“Shelters” are calling for temperament tests to be used even though they admit they are unreliable and lack predictive ability. CNN, Fox News, and other news outlets are making misleading claims about cats and COVID-19. Initial reports that Winston, a pug in North Carolina, was the first dog to test positive for the novel coronavirus turned out to be false. A San Francisco Commission is debating a rescue rights ordinance. Shelters across the country continue to place record numbers of animals. And The Los Angeles Times suggests a charity run by an ex-con paid for and filmed abuse of dogs in order to raise money.
In case you missed it:
- Despite admitting that temperament tests are unreliable and lack predictability, individuals associated with “shelters” have published a new paper in the Journal of Veterinary Behavior arguing that they should still be done. Their claim is unconvincing.
- CNN, Fox News, and other news outlets are claiming that we do not know if cats can transmit SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, to humans. If evidence still means anything, we do know. The evidence says they cannot. In fact, it is highly unlikely that they can even pass it to each other. And it is very hard, indeed rare, for them to even acquire it themselves.
- Initial reports that Winston, a pug in North Carolina, was the first dog to test positive for the novel coronavirus turned out to be false. The U.S. Department of Agriculture reports that after confirmation tests were conducted at the National Veterinary Services Laboratory which it oversees, it “was unable to verify infection in this dog. No virus was isolated, and there was no evidence of an immune response.” As such, Winston “was likely never infected with the virus.”
- An ordinance being debated by the San Francisco Commission of Animal Control in Welfare would require the city pound to notify rescuers, the finder, and the surrendering “owner” at least two days before it kills an animal and allow them to save the animal to spare the animal’s life.
Shelters across the country are embracing ingenuity, a “can do” attitude, and technology to save the animals, while also protecting the public and shelter workers during the pandemic. And thanks to an overwhelming response by the public, these shelters say “they have placed record numbers of dogs, cats and other animals” and many are finding themselves empty for the first time in their history. For example:
- “The Queen Anne’s County [MD] Animal Services shelter in Queenstown achieved its goal of zero dogs…”
- “Eight cats, four rabbits, two iguanas and one dog named Dobby.” That’s it, as the number of animals at the shelter in Champaign County, IL, are at all-time lows.
Shelters do not have to kill animals now. And they don’t have to kill animals should some of them be returned after the crisis is over. Indeed, they never did.
And finally, the video of a dog being hanged and burned alive in Indonesia took the animal rights world by storm and made a celebrity out of Marc Ching whose charity claimed to rescue dogs from the Indonesian dog meat trade. Now, an exposé in The Los Angeles Times suggests that the footage, and others like it, was staged. And that Ching, an ex-con who had once spent time in prison for a violent felony, paid to have dogs tortured so he could film it and raise money for The Animal Hope & Wellness Foundation, his animal charity.
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