A Pennsylvania dog breeder who has been among the most often cited for kennel violations has been charged, and convicted, again — even though he seemed to have downsized his operation enough to avoid state regulations.
John Esh, of Lancaster County, was found guilty and fined $175 last week for running an unlicensed kennel, the Philadelphia Inquirer blog, Philly Dawg, reports.
Esh, and his son Daniel, who breed dogs on two adjoining properties in Ronks, in the heart of Lancaster’s Amish country, have a long history of kennel violations — dating back to well before the state toughened up its dog law.
In 1996, Daniel was held responsible for selling a rabid puppy to a customer whose child was bitten by the dog. In 1997, both father and son were sued by the state attorney general for selling hundreds of sick dogs without a license. Both have had their licenses revoked for operating kennels under substandard conditions.
John Esh closed down his kennel, Twin Maple, opting to keep fewer than 26 dogs on the premises to avoid stricter kennel regulations put in place for commercial breeders.
But recently he was found with 27.
A spokeswoman for the state Department of Agriculture said Esh was selling puppies under the name Green Mountain Toy Puppies. A dog warden assigned to root out illegal kennels selling dogs on the Internet made the discovery.
In court, Esh was told to keep his dog population under 26 and not sell anymore dogs unless he has a kennel license.
Posted by jwoestendiek April 17th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: agriculture, animals, breeders, breeding, commercial, daniel esh, dogs, fined, fines, green mountain toy puppies, john esh, kennels, lancaster county, law, pennsylvania, pets, puppy mills, regulations, ronks, twin maple, violations
Last week, the Humane Society of the United States released an undercover investigation documenting the connections between pet stores and puppy mills (above) — and it threw a little praise Ohio’s way for passing new measures to curb abuses among high volume dog breeders.
“The Humane Society of the United States applauds Ohio lawmakers for working to pass this commonsense law to protect dogs and address the worst problems at puppy mills,” said Melanie Kahn, senior director of the HSUS “Stop Puppy Mills” campaign.
“No dog should be forced to spend a lifetime in a small wire cage with no human companionship or comfort,” she added.
Ohio’s new law requires the licensure and annual inspection of high volume breeders that sell 60 dogs or produce at least nine litters in a single calendar year.
It creates a Commercial Dog Breeding Advisory Board to assist the director of the Ohio Department of Agriculture in developing standards, including rules on housing, nutrition, exercise, waste management, grooming, whelping.
It also prohibits anyone convicted of animal cruelty in the last 20 years from obtaining a license – a provision designed to stop the influx into Ohio of puppy mill operators who have been forced to close their operations in other states.
“For too many years, the state of Ohio has been known as a haven for low-quality, high-volume breeders that we call ‘puppy mills.’ This is kind of careless treatment of animals is not a reputation that should be attached to our state,” said Ohio Sen. Jim Hughes, R-Columbus.
Ohio is home to 174 federally-licensed dog breeders and brokers – fifth most in the nation – and to at least another 1,000 additional high volume dog breeders, the HSUS says.
Puppy mills are commonly defined as breeding operations that mass-produce puppies for sale through pet stores, over the Internet and directly to the public. Dogs are often kept in crowded, filthy conditions where they receive little or no socialization, affection or exercise.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture is considering applying minimum federal animal welfare standards to breeders who sell dogs directly to consumers. Such breeders are currently exempt.
Posted by jwoestendiek December 17th, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, breeders, breeding, connection, department of agriculture, direct, dogs, hsus, humane society of the united states, internet, investigation, large scale, law, ohio, passed, pet stores, pets, puppy mills, regulations, sales, tougher
Here’s an in-depth report out of Canada on the rising concerns about chicken jerky treats from China.
CBC television’s Tom Harrington looks at the lack of pet food regulations in this Marketplace segment, called “Fighting For Fido.”
Posted by jwoestendiek October 18th, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: america, animals, canada, cbc, chicken, china, chinese, dead, dogs, dying, fda, government, health, jerky, marketplace, news, pet food, pets, regulations, regulatory, report, safety, sick, tom harrington, treats
The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture has failed to enforce parts of the state’s four-year-old dog law, according to a report by the Dog Law Advisory Board.
In a nearly 100-page report, a subcommittee of the board that was created to advise the governor on dog issues concludes the Dog Law Enforcement office has failed to enforce critical components of the law, leaving close to 500,000 dogs in 2,000 kennels at risk.
“The data show that, by design, everything was done to ignore enforcing the law,” said Thomas Hickey, of West Chester, a board member and one of the report’s authors.
According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, the report says commercial kennels have gotten away with failing to vaccinate dogs for rabies, avoided health and safety regulations and have been allowed to renew their licenses despite convictions for cruelty. Read more »
Posted by jwoestendiek October 1st, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: advisory board, commercial, department of agriculture, dog, dog law, enforce, enforcement, kennels, law, licensing, pennsylvania, puppy mills, regulations
Kieri was on a bird-watching walk with her owner when she stuck her head into a trailside trap intended to instantly kill otters and beavers.
The 8-year-old, 38-pound Wheaten terrier, underwent surgery and seemed to be recovering, according to her owner, Jack Williamson. But in April, her pain returned. She underwent surgery this month, but continued to suffer and was put down Tuesday.
Kieri is among a half dozen dogs reported to have been caught in traps last winter in Central Oregon, three times more than usual,according to an Associated Press account based on a subscriber-only Bend Bulletin story.
State wildlife officials think the increase may be a result of trappers coping with high gasoline prices by setting their traps closer to town.
Williamson wants the state to ban the use of large body-gripping traps on land.
Members of the Oregon Trappers Association have met with Williamson and wildlife officials to discuss rules changes that would keep pets safer. The Fish and Wildlife Commission is expected to review its rules when it meets next month.
According to a petition Williamson started on the website Care 2, current regulations in Oregon allow traps to be set on public land, concealed from view, without penalty of any kind for placement of traps that result in serious injury to people, or pets that are under control of their owner.
You can find more information about Kieri and the petition at Kieri.org
(Photo: From Kieri.org)
Posted by jwoestendiek May 25th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, beaver trap, care2, commission, dangers, death, died, dog, dogs, euthanized, fur, hikers, hiking, hunting, injuries, jack williamson, kieri, land, oregon, oregon trappers association, otter trap, petition, pets, public land, regulations, rules, safety, spinal, spine, state, symbol, trails, trap, trappers, trapping, traps, warnings, wheaten terrier, wildlife
Nearly a year after the latest regulations governing commercial breeding kennels in Pennsylvania went into effect, there’s little evidence that they are being enforced, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports.
Regulations governing temperature, lighting, ammonia levels and ventilation aren’t being closely monitored by the Department of Agriculture, and the agency is failing to cite repeat violators, animal advocates say.
“The regulations were to aid living beings and meant to get them out of abusive and squalid conditions,” said Karen Overall, a veterinarian and principal author of the regulations. “This was not just an academic exercise. This was about humane welfare of animals … and they are being completely ignored.”
In 2008, then-Gov. Ed Rendell signed legislation that, in stages, toughened the state’s puppy mills law and promised to end its reputation as as the “puppy mill” capital of the East.
Some animal welfare advocates are questioning Gov. Corbett’s commitment to improving conditions for tens of thousands of dogs housed in breeding kennels. The governor’s Dog Law Advisory Board, created by Gov. Rendell, is meeting today for the first time since Corbett took office 15 months ago.
Agriculture Secretary George Greig has blamed the delay in inspections on difficulties in getting equipment to monitor the climate in kennels installed and staff trained. But he assured legislators the inspections would be completed by March 1.
The Inquirer reports that inspection records indicate only a handful of the 60 remaining commercial kennels have received the minimum twice-a-year inspections. There were than 300 commercial kennels before the law took effect .
“Gov. Corbett is committed to ensuring that the dog laws in Pennsylvania are enforced. Any reasonable person who has followed the governor’s career knows that he will not tolerate kennels that don’t follow the law,” his spokesperson said.
Posted by jwoestendiek April 25th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: agriculture, animal welfare, animals, breeders, breeding, commercial, department, dog law, dog law advisory board, dogs, ed rendell, enforcement, governor corbett, health, karen overall, kennels, laws, lighting, pennsylvania, pets, puppy mills, regulations, temperature, ventilation
A year after 56 sled dogs were uncovered in a mass grave near Whistler, the British Columbia government has introduced a revised “code of practice” for the sled dog industry.
The Sled Dog Code of Practice sets standards for the care of dogs used for sledding, including new limits on tethering, and stricter regulations on the use of euthanasia, The Canadian Press reports.
But many believe the changes (see our comments below) don’t go nearly far enough.
The British Columbia SPCA uncovered 56 dead dogs last year, some of which had been shot, some with their throats cut. The mass grave came to light after an employee filed a worker’s compensation claim saying he suffered post-traumatic stress disorder after killing the animals in a company-ordered cull.
“This document, both the code and the regulations, will help inform the industry (and) provide minimum standards that will improve working dogs’ welfare,” said Marcie Moriarty, general manager of cruelty investigations for the SPCA.
Moriarty, who helped develop the code, said it will lead to an end to near continuous tethering, which has been one of the main concerns about the industry. Under the new regulations sled dogs must get at least one opportunity a day to be off their tethers to socialize and exercise.
The new code imposes no limits on the number of dogs a sled dog operation can have, and it doesn’t stop sledding operations from culling their workers (dogs), but it emphasizes that killing sled dogs shouldn’t be used as a primary means of population control.
(Photo: British Columbia SPCA)
Posted by jwoestendiek February 22nd, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, british columbia, canada, code, cull, dog sledding, dogs, euthanasia, grave, killed, mass, new, pets, regulations, sled dogs, spca, tethering, tethers, whistler
Back in April, New York’s Division of Cemeteries issued an edict to pet cemeteries, prohibiting the burying of pet owner’s ashes alongside the remains of their beloved pets.
The order from the state office came after an Associated Press story about the growing number of Americans who have decided to share a final resting place with their pets, and who, because pet remains aren’t often welcome in human cemeteries, have opted to spend eternity in a doggie graveyard.
Apparently, this was news to the cemetery division — even though it has been going on, most everywhere, for a long time. A good 700 humans — in cremated form — had been interred at New York’s 115-year-old Hartsdale Pet Cemetery before the state told it to stop.
That order came in February, and in April it was extended statewide.
Last week, the state Division of Cemeteries issued new regulations, once again permitting animal lovers, in cremated form, to rest in peace with their pets in pet cemeteries.
The new regulations, CBS News reported, do impose some conditions: Pet cemeteries may not advertise that they accept human ashes; nor may they charge a fee for doing so.
A spokesman for the department that oversees the cemetery division said the prohibition was put in place because cremated remains in pet cemeteries don’t have the same protections as those in human cemeteries — namely the assurance that the cemetery will be maintained.
Like anyone’s ashes — dog or human — are going to care about that.
The ruling had kept the ashes of at least one human from being buried. Taylor York, a law professor at Keuka College said the state order meant the ashes of her uncle, Thomas Ryan, who died in April, couldn’t be buried alongside his deceased dogs.
York sent the cemeteries division a legal memo detailing why the state was wrong in banning burials of cremated human remains in pet cemeteries.
As the cemetery division saw it, law mandates that any cemetery providing burial space for humans be operated as a not-for-profit corporation. By promoting the human-interment service and charging a fee to open a grave and add ashes, Hartsdale was violating laws governing not-for-profit corporations.
But Hartsdale isn’t a non-profit corporation.
“The law is clear,” York said. “There’s no authority for this board to just arbitrarily impose nonprofit corporation law on a privately incorporated for-profit business.”
All the boring legal stuff aside, there really was, and is, no good reason to get bent out of shape about ashes, of whatever species. We throw them in the ocean, we cast them in the wind, we can even use them to make trees grow.
And there’s no good reason for a state government to bury us, or our simple last wishes, in red tape.
“My uncle wants to be buried beside … what he considered to be his children and I’m not letting anyone stand in the way,” York said before the new ruling was issued. “His love for those dogs was just as real and just as strong as any parent’s for any child.”
Posted by jwoestendiek December 21st, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, ashes, ban, beside, burial, buried with dog, buried with pet, cemetery, cremains, cremated, cremation, division of cemeteries, dogs, edict, grave, hartsdale, interment, legal, maintenance, new york, next to, order, pet cemetery, pets, protections, regulations, repeal, rest in peace, resting place, taylor york, thomas ryan, with
Professional dog walkers in San Francisco would need to acquire permits, and possibly face limits on how many dogs they can walk at a time, under legislation being considered by the Board of Supervisors.
For years, city officials have been considering regulating the dog-walking industry, mainly because of concerns about people walking too many dogs and failing to adequately control or clean up after them, the San Francisco Examiner reports.
New regulations on the industry, proposed by Supervisor Scott Wiener, were heard yesterday by a committee of the Board of Supervisors.
The legislation calls for, among other things, limiting to seven the number of dogs that one dogwalker could walk at a time.
Some dog walkers say that would prohibit them from making a good living.
Under Wiener’s proposal, a permit would cost $250 for the first year and $100 a year after that. Violations of the law would result in fines of up to $500.
The full board of supervisors is expected to vote on the legislation as early as January.
The regulations would go into effect in October, 2012.
Posted by jwoestendiek December 13th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, board of supervisors, businesses, dog, dog walkers, dog walking, dogs, dogwalkers, dogwalking, legislation, limits, number, permits, pets, professional, regulations, san francisco, small business, walkers, walking
Since June of this year, four large scale dog breeding operations in North Carolina have been busted and more than 500 dogs seized as a result.
While that may sound like the state is making some gains in the fight against puppy mills, it raises another possibility as well.
Are tough new puppy mill laws in surrounding states leading unscrupulous breeders to move their operations to North Carolina, where the laws are more lax?
A recent investigation by NBC 17 asked that question — even if it didn’t entirely nail down the answer.
Since June 1, the report says, puppy mill busts have taken place in Hertford, where 86 dogs were seized; in Zebulon (25 dogs seized); Lincoln County (about 135 dogs); and in Caldwell County (276 dogs).
And while no documentation is provided that those breeders had fled to North Carolina from other states, Kim Alboum, the Humane Society’s state director, says it is happening.
“There are approximately 19 states that now have some level of regulations for commercial dog breeders, whether it’s licensing or standards,” she said. “And around North Carolina, we now have Virginia [that] has passed regulation. So we are seeing some breeders coming down to North Carolina from Virginia.”
Alboum says she has also seen breeders migrate from Tennessee and Pennsylvania.
She blames current North Carolina laws that fail to set high enough standards for breeding operations. So does Pricey Harrison, a state representative who tried to get puppy mill legislation passed last year.
“Apparently our neighboring states have pretty decent laws in place to prevent animal cruelty and protect animal purchasers from these puppy mills,” Harrison said. “We don’t, so we’re apparently a magnet for these dog breeders.”
Harrison sponsored a puppy mill bill in the 2009-10 legislative session that passed the House but died in the Senate. She said the bill was opposed by the Pork Council, the Farm Bureau, the American Kennel Club and the NRA.
“Every time we have animal cruelty legislation, it’s the same players that arise in opposition. It’s a combination of campaign money and membership pressure.”
Senate President Pro-Temp Phil Berger, who voted against the bill, says the wording of the proposed puppy mill law was too vague, and that it could have had unintended consequences on other industries.
No new puppy mill bills have been introduced, although the state did act to allow local governments to pass breeding regulation laws, such as one recently adopted in Guilford County.
Posted by jwoestendiek November 30th, 2011 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, attracting, breeders, breeding, busts, caldwell county, conditions, dog, dogs, hertford, humane society, kim alboum, laws, lax, legislation, legislature, lincoln county, magnet, moving, north carolina, pets, pricey harrison, puppy mills, raids, regulations, restrictions, seized, states, surrounding, zebulon