Breaking News meets Great News: NC anti-puppy mill bill introduced

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A press release this morning from the Humane Society of the US and the ASPCA reports a new bill has been introduced in the North Carolina General Assembly – to regulate dog breeding and crack down on puppy mills.

Thousands of dogs are suffering today and this suffering has gone on for decades in North Carolina puppy mills. It is long past time for this legislation to become law. Efforts to pass regulations on dog breeding have failed in years past in North Carolina.

I read over HB 930 and find it to be balanced and reasonable. There is nothing excessive or prohibitive for quality breeders. Quality breeders already provide at least the minimum standards of care outlined in this bill.

The bill will be attacked by some groups and individuals, as somehow a violation of property rights or an attack on breeders – or some other fictitious issue. All any reasonable person needs to do is read the bill.

Polls are showing an extremely high level of support from the citizens of North Carolina for regulations on dog breeding, to provide minimum standards of care. This is a clear case of where the will of the people and the welfare of animals should take precedence over the lobbying efforts of special interest groups.

This should be the year when animal welfare in the state of North Carolina steps into the 21st Century.

The full release:

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Animal Advocates Praise North Carolina Lawmakers for Introducing Bill to Crack Down on Puppy Mills

(April 12, 2013) — Animal welfare advocates including North Carolina Voters for Animal Welfare, Susie’s Law, the ASPCA® (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals), Humane Society of Charlotte, SPCA of Wake County, United Animal Coalition and The Humane Society of the United States applaud Rep. Jason Saine, R- 97, for introducing a bill to ensure that dogs are treated humanely in commercial breeding facilities.

HB 930 establishes commonsense standards of care that include: daily access to fresh food and water, appropriate veterinary care, and housing that protects dogs from the elements.

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PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic

More troubling news out of greyhound racing and sled dog racing

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It’s never a good day for dogs suffering in greyhound racing and sled dog racing. But at least the public and the media are now focusing on their struggles.

The story of a dog that died in the 2013 IdiocyRod Sled Dog Race (Iditarod) is extremely troubling. Dorado was killed after being buried in drifting snow at a race drop-off point. He was taken off the sled team after reportedly moving “stiffly.”

He was dropped on Monday, March 11 and was not found until Friday. The article on the Harold-Standard website reports the claim that Dorado and other dogs at the drop off point were checked on at 3 a.m. that Friday and he was found dead as many as five hours later.

The question is – Why are the dogs left unattended at a drop off point on the race course for so many days? It seems some insiders are calling for changes. The article notes the requests include –

…. boosting the number of helpers at checkpoints to check on dogs more often, providing adequate shelter and increasing the number of flights to get the dogs out more quickly.

It’s 2013 and after decades of holding this race, they haven’t figured this out yet? They haven’t been checking on the dogs often enough and have not provided adequate shelter and delay going back to get the dogs.

The article includes the claim that the weather delayed the race officials from getting back to 135 dogs that had been dropped off at this site. Dorado and some of the others were left outside in this same bad weather.

Iditarod supporters – like dog racing supporters – are forever claiming the dogs have extremely good care. The facts don’t support these claims at all.

The ASPCA and GREY2K USA have teamed to bring to light the horrors of greyhound racing in Texas. A startling 1,507 greyhounds were injured at Texas racetracks between January 2008 and December 2011 – and 56 dogs died from those injuries.

From living in stacked cages to the injuries and deaths to being fed 4-D meat, the report is enough to make everyone understand that a ban on dog racing should be in place today.

The Galveston County Daily News ran a story about the dark side of dog racing, but a subscription is required to read it.


PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic

ASPCA: Ten Tips for Recognizing and Reporting Animal Abuse

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The following press release popped into the Pack News Wire:

Ten Tips for Recognizing and Reporting Animal Abuse

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SMITHTOWN, NEW YORK – (February 1, 2013) – Within New York City alone, the ASPCA’s Humane Law Enforcement Department investigates over 5,000 cases of animal cruelty each year; the animals vary from household pets to horses and livestock. However, most cases are never reported and the animal’s suffering goes unrecognized and without the necessary intervention. To assist in the protection of abused animals, the Guardians of Rescue organization steps in.

“It’s easy to overlook the many animals in distress, or to turn away from it,” Robert Misseri, president of Guardians of Rescue, stated. “We don’t do that. We work hard, with the support of those in the public, to help these animals in need, and we feel great doing it.”

The Guardians of Rescue, based in New York, provides a variety of programs to help and support animals in need, including Junior Guardians. Junior Guardians educates young people on how to recognize animal abuse and report it to the proper authorities and how to fight animal abuse. According to the ASPCA, here are ten tips to recognize and report animal abuse:

1.    Visible wounds. Abused animals often have visible signs of illness or injury that are not usually being treated.

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Pack Topics: Factory farming; dog fighting legislation; light sentencing

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Dog Fighting Bill: The ASPCA is cheering the latest federal legislative efforts to strengthen animal fighting laws.

Should the Animal Fighting Spectator Prohibition Act become the law of the land, attending an organized animal fight would be a federal offense, as would be the act of bringing a minor to an animal fight.

Let’s all hope this bill is signed into law – very soon.

Another light sentence for dog fighting: A man arrested for dog fighting in New Jersey has pleaded guilty to a lesser charge (fourth-degree animal cruelty) and was sentenced to just three years probation – with the emphasis on the word ‘just.’

An article posted Friday on notes – “” Investigators found treadmills rigged for dogs, spiked collars, dogfighting videos and batteries used to shock dogs … “” And get this; despite all of that evidence, he will not go to jail – and only during the probation period will he be barred from possessing animals.

When will mandatory, extended prison sentences and lifetime bans on possessing animals become the only option for judges, in cases of horrible acts of cruelty? How can any elected official anywhere or any judge anywhere be supportive of the current system?  The level of punishment in these cases only shows support for criminals.

Actress promoting factory farming reforms: Actress Kristen Bell is calling for the end in the use of gestation crates for pigs. She expressed those concerns directly to the CEO of the National Pork Producers Council.


ASPCA lists best new state laws of 2012

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The ASPCA has released its list of best new state laws enacted in 2012.
The list includes a California ban on the use of dogs to chase down bears and bobcats, a felony animal-cruelty law in Idaho, new animal welfare laws in Massachusetts, banning horse slaughter in New Jersey and puppy mill and exotic animal regulations in Ohio. And in Tennessee, extreme acts of cruelty to farm animals can now be prosecuted as felonies.

And the ASPCA also listed its selections as the top animal stories of 2012.

It’s great to post good news. I’m trying to make sure I post more in the way of positives in 2013.


Report: Welfare and Industry interests joining forces to address puppy-mill issue

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A lot of puppy mill news is coming across the old Pack News Wire of late. It’s good to see. This time, it’s news that a number of animal-welfare and business groups are joining forces to address the topic of puppy mills.

The team includes: American Pet Products Association (APPA), The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), Pet Industry Distributors Association (PIDA), Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council (PIJAC) and retailers Petco and Petland.

I hope Petland is serious about this. This chain has been accused in the past of selling puppy-mill puppies. Is Petland still selling puppies, while being involved in this effort? I did a quick Web search and found articles suggesting Petland was ending its puppy and kitten sales, in favor of promoting adoptions. I hope this transition is complete.

The press release I found on a couple of news sites states the group has “defined a puppy mill as a dog-breeding operation, which offers dogs for monetary compensation or remuneration, in which the physical, psychological and/or behavioral needs of the dogs are not being fulfilled due to inadequate housing, shelter, staffing, nutrition, socialization, sanitation, exercise, veterinary care, and/or inappropriate breeding” 

For more information on this definition, go to

To view the complete release and see information on each organization involved in the effort, go to this LINK.


More fuzzy math on pet homelessness

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When I was engaged in some online research last week, I ran across a blogger’s post concerning the rate of death in animal shelters. I thought about linking to the site, but I don’t want to increase the hits on it at all. In addition, the information features basically the same misinformation spread by others.

This one led by suggesting only two percent of dogs die in shelters every year and he linked to webpages for the ASPCA, HSUS and American Pet Products Association. But the writer is twisting the numbers. To compare the total population of dogs with the numbers euthanized goes to the same fuzziness the greyhound racing industry uses on the rate of deaths and injuries, compared to the number of races it conducts each year.

The very link the blogger points to from the ASPCA reports – “” Approximately 5 million to 7 million companion animals enter animal shelters nationwide every year, and approximately 3 million to 4 million are euthanized (60 percent of dogs and 70 percent of cats). “”

The writer links to these numbers and then later claims it is a lie that there is a pet overpopulation problem in pets. Five to 7 million companion animals entering shelters every and 3 to 4 million dying is a real problem. And it’s not just pit bulls and mutts.

And the ASPCA reports –  “” There are about 5,000 community animal shelters nationwide that are independent; there is no national organization monitoring these shelters. “” So the numbers basically reflect municipal shelters. Are we even sure what the actual numbers are?

I know there are some animal-welfare advocates who also claim we don’t have an overpopulation problem. They suggest it’s more about increasing adoptions and promoting spay-neuter. But that’s just one side of the equation. When 4 to 5 million pets are dying each year – that’s a REAL PROBLEM – one being caused by irresponsible people, irresponsible breeders and greyhound racing.

ASPCA: Puppies are not toys, so don’t buy them from stores

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The ASPCA is promoting an effort to have everyone sign an important pledge: “If a pet store sells puppies, I won’t buy anything there.” And the site features this important video:

For more information and to sign the pledge, go to

In my home city, we thankfully no longer have any stores that sell puppies. There are stores selling puppies in neighboring counties.

I don’t really understand how – with the information available here in 2012 – stores are still able to sell puppies at all. But it seems there are enough uneducated people around to maintain their sales.
I do occasionally see signs along the side of city streets, selling AKC-registered puppies. Do people still think that means something?

Smart people wouldn’t buy a computer from someone selling them through hand-written roadside signs. Why would they buy a puppy or kitten, knowing the parent dogs are probably suffering in a backyard or puppy mill somewhere?

October is Adopt-a-Shelter-Dog Month

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American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) is promoting October as Adopt-a-Shelter-Dog Month.

In a piece posted on, Gail Buchwald, senior vice president of the ASPCA Adoption Center states, “There are 3 to 4 million dogs living in shelters nationwide who would make a fantastic addition to anybody’s family, all they need is a second chance.

“During Adopt-a-Shelter-Dog Month, the ASPCA encourages everyone to visit their local shelter, adopt one of these amazing animals or help us spread the word to potential pet owners to make pet adoption their first option.”

And a poll is cited that show people who adopt are “much more likely to be happy with their experience” – as opposed to those who purchase puppies from stores.
And it is important to spread the following from the organization:
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  • Adopt, Don’t Shop. Visit your local shelter or rescue organization and give a lucky dog a loving home. Consumers who purchase a puppy from a pet store or website run the risk of taking home an unhealthy puppy in addition to the likelihood of supporting the cruel puppy mill industry. Operators of puppy mills breed dogs in unsanitary, overcrowded conditions where profit is given priority over the well-being of the dogs.
  • Take the Pledge. Join the more than 100,000 people who have already taken the “No Pet Store Puppies” pledge to help fight puppy mill cruelty by refusing to buy anything—including food, supplies or toys—at pet stores and on websites that sell puppies.
  • Spread the Word. Spread the adoption message to all of your friends and followers online! Join the ASPCA in a live Ustream event on October 30 from 7 to 8 p.m. when veterinarians and behaviorists will be chatting and answering your best pet questions. A Halloween costume contest will also be held, with prizes being awarded in several categories. In addition, send a Tweet with Twitter®, post a Facebook® status, shoot a YouTube® video, take an Instagram® photo, and pin on Pinterest® throughout the entire month of October; every mention makes a difference.
  • Get Active for Animals. Volunteering at your local shelter is a great way to make a difference in the lives of shelter dogs. Volunteers can take dogs for walks, socialize them, make the rounds during meal times, or just offer a friendly face for attention. Rescue organizations are always in need of supplies; gather up gently used blankets, towels and toys from friends and family to donate—just be sure to check first to see what rescue groups and shelters need most.

To learn more about Adopt-a-Shelter-Dog Month, and find shelter dogs who are available for adoption, visit To learn more about the ASPCA’s No Pet Store Puppies campaign and to sign the pledge, visit

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The numbers highlight the cruelty of horse racing

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While NBC Sports spent the last month or so promoting the horse-racing industry while all but ignoring its dark side, at least some news outlets are reporting actual news.

This week, legitimate news title goes to CNN, for the story under the headline: “Animal welfare activists: Horse racing industry needs reform.”

The article includes this statement: “” The Jockey Club — the registry for thoroughbred horses in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico — estimates that 15 thoroughbreds die on American racetracks every week. Those figures do not include other breeds of horses that also race in the United States. “”

Nancy Perry of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals reports horses are being injected with everything from cocaine to cancer drugs to snake venom to enhance performance.

As is the case in greyhound racing, attendance is dropping at horse races nationwide. Awareness about the cruelty of the industry in the ranks of the general public is growing. The ASPCA is calling for federal regulation of the industry. That would be great, but in reality, when you mix gambling with the desire for quick profit with animals, the outcome will not be good for the animals. It never is.

No one can justify the number of deaths each year in horse racing. No one can justify the losing horses being sent off to be tortured in slaughterhouses by untold numbers each year.