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Friday, February 29, 2008

Legislation to end the use of steel-jawed leghold traps on animals in the United States

Legislation to end the use of steel-jawed leghold traps on animals in the United States

Steel-jawed leghold traps are commonly used by commercial trappers in North America to “harvest” fur-bearing animals. Causing excruciating pain and suffering, the barbaric traps have been banned in 88 countries worldwide. The Inhumane Trapping Prevention Act will end the use of conventional steel-jawed leghold traps on animals in the United States.

H.R. 1691 - Sponsors: Representative Nita Lowey (D-NY), Representative Christopher Shays (R-CT)

Click here to contact your representatives

FIV-Feline Immunodeficiency Virus-What is it?

Feline Immunodeficiency Virus, also referred to as FIV is a lentivirus (lenti-, Latin for "slow"). It is a slow virus that affects a cat's immune system over a period of years. FIV is spread through a serious, penetrating bite wound, most commonly associated with intact males and mating behavior. According to the Cornell Feline Health Center, approximately 1.5 to 3 percent of healthy cats are infected with FIV in the United States.

Most cats with FIV live long, healthy, and relatively normal lives with no symptoms at all. However, infection eventually leads to weakened immune system that hinders the cat's ability to protect itself against other infections. The same bacteria, viruses, protozoa, and fungi that may be found in the everyday environment--where they usually do not affect healthy animals--can cause severe illness in those with weakened immune systems. FIV cannot be spread casually - like in litter boxes, water and food bowls, or when snuggling and playing and it is rarely spread from a mother to her kittens. Secondary infections, due to the weakened immune system, are responsible for many of the diseases associated with FIV.

Although FIV is a lentivirus similar to HIV (the human immunodeficiency virus) and causes a disease in cats similar to AIDS (acquired immune deficiency syndrome) in humans, it is a highly species-specific virus that infects only felines. A number of studies have failed to show any evidence that FIV can infect or cause disease in people.

An infected cat's health may deteriorate progressively or by recurrent illness interspersed with periods of relative health. Sometimes not appearing for years after infection, signs of immunodeficiency can appear anywhere throughout the body:

  • Poor coat condition and persistent fever with a loss of appetite are commonly seen.
  • Inflammation of the gums (gingivitis) and mouth (stomatitis) and chronic or recurrent infections of the skin, urinary bladder, and upper respiratory tract are often present.
  • Persistent diarrhea can also be a problem, as can a variety of eye conditions.
  • Slow but progressive weight loss is common, followed by severe wasting late in the disease process.
  • Various kinds of cancer and blood diseases are much more common in cats infected with FIV, too.
  • In unspayed female cats, abortion of kittens or other reproductive failures have been noted.
  • Some infected cats experience seizures, behavior changes, and other neurological disorders.
  • Infected mother cats transfer FIV antibodies to nursing kittens, so kittens born to infected mothers may receive positive test results for several months after birth. However, few of these kittens actually are or will become infected. To clarify their infection status, kittens younger than six months of age receiving positive results should be retested at 60-day intervals until they are at least six months old.
  • FIV-infected cats should spayed or neutered and confined indoors to prevent spread of FIV infection to other cats in the neighborhood and to reduce their exposure to infectious agents carried by other animals.
  • They should be fed nutritionally complete and balanced diets.
  • Uncooked food, such as raw meat and eggs, and unpasteurized dairy products should not be fed to FIV-infected cats because the risk of food-borne bacterial and parasitic infections is much higher in immunosuppressed cats.
  • Wellness visits for FIV-infected cats should be scheduled with your veterinarian at least every six months. Although a detailed physical examination of all body systems will be performed, your veterinarian will pay special attention to the health of the gums, eyes, skin, and lymph nodes. Your cat's weight will be measured accurately and recorded, because weight loss is often the first sign of deterioration. A complete blood count, serum biochemical analysis, and a urine analysis should be performed annually.
  • Vigilance and close monitoring of the health and behavior of FIV-infected cats is even more important than it is for uninfected cats. Alert your veterinarian to any changes in your cat's health as soon as possible.
Do you have a cat who has FIV? What obstacles have you faced? What do you recommend to someone who is thinking of adopting one or already has one?

American Association of Feline Practitioners, Cornell Feline Health Center and Best Friends Animal Society

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Puppy Profits dot com-Pro Dog Fighting Site!!

I was sent a link to the site, from an ASPCA group I belong to. This is sickening! This is portraying dog fighting as a positive activity!

Is there anything we can do about this site??

That's when I discovered canine sport fighting (sometimes called "dog fights") through a friend and went to my first event. I was awestruck! What an amazing show of animal athleticism!

I read some of the F.A.Q.s and I cannot even believe it! This guy is terrible!

***When I posted this, I was under the impression that this was real. After numerous comments stating that it was fake and a little checking on my own, I also believe it to be fake***

Site I found about China's Dog Trade *Graphic* Cruelty beyond belief the Olympic hosts are trying to hide

Cruelty beyond belief the Olympic hosts are trying to hide!

While billions tune into China’s "green" Games this August countless dogs will continue to endure horrendous suffering at the hands its most despicable trade. In a daring undercover probe we expose the horrors of China’s dog meat business, from shocking transport conditions to the brutal slaughter of dogs - many of them former pets - at roadside restaurants and processing factories. Our report and video log the sordid truth China doesn’t want you to see - please sign our petition calling for Chinese welfare legislation that would outlaw this vile trade.

3 yr. old male dog has been chained to a bed post his whole life! Needs rescue in Pennsylvania

His owners put him in a room chained to the bed and never took him
off. He has never been taken outside or been left to roam around. He
was living is his own feces and urine because he had nowhere else to
go. His owners have now decided to surrender him so he needs a home.
Please contact me if you or anyone you know can help. We are in
Berwick, PA

(This is from a group I am in, please contact shanni1204 (at) yahoo (dot) com)

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

New cats arrived yesterday

Yesterday, two new cats arrived. They were abandoned in their house when their owners moved out. We don't know what to name them yet. There is one orange male and one black female.

If you really care about animals, and live in Kansas City, this is for you!

We need more people!! If you are truly dedicated to helping animals, this is for you. You are actually out in the community, directly helping animals.

You can see that dog look at you with grateful eyes when you put hay in his dog house to provide him warmth. You can see how excited he is when you throw him a ball and give him some food.

You can educate an owner and get a dog off a chain, where he can run around outside without being held back and go inside at night with his family, all because of your dedication!

Even if you do one Sunday a month, you can make a difference! I have had quite a few moments where I was almost overcome with tears of happiness.

Read below for a description and contact information to get involved.

Pet Outreach: Our Outreach Program Volunteers canvasses various of the city every weekend helping needy pets. Volunteers promote responsible pet ownership through education and by providing needy pets new dog houses, hay, food and transportation of pets to and from spay/neuter clinics. This group will be hosting a meeting in March and are looking for more interested volunteers who want to get involved. If you would like to learn more about getting involved with our Pet Outreach Program please email Kate Quigley at

Monday, February 25, 2008

I am fostering two cats who were abandoned

I belong to a Yahoo group for feral cats and a woman on there posted a message about cats needing to be fostered.

Two cats who were abandoned in a vacant house when the renters moved will arrive at my apartment tonight. I will be fostering them until they can be adopted. All I know is that one is black and one is an orange tabby. They are going to the vet today and will be brought to my apartment this evening.

The owner of the house would have had to bring them to Kansas City Animal Control and even kittens are euthanized there so I knew they wouldn't have a chance, being adults.

It seemed pretty bleak for them. I saw the post and throughout the day, my thoughts kept returning to those cats. They had already been abandoned and now they face death simply because their owners were irresponsible?

I have space here, I thought. So, I will have an extra litter box to clean and two more mouths to feed. If it means saving their lives...then I am willing to do it.

My boyfriend doesn't seem too thrilled with this whole "cat rescue" thing. We currently have 3 cats here. I have two cats of my own (adopted them in 1999), and a feral cat (Annie) that I am taming. So, now we will have 5!?! Wow, it will be really interesting around here!

Annie Update!

Annie is doing so well! She has been out of the cage for at least a week now and she does very well with the baby gates up and the door open. She is still slightly skittish around me but tolerates loud noises well.

My boyfriend has been trying to pet her and after a few tries she let him pet her on the cheek and around the ears.

I cannot believe this is the same cat that a little over two months ago was so fearful that she jumped up into a hanging plant to get away from us.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

My cat, Ashtyn, and her recent health problems

My cat, Ashtyn has had quite a lot going on in the last two to three weeks. A few weeks ago, I took her to the vet because she had a spot on her arm that had lost fur. I made the appointment for a Friday and by Monday, we were in the vet's office again! Her fur loss had spread to her face. Behind where her whiskers come out of her face had dime sized circles, that had lost fur.

The first vet appointment, the vet gave me a Synotic Solution and some medicated pads (similar to acne pads).
The next time the vet gave me Clavamox, Prednisone and I had to give her a few Lyme Baths.

A few days ago she started vomiting up her food. I have been feeding her, and my other cat, Gaby, supposedly "high quality" food for nearly 8 years now. I recently switched them to Purina One, the chicken and rice formula because the first ingredient is chicken.

For the weekend, I am only feeding them canned food. If Ashtyn stops vomiting, then I will believe her food is making her sick, not that it has anything to do with her recent health issues.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Chained dog in New Jersey needs rescue! Owner wants to euthanize her!

I was at a jobsite today, and found that there was a dog living in a small doghouse. I didnt even see her at first, until she peeked out shyly. She is a very old (16 years old) dog who has lived her life outside tied with a chain to her doghouse. She is so skinny (though she eats, it happens when they get older) and just the most pathetic thing i have seen in a long time. She has little to no human contact except when the neighbor feeds her. The man whose house it is at, has been in the hospital, and was thinking of putting her down cause he can't take care of her anymore.

The next door neighbors say she warms up to people quickly, and gets very excited when she is brought indoors when it is too cold out. Her name is Missy, and she is a White Shepherd.

I just can' stand the thought of this dog, now that ive seen her, living what little bit of time she has like this. At least perhaps she can have some joy at the end of her life............can anyone help?

Is anyone willing to put out the effort to deal with an old dog? It may require some effort, but I think its worth it to help her have some happiness. I have a house full as you all know, and I'm not sure she can do all the stairs in my house... I have a split level.

Any suggestions? can anyone take her?

If you can help, please email:

Dogs in Georgia need homes! To be euthanized March 1st!!

(I could only find pics of one dog)

The shelter is overfull and must move these beautiful pets or be forced to euthanize.
Shelter is extremely rescue friendly. The director is willing to give these guys a chance for life. All dogs are 100% Vetted

PTS DATE 3-1-08

Buster Pic 2826 and 2827 is a one yr brown lab mix neutered boy. He is up to date on all vaccinations and is a team player with other dogs.
He loves to fetch the ball for you.

Marcus: Pic 2830 and 2831 is a one yr old Tri Color neutered little guy. He is fully vaccinated and a team player with other dogs.
Also walks good on a leash

Naomi: Pic 2835 and 2838 is a three yr old Boxer mix girl. She is spayed and fully vaccinated and is GREAT FOR LEASH WALKING.
Naomi and her sister (who was adopted and now Naomi is very sad) were tuned in by a women who lived in an apt.
Therefore she would be great for apt living but needs to have a loving female owner, she is timid towards men. (pic below)

Chance: Pic 2842 and 2846 is a five yr old very sweet Irish Wolfhound. He is neutered, fully vetted, walks good on a leash and is a team player.
His owner chained Chance to a doghouse and finally turned him in when he became ill, GOOD FOR CHANCE. Poor Chance would go out in the rain and stand just to feel something touching him.
This boy is great and a wonderful dog. He only wants to be loved and treated like a family pet. PLEASE HELP HIM AND GIVE CHANCE A CHANCE AT A REAL LIFE.

Ace: Pic 2855 and 2860 is an 11 month old black lab neutered boy. He is up to date on vaccinations and loves to play.
He walks good on a leash and is a team player

Please help these beautiful dogs, the shelter is willing to give them till 3-1-08
Bob Citrullo
Boggs Mountain Humane Shelter, Inc
Tiger, GA
Office: 706-782-5422
Cell: 706-982-4909
Come Visit Us!
Located at 261 Boen Creek Rd. off of E. Boggs Mountain, before the Recycling center/ Landfill, from 441/23 North

Blue Pit Bull Needs Rescue in Raleigh

URGENT HELP NEEDED!! (this was NOT written by me)

> I desperately need help in getting this dog into rescue. I seized him
> from an address in southeast Raleigh on February 9, 2008. The vet
> assessed his body condition score at being a 1, a walking skeleton.
> He should be a blue Pit-bull, but he has so much hair loss throughout
> his body. He has no body fat, and is losing muscle tone. The vet
> notes says he is a very quiet and sweet dog and he likes being with
> people. He is only about 3 years old.
> He has tested a strong positive for heartworms. He has been living on
> a chain in a back yard, and sleeping on the hard ground. He has open
> sores on both wrists, left ankle and his rear end. These are
> basically 'bed sores' from repeatedly sleeping on the hard ground and
> having no body fat to cushion his bones.
> I am charging his 'owner' with animal cruelty, and he will be a guest
> of the "Wake County" jail, hopefully sometime this week.
> Please help me in getting this wonderful sweet boy into a rescue.
> Stephanie P. Williams
> Animal Control Officer
> Raleigh Police Department
> Cell (919)524-0197 / Nextel 150*26*34355

Chained dog killed by loose pit bulls, owner says

Two loose pit bulls apparently killed a chained chow-breed dog early Monday, and now Jacksonville police are trying to determine their owners.

Ronald Ball, 64, told police one black and one gray pit bull attacked his chow chained in his backyard in the 3000 block of Myra Street off South McDuff Avenue. Police responded about 2:30 a.m. and saw two pit bulls running down a ditch line behind Bell’s property.

The officer then saw them in a nearby front yard, but the owners of the home said they do not have any dogs, according to the Sheriff’s Office report. It’s still possible that the dogs live at that address or are strays, the report said.

Animal Control has been called in.

Ball — who has at least two addresses listed in the incident report, did not include a phone number and is not in the phone book — could not be reached for more details.

South Carolina considers chaining ban to protect dogs

A Senate panel is considering a bill that would fine dog owners and possibly send them to jail if they keep their pets chained outside for too long.

The bill currently says anyone tethering a dog to a stationary object for more than three hours could be fined up to $500 and sent to jail for up to 60 days. A third offense would be up to two years in prison and a $2,000 fine.

But the Senate committee is considering changing the bill to allow owners to chain dogs for up to eight hours. Senator John Hawkins is pushing for the bill. The Spartanburg Republican says Attorney General Henry McMaster should use existinganimal cruelty laws to crackdown on the practice until the bill passes.

Why blame chained dog for humans' many errors?

Sadly, another parent has allowed a child to be bitten by a dog ("Dog mauls girl", Leader-Post, Jan. 21).

Could someone not stomach the fact that Lassie, the smart and gentle animal who saved little Timmy from harm every week on TV, could hurt a child? I have been teaching dog obedience and socialization for many years. I have taught dozens of breeds and thousands of dogs. I have been bitten and/or threatened by border collies, Chihuahuas, shih tzus, Labradors, schipperkes, golden retrievers, Australian shepherds, cocker spaniels, springer spaniels, poodles, terriers and Pomeranians. These are not breeds we think of as dangerous.

I have had one problem with a "dangerous" breed: A cross breed that had suffered a lifetime of abuse and neglect. Small dog bites are unlikely to require medical treatment, go unreported, and skew statistics.

While researching this letter, I came across a citation for an incident in which a Pomeranian, a two-kilogram dog, had killed a baby.

I recently saw a golden retriever/poodle cross that was, by anyone's definition, dangerous.

Golden retrievers? Dangerous?

Dangerous dogs exist, but dangerous breeds exist only in the imaginations of people looking for scapegoats.

Breed bans exist so that politicians can look like they are doing something while doing nothing useful.

News stories that alter the description of a dog from one breed to another only add to the hysteria and make it harder for responsible pet owners.

Any dog will bite if it feels threatened and can't escape. "Fight or flight" are its only safety valves. A dog that is chained cannot escape a perceived threat and is more likely to bite, no matter what breed it is, and no matter whether the threat comes from a child, an adult, or another dog.

Even "Lassie" will bite in that situation -- as the people in Delisle have discovered.

Reports of animal abuse can go astray

Calls about dog abuse are common in Franklin County, according to representatives of local animal shelters.

Too often, however, the calls are made to the wrong agencies.

When it comes to reporting animal cruelty, particularly related to dogs, people are often confused about what to do. So they call police or the state dog warden. Some people call on government officials, like a woman in Greencastle who went to the town's council on Feb. 4 with her concerns about a dog in her neighborhood.

In Pennsylvania there are certain agencies designated to handle certain calls.

The humane societies or animal shelters work to prevent the cruelty to animals. They also promote the humane treatment for all animals through education and enforcement of state cruelty laws.

In Franklin County, the Antietam Humane Society covers the southern part of the county, while the northern part is covered by the Cumberland Valley Animal Shelter.

Calls about the abuse of dogs and other animals should be made to the AHS or CVAS. And that's a message made clear by Dog Warden Georgia Martin, who reports more than 18,000 dog licenses being issued in 2007.

The outgoing message on her answering machine notes that animal cruelty, dog neglect or cat complaints should go to the humane society; barking complaints to the local township or borough; and wild animal complaints to the state game commission.

Complaint in Greencastle

The issue of animal neglect emerged recently

during a Greencastle Borough Council meeting. Isle-Marie Bramson of 305 Leitersburg St. called on council to help a beagle that lived near her home. She said the dog's owner often leaves the dog outside in cold weather. When a council member asked if she had contacted the humane society, she said she had and that nothing had been done.

"One thing that bothers me about Greencastle is the fact that no one seems to be concerned about the welfare of an animal," Bramson said in a prepared statement. "Neither the police nor the animal welfare persons are implementing the few existing laws regarding animals. In any case, the present rules are not enforced partly because they are too vague."

The owner of the dog in question, whose name was not mentioned by Bramson, told Public Opinion that police and other agencies had made several visits to his home and they found nothing wrong: "She's been told to mind her own d

Chief John Phillippy of the Greencastle Police Department confirmed the owner's remarks. He said Wednesday that his officers have made several visits to the owner's home, as has Georgia Martin, the state dog law enforcement officer.

They found no violations, he said.

"You may agree or disagree with having a dog outside," Phillippy said. "But the owner is not in violation. The state code says the dog should have food, water and shelter, and the dog has that."

Candy Clopper, executive director of the Antietam Humane Society, agreed: "I have been there many, many times and the complaints were totally unfounded. The owner is not in violation of animal cruelty laws."

According to Clopper, Bramson also said the beagle was chained. Yet, when Clopper visited the dog, he was not chained.

"The owner said he was only chained when cleaning the kennel," she said. "We all would like to see dogs snuggled inside, but there is no law requiring that."

Clopper said the beagle is actually better off than most other dogs that are kept outside.

Different laws, different states

"As long as they fall within the laws of Pennsylvania, there's nothing wrong," said Jennifer Vanderau, director of communications for Cumberland Valley Animal Shelter.

"Being an animal lover, I agree it's sad to see the dogs outside," she said. "However, the agencies in question are bound by the laws of Pennsylvania."

Vanderau explained that people sometimes watch the television channel Animal Planet and see things in Texas or New York and wonder why agencies won't address certain complaints.

They don't understand that different states have different laws, she said.

Concerned about the state law on the issue, Bramson is planning a trip to Harrisburg to meet with state legislators and see what can be done about current law.

She agreed that the beagle's owner is not in violation. However, she believes the dog is still suffering, and the way to address it is by changing the current law: "The laws have to be changed and made more precise."

According to Bramson, chaining is not good for a dog. It's a problem because it can cause dogs to become vicious, she said.

Dog warden

People have their own ideas, but agencies have to go by the law, said Martin, who worked as a humane society police officer from 1991 to 1998.

Since then, she has worked as a state dog warden. In that capacity, she tries to educate the public about her job and the treatment of animals, she said.

In addition to filing citations, she handles complaints about dogs running at large. If someone is bitten, she takes care of it by placing the animal in quarantine. She informs the victim of his or her rights and lets the dog owner know about their responsibilities.

Martin also checks for license and rabies vaccinations of dogs older than 3 months. She also picks up strays, averaging one a week.

"Sixty percent of the complaints are about neighbors' dogs running loose," she said, noting she averages 900 cases a year.

Beyond those duties, Martin inspects 45 kennels, twice a year, throughout the county.

"Our agency does not handle animal cruelty," she said. "We don't have the power to enforce cruelty laws. When in the field, if I see any cruelty issues, I address it with the dog owner and turn it over to a humane society police officer."

The state is currently talking about empowering dog wardens to enforce cruelty laws, she said.

'Dogs Deserve Better'

Bramson is a volunteer for Dogs Deserve Better, a nonprofit group that works to free dogs that are chained. Its goal is to protect the dogs and bring them into homes, according to the group's Web site.

Bobbie McIntyre, a DDB representative, said she will do what she can to save abused dogs: "If you see what some of the dogs look like when they're brought to us, you'll understand the severity of the situation."

Some of the dogs she has rescued were nearly crippled by the chains. Their legs were atrophied and the collars had grown into their necks, she said. Beside those issues, the chains breeds severe aggression in a dog, she said.

When she learns of a chained dog, she writes a letter to the owner and provides literature on why the dog should not be chained. McIntyre, who lives in Greencastle, said she's not talking about the use of a leash when a dog is taking a walk. Her concern is for the "perpetual chained dogs" that are chained for their entire lives.

In addition to educating the dog owners, McIntyre and DDB offer free fencing that they install. They also offer to housebreak a dog if necessary and will pay for a trainer. If the owner surrenders the dog, she will gladly take it in, she said.

Although many governments have passed laws prohibiting this, she said, Pennsylvania is the hardest to bring about this change. So far, McIntyre said she has talked to local, county and state representatives about the issue.

She wants to lobby until the laws are changed. In the mean time, she plans to continue to write letters to owners of chained dogs.


Roscoe Barnes III can be reached at 262-4762 or

Resources on animal treatment

Antietam Humane Society: 762-9091,

Dog Law Enforcement Officer of Franklin County: 762-9794

Cumberland Valley Animal Shelter: 263-5791,

The Large Animal Protection Society:

Dogs Deserve Better:

North Miami code toughened, but stray cats get a pass

Cats got a reprieve when the North Miami city council unanimously agreed to scale back its stricter animal enforcement guidelines.

At a meeting Feb. 12, the council passed on first reading a new law that makes it easier for the city's animal code enforcer, Tami Fox, to do her job. The new law allows for heftier fines if your dogs run loose or if you feed feral cats on someone else's property and bans keeping fowl.

The council appeased droves of cat lovers, by allowing them to keep as many cats as they want and they can feed stray cats as long as they do it in their own yard.

''We have to do a balancing act between the neighbor who wants to feed the cats and the neighbors who don't want cats in their yard,'' City Attorney Lynn Whitfield said.

Instead of the stricter restrictions for cats, the council said the city should work with cat groups, including The Cat Network, to educate the public on trapping, spaying or neutering the animals and then releasing them.

''We do have a problem in the city with the overpopulation of feral cats that we do have to somehow get some control on,'' Whitfield said. ``So we are going to initially try to do something in terms of public information.''

The news was very exciting for many Cat Network members and residents, who attended the meeting.

''It has to start with educating the public,'' resident Marie Samuel said. ``Not just say it, do it.''

Fowl were not as lucky as cats. Fox said roosters are acting as alarm clocks and residents don't want them in the city.

If the ordinance passes on second reading Feb. 26, Fox will be able to issue a $100 ticket on the spot if she sees someone with a live fowl.

Whitfield, along with Fox and Public Works Director Mark Collins, have been working on updating the outdated, 1958 code for months. An ordinance came up for approval in October but was deferred.

Whitfield said it was time to get something in place to make it easier for Fox to clean up the city. Whitfield said she believes stricter fines might encourage people to be more careful when it comes to animals. For example, under the old code, a ticket for letting a dog run loose could cost $50-$100; with the new code, it could be $150.

''This is a step in the right direction,'' Mayor Kevin Burns said. ``I'm glad to see we are working with the right groups.''

Recycling plant searching for stray cat homes ahead of move

The SP recycling plant in Richmond is moving and workers say the stray cats that live there will be out on the street again.

The feral cats often find their way inside recycling bins and end up at the recycling center.

Plant manager Wanda McGee has cared for the cats and says she's looking to find them new homes. She says she's placed five cats so far.

"They're adoptable," McGee said, "A lot of farmers will have them in their barns and they're great mousers. They can take care of rodent problems"

Anyone interested in the cats can call 359-1080.

Puppy Mill bill dies in House. WHY?

How is it that the state and national legislatures can be so caring of one thing which is fairly inconsequential and let another important bill die?

House Bill 3192 was created to put a stop to puppy mills in Oklahoma.

A puppy mill is considered a dirty, trashy place where one or several breeds of dogs are kept in deplorable conditions with little or no medical care that ensures puppies are always available.

The Humane Society of the United States considers a puppy mill a breeding facility that produces purebred puppies in large numbers with problems like overbreeding, inbreeding, minimal veterinary care, poor quality of food and shelter, lack of human socialization, overcrowded cages and the killing of unwanted animals.

HB 3192 would have targeted breeders that raise dogs in these conditions.

The problem is that no one would second the motion, so it has been killed for the year.

Oklahoma has more than 600 breeders registered with the Department of Agriculture. The only state with more is Missouri.

This bill would ensured that breeding facilities are kept at an acceptable standard by having veterinarians grade them. If the facility did not pass inspection, the breeder would be unable to sell the animals.

Since 2000, more than 10 breeders have had their operations shut down. This is 10 out of 600. How many more puppy mill-like conditions exist in the 590 others?

The public cannot know until we have licensed inspectors to view them all. Meanwhile, state health inspectors have more important things to do than drive out to the ‘boonies’ to check them out.

Allowing veterinarians to be licensed and to do it would make it a more plausible idea.

Of course, they can only inspect registered dog breeders, and many breeders sell their animals to pet shops without having to show any sort of “clean bill of health.”

While there are problems with any bill introduced or law enacted, this one could have at least been given more of a chance to develop before being shot down.

The real problem I have with the legislature is that it is ready and willing to pass laws to allow Burns Hargis to become president early and move into his house months before he was supposed to — but a bill like this, which is meant to actually protect not only the animals in this state, but also the responsible breeders and owners who love them — is allowed to languish.

Is it really so important that Hargis takes office early?

I understand that it will allow him to weigh in on the budget, but to make something like that such a priority when those same legislatures don’t give a damn about the welfare of our animals is not only sad, but despicable.

I am in no way stating that the bill introduced to help elect Hargis is not useful or does not have the good of OSU at its heart, but surely people can see the fallacy shown by brushing off another important issue so easily.

Perhaps if animal rights supporters had more money to throw around, much like the way a college brings in revenue for the state, this would be a different story.

Unfortunately, those who support animal rights have more important things to spend money on than lobbying their legislature — like their animals.

Man feeding strays could face fines from SPCA

Don Grant says the local SPCA is supposed to prevent cruelty to animals, not promote it.

"I don't think they do - they are the biggest offender of their own law," said Grant, who's facing a $150 fine for caring for stray cats near his Lynnwood Drive apartment.

He said the four cats, which are about a year old, would starve to death without his help.

"They wouldn't survive," said the 63-year-old, who has three cats of his own.

"In the nice weather, I hardly see them. They're out catching mice. But there's nothing for them to eat at this time of year. I can't turn my back on these animals and let them starve to death."

Grant has been feeding the cats - whose mother was hit by a car - since last summer. He puts out food on the balcony of his ground-floor apartment and has also made them a cozy enclosure out of an old ottoman, to protect them from the bitter cold. Some of his neighbours have helped out by providing blankets and a heating pad. "Everybody's got dogs or cats in this building," he said. "We're all animal lovers."

But, on Jan. 26, Grant was warned by an SPCA officer that he could be fined for harbouring the stray cats.

Shelter manager Robin Kuchma said the SPCA - which enforces the city's animal control bylaws - gets involved if there's a complaint from neighbours.

"Nobody's going to condemn somebody for feeding a stray but if you're providing food on a regular basis, plus shelter, you're providing a permanent home and that attracts more strays.

"People's intentions are good - they're trying to help animals in need. But, we have to be respectful of other people."

Grant said the SPCA paid him a visit last month after receiving a complaint that he had too many cats in his home. At that time, he was looking after his late mother's elderly cat, which put him over the city limit of three cats per household.

Grant agreed to find his mother's cat a new home but, during the conversation, he also mentioned that he was feeding the strays.

"I walked right into it."

Grant said he has no intention of allowing the stray cats to starve but he won't take them to the SPCA either.

"They're overrun with them," he said."All they're going to do is kill them."

Instead, he plans to find the cats new homes, something he's done with other strays.

"I told (the SPCA officer) I'd be moving them by May."

Kuchma said there are probably thousands of stray cats in the city. And, if they're not controlled, they continue to reproduce at an alarming rate.

"One female cat and her offspring can produce 420,000 cats in seven years," she said. "It's a huge problem."

Because Brantford doesn't have a cat control bylaw, the SPCA is not funded to pick up stray cats. But it does accept about 2,000 cats every year that are taken to the Mohawk Street shelter.

Sadly, only about three per cent are claimed by their owners, even though Kuchma estimates up to 80 per cent were once somebody's pet. "You can pick them up and cuddle them. You can't do that with a cat that was born in the wild."

While the SPCA tries to find homes for the cats, only 40 per cent are adopted. The rest are euthanized.

But Kuchma said that's a more humane end than letting the cats die from starvation or disease in the wild. "It's heartbreaking, when we see an animal like that, sick and unable to eat. They're just skin and bones."

Click here if you would like to respond to the editor of the paper

Three die trying to save their dogs

Authorities yesterday recovered the body of a 42-year-old Berkeley woman who was swept out to sea Saturday when she jumped into the ocean to try to save her dog on California’s Sonoma coast -- one of at least three such deaths in recent weeks.

According to a San Francisco Chronicle story, witnesses saw the woman, identified by the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Department as Molly Keane, go into the water near the Sonoma-Mendocino County line. The body of her dog was later found washed up on the beach. Keane's death was the second fatality in five weeks of a would-be dog rescuer swept off the Sonoma coast.

On Jan. 12, 19-year-old Ann Madden of Petaluma and her fiance were walking along an overlook at Portuguese Beach with their two dogs when large waves engulfed the two animals. Her fiance jumped in to rescue the dogs, followed by Madden.

"What she did was very, very heroic, but that’s the kind of person she was. We’re not surprised at all that she jumped in to save her fiance or the dogs," her mother said in an article in the Reading Eagle. Madden's fiance and two dogs survived.

In Buffalo, N.Y., police believe Anthony Dashner, a 51-year-old corrections officer, was trying to retrieve his parents' dog when he fell through the ice on the Buffalo River and died. Police pulled his body from the river Saturday afternoon, an article in the Buffalo News reported.

Dashner was last seen Wednesday morning, when he left his home to look for his parents' dog. Police believe Dashner was following the dog when he broke through the ice. Dashner worked at the medium-security Gowanda prison in southern Erie County.

Hero Dog Saves a Man!

Tokyo - Japanese police on Thursday heaped praise on a Labrador retriever who found an elderly man who fell over in freezing conditions at night, the second time the dog was credited with saving a life.

The three-year-old black Lab, named 'Dor, suddenly started barking when she was taking a walk with her owner, Koichi Wada, in the western city of Iwade one evening last month, a police officer said.

"The dog led Mr Wada to a nearby irrigation ditch, where an elderly man was lying face up," the officer said.

The ditch was one-metre deep and the 86-year-old man had been soaked in water up to his ears.

"Since it was cold and already dark, the man would have been frozen to death if she had not smelled something and told it to her owner," he said.

The elderly man soon had even more luck. Wada stopped a passing car and found that a doctor was behind the wheel.

The doctor drove the man to his clinic, where he was treated for minor wounds in the head and hands.

Iwade police on Wednesday gave a certificate of gratitude to Wada for saving the man's life.

"The certificate went to the owner as there is no precedent for a dog getting a certificate," the officer said.

It wasn't the first time that 'Dor saved a human life, according to police.

She started barking at a car parked under a bridge last year, prompting Wada to check on it. Wada called police, who brought to safety a middle-aged man who was about to commit suicide. - Sapa-AFP

Is anyone reading Redemption:The Myth of Pet Overpopulation and the No Kill Revolution in America? Let's discuss it!

I am reading this book slowly. It is very hard for me to read too much at one time. The accusations are very surprising and I am angered by them. I would like to get a discussion going on this book. I have read some negative things about Nathan Winograd and one of his colleagues. If you have any personal experience with Mr. Winograd, I would love to hear it.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

"Buy One Get One Killed," and other new ads from PETA

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has released three new videos as part of its Animal Birth Control (ABC) campaign -- and they are, as one might expect, edgy. Maybe even a little over the edge. In this first one, titled "Sex Talk," parents urge their young daughter to procreate, telling her any unwanted offspring can always be dumped or put in a shelter.

In this next one, "Buy One Get One Killed," an innocent little girl learns that, in buying a purebred dog from a breeder, she's responsible for the death of a shelter dog.

And in the third one, released at the time of the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, the American Kennel Club, with all its breed standards and emphasis on purity, is compared to the Klan.

Click here to go to the videos

H.R. 767 Passes House — feral cats will be KILLED! If passes in Senate may become law! Action Alert!

H.R. 767: Refuge Ecology Protection, Assistance, and Immediate Response Act

To protect, conserve, and restore native fish, wildlife, and their natural habitats at national wildlife refuges through cooperative, incentive-based grants to control, mitigate, and eradicate harmful nonnative species, and for other purposes.

We need to write, call or email our reps! (A bill must be passed by both the House and Senate and then be signed by the President before it becomes law.)
Click here to find your senator

Alley Cat Allies has sent a letter, also signed by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and the Humane Society of the United States, urging Senator Barbara Boxer to oppose proposed bill H.R. 767. As we informed Senator Boxer, H.R. 767, officially titled the Refuge Ecology Protection, Assistance, and Immediate Response Act, seeks to eradicate “harmful nonnative species” in federal wildlife refuges and adjacent private lands. Although the word “cat” does not appear anywhere in the proposed bill, the broad definition of “harmful nonnative species” could leave hundreds of species open to target—cats among them. As a result, many wildlife and animal groups are concerned that this bill, if enacted, could lead to the wholesale slaughter of numerous species, subsidized by citizen tax dollars.

Senator Boxer is generally favorable to animal issues, and her office was apparently concerned to learn that this bill, which on its face does not seem to apply to cats, could have such a devastating impact on them. The witnesses who testified in support of H.R. 767 focused mainly on the negative impacts of invasive plants; there was virtually no mention of mammalian species, and none of cats.

Alley Cat Allies has spoken with Senate staff members, who report that the Committee on Environment and Public Works will take no action on this bill before the winter recess at the end of December. For now, we aren’t calling for any citizen action, but we will do so if the bill progresses any further.

Scientists testing oral contraceptives for wild animals

If you’re a land owner and animals such as coyotes or wild pigs are driving you hog wild, help may soon be on the way to control their numbers in a humane way – in the form of a birth control pill for animals being developed at Texas A&M University’s College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences. The concept would be to get it to wild animals through baited food, researchers say.

Researchers are testing oral contraceptives – used in much the same way as in humans – and the results are promising, says Duane Kraemer, a professor in veterinary physiology and pharmacology and a world leader in embryo transfer who has been involved in cloning four different species in recent years.
Kraemer, one of the pill’s creators, and other members of the research team are testing the contraceptive for use on wild animals, but the applications could most likely be used in pets, he believes.

“No one method will be useful in all situations,” he stresses.

“This approach inhibits maturation of the egg and therefore prevents fertilization. The animals continue to cycle, so it will not yet be ideal for many pet owners. But there is an advantage for use in wild and feral animals.”

Kraemer says the research team has recently started tests on domestic models for predators – animals such as feral pigs and cougars – but if successful, it could be used on a wide variety of animals, including dogs and cats, he explains. The team also has submitted grant applications for similar projects on coyotes and deer.

“A spinoff of this contraceptive could probably be used on many different species,” he adds.

The $90,000 project is being funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and private donations.

The pill works by inhibiting the maturation of the egg, not the entire cycle, Kraemer says. The technical name for the drug is called a phosphodiesterase 3 inhibitor, and it is one member of a family of drugs being tested.

Similar compounds have been tested in laboratories elsewhere in mice and monkeys, and similar results have been obtained by in vitro (in laboratory) methods in cattle and humans.

The compound can be mixed with animal feed and must be eaten daily during the critical time. It may also be encapsulated to decrease the frequency it has to be consumed, Kraemer says.

“We believe we are the first to test this compound for this specific purpose,” Kraemer notes. “We’re trying new uses for this previously approved compound.”

When perfected, the pill could eventually be used as an oral contraceptive for pets, but that may be a bit in the future, Kraemer says. In dogs, for example, the ovulation process is especially complex, but researchers are confident such a birth control pill can one day be successfully developed.

The need is apparent: According to the American Humane Society, about 7 million dogs and cats are euthanized each year at animal shelters. One female cat can lead to the production of 420,000 offspring in her lifetime.

In Texas, feral hogs have become a severe nuisance to farmers and ranchers, and the state has an estimated 3-4 million feral hogs, by far the most in the country. Deer are also becoming a problem to more communities each year because of overpopulation of deer herds.

Other species such as coyotes and even wild horses also need sufficient management control, experts note.

“The need for such an animal contraceptive is certainly there,” Kraemer adds.

“We are confident we can develop this pill in the not too distant future, but we still have plenty of tests to complete. It’s an exciting and much-needed project, but more funds will be needed, especially since deer and wild pigs are consumed by humans. One of the more interesting challenges will be to develop methods for feeding it to the target animals without affecting other species.”

Source: Texas A&M University

168 Cats and Kittens Rescued from 2012 Olympic Park Demolition Site

Thanks to all who sent letters to the International Olympic Committee and members of the Olympic Delivery Authority, the Celia Hammond Animal Trust (CHAT) has been allowed a limited period of time to access the site of the 2012 Olympic Games!

On January 15th, a meeting was held between CHAT and the ODA to discuss their access to the site in order to rescue the remaining cats. The group has been granted permission to access certain areas at particular times. According to their website, they recently trapped a pregnant mom and rescued two cats that were found taking shelter in out-of-service buses.

This is a victory for CHAT and the cats facing uncertain death from all of the destruction taking place around them. BUT there is still more cats that need rescued and the group is still fighting the ODA for access to other areas of the site. Please keep the letters coming and we can see that ALL of the remaining cats are removed from the site before it is too late!


David Higgins, Chief Executive, Olympic Delivery Authority
One Churchill Place
Canary Wharf, London E14 5LN

Lord Sebastian Coe, Olympic Delivery Authority
One Churchill Place
Canary Wharf, London E14 5LN

John Armitt CBE, Chairman, Olympic Delivery Authority
One Churchill Place
Canary Wharf, London, E14 5LN

Ken Livingstone, Mayor of London
Greater London Authority, City Hall, The Queens Walk
More London, London SE1 2AA

Looking For The Love Of Your Life? Try ASPCA's "Meet Your Match

Have you been seeking a stunning executive type? A love bug who'll cuddle all night? A constant companion or a free spirit?

Your local animal shelter may have just what you're looking for through the ASPCA's Meet Your Match™ (MYM) program.

No, MYM won't find your perfect mate, but it just may find your perfect friend. (And 9 of 10 responders pick their pets over their mates, when choosing their "best friends."Wink)

By profiling its adoptable dogs and cats according to their personality types, MYM-participating animal shelters will match your specific pet preferences to their shelter pets' profiles.

Here's how it works...

1. What Kind Of Dog Or Cat Would You Like To Adopt?

Suppose you would like to adopt a pet, and you find a local shelter that's participating in the MYM program. You fill out a short application, on-line or in person, about yourself and the kind of pet you are looking for. The survey asks about 20 easy questions to answer, like Have you had pets before? and Do you want your pet to be laid back or always rarin' to go?

2. Shelter Evaluates Pets For Adoptability (Non-Agressiveness)

Before you filled out the form or came to the pet adoption shelter, the staff have already screened pets to make sure they are adoptable, testing for signs of aggression with a tool called the Safety Assessment for Evaluating Rehoming or SAFER™.

3. Shelter Evalutes Pet Personalities

The adoptable dogs, puppies, and cats are then behavior-analyzed into three color groups and nine categories. The colors are purple, green, and orange; but the category names are different in each group.

The nine cat categories , for example, are Private Investigator, Secret Admirer, Love Bug (purple); The Executive, Sidekick, Personal Assistant (orange); and MVP, Party Animal, Leader of the Band (green). Each Feline-ality™ is explained. For example:

Private Investigator says she's "working undercover to keep an eye on you and your household. You may not even know you're under surveillance. I can vanish into thin air if anyone or anything interferes with my investigation. If you need a cat who knows how to stay out of trouble and will always keep your secrets, I just might take your case."

A Personal Assistant cat says, "You're working on the computer? Let me press the keys. Reading the paper? I'll hold the pages down for you. Watching TV? I'll just plop in your lap so you can pet me. I love an orderly household, don't you? I'll help you with all your chores, and I'll help you relax when we're done. You'll wonder how you ever managed without me."

Dog categories are named for distinctive Canine-ality™ traits. There's Couch Potato, Constant Companion, and Teacher's Pet (purple); Wallflower, Busy Bee, and Goofball (orange); and Life of the Party, Go-Getter, and Free Spirit. (Gotta' love'em.) Motivation also plays a big role in dog behavior.

Here's what the Go-Getter says: "Want to get more exercise? Action is my middle name. My “Let’s GO!” lifestyle will keep you motivated to get outside and move. I’ve got tons of energy; and just like the sun, I’m burning and working 24 hours a day, seven days a week. I’ll run for miles, chase a ball for hours, and still want to play at the end of the day." (Externally motivated)

And the Wallflower says "(I'm a) Shy, yet charming, canine searching for patient owner with relaxed lifestyle. Looking for gentle guidance to help me come out of my shell. Treat me sweet and kind and I’ll blossom." (Internally motivated)

Shelters house puppies too and they are described in a third way, and naturally MYM has a Puppy-ality™ chart too.

4. You Choose A Pet That Meets Your Qualifications

The aim, of course, is to get the qualified adopters hooked up with the most suitable adoptees, so prospective owners are assigned a predominant color, based on their responses to the questionnaire: purple, orange or green. If you fall into the color orange, you'll be encouraged to choose a cat, dog, or puppy that is also an orange, and you'll have three categories within that group to select from.

5. Shelter Provides Follow-Up Beyond Adoption

Beyond just the pet adoption, the MYM shelter follows up with adopting homes, assessing and attending to their support needs regarding their pets.

6. Shelter Tracks Results

Evaluations of each pet adoption experience are recorded and tracked. Although MYM was implemented less than a year ago, collected data to date show substantial reduction in the rate of pets returned to the shelters, pets abandoned, lost, or euthanized.

ASPCA now has several new support programs for shelter administrators and their homeless pets. Meet Your Match is certainly one that improves the long-term care outlook for adopted dogs and cats.

I'm curious about the results of human relationships, if matchmakers conducted follow up and provided support for the human relationships they fostered?

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

When the budget's too tight for a best friend

As the economy turns sour, the number of pets being dropped off at metro-area shelters is increasing, and adoptions have waned as owners are turned out of their homes.

Dogs and cats don't worry about recessions.

But maybe they should.

Because of Minnesota's economic downturn, the number of unwanted pets given to local shelters has jumped 50 percent in one year, according to Mike Fry, manager of Animal Ark No-Kill Shelter in Hastings.

"People are moving, getting evicted, losing their houses," Fry said. "Bad economic conditions always mean bad times for pets."

At the same time, the rate of adoptions into homes is down about 20 percent, he said. "It is not a good picture," Fry said.

The increase reflects a national trend, as animal-welfare workers are seeing the fortunes of animals sinking along with the economy.

Nationally, some Humane Society shelters have reported increases of more than 125 percent in unwanted pets, said Nancy Peterson, spokeswoman for the Humane Society of the United States.

Bill Stevenson, an officer for St. Paul Animal Control, said he is seeing more animals without vaccinations or routine spaying or neutering - another sign of economic stress.

Stevenson sees far more complaints in less affluent parts of St. Paul - such as Frogtown or the lower East Side - than in wealthier sections like Highland Park.


In the Twin Cities, Fry founded the Home for All Pets Coalition, composed of 14 animalrescue groups, all of which have seen spikes in the number of incoming pets in the past year.

But curiously, many Humane Society shelters - including those in the Twin Cities - are not seeing increases.

"People know their animals are likely to be killed at the Humane Society, so fewer people are surrendering them," Fry said. "Ironically, at the same time you are seeing empty cages at the Humane Society, we have a waiting list of 300 names."

The Humane Society's Peterson said about half of the 8 million animals accepted nationally into its shelters each year are euthanized.

She said that's because the shelters are "open admission" - they take in any animal for any reason, including old, sick or aggressive animals that can't be adopted.

Peterson said no-kill shelters - what she calls "limited admission" shelters - typically pick the healthiest and most adoptable pets until their pens are full, then turn away the rest.

"If you have a dog that is aggressive, biting or not safe, what are you going to do? You sure can't take it to a no-kill shelter," said Laurie Brickley, spokeswoman for the Animal Humane Society in the Twin Cities.

The Animal Humane Society accepted about 36,000 unwanted animals last year, she said, and 25,000 were adopted into homes or placed with other rescue groups. She didn't know the euthanasia rate but said it was well below the 50 percent national average.

The national Humane Society's Peterson said animals surrendered in an economic downturn are more likely to be healthy, adoptable animals - the kind accepted in no-kill shelters. Meanwhile, Humane Society shelters may have experienced no increase because the number of diseased or difficult-to-adopt animals isn't increasing.

Fry said Animal Ark, which completed 1,000 adoptions last year, does accept diseased and undesirable animals.

In fact, he was home most of last week caring for a dog named Bernie who is dying of cancer. In the Animal Ark shelter are two cats rescued from the Hurricane Katrina disaster.

"We care for some that (the Humane Society) would put down," Fry said. "They are not completely upfront about the mass killing they have been doing."


The economic downturn is harder on some animals than others.

Pit bulls remain the dog breed most seen in shelters, because of their undeserved reputation for aggression, Fry said.

Animals are the victims of human fashion, especially for what are considered ferocious guard dogs.

"In the '60s, it was Dobermans. Then it was Rottweilers and now pit bulls," said Fry.

Cats are among the hardest-hit, said Ingrid Harding, a volunteer with the St. Paul cat rescue group Cause for Paws.

In tough times, owners are less likely to spend the money for spaying and neutering cats than for dogs. They let cats outside, where they breed, Harding said.

"Unfortunately, people place a lesser value on cats," Harding said. "If a dog gets hit by a car, it goes to the vet. If a cat gets hit, people say, 'It's just a cat.' "

Harding - who emphasized Cause for Paws is not a no-kill group - said many pet owners don't want to wait weeks for a no-kill shelter to accept their animals.

"It's a problem, and they want it fixed," Harding said. "We are a quick-fix society. We want things perfect right away."

Bob Shaw can be reached at or 651-228-5433.

Please don't believe the explanation above for why shelters can be no kill. While it may be true for one or two no kill shelters, it is NOT the norm for no-kill shelters. I volunteer at a no-kill shelter and we have had 2 three legged cats, some come in badly wounded due to being outside, we have a polydactyl (where they have more "fingers" than normal), we care for FIV kitties, too.
Please think logically about what you read. Don't just believe everything. Don't even believe me. I am just saying, don't change your entire opinion about something by one article you read. The animal shelter "controversy" is huge right now in our country and there are a lot of people out there wanting to make money off it and also push blame onto others.

What is your opinion about the housing issue? Have you faced a similar crisis? How did you deal with it?

Animal Shelter Workers Make 'Gruesome' Discovery

Deputies said the animals were disfigured, and this was a malicious act.Police are looking for who maliciously killed a cat and a puppy and left them outside of the Hancock County Animal Shelter." It is a really despicable act,” said Brian Vaughn, an animal technician at the Hancock County Animal Shelter. Vaughn told NEWS9 he walked outside to grab a carrier for some adopted animals. He made a gruesome discovery inside one of the carriers: a 6-week-old puppy and a cat were dead, stuffed inside a garbage bag. "This is one of the worst things I've ever dealt with," said Vaughn." It appeared to me they had been run over,” said Deputy Jeff McIntyre. “…either run over or beaten with some type of object. "Shelter employees told NEWS9 they couldn’t fathom someone doing this."We take in anything,” said Lori Watson, director of the Hancock County Animal Shelter. “If they would've brought them to our door, we would've taken in the animals without any questions asked. Now the sheriff's department is taking the carrier and the garbage bag and sending them both to a crime lab for testing. "It's always disturbing because if someone can do this to an animal,” said Sheriff Mike White. “Obviously they're not going to have any qualms about doing it to a person." "We want to find out who did this,” said Watson. “…and see them brought to justice, so this doesn't happen to another animal. "White said a local veterinarian will examine the animal remains to find out the cause of death. If you have any information in this case, you can call the NEWS9 Lauttamus Security Crimebusters Tipline at 1-800-862-BUST. It’s a free call and you don’t have to leave your name.

US to replace animals with robots in toxic chemical tests

US regulators have announced plans to reduce the number of animals used to test the safety of everyday chemicals.

Instead of using animals such as rats and mice, scientists will screen suspected toxic chemicals in everything from pesticides to household cleaners using cell cultures and computer models.

According to the Home Office, more than 3.1m experiments in the UK were carried out on animals in 2006. Of these more than 420,000 were done to test the safety of chemicals. According to the animal rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta), more than 100 million animals are used annually in experiments in the US, of which 15 million are used in toxicity tests.

The plans to replace animals in the US, announced yesterday in Boston, will see researchers from the national institute of health and the environmental protection agency develop robotic machines to screen the chemicals. They said if successful the robots could test a greater number of chemicals more quickly.

The results of the research could have implications for the EU's Reach legislation, which requires retesting all synthetic chemicals used in member countries. Critics are worried that the new rules will increase the number of animals used.

The screening machines will be inspired by those developed for medical research, which can quickly test thousands of different molecules in a few days to see if any have potential as useful drugs. "We now are seeing tools newly available to us for chemical genomics research deployed for greater refinement, speed and capacity in chemical toxicity screening," said Francis Collins, director of the national human genome research institute and author of a paper, published today in Science, describing the proposed techniques.

Catherine Willett, science policy adviser at Peta, said: "This is a significant change in the perspective of US agencies, which have historically relied heavily on animal testing out of habit and have been resistant to change."

Animal Advocates Rally at Capitol Urging Lawmakers to Pass Bills that Would Ban Puppy Mills, Let Students Opt Out of Dissection

MONTPELIER, Vt. – Citizens from across Vermont will descend on the state capitol to meet with their lawmakers today to urge them to pass legislation to regulate commercial dog breeders and another bill which would let students opt out of dissection.

House Bill 769, which bans the large-scale breeding and sale of dogs typical of puppy mills, was introduced by the following Representatives: Virginia Milkey, Mary Morrissey, Betty Nuovo, Carolyn Branagan, Norman McAllister, Patsy French, Tony Klein, Sue Minter, Joan Lenes and Ann Manwaring.

"The commercial breeding of dogs as mere commodities is an inherently cruel practice that should not be allowed to take hold here in Vermont. This proactive legislation will prevent the suffering of dogs who are used as 'breeding machines' for profit, not enjoying life as man's best friend as they should be," said Joanne Bourbeau, HSUS New England regional director.

Senate Bill 34 would allow students to use an instructional alternative to dissecting, incubating, capturing or otherwise harming an animal. Originally introduced by Senators John Campbell, Vince Illuzzi and Dick McCormack, the bill passed the Senate during the first year of the biennium and now rests with the House Education Committee.

"Students who choose not to participate in animal dissection do so for many personal and ethical reasons. It wouldn't be right for us to deny them this choice, especially when studies have shown that alternatives provide similar if not better results in grades," Bourbeau said.

Last year, state legislatures across the country passed 86 new laws for animals. The HSUS works with animal advocates and state legislators across the country to enact laws protecting animals from cruelty, combating animal fighting, halting wildlife abuse, and more.

Daytona 500 champion, Ryan Newman saving lives of dogs across America

Dog lovers probably recognize "Marley & Me" as the title of a non-fiction bestseller based on the life of a beloved pooch bearing that name.

Harley & Me could be the name of Daytona 500 winner Ryan Newman’s book, should he ever choose to write one. To be fair, though, Newman would have to pen several, given his lifelong love of dogs and chosen avocation.

Newman and his wife, Krissie, have four dogs of their own – Harley being “Daddy’s girl” – and the couple pledged $400,000 to launch the recently opened Ryan Newman Foundation Spay/Neuter Clinic in Hickory, N.C. The clinic will serve eight counties and offer low-cost sterilization surgeries for humane societies and other rescue groups who spay and neuter homeless pets before they are adopted. After opening in December, the clinic spayed 131 pets during its first week of operation alone.

Newman’s victory in Sunday’s 50th running of the Daytona 500 – to be followed by a whirlwind media tour including stops on national network shows “Late Show with David Letterman” and “Live with Regis and Kelly” – will only help elevate his philanthropic platform.

Newman’s foundation was launched in 2005 with animal welfare as a primary area of focus (wildlife conservation and auto racing scholarships are the others). Under the animal welfare umbrella, RNF works with organizations such as the Humane Society, ASPCA, Humane Alliance and Project Halo to create and maintain programs that help reduce overpopulation and euthanization of dogs and cats while also increasing adoption for homeless pets. Newman says 4 million to 6 million animals each year are abandoned or sent to shelters nationally and as many as half are euthanized.

“There’s 2-3 million innocent lives each year that can be saved if we help control their population,” he says.

In ways both large and small, Newman is doing his part.

Each of the past two years, Newman and fellow Cup driver Greg Biffle have used a trip to Loudon, N.H., to do more than race. The duo has transported dogs slated to die from shelters in North Carolina to New Hampshire. Jodi Geschickter, wife of JTG Racing owner Tad Geschickter, spearheaded the relocation effort, and six dogs have been saved in the process.

“She got it together with the people from New Hampshire for us to be able to take the dogs up there on our team plane. Thankfully, we were able to rescue those dogs that would have been euthanized due to overpopulation,” Newman says.

Climate can play a prominent role in overpopulation.

“Geographically, they are in a different situation than what we are because of their rougher winters. They don’t have the overpopulation; they have a need for animals,” he says.

Newman traces his affinity for dogs back to a childhood spent growing up in rural Indiana. His father, Greg, was a hunter, and the family’s German shorthairs were originally used for the pursuit of pheasant.

Newman says after he and his sister, Jamie, were born, “Hunting kind of went to the wayside.”

The dogs, though, remained as pets.

In addition to the pure-bred hunters and a black Labrador retriever named Misty the family had for 16 years, Newman specifically recalls a yellow Lab of indeterminate mix named Lady. As the only “non-trophy dog” he can remember in the Newman family, which raised its own beef, Lady left a lasting impression on Ryan.

“She would actually go out there with a good size stick – a four-inch log – and play tug of war with the cow. The cow would put the log in its mouth, and she’d put the log in her mouth, and it was amazing to watch. Things like that make good memories,” he says.

Today, it’s another Lab of dubious lineage – perhaps with some pit bull or boxer in her – that helps make new memories for Newman: Harley.

“She’s very needy. She loves attention. You can stop petting her, and she’ll just sort of tackle you,” Newman says. “I’ve always had a love for dogs, just wanted to play with them out in the yard, roll around out in the grass and go do things with them.”

Canines have always been constant companions for Newman with one glaring exception: when he ventured to North Carolina in 2001 to chase his NASCAR dream on a full-time basis. It was around then that he met Krissie Boyle, and what ensued was a case of, well, puppy love.

“That was a good fit. When I moved down, I didn’t have a dog and lived by myself and wanted to eventually get one. When I met her, I got Digger. Sometimes I tell people when I met Digger, I got Krissie,” Newman says.

Clearly, he met his match in more ways than one.

Krissie already had Digger. Together she and Ryan then found Harley in a store parking lot. Harley and Digger discovered Mopar, and Socks was later added to the mix as the family’s fourth dog.

So, is Digger “Mama’s girl” then, seeing she was the first?

“Digger’s always had a spot in my heart because she was the first dog that was mine,” Krissie says, but quickly adds, “I love ’em all equally.”

The Newmans do not have children, but don’t think their sleep is never interrupted. Socks, in particular, has a knack for jumping on the bed as soon as Newman gets to sleep.

“She sleeps by Krissie’s feet because I think she knows Krissie won’t kick her off, but I will,” Newman says with a laugh. “I’m a big advocate of getting sleep, so I try not to let the dogs actually overpower us. Because they’ll push you right out of bed. In fact, Harley’s tried to push me right out of the bed before. Usually, Socks and Harley end up on the bed.”

Thanks to the rigors of a 36-race schedule that spans February through November, the Newmans are away from their Sherrills Ford, N.C., residence a lot. The dogs typically do not accompany them on the road, and considering the relatively cramped confines of a motorhome, that’s probably a good thing for all parties involved.

“We’ve got 65 acres that we live on, and they get free range of that. They have a lot more fun doing their thing with their clique of four than if we were to take one or two of them away and separate them. They have a blast. Obviously, they miss us. We can tell that when we get home. Outside of that, they’re enjoying life for sure,” Newman says. “Without a doubt, we treat them as family. If we were to call them kids we wouldn’t be far off.”

Krissie says: “I call and check on ’em every day. They’re good kids.”

Away from home and awaiting his chance to qualify for last fall’s race at Atlanta, Newman crouches down against the center wall of the No. 12 transporter in a baseball catcher’s stance. Krissie stands little more than an arm’s length away to Newman’s right. There’s a collection of folks inside the hauler: team members, PR people and friends of the Newmans. It’s loud.

“He and the animals are very close,” Krissie says of her husband.

Gone suddenly is the cacophony of conversations. Only silence. Then laughter and lots of it.

“Want to get in a cat fight?” Ryan Newman playfully responds.

Earlier, outside the ear shot of his wife, Newman spoke of their Pit Road Pets book – a project that featured several NASCAR drivers and saw 100 percent of its net proceeds donated to help fund the new complex in Hickory – and his surprise of how many are touched by the companionship of animals.

“It’s been a very big eye-opener with our book to see how many people in the garage area are affected by a dog or a cat, either through their lives with a story they remember or currently … It’s neat. When you see the term unconditional love in the dictionary, there should be a picture of a dog or cat next to it. It’s like they never have a bad day when they see you.”

With four full-time dogs already in the fold, has the Newman household reached its peak? Depends on whom you ask.

“Krissie and I, there’s two hands on each of us, we can only pet four at a time,” Newman says.

Krissie is told her husband put the cap on canines at four.

“He did? Oh … well, I don’t think there’s a number,” she says, prompting more laughter. “There’s always room for more.”

Krissie Newman’s 2005 post-Hurricane Katrina tours of New Orleans and Gulfport, Miss., left a lasting impression and has spurred her to rescue other animals wherever and whenever the opportunity arises. Working in conjunction with the Humane Alliance and Project Halo, Krissie helped transport animals from the ravaged region that people were forced to give up because they simply couldn’t care for them.

“It was pretty emotional for all of us,” she says, “Every time somebody would pull in and have to give up one of their beloved animals because they didn’t have a home and didn’t know where they were going, I mean, it was difficult.

“We ended up doing a lot of driving around New Orleans and all over Slidell to see the damage and try and figure out what animals needed help.”

So many animals do – and Krissie Newman strives to make a difference on a smaller, every-day level outside the spotlight. On more than one occasion, she’s temporarily taken in a dog in need and then found it a permanent home. After the Atlanta race last fall, Ryan was slated to pick up a golden doodle from Talladega for Krissie to drive back home to her native New Jersey for adoption with a friend of her family there. Then there was the black Lab puppy named Chip, whose fate was euthanization in Alabama, but who ended up living with the Newmans during a transition period until he landed with a cousin of Krissie’s. Currently, two strays are taking up temporary residence at the Newman household until permanent homes can be found for both.

“If there’s an animal that needs a home and I have to take it home temporarily and find it a good home or give it care, I’m not going to turn anything away. Dog, cat, it doesn’t matter,” she says.

Told she is always on the job, Krissie Newman smiles and says, “I don’t mind it. It’s a good job to have.”

Bob Barker, longtime host of “The Price is Right,” used to sign off from each broadcast with a reminder for people to have their pets spayed or neutered. While rescue efforts are admirable, Newman is quick to make the point that spay/neuter activities are vital in the battle against overpopulation.

“We’re trying to help rescue the animals, but the ideal thing is to be able to eliminate the overpopulation so we don’t have to put ourselves in that situation. We enjoy it, don’t get me wrong, but we’re only crutching the situation. We need to perform a little surgery,” he says.

Ryan Newman Foundation Executive Director Rosalie De Fini says the foundation’s work with the Humane Alliance centers on this premise.

“With animals especially, people have the heartstrings that get pulled," De Fini says. "So they think the answer is rescuing as many you can and taking them all home. They’ve been really revolutionary at the Humane Alliance because they see that’s not the answer to it. It makes you feel good, but you need to start on the front end with prevention.”

Personnel from Newman’s spay/neuter clinic in Hickory receive training in Asheville, N.C., where the Humane Alliance is based. De Fini says the number of animals euthanized was reduced in Buncombe (N.C.) County by 80 percent during the Humane Alliance’s first 12 years of existence.

With Ryan and Krissie serving as national spokespersons for the Humane Alliance’s National Spay/Neuter Response Team, the aim is to spread the prevention gospel throughout America.

“They really saw this concept and figured out spay and neutering was the only way to reduce overpopulation. It’s a pretty great group, and they’re a little ahead of the times in getting people involved,” says Krissie, who notes the group supplied a fixed rig for spay/neutering during her trip to New Orleans.

The challenge is greater outside of major cities.

“It’s hard when you’ve got a new idea and you’re trying to bring it to really rural areas,” Krissie says.

On a positive note: Having the Daytona 500 champion on your side can only help the cause.

– More information on Newman’s foundation is available at

New Jersey Cat Free From Bottle Stuck on Head

Good news this afternoon about the stray cat we told you about yesterday seen wandering near Flemington with its head stuck in a bottle.

The stray was caught this morning by Raritan Township Animal Control Tom Dodd with the help of ASPCA.

It was near death when they snagged it under a porch. Its head wedged in a jar, which was wedged under a porch.

They brought the scared stray to a vet... a little bit of crisco and off it came!

Dodd says the cat was first spotted on New Year's Eve and eluded capture until this morning. For ten days it was unable to eat or drink.

Within the next day the cat will be the shelter for adoption. If you want to give it a home, call the Hunterdon ASPCA at (908) 996-2525 and ask for Eva.

By the way, Dodd says the first thing to do if you see an animal in distress is call the police. Do not attempt to rescue yourself. The professionals are trained to make a quick capture.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Tammy Grimes: She saved a DYING chained dog and is now being prosecuted...while the owners of that dog have no charges brought against them.*Petition*

This is Tammy Grimes's story:

On December 14, 2007, I was convicted of theft and receiving stolen property for
coming to the aid of this dog, who lay chained, unable to stand, and suffering
in an East Freedom, Pennsylvania backyard.
Despite overwhelming evidence of cruelty on the part of the dog's caretakers, no
charges were ever brought against them by either the humane officer or the police.
A private criminal complaint filed by myself and Dogs Deserve Better languishes
unaddressed on the desk of DA Richard Consiglio.
Both video evidence of the dog struggling to get up and after-photos and video of
the dog walking were suppressed from the jury. These videos are currently available
for viewing on YouTube and our site.
I am to be sentenced by Judge Elizabeth Doyle on February 22, 2008. I am expected
to receive a fine and/or community service, as well as probation for this supposed
crime. I am morally and ethically unable and unwilling to pay any fine that goes
to pay the salaries of those who use power wrongly; those who punish citizens for
helping animals and allow animal abusers to go free will not receive monetary support
from me.
The DA has taken flack in the opinion columns of local newspapers for wasting Blair
County taxpayer money on my trial. His solution? To charge ME for the cost of the
trial, reported to be over $1000. He expects me to pay costs for a jury who knew
nothing of jury nullification, and knew not that they were free to exercise their
own judgment based on their consciences rather than follow the advice of those in
power just because they said they had to. They were therefore railroaded into a
conviction by the actions of the DA and Judge Doyle.
It is not enough for Mr. Consiglio to drag my name and the name of Dogs Deserve
Better through the mud in order to distract our citizens from the fact that cruelty
laws were already being broken, and that the humane officer and the police failed
to do their jobs. He would have me foot the bill for it. As a taxpayer of Blair
County, Pennsylvania, I have already contributed my share to this trial. I will
contribute no more.
As founder and director of Dogs Deserve Better, I do community service virtually
ever day of my life. If fact, I was performing community service the day I picked
an aged and dying dog out of the mud and got him the veterinary care he was entitled
to by law.
I am a law-abiding citizen of both Pennsylvania and the United States of America.
I have served my country as a top-secret cleared linguist in the U. S. Air Force,
reaching the rank of Staff Sergeant at my first available opportunity, and honorably
discharged in 1988. I strive very hard to obey all laws that seem fair and do not
cause harm to others. I stop short of obeying any law that would force me to watch
a dog die in the dirt, just because he is considered mere property of another. I
will continue to fight for better laws for man's best friend, as well as shine
a light on the current lack of enforcement of existing cruelty laws.
This dog was not just another piece of trash that a Pennsylvania couple could allow
to die unassisted, chained, and flailing about in the mud and his own feces in their
yard. Doogie had the right to live or the right to a death free from cruelty, and
the right to veterinary help by Pennsylvania law.
It is incumbent upon Blair County voters to remove from office anyone who by their
actions or inactions condones animal cruelty and abuse and punishes those who seek
to help these animals. This includes Judge Elizabeth Doyle and DA Richard Consiglio.
Martin Luther King, Jr. stated that "noncooperation with evil is just as much a
moral obligation as is cooperation with good." And Thoreau stated "Under a government
which imprisons unjustly, the true place for a just man is also a prison...where
the state places those who are not with her, but against her-the only house in
a slave state in which a free man or woman can abide with honor."
The only way for me to maintain a clear conscience is to choose prison as punishment
for my crime. I hereby request that Judge Doyle jail me for however many days I
should be imprisoned for the taking of a piece of property who's value, while stated
in the misdemeanor charges at 0-$50, after vet fees was more like negative $960.65.
However, as one of our supporters said, Doogie's freedom from abuse and restoration.

Click here to sign the petition!!

Maui offers FREE spay/neuter for month of Feb. Reservations required*

Reservations are required for the free spay/neutering. The Maui Humane Society number is 877-3680, ext. 23. The number for the Feline Foundation is 891-1181.

PUUNENE — Spring is the season of love, even in the feline world, and the Maui Humane Society is trying to reduce the number of unwanted and feral kitties running around Maui neighborhoods.

With $5,000 from an anonymous donor, the Humane Society is offering free spay/neutering for cats at the Puunene animal shelter this month, part of the statewide Feline Fix program and the national Prevent A Litter Month.

“It’s just a cycle for a lot of animals; springtimes are a time for romance,” said Jocelyn Bouchard, executive director of the Maui Humane Society. “It has this traditional thing. Our numbers show May and June are busy months for cats,” one of three major litter seasons her agency sees annually.

Though this program is open to any cat, the target felines are the neighborhood strays and feral ones, said Bouchard, noting that her agency data indicates that 80 percent of cat owners have their animals spayed/neutered.

“I think we got the message to those owners by and large,” she added.

The neighborhood cats are the “gateway to feral cats,” who have their kittens in nooks in buildings or in vacant lots, she said. Many of those kittens and other cats are brought to the Humane Society, and the majority of those cats, some sick or injured, are euthanized because of the sheer numbers, said Bouchard.

Last year 6,300 cats were turned in to the animal shelter, 17 a day. Some were kept at the shelter for adoption, and foster homes were found for others. Still, about 250 cats a month are euthanized, she said.

“This is a real concern for us,” she said, lamenting the number of cats euthanized as “horrific.”

“Who’s to say that these can’t be turned around?”

The neighborhood/feral cats vary in personality, she said. Some may be petted, others run from people. If cornered or stuffed in a box, some cats will scratch and bite.

For people trying to catch their neighborhood cats that won’t go willingly into a carrier, Bouchard advises calling the Humane Society, which has “humane” cat traps. People also may call the Feline Foundation of Maui, a partner with the Humane Society in handling and caring for feral cats.

Once brought in to the Humane Society, recovery time from the procedure lasts several hours to overnight, depending on the cat, Bouchard said. Feral cats are pretty hearty and will do well in the wild again once ambulatory, she said.

Females may take a little longer to recover because the procedure involves an internal operation as compared to the external procedure for males, she said.

The Humane Society offers the free spay/neuter program all this month or until the money runs out, Bouchard said. By comparison, a spay/neuter procedure and care at a private veterinary clinic could cost up to a hundred dollars.

Even when the funds are gone, ongoing programs range from discounts to free spay/neutering. One program offers the procedure based on the financial situation of the caretaker.

“We don’t ever want to let finances be standing in the way of getting their cats spayed or neutered,” she said.

Reservations are required for the free spay/neutering. The Maui Humane Society number is 877-3680, ext. 23. The number for the Feline Foundation is 891-1181.

Besides reducing the numbers of unwanted cats this month, the Humane Society also seeks homes for the felines it already has. For Valentine’s Day and the rest of this month, there will be a two-for-one deal for cats. The cost for two kittens age 6 months or younger is $65 and for older cats, $50.

Join if you live in Central Virginia

Are you managing a colony of feral cats anywhere in the Central Virginia area and performing Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR)? You can help your cats and feral cats throughout the area by registering your colony in the It's fast and easy and, once you're signed up, you'll be eligible for free and low cost product giveaways as donations become available.

The database is a program of the Voices For Animals which is dedicated to ensuring that feral cats are treated with compassion and respect and that caretakers are provided with the services they need. By joining the Database, you'll supply us with valuable information on the impact of TNR and help us gain more resources for you and the cats. You'll also make it much easier for us to find you if one of your eartipped felines ever winds up in a local shelter. Please note all information on your identity and your colony's exact location will be held in strict confidence! Please see our Confidentiality Agreement on the Log In page for more details.

To join, click on "New User" and then follow the simple instructions. You can register more than one colony and update the information whenever you'd like. Details on product giveaways will be emailed to you and you can write to us whenever you have questions by hitting "Contact Us."

Thanks for helping make this program a success!