Month: September 2011

Father’s Day Fate

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Some times fate has a way of stepping in. For Opal, fate saved her life. What’s happened since then has been a long and sometimes extremely difficult path for her. In the the first year of her life, kismet has continued to save her as she consistently fought to live. A broken leg, a cliff, and parvo have all been monumental obstacles this 3 pound Papillon has had to overcome to find her forever home.

On June 18th, our friend, Sherri, set the ball in motion. Unsure of going to local legendarily dangerous cliffs alone to spread her father’s ashes off “The Rock”, we  told her we would take her and help her commemorate her father. Once we arrived at The Rock, Sherri stated her peace for her dad, and his remains conjoined the magnificent view of the Potomac River. There was something odd going on since we kept hearing sounds of sliding stones. Would dust really make that much sound as it hit the earth below the cliff’s edge? Then the whining began. We peered over to see a tiny speck of black and white. What was it? We didn’t know at first, but it looked like it was fighting yet backsliding, with a potential to completely hit the bottom. Then we saw the tail. A dog! What is a dog doing over a cliff? There wasn’t much time to contemplate, but driven to action, Sherri suddenly walked to the edge, sat down and was going to attempt to slide down. Quickly Jim told her he had a rope and would be able to fasten himself  to our car and retrieve this displaced dog. Here is the footage Sherri captured…

Once Opal was secured from the 50 foot precipice, we got her home and had her seen by a local vet. Her leg was broken, and she had a cast put on to allow her leg to heal. During the initial couple of days, we were sharing pictures and her story online. One of the Animal Control Officers alerted us to the fact that a man had came to the shelter the previous Thursday with this dog, her leg broken, and he wanted the shelter to take her to the vet. This man was told that he needed to take his dog to the vet. I then found out that the man did attempt to take her to the vet, but since he didn’t have any money and wouldn’t apply for Care Credit, some words were exchanged which led to him being escorted off of the property by law enforcement…. with his dog and her broken leg.

Within a week of having Opal, I woke up one morning and after taking her outside, she threw up 6 times within 45 minutes. I immediately called my vet, and once there, she was diagnosed with parvo. After a 4 day stay, she came home to recover. My heart has bled for this dog. This 10 month old who was discarded as if her life were of no value. This dog that up to the point of Father’s Day had been given no more consideration than a piece of trash.

I contacted the Allegany County Animal Shelter to see what legal actions could be taken on her behalf. Since the crime occurred in neighboring Mineral County, West Virginia, it would be up to them to pursue the case.  The ACAS told me they would work with and provide the complaint they had filled out when the man came in to their shelter with Opal, before he dumped her to assist in filing the charges. I called the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, who directed me to the Mineral County Animal Control. I have called them dozens of times, left several messages, none of which have been answered or returned.

Opal has become a blessing for us, all it takes is just a look into her eyes after she’s been playing to understand the innocence of this soul which is far larger than her tiny body. She’s fought a hard fight the last couple of months, but she has overcome. Her cast was just removed and she is learning to walk again. She has a bit of atrophy, but her life is full of love and joy. She has received an outpouring of support from our community who has watched her rescue from the cliffs and followed her progress online. She even visited the nation’s capitol during the No Kill Conference in July. Thanks to everyone who helped us during her battle. Your love and support is greatly appreciated.

Some pictures of Opal throughout her journey….

Opal with her cast

Opal visiting Washington, D.C. during the No Kill Conference…

Opal at the Washington Monument
Visiting the White House, Opal barks, "Pass CAPA!"

If any body within society should set the example of what is and is not acceptable treatment towards animals, one should surely be municipal animal services. Isn’t that their purpose? Is that not the reason our tax dollars are provided to them; To uphold the law and protect and shelter those in need? What examples are being set for our children and those who look for guidance? Are these the lessons we really want to teach? I know the lessons that I want to profess, and what values I want instilled throughout our society, and while Mineral County Animal Control may ignore my calls, they will be seeing me at their October rabies clinic. They won’t be able to ignore me there.


We want YOU

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YOU love animals,

YOU are passionate,

YOU are not afraid to step on toes,

YOU are not afraid of the Status Quo,

YOU are not taking “NO” for an answer

YOU are not afraid to stand up and speak up,

YOU have the will to stop the killing in an Animal Shelter.

YOU will be rewarded with a live changing experience.

YOU don’t have to fill out an application and YOU can start at any time at your next convenient Kill Shelter.


“There will be no more killing here in the Shelter”  – Peter Masloch, February 2011

Open letter to the Memphis Community

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Dear Memphis Community,

for some time now the Memphis Animal Shelter (MAS) is creating a extremely negative image about YOUR Community. This negative image now is reaching all parts of the Unites States and many people are outraged, frustrated and angry about the happenings in YOUR Animal Shelter and YOUR Community. The Memphis Animal Shelter is not more then a Slaughterhouse, a high efficiency killing machine. Animals are being abused on a daily basis from so called “care takers”, many of them with criminal background. People from all over the world are able to watch the daily abuse over the Internet using this website
YOUR elected officials, City Council and Mayor, have signed off on this. I would like to encourage you to educate yourself before the next election so that you will be able to make a informed decision. This is YOUR Community, this is YOUR Animal Shelter, YOUR tax money is being used to abuse and kill animals day after day. One day in August, 53 animals were killed with in hours in YOUR Animal Shelter. It was said because the Animal Shelter needed space but the webcams clearly showed that many empty cages were available. Let me show you the statistic of YOUR Animal Shelter:

2009: Intake 16256, adopted out 1506, died in Shelter 255, killed 13255, Foster 5, missing 282
2010: Intake 15404, adopted out 1616, died in Shelter 357, killed 11930, Foster 47, missing 155

In 2009 only 5 animals went in to Foster care, 47 in 2010. This is not acceptable. In the last 2 years 437 animals vanished in the Shelter. What happened? Did aliens come and take them? Did they open the cage doors them self and walked out the front door? The adoption numbers are way to low for this large geographical area. Do YOU believe this is acceptable for YOUR Community? YOUR elected officials believe it is acceptable because they don’t think it is necessary to change anything. They use YOUR tax money to give YOUR Community a bad name. YOUR tax money is being used to abuse and kill thousands of animals every year.
Deep in my heart I believe that the people of Memphis are passionate animal lovers and as such I ask YOU to stand up and hold YOUR elected officials accountable and demand changes.
Many Animal Shelter in other County’s and City’s have shown that it can be done in a different way. Austin, TX and Reno, NV are extremely good examples of how it can be done. Both Animal Shelter save the life’s of more then 90% of all animals they take in. How they do it? They all follow the No Kill Equation developed by Nathan Winograd.

This is YOUR Community, this is YOUR Animal Shelter, YOU have the power to create something YOU can be proud of.

Peter Masloch
No Kill Advocate
Allegany County, MD

Never give up HOPE.

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A recent opinion in the Baltimore Sun, In a Perfect World, highlights the ongoing battle for lives between the Humane Society of  Harford County and  H.O.P.E in Harford County, a group of citizens pushing to enact No Kill policies at HSHC due to the numbers of animals being killed. According to the Sun,  in 2010 the open admission shelter, serving as the pound for Harford County, received a total of 4,246 dogs and cats, and over a dozen other animals. Of the 2,896 cats that went through intake, 1,829 (approximately 63%) were killed for medical issues, owner requests, temperament, space, or because they were feral. 1,350 dogs came through the doors of HCHS, and 1,000 of them left alive. The 350 that did not (about 26%) were also killed for reasons listed above.

The article lists all the standard reasons why No Kill is not possible, stating  ” it’s a proposal that is almost childlike in its naivete.” Anyone that has met and talked to Susanne Kogut, of the Charlottesville-Albemarle SPCA, Mitch Schneider and Bonney Brown of the Nevada Humane Society, Amy Sadler of the Longmont Humane Society, Mike Fry of Animal Ark in Minnesota, or any other person that is responsible for running successful No Kill shelters, and they will tell you the only thing childlike is the ability to dream of what’s possible and set those programs in action.

The overpopulation claim is a myth. Nevada Humane Society had every reason in the world to claim overpopulation as a reason to kill with their 15,000 intakes per year, but that isn’t stopping them from saving 91% of the animals that come to their shelter. Approximately 8 million dogs and cats enter shelters every year, with approximately 90% or 7 million of them being savable. 4 million will be saved from these shelters, and 3 million die. Now, this is where it gets interesting. There are people who are looking to bring a companion animal into their home, and aren’t sure yet where they are going to get their new companion, and with a little effort, outreach, and by embracing the community, many of these people could or would adopt from their shelter. The number of people who are looking to adopt a new companion animal? 17 million per year.

Unfortunately, compassion may be a mask that the HSHC may wear publicly, but reading an article in The Dagger, “Would Your Pet Make It Out Of The Humane Society of Harford County Alive?“, a former volunteer’s experience, exposes the face behind the mask. Take note, FunWy2Die1 and FunWy2Die2 were names given to two cats killed by the “humane” society. The list showing lack of leadership, responsibility, and compassion goes on.

It’s hard to have HOPE in situations like this, but when an eager group of people are willing to step up to the plate and save lives as has been done in numerous communities diverse in demographics and socio-economic status, I would say to them, Never Give Up and Never Back Down! In the end, love always wins!