The North Carolina county– one of about 20 in the state still gassing dogs — says it has accepted the grant and will use it to destroy its gas chamber.
The Sampson Independent reports that the grant was one of three the county accepted that were aimed at reducing the number of animals put to death.
In addition to the HSUS grant, the county board of commissioners approved accepting two others from the Petfinder Foundation, including a $6,300 award to fund a kennel cough vaccine program and a $3,000 grant to fund a feline vaccination program.
Kimberley Alboum, HSUS director for North Carolina, said the grant requires the county to phase out its use of the gas chamber in six months. Any money left over, she said, can be used by the Sampson County Animal Shelter for repairs and upgrades.
County manager Ed Causey that the use of gas chambers is declining across the state, and said switching to lethal injections isn’t likely to cost the shelter any more.
“The state has done a lot of encouraging to get shelters to transition on their own without a mandate. I think one of the reasons (the state inspector) has been so cooperative with us is she’s seen that effort on our part to get out of (operating the chamber). We felt this was something that would put us in a more favorable light with the state and all the people who are interested in the humane treatment of the animals.”
Both Vance and Person counties also recently halted use of gas chambers at their shelters.
Posted by jwoestendiek January 14th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal control, animals, change, counties, dismantled, dogs, euthanasia, gas chambers, hsus, humane society of the united states, lethal injection, north carolina, pets, policy, sampson county, shelters
Dog breeders who avoid animal welfare laws and regulations by selling puppies over the Internet would face tighter scrutiny under a rule change proposed last week by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Under the change, dog owners who breed more than four females and sell the puppies electronically, by mail or over the phone, would be subject to the same oversight faced by wholesale dealers as part of the Animal Welfare Act.
The proposal is aimed at closing the loophole created when the Internet became a new venue for puppy sales. The thousands of large-scale breeders who advertise there have not been subject to oversight or inspection.
Under the changes, sellers either must open their doors to the public so buyers can see the animals before they purchase them, or obtain a license and be subject to inspections by the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, according to the Associated Press.
The Animal Welfare Act, written in 1966, set standards of care for animals bred for commercial sale and research. Retail sales were exempt from inspections since those customers aren’t buying dogs sight unseen.
“We feel this is certainly a much-needed change to an outdated system,” said Rebecca Blue, deputy undersecretary for marketing and regulatory programs. Blue said it’s designed to ensure that dogs sold and shipped to buyers are healthy, treated well and genetically sound.
“This is a very significant proposed federal action, since thousands of large-scale breeders take advantage of a loophole that allows them to escape any federal inspections,” said Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of The Humane Society of the United States. “Dogs in puppy mills often live in small, overcrowded cages, living in filth and denied veterinary care. We need more eyes on these operations, and this rule will help.”
The change does not affect backyard breeders who sell puppies from their homes or other physical locations.
Posted by jwoestendiek May 15th, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animal welfare, animal welfare act, animals, change, department of agriculture, dogs, hsus, humane society of the united states, inspection, internet, merchants, mills, oversight, pets, proposal, proposed, puppy, puppy mills, regulation, rule, sales, usda
After an outcry from angry pet owners, United Airlines is lifting a ban on transporting nine breeds of dogs, including pit bulls and others the airline previously listed as dangerous.
United had stopped transporting those breeds when it adopted the animal transporting policies of Continental Airlines. The two carriers are merging this year.
“As a result of feedback, United will now accept previously restricted breeds of dogs traveling in a non-plastic, reinforced crate,” United said in a statement.
The carrier previously listed the following breeds and types as ineligible for air travel: pit bulls, American Staffordshire terriers, Presa Canario, Perro de Presa Canario, Dogo Argentino, Cane Corso, Fila Brasileiro, Tosa (or Tosa Ken) and Ca de Bou.
An online campaign on Change.org collected more than 45,000 signatures on a petition to lift the restriction, according to the Los Angeles Times. The campaign was started by Hawaii resident Jessie Huart, whose 10-year-old pit bull was denied for transportation on the airline.
“This change is a victory for responsible dog owners everywhere at a time when many are facing breed discrimination,” Huart said in a statement.
Posted by jwoestendiek May 10th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: air travel, american staffordshire terrier, animals, ban, breeds, ca de bou, cane corso, change, continental, dangerous, dogo argentino, dogs, fila brasileiro, jessie huart, lifted, lifts, merger, pet, petition, pets, pit bulls, policies, policy, presa canario, tosa, tosa ken, transportation, transporting, united
Alley Cat Allies is leading a campaign against Loews Orlando resorts, calling on the hotel to stop the inhumane trapping of feral cats at their properties.
More than 31,000 people have signed a petition, and 68 people protested in front of Loews resorts on April 14, 2012 after the hotel abruptly changed its policy regarding the stray cats living on and around the property.
The hotel had agreed and endorsed a program in which 23 feral cats were trapped, neutered and returned to be managed as a colony.
But now the cats are being removed — trapped and taken to animal shelters where, given they are feral, they are not likely to be adopted, and very likely to be euthanized.
Regular feedings were halted, and Loews threatened to fire any employees who fed the cats. After allowing the cats to co-exist with guests, the hotel hired an exterminator to remove them.
Resort officials said the cats were a public health threat.
“The hotel chain says they are the most pet friendly hotel around and that they love having animals on site, and yet they continue to trap the feral cats and remove them,” said Becky Robinson, president of Alley Cat Allies.
“There’s still time for Loews to do the right thing,” she added.
Posted by jwoestendiek April 19th, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: agreement, alley cat allies, animals, cats, change, colony, euthanasia, feral, feral cats, health, hotel, inhumane, loews, neuter, orlando, petition, pets, policy, protest, released, resort, shelters, strays, trap, trapping
The policy change — modeled after one in Dallas — would not force restaurants to let dogs sit outside with their owners; it would only permit them to do so if they so choose.
The board of health is seeking feedback from residents on the proposed regulation change, according to the Salt Lake Tribune
In Dallas, a “Paws on the Patio” initiative four years ago led to 64 restaurants deciding to participate, with few problems.
“Every now and then, we’ll get one about a dog in a restaurant or dogs on the patio sitting in a chair,” said Matt Cloninger, Dallas sanitarian supervisor. “But we don’t get a lot of complaints.”
Salt Lake County Council member Arlyn Bradshaw, who brought the proposal to the board of health, said he has received “overwhelmingly supportive” feedback on the idea.
“The general thought in terms of what restaurant owners have told the board is they appreciate the option,” he said. “There probably won’t be a wave of restaurants doing this.”
Cities inside the county that want to participate would have to modify their own law if it’s in conflict with the new dog regulation.
Posted by jwoestendiek April 9th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, change, choice, dining, dining with dog, dog, dog friendly, dogs, eating, health laws, law, outside, patio, pets, restaurants, salt lake county, seating, utah
Judy Blackington, co-owner of Discount Pets in Salem, decided to stop selling dogs at the end of February.
“Instead of buying our puppies off breeders, we decided to take puppies that are about to be killed,” she said. “We’ve saved seven puppies this week and get about 35 a month.”
According to Life With Dogs, the store has formed a partnership with Brookside Husky and Lab Rescue in Alton, Maine.
“We’ve never worked with a pet store like this,” said the rescue’s director, Nicky Bowman. “I think more pet stores ought to do this. I see every day the gruesome reality of puppy mills. We’re making a point to people that breeding really needs to stop because overpopulation is a problem.”
Shop owner Blackington says the change has been good for her conscience — and great for business.
“The breeder prices have gone up lately and the puppies haven’t been very healthy,” she said. “The customers don’t like paying $900 for a puppy and then have to spend more on the vet. These dogs are healthier than the ones we’ve gotten from breeders. I think it’s going to be better for the business, and people love it.”
Elizabeth Dobbins, director of the Salem Animal Rescue League, said other pet store owners should take note.
“Sadly, there is no shortage of adoptable pets in this country. So there’s room for plenty of us. Maybe that’s a trend of the future, that pet stores would look to go out and rescue animals instead of buying from breeders.”
Potential owners are required to submit an application and submit to a home visit, which Blackington says help ensures a better connection between dog and family.
“We’ve had more people come in than ever,” she said. “They love that we’re an adoption center now and not a puppy store.”
Posted by jwoestendiek March 22nd, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: adoptable, adoptions, Alton, animals, breeders, Brookside Husky and Lab Rescue, business, change, discount pets, dogs, health, homeless, judy blackington, maine, new hampshire, nicky bowman, over-population, pet sales, pet store, pets, puppies, puppy mills, rescues, salem, sales, shelters, shift
United, which recently joined forces with Continental Airlines, has opted to adopt the defunct airline’s backwards pet policy. The new policy is stated on this page of United’s website.
What it all means is that the “friendly skies” of United will no longer transport any of these breeds:
- Pit Bull Terriers
- American Staffordshire Terriers
- Presa Canario
- Perro de Presa Canario
- Dogo Argentino
- Cane Corso
- Fila Brasileiro
- Tosa (or Tosa Ken)
- Ca de Bou
United will not accept members of those breeds, or mixes containing those breeds, once they have reached either 6 months of age or 20 pounds.
Additionally, United reserves the right to refuse any animal that displays aggression or viciousness.
The restrictions have nothing to do with the airline’s separate policy on short-snouted breeds for whom air travel, specifically in a cargo hold, can cause breathing problems. This is separate category for “dangerous” breeds.
“These kinds of breed discriminatory policies fuel the misconceptions about dogs like pit bulls that lead to breed bans and the deaths of thousands of innocent dogs,” reads a petition at Change.org, urging United to reconsider the policy.
The petition was started by Jessie Huart after she learned of the ban while trying to book a ticket to travel with her 10-year-old pit bull, Slaw.
“These types of policies are opposed by every major dog-related organization. The American Veterinary Medical Association and the National Animal Control Association argue that physical appearance isn’t an effective way to predict or address aggression,” the petition site says:
“United Airlines adopted the discriminatory policy … when it merged with Continental Airlines, making it the world’s largest air carrier and the only US-based airline that labels some dog breeds as “dangerous.”
“But while United is still adjusting to its merger with Continental, the company is listening closely to customer feedback. If thousands of dog-loving United customers sign Jessie’s petition, the airline will have to listen …”
(Photo: Slaw, a pit bull who won’t be flying United; courtesy of Change.org)
Posted by jwoestendiek March 14th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: airlines, american staffordshire terriers, animals, ban, banned, ca de bou, cane corso, change, continental, dangerous, dog, dogo argentino, dogs, fila brasileiro, jesse huart, merger, new, perro de presa canario, petition, pets, pit bull, pitbulls, policy, presa canario, reconsider, slaw, tosa, tosa ken, travel, united
A Monroe County judge has upheld the First Amendment rights of animal activists appealing for the lives of three dogs rescued from a dog fighting bust.
Advocates from the Monroe SPCA and Buster Foundation, a pit bull rescue group based in Belleville, Mich., posted photographs and videos of the three dogs online — including the one above of a dog named Dusty — to support their case that the animals should not be put down.
The county’s response? The Monroe County prosecutor wanted the groups held in contempt of court for distributing materials about the case online.
On August 4, a judge ruled that forcing the advocates to remove the photos and video from Change.org, their websites and social media would infringe on their First Amendment rights.
With that battle won, the fight continues on behalf of the three dogs, who the same judge ruled July 13 should be put down because they “lack useful purpose and pose a threat to public safety.”
Michigan animal advocate Jennifer Burke started the petition to save the three dogs on Change.org, and, as of yesterday, it had gathered more than 4,000 signatures in less than three weeks.
Included on the petition was the video (above) of Dusty, being evaluated by by Dr. Katherine Houpt, the prosecution’s expert witness. Dr. Houpt concluded Dusty, and two others, should be euthanized, even though Dusty seems to be doing everything right in the video.
According to her written notes and testimony, though, Dusty snarled at the doll Houpt taunted her with. The petition seeks to have Houpt recant her testimony.
“I created the petition because we were finally allowed to show the public what sweet, gentle dogs these are, and my opinion is that the expert was biased based on the testimony from her evaluations,” Burke said.
“This is about fighting for what’s right,” said Burke. ”…If we continue to stand by and watch these needless killings we aren’t getting to the root of the problem. Michigan taxpayers have a right to know where their money is being spent.
“We are shocked that the prosecution has made our battle for getting these dogs vet care, training, and human contact almost impossible,” Burke continued. “This is wrong, and we are standing up for ourselves and for these dogs that deserve a second chance. This victory means we are re-energized for our appeal. The community support has been amazing.”
The groups will gain custody later this month of one of the seized dogs, Razzle, who the county decided deserved a second chance. The appeal to save the lives of Dusty and two other dogs has not yet been scheduled.
Posted by jwoestendiek August 9th, 2011 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, appeal, assessment, behavior, belleville, buster foundation, change, dog fighting, dogfighting, dogs, doll, dusty, euthanasia, evaluation, expert, facebook, first amendment, food, free speech, jennifer burke, katherine houpt, lives, michigan, monroe county, monroe spca, online, petition, pets, prosecution, rehabilitation, second chance, seized, signatures, temperament, video, websites
A University of Maryland organization called Terps for Animal Welfare is urging Prince George’s County to call a halt to its pit bull ban.
The student organization hosted Best Friends Animal Society staff on campus at the end of March — and since then they’ve been mobilizing to bring an end to a ban that critics described as costly, ineffective and discriminatory.
“The law has a lot of negative effects and not a lot of people know about it,” said Aman Chopra, treasurer of Terps for Animal Welfare.
Members of the organization are speaking out, contacting their county board members and asking them to change the policy, according to an article appearing on Change.org, written by Ledy VanKavage, senior legislative attorney for Best Friends.
“By clinging to its antiquated policy of canine profiling, Prince George’s has blatantly disregarded the recommendations of its own Vicious Animal Task Force, convened in January of 2003, which called the breed specific portion of the ordinance ‘costly and inefficient’ and recommended that the county repeal it.”
As for the costly part, VanKavage says, the county was paying about $68,000 to maintain a pit bull through the entire hearing process, according to old estimates by the county’s own task force.
Today, the county spends $1,137,720 annually to enforce the pit bull ban, according to estimates.
Canine aggression isn’t an issue of breed, she and other experts note; it’s a people issue.
If you’d like to sign the petition to end the breed ban in Prince George’s County, you can find it here.
(Photo from Best Friends)
Posted by jwoestendiek May 17th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: aman chopra, animal welfare, animals, best friends, best friends animal society, breed bans, breeds, change, cost, discrimination, dogs, effectiveness, ledy vankavage, maryland, petition, pets, pit bulls, pitbulls, prince georges county, student organization, terps for animal welfare, university of maryland
There are times – despite what you may believe – that my dog is not at my side. One of them was Saturday night.
Once or twice a year, a select group of friends and I make it a point to visit all the old-time bars – those among the dwindling few in South Baltimore that haven’t been upscaled yet.
I’m talking about the sort of neighborhood places that are named after a guy as opposed to a concept, the kind where you’re still called “hon,” and where the food — if they have anything beyond bags of chips and a giant jar of pickled eggs atop the bar — is never “encrusted,” just flat out fried.
As Ace and I prepare to hit the road, it seemed a good time to do it again – to say goodbye not just to friends, but to a few old, not yet gentrified bars that might not be here when I get back, including one that I’d just found out will be the next to go.
Popular with old-timers and newcomers alike, the Lighthouse serves up huge portions of food, at affordable prices. When its owner Bill Wedemeyer died last year, his wife, Adele, kept it going, drawing in a steady crowd with its famous crabs, and impressive buffets on Ravens game days.
According to the sign posted in the window, Bill’s Lighthouse has been sold to new owners from California, who plan to transform it into “Café Velocity” and add outdoor dining. Currently, the only al fresco dining that takes place is done by the stray cats (like my former houseguest Miley) who are drawn by handouts from the kitchen staff.
After paying our respects at the Lighthouse, we moved on – first, right across the street, to Leon’s, home base of the Attaboy Club, whose members were holding a meeting in the back room, probably to plot their next bull/oyster/pig roast. The Attaboy Club is always roasting something.
Leon’s is unusual in that it has no outside sign. It’s a nondescript white building that caters mostly to a stalwart crowd of regulars. Yet it has always been warm and inviting when our old school bar crawl crowd shows up. My connection to it, as well as the Lighthouse, began when Ace poked his head through the door.
From Leon’s we moved on to Schaefer’s, whose bar is one of oldest in the city – a carryover from the days that male customers didn’t walk to the bathroom to relieve themselves, instead utilizing the trough-like drain that ran the length of the bar. (Not everything about the good old days was good.)
The sidewalks leading to Schaefer’s are emblazoned with the painted-on jerseys of Raven’s players, and in the back room, you can find a purple pool table.
Moving on to Rayzer’s just up the street, we got a bucket of pony-sized beers and blew a few dollars playing the video horse race game, learning, among other things, the difference between quinella and trifecta.
The last old school bar stop was Muir’s Tavern, whose glowing orange neon sign and upstairs turret give it the look of a medieval whorehouse, and I mean that in a good way.
As we arrived, Natasha, the bartender, stood outside. One customer, Mary, had run home across the street for a moment, and Natasha was worried that – Mary being small and the winds being fierce that night – she might blow away when she tried to return.
Alas, Mary made it back, and reassumed her position at the video slot machine. Our group kept itself entertained with the low-tech bowling game and Muir’s sophisticated Internet jukebox, which lets you download any song, it seems, in the world.
As you can see, though I didn’t have my dog, I had my camera along, and thanks to it and Iris Dement, we were able to throw together this tribute before we depart — a musical slide show about a slowly fading side of South Baltimore.
Posted by jwoestendiek February 22nd, 2011 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: america, animals, baltimore, bar crawl, bars, bills lighthouse, change, dogs, federal hill, gentrification, iris dement, leon's, lighthouse, muirs, neighborhood bars, neighborhoods, nostalgia, old school, our town, pets, progress, rayzers, riverside, road trip, schaefers, south baltimore, taverns, travels with ace, tribute, video