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Vacation in Germany

Germany is an interesting place, especially if you’ve never been there before. A fascinating combination of the very old and the ultra-new. Centuries old summer palaces, winter palaces, fancy new modern Renaissance Hotels and construction cranes everywhere. We were mostly in East Berlin and they are building real hard to try and catch up with the rest of Germany.

What’s the first thing that caught my eye when I got there? The birds. Green parks and green trees everywhere, and all full of birds. Of course, since I’d never been there before, the bird shapes and sizes and colors were new to my eyes and their marvelous sweet songs unfamiliar to my ears. That means I spent a lot of time gawking at the treetops and flapping my hands in frustration because I forgot to bring a book on German birds to help me figure out what I was seeing.

One bird species I was instantly able to identify was the European House Sparrow. This was where they really belonged and they were everywhere.

One thing I had trouble getting used to was dogs in restaurants. You can take your dogs out to dinner with you when you go to a restaurant in Germany. Little dogs, middle-sized dogs, and I even saw a greyhound lying on the floor under one table, covering the tops of four sets of indifferent feet.

Try sipping your hot soup when a poodle and a Dachshund at the next table are yapping their heads off and trying to bite each other’s tails off. Makes for interesting dining.

Posted on Wednesday, May 24th, 2006
Under: dogs, Germany, Greyhounds, wild birds | 1 Comment »

Time to outlaw “live lure” coursing

The time will come when public opinion will no longer tolerate amusements based on the mistreatment and killing of animals.
– Albert Schweitzer

Dear Gary:
(California) Assemblywoman Loni Hancock has introduced AB 2110 to outlaw the sport of live lure coursing. Golden State Greyhound Adoption testified on April 4 before the Assembly Committee on Public Safety, in support of this legislation.

The bill specifically does NOT make it illegal to engage in non-live bait lure coursing. If you see fit to write something in support of this legislation, and to encourage your readers to support this bill by writing their legislators, I do not know of a single greyhound rescue organization, or any other rescue organization, that would object.

Rather, we would laud and appreciate your support to banish this cruel, inhumane and totally unnecessary blood sport.
(Sheldon Satnick, Golden State Greyhound Adoption, Pleasant Hill, Calif.)

Dear Sheldon:
You definitely have my support in banning this uncivilized activity.

I wrote in February, after seeing Channel 7’s horrifying report on the subject, that "open field coursing is banned in England because of its cruelty. Yet it’s happening right here in the San Francisco Bay Area, and many compassionate people, including California State Assemblymember Loni Hancock, D-Berkeley, want this blood sport outlawed."

Kim Sturla, director of Animal Place in Vacaville, Calif., said it best: "This is not a sport, this is a barbaric, inhumane activity in which a bunch of people cheer while dogs tear a terrified rabbit to pieces."

The next hearing on Hancock’s bill, AB 2110, is in the Assembly Appropriations Committee. No date has been set, yet, for the hearing.

Everyone reading this can help this bill get passed by writing individual letters ASAP to as many of the committee members as possible (all is best, and the Chair and Vice-Chair for sure!). Tell them that greyhounds ripping apart rabbits that can’t escape is not hunting and has nothing to do with killing animals for food as some of the participants have stated.

Ask them to please SUPPORT Assemblywoman Loni Hancock’s bill, AB 2110, to outlaw live lure coursing in California.

Members of the Assembly Appropriations Committee: Assemblymembers Judy Chu (Chair), Sharon Runner (Vice-Chair), Karen Bass, Patty Berg, Ron Calderon, Hector de la Torre, Bill Emmerson, Ray Haynes, Betty Karnette, Johan Klehs, Mark Leno, Alan Nakanishi, Joe Nation, Jenny Oropeza, Mark Ridley-Thomas, Lori Saldana, Mimi Walters, Leland Yee.

The address for the Governor and all Legislators: State Capitol Building, Sacramento, CA 95814.

Thanks for caring!

Posted on Friday, April 14th, 2006
Under: dogs, Greyhounds, Hunting, Killing, Live Lure Coursing | 2 Comments »