plastic eggs. The rodeo and scramble are a fundraiser for the riding club. At press time, the rescue’s offer has not been accepted.

CGRC president Kelli Fisher says the event benefits the community and it gives children “the opportunity to experience raising their own animal.”

Red Barn has discovered that the scramble is subject to USDA regulations. “They have to get licensed and inspected,” Crippen says. “Many of the regulations are for the protection and safety of the rabbits.” And she says she was told the rodeo only recently applied for the license, so she’s not sure how they will get approved in time.

Crippen emailed the club in May, asking that this year’s event be removed, saying she has heard from PETA and other groups that want to protest the scramble. Crippen wrote that Red Barn has tried to discourage protest and “we prefer a professional approach to this disagreement.”

The riding club responded with a letter from attorney Milton E. Gifford, who alleges that Crippen’s email “threatened that there would be protests and picketing.” He tells her that she does “not have the right to videotape any portion of the rodeo” and calls her email “veiled threats” and says she will “be held personally liable for intentional interference with business relations.” Fisher says, “I and our board consider Red Barn and its members to be cruel, hurtful and a threat to our families.”

Scott Beckstead, Oregon director for the Humane Society of the United States, has been supporting Crippen’s efforts to end the scramble. He says…

“It is our position that this event is inherently cruel to the rabbits, and promotes unhealthy attitudes about pet ownership by awarding live animals as ‘prizes.’ Rabbits are delicate, sensitive little creatures, and turning them loose in a rodeo arena to be chased by a throng of children subjects them to an unreasonable risk of terror, shock and injury.”

Beckstead says that rabbits are the third most common animal at shelters and humane societies, and events such as the scramble strain those resources. Crippen and Beckstead have met with Faye Stewart, the Lane County commissioner from Cottage Grove, and Crippen spoke to the County Commission on June 4 about her concerns over the animal scramble. Fisher says CGRC is working with the local Humane Society chapter to improve the event.

Rabbit Scramble Event – South Douglas Rodeo

Published on 9 Jun 2013

**Filmed by a volunteer

South Douglas Rodeo’s “traditional” rabbit scramble is a youth event for children under the age of six years old. The children as lined up on the fence while rabbits are dumped into the arena from the bed of a truck. On go, the children sprint and chase down their prey, a living “prize” that will come with a small baggy of food and a sticker with care instructions.

Share your thoughts about the “Rabbit Scramble” and send your opinion to the South Douglas Rodeo.

Send letters to:
South Douglas Rodeo 
1170 North Myrtle Road
Myrtle Creek, OR 97457

Please consider supporting Red Barn Rabbit Rescue and making a donation.
www.redbarnrabbitrescue.org

News Link:-http://www.eugeneweekly.com/20130613/news-briefs/bad-chase-bunnies-rodeo

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Ohio Shelter Turns Off The Gas

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Animal advocates in Ohio applaud the decision by the Fairfield County Commissioners to immediately suspend the use of gassing at the Fairfield County Dog Shelter. (NBC4I)

“What great news, the previous post relating to this issue was a post I did beginning of the month, but due to hospital didn’t get posted so I am playing catch up…thank goodness I checked out the previous post link, or else I wouldn’t have known they decided to ditch the gas chamber…so this truly is great news!”

Animal advocates and dog lovers packed the meeting hall in Fairfield County, Ohio Tuesday morning, to see if there would be a decision reached regarding gassing at the Fairfield County Dog Shelter.

The Commissioners voted unanimously to discontinue using the gas chamber, effective immediately.

The decision was considered a victory for advocates who have been trying to stop the gassing at the shelter for years. County Commissioner Mike Kiger said that the cost comparison he received detailing euthanasia by injection versus gassing was the deciding factor for him.

Although Kiger credited vet-tech Laurie Schmelzer Kays with providing him with the data, Janice Kobi, President/Founder at Fairfield County C.A.R.E.S. said that Kiger had been provided that information long ago. It is widely believed that the public outcry generated by news reports over the weekend were instrumental in forcing Tuesday’s decision.

The shelter is attempting to find a vet to deliver EBI while employees are trained in the procedure. The HSUS has offered to cover the cost of training for lethal injection and willing to pay for setup, but now they are coming under fire for offering to help kill any of the shelter’s animals by any means. While all would prefer a no-kill solution – the step to a more humane method of euthanasia should not be denounced in the interim.

Kobi would like the shelter to be restructured as a model no-kill, which would probably require a complete turnover of shelter officials. Advocates are taking the battle one step at a time.

Today, the Vice President of the rescue that pulled the twelve dogs the day after the mass gassing on July 12th submitted a call for termination of two shelter officials, Sandy Moyer and Nina West.

On July 12, 2012, 13 dogs were unnecessarily gassed to death while these dogs had rescue,” she wrote. “These 13 healthy animals were placed in a gas chamber by two employees; Deputy AC officer, Sandy Moyer and a secretary Nina West. The Dog Warden, Mike Miller was on a camping vacation at the time of this gassing and therefore, do not hold him accountable for the actions of these two rogue workers. With 54 active kennels at this shelter, there was no reason for this, as I had contacted them and said I would rescue these dogs.”

The letter was addressed to the three County Commissioners and asks for the employees’ immediate removal, however for the moment, animal advocates are taking solace in the fact that gassing is now a thing of the past in Fairfield County.

Video & News Link:http://news.petpardons.com/ohio-shelter-turns-off-the-gas/

Dogs Being Burned Alive At Ohio Shelter

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Animal advocates have been trying to put an end to gas chamber euthanization at the Fairfield County Dog Shelter near Lancaster, Ohio. Two of the county’s three Commissioners have postponed the vote, even when presented with eyewitness accounts that dogs are coming out of the gas chamber still alive and are thrown into the incinerator along with the dead animals.

Dogs are being burned alive in Ohio.

This week, about 100 people packed the Commissioners’ hearing room to speak to decision makers about discontinuing the inhumane practice. Animal welfare advocates want the county Commissioners to start using lethal injection instead. Fairfield County is among approximately ten of the eighty-eight Ohio counties that still use the gas chamber to kill county-shelter dogs, according to the Ohio Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and the Ohio County Dog Wardens Association.

Related:  Second Witness Speaks Out Against Ohio Dog Burning Shelter

Commissioner Steve Davis said that he is in favor of changing the policy from gassing to injection. He was the only Commissioner to speak to protestors and thank them for coming to the meeting. He planned to vote on the measure this week, however, Commissioners Mike Kiger and Judy Shupe said they wanted more time to make a decision. Voting was postponed, likely for two weeks. The two Commissioners cited a desire to examine cost and other factors before voting.

Related:  Former Warden Speaks Out Against Ohio Dog Burning Shelter

Commissioner Kiger attended a gassing at the shelter, but still thought the practice was humane. For those who have never witnessed euthanization by gassing, film footage of gas chamber use is included with this article. Although it is not footage from the Fairfield shelter, it is representative of the process.

Published on 3 Jul 2012 by 

WARNING: Graphic.
This scene was taken from “One Nation Under Dog.”
This, in most states, is what happens when a shelter is too full and must dispose of dogs. This isn’t something that was filmed decades ago and no longer exists. This hasn’t changed. This, is probably going on as you read and watch this clip.
Overpopulation of pets is because of one: people don’t spay and neuter their pets, and so they reproduce and have litters with nowhere to go, and two: because people keep buying pets from pet stores.

It is clearly apparent that animals that are gassed suffer emotional and physical distress during the procedure, even when the procedure is carried out correctly – which hasn’t always been the case at the Fairfield shelter.

Although the dog warden maintains that he euthanizes 4 to 6 dogs at a time, a former deputy dog warden and a WEP worker both signed affadavits describing very different experiences. Both employees witnessed the overloading of the chamber, which should hold a maximum of six animals for the gassing to work properly. Both stated that they had seen twelve to sixteen dogs in the euthanization cage at once, more than double the recommended limit.

The former deputy said she had witnessed dogs removed from the chamber who were not dead, and the cage was put through a second cycle. She added that this was often the case with puppies who were too young to be gassed because of their immature respiratory development. She stated that the director of the shelter was instructed to purchase stethoscopes to check for heartbeats, but that he had never carried through.

Two witnesses stood up at the meeting saying they had seen dogs come out of the gas chamber that were not dead and that were thrown into the incinerator still alive. Perhaps that is not surprising since employees as untrained as the WEP worker were forced to do the gassing. Apparently, Commissioners Kiger and Shupe don’t find the thought of animals burned alive disturbing enough to shut down the gas chamber.

Animal advocates started a petition to discontinue gassing at the facility which received 7,000 signatures, but the Commissioners shut off their email accounts because they were “tired of receiving the messages.” The only way to contact Commissioners and voice concern is by phone: 740-652-7090 / 614-322-5260, FAX: 740-687-6048 or mail: 210 East Main Street. Room 301 — Lancaster, Ohio 43130

According to the Change.org website, to kill an animal by carbon monoxide poisoning costs $4.98 per animal versus $2.29 per animal by lethal injection (EBI=Euthanasia By Injection). The argument to continue gassing can only be made as a means of convenience, since a group of animals can be done at once, as opposed to individually by injection.

Amy Bogart, with the Humane Society of the United States, said if the only thing preventing the county from going to a lethal injection form of euthanasia is the cost of training, her organization is willing to pay the cost of the training and setup.

The Fairfield County Dog Shelter has already euthanized 183 dogs this year. In 2011, the county euthanized 578 dogs. These numbers represent about 50% of the shelter’s intake.

News Link:http://news.petpardons.com/dogs-being-burned-alive-at-ohio-shelter/

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