Hi Inderific. We agree that the graphic is shockin…

Hi Inderific. We agree that the graphic is shocking and almost unbelievable. Zillow currently has 480 homes in Oakland listed as foreclosure sale or auction as of today (April 20, 2015). You can Google that info from any city by pulling up 'Zillow + Foreclosures + Name/City'

What the 'blue dots' can't show you is the full number homes that are bank owned by not on the market right now. Banks have been forced to release just a portion of foreclosure homes at a time in order to control the market some (the pricing, actually)

Here's the link to the Oakland sales:

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Inspired By Our Earth

Happy Earth Day you guys! As many of you know, I ran an eco-friendly clothing label called Mountains of the Moon for 15 years. I was very lucky to get to be a part of some really amazing events with my brand, including showing my collections at Chicago and Portland Fashion Weeks, exhibiting at expos all over the country, producing eco-fashion shows at music festivals, and even showing a dress I made out of discarded candy wrappers at Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art. But one of my favorite events was one that happened every year – our Annual Earth Day project.  Every April 22nd for six years, we offered 30% off our entire line, and also teamed up with American Forests to plant trees (30% of every order was given to their tree planting project, where every dollar planted one tree). I loved getting to do this, and I’ll admit that I’m feeling a little bummed that it’s not happening this year. I will be making my own personal donation to American Forests today though, and I also plan on on hitting up a local park after I’m done with work to help clean up trash. I really do make an effort everyday to be environmentally conscious in my choices and actions, but it’s also nice to have a day each year specifically devoted to reminding us all how important it is to respect the earth. 

In celebration of this special day, I’m sharing some stunning images of nature that I’ve come across on Pinterest recently, as seen above. (And a few of them are of my two favorite places I’ve ever been: the California Coastal Redwoods, where I lived for a couple of years after college, and the Great Barrier Reef, which I had the intense pleasure of snorkeling in 2010.) How lucky are we to live on a planet that is so absolutely stunning?

If you’d like to make a donation today in honor of Earth Day but aren’t sure where to start, here are some of my favorite environmental organizations: American Forests, Rock the Earth, Water DefenseAmerican Rivers, Wildlife AllianceSierra ClubChicago Wilderness, EDF.

Do you do anything special to celebrate Earth Day?

Image sources from top: 1. Earthshots.org, 2. Mr & Mrs Globe Trot, 3. Bored Panda, 4. Man & Camera, 5. Kieron Foster, 6. NPS7. 99 Travel Tips, 8. Bloom


Bubby and Bean ::: Living Creatively

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Infection and neglect found at care homes in southern England

Infection and neglect found at care homes in southern England
A used incontinence pad, a 40-minute wait for a toilet trip and an infection outbreak were among problems uncovered at care homes in southern England. More than half of the 65 adult social care services inspected by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) …
Read more on BBC News

Austin startup gets funding for sinus infection test; partners needed
Distribution partners will be needed to market the test to doctors, clinics and emergency rooms so they can properly diagnose and treat bacterial sinus infections. Skraba said the same bacteria that causes sinus infections also cause ear and lung
Read more on Austin Business Journal

Increasing size of elderly population contributes to TB infection in China
A major contributor to the number of tuberculosis infections and cases in China will likely be the elderly over the next few decades, requiring a refocus in efforts to control a disease affecting millions of people in the country, according to
Read more on News-Medical.net

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A French Bulldog being carried through Menton’s indoor market.

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Beautiful Newfoundland Dog Layla

Beautiful 10-year-old Newfoundland dog Layla sitting so pretty with her legs crossed waiting for her humans outside of a coffee shop

The post Beautiful Newfoundland Dog Layla appeared first on A Place to Love Dogs.

A Place to Love Dogs

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Rescue Dogs Now Helping to Rescue the Galapagos

Got snails? We all know just how destructive snails can be to our gardens but the Giant African Snails are a very special problem. Considered one of the world’s most invasive species, destroying…

[[ This is a summary only. Click the title for the full post, photos, videos, giveaways, and more! ]]


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Daytona flea market security guard stabber facing additional charges, official

Daytona flea market security guard stabber facing additional charges, official
The man charged in the stabbing of a Daytona Flea and Farmers Market security guard is facing more charges after deputies found more than $ 5,000 in counterfeit bills, an official said. Enlarge. Austin Lowther. There were 95 counterfeit bills, in
Read more on Daytona Beach News-Journal

California drought increasing flea population
Dry drought conditions are contributing to the increase in flea populations in the Northstate. Fleas can lead to long term health problems in pets like anemia. "I've seen more fleas in the past month than I've pretty much seen in my whole life," said
Read more on KRCRTV.COM

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Jerky Problems AGAIN: an infographic

Are you kidding me? After years of pressure, people finally get pet stores to agree to stop carrying treats from China only to have a new crop of cases of illness emerge in pets who ate jerky with a “Made in the USA” label.

Is it sourcing? Is it weird contamination from aliens? Who cares! Just don’t buy it. It’s not worth the risk. Feed your pet an apple, or some of their regular food, or follow the link to where I show you how to make it yourself.

Or watch the video:

Click here to view the embedded video.


Any questions?


Pawcurious: With Veterinarian and Author Dr. V

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Video of Iranian Dog Killings Sparks Demonstrations Throughout the Country

Iranian animal-rights activists have taken to the streets in several cities throughout the country to protest a grotesque video showing men killing stray dogs.

The video is undated, but went viral within the last week. It allegedly shows dogs dying after being injected with acid by men in the city of Shiraz, about 500 miles south of Tehran. According to the Fars News Agency, the activist who took the video says that the men were paid $ 4 for each dog killed.

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Skyline of Tehran by Shutterstock.

The biggest protest so far took place outside the offices of Vice President Masoumeh Ebtekar in Tehran. On Sunday, at least 500 people gathered outside, demanding an investigation of the video. Ebtekar said in a letter to the Interior Ministry that there needs to be "an immediate end to unconventional population control methods for stray dogs." She also addressed the crowd directly, telling them that "Hurting animals is unacceptable under any circumstances," but that the responsibility for pursuing an investigation falls on the local governments.

Demonstrations also took place in the cities of Shiraz, Qazvin, and Karaj.

Dog ownership is highly controversial in Iran and many other Muslim societies because certain schools of Islam consider dogs to be unclean. Owning them as pets, rather than as work animals, is especially frowned upon.

These feelings about dogs surfaced in Iran late last year, when 32 conservative members of the Iranian parliament signed a draft of a law that would have made walking a dog in public or owning one as a pet punishable by 74 lashes of the whip. In Malaysia, animal activist Syed Azmi Alhabshi got death threats when he organized a public event called "I Want to Touch a Dog," where Muslims could come to touch and pet dogs, many of them for the first time.

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Central Asian Shepherd in cage by Shutterstock.

Although the taboo runs deep, there is also pushback against it from many Muslims, as the protests against the video show. The response to it has been broad-based; not only has the Vice President had to make an immediate response, but the local government of Shiraz was flooded with phone calls after the video hit the web, and Ali Karimi, a beloved former football star, posted a picture of himself with his two dogs on his Instagram account. Next to the picture, he wrote, "Dogs are the kindest domestic animals. I hope those who, under any excuse, did this to these animals get what they deserve." It's safe to say that we all agree with that sentiment.

Via Yahoo News

Read more news about dogs on Dogster:

The Scoop | The Scoop

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Merritt Clifton: German Shepherd Apologist

Attack Dog Training

German shepherds are one of the most common breeds in the world. I am not opposed to people keeping them and breeding them. Some of these dogs are wonderful family pets. Others are superior law enforcement dogs.

But what I do oppose is total hypocrisy in providing analysis about different breeds of dog.

I have not mentioned on this space before, but I am deeply skeptical of the research put out by Merritt Clifton of Animals 24-7. Not only does he get a lot of breed history wrong– his sloppy use of the term “molosser” is enough for me to question anyone’s expertise about dogs– but he actually engages in pseudoscientific claims about the behavior of breeds he happens to like.

Most people know Clifton for his tireless campaign to prove to the world that “pit bulls” are walking time bombs that are just about to explode at any moment.  Anyone who questions him has been targeted as a “pit bull apologist” or a “pit bull nutter.”

But Clifton himself is one hell of an apologist. Just not with pit bulls.

In his analysis of dog bites from 1982-2014,* Clifton makes some interesting claims about German shepherd bites:

German shepherds are herding dogs, bred for generations to guide and protect sheep. In modern society, they are among the dogs of choice for families with small children, because of their extremely strong protective instinct. They have three distinctively different bites: the guiding nip, which usually does not break the skin; the grab-and-drag, to pull a puppy or lamb or child away from danger, which is as gentle as emergency circumstances allow; and the reactive bite, usually in defense of territory, a child, or someone else the dog is inclined to guard. The reactive bite usually comes only after many warning barks, growls, and other exhibitions intended to avert a conflict. When it does come, it is typically accompanied by a frontal leap for the wrist or throat.

Because German shepherds often use the guiding nip and the grab-and-drag with children, who sometimes misread the dogs’ intentions and pull away in panic, they are involved in biting incidents at almost twice the rate that their numbers alone would predict: approximately 28% of all bite cases, according to a recent five-year compilation of Minneapolis animal control data. Yet none of the Minneapolis bites by German shepherds involved a serious injury: hurting someone is almost never the dogs’ intent.

There are several Clifton’s claims. The first is he conflates herding dogs with livestock guardian dogs. Herding dogs really don’t guard sheep, and the German shepherd’s ancestors were herding dogs. Instead, they engage in predatory behavior that is modified through selective breeding and training. Everyone who lives in a rural area knows that untrained collie-types are a major problem for people keeping sheep and goats. With no training to modify their behavior, they often surplus kill stock. Livestock guardian dogs, by contrast, bond with the stock and protect them. They are selected against exhibiting predatory behavior, and although these dogs sometimes do become predators of livestock, it is not something that anyone would breed for or tolerate within those strains. With herding dogs, though, it is often a tricky balance between herding and hunting.

Note that I said the German shepherd’s ancestors were bred for herding. The modern GSD has not been bred exclusively for this behavior for over a century. If you want an idea of what the original GSD was like, you will have to go to eastern Germany’s Harz Mountains and look for a mid-sized herding dog called Harzer fuchs, which means “Harz fox.”  GSD were partially developed from the Thuringian sheepdog, and the Harz Mountains extend into Thurginia. This dog is actually an active herding breed, but Germany itself has many regional variants of sheepdog. This one just happens to look a lot like the standard German shepherd and is probably similar to the Thuringian type of dog that was crossed into the GSD.

The dog we call a German shepherd dog today, though, has undergone a radical transformation from the sheepdog. One cannot ignore that the dog we call the GSD today was largely the brainchild of a German cavalry officer named Max von Stephanitz. Stephanitz used prick-eared sheepdogs from southern and Eastern Germany, and very quickly began to standardize them and develop them as generalist working dogs. He founded the  Verein für Deutsche Schäferhunde in 1899, and his club began developing the breed as the ultimate working dog. There was a heavy emphasis on breeding the dogs for personal protection and military purposes, and a strong selection away from bite inhibition behavior.

German shepherds bite people. His decision to arbitrarily create three categories of German shepherd bite is just weaseling. No credible ethologist or animal behaviorist would recognize these distinctions. GSD have been bred for personal protection and law enforcement. When they bite, it has nothing to do with herding.  I bet there aren’t 200 GSD in all of North America that are used for herding stock, but there are thousands that are bred for protection work and sport and for law enforcement purposes.

What Clifton has done is really good example of legitimizing violence. German shepherds are generally thought of as dogs belonging to the police or a good conservative family, while pit bulls are the dogs of the nonwhite underclass. When a pit bull bites, it is a thug dog. When a German shepherd bites, it is the good shepherd.

In essence, the German shepherd is the equivalent of ” the good guy with a gun” we often hear right wing extremists talk about.

Clifton is treated as an expert on dog bite issues. I don’t know why. I will leave it to more qualified people to make analysis about pit bulls, but I can tell you that German shepherds should not be given a free pass when it comes to dog bite issues.

I am not an expert, but I do know enough about dogs to know when someone is just making stuff up.

Clifton is not giving an intellectually honest answer when he gives his German shepherd apologetics.

I write this not as someone who wants laws against German shepherds, but I can tell you that everything Clifton does is about making law on pit bulls and other “molossers,” which, I’ve pointed out, is actually bogus term.

All I am saying is consult the ethology literature on herding behavior, and read the actual history of German shepherd dogs. They are derived from herders, which is true, but they haven’t been bred exclusively for that behavior in well over a century. A German shepherd is a dog that has been bred to bite people, preferably under control and training. But an untrained, reactive GSD can do a lot of damage to person, just as any big dog could.


*Clifton, Merrit. “Dog bites and maimings, US and Canada: September 1982 to December 31, 2014.” Animals 24-7.


Canis lupus hominis

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