Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Forever Franky

Produced by Ohio Rottweiler Rescue, this touching video and story is about a dog named Franky that was rescued in late 2008. The transformation of Franky from near death to a healthy, gorgeous dog is so beautiful that you'll definitely need to have a tissue in hand. Enjoy!

video

Monday, March 30, 2009

Ohio House Bill 79

PLEASE READ AND CROSSPOST

Measle's Animal Haven (MAH) believes wholeheartedly that pit bulls with responsible owners are the BEST and most loving family pets of all breeds. MAH knows from our vast experience that pit bulls and pit bull-type dogs are NOT automatically "vicious." Unfortunately, there is a very small percentage of the total pit bull population that MAY be vicious toward humans (though this is not ever the dog's fault, as a dog's behavior is always a result of irresponsible/criminal ownership fostering inbreeding/abuse/neglect of the dog). Equally unfortunate is the fact that a pit bull's size and strength allow that tiny percentage of "vicious" dogs to inflict severe damage on people if they attack a human (please note that this is true of ANY large breed dog and does not just apply to pit bulls!).

However, Ohio's current BSL does NOT foster responsible ownership -- instead it promotes what is tantamount to breed genocide in the killing of thousands of gentle, happy, friendly pit bulls each year just because of their breed.

MAH promotes responsible ownership of pit bulls to ensure the safety, health, and happiness of our beloved family pets. We advise all pit bull owners to spay/neuter their pets and abide by any laws pertaining to pet ownership and the pit bull breed. Further, for the safety of our pit bulls, we insist that anyone adopting our rescued pit bulls properly restrain their dogs at all times (keep your pit bull leashed or in a locked fenced yard and never take your pit bull to an off-leash dog park), even if the adopter lives in a state where there is no BSL.

Ohio House Bill 79, introduced last week by Rep. Barbara Sears of Sylvania , would amend § 955.11 of the Ohio Revised Code to remove “pit bulls” from the definition of “vicious dog." Dog advocates throughout Ohio are working hard on legislative efforts and strongly support this bill for the following reasons:

  1. BSL (breed specific legislation) is never a good idea, it only serves to punish responsible dog owners while doing nothing to crack down on irresponsible owners and in Ohio, has led to the slaughter of thousands of innocent dogs simply because of what they look like.
  2. Ohio is the only State in the country that automatically defines pit bulls as vicious. Some States, such as Texas, have taken the opposite approach and have prohibited BSL completely.
  3. No breed of dog, including pit bull, is inherently dangerous or vicious. Even dogs that have been bred and trained as fighting dogs, such as the Michael Vick dogs, are often able to be rehabilitated.
  4. Current Ohio law places an undue hardship on responsible dog owners by requiring pit bull owners to carry liability insurance that covers injury to a human by their pit bull(s). All pit bulls or dogs that "look" like a pit bull and the good owners and bad owners are all tainted by the assumption that they will bite/maim/kill a human at the slightest provocation. There is not even a provision for dogs who pass the Canine Good Citizen test, are spayed/neutered, and have responsible owners.
  5. All definitions of dangerous or vicious dogs should be based on the behavior of the individual dog -- NOT THE BREED.
  6. Some additional reasons and evidence are cited on Best Friends Network.

Please contact your legislator to voice your opinion on H.B. 79. Phone calls, faxes and letters work the best. Additionally, please contact the bill's sponsor, Rep. Sears, to thank her for sponsoring this bill and working to improve the lives of pit bulls in Ohio. Lastly, the bill has been assigned to the Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee and we urge people to contact them as well.

Please take a moment to write letters of support for Representative Sears’ bill that would remove the “pit bull” clause from the Ohio Revised Code. (See the addresses listed below.)

Sincerely,
Robin Laux

Measle's Animal Haven Pit Bull Rescue
www.MeaslesAnimalHaven.org

Members Agriculture and NaturalResource Committee

John Domenick
Phone: (614) 466-3735
Fax: (614) 719-6995
Email: district95@ohr. state.oh. us

Alan Sayre
Phone: (614) 466-8035
Fax: (614) 719-6996
Email: district96@ohr. state.oh. us

Linda Bolon
Phone: (614) 466-8022
Fax: (614) 719-6971
Email: district01@ohr. state.oh. us

Dan Dodd
Phone: (614) 466-2500
Fax: (614) 719-6991
Email: district91@ohr. state.oh. us

Jennifer Garrison
Phone: (614) 644-8728
Fax: (614) 719-6993
Email: district93@ohr. state.oh. us

Dennis Murray
Phone: (614) 644-6011
Fax: (614) 719-6980
Email: district80@ohr. state.oh. us

Deborah Newcomb
Phone: (614) 466-1405
Fax: (614) 719-6999
Email: district99@ohr. state.oh. us

Mark Okey
Phone: (614) 466-1464
Fax: (614) 719-3961
Email: district61@ohr. state.oh. us

Raymond Pryor
Phone: (614) 644-7928
Fax: (614) 719-6985
Email: district85@ohr. state.oh. us

W. Carlton Weddington
Phone: (614) 466-5343
Fax: (614) 719-3581
Email: district27@ohr. state.oh. us

Jeff Wagner
Phone: (614) 466-1374
Fax: (614) 719-6981
Email: district81@ohr. state.oh. us

Richard Adams
Phone: (614) 466-8114
Fax: (614) 719-3979
Email: district79@ohr. state.oh. us

Troy Balderson
Phone: (614) 644-6014
Fax: (614) 719-6994
Email: district94@ohr. state.oh. us

Terry Boose
Phone: (614) 466-9628
Fax: (614) 719-3958
Email: district58@ohr. state.oh. us

Timothy Derickson
Phone: (614) 644-5094
Fax: (614) 719-6953
Email: district53@ohr. state.oh. us

Matthew J. Dolan
Phone: (614) 644-5088
Fax: (614) 719-6998
Email: district98@ohr. state.oh. us

Dave Hall
Phone: (614) 466-2994
Fax: (614) 719-6997
Email: district97@ohr. state.oh. us

Margaret Ruhl
Phone: (614) 466-1431
Fax: (614) 719-6990
Email: district90@ohr. state.oh. us

James Zehringer
Phone: (614) 466-6344
Fax: (614) 719-3977
Email: district77@ohr. state.oh. us

In addition, OHIO RESIDENTS should contact their respective district representatives to encourage them to support HB79. You can find your local representatives on the home page of the Ohio Legislature website.

Finally, please write to Representative Sears to thank her for sponsoring HB 79 and bringing their very important issue to the floor:
Barbara R. Sears
( R )Representative
77 S. High St
10th Floor
Columbus, OH43215-6111
Tel: (614) 466-1731
Fax: (614) 719-6946
Email: district46@ohr. state.oh. us

If you would like to write to the representatives via snail mail, all correspondence should be sent to The Honorable ____________, 77 South High Street , Columbus , Ohio 43215-6111 .

It would be an incredible achievement to implement positive change to Ohio's laws regarding pit bulls. So please write TODAY…this issue is too important to put off!

Why Wasn't There a Conviction?

Companion Animal Protection Society’s Undercover Investigation Convicts USDA Licensed National Dog Breeder & Broker Kathy Bauck in Minnesota of 4 Misdemeanors, Jury Dismisses 2 Felony Charges

(Boston, MA) – The Companion Animal Protection Society (CAPS) is extremely disappointed that the jury for the trial of Kathy Bauck, the owner and operator of Pick of the Litter (aka Puppies on Wheels) in New York Mills, Minnesota, did not find Bauck guilty of two felony charges. However, based on the laws of Minnesota, we understand why they arrived at their decision.

Minnesota statute 343.20, sub. 6 defines pet or companion animal: "Pet or companion animal" includes any animal owned, possessed by, cared for, or controlled by a person for the present or future enjoyment of that person or another as a pet or companion, or any stray pet or stray companion animal. Nothing in this statute indicates that dogs are livestock, but Bauck’s defense attorney raised the argument that the dogs that were shown in the video taken by the CAPS investigator were her "breeding stock" dogs. As such, he stated that they shouldn't be considered pets or companion animals. The legal argument and interpretation will be up to the judge to decide during the final sentencing.

What makes Minnesota Statute 343.21, Overworking or Mistreating Animals, a felony is in the penalty portion in subdivision 9, under subdivision (c) - having a previous gross misdemeanor on felony conviction or (d) the intentional violation that results in the death or great bodily harm of a pet or companion animal, which the prosecution argued. The other sections of this subdivision did not apply to the Kathy Bauck case.

In Count 3, a torture violation charged as a gross misdemeanor under 343.21, subdivision. 9 (b), the jury had to answer additional questions, including whether or not the animal was a pet or companion animal; they answered "No" to that question. Therefore, this made it more likely that the jury would have found Bauck not guilty of a felony.

For there to be a felony, the defendant’s behavior must be proven intentional. During the incident documented below, the CAPS investigator was not wearing a hidden camera daily because of security precautions. Without video evidence for the first felony count, it was hard for the jury to determine if there was intentional behavior by Bauck. This incident was documented by the CAPS investigator in field notes and a report:

5/5/08: I worked from about 8:30 to 17:30 today. I began chores in the puppy barns, and I found that a Bichon on the eastern row of the western room of the Red Barn was having puppies. One puppy, that appeared to be partially flattened, was dead on the pen flooring while a live puppy was hanging from an umbilical cord from the mother. I told this to Kathy, who told me to bring the dog to her. She injected the mother with calcium sulfate to “aid contractions,” and then spent about 15 minutes trying to reach inside to pull a puppy out. She did not wash or sanitize her hands before reaching into the dog’s cavity. She brought a puppy out that was not breathing, and blew hard into its mouth and nose before slapping its back repeatedly and very hard. She would then keep blowing air into the puppy and rubbing its chest until the puppy began to breathe shallowly, though it was dead about two hours later. At about that time, Kathy tried again to get another puppy from the Bichon, and she got the help of Corinne and Andy. The three women alternated using two pairs of surgical clamps that they grabbed the puppy with inside the mother. Kathy tore the tail off of the puppy, and all three women kept pulling tufts of fur attached to bloody skin, until Kathy pulled a rear leg completely off the puppy. About five minutes later, the puppy came out dead and it was decided that no more puppies were in the mother.

The CAPS investigator’s quote: “I observed consistent neglect and abuse at the Bauck family’s kennel. Common sense shows that animal cruelty at their kennel will not end as long as they are breeding dogs. The dogs at the kennel have no way to protect themselves, and that fact should be at the core of the decision in sentencing Kathy Bauck.”

Regarding the sentencing, anything short of the judge ordering that all of the dogs and cats be removed and Bauck and her family be banned from the practice of breeding is acceptable. The Bauck family should be allowed to keep one pet cat/or one pet dog as long as this companion animal is spayed or neutered. Bauck should also be banned from employment by any person or business that deals in the raising of dogs or cats for profit purposes. See the State of South Dakota vs. Gary Haiar (August 1992) for a similar sentence. Haiar had approximately 400 dogs and was in the process of obtaining a USDA license when found guilty of animal cruelty. CAPS generated publicity about this deplorable facility in Life magazine in September 1992.

USDA regulations should also be amended to require automatic termination of a license upon a conviction for animal cruelty, whether it be a misdemeanor or felony offense. Section 2.11 of the Animal Welfare Act regulations merely states that a license will not be issued to any applicant how has been fined, sentenced to jail or pled nolo contendere under state or local cruelty to animal laws within 1 year of application. USDA is currently reviewing the CAPS evidence. Sadly, however, even if Bauck loses her USDA license and can no longer sell to pet shops, she will still be able to sell over the internet because breeders who sell strictly over the internet are not regulated under federal laws.

Minnesota has no state inspection program but there is legislation currently in front of the state legislature that would ban state licensed kennel operators who have been convicted of animal cruelty from having a license. CAPS supports this legislation, especially because it would apply to internet breeders.

For more information please visit www.caps-web.org or call the Companion Animal Protection Society at 781.210.0938.


###

About Companion Animal Protection Society:
Companion Animal Protection Society (CAPS) is the only national nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting companions from cruelty and inhumane breeding practices in Pet Shops and Puppy Mills. Founded in 1992, CAPS actively addresses this issue through undercover investigations, consumer education through the media, legislative involvement, puppy mill dog rescues, consumer assistance and pet shop employee relations. CAPS has gained worldwide recognition for targeting puppy mill operations and converting pet shops to humane animal adoption centers. The Companion Animal Protection Society is based in the Boston, MA area. For more information please visit
www.caps-web.org.

Jasmine

In 2003, police in Warwickshire, England, opened a garden shed and found a whimpering, cowering dog.. It had been locked in the shed and abandoned. It was dirty and malnourished, and had clearly been abused.

In an act of kindness, the police took the dog, which was a Greyhound female, to the nearby Nuneaton Warwickshire Wildlife Sanctuary, run by a man named Geoff Grewcock and known as a willing haven for Animals abandoned, orphaned or otherwise in need. Click for http://www.warwickshirewildlifesanctuary.co.uk/index.htm. Geoffand the other sanctuary staff went to work with two aims to restore the dog to full health, and to win her trust. It took several weeks, but eventually both goals were achieved.

They named her Jasmine, and they started to think about finding her an adoptive home.



But Jasmine had other ideas. No one remembers now how it began, but she started welcoming all animal arrivals at the sanctuary. It wouldn't matter if it was a puppy, a fox cub, a rabbit or, any other lost or hurting animal, Jasmine would peer into the box or cage and, where possible, deliver a welcoming lick.


Geoff relates one of the early incidents. "We had two puppies that had been abandoned by a nearby railway line. One was a Lakeland Terrier cross and another was a Jack Russell Doberman cross. They were tiny when they arrived at the centre and Jasmine approached them and grabbed one by the scruff of the neck in her mouth and put him on the settee. Then she fetched the other one and sat down with them, cuddling them."

"But she is like that with all of our animals, even the rabbits. She takes all the stress out of them and it helps them to not only feel close to her but to settle into their new surroundings.



"She has done the same with the fox and badger cubs, she licks the rabbits and guinea pigs and even lets the birds perch on the bridge of her nose."

Jasmine, the timid, abused, deserted waif, became the animal sanctuary's resident surrogate mother, a role for which she might have been born. The list of orphaned and abandoned youngsters she has cared for comprises five fox cubs, four badger cubs, 15 chicks, eight guinea pigs, two stray puppies and 15 rabbits.

And one roe deer fawn. Tiny Bramble, 11 weeks old, was found semi-conscious in a field. Upon arrival at the sanctuary, Jasmine cuddled up to her to keep her warm, and then went into the full foster mum role. Jasmine the greyhound showers Bramble the Roe deer with affection and makes sure nothing is matted.



"They are inseparable," says Geoff "Bramble walks between her legs and they keep kissing each other. They walk together round the sanctuary.

It's a real treat to see them."


Jasmine will continue to care for Bramble until she is old enough to be returned to woodland life.

When that happens, Jasmine will not be lonely. She will be too busy showering love and affection on the next Orphan or victim of abuse.



From left, Toby, a stray Lakeland dog; Bramble, orphaned Roe deer; Buster, a stray Jack Russell; a dumped rabbit; Sky, an injured barn owl; and Jasmine with a Mother's heart doing best what a caring Mother would do... Such is the order of God's Creation.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

USDA Licensed National Dog Broker Found Guilty

Companion Animal Protection Society’s Undercover Investigation Convicts National Dog Breeder & Broker Kathy Bauck in Minnesota

(Boston, MA)
– An undercover investigation by the Companion Animal Protection Society (CAPS), the only national nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting companion animals from cruelty and inhumane breeding practices in pet shops and puppy mills, is pleased to announce that Kathy Bauck, the owner and operator of Pick of the Litter (aka Puppies on Wheels) in New York Mills, Minnesota, has been found guilty of four misdemeanor counts of animal cruelty and torture.

Ms. Bauck was one of the largest national USDA licensed dog brokers, distributing thousands of dogs to pet shops across the country and via the internet. Based on evidence compiled by CAPS, Ms. Bauck was found guilty by a jury for four misdemeanor counts of cruelty and torture at a trial that began on March 18th and ended on March 24th 2009.

While under a cease and desist order from the State Veterinary Board for the practice of veterinary medicine, including doing C-sections on her dogs, Ms. Bauck continued to practice vet medicine, which was documented by her employees. However, the state allowed her to plea bargain for just one charge for the practice of veterinary medicine and dropped the cruelty charge for killing a puppy by bashing it against a pole. While on parole and serving work release, she continued to commit cruelty that was documented by a CAPS undercover investigator. CAPS submitted the investigator’s hidden camera footage, photographs and reports to local authorities. This documentary evidence was the basis of the criminal case against Bauck.

At the time of the investigator’s employment, Ms. Bauck’s facility held 900 adult dogs and approximately 400 puppies. The undercover video shot by the CAPS investigator shows dogs that are sick, wounded, and emaciated. Dogs at her facility commonly became wounded through fights, even some of the small breed dogs.

CAPS has an online pet shop and internet puppy complaint form and over the years has received a number of complaints from consumers who purchased sick puppies that were bred or brokered by Bauck.

Ms. Bauck has been licensed by the USDA since 1983 and despite CAPS investigations since 1997, the USDA has failed to take action. The July 2008 USDA inspection report for Bauck had no violations of the Animal Welfare Act (AWA). CAPS has been investigating the USDA’s failure to enforce the AWA since 1995 and has been lobbying members of Congress for oversight hearings regarding USDA’s lax enforcement of the AWA. CAPS returns to the Capitol in April to meet with USDA officials and members of Congress and will use the Bauck case as evidence of the USDA’s malfeasance.

At 9:18pm on Tuesday March 24, 2009 after reviewing all of the evidence by the CAPS investigator, the jury determined that Ms. Bauck was guilty of four misdemeanor counts. The sentencing hearing will be on April 24, 2009.

Click here to view the video for the investigation report.

The trial has generated the following news coverage:

ABC Boston aired on March 25, 2009 “Conviction in Animal Cruelty Case”
http://www.thebostonchannel.com/video/19016577/index.html

ABC Boston reports sick puppies from online purchases
http://www.thebostonchannel.com/news/18870823/detail.html

ABC Boston aired a two-part expose on the CAPS undercover investigation of Pick of the Litter, owned by Kathy Bauck.http://www.thebostonchannel.com/news/17932078/detail.html

CBS 2 and KCAL 9 in Los Angeles aired "Buy Internet Puppies at Your Peril" http://cbs2.com/watercooler/Internet.puppies.caution.2.861653.html
puppies.caution.2.861653.html

CBS2 Chicago aired the third installment about the CAPS undercover investigation of Pick of the Litter, owned by Kathy Bauckhttp://cbs2chicago.com/local/Internet.puppies.%20Zekman.2.861245.html
Zekman.2.861245.html

CBS Minneapolis aired an expose on the CAPS undercover investigation of Pick of the Litter, owned by Kathy Bauck.http://wcco.com/iteam/i.team.puppy.2.872927.htmlUSDA Considering Action against Puppy Mill Ownerhttp://cbs2chicago.com/investigations/bad.breeder.usda.2.838041.html
bad.breeder.usda.2.838041.html

CBS2 Chicago aired an exclusive expose on the CAPS undercover investigation of Pick of the Litter, owned by Kathy Bauck
http://cbs2chicago.com/investigations/cathy.bauck.puppy.2.837035.htmlcathy.bauck.puppy.2.837035.html

For more information please visit http://www.caps-web.org/ or call the Companion Animal Protection Society at 781.210.0938.


###

About Companion Animal Protection Society:
Companion Animal Protection Society (CAPS) is the only national nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting companions from cruelty and inhumane breeding practices in Pet Shops and Puppy Mills. Founded in 1992, CAPS actively addresses this issue through undercover investigations, consumer education through the media, legislative involvement, puppy mill dog rescues, consumer assistance and pet shop employee relations. CAPS has gained worldwide recognition for targeting puppy mill operations and converting pet shops to humane animal adoption centers. The Companion Animal Protection Society is based in the Boston, MA area. For more information please visit
www.caps-web.org.

Nightline Investigates Puppy Mills Airs This Friday

ABC Nightline investigates puppy mills - the program is scheduled to air this Friday (March 27, 2009) at 11:35 PM (Eastern Standard Time; check local listings for your area) and is expected to include coverage of Amish and Mennonite commercial breeders.

Pennsylvania puppy mills and Main Line Animal Rescue (MLAR) were filmed as part of this special segment.

Don't miss it!

Never Raise a Parrot with a Baby

Bird enthusiasts -- you're going to LOVE this!


video

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Animal Planet Exposes Horrific Billion Dollar Industry

PUPPY MILLS: EXPOSED

Animal Planet Exposes Horrific Billion Dollar Industry
By: PR Newswire

SILVER SPRING, Md., March 25 /PRNewswire/ -- Boney legs poke out from between harsh metal wires. Food and water dishes remain empty for days. Ailments go untreated as puppies bide their time among the dying and the dead. These are the squalid conditions of puppy mills, where it's estimated more than two million dogs are mass-produced for profit each year. Hundreds of these animals never survive, and the ones who do are permanently scarred, emotionally and physically. No matter how inhumane, over 10,000 puppy mills continue to do business across the country -- many of them legally -- as neglect runs rampant and countless lives are ruined. While respectable breeders cherish their animals by providing safe, clean environments; plenty of food and water; and space for exercise and socialization, puppy mills are run for profit alone, without considering the quality of life of the animals that are born within their confines.

Starting in Pennsylvania, a state which some organizations have dubbed "the puppy mill capital of the east," Animal Planet follows the committed law enforcement officers of the Pennsylvania SPCA (PSPCA) to take viewers inside the world of puppy mills in PUPPY MILLS: EXPOSED. Premiering Monday, April 27, at 10 PM (ET/PT), this special episode of ANIMAL COPS: PHILADELPHIA utilizes photographic and video evidence and the firsthand accounts of investigators and employees who brought down some of the largest puppy mill operations in the country. PUPPY MILLS: EXPOSED illuminates the horrifying conditions of puppy mills while forcing viewers to ask how this inexcusable business continues to flourish on American soil.

In Pennsylvania, PUPPY MILLS: EXPOSED explores the case of Limestone Kennels -- one of the highest profile puppy mill cases the state has ever seen. On July 17, 2008, just outside of Philadelphia in Chester County, investigators rescued more than 80 dogs from Limestone and brought owner John Blank to justice. Unfortunately, victory was bittersweet because what the officers saw inside the puppy mill was astonishing -- multiple dogs packed into cramped cages, food dishes contaminated with feces and animals with multiple birth defects, including dogs with missing eyes. The worst part was the kennel had passed inspections on multiple occasions, calling into question the enforcement of state laws surrounding the welfare of animals in Pennsylvania. Humane Law Enforcement Officer Ashley Mutch followed the lead that led to the warrant and raid of Limestone Kennels.

"We rescued all of the dogs from the appalling environment and conditions they were subjected to, which was the most important thing," say Mutch. "But for the dogs that came before them, we were too late. Whether they survived or not, all of those dogs were victims of a puppy mill and will be forever damaged."

"Puppy mills are a blemish on a country that loves and respects its dogs," says Marjorie Kaplan, president and general manager of Animal Planet. "PUPPY MILLS: EXPOSED tells the truth about these operations -- no matter how disturbing -- in order to incite emotions and action in everyone who watches."

Traveling across the country, PUPPY MILLS: EXPOSED explores similar stories as they unfold in Tennessee and Florida. With the help of a puppy mill employee, who was disgusted by what she saw at work, the authorities in Hickman County, Tennessee, closed Pine Bluff Kennels. The animals were tortured with starvation, kept in disgusting cages covered in inches of feces and left to survive among the corpses of dead puppies. The adult dogs did not fare much better: after being used for breeding, they were no longer considered valuable and were allegedly shot.

Later, viewers travel to Miami where the other side of this horrific reality is exposed. Viewers meet a woman who bought her puppy, Nugget, from a pet store. Shortly thereafter, Nugget became sick. Like most people, the owner had no idea that virtually all pet store puppies come from large commercial breeding facilities -- many of which can be considered puppy mills. The conditions of these facilities would be truly shocking to pet owners, but unfortunately they buy their pets, unaware of their origins.

The Pennsylvania SPCA is dedicated to rescuing animals from abuse and neglect, providing lifesaving care and treatment, guaranteeing a home for every adoptable animal, and reducing pet-overpopulation through low-cost spay-and-neuter clinics and public awareness initiatives. Through these efforts, we prevent cruelty towards animals and promote respect for their welfare, thus enhancing the lives of people and their companion animals throughout the state of Pennsylvania. Headquartered in Philadelphia, PSPCA has satellite shelters in Wellsboro, Centre Hall, Danville, and Montrose. The Philadelphia branch houses a full-service animal hospital, obedience training academy, adoption facility and the PSPCA Law Enforcement Department, which is responsible for enforcing Philadelphia and Pennsylvania animal cruelty laws. For more information, call 215-426-6300 or visit www.pspca.org.

ANIMAL COPS: PHILADELPHIA is a Granada Anglia production. For Granada Anglia, Marie Thomas is executive producer. Dawn Sinsel is the executive producer for Animal Planet.

Great News in the Fight Against Dog Auctions & Puppy Mills

Update 3/23/09 from Mary O'Conner-Shaver of Columbus Top Dogs on the fight against dog auctions and puppy mills:

Dear Companion Pet Lovers ~

I wanted to share with you some important updates on efforts taking place across our country to raise awareness of puppy mills, dog auctions, pet stores and the entities that support and keep them in business.

A special thanks to supporter Lisa Anderson, volunteer with Humane Society of Delaware County (HSDC), who led a very successful peaceful rally against the March 21 Buckeye Dog Auction! This rally was of particular importance given that many of the dogs placed on the auction block were from Kathy Bauck's kennel, Pick of the Litter. Kathy is a convicted puppy mill breeder who is currently on trial facing six criminal charges for abusing and neglecting animals. We also received confirmation that one of the "significant" buyers at this sale was another well-known puppy mill breeder, Junior Horton from Virginia. The Humane society called the removal of 700 dogs from "Horton's Pups" back in November 2008 as one of its largest animal rescue operations ever. Although Junior was found guilty on 14 counts of animal cruelty and 25 counts of neglect, among others, he served no jail time and the judge suspended most of his fines.

1. COLORADO. Legislation introduced on January 21 in Colorado that would have limited the number of dogs breeders could keep and mandate veterinary certification exams for commercially bred dogs has been set aside indefinitely. The Colorado House Agriculture Committee voted on January 28 to table H.B. 1172, and no further hearings are scheduled at this time. The puppy mill bill, if passed in its proposed form, would:

* Limit the number of adult, unaltered dogs a breeder can maintain
* Mandate annual veterinary exams
* Prohibit individuals convicted of animal cruelty of obtaining a breeder license

2. CONNECTICUT. Lawmakers this year will decide whether pet owners should get double their money back from stores that sell them puppies, kittens and other animals with chronic disease or disabilities. Groups such as the Westport Coalition Against Puppy Mills, whose members include G. Kenneth Bernhard, a lawyer and former state representative from Westport, believe that wronged pet owners need more recourse. They want to be able to claim back twice the purchase price of defective animals. Bernhard said that coalition members reviewing records, traced many puppies for sale in Connecticut pet stores to so-called puppy mills in Pennsylvania and points west. "Some had some horrific violations," Bernhard said, adding that owners have been stuck with huge veterinary bills.

For more information, we invite you to view the article, "Pet 'Lemon Law' unleashed at hearing".

3. IDAHO. On February 17, announcement was made that an animal cruelty bill that teamed the agricultural community and a local animal welfare group together is dead for the 2009 session because of infighting between two animal welfare groups.

For more information, we invite you to view the article, "Animal Cruelty bill fails to enter legislature".

4. ILLINOIS. On January 19, announcement of a Puppy Mill bill, sponsored by state Senators John Fritchey (D-Chicago) and Dan Kotowski (D-Mt. Prospect), was introduced into the Illinois state legislature. Named after a sole survivor of a puppy mill in Downstate Macon County, Chloe's Bill (H.B. 198) would have a positive impact on ending puppy mills in Illinois. The legislation, if passed in its proposed form, would:

* Create a Dog Breeder License Act, which would prevent breeders from having more than 20 unaltered dogs.
* Prohibit individuals from obtaining a dog-breeding license if they have been convicted of a felony animal-cruelty crime, including dog fighting.
* Require dog breeders to keep dogs in buildings without wire flooring and with sufficient heating, cooling and ventilation.
* Require pet stores and breeders to provide potential pet buyers with the dog's full medical history, information of spaying and neutering and information about any prior medical care.
* Establish penalties starting with fines and escalating to having animals seized and breeding operations shut down.

5. INDIANA. H.B. 1468 passed the Indiana House on February 18, and has now been assigned to the Senate Committee on Corrections, Criminal and Civil Matters (hearing to be announced). The proposed legislation is hitting some significant barriers from stakeholders tied to the commercial breeding industry. They are recommending:

* Either changing the number of unaltered dogs that a breeder can have from 30 to 50 or completely eliminating the cap altogether
* Removing the sections on requiring a breeding dog to be retired from breeding at eight years of age and limiting the number of litters a dog can produce to one per year.
* Removing the exercise requirement.
* Remove the requirement for illumination.

If adopted, H.B. 1468 would:

* Define a commercial breeder as someone who whelps more than 10 litters of puppies in a 12 month period.
* Limit 30 breeding dogs per location. (A breeding dog is defined as an unaltered dog over one year of age.)
* Require commercial breeders to register with the state, and then renew their registration every four years.
* Require commercial breeders to maintain sanitary conditions.
* Require commercial breeders to have a method in place in which to dispose of animal waste.
* Require commercial breeders to protect animals from parasites and vermin.
* Require breeding facilities to have either artificial or natural light available in areas where dogs are kept and ventilation.
* Require commercial breeding dogs have access to an exercise area at least one hour per day.
* Require commercial breeders to hire employees that have not been convicted of animal fighting or variations of Indiana Codes pertaining to animal abuse, neglect and torture.
* Require commercial breeders to offer a "Guarantee" for each dog and puppy, which would include a 15 day guarantee against disease and a one year guarantee against genetic defects. The guarantee would require a veterinary certification; the opportunity for the dog to be returned or exchanged; and limits reimbursement for veterinary bills to the cost of the puppy.
* Require breeding dogs be between the ages of 18 months and eight years and be checked by a vet annually. The bill limits the number of litters a breeding female can whelp to one every 12 months.
* Prohibit cities and counties from passing laws less stringent than the state law.

For more details concerning this legislation, we invite you to read the article, "IN Lawmakers Crack Down on Animal Cruelty and Puppy Mills". The proposed bill - H.B. 1468 - can be read here.

6. IOWA. A proposed puppy mill bill, which will allow inspectors from the state Department of Agriculture into a USDA facility upon receipt of a complaint, is moving to a vote on the floors of both the House and Senate within the next two weeks! A HUGE thanks to BanOhioDogAuctions.comsupporter, Mary Lahay, for her tireless efforts to help draft this legislation! For more information on Mary's efforts, we invite you to view the article, "wants puppy mill bill changed".

The proposed House version - HF 30 - can be read here.

7. MAINE.
HP 666, LD 964 An Act Pertaining to the Breeding and Selling of Dogs and Cats, introduced by Representative Wendy Pieh (D-Bremen) 3/10 and referred 3/12 to the Committee on Agriculture, Conservation And Forestry and sent for concurrence. HP 666, LD 964 establishes three categories of breeding kennels:

* A breeding kennel that maintains at least 5 but no more than 10 female dogs or cats capable of breeding is a Category 1 breeding kennel. (Fee $75)
* A breeding kennel that maintains at least 11 but no more than 20 female dogs or cats capable of breeding is a Category 2 breeding kennel. (Fee $250)
* A breeding kennel that maintains 21 or more female dogs or cats capable of breeding is a Category 3 breeding kennel. (Fee $500)

HP 666, LD 964 creates "conditional licensing" for new applicants until inspections are performed and the kennel passes to the satisfaction of the state inspectors. HP 666, LD 964 establishes fees for follow-up inspections following an infraction. Should two or more follow-up inspections be needed in any calendar year, the department shall charge the licensee a fee equal to 50% of the original license fee for each follow-up inspection. If documents necessary for registration of a dog or cat with a pedigree registry are not provided to the buyer within 60 days of sale, the buyer is entitled to a refund of 50% of the sale price. The proposed legislation also adds a new requirement that a veterinarian must examine animal prior to sale.

The proposed bill - HP0666, LD 964 - can be read here.

8. MONTANA. A Ballantine woman's animal cruelty case caught the attention of Montana lawmakers and has prompted several bills aimed at regulating dog breeders and animal hoarders.In December, authorities seized 189 living dogs and numerous dead dogs from Linda Kapsa's Shady Lane Kennels, triggering an animal cruelty case that prosecutors believe was the largest seizure of animals in the state. Animal rescue officials, on the scene during the seizure, described Kapsa as an animal hoarder and said her operation could be described as a puppy mill.Sen. Mitch Tropila (D-Great Falls) introduced a bill that would add hoarding to the state's list of animal cruelty offenses, and Rep. Dave McAlpin, D-Missoula, is introducing a bill that would require commercial breeders - those with 20 or more adult dogs - to register with the state and submit to annual surprise inspections. Registration would come with a $415 biannual fee to cover the cost of inspections.

For more information, we invite you to view the article, "Proposed legislation would place stricter regulations on breeders" .

9. MARYLAND. The Maryland Legislature is currently considering two identical bills, S.B. 318 and H.B. 495, which would address the commercial dog breeding industry. If passed, the proposed legislation would cap the number of breeding dogs who can be kept at a single facility at 50 adult dogs.

10. NEBRASKA. Legislation introduced on February 2 in Nebraska that would have limited the number of dogs breeders could keep and mandate veterinary certification exams for commercially bred dogs has been set aside indefinitely.

Senator Ken Haar introduced LB 677, a bill that aims to strictly regulate commercial dog breeders in Nebraska by establishing ownership limits and dog breeding restrictions. If adopted, LB 677 would:

* By April 1, 2010, restrict all those defined as "commercial breeders" under existing Nebraska law to owning no more than 75 dogs over the age of four months.
* Limit the breeding of purebred dogs only to dogs between the ages of 18 months and eight years of age.
* Mandate the implementation of kennel requirements, including but not limited to, climate conditions, enclosures, building materials, and construction.

For more information, we invite you to view the article, "Farm Bureau wary of potential pet, livestock linkage".

11. NEW YORK. A new puppy mill bill is expected to be introduced in 2009.

To educate citizens about the horrific abuse taking place in those "beautiful white barns", Puppymill Rescue Inc. invites animal advocates from across the country to participate in the second annual "Bark Heard around the World" to be held at the New York State Fairgrounds in Syracuse, NY from 10AM - 4PM on Sat., May 30th, 2009.

12. NORTH CAROLINA. S.B. 460 / H.B. 460 Commercial Dog Breeders; adds commercial breeder, commercial breeding operations to SECTION 1 G.S. 19A-21 as a category along with pet shops and boarding kennels for the purpose of licensing, regulation and inspection. (5a) "Commercial breeder" means any person who, during any 12-month period, maintains 15 or more adult female dogs for the primary purpose of the sale of their offspring as companion animals. (5b) "Commercial breeding operation" means the physical location or facility at which a commercial breeder breeds or maintains adult female dogs and their offspring." The proposed legislation would mandate standards for care at commercial breeding operations, including requirements for exercise, veterinary care and record keeping to be written by the NC Department of Agriculture at a later date and adds annual veterinary exam and certification for females before breeding.

13. OHIO. Representatives Cheryl Grossman and Carlton Weddington will be introducing new legislation that will establish reasonable and enforceable shelter standards and veterinarian care for commercial breeding kennels in Ohio. Given that the new bill will rely on local enforcement with state oversight (requiring little to no additional fiscal resources from the state), it is expected the proposed legislation will please all interested stakeholders.

Also, Ohio's constitution does allow for ballot initiatives and as many of you are aware, Ohio voters and taxpayers aren't bashful about putting initiatives on the ballot. Since the passage of Proposition 2 in California, there has been a lot of speculation as to what state might be next, Ohio has been one of the states mentioned. It is our hope that a ballot initiative to ban dog auctions may be a very real possibility for 2009.

For more details concerning this initiative, we invite you to read the article, "Animal advocates may push for a ban on dog auctions".

14. OKLAHOMA. The Oklahoma Pet Quality Assurance and Protection Act, H.B. 1332, passed the House committee vote on March 4 with a wide margin of 74 to 26 in favor of the bill. and will be voted on in the full House in the very near future.

The proposed legislation would mandate USDA standards as a minimum for all facilities selling, trading or adopting out over 25 dogs, cats, kittens or puppies in a year.

For more details concerning this legislation, we invite you to read the article, "OK House to Vote on Puppy Mill Bill".

15. OREGON. The Oregon legislature is considering a bill, H. B. 2470, to provide protection for breeding dogs in commercial kennels. The first hearings on the bill were held February 23 by the House Committee on Consumer Protection.

In addition to mandating minimum living conditions, the bill restricts the size of commercial breeding kennels to a maximum of 25 unaltered dogs four months or older. It also protects consumers with a tracking system which give buyers of sick or deformed animals a way to recover damages if the seller did not disclose congenital defects at the time of purchase.

The proposed House version - H.B. 2470 - can be read here.

For more details concerning this legislation, we invite you to read the article, "Oregon puppy mill hearing draws huge crowd".

16. PENNSYLVANIA. With a vote of 192 for and 0 against, House Bill 39, amending Pennsylvania's Crimes Code for animal cruelty and introduced by Representative Tom Caltagirone(D-Berks), passed in today's session. The proposed legislation will impose criminal penalties for specific medical procedures if not performed by a licensed veterinarian including debarking, c-section births and tail docking. The act of ear cropping by anyone other than a vet is already prohibited in Pennsylvania.The legislation now heads for the Senate.17. TENNESSEE. S.b. 258, sponsored by Sen. Doug Jackson (D-25) and H.B. 386, sponsored by Rep. Janis Baird Sontany (D-53) places breeding of purebred dogs under criminal animal cruelty statutes. The bills classify a Commercial breeder as any person who possesses or maintains twenty (20) or more adult female dogs in whole or in part for the purpose of the sale of their offspring as companion animals. If even one litter of puppies is produced, a commercial breeder licensing would be required. Ownership of 75 is the absolute limit. Background checks will be required for applicants, and the state will determine if the applicant is of good moral character and deserving of the license.

For more information, we invite you to view the article, "Senator Hopes Legislation Ends Puppy Mills".

Also, H.B. 1433 (Sontany)/S.B. 1322 (Berke) would prohibit public animal sales (parking lots and roadside sales) and provide restrictions on companion animals sold at flea markets. The proposed legislation would also prohibit the use of any live animal as a prize in a contest, raffle, or promotion.

18. TEXAS. In response to the alarming number of unlicensed and unregulated large-scale commercial dog breeding facilities operating in Texas, State Rep. Senfronia Thompson (D-Houston) has introduced H.B. 3180 which will require these operations, commonly known as puppy mills, to meet minimum standards of care and housing for their animals. "We just want to ensure that there is a guaranteed minimum standard of care and a level of humanness for all these animals," states Representative Thompson. The proposed legislation would define commercial breeder as anyone who possesses 11 or more adult intact females; breeder may not possess more than 50 at any time

For more details concerning this legislation, we invite you to read the article, "Puppy Mill Bill introduced in Texas by State Rep. Thompson".

19. WASHINGTON. In the wake of the recent seizures of hundreds of sick or neglected dogs from alleged puppy mill operations in Skagit and Snohomish counties, state lawmakers are considering a bill that would regulate breeders who own a large number of dogs. A Senate committee on Monday discussed the bill, which would provide "humanitarian requirements for certain dog breeding practices" by limiting breeders to keeping a maximum of 25 dogs at any one location and also by setting strict guidelines for the housing and care of the animals.

For more details concerning this legislation, we invite you to read the article, "Lawmakers Consider Bill Targeting Puppy Mills".

20. WISCONSIN. We invite you to read the following article, "Rescue Me", in the March 6, 2009 issue of The Isthmus regarding the growing problem of commercial breeding kennels in Wisconsin. Your feedback to the reporter is encouraged and welcomed!

Also, don't forget that the next scheduled Buckeye Dog Auction is expected to take place on Saturday, May 9, 2009. Additional details regarding this event (as they become available) will be posted to the Home page of http://www.banohiodogauctions.com/.

Let's hope these small but important steps will help set the tone as a model for other states, causing a ripple effect of positive change benefiting companion animals.

Mary O'Connor-Shaver
Columbus Top Dogs
http://www.columbustopdogs.com/
http://www.banohiodogauctions.com/
http://thoughtsfurpaws.com/

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

A Dog, Cat & Baby Chicks

This is one of the sweetest videos I've ever seen. It shows a Pit Bull and a cat taking care of baby chicks. So precious!

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Home Security

How's this for a home security system!


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Can Your Dog Do This?


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The Truth about Franklin County Dog Shelter

On December 21, 2008, the Columbus Dispatch began a series of articles accusing the Franklin County Dog Shelter of adopting out sick dogs to the unsuspecting public. A website was created as a rebuttal to the accusations.

Get the whole story at http://www.franklincountydogtruths.com.

Bird Loves Ray Charles

Take a moment and visit Maniac World to see this Ray Charles loving Cockatoo! Absolutely hysterical!

http://www.maniacworld.com/bird-loves-ray-charles.html

Petland Faces Class Action Lawsuit

PHOENIX (March 17, 2009) — Members of The Humane Society of the United States and other consumers filed a class action lawsuit alleging that Petland, Inc. and the Hunte Corporation are conspiring to sell unhealthy puppy mill puppies to unsuspecting consumers in numerous states. Petland is the nation’s largest chain of pet stores that sells puppy mill dogs and Hunte is one of the country’s largest distributors of factory-produced puppies.

The lawsuit, filed in federal district court in Phoenix late Monday, alleges that Petland and Hunte violated federal law and numerous state consumer protection laws by misleading thousands of consumers across the country into believing that the puppies sold in Petland stores are healthy and come from high-quality breeders. Many of the puppies sold by Petland come either directly from puppy mills or puppy brokers such as Hunte, which operates as a middleman between the mills and Petland’s retail stores.

“Unscrupulous dog dealers like Petland and Hunte reap massive profits by pushing unhealthy puppies on well-intentioned dog-lovers who would never knowingly buy a puppy mill dog,” said Jonathan Lovvorn, vice president & chief counsel for Animal Protection Litigation at The HSUS. “Families often bear the great expense of veterinary treatment for sick and unhealthy dogs, or the terrible anguish of losing a beloved family pet. This industry has been systematically lying to consumers for years about the source of the dogs they sell, and it’s long past time for a reckoning.”

The class action lawsuit is the result of many months of investigative and legal research, and comes after an eight-month investigation into Petland stores by The HSUS that demonstrated a direct link between multiple Petland stores and unscrupulous puppy mills. Numerous other reports have also surfaced of Petland’s allegedly deceptive sales practices, including the marketing and sale of puppies with life-threatening genetic defects and highly contagious parasitic and viral infections.

The 34-page complaint includes numerous examples of sick or dying puppies that Petland sold, including:

Mainerd, a Boston terrier, was diagnosed with a congenital spinal condition. Some of her vertebrae have not formed completely while others have fused together causing tissue to grow underneath along with possible nerve damage. Mainerd is now receiving steroid treatments for her ailments and may require expensive surgery.

Minchy, a miniature pinscher, was sold by Petland at 10 weeks old. He was immediately diagnosed with coccidian, an intestinal parasite that causes diarrhea and weight loss. Minchy was also diagnosed with an inherited disorder, Progressive Retinal Atrophy, which will ultimately lead to permanent blindness.

Tucker was sold at four months old. The bloodhound puppy experienced severe separation anxiety and various health problems before developing orbital cancer at only 7 months of age.
Patrick, a Pomeranian puppy, was sold at three months old. He suffered from diarrhea and vomiting shortly after arriving at his new home. At 11 months old, Patrick was diagnosed with a genetic disorder, dual luxating patellas, which will require expensive surgery on both of his knees to correct.

Puppy mills are mass breeding operations where the health of dogs is disregarded in order to maintain a low overhead and maximize profits. The dogs are often kept in wire cages, stacked on top of each other, with no exercise, socialization, veterinary care, or loving human interaction. They are treated not like family pets, but like a cash crop. Petland denies it supports these substandard breeding facilities, and claims to follow “Humane Care Guidelines” developed in conjunction with the USDA. However, USDA recently informed HSUS in writing that it has no record of any such guidelines.

The class plaintiffs are being represented in the case by Saltz Mongeluzzi Barrett & Bendesky, PC; Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro, LLC; Garen Meguerian, Esq. and lawyers in The HSUS’s Animal Protection Litigation section. The suit requests a jury trial on behalf of the consumer class plaintiffs, and seeks reimbursement of the puppies’ purchase price along with compensation for all related monetary damages for the class members.

To learn more about puppy mills, visit humanesociety.org/stoppuppymills. A multi-media release is also available.

Media Contacts:
Loraine Miscavage: 301-258-1483; lmiscavage@humanesociety.org
Heather Sullivan: 301-548-7778; hsullivan@humanesociety.org

The Humane Society of the United States is the nation’s largest animal protection organization — backed by 11 million Americans, or one of every 28. For more than a half-century, The HSUS has been fighting for the protection of all animals through advocacy, education and hands-on programs. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty — On the web at humanesociety.org.

Disposable Society

Be part of the solution ... SPAY OR NEUTER your pets, and please don't breed or buy while homeless pets die. Make Pet Adoption your ONLY option.

Long Trip Alone

This is a fantastic YouTube video that I'm posting in dedication to the pet rescuers and volunteers of the world.

ABC Nightline Investigates Pedigree Dogs

Best in show? ABC Nightline investigates the actual price of owning a pure bred pooch.

http://abcnews.go.com/video/playerIndex?id=7064046

Pedigree Dogs Exposed - BBC Documentary

Mad Cats Disease

This is hysterical! Enjoy!

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Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Great News in the Fight Against Puppy Bills & Dog Auctions

An update from Mary O'Conner-Shaver of Columbus Top Dogs:

March 9, 2009

Dear Companion Pet Lovers ~

I wanted to share with you some important updates on efforts taking place across our country to raise awareness of puppy mills, dog auctions, pet stores and the entities that support and keep them in business. Also, we invite you to join supporters of the WI Puppy Mill Project in their peaceful protest of the Thorp Dog Auction on Wednesday, March 11, 2009 in Thorp Wisconsin.

* General information on the WI Puppy Mill Project - http://www.nowisconsinpuppymills.com/thorp-protest-alert.html
* Times and Directions - http://petshelter.bizland.com/nodogauctions/index.html
* The Auction Catalog - http://petshelter.bizland.com/nodogauctions/index.html

From the desk of Eilene Ribbens, Founder of the WI Puppy Mill Project:

"Dog auctions are a tragic embarrassment to Wisconsin and it's humane-minded citizens. We have been asked if people should "buy" or rescue" these dogs. We are asking for an all-out boycott of this event. We have studied the numbers from past auctions and believe that the dogs being offered at this auction are not mill cast-offs but were, in many cases, purposely bred to supply AUCTION BUYERS, including rescue groups."

"Buying at the auction will simply mean that it will be profitable. If it is profitable it will continue and MORE dogs will be bred for sale at future Thorp Dog Auctions. That said, we do understand compassion for the dogs being sold on March 11, 2009 and know that there will be some who will buy. We understand both sides of the situation, and hope that in the long run, not buying will produce the best outcome to end these auctions altogether."


1. COLORADO. Legislation introduced on January 21 in Colorado that would have limited the number of dogs breeders could keep and mandate veterinary certification exams for commercially bred dogs has been set aside indefinitely. The Colorado House Agriculture Committee voted on January 28 to table H.B. 1172, and no further hearings are scheduled at this time. The puppy mill bill, if passed in its proposed form, would:

* Limit the number of adult, unaltered dogs a breeder can maintain
* Mandate annual veterinary exams
* Prohibit individuals convicted of animal cruelty of obtaining a breeder license

2. CONNECTICUT. Lawmakers this year will decide whether pet owners should get double their money back from stores that sell them puppies, kittens and other animals with chronic disease or disabilities. Groups such as the Westport Coalition Against Puppy Mills, whose members include G. Kenneth Bernhard, a lawyer and former state representative from Westport, believe that wronged pet owners need more recourse. They want to be able to claim back twice the purchase price of defective animals. Bernhard said that coalition members reviewing records, traced many puppies for sale in Connecticut pet stores to so-called puppy mills in Pennsylvania and points west. "Some had some horrific violations," Bernhard said, adding that owners have been stuck with huge veterinary bills.

For more information, we invite you to view the article, "Pet 'Lemon Law' unleashed at hearing" - > http://www.connpost.com/ci_11707072.

3. IDAHO. On February 17, announcement was made that an animal cruelty bill that teamed the agricultural community and a local animal welfare group together is dead for the 2009 session because of infighting between two animal welfare groups.

For more information, we invite you to view the article, "Animal Cruelty bill fails to enter legislature" - > http://www.kpvi.com/Global/story.asp?S=9861033.

4. ILLINOIS. On January 19, announcement of a Puppy Mill bill, sponsored by state Senators John Fritchey (D-Chicago) and Dan Kotowski (D-Mt. Prospect), was introduced into the Illinois state legislature. Named after a sole survivor of a puppy mill in Downstate Macon County, Chloe's Bill (H.B. 198) would have a positive impact on ending puppy mills in Illinois. The legislation, if passed in its proposed form, would:

* Create a Dog Breeder License Act, which would prevent breeders from having more than 20 unaltered dogs.
* Prohibit individuals from obtaining a dog-breeding license if they have been convicted of a felony animal-cruelty crime, including dog fighting.
* Require dog breeders to keep dogs in buildings without wire flooring and with sufficient heating, cooling and ventilation.
* Require pet stores and breeders to provide potential pet buyers with the dog's full medical history, information of spaying and neutering and information about any prior medical care.
* Establish penalties starting with fines and escalating to having animals seized and breeding operations shut down.

5. INDIANA. H.B. 1468 passed the Indiana House on February 18, and has now been assigned to the Senate Committee on Corrections, Criminal and Civil Matters (hearing to be announced). The proposed legislation is hitting some significant barriers from stakeholders tied to the commercial breeding industry. They are recommending:

* Either changing the number of unaltered dogs that a breeder can have from 30 to 50 or completely eliminating the cap altogether
* Removing the sections on requiring a breeding dog to be retired from breeding at eight years of age and limiting the number of litters a dog can produce to one per year.
* Removing the exercise requirement.
* Remove the requirement for illumination.

If adopted, H.B. 1468 would:

* Define a commercial breeder as someone who whelps more than 10 litters of puppies in a 12 month period.
* Limit 30 breeding dogs per location. (A breeding dog is defined as an unaltered dog over one year of age.)
* Require commercial breeders to register with the state, and then renew their registration every four years.
* Require commercial breeders to maintain sanitary conditions.
* Require commercial breeders to have a method in place in which to dispose of animal waste.
* Require commercial breeders to protect animals from parasites and vermin.
* Require breeding facilities to have either artificial or natural light available in areas where dogs are kept and ventilation.
* Require commercial breeding dogs have access to an exercise area at least one hour per day.
* Require commercial breeders to hire employees that have not been convicted of animal fighting or variations of Indiana Codes pertaining to animal abuse, neglect and torture.
* Require commercial breeders to offer a "Guarantee" for each dog and puppy, which would include a 15 day guarantee against disease and a one year guarantee against genetic defects. The guarantee would require a veterinary certification; the opportunity for the dog to be returned or exchanged; and limits reimbursement for veterinary bills to the cost of the puppy.
* Require breeding dogs be between the ages of 18 months and eight years and be checked by a vet annually. The bill limits the number of litters a breeding female can whelp to one every 12 months.
* Prohibit cities and counties from passing laws less stringent than the state law.

For more details concerning this legislation, we invite you to read the article, "IN Lawmakers Crack Down on Animal Cruelty and Puppy Mills" - > http://tristatehomepage.com/content/fulltext/?cid=57361. The proposed bill can be read here - > http://www.in.gov/legislative/bills/2009/HB/HB1468.2.html

6. IOWA. A proposed puppy mill bill, which will allow inspectors from the state Department of Agriculture into a USDA facility upon receipt of a complaint, is moving to a vote on the floors of both the House and Senate within the next two weeks! A HUGE thanks to BanOhioDogAuctions.com supporter, Mary Lahay, for her tireless efforts to help draft this legislation!

Click here to view a copy of the House version - > http://coolice.legis.state.ia.us/Cool-ICE/default.asp?Category=BillInfo&Service=Billbook&ga=83&menu=text&hbill=HF30.

For more information on Mary's efforts, we invite you to view the article, "wants puppy mill bill changed" - http://www.messengernews.net/page/content.detail/id/513194.html?nav=5010.

7. MONTANA. A Ballantine woman's animal cruelty case caught the attention of Montana lawmakers and has prompted several bills aimed at regulating dog breeders and animal hoarders.In December, authorities seized 189 living dogs and numerous dead dogs from Linda Kapsa's Shady Lane Kennels, triggering an animal cruelty case that prosecutors believe was the largest seizure of animals in the state. Animal rescue officials, on the scene during the seizure, described Kapsa as an animal hoarder and said her operation could be described as a puppy mill.Sen. Mitch Tropila (D-Great Falls) introduced a bill that would add hoarding to the state's list of animal cruelty offenses, and Rep. Dave McAlpin, D-Missoula, is introducing a bill that would require commercial breeders - those with 20 or more adult dogs - to register with the state and submit to annual surprise inspections. Registration would come with a $415 biannual fee to cover the cost of inspections.

For more information, we invite you to view the article, "Proposed legislation would place stricter regulations on breeders" - > http://www.billingsgazette.net/articles/2009/02/16/news/local/18-proposed.txt.

8. MARYLAND. The Maryland Legislature is currently considering two identical bills, S.B. 318 and H.B. 495, which would address the commercial dog breeding industry. If passed, the proposed legislation would cap the number of breeding dogs who can be kept at a single facility at 50 adult dogs.

Click here to view a copy of the bills - > http://www.mlis.state.md.us/PDF-documents/2000rs/bills/sb/sb0318f.pdf.

9. NEBRASKA. Legislation introduced on February 2 in Nebraska that would have limited the number of dogs breeders could keep and mandate veterinary certification exams for commercially bred dogs has been set aside indefinitely.

Senator Ken Haar introduced LB 677, a bill that aims to strictly regulate commercial dog breeders in Nebraska by establishing ownership limits and dog breeding restrictions. If adopted, LB 677 would:

* By April 1, 2010, restrict all those defined as "commercial breeders" under existing Nebraska law to owning no more than 75 dogs over the age of four months.
* Limit the breeding of purebred dogs only to dogs between the ages of 18 months and eight years of age.
* Mandate the implementation of kennel requirements, including but not limited to, climate conditions, enclosures, building materials, and construction.

For more information, we invite you to view the article, "Farm Bureau wary of potential pet, livestock linkage" - http://journalstar.com/articles/2009/02/21/news/politics/doc499c98ab9fd84027587156.txt#blogcomments.

10. NEW YORK. A new puppy mill bill is expected to be introduced in 2009.

To educate citizens about the horrific abuse taking place in those "beautiful white barns", Puppymill Rescue Inc. invites animal advocates from across the country to participate in the second annual "Bark Heard around the World" to be held at the New York State Fairgrounds in Syracuse, NY from 10AM - 4PM on Sat., May 30th, 2009. To learn more about this event, we invite you to visit the website - > http://www.barkaroundtheworld.com/.

11. OHIO. A new puppy mill bill is expected to be introduced by Rep. Cheryl Grossman this week which would be similar to legislation currently being introduced in Indiana (see above). The bill, which is being supported by HSUS, will focus on capping the number of breeding dogs (unaltered dogs over the age of four months) allowed at a facility and shelter standards - flooring, kennel size, exercise provisions, feeding, cleaning and veterinarian care.

Also, Ohio's constitution does allow for ballot initiatives and as many of you are aware, Ohio voters and taxpayers aren't bashful about putting initiatives on the ballot. Since the passage of Proposition 2 in California, there has been a lot of speculation as to what state might be next, Ohio has been one of the states mentioned. It is our hope that a ballot initiative to ban dog auctions may be a very real possibility for 2009.

For more details concerning this initiative, we invite you to read the article, "Animal advocates may push for a ban on dog auctions" - http://dispatch.com/live/content/local_news/stories/2009/02/28/new_puppy.html?sid=101.

12. OKLAHOMA. The Oklahoma Pet Quality Assurance and Protection Act, H.B. 1332, passed the House committee vote on March 4 with a wide margin of 74 to 26 in favor of the bill. and will be voted on in the full House in the very near future.

The proposed legislation would mandate USDA standards as a minimum for all facilities
selling, trading or adopting out over 25 dogs, cats, kittens or puppies in a year. This means that if your dogs are housed in cages instead of your home, the cages must be at least six inches longer than the dog and must have six inches of headroom.

For more details concerning this legislation, we invite you to read the article, "OK House to Vote on Puppy Mill Bill" - > http://newsok.com/house-to-vote-on-puppy-mill-bill/article/3344976.

13. OREGON. The Oregon legislature is considering a bill, H. B. 2470, to provide protection for breeding dogs in commercial kennels. The first hearings on the bill were held February 23 by the House Committee on Consumer Protection.

In addition to mandating minimum living conditions, the bill restricts the size of commercial breeding kennels to a maximum of 25 unaltered dogs four months or older. It also protects consumers with a tracking system which give buyers of sick or deformed animals a way to recover damages if the seller did not disclose congenital defects at the time of purchase.

Click here to view a link to the bill - > http://www.leg.state.or.us/09reg/measures/hb2400.dir/hb2470.intro.html.

For more details concerning this legislation, we invite you to read the article, "Oregon puppy mill hearing draws huge crowd" - > http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/local/401220_puppymill25.html.

14. PENNSYLVANIA. With a vote of 192 for and 0 against, House Bill 39, amending Pennsylvania's Crimes Code for animal cruelty and introduced by Representative Tom Caltagirone(D-Berks), passed in today's session. The proposed legislation will impose criminal penalties for specific medical procedures if not performed by a licensed veterinarian including debarking, c-section births and tail docking. The act of ear cropping by anyone other than a vet is already prohibited in Pennsylvania.The legislation now heads for the Senate.15. TENNESSEE. State lawmakers are trying diligently to curb bad breeding operations by regulating breeders and creating an inspection process. H.B. 386 (Sontany & Maggart)/S.B. 258 (Jackson) are bills intended to put an end to what many call puppy mills. The proposed legislation would require any breeder with more than 20 animals to pay a $500 licensing fee to the state. If you have more than 40, it goes up to $1,000. Commercial breeders would be required to comply with a mandatory inspection and licensing program administered by the Dept of Agriculture and meet a minimum standard of care and housing.

For more information, we invite you to view the article, "Senator Hopes Legislation Ends Puppy Mills" - > http://www.wsmv.com/video/18661052/index.html.

Also, H.B. 1433 (Sontany)/S.B. 1322 (Berke) would prohibit public animal sales (parking lots and roadside sales) and provide restrictions on companion animals sold at flea markets. The proposed legislation would also prohibit the use of any live animal as a prize in a contest, raffle, or promotion.

16. WASHINGTON. In the wake of the recent seizures of hundreds of sick or neglected dogs from alleged puppy mill operations in Skagit and Snohomish counties, state lawmakers are considering a bill that would regulate breeders who own a large number of dogs. A Senate committee on Monday discussed the bill, which would provide "humanitarian requirements for certain dog breeding practices" by limiting breeders to keeping a maximum of 25 dogs at any one location and also by setting strict guidelines for the housing and care of the animals.

For more details concerning this legislation, we invite you to read the article, "Lawmakers Consider Bill Targeting Puppy Mills - > http://www.komonews.com/news/39342082.html.

17. WISCONSIN. We invite you to read the following article in this past weekend's issue of The Isthmus regarding the growing problem of commercial breeding kennels in Wisconsin - http://www.isthmus.com/isthmus/article.php?article=25284. Your feedback to the reporter - http://www.isthmus.com/utility/emailAuthor.php?author=41 - is encouraged and welcomed!

Also, don't forget that the next scheduled Buckeye Dog Auction is expected to take place on Saturday, March 21, 2009. Additional details regarding this event (as they become available) will be posted to the Home page of www.BanOhioDogAuctions.com.

Let's hope these small but important steps will help set the tone as a model for other states, causing a ripple effect of positive change benefiting companion animals.


Mary O'Connor-Shaver
Columbus Top Dogs
http://www.columbustopdogs.com/
http://www.banohiodogauctions.com/
http://thoughtsfurpaws.com/