Archive for August, 2008

Is This Fair?

Posted: August 25, 2008 in Misc Thoughts

It has been a while since I posted here so I thought that I would do an update. The first thing I would like to bring up is the new sexism in society. We often think of women as being constantly discriminated against but what about the discrimination against men? What about all of the TV commercials that portray men as morons like the ad about the stir fry sauce where the mum has to tell her son not to put the sachet into the fry pan.

What about if you received a parking ticket, like I did, from Port Phillip City Council? I parked in a permit zone but there were extenuating circumstances as it was while working with people with disabilities. My colleague also made the same mistake, and parked one spot in front of me. We both wrote to Port Phillip Council and explained the situation, but only her ticket was withdrawn. I still have to pay, even though we both wrote a letter and our circumstances were the same. The only difference that there was in the two letters were the names on each of the letters. I feel that the only reason why her ticket was withdrawn but not mine is because I am a male. I don’t mind having to pay the ticket, as I did do the wrong thing, but why was only one of the tickets withdrawn and not the other. Does Port Phillip Council not think that we would actually communicate with each other about this?

I have been thinking about the Pets At Peace saga and wondering whether I have been too harsh in my criticism of them. Perhaps as they state, it was all an innocent accident and the pet’s bodies did just fall out of their van because of a faulty door? Should I feel bad that Pets At Peace in Bendigo look as though they are going out of business over this incident? Should I feel horrible that Today Tonight did not give them a fair go and let them tell their side of the story? Maybe? Then again maybe not!

Whether this has been an innocent mistake or not, I don’t know. I do know that in America, where the pet cremation industry is booming and like us, unregulated, pets instances of bodies being dumped is not uncommon. Just on Saturday it was reported that in Texas one cremation company had dumped deceased animals in a landfill at least fifty times.

The thing is that these companies are only ever contacted by the people at very difficult times in their lives. To many people their pets are like their own children, and are important members of the family. For any company that has been entrusted to help you out at this stressful time to then deceive you either deliberately or not is beyond forgiveness. Hopefully something can be learnt from all of this and the industry ends up being regulated, so that no one has to go through this trauma ever again.

A couple of weeks ago I was watching Channel 9’s Wide World of Sport. I remembered this show from the 80s and 90s and wanted to see how much it had been revamped since its return. Unfortunately the show is still as Sydney-centric as it was back then, devoting 90% of the show to Sonny Bill Williams’ defection to Rugby Union. Even though there were other big sporting stories such as Cadel Evans’ second placing in the Tour de France or the Australian teams’ preparation for the Beijing Olympics, all Michael Slater and Ken Sutcliffe wanted to talk about was Sonny Bill.

It was almost like the bad old days when 9 would show some Group Z race from Randwick or Rosehill whilst the Cox Plate or Caulfield Cup was being run in Melbourne. While I understand that other stations had the exclusive coverage of the Melbourne races, 9 should not have completely ignored them in an effort to make it look like the Sydney races actually meant anything.

As for this Sonny Boy Williams thing, does anyone outside of Sydney or Brisbane really care? Sure Melbourne has a team in the NRL, the Melbourne Storm, yet I don’t think that there are too many Victorians who actually follow the Rugby League all that carefully. I am even more certain that there are less South Australians, Western Australians and Tasmanians who care about Rugby League.

As you can probably tell I am not a big Rugby League fan. It’s one of those sports that I just don’t get. They call it football but they only kick the ball a handful of times a game. Many Victorians call it Thugby League, due to the fact that the sport seems to resemble professional wrestling more than it does football. Watching a typical game you can see players body slam, clothes line and pile drive each other, although I think that the spear has been outlawed. In the WWE a heel wrestler may try to get an advantage over his opponent by thumbing them in the eyes, while I understand that in Rugby League they stick their thumb in their opponent’s brown eye. The image of Rugby League took another hit in my eyes the other day when South Dragons’ coach Nathan Brown said that Jason Nightingale should have headbutted Storm player Billy Slater even harder than he did. I could never imagine an AFL coach saying such a thing and if he did he would be heavily penalised.

Anyway I won’t watch Wide World of Sports again until they become less biased towards Sydney and try to have equal focus on the whole of Australia. We do have sports played in other states of this big country. I think this is the problem of having a sports/news show coming out of Sydney as it becomes irrelevant over the rest of Australia.

I think that I now know what has happened with the Pets At Peace and am a little relieved that I am now 95% certain that Pablo was not of the pets dumped in bushland. From what I have now heard, the Pets At Peace van was involved in an accident which caused the vans doors to not be able to be closed properly. Whilst the van was driving along the highway after this accident, on a couple of occasions, the doors flung open and animals fell out. This is what Pets At Peace have told people.

It seems that there may be some truth in this. When we were waiting for Pablo to be returned to us, the date of return was changed because the van was involved in an accident the day before. SO, it does seem that there was an accident and that it is feasible that the animals could have fallen out. Whether this really happened is another thing.

I wrote about the dodginess of Pets At Peace the other day. At the time when we dealt with them we felt they were compassionate and professional, but since then the story about them dumping pets’ bodies on the outskirts of Bendigo has come out and we’re not so sure. The more I investigate Pets At Peace the dodgier they seem.

The Sydney branch of Pets At Peace is currently in damage control, disowning the Victorian branch and saying that Pets At Peace in Victoria are using the name illegally without the Sydney head offices’ permission. UNFORTUNATELY, up until recently the website of Pets At Peace proudly proclaimed the Victorian branch to be an OFFICIAL FRANCHISE. From what I understand, the Sydney branch and head office of Pets At Peace is owned by Craig Mitchell, who is the son of Geoff Mitchell who runs Pets At Peace in Bendigo. It seems that father and son are now estranged for whatever reason, but for Craig to say that Pets At Peace in Sydney has nothing to do with the franchise in Melbourne is a lie.

As for poor old Geoff, apparently he has been getting death threats. He is still sticking to the claim that the bodies just fell out of the van (on three separate occasions) but this story does not sit well with me. Surely somebody would have noticed the bodies were missing and gone back to look for them. I also find it difficult to believe that the bodies could have fallen out (on three separate occasions) and rolled down an embankment thirty metres from the road. Surely after the first incident they would have fixed the van so that this WOULD NEVER HAPPEN AGAIN!!!

Even though it looks as though no pets sent for cremation were dumped, just those who were euthanized by vets who then asked Pets At Peace to dispose of the bodies, it looks like Geoff has gone out of business. I am not surprised and I am not sympathetic. Everyone is entitled to make mistakes, but at least own up to them. This is a very sensitive issue and I feel that they have acted unethically. Hopefully this will teach those who are in this business a lesson that they need to be accountable for their actions.

Message board post about dumped bodies being found.
Original story about dumped bodies.
Message board discussion on current Pets At Peace saga.
Story about death threats to Geoff Mitchell.