Posts Tagged ‘breed bans’

$1 Million Spay/Neuter Grant from Petsmart Charities® Saves Lives of Pit Bull Terriers

Posted on July 30th, 2012

Nation’s Most At-Risk Pets – Pit Bulls – Aided by National Grant Program, “Primp Your Pit”

PetSmart Charities®, the country’s largest funder of spay/neuter efforts, will sponsor the “Primp Your Pit” (Bull) promotion during the month of August as a result of a $1 million national spay/neuter grant program aimed at saving the lives of pit bull terriers, one of the most at-risk pet populations of being euthanized due to overcrowding in shelters.

This campaign/promotion allows Pittie parents to take advantage of high-quality, low-cost spay/neuter surgeries and in turn, celebrate the lives of their beloved pets.

The grant program, which builds on PetSmart Charities’ efforts to improve spay/neuter rates, reduce shelter overcrowding and increase pet adoption, provides clinics resources to spay or neuter pit bulls.

During the month of August, 63 non-profit spay/neuter clinics nationwide will provide spay/neuter surgeries for a special rate of $20 including a free nail trim with a goal of reaching a total of 6,750 pit bull terriers in 30 states – from California to North Carolina! (Click here for full shelter list.)

“Our national grant program gives much-needed help to pit bull terriers that are especially at risk,” said Susana Della Maddalena, executive director of PetSmart Charities, Inc. “Through the ‘Primp Your Pit’ promotion and our ongoing efforts to make affordable spay/neuter surgeries available to the public, pet parents can prevent unwanted litters and ensure their pet lives a long, happy life.

Primp Your Pit Ad from PetFix NE Ohio

Through the promotion, spay/neuter clinics receive: grant funds to help lower the cost of spay/neuter for the public; professionally-developed marketing materials to educate the public; and funding and support to advertise and promote the campaigns in local communities.

Each year, about 8 million pets end up in shelters and half – about 11,000 a day – are euthanized. Many of these homeless pets are a result of accidental litters from pets that are not spayed or neutered.

Today, 35 percent of dogs and cats in U.S. households are not spayed or neutered yet the procedure is one of the most effective ways to reduce the homeless pet population, which I have talked about on the blog before. Pit bulls, in particular, end up in shelters in large numbers due to the myths and negative media and public perceptions that are associated with the breed.

“Spaying/neutering a pet is the most effective step a pet parent can take to prevent unwanted litters of pit bull terriers,” said Timy Sullivan, founder of PetFix NE Ohio. “Within two weeks of announcing the ‘Primp Your Pit’ promotion, we filled all 72 appointments available and had wait lists of pet parents eager to provide their pit bull terriers these life-saving surgeries made possible by the PetSmart Charities’ grant.”

PetFix NE Ohio, which is geographically near ThoughtsFurPaws and works with six large OH counties, is a non-profit dedicated to ending pet overpopulation in the northeast OH region by promoting the importance of spay/neuter and making spay/neuter surgeries affordable and accessible to low-income pet owners, feral cat caregivers, and shelters, rescues, and animal control agencies placing animals for adoption.

So everyone should help spread the word about the “Primp Your Pit” promotion to help save the lives of pit bull terriers across the US! After all, this is not the first time PetSmart Charities has done this!

To find high-quality, low-cost spay/neuter services locally, you can go online to and click on Spay/Neuter to access a free searchable database made possible through  a partnership between PetSmart Charities and the ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®).

How to Donate to Save Pets’ Lives

Donations allow PetSmart Charities to offer these types of grant programs and resources that support local clinics and shelters across the nation. Members of the public can support these programs by making a donation online, by email at or via phone at 623-587-2826 to help save the lives of homeless pets across the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico. Donations may be tax deductible.

Follow PetSmart Charities’ other remarkable, nationwide pet-saving endeavors through Facebook and Twitter.

UPDATE: Ohio Governor Kasich Signs Exotic Pets Bill; Too Little, Too Late?

Posted on October 24th, 2011

On Friday, October 21st, after much prodding from not only animal welfare/animal rights groups, but from his own constituents, supporters and non-supporters, Ohio’s much contested Governor John Kasich signed an Exotic Pets Bill into law.

This was only days after the Zanesville, Ohio massacre (which made national news) of almost 60 wild animals, including rare big cats, bears, monkeys, and more.

Is it too late?

I say yes.

** Previous Governor Ted Strickland noted in an article that he had created legislation for the ban, but was quick to note that the new Governor had let it slide — not uncommon in Ohio, which ranks near last in the US for animal protection/animal welfare laws and legislation. **

Want to see the REAL track record of ALL of Ohio’s lawmakers in helping animals?

Check out this video from the amazing folks at Nitro’s Law… (grab a BOX of Kleenex first)

Parts of the new law are explained here:

ALL EXISTING NATIVE WILD ANIMAL PERMITS WILL BE REVIEWED: The Ohio Department of Natural Resources regulates ownership of dangerous wild animals native to Ohio. ODNR will review existing permits to ensure proper compliance and perform onsite inspections to the fullest extent possible with existing resources, and additional resource needs will be identified for future enforcement efforts.

WILD ANIMAL AUCTIONS WILL BE RESTRICTED AND ANY UNLICENSED AUCTIONS WILL BE SHUT DOWN: The Ohio Department of Agriculture will use its existing authority to regulate auctions to pursue agreements with auction houses that trade in dangerous wild animals to impose a temporary moratorium on their sale. Additionally, the Department will work with the US Department of Agriculture, local law enforcement, veterinarians and humane societies to enforce existing laws and to identify and shut down unlicensed auctions.

OHIO WILL WORK WITH ZOOS TO IDENTIFY SAFE PLACES TO KEEP CONFISCATED OR IMPOUNDED DANGEROUS WILD ANIMALS: A safe and appropriate location to house confiscated or impounded dangerous wild animals is essential to enforcing existing animal cruelty and public health laws, as well as future Ohio laws regulating these animals. Ohio will work with zoos to identify their ability to accept animals that are confiscated or impounded and help meet their needs.

NEW LEGAL POWERS WILL BE PROPOSED BY NOVEMBER 30: A task force including representatives of the Humane Society of the United States, county prosecutors, and veterinarians—led by the Department of Natural Resources—has been crafting a new legal framework for the General Assembly’s consideration that would give Ohio the authority to regulate dangerous wild animals. That task force will complete its work and submit its report by November 30.

OHIO WILL WORK WITH LOCAL AUTHORITIES TO IDENTIFY THE LOCATION OF POTENTIAL PROBLEMS: Ohio will establish toll-free hotline and website and work with local law enforcement agencies, veterinarians, county humane societies, and other stakeholders to identify potential problem locations where dangerous wild animals are kept so that the appropriate authorities can ensure all existing laws and regulations are being followed and enforced.


I personally called the Governor’s office to voice my opinion (Ohio’s legislators are on my speed-dial I swear…) last Thursday and was told a solution was being “worked up.”

But while I had a secretary or office drone on the line, I did pose the question: “will this make the Governor more aware and hence, more apt to voice his support to law-makers on OTHER CRUCIAL pieces of animal welfare legislation for Ohio, i.e. Nitro’s Law (HB 108)?”

The worker bee replied with, “with who’s Law?”


It took EVERY SINGLE OUNCE OF SANITY AND GRACE I have to not jump through the phone and strangle this person. Instead, I politely explained Nitro’s Law and was told that the Governor does support the passage of important laws to protect animals, but needs to “focus on unemployment and bringing jobs to Ohio right now.” Also, he “does not have the power necessary to PASS the actual law.” Is this guy a first-year intern or what??

This guy is so fired.

I quickly wrote up and fired off a personal letter — NOT an email — to the Governor. Please email me if you would like to follow suit. I will email you the Word document.

So what do you think? Are Ohio’s politicians playing ostrich when it comes to passing important animal welfare legistation?

Not only on Nitro’s Law, but a Puppy Mill Bill, Ban on Dog Auctions, etc?

I mean, Nitro’s has been around for three years, and a puppy mill bill has been in the works for even longer…

Why can’t they get it done? Is it laziness? Do they not care? Do they not have time? Do not enough Ohioans care? Do we need to throw money at the problem via a lobbyist or something?

Or do they simply not hear from US – their supporters – enough?



Pitbulls and Parolees, a Beautiful Friendship

Posted on May 11th, 2011

It isn’t every day that we hear about people doing amazing things for the community, but Tia Torres, director of the Villalobos Rescue Center in Southern California, definitely deserves a closer look. Tia’s has started a program where she dedicates her time to stopping the cycle of violence by creating a partnership between ex-convicts and abused dogs. Tia is restoring hope and changing the image of both pit bulls and ex-cons through this successful program.

Here is the story, borrowed from Guideposts:

“I looked at all the caged animals—the cast-offs of human society. I saw in their eyes love and hope, fear and dread, sadness and betrayal. And I was angry.
“God,” I said, “this is terrible! Why don’t you do something?”
God was silent for a moment and then He spoke softly.
“I have done something…I created you.”
—Jim Willis, author of The Animal’s Savior and How Could You?

Tia Torres knows what it’s like to be unwanted. Coming from a broken home, as a child she longed for a forever family. As a young teenager, Tia created her own family by helping people and animals who were lonely, lost and in need.

Tia Torres’s long journey has led her to become the director of the VillaLobos Rescue Center in Southern California. With her “Underdawgs” program, Torres opens the gates of hope to ex-convicts and pit bulls alike. She is dedicated to stopping the cycle of violence that happens in angry youths by creating a partnership between these guys and abused dogs.

Torres believes that these men and dogs understand each other. Both know what it’s like to be locked up; both know the feeling of being an outsider in society. The parolees who come to work for her have thus far known only crime as their mode of survival.

The ex-cons do everything for the pit bulls: feeding, walking, training, caring for the grounds, cleaning their kennels. What they get in return is unconditional love, loyalty and a sense of purpose, all of which add to their self-esteem, strengthening their resolve and peeling away the layers of anger. What’s more, the cost of keeping a man incarcerated in California is $40,00 a year, while it costs a mere $16,000 a year to employ the same man in her organization.

“Here nestled in the hills of the high desert,” says Torres, “those who have suffered in silence will never hear another gun shot or the siren of a pursuing police car. Every night they will fall asleep to the yipping of coyotes and the soothing hoot of the owl. They are safe and content. The only thing missing is a home of their own.”

Torres is single-handedly changing the image of both pit bulls and ex-cons. Her dream is to find good, loving homes for the dogs and to eventually see “her guys” return to jobs, homes and family life.

You can read about all of Tia Torres’ rescue programs—and watch powerful videos, including one of the Hurricane Katrina pit bulls—on her website.

For more on Tia Torres, see her videos on Animal Planet


Rid Ohio of Puppy Mills in Amish Country: Sign Ohio Petition to Establish Legislation

Posted on October 18th, 2010

Ban Puppy Mills in Ohio

Sign Petition to Ban Puppy Mills in Ohio FOR GOOD

Now is really time for me to launch my Be The Change Campaign, thank you very much Caroline, Tom and Yvonne at BlogPaws (and Romeo). Not only am I raising a ton of money for IAMS, but I’m launching a personal crusade to ban dog auctions and Amish puppy mills in Ohio.

Then I’ll be petitioning for felony punishments for animal abusers as it’s pretty sick that last week a guy killed a kitten by beating it with a bat to show off to his 13-yr-old girlfriend — HE GOT GROUNDED and Anger Mgmt.

It’s time Bad Breeders and Amish Country Millers STOPPED Abusing Animals, Selling and Buying at Dog Auctions, and Profiting Off Severe Animal Abuse and Neglect. PETLAND Needs to GET with the Times Too.

This should be illegal; and Ohio is so archaic in animal treatment, we are one of only FOUR STATES WHERE ANIMAL ABUSE IS STILL A LOW MISDEMEANOR.

Petition Targeting: The Governor of OH, The OH State Senate, and The OH State House

Petition Author, Creator: Jaime Lynn Smith

There are over 100,000 dogs, stud males, puppies and continually pregnant female dogs living in cramped metal cages right now in central and parts of southern and western Ohio. These dogs do not know what the inside of a house feels like. They’ve never been out of their cages.

In the Happy Tails Books publication ofDog Blessed; Puppy Mill Survivor Storiesyou can read true stories of puppy mill owners’ disdain, hatred, annoyance, lack of compassion and piss poor attitudes towards dogs (they’re no better than dog fighters or rapists), and see how the rescued dogs healed. You also hear sad stories of millers drowning or starving dogs so they don’t waste a bullet. Then there’s the story of the puppy mill dog Ruby my sister and I tried to save three years ago.

My  sister Ash never got over it and awhile back she started working with Ohio Basset Rescue. We saved a Basset Hound former puppy mill stud (he was used for breeding for days on end). He was terrified of everything and took over 6 months to rehabilitate.

  • He wouldn’t walk on a leash

    ohio amish mill dog lost 8 teeth after rescue, and a leg

  • let us put a collar on
  • didn’t know what a bone or biscuit or toy or stuck was
  • always had his tail between his legs
  • whined and cowered like he’d be beat at loud noises
  • he wouldn’t walk up the stairs
  • didn’t know what dinnertime was
  • he had no clue how to eat out of a dog dish.
  • He followed us everywhere and was timid and terrified
  • He liked to be alone and hidden behind the shed in the backyard

IT WAS HEART BREAKING.   Don’t let this happen to another dog.

Puppy mill dogs are often sold at dog auctions, which IS on the November ballot this year for eradication. These dog auctions severly perpetuate the puppy mill problem by putting loads of money intothe hands of the cruel Amish people whostatistically raise OVER 80 percent of the puppy mill farms in Ohio.

This must be stopped. Please sign the petition so we can get an issue on the ballot in November of 2012.

deplorable indoor miil in amish country ohio

Yes, we have lots of time, but we’re going to need at least 750,000 signatures.

A “puppy mill” is a facility that continuously breeds female dogs and then houses the females and their puppies in deplorable conditions. Inadequate food, water, sanitation, year-round exposure to the elements and dilapidated housing are commonplace.

As everyone re-convenes for a new session of legislation, I want to talk with you about an issue that is very important to me as a tax-payer and citizen of Ohio.                   

a sick mill pup we "borrowed" undercover & couldn't save...

I don’t know how familiar you are with Puppy Mills, but our state has become fertile ground for the “commercial pet breeding industry” because we do not have any laws or regulations to govern these facilities.

We have one USDA rep for every, like, 55 mills and “hobby breeders” and they are so lax on rules that they get paid for letting fines rest and be forgotten if they get paid in alcohol and gas money et al I’d believe.

Furthermore, we do not have enough manpower at the USDA to actually enforce the laws that are broken every day by these heartless criminals who neglect and often abuse the animals. An internal audit by the USDA’s Inspector General’s office found serious problems with the USDA department responsible for keeping breeders in compliance with the Animal Welfare Act.

Tell Petland to Stop Selling Live Animals and Start Supporting Rescue

Puppy mills are the epitome of cruelty to animals. Do we want Ohio to be associated with that? Between our fantastic colleges and universities, our top-of-the-line healthcare systems, and our gorgeous seasons and miles upon miles of national parks, I think not.

malnourished and starved mill dog who soon after rescue passed:(

Milllers, particularly in Amish Country where it has been (undercover) reported that a whopping 80 percent of mills exist there, keep helpless, sick, dying, idle dogs in tiny chicken wire cages with barely any food or water, no veterinary care, and no human contact – except when they are yelled at to be quiet. Millers OVER-breed these animals until they cannot produce anymore, then they simply throw them away, let them loose to run and die in the frigid winter air, or suffer an even worse fate.

In a state founded on high morals and values, this is a absolute atrocity. Animals, at the very least, should be respected and cared for in a compassionate way. And of course they are not equal to humans, but they have no voice and furthermore, no choice.

While other states like Pennsylvania and Virginia are passing laws and increasing regulations to reform this dreadful puppy mill industry and to advocate animal welfare, Ohio’s SEVERELY outdated and inadequate statutes have not changed, so we have become an even bigger magnet for this cruelty. We have stores like Petland making a mockery out of 9 week old puppies when an employee thought it was funny to drown them.

Ohio needs laws NOW to stop this cruel, horrifying treatment.

Make Your Voice Heard!

Currently, Illinois is proposing legislation to help deter the puppy mill industry. It is called Chloe’s Bill, and, among other things, seeks to limit the number of unaltered dogs a breeder can own. According to, the bill will:

Missouri is also looking to pass Prop B this November. Missouri has more puppy mills than any other state—and it’s very likely that a puppy from a Missouri mill is lying in a cage at a pet store near you, at this very moment. Proposition B will help these dogs by reforming Missouri’s puppy mills, but the measure won’t pass without your help.

A Veterinarian’s Prognosis For Stopping Puppy Mill Cruelty: Just last week the YesonPropB website posted an interview from A Humane Nation, Wayne Pacelle’s blog: Veterinarian Deanna Tolliver DVM, talks about why she thinks it’s such a good idea for voters in Missouri to support Prop B.

“There are 3,000 dog breeding facilities in Missouri that churn out hundreds of thousands of puppies a year as a cash crop for the pet trade. Too often, the dogs are kept in cruel and inhumane conditions, denied inadequate shelter, veterinary care, or any human kindness.”

From Deanna Tolliver, DVM:

“As a veterinarian, I took an oath to protect animal health and relieve animal suffering. Unfortunately, as a veterinarian in Missouri, I have witnessed the worst kind of suffering in dogs from puppy mills—rotten and infected teeth, mammary gland tumors, ear and skin diseases, overgrown toenails that curl into foot pads, and coats matted so heavily that the animals could barely walk. Most of these conditions result from years of neglect and could have been prevented or treated with proper veterinary care.”

“Prop B would require large, commercial breeding facilities to provide dogs with sufficient food and clean water; necessary veterinary care; adequate living space, shelter and exercise; and essential rest between breeding cycles. It would also prohibit the use of wire kennel flooring and stacked cages.

Let's Welcome All Mill Dogs to a New Life...

The measure would also limit the number of adult breeding dogs that facilities can keep to 50 (it does not apply to breeders with 10 or fewer intact female dogs). Since each female dog is capable of producing up to five or more puppies per litter, a breeder could still sell roughly 200 to 400 puppies a year, with a potential income exceeding $100,000—much greater than that of most families in Missouri.

The recent rescue of more than 100 dogs from two operations in Camden and Greene counties undoubtedly confirms that Missouri has an ongoing problem with many of its 3,000 mass puppy-production facilities. The Better Business Bureau, the USDA Office of the Inspector General and the Missouri state auditor all released recent reports detailing insufficient oversight of our puppy mill industry and the grave suffering it causes—both for the dogs and for their future families.”

dirty mill dog we couldnt save

Dozens of veterinarians from all parts of the state have endorsed the ballot measure.

At mills, dogs are crammed into small and filthy cages, denied veterinary care, exposed to extremes of heat and cold, and given no exercise or human affection.  These puppy mills are cruel and the way these dogs are treated is wrong.I surely hope that since we voted lawmakers into office that they take heed this winter, and at least discuss legislation to be introduced to stop the suffering of these innocent dogs.

And THANK GOD AND THE FATHER OF ALL ANIMALS for Mary O’Connor Shaver and all she’s personally doing to get Dog Auctions Banned on the November Ballot, all while running Columbus Top Dogs &

A paralyzed Papillion from years in a cramped cold cage

Please support any legislation of its kind, and please know you have my support if you’d like to help, more information, to volunteer or to lobby or help at petition events.

Let’s not allow Ohio to be the kind of state that follows — let us be the kind of state who LEADS! Let’s make changes to how we treat our animals TODAY.


Sign the Stop Puppy Mills Pledge (courtesy HSUS)

Puppy mills are large scale operations that force breeder dogs to produce litter after litter to support consumer demand for puppies.

These puppies are sold in pet stores or over the Internet, storefronts that mask the suffering, disease, malnutrition, and loneliness of puppy mills. Even the puppies themselves are prone to a variety of illnesses. Some die within days or weeks of purchase.

Most people are unaware that when they buy a puppy from a pet store, via the Internet, or any place they have not visited in person, they are often supporting a cruel and inhumane industry.

By choosing not to buy your next pet or any pet supplies from retail stores or Internet sites that sell dogs or cats, you are directly helping to end this cycle of cruelty.

Please sign the pledge to stop puppy mills by filling out and submitting your information below.

I will do my part to help stop puppy mills. I pledge to help end this cycle of cruelty by:

  • Choosing not to buy my next pet from a pet store or Internet site

  • Refusing to buy supplies from any pet store or Internet site that sells puppies

Thank you for your time.

Jaime L Smith, Administrator/Author/Owner/Advocate
Cleveland Pet Rescue Examiner
Board of Directors: Up For Pups

We provide guaranteed pass Braindumps with online testkings training and 642-813. You can also get best quality ccnp along with PMI-001 for your guaranteed success.

Protect Ohio Animals: Ohio House Bill 55, 79 & More Legislative Update

Posted on May 20th, 2010

House Bill 55:

– HB 55, known as the “Animal Cruelty and Pet Protection Bill” encourages judges to include pets in domestic-abuse protective orders. A protective order is a legal order issued by a court that requires one person to stop harming, stay away from and/or cease contact with another person or, in the case of HB 55, that person’s pets as well.

This critical bill also emphasizes the need to counsel convicted animal abusers and strengthens misdemeanor penalties for intentional torture of livestock and wildlife. The bill would help ensure that Ohio treats animal cruelty crimes seriously by making additional acts of torture to livestock and wildlife misdemeanors of the first degree (punishable by up to six months’ imprisonment and/or a $1,000 fine). This very modest increase goes a long way toward making Ohio a more humane state.

HB 55 just passed the House Criminal Justice Committee. However, the lengthy summer legislative recess is quickly approaching. Now is the time to ask House Speaker Budish to put HB 55 on the House floor for a vote!

Learn more about this important bill.

Ohioans for Humane Farms (trying to get on November ballot):

Ohioans for Humane Farms is spearheading a new, citizen-backed ballot initiative to prevent some of the cruelest factory farming practices in Ohio. The measure will require the Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board to adopt certain minimum standards that will:

* prevent animal cruelty

*improve health and food safety

*support family farms

*safeguard the environment throughout the state of Ohio

The ballot measure is backed by HSUS, Farm Sanctuary, the Consumer Federation of America, the Center for Science in the Public Interest, the Ohio SPCA, the Toledo Area Humane Society, the Geauga Humane Society, the Humane Society of Greater Dayton, Medina County SPCA, Mercy For Animals, and a quickly growing list of other reputable organizations.

With more than 600,000 signatures needed to get on the November ballot, the group desperately needs volunteers. While the opposition will have big agribusiness contributors, we’re relying on you—our supporters—to help us get there. Please sign-up above to join the campaign. Thanks for all your help to protect farm animals.

Endorse the campaign: join the growing number of Ohioans endorsing our campaign. Print out one of the following pdf forms and mail or fax it in to our HQ:

Elected Official
Celebrity/Prominent Individual
Congregation/Religious Leader

Find the group on Facebook under “Ohioans for Humane Farms,” or, to find an event, click here.

Also, check out the HSUS article on this effort here.

House Bill 79:

Introduced last year by Rep. Barbara Sears of Sylvania, HB 79 will strike down breed bans, particularly those on our precious pit bulls. It would remove the longstanding BSL from state law. Late in 2009 the Bill moved to the Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee. This bill needs all the support it can get.

Image courtesy BADRAP blog

See this post for good information on this bill. Residents, please contact your state representative and let them know you support HB 79:

The bill can be tracked here:

Previous alert and more info on the bill:

House Bill 70:

We all are familiar with this one – the Ohio Puppy Mill Bill. Sponsored by Rep. Gerberry it passed the House and is on its way to Senate. The “Puppy Mill Cruelty Bill” specifically prohibits cruel treatment of a companion animal by an owner of a kennel, including cruelty and depriving the animal of food, water or shelter, and makes it a felony of the fifth degree.

An Ohio Puppy Mill

This Bill is ALL OVER the Internet: simply Google “Ohio Puppy Mill Bill” and a huge list of pet blog posts and animal welfare site articles will pop up with additional information and updates, as well as opinion pieces and petitions. For Ohio Puppy Mill Bill articles on ThoughtsFurPaws, type the same thing into the Search Bar on the bottom right of this page.

**This is perhaps the most FAVORED of all of Ohio’s animal welfare legislation right now. If you haven’t already, sign the petition here please.


There are a few other animal welfare issues up for debate in Ohio right now – most moving at a snail’s pace through the legislature. (What else is new?) Seems to me that most of Ohio’s designated Reps and Sens just don’t care enough about animals in general to put these Bills at the top of the priority list.

**For more information on Ohio Animal Welfare Legislation, visit the Humane Society Legislative Fund’s State Legislation Page, or click on the “Animal Welfare” Category tab to your right on this blog’s home page.