Friday, June 23, 2006

Working Like a Dog

A new trend in officedom seems to be bringing your pet to work. According to Ellen Wulfhorst of Reuters, several thousand US companies (possibly one in five) allow employees to keep animals at the office and/or telecommute in order to spend more time with their critters.

Call it a quirky, dot-com startup kind of idea, but I like it! And it's not just for unsupervised, overpaid whizkids... For a couple years at (highly supervised, cash-poor) Florida Game and Fish, there were no fewer than five active falconers on staff, and the sound of screaming eyas hawks and ringing bells could be heard on any of several floors at headquarters. How cool was it to bring my hawk to work, park her on a screen perch next to my boss's hawk, then head straight to the field at quitting time? Pretty cool.

My suspicion is that this happy, pet-to-work story suggests a great peril for the likes of Wayne Pacelle and the psycho-pet-castration set: Most of the people who support "humane" causes with hard-earned cash love their pets and like to spend time with them. Why is that a perilous thing for the AR movement? Because (as is so easily demonstrated) the movement's leaders have no special love of domesticated animals and can't even bring themselves to say the P-word in public. They want our pets to be "companion animals," but only until systematic spaying and neutering eliminate them from the planet.

My love for Rina, our slightly manic but sweet-natured whippet, is seen through AR-colored glasses as the patronizing love of a master for his favorite slave. How sad! How ignorant. How utterly incorrect.

The animal rightists and welfarists (increasingly indistinguishable) will only be able to conceal their goals from their chief supporters---normal, pet-loving Americans---for so long. It would be best for them to have fewer pet owners to contend with at that time, and so toward that end they toil tremendously now.

Friends, resist! Love your pets. And if you can, take them with you to work!


Matt Mullenix said...

When grousing with Steve over this I noted, "Most people would risk their lives for their pets, esp. their dogs----many of whom would risk their lives for their owners. It's common. In fact, it's largely WHY dogs exist!"

Steve thinks there's good reason to believe that could be evolutionarily true, in addition to being a common-sense truth.

And he adds of HSUS: "One problem is that I think Pacelle is like a Leninist, committed to lying for what he considers the greater good-- hard to trap. He has said that he is 'more moderate' than he used to be but NEVER gives examples. And he is still vocal about ending hunting in ten years. If that is moderate..."

Steve Bodio said...

On a lighter note-- I remember working for the scholarly quarterly English Literary Renaissance in the Seventies at U of Mass in Amherst Massachusetts, with a passage merlin on a block perch on my desk.

Anonymous said...

Back in 2002 I imprinted my tiercel gos on the 8th floor of the Wachovia bank building in the uptown area of Albuquerque. Next year I'm hoping to imprint a prairie here in the hallowed halls of Sandia Natl Labs (assuming I don't get fired for spending so much time reading this blog!)

Pluvialis said...

Ah! Steve, I too have worked with a merlin on my desk. Great minds... :)

Anonymous said...

I've had my redtail at my office more than once. My boss was a little "put off" by her, but I enjoyed having her around, doing jump-ups between boring work stuff really brightened my day.

Anonymous said...

Slightly off topic - an earlier post was about the ghastly HEART ordinance in Albuquerque - there's a group actively resisting HEART and trying to get it brought to a vote. They're collecting signatures in Albuquerque.

Info I received is below. Hope you don't mind this being posted.

Note that the city's financial folks say this mess is going to cost 5.6 million per year.

--- "Ronald A. Gustafson" wrote:


Unless challenged through provisions of the Albuquerque City Charter, the recently passed and signed HEART animal control ordinance for the City of
Albuquerque goes into effect on August 22 (HEART stands for Humane and Ethical Animal Rules and Treatment). So many provisions in HEART are so absurd, it is inconceivable that any city councilor who has ever owned a dog or cat could vote in favor of such a law. But, it happened - it passed on a 6 - 3 vote and was signed by the mayor. It has been reported that it took 3 years to prepare the HEART ordinance. The ordinance has such obvious flaws
that one has to question what went wrong. Below is an overview of the results of those 3 years of intense effort to prepare HEART.

HEART has trivialized animal cruelty to the extent that the concept of cruelty is meaningless. Under HEART everyone who owns a cat or dog in Albuquerque will at some time, violate the animal cruelty provisions of HEART.

For example, withholding water for any reason is ANIMAL CRUELTY (including a tipped over water bowl, veterinarian instructions, or crating overnight).

HEART says that walking a dog on a lead that exceeds 8 feet is ANIMAL CRUELTY.

Animal crates for temporary use in homes will have to exceed commercial standards for kennels. A crate, for a 66 pound dog to sleep in at night, will require 24 square feet of floor space and must be at least 3 feet high, anything smaller is ANIMAL CRUELTY.

ANIMAL CRUELTY includes PSYCHOLOGICAL pain (which is undefined).

HEART specifies bird perch diameters. Not meeting the diameter requirement is ANIMAL CRUELTY.

Failure to report running over a snake is ANIMAL CRUELTY.

Furthermore, an individual guilty of ANIMAL CRUELTY (for example walking a dog on a leash longer than 8 feet) can no longer own an intact dog or cat.

HEART will require mandatory spay/neuter of all existing intact dogs and cats over six months old unless a $150 permit is obtained for EACH intact dog or cat (maximum of four permits). All puppies and kittens, unless permitted, must be spayed/neutered by 6 months of age. However, the mayor can declare a moratorium at any time for intact animal permits, in which case intact animals could be seized and spay/neutered by the city. Pet stores will no longer be able to sell dogs or cats.

The city council, after hours of debate, was successful in changing the term "dog toy" to "safe
product." Failure to provide such a product is a misdemeanor.

HEART repeals numerous sections of Albuquerque's current animal control ordinance and adds new sections. Inexplicably, HEART repeals provisions for
Off Leash Dog Areas (Dog Parks) and the Animal Welfare Board -- no provisions for either have been incorporated in HEART. Under HEART, letting a dog run loose at a Dog Park will be ANIMAL CRUELTY.

The mayor has publicly announced that during his administration animal activists are "in" and others with more moderate views are "out." By passing HEART, the city council has supported the extreme ideologies expressed by those animal rights activists who are "in." After three years of development, those of us who had concerns about HEART were given just 90 seconds to address our issues to the city council. It's clear that the mainstream has been cut out of the process.

HEART is based on false assumptions associated with extreme concepts of the Animal Rights movement. The extreme Animal Rights ideas to be found in HEART
include numerous INVALID propositions (THESE IDEAS ARE JUST WRONG). Here are examples:

- Albuquerque is NOT HUMANE AND COMPASSIONATE toward animals
- Albuquerque treats animals as LIFELESS chattel property
- Albuquerque residents COMMIT UNFETTERED, CALLOUS ACTS that cause pain and suffering to animals
- Animal control has NO CHOICE BUT TO EUTHANIZE DOGS at the shelter
- CHAINED ANIMALS are more likely to RUN AWAY
- Albuquerque has an OVERWHELMING SUPPLY of animals that exceeds demand
- Crowding at the animal shelter (referred to as overpopulation) ENDANGERS HUMANS
- GOVERNMENT must exercise complete control over dog and cat populations
- GOVERNMENT must identify and track every dog and cat, as well as its owner
- Except as permitted by the GOVERNMENT, every dog and cat must have its reproductive capacity eliminated
- GOVERNMENT must establish arbitrary, generalized standards of animal care that IGNORE INDIVIDUAL NEEDS
- ANIMAL CRUELTY MUST BE REDEFINED TO INCLUDE TRIVIAL ACTS such as walking a dog on a leash longer than 8 feet
- ANIMAL CRUELTY, even when trivialized to leash length and bird perches, is ASSOCIATED WITH DOMESTIC ABUSE, CHILD ABUSE, AND ELDER ABUSE
- Dog and cat permit fees that could exceed $600 PER YEAR FOR A HOUSEHOLD are in the public interest and DO NOT OVERLY BURDEN responsible owners

Every one of the ideas from HEART, as listed above, is blatantly false. It is inconceivable that elected officials of Albuquerque could actually accept and act on such an extreme, irrational set of assumptions. City government has simply failed to act responsibly. A public referendum is the only remaining alternative offered by the Albuquerque City Charter to overturn HEART.

The Albuquerque City Charter has a provision that would allow HEART to be put to a vote by the people of Albuquerque. Albuquerque voters could overturn HEART and nullify action by the City Council and the
Mayor. By July 20 a petitions with 17,458 signatures of Albuquerque registered voters (20% of the number who voted in the last election) must be submitted to the City Clerk to force a public referendum on HEART. The City Charter only allows a narrow 35-day window to submit the required signatures. The short
time is an overwhelming constraint. If the required signatures are submitted, the City Charter requires a referendum within 90 days.

A "Rescind HEART" petition drive is under way to gather the required signatures to force a referendum. The "Rescind HEART" petition drive is an unfunded, grassroots effort that is attempting something that, as someone recently noted, has never been tried before anywhere in the country for a animal law that has been passed and signed.

Many residents of Albuquerque are unaware of either HEART or its provisions. Once it is explained, people are ready to join the petition drive. However,
given the deadline of July 20 gaining support by word of mouth may be too slow to meet the petition deadline. Furthermore, media spin has supported
HEART and it will take time for the public to realize what is actually in the ordinance. Others in Albuquerque don't understand that action is even
possible under the City Charter to overturn HEART.

The challenges are immense and the situation demands unusual measures. There are only 25 days (including three weekends) left to get the required number of signatures.


Contributions of $25 or more must meet the reporting requirements called for in the Albuquerque City Charter for a political campaign, so please
contact me directly. Contributions of LESS THAN $25 can be mailed directly to the address shown below.

All contributions should be made out to "Rescind HEART."

The use of PayPal or other electronic means to accept contributions is being investigated. Please visit the website (see Resources and then Support) for

For more information on the "Rescind HEART" petition drive please visit:

The following are available on the website:

- Official petition for signature of Albuquerque registered voters
- Return instructions for petitions
- HEART ordinance (67 pages)
- Current Albuquerque ordinance that HEART changes
- Flyers
- Other information about HEART

Thank you for your help.

Ronald A. Gustafson
Rescind HEART
Measure Finance Committee

Rescind HEART
c/o Ronald Gustafson
PO Box 576
Tome, NM 87060

Steve Bodio said...

Trust me, Anonymous--we are on this. But maybe it will get to some more people this way.

It might be more effective to send links--??

Anonymous said...

I am glad you are on this. I appreciate the posts you've done to date.

What to do - help get signatures, spread the word as much as possible, send $ if you can spare some

Web sites to visit for more information:

Thanks! Please help spread the word so we can get those signatures.

Anonymous said...

Update on the HEART ordinance. The petition drive deadline passed and the effort to rescind the bill has failed.