“It’s ludicrous that in a nation of dog lovers, thousands of dogs are roaming the streets or stuck in kennels because the owner cannot be tracked down,” Environment Secretary Owen Paterson said.
Owners who fail to follow the edict will be subject to fines of £500, or about $785.
Paterson said the move will allow all lost, stray or abandoned dogs to be traced back to their owners, ensuring people are held accountable for their animals.
The creation of a database of all dog owners in England will allow also law enforcement officials to track down the owners of dogs seized for aggressive or other bad behavior, The Telegraph reported. But government officials insist the move is aimed primarily at saving dogs.
Paterson said that 110,000 dogs were lost a year and microchipping will speed up the tracing of their owners. Around 6,000 dogs are put down each year, while strays cost the taxpayer and welfare charities £57 million a year.
“I am determined to put an end to this and ease the pressure on charities and councils to find new homes for these dogs,” he said. “Microchipping is a simple solution that gives peace of mind to owners. It makes it easier to get their pet back if it strays and easier to trace if it’s stolen.”
As of 2016 police officers and local authorities will have the power to check to see if dogs have been fitted with microchips. Owners who have not complied will be given one last chance to do so before fines are issued.
Government officials said dogs won’t be swept up randomly or without cause: “Clearly the police and local authorities will not be seeking out law-abiding responsible owners to check …” a spokesman said.
Paterson said that the microchipping will be free for all dog owners because it is being subsidized by the Dogs Trust charity.
Posted by jwoestendiek February 8th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abandoned, accountability, animals, british, dogs, england, environment, fines, government, lost, mandate, mandatory, microchip, microchipping, microchips, owen paterson, owners, pets, strays, uk
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
Queen Elizabeth’s six corgis — those little bundles of sweetness you might have seen in the opening ceremonies of the Olympics — got into a ruckus with Prince Andrew’s three Norfolk terriers, British tabloids are reporting.
If they are to be believed, one of the terriers “nearly lost an ear.”
Eleven-year-old Max, given by Prince Andrew to his daughter Beatrice, suffered numerous bites and was treated by a veterinarian,” according to the Sunday Express
Both the Queen and Andrew were elsewhere in the castle when the fight broke out at Balmoral, the Scottish estate where the Queen spends the summer.
“It was really nasty,” the Express quoted a “royal insider” as saying:
“The Queen’s dog boy was taking the corgis for a walk and they were joined by the Norfolk terriers which came with Prince Andrew.
“They were being taken along the long corridor leading to the Tower Door before being let into the grounds for a walk, and they all became over-excited.
“They began fighting among themselves and unfortunately the dog boy lost control. The next thing we knew there were horrific yelps and screams and it seems the corgis picked on Max. He was very badly injured and had to be taken to the local vet. There was blood everywhere.”
Not to capitalize on the royal family’s misfortune, or to say the fight was as ”savage” as the tabloids have depicted it, or to imply it was the “dog boy’s” fault … but if the Queen is looking for a new “dog boy,” I would be up for the job.
For that matter, I’d also be happy to assume the duties of the “royal insider,” in the event his or her remarks to the news media have left him or her a royal outsider.
Posted by jwoestendiek August 20th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, balmoral, beatrice, bites, corgis, dog boy, dog fight, dogs, ear, elizabeth, england, family, fight, news, norfolk terriers, pets, prince andrew, queen, reports, royal, tabloids, uk
According to The Guardian, the microchips would contain information about the dog, its breed and contact information for the owner, all of which would be stored on a central database available to the police and the RSPCA.
The move is aimed at making it easier to track and prosecute owners of dangerous dogs, but some question whether owners of dangerous dogs will comply with the measure.
“If we’re not careful we’re going to make things more difficult for legitimate dog owners, and not solve the real problem of dangerous dogs,” said Neil Parish, chair of the all-party parliamentary group on animal welfare. “…It’s not so much the dogs that should be targeted, but the owners who train them to be vicious.”
The Association of Chief Police Officers has called for a strengthening of the terms of the Dangerous Dogs Act after a recent pitbull-type dog attack in east London in March left five officers in hospital.
Since microchipping was introduced in 1989, more than 4 million dogs and cats in the UK have been fitted, the Dogs Trust said.
Posted by jwoestendiek April 24th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, breeds, dangerous dogs, data base, dogs, england, mandatory, microchip, microchipping, microchips, pets, uk, united kingdom
Remember this video, from a story we told you about back in October? On his balcony in Lincolnshire, a British man was videotaped as he beat his dog. After the video was posted on Facebook, an angry mob formed outside his house.
The man survived the mob, and the dog survived the man.
The Staffordshire bull terrier was seized by authorities, and turned out to be blind and deaf, making the behavior of his owner, Jonathan Bloomfield, 37, all the more repugnant.
Bloomfield avoided a prison sentence, but magistrates in Grimsby banned him from having a dog for 15 years.
Whatever happened to the dog? A lot, and it’s all good.
Butch, as he was previously known, was taken in by the RSPCA, where he was renamed Dodger. The RSPCA, after realizing he was deaf and almost totally blind, contacted specialists at the Animal Health Trust in Newmarket to see if there was any chance that the 18-month-old dog’s sight could be restored.
“Dodger is the most adorable dog,” Claudia Hartley, the AHT’s head of small animal ophthalmology explained. “As soon as he arrived I fell in love with him and it wasn’t long before he’d work his charm on the rest of the vets and nurses here.”
Both his deafness and his blindness are believed to be congential. Dodger was apparently born with cataracts — something that, unlike his deafness, could be repaired. The AHT’s vets performed cataract surgery on Dodger’s right eye, with good results.
Dodger returned to the AHT last month to have his left-eye operated on and initial signs are very good, according to the East Anglian Daily Times.
The RSPCA has started the process of looking for a new home for Dodger.
“Although Dodger can now see, he is still completely deaf, and he’ll need a special owner who can understand his very specific needs,” said Kirstyn Gaunt, deputy manager at the RSPCA Block Fen Animal Centre, where he is now housed. “He has started to take on some basic sign language and he is a fast learner.”
Given the happy ending, we’ll end this post with a happier video:
Posted by jwoestendiek March 13th, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: abused, adoptable, adoption, animal cruelty, animal health trust, animal welfare, animals, beaten, blind, britain, butch, cataracts, congenital, cruelty to animals, deaf, dodger, dog, dogs, england, eyesight, facebook, grimsby, jonathan bloomfield, lincolnshire, mob, pets, recovery, rescue, restored, rspca, shelter, sight, staffordshire bull terrier, surgery, uk, video
Police in Sussex, England, are investigating the death of beagle-collie mix who was dragged behind a Porsche — for up to six miles, and at speeds approaching 70 miles per hour.
A police source told the Telegraph that detectives are looking into whether the incident may have been triggered by a domestic dispute between the dog’s owners.
A 33-year-old man from West Sussex whose name wasn’t made public turned himself in yesterday and is being held and questioned, police said.
The car was seen dragging the dog by its leash Sunday near Brighton, first by a citizen and later by a police officer. The body of the dog was later found near the Southwick Tunnel.
“This is being treated as a deliberate act,” a police spokesperson said. “The injuries this dog suffered were horrific. It has been distressing for everyone involved.”
Posted by jwoestendiek November 23rd, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: 70 mph, animal cruelty, beagle, collie, cruelty to animals, death, dispute, dog, drag, dragged, dragging, england, killed, leash, mix, porsche, six miles, sussex, torture, uk
Hours after video was posted on Facebook of a British man lashing out at his dog, an angry mob gathered outside the dog owner’s house and police arrived to arrest him.
The video, shot from a neighboring window, shows a man apparently kicking, punching and using a pole to beat a cowering white dog.
Police were called to the address in Lincolnshire, and onlookers watched as a man, believed to be the dog’s owner, was arrested, according to the Daily Mail.
The Daily Mail said it was unable to confirm reports that citizens had punched the man and broken windows at his house.
The dog was removed from the home and taken to Grimsby Blue Cross Animal Hospital. The RSPCA is investigating the incident.
“‘We did have a lot of calls from members of the public about it who were obviously concerned and it’s been passed on to our inspectors who will be looking into it today,” a spokesman said.
Posted by jwoestendiek October 20th, 2011 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animal cruelty, animals, arrest, beating, dog, dogs, england, facebook, grimsby, lincolnshire, mob, pets, rspca, uk, video
I’m looking forward to seeing “Tabloid” — the new Errol Morris documentary about the 1978 scandal that saw a beauty queen from America go to London to track down the object of her affection (a Mormon missionary named Kirk), kidnap him, according to police, and, if you believe the court testimony, have her way with him against his will.
That’s because, for better and worse, that woman, Joyce McKinney, changed the course of my life, too.
Thirty years after the scandal that erupted when McKinney tried to reclaim, one way or another, the man she saw as her one true love, I would spend more than 100 hours on the phone with her as she went about an equally — or perhaps even more — dogged pursuit.
“Tabloid,” the documentary, focuses on the scandal and all the fun the British press had with McKinney’s exploits — from her arrest on charges of abducting the young missionary named Kirk and keeping him tied up in a cottage in the countryside, to the celebrity status she enjoyed after her release from jail, to her fleeing the country before trial disguised as a member of a deaf mime troupe.
My book focuses on dog cloning, the first commercial customer of which was that same Joyce Bernann McKinney. In 2009, McKinney became the first person in the world – unassociated with the fledgling business – to pay to have her dog cloned, a deceased pit bull named Booger.
My book revisits the old scandal, too, because, to me, there seemed to be some similarities between reclaiming Kirk and cloning Booger.
As suggested in ”DOG INC.: The Uncanny Inside Story of Cloning Man’s Best Friend,” both were attempts to, at any cost, recapture lost love — one through feminine wiles, if not force, the other through science.
As if her life hadn’t already oozed enough pathos and irony, McKinney’s attempt to resurrect Booger, or at least bring a genetically identical copy of him back into the world, would lead to an embarassing resurfacing of the old scandal. While doing news media interviews, in exchange for a discount on her cloning bill, she was recognized as the women who, as the British tabloids told the story at the time, manacled and raped the young Mormon missionary.
By 2000, McKinney had thought the scandal was finally behind her. She’d gone on to a new life by then, after years as recluse, living with her dogs and other animals, first in North Carolina, then in California. In California, she began using the name Bernann instead of Joyce and, having not lost her soft spot for dogs, continued taking in abandoned and unwanted pit bulls.
All were loved, but none were Booger, a dog she found on the highway in North Carolina who she says later saved her life when she was attacked by another of her dogs. After that, Booger went on to become her unofficial service dog, helping her with the day to day tasks her injuries made difficult.
After Booger died, she sought to have him cloned — first through an American company that was working with Texas A & M University to clone a dog. That research was funded by John Sperling, founder of the University of Phoenix. Unable to produce a canine clone, Texas A & M dropped the project. Scientists at Seoul National University picked up the research and cloned the world’s first dog, Snuppy, in 2005. McKinney then signed on with a South Korean company that had formed after that success.
McKinney first contacted me while I was a reporter at the Baltimore Sun, after I ran an item about dog cloning on the newspaper’s pet blog that mentioned a then-anonymous woman who was paying $150,000 to have her dog cloned.
So began a conversation that would continue, off and on, for a year, and lead me to quit my job, travel to Korea, and write a book about dog cloning.
While we hit it off initially — both being dog lovers, both being from North Carolina — McKinney, as the months went on, would grow angry with me often. The first time was when I told her that, rather than writing a book with her about Booger, I wanted to write a book that looked at dog cloning overall — how the new business got started, how it was being marketed, and the animal welfare concerns it raised.
That would be the first of our many “break-ups.” But always, she would eventually call me back, updating me and seeking assistance with this or that.
On her trip to meet the newborn clones, during which she appeared globally in TV interviews, someone made the connection, raising the possibility, later confirmed, that the woman cloning her dog and the “Mormon manacler” were one in the same. She blamed me for that, though I had nothing to do with it.
She had feared there was a possibility that might happen. I was pretty sure it would. (Although I had written a newspaper story by then, it didn’t mention the 1970s scandal; at the time she had only vaguely referred to it and I had only reached 99 percent certainty that she was the same woman — a fact that she would confirm, and go into great detail about, later.)
After another period of silence, she reconnected with me again, this time asking me to go with her to pick up the clones. She wanted me to pretend I was handicapped so that I could claim one of the clones was my service dog, and she — if she found three more conspirators — could avoid having them fly home in the jet’s cargo hold.
For ethical reasons, I declined. But she still stayed in touch during her trip to pick up and return the dogs, an effort that didn’t go smoothly, as you can read in this excerpt from “DOG, INC.”
Back home with her clones, her troubles continued. At one point, all five clones, and her other dogs, were seized and impounded by animal control, though she managed to reclaim them.
After an argument, she moved out of the house she shared with a friend, bounced with the clones from motel to motel, and eventually moved back in.
That was about the time she was contacted by Morris.
I’m sure Morris, as was the case with me, found that dealing with her, to put it mildly, had some ups and downs. She, while appearing with one of the clones at an early screening of the movie, denounced its accuracy, even as Morris stood next to her.
I won’t see it until this weekend, but I’d guess, from what I’ve seen of previews and knowing the work of Morris, it fairly portrays all sides. And given his trademark style of turning on the camera and letting the subject talk into it, I’m sure McKinney gets ample chance to share her version.
I’ve only spoken with her once since my book came out, when she called, enraged, having seen a reference to it in a newspaper. She hadn’t read it by then, but denounced it, too, adding that I had no right to tell her story — either that of the scandal or that of the cloning.
McKinney told me repeatedly she didn’t want to see the two stories overlap — for she saw one as “tabloid filth” and the other — cloning her dog — as pure and heartwarming. Her hope is to start a center where pit bulls can be trained to be service dogs. She wants to call it Booger’s Place.
Some of those who see the movie, or for that matter read my book, may see her as manipulative and devious. Some may see her, in connection with the scandal, as a woman who holds little respect for the boundaries society imposes. Some may see her, in connection with cloning, as a person who was willing to jump over those nature imposes, as well. Some may see her, overall, as a person who will stop at nothing to get what she wants.
I’ll say this much: She is without a doubt the most determined person I’ve ever known.
(John will be discussing and signing copies of “DOG, INC.” from 6 to 8 p.m. at Barnhills, 811 Burke St., in Winston-Salem.)
(John will be speaking after the 3:30 and 6 p.m. showings of “Tabloid” at the Aperture Cinema, 311 W. Fourth St., in Winston-Salem, this Sunday, Aug. 21.)
(For more information on “DOG, INC.: The Uncanny Inside Story of Cloning Man’s Best Friend, click here.)
Posted by jwoestendiek August 17th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abducted, author, booger, british, clone, cloned, cloning, documentary, dog inc., england, errol morris, john woestendiek, joyce mckinney, kidnap, kinky sex, kirk, london, manacles, media, missionary, mormon, newspapers, pit bull, press, rape, scandal, sex, sex scandal, snuppy, south korea, tabloid
In a episode nearly as ludicrous as the case of the soiled condominium, an English great-grandmother was threatened with a £50 fine for picking up the wrong dog’s poop.
Pam Robson was accused by Sunderland Council wardens of failing to clean up after Derik, her Labrador, in a field in Houghton-le-Spring in January.
The council said the 60-year-old had picked up droppings that emanated from a different dog, according to the BBC.
How they knew that, I’m not sure, for Sunderland is not one of those jurisdictions that are performing DNA analysis on dog poop — a step that has been proposed at a condominium right here in Baltimore.
The board of the Scarlett Place Condominiums on Baltimore’s Inner Harbor is considering a proposal to create a DNA database of its canine residents, then sending offending feces to a lab in an effort to find out exactly who, among their residents, is allowing their dog to poop in its ritzy hallways, and not picking it up.
Yes, everyone should pick up their dog’s waste — but going to such forensic lengths, and fining people for not picking up the right pile, are the actions of obsessive, power hungry control freaks who need to find better causes.
In Robson’s case, she refused to pay the fine and was threatened with court action.
Robson said she had been talking to her daughter on her cell phone when her dog ran off and did it’s doody. Robson walked over, scooped up a pile, and then was approached by two men (because policing poopers is apparently too dangerous a job to do alone).
“He said it was the wrong mess and that he was going to issue me with a fine for £50,” Robson recalled. “I picked up the other mess too and put it in the bag but he said I’d still be fined.”
“It felt like the worst kind of bullying,” she said.
Sunderland City Council, after she complained and asked for a review, later wrote to Robson, saying: “Officers at the time were satisfied that an offence had been committed. However it appears you may have collected faeces belonging to another dog.” In light of that, the note said, the council would not be pursuing the fine.
Posted by jwoestendiek May 19th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, baltimore, bullying, clean up, condominium, council, court, crackdown, dna, dog, dogs, england, feces, fine, fined, labrador, news, ohmidog!, pam robson, pets, picking up, pile, police, poop, scarlett place, scoop, sunderland, waste, wrong
The dog was discovered last month in Bakersfield. The dog’s owner James Worley, 52, has been arrested and faces a possible charge of felony animal cruelty.
The pitbull, who has been named England after the animal control officer who saved him, Kristen England, was placed into a new home on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, a petition asking the District Attorney’s office to prosecute the dog’s owner to the fullest extent the law allows has received almost 1,000 signatures.
The petition was started April 26 by Karen Marousek, of the Friends of the Kern County Animal Shelters Foundation, according to the Bakersfield Californian.
As of Wednesday morning, more than 1,000 signatures had been gathered. The petitions will be presented to the prosecutor and judge handling the case.
Worley, 52, was arrested on suspicion of felony animal cruelty on April 26. An arraignment is scheduled for Friday in Lamont.
The Jason Debus Heigl Foundation was founded by Katherine Heigl and her mother Nancy Heigl in memory of Jason Debus Heigl, Katherine’s brother. It rescues dogs and works to increase awareness of inhumane treatment to animals.
The Heigls, officials from the group Last Chance For Animals and Kern County Animal Control Director Guy Shaw held a press conference in Los Angeles Tuesday.
(Photo: England, as he was found; courtesy of Kern County Animal Control)
Posted by jwoestendiek May 5th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abandoned, animal control, animal cruelty, animals, bakersfield, california, dogs, england, field, foundation, friends of the kern county animal shelters foundation, heigl, hogtied, home, james worley, jason debus heigl foundation, karen marousek, katherine heigl, kern county, kristen england, last chance for animals, news, ohmidog!, petition, pets, pit bull, pitbull, rescue