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Tag: missouri

Mother dog nurses orphaned raccoon

A rescued dog in eastern Missouri adopted an orphaned baby raccoon as her own after losing one of her puppies during labor.

The dog, named Sasha, had been surrendered to a shelter with what was suspected of being a tumor.

But after she was rescued by a group in St. Peters called SNUGGLE (Special Needs Under Gentle Guided Love Everyday) ultrasound tests showed the lump was two soon-to-be-born pups.

Only one of the puppies survived.

Around then, a baby raccoon who’d been found under a carport was brought to the same veterinarian.

“We started off bottle feeding it and just couldn’t keep up with its needs,” veterinarian Dr. Kelly Hogan said. So they offered Sasha the job. Both Sasha and her pup accepted the raccoon as one of their own.

“Even when he started making little raccoon kind of noises, she didn’t have a problem with it,” Hogan said. “And she loves him. She’s protective of him now.”

Eventually, the raccoon will be transferred to a wildlife rescue group and then released into the wild.

As SNUGGLE’s Sharon Maag sees it, Sasha — having been rescued herself — is returning the favor.

“We saved her life, and she saved the raccoon’s life … It’s the circle of life. I think that’s the way it goes.”

Missouri reaches compromise on Proposition B; drops limit on size of breeding operations

First, voters passed Proposition B — aimed at more closely regulating the sort of big dog breeding operations that had earned Missouri the nickname of the puppy mill state.

Then, the state legislature took steps to gut it, caving in to the concerns of breeders and agricultural interests.

Now, in a move that could put an end to the bitter war that has ensued over Proposition B, Gov. Jay Nixon announced today that he had brokered a compromise solution that will protect dogs as well and business people, according to the the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

The agreement incorporates parts of the dog-breeding initiative passed by state voters last November and parts of a bill rewriting Proposition B, passed last week by the legislature, which apparently had no problem ignoring the will of voters.

The new agreement still requires larger cages with outdoor runs for breeding dogs, and annual exams, but it gives breeders additional time to meet new housing standards — and it no longer limits breeders to no more than 50 breeding dogs.

The agreement still needs approval by the Legislature before the mandatory May 13 adjournment of the legislative session.

“People with good minds and good will have come together to develop a Missouri solution to this Missouri issue, and together we have made significant progress,” Nixon said. “I look forward to continuing to work with these leaders as we move this proposal through the legislative process as swiftly and efficiently as possible.”

Trial opens in deaths of show dogs

Opening statements were made yesterday in the Missouri trial of Mary Wild, charged with animal abuse in connection with the deaths of seven show dogs who died when left overnight in a hot van last summer.

Wild, a 25-year-old dog handler from Arnold, Missouri, is charged with eight counts of misdemeanor animal abuse — one for each of the dogs she left in the van after returning from a dog show in Iowa last June.

Only one of the dogs, a Siberian husky, survived.

Defense attorney Brad Dede said he would show that “all reasonable and legal precautions” were taken to ensure the safety of the dogs and that his client is not guilty of a crime, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.

Authorities say the temperature inside the van could have reached 120 degrees.

Animal abuse is a Class A misdemeanor in Missouri, and the maximum penalty is up to a year in jail and a fine up to $1,000.

Video of police shooting dog prompts outrage

The fatal shooting of a dog during a February SWAT team raid in Columbia, Missouri, has prompted the police department to change its policies, Chief Ken Burton said at a news conference Thursday.

You might guess he was talking about the department’s dog-shooting policy, which, judging from this video, seems to be shoot first, shoot some more, and ask questions later.

But no. After killing a family’s pit bull, wounding their Welsh corgi, and terrorizing the suspect’s wife and child — in a bust that netted a mere palmful of marijuana — the police department has revamped department policy so that there won’t be lags between the time they obtain a search warrant and the time they, stormtrooper style, bust into homes.

Burton said the department moved slowly in Whitworth’s case because the SWAT team is made up of part-time members who hold other jobs within the department.

The fact that officer killed one of the suspect’s dogs, intentionally, and wounded another, accidentally — while the incident is still being investigated internally — seems, to him, of little import.

Burton said the pit bull was acting aggressively, and he defended the actions of the officers involved, according to The Missourian.

The suspect, Jonathan Whitworth, pleaded guilty on April 20 to a misdemeanor charge of unlawful use of drug paraphernalia and was fined $300.

Subsequently, the police video was released and found its way onto YouTube, prompting a surge of protests from animal activists.

“We’re getting death threats from literally all over the world,” Burton said.

Voters may get say on Missouri puppy mills

Nearly 200,000 signatures have been submitted to the Missouri Secretary of State’s office in an attempt to get the proposed “Puppy Mill Cruelty Prevention Act” on the November ballot.

Missourians for the Protection of Dogs, the group spearheading the citizen-backed initiative, gathered 190,127 signatures, nearly twice as many as required.

“This can only be considered a massive outpouring of public support for the idea of puppy mill reform,” said Barbara Schmitz, campaign manager.

Backers say the Puppy Mill Cruelty Prevention Act will improve the lives of dogs by requiring large-scale breeding operations to provide each dog under their care with sufficient food and clean water, necessary veterinary care, adequate housing, and adequate space and exercise.

Lawmakers in Iowa enacted puppy mill legislation earlier this year, and a similar bill in Oklahoma now awaits the governor’s signature. After Missouri, they are the next largest dog breeding states in the nation. Last year, 10 states approved legislation to address puppy mill problems.

Missourians for the Protection of Dogs is comprised of numerous individuals, veterinarians, and animal welfare organizations, including the Humane Society of Missouri, the Missouri Alliance for Animal Legislation, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, and The Humane Society of the United States.

“We’re tired of being known as the puppy mill capital of the country,” Schmitz said. “We’re tired of having dogs being treated in such a substandard and cruel way.”

Missouri has been estimated to have more than 4,000 shoddy and inhumane high-volume breeders, and state officials been cracking down on them, the Jefferson City News Tribune reports.

Under the ballot measure, dog-breeders could only have 50 breeding dogs and would be required to feed animals daily, provide annual veterinary care and not breed animals more than twice every 18 months. Breeders also would have to follow rules for the dogs’ living space and house animals indoors with unfettered access to an outdoor exercise yard.

It would apply to people with at least 10 female dogs for breeding. Violators could be charged with a misdemeanor and face up to 15 days in jail and a $300 fine.

Dog breeders and many Missouri farming groups have criticized the initiative and say it could lead to efforts to restrict livestock production in the state.

BBB confirms Missouri is tops in puppy mills

missouriMissouri 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.

FDA reviewing complaints about dog treats

boneReal Ham Bone for Dogs — dog treats made in Missouri from the femurs of pigs — are under review by the Food and Drug Administration after complaints of them causing serious injury and death in dogs.

If warranted, an FDA spokesman said, the FDA will take appropriate action and notify the public, the Associated Press reported.

The product — a smoked pig femur sold as a dog treat or chew bone — is distributed nationally under the Dynamic Pet Products label of Frick’s Quality Meats in Washington, Mo.

The company said Thursday it was saddened to learn of the illnesses and deaths of customers’ pets, and that quality and safety remain priorities. The packaging contains a warning about the product not being for all dogs, and the possibility that it could splinter.”

“That is why every package contains a label that provides detailed instructions to owners on how they can help their pets best enjoy our products,” the company said in a statement. “We strongly encourage owners to supervise their pets with any treats or snacks.”

The Better Business Bureau of St. Louis said consumers have complained about the bones splintering, and pieces  obstructing dogs’ intestines. Consumers reported their dogs had become lethargic or were vomiting. One man came home to find his dog dead, bleeding from the mouth.

Four Missouri dogfighters sentenced to prison

A federal judge in St. Louis sentenced four Missouri men who admitted taking part in a multi-state dogfighting ring to more than a year of prison each today.

“These dogs were subjected to the kind of cruelty that is sometimes unspeakable for the purpose of entertainment,” U.S. District Judge Carol Jackson said during the sentencing hearing. “Most people would find it difficult to take pleasure in watching two animals tear each other apart. Unfortunately, there are people like you who facilitate this activity.”

Teddy “Teddy Bogart” Kiriakidis, 50, and Ronald Creach, 34, were sentenced to 18 months.  Michael “Missouri Mike” Morgan, 38, and Robert Hackman, 56, were sentenced to one year plus one day in federal prison, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. The sentences exceeded federal recommendations.

All four men pleaded guilty in September to a charge of conspiracy to violate federal animal fighting laws. Kiriakidis and Creach received longer sentences because they both have prior felony convictions.

“Animals were severely maimed and killed as part of this conspiracy,” Jackson said. “I have to fashion a sentence that deters … and I hope people think twice about getting involved in this kind of activity.”

The defendants were among more than two dozen people in Missouri, Illinois and other states arrested this summer after an 18-month federal investigation into dogfighting. More than 400 dogs were seized and handed over to the Humane Society of Missouri in July in what has been called the largest crackdown on dogfighting in U.S. history.

Hackman operated Shake Rattle and Roll Kennel, Morgan operated Cannibal Kennel, and Creach operated Hard Goodbye Kennel.

In their pleas, Hackman and Creach said that after a Jan. 3 fight, Kiriakidis helped electrocute the losing dog, a female pit bull named Roho. Creach admitted that he killed a dog named Shady because she didn’t perform well in a practice fight.

Know your state dogs — the answers

Chesapeake Bay retriever

Chesapeake Bay retriever - Maryland

Here are the answers to yesterday’s quiz (which you can find here) on state dogs.

Surely, if you live in Maryland, you got the first one right. Maryland designated the Chesapeake Bay retriever as the official state dog in 1964. The breed came to be after Newfoundlands rescued from a shipwreck off the Maryland coast were bred to local retrievers, including the English otter hound and flat and curly coated retrievers.

Boston terrier

Boston terrier - Massachusetts

The other one I’m betting most everyone got is the Boston terrier, recognized by the Massachusetts legislature as official state dog in 1979.

It’s actually a cross between an English bulldog and an English terrier, and is considered by some to be the first “purebred” dog developed in America. It was originally developed, after the Civil War, as a fighting dog.

Plott hound

Plott hound - North Carolina

North Carolina designated the Plott hound as the official state dog in 1989. The breed was developed in the mountains by German immigrant Jonathan Plott around 1750 to help hunt wild boars.

It was recognized as a purebred breed by the American Kennel Club in 2006. If you own one, and it gains weight, you can say “the Plott thickens.”

Catahoula leopard dog

Catahoula leopard dog - Louisiana

Louisiana designated the Catahoula leopard dog as its official state dog in 1979. Leopard dogs are believed to be a cross between the Carolina dog, or American dingo, domesticated by native Americans, and a Spanish “war dog” that was brought into the U.S. in the early 1500′s.

They come in all colors but are best known for a blue-grey coat. Often their eyes are two different colors.

boykinspaniel

Boykin spaniel - South Carolina

South Carolina designated the Boykin spaniel as official state dog in 1985.

Known for their mild temperament and hunting abilities, the breed was developed in South Carolina in the early 1900s by L. Whitaker Boykin.

The breed, originally used to hunt wild turkeys, received AKC recognition this year.

Blue Lacy

Blue Lacy - Texas

The blue Lacy was designated the “official state dog breed of Texas” in 2005. Originating in Texas in the mid-1800′s, the blue Lacy was named after the Lacy Brothers of Burnet County (Frank, George, Edwin, and Harry Lacy).

The Lacy brothers noted the dog to be a coyote, greyhound and scenthound mixture.

Great Dane

Great Dane - Pennsylvania

The Great Dane was designated the official state dog of Pennsylvania in 1965. Why? Because the state’s founder, William Penn, had one. A portrait of Penn and his dog hangs in the governor’s reception room.

When a vote on naming the Great Dane state dog was called for, legislators responded with barks and yips, and the Speaker of the House declared, “The arfs have it.”

American foxhound

American foxhound - Virginia

Virginia designated the American foxhound as the official state dog in 1966. Known for their loyal disposition, and ceaseless energy, American foxhounds were developed in colonial times by landed gentry to help them hunt foxes.

George Washington, in addition to being the father of our country, is considered the father of the American Foxhound. He ran a breeding program and often referred to his hounds in his journals.

American water spaniel

American water spaniel - Wisc.

The American water spaniel was designated the official state dog of Wisconsin in 1985 — the only official state dog, I’m pretty sure, to be chosen by citizens.

An active and muscular breed, with a tightly curled or wavy coat, the American Water Spaniel was developed  in the Great Lakes region of the United States in the mid-1800’s. It’s a mix of Irish water spaniel and curly-coated retriever. A hunting dog, it was particularly valued for its ability to retrieve game from a boat.

chinook

Chinook - New Hampshire

And one more — not included in our original quiz:  The most recently proclaimed state dog is the Chinook in New Hampshire. The breed is said to have originated in New Hampshire. The bill was the idea of a group of seventh graders at the Ross A. Lurgio Middle School in Bedford.

(Photo credits: American Water Spaniel by Norm and Mary Kangas, via Flickr; Blue Lacy by Brooke Shaw on Wikipedia; Catahoula leopard dog from PetsFact.com; Chesapeake Bay retriever by Mary Bloom, American Kennel Club;  Plott hound, Boykin Spaniel, American foxhound, courtesy of American Kennel Club, great Dane and Boston terrier by John Woestendiek, ohmidog!)

Know your state dogs — a quiz

Chesapeake Bay retriever

Chesapeake Bay retriever

Boston terrier

Boston terrier

Plott hound

Plott hound

Catahoula leopard dog

Catahoula leopard dog

boykinspaniel

Boykin spaniel

Blue Lacy

Blue Lacy

Great Dane

Great Dane

American foxhound

American foxhound

American water spaniel

American water spaniel

Sure, you may know your state capitals, but do you know your state dogs?

With Missouri poised to name the Newfoundland its official state dog — possibly an attempt by what’s been called the puppy mill capital of the U.S. to gain some good doggie PR — there could soon be 10 states with their own state dogs.

Perhaps there’s some purpose to naming a state dog — other than as a favor to friends or supporters, other than providing a little fun for state legislators — but I don’t immediately see it. I do see an opportunity for a quiz, though. So here’s your challenge:

Match the nine breeds to the nine states that have designated them as their state dogs. The first two are no-brainers, but after that they get a little harder. If you get all nine right, you win …

My admiration.

For the answers, click here.

And if your wondering why a state like Missouri would opt to pick as its official  breed a dog most often associated with the icy northeast coast, think Lewis and Clark.

The explorers, on their expedition of the new territory acquired by the United States through the Louisiana Purchase, were accompanied by Seaman, a Newfoundland.

wisconsin

louisiana

south_carolina

maryland

texas

north_carolina

massachusetts

virginia

pennsylvania

  

Update: New Hampshire declared the Chinook its state dog in Aug. 2009. A sled and work dog, the Chinook is the only breed to have originated in New Hampshire. The breed was started by Arthur Walden in Wonalancet NH in 1917. The bill designating the state dog was the idea of a group of seventh graders at the Ross A. Lurgio Middle School in Bedford.

(Photo credits: American Water Spaniel by Norm and Mary Kangas, via Flickr; Blue Lacy by Brooke Shaw on Wikipedia; Catahoula Leopard dog from PetsFact.com; Chesapeake Bay Retriever by Mary Bloom, American Kennel Club;  Plott hound, Boykin Spaniel, American Foxhound, courtesy of American Kennel Club, Great Dane and Boston Terrier by John Woestendiek, ohmidog!)

 

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