Pack Line Headlines: Exotic animal ban in Ohio, the Fukushima animals, puppy sales

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Abandoned animals still suffering in Fukushima danger zone: When Japanese citizens were forced to evacuate after the earthquake and subsequent nuclear disaster, many pets and farm animals were abandoned. To this day many are still suffering.

Ohio could ban exotic animals as pets: The Washington Post reports the proposed legislation would ban future purchases of exotic animals, but allow those who currently have them to keep them, with new housing requirements. Is that going far enough?

Maryland considering new requirements on the sale of puppies in stores: The Maryland House of Delegates is considering new regulations on pet stores that sell puppies. The bill includes provisions for displaying the identity the breeders of each puppy, maintaining records of each sale and protections for people who buy sick puppies.

The Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council is supporting the bill, but only to a degree. The Colesville Patch quotes an organization rep as not so much liking the provision that might force stores to reimburse buyers three times the price of the purchase, for veterinary care. He fears this “would put a lot of pet dealers out of business.”

That statement jumps off the page. This seems to be an admission that a lot of puppies could fall into this category of being so ill the stores would have to pay up.

The legislation is a step in the right direction, but what we really need is a nationwide ban on the sale of dogs and cats (and some other animals) in stores. The purchase of a puppy or kitten should not equate to buying a toaster. Quality breeders have standards of care for customers and stand behind their practices to a degree that offers the buyer more than a very limited returned policy.

Quality breeders don’t sell puppies as if they were products off the shelf. Buying from a store brings a huge risk that the puppy came from a puppy mill.

But then again, adoption is the far better option.


Japanese government finally getting onboard to help animals in evacuation zone

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The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) recently led a summit in Japan to offer safe methods to remove abandoned pets from the evacuation zone near the damaged Fukushima nuclear plant. In response, the Japanese government is finally on board to open the door for the evacuation and treatment of animals contaminated by the radiation.

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Rescuers trying to help pets left behind in Japan’s nuclear danger zone

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Sadly, pets and livestock left behind in the evacuation of the region around the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Japan are starving, as few people are being allowed into the danger zone.

CNN reports freelance journalists recently left food for one dog and rescuers have been braving the radiation danger to save others, but so many more are not getting help.

This is such a sad story. I know circumstances, in the middle of a major disaster, might lead to pets being left behind. But we too often hear stories like this – from Hurricane Katrina to this situation.

Communities need to have disaster plans that include shelters where pets can be housed.