North Dakota voters turned down a measure that would have made cruelty to dogs, cats and horses a felony, leaving it one of just two states without felony penalties for mistreating animals.
The other is its neighbor, South Dakota.
A citizen initiative on Tuesday that would have made animal cruelty punishable by up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine was defeated by nearly a 2-1 margin.
That means animal abuse remains a misdemeanor, and the most severe punishment for cruelty in the state will continue to be a year in jail and a $2,000 fine.
North Dakota’s two major farm groups opposed the measure, saying it was vague and poorly worded, according to the Associated Press.
The measure would have made it it a class C felony “to maliciously and intentionally harm a living dog, cat or horse.”
North Dakotans to Stop Animal Cruelty says it plans to to continue its efforts to change the law.
(Photo: From the Facebook page of North Dakotans to Stop Animal Cruelty)
Posted by jwoestendiek November 8th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: 2012, abuse, animal cruelty, animal welfare, animals, cats, cruelty, cruelty to animals, dogs, election, farmers, felony, horses, increase, measure, misdemeanor, north dakota, north dakotans to stop animal cruelty, opposition, penalties, pets, referendum, vote, voter
Ace and the cat next door have become steadfast friends, hanging out together most days in the backyard. But their relationship has clearly evolved, as I guess most do.
Ace still seems thrilled every time he sees Tom. They still play chase. They still engage in their form of wrestling — Ace poking Tom with his nose, Tom swatting Ace in the head with his paws.
But Ace no longer is totally obsessed with the cat, no longer smothering him with attention, no longer constantly in Tom’s face. Ace used to follow Tom wherever he went. But as Tom has become less elusive, Ace has become less fascinated. As the months have gone by, it’s Tom who’s now more likely to follow Ace, and instigate the play. Tom still seems to send a message that says “chase me,” but Ace doesn’t always play along, sometimes preferring to just watch, or scratch himself, or look for something he might deem edible.
On Sunday Ace was minding own business in the shared yard behind my apartment, chewing on a bully stick. Thomas slowly approached and circled him, nuzzled him a few times and swung his tail into his face.
Ace looked up, but kept chewing. Seeming to sense Ace’s disinterest, Tom went his own way, disappearing for a time.
Ace, focused on his treat, seemed to forget about him — until, 10 minutes later, he spotted him in the distance, under my parked car. Read more »
Posted by jwoestendiek November 7th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: ace, animals, behavior, cat, cats, cats and dogs, college village, dogs, friends, north carolina, out of reach, pets, relationships, stale, taken for granted, thomas, tom, travels with ace, winston-salem
The Baltimore Animal Rescue and Care Shelter (BARCS) expects to reopen tomorrow, after evacuating all of its dogs and cats to a temporary home at First Mariner Arena on Monday morning.
Because the shelter lies in a flood-prone part of South Baltimore, BARCS convened a team of volunteers for the emergency evacuation before Hurricane Sandy hit.
More than 200 animals were moved to the arena.
BARCS stopped accepting animals and ceased adoptions, but said it planned to reopen Wednesday at 2 p.m.
Posted by jwoestendiek October 30th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: 1st mariner arena, animals, baltimore, baltimore animal rescue and care shelter, barcs, cats, dogs, evacuating, evacuation, first mariner arena, hurricane, hurricane sandy, pets, reopening, sandy, shelter, shelters, storm
Christie termed the proposal ”stupid,” Bloomberg reports.
He also said the proposed law was an example of how Democrats, who control the state Senate and General Assembly, are wasting time with trivial issues when there are bigger ones to be solved.
“This will tell you everything you need to know about how New Jersey runs under the Democrats,” Christie said in his monthly “Ask the Governor” broadcast on Ewing-based WKXW-FM radio. “They’re actually spending their time on this.”
If the bill makes it through the legislature for him to sign into law, Christie said, he wouldn’t put his name “near something that stupid.”
Assemblywoman L. Grace Spencer, a Newark Democrat who owns a Pomeranian , introduced the bill to require harnesses for animals not being transported in cages. Violators would be fined $25.
Posted by jwoestendiek October 1st, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, bill, cars, cats, chris christie, christie, democrat, dogs, governor, grace spencer, harnesses, law, legislature, pets, proposed, republican, restraints, seat belts, signature, stupid, transporting
You’ll probably see a few familiar faces in this, the newest public service announcement in Baltimore’s “Show Your Soft Side” campaign.
The campaign made its debut in Baltimore last year after several instances of animal abuse in the city, some commited by children. The ads showcase athletes and celebrities cuddling the pets they love and the tagline, “Only a punk would hurt a cat or dog.”
The new announcement is a compilation of some old softies and some new ones — among them Baltimore police officer Dan Waskiewicz, who became part of the campaign this month after saving and adopting a pit bull being teased by children.
Others who have been featured include fighter John Rallo, the Ravens’ Jarret Johnson, Adam Jones of the Orioles and Tommy Lee, legendary rocker and founding member of Motley Crue.
The campaign — a project of the Mayor’s Anti-Animal Abuse Advisory Committee – makes use of billboards around town, and posters hanging in juvenile justice centers and other locations where young people are likely to see them.
Tommy Lee was the first celebrity featured from outside of Baltimore, and was snagged thanks to two connections. Rallo used to be Lee’s bodyguard. And a staff member who has worked on the campaign at 98 Rock, which is helping sponsor it, also is friends with Lee.
The newest announcement features photography by Leo Howard Lubow, Amanda Safford (Dizzy Grant) Jonesy Edwards (Henry Rollins) and Myriam Santos (Tommy Lee). The video was shot and directed by Janet Mockard.
Posted by jwoestendiek August 28th, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: abuse, adam jones, advisory committee, animal, animal welfare, anti-abuse, athletes, baltimore, billboards, campaign, cats, celebrities, compassion, dan waskiewicz, dog, dogs, influencing, jarret johnson, john rallo, maryland, mayor's, officer, only a punk, pets, police, posters, role models, show your soft side, Tommy Lee, video, youth
Dogs and cats over a year old can be adopted at Baltimore Animal Rescue and Care Shelter for free during the month of July.
The shelter – after waiving adoptions fees on cats in June — decided to expand the promotion through the end of this month.
Local shelters partnered on the promotion, aimed at finding homes for 500 cats in June.
Together, the found new homes for over 700 cats, 405 at BARCS alone.
“This campaign proved so successful in saving the lives of cats that BARCS is going to expand it, waiving all adoption fees for cats and dogs over one-year-old for the entire month of July, too,” BARCS said in a press release.
BARCS, the largest companion animal shelter in Maryland, took in 738 cats and 386 dogs in the month of June.
For more information, visit the BARCS website.
Posted by jwoestendiek July 12th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: adopt, adoption, animal welfare, animals, baltimore, baltimore 500, baltimore animal rescue and care shelter, barcs, cats, dogs, fee, foster, free, humane society, maryland, one and older, pets, promotion, rescue, shelter, spca, waived
After collecting $3,500 from the insurance company of a woman whose car rear-ended him, a Washington man apparently decided to return to the well — this time informing her insurer that his cat died in the accident, too.
Although more than two years had passed, he asked for $20,000 for the death of his beloved cat, Tom, and, when requested, he sent the insurance company some photos.
As it turned out, the only place he’d spent anytime with the cat, who he claimed to love “like a son,” was on Wikipedia.
Yevgeniy Samsonov, 29, was charged with insurance fraud and attempted theft, according to the Seattle Times.
According to the charges filed in Pierce County, Samsonov didn’t have a cat, and the photos he submitted to bolster his claim had both been copied from the Internet.
“We’ve handled some pretty unusual cases, but this is one of the stranger ones,” state Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler said in a news release.
In his initial claim, Samsonov said he required chiropractic treatment after his car was rear-ended in March 2009 while stopped at a traffic light in Tacoma. The other driver told her insurance company, Pemco, that her foot had slipped off the brake.
Two years later, Samsonov asked Pemco for more money to compensate him for his lost cat. The insurer sent Samsonov a check for $50, but Samsonov said, given the cat’s intense sentimental value, that didn’t begin to cover his loss.
When Pemco agents asked Samsonov for photos of the cat , he submitted two, which he claimed to have taken himself, according to court documents. Then a Pemco employee did a Google search and turned up the same images Samsonov had submitted, according to the insurer. The two pictures turned out to be of different cats, one from Wikipedia, and one from another website.
They refused to pay him any more money, and revoked the $50 check. Samsonov appealed to the state insurance commissioner’s office.
That led to an investigation and the filing of charges against him.
Posted by jwoestendiek July 9th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: accident, animals, car, cat, cats, charges, claim, death, fraud, insurance, insurers, internet, investigation, news, pets, photos, scam, strange, tacoma, washington, weird, wikipedia
After rattling off a farcical list of “problems” for which there is no cure — infantile baldness, bulimic insomnia, backwards baseball caps — comedian-actor Kevin Nealon makes it clear to viewers of this public service announcement that there is one we can do something about:
The senseless killing of thousands of adoptable animals each year in Los Angeles city shelters.
In this spot for No-Kill Los Angeles, Nealon brings a little humor to a serious situation. Using his deadpan style, accompanied by poignant piano music, he reels off a long list of “unsolveable” problems, then he makes his plea:
“There are a lot of problems out there,” Nealon says. “Here is one you can do something about — homeless pets. Go to NKLA.org to find out more about how you can help. Let’s make LA a no-kill city forever.”
NKLA is a campaign of Best Friends Animal Society and its goal is to end the killing of animals in Los Angeles shelters by 2017. About 17,000 animals die in city shelters every year.
NKLA billboards can be found across Los Angeles, featuring the larger-than life faces of dogs and cats, flanked by the initials NKLA, an acronym for “No Kill Los Angeles.”
Nealon spent nine years on the cast of “Saturday Night Live,” appeared in movies such as “Anger Management,” “Joe Dirt,” and the “Wedding Singer,” and is a regular on the Showtime series, “Weeds.”
The NKLA spot was produced by Let There Be Dragons, which is affiliated with the advertising agency TBWA\Chiat\Day.
iN aPRIL, Nealon, along with Oscar winner Hilary Swank and other celebrities, helped roll out the NKLA campaign, which includes a broad coalition of animal rescue groups and shelters led by Best Friends Animal Society, with support from Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, the LA City Council, and LA City Animal Services General Manager Brenda Barnette.
Members of the NKLA coalition include Found Animals Foundation, Kitten Rescue, Stray Cat Alliance, Downtown Dog Rescue, FixNation, Karma Rescue, and Best Friends.
Posted by jwoestendiek July 3rd, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animal welfare, animals, best friends, campaign, cats, deadpan, dogs, euthanasia, homeless, humor, kevin nealon, killing, los angeles, nkla, no kill los angeles, no-kill la, problems, psa, public service announcement, rescues, saturday night live, shelters, solving, video, weeds
The love affair continues between Ace and the cat next door.
It started at my neighbor’s front window, where her new cat, Tom, would lay in the sunshine when she wasn’t at home. Tom was tiny then, just a few weeks old. And there seemed to be nothing Ace — and Tom — liked better than looking at each other through that window.
After three months of meeting at the window, and later playing peekaboo at windows of the front door, they eventually met in person, spending about an hour running around my apartment and playing. A few times, they’ve frolicked outside. Ace chases him down.
Tom swats at Ace’s face, and then they start all over again. Sometimes Tom hides under the car, darts out for a quick attack, then retreats back under the car. Ace then tries to wiggle under, only to find he’s too big.
Usually, when I let Ace outside, the first thing he does is go next door — in hopes of spotting Tom.
Between actual, in person visits, that’s what they do – gaze at each other through the front window — Tom sometimes swatting at it with his paw as Ace jumps up, putting his paws on the ledge and emitting a whine or two.
Tom started out sitting in the sill of the window above my neighbor’s sink. Ace would sit at the bottom of the stairs to the back door and look up, or climb to the top and crane his neck for a closer view.
On Friday, Tom decided to try and get a little closer too. Walking to the end of the counter, he stretched and managed to stick his face through the mini blinds on the back door.
Apparently that wasn’t good enough so, tiptoeing across what had to be, at most, a quarter-inch wide piece of door molding, he managed to get positioned between the window and the blinds. The blinds, I guess, were what held him in place as he walked back and forth, to Ace’s pleasure.
They spent about an hour visiting that way, with Ace every once in a while jumping up and placing his paws on the screen door, which, as you can imagine, isn’t very good for screens.
Figuring I was responsible for at least half the damage, I grabbed some tools and went over Saturday morning while the neighbor was gone to fix the screen.
Fortunately it wasn’t torn, just pulled out from underneath the molding holding it in place. As I removed the molding, Tom showed up again, intent on watching the process.
That left the mini blinds even more haywire. Once the screen was repaired, Ace, after a warning that there could be no more jumping up on the screen, climbed up the stairs to visit Tom again.
He stayed for half an hour or so, until another neighbor pulled up into the driveway, at which time he tore himself away to visit her. Tom spent a couple more minutes wedged between the blinds and window, waiting for Ace to come back, looking a little forlorn.
As I mentioned the last time I wrote about this relationship, I think the door has a lot to do with how close they’ve grown. First, it allowed them to comfortably get used to each other without feeling threatened. Then, I think, it served to make them want to be together even more. The barrier between them only fueled their desire – kind of like a parent who forbids you from seeing that boy; or you being in New York while she’s in California.
Closed doors, like absences, can make hearts grow fonder.
Posted by jwoestendiek June 4th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: ace, animals, bond, cats, dog and cat, dog-cat, dogs, doors, love, neighbors, north carolina, pets, play, relationships, tom, travels with ace, windows
Days after an animal control officer in Columbia County, Pennsylvania resigned her position, authorities seized dozens of dogs and cats from her home.
Jinece Loughry suddenly resigned her position in Berwick last week.
Her small house on Thirteenth Street was filled with 40 dogs and 24 cats, WNEP reported.
“I wouldn’t have believed it if I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes. It makes me very sad because you realize she had a good heart and was an animal lover who has gotten herself way out of line,” said Linda Bird with the Animal Resource Center.
The center near Millville is now home to twice as many dogs after taking in the 33 that were seized from the home.
Bird said the dogs were dirty and matted, and some could barely walk because the animal waste was so thick.
Loughry was allowed to keep a few animals that she or family members personally owned, WNEP reported, and so far, no charges have been filed.
Posted by jwoestendiek May 21st, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animal control, animal resource center, animals, berwick, cats, columbia, county, dogs, found, hoarding, home, Jinece Loughry, officer, pennsylvania, pets, rescue, resigned, shelter