Ann McCrory, who normally leaves the politics to her husband, released a statement Wednesday supporting House Bill 930.
“… Passing legislation to establish basic standards of care for large commercial dog breeding facilities is a very important issue to me, and to people across our state,” she wrote.
“ … I hope you and other members of the General Assembly will continue to advocate for this bill, and other legislation establishing higher standards for commercial breeders. These policies increase our quality of life in North Carolina and ensure better care for dogs across the state…”
The bill sets basic standards of care for operations that use more than 10 females for breeding.
Many say it is a watered-down version of previous attempts to pass a puppy mill law, but add that the compromise is better than nothing in a state some breeding operations have been relocating to in an attempt to avoid regulation.
“North Carolina is the only state in the Southeast without puppy mill laws,” explained Caleb Scott, President of North Carolina Voters for Animal Welfare told Fox 8 News. “We are a puppy mill destination in North Carolina because we have no laws on the books. Puppy millers gravitate to our state.”
The minimum standards required by the bill, as it has been amended, would notapply to breeders of hunting dogs, sporting dogs, field dogs, or show dogs.
It now heads to the Senate.
WRAL described Ann McCrory’s letter as her “first foray into public advocacy” since her husband took office.
The McCrory’s have a Labrador Retriever named Mo.
(Photo: Erin Hull / The Daily Tar Heel)
Posted by jwoestendiek May 10th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: 930, animal welfare, animals, basic, breeders, care, conditions, dog breeders, dogs, exemptions, first lady, house bill 930, hunting dogs, law, north carolina, pat mccrory, pets, politics, proposal, proposed, puppy mills, requirements, show dogs, standards
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 may not be a model puppy mill law. It could even be described, and has been, as “watered down.” But after repeatedly failing to pass legislation regulating large commercial breeders, North Carolina lawmakers will again consider a measure to ensure dogs in such facilities are treated humanely.
House Bill 930, which made it through a first reading this week and is now before a committee, would require breeders with 10 or more breed-able females to provide their dogs with basic necessities, such as food, water, sunlight, exercise and veterinary care.
But it would not require breeders to register, be licensed or submit to regular inspections.
“We hope that all parties can be happy with it,” said Kim Alboum, state director of the Humane Society of the United States. “It’s been a four-year battle to get to this point of this compromise bill. We just hope that this bill will move forward this year.”
You can read the bill here.
The bill was introduced last week by Rep. Jason Saine, a Republican. Breeders found to be in violation of the requirements in the bill could be charged with a misdemeanor and fined from $25 to $1,000.
“This bill protects both dogs and consumers,” Saine said. “Our citizens have made it clear that they are no longer willing to tolerate animal cruelty in the dog breeding industry, and neither am I or my colleagues who support this bill. This legislation will help protect dogs in North Carolina commercial dog breeding facilities by requiring operators to adhere to these basic standards of care.”
The HSUS estimates there are about 200 commercial dog breeding facilities in North Carolina, all operating without any oversight. Last August a raid at one in Brunswick County led to the rescue of about 160 dogs, including 70 puppies and their nursing mothers living in stacked cages in a structure with no working air conditioning.
That was one of 13 large-scale breeding operations in North Carolina that, in the past 18 months, the HSUS has and law enforcement officials have removed dogs from, due to illnesses, injuries and lack of humane care, Saine said.
From 2 to 4 million puppy mill puppies are sold each year in the United States — commonly in pet stores and online — while 3 to 4 million dogs and cats are euthanized in shelters each year for lack of homes, the Humane Society estimates.
Saine said the bill gives law enforcement the tools to go after those who abuse dogs by spelling out what is required of large-scale commercial breeders.
The bill requires dogs have access to food, water, clean bedding, sunlight, and exercise on a daily basis. It mandates the health of dogs be monitored, veterinary care be provided, and that any euthanizations be performed humanely. It specifies that cages be at least big enough for dogs to stand up and turn around in. It doesn’t ban wire flooring, but requires it to be solidly in place and of a type that doesn’t hurt dogs’ feet.
While the legislation under consideration this session doesn’t go as far as previous proposals, most animal welfare advocates in the state have gotten behind it, including North Carolina Voters for Animal Welfare, Susie’s Law, the ASPCA, Humane Society of Charlotte, SPCA of Wake County, and United Animal Coalition.
Previous efforts to pass a puppy mill law ran into opposition from pig and poultry farmers and hunting dog owners, wary that the measures could extend to them. The new bill specifies that it does not apply to dogs used for hunting purposes.
A recent poll commissioned by the ASPCA showed 87 percent of North Carolina voters are in favor of the state legislature passing a law that would set standards of care for North Carolina’s commercial dog breeding facilities.
“Puppy mill operators want to keep their costs down and their profits up, and nothing short of a legal mandate will convince them that they must treat the animals in their care more humanely,” said Ann Church, vice president of state affairs for the ASPCA. “North Carolina voters care about this issue and expect a strong puppy mill bill to pass this year…”
(Photo: One of the dogs seized in the Brunswick County puppy mill raid, after being transferred to a shelter in Guilford County / DigTriad.com)
Posted by jwoestendiek April 18th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal welfare, animals, bill, breeders, brunswick county, care, commercial, compromise, conditions, dog, dogs, hb 930, house bill 930, hsus, humane society of the united states, introduced, jason saine, large, large scale, law, legislation, legislature, north carolina, pets, proposal, puppy mills, raid, standards
A Pennsylvania dog breeder who has been among the most often cited for kennel violations has been charged, and convicted, again — even though he seemed to have downsized his operation enough to avoid state regulations.
John Esh, of Lancaster County, was found guilty and fined $175 last week for running an unlicensed kennel, the Philadelphia Inquirer blog, Philly Dawg, reports.
Esh, and his son Daniel, who breed dogs on two adjoining properties in Ronks, in the heart of Lancaster’s Amish country, have a long history of kennel violations — dating back to well before the state toughened up its dog law.
In 1996, Daniel was held responsible for selling a rabid puppy to a customer whose child was bitten by the dog. In 1997, both father and son were sued by the state attorney general for selling hundreds of sick dogs without a license. Both have had their licenses revoked for operating kennels under substandard conditions.
John Esh closed down his kennel, Twin Maple, opting to keep fewer than 26 dogs on the premises to avoid stricter kennel regulations put in place for commercial breeders.
But recently he was found with 27.
A spokeswoman for the state Department of Agriculture said Esh was selling puppies under the name Green Mountain Toy Puppies. A dog warden assigned to root out illegal kennels selling dogs on the Internet made the discovery.
In court, Esh was told to keep his dog population under 26 and not sell anymore dogs unless he has a kennel license.
Posted by jwoestendiek April 17th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: agriculture, animals, breeders, breeding, commercial, daniel esh, dogs, fined, fines, green mountain toy puppies, john esh, kennels, lancaster county, law, pennsylvania, pets, puppy mills, regulations, ronks, twin maple, violations
Chicago’s oldest pet store has decided to stop selling dogs purchased from breeders.
Sonja Raymond, whose family has been operating Collar & Leash since 1956, says the shop will deal only in adoptable dogs from shelters and rescues, according to CBS in Chicago
Raymond said she’d been considering the switch for five years – after noticing animals coming into the store with genetic defects and incurable illnesses, despite the assurances she received from her suppliers that the pups didn’t come from puppy mills.
“You know I had gone on the word of my distributors that I get my dogs from — that ‘Oh yeah these people are reputable, I’ve known them for years,” she said. “Within the past year I have found out they lied.”
Also pushing Collar & Leash to make the switch was the The Puppy Mill Project, a Chicago-based non-profit organization created to raise awareness about cruelty in puppy mills.
“We’d been in touch with the Puppy Mill Project Founder, Cari Meyers, for a long time, and realize it’s time we take this jump with them to help make a statement to put an end to puppy mills,” Raymond said.
“We will no longer buy and sell cats and dogs from mills and are proud to align ourselves with The Puppy Mill Project,” she said.
“It’s my biggest hope that as they become humane, other Chicago pet stores selling dogs and cats will follow in their footsteps, said Puppy Mill Project founder Meyers.
The store will hold a grand re-opening weekend Saturday and Sunday, April 6 and 7.
Posted by jwoestendiek March 22nd, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: adoptions, animals, breeders, chicago, collar & leash, dog, dogs, humane, oldest, pet, pet sales, pet stores, pets, puppies, puppy mill project, puppy mills, sales, sonja raymond, store
An Amish man who shot a mother dog and her eight puppies told police in New York that he thought killing dogs was acceptable under his culture, as long as it was done out of sight and with discretion – or as he put it, “Shoot, shovel and shut up.”
“In the Amish it’s acceptable to put dogs down. I thought as long as you did it out back it was okay,” Jonathon Eicher reportedly told officers who arrested him and the breeder of the dogs in Wayne County.
The nine dead dogs were discovered in a ditch by a highway crew on January 17.
Also charged with animal cruely was Merlin Schmucker, 26, who owned and bred the Australian red heelers, but was unable to sell the dogs because, he said, they’d become too big.
Schmucker asked Eicher, his employee, to put the dogs down, said Wayne County District Attorney Rick Healy.
“This is simply a case of animal cruelty,” he said. “They can’t treat the animals the way they want to treat the animals; they must treat the animals humanely.”
Both Schmucker and Eicher were charged with nine counts of cruelty to animals , WHAM reported.
Schmucker told police he had “raised the dogs and couldn’t put them down myself so I asked Jonathan to do it.”
Eicher admitted killing the dogs with a .22-caliber rifle, police said.
Posted by jwoestendiek February 1st, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: amish, animal cruelty, animals, arrests, breeders, breeding, crew, ditch, dog, dogs, eight, hidden, highway, killed, new york, pets, puppies, red heelers, shoot, shot, shovel, shut up, unsold, wayne county
These scenes come from a rescue of laboratory beagles a year and a half ago, but they seemed a good way to start off a new year — and a touching reminder to appreciate the simple things we tend to take for granted.
Like grass, and fresh air.
The nine laboratory beagles shown here – like most beagles bred for lives in labs — had never been outside, seen or stepped on grass.
On June 8, 2011, they were rescued by the Beagle Freedom Project from an undisclosed research laboratory, and, with a six-hour drive ahead, allowed to romp in grass for the first time in their lives.
Watching them take those first uncertain steps is pretty moving.
The Beagle Freedom Project was started in December 2010 by Shannon Keith after he learned what beagles — the most popular breed for research because of their trusting personalities — go through in research labs.
Its mission is to rescue and find homes for beagles used in laboratory research.
Research facilities obtain beagles directly from commercial breeders, who raise them for that purpose.
According to the project’s website, university and other research facilities use the beagles for medical, pharmaceutical, household products and cosmetics tests. Some labs attempt to find homes for them when the dogs have finished serving science.
The project works directly with the labs, making arrangements to remove and transport beagles and place them in loving homes. All rescues are done legally with the cooperation of the facility.
Once rescued, laboratory beagles need to learn how to be dogs, and live as pets. Most have never seen children, cats, televisions, sunshine, or grass. They’ve not been house-trained, and are unfamiliar with toys and leashes.
The Beagle Freedom Project warns potential adopters that the dogs may be fearful of people initially, may have phobias from a lifetime in confinement or from being restrained, are likely to have been surgically de-barked by the breeder, and have an ID number tattooed in their ear.
Neither the project, nor those who adopt the dogs, know what specific kind of experiments the dog might have been involved in.
But dogs are quick learners and with time, the project says, “these dogs will learn how to become dogs, and their transformation will be amazing.”
Beagle Freedom Project is a service of Animal Rescue, Media & Education (ARME). Founded in 2004, ARME is a nonprofit advocacy group created to eliminate the suffering of all animals through rescue, public education and outreach.
(Photo and video from the Beagle Freedom Project)
Posted by jwoestendiek January 4th, 2013 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, beagle freedom project, beagles, breeders, cosmetics, dogs, experiments, laboratory, laboratory beagles, medical, pets, pharmaceuticals, rescue, rescued, research, science, testing
Last week, the Humane Society of the United States released an undercover investigation documenting the connections between pet stores and puppy mills (above) — and it threw a little praise Ohio’s way for passing new measures to curb abuses among high volume dog breeders.
“The Humane Society of the United States applauds Ohio lawmakers for working to pass this commonsense law to protect dogs and address the worst problems at puppy mills,” said Melanie Kahn, senior director of the HSUS “Stop Puppy Mills” campaign.
“No dog should be forced to spend a lifetime in a small wire cage with no human companionship or comfort,” she added.
Ohio’s new law requires the licensure and annual inspection of high volume breeders that sell 60 dogs or produce at least nine litters in a single calendar year.
It creates a Commercial Dog Breeding Advisory Board to assist the director of the Ohio Department of Agriculture in developing standards, including rules on housing, nutrition, exercise, waste management, grooming, whelping.
It also prohibits anyone convicted of animal cruelty in the last 20 years from obtaining a license – a provision designed to stop the influx into Ohio of puppy mill operators who have been forced to close their operations in other states.
“For too many years, the state of Ohio has been known as a haven for low-quality, high-volume breeders that we call ‘puppy mills.’ This is kind of careless treatment of animals is not a reputation that should be attached to our state,” said Ohio Sen. Jim Hughes, R-Columbus.
Ohio is home to 174 federally-licensed dog breeders and brokers – fifth most in the nation – and to at least another 1,000 additional high volume dog breeders, the HSUS says.
Puppy mills are commonly defined as breeding operations that mass-produce puppies for sale through pet stores, over the Internet and directly to the public. Dogs are often kept in crowded, filthy conditions where they receive little or no socialization, affection or exercise.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture is considering applying minimum federal animal welfare standards to breeders who sell dogs directly to consumers. Such breeders are currently exempt.
Posted by jwoestendiek December 17th, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, breeders, breeding, connection, department of agriculture, direct, dogs, hsus, humane society of the united states, internet, investigation, large scale, law, ohio, passed, pet stores, pets, puppy mills, regulations, sales, tougher
It’s not as if they’re on the verge of extinction, but old English sheepdogs are drastically dropping in numbers, at least according to kennel club statistics.
At the height of the high-maintenance breed’s popularity, in 1975, nearly 16,000 old English sheepdog puppies were registered by the American Kennel Club. In 2009, there were just over 1,000 registrations, according to figures supplied by the AKC to the Associated Press
Breeders blame the decline on the increasing popularity of smaller dogs, and the amount of care and grooming that sheepdogs require.
“People have more to do and less time to do it, and they have lost interest in old English sheepdogs,” Doug Johnson of Colorado Springs, president of the Old English Sheepdog Club of America, told the Associated Press.
Breeders in England are also concerned about the decreasing registrations. London’s Kennel Club registered just 401 sheepdog puppies in 2011, and has put the breed on the club’s watch list, a representative said.
The decline in numbers has been steady in the years since 1975, when an old English sheepdog won best in show at Westminster. But breeders and others don’t really expect the breed to disappear.
“There are too many of us old die-hards that will go ahead and keep this breed alive,” said Johnson, who operates Bugaboo kennel and has 22 sheepdogs.
The breed is believed to have originated in Sussex, England, where they drove sheep and cattle to market.
Pittsburgh industrialist William Wade introduced the dog in the United States in the late 1880s. The Old English Sheepdog Club of America says that by 1900 five of the country’s 10 wealthiest American families — Morgans, Vanderbilts, Goulds, Harrisons and Guggenheims — owned sheepdogs, and also bred and showed them.
As Johnson pointed out, caring for a sheepdog — whose hair can grow as long as 10 inches — is easy when you can hire someone to do it for you.
Sheepdog numbers grew in the 1960s, when they became a common sight in movies and on TV. They were featured in the 1959 movie “The Shaggy Dog,” and starred in two 1960′s era TV shows – ”My Three Sons” and “Please Don’t Eat the Daisies.”
Posted by jwoestendiek December 6th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: akc, american kennel club, animals, breeders, breeds, concerns, decline, decrease, dogs, england, numbers, old english sheepdog club of america, old english sheepdogs, origin, pets, puppies, purebreds, registered, registrations, sheepdogs, united states
The Los Angeles City Council tentatively approved an ordinance Wednesday that will make it the largest city in the nation to ban pet shops from selling dogs obtained from commercial breeders.
The council voted 12-2 in favor of the ordinance, the Los Angeles Times reports.
People can still buy dogs directly from breeders, but pet stores will be limited to selling animals obtained from shelters, humane societies and rescue groups.
The law is aimed at curbing puppy mills and preventing tens of thousands of animals from being euthanized in city shelters each year.
Stores that violate the restrictions could face penalties starting at $250.
Similar ordinances are in effect in at least three other California cities — Irvine, Hermosa Beach and West Hollywood.
Pet shop owners called the law unfair.
“It’s just making us suffer,” said Candice Ro, owner of Olympic Pet Shop in Koreatown.
Councilman Paul Koretz, a longtime supporter of animal rights, championed the ban and said lawmakers have a duty to stick up for animals who “cannot speak for themselves.”
City officials said the ban, which returns to the council for a final vote next week, could affect two dozen pet stores. The restrictions will be reviewed after three years to determine if they should be continued.
Posted by jwoestendiek October 26th, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, ban, breeders, city council, commercial breeders, dog, dogs, law, los angeles, ordinance, pet, pets, prohibits, puppies, puppy mills, rescue, sales, shelter, shops, store