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Tag: last chance for animals

Celebs take part in grisly dog meat protest


I’m the first to agree that there should be no punches pulled when exposing atrocities against animals, and dogs in particular, but an animal rights group went a step too far in a Los Angeles protest in which celebrities held up animal corpses.

“Actual dead dogs” is how some media reports described the canine corpses displayed by actresses Priscilla Presley, E.G. Daily and Donna D’Errico in the Tuesday protest against dog meat consumption in South Korea.

The dead dogs weren’t victims of Korea’s dog meat trade, but were recently euthanized dogs on loan from a local veterinarian.

Last Chance for Animals, the organization behind the protest, was aiming for shock value, and got it — but it was an unnecessary and tasteless display.

Unnecessary, because the horrid realities of the Korean dog meat trade are bad enough, and easy enough to show people. Resorting to rounding up deceased family pets to hold up before the TV cameras was a tasteless stunt that was off the mark, went overboard and smacked of deception.

The celebrities were given gloves to wear while handling the carcasses, and the dogs used in the protest were reportedly going to be “respectfully cremated” upon its conclusion.

Wearing a “stop dog meat” t-shirt over white scrubs, Presley held a dead dog in her arms as she stood outside the Consulate General of the Republic of Korea in Los Angeles. D’Errico and Daly also held dog corpses, while actress Kim Basinger held a sign depicting three dead dogs hanging from wires — an actual photo, from actual Korea.

The latter made sense; using dead American pets did not.

The protest one of three held Tuesday across the globe. Similar demonstrations took place in Washington D.C. and Seoul, according to Last Chance for Animals.

Tuesday was the beginning of Bok Nal — known as the three hottest days of the Korean summer. Dog meat consumption rises exponentially this time of year in S. Korea as dog meat soup, known as Boshintang, is still viewed by some as a way to combat the extreme heat and humidity.

In reality, the consumption of dog meat is steadily decreasing in South Korea and only older generations are still eating it.

Nevertheless, the Animal Welfare Institute in Washington, D.C., estimates South Koreans slaughter an estimated 2 million dogs for human consumption each year, and Humane Society International estimates that 30 million dogs around the world are killed for food each year.

It’s cruel. It’s wrong. It’s exploitation. And there are many ways to fight it.

Seeking out dogs who died for totally unrelated reasons and holding their bodies in front of TV cameras should not be one of them, because it, too, reeks of exploitation.

(Photos: People.com)

Push to ban dog farms in South Korea continues after the Olympics spotlight fades

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The Olympics are long over in South Korea, but the push to get the country to ban farms where dogs are bred for human consumption, continues — and with a few positive developments.

A new bill, introduced to the National Assembly earlier this month by Lee Sang-don, a member of the Bareunmirae party, would remove the legal basis for factory-style mass breeding of dogs, reported the Korea Times.

Animal Liberation Wave, an animal rights group that launched a campaign against the farms in January, praises the introduction of the bill.

“There are more than 3,000 dog farms where a million dogs get slaughtered every year,” it said in a statement this week. “We hope the bill will become a law to take the first step to end the dog meat industry in Korea.”

The campaign seeks to ban the production and consumption of dog meat and to have dogs legally defined as companions only.

It is still legal to breed dogs to sell their meat in South Korea — and to consume it — as long as the animals are not killed in open areas.

The practice of eating dog meat has been declining, and younger Koreans are generally opposed to it.

But the tradition continues among older people, many of whom believe dog meat aids their virility.

Under livestock industry law, farmers can pursue profit with livestock, which includes dogs and many other animals. But according to the Livestock Processing Act, dogs are not categorized as livestock.

As a result of that, dog meat cannot be traded through major distribution channels like other meat. Instead it is most often sold directly to restaurants, or at outdoor markets.

According to the Seoul Metropolitan Government, the number of restaurants serving dog meat soup, known as “bosintang,” decreased from 528 in 2005 to 329 in 2014.

Regardless, the ALW says, there are still up to 3,000 dog meat farms operating in the country, where more than a million are raised each year, only to be slaughtered for their meat.

The Animal Liberation Wave (ALW), in partnership with the international animal rights organization Last Chance for Animals (LCA), launched a global campaign to ban dog meat from South Korea. The campaign started with a website, petition page (www.donghaemul.com/stopdogmeat) and video against dog meat.

Jiyen Lee, the founder of ALW, said, “there has been a tendency in this country to consider the dog meat issue as a matter of personal choice when in fact it is the government who is hugely responsible for exacerbating the problem by failing to formulate social consensus.

“It is high time that a change is made to fit the current Korean society where 1 out of 5 nationals are living with dogs as companions.”

As part of the campaign, a “Flower Dog Project” is underway, featuring 8 dog statues that will appear in major cities.

(Image, from the Flower Dog Project, via Animal Liberation Wave)

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.

Read more »

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.