Saturday, February 28, 2015

Neglected senior dogs rescued, adopted and then returned to shelter ....

Freedom and Liberty
Freedom and Liberty
Terra Haute Humane Society
In early December, two senior Labrador retrievers were adopted from the Terre Haute Humane Society in Indiana. Two months before, the dogs had been seized from a neglectful owner and at that time, both were suffering from skin issues and starvation.
Unfortunately, the perfect "happy tail" was not meant to be. Not long ago, the dogs were returned to the shelter; the shelter wrote:
...bad news is that Freedom and Liberty are back here at the shelter.
It was determined that Freedom barked too frequently, and one or both of the dogs has problems with house-training - as such, an apartment setting has been deemed inappropriate for the pair. On the upside, the dogs appear to be fine with cats.
Please take a moment to network, once again, on behalf of these deserving seniors. Those who are interested in adopting these two dogs are asked to visit the Terre Haute Humane Society website and fill out an adoption application!
Link to Freedom's website profile here.
Link to Liberty's website profile here.
Prior article about this pair here.

Dog fighter receives 25-year prison sentence, lifelong dog ownership ban ......

A Sebring, Florida man who was convicted of dog fighting and animal cruelty received a 25-year-prison sentence yesterday. 
Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office booking photo
Highlands Today reported yesterday that Circuit Judge J. Dale Durrance sentenced James Reed to five years on each of five counts of dog fighting. Reed, who was convicted of 11 counts of animal cruelty and 11 counts of dog fighting, was also sentenced to five years of probation for each of his six felony counts.
Even after Reed gets out of prison, he will still be on probation for an additional 30 years. Reed also received a lifelong dog ownership ban as a condition of his probation. 
Reed's defense attorney, Yohance Kefense McCoy, said that he plans to file a motion to "correct" the sentence and believes that the sentence was inappropriate. He stated: 
We feel this is an incorrect sentence for the charges that the jury found him guilty of.”
A hearing is set for tomorrow to review the motion to "correct" the sentence. 
But Judge Durrance clearly felt that the sentence was just, noting that the 11 victims in this case - mostly pit bulls - were unable to speak for themselves. Durrance described all of the dogs who had been found on Reed's property, outlining the clear evidence of animal cruelty for each animal.
According to Durrance, victims shockingly bore the wounds of Reed's abuse, including open sores; broken teeth; scars on the neck, head, and chest; tears in the ears; "raw necks;" and chafing from a chain. 
Durrance stated: 
The sad thing about this is that (a dog) is supposed to be man’s best friend...but there was clear evidence that Reed raised these dogs to fight, and that's a sad situation for the animals." 
Persons convicted of animal cruelty and dog fighting often do not receive sentences that are appropriate to the severity of their crimes. Michael Vick, who operated Bad Newz Kennels from 2001 to 2007, purchased dogs and a property for dogfighting and then tested the dogs in fights. Those who did not perform well were then shot, electrocuted, or hung.
July 2007, Vick and his associates were indicted by a federal grand jury. The men were charged with violating federal law 18 U.S.C. 371 Conspiracy to Travel in Interstate Commerce in Aid of Unlawful Activities and to Sponsor a Dog in an Animal Fighting Venture.
The charge, which was a felony, had a maximum penalty of five years prison. A charge under the Animal Welfare Act (AWA) for animal fighting would have carried only a maximum penalty of one year per violation.
Vick was only sentenced to 23 months in prison and three years’ supervised probation. 
But Highlands County Humane Society President Judy Spiegel believes that justice was served in Reed's case. 
The sentencing imposed on this case should make it very clear: dog fighting and animal abuse will not be tolerated. The Humane Society applauds Judge Durrance. His decision set a standard and sends a very clear message: This type of abuse is not acceptable will not be tolerated here in Highlands County."

How I Found My Dog Finding A Four-Legged Clover ........

A year ago today, I had to say goodbye to my sweet Clover, an American Eskimo mix dog that I had rescued in summer 2000. I think about her everyday, and usually it brings tears to my eyes as I miss her. I hope that one day her memory makes me smile instead of cry. Here are photos of her throughout her years with me. Several years ago I submitted a "How I met my dog" story for a magazine contest. (It was selected as a runner-up!) Here is that story. I hope you enjoy it. 

How I found my dog
Finding a four-legged Clover

The piece of white paper floating across the road caught my eye. As I watched, the piece of paper grew legs. I realized I was seeing a white dog chase a truck down the middle of the street. 
My drive to work that morning became a race to save a life as I followed them, praying no vehicles would hit her. The truck pulled into a parking lot. I pulled in behind and called to the dog. She ran to me happily. 
I opened my car door and she jumped into the driver’s seat. I tried to motion her to the passenger seat so I could get in, but she stayed put. I knew that many dogs of her breed, American Eskimo, don’t like to be pushed around. I gently pushed her over. To my surprise she went willingly into the other seat. She looked up at me with a happy, smiling face – and I fell in love. 
In my office building I gave her a hard-boiled egg. She eagerly ate, then stood on her hind legs and did a cute dance, begging for more. 
I felt this dog belonged with me. I even had a name for her already – Clover – just like the sweet-smelling white flowers that filled my backyard every summer.
I took her into my office and called the city’s animal control officer, whom I knew. He recognized the dog. She’d been out running before. He called her owner and to my horror, he wanted her back. The owner kept her on a chain during the day but brought her in at night. My heart broke to think of that sweet dog at the end of a chain. 
When the animal control officer came to pick her up I asked him to please call me if she ever needed a home. Then I went into my office and cried. 
The animal control officer told me the owner’s address, and I found myself periodically driving past the house, trying to see her. She lived on the wrong side of the tracks – literally. Used appliances, car parts and other odd items littered yards. If I’d seen her I don’t know what I would have done. I just knew that if nothing was done, she was going to end up dead. I did the only thing I could legally do – I prayed for her safety. 
Two months later the animal control officer called me. Did I remember that white dog? Yes, of course I did. He explained that she’d been picked up again and had been at a rural animal shelter for the past five weeks. Her owner had been notified but this time they required him to pick her up and pay a fee. They hadn’t heard from him. Could I take her in? He wanted an answer immediately. My husband was out of town for a couple of weeks, but I didn’t hesitate. Yes, I’d take her. 
Clover has filled my life with companionship and happiness for ten years. She’s been my partner in agility, tracking, and obedience classes, and we’ve gone on pet therapy visits. I know that finding a four-leafed clover may be lucky, but finding and rescuing a four-legged Clover adds a sweetness to life that I could not have found anywhere else.
Hudson has had the privilege of knowing this wonderful women and her gorgeous daughter and mother. They are amazingly kind, loving & passionate souls that he is proud to call friends !!!

Cat Frozen To Death Right Outside Basement Window .....

Guardians of Rescue were out last night trying to trap stray cats in these freezing temperatures. They came upon this cat that was right outside someone's basement window frozen to death trying to get into a warm house. Please SPAY & NEUTER Your Pets & remember they feel the cold just like you and I. This poor, precious cat died trying to find warmth. 

Dog about to be skinned for his fur and butchered for his flesh. this is an abomination. Don't buy anything from China or South Korea until they stop this night mare

Dog about to be skinned for his fur and butchered for his flesh. This is an abomination. 
Don't buy anything from China or South Korea until they Stop This Nightmare

Friday, February 27, 2015

The Death of a Pet Can Hurt As Much As the Loss of a Relative .....

 March 26, 2012  
It’s been four months, and yet if somebody asks me about that day, my voice will crack. By “that day,” I mean the day I came home from work to find my Doberman, Red, splayed out on my bedroom floor, his head to one side, his body lifeless but still warm. It’s an image I can’t seem to shake, as much as I try. 
I’m no stranger to death. I was a mess of anger and confusion when my father, suffering the aftermath of a stroke, took his last gasps one day in 1995, his children gathered around his hospital bed. And three years later, the death of my sweet, beloved sister Bonny after a withering battle with brain cancer was nothing short of heartbreaking. Yet somehow, and much to my distress, the death of my dog seems even harder. I haven’t felt grief quite like this since, well, the death of my previous dog five years ago.
How could the death of a canine possibly hurt as much as that of a family member? As the sadness lingers, part of my grieving process has been to try to understand the differences.
Researchers have long known that the animal-human bond is strong: A 1988 study in the Journal of Mental Health Counseling asked a group of dog owners to place symbols for their family members and pets in a circle representing each dog owner’s life. (The distance between the subject and the other symbols corresponds to the relative, real-life closeness of those relationships.) The subjects tended to put the dog closer than the average family member, and about as close as the closest family member; in 38 percent of the cases, the dog was closest of all.
Research comparing grief over the death of pets to that over the death of friends and family members has come up with different answers. A 2002 article in the journal Society & Animals that reviewed multiple studies found that the death of a companion animal can be “just as devastating as the loss of a human significant other,” not quite as severe, “far more intense” or, well, just about the same.
Sandra Barker, the director of the Center for Human-Animal Interaction at Virginia Commonwealth University, who co-authored the 1988 diagram study, counsels grieving pet owners and teaches veterinary students the importance of understanding the process. Studies aside, her own experience has taught her that the intensity and longevity of the grief vary widely. Like me, her clients sometimes begin the process with a sense of surprise and even shame that they’re grieving more for their pet than for a sibling or parent.
“But when they realize that the difference is the pet gave them constant companionship, and there was total dependency, then they start to realize that’s why they’re grieving so intensely,” she said.
Rearranging my life
It’s true that I spent so much time taking care of Red, and Gromit before him, that when each one died it didn’t merely leave a hole in my single-person household; it was as if someone had rearranged my life, excising without my permission many of the rituals that had governed it.
Over the course of 13 years, for instance, the same thing would happen with Gromit every morning. I would sit on my bed to put on my shoes, and he would drape himself across my lap. I would scratch his butt and he would reward me with a big sloppy kiss. Recently, I did the math: Accounting for the times I was traveling without him, this interaction happened more than 4,000 times.
So it makes sense that when he died, it was months before I could touch my shoelaces without expecting to also touch him. And I had no idea what to do with my mornings without my pooch to require that small gesture of me.
About nine months after Gromit died, once I knew I didn’t want to replace him but just wanted to consider getting another dog, I signed up as an occasional foster parent at a no-kill shelter in Dupont Circle. My first assignment, Red, was a living, breathing refutation of the portrayal of Dobermans as vicious guard dogs in such movies as “Hugo” and the animated classic “Up.” The first time he ambled over to me when I was sitting on the couch in my apartment and lay his head across my lap so I could stroke his snout, I knew I’d adopt him.
And for the two months I lived in that apartment after he died, the couch never seemed so empty, nor the place so quiet.
Keeping it simple
My relationships with Red, Gromit and Consuela (the cat who has survived them both) have been, for lack of a better word, simple. Or at least simpler than that with my sister — but especially simpler than that with my father, with whom I had constant conflicts over religion and sexuality, and whose love and support seemed to always have strings attached.
Barker echoes the idea that the unconditional, nonjudgmental love offered up by animals — “they’re just happy you’re there” — can make it especially hard to lose them. Were these losses more difficult because I was living alone? Some studies suggest that just as pets can ease loneliness, especially among single people, it can be harder for us when they’re gone.
And then there is the suddenness factor. Former president Bill Clinton told Newsweek in 2002 that the death of his dog, Buddy, who was hit by a car, was “by far the worst thing” that Clinton had experienced after leaving the White House. Barker says that not having time to prepare for the pet’s death “usually makes it more intense” and that something like an accident can add a layer of traumatic stress, especially if the owner witnesses it.
She might as well have been talking about me. Gromit’s battle with cancer at age 13 was short, but at least I spent the last few weeks of his life preparing for it. I held him when the vet put him down, and it was horrible, but I knew he was as comfortable as possible — and that having me there was part of his comfort.
At age 7, Red had been otherwise healthy when he started wheezing one day last October. The vet thought he had allergies and advised me to return if he didn’t get better within a couple of weeks. Two weeks later, a chest X-ray showed a mild pneumonia, and the vet sent Red and me home with antibiotics that she hoped Red would respond to within a few days. I gave him a dose at about 1 p.m. and went to work; when I returned that evening, he was dead.
‘I’m sorry’
It’s too painful to describe the extent of my immediate reaction, or really the reactions that unfolded over the following days, weeks and even months. But I will say that when Gromit was dying, I kept repeating the words, “Thank you.” In Red’s case, too late for him to hear, I kept repeating, “I’m sorry.”
The fact that our pets are so dependent on us makes it all too easy to second-guess our decisions and descend into a pit of guilt. Shouldn’t I have known? Did I do everything I could? If I had just . . . what? Taken him to the vet sooner? Insisted he be hospitalized? What if I had been home? I might not have been able to save him, but at least in his last moments he would have known I was with him, and maybe that would have made it a little easier for him if not for me.
In “The Year of Magical Thinking,” Joan Didion refers to grief as passive and mourning as active. Sure enough, when I talked to Kathy Reiter, who leads monthly pet-loss support groups in Alexandria and Fairfax County, she eventually (in true therapist style) turned the conversation to my experience, asking what I’d done — actively — to help myself with this process. It occurred to me that I needed to sit around and cry a little less and to grieve, publicly, a little more.
That’s easier said than done. A few weeks after Red died, some friends from the dog park suggested we have a get-together in his memory. I was grateful for the suggestion, but as I came in and exchanged hugs, I felt a bit sheepish when I pulled out the box of Red’s ashes and a recent photo and set them up on the table. Maybe it was my imagination, but I got the feeling that even friends who had gathered for just this purpose would rather say just a quick “I’m sorry; how are you doing?” than truly acknowledge the elephant — or the Doberman — in the room. It wasn’t until a couple of hours and several drinks later that we finally told a few stories about him.
More than just a dog
Thankfully, many of my closest friends, family members and co-workers have been wonderfully sympathetic, and for that I’m grateful. Others have seemed reluctant to talk about my grief, and I suspect that it’s because they’re trying to stay in denial about the prospect of losing their own animal or trying not to remember the death of a previous one. My least-favorite reaction comes from those who are aiming to be supportive but regularly ask me when I’m going to adopt another dog, a reaction that seems tantamount to saying, “Get over it already. He was just a dog. Isn’t one as good as another?”
That can lead to what psychologists refer to as disenfranchised grief.
“Simply stated, many people (including pet owners) feel that grief over the death of a pet is not worthy of as much acknowledgment as the death of a person,” researchers wrote in a 2003 article in the journal Professional Psychology: Research and Practice. “Unfortunately, this tends to inhibit people from grieving fully when a pet dies.”
Two months after Red died, I’ve had a change of scenery, moving to my sister Rebekah’s home in southern Maine to work on book projects for a year. Here, my sister and brother-in-law’s gregarious chocolate Lab, Maya, helps keep me company and reminds me that eventually, probably sometime next year, I’ll be ready to adopt again. Meanwhile, Red’s ashes sit in a beautiful carved wooden box on a shelf in my bedroom, right in front of a beautiful drawing that a colleague’s son made for me after Red died. Those artifacts have helped, but I’ve needed something more.
My sources for this article noticed the answer before I did: I’m a writer, and I need to process my grief by writing, so that’s what I’m doing. Reiter admitted that her own work helping others who have lost animals was partly as a tribute to her cat, Prince, who died at the ripe old age of 23, but also as a way to validate and work through her own grief. By writing about Red, she said, “you are doing what I did: It’s self-serving, but it’s a tribute, and it’s a catharsis for you. You want to capture the memories, so you don’t forget.”
There’s one more task ahead of me. Five years ago I buried Gromit’s ashes in the woods outside Rebekah’s house, along with his collar, a note, a photo of us together and one of his favorite things: a bagel. The headstone says, “Thank you.” Red’s box, meanwhile, went up on the shelf when I got here in January, partly because the ground was frozen solid.
The days are getting longer, though. The ground has thawed. I’ve been looking at headstones and, more important, composing the words that will go on Red’s.
Yonan, the Post’s Food and Travel editor, is on book leave. Follow him on Twitter @joeyonan.
Joe Yonan is the Food and Dining editor of The Washington Post and the author of "Eat Your Vegetables: Bold Recipes for the Single Cook." He writes the Food section's Weeknight Vegetarian column.


Interview: Blackhawks' Bickell on Fighting for Pit Bulls, Stanley Cup Playoffs
With the Olympics now behind us and the NHL back in action, Bryan Bickell is focusing on winning his third Stanley Cup with the Chicago Blackhawks. But another championship isn’t the only thing Bickell is fighting for. Along with his wife, Bickell is an advocate for dogs. Specifically, pit bulls.
The Bryan & Amanda Bickell Foundation not only helps pit bulls but also abused children. The foundation works to promote the dogs for adoption or to aid in their rescue. Through the foundation the public learns about pit bulls and the foundation provides services to low-income pit bull owners.
It all started about eight years ago for the Bickells when they met a five-week-old puppy in need in Ontario, Canada. To say the dog was living in less than ideal circumstances would be an understatement. The owner of the puppy, a crack addict, took the dogs from their mother at an extremely young age. The owner actually bragged that the puppy was trying to feed off a different mother dog, and that her tail was cut off with scissors. Bryan and Amanda saw and heard enough. They gave the guy 50 bucks in exchange for the puppy.
The Bickells had added a loving dog to their family, named Bailey. “We brought in Bailey and we just knew right away how loyal she was,” Bryan Bickell told Breitbart Sports. “After meeting other Pit Bulls you can see the same trait.”
Bailey was safe and sound with the Bickells. Then it happened. The Bickell’s home of Ontario enacted a ban against any dog resembling a pit bull just a month after they saved Bailey. No more dog parks or puppy classes. Bailey couldn’t even go for a walk without wearing a muzzle. People were scared of this sweet ten-pound pup just because of what they had heard. Numerous times, neighbors called Animal Control to report the Bickells. Things were rough. But the Bickells decided they wouldn’t give up on their new addition.
“The dogs are like kids,” Bickell said. “You can’t leave your dogs behind.”
When the Bickells arrived in Chicago they found out the Windy City was considering banning pit bulls as well. That was the last straw. They had to act. So they created the Bryan & Amanda Bickell Foundation. 
By working with pit bulls who are rescued or adopted and have overcome abuse or bullying, the Bickells focus on promoting the human-animal bond by bringing certified therapy pit bulls together with children who are victims of abuse. Children who are victims of bullying are taught kindness and compassion through pit bulls.
The foundation debunks the myths and misconceptions about pit bulls that are out there. “I feel its all about the owners,” said Bickell. “You can train a dog like a pit bull to be a loving family pet.” The adorable Bailey is proof of that. 
Once the fear factor is out of the equation, the Bickells work to rehabilitate dogs who were abused. The same principles apply for children who come from violence. When a kid sees a dog overcome obstacles, it often gives the child inspiration to bounce back from their own problems. Teaming dogs with kids has been incredibly rewarding for the Bickells.
Violence against animals reared its ugly head in the world of sports when NFL quarterback Mike Vick was sentenced to prison for his role in a gruesome dog fighting ring. Vick electrocuted, hanged, shot, and drowned dogs. Yet when his jail term was over not only did the Philadelphia Eagles sign him, but he was celebrated by many players, fans, and media members. Hardly a peep came from athletes condemning his sick behavior.
“It’s crazy what he did to take advantage like that,” Bickell said. While most athletes embraced Vick or at best remained silent, there was one high-profile sports star that voiced displeasure. Then a Chicago White Sox pitcher Mark Buehrle and his wife spoke up and a couple seasons later and the Buehrles had to put their actions behind their words. The Sox traded Buehrle to the Marlins. The county in which his new team played had a ban on Pit Bulls. So the Buehrles had to live far from the ball park in another county to keep their family, four-legged members included, in tact. It got even more difficult. Buehrle was traded again. This time to the Blue Jays. Toronto is in Ontario where Pit Bulls are banned. Instead of getting rid of their dogs, the Buehrles had to sacrifice. While Mark headed north of the border, his wife, kids, and dogs stayed in Florida. Bickell credits the Buehrles for speaking out and for staying loyal to their pets.  
In order to continue to make an impact in the lives of Pit Bulls and children, the Bryan & Amanda Bickell Foundation requires funding. That means donations from generous donors. This year they came up with a creative way to raise some money. Bickell and other Blackhawks posed for a calendar along with a bunch of pit bulls. Tough guys going gaga over puppies. It was a huge hit. Bickell is appreciative of his teammates participation in the calendar. “They were really supportive,” Bickell said. “I think that’s important when we help each other on and off the ice. We are like brothers and we support each other. In the end it all helps dogs get homes and raise awareness.”
The calendars sold like crazy. There are just a handful remaining for purchase through the Bryan & Amanda Bickell Foundation web site.    
The Blackhawks return to the ice this week after the long Olympic break. Their goal is the same it’s been for years now: skating Lord Stanley’s cup. “We are confident,” Bickell said. “After winning in 2010, we knew how to get it done. Last season we had that epic start and we used that to our advantage once the playoffs started. We came back on Detroit down 3-1 and then we just felt it was meant to be. Those 17 seconds against Boston, the biggest comeback in sports, will never be forgotten. Because of all of that we feel like we can do it again. We are looking forward to it.”
While Bickell is excited for the season to resume, he did enjoy the time off. Not only was he able to work with the foundation, but he also took in some of the action in Sochi. “We’re excited, being from Canada it was nice to see them win again,” Bickell said. “It was special for those who got to play.”
Bickell has pride in his Canadian roots. But plenty of pure Americana is rubbing off on him as well. While we’re still months away from playoff beard time, Bickell is a fan of the bearded cast of Duck Dynasty. “I’ve been watching all the seasons,” Bickell said. “Those guys are something else. I’m from a small town, so I can relate to them. It is a funny show and I enjoy watching it.” He also enjoys doing something else that’s very American, and that’s volunteering.
“The most rewarding part of the charity work is seeing the difference dogs and kids can make in each other’s lives,” Bickell said. Soon, he’ll see that bond on an every day basis. Amanda Bickell is expecting. Come summertime, Bailey and her mixed mutt doggie brother will have a little baby joining them in the Bickell house. Bickell looks forward to being a dad.
For now though it’s time to shake off the rust and get back at it. The Blackhawks are going for their third title in five seasons. This team has gained a lot of fans outside of Chicago over this run. Largely because of their success but also because the team is filled with likable players. Bickell is certainly one of them. He and his wife are making Corey Crawford-like saves throughout Chicago. The only difference is we’re not talking about pucks. The Bickells are saving the lives of dogs and children. 
Visit the Bryan & Amanda Bickell Foundation at

Bill To Regulate Dog Breeders Draws Opposition Inside Chamber From Industry Rep .....

Bill to regulate dog breeders draws opposition inside chamber from industry rep

Posted By  on Wed, Feb 25, 2015 at 10:21 AM

click to enlargeTO THE RESCUE: One of the dogs rescued by humane workers last week at a Warm Springs puppy mill. A representative of the dog breeding industry who sits in the House is fighting a proposal to regulate such operations.
  • TO THE RESCUE: One of the dogs rescued by humane workers last week at a Warm Springs puppy mill. A representative of the dog breeding industry who sits in the House is fighting a proposal to regulate such operations.

click to enlargeMARCUS RICHMOND: Opposes bill that would regulate industry he represents.
  • MARCUS RICHMOND: Opposes bill that would regulate industry he represents.
Rep. Jim Sorvillo of Little Rock has told KTHV he will propose a bill to regulate dog breeders. Arkansas is infamous for its shoddy puppy mills, with grim raids on filthy kennels full of dead and dying animals seemingly a regular occurrence. Such as just last week in Warm Springs.

But as animal cruelty wars of past years proved, the minute somebody starts talking about protecting dumb animals, a lobby will arise to defend the abusers or potential abusers. The Farm Bureau famously stands in the way of most legislation to improve the quality of animal life.

Don't know where the Farm Bureau stands on protecting puppies, but I know one organization has already surfaced with dire warnings about the puppy mill legislation. It's called America's Pet Registry, which has a benign ring.

That organization describes puppy protection as an assault by the evil Humane Society of the United States on more than dog breeders. It quotes Rep. Marcus Richmond, a Republican from Harvey:

"Proposed legislation in the Arkansas House is fueled by the HSUS. Agriculture and hunting in our state must not be influenced by an Animal Rights extremist agenda." 

And Richmond ought to know. He is — ta da — president and CEO of America's Pet Registry. It says it has animal welfare in mind. But it has existed since 1992 to provide a stamp of approval for breeders who don't follow American Kennel Club protocol. Web commentators say it is a front for the commercial dog breeding industry. For example:

When you register your dog with APRI, your dollars are going to support the people that continue to breed in mass quantities despite the problems of severe pet overpopulation. Your money is used to pay lobbyists to fight Breeding Legislation that is intended to make the industry more humane in their treatment of the animals in their care, and crack down on puppy mills. Your money will be used to lobby for the inclusion of canine breeding stock as LIVESTOCK in some states in support of the puppy mill industry. In Iowa, this recently came to a head and was defeated, but can and will likely be brought up again. Livestock are not required to have shelter at all, and there are tax benefits to dog breeders becoming livestock producers. 

Is a sitting member of the Arkansas House actually a lobbyist for the commercial dog breeding industry? Of course not. The ethics law doesn't allow this. Might he have a financial interest in the outcome of the legislation he's strongly opposing?

In this legislature, it would be par for the course. The conflicts are too numerous to count and rarely directly disclosed in statements filed in the House and Senate. As one legislator told me the other day when I inquired about some technical bills he was carrying that affected people he has done business with, he essentially said, "1) Everybody knows what I do. And 2) Who knows the topic better?"

Here's what Sorvillo said he had in mind in talking to KTHV. No mention of agriculture or hunting.

The bill would require dog breeders to pay an annual licensing fee and undergo health and safety checks from a veterinarian. "As states have started to regulate this, these puppy mills have actually moved from state to state," Sorvillo said. "They end up in Arkansas because we haven't had any type of oversight." 

A moment of contradiction: Jim Sorvillo, a small government Republican, wants to regulate dog breeders. But he's not so worried about tooth decay as sponsor of the bill to give local control on fluoridation.

I've sent some questions to Richmond about his work.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

World Spay Day .....

World Spay Day was February 24th!  A special thank you to HSUS District Leader Cecilia G for securing proclamations declaring World Spay Day in both St. Louis City and St. Louis County.  We also thank St. Louis City Mayor Francis Slay and St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger for recognizing the importance of community involvement in improving the lives of animals.  World Spay Day is presented by The Humane Society of the United States, Humane Society International, and Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association in collaboration with humane organizations, veterinary professionals, businesses, and individuals worldwide to shine a spotlight on spay/neuter as a proven means of saving animals’ lives.

Legislative Update in Missouri .....

Legislative Update

NEWS FROM THE STATE CAPITOL:  We’re over six weeks into the legislative session, and things are really starting to hop at the capitol.  I’m working daily to fight a number of bills that will weaken our animal cruelty laws here in Missouri.  Here are a few bills I wanted to bring to your attention: 

HB 79- This bill has been filed several years in a row.  It makes significant negative changes to Missouri’s disposition hearing/bonding laws on animal cruelty cases, and leaves law enforcement with no choice but to leave animals in the hands of their abusers. 

HB 998- This bill would allow judges to order a psychiatric evaluation for anyone found guilty of animal abuse or neglect, and would require the evaluation for any act that involved mutilation or torture. 

SBs 163 & 180These bills filed in the senate create a tax credit for Missouri residents who adopt a pet from a shelter in Missouri. 

STANDING INVITATION:  Join me at the Capitol!  If you live near or are traveling to Jefferson City, let me know and I’ll arrange meetings for you with your Representative and Senator.   I’ll coach you on how to make the most of these meetings and I’ll gladly accompany you, if you wish.  If you can’t make it to Jefferson City, I’m happy to give you tips on setting up an in-district meeting with your elected officials.   In short, I’ll do anything I can to help make legislative advocacy more accessible and natural for you, because that’s the arena in which we score big wins for animals.   So please take me up on my offer, and let me know if you have any questions about these bills, or any other bill filed this year.

WHO REPRESENTS YOU?: You can use this link to find out who represents you in Missouri and at the federal level. 

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

KC Pet Project Wonderful Update on Little Silas .....

We had to share a wonderful update with you all today! One year ago, little Silas came to KC Pet Project in pretty bad shape. He was only around 2 months old and had one of the worst cases of Sarcoptic Mange that we've seen - which is a highly contagious skin disease for both dogs and humans. One of our staff members took him home to foster him and thanks to your donations and support, we were able to help Silas and treat him of this very uncomfortable skin condition. Now, look how healthy and happy he is in his new home! When you donate to KC Pet Project at, you're supporting pets like Silas who need our help. We thank you for supporting your local pets who need it most!

Mark Your Calendars For June 11, 2015 ......

Is this email not displaying correctly? View it in your browser.

We're trying to save 13,000 lives in Just One Day. 

Every year on June 11, we ask shelters across the country to put down their needles and become No Kill for Just One Day. Roughly 13,000 animals are adopted, over 1,000 shelters and rescue groups come together, adopters welcome a new family member, the incinerators remain shuttered and the morgues stay empty. We erase more than one day's worth of killing in the U.S. June 11 just may be the safest day for companion animals in shelters. And on June 11, 2015, we hope to do even better.

Monday, February 23, 2015



The American Kennel Club has a proposal for YOUR legislators. They want to make standards and registration for commercial dog breeders VOLUNTARY. Under their plan if breeders want to comply with standards they can, if not, no problem!


Do you think that these NC puppy mill dogs would have been happy with a VOLUNTARY set of standards? We don’t.

Be the voice for the dogs and puppies in NC puppy mills and send a quick email to your legislators asking them to pass REQUIRED standards into law in 2015 for commercial dog breeders. Include the link below in your email!

Find out more on AKC here:

Find your House Representative here:

Find your Senator here:

Friday, February 20, 2015


April 1, 2014

Seven Ways You Can Stop Puppy Mills

You are the key to stopping the cycle of cruelty
The Humane Society of the United States 
Dog puppy mill rescue puppy close
Michelle Riley/The HSUS
You can make a difference for the dogs suffering in puppy mills. Here are seven ways you can take action. 

1. Help make your local pet store puppy friendly

The Puppy Friendly Pet Storesinitiative asks dog lovers everywhere to help their local pet stores implement puppy friendly policies by refusing to sell puppies in their store and supporting homeless pet adoptions instead.
Stores that already do not sell puppies can sign up to show that they are taking a stand against puppy mills and to make official their policy of not selling puppies. Learn more » 

2. Be an advocate

Our downloadable guides have ideas that can help propel you into action. They can also teach you how to work for the passage of laws in your own community that will improve the lives of dogs in puppy mills.
Or, you may order the more extensive kit that includes the guide as well as everything you'll need to start spreading the word about puppy mills in your community, including printed materials, letter templates, tips for developing legislation, and activity ideas.
The kit is designed to help you discuss the puppy mill issue accurately and intelligently, whether speaking to friends and family or the local media: $3 each. Download the order form »
The HSUS Puppy Mill Task Force tip line is available to anyone with information on a possible crime involving puppy mills. If you witnessed deplorable conditions in person and wish to file a complaint with the HSUS, please call 1-877-MILL-TIP or report puppy mills online.

3. Contact your legislators

Contact your federal legislators and let them know that you're concerned about the inhumane treatment of dogs in puppy mills and want the puppy mill issue to be a priority for Congress. Ask them to expand the reach of the Animal Welfare Act to include kennels that sell large numbers of puppies directly to the public.

4. Write letters to the editor

Writing a letter to the editor of your local newspaper is a great way to get the word out about puppy mills in your community. Write your own version—a short, polite letter is most effective.

5. Furnish your vet with flyers

Download and print these flyers and bring them to your veterinarian or groomer's office, to help potential new pet owners avoid puppy mills:

6. Set up a library display

Ask your local library to put up an educational display about puppy mills, a subject relevant year-round. Email us for materials »

7. Shop our online store

Speak up for puppy mill dogs by wearing our Stop Puppy Mills cause gear, found at our online store at the Animal Rescue Site. Go shopping »