The American Kennel Club is doing a much better job of protecting bad breeders than it is protecting dogs.
That’s the gist of this investigative report that aired yesterday on NBC’s “Today” show
The accusations aren’t exactly new, and weren’t exactly uncovered by NBC, but it’s good to see the issue getting some national attention.
The AKC, investigative correspondent Jeff Rossen notes, calls itself ”the dog’s champion …
“But critics say there’s an ugly reality you don’t see: Some AKC breeders raising diseased dogs, malnourished, living in their own filth. It’s so disturbing that now two of the country’s largest animal welfare groups, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and the Humane Society, are condemning the AKC.”
The report included an interview with one dog owner, who purchased a Great Dane from a kennel only weeks after that kennel was inspected by the AKC and found in compliance. The puppy turned out to have intestinal parasites, an upper respiratory infection and a congenital eye defect.
“Law enforcement went into the kennel just two months later, and rescued dozens of dogs,” Rossen reported.
Wayne Pacelle, CEO of the Humane Society of the United States, is featured heavily in the report, and makes the point that the AKC should be working with animal welfare groups to protect dogs instead of protecting bad breeders and fighting laws that would crack down on them.
AKC Director of Communications Lisa Peterson, also interviewed for the report, says she would give the AKC an “A” for its inspection program.
But when the reporter asked how many breeders are producing AKC-registered dogs, she said, “That’s a great question. We don’t know.” And when asked what percentage of AKC registered breeders end up getting inspected, she wouldn’t offer a ball park figure.
“We do thousands of inspections annually,” Peterson said. “We’ve done 55,000 inspections since the year 2000.”
“But what percentage of breeders actually get inspected?”
“… I don’t have that figure,” Peterson said. “I’m sorry.”
Peterson said there are nine AKC inspectors in the U.S. Asked “Do you think that’s an adequate number?” she said, ”That’s the number that we have.”
Posted by jwoestendiek May 2nd, 2013 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: akc, american kennel club, animals, aspca, breeders, breeding, club, conditions, dog, dogs, hsus, humane society, humane society of the united states, inspections, investigative, jeff rossen, kennel, laws, legislation, nbc, news, pets, report, today, today show, wayne pacelle
The Humane Society of the United States has released a report calling on the American Kennel Club to protect dogs from abuses at puppy mills.
The report accuses the AKC of “pandering to the interests of large-scale, commercial breeding facilities,” even though ”smaller-scale, high-quality breeders” make up the majority of its membership.
Numerous puppy mill operators who have been charged with animal cruelty have been selling AKC registered puppies and some of them even passed AKC inspections, the report notes.
“The American Kennel Club bills itself as ‘The Dog’s Champion,’ but our report shows a pattern of activity that is entirely at odds with that self-description,” said Wayne Pacelle, HSUS president and CEO.
“The AKC has opposed more than 80 bills and proposals in the last five years that would have implemented common-sense, humane standards of care at large-scale breeding facilities. We are shocked that a group that should be standing shoulder to shoulder with us is constantly lined up with the puppy mill industry.”
The report is based on information uncovered during HSUS-assisted raids of puppy mills, AKC “alerts” sent to breeders, materials published on AKC’s website, and AKC’s lobbying activities over the past five years.
In just the past six months, AKC-registered dogs were among those removed from three puppy mills in raids conducted by authorities in North Carolina, HSUS says.
In 2012 alone, AKC asked its supporters to oppose laws in several states that would have required puppy producers to comply with basic care standards; legislation in three states that would have prevented the debarking of dogs without a medical reason; an ordinance in a Tennessee town designed to prevent dogs from being left in hot cars; a Rhode Island state bill to prevent people from chaining or crating a dog for more than 14 hours a day; and a Louisiana state bill that would have prevented breeding facilities from keeping dogs in stacked, wire-floored cages.
The HSUS report discloses that some puppy mills that had been inspected by AKC but were still the subject of law enforcement-led rescues – with their operators later convicted of animal cruelty based on the poor conditions of their dogs.
Most recently, AKC has been lobbying breeders to oppose a proposed U.S. Department of Agriculture rule that would regulate Internet puppy sellers under the federal Animal Welfare Act.
The HSUS report calls on AKC to distance itself from the large-scale, commercial dog-breeding industry and return to its original focus of representing small, responsible breeders who have the welfare of their dogs as their top priority.
Posted by jwoestendiek July 11th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: akc, american kennel club, animal welfare, animals, breeders, breeding, commercial, conditions, critical, criticizes, dog, dogs, hsus, humane society of the united states, inspections, internet, large scale, laws, legislation, opposition, pets, puppy, puppy mills, regulation, report, sales, standards, wayne pacelle
Fourteen people in nine states have been sickened with Salmonella infections linked to a recalled dog food.
At least five have been hospitalized, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The CDC reported Thursday that multiple brands of Diamond Pet Foods dry dog food are the suspected source of the human illnesses, a result of contact with the contaminated food or handling an animal that has eaten it.
The dog food was all produced at a manufacturing plant in Gaston, South Carolina – the same one that produced mold-contaminated food that killed dozens of dogs nationwide in 2005.
In some recall notices, Diamond Pet Foods has claimed that no dog illnesses have been reported in connection with its three recent voluntary recalls. Those alerts from the company did not reveal that human cases of infection were being investigated, according to Food Safety News.
According to the CDC, state officials in Michigan first detected Salmonella in an unopened bag of Diamond Pet Foods Naturals Lamb Meal & Rice dry dog food on April 2.
PulseNet, a national surveillance system for foodborne illnesses, then found several cases of human Salmonella Infantis infections with a genetic fingerprint identical to that found in the dog food, the CDC said.
Salmonella has also been detected in Diamond Brand Chicken Soup for the Pet Lover’s Soul Adult Light Formula dry dog food, found in the household of an ill person in Ohio.
And a sample of Diamond Puppy Formula dry dog food collected by the Food and Drug Administration during an inspection at the South Carolina production plant also yielded Salmonella, the CDC said.
Seven of ten outbreak victims interviewed said they had contact with a dog during the week before they became ill. Of five people who could remember the type of dog food they had handled, four said it was a Diamond Pet Foods brand.
The human illness has been reported in Missouri and North Carolina, each with three cases; Ohio, with two cases, and one each in Alabama, Connecticut, Michigan, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Virginia.
Diamond Pet Foods recalled batches of its Naturals Lamb Meal & Rice dry dog food on April 6 in what it said was a “precautionary measure… No illnesses have been reported and no other Diamond manufactured products are affected,” the company said.
According to Food Safety News, the announcement came four days after the Michigan test results, confirming the presence of Salmonella in one of Diamond’s brands.
A second recall was announced April 26 for certain batches of Chicken Soup for the Pet Lover’s Soul Adult Light formula dry dog food, also made by Diamond. After that, a company press release stated “no dog illnesses” had been reported.
On April 30, the company expanded the recall to include Diamond Puppy Formula dry dog food.
According to the CDC, dogs and cats infected with Salmonella usually have diarrhea and may seem lethargic, but yhey can carry the infection and not appear to be sick. Humans can become infected by touching the animals, their food, or their environments such as food bowls, especially if they have not thoroughly washed their hands afterwards.
The CDC said consumers should check their homes for recalled dog food products and discard them promptly. Consumers with questions about recalled dog food may contact Diamond Pet Foods at telephone number 800-442-0402 or visit www.diamondpetrecall.com.
Posted by jwoestendiek May 4th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: adult light formula, alabama, alert, animals, cases, cdc, centers for disease control and prevention, chicken soup, chicken soup for the pet lovers soul, connecticut, consumer, consumers, contaminated, diamond, dog food, dog food recall, dogs, dry, hands, health, humans, infected, infection, inspections, kibble, michigan, missouri, natural lamb meal and rice, new jersey, ohio, pennsylvania, pets, puppy formula, recall, safety, salmonella, salmonella infantis, sick, sickened, south carolina, tainted, tests, urgent, virginia, warning, wash
The states with the best anti-puppy mill laws? Virginia and Pennsylvania. The states with the worst? Mississippi, Kentucky, Idaho and the Dakotas.
That’s according to the Humane Society of the United States, which has released a list ranking state laws protecting dogs at commercial dog breeding facilities and consumers who might end up with sick dogs that came from them.
“Several states have made great strides in recent years, protecting dogs and consumers from the abuse and cruelty that is prevalent among large-scale commercial breeding operations,” said Melanie Kahn, senior director of the Puppy Mills Campaign for The HSUS.
The rankings assess only the laws — not how good a job a state does in enforcing them.
Other states in the top five were Oregon, New Hampshire and Washington.
Virginia, Pennsylvania and New Hampshire all require unannounced inspections of commercial dog breeding facilities two times per year. Oregon, Washington and Virginia all prohibit anyone from owning more than 50 breeding dogs.
In the states with the lowest rankings, there are no provisions for regular inspections, no basic standards of care prescribed and no protection for consumers who purchase a puppy mill dog from a pet store.
In 2011 HSUS experts and supporters helped to pass seven new state laws and regulations to crack down on puppy mills — in California, Maryland, Missouri, Nevada, Oklahoma, Texas and Wyoming.
Since 2008, 26 new laws have been enacted in 21 states.
The HSUS recommends never purchasing a puppy from a pet store or Internet site, or from any breeder you have not carefully screened in person.
According to HSUS, dogs at puppy mills typically receive little to no medical care; live in squalid conditions with no exercise, socialization or human interaction; and are confined inside cramped wire-floored cages for life. And breeding dogs must endure constant breeding cycles and are typically confined for years on end.
The HSUS estimates that 2 million to 4 million puppy mill puppies are sold each year in the United States.
Keep reading for the full list, from best to worst.
Posted by jwoestendiek March 23rd, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, anti puppy mill, best, breeders, commercial, dogs, hsus, humane society of the united states, inspections, laws, legislatures, list, new hampshire, oregon, oversight, pennsylvania, pets, puppies, puppy mill laws, puppy mills, rank, ranked, rankings, standards, state, state laws, strongest, virginia, washington, worst
Missouri is the puppy mill capital of America — even the St. Louis Better Business Bureau says so.
A study by the BBB says the state — home to 30 percent of the nation’s large scale, federally licensed puppy sellers – has no hope of keeping the industry in check.
The state has four times more puppy mills than the next highest state, according to Chris Thetford, of the St. Louis BBB.
“Consumers end up with diseased animals from the outset, which ultimately end up costing them large amounts of money in veterinarian bills, and that was what motivated our study,” Thetford told KMOX News.
According to the BBB study, Missouri law mandates yearly on-site checkups of the state’s 1,800 licensed dog breeders, but there are only about a dozen inspectors, who also have other duties.
“Ultimately the issue is that there are so many puppy breeders in the state of Missouri, and a lack of ability of the state government to keep up with those, which leads to an ineffective enforcement of the laws.”
The bureau recommended raising annual licensing fees, which have stayed the same for nearly two decades, and better educating consumers to adopt pets from a shelter.
Posted by jwoestendiek March 20th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: adopt, animals, bbb, better business bureau, breeders, breeding, capital, disease, dogs, fees, inspections, missouri, news, pets, puppy, puppy mills, sellers, shelter, sick, st. louis, states, study
Could dogs have prevented Umar Farouk AbdulMutallab from boarding a plane with explosives hidden in his underwear?
CNN asked the question yesterday — the answer to which is, with enough properly trained dogs, probably.
But explosives-detecting dogs, the report points out, aren’t generally trained to sniff out humans, and having them do so might raise some privacy concerns.
Still, those quoted in the report say, something as low-tech as dogs could be our best solution to the problem.
“The fact that this individual showed up with a one-way ticket, purchased with cash and no checked baggage — he should have been pulled aside,” said security expert Larry Berg, a consultant with Berg Associates. “And at that point, if inspected by a dog, he literally could have been detected.”
“A well-trained dog and a very good, well-trained handler can find explosives with little or no false alarms,” said trainer Patrick Beltz said. “And if they had been doing it, it might have deterred him from trying to get on the plane in the first place.”
About 700 bomb-sniffing dogs currently work at U.S. airports, and they are trained to detect up to a dozen different explosive compounds, including PETN, the compound that AbdulMutallab is alleged to have smuggled aboard Northwest flight 253 to Detroit on December 25.
The report also looks at research underway at Auburn University in Alabama, where dogs are being used to sniff not people, but the air they leave in their wake when they pass by. The Auburn trainers believe their dogs can detect very small traces of explosives and then follow the trail to the person carrying a bomb.
Posted by jwoestendiek December 31st, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abdulmutallab, airport, auburn university, boarding, bomb-detecting, bombs, detroit, dog, dogs, explosive-detecting, explosives, flight 253, inspections, international, K-9, k9, larry berg, national, northwest, patrick beltz, plane, search, security, threats, underpants, underwear
The North Carolina Senate narrowly passed a bill that will require licenses and set of basic standards for large dog breeding operations.
S.B. 460, intended to crack down on abusive puppy mills, passed the state senate by a vote of 23 to 22.
The bill calls upon the Department of Agriculture to establish basic humane care standards. It requires facilities with more than 10 female dogs and more than 30 puppies to register with the state, undergo yearly inspections and provide proper veterinary care.
The Humane Society of the United States applauded the bill’s passage.
“Citizens in North Carolina want to see the state crack down on puppy mills,” said Amanda Arrington, The HSUS’ North Carolina state director. “We urge the House to move quickly to enact this important legislation to prevent further animal suffering and protect consumers.”
In February, The HSUS and local authorities rescued more than 300 dogs from two abusive North Carolina puppy mills. The dogs were housed in filthy, cold, cramped cages without access to exercise, adequate veterinary care, or human contact. Many of the dogs were covered with feces and suffered from severe skin and eye infections. Some had chain collars embedded in their necks.
A similar bill was passed in Virginia in 2008 after a large puppy mill raid there.
Posted by jwoestendiek August 7th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, bill, breeders, breeding, dogs, house, hsus, inspections, law, legislature, licenses, north carolina, passes, pets, politics, puppy mill, puppy mills, senate
A Lancaster County dog kennel that continued to operate even when denied a license was shut down Sunday by state dog wardens, who removed 96 dogs.
Ervin Zimmerman, owner of the Ephrata kennel, had fought to keep his dog breeding operation in business since the state revoked his kennel license in 2007.
On Dec. 5, a Lancaster County judge granted an injunction request from the Department of Agriculture’s Bureau of Dog Law Enforcement and gave Zimmerman 14 days to shut down his kennel. He was to keep no more than 25 dogs, the maximum allowed without a kennel license.
Dog wardens and officers from the Humane League of Lancaster County inspected the property Sunday and removed all but five of Zimmerman’s personal farm dogs. The dogs seized during Sunday’s inspection are now with the Humane League. Read more »
Posted by jwoestendiek December 22nd, 2008 under Muttsblog.
Tags: agriculture, breeder, breeding, closed, court, dogs, ephrata, erviin zimmerman, humane league, inspections, kennel, lancaster county, license, operation, pennsyvlania, puppy mill, revoked, violations, zimmerman