Thursday, December 31, 2009

PA: Penn High Court says SPCA Not State Agency, Can Be Sued

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court says the SPCA is Not a State Agency and is not entitled to the defense of sovereign or governmental immunity.

The court upheld a Philadelphia jury's verdict that awarded a women $155,000 from the Pennsylvania Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (PSPCA) after about a dozen dogs taken from her home were euthanized. The dog owner, Laila Snead of Reading, says she's pleased with the decision but nothing will bring her dogs back.

Thank goodness for this ruling. Although Ms.Snead's dogs are gone, it has implications for others whose animals are stolen and disposed of by over-zealous non-profit organizations.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

An Obituary For Words: Puppy Mill
Posted on 06/01/2009
Permanent Link

An Obituary For Words
by Cindy Cooke

You can't really ban a word. In fact, an attempt to ban something often backfires, particularly in the United States, where we don't like people censoring our speech. So I'm not going to tell you not to say "puppy mill". I'm going to give you some very good reasons for not using that phrase.

I speak to a lot of dog clubs and frequently hear dog breeders supporting so-called "anti-puppy-mill" laws. When I ask these people to define "puppy mill," invariably the definitions given include:
. People who "overbreed" their dogs;
. People who don't take care of their dogs;
. People who have too many dogs;
. People who breed dogs "just for money"; and
. People who don't take health issues into account when breeding their dogs.

Let's look at these definitions in turn. What is "overbreeding"? In the wild, most canids can only reproduce once a year. Most domestic dogs can have two litters a year. When I first became a dog breeder, it was almost a religious belief that no female dog should be bred more than once a year. We were told that it was important to "rest" the uterus between litters. Today, however, thanks to advances in veterinary medicine, we know that an uterus is actually damaged by the elevated progesterone levels that occur in each heat cycle, whether the dog is pregnant or not. Veterinary reproduction specialists recommend that dogs be bred on their second or third heat cycle, that we do more back-to-back breedings, and that we spay the dogs at around age six.

The "overbreeding" argument also treats reproduction as something that female dogs wouldn't do if they had a choice. Dogs aren't people - female dogs actually want to be bred when they're in heat and, with few exceptions, enjoy raising their puppies. It's not an unwelcome event for dogs.

People who don't take care of their dogs are already guilty of a crime in all 50 states. There is nowhere in the United States where it is legal to neglect or abuse dogs. Sadly, a small minority of all dog breeders - commercial, home and hobby - commit neglect and abuse. Some of these do so out of ignorance, some out of laziness, and some out of meanness. All are already breaking the law. It just needs to be enforced.

One of our biggest problems now is that animal radicals insist that every dog be raised like a hothouse flower. One bill proposed this year would have required every kennel to be air conditioned. Many owners of working dogs prefer that their dogs be acclimated to hot weather so that they can work when the temperature goes up. Likewise, sled dogs in the north often sleep outdoors in the snow. Dogs can live and thrive in a wide range of environments. The Arctic Circle, the jungles of Africa, and the deserts of Arabia have all produced breeds of dogs that can live happily in conditions that might not suit all dogs. It is important that we not let activists redefine the needs of dogs to the extent that we are forced to provide a brass bed and a down pillow for every animal in the kennel!

What is "too many" dogs? Most of our breeds were developed by wealthy people who kept large numbers of dogs. Hound breeders traditionally kept good-sized packs, and early show breeders did as well. Now that our sport includes more mainstream people - people with jobs or people who need jobs - it's hard for many of us to keep large numbers of dogs. There is no inherent link between numbers of dogs and neglect. People who have the resources to keep big kennels provide a service for all of us, particularly if they maintain a good number of useful stud dogs.

Breeding dogs is expensive, and getting more so daily. It's just plain silly to pretend that none of us needs the money generated by puppy sales and stud services. Without that income, the vast majority of middle class breeders could not afford this sport. When our sport was solely in the hands of rich people, it was the norm to sneer at people in "trade", and part of that attitude was handed down to us with the culture of our sport. Today, however, the majority of us in the sport are "in trade", in the sense that we have to work to support ourselves. Our dogs must, at least in part, support themselves or most of us would have to get out of the game.

We have among us a small but vociferous group of people who think that breeders only care about producing great hunting or show dogs, and nothing about health. In fact, I've never met a breeder who wasn't concerned about the health of his dogs and the health of his breed. Most health problems in dogs don't have simple solutions, so it is only natural that breeders are often going to disagree about how to address health problems. When there's no right answer to a question, then breeders who follow a different path than you might choose are not necessarily wrong or unconcerned. I know that many believe that commercial breeders don't care about health, but the fact is that their professional organizations provide some of the most sophisticated health seminars in the country for their breeders.

Twenty years ago, animal activists created the phrase "puppy mill". Back then, it was only applied to commercial breeders, and then only to those who were breaking the law by neglecting their dogs. In a futile attempt to placate activists, many hobby breeders adopted the term "puppy mill" and used it to separate "them" from "us". It was a mistake then, and it's rapidly becoming fatal today. Every one of these so-called "anti-puppy-mill bills" has a definition that could easily include breeders of hunting and show dogs. Every time you use that phrase, you're contributing to the idea that dog breeders need to be regulated out of existence.

The message we need to send to America is that purebred dogs are good, not just because they have pedigrees, but because of their predictability, and that people should shop at least as carefully for a puppy as they do for a car. We don't need to help the animal radicals spread their message by using their favorite term: puppy mill.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Why you should give money to LOCAL shelters- NOT HSUS

Remember- HSUS dose NOT operate a SINGLE shelter. Your local shelter shoulders the burden of care and expenses for the consequences of the legislative actions the HSUS works to pass.

Also take a look at HSUS Federal 990 for 2008.

For those of you looking for a little extra reading to do over the weekend, HSUS' 2008 New York tax return is up on the website. This is a huge file, some 370 pages. It has multiple attachments.

Revenue was down in 2008 vs 2007 only because they lost money on their investments ($7M). They paid out less in grants (about $1.4M less), but increased compensation /benefits by $10M for a loss of almost $14M.


1.) Disclosure of agreements between HSUS and fund raising professionals (i.e., Share Group), fund raising counsel, and commercial co-ventures (i.e, PetPlan, MBNA America Bank, etc). Copies of the letters of agreement with the fund raising professionals/counsel/co-venturers are attached. The co-ventures agreements are at the end of the file.

2.) Copy of the public disclosure copy of the federal 990 for 2008. I'm not sure if this is a complete copy, but it looks like it might be.

A few of their grants:

Californians for Humane Farms (Prop 2 sponsor) $2,250,000 in cash, $44,480 noncash assistance. (Add to that $1,360,000 given per their 2007 tax return).

The Committee to Protect Dogs (MA Greyhound Protection Act) $200,000. (They also list a grant to them in 2007 for $200,000).

PETA $10,000 - I guess Ingrid was short on funds last year

WSPA $35,000

Tufts Univ School of Vet Medicine $22,625

Univ of Florida Foundation $25,000

Alliance Contraception in Dogs & Cats $50,000 (might want to keep tabs on these guys. They have a website).

3.) Copy of their consolidated financial statements


Want to give to animal related charities this year? Give locally- not to national animal rights groups

Animal lovers should stop sending money to zealotsRich Landers
The Spokesman-Review

I took a beating in the letters-to-the-editor pages a few weeks ago for pointing out the threat national-scale animal rights groups pose to the sports of hunting and fishing.

Now I’m turning the other cheek.

Readers shouldn’t assume that the published letters were the only reaction.

Nor should they think the threat these groups pose is limited to hunters and anglers.

The published letters came mostly from one group of Spokane-area animal rights activists and Wayne Pacelle, the national figurehead for the Humane Society of the United States.

But many phone calls and e-mails called for more scrutiny of these groups and the moral fascism they are trying to impose on society’s use and enjoyment of animals.

One veterinarian pointed out that these groups are clawing their way through legal and legislative channels toward giving pets individual rights rather than leaving them designated as the property of their owners.

The vet said that, among other problems, this would have huge repercussions in the costs of veterinary care and liability.

“Can you imagine the costs of routine pet procedures if we have to run unnecessary tests and insure ourselves for protection against possible multimillion-dollar lawsuits?” he said.

One e-mail came from a woman who works with a small-town animal welfare organization that does the dirty work of caring for the epidemic of lost, abused or unwanted pets. She thanked me for pointing out that these local nonprofit animal rescue groups – including the local Humane Societies that have no connection with the Humane Society of the United States – are always scrapping for money to do their work.

“I used to donate (to HSUS), years ago, but all the money seemed to go to mailings with another free key chain and a request for more money,” she wrote. “I was never sure that my donation was helping homeless animals.

“I now only donate locally, like to the Spokane Humane Society, or to our organization, where 100 percent of funds are spent on vet care.”

This woman, the veterinarian and others asked not to be identified because they didn’t want to endure the crap animal rights groups like to dish out to dissenters.

Speaking out publicly can start a smear campaign and financial burden for a pet care professional or local animal charity.

A story in Tuesday’s paper detailed how the HSUS, PETA and other animal rights zealots are trying to prevent the use of animals in veterinary training and biomedical research.

Medical and veterinary students cannot learn the complexities of hemorrhage on a computer model. Period.

Scientists who are trying to find cures for diseases and test surgical procedures and devices are having their lives threatened by the moral fascists.

“I’d rather see (animals) euthanized than go to a research facility,” said Minnesota Animal Rights Coalition president Charlotte Cozzetto.

These are the nuts who are draining millions of dollars from the checking accounts of little old ladies and others in the uninformed masses who think they are saving puppies and kittens.

But in most cases, these national groups donate little or nothing back to the actual care and welfare of those unwanted animals that are euthanized by the hundreds of thousands every year.

Pacelle smugly wrote The Spokesman-Review to charge me with misinforming the public about the ramifications of his recent testimony before the Supreme Court. He said the case had nothing to do with possibly making hunters and anglers criminals for being filmed or photographed with their quarry.

What he failed to say was that it was Justices Scalia, Sotomayor and others in the Supreme Court chambers who were making that association, not this lowly scribe in Spokane.

He also failed to acknowledge the numbers I shared with readers from the HSUS tax forms showing that more than half of the $4.8 million the group raised in one year for its feeble facade of creating wildlife sanctuaries goes back into mailing and propaganda.

This is the huge difference between sportsmen-supported wildlife conservation groups and national animal zealot groups.

When you write a check to Ducks Unlimited, the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation or The Nature Conservancy, the money goes into preserving habitat for wildlife survival and human quality of life.

A check written to HSUS largely supports moral fascism.

These zealots must constantly squeal about animal atrocities, because to be reasonable and effective would curtail the heavy flow of cash into their pockets.

Contact Rich Landers at 509 459-5508 or

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Spay/neuter..... not so fast

A Healthier Respect for Ovaries - a research study conducted by David J. Waters, DVM,PhD, Diplomate ACVS reveals shortened longevity as a possible complication associated with ovary removal in dogs.

Thank you Dr. for doing a study to show that spaying dogs at an early age (less than 4 years of age) will significantly decrease the life of a female dog. Really, is keeping track of your girl for a few weeks every 6 months so difficult? Is convenience worth more than a few more years with your dog? Not for me. Spaying and neutering causes serious "complications"- ie DEATH.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

LA- New Orleans to Consider MSN & Breeding Limits

UPDATE: New Orleans City Council MSN Vote Scheduled for November 5
The AKC has confirmed that the New Orleans City Council has delayed the vote on the mandatory spay/neuter proposal until Thursday, November 5.

It is imperative that dog owners in the New Orleans area use the next few weeks to continue contacting the city council and expressing opposition to this proposal. Read our previous alert for more information on the proposal, as well as obtain contact information for the council.

The AKC Government Relations Department will continue to provide updates as they become available.

[Thursday, October 15, 2009]

The New Orleans City Council will consider Councilwoman Cynthia Hedge-Morrell’s mandatory spay/neuter ordinance at its meeting on Tuesday, October 20th. The American Kennel Club vehemently opposes this draconian and ineffective proposal. All responsible dog breeders and owners in the New Orleans area are encouraged to attend Tuesday’s City Council meeting to speak in opposition to the ordinance, and to contact the City Council members (listed below). Respectfully yet strongly express your opposition to this unreasonable and unenforceable proposal, and urge them to vote against it. Encourage them to begin an in-depth study of any existing animal population issues in New Orleans, and to work on better enforcement of the City’s existing animal ordinance. (For detailed talking points and a sample letter of opposition that you can customize, please click here.)

Meeting details:
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
10:00 AM
City Hall Council Chamber
1300 Perdido Street
New Orleans, LA 70112

(Those attending the meeting are encouraged to arrive at least one hour prior to the meeting’s 10:00 AM start time to secure parking near City Hall. Parking is available at several nearby locations.)

Council President Arnie Fielkow (At-Large)
City Hall, Room 2W40
1300 Perdido Street
New Orleans, LA 70112
Phone: (504) 658-1060
Fax: (504) 658-1068

Council Vice President Jacquelyn Brechtel Clarkson (At-Large)
City Hall, Room 2W50
1300 Perdido Street
New Orleans, LA 70112
Phone: (504) 658-1070
Fax: (504) 658-1077

Councilwoman Shelley Midura (District A)
City Hall, Room 2W80
1300 Perdido Street
New Orleans, LA 70112
Phone: (504) 658-1010
Fax: (504) 658-1016

Councilwoman Stacy Head (District B)
City Hall, Room 2W10
1300 Perdido Street
New Orleans, LA 70112
Phone: (504) 658-1020
Fax: (504) 658-1025

Councilman James Carter (District C)
City Hall, Room 2W70
1300 Perdido Street
New Orleans, LA 70112
Phone: (504) 658-1030
Fax: (504) 658-1037

Councilwoman Cynthia Hedge-Morrell (District D) – ordinance sponsor
City Hall, Room 2W20
1300 Perdido Street
New Orleans, LA 70112
Phone: (504) 658-1040
Fax: (504) 658-1048

Councilwoman Cynthia Willard-Lewis (District E)
City Hall, Room 2W60
1300 Perdido Street
New Orleans, LA 70112
Phone: (504) 658-1050
Fax: (504) 658-1058

For more information and the latest developments on the New Orleans mandatory spay/neuter proposal, please contact AKC’s Government Relations Department at (919) 816-3720, or e-mail

[Wednesday, September 23, 2009]

A mandatory spay/neuter and breeding restrictions ordinance is under consideration by the New Orleans City Council. The ordinance, which was introduced by Councilwoman Cynthia Hedge-Morrell, will require all dogs to be sterilized by six months of age or force their owners to purchase a costly breeder permit. It is likely that the ordinance will be considered at the city council’s upcoming meeting on Thursday, October 1st. The American Kennel Club, which opposes the ordinance, believes that this proposal is unreasonable, difficult and costly to enforce, potentially unconstitutional, and will do nothing to protect the health and welfare of dogs. It is imperative that all concerned responsible dog owners and breeders in New Orleans contact the members of the New Orleans City Council and respectfully yet strongly urge them to vote down this proposal.

The American Kennel Club opposes mandatory spay/neuter laws. Instead, we support reasonable and enforceable laws that protect the welfare and health of purebred dogs and do not restrict the rights of breeders and owners who take their responsibilities seriously. Additionally, we strongly support and actively promote a wide range of programs to educate the public about responsible breeding practices and the responsibilities of dog ownership.

If enacted, the new ordinance will impose many new unreasonable requirements on responsible dog owners in New Orleans, which include:

•Requiring all dogs six months of age or older (with few exceptions) to be spayed or neutered or force owners to purchase costly $50 breeder permits to keep any dog intact. Mandatory spay/neuter ordinances have not been effective anywhere they have been adopted. In fact, in many cases the euthanization rates in surrounding areas have declines faster than in those areas with mandatory spay/neuter policies. Additionally, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) and the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) have both issued policy statements in the past year stating that mandatory spay/neuter policies are not effective. Enforcement of existing law, including leash laws, is a better alternative.

•Limiting female dogs from whelping more than one litter per year, or whelping a litter if the female is younger than 18-months of age. The AKC opposes any arbitrary limitation on the responsible breeding of purebred dogs, and believes health and reproduction decisions are best made by owners in consultation with their dogs’ veterinarian.

•Permitting the Louisiana SPCA, which will be responsible for enforcement of this ordinance, to determine whether or not an applicant for a breeder license has “space determined to be suitable…in which to breed dogs and raise puppies.” As there are no specific guidelines included in the ordinance, it is not clear what a breeder would need to do to be approved. This will allow for subjective and arbitrary decisions that may cost responsible breeders thousands of dollars to come into compliance, or may prohibit them from breeding at all.

•Imposing significant fines for those who are found to be in violation of the ordinance, with the income from the fines to be used to further finance the LaSPCA’s animal control efforts. The AKC contends that the cost of enforcement of the ordinance will be far greater than any revenues gained through fines or fees assessed. Further, it may cause a drop in licensing compliance, as otherwise responsible may owners seek to avoid high fees they are unable to pay. It may also lead owners to avoid proper veterinary care and vaccinations in order to avoid detection.
Please click here for a copy of the proposal.


The American Kennel Club strongly urges all concerned responsible dog breeders and owners in New Orleans to contact the City Council members. Let them know that you strongly oppose this ordinance, and urge them to vote against it. Instead, encourage them to strengthen enforcement of New Orleans’ existing animal control laws. For a sample letter that you can download and customize, please click here.

Council President Arnie Fielkow (At-Large)
City Hall, Room 2W40
1300 Perdido Street
New Orleans, LA 70112
Phone: (504) 658-1060
Fax: (504) 658-1068

Council Vice President Jacquelyn Brechtel Clarkson (At-Large)
City Hall, Room 2W50
1300 Perdido Street
New Orleans, LA 70112
Phone: (504) 658-1070
Fax: (504) 658-1077

Councilwoman Shelley Midura (District A)
City Hall, Room 2W80
1300 Perdido Street
New Orleans, LA 70112
Phone: (504) 658-1010
Fax: (504) 658-1016

Councilwoman Stacy Head (District B)
City Hall, Room 2W10
1300 Perdido Street
New Orleans, LA 70112
Phone: (504) 658-1020
Fax: (504) 658-1025

Councilman James Carter (District C)
City Hall, Room 2W70
1300 Perdido Street
New Orleans, LA 70112
Phone: (504) 658-1030
Fax: (504) 658-1037

Councilwoman Cynthia Hedge-Morrell (District D) – ordinance sponsor
City Hall, Room 2W20
1300 Perdido Street
New Orleans, LA 70112
Phone: (504) 658-1040
Fax: (504) 658-1048

Councilwoman Cynthia Willard-Lewis (District E)
City Hall, Room 2W60
1300 Perdido Street
New Orleans, LA 70112
Phone: (504) 658-1050
Fax: (504) 658-1058

For more information and the latest developments on the New Orleans mandatory spay/neuter proposal, please contact AKC’s Government Relations Department at (919) 816-3720, or e-mail

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

PA: Harrisburg Human Society warned by Pennsylvania inspectors on cage sizes

Harrisburg Humane Society warned by Pennsylvania inspectors on cage sizesBy John Luciew
October 14, 2009, 3:44PM
UPDATE: A Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture inspector warned the Harrisburg Humane Society last month that a number of its cages were too small for the dogs being housed, according to department press secretary Justin Fleming.

Fleming sought to correct a earlier statement made by his staff that the animal agency was warned by the state that its Swatara Township, Dauphin County, kennel was overcrowded following a Sept. 22 inspection. That was not the case, Fleming said.

As a nonprofit shelter, the Humane Society is allowed to have an unlimited number of dogs provided there is ample space so as to not endanger the welfare of the dogs, Fleming said. At the time of the Sept. 22 inspection, the Humane Society housed 178 dogs, including 20 puppies, he said.

The state does require that dogs have at least six inches of head room in their cages. The state inspector found that a number of dogs at the Humane Society of Harrisburg Area were in cages that were too small for them, Fleming said.

PA: Humane Society takes a dog from a homeless man- and won't return him even after a court order to do so

Good Grief! Give the man his dog back! This man lost his home, his job, his wife and family, and now the HS takes his DOG!!! You have got to be kidding!
What are the buzz words the Human Society always uses to make the public think they were doing a "service"?- words like "cruelty", but more and more they are just STEALING people's pets! Is Baron REALLY better off in an over crowded shelter? I think not. Every day that dog is experiencing stress of being in in what amounts to JAIL- Give Thomas his dog back!!

At a federal hearing last week over the custody of on of its dogs,
by John Luciew

Humane Society of Harrisburg Area executive director Amy Kaunas testified that the shelter routinely houses an average of 200 dogs at any given time.

Miles Thomas, the formerly homeless owner of Baron the collie, has been battling the Humane Society for the return of his dog since July 26 when the agency's canine officer seized Baron from Thomas’ ventilated car as he lunched in Middletown. The animal agency said it took the dog as part of a cruelty investigation after receiving a call from Middletown police. Thomas, who was battling bouts of homelessness, was never charged and went to the Humane Society to recover Baron the next day, but was denied.

Last week, U.S. District Judge John E. Jones III halted a hearing on the custody of the dog and outlined a plan for co-adoption of the dog by Thomas and Steve Conklin with monitoring by the Humane Society for six months. After that, Thomas stood to regain full ownership of the 7-year-old collie.

However, Andrew Ostrowski, attorney for Thomas, said Wednesday that the Humane Society is balking over what Ostrowski called "slight modifications" in the adoption form requested by Conklin, who is housing the formerly-homeless Thomas and would be co-adopter of the dog. Baron remains at the shelter.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

TX- SPCA steals livestock while claiming abuse

Community Rallies Around Seized Animals' Owners

The SPCA says the animals were abused, but supporters say the accused is an excellent care giver.

Living things get sick from time to time. If a calf has scours, which is caused by a bacteria or virus- that alone dose not mean the animal is abused. Did any person you know make it through a year without coming down with a cold? Those too are caused by bacteria and viruses. We live in a world full of them.

Chickens that have feather loss? Oh NO! You are kidding! (said in jest)- have you even seen a playground of children with no cuts or scrapes? I hope not- because that is what happens when children interact.

The SPCA is out to steal animals and raise money to end "abuse"- but look carefully- they are the ones doing the abuse- they are abusing power and authority and it is time it is stopped!

NY- Conflict of Interests: Human Societies should not be given authority to seize animals

Here is yet another case of Human Societies stealing animals. Of course it is a conflict of interest to allow shelters to enforce animal cruelty cases- they are the ones who BENEFIT from such cases. Yes- benefit is the right word. Shelters get donations when they cry, "help stop abuse" and they get to SELL (yes, that's right- it is a sale- you don't have the option of NOT donating if you want an animal) the pets they take in. Cover their costs? Maybe, but their costs include staff and a building. Not everyone is a VOLUNTEER. Of course they want to stay in business. They have almost make theft legal- expect that sometimes it smells like a Rat!

Our Towns
A Case of Pet Care and Politics

Published: October 7, 2009

Two things struck many people as odd three years ago when sheriff’s deputies came to Sandy Saunders’s 150-acre farm, said they had found “shocking” conditions, arrested him on nine counts of animal cruelty, and seized five horses, three sheep and a goat that have never been returned.

The first was that the barn owned by Mr. Saunders, a well-known local environmentalist and gadfly, was a popular and quite public gathering place. In the five weeks before the animals were seized, an annual barn dance there brought out perhaps 200 people, and a political fund-raiser drew 150. A woman who had visited with her children said that she had seen dozens of farms and that Mr. Saunders’s was “one of the cleanest and well-maintained I have come across.”

The second was that Barbara Dunn, the deputy who seized the animals and participated in a separate raid and arrest involving the care of purebred Maltese dogs that same month, was also the president of the Putnam Humane Society, where the animals were taken, which struck many people as an unfortunate mixing of responsibilities.

The two arrests set in motion a series of legal proceedings that culminated in the indictment of Deputy Dunn this week on 28 counts, including grand larceny, perjury and official misconduct, some stemming from her testimony in the investigation involving the dogs.

It would be nice if the indictment suggested a clear motivation. Instead, it’s more of a reminder that while politics involving humans can be pretty complicated, they’re nothing compared to the politics of people and critters.

Mr. Saunders’s case had no direct bearing on the indictment, a result of an 18-month investigation. Deputy Dunn was accused of larceny, insurance fraud and official misconduct for claiming workplace injuries when, in fact, she had fallen off a horse, prosecutors say. And she was accused of perjury and official misconduct in connection with her testimony about the seizure of the dogs from Linda Nelson, a breeder in Kent.

Deputy Dunn pleaded not guilty to all of the charges on Monday. William Aronwald, her lawyer, said the notion that she was improperly acting in the interests of the Humane Society ignored the evidence. “She took six Maltese dogs that hadn’t been fed, had no water, were sitting in their own excrement from a sweltering, hot room and took them to the Humane Society,” he said. “What other recourse did she have? Just leave them there? I don’t think there’s any evidence at all that the Humane Society benefited from this.”

The problem is that a State Supreme Court judge, Justice Andrew P. O’Rourke, in dismissing charges against Ms. Nelson, ruled otherwise, saying: “Deputy Dunn, in her position as president of the Humane Society, engaged in a public campaign to garner support for the renewal of the society’s contract with the county. She increased the number of seizures of animals and sought increased fines for animal-related violations in order to increase the coffers of the Humane Society.”

It’s small potatoes, unless you’re the one accused. In addition to the worthy work that animal protection groups do, there have been allegations elsewhere of animals improperly seized and reputations ruined out of excess zeal. An investigation by “20/20” in 2005 included numerous claims from people who said that instead of helping them care for wanted pets, the local Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals confiscated their animals, sold them within days and kept the money.

BUT if that kind of conflict was at work, it didn’t show up in the indictment. Christopher York, the chief assistant district attorney in Putnam County, said he had no way of knowing if any improprieties in Deputy Dunn’s conduct were affected by excess zeal for animal rights, the interests of the Humane Society or a belief that she was acting properly. “We don’t have to prove motivation,” he said.

Still, regardless of whether she’s found guilty, you could deduce three things. The first is that an accusation of animal abuse can be as damaging as one of child abuse. Mr. Saunders found himself reported on animal abuse Web sites. (He agreed to give up the animals in return for the dismissal of the charges against him.) The second is that being on the side of the animals doesn’t necessarily mean you’re on the side of the angels. And the third is that giving the president of the local Humane Society a badge and a license to investigate animal abuse isn’t the smartest move.


Tuesday, September 29, 2009

New Zealand: Supermarket chain bans shepherds from using dogs to help manage lambs

New Zealand shepherds stop using dogs as stresses lambs
For centuries shepherds have herded their flock with the help of their expert sheep dogs. But one man and his dog has been replaced by one man and his stick, after Tesco claimed shepherds' faithful canine companions "stressed" the sheep.

By Harry Wallop and Matthew Moore
Published: 6:13PM BST 03 Apr 2009

Tesco has told farmers, who supply the supermarket giant with lamb, to stop using the dogs unless they can be retrained to be "more considerate" towards the flock.

The shepherds have reacted with outrage, and claimed up to 60 dogs have now joined the ranks of the unemployed.

However, Tesco was adamant that one of its largest suppliers in New Zealand, Silver Fern Farms in Fairton, should stop using dogs to herd sheep into the abattoir.

Unlike in Britain, most abattoirs are attached to farms in New Zealand, ensuring the farm does not need to truck its flock down the motorway to a slaughterhouse.

The supermarket wants the shepherds to wave their arms, beat sticks or wave flags, to move the sheep into the abattoir.

The surprise order from Tesco, which comes into force next week, came to light thanks to a letter sent to the Daily Telegraph by an upset reader.

Mick Petheram, one of the shepherds, said: "New Zealand sheep are used to dogs, they know dogs. There's more stress in a human herding and manhandling them, waving their arms and beating sticks. Dogs are part of a sheep's life. This is absolute baloney."

He said that he and his fellow workers would have to sell their dogs, or worse, put them down. "We'll be desperately trying to sell them, but most of us will end up putting down three or four each. These are bloody good dogs. Taking away our dogs is like taking a hammer away from a builder; we can't do our job without them," he said.

New Zealand is the biggest source of lamb in Britain at this time of year, and it is understood that the Silver Fern Farms is one of Tesco's biggest suppliers.

It was visited by Tesco buyers earlier this year, who were "upset" at seeing the dogs "running riot", according to a spokesman for the supermarket.

The National Farmers' Union said that it was not aware of any research indicating that farm animals suffered stress because of sheepdogs.

"Sheepdogs are trained specifically to herd sheep and in some cases cattle and we have heard no problems about them being harmful to the animals," a spokesman said.

Tesco stood by its decision. "We don't have a problem with sheep dogs, but we need to make sure they move the sheep in a considerate manner, so they don't stress the sheep out," said a spokesman.

Scientists have found some evidence that if animals that are "stressed" immediately before slaughter the pH level of the meat increases, creating a pale, watery cut.

Leading animal welfare charity the RSPCA said it had concerns about the anxiety suffered by sheep as they are circled and pursued by dogs, but did not believe a ban was necessary.

Meanwhile: At a sheep workshop I attended this year, an unrulely 12 year old girl caused a lamb to break its leg as she chased the sheep around the pen attempting to catch it. Multiple lambs in the group ended up limping as she dove on animals to catch them, only to have them get away causing her to attempt to catch another. Humans cause more stress than well trained herding dogs.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Animal Rights group claiming not enough affection

Animal Rights group changing their language to include "care and affection'. Boy oh boy- I really, really hope this makes it into laws protecting humans. Lets advocate that anyone who has foster children has to demonstrate they can provide care and affection for the children they care for- THAT would save taxpayer dollars down the road.
(from Protesters dog Longwood greyhound-racing track)
"Wilson, a regional coordinator for the Animal Rights Foundation of Florida, or ARFF, said trainers don't provided greyhounds with the proper care and affection — which track officials and patrons dispute."

Thousands of dollars are spent to transport 2 dogs

Are all animals that end up in a shelter Puppy Mill puppies? They are according to the Animal Rights organizations that are using the slogan End Puppy Mills to generate donations. From the article- "Volunteer pilots took two puppies on the ride of their lives Saturday, whisking them from a puppy mill in Virginia to a safe, new home at a Massachusetts shelter."- If they were "whisked from a puppy mill" then why didn't the volunteers take more dogs? Was the "puppy mill" giving them away? Most likely they were transported from one shelter to another. But donations are generated by buzz words- not the truth!

If there is really an over population problem, then the shelters in Boston must be full too- so sorry folks, end over population and put them to sleep. BUT- since there IS NO over population problem, Americans can spend thousands to save a few dogs that were ABANDONED in the first place. Remember, the issue is ABANDONMENT- NOT over population!!!

Pilots Fly Puppy Mill Pets To Safety
Volunteer Aviators Bring Dogs To New Home In Mass.

"If animals are amputees, older, pregnant or have medical needs, flying is easier and safer. Boies says ground transportation is an option for rescues traveling short distances, but for new homes that are far away, "the journey is long and the animals need to change vehicles every hour. It's stressful for them," she said.

Flying animal rescue missions is not cheap. Volunteer pilot Steve Edwards said the average animal airlift will cost $2,500. "Between the fuel, maintenance and plane permits, it's expensive," Edwards told "Good Morning America".

Edwards hopes other pilots will follow his example and sign up to save shelter animals from being put to sleep."

MA: State plots dog surcharge
State plots dog surcharge
By Hillary Chabot and Benjamin Bell
Friday, September 18, 2009 - Updated 2m ago

State Republicans are howling mad over yet another tax hike being slipped through the Legislature that would slap an annual $3 state surcharge on municipal licensing fees canine owners pay for their pet pooches.
Annual license fees range from $6 a year in Boston for neutered or spayed canines (and $17 for unfixed dogs) to a flat $20 in Plymouth. Angry GOP senators are pushing to name the bill “Toby’s Law,” after Gov. Deval Patrick’s wriggling Labrador puppy.
“We’re trying to collar or neuter these onerous fees and counter the Democrats’ rabid obsession with increases,” said state Sen. Robert Hedlund (R-Weymouth).
But state Sen. Pat Jehlen (D-Somerville) argued the fee is necessary to fund a state spay-and-neutering plan meant to snip the state’s out-of-control problem with strays.
“The number of abandoned animals has gone through the roof over the past few years,” Jehlen said. “Shelters are euthanizing animals because they have too many.”
Jehlen pointed out that the MSPCA and several dog kennels and purebred pooch clubs throughout the state support the bill.
But French bulldog owner Megan Doerrer said she’s tired of the dog pile of state fees and taxes.
“I don’t want to pay more and I don’t think anyone else does either. It’s a weird time to choose to raise prices,” said Doerrer, 25, a math teacher who lives in the South End and was walking her dog Brady in Peters Park.
Clerks from cities and towns also oppose the additional fee, saying the state is snatching even more money away after cutting local aid.
“Given the fact that the state has the money and is giving it to cities and towns, it makes no sense to us at all that they should be taking away money from cities and towns,” said Laurence Pizer, Plymouth town clerk.
Pizer added that the state surcharge would deter many residents from licensing their dogs - a practice that is already a tough sell.
State Sen. Michael Knapik (R-Westfield) said while the bill has many good sections - including creating a dangerous dog directory - it ultimately punishes dog owners. Said Knapik: “The citizens already have to pay millions for a sales tax hike. Let’s leave Fido alone

Monday, September 14, 2009

Cass Sunstein- As Radical as they Come

On September 10th, while the Nation focuses on the health care debate, Cass Sunstein was confirmed as the Administrator of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs. If you think this Radical (with a capital R) was confirmed narrowly by a Democrat majority- look again- only 6 Republicans voted against him!

What is so Radical about Sunstein?
1. He has written a book advocating Animal Rights in which he suggests that animals should be allowed to sue human beings in courts of law.
2. He believes we should all be vegetarians
3. He believes hunting should be banned

He represents a segment of society who feels that Americans should be regulated more! People like him should NOT be in government.

The American Conservative Union started a website Stop Sunstein - looks like it didn't help.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

PA: Animal Welfare Debate Takes Center Stage

Animal Welfare Debate Takes Center Stage
From: Lancaster Farming. Follow this link to the article
Submitted by Editor on Fri, 08/21/2009 - 11:25am.

Charlene M. Shupp
Special Sections Editor

HERSHEY, Pa. — The take-home message from last week’s Animal Welfare Forum was simple. Chad Gregory of the United Egg Producers and Paul Shapiro of the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) agreed to disagree.

During the two-hour discussion, farmers, veterinarians and industry professionals heard Gregory and Shapiro discuss the impact of California’s Proposition 2 ballot initiative from 2009. This was the first time both have addressed a group jointly on animal agriculture production. The event was sponsored by PennAg Industries Association and the Pennsylvania Veterinary Medical Association.

Last year, both sides spent millions of dollars to argue their viewpoints on the ballot initiative that would essentially eliminate gestation crates for swine, battery cages for chickens and crates for veal calves.

The question voters had to answer was this: “Should farm animals have the ability to stand up, sit down, turn around, and extend their limbs without touching anything?” Both sides built coalitions before the election to make their case. For Californians, the answer was a resounding “yes,” winning 63 to 37 percent.

Shapiro noted that the ballot garnered more “yes” votes than any other citizen initiative in California history and that it won majorities of all major demographics.
Gregory said the electorate did not understand what they were voting for, and Shapiro countered that the overwhelming support for the measure showed that, for the most part, it was an obvious choice.

The battle over animal welfare has gained momentum in several states in addition to California. In states where the issue was taken through the state legislature, Gregory said his organization has won because they have been able to use science to explain their side of the issue to legislators.

On the other hand, in states where the issue can be decided by a ballot initiative, HSUS has been successful.

Gregory asked this rhetorical question: If all the HSUS wanted to do was ban battery cages, why did they not simplify the language to reflect that? He believes it is so HSUS can expand the meaning of the law as it is implemented.

“We cannot feed these (additional) people without concentrated, commercial-sized farms,” said Gregory. “It’s impossible.” He noted that 95 percent of all egg production is in caged egg production facilities.

In trying to separate the differences between the two groups, Gregory said organizations like his represent “farmers who get dirt under their fingernails.”

Shapiro said that the strength of the HSUS comes from its membership, and that in a recent survey HSUS placed in the top 10 in brand recognition — the only group that did not represent a human welfare topic with that distinction. He also said 1 in 28 Americans support HSUS.

Consumers, Gregory believes, should be allowed to decide how their eggs are produced — caged, cage-free, or organic — at the grocery checkout line.

The egg industry saw welfare-driven production changes happening in Europe and decided to take a proactive approach to the issue. United Egg Producers (UEP) developed an animal welfare committee to craft a scientifically-based set of guidelines for the industry.

“We did not want the guidelines to be driven by government mandates and activist organizations,” said Gregory. “We wanted guidelines to prevent disruption in the industry.”

The program has requirements for space per bird, and also addresses molting, beak trimming and lighting. Participating farms must have 100 percent of their farm audited and file compliance reports.

“This program has incredible teeth, it has been very credible,” Gregory said, noting that 80 percent of farms are participating. Additionally, cage-free programs certified by UEP are also accredited by the American Humane Association.

Gregory challenged Shapiro, saying if HSUS and PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) were “really interested in improving the welfare of chickens, they would go after the remaining 20 percent to get them into the program.”

Proposition 2, according to Shapiro, was grassroots driven with countless volunteers reaching out to their neighbors to share their concerns with the welfare of farm animals. Most states do not have laws on the books regarding animal welfare for livestock.

Both Gregory and Shapiro used science and research for their sides of the argument, in some cases using the same study to make their points.

According to Gregory, if cages were banned, the ramifications would include an increase of 15 million hens to produce the same number of eggs, a doubling of chicken mortality, and greater feed needs — to the tune of an additional one million acres of cropland for grain.

Both pointed to the economic study that says it costs one cent more per egg to move from caged to cage free production. Shapiro said that the costs to producers and consumers would not be much. Gregory said the study does not include the upfront investments that will be needed by farmers. He also noted the differences in store costs of more than a $1 dollar per dozen for eggs from cage-free hens and nearly $3 for organic compared to eggs from caged hens.

Both argued food safety points. Gregory used studies demonstrating that eggs produced in a cages system were safer. Shapiro pointed to studies showing the food safety benefits of cage-free.

Shapiro said that the egg industry only has to look to the broiler industry.

Broilers are raised on floors. He said the object of HSUS’s work is not to take farmers out of business.

“We’re not talking about making ideal living conditions for animals,” he said. “We are talking about raising the bar for animal welfare.”
Gregory concluded that Americans need to be careful in their choices because of the long-term effects. Looking to Europe, he said that consumers need to move forward with caution. Since many changes have come to regulations in the European Union, animal food production has been unable to keep pace with demand and those countries are on the verge of an egg shortage. To make up the difference, they will have to import eggs from countries that do not follow animal welfare standards.

Charlene Shupp Espenshade can be reached at

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Sophie's (ur.... Wendy's) Choice- a modern day, dilemna of powerful forces enforcing personal agendas

Sophie's Choice in Philadelphia
(author unknow at the moment- it will appear in the Chronical of the Horse on Friday)

Wendy Willard, a retired school teacher and MBH of the Murder Hollow Bassets, kennels her hounds in a barn near her house located inside a 340-acre nature preserve, the largest single privately-owned parcel of land within the city limits of Philadelphia.

On Monday, July 27, seven officers from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania's Bureau of Dog Law Enforcement, the Philadelphia Police, and the Pennsylvania Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (PSPCA), in as many vehicles, staged a full-scale raid on Murder Hollow's kennels apparently in an unsuccessful search for an illegal dog breeding operation.

Murder Hollow had, at the time, ten and 1/2 couple of hounds, and Ms. Willard was additionally keeping two aged and retired bassets in her house. The Commonwealth Dog Law Enforcement officers found no illegal kennels under state law, and took their leave, but PSPCA "Humane Law Officers" accused Wendy Willard of being in violation of Philadelphia's Animal Control Code, which requires a waiver from the Department of Public Health for the keeping of more than 12 dogs or cats in "a residential dwelling unit."

Wendy Willard had found on her front door a card from PSPCA containing no message a few days prior to the raid. On Monday, the authorities arrived again and requested entry, then returned promptly equipped with a warrant after being initially turned away.

In subsequent reports by PSPCA, no mention of a search for a dog kennel violating state law, which according to Jessie Smith, Deputy Director of the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, was the Bureau of Dog Law Enforcement's basis for obtaining the search warrant used to gain entry to the Murder Hollow property, was ever made. The raid, featuring seven officers from three official organizations with five trucks and two police cars, according to PSPCA's later statements, was simply occasioned by a (never identified) neighbor complaining of dogs barking.

PSPCA Humane Officer Tara Loller proceeded to present Wendy Willard with the kind of cruel dilemma depicted in William Styron's 1979 novel Sophie's Choice. In the novel (made into a 1982 film starring Meryl Streep), a young Polish mother sent to Auschwitz is forced by a sadistic Nazi doctor to choose which of her two children she will be allowed to keep and which will be immediately gassed.

"They are my family," a distraught Willard said of her dogs,” reported the Philadelphia Daily News on August 7th.

Loller demanded that Wendy Willard immediately surrender eleven hounds, reducing the number on her property to twelve (and agree to have all but four of those remaining neutered), or Willard was warned, PSPCA would take all her hounds. "We can give you enough citations to take your house," the PSPCA officers boasted to Willard.

According to a one former PSPCA humane officer, quoted in a story in the Pocono Record last December, this kind of tactic is a standard part of PSPCA humane officer training statewide. "We were taught to intimidate people into giving their animals up. We were told to tell them "in lieu of charges, surrender your animals." Some former officers told the Record that they were given a quota of surrendered animals to fill, and that humane officers' annual bonus payments were dependent on meeting their quotas. In order to persuade animal owners to sign surrender documents, PSPCA Humane Officers are evidently not above lying.

Three of the hounds on Wendy Willard's property had come from the Sandanona Hare Hounds of Millbrook, New York. Sandanona's Master Betsy Park , specifically in order to avoid any of her hounds ever falling into the hands of an animal shelter, makes a policy of retaining title to any hounds drafted, given as stud fees, or retired from her pack. With any hound originating from Sandanona comes a contract requiring its return to Mrs. Park in the event that it can no longer be cared for at its new home. The PSPC A officers assured Wendy Willard that Betsy Park would be able to reclaim her hounds after their surrender. She would, naturally, have "first claim" to their new adoption. There was, of course, no truth whatsoever in those assurances, but they led Wendy Willard to believe that unlucky Sappho, Anxious, and Harlem would have a better chance of being recovered.

PSPCA, in the case of pedigreed dogs like the Murder Hollow Bassets, channels them into a breed-oriented rescue system, which houses them in private foster homes, and then distributes the basset hounds to new owners in exchange for a $200 adoption fee. Less desirable animals, "rescued" by PSPCA after a 72 hour hold time are simply euthanized.

PSPCA in its press releases has repeatedly claimed the eleven bassets taken had been transferred to foster care by a partner rescue organization. Apparently, however, this is not the case. I personally contacted basset rescue organizations last weekend, trying to identify the location of the seized hounds. The director of adoptions at the regional rescue organization told me he had been scheduled to receive 10 of the bassets taken from Murder Hollow, but that the transfer had been cancelled, and the hounds "frozen" and "locked down" in the PSPCA holding facility as "evidence" is a case now considered under dispute.

Evidently, either efforts by Sandanona to recover their three hounds, or discussion and criticism of the Murder Hollow raid on a variety of dog-breed-oriented bulletin boards on the Internet beginning about the same time early last week was deemed sufficient by PSPCA to cause the animal welfare organization to move to the defensive. As a news report on a similar PSPCA case observes, whenever there is a legal challenge to PSPCA, the confiscated animals become live evidence, and will be kept in storage cages for months, and sometimes years, while court cases drag on. Animals whose ownership is under dispute will not be transferred for adoption.

It may not be completely coincidental that the PSPCA additionally stopped applauding Wendy Willard for "working to clean and improve the kennels" or being "encouraged by her efforts," but instead was disappointed to find on upon its Friday, August 7th follow-up inspection that "overall living conditions remained poor" resulting in 11 citations for unsanitary conditions, 11 citations for lack of veterinary care and two tickets for barking.

The raid on the Murder Hollow kennels and PSPCA's policies, operations, and behavior in the present case have been widely criticized on the Internet and by field sports organizations rallying to Wendy Willard's defense.

William E. Bobbitt, Jr., president of the registry and organizational authority for hunting basset packs, wrote:
"Wendy Willard hasmaintained a pack of Basset Hounds recognized by the National Beagle Club of America since 1989. She frequently brings her hounds to the Institute Farm to compete in the Basset Pack Trials held there and her hounds are always fit and well cared for. In fact, she treats her hounds like family members. We want to support Wendy in her efforts to maintain the 6 couple of hounds that remain with her, but we also have great concern for the welfare of the hounds which were seized and taken.
There are Basset packs that are willing and anxious to take those hounds in and provide them with good hunting homes, which is what they are used to, and we hope that the PSPCA will cooperate in making these placements possible, instead of keeping the hounds confined in cages at a holding facility."

Lt. Col. Dennis Foster (USA, ret.), Executive Director of the Master of Foxhounds Association of America, the senior scenthound organization in the United States, called the PSPCA's actions "a travesty." He described the confiscation of Murder Hollow's hounds as "a classic example of a government agency going out of bounds." Foster dismissed the PSPCA's charges against Ms. Willard and described their subsequent handling of the Murder Hollow bassets as recognizable as the "behavior of people who do not understand hounds."
(This article will appear in the Chronical of the Horse on Friday)

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

PA- Wilkes-Barre mayor wants BSL

Wilkes-Barre mayor wants BSL
A very determined young woman, Samantha Blum of Wilkes-Barre is working to try and prevent Wilkes-Barre's mayor, Thomas M. Leighton form gaining permission from Pennsylvania state legislators to ignore the statewide law disallowing municipalities in the state to enact BSL (Breed Specific Legislation). Leighton wants to create a law disallowing "vicious dogs" from roaming free in public parks.
The impetus behind Leighton's desire is because of two recent yet unrelated incidents at the county owned park known as River Common. On June 29 a man's small, leashed dog was attacked in the park by two loose dogs. The little one was injured to the point of needing euthanization.
On July 4, responding to a call of a dog running wild in River Common Park, police shot and killed a pit bull dog. With no owner in sight and the dog acting aggressively, a police officer shot the dog when it lunged at him.
This isn't the first time Leighton has attempted enacting BSL in Wilkes-Barre. In 2001, when Leighton was a member of city council, he pushed to ban pit bulls, Rottweilers, German shepherds and Doberman Pinschers from city parks after authorities shot a pit bull during a raid at a Woodward Street home.
Again, in 2005, Leighton pushed new legislation to ban pit bulls from the entire city. At that time local police officials backed him, saying dogs were often kept by criminals, and were a danger to police officers. Both times it was Pennsylvania's law that prevented his efforts.
Blum is leading a campaign to oppose banning dog breeds from public parks stating “Breed-specific legislation is not the solution to a problem, but rather a means of punishing responsible pet owners and good dogs for the actions of a few dogs that were brought up in an inappropriate or abusive environment or improperly trained.”
She is circulating petitions asking people to support the cause. She is asking all area residents to sign her petition which states BSL is wrong and asks for alternative changes in legislation like higher accountability of dog owners, public education and stricter enforcement of leash laws.
Copies of Blum’s petition are available for the public to sign at the following area pet stores and grooming facilities:
Pet Supplies Plus, Scott Street
Tropic Pet Center, South Main Street
K9 Korner, Route 309;
Animal Buddies, East Walnut Street
Pet Wonderland, Blackman Street;
Pets-n-You, Kidder Street
Auntie Liz’s Diamond in the Ruff, North Mountain Boulevard, Mountain Top
The entire petition is quoted below.
A Petition to Oppose Breed Ban in Wilkes-Barre
We, the undersigned, respectfully urge the city of Wilkes-Barre to seek alternate changes in legislation in regard to the proposed breed ban. We feel that the breed ban is drastic and unnecessary. We believe that there are other options available to consider that would be more effective in addressing this issue of the public’s safety brought about by the recent incidents of unleashed dogs and dog attacks.
This petition is to oppose the ban of any breed of dog. The recent incidents, however, were believed to have involved Pit Bulls, a breed that is often misidentified and because of such has received a negative connotation. The label of “Pit Bull” is often used incorrectly to generalize a large group of dogs/breeds that have similar physical characteristics of “Pit Bulls” but aren’t in fact true Pit Bulls (e.g. American Bulldog, Boxer, Cane Corso, Tosa Inu etc.). The only breeds of dog to be true Pit Bulls are the American Pit Bull Terrier (APBT), American Staffordshire Terrier, and Staffordshire Bull Terrier. The APBT are a breed which is historically known to be extremely loyal, obedient, and friendly. How can breed specific legislation be implemented when the line between what is a Pit Bull and what looks like a Pit Bull is blurred to so many?
Although “Pit Bulls” are infamous for being involved in dog fights and for being very violent, these dogs are not innately driven to be vicious animals. Due to their large stature and strength these dogs, among with other dogs of various breeds and similar attributes, are being victimized and exploited for the sake of greed and a sort of twisted form of entertainment by those who are supposed to protect and care for these animals. These cases have not only hurt the animal’s unfortunate enough to have been involved but have also given an unnecessarily bad reputation to the breed as a whole. Any breed of any animal can become violent if they are in an environment where they’re being mistreated or improperly trained.
As alternatives to the possible breed ban in the city of Wilkes-Barre, we propose higher accountability for not only pet owners but those interacting with these animals, as well as stricter enforcement of leash laws. It is important for the public to be educated about different breeds of dogs and to be informed and cautious if they encounter a stray, unleashed, or otherwise unaccompanied dog. People need not blindly fear any specific breed but rather have a rational understanding of possible dangers that could accompany any stray or wild animal. Better funding for local shelters can help educate the public and to control and care for the animal population. Animal shelters and rescue groups across the country are overcrowded and under funded and if this plan is put into effect it will create more problems than it solves by leaving more dogs without homes, especially those who are innocent and have been given the false label of “a bad dog” or even “killer” based solely on their breed. All dogs are unique and we believe it’s inhumane to hold such prejudice against an entire breed of dog as a basis for a proposed ban of the breed.
We live in an area (like many others) where we have had floods, drugs, murders, animal attacks, crimes against children, etc. and the public deserves to be and needs to be exposed to any threat or danger of any kind that may affect them in a way that informs not terrifies or causes panic. By affixing my signature, I would respectfully ask the city of Wilkes-Barre to review this petition, the support it shows, and consider favorably our proposal for alternative legislation.
So, any and all Wilkes-Barre residents who agree with Blum on the BSL issue please sign the petition and pass it to others. A copy of a printable form of the petition can be obtained from Blum by emailing her at
For any citizen who disagrees with BSL please contact Mayor Thomas M. Leighton at 570-208-4158 or email him at:, letters can be addressed to him at: Wilkes-Barre City Hall, 40 East Market Street, Wilkes-Barre, PA 18711
Please be respectful when contacting the mayor as anything less would negate the seriousness of your message. It is imparative the mayor hears from the public so kindly let him know if you are against BSL.
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Sources: Woman wants dogs to remain in parks
Wilkes-Barre police shoot, kill pit bull running loose on River Common
Reaction after pit bull shooting
Wilkes-Barre, PA: City to ask legislature for ability to pass BSL
Woman in favor of dog breed ban in park

Other info: Pit Bulls in America

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

PA: Shelters claim "too many dogs"- but import dogs from West Virginia

Coming forth to carry them home
Thanks to the Internet and an "underground rail-road" of drivers, dogs from high-kill shelters several states away are spared, delivered to loving families in the Northeast
By Amy Worden

Inquirer Staff Writer

Buster spent the early spring on death row here, stuck in an outdoor kennel at the overcrowded county shelter.

The beagle-mix puppy was the last of a litter found starving and neglected under a barn. The next stop for him was the euthanasia room.

These days, Buster - now a lively 1-year-old - frolics in the quarter-acre backyard of his Hatboro, Pa., home.

Buster owes his sweet suburban life to what has been called the "canine underground railroad." This network of animal lovers plucks unwanted dogs from high-kill shelters in depressed areas of Appalachia and the South, and brings them to the Northeast, where there are more adoptive homes.

In Buster's case, five volunteer drivers, each taking a 75-mile leg of the trip, whisked him away from almost certain death in northwestern West Virginia last month and delivered him to his loving home in Montgomery County.

It's a story played out every day across the country as rescue groups comb animal-shelter lists on the Internet and then put together a string of drivers to save endangered dogs - and, when there's room, a crate full of hitchhiking cats.

"If we had to put down all the dogs that we would if we didn't send them out, no one would work here," said Theresa Bruner, vice president of the Federation of Humane Organizations of West Virginia. "It would be too depressing."


Too many unwanted cats and dogs, not enough homes. It's a familiar situation everywhere. In Philadelphia, shelters destroyed 8,369 dogs last year, about 60 percent of the dogs they took in, most because of age, injuries or temperament, according to the city's two shelters.

But a combination of factors conspire to make the crisis in West Virginia and elsewhere in Appalachia and the South particularly acute: widespread poverty, the absence of spay/neuter education programs, and a staggering number of stray animals.

Shelters in West Virginia took in 103,000 dogs and cats last year, and about 75 percent were destroyed, according to the Federation of Humane Organizations.

A decade ago, the state's numbers were even grimmer. But in recent years, animal shelters there and around the country have been using the Internet to find homes for dogs. The Net frees shelters from relying solely on the local population for adoptive homes - especially helpful to a poor state like West Virginia.

"The Internet is a godsend," said Rosy Cosart, director of the Wetzel County Animal Shelter, where volunteers work hard to place Buster and many others like him.

Libby Marquardt, a volunteer coordinator for Trucknpaws, which has 2,000 members and says it is the largest transportation network, estimates that thousands of dogs are being moved every week all over the country.

Marquardt, of Mount Airy, Md., spends hours each week combing shelter Web sites for adoptable dogs, screening rescue groups and drivers, and mapping out routes throughout the mid-Atlantic and Midwest.

There is a high demand for certain breeds and puppies in urban areas that rural shelters can fill, Marquardt said.

Still, there are plenty of unwanted dogs in the Philadelphia area that are needlessly destroyed, animal-care officials say. Of the 7,300 dogs euthanized last year by Philadelphia Animal Care and Control Association, the city's shelter, about half were unadoptable because of age, temperament or health, but the others were destroyed because of lack of space, said Jeff Moran, a spokesman for the agency.

Erik Hendricks, executive director of the Pennsylvania Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, said there was a shortage of puppies in urban areas because many more people in those areas spayed and neutered their pets. To meet the demand in the group's Philadelphia shelter, he said, the SPCA ships in puppies from shelters in northern Pennsylvania.

Urban shelters also have large numbers of overly aggressive dogs that are not suitable for families, he said.

"There is the pit-bull factor," Hendricks said. "But there are a lot of dogs perfectly healthy and young, just not puppies anymore, who won't be adopted even though they may have 10 or 12 years of good life and love ahead."


Buster and his five littermates spent their first 10 months huddled under a barn in this hardscrabble area along the Ohio River in northwestern West Virginia on the Pennsylvania border.

"The person who called animal control said they'd been dumped on her property," said Cosart.

An animal control officer deposited them at the Wetzel County Animal Shelter in late March. "They were almost comatose," she said. "They were scared and hungry."

Three of Buster's littermates were adopted and saved, two by the group that helped Buster. One was destroyed because he fought with his kennelmate over food.

The shelter is in a small cinder-block building in a patch of lowland at the edge of the county fairgrounds. The shelter staff has brightened the place up with lavender paint and stenciled paw prints. Volunteers built a shed roof over the kennels, but it is so crowded lately that some dogs are tethered to stakes with doghouses nearby.

A Web-savvy volunteer maintains a list of the shelter's available cats and dogs, posting their pictures on the national pet adoption site,

Buster's journey to Pennsylvania began when 17-year-old Pete Walton of Hatboro stumbled on the tricolored puppy with the floppy ears while surfing the Net in May.

The Walton family was looking for a younger companion for their 7-year-old poodle, Comet. They decided to explore adoption when they discovered the average puppy at the local pet store cost $1,000.

"Why buy a dog when you could save one?" Pete Walton said.

The Waltons contacted Animal Rescue and Referral, an all-breed rescue group based in Richboro, Pa., which arranged to transport Buster to the Waltons' home.


Just before dawn on June 5, Joe and Lou Rabel rolled up to the shelter in an SUV with their own ex-shelter dog, Buttons, a Saint Bernard/Great Dane mix.

The Rabels, a retired West Virginia couple, make regular 200-mile round-trip runs to Maryland with dogs from the Wetzel County shelter.

"It's the least we can do," said Lou Rabel, 62. "We see so many animals that are dumped."

Buster and his traveling companion, a spitz named Teddi who was heading for a home in Wilton, Conn., were spruced up for the road trip.

After a bath, a dose of Dramamine, and a round of goodbye kisses, Buster was packed up for the 400-mile ride ahead.

On the Saturday of Buster's journey, the rain was coming down in sheets in Hagerstown, Md., a hub of mid-Atlantic canine transport activity. The city sits at the junction of Interstate 70, a major east-west route, and I-81, a major north-south route through Pennsylvania that links the Northeast with the South.

It was a busy morning in Hagerstown. At one meeting point, volunteers put 23 dogs, mostly puppies of various stripes, into a van heading to a rescue group in Lancaster.

After a drink and a bathroom break, Buster was loaded up again for the next 75-mile leg to Harrisburg. By the time he reached his permanent home in Hatboro, Buster had traveled in five different vehicles and had spent a night at the Levittown home of rescue volunteer Anne Maghee.


On a recent summer evening in Hatboro the Walton family - Dave, Chris and Pete and his sister, Elizabeth, 10 - watched Buster gambol with his canine pal, Comet, in their fenced-in yard.

It took Buster a few days to figure out how to navigate the staircase, but now he sprawls out on the couch like he owns the place, says Chris Walton.

Carsickness may be Buster's only shortcoming.

"He doesn't travel very well," said Chris. "But that's OK, he's home now."

Contact staff writer Amy Worden at 717-783-2584 or

Monday, July 27, 2009

OH- There is still time to comment on HB 124

House Bill 124 was heard by the House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee. No action was taken on the bill. Additionally, Senate Bill 95, HB 124's companion, was temporarily sidelined while the Senate dealt with Ohio's budget crisis. However, since Governor Strickland signed a new budget into law on Friday, July 17th, the AKC expects developments regarding these bills soon.

Take advantage of this additional comment period. Don't delay- contact your Law Maker Today!!!

NC- Bad bill likely to return this week

From AKC

Senate Bill 460

a bill that seeks to unnecessarily regulate the operations of dog breeders in North Carolina remains under consideration in the state Senate. The AKC believes the bill is likely to be scheduled for consideration by the full Senate as early as This Tuesday. With your help and participation over the next several days, we can prevent this bill from passing the Senate, and we can kill this bill for the remainder of the year.

The American Kennel Club and the North Carolina Federation of Dog Clubs continue to oppose SB 460. The state Department of Agriculture does not support this bill. Your Senators need to hear that you, their constituents, also oppose this bill.

We have already made a difference. Thanks to the calls and letters that you sent to North Carolina Senators early this month, the Senate delayed voting on the bill on July 8. We are now approaching the end of the session, and it is imperative that we send the message once again that responsible dog owners and breeders oppose this onerous, unnecessary, and expensive legislation.

Problematic provisions of SB 460 include the following:

•Vague definition of "commercial breeder". Commercial breeder" is defined as someone who owns 15 or more intact females "of breeding age" and 30 or more puppies." It is unclear if these numbers refer to the number of dogs on the property at one time, or if this is cumulative over the course of a year. The bill makes a special exception for some kennels or establishments that operate for the purpose of boarding or training certain dogs. However, it is unclear if breeders who also train and sell puppies are exempt from the licensing requirement.

•Inspections of private property at any time. The bill allows law enforcement and local animal control to search the homes and private property at any time of day or night of anyone who falls under the definition of "commercial breeder".

•Allowing for seizure of animals for those who do not comply with the new regulations—with no opportunity to come into compliance. If a commercial breeder is unlicensed, animals will be subject to immediate seizure and impoundment and may be sold or euthanized. The AKC believes that breeders should be given the opportunity to come into compliance with the law.

•Directive for the NC Department of Agriculture to develop standards of care with no public input. SB 460 calls for the Department of Agriculture to develop care and condition policies for dogs belonging to commercial breeders. This does not allow for any input from dog breeders and others who are experts in animal care.
Senate Bill 460 will do nothing to address irresponsible breeding, consumer protection, or cruelty/negligence, but it will cost the state over $400,000 a year to enforce. At a time when our state is facing a projected $4 billion budget gap, enforcement of existing laws would be a better use of taxpayers’ money.

Contact your Senators, identify yourself as a constituent (tell them the town you live in), tell them you oppose SB 460, and respectfully urge them to also oppose this bill. We ask that should you decide to e-mail, you also call their offices.

See links below for assistance in contacting your Senator.

To find your Senator, visit the North Carolina General Assembly web site and type your zip code in the "Who Represents Me?" box on the right side of the page.

View basic phone scripts for breeders and fanciers.

Click here for a sample letter to personalize.

For more information, contact AKC’s Government Relations Department at (919) 816-3720, or e-mail

DE- Bills Target Dog Licensing, Housing and Tethering

Delaware Bills Target Dog Licensing, Housing and Tethering
Posted: Thursday, July 23, 2009, 4:32 p.m., EDT

Delaware legislators have passed a measure that seeks to transfer control of the management of dog licenses from the state to individual counties. Legislators are also reconsidering laws that govern primary enclosures for dogs and tethering.

Under House Bill 233, which was recently passed by both the state House of Representatives and Senate, each county would be responsible for issuing the various dog licenses. Currently, dog licenses are issued by the state Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control.

The bill grants the counties the authority to determine license fees, appoint licensing agents, enact rules and regulations regarding licensing and provide applications for the following:

•Individual dog owner licenses
•Retail dog outlet licenses
•Kennel licenses
A “retail dog outlet” is defined as “any premise where dogs are sold, offered or maintained for sale, on a retail basis.”

Those who fail to obtain the appropriate dog license would be subject to a fine of at least $50.

The bill, which has been sent to the governor to be signed, would go into effect Jan. 1, 2010.

Click here to view HB 233.

In addition, Delaware legislators have introduced a measure that sets forth amendments pertaining to primary enclosures and tethering.

House Bill 293 establishes a formula for calculating the proper enclosure size for housing a dog. The required floor space is equal to: (length of dog in inches + 6) x (length of dog in inches + 6) x 2.

Size requirements do not apply to:

•Any dog temporarily kept in a smaller enclosure for purposes such as crate training, transportation, or pursuant to a veterinarian’s order.
•Any office of a licensed veterinarian.
•Any temporary kennel facility where dogs are kept for grooming, boarding, training or other purposes for less than two consecutive weeks (as long as there is sufficient space to allow the dog to turn about freely and to stand erect, sit and lie down in a comfortable, normal position).
•A licensed retail dog outlet where dogs are kept on display to patrons of the retail dog outlet during its normal business hours (as long as there is sufficient space to allow the dog to turn about freely and to stand erect, sit and lie down in a comfortable, normal position).
The proposed measure also sets forth instances in which wire flooring may be used in primary enclosures.

HB 293 provides more detailed requirements for the tethering of dogs. The tether would have to be a minimum of either 10 feet-long or three times the length of the dog (which ever is shortest) and allow the dog convenient access to shade, shelter, food and spill-proof water containers.

Tethering would be prohibited under the following circumstances:

•If the tether and/or related attachment(s) is not appropriate for the animal’s weight.
•If the tether is attached by means of a pinch-type, prong-type, or choke-type collar, or if the collar is unsafe, or is not properly fitted.
•If the tether inhibits the animal’s free movement or causes injury or entanglement.
•If a dog is less than four months of age.
•Between the hours of 11:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m.; unless the tether is used for less than a 15 minute period of time.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Quote of the Day

"Clever crooks seize power by small steps so as not to waken the populace before the time is right to put their plans into effect. Americans, or some Americans, are witnessing that now." Dorothy A. Seese, 2005

(disclaimer:Dorothy Seese is Not and AR activist (that I know of) and this quote was Not a direct reference to the AR agenda)

Act Now: Ask your Senator to stop Sunstein's nomination for Regulatory Czar

Radical Animal Rights Attorney Cleared
To Become Obama’s Regulatory Czar

Dog Owners, Hunters, Farmers Urged To Ask
Their Senators To Stop Sunstein Nomination

American Sporting Dog Alliance

WASHINGTON (July 21, 2009) – Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) has lifted his “hold” blocking the nomination of Harvard Law School scholar and animal rights legal strategist Cass Sunstein for the post of regulatory czar in the Administration of his close personal friend, President Barack Obama.

Sen. Chambliss had blocked the nomination based on concerns of farm groups because of Sunstein’s strong animal rights beliefs, including support of stringent regulation of people who raise animals and a ban on hunting. Last week, however, Chambliss met with Sunstein and announced on the Senate floor that he had lifted the hold on the nomination. The Senator added that the way is now clear for the U.S. Senate to confirm Sunstein before its August recess.

The American Sporting Dog Alliance is urging all dog owners, hunters, firearms rights advocates, farmers and civil libertarians to take immediate action by urging the U.S. Senate to reject the Sunstein nomination to head the powerful Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) in the White House. Taking action now is of the utmost urgency.
Sunstein has the strong support of the Humane Society of the United States, which is the political arm of the radical animal rights movement, according to a July 15 statement by HSUS Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Michael Markarian in The Huffington Post. Referring to the regulations to implement the federal Animal Welfare Act, and new rules about animal fighting and importing dogs, Markarian wrote: “These kinds of legal changes are precisely why Americans need a regulatory czar like Cass Sunstein in charge of OIRA -- to make sure the federal agencies properly implement regulations to enforce these new laws.”
The Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) “reviews and alters regulations created by federal agencies,” according to Congress Daily.

Sunstein, who has published 15 books, would have broad powers to review, recommend changes and possibly engineer changes in all federal regulations, including those about dog ownership, farming, hunting on federal lands, and enforcement of gun control laws.

In his published writings and speeches, Sunstein has advocated:

· Giving animal rights groups the power to file lawsuits on the behalf of animals against their owners.

· Very strict regulations about animal ownership, farming and hunting.

· The elimination of hunting.

· The elimination of the individual right to keep and bear arms.

· Moving toward a vegan vegetarian society.

· Rewriting the Constitution and Bill of Rights.

· And restrictions on free speech.

Each of those assertions will be documented later in this report by direct quotations from Sunstein’s published books and speeches.

The American Sporting Dog Alliance believes Sunstein would have a severely negative impact on dog owners, farmers, hunters, gun owners and civil libertarians – Indeed, to all Americans!

This is underscored by Sunstein’s status as a close personal friend and advisor to President Obama since they met in 1992, when Sunstein taught law at the University of Chicago. This will give Sunstein unprecedented influence and access to the President.

It is further underscored by numerous mainstream reports that Sunstein is slated to be President Obama’s next nominee to fill a vacancy on the Supreme Court. This adds to the urgency of convincing the Senate that Sunstein’s beliefs are un-American and in direct contradiction to the basic principles outlined in the Constitution and Bill of Rights.

Although Sunstein’s nomination had been blocked by Sen. Chambliss until last week, Government Executive reported that he actually has been working at the job in the White House on a daily basis.
Sunstein’s potential use of power – and potential abuse of power – has been increased because President Obama redefined the role of OIRA shortly after taking office. The Wall Street Journal reported July 6: “In a significant, but little noticed, memo written 10 days after taking office, Mr. Obama ordered up a rewrite of how OIRA goes about its work, the first such revision since 1993. ‘Far more is now known about regulation -- not only when it is justified, but also what works and what does not,’ the president wrote. A regulatory review would make use of new tools and would ‘clarify the role of the behavioral sciences in formulating regulatory policy.’ "
The Wall Street Journal called the OIRA “obscure but powerful.”
The American Sporting Dog Alliance believes that Sunstein will use this position to influence President Obama’s directives to all federal agencies on how to write, interpret and enforce all federal regulations. This includes regulations about agriculture, raising animals, hunting on public lands, and gun law enforcement and procedures. This is a dangerous power to be held by someone of Sunstein’s clearly radical and unconstitutional beliefs.
Thus, we are urging every American to immediately contact both of his or her U.S, senators, and as many other senators as possible, to urge them to vote against the Sunstein nomination.
This link will provide a search engine to locate each state’s senators, and an alphabetical list of the senators to link to contact information: Each state has two U.S. Senators who represent all of the citizens of that state.
We recommend at least two forms of contact: Send an email as a first step, plus also send a letter or fax, and/or make a phone call. Please do this immediately, as a Senate confirmation vote could come at any moment.
In addition, please send this report to all of your friends and contacts and ask them to help, and post it on any message boards that you use. Also, please write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper and any other papers you read.
Here are some direct quotes from Sunstein to illustrate our concern:
1. "We ought to ban hunting"
- Cass Sunstein, in a 2007 speech at Harvard University

2. “We should focus attention not only on the enforcement gap, but on the areas where current law offers little or no protection. In short, the law should impose further regulation on hunting, scientific experiments, entertainment, and (above all) farming to ensure against unnecessary animal suffering. It is easy to imagine a set of initiatives that would do a great deal here, and indeed European nations have moved in just this direction. There are many possibilities.”
--Cass R. Sunstein, “The Rights of Animals: A Very Short Primer,” John M. Olin
Law & Economics Working Paper No. 157, The Law School, The University of

3. “…(R)epresentatives of animals should be able to bring private suits to ensure that
anticruelty and related laws are actually enforced. If, for example, a farm is treating
horses cruelly and in violation of legal requirements, a suit could be brought, on behalf of those animals, to bring about compliance with the law.”
--Cass R. Sunstein, “The Rights of Animals: A Very Short Primer,” John M. Olin
Law & Economics Working Paper No. 157, The Law School, The University of Chicago

4. “But if, as a practical matter, animals used for food are almost inevitably going to endure terrible suffering, then there is a good argument that people should not eat meat to the extent that a refusal to eat meat will reduce that suffering. Of course a legal ban on meat-eating would be extremely radical, and like prohibition, it would undoubtedly create black markets and have a set of bad, and huge, side-effects. But the principle seems clear: People should be much less inclined to eat meat if their refusal to do so would prevent significant suffering.”
--Cass R. Sunstein, “The Rights of Animals: A Very Short Primer,” John M. Olin
Law & Economics Working Paper No. 157, The Law School, The University of

5. “Less modestly, anticruelty laws should be extended to areas that are now exempt from
them, including scientific experiments and farming. There is no good reason to permit the
level of suffering that is now being experienced by millions, even billions of living
--Cass R. Sunstein, “The Rights of Animals: A Very Short Primer,” John M. Olin
Law & Economics Working Paper No. 157, The Law School, The University of

6. “Everything depends on whether and to what extent the animal in question is capable of suffering. If rats are able to suffer, then their interests are relevant to the question of how, and perhaps even whether, they can be expelled from houses.”
--Cass R. Sunstein, Martha C. Nussbaum. Animal Rights: Current Debates and
New Directions. (Oxford University Press, USA, 2004). P. 12

7. “A system of limitless individual choices, with respect to communications, is not
necessarily in the interest of citizenship and self-government.”
--Cass Sunstein, arguing for a Fairness Doctrine for the Internet in his book, 2.0 (Princeton University Press, 2007), p.137

8. “In what sense is the money in our pockets and bank accounts fully ‘ours’? Did we earn it by our own autonomous efforts? Could we have inherited it without the assistance of probate courts? Do we save it without the support of bank regulators? Could we spend it if there were no public officials to coordinate the efforts and pool the resources of the
community in which we live?... Without taxes there would be no liberty. Without taxes
there would be no property. Without taxes, few of us would have any assets worth
defending. [It is] a dim fiction that some people enjoy and exercise their rights without
placing any burden whatsoever on the public … There is no liberty without dependency. That is why we should celebrate tax day …”
-- Cass R. Sunstein, “Why We Should Celebrate Paying Taxes,” The Chicago
Tribune, April 14, 1999

9. “Much of the time, the United States seems to have embraced a confused and pernicious form of individualism. This approach endorses rights of private property and freedom of contract, and respects political liberty, but claims to distrust ‘government intervention’ and insists that people must fend for themselves. This form of so-called individualism is incoherent, a tangle of confusions.”
-- Cass R. Sunstein, The Second Bill of Rights: FDR’s Unfinished Revolution and
Why We Need it More Than Ever, Basic Books, New York, 2004, p. 3

10. “[A]lmost all gun control legislation is constitutionally fine. And if the Court is right,
then fundamentalism does not justify the view that the Second Amendment protects an
individual right to bear arms.”
- Cass Sunstein, writing in his book, “Radicals in Robes”

11. “…[T]he Second Amendment seems to specify its own purpose, which is to protect the"well regulated Militia." If that is the purpose of the Second Amendment (as Burger
believed), then we might speculate that it safeguards not individual rights but federalism.”
-- Cass R. Sunstein, “The Most Mysterious Right,” National Review, November
12, 2007

12. In his 2004 book The Second Bill of Rights: FDR’s Unfinished Revolution and Why We Need It More than Ever, Sunstein claims that “citizens’ rights exist only to the extent that they are granted by the government.”
Those views are why the American Sporting Dog Alliance adamantly opposes the Sunstein nomination. His track record is frighteningly consistent.
Thank you for helping.
The American Sporting Dog Alliance represents owners, breeders and professionals who work with breeds of dogs that are used for hunting. We also welcome people who work with other breeds, as legislative issues affect all of us. We are a grassroots movement working to protect the rights of dog owners, and to assure that the traditional relationships between dogs and humans maintains its rightful place in American society and life. The American Sporting Dog Alliance also needs your help so that we can continue to work to protect the rights of dog owners. Your membership, participation and support are truly essential to the success of our mission. We are funded solely by your donations in order to maintain strict independence.
Please visit us on the web at . Our email is .


Tuesday, July 21, 2009

PA- Wilkes-Barre Mayor Leighton is seeking a more stringent dog ordinance- while not enforcing regulations already in place


July 10

Rein in owners as well as pets

IF WILKES-BARRE outlaws what society considers bully dogs, then only outlaws will own them.

The play on the gun-control cliche� applies here. Consider this: Is it realistic, practical and fair to enact and enforce an all-out ban on pets like pit bulls, Rottweilers, German shepherds and Dobermans from the city?

Of course not. Most dogs of size do not pose a danger, and the city doesn’t have the resources to police what dogs should be banned.

The issue, raised by Mayor Thomas Leighton, was prompted by last week’s mauling of a pet dog by vicious, off-the-leash pit bulls at the newly christened River Common park off River Street. Five days later a city police officer fatally shot a pit bull near the park when the dog charged at him.

For the third time in eight years, Leighton is seeking a more stringent dog ordinance, this time calling for a change in state law that would give municipalities power to enact measures aimed at certain breeds.

One immediate and realistic remedy is for the city to increase animal enforcement patrols. Picking up loose dogs has a twofold advantage: It targets violating owners while reducing the roaming dog population.

What happened last week to the small pet was horrible and sad, but the grim reality is another ordinance would not have protected it. The free-running dogs were already in violation of city and county regulations because they weren’t leashed. The violation carries a fine of up to $1,000 set by a district judge, according to the mayor’s office.

Banning breeds is problematic. For starters, “pit bull” is a term commonly used to describe several breeds of dogs, including breeds that are rarely listed by name in legislation. And how will police make the distinction when a mutt takes on the broad and muscular appearance of a purebred that’s part of its lineage?

Compelling pet owners to act responsibly is certainly a good, pro-active measure. Owners must control their pets, keeping them clear of people and other animals.

The mayor said he will review dog fines and consider increasing the cost of breaking the law. Making irresponsibility expensive is a step in the right direction.

We applaud the mayor’s passion. We hope he will parlay it into creative enforcement and upgraded fines.

Outlawing breeds, on the other hand, is likely to breed more outlaws.

Compelling pet owners to act responsibly is certainly a good, pro-active measure. Owners must control their pets, keeping them clear of people and other animals.

The mayor said he will review dog fines and consider increasing the cost of breaking the law. Making irresponsibility expensive is a step in the right direction.

http://www.timeslea Rein_in_owners_ as_well_as_ pets_07-10- 2009.html