Iditarod officials says changes are planned to help ensure the health and safety of dogs who get dropped from the race and have to wait at checkpoints — sometimes outside — for transportation home.
The changes were prompted by the death of Dorado, a five-year-old dog found dead at a checkpoint in Unalakleet four days after being dropped from the race because of soreness.
A necropsy showed Dorado died of asphyxiation while being buried in the snow.
Organizers of the 1,000-mile Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race said Wednesday that planned changes include construction of dog shelters at two major checkpoints, and more frequent checks on the animals, according to the Associated Press.
“This type of self-examination is an important part of ITC’s historical commitment to the improvement of the welfare of the canine athletes that annually participate in the Race,” Iditarod Trail Committee officials said in a statement.
Drobny’s husband, Cody Strathe, said this week that the couple asked the Iditarod Trail Committee to develop new protocols for the care of dogs that have been dropped from the race to Nome.
Race officials said they don’t believe Dorado’s death was a result of anyone acting negligently.
More dropped dogs than could be sheltered wound up at the Unalakleet checkpoint because severe weather prevented planes from landing to transport them.
Race volunteers housed more than 100 dogs in a hangar, but up to 30 more were tethered outside.
Unalakleet is one of the two communities where dog boxes will be built for shelter. Officials said they also plan to have more frequent flights to transport dropped dogs from checkpoints.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has asked that animal cruelty charges be filed in connection with Dorado’s death.
Nome District Attorney John Earthman said he was reviewing the letter.
Dorado’s death was the first since the 2009 race, when six dogs died.
PETA says more than 140 dogs have died since the Iditarod began in 1973.
(Top photo: Dogs await the start of the race, by Rachel D’oro / Associated Press; bottom photo, Dorado, from SquidAcres Kennel)
Posted by jwoestendiek March 21st, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, announcement, changes, checkpoints, committee, cruelty, death, dog, dogs, dorado, dropped, iditarod, injured, monitoring, musher, mushers, officials, paige drobny, peta, pets, planned, race, sled, smothered, snow, trail, transporation, unalakleet
Wake Forest University has been fined $35,000 for shortcomings found during a government inspection of its animal research laboratories, including failing to properly secure a macaque who escaped last summer.
The 8-pound female macaque — used to breed other monkeys for research purposes — got out of her cage at the Wake Forest Primate Center on June 29 and roamed the woods for 11 days before she was captured.
In response to a formal complaint by PETA, the U.S. Department of Agriculture conducted an initial inspection and cited Wake Forest University for failing to safely and securely house the monkey — a violation of the federal Animal Welfare Act.
Subsequent investigation led to the fines — posted this week on the USDA website — for that and five other violations.
The other violations include failing to ensure that personnel involved in experimental use of animals were qualified to perform their duties, insufficiently monitoring rabbits in which diabetes had been induced, and improper euthanization of rabbits.
The $2 million primate center, based on a 200-acre farm in southern Forsyth County, is the subject of a court battle between Wake Forest University and the University of California at Los Angeles, which hold a joint agreement to operate it.
Wake Forest has sued UCLA to terminate the agreement and recoup half of the 2012 operating expenses during the 2012 fiscal year, according to the Winston-Salem Journal.
UCLA has filed a countersuit accusing Wake Forest of financially mismanaging the research center and using vervet monkeys there for unauthorized research.
(Photo: By Lauren Carroll / Winston-Salem Journal)
Posted by jwoestendiek March 20th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal welfare, animals, citations, escape, fines, forsyth county, inspection, macaque, north carolina, peta, pets, primate center, research, usda, violations, wake forest, wake forest university, winston-salem
A necropsy has shown that Dorado, the only canine fatality in this year’s Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, died from asphyxiation, smothering in a snow bank after being pulled from the race.
Dorado, 5 years old, was found dead last Friday in Unalakleet, an Inupiat Eskimo village and race checkpoint on the Bering Sea coast. He was being cared for there after dropping from the race due to sore muscles, Reuters reported.
His death was the first canine fatality in the race since 2009, officials said.
The dog belonged to the team of rookie musher Paige Drobny, who continued with the rest of her team to Nome and finished in 34th place.
The necropsy determined the cause of death was asphyxiation from being buried in snow in severe wind conditions, race marshal Mark Nordman said.
Dorado had been left at Unalakleet and was set to be flown back to Anchorage, Nordman said. The animals were left outside, with their condition checked at 3 a.m. on Friday, he said.
“Between that time and daylight, drifting snow covered several dogs and Dorado was found to be deceased,” Nordman said.
The fatality broke a safety streak that race supporters had cited as a defense against race critics, and as evidence of the good veterinary care animals receive during the contest.
Animal rights supporters say competitors push the dogs too hard and subject them to dangerous conditions.
“Our stance on the Iditarod has always been that people who care about dogs should not support the race. It’s a cruel spectacle,” said Ashley Byrne, campaign specialist for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.
Sixty-six mushers and their dog teams began the 1,000-mile Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, which was won this year by Mitch Seavey.
Posted by jwoestendiek March 18th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: alaska, animals, asphyxiation, cruelty, death, dog, dogs, dorado, fatality, iditarod, musher, necropsy, paige drobny, peta, pets, race, sled, smothered, snow, unalakleet
Actor James Cromwell interrupted a Board of Regents meeting at the University of Wisconsin today, shouting and displaying a larger than life photo of a cat that, as part of a university experiment, had a metal post inserted in its head.
“This is not science! This is torture! Shame on you!” he shouted.
Cromwell, an Academy Award nominee and longtime PETA supporter, was arrested by campus police, as was a PETA staff member accompanying him, PETA reported.
Members of the University of Wisconsin (UW) System Board of Regents sat stunned when Cromwell entered their meeting holding this photo above his head:
PETA said the cat in the photo is named Double Trouble and that she is one of many cats who had been killed in UW-Madison’s brain and ear experiments.
Experimenters screwed a steel post to her skull so that they could immobilize her head and planted electrical devices deep inside her ears. Her head wound to become severely infected, and, according to PETA, researchers stop feeding her. Finally, calling the experiment a failure, they killed and decapitated her, PETA said.
Cromwell said experiments underway at the university are “cruel and wasteful … As many as 30 cats a year have had holes drilled into their skulls, metal poles implanted into their eyes, been starved for days at a time and have been decapitated.”
PETA has repeatedly asked UW-Madison to end its experiments, but says it has received no response.
Posted by jwoestendiek February 8th, 2013 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: actor, animals, arrest, board of regents, brain, cat, ear, experiments, james cromwell, madison, people for the ethical treatment of animals, peta, pets, protest, research, science, university of wisconsin
There’s nothing wrong, most of the commenters said, with posting a photo of one’s dog, along with a sign describing how he or she has misbehaved, on the Internet.
What dogs don’t know won’t hurt them was the common refrain. Dogs don’t get on the Internet, and wouldn’t be smart enough to be humiliated even if they could. The photos, many added, are posted in a spirit of humor and love (at least most of the time). How dare I suggest that, rather than making a sign, taking a photograph and posting it on the Internet, some pet owners might be better served by applying that time to fixing the dog’s recurrent misbehavior?
How dare I raise the question of how humans might like it if they were the subject of “shaming” posts, presented of course in a spirit of humor and love, and all in good fun?
And shame on me for expressing my personal opinion — that I wouldn’t want my dog’s lasting and permanent legacy to be photo and statement of misdeed on the Internet. And for pointing out that, as species go, humans have much more to be ashamed of than dogs.
Dogs would never post pictures of us misbehaving on the Internet, I don’t think, even if they could.
But PETA would, and has.
PETA has come out with a series of photographs — these are but a few of them — that turns the tables, depicting humans confessing to their misdeeds when it comes to their pets.
As PETA notes, “Dogs give us all their love and affection, but what are some people giving them in return? Dog shaming. Dogs don’t deserve that, but we can’t say the same for some guardians.”
You can find more shame on PETA’s official blog, The PETA Files.
(Photos: The PETA Files)
Posted by jwoestendiek September 17th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, behavior, dog, dogs, dogshaming, guardians, humans, misbehavior, owners, pet owners, peta, pets, photos, shame, shameful, shaming, the peta files, training, websites
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has cited Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center for violating the Animal Welfare Act after a monkey escaped from a university research laboratory.
Wake Forest Baptist is appealing the findings, the medical center told the Winston-Salem Journal Wednesday.
The citation was for failing to house the monkey safely and securely, but it wasn’t clear what punishment, if any, the medical center faces.
An inspection report noted the latch of the monkey’s cage was “easily manipulated to open.” Staff at the primate center have since installed a chain with a secure latch to the center’s outside corridors to prevent further escapes, the report said.
Under the federal law, failure to correct problems documented by inspectors can result in fines and confiscation of animals.
The 8-pound female macaque — used to breed other monkeys for research purposes — got out of her cage at the Wake Forest Primate Center on June 29. She opened a latch on her cage, then managed to open a chain-link fence and get out of the center, officials said.
She roamed the woods for 11 days before she was captured.
The federal action is the result of a complaint filed by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.
“We had hoped that WFU would honor the monkey’s indomitable spirit by sending her to an accredited sanctuary after she was recaptured, but the university has not given any indication that it is pursuing this compassionate option,” said a PETA spokesman.
(Photo by Crystal Hughes, via Fox 8)
Posted by jwoestendiek August 10th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: baptist, cage, citation, department of agriculture, escaped, findings, inspection, lab, laboratory, latch, macaque, medical center, monkey, peta, research, usda, wake forest
Watching an Italian supermodel suffer in a hot car may not spur exactly the same emotions as watching a dog trapped in one, but we’ve got to give PETA credit at least for keeping this issue in the forefront.
“… Elisabetta endures the panic and pain that a dog feels when left in a car on a summer day — even with the windows open a crack,” PETA says. “…. As panic and anxiety set in, Elisabetta’s condition deteriorates rapidly with the addition of excessive thirst, lethargy, lack of coordination, and a rapid heartbeat.”
Elisabetta aside, the facts are these: On even a 78-degree day, the temperature inside a shaded car can rise to 90 degrees; in the sun it can climb to 160 — and in just a matter of minutes.
Animals can quickly suffer heatstroke, sustain brain damage and die in as little as 15 minutes.
Here’s PETA’s advice should you ever confront a dog in that situation:
Posted by jwoestendiek July 30th, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: advice, animals, cars, dangers, dogs, elisabetta canalis, health, heat, heat stroke, hot car, italian, italy, locked, model, parked, peta, pets, psa, public service announcement, safety, summer, supermodel, tips, warning
But when it comes to San Francisco’s plan to pair shelter dogs with formerly homeless people living in temporary city housing, we say go for it.
Despite concerns from PETA and others, the city is proceeding with plans for a program it has dubbed WOOF (Wonderful Opportunities for Occupants and Fidos), in which residents of what the city calls “supportive housing” will be paid a $75 a week stipend to take in and care for a dog.
Starting on a trial basis in August, residents who have no history of violence, mental illness or addiction, will be allowed to temporarily take in a shelter dog and serve as foster parent.
On top of the stipend, they’ll receive training, and free dog food. In the pilot phase of the program five pairs of residents will care for one dog each.
Bevan Dufty, a former supervisor ’s who now serves as the mayor’s homelessness chief, came up with the proposal as a way of addressing two problems at once — overcrowding in animal shelters and panhandling in the streets.
The idea is, with the stipend, those residents who are chronic panhandlers will avoid that behavior.
That’s a big hope, and, as any seasoned panhandler can tell you, there’s no better way to reel in potential donors than by having a dog at your side.
Even if it doesn’t wipe out panhandling, though, even if it is fraught with risks and has a high potential for exploitation, even though it’s not keeping dogs in the safest possible environment, we think it’s an innovative idea worth taking a chance on.
Because when needy dogs and needy people are brought together, miracles can happen.
PETA has come out squarely against the idea, saying the city would be experimenting with the lives of puppies, and placing them in dangerous situations. The organization compared the program to playing “Russian roulette.”
In a letter to the mayor, PETA wrote that most panhandlers are substance abusers or have mental health issues: “Placing any animal with them is risky at best.”
And if people receive animals that have been difficult to adopt out, or judged unadoptable, that could spell more even trouble, PETA says.
“Putting these two troubled populations together is very likely to result in disaster,” Teresa Chagrin, PETA’s animal care and control specialist, is quoted by ABC News as saying.
PETA has offered San Francisco $10,000 — the initial cost of the pilot program — to hire the homeless to do something else, such as handing out leaflets urging people to spay and neuter their pets.
Dufty, who is director of San Francisco’s Housing Opportunities, Partnership, and Engagement (HOPE) initiative — the city goes to great lengths for catchy acronyms — said that the housing residents chosen for the program are trying to get their lives back on track, and that they are fully able to care for pets.
“These are individuals who have been through job readiness programs, who live in our buildings. They were individually interviewed, went through orientation, and have gotten a gold star of approval,” Dufty said.
San Francisco’s Animal Care & Control, a partner in the program — its initial funding is through a $10,000 grant from Vanessa Getty– said those residents taking part will be fully screened.
“You have this image of us pulling up in a van full of dogs handing them out to people,” director Rebecca Katz said. “We would not be putting animals at risk. Our job is to investigate animal abuse and neglect. We are going to have a lot more oversight during this fostering program than if they were to just adopt dogs on their own.”
PETA’s Chagrin counters: “You can’t put dogs with people who are battling their own demons.”
Having heard so many tales of people whose dogs helped them beat their demons, and vice versa, we think — whether it solves the panhandling problem or not — the program deserves a try, in a very well-monitored way. It creates a chance for some magic to happen, for some love to bloom, for some lives to change.
“In order to be effective in responding to homelessness, you can’t ignore the humanity of people,” Dufty said. “Ultimately this program is about giving dogs and people a second chance, and I don’t see how you can argue against that.”
(Photo: Michael Reed, with his dog Topaz, both of whom were homeless when we encountered them in Los Angeles in 2008; by John Woestendiek)
Posted by jwoestendiek July 25th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: $75, animal care & control, animal control, animal shelters, animals, bevan dufty, care, dog, dogs, foster, homeless, homelessness, hope, monthly, overcrowding, panhandlers, panhandling, peta, pets, residents, russian roulette, san francisco, shelter, stipend, supportive housing, wonderful opportunities for occupants and fidos, woof!
Humans had been searching more than 10 days for the monkey that escaped from Wake Forest University’s Primate Center, but it was a dog who finally spotted her.
Cassidy Garwood, 14, told WGHP/Fox 8 that her dog, Keeley, saw the monkey Tuesday afternoon in some trees outside their house on Frye Bridge Road.
When the family went to see what Keeley was barking at, they saw the 8-pound, one-foot-tall macaque jumping from tree to tree.
The family called authorities and officials from the Davidson County Sheriff’s Office, Lexington Police and Wake Forest soon arrived on the Garwoods’ property, where the monkey was brought down with three tranquilizing darts and returned to the research facility.
Richard Young, who heads the animal resources program for Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, told the Winston-Salem Journal that the monkey is doing fine and will be quarantined for six weeks.
After that, he added (in a word choice he probably regrets) she’ll be placed “back with her other cage mates, inmates, back in her family.”
The monkey outsmarted two barriers at the center on June 29 and fled into the woods, prompting a search in which law enforcement, university officials and animal control officers set traps with apples and bananas and even used recordings of a baby monkey in their efforts to capture her.
The 16-year-old macaque is a breeder, producing offspring that are used for medical testing. She came to the primate center in 2008 after being captured in Indonesia.
According to the website for Wake Forest’s Primate Center, staff “use nonhuman primates to study six of the 10 major causes of death in the United States.”
The monkey’s escape led to criticism from some animal welfare groups, including PETA, which filed a formal complaint July 4 with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The group urged the agency to investigate Wake Forest for possible violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act, including failure to ensure that the primate housing is safe and secure.
Young said that Wake Forest has beefed up security at the primate center.
Posted by jwoestendiek July 11th, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animal rights, animal welfare, animals, barking, captured, cassidy garwood, davidson county, dog, escaped, healthy, keeley, laboratory, loose, macaque, medical tests, monkey, monkeys, peta, pets, primate center, quarantined, research, richard young, trees, veterinarian, wake forest, wake forest university, winston-salem
A one-foot-tall laboratory monkey is on the loose in North Carolina after escaping from a Wake Forest University research facility, and there are some concerns about how he’s going to react to tonight’s fireworks.
The 8-pound macaque was last seen Tuesday hiding in some tall trees in a residential area, doing her best to stay away from animal control officials seeking to capture her.
According to the Winston-Salem Journal, the 16-year-old breeding monkey has been at the Wake Forest University Primate Center, on Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center’s Friedburg Campus in Davidson County, since 2008. The primate center is on 38 fenced acres within a 200-acre campus.
She escaped Friday when a housing area was being cleaned. Officials believe the monkey — a crab-eating macaque — went through an open gate, then managed to open asecond gate in a chain link fence.
“She actually hit the latch — hit it just right,” said Richard Young, the director of animal resources and head veterinarian.
Animal control officers got their first call about the escape Monday — from a resident reporting a monkey in her backyard.
Wake Forest officials said they believed the animal hadn’t gone far, and were concentrating their search in and around the primate center.
As of late Tuesday, the officials had set seven traps, using oranges and bananas as bait, but the monkey had not been captured.
PETA says it has filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, asking the agency to investigate the primate center for possible violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act.
“While we’re cheering for this monkey, who has gained independence from her captors just in time for the Fourth of July, Wake Forest’s ineptitude has led this monkey into a foreign environment that will be especially terrifying and dangerous as fireworks explode in the coming days,” PETA said in a statement.
“These intelligent, sensitive animals deserve better than to be confined to cages for decades and forced to breed, only to have their babies taken from them and subjected to painful and deadly experiments.”
Forsyth County Animal Control officer Ricky Beeson said officers hope to trap the monkey, but added tranquilizer guns would be used if necessary — possibly even real guns, if the monkey is posing a public safety risk.
(Photo: A Forsyth County Animal Control officer uses a spotting scope to search the woods in Clemmons for a missing macaque; by Walt Unks / Winston-Salem Journal)
Posted by jwoestendiek July 4th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal control, animals, breeding, clemmons, complaint, davidson county, escaped, fireworks, forsyth county, investigation, lab, laboratory, loose, macaque, monkey, north carolina, peta, pets, primate center, research, search, wake forest university, winston-salem