The Sergei Foundation


B-more Dog


Pinups for Pitbulls



Mid Atlantic Pug Rescue

Our Pack, Inc.

Maine Coonhound Rescue

Saving Shelter Pets, Inc.


LD Logo Color

Archive for January 16th, 2009

WMAR airs report on Cecil County SPCA

ABC2 News in Baltimore (WMAR) aired a report last night on the growing controversy surrounding the Cecil County SPCA and its treatment of animals.

The report included interviews with two former employees, one of whom spoke about dogs being beaten with a hammer and stomped on by staff members. Another employee, a vet tech who resigned in July, spoke of unsanitary conditions, botched operations and the shootings of two dogs.

To see the video, click here.

Cecil County SPCA officials declined to appear on camera, but have said in a letter to the county commissioners, that the allegations are untrue.

Temple Grandin makes a house call

If getting an interview with Temple Grandin weren’t impressive enough, Philadelphia Inquirer reporter John Timpane somehow finagled a home visit from the woman who may understand animals better than anyone in America.

Once she got past his dogs, Ricky and Esco, Grandin (who’d been giving a reading nearby) sat down and talked to Timpane about her new book, Animals Make Us Human, and her continuing quest, in Timpane’s words,  “to explain animals to people and people to themselves.”

Grandin, as Timpane notes in his story, is perhaps the best-known person with autism in the United States. She holds a Ph.D. in animal behavior; is a professor at Colorado State; author of Thinking in Pictures and Animals in Translation; and consultant on how to treat animals in the wild and in industrial settings such as corrals and slaughterhouses.

In Animals Make Us Human, Grandin writes that, for an animal, “a good life requires three things: freedom from pain and negative emotions, and lots of activities to turn on seeking and play.”

“I think a lot of dogs today have a horrible life,” Grandin said in the interview.  “In my town, Fort Collins, [Colo.], we have draconian leash laws. If you walk down any residential street in Fort Collins, dogs are whining in half the houses. Dogs need to have a doggy social life, a life off the leash. When we were kids and all the dogs ran free, a lot of dogs were killed by cars, and that was bad, but we also had a lot of happier dogs. Now that we live in such a controlled world for dogs, you need to spend some time with your dog – an hour or so of good play, a walk in the park.”

Grandin has said repeatedly that her autism has given her a powerful connection to the way animals think. “It began when I realized I think in pictures, not verbally,” she said. “Animals, lacking the verbal aspect, see everything in terms of what they see, feel, hear … Most of us have just never looked at things from an animal’s point of view.”

SPCA president says staff received threats

State Delegate Michael Smigiel reported on his blog yesterday that he’s received comments from more hundreds of people in connection with the Cecil County SPCA, many of them containing new allegations of abuse and mismanagement.

“Originally, there were only three former employees, a few former volunteers and numerous citizens who had reported problems to my office about abuse of animals and financial mismanagement at the CCSPCA,” Smigiel wrote. “Subsequent to publishing a few of those accounts on this blog, over five hundred people have posted comments on this blog, called my office, mailed my office or came by personally. (Over 33,000 have logged onto this site, so far.)”

Smigiel added that “many new allegations about previous sadistic acts against these innocent animals have also come to light … We are busy collecting sworn statements from those who make allegations about animal abuse and will provide them to prosecutors.”

Representatives of the Cecil County SPCA decided this week not to attend a county commissioners meeting to discuss allegations of abuse that have been raised by Smigiel and and others because of threats of physical harm, SPCA President Nancy Schwerzler said.

In a letter provided to the county commissioners, Schwerzler said allegations being raised by state Smigiel are “not supported by facts” and that the Cecil County SPCA does not “routinely” shoot dogs.

Here is the letter in its entirety.

Read more »

Forgotten poodle making speedy recovery

A poodle in Vermont survived 19 days in a van at the Burlington International Airport parking garage.

The 12-year-old miniature poodle, Michou, apparently left in the van without food or water, lost half his body weight and endured freezing temperatures. He was discovered after a passerby alerted police to a stench coming from the vehicle. Since then, he has made an “amazing” recovery, veterinarians said.

Police cited the dog’s owner, Canadian citizen Pascal Bellon, 50, of Frelighsburg, Quebec, for cruelty to animals, which has a fine of $100. Bellon has agreed to give up custody of the dog and pay for veterinary bills related to the pet’s recovery, according to a report in the Burlington Free Press.

Police said the dog, locked in the car from Dec. 14 to Jan. 6, was not left at the airport intentionally, but the circumstances around his abandonment were not divulged.