Seventy-two years after it opened, Tucson Greyhound Park saw its final dog race Saturday night.
The track’s popularity had been declining for decades, but it wasn’t until Arizona’s legislature passed a bill earlier this year ending dog racing that its demise was sealed.
The park had been struggling since casinos opened in Arizona, offering gamblers a faster form of gratification.
“It’s no mystery,” said Michael Racy, a spokesman and lobbyist for the track for over 20 years. “As more casinos have opened, it’s gotten tougher and tougher.”
Phoenix closed its greyhound track more than seven years ago.
The owners of Tucson Greyhound Park, Joseph Zappala and Philip Robert Consolo Jr. of Florida, are still evaluating what to do with the property, Racy told the Arizona Daily Star.
The 60-acre facility will remain open for now, offering simulcast racing.
Even before the bill was passed, dogs began leaving the facility, most of them going to rescues.
Southern Arizona Greyhound Adoption has taken in about 50 dogs since April, and Arizona Greyhound Rescue has taken in about 20.
Greyhound racing remains legal in five states.
(Photo: Mike Christy / Arizona Daily Star)
Posted by John Woestendiek June 28th, 2016 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, arizona, dog, dog racing, dogs, final race, greyhound, greyhound racing, greyhounds, last race, law, legislature, pets, tucson, tucson greyhound park
Dogs used in scientific research would need to be considered for adoption before they can be routinely euthanized under legislation passed this week in New York.
The measure — focused on beagles because they are most commonly bred for research use — has been sent to Gov. Andrew Cuomo to be signed into law, WGRZ reports.
The Research Animal Retirement Act — also referred to as the “Beagle Freedom Bill” — would require all educational institutions that use dogs or cats in research to establish adoption programs.
The law would mandate that a veterinarian determine whether a beagle or other animal that is no longer useful to researchers is medically suitable for adoption. If approved for adoption, the animal would then be shipped to a shelter or given to an interested owner.
Similar laws have been passed in Nevada, California, Minnesota, and Connecticut.
“This bill, once it is signed into law, will mean that research animals will have a chance at a second life,” said one sponsor of the legislation, Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal, D-Manhattan.
“All animals, being freed of their testing responsibilities, should be afforded the opportunity of a loving, forever home to live the remainder of their days,” said another, Sen. Phil Boyle, R-Suffolk County.
The The Beagle Freedom Project — whose work is featured in the video above — has mounted campaigns in several more states to get the law passed.
The New York law requires publicly-funded higher education research facilities to take reasonable steps to provide for the adoption of dogs and cats when they are no longer being used for scientific research.
While federal laws regulate animal research, they do not protect dogs and cats from being euthanized when their services are no longer needed.
Some research facilities, however, have instituted their own adoption programs.
“These dogs and cats deserve to live normal lives as companion animals once their time in the laboratory ends,” said Brian Shapiro, New York state director for The Humane Society of the United States.
“People who have adopted former research dogs and cats can attest to the resilience and affection of these animals once they are given the chance to flourish in a home environment,” he said.
Posted by John Woestendiek June 16th, 2016 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: adoption, animals, beagle freedom bill, beagle freedom project, beagles, dog, dogs, euthanasia, euthanized, freedom, homes, lab, laboratory, law, legislation, new york, pets, protection, research, research animal retirement act
Dog owners whose pets soil the streets of Madrid could soon find themselves cleaning those streets.
City officials unveiled their “shock plan” this week, saying those who do not clean up after their dogs in the Spanish capital will have to either pay a fines up to $1,700 — or go to work as street cleaners.
Municipal police will test the scheme in the two city districts where un-scooped dog poop seems to be the biggest problem, according to The Guardian.
Madrid and other Spanish cities have been cracking down on scofflaws for years now.
Last year the city of Tarragona announced it would use DNA analysis of dog droppings to track down owners who fail to clean up after them.
El Vendrell, a small town of 36,000 people in northeastern Spain, has tried setting up a canine toilet along one of its main thoroughfares.
And in the town of Brunete a few years ago, volunteers who spotted scofflaws struck up friendly conversations with them, obtaining enough information for city officials to identify them and send them a package marked “Lost Property.” Inside, they would find … you guessed it.
Madrid has launched repeated public awareness campaigns over the years, aimed at getting a handle on the problem, and it has distributed millions of free poop bags.
But, “there is still excrement in the streets, parks and other places,” the city said. Under the new plan, dog owners will have only one way of avoiding the hefty fine — by performing street cleaning duties for a few days.
The number of hours they are required to put in would be based on the size of the fine, the city says.
(Photo: TNT Magazine via The Guardian)
Posted by John Woestendiek April 27th, 2016 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, campaign, city, cleaners, cleaning, community service, dog, dog poop, dogs, excrement, feces, fines, law, madrid, pets, pick-up, poop, scofflaws, shock plan, spain, street
It’s bad enough that Barking Hound Village — an upscale day care and boarding facility with locations around Atlanta — is defending itself in Georgia’s Supreme Court by arguing, in part, that a dog that died after being in its care was “worthless.”
What’s even scarier, and more hypocritical, are the organizations that are agreeing with that.
When the case went before the state’s highest court yesterday among the documentation the judges had to consider was a friend of the court brief, filed by the American Kennel Club, the Cat Fanciers’ Association and the American Veterinary Medical Association — all agreeing pets are mere “property” and that courts should award no more than “market value” in cases involving their deaths.
Yes, Barking Hound Village, at least on its website, professes to love your dog — and clearly has no problem charging you $60 a night for said dog to stay in its “presidential suite.”
And yes, veterinarians have no problem with you spending tens of thousands of dollars on your sick dog.
And, for sure, the American Kennel Club is only too happy to see the price of dogs go up, up, up — at least the provably purebred ones whose owners have registered them with the organization.
But your average, paperless pet, in the view of all those “pet-loving” organizations, is worth nothing — at least according to the friend of the court brief.
Lola’s owners allege Lola was given medication she wasn’t supposed to receive, and it ultimately led to her death.
Barking Hound Village denies that it is responsible for Lola’s death. And even if it were, its lawyer argue, Lola’s owners should not recover anything more than the dog’s market value — in Lola’s case, since she was adopted from a rescue, exactly zero dollars.
“Their position is that a dog is like a toaster — when you break it, you throw it away and get a new one,” Elizabeth Monyak told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “A dog is indeed property under the law, but it’s a different kind of property.”
She and husband Bob Monyak spent $67,000 on veterinary expenses, including regular dialysis treatments for Lola.
Neither are strangers to the courtroom. She works for the state attorney general’s office. He’s also a lawyer, specializing in defending medical malpractice and product liability lawsuits. He argued Lola’s case before the justices on Tuesday.
Both sides have their supporters.
In the brief filed by the AVMA and AKC, the groups argued that considering a pet’s emotional value will lead to exorbitant amounts being awarded to pet owners in wrongful death lawsuits. And that, they all but threaten, would lead to bad things.
“Concerns over expanded liability may cause some services, such as free clinics for spaying and neutering, to close,” the groups said. “Shelters, rescues and other services may no longer afford to take in dogs and other pets … Fewer people will get pets, leaving more pets abandoned in shelters to die.”
The Animal Legal Defense Fund filed a brief in support of the Monyaks. It cited industry studies showing U.S. pet owners spent $58 billion on their animals in 2014, including $4.8 billion on pet grooming and boarding.
“It is hypocritical for these businesses, including (Barking Hound Village), to exploit the value of the human-companion bond, while simultaneously arguing that the same should be unrecoverable when that bond is wrongfully — and even intentionally — severed,” the ALDF said.
The Monyaks boarded Lola and their other dog, Callie, at Barking Hound Village in 2012. At that time, Callie had been prescribed Rimadyl, an anti-inflammatory for arthritis. The Monyaks contend the kennel incorrectly gave the Rimadyl to Lola.
They further allege that Barking Hound Village knew that a medication error had occurred during Lola’s stay, and the kennel covered it up by destroying evidence and withholding critical information.
They seek to recover expenses for Lola’s veterinary treatment as well as for the value Lola had to their family.
Barking Hound Village denies any wrongdoing. It says both dogs were fine when they left the kennel. And attorneys for the kennel said this in court filings:
“The purchase price of the dachshund was zero dollars, the rescue dog never generated revenue and nothing occurred during the Monyaks’ ownership of the dog that would have increased her market value. The mixed-breed dachshund had no special training or unique characteristics other than that of ‘family dog.'”
We hope the Georgia Supreme Court uses the case of Lola to send a message to those who see dogs as mere “property.”
And we’d love to see an answer to this question, from the kennel, from the AVMA and from the AKC:
If our dogs are so “worthless,” how do you explain the fact that you are getting so rich off of them?
(Photos: Top photo by Branden Camp, from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution; photo of Lola provided by Monyak family)
Posted by John Woestendiek January 20th, 2016 under Muttsblog.
Tags: akc, american kennel club, american veterinary medical association, animals, arguments, avma, bob monyak, brief, case, cat fanciers, dachshund, dog, dogs, elizabeth monyak, georgia, hypocrisy, law, legal, lola, pets, property, supreme court, value, worth, worthless
The pit bull, named Precious, sat by her owner as firefighters worked to extinguish a fire at their home yesterday, and they say she acted aggressively when they tried to approach the woman.
Eventually, firefighters sprayed the dog with a fire extinguisher, giving them time to get the woman onto a stretcher.
But it’s not the dog’s behavior that’s leading to her banishment; it’s merely the fact that she’s a pit bull.
The fire broke out at the home in Landover Hills early Wednesday morning.
The woman and her father were taken to an area hospital, and both are expected to be OK, according to NBC4 in Washington.
But they won’t be getting Precious back.
“It’s sad. I love that dog,” said the owner’s son.
The county passed a law banning pit bulls nearly 20 years ago.
According to a task force report, the county spends $186 per day per dog to confiscate, maintain and “dispose” of pit bulls — and between $250,000 and $500,000 a year on pit bull related costs.
Precious and two other family dogs are being held in a Prince George’s County animal shelter.
Officials say Precious won’t be put down, and that the family will be given time to find family or friends who live outside Prince George’s County to take the dog, and one of their two other dogs, who is also a pit bull.
If that doesn’t happen, the county will place the dogs with a rescue group or shelter elsewhere.
Posted by John Woestendiek December 3rd, 2015 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, ban, bans, breed, dog, dogs, fire, law, loyal, loyalty, maryland, pets, pit bull, pit bulls, pitbull, pitbulls, prince georges county, specific
When Mary Murphy died in San Francisco 35 years ago, a provision of her will named her dog, Sido — but not as what you might call a beneficiary.
Murphy asked in her will that Sido, an 11-year-old part collie, part sheepdog, be killed.
Murphy didn’t want her dog languishing in a shelter, or ending up as part of a laboratory research project, and she feared that even if she did get adopted, her new family might not be as loving and caring as she had been.
In short, she thought Sido would be better off dead.
It all made for a fascinating little story (with big implications) back in 1980, with the case ending up in court and making it onto the June 17 broadcast of the “CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite.”
It was animal advocate Richard Avanzino who, after the terms of Murphy’s will became known, took up Sido’s cause, and took in Sido, serving as the dog’s foster parent until things got straightened out in court. At the time, he was head of the San Francisco SPCA.
“There’s no justification for her life to be taken,” Avanzino said at the time. “She’s committed no crime. The only crime that she committed was that she loved totally her master and for that she’s been condemned to die.”
Today, Avanzino considers Sido the original poster child for the no-kill movement.
“Sido was just the quintessential champion for animal rescue,” he said. “I’m eternally grateful for the time that I had with her but more importantly for the great role she played in telling America that we can be a no-kill nation.”
“I took Sido into my home realizing that the lawsuit would probably take months to resolve the outcome and Sido joined my family as a foster pet,” Avanzino told CBS News this week from San Francisco.
Avanzino fought in court for Sido’s life, arguing that the dog wasn’t “property.”
At the same time, he and others lobbied state politicians to work on a measure that would save Sido’s life.
A bill was drafted, passed and sent to then-Governor Jerry Brown to consider.
The judge’s ruling came the same day the governor signed the bill.
San Francisco Superior Court Judge Jay Pfotenhauer — whose name, CBS pointed out, translates to Paw-Slapper from German — decided that the killing of pets as personal property no longer had validity and that pets have rights.
Sido was spared, and spent the next five years as a member of Avanzino’s family.
On Sido’s 16th birthday, just hours before the cake was to be cut, Sido had a stroke and was rushed to UC Davis Veterinary School. She died three days later.
Avanzino says he believes Sido’s case served to inspire animal lovers, and help stem the number of euthanizations across the country.
In 1980, 16 million dogs and cats were killed in shelters; today that number is closer to 2.7 million.
(Photos: Courtesy of Richard Avanzino)
Posted by John Woestendiek June 19th, 2015 under Muttsblog.
Tags: 1980, animals, case, cbs, court, dog, dogs, dogs as property, euthanize, flashback, history, law, legal, maddie's fund, mary murphy, news, pets, property, put down, report, richard avanzino, ruling, san francisco, san francisco spca, will
Dogs in the state of New York could soon be joining their humans for dinner at restaurants — without it being against the law.
A bill passed by the New York Senate Wednesday — by a 60-0 vote — would change state health law to give restaurants the option of allowing pet owners to bring dogs into outdoor dining areas, the New York Times reported.
The State Assembly is now reviewing its version of the same bill.
Dogs, under the revised law, would have to be accompanied by a diner, and restaurants that decide to allow dog would have to provide an alternate entrance to their patios, so dogs don’t walk through indoor dining areas.
Dogs will have to be on leashes, and would not be allowed into outdoor areas where food is being prepared.
The bills specifically forbid communal water bowls, requiring dogs be served water in disposable containers.
And, in what is sure to be the toughest of the new law’s requirements, restaurant servers would be prohibited from playing with dogs.
The bill is similar to one passed in California last year. As with that one, restaurants remain free to ban dogs from their outside areas if they so choose.
“With a large percentage of New Yorkers being dog owners, many restaurants would like to accommodate their guests and permit canine companions to join them,” said Senate Health Committee Chairman Kemp Hannon (R-Nassau County), a sponsor of the Senate measure.
In the Assembly, Linda B. Rosenthal (D-Manhattan) is the sponsor of the similar bill.
“People consider dogs and other animals to be just another member of the family,” said Rosenthal. “When you sit down to dinner, it’s your husband, your partner, your wife, your kids and your dog.”
“An overwhelming number of New Yorkers who have dogs take them everywhere they go,” she added. “So this is just another option for them to take their animals with them when they dine out.”
(Photo: New York Daily News)
Posted by John Woestendiek May 15th, 2015 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, assembly, bill, dining, dining with dogs, dog, dogs, dogs in restaurants, law, legislature, new york, outdoor, patio, pets, restaurants, senate