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Stonepounder's Journal
Stonepounder's Journal
December 5, 2019

Michigan is now 'no-kill' state for shelter animals

A couple of months old, but first time I have seen it. Great news from Michigan - and this from a dyed in the wool Buckeye.


Michigan is now 'no-kill' state for shelter animals
Posted: Mon 1:56 PM, Sep 09, 2019

LANSING, MI (WILX) -- Michigan is now officially a "no-kill state" for shelter animals.

To be considered a "no-kill" state, 90 percent of animals are either returned to owners, transferred to other shelters and rescue organizations, or adopted.

“This is an amazing first for our state,” said Deborah Schutt, MPFA founder and chairperson. “When the shelters in a state combine to meet the 90% target, that state is considered No-Kill for shelter animals. Only Delaware, which has three shelters, compared to 174 in Michigan, also reached the No Kill benchmark last year.”

In 2018, Michigan reached that percentage.

“While it’s exciting to see Michigan as a state achieve No-Kill status by reaching the 90% goal, we still have a few communities struggling to save lives, especially with cats,” Schutt said. “We will continue to work with shelters and rescue organizations to implement best practices, decrease overall length of stay in the shelter and improve the quality of life for homeless pets while they are in a shelter.”

The Michigan Pet Fund Alliance (MPFA) began tracking these statistics in 2009 from annual reports submitted by shelters to the Michigan Department of Agriculture & Rural Development According to the MPFA, approximately 120,000 dogs and cats were being euthanized in Michigan shelters every year.

The MPFA said that number is now just over 13,000.
December 3, 2019

Injured Tortoise Who Lost Shell In Fire Receives Worlds First 3D-Printed Shell

Injured Tortoise Who Lost Shell In Fire Receives Worlds First 3D-Printed Shell

The unique story of one tortoise affected by fire is inspiring new ways of caring for injured and rehabilitating animals.

All tortoises share the unique anatomical feature of a shell. The shell has two parts, the carapace, and the plastron, and is relied upon for protection from predators, hunters, and the environment. This tortoise was found close to death by veterinarian surgeon Dr. Rodrigo Rabello, nicked name Thor after a bush fire completely destroyed its protective covering.

She has lived through a terrible fire, and consequently, she had suffered pneumonia, hunger for 45 days, near-death and most obviously, lost 85% of her protective shell. The tortoise was therefore named Freddy, after the fire-damaged character Freddy Krueger, of Nightmare on Elm Street fame. Since a damaged shell cannot be regrown, Freddy faced a life of long term disability without her hard outer shell. Yet, the ‘Animal Avengers’, a self-named group of volunteers and specialists from Brazil, consisting of Dr. Rabello and three other vets, a dental surgeon, and a 3D designer, were determined to change that.


Although Freddy required a short operation to attach the shell, today, she has regained full mobility under her new hull. She appears like any other tortoise and is leading a happy life in her home with one of the Animal Avengers, veterinarian Dr. Rodrigo Rabello. A YouTube video reveals the assembling of the shell, which is the first-ever fully prosthetic tortoiseshell, despite being a low-cost solution to improving animal function, having a material cost of $136.

Well worth a look at the link below for more details and some amazing pics of Freddy before and after:


December 2, 2019

Operation Cowboy - How American GIs & German Soldiers Joined Forces to Save the Legendary Lipizzaner

Operation Cowboy – How American GIs & German Soldiers Joined Forces to Save the Legendary Lipizzaner Horses in the Final Hours of WW2

IT WAS APRIL 28, 1945. The war in Europe was just days away from ending when one of the strangest episodes of the entire conflict played out along the German-Czechoslovakian border. More than 350 American GIs had just fought their way through enemy lines to reach the town of Hostau. The settlement, which was still in the hands of a detachment of Wehrmacht soldiers, was home to some remarkably valuable treasure: several hundred prized Lipizzaner horses. The famous and extremely rare animals, which had been seized by the Third Reich as part of a bizarre wartime livestock breeding program, were now in the path of the advancing Red Army where they faced almost certain destruction. Fearing for the horses’ lives, the German officer in charge of the stud farm sent word to the Americans that he and his men would surrender en masse if the U.S. Army promised to get the beasts out of harm’s way. A cavalry unit in Patton’s Third Army leapt at the chance to save the legendary Lipizzaners. The mission, which was dubbed Operation Cowboy, would see U.S. troops, along with a motley collection of liberated Allied POWs, a bona fide Cossack aristocrat and a platoon of turn-coat German soldiers race the clock to drive a herd of priceless horses to safety, all the while fighting off attacks by a legion of crack troops from the Waffen-SS bent on their destruction. This unbelievable true-story was the inspiration for Ghost Riders, a new non-fiction book by author and historian Mark Felton. Here, Felton himself takes us through the story.

More at:

December 1, 2019

Three Utah Girls Stood Up To a Teacher Who Condemned a Boy For Having Two Dads

There is some hope in the world today. Stumbled across this article and thought it worth sharing.

Three Utah Girls Stood Up To a Teacher Who Condemned a Boy For Having Two Dads

A group of girls knew exactly what to do when they heard their fifth-grade substitute teacher at Deerfield Elementary School in Utah castigate a classmate who said that, for Thanksgiving, he was most thankful that he was “finally going to be adopted by my two dads.” The teacher launched into a 10-minute lecture on why “two men living together is a sin,” so the girls protested. Several times.

When their efforts failed to deter the teacher, the three girls left the room to get the principal and the teacher was escorted unceremoniously out of the classroom.

Courtney Tanner of the Salt Lake Tribune tells the story:

Students later said that the substitute snapped, “Why on earth would you be happy about that?”

For the next 10 minutes she lectured the 30 kids in the class about her own views, how “homosexuality is wrong” and “two men living together is a sin.” She looked at the boy, too, and told him: “That’s nothing to be thankful for.”

“She also tried to blame our son,” said one of the boy’s dads, Louis van Amstel, “and told him that it was his fault that she went off.”

For their part, the school seems to have handled everything properly. They alerted van Amstel and his husband Josh almost immediately. They said disciplinary action would be taken against the substitute teacher (though we don’t know details).

Full article at:

October 24, 2019

New Margaret & Helen - Did Anyone Else Realize We Are Building A Wall In Colorado?


Did anyone else realize we are building a wall in Colorado?

Margaret, nobody is perfect. Lord knows I’ve been known to have a mental lapse every now and then. Like when I thought Tulsi Gabbard might have some good ideas to add to the debates. She didn’t and that’s ok. I’m a big enough person to admit when I’m wrong. Having that capacity – that strength – to admit your mistakes, learn from them, grow from them, and then move on – well that’s actually a sign of good character. Which is exactly the reason why I can say without a doubt that Donald J. Drumpf, the 45th (gulp) President of these United States must have a really, really, really tiny penis.

Now hear me out…

Yesterday, Donald told a crowd of idiots that he was building a wall in New Mexico. He isn’t, but that’s not the point of this story. And for those of you who are upset that I just arbitrarily called the entire crowd idiots, just hang in there. I’ll make my case.

Trump told the room full of morons – I mean idiots – that he was building a wall in New Mexico. And then he added that he was building a wall in Colorado. And then in Texas… Wait. What? Colorado? He’s building a wall in Colorado? Yep. That’s what he said. And apparently it’s “a big one that really works.” He then joked about not building one in Kansas. And thank goodness about that because Oklahoma already feels insecure enough. Being cut off from Trump’s United States would just be rubbing salt in those Sooner wounds.

Full letter at link. No paywall. I love Margaret & Helen.
October 23, 2019

They tell you not to cry.

They tell you not to cry.

They tell you that it's just a dog, not a human being.

They tell you that the pain will be over.

They tell you that the animals don't know that they have to die.

They tell you that it's important not to let him suffer.

They tell you that you can have another one.

They tell you it's going to happen to you.

They tell you that there is more pain.

But they don't know how many times you've looked into your dog’s eyes.

They don't know how many times you and your dog have looked into darkness alone.

They don't know how many times your dog was the only one who was by your side.

They don't know how much fear you have
at night when you wake up with your grief.

They don't know how many times your dog slept near you.

They don't know how much you've changed since the dog has become a part of your life.

They don't know how many times you hugged him when he was sick.

They don't know how many times you've acted like you didn't see her hair getting whiter.

They don't know how many times you've talked to your dog, the only one who really hears.

They don't know that it was just your dog who knew you were in pain.

They don't know what it feels like to see your old dog trying to say hello.

They don't know that if things went wrong, the only one who didn't go is your dog.

They don't know that your dog trusts you every moment of his life, even in the last.

They don't know how much your dog loved you and how it is enough for him to be happy, because you loved him.

They don't know that crying for a dog is one of the most noble, significant, true, clean and warmest things you can do.

They don't know when the last time you moved him with trouble... made sure it didn’t hurt him.

They don't know what it felt like to pet their face in the last moments of their life....

In Memory of all those who went over the rainbow bridge. You all have a place forever in our hearts 💕

October 19, 2019

Kurds' Sense of Betrayal Compounded by Empowerment of Unsavory Rivals


Kurds’ Sense of Betrayal Compounded by Empowerment of Unsavory Rivals

DOHUK, Iraq — Abandoned by the U.S., Kurdish forces are doubly angry at who are seeking to replace them: Turkish-allied Syrian fighters the United States had long rejected as extremists, criminals and thugs.

The United States had encouraged its Kurdish allies to dismantle their defenses in northern Syria, saying it would make it easier to assure Turkey that the Kurds posed no threat. So in recent months, according to three American officials involved, the Kurds blew up tunnels and destroyed trenches, leaving themselves vulnerable as the United States promised that it would have their back.

Now, a week after President Trump’s decision to pull American support from them, the sense of betrayal among the Kurds, trusted allies now being forced to flee under assault from Turkey, is matched only by their outrage at who will move in: Turkish soldiers supported by Syrian fighters the United States had long rejected as extremists, criminals and thugs.

“These are the misfits of the conflict, the worst of the worst,” said Hassan Hassan, a Syrian-born scholar tracking the fighting. “They have been notorious for extortion, theft and banditry, more like thugs than rebels — essentially mercenaries.”

The sudden empowerment of Turkish-backed Syrian militias is yet another swift turnaround in Syria’s eight-year-old war, and it was unleashed by President Trump’s decision to pull United States troops out of the way for a Turkish military incursion.

More at link.

Even if we manage to throw Trump out of office, or he loses the election, who is ever going to trust us again? If we are very lucky it will only take 50-70 years to regain the world's trust.
September 23, 2019

Scam warning

For some reason that I can't remember back at the end of Sept I paid $1.00 for a 'free trial' of a credit monitoring firm. I discovered that it was even less helpful than the free monitoring of Credit Karma, so didn't do anything to extend the service after the '7 day free trial'. Imagin my shock and awe when a $39.99 charge from them just showed up on my bank account. Evidently, buried somewhere where they assumed you wouldn't see it was the little factoid that if you didn't cancel after the free trial, you would end up paying $40.00 a month for something you can get for free elsewhere. Caveat Emptor! The firm is:

YourScoreAndMore, 866-752-5004, CA

September 14, 2019

Trump's trade war is about to make it harder for Americans abroad to vote.

You've probably never heard of the UPU, or Universal Postal Union. It is a 145 year old treaty that facilitates the sending of mail across international borders. Trump is now threatening to withdraw from the treaty as part of his trade war with China.

Does China currently get somewhat of a sweetheart deal on shipping rates? Yes. Would it make sense to get some of our allies (do we have any allies left?) onboard to try and get a rate change? Sure. But Trump wants to go it alone and just leave the treaty. Which could be disastrous.

WaPo has a full article/opinion at:


The article is long and complex and just doesn't lend itself to a 4 paragraph excerpt.

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