Hello, friends! It’s WTF Wednesday! »
Several years ago I was very lonely. I was working full-time in a video store and had very few career aspirations; I had just ended a spectacular stint of dating with someone who was awesome and attractive but with whom I had very little in common; and when I wasn’t yelling at people to put their returns on the goddamned shelf of the counter that said “RETURNS” in large capital letters I was crying and playing video games. That’s when my friend Pali (who runs Rocket Dog Rescue) called and asked if I might like to adopt a pet.
"We’ve got a lot of hamsters here." she said.
"I have now had several hamsters," I replied. "I would like to move up in the world."
"What were you thinking of?" she asked.
“A rabbit. A big one.”
"There are plenty of those," she said. "Get down here before six o’clock."
I jumped into a cab to the SF SPCA immediately, and within the hour returned home with a giant black bunny whom I respectfully named Ms. Cleo. This is a good story, but it gets better. Let me tell you something about bunnies: they poop. A lot. And chew. They chew everything. Oh, and they live forever! Had I had my degree in psychology already, I would have understood that I was transferring my desire for a ”good object” (read: a boyfriend) onto a furry animal of the wrong sex and expecting too much out of her. In time, Ms. Cleo and I came to love each other very much, and frequently hung out on my bed watching television and eating celery and pellets. However, I must stress that rabbits—and all animals, while we’re at it—are a big commitment; you really need to decide whether you’re ready to have all of your cables/clothes/bed frames chewed and pooped upon before you decide that you can adopt one. I remember (before my stint at In Defense of Animals, of course) how horrified I was to read that a tradition of the Hilton family—the Paris Hiltons—was to buy up a whole bunch of rabbits and chicks on Easter, and then give them away after the holiday was over and their cuteness had worn off (Source: Paris Hilton’s wonderful Confessions of an Heiress, which I totally own!). I also thought that this must be a very isolated thing and that most people don’t treat animals this way. Au contraire, mon frère: people are fucking ridiculous.
First, STOP GIVING ANIMALS AS PRESENTS!!! Remember the stuff I wrote before about Rabbits being a huge commitment? Yeah, that doesn’t change just because it’s their year! This seems pretty obvious to me, but in China rabbits are multiplying like crazy and wreaking havoc. Here’s what happens: Someone gets a rabbit for the New Year, they get all excited, buy a cage, and think “awesome! Now I have a friend!” Then the rabbit chews up everything and sometimes scratch. In the case of one woman, the rabbit, while adorable, chewed through every cable in the house and ate her resume to boot! Not such an awesome gift anymore, right? You know, especially since she didn’t even ask for or think of taking care of a rabbit. And you know what else? If you don’t have them fixed, rabbits will breed, leaving you with a whole bunch of offspring to deal with. Of course, some people step up to the task, but others are giving up very quickly ensuring that shelters and rabbit rescues are overflowing with rabbits whose only crime was being an animal on the Chinese Zodiac. And being criminally adorable, but that’s another story.
Second, STOP SENDING ANIMALS IN THE MAIL! Again, this is something I thought would be both common knowledge and common sense. For example, “Man, I need to return these awesome Bones DVDs to Netflix and this copy of “Band Hero” to Gamefly. OH SHIT! I forgot that I have to get John’s dog back to him tomorrow when he gets back from vacation. Hmmm, maybe I should just box and mail him as well. That way, John and the dog both arrive tomorrow and I can watch some more television instead of taking care of responsibilities—nah, too dangerous!” Don’t you wish everyone thought like that? Me too! Except people don’t! They send puppies priority mail in airless boxes with the added bonus of no food and/or water! Why? No idea! Perhaps the woman who did this thought it might be cheaper or easier to send a puppy this way. She actually went back for a refund of her money after being charged with animal cruelty! I cannot believe she did not know that mailing puppies is not the preferred way to get animals to their destination. She’s now trying to get the dog back, but that doesn’t look like it’s going to happen any time soon—or at all, if everyone involved is lucky.
God, seriously, let’s look at something happy for a second before my mind explodes into a giant volcano of rage and sadness. What have you got fur us today, internets? OH MY GOD, a cross-eyed opossum, you say? That can’t be! and yet! And here’s the story of Heidi the cross-eyed opossum’s rise to fame.
All better! send me links for next week and have a safe Wednesday out there!
Paris Hilton, human being, loves Lied Animal Shelter! »
Paris Hilton: she has to perform 200 community service, because jail. And she gets to choose where to work off those hours, because—well, she worked a day at Lied Animal Shelter in Las Vegas, and at the end adopted a dog. Aww! An idle rich using some of that endless free time to do something good! Do you think she’ll add to her menagerie in the future exclusively by adopting animals?
Mike from Occupied Las Vegas, our number-one source for Las Vegas animal news, nots that, reputation aside, if “[Paris Hilton] can influence legions of slack jawed gossip zombies not to buy dogs from pet stores then that’s a win. You know, the demographic who fills the shelters with dalmatians and chihuahuas after the release of a popular Disney movie or a Taco Bell commercial. If Bruce Willis would just make ADOPT HARD, the shelters would be empty tomorrow.”
[Pearl—furthest right—with the rest of her team in Haiti. See more photos here!]
Lied Animal Shelter, if you recall, is the home of Crosby and many other potential search and rescue dogs. The ASPCA Dog of the Year 2010 is a search and rescue dog, actually; her name is Pearl, and she was deployed to Haiti to help save lives after the earthquake. Pearl is A HERO*, you guys, and two nice teachers from Rancho Romero School in Alamo, Calif. wrote a book about her. It’s called A New Job for Pearl, and all the profits from its sale are donated to the Search Dog Foundation center in Ojai, Calif. AWWW, YOU GUYS, buy the nice book for your little relations! Then you can explain why no one should ever, ever buy a dog when they can adopt one, because the dogs who don’t get adopted and don’t find good jobs WILL BE MURDERED.
Merry Christmas! Adopt an animal!
*You know “heroine” is going the way of “actress,” right? English allows for gender neutrality, let’s embrace it. Imagine if we still used “authoress” or “poetess”—BARF.
[Thanks to Mike from Occupied Las Vegas for the tips!]