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Plans for whale meat dog treats dropped

A Japanese company has canned its plan to buy the meat of endangered whales killed in the waters around Iceland and sell it in the form of luxury dog treats.

An Icelandic firm, Hvalur hf,  set to resume commercial whaling next month, had planned to kill up to 174 endangered fin whales and sell the meat to Tokyo-based Michinoku Farm, the Telegraph reported.

Protests from environmentalists prompted the Japanese company to cancel its order, but the whale hunt is still on.

“It’s outrageous,” said Claire Perry of the Environmental Investigation Agency. “It is grotesque to kill an endangered species and then ship it half way around the world in order to feed it to dogs.”

Takuma Konno, head of Michinoku, confirmed that plan has been scrapped.

“Dogs are like family members for many people in Japan,” he said. “We just wanted to supply a wide variety of food for them. We consider dogs as just as important as whales. But it’s not worth selling the product if it risks disturbing some people.”

That hasn’t changed plans for whalers in Iceland, who, after a three year break, will resume hunting for fin whales next month.

Iceland, along with Norway and Japan, refuses to abide by the moratorium on whaling.

Sheena avoids becoming a lab experiment

A mutt named Sheena will live to see Christmas.

Sheena’s former guardian, identified only as Gayle, surrendered the dog to the North Utah Valley Animal Shelter (NUVAS) in hopes of finding her a new home, according to the PETA Files

Sheena wasn’t getting along with another dog in the house and Gayle could not afford to keep three large dogs.

After surrendering Sheena, Gayle, visited the dog several times at the shelter in Lindon, Utah, to make sure that she was being cared for. One day, though, when Gayle called to check on the dog, she was told Sheena was gone.

Shelter staff informed her that Sheena had been sold to the University of Utah, and declined to say much beyond that.

Gayle contacted the university to determine whether Sheena was still alive, then called PETA’s emergency hotline, which informed her that NUVAS regularly sells dogs — some of them the same ones they feature on their website as cute, cuddly and adoptable — to the university for use in medical experiments.

According to PETA, dogs recently purchased by the university from the animal shelter have had holes cut into their chests and necks, and pacemakers implanted onto their hearts in order to induce irregular heartbeats; the dogs were then killed and dissected.

(A PETA petition urging the shelter’s board of directors to cease the practice can be signed here.)

Gayle called the university and demanded her dog back, and with assistance from PETA found a foster home where Sheena will stay until a permanent home can be found.

(Photo: Courtesy of PETA)

Utah shelter selling dogs for experiments

“Very cute.” “Cuddly.” “Enjoys belly rubs.”

That’s how the North Utah Valley Animal Shelter (NUVAS) described the dogs in its care that were up for adoption — some of the same dogs it later sold for use in university laboratories.

PETA says the dogs were sold to the University of Utah and used for “deadly and invasive” experiments: 

“Dogs recently purchased from the animal shelter had holes cut into their chests and necks and pacemakers implanted onto their hearts in order to induce irregular heartbeats; the dogs were then killed and dissected.”

North Utah Valley Animal Shelter is the only animal shelter in Utah that continues to sell animals entrusted to its care for use in experiments, according to PETA’s blog, The Peta Files.

PETA conducted an undercover investigation and says it found more than 100 animals were purchased from shelters by the University of Utah.

Demonstrations have been held at the shelter, with activists handing out leaflets that warned of the possibility that surrendered dogs and cats could end up being used in experiments. Activists personally rescued two surrendered cats, Angel and Libby, who might have otherwise ended up being used in experiments. The organization is urging supporters to join a campaign calling for an end to the shelter’s practice.

You can learn more about the campaign here.

Reputed NC dog fighter busted in VA

The Humane Society of the United States says a major figure in the dog fighting world has been arrested in Bedford County, Virginia.

The Humane Society says Jeffrey Denny, of North Carolina, has acknowledged selling hundreds of dogs for breeding or fighting all over the country.

According to WSLS, the Bedford County Sheriff’s Office says Denny attempted to sell a pit bull to an undercover deputy. Two pit bulls were seized along with Denny’s van, which is crammed full of dog crates.

Police in North Carolina searched Denny’s Franklinville Home where sixteen more dogs were seized. Police also found break sticks, needles and syringes, an auto suture gun, a tool box containing medical supplies, medications and veterinary supplies, IV supplies and saline solution, mineral supplements, dog collars and a dog harness. Police said they seized eight guns and ammunition, drug paraphernalia and computer and written records from the home.

Denny faces one felony charge in Bedford County for transporting animals for fighting. After that, he’ll be returned to North Carolina to face sixteen felony dog fighting charges, eleven misdemeanor dog cruelty charges and one felony count for possession of drug paraphernalia. The sheriff’s office says Denny planned to sell the two pit bulls for $900 each. Deputies seized $392 from Denny’s van.

Dickens’ dog collar sold for $11,590

A dog collar that belonged to Charles Dickens and was estimated to be worth about $6,000 has fetched a whopping $11,590 at a New York City auction.

The leather and brass collar is inscribed with Dickens’ name.dickenscollar

The buyer’s name was not immediately disclosed, the Associated Press reported.

The collar was auctioned Tuesday at Bonhams New York’s sale of dog art — a rare collection of dog memorabilia that included more than 200 pieces of unique artwork dedicated to man’s best friend.

Dog artists John Emms, Gustav Muss-Arnolt, Frank Paton and Maud Earl and Lucy Dawson all contributed to the collection.

There’s dog art … and there’s dog art

A Maryland dog who has completed 22 paintings — some of which have sold for up to $1,700 — was featured this week in the UK’s Telegraph.

Sam, a bloodhound-sheepdog mix who lives on the Eastern Shore, paints with a tailor-made paintbrush held in his mouth.

“Sam is a regular renaissance dog and his abstract paintings are all the rage with the hip New York galleries,” says Mary Stadelbacher, Sam’s owner. “He loves his painting and would happily carry on for hours if I left him to it. He loves to work in a variety of colours and layers his paintings with darker shades first and then moves on to lighter ones later.”

Stadelbacher, who runs Shore Service Dogs, took in six-year-old Sam four years ago, after he’d bounced from one shelter to another. She intended to train him as a service dog. But surgery left her temporarily without the use of her right hand.

Instead, Sam became her household helper, leaving him time to pursue painting. Stadelbacher says the dog will paint on command. Proceeds from the sales of his work — and other Shore Service Dogs — help keep the organization open, she said.

Fear the turtle

turtlessalmonella_r255pxBaltimore City Police have cited two street vendors for illegally selling red-eared slider turtles — a species health officials warn can carry salmonella and transmit it to humans.

“The risk of acquiring salmonella infection by handling turtles should be taken very seriously,” says Interim Commissioner Olivia Farrow. “People who have serious health problems, pregnant women and parents of children younger than age 5 should consult a physician before purchasing turtles and reptiles as pets.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says salmonella occurs naturally in turtles and does not usually make the animals sick. Harmful bacteria can easily be passed from turtle to person.

Medal awarded to heroic dog sold at auction

 

A medal bestowed upon a one-time stray named Rip who helped find trapped survivors during the Blitz in London has been sold at auction.

The medal fetched a high bid of $35,700, made on behalf of an anonymous bidder.

Rip, a mutt, was awarded the Dickin Medal after helping find more than 100 victims of air raids.

The medal is named for Maria Dickin, the founder of the veterinary charity PDSA, and has been given since 1943 to animals that had shown “conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty”.

Rip was left homeless after the Luftwaffe attacked East London, in 1940, and roamed the streets until an air raid warden named King befriended him.

Without any training, he became the service’s first sniffer dog, showing an instant talent for finding victims covered by rubble.

“Despite the dangers, he worked courageously through the crashing and explosions of the bombing raids, braved fire and smoke with apparent disdain, and was completely unfazed by the air-raid sirens that used to strike fear into the hearts of the population,” the Daily Mail reports. 

It was partly due to Rip’s performance, that authorities later decided to train dogs formally to trace casualties.

Puppy mills profiting from sale of seized dogs

State officials in Missouri say they plan to review a practice that allows dogs seized from puppy mills to be auctioned off — with the profits going back to the unfit breeders.

In February, for instance, the state negotiated a settlement with a Verona breeder who didn’t meet state standards. She was instructed to close her kennel. The state then arranged for her dogs to be sold by Southwest Auction Service in Wheaton. All the proceeds, minus state licensing fees, went to the kennel owner.

The state claims that since January, it has transferred more than 1,300 abused and neglected dogs from unlicensed breeders to shelters such as the Humane Society of Missouri in St. Louis. But other dogs are sold at auction to other breeders — a practice critics say is unhealthy and allows bad breeders to profit from the sale of their own confiscated or surrendered dogs.

Missouri Agriculture Director Jon Hagler said the policy is under review, according to an Associated Press article.

Missouri, which has come under fire for being the “puppy mill” capital of America, recently initiated Operation Bark Alert, allowing people to report unlicensed breeders directly to Hagler by e-mail. So far, he has received 100 reports of suspicious breeders that include licensed facilities, he said.

(Photo: Courtesy of The Humane Society of the United States)

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