California earned first place for the fourth year in a row, while South Dakota remained in last place in the Humane Society of the United States fourth annual “Humane State Ranking” report.
The HSUS graded all 50 states and Washington, D.C. on the strength of a wide range of animal protection laws, including public policies dealing with animal cruelty and fighting, pets, wildlife, equines, animals in research, and farm animals.
Ohio was the most improved state, leaping ahead in the ranks by passing laws regulating puppy mills and the private possession of dangerous wild animals.
You can find the complete rankings here.
“Members of The Humane Society of the United States want to know what their state lawmakers are doing to improve animal welfare. Our Humane State Ranking report demonstrates which states are falling behind important protections for animals, and which states are leading in the effort to create a more humane and civil society,” said Wayne Pacelle, HSUS president and CEO.
California stayed on top for the fourth year in a row by passing a number of new laws, including banning the hound hunting of bears and bobcats. Other top states included Massachusetts (tied for second place), which passed laws allowing pets to be included in domestic violence protection orders, and banning gas chambers for euthanasia.
South Dakota earned the lowest score (51st place). Also in the bottom five were Idaho (50th place), Mississippi (49th place), North Dakota (48th place) and South Carolina (47th place).
South Dakota and North Dakota received especially low marks in part because they are the only two states in the country with no felony-level penalties for malicious acts of animal cruelty. North Dakota voters rejected a ballot measure to increase penalties for egregious acts of animal cruelty on the November 2012 ballot.
The rankings are based on 75 different animal protection issues in 10 major animal protection categories including: animal fighting; animal cruelty; wildlife abuse; exotic pets; companion animals; use of animals in research; farm animals; fur and trapping; puppy mills, and equine protection.
Posted by jwoestendiek January 17th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abuse, animal welfare, animals, california, cruelty, dogs, euthanasia, farms, fighting, hsus, humane, humane society of the united states, Humane state ranking, hunting, laws, legislation, north dakota, penalties, pets, protection, puppy mills, rankings, south dakota, state, violence, wayne pacelle
The states with the best anti-puppy mill laws? Virginia and Pennsylvania. The states with the worst? Mississippi, Kentucky, Idaho and the Dakotas.
That’s according to the Humane Society of the United States, which has released a list ranking state laws protecting dogs at commercial dog breeding facilities and consumers who might end up with sick dogs that came from them.
“Several states have made great strides in recent years, protecting dogs and consumers from the abuse and cruelty that is prevalent among large-scale commercial breeding operations,” said Melanie Kahn, senior director of the Puppy Mills Campaign for The HSUS.
The rankings assess only the laws — not how good a job a state does in enforcing them.
Other states in the top five were Oregon, New Hampshire and Washington.
Virginia, Pennsylvania and New Hampshire all require unannounced inspections of commercial dog breeding facilities two times per year. Oregon, Washington and Virginia all prohibit anyone from owning more than 50 breeding dogs.
In the states with the lowest rankings, there are no provisions for regular inspections, no basic standards of care prescribed and no protection for consumers who purchase a puppy mill dog from a pet store.
In 2011 HSUS experts and supporters helped to pass seven new state laws and regulations to crack down on puppy mills — in California, Maryland, Missouri, Nevada, Oklahoma, Texas and Wyoming.
Since 2008, 26 new laws have been enacted in 21 states.
The HSUS recommends never purchasing a puppy from a pet store or Internet site, or from any breeder you have not carefully screened in person.
According to HSUS, dogs at puppy mills typically receive little to no medical care; live in squalid conditions with no exercise, socialization or human interaction; and are confined inside cramped wire-floored cages for life. And breeding dogs must endure constant breeding cycles and are typically confined for years on end.
The HSUS estimates that 2 million to 4 million puppy mill puppies are sold each year in the United States.
Keep reading for the full list, from best to worst.
Posted by jwoestendiek March 23rd, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, anti puppy mill, best, breeders, commercial, dogs, hsus, humane society of the united states, inspections, laws, legislatures, list, new hampshire, oregon, oversight, pennsylvania, pets, puppies, puppy mill laws, puppy mills, rank, ranked, rankings, standards, state, state laws, strongest, virginia, washington, worst
This year’s 2010 DogTown USA contest, sponsored by WAHL Clipper Corp., named the 40 dog-friendliest cities across the U.S. in honor of the magazine’s 40th anniversary.
The criteria used to select the winning city include dog-friendly open spaces and dog parks, events celebrating dogs and their owners, ample veterinary care, abundant pet supply and other services, and municipal laws that support and protect all pets.
“All dog owners know of a few local shops or restaurants that allow dogs, but it is remarkable to have an entire town where virtually every establishment opens its doors to dogs – even the bank,” says Ernie Slone, Dog Fancy editor.
“Where else can you take your dog along for a whale-watching or sunset cruise, walk miles of off-leash scenic beaches year-round and enjoy one of the nation’s finest dog parks? Provincetown nearly swept our major awards this year, with its Pilgrim Bark Park finishing at No. 2 in our national ratings of dog parks.”
Rounding out the top 10 cities, according to a press release, are:
•Fort Bragg, Calif.
•Lincoln City, Ore.
•San Diego, Calif.
•Virginia Beach, Va.
•Sioux Falls, S.D.
The complete list of all 40 cities is available in the September issue of Dog Fancy, on newsstands July 27, 2010.
Posted by jwoestendiek July 14th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, benicia, carmel, city, dog, dog fancy, dog friendliest, dog friendly, dogs, fort bragg, liincoln city, list, madison, magazine, mass, massachusetts, pets, pilgrim bark park, provincetown, rankings, san diego, sioux falls, top 10, top 40, town, virginia beach
Hawaii, Idaho, Kentucky, Mississippi, and North Dakota are the five best states in the country to be an animal abuser — making them the five worst states in which to be an animal.
Based on an analysis of more than 3,800 pages of statutes, a new report by the Animal Legal Defense Fund recognizes the states where animal law has real teeth, and calls out those like Kentucky – the single worst in the nation again this year for animal protection laws – where animal abusers get off the easiest.
The annual report, the only one of its kind in the nation, ranks all fifty states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and other U.S. territories for the comprehensiveness and strength of their animal protection laws. Maryland falls in the bottom 15 states.
The legislative weaknesses seen in the states at the bottom of the animal protection barrel include severely restricted or absent felony animal cruelty provisions, inadequate animal fighting provisions, and lack of restrictions on the future ownership of animals for those convicted of cruelty to animals.
Many state laws have improved since ALDF’s last state rankings report was released in 2008; Arkansas, for example, was one of the worst five states last year, but jumped up to 25th overall in the country in 2009 due to a host of statutory improvements.
On the other end of the spectrum, this year’s “best five for animals” list remains unchanged from the 2008 list, with California, Illinois, Maine, Michigan and Oregon demonstrating through their laws the strongest commitment to combating animal cruelty; Illinois was ranked the best for the strength of its laws protecting animals.
“This year we see many states and territories that are continuing to make outstanding progress with their laws. Unfortunately, there are still many places where the laws are incapable of providing the legal protections that our country’s animals need and deserve,” says Stephan Otto, Animal Legal Defense Fund’s director of legislative affairs and author of the report.
“Even in those jurisdictions that have today’s best laws, there remain many opportunities for improvement. Especially important during our country’s current recession are laws that help to save limited community resources by reducing the costs of caring for abused animals and ensuring that those who are responsible for such crimes shoulder this burden instead of taxpayers and private interests. While animals do not vote, those who love and care about them certainly do, so we encourage lawmakers throughout the country to take heed and commit to working to improve these critical laws.”
ALDF was founded in 1979 to protect the lives and advance the interests of animals through the legal system. For more information, including a copy of the state rankings report, visit www.aldf.org.
Posted by jwoestendiek December 17th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abuse, aldf, animal, animal fighting, animal law, animal legal defense fund, best, cruelty, cruelty to animals, dog fighting, dogfighting, dogs, felony, hawaii, idaho, kentucky, law, laws, legislation, legislatures, map, mississippi, north dakota, protection, provisions, rankings, report, state, states, welfare, worst