I no longer have the time to dedicate to this blog.  All of my attention focuses on my spiritual blog

Therefore I direct any readers to the blog by Mary Cummins who does cover current L.A. animal issues, as well as her many lawsuits and public controversies.

I worked with Mary for several years on LA animal issues, especially about L.A. Animal Services and the L.A. County shelters, as well as the ground squirrel poisonings at Santa Monica order by LA County Vector Control.

Follow Mary's blog: 

Kapparot killing--Mary Cummin's blog

Kapparot chicken swinging/killng ritual is not humane or legal

Woman holds cup of chicken blood to take home and put over door and on children's foreheads

Iranian Jew drinks chicken blood from a cup in front of us

Jewish rabbi swinging a chicken over someone's head to take away his sins
Every year for six days before Yom Kippur (the Jewish Day of Atonement on October 2) some Jews perform the ritual "Kapparot." Kapparot is a custom in which the sins of a person are symbolically transferred to a fowl. The fowl is held above the person's head and swung in a circle three times while certain words are spoken. The fowl is then slaughtered so that the person may have a good, peaceful life. Sometimes the chickens are given to the poor as food but unfortunately the chickens are not always cared for or killed humanely.

In Los Angeles, California ritual animal sacrifice of any kind is illegal under Municipal Code SEC. 53.67. "No person shall engage in, participate in, assist in, or perform animal sacrifice. No person shall own, keep, possess or have custody of any animal with the purpose or intention of using such animal for animal sacrifice. No person shall knowingly sell, offer to sell, give away or transfer any animal to another person who intends to use such animal for animal sacrifice. 'Animal sacrifice' means the injuring or killing of any animal in any religious or cult ritual or as an offering to a deity, devil, demon or spirit, wherein the animal has not been injured or killed primarily for food purposes, regardless of whether all or any part of such animal is subsequently consumed."

The First Amendment "Freedom of Religion" does protect animal sacrifices except when a municipality or state has an existing animal cruelty statute that forbids it. If the religious sacrifice of an animal violates that statute, then the city or state can prosecute that act. If the animals as in this case were cared for, used or killed in a way that violates California's existing anti-cruelty statutes, then the defendants will not be able to fall back on the First Amendment as a defense. They would be guilty of animal cruelty which is punishable by a fine and/or jail time.

Kapparot is not mentioned in the Torah or in the Talmud. Several Jewish sages opposed the ritual, with some considering it a senseless heathen superstition. The Ramban (Nachmanides) and Rabbi Joseph Caro the compiler of the "Shulchan Aruch," the most authoritative code of Jewish laws called Kapparot "a foolish custom that Jews should avoid."

General Manager of LA Animal Services and ex-pastor Ed Boks stated, "Some of our nation's healthiest animal husbandry practices and laws originated in the ancient traditions of the Torah. Nowhere is the practice of Kapparot even mentioned in the Torah. It is a pagan tradition that has been muddled into the religious practices of a small Jewish sect. Kapparot should have no place in the 21st Century Los Angeles community."

Andrew Smith of Chicken Rescue asks people who customarily partake in this ritual to instead consider the humane and legal alternative. One may place money in a handkerchief and use this instead of a chicken. The money is then given to the poor. Former Chief Rabbi Israel Shlomo Goren stated, "Kapparot is not consistent with Jewish teachings and law. Repentance and charity can be better accomplished by using money instead of a slaughtered chicken."

Dr. Karen Davis President of United Poultry Concerns said, "Kapparot includes the pre-ritual cruelty to the chickens, who are forced to sit crammed together in their own excrement for days without food, water or shelter awaiting their terrible death. The mercy ascribed to God by those who seek God’s mercy for themselves is thus withheld from the chickens who have the same capacity for pain, fear and distress as human beings. That Kapparot is a medieval custom, and not a Jewish law, makes it even more reprehensible."

Dr. Richard Schwartz, a respected Jewish author & educator, stated: "The use of money rather than chickens is consistent with Judaism's powerful teachings on compassion to animals. At a season when we ask for God's compassion, we should have compassion on God's defenseless creatures." 

List of temples in Los Angeles which perform this inhumane ritual. Please, send simple polite letters asking them to stop. English is not their first language. 

Mary Cummins of Animal Advocates is a wildlife rehabilitator licensed by the California Department of Fish and Game and the USDAMary Cummins is also a licensed real estate appraiser in Los Angeles, California.

Follow Mary Cummins Blog

Mary Cummins is one of the best, and funniest undercover journalists regarding the animal scene in Los Angeles.

Her latest posts are about Gary Michelson and Found Animal Friends.  Mary knows everyone in animal rescue and welfare in LA and has her opinions and fact on each.

I support tigers in Malibu--by Mary Cummins

I support tigers that want to move to Malibu - Mary Cummins, Animal Advocates

Animal Rights attorney Orly Degani and white tiger

White tiger enjoying the pool
I'm probably going to get some heat for this post but this must be said. The white tigers that want to move to Malibu are clients of one of my vets. They are not declawed or defanged. I have photos of the tigers in my page as I've visited them. Residents of Malibu and sheep owners have more to fear from wild mountain lions, coyotes than tigers in enclosures. If the tigers escaped, they would not eat a person or animal. Anyone remember what happened with the Moorpark tiger that escaped? It only knew how to eat cubed steak. It didn't kill any animals and lost a lot of weight when it had escaped for two weeks. 

They bought the tigers to rescue from a breeder. One was going to be euthanized and was very sick. I was there when it was very sick. The owners have a lot of money and just love tigers. Their move to Malibu is akin to the PAWS ARK 2000 elephant sanctuary in California. They are not circus or movie people by any means.

They only have an exhibit permit because that is the only way you can keep them legally. I have the same permit. If I don't have the exhibit permit, I must kill my sanctuary animals. I've taken animals from some of you that end up in sanctuary at my facility. Should I kill them instead? Should we kill all animals in all sanctuaries? I only take my skunk and opossum to events because they're easy to handle and enjoy getting praise and treats. All animal rescue sanctuaries must have this same permit. You must exhibit them a certain amount of time or you can't have the permit.

The animals are already here in Southern California. They just want to make a bigger, better enclosure and rescue a few more tigers. They have never escaped. They obviously can't be released back to the wild. They are not wild tigers but domestically bred tigers. They're white tigers.

Below are photos of animal rights attorney Orly Degani with the tiger. Also a photo of Dr. Jennifer Conrad with the tiger. The sisters exhibit the tigers for free for pro-animal education or animal causes such as the push to make declaw of big cats illegal. They support the Paw Project. I have photos in my page when they took the tiger to the Eco Station to support anti-declaw and educate people.

I personally know they get the best care, tons of enrichment and are in a huge enclosure many times larger than the legal requirements. I've met Irena Hauser and her sister Sophia Kryszek. They are true animals lovers and wonderful people.  They just want to move their facility to a bigger, better place. They chose that area because it is zoned for wild and exotic animals. The people who live there bought their homes knowing that it was zoned for exotic and wild animals. Quite a few have wild and exotic animals in that area. I support these two women and their plans. People should have probably talked to the sisters before jumping to all these false conclusions. 

Dr. Jennifer Conrad and white tiger client showing tiger's claws

Wendy Gruel and Eric Garcetti,

Several years ago, taxpayers voted over $200,000,000 to rebuild LA’s Animal Shelters.  Yet, during the past 5 years, despite a new pro-animal general manager, there really has been no progress towards no kill.  The current save rate is still about 60%, no better than under Stuckey in 2005.  Seven years have passed, hundreds of millions spent on new shelters, more employees added, and absolutely no progress towards no kill.

Nathan Winograd, the nation’s foremost guru on no-kill, and a personal friend of mine, opined that there never will be progress towards no-kill in LA unless two things happen:  We have a dynamic, coalition building, Animal Services GM, and whoever the mayor is, that he or she get 100% behind the goal of making LA no kill by backing up that GM with whatever is necessary to make the city no-kill.

The largest problem seems to be the present kill-culture built into our shelter system, without the GM having the power to fire at will as some of the worst employees are both union and civil services protected.

Other cities across the country have gone no-kill even in these economically difficult times, though generally they are much smaller systems.  However, their success does show No-Kill can happen.

In fact, if Animal Services were decentralized, served by the seven separate shelters regarded as seven separate animal care systems, run independently, yet cooperatively, perhaps by separate non-profit groups, allowing all current deadwood personal to be laid off or shifted to departments where they could not kill animals, we could perhaps see rapid advances towards no-kill.

Wendy and Eric, I am asking you both, can either of you be that mayor who makes no kill happen in LA by standing behind a truly No-Kill goal and No-Kill General manager, doing whatever is necessary to make No-Kill happen?

The Terrible Truth About Some ASPCA/HSUS Rescues, such as on Caboodle

You read the magazine adds or watch the three-minute infomercials by the ASPCA and HSUS about the terrible plight of abused animals across our country, and then the request for money.

Then you see the newspaper article and news reports on Channels 6, 7, 9 etc., about a local non-profit rescuer who had 90 or 150 or even 400 cats who were all rescued from deplorable conditions by the City Animal Services along with the local or national ASPCA or HSUS.  The reporter is told that the number of animals just got out of hand and the owner just wasn’t able to take care of the animals anymore.

He or she is shown in handcuffs on the grass in front of the house while cameras show 20 people with cat carriers, cages and dog catch poles trying to capture 150 cats or dogs, running to hide from these invading strangers.  You here how the person will be charged with animal cruelty or felony animal neglect, and maybe will receive mental health treatment for “hoarder” behaviors.

Daily News Photo of Muffin Being Rescued by Animal Services

What you don’t see is what happens next, nor do you know of the organized corruption involved by the ASPCA, HSUS, the local city/county Animal Services, and the prosecutors.

There is a scam involved, and it is all about making money for the raiders called rescuers, for the ASPCA, HSUS who make publicity by the raid, make the rescuer out to be a horrible person, the animals are all sick, etc., and many needed to be killed because they are not adoptable.

They also make money when the advertise the raid and say they need donations to house, rehabilitate and place these animals in homes.

They also make money from the rescuer who has had their animals seized, because they are charged $20-$25/day for each animal seized for their care, feeding and medical care until the owner releases ownership to the agency, who then can legally put them up for adoption.

But if an owner waits 60 days before he or she turns ownership over to them, they are running up a bill at a rate of $3000-$4000 a day, to care for the animals ASPCA seized, which is probably five to eight times as much as the rescuer was spending a day for the same care.

I have seen this over and over, where the rescuer loses his or her house to pay off a $400,000 bill from HSUS or ASPCA for care of the seized animals.
I understand that the amount charged to Craig, the owner of Caboodles by the ASPCA was $700,000.  That was the deal worked out between the judge and the prosecutor.

Now listen to this, in Los Angeles, the City Prosecutor, Steve Cooley, was once on the Board of Director of the Los Angeles ASPCA, and who determined the amount of money to be paid to the ASPCA by the rescuer for restitution while he was still on their board.  That person usually had to sell the house and property the cats had been housed in to pay the penalty and restitution, including court fees, penalty and restitution, or else it is simplely seized by the courts and then sold.

This kind of thing happens all over the country to real rescuers, who are usually extremely vulnerable due to lack of funds for a legal defense as well as having courts and prosecutors working together to get money for the raiders, because persons or properties that have a lot of animals, even well-cared for, and kept inside, are targets for other animal rescuers who may not like the persecuted rescuer, and report them for animal neglect or abuse, and who are also fighting for donations from the same local base of donors.

The terrible thing is that usually 1/3 of the animals are killed either during the hunt-down and trapping, or in the medical evaluation done later that day or the next, where having a cold means not 10 days of an antibiotic treatment, but instant death as diseased, or as being “irremediably suffering,” which is nonsense, as upper respiratory infection are extremely common in all City shelters.

For those who want to know more, just look at my other blog,, and read the story of Ron Mason and his cats.

Finally, the ASPCA/HSUS/City get  a final dip in the cash drawer when they “sell” the cat or dog to the public to be placed in a private home.  Usual adoption fees run anywhere from $75 to $150.  Let us say of the 150 animals that the raiders impounded, they kill the 50 least adoptable, the old, the skinny, the ones missing an eye, a leg or a tail, or who have terrible dental problems.  That leaves 100 very adoptable animals, who, at $100 each, brings in an additional $10,000.

If a larger rescue such as Caboodles is raided, say of their 700 cats, they kill 200 and adopt out 500 at $100/each for a total of $50,000 for an inventory of animals they paid nothing for.  It is like a manufacturer selling a toy where the raw material costs nothing, they just steal it legally.

So, it goes like this: Someone complains about a rescuer. City, County, ASPCA or someone else comes out to inspect the property.  They find animal neglect and that the owner has exceeded the number of cats allowed on the premise without a kennel license (Which is impossible to get in a residential area.).

They give orders to reduce the number.

Then they raid unexpectedly, usually just before a deadline to reduce the number of animals is due so as to catch the rescuer with the maximum number on the property.

They heavily advertise and publicize the raid and talk about the deplorable conditions they found whether deplorable or not.

They then catch as many cats as they can, and they never get all, lock up the property tightly and get rid of all the cat food and water, cut holes in the fences to let the remaining animals fend for themselves.

Lock up and charge the owner with felony neglect of felony abuse, leaving him in jail for days or weeks without the remaining animals being fed, and as in the case of Caboodles, four are found dead from starvation when Craig got back four weeks later.

Get TV, radio and newspaper spots about the raid and need for public donations to car for these free-to-them animal inventory.

Kill 1/3 of the least adoptable animals for a more sellable inventory so that they do not have to take care of the old and sick themselves that would not be adopted.

Charge the owner a hefty fees for “care” for the animals, and court fees plus any penalty amounts, and then put the owner on probation for three years, during which time he or she is not allowed to have any animals.  In the meantime, they seize the owner’s property to pay for the care fees, court fees, and penalty amount.

Finally, the animals are adopted out to the public at $100+ each.  Many they can’t or don’t adopt themselves are transferred to other private or municipal shelters where the stock may be culled again before any are adopted.

The photo of Muffin on this post are from the Los Angeles Daily News, which accompanied a raid on my friend Ron Mason in September, 2007.  Of the 52 cats impound, 25 were killed as “irredeemably suffering.”

Ron’s story ended very differently because I interceded and then others came forward to reveal the sordid details of how the system works in Los Angeles. 
However, ending this practice nationwide would be very difficult because it involves a rigged legal system working with HSUS/ASPCA and others, purely on a profit basis.

I don’t disagree that there may have been neglect in a majority of the cases, but the amount of neglect is nothing compared to the killing those animals suffer within days after the raid, and then to pine away in City or ASPCA shelters over the next six months in small cages until and if they are adopted or killed.  Public shelters only need keep an animal for four days in California before killing them.  In LA City, about 22,000 are killed each year, and LA County kills another 42,000+.

Poison Dog Treats from China in the News Again!



March 16, 2012

When Kevin and Candace Thaxton's 10-year-old pug Chansey got sick late last year, the couple assumed at first it was simply old age. The small dog started showing symptoms of kidney failure -- drinking water excessively and urinating in the house. By the time the Thaxtons got her to a veterinarian, Chansey's kidneys 
had shut down and she was in extreme pain. She died two days later.

"It was so hard. It was just devastating," Kevin Thaxton told ABC News.

But the Thaxtons would go through the ordeal again just weeks later -- leading them to a new theory behind Chansey's death -- when their new Pekingese-mix puppy Penny exhibited the same symptoms, finally resulting in kidney failure. When Candace Thaxton stumbled on a Food and Drug Administration warning that there'd been an increase in complaints about chicken jerky dog treats made in China, she says she knew immediately what had happened to her beloved dogs.

"I grabbed the bag of treats and turned it over," Candace said. "At first I saw it said 'Manufactured in South Carolina' so I thought I was safe. Then I looked harder and it said 'Made in China' and I just said 'Oh no.' "

In just the past four months, the Food and Drug Administration has fielded over 530 complaints from pet owners claiming their dogs suffered illness or death after eating jerky treats made in China, officials tell ABC News. The FDA has issued three separate warnings about Chinese jerky treats in the past four years -- advising owners who give their pets the snacks to watch the dogs closely for signs of illness. But since the agency says it has yet to find a "definitive cause" for the mystery ailments, it hasn't blamed Chinese treats for the illnesses, it hasn't named any of the well-known American firms like Purina that sell them, and it hasn't recalled any of the products. Dog owners and legislators are now demanding action.

News of the possible risk to dogs comes at a time when the safety of imported food is being heavily scrutinized. On Thursday, the Centers for Disease Control reported that foods imported from other countries are to blame for dozens of recent foodborne disease outbreaks. The CDC looked at outbreaks from 2005 to 2010 and concluded that 39 outbreaks and over 2,300 illnesses came from food imported into the U.S. Nearly 45 percent of the foods that caused the outbreaks came from Asia.

The FDA says it is actively investigating reports of illness and death and has been conducting tests on samples of the treats. An FDA spokesperson said the samples came from around the country but would not cite specific sources that provided the samples.

The FDA issued its first warning about chicken jerky treats from China in 2007, in response to the first wave of consumer complaints, and then issued a second in 2008. When the FDA issued a third warning in late 2011, based on another increase in complaints that year, it asked consumers to report any other purported incidents directly to the agency. Since that update, hundreds of dog owners have come forward to share their concerns. The Thaxtons, who say their dog Penny recovered after they stopped feeding her the treats, are now part of an angry population of pet owners who say the FDA hasn't done enough to protect their four-legged family members in the years it has known about the problem.

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I was checking Susie Burrows Facebook page yesterday, and felt such sadness and despair about the world. You know, when emotions are allowed to flow freely through you, they do not bite so deeply.  In a large sense, you see that even the strongest emotions are just events that pass through you, who are the witness, the container, and the affects themselves.

Yet, I felt a strong movement in me to act on the issue of the worldwide abuse of animals for food and fur, as well as pure sport.  I felt guilty I have not done more.

I think it is time that We Are Sentience and our Sangha, to get behind ending meat eating by developing a long term plan for ending meat eating, animal testing, the fur trade, etc.

I will have people meet with me with ideas to develop such a plan.

Some ideas are to:

Start taxing meat, as cigarettes were taxed, on ecological grounds, the damage they do to the environment.  Make it a progressive tax.  That is, each year there is an additional tax that is to be spent in several ways:  To detoxify the environment; to subsidize ranchers who want to go out of business; to subsidize private industry food manufacturers to develop new and tasty vegetarian alternatives to meat, that can give the same protein and other nutrients as supplied by meat, and taste like meat, so that meat eaters don't feel "robbed." These foods can also be subsidized at the retail level to bring down their costs, as often vegan prepared dishes cost much more than actual meat-added prepared meals.

Centralize data on all research regarding the negative health effects of meat.  I have seen several lately, but there should be a central place to publish this information.

Add warnings about the deleterious effects of meat on all retail foods containing meats.

Have advertisements on television, as with smoking, about the negative health effects of meat eating.

Have you noticed, you never see videos of how animals are slaughtered on regular or cable television.  You can find this on Youtube and other places, but never on mainstreat TV.  The meat industry is VERY sensitive to such images going to mass audiences, and either they object to TV stations, or the stations suppress the videos themselves as too awful or offensive to air.

Many people really don't want to see images of such suffering caused by their own meat eating, fur using, or the use of other animal products.  They even attack Facebook people who post such images as offensive, when the worst offense is that they do nothing.

If we join together an offer people a leading voice to end this continuous assault on our open hearts, on our consciences, maybe we can end meat eating within the US, or mostly end it, not in our lifetimes maybe, but within this century, then we will have done something that Robert Adams and Ramana would have been proud of.

FRIDAY, JUNE 15, 2012

Mary Cummins appealing unjust Texas court ruling - Animal Advocates

Mary Cummins appealing unjust Texas court ruling 

Mary Cummins of Animal Advocates

June 14, 2012 Judge William Brigham ruled in favor of Plaintiffs in the case Bat World Sanctuary v Mary Cummins. Cummins had reported Lollar to authorities for animal cruelty and animal neglect which she witnessed while at Bat World in Texas. She posted her reports and public documents online and was sued for defamation. Cummins is appealing this unjust ruling.

Mary Cummins an animal rescuer in Los Angeles, California reported Amanda Lollar of Bat World Sanctuary for animal cruelty, animal neglect and health code violations. Cummins witnessed Amanda Lollar performing surgery on bats when she is not a veterinarian and hasn't gone past the ninth grade. Bats were dying under Lollar's care. Cummins posted her findings on her website

Cummins also posted the results of Freedom of Information Act requests on her website. She posted complaints and reports made by others about Amanda Lollar and Bat World Sanctuary. The complaints stretching back 18 years were about animal cruelty, animal neglect, violations of the health code, violations of Texas Parks & Wildlife regulations, violations of the Animal Welfare Act, building violations and a report about a rabid bat biting a toddler directly next door to Bat World Sanctuary. 

Cummins also posted negative reports bat experts had made about Lollar's procedures. Lollar recommended freezing bats to death in her manual which is illegal and inhumane according to the American Veterinary Medication Association. Lollar also recommended the improper use of anesthesia which Lollar admitted caused some bats to die.

Amanda Lollar then sued Cummins for defamation. Plaintiffs in court did not prove that Cummins defamed Lollar. The essential elements of a defamation cause of action that must be proven in Texas are, (1) The defendant published a statement of fact, (2) The statement was defamatory, (3) The statement was false, (4) The defendant acted negligently in publishing the false and defamatory statement, and (5) The Plaintiffs suffered damages as a result. 

Plaintiffs did not prove that Cummins made all of the statements. Most of the items were the results of information act requests. They were public documents written by others. Cummins contends that everything she posted was the absolute truth. Plaintiffs did not prove that the items were false or that they suffered any financial damages.

Cummins was also sued for breach of contract. The essential elements of a breach of contract cause of action that must be proven are, (1) There is a valid contract; (2) The Plaintiffs performed or tendered performance according to the terms of the contract; (3) The Defendant breached the contract; and (4) The Plaintiffs sustained damages as a result of the breach.

Cummins contends she never signed a contract. Plaintiffs' own signature expert report stated that the signature on the contract was only "probable." It was not "strongly probable" or a "positive identification." Plaintiffs did not perform according to the contract. Cummins actions would have never been considered a breach. Plaintiffs showed no financial damages.

Even though Plaintiffs did not prove defamation or breach of contract Judge William Brigham ruled in favor of Plaintiffs. The Judge will soon sign an order to force Cummins to remove items from her website and others. The items are the results of information act requests. They are complaints made by others about animal cruelty, animal neglect and violations of the health code. The order will also include websites owned by others who were not a party to the action.

Cummins stated "I clearly did not defame Amanda Lollar or Bat World Sanctuary. I reported her for animal cruelty and neglect. I provided photos and videos to authorities besides detailed reports. Lollar just wants to hide these complaints from the public. Most of the items they want removed were written by others or are on websites I don't even control. I cannot possibly remove other people's websites or content. This order is overly broad."

Cummins continued "I most certainly did not sign their contract. Their own expert handwriting report did not state that I signed it. The authorship report by their so-called 'expert' Eric Shupps is also flawed. Shupps has never been an expert witness before in any case. He used a free beta software called JGAAP. The author of the program stated it cannot be used for court cases because of its inherent limitations. Shupps also used the writings of others as samples of my writing. Garbage in, garbage out. On top of this Shupps accused me of planting a Google bomb. Google bombs have been impossible since 2007."

When asked about the ruling Cummins replied, "I'm shocked because Plaintiffs did not show the essential elements for a claim of defamation or breach of contract. Then again I'm not shocked. Before one hearing Plaintiffs' attorney Randy Turner told me that he's known this judge for years. He insinuated that the Judge will automatically rule in his favor, and he did. There was a conflict of interest." 

Cummins stated she is contesting the Judge's order, requesting a new trial and appealing the decision. Cummins is currently suing Amanda Lollar and Bat World Sanctuary in Federal court in California for libel and defamation.

Mary Cummins of Animal Advocates rescues ill, injured and orphaned native wildlife for release back to the wild.

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