Tuesday, March 31, 2015
The Life of Subway Dogs
To those of you who own dogs or like them, this should be interesting.
The elite of Moscow's 35,000 stray dogs are about 500 Russian dogs constantly living in the Moscow subway (Metro). About 50 of subway dogs have learned to ride the trains, commuting from quiet suburbs stations where they spend the night to downtown where it’s easier to get some food.
Each morning, like clockwork, they board the subway, off to begin their daily routine amidst the hustle and bustle of the city. But these aren't just any daily commuters. These are stray dogs who live in the outskirts of Moscow Russia and commute on the underground trains to and from the city centre in search of food scraps.
Then after a hard day scavenging and begging on the streets, they hop back on the train and return to the suburbs where they spend the night.
Living in the subway is just a survival tactic the Moscow stray dogs have come up with. The subway dogs have figured out how to use the city’s huge and complicated subway system, getting on and off at the stops they need. They recognize the desired station by smell, by recorded announcer's voice, and by time intervals basing on their biological clocks. Usually they ride first or last car to keep away from crushes.
Experts studying the dogs, who usually choose the quietest carriages at the front and back of the train, say they even work together to make sure they get off at the right stop - after learning to judge the length of time they need to spend on the train.
In Soviet times stray dogs were barred from subway. Moscow Metro's passengers are so accustomed to dogs on subway - sleeping on empty seats and hanging around stations - that they do not pay any attention.
For these strays the Moscow Metro is their home. The subway dogs get outside to do all their deeds and behave friendly to the passengers. They have very good instincts about people, greeting happily kind passengers and avoiding contacts with intolerant. And they always find somebody who will share food with them.
With children the dogs "play cute" by putting their heads on youngsters' knees and staring pleadingly into their eyes to win sympathy - and scraps.
Dogs are opportunistic and intelligent, and when they figured out they were no longer chased away from the subway stations, they began hopping trains for a lift into the city. The Moscow subway system is a maze that can be confusing for people, but the dogs appear to have learned the system.
Once in the city, the dogs have their own special ways of getting food. Some position themselves outside butcher shops and wait for dog lovers coming out of the shop to toss them a bone. Others have refined a technique of sneaking up behind people who are eating food and surprising them with a loud bark which hopefully scares the person into dropping whatever they're eating. If the dog is successful in getting the person to drop their food, he grabs his prize and runs.
Packs of stray dogs are led not by the strongest or most dominant member, but by the most intelligent dog in the pack. The dogs understand living among people in a large city requires brains and not muscle to survive. Researchers have observed dog packs selecting pack members that are smaller and cuter than the other ones who are then sent out to beg for food.
The dogs also don't leave messes laying around where someone can step in them, and they relieve themselves in out of the way spots away from the main traffic areas. The subway riding stray dogs of Moscow have essentially learned how to interact with people and move among them in order to survive.
Monday, March 30, 2015
Virginia Passes Law to Crack Down on Sale of Puppy Mill Animals
Sunday, March 29, 2015
This Is One of 1000's of Reasons WHY You should NEVER List a Dog On Craigslist for FREE or ANY ANIMAL
OLYMPIA, Wash. -- A Thurston County deputy prosecutor says what was found at an Olympia man's home is the worst case of animal abuse she's ever seen.
David Williford was charged Monday afternoon with 12 counts of animal cruelty for holding dozens of rabbits, guinea pigs, rats and dogs in "horrific" conditions.
Deputy Prosecutor Christen Anton Peters described it in court like a scene from a horror movie, complete with blood spatters, filth and carcasses strewn about Williford's basement and backyard.
Authorities rescued dozens more animals still alive but described as desperate for food and water.
Williford's defense attorney says it was simply an unsanitary slaughterhouse for meat that Williford intended to eat, and has eaten routinely. He allegedly got the animals using Craigslist.
Williford is charged with six counts of first degree animal abuse and six of second degree animal abuse.
At his house just outside of Olympia on Cooper Pointe Road, court records say he kept several dogs upstairs in the attic in cages with absolutely no light, no water, no food, and no warm bedding. When they were rescued, court records say they jumped into the arms of animal control officers.
Peters pulled no punches before a judge in arguing that Williford should continue to be held in custody.
"I've seen many cases of animal cruelty in my career as a prosecutor. This is clearly the most disturbing case that I have ever reviewed," she said.
The director of Thurston County Animal Control is warning people who give away free animals on Craigslist to be careful who gets the animals and to make follow up calls.
Susanne Beauregard says they first got wind of the case when someone came to stay with Williford. When that person threatened to report the abuse to authorities, he says Williford then threatened him. The witness says he fears for his life but reported him anyway.
Peters said her office had extreme concern about the prospect of releasing Williford. But Williford's defense attorney downplayed it.
"It appears to be more slaughtering for food purposes in unsanitary conditions," the attorney said.
Judge Erik Price ordered him held in jail on $150,000 bail.
"The allegations at this point are truly disturbing," Price said.
Unlike most days at the Rainbow Bridge, this day dawned cold and grey, damp as a swamp and as dismal as could be imagined. All the recent arrivals were confused and concerned. They had no idea what to think for they had never experienced a day like this before. But the animals who had spent some time waiting for their beloved people knew exactly what was happening and began to gather at the pathway leading to the Bridge to watch. They knew this was something special.
It wasn't too long before an elderly animal came into view, head hung heavy and low with tail dragging along the ground. The other animals on the pathway...the ones who had been at Rainbow Bridge for a while...knew the story of this sad creature immediately. They had seen it happen far too many times.
Although it was obvious the animal's heart was leaden and he was totally overcome with emotional pain and hurt, there was no sign of injury or any illness. Unlike the pets waiting at the Bridge, this dog had not been restored to his prime. He was full of neither health nor vigor. He approached slowly and painfully, watching all the pets who were by now watching him. He knew he was out of place here. This was no resting place for him. He felt instinctively that the sooner he could cross over, the happier he would be. But alas, as he came closer to the Bridge, his way was barred by the appearance of an Angel who spoke softly to the old dog and apologized sorrowfully, telling him that he would not be able to pass. Only those animals who were with their special people could pass over the Rainbow Bridge. And he had no special beloved people...not here at the Bridge nor on Earth below.
With no place else to turn, the poor elderly dog looked toward the fields before the Bridge. There, in a separate area nearby, he spotted a group of other sad-eyed animals like himself...elderly and infirm. Unlike the pets waiting for their special people, these animals weren't playing, but simply lying on the green grass, forlornly and miserably staring out at the pathway leading to the Bridge. The recent arrival knew he had no choice but to join them. And so, he took his place among them, just watching the pathway and waiting.
One of the newest arrivals at the Bridge, who was waiting for his special people, could not understand what he had just witnessed and asked one of the pets who had been there for some time to explain it to him.
"That poor dog was a rescue, sent to the pound when his owner grew tired of him. The way you see him now, with greying fur and sad, cloudy eyes, was exactly the way he was when he was put into the kennels. He never, ever made it out and passed on only with the love and comfort that the kennel workers could give him as he left his miserable and unloved existence on Earth for good. Because he had no family or special person to give his love, he has nobody to escort him across the Bridge."
The first animal thought about this for a minute and then asked, "So what will happen now?"
As he was about to receive his answer, the clouds suddenly parted and the all-invasive gloom lifted. Coming toward the Bridge could be seen a single figure...a person who, on Earth, had seemed quite ordinary...a person who, just like the elderly dog, had just left Earth forever. This figure turned toward a group of the sad animals and extended outstretched palms. The sweetest sounds they had ever heard echoed gently above them and all were bathed in a pure and golden light. Instantly, each was young and healthy again, just as they had been in the prime of life.
From within the gathering of pets waiting for their special people, a group of animals emerged and moved toward the pathway. As they came close to the passing figure, each bowed low and each received a tender pat on the head or a scratch behind the ears. Their eyes grew even brighter as the figure softly murmured each name. Then, the newly-restored pets fell into line behind the figure and quietly followed this person to the Bridge, where they all crossed together.
The recent arrival who had been watching, was amazed. "What happened?"
"That was a rescuer," came the answer.
"That person spent a lifetime trying to help pets of all kinds. The ones you saw bowing in respect were those who found new homes because of such unselfish work. They will cross when their families arrive. Those you saw restored were ones who never found homes. When a rescuer arrives, they are permitted to perform one, final act of rescue. They are allowed to escort those poor pets that couldn't place on Earth across the Rainbow Bridge. You see, all animals are special to them...just as they are special to all animals."
"I think I like rescuers," said the recent arrival.
"So does God," was the reply.
- Author Unknown
- Author Unknown
Saturday, March 28, 2015
Thursday, March 26, 2015
What Is a Puppy Mill?
A puppy mill is a large-scale commercial dog breeding operation where profit is given priority over the well-being of the dogs. Unlike responsible breeders, who place the utmost importance on producing the healthiest puppies possible, breeding at puppy mills is performed without consideration of genetic quality. This results in generations of dogs with unchecked hereditary defects.
Some puppy mill puppies are sold to pet shops—usually through a broker, or middleman—and marketed as young as eight weeks of age. The lineage records of puppy mill dogs are often falsified. Other puppy mill puppies are sold directly to the public, including over the Internet, through newspaper ads, and at swap meets and flea markets.
What Health Problems Are Common to Puppy Mill Dogs?
Illness and disease are common in dogs from puppy mills. Because puppy mill operators often fail to apply proper husbandry practices that would remove sick dogs from their breeding pools, puppies from puppy mills are prone to congenital and hereditary conditions. These can include:
- Heart disease
- Kidney disease
- Musculoskeletal disorders (hip dysplasia, luxating patellas, etc.)
- Endocrine disorders (diabetes, hyperthyroidism)
- Blood disorders (anemia, Von Willebrand disease)
- Eye problems (cataracts, glaucoma, progressive retinal atrophy, etc.)
- Respiratory disorders
On top of that, puppies often arrive in pet stores and their new homes with diseases or infirmities. These can include:
- Upper respiratory infections
- Kennel cough
- Intestinal parasites
- Chronic diarrhea
Do Puppy Mill Pups Display Behavior Problems?
Sometimes. Fearful behavior and lack of socialization with humans and other animals are typical of puppy mill dogs. Puppies born in puppy mills are typically removed from their littermates and mothers at just six weeks of age. The first months of a puppy's life are a critical socialization period for puppies. Spending that time with their mother and littermates helps prevent puppies from developing problems like extreme shyness, aggression, fear and anxiety.
How Are Animals Treated at Puppy Mills?
Puppy mills usually house dogs in overcrowded and unsanitary conditions, without adequate veterinary care, food, water and socialization. Puppy mill dogs do not get to experience treats, toys, exercise or basic grooming. To minimize waste cleanup, dogs are often kept in cages with wire flooring that injures their paws and legs—and it is not unusual for cages to be stacked up in columns. Breeding dogs at mills might spend their entire lives outdoors, exposed to the elements, or crammed inside filthy structures where they never get the chance to feel the sun or breathe fresh air.
How Often Are Dogs Bred in Puppy Mills?
In order to maximize profits, female dogs are bred at every opportunity with little to no recovery time between litters. When, after a few years, they are physically depleted to the point that they no longer can reproduce, breeding females are often killed. The mom and dad of the puppy in the pet store window are unlikely to make it out of the mill alive—and neither will the many puppies born with overt physical problems that make them unsalable.
When and Why Did Puppy Mills Begin?
Puppy mills became more prevalent after World War II. In response to widespread crop failures in the Midwest, the United States Department of Agriculture began promoting purebred puppies as a fool-proof "cash" crop. Chicken coops and rabbit hutches were repurposed for dogs, and the retail pet industry—pet stores large and small—boomed with the increasing supply of puppies from the new "mills."
Which States Have the Most Puppy Mills?
Today, Missouri is considered the leading puppy mill state in the country. Over time, puppy mills have spread geographically. The highest concentration is in the Midwest, but there are also high concentrations in other areas, including Pennsylvania, Ohio and upstate New York. Commercial dog breeding is very prevalent among Amish and Mennonite farmers, with pockets of Amish dog breeders found throughout the country, including in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, and parts of Wisconsin.
How Many Puppy Mills Exist in the U.S.?
At any given point in time, there are typically between 2,000 and 3,000 USDA-licensed breeders (commonly referred to as puppy mills) operating in the United States. However, this number does not take into consideration the number of breeders not required to be licensed by the USDA or the number of breeders operating illegally without a license. Because so many of these breeders are operating without oversight, it's impossible to accurately track them or to know how many there truly are. The ASPCA estimates that there could be as many as 10,000 puppy mills in the United States.
How Many Dogs Does an Average Puppy Mill Have?
The number of dogs in a puppy mill can vary significantly. Some puppy mills are relatively small, with only 10 breeding dogs. Other breeders run massive operations with more than 1,000 breeding dogs! Because not all puppy mills are licensed and inspected, it's impossible to know the true average.
Are Puppy Mills Always Legal?
Not necessarily. The federal Animal Welfare Act requires breeders who have more than three breeding female dogs and sell puppies to pet stores or puppy brokers to be licensed and inspected by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). In addition to the federal law, some states have laws that regulate the commercial breeding industry as well.
However, in most cases, the standards that breeders are required to meet by law are extremely minimal. Under the federal Animal Welfare Act, it is completely legal to keep a dog in a cage only six inches longer than the dog in each direction, with a wire floor, stacked on top of another cage, for the dog's entire life. Conditions that most people would consider inhumane, or even cruel, are often totally legal.
For more information, please see our page on laws that protect dogs in puppy mills.
A Local Pet Store Says Its Dogs Aren't from a Mill. Is That True?
There is no legal definition of "puppy mill." Many pet store owners will tell you they get all their puppies from "licensed USDA breeders" or "local breeders." In fact, in order to sell puppies to pet stores, a breeder must be licensed by the USDA! Pet stores often use this licensing to provide a false sense of security to customers, when what it really means is that they do, in fact, get their puppies from puppy mills.
The fact is, responsible breeders would never sell a puppy through a pet store because they want to screen potential buyers to ensure that the puppies are going to good homes.
The Store's Dogs Have Papers. Does That Mean They're from Responsible Breeders?
No. Being registered or having papers means nothing more than the puppy's parents both had papers. Many registered dogs are sold in puppy mills. Don't be fooled by "papers." Many, many pedigreed dogs come from puppy mills! The only way you can be sure that a puppy came from a reputable source is to see where he or she came from yourself.
How Can I Tell If an Online Puppy Seller Is a Mill?
Many puppies sold online come from puppy mills. The only way you can be sure that a puppy came from a reputable source is to see where he or she came from yourself! Responsible breeders would never sell to someone they haven't met because they want to screen potential buyers to ensure the puppies are going to good homes. Learn more about why you should never buy a puppy online.
Where Else Can I Get a Purebred Dog?
Please make adoption your first option. Purebred dogs end up in shelters just like mixed breeds. Breed rescue groups exist for just about every breed possible. If you have your heart set on a purebred, please be sure to visit your local shelter or find a breed rescue group before searching for a breeder.
If you can't find what you want through a shelter or breed rescue group, please learn how to recognize a responsible breeder. When buying a dog from a breeder, always be sure to meet the puppy's parents or at least the mother, and see where the dogs live. Never meet a breeder at an off-site location, and never have a puppy shipped to you sight-unseen.
What Happens If I Don't Buy the Dogs in Pet Stores? Don't They Need Homes, Too?
The public will stop buying pet store puppies gradually over time, not all at once—someone will eventually purchase those dogs at the store. Puppies in pet stores are usually sold quickly. If they don't sell quickly, the owners continue to slash the price until the puppies are sold.
The less they sell for, the less profit the store makes. That means the store will order fewer puppies the next month. And puppy mills will ultimately produce fewer dogs.
How Can I Help Stop Puppy Mills?
The most important thing you can do to help shut down puppy mills is refuse to shop at a store that sells puppies. You can also:
Take the pledge. Pledge that you'll never shop in a store that sells puppies—even if you're just buying food or toys.
Join the Advocacy Brigade. You'll receive alerts that make it easy to fight for laws that protect dogs in puppy mills.
Adopt a mill survivor. Puppy mill survivors often need patient, loving adopters who can help them learn to trust people.
Thank you for standing up for puppy mill dogs!
By Chris Oberholtz, Multimedia Producer
By Erika Tallan, Reporter
By Laura McCallister, Multimedia Producer
By Nathan Vickers, Multimedia Journalist
Read more: http://www.kctv5.com/story/25440415/missouri-kansas-top-national-list-of-worst-puppy-mills#ixzz3VWpwCb3w dogs, scabby and crawling with fleas. Puppies left in cold cages frozen solid and others left alone to die.
These are just a few cases revealed in the Humane Society of the United States' list of the worst puppy mills across the country.
Kansas and Missouri come out on top of the list.
The Canine Cruelty Prevention Act was passed in Missouri in 2011 to stop breeders from mistreating puppies. But it appears the problem still exists.
Twenty-two of the 101 dealers in the Humane Society's list of problem puppy mills are from Missouri, topping the list of worst breeders.
Coming in second was Kansas with 13, followed by Nebraska with 12. Arkansas and Iowa tied having six each. Most of the facilities in the report have since been cited by federal or state inspectors.
Johanna Steele, a breeder in Missouri, admitted to leaving a severely injured and nearly unresponsive Pomeranian named "Woofie" holding onto life for three days without taking him to a vet.
Then there was Missouri breeder Johnny Dake who was found with a dead 4-week-old Shih Tzu puppy frozen solid in an outside cage when temperatures were 9 degrees below zero.
According to the report, breeder Barbara Neubert admitted to slaughtering sick cattle from a local slaughterhouse in order to feed the raw meat to her dogs. The meat was found rotting with maggots in her kennels.
There was also a dealer in Kansas City, KS, that made the list. However, it did not fail any federal inspections, but the Better Business Bureau gave it a failing grade.
The Rock Creek Kennel website shows dozens of cute smiling dogs available for purchase but Michael Marks, who lives next door to where the kennel used to operate, says the animals were anything but happy.
"It was pretty awful, the smell and the noise. The dogs were barking all the time. We discovered there was like 60 puppies in the garage when we finally complained about it," Marks said.
The kennel in KCK is also on the list of the Humane Society of the United States' worst puppy mills in the country. The report accuses it and its alias, Clover Acres Farm, of operating without a license and selling sick animals. The two men who ran it were evicted from the property last year because of smell and noise complaints.
"I believe they were throwing dead puppies in the tree line to get rid of the ones that didn't make it. It was just horrible," Marks said.
The kennel is also unaccredited with the Better Business Bureau.
Daniel Reno who runs an animal rescue in Kansas, said unlicensed breeders create many problems for her shelter and others.
"There are a boatload of irresponsible breeders that are unregistered, their pets aren't registered and a bunch of irresponsible pet owners in general that contribute to the population of dogs in the shelter," Reno said.
Reno said potential buyers should always visit the shelter or breeder where they get their animal - that way they know it was treated well.
"Go into the kennel, go into the shelter, go into the breeder's house. Just go in and make sure that they are reputable," she said.
Rock Creek Kennel's website doesn't provide a specific current address. KCTV5 left a voicemail on the phone number posted there, but the company hasn't returned the call. The site still lists at least 20 dogs for sale.
The report also indicated that puppyfind.com is often linked to puppy mills, so be wary if you're extending your search for a furry friend to that site. Click here to see the full report.
Because of the recent laws and more public scrutiny, about 15 of last year's worst puppy mills appear to have closed their doors.
Read more: http://www.kctv5.com/story/25440415/missouri-kansas-top-national-list-of-worst-puppy-mills#ixzz3VWpoMoWJ