The American Kennel Club is doing a much better job of protecting bad breeders than it is protecting dogs.
That’s the gist of this investigative report that aired yesterday on NBC’s “Today” show
The accusations aren’t exactly new, and weren’t exactly uncovered by NBC, but it’s good to see the issue getting some national attention.
The AKC, investigative correspondent Jeff Rossen notes, calls itself ”the dog’s champion …
“But critics say there’s an ugly reality you don’t see: Some AKC breeders raising diseased dogs, malnourished, living in their own filth. It’s so disturbing that now two of the country’s largest animal welfare groups, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and the Humane Society, are condemning the AKC.”
The report included an interview with one dog owner, who purchased a Great Dane from a kennel only weeks after that kennel was inspected by the AKC and found in compliance. The puppy turned out to have intestinal parasites, an upper respiratory infection and a congenital eye defect.
“Law enforcement went into the kennel just two months later, and rescued dozens of dogs,” Rossen reported.
Wayne Pacelle, CEO of the Humane Society of the United States, is featured heavily in the report, and makes the point that the AKC should be working with animal welfare groups to protect dogs instead of protecting bad breeders and fighting laws that would crack down on them.
AKC Director of Communications Lisa Peterson, also interviewed for the report, says she would give the AKC an “A” for its inspection program.
But when the reporter asked how many breeders are producing AKC-registered dogs, she said, “That’s a great question. We don’t know.” And when asked what percentage of AKC registered breeders end up getting inspected, she wouldn’t offer a ball park figure.
“We do thousands of inspections annually,” Peterson said. “We’ve done 55,000 inspections since the year 2000.”
“But what percentage of breeders actually get inspected?”
“… I don’t have that figure,” Peterson said. “I’m sorry.”
Peterson said there are nine AKC inspectors in the U.S. Asked “Do you think that’s an adequate number?” she said, ”That’s the number that we have.”
Posted by jwoestendiek May 2nd, 2013 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: akc, american kennel club, animals, aspca, breeders, breeding, club, conditions, dog, dogs, hsus, humane society, humane society of the united states, inspections, investigative, jeff rossen, kennel, laws, legislation, nbc, news, pets, report, today, today show, wayne pacelle
It’s described as the first-ever facility dedicated strictly to providing behavioral rehabilitation to canine victims of cruelty.
The center opened this week as a partnership between the ASPCA and St. Hubert’s Animal Welfare Center in Madison, N.J., according to a press release.
In addition to working to rehabilitate the dogs who end up there, the center’s findings will be the basis of a research study that will be shared with shelters and rescue groups across the country.
“For some animals, the reality is that after a lifetime of neglect and abuse, the rescue is just the beginning of their journey to recovery,” said Dr. Pamela Reid, vice president of the ASPCA’s Anti-Cruelty Behavior Team.
“The ASPCA recognized the need for a rehabilitation center that will provide rescued dogs customized behavior treatment and more time to recover, increasing the likelihood that they will be adopted.”
Dogs eligible for treatment at the ASPCA Behavioral Rehabilitation Center will be those rescued from animal cruelty investigations conducted by the ASPCA as well as by other shelters and rescue groups.
The ASPCA says dogs admitted to the center will undergo an intensive rehabilitation regimen, including customized behavior modification treatments to reduce fear and anxiety.
Treatment plans will incorporate the use of “scientifically sound techniques designed to reduce the dogs’ fear of people and other dogs, acquainting them to unfamiliar objects, sounds, living areas, and real-life situations that can induce trauma and severe stress among this population.”
The primary goal is to improve their well-being and help them become suitable for adoption.
Work conducted at the center will be featured in a research study evaluating successful methods and treatment protocols for rehabilitating undersocialized, fearful dogs. The findings will be shared with animal welfare organizations and scientific communities nationwide.
“Many shelters around the country are doing great work in terms of rehabilitation and behavior modification, but often times they are stretched thin and may not have the resources to work with animals who need more time,” said Kristen Collins, director of ASPCA Anti-Cruelty Behavior Rehabilitation.
“Our goal is to not only rehabilitate the dogs we admit into the program, but to also collect data for our research study so we can share these findings with other animal shelters and rescue groups. We want others to be equipped to better treat those undersocialized dogs in their care so they can save more animals.”
(Photo: ACPCA photo of Musketeer, a five-year-old pit bull mix, with Pia Silvani, vice president of Training and Behavior for St. Hubert’s, at the ASPCA Behavioral Rehabilitation Center in Madison, N.J.)
Posted by jwoestendiek March 13th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abuse, animals, aspca, behavior, behavior modification, behavioral, cruelty, dog fighting, dogfighting, dogs, evaluation, fear, hoarders, hoarding, madison, new jersey, pets, puppy mills, recovery, rehab, rehabilitation, rescues, research, shelters, st huberts animal welfare center, trauma
If you’re wondering why you’re hearing so much about spaying and neutering your pets these days — everything from low-cost clinics to fund-raising ”SPAY-ghetti” dinners — it’s because this is Spay/Neuter Awareness Month.
February will see a host of events across the country, all leading up to World Spay Day on Feb. 26, which promotes working together to bring an end to the euthanasia and suffering of homeless companion animals, feral cats and street dogs.
This year, PetSmart Charities is providing grants, under a program called “Beat the Heat,” to 61 clinics, aimed at spaying and neutering 15,500 cats. The Doris Day Animal Foundation is awarding a $75,000 grant to fund spay/neuter programs for pets in 16 towns and cities in 14 states.
The HSUS is partnering with the ASPCA to host a low-cost spay/neuter event for pets in East Harlem in New York City on Feb. 23. The Iowa Humane Alliance plans to host “Twenty Bunny Monday” on Feb. 25, a day reserved solely for spaying or neutering twenty rabbits. East Tennessee Spay Neuter hosted “Hunka, Hunka Furry Love” — featuring a singing dog named Melvis — over the weekend to sign up low-income clients for pet spaying and neutering.
And here in what’s my home base for now, Winston-Salem, N.C., scores showed up — including the young couple above doing their best Lady and the Tramp imitation — at a “SPAY-ghetti” dinner yesterday to raise funds to reimburse veterinarians who offer low cost spaying and neutering.
The dinner at the West End Cafe was sponsored by Humane Solution, an all-volunteer, nonprofit organization that believes spaying and neutering is the key to reducing pet overpopulation and reducing euthanizations.
Humane Solution is a coalition of area shelters, including the Forsyth Humane Society, that relies solely on donations, grants, and fundraisers to make the low-cost spay/neuter program possible. The organization also sponsors rabies and microchipping clinics several times a year that help fund the program to help pay for spay/neuter surgeries.
As part of Forsyth Spay Day, on February 23, the organization will be handing out vouchers for spaying and neutering to qualified applicants at six different locations.
World Spay Day got its start as Spay Day USA in 1995, sponsored by the Doris Day Animal League. It now includes participants in 45 countries. Events include low and no-cost spay/neuter clinics for under-served communities, fundraisers to benefit spay/neuter programs and educational campaigns.
Since Spay Day’s inception, it is estimated that more than one and a half million animals have been spayed or neutered in conjunction with the campaign.
Its partners include The Humane Society of the United States and Humane Society International, the Doris Day Animal Foundation, the ASPCA, the House Rabbit Society, the Humane Alliance, the Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association, Petfinder, and PetSmart Charities. World Spay Day 2013 is sponsored by Abaxis. To find a World Spay Day event near you, visit worldspayday.org.
“Sterilizing dogs and cats is the best way to stem the overpopulation of cats, dogs and other pets, and to prevent homelessness and suffering,” said Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of The Humane Society of the United States. “World Spay Day allows caring people the world over to come together and raise awareness about the life-saving benefits of spaying and neutering …”
The HSUS is hosting a World Spay Day 2013 online Pet Pageant. Participants can upload their pets photo until March 19, and all proceeds will benefit local U.S. non-profit organizations participating in World Spay Day.
Posted by jwoestendiek February 11th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, aspca, awareness month, cats, clinics, dogs, doris day animal foundation, events, forsyth county, forsyth humane society, funding, grants, hsus, humane society of the united states, humane solution, low cost, neuter, north carolina, overpopulation, pets, petsmart charities, programs, rabbits, spaghetti, spay, spay day, spay day usa, spayghetti, vouchers, west end cafe, world spay day
Spiked collars, break sticks and Michael Vick’s indictment papers are among items on display at a new exhibit at the Crime Museum in downtown D.C.
The dogfighting exhibit, put together by the ASPCA, is scheduled to run through September.
“We want the public to see that dogs used in dogfighting are the victims of the crime, not instruments of the crime,” said Dr. Randall Lockwood, senior vice president of ASPCA Forensic Sciences and Anti-Cruelty Projects. “We want people to realize the brutality of dog fighting and see that it’s the greatest violation of the human-animal bond.”
Janine Vaccarello, chief operating officer at the Crime Museum, told WTOP the exhibit seeks to expose the public to the brutality of dogfighting, but that attempts were made to keep it rated “PG.”
The exhibit features artifacts and evidence seized by the ASPCA during dog fighting raids, including the largest dogfighting raid in U.S. history, carried out in 2009.
The exhibit, “Dog Fighting: The Voiceless Victims,” also looks at the work of ASPCA veterinary forensic experts in investigating such crimes.
Among the artifacts in the exhibit is the indictment naming Michael Vick, the NFL quarterback who served time for his participation in dogfighting and has since worked to speak out against it and rehabilitate his image.
“Personally, I have difficulty in forgiving him, but if he can be helpful in the fight against dog fighting, we welcome whatever help we can get,” Lockwood said.
Also on display are a treadmill used to condition dogs for fighting; a “rape” stand used to immobilize female dogs for breeding purposes; breaking sticks used to force a dog’s release on another dog; a spring pole used to strengthen a dog’s bite, neck, and leg muscles as he pulls or hangs from the end, a handmade nailed collar used to antagonize fighting dogs; an electrocution device used to kill dogs who lost a fight or failed to show sufficient aggression; and a pit bull skull excavated from a dogfighting crime scene.
Lockwood says pit bulls have suffered most from dog fighting.
“Too often, pit bulls in general are demonized as the weapons of dog fighting, but from our perspective they are the victims of dog fighting,” he said.
The exhibit does have some upbeat notes, including the story of Dragon, a dog rescued from a Virginia dogfighting ring who has since been adopted into a new home.
Posted by jwoestendiek January 31st, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal cruelty, animal welfare, aspca, break sticks, crime museum, dc, devices, displays, dog fighting, dogfighting, exhibit, forensics, indictment, investigations, michael vick, mueseums, photos, pit bulls, pitbulls, randall lockwood, spiked collars, tools, torture, washington
Here’s the latest in the ASPCA’s anti-puppy mill campaign — a video that reminds those considering going to a pet store to purchase a puppy for Christmas of the unjoyous kind of place that dog likely came from.
“Our goal with this video is to educate consumers in a very compelling way about the connection between pet store puppies and puppy mills, with hopes of reaching millions,” the ASPCA said.
The video, entitled Puppies Are Not Toys, is part of the ASPCA’s No Pet Store Puppies campaign.
It’s timed for Christmas because polls show Americans plan to spend more than $2.5 million on pets over the holidays — the vast majority of that on pets they already have.
The ASPCA is suggesting that consumers avoid buying anything from pet stores that sell puppies because “some of that $2.5 billion in revenue may be supporting the puppy mill industry.”
It cited polls showing about 60 percent of consumers would still consider shopping at a store that also sells puppies.
As an alternative, it suggested shoppers consider giving gifts that make a difference in the lives of animals in need, such as those from its own online store.
Posted by jwoestendiek December 7th, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: american society for the prevention of cruelty to animals, aspca, campaign, christmas, dogs, gifts, no pet store puppies, pet stores, pets, public service announcement, puppy mills, stuffed, toys, video
Rachael Ray is donating $500,000 to the ASPCA to help pets who were displaced, hurt or lost during Superstorm Sandy.
On top of that, Ray’s pet food company, Nutrish, is sending four tons of wet and dry dog food to help feed the animals affected by Sandy. It’s the largest donation ever by the company.
Ray announced the donations Friday, and again on her television program today.
The $500,000 will be used by the ASPCA to lease a building that can be used as a central shelter for Sandy animals, provide mobile veterinary services, hand out supplies and continue searching for lost pets.
Since Sandy, the ASPCA had rescued more than 250 animals and treated or provided supplies to nearly 6,000 in New York City and Long Island.
Ray teamed up with the ASPCA earlier thisyear for its $100,000 shelter challenge, a photo contest whose winners are to be announced this week.
Ray is also donating $100,000 to City Harvest and the Food Bank for New York City.
“When you make your living in food, you have to give back in the same way,” she said.
Posted by jwoestendiek November 12th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: $500000, american society for the prevention of cruelty to animals, animal welfare, animals, aspca, displaced, dog food, dogs, donation, find, half million, hurricane, lost, new york, nutrish, pets, rachael ray, rescue, sandy, shelter, storm, superstorm
Ripped apart by Sandy, some New Yorkers and their pets have been lucky enough to reunite after the storm.
Here are photos of a few reunions, courtesy of PeoplePets.
Above is OTIS, a pit bull rescued by the Humane Society of the United States from a second floor apartment in Staten Island and reunited with his family at a local shelter.
PRECIOUS (above) and the three cats he lives with had to be left behind when LeeAnn Rivera and her seven children fled their Queens apartment. ASCPA responders rescued them from the completely flooded building and brought them to the Queens College evacuation shelter where the family is now living.
MAGGIE belongs to the Schramm family in Breezy Point, who lost everything in the storm — including her. The Finnish Spitz-shepherd mix was found wandering by photographer Ann Lewis, who took her in and created a Facebook page in an attempt to find her owners. It worked, and Maggie and family were reunited.
You can see more reunion photos at PeoplePets.
Posted by jwoestendiek November 8th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, ann lewis, aspca, cats, dogs, found, humane society of the united states, hurricane. storm, lost, maggie, new york, otis, pets, photographer, photographs, precious, reunions, reunited, sandy
The New York Post described Ted Shuttleworth as “a 230-pound, washed-up TV screenwriter.”
Police said he hit his poodle, Lola, on May 29 because he was angry at the pup.
Later, he took the 5-year-old dog to a veterinarian, who, viewing the death as suspicious, notified the ASPCA.
A necropsy determined, “Lola sustained a traumatic brain injury secondary to the application of blunt force to the right side of her head at the hands of the suspect, her owner,” an ASPCA spokesman said.
Shuttleworth, 51, had a brief stint writing for “NYPD Blue” and has worked for Steven Spielberg. He’s now an administrative assistant at New York University.
His wife, Isadora Monk Shuttleworth, called Lola’s injuries ”a horrible accident, ” but didn’t elaborate.
Shuttleworth faces up to a year in prison.
Posted by jwoestendiek June 18th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal cruelty, animals, aspca, cruelty to animals, death, dog, dogs, fatal, investigation, killed, lola, miniature, necropsy, new york, nypd blue, pets, police, poodle, punched, queens, screenwriter, ted shuttleworth, writer
The cat, named Mittens, was trapped by two teenage boys in a milk crate, doused with lighter fluid and set on fire last January.
She managed to escape from the crate, extinguish the flames and return to what she had been doing — nursing her newborn kittens.
Mittens was rescued by police and animal control officers and, along with her kittens, brought to the Baltimore Animal Rescue and Care Shelter (BARCS), where she slowly recovered from the loss of her ears as well as third and fourth-degree burns covering 70 percent of her body.
Despite her injuries, Mittens continued to care for her kittens during recovery. Her story resulted in extensive media coverage and helped lead to stronger animal welfare laws in Maryland. Named the ASPCA’s Cat of the Year, she now resides in the home of Cindy Wright.
After a pit bull named Phoenix was doused with gasoline and set on fire in West Baltimore in 2009, Griffin, who previously had a private law practice, devoted her life to advocating for changes in Baltimore’s policies and procedures to better protect animals and prosecute their abusers. She was appointed by then-mayor Sheila Dixon to chair a new Anti-Animal Abuse Task Force, which went on to become a permanent standing Anti-Animal Abuse Advisory Commission, the first of its kind in the country.
Griffin’s work heightened media and public awareness of animal abuse, and let to increased coordination and cooperation between agencies and individuals concerned about the problem.
“Through Caroline’s unrelenting work, the Commission has not only helped Baltimore become a more humane community, but also serves as a model for other cities across the country,” the ASPCA said in a press release.
Griffin is one of two recipients of the ASPCA Presidential Service Award. Also receiving the honor is Subaru of America, Inc. for its unprecedented commitment to animal welfare. Through the Subaru “Love a Pet” Adoption Drive program, the ASPCA works with Subaru dealers across the country to team them up with local shelters to host co-branded ‘Love a Pet’ adoption events.
“The ASPCA is humbled by the commitment and compassion displayed by this year’s Humane Awards winners,” ASPCA President & CEO Ed Sayres said. “The distinguished achievements of these advocates are prime examples of the ASPCA’s mission of preventing cruelty to animals. This year’s event will be a celebration of all that has been done to bring us closer to our goal while reminding us that there is still much work ahead.”
The ASPCA’s Annual Humane Awards Luncheon — sponsored by the Hartville Group, Inc., provider of ASPCA Pet Health Insurance — will be held on Thursday, Nov. 17, from noon to 2 p.m. at the Pierre Hotel in New York City.
Others to be honored are:
– Ricochet, the surfing golden retriever who raises money and helps the disabled. Rejected as a service dog, Ricochet and her owner, Judy Fridono, took another route to helping people. Ricochet is now a ‘SURFice’ dog for disabled surfers. On top of that, Ricochet has helped raise more than $125,000 for more than 150 human and animal causes, including childhood special needs, arthritis, breast cancer, canine cancer and animal rescue. Ricochet will be honored as the ASPCA Dog of the Year.
– Stevie Nelson, a five-year-old boy who raised more than $28,000 for the Northeast Nebraska Humane Society. After his family’s two black Labs went missing, Stevie, upon seeing an ASPCA commercial on television, decided he wanted to help needy animals find homes. He set out to raise $6,000 for the humane society’s campaign to build a new shelter, but to date has raised more than four times that. Stevie will receive the ASPCA’s Tommy P. Monahan Kid of the Year award — named after a nine year old boy who died trying to save his dog from a house fire in 2007.
– Sgt. David Hunt of the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office in Columbus, Ohio. Hunt has served as a leader in uncovering the link between animal cruelty and other serious crimes such as drug dealing, gambling and racketeering. Since 2002, Sgt. Hunt has executed 51 search warrants resulting in 67 felony dogfighting arrests. He has trained law enforcement officers in 28 states, and helped make dogfighting a crime law enforcement and lawmakers take more seriously. Hunt is receiving the ASPCA Public Service Award.
– Green Chimneys, a New York organization that helps children with emotional, behavioral, social and learning challenges. A leader in animal-assisted activities, Green Chimneys operates an innovative special education school and residential treatment facility with programs to strengthen the emotional health and well being of children by promoting a harmonious relationship with animals and the environment. Green Chimneys is receiving the ASPCA Henry Bergh Award.
(Photo of Mittens, courtesy of BARCS; photo of Caroline Griffin by Mary Swift)
Posted by jwoestendiek October 19th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abuse, animals, anti-animal abuse task force, aspca, attention, awards, awareness, baltimore, barcs, caroline griffin, cat, cats, columbus, cruelty to animals, david hunt, dog, dogfighting, dogs, environment, green chimneys, honors, humane awards, judy fridono, law enforcement, lawyer, luncheon, mittens, nebraska, ohio, pets, phoenix, protect, ricochet, service dogs, set on fire, shelters, stevie nelson, surf, surfing, therapy dogs
This year fewer than 4 million unwanted dogs and cats will be euthanized, down from as many as 20 million before 1970, the Associated Press reported this week.
That figure’s still nothing to brag about, but it’s a massive improvement, and a testament — not just to surgery, but to the work shelters, rescue groups and animal welfare organizations do to encourage adoptions.
Most animal experts, though, according to the AP story, believe spaying and neutering has played the biggest role in reducing the number of unwanted, euthanized pets.
Nearly every public shelter, private rescue or animal welfare organization in the country now donates money, space or time to low-cost spay and neuter clinics, and spaying and neutering, in addition to becoming a requirement for most adoptions, has become the law in some states, counties and cities.
Spaying and neutering have also become less traumatic — for pets and owners.
“Now they make a one- or two-inch incision and use self-absorbing sutures” that mean a much quicker recovery for the animals, said Stephen Zawistowski, science adviser for the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA).
Zawistowski recalled when he got his first dog spayed 50 years ago, “she had an incision that must have been a foot long and was sewn up with what looked like piano wire.”
In addition to eliminating shelter kills, spaying and neutering can make pets easier to manage, less aggressive and healthier, said Andrew N. Rowan, president and CEO of Humane Society International and chief scientific officer for the Humane Society of the United States.
The first public spay and neuter clinic in the U.S., according to the AP story, was opened in Los Angeles in 1969.
What makes the figures all the more impressive is that the decline in the number of animals being euthanized each year comes even as the pet population has boomed. There were about 62 million companion pets in 1970, versus about 170 million today, Zawistowski said.
In years ahead, sterilizing a dog or cat may not always mean surgery. Work continues on pills, implants and vaccines that render cats and dogs unable to reproduce.
Dr. Gary Michelson, a billionaire orthopedic spinal surgeon and founder of Found Animals, posted a $25 million prize in 2008 for the creator of an affordable chemical sterilant, and has put up another $25 million for grants to scientists doing the research.
“When we first saw grant proposals coming in, we saw old ideas that had been laying around for 15 or 20 years. What we are seeing now are proposals based on cutting edge science — areas related to cancer and stem cell research. The level and sophistication of the science has moved to a higher level,” said Zawistowski, who is on the prize board.
In 2003, the FDA approved the first sterilant for male dogs. But at about $50 a shot, Neutersol was too costly. It was reworked, the price was cut to about $6 a dose and it was again approved by the FDA under the name Esterilsol. After trials around the world, it is expected to be available in the United States later this year.
Posted by jwoestendiek July 6th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: andrew rowan, animals, aspca, cats, chemical, clinics, contraception, dogs, esterilsol, euthanasia, euthanized, found animals, hsus, neuter, neutering, neutersol, perceptions, pets, pills, reproduction, rescues, shelters, society, spay, spaying, stephen zawistowski, sterilizing, surgery, unwanted