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Tag: allegations

Israeli military denies it trains dogs to attack upon hearing “God is Great” in Arabic

The Israeli military has denied allegations that it trains its dogs to attack anybody heard saying “Allah-u Akbar,” Arabic for “God is great,” Ha’aretz and other local media reported Tuesday.

Israeli Arab deputy Ahmed Tibi on Monday told the Israeli parliament that at a dog unit ceremony held the day before, parents of the soldiers witnessed demonstrations proving the allegations.

“Israeli military dogs are trained to pounce and attack any Arab who shouts ‘Allah-u Akbar,’ as a Pavlovian reaction,” Tibi was quoted as saying. The phrase is one that has been shouted by suicide bombers before detonating explosive devices.

Speculations of such practice were exposed first by Israel Radio’s military correspondent, Carmela Menashe.

Responding to the allegations, the Israeli military said in a statement: “One of the canine unit’s many capabilities is to train the dogs to locate the enemy when dressed both in uniform and as civilian. This is an ability that has proven itself in many cases.”

“Pedigree Dogs Exposed” deemed mostly fair

Ofcom — the UK’s equivalent to our FCC — has ruled that the controversial BBC documentary “Pedigree Dogs Exposed” was mostly fair, but didn’t give Kennel Club officials a chance to fully respond to all of the allegations it made.

“Pedigree Dogs Exposed,” which is receiving its first U.S. airing tonight, alleged that events such as the Crufts dog show awarded top prizes to unhealthy and inbred animals and encouraged breeders to place appearance above health concerns.

The Ofcom ruling was in response to complaints by the Kennel Club, according to The Guardian.

Ofcom said that the way the film was edited was fair and that the Kennel Club was not, as it claimed, deceived about its purpose.” However, it added, the Kennel Club was “not given a proper opportunity to respond to an allegation about eugenics and a comparison with Hitler and the Nazi Party, or an allegation that it covered up the nature of an operation carried out on a Crufts Best in Show winner”.

The Kennel Club made complaints about the program in five areas. Ofcom — here’s the full ruling — rejected complaints in four of these areas stating that there was “no unfairness.”

Only the Kennel Club’s fifth complaint was deemed somewhat valid. The Kennel Club said it was not given an appropriate opportunity to respond to 15 specific allegations, and Ofcom agreed that was in the case for four of the 15.

In one of those, Jeff Sampson, the Kennel Club’s senior scientific adviser and spokesman, “was not given the chance to show how seriously he took the health problems confronting pedigree dogs,” Ofcom said.

The BBC said it stood by the program. “While we note Ofcom’s findings regarding some aspects of Pedigree Dogs Exposed, we stand firmly by the programme, which was clearly in the public interest, and we stand firmly by its conclusions,” said a spokesman for the BBC.

“The broadcast has accelerated unprecedented reform in the way pedigree dogs are bred, including new limits on inbreeding, changes to the written standards of 78 breeds of dog and a new code of ethics which prohibits the culling of puppies for cosmetic reasons,” he added.

Shelter conditions lead to firing in Memphis

memphisdogThis photo helped authorities in Shelby County, Tennessee get the search warrant that was used in a predawn raid that led to the temporary closure of the Memphis Animal Shelter two weeks ago.

The raid followed allegations of mismanagement, mistreatment of animals and improper euthanizations.

The mayor of Memphis, A C  Wharton, fired Animal Services Director Ernest Alexander Friday — a day after residents held a candlelight vigil at the facility.

“I am not an expert on (animal shelters), but I tell you what, I can walk in here and tell you whether it is clean or dirty,” Wharton said Friday during a news conference at the shelter. “I can tell you the difference between a pet that has been fed and cared for and loved and not loved.”

Wharton’s decision to fire Alexander came after shelter employees improperly euthanized a dog and preliminary results of a city investigation showed the facility had been mismanaged, the Memphis Commercial Appeal reported.

In addition to Alexander’s termination, three other shelter employees remain suspended with pay until the city investigation is complete.

Last week, Wharton established a committee to review the shelter’s operations and installed surveillance cameras that the public can access online. Members of the committee will monitor the shelter daily.

Public pressure for Wharton to take action at the shelter — long criticized by animal rights activists — has been building since Shelby County sheriff’s deputies raided the facility last week.

The puppy in the photo was admitted to the Memphis Animal Shelter Aug. 18, and died Sept. 4.  A necropsy showed the dog hadn’t eaten in at least 72 hours.

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.

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