Archive for April, 2012

Northwest Prime Time highlights some Old Dog Haven friends

Sandy and Phil Krutsinger with their family of dogs

Good news!  Northwest Prime Time, the northwest’s premier magazine covering news, events and stories relevant to people over 50, has published my article on Old Dog Haven volunteers Sandy and Phil Krutsinger.

Check it out here.

Pick up a copy of Northwest Prime Time at locations listed here (in April).


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Redirecting farm subsidies: A simple solution

Do you know how much your government subsidizes animal cruelty?  The costs are higher than you think.

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Dogs Deserve Better

A fellow carpooler reminded me today of the importance of educating the public about  chained, penned or “backyard” dogs.

Dogs Deserve Better, an international organization that works to educate the public about penned and chained dogs, has made a PSA on the issue.   Here it is.  Please share it with others and take action for dogs in distress.

Here is the link to the Washington Dogs Deserve Better.

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Los Angeles! Motion to ban retail pet sales passes!

Arguably, there is no place more notorious for homeless pets than Los Angeles, CA!  With a large number of pet stores and a population willing to spend the money, pet stores can easily sell animals to people who have not fully considered the responsibility of pet ownership.  Any you know the result — pet abandonment, pet surrender, maxed out animal shelters and high kill rates in city shelters.  And this is not to mention the secondary consequences of pet sales such as high costs to tax payers and compassion fatigue among shelter workers.

But yesterday, the LA City Council made the courageous decision to pass a motion to ban the sale of dogs, cats and rabbits in retail outlets that are not from a qualified rescue organization (LA CBS, radio ref, TV news).

This is wonderful!  Finally a real solution to pet homelessness for a city brimming with homeless pets.   Well done LA!

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Earth Day and “vegan” go hand-in-hand

This just in (from my email, that is) from a Seattle Vegan Meetup group:

Hello everyone! The upcoming week is a filled with great vegan and animal-related events in the Seattle area, so I wanted to let you all know the schedule. Just let me know if you have any questions or would like more information about any of the events. Hope to see you at some or all of the events!


Earth Day Weekend Event:

Saturday & Sunday, April 21 & 22: “Go Green, Go Vegan” Banner Hang

Remind people to have compassion for all animals; email to sign up for a shift.

Shifts: 10-12, 12-2, 2-4, 4-6

When: 10am – 6pm (both days)

Where: Freeway overpass at I-5 and 50th, U-District of Seattle


World Week for Animals In Labs Events:


Saturday, April 21: WWAIL Kickoff Potluck!

Vegan potluck! We will watch Rise of the Planet of the Apes,

discuss the reality of animals in labs, and get an overview of the week’s events.

When: starts at 7:00pm

Where: 5615 12th Ave NE, Seattle


Monday, April 23: Demonstration at SNBL USA Headquarters

Protest SNBL’s use and horrific treatment of primates, dogs, mice, & bunnies.

When: 3pm – 5pm

Where: 6605 Merrill Creek Parkway, Everett


Tuesday, April 24: Demonstration at University of Washington

Protest the Infant Primate Research Lab.

When: 3pm – 6pm

Where: NE Pacific St & Montlake Blvd, Seattle


Wednesday, April 25: Outreach at University of Washington

Leaflet to educate the UW community about the school’s involvement in vivisection.

When: 11am – 12:30pm

Where: Pedestrian Overpass @ NE 40th & NE 15th, U-District of Seattle


Thursday, April 26: Demonstration at University of Washington

Protest cruel primate brain experiments.

When: 11:30am – 1pm

Where: 1705 NE Pacific St, Seattle


World Wide Vegan Bake Sale Event:


Saturday & Sunday, April 28 & 29: World Wide Vegan Bake Sale, Seattle Edition

Yummy vegan treats! Sales support Action for Animals and Precious Life Animal Sanctuary.

When: noon – 7pm (both days)

Where: The Chocolate Shoebox @ 7410 Greenwood Ave N, Seattle


Thank you to Action for Animals, the Seattle Animal Defense League, NARN, and the Chocolate Shoebox for all their work planning these events!

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AMONG THE ANIMALS: Chicks in the City

Rhodie (left), Hedda and Honeybee

By Christie Lagally

Originally published in City Living Seattle

April 10, 2012

(c) Pacific Publishing Company

As consumers, most of us are disturbed by the inhumane practice of factory farming. Chickens, as well as pigs and other farm animals, suffer much of their lives in cramped, relentless conditions that would make anyone go mad.

Yet, the practice of urban agriculture has garnered considerable attention in recent years, and Seattle chicken keepers can ensure that their birds are happy and well cared for while being rewarded with fresh eggs.

At least that is the goal for Kristin Baerg’s students at North Seattle Community College. Baerg teaches a class on chicken keeping and urban farming. In addition to being a busy mom of young children, Baerg runs a hobby farm with cows, pigs and chickens in Monroe and shares her expertise in her classes.

Humane conditions

In her Chicks in the City class, Baerg explains that chicken keeping is a legal, sustainable practice in Seattle and is an easy way to avoid supporting factory farming. The two-and-half-hour class covers topics from chicken breeds to first aid. Up to eight chickens can be kept in yard pens, and Baerg said they take very little time to care for overall.

Baerg said that her chickens are raised for meat, as well: “People often asked me how I can eat animals that I know. But I remind them that the animals I raised lived happy healthy lives before it was their time to go.

“I wonder how people can buy packaged meat from the store with the knowledge that the animal suffered terribly for a lifetime,” Baerg continued. “We have a responsibility to prevent suffering of animals in our care.”

Apparently, animal advocates, egg producers and consumers alike agree with Baerg’s sentiment.

Recently, the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), which advocates for the humane treatment of all animals regardless of their role in our society, made an agreement with the United Egg Producers, an industry trade association, to support legislation to improve conditions in industrial egg facilities nationally.

Hedda the chicken

Paul Shapiro, senior director of Farm Animal Protection for the HSUS, said the bill is being considered in the U.S. House of Representatives but has not yet been passed into law. If enacted, the new law would apply higher animal-welfare standards equally to all egg producers. Chickens would be in better environments and have increased room to walk. The goal is to give some relief to chickens in these factory conditions.

Caring for chickens

Featherflop III

As for keeping backyard chickens, Shapiro said it can be an eye-opening experience. “As long as there are sufficient rules in place to protect chickens from cruelty and neglect, residents get the opportunity to see what beautiful, intelligent and interesting creatures chickens actually are,” Shapiro said.

Mollie Welch and Cleo

North Seattle resident Mollie Welch reported a similar experience raising hens. Welch is my neighbor, and she cares for five laying hens of all different breeds. Hedda, a white-crested black Polish, frequently roams Welch’s front yard with her sister-hens Honeybee (a partridge cochin), Rhodie (a Rhode Island red), Cleo (a white-caced Wyandotte) and Featherflop III (an Ameraucana hen).

“It’s a family name,” Welch explained of the last hen. Featherflop I and II have since passed on.

Eggs from Mollie Welch’s chickens

Welch has enjoyed her chickens for about a year. She brought them home from Portage Bay Grange, a supply store that offers chicken, rabbit and goat feed for urban animal keeping here in Seattle. Now, the flock produces seven to 12 eggs a week, ranging in color from delicately brown-spotted from Honeybee to soft green from Cleo.

Welch learned chicken keeping from a variety of sources, and recently had to care for a wound on Hedda’s head. An anti-pecking compound turned Hedda’s head feathers purple giving her a punk-rock look for a while. But otherwise Welch’s first aid was successful.

In the driveway is a cedar chicken coop with laying beds and a free-run area. The chickens are secured in the coup and safe from predators when Welch is away. But the walk from the coop door to the front gate is a familiar one for the chickens. They know the way, waiting for Welch to open the gate and begin their afternoon foraging in the front yard.

“I really enjoy them,” Welch said, as her chickens scratch around the garden for a dirt bath.

And as for friendly Hedda, Honeybee, Rhodie, Cleo and Featherflop III, the feeling appears to be completely mutual.

For information on Baerg’s Chicks in the City class, see the North Seattle Community College Continuing Education website.

Urban-farming classes are also available through Seattle Tilth (

For more information on advocacy for farm animals, visit the HSUS website at

CHRISTIE LAGALLY is a freelance pet columnist who writes the blog “Sniffing Out Home: A Search for Animal Welfare Solutions” at

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The Chronicles of Veg Fest (Seattle, 2012)

VegFest Seattle rocked!  I’m mean, it just really did.  My husband Eric and I attended four years ago, and there wasn’t that much I could eat because I don’t eat dairy or eggs.  This time, I left full to the brim with vegan samples.

Like I said, it rocked!

Our morning started with a “run in” with security (actually I just took his picture.)

Then we met some lively pickle people who raised these ‘pickle-saurus’.  Is this why we have security at Veg Fest?

There was plenty of veggie ‘meats’ to go around.  And a tried a new vegan ‘meat’ called EcoVegan that wasn’t just really good, it was fabulous!

Lots of good books and authors to meet.

But the best part was definitely some absolutely wonderful vegan cheese.   Let’s face it.  Up until about 5 years ago, vegan cheese wasn’t that great.  Now it’s not only good, it’s a delicacy! This one, from HeidiHo Organics was the best at Veg Fest.

We can’t forget how much we appreciate our animal friends and the wonderful people who care for homeless or marginalized animals.  Here are some of their pictures.

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