104 dogs rescued from Mississippi puppy mill

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The Humane Society of the US recently took part in yet another puppy mill raid, this time under a joint effort with the Walthall County Sheriff’s Office and the Humane Society of South Mississippi.

More than 100 dogs were found living in horrible conditions. The HSUS reports decomposing bodies of adult dogs and puppies were found. Charges are pending in the case.

Lydia Sattler, Mississippi state director for The HSUS was quoted as saying:

“I was sickened by what we found today. No animal should have to suffer in such atrocious conditions. We are thankful that the Walthall County Sheriff’s Office and the Humane Society of South Mississippi acted so quickly to address the situation and that we were able to assist with rescuing these animals.”

Tara High, the executive director of Humane Society of South Mississippi:

“These are some of the worst conditions that I’ve ever seen. To think that these animals have lived like this, it’s a testament to their fortitude that they could survive. We’re glad that we were able to respond to help these dogs as soon as possible. We are also thankful to our community for helping us adopt out animals so we could make the space for these needy dogs.”

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Oklahoma tornado survivor finds her dog buried under rubble during TV interview

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Within the devastation in the aftermath of the Oklahoma tornadoes, a woman finds her lost dog, buried under the pieces of her leveled home.

It’s a great reunion caught on video, but the TV crew could have been a bit more helpful.

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Opponents of puppy mill bills say the craziest things

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Try as I might to avoid commenting on another person’s competence, sometimes I just … can’t … seem … to …. avoid …. it.

As previously noted, a puppy mill bill is working its way through the North Carolina General Assembly. The provisions are very basic and include standards of care that everyone should provide for ALL pets.

The debate in the NC House took a disturbing route last week when Rep. Michael Speciale (R-Craven) tried to claim the requirements in the bill were too ambiguous:

“‘Exercise on a daily basis’ – if I kick him across the floor, is that considered daily exercise?” said Speciale. “’Euthanasia performed humanely’– so should I choose the axe or the baseball bat?”

Thankfully, Rep. Bob Steinburg (R-Chowan) responded by rightfully depicting Speciale’s take as “disgusting” and “disrespectful.”

WRAL reports he tried to defend – if you can call it that – his comments. If not for his defense, we might consider he was merely making a point that the provisions are not strong enough. But Speciale’s intentions seem more on the side of blocking protections for dogs housed in puppy mills.


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North Carolina First Lady is backing state’s puppy mill bill

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North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory’s wife Ann McCrory is reportedly lobbying for the passage of a puppy mill bill, currently working its way through the state’s General Assembly. The Governor might be putting himself in a odd spot if it decides to hesitate in signing the bill.

The Charlotte Observer quoted Ann McCrory as saying:

“Passing legislation to establish basic standards of care for large commercial breeding facilities is a very important issue to me and to people across our state,” Ann McCrory wrote. “These policies increase our quality of life in North Carolina and ensure better care for dogs across our state.”

I wish HB930 did more. It needed an inspection system and licensing. The Charlotte Observer article reports the current bill does not cover “kennels that provide boarding or training, even if only a single dog is boarded” or breeders who breed “show dogs, hunting dogs, sporting dogs or field dogs.” All dogs should be covered by the very basic protections in the bill.

I’ll have more on this legislation coming up. One elected official is getting some blow-back after a very harsh statement in opposition to the effort to protect dogs from cruelty.


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Breaking News: NC House votes big on new puppy mill bill

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This is news out of my home state. So it’s big news for me. By a vote of 100-15, the North Carolina House of Representatives has passed a bill that will hopefully protect dogs in commercial breeding facilities.

HB 930 will still need a positive vote in the NC Senate before advancing to Governor Pat McCrory’s desk. I’m seriously hoping the margin of victory in the House is a sign of what could happen in the Senate.

Again, I wish this bill included more – like inspections and a mandatory licensing system. But it is a positive step in the right direction. I’m also hoping that the margin in the vote tally is a sign that elected officials are finally catching the message from the population – that we no longer want to see animals abused at the hands of people who put profit above all – even to a degree where animals are tortured to increase the bottom line.

This is happening every day in puppy mills in North Carolina and all across the nation. It needs end – now.

The HSUS press release in full:

“” “”

North Carolina House of Representatives  Cracks Down on Puppy Mills

(May 9, 2013) — The North Carolina House of Representatives passed legislation to ensure dogs are treated humanely in commercial breeding facilities. The bill, which passed the House with a 100-15 vote, is sponsored by Reps. Jason Saine, R-97, Rayne Brown, R-81, Chuck McGrady, R-117, and Nathan Ramsey, R-115. It next goes to the state Senate.

Kimberley Alboum, North Carolina state director for The Humane Society of the United States said: “This is a great step forward for the dogs in North Carolina. If passed, this legislation will help thousands of dogs living in commercial breeding facilities, and I am proud of our sponsors and supporters for their efforts to relieve suffering for so many animals in our state.”

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Another editorial on puppy mills and the AKC

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Op Ed News ran an editorial May 2 by Suzana Megles, under the headline – “The AKC and Puppy Mills.”

Megles cites information from the Humane Society of the US that states the AKC has opposed 90 state and local bills for the for the past five years. She rightfully notes PetSmart and Petco stopped selling puppies some time ago and over 2.000 independent pet stores have signed the HSUS pledge to no longer sell puppies.

And I was happy to see the information about Facebook not allowing advertisements for puppies and eBay’s warning about on-line puppy sales.


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We have a nominee for the Most Wildly Untrue Statement of the Year

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I run across so many of these, so I’m sure I would loose track over time, but let’s call statements like the following, the nominees for the Most Wildly Untrue Statements of the Year.

The National Post out of Canada reports Rick Bergman, the vice chair of the Canadian Pork Council, believes “using gestation crates are simply the most humane and efficient way to breed a sow.” It’s not a direct quote, but this is what the National Post says Bergman believes.

Why? – Factory farming insiders use excuses such as the weather is bad outside or the sows don’t get along or piglets are at risk without the gestation crates.

Do they realize pigs have been around for a long, long time – surviving without gestation crates? Do they realize wild pigs breed like crazy without any help from gestation crates? Do they realize farms existed before factory farming reared its ugly head?

But more to the point, gestation crates are extremely inhumane. Saying the Earth is at the center of the solar system, with the Sun revolving around us won’t make it true. Saying the Cleveland Browns have won six Super Bowls in a row won’t make it true.


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West Virginia Governor signs new breeding regulations into law

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West Virginia joins the ranks of states with dog-breeding regulations, as the effort to combat puppy mills grows. Governor Earl Ray Tomblin signed the breeding bill and and another piece of legislation that establishes the West Virginia Spay Neuter Assistance Program and Fund.

The North Country Gazette reports –

SB 437 requires anyone keeping more than 10 intact dogs for the purpose of breeding to provide each dog with solid flooring, protection from the elements, adequate lighting, food, water, veterinary care and sanitary conditions.

The new law also bans the practice of housing dogs in stacked crates and dictates that only licensed veterinarians should euthanize any of the breeder’s dogs. And the breeders will need certification from a veterinarian to breed each dog.


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And the bad news continues out of greyhound racing

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An appropriate headline ran this week on the Herald-Tribune website – “Death at the dog track.”

The editorial indicates a greyhound died from electrocution in February at the Sarasota Kennel Club in Florida and another dog died the month prior – possibly due to the same cause. The deaths come from contact with mechanical lures and/or their wiring.

The writer also states “serious muscle and bone injuries are not uncommon.”  And the writer wraps up the piece, noting dog racing is a dying industry, with the following –

Which dog will be the last to die in a show that nobody’s watching?

It’s a very important question.


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