Pawsitively Humane

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Miami Dade Budget Hearing--Support Pets Trust

If you live in Miami Dade County...


At commission meeting the budget millage will be discussed and set.   When we voted on the Pets’ Trust, almost 500,000 people said yes to a millage of 0.1079 mills for our animals, which translates to an average of $15 a year for each homeowner.   Because of rising home values and so many new properties being built, the coffers are overflowing with money this year.   

If you recall, 65% of voters said yes to paying a little more in taxes for a great benefit. Shockingly and tragically, the vote was never honored by the mayor and local officials. Democracy failed. Yes in Miami, Florida, United States democracy failed in clear transparency.

Citizens, voters, and taxpayers will be attending the commission meeting to show our concern and continued support for the initiatives of the Pet's Trust.  We will be asking that the commissioner set aside a dedicated fund of 0.1079 mills for animal programs as the people voted. We will be asking the commissioner to honor our votes.  In our country, we the people tell officials what we want, via our votes, something we have been doing for over 200 years.   Elected officials work for us and it is their job, their duty to listen to the people. 

WHAT:        County Commission Meeting to set the budget
WHERE:      Downtown Government Center, 101 NW 1st St. Miami, FL  33128
WHEN:        Tuesday, July 14, 9:30am

WEAR:        Please wear Red shirt to show support!


Saturday, June 27, 2015

Verdict for Vet Kristen Lindsey who Killed Cat with Bow and Arrow


In April of this year, veterinarian Kristen Lindsey (age 31) boasted about killing a local tomcat with a bow and arrow.  She didn't just brag to friends, she blasted her triumph on Facebook (an image we do not feel comfortable in posting but you can easily find online). Even more disturbing was an accolade she received. Her caption on Facebook read,
 
 “My first bow kill (cat smiley face) lol. The only good feral tomcat is one with an arrow through it’s head! Vet of the year award…gladly accepted.”

The news spread virally nationwide.   In reading the Facebook post, despite if the photo was doctored or not, it would appear that practicing archery for fun was the real purpose and the tomcat was the intended target. Later we learned Lindsey claimed to have used the bow and arrow to defend her pet from a potentially rabid stray cat.

Pet lovers and animal welfare caregivers were shocked and disgusted. But it gets worse.  The arrogance of Lindsey went further.  Before the deluge of comments and her deleting her Facebook page, Lindsey posted:



It turns out the orange and white cat was not a stray but a pet cat named Tiger who went missing at the same time frame Lindsey killed the tomcat!! He belonged to an elderly couple.



Charges were filed and the investigation began.  Unfortunately we learned today that a grand jury failed to indict Lindsey because there was insufficient proof she committed the crime. In the animal welfare/rescue world, we face this regularly, the lack of proof of the intent of animal cruelty.

This news was devastating to us as Pawsitively Humane specializes in stray and feral cats through our effort at Riverfront Cats.  Clearly the District Attorney's office failed to conduct a proper investigation. Foremost the DA never once consulted the AVMA (American Veterinarian Medical Association) for a clear understanding of its Guidelines for Euthanasia of Animal 2013 Edition. The AVMA states this in their statement of June 27, 2015. A bow and arrow are not equivalent methods to other standards used by AVMA.

While Lindsey may not serve jail time or pay any fines,
 she could still lose her veterinarian license--with your help!


HOW YOU CAN HELP 

1- Let's first acknowledge, pay our respects, and follow the Facebook pages dedicated to Tiger.
One is  Justice For " Tiger " The Cat Murdered By Kristen Lindsey (24k followers)
Another is Remembering Tiger (9k followers as of June 29, 2015)



2- Use #JusticeforTiger in all your social media postings.  We urge you to remain polite.  Passionate but polite. Feel free to use the image above!

3- Please write to the Texas Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners and share your support and logic to revoke the veterinarian license of Kristen Lindsey. Or if you can spare the time, please send them a written letter and send certified mail. This may motivate them to reply and it adds urgency and legally becomes a record, unlike posting a comment on their page that is one way medium with no proof that you ever wrote your comments.  As of July 2, 2015, Kristen Erin Lindsey's license was ACTIVE and in good standing. See below.


TEXAS STATE BOARD VETERINARY MEDICAL EXAMINERS


Physical & Mailing Address:        333 Guadalupe Street
        Suite 3- 810
        Austin, Texas 78701
Main Phone 512-305-7555
Main Fax 512-305-7556
Enforcement Fax 512-936-0870
HR/Legal Fax 512-305-7574
Agency Email vet.board@veterinary.texas.gov

Department Contact Information:
  Executive:
       
Nicole Oria
        Executive Director

        Loris Jones
        Executive Assistant/Public Information Officer
        loris@veterinary.texas.gov
        (512) 305-7563


WE MAY HAVE LOST THE BATTLE but the WAR IS ONLY BEGINNING

If you are a long-time follower of ours, then you'll recall the incident with the Loews hotel chain. (See below for all related links). After years of having a MODEL TNRM program at NO COST to the Orlando hotel, one new Operations Director decided he did not want harmless, colony cats on the expansive grounds.  Riverfront Cats exposed the story that even USA Today Online retweeted the alarming news. It made national news.  Therefore, the executive office and the Tisch family were well aware of the headline news.  Yet the company repeatedly refused to sit down with experts to have a rational, civil discussion.  The decision was made for Loews Hotel to trap all 20+ cats and send them to the Orange County Animal Shelter where normally they are euthanized.

Despite a  PEACEFUL protest organized by Alley Cat Allies and hundreds of protesters outside the Loews Portofino Bay hotel in Orlando, the media failed to do any homework on the evolving science and SUCCESS of TNRM programs and therefore no balanced reporting came from their broadcast of the escalating situation. Animal welfare advocates may have lost the battle but the Facebook page exists, receiving daily hits and new followers.  Residents, travelers and potential clients of Loews Hotel are learning of this ugly truth.  This is only the beginning in improving the welfare of community cats.

After the tragic death of Tiger by Dr. Kristin Lindsey, the silver lining in the face of darkness is that the issue of inhumanely killing stray or feral cats is propelled to national attention again.  It is now considered a top-tier felony by the FBI.

It is our hope that education about humane welfare of stray, feral, community cats is gained through positive mediums and not through senseless killings making national news.  Please continue to follow this blog and our nonprofit organization and learn of simple ways to share facts and enlighten those around you. You are the voice for voiceless pets.

Loews Hotel Loathes Cats (the story breaks)
Loews Hotel Hates their own Cats (the story develops)
Mainstreaming of a Feral Cat (Deb Barnes interviews Christine Michaels about the Loews Hotel Cats, Video One)

Loews Orlando Hotel Sets Traps to Euthanize Cats
Loews Hotel Begins Inhumane Trapping of Loews Cats
Steve Dale Reports on Loews Loathes Cats (reputable pet educators nationwide report on the escalating issue).

The Protest Against Loews Hotel
Earth Day a Harsh Reminder, the Irony in Loews Hotel Artwork
Why Won't Loews Hotel Tell the Truth
The Death of Common Sense and Cats


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Monday, June 8, 2015

BlogPaws Nashville, 2015

by Christine Michaels


How would you like to participate in a conference where you can bring your pet, stay in a hotel with your pet, attend a seminar with your pet, and bring your pet to all meals INSIDE a carpeted dining room. Is it possible? It is at BlogPaws!

One of the many dogs at Blog Paws.
Hey, that shirt and hat color look familiar!

Board member Deb Barnes and I returned from the annual BlogPaws*, a social media conference for pet bloggers where it's all about pets- dogs, cats, ferrets, pigs and you can bring your pets.

Cool cat ladies
Cool Cat Ladies descend at BlogPaws
Deb Barnes & Christine Michaels


The theme was obvious--cowboy hats and boots to honor the country music history in Nashville, TN. Or the usual blue and purple hair. Why not?!

Pet blogging conference


While we didn't bring our pets, Deb and I took full advantage of the other highlights--attending sessions, networking with brands, catching up with fellow bloggers/friends and learning about the host city. We work hard on our blogs, a part-time hobby or paying job for some.  So this is a time to continue learning, mingle, let loose and have fun!


Miami city folks go country in Nashville
Bernard Lima-Shaw and Christine Michaels get into the spirit with their Cowboy hats a la Miami style

From the moment I step into the lobby, each year I'm consistently greeted by a dog.  This year it was Rocco. Given the growing popularity of BlogPaws, it seems more dogs were in attendance this year and so we were surrounded by dogs everywhere all the time--lobby, hotel corridor, in seminars, at mealtime and awards ceremony!  I sure hope this is what heaven looks like.  As most of us rescuers say, "we would rather be with pets than people, so send us to pet heaven"!

Dogs meet and greet each other at BlogPaws

But I found myself sitting on the ground half the time. For a getaway trip I realized, this is what I do back home--sitting on gravel lots or brick pavers feeding and caring for the Riverfront Cats! At least this time I'm sitting on carpet inside air conditioned room.  So I created this cute short video to prove it. [In the spirit of the Nashville setting, the music is by country singers, Florida Georgia Line "This is How We Roll"]



Other Pets in Attendance
While a majority of pets were dogs, attendees were also treated to the presence of cats, ferrets, micropigs and a rat. 

The famous Coco, the Couture Cat


Summer, the designer cat

My fascination with micro pigs started last summer when I discovered via social media a place in Bahamas where you can swim with the pigs!  If I can combine my passion of pool and pigs --I'm in water heaven! So when Priscilla and Poppleton (aka Prissy and Pop) rolled in, heads turned.  I shrieked when I saw Prissy was wearing a hot pink cowboy hat!  Great fashionistas dress alike...I swear this was not planned.
I should have known Prissy was a Florida gal --from Jacksonville!

At last year's conference the capybara stole the show. But  just when I thought what could top these adorable piggies, I met Everett--the pet rat! Looks like a gerbil or hamster but when Aby turned him around--the tail tells all! Eek. 

Meet Everett, a pet rat

And after many attendees drove two days with their pets or traveled by plane and faced delays, awaiting us that evening was the Good Humor Ice Cream man and truck.  Way to go BlogPaws!

A great "pick me up" after preparing for trip, packing and traveling all day!

Dusty Rainbolt and Good Humor Ice Cream
Dusty Rainbolt shows it's a Happy Hour with wine and ice cream!

Got down with the dogs, cats, pigs and rats, ate ice cream, drank wine...
Well now it's time to get down to business...

KEYNOTE SPEAKER, PETER SHANKMAN

To set the tone and ignite the conference, BlogPaws soared to new heights in presenting the electrifying and comical Peter Shankman, founder of HARO (Help A Reporter Out) as the keynote speaker.  The idea behind HARO is brilliant--a service that connects writers/journalists to news sources for their expertise.  It was evident, given his success, that Peter understands the converging trends of technology, marketing and news and offered tips in preparing for it to stay ahead of the curve.  More importantly, he is also a cat man. Any man confident enough to wear cat ears for photo opps is a hero, Super Cat Man!

Peter Shankman
Teri and Coco on left, Deb Barnes top right, Chloe and Yvonne DiVita on bottom right


Peter Shankman
Peter Shankman and Christine Michaels

SESSIONS / NAPTIME

Yes despite all the socializing, networking and other fun, we do learn a lot. The attendees learn techniques to improve the design, presentation, flow, content, reach and exposure of their blog.  Even though I've been blogging for six years now, I took a basic session as a refresher and now have graduated to the advanced sessions. Both were very helpful.  Social media is constantly changing, evolving, especially Google. It's important to keep up to date.

Most presenters were not only very knowledgeable but witty too. Never a dull moment at BlogPaws. An advantage of this conference is that presenter's share their contact information so you can followup with those burning questions.  I'll be putting that to the test soon.


No hiding in a crowd with this hat. 

At the seminar (pictured above), for basic SEO, the presenter challenged us to ask questions, difficult questions.  He hadn't receive a question he couldn't answer.  Was there anyone who could stump him? If so, there was a prize.  Well sure enough, I did ask THE question and he admitted he couldn't answer with certainty! Aaah Bill Shroeder, I'm still waiting for that prize!!!

While attendees were awake, alert and focused on the presenter (lots of wonderful espresso and coffee breaks help too), of course all the pets used the seminars as nap time. Can you imagine bringing your pet to work everyday?  What a benefit.  Thankfully I work from home when not in meetings or visiting with clients that I am blessed to have them surround me, and chew up my paperwork, and walk across my keyboard and delete what's on my screen...like having kids. But easier.




EXHIBIT HALL

Next, the Exhibit hall with pet brands and vendors.  I felt like a kid at a new toy store, strolling down the aisles, scanning the new pet products, toys, food, treats. One has to be careful. Some dog treats look like human food, good enough to eat!

Steve Dale representing Vita Bone
Pet radio syndicate and columnist Steve Dale promoting Vita Bone

 
Deb Barnes talking with rep from Lucy Pet Foundation

A benefit is the opportunity to ask questions directly to the company reps.
Bloggers then turn around and share this information with their readers.

RED CARPET

The final night is a chance to dress up, walk the red carpet, and enjoy a fine dinner before the Award Ceremony. Remember no restrictions for pets at this conference so they also walked the red carpet and drank doggie cocktails at the Yappy Hour.  Thank you Seresto for your sponsorship!







Christina demonstrates cattitude!
Poppleton allows one-on-one time with a fan


A black cat on red carpet--now I'm feeling lucky!
(Shawn Simons and Kissy the cat)
Christine Michaels and Deb Barnes walk the red carpet. Both are nominees for Awards

NOSE TO NOSE AWARD CEREMONY

This year's ceremony was hosted by Dr. Tiffany and Nashville resident and pet radio host Harrison Forbes. This year there were 12 categories from best blog post to most humorous blog to best nonprofit.



Fans cheered us on in the forms of applause, barks, meows, and whatever noises ferrets and rats make.  Below is a German Shepherd sitting on the dining room chair. All pets were extremely well behaved.  It's obvious these pets are used to traveling, and socializing with humans in human settings.  At my table sat Everett the pet rat!


Deb Barnes and I were each nominated for an award.  Deb is fortunate to have won prior awards. While I was nominated for two awards last year, I had yet to win.  Until tonight.  Kissy the black cat did bring me luck!!! To read the complete review click here.

Award: Best use of Social Media by a 501(c)3

I am extremely honored to join the ranks of these talented bloggers that brilliantly use the stroke of a keyboard, words and social media to raise awareness about all pet related issues. From health to toys/products to humor.
Congrats to all the winners!
Thank you to all the Sponsors.
Thank you to all pet bloggers for your dedication, cooperation and love.
Thank you BlogPaws for another great conference.
Thank you ALL for making this the best online pet blogging community.

"See you all at next year's BlogPaws in Phoenix"

Coming soon,  my review of BlogPaws (with more photos and stories) at Riverfront Cats and my personal blog.

Photos by Christine Michaels and bybecka.com. Permission required to use.

*Pawsitively Humane, Inc. (and Riverfront Cats) is a 501c(3). This trip was financed with personal funding.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

A Surfing Cat in Australia



Here is a clip that's going to get a smile out of you. 12 dogs and wait.. a cat enjoying fun times at the beach. Yes, you read that right, A CAT on the beach. This amazing kitty surfs (as you can see in the photo above) and swims with his buddies as part of the gang.

Cats are smart, agile and beautiful creatures who can do anything, don't believe it? Check what this adventurous kitty can do in the clip below.


Saturday, January 31, 2015

Protect Florida's Bears. Stop the Trophy Hunt!



Yes, if you didn't know, Florida is home for The Florida Black Bear (the only kind that lives in the state). They are subspecies of the American Black Bear. The large black-furred bears live mainly in forested areas and have seen recent habitat reduction throughout the state. On June 27, 2012 the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) delisted the Florida Black Bear from the state threatened species list. Successful conservation of the Florida black bear was confirmed by the FWC’s 2011 Biological Status Review, which reported the bear to be no longer at high risk of extinction.

For this reason, for the first time in 20 years the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) will consider allowing a bear hunt in Florida. And that's why these defenseless creatures need your help; they don't have a voice to say no, but WE DO!.

HOW YOU CAN HELP

The Animal Rights Foundation of Florida (ARFF) is hosting a peaceful protest outside of the FWC meeting. Click here to check the Facebook event for this protest.
Protest day and time: Wednesday, February 4 from 8:00am to 9:00am.
Location: Hyatt Regency, 225 E. Coastline Drive, Jacksonville (directions); They will gather outside the front entrance, on the riverfront.

The FWC meeting is open to the public. Following the protest, you can attend the meeting and speak against reopening bear hunting (if you don't wish to speak, you can fill out a comment card).

Can’t make it to the demonstration? You can still help!
Please call the FWC at (850) 488-4676 and let them know that you are opposed to reopening a hunt on Florida's black bear. It's very easy and it only takes a couple of minutes because they are taking comments from the public and have a staff dedicated to this (no long hours on hold).

We might still have a chance to protect The Florida Black Bear. Although bear numbers have grown, hunting will threaten a still-recovering population. Without significant opposition, hunting could begin as early as this Fall.

For more information on The American Rights Foundation of Florida and this protest, please visit their website www.arff.org.



The Lucy Bowl Pet Commercial--See it here first!




See it here first BEFORE it's aired on SuperBowl Sunday. It's a powerful message.

Pawsitively Humane, Inc. is on the forefront of this issue involved in ALL aspects of reversing epidemic of homeless pets--just like our missions states. Feel free to make a donation of any amount to help us continue our efforts.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Paralyzed Dog Can Walk Again Thanks to New Laser Treatment


Here is one of those stories that uplift us and give us hope! A terrier-mix  dog, rescued by The Miami-Dade County Animal Services, can thank the advancement in medical technology the fact that she is able to move and walk again after being hit by a car.

The dog was facing the danger of being put down due to the accident. She was hit by a car which affected her neck and head and left her with paralysis; her case was thought to be hopeless.

However, she was pulled from the shelter by a local non-profit, immediately named  Jaycee to give her an identity, and taken to local nonprofit veterinarian, the Animal Welfare Society. The Society used laser treatments to to fix her paralysis. It worked! As seen in the video above, the dog feels nothing but the invisible laser regenerates cells and stimulates movement. The marvels of modern technology.

So is this treatment readily available? The Cold Laser machine used for this treatment can cost up to US$25,000.00 but the Animal Welfare Society received this life-saving equipment thanks to a very kind donation. However, as the news report states, the treatments can cost $10 for each session. Keep in mind, AWS is a low cost veterinarian. We checked with a few local veterinarians and learned that many do not have it including Miami Veterinary Specialists. But now you know to ask for this machine in the unlikely event your beloved pet is in an accident.

Thanks to this amazing machine Jaycee was able to sit, stand and finally walk within a month of being treated. She is definitely a miracle dog!

If you would like to find out more about The Animal Welfare Society (in Miami) and these low cost laser treatments, please visit their website www.awsfl.com.


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