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Tag: last chance for animals

Hogtied pitbull headed for new home

A pit bull found hogtied and abandoned in a muddy field in California last month has a new home, thanks to the efforts of actress Katherine Heigl and her family’s rescue foundation.

The dog was discovered last month in Bakersfield. The dog’s owner James Worley, 52, has been arrested and faces a possible charge of felony animal cruelty.

The pitbull, who has been named England after the animal control officer who saved him, Kristen England, was placed into a new home on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, a petition asking the District Attorney’s office to prosecute the dog’s owner to the fullest extent the law allows has received almost 1,000 signatures.

The petition was started April 26 by Karen Marousek, of the Friends of the Kern County Animal Shelters Foundation, according to the Bakersfield Californian.

As of Wednesday morning, more than 1,000 signatures had been gathered. The petitions will be presented to the prosecutor and judge handling the case.

Worley, 52, was arrested on suspicion of felony animal cruelty on April 26.  An arraignment is scheduled for Friday in Lamont.

The Jason Debus Heigl Foundation was founded by Katherine Heigl and her mother Nancy Heigl in memory of Jason Debus Heigl, Katherine’s brother. It  rescues dogs and works to increase awareness of inhumane treatment to animals.

The Heigls, officials from the group Last Chance For Animals and Kern County Animal Control Director Guy Shaw held a press conference in Los Angeles Tuesday.

(Photo: England, as he was found; courtesy of Kern County Animal Control)

Penny: For your thoughts

 

Penny, an 8-year-old sheltie, was one of 202 small dogs that Prairie Bark Kennels, a large commerical breeder of dogs in Colorado, needed to unload in connection with the company’s plan to relocate.

All breeding stock — Yorkies, papillons, dachshunds, pugs and Chihuahuas among them — Penny and the other dogs were crated, loaded on a truck and driven 788 miles from the Denver breeding operation to be put on the auction block in Missouri, where they were mostly likely to be bought by other commercial breeders.

But the little dogs weren’t the only ones headed for Missouri.

A group of animal welfare organizations, hearing of the Denver breeder’s plans and hoping to spare the dogs from continued lives in puppy mills, had contacted the company, offering to take the dogs and find them homes. The breeder declined the offer, so the animal welfare groups started a fund drive, raised $16,000, and sent a representative to Missouri to purchase as many of the dogs as their finances permitted.

As a result, 66 of the dogs, Penny included, ended up making the trip back to Denver — all tolled, a 1,500-mile journey to end up just 8 miles from where they’d started out a few days earlier.

USA Today’s Sharon Peters told the fascinating story in her “Pet Talk” column yesterday.

It started in early May, when Prairie Bark Kennels decided to sell many of its 250 dogs in advance of relocating, according to the seller statement filed with the auction company.

When Last Chance for Animals and Rocky Mountain Animal Defense heard the dogs would be sent to auction, they offered to pick them up. “The dogs are perpetually pregnant or nursing; they live their lives in cages,” Last Chance’s Julie Sarff says. “We wanted something better for them.” When the offer was turned down, Peters writes, the animal welfare groups flew into action.

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Cesar Millan goes after puppy mills

Cesar Millan goes “undercover” for tonight’s episode of “The Dog Whisperer,” helping Last Chance for Animals rescue 11 dogs from a big-time breeder, then working to rehabilitate them.

In the episode (9 p.m. on the National Geographic Channel), Millan, who says he has had no previous contact with puppy mills, joins a team of Last Chance for Animals operatives as they negotiate the release of the dogs, then work together to get them over the trauma of growing up caged.

One of the dogs ends up getting adopted by Sharon Osbourne, who was stopped by Last Chance for Animals when she was on her way into a pet store to buy a dog. Instead, she was talked into taking one of the rescued dogs.

Millan, while he has seen the hyper and nervous behavior dogs from puppy mills often exhibit, had never been inside a factory-style breeding operation — the kind said to churn out more than a million purebred and “designer” dogs a year.

“It takes a lot of concentration not to judge (puppy mill owners) when you know they’re doing something wrong. But in order for me to help and influence them, I have to see what they’re doing,” he says. “I saw a dog that was blind. I saw many dogs in one kennel. I felt a lot of frustration; I felt a lot of confusion … definitely aggression .. a lot of anxiety.”

On the program, Millan’s work with dogs previously rescued by Last Chance for Animals is also featured.

Last Chance for Animals is a national, nonprofit organization that works to eliminate animal exploitation through education, investigations and legislation.