“It’s ludicrous that in a nation of dog lovers, thousands of dogs are roaming the streets or stuck in kennels because the owner cannot be tracked down,” Environment Secretary Owen Paterson said.
Owners who fail to follow the edict will be subject to fines of £500, or about $785.
Paterson said the move will allow all lost, stray or abandoned dogs to be traced back to their owners, ensuring people are held accountable for their animals.
The creation of a database of all dog owners in England will allow also law enforcement officials to track down the owners of dogs seized for aggressive or other bad behavior, The Telegraph reported. But government officials insist the move is aimed primarily at saving dogs.
Paterson said that 110,000 dogs were lost a year and microchipping will speed up the tracing of their owners. Around 6,000 dogs are put down each year, while strays cost the taxpayer and welfare charities £57 million a year.
“I am determined to put an end to this and ease the pressure on charities and councils to find new homes for these dogs,” he said. “Microchipping is a simple solution that gives peace of mind to owners. It makes it easier to get their pet back if it strays and easier to trace if it’s stolen.”
As of 2016 police officers and local authorities will have the power to check to see if dogs have been fitted with microchips. Owners who have not complied will be given one last chance to do so before fines are issued.
Government officials said dogs won’t be swept up randomly or without cause: “Clearly the police and local authorities will not be seeking out law-abiding responsible owners to check …” a spokesman said.
Paterson said that the microchipping will be free for all dog owners because it is being subsidized by the Dogs Trust charity.
Posted by jwoestendiek February 8th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abandoned, accountability, animals, british, dogs, england, environment, fines, government, lost, mandate, mandatory, microchip, microchipping, microchips, owen paterson, owners, pets, strays, uk
Of the more than 50 street dogs rounded up after five humans were found dead in a Mexico City park, almost half have had tests done on their stomach contents, and none have shown any evidence of having eaten human flesh.
Sources in Mexico City told the Associated Press that initial tests on 25 strays showed none had human remains in their stomachs. An unnamed employee of the city prosecutors’ office said officials were still awaiting results from tests on the dogs’ fur and paws to see if any human DNA was present.
Authorities in Mexico City have blamed five deaths on stray or wild dogs that roam Cerro de la Estrella park, where five mauled human bodies have been found in recent months.
Fifty-seven dogs, including the one pictured above, were swept up in and around the park, prompting protests from animal activists and others who believe authorities aren’t looking closely enough at the possibility that the bodies were killed by drug gangs and dumped there.
Dozens of protesters chanting “free the dogs, arrest the criminals!” and “the dogs aren’t criminals, the police are inept!” demonstrated outside Mexico City police headquarters Friday, demanding the release of the stray dogs.
Authorities say autopsies determined that three women, a teenage boy and a baby found in the park since mid-December died of loss of blood due to bites from multiple dogs.
The protesters, while acknowledging dogs might have fed on the victims after their deaths, say the dogs are being unfairly blamed, and many suspect the victims were killed by humans, then dumped in the park in hopes the stray dogs would destroy any evidence.
Jose Luis Carranza, of the Citizens Front for Animal Rights, was one of those critical of the round-up of strays:
“If the authorities really want to crack down on the overpopulation of dogs, then they should go after the clandestine puppy sellers,” he said. “Every day there are people selling dogs on the streets, and the police don’t do anything.”
The 57 dogs rounded up at the Cerro de la Estrella park, located in a poor Iztapalapa neighborhood, are mostly small to mid-size dogs, and include beagle and border-collie mixes. Twenty-three are puppies or very young dogs, according to the Associated Press report.
On Friday, authorities in Iztapalapa announced that the dogs taken into custody would, once tests are completed, be put up for adoption. They had earlier promised animal rights groups that the dogs would not be killed.
The dogs will get shots, baths and medical treatment before being given away, they said.
(Photo: Dario Lopez-Mills / AP)
Posted by jwoestendiek January 14th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abandoned, adopt, adoption, animal rights, animal welfare, animals, bitten, Cerro de la Estrella, citizens front for animal rights, contents, dna, dogs, five, humans, investigation, Iztapalapa, Jose Luis Carranza, killed, mauled, mexico city, pets, police, remains, roudup, round up, stomach, strays, street dogs, tests
Mexican authorities have identified a fifth possible victim in what they say is a string of fatal dog attacks at a hilltop park in Mexico City.
Gangs of dogs had been blamed for the deaths of four people at Cerro de Estrella national park in connection with attacks authorities say occured on Saturday, and on Dec. 29.
On Wednesday, the city’s attorney general’s office said it is also investigating a case involving a 15-year-old girl whose body was found at the park on Dec. 16, mutilated and bitten.
Police have rounded up 25 dogs at the park, including seven puppies, and promised sweeps at other large green spaces in the city, according to the Los Angeles Times.
But animal welfare activists say authorities have been too quick to blame the street dogs, more than a million of which roam the city, rarely attacking humans.
Some families of victims have told Mexican news outlets they believe their loved ones might have been attacked by humans.
Atty. Gen. Rodolfo Rios said Tuesday that the four most recent victims were killed by bites. In both cases, the bites the victims sustained were determined to have occured both before and after their deaths. Investigators found dog hair on the victims’ clothing, he said.
Rios said additional tests are being conducted, and that there were no plans to exterminate the dogs that have been swept up and are now in the Iztapalapa pound.
“The dogs will not be sacrificed,” Rios said. “They will be treated well.”
On Dec. 29, the bodies of Shunashi Elizabeth Mendoza Caamal, 26, and an infant believed to be her child were found in the Cerro de Estrella area. On Jan. 5, the bodies of Alejandra Ruiz Garcia, 15, and Samuel Suriel Martinez, 16, were found in the park in a “semi-devoured” state, officials said.
But some animal activists say investigators have been too quick to blame dogs, and should be looking for human suspects.
Antemio Maya, president of an association that protects street dogs, said authorities ”are making a huge error. They’re generating a climate of hate against dogs.”
(Photo: Mexico City Attorney General’s office)
Posted by jwoestendiek January 10th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, Antemio Maya, attacks, bites, Cerro de Estrella, deaths, dogs, euthanasia, feral, fifth, five, Iztapalapa, mauling, mexico city, park, pets, shelter, strays, street dogs, victims, wild
After a stray dog was struck by a car in Zhangzhou, China, her canine companion stayed by her side for six hours, nudging her with his nose, licking her, and, according to a local butcher, even shedding tears.
It can all be seen in a series of photographs being described by most major media as both “heartbreaking” and “heartwarming” — though we’d note it would have been much more heartwarming if somebody had gone to the aid of the two dogs in the street.
Xiao Wu, a local butcher, said he had recently started to feed the female stray. Her male friend, also a brown and white mutt, were often seen together.
“He stayed beside her the whole day, keeping licking her and pushing her, trying to wake her up, the butcher said. ”… Then he pushed her with his head, and licked her face … I even saw tears.”
The male dog showed up in the neighborhood about a week ago, he said. Since then, “They were together all the time, playing and in love.”
(Photos by HAP/Quirky China News/Rex)
Posted by jwoestendiek December 20th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: accident, animals, car, china, couple, dogs, friends, grief, loss, loyalty, mourning, pair, pets, strays, street, struck, team, vigil, Zhangzhou
A recent CNN report raises questions about Operation Baghdad Pups, and the charity that oversees the program, SPCA International.
CNN, whose sister network presented a positive and heartwarming portrayal of the program last year, found that SPCA International spent nearly all $27 million it received in donations to raise more money through a direct mail company.
The report also said SPCA International “misrepresented” Baghdad Pups on its tax filings, and that it hired an officer for that program with a “questionable background.”
Two immediate thoughts:
One, in an ideal world, which of course we’re not in, it would have been nice of CNN, or even its less probing sister network, HLN, to do its digging before tugging at our heartstrings to the extent we cough up money.
Two, with animal charities becoming big business, where should the line be drawn when it comes to how much of the money they rake in actually goes to helping animals?
A charity needs to spend money to raise money, of course, but Bob Ottenhoff, president of the charity watchdog group GuideStar, told CNN that the SPCA International’s tax records raise “a number of red flags.”
“No. 1, there is an enormous amount of money going into fund-raising,” Ottenhoff said. “It’s not unusual for a nonprofit to fund-raise. In fact they need to fund-raise. But this organization has an enormous amount of fund-raising costs, certainly relative to the amount of money being spent.”
Of the $14 million raised in 2010, SPCA International reported it spent about $60,000, less than 0.5%, on cash grants to animal shelters across the United States. About $450,000 — about 3% of the total raised in 2010 — went to bring back animals from Iraq and Afghanistan as part of its “Baghdad Pups” program.
The CNN report seems to make much of the fact that most of those animals weren’t actual members of the armed services — but, from our coverage of the organization, it never seemed to making the claim that they were.
Baghdad Pups is a program that “helps U.S. troops safely transport home the companion animals they befriend in the war zone,” it states on the website.
As CNN put it, “the charity admitted that only 26 of the nearly 500 animals transported to the United States from Iraq and Afghanistan were actually service animals. The rest were stray animals … And those 26 service animals were not attached to military K-9 units but belonged to Reed Inc., a private contractor that built roads in Iraq and Afghanistan.”
While dogs abandoned by contracting companies have been a concern of the program, stray animals, as I understood it, were what the program was all about — seeing that, in cases where they bonded with soldiers, they had a chance to come home with them.
While the CNN report may have been barking up the wrong tree in that regard, it was on the money in other ways — namely, in looking at what happens to the money.
SPCA International funneled nearly all the donations to Quadriga Art, one of the world’s largest direct-mail providers to charities and nonprofits. The payments to Quadriga Art and its affiliated company, Brickmill Marketing Services, were for publicizing the organization and helping it raise more funds.
It is the same company hired by two veterans charities that spent tens of millions of dollars for its services, triggering a Senate investigation last month. One of the charities,Washington-based Disabled Veterans National Foundation, collected nearly $56 million in donations over the past three years yet paid Quadriga Art more than $60 million in fees, raising questions about whether it should retain its tax-exempt status.
SPCA International is still $8 million in debt to Quadriga Art, according to a spokeswoman for the direct-mail firm.
Lat week’s CNN report also brought up previous problems Operation Baghdad spokeswoman Terri Crisp encountered while working on behalf of animals.
Crisp, who appeared on CNN’s sister network, HLN, last year with two dogs rescued from Iraq, is the former head of a California-based animal rescue charity called Noah’s Wish. It took in $8 million in contributions to support its work “rescuing and caring for the animal victims of Hurricane Katrina.” An investigation by the California attorney general was looking into whether that money was being used for that purpose when a settlement was reached in 2007.
Crisp, while not admitting to any wrongdoing, agreed to return $4 million in donations, and to not ”serve as an officer, director or trustee or in any position having the duties or responsibilities of an officer, director or trustee, with any non-profit organization” for five years.
Posted by jwoestendiek July 18th, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: afghanistan, animal welfare, animals, armed service, baghdad, bringing, charities, cnn, contractors, direct mail, dogs, finances, fund raising, fundraising, guide star, hln, home, investigation, iraq, K-9, k9, noahs wish, non profits, nonprofits, operation baghdad pups, organizations, pets, pups, quadriga art, reed inc, rehoming, report, rescue, saving, shelter, soldiers, spca international, stray, strays, terri crisp, troops
Effective Sunday, in the city that recently sent hired hands to round up strays, dead or alive, homeowners in single family residences are allowed to legally keep three dogs; while apartment renters are limited to two.
And in an effort to crack down on the thousands of local residents who don’t register their dogs, the city has also worked out an arrangement with veterinarians, authorizing them to issue city licenses when pet owners bring their dogs in for vaccinations. That takes effect Jan. 1.
The measures are designed to make the rules in Fayetteville the same as they are in surrounding Cumberland County, the Fayetteville Observer reports.
Dr. John Lauby, director of Cumberland County Animal Control, which also handles animal control for the city, said his department doesn’t plan to go door to door counting dogs, but it will respond to complaints from citizens about residents harboring too many dogs.
There are no cats limits in Fayetteville, or Cumberland County.
Officials hope the more stringent rules will cut down on complaints involving barking and loose dogs, as well as unsanitary yards where dogs are kept.
Fayetteville residents who previously had more than three dogs can keep them, assuming they are up to date on on the pet fees they pay on their property tax bills.
The county has about 39,000 licensed dogs and cats and, it estimates, about 30,000 non-registered ones.
The county is sending letters to those scofflaws, he said.
“We want to be proactive in preventing the spread of rabies from the wild animal population to humans,” he said.
The license fee is $7 per dog or cat if it has been spayed or neutered; $25 if not.
Those discovered illegally harboring more than the allowable number of pets will be fined $100 for a first offense and given a “reasonable amount of time” to find new homes for the excess dogs.
Posted by jwoestendiek July 3rd, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal control, animals, apartments, complaints, cumberland county, dog, dog limit, dog limits, dogs, enforcement, fayetteville, fines, household, john lauby, licenses, licensing, limit, limits, north carolina, number, pets, registered, registration, roundup, strays, three dogs, two dogs
In honor of her former dog, and in recognition of the ability of dogs to bring people out of their shells, Oscar-winning actress Hilary Swank says she plans to start a non profit organization to bring needy children and animals together.
“I’ve seen firsthand how it changes the path of the soul, for the animal and for the child,” Swank told The Associated Press while visiting Bucharest.
The charity, to be called Hilaroo, combines her name and that of her late dog, Karoo (South African for “countryside”), a corgi-Jack Russell mix she rescued while filming Red Dust in Graaff-Reinet in the Eastern Cape.
Last week, the 37-year-old actress was in Paris for the Salvatore Ferragamo Cruise Collection 2013 show, but she made a side trip to Romania to visit projects set up by the animal welfare foundation Vier Pfoten (Four Paws) that encourage interaction between stray dogs and institutionalized people.
Along with her was Kai, a Jack Russell terrier she rescued in Los Angeles and who accompanies her on most trips.
Bucharest has an estimated 35,000 strays living on the streets, and what to do about them is an ongoing debate between those who believe they should be exterminated and those who advocate shelters and sterilization programs.
Swank, who won an Oscar for her portrayal of a waitress-turned-boxer in “Million Dollar Baby,” told the AP that — while viewed as a problem — the strays of Bucharest can also be seen as a solution, specifically in programs where street dogs and disadvantaged people are brought together.
“I believe that is so healing to these kids who don’t trust people anymore. The unconditional love of an animal is very healing and teaches them about not just unconditional love but about a relationship, about responsibility, about anger management.”
Visiting a retirement home, she talked about one example: “There was a woman didn’t get out of bed, and after a few weeks of the dog coming to visit she’s up walking,” she said. “The dog literally got her out of bed.”
Next month, Swank begins work on “Martha and Mary,” an HBO movie about two women trying to eradicate malaria. It will be shot in North Carolina and South Africa.
Before leaving Bucharest, she urged people to neuter unwanted dogs and cats rather than kill them.
“I believe in a “No-Kill” policy,” she said. “Hopefully (we are) getting to a place where we have “No-Kill” universally and just a more caring attitude in general to all animals.”
(Photo: Swank with Karoo; Most Wanted/Flynet, via People magazine)
Posted by jwoestendiek June 29th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: actress, animal welfare, animals, bucharest, charity, disadvantaged, dogs, four paws, hilaroo, hilary, insititutionalized, kai, karoo, million dollar baby, neuter, oscar, pets, romania, spay, stray dogs, strays, swank, unconditional love, vier pfoten, visit, winning
In a poor shanty town in Lima, Peru, a deaf and mute boy is helping dogs, and proving actions speak louder than words ever will.
According to this report, posted on Care2 by Rosemary Underhay, who works with Vida Digna, a Peruvian animal welfare association, they first noticed the boy in a line of people waiting to get medical care for their animals.
“In the line there was a small boy, deaf and unable to speak, who used sign language to tell us we needed to see something urgently,” she writes.
“He disappeared for a while and then returned with a small, cold, miserable puppy covered in an angry, itchy mange and with a nasty, festering wound caused by scalding water, probably thrown at him to scare him away from market stands.”
Every week, the neighbor and the deaf boy were back in the line with the dog, named Milo, so his progress could be checked.
Two months later, as the program came to an end, Milo had completely recovered. By then, many were interested in adopting him. He now lives in a happy home, not far from the boy who helped him.
The boy, meanwhile, continued to bring in other strays in need of help, Vida Digna says.
“We always see him on our programs because he brings us strays. He wants us to give him an injection along with the dogs (the anti-mange injection), and the vet pretends to get ready an enormous syringe.”
Underhay said they don’t know if the boy is in school. Half of all school-age children there are not, because their parents cannot afford it.
“… We always try to make it clear to him that he is changing his world, by turning suffering into happiness,” Underhay wrote.
“We feel that the message is very strong, that people who are living permanently with those terrible constraints still want their animals to be well-cared for. People love their animals. The animals of the poor are often ill-cared for simply for lack of information and money. We teach above all, but provide services at prices most can pay for, even if only bit by bit. That is our work.”
Click this link to make a donation to help provide care for the animals in Peru’s shanty towns.
Posted by jwoestendiek May 20th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, boy, burned, burns, care, care2, clinic, deaf, dogs, happiness, helps, lima, medical, milo, mute, peru, pets, poverty, rescue, rosemary underhay, scalded, shanty town, shelter, strays, suffering, veterinary, vida digna
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
Stray dogs. Stray humans. Lori Weise encountered them both when she started work 16 years ago at a furniture factory on the edge of L.A.’s Skid Row, where homeless dogs and humans were both often treated with something less than respect.
So she created Downtown Dog Rescue — right there in the back of the factory — in the hopes that, through trapping strays, and persuading the homeless to get their dogs spay or neutered, she and her co-workers could make a dent in the homeless dog problem, if not the homeless human one.
She posted fliers promising free pizza for those who brought their dogs in. In addition to paying for thousands of surgeries, the rescue organization has placed or fostered thousands of dogs. And because homeless people can’t a dog license without an address, Weise used the factory’s address to get those dog’s registered. The address of the company, Modernica, was used to license 300 dogs.
The Associated Press, in a story by reporter Sue Manning, took a look this week at Downtown Dog Rescue — both where it has been and where it is going.
The shelter is still located in the back of Modernica, but with homeless people having left downtown Weise now brings shelter services to Compton, where for the last two years it has helped fund a monthly spay and neuter clinic, run by the Los Angeles County Department of Animal Care & Control.
In 2011, the clinic sterilized close to 800 dogs, according to Weise, and the euthanasia rate for pit bulls at the county shelter dropped 30 percent.
DDR also holds weekly obedience classes at the Los Angeles Coliseum, teaching owners basic commands, agility, and other urban survival skills. The class draws between 30 and 50 dogs a week.
Downtown Dog Rescue has grown from a couple of kennels to 22. The furniture company has grown, too. Owners and brothers Frank and Jay Novak don’t consider themselves activists for either dogs or the homeless, but they say the work Weise has done helps define the company.
“She never talks down to people,” Novak said. “She is so genuine. I think people are impressed by her sincerity and people know none of the money (close to $200,000 in donations a year) goes to administrative costs.”
Eight months ago, Modernica began moving its production plant to Vernon, and they’ve promised Weise a half-acre where she can build a new shelter there. For now, the dogs remain in the downtown factory, where the company’s prop department will stay.
“She is fearless. She will go into neighborhoods nobody in their right mind would go into. She just goes with her conviction and knowledge she is going to help somebody,” said Carole Pearson, founder and president of Los Angeles-based Dawg Squad.
Most of the men Weise befriended 15 years ago are in prisons or hospitals or have died, the Associated Press story notes. But many of them left the streets — voluntarily or not — with the knowledge their dogs would be taken care of.
“I promised a lot of the men as long as their dogs are alive, they will have a good place to live and I’ll love them,” Weise said.
Posted by jwoestendiek April 11th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal control, dog licenses, dogs, downtown, downtown dog rescue, factory, furniture, homeless, humans, licenses, licensing, lori weise, los angeles, modernica, neuter, pets, rescue, shelter, skid row, spay, strays, streets