Ann McCrory, who normally leaves the politics to her husband, released a statement Wednesday supporting House Bill 930.
“… Passing legislation to establish basic standards of care for large commercial dog breeding facilities is a very important issue to me, and to people across our state,” she wrote.
“ … I hope you and other members of the General Assembly will continue to advocate for this bill, and other legislation establishing higher standards for commercial breeders. These policies increase our quality of life in North Carolina and ensure better care for dogs across the state…”
The bill sets basic standards of care for operations that use more than 10 females for breeding.
Many say it is a watered-down version of previous attempts to pass a puppy mill law, but add that the compromise is better than nothing in a state some breeding operations have been relocating to in an attempt to avoid regulation.
“North Carolina is the only state in the Southeast without puppy mill laws,” explained Caleb Scott, President of North Carolina Voters for Animal Welfare told Fox 8 News. “We are a puppy mill destination in North Carolina because we have no laws on the books. Puppy millers gravitate to our state.”
The minimum standards required by the bill, as it has been amended, would notapply to breeders of hunting dogs, sporting dogs, field dogs, or show dogs.
It now heads to the Senate.
WRAL described Ann McCrory’s letter as her “first foray into public advocacy” since her husband took office.
The McCrory’s have a Labrador Retriever named Mo.
(Photo: Erin Hull / The Daily Tar Heel)
Posted by jwoestendiek May 10th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: 930, animal welfare, animals, basic, breeders, care, conditions, dog breeders, dogs, exemptions, first lady, house bill 930, hunting dogs, law, north carolina, pat mccrory, pets, politics, proposal, proposed, puppy mills, requirements, show dogs, standards
There’s a rising star in the North Carolina legislature, and she has four legs.
A miniature Pomeranian named Diva comes to work every day at the General Assembly with her owners, Republican representative Nathan Ramsey and his wife, Robin Ramsey, a legislative assistant — and the fuzzy four-pound dog is said to be developing quite a following.
The Ramseys, who live on a farm in Fairview during the off-season, say they started bringing Diva to work in February, because they thought she’d be lonely staying at the condo they reside in while in Raleigh.
Since then, she’s shown herself to be a valuable asset, both a diplomat and a crowd-drawer.
“… In a short time, the taffy-colored rescue pup has arguably become the most chased after creature at the legislative building. Walk in on any given day and you’ll see a steady stream of bipartisan visitors knocking on the Ramseys’ office door,” North Carolina Public Radio station WUNC (91.5 FM) reported.
“It certainly opened the door to more visitors, which is good,” said Robin Ramsey.
On building tours for visiting schoolchildren, Diva’s office has become a regular stop — and, we’d guess, one of the more exciting ones.
“I make it a point to stop by,” said Democrat Rick Glazier of Fayetteville. “You can’t leave after playing with Diva and talking to the Ramseys unhappy or in a bad mood, and that is not always true around here.”
Ramsey, a former county commissioner, says Diva helps breaks the ice and cut through frosty exteriors. And he suspects she has helped him garner support for at least a couple of measures he has introduced.
“A lot of this is about relationships, and really, unless you’re a seat-mate with someone, there aren’t a lot of opportunities to reach across the aisle,” he said. “You don’t develop relationships by sitting in a committee meeting. You have to find out about other people’s lives and families and get to know them in more depth.”
Speaker of the House Thom Tillis recently stopped by Ramsey’s office with his boxer, Ike. A spokesman for the speaker reported the get-together was ”like many meetings in this building — more sniffing around than anything else.”
Back home on the family dairy farm, Diva likes to spend her time circling the baby calf pen.
She likes to round things up, Ramsey says, and those skills seem to have translated from barnyard to state house.
(Photo by Jessica Jones / WUNC)
Posted by jwoestendiek April 26th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, diva, dog, dogs, dogs and politics, fairview, fans, farm, general assembly, ice breaker, legislature, nathan ramsey, north carolina, pets, politics, pomeranian, raleigh, representative, republican, robin ramsey, state house, visitors, workplace
A Raleigh city councilwoman posted a photo of her dog relieving himself on a marble column of the statehouse, and compared her canine’s act of seeming disrespect to the way the Republican-controlled General Assembly is treating North Carolina’s citizens.
“I figured, what better way to get my frustration across than with humor?” said City Councilwoman Mary-Ann Baldwin, who used her Maltese-Yorkie mix and Facebook to register her displeasure.
“It shows a little outrage, and I think a little outrage is appropriate right now,” Baldwin said Friday. “I think it’s time for the gloves to come off.”
Baldwin on Friday posted a photo on Facebook of her dog, Jack Bauer — named for the terrorist-fighting agent from the TV show “24″ – relieving himself on a marble column outside the North Carolina General Assembly.
The Democratic councilwoman admits it may be undiplomatic, but she says the image seems to capture the sort of disrespect that, in her view, Republican lawmakers are showing — particularly in regards to a deal the city of Raleigh made with the state to lease the 325-acre grounds of the closed Dorothea Dix mental hospital for a regional park.
Republican lawmakers have moved to kill the deal, which had been signed and approved by former Gov. Bev Perdue, a Democrat.
Bills introduced last week would essentially tear up that contract. Republican lawmakers say the deal is not good for taxpayers, and that the $68 million the state could receive over the decades from the city is too low, according to the Associated Press
“It’s beyond me how lawmakers, who are supposed to uphold the law, can think they can undo a legally binding contract,” Baldwin said. “This is nothing more than bullying and intimidation by some members of the General Assembly.”
“I was hoping for the best, but I think I’m seeing the worst,” Baldwin said of the GOP legislative agenda. “When I think about some of the legislation that has moved forward lately, whether it’s telling local governments what design standards they should have, or getting rid of renewable energy tax credits, and then you through Dix on top of that, you just sit there and say, ‘What are we doing?’”
Posted by jwoestendiek March 19th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, capitol, city council, column, deal, dog, dogs, dorothea dix, facebook, general assembly, jack bauer, lease, maltese, marble, mary-ann baldwin, mental hospital, mix, north carolina, park, pee, peeing, pees, pets, photo, politics, post, raleigh, republicans, statehouse, urinating, yorkie, yorkshire terrier
Our answer is a qualified “yes” — but based on far different reasons than those being hammered away on by U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann and other Republicans.
The former presidential candidate from Minnesota said she thinks having a caretaker/dogwalker assigned to Bo is one example of lavish and excessive spending at the White House.
“We are also the ones who are paying for someone to walk the president’s dog — paying for someone to walk the president’s dog,” she said over the weekend (serving as her own echo).
Bachman, who has a beagle named Boomer, made the remarks at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference, held just outside Washington .
We, too, think the president should walk his dog — not as a money-saving measure, but because we think those peaceful moments of solace and reflection (assuming Bo is not a tugger) will make him a better president.
Walking the dog not only clears the head, it reminds one of what’s important in life. It’s good for the brain, it keeps the blood circulating, it lets you smell the roses and it calms the soul. I want a president with a calm soul, or at least as calm as the office permits.
While I think Obama and family should walk their own dog at every opportunity, I find nothing wrong with the White House having a full time dog walker on staff — even if, as some not 100 percent confirmed reports suggest, it”s a $100,000- a-year position.
(Also, I offer to fill that position should it ever become vacated — or even on a fill-in basis.)
As reported on the CNN blog, Political Ticker, Bachman, in her speech, blasted what she called “a lifestyle that is one of excess.”
“Now we find out that there are five chefs on Air Force One. There are two projectionists who operate the White House movie theater … They regularly sleep at the White House in order to be regularly available in case the first family wants a really, really late show. And I don’t mean to be petty here, but can’t they just push the play button?”
The Obamas, though always very well dressed, don’t strike me as lavish, and I don’t think Bo experiences the same amenities of, say, Queen Elizabeth’s corgis.
Our nation’s First Dog deserves, at least in some ways, royal treatment — even amid all the fiscal cliffs and sequesters that, dramatic as they are, were created by lavishly living (often) politicians out of touch with the real world.
Dogs help keep the word real. I want my president to keep it real. So I want my president to walk the dog whenever possible.
If it comes down to tending to a world crisis and taking Bo outside to pee, by all means, tend to the world crisis, and let the highly paid dogwalker handle the duty, as well as the doody.
(My far bigger questions about all this are whether the Obamas personally scoop Bo’s poop from the White House lawn, and whether Bachmann picks up Boomer’s droppings at her home, valued at $1.27 million, on the 18th hole of the Stoneridge Golf Course.)
Grabbing and bagging a handful of feces is how you keep it really, really real.
But back to our main point. Routine and mundane as the task might seem, there is much to be gained from time spent walking your own dog. (Just ask Leon Panetta.)
In trying times, when the head gets too clogged by all the stress, there is no better way to return it to a state of reason and clarity than the simple pleasure of walking the dog – whether you’re a queen, a president, an assembly line worker, or even unemployed.
(Photos: Bo and the president, official White House photo by Pete Souza; Michele and Marcus Bachmann, with Boomer, AP photo by Craig Lassig)
Posted by jwoestendiek March 18th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, barack, bo, bo obama, dog, dog walker, dog walking, dogs, first dog, first family, fiscal cliff, lavish, lifestyle, michele bachmann, obama, pets, politics, poop, president, republicans, scoop, sequester, spending, taxes, taxpayers, walking, white house, who walks bo
A Maryland dog who was adopted by a member of the U.S. Senate — and who went on to become a familiar and soothing presence in that chamber’s hallowed and often contentious halls — has died.
Dakota, a bichon frise, was adopted by former North Dakota Sen. Kent Conrad and his wife, Lucy, in the spring of 2009 from a rescue shelter in Maryland
Conrad confirmed Sunday that Dakota died last week, due to complications from lymphoma, Inforum.com reported.
During Conrad’s time on Capitol Hill, Dakota was popular among lawmakers, staffers and reporters, and he was once dubbed the “101st senator” by NBC’s Brian Williams.
“He went to work with me every day,” Conrad said. “People just took to him. To have an animal in that setting, it warmed people up. It made them feel more at home.”
Conrad said the dog’s calm disposition had the power to soothe seething lawmakers.
“In some of our (budget) negotiations, colleagues would call and ask if I could bring Dakota. He calmed everyone down.”
Dakota was diagnosed with the lymphoma in September 2011, and had fought the disease for a year and a half.
In the past eight months, Conrad and Dakota had flown four times to Houston, where the dog was participating in a T-cell cancer research project at the University of Texas’s M.D. Anderson Cancer Center.
“He was part of experiments that are very important, that they think could help save many people’s lives,” Conrad said.
While his prognosis was promising, the cancer returned and last week Conrad was informed that Dakota probably only had a few days left.
“He was such a jaunty, confident and happy little dog,” Conrad said. “And he was cute – he just put a smile on people’s faces. And so that’s how I’ll remember him.
“He improved people’s days. He certainly improved mine.”
(Photo: Associated Press)
Posted by jwoestendiek February 26th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: adopted, animals, bichon frise, calm, cancer, dakota, death, dies, dog, dogs, kent conrad, lymphoma, maryland, north dakota, pets, politics, rescued, senate, senator, soothing, washington
Back when he was the Republican candidate for governor of Florida, Rick Scott and his staff did their best to let the public know his family adopted a rescue dog.
They even held a contest to allow the public to name the dog, who would become “Reagan.”
So, to some, it seemed strange that the Labrador retriever hadn’t been seen again since Scott took office, in January of 2011.
The Tampa Bay Times, albeit it two years later, finally solved the mystery — but not until after getting quite a runaround.
The Times last week asked both Scott’s current and former communications directors what happened to Reagan, but both refused to answer.
Brian Burgess, communications director during the campaign and for more than a year after Scott took office, told two Times reporters he thought it was strange that they would ask, and declined to answer.
When pressed, he referred all questions about the dog to Melissa Sellers, the governor’s new communications director. Sellers told reporters she was too busy to find an answer to the question.
A spokesman for the governor’s wife also declined to respond to questions about Reagan, saying only that they have one dog — a rescued 7-year-old Lab named Tallee.
What was the governor’s office trying to hide, reporters wondered. Why weren’t the communications directors, uh, communicating? And where was Reagan, the dog the Scott family made such a big deal about when they rescued him?
Commenters at the time praised Scott for getting a rescue dog, instead of a purebred like Bo, the president’s Portuguese water dog.
“The Scott family is proud to announce that the name (chosen by you) for their newly adopted pup is Reagan!” read Scott’s announcement on his Facebook page. “Thanks to everyone who participated in the fun contest.”
But apparently they were less proud to announce what became of Reagan, and how they ended up with a dog named Tallee.
This week, Times reporters were able to ask the governor himself, and learned that Reagan, due to behavioral issues, had been returned to the grooming and boarding business they got him from.
Scott said Reagan never bit anyone, but that he “scared the living daylights” out of people at the mansion. One kitchen employee threatened to quit because of the dog, he said, and photographer Eric Tournay was frightened when the dog “barked like crazy” every time he saw him with a camera.
“He was a rescue dog,” Scott said, “and he couldn’t be around anybody that was carrying anything.”
About a month after the family moved to the governor’s mansion, they gave the dog back to his prior owner, the governor said.
Tallee, he said, has a much different personality.
Based on his description, Tallee sounds more needy, submissive and controllable.
(Photo: Reagan, from Facebook)
Posted by jwoestendiek January 16th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: adopted, answers, avoidance, candidate, communications, contest, directors, disappeared, dog, facebook, florida, governor, labrador, naming, news media, politics, reagan, republican, rescue, retriever, rick scott, tallee, tampa bay times, whatever happened
Five days before she made history in Massachusetts, Elizabeth Warren put down the golden retriever whose dignity and grace helped her cope with the often nasty senatorial campaign, and much more.
The emotional mix that the first female senator in Massachusetts was faced with in the final days of her campaign — seeing one’s political star rising while one’s dog is dying – was recounted last week in column by Brian McGrory in the Boston Globe.
Otis, Warren’s cancer-stricken golden retriever, was loyal, true, non-judgmental, honest, dignified and simple — in other words (and this is our opinion) everything politics is not.
Based on her description, quiet moments with her ailing dog brought her solace during the rough and tumble campaign.
“It’s the lack of complication,” Warren said. “I could spend time just running my hands through Otis’s coat, drawing circles in his short fur, and thumping him on the side, his big hollow chest, you know that sound. It’s possible to get lost in there. And that’s what I needed.”
Otis is described as an inseparable companion, who often accompanied Warren and her husband, Bruce Mann, to their jobs at Harvard University.
“He was with Warren in fall 2011 when she declared her campaign for the Senate. He was there as controversies flared, as accusations were leveled, as attack ads filled the airwaves. Polls rose and fell, criticisms alternated with compliments, but always there was Otis, blinking excitedly as Warren came through the door at the end of the day and always ready for a walk.”
Otis was diagnosed with lymphoma in the spring. He was undergoing chemotherapy. The treatments, which at first appeared to be working, later lost their effectiveness.
On Halloween night, Otis watched trick or treaters come and go, too weak to get up off the floor. By the end of the night, Warren and Mann were convinced it was time to let Otis go.
“I called Warren after her victory to see if she wanted to talk about this quiet loss in the final days of a very public campaign. It hurt her to talk about, but in an hour-long phone call this week, one filled with her laughter and her tears, she did.
“She described ‘the white fur ball with big feet’ that arrived at her house 7½ years ago, the casual way he would approach his many admirers, how the ground used to all but shake from his heavy gait.”
On Oct. 28, Warren posted the photo above on Facebook. On Nov. 1, Otis was euthanized at Angell Memorial Hospital. On Nov. 6, Warren was elected as the first female senator from Massachusetts.
Posted by jwoestendiek December 5th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, campaign, cancer, chemotherapy, death, died, dog, dogs, election, elizabeth warren, euthanasia, euthanized, female, first, golden retriever, lymphoma, massachusetts, otis, pets, politics, senate, senator
Webb shot and killed his neighbor’s black Labrador with a .357 magnum pistol in 1998, entered an Alford plea to charges of cruelty to animals and disorderly conduct and received two three-month sentences, both of which were deferred and later dismissed.
While the court case was sealed, it somehow became unsealed, got circulated on the Internet and was anonymously mailed earlier this week to The Billings Gazette.
“Fifteen years ago, I was attacked by a dog in my own front yard and I defended myself,” Webb, of Billings Heights, said Monday. “I have documentation, because I hired a private investigator at the time, that the dog had attacked a FedEx driver and UPS and the owner’s neighbor.”
Webb said he didn’t know who leaked the sealed documents. They initially appeared Sunday on a liberal political blog and on Twitter.
“I have no idea who is doing that. I have no idea,” said his opponent, Democrat Wanda Grinde.
According to The Billings Gazette, the documents state that Webb struck a neighbor’s black Lab with his pistol and then shot the the dog as it ran away. The bullet killed the dog and ricocheted into a second black Labrador.
Webb told the court that on the night of the incident, the two dogs charged down a hill toward him. He said he jumped in the bed of his pick-up truck until the dogs left. Then, he said, he went inside his house, got his pistol and headed up the hill to talk to their owner. He didn’t see the owner, though, and said the dogs confronted him again on his way home. He struck one of the dogs as it lunged at him and fired his gun.
The owner of the dogs, Lyla Mercer, said she heard the shot while she standing by their kennels, from which they had escaped.
Posted by jwoestendiek October 18th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: 1998, animal, animals, black lab, candidate, court case, cruelty, dog, dogs, election, killed, labrador, leak, leaked, leaks, montana, pets, politics, roger webb, sealed, self defense, senate, shot
I know from experience that, for a writer of news, the jaws of a cliche can be a difficult thing to escape.
You’re in a hurry, you need an image people can relate to, you need to somehow make the political convention you’re writing about seem exciting, as opposed to just a multi-day display of balloons and bluster, pomp and propaganda.
The cliche, often, is the first term that pops into your head, and once it latches on — legend has it they exert a force beyond any other words, something like a million pounds per square inch — you just can’t shake them off.
So, unless you find something you can describe as a “game-changer” — it having quickly risen up the cliche ladder — you pepper your reports with terms like “attack dog.”
This being convention season, “attack dogs” are everywhere.
Just in the first few days of this week — as the Democratic National Convention got underway in Charlotte – Vice President Joe Biden, Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn, Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, to name a few, have been described in the news media as attack dogs.
Rest assured, the pack will grow as the convention progresses, as will the use of the misnomer.
They are not attack dogs; they are attack humans. And it’s unfair to identify them by lumping them into a whole different species — a species that’s smart enough to eschew the back-biting world of politics.
I have no problem with the political parties designating certain politicians to be the tough guys, to say the things that — be they borderline truths, senseless vitriol or other comments deemed too indecorous — the presidential candidate himself probably shouldn’t utter.
But let’s leave dogs out of it.
Let’s come up with another descriptive term, like Clint Eastwoods.
A true attack dog, of the canine variety, is a dog that humans have done all they could, through breeding, through training, through constantly reinforcing aggression, to instill that behavior. It’s not, at least since dog was domesticated, their natural way.
With politicians, I’m not so sure.
Those creatures you see at the political conventions are growling, smarmy, snarling humans, doing what their masters tell them to do. That’s not a behavior learned from dogs; it’s a behavior learned from politics.
(Photo: West Highland terriers Ricky and Reba, who, like most dogs, aren’t attack dogs at all)
Posted by jwoestendiek September 5th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, attack dogs, biden, castro, cliches, conventions, coverage, democrats, dogs, eastwood, networks, news, news media, news writing, o'malley, pets, political, politics, president, quinn, reid, republicans, terminology, vice president, writing
Given we were among the first to suggest the saga of Seamus was worth a ballad, we’re proud to report there are now two.
Last week we told you about DEVO’s ”Don’t Roof Rack Me, Bro!” a song written by band member Jerry Casale that mocks Mitt Romney for strapping his Irish setter, in a crate, to the roof of his car on a 12-hour family vacation trip.
This week, Ry Cooder is releasing his own Seamus-inspired song — “Mutt Romney Blues,” sung from the perspective of Seamus:
Hot in the day, cold all night
Where I’m goin’ I just don’t know
Po’ dog got to bottle up and go.
The song is the first on the album, “Election Special,” a bluesy collection of political songs from Cooder, who considers Romney “dangerous,” “cruel,” and a ”perfect creation for what the Republican Party is all about.”
Though DEVO got their song on the Internet first, Cooder’s will be officially released first — the album comes out Tuesday. “Don’t Roof Rack Me, Bro” is being released, both as a song and a game app on August 26, which is both National Dog Day and the day before the Republican National Convention.
Posted by jwoestendiek August 20th, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, blues, campaign, canada, car, crate, devo, dogs, don't roof rack me bro, irish setter, mitt, mitt romney, mutt romney blues, pets, politics, presidential, romney, roof, ry cooder, seamus, seamus songs, songs of seamus, station wagon, strapped, trip, vacation