By a narrow 6-4 margin, a Florida Senate committee voted this week to advance a bill to allow dog track/casinos in Florida to self-determine whether or not races are held at these facilities.
Back in 1996, the state legislature passed an extremely troublesome bill, requiring tracks hold a minimum number of races per year, if the facilities had card rooms. Translated , this means – ‘We’ll let you run gambling operations with card rooms, but in doing so we’ll force you put dogs through a life of hell.’
There has been debate over a provision in the bill that allows the facilities to keep tax credits if they drop racing. Opponents of the bill and the pro-racing side wanted to drop this credit, conveniently forgetting how much dog racing has been getting from the state in taxpayer dollars over many years.
A lobbyist for racing greyhound breeders is quoted in a News-Press.com article as having concern for the dogs if tracks close suddenly with the passage of this bill. Sorry, that doesn’t pass the smell test. Dogs are dying in horrible numbers every year in racing and the conveyer belt goes on and on and on every year that racing is legal.
Sure, we should all be concerned with making sure these dogs find homes if tracks close suddenly. A lot of groups would step forward if that happens. But allowing dog racing to continue means thousands more will die. Supporting dog racing while at the same time showing concern for the dogs if racing is shut down is really warped thinking.
The marketing team from the IFC (The Independent Film Channel) cable network sent a link to the video below to the Pack Mentality inbox this evening.
Portlandia airs on IFC and stars Fred Armisen (of Saturday Night Live fame) and Carrie Brownstein.
This clip features the couple’s trip to a dog park. The message – don’t be these people. Be the friendly, responsible dog park visitors.
Martha Stewart has joined the Farm Sanctuary in speaking out for farm animals. The life farm animals lead on factory farms across the country is nothing short of horrible.
Warning: Some of the images depicted in this video might not be suitable for all viewers. It shows the extremely harsh conditions and the extremely harsh treatment many factory farm animals suffer every day.
On a more positive note, the Farm Sanctuary is offering a Valentine’s Day gift idea. The organization says – “Our special organic, fair trade Vegan “Milk” Chocolate Heart is the perfect expression of love and compassion this Valentine’s Day.”
All proceeds from the sale of the chocolate hearts go to support Farm Sanctuary’s work on behalf of abused and neglected farm animals.
Another family is challenging the legal notion that a pet is only worth its so-called replacement value. WRAL out of Raleigh, NC reports a 12-year-old Jack Russell terrier named Laci died five years ago after a a feeding tube was inserted into her trachea instead of her esophagus at the veterinary facility at North Carolina State University. She slowly drowned over the course of a seven-hour period.
The WRAL article notes the NC State College of Veterinary Medicine admitted negligence and has since changed its procedures.
The key to the story is the fact that Laci’s family is appealing a court ruling that awarded them $350 – the cold, hard, compassion-less retail price of buying another Jack Russell terrier.
The North Carolina Court of Appeals finally heard the case Tuesday but isn’t expected to publish its ruling for several months. A similar case in Texas resulted in an appeals court ruling in favor of placing more value on pets.
Some people will cringe in hearing this news, suggesting it will increase the cost of veterinary care as the profession seeks to cover its liability. I get that and maybe in this case, we can call this an error or a very unfortunate slip-up and maybe it doesn’t warrant a huge level of compensation. Maybe this case can be made in this instance. But what about other cases?
What if a family found their pet was deliberately killed or what about a possible case where it was determined an individual engaged in criminal negligence or deliberately killed a dog – or anything along these lines? Shouldn’t the family be awarded more than retail value for their loss?
I think we can use some common sense and logic to develop some legal definitions and laws that offer a more reasoned approach.
Vick ‘case’ might be helping to curb dog fighting in Georgia: The headline on the USA Today website reads “Michael Vick case helped curb dog-fighting in Georgia.” My immediate reaction was, ‘Wait, no one should be giving credit to Vick for this.’ But after that flash reaction, I felt better of the headline and article because it correctly included the word “case.”
Michael Vick himself hasn’t been the key to shining more light on this horrible, illegal industry. His arrest and conviction – the case against him as a sports celebrity – served to shine more light on the evils of dog fighting.
The January 17 article also notes Georgia now has tougher dog-fighting laws and set up an anonymous tip line.
Animal Welfare Approved farmer is 12 years old: Shelby Grebenc of Broomfield, Colo. is the youngest farmer in the country to be Animal Welfare Approved (AWA). She sells the eggs from her chickens on her Happy Chapped Chicken Butt Farm.
Important quote from Wayne Pacelle: I found a letter by HSUS president Wayne Pacelle posted on MLive.com.
The final paragraph led with this: “The animal welfare movement is strong and growing. It represents mainstream values. Although there is no official registry, an estimated 20,000 organizations are engaged in the important work of safeguarding animals, …”
A lot of good new in those two sentences. The animal-welfare movement is growing and getting stronger. I really believe that. And it is great to know that about 20,000 organizations all over the country are working to make life better for animals.
And why are we seeing this growth in animal-welfare organizations over the last two decades and why are we seeing the movement grow overall? – Because it does represent mainstream values.
An Inquirer story on Philly.com reports a horse trainer in Pennsylvania has been charged with five counts of fraud after she admitted that she sold many as 120 horses to contractors for a Canadian slaughterhouse.
She allegedly told thoroughbred owners “she would find great homes for their horses when their racing careers were over” – according to the Inquirer article. Kelsey Lefever, a 24-year-old, was well known in the state for her work with horses.
She is due to appear at a preliminary hearing on February 6.
One individual who gave a horse to Lefever said he did so with the explicit understanding that it would NOT be sold for slaughter. His account states she told him that she never sold horses for that purpose. He later found his horse had been sold to a Canadian slaughterhouse.
I guess it should be no surprise that some people will do anything for profit. If she is found guilty of these charges, I hope they throw the book at her.
Pethealth, Inc has released its PetPoint report, with analysis on the data for the rate of shelter intakes and euthanasia for dogs and cats.
The data comes from approximately 1,770 animal-welfare organizations in the United States and Canada that use PetPoint to manage their day-to-day operations. The following numbers are based on comparisons with 2010 and 2011 numbers.
MarketWatch.com published the results, which offer better news for cats – notably a 6 percent drop in feline intakes, including a 5 percent decline in owner surrenders and a 9 percent dip in stray cat intakes.
The figures for dogs was not quite as good – with an increased in dog adoptions of only 2 percent in 2011 and a decline in the euthanasia rate for dogs of 3 percent.
Hopefully, we can see these rates improve significantly going forward. But we should remember that any analysis of euthanasia rates and shelter intakes doesn’t include the dogs and cats that never make it into a shelter or are never saved by a rescue organization.
Until we see a significant rise in the number people who become aware of the importance of spaying and neutering and until we see laws and enforcement that shut down the entities that contribute monumentally to the over-population of homeless pets (puppy mills, greyhound racing, etc) the problem will continue.