The first national monument paying tribute to military dogs will be unveiled in California in two months before going on tour on the way to its final destination – Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio.
The U.S. Military Working Dog Teams National Monument will honor dogs that have served in combat since World War II.
While there are other sculpted memorials to military dogs, this one is the first to be proclaimed a national monument, according to the Associated Press.
It was a reader who suggested a monument, and Burnam saw that as an idea worth pushing.
“I wanted to give something back to these animals that have done so much and asked for so little, except for food and water and the love of their handlers,” said Burnam, who received the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star and Purple Heart.
In 2004, Burnam and two other veterans formed the John Burnam Monument Foundation Inc. In 2007, Rep. Walter B. Jones, R-N.C., introduced legislation authorizing establishment of the monument. Passed unanimously by Congress, it was signed the next year by President George W. Bush, then amended and signed by President Barack Obama.
Burnam designed the monument, which depicts a handler and four dogs — a Doberman, German shepherd, Labrador retriever and Belgian Malinois.
The silicon bronze handler stands more than 9 feet tall and weighs 1,500 pounds. Each dog is about 5 feet tall and weighs 550 pounds. The sculptor, Paula Slater, says she has spent thousands of hours on the project.
Primary funding for the project is being supplied by Natural Balance Pet Foods Inc. To raise funds for the monument and its maintenance, Natural Balance created a jerky treat sold by Petco. Maddie’s Fund, a pet rescue foundation, also signed on as a corporate sponsor.
A floral replica of the sculpture, in the form of a float, will be part of the Tournament of Roses parade in Pasadena on Jan. 1, and among those riding on it will be Burnam, dogs and handlers from every military service branch.
The monument will then go on temporary display next to the float at Victory Park. After that, it will hit the road, headed for Lackland Air Force Base, where most of the nation’s military dogs are trained.
(Photos: At top, a model of the U.S. Working Dogs Teams National Monument, courtesy of John Burnam Monument Foundation; above left, handler John Burnam and sculptor Paula Slater stand with the military dog handler that will be part of the monument, courtesy of Natural Balance)
Posted by jwoestendiek October 31st, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, doberman, dogs, german shepherd, handlers, john burnam, Labrador retriever and Belgian Malinois. paula slater, lackland, lackland air force base, military, monument, national, national monument, natural balance, pets, sculpture, statue, teams, tribute, war
The Humane Society of the United States has released the results of a three-month investigation into Purebred Breeders LLC, thought to be the nation’s largest online seller of puppies.
The investigation was featured on NBC’s Today show (above) this morning.
HSUS says Purebred Breeders gets at least some of the dogs it brokers from inhumane commercial breeding facilities — puppy mills where investigators found dogs stacked in cramped wire cages, with no exercise, veterinary care, socialization, or human companionship.
HSUS attorneys, in partnership with Florida firm Leopold~Kuvin, have also filed suit in Florida state court on behalf of HSUS members and other consumers who received sick or dying dogs from Purebred Breeders.
The HSUS investigation found that Purebred Breeders owns nearly 800 websites designed to mislead consumers into believing that they are dealing with local breeders when they shop online for a puppy.
Former employees told HSUS investigators that the company sells approximately 20,000 puppies every year, using hard-sell, deceptive tactics encouraged by company executives.
Despite the company’s guarantee of a “triple health check,” puppies purchased through Purebred Breeders have arrived ill, and died after arriving at new homes.
Often, though the company portrays itself as local, the dogs are flown long distances directly from the breeding facility to the consumer.
“Purebred Breeders reaps massive profits by purchasing puppies from puppy mills around the country and selling them at a huge mark-up to dog lovers who would never knowingly buy a puppy mill dog,” said Jonathan Lovvorn, senior vice president for animal protection litigation and investigations at The HSUS. “Internet puppy sellers like Purebred Breeders deceive consumers about the origins of the puppies they sell, and as a result unsuspecting families suffer great expense caring for sick dogs, or the terrible anguish of losing a beloved family pet.”
“Our goal in this lawsuit is to expose the deceptive practices of Purebred Breeders and achieve justice for the consumers and animals that the company mistreats,” said Ted Leopold, the lead attorney in the case.
HSUS says a federal law has been proposed that would help crack down on companies like Purebred Breeders.
Congress is considering the Puppy Uniform Protection and Safety (PUPS) Act (S. 707 and H.R. 835), introduced by Sens. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., and David Vitter, R-La., in the Senate, and Reps. Jim Gerlach, R-Pa., Sam Farr, D-Calif., Bill Young, R-Fla., and Lois Capps, D-Calif., in the House.
The PUPS Act would close a loophole in the federal Animal Welfare Act regulations that allow puppy mills selling directly to consumers over the Internet to escape basic oversight and inspection. The U.S. Department of Agriculture is also considering taking action to regulate large-scale commercial dog breeders that sell directly to consumers online.
Any consumer who purchased a sick puppy from an online seller is encouraged to fill out the complaint form at humanesociety.org/puppycomplaint.
Posted by jwoestendiek December 7th, 2011 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, breeders, broker, consumers, damaged, dealer, deception, deceptive, dogs, dying, florida, hsus, humane society of the united states, internet, investigation, largest, lawsuit, leopold-kuvin, local, national, online, pets, puppies, puppy mills, puppy uniform safety and protection act, pups, purebred breeders, purebreds, seller, sick
This could get ugly, if it hasn’t already.
This week, a newly formed national organization called The Humane Society for Shelter Pets (HSSP) began making itself known, with full-page ads in national newspapers aimed at discouraging people from contributing to the Humane Society of the United States.
The new organization’s point: HSUS, despite public service ads that seem to indicate it helps dogs and cats in shelters, provides little direct funding to local shelters, which need help more than ever.
While polls show 71 percent of Americans believe HSUS is affiliated, represents or helps fund local humane societies, HSSP says “the reality is that just 1 percent of HSUS’s $126 million budget goes to needy hands-on pet shelters.”
“The Humane Society of the United States continues to fundraise on the perception that they give millions of dollars every year to local pet shelters with misleading advertising campaigns. Unfortunately for the dogs and cats in our local pet shelters, that is not the case,” said Diana Culp, HSSP co-director. (Culp is a former director of education for HSUS and former supervisor of animal control in Frederick County, Maryland.)
HSSP, while noting on its website that it doesn’t contribute directly to shelters, either, does provide a database enabling visitors to obtain all the information they need to donate to local shelters.
However philanthropic that may be, and whether or not you agree with HSSP that HSUS is misleading the public in its fundraising approach, HSSP may not be the angelic organization it makes itself out to be.
For one thing, it has ties to Richard Berman, who, through his Center for Consumer Freedom, has been a long-time, highly vocal critic of HSUS. Berman has raised millions from industries that, at least in the view of HSUS, are cruel and abusive to animals.
In response to the HSSP ads — they’ve appeared this week in USA Today, the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune and New York Times – HSUS CEO Wayne Pacelle fired back earlier this week.
On his blog, A Humane Nation, Pacelle, called Berman a “king of charity fraud,” and went so far as to show a photo of Berman’s mansion in McLean, Virginia.
“He sets up phony front groups to do the dirty work of bad actors in industry. He takes their money and then takes on their critics. He runs ‘charitable’ organizations, like the Center for Consumer Freedom (which fights The HSUS), the American Beverage Institute (which fights Mothers Against Drunk Driving), and the Center for Union Facts (which attacks public employees and unions), yet his groups don’t feed one animal, shelter one homeless person, or provide any other tangible social service.
“They are charitable organizations in name only, and Berman and his for-profit public relations company pocket a large share or even a majority of the total revenue. It’s a personal enrichment scam of the highest order, and he’s the architect of the con job. He’s got the mansion in McLean, Va., and the Bentley in the driveway as the spoils, with his accountant wife standing by to tally the profits.”
Pacelle said the HSUS has never presented itself as an umbrella agency that funds local shelters, and he points out that HSUS television ads include a small-print disclaimer: “Local humane societies are independent from HSUS.”
While the HSSP ad states that HSUS gave just 1 percent of the $131 million in donations it received last year to local shelters, Pacelle says that figure doesn’t include the campaigns HSUS has conducted nationally and globally to fight such things as puppy mills, dogfighting, animal cruelty laws and pet overpopulation.
Pacelle says about 20 percent of the Humane Society’s efforts involve companion animal issues, and that, in the last five years, HSUS has given more than $43 million in grants to other animal organizations.
Berman, while not listed as an official of HSSP, has been hired to do its public relations work and to help bring HSSP “to fruition,” said HSSP Co-Director Jeffrey Douglas.
“… HSSP is a product of the efforts of a group of individuals with deep ties to the animal welfare community and dedicated to improving the well-being of shelter animals across the country,” he added. “Who we hired as our PR firm should be immaterial to the project.”
As Pacelle sees it, though, Berman is its backbone: “Now, this Beltway con artist — who has probably spent as much time as anyone in recent years fighting against animal welfare — has formed a new supposed animal welfare charity … He’s the man behind the curtain … He’s reached a new level of fraud and deception.”
Pacelle said that between CCF and HSSP, Berman’s outfits have taken out 25 full page “attack” ads in national newspapers, at an estimated cost of $2 million.
Berman, meanwhile — whose full response to Pacelle’s comments can be found here — says HSSP has been welcomed “warmly” by the shelter community.
The question the HSSP ad raises is not entirely illegitimate: Are those heartstring-tugging HSUS ads, even with disclaimers, contributing to the misperception that the national organization helps foot the bill for all local shelters that call themself by that name?
But a question can also be asked of the HSSP: If you really care about animals, why not, instead of those full page ads, send that $2 million to animal shelters?
Posted by jwoestendiek December 2nd, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: ads, advertisements, animal cruelty, animals, attack, campaigns, causes, center for consumer freedom, charities, chicago tribune, con man, diana culp, dogs, donate, donations, fight, formed, full page ads, fund raising, funding, hssp, hsus, humane society for shelter pets, humane society of the united states, industries, jeffrey douglas, lobbyist, local, local shelters, logo, los angeles times, misleading, misperceptions, money, national, new york times, newly, non profits, perceptions, pets, politics, polls, psas, public, public service announcements, richard berman, shelters, wayne pacelle
For the 20th year in a row, the Labrador retriever is America’s top dog.
While America’s three most popular dog breeds remained the same — Lab, German shepherd and Yorkshire terrier – the American Kennel Club’s annual list of most oft-registered purebreds had some surprises.
The beagle overtook the golden retriever for the No. 4 spot.
“Not since the early 20th Century has the bulldog enjoyed such sustained popularity,” said AKC Spokesperson Lisa Peterson. “‘Bob’ was the first AKC registered bulldog in 1886, and today the breed enjoys its highest ranking in 100 years at number 6.”
The AKC numbers are based on the numbers of purebreds registered with the organization.
Baltimore’s top five breeds reflected the national averages, except for the presence of the Rottweiler at No. 5.
Chihuahuas, ranked 13th nationally, were the sixth most popular breed for Baltimore.
Some other national highlights from the AKC’s count:
- The French bulldog made the largest leap in the past decade, jumping 50 places from 71st to 21st. Other breeds with the biggest increase in rankings over the last decade include the Havanese (from 86th to 31st) and the Cavalier King Charles spaniel (from 54th to 23rd).
- Closing the gap this year, a couple of breeds that had been on the decline over the past decade made double digit increases over the past year — Keeshonden (from 102nd to 87th) and Anatolian shepherd dogs (from 115th to 109th).
- “Bully” breeds have been steadily increasing over the past decade, including the bull terrier (from 78th to 53rd) and the Staffordshire bull terrier (from 97th to 74th).
- Among smaller dogs that rose in the rankings were the Yorkshire terrier (from 7th to 3rd in the past decade), the Cavalier King Charles spaniel (from 54th to 23rd) and the Havanese (from 86th to 31st), proving that they are top of the Toys.
- A trend toward larger breeds is seen with the rise of the Great Dane (from 28th to 17th), mastiff (from 39th to 28th), Newfoundland (from 53rd to 44th), Bernese mountain dog (from 58th to 39th) and the Greater Swiss mountain dog (from 104th to 88th).
Posted by jwoestendiek January 26th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: akc, america, american kennel club, animals, annual, baltimore, beagle, boxer, breeds, bulldog, dog, dogs, figures, german shepherd, golden retriever, labrador retriever, list, most, most popular breeds, national, pets, popular, popularity, pug, registration, survey, top dog, u.s., yorkshire terrier
Once again, the U.S. Postal Service — 2,863 of whose letter carriers were bitten last year — is launching its annual dog bite prevention campaign.
And that’s just part of a larger effort aimed at reducing the 4.7 million dog bites that occur each year, mostly with youngsters as the victims.
Half of all U.S. children will be bitten by a dog by the time they’re high school seniors, says pediatrician Alison Tothy, chairwoman of the committee on injury and poison prevention of the American Academy of Pediatrics Illinois chapter.
The academy, postal service, the American Veterinary Medical Association, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons and several other groups have joined in the National Dog Bite Prevention Week (May 16 – 22) campaign, according to UPI.
Here are the tips the Postal Service provides on avoiding dog bites.
– Don’t run past a dog. The dog’s natural instinct is to chase and catch prey.
– If a dog threatens you, don’t scream. Avoid eye contact. Try to remain motionless until the dog leaves, then back away slowly until the dog is out of sight.
– Don’t approach a strange dog, especially one that’s tethered or confined.
– If you believe a dog is about to attack, try to place something between yourself and the dog, such as a backpack or a bicycle.
Dog owners, meanwhile, are encouraged to keep dogs inside and away from the door when the postal carrier comes, and to not let children take mail from the carrier in the presence of a dog.
(Photo: Minnesota Historical Society)
Posted by jwoestendiek May 17th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: america society of plastic surgeons, american veterinary medical association, animals, avma, avoid, bites, campaign, children, dog, dog bite, dogs, mail carriers, mailman, national, news, ohmidog!, pets, post office, postal service, prevention, tips, week
Could dogs have prevented Umar Farouk AbdulMutallab from boarding a plane with explosives hidden in his underwear?
CNN asked the question yesterday — the answer to which is, with enough properly trained dogs, probably.
But explosives-detecting dogs, the report points out, aren’t generally trained to sniff out humans, and having them do so might raise some privacy concerns.
Still, those quoted in the report say, something as low-tech as dogs could be our best solution to the problem.
“The fact that this individual showed up with a one-way ticket, purchased with cash and no checked baggage — he should have been pulled aside,” said security expert Larry Berg, a consultant with Berg Associates. “And at that point, if inspected by a dog, he literally could have been detected.”
“A well-trained dog and a very good, well-trained handler can find explosives with little or no false alarms,” said trainer Patrick Beltz said. “And if they had been doing it, it might have deterred him from trying to get on the plane in the first place.”
About 700 bomb-sniffing dogs currently work at U.S. airports, and they are trained to detect up to a dozen different explosive compounds, including PETN, the compound that AbdulMutallab is alleged to have smuggled aboard Northwest flight 253 to Detroit on December 25.
The report also looks at research underway at Auburn University in Alabama, where dogs are being used to sniff not people, but the air they leave in their wake when they pass by. The Auburn trainers believe their dogs can detect very small traces of explosives and then follow the trail to the person carrying a bomb.
Posted by jwoestendiek December 31st, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abdulmutallab, airport, auburn university, boarding, bomb-detecting, bombs, detroit, dog, dogs, explosive-detecting, explosives, flight 253, inspections, international, K-9, k9, larry berg, national, northwest, patrick beltz, plane, search, security, threats, underpants, underwear
(UPDATE: All five winners have been named.)
Given that our friends at K-9 Kraving have offered to serve up the prizes, we’ve put together another ohmidog! contest, designed to test your doggie news knowledge and sneakily take you to places on our website you might not have been before.
The first five readers who answer all ten questions correctly, in the form of comments attached to this entry, will win a K-9 Kraving “Fido Friendly Holiday Feast” from the makers of the only USDA-certified, natural, vitamin enriched raw diet dog food.
The Fido Friendly Holiday Feast is designed to allow dogs to enjoy the festive flavors of the holiday season without worrying about the unsavory after-effects of eating human table scraps, and it includes an 8 oz. bag of turkey and cranberry canine cookies, a sweet potato canine cookie, a duck and pumpkin canine cookie, a K-9 Kraving flying disc and brochure.
For a couple of the answers, I’ve provided links to help you get started. For the rest, you’ll have to navigate on your own. Hint: Use our search bar. Note: on some browsers, due to a quirk, you have to scroll waaaaay down the page to get the search results. We’re working on it.
Here’s the quiz:
1. What is the state dog of Louisiana?
2. Name one book that is mentioned on our “Good Dog Reads” page. (Clue: Check the tabs at the top of our rightside rail.)
3. Name one movie available in our Amazon “Dogs in the Movies” collection. (Clue: Check lower down on the rightside rail.)
4. Who is Newt’s Nook named after?
5. What is the name of the chocolate Labrador who was so rudely ousted from his gas station job in Florida recently?
6. What two cities still have giant statues of Nipper — the RCA Victor mascot — sitting atop buildings?
7. What female singer sings the praises of dogs as companions (over men) in a song called “Man of the Hour” on her recently released album?
8. Name three of the six things that K-9 Kraving Raw Diet Dog Food does not contain. (Hint: Find their advertisement on our left side rail, click on it, and read the second paragraph of their home page).
9. Who will be the voice of “Marmaduke” in the upcoming 20th Century Fox movie based on the comic strip?
10. If two trains leave the station at exactly the same time, one headed east, one headed west, both traveling at 90 miles per hour, and you were on one of them, and it had Internet, what dog website would you be most likely to read? (Hint: It starts with an “o“)
(Be sure and include your email address along with your answers. If you’re one of the five winners — the first five who submit comments correctly answering all 10 questions — we’ll contact you for shipping information. Prizes and shipping courtesy of K9 Kraving. Contest open only to residents of the (sorry Alaska and Hawaii) continental U.S. Offer void where prohibited, whatever that means. Employees of ohmidog! and their families and K-9 Kraving, and their families, are not eligible.)
Posted by jwoestendiek December 10th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: christmas, contest, dog, dog food, dog treats, dogs, free, healthy, holiday, k9 kraving, national, ohmidog!, prize, quiz, snacks, treats, u.s., win
The news report above is one that critics of the Humane Society of the United States want you to see — so much so that they’ve launched a campaign to get it placed on as many websites as possible.
It appears here not as part of that campaign, and not because it’s good investigative reporting — actually it’s pretty shoddy. But since critics are characterizing the “bombshell” video’s removal from both the WSB-TV Channel 2 news website and YouTube as part of some nefarious, freedom-of-speech-infringing conspiracy, we thought we’d post it here.
That way you can see for yourself there’s not much to it. The Humane Society of the United States operates independently of local shelters that have “humane society” in their names. Some members of the public don’t know that. The report asks the question, is the HSUS deceiving people when it seeks donations to do its national level work — primarily lobbying, enforcement of animal cruelty laws and public education?
If HSUS said it was regularly funding local shelters, yes, it would be. But it doesn’t say that, and the kind of work they do (not to mention better investigative reporting than some local TV stations) is posted for everyone to see on the HSUS website.
The Atlanta TV station says it called 20 area shelters and found none of them received funding from the HSUS. That, and finding HSUS critics to interview, appears to be the extent of the investigation. Could the HSUS help local shelters more? Sure. Is it their mission? No. It’s not the umbrella organization for local humane societies, just as the the ASPCA is not the provider for local SPCAs.
The YouTube version of the report is no longer available due to a copyright claim by WSB-TV, an ABC affiliate.
Posted by jwoestendiek May 28th, 2009 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: channel 2, deception, donations, hsus, humane society of the united states, investigation, investigative, journalism, local, mission, national, news, report, shelters, video, wsb-tv, youtube
A little dog named Tiger from Bakersfield, Calif., reclaimed the title of of America’s fastest Chihuahua over the weekend, beating out 14 other tiny champs at the fourth annual PETCO Unleashed National Chihuahua Race finals in San Diego.
The 4-year-old pooch, PETCO Unleashed National Champion 2006, passed up the entire bunch of the nation’s fastest Chihuahuas â€“ including the popular 2007 winner, Maddy of New York City â€“ covering the 35-foot-long (1/18th furlong) track in just 1.9 seconds. Petco, which sponsors the competition, recaps the race on its website.
The 15 finalists – including Poppy, a Chihuahua from Annapolis — raced in front of thousands of cheering baseball fans at PETCO Park in San Diego between innings of the San Diego Padres-Colorado Rockies game on Sunday.