keithan81

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NC Governor Perdue Signs Susie’s Law

By: keithan81 Wednesday June 23, 2010 4:13 pm

Exiled to Atlanta until I finish school, I must say how proud I am of my home state today, not just for nominating Elaine Marshall to take on Richard Burr. Not just for going blue in 2008, but for something else, something that defines our very humanity. Just a short while ago, Governor Beverly Perdue signed Susie's Law, followed by a stamp from Susie herself. This isn't the first time that Susie has met state elected leaders – during the debate over Susie's Law, she traveled to Raleigh to lobby on behalf of the bill's passage, showing members of the General Assembly the places on her head that were once ears and the scars on her body that were once wounds.

Susie isn't a person. She's a pit bull mix who bears the scars of torture. In August, 2009, Susie, just a puppy, was found by passers-by in a Greensboro park, badly beatened with her jaw and teeth broken, and with second and third degree burns on over 60% of her body. Maggots infested her wounds; maggots that had been there for two weeks.

What on earth would cause a human to do this to Susie? Apparently, her attacker went crazy after she licked the face of his newborn baby. He beat her, then sprayed her with lighter fluid before setting her on fire. His mother turned him in; he accepted a guilty plea and was sentenced under the state's burning of property law. He will be in prison for 6-8 months. Yep, months. He would have gotten the same punishment for setting a couch on fire and more for setting a mailbox on fire.

Susie's Law changes all of that. Starting December 1, in North Carolina, the malicious abuse of animals will be deemed a Class H felony, punishable by up to ten years in prison, even for first-time offenders.

Three days before Barack Obama was elected President, I found a tortured animal lying in the parking lot of my apartment complex. I posted about it then and Julien placed it on the front page. My cat, who is now known as the Duke of Windsor (he's royal, okay), lies on an old blanket, snoring as I write this. A few days beforehand, someone used pliers to rip out his front claws. Infection set in and I think he cashed in a few of his nine lives, but he made it. And he's doing quite well. He's made my life a little more fun and I love his resilient spirit. He's no stranger to anyone who comes through my door, smelling them thoroughly before he plops himself in their laps. In the first post, blenders from everywhere gave me all kinds of tips as the Duke stayed at the animal hospital, recovering from the infection and the seizures that followed.

I've been around animals my entire life. My mother was president of the local Humane Society when I was growing up. When I was about six, my mom took me to a neighborhood near our house to talk to people about the mysterious deaths of several neighborhood animals. A few weeks later, the culprit was discovered - one of the residents of the community was leaving out dishes of anti-freeze, killing the animals because they walked across her yard. A few years later, my mom began her own horse training business. I've seen horse after horse go through her barn bearing wounds to their spirits that are similar to Susie's. And yet they bounce back, willing to love and forgive. If only humans could be so smart.

Yet to our society, animal abuse remains “no big deal.” Look no further than Michael Vick.  

Well, it is a big deal. No living creature deserves torture. Let's hope that Susie's Law is the first of many across our land. Even though evolution has blessed us humans at the top of the ladder, we must always maintain our compassion. And as we give BP the hell that they deserve, let us also not forget our friends of the sea, the air, and the earth. While their wounds will tell their stories, it is up to us to be their advocates. In all of the uproar, let us not leave them behind.

 

Today is National HIV Testing Day

By: keithan81 Saturday June 27, 2009 9:22 am

I usually am not lost for words, but I have started this diary numerous times. I cannot seem to find the words, to find the right way to say what I want to say. So now, I am sitting here listening to Reba McEntire's “She Thinks His Name was John” and all I can say is how fortunate I am to be HIV negative. I think of all of those young people in the 1980s who died scared and alone and I remind myself that no one should die that way.  

Twenty-eight years after its discovery, there is no vaccine for HIV.

Twenty-eight years after its discovery, there is no cure for AIDS.

Our first line of defense is ourselves.

 

Animal Help Needed!

By: keithan81 Sunday November 2, 2008 8:17 pm

What a day.

 I was heading out the door at 11 to meet the bf for lunch. Well, I didn't make it to lunch. On my way out the door, I saw several of my neighbors slumped over a cat in my parking lot. Asking me if they knew who he belonged to, I said no. I walked over and my new buddy had me at hello.

 I found an animal hospital nearby open and whisked him away. I really thought he would have to be put down. After a quick exam, they told me he would be okay. He is a neutered male, a little over a year old. The vet told me that there were some wounds on his paws that had become infected; she needed to sedate him in order to find out what was going on, as he was becoming a little frustrated with them (understandably) when they tried to examine his paws. This gave me a much needed break to run to Target to pick up pet supplies.

Back at the animal hospital, I found out that my new feline friend had been put through a ringer. Somehow, many of his claws were ripped out. I don't want to imagine how that happened, so I'll move on from there. He came home with me, got out of his box, ate a little, and drank some water. The vet gave me two meds for him to take – meloxicam for pain and clavamox for the infection.

 Around 7:15, he got his first dose of both meds. About fifteen minutes later, he went into a very violent seizure that lasted about a minute and a half. In tears, I called the animal hospital for some advice; it could be a variety of things: stress, pain, medicinal reaction, anything.

He laid still on the living room floor for a bit. I feared his next breath would be his last, but he is snoozing comfortably now. I just do not know what to do at all. This has indeed been quite a day. Any tips from those of you well-versed in animal care would be greatly appreciated.

PS: He's going to need a name.

One Town at a Time

By: keithan81 Saturday June 14, 2008 9:36 am

Every morning, I wake up and read my hometown newspaper online. It has been about ten years since I lived in Rockingham, North Carolina, but I still like to stay informed of what is going on in the little town where my roots began.

Imagine my surprise when I read this editorial:

http://www.yourdailyjournal.co…

Granted, it was written in Daytona Beach, but the fact that a small town newspaper picked it up and printed it as its featured editorial says a lot, especially when that small town is Rockingham, North Carolina.

I am awaiting the fundy eruption from this, and I am sure it will come. But I am overly optimistic. Perhaps I have made my coffee too strong; maybe three large cups was just too much. But I realize that the fight for progress and full equality for all citizens is truly one step at a time, small town to medium city, to large urban environment.

Equality is equality.