Former NFL coach saves puppy, but lets abuser off the hook

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Former Dallas Cowboys and collegiate football coach Barry Switzer recently discovered a puppy locked in a hot van on a brutal summer day. reports he waited by the van until the owner returned and ended up buying the puppy to save it.

No where in the report does it indicate he called law enforcement to have the person investigated and potentially charged with animal cruelty. Switzer, in the NFL video, reports the puppy had a large and heavy tether around his neck. He said the man showed him photos to the parent dogs when Switzer offered to buy it.

The former coach found the dog a new home, but what about the person who locked it in the van? The NFL morning show crew failed to asked him if he called 911.

He downplayed the threat to the puppy, maybe in an effort to downplay his effort in saving him from harm. But the puppy was in a life-threatening situation.


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Stunned by editorial on greyhound racing

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I happened across an editorial tonight on a website I was previously unfamiliar with – The topic was greyhound racing and I was taken aback by the content.

First, the writer describes greyhound racing as “a sport that involves racing dogs …” – Really? Is that right? She suggests going to dog race is a great activity for the family. – Really? – No. Forcing kids to watch dogs risk injury and death is NOT family fun.

The writer mistakenly suggests that if greyhound racing is done with some concern for animal welfare, it’s okay. I don’t see that happening. But she finally gets it, in stating dog racing is a “dying sport in most of the civilized world.” – Although it is completely inaccurate to categorize greyhound racing as a sport.

It’s 2013. When will the facts and a real concern for animal welfare reach some of these people?



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USFWS puts the brakes on wolf delisting proposal

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At least for now, the US Fish and Wildlife Service has halted a peer-review process for removing wolves from the Endangered Species List.

Defenders of Wildlife reports 16 respected scientists were barred from advising on the proposal. An email I received today includes a statement from Jamie Rappaport Clark, president of Defenders of Wildlife:

 “While we still disagree on the merits of this premature delisting proposal, at least the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service understands the magnitude of the issue. It’s a relief that the Service has listened to the voices of wildlife supporters nationwide who have called the integrity of their peer review process into question. Cherry-picking scientists is not a good way to do business. To ensure impartiality and scientific integrity, we recommend that the Service turn the peer review over to the National Academy of Sciences instead of trying to manage the process itself. Either way, we look forward to a fair peer review of the science behind this ill-advised delisting proposal, and we hope the Service turns to the best experts in the field regardless of whether they have written letters about the use of their science in the proposal.”

How in the world is it that scientists were going to be banned from a panel that was set to evaluate the delisting of gray wolves nationwide? It is a growing problem in this country, where a growing effort is working against science education and science in general.

Too often, pure greed is behind the movement to block science and the movement to block protections for animals.


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Town board in NY state rejects request for puppy mill

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Earlier this month, the town planning board in Canajoharie, NY rejected a request from an Amish breeder to open a mass-breeding operation. Thankfully, the board chose to prevent more suffering and chose to use logic.

We need to see more of this sort of thinking from towns, cities, counties, states and the federal government – certainly where animal welfare and the welfare of children are concerned.

And thankfully, was telling it like it is in it’s article, calling the propose operation a puppy mill.

And thankfully, the huge crowd that attended the meeting was there to speak out against the proposal. WNYT quoted one person as saying, “They are simply and frankly concerned with making a quick and dirty dollar at the dogs expense.”

Two members of the Amish community were there to observe the proceedings. The article included the following from these two men,

They also said puppies are a cash crop, the same as dairymen, and if so many people want to have puppies, someone has to do the breeding.

How uninformed can someone be? I think it says a lot about a person, when they only refer to animal as a “cash crop.”

And the comments that stand below the article feature more than one individual dragging that tired, false argument out of the dungeon of false arguments. They claim there is no definition of a puppy mill and the phrase is only the creation of animal rights activists.

I wish I had blog sound effect to bring out every time I read about twisted statements such as this. The sound effect goes something like this – “DUUUUUHHHHH.”

Of course there’s a definition of puppy mills. The dogs live in horrible conditions, are given very little to no time for daily exercise, are housed 24/7 or nearly 24/7 in tiny cages, live in filth, rarely have play time, never to very rarely receive veterinary care and on and on and on ….

Usually, the people who claim there are no definitions for puppy mills don’t really want to talk about the welfare of the dogs.


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Another wild statement made concerning another animal-cruelty case

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I’m forced to bring back the Wacky Mentality Award. It’s bad enough to read news stories about animal-cruelty cases. But when people in positions of responsibility act in ways that let criminals off the hook, it’s just too much to comprehend.

In Washington State, a man was charged with blowing up his daughters dog, because he got mad at her. But Undersherriff Dave Cox told ABC News the charges were dropped because the prosecutor felt the dog died instantaneously, so therefore they thought it didn’t suffer. The prosecutor seems to be concerned about the verbiage in the state’s animal cruelty statute.

So the message to criminals in the state is – If you want to kill your pet, just blow it up and the state won’t have a problem with it. Killing pets by explosion is legal in Washington State.

This is what happens when the focus on science education falls off the table. What aspect of animal cruelty does the prosecutor not understand? Does he believe a murder committed where the victim dies right away is less of a crime?

I don’t know what he’s thinking, but the prosecutor deserves a Wacky Mentality Award.


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Update: Horrible legal agreement reached with Amish breeder in Ohio

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Update (10 p.m.): A report tonight by only makes the story below even worse. The Circleville Law Director in the report below has stated “the present law on cruelty of companion animals does not directly prohibit omissions or neglect of the animals, but only acts of cruelty.”

It’s either an asinine interpretation of the law or an asinine law. But then, as reported by, Gary Kenworthy went on to say, “Much of the conditions of the Beachy dogs were best described as resulting from neglect, but no actual acts of cruelty.”

I hope no children are being neglected in this community.

Original Post:

An Amish breeder in Ohio had faced 34 counts of cruelty to animals, as a result of the “seizure of 52 mistreated and sick dogs were from his Pickaway County property on Oct. 1,” as reported by the Norwalk Reflector on August 6.

Rather than take the case to court this week, local officials chose to “conditionally dismissed” the charges. With the inappropriate deal, the breeder has reportedly agreed to not to breed dogs to sell puppies for one year. But get this – the deal goes on to allow him to breed if he uses supervised care by a veterinarian.

The Reflector quoted the breeder’s attorney as saying, “Mr. Beachy is most pleased. He does believe this was a crusade against Amish breeders …”

For one thing, there should be a crusade to shut down Amish breeders. And with non-punishments such as this, anyone accused of crime like this would be pleased.

And I simply could not believe the incredibly uneducated statement attributed to Circleville Law Director Gary Kenworthy. He apparently stated the poor condition of the dogs was “best attributed to neglect, such as a lack of grooming and veterinarian care, rather than cruelty.”

I don’t know what it would take for Kenworthy to consider a cruelty case in his region. But in this case, the reports indicate the dogs were “matted with feces and urine, overgrown nails and dental disease.” It is idiotic to suggest that this does not constitute cruelty.

After Kenworthy’s statement, he should either apologize and reopen the case or resign his position – or both. Resolving cases in the manner reported in this case, is an invitation to puppy mill breeders to continue to engage in acts of cruelty.


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Time to ban shelter gas chambers nationwide

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Gas chambers are true chambers of horror for shelter animals. The group Take Action is working to end the horrible practice. It has produced the map below to show where gas chambers are in use or have been banned or are at least are not being used at this time.

They have a Causes page and a page on Facebook.

Sadly, a few shelters in my own home state – North Carolina – are still using chambers. It’s time for those operating these facilities to awaken to the fact that animals are self-aware and can suffer both physically and emotionally.

There is no doubt whatsoever that animals suffer in gas chambers. It’s 2013. Ban them NOW.



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Another clear example of why we need much stronger penalties for dog fighting and other acts of cruelty

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A Cincinnati, Ohio man has been indicted on seven counts, including dog fighting, cruelty to animals and promoting dog fighting. But WCPO reports he has a prior conviction for dog fighting.

So he got off easy the first time and now has been charged for same horrible offense again.

Too often, the message criminals get in cases like this is – ‘no big deal – it’s worth it to continue to break the law.’

Our criminal justice system has to do a much better job of protecting innocent people and animals.


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Another dog fighting case, where the criminal will be allowed to have animals again

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It has happened again, an animal-cruelty case where the guilty party has been handed a very light sentence. An Illinois man pleaded guilty in the case and received an 18-month sentence – in what a Post-Tribune story calls “an alternative program and on probation.”

Juble Nathan Hairston will have to perform 120 hours of community service and pay back the Humane Society of the US for $2,000 of its costs for caring for the canine victims.

He is only banned from having pets while he serves his sentence. Somebody thinks its okay to allow a dog fighter to have another dog or cat after 18 months has passed.

I will never understand why some elements of the criminal justice system find it is so difficult to impose a lifetime ban on possessing animals. In severe cases such as this, a lifetime ban should always be a part of the sentencing. Why put more animals at risk of suffering.


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