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Archive for January 12th, 2009

“Hotel for Dogs:” Like a lick in the face

On Saturday, I got a chance to see “Hotel for Dogs” at a special screening to benefit the Maryland SPCA, and  I highly recommend it, whether you’re 8 or 80.

The SPCA, which runs its own sort of hotel for dogs on Falls Road, brought three up-for-adoption dogs to the fundraiser at the Regal Cinema in Hunt Valley, including the pup above (whose attempt to relieve me of my camera was unsuccessful).

The movie was cute, and funny, and elicited at least a dozen prolonged “awwwwwws” from the capacity crowd as the story unfolded — two orphans take in a New York neighborhood’s strays dogs, using an abandoned hotel to provide a contraption-filled haven for them.

It’s a movie that brings out the child in you, makes you wonder where you’ve been hiding it, and ponder whether you might ought to let it — and the idealism that went along with it — out once in a while.

“Hotel for Dogs” takes grown-up cynicism and gives it a big sloppy lick in the face.

Hotel for Dogs opens Jan. 16.

No room at the shelter?

Across the country, animal shelters are filling up, looking for ways to find homes for more dogs and, in some cases, closing their doors amid an influx of abandoned pets caused primarily by the flagging economy.

Both public and private shelters are feeling the strain of too many dogs and cats and not enough homes that want them.

The Madison ARK animal shelter is just one of many that is telling people they just can’t take anymore.

Mandy Nabors, executive director of Madison ARK said that it’s currently housing about 70 animals and there is no more room, according to one MSNBC report.

People are still dropping them off, though.

“They began dropping them at our doorstep,” Nabors said. “We found a cat in the back in a carrier, a dog someone left for us in our outdoor fences, several litters of puppies left just in the yard — and we’re not going to turn them away. We took them in and we just have no more space. All of the rooms of the building are taken up and all the rooms have animals. Our supplies are running out very, very quickly.” Read more »

Petland stores protested nationwide

Protesters turned out at about 25 Petland stores in 15 states over the weekend in a choreographed series of demonstrations against the marketing of puppy mill puppies.

Petland, after an 8-month investigation by the Humane Society of the United States, was identified by the organization as the largest retail supporter of puppy mills in the nation.

HSUS says its investigation revealed that many Petland stores across the country are marketing puppy mill puppies to unsuspecting consumers.

Petland denies the accusation.

“To encourage the company to mend its way, we’ve organized rallies at 22 Petland stores across the country this Saturday,” HSUS President Wayne Pacelle said in his blog, “A Humane Nation.”

HSUS is encouraging Petland to allow adoptions in its stores, as PETCO and PetSmart do, rather than selling puppies.

The protests took place Saturday in Maryville, Tenn.; Tampa, Fla.; Hilliard, Ohio; Pittsburgh, Pa.; and nearly a dozen other locations.

Petland says the charges are untrue and slanderous. Here’s the full text of a press release the company issued Friday:

Read more »