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Tag: moved

Dragged dog “Buddy” removed from shelter

Buddy, the dragged dog in New Jersey – not to be confused with Buddy, the dog dragged to his death in Colorado — has been removed from the Burlington County Animal Shelter and taken to an undisclosed location by the New Jersey SPCA.

“We took him out because outside intervenors who have no business with the dog, who were very opinionated, were putting a lot of pressure on the shelter,” state SPCA spokesman Matt Stanton said. “We’re focused on Buddy. We don’t care what people have opinions about. Buddy’s in a good place. Buddy’s doing well and will continue to do well.”

That remark was an apparent reference to animal rights advocate Charlene Pedrolie and others who have called for placing the dog in a foster home immediately. Pedrolie, of Monmouth County, has said she would pay thousands of dollars to help fund such a stay.

The SPCA has funded Buddy’s $4-per-day stay at the Westampton shelter since October. Assistant Camden County Prosecutor Victoria Shilton tried to adopt Buddy, but it was not permitted because of the dog’s aggression issues, the Camden Courier-Post reported.

In addition, the dog’s owner, William Jefferson, still hopes to get the dog back.

On Sept. 5, Buddy was dragged a half-mile behind Jefferson’s car, according to the SPCA. Prosecutors say Jefferson closed the car’s trunk on the dog’s leash.

Jefferson, 63, faces a pretrial hearing this month on charges of fourth-degree animal cruelty. The charges carry a maximum penalty of up to 18 months in jail, five years probation and fines.

India to free zoo and circus elephants

elephantsAll elephants living in Indian zoos and circuses will be moved to wildlife parks and game sanctuaries where the animals can graze more freely, officials at Indian’s Central Zoo Authority announced earlier this month.

The order followed complaints and pressure from animal rights activists about elephants that are kept in captivity, often chained for long hours and unable to roam.

The elephants are to be moved to “elephant camps” run by the government’s forest department and located near protected areas and national parks. There they would be able to roam and graze freely, but “mahouts,” or traditional elephant trainers, would still keep an eye on them, according to an Associated Press report.

The decision affects around 140 elephants in 26 zoos and 16 circuses in the country. It does not affect the 3,500 elephants that live in captivity in temples, or logging camps where they are used to lift timber.

Research has shown that elephants in the wild live longer and have better health and reproductive records than those in captivity. Zoo elephants often die prematurely and contract diseases or suffer obesity and arthritis more frequently than in their natural habitats.

India has an estimated 28,000 wild elephants living in forest reserves and national parks, mainly in the southern and northeastern parts of the country.

“Dog Days of Summer” turns into bummer

So many of the life-size dog statues set up as part of a community art fundraising project in Lafayette, Indiana, have been stolen and damaged that organizers of the “Dog Days of Summer” exhibit are moving most of the works inside.

“I’m disheartened by the lack of respect for creativity,” said Joanne Kuhn Titolo, who had two pieces in the outdoor exhibit. “Because of the increased thefts, our artwork isn’t safe. This is horrifying.”

A total of 41 dog statues were installed in Lafayette, West Lafayette and on Purdue University’s campus. Two, as we told you last month, were stolen before the exhibit even offically started.

Altogether, seven have been stolen or significantly damaged, with most of the problems coming at Purdue or in West Lafayette near the Wabash River, according to Channel 6 News in Indianapolis.

As of Friday, organizers had moved 18 of the dogs, including “St. Joan of Bark,” to the Art Museum of Greater Lafayette until suitable indoor homes can be found for the work. Some dogs in Lafayette will remain in their original spots.

The “Dog Days” event celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Purdue Veterinary Medicine Department and the 100th anniversary of the Art Museum of Greater Lafayette.

(Photo: courtesy of Dog Days of Summer)

Chapter 3: Will Knut get the boot?

Now fully grown and weighing 440 pounds, Knut bears (sorry) little resemblance to the button-eyed ball of white fluff that stole the hearts of Berlin, Germany and the world.

And, as if he were some TV anchorwoman past what management sees as her prime, zoo officials are saying he may have to go.

This couldn’t be more wrong (be it Knut, or our hypothetical anchorwoman). It’s a clear cut case of exploiting a cute little animal for all he’s worth, then unceremoniously dumping him when he gets fat and grey.

Knut has competition now. Nuremberg zoo officials introduced their own cub, Flocke in April. Another polar bear was introduced a week later, at Stuttgart’s Wilhelma zoo.

But Knut still manages to draw crowds at the Berlin Zoo, where he single-handedly increased visitors by 27 percent in 2007 and brought in $8.6 million in profits from products bearing his image, including stuffed animals, T-shirts, mugs and DVDs, according to an Associated Press report.

Nevertheless the zoo says it must do what is best for Knut — and, given their limited space, that might mean saying goodbye to him.

“The survival of the species is more important than any individual,” bear keeper Heiner Kloes said.

Knut currently lives in a small section of Berlin’s polar bear enclosure, home to four other polar bears, including Knut’s parents Tosca and Lars. That means there is no extra space for Knut.

Kloes said he wouldn’t consider keeping the young bear instead of his father, because by the time Knut is sexually mature the two other females will be too old to bear cubs.

Under a deal with the Neumuenster zoo, which owns Lars, it has the right to Knut. Zoo manager Peter Druewa has said Knut would have to move if the Berlin Zoo is not ready to invest in a new enclosure for him.

“If Berlin doesn’t want to build a new enclosure — or expand one of the existing ones — we’ll need to find a new place for him,” he said.

A website called Unibet is running odds on the zoo likeliest to get the bear, with Zoom Erlebniswelt in Germany the top contender, followed by Tierpark Neumuenster in Germany and Sweden’s Orsa Bjornpark. Also tipped but at longer odds are zoos in Norway, Finland, Denmark, Estonia and Spain.

Knut still has has public sentiment on his side. Doris Webb, who has followed Knut since he was first presented to the world, has gathered more than 21,000 signatures in support of keeping him in Berlin.

“We want to show how important it is for Berlin, for the people here — and for Knut himself,” she said.