This video shows the horrible life sled dogs endure

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This news video from out of Colorado, shows the method used to house sled dogs. They must live outside in extreme weather conditions, while attached to a tiny wooden hut, on the end of a chain.

Dogs should never be forced to live like this. If this report was about a dog-fighting operation, the massive outcry would lead to the shutdown of the operation. But since it’s dog sledding, the city of Snowmass Village refuses to act.

Apparently, the people involved openly allowed the news crew to film the living conditions of the dogs. I’ve seen where others actually suggest this sort of treatment is acceptable. It clearly is not.

PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic

Here’s the thing about the Dallas Safari Club auction

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The Dallas Safari Club is thankfully catching a lot of heat for auctioning off a permit to kill an African Black Rhino. The wild claim is that the auction is planned to help the conservation effort for rhinos.

If the Dallas Safari Club really cared about the rhinos, the club would hold an auction, call off the hunt and donate the money raised.

But in reality, it’s all about killing a rhino. The award here is for the winner to be able to go to parties and tell the story of how they killed an endangered species. You can bet photos of the hunter and hunted will be splashed around hunting social media.

Only about 5,000 black rhinos exist on the planet. They are critically endangered. But Ben Carter of the Dallas Safari Club claims it’s good for the species to kill older members of the herd, who he says, “are not contributing to the population anymore.”

This shows a complete lack of understanding of animals – on humane and scientific levels.

I have a suggestion. Why not offer huge reward for the capture of wildlife poachers in Africa. Then the hunters can really say they did something great.

PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic

Breaking News: Gov. Cuomo signs New York puppy mill bill

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New York has new regulations to combat puppy mills, after Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed the bill into law on Friday. The primary factors in the law are the ability for local municipalities to regulate breeders and enact stronger regulations.

A Capital Confidential blog post on the Times Union website includes a statement from the ASPCA.

Ecorazzi reports actress Lea Michele spoke out in support of the bill and urged the governor to sign it.

On its website, the ASPCA thanks Cuomo for his signature.


“The puppy mill industry wanted to keep the state law unchanged because it allowed maximum profit and minimum accountability,” says Matt Bershadker, ASPCA President and CEO. “With this law, we’ll be able to keep a closer eye on these operations, stop inhumane practices, and undoubtedly save many lives. For New Yorkers and animal lovers—and animals themselves—this is a huge and important win.”

The Humane Society of the United States calls the move “groundbreaking.”

PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic

Whaling update from Sea Shepherd

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Sea Shepherd Australia reports a Japanese whaling ship is nearing the Australian Whale Sanctuary.

The press release:

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Thursday January 9, 2014 – Melbourne, Australia — The Yushin Maru No. 3, one of three harpoon ships of the Japanese whaling fleet, is currently approaching the 200 nautical mile limit of the Australian Exclusive Economic Zone surrounding Macquarie Island, and entering the Australian Whale Sanctuary. The ship is tailing the Sea Shepherd long-range vessel, The Bob Barker.

If the harpoon ship enters the Australian Whale Sanctuary, it runs the risk of contempt proceedings as a result of the Japanese whaling fleet’s continued breach of the 2008 Australian Federal Court injunction, handed down in the case instigated by Humane Society International.

In its decision, the Federal Court found that the Japanese whaling operation had contravened Australian Federal Law, and had “killed, injured, taken and interfered with Antarctic minke whales(Balaenoptera bonaerensis) and fin whales (Balaenoptera physalus) and injured,taken and interfered with humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) in the Australian Whale Sanctuary in contravention of sections229, 229A, 229B and 229C of the Environment Protection and BiodiversityConservation Act 1999 (Cth).”

Sea Shepherd Australia has notified the Australian Environment Minister, Greg Hunt, of the approaching harpoon ship, calling for the Australian government’s intervention. Sea Shepherd Australia Managing Director Jeff Hansen has stated, “Sea Shepherd is asking Greg Hunt and the Abbott government to have the guts to stand up to these whale poachers and send a clear message to Tokyo, that they are not welcome in the Australian Whale Sanctuary.”

As yet, Mr. Hunt has not released a public response to Sea Shepherd’s request.

In January 2013, Shonan Maru No. 2, the security vessel of the Japanese whaling fleet, entered Australia’s EEZ in contempt of Australian Federal Law. The then-Federal Environment Minister, Tony Burke, ordered the Japanese government to remove their vessel from Australian waters.

Captain of The Bob Barker, Peter Hammarstedt, stated, “Just days ago, we collected undeniable proof that the Japanese whaling fleet is illegally slaughtering whales in an international whale sanctuary. These callous killers, who were captured on film with the butchered remains of a slain whale on their blood-stained decks, are now approaching the Australian Whale Sanctuary. Their presence here is illegal, their actions are immoral, and they need to be turned away immediately.”

Late last year, Mr. Hunt reneged on his pre-election promise to send an Australian Customs ship to the Southern Ocean to monitor the illegal whale hunt. Instead, the Australian government has committed to send an A319 aircraft, operated by Australian Customs personnel, to monitor the poaching operations of the Japanese whaling fleet.

On Monday, The Steve Irwin and The Sam Simon chased the Nisshin Maru north and away from Japan’s self-imposed hunting grounds in the Southern Ocean. The Sea Shepherd Fleet remains vigilant, currently patrolling the Southern Ocean for the whale poachers.
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PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic

Dubuque Chamber of Commerce backs an end to greyhound racing in Iowa

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The Dubuque Chamber of Commerce is supporting legislation in Iowa that could lead to an end greyhound racing in the state. Specifically, the organization want to see that the Mystique Casino is allowed to have slot machines and table games, while not being required to hold dog races at Dubuque Greyhound Park.

It’s great to see the Dubuque Chamber of Commerce take this stand, to see greyhound racing come to an end in the state.

Bluffs Run in Council Bluffs is the only other dog track in the state. We can only hope the legislation will lead to end to racing there as well.

The DesMoines Register article from Jan. 7 notes information reported by the Telegraph-Herald: To subsidize dog racing in the state, over $55 million has been has diverted from “charitable organizations and the city’s capital projects fund over the past three decades.”

Some politicians in the state are supporting an end to racing, but the DesMoines Register reports Pat Murphy (D-Dubuque) isn’t one of them. It seems Murphy is worried about the jobs (okay, I get – but just help them find other jobs) and he is worried about the greyhound breeders. That last worry is misguided, as the breeders are feeding an industry that has a history abusing dogs.

PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic

Video: A look into online puppy sales

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A reader, Twitter friend and fellow animal-welfare advocate has requested that I post information about the organization, Purebred Breeders. It took a few seconds to find the following video from HSUS – from December of 2011.

Back on December 7, 2011, the Today Show featured a segment about Purebred Breeders, which reportedly covers almost 800 websites.

In a post on the HSUS website from Dec. of 2011, Jonathan Lovvorn, senior vice president for animal protection litigation and investigations for HSUS is quoted as saying:

“Purebred Breeders reaps massive profits by purchasing puppies from puppy mills around the country and selling them at a huge mark-up to dog lovers who would never knowingly buy a puppy mill dog.”

Spread the word everywhere you possibly can and through as many means as possible. People should never purchase puppies or kittens before visiting the breeding facility and before insisting on a full tour. Otherwise, the risk is too great that they were bred at a puppy mill or kitten mill.

And for the millionth time, tell everyone that of the top 25 strategies for adding a new furry family member, No. 1 through No. 24 involve adopting through a rescue group or shelter.

PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic

Another buyer of a pet-store puppy (hopefully) learns a lesson

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Sadly, even in the information age we live in, some folks are still uninformed when it comes to important issues such as animal welfare.

Over and over again, we’re reading stories about people who purchased a puppy from a store, only to either have the dog die soon after or suffer through a health crisis. And the family racks up extensive veterinary bills along the way.

Can we get this message out to the masses? – Adoption is always the best option. And if you insist on buying, but don’t get to visit the breeder, run the other way.

It’s has happened again. In Sun City, Ariz., a woman purchased a puppy for more than $2,000 (yes – more than $2,000). The dog is sick and the family is worried he will not live.

The news outlet 3 On Your Side investigated where the puppy was bred and “found the breeder where Maximus reportedly came from had its dog license canceled last February. The breeder also had numerous violations over the past few years.”

But as is the case in so many cases like this, the store rep is claiming they don’t deal with puppy mills. It’s a broken – very broken – record.

But it should be noted that the buyers are not primary victims. The puppies and the parent dogs are the real victims.

PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic

Another puppy mill operator gets off easy

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Through a recent plea bargain, a North Dakota puppy mill operator walked away with a sentence from a local judge that is more a pat on the back than punishment.

Oddly enough, this week’s Inforum article noted the prosecutor in the case claimed the breeder’s “behavior did not appear to be a deliberately-inflicted form of cruelty.” But the story reports some of the dogs “were found matted, living in their own filth and stuffed sometimes five to a kennel.”

It’s called cruelty by neglect and it’s still cruelty. Authorities also reported some of the 170 dogs rescued in the case could not move because their fur was so extremely matted.

So with all of this evidence, what did the judge hand out as punishment? – Two years of supervised probation and $2,000 fine. And the breeder will only be banned from having animals for two years.

How could anyone think a two-year ban on having animals and a minimal fine are reasonable in a case like this? Does the judge understand at all the level of suffering these dogs endured?

PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic

Column about Michael Vick is a dropped pass in the end zone

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Writer Brenda Linck used a blog post on Fan IQ to suggest NFL quarterback Michael Vick, convicted on dog-fighting charges, is a role model.

Maybe, in a stretch, one could suggest he turned his life around – if and only if we see a change going forward for an extended period of time. But at this point, I’m not seeing enough from Vick. What he did was nothing short of horrible.

But Linck went even farther with her column on January 5, stepping into a heaping pile of clueless.

Linck made the following statement:

He ended up serving 21 months in prison. Did the punishment fit the crime? In my opinion, no; He should have served less time.

Actually, 21 months in prison is far too little time for operating a dog-fighting ring and torturing dogs to death. But Linck justifies her opinion by claiming that criminals can serve less time for acts against people. So increase the penalties for these crimes; don’t lessen the punishment for cruelty to animals.

And she says we all make mistakes. Sure, but we don’t all engage in cruelty to animals or people. And those who do should be severely punished. Yes, people can change and turn their lives around. But for this sort of horrible crime, the punishment should come first and then it’s up to the offender to prove him or herself over time.

Linck lost all credibility on this issue, when she suggested Vick’s punishment was too harsh – in comparison to his crime.

PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic