Does Petland Support Puppy Mills?

Petland_screenshot 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     

November 20, 2008 in Current Affairs, Health, Humane, Legislation, media | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

First Dog Bites Reporter

Reporters are always on the lookout for a sound bite, but I don't think this is what political writer Jon Decker had in mind. The Reuters reporter spotted First Dog Barney on a walk with his handler and asked if he could pet him. The dogwalker said sure but the Scottish Terrier wasn't as agreeable. Or perhaps he was making a political statement of some kind. Fortunately, Decker was treated by the White House physician and will be fine.

Julia Kamysz Lane

November 6, 2008 in Current Affairs, media | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

"Signature Surgery" Could Help Dog Find Family

JennasurgeryidIf 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

November 5, 2008 in Current Affairs, Health, Humane, Legislation, media, Volunteer | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Soldier Pleas For Pup to Leave Iraq

RatchetarmypupFive 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

October 14, 2008 in Current Affairs, Donations , Health, Humane, Legislation, media, Travel, Volunteer | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

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?

Lisa Wogan

October 11, 2008 in Current Affairs, Dogs and science, Humane, media, Science, Television | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Big Moment for Little Dogs

2909393151_0562372250_m I have to admit I’m a sucker for talking-dog movies, and so when I first saw a trailer for Beverly Hills Chihuahua, I made a mental note to track down a niece or nephew in need of a matinee chaperone some time soon. But it didn’t take long for that sinking feeling to creep up on me: the awareness that this movie--starring a sassy, sweet Chihuahua--would probably drive a new wave of people to puppy-mill supplied pet shops. Folks in Chihuahua rescue, already stretched thin by the breed's Hollywood-fueled popularity, have been bracing themselves for a surge in unwanted dogs ever since they first heard about the film.

But maybe this time can be different. After all, the film's hero Papi was a last-minute shelter save and folks at organizations such as Best Friends Animal Society are trying to put his high profile to good use with a push for Chihuahua rescue. (Click on their Rescue poster above or watch and share their Chihuahua rescue video.) As Papi might say, "It's time to put the WOW in Chee-wow-wa rescue!"

Lisa Wogan

October 4, 2008 in Cool stuff, Current Affairs, Humane, media | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Church Sign Dog Debate

No matter your religious persuasion, or lack thereof, dog lovers will likely find these dueling church signs to be pretty amusing. I didn't find this debunked on Snopes, but a graphic-artist friend of mine thinks someone was having fun with Photoshop.

Julia Kamysz Lane

September 26, 2008 in Current Affairs, media, Religion | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

German Shepherd Dials 911, Saves Owner

Artdog911apGiven a chance, dogs are capable of mastering extraordinary skills. Buddy the German Shepherd called 911 when his owner, Joe Stalnaker of Phoenix, had a seizure. Help quickly arrived and thankfully, he survived.

Stalnaker adopted Buddy as a puppy from Paws With A Cause so he could be trained as a Seizure Response Dog. As a dog trainer, I'm always looking for fun, new things to teach my pack of five dogs or my students' dogs. But I'll leave dialing 911 to service dogs only! What tricks can your dog do? Or what trick would you like to teach your dog?

Julia Kamysz Lane

September 16, 2008 in Cool stuff, Current Affairs, Health, Humane, media, Volunteer | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

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

August 29, 2008 in Current Affairs, Health, Humane, Legislation, media, product review, Recreation, Weblogs | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Man Who Axed Dog Gets Slap On Wrist

Last month, Freddie Mock of Manito, IL, bludgeoned a four-year-old Cocker Spaniel with an axe and left him for dead in the woods. Someone passing by heard the dog's cries and rushed him to the vet. The dog's injuries were so severe that he was put to sleep.

Mock was charged with aggravated cruelty and admitted that the dog's owner, Connie Vanderheiden, paid him $25 to kill her dog. (She has since been charged with aggravated cruelty and will appear in court Aug. 21.) What's even more outrageous is that after Mock's arrest, more people came forward to confess that they had paid him to kill their unwanted dogs, too. His own 14 dogs were thankfully surrendered to a local rescue group, Pets Without Parents (PWP). 

Mock deserves the maximum penalty of three years in jail and a $25,000 fine, but Mason County State's Attorney Kristin Miller has made a pitiful plea offer of just 90 days and two years of probation. This is unacceptable. Please contact Miller and the parties listed below and politely request that Mock serve more jail time befitting his horrific, cowardly crime:

Mason County State's Attorney Kristin Miller, (309-543-4212, [email protected]
Mason County Courthouse, (309) 543-6619, [email protected]
Judge Thomas Brownfield (217) 277-2055, [email protected]
Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn, (217) 782-7884, [email protected]

For more info on how to help, please call PWP President Susan Oldham at (309) 543-4652. Donations to Pets Without Parents are gratefully accepted through PayPal or snail mail: PO Box 25, Havana, IL, 62644.

Julia Kamysz Lane

August 20, 2008 in Current Affairs, Humane, Legislation, media, Volunteer | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack