Thursday, October 29, 2009

Dirk's Fund

"Highlights - Halloween Party 10/29 5 PM
Raffle of 52' Sony TV
Silent Auction Items for Trivia Night
Claire Magnet now available

Santa Pictures November 14th (Saturday) Brentwood Salty Dog 8502 Manchester
November 22nd (Sunday) Pacific Animal Hospital 450 Flier Drive Pacific
December 5th (Saturday) Brentwood Salty Dog 8502 Manchester
December 13th (Sunday) Pacific Animal Hospital 450 Flier Drive Pacific

Call 636.257.2100 for Reservations - All proceeds to benefit Dirks Fund

Silent Auctions Items Booze for the Barrel of Booze
For Trivia Night Baskets for Men / Baskets for Children
Restaurant Gift Certificates
Gift Cards
Theme Baskets - Get Creative"

Mission - Gateway Pet Guardians

Mission - Gateway Pet Guardians: "Gateway Pet Guardians is dedicated to rescuing homeless pets in the St. Louis area, getting them great veterinary care, and finding them forever homes. We are a virtual shelter with all of our pets waiting for adoption in the care of volunteer foster families.

Gateway Pet Guardians is a 501c(3) tax-exempt organization. Donations are always greatly appreciated and are used to provide veterinary care for our foster pets, some of whom have been badly injured by automobile accidents, cruelty, neglect, or life on the street.

Donations are tax-exempt to the extent allowed by law. Please consult your tax advisor for information specific to your tax situation." This is a wonderful organization that is helping so many homeless pets. If you can help them by fostering one of their pets please get ahold of them at

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

A Dog's Purpose? (from a 6-year-old)

Being a veterinarian, I had been called to examine a ten-year-old Irish Wolfhound named Belker. The dog's owners, Ron, his wife Lisa, and their little boy Shane, were all very attached to Belker, and they were hoping for a miracle.I examined Belker and found he was dying of cancer. I told the family we couldn't do anything for Belker, and offered to perform the euthanasia procedure for the old dog in their home.As we made arrangements, Ron and Lisa told me they thought it would be good for six-year-old Shane to observe the procedure. They felt as though Shane might learn something from the experience.The next day, I felt the familiar catch in my throat as Belker 's family surrounded him. Shane seemed so calm, petting the old dog for the last time, that I wondered if he understood what was going on. Within a few minutes, Belker slipped peacefully away.The little boy seemed to accept Belker's transition without any difficulty or confusion. We sat together for a while after Belker's Death, wondering aloud about the sad fact that animal lives are shorter than human lives. Shane, who had been listening quietly, piped up, ''I know why.''Startled, we all turned to him. What came out of his mouth next stunned me. I'd never heard a more comforting explanation. It has changed the way I try and live.He said,''People are born so that they can learn how to live a good life -- like loving everybody all the time and being nice, right?'' The Six-year-old continued,''Well, dogs already know how to do that, so they don't have to stay as long.

''Live simply.

Love generously.

Care deeply.

Speak kindly

Remember, if a dog was the teacher you would learn things like:When loved ones come home, always run to greet them.

Never pass up the opportunity to go for a joyride.

Allow the experience of fresh air and the wind in your face to be pure Ecstasy.

Take naps.

Stretch before rising.

Run, romp, and play daily.

Thrive on attention and let people touch you.

Avoid biting when a simple growl will do.

On warm days, stop to lie on your back on the grass.

On hot days, drink lots of water and lie under a shady tree.

When you're happy, dance around and wag your entire body.Delight in the simple joy of a long walk.

Be loyal.

Never pretend to be something you're not.

If what you want lies buried, dig until you find it.

When someone is having a bad day, be silent, sit close by, and nuzzle them gently.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Spay & Neuter Kansas City
SNKC NEEDS volunteer support for these events in October 10/14/2009
In this Issue: Oct. 17th, 1PM-3PM- OUTREACH
Oct. 24th, 8:30AM-12PM AND 4PM-10PM- Roverlution and Crawl 4 Critters
Oct. 25th- MASH Hi P.A.W.S. Team member: October is certainly here and the weather has changed quickly! We have many events left this month that are also rolling up very quickly. Please take a moment to read through the events for this month and consider volunteering for one (or more) events!
Oct. 17th, 1PM-3PM- OUTREACH: Our team of volunteers will be meeting at the clinic this SATURDAY, OCTOBER 17th, at 12:30. Together, we will go door-to-door in search of pets and their owners that need our help. Before leaving, we will meet briefly to discuss our goal for the day. Anyone interested can then ride in our truck with us or follow us in your own car.
Oct. 24th, 8:30AM-12PM AND 4PM-10PM- Roverlution and Crawl 4 Critters: ROVERLUTION: This event is being held at the Penn Valley Dog Park from 9AM-12PM. We are in need of 2 volunteers to help represent SNKC, talk with interested people about our services and collect donations for dog toys that we will have for anyone interested. Volunteers will need to be at Penn Valley Park by 8:30AM. CRAWL 4 CRITTERS: This event is a pub crawl in the Waldo area. We need volunteers to help represent SNKC, talk with interested people about our services and collect donations for dog/cat toys that we will have for anyone interested. Oct. 25th- MASH: Sunday, October 25th, MSH clinic. We will be making a few changes to the scheduling and routine of MASH. This time around we are hosting less students and scheduling fewer animals to help ensure that the highest standards of care will be given to our guests. As such, all DOGS will be done in the morning and all CATS will be done after that. Please check the following outline for volunteer needs: Administration- (helping get people checked in/out), Need 2 people from 6:30AM-11:00AM, 1 person from 10:30AM-3PM and 1 person from 1PM-5:00PM. Pet Runners-(helping take pets to/from the surgery prep area), Need 2 volunteers from 6:30AM-11AM, 1 person from 10:30AM-3PM and 1 person from 1PM-5:00PM. Autoclaving-(getting surgery instruments/packs ready), Need 2 volunteers from 6:30AM-11AM, 2 people from 10:30AM-3PM and 2 people from 1PM-5:00PM. Pre-Op-(shaving, cleaning incision site, eye lube), Need 3 volunteers from 6:30AM-11AM, 3 people from 10:30AM-3PM and 2 people from 1PM-5:00PM. Post-Op-(cleaning suture site, flea combing, ear cleaning, e-collars), Need 3 volunteers from 6:30AM-11AM, 3 people from 10:30AM-3PM and 2 people from 1PM-5:00PM. Dog recovery-(monitoring for surgery reactions, maintaining pet comfort), Need 4 volunteers from 6:30AM-11AM, 8 people from 10:30AM-3PM and 2 people from 1PM-5:00PM. Cat recovery-(monitoring for surgery reactions, maintaining pet comfort), Need 1 volunteer from 6:30AM-11AM, 6 people from 10:30AM-3PM and 2 people from 1PM-5:00PM. AND DON'T FORGET OUR HOWL-O-WEENIE PARTY ON Oct. 31st FROM 1PM-3PM...bring your pet in their best costume and enter our contest! Contact Us: PLEASE EMAIL TAMARA@SNKC.NET TO SIGN UP FOR THESE EVENTS!!! I LOOK FORWARD TO SEEING YOU ALL VERY SOON!! Spay & Neuter Kansas City, 1116 E. 59th, Kansas City, MO, 64110 816-353-0940

Friday, October 9, 2009

A new day for PA puppy mill dogs as new kennel standards take effect
Friday, October 09, 2009
By Amy Worden, Philadelphia Inquirer, Philly Dawg Blog
Today marks the end of lifetime of confinement to small cages, of paw-destroying wire cage floors, of stacked cages as high as a barn roof, of outdoor rabbit hutches, and of no veterinary care for tens of thousands of dogs in commercial kennels in Pennsylvania.
New standards governing cage size, flooring, exercise and veterinary care go into effect today for the roughly 300 licensed commercial dog kennels, most of them in Lancaster County.
Under the dog law signed a year ago by Gov. Rendell, kennel operators who keep more than 59 dogs a year, or sell one or more dogs to a pet store, must house dogs in larger cages and provide daily exercise and regular veterinary care for breeding dogs. The new law also forbids cage stacking, prohibits wire flooring in cages and imposes kennel temperature requirements.
Kennel operators were given a year to make the changes, or longer if they received waivers. The flood of waiver applications submitted to the bureau in the past few weeks suggests that many breeders did not complete the necessary work. The flood of Pennsylvania dogs on the auction markets in the midwest suggests many are downsizing to get under the 59-dog threshold, or getting out of the business altogether.
Some breeders may have been relying on a favorable ruling in a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the new dog law. But that suit was thrown out last month by U.S. District Court Judge Sylvia Rambo.
For thousands of smaller licensed kennels (those with between 26 and 59 dogs), however, the old standards remain.
State dog wardens will be deployed starting today to inspect commercial kennels to ensure compliance and those who are found in violation may receive citations or could lose their licenses, according to the Bureau of Dog Law Enforcement. A federal judge threw out a lawsuit filed by breeders challenging the constitutionality of the new dog law.
Jessie Smith, special deputy secretary of the Bureau of Dog Law Enforcement, said the stricter standards - widely regarded as the toughest in the nation - will significantly improve conditions for thousands of dogs living in kennels.
Bob Baker, an animal welfare advocate who helped draft the original Pennsylvania dog law almost 30 years ago, said "the dogs have been waiting 27 years for this day to come."
"Ever since the original Dog Law was passed in 1982 and advocates were told by the legislature this is all we can give you this year but you can come back next year to increase the standards of care," said Baker, now an investigator with the ASPCA. "Well it has been a 27 year wait for the dogs. There is no excuse for non-compliance by the breeders. They have had a free pass for 27 years to confine their dogs in tiny wire cages stacked one on top of another in dark, filthy, ammonia-filled barns."
Under an amendment pushed through by farming interests, kennel owners were given the opportunity to apply for waivers to allow up to three years additional time to improve their kennels if they showed they had made substantial improvements or could prove hardship. Justin Fleming, a spokesman for the bureau, said 93 waiver request had been submitted by the Oct. 9 deadline and decisions had been made so far on 23 applications. Fleming said he could not provide information on how many of those waivers had been granted and that the information could only be released through a right-to-know request.
The law stipulates that anyone convicted of violating the dog law in the past five years is not eligible for a waiver. A review of court records shows that 76 Lancaster kennel operators have either pleaded guilty to or been found guilty of dog law violations during that time period.
A number of kennels are either downsizing to get below the 59-dog threshold or going out of business. Nearly 400 dogs - mainly toy breeds - belonging to eight Pennsylvania commercial kennel owners were sold at an Ohio auction on Wednesday. Others are placing their unproductive breeding dogs or "surplus stock" through a program sponsored by the Pennsylvania Veterinary Medical Association and the Federated Humane Societies of Pennsylvania and endorsed by the Department of Agriculture. (More on the Safe Harbor program tomorrow) There also have been reports of some commercial kennel owners shooting their dogs, which is illegal under the new law.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Quad Cities Times Sunday:
Front Page Story on Puppy Mills!!
Good Morning fellow animal welfare advocates!

This is big news! A great article that reveals the clandestine nature of the commercial dog breeding industry was published on the front page of the Sunday QC Times!

See below.

Thank you Stephanie De Pasquale, reporter for the QC Times!!

Let's get some comments going on the newspaper's website!! Use the link in the article title to get to their website.

Be sure to thank Reps. Lykam and Bukta for taking the time to visit these facilities.


Mary LaHay, Director
Iowa Voters for Companion Animals

Lawmakers push to expand Iowa dog breeder oversight

Stephanie De Pasquale Posted: Sunday, September 27, 2009 2:00 am

From the road, all you can see of Mystic Rock Kennels in Keosauqua , Iowa , are five trailers and an old barn on a hill. Trees block the view of the grounds and only one small window is open on one trailer.
The kennel is surrounded by acres of corn, making it difficult to see what happens on the property.
Judy Scearcy, Mystic Rock Kennels owner, wrote that she raises "healthy happy puppies at my home" on her seller profile on
When Iowa Reps. Jim Lykam, D-Davenport, and Polly Bukta, D-Clinton, visited the kennel last week, 13 puppies were listed for sale. But there was no barking when Lykam knocked on the back door of the house adjacent to the kennel.
U.S. Department of Agriculture inspection reports of the facility also make multiple references to a whelping building that at times housed as many as 81 dogs and contain accounts of puppies legs falling through wire flooring.
Lykam and Bukta made the visit to the kennel because they want the state to be able to inspect breeding facilities when complaints are filed agai nst a federally licensed facility. Now, inspections can only be done by federal officials. The USDA has five inspectors who are responsible for all of Iowa in addition to other states.
As part of Lykam and Bukta's efforts, a study committee will meet Tuesday in Des Moines to refine a bill for the full legislature's consideration next year.
A green minivan without license plates sits in the driveway of the kennel, southwest of Mount Pleasant near the Missouri border. There is an odor in the air and the property, which housed 145 dogs, according to a June inspection report, is quiet. Bukta hears movement near the first trailer behind a fence. The
legislators follow the noise to find a woman who did not give her name but said she was looking after the place while Scearcy was in Iowa City for the day.
"I can't let anybody in when she's not here," the woman said. "There's no way I can do that."
Five huskies are visible in a raised outdoor run attached to a sixth trailer that wasn't visible from the road, but the woman said there are too many breeds of dogs at the facility for her to name.
"They're going to be going to an interim study committee on licensed breeders, and we're trying to get as much knowledge as we can," Lykam said.
"You're not trying20to shut people down are you?" the woman asked.
"No, no," Lykam answered.
Before leaving, Lykam left his business card with the woman who said she would have Scearcy call him to schedule a tour.
Lykam has not heard from Scearcy.
She later declined to comment for this article and the name on her account has been changed to Christy Parks.
41 violations in two years
But what the corn fields, trees and closed windows hide, inspection reports reveal. Since receiving her license in the fall of 2007, Scearcy has accumulated 41 violations, 12 of which are repeat offenses, of the Animal Welfare Act, a set of standards for animals bred and housed in commercial breeding facilities. The standards require USDA-licensed facilities to provide animals proper housing, sanitation, food, water and protection against extreme weather. The act is considered a minimum standard of care, and licensees are encouraged to exceed them.
According to USDA inspection reports, Scearcy's violations include:
Dogs that were so severely matted they could not see.
Failure to provide veterinary care to injured or sick dogs.
Excess accumulation of feces that at times was as thick as 1 to 2 inches.
Infestations of fleas, flies and roaches.
Jagged metal edges that could harm animals.
Excessiv e rust and chewed wood surfaces that can't be sanitized.
Housing too many animals in a crate, including puppies, so that the dogs could not turn around or lie down.
The USDA inspects licensed facilities once a year and more often if there are problems. Mystic Rock Kennels has been inspected six times since Jan. 10, 2008, when her first inspection as a licensed breeder revealed 11 violations.
Dave Sacks, spokesman for the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, an agency within the USDA, said breeders with a history of non-compliance can be placed under investigation where evidence will be gathered and turned over to a USDA administrative law judge, who has the power to suspend and revoke licenses.
"We're not in the business of turning a blind eye to animal abuse, so when we see patterns like this, we're going to look at them certainly a lot differently than a breeder that has a very clean record," Sacks said. "And if we see a pattern like we see here, you may soon see some information coming out that there was an investigation launched or there is some enforcement actions coming down the pike."
Some breeders invite inspections
Seventeen miles southeast in Bonaparte , Iowa , the scene is different at Juliana's Happytails. Marty Stecker, who owns the kennel with his ex-wife, Juliana Van Winkle, gave Lykam and Bukta a tour of one of four whelping buildings.
Inside the climate-co ntrolled building there were about a dozen litters of puppies with their mothers. Each litter of small breed dogs were housed in a 3-foot cube, wire bottom crate. Some crates also have removable wooden trays so the smallest of the puppies' feet don't fall through the wires. Below each crate was a slanted board that led to a drainage trough for easy cleaning.
The facility was clean, with only two fresh stools caught in the wires of two crates. Next to each enclosure is a clipboard containing detailed records of the number of puppies in the litter, their gender and date they were born, as well as a long list of vaccinations and medications and the dates they are to be administered.
Citing concern over the noise, Stecker asked the legislators not to go into the main building that houses about 260 breeding dogs and instead look over the facility through a screen door. An odor of waste was strong. Stecker said the building had not been cleaned out yet but that it is sanitized daily. The dogs appeared to be healthy, clean and groomed, and they were housed in crates that were 2 feet by 4 feet.
"It'd be nice just to have one (per enclosure), but dogs are real social animals, and they prefer to be with another dog," said Stecker, who added that they never place more than two dogs together. "USDA has formulas for how much room you can legally have, and it's a sin. They would barely have enough room to turn around in there according to their rules. "
Stecker, who breeds the dogs once every 10 to 11 months, has been in the commercial breeding business for about 12 years. While Scearcy has accumulated 41 violations in 20 months, Juliana's Happy Tails has been cited twice in three years - peeling wire in the crates and a dog that had hair loss on its legs and nose. Van Winkle had documentation that the dog was being treated with antibiotics, but the inspector wanted the dog to see a veterinarian as well.
Lykam said the Iowa Pet Breeder's Association has invited legislators to tour Knapp Creek Acres, LLC in Amana , Iowa . The facility has had a clean record of compliance with USDA regulations.
"They say you can eat off the floor there, and that's the one they want to showcase all the time," Lykam said. "But I don't think anyone is inviting us down to Keosauqua."

Also on the Web
View the inspection reports from Mystic Rock Kennels and Juliana's Happy Tails, a fact sheet on the Animal Welfare Act and the agenda for the Care of Animals in Commercial Enterprises Study Committee at
See video of Mystic Rock Kennels and hear Iowa Reps. Jim Lykam and Polly Bukta talk about their impressions of the commercial breeding facilities at
To chat with Lykam about his visit to commercial breeding facilities and about the Care of Animals in Commercial Enterprises Study Committee, go to at 11 a.m. Wednesday.

Puppy mill meetings
Listening Post on the Puppy Mill Bill
When: 7 p.m. Monday
Where: Animal Rescue League of Iowa , 5452 NE 22nd St. , Des Moines
Care of A nimals in Commercial Enterprises Study Committee
When: 9 a.m. Tuesday
Where: Room 103, Supreme Court Chamber, Iowa State Capital, East 9th and Grand, Des Moines



Shar pei surrendered by Iowa mill.
Crippled from being housed in small cage.


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The primary purpose of our website is to find others in Iowa who want to help us get better laws to protect Iowa 's companion animals. There is an option to sign-up to receive email updates.
Iowa Voters for Companion Animals PO Box 68 St. Marys IA 50241