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Tag: hawaii

“Lost” actor reports death of his Chihuahua

Actor Jorge Garcia, who played Hurley on the hit series Lost, has reported the death of his Chihuahua, named Nunu.

Nunu was struck by a car and died in his arms, Garcia wrote Monday on his blog, “Dispatches from the Island.”

Garcia, according to People magazine, frequently chronicled the adventures of Nunu, purchased from a pet store in Hawaii five years ago.

“We are burying her in the Pet Garden at Valley of the Temple in Kaneohe,” Garcia wrote. “Nunu hated the water so we couldn’t bring ourselves to having her ashes scattered in the ocean. Three months from now you’ll be able to find a bronze plaque inscribed with just her name there. If you’d like to leave a flower or a toy, I’m sure she’d love it.”

The five best states to be an animal abuser

aldfmap

 
Hawaii, Idaho, Kentucky, Mississippi, and North Dakota are the five best states in the country to be an animal abuser — making them the five worst states in which to be an animal.

Based on an analysis of more than 3,800 pages of statutes, a new report by the Animal Legal Defense Fund recognizes the states where animal law has real teeth, and calls out those like Kentucky – the single worst in the nation again this year for animal protection laws – where animal abusers get off the easiest.

The annual report, the only one of its kind in the nation, ranks all fifty states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and other U.S. territories for the comprehensiveness and  strength of their animal protection laws. Maryland falls in the bottom 15 states.

The legislative weaknesses seen in the states at the bottom of the animal protection barrel include severely restricted or absent felony animal cruelty provisions, inadequate animal fighting provisions, and lack of restrictions on the future ownership of animals for those convicted of cruelty to animals.

Many state laws have improved since ALDF’s last state rankings report was released in 2008; Arkansas, for example, was one of the worst five states last year, but jumped up to 25th overall in the country in 2009 due to a host of statutory improvements.

On the other end of the spectrum, this year’s “best five for animals” list remains unchanged from the 2008 list, with California, Illinois, Maine, Michigan and Oregon demonstrating through their laws the strongest commitment to combating animal cruelty; Illinois was ranked the best for the strength of its laws protecting animals.

“This year we see many states and territories that are continuing to make outstanding progress with their laws. Unfortunately, there are still many places where the laws are incapable of providing the legal protections that our country’s animals need and deserve,” says Stephan Otto, Animal Legal Defense Fund’s director of legislative affairs and author of the report.

“Even in those jurisdictions that have today’s best laws, there remain many opportunities for improvement. Especially important during our country’s current recession are laws that help to save limited community resources by reducing the costs of caring for abused animals and ensuring that those who are responsible for such crimes shoulder this burden instead of taxpayers and private interests. While animals do not vote, those who love and care about them certainly do, so we encourage lawmakers throughout the country to take heed and commit to working to improve these critical laws.”

ALDF was founded in 1979 to protect the lives and advance the interests of animals through the legal system. For more information, including a copy of the state rankings report, visit www.aldf.org.

Dog helps wounded warriors in Hawaii

finnA yellow Labrador retriever named Finn is helping injured Marines in Hawaii recuperate from their war wounds.

Pressed into service about a month ago, Finn is stationed at the Wounded Warrior Battalion at the Kane’ohe base. His duty is simple, and not that different from that of any dog — to bring some joy into the lives of the people around him.

Finn is the first service dog to be placed in a barracks in Hawaii, said Susan Luehrs, executive director for Hawaii Fi-Do, a nonprofit group that obtained, trained and donated Finn to the Marines.

The Honolulu Advertiser reports that he brings a sense of calm to the Wounded Warrior barracks, which was designed to aid in the recovery of war-related injuries and illnesses. 

Finn “has contributed significantly,” said Sgt. Karlo Salgado, in charge of the Wounded Warrior barracks. “He’s here more for morale. He’s very consistent with his attitude. As you can see, he’s always playful so he definitely breaks up the monotony here.”

Finn, short for Finnegan, is more of a companion dog, but he has about 80 skills, such as opening doors, that he can use to help those coping with disabilities.

“We’re coming back with a lot more injured young people and they’re saying we’d rather be walking with a dog than a cane,” Luehrs said.

The organization is working with Congress to pass legislation that would pay for training and upkeep. It typically takes two years and costs about $20,000 to train an animal, not including the price to purchase a puppy.

“We’re really proud of him,” Luehrs said. “He had all of his service dog’s skills but because of his personality and socialness, we felt this would be the perfect setting for him.”

(Photo: Honolulu Advertiser/Jeff Widener)

Hawaiians protest proposed pit bull ban

Dog owners and advocates in Hawaii are rallying in protest of a proposed state law to ban pit bulls.

In the first of several protests planned on Oahu, dozens of dog owners called Sunday for state lawmakers to dismiss a bill that would ban pit bulls, the Honolulu Star-Bulletin reported.

Hundreds of Oahu residents signed a petition started by several community members at a rally at Magic Island  to protest the bill, as dozens of residents, wearing shirts that protest breed-specific legislation, lined Ala Moana Boulevard to draw awareness to their cause.

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Hawaiians urge Obama to adopt “poi dog”

Despite reports that they won’t get a dog until spring, the Obamas continue to be inundated by solicitations — mostly from humane societies saying “take my dog, please.”

Those include an offer from Obama’s birthplace, Hawaii, where a board member of the Hawaii Island Humane Society suggests a “poi dog,” would be a most appropriate choice — especially in light of Obama recently characterizing himself as a “mutt.”

“A poi dog is considered a mix,” said the board member, Scott Dodd.

At least 200 dogs are available for adoption on the Big Island, and many more are waiting at other Hawaiian shelters. Most of them are mixed breeds, according to the Honolulu Star-Bulletin.

Poi dogs — though the term has come to be used to described mixed breeds — are actually an extinct breed that came to Hawaii with Polynesians when it was settled more than 1,000 years ago.

The dogs lived among the tribes, and were taken care of by female tribe members, some of whom nursed poi puppies believing it would give them more protective instincts.

Because of their vegetarian diet, poi dogs, became fat and lazy and it was not uncommon for them to live among domesticated hogs, according to dogbreedinfo.com. Like hogs, they were sometimes eaten.

In the 19th century, other dogs began to breed with the poi and purebred poi disappeared. The Honolulu Zoo attempted to reconstruct the breed, but failed.