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USDA closes loophole preventing use of unsafe trailers to transport
American horses to slaughter in Canada, Mexico

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The ASPCA® (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) welcomes the new federal rule published by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to complete the ban on the use of double-decker trailers to transport American horses to slaughter. Previously, the 2006 regulation only prevented the transport of horses in double-decker trailers if they were en route directly to slaughter plants, while the new rule extends protections to horses that are first delivered to a feedlot or stockyard during their lengthy trip to foreign slaughtering plants in Canada or Mexico.

“American horses are not raised for food, but some are purchased for slaughter by buyers for foreign slaughterhouses and trucked under painful and dangerous conditions,” said Nancy Perry, senior vice president of ASPCA Government Relations. “This new regulation is a good step in helping to protect those horses en route, but sadly, they will meet the same terrible end so we will continue to champion a complete ban on horse slaughter.”

Despite the fact that Americans do not consume horsemeat and there is no demand for horse meat in this country, approximately 100,000 horses are purchased each year in the U.S. at local auctions by killer buyers on contract with foreign companies and then transported long distances–often more than 24 hours at a time–in cramped conditions without food, water or rest to slaughterhouses in Canada and Mexico. Designed for cattle and other livestock, these vehicles do not provide adequate space for horses to retain their balance, leading to unstable footing, falls, injuries, trampling and death. The actual process of horse slaughter is also inhumane: The methods used to kill horses rarely result in quick, painless deaths, as they often endure repeated stuns or blows and sometimes remain conscious during their slaughter and dismemberment. Senators Mary Landrieu (D-LA) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) have introduced the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act (S. 1176) to end the live export and cruel slaughter of our nation’s horses for human consumption in neighboring countries.

Perry added, “Americans have a responsibility to protect these intelligent, sensitive animals that have carried us into war, helped us settle the West, and provided us with entertainment and transportation since the dawning of our country. Our special bond with horses and the unique suffering they endure when slaughtered demand that we give them a more dignified end to their lives than to be hauled across the border and butchered in Canada and Mexico.”

In June, the Government Accountability Office issued a report recommending a ban on the use of double-decker vehicles for horse transport, identifying this as a serious problem affecting the welfare of American horses sent to slaughter.  The report also concluded that a ban on transport of horses to slaughter would improve horse welfare.

The ASPCA has an extensive history of equine protection around the country and continues to assist domestic and wild horses through legislation, advocacy, targeted grants and enforcement of the carriage horse and cruelty laws in New York City. For more information on the ASPCA and to join the ASPCA Advocacy Brigade, please visit

About the ASPCA®
Founded in 1866, the ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) is the first humane organization established in the Americas and serves as the nation’s leading voice for animal welfare. One million supporters strong, the ASPCA’s mission is to provide effective means for the prevention of cruelty to animals throughout the United States. As a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation, the ASPCA is a national leader in the areas of anti-cruelty, community outreach and animal health services. The ASPCA, which is headquartered in New York City, offers a wide range of programs, including a mobile clinic outreach initiative, its own humane law enforcement team, and a groundbreaking veterinary forensics team and mobile animal CSI unit. For more information, please visit

To become a fan of the ASPCA on Facebook, go to To follow the ASPCA on Twitter, go to


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Working-class Kid from Queens Becomes an Environmental Arsonist — And Faces Life in Prison for His Actions — in Academy Award®-nominated Director Marshall Curry’s New Film

 “A sterling example of journalistic documentary, clearer, fairer and more engrossing than any of the sensationalistic newspaper or magazine stories about E.L.F.” Andrew O’Hehir,

In December 2005, Daniel McGowan was arrested by four federal agents in a nationwide sweep of radical environmentalists involved with the Earth Liberation Front, or E.L.F. For years, the E.L.F. had launched spectacular acts of arson against dozens of businesses it accused of destroying the environment, including timber companies, S.U.V. dealerships, wild horse slaughterhouses and a $12 million ski lodge in Vail, Colorado. No one had ever been hurt in any of the fires, but the FBI considered the group the “No. 1 domestic terrorism threat” in the United States, and soon after his arrest, McGowan discovered that the arson carried a sentence of life in prison. 
Director Marshall Curry, whose Academy Award®-nominated Street Fight aired on PBS’ POV (Point of View) series in 2005, returns to POV in the 2011 season with If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front on Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2011, at 10 p.m.on PBS. Part coming-of-age story, part cops-and-robbers drama, the film is the remarkable account of McGowan’s involvement with the E.L.F. and the consequences that followed.  
POV continues on Tuesdays through Sept. 27 and concludes with special broadcasts on Thursday, Nov. 10, 2011 (Where Soldiers Come From) and winter/spring 2012 (Curry’s Racing Dreams, about three tweens who aspire to race in NASCAR). Now in its 24th season, POV is the winner of a Special Emmy Award for Excellence in Television Documentary Filmmaking, an IDA Award for Best Continuing Series and NALIP’s 2011 Award for Corporate Commitment to Diversity.
Winner of the U.S. Documentary Editing Award at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival, If a Tree Falls is a layered narrative that carefully weaves together a variety of clashing points of view using vérité footage, surprisingly candid interviews and a trove of archival material (much of it never before seen). The result is a nuanced story that asks its audience to wrestle with questions intentionally left unresolved.
The film begins with McGowan in his sister Lisa’s Manhattan apartment, where he has been placed on house arrest as he awaits trial for two arsons that he committed against Oregon timber facilities. With an ankle bracelet monitoring his movement, he contemplates his future and reflects on his past.
On the surface, McGowan is an unlikely revolutionary. He went to Catholic school in Queens, was the son of a New York police officer and was a business major in college. “Growing up, he wasn’t the political kid fighting for anything,” his sister says. “He was just a regular kid.” 
That was part of his appeal to director Marshall Curry and cinematographer/co-director Sam Cullman. Curry explains, “I’m always intrigued when reality cuts against my expectations or stereotypes. How did this guy — who could be anyone’s little brother, or employee, or next-door neighbor — wind up facing life in prison for ‘eco-terrorism’?”  
McGowan recounts how after college, while working at a New York public relations film, he discovered the widespread environmental destruction going on around him. That moment, he says, “took the blinders off,” and he leapt into the environmental movement, writing letters, petitioning and then engaging in civil disobedience. When those actions seemed ineffective — and non-violent protests were met by force from law enforcement — he moved on to small acts of property destruction and eventually to arson. As a member of the E.L.F., he took part in two multimillion dollar fires in Oregon — one against a timber company engaged in old-growth logging and the other aimed at a tree farm he believed was involved in genetic engineering projects. But after that second fire, McGowan began to question the use of arson as a tactic. 
As the film explores McGowan’s case, other dramatic characters fill out his story and sometimes challenge him: Jake Ferguson, the quiet, charismatic “pirate” who started the E.L.F. in the United States; Suzanne Savoie, McGowan’s ex-girlfriend, who took part in two fires with him; Tim Lewis, an activist/filmmaker who lives in a one-room cabin in the mountains of Oregon and captured on film the environmental movement that spawned the E.L.F.; Greg Harvey, a police detective who describes the day he and his partners broke the case as “one of the best days I’ve ever had”; Kirk Engdall, the assistant U.S. attorney who prosecuted the case but by the end of the film holds a nuanced view of the group.
McGowan, like many supporters of the E.L.F., feels conflicted about the fires. On one hand, E.L.F. supporters believe that the group’s actions were following the traditions of the Boston Tea Party: symbolic property destruction designed to draw attention to important issues. But they also recognize the danger and unanticipated consequences of arson and question whether the fires helped the E.L.F. achieve its goals.
McGowan does not feel conflicted about whether the arsons should be considered acts of terrorism. Terrorism, he feels, has become a term that people use to win public relations battles against their political opponents. His sister points out that she witnessed the violence and devastation of 9/11 first hand, and it’s hard to see the same word used to characterize both Al Qaeda and her brother, who took care to make sure that no one was hurt by his actions. Still, the victims of his arsons did feel terrorized by the fires, and one prosecutor says, “You don’t have to be Bonnie and Clyde to be a bank robber, and you don’t have to be Al Qaeda to be a terrorist.”
The distinction between a criminal and a terrorist is a serious one. A federal judge must decide whether to apply “terrorism enhancement” to McGowan’s arson charges, which could translate into McGowan’s being assigned to one of the restrictive terrorist prisons in the United States known as “communication management units.”
It has been said (most famously by Ralph Waldo Emerson) that history is biography writ large. If a Tree Falls explores both an intimate personal biography and the larger political history, shining light on the way that each affected the other. “The goal of the film is to help people understand the emotions and experiences that led people to do what they did,” says Curry. “To me, films are about stretching us to see the world from a different perspective.
“The film has a point of view, but it is a complex point of view that acknowledges the ethical and legal and emotional complexity of the situation,” Curry continues. “Everyone who knows a lot about this topic — from the E.L.F. members to the people who were chasing them — acknowledges that the deeper you go, the murkier the water gets.” 
If a Tree Falls has been praised by the participants on all sides. Former E.L.F. spokesman Leslie James Pickering called it “an honest glimpse into drastically conflicting viewpoints,” and the federal prosecutor who put the E.L.F. members in prison called it “incredibly well balanced and thought provoking. . . . The film remained fair and faithful to all the subjects of the film and clearly demonstrated the complexity of the issues.”
If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front is a co-production of Marshall Curry Productions, LLC and the Independent Television Service (ITVS), with funding provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, in association with Lucky Hat Entertainment, American Documentary | POV and the BBC.
About the Filmmaker:

Marshall Curry (Director, Producer)
Marshall Curry’s Emmy and Oscar®-nominated Street Fight, which he directed, produced, shot and edited, aired on POV in 2005. The film chronicles Cory Booker’s first run for mayor of Newark, N.J. against incumbent Sharpe James andwon numerous awards, including Audience Awards at the Tribeca Film Festival, AFI/Discovery SilverDocs and Hot Docs. It also received the Jury Prize for Best International Documentary at Hot Docs and was nominated for a Writers Guild of America Award. In 2005, Filmmaker Magazine selected Curry as one of “25 New Faces of Independent Film,” and he was awarded the International Documentary Association’s Jacqueline Donnet Emerging Documentary Filmmaker Award. In 2007, he received an International Trailblazer Award at MIPDOC in Cannes. His most recent film, Racing Dreams, about kids competing in NASCAR’s “little league,” won numerous awards, including Best Documentary Feature at the Tribeca Film Festival, and will air on POV in winter/spring 2012.
Curry has been a guest lecturer at Harvard, Duke, New York University and other colleges, and he has served on juries for the International Documentary Association, Tribeca Film Festival and Hot Docs. Prior to working as a filmmaker, he taught English in Guanajuato, Mexico, worked in public radio and taught government in Washington, D.C. He is a graduate of Swarthmore College and was a Jane Addams Fellow at The Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University, where he wrote about the history, philosophy and economics of nonprofits. Curry lives with his wife and children in Brooklyn, N.Y.


Director:  Marshall Curry
Co-director:  Sam Cullman
Producers:  Marshall Curry, Sam Cullman
Cinematographer:  Sam Cullman
Editors/Writers:  Matthew Hamachek, Marshall Curry
Music:  James Baxter                                       
Running Time:  86:46

POV Series Credits:

Executive Producer:  Simon Kilmurry
Co-Executive Producer:  Cynthia López
Vice President, Production and Programming:  Chris White
Series Producer:  Yance Ford

* * * * 
Major funding for POV is provided by PBS, The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, The Educational Foundation of America, New York State Council on the Arts, New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, FACT and public television viewers. Special support provided by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Funding for POV's Diverse Voices Project is provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Project VoiceScape is a partnership of Adobe Youth Voices, PBS and POV. POV is presented by a consortium of public television stations, including WGBH Boston and THIRTEEN in association with WNET.ORG.



Thursday, 08 September 2011 02:52

ASPCA Responders Provide Emergency Assistance in Schoharie County, N.Y. Featured

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Animals displaced by severe flooding following Tropical Storm Irene

ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®), at the request of the Schoharie County Emergency Operations Center and New York State Office of Emergency Management, has dispatched its Field Investigations and Response team to Schoharie County, N.Y., to assist in the emergency rescue of animals displaced by the severe flooding following Tropical Storm Irene.

The ASPCA is leading the effort with assistance from the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), which will be managing water rescue operations for animals affected by the recent storm. Additionally, PetSmart Charities, Inc. is supplying much needed sheltering supplies such as crates, blankets, and bowls.

ASPCA responders arrived Tuesday evening to begin assessing needs and coordinate efforts with IFAW on emergency water rescues for pets trapped inside flooded homes. A state of emergency has been declared for Schoharie County due to extensive flooding, road closures and closed bridges around the county. Displaced animals will be taken to the Animal Shelter of Schoharie Valley where they will be triaged and temporarily housed until they are reunited with their owners.

Schoharie County residents requiring sheltering for their pets or wishing to report lost pets or rescue needs should contact Animal Services at the Schoharie County Emergency Operations Center at (518) 231-2718. The ASPCA recommends that pet owners bring vaccination records, carriers, leashes/collars, and instructions for pets with special needs.

“The ASPCA is committed to helping pet owners and animals impacted by Tropical Storm Irene,” said Tim Rickey, senior director of ASPCA Field Investigations and Response. “We will continue to do everything we can to help this community.”
Over the weekend, ASPCA responders from across the country deployed to New York City to prepare for animal emergencies in anticipation of the storm. The ASPCA helped hundreds of animals throughout the City’s five boroughs, assessing the needs at evacuation centers where pets were welcomed and delivering rabies vaccines and microchips for cats and dogs at the emergency shelters. Additionally, the ASPCA transported approximately
100 animals that had been temporarily evacuated from a Long Island shelter via its Animal Transport Trailer, a custom-built, 60-foot-long vehicle designed to save the lives of animals that fall victim to natural disasters or animal cruelty and neglect.
“The best thing you can do for yourself and your pet in the event of an emergency is to be prepared,” added Rickey. “Having a plan in place ahead of time can save you precious time and energy, so you can focus on quickly getting you and your pets to safety.” The ASPCA urges pet owners to develop an emergency plan in advance to keep their families and pets safe as hurricane season reaches its height.
For more information on disaster preparedness and safety tips from the ASPCA, please visit
About the ASPCA®

Founded in 1866, the ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) is the first humane organization established in the Americas and serves as the nation’s leading voice for animal welfare. One million supporters strong, the ASPCA’s mission is to provide effective means for the prevention of cruelty to animals throughout the United States. As a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation, the ASPCA is a national leader in the areas of anti-cruelty, community outreach and animal health services. The ASPCA, which is headquartered in New York City, offers a wide range of programs, including a mobile clinic outreach initiative, its own humane law enforcement team, and a groundbreaking veterinary forensics team and mobile animal CSI unit. For more information, please visit
To become a fan of the ASPCA on Facebook, go to To follow the ASPCA on Twitter, go to


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For Immediate Release


 AKC Canine Health Foundation honors these service dogs by funding research


RALEIGH, N.C.: September 7, 2011 The Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon have left lasting impacts on the American population. While many human rescuers are showing respiratory health problems a decade later, their canine colleagues have had minimal setbacks, according to the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine 9/11 Medical Surveillance study.


With nearly $500,000 of financial support from the AKC Canine Health Foundation (CHF), the study monitored the long-term health impacts on 95 search-and-rescue dogs deployed to the World Trade Center, Pentagon and Staten Island landfills. Researchers also compared their health to a control group of non-deployed search-and-rescue dogs.


“The most striking thing is that many of the humans that responded have developed reactive airway diseases, such as asthma, sinusitis or other chronic infections in their nasal sinuses. The dogs on the other hand have fared extremely well,” explained Dr. Cynthia Otto, DVM, Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine associate professor of critical care and principal investigator of the research. “They’re not developing any problems with their lungs or sinuses. That is a real surprise.” 

Dr. Otto pointed out that the vast majority of canines suffered minor cuts and scrapes despite not wearing protective gear. Kaiser, now a 12-year-old German shepherd, was one of only four dogs in the study that required stitches while working at Ground Zero.


“On our second day there, Kaiser sliced a pad on the pile,” said Tony Zintsmaster, Kaiser’s trainer and a charter member of Indiana Task Force One. “Once he was stitched up and felt better, Kaiser went back to work. He was quite amazing. He was able to adapt to the situation and showed great agility. He seemed happiest when he was on the pile working.”


Zintsmaster, along with other handlers who participated in the study, submitted annual X-rays, blood samples and surveys on their dog’s health and behavior to researchers.


Tom Andert and his 12-year-old chocolate Labrador Tuff are former members of Missouri Task Force One and also participated in the study. “Not only was my veterinarian performing the X-rays, taking the blood work and reading the results, but Dr. Otto was looking at them as well. It was a piece of mind to know that Tuff was healthy,” Andert said. “It was a comfort every time they came back and said, ‘You have a healthy dog.’“


The study also found that the average lifespan of deployed dogs was 12.5 years, while non-deployed search-and-rescue dogs lived an average 11.8 years. Today, at least 13 deployed search-and-rescue dogs that were part of the study are still alive.


“These dogs are a national resource and it’s remarkable to know how well they were able to endure such harsh conditions,” said Terry Warren, CHF chief executive officer and general counsel. “It has been an honor to work with Dr. Otto to fund this groundbreaking research. Our goal is to help dogs live longer, healthier lives and this research is one example of that.” 

Because canine and human genomes are similar and most canine diseases also occur in humans, future research could center on learning why the search-and-rescue dogs were able to endure the challenging conditions with minimal respiratory complications. Identifying respiratory genetic markers in canines could lead to the development of treatments of respiratory ailments in humans.


“The findings may open our eyes to the difference between dogs and people that makes them so resilient,” Dr. Otto said. “If we could tap into that, we might actually help move human health forward.”


CHF is a non-profit organization dedicated to funding research to prevent, treat and cure canine disease. Visit CHF online at for more information about the Foundation.


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About CHF

The AKC Canine Health Foundation (CHF) is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping dogs live longer, healthier lives by funding research that helps prevent, treat and cure canine disease. Established by the American Kennel Club in 1995, CHF’s mission is to advance the health of all dogs and their owners by funding sound scientific research and supporting the dissemination of canine health information. Since its inception, CHF has dedicated more than $33.2 million to canine health research projects and education programs. Visit CHF online at for more information.

Saturday, 03 September 2011 18:11

Talkin' Pets News Featured

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Saturday, Sept. 3, the 246th day of 2011.
There are 119 days left in the year.

Friday, 02 September 2011 13:54


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General Audiences Can See The Film On Labor Day Weekend, In Advance Of Its September 9th Release


Santa Monica, CA, August 30, 2011– LIONSGATE® (NYSE: LGF), leading global entertainment company, today announced a special sneak preview screening program for the inspirational sports drama WARRIOR.  The screenings will be held on Sunday, September 4th at 7:00 pm, at theaters nationwide.  The announcement was made by Lionsgate’s co-COO and Motion Picture Group President Joe Drake. 


To promote the sneak previews, Lionsgate has partnered with Twitter to designate the hashtag #WARRIORMovieSneakPreview, which Lionsgate has also sponsored as a Promoted Trend, allowing Twitter’s powerful user base a direct link to buy tickets and continue to spread the tremendous word of mouth the film is receiving.


Moviegoers interested in seeing the film, which Rolling Stone’s chief film critic Peter Travers calls “fiercely moving,” can purchase tickets in advance at and use #WARRIORMovieSneakPreview on Twitter to share information about the movie with friends.  


“We are in a fortunate position in that the best promotional tool for this incredible film is the film itself,” explained Drake of the motivation to allow general audiences this special advance access.  “This is truly a movie for everyone, and as we’ve screened it, people in all demographics- even those who might not have otherwise sought the film out- have been enthralled by its blend of triumphant, inspirational sports storytelling with poignant and powerful family drama.” 


Adds David Spitz, who heads Distribution for Lionsgate, “Critics and private screening guests have shown extreme enthusiasm for this film in advance of its release, and we are honored to be able to share the experience earlier than promised with audiences everywhere, especially on a patriotic, family oriented weekend like Labor Day that fits so well with the themes of this particular film. We can’t wait to read the sneak preview audience’s tweets as they become the first consumers to share their reactions with the world.”


About Warrior

Rising stars Tom Hardy and Joel Edgerton command the screen as two estranged brothers facing the fight of a lifetime­ in Lionsgate’s WARRIOR, a moving, inspirational action drama from acclaimed director Gavin O’Connor (Miracle).


Haunted by a tragic past, Marine Tommy Conlon (Hardy) returns home for the first time in fourteen years to enlist the help of his father (Nick Nolte) to train for Sparta, the biggest winner-takes-all event in mixed martial arts history. A former wrestling prodigy, Tommy blazes a path toward the championship while his brother, Brendan (Edgerton), an ex-fighter-turned teacher, returns to the ring in a desperate bid to save his family from financial ruin.  But when Brendan’s unlikely, underdog rise sets him on a collision course with the unstoppable Tommy, the two brothers must finally confront each other and the forces that pulled them apart, facing off in the most soaring, soul stirring, and unforgettable climax that must be seen to be believed.


A rousing ode to redemption, reconciliation and the power of the human spirit, WARRIOR is also a moving testament to the enduring bonds of family.   WARRIOR stars Joel Edgerton (Animal Kingdom, Star Wars: Episode III), Tom Hardy (the upcoming The Dark Knight Rises, Inception, Black Hawk Down), Jennifer Morrison ("House", Star Trek) and Nick Nolte (Tropic Thunder, The Thin Red Line).  The film is directed by Gavin O'Connor; screenplay by Gavin O’Connor & Anthony Tambakis & Cliff Dorman and story by Gavin O'Connor & Cliff Dorfman. Lionsgate and Mimran Schur Pictures present a Lionsgate / Mimran Schur Pictures production. A Solaris Entertainment and Filmtribe production.


About Lionsgate 

Lionsgate is a leading global entertainment company with a strong and diversified presence in motion picture production and distribution, television programming and syndication, home entertainment, family entertainment, digital distribution and new channel platforms.  The Company has built a strong television presence in production of prime time cable and broadcast network series, distribution and syndication of programming through Debmar-Mercury and an array of channel assets. Lionsgate currently has 15 shows on more than 10 networks spanning its prime time production, distribution and syndication businesses, including such critically-acclaimed hits as "Mad Men", "Weeds" and "Nurse Jackie" along with  the comedy "Blue Mountain State, " the upcoming drama "Boss" and the syndication successes "Tyler Perry's House Of Payne", its spinoff "Meet The Browns",  the upcoming "For Better or Worse," "The Wendy Williams Show" and "Are We There Yet?".


Its feature film business has generated more than half a billion dollars at the North American box office in the past year, fueled by such successes as THE LINCOLN LAWYER, TYLER PERRY'S MADEA'S BIG HAPPY FAMILY, THE EXPENDABLES, which was #1 at the North American box office for two weeks, THE LAST EXORCISM, TYLER PERRY'S WHY DID I GET MARRIED TOO?, KICK ASS and the critically-acclaimed PRECIOUS, which won two Academy Awards®. The Company's home entertainment business has grown to more than 8% market share and is an industry leader in box office-to-DVD and box office-to-VOD revenue conversion rate. Lionsgate handles a prestigious and prolific library of approximately 13,000 motion picture and television titles that is an important source of recurring revenue and serves as the foundation for the growth of the Company's core businesses. The Lionsgate brand remains synonymous with original, daring, quality entertainment in markets around the world.


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- For the first year, APPA will accept poems from students in grades 3rd-8th, which will be considered to win scholarship dollars and other pet prizes -

 Greenwich, CT – Calling all creative kids! American Pet Products Association (APPA) President, Bob Vetere announced today that beginning Thursday, September 1, 2011 the organization will be accepting poems for its 4th Annual Pets Add Life Children’s Poetry Contest.

“The last three years have not only been successful, but fun,” Vetere said. “We are overwhelmed, year after year, by the number and creativity of poems we receive from kids across the country. This is a great opportunity to get and keep kids excited about pets in a fun and educational way. It was only natural for us to expand the contest in its fourth year to allow for more students to have the opportunity to participate.” 

For the first year ever, students in grades 3rd-8th are invited to write a unique poem about their pets, what they love about them, the joys they bring, and then post it online at or mail their final poem and submission form to: Pets Add Life, 661 Sierra Rose Dr., Reno, NV 89511. Deadline for submissions is January 31, 2012 at 5:00pm EST. 

In addition, teachers within our contest grade levels are welcome to incorporate this national contest into their lesson plans, and submit poems in one entry, on behalf of his/her classroom. 

One student from each grade level (6 total) nationwide will win a $250 gift certificate for pet products, and a “by-line” in a nationally circulated publication. In addition, the six winning students’ classrooms will each win a $1,000 scholarship to spend on pet related education.

 “In past years, winning poems have featured pets from hamsters and birds to dogs that are best friends, kittens and fish,” Vetere said. “And, it has been wonderful to receive updates from our winning teachers who have spent the scholarship dollars on classroom fieldtrips to the zoo, a classroom pet and supplies, and educational materials regarding pet and animal wellness.”

 To learn more about the Pets Add Life Children’s Poetry Contest, read previous winning poems, upload your submission, or download a printed submission form, please visit or contact Kerry Sutherland at The Impetus Agency, 775.322.4022 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..



The American Pet Products Association (APPA) is the leading not-for-profit trade association serving the interests of the pet products industry since 1958.  APPA membership includes nearly1,000 pet product manufacturers, their representatives, importers and livestock suppliers representing both large corporations and growing business enterprises.  APPA's mission is to promote, develop and advance pet ownership and the pet product industry and to provide the services necessary to help its members prosper. Visit for more information. 

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-- Nearly 600 RDO Day Events Will Be Hosted Nationwide This September; Also Participate Online During Virtual AKC RDO Days --


New York, NY— Dogs are often viewed as members of the family, but it’s important to know what kind of commitment a canine companion requires. To help spread the word, AKC is proud to host AKC Responsible Dog Ownership Days (RDO Days) sponsored by Motel 6, with a Flagship Event in Raleigh, North Carolina, a celebration on Facebook and more than 580 events planned across the nation this September. 


“We encourage families and pet lovers, along with their dog, to find an event to visit in their community,” said AKC Spokesperson Lisa Peterson. “Pick up dog training tips, meet many of our AKC breeds and have your dog take the Canine Good Citizen® test. Hundreds of our clubs are also offering microchipping at their RDO Days. With the recent rise in reports of pet theft, we encourage you to get your dog microchipped and enrolled in a pet recovery service like AKC Companion Animal Recovery


To join in the celebration:


1)     Find an Event in Your Area: Dog lovers everywhere will attend more than 580 events hosted in local communities by AKC-affiliated clubs, dog trainers, CGC® evaluators, shelters and other dog organizations.

Find an AKC Responsible Dog Ownership Day event in your area at


Each AKC Responsible Dog Ownership Day event is unique but many include obedience/agility/rally demonstrations, Canine Good Citizen® testing, low-cost microchipping clinics, breed rescue information, therapy dog/service dog/police dog demonstrations, safety around dogs for kids presentations, giveaways and other entertaining and educational activities.  Attendees can speak one-on-one with experienced dog breeders and trainers that are active in AKC shows, clubs, and rescue groups. 


2)         Use Social Media to Celebrate Online: We’ll be hosting the second annual Virtual AKC Responsible Dog Ownership Days on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. To participate, share an “Act of Responsible Dog Ownership” with us on any of these pages via your smart phone, tablet or home computer during the month of September. Volunteer at the local dog park or give your dog a good grooming? Tell us on Facebook or tweet about it. You can also “Like” the AKC’s Daily Act of Responsible Dog Ownership, which will be posted on Facebook, and sign the AKC Responsible Dog Owner Pet Promise at   


AKC’s Flagship Event will take place on Saturday, September 24 from 10 am to 2 pm at the North Carolina State Fairgrounds in Raleigh, NC. In addition to all the festivities mentioned above, nearly 30 different AKC-recognized breeds will be on hand for “AKC Meet the Breeds®,” including rare breeds such as the Azawakh, Spanish Mastiff and Cirneco dell’Etna.


AKC Responsible Dog Ownership Days are sponsored by Motel 6. Motel 6 will highlight its commitment to responsible dog ownership this September by working with event-hosting organizations across the country to provide resources and information for pet owners and participating in our flagship Raleigh event.  





The American Kennel Club (AKC) proudly celebrated its 125th Anniversary in 2009. Since 1884 the not-for-profit organization has maintained the largest registry of purebred dogs in the world, and today its rules govern more than 20,000 canine competitions each year. The AKC is dedicated to upholding the integrity of its registry, promoting the sport of purebred dogs and breeding for type and function. Along with its nearly 5,000 licensed and member clubs and its affiliated organizations, the AKC advocates for the purebred dog as a family companion, advances canine health and well-being, works to protect the rights of all dog owners and promotes responsible dog ownership. Affiliate AKC organizations include the AKC Humane Fund, AKC Canine Health Foundation, AKC Companion Animal Recovery and the AKC Museum of the Dog. For more information, visit


AKC, American Kennel Club, the American Kennel Club seal and design, and all associated marks and logos are trademarks, registered trademarks and service marks of The American Kennel Club, Inc.


To become a fan of the AKC on Facebook, go to To follow the AKC on Twitter, go to




About Motel 6

Motel 6 offers the lowest price of any national chain at more than 1,100 company-owned and franchised locations throughout the United States and Canada. For 25 years, Motel 6 has used the tagline, “We’ll leave the light on for you®,” earning the chain the highest brand recognition in the economy lodging segment. Motel 6 was the first national pet friendly chain, welcoming pets since 1962. Standard amenities include free local phone calls, no long distance access charges, free morning coffee and expanded cable channel line-up. Most locations offer Wi-Fi Internet access, swimming pools and guest laundry facilities. For more information, visit


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HENDERSONVILLE, N. C. – The non-profit Blue Ridge Humane Society has launched a “Give Us Your Best Shot” pet photo contest for animal lovers of all ages. Both amateur and professional photographers are invited to submit up to three entries per person of pets, either alone or interacting with people.

“Pets are so important to families and we’re looking for pictures that truly express the value of pets and their individual personalities,” says Terri Thompson, executive director of Blue Ridge Humane Society. “Pictures may be submitted of family pets either alone or interacting with people. All entries are welcome --- from silly pet grins to flying fur action shots.”

The contest runs from September 1 to October 10, 2011. People can download rules and entry forms at the animal shelter’s web site at Digital entries can be submitted on line or brought in to the Blue Ridge Humane Society animal shelter on Highway 64 in Edneyville or the society’s Thrift Shop at 1214 Greenville Highway in Hendersonville. A $10 per entry, tax-deductible participation fee is required for each submission. Winners will be announced on October 22, 2011. Questions may be directed to the Blue Ridge Humane Society office at 828-692-2639.

First and second place winners will have their photographs permanently showcased at the organization’s locations, featured on custom-created note cards and portrayed on the organization’s web site. Additional prizes will be announced.

“We’re finalizing the details of our expert celebrity judges for this photo contest,” says Thompson. “Those individuals will be responsible for selecting the best submitted photos in this first-ever photo contest. People can submit pictures of family pets in costumes, children and pets, or animals in nature settings. If you have a pet picture you’re especially proud of, we want to see it.”

The Blue Ridge Humane Society, established in 1950 is a limited admission nonprofit 501(c)3 animal welfare organization committed to quality shelter care, treatment of our charges, and to advocacy for spaying/neutering throughout Henderson County. For more details, visit


Entry Details:

  1. Both amateur and professional photographers of all ages are invited to participate.
  2. Contest is open for submissions from September 1 to October 10, 2011.
  3. All entries should be submitted in digital jpeg format, with minimum size being 2400 pixels by 3600 pixels.
  4. Entries may be submitted online at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or with a submitted disk of images at the Blue Ridge Humane Society Thrift Store at 1214 Greenville Highway in Hendersonville or at the Blue Ridge Humane Society animal shelter location on Highway 64 in Edneyville.
  5. Photo entries may be in black and white or in full color.
  6. Photos should be of household pets, such as dogs, cats, gerbils, hamsters, birds, rabbits, etc., and not wild animals.
  7. Cropping of photos is allowed.
  8. All photographs should accurately reflect the subject matter and the scene as it appeared. Photos that have been digitally altered beyond standard optimization (i.e.: removal of dust, cropping, reasonable adjustments to exposure, color and contrast, etc.) will be disqualified. Images that do not meet these requirements may or may not be judged at the judge’s sole discretion.
  9. Each photo must be submitted with a completely filled out entry form found on the website; photos should not be older than two years of age.
  10. A tax-deductible entry fee of $10 per photo (limit a total of three photo entries per person) must be submitted at time of entry. Checks should be made out to Blue Ridge Humane Society. On-line payment may be made via Paypal.
  11. Submitted photos must be taken by the person submitting the entry form, or an immediate family member of that person.
  12. All entries submitted will become the property of Blue Ridge Humane Society and may be used in any way in the future for promotional purposes.
  13. First, second and honorable mention winners will be announced on October 22, 2011.
  14. Blue Ridge Humane Society employees and their immediate family members are not eligible for the contest.
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August 30, 2011 – Argenta, a global provider of drug development services and contract product manufacturing for the animal health industry, announced today it will locate a new lab facility and office in the KC Animal Health Corridor.

"The KC Animal Health Corridor location fits perfectly with Argenta's company vision of delivering animal health development services with a creative, ‘can do' attitude and global quality standards. We are very excited to be here," said Doug Cleverly, CEO.

Argenta will locate in the Bioscience and Technology Business Center (BTBC) in Lawrence, Kan., creating 27 new jobs and investing $500,000 in laboratory equipment.

"Argenta is an excellent addition to the Lawrence business community, complementing our existing bioscience and drug development capabilities," said Beth Johnson, vice president of economic development for the Lawrence Chamber of Commerce. "Their decision to invest in our region demonstrates the strength of the Animal Health Corridor and recognizes the talent available in our local workforce."

"We're excited that Argenta has chosen to locate its new U.S. R&D operation at the BTBC at KU," said Matthew McClorey, executive director of the BTBC. "In light of the many potential sites Argenta could have chosen, its decision to set up its new operation here speaks highly of what the BTBC and KU has to offer high-growth technology businesses."

In addition to the investment in Lawrence, AlcheraBio, a leading clinical research support provider that is wholly owned by Argenta, will be creating 11 jobs in Kansas City, Kan., locating in the Heartland House at 1901 Olathe Blvd.

"The investment we have made in the Heartland House continues to pay off with the attraction of multiple animal health companies looking to grow their presence nationally and globally," said Brent Miles, president, Wyandotte County Economic Development.

The new jobs created by today's announcement represent a total annual payroll of $2.8 million within the next five years.

"This is a great win for the KC Animal Health Corridor and for Kansas," said Kansas Commerce Secretary Pat George. "Having a respected company like Argenta establish a presence in the area certainly enhances the reputation of the Corridor and the entire region. These are the kind of high-paying positions we want to continue to bring to the area."

The Kansas Bioscience Authority will invest up to $400,000 over five years to support the establishment of Argenta's operations in Kansas. The investment was approved by the KBA board at its July meeting.

"Argenta brings a unique and much-needed resource to support the animal health industry in the region," said David Vranicar, interim president and CEO, Kansas Bioscience Authority.

This successful recruitment was announced at last night's sixth annual KC Animal Health Corridor Homecoming dinner where more than 750 animal health executives and regional elected officials gathered to celebrate the region's animal health industry cluster. Argenta will also be presenting at today's Animal Health Investment Forum in an effort to build new strategic partnerships within the KC Animal Health Corridor.

"Argenta brings added credibility and prestige to the growing animal health industry cluster in our KC region," said Bob Marcusse, president and CEO, Kansas City Area Development Council, which handles new business recruitment for the Corridor. "We can now say that over the past six years, we have attracted 21 new animal health companies pledging to create more than 1,300 new jobs and nearly $900 million in capital investment."

About Argenta

Argenta provides formulations research and development, analytical methods development, and small- and commercial scale manufacturing of animal health products. Founded in August 2006, Argenta is the leading provider of new product development and manufacturing services to the international animal health industry.

About AlcheraBio LLC

AlcheraBio LLC provides clinical and regulatory services to animal health companies including pivotal clinical study documentation and conduct to Good Clinical Practice standards (GCP), market support studies, portfolio reviews and comprehensive development plans for product registration in the US and other developed markets.

About the KC Animal Health Corridor

The Kansas City area accounts for 32 percent of the $19 billion global animal health industry. The Corridor, anchored by Manhattan, Kan. and Columbia, Mo., is home to more than 220 animal health companies, which represents the largest concentration in the world.

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