Stumpy Goes to School!

TBAR-Stumpy-Goes-to-SchoolToday was a big day for Stumpy! It was his first day of school. He’ll be going to First Step Training in Brenham for the next two weeks so he can earn his Canine Good Citizen (CGC) certification. Once he’s certified as a CGC he’ll be able to go to elementary schools so children can read to him. This wonderful program will help children become confident readers while learning compassion and empathy for animals! Stumpy will be True Blue Animal Rescue’s first CGC reading dog.


Write to Your Representative to Stop Horse Slaughter

TBAR-Please-Help-HorsesCALL TO ACTION! Please READ, WRITE and SHARE!

The baby and mother horse pictured are safe but many others are dying every single day.

Please help stop the senseless torture and subsequent murder of hundreds of thousands of horses every year. We need you to write your representative and ask them to support the SAFE ACT. All the information is in the letter below. You can use whatever portion of this letter to send to your representative. Just be sure to alter it to make it yours and say what you want it to say. Right now slaughter buyers are lying to people and purchasing their horses under false pretenses and then putting them in feed lots to be shipped off to Mexico to die. They are terrified, sick and injured. The killers are selling them at high prices by using emotional blackmail on kind hearted people. The end result is that they get richer and go out and buy more horses to kill. The SAFE ACT is the only answer. Once we get that passed, we will tackle the overpopulation problem in a humane way. Click here to find your representative.

To: The Honorable Representative (Rep.s last name here)* use link I sent to get the Rep’s info
(Washington mailing address here)

Dear Representative :

Greetings from (your full name), a constituent in (your district). As an advocate for decent treatment of animals and for safe and accountable business practices, I am writing to urge you to cosponsor the Safeguard American Food Exports (SAFE) Act ( H.R. 1942) and support it when it reaches the HOUSE.

Knowing that some 150,000 American equines, including heavily pregnant mares and even foals, are transported from the US to Canadian and Mexican slaughter houses to be sold as meat for human consumption by people in other countries, angers me and honestly, shocks me. I thought we were better than that. I feel this way because I know that our own country determined back in 2007 that the average American horse has received drugs that are not allowed to be given to animals raised for human consumption. My horses certainly got regular wormer, parasite repellents,anti inflammatories like Bute or Banamine for muscular/skeletal sprains, arthritis, etc. as well as anti-biotics and sedatives needed for teeth floating.

Approx. 10,000 race horses a year go to slaughter. An extensive investigation by the New York Times uncovered evidence that race horses are routinely given illegal drugs and bizarre concoctions like cocaine and cobra venom stimulants and to mask injury-related pain. The money incentive to win is driving the market for developing more powerful stimulants, legal or otherwise. Recently a new drug surfaced: dermorphin (“tree frog juice”) – an extract from South American tree frogs, when injected into horses acts as a painkiller 40 times more powerful than morphine. Food safety agencies have no means to test horsemeat for new substances such as dermorphin, much less determine their toxicity to humans, therefore they can never confidently state that they’re conducting all the right tests to ensure that horsemeat is safe for human consumption. The cost to develop and continually refine such tests would be enormous and

Not only did we determine that horse meat was not safe for Americans to consume (assuming we would – though the vast majority poled said they would not eat horses, and also oppose slaughter of our horses for export – we also found horse meat not safe as an ingredient in our pet food. Horses, like dogs and cats are companion and show animals, not food.

So my question is: if it is not safe for us or our pets – why on earth would we send our horses to become food for people in other countries ? This strikes me as indecent and dishonest business practice. I recently read that the European Union (EU), some 120 nations who’d been a major customer, banned all horse meat exported from Mexico (remember, over 90% of horses slaughtered in Mexico come from the U.S.). Canadian horse meat suppliers are under close scrutiny by the EU and have been given a period of time to correct the health/safety and cruelty violations found by the EU’s audit. One main requirement Canada must now meet to keep Europe’s business is total accountability for each horse’s vet history – a way to accurately trace and prove that the horse has not received any of the extensive list of drugs banned from use in animals raised for human consumption. Frankly, I don’t see how that is even possible. All U.S. horses have received many of these drugs in their lives, some routinely. This includes the mustangs in BLM holding facilities. And many vet histories are incomplete. But, if it were possible to create such a system, who is going to pay for it’s set up and man power ? Taxpayers ? Kill Buyers? Slaughter houses ? And all this trouble for others to go to in order to sell a little meat from horses whose breeders and owners have skipped out all together on responsibility for or compassion for their own animals.

Because 92.3 % of horses from U.S. kill pens are young, fat, well muscled and obviously cared for up to the point of being sold for meat, it is obvious that these horses come from people who overbreed, or lost control of their breeding business and decided to cut loses and get back a couple of hundred per horse. Looking at the shocking numbers of emergency horse rescues on the news – whole herds of horses in such bad shape the sherif could legally seize them, I wonder why on earth these people bred several more years of foals when they didn’t sell their first crop.

Though the SAFE act has plenty of substance and justification in its addressing the issue of health risks of horse meat, of course the cruelty involved matters to the all of us. So many are trampled in those transport trucks yet arrive alive, but in agony, the truckload endure as much as 38 hours of standing packed tight, but with their heads lowered to the height forced by the low ceilings of the trucks (making balance exhausting & painful)so they arrive with horrible lacerations of ears and heads. Often through the southwest extreme heat in metal transport – no water or food causes the smaller or weaker ones to fall and have legs, necks and faces trampled. If you are not familiar with the typical method of stunning a large animal so it’s heart keeps beating until it reaches the kill floor, I sincerely suggest that you watch the footage and see for yourself how inefficient the live bolt to the head is. Equine necks are long and powerful and the bolt box cannot hold them still enough as they struggle in terror. The ideal stun spot on their head is so often missed and conscious, they endure repeated blows – maybe to their eyes. Since a horse’s brain is farther back in a very sturdy skull, the stunning doesn’t always keep them unconscious, so they feel what it is to be bled, gutted and dismembered while conscious. It seems to me that the slaughter pipeline and process is exempt from the same animal welfare and cruelty laws that allow an officer to seize an animal and arrest its owner for abuse such as confining in extreme temperatures, beating, shocking, denying food and water.

Slaughter is not necessary to deal with equine overpopulation. The solution is responsible breeding and ownership practices and new laws to see them done. The hope lies in the absolutely amazing numbers of decent citizens in every state who have created equine rescues, both large and small – the growing numbers of Therapeutic Riding ranches for people of all ages and disabilities, including new programs devoted to helping our war vets and doing a wonderful job of it. The volunteers that constantly come up with great solutions to unwanted horses have a great deal to share with our law makers, if you’ll but take the time to tour and ask. If the pipeline to foreign slaughter is no longer available to breeders and to people who no longer want or can afford their horses, no one is going to suffer nearly as much as the hapless equines they should be responsible for. They will adjust and find new ways to manage their horses. So many laws passed to protect human victims of discrimination bare this out.


A Cat Named Tiger


Tiger is a cat who has left a legacy. He disappeared around April 16, and since then has made waves in the world, sparking a debate about the importance of feral and outdoor cats.

Not many know Tiger’s whole story though, and his good friend Amy has shared with us his biography. Amy was a pet sitter and caretaker for Tiger and his farm friends for over three years.

Tiger was abandoned at a farm home when he was just a kitten. The couple that lived there never turned down a “dumped” animal as they love all animals. They named him Tiger because he was a beautiful orange & white tabby.

Tiger stayed by the house until he was old enough to live at the barn and rid it of mice that would get into horse & cattle feed and tear up other various important wires. Before taking him to the barn, his owners made sure he was old enough and got him neutered, fully vetted, and up-to-date on vaccinations.

Tiger had a routine over the course of his 6 years at the farm. During the day and late night after dinner he would either be in the barn protecting the horses, who became his best friends, or he would spend time in the pastures with them – sitting right next to them while they grazed. In the evening before sunset he knew it was dinner time so he would come up to the house for his cat chow and wet food mix. He looked forward to this every evening and would talk to you about it. He would even show you where you were supposed to set it down for him to enjoy.

Over the course of 3 years of taking care of him (half of his life), I witnessed very interesting things with him. For example, he loved to ride on the Gator tractor with me to the barn and back to the house, he never left my side…no matter where I was on the property he was right there next to me as my protector, so in a sense I became part of the farm he watched over. On the property there were cattle, horses, dogs, goats, a kitten, jack rabbits, baby birds that had fallen out of nests, frogs hopping around, spiders building webs and he never once caused harm to anyone or anything. He had a pure heart of gold and is one of the best coolest cats I have done pet sitting for. He was in a class all his own.

Unfortunately the couple had to move away due to health reasons. They gave Tiger to the next door neighbor to keep him in familiar settings, plus the neighbors were given the horses that Tiger used to hang out with. It took some adjusting, but Tiger would spend the day at the old barn and would make the trek across the fields to get to the neighbors for his dinner. He would eat and then make the trek back to the old barn. This went on for a couple of months and it seemed to keep everyone, including Tiger, happy.

Then Tiger went missing. The first couple of nights of untouched food was dismissed as bad weather since it was almost nonstop rain and storms in the area. Then came the horrible night I saw the infamous posting of a vet holding up a cat at the end of an arrow…..the cat was identical to Tiger. I continued putting food out until the end of my time for pet sitting at his house, but he never showed up to eat. It has been almost 4 weeks, and although we all still have hope, he has never returned for his dinner and we all miss him dearly.

Amy and Tiger’s owners have set up a donation fund in Tiger’s memory with us at True Blue Animal Rescue. We are working with different groups, including Alley Cat Allies, and will be creating an educational and assistance program to help springboard a Trap-Neuter-Return program that will strive to inform Washington and Austin County residence about the options for stray, wandering, and feral area cats. This program is beginning this year in Tiger’s name, and will continue for years and generations so that Tiger’s legacy will live on to save the lives of other cats in the area and worldwide.

If you would like to donate in Tiger’s name, you can do so from our Paypal Donation link, or you can purchase a “I Am Tiger” shirt from Amy’s Booster fundraising page! Thank you for choosing TBAR to Remember Tiger!

People can also “like” Tiger’s memorial Facebook page.


For example, we’ve already received this story from Melissa K:

11109191_10202851996459958_2194082487116646805_nThis cat has been around the house for about a 1.5 months and I have chased it off my patio because it was eating my cat’s food and has been squirting Dave’s shop, but after [Tiger’s Story] it made me change my attitude with this cat. I started going downstairs when I would hear it meow because he was hungry and I would feed it. Of course he didn’t want me to touch him or come near him, and after 7 times of feeding him he brushed up against my foot!! It took sometime but this is where we are at -YES we have bonded! Now I will get him fixed and try to find him a home because our cats would not like him because they are selfish!! So I took a bad story and changed my thoughts and made sometime positive for another CAT!!

And here is the picture of this very cat in his new home! Thank you Melissa, for making Tiger’s legacy mean something beautiful!

In Memory of Herman E. Detering III

True-Blue-Animal-Rescue-In-Memory-of-Herman-DeteringHerman was dedicated to helping rescue horses and has a long legacy of work promoting animal welfare. In his time helping TBAR he made an impact on everyone who met him. His methods of teaching helped bring around many of our rescued horses, and helped connect our sponsors to their animals.

His wife, Mimi Crossley Detering, tells us that he loved doing demos for T-Bar, and it was his desire for people in his name to our rescue. We could not be more honored to have such an amazing man feel so strongly for our organization. It is with a heavy heart that we say goodbye to our dear friend.

Herman Eberhard Detering III, 76, died peacefully at home in Houston on March 21, following a long battle with cancer.

He leaves behind his devoted wife and best friend of 40 years Mimi Crossley Detering, loving relatives, close friends and a legacy of work promoting animal welfare.

His parents, H. E. Detering Jr. and Inez Sherar Detering, are deceased.

Herman was educated at St. John’s School in Houston, received a B.A. from Washington and Lee University and a J.D. degree from Columbia University.

Herman and TBAR

Herman with TBAR volunteers and TBAR horses

As a young man, he was ranked nationally in tennis, and was an accomplished equestrian.

Returning to graduate school, he was awarded an M.A. in intellectual history from New York University, and studied for a PhD with Frank E. Manuel.

Herman taught and lectured extensively in history and the humanities, including at Rice University, St. Thomas University and the University of Houston.

As an historian and rare book collector, he founded the Detering Book Gallery, which became the premier rare bookstore in the South.

His FotoFest exhibition of books and photographs showing the parallel development of psychiatry and photography broke new ground in the study of clinical uses of imagery.

As a rancher, Herman became involved with studies of animal psychology and methods of natural, non-coercive horsemanship. Adapting these methods to cattle, he pioneered low stress handling for ranchers, regularly writing articles for major publications including The Cattleman and The American Brahman Review. His video, “Natural Persuasion,” was a first in the field of low-stress herd management and remains a classic.

Herman’s extensive life, career and thoughts about animal handling can be found on his website, www.hermandetering.com.

Herman also served on several non-profit boards, notably FotoFest, the Houston Center for Photography and the Texas Committee on the Humanities.

In addition to his wife Mimi, Herman leaves a sister, Deborah Detering, and nieces Shelley Pannill Stein and husband Matt Stein; Katherine Pannill Center and husband Gordon Center; and Lizzie Pannill Fletcher and husband Scott Fletcher.

A memorial service will be held at The Rothko Chapel, 3900 Yupon St. on Thursday, April 9 at 11 a.m.  

In lieu of flowers, please donate to True Blue Animal Rescue, P.O. Box 1107 Brenham, Tx. 77834

TBAR at Texas Humane Lobby Day 2015

True-Blue-Animal-Rescue-Texas-Texas-Humane-Legislation-Network-2015Four members of True Blue Animal Rescue went to Austin for Texas Humane Lobby Day on March 20, 2015. This event was hosted by The Humane Society of the United States, the ASPCA and Texas Humane Legislation Network (THLN).  Melanie and Dale DeAeth, Janna Alsobrook and Gisele Flanigan attended the morning seminar giving them advocacy tips and an overview of the bills we were targeting that day. There were nearly 100 activists from all over the state of Texas preparing to speak to their district representatives.  Our four True Blue Animal Rescue members met with District 13 Representative Leighton Schubert’s Chief of Staff Manny Salazar at 1pm and then with Senator Kolkhorst or District 18’s policy analyst Zach Maxwell at 2pm. We each explained the importance of the four bills we were targeting in hopes that they will offer their support and vote in favor of them.

The first bill we discussed was Dangerous Wild Animal Registry – HB 3952. This bill requires people and organizations who keep dangerous wild animals in Texas for more than 30 days to register their animals with a state agency – namely the Texas Department of State Health Services. This law will offer a means of informing the public of were animals such as lions, tigers, cougars, leopards and primates are living. These animals are wild and they can be dangerous so the public is entitled to know where they as a safety measure.

The second bill we discussed is the Humane Tethering Bill – HB 2562. This bill does not prohibit tethering but it sets forth clear and specific requirements for the humane tethering of a dog and provides law enforcement and animal control officers the authority to enforce those requirements.  Texas law enforcement officers receive daily calls from citizens concerned about a dog being tethered by cruel and inhumane means. This bill is a rewrite of the current tethering law and replaces it with this straight forward, enforceable understandable law outlining specific requirements for tethering a dog as follows:

  • The tethering device must allow the dog access to a shelter of adequate size to allow the dog to stand, turn around, sit and lie down in a comfortable and normal position and it must be constructed in such a manner as to keep the dog dry and protected from exposure and extreme temperatures.
  • The tethering device must also allow the dog access to potable drinking water and shade from direct sunlight.
  • The tethering device must be attached to a collar or harness constructed of nylon, leather or similar material properly fitted to the dog and must have swivels on both ends to prevent the dog from becoming entangled.
  • The length of the tethering device must be at least five times the length of the dog as measured from the tip of the dog’s nose to the base of the dog’s tail or ten feet, whichever is greater.
  • The tethering device cannot be made of metal chain links more than a quarter inch thick or have any weights attached to it.

The current law allows for inhumane tethering except during the hours of 10pm to 6am, in a location within 500 feet of a school, weather below 32 degrees or during a heat advisory or storm warning. The biggest fault to the current law is that law enforcement has to give the owner 24 hours to correct the problem. In this way it’s corrected and then in several days generally goes back to the same inhumane situation. To our knowledge, a citation under this current law has never been issued and / or heard by a court.  Under the new law the offence will be punishable as a Class C misdemeanor for the first offence and a Class B misdemeanor for subsequent offences. In this way law enforcement will be able to do their job and offenders will stop this inhumane treatment of dogs in Texas bringing us closer to the minimum standard as set by many other states in our country.

The third bill we were discussing is the Peace Officer Canine Encounter Training – HB 593/SB 1637. As we know dogs are an integral part of American Society and law enforcement routinely encounters dogs in the line of duty.  In fact, one of three calls to law enforcement involves an interaction with a dog. Despite this statistic the vast majority of law enforcement officers have no training on canine encounters before entering the field. This lack of training creates a critical void in traditional law enforcement training and safety for the officer, the dog and the public. This lack of training is the primary reason why so many dogs are killed by law enforcement officers. On a weekly basis the media headlines horrific details of a canine family member being killed by law enforcement. There were 200 fatal dog shootings by law enforcement in 2014 that were reported and  many more that went unreported. This bill requires a one-time training course for law enforcement officers to prepare them for a safe, non-confrontational outcome when encountering a dog. This will allow officers hands on training and information on how to protect themselves, the residents and the dogs they encounter. This bill does not prohibit officers from using deadly force against dogs to protect themselves or others; it only requires training so that shooting a dog would be the last resort.

The final bill we reviewed and discussed was Eliminating the Shark Fin Trade in Texas – HB 1579. This bill will prohibit the sale, trade, purchase and transport of shark fins in Texas. The fins from up to 73 million sharks are used to supply the global shark fin trade each year. Shark finning is when a shark is brought on board, the fins are cut off, often while the animal is still alive and the living shark is thrown back into the ocean. With their fins cut off, sharks cannot swim and can die from shock, blood loss, starvation or predation by other fish. The demand for shark fin soup drives this market. Shark meat is considered low value and therefore not worth transporting the whole fish body to market. Shark fins are removed from sharks regardless of age, size or species. Shark finning is devastating the shark population around the world. Experts estimate that within a decade, most species of sharks will be lost due to shark finning. Under the bill, fishermen can still sell entire shark carcasses, with their fins still attached, to the dealers and processors. For more information on Shark finning visit Sharkwater.com.

Law making happens every other year on odd years in Texas. Take this opportunity to be heard and help change laws to protect animals. Please contact your district representatives and let them know that you are a voting constituent and you would like them to vote to pass these bills. To find out your district representatives go to “Who Represents Me” and search by address, zip code, city or county to find out who you should contact.

You can also join the Facebook Page for the Texas Humane Legislation Network (THLN) to stay updated on these bills and future ones.


Roman Update March 2015: Switch your Senior Animal to Senior Food

True-Blue-Animal-Rescue-Triple-Crown-Nutrition-Roman-Update-March-2015-2Roman is doing great on Triple Crown Senior!

Roman has now been on Triple Crown Senior feed for 5 weeks now and is showing great improvement. With all of the recent rainy weather, he has enjoyed rolling and getting all muddy. His foster home is suspicious that he does it on purpose because he knows he’ll get brushed afterwards and he enjoys all of the love and attention!

Since Roman is so large, and also so malnourished, he is fed a bit more than the recommended 6 pounds of senior feed per day (half in the morning, half at night). He is benefiting from the higher nutrient content to make up for his older (and less efficient) digestive system. Triple Crown Senior has a higher fat content for extra energy, enough bulk fiber to make up for any lack of hay or grass, and it is also softer, which makes it easier on Roman’s system. In addition to his Triple Crown Senior feed, Roman is also given quality hay, access to pasture grass and clean, fresh water.

Roman is doing great, but in honor of him, and every other animal in his situation, we’d like to take a moment to explain what you need to watch out for, and what you can do to help your horse as they get older! Before Roman got to the state he was in, he could have been identified as malnourished by early weight loss, topline muscle loss, graying of the coat, and hollowing of the grooves around his eyes, as well as decreased hoof and hair coat quality. The following three things should be done for each aging horse, to ensure they have the best quality of life in their senior years.

Teeth Floating

The tool used to smooth down your horse’s teeth is a file, called a float (hence the term, teeth floating). Horse teeth never stop growing, and over time they can become sharp and uneven or fractured, making it hard for them to chew and even causing discomfort and pain. In this situation it is hard for your horse to eat feed, grass, and hay, and you may notice quids around their eating area. Quidding is when your horse tries to eat hay, but can’t properly chew and swallow it, so they essentially just wad it up in their mouth and spit it out, leaving behind quids on the ground as evidence of the teeth issues.

You can feed your senior horse a mix of senior feed and water to make a mash that is easy for them to swallow and digest while you are waiting to get their teeth floated.

Get Bloodwork done

As horses age they become at risk for metabolic issues, such as Cushings. If your horse has hormone imbalances, or organ failure, the only way to tell for sure is to get bloodwork done by your veterinarian. When you are caring for your senior pets, bloodwork is an essential step before you simply switch them to senior feed and assume all will be well.

Switch Your Horse to Senior Feed

Giving your older horse more of the same feed isn’t the answer. The feed just goes through them without the proper digestion and nutrient absorption. Proof of this can be seen if you examine your horses manure and see undigested grain.

Senior feed is softer, making it more easily digestible, and it is also specially formulated with high-quality ingredients to make up for your senior horse’s decreased ability for nutrient absorption and digestion.

As your horse ages their bodies are less able to break down their food into the essential elements that they need for proper nutrition. Senior feed has extra high-quality vitamins and minerals, such as protein, fiber, and phosphorus, and calcium, which is easier for your senior horse’s body to process. Senior feed has high quality nutrients for better absorption, added vitamins for the immune system, and pre- and pro-biotics to help with digestive efficiency and overall health.

When is Your Horse a Senior?

Generally, 15 years and older is considered a senior horse, but it varies for each animal. The best person to advise you on what is best for your horse’s health is your veterinarian.