Puppy mill raided in North Carolina; over 160 dogs rescued

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A sting operation in Brunswick and New Hanover counties in North Carolina uncovered an alleged puppy-mill operation spread over both counties.

WWAY quoted Brunswick County Sheriff John Ingram as saying, “I’m shocked to say the least. Personally I’ve never seen anything quite like this. The inside of the residences and behind the residence are some of the worst conditions I’ve ever experienced on anything I’ve ever been on.”

Over 160 animals, living in inhumane conditions were found in the Brunswick County residence. It is believed the couple involved was selling puppies out of a home in the other county.

WECT reported deputies worked with members of the SPCA and the Humane Society of the U.S. on the raids. The pair running the operation could be charged with multiple counts of animal cruelty.

WECT also quoted Kim Alboum, the director of the NC state chapter of the HSUS as saying, “these are the worst conditions I have ever seen.” Four rescue groups are helping by taking in the rescued dogs.

 MyFox8.com out of the Triad area of the state reports many of the rescued dogs had gastrointestinal infections, fleas and worms. A number of the older dogs were reported to have genetic defects, including one blind dog that was still being used for breeding.

Stories such as this highlight the need for improved breeding regulations and much harsher punishment. All commercial breeders should be required to be licensed and should be inspected on a regular basis. Breeders found to be operating without a license should face serious – very serious – punishment.

WBTV reports 57 of the rescued dogs quotes Shelly Moore, president of the Humane Society of Charlotte: “We see a lot of puppy mills in NC and the number one reason is because NC is one of few states that does not have any regulation on commercial dog breeding.”

Some might suggest this latest bust and others like it show existing laws are working, but they would be wrong on that count. By the time the mills are raided, the dogs have suffered for extended periods of time. And the raids are usually a result of random tips.

We need programs in every state where breeders are registered and subject to unannounced inspections. It works for restaurants and it should happen with commercial breeders.

 

Science news for animals and ecosystems

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The BP Gulf Oil Gusher continues to impact the Gulf of Mexico’s ecosystem.

MSNBC reports the 1.8 million gallons of chemical dispersant used to break up the giant oil slicks is causing some real problems. A study released Tuesday suggests the dispersant hurt microorganism populations, which impacts the animals up the food chain.

The story also notes dolphins are dying and those still living and were in contact with the oil are being found to have “pulmonary issues, chronic low weight, anemia and low levels of hormones.”

AND – Care2.com posted a headline last week reading – ” ‘Organ Chips’ Could Replace Animal Experiments.”

The amazing goal, one that could help to end suffering for many lab animals, is contained in one important paragraph from the article

“” A $70 million research project that will develop transparent silicon microchips with hollow channels that contain actual living human tissue and pumps to replicate organ function is underway and is predicted to provide faster, cost-effective and more accurate results for testing diseases, toxins and pharmaceuticals – all on something about the size of a flash drive. “”

Rep. Steve King of Iowa supports those who support dog fighting

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I haven’t been dishing these out of late, but today I’ve got a Pack of Putrid Punditry Award to present – and it’s a major one.

Representative Steve King of Iowa has stepped in it. With King’s statements last week in support of dog fighting, he suddenly manages to look worse than Michael Vick, who at least was speaking out against the horrible industry after his release from prison. King was speaking out against – yes against – legislation to make it a federal crime to attend a dog fight.

When asked at a town hall meeting about his opposition to legislation to prevent animal cruelty, King replied – “When the legislation that passed in the farm bill that says that it’s a federal crime to watch animals fight or to induce someone else to watch an animal fight, but it’s not a federal crime to induce somebody to watch people fighting, there’s something wrong with the priorities of people that think like that.

It is hard to find words strong enough to explain how clueless, idiotic, cruel, heartless and anti-compassionate that statement is. Can it be that anyone could ever vote for this individual after reading this statement? King’s volume of stupidity on this subject would not fit inside a good-sized galaxy. And yet he sees something wrong with the “priorities” of people who want to stop dog fighting.

How could anyone be that cold, heartless and completely uneducated? No one with a functioning moral compass should ever vote for any politician with views such as this.

Writer Jason Linkins rightfully refers to a recent study about those who engage in dog fighting, in his Huffington Post editorial. The Chicago Police Department found that 70 percent of these individuals also have records that include felonies such as domestic and aggravated battery, illegal drug trafficking and sex crimes.

On her Examiner.com piece, Penny Eims notes – “Somehow, King fails to realize that human fighters choose to engage in their “sport,” dogs do not – they are forced into the ring.”

And of course, boxers and MMA fighters and Olympians are not routinely tortured to death in civilized nations for failing to win fights.

The Daily Shame out of the UK hammers King. And PetPardons.com editor Jeromie Williams writes – “Unfortunately, King is a longtime advocate for legalizing dogfighting, cockfighting, and other forms of animal torture. Most recently, he fought legislation that would make it illegal to bring a child to an animal fight.”

The Baltimore Sun quotes from actor Josh Charles’ Twitter feed – “I like to think of Iowa as the Field Of Dreams, not as the Field Of Idiotic Congressmen. Shame on you @SteveKingIA.”

 

GREY2K USA calls for removal of Arizona state racing commissioner

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The debate over greyhound racing in the state of Arizona is heating up, in large part due to the appointment of a racing commissioner who, according to GREY2K USA, has made disparaging remarks on Facebook about the anti-dog racing organization and at least one individual who leads its efforts to protect greyhounds.

Carey Theil, the executive director of GREY2K, wrote a letter to Governor Jan Brewer, requesting that Arizona Racing Commissioner Rory Goree be discharged from his position.

A couple of the statements that Goree is accused of posting on Facebook are reported in a story on the AZCentral.com website.

How about this suggestion: Free the dogs from this horrible life and then you won’t need a racing commissioner. And then state officials can focus on finding loving homes for the dogs and can focus on promoting the creation of more jobs and a better economy. Sounds like a much better plan than the state’s full-scale promotion of a dying industry with a horrible track record on animal-welfare.

Kennel owner charged with drowning puppies; challenges law against the act

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This story is really, really disturbing. A kennel owner in Minnesota was charged with 16 counts of animal cruelty, after employees “saw her drown puppies in buckets of water or by throwing them in a swimming pool with a cinder block tied to their necks” – as reported by the Crookston Times.

Rather than a simple not-guilty plea, the accused is challenging the law. Her lawyer is suggesting the puppies are commercial animals, not pets. So she could kill the puppies in this horrible way because they are so-called commercial animals?

Let’s call this the “Cold, Heartless Defense.” Or maybe the “Yeah, I torture and kill dogs – so what” defense. So would these people support dog fighting by claiming the dogs are commercial athletes, not pets?

Although regulations to protect the health and welfare of animals on factory farms are weak at best, at least some individuals have been charged for crossing the existing line. No one should be allowed to torture animals – ever. And certainly no one should be allowed torture animals while hiding behind warped nomenclature.

Pack Topics: Trendy rescue pets; puppy mill sales; animal cruelty penalties

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Is the adoption of homeless pets becoming the trendy option: An opinion piece published Saturday on the Arizona Republic website suggests the adoption of homeless pets has become the trendy thing to do. I hope that’s true and from what I’m hearing, reading and seeing in my area, the trend seems to be growing for this trendy movement.

Another city considers ban on puppy sales at stores: The Burbank City Council is due to consider late in August a possible measure to ban on puppy sales from mills and retail outlets.

The Burbank Leader reports the city would join 26 others with similar ordinances in the United States and Canada.

Do the punishments for animal cruelty fit the crimes?: Two teens in Nevada will serve less than a month in jail after sentencing for the torturing and drowning of two kittens. Because they were juveniles, they did not get the maximum penalties.

According to the Examiner.com story from Monday, the judge in the case did place some restrictions on the pair – such as house arrest through the end of the summer break; 12 months of GPS monitoring and other monitoring; 200 hours of community service; counseling and more.

Is it enough? Does the punishment fit the crime in this case? It seems the judge did everything he could in tacking on extra penalties, but I can’t help but state that the base penalties should be more.

 

Pack Topics: Coyote trapping; animal cruelty; BP Oil Gusher

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BP Oil Gusher continues to impact marine wildlife: Researchers are still finding severe illnesses and deaths among dolphins in the Gulf of Mexico.

The Care2.com site also reports 754 marine mammals have washed ashore (95 percent dead) since February of 2010. Since all dead wildlife don’t wash up on shore, the number deaths is believed to be higher.

Troubling rise in animal cruelty cases: Forsyth County Animal Control reports its investigators have written 1,300 animal neglect and animal cruelty citations over the past year. This is a rise of 40 percent.

But according to a My Fox 8 article from Wednesday, the increase might be more a factor of more people reporting these crimes, as opposed to a specific rise in cruelty.

Animal-welfare activists decry coyote-trapping plan in California: The Carson City Council has a plan in place to trap coyotes that are showing up a mobile home park. A 10,000-signature petition was presenting Wednesday to the council in opposition to the trapping, according to CBS Los Angeles.

 

Hero Georgia dog wins HSUS award

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A pit bull in Georgia has been honored by the Humane Society of the US for saving the life of one of his guardians and then coming to her aid later again.

Last July, Gloria Benton suffered an suffered an aneurysm, fell and fractured her skull – as reported by My Fox Atlanta. Titan alerted her husband that something was wrong, as he was headed out the door to go to work.

He came to Gloria’s rescue again when she broke her hip several weeks ago.

Atlanta News, Weather, Traffic, and Sports | FOX 5

New York Gov signs puppy mill bill

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Back at it after a couple of busy days including writing deadlines, hijinks from our dogs and more work.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a state bill into law last week to regulate puppy mills. Charlemagne’s Law is named for a puppy mill dog who died in 2007.

The article on the Newsday website includes a list of provisions in the new law. I wish the regulations were more concrete, as many of them are led by instruction from the breeder’s veterinarian. Problems might arise if a puppy mill breeders finds a vet who will be soft on their crimes. It is not out or the zone of possibility, although a good majority of veterinarians are beyond allowing suffering.

I do like the following provision:

“” Develop, maintain, document and implement an appropriate daily exercise plan approved by the attending veterinarian. The plan will include providing positive physical contact with humans that encourages exercise through play and other similar activities. “”

The Animal Law Coalition offered its explanation on the new law.

Sunday Commentary: Don’t believe the propaganda – Do believe in humane legislation

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I thought I had read it all, in reading comments from people trying to defend greyhound racing. But what I’m reading from people opposed to regulations on puppy mills and from those trying to defend the AKC and its efforts to block any new regulations on puppy mills is equally offensive.

Some of the falsehoods uttered of late – in comment sections on the Web – are nothing short of astounding. I’ve seen comments over the last few days suggesting new regulations on puppy mills would mean families will be prohibited from allowing their dogs to sleep in bed with them and families would be forced to make their dogs live in cages.

I don’t think politicians could even make this stuff up.

On the one hand, the proposed regulations are directed to breeders with five or more breeding females. And let’s live in reality, as opposed to Propaganda Fantasy Land. If we’re talking about breeders with their dogs living inside their homes, as part of the family and under conditions families maintain their pets – no one is suggesting anything different for them.

The regulations are minimum standards. Those exceeding minimum standards have nothing to fear.

The most recent effort is to close a huge loophole in the Animal Welfare Act. The loophole allows breeders to sell over the Internet and through adds – sight unseen to people buying puppies – and allow puppy mills to go unchecked in regard to inspections and to humane standards of care.

All it is going to take is some good, humane common sense to develop reasonable regulations on dog breeders. The best already maintain better standards of humane care.

What I’m seeing now is an effort to flood the Web with misinformation, in an effort to scare people into thinking they won’t be allowed to keep their pets inside their homes and to scare people into thinking national animal welfare groups are coming to take their pets away.