Dog Contraception in the Name of Love

Photo illustration by Susan Du, "Portrait of Madame X" from Wikimedia Commons

Maybe you saw BARC's recent cry for help, or maybe it was the heartbreaking No One's Dog photographic exhibit at Diverse Works that finally convinced you to take on a furry roommate fresh off the streets. In any case, you now realize that you are the proud guardian of a teenager bent on propagating his adorable genes, but maybe you haven't quite wrapped your mind around being a grandparent yet. You might go for puppies in the future, but that conversation is best left for after he goes to school and gets a job to help with the rent.

For the dog owners who don't want to contribute to the hordes of sad strays roaming Houston's streets, and for the dogs who are just waiting for the right significant, here are some non-surgical methods of contraception.

1. The Pill

For the ladies who are into hers and hers matching outfits, there's another way you could demonstrate solidarity with your dog. There are a variety of dog birth control pills that the owner would administer at the beginning of the lady dog's heat cycle to delay ovulation. It works similarly to human birth control pills, and side effects include breast enlargement and weight gain. Nothing new. However the pill does increase the chance of breast cancer, so vet consultation is a must.

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Disgustingly Cute New Photos of Houston Zoo's Clouded Leopard Cubs

Courtesy Houston Zoo/Stephanie Adams

This month, the Houston Zoo posted update photos of resident two-month-old Clouded Leopard cubs being unbearably cute to their Facebook page. The cubs, named Senja and Koshi, were born in June to parents Suksn and Tarak, who have been at the Zoo since 2012.

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8 Unsung Beauties of the 2014 Houston World Series of Dog Shows

Maha Ahmed
The annual Houston World Series of Dog Shows happened this past weekend from Wednesday through Sunday.

Hair Balls decided to get in on the action and give some pups a chance to take a break from the high-stress competitions. We asked their owners to tell us about their lives outside of grooming and showing.

These 8 "aww"-inducing creatures are more than just show dogs. They are the unsung beauties of Texas.

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PETA's "Cutest Vegan" Finalists Include Soldier from Channelview

Cute Vegan Alexander Contreras
PETA pisses a lot of people off with their efforts to sway meat eaters to a vegetarian diet. The controversial campaigns often draw attention for their outlandishness. One particular approach, however, generally irritates no one, and that is the ad campaign featuring hot people, usually actors or models, wearing little or no clothing. Why? Because pretty much everyone likes to look at nearly naked attractive people. That's just clever marketing.

In yet another veggie brainstorm (We assume their metal capacities are larger than their own because they don't eat cows, which are REALLY dumb, and our scientific knowledge (C- in high school biology FTW!) tells us the cow brain seeps into our own causing dumbness and stupidosity.), their "youth division" (they have that?) is holding a Cutest Vegan Alive contest because, once again, everybody likes a nice looking dude or dudette, no matter what their dietary choices.

And one of the finalists is a hometown boy from Channelview, that hotbed of radical lefty vegan thought. Alexander Contreras is an infantryman in the U.S. Army, another place just loaded with vegetarians.

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I Wanna Be Your Dog (Or Cat): TV Pilot Edition

Hair Balls was excited to learn that one of its favorite old TV shows, Hawaii 5-0, is returning to the air this fall. That show's success was attributable not just to the swaggering awesomeness of Jack Lord and his haircut, but because the show included a certain timeless element that appeals to people from all walks of life and from all generations: hot Hawaiian chicks.

But while it's a no-brainer to revive a popular show, it takes real creativity and chutzpah to reboot a failed series -- something we're grateful these adoptable critters at the Bureau of Animal Regulation and Care have done for the fall season. The four-legged actors are starring in new versions of both popular and failed series -- we're hoping that an all-animal cast will translate into decent Nielsen ratings, for all involved.

As usual, thanks to Robyn Arouty for her stunning photos.

Photos by Robyn Arouty

Gila in Wonder Pitbull


Knee-high boots? Check. Red bustier and star-spangled blue shorts? Check. Golden lasso? Hells, yeah. While 1.5-year-old Gila might lack Lynda Carter's smoldering sensuality, she can fetch a tennis ball like no one's business. In the series premiere, she battles the villainous Former Owner Man, who has stolen the world's supply of douche, from which he draws his dastardly powers. Wonder Pitbull used to live in Former Owner's HQ, Douchebag Castle, until she was booted out because Former Owner had "too many" other dogs. Now she must bring him to justice and return home in time for a nice belly-rub.

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I Wanna Be Your Dog (Or Cat): Back To School Edition

School's only been in session for two days, yet some teachers are already piling on the homework. This isn't a huge deal for home-schooled kids, who pretty just much have to memorize which animals God created on which day, but it can be a real pain in the neck for those in public school.

The dogs in Miss Barkington's class at Houston's Bureau of Animal Regulation and Care -- all of whom are available for adoption -- had to write a one-page essay on what they did over summer vacation. Here are some excerpts.

Photos by Robyn Arouty
DUKE   A1034079 (5-year-old boxer mix, stray)
For my summer vacation, I fulfilled a life-long dream of seeing the mighty redwoods in northern California. I walked for hours through Los Padres National Forest, gazing in awe at the majestic sequoias. I got goosebumps as I stared up at 380 feet of coastal redwood, feeling tears well up behind closed eyes as I imagined the history behind this miracle of nature. Then I peed on it.

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I Wanna Be Your Dog (Or Cat): The Name Of This Blog Is I Wanna Be Your Dog (Or Cat)

Hair Balls was glad to learn that one of our musical heroes, David Byrne, is taking on The Man; namely, Florida Governor Charlie Crist, for using the Talking Heads song "Road to Nowhere" in his U.S. Senate campaign without permission. (Crist is running as an independent, but historically has belonged to the Republican party, which has a weird habit of using songs by liberal musicians without their permission, often to comical effect, i.e., Reagan and "Born in the USA"). Crist used the song in a slam against opponent Maco Rubio, apparently after advisers suggested that calling Rubio a "Psycho Killer" was slightly less subtle. 

The whole exercise prompted us to use Talking Heads titles for this week's column, in the hopes that Mr. Byrne will not sue the bejeesus out of us as well. After all, this week's adoptable critters at the Bureau of Animal Regulation and Care told us they were huge TH fans, something we're sure Byrne could appreciate. So, without further ado, here is this week's column about buildings and food:



SHAKER  A102218

This neutered, 3-year-old German shepherd/rottie mix loves to give high-fives over and over.  A stray, he is heartworm-positive, but this is completely treatable. Shaker's one of the coolest dogs we've ever seen. Home is where he wants to be....Your house must be the place:

If someone asks, this is where I'll be

Whoa-oh, we drift in and out, whoa-oh, sing into my mouth

Out of all those kinds of people, you got a face with a view

I'm just an animal looking for a home

Share the same space for a minute or two

And you love me til my heart stops

Love me til I'm dead

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I Wanna Be Your Dog (Or Cat): Ohmygod, We Have A Guest Blogger!!!

Our guest blogger for the week, taking time off from reality shows
As you are almost certainly aware, Houston's biggest story of the week is about socialite/reality-TV personality Erica Rose's dog giving birth to three pups.

As Culturemap explains, the births were the miraculous result of a serendipitous meeting between Rose and fellow law school student Partick Yarborough: Rose had wanted to breed her lovely Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Shayna, for some time. And it just so happened that Yarborough had a King Charles himself, and the two decided to let Shayna stay at Yarborough's house while she spent two months in Los Angeles filming a reality show called You're Cut Off! Before anyone knew what was up, Shayna was pregnant. The rest is history.

Unfortunately, this remarkable story overshadowed the births of a few puppies belonging to a slightly less-known Houston socialite, Danielle Saxton. Saxton is the daughter of Internet impresario Daniel T. Saxton, who made a fortune building and selling a string of pro-ana websites. In 2007, she debuted on the CW's popular reality series, Be This Douchebag's Trophy Wife, and appeared as a contestant one year later on the Ion Network's smash hit I Have Breasts and a Vagina!

Danielle is seldom seen without her bison friche, Imelda Neiman-Marcos Saxton, by her servant's side. She told us she even tears up on the few occasions when her schedule demands she be ripped apart from her gal, such as two-month reality show shoots, vacations in Hawaii, and that one time she slummed it with that bearded hipster in Williamsburg who said he was in a deep-post-chillwave collective but turned out to just be a homeless squatter. We asked Danielle if she would share her thoughts about these adoptable critters at the Bureau of Animal Regulation and Care.

Photos by Robyn Arouty

2 years old, stray
Danielle says: "Ohmygod -- is that a pitbull? Someone needs to call the cops. Where's Consuela? Consuela -- llame a la policia! Ohmygod, we're totally going to die."

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I Wanna Be Your Dog (Or Cat): Return Of The Haiku

After several months of highlighting some of the adoptable critters at the Bureau of Animal Regulation and Care, we thought we were used to all the sad stares these dogs and cats display while awaiting their fates. But somehow, our intrepid photographer, Robyn Arouty, managed to capture an especially heartbreaking mood this week.

It put us at a loss for words, or at least a paucity of syllables, which is why we had to make due with another round of haikus. If you can't adopt or foster, please forward this to someone you think might be able to. These dudes deserve a chance.


Photos by Robyn Arouty

APRIL  A1019276

Six-month old German shepherd mix, spayed

Owners evicted

Left this beauty behind

Mental impairment?


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I Wanna Be Your Dog (Or Cat): SCOTUS Edition

With the Supreme Court's decision Tuesday to nix a law criminalizing the production and sale of dog-fighting and crush videos, Hair Balls is nervously waiting to see if there's going to be a big local boom in the Houston market. After all, Harris County prosecutors are remarkably soft on dog-fighting, so we wonder what -- from a degenerate scum-sucking psychopath's perspective -- the harm would be for a budding cellphone-Spielberg to film some hot pit-on-pit action to download and sell after the match. (Well, after cleaning the blood off his clothes and then downloading it).

Being one of them media types, Hair Balls has a special place in our heart for freedom of speech. Of all the amendments, the first is one of our faves, so we're especially sensitive to anything that could threaten it. And while we're truly glad The Men and Women in Black are ever-vigilant when it comes to freedom of speech, we're scratching our heads a bit over the logic used in their decision to void the law in question. Specifically, the part explaining why the distribution and sale of child porn, unlike dog-killin', is not protected: Mainly that kiddie porn vids are "intrinsically related to the sexual abuse of children" and are therefore "a proximate link to the crime from which [they] came."

We understand the Court's argument about the law being overbroad, but how on earth is the sale of a dog-fighting video not "intrinsically related" to the dog fight itself? Understandably, the Bureau of Animal Regulation and Care animals featured in this week's edition are nervous about the decision as well. We asked them to share their thoughts.



CHAUNCEY  A1016344

"To the ladies and gentlemen of the court, I would like to express my heartfelt thanks. As a stray three-year-old pitbull, I was especially interested in how you would address United States v. Stevens. As you may or may not know, my brothers and sisters are often made to rip each other's throats out for sport, while a bunch of thugs and inbred mutant rednecks gamble on the outcome. But we understand your concern that some prosecutor somewhere, at some point in time, might confuse a dog fight with pheasant hunting and therefore incarcerate some poor hunter. So my hat's off to you. In closing, I'd just like to say that while I would never bite you, I invite each and every one of you to bite me."


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