HSUS: Rescued from NC puppy mill, Stella is finally home

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Stella was rescued during a raid on a puppy mill in Sampson County, North Carolina.

The video is touching and also offers more evidence – on top of the mounting evidence – on why we need strong national and state regulations against puppy mills.

PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic

USDA announces crackdown on online puppy mill sales

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Finally, we might be seeing a move at the federal level to go after puppy mills.

The USDA has announced new regulations to bring dog breeders who sell puppies online or through the mail or by phone under the same guidelines imposed on wholesale breeders. This will be the case for breeders who breed four females or more.

The Associated Press story notes these breeders will need to apply for federal licenses and can be inspected by officials with the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

And here’s more great news from the AP piece:

The Agriculture Department estimates that up to 4,640 dog breeders could be affected by the rule, along with about 325 cat breeders and up to 75 rabbit breeders.

Those oppose to the new rules claim the move will put many breeders out of business. GOOD. Those who cannot comply with basic, humane standards of care should not be allowed to operate at all.

Naturally, the AKC opposes the move by the USDA, as reported by the AP:

The American Kennel Club said it is dismayed by the rule, which is “overly broad and will do more damage than good,” said spokeswoman Lisa Petersen.

The AKC always opposes new regulations on puppy mills. Any move to actually force bad breeders to shut down brings the AKC out in force. And get this, the group claims the term “breeding female” is too vague. They probably think the term “compassion” is too vague.

Global Animal puts it this way – “Dog lovers rejoice!”

And on his blog, Wayne Pacelle of the Humane Society of the US says tens of thousands of dogs housed in puppy mill will gain protection under the new regulations.

Pacelle explains the HSUS, the Humane Society Legislative Fund and the Doris Day Animal League have been pushing for the change. And they believe “… it was fundamentally unfair that people involved in the same underlying business enterprise (breeding dogs to sell for profit) would face entirely different regulatory standards.”

At minimum, why can’t officials at the AKC understand even this fact?

Pacelle goes on to add:

We thank the Obama administration and the USDA for bringing new standards of care to thousands of puppies, but also to kittens, rabbits and other warm-blooded animals who are often raised in inhumane facilities and sold as pets over the Internet, by mail or by phone, sight-unseen.

We must impose a system of inspections for commercial breeders. Those found to be abusing animals should be immediately shut down and those found to be operating without a license should be immediately shut down.

PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic

Major dog-fighting bust highlights major problem

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I think U.S. Attorney George Beck has struck the key note, in terms of the criminal element in our society. In the first paragraph of an article on the DothanEagle.com site, about a huge dog-fighting raid, Beck was paraphrased as saying he, “thinks there are two types of people in hell – those who are cruel to children and those who are cruel to animals.”

The article reports the raid and rescue of 367 pit bulls was a joint effort from the Auburn Police Division out of Alabama, Lee County Sheriff’s Office, Federal Bureau of Investigation, other local law enforcement agencies, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and the Humane Society of the United States.

Ten individuals were arrested and the search is on for three more. They should be charged as terrorists. The dogs were living in what was described as being “horrendous” conditions. They were chained and malnourished.
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HSUS receiving high marks from charity watchdogs

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Again, I am not a member of any organization. I purposefully steer clear of joining groups so that I can maintain some degree of separation or neutrality between groups.

But too often I see comments challenging the reputation of the Humane Society of the US. It seems some people don’t actually understand what the HSUS does.

So when I saw a recent blog post from Wayne Pacelle, I felt it was important to report on its content.

Pacelle notes Charity Navigator, what he calls “one of the most recognized charity watchdog organizations,” has given the HSUS its highest rating of four stars. And there’s this: “The HSUS also receives the highest ratings from the other reputable charity watchdog groups. The Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance affirms that we meet all 20 of its standards for charitable accountability.”

The organization has been out in front of a variety important issues, such as puppy mills, dog fighting and factory farming. We need the great adoption groups from all across the map and we need local and state organizations that work on regional issues. And we need national groups like the HSUS and the ASPCA and others, that fight the battle on a national and global scale.


PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic

A huge victory for chimpanzees

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The National Institutes of Health has announced it will largely end the practice of experimenting on chimpanzees for government medical research.

The Associated Press quoted NIH Director Dr. Francis Collins as saying:

“These amazing animals have taught us a great deal already” He said the decision helps usher in “a compassionate era.”

The AP offered another quote stating – humans’ closest relatives “deserve special respect.”

And the article noted the Fish and Wildlife Service called for protections for all chimpanzees two weeks ago – even those in captivity. Over the next few years, the NIH plans to retire approximately 310 “government-owned” chimpanzees from research studies. But 50 will continued to be held for other studies.

I hope the following important paragraph from article is another sign that the health and welfare of these chimps will be closely monitored:

Any future biomedical research funded by the NIH with chimps, government-owned or not, would be allowed only under strict conditions after review by a special advisory board. In five years, the NIH will reassess if even that group of 50 government-owned apes still is needed for science.

I received a release today from the Humane Society of the US, reporting 50 of these chimpanzees have been transported from New Iberia Research Center to Chimp Haven, The National Chimpanzee Sanctuary.

The following video highlights the work of Chimp Haven. The segments showing some of them experiencing the outside world for the first time is incredibly moving.

PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic

Proposed amendment to the recent Farm Bill was set to strip protections for animals

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US Representative Steve King (R-Iowa) is an anti-animal welfare as they come. His latest effort – the so-called King Amendment to the latest Farm Bill – was set to do several things, such overturning the ban on gestation crates for pigs.

An Examiner.com article included the following:

According to the Olympian, it would effectively force states to authorize the sale and consumption of agricultural products, regardless of how unethical, environmentally destructive, or dangerous they may be.

And the article noted the amendment might have nullified “important state laws that prevent animal cruelty” and reported “King has voted in favor of killing American bison in Yellowstone National Park, killing horses for human consumption, and trophy killing of polar bears, despite their endangered status.”

But thankfully, the King Amendment went down in flames.

On Wayne Pacelle’s blog on the HSUS website, he stated the King Amendment “would have repealed dozens of state laws on animal protection.”

And Pacelle had more good news:

… the Senate Appropriations Committee approved by voice vote an amendment, offered by Sens. Mary Landrieu, D-La., and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., to bar the U.S. Department of Agriculture inspections at horse slaughter plants in the United States. This comes just a week after the House approved an identical amendment by Reps. Jim Moran, D-Va., and Bill Young, R-Fla., to do the same thing.


PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic

104 dogs rescued from Mississippi puppy mill

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The Humane Society of the US recently took part in yet another puppy mill raid, this time under a joint effort with the Walthall County Sheriff’s Office and the Humane Society of South Mississippi.

More than 100 dogs were found living in horrible conditions. The HSUS reports decomposing bodies of adult dogs and puppies were found. Charges are pending in the case.

Lydia Sattler, Mississippi state director for The HSUS was quoted as saying:

“I was sickened by what we found today. No animal should have to suffer in such atrocious conditions. We are thankful that the Walthall County Sheriff’s Office and the Humane Society of South Mississippi acted so quickly to address the situation and that we were able to assist with rescuing these animals.”

Tara High, the executive director of Humane Society of South Mississippi:

“These are some of the worst conditions that I’ve ever seen. To think that these animals have lived like this, it’s a testament to their fortitude that they could survive. We’re glad that we were able to respond to help these dogs as soon as possible. We are also thankful to our community for helping us adopt out animals so we could make the space for these needy dogs.”

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Breaking News: NC House votes big on new puppy mill bill

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This is news out of my home state. So it’s big news for me. By a vote of 100-15, the North Carolina House of Representatives has passed a bill that will hopefully protect dogs in commercial breeding facilities.

HB 930 will still need a positive vote in the NC Senate before advancing to Governor Pat McCrory’s desk. I’m seriously hoping the margin of victory in the House is a sign of what could happen in the Senate.

Again, I wish this bill included more – like inspections and a mandatory licensing system. But it is a positive step in the right direction. I’m also hoping that the margin in the vote tally is a sign that elected officials are finally catching the message from the population – that we no longer want to see animals abused at the hands of people who put profit above all – even to a degree where animals are tortured to increase the bottom line.

This is happening every day in puppy mills in North Carolina and all across the nation. It needs end – now.

The HSUS press release in full:

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North Carolina House of Representatives  Cracks Down on Puppy Mills

(May 9, 2013) — The North Carolina House of Representatives passed legislation to ensure dogs are treated humanely in commercial breeding facilities. The bill, which passed the House with a 100-15 vote, is sponsored by Reps. Jason Saine, R-97, Rayne Brown, R-81, Chuck McGrady, R-117, and Nathan Ramsey, R-115. It next goes to the state Senate.

Kimberley Alboum, North Carolina state director for The Humane Society of the United States said: “This is a great step forward for the dogs in North Carolina. If passed, this legislation will help thousands of dogs living in commercial breeding facilities, and I am proud of our sponsors and supporters for their efforts to relieve suffering for so many animals in our state.”

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PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic

HSUS announces 2013 Genesis Award Nominations

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The Humane Society of the US has announced its nominations for the 2013 Genesis Awards, which focuses on the promotion of animal welfare.

The HSUS’ Genesis Awards Benefit Gala is scheduled for March 23, at The Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills.

The HSUS Press Release:

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News and Entertainment Media in 15 Categories Receive the Nod for Positive Animal Welfare Messaging

(Feb. 22, 2013) –The Humane Society of the United States has named Universal Picture’s “Big Miracle,” Imax/Warner Bros.’ “To the Arctic” and Sony Pictures’ “Darling Companion” among the diverse selection of nominees in contention for its 2013 Genesis Awards, which honor the news and entertainment media for their role in raising awareness of animal issues. Comedy Central’s “The Colbert Report” and “Futurama,” and NBC’s “The New Normal” are in the running for the Genesis Sid Caesar Comedy Award, while ABC’s “Grey’s Anatomy,” NBC’s “Harry’s Law and FX’s “Sons of Anarchy” are up for the dramatic series award.

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HSUS to honor pop star Ke$ha

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The Humane Society of the United States is set to honor pop star Ke$ha for her animal welfare efforts.

The Press Release:
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(Feb. 14, 2013) – Global pop icon and committed animal advocate Ke$ha will receive the prestigious Wyler Award at The Humane Society of the United States’ 2013 Genesis Awards Benefit Gala on Saturday, March 23, at The Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills.  The HSUS’ Wyler Award is one of the animal protection organization’s highest honors and is bestowed on a celebrity or public figure for increasing awareness of animal issues via the media.


Ke$ha (photo-credit-Yu-Tsai)

Humane Society International’s first Global Ambassador for animals, Ke$ha balances her hectic career as a platinum recording singer/songwriter and one of the world’s most dynamic performers with her outspoken stance on critical animal protection issues. Ke$ha has spread the word about street dogs, the trophy hunting of endangered lions, shark-finning, Canada’s commercial seal slaughter, dogfighting and cruelty-free cosmetics, among many other important animal welfare concerns, highlighting a different animal issue each month on her website and urging her massive fan base and social media following to take action for animals.  By talking about her role with The HSUS’ international arm, Humane Society International, and her commitment to helping animals in numerous media interviews, she has brought worldwide attention to the cause.

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