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
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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, petfinder.com.

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 aworden@phillynews.com.

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.

WHAT YOU CAN DO:
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 doglaw@akc.org.

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.
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•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).
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•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.
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•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.
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•If the tether inhibits the animal’s free movement or causes injury or entanglement.
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•If a dog is less than four months of age.
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•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

by JOHN YATES
American Sporting Dog Alliance
http://www.americansportingdogalliance.org
asda@csonline.net


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: http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm. 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
Chicago

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
Chicago

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
creatures.”
--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

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,
Republic.com 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 http://www.americansportingdogalliance.org . Our email is asda@csonline.net .

PLEASE CROSS-POST AND FORWARD THIS REPORT TO YOUR FRIENDS

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

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

OUR OPINION: CITY DOG PROBLEM

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 der.com/opinion/ Rein_in_owners_ as_well_as_ pets_07-10- 2009.html

MN- Hero Complex

Animal rescuers go to great lenghts to save doomed dogs
by Bob Shaw

To Jimmie Williams, the pickup truck looked like salvation on wheels.

"There they are! I can see 'em!" he shouted as the truck pulled into a parking lot.

Out tumbled three dogs, bedraggled after their three-day journey. Saved from being euthanized in Kentucky, they sniffed around the legs of their rescuers, looking a little confused.

"I can't tell you how good this feels," said Williams, who was delighted to be adopting a rescued dog.

The trip was another small triumph for a new — and controversial — transportation system for animals.

In only a few years, the network has sprung up, saving thousands of dogs and cats from euthanasia in states that can't — or won't — support their own animal-welfare systems.

Supporters call it a new "underground railway." And like the transportation system that saved slaves in the 19th century, this one runs only one direction — from south to north.

It can involve truck caravans carrying up to 100 dogs. Or it can include a 900-mile airplane relay from Virginia to Minnesota to save a single cat, as happened June 25.

The flow into Minnesota is swelling rapidly — despite the fact that this state kills more than 20,000 of its own dogs and cats every year.

"This is compassion run amok," said Lynae Gieseke, director of the Minnesota Valley Humane Society.

Critics say the volunteers want to feel like heroes by making 11th-hour cross country rescues — when they could be saving animals in their own local shelters.

"This is like a mental illness in the animal-welfare community," said Mike Fry, manager of the Animal Ark No-Kill Shelter in Hastings. "We have a huge problem in shelters here. Why would you bring in any more dogs? We are oversaturated with dogs."

"It is crazy — it is insane. I don't get it," said Laura Johnson, president of the cat-rescue group SCRAM. "We have so many here who need help."

Even as they are swept up in the thrill of their missions, some volunteers wonder about the wisdom of what they are doing.

"It does seem odd to transport into a state that euthanizes. Maybe we should get our own house in order first," said Pete Howell, of Falcon Heights, who has flown his airplane on two missions to rescue two dogs.

"My attitude is: I am going to go flying anyway, so I might as well help."

CRIES FOR HELP

An animal's ticket to salvation begins on the Internet.

Of the estimated 4 million dogs and cats euthanized annually in America, a lucky few are targeted to be rescued, shortly before their deaths.

The dozens of transport groups often focus on certain breeds, as with the Chihuahua Rescue Transport or Dalmatian Overland Transport Service. Others help dogs of any breed, such as the Petsmart-sponsored Rescue Waggin' and the Georgia Puppy Pipeline.

The pleas for help often have a desperate tone, as shown in typical e-mails from June:


* "Jack will DIE at 4PM unless saved!" said one e-mail from Franklin, Ga., concerning a Labrador. "Hennessy (a collie) will DIE TODAY AT 4PM UNLESS SAVED AS THE SHELTER IS TOTALLY FULL!"

* "I am begging ... PLEASE someone step forward and help. ... This boy's eyes speak only of sadness and betrayal," said one plea from Raleigh, N.C., on behalf of a boxer.

* From Bowling Green, Ky.: "Shelter is desperately overcrowded, and euthing (sic) hundreds of animals for space. ... They DO NOT WANT to kill, they need rescue help NOW!"
Big-hearted animal-lovers respond.

They work with groups like Save Our Strays, which moved 15,000 unwanted dogs out of Missouri from 1998 to 2006.

After that, group founder Connie Guthrie moved to Oklahoma — and now Oklahoma is a source of dogs bound for Minnesota.

"We are very, very blessed to have Minnesota helping us," Guthrie said. "To give these dogs another chance is remarkable."

Local groups organize their own rescues, as Minnesota Boxer Rescue, of Woodbury, did in June. The group saves only boxers — and responded to an e-mail about three of them in Kentucky.

On June 28, Jon Wiswell, of Minneapolis, volunteered to drive from Eau Claire, Wis., to Minneapolis, the final leg of a relay to save three dogs. "If I were in their position, I would want someone to do that for me," Wiswell said.

Sometimes pilots respond. A South Carolina-based group called Pilots N Paws started 18 months ago — and has already made 1,000 flights to rescue animals.

The group's flight log shows that a paralyzed kitten was flown June 21 from Fremont, Mich., to Wichita, Kan. On May 11, two pit bulls — a breed often euthanized in Minnesota — were flown from Greenville, S.C., to Milaca, Minn.

Co-founder Debi Boies is looking forward to the "Pilots N Paws 5000" — with a goal of airlifting 5,000 animals in one week, Sept. 12-20.

Boies said gleefully: "Are we crazy people or what?"

TROUBLED TRIP

Some rescues end in sadness.

Last summer, volunteers from Puppy Porch, a St. Paul rescue group, heard about a troubled shelter in California about to euthanize about 100 dogs.

Why can't a state as big as California take care of its own dogs?

In fact, board member Britt Gage said, five rescue groups in California were offering to help. But the Puppy Porch volunteers wanted to save the dogs themselves.

"We approve of rescues, period. We do not care who is rescued, or how," Gage said. "We want to save every life, here or in California." The group has rescued animals as far away as the island of St. Maarten in the Caribbean.

When the Minnesota rescuers arrived in California, some dogs were sick. About 11 died after the group arrived. Some dogs remained behind, and 75 were loaded aboard three vans.

Seventeen more died during the cross country trek or shortly afterward.

Gage said that in Minnesota, the group spent "thousands" on medical care for the dogs. "We thought they had all been vaccinated. They came down with an illness we were not familiar with," she said.

"We did the best we could."

DEMAND FOR DOGS

The Animal Humane Society joined the system this year. So far, it has accepted 400 dogs from other states.

The society is Minnesota's largest animal-welfare agency, with an $11 million annual budget and five locations.

Giving a tour of the society's complex in Golden Valley, Director Janelle Dixon gingerly opened a door with a sign saying, "Hearing protection recommended." Inside was a new batch of dogs from Oklahoma.

"Yesterday, we got in 34," Dixon shouted over the barking.

Dixon said more dogs do not mean more euthanasia — at least within the Animal Humane Society's system. She said the demand for dogs to adopt is high. A dog typically has to wait only three days in the society's kennels once it is cleared for adoption.

She said about 4 percent of the imported dogs are euthanized. The rest are adopted or are expected to be adopted quickly.

"We have a demand for dogs here. Where are people going to go? Pet stores? Puppy mills?" Dixon said.

"Doesn't it make sense to bring dogs from states where they aren't wanted into states where they are?"

Dixon showed off the spotless surgery rooms, where the society performs some of its 14,000 sterilizations a year.

Of the 10,000 dogs admitted each year, about 42 percent are euthanized — below the national rate of about 50 percent.

Like every shelter, she said, the Animal Humane Society kills only animals that are too sick or dangerous to be adopted.

No dogs, she said, are killed because of the interstate imports.

HERO COMPLEX

Other animal-welfare groups say that claim is short-sighted.

"For every dog brought in, there is a Minnesota dog euthanized because it could not find a home," said the Minnesota Valley Humane Society's Gieseke.

"It is just much more cool to save the life of a dog from Kentucky than to adopt one here."

Critics of the Animal Humane Society say it could adopt out many of the dogs and cats it kills — by spending more money to cure diseases or working harder to solve behavior problems.

Said Animal Ark's Fry: "We have a very large, very wealthy Animal Humane Society painting a pretty picture of Minnesota.

"They want people to think animals here are safe. If they were not killing those dogs for bogus reasons, they would not be able to take in those dogs from other states."

Cheryl Anderson, a volunteer with Minnesota Boxer Rescue, said that when the Animal Humane Society gets ready to euthanize dogs, it doesn't plead for help from local rescue groups — at least, not the way out-of-state groups send impassioned cries for help.

So volunteers rescue animals they do learn about, from other states.

Gieseke said the surge of animals being brought to Minnesota is partly because of another overpopulation problem — of rescue groups. Petfinder.com lists more than 180 in Minnesota. When those groups can't find local dogs to save, Gieseke said, they look to other states.

She said the only long-term solution to pet overpopulation is a nationwide spay and neuter program.

"You see all these desperate e-mails from Georgia or California. Might their time be better spent trying to sterilize more animals in their states?" Gieseke said.

She sees the same herocomplex phenomenon when a puppy mill is shut down, the dogs are confiscated, and the stories are told by local news outlets. Calls pour into her office from people wanting those dogs — while ignoring hundreds of others.

"I say: 'Wait a minute. Were you planning to add a dog to your family? Or does this just give you a good story to tell?' " Gieseke said.

FINDING A HOME

On a Sunday evening in June, Williams waited with a group of people outside a McDonald's Restaurant in Minneapolis for the delivery of dogs from Kentucky.

"It breaks your heart when you see these dogs online," said Megan Tholl, of Woodbury, as she ate a fish sandwich at a picnic table.

Finally, the pickup truck pulled in. The pitiful dogs climbed out. Eight people watching made a single sound in unison: "Awww ..."

Williams took an instant liking to his new dog, Tacoma. It took only a few licks in the face for Williams to start with the baby talk. "Oooh, oooh, you little kisser, you," he cooed to the dog.

Williams climbed into a car with his partner, Ron Snell, and they headed to their Minneapolis home.

"He needs a bath," Williams shouted out the window. His words were interrupted by licks on his face. "But he's giving me a bath!"

One badly starved dog looked like a skeleton in a pillowcase. "God, you can see every single bone," whispered driver Jon Wiswell.

He stroked the dog's scrawny back, and the dog looked up at him gratefully. "How could you say no to this face?" Wiswell said.

Bob Shaw can be reached at 651-228-5433.

1ST

U.S. rank in dog and cat populations among all countries, with 145 million total

17,000

Animals euthanized annually by Twin Cities animal shelters

15,000

Dogs shipped to northern states from Missouri by a single rescue group from 1998 to 2006.

42 PERCENT

Share of dogs euthanized by Animal Humane Society, of Golden Valley, compared with about 56 percent nationally.

70 PERCENT

Share of U.S. cats admitted to shelters that are euthanized

Sources: National Council on Pet Population Study and Policy, Humane Society of the U.S., Mapsoftheworld.com

Monday, July 20, 2009

AL- Three Dog Limit?

Three Dog Limit?
July 17, 2009 - 4:12 PM | by: Brooks Blanton

When it comes to man's best friend, how many is too many? Cities and towns across the country struggle with how to balance the rights of pet owners with their neighbors who complain about too many dogs. Many cities have recently enacted or are currently considering ordinances that would limit the number of pets per household within city limits, unless the owner applies for a special license. Earlier this month the Reading, Pennsylvania City Council set the pet limit to six. In May the Village of Wheeling, Illinois recently said four was enough and the city of San Marcos, Texas was a little more generous saying four dogs or a combination of seven dogs and cats was plenty of pets for one house.

The City of Jacksonville, Alabama recently considered an ordinance that would put a three pet limit on any homes inside the city. Some homes housed at least 15 dogs and last year one home was found to have 34 dogs inside. While a few houses seemed to be bursting at the seams with dogs and cats and their neighbors complained loudly, the mayor asked the city attorney to draft an ordinance limiting the number of pets to three.

"It's a really tough issue because it's one of those things where your rights end and mine begin," said Jacksonville Mayor Johnny L. Smith. "People have a right to have dogs and we don't want to limit that. Their neighbor has the right to be comfortable on their premises as well."

Public meetings filled up after word got out that the council was considering a cap similar to those found in other Alabama cities. Some residents who owned just a few pets joined those who had several, to let the council know how they felt about the idea.

"The government's got no right to tell me how many dogs I can have," one angry dog owner told the city council. "This is a free country and that's what it's based on."

Many residents who own more than the proposed limit say as long as they take care of their animals, the city shouldn't limit how many they can have. Others saw the proposed ordinance as a big-brother style government intrusion on rights. But Kurt and Jill Turner, who live next to a house with at least 15 dogs, see it differently.

"There's an old saying," Kurt Turner, a city firefighter, told the council and fellow residents at a July meeting. "Trouble isn't trouble isn't trouble until trouble is at home. And this is at my home."

The Turners say city residents who opposed the ordinance should try living next to the noise and smell that comes along with 15 dogs in one yard. They say simple pleasures of home ownership, like kids playing in the backyard or cookouts, is not possible when you have foul smells and constant barking coming over the fence.

"I would like to invite any of you to come over and have an evening on our back porch without gagging or puking," Jill Turner said as she addressed the crowd. "We've complained to the police, we have made informational reports with the street department, the dog catcher."

Despite the Turner's comments, city leaders killed the idea this week. But they warn this isn't the first time and probably won't be the last time they have to deal with too many dogs and cats. Mayor Smith says it's one of the most prominent issues that small and medium sized cities struggle with and says he won't be surprised if the Jacksonville City Council to deal with houses overrun by cats and dogs again.

"When you buy a home you need to be comfortable when you walk into your back yard as well," Smith says. "Too much government restricts folks, but if it interferes with other's peoples rights then maybe we're going to have to do something."

Friday, July 17, 2009

Il- Effingham County Committee discusses fines for loose dogs

Committee discusses fines for loose dogs

Bill Grimes
Effingham Daily News

Effingham County officials are considering changes to the county’s animal control ordinance.

“It’s been brought up quite a bit over the past year,” said State’s Attorney Ed Deters at Monday’s meeting of the Legislative Committee of the county board.

The current county ordinance allows a $35 fine for those who let their dogs run loose. Deters said he wasn’t sure an increase in fines would make a difference.

“I question whether raising fines would make dog owners more responsive,” he said. “Fines should serve as an incentive to keep dogs chained or fenced. But I question whether the amount of the fine would have the desired effect.”

Deters said the key conflict was between dog owners who are accustomed to have their canines run free and athletic types — such as joggers and cyclists — who are increasingly taking to rural roads for their workouts.

“We are a rural community where a lot of people have dogs in the country and don’t necessarily keep them fenced in,” he said. “But we have a growing bicycling crowd, as well.”

Board member Mark Percival said the growth of rural subdivisions is also a factor in increased dog-human interaction.

“Where you have people, dogs and roads, there’s a conflict,” Percival said.

Deters said one thing the new ordinance should have is some sort of incentive for pet owners to spay and neuter their dogs. Nick Antonacci, an intern in Deters’ office, said his study showed most dog bites are caused by male dogs who have not been neutered.

Deters said any increase should be in the form of a range. For example, he noted Fulton County fines its animal control offenders anywhere from $50 to $500.

Other options include mandatory microchipping of dogs for identification purposes.

Deters said he would report back to the board by the Sept. 21 meeting. Board Chairwoman Carolyn Willenburg said there would likely be a public informational meeting before the board took any action.

Also Monday, the committee recommended signing a letter of intent with the Effingham Water Authority to lease a plot of land at the corner of Beach and Marina roads in the Lake Sara area of rural Effingham. The land would be the new home of the county’s Dive-Rescue Team.

The committee also agreed to recommend ratification of contracts with the Fraternal Order of Police and American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees. FOP represents sheriff’s deputies, while AFSCME represents other sheriff’s department personnel.

Sheriff John Monnet said both contracts would provide union members with 3 percent annual raises. The FOP deal is for three years, while the AFSCME deal is for two.

Also Monday, the committee recommended appointment of board members Percival, Larry Vahling and Jim Reeves to the county’s new Economic Development Committee. Several non-board members will be appointed later.

The committee also recommended more board members serve on the county’s Tax & Finance Committee. Tax & Finance Chairman Vahling said he’d like to see up to five board members on that committee.

“We just feel we need more board involvement to provide more oversight to the committee,” he said.

The Legislative Committee also recommended a number of appointments Monday, including William McClain, Effingham Civic Foundation; Dr. Henry Poterucha, Andrew Grunloh, Shirley Muchow and Dorothy Behrns to the Health Department Board; and Barb Utz to the 708 Mental Health Board.

Bill Grimes can be reached at 217-347-7151 ext. 132 or bill.grimes@effinghamdailynews.com.

NC- McDowell County approves new animal ordinance

County approves new animal ordinance


By Mike Conley | The McDowell News
Published: July 14, 2009
After months of discussion and listening to different viewpoints, the McDowell County Commissioners adopted a new animal ordinance at their regular Monday meeting.
The new rules, which become effective Aug. 13, were approved by a 4-1 vote. Commissioner Michael Lavender voted against adopting the new ordinance.
The decision to make the rules effective on Aug. 13 will give officials time to post the changes on the county's Web site. The animal control officers will come under the Sheriff's Office while the operation of the animal shelter remains under the Public Works Department.

The revised 12-page ordinance requires local people to give their pets an adequate shelter, food, water and humane treatment. It covers how animals should be treated, the keeping of dangerous ones, how animals should be confined, rabies control, the unlawful killing of animals, the euthanization of feral dogs and cats and what to do with stray or abandoned ones. It does not require people to get their animals spayed and neutered. It also has rules for the keeping of exotic animals in McDowell County.
It replaces the old ordinance previously on the books and would give animal control officers an important tool as they do their jobs.

The new rules require owners or keepers of an animal to provide adequate food, water, shelter and humane treatment. The ordinance also applies to people who engage in dog fighting, cock fighting or any other combat between animals or animals and humans. Those activities are already prohibited in McDowell County. But the ordinance makes it unlawful for a person to possess any materials used in animal fighting or the training for animal fighting.

The new rules also prohibit the owners or keepers from abandoning an animal, except for when they are taken to the county's animal shelter during normal business hours. Persons also cannot transport any animal in an automobile or trailer in such a way that would cause pain, suffering or death.

The adopted ordinance creates a dangerous canine appeals board, which will consist of five members appointed from the county's Planning Board. This new board will hear and determine all appeals from the owners of such animals. If an animal control officer has determined that a dog is dangerous and should be euthanized, then the owner can appeal this decision to the newly created board.

At Monday's meeting, the commissioners deleted a $500 fine that could be assessed against violators of the ordinance. The highest fine that can be imposed is $200.
After months of work, the McDowell County Planning Board presented in March a revised animal ordinance to the County Commissioners.
"I appreciate our Planning Board," said Commission Chairman David Walker. "They spent five to six months working on this document. Chairman Max Boyd and his group did an outstanding job. Everybody's viewpoint was heard and examined."

Last month, the commissioners held a special workshop meeting so they could listen to different opinions. About 15 people showed up to attend the workshop meeting.
The commissioners listened to representatives from local animal welfare groups who asked that the ordinance contain more rules about inhumane tethering and specifications for a proper shelter. They also heard comments from residents who are opposed to the county placing more rules on property owners. Under North Carolina law, animals are considered property.

Several local animal welfare advocates asked county officials to consider rules that would ban the inhumane tethering of animals, especially dogs. They feel that animals should not be left tied up in someone's back yard without shelter. Tethered dogs can have behavioral problems and the practice could be considered inhumane, they said.
The adopted ordinance states, "It shall be unlawful to tether an animal to a stationary object under conditions that Animal Control Officer(s) deem harmful or potentially harmful to the animal."

Under the new ordinance, McDowell County will provide a manual of best practices for the proper tethering of animals. These will be guidelines for pet owners to follow. They won't be rules that can be enforced by animal control officers.

Under the new rules, every person who owns any pen, lot, kennel, shelter or other place where animals are kept shall maintain them in a sanitary and humane manner. All animals shall be provided with adequate shelter from the weather.

Animal welfare advocates also wanted to see a section in the ordinance stating what kind of materials should be used in a proper shelter, adding that a metal barrel is not good enough. The barrels can become hot in the summer and quite cold in the winter, they said.
With the new rules, the county will set up a metal barrel exchange program. The owner of a dog that is kept in a metal barrel could get a plastic one for free through this program.

"We do appreciate all the animal rights groups and their contributions as we prepared this ordinance," said Walker. "We appreciate their input."

AZ- She should have had them Debarked!

Woman gets 3 years' probation, $940 fine for barking dogs
by Jenna Davis - Jul. 15, 2009 12:29 PM
The Arizona Republic

Renee Maurer was sentenced to three years' probation and a $940 fine charge today in Phoenix Municipal Court for allowing her dogs to disturb the peace of her Northeast neighborhood.

Several neighbors filed a petition earlier this year to have Maurer prosecuted in court for her barking Pomeranian and miniature poodle.

Neighbors testified in court on Monday that the dogs have barked constantly for the last three years. Immediately following the sentencing, Maurer filed for appeal.

The Municipal Court Judge Cynthia Certa told Maurer she is not required to report to a probation officer, and the $940 will be reduced to $296 if the terms of her probation are completed successfully after the three years.

Other conditions of the probation included keeping Corky and Koo-Boosh, Maurers' two dogs, inside when she leaves, and putting bark collars on the dogs if they are outside for longer than 15 minutes.

Maurer said she was disappointed about the sentencing and her neighbors.

"I feel ostracized in my own community," said Maurer, adding that neighborhood relations will now be "extremely awkward and uncomfortable."

Certa also expressed sentiments about the situation.

"I feel bad," said Certa. "It's always the same-after an hour I have a new case and my life will go on. But these people have to live next door to each other."

Certa said she didn't want Maurer to face jail time, but thought her sentence was "appropriate," because "the case came down to being a good neighbor."

Certa said many barking-dog cases have gone through her courtroom in the past 10 years, but she couldn't give an exact number.

The maximum sentence for violating the barking-dog ordinance is six months in jail, a $2,500 fine, and a misdemeanor charge.

Municipal Court records show most fines are $300 or less, and there is no indication that anyone was ever sent to jail for owning a barking dog. Seventy-five dog owners were prosecuted in Phoenix last year.

2005 law in Phoenix states: "No person shall keep a dog within the city limits which is in the habit of barking or howling or disturbing the peace and quiet of any person within the city."

Maurer's predicament mirrors similar barking-dog conflicts across the Valley: Anxious or lonely dogs bark incessantly, causing tempers to flare and neighbors to use city noise ordinances.

After Maurer received a note about her dogs from an angry neighbor last year, she tried a training class and a bark-deterrent device for her dogs.

The notes persisted from Ilona Hirsch and her boyfriend Robert Shaw, neighbors Maurer had never met. Maurer and Shaw exchanged several phone calls about her dogs.

In February a police officer told Maurer that a criminal complaint had been filed against her.

Hirsch and Shaw had gathered signatures from five other neighbors who were also bothered by the dogs - a step required before criminal charges can be filed, city records show. Phoenix requires at least three signatures on a petition. Hirsch decline to comment on the case.

Later, two neighbors recalled their signatures after they realized Maurer was facing criminal charges.

Hirsch also had a log of times when the dogs were barking. The log, introduced as evidence in court, indicates Maurer's dogs barked for 7 1/2 hours at one time

Thursday, July 16, 2009

TX- City of Ferris to discuss mandatory euthanasia on July 20th at 7:00pm

Mandatory Euthanasia This is a link to the article in The Ellis County Prss

Also view: Fight In Ferris Over Animal Euthanasia Rules

Animal control officer is to hold the animals for the minimum of 3 days required by law, and then immediately euthanize them.

The next City Council meeting is July 20th at 7:00pm. Although it is too late to submitt a request to speak at this meeting, it is not too late to attend.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

CA- "Forcible entry" GRANTED

“FORCIBLE ENTRY” GRANTED….. Orange County, CA dog Owner
July 10, 2009
SO……you think the groups like H$U$ aren’t all about raiding and seizing, using local officers to break down your door and seize your stuff? Then look at this Search Warrant from Orange County, California. Approximately 5,000 views of this post so far, indicate this is a valid concern for all owners. This is the type of stuff that should not be happening, yet it is.

It most clearly authorized forceable entry just on a MISDEMEANOR allegation of not having a “proper” kennel or pet shop license. Absolutely no animal cruelty was involved. No fighting charges were alleged. No selling for fighting was alleged. No transporting for fighting, or abuse, or any of that. Read it for yourself.

IN CASE you cannot see the wording for the property to be SEIZED:

“Any and all electronics consisting of video cameras, digital cameras, cell phones, computers, laptop computers, and hard drives. Any and all software consisting of disks, floppy disks, compact disks, memory cards, and flash drives. Any and all documentation pertaining to veterinary records, ledgers, registry papers, show records and photos. Any and all pitbull dogs on the property used for the pupose of illegal dog breeding and kenneling.”

What the hell is illegal dog breeding and kenneling? It can’t be for “fighting” because that would be a felony. So it’s a misdemeanor if you don’t have a license to sell a dog, even if you aren’t selling a dog?

Folks, this case is just ONE example of what happens to dog owners when H$U$ wants to stop both bully dogs from being owned, and dog kennels from being owned—- this owner was purposely being made into a scapegoat example.

This owner wasn’t selling dogs, he exhibited them in shows and has plenty of titles. Yet this owner was told by AC that if he were to enter the animal control building, he would be arrested for trespassing and he was warned not to enter the building! And that’s after his dogs were seized!

It was related to us that the AC and police descended upon the property, with approximately 10 officers total, in order to search the premises. The owner was at work but came home to witness the nightmare that unfolded. Allegedly a gun was even pointed at a 7yr old child in the home.

SO— if you own a dog or several dogs—and you think AC or the police don’t pick on dog owners, beware. H$U$ has helped to screw over countless animal owners, ignore due process, and pushed media attention to get people to think that every pitbull or bully dog must be used or sold for illegal reasons, and that if you own several of them, it must mean you are guilty of ’something’, and your door needs to be broken down so your place can be searched and plundered.
TELL EVERYONE YOU KNOW THAT OWNS A PET OR ANIMAL…..SPREAD THE WORD—H$U$ HELPS PROMOTE THIS TYPE OF CONDUCT, TO PUSH H$U$ anti-pet legislation. By using innocent animals that have done nothing, by targeting owners that have done nothing, these animal rights groups are attempting to over-regulate our lives !!

And let’s not forget—H$U$ has hired MICHAEL VICK, who actually went to prison for dogfighting—to be an H$U$ spokesperson—-for H$U$ !!!!

CA- New data shows LA shelter admissions and euthanasia 11x higher than state average

New Data Shows Slaughterhouse
After Los Angeles Spay/Neuter Law

LA Shelter Admissions and Euthanasia 11 Times Higher Than
State Average, Predict Disaster If SB 250 Becomes State Law

by JOHN YATES
American Sporting Dog Alliance
http://www.americansportingdogalliance.org
asda@csonline.net

SACRAMENTO, CA (July 10. 2009) – Yesterday, the California Department of Public Health released 2008 annual data for every county’s animal shelter system.

In comparison to 2007 data, last year saw an expected increase in shelter admissions, owner surrenders, abandoned dogs and euthanasia rates that can be attributed mostly to the severe recession that has devastated the entire state’s economy.

But one county’s animal control and sheltering program stood out as being 11 times worse off than the rest of the state: Los Angeles County, which passed a mandatory spay and neuter ordinance last year. The data conclusively proves the murderous impact of pet sterilization mandates that far exceeds anything that can be attributed to the statewide recession.

This data has special importance now, as the California Assembly is considering Senate Bill 250, which would mandate the sterilization of almost every dog in the state, either directly or indirectly. If California follows the path of destruction caused by the Los Angeles ordinance, passage of SB 250 will become an unfunded mandate to the counties to handle 11 times as many dogs and cats at animal shelters, and to kill 11 times more of them, the data shows clearly.

If the state mirrors the Los Angeles statistics, counties would have to pay for handling 4.4 million dogs and cats a year (up from 402,430 in 2008), and killing 1.7 million dogs (up from 153,793 in 2008).

It is IMPERATIVE for California dog owners and animal lovers to make this information available to members of the California General Assembly, and especially to members of the Assembly Appropriations Committee, which has set a July 15 hearing on SB 250. Contact information will be provided below.

Here is a summary of yesterday’s release of the statewide shelter data:

· In 2008, 404,430 animals were admitted to shelters statewide, an increase of 42,422 from 2007. That is an 11.8-percent increase.

· In 2008, 96,630 animals were admitted to the Los Angeles County sheltering system, which is a 55,178 increase from 2007. This is a 133-percent increase in the year after a spay/neuter mandate was passed into law. If compared to the state, it is apparent that Los Angeles County alone exceeded the entire statewide increase in shelter admissions, and is 11 times higher than the state average.

· Euthanasia data is equally dramatic. In 2008, the entire state saw a 16.4-percent increase in euthanasia, to 153,793 (an increase of 21,677).

· However, almost all of the entire statewide increase in shelter euthanasia came from Los Angeles County alone, in the year following a mandatory pet sterilization ordinance. The Los Angeles County shelter system euthanasia rate rose by an incredible 178-percent in the year following the ordinance. In 2007, 12,118 dogs had to be killed in the county. In 2008, this soared to 33,601 dogs.

The American Sporting Dog Alliance wants our readers to check out the official shelter data, and to verify that all of our assertions are true and accurate. We are not exaggerating. This is how the official data adds up.

Here is a link to view the data: http://www.cdph.ca.gov/HealthInfo/discon....Activities.aspx
The data shows many other things that accurately predict the bloody outcome of a mandatory pet sterilization law, such as SB 250.

In Los Angeles, following the spay/neuter ordinance, this has included a 107-percent increase in animal control captures of abandoned dogs, a 163-percent increase in owner surrenders by people who cannot afford to keep their pets and comply with the law, and a 153-percent increase in abandoned dogs brought to the shelters by good Samaritans, the official state data shows.

The images of what would happen statewide if SB 250 passes are truly frightening to comprehend, based on what actually has happened in Los Angeles, and what also has happened in every community in America that has passed a similar law.

The results will be dramatic increases in municipal costs for animal control and sheltering, with the most terrible price paid by the millions of dogs that will be killed needlessly because of this kind of law.

The American Sporting Dog Alliance is urging all California dog owners to take immediate action, before the Assembly Committee on Appropriations holds a hearing on SB 250 on July 15. It is urgent that a large number of Californians – not just dog owners, but everyone who cares - express clear opposition to SB 250, which is very close to being passed into law.

Remember that the Appropriations Committee deals mostly with financial aspects of legislation, such as the outlay of government funds.

Please phone and also email each member of the committee as soon as possible. Members of legislative committee represent all Californians, not just their own constituents. Here is contact information for all of the committee members:

Committee Members District Phone E-mail
Kevin de Leon - Chair Dem-45 (916) 319-2045 Assemblymember.deLeon@assembly.ca.gov
Jim Nielsen - Vice Chair Rep-2 (916) 319-2002 Assemblymember.Nielsen@assembly.ca.gov
Tom Ammiano Dem-13 (916) 319-2013 Assemblymember.Ammiano@assembly.ca.gov
Charles M. Calderon Dem-58 (916) 319-2058 Assemblymember.Calderon@assembly.ca.gov
Joe Coto Dem-23 (916) 319-2023 Assemblymember.coto@assembly.ca.gov
Mike Davis Dem-48 (916) 319-2048 Assemblymember.Davis@assembly.ca.gov
Michael D. Duvall Rep-72 (916) 319-2072 Assemblymember.Duvall@assembly.ca.gov
Felipe Fuentes Dem-39 (916) 319-2039 Assemblymember.fuentes@assembly.ca.gov
Isadore Hall III Dem-52 (916) 319-2052 Assemblymember.Hall@assembly.ca.gov
Diane L. Harkey Rep-73 916) 319-2073 Assemblymember.Harkey@assembly.ca.gov
Jeff Miller Rep-71 (916) 319-2071 Assemblymember.Miller@assembly.ca.gov
John A. PĂ©rez Dem-46 (916) 319-2046 Assemblymember.John.Perez@assembly.ca.gov
Nancy Skinner Dem-14 (916) 319-2014 Assemblymember.Skinner@assembly.ca.gov
Jose Solorio Dem-69 (916) 319-2069 Assemblymember.solorio@assembly.ca.gov
Audra Strickland Rep-37 (916) 319-2037 Assemblymember.strickland@assembly.ca.gov
Tom Torlakson Dem-11 (916) 319-2011 Assemblymember.Torlakson@assembly.ca.gov

The California Legislature is slated to adjourn on July 18 for summer recess, and SB 250 could face a vote of the full Assembly on July 17.

To read our analysis of the legislation, please visit http://eaglerock814.proboards.com/index.....neral&thread=48
To read the actual text of the legislation, go to: http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/pub/09-10/bill....d_sen_v95.html.
Thank you for helping California pet owners and the dogs and cats that they love.

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 http://www.americansportingdogalliance.org . Our email is asda@csonline.net .

Monday, July 13, 2009

MA- Devocalization is not inhumane

LETTER: Devocalization is not inhumane, 07-11-09
The Herald News
Posted Jul 10, 2009 @ 03:23 PM

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Highly-funded, out-of-state animal rights groups are trying to outlaw a medical procedure that saves lives.

Devocalization, more properly described as bark softening, is a humane procedure when properly done to help keep loved dogs in homes when all efforts at behavior modification have failed to stop the barking. Like any surgery, a vet has to know how to do it. In Massachusetts a handful of surgeons perform the surgery.

Is it reasonable to say a life-saving surgery (for instance heart by-pass surgery) should be outlawed because some surgeons botch it and some results are bad? No. Is it reasonable to outlaw spay/neuter surgery because some dogs die during the procedure or have serious long-term health problems afterwards? No.

I suggest you check the NAIA link on that one to learn more.
http://www.naiaonline.org/pdfs/LongTermHealthEffectsOfSpayNeuterInDogs.pdfNational to
What’s going on?

National groups that support themselves by raising funds on animal issues, like the Humane Society of the United States, PETA and other out-of-state animal rights groups squeeze the last dollar out of people who truly care for animals by calling a rare procedure cruel and the media buys in.

Having been an owner and lover of dogs for more than 50 years, a trainer, a breeder, dog show judge and involved in dog rescue, I can tell you from firsthand experience this procedure saves lives. We encourage people with noisy dogs to train them, try non-surgical methods, but if they fail, there is debarking.

Some people are so disturbed by barking they will abuse a dog. Our rescue groups have seen it all. Our national rescue workers reports include, “We have gotten in several extreme abuse cases where the dog was abused because of its non-stop barking. Oven cleaner down the throat; throat slit open; bailing wire tying the dogs muzzle.” http://www.illinoissheltierescue.com/debark.html

I also heard of a of a dog turned into a rescue with an electronic bark collar embedded in its throat. (Jpeg attached)

Alanna Kelly of Massachusetts has a wonderful dog named Striker that at an advanced age is winning all kinds of awards as an agility dog. Kelly debarked Striker for his own safety. “I was threatened he would be killed if he continued to bark,” she said. Kelly reported the threat to the Police and had Stiker’s bark softened. Striker has never had a problem since and is still happily barking away – just more softly.

I own one 16-year-old dog that was debarked when a neighbor complained. She has never had a complication or problem since.

Despite claims to the contrary, debarked dogs don’t have emotional issues with being debarked.

Contrary to what animal rights groups, such as the Humane Society Veterinary Medical group — formerly called the Veterinarians for Animal Rights — suggest, the AVMA has a position supporting the procedure as a last resort. The Massachusetts Veterinary Medical Association also has taken a position supporting the procedure as a last resort. Properly done, the surgery is quick, nearly bloodless and recovery is quick.

It should also be noted that cats are not devocalized. Why are they included in the bill? Maybe the out-of-state animal rights person who wrote the bill now pending before the state Legislature didn’t know that.

The bill, promoted by a 15-year-old animal rights activist and written by an out-of-state group, would ban this life-saving procedure.

Many legislators signed on after a massive Internet campaign that didn’t get the facts straight.
True animal lovers would not want to remove the last tool we have to save a happy noisy dog from being separated from a family that loves it.

Charlotte McGowan
Newton

Friday, July 10, 2009

MA- July 14 is a big day for dog law

Massachusetts Alert: 15 Bills to be Heard on Tuesday, July 14th!
From AKC
[Thursday, July 09, 2009]
The Massachusetts legislature’s Joint Committee on Municipalities and Regional Government has scheduled consideration of 14 dog-related bills at its meeting on Tuesday, July 14th. Another bill of importance, HB 344 (see info, below) will be heard concurrently by the Joint Judiciary Committee. The American Kennel Club (AKC) and its Massachusetts federation, the Massachusetts Federation of Dog Clubs and Responsible Dog Owners (MassFed), encourage all responsible dog breeders and owners in Massachusetts to take action: attend Tuesday’s committee hearings, and/or contact the committee members and your elected officials in Massachusetts and let them know whether you support or oppose the bills (as highlighted below) they will consider on Tuesday.

Bills of concern to be heard by the Joint Committee on Municipalities and Regional Government (Tuesday, July 14; 10AM, Room A-2 of the State House in Boston):

The AKC and MassFed both support HB 1977, which seeks to strengthen Massachusetts’ dangerous dog laws. Its provisions include:

•Allowing dogs previously declared to be “at risk” to have the designation removed if the dog does not exhibit “at risk” behavior within 24 months after being designated as “at risk”
•Providing for duties of local animal control when a dog is declared “at risk”.
•Providing for duties of local animal control when a dog is declared as “dangerous”.
•Includes due process protections for dog owners.
The AKC and MassFed both oppose HB 1997, which seeks to impose many controversial new dog laws, including:

•Requiring that dog owners with intact dogs acquire an intact animal permit along with a health certificate (which will require state-prescribed vaccination protocols) while in compliance with all other licensing laws. Municipalities are to set the fees for intact animal permits by rule.
•Allowing municipalities to ban or further regulate specific breeds of dogs.
•Deeming certain commonplace acts as nuisance behaviors, the punishment for which could result in euthanization of the animal.
•Severely limiting the means by which an owner may humanely restrain their dog.
The AKC and MassFed both also oppose SB 774, which seeks to severely restrict the rights and operations of most responsible dog breeders in Massachusetts, including:

•Requiring anyone with four or more dogs to obtain a kennel license.
•Limiting the number of intact dogs six months of age or older a person may own to 25.
•Restricting the breeding of dogs to those between the ages of 18 months and eight years of age.
•Imposing strict, hard-to-comply-with, and expensive engineering standards for kennels.
•Allowing inspections of kennels, including private residences, without notice and at any time.
•Mandating strict exercise requirements for dogs kept in a kennel.
Other bills which will be considered by the Joint Municipalities Committee include HB 3704 (animal shelters), SB 763 (dangerous dog registry), SB 778 (spay/neuter fund), HB 1968 (dangerous dogs), HB 1969 (seizure/impoundment), HB 1975 (cat sterilization), HB 2008 (vicious dogs), HB 2015 (vicious dogs), HB 2016 (vicious dogs), HB 3589 (veterinary technicians), and SB 784 (rabies vaccinations). Click here to read MassFed’s positions.

WHAT YOU CAN DO:
It is imperative that all concerned responsible dog breeders and owners in Massachusetts contact the members of the Joint Committee on Municipalities and Regional Government listed below. Let them know that you support HB 1977, and oppose both HB 1997 and SB 774.

Senator James B. Eldridge, Chair
Room 213-A
State House
Boston, MA 02133
Telephone: (617) 722-1120
Fax: (617) 722-1089
James.Eldridge@state.ma.us

Senator Patricia D. Jehlen, Vice-Chair
Room 513
State House
Boston, MA 02133
Telephone: 617-722-1578
Fax:617-722-1117
Patricia.Jehlen@state.ma.us

Senator Susan C. Fargo
State House
Room 504
Boston, MA 02133
Telephone: (617) 722-1572
Susan.Fargo@state.ma.us

Senator Anthony D. Galluccio
State House
Room 218
Boston, MA 02133
Telephone: (617) 722-1650
Anthony.Galluccio@state.ma.us

Senator Thomas P. Kennedy
State House
Room 109-E
Boston, MA 02133
Telephone: (617) 722-1200
Thomas.P.Kennedy@state.ma.us

Senator Richard R. Tisei
State House
Room 308
Boston, MA 02133
Telephone: (617) 722-1206
Fax: (617) 722-1063
Richard.Tisei@state.ma.us

Representative Paul J. Donato
State House
Room 540
Boston, MA 02133
Telephone: 617-722-2090
Fax: 617-722-2848
Rep.PaulDonato@hou.state.ma.us

Representative Joyce A. Spiliotis
State House
Room 236
Boston, MA 02133
Telephone: 617-722-2430
Rep.JoyceSpiliotis@hou.state.ma.us

Representative David B. Sullivan
State House
Room 279
Boston, MA 02133
Telephone:617-722-2230
Fax: 617-722-2821
Rep.DavidSullivan@hou.state.ma.us

Representative Sean Curran
State House
Room 473B
Boston, MA 02133
Telephone: 617-722-2263
Rep.SeanCurran@Hou.State.MA.US

Representative Angelo J. Puppolo, Jr.
State House
Room 146
Boston, MA 02133
Telephone: 617-722-2011
Fax: 617-722-2238
Rep.AngeloPuppolo@Hou.State.MA.US

Representative Pam Richardson
State House
Room 448
Boston, MA 02133
Telephone: 617-722-2582
Fax: 617-722-2879
Rep.PamRichardson@hou.state.ma.us

Representative Katherine Clark
State House
Room 252
Boston, MA 02133
Telephone: 617-722-2220
Fax: 617-722-2850
Rep.KatherineClark@HOU.State.MA.US

Representative Brian M. Ashe
State House
Room 540
Boston, MA 02133
Telephone: 617-722-2090
Fax: 617-722-2848
Rep.BrianAshe@hou.state.ma.us

Representative Timothy R. Madden
State House
Room 167
Boston, MA 02133
Telephone: 617-722-2810
Fax: 617-722-2846
Rep.TimothyMadden@hou.state.ma.us

Representative F. Jay Barrows
State House
Room 542
Boston, MA 02133
Telephone: 617-722-2488
Fax: 617-722-2390
Rep.FJayBarrows@hou.state.ma.us

Representative Robert S. Hargraves
State House
Room 237
Boston, MA 02133
Telephone: 617-722-2305
Fax: 617-722-2598
Rep.RobertHargraves@hou.state.ma.us

At Noon on July 14th, a different committee, the Joint Committee on the Judiciary, will consider House Bill 344, which seeks to:

•Make it illegal to debark a dog in Massachusetts in most circumstances.
•Impose unreasonable penalties, including imprisonment of up to five years and/or a fine of not more than $2,500, for those found in violation of the bill.
The AKC believes that much misinformation exists about debarking of dogs. When performed by a veterinarian, debarking is an acceptable medical procedure that is often done as a "last resort" when all other methods of modifying a dog's behavior have failed. For many responsible dog owners, debarking is the only alternative to euthanizing or surrendering their canine companion to a local shelter when their pet's noisy behavior continually disturbs the community. The decision to debark a dog is one that is best left to the dog owner and his veterinarian.

Both the AKC and MassFed oppose House Bill 344.

WHAT YOU CAN DO:
All concerned responsible dog breeders and owners in Massachusetts are strongly encouraged to attend Tuesday’s hearing in opposition to HB 344 (Gardner Auditorium, State House, Boston); and/or to contact the members of the Joint Committee on the Judiciary and let them know that you oppose HB 344, and encourage them to do the same.

Senator Cynthia Stone Creem, Chair
State House
Room 416-B
Boston, MA 02133
Telephone: (617) 722-1639
Cynthia.Creem@state.ma.us

Senator Steven A. Baddour, Vice-Chair
State House
Room 208
Boston, MA 02133
Telephone: (617) 722-1604
Steven.Baddour@state.ma.us

Senator Gale D. Candaras
State House
Room 213B
Boston, MA 02133
Telephone: 617-722-1291
Fax: 617-722-1014
Gale.Candaras@State.MA.US

Senator Jack Hart
State House
Room 109-C
Boston, MA 02133
Telephone: (617) 722-1150
John.Hart@state.ma.us

Senator Thomas M. McGee
State House
Room 112
Boston, MA 02133
Telephone: (617) 722-1350
Thomas.McGee@state.ma.us

Senator Bruce E. Tarr
State House
Room 313-A
Boston, MA 02133
Telephone: (617) 722-1600
Bruce.Tarr@state.ma.us

Representative Eugene L. O’Flaherty
State House
Room 136
Boston, MA 02133
Telephone: 617-722-2396
Fax: 617-722-2819
Rep.GeneOFlaherty@hou.state.ma.us

Representative Christopher N. Speranzo
State House
Room 136
Boston, MA 02133
Telephone: 617-722-2396
Rep.ChristopherSperanzo@Hou.State.MA.US

Representative James H. Fagan
State House
Room 236
Boston, MA 02133
Telephone: 617-722-2430
Fax: 617-722-2346
Rep.JamesFagan@hou.state.ma.us

Representative Colleen M. Garry
State House
Room 238
Boston, MA 02133
Telephone: 617-722-2380
Fax: 617-722-2847
Rep.ColleenGarry@hou.state.ma.us

Representative Marie P. St. Fleur
State House
Room 43
Boston, MA 02133
Telephone: 617-722-2030
Rep.MarieSt.Fleur@hou.state.ma.us

Representative John V. Fernandes
State House
Room 136
Boston, MA 02133
Telephone: 617-722-2396
Fax: 617-722-2215
Rep.JohnFernandes@Hou.State.MA.US

Representative Katherine Clark
State House
Room 252
Boston, MA 02133
Telephone: 617-722-2220
Fax: 617-722-2850
Rep.KatherineClark@HOU.State.MA.US

Representative James J. Dwyer
State House
Room 39
Boston, MA 02133
Telephone: 617-722-2014
Fax: 617-626-0831
Rep.JamesJDwyer@hou.state.ma.us

Representative Danielle W. Gregoire
State House
Room 26
Boston, MA 02133
Telephone: 617-722-2080
Rep.DanielleGregoire@hou.state.ma.us

Representative Lewis G. Evangelidis
State House
Room 473B
Boston, MA 02133
Telephone: 617-722-2263
Rep.LewisEvangelidis@hou.state.ma.us

Representative Daniel K. Webster
State House
Room 542
Boston, MA 02133
Telephone: 617-722-2487
Rep.DanielWebster@hou.state.ma.us

For more information, contact AKC’s Government Relations Department at (919) 816-3720, or e-mail doglaw@akc.org; or contact the Massachusetts Federation of Dog Clubs and Responsible Owners at www.massfeddogs.org.

OH- City of Fairborn to enforce the ban on pit bulls

Fairborn Enforces No Pit Bull Ordinance

The ordinance banning pit bulls from the city of Fairborn passed in May 2008 and now city officials have decided to enforce it. In an interview posted on the WHIOTV.com website, City Manager Deborah McDonnell said, "We are asking residents to move the dogs to other locations and find other homes for them."

The city plans to begin the enforcement process by mailing letters to residents who own pit bulls letting them know about the ordinance.

The ordinance defines a pit bull as:
A. an American Pet Bull Terrier;
B. an American Staffordshire Terrier;
C. is an Staffordshire Bull Terrier;
D. displays the majority of physical traits of any one (1) or more of the above breeds;
E. is of mixed breed or of other breed than listed above which breed or mixed breed is know as A pit bull, pit bull dog or pit bull terrier; or
F. exhibits those distinguishing charachterists which substantially conform to the standards established by the American Kennel Club or United Kennel Club for pit bull dogs or pit bull teriiers.

This same city ordinance (#1171.06, I) states that 5 dogs or cats constitues a kennel and shall be regulated as permitted within the zoning districts specified. This is not 5 INTACT dogs or cats- this is 5 total!!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

TX- Couple working for a national ban on pit bulls

UPDATE: Leash Law Approved for Portions of Rusk County
By BETTY WATERS
Staff Waters

HENDERSON — Rusk County Commissioners this morning adopted a leash law for portions of the county.

The meeting was packed with people calling for the county to take a tougher stance against pit bull dogs.

Last month a 10-year-old Justin Clinton was mauled to death by pit bull dogs near Leverett’s Chapel School.

Before the meeting, 60 to 70 people gathered on the steps of the Rusk County Courthouse calling for the banning of pit bull dogs.

They hope what would be called “Justin’s Law” would outlaw ownership of pit bull dogs across the nation.

Among those attending the protest was Cynthia Kent, a Tyler attorney who served for several years as a district judge in Tyler.

Serena Clinton and Kevin Clinton, parents of Justin Clinton, speak during an interview this morning in front of the Rusk County Courthouse.
Mrs. Kent called the death a “senseless and preventable tragedy.”

She and others vowed to take the fight to ban pit bull dogs to the national level. Mrs. Kent said she would speak with U.S. Rep. Louie Gohmert of Tyler about the prospect of national legislation.

Commissioner adopted the leash law for the Elderville and Airport Garden areas. A public hearing on enacting restrictions had previously been held for those communities. The court agreed to look at expanding the leash law to other areas.
The court also adopted a resolution calling for the banning of pit bulls throughout the nation.

Michael Jimerson, county and district attorney, said the county is limited to what it can do to prevent pit bull dog attacks.

In another action, the court accepted $15.78 million as the maximum cost for expansion of the county jail.

Updated Wednesday, July 1, 2009 at 12:20 p.m. CDT

RI - Council panel to review Providence Animal Control Center

Council panel to review Providence Animal Control Center

By Philip Marcelo

Journal Staff Writer

PROVIDENCE — The dog pound is being investigated by the City Council after questions were raised about the quality of care it provided to animals and the adequacy of its management staff.

In recent months, the state Department of Environmental Management’s Division of Agriculture, which licenses and inspects animal shelters, kennels, municipal pounds and pet stores, received a complaint of animal cruelty at the Animal Control Center that was ultimately dismissed, and the director of animal control, Peter M. Brown, stepped down in March amid accusations that he sexually harassed a volunteer worker and others at the dog pound, according to members of the City Council.

“The City Council needs to hear from other people what is happening down there so that they can make the right decision. These animals don’t get hurt in their kennels by themselves,” says Dennis Tabella, director of Defenders of Animals, an animal rights group.

Councilman John J. Lombardi, who submitted the resolution calling for the commission, said that the center, which is under the jurisdiction of the Police Department, would benefit from a review of management practices in light of recent events. “As far as I know, there are no policies and procedures in place for how animals are cared for once they are captured,” said Lombardi.

Lombardi’s resolution, which was approved by the council Thursday, calls for the formation of a five-member panel consisting of two council members and representatives of the Defenders of Animals, the Humane Society of Northwestern Rhode Island and the Warwick Animal Shelter.

Maj. Steven Melaragno, head of the Police Department’s Administrative Division, said the department welcomes the oversight, but questioned the validity of the concerns being raised. “The animals are being well cared for. The facilities are clean,” Melaragno said.

The DEM came to a similar conclusion when it inspected the city pound in February 2008, noting in a report that the “animals appear healthy and content” and the “facility [was] clean, free of odor and in excellent repair.”

Then came a complaint in March 2009 from employees at Big Daddy Taxi. Coty, a Great Dane that became a sort of office mascot for the city taxi service, was picked up by a city animal control officer after he ran away.

According to company employees, the otherwise healthy dog came back from a 13-day stay at the pound (all captured dogs are quarantined as a precaution) seriously ill.

“I was alarmed due to his appearance of major weight loss to the point that I was able to see his ribs and spine, his eyes were red, was coughing, and when I took him out to the bathroom I noticed that he was having a nosebleed,” said Suzanne M. Burns in a letter to the state DEM.

Coty had apparently developed an infection as a result of an injury sustained at the pound and spent two days at an animal hospital to recover, according to documents from the DEM.

Still, an investigation into the matter by state Veterinarian Scott Marshall, who works under the Division of Agriculture, said there was no evidence that the dog’s condition was the result of negligence or cruelty by pound workers.

“It’s not unheard of for a dog to develop a cough or an illness after being in a pound. It’s a stressful situation for the animals. With Providence Animal Control, we have not received an inordinate amount of complaints, in fact very few, considering the volume of animals that they handle,” said Marshall. The veterinarian’s office urged the pound to better document the condition of animals prior to their impoundment and the care the animals receive from the staff.

Animal Control is housed in a low-slung concrete bunker on the city’s industrial waterfront on Allens Avenue. It’s well kept, with spotless floors, brightly painted walls and clean kennels. But it’s also clearly dated and awkwardly placed right in the center of the Narragansett Bay Commission’s wastewater treatment complex.

It’s for these reasons that the shelter will soon be getting a new home, fully paid for by the Bay Commission, which has taken the shelter by eminent domain to build a new administrative office building, according Melaragno.

The $1-million shelter will be built on vacant NBC land about a block away on Terminal Road, where the Port of Providence is situated. When it is finished, the facility will be a vast improvement over the existing one, with expanded areas for cats, more dog kennels, including some larger dog kennels for larger breeds, according to Richard Souza, a longtime animal control officer.

Meanwhile, the Police Department is looking for a replacement for Brown, who served for five years as director. Police Inspector Luis Del Rio, who managed the department’s mounted division, has been temporarily placed in charge.

Tabella, of the Defenders of Animals, suggested that the commission look into the possibility of placing the pound under the watch of another city department or an outside agency. “The Police Department,” says Tabella, “has enough to do with real crime.” Shelter numbers

•Number of dogs taken in annually: 1,000

•Number of cats taken in annually: 700

•Annual budget: $400,000

•Full-time staff: 10

pmarcelo@projo.com