On the Environment: BP suspended and Amazon deforestation rate is down

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On the environmental front, there are two areas of good news this week:

The Environmental Protection Agency as announced BP has received a suspension from being issued new contracts with the US government. The Associated Press reports the EPA suspension has arrised due to BP’s “lack of business integrity as demonstrated by the company’s conduct with regard to the Deepwater Horizon blowout, explosion, oil spill, and response.”

AND – the AP also reports the rate of deforestation in Brazil’s Amazon rainforest has dropped to the lowest level in the past 24 years. This is really great news, but we should not be pleased until we see the deforestation stop altogether and see that trend continue into into the future.


Ohio puppy mill bill on the way to governor’s desk

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After the Ohio Senate put a 32-1 final vote stamp on the state’s anti-puppy mill bill, the measure will go to governor’s pen to be signed into law.

10TV.com reports Kellie DiFrishchia, director of the animal rescue group Columbus Dog Connection, called the Senate vote a great day for dogs.

If the governor does sign it, the law will require annual inspections for breeders, by local veterinarians. The Columbus Dispatch notes breeders who “produce at least nine litters of puppies per year or sell 60 or more dogs per year” will need to be licensed and inspected. The state can send in its inspectors if complaints are received concerning a breeder.

Rescue groups will also be required to register with the state.

But again, one of the key elements that should be included in any breeding regulations is missing here. We need to have a ban in every state on selling puppies (and probably kittens) that are under 12 weeks of age. I’m going to keep hammering away at this.


Sled dog killer given light sentence – and Oklahoma forms animal-welfare roundtable

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The man who killed 100 sled dogs in Whistler, B.C. Canada back in 2010 was handed a very light punishment in court – “three years probation, 200 hours of community service, a $1,725 fine, a three-year ban on commercial involvement with animals and a 10-year firearms ownership prohibition” – according to a story posted Friday on Yahoo News.

Robert Fawcett was accused of shooting the dogs or slitting their throats before tossing their bodies into a mass grave. The maximum punishment for an offense such as this would have been five years in prison and up to a $75,000 fine.

So once again, we see someone horribly torture animals only to have a court pat them on the back and send them on their way. It’s terrible. Where is this court’s responsibility in protecting the innocent? Have some courts in the US and Canada turned away from being the bedrock of the criminal justice system? Have they turned into the criminal support system?

AND – In Oklahoma, a roundtable has been formed to discuss animal-welfare topics.

The lead paragraph of the NewsOK article reads, “” Where animals fare well, children, families and individuals fare well. This is one of the guiding principals of The Oklahoma Roundtable for Animal Welfare. “”

The most pressing issues identified by the group: ” …. education for the general public and industry professionals; minimum standards of care in various fields from animal rescues to shelters to livestock production; disaster preparedness and response, affordable services and education outreach for underserved populations; regulation of exotic and wildlife ownership and trade, community and field awareness related to the human/animal bond; and support for law enforcement agencies.”

I wish them great success.

Greyhound racing industry again tries to justify deaths with displaced math

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I am continually amazed by the greyhound racing industry’s excuses for abusing and killing dogs. GREY 2K USA has reported 24 greyhounds died and 175 were injured between January 2011 and July 2012 at Iowa’s two tracks – Council Bluffs and Dubuque Iowa.

The industry’s justification for the horrible numbers? – They conduct a lot of races. I hope the toy industry never decides to use that excuse if a toy is found to – say – pose a dangerous choking or other safety hazard. The racing industry actually believes it’s okay to kill at least 24 greyhounds every year and severely injure many more so that people can gamble on dogs running around an oval track. There are countless other means to bet money – on everything from cards and dice to sports to elections to anything else we can think of.

Leave animals out of it.

A Des Moines Register article published Saturday paints a dark picture of the Iowa state legislature: “” But lawmakers have rejected proposals the past three years to allow casinos to pay millions of dollars annually to the state treasury for the right to shut down their dog tracks. “”

The casinos want to drop racing and pay the state millions annually to drop the state mandate that forces them to hold races. But somehow, over the past three years, the state legislature has refused to take this offer. There are just enough elected officials in the state who want to see the torture of animals continue. And for them, even millions going to help balance the budget is not enough to stop their support for animal torture.

If you’re going to gamble in their state, these people want to make sure it’s on an industry where dogs suffer.

And once again, someone noted in the Des Moines Register piece tries to compare the rate of dog-racing injuries to sports, in this case the rate of high school sports injuries. What’s the phrase I’m looking for? … It’s right there … Oh yeah – Stupid. High school sports are voluntary.

Amazing advancement in treating paralysis in dogs

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Multiple news sources are reporting this week on an amazing advancement in treating paralysis in dog, where olfactory ensheathing cells (OEC), which the body uses for the repair of nerve fibres in the nose, are being used on spinal injuries.

Smithsonian.com notes the nose is the only part of the body where nerve fibers continue to grow in adults. This study in animals could lead to advancements in the treatment of paralysis in humans.

Professor Robin Franklin co-authored of the study from the Wellcome Trust-MRC Cambridge Stem Cell Institute at Cambridge University. He is quoted as saying,  ‘Our findings are extremely exciting because they show for the first time that transplanting these types of cell into a severely damaged spinal cord can bring about significant improvement”

Read the BBC report here.

Happy Thanksgiving to all animals lovers

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Our band of rescues has already been sniffing around the kitchen and attempting to check out the source of the smells on the counters.

From our family to yours, we hope you have a wonderful day of Thanksgiving and that you are able spend important time with family and friends – including the more furry members of the family. We will be watching the big parade and cooking more and trying to fit in as many snuggles as possible.

We’re thankful today that we have our dogs with us. But we are also not forgetting that so many are sitting in shelters today without loving homes. So hug your pets today and in the days and weeks and years going forward, spread the word that rescued pets are the greatest pets in the world. And when a family member or a friend tells you they are considering the purchase of a pet, let then know that THE BEST option is adoption.



Man gets VERY light sentence for dog fighting

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I just can’t believe how soft our criminal justice system still is on violent criminals. Innocent people are not safe in so many areas of the nation. Yet, the court system refuses to get tough.

A Kalamazoo, Mich. man was sentenced to 45 days in jail recently on dog-fighting charges. He will also serve three years probation. Fox 17 reports that back in September, the same man pleaded guilty to a felony animal fighting charge. And yet, he got only 45 days in jail.

The judge should have looked at the previous case, from just a couple of months back, and told the defendant that it was clear he had decided to ignore the law and that he had decided no one was going to stop him from torturing animals. So the only way to do stop him was to put him prison for a very long time.

In fact, as far as I’m concerned, in a case like this where a violent, repeat offender is involved – the sentencing should be automatic and decades in length, at minimum.

We need to read about more puppy-mill raids

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It has happened again and again the news comes out of Ohio. On Saturday, 241 dogs were rescued from an alleged puppy mill in Sidney, Ohio.

WLWT reports the dogs were found to be in very poor health and were living in unfit housing. One was found dead. And the name of the operation? – Pedigree Pets.
We need for the pace to pick up on puppy-mill raids nationwide. This is good news for the 241 dogs saved in this case. How many more, how many millions are suffering tonight?