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
Oregon Sends A Vet to Washington
By a 3-to-2 ratio, Oregon citizens elected veterinarian and small farm owner Kurt Schrader (D) to represent the state's 5th Congressional District on Tuesday. For those living in rural areas desperate for quality veterinary care this could be good news. Alleviating the shortage of rural veterinarians is a priority for Schrader. He says he'll work to create scholarships or student loan repayment programs for vets who commit to working in underserved areas.
Greyhounds Are Also Big Winners
More election night news: Massachusetts voters decided to end greyhound racing in the state. Passed by a healthy margin, the Massachusetts Greyhound Protection Act puts an end to 75 years of dog racing and its attendant suffering. Woof.
"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
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.
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
Poop Patrol Demands Dog DNA
The world has totally gone to the dogs ... and CSI! In a suburb of Tel Aviv, Israel, dog lovers are eligible for rewards if they scoop the poop. I have two questions: 1) who has the fun job of collecting and testing the properly bagged and tossed poop, and 2) is it really necessary to reward someone for responsible behavior? I'm all for positive reinforcement, but I hate to think that people will only do the right thing because of a "what's in it for me?" mindset.
Julia Kamysz Lane
Dog Is Your Pilot?
Last week, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed the bill that aimed to make it illegal for a motorist in California to drive with a dog in his or her lap. While I think it's a seriously ill-advised practice to hurtle down the highway at 55-miles-an-hour with an unpredictable, vulnerable ball of squirming fur in your lap (or, for that matter, while talking on the phone, tapping out a text message, peeling an orange, and/or applying eyeshadow), I agree the the Govenator that you can't legislate common sense.
'Bark' Obama for President?
This week, the Humane Society Legislative Fund endorsed Senator Barak Obama for president. This was the first presidential endorsement in the Fund's history, and a choice, Mike Markarian, HSLF president, said Democrat and Republican members did not take lightly.
I appreciate how the endorsement breaks down the candidates' records on animal protection.
Markarian describes Obama as “a solid supporter of animal protection," citing support for at least a dozen animal protection laws, including those to strengthen the penalties for animal cruelty and promote spaying and neutering at the state-level and support for efforts to combat animal fighting and increase funding for enforcing the Animal Welfare Act.
The endorsement calls Democratic vice-presidential candidate Senator Joe Biden “a stalwart friend of animal welfare," who receives high marks year after year on the Humane Scorecard. Among his leadership accomplishments are co-authoring legislation to ban the netting of dolphins by commercial tuna fishermen and as lead author on a bill prohibiting trophy hunting of captive exotic mammals.
While the Fund described Republican presidential candidate Senator John McCain as "lukewarm" on animal protection, they had heated words for his running-mate Alaska Governor Sarah Palin.
Gov. Sarah Palin's (R-Alaska) retrograde policies on animal welfare and conservation have led to an all-out war on Alaska's wolves and other creatures. Her record is so extreme that she has perhaps done more harm to animals than any other current governor in the United States.
p.s. While we're on the topic, check out the White House-dog house Ellen DeGeneres had made for Michelle Obama at the end of this YouTube clip.
Toy Requires Tongue Amputation
If your dog plays with a pimple ball with bell (pictured here) manufactured by Four Paws Inc., please remove it immediately. Then read what happened to 10-year-old Lab mix Chai, whose tongue had to be amputated after playing with the ball.
When Chai's owner first brought this to Four Paws' attention two months ago to demand a public recall of this product, he was ignored. Then he was told that all of his correspondence had been forwarded to its insurance company! Four Paws did not publicly acknowledge the defective toy and recall it until August 27, 2008. The long-time dog toy manufacturer claimed that this had never happened before.
Daniel planned to accept a financial settlement from Four Paws to cover Chai's vet bills and rehab until he learned that a 5-year-old Lab mix named Cole died from his horrific tongue injuries sustained by the ball back in 2005. Four Paws was aware of this and did NOTHING. Who knows how many other dogs suffered or died over the past THREE YEARS due to this company's negligence and greed?
Julia Kamysz Lane