Oh, Say Can You See These Animals

Liberated beagles, endangered bears and a colorful holiday playlist.

12 mins read
dog in a blue kiddie pool

It’s almost Independence Day. We love a Souza march almost as much as we loved Roscoe’s on Lake (two thighs, a waffle and a Corona would be my death-row meal).

But speaking of rare birds, fried or otherwise, shout-out to the awesome Judy Chen, who spotted a white peacock last week.

A bird standing in front of a building
A rare white peacock. Photo: Judy Chen

Judy says, “This is the first time I ever saw a white peacock in the area in the 20+ years we’ve been here. Neighbors behind us have been here 45 years, and they’ve never seen one.  It was first spotted in my front yard this past Wednesday. We live on the Pasadena side of Michillinda, just a little west of the Los Angeles County Arboretum, where this bird might have come from.”

Thanks, Judy!

Summer is officially on, and we are officially feeling it.

RED …Seeing red because of so many dangerous (and pet-frightening) fireworks.

WHITE …as in “white-hot” weather predicted for the Fourth. Keep pets indoors, off hot concrete and hydrated.

BLUE…because rescues and shelters are packed with animals in need of homes and medical care.

Yankee Doodle Poodles, Bottoms Up!

Wet your whistle for a good cause at the ever-pink, ever-posh The Langham Huntington, Pasadena every Wednesday afternoon through evening now through August 25. The Langham Huntington has partnered with Pasadena Humane to bring you pet-themed “Cocktails for a Cause,” a fundraiser for our local shelter.

Every summer Wednesday between 4:00 PM and 8:00 PM, quaff potent potables provided by Southern Glazer Wine and Spirits, with proceeds benefitting PasHumane. Will yours be a “Purrrr-fect Spritz” or “The Mutt”? Make mine a “Sassy Chihuahua.”

If you anticipate pet-loving summer visitors, remember that The Langham, Huntington offers guests a special Langham Doggie Program which includes a pink porcelain pet bowl, plush pink bed pillow, treats and signature bandana.

Calm Compression

A cat wearing a collared shirt
Harnessing a cat (if you can do it!) may reduce feline anxiety. Photo: Sleepypod

Anticipating the nerve-wracking noise around July 4, check out Pasadena-based Sleepypod. The “pod” in the name refers to the brand’s line of unique pet beds/carriers/car seats. Sleepypod also designs and manufactures harnesses for dogs and cats, developed not only for secured, safe walkabouts but also to relieve anxiety through gentle, even compression. Sleepypod also offers a collection of collars and leashes, including a high-tech traffic leash to keep dogs safe in the city. All in a range of colors and sizes. 888-816-8870, [email protected].

4,000 Beagles: Free at Last!

This week is all about freedom, that most cherished virtue of our democracy. And on that topic, lest we think that animal and pet issues are all doom and gloom, Sarah Amundson, President of the Humane Society Legislative Fund, reports on what is considered a historic settlement, the result of her agency’s untiring work to pressure drug manufacturers to replace animal testing with advanced technological alternatives. 

Specifically, her agency and collaborative partners successfully liberated – freed — more than 4,000 beagles from Inotiv / Envigo, where the dogs were force-fed drugs through a stomach-tube and endured other painful procedures while in confinement as part of pharmaceutical testing in a facility in Indiana. Inotiv is the parent company of the breeding facility Envigo RMS.

After the testing was complete, the dogs were typically euthanized.

In context, The Humane Society of the United States reports that each year in the US, 50 million dogs, cats, monkeys, rabbits, rats and mice are used for animal testing of pesticides and cigarette smoke (…really? Are we still not sure about the effects?) and cleaning products as well as drugs.

The U.S. Department of Justice has announced that Inotiv will pay more than $35 million, including an $11 million fine, for violating the Animal Welfare Act. This is the largest settlement in the Act’s history, specifically addressing violations that took place at the Envigo facility in Virginia, which bred dogs for use in animal testing.

A dog sticking its head out the window of a car
Beagles used for drug testing. Photo: Humane Society of the United States

A 2021 undercover investigation at Inotiv/Envigo laid the groundwork when a Humane Society investigator learned that dogs showing signs of test distress, including fever, labored breathing, vomiting and inability to stand, were still administered does of the test-substance.   

The DOJ executed a criminal search warrant at the Envigo facility in May 2022. What they discovered, loosely termed persistent negligence, set into motion the proceedings that followed. Immediately, almost 450 dogs and puppies judged to be in “acute distress” were removed from the facility and placed in foster and permanent homes. The violations included dogs, including nursing mothers, being denied food and receiving food contaminated with maggots, mold and feces. Government inspectors also discovered that beagles at the facility with easily treated conditions, including bite-wounds from other dogs in overcrowded kennels, were routinely being euthanized instead of receiving veterinary care.

Among the wins here: no Inotiv entities, including Envigo, may now legally breed or sell dogs. The funds collected as a result of the legal action will be used to support animal welfare and environmental projects since violation of the Clean Water Act to the tune of $11 million in fines is part of the landmark settlement.

As anyone who’s ever comforted a toddler with an ear infection at 3:00 AM will agree, and witnessed a seemingly miraculous recovery after 24 hours into a round of antibiotics, our world today genuinely abounds with wonder-drugs. Of course, drugs require testing. Yes, we know that the lifesaving COVID-19 vaccines were tested on lab animals.  But the mounting evidence reveals that testing substances on computer models, as well as “organoids” which are tiny 3D chips, replicas of human organs, or on human tissue samples collected from cadavers, offers far more relevant intel

For example, drugs that combat the Zika virus which causes microcephaly (abnormally small head size in babies) were not tested on animals because our human brain-structure is unlike that of a beagle or bunny. To study the brains of people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), scientists use non-embryonic stem cells from the discarded baby teeth of children with ASD to create nerve cells. There are many more medical examples, which is encouraging, even though outdated tests on guinea pigs and mice are still used to test household products like detergent and drain cleaner. The Humane Society states, “Animal experiments are not a necessary evil to guarantee human or environmental health and safety; it’s increasingly clear that an unquestioning faith in animal tests may hinder—rather than help—efforts to ensure that products designed to combat human diseases and conditions are effective.”

Inadequate funding and lethargic processes for validation and regulatory acceptance result in the persistence of 19th-century animal testing, and lawmakers and others (the Food and Drug Administration, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the National Institutes of Health) need to hear from you if you want to see a change. Contact the FDA on this matter HERE.

Moon Bear Day August 8       

We’ve just entered the summer zodiac sign of Cancer, the tidal, lunar-ruled domain of Moonchildren. We’re a bit early on this one, but time flies when you’re jumping over cinderblock walls in the dead of night to rescue abandoned pets. Mark your calendars: August 8 has been designated as Moon Bear Day, and this bear, known more formally as the Asiatic Black Bear (also called the Indian Black Bear, Ursus thibetanus), is in trouble. 

an Asiatic black bear, standing
Asiatic black bear (Ursus thibetanus). Photo: Adobe

Of course, like virtually every species we can think of other than our Pasadena-area foothill companions such as coyotes, crows, scrub jays, squirrels, opossums, skunks and raccoons, this native of the forests that once spanned Asia from Pakistan to Japan, is losing ground, literally, as human development claims its ancestral home. This is not so terribly different from the bears that lounge in your pool in Sierra Madre, break into your home and steal your Oreos, or forage in your trash in Montrose.

But the destiny of the Moon Bear, so-called for the white crescent on its massive chest, is far more terrifying. It’s not even the fact that this specific bear has particular skill in bipedal locomotion. Because it can balance easily on its back feet, this species has been exploited for centuries in circuses as a “Dancing Bear” and also is often used today in high-stakes bear-fights.

But wait, it gets even worse! It’s gruesome, and it has to do with “medicine,” specifically folk-medicine traditions of Asia. The bile produced by the bear’s gallbladder is believed by some to possess magical properties, especially in China, Japan, Korea, Vietnam, Malaysia, Cambodia and Taiwan. You may also encounter bear-bile products in Australia, Indonesia, Laos, Myanmar, Singapore, and even in the good ol’ USA and Canada. The makers of these products may claim that the bear bile turns thinning white hair dark and luxuriant again, prevents bruises, and cures hangovers. In keeping with the Bronze Age talismanic theme, bear meat and bear paws are sold in many parts of Asia for their supernatural properties.

Typically, these bears are taken from the wild as cubs. They are confined in cages so small that they cannot stand or turn around. They can merely lie on their side, and a stent is inserted into the bear’s abdomen, which is used to drain the gallbladder of its precious contents. Of course, sanitation is poor, and veterinary care is unheard of. The bears typically develop infections at the stent site, often break their teeth and damage their mouths when gnawing on the steel bars of their cages, and develop paw-ulcerations (like bedsores) which become infected, sometimes resulting in amputation of the paw. In those cases, the formidable claws are quickly sold as amulets.

The Animal House Red, White & Blue Pool Party Playlist for Summer 2024

To get ourselves in the holiday spirit, we’ve whipped up the first Animal House Pool Party Playlist, all songs pulled from the Great American Songbook. These are songs that tell of an animal that’s red, white or blue, and of course, you don’t need a pool to listen (but if you do, have-noodle-will-travel, we’ll be right over).

Little Red Rooster ((Original Single Mono Version))
Al Jolson sings "When The Red Red Robin Comes Bob Bob Bobbin' Along"
Melanie - Lay Down (Candles in the Rain (1970)
Old Blue
Michael Buble - Winter Wonderland (lyrics)
Hey Loretta
Jefferson Airplane - White Rabbit (Audio)
White Bird- It's A Beautiful Day -1968
Blowing In The Wind (Live On TV, March 1963)
My Choice - Vera Lynn: The White Cliffs of Dover


a rooster
Feelin’ cocky? Photo: Craigslist

Little Red Rooster, Rolling Stones cover.

Coincidentally, this rooster needs a home and can be yours for $15. Seems like a guy who can put the peacocks in their place in terms of vocals. Not recommended if you or any of your neighbors are jazz musicians or bartenders. Email: [email protected]

A close up of a cage
He’s ready to liven up the next hen-party. Photo: SEAAC

And Jimmy-crack-corn-and-I-don’t-care, here’s another strutting, Jagger-esque avian dude who’s ready to crow: #24-11837 (we think of him as Rooster Cogburn) at Southeast Area Animal Control Authority, SEAACA.org. Call 562-803-3301 for an earful.

When the Red, Red Robin Comes Bob, Bob, Bobbin’ Along, Al Jolson.

We feel obliged to mention Hey Loretta from the late, great Loretta Lynn since it mentions a red-haired hound.


White Rabbit, Jefferson Airplane. The chilling vocal by High Priestess Grace Slick makes this one of the trippiest tickets to ride of the ’60s.

Coincidentally, Pasadena Humane currently has two white rabbits ready for adoption.

a rabbit on a couch
It’s Boba time! Photo: Pasadena Humane

One of them is Boba #A514525, a dainty, spayed girl rabbit. Her deets are HERE.

White birds, usually doves,  often turn up in folk and pop songs: Melanie’s Lay Down (Candles),  White Bird from It’s a Beautiful Day, and of course, the nagging, nattering, nasal querying that defined a generation, Blowin’ in the Wind by Bob Dylan.

Bob Dylan (now 83) and Willie Nelson (now 91) are scheduled to play Woodstock, AKA Bethel, NY on July 5th, providing Willie’s health holds out.


We can’t bear to mention the laconic Bob Dylan without giving the iconic Joan Baez equal time. Here, she sings about a dog whose name was Blue. 

A dog that is lying down and looking at the camera
What’s red and blue and adorbs all over? Photo: Craigslist

Coincidentally, we just came across Blue Red Heeler Australian cattle dog puppies that need homes, $150 per pup. Email [email protected]. The Blue and Red refer to the genetically determined color of the dog’s coat.

And pop songs, especially those of the 1940s or so, are lousy with bluebirds as symbols of optimism. Over the Rainbow is an example everybody knows so well, and Willie Nelson’s version may be the most poignant, especially in light of the 91-year-old red-headed stranger canceling the initial dates of his Outlaws Tour with Dylan last week due to health concerns. Other nostalgic bluebird tunes include the wartime classic White Cliffs of Dover and Winter Wonderland.

Now, dry your eyes, and move on to more beasts of every stripe!

A dog sitting in the grass
It’s no mystery. This GSD boy is gorgeous. Photo: Milena Albert

Meet Mystery

Thanks to neighbor Milena Albert for telling us about this beautiful dog.

He needs help, as well as a home. A kind-hearted soul scooped him up, after he, along with his littermates, was dumped at a construction site.

This dog has no name, so let’s call him the Mystery Dog for now. He’s a black German Shepherd. Not neutered. Not housebroken. Age is approximately 10 months. Gets on well with other dogs, humans, including kids, and even cats. Needs skilled training but seems like a good boy!

Contact Rosalinda, email [email protected] or call (661) 755-0945.

A dog looking at the camera
Minato. Photo: Bonnie Barron

Meet Minato #A565531

Thanks to neighbor Bonnie Barron for telling us about this gorgeous guy. NEWS FLASH! Minato has just been pulled from the shelter by a rescuer, as of June 27! We’re leaving this listing in place, however, so that you will consider checking out other pets is desperate need of homes at this overcrowded shelter.

His name in Japanese means “harbor.” He’s a retriever mix about three years old. He’s great with people and dogs, knows some commands, and plays well with other dogs in a playgroup with volunteers.

He was at the San Bernardino City Animal Shelter, 909-384-1304. Minato made it to the outside but there are many fine dogs, puppies, cats, kittens and other critters there who need homes now.

A cat sitting on top of a microwave
Like warm marmalade on toast. Photo: Devore Shelter

Meet Momma Zada #A800915

She’s a red-hot mama, a DSH marmalade tabby with two li’l gingersnaps – two 6-week-old ginger kittens, still warm from the oven.  Her age is unknown. 

Devore Animal Shelter, 909-386-9820. Press 2 for Devore Shelter, then press 3 to speak with a shelter agent. Rescues, press 1 to speak with a rescue coordinator.

A cat sitting on top of each other
Gingerman named Future. Photo: Pasadena Humane

Meet Future #A514628

Future’s a ginger male tabby kitten. Age 10 weeks, has been neutered.

To adopt Future, contact Pasadena Humane.

A dog sitting in a cage
Chase looks great on paper. Photo: Helene Martinez

Meet Chase

Thanks to neighbor Helena Martinez for sharing this story.

Chase belongs to a neighbor’s friend. He is a gorgeous AKC and CKC-registered Australian Shepherd. He is not yet neutered and needs a new home.

For a meet-and-greet, call David at 760-475-2310.

A cat lying on a bed
Tabby and Tux. Photo: Craigslist

Meet Tabby and Tux

(We just made up those names.) Free to a good home, a brown tabby and a black and white tuxedo cat. Bonded pair.

Both are DSH domestic shorthairs, one male and one female, both neutered and both house-trained. They do well with other cats and with dogs. The current foster has a lease issue, and wants to avoid taking them to the shelter. He will deliver to you and provide kibble, a cat tree, toys, litter box, and cat carrier.

Contact Lucas Ramos,  [email protected]

A cat with its mouth open
Professor Longhair needs TLC. Photo: SEAACA

Meet #24-12128, aka Professor Longhair

So we just made up that jazzy name, but the number is courtesy of SEAACA.org.

Professor Longhair #24-12128 is a ginger and white male kitten, slightly on the shaggy-fluffy side, with very faint stripes. Approximately 3 pounds.

A dog sitting on the floor
He’s heterochromatic, not that there’s anything wrong with that. Photo: SEAACA

Also at SEAACA.org, Meet #24-12067

This dog is known only as #24-12067, but we have to call him George, after the patron saint of Greece.  Why? Because he displays a rare trait with a wonderful Greek definition: “heterochromia.”  Check out those wonderful, mismatched eyes. “Hetero” means differing, or opposite, versus “homo” meaning the same or consistent, as in homogenized. “Chromia” means color.

This Husky-mix dog is male, weighs approximately 50 pounds, with a handsome black and white coat. This shelter, like most, is overflowing with large, healthy, energetic dog breeds that require attention, training, and space. Don’t it make my brown eyes blue?

In addition to in-person services, adoption holds can be placed by calling 562-803-3301 between the hours of 9:00 AM and 5:00 PM, Tuesday through Saturday.

A dog lying in the legs of a cat
Showing a soft white underbelly as a sign of submission. Photo: Hayleen and Donna

Meet Dude

Thanks to neighbors Hayleen and Donna for bringing this hunky Huskeroo to our attention.

We don’t know his real name, so we called him Dude. He’s between one and two years old, handsome black-and-white coloring. We don’t know his vaxx status, but we do know that he has been neutered. He’s reported to be “…kind and friendly to other dogs, active, could have possibly been an indoor dog in past. Potty-trained.”

Dude’s family is relocating to Guam. To get nose-to-nose with the Dude, call 661-305-1687.

That’s it for a bit. Stay cool!

The short URL of this article is: https://localnewspasadena.com/vufs

Victoria Thomas

Victoria has been a journalist since her college years when she wrote for Rolling Stone and CREEM. Victoria describes the view of Mt. Wilson from her front step as “staggering,” and she is a defender of peacocks everywhere.
Email: [email protected]

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