Another weak sentence for dog fighting

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Too many courtrooms across the country are handing out very weak punishments for serious crimes – like dog fighting. I am consistently stunned by the light sentences we’re reading about.

A few days back, a dog fighter in Gary, Ind. was given just 18 months of home detention and probation for operating a fighting ring out of his garage. The criminal pleaded guilty last month to promoting or staging an animal fighting contest (Class D felony) and misdemeanor possession of animal fighting paraphernalia, as reported by Opposing Views.

He will pay funds to cover the care of the dogs. But a ban on having “vertebrate animals” as pets only runs through the length of his sentence. So after a year-and-a-half, this dog torturer can obtain more dogs.

It is unbelievable that anyone with a functioning brain and moral compass could support allowing a convicted dog fighter to EVER possess any pets EVER again.

 

PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic

Discover Video: Ghost Octopus

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Ghost octopus is amazing:

PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic

Editorial covers a lot of ground on animal welfare

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An editorial by Peter Fricker, projects and communications director for the Vancouver Humane Society, ran September 8 on the Vancouver Sun website.

Fricker covers a lot of territory on animal-welfare topics, from endangered species to habitat loss to horse racing to factory farming to fur farms to bull fighting. He offers one quote indicating that unlike the extinction of animals over the past history of the Earth, human activity is almost entirely to blame for the current extinction crisis.

Among the terrible statistics he cited is this:

More than 10,000 U.S. thoroughbred horses are shipped annually to slaughterhouses in Canada and Mexico. Most of these are young, healthy horses — their racing careers can end at three years old but they can live to 30.

This is a stunning number that outpaces the horrors of the awful greyhound racing industry. The convenient excuse is to claim we have to inflict suffering on animals in vast ways, for financial reasons – or for the jobs the suffering supports.

Is our society still so greedy or in other ways so apathetic that we’re supposed to support cruelty and torture as long as it supplies jobs? We should be at a point – in 2013 – where we’ve advanced beyond this point. But we are not there yet.

I think most people care. But there exist enough greed and apathy and cruelty around us to maintain these industries and entities and to maintain the protection the government is offering them. So horse racing, dog racing, puppy mills and other horrors still exist because too many politicians refuse to put compassion above profit margins.

 

PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic

Marijuana smoke harmful to pets

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I just received a press release from the Pet Poison Helpline, concerning the dangers of marijuana to pets.

For those who choose to smoke marijuana – fine. But those who expose others to the second-hand smoke, including the exposure to pets, are stepping over the line. It is clearly harmful to pets – and certainly kids should not be exposed to it.

And certainly this sort of thing should not promoted to kids in any way.

Thank you to the Pet Poison Helpline for distributing this information:

“” “”

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. (Sept. 11, 2013) – On the heels of the legalization of marijuana for recreational use in Colorado and Washington, last week the Justice Department effectively announced it won’t challenge other states’ attempts to legalize the drug for medical or recreational use. While marijuana is still classified as illegal, eight new federal enforcement priorities were issued that essentially discourage federal prosecutors from pursuing non-violent marijuana users and focusing efforts on marijuana sales linked to criminal activity. Many believe these policy changes lay the groundwork for more states to legalize marijuana, especially for medicinal use in humans. Meanwhile, debates about whether or not medical marijuana is beneficial for ailing pets are becoming more frequent. While the jury remains out regarding the benefits of medical marijuana for pets, recent news coverage and an increase in the number of pets being treated for accidental marijuana poisonings are raising questions about the safety of marijuana, especially in dogs.

Continue reading Marijuana smoke harmful to pets →

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USDA announces crackdown on online puppy mill sales

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Finally, we might be seeing a move at the federal level to go after puppy mills.

The USDA has announced new regulations to bring dog breeders who sell puppies online or through the mail or by phone under the same guidelines imposed on wholesale breeders. This will be the case for breeders who breed four females or more.

The Associated Press story notes these breeders will need to apply for federal licenses and can be inspected by officials with the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

And here’s more great news from the AP piece:

The Agriculture Department estimates that up to 4,640 dog breeders could be affected by the rule, along with about 325 cat breeders and up to 75 rabbit breeders.

Those oppose to the new rules claim the move will put many breeders out of business. GOOD. Those who cannot comply with basic, humane standards of care should not be allowed to operate at all.

Naturally, the AKC opposes the move by the USDA, as reported by the AP:

The American Kennel Club said it is dismayed by the rule, which is “overly broad and will do more damage than good,” said spokeswoman Lisa Petersen.

The AKC always opposes new regulations on puppy mills. Any move to actually force bad breeders to shut down brings the AKC out in force. And get this, the group claims the term “breeding female” is too vague. They probably think the term “compassion” is too vague.

Global Animal puts it this way – “Dog lovers rejoice!”

And on his blog, Wayne Pacelle of the Humane Society of the US says tens of thousands of dogs housed in puppy mill will gain protection under the new regulations.

Pacelle explains the HSUS, the Humane Society Legislative Fund and the Doris Day Animal League have been pushing for the change. And they believe “… it was fundamentally unfair that people involved in the same underlying business enterprise (breeding dogs to sell for profit) would face entirely different regulatory standards.”

At minimum, why can’t officials at the AKC understand even this fact?

Pacelle goes on to add:

We thank the Obama administration and the USDA for bringing new standards of care to thousands of puppies, but also to kittens, rabbits and other warm-blooded animals who are often raised in inhumane facilities and sold as pets over the Internet, by mail or by phone, sight-unseen.

We must impose a system of inspections for commercial breeders. Those found to be abusing animals should be immediately shut down and those found to be operating without a license should be immediately shut down.

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Wacky Mentality: In NZ, claim made that clubing seals does not cause pain

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An animal-cruelty case in New Zealand has taken a wacky twist, as the accused is denying he did anything wrong.

On the one hand – fur seals are protected under the Marine Mammals Protection Act. And then there’s the nation’s Animal Welfare Act, where suffering is the key issue.

The accused is charged with “ill-treating” and killing 23 New Zealand fur seals. The Marlborough Express reports the man’s lawyer says he would have pleaded guilty under the Marine Mammals Protection Act. But he’s denying he made the seals suffer.

And get this from the article:

Defence lawyer David Clark contended it was possible all the seals were killed or knocked out instantly, and would therefore not have felt any pain before they died, some after being hit a second time.

So even if he had to strike the seals a second time, they claim no suffering was involved. The claim stretches far beyond the boundaries of science and reason. So it easily earns a Wacky Mentality Award.

 

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Scab ripped off of West Virginia greyhound racing

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For a long, long time, any logical or moral defense of greyhound racing has been non-existent. And as more news comes pouring out of the industry – in the United States and overseas – the evidence that should lead to a complete shutdown of dog racing is abundantly clear.

The situation in West Virginia only adds to the evidence. Thanks to the work of GREY2K USA, a new report on dog racing in the state is getting out to the public. From 2008 through June of 2013, 289 greyhounds lost their lives due to injuries or other issues at two tracks. And of course, this does not account for the dogs who simply failed at racing. What happened to those who never made it to rescue groups?

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, which partially funded the reported, also deserves a ton of credit for exposing this industry for what it is.

Back on the two tracks, nearly 4,800 injuries were suffered from 2008 to June of this year. Over the five-and-a-half year span, over 1,400 greyhounds suffered injuries that ended their so-called “careers.”

Continue reading Scab ripped off of West Virginia greyhound racing →

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UNREAL: After two decades of violations, breeder applies for new license

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How any local or state government could ever even consider this one is beyond all reason or logic. A Pennsylvania dog breeder has applied for a new license to breed, after two decades of animal cruelty violations, as reported by the Philly Dawg blog on Philly.com.

The report indicates the breeder’s veterinarian was even a convicted animal abuser. The breeder repeated abused his dogs and then at one point turned in his license but kept selling puppies.

Incredibly, the Philly Dawg blog reports the director of the Dog Law Enforcement Office was about to grant this breeder another license, but is not reconsidering the move.

Another troubling aspect to the story -

Pechart says he is being pressured by Esh’s lawyer Jeffrey Conrad, of Clymer, Musser & Conrad (founding partner Leonard Brown is now a Lancaster County judge). a self-described defender of individuals charged with animal abuse.
There is a big red flag on this case. It is a no-brainer. The license should be denied, along with the enforcement of a lifetime ban on possessing animals.  When are we going to more examples of more communities and states really cracking down on puppy mills.?
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Another example of how limited bans don’t work with animal abusers

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A couple in Tennessee was arrested a second time this year on animal cruelty charges. They were charged with 134 counts back in February, as reported by WATE.com.

They took a plea deal that included turning over all of their animals and agreeing to not possess animals for one year. Someone negotiated a plea deal that included a mere one-year ban. How is this possible in 2013?

So what did the couple do? How serious did they consider the punishment? – It only took them a few months to get caught with animals again. This time it they were found at an area flea market with 29 chickens.

The article included this quote:

“I was just in shock,” said shelter manager Misti Coffey. “I couldn’t believe that he would go ahead and be so public about owning more animals again.”

I am not shocked at all. The message the couple received from their initial “punishment” was nothing more than a friendly pat on the back from the criminal justice system.

As is the case with too many criminal acts, the criminals believe the judicial system is a joke. A quick slap on the wrist and they are free to plan their next crime.

 

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Wacky Mentality Award: Judge G. Todd Baugh

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It’s a bit off the beaten path for this blog, but I have to award a Wacky Mentality Award to Montana Judge G. Todd Baugh.

He is the judge who sentenced a rapist to 30 days in prison for an act perpetrated against a 14-year-old girl. Baugh’s initial statement suggested the girl had as much control over the situation as the rapist. It is beyond belief that a judge, who should be on bench to protect the innocent, would make such an asinine statement.

And of course, handing down such as weak sentence is a slap in the face to victims of sexual violence everywhere.

But now, Baugh is backtracking and is calling for a new sentencing hearing. He suddenly suggests that state law requires a two-year mandatory minimum prison term in cases such as this.

So he’s a judge and didn’t know this during  the initial sentencing. Was he so quick to let the rapist off the hook with a slap on the wrist that he failed to look up basic sentencing guidelines? – Really? At least we might see justice better served in the coming days.

Our criminal justice system needs a big overall, with a mission to protect the innocent.

 

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