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Tag: approved

Franken’s service dogs for vets act passes

Sen. Al Franken’s first piece of legislation — aimed at increasing the supply of service dogs for veterans — has been passed and is headed to the White House for approval.

Under the legislation, the Veterans Administration would develop partnerships with organizations that provide disabled veterans with service dogs. Franken said the measure will cost about $5 million and is designed not to interfere with non-profit organizations providing service dogs.

“The government is going to pay for essentially every other dog. What I didn’t want to happen was to dry up the funding for the organizations like Hearing and Service Dogs in Minneapolis and all of these non-profits who have been providing dogs to some vets.”

Franken said about 200 veterans will get dogs as a result of the legislation. The legislation was passed yesterday as apart of the Defense Authorization bill, according to Minnesota Public Radio.

Franken introduced the legislation after meeting Luis Carlos Montalvan, a veteran who said his service dog improved his quality of life.

LA County looks at puppy mill law

The Los Angeles County supervisors have unanimously approved a motion to seek broader oversight over  “puppy mills,” according to the Los Angeles Times.

The motion calls on the county’s chief executive, county counsel and various county departments to report back in 45 days with proposals for legal changes that would improve the quality of care and ensure safe and responsible breeding at high volume kennels and breeding operations.

Supervisor Michael Antonovich said that during the last six months the county has had to seize or relocate hundreds of puppies and dogs from so-called puppy mills, increasing the burden on county animal shelters. “This is cruel for the animals and places a tremendous burden on county taxpayers,” Antonovich said.

Massachusetts voters ban greyhound racing

Massachusetts voters yesterday approved a measure that will ban greyhound racing in the state by 2010.

“This is a victory for everyone in Massachusetts who cares about dogs,” said Christine Dorchak, co-chairwoman of the Committee to Protect Dogs.

The ban, which takes effect in 2010, passed 56 percent to 44 percent, with more than two-thirds of the precincts reporting, according to the Boston Globe:

“The contentious ballot question passed amid emotional ad campaigns by both sides. Proponents used images of sad-eyed greyhounds that they say are caged inhumanely and raced to injury, while opponents put the spotlight on the employees who would be out of work if the ballot passed.”

A similar ballot question was narrowly defeated in 2000, but this time around voters strongly supported the measure, despite track owners’ arguments that the ban would cost jobs at a time of economic hardship.

“We did it. We did it for the dogs,” a victorious Carey Thiel, executive director of Grey2K USA, said at a postelection party of some 60 supporters at Jillian’s Billiards Club. “For 75 years, greyhounds in our state have endured terrible confinement and suffered serious injuries. We’re better than that.”

The Committee to Protect Dogs used data kept by the State Racing Commission since mid-2002 showing injuries to more than 800 greyhounds.

Formed by Grey2K USA, the Humane Society of the United States, and the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals-Angell Medical Center, the committee spent nearly $500,000 through Oct. 15, campaign finance reports show, and received about $144,000 in in-kind contributions.