Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Senior Dogs and Black dogs are ALWAYS the first to be euthanized PLEASE CONSIDER ADOPTING ONE !!!!

Dog Hoarder Sues County For Small Cell ....Are You Kidding ME !!!

It would seem that irony is lost on the hoarder, convicted of cruelty, who collected dogs at her Every Dog Needs a Home Sanctuary in Gamaliel AR.

After fleeing before her sentencing hearing Tammy Hanson and her husband were discovered living, years later, in northern Vermont, with over 30 dogs. After time in a Vermont prison, she was transported to Arkansas to serve the remainder of her sentence. On her release Hanson has a lot to complain about, including the food, ability to practice her religion and the size of her cell.

Don’t misunderstand me. I do not believe that prison is, in theory, designed to subject inmates to conditions they may have subjected others to. We don’t send rapists to prison to get raped or murderers to get murdered. If that were the case Hanson would have been put in a cage relative to her size, like the ones she left dogs in without adequate food and water for up to 5 weeks.

The expectation is that prison is a punishment and will deter offenders from repeating their crimes in the future. I am not going to attempt to debate the efficacy of our criminal justice system. But when it comes to hoarders studies indicate that there is a good chance they will hoard again, regardless of any punishment they experienced, or the threat of it.

Some will move to locations where they are not known, or to avoid any stipulations put on their ability to own animals in the town or county they lived in. Without therapy and supervision many hoarders will begin their collections of animals again, with all the associated suffering and horror. Maybe this lawsuit will keep her busy for awhile.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Millions & Millions of Everyday "Pit Bull" Dog Owners from Animal Farm Foundation on Vimeo.

Another City Enlightened....YEA !!!

California Town May Ban Retail Sales of Dogs, Cats
The Chula Vista, Calif., City Council will discuss tomorrow, Feb. 28, 2012, wide-ranging amendments to the city’s animal laws that include a complete ban on the retail sale of dogs and cats as well as the sale or possession of certain “wild animals,” according to the Washington, D.C.-based Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council.

“Pet stores provide healthy, responsibly raised pets to the public, and should serve as one of the options pet owners may turn to in choosing a companion animal,” according to PIJAC, which opposes the proposal’s ban on retail sales of dogs and cats.

PIJAC said such outright bans are harmful to pets and consumers as they drive legitimate pet stores out of business, thus creating an underground market that does not have to meet the same regulatory requirements as pet stores.

PIJAC said a blanket ban on some so-called “wild animals” would also drive an underground market.

The city council will also discuss new regulations on kennels, catteries and pet shops; an increase in dog licensing fees; and several other items.

If passed, the amended ordinance would take effect on the 13th day after its adoption.

The prohibition on the retail sale of dogs and cats defines a pet shop as “an establishment involved in selling or exchanging any birds, dogs, cats or other animals.”

The wild animal ban states “no person may possess or maintain” venomous reptiles; birds or rodents attaining an adult weight of more than 15 pounds; any crocodilian; all boa and python species attaining an adult weight of more than 15 pounds or an adult overall length of more than 3 1/2 feet; all monitor lizard species; and other animals as listed in the ordinance.

The proposal does not apply to birds, small rodents or small nonpoisonous reptiles commonly used as pets or for educational or experimental purposes.

The proposal’s list of requirements for operation of kennels, catteries and pet shops include regulations on location and soundproofing requirements, recordkeeping, and sanitary and minimum space requirements.

Also, all dogs over the age of four months must be licensed within 30 days after being brought into the city, or upon reaching the age of four months.

Two Great Things To Consider !!!!

Hudson Highly recommends this incredible fundraiser. Everyone who went last year had an absolute ball !!! A GREAT CAUSE FOR A wonderful organization !!! Hope you can join the FUN !!!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Hudson Knows Of Several Class B Dealers In Missouri

Progress against Selling Pets for Invasive Experiments

This month, the National Institutes of Health announced that beginning Oct. 1, 2012, grant recipients cannot use NIH funds to buy cats from “Class B dealers.” The U.S. Department of Agriculture licenses these dealers as middlemen to round up dogs and cats from animal shelters, auctions, private individuals, and other “random sources”—in some cases, through “free to good home” ads and even pet theft.

Michelle Riley/The HSUS

Class B dealers then sell these animals, many of them former pets, to research laboratories where they undergo painful experiments. Undercover investigations have documented sickening conditions at some of these Class B facilities.

Only seven of these dealers remain active in the country, down from hundreds in past decades. And we’re seeing encouraging signs that their numbers may soon dwindle to zero.

In 2009, the National Academies released a report concluding that Class B dealers are unnecessary and that regulations for these dealers are unenforceable. This report prompted an announcement by NIH that no later than 2015, it will prohibit buying dogs from Class B dealers using the agency’s grant funds. Its latest announcement is one more step in the right direction.

These long-awaited NIH announcements represent steps forward on this issue, signaling the eventual end of these unscrupulous animal dealers.

Just last year, owners of a Class B dealer facility in Pennsylvania were indicted on several charges, including illegally obtaining dogs. If convicted, they could face 50 years in jail. The facility’s license was not renewed, and four of the seven remaining dealers are currently being investigated by the USDA for various offenses.

Let's All Open Our Eyes Folks !!!!

Excellant Article In Forbes Magazine :)

Allen St. John, Contributor

Where *Not* to Buy a Dog: The Pet Store Connection to the Business of Puppy Mills

So where should you buy a dog? The absolute worst place, it turns out, is a pet store.

An HBO documentary, Madonna of the Mills, exposes the fact that virtually all pet store puppies are raised in puppy mills in horrible conditions, in wire pens no bigger than a dishwasher, and the puppies are sickly with parasites and other serious issues.

In my previous posts, I talked about my experiences with Alison my shelter dog, and Tessie, my Golden Retriever that came from a high-quality breeder and about the economics of buying and owning a puppy. Today, as part of a continuing series, I present an interview with Andrew Nibley, a CEO who took off a year and a half to make this documentary about the dirty secret of the pet industry.

The documentary, which can be found on, takes a rigorously journalistic view of this complex problem. (Nibley used to be an editor at Reuters.) It also balances an unflinching depiction of the problem with moments of hope provided by the dogs that have been rescued from the mills and the woman who rescued them. It’s an uplifting, deeply personal story that’s well worth the $15 and an hour of your time. Here’s my interview with director Andrew Nibley.

Allen St. John: What’s the solution to the puppy mill problem?

Andrew Nibley: Puppy mills will continue to exist as long as people buy puppy mill puppies. 99 percent of all puppies in pet stores come from puppy mills. So if people stop buying from pet stores, if people stop buying over the internet, puppy mills will dry up. It’s a question of supply and demand. If there’s no demand for these dogs, farmers will go back to growing crops or doing something else for a living.

And pet stores will go back to doing what they should be doing—selling leashes, bowls, toys, and puppy chow—and not actually selling the animals themselves. It’s pretty straightforward.

ASJ: Some states like Missouri have tried to legislate the conditions in puppy mills.

AN: I think it’s very, very hard to regulate. There have been a lot of legislative attempts, but they make small improvements and they’re almost glacial in the way they’re taking hold. You have states that say that every animal has to have an exercise plan. But there isn’t any enforcement on the back end. Or there’ll be something that says they can’t have wire flooring—that’s an improvement, but if they don’t clean the cages anyway, you’re not getting at the problem.

And frankly, I think animals should have more room to move around in than something the size of a dishwasher. USDA regulations say that the animal has to have seven inches in front of its nose and seven inches over its head and that’s not a lot of room. The farmers think of these puppies as a cash crop the same way they’d look at soybeans or corn or spinach.

ASJ: But I guess there’s another side of this, too, that the puppies from the mills are often dangerously sick when you take them home and prone to all kinds of life-threatening problems early in life.

AN: Let’s leave aside the question of whether or not you want to support puppy mills which are, in my opinion, concentration camps for the parents of pet store puppies, and just look at what you’re buying as a consumer when you buy a dog from a pet store or over the internet.

You’re getting a dog that cost $1,000 to $2,000 that cost the farmer $50 to $75 to raise. There’s 100 percent chance that puppy is going to have parasites or some kind of disease. There’s almost a 50 percent chance that dog is going to die or have a serious illness within the first year.

So you’re buying a defective product at over-inflated prices, even if you don’t care about what happens to that puppy’s parents, it’s a bad, bad deal for the consumer.

ASJ: How can you tell when an Internet breeder is really a puppy mill?

AN: When you talk to a breeder, you should say “Can I see this puppy’s parents?” If it’s a puppy mill they won’t be able to produce the parents.

If they say they’re going to fly the dog to you, there’s a pretty good chance it’s a puppy mill. Most breeders love the animals so much they will actually fly with the animal to make sure that the owners are legit. In some places it’s as hard to adopt a dog [from a quality breeder] as it is a kid. “Do you have a big enough back yard? Do you have other animals? Did you have animals in the past?” These breeders love these dogs.

ASJ: And puppy mills are really preying on our attachment to our dogs.

AN: It’s an emotional purchase. As the vet says in the movie, it’s not a washing machine or a car or a refrigerator that you can take back. You bought the puppy because you had an emotional attachment when you first met it. When you find out its sick, the last thing you want to do is take it back, you want to help it.

And that’s how people get trapped. In a pet store, you walk by and see cute, adorable puppies but you have no idea where they came from and what’s happening to their parents. That’s really why we made the movie, is to wake people up.

ASJ: Is the problem that people don’t see the connection between the pet store puppy and the horrible conditions in which it was raised?

AN: I think if you ask, 90 percent of people would say they’re against puppy mills, and then you ask them where they got their pet, they say “Oh, we got him at the pet store.” We tried to make that connection between puppy mills and pet stores and how it’s part of a multi-billion dollar business in the U.S.

ASJ: How big is the puppy mill industry?

AN: It’s kind of a shadowy industry. It’s a multi-billion dollar business. The USDA keeps track of how many animals are trafficked, but not the dollars and cents. That one example in the film, The Hunt Coporation had 88,000 dogs they had transported, and say they’re $2,000 apiece, that’s $176,000,000. It’s a big, big business.

ASJ: How can we stop it?

AN: Public education is hugely critical. If you look at cigarette smoking, littering, seat belts, all the great campaigns that have changed behavior in this country, they have all come through kids nagging their parents. “Don’t smoke Daddy, put on your seat belt, don’t be a litter bug.” Those are public awareness campaigns that percolated up through the school systems and fundamentally changed the behavior of the country.

I’d love to see the same thing happen with puppy mills. If you can have kids saying to their parents “Mommy, Daddy, you shouldn’t buy a puppy from a pet store because it’s diseased, and the parents of this puppy are living in miserable conditions,” maybe that’s the way we can bring this to a close.
ASJ: Does this consciousness raising effort seem to be working?

AN: We’re starting to see results. We’re seeing major pet store chains announce they’re not going to sell animals anymore. And we’re seeing towns all over the country banning the sale of animals in pet stores, out in California particularly. It’s starting to take hold.

ASJ: On a personal level, how did you end up making this movie?

AN: Basically my wife is the producer and she made the movie because she absolutely loves dogs, and I made the movie because I love my wife.

She came home with a cocker spaniel named Maisey, that had been de-barked by Amish farmer who put a pipe down her throat and crushed her voice box. We became curious about the dog and how it had been rescued and where it had been rescued from.

During the course of that investigation, we met Laura, a young woman from Staten Island who had rescued 2,000 dogs from puppy mills. My wife came up with the idea: Let’s make a documentary to put a stop to this.

I’m a CEO by trade but I decided to take a year and a half off I wrote and directed the movie. My wife produced the movie and sold it to HBO. It was recently nominated for the Genesis Award, the Academy Awards for movies about animals. It’s the first and last time we’re ever mentioned in same story as Steven Spielberg. It really was a labor of love.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Friday, February 24, 2012

Pit Bull Ordinance Repeal Nears Official Introduction

New policy could become law as early as next week.
By Brian Feldt
Email the author
February 23, 2012
Wentzville's Board of Aldermen appear confident enough in the new animal control policy that it plans to officially read it into record for the first time at its next scheduled meeting on Feb. 29.

The legislation, which is still in draft form, will repeal the city's current restrictions on pit bulls and put in its place a breed-neutral policy that puts the onus of harsh or vicious dogs on the owners rather the pets.

The draft has been in the hands of Police Chief Lisa Harrison since January and has been presented to the board several times in the last two months. Harrison has essentially come up with a completely overhauled policy.

On Wednesday, the board further fine-tuned the policy, this time coming to terms with what to do about pets in non-fenced in areas and electric fences.

The board said any pet—dog, cat or pet mouse—must be put on a leash if out in a non-fenced-in area, which includes electric fences. That means pet owners using the electric fences now must either build a regulation fence or have their pets on a leash or tether when in the yard.

During the board's Jan. 25 meeting, the board tackled issues such as a range of fines for owners of vicious dogs and a clearer path for how and how much to fine them.

Board members hope to have the final policy read into record at its improptu Feb. 29 meeting, which was originally scheduled to be a work session but was changed to accomodate another piece of business.

At that point, the board could rush the policy through by reading it all three times and passing it that night or waiting until its regulary scheduled meeting on March 15 to make it law.

The new policy calls for a series of fines for first and subsequent incidents, with fines ranging from $100 for the first offense to $500 for a fourth offense, with the animal being ordered to be removed from the city or be euthanized.

It would also make it unlawful for any person to keep, harbor, possess or allow to be in or upon their premises any dangerous, vicious or ferocious animal.

A dangerous, vicious or ferocious animal would be defined as any animal that:
•Bites or attacks any person, domestic animal or farm animal not withstanding jurisdiction of the offense
•Has ever in the past has bitten, attacked or injured any of the person, domestic animal or farm animal not withstanding jurisdiction of the offense
•By its immediate or previous action, exhibits a threat of attacking or biting a person, domestic animal or farm animal
•Exhibits particulable behavior that causes fear to any reasonable person without provocation anywhere in the city other than the owner’s private property
•When unprovoked, chases, lashes out at or approaches a person upon the streets, sidewalks, or any public grounds or private property other than the property of the owner, in a menacing fashion or apparent attitude of attack, regardless of whether or not a person is injured by such animal
•Owned or harbored primarily or in part for the purpose of fighting or any animal trained for fighting

Pez Can Be Adopted Through Stray Rescue In St. Louis, Missouri

Hi! My name is Princess Pezzie, Pez for short and I am homeless. Won’t you find it in your heart to help me??? I have been in jail for several years but committed no crime…and need out!

I am a little Rottweiller and a complete lady! Although most ladies don't like to divulge their age and weight, I don't mind saying that I'm five years old and I weigh 55 lbs. I have shiny black hair with copper highlights with one front paw that is platinum blonde. See how beautiful I am! And I have the personality to match my beauty. I am spayed and current on all of my shots.

Once a week I get to leave the shelter with my shelter-mom and spend the day at her house. Car rides are ONE of my FAVORITE things! Shelter-mom is so proud of me when I visit because I have never had an accident in her house, and I have never gotten on any of the furniture. When she's busy and not playing fetch with me, another of my FAVORITE things, I just chill by chewing on my Nylabones or other toys or just take a quick nap. She says I'm a very enthusiastic and playful friend and really fun to have around. I had a boyfriend at the shelter, but he went to a foster home, so I would like an enthusiastic and playful furry friend to have fun with again. OR I could be your "only" best friend, and you could really spoil me. I have lots of love to give, and I am waiting for that special someone to love me back. I hope you are the one I have been waiting for!

I am hoping & praying and crossing my paws that you will consider adopting me!!! Call 314-477-5400 if you would like to meet me.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Owners of suspected puppy mill charged with animal cruelty
by Deven Swartz
STOKES COUNTY, N.C. — The owners of a suspected puppy mill in Stokes County face more than 50 total counts of animal cruelty.

Lucille and Willis Mabe were charged with 27 counts each of misdemeanor animal cruelty, Stokes County Animal Control officials said Thursday. They are scheduled to meet with the district attorney March 1, when they will be served.

The Mabes own Dan River Bullies, located at 1560 Bob Mabe Road in Danbury. More than 150 dogs were seized from the property in a raid Feb. 7.

Officials with the Humane Society of the United States said the dogs lived on top of each other, and food was thrown on the floor next to their feces.

A person at the raid described the scene as “heartbreaking” and said it may be the worst they’ve seen in North Carolina.

The Guilford County Animal Shelter took in 130 of the animals. Director Marsha Williams said the animals had multiple problems, including eye, skin, and teeth infections.

The site was taken down shortly after the raid, but it listed several breeds for sale, including bulldogs, English Bull pups, French Bull pups and Shih Tzu pups. Prices for some of the dogs were in the thousands of dollars.

"Animals do have a voice. If you ignore their suffering, I will remind you of it. If you don't understand them, I will translate. If you don't hear them, I will be their voice. You may silence them but you cannot silence me as long as I live."

What Are You Doing THis Sunday ???


Be a voice for the dogs suffering in puppy mills. Please join this fabulous group of dedicated volunteers and/or spread the word. Lake St Louis MO Petland Peaceful Protest Sunday Feb 26 from 12 to 2. Located at 6131 Ronald Reagan Dr. Lake St. Louis, MO 63367 across from Wal-Mart. Signs and literature provided.
Info on breeders below and this was obtained through the Petland giving their breeders names out.
For more info on puppy mills visit

 Anita Gustin 293/109
 Pam Middleton 221/92
 Leah Green 148/120
 Mary Moore 146/67
 Sandra Blake 112/46

 “No wind breaks or bedding in outdoor pens with temperature 16 degrees, wind chill 6 degrees.”
 “10 yo dog not bearing weight on right front leg; all digits of foot swollen”
 “Docking ears and tails without vet approval. Many flies b/c of fecal build up”
 “Dogs needing vet attention. Standing water near pens with algae, flies and gnats”
 “Fecal matter covering pens with little clean and dry space. Cages stacked on top of one another. One dim light in building; cannot see dogs in bottom cages.”
 “Food bowls in pens contained spiders, egg sacs and black bugs.”
 “Puppies kept in outdoor pens with no bedding or heat source. Sick dogs.”
 “Abundance of flies and smell of septic matter. Rodent problem in whelping bldg”
 “No puppy food at kennel. Thin puppies being fed large chunk adult dog food”
 “Dogs needing vet attention. Expired meds. Cages too small for dogs. All repeats”
 “Dogs with massive hair loss. Dogs with 80% matted hair.”
 “Cages too small for dogs. Broken wires in pens with sharp edges.”
 “Outdoor pens with multiple dogs and one dog house. Three feet high grass around pens.”
 “Accumulations of hair & waste. Dirt and debris in self feeders. Infestation of rodents.”

*From USDA Inspection Reports (footage of Blakes's kennel-note dog on bottom row continually going in circles; this is common with mill dogs having been caged so long—some call it “cage crazy.”)

Hudson Loves Smiling Dog Farms

We have 2 GREAT Adoption Partners now.
But if we could get 20Adoption Partners,
we could increase our adoptions BY TENFOLD!
If you or your group can commit to place even ONE dog per month,
please contact Jay at or 979-559-1062.
Adoption Partners help dogs like us find families of our own.
We need your help!"

Help Us Place 150 Dogs
in the first 150 Days of 2012...
A Dog A Day!
Our goal is to find families for 150 adoptable dogs
by June 1, 2012!

If someone you know is interested in adopting a dog,
please click on
and check out our Adoptable Dogs on the website!

Dogs Placed to Date - 22

A Smiling Dog Story...

Theresa says, "This is what I looked like when I came in to BARC!
My head looks like it is three sizes too big for my skinny body!
I was horribly undernourished!

Worse than that, I was really ill. No one was sure if I was going to survive!

None of the rescues wanted to take me because I was sick.
So BARC contacted Smiling Dog Farms to see if they would help.
And Ricky and Jay said, "yes".

Ricky and Jay call my illness BARC Disease
because many of the BARC dogs seem to have it.
It mimmicks distemper in a lot of ways, but it is not.

I am the first girl with BARC Disease that Dr. Stern was able to save!
I got shots of Batril, a high potency antibiotic,
and I took oregano oil, an herbal supplement that fights viruses.

If all that wasn't enough,
Dr. Stern discovered I had dead babies inside me.
So Dr. Stern gave me a shot to induce labor, and get them out.
Those dead babies were really dragging me down, too.
I was in really rough shape, and Dr. Stern wasn't sure I would make it.

But I did!
Against all odds, I made a full recovery!

Since I got better, Ricky has used the Batril/oregano oil regimen
on a number of other dogs and they have all gotten well, too!
Here I am after getting over my illness, when I was starting to put on weight.
Jay named me Theresa after Mother Theresa...
He says I have her same sweet, caring personality.
Jay says I am a very special dog
who has an important purpose for my life...
because I was healed when so many other dogs would have died!

That was all about a year ago...
Here are some current pictures of me.
You can see that I have filled in nicely and look really good!

I now weigh about 50 lb. -- I have doubled my weight from when I came here!
I am about five years old now.
And I am still waiting to find a family to love me.
And to figure out what my special purpose is.

Some people look at me a just see another little black dog.

But Ricky and Jay say that when they look at me,
they see a very special girl who beat the odds and is still alive...
a really good natured, gentle soul with a heart of gold.
They say I am destined to be a companion dog to someone with a special need...
they say they don't who it will be,
or what that special need may be.
But they are certain that I am destined to do good works,
just like my name-sake, Mother Theresa!

Do you know someone who needs my special kind of love?

If you are one of our monthly sponsors,
Thank You!

We would literally not still be here, helping dogs, if not for YOU!

You Know Our Mission ...
Providing a home for dogs who have nowhere else to go!
We are often a dog's only hope.
We are the rescue that other rescues turn to, when a dog is in danger.
We try to always say "yes".

Please... ask your friends, family, business contacts -- any NONrescue "civilians" -- to consider helping us, now, so we can keep helping the dogs who need us most!
We need more monthly sponsors!

You can sign up as a monthly sponsor by clicking
Donate monthly for a year in someone's name as a gift, and we'll send a card & list them on the website.
Let us know via email you're donating the next year as a gift, with name/address of that person!

Ricky, Jay and all the many animals at Smiling Dog Farms thank you for your help!

jay hellerich, executive director
smiling dog farms
a 501(c)3 non-profit corporation
p.o. box 743
wharton, texas 77488

blog: http://smilingdogfarms.blogspot.comfacebook :
Please become a Smiling Dog Partner to Support Our Work
Your Monthly Tax-Deductible Gift Gives Hope to the Forgotten,Neglected & Rejected

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Monday, February 20, 2012

Hudson's Owners Called The Owners About Their Malls In St. Louis and Found Them So Uneducated and Only Worried About Making Money

Westfield Mall in St. Louis at Chesterfield Mall and MidRivers had a horrible pet store chain in them and protestors out there every week trying to educate the public and everyone from their general manager of the mall to the corporate top executives turned a blind eye to the problem. It is Hudson's opinion that in this struggling economy they were too worried about losing money then doing the right thing.They were repeated contacted and educated on all the breeders this store was using including her own breeding facility.One breeder was breeding over 740 dogs and the violations of the breeders they were using was heartbreaking. Finally the breeder's store was closed and her breeder license has been taken away for five years but NO THANKS to the help of this mall. These scumbag puppy millers find every loophole they can and try to sneak under the radar and involve so many family members to make money off innocent animals who live a life of pure hell so these greedy worthless excuses of human beings can make money hand over fist off them. Shame on people with no conscience like do you sleep at night???
Westfield Group, the owner of Westfield Malls, owns two malls in CT that currently lease space to pet stores selling puppies. The CT Post Mall in Milford, CT is home to the newly opened Bark Avenue, while the Westfield Meriden Mall houses the Gentle Jungle. Both these stores sell puppies that are sourced from large-scale, commercial breeders commonly known as Puppy Mills.

A puppy mill is a factory-like, profit-based puppy breeding operation. Dogs in puppy mills face miserable conditions including forced repeated breeding, inbreeding, poor or absent veterinary care, limited social contact, no exercise, poor shelter, and filthy, overcrowded cages. Unlike reputable breeders, puppy mills crank out puppies without regard to their health and genetic profiles, resulting in many generations of animals with serious inherited health issues.

The puppy mill industry produces more than half a million puppies per year. Many of these puppies end up local shelters and pounds after they are purchased on impulse in a retail stores, which almost never screen the purchaser to determine if they can, in fact, provide a loving a responsible home for the animal. Retail stores sell puppies without being spayed or neutered, leaving the chance that even more unwanted dogs will be born as a result. Puppies that do not sell in retail puppy stores are often returned to the broker or mill to be destroyed or sold for breeding stock.

This cycle of misery and irresponsibility is growing increasingly unacceptable to the public. Animals rights groups are exposing this industry's dirty practices to the public and they are no longer finding these stores or their "merchandise" acceptable. Large retail stores that anchor Malls will becoming under increasing pressure from consumers to oust retail puppy stores from their locations. Westfield Malls would surely not lease space to retailers selling obscene or exploitative merchandise; however, by allowing puppy selling pet stores in their malls, they are doing just this.

It's time to tell "Gentle Jungle" in Meriden and "Bark Avenue" in CT Post- Milford to move out or stop selling puppies.

The tide of opinion in turning and it's time for Westfield Group to take the right step toward being an enlightened and humane company. Macerich, developer of about 70 malls across the US announced last year that it would ban the sale of live animals in their malls. It's time for Westfield to do the same!

Just Discovered Another Fabulous Blog About Animal Welfare and Animal Issues

Reality Check: Not All Rescues Are Precious Pups
A sad, yet still common site on the streets of Iquitos
Recently we have posted many photos of abandoned puppies and kittens. These cute and helpless creatures tug at our heart strings. Today I write to remind our supporters that Amazon CARES is SO MUCH MORE than a rescue center, no-kill shelter, and adoption center. If our sole focus was to rescue street dogs and cats in need, we would barely be making a dent in the actual problem facing Iquitos. That is the issue of overpopulation, ill animals roaming the streets, and a lack of positive action on the part of the government to remedy the situation.

Prior to the advent of Amazon CARES, street animals were routinely shot, poisoned or drowned in mass culling of the population. A portion of our Mission Statement reads
"This is the reason that Amazon Community Animal Rescue, Education and Safety (CARES) was founded in 2004. Citizens with a desire to protect countless stray animals stepped in to create programs that the government did not provide."
What makes us different from similar charities? We are based in the community. While I, the Director, travel back and forth, our employees are primarily Peruvian. We work with existing facilities and available resources. We have a large geographic focus, the Peruvian Amazon. We work with local municipalities, offering solutions, and if they accept, we set up mobile spay/neuter clinics in the poorest neighborhoods. But that would not be enough. Learn more about our Spay-Neuter-Release programs.

How do we create a sustainable solution for animals? We return to these same neighborhoods and jungle towns again and again. This way we can ensure that this area will not have animals continuing to procreate, thus repeating the cycle of animal overpopulation, abandonment, and abuse. It does no good for a group to "drop-in" to a community and perform surgeries for 1-2 weeks if there are no plans to continue working in that region.

Help us name this beautiful dog ???

If you SUSPECT dog fighting anywhere in the USA then there is a wonderful group of tough guys in Atlanta who will help investigate dog fighting for you. They provide evidence to convict for the police for FREE. They also offer a $5,000 reward for information leading to an arrest! Last year they went to speak to rescue groups and law enforcement. Very tough, former MARINE heads it. call 1-877.215.2250 or web: .

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Demonstration at Happiness is Pets

WHO: CAPS (Companion Animal Protection Society)

WHAT: Demonstration at HIP store

WHERE: Happiness is Pets 15647 S. 94th Avenue Orland Park, IL 60462 (708) 403-3223

WHEN: Saturday, February 11th ~ 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm

WHY: Bringing public awareness to the Distemper / Pet Store / Puppy Mill Connection

HOW: Talking with public and potential purchasers of puppies. Passing out informational packets to inform shoppers that they have a better option: adoption from a local shelter, a rescue or
Organizers are hoping this demonstration will be less chaotic than the January 29th demonstration which ended in the store owner’s son, Jonathan Berning, being arrested for assaulting a woman.

For more information:
Contact Kristen Kaminski (CAPS Chicago Volunteer Coordinator) at 1-815-690-4996
Thank you for your time and consideration in attending and/or reporting on this important event.
Intimidation methods used to scare off demonstrators:
January 29, 2012: Jonathan Berning was arrested for assault (seen here in back seat of Orland Park police car) at the demonstration held last Sunday, January 29, 2012.

November 19, 2006: Jonathan Berning was seen here, attending the first demonstration held at the Warrenville HIP store (now closed). He walked directly up to demonstrators, filming with his camera in an attempt to intimidate.
July 1, 2008: After nearly 2 years of peaceful demonstrations held at the Warrenville HIP store, it CLOSED on July 1, 2008. The owner of the store, Ron Berning, had filed suit against three citizens of the town, shortly before Christmas in 2006, claiming libel, but later dropped the suit. The defendants and their lawyers believed it to be merely a scare tactic to discourage the demonstrators.

Westminster Can't Handle The Truth ???

Many of you are aware that the Westminter Dog Show dropped Pedigree as a sponsor because of the 'sad' commercials it ran promoting shelter dogs/adoption (the poor audience couldn't be subjected to 'depressing' ads and besides, it's only a matter of life and death for the shelter dogs--no big deal). Below is a great article and at the bottom a video clip from Steven Colbert.

Kathy GuillermoVice president of laboratory investigations, PETA; author, 'Monkey Business: The Disturbing Case That Launched the Animal Rights Movement'

Westminster Can't Handle the Truth

The big story out of Westminster this year isn't what's going on in Madison Square Garden -- it's what's NOT going on during the commercial breaks in USA's and CNBC's coverage of the country's biggest dog show. That's because Westminster has ended its two-decade sponsorship contract with Pedigree and sacked the dog-food maker over its popular advertising campaign that encouraged adoption of homeless dogs in shelters.

You might be scratching your head and wondering what could be wrong with a feel-good message like that, but then you probably aren't saddled with a guilty conscience like the good people at Westminster, who have finally been forced to come out and admit that they really only care about putting on a good show, and screw those sad mutts waiting for homes in animal shelters.

Not that they said as much in so many words. What they actually said was, "Our show is a celebration of dogs... When we're seeing puppies behind bars, it takes away from that. Not just because it's sad, but it's not our message."

Right, because their message is "Buy, buy, buy." Buy from pet shops, buy from breeders, buy from puppy mills. We don't care where you buy your dog (because the American Kennel Club will issue "papers" to any breeder, sight unseen, no matter how large or small) -- just buy. But whatever you do, do not under any circumstances adopt one of those needy dogs from a shelter. What kind of sick and twisted killjoy are you?

"Show me an ad with a dog with a smile; don't try to shame me," said David Frei, the Westminster Kennel Club's director of communications.

Apparently, viewers weren't entirely in agreement with Mr. Frei. According to Pedigree, it received $500,000 in pledges after its 2007 Westminster ad campaign. "People did not look away," said Melissa Martellotti, spokeswoman for Pedigree's parent company Mars Petcare US. "They were inspired to pick up the phone and make donations." Another Pedigree spokesperson said that shelters around the country had thanked the company for raising awareness about the plight of homeless dogs.

It is estimated that six to eight million animals are left at shelters every year and roughly half are euthanized. Most of these animals are young, healthy, and friendly -- and at least a quarter of them are purebreds. There is nothing "wrong" with shelter dogs and mixed breeds -- they are not inferior to the dogs you see prancing around the ring at Westminster (in fact, studies show that mixed breeds are often healthier and even smarter than purebreds) -- they simply lack Westminster's marketing might.

The Westminster Kennel Club, the American Kennel Club (AKC) and the various other kennel clubs are as complicit in the deaths of shelter dogs as they would be if they had administered the lethal injections themselves. Not only do they promote and breed purebred dogs -- and in so doing take away homes from shelter animals with every litter that they bring into the world -- the dogs they breed and their offspring also end up homeless. (Yes, even dogs from vaunted Westminster breeders end up homeless -- a colleague of mine once adopted one.) To add insult to injury, the AKC also actively fights spay/neuter legislation introduced to combat animal overpopulation and homelessness.

Deep down, Westminster officials know that they play a starring role in the homeless-dog crisis, which is why they must cringe whenever they see one of those heart-wrenching Pedigree ads. Let's face it -- the ads are effective. No, the dogs aren't "smiling," but they haven't given up, either. Like the millions of dogs in shelters across America, all they want is a chance to strut their stuff, to prove that they are, if not the best in show, at least the best in your living room.

Steven Colbert's response

Click on this link:

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Pet Stores Do Not Have A Place Anymore In This World of Educated People....

February 17, 2012
The lawyer representing the owners of the Happiness Is Pets retail chain said Friday a class-action lawsuit filed against the company “has no merit.”

A half-dozen dog owners have initiated litigation, alleging the chain sells ailing, disease-prone animals obtained from squalid puppy mills.

Visibly sick and distressed puppies have been driven to the company’s stores inside crowded vans, packed into crates and covered in feces and urine, according to the lawsuit filed in Cook County Circuit Court in Chicago.

Store employees duped customers, the lawsuit claims, by assuring them the animals came exclusively from small, reputable breeders.

“In fact, the puppies at (Happiness Is Pets) are often sick, and come from some of the most despicable and horrendous puppy mills in the Midwest,” the lawsuit read in part. The plaintiffs claim to have been “deceived into buying sick puppy-mill puppies.”

An observer at one puppy mill that allegedly supplied dogs to the stores saw what is described in the suit as “a burn pile of puppies.”

Naperville attorney David Fish represents Ronald Berning, a member of the family that owns the 25-year-old chain. Fish late Friday said the litigation was baseless.

“We’re confident the lawsuit will be dismissed,” Fish said. “It has no merit.”

Fish noted Ronald Berning was appointed to an Illinois Senate joint-resolution task force by the director of the Illinois Department of Agriculture. That agency oversees pet shops here.

The task force’s work was “specifically related to disclosure of the origin and health of puppies that are for sale at pet stores,” Fish said.

That means Berning “has really been instrumental in creating the laws” that protect store-sold puppies, Fish said. He added members of the Berning family “care about issues like this.”

Fish also said a health warranty is issued by Happiness Is Pets for every puppy the chain sells. “So they really do stand behind their puppies,” he said.

The company’s website indicated Happiness Is Pets operates five shops in Arlington Heights, Downers Grove, Lombard, Naperville and Orland Park.

Its stores sell only puppies — more than 50 breeds, from beagles and Yorkie-poos to pugs and cockapoos, according to the website. The company has been “providing the Chicago area with healthy, happy puppies for over 20 years,” it indicated.

“We take pride in dealing exclusively with the best private breeders throughout the Midwest,” the website stated. “A full 50 percent of our business comes from satisfied customers and referrals.”

But the lawsuit contends the plaintiffs have suffered emotionally and financially, as they were frequently forced to take their ill puppies to veterinarians. They are seeking compensation for their losses, along with punitive damages.

Happiness Is Pets sought to conceal the poor condition of puppies, the lawsuit asserts, by having staff carefully groom and deworm them, and also by administering antibiotics that mask underlying ailments.

Plaintiff Jane Clifford described buying her puppy, Missy, two years ago for $798 — only to discover once she got the dog home that it suffered from a urine infection, kennel cough and other illnesses.

“Had Clifford been aware that Missy was sick and came from a puppy mill, she would never have purchased Missy,” the lawsuit declared.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Mark Your Calendars If You Live In St. Louis

Who: START (St Louis Animal Rights Team)
When: Tuesday, March 13th, 2012
Where: Brentwood Recreation Complex located at 2505 S. Brentwood Blvd in room 102
Time: 7:00pm (should last ~2 hrs)
Topic/Speaker: Randy Grim, founder of Stray Rescue. A few of the things he will disucss: numerous unprosecuted animal cruelty cases, the city animal regulation officers and all that is wrong with their department, Stray Resuces 500-600 dog residents on any given day and the great enrichment programs that they have created for them, how lack of cooperation with the police make his work so difficult & why there is a strong push to make dog surrenders more unappealing. We want to be in a better position to help in any way with all that he is up against.
We will also discuss upcoming START events.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

B-E-L-L-Y-F-L-O-P! Amazing photos of underwater dogs
Mish Whalen writes

Photographer Seth Casteel has definitely taken animal photography to new heights – or depths – with his hilarious photos of dogs chasing balls underwater.

Twelve dogs took part in the shoot, including Labradors, a border collie, a dachshund, a bulldog, a Belgian Tervuren and a King Charles spaniel. As you enjoy the photos, take the plunge and read about how Casteel came up with this original and imaginative idea that has everyone laughing.

Q: How did the idea of photographing dogs underwater come about?

A: One of my clients, Buster the Cavalier King Charles spaniel, absolutely loves the water: swimming, jumping, diving, splashing, you name it! During our on-land photo shoot a couple of years ago, he kept jumping in and diving under the water to retrieve a tennis ball. I thought: “I wonder what he looks like under the water?” So I bought a point-and-shoot underwater camera and found out!

Q: Can you explain how an underwater photo shoot works with a dog?

A: Many dogs LOVE the water and within that group, quite a few will actually go under the water on some level. All of the dogs featured in my photographs voluntarily went into the water and under the water, and they all had fun along the way. It also should be noted that I had fun along the way.

Q: What kind of camera are you using?

A: Canon. I love Canon

Q: Are you using an underwater camera housing?

A: Yes – I would recommend using a camera housing if you plan on taking a non-water camera under the water. It's worth it.

Q: How old are you?

A: I'm 31, but I look like i'm 26, and generally act about 35.

Q: Why are you interested in underwater dog photography?

A: I love dogs because their range of emotions is similar to those of human beings – that is why we relate to them and why they relate to us. Together, we make excellent friends. With water, dogs have the opportunity to showcase some of these emotions at a level we may not normally get to see. The water brings out a very primal side of dogs, and this can translate as silly, intense or wild. Dogs love to be spoiled by us, but they also appreciate the opportunity to get back to their roots, and I believe the water is just one of the avenues for them to do this. After all, it wasn't that long ago that all of the Boston terriers and pugs we know were wolves.

Q: What's next for Seth Casteel's underwater dog photographs?

A: A calendar will be coming out this summer, followed by a book featuring many never-before-seen underwater photos of our favorite breeds – all shapes and sizes! multimedia producer Mish Whalen gazes at dozens of puppies, kittens and other adorable animals every day but has never seen dogs, quite like this. Discuss this post in the comments section or hit me on twitter @mishrwhalen

Monday, February 13, 2012

Vote Because Others Can't and Need Your Voice & Vote

"Your Vote Counts" Campaigns in Springfield, MO
By: Kevin Schwaller
Updated: February 13, 2012
(Springfield, MO) -- The cold didn't stop a ground-breaking campaign Sunday.The campaign aims to make it more difficult for lawmakers to change certain voter-approved rules.The Your Voice Counts initiative is making its way across Missouri.The Your Voice Counts Act would require a three-fourths vote in both the House and the Senate to change or repeal voter-approved initiatives or it would take a vote by the people by referendum.Supporters say the voice of the people should be paramount.

Supporters of your vote counts are rallying across Missouri making a stop in Springfield.

Urging local Missourians to support the initiative.

"There are 24 states that have the state-wide initiative process and half of those states the legislature with a simple majority can overturn the voters anytime. Missouri is one of those states," said Dan Waters, Campaign Director.

In 2008, Missourians approved Proposition A.

A bill that got rid of casino loss limits and raised their taxes, but provided extra money to education, but in 2009, legislators passed a bill that changed the provisions.

A reason why the "Your Voice Counts" initiative is striving to get a new act on the ballot.

"What this will allow the legislation to do is still serve as checks and balance on the legislation process, but just make it difficult for them to ignore the will of the voters," said Waters.

The citizen-backed initiative is campaigning for the November 2012 ballot.

More than 500 volunteers across the state are pushing to collect the 200,000 signatures needed to get on the ballet and they are halfway there.

"Our biggest challenge is to get out there and talk to people and inform them of the reality of the situation and let them know this is a way we can reverse this pattern of legislation overturning a vote of the people," said Bonnie Boime, Petition Coordinator.

Supporters need signatures from six of the nine congressional districts in Missouri.

"The people express their will and the legislature defies that will. They are elected to represent us and so we believe the voice of the people should be paramount," said Boime.

The campaign plans to carry that message throughout the Show-Me State.

Supporters will continue the campaign to St. Charles and St. Louis.

"Your Vote Counts" Campaigns in Springfield, MO
(Springfield, MO) -- The cold didn't stop a ground-breaking campaign Sunday.
The campaign aims to make it more difficult for lawmakers to change certain voter-approved rules.
The Your Voice Counts initiative is making its way across Missouri.
The Your Voice Counts Act would require a three-fourths vote in both the House and the Senate to change or repeal voter-approved initiatives or it would take a vote by the people by referendum.
Supporters say the voice of the people should be paramount.
Supporters of your vote counts are rallying across Missouri making a stop in Springfield.
Urging local Missourians to support the initiative.
"There are 24 states that have the state-wide initiative process and half of those states the legislature with a simple majority can overturn the voters anytime. Missouri is one of those states," said Dan Waters, Campaign Director.
In 2008, Missourians approved Proposition A.
A bill that got rid of casino loss limits and raised their taxes, but provided extra money to education, but in 2009, legislators passed a bill that changed the provisions.
A reason why the "Your Voice Counts" initiative is striving to get a new act on the ballot.
"What this will allow the legislation to do is still serve as checks and balance on the legislation process, but just make it difficult for them to ignore the will of the voters," said Waters.
The citizen-backed initiative is campaigning for the November 2012 ballot.
More than 500 volunteers across the state are pushing to collect the 200,000 signatures needed to get on the ballet and they are halfway there.
"Our biggest challenge is to get out there and talk to people and inform them of the reality of the situation and let them know this is a way we can reverse this pattern of legislation overturning a vote of the people," said Bonnie Boime, Petition Coordinator.
Supporters need signatures from six of the nine congressional districts in Missouri.
"The people express their will and the legislature defies that will. They are elected to represent us and so we believe the voice of the people should be paramount," said Boime.
The campaign plans to carry that message throughout the Show-Me State.
Supporters will continue the campaign to St. Charles and St. Louis.
Puppy love: Local celebs discuss their tail-wagging favorites
Erik M. Lunsford
St. Louis Blues center David Backes and his dog Rosey in the Post-Dispatch studio on Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2012, in St. Louis. Photo by Erik M. Lunsford
He loves me, he loves me not. That's something you'll never have to worry about with a dog. It's an unconditional love, more than any well-matched couple.

It starts with puppy love the first year and turns into a long-lasting romance.

Valentine's Day can be as much fun for pets as it is for humans. St. Louisans love their tail-wagging friends, and some folks have big plans for the holiday. We talked with (and interviewed via email) four local celebs, and found love is in the air this Valentine's Day.


Mayor of St. Louis; champion for the humane treatment of animals; lawyer by trade. He lives in south St. Louis with his wife, Kim, his daughter, Kate, and three rescued dogs.

Dog • Mia, 13, Yorkshire terrier

How did you meet? • Kim found Mia through the St. Louis Senior Dog Project's website. We had adopted one of our other dogs, Sophie, from the organization.

Was it puppy love at first sight? Kim was the one who brought Mia home and was the first to fall in love with her. I knew she was a keeper because she was so cute and rarely barked.

What type of dates do you go on? Mia doesn't play with toys now that she is deaf and blind, but she still loves to be petted. We also go for short walks outside.

What does the future hold? In her older age, we're making sure that she is happy and comfortable. There are very few places my wife goes without Mia.

Any special treats for your dog? Mia is on a limited diet. For the most part, her biggest treat is a belly rub and a scratch behind her ears. On occasion we give her a taste of peanut butter.

What do you have planned for Valentine's Day? I'm always on the go, so I look forward to spending the evening at home with Kim and the dogs for Valentine's Day. Kim says, "Though I love all three of my dogs, I have a soft spot for Mia. She is deaf and blind, so she requires a lot of attention, but it is very worth it."

Any other pets? Sophie, 9, a terrier mix and Riley, 12, a Maltese or Lhasa apso mix


Founder of CheresseINK, a marketing and event relations firm; contestant on the "Bachelor, Season 6."

Puppy • Kennedy, 1, black Labrador retriever

How did you meet? My boyfriend (Dan Shannon) and I first met Kennedy when my mother decided to go look at puppies at the Chesterfield Humane Society. Next thing we knew, she walked into our home with an adorable black furball that had eyes that made you melt.

Was it puppy love at first sight? I knew it was a solid love when Kennedy tore up files and papers in my office, barked at me when I'd get on my cell phone, and of course devoured a nice and expensive collection of shoes that I no longer have. I'd look at him, and his face was just so cute, I somehow couldn't be mad.

What type of dates do you go on? We both walk him as much as we can, and he has several play dates especially with his girlfriends Molly and Bridie. We joined the University City Dog Park, where Kennedy probably wishes he could live 24-7. Kennedy is also an avid traveler in our SUV and expects a few trips per week; he never takes the wheel, just the breeze from the window or a nap.

What does the future hold? I hope Purina gets to see his gorgeous face. Kennedy's not a wildcard spokesperson, and I won't mark up any agent fees. We will enjoy life to its fullest.

Any special treats for your puppy • At the store, Kennedy grabs Lite Greenies, Dingo's with creamy peanut butter, Busy Chewnola, Puppy Yogurt and calcium bones.

What do you have planned for Valentine's Day? We're heading to the U. City dog park so he can visit with his many female friends.

Any other pets? No.


Founder and (division of; host of a show on the Pet Life Radio Network called "Sassy Seniors"; weekend anchor for KSDK (Channel 5).

Dog • LaRue, 2 or 3 years old, Lhasa apso and Maltese

How did you meet? I met LaRue exactly one year ago this month. My beloved 14-year-old dog, Meeko, had recently died and my sister softly suggested that I perhaps consider a new family member. I eventually started looking on and saw an adorable Chihuahua at one of the shelters. When I visited him, he also had a brother, and they needed to be adopted together. I didn't think I was ready for two pooches and that's when they brought out LaRue.

Was it puppy love at first sight? It was love at first sight when I first saw her. She looked like a dude dog with her long beard. She was adorable, scruffy and very sick. She's such a social butterfly and simply walked over to me and found her new home in my lap. LaRue was just a day or so away from walking the green mile at the county shelter. Her eyes said it all. She was thankful, but I was even more so.

What type of dates do you go on? LaRue is my circus dog. She's a natural acrobat with all of her jumping, twirling and dashing through tables, chairs and hallways of my house. She loves walking in the park in my Lafayette Square neighborhood. Everyone is her friend, two- or four-legged. I have, on occasion, taken her to meet seniors, but she's still a bit too young and circusy. She also loves playing with her menagerie of toys. She'll also do anything for bellyrubs and massages.

What does the future hold? I can see taking her circus show on the road. If that doesn't pan out, then we'll continue to explore our fabulous city through her eyes and very heightened canine sense of smell.

Any special treats for your dog? LaRue would sell my shoe collection for a treat. Trust me, she's chewed up a few, too. I only give her healthy treats like crunchy carrots or green beans. I also work with some wonderful pet companies that send me products to test. I've grown to love Fruitables, Zukes and Wellness brands.

What do you have planned for Valentine's Day? She's my date. We'll be heading to Treats Unleashed to grab some treats and then a long walk.

Any other pets? No.


St. Louis Blues team captain; attended college at Minnesota State University-Mankato, where he studied electrical engineering and held a 4.0 GPA; with wife Kelly, supports a local no-kill animal organization Five Acres Animal Shelter in St. Charles

Dog • Rosey, 2, Shar-Pei-boxer-pit bull mix

How did you meet? Rosey was rescued from a local animal control when Five Acres was pulling dogs that were going to be euthanized the next day. They had room to save 12 dogs, and she was the 13th that they wanted to take but didn't have room. We got the call, I saw her face and I knew I had to save her from death row.

Was it puppy love at first sight? When we rescued Rosey, and I saw how small she was and how big her head was, I fell in love immediately. She came and licked my hand, and I scooped her up to bring her to the vet for an exam. This is where we found she had intestinal parasites, cracked ribs and a broken back leg. We decided to nurse her back to health, and fostering quickly turned into adopting.

What type of dates do you go on? We walk every morning for at least 30 minutes with our dogs. They love car rides and going to the dog park. Their favorite time of the year is going to the lake for boat rides and being able to roam free at the cabins in Minnesota.

What does the future hold? Years and years of companionship and shared memories together, as well as advocating for homeless animals and showing society that by adopting a pet you save a life and gain a true companion.

Any special treats for your dog? Our dogs get many treats, toys and food from Treats Unleashed, a local dog bakery.

What do you have planned for Valentine's Day? Valentine's Day for our dogs is much like all of the other holidays for them. They get to lie in their warm beds by the fire and enjoy the evening with a specially decorated treat and get as much love from my wife and I as they can handle.

Any other pets? Three other dogs: Rodney, 10, Rottweiler; Marty, 10, pit bull/Lab mix; Bebe, 11, beagle and two cats: Sunny (has one eye) and Polly (two toes short of a world record, polydactyl cat).

Read more:

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Rescue world suffers tragic loss with morning fatality
Tucumcari, NM - Much goes into saving the lives of homeless animals. There are those who network, those who pull, those who foster, and the behind the scene, unsung heroes who transport.

Catherine Bugg was one such unsung hero - a woman who volunteered her time to transport rescued dogs as often as she could.A woman who channeled her love of animals into life saving action.This morning started out innocently enough for Catherine.Her task for the day - to drive an 8 wk-old puppy named Elyse on one leg of a transport from Tucumcari, NM to Amarillo, TX.But things did not go as planned.
The first inkling of a problem came this morning when the scheduled hand-off did not take place.Kerin Hanson of Rescue Road Warriors reached the individual who was supposed to meet Catherine in Amarillo. She was told that Catherine never showed up.
Worried, Hanson phoned the state police where she heard the devastating news.
Catherine Bugg, and the puppy who she was transporting, had been involved in a terrible accident.

Bugg had encountered an unexpected ice storm along I-40.Within moments, freezing rain coated the interstate and the vehicle that Bugg was driving spun out of control and slammed into the center median.The vehicle burst into flames.Catherine Bugg and the 8 wk-old puppy, Elyse, were killed.

Catherine Bugg's friends and family are devastated by the tragic news. But the mourning extends beyond her immediate family...the tendrils of sorrow are also winding through the rescue world.

Catherine had another family - those individuals who know her through Rescue Road Warriors are just learning of her death, as are her rescue friends at the City of Tucumcari Animal Rescue.

Catherine Bugg touched many people...her volunteer efforts saved many lives.

Those who knew her personally describe a warm, friendly, cheerful woman who was absolutely dedicated to animals.

Those same people have stated that Catherine died doing what she loved best.

A touch of solace in an otherwise devastating tragedy.

There is also mourning for the other life which was lost - the puppy, Elyse.

At just six weeks of age, Elyse had been dumped in a shelter. There, she was frightened and alone.

Strangers sprang into action to save the terrified puppy from a dismal fate.

Those same strangers worked to put together her extensive transport - working together to organize a journey which stretched across the nation.

The people who had the chance to meet Elyse described a smart puppy who liked to cuddle.

An unforseen storm claimed two, beautiful lives and the world is a bit darker today as a result.

Please light a candle in memory of Catherine Bugg and little Elyse - two lives gone much too soon.

It is not said often enough - every day is a gift not to be taken for granted.

Rest in Peace Catherine Bugg and Elyse.

Condolences to all of the lives touched by Catherine and Elyse.

Anyone interested in making a donation in Catherine's memory can do so:

Tucumacari Animal Hospital, 101 N 10th Street, Tucumcari, NM 88401, (575) 461-3900
Drop dog-breed bans and let owners take responsibility
By Jamie Buehrle Guest columnist

February 12, 2012
In the pro-baseball life, moving houses, cities and states is nothing out of the ordinary. My husband, Mark, and I have been fortunate that, other than ferrying between our off-season home in St. Louis and our baseball-season home in Chicago, finding a rental home every year for spring training in Arizona has been our only stressful move for the past 12 years.

This off-season, however, all that changed for us when Mark signed with the Miami Marlins, and we were faced with the prospect of moving to a brand-new city where we don't know a soul.Miami Marlins Moving two toddlers and four dogs to a strange, new city is overwhelming in itself, but we were soon confronted with an added stress: One of our beloved dogs — a sweet, rescued American Staffordshire terrier, a breed classified as a pit-bull-type dog — was not welcome within theMiami-Dade County limits.

A grandfathered law bans our dog simply because of the way he looks. Mark and I were forced to focus on the issue of finding a house outside of Miami-Dade and in a community that would welcome both our two-legged and four-legged family members. This is something I never thought I would have to go through.

We are fortunate in the fact that we have the resources to look in other areas, and we have the luxury of options. But I think of all the families that do not have the same resources. I wonder how heartbreaking it would be to have to leave four-legged family members behind when moving, or risk having those members taken away after the move.

That experience made me want to speak out about the unfair, discriminatory laws that many cities across the country have in place.

It made me want to show the world what a great dog my American Staffordshire terrier, Slater, is; how amazing Slater is with my two toddlers; and how easily he fits in with my other three dogs since we adopted him.

And, of course, how he loves everybody, and it never occurs to him that someone would not love him in return.

Then I took a step back and looked at the big picture. What I really want to tell people is this:

Let's just treat pit bull-type dogs like every other dog. Let's allow responsible owners to choose what type of dog is best for their lifestyles. I want the choice, but most important, I want the responsibility put back in the owners' hands.

Laws, ordinances or bans cannot ensure that owners take responsibility for their animals, regardless of breed.

Instead of generalizing about or stereotyping an entire breed, let's base our animal laws on the behavior of each dog.

The owners should be held accountable for vaccinations, daily care, socialization, exercise and safety of their animals, regardless of breed.

Florida Senate Bill 1322 would finally allow residents of Miami-Dade County to have the same freedom of pet choice as the rest of the state. The bill, which passed through committees recently, would, once and for all, give all Floridians the freedom to pick a breed — any breed that best suits their lifestyles.

I want to shout from the rooftops that there are more than 330,000 animals of all types, breeds and ages dying in shelters every month in the United States. More important, I want people to educate themselves on the various characteristics of various breeds and the care they require.

Responsible owners should be able to pick a breed, whether the breed is a lovable mutt, a poodle, or amazing vizslas and pit-bull-type dogs that we're lucky to share our lives with.

Jamie Buehrle and her husband, Mark, are spokesmen for Best Friends Animal Society in Kanab, Utah.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

10 Reasons Why My Dog Is My Valentine !!!

The following article was written by Keegan Baur.

Valentine's Day is the day when we cherish our loved ones and shower them with affection. We each choose a valentine and make every effort to show that special someone just how much we truly appreciate him or her. But who says "that someone" has to be human? For everyone who's "in love" with a furry, four-legged canine, let's take a moment to reflect on why we're so crazy about our dogs.

1. My dog joyously greets me every time I come home.

2. My dog is always in the mood to cuddle.

3. My dog never leaves the toilet seat up.

4. My dog enjoys long walks on the beach.

5. My dog never complains about my cooking.

6. My dog helps me clean up spills in the kitchen.

7. My dog keeps me warm at night and never steals the covers.

8. My dog shares my belief that there's never a wrong time for a nap.

9. My dog doesn't fight with me about what show we should watch on TV.

10. My dog loves me unconditionally.

If you're looking for a "long-term relationship" with a furry friend, please visit your local animal shelter and save a life.
Now tell us why your dog is your Valentine!

Your Vote Counts !!!

Hello Your Vote Counts Volunteers! We have one of the best signature gathering events of the whole campaign this Sunday at the Mardi Gras Pet Parade! We need all hands on deck for this very supportive crowd! Please come out on Sunday and help us make the most of this great opportunity. Pets in the City has given us permission to use their store as a sort of home base for volunteers to meet and take warm up breaks. Their address is
1919 South 12th Street St Louis, Missouri 63104. See below for details about this and some other great signature gathering opportunities this weekend.

Also, please join us at one of our rallies!!! We will be meeting in St. Charles Wednesday night, and in St. Louis Thursday night. Details below. We look forward seeing all of you next week.

Please call (314-630-3702) or email me at if you have questions or would like to meet up with other volunteers.

**also mark you calendar for the Mardi Gras Grande parade on Saturday February 19**

Thanks so much and have a great weekend!!

Friday, February 10The Funky Dog Ball Mardi Gras Gala (
The Sheldon Concert Hall, 3648 Washington Blvd., St. Louis, 63108
9:00 pm

Saturday, February 11
Supplement Superstores Run for Your Beads 5K Run (
13th and Lynch, Soulard Neighborhood
9:00 am

Sunday, February 12
Beggin' Barkus Pet Parade (
Menard and Allen, Soulard Neighborhood
Registration starts at 10:00 am
Parade starts at 1:00 pm

Sunday, February 12
PetsMart Wiener Dog Derby (
Soulard Market Park, Lafayette Ave. and South 9th Street, St. Louis, 63104
2:00 pm

Wednesday February 15
Your Vote Counts Rally Across Missouri-St. Charles
St. Charles County Library, McClay Branch
2760 McClay Rd. St. Charles, MO 63303

Thursday February 16
Your Vote Counts Rally Across Missouri-St. Louis
University City Library Auditorium
6701 Delmar Blvd, St. Louis, MO 63130

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Get To Know SOme "PIT BULL" Heroes...73 of them !

We've all read the horror stories, now read the hero stories! Jeff Theman and I have been keeping tabs on media reports of brave "pit bull" type dogs, and here are the stories we've found! We'll update this list as new stories come in. Enjoy!
(please note this is the temporary home for these stories; we will be moving the collection to our new advocacy site in the next few months!)
7/27/11 - ASSAULT - Blitz saves woman from husband. (1)
7/27/11 S=12777922#.TjCekfrdUxM.facebook - FIRE - Thor alerts family of house fire . (2) - See above (not posted) - see above (not posted)
7/27/11 - ATTEMPTED ROBBERY - DBoy takes 3 bullets from intruder, saves family, wins award. (3) - See above (not posted)
7/27/11 - FIRE - Diamond alerts family of house fire, presented award. (4) - See above...(not posted) - See above...(not posted) - See above (not posted) - see above...(not posted) - see above (not posted) - see above (not posted)
7/28/11 - LAW ENFORCEMENT - Elliot Ness helps Chicago (Cook County Sheriff's Office) in cadaver sniffing. (5) - see above (posted press release)
7/28/11 - LAW ENFORCEMENT - Neville helps Washington State Patrol in drug and bomb sniffing. (6)
7/28/11 - LAW ENFORCEMENT - Shaka introduced to Milwaukie, Oregon Police Department for drug sniffing (press release only). (7)
7/28/11 - LAW ENFORCEMENT - Popsicle helps US Customs in drug sniffing (press release only). (8)
7/29/11 - ATTEMPTED ROBBERY - (Unnamed Pit Bull dog) saves family. (10)
7/29/11 - ASSAULT - Lily saves owner from boyfriend. (11)
7/29/11 - ASSAULT - Blue saves 7 year old girl from sexual assault by Perv. (12) - See above (not posted).
7/29/11 - FIRE - Ace alerts family of fire. (13)
7/30/11 - SAVES KITTENS - Angel saves a litter of kittens. (14)
7/30/11 - FIRE - Grizzly wakes family up and saves from fire. (15) - see above (not posted)
7/30/11 - SAVES BOY - Destiny saves boy from potential abducter. (16)
7/30/11 - SAVES DOG - 2 unnamed Pit Bulls save Chihauhua from coyote attack. (17)
7/31/11 - FIRE - Unnamed Pit Bull saves family of 6 from house fire. (18)
7/31/11 redirected=true - FIRE - Stormy alerts family of fire. (19)
7/31/11 - ASSAULT - Princess saves owner from boyfriend knife attack. (20)
7/31/11 - FIRE - Jasmine saves family from house fire. (21)
8/1/11 - ASSAULT - Unnamed Pit Bull stops boyfriend from attacking woman. (22)
8/1/11 - THERAPY - Grant the library dog, listens to kids read. (23)
8/2/11 - ROBBERY - Victor scares off an alleged car jacker. (24)
8/3/11 - SNIFFING DOG -Layla, the peanut sniffing Pit Bull (finds peanuts for life threatening allergy). (25)
8/4/11 -puppy-cheyenne-divine-intervention - SAVING SUICIDE - Cheyenne saves military vet from suicide. (26)
8/5/11 - SAVES CHILD - Layla (Pit Bull) and Jackson (GSD) alert family of rattlesnake where 3 year old son was playing. (27)
8/6/11§ion - FIRE - Baby saves owner and 2 dozen cats and dogs at humane society from fire. (28)
8/7/11 -and-child-from-attacker - ASSAULT - Unnamed Pit Bull saves woman and child from attacker. (29)
8/9/11 - FIRE - Chaos saves 11 people from house fire. He unfortunately died in it. (30)
8/10/11 - FIRE - Pepper saves family from fire and 4 other dogs too. (31)
8/11/11 - FIRE - Unnamed Pit Bull saves family from mobile home fire. He and another dog dies in it. (32)
8/12/11 - THERAPY - Group of therapy Pit Bulls (Luv a Bull) visit children. (33)
8/12/11 - THERAPY - Leo (former Vick dog) visits cancer patients in hospitals. (34) - see above (posted) - see above (posted)
8/13/11 - THERAPY - Elle visits Police Officers to lift spirits. (35)
8/14/11 - THERAPY - Cody, born deformed, gives back to community. (36)
8/15/11 - THERAPY - Ruby the therapy dog, battles cancer. She also has a book about her. (37)
8/16/11 - THERAPY - Jasmine spreads joy at assisted living homes. (38)
8/17/11 - THERAPY - Muffin the therapy dog. (39)
8/18/11 - THERAPY - Abby (owned by one of our interviews Maria Johnston) visits assisted living homes. (40)
8/19/11 - SAR - Unnamed Pit Bull search and rescue dog. (41)
8/20/11 - ASSAULT - Maximus saves owner from an attack by brother in law. He was stabbed to death in the process. (42)
8/21/11 - ATTEMPTED ROBERRY - Man (dogs name) scares off intruders during home invasion, gets shot, loses leg. (43)
8/22/11 - FIRE - Otis saves family from fire. (44)
8/23/11 - ATTEMPTED ROBBERY - Kola chases burgular, gets hurt. (45) - see above (posted) - see above (posted)
8/24/11 - SAVE KITTENS - Phoebe saves a litter of kittens. (46)
8/25/11 - SAVES CHILD - Unnamed Pit Bull/Rottweiler mix saves boy from drowning. (47)
8/26/11 - THERAPY - Rocco the therapy dog (video is only on facebook). (48)
8/27/11,32068,671301612001_2030797,00.html - SAVES OWNER FROM SUICIDE - Cheyene helps former military vet cope with PTSD. (49)
8/28/11 - SAVES GIRL FROM FOX - Abby (Pit Bull) and Callie (Bassett Hound) save human sister from fox attack. (50)
8/29/11 - THERAPY - Gremlin visits nursing homes. (51)
8/30/11 deadly-cobra - SAVES WOMEN FROM COBRA - Chief saves 2 women from cobra. (52)
8/31/11 - ATTEMPTED ROBBERY/ASSAULT - Coco chases intruder out of house. (53)
9/1/11 - THERAPY - Shelby teach kids about bullying. (54) - see above (posted) - see above (posted) (Pit Bull on cover of Bella Dog) - see above (posted)
9/2/11 - Stubby (pdf of newspaper article). (55)
9/8/11 -ASSAULT - Cash fends off attacker. (56),0,5995285.story - see above (posted)
9/10/11§ion - THERAPY - Sarge the therapy dog, also dog that inspired Elderbull name. (57) - see above (posted)
9/25/11 - SAVES ELDERLY WHO FELL DOWN - Cobain saves elderly woman who fell down hill. (58)
11/4/2011 - pit bull saves family from house fire (59)
11/14/2011 - pit bull saves family from deadly carbon monoxide leak (60)
April, 2011 (Gladys saves baby bunnies) (61)
11/18/2011 (Bully Boy saves family from fire
) (62)
11/23/2011 cmpid=localstate.xml - Nola visits classrooms and helps children with their reading (63)
11/27/2011 134555673.html - dogs (at least one is a pit bull) alert man to a fire in his home. (64)
12/05/2011 Casey a pit bull lab mix works as a therapy dog (65)
2009 (Rico, shot point blank to defend friends from a robber) (double check we don’t have this one) (66)
12/21/2011,0,1974295. story pit bull helps capture car thief (67)
12/22/2011 (pit bull foils robbery) (68)
1/17/12 (Diamond woke her owner when a fire started in his apartment) (69)
2/3/2012 (little girl wanders, pit bull credited with her safe return) (70)
2/7/2012 (Rella the pit bull took a bullet to protect her owner in a domestic dispute; incident happened in January, reported now) (71)
2/8/2012 web-exclusive (pit bull alerts family to fire) (72)
2/8/2012,0,6859883.story?track=rss (Sugar the pit bull keeps two year old Colby safe and leads rescuers to him) (73)