Yeah, it’s happened yet again – another puppy mill bust

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Last Friday, about 250 dogs were found at another alleged puppy mill, this one in Richland County, Ohio. And a number of news outlets were on the story – thankfully.

Before we link to each story, I think we need to put this into perspective. Some people might suggest these recent raids show the current system and current legislation is working. Those people would be wrong. These busts represent the tip of the iceberg and are only uncovered when someone happens to see something and happens to be someone who will report the crime.

That’s far from being good enough – and the weak slaps on the wrist are far from being good enough under current laws and regulations. reports the kennel operator was convicted of animal cruelty in New Jersey before moving to Ohio.

The Lancaster Eagle Gazette reports many of the rescued Chihuahuas and shar-peis suffered from skin issues, eye problems, fleas, overgrown nails and tooth decay. The kennels was reportedly infested with fleas and covered in feces.
One owner of the facility recently died and the other has gone into hospice care. That is a bad situation and our thoughts should go out to the family. But the fact remains that this was a horrible puppy mill and one individual was quoted in a Toledo Blade story as saying the dogs lived most of their lives in tiny cages.
And the article included this important news: “” Ohio is among a minority of U.S. states that do not require commercial dog breeders to be inspected by the state or adhere to standards of care. “” – So herein – once again – lies the problem.
We must have a system of unannounced inspections and standards in EVERY STATE.

People lining up in Wake County, NC to adopt dogs rescued from puppy mill

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The Wake County SPCA in North Carolina took in 39 of the dozens of dogs rescued earlier this month in Brunswick County. After being vetted out, some of them are ready for adoption. is reporting one puppy died and some of the dogs have gone to foster homes for socialization.

The article quotes Darci VanderSlik, community outreach coordinator for the SPCA of Wake County as saying, “The most frustrating part of it is that it’s just going to be a matter of time before this happens again, before we get another call of another puppy mill bust. Legislation needs to be changed.”

Puppy mill news out of North Carolina and Ohio

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I’ve been engaged in posting a lot of updates on my local blog about the recent puppy mill raid in Southeastern North Carolina. So I need to offer the readers of Pack Mentality an update tonight.

The couple who ran the puppy-mill operation has pleaded guilty to charges relating to the bust, specifically pleading guilty to 24 counts of Class I animal cruelty charges. They were hit with 36 months of probation (no jail time) and a lifetime ban on possessing animals was imposed. They will be subjected to warrant-less searches to ensure they are not in possession of animals.

I wish jail time was part of the punishment. But I was pleased to read about the lifetime ban on possessing animals. This needs to be an automatic punishment for anyone, anywhere who is found guilty of operating a puppy mill.

In an editorial for, writer Elizabeth Wilson called it “hopeful” that two North Carolina representatives – Jason Saine of Lincoln County and Craig Horn of Union County – plan to introduce a bill in the upcoming legislative session to enact a new commercial breeding regulations.

And Wilson wrote, “Large players in North Carolina politics have adamantly opposed such legislation, including the AKC, the Pork Council, the Farm Bureau, and the NRA.”

And in Ohio – animal advocates are pushing for new legislation to protect animals from cruelty. quotes one elected official as being “cautiously optimistic” that Senate Bill 130 – which has been successfully passed in the state Senate – will make it out of the House and on to the governor’s desk.


Pack Topic: Georgia rescuer killed by her dogs

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This one is a bit tough to write about. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported last week on the tragic death of Rebecca Carey, a compassionate rescuer of homeless dogs.

It is believed that Carey was killed by at least a couple of her canine companions. A friend believes she most-likely fell and hit her head while attempting to break up a fight between two of them.

On the one hand, this is rare occurrence, where dogs kill someone. But it can also serve as a cautionary story. Injuries can and do happen and altercations between family dogs certainly do happen. Anyone telling you they live with as many dogs as Carey lived with, without having altercations on occasion, is either very, very lucky or they’re not telling you their whole story.

Tragically, this story had a horrible ending, one we thankfully do not see very often at all.

Over most of our 22 years of marriage, my wife and I have lived with multiple rescue dogs. A very good majority of the those dogs lived together without problems. But as is the case with kids, altercations happen. It might be over treats or toys or maybe a bit of jealously.

I write a lot about self-awareness and state of consciousness and intelligence and emotion in animals. But none of this means dogs don’t still have instinctive behaviors as well.

Good News: Greyhound Freeway Petey finds a loving home

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Freeway Petey, the racing greyhound that was found injured along a Florida highway, is finally going to a loving family.

As his story goes, he escaped from the back of a racing transport truck, after getting into a fight with another dog. He underwent numerous surgeries, at a cost exceeding $3,400, as reported by the Gainesville Sun.

Petey, through a tough process, now becomes one of the lucky ones. We can only hope that one day soon no more greyhounds will be exploited.

Rep. Steve King continues to catch some heat for pro-dog fighting stance

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It is pleasing to see more news about Rep. Steve King flashing across the Pack News Wire. He fully deserves the negative press he is getting for suggesting the country should not punish people for attending a dog fight or bringing kids to dog fights.

The Humane Society of the US continues to hammer King. I received another e-mail this morning from the organization. It notes the Farm Bill, including a provision to make it a “crime to attend or bring a child to a dogfight or cockfight has passed the U.S. Senate as part of the 2012 Farm Bill, and also has passed the House Agriculture Committee.”

The e-mail also reported the provision is supported by “the Fraternal Order of Police, the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association, the International Association of Chiefs of Police, and more than 200 law enforcement organizations from across the country.” But King is against it.

We have this video from King, where he tries to defend his previous statements. But it only proves more about the Congressman. He doesn’t know that it is against the law to violate a 13-year-old and take her across state lines. This is an unbelievably revealing video about King.

He tries to also claim there is an effort to somehow place animals above humans. He’s pulling stuff out of his hither regions.

And editorial by Rekha Basu appeared Tuesday on the Des Moines Register website, noting King’s warped thinking is twisting around itself. In one statement, King suggests the federal government should leave dog fighting laws to the individual states. But then he wants to also push an amendment into the Farm Bill that would gut state and local laws that protect his state’s farm animals.

Basu also reports King opposed including pets in disaster planning and voted against a bill to outlaw horse slaughter for human consumption. He apparently votes against anything that might offer animals protection from cruelty.

King has also suggested animal fighting is not even happening. Then he will certainly ignore the story that ran on the CBS47 website out of Southern California. About 1,000 gamecocks were rescued during a cockfighting bust.



Alicia Silverstone promotes Farm Sanctuary’s Compassionate Communities Campaign

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Actress Alicia Silverstone is the spokesperson for Farm Sanctuary’s Compassionate Communities Campaign.

From the press release:

“” “”

“When people think about helping animals, they generally think about dogs and cats, but chickens, pigs, and other farm animals need our help even more. And science shows that farm animals are just as intelligent and interesting as our pets,” says Alicia Silverstone, whose best-selling book “The Kind Diet” shows just how easy and delicious vegetarian eating can be. “Vegetarian advocacy allows busy people like you and me to spare the lives of thousands of animals every year without a huge time commitment. For example, you can spare at least fifty animals a lifetime of misery on a factory farm with just an hour of leafleting. And there are lots more tips at”

Compassionate Communities was created by Farm Sanctuary, North America’s largest and most effective farm animal rescue and protection organization, to promote and train animal advocates and grassroots groups in the most effective forms of animal advocacy and community building.

Vegetarian advocacy has proven to be the most effective thing caring individuals can do to help the greatest number of animals in the least amount of time. For each person who reduces the amount of meat they eat, dozens of farm animals will be spared a lifetime of suffering.

Individuals who join the Compassionate Communities Campaign will:
• Receive direct support, physical resources, and instructions on best practices to help sharpen their advocacy skills.
• Receive blog updates twice a month delivered straight to their inboxes.
• Receive challenges that will take their activism to new heights while saving thousands animals.
• Complete the challenges and report back on their progress to receive recognition and prizes.

“” “”

Pack Topics: Gas chambers; hunting wolves with dogs; puppy millers want to keep dogs

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The Pack Topics series continues today with a focus on the odd mentality of those from the other side.

Gas Chambers: Despite reports that dogs were surviving a gas chamber in Fairfield County, Ohio, three county commissioners there want more time to consider a ban on the horrible practice. And they requested more time to study the issue despite hearing that dogs who survived the chambers were thrown into an incinerator – while still alive.

An editorial notes approximately 10 of Ohio’s 88 counties still use gas chambers. It is sad to think that we are even discussing this topic euthanizing homeless pets, even if it is only those who are suffering through some terrible injury or ailment. But no counties should be using gas chambers.

Lawsuit filed to stop wolf hunting with dogs in Wisconsin: A lawsuit has been filed in Wisconsin to stop the state’s Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and the Natural Resources Board (NRB) from allowing wolf hunts with dogs.

Let’s give this one a Pack of Clueless. A article includes this sentence: “Supporters of the rule don’t expect there to be any problems. The Wisconsin Wildlife Federation, for one, doesn’t believe there’s any basis to support the notion that dogs and wolves would fight.”
A wildlife federation, with people working in the organization who don’t know dogs are basically wolf-hybrids? This is clueless on a grand scale.
Puppy mill couple wants more dogs: This one is just sad. The Jones County, NC couple who pleaded guilty last week to 19 counts of animal cruelty, for running a puppy mill, is challenging the ruling that bans them from having animals for five years.
The couple denies animal cruelty took place, but an article by WNCT notes prosecutors said many of the dogs “had life threatening infections and diseases.”
Of course, the ruling should have been a lifetime ban on possessing animals.

Rep. Steve King’s defense of his dog-fighting statements only getting worse

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Rep. Steve King of Iowa, who is now infamous for defending dog fighting, is trying to defend his opposition to a proposed federal law to make it illegal to attend a dog fight or prompt others to do so.

He’s only making matters worse for his unbelievably callus stand. The Des Moines Register reports he questioned if dog fighting is even in practice now. The publication quotes King as saying, “There’s no federal nexus in what goes on in an animal fight, if they actually take place anymore — I’m not hearing that they do.”

One person commenting below the story called King, “extremely ill-informed.” This is actually overstating King’s level of intelligence. He’s worse than ill-informed. He’s completely clueless and is clueless to how clueless he is.


2,500 beagles rescued from Italian breeder that supplies to research facilities

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The debate on the use of animals in research should be ramped up by the news Thursday out of Italy, where 2,500 beagles were rescued from breeding operation.

An article by Nature published last week reports a court ruled the allegations of mistreatment of the dogs warranted investigation and apparently the removal of the dogs. The dogs are going to foster homes while the investigation continues.

The main article did not report on the conditions of the dogs, but an update notes – “The court said it was concerned that some puppies came down with diarrhoea and respiratory conditions. Andy Smith, vice-president of Marshall Biosciences which owns Green Hill, says the conditions occurred when the company was banned from caring for the animals.”

Why would the facility be banned from caring for the animals? This sounds like the typical spin from a puppy mill breeder.

An article from Opposing Views asks the question – Is animal research necessary? And it links to another Nature piece concerning a panel discussion in 2010 at UCLA.

The point is made that animal testing in too many cases fails to predict results for humans and much of it is unnecessary. The other side, of course, claims the successes are enough to allow the research to go on.

I fully understand that some research has resulted in the development of drugs or treatment for humans. But it is clear we need FAR MORE in the way of regulation. Too often, we’re reading about animals suffering horribly in research labs. And as is the case with puppy mills, it seems the exposure of the horrors routinely comes from undercover video or someone who just happens to report the horrors.

The Italian breeding facility was reportedly inspected regularly. Was this like the AKC inspecting kennels?

And what about redundant testing? This has certainly been the case for the cosmetic industry. I know the other side will bring up the notion that testing needs to carry so many case trials before a result might be concluded. But how many times do they need to pour a particular chemical into a rabbit’s eyes before you conclude it’s not a good thing. They’ve been doing this for decades.

I can only conclude that some testing continues long after a conclusion has been reached, merely to keep the facility in operation – to justify its existence. It is long-past time to completely reevaluate animal testing and toss out the aspects where logic concludes it can be banned – and where modern technology offers an alternative. At least we can do this.

And in areas where it might continue, we need extremely stringent regulations and oversight. The treatment and care of the animals should be covered under strict guidelines. And we need for the curtain to be lifted on this research. It needs a lot of sunshine.