Wednesday, August 27, 2014
The Oregon Supreme Court this month passed a landmark ruling that will change the way animals are treated under the law in the state for the better. The ruling will ensure that any animal can be seen as a legal “victim” in a case, affording animals more basic rights to protect them from abuse.
The ruling was made on the case of a man who was convicted of starving 20 horses and goats on his property. The judge’s decision allotted a separate count of second-degree animal neglect for each animal, noting that each animal was a separate victim on his own.
The distinction might sound obvious — but it wasn’t legally accepted at the time that Arnold Nix, the defendant, was first convicted in 2009. During his case, Nix argued that the law defines animals as the property of their owners, so the word “victim” shouldn’t apply to them. As of this month’s hearing, the word “victim” does apply.
“To acknowledge that animals are victims of crime, that’s really common sense to us,” said Lora Dunn, staff attorney for the Animal Legal Defense Fund in Portland. And the ruling could lead to longer prison sentences for those convicted of animal abuse in the state.
This isn’t the first time the issue has been addressed in law. According to a Michigan State University report:
It is not a novel idea that entities other than humans can be considered crime victims. Businesses, corporations, neighborhood associations, and government entities have been defined as crime victims in state statutes. Including protections for animals as crime victims is a natural progression in the development of the law.
It’s not the first time animal advocates have sought greater legal protections. Recently, an organization called the Nonhuman Rights Project has waged a campaign seeking “legal personhood” to be extended to a chimpanzee. In a blog post for The Dodo, the group says:
Traditionally, Lady Justice is portrayed as wearing a blindfold as she holds the scales of justice. The idea is that justice should be blind -- impartial and dispensed without regard to the classes of persons who appear before her. Ironically, however, justice has been blind in another way, too: blind to all living beings except humans. To this day they remain invisible to the legal system.
Show Me the Impact: Missouri's Puppy Mill Law, 4 Years Later
State legislatures so far this year have already passed 84 new laws on animal protection—ushering in a wide range of reforms involving felony cruelty penalties, puppy mills, shark finning, exotic pets, fox penning, the ivory trade, and more. That makes more than 1,000 new state animal protection laws on the books since 2005.
Of course, the goal is not just to have new laws on the books, but to see them properly enforced and having the desired practical impact in the field of reducing suffering and saving lives. Nearly four years since the landmark approval by Missouri voters of Proposition B—the first ballot measure campaign to set standards for the care of dogs in large-scale commercial breeding operations, battled out in the puppy mill capital of America—we can now look back and see the impact the law is having.
The HSUSMissouri's Prop B set standards for puppy mills.
Although the Missouri legislature and Gov. Jay Nixon weakened some of the key elements of the voter-approved measure before it even had a chance to take effect, what remained intact still makes Missouri’s law one of the strongest anti-puppy mill statutes in the nation. Josh Benson of the Columbia Missourian has authored a remarkablethree-part series on commercial dog breeding in Missouri and reports on the impact the new standards have had on dogs confined in puppy mills.
Benson reports in Part 1 that since the statute became law, more than 1,300 dogs have been rescued, 37 businesses or individuals were referred to the Missouri Attorney General’s Office for Prosecution, and more than $25,000 in civil fines were assessed and nine licenses revoked, ranging in length from three to 10 years. He notes, “By contrast, in the 24 months before the law took effect, 10 businesses or individuals were referred to state officials for violating Missouri's animal welfare laws. No civil fines were assessed in those cases.”
Importantly, due to the legislation, “Since 2010, the number of commercial breeders licensed with Missouri's Animal Care Program has dropped from about 1,400 to just over 800, a decline of more than 40 percent, according to data obtained from the Missouri Department of Agriculture.”
Even though the new law was weakened (with input from breeders), it appears to be having the right impact. But the puppy mill apologists still oppose having any standards whatsoever. In Part 2, lobbyist Karen Strange of the Missouri Federation of Animal Owners said her group opposes animal welfare laws and doesn’t want regulation of breeders. That’s the kind of attitude that undercuts the entire industry because it allows the worst abusers to cut corners and get a free pass.
In Part 3, Benson quotes the animal welfare inspection reports from a breeder who ran a commercial facility in Lawrence County, comparing it to a horror story:
- "Defendant provided her dogs with dirty, muddy, non-potable water."
- "Defendant failed to equip her housing facilities with waste water or water drainage systems such that one 3-week-old American Eskimo puppy was observed covered in mud, shivering."
- "Defendant failed to meet the minimum standards for sanitary flooring by failing to clean her dog pens such that feces had accumulated over time to the point where one could not tell the difference between feces and flooring."
- "Defendant failed to provide necessary veterinary care to a female blue parti-colored Cocker Spaniel whose left eye was barely visible and oozing liquid and an 11-week-old Cocker Spaniel with a bite wound on its left side."
- "Defendant failed to provide adequate veterinary care to a male Sheltie that was emaciated and missing most of its body hair after two months of observed infirmity."
- "Defendant admitted she routinely relied on gunshot as a means of euthanasia. She shot the Sheltie...as a form of euthanasia because it was a 'cheaper option.'"
The breeder was fined $2,500, and her license was revoked for six years. In total, hundreds of puppy mills are now out of business, and hundreds of dogs have been rescued from a life of misery and sent on their way to good, loving homes. In 2016, when additional reforms take effect, commercial breeding operations will be required to increase the space allotments for dogs, and give them constant access to the outdoors for exercise.
That’s a positive thing, and I urge you to check out the Columbia Missourian series online. It’s a great account of the tangible progress made on this front in recent years, just one reason to be encouraged about the prospects for eliminating the worst elements of the puppy mill trade in the United States.
(KTVI) – Do you know where that cute puppy in the window comes from? A recent dog owner called FOX 2 after finding puppies for sale that she believed to be coming from a bad breeder. So Fox Files investigator Chris Hayes tracked the puppies to their Mid-Missouri home to give you an inside look.
Our investigation begins inside Petland in Lake St. Louis.
A salesperson told our undercover producer, ‘We get all our dogs from really good breeders.’
You can check a dog`s history yourself. You should ask for a certificate of pedigree. In the case of a golden retriever we looked at, the certificate showed breeder John Reiff. That raised a red flag for concerned dog owner Karen Busch. She said, ‘That breeder has quite a few violations from USDA.’
It was enough to make this year’s list of 101 worst breeders according to the Humane Society of the United States.
We visited Reiff`s Rocky Branch Kennel in rural Latham, Missouri, the heart of Mennonite country.
Owner John Reiff said he could not talk on camera because he said it`s prohibited by his religion, Old World Mennonite. Instead, he asked his broker to show us around – Chris Flemming with Pinnacle Pet.
Flemming said, ‘(Reiff) started building and making improvements and wanted to get better at it but just didn`t know how.’
Flemming addressed each violation listed by USDA inspectors, including an inspector`s finding of a dog that couldn`t put weight on a foot with a one inch `red raw` lesion. Flemming described that violation as something that can happen to anyone, by saying ‘If they`ve had children, does their own child ever get injured? If it had a one inch gash in the paw and I`m not disputing that fact, but it wasn`t an old wound. It wasn`t a seeping wound. It was a fresh wound.’
Flemming explained that Reiff wants to improve and he added that it`s good for business to make improvements, as well.
I asked Flemming, ‘Are these dogs loved or are they treated as livestock?’ Flemming answered, ‘Well you can see and I hope you guys show that they know who their owners are. They know the kids, they`re playing with by the kids.’
Nine kids, some who we saw playing with the dogs, but again, they declined to be recorded on camera because of their religion.
USDA inspectors also wrote up Reiff for puppies exposed to the cold. You can see the dogs have a run, housing and shade, but they’re always outside. Flemming responded that Reiff ‘brought it up to his veterinarian who wrote him a letter that they have adequate bedding. They have adequate shelter and they’re ok.’
Then there`s the whelping house, which is a stacked building. Reporter Chris Hayes asked, ‘Somebody might say, they`re stacked, it just doesn`t look nice.’ Flemming said, ‘Right and it doesn`t. It`s one of the things John`s working away from. He`s spreading out more, but in their situation it works for them. He told you before he doesn`t have air conditioning in their house but his dogs do.’
The Reiffs currently have 70 dogs, which the family claims is not too many to take care of between their family of 11.
It`s also Petland`s answer as to why they`re willing to sell dogs from a breeder with a record of recent violations. A representative told me by phone that the store won`t forever prohibit a breeder because of past history.
3,984 of the 4,133 Cats Taken In By The Davidson County, North Carolina Shelter (96%) Were Put To Death....
In 2010, 3,984 of the 4,133 cats taken in by the Davidson County, North Carolina shelter—96 percent—were put to death. While dogs fared a little better, eight out of 10 were still killed: 2,846 of the 3,625 they took in, including every dog they deemed a “Pit Bull” or “Pit Bull”-mix as a matter of policy. With an adoption rate of only six percent, they weren’t even trying to save lives, choosing to kill them instead. But it was even worse than that. Although the gas chamber is legal in North Carolina, it is illegal to use it for animals that appear to be 16 weeks or younger, pregnant or near death because it takes sick, younger or older animals longer to absorb the gas, resulting in a slower and more agonizing death. The state also prohibits animals of different species from being put in the gas chamber together. But the employees of the Davidson County shelter did not care. Davidson County has a history of killing kittens and puppies using the gas chamber in violation of North Carolina law. It has a history of killing elderly and sick animals in that manner, which is also illegal.
That same year, shelter employees put a raccoon in the gas chamber with a mother cat and her kitten in order to sadistically watch them fight before they died: “The gas chamber has two windows, one on either side. The raccoon and the adult cat started fighting. Then they turned the gas on. The adult cat got on one corner and the raccoon got on the other, and as soon as they turned on the gas, the kitten started shaking and going into convulsions.” A contractor who was working at the shelter told the County Board that he heard the employees laugh when they did it. He said he was sickened by the incident, as were animal lovers nationwide who condemned the shelter for its cruelty and barbarity. But it did not sicken the Humane Society of the United States. Instead, HSUS gave them an award at a public ceremony, calling the Davidson County facility “A Shelter We Love.” You can read about it here:www.nathanwinograd.com/?p=11429
When asked how that was possible, how HSUS could celebrate a sadistic shelter that tortured animals to death, HSUS claimed they did not take into account how many animals were killed or how they were killed. Instead, they indicated that they were looking to the future and they promised that, with their help, the pound in Davidson County would stop gassing and come into the 21st Century.
In 2014, Davidson County is still killing 6,000 animals every year. And it is still gassing animals. And this month, several of those animals ended up dumped in the middle of a road where people driving by saw them: http://bit.ly/VOBq6R. When confronted by it at a public meeting, the pound director remained defiant: about the killing, about the gassing, about the dead animals littering the public street. She called it a “non-story.” And HSUS? They think it is a non-story, too. You won’t find a word about it on their North Carolina Facebook page.
Tuesday, August 26, 2014
Amy Worden, Inquirer Staff WriterPOSTED: SATURDAY, AUGUST 23, 2014, 12:42 PM
In the fall of 2007 ASPCA president Ed Sayres stood at the podium at the posh Rainbow Room at Rockefeller Center and presented the group's lifetime achievement award to Bill Smith, founder of Main Line Animal Rescue in Chester County, for his work rehabilitating dogs who suffered years of abuse in Pennsylvania puppy mills
This week Sayres was tapped to lead the Washington, D.C.-based group that represents commercial dog breeders.
Sayres was named president of PIJAC, the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council, the national lobby group for pet stores, pet product makers, pet dealers and pet breeders..
Sayres resigned from the ASPCA last year amid a board battle over the direction of the 148-year-old organization, his more than $500,000 salary and other issues. One particularly sensitive rift stemmed from which legislative battles to pursue and how aggressively to pursue them, if at all.
Former ASPCA investigator Bob Baker told the New York Times last year, that "legislation doesn't raise money... but show one picture of a mistreated dog and the funds would pour in."
"It got to the point where animal welfare was not the priority, fund-raising was."
PIJAC, which counts among its members the Hunte Corporation - the largest puppy broker in the nation - did not announce Sayres' appointment on its website. The only mention of it online was in a blog post defending the decision to angry members threatening to cancel their memberships over the hiring of an "industry-killing animal rightist."
The post says in part:
Ed’s unique combination of experience and perspective distinguished him from other candidates. We have discussed his previous statements and actions with him at length and believe that he shares our firm commitment to the health and well-being of pets and all of the businesses and individuals who support them, both within PIJAC and the broader pet trade. -
Word of the appointment shocked many in the animal welfare community.
Bob Baker, now executive director of Missouri Animal Alliance, called it a "peculiar choice." He said Sayres wasn't terribly respected in the animal welfare community, so if PIJAC hired him to build bridges with opponents that will backfire.
"If PIJAC is truly sincere in their efforts to support common sense rules and regulations for the welfare of animals," said Baker, who as director of the Missouri Alliance for Animal Legislation battled with PIJAC over new puppy mill regulations in his state. "They need to show it with their actions in legislative bodies and not resort to PR stunts such as hiring a fake animal welfare person."
PIJAC regularly fights against humane animal legislation in Congress and in the states. Most recently the group has been engaged in trying to block efforts to ban the sale of commercially-bred dogs in pet stores. In a letter to members Andrew Hunte, president of the Hunte Corporation, in a letter implored dog breeders to "set their doubts about Sayres behind and unite around PIJAC" to face the threats from "over-regulation" endangering their industry.
Meanwhile, Sayres too wrote to breeders saying he believed he could bridge the divide between the animal welfare community and commercial breeders, while at the same time issuing a mea culpa about statements made while he was at the ASPCA.
I know now that I was misinformed about the majority of breeders who work diligently to raise puppies humanely and to find lifetime homes through retail channels. While many in the animal welfare field still want to paint all breeders with the same low standards brush, I look forward to opening their eyes to the true nature of the breeding business.
At the same time its website promotes efforts of its members to provide funding for animal welfare and support activities such as adoptions.
Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/pets/Pet-industry-group-names-ex-ASPCA-president-as-new-ceo.html#vAOqJPezO1XSwKRa.99
Monday, August 25, 2014
This Post is ABOUT THESE TWO Puppies....anyone recognize them ?!? The next picture is how the story ends !!!
Let me begin.........So I get an email from a women who had googled puppy mills and my blog comes up. She reached out to me wanting to know if I could help her with a situation she was distraught over and felt helpless. She had bought 2 chocolate labradors and decided to bred them one time only as she wanted to sell a few to friends. She sold all of them but two to good friends and people she knew. The last two she gets a call and in her own words that she put on her Feb 14 Facebook page before speaking to ANYONE this :have to get this out to as many as I can. Some of you know we had puppies we were trying to sell. Well we sold our last two last Sunday to a couple from Missouri. She told us they were looking for a lab because their son was moving to bowling green and taking his lab and they wanted to get another lab before he left with his. We believed her story of course who wouldn't. After the couple left I just had this sick feeling not a good feeling at all. I googled the address and the name they put on AKC papers, did not match at all. So then I ran a trace on the phone number she had been calling us from. I got her name yesterday and called Missouri human society. Sure enough she is a PUPPY MILL BREEDER. I called this lady and did not let her know I knew anything about her and ask if she would sell puppies back to us. For double what she payed us. i also asked what her name was, and she told me she couldn't give that out because she is going through a divorce and her husband said he would kill her if he found her. She told me she didn't want to give up these puppies because she has gotten attached to them. I NEED YOUR HELP!! We need yo get this out there. PUPPY MILLS are a cruel place for any type animal!!!!
In the end she agreed to let them buy the dogs then started getting nervous as they started contradicting themselves and her gut was getting uncomfortable. Her instincts told her not to let him buy the pups but she already agreed to. She didn't want to back out of the deal but was extremely regretting her decision to sell them the dogs. When she walked them out to their car she noticed another puppy in the car and asked if that was their puppy. They said YES and all her red flags about them just haunted her more. Why would anyone leave a puppy in their car so long and why would they now want three puppies ??? The minute they pulled away she googled their address and name and the address came back to be wrong. They did tell her they were from Montgomery City , Missouri and she had their phone number from their call inquiring about the dogs so she did a reversed background check by their phone number and found out their address. Then she did a google map search of their property and saw they had buildings all over it. Her heart sunk as she then put two and two together and knew they had to be some type of breeder. Sure enough when she looked up who the property was registered under it was his wives and their mother in law who were indeed huge breeders. In 2007 they had 750 breeding dogs and pups when inspected by the Missouri Department of Agriculture. No inspection reports were done in 2000, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009 on record with the department and they had some violations against them. In 2008 the inspector with the Department of Agriculture noted on their inspection report that at the single deck building, there are two pugs that have previously had surgery on their right eyes. Now the left eyes are bulging and have a dark crusty coating on the surface of the eye. Also in this building, there is a black pug that has bulging of both of its eyes. There is a dark, crusty coating over both eyes. At the shed, the black long haired Dachshund has had an injury to the eyelid of its left eye. The skin round the eye is swollen and appears to be torn on the upper lid. There is also a white, greenish discharge around the tear.The injuries of these four dogs may be painful, possibly infected, and can lead to other health issues. These animals require evaluation by the attending veterinarian and appropriate treatment. This breeder has sold to Pampered Pets Pet Store in the past. Here is some additional information on this breeder: Cathy and Mary , co-owners of a breeding kennel, commercial dog breeders and MoFed PAC contributors:
In 1986, this breeder was determined by The USDA to be “dealers engaged in business without a license.” Other AWA violations included improper storage of food, improper sanitation of facilities and overcrowding. In a consent decision it was ordered that they cease and desist from these violations and they were assessed a civil penalty. Yet the breeder retains her Missouri state kennel license and is one of the co-owners of a large breeding kennel to this day. This is the part where I come in. April calls me to tell me the entire story and wants to know if I might be able to help her. I immediately told her the Department of Agriculture is a fabulous organization that she should call first. I then contact Bob Baker, the President of Missouri Alliances for Animal Legislation asking him if this was illegal since this breeder didn't let them know she was a breeder. Bob was coming back from Jefferson City after a busy week but spent four hours going through legislation until he found the one showing that a breeder can't obtain a dog for breeding without disclosing their purpose: It is on page 14, (15) Procurement of Dogs and Cats by Licensees.These women run one of the largest puppy mills in MO. A USDA Animal Inventory Count for MO, Inspection Dates From 10/1/2007 – 10/1/2008, noted 550 adults and 262 puppies at their Country Pets facility in Montgomery City.
A 7/31/2008 USDA inspection report of their facility notes severe eye problems with several of the dogs, including bulging and a dark crusty coating on the surface of the eye, a pug with “bulging of both of its eyes,” and a dachshund with “an injury to the eyelid” and a “white greenish discharge.” The inspection report notes: “The injuries of these four dogs may be painful, possibly infected, and can lead to other health issues.”
Animal welfare groups have received multiple complaints from constituents about sick puppies bred by them and sold through pet stores. Complainants reported puppies with severe pneumonia, digestive disorders and parasites, including two with rare bacterial infections.
Reputable breeders do not sell to pet stores because they want to meet the families who are purchasing their puppies. Most national breed clubs discourage their members from selling to pet stores and many consider it a violation of their codes of ethics.
(B) No person shall obtain live dogs or cats by use of false pretenses, misrepresentation, or deception.
The "BREEDER" who is considered a PUPPY MILLER agreed after being informed they had bought these pups illegally to surrender the dogs but they made the women pay them back and she had to sign a paper saying she would never talk about this again. I NEVER SIGNED ANYTHING NOR WOULD I EVER SO THEREFORE I'M UNDER NO OBLIGATION. More importantly THIS BREEDER didn't scare me into signing a GAG ORDER !!! This is how they work...trying to scare/bully people into not talking to the media or anyone about what they see or know about their puppy mills. WELL MY FRIENDS.....I didn't sign anything and they are DARN LUCKY I haven't gone to the media YET about this. THIS IS A GREAT OPPORTUNITY to encourage PEOPLE again to NEVER GIVE AWAY OR SELL your pets on CRAIGLIST or become a backyard breeder. I can promise you one thing I am going to watch their every move. I'm not afraid of these people who treat animals so beyond horrible for the sake of making BIG BIG $$$ off of their puppies. I don't care IF they are the PRESIDENT of any PET ORGANIZATION, a SENATOR, or who they are I will make sure that if they are treating animals horrible they will be EXPOSED !!! I'm leaving out names in this posting but mark my word NAMES always have a way of appearing......People doing wrong can only hide so long.....AND WAY MORE IMPORTANTLY THEY WILL HAVE TO STAND BEFORE GOD SOMEDAY & JUSTIFY THEIR LIFE AND THE CRUELTY FOR YEARS UPON YEARS THEY INFLICTED ON THEIR POOR ANIMALS !!!
In this situation the pups are safely back to the women who sold them but so many times innocently post dogs for free who end up in the wrong hands !!!
WE HAVE AN ABLIGATION WHEN WE SEE WRONG IN OUR WORLD TO SPEAK UP !!!
Nothing brings you more JOY than knowing YOU SAVED a DOG by ADOPTING from a shelter, rescue or pound near you. This adorable pup was JUST ADOPTED & tell me you can't feel the JOY this couple is feeling !!!
Saturday, August 23, 2014
Billy Joel gives concert proceeds to animal shelter
POSTED: FRIDAY, AUGUST 15, 2014, 12:29 PM
FILED UNDER: CELEBRITIES & GOSSIP
Music legend BILLY JOEL donated the proceeds from his birthday show in New York City to help build a local animal shelter. The Piano Man played at Madison Square Garden on 9 May (14) - the day of his milestone 65th birthday - and it has now emerged he donated the gig's profits to charity. The money was given to DJ Howard Stern's wife Beth to help her build Bianca's Furry Friends, a facility at the North Shore Animal League America shelter in Port Washington, New York, which will provide cage-free homes for cats and dogs. Stern, who reveals the star has adopted two pet dogs, tells Social Life magazine, "Billy is my hero... I call him 'Saint Billy'. Because of his huge donation, we are on target to break ground next spring!"