Monday, March 8, 2010

"It Might As Well Be Spring!"

(Picture Left: A duck wedding at Turtle pond? "I now pronounce you mallard and wife.")

Not only has the weather in New York City suddenly warmed up, but it might as well be June or July by the sudden rush of calls and emails over the past week to either place or dump animals.

The distinction between "place" and "dump" is that of reason for the contact. Dump is, "I'm pregnant and can no longer take care of my 13-year-old cat (or 8-year-old dog)." Place is, "I just found a cat abandoned in a carrier near a busy street corner and the landlord doesn't allow pets."

Unfortunately, we cannot take any more animals as we just rescued three new dogs from Animal Control last week and two of the three dogs went into boarding. Not only is boarding animals expensive, but it's also not the best situation for the animals.

Ideally, boarding is a temporary action designed to get animals out a potentially lethal situation until either a foster or adoptive home can be found. But, all too often it results in a long-term commitment.

The weekend was also grim in terms of media coverage of animal-related issues.

First, there was the horrific and long-winded article in the New York Times about raising and slaughtering rabbits for "meat." This should outrage and disgust anyone who cares even minimally, about animals.

When one considers the billions of animals already on the human hit list for "meat," it is incomprehensible to add one more species. That the particular species in this case also happens to be a popular family pet makes both the action and the Times article even more inexcusable and repugnant.

It was as if the New York Times gave a "stamp of approval" to one of the most violent and revolting scenes in "Fatal Attraction." One can only presume the New York Times would have asked, "Okay, what time is dinner?"

The other media horror this weekend was the "60 Minutes" apparent "special" about the "sport" of bullfighting. Personally, I did not watch this particular assault on the senses and common decency (and don't plan to ever watch 60 Minutes again). Suffice it to say, I cheer whenever learning a bullfighter has been gored in the ring. Unfortunately, most of them survive -- unlike the animals who are their victims.

If there was any silver lining in the media carnage (literally) this weekend, it was a report on NY1 yesterday that a public school in the East Village is initiating a "Meatless Mondays" on the school lunch menu.

The impetus for this is to try and confront the childhood obesity problem in the city and to introduce kids to a healthier and more variable diet. The program apparently has the backing of the Mayor and the borough President (though only for health and environmental reasons, but that is good enough). Hopefully, it will spread to the other schools in the city assuming education leaders don't read the "dining" section of the New York Times.

Meanwhile, I took my dogs, Tina and Chance yesterday to a very crowded Central Park.

The beautiful, spring-like weather brought out what seemed like a million people.

But, my fascination with and love of the park is its wildlife.

The ducks and geese are now back in an unfrozen Turtle Pond and the feeling of spring is definitely in the air.

In fact, I could swear I witnessed a duck "wedding." ;) -- PCA


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