Does Petland Support Puppy Mills?
An eight-month-long investigation by the Humane Society of the United States alleges that Petland, the nation's largest puppy retailer, sells puppies from large-scale commercial breeders (otherwise known as puppy mills), despite telling customers that the pups come from reputable breeders. Last time I checked, reputable breeders do not sell puppies to be treated like retail merchandise, nor do they keep dogs in cages their entire lives, or dump or shoot them when they can no longer breed. Watch the "Petland Linked to Puppy Mills" video for more details.
Julia Kamysz Lane
The One She Saved
Sometimes its hard to imagine what your veterinarian is thinking. This honest report from the trenches by buckeyedoc, a veterinarian-turned-veterinary pathologist, provides some heartfelt insight.
When Will It End?
Ninety-eight dogs have been rescued from the scene of another puppy mill nightmare. To learn about how you can adopt a dog or support the efforts to find them good homes, please visit Denver Dumb Friends League.
"Signature Surgery" Could Help Dog Find Family
If this pretty dog were microchipped, she would already be home. Instead, the approximately two-year-old Catahoula Leopard Dog is waiting to be claimed at the Humane Society of Vero Beach and Indian River County in Vero Beach, FL. The shelter staff has named her Jenna. Veterinarian Dr. Elizabeth Bybee made the astonishing discovery that Jenna underwent an expensive, specialized surgery that could be the key to finding her family. The shelter staff is not publicly disclosing details of the "signature surgery" in hopes that Jenna's rightful owner will be able to do so and thus, make a positive ID. For more info, please call the shelter at (772) 388-3331.
Julia Kamysz Lane
Haunted House for Dogs and Cats
Just in time for Halloween, comes the horror story of an animal hoarder in California named Barbara Ryan. Let's just hope authorities can put an end to Ryan's systematic and repeated acts of cruelty and that they steer clear of the shelter that allegedly returned some victimized animals to the hoarder's care after an earlier raid. Dogs and cats have no choice but to depend on us; sometimes it's a very unlucky bargain for them.
The Making of Rex 2.0
This month, Reason magazine takes a closer look at BioArts' ongoing efforts to expand and improve dog-cloning. The article provides some nuts-and-bolts details that were new to me and raises intriguing questions about the differences between cloning and traditional breeding. Check out the reader reactions as well.
A $75 Million Bone
If the obstacle to pet overpopulation is money--consider that challenge handled. Orthopedic surgeon, inventor, and 346th richest American Gary Michelson will give $25 million to the brainy someone who conjures a safe, one-time non-surgical means to sterilize male and female cats and dogs. And that's not all. Michelson's non-profit Found Animals Foundation will provide an additional $50 million to support the research into plausible approaches. Michelson and others, including the Alliance for Contraception in Cats and Dogs, believe an inexpensive, convenient alternative to traditional spay and neuter is the essential missing line of attack in the battle to save millions of dogs and cats from euthanasia every year. My favorite line in the USA Today story on the program is when Michelson says, "No one will stop what they're doing and turn their attention to this problem for $10 million. That's not enough."
Soldier Pleas For Pup to Leave Iraq
Five months ago, Sgt. Gwen Beberg and a fellow soldier saved a little black and white puppy from a pile of burning trash in Baghdad. Soon, Beberg will return home to Minnesota and she requested that her beloved dog, Ratchet, return with her. The Army said no, according to Defense Department rules. Worried that Ratchet would not survive the streets of Iraq, or worse yet be decreed a "nuisance" by locals and killed, Beberg's supporters started an online petition urging the Army to reconsider. The petition has already garnered more than 12,000 signatures. Donations to help Ratchet and other Iraqi pups return home with their U.S. soldiers are gratefully accepted at Operation Baghdad Pups.
Something to keep in mind before you open your wallet: Terri Crisp serves as program coordinator for Operation Baghdad Pups. If you refer back to my post, "Noah's Wish Settles Katrina Allegations," from August 10, 2007, the Attorney General of California investigated Crisp's former rescue group, Noah’s Wish, for its alleged misallotment of Katrina funds. As part of a settlement that followed, Crisp agreed that she would not "serve as an officer, director or trustee, or in any position having the duties or responsibilities of an officer, director, or trustee, with any nonprofit organization for a period of five (5) years from the execution of this Settlement Agreement.” Granted, the title of program coordinator does not appear to break the agreement but I'm wary that she is involved with a rescue group again so quickly after the Katrina investigation.
Julia Kamysz Lane
A Little Breathing Room for the Pekingese
The United Kingdom’s 135-year-old Kennel Club announced it will review of the breed standards for every pedigree dog due to concerns that these ideals are contributing to serious health problems. (First up, reevaluating the flat face standard for the Pekingese, which makes breathing difficult.)
The decision, which has been long in coming, was essentially forced on the club after a BBC documentary in August ("Pedigree Dogs Exposed") cataloged severe illness, pain, discomfort, disability and deformities in purebred dogs -- including champions. As a result of these revelations, the RSPCA (Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) withdrew support for the Kennel Club’s crowning dog show, Crufts, and BBC was reconsidering its role in the event. These developments succeeded in capturing the attention of breeders and judges, where struggling dogs had apparently failed.
The next question: What are they thinking over at the American Kennel Club?
A History Not Worth Repeating
This glimpse into the history of "animal control" in New York City sends a chill down the spine.