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
Using stainless steel salad tongs and simulated doggie drool, a Texas Tech researcher conducted tests on dog toys and determined some of them, under chewing-like conditions, leach chemicals that could harm dogs.
Phil Smith, an asssociate professor of terrestrial ecotoxicology — say that three times fast — presented his findings this week at the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry conference held in California.
Among the toys tested, the worst offenders appear to be plastic fetching batons, or bumpers, which are used to teach dogs how to retrieve, according to a report on his findings by Discovery.com.
Smith, who raises Labrador retrievers, uses bumpers often, and got to wondering whether — with all the reports of dangerous chemicals in plastic — they were causing harm.
“In the process of training a Lab, you do a lot of work with these plastic bumpers,” Smith said in a press release. “I have a lot of bumpers in my garage, and they spend a lot of time in the mouths of my retrievers … Since we all care about our dogs, and we want them to be as healthy and smart and well-behaved as possible, we decided to look into this.”
Smith and Kimberly Wooten, his colleague at Texas Tech University, suspected that bumpers and other dog toys could leach phthalates and bisphenol A (BPA) into the mouths and bodies of dogs. The chemicals are what give elasticity to plastic and vinyl and they are known endocrine disruptors that mimic estrogen or act as anti-androgens, according to Discovery.com.
To test for the chemicals, the researchers created simulated dog saliva, then simulated chewing by squeezing dog toys with stainless steel salad tongs. Toys were also weathered outside to determine if older toys gave off more chemicals.
“We found that the aging or weathering the toys increased concentrations of BPA and phthalates,” Smith said. “The toys had lower concentrations of phthalates than the bumpers, so that’s good news. But they also had some other chemicals that mimicked estrogen. We need to find out what those are.”
Wooten said that BPA and phthalates can have effects on developing fetuses. Studies on humans have resulted in mixed conclusions, but raised enough concern that the U.S. government banning the use of BPA in baby bottles this year.
“The interaction of pet health and environmental chemicals is understudied,” Wooten said. “What may be a safe dose for one species isn’t always a good measure for another species. But the amount of BPA and phthalates we found from the bumpers would be considered on the high end of what you might find in children’s toys.”
Posted by jwoestendiek December 13th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, baby bottles, batons, bpa, bumpers, chemicals, chewing, childrens toys, conference, dangerous, dog toys, dogs, environmental, fetching batons, golden, harmful, hazards, hunting, labrador, leach, pets, phil smith, phthalates, plastic, plastic dog toys, retrievers, safety, science, Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, terrestrial ecotoxicology, tests, texas tech, toxic, toxins, toys, training, warning
Kieri was on a bird-watching walk with her owner when she stuck her head into a trailside trap intended to instantly kill otters and beavers.
The 8-year-old, 38-pound Wheaten terrier, underwent surgery and seemed to be recovering, according to her owner, Jack Williamson. But in April, her pain returned. She underwent surgery this month, but continued to suffer and was put down Tuesday.
Kieri is among a half dozen dogs reported to have been caught in traps last winter in Central Oregon, three times more than usual,according to an Associated Press account based on a subscriber-only Bend Bulletin story.
State wildlife officials think the increase may be a result of trappers coping with high gasoline prices by setting their traps closer to town.
Williamson wants the state to ban the use of large body-gripping traps on land.
Members of the Oregon Trappers Association have met with Williamson and wildlife officials to discuss rules changes that would keep pets safer. The Fish and Wildlife Commission is expected to review its rules when it meets next month.
According to a petition Williamson started on the website Care 2, current regulations in Oregon allow traps to be set on public land, concealed from view, without penalty of any kind for placement of traps that result in serious injury to people, or pets that are under control of their owner.
You can find more information about Kieri and the petition at Kieri.org
(Photo: From Kieri.org)
Posted by jwoestendiek May 25th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, beaver trap, care2, commission, dangers, death, died, dog, dogs, euthanized, fur, hikers, hiking, hunting, injuries, jack williamson, kieri, land, oregon, oregon trappers association, otter trap, petition, pets, public land, regulations, rules, safety, spinal, spine, state, symbol, trails, trap, trappers, trapping, traps, warnings, wheaten terrier, wildlife
At least that’s how your dog sees you, says Scientific American.
Unlike their wolfish ancestors, who hunted for their food, domestic dogs have become socially attached to humans, and see us as the route to dinner. Hence, those long, soulful – and, we must insist, no matter what scientists say, loving – stares we get when feeding time comes near.
To which we, being tools, generally respond.
Scientific American takes a look at how wolves and dogs have come to differ — when it comes to the source of dinner and more — in the 15,000 or more years since the domestic dog came into being.
The article focuses on a study done several years ago at Eotvos University in Budapest — aimed at determining whether the differences between dogs and wolves, socially and cognitively, were primarily genetic or experiential.
Scientists hand-raised a group of dog puppies and a group of wolf pups, starting six days after they were born.
For the first months of their lives, the wolf and dog pups were in close contact with human foster parents. They lived in the homes of their caregivers and slept with them at night. They were bottle-fed, and then hand-fed, and the human caregivers carried them in a pouch so that both wolf and dog pups could participate in as much of their daily activities as possible.
Both dogs and wolves traveled on public transportation, attended classes, and had extensive experience meeting unfamiliar humans.
At 9 weeks of age, plates of food were shown to both the wolf and dog pups. But the only way either could get it was to have eye contact with the human experimenters.
After the first minute, the dogs began to look at the humans. The wolves never seemed to catch on, staying focused on the food they couldn’t reach.
“In one sense, this is a remarkable example of tool use. Only in this case, the humans were the tools, and the dogs the tool-users,” the article notes.
In a second experiment, involving opening a bin, dogs spontaneously interacted with humans, while the wolves all but ignored the human caregivers.
“Despite the fact that they had been fully socialized, the wolves treated each of the situations as physical problems rather than social ones. Only rarely did they ever attempt to engage in a communicative problem-solving interaction with a human. It’s not that wolves are unintelligent; it’s quite the opposite, in fact. Wolves are cooperative hunters, skilled at negotiating within their own social networks. It’s just that even after being raised by humans, wolves simply do not see humans as potential social partners.”
Posted by jwoestendiek May 1st, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, behavior, cognitive, differences, dog, dogs, domesticated, domestication, experiment, feeding, food, genetics, humans, hunting, interaction, nurture, partners, pets, science, scientific american, social, socialization, society, tool, wolf, wolves
Another hunter has been shot by his own hunting dog.
Billy E. Brown, 78, was on a hunting trip near Wesley Chapel, Florida, when his dog triggered a loaded rifle. He was shot in the thigh and remains hospitalized, in critical condition, after surgery.
Authorities said Brown and a fellow hunter were driving down a rough road in a pickup truck, with Brown’s dog, Eli, sitting between them. Eli got excited and bumped a Browning .308-caliber rifle, which discharged.
Brown is general manager and executive vice president of the Withlacoochee River Electric Cooperative.
Just over a week ago, a duck hunter in Utah was shot when his dog triggered a 12-gauge shotgun resting in his boat.
Posted by jwoestendiek December 12th, 2011 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: accidents, animals, billy brown, critical, dog, dog shoots hunter, dogs, eli, florida, hunter, hunting, hunting dogs, loaded, pets, pickup, rifle, safety, shot, surgery, triggered, truck, wesley chapel
The hunting dog that a baggage handler refused to load aboard a plane in Reno because of her concerns about his health is back with his owner in Texas and doing fine, animal control officers say.
The dog’s owner, who has not been publicly identified, will not face charges, said animal control officers in Corpus Christi. Officers there checked on the dog, a pointer named Tex, and talked to his owner last week, according to the Corpus Christi Caller.
The owner told them he thought the baggage handler had over-reacted.
Lynn Jones refused to put the dog on an airplane bound for Texas on Nov. 12 because he appeared emaciated, had cuts and sores on his body and paws and seemed listless.
Her supervisor at Reno-Tahoe International Airport fired her, but her employer, Saint Louis-based Airport Terminal Services, rehired her last week after reviewing the incident.
The dog was seized and turned over to Washoe County animal control and treated by a Reno veterinarian. Four days later, Tex was shipped back to Texas, according to the Reno Gazette Journal
The Reno veterinarian who treated Tex said his wounds and weary state could have been explained by a hard day of hunting.
“I was told he was (bird) hunting near Gerlach for a week, and what I saw was consistent with a dog that has been worked very hard,” Dr. Diana Lucreer said. “These dogs get almost psychotic when they are out there working; they will run and run through anything. His paws were cut up, and he had cuts on his body.”
The dog was checked by another veterinarian upon his return to Corpus Christi.
Posted by jwoestendiek December 12th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: airport terminal services, animal control, animal welfare, animals, baggage handler, checked, corpus christi, dog, dogs, fired, hunter, hunting, hunting dog, lethargic, load, lynn jones, nevada, pets, pointer, refused, rehired, reno, sores, tex, texas, treated, veterinarian, washoe county
Robert Cottingham was duck hunting when he took a shotgun blast to his buttocks — fired, from all indications, by Piper, a yellow Labrador that belonged to a hunting companion.
The 46-year-old resident of Brigham City, Utah, was was hunting Sunday with his son and brother-in-law at the north end of the Great Salt Lake near a bird refuge, said Box Elder County Sherriff’s Chief Deputy Kevin Potter.
The victim told Fox 13 that the dog was in a marshy area of the lake and jumped into the boat, triggering a 12-gauge shotgun resting inside of it.
Cottingham was taken to the hospital where 27 birdshot pellets — most but not all of those he was struck by – were removed from his backside.
Posted by jwoestendiek December 1st, 2011 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, blast, boat, box elder county, buttocks, dog, dog shoots hunter, dogs, duck, ducks best friend, gun safety, hunter, hunting, hunting accident, news, pets, robert cottingham, shot, shotgun, utah, video, yellow lab
A longtime Mansfield, Ohio, city worker drowned Sunday afternoon while trying to save a dog he thought needed help.
Jeff Bard, 46, leaned over his pontoon boat to place a life jacket on the Chesapeake Bay retriever and fell into the 41-degree water of Clear Fork Reservoir.
“We do believe he drowned due to the shock of the cold water,” said Gary Foster, operations supervisor at the reservoir. “It’ll hit you right away.”
As it turned out the dog, named “Maggie,” apparently wasn’t in danger.
Her owner Lance Cooke, 37, said the dog wandered off while he was duck hunting. While he didn’t witness the incident, he said Maggie was probably just swimming, as she had been all afternoon. Another hunter told him Bard had drowned trying to get her out of the water.
“It confused me — like why would someone be trying to get her out? She wasn’t drowning,” Cooke told the Mansfield News Journal.
Bard had worked for the city for 19 years.
“I’m still in shock pretty much,” Cooke said. “He was a really caring person and an all-around good guy, as you can see from today.”
Posted by jwoestendiek November 1st, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, chesapeake bay retriever, city worker, clear fork reservoir, dogs, drowned, drowning, drowns, hunter, hunting, jeff bard, lance cooke, maggie, mansfield, ohio, pets, retriever
More than 400 people gathered in Alabama last week to pay their last respects to Bo, a black and tan coonhound whose family traveled 300 miles to bury him at the Key Underwood Memorial Coon Dog Cemetery.
Bo, the 2008 Purina Outstanding Show Dog of the Year, was eulogized for his ability to hunt raccoons, his unfailing nose and his ability to speedily navigate all terrains. But it was probably as a friend that he made his biggest impact.
Bo, whose full name was Shawnee Hills Beaujolais, lived in southern Illinois. But he was buried Thursday at the world’s only cemetery dedicated to hounds who hunt raccoons.
It was Ericka who insisted he be brought to Alabama for burial, according to the Times Daily in Florence, Alabama.
As her grandfather, Michael Seets, explained it, he brought Bo to his home in Illinois in 2007 to help train him for dog shows and hunting for his owner, who lived in Georgia.
While Bo was an attentive student, he also liked to spend time with Ericka, laying in bed, eating doughnuts and watching cartoons on television.
Because of Ericka, Seets made an exception to his rule of never letting dogs into the house. And when it came time to return the dog to his owner, Ericka, 3-years old at the time, said no.
“I said we’ve got to take BoBo home,” Michael Seets said. “She said, `no, BoBo’s mine.’ I thought, `Now ain’t this something.”‘
Seets said that when he explained to the owner about how the hunting dog had become a house pet, and the connection between Bo and Ericka, the owner gave them the dog.
Two years ago, the Seets learned about the Key Underwood Memorial Coon Dog Cemetery from a friend in Pennsylvania who had a dog buried there. They watched a video of the service, and Ericka decided then that Bo would be buried there when his time came.
“Bo was a good dog. This is the place you bury a good dog,” said Michael Seets, who lives in Stonefort, Ill.
“We’ve had other good dogs, and when they died, we buried them behind the barn or beside a tree. But Bo was special because Little Red (Ericka) loved him so much.”
Posted by jwoestendiek October 24th, 2011 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: alabama, animals, black and tan, bo, burial, buried, coon dog cemetery, coonhound, death, dogs, ericka seets, eulogy, florence, friends, hunting, key underwood, memorial, michael seets, pets, raccoons, shawnee hills beaujolais
Dr. John Lauby, director of the Animal Services Department, said his animal control officers have shot and killed nine feral dogs in the last two weeks.
“It’s a distasteful thing,” said Lauby, a retired veterinarian. “They are a large problem.”
According to an article in the Fayetteville Observer — and we have to point out that it’s written by Andrew Barksdale — the large number of feral dogs may be a result of more dogs being abandoned by their owners. Dogs can turn become unfriendly to people after being abandoned, Lauby said.
Fayetteville City Councilman Jim Arp has asked that the county animal control office — there is no similar office in the city — help solve the problem. Arp said the feral dogs put children at risk, and some residents say the wild dogs are killing their cats.
Lauby said his department had thinned the packs of dogs over the winter, but new litters in the spring compounded the recent surge. The problem, he said, is compounded by people leaving food out for the dogs.
Posted by jwoestendiek July 11th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abandoned, animal control, animals, cats, dog, dogs, fayeteville, feral, hunting, killing, neighborhoods, north carolina, pets, shooting, stray, street dogs, streets, wild