Chicago’s oldest pet store has decided to stop selling dogs purchased from breeders.
Sonja Raymond, whose family has been operating Collar & Leash since 1956, says the shop will deal only in adoptable dogs from shelters and rescues, according to CBS in Chicago
Raymond said she’d been considering the switch for five years – after noticing animals coming into the store with genetic defects and incurable illnesses, despite the assurances she received from her suppliers that the pups didn’t come from puppy mills.
“You know I had gone on the word of my distributors that I get my dogs from — that ‘Oh yeah these people are reputable, I’ve known them for years,” she said. “Within the past year I have found out they lied.”
Also pushing Collar & Leash to make the switch was the The Puppy Mill Project, a Chicago-based non-profit organization created to raise awareness about cruelty in puppy mills.
“We’d been in touch with the Puppy Mill Project Founder, Cari Meyers, for a long time, and realize it’s time we take this jump with them to help make a statement to put an end to puppy mills,” Raymond said.
“We will no longer buy and sell cats and dogs from mills and are proud to align ourselves with The Puppy Mill Project,” she said.
“It’s my biggest hope that as they become humane, other Chicago pet stores selling dogs and cats will follow in their footsteps, said Puppy Mill Project founder Meyers.
The store will hold a grand re-opening weekend Saturday and Sunday, April 6 and 7.
Posted by jwoestendiek March 22nd, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: adoptions, animals, breeders, chicago, collar & leash, dog, dogs, humane, oldest, pet, pet sales, pet stores, pets, puppies, puppy mill project, puppy mills, sales, sonja raymond, store
California earned first place for the fourth year in a row, while South Dakota remained in last place in the Humane Society of the United States fourth annual “Humane State Ranking” report.
The HSUS graded all 50 states and Washington, D.C. on the strength of a wide range of animal protection laws, including public policies dealing with animal cruelty and fighting, pets, wildlife, equines, animals in research, and farm animals.
Ohio was the most improved state, leaping ahead in the ranks by passing laws regulating puppy mills and the private possession of dangerous wild animals.
You can find the complete rankings here.
“Members of The Humane Society of the United States want to know what their state lawmakers are doing to improve animal welfare. Our Humane State Ranking report demonstrates which states are falling behind important protections for animals, and which states are leading in the effort to create a more humane and civil society,” said Wayne Pacelle, HSUS president and CEO.
California stayed on top for the fourth year in a row by passing a number of new laws, including banning the hound hunting of bears and bobcats. Other top states included Massachusetts (tied for second place), which passed laws allowing pets to be included in domestic violence protection orders, and banning gas chambers for euthanasia.
South Dakota earned the lowest score (51st place). Also in the bottom five were Idaho (50th place), Mississippi (49th place), North Dakota (48th place) and South Carolina (47th place).
South Dakota and North Dakota received especially low marks in part because they are the only two states in the country with no felony-level penalties for malicious acts of animal cruelty. North Dakota voters rejected a ballot measure to increase penalties for egregious acts of animal cruelty on the November 2012 ballot.
The rankings are based on 75 different animal protection issues in 10 major animal protection categories including: animal fighting; animal cruelty; wildlife abuse; exotic pets; companion animals; use of animals in research; farm animals; fur and trapping; puppy mills, and equine protection.
Posted by jwoestendiek January 17th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abuse, animal welfare, animals, california, cruelty, dogs, euthanasia, farms, fighting, hsus, humane, humane society of the united states, Humane state ranking, hunting, laws, legislation, north dakota, penalties, pets, protection, puppy mills, rankings, south dakota, state, violence, wayne pacelle
Most voters think it’s wrong to carry a dog on the roof of a car, even in a crate, but a majority also say a candidate having done so — as Mitt Romney did — would not have an effect on their vote, according to a new poll.
The poll found 68 percent say they think that it is inhumane to put the family dog on top of the car for a long trip.
Stunningly, 14 percent said they think it’s humane, and 18 percent weren’t sure, according the Huffington Post.
As asked by the polling firm, the question did not specify that it was a 12-hour trip; just a long one.
Nine hundred registered voters were interviewed for the poll, conducted by Public Policy Polling (PPP), which is described as a Democratic-leaning firm.
While most voters think putting a dog on the car roof is inhumane, 55 percent said Romney’s 30-year-old action didn’t affect which candidate they would support. More than a third — 35 percent — said it made them less likely to support Romney. Seven percent — and we can only assume they represent the dog haters among us — said it made them more likely to support him.
Among only the people who were already Romney supporters, 17 percent said the Seamus story made them less likely to vote for him, while 75 percent said it didn’t make a difference.
Romney drove his family to Canada for a vacation in 1983 with their Irish setter, Seamus, in a crate fastened to the roof of their station wagon. At one point, Seamus suffered a bout of diarrhea and Romney pulled into a gas station to hose off the dog, crate and car before continuing.
The story was first reported by the Boston Globe in 2007. Last week, Rick Santorum’s campaign finally seized on it: “If you can’t be nice to your dog, who are you going to be nice to?” a Santorum spokesman said.
In the poll, 44 percent of respondents gave President Obama a favorable rating for his treatment of dogs, compared to 20 percent for Romney.
Posted by jwoestendiek March 21st, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, campaign, candidates, car, crate, decision, diarrhea, dog, dogs, hose, humane, impact, inhumane, irish setter, mitt romney, obama, opinions, pets, poll, presidential, public policy polling, romney, roof, santorum, seamus, voters
Pet stores would be held accountable for the health of the animals they sell, and animal abusers could be forced to pay for the care their victims require under bills proposed in Maryland.
Republican Del. Nicholaus Kipke, of Anne Arundel County, is the lead sponsor of House Bill 131, which would require pet stores to post information on cages about where the animals were born.
In addition,the law would require pet stores to provide a warranty for consumers who buy puppies who become ill. A pet store could be required to reimburse veterinary fees up to three times the purchase price of the dog.
Some pet store owners say that could put them out of business. Some animal advocates wish the proposed law was stronger — and would ban pet stores from selling dogs from breeders entirely.
“A lot of the the pet shops say they only buy from registered USDA breeders, but it doesn’t take anything to become a registered breeder,” Jen Swanson, the Baltimore Humane Society’s executive director, told Patch.com. “The rules set forth by USDA are not enforced.”
The only way to stop the “cycle of abuse” is to shun pet stores that sell animals from breeders, she said.
“Quality pet stores and quality breeders are the norm, and not the exception,” said Michael Maddox, general counsel for the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council, which represents pet retailers. “They abhor the substandard breeders as much as anyone else; it gives them a bad name. We want these bad folks out of business.”
Maddox said his organization supports the concept of the proposed bill, and said many pet stores already post information about animals they’re selling.
Senate Bill 203, meanwhile, will allow judges to order people convicted of animal cruelty to pay the costs of caring for the animals during the trial.
Animal welfare advocates say shelters are often stuck with the bill — both when it comes to veterinary care and for housing the pet until the trial takes place.
Maryland Votes for Animals is also lobbying lawmakers to create a registry of animal abusers.
Frederick Senator Ron Young, who is drafting a bill, says people need to know if a convicted animal abuser is living in their neighborhood.
If you’re interested in learning more about the bills, Maryland Votes for Animals, along with the HSUS and ASPCA , are sponsoring a 2012 Maryland Humane Lobby Day in Annapolis. It’s Thursday, February 23, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., in Room 142 of the House of Delegates Office Building, 6 Bladen Street.
Posted by jwoestendiek February 16th, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: abusers, accountable, animal abuser registry, animal cruelty, animals, breeders, convicted, costs, cruelty to animals, documents, dogs, force, general assembly, health, humane, humane lobby day, information, judges, laws, legislation, lobbying, maryland, maryland votes for animals, pay, pet stores, pets, post, proposed, registry, trial, warranty
Maryland Votes for Animals (MVFA) is looking for people who want to get involved in the political process in hopes of making 2012 an even more successful year for animal protection legislation in the state.
MVFA is an all volunteer organization working to improve the lives of animals by winning passage of animal protection laws in the Maryland General Assembly.
Volunteers are needed in every legislative district in Maryland to call, write or visit legislators; staff membership recruitment tables at events; and assist with fundraising.
The organization is also looking for volunteers who are willing to play leadership roles in building a humane voting block by becoming district captains. Read more »
Posted by jwoestendiek October 14th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: adoption, animal welfare, animals, districts, dogs, fundraising, general assembly, humane, legislation, legislative, lobby, lobbying, maryland, maryland votes for animals, mvfa, neuter, pets, politics, protection, recruitment, shelters, sought, spay, volunteers
In the Davidson County town of Lexington, it’s now against the law to bring your dog to a city-sponsored function, even on a leash, or to keep your dog in your front yard, even if it’s fenced.
The Lexington City Council unanimously approved stricter controls on dogs at its Monday night meeting, all of which are effective immediately.
The measures include giving the police department the power to determine what dogs are dangerous and seize them; prohibiting dogs from attending city-sponsored public events; and requiring areas where dogs are fenced be only in backyards, 50 feet from neighboring structures and 20 feet from sidewalks.
The stricter measures stemmed from complaints from residents and an incident last year, in which an unleashed dog described as a pit bull killed a resident’s Yorkshire terrier, according to The Dispatch in Davidson County.
The new ordinance does not prohibit tethering — as long as it is in the back yard, is done without a heavy chain, and does not prevent an animal from reaching food, water or shelter.
“We require chains and tethering devices to be of a reasonable weight and length for the size of the animal to treat those animals humanely,” Lexington Police Department Capt. Mark Sink said.
Beyond that, and the fact that the city council didn’t ban any specific breeds, it’s hard to find much humanity in the new regulations.
But then again, Lexington is in Davidson County, whose commissioners last month — despite hundreds of residents showing up to encourage a much needed change — voted to continue it’s preferred method of euthanizing dogs: A gas chamber.
Posted by jwoestendiek September 15th, 2011 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animal control, animal shelter, animals, back yard, cats, city council, controls, county commissioners, dangerous dogs, davidson county, death, dogs, euthanasia, gas chamber, gassing, humane, inhumane, law, lethal injection, lexington, north carolina, pets, ralph houser, restrictions, sheriff, strict, tethering
Lollie Wonderdog, the pit bull mix reclaimed from a Maryland trash bin and lovingly fostered for nearly five months in a Takoma Park home, has been adopted.
Lollie, whose experience as a foster dog was recounted in the blog Love and a Six-Foot Leash, was adopted by a family of four — a family (that’s part of it to the left) whose mom saw in Lollie a fellow survivor.
It’s a lovely ending to a tale well told by Aleksandra Gajdeczka, whose family took Lollie in temporarily and blogged about the experience — partly in an attempt to find a permanent home for the three-year-old dog, partly to tell the world about the joys of fostering.
Including, last week, the bittersweet and often tearful feeling that accompanies the successful conclusion of that experience.
In a letter to her departed foster dog, she wrote, “You pass through the world with a carefree grace that I have rarely seen in a dog, and have never seen in a person. Your ability to make everybody like you and the whole world smile, paired with your ability to overcome anything with a wagging tail and a flapping tongue is truly remarkable. I hope you don’t remember the specifics of how you ended up in that dumpster in September, bruised, half-starved, and filthy, but I hope you always remember that you have overcome so much — and come out a shooting star. An eternal firework.
“Lollie Wonderdog, it’s an amazing thing when a sad little dog can teach a bunch of humans so much about perseverance, patience, and overcoming the odds. You have touched our lives forever, and we love you very much.”
Emotions ran strong on the receiving end, too. After Lollie — whose new name is Lily Fireworks — was situated in her new home, her new owner wrote down her thoughts about it all, which were published on Love and a Leash this week:
“I had breast cancer at 24, had a few breast surgeries, lost all my hair, all that fun stuff … Fast forward six years, and we’re looking for a dog. We found Daisy, a beagle with giant “udders.” A breast cancer survivor finds a dog with udders…it was meant to be! Last year I went through chemo again when my cancer returned, and Daisy beagle was the sole reason I got up and got any exercise some days. She lay next to me on the couch when I felt pukey, she sniffed my head when my hair fell out again, she saw me through the whole year of chemo. That’s a lot of walks together … Sadly, we lost Daisy very unexpectedly a few months ago, and I didn’t want another dog …”
Then she came across Lollie’s blog, through the Montgomery County Humane Society website.
“We contacted Aleksandra and set up a time for John and me to meet her Lollie Wonderdog. If we thought she’d be a good family member, then we’d tell the little ones. We went to meet Lollie. I couldn’t get over her itty bitty waist. She was adorable. Those giant eyes … she licked my stinky shoelaces, and it was love. How could a dog who had been through so much still have so much love to give? I thought about it — Lollie and I are both survivors …”
(Photo by Aleksandra Gajdeczka, courtesy of Love and a Leash)
Posted by jwoestendiek February 25th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: aleksandra gajdeczka, animals, blog, breast cancer, dogs, dumpster, forever home, foster, foster care, fostering, humane, lolita, lollie, lollie wonderdog, maryland, montgomery county, new home, permanent, pets, pit bull, rescue, shelter, society, surviving, survivors, takoma park, temporary, wonderdog
PETA has filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Agriculture calling for an immediate investigation of how the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) at Galveston is treating the dogs, monkeys, sheep, goats, ferrets and mice being used in experiments.
PETA says a whistleblower has informed them that the animals are being intentionally burned, mutilated, and cut open for experiments the organization describes as “cruel.” Also at issue, PETA says, are claims that the animals are receiving inadequate veterinary care, and are being neglected and handled carelessly by improperly trained staff.
The unidentified whistleblower told PETA that researcher Daniel Traber has subjected sheep, pigs, and mice to third-degree burns on up to 40 percent of their bodies and forced the animals to inhale smoke from burning cotton. UTMB experimenters also intentionally caused spinal cord and sciatic nerve injuries in sheep, PETA says.
“Our source also reports the following: UTMB faculty members cut open dogs and surgically implanted tubes into their colons for irritable bowel experiments. One dog reportedly died during surgery, and another died in pain following surgery when staff members did not provide anesthetics and were apparently unable to use the monitoring equipment correctly.”
PETA says it has has repeatedly reached out to UTMB through letters and phone calls to discuss the alleged violations, but has gotten no response. A PETA petition urges UTMB to “immediately conduct a thorough investigation of the university’s laboratories and dismiss any employees whose incompetence, negligence, or outright cruelty are found to have contributed to increased pain and misery for animals.”
PETA highlighted Traber, of UTMB Department of Anesthesiology, two years ago in its “Vivisector of the Month” column, which reported that:
“Traber … has made a living for almost three decades by burning animals’ skin off. In a recent experiment, he either torched mice with a Bunsen burner until more than 40 percent of their bodies was charred or forced them to inhale smoke. A few select mice got the full treatment—they were both burned and forced to inhale smoke. Some died during the experiment, and survivors were subsequently killed.
“In another study, Traber heated an aluminum bar to nearly 400 degrees with a Bunsen burner and roasted the skin of live pigs on it for 30 seconds, creating a series of deep burns that covered 15 percent of their bodies. In order to repair the deliberately injured animals, Traber and colleagues then removed skin from the pigs’ legs to graft over the areas that had been burned off. After living through all this torture, the pigs were killed. Again, this is only his most recent work—Traber has been burning, mutilating, and killing sheep for years.”
Posted by jwoestendiek January 14th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: agriculture, animals, burned, burning, burns, care, compalint, cruel, cruelty, daniel traber, dogs, experiments, galveston, goats, grafts, humane, investigation, medical, mice, monkeys, neglect, peta, pets, research, sheep, sking, texas, traber, usda, vivisection, vivisector, whistleblower
Given the endlessly rising popularity of dogs, and our increasing emotional attachment to them, medical researchers who use them for experiments can expect stronger and growing opposition to the practice from the public, a leading expert in canine-human interaction told a conference at Johns Hopkins University this week.
James Serpell, director of the Center for the Interaction of Animals and Society at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine, was the keynote speaker at a conference sponsored by the Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing at the Bloomberg School of Public Health.
The 30-year-old, non–profit center promotes humane science by supporting the creation, development and use of alternatives to animals in research, product safety testing, and education. It seeks ways to replace animals with non-animal methods, reduce the numbers of animals necessary, or refine methods to make them less painful or stressful to the animals involved
Serpell and other speakers both pointed out that after decades of declining, the use of dogs in medical research has increased in the last couple of years.
U.S. Department of Agriculture figures show that the number of dogs used in medical research and testing dropped from 200,000 in 1973 to 66,000 in 2007, said Tanya Burkholder, chief of the Small Animal Section at the National Institutes of Health. Now, she said, the number has risen to about 75,000 a year.
Much of the increase is likely a result of advancements in, and the promise of, gene therapy.
Dogs have always been a valuable research model for scientists, going as far back as Aristotle’s day. Their size, physiology and cooperative behavior have made them convenient models for scientists, who, like Pavlov’s dog, grew conditioned to using them in experiments.
While public opposition to subjecting dogs to medical experiments resulted in the practice dwindling in recent decades, the use of dogs has crept up again in the last two years due to advances in molecular biology, genetics and the sequencing of the canine genome.
Because dogs get about 220 of the same inherited diseases and disorders that humans do — including Alzheimer’s, muscular dystrophy, hemophilia and retinal degeneration – medical researchers are able to study the underlying genetic defects and, through dogs, seek cures.
This means dogs are being bred to be born with the diseases in colonies at U.S. universities and research institutes and, in the case of South Korea, cloned to be born with the diseases.
No one at the conference went so far as to suggest a halt to using dogs in research, but Serpell warned that the practice does come with risks, and a price.
Dogs evoke protective and nurturing instincts in people, and those have grown stronger as the dog-human relationship has evolved — to the point that dogs are viewed more as family members than family pets. Public opposition to the laboratory use of dogs has continually grown in the last few decades.
Researchers need to be cognizant not just of society’s strong feelings about dogs, but also about dog’s strong feelings for humans, Serpell said. “Many dogs undergo severe distress when contact with a human is limited or thwarted. We don’t give that regard sufficient credence,” he said.
The stronger attachment to dogs is in part due to breeders focusing on creating animals for purposes of human companionship, unlike in the past when they were bred for the work they could do. Serpell noted that baby-like features, for one thing, appeal to humans.
Showing photos of dogs, Serpell pointed to one and said, “This animal looks like it was invented by Walt Disney.”
Our attraction to dogs stems too from the fact that they make eye contact with humans more than any other species, and studies have shown that petting, or even looking, at a dog increases our levels of oxytocin.
“These dogs are turning us on by looking at us,” he said.
Our evolving closeness to dogs has implications for the laboratory, he noted, and perhaps all of society.
Serpell pointed to commentator Tucker Carlson’s recent statement that dogs are the social equals of humans, and that therefore Micheal Vick should have been executed for killing them.
“Lots of people feel the same way,” he said.
Posted by jwoestendiek January 13th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: beagle, caat, canines, center for alternatives to animal testing, cures, disease, dog, dog lovers, dogs, experiments, genes, genetics, humane, james serpell, johns hopkins university, laboratory, love, medcial, medical, opposition, oxytocin, pain, pavlov, products, research, rising, school, stature, status, stress, tests, therapy, treatment, university of pennsylvania, veterinary
What — other than finding homes for about 1,000 dogs a year — is the Baltimore Humane Society all about?
This video they produced pretty much captures it.
Then there’s Dogfest — the society’s major fundraising event of the year. It’s next Saturday, June 19, at the Maryland State Fairgrounds. Click on the banner ad above for more information.
Posted by jwoestendiek June 11th, 2010 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: adopt, animal welfare, animals, baltimore humane society, dog, dogfest, dogs, humane, ohmidog!. news, pets, rescue, shelters, society, video