Delegates of the American Veterinary Medical Association voted overwhelmingly last week to adopt a policy encouraging people to avoid feeding their dogs a raw meat diet.
They they went on to attend the AVMA’s four-day convention in San Diego, which featured a performance by Smash Mouth and a party on the USS Midway — all sponsored by, among others, makers of dry dog food.
A lot of people are finding that a little fishy.
An AVMA wrap-up of the meeting says the new policy — which it notes has “certainly been a controversial topic” — was approved last Thursday.
After discussion, the AVMA House of Delegates approved a slightly amended version of the proposed policy on feeding raw or undercooked animal-source protein diets to pets. Instead of using the words “never feed,” the proposed policy was amended to read “avoid feeding.”
(My mind sees no distinction between the two, other than the latter sounding slightly less bossy.)
While the AVMA has said scientific research is behind the decision, comments on the AVMA website criticize not just the soundness of the policy, but whether the sole reason for it relates to the funding the AVMA receives from big dog food companies, like Hills and Purina.
Said one commenter: “Please know that I will be having a discussion with my vet about membership in the AVMA, which is voluntary. I will make sure she knows that I have NO respect for an organization that bases it’s recommendations not on sound science (there have been NO studies on raw vs kibble diets from a canine health perspective), but on the all mighty dollar. So I’ll take my dollars to a vet that believes as I do, that the AVMA is not an organization to support.”
Another called the policy “nothing more than a Hail-Mary pass for a PFI desperate to hold onto their profits and using every bit of leverage they can to do so (how pathetic the AVMA allowed themselves to be so used). It will, I believe, make spreading the word about raw feeding more difficult in the short term… but the truth will prevail in the end.”
Another commenter, who likes capitalizing for emphasis, wrote: “Why don’t you just LOOK at who the ‘sponsors’ of the AVMA Convention are? On the FRONT PAGE of your ‘newsletter’ brief on the convention is a 1/8 PAGE ad from – who else? PURINA! You are all NOTHING more than PAID OFF CRIMINALS! I hope the Illinois State Attorney General and the IRS see fit to become involved. You are NOT a Non-Profit Organization, you are a SHILL for Big pet Food manufacturers (Purina and Hills in particular) … The AVMA has ZERO credibility and I will NOT patronize any vet who is a member. If that means I have to travel, then so be it.”
The final outcome of the vote was 90.9% in favor of the amended resolution, the AVMA said.
According to the AVMA website, all delegates in attendance were requested to disclose any potential conflicts of interest, such as connections to dog food companies, before the vote. The AVMA says that is standard procedure in such matters.
“Please keep in mind that this policy is NOT a ban on raw foods for pets,” the website notes, “and it is not a regulation that requires veterinarians (regardless of whether they’re AVMA members or not) to comply, or even agree with it.
“It’s not a debate on the healthiness of or risks associated with raw foods versus other commercial pet foods. Nor is it an attempt to force a ban or restrict pet owners’ rights to feed their pets how and what they want.”
What is it then, one might ask. To point to the risks of one type of dog food and ignore the dangers of another (like the risks of bloating and the nutritional lack of many a dry dog food) might be a good strategy for fundraising, but it’s not good policy when it comes to consumers and dogs.
Posted by jwoestendiek August 10th, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: american veterinary medical association, animals, association, avma, conflict of interest, consumers, convention, dog food, dogs, feeding, fund raising, house of delegates, influence, meat, non-profit, nonprofit, pets, pfi, policy, public-private, raw, raw diet, san diego, smash mouth, sponsors, undercooked, uss midway, veterinarians, veterinary
And that, he explained, is why he made sure to let people know that a fundraiser by the nonprofit rescue group Four Paws Sake — scheduled to be held in his neighborhood, Howard Beach — had neither his group’s support or blessing.
The Four Paws Sake event was to include a charity motorcycle ride, which Panzarella seemingly sees as solely Rescue Ink’s domain.
“We’re the guys on motorcycles rescuing animals around here,” he’s quoted as saying in the New York Daily News
As a result of Panzarella’s meddling, the event’s primary sponsor pulled out and the fundraiser was almost canceled.
“An eye-opening look into the dog-eat-dog world of animal rescue” is how the Daily News characterized the chain of events.
Phyllis Taiano, a Middle Village, N.Y.-based rescuer, planned the Four Paws Sake event to raise money to provide medical help, training and boarding to dogs in need of homes.
She lined up Crossbay Honda as a sponsor, and finagled donations of food from several local restaurants. Taiano, a member of the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals, also talked her childhood friend, Frank Buglione from the TV show “Jerseylicious,” into making an appearance with other cast members.
Dozens of riders registered to take part in the event’s charity motorcycle ride from Yonkers
All was going smoothly until, a few days before it was to take place, Taiano got a phone call, the Daily News reported:
“Turns out someone had walked into Crossbay Honda and other shops in Howard Beach raising questions about Taiano’s fund-raiser. That someone was Joseph Panzarella, a local resident and one of the founding members of “Rescue Ink,” a group of motorcycle-riding animal rescuers profiled in a National Geographic television series. Panzarella also gained some notoriety after being shot in a mob-related conflict in 1995.
“He contacted several businesses to discuss the Taiano’s fund-raiser and to remind them he was not affiliated with it.
“Suddenly, support for her event evaporated. Crossbay Honda was no longer able to host the fund-raiser and every eatery except Ragtime pulled their promised donations.”
“I got a tremendous amount of phone calls from people who thought this was our event,” Panzarella, aka Joseph Panz, explained. “I never told anyone not to participate … All I said is ‘I don’t know who’s running this but we’re the guys on motorcycles rescuing animals around here,’” he said.
Bound to have been feeling a bit bullied by then, Taiano turned to City Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley for help. Crowley contacted the owners of Atlas Park in Glendale who agreed to host the fund-raiser.
A scaled-down fundraiser took place on Oct. 16. Taiano ended up losing more money than she made.
(Photos: Joseph Panzarella, from ABC News; Phyllis Taiano from the New York Daily News, by Bryan Pace)
Posted by jwoestendiek November 11th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: adopt, animal welfare, animals, charity, crossbay honda, dogs, four paws sake, fundraiser, howard beach, jerseylicious, joseph panzarella, motorycle, national geographic channel, panz, pets, phyllis taiano, rescue, rescue ink, ride, shelter, sponsors, television, turf
We love repurposing. It’s so much more fun than recycling. Tossing cans, paper, etc., in a bin and hauling it to the curb — while we all should do it — is a bit of a chore.
But giving an object a whole new reason to exist, a whole new life, that’s an achievement.
That’s one of the reasons we like this whisky crate dog feeder — the first item to be spotlighted in ohmidog’s “Pick of the Litter,” in which we will feature every month a dog-related product we find particularly cool.
Said item will, for a fee, be showcased at the top of our leftside rail for an entire month. That is where we normally keep our paid advertisements. But we’ll also — to allow you to see it a little better and learn more – do a post about it, like the one your reading now.
If your dog has any legs at all (sorry, corgis), he or she should probably be using an elevated feeder. If you don’t believe me, try eating from a bowl on the floor, or even on the table. The stress it puts on your neck and joints — for you or your dog — is significant.
Many elevated dog feeders are boring affairs, such as my dog Ace’s, which is made of gray plastic and resembles something between a UFO and the creature that might come out of one.
This one, available at Forloveofadog.com, is made out of genuine vintage Black & White Scotch Whisky pine crates from Glasgow, Scotland.
Foam gaskets have been applied to stabilize the dog bowls and protect the storage compartment that’s inside.
We see only one downside — the scotch is not included.
Posted by jwoestendiek August 8th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: advertisers, advertising, animals, black & white, cool stuff, dog feeder, dogs, elevated, feeder, for love of a dog, glasgow, link, marketing, ohmidog!, pets, pick, pick of the litter, product, products, recycling, repurposing, scotch, scotland, sponsors, sponsorships, text link, whiskey, whisky, whisky crate
Assemblyman Micah Kellner, an Upper East Side Democrat, and State Senator Joseph E. Robach, a Rochester Republican, are proposing the legislation.
If passed, New York would join about a dozen states that have named state dogs, including the Chesapeake Bay retriever in Maryland, the Great Dane in Pennsylvania, the and the Boston terrier in … take a wild guess.
No state has chosen the mixed breed — that most prolific of all dogs — to represent its state.
In New York, a spokesman for Kellner said the assemblyman would choose a rescue dog — as in rescued from a shelter — to symbolize the need for people to adopt pets from animal shelters and animal protection groups. Kellner has no dogs of his own, but he has provided foster care for several.
“He’s a huge advocate for animals in need,” the spokesman told the New York Times.
Also appearing at the announcement of the proposed bill will be Kim Wolf’s dog, Sarge Wolf-Stringer, a Philadelphia dog who was rescued in 2009 from an abusive owner by the Pennsylvania Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and who now works with the elderly and hospital patients as a certified therapy dog.
(Photo: A Baltimore mutt named Martini)
Posted by jwoestendiek April 21st, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, assemblyman, bill, breeds, dogs, joseph robach, know your state dogs, legislation, louisiana, martini, micah kellner, mixed breeds, mutt, new york, north carolina, official, pets, proposal, pspca, purebreds, quiz, sarge wolf-stringer, senator, south carolina, sponsors, state dog, state dogs, texas
Unlike many a website, we don’t accept money — however much we might need it — for sneaking advertising links into our editorial matter. We don’t assault you with pop-ups. We don’t run advertising in disguise. All our ads are on our leftside rail (<—— ) over there. Blame it on my journalism background. I’m ethical, darn it.
That doesn’t mean we won’t write about or mention our advertisers, or other companies, when circumstances merit it — either as a news item or, as in this case, when thanks are due.
For every stop we’ve made as part of our continuing “Dog’s Country” tour, K-9 Kraving, Baltimore-based maker of raw diet dog food, has shipped a package of treats to our hosts — to those individuals who offered us lodging and to the shelters, sanctuaries and rescues we’ve reported on.
It’s my way of saying thank you, without actually paying for it.
What makes it even cooler, is that it was K-9 Kraving’s idea. I did offer to, in exchange, run their advertisement for free for the duration of my trip, but, as it turns out, they’re spending far more than that shipping a collection of treats to those place I’ve stopped.
So, from St. Bernard’s Parish in Louisiana, where the oil spill has led to an influx of shelter dogs, to Best Friends Animal Sanctuary, where I spent two days as a volunteer, to Utopia Animal Rescue, Kinky Friedman’s Texas-based sanctuary (home of the dog shown above), shipments of K-9 Kraving treats have arrived.
Those individuals with dogs who have taken me in — including Judith Pannebaker in Bandera, Texas, Jen Walker in Albuquerque, and my brother in Phoenix — have also received treat packages, in thanks for their hospitality to ohmidog!
So now it’s my turn to thank K-9 Kraving, whose raw diet dog food was Ace’s food of choice — back when we had a freezer.
Now, as many of you know, we’re on the road, and have been for 50 days. Likely, as we’ve found we can travel for about the same amount of money we survived on back in Baltimore, while still doing our blog and seeking jobs, we’ll continue for a few months more – taking the pulse of America, its dogs, and its dog-friendliness in a journey made possible by my 401K, unemployment insurance and K-9 Kraving and all my other advertisers.
So thanks to them all. Now get back over there to the leftside rail, where you belong.
Posted by jwoestendiek July 15th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: ace does america, advertisers, advertising, baltimore, best friends, dog food, dog's country, dogscountry, gifts, k-9 kraving, ohmidog!, raw diet, road trip, sponsors, st. bernard's parish, travel, traveling with dogs, treats, utopia animal rescue, visits
While they may seem to dog owners to have come out of nowhere, the changes in the city’s animal control law that led to $1,000 fines for off-leash dogs and unscooped poop have a history.
And here it is:
Feb. 25, 2008: The revised law was introduced to the city council, with the following sponsors listed: James B. Kraft, Bill Henry, William H. Cole, IV, Robert W. Curran, Sharon Green Middleton, Edward L. Reisinger, Warren Branch.
It was then sent for review to the following committees and offices:
- The Public Safety and Health Committee, which completed its review ten months later, gave it a thumbs up.
- The City Solicitor’s office deemed it legal, which also took ten months.
- The Health Department, meanwhile, okayed it in three days. Also signing off on it were the city’s Office of Animal Control, Department of Finance and Environmental Control Board.
Dec. 2, 2008: The Public Safety and Health Committee held a public hearing on it.
Dec. 4, 2008: The revised law had its second reading before the city council and was approved.
Jan. 14, 2009: Signed by Mayor Sheila Dixon.
Feb 14, 2009 — Law went into effect.
What little official information can be found about the new law — though it’s not a shining example of clarity — can be found here.
Under the new law, the penalty for letting your dog off his leash, or not picking up dog waste is the same as the penalty for dogfighting. In fact, penalties for more serious offenses were increased far less severely than run of the mill offenses.
For instance, these penalties all went up tenfold: Not having a rabies vaccination (from $50 to $500), not having a license (from $25 to $250), animal disturbing the peace, failure to pick up dog waste, and unleashed dogs (from $100 to $1,000).
Meanwhile, the penalties for dogfighting only doubled ($500 to $1,000), the penalty for abusing an animal went from $200 to $500, and the penalty for operating an unlicensed dog facility only went up from $100 to $250.
So today in Baltimore, thanks to the city council, abusing a dog is a less serious offense — fine-wise, at least — than letting one off his leash, or not picking up his poop.
Posted by jwoestendiek April 14th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abuse, amended, animal control, baltimore, citations, city, city council, dog, dogfighting, dogs, feces, fines, health department, history, law, leash law, licenses, mayor, off-leash, one thousand dollars, penalties, poop, public safety, rabies, revisions, sheila dixon, sponsors, violations, waste
“Two dogs died in the name of sport this week, and this time it wasn’t Michael Vick’s fault.”
So begins an Associated Press commentary by national sports columnist Tim Dahlberg that recounts the final hours of Dizzy and Grasshopper, two members of musher Lou Packer’s team. The two were among three dogs that died in this year’s Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race.
“Listen to race supporters and they’ll tell you that, unlike Vick’s dogs, the 5-year-old huskies died doing what they loved. Read the official Iditarod Web site and you’ll find out that sled dogs are pampered and loved by their masters…”
On the other hand, Dahlberg wrote, “They don’t have a problem with chaining up big packs of dogs and running them to within an inch of their life for sport. They accept the fact that the Iditarod is a part of the state’s heritage, and its biggest sporting event. A lot of us in the Lower 48, though, just don’t get it.”
He goes on to ask the question on the minds of many animal right activists: “How many dog deaths are reasonable? How many more must die before the fun is finally sucked out of the sport?”
Posted by jwoestendiek March 19th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: alaska, animals, arthritis, associated press, barbara hodges, column, columnist, commentary, damage, deaths, dogs, exxon mobil corp., health, humane, humane society, iditarod, lungs, race, sled dogs, sponsors, sports, stress, tradition, ulcers, wells fargo
After failing to persuade the USA Network to drop its coverage of the Westminster dog show, PETA has gone to advertisers, asking them to drop their sponsorships.
Apparently, the organization isn’t getting many bites there, either.
PETA initially asked the USA Network not to televise the show, scheduled to air Feb. 9 and 10, citing the BBC’s decision to drop its coverage of the Crufts dog show — due to concerns about breeding standards it said contributed to health problems in certain breeds.
The British Kennel Club subsequently revised its standards for many breeds.
As described in PETA’s letter to Westminster advertisers, “The new BKC standards allow dogs to breathe, walk, and see freely, which previous breeding standards prevented. Unfortunately, the AKC has refused to take even the smallest step to allow American dogs these same basic freedoms …
“On behalf of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals and our more than 2 million members and supporters, we ask that you pull your company’s sponsorship of this event until the AKC revises its breeding standards so that it is, at the very least, in line with the BKC’s standards, which would reduce the likelihood that purebred dogs will needlessly suffer from diseases and disorders.”
Among companies receiving the letter were Pedigree, the dog food company, and LifeLock, an Arizona-based identity theft protection company.
Posted by jwoestendiek January 30th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: advertisers, breeding, breeds, dog show, health problems, kennel club, lifelock, pedigree, people for the ethical treatment of animals, peta, purebreds, sponsors, sponsorships, standards, usa network, westminster