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Tag: inspection

Another N.C. shelter accused of cruelty


Another North Carolina animal shelter has come under fire from the state Department of Agriculture — this time the county-operated shelter in Stokes County, where an investigation found dogs were being inhumanely euthanized.

The Veterinary Division of the North Carolina Department of Agriculture released documents Friday showing inspectors found credible evidence that shelter director Phillip Handy and employee Darryl Sheppard “performed, participated in and/or witnessed the inhumane euthanasia of multiple animals that involved improper euthanasia administration.”

The allegations, now being investigated by the state Bureau of Investigation, include putting down one dog by gunshot, failing to confirm the death of an animal, and improper disposal of an animal. The report also accuses the two men of putting dogs down prior to the 72-hour holding period.

The shelter (pictured above) is located in a cinder block building in Germanton.

The division revoked both Handy and Sheppard’s certifications to perform euthanasia, and both have been relieved from duty, according to Stokes County Manager Rick Morris.

This summer has also seen the Department of Agriculture revoke the licenses of animal shelters in Guilford County and Davidson County, citing a “systemic failure to care for animals.” Both were run by the United Animal Coalition under contracts with the counties.

And last week, news surfaced of a dog at the Forsyth County Animal Shelter being mistakenly euthanized.

The Stokes County shelter was closed for two weeks in July, for what county officials said was state-ordered maintenance and repairs.

County Manager Morris assured the public then that animals housed there at the time would not be euthanized.

The revocation notice from the state — instructing the shelter to cease all euthanizations — was issued two days before the temporary closure.

Animal advocates in Stokes County have been working to improve the shelter and are raising funds to open a new no-kill shelter, with around $180,000 raised so far.

(Photo: By Jennifer Rotenizer / Winston-Salem Journal)

Fort Worth vet admits to keeping five “euthanized” dogs alive to harvest blood


Sid, the Leonberger, apparently wasn’t the only dog a Fort Worth veterinarian promised to euthanize, then kept alive for the purpose of harvesting blood.

Millard “Lou” Tierce III, owner of Camp Bowie Animal Clinic, told investigators in a written statement that there were at least five dogs that — after assuring owners he was going to euthanize their pets — he secretly kept alive for blood transfusions and experimentation.

tierceTierce was arrested April 30 and charged with animal cruelty.

The Texas State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners has scheduled a hearing on whether Tierce, whose license has been temporarily suspended, should face permanent suspension.

That’s scheduled for May 9 in Austin, according to the Houston Chronicle.

The investigations of Tierce began when Sid’s owners filed a complaint against him.

Marian and James Harris said they took their 170-pound Leonberger to Tierce’s clinic in May 2013 for a minor gland problem. Tierce kept the dog at his clinic for six months, during which time he performed cold laser therapy. In October, though, he told the couple the dog should be euthanized due to a birth defect in his spine.

The couple agreed to have Sid euthanized, and Tierce promised to bury the dog at his farm.

Last month, though, a former clinic employee told the Harrises that Sid was still alive, and being kept in a cage for all but 30 minutes a day.

Upon learning that, the Harrises went to the clinic and removed their dog.

On April 29, the board conducted a clinic inspection and found ”animal organs were kept in jars throughout the clinic. Bugs were visible in exam rooms. Stacks of drugs, trash, laundry, paperwork and other miscellaneous material were strewn about the examination rooms, hallways, stairwells, operating room, laboratories and offices of the clinic.”

Board investigators received a signed, handwritten statement from Tierce that he had accepted five animals for euthanasia and had kept them at his clinic without euthanizing them, the report stated.

Fort Worth police also went to the clinic on April 29, along with an outside veterinarian who concluded three other dogs being held there were suffering so much they should have been euthanized — including one who belonged to Tierce.

According to Tierce’s arrest warrant, a clinic employee told police that Tierce’s dog, a border collie, had been lying on a pallet in the same spot since she started work in June, without receiving medical treatment.

93 dogs die in Amish breeder’s gas chamber

An Amish commercial kennel owner in New York rigged a hose up to a farm engine to euthanize 93 dogs that he had been ordered to have tested and treated for brucellosis, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

“Depopulating” is how David Yoder, owner of Black Diamond Acres kennel in Romulus, described the process to a U.S. Department of Agriculture inspector.

Yoder, according to a report on Philly Dawg, said he created an airtight chamber out of a wood whelping box (where nursing puppies are typically housed with their mothers) by fitting the opening with a metal door with a small hole for an exhaust pipe which was attached to a 3 horsepower farm engine.

He gassed “approximately” 78 adult dogs and 15 puppies in groups of five or six, then buried them, Yoder told a USDA inspector in July.

Yoder said he left the barn during the gassing because he had a headache from the carbon monoxide fumes.

“The manner of mass euthanasia caused potentially high levels of behavioral stress and unnecessary discomfort to all the dogs in the kennel,” said the USDA report, written by  inspector Andrea D’Ambrosio after a July 15 visit to the kennel.

It is against federal law for a licensed kennel owner to perform their own euthanasia.

Mary Anne Kowalski, a board member of the Seneca County SPCA, told Philly Dawg she was not aware of anyone from the USDA reporting the case to local authorities. The dogs were killed sometime after a June 29 inspection where Yoder had been ordered to get his dogs tested and treated for Brucellosis and before the inspector returned on July 15.

Kowalski discovered the report of the gassing on the USDA website, and reported the incident to the sheriff and district attorney in the hope that cruelty charges will be brought against Yoder.

“I hope these dogs did not die in vain,” she said.

Romulus, located 60 miles southeast of Rochester, passed an ordinance last year outlawing commercial kennels, or puppy mills, but Yoder was allowed to continue operating because his kennel was grandfathered under the new ordinance.

Yoder breeds poodles, Bichons, Maltese and Boston Terriers.

FDA issues warning on tainted treats

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is warning consumers not to use Pig Ears and Beef Hooves pet treats manufactured by Pet Carousel because the products may be contaminated with Salmonella.

The products were distributed nationwide in both bulk and retail packaging for sale in pet food and retail chain stores. Pet Carousel is based in Sanger, Calif.

Although no illnesses associated with the products have been reported, the FDA is advising consumers in possession of them not to handle or feed them to their pets.

The affected pig ear products were packaged under the brand names Doggie Delight and Pet Carousel. The affected beef hooves were packaged under the brand names Choo Hooves, Dentley’s, Doggie Delight, and Pet Carousel. All sizes and all lots of these products made by Pet Carousel are included in the alert.

Salmonella was detected in the treats during routine testing in September, leading to an FDA inspection of Pet Carousel’s manufacturing facilities. During the inspection, the agency collected additional pet treat samples. Further analysis found Salmonella present in beef hooves, pig ears and in the manufacturing environment.

Salmonella can affect both humans and animals. People handling dry pet food and/or pet treats can become infected with Salmonella, especially if they have not thoroughly washed their hands after having contact with the treats or any surfaces exposed to these products.

Pets with Salmonella infections may become lethargic and have diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, fever and vomiting. Some pets may only experience a decreased appetite, fever and abdominal pain. Infected, but otherwise healthy pets can be carriers and infect other animals or humans. If your pet has consumed any of the affected products or is experiencing any of these symptoms, the FDA advises contacting your veterinarian immediately.

The buzz on Klinker, Md.’s newby bee dog

Sniffing out harmful bacteria in bee colonies is a full time job for Klinker — “our newest employee,” said William Troup, an apiary inspector with the Maryland Department of Agriculture.

A black Labrador retriever trained late last year, Klinker is part of the department’s strategy to detect diseased bee colonies. Specifically, she’s looking for American foulbrood, the most common and destructive bacterial disease facing Maryland’s honeybees.

Klinker’s normal workday consists of walking along rows of hives. When she smells bacteria, she sits, alerting her handler.

A recent Washington Post story described American foulbrood as a bacteria that forms microscopic spores that can survive for decades, spreading quickly from hive to hive, killing bee larvae. If the infection is caught early, the hive can be treated with antibiotics. If not, the hive usually must be destroyed.

Read more »

Kennel where Biden bought dog is cited

The Pennsylvania kennel where Vice President-elect Joe Biden bought his German Shepherd puppy was cited for records violations days after he picked out the dog.

After a regularly scheduled inspection on Dec. 10, four days after Biden picked out his 3-month-old puppy, the Wolf Den Kennel  was cited for a record-keeping violation and failure to produce records of rabies vaccinations, according to state records. Each citation carries a fine of $50 to $300.

Linda Brown, who also operates the kennel in Chester County as Jolindy’s German Shepherds, said she had never before been cited, and said the records in question were accidentally tossed out when the kennel cleaned up in preparation for Biden’s visit.

“We went in there and cleaned everything up and I didn’t even think about it,” she said. “How many times does the vice president visit? Maybe once in a lifetime?”

Brown said she had since gotten copies of the rabies vaccinations and given them to state officials.

Illegal kennel shut down in Lancaster County

Dog wardens, working with the Humane League of Lancaster County, shut down an illegal dog kennel Wednesday in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, and removed 20 dogs from the facility.

The owner, Aaron Lapp, will not be permitted to obtain a kennel license in the future and will be required to keep fewer than 25 dogs per year. In Pennsylvania, any kennel housing more than 25 dogs per year is required to be licensed and inspected.

Wardens first became aware of the illegal kennel from a consumer tip and cited the kennel in August for operating without a license. Lapp pleaded guilty to those charges and was told he could not own or keep more than 25 dogs in a year.

A follow-up inspection of the kennel Wednesday showed a decline in sanitary conditions and dogs in the kennel were found to have matted fur. Wardens contacted the Humane League, which removed the dogs.

“Our state dog wardens are following up on any information about illegal kennels and they are making sure that those facilities come into compliance with the law or are shut down,” said Jessie Smith, Pennsylvania’s special deputy secretary of dog law enforcement. ”

Smith said all dogs in commercial breeding kennels will be better protected under Pennsylvania’s recently signed dog law. The new law doubles the minimum floor space for dogs, eliminates wire flooring, and requires exercise that is at least as good as unfettered access to an exercise area twice the size of the primary enclosure. The previous law did not require that dogs ever be taken out of cages.

In July, the state launched a toll-free hotline, 1-877-DOG-TIP1, to help anyone wishing to offer confidential tips about unsatisfactory or illegal kennels.