Iditarod officials says changes are planned to help ensure the health and safety of dogs who get dropped from the race and have to wait at checkpoints — sometimes outside — for transportation home.
The changes were prompted by the death of Dorado, a five-year-old dog found dead at a checkpoint in Unalakleet four days after being dropped from the race because of soreness.
A necropsy showed Dorado died of asphyxiation while being buried in the snow.
Organizers of the 1,000-mile Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race said Wednesday that planned changes include construction of dog shelters at two major checkpoints, and more frequent checks on the animals, according to the Associated Press.
“This type of self-examination is an important part of ITC’s historical commitment to the improvement of the welfare of the canine athletes that annually participate in the Race,” Iditarod Trail Committee officials said in a statement.
Drobny’s husband, Cody Strathe, said this week that the couple asked the Iditarod Trail Committee to develop new protocols for the care of dogs that have been dropped from the race to Nome.
Race officials said they don’t believe Dorado’s death was a result of anyone acting negligently.
More dropped dogs than could be sheltered wound up at the Unalakleet checkpoint because severe weather prevented planes from landing to transport them.
Race volunteers housed more than 100 dogs in a hangar, but up to 30 more were tethered outside.
Unalakleet is one of the two communities where dog boxes will be built for shelter. Officials said they also plan to have more frequent flights to transport dropped dogs from checkpoints.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has asked that animal cruelty charges be filed in connection with Dorado’s death.
Nome District Attorney John Earthman said he was reviewing the letter.
Dorado’s death was the first since the 2009 race, when six dogs died.
PETA says more than 140 dogs have died since the Iditarod began in 1973.
(Top photo: Dogs await the start of the race, by Rachel D’oro / Associated Press; bottom photo, Dorado, from SquidAcres Kennel)
Posted by jwoestendiek March 21st, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, announcement, changes, checkpoints, committee, cruelty, death, dog, dogs, dorado, dropped, iditarod, injured, monitoring, musher, mushers, officials, paige drobny, peta, pets, planned, race, sled, smothered, snow, trail, transporation, unalakleet
The cairn terrier — the breed that played Toto in “The Wizard of Oz” — won’t become the official state dog of Kansas, at least not this year.
The House Standing Committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources declined to hear House Bill 251, leaving its chances of passing in the current session somewhere between slim and over the rainbow.
But State Rep. Ed Trimmer, D-Winfield, who introduced the bill, said he plans on re-introducing it again next year, according to a Wichita Eagle report.
“We had great responses from kids,” Trimmer said. “And, I think this will give me a chance to go into the classrooms and visit with them, let them know this is part of the learning process and sometimes when you ask the first time, and the answer is no, you have to learn how to ask again. If it is something you want, you have to be persistent.”
PETA came out against the bill, saying it would create high demand for the breed and add to the state’s puppy mill problems.
But Brenda Moore, obedience chairwoman with the South Central Kansas Kennel Club who pushed for the proposal, says she doubt PETA’s action played any role in the bill’s apparent demise.
“I don’t think PETA made a dent in what we are doing. I just think it had more to do that this is an election year.”
She said she wants to create a petition drive and collect signatures from Kansans to present to state politicians; she also wants to raise awareness for existing state laws that have created stiffer penalties for puppy mill operations.
“Over the last six years, we have cleaned up a lot of the nasty people,” Moore said. “Most of the breeders are on the up and up. We want people to know that dog breeders are responsible people and that if we do get a state dog, we will not capitalize on it.”
Posted by jwoestendiek March 14th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, bill, breeders, breeds, cairn, cairn terrier, committee, dog, ed trimmer, house, kansas, legislature, peta, pets, proposal, puppy mills, state dogs, terrier, toto, wizard of oz
Ohio lawmakers were encouraged this week to repeal a nearly 25-year-old law that singles out pit bulls as vicious — not based on their behavior, but on their bloodlines, or sometimes just their suspected bloodlines.
Dr. Linda Lord, president of the Ohio Veterinary Medical Association, was one of five who gave testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, urging an end to the state’s restrictions against pit bulls, the Toledo Blade reported.
“The effective control of vicious animals is in the best interest of the state. However, current law placing restrictions on one specific type of dog is contrary to actually addressing the problem of aggressive canine behavior,” Dr. Lord said.
“Placing arbitrary limitations on the ownership of a specific type of dog only serves to create a stigma and place undue burdens on responsible animal owners.”
Dr. Lord told legislators that in her years of practice, she was more fearful of being bitten by dachshunds than by any so-called pit bull breed.
A bill to repeal the pit bull restrictions passed the House last spring. The Senate Judiciary chairman has tentatively scheduled a committee vote for January, according to The Blade.
Under Ohio’s current law, a dog can be labeled “vicious” if it has killed or seriously injured a person, killed another dog, or is a pit bull. Under House Bill 14, the definitions would be revised, and all breed-specific language would be removed.
Several Ohio cities that once banned pit bulls have lifted their restrictions, but repealing the state law has yet to be accomplished.
Five other witnesses testified earlier this week in favor of repealing the law.
Posted by jwoestendiek December 15th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, ban, breed, breed-specific, breeds, committee, dachshunds, dogs, judiciary, legislation, linda lord, ohio, ohio veterinary medical association, pets, pit bull, pit bulls, pitbulls, repeal, senate, stigma, testimony, vicious
Some staff members of the troubled city-run animal shelter in Memphis have had ties with dogfighting rings, an outside study of the shelter concludes.
The review of operations at the Memphis Animal Shelter, conducted by a Rotary Club committee, concludes that the city has an “attitude that animals are disposable,” that employees have operated outside the rules, that record-keeping is poor, and that little screening of potential adopters takes place.
It names no names, but the report does seem to infer that some employees at the shelter served to supply dogfighting operations with pit bulls:
“The vast majority of dogs brought in to the shelter are pit bulls. Therefore, the potential for criminal activity is very real, and the checks for criminal background must be made. There should be a record of this with each adoption, available for audit,” said the report.
Among employees, the report said, “there remains the clear understanding … that certain individuals are exempt from the rules … The employees at every level, while not willing to say so on the record, will readily volunteer that there has been a relationship between certain individuals and the illicit dogfighting rings in the community.”
The 22-page report was delivered this week to Mayor AC Wharton, according to the Memphis Commercial-Appeal.
The committee also plans to turn the report over to the Shelby County District Attorney General’s Office for further investigation.
The Shelby County Sheriff’s Office raided the shelter in October of 2009, and found abused or neglected animals. Three dogs, including the one pictured atop this post, were so starved and emaciated they didn’t survive.
The shelter’s director Ernest Alexander was fired and, along with veterinarian Angela Middleton and administrative supervisor Tina Quattlebaum, indicted on charges of aggravated cruelty to animals.
This year, another Memphis Animal Services officer was fired after a dog died of heat stroke during the two hours the officer took to pick the dog up and return to the shelter.
The city closed its old shelter this month, and opened the new Memphis Animal Services shelter this week. It’s already full, officials report.
Posted by jwoestendiek November 18th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abuse, abused, adoptions, animal services, animal shelter, committee, dogfighting, employees, investigation, memphis, neglect, neglected, pit bulls, rescues, review, rings, rotary club, screening, shelters, staff, starved, study, tennessee
The American Kennel Club says a Michigan bill aimed at banning pit bulls will not make it through committee.
The bill would have, over the course of ten years, banned ownership of what it described as the American pit bull terrier, the American Staffordshire bull terrier, the Staffordshire bull terrier and any “dog displaying the majority of physical traits” of those breeds.
The bill was introduced Tuesday by Rep. Timothy Bledsoe
A Facebook page called “Say NO to the Pit Bull Ban” was established Thursday morning.
The AKC statement thanks Rep. Hugh Crawford, chairman of the committee, for “listening to the concerns of responsible Michigan dog owners and agreeing to not proceed with this legislation.”
Posted by jwoestendiek June 10th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: american kennel club, american staffordshire bull terrier, animals, appearance, ban, bledsoe, breed-specific, chairman, committee, dogs, house bill 4714, hugh crawford, law, legislation, legislature, michigan, pets, pit bull, pitbull, prohibition, proposal, proposed, regulatory reform committee, staffordshire bull terrier
If you’re wondering when the Locust Point Dog Park is finally going to become a reality, there’s a chance to find out the latest tonight at a meeting tonight of dog park supporters.
It starts at 7 p.m. at City Limits, 1700 E. Fort Ave.
The dog park committee will be discussing plans for the Locust Point Festival (Saturday, September 26) and sharing the latest information from the city about when the park will open.
Original projections called for the dog area at Latrobe Park to open this summer.
The project was initially being handled by the citizens group, but the city offered to take it over and make it the first city-funded dog park. Since then, construction has begun, but judging from my drive-bys, hasn’t progressed too speedily. While the city is paying for construction, the citizen’s group will be responsible for maintenance.
Baltimore’s $1,000 fine for letting a dog of its leash is, effectively, a thing of the past — if even that.
A city council committee yesterday — saying the amended penalty was passed by mistake — approved lowering the fine to $200 on a first offense, and promised that, for all 35 of the $1,000 tickets issued between the beginning of April and May 8, violators will have to pay no more than $200.
The new three-tiered fine — $200 for first offense, $400 for a second, $600 for a third — still requires approval by the full council, but little opposition is expected.
In opening the hearing, at which more than a dozen dog owners testified, Council Member James Kraft said, “This fine, very frankly … was a mistake. We were amending provisions of the law that were dealing with cruelty to animals and we increased penalties because some of these penalties were very old penalties. They weren’t acting as deterrents.
“Inadvertently, because that section had a lot of other provisions in it, that thousand dollar fine went across a much broader spectrum than we knew.”
Upon learning of what they had done, Kraft said, the council took steps to ask that the fine not be levied against violators.
Nevertheless, 35 $1,000 citations were handed out by the city’s office of Animal Control, with support from the police department — 23 of them since April 28.
“For those who have said that maybe this was a fundraising measure on behalf of the city, please be advised it clearly was not,” Kraft said.
Posted by jwoestendiek May 12th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: amended, baltimore, bulletin, city, city council, committee, dog, dogs, ed reisinger, fine, fines, hours, james kraft, law, leash free, mayor sheila dixon, mount vernon park, news, off-leash, ohmidog!, one thousand dollars, parks, patterson park, penalties, penalty, poop, public hearing, recreation and parks, reduced, riverside park, scoop, unleashed, waste, william cole, wyman park
Reminder: A Baltimore City Council committee takes up the subject of leash laws at a 9 a.m. meeting in City Hall tomorrow (Tuesday).
The hearing, before the council’s Judiciary & Legislative Investigations Committee, was originally scheduled for April 28, but was postponed after a water main break forced City Hall to be emptied.
The council is reconsidering the $1,000 fine it approved for unleashed dogs earlier this year, leading to an outcry by some dog owners who say it’s excessive, especially in a city with only one small dog park. (A second, and the first the city has helped fund, is expected to open by fall.) Also to be presented at the hearing, before the council’s Judiciary & Legislative Investigations Committee, is an amendment to allow the city’s director of Recreation and Parks to enact off-leash hours at city parks. The meeting is in the City Council Chambers on the 4th floor of City Hall. (A picture ID required for admission to City Hall.)
As of this weekend, an online petition calling for a reduction of the fine had more than 1,500 signatures.
Posted by jwoestendiek May 11th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: baltimore, city council, committee, designated hours, dog, dogs, fines, hearing, investigations, judiciary, leash, leash free, leash law, leash laws, legislative, off-leash, one thousand dollars, parks, penalties, unleashed
This morning’s Baltimore City Council hearing on leash laws was postponed after a water main break forced City Hall to be emptied. It has been rescheduled for May 12 at 9 a.m.
After an outcry by dog owners, the council is reconsidering the $1,000 fine it approved for unleashed dogs. Also to be presented at the hearing of the council’s Judiciary & Legislative Investigations Committee was an amendment to allow the city’s director of Recreation and Parks to enact off-leash hours at city parks.
Posted by jwoestendiek April 28th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: baltimore, city, city council, committee, fines, hearing, leash law, leash laws, news ohmidog!, off-leash, parks, penalties, postponed, water main