Kitty Zen

Moments sharp, sweet and soft

Dog Toy causes doggy tongue amputation – do you have it at home?

Posted by smallspark on August 24, 2008

I somehow was reading this blog about a ball called the Pimple ball by Four Paws which isn’t designed properly and over the years has been causing many dogs to have their tongue amputated or causing horrible pain by getting it caught in the TOY in normal playbut the company hasn’t really responded with anything other than rhetoric and the toys are still on the shelf and being sold – they are not recalled.

So please get rid of this toy if you have it.

For details of what happened – photos and videos – and many many comments on other occurances…please read and share. Click The Chai Story to read.

You can also give it a digg if you want to.


Posted in Dog, helping, products, toy | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

Animal Cops, Animal Law and Apathy – in Philadelphia

Posted by smallspark on July 19, 2008

I read an article in the Inquire about the show Animal Cops being here in the Philadelphia area.  You can read the article here. It sort of started me off on a train of thought and i’m going to try to sort it out here.

I know I’m new to this particular issue. Fortunately, I didn’t grow up being aware people were cruel to their animals. And as I learn more about this subject, it bothers me more deeply.  Especially as there is a link between cruelty to animals and cruelty to humans. Especially as we know 1000’s of bodies pile up in animal shelters daily while breeders succesfully push for no change in laws due to the “economic strain.” The reality and so obvious fact IS:

    We can’t handle the amount of animals breeders (and nature) are putting out! Forced, continuous breeding lowers demand.

It’s simple economics, even I, an economics dunce, comprehends.

So…the rest of the economy is actually forced to deal with economic realities and comply…why should breeders be any different? An animal is a live being. A breeder decided to put this being inside a cage for the majority of it’s life. Basic quality of care needs to be there. They are trapped and can’t provide for themselves. If you can’t afford it, you’re in the wrong business -especially since there are so many breeders out there.

Best of you – cream of the crop – it’s time for you to rise!
The rest of you who can’t make it, go away and find something you’re more talented at, or something you want to work at. You can hate me for saying it but I just have to say it! Forgive me but, I mean, really the commodity is the result of entirely free sex. Sex makes kiddies. or rather kitties…or puppies…. ( I just blog that? *blush) Free puppies to sell (several times a year) just for taking “care” of the momma and the poppa. If she can’t produce, then – a legally allowed – gun to the head. Cost gone. Have sex or die. Now that’s cold-blooded business. Let’s be hopeful and call it OLD SCHOOL.

I am very lucky. I know very many people who love and respect their pets – in fact, I think that is where much apathy comes from here in PA. To many people who grew up with a family pet it just might not be comprehendable that domesticated animals are treated badly/differently (vs. family pets) in normal livestock facilities, much less BAD livestock facilities, and Breeders aren’t under the same legal rules as an ordinary animal owner.

Everyday people going about their lives don’t know breeding pets are actually considered LIVESTOCK and that livestock animals are under different rules. I’m still not exactly clear on why the difference is allowed to exist. if I treated my animals even close to what many breeders do on a regular basis (shudder) my animal would be taken away, and I would be called a bad person by my neighbors… But in livestock world…nope – normal. I doubt very many people know they somehow get a pass. In my ideal world, people would know better…but idealism falls short of reality. 😦

The reality vs. perception vs. idealistic gap is scaaary huge. And many people don’t want to define cultural norm, they want to adhere to it, to be safe and stay within their “known beliefs.” That’s a very weird, tough fight. However, when people become aware, it’s also really tough not to want to make the world a better place. Thank god. I just hope we’re not too slow. (note: read the The Tipping Point )

How do you figure out how to cross this knowlege gap without being repellent? People don’t even know they don’t know. People don’t seem to want to know or in the case of Puppy Mill HB 2525 law (which was NOT passed) have the expectation this is “so obvious” that of course it will get passed – it’s the right thing to do. And I admit, that mindest fits me too. After the OPRAH show, I thought it was a done deal. And the dogs have to go through another winter like that, if they make it, at best. Thousands of them. What can you do? What will tip common sense back into fashion?

Related links:
HSUS First Strike Campaign
Discovery Channel Animal Cops Philadelphia Website
Discovery Channel Animal Cops BLOG!
Pennsylvania SPCA
Philadelphia Inquirer website

Posted in opinion | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

PA HB 2525 – Rep Art Hershey makes bad call

Posted by smallspark on July 4, 2008

For Shame on you, Art Hershey -Chester Countey (R) on submitting PA HB 2525 Ammendment A08348 “…which seeks to add “dishwasher” to the list of unlawful and/or unsuitable housing for a dog in the Commonwealth.” This seemingly pokes “fun” at the PA puppy mill law advocates and certainly won’t help it pass. In fact, the PA puppy mill bill actually may not pass – again…unless people speak up to their reps.

I found myself confused and more than a little pissed when I went to his website and found, front and center, a banner on “Tips to keep your pets healthy this summer” with a cute little doggie on it. Are dogs pets or livestock to you, Rep. Hershey? I hope you re-adjust your wit.

Ammendment A08348 seemingly references an anti-puppy mill billboard put up by Main Line Rescue on how the size of their cage is equitable to the size of a dishwasher.

Main Line Rescue's Anti-Puppy Mill Billboard

Main Line Rescue\

Living in the heart area of this issue, Art Hershey’s response shows exactly why basic standard of animal care needs to be passed into law since he apparently takes the entire concept of respect to animals as a joke and is just playing with our tax dollars.

Way to go, Art for being a shining example of why other people need to step in and stop your district from abusing animals, instead of you taking responsibility for their welfare as you should.

For more information:
‘PA Bill in Danger’ article

PA Puppy Mill Watch for latest updates

Main Line Rescue, Puppy Mills and Oprah

Oprah and Lisa Ling Investigate the Hidden World of Puppy Mills

Info Related to Puppy Mills – PA Cash Crop

Posted in helping, legislation | Tagged: , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

PAWS animals need you short time NOW

Posted by smallspark on July 4, 2008

Hi everyone, Would you pass the message below on to anyone? It’s
about temporarily fostering animals for the animal shelter here in
phila..the numbers are just heartbreaking.

They really need temporary (very temporary for the kittens, anyway)
foster mommy and daddies…. For example: If you pick baby kittens to
care for, it’s simply one extra room in your house or one wire cage
somewhere safe so they can grow old enough to be adopted.

I never knew about fostering animals before I moved to Philly and
that’s why I share this.

It’s hard to contemplate fostering but knowing you are making a short
term accommodation while helping one or more animal live to get to
it’s forever home while at the same time getting so many personal
rewards: affection, exercise, community and more – I more than think
its win-win, I really do know it is.


Below is the email I received from the PAWS mailing list:


This is an urgent plea for your help. PAWS is taking in well over 100
animals every single day — too many to house, and too many to save on
our own. There are many ways you can help:

Please rescue us!Foster kittens: PAWS has more kittens than space.
Yesterday alone, we had 28 litters of kittens by 10 am and were able
to get only four out into foster care. More are coming in all the
time, so every hour is critical. We are especially full with sweet,
wonderfull momma cats that have nursing litters, as well as orphaned
newborns that need to be bottle fed and young orphan kittens who are
eating on their own. They urgently need foster care in order to
survive. Foster care provides a safe place for them to grow to an
adoptable age and find good adoptive homes, and frees up much needed
space at the shelter for other needy animals. If you have a spare room
in your house please consider helping us get these adorable babies and
their mommas out!

Foster a dog: The shelter is packed with dogs — large and small,
young and old — who are desperately waiting for a chance at life. We
cannot house them all, and more are coming in all the time —
approximately 35-40 each and every day. By taking one home
temporarily, you give them the chance at life they deserve and make
room at the shelter for another whose life depends on us having the

I need you! Please rescue me!IF YOU CAN FOSTER AN ANIMAL: Come to the
shelter (111 W. Hunting Park Avenue) immediately. A staff person or
foster care volunteer will be thrilled to help you find the right
animal(s) for you to take into safety. Foster care hours are 11 am to
6 pm every day of the week. To make special arrangements to come at
another time of day, please email Natalie at
(please email only as a last resort; Natalie is inundated. It is best
to just come directly to the shelter.)

Directions to the shelter are available here:

More information about foster care is available here:

Please, Would you help?

Posted in helping, PAWS, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

PA Puppy Mill Law (HB 2525) on the floor- needs Republicans support

Posted by smallspark on July 1, 2008

If you saw the OPRAH show, or the TV show 30 days, seeing the puppy mill mommies lives probably affected you, and not in a good way. But I hope in a way that means taking a small, fairly painless action. A moment to follow your heart, give hope and show respect to life.

All it is is a phone call or an email to your PA state rep. Please help better a puppy mill dogs life.

Right now puppy mill dogs are considered livestock and their lives are beyond miserable.
For more specific info, and to know exactly who to call, please go to the ASPCA website link below.


Short background on PA HB 2525

If you’ve seen the Oprah show on this subject, maybe you understand how important, though minor, this law will improve daily life for those constantly pregnant animals forced to live their ENTIRE life in an open, small, wire-floored cage outside with no vet care. The endless rounds of puppies go to stores while Mama truly, endlessly suffers 24/7 until she can bear no more puppies. Then she is killed.

“Among other essential changes, this bill would double the cage space required for dogs, mandate regular veterinary care, prohibit the stacking of cages, ban wire cage flooring and require that dogs have continuous access to clean water.”

“Passage of HB 2525 is vital if Pennsylvania is to improve conditions for dogs kept in commercial kennels and put an end to the state’s reputation as the “Puppy Mill Capital of the East.”

Please call!
All the Democrats are for it and Only 1 Republican is for it. Basic standard of care and a humane standard of living should not be a party line vote. If you take the responsibility of having animals, then that means also the responsibility of taking care of it. Breeders need to take care of their animals just as you and I are required to.

PLEASE take 10 minutes to email or call your reps.

If your republican rep won’t vote for it b.c a democrat proposed the bill…please clearly and respectfully tell them why they should.

For more info:

Humane Society
PA Puppy Mill Watch
PA Ongoing Animal Legislation List

Posted in legislation | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

PA HB 2525 Puppy Mill Law out of committee. Next Stop – The House!

Posted by smallspark on June 26, 2008

06-25-08 — House Bill 2525 Clears House Agriculture & Rural Affairs Committee

With a vote down party lines, House Bill 2525 has cleared a major obstacle – the PA House Agriculture & Rural Affairs Committee with minimal amendments at 7:44PM

I watched part of the discussion in the PA House live feed here: <a href=””>”>Live feed of the House of Representatives and they let out around 3 pm that day. I didn’t realize they were coming back.  I am glad they did!

During the proceedings, it was fairly clear who wanted to move this forward and who wanted to “wait”. I guess I should not be surprised at the division of opinions but I was.  Since HB 2525 passed out of committee there is hope it will get approval in the House.  I imagine the show Oprah did helped – they were aware many people were watching. I certainly was, and that’s no small feat.

However, from what I heard during the proceedings, please be aware FAR more breeders are letting their PA reps know their opinions than the general public and that may put some pressure on them to soften or slow down passing the bill. So please call your reps. Go to the aspca’s website or the humane society’s website. Either of these sites will direct you on what to do. If you’re not in PA both of those links will get you in the area of your state’s animal issues. Find out. You’d be surprised at what is going on out there- I was!

One of the arguments against bills like this is it may put some breeders out of business. I understand no one wants to take away anyone’s livelihood – it’s certainly unpleasant – but isn’t livelihood a separate issue?  It’s not like we have a shortage of animals available.  There are too many! Protecting jobs is one thing, acting responsibly for the well being of the amount of animals people have chosen to have on their property is another.

Posted in legislation | Tagged: , , | 2 Comments »

Happy Human Happy Cats

Posted by smallspark on June 26, 2008

So, I’m starting to get into this blog thing.

Today I want to share some cat products that are pretty cool. (IMHO)

My idea of a good product is the creation of products combining functional need with beautiful form. I don’t like having product getting in my way or creating some other issue in my life.

Having an animal, I want to make the best combination of happy animal and happy human. Like many people, I have an issue with those ugly invasive, giant carpeted pieces of animal furniture. I HATE them. Seriously. Won’t. buy. them. ever. I don’t need a cat tree taking over my house and becoming a focal point.

But I do like happy animals and intelligent functional design. They get what they need and so do I. Here is what I’ve found that I personally really like so far and am considering for my home.

Cat Climber
Kitty Condo

For the walls:
Square cat habitat

Eco-Friendly Pet living
Tips on living Pet and Eco Friendly

Cat Exercise Wheels
Cat Wheel Company
Roger’s Cat Exercise Wheels
PetZone Cat Exercise Wheel

Outdoor Cat Enclosures
Stanford’s list of outdoor cat enclosures

Blogs to watch:
Modern Cat

Animal House Style : Designing a Home to Share With Your Pets

Posted in products | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »