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Archive for September, 2007

“Maintenance-free” pets — creepy

Perfect Petzzz announces six new breeds of maintenance-free pet companions, for those who can’t care for a live pet.

I get a lot of press releases for animal-related products, but this one wins hands (paws?) down for the most frightening press release of the month:

PERFECT PETZZZ PRESS RELEASE, Sept. 26, 2007:
Perfect Petzzz are lifelike, “breathing,” hand-crafted puppies and kittens designed to amuse, educate and comfort, and are now available in 30 breed choices.

Perfect Petzzz are adorable sleeping puppies and kittens that offer unconditional love and are maintenance-free. (Can a non-living creature give you “unconditional love”? Would that also apply to a zombie, or a Frankenstein monster? /Gary) They are the perfect companion and holiday gift for anyone who may not be able to take care of the day-to-day tasks of pet ownership. These puppies and kittens help to soothe and bring joy and fulfillment to their owners because of their unique life-like features.

(What next, REALLY hassle-free pet companions, like Dead Puppies and Dead Kitties with no compartments to install batteries? /Gary)

Each pet costs $39.95 and comes with a collar, battery, brush, adoption certificate, and is constructed of 100 percent synthetic fur. Your newly adopted Perfect Petzzz will also arrive in its very own soft fleece bed and cardboard carrying case.

With closed eyes and curled up bodies, these wonderfully delightful companions appear to be sleeping due to their “breathing” movements. When watched closely or held in your lap you can feel the soothing breathing pattern and hear the soft sounds that these animals constantly maintain. (“Mommie! Perfect Kitty stopped breathing!” /Gary) Their small bodies feel as realistic as they look with synthetic fur that compares to the softness of a newly washed puppy.

Perfect Petzzz will continue to breathe for four months on a single “D” battery, and approximately seven months on two “D” batteries.

Perfect Petzzz are recommended for those people who yearn for, or respond to, the affection and coziness that real pets bring. They are proven to be a non-maintenance alternative to real pets and bring comfort to all lifestyles ranging from households with newborns, to those who may be ill or physically challenged, and even senior citizens in homes that don’t allow pets.

(Let me guess: Coming in 2008 — Perfect Pooping Petzzz, for those who don’t like maintenance-free companions. /Gary)

Wanna see them? Be brave: http://www.perfectpetzzz.com

Posted on Friday, September 28th, 2007
Under: Pet Products | No Comments »

“Old Lonesome ain’t lonesome no more”

A bison known as “Old Lonesome stands to break an 82-year-old record after a hunter killed it in western Wyoming’s Bridger-Teton National Forest.

According to the Associated Press story, the bison’s horns measured 32 inches from tip to tip and 18 and 19 inches individually, giving the animal a hunting score of 140-2/8. The previous record, a bison killed in Yellowstone National Park in 1925, scored 136-4/8.

Some people just don’t get it. That includes the hunter who shot and killed Old Lonesome and the Associated Press writer and editors who wrote and edited this little story and put it out on the wire. They all appear to think that killing the huge old bison and measuring the size of his horns is the most important aspect of this grisly tale.

I don’t think so. The most important thing here is that a great old majestic beast is dead … killed so someone can have a record trophy to hang on his wall and a big barbecue for all his friends.

What about all the other people who travel to Wyoming just to see and experience the raw natural beauty of the primitive landscape and especially these great, ancient beasts? What about the people who came especially to see Old Lonesome?

I may have experienced Old Lonesome myself two years ago while on a trip to Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Forest with my wife and her brother and his wife. We were out hiking when I spotted what looked like a huge boulder sitting on the flat grassland near a bison herd we had been observing and enjoying. Then the “boulder” stood up and became a gigantic bison that may have been Old Lonesome.

Why did he stand apart from the other bison? He was the king … an antique patriarch of the herd.

The Associated Press story quotes J. F., a man who makes a business of helping hunters move the big game they’ve hunted, as saying he was familiar with Old Lonesome. He started calling the bison that name years ago, when he noticed that the bull almost always grazed apart from other buffalo. “Old Lonesome ain’t lonesome no more,” F. is quoted as saying.

E. D. R., of Cheyenne, shot the bison near Spread Creek on Sept. 18. He said he killed Old Lonesome with one bullet.

“When I saw this guy, it was like I was looking at a dinosaur or a mammoth, R. said in the AP story. “This guy was just so different and massive and huge. There was no question about whether I would hold off. It just had to be done.”

“It just had to be done.” Something is big and special and deserves to live forever, and some people just think it has to be killed.

“I was getting closer and closer waiting for an opportunity,” R. said. “Finally, he gave me the perfect chance, and I didn’t hesitate for a second. He was dead before I let go of the trigger, which is a good thing.”

R. said he’s got extra freezers ready to store the meat. “I’ve got a long list of friends and family I’m going to share it with,” he said.

“We’re going to have a big old barbecue.”

Posted on Thursday, September 27th, 2007
Under: Bison | 4 Comments »

You can stop Alaska’s aerial wolf hunting

Congressman George Miller’s new bill would stop illegal airborne hunting of Alaskan wolves and other wildlife.

I just received the following release from Congressman George Miller’s office:

WASHINGTON — Legislation introduced Tuesday (Sept. 5) would protect wolves, bears, and other wildlife from the illegal and inhumane practice of airborne hunting. The new bill would close a loophole in federal law that Alaska officials have exploited to permit individual hunters to shoot and kill nearly 700 wolves from aircraft in the past four years.

“It’s time to ground Alaska’s illegal and inhumane air assault on wolves,” said Congressman George Miller (D-CA), a leader in Congress on conservation and natural resource issues and author of the new bill. “The state of Alaska has been operating an airborne hunting program that not only ignores federal law but violates Alaskans’ and other Americans’ wishes. The PAW Act will help protect our nation’s wildlife from the unethical and unfair practice of airborne hunting.”

The Protect America’s Wildlife Act, or PAW Act, was introduced by Miller along with Rep. John Dingell (D-MI), the dean of the House and floor manager of the debate on the original Airborne Hunting Act, and Rep. Norm Dicks (D-WA), the chair of the Interior Appropriations Subcommittee.

At a press conference on Capitol Hull, Miller was joined by Atka, a 3-year-old Arctic gray wolf, and two wildlife experts and advocates — Joel Bennett, an Alaska resident and former member of the state’s Board of Game, and Roger Schlickeisen, President of Defenders of Wildlife, a national conservation and environmental advocacy organization.

In response to public outcry over airborne wolf hunting in Alaska, Congress passed the Airborne Hunting Act of 1972 to prohibit shooting or harassing animals from aircraft. However, for the last several years, officials in Alaska have licensed people to shoot hundreds of wolves from aircraft under the guise of wildlife management and predator control but in clear violation of the intent of the federal ban.

In 1996 and again in 2000, Alaskans approved two popular ballot measures that banned airborne hunting in the state, but the state legislature largely overturned each of those measures.

Hunting wildlife from an aircraft violates wildlife management principles and the hunting rules of fair chase, as does the related practice of chasing animals in aircraft until they are exhausted and then executing them on the ground, known as “land and shoot.”

The PAW Act makes it clear that states can only conduct activities prohibited by the Airborne Hunting Act to respond to legitimate biological and other emergencies, not just to authorize otherwise-illegal hunting practices. The bill does not alter existing exceptions for the use of aircraft for animal control where land, livestock, water, pets, crops, or human health and safety are at risk.

The bill will be considered by the Committee on Natural Resources.

YOU CAN HELP:
Please help to get this bill passed. Go to the Defenders of Wildlife web site (below), click on the TAKE ACTION button under the photo of the wolf head on the left and fill out the form urging your Representative to sign on as a co-sponsor to Miller’s PAW Act: http://www.defenders.org/index.php

More about the aerial hunting of wolves:
http://www.defenders.org/programs_and_policy/policy_and_legislation/airborne_hunting.php

You can save the Alaska wolves. Please do. Thanks. /Gary

Posted on Wednesday, September 26th, 2007
Under: Wolves | No Comments »

Know anything about holes?

Some day I’m going to write a book about “holes.”
Holes come in all shapes and sizes: big holes, little holes, round holes, odd-shaped holes, caves, etc. There are full holes, empty holes, holes waiting to be occupied, and holes that sit around all day just being holes.

There are snake holes, lizard holes, squirrel holes, gopher holes, mole holes, burrowing owl holes and anthills, which is a whole lot of little holes rolled into one.

At this point I suspect you’re starting to realize, like me, that there are lots of different kinds of holes.

For example, there are:
Vent holes, pin holes, nest holes, knot holes, drain holes, black holes, fox holes, caves, pits, grottos, craters, nostrils (left nostrils and right nostrils), ear holes, gopher holes, dens, cavities, hollows, openings, apertures, wells, chasms, lairs, pockets, indentations, voids, depressions, bowls, dips, recesses, fissures, cracks, tears, clefts, orifices, gaps, funnels, channels, glens, canyons, vales, ravines, dents, concavities, dimples, niches, alcoves, crannies, rents, slits, breaches, rifts, breaks, clefts, chinks, perforations, ditches, trenches, coulees, dells, crevasses, pokes, nicks, nooks, gashes, incisions, ruptures, flaws, furrows, grooves, cuts, notches, scrapes, openings, lacerations, wounds, breaches, disruptions, hernias, clefts, gashes, serrations, burrows, excavations, scoops, perforations, scratches, and pores … just to name a few.

So where do all these holes come from?

There are the hole makers: tarantula hawks, gophers, moles, voles, field mice, ground squirrels, kangaroo rats, foxes, badgers and anteaters, just off the top of my head.

And of course the freeloading hole-users: tiger salamanders, snakes, burrowing owls, alligator lizards, Western fence lizards, Western toads, tarantulas and slugs, and quite a few more.

Broom-handle-size holes are probably made by voles. Holes twice that size were probably excavated by ground squirrels or very large gophers. Really BIG holes might have been dug by a badger, or maybe a teamster driving a bulldozer.

If you fall into a hole it might be a pit. If you’re unable to climb out, that pit might really be a crater (especially if you’re on the moon), and if you finally hit bottom and can’t see the top of the hole, it’s definitely a gorge. If you’re still falling all the time you’re reading all this, that hole may be a chasm. A really DEEP one.

If you bend down to get a better look at a hole and see a bunch of spider webs inside, there’s nobody living in the hole but spiders. If there are no webs across the front of the hole, the hole is obviously occupied by something else.

But that’s another book. /Gary

Posted on Tuesday, September 25th, 2007
Under: Holes | 1 Comment »

New Animal Laws in California, 2007

Here’s everything you always wanted to know about new animal laws, and more!

2007 California Animal Legislation Update

Many thanks to Virginia Handley & PawPAC for pulling all this together! /Gary

Address for legislators and Governor: State Capitol Bldg., Sacramento, California 94814
Phone Directory: 916-322-9900.
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger: 916-445-2841.

** The Legislature has adjourned until January, 2008.
** Bills on the Governor’s desk must be signed by October 14.

BILLS ON THE GOVERNOR’S DESK

Assembly:

AB 449 by Assemblywoman Audra Strickland re: Trapping.
Requires trappers who trap animals for a fee to follow the American Veterinary Medical Assn. guidelines if animals are killed. Trapped animals should be released and if it isn’t possible they should be killed humanely. AB 449 should have required gunshot (as recommended in Humane Society of the US Field Euthanasia Manual and Society of Mammalogists and required under the Fish and Game trapping regulations) when legal as the preferred method. Gunshot is more humane than transporting frightened animals to be killed later by slower and questionable methods that suffocate them such as Carbon Dioxide.

** THIS ONE IS VERY IMPORTANT!! /Gary **
AB 821 by Assemblyman Pedro Nava re: Hunting with Lead Shot. Support.
Enacts the Condor Preservation Act to prohibit lead shot within condor habitat when hunting big game and coyotes. Write: Governor Schwarzenegger. Tell him condors cannot survive against lead shot. It is banned for waterfowl hunting and should be banned for all hunting.

AB 828 by Assemblyman Ira Ruskin re: Wildlife Corridors. Support.
Requires the Wildlife Conservation Board to determine what areas are most essential as wildlife corridors and utilize the California Comprehensive Wildlife Action Plan to protect those corridors. Write: Governor Schwarzenegger. Tell him wildlife corridors are essential to allow migrations and prevent isolated populations.

AB 1477 by Assemblywoman Nell Soto re: Trapping. Support.
Requires trappers who trap animals for a fee (such as raccoons, opossums, coyotes, etc.) to have continuing education courses, release non-target animals, take injured/sick non target animals to a vet, animal control, or wildlife rehabilitation facility, and inform their clients of non lethal control options. Write: Governor Schwarzenegger. Tell him non target animals should be immediately released and trappers should have continuing education. Non lethal methods to avoid wildlife conflicts are best for everybody. See AB 499.

AB 1614 by Assemblywoman Audra Stickland re: Rodeos. Support.
Lowers the definition of rodeo from four events to three in order to cover all rodeos under existing law requiring a veterinarian, or a vet on call, to treat injuries to animals and report those injuries to the Veterinary Medical Board. AB 1614 also requires a conveyance for injured animals so they are not dragged and bans electric prods. Write: Governor Schwarzenegger. Tell him all rodeos should be regulated equally and all the animals deserve equal protection and veterinary care.

Senate

SB 353 by Senator Sheila Kuehl re: Restraint Orders. Support.
Authorizes the court to add animals to restraint orders to protect them from possible harm from domestic abuse. Write: Governor Schwarzenegger. Tell him animals, like other family members, are victims of revenge and abuse.

SB 880 by Senator Ron Calderon re: Kangaroos. Oppose.
Removes the protection, since 1970, of kangaroos by allowing the importation of their skins (used for athletic shoes) and meat (possibly pet and/or livestock food) into California as long as the kill quota is not raised in Australia. Call or Write: Governor Schwarzenegger (916-445-2841) SB 880 is on his phone machine for support/opposition. Kangaroos need California’s continued protection from cruel killing and the danger of killing endangered kangaroos. Since the killing never meets the quota, hundreds of thousands more kangaroos can be killed for the California market. Sponsored by Adidas, they have spent over $435,000, thus far, to pass SB 880.

FARM ANIMAL INITIATIVE
Sponsored by the Humane Society of the United States titled the “California Prevention of Farm Animal Cruelty Act.” Mandates that pregnant pigs, veal calf crates (there are none in Calif.), and birds laying eggs (chickens, ducks, turkeys, geese and guinea fowl) have room to stand up, turn around, lie down and extend their limbs. Does not include dairy calves (many thousands are raised in crates) who replace dairy cows. 600,000 signatures must be gathered from October 2007 through February 2008.
Meetings: Oct. 1, Sacramento SPCA, 6201 Florin Perkins Rd., Sacramento, 7 to 10 p.m.; Oct. 2, San Francisco SPCA, 2500 – 16th St., San Francisco, 7 to 10 p.m.; Oct. 4, LA Animal Services, 14409 Vanowen St., Van Nuys, 7 to 10 p.m.; Oct. 5, Health Services Complex, 3851 Rosencrans St., San Diego, 7 to 10 p.m.

CALIFORNIA FISH & GAME COMMISSION
1416 – 9th St. Sacramento, CA 95814

Hunting Regulations re: Lead Shot Ban. Support.
Fish and Game is considering a ban on the use of lead shot within condor habitat. Hearing: October 11, 10 a.m., Crown Plaza, 75 John Glenn Dr., Concord. Tell them lead shot should be banned in the entire state as all wildlife suffers and dies from it.

Fish and Game Commissioner Judd Hanna
Commissioner Judd Hanna, recently appointed to the Commission, has resigned under pressure from the Schwarzenegger administration, 34 Republican legislators, and the gun/hunting lobby because of his advocacy to ban lead shot. Write: Governor Schwarzenneger and the Commission. Ask the Governor not to accept Hanna’s resignation and ask the Commission to defend their fellow Commissioner who was doing his job in protecting wildlife from lead shot.

CALIFORNIA STATE FAIR BOARD
1600 Exposition Blvd. Sacramento, CA 95815
916-63-3276

California State Fair
Two rampaging bulls at the Sacramento State Fair seriously injured a policewoman and terrorized children when the bulls escaped their enclosure where they awaited their “Dancing With Bulls” event. Events like this and “cowboy poker,” “mutton busting,” and “teeter-totter” endanger both animals and the public. Hearing: September 28. Tell them these events should be banned and the stock contractors who provide these events should not be hired again.

PASSED:

AB 222 by Assemblyman Bill Emmerson re: Undomesticated Burros.
Authorizes the capture, removal, and relocation of undomesticated burros if the burros are at risk of injury from traffic or insufficient habitat. Allows euthanasia if injured.

AB 450 by Assemblywoman Audra Strickland re: Wildlife in Captivity.
Delays the already passed deadline of 2007 to 2009 for the Fish and Game Dept. to implement a new inspection program for wild animal facilities. Veterinarians paid by the permittees sign off on inspections, a conflict of interest. AB 450 was incorporated into AB 1729.

AB 667 by Assemblyman Cameron Smyth re: Police Dogs and Horses. Support.
Increases the penalty for injuring a police horse or police dog.

AB 670 by Assemblyman Tod Spitzer re: Dog Bites.
Requires an owner whose dog bites (broken the skin) anyone to provide info (name, address, etc.) to the person bitten.

SB 77 re: California Budget
$1,495,000 (reduced from $10 million, to $3 million, then reduced by the Governor to $1,495,000) to pay for warden overtime. It will not be spent on hiring additional wardens, or on the Warden Academy to train new wardens. California Fish and Game wardens are understaffed, underpaid and overworked yet have jobs equally, if not more, dangerous than other law enforcement agencies. Our wildlife depends on our dedicated wardens.

INACTIVE:
The following bills failed to get enough votes or did not go to a vote because they were withdrawn by the legislator because there were problems. They can be brought up again in 2008, probably with amendments.

AB 64 by Assemblywoman Patty Berg re: Emergencies. Support.
Allows licensed veterinarians and vet techs from out of state to practice in California during disasters.

AB 564 by Assemblyman Mervyn Dymally re: Pigs. Support.
Prohibits pregnant pigs from being confined in gestation crates where they cannot turn around or extend their limbs. AB 564 has been amended to an unrelated subject.

AB 777 by Assemblyman Lloyd Levine re: Elephants. Support.
Prohibits bullhooks and chaining. Mandates enrichments, soft flooring, pools and exercise if capital funds are expended. Enrichments should be mandated independent of capital fund expenditures. A last minute amendment, not accepted by the committee, would have limited the bill to prohibit bullhooks.

AB 815 by Assemblyman Tom Berryhill re: Hunting/Fishing. Oppose.
Prohibits any city/county from enacting an ordinance that affects hunting or fishing.

AB 912 by Assemblywoman Nicole Parra re: Hunting. Oppose.
Creates a mentored hunting program that allows anyone to hunt without a license for a year if accompanied by qualified mentor.

AB 939 by Assemblywoman Nell Soto re: Teachers. Support.
Prohibits hiring of teachers convicted of cruelty to animals. AB 939 was amended to an unrelated subject.

AB 1100 by Assemblyman Ira Ruskin re: Cloned Farm Animals. Support.
Requires labeling of cloned farm animal products unless preempted by federal law.

AB 1016 by Assemblyman George Plecia re: Race Horses. Oppose.
Allows boarding/training facilities to sell losing race horses with unpaid bills without going through the court.

AB 1634 by Assemblyman Lloyd Levine re: Spay/Neuter. Support.
Requires six month old dogs/cats to be spayed/neutered. Exempts show and hunting dogs, research, law enforcement, search/rescue, service dogs, dogs/cats too old or sick. Breeders have to have permits, but allows one dog litter for one year. A last minute amendment, which was not accepted by the committee, would have limited the bill to “problem dogs.”

SB 863 by Senator Leland Yee re: Horse Racing.
Prohibits more than three members (currently five out of seven) of the Horse Racing Board to be owners of race horses. Requires Board to pass regulations on conflicts of interest and ethics.

** For copies of bills: http://www.leginfo.ca.gov

** To find your legislators: http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/yourleg.html

** To be added to this alert: E-mail info@pawpac.org. Include name, street address, phone number, and organization affiliation, if applicable.

** The above list was compiled by Virginia Handley 510-222-2236.
Paw PAC, P.O. Box 475012, San Francisco, CA 94147.
See the Web site for the 2006 Voting Chart. The 2007 Voting Chart is currently being compiled.
http://www.pawpac.org/

Posted on Monday, September 24th, 2007
Under: Animal Laws | 3 Comments »

Pig murder case

HONOLULU — The judge in the felony trial of a man accused in the killing of a pet pig has declared a mistrial.

So yesterday I’m writing along here in my blog about a Los Angeles Times’ story that asked, “do you think we love animals more than people?” … and this morning as I’m browsing through the Associated Press State wire, I come across this little story slugged, “Mistrial declared in pig murder case.”

Can a man murder a pig?
I looked up “murder” in my copy of Webster’s NewWorld Dictionary: “mur-der (mur’der) n. 1. the unlawful and malicious or premeditated killing of one human being by another.” It certainly doesn’t seem like a man can murder a pig. He can kill a pig, but by definition, he can’t murder the animal. Humans can only “murder” humans.

The story I wrote about in yesterday’s blog suggested that “Owners are treating their animal companions more like humans” these days. This story about a “murdered” pig certainly seems to suggest that, doesn’t it?

I wonder if the reporter who wrote the pig murder story is a pet owner, and if the editors who edited the pig murder story are pet owners, and especially if the copy editor who wrote the “Mistrial declared in pig murder case” headline for the pig murder story is a pet owner?

Here’s the rest of this little pig tale:
“Judge Richard Pollack says that after two days’ deliberation, the jury couldn’t reach a verdict on the charges against pig hunter Joseph B. Calarruda V.
“Calarruda was charged with felony theft of livestock.
“The pig’s owners accuse him of following his dogs onto their property and watching them kill the 6-year-old pet pig named Porky.
“If convicted, the accused would face up to five years in prison. Bail in the case had been set at $50,000.”

Only $50,000? If this man is being charged with the murder of a pig, don’t you think his bail should at least be as high as O.J.’s? ($125,000) Hey, you know I have pets. /Gary

Posted on Friday, September 21st, 2007
Under: Animals | No Comments »

Do you think we love animals more than people?

Some people apparently do.
There was a copyrighted story this morning on the Associated Press wires by Leslie Earnest of the Los Angeles Times. The headline reads: “Pampering your little Sweet pea to the tune of $41 billion.” (That’s right, “$41 billion!” The story says that’s probably how much we’re going to spend on our pets in the U.S. this year.)

The sub-headline reads: “Owners are treating their animal companions more like humans. But the extent gives some experts pause.”

Do you think we really love our animals more than we love other humans?

Read this story and then tell me how you feel about it by posting a comment below in the space provided (or by clicking on “Comments”). I’m curious what you think about this.

Click on this line to read this very fascinating Los Angeles Times story:
http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-pets14sep14,1,3237687.story?track=rss

So what do you think? /Gary

Posted on Thursday, September 20th, 2007
Under: Animals | 2 Comments »

Green Lawn Good, Brown Lawn Bad

A 70-year-old woman was arrested in Orem, Utah, for failing to water her brown lawn.
Failing to maintain your lawn in Orem, Utah, is a misdemeanor. Betty Perry was arrested on July 6 after failing to give her name to a police officer who visited her home. During a struggle, Perry fell and injured her nose. The bleeding woman was placed in handcuffs, taken to jail and charged for resisting arrest and failing to maintain her landscaping.

Fortunately for Perry, the police officer didn’t notice the dandelions.

Posted on Wednesday, September 19th, 2007
Under: Lawn Abuse | No Comments »

Dogfighting Laws & Facts

Idaho, Wyoming, Georgia, Nevada and Hawaii have worst dogfighting laws.
Idaho, Wyoming, Georgia, Nevada and Hawaii have the weakest dogfighting laws on the books, allowing some aspects of the cruel practice to go completely unpunished, and punishing others with little more than a slap on the wrist, according to The Humane Society of the United States, which recently analyzed state dogfighting laws.

The organization, which examined dogfighting laws in each state and in Washington, D.C., is working with legislators to strengthen laws against this cruel activity.

States:
Idaho and Wyoming are last on the list because they remain the only states in the nation that do not consider dogfighting a felony. Worst-ranked Idaho carries misdemeanor penalties with a minimum $100 fine and a maximum six-month jail sentence. Although they provide felony penalties for dogfighting, Georgia, Nevada, Hawaii and Montana ranked near the bottom of the list. It is legal to possess dogs for fighting in Georgia and Nevada and it is legal to be a spectator at a dogfight in Georgia, Montana and Hawaii.

States with strong felony penalties against dogfighting provide stronger deterrence to participants and better tools for law enforcement officials. The five states with the best laws — New Jersey, Alabama, Colorado, Mississippi and Arizona — carry felony penalties for dogfighting, attending a dogfight and possessing fighting dogs.

Federal:
At the federal level, President Bush signed the Animal Fighting Prohibition Enforcement Act in May 2007. That law strengthened federal penalties from a misdemeanor to a felony for moving animals across state lines to participate in animal fights. This summer, Senators John Kerry (D-MA) and Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Representatives Betty Sutton (D-OH), Elton Gallegly (R-CA) and Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) have introduced additional legislation in Congress that would further upgrade federal penalties for dogfighting and make it a federal crime to engage in dogfighting, possess dogs for fighting or be a spectator at a dogfight without requiring prosecutors to prove a specific dog was moved across state lines or national borders.

“Lawmakers across the country are aware of the high price that communities pay for weak dogfighting laws,” said Michael Markarian, The HSUS’s executive vice president. “Dogfighting is also associated with other criminal conduct, such as gambling, drug trafficking, illegal firearms use and violence toward people. Dogfighters steal pets to use as bait for training their dogs, and even allow trained fighting dogs to roam neighborhoods and endanger the public. And of course the dogs involved suffer the most when they are forced to inflict serious or fatal injuries on each other or are killed in gruesome ways because they aren’t winning.”

Websites:
To see a complete HSUS Best and Worst rankings list, go to: http://www.hsus.org/acf/fighting/dogfight/ranking_state_dogfighting_laws.html

For more information on dogfighting, go to: http://www.hsus.org/acf/fighting/dogfight

Please add your thoughts or suggestions about dogfighting below. Thanks. /Gary

Posted on Tuesday, September 18th, 2007
Under: Uncategorized | 2 Comments »

Happy Birthday, American Humane

The American Humane Association is celebrating its 130th anniversary on Oct. 9. This organization has done much in its 130 years for animal and child welfare.

In 1874, a handful of animal welfare enthusiasts in New York City joined together to come to the aid of Mary Ellen Wilson, a 10 year old girl who was being abused, beaten and neglected. The horrors they discovered prompted them to form the first Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Children. But their history as animal advocates also made them realize something bigger: Cruelty is cruelty and humanity is about a lot more than just humans.

Three years later, this bit of wisdom produced the American Humane Association, an amalgamation of child and animal welfare organizations that banded together to become the voice for the voiceless.

Some AHA successes include:
** Improved care for animals in entertainment via the creation and continuing oversight of the “No Animals Were Harmed” end credit at the end of movies and television shows. This credit, which has become a must for movies and television programs, is an American Humane program.

** The development of Red Star Animal Emergency Services, a program where American Humane volunteers march headfirst into disaster sites to rescue abandoned pets and other animals. During Hurricane Katrina, American Humane and partners helped recover 10,000 animals.

** Founding the National Resource Center on The Link Between Violence to People and Animals, a one-of-a-kind information center that provides resources, training and technical assistance to organizations and community agencies searching for methods to prevent violence.

** Creating Free Farmed, one of the nation’s largest certification programs to guarantee the humane treatment of livestock animals.

You can learn more about this organization at: http://www.americanhumane.org. Click on the 130th anniversary link.

Posted on Monday, September 17th, 2007
Under: Animal welfare | No Comments »