A Pennsylvania dog breeder who has been among the most often cited for kennel violations has been charged, and convicted, again — even though he seemed to have downsized his operation enough to avoid state regulations.
John Esh, of Lancaster County, was found guilty and fined $175 last week for running an unlicensed kennel, the Philadelphia Inquirer blog, Philly Dawg, reports.
Esh, and his son Daniel, who breed dogs on two adjoining properties in Ronks, in the heart of Lancaster’s Amish country, have a long history of kennel violations — dating back to well before the state toughened up its dog law.
In 1996, Daniel was held responsible for selling a rabid puppy to a customer whose child was bitten by the dog. In 1997, both father and son were sued by the state attorney general for selling hundreds of sick dogs without a license. Both have had their licenses revoked for operating kennels under substandard conditions.
John Esh closed down his kennel, Twin Maple, opting to keep fewer than 26 dogs on the premises to avoid stricter kennel regulations put in place for commercial breeders.
But recently he was found with 27.
A spokeswoman for the state Department of Agriculture said Esh was selling puppies under the name Green Mountain Toy Puppies. A dog warden assigned to root out illegal kennels selling dogs on the Internet made the discovery.
In court, Esh was told to keep his dog population under 26 and not sell anymore dogs unless he has a kennel license.
Posted by jwoestendiek April 17th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: agriculture, animals, breeders, breeding, commercial, daniel esh, dogs, fined, fines, green mountain toy puppies, john esh, kennels, lancaster county, law, pennsylvania, pets, puppy mills, regulations, ronks, twin maple, violations
Not that we have any problem with that.
The New York Daily News reports that Manhattan publicist Melissa Kusick has sued the upstate “dog camp” where her mutt Matilda was mauled by other dogs while being boarded.
Given the three bylines, we assume that either this is a big story or that Kusick is pretty prominent, or at least a darned good publicist.
Kusick sent her dog to the Glencadia Dog Camp in February, and was at the Grammy Awards when she learned of Matilda’s injuries.
The attack left the dog’s face ”so swollen it was almost unrecognizable,” Kusick said in court papers.
The News revealed — and here’s what makes it a slightly bigger story — that at least two other dogs have been mauled at the dog camp in Columbia County, one of whom died.
Kate Dwyer, a Manhattan stylist, said her pit bull-vizsla mix was injured during a two-week stay at Glencadia last July. Another customer, who asked to remain anonymous, said her dog died in 2011 after being attacked by four other dogs.
Glencadia Dog Camp owner Will Pflaum promised Kusick he’d pay Matilda’s medical bills, but reneged after Kusick described the incident on Yelp.com and reported the owner to the Better Business Bureau, the suit says.
Kusick is suing for the vet bills and $500,000 in punitive damages, according to the lawsuit, filed in Manhattan Supreme Court.
The dog camp owner told the newspaper that Matilda was attacked after she was left unsupervised in a pen with another dog.
“We’re very sorry about this,” he said. “We’re making changes so it doesn’t happen again.”
Posted by jwoestendiek March 15th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, attacked, bitten, boarding, dog, dog camp, dogs, glencadia dog camp, injuries, kennels, lawsuit, manhattan, matilda, mauled, melissa kusick, new york, new york daily news, pets, publicist, yelp
A Colorado State University study suggests classical music might be the best way to calm an anxious dog, and that heavy metal — no big surprise — seems to do the opposite.
The study, reported in the latest Journal of Veterinary Behavior, found that classical music was more soothing than any other music, even “psychoacoustic” music and pet CDs designed to calm animals.
Dogs listening to classical music — whether they were rescued dogs being sheltered, or pets being kenneled — barked and shook less often, slept more and had slower heartbeats.
The authors of the study say playing classical music may help mitigate some of the stress inherent for dogs being kenneled as well as those awaiting adoption in stressful shelter environments.
Their research analyzed the behavior of 117 dogs of various breeds, all at one kennel in northern Colorado. Of the group, 83 were boarders of different breeds and 34 were rescued dachshunds. Lead author Lori Kogan and her researchers did thousands of behavioral assessments over a period of four months.
The dogs were exposed to 45 minutes of three different genres of music while their behavior was recorded every five minutes.
Classical music was linked to more relaxed and restful behavior, while heavy metal was linked to greater anxiety and unrest.
Dogs listening to heavy metal had speeded up heartbeats: Motorhead’s “Ace of Spades” led to 140 beats a minute, while “Turbo Lover,” by Judas Priest, resulted in 151. In contrast to that, Beethoven’s “Für Elise” produced average heart rates of 111 and Bach’s “Air on a G String” a relatively mellowed out 100.
In addition to heartbeats, researchers recorded the amount of time the canine listeners spent sleeping, barking, shaking, and whining.
Both boarded and rescue dogs responded to all the classical music selections by sleeping more. The dogs were most silent while listening to classical music, and noisiest when no music was playing at all.
Researchers said the results are consistent with human studies showing music can reduce agitation, promote sleep, improve mood and lower stress and anxiety.
“It is suggested that shelters play classical music as a cost-efficient, practical way to enhance the environment and, therefore, the welfare of shelter dogs. Classical music can reduce dogs’ stress levels and potentially increase the likelihood of adoption.”
Posted by jwoestendiek November 6th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, anxiety, bach, background, behavior, boarding, calm, classical, colorado state university, dogs, heavy metal, judas priest, kennels, listening, motorhead, mozart, music, pets, rescues, shelters, slayer, soothing, strauss, stress, study
The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture has failed to enforce parts of the state’s four-year-old dog law, according to a report by the Dog Law Advisory Board.
In a nearly 100-page report, a subcommittee of the board that was created to advise the governor on dog issues concludes the Dog Law Enforcement office has failed to enforce critical components of the law, leaving close to 500,000 dogs in 2,000 kennels at risk.
“The data show that, by design, everything was done to ignore enforcing the law,” said Thomas Hickey, of West Chester, a board member and one of the report’s authors.
According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, the report says commercial kennels have gotten away with failing to vaccinate dogs for rabies, avoided health and safety regulations and have been allowed to renew their licenses despite convictions for cruelty. Read more »
Posted by jwoestendiek October 1st, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: advisory board, commercial, department of agriculture, dog, dog law, enforce, enforcement, kennels, law, licensing, pennsylvania, puppy mills, regulations
Nearly a year after the latest regulations governing commercial breeding kennels in Pennsylvania went into effect, there’s little evidence that they are being enforced, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports.
Regulations governing temperature, lighting, ammonia levels and ventilation aren’t being closely monitored by the Department of Agriculture, and the agency is failing to cite repeat violators, animal advocates say.
“The regulations were to aid living beings and meant to get them out of abusive and squalid conditions,” said Karen Overall, a veterinarian and principal author of the regulations. “This was not just an academic exercise. This was about humane welfare of animals … and they are being completely ignored.”
In 2008, then-Gov. Ed Rendell signed legislation that, in stages, toughened the state’s puppy mills law and promised to end its reputation as as the “puppy mill” capital of the East.
Some animal welfare advocates are questioning Gov. Corbett’s commitment to improving conditions for tens of thousands of dogs housed in breeding kennels. The governor’s Dog Law Advisory Board, created by Gov. Rendell, is meeting today for the first time since Corbett took office 15 months ago.
Agriculture Secretary George Greig has blamed the delay in inspections on difficulties in getting equipment to monitor the climate in kennels installed and staff trained. But he assured legislators the inspections would be completed by March 1.
The Inquirer reports that inspection records indicate only a handful of the 60 remaining commercial kennels have received the minimum twice-a-year inspections. There were than 300 commercial kennels before the law took effect .
“Gov. Corbett is committed to ensuring that the dog laws in Pennsylvania are enforced. Any reasonable person who has followed the governor’s career knows that he will not tolerate kennels that don’t follow the law,” his spokesperson said.
Posted by jwoestendiek April 25th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: agriculture, animal welfare, animals, breeders, breeding, commercial, department, dog law, dog law advisory board, dogs, ed rendell, enforcement, governor corbett, health, karen overall, kennels, laws, lighting, pennsylvania, pets, puppy mills, regulations, temperature, ventilation
Whether you’re looking for a homey environment in which to board your dog, or want to make some money by hosting one in your home, a new company called DogVacay.com is offering to help hook you up.
The site launched March 1 in Los Angeles and San Francisco, and will soon be adding other cities to its listings, through which dog owners and dog sitters can connect.
“Right now there are kennels and there are private pet sitters,” said Aaron Hirschhorn, who founded DogVacay.com with his wife, Karine Nissim Hirschhorn. “And we realized there was a need for a marketplace to bring together responsible dog lovers with causal and professional dog sitters who can provide a more affordable and better experience for dogs.”
Hirschhorn said that rates offered by hosts on DogVacay.com can be as little as half of those of boarding kennels.
On the site, each dog sitter sets his or her own prices with assistance from DogVacay.com. Listings are free. The site takes a 3 percent to 10 percent transaction fee from dog sitters, according to MSNBC.
For customers, fees include insurance coverage for veterinary emergencies. Pet sitters are vetted via reviews, social network connections and direct interviews by DogVacay.com staff.
Pet owners who take their dogs along on trips may also use the service to find sitters or host homes in cities they visit. “We think this will help free people up to travel because some people don’t want to kennel their dogs while they’re away and don’t want to bother their friends,” said Hirschhorn. “This way, more dogs can go along.”
Like Airbnb.com, the site allows customers to rate the hosts, and hosts are encouraged to go online after the stay and rate the behavior of their guest.
The Hirschhorns say the idea for the company came from experiences with their dogs.
“Vacations were always overshadowed with the guilt of leaving our dogs, Rocky and Rambo, in a caged kennel where they may not get the attention they need,” said Karine Nissim Hirschhorn. “We believed there was a better way of caring for dogs, so we tested out the concept for Dog Vacay in our own home, and before we knew it, we had more clients than we could handle and decided to launch the Dog Vacay platform.”
(Photo from MSNBC.com)
Posted by jwoestendiek March 6th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: aaron hirschhorn, animals, boarding, care, community, connecting, dog sitting, Dog Vacay, dogs, dogvacay, homes, hosts, karine nissim hirschhorn, kennels, los angeles, marketplace, pet sitting, pets, private, providers, san francisco, sitting, travel, vacation
It was five years ago when strange things started happening at the Battersea Dogs & Cats Home.
Somehow, the same group of dogs were escaping from their pens at the shelter at night and proceeding to raid the food area, where they ate, played and partied all night long.
The shelter at first suspected staff wasn’t propertly closing the gates. Then they thought maybe it was a practical joke.
Finally, to find the answer, they installed three cameras. The first couple of nights, nothing happened, but then the cameras caught a greyhound mix named Red in the act — first freeing himself, then freeing his friends from their cages.
In Great Britain and Ireland, they call the mixed breed “lurchers,” and they’re known for their stealth and cunning.
Red certainly fit that bill — and better yet, shortly after shelter staff brought an end to the late night parties, Red got adopted.
Posted by jwoestendiek January 17th, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: adopted, battersea, behavior, cages, cameras, cats, dog, escape, food, free, freed, greyhound, home, incarcerated, kennels, lurcher, mix, mixed breed, party, pens, red, rescue, security, shelters, who let the dogs out
Sometimes breaking the rules leads to better rules.
The Rose Brooks Center for women took in a domestic violence victim and her dog, departing from their standard no-dogs policy after hearing the details of her case — her Great Dane had saved her when she was attacked by a hammer-wielding boyfriend.
According to KCTV 5, the dog covered her with his body, absorbing most of the blows until the boyfriend threw them both out of a second story window.
Despite their injuries, the woman was able to escape with her dog, who sustained several broken bones. She eventually got in touch with the center, located in the Kansas City area.
The center offered her a bed, but when they told her pets weren’t allowed, she balked. The shelter decided, for the first time in its history, to overlook their regulations and allow the dog to stay.
That decision would go on to lead to a change in policy at the shelter.
About 40 percent of battered women with pets stay in abusive relationships to protect or remain with their pets, said the center’s chief executive officer, Susan Miller.
“They provide so much comfort, and to have to leave that pet behind is so heartbreaking,” Miller said. “It has become abundantly clear that the incredible therapeutic benefits that pets can have on a family greatly outweigh the cost and inconvenience of housing them.”
The center is spending $140,000 to add seven kennels, a walking trail and a pet-friendly play area.
Miller, who made the decision to break the rules, credits the abused woman — who isn’t being identified — with bringing about the change.
“She was not going to leave her pet alone with him,” she said. “He saved her life.”
Shelter officials say they’ve seen a 300 percent increase in applications since becoming pet-friendly.
Posted by jwoestendiek January 16th, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: abused, abusive, animals, attack, battered, benefits, boyfriend, dog friendly, dogs, domestic violence, great dane, hammer, kansas city, kennels, no pets, pet friendly, pets, policy, relationships, rose brooks center, rules, saved, shelter, susan miller, therapeutic, therapy, trails, women
Leo, the former Michael Vick dog who became a therapy dog and an ambassador for his breed, died last week from a severe seizure disorder.
Marthina McClay, president of Our Pack, an advocacy group for pit bulls, announced his death Sunday in a Facebook post:
“It is with great sadness I must announce the loss of a wonderful soul. This week Leo passed away from a severe seizure disorder. Leo was my working partner, friend and family loved one and I will never forget how wonderful he was. He was so many things to many people and to many dogs.
“Leo came to Our Pack from the Vick case and I was lucky enough to later adopt him. Even though he didn’t have a good start in life he made life for others around him better. Just after arriving to us, Leo quickly turned inhumanity into humanity. He gave love that wasn’t even given to him.
“He worked with cancer patients as a therapy dog. He showed kids that no matter what you can still show love and compassion toward others regardless of how life has treated you. He showed the world that one should not be judged based on what property he lives on but on who you are and what you do as an individual. Many dogs are alive today and many people have smiled because of Leo and his work. He gave a second chance to other dogs that may never have gotten one because of who he was and what he did.
“Please join me in remembering the good that Leo has done and pass it on. We’ve suffered a great loss but we’ve also received a wonderful gift in the time we were lucky enough to share with him. Leo accomplished so much in so little time. Thank you Leo, I love you so much and you will never be forgotten….Ever.”
Leo was one of about 50 dogs seized in the raid of Vick’s Bad Newz Kennels in Smithfield, Va.
Our Pack was one of several animal welfare groups that worked to rehabilitate the dogs. Leo was officially adopted by McClay and became a certified therapy dog, working with cancer patients and others.
(Photo: Leo and McClay, courtesy of Our Pack)
Posted by jwoestendiek December 20th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, bad newz, death, died, disorder, dog fighting, dogfighting, dogs, kennels, leo, marthina mcclay, michael vick, our pack, pets, pit bulls, pitbulls, redemption, rehabilitation, seizure, therapy dog, vick dog
As public relations professionals go about rehabilitating Michael Vick’s image, his old place is getting a makeover, too.
Inside the home that once served as headquarters for Bad Newz Kennels in Surry County, Virginia, the quarterback’s cream colored carpet has been ripped up and replaced with rubberized flooring; his oversized tiled shower is now being used for doggie baths.
Dogs Deserve Better, which bought Vick’s former home, continues its work to turn it into a rehabilitation center for chained and abused dogs, assisted by generous donors and volunteers who are showing up regularly, including a group from Baltimore who arrived there this weekend.
According to a Sunday report in the Newport News Daily Press, nine dogs are now living at Good Newz Rehabilitation Center, with five more expected in coming weeks.
“It takes most dogs that have spent their lives in pens or on chains about three months to learn to play, to learn to chase a ball, because they are so traumatized,” said Tamira Thayne, founder of the Dogs Deserve Better.
Dogs will spend three to six months in rehabilitation before they are put up for adoption on Petfinder.com, and adoption fees will range from $75 to $150, depending on the pet’s age and size.
Vick’s former house will also serve as headquarters for Dogs Deserve Better, which formerly operated out of Thayne’s hous in Tipton, Pennsylvania.
The Daily Press article says Dogs Deserve Better was able to raise $180,000, within weeks of annoucing their intention to buy the property. One anonymous donor contributed $10,000, a private business donated $18,000, and one contributor, Monica Severy of Virginia Beach, has pledged to donate $5,000 a month for the next decade — more than enough to cover mortgage payments.
Dogs Deserve Better received a $10,000 grant to make the house more dog-friendly. Thayne installed the rubber flooring, added a dog door, bought tarps and fencing for yard areas so some dogs could stay outside during the day. All the yards have shaded areas and plastic, bone-shaped swimming pools to keep the dogs cool on hot days; all of the dogs sleep inside at night, Thayne said.
Thayne said Vick’s old living room will be used to provide dogs with obedience training.
Thayne said few have been made in the four buildings where Vick’s pit bulls were trained to fight and kill other dogs. All of them are painted black, windows included.
One of them has eight kennel runs, and some of the vestiges from the property’s past remain – unused syringes, which once were used to inject dogs with steroids and antibiotics, and a ”rape stand” used for breeding purposes.
Thayne says she’s not sure if she’ll take down the buildings, but that she doesn’t plan to use them for rehabilitation.
“I feel like they need to be seen,” she said.
The Daily Press also reported that some neighbors aren’t pleased with the property’s new use.
Neighbor Earnst R. Hardy Sr. said at least one of the dogs has ended up on his property.
“All the time he (Vick) was over there fighting and breaking the law, he didn’t disturb me,” said Hardy. “I’ve had more problems with them in the six weeks they’ve been here than I ever had with Vick.”
Thayne told the newspaper she feels the house has been rehabilitated.
“Dogs are living in the house and people say Michael Vick is rehabilitated. I hope he is … and I hope people will focus on the beautiful stuff happening here instead of the hideous crimes that occurred here in the past.”
Posted by jwoestendiek August 22nd, 2011 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, bad newz, center, dogfighting, dogs, dogs deserve better, donors, good newz, house, kennels, makeover, michael vick, moonlight road, pets, pit bulls, property, rehabilitation, remodeling, surry county, tamira thayne, virginia, volunteers