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Tag: upheld

Court affirms that piercing cats is cruelty

Piercing kittens is cruel, a panel of Pennsylvania judges has affirmed.

Three judges of the Superior Court upheld a conviction for animal cruelty of a dog groomer who had offered “gothic” kittens for sale on eBay.

An investigation into the pierced kittens began in 2008 when a citizen saw the animals being offered for $100 each on eBay, inquired about them and reported it to the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals of Luzerne County, according to the Times Leader in Wilkes Barre.

A citizen tipped off PETA, as well, which conducted an investigation of its own and passed on information to the SPCA.

Accompanied by state police, SPCA officials visited Pawside Parlor, located at the home of Holly Crawford in Sweet Valley, Pa. They removed three kittens and a cat. While at the home, police also found a dog with pierced ears.

A jury found Crawford guilty of animal cruelty, and last year she was sentenced to six months of home detention and electronic monitoring, followed by probation.

In her appeal, Crawford argued that Pennsylvania’s cruelty statutes were too vague, and pointed out that many accepted veterinary procedures like declawing cats and cutting a dog’s vocal cords could fall under the same category she was being prosecuted under.

The law forbids “acts that maim, mutilate, torture or disfigure the animal.”

This week, the Superior Court panel upheld the lower court’s findings, the New York Times reported.

In a 19-page opinion, Judge Kate Ford Elliott wrote that “metal protruded from the kittens’ small bodies, pierced through their ears and necks, and at least one of these kittens also had an elastic band tied around its tail, an attempt at docking …”

Crawford, who was described in the opinion as being “enthusiastic about piercing,” had admitted to piercing the kittens without anesthetic.

“Appellant’s claims center on her premise that a person of normal intelligence would not know whether piercing a kitten’s ears or banding its tail is maiming, mutilating, torturing or disfiguring an animal.” Judge Elliott wrote.  “We disagree.”

Autistic student’s right to service dog upheld

An autistic student’s right to bring his service dog to school was upheld by an Illinois appeals court last week.

The appeals court upheld a Monroe County court ruling that permitted Carter Kalbfleisch to bring his autism service dog, Corbin, to school. The Columbia School District had appealed the lower court decision.

Instead of following the lower court’s ruling, the district decided it could not meet Carter’s educational needs and sent him to the Illinois Center for Autism, agreeing to pay for his education there, but refusing to pay the cost of trasnporting Carter and the dog to school, according to the Belleville News-Democrat in Illinois.

 ”We’re happy that it went our way,” said Chris Kalbfleisch, Carter’s father. “Hopefully the school will change their direction with this. … Hopefully we can move forward and get our son back in school.”

“We hope they come to the realization that the law is the law and they have to follow it,” said Kalbfleisch’s attorney, Clay St. Clair. “Just because you don’t like a law doesn’t mean you don’t have to follow the law. We hope they do what they are supposed to do.”

School and district officials argued the dog would be disruptive, and possibly cause allergic reactions in other students.

The school district has the option of accepting the appellate court’s decision, or appealing the case to the Illinois Supreme Court.

Pit bull ban upheld by Ontario court

Canadians are a bland and slow-witted people, prone to swilling beer, wearing plaid and playing ice hockey.

Eh?

Of course that’s not true, but then neither is this: Pit bulls are dangerous and unpredictable dogs that have the potential to attack without warning.

That’s what the Ontario Court of Appeal said Friday in a decision upholding the province’s ban on pit bulls, enacted in 2005. It prohibits the breeding, sale and ownership of pit bulls and requires they be muzzled when in public.

The Appeal Court ruled Friday that the ban on the breed does not violate any constitutional rights.

“The total ban on pit bulls is not ‘arbitrary’ or ‘grossly disproportionate’ in light of the evidence that pit bulls have a tendency to be unpredictable and that even apparently docile pit bulls may attack without warning or provocation,” the judges said in their decision Friday.

Then they all put on their tuques, went to an ice hockey game and drank Molsons. Not really. The point is, you’d think a high court in a country so sensitive to negative stereotyping would give a little more thought and study to an issue rather just relying on stereotypes — namely the bogus one that all pit bulls are prone to unprovoked violence.

Yes, there are violent pit bulls (generally the fault of their owner) — just as there are nasty poodles and slow-witted Canadians, but blanket indictments based on perception aren’t progress. They’re the opposite — a step backwards. They get us nowhere. 

Lawyer Clayton Ruby, who challenged the law, called it a “sad day” in Ontario. “Kind, loving, gentle dogs are being killed across this province for no reason,” he said in a statement, according to the Canadian Press.

“The provincial government should focus their efforts and resources on identifying truly dangerous dogs rather than apprehending and killing dogs that pose no threat at all,” he said.

Ruby said he is considering an appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada.

Jean-anne Moors of Banned Aid, a coalition fighting the ban, said the group was “very disappointed” with the ruling.

“I have three so-called pit bull-type dogs who are all legal under the law,” she said. “Everybody’s looking at me as if I’m some kind of criminal when I walk down the streets with my dogs. They have no history of aggression.”

Moors said the law sets a troubling precedent because it’s not just a pit bull issue.

“If a government … can make such an arbitrary decision that a dog is a bad and dangerous dog and seize it under certain circumstances and destroy it … that’s a matter of concern to anybody who has a dog – period.”