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
Hundreds of people gathered outside the Marathon County Courthouse in Wisconsin this week during a hearing for a woman who is accused of killing her boyfriend’s dog and describing her ongoing torture of the animal in her diary.
In a packed courtroom, Sean D. Janas, 20, of Wausau, waived her right to a preliminary hearing Wednesday and was ordered to stand trial on charges of felony mistreatment of animals, giving poison to an animal and obstructing an officer.
Janas is accused of poisoning and stabbing Mary, a 4-year-old Laborador-shepherd mix in June.
According to the criminal complaint, Janas kept a diary describing her intense hatred for Mary, and detailing the abuse she inflicted on the dog, included forcing her to drink bleach and Drano over the course of several months.
Janas faces more than five years in prison and $30,000 in fines if convicted. She remained in jail this week on a $2,500 cash bond.
Those attending her hearing — before Marathon County Circuit Judge Mike Moran — were required to walk through metal detectors, and Marathon County Sheriff’s deputies searched briefcases and handbags, according to the Wausau Daily Herald.
Before and after the hearing, protesters circled the courthouse, seeking justice for Mary and demanding more laws and tougher penalties to combat animal abuse.
“We don’t have tough enough laws that protect animals, and I believe vets should have to report any suspected abuse, just like they would in a child,” said Kelli Obremski, 42, of Mosinee, who brought both her children and her boxer to the protest.
“We’ll come to every appearance we can,” Obremski said. “It’s that important.”
(Photo: Sean D. Janas mugshot)
Posted by jwoestendiek November 2nd, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abuse, accounts, animal cruelty, animals, bleach, boyfriend, county, courthouse, cruelty to animals, descriptions, diary, dog, dogs, drano, hatred, marathon, mary, pets, poison, poisoned, poisoning, protest, sean janas, stabbed, stabbing, wausau, wisconsin
Activists say an animal shelter in Lewisburg, Tennessee, put down nine dogs even though officials knew rescue organizations were on the way to pick them up.
The activists held a protest in the town square of Lewisburg, demanding changes in how the local animal control department operates.
The protesters say Lewisburg’s city manager Tommy Engram last week ordered 13 animals to be put down at animal control, nine of which had rescue organizations on the way to claim them, NewsChannel 5 reported.
The animal shelter only holds about 20 dogs, but the protesters said it was only a matter of hours before rescuers would have been there.
“… We’ve been told multiple times that we are the crazy dog people, but we are. We are here for the dogs, and we aren’t going to let this go away,” said Ronnie Van Zandt, one of the protesters. “We want answers. We want to know why they put the dogs down; we want more transparency in their practices and procedures,”
Posted by jwoestendiek July 30th, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animal control, animals, dog, dogs, euthanasia, euthanized, lewisburg, pets, protest, rescue, rescuers, shelters, tennessee
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
What happened when a locally-aired McDonalds ad noted that eating new Chicken McBites is safer “than petting a stray pit bull?”
McDonalds has since pulled the radio ad and issued an apology.
(For all our Woof in Advertising posts, click here.)
Posted by jwoestendiek February 11th, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, apology, backlash, breeds, chicken, complaints, discimination, dogs, dogs in advertising, fast food, marketing, mcbites, mcdonald's, mcnuggets, misconceptions, nuggets, perceptions, pets, pit bull, pit bulls, pitbull, pitbulls, protest, risk, safer, safety, stereotypes, video, woof in advertising
Skechers has released a sneak preview of its upcoming Super Bowl ad, filmed at a greyhound racing park.
“Get a first look at Mr. Quiggly, the tiny French Bulldog with the heart of a champion, in his SKECHERS GOrun 2012 Big Game commercial,” a publicist for the company wrote in an email. “How will Quiggly find an edge to help him race on Game Day? Watch the preview to see his secret weapon in action!”
Meanwhile, the anti-greyhound racing group Grey2KUSA continues to fire away with its own not-so-secret weapon — a boycott of the shoe company, with protest rallies being held this weekend across the country.
Grey2KUSA says the ad glorifies a sport that is harmful to greyhounds, and points out that it was filmed at one of the country’s most injury-plagued greyhound parks.
Skechers vaguely refers to the “controversy” over the ad in its email: “There has been a lot of talk about Skechers’ new commercial… With a four-legged celebrity taking center stage this year, the campaign has definitely stirred up some controversy, but Skechers believes the spirit of the ‘underdog’ will be a big winner on Game Day.”
In the ad, filmed at Tucson Greyhound Park, a Skechers-wearing French bulldog outraces a group of greyhounds. The ad also features billionaire technology mogul and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban.
The ad will be aired during the Super Bowl on February 5.
Grey2K coordinated a series of protests this weekend, all held in front of Skechers stores and other outlets at which the shoes are sold.
“No Skechers” events were scheduled this weekend in Tucson, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Portland, Boston, Albuquerque, Salt Lake City and at locations in Florida, Colorado and Michigan.
“Tucson Greyhound Park’s greyhounds are kept confined in small cages which are barely large enough for them to stand up or turn around. They are fed raw 4-D meat, the meat of downed, diseased, disabled or dead livestock. These conditions were documented in recent inspections by Pima County investigators and by a GREY2K USA undercover video first released in 2010,” the organization says.
Additionally, the state of Arizona documented nearly 1,000 injuries in the last reported years of 2007- 2009, including broken legs, sprains, dislocations, muscle tears and strains, lacerations, a cracked skull, broken backs, heat stroke, puncture wounds and paralysis.
“Instead of promoting such cruelty, companies should be asking for it to end,” Grey2K says.
More information can be found at boycottskechers.org.
Posted by jwoestendiek January 29th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: advertising, animals, boycott, commercials, conditions, cruelty to animals, demonstrations, dog, dogs, dogs in advertising, french bulldog, grey2kusa, greyhound racing, greyhounds, injuries, mr quiggly, pets, protest, quiggly, skechers, super bowl, tucson greyhound park, woof in advertising
There’s good news and bad news.
The good: The protesting has begun. A group of citizens marched earlier this week to show their concerns about the county hiring a private contractor to hunt down, and trap, if possible, stray or feral dogs.
The bad: Of the 55 dogs removed so far from the streets by the contractor, working with Cumberland County’s department of animal control, 22 were captured. Thirty-three, despite the county’s assurance that it would only be used as a last resort, have been shot and killed.
“We are concerned about the shootings in our neighborhoods, of these feral dogs,” said Amy Frey, among the group of animal rights activists that gathered in downtown Fayetteville Tuesday afternoon.
”We can’t confirm information whether the dogs are being shot lethally on-sight or if they are being put down,” she told ABC 11 News.
“It’s incredibly inhumane to be shooting animals on sight,” activist Melissa Katzenbeger said. “Pets do get out of their yards once in a while, and they are not trapping these animals and assessing them for behavior.”
Cumberland County animal control officials say up to 150 stray or feral dogs are roaming neighborhoods, and that those dogs have killed at least 15 pets.
In an e-mail statement, animal control director John Lauby reiterated that the goal is to trap the dogs. ”If the dogs cannot be trapped and are in a safe area, then off-shelter euthanasia is used.”
The activists say they are not opposed to euthanizing dangerous dogs but want to make sure that animal control doesn’t kill someone’s pet or friendly strays that could be adopted.
Posted by jwoestendiek August 19th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: activists, animal control, animal rights, animal welfare, animals, assessment, contractor, dogs, euthanasia, fayetteville, feral, hunt, march, north carolina, pets, protest, round up, shooting, stray, trapping
Then their fur is boiled, torn or torched off so they can be chopped up, sold and eaten.
It remains a thriving, and often shady, business — even though only a minority of South Koreans eat dog, and even though those numbers are decreasing.
Recent years have seen a rise in pet keeping in South Korea, and along with it a higher degree of respect afforded to dogs, especially those of the purebred variety.
At the same time, South Korea’s fledgling animal welfare movement is becoming stronger and more active, and banning the eating of dog is at the top of its agenda.
Still, there are those, inside South Korea and out, who would like to see a total and immediate end to dog meat consumption.
Among them is In Defense of Animals (IDA), an organization that has been holding a global day of protest against the practice for the past seven years.
This year, IDA has joined forces with two South Korean animal welfare groups – Coexistence for Animal Rights on Earth (CARE) and Korean Animal Rights Advocates (KARA), to protest dog meat consumption.
The 7th annual International Day of Action for South Korean Dogs and Cats is tomorrow — Tuesday, August 16 — and is timed to coincide with what is the peak period of dog consumption in South Korea, the hottest summer months. Many of those who market and consume canine meat maintain it increases vitality, male sexual prowess and general health — all myths, according to IDA.
At the events, held simultaneously in dozens of cities around the world, activists pass out leaflets and hold signs, often outside South Korean Embassies and Consulates.
You can find a full list of the day’s events in America and other countries here.
I met some of South Korea’s animal activists, and visited an outdoor dog market during a trip to Seoul in 2009 to research my book, “DOG, INC.: The Uncanny Inside Story of Cloning Man’s Best Friend.”
South Korea was the first country to clone a dog — a feat some say was made possible by the easy access to dogs from dog farms. Both before and after the birth of Snuppy, the first canine clone, scientists used farm dogs both for their eggs and as surrogates in their attempts to clone the species.
Given that, I felt the need to visit Moran Market, an open air bazaar outside Seoul where cages line the street for a full city block, and dogs can be purchased in part or in whole, live or dead, cooked or raw, for as little as $100.
Customers commonly choose a live dog from a cage, at which point the dog is pulled out with a noose attached to a stick, dragged into a nearby room and given a fatal electrical shock with what resembles a cattle prod. It is thrown into a steel vat of boiling water to soften the meat and make its fur easier to remove. From there it is tumbled in a dryer that removes most of the fur. A torch is used to burn off any that remains, and the dog is then butchered to order while you wait. About 25 percent of South Korea’s dog meat is sold through Moran Market.
On my visit to the market, workers waved me down. They offered me a seat by the fire, a cup of tea and a cigarette. One grabbed a long stick, poked it through the bars in the cage and jabbed several dogs to show me how lively they were. The asking price was about $150, though it eventually dropped to $100.
While a few purebreds were in the mix, almost all were mutts. Most dog meat in Korea comes from mixed breeds that, while similar to the native Jindo breed in appearance, are mongrels, and are often referred to simply as “yellow dogs.” Most of them have been raised on farms, spending most of their lives in cages, or on three-foot chains.
Seeing I was uninterested in buying an entire live dog, the merchants offered me half of one – boiled and de-furred, but with its head, tail and paws still intact.
While there is disagreement over how far back dog eating in Korea goes, long stretches of poverty and war made it more popular, and necessary. While many never took up the practice, or have abandoned it, an estimated 500 to 600 restaurants in Seoul alone serve dog, in various forms.
Animal activists told me that the bulk of market dogs come from farms, but that stolen and stray pets often end up in the mix, and even dogs sold by unethical animal shelters.
“There are dogs picked up as strays off the streets and dogs that were being used to breed pets but have gotten old and useless,” said Soyoun Park, president of CARE.
“The way you can distinguish if it’s a farm dog or a homeless dog is that those dogs that are raised at the farm won’t look at a human directly. They don’t want eye contact. Those who are not afraid about looking a human in the eye are usually dogs that have been raised in someone’s house.”
Dog was removed from the menus of many restaurants during the 1988 Seoul Olympics, and in 1991, South Korea passed its first animal protection law, ostensibly forbidding the sale and consumption of dog meat.
But the government has done little to enforce it — nearly 6,500 stores in the country still sell dog meat, according to the IDA.
As some some activists in Seoul told me, pressure from outside the country, up to now, seems to have had little effect on decreasing dog meat consumption in South Korea. Any true and lasting change, they believe, will likely have to come from within.
And as one pointed out, Americans — with all our righteous indignation — live in a country where the number of dogs euthanized at shelters every year is just about the same as the number consumed in Korea.
When it comes to the well-being of dogs as a species, be they American or Korean, there is work to be done. I’m just glad there are people — in both countries — doing it.
(Photos by John Woestendiek)
Posted by jwoestendiek August 15th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal rights, animal welfare, cloning, coexistence for animal rights on earth, dog farms, dog inc., dog meat, eating dog, embassies, events, farm dogs, ida, in defense of animals, international day of action, korean animal rights advocates, laws, market, moran market, photos, pressure, protest, seoul, south korea
As 100 to 150 sign-carrying protesters stood outside, convicted dogfighter Michael Vick received the Ed Block Courage Award at a Baltimore banquet hall tonight.
Vick, who served a 21-month prison sentence for dogfighting before getting signed by the Philadelphia Eagles, has said he feels he deserves the award. He was the unanimous choice of his teammates.
“I think everybody has a right to their own opinion. I feel like I’ve done everything I said I would do,” Vick said in an interview with WBAL during the ceremony. “My peers felt like I was doing the right thing … that I displayed courage and sportsmanship and leadership.”
Protesters began gathering at Martin’s West in Woodlawn before 4 p.m., carrying signs that said, among other things, ”No awards for dog killers” and “Cowards abuse animals.”
“I am here to protest that the Eagles have given Michael Vick a Courage Award and everyone else has gone along with it,” said Darlene Sanders Harris, an organizer of the protest. “I don’t think he exudes courage or any of the qualities they are looking for in an Ed Block recipient.”
Animal advocates have voiced their dismay at Vick being named to receive the honor since last December when his teammates chose him for the award.
When Vick confirmed he would be attending, the foundation had to boost security for the event and scrap the long-standing tradition of having the athletes mingle with fans to sign autographs.
Every year 32 NFL players receive the honor, which is named after a longtime Baltimore Colts trainer who also worked as a physical therapist at a hospital for disabled children. The award honors players who are “role models” and “exemplify commitments to the principles of sportsmanship and courage.”
Maryland SPCA’s Executive Director Aileen Gabbey released the following statement about the decision to give the award to Vick:
“The Maryland SPCA remains shocked and disappointed that Michael Vick will, indeed, receive an award for courage from the Ed Block Foundation after being nominated by his team. Mr. Vick does not deserve this honor. He has been convicted of horrific crimes against living creatures; he has served jail time; he has somehow been re-employed. His attempts to speak on behalf of animals have been half-hearted and disingenuous. None of this warrants a special award.
“No truly courageous or honorable person would say ‘Yes, I deserve an award.’ Yet, this is precisely what Mr. Vick has done, defending his nomination and claiming that he has suffered hardships. He has never suffered the hardships, or torture, that his poor dogs did at his hands. The honorable thing for Mr. Vick to do would be to not accept this award. This would actually show some courage and that he is serious about being on the road to atonement for his terrible actions against innocent lives.”
Posted by jwoestendiek March 9th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal advocates, animal cruelty, awards, baltimore, banquet, darlene sanders harris, demonstration, dog fighting, dogfighting, ed block courage award, michael vick, news, philadelphia eagles, pit bulls, prison, protest, protestors, sentence, vick
News that Michael Vick is expected to attend the 32nd annual Ed Block Courage Awards dinner in Baltimore Tuesday has led to a change in the ceremony’s format and an increase in security.
Vick, who was convicted in 2007 of running a dogfighting ring, is one of 32 winners to be honored with the award, which singles out one member of each NFL team for his courage, sportsmanship and inspiration to his community.
Vick’s unanimous selection by his Philadelphia Eagles teammates triggered angry e-mails to the Ed Block Courage Award Foundation, a petition drive and a planned protest by dog lovers and animal welfare activists at the award’s ceremony, to be held at Martin’s West, 6817 Dogwood Road, from 4 to 10 p.m.
More than 100 people have already signed up to protest at the event — a number that could grow as a result of the news that the quarterback will be attending.
In addition to scrapping the long-standing tradition of having the athletes mingle with fans and sign autographs, organizers say they are boosting security, according to the Baltimore Sun.
“We’ve put in place enough [guards] to make sure that our players are safe and that everything runs smoothly.”said Ed Block Courage Award Foundation spokesman Paul Mittermeier.
The Block Award is named for a former team trainer of the Baltimore Colts, who worked for years to help abused children.
Criticism for bestowing the award on Vick has come from groups ranging from animal rights activists to the American Kennel Club. “It is unconscionable that a man who tortured and abused helpless animals be honored by an organization dedicated to ending abuse,” the AKC said.
Vick will be accompanied to the event by Michael Markarian, chief operating officer of the Humane Society of the United States, a group for which the quarterback has made public appearances in recent months, attempting to steer youth away from dogfighting.
Posted by jwoestendiek March 5th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abuse, award, baltimore, ceremony, convicted, conviction, courage, courage award, demonstration, dogfighter, dogfighting, ed block, foundation, honor, increased, inspiration, martin's west, michael vick, news, petition, philadelphia eagles, protest, quarterback, security, sportsmanship, vick, vick protest