PackRant: To those who oppose puppy mill regulations – go ahead, read this, I dare ya

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There are a ton of issues swirling around the political oceans, from jobs to health care, from Supreme Court decisions to climate chance and much more.

Often enough, some of the arguments are completely off the charts within particularly debates. But none of the arguments I’ve seen over the last few decades for any issue surpass the level of lame and illogical we see from those opposing puppy mill regulations.

Sure, those opposing recent bills in various states have a reason to oppose them. There’s money to made in this industry. If they came out and merely said, “Hey, if the law is passed, puppy mills would be shut down and less money would be made,” at least there would a direct admission there.

But the actual arguments we’re seeing just have no basis in reality or logic.

Let’s look at a few:

There are no legal definitions of the phrase ‘puppy mills.‘ – Of course there are. And in some cases the very people opposing the bills don’t like the specifics delineating which breeders are covered. And they don’t like the standards of care established, which clearly define that puppy mills would fall under these base levels.

Inspections violate private property rights. – I wonder if anyone spewing this one would ever really eat at random restaurants that had not been inspected for the last few months? I wonder if they would suggest USDA inspections should be dropped – so that we would never know how safe our food is to eat? I guess they think anything going on on private property should be shielded from law enforcement and inspectors.

Where inspections are ongoing, the system protects public health and safety and therefore consumers. Inspections for puppy mills would protect animals from potential abuse and consumers from potential fraud.

No one should be able to abuse animals or put public health at risk by hiding behind their so-called property rights.

If puppy mill dogs or kitten mill kittens gain protections from abuse, then the movement could spread to farm animals. – This one screams out – “We don’t want anyone punished for abusing farm animals, even if it exposes health risks to food production for humans or the suffering of the animals.”

But beyond this, it is a horrible thing to suggest. So we should not attempt to end the terrible suffering endured by dogs and cats in mills, because some other laws might come out of it? That is a heartless position to take. I get it that it’s all about profit, but really? – Does it have to be this way and this extreme?

Do these people watch “It’s a Wonderful Life” and cheer for Mr. Potter? Do they think “A Christmas Carol” has a terrible ending because Scrooge is scared into becoming a compassionate person and someone who cares about individuals other than himself?

PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic

NC Senate blocks puppy mill regulations at the 1-yard line

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With the short session of the North General Assembly winding down this week, key members of the state Senate and House were debating a number of contentious provisions in the proposed budget bill.

Teacher pay and Medicaid and film-industry incentives were all up for debate and were the main areas of focus for the media. As the days and weeks wore on, animal-welfare advocates were hoping the new regulations on puppy mills would hang on with the House version of the budget – including inspections, new standards and enforcement of puppy mill laws moving from the agriculture department to law enforcement.

But a few members of the Senate managed to once again block the puppy mill regulations from remaining in the bill. It would be a very long shot at this point, but there could be a slight hope remaining that the measures could be reinstalled.

WRAL out of Raleigh, NC reported groups such as the American Kennel Club and hunting and agricultural organizations were against the measure. The article included the following –

They argue that requiring kennel inspections violates breeders’ property rights and say setting standards for companion animals could trigger similar requirements for livestock breeding operations.

Far-fetched is too light a phrase for how misguided these baseless arguments really are. The USDA engages in safety inspections at facilities, to protect public safety and for the same reason restaurants are inspected frequently. Suggesting inspections should be banned in these cases to somehow protect property rights, is nothing short of dangerous.
And protecting people who abuse dogs because protecting the dogs from suffering might lead to regulations on factory farms is both lame and extremely callous.
PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic

Two articles point to fall of greyhound racing

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Two stories posted on one website – – on July 27 touched on the downturn for the greyhound racing industry. Despite what any industry insider might want to claim, it is education that has the dog-racing industry playing to empty seats.

I’ve never gambled on anything more than a couple of lottery tickets over the course of my entire life. But for those into this sort of thing, I’m sure it seems better to gamble on cards, dice or machines, as opposed to the life or the suffering of dogs.

The first article was by writer Jon Reed. He reports the Birmingham Race Course in Alabama “is in a daily fight for its life” – as is the case for the other dog-racing tracks around the nation.

And get this, back in May, the track was reportedly three years behind on paying property taxes and requested $800,000 from the racing commission to pay off the debt.

The second article posted was from the Associated Press and it notes the day the writer was there, only a couple of dozen people were in the stands to watch the races at Flagler Dog Track in Florida.

The writer rightfully notes dog racing has been “propped up by casino gambling.” YES – other forms of gambling have not hurt greyhound racing. These other forms are actually holding racing up, as the states where it exists, the casinos are unbelievably required to hold races.


PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic

DumbStuff: Dog spinning in Bulgaria

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I am someone who respects diverse cultures and I respect people with different views and religions. But where an activity crosses the line into stupid and cruel, we have to call it what it is – DumbStuff.

This one isn’t as well known, but it doesn’t make it any less idiotic. Some people unbelievably gather every year in a town in Bulgaria to hoist dogs into the air on ropes and spin them around in a horrible act of torture.

The misguided mission is to ward off rabies and is somehow defended as tradition.

One mayor is quoted in the linked article above as suggesting the dogs are not harmed and the people who bring them to the site for the torture actually love them. We’ve heard this before – from puppy mill operators dog racing insiders.

PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic

Video: Sea turtle appears thankful for being rescued from a rope

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In this incredible video, a sea turtle circles back to come face-to-face with the diver who just cut away a rope tangled around one of her flippers.

Self awareness is prominent across the animal kingdom and this video offers another important piece of evidence.

PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic

Sea Shepherd Radio hits the online airways

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I received the following press release today from Sea Shepherd Australia:

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Sea Shepherd takes fight to the airwaves with Sea Shepherd Radio

Sydney – 16th July 2014: Sea Shepherd Australia has launched an online radio station to raise awareness about the conservation work it does for the world’s oceans.

Music from artists including Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Aerosmith, Queens of the Stone Age, Robert Plant as well as Australians such as Xavier Rudd, John Butler and Missy Higgins, all previous supporters of Sea Shepherd, will play on the station. In addition, news updates on its frontline conservation work and features on ongoing Sea Shepherd operations will be broadcast.

The Sea Shepherd Radio App, which can be downloaded for free from the App Store and Google Play, is a collaboration between advertising agency The Works and audio content agency The Honourable Society.

Jeff Hansen, Sea Shepherd Australia’s Managing Director said: “Sea Shepherd always had great support from musicians here and across the globe and Sea Shepherd radio features many of them and more. The station also aims to raise awareness of the plight of oceans worldwide and our work to defend them, through education, empowerment and direct action.”

“With Sea Shepherd radio you can listen to some great music, hear the latest campaign news and support our work defending oceans worldwide,” added Adam Burling Sea Shepherd Radio Manager. “It’s a station with sounds of the sea and the sounds of musicians who care as much for the oceans as we do.”

Andriod App:

Apple App:
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PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic

DumbStuff: The attempted murder charge

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One of the dumbest aspects of our US court system is the attempted murder charge. It’s the Get Out of Jail Free card for murderers.

So an individual can go after a target, with the full intent to kill them – after all, it’s attempted murder – and just because the victim somehow manages to survive the attack, the punishment can be much less severe.

Maybe the murderer is a merely a bad shot, so he gets off easier. Maybe the victim just happened to turn away in just the right way, as to have the bullet or knife slip by a vital area. Maybe the victim was just lucky.

And because of any and all of that, the criminal, who was out to kill, gets a lesser sentence.

I agree that the charge should be classified as attempted murder, but the punishment should equal that of a murder charge.

Letting a killer off easy is just idiotic.

PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic

Daily Pack Log on the Blog: 7.13.14 – Selfishness and Greed

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There have been times in our nation’s history when there were mass outcries for justice, when mass numbers of Americans stood up as one and fought for something bigger than their individual selves.

While we still have individuals and groups who battle for something bigger, I fear we have too many in our society and worldwide who have become consumed by selfishness and greed. So the needs of others, from those oppressed or struggling – to the suffering of innocent people and animals, become nothing more than a news story to be watch, but ignored or avoided.

For too many, life has become nothing more than a route to getting what THEY and they alone want, too often at all costs. Selfishness and greed have become too accepted in our society.

And we need to admit that this basic mentality runs the gamut of the socioeconomic ladder. From gang members to some CEOs – from crack dealers to some stock leaders – from the husband who abuses his wife and kids to the scam artist who goes after the elderly to the thief who breaks into homes to the politicians who care more about their campaign donations than their constituents.

For corporations and businesses, sure, I get it that profits and their privately-held beliefs are part of it. But what happened to the ideal that caring about the needs and beliefs of others is important too.

If we loose compassion for others, we’ve lost our way.

PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic

Daily Pack Log on the Blog – 7.11.14

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I was up for a good portion of the night, with one of our rescue dogs who is very fearful of thunderstorms. Petey is a Basset-coon hound mix (we think) who is very friendly, has a high-octane personality and is high-energy.

But if he hears rain on the roof or fireworks or thunder, he starts barking and jumping up and down off the furniture. Lightning also frightens him.

The one thing that does calm him down is soft music. So at times like last night, I turn on the cable music channel. I tried turning off the music when things go into a lull around 12:30 a.m., but Petey sensed more thunder nearby and I had to turn the music back on.

Finally, somewhere around 3 to 3:30 a.m., I was able to fall asleep. No telling what happened in Petey’s previous life on the streets. So I can’t get too upset about the sleep depravation.

If you dog shows signs of fearing storms or fireworks, try soft music. It might also help for dogs with separation issues, for times when they are left home along.
I know companies are also selling body wraps that are advertised to help calm a stressful dog.

PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic