Thursday, June 30, 2005
I don't know when I'll be able to let them out. The goslings have now joined them so there is plenty of company. The goslings will be there until they bond with that particular place as their homing place. Not the front yard. Not the neighbors. Not a half mile down the road.
I'm really happy to have all baby animals out of my living areas. After having the goslings inside for two weeks, then in the yard for four....the fluffy newness of babies gets old after a while. Around about the umpteenth time I hop in the jeep to herd them back to the homestead.
Monday, June 13, 2005
In case you hadn't heard, Del Rio has long been the site of the biggest cockfight in the United States. It's not exactly been a huge secret, that Cocke county and Newport were ground zero for all things cockfighting. The feed store where I get my dogfood each month, carries a full selection of game chicken accoutrement, feeds and items.
Which brings us to the BIG STORY.
What strikes me as interesting, but hardly surprising, is that nowhere is any county involvement mentioned. This was strictly a federal and state operation. Cocke County has only one, sainted, ACO to deal with the entire cockfighting, pit-bull-fighting and general neglectful state of animal welfare in the county. Animal welfare is just not a high priority to this county and it's a dangerous business to enforce.
According to J.J. Stambaugh's article in the Knoxville News Sentinel, "The Del Rio operation was "the largest and likely the oldest cockfighting pit in the country, having been in operation for more than 60 years," according to officials from the Humane Society of the United States."
Call me jaded, call me cynical, but I don't believe for one moment that anyone living in Cocke County, least of all the county officials, were unaware of a cockfighting "stadium" capable of seating 400 was sitting in their backyard for the past 60 years. So why didn't they do anything about it? I hope we get to find out which local and state officials were busted in the raid...cause I'm sure there will be a few.
I can think of a few reasons why nothing was done. Just north of here, in Greene County, they tried to enact a dog licensing law some years back that would require dogs show proof of rabies vaccination. Evidently, all of the county officials were treated to death threats at their homes. People feel that strongly about a 6 buck vaccine. It finally blew up and the result was a county animal shelter that does no adoptions. Animals go in, but they don't come out. All animals are euthanized. Can you spell "Draconian"?
I suspect the local officials failure to deal with the cockfighting problem, or the local paper's failure to report about it is based in fear and just plain cowardice. I'm sure there's a little graft and political backscratching involved somewhere with a liberal slice of not rocking the boat. Not sure where...it just seems logical.
The thing is, I've actually grown to like the game chicken people since I moved here. It's a case of "Love the chicken people; hate the chickenfighting". The birds are breathtakingly beautiful and there is a high degree of skill that goes into their breeding. I just wish they wouldn't fight them and some other purpose could be found for them to keep these strains of birds going. The game chicken people honestly love their birds and I'm sure more than a few tears were shed by big rough grown men when 305 of these magnificent roosters were put down on site during the raid.
Do check out Stambaugh's article...it's well worth the trouble of subbing to KnoxNews.
Maybe the embarrassment of all this will spur Cocke County to get poor Ennis, the County ACO, some help to do his job properly. Yeah, right...when monkeys fly out of my butt maybe.