Another clear case of where better laws could have an impact on puppy mills

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I continue see where those opposed to anti-puppy mill laws are claiming current laws are enough. Logic tells is this is not true and we continue to see cases where puppy mills were allowed to operate for far too long.

Another example played out this week in Arkansas, where complaints started a year ago against a puppy mill in Sebastian County – according to a THV11 report.

If better regulations were in place, to hold breeders in the state to clear standards on the housing and care, we wouldn’t see the suffering go on for months or years.

Another article concerning this story ran on 5NewsOnline on Monday.

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Truckers join pilots in the growing effort to save homeless pets

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We’ve read the stories about groups like Pilots N Paws that fly homeless pets around the country, to new homes or from overcrowded shelters to shelters where the odds are much better.

I found an NBC News article yesterday about truckers who are joining the cause. A 69-year-old Texas grandmother, Sue Wiese is the founder of Operation Roger. The volunteers truck homeless animals from municipal shelters and rescue groups to new homes.

Every single life saved is an important one.


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ND animal cruelty bill going through changes

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The North Dakota legislature is inching closer to passing new animal cruelty legislation. But by the time the bill is ripped to shreds by amendments and modifications, I’m sure what might be left.

WDAZ reports the bill was modified to require a search warrant before an animal can be taken in cases of abuse or neglect. But this is not the case for animals who are found abandoned.

It passed the State Senate on a vote of 43-3 and will now go to the House for a final vote.

KFYR used the phrase “plenty of changes” in describing the process. And the KFYR story includes the following statement – one that might tell us where the bill is really going:

The bill also includes a study to be done during the interim by representatives of the agriculture and livestock industry on the affects of the act.

The Bismarck Tribune explains the details on criminal punishment. Animal cruelty is a Class C felony in SB2211. In cases of neglect, abandonment or abuse, the penalty is set at a Class A misdemeanor. On a third offense of abuse the charge would jump to a Class C felony.


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Monday Commentary: Earth Day 2013 vs. The Propaganda Machine

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The nation’s knowledge and awareness in the area of science should be increasing – not decreasing or treading water.
But I fear the constant train of propaganda from corporations and from some corners of the media has sucked in enough people to hold back progress in environmental protections.

And unfortunately, too many elected officials are working against the general welfare of the American people and against our environment and against science – and for increased profits for Big Oil and other big players. Mr. Potter from “It’s a Wonderful Life” would be proud of these politicians, but we shouldn’t be.

And when these politicians and their bosses or puppet masters read about cancer risks from polluted water and the air we’re breathing or the impact of climate change or the impacts of deforestation or the suffering or loss of wildlife species – their response seems to be – “If they are going to die, then they better do it and decrease the surplus population.”

The anti-science and anti-environmental propaganda has reached new levels. All we need to do is watch the disgusting BP ads on TV and the other ads promoting how safe fracking and the nation’s pipelines are. Big Oil used to produce ads about how much better its gas was for your car. Now, the ads are nothing more than pure propaganda.

We’ve taken a big step backward. Who would have thought decades ago that Big Coal would be allowed to completely destroy beautiful mountain ranges?

It is Earth Day 2013 and sadly it seems environmental awareness has declined since the era of the first Earth Day, decades ago. Can we effectively battle against the propaganda train? I am holding out hope. I just hope it won’t be too late.


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Sunday Commentary: What does it take to be evil?

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Every time I read or see a news account of some horrible act of terror or torture against innocent humans or animals, I end up trying to figure out what sort of mentality the terrorist or attacker must have.

I simply cannot get my head around the notion that someone could be so cold-hearted – so uncaring. How can an individual be so completely devoid of compassion for anyone else – for anyone else?

Did the two terrorists who dropped off bombs within a crowd of children and adults at the finish line of the Boston Marathon consider – even for one moment – what a horrible, evil act this was? Apparently not. And that fact is what I cannot understand.

How could anyone walk into a school and gun down little children or walk into a movie theater and open fire on innocent people who are out with family members or friends?

Do those who run dog-fighting rings or puppy mills or who engage in other horrible acts of torture to animals have a similar lack of compassion – to a degree where their compassion is completely non-existent? Apparently so.

I cannot comprehend the thoughts – or lack of thoughts – swirling through the minds of evil people. What was the younger bomber thinking Friday night when he was hiding in the boat? What was his older brother thinking in the days following the bombing? Did he hear the news that he had killed a number of people, including a child? Did he see the news accounts of the suffering that took place that day?

Did he for one moment care about any of the people he killed or injured?

I’ve discussed my thoughts along these lines with family and friends over the years. The response is typically something on the order of a short explanation that people who engage in these evil acts have no compassion – they have no soul. I know that this has to be the case. But how is it possible?

How can some people be completely devoid of compassion for others?


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Is the AKC changing its tune on puppy mills? – We’ll need proof

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In researching information about the new puppy mill legislation in North Carolina, I ran across the American Kennel Club’s statement concerning the bill. And then I found an editorial about the AKC from June of 2012, on the Global Animal website.

The AKC is actually supporting the animal care standards in NC House Bill 903. The bill’s provisions include required access to daily exercise; fresh food and water; veterinary care; preventative care; protection from extreme weather and better flooring for cages.

But the AKC is knocking the bill in regard to not covering breeders with fewer than 10 breeding females – in stating:

AKC believes that animal cruelty statutes should cover all dogs regardless of the number or reason owned.

But the problem is the AKC’s previous and consistent work in battling breeding regulations across the country. Global Animal went after the AKC’s efforts in an editorial posted on its website in June of last year.

The piece includes this statement:

According to Friends of Animals and multiple other animal welfare organizations, it’s estimated that up to 80% of the AKC’s annual income comes from puppy mills or “high volume breeders.”

I hope the AKC is changing and will really go after breeders who register their dogs with the group, but are actually nothing more than puppy mills. I will need to see positive actions that tell me the AKC is changing before I change my take.

Too often I’ve read where a puppy mill has been raided that was selling AKC registered puppies.


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Minnesota considers bill to regulate pet breeders

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The state legislature in Minnesota is considering a bill to license pet breeders and set up a system of inspections. Both requirements are needed everywhere – to help shut down puppy mills.

The licenses would cost breeders $10 per animal, up to a cap of $250 per year. And MPR News reports the inspections would be conducted by the Minnesota Board of Animal Health. The article notes licenses would be required for breeders with “10 or more breeding animals that produce more than five litters a year.”

The Minnesota Pet Breeders Association and the Minnesota Veterinary Medical Association are supporting an alternate bill which would have inspections conducted by veterinarians. My concern here is that the breeder might use a veterinarian they have a connection with.

But one of the key sentences in the article relate to Rep. Tim Faust –

He does not think it’s a conflict of interest for breeders to select and pay the vets who inspect them.

Faust clearly does not understand – or does not want to understand – how this certainly can lead to a conflict of interest. He doesn’t just ignore the obvious, he flips the obvious on its head.

Faust also told the reporter he felt the bill proposing licensing and inspections penalize good breeders. I’ve heard this excuse more times than I care to count. When someone makes this statement it can be translated to say – good breeders have standards below very basic standards of care. How can that be? Are quality breeders forcing their dogs to live in cages 24/7? Are good breeders failing to offer their dogs veterinary care? Are good breeders not keeping the animals in clean enclosures? Are good breeders not allowing their dogs time for exercise?

Quality breeders should already maintain the minimum standards in every proposed piece of legislation I’ve read over the last many, many years. Anyone not providing minimum standards of care for their breeding animals should be shut down. It’s the point of having breeding regulations.


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Keystone XL Pipeline: The Risk on Video

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The group AllRiskNoReward produced this video concerning the Keystone XL Pipeline.

One question: Does the “XL” stand for Extra Large Spills?

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Video: Dog wants a kitten for a friend

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This video has an adoption message, which is the top reason to like it.

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Two articles – two typical quotes from industry insiders

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One of the common themes from Big Oil and industries that exploit animals are the typical quotes spewed by the insiders when the time comes to defend cases where animals are harmed or die.

After the recent rupture of Exxon’s Pegasus pipeline in Arkansas the company put out a written statement concerning the impact of the estimated 84,000 gallons of crude spilled into the area.

One sentence from the statement read –

“The majority of the impacted wildlife has been reptiles, primarily venomous snakes.”

This obviously is wrong, as the oil cannot pick and choose the animals it swamps – and the quote relates to the live animals found. And of course, the statement is meant as propaganda, as if no one would care if snakes were the primary victims. And what? – Were non-venomous snakes somehow spared?

In the UK, horse racing defenders are taking a page out of the greyhound racing industry. Prior to a horse dying after a Grand National race, a jockey was quoted by the Cambridge News as saying the race horses receive better treatment than “many children.”

Animal Aid reports the horse was the 23rd to die during the Grand National since 2000. In the Fox Hunters’ Chase, several horses reported pulled up or fell, described as being “potentially injured.”

So are “many children” forced to race in events such as this. And would a civilized society allow an event go on where 23 kids died over this same time frame, with many more injured?


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