Family adopts abused pit bull puppy from Baldwin Park shelter

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Four-month-old pitbull Gordo, who was abused by a former owner, had surgery due to a broken bone in his right arm. He received the surgery after the Los Angeles County Animal Care Foundation received enough donations from the public.

The male pit bull puppy mix that had been abused by a previous owner and required extensive surgery to repair one of his legs is going home Tuesday with his new family, the Animal Care Foundation announced this week. Gordo was brought to the Los Angeles County Department of Animal Care & Control Baldwin Park shelter last month due to injuries he suffered when his former owner threw him against a wall and repeatedly kicked him, according to the agency.The Animal Care Foundation, which supports services at the DACC, gathered enough donations in order to pay for the specialized medical care he needed.

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The Butcher Next Door – Why the rise of DIY urban animal slaughter is bad for people and animals.

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When Armageddon strikes, it’s a safe bet that Herrick Kimball will be serving chicken. Known asthe Deliberate Agrarian, Kimball grew up “a sissified suburban kid” but decided at the age of 41 to toughen up, drop out of the corporate food system, and seek rural self-sufficiency. Slaughtering and butchering chickens—a multitude of chickens—is central to Kimball’s evangelical quest to liberate himself from the corrupting influence of imported food. Culinarily, he’s unplugged. Plugged in, however, is Kimball’s computer, the pulpit from which he bangs out the gospel of poultry. His tutorial on how to properly butcher a chicken has earned well over a million hits.

Decentralizing the act of animal slaughter in the name of taking back the food chain has an empowering ring to it. In reality, it’s a fad rife with trouble. Advocates are quick to justify urban farming on the grounds that the industrial food system is broken. Compassionate carnivores aim to bypass the abattoir, eliminate the distance between farm and fork, and take full responsibility for the animals they eat.

Do-it-yourself butchery is said to help eliminate food deserts, empower ethnic groups to maintain cultural traditions, and minimize animal suffering. It’s billed as safer than industrial meat processing on both an environmental and a human scale. These arguments may sound convincing, but they obscure a host of problems that result when urban backyards are transformed into slaughterhouses.

The most obvious concern relates to quality of life. Not every urban dweller wants to live next door to a stable of farm animals. In Oakland, Calif., one resident whose home abuts a backyard farm housing dozens of animals was recently kept up all night by the moaning of a dying a goat (who had eaten poison accidentally left out by the “farmer”), which you can listen to here:


Neighbors eventually filed a complaint against this farm, citing (among other issues), “increased noise, flies, [and] odor.” In another incident, the Los Angeles County Animal Control, with the help of a nonprofit called the Gentle Barn, rescued more than 50 animals about to be slaughtered by a “Southern California backyard butcher” who was routinely abusing his animals. Not only were all his creatures emaciated, but they had “infected lungs, parasites, fevers, and hacking coughs.” Last summer, backyard chickens and ducks infected more than 71 people with two separate strains of salmonella. Urban centers already deal with plenty of daunting health and safety issues. Do we really want to add traditionally rural ones to the mix?

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California Backyard Butcher Charged

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Have you ever heard of a backyard butcher?

It’s pretty much what it sounds like — a person who slaughters animals for their personal consumption. This is legal in California, but a backyard butcher selling meat to the public is not.

Last week Roberto Celedon was arrested and charged with 13 counts –-3 felonies and 10 misdemeanors– of charges ranging from felony animal cruelty to operating a meat slaughterhouse without a license. “The charges could be changed as the case is still under investigation” Jane Robison, Press Secretary, Los Angeles District Attorney’s office told me in a phone conversation.

Current charges are:

  • Adulterating any meat or meat food product – felony
  • Cruelty to animal (brown and white bull) – felony
  • Cruelty to animal (baby black goat) – felony
  • Operating a meat processing establishment or custom livestock slaughterhouse without a license – misdemeanor
  • Operating an establishment not licensed by the department – misdemeanor
  • Operating an establishment that is not clean – misdemeanor
  • Operating an establishment in a manner or under conditions that are not sanitary – misdemeanor
  • Operating an establishment that does not meet sanitary building or equipment standards – misdemeanor
  • Slaughtering livestock capable as use for human food – misdemeanor
  • Illegal slaughter (goat, without rendering the animal insensible to pain) – misdemeanor
  • Illegal slaughter (sheep, without rendering the animal insensible to pain) – misdemeanor
  • Failure to provide sufficient good and wholesome food and potable water – misdemeanor

On April 3, 2012, 58 animals were removed from Celedon’s Santa Clarita, California property by Los Angeles County Department of Animal Care and Control (ACC.) A horse (with a severe leg wound that is open to the bone), five cattle, 14 goats and nine sheep were turned over to The Gentle Barn for rehabilitation at the sanctuary. The remaining smaller animals — pigeons, chickens and nine dogs — were sent to the Castaic Animal shelter for a period of quarantine.

Gentle Barn President Jay Weiner told me in a phone interview that at least one of the cows taken in is confirmed to be pregnant. The remaining animals are suffering from malnutrition, parasites, infected open sores, runny noses, hacking coughs and major fevers. Some of the goats are actually blind from untreated eye infections.

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