The North Carolina county– one of about 20 in the state still gassing dogs — says it has accepted the grant and will use it to destroy its gas chamber.
The Sampson Independent reports that the grant was one of three the county accepted that were aimed at reducing the number of animals put to death.
In addition to the HSUS grant, the county board of commissioners approved accepting two others from the Petfinder Foundation, including a $6,300 award to fund a kennel cough vaccine program and a $3,000 grant to fund a feline vaccination program.
Kimberley Alboum, HSUS director for North Carolina, said the grant requires the county to phase out its use of the gas chamber in six months. Any money left over, she said, can be used by the Sampson County Animal Shelter for repairs and upgrades.
County manager Ed Causey that the use of gas chambers is declining across the state, and said switching to lethal injections isn’t likely to cost the shelter any more.
“The state has done a lot of encouraging to get shelters to transition on their own without a mandate. I think one of the reasons (the state inspector) has been so cooperative with us is she’s seen that effort on our part to get out of (operating the chamber). We felt this was something that would put us in a more favorable light with the state and all the people who are interested in the humane treatment of the animals.”
Both Vance and Person counties also recently halted use of gas chambers at their shelters.
Posted by jwoestendiek January 14th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal control, animals, change, counties, dismantled, dogs, euthanasia, gas chambers, hsus, humane society of the united states, lethal injection, north carolina, pets, policy, sampson county, shelters
Using a stun gun to subdue a man whose dog was unleashed was not a violation of policy, the National Park Service says.
The park service’s Office of Professional Responsibility cleared ranger Sarah Cavallaro of potential discipline in April, the San Francisco Chronicle reported Tuesday.
Cavallaro used a stun gun on Gary Hesterberg, 51, after detaining him for walking at least one of his dogs without a leash in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area in January. She said Hesterberg gave her a false name and refused repeated orders to remain at the scene.
This week, Rep. Jackie Speier released a letter she received from Frank Dean, the general superintendent of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. It said Cavallaro’s use of the stun gun was “within policy and consistent with the training she received.”
Speier, who believes using the stun gun “reeks of inappropriate use of power,” has been trying to get the park service to discuss the findings of its investigation into the incident since April, but had been told they are confidential.
“…The way the (park service) has handled it since they’ve completed the investigation reflects a sense of arrogance,” she said.
Hesterberg was arrested on suspicion of failing to obey a lawful order, having dogs off-leash and providing false information, but San Mateo County prosecutors declined to charge him.
A lawyer representing Hesterberg filed a $500,000 claim with the park service last month.
(Photo: San Francisco Chronicle)
Posted by jwoestendiek August 30th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, discipline, dog, dogs, dogwalking, findings, gary hesterberg, golden gate national recreation area, investigation, jackie speier, leashes, national park service, park ranger, pets, policy, stun gun, unleashed
Delegates of the American Veterinary Medical Association voted overwhelmingly last week to adopt a policy encouraging people to avoid feeding their dogs a raw meat diet.
They they went on to attend the AVMA’s four-day convention in San Diego, which featured a performance by Smash Mouth and a party on the USS Midway — all sponsored by, among others, makers of dry dog food.
A lot of people are finding that a little fishy.
An AVMA wrap-up of the meeting says the new policy — which it notes has “certainly been a controversial topic” — was approved last Thursday.
After discussion, the AVMA House of Delegates approved a slightly amended version of the proposed policy on feeding raw or undercooked animal-source protein diets to pets. Instead of using the words “never feed,” the proposed policy was amended to read “avoid feeding.”
(My mind sees no distinction between the two, other than the latter sounding slightly less bossy.)
While the AVMA has said scientific research is behind the decision, comments on the AVMA website criticize not just the soundness of the policy, but whether the sole reason for it relates to the funding the AVMA receives from big dog food companies, like Hills and Purina.
Said one commenter: “Please know that I will be having a discussion with my vet about membership in the AVMA, which is voluntary. I will make sure she knows that I have NO respect for an organization that bases it’s recommendations not on sound science (there have been NO studies on raw vs kibble diets from a canine health perspective), but on the all mighty dollar. So I’ll take my dollars to a vet that believes as I do, that the AVMA is not an organization to support.”
Another called the policy “nothing more than a Hail-Mary pass for a PFI desperate to hold onto their profits and using every bit of leverage they can to do so (how pathetic the AVMA allowed themselves to be so used). It will, I believe, make spreading the word about raw feeding more difficult in the short term… but the truth will prevail in the end.”
Another commenter, who likes capitalizing for emphasis, wrote: “Why don’t you just LOOK at who the ‘sponsors’ of the AVMA Convention are? On the FRONT PAGE of your ‘newsletter’ brief on the convention is a 1/8 PAGE ad from – who else? PURINA! You are all NOTHING more than PAID OFF CRIMINALS! I hope the Illinois State Attorney General and the IRS see fit to become involved. You are NOT a Non-Profit Organization, you are a SHILL for Big pet Food manufacturers (Purina and Hills in particular) … The AVMA has ZERO credibility and I will NOT patronize any vet who is a member. If that means I have to travel, then so be it.”
The final outcome of the vote was 90.9% in favor of the amended resolution, the AVMA said.
According to the AVMA website, all delegates in attendance were requested to disclose any potential conflicts of interest, such as connections to dog food companies, before the vote. The AVMA says that is standard procedure in such matters.
“Please keep in mind that this policy is NOT a ban on raw foods for pets,” the website notes, “and it is not a regulation that requires veterinarians (regardless of whether they’re AVMA members or not) to comply, or even agree with it.
“It’s not a debate on the healthiness of or risks associated with raw foods versus other commercial pet foods. Nor is it an attempt to force a ban or restrict pet owners’ rights to feed their pets how and what they want.”
What is it then, one might ask. To point to the risks of one type of dog food and ignore the dangers of another (like the risks of bloating and the nutritional lack of many a dry dog food) might be a good strategy for fundraising, but it’s not good policy when it comes to consumers and dogs.
Posted by jwoestendiek August 10th, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: american veterinary medical association, animals, association, avma, conflict of interest, consumers, convention, dog food, dogs, feeding, fund raising, house of delegates, influence, meat, non-profit, nonprofit, pets, pfi, policy, public-private, raw, raw diet, san diego, smash mouth, sponsors, undercooked, uss midway, veterinarians, veterinary
Under a policy adopted last year, Santa Monica-based Macerich will not renew the leases for any pet stores that sell live animals.
Instead, only adoption centers with rescued animals will be allowed in Macerich-owned malls.
In Arizona, that impact of that change is becoming visible, according to the Arizona Republic, and it’s serving to help out a lot of animal shelters and homeless pets. At many a mall pet store, animals in need of adoption have replaced those pumped out by breeders.
The change in the company’s policy reflects shifts in public opinion regarding pet buying, and a growing recognition that many of the dogs sold in stores come from puppy mills. A 2011 survey by New Jersey-based Hartz Mountain Corp., a pet-product company, found that, of more than 1,000 pet owners only 4 percent would buy their next pet from a pet store.
“Our focus is now directed to working with local pet-rescue organizations in our communities and pet-accessory retailers to serve the needs of our shoppers,” said Melissa Rupp, assistant marketing manager at Macerich-owned SanTan Village in Gilbert.
The trend toward adoption centers, which had begun in some Arizona retail locations even before Macerich changed its policy, has accelerated, the Republic reports.
Many large retailers already operate adoption programs in with animal-welfare organizations, including and Petco and PetSmart, which reports the adoptions of more than 5 million cats and dogs since 1994.
According to the Humane Society of the United States, 1,700 pet stores across the country have signed its “Pet Friendly Pledge” not to sell puppies in their stores. Fifty-three of those locations are in Arizona.
The Humane Society Petique at the Biltmore Fashion Park opened in November 2009, two years before Macerich’s policy change, and it marked the first time a retail developer partnered with a Valley rescue group. More than 2,000 animals have been adopted out of the rescue storefront.
The venture has helped the local Humane Society, which charges adoption fees of $10 to $160. The money goes to programs for homeless animals such as Second Chance Animal Hospital and daily sheltering needs, Nelson said. The society also runs Petopia at Desert Sky Mall.
Maricopa County Animal Care and Control partners with PetSmart to host adoption events, and it runs the storefront Under One Woof! at Metrocenter Mall, a shopping mall not owned by Macerich.
(Photo: Michael Schennum / The Arizona Republic)
Posted by jwoestendiek July 31st, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: adopt, adoption, adoption centers, animals, arizona, attitudes, breeders, breeding, dogs, don't buy, hsus, humane society of the united states, leases, macerich, malls, pet friendly pledge, pet stores, petco, pets, petsmart, phoenix, policy, public, puppy, puppy mills, selling, shopping centers, surveys
The American Veterinary Medical Association next month could give final approval to a policy that discourages feeding pets “raw or undercooked animal-source protein diets” — on the grounds that they are unsafe for dogs, cats and humans.
Some people see the measure as a proactive and well-reasoned stance, aimed at making our dogs and ourselves safer.
Some see it as meddling.
And some see it as a conspiracy.
I, not being a dog food expert, fall into the middle ground — those vast numbers of folks who are highly confused by our dog-feeding options, puzzled over what truly is best for our dogs, befuddled by how so-called experts can be telling us exact opposite things, scared by anything from China, fretting over what we can afford, and, all the while, wondering how something like dog food has managed to become the volatile topic it has.
Emotions about dog food, given all the scares and recalls of the past decade, sometimes seem to run nearly as high as those in the abortion debate, and proponents of one kind of food or another are just about as firmly entrenched in their beliefs.
My dog Ace thrived on a raw diet the two years he was on it. His coat was shinier, his health was good, his stools were less massive, leading a layman like myself to belief that, as its proponents claim, it was a more natural choice for his species, and one he seemed to absorb something from, unlike kibble, which just seemed to go in one end and out the other.
(We switched back to kibble and canned when we entered a refrigerator-less phase of life, and haven’t gone back on raw for budget reasons.)
Even without Ace as a customer, the raw diet has continued to grow in popularity — probably at least in part because of all the issues surrounding other forms of dog food, which, we’d point out, the AVMA hasn’t felt a need to take a stand on.
Next month, at its meeting in San Diego, the AVMA House of Delegates will be voting on a policy discouraging feeding pets a raw diet, based on scientific studies that have shown raw meat, unless it has been subjected to a process that eliminates pathogens, can be contaminated with Salmonella, Campylobacter, Clostridium, Escherichia coli, Listeria monocytogenes, Staphylococcus aureus.
These infections can sicken pets and pet owners alike, and even be life-threatening, the AVMA says.
All that is true enough. Then again, it’s also true of the hamburger meat you bring home from the grocery store. Read more »
Posted by jwoestendiek July 23rd, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: american veterinary medical association, animals, avma, bacteria, barf, brenda bax, conspiracy, delta society, director, dog, dog food, dogs, feeding, house of delegates, industry, marketing, meat, meeting, pet food, pets, policy, proposal, purina, raw, raw diet, raw meat, salmonella, san diego, susan thixton, the truth about pet food, theory
After an outcry from angry pet owners, United Airlines is lifting a ban on transporting nine breeds of dogs, including pit bulls and others the airline previously listed as dangerous.
United had stopped transporting those breeds when it adopted the animal transporting policies of Continental Airlines. The two carriers are merging this year.
“As a result of feedback, United will now accept previously restricted breeds of dogs traveling in a non-plastic, reinforced crate,” United said in a statement.
The carrier previously listed the following breeds and types as ineligible for air travel: pit bulls, American Staffordshire terriers, Presa Canario, Perro de Presa Canario, Dogo Argentino, Cane Corso, Fila Brasileiro, Tosa (or Tosa Ken) and Ca de Bou.
An online campaign on Change.org collected more than 45,000 signatures on a petition to lift the restriction, according to the Los Angeles Times. The campaign was started by Hawaii resident Jessie Huart, whose 10-year-old pit bull was denied for transportation on the airline.
“This change is a victory for responsible dog owners everywhere at a time when many are facing breed discrimination,” Huart said in a statement.
Posted by jwoestendiek May 10th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: air travel, american staffordshire terrier, animals, ban, breeds, ca de bou, cane corso, change, continental, dangerous, dogo argentino, dogs, fila brasileiro, jessie huart, lifted, lifts, merger, pet, petition, pets, pit bulls, policies, policy, presa canario, tosa, tosa ken, transportation, transporting, united
Alley Cat Allies is leading a campaign against Loews Orlando resorts, calling on the hotel to stop the inhumane trapping of feral cats at their properties.
More than 31,000 people have signed a petition, and 68 people protested in front of Loews resorts on April 14, 2012 after the hotel abruptly changed its policy regarding the stray cats living on and around the property.
The hotel had agreed and endorsed a program in which 23 feral cats were trapped, neutered and returned to be managed as a colony.
But now the cats are being removed — trapped and taken to animal shelters where, given they are feral, they are not likely to be adopted, and very likely to be euthanized.
Regular feedings were halted, and Loews threatened to fire any employees who fed the cats. After allowing the cats to co-exist with guests, the hotel hired an exterminator to remove them.
Resort officials said the cats were a public health threat.
“The hotel chain says they are the most pet friendly hotel around and that they love having animals on site, and yet they continue to trap the feral cats and remove them,” said Becky Robinson, president of Alley Cat Allies.
“There’s still time for Loews to do the right thing,” she added.
Posted by jwoestendiek April 19th, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: agreement, alley cat allies, animals, cats, change, colony, euthanasia, feral, feral cats, health, hotel, inhumane, loews, neuter, orlando, petition, pets, policy, protest, released, resort, shelters, strays, trap, trapping
United, which recently joined forces with Continental Airlines, has opted to adopt the defunct airline’s backwards pet policy. The new policy is stated on this page of United’s website.
What it all means is that the “friendly skies” of United will no longer transport any of these breeds:
- Pit Bull Terriers
- American Staffordshire Terriers
- Presa Canario
- Perro de Presa Canario
- Dogo Argentino
- Cane Corso
- Fila Brasileiro
- Tosa (or Tosa Ken)
- Ca de Bou
United will not accept members of those breeds, or mixes containing those breeds, once they have reached either 6 months of age or 20 pounds.
Additionally, United reserves the right to refuse any animal that displays aggression or viciousness.
The restrictions have nothing to do with the airline’s separate policy on short-snouted breeds for whom air travel, specifically in a cargo hold, can cause breathing problems. This is separate category for “dangerous” breeds.
“These kinds of breed discriminatory policies fuel the misconceptions about dogs like pit bulls that lead to breed bans and the deaths of thousands of innocent dogs,” reads a petition at Change.org, urging United to reconsider the policy.
The petition was started by Jessie Huart after she learned of the ban while trying to book a ticket to travel with her 10-year-old pit bull, Slaw.
“These types of policies are opposed by every major dog-related organization. The American Veterinary Medical Association and the National Animal Control Association argue that physical appearance isn’t an effective way to predict or address aggression,” the petition site says:
“United Airlines adopted the discriminatory policy … when it merged with Continental Airlines, making it the world’s largest air carrier and the only US-based airline that labels some dog breeds as “dangerous.”
“But while United is still adjusting to its merger with Continental, the company is listening closely to customer feedback. If thousands of dog-loving United customers sign Jessie’s petition, the airline will have to listen …”
(Photo: Slaw, a pit bull who won’t be flying United; courtesy of Change.org)
Posted by jwoestendiek March 14th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: airlines, american staffordshire terriers, animals, ban, banned, ca de bou, cane corso, change, continental, dangerous, dog, dogo argentino, dogs, fila brasileiro, jesse huart, merger, new, perro de presa canario, petition, pets, pit bull, pitbulls, policy, presa canario, reconsider, slaw, tosa, tosa ken, travel, united
Santino blamed oppressive rules instituted by his condo board for his decision to put his pit bull, Rocco, to sleep; and before taking an overdose of pills he left a note saying he had “betrayed his best friend,” according to the New York Post.
“Rocco trusted me and I failed him,” he wrote. “He didn’t deserve this.”
Pit bulls were banned from the building Santino lived in, One Lincoln Plaza, but he was allowed to keep Rocco through a grandfather clause. Since 2010, the condo board has also forbidden dogs from riding in the main elevator or being left alone in apartments for more than nine hours.
Santino had adopted Rocco, about five years old, from a shelter. Rocco was put to sleep on Santino’s 47th birthday. A few hours later, he killed himself in an apparent pill overdose, the Post reported.
A condo board member said the board feels no responsibility for the tragedy.
“I’m sorry the man is dead,” board member Marilyn Fireman told the Post, “but it has nothing to do with the pet policy.”
Relatives of Santino, who had roles on “All My Children” and “Guiding Light,” plan to place Rocco’s ashes beside Santino’s body when he is laid to rest.
Posted by jwoestendiek January 30th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: actor, all my children, animals, ban, breed, condo, condo board, dogs, euthanasia, euthanized, guiding light, manhattan, new york, nick santino, one lincoln plaza, pets, pit bull, pitbull, policy, put down, rocco, rules, soap, soap opera, suicide
Sometimes breaking the rules leads to better rules.
The Rose Brooks Center for women took in a domestic violence victim and her dog, departing from their standard no-dogs policy after hearing the details of her case — her Great Dane had saved her when she was attacked by a hammer-wielding boyfriend.
According to KCTV 5, the dog covered her with his body, absorbing most of the blows until the boyfriend threw them both out of a second story window.
Despite their injuries, the woman was able to escape with her dog, who sustained several broken bones. She eventually got in touch with the center, located in the Kansas City area.
The center offered her a bed, but when they told her pets weren’t allowed, she balked. The shelter decided, for the first time in its history, to overlook their regulations and allow the dog to stay.
That decision would go on to lead to a change in policy at the shelter.
About 40 percent of battered women with pets stay in abusive relationships to protect or remain with their pets, said the center’s chief executive officer, Susan Miller.
“They provide so much comfort, and to have to leave that pet behind is so heartbreaking,” Miller said. “It has become abundantly clear that the incredible therapeutic benefits that pets can have on a family greatly outweigh the cost and inconvenience of housing them.”
The center is spending $140,000 to add seven kennels, a walking trail and a pet-friendly play area.
Miller, who made the decision to break the rules, credits the abused woman — who isn’t being identified — with bringing about the change.
“She was not going to leave her pet alone with him,” she said. “He saved her life.”
Shelter officials say they’ve seen a 300 percent increase in applications since becoming pet-friendly.
Posted by jwoestendiek January 16th, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: abused, abusive, animals, attack, battered, benefits, boyfriend, dog friendly, dogs, domestic violence, great dane, hammer, kansas city, kennels, no pets, pet friendly, pets, policy, relationships, rose brooks center, rules, saved, shelter, susan miller, therapeutic, therapy, trails, women