Displaying items by tag: HSUS

(Sept. 21, 2015) – The Humane Society of the United States, The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and The Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association filed a legal petition with the United States Department of Agriculture urging the agency to improve the standards of care for dogs kept in commercial breeding facilities. The USDA regulates such facilities under the federal Animal Welfare Act, but current AWA regulations fall far short of ensuring the humane treatment of dogs.

The requested changes would create more specific standards for veterinary care, housing, breeding practices, socialization and placement of retired breeding dogs. Among other things, the petition urges the USDA to adopt the following rules for licensed dog breeders:

  • Restrict the use of wire flooring in the dogs’ primary cage space. Wire flooring is routinely used in commercial breeding facilities, often in cages stacked on top of each other, and is highly detrimental to the dogs’ welfare;
  • Require breeders to provide dogs with access to an exercise space. Current regulations do not mandate even daily or weekly exercise, and many dogs are kept in their cages day in and day out, for years on end;
  • Require that dogs be physically examined by a veterinarian at least once per year, including a determination that breeding dogs are fit to endure pregnancy and nursing;
  • Restrict the frequency of breeding.  Currently there are no limits on how frequently dogs may be bred, and commercial breeders routinely breed female dogs at every heat, with no rest between litters, contrary to the recommendations of most breed clubs;
  • Require breeders to provide dogs with constant access to potable water;
  • Increase the minimum cage space requirements so that dogs have adequate space to move around freely and to stand on their hind legs without touching the top of the cage; and
  • Require breeders to make reasonable efforts to work with rescue groups to adopt out retired breeding dogs and “unsellable” puppies, rather than euthanizing or abandoning the dogs.

The HSUS, ASPCA and HSVMA issued the following statements:  

Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of The HSUS said: “It’s common sense that dogs should have water, space, exercise, and other basic care, and responsible dog breeders and pet industry groups should welcome these improved standards to deal with the outliers who cut corners and treat puppies like products. The current standards are insufficient and outdated, and need to be fortified to crack down on abusive puppy mills.”

Matt Bershadker, president and CEO of the ASPCA said: “Dogs are not products that can be simply warehoused without appropriate regard for their welfare. The public overwhelmingly agrees that the current USDA standards for dogs kept in commercial breeding facilities do not amount to humane treatment for dogs. The USDA needs to recognize this, and step up to ensure these vulnerable animals have proper care to maintain their health and well-being.”

Dr. Susan Krebsbach, veterinary advisor for HSVMA said: “This petition requests much needed enhancements to existing regulations concerning the treatment of dogs used and bred for commercial sale, including the physical conditions of the breeding facility and the health and welfare of the individual dogs. These new regulations would greatly improve the living space, physical health, and psychological well-being of literally tens of thousands of dogs in the United States.”

The petition was prepared pro bono by the international law firm Latham and Watkins and by attorneys in the Animal Protection Litigation department at The HSUS and by the ASPCA. 

The Humane Society of the United States is the nation’s largest animal protection organization, rated most effective by our peers. For 60 years, we have celebrated the protection of all animals and confronted all forms of cruelty. We are the nation’s largest provider of hands-on services for animals, caring for more than 100,000 animals each year, and we prevent cruelty to millions more through our advocacy campaigns. Read more about our 60 years of transformational change for animals, and visit us online at humanesociety.org.

About the ASPCA®: Founded in 1866, the ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) is the first animal welfare organization in North America and serves as the nation’s leading voice for animals. More than two 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. For more information, please visit www.ASPCA.org, and be sure to follow the ASPCA on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

The Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association was formed as a home for veterinary professionals who want to join together to speak out for animals, engage in direct care programs for animals in need, and educate the public and others in the profession about animal welfare issues. The HSVMA is an affiliate of The Humane Society of the United States. www.hsvma.org

This month is pet-preparedness month as well as hurricane season. Even though we hate to admit it, disasters happen and advanced preparation can be the difference between life and death, for you and your furry friends. From natural disasters to everyday emergencies, The Humane Society of the United States has recommendations that will keep both you and your pet safe.

Steps for a plan include making a disaster kit, finding a pet-friendly hotel or motel, and making sure your animal has a collar and identification tag.

The HSUS Disaster Plan website also includes information such as when to evacuate with your pet and what to do if you decide to stay home with your pet.

You can find all the information and step-by-step instructions for a disaster plan on the HSUS Website.

DENVER (March 14, 2014)—The following is a statement from Kitty Block, vice president of Humane Society International, the global affiliate of The Humane Society of the United States, on the successful transport of four dogs rescued from the streets of Sochi, Russia by Winter Olympian Gus Kenworthy.

“We are excited to bring Jake, Mom, Stryder and Mishka safely to the United States, thanks to the efforts of Winter Olympic silver medalist Gus Kenworthy. The dogs were saved from almost certain doom during the city’s campaign to rid itself of street dogs ahead of the Olympic Games. We know the dogs are now in the safe, loving hands of Gus and wish them a lifetime of happiness in their new home.

“We also know so many more dogs remain in Sochi and throughout Russia who are in need of humane care. One year ago, Humane Society International urged the International Olympic Committee and the Russian government to work with us to humanely address street dog populations in Sochi. We received no response but the offer stood then as it does now. We urge the IOC to consider humane values in the future when selecting host cities and countries.

“We remain committed to helping more Sochi dogs find loving homes in the U.S. But to help these dogs in any meaningful way, Russia needs to establish spay/neuter and vaccination programs. HSI works around the globe to better the lives of street dogs. To learn more, visit hsi.org/sochidogs.”

(Jan. 9, 2014)—The following is a statement from Kimberley Alboum, North Carolina state director for The Humane Society of the United States, calling on Randolph County officials to reconsider their decision to continue the use of gas chambers at the county animal shelter. The HSUS gave the county a $3,000 grant in 2011 to fulfill its commitment to eliminate their gas chambers, but it was recently discovered that the chamber is still in use. The county was asked to either honor their commitment to discontinue using the chamber or return the funds, and has chosen the latter.

“We are saddened and dismayed that officials of Randolph County, North Carolina have chosen to reverse their commitment to end their use of a gas chamber in the county shelter.

It is shocking that a North Carolina county would return desperately needed funding for their animal shelter because they would rather continue a practice that has been denounced by every national humane organization. This does nothing but hurt the animals of Randolph County, for absolutely no reason.

We of course would prefer that the shelter keep the money and honor their commitment to stop the use of the gas chamber. We urge Randolph County officials to reconsider, and do the right thing."

The Humane Society of the United States is the nation’s largest animal protection organization, rated the most effective by its peers. Since 1954, The HSUS has been fighting for the protection of all animals through advocacy, education and hands-on programs. We rescue and care for tens of thousands of animals each year, but our primary mission is to prevent cruelty before it occurs. We're there for all animals, across America and around the world. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty—on the Web at humanesociety.org.

Bill would prohibit body-gripping traps on National Wildlife Refuges

Washington, DC, December 2, 2013 --  Born Free USA and The Humane Society of the United States, global leaders in animal welfare and wildlife conservation, applaud U.S. Representative  Nita Lowey (D-NY) for re-introducing the Refuge From Cruel Trapping Act (H.R. 3513), and urge the bill’s swift passage. H.R. 3513 would ban all body-gripping traps — snare, Conibear, and steel-jaw leghold — from being used or possessed on National Wildlife Refuges (NWRs). This humane legislation addresses the inherent cruelty of body-gripping traps and seeks to ensure that all NWRs are safe havens for wildlife.

“The brutality of these barbaric traps is shocking. The animals caught in them suffer an agonizing, prolonged death,” said Adam Roberts, Executive Vice President of Born Free USA. “These animals often remain trapped for days before starving or dying from exposure and massive pain. It is inexcusable to subject any animal to such a fate on lands intended for their preservation.”

Trapped animals can suffer severe physical injury, psychological trauma, thirst, hypothermia, and predation. Some animals chew off their own limbs to escape, only to die days later. The suffering caused by trapping is not limited to target animals, and this bill would also address the tragic “collateral damage” that can occur. Domestic pets, endangered species, and humans often become ensnared in traps, resulting in horrific injury or death. Animals and people should have freedom to enjoy these refuges without that danger.

“National Wildlife Refuges should be places of refuge for animals and the public, and the commercial trapping of animals for their fur pelts is inconsistent with that goal,” said Michael Markarian, Chief Program and Policy Officer for The Humane Society of the United States. “These traps are cruel and indiscriminate, killing or maiming any animal who steps into their path, including endangered species and family pets.”

A staggering 54 percent of the refuges within the National Wildlife Refuge System allow trapping on refuge grounds. H.R. 3513 will help ensure that wild animals will not be exploited on the only lands in the U.S. set aside specifically for their protection. Born Free USA and The Humane Society of the United States urge other members of Congress to follow Representative Lowey’s lead in supporting this compassionate bill.

Born Free USA is a nationally recognized leader in animal welfare and wildlife conservation. Through litigation, legislation, and public education, Born Free USA leads vital campaigns against animals in entertainment, exotic “pets,” trapping and fur, and the destructive international wildlife trade. Born Free USA brings to America the message of “compassionate conservation” -- the vision of the U.K.-based Born Free Foundation, established in 1984 by Bill Travers and Virginia McKenna, stars of the iconic film Born Free, along with their son Will Travers, now CEO of both organizations. Born Free’s mission is to end suffering of wild animals in captivity, conserve threatened and endangered species, and encourage compassionate conservation globally. More at www.bornfreeusa.org, at Twitter twitter.com/bornfreeusa, and one Facebook facebook.com/BornFreeUSA.

The Humane Society of the United States is the nation's largest animal protection organization, rated the most effective by its peers. Since 1954, The HSUS has been fighting for the protection of all animals through advocacy, education and hands-on programs. We rescue and care for tens of thousands of animals each year, but our primary mission is to prevent cruelty before it occurs. We're there for all animals, across America and around the world. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty -- on the Web at humanesociety.org.


(Nov. 11, 2013) – After confirmation of two new flu-like canine viruses in the Tampa Bay region, The Humane Society of the United States and The Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association cautions dog owners in the area to avoid places where dogs socialize or congregate.

Last week, Hillsborough County Animal Services announced that several dogs at its shelter tested positive for respiratory coronavirus and pneumovirus. Dogs at the shelter were tested as part of a Cornell University research study.

Barry Kellogg, VMD, HSVMA’s senior veterinary advisor said: “If you notice your dog has runny eyes, a runny nose, or is sneezing and/or coughing, you should immediately contact your veterinarian.”

Management of canine infectious respiratory disease in dogs housed in close proximity to one another remains a challenge, and it is critical that veterinarians working in and with animal shelters are familiar with its various causes. CIRDC is commonly known as “kennel cough.” The pneumovirus and respiratory coronavirus are just two of the viruses that cause respiratory diseases.

Any of these upper respiratory infections cause an illness similar to when a human gets the flu; however, these are not the same disease as the Canine Flu. The viruses are not usually deadly, but infected animals should be given veterinary care, including antibiotics for secondary infections. While respiratory coronavirus and pneumovirus are not contagious to humans or cats, Hillsborough County Animal Services – the only shelter in the area – has taken steps to confine the viruses. The shelter temporarily halted adoptions, and will only accept sick or injured dogs, dogs who have bitten someone and dogs deemed “dangerous.”

There is no way to prevent outbreaks such as this, but animals vaccinated for the upper respiratory complex may fare better in such situations. Pet owners should make sure their animals are properly vaccinated. A consultation with a veterinarian who understands both your situation and the vaccines available will determine which vaccines are best for your animals.

Additional Resources and Information

  • Stephanie Janeczko, DVM, a shelter medicine specialist with the ASPCA discussed the two new viruses in her session entitled “Emerging Canine Infectious Respiratory Diseases,” part of the scientific program at the 2013 Western Veterinary Conference. Veterinarians can read the sessions notes here.


The Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association was formed as a home for veterinary professionals who want to join together to speak out for animals, engage in direct care programs for animals in need, and educate the public and others in the profession about animal welfare issues. The HSVMA is an affiliate of The Humane Society of the United States.

Subscribe to Wayne Pacelle’s blog, A Humane Nation. Follow The HSUS PR department on Twitter for the latest animal welfare news. See our work for animals on your Apple or Android device by searching for our “Humane TV” app.

The Humane Society of the United States is the nation’s largest animal protection organization, rated the most effective by its peers. Since 1954, The HSUS has been fighting for the protection of all animals through advocacy, education and hands-on programs. We rescue and care for tens of thousands of animals each year, but our primary mission is to prevent cruelty before it occurs. We're there for all animals, across America and around the world. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty -- on the Web at humanesociety.org.

TPR News
Saturday, Sept. 14, the 257th day of 2013.
There are 108 days left in the year.

USDA Announces Landmark Rule to Crack Down on Online Puppy Mills

Tens of thousands of dogs suffering in substandard, filthy, and overcrowded cages for years on end will finally get the protection they deserve as a result of a rule the U.S. Department of Agriculture will formally adopt today. This change, a long-held aspiration for The HSUS, the Humane Society Legislative Fund, and the Doris Day Animal League, is decades in the making and will extend federal oversight to thousands of puppy mills that do business online.

Of the dozens of puppy mills that The HSUS has assisted in closing down over the past five years, the vast majority were selling puppies online and escaping any federal oversight because a loophole in federal Animal Welfare Act regulations exempts Internet sellers. Because large-scale dog breeders who sell animals to pet stores are regulated, but breeders who sell directly to the public are not, there has been a massive migration of breeders to the latter sales strategy within the last decade or so. If they could sell dogs and escape any federal oversight, why not get in on that act and continue to cut corners on animal care?

The HSUS, HSLF, and DDAL pointed out that it was fundamentally unfair that people involved in the same underlying business enterprise (breeding dogs to sell for profit) would face entirely different regulatory standards. It was a circumstance ripe for fraud and misrepresentation. Internet sellers of puppies often displayed images of puppies frolicking in open fields. In reality, the dogs were languishing, crammed inside feces-encrusted cages, receiving no protection from the elements and no veterinary care whatever. And until the legal standard was modified, the federal government couldn’t take action because none of these mills required federal licensing and inspection.

Due to pressure from The HSUS and DDAL, the USDA’s inspector general looked into enforcement of the rules governing dog breeding, finding appalling abuses of the dogs, deficient exercise of authority by USDA where it had authority, and identification of this glaring gap in the law that allowed Internet sellers to evade any federal oversight whatever. It was that OIG report, combined with our advocacy efforts in Congress and with the Obama administration that finally compelled federal action.

We thank the Obama administration and the USDA for bringing new standards of care to thousands of puppies, but also to kittens, rabbits and other warm-blooded animals who are often raised in inhumane facilities and sold as pets over the Internet, by mail or by phone, sight-unseen.

The HSUS and HSLF called on supporters to act in 2011, and 32,000 people signed a petition urging the Obama administration to crack down on unregulated puppy mills. When the USDA proposed an actual change in its regulations in 2012, HSUS members and other animal advocates generated 350,000 public signatures and comments in support.

There has been strong bipartisan support in Congress for closing the “Internet loophole” in the Animal Welfare Act regulations. Federal legislation, S. 395 and H.R. 847 – known as the PUPS Act, or "Puppy Uniform Protection and Safety Act" – sponsored by Sens. Dick Durbin, D-Ill. and David Vitter, R-La., and Reps. Jim Gerlach, R-Pa., Sam Farr, D-Calif., Bill Young, R-Fla., and Lois Capps, D-Calif., galvanized members of congress in support of efforts to finalize and implement the rule.

Puppy mills aren’t going away overnight, and it’s still important for any potential puppy buyer to meet the breeder in person at his or her facility to see how and where a puppy was born and raised. But this rule has the potential to allow federal inspectors to peer behind the closed doors of puppy mills and improve the lives of tens of thousands of animals. That is a change worth celebrating, and we thank our supporters, the USDA, and our allies in Congress for supporting this significant step.


NEW YORK, NY - The 8th Annual New York's Funniest Reporter Show (www.nyfunniestreporter.com) will take place on Sunday, July 21st @ 5:00 pm at Comic Strip Live (1568 Second Ave / bet 81st & 82nd) comedy club. It will feature seven media professionals each doing five minutes of stand up comedy in order to raise money for the Humane Society of New York (http://www.humanesocietyny.org/). At the end of the night, a winner will be declared.

Competing in the show this year will be: Peter Schiff (Peter Schiff Radio Show), Magee Hickey (WPIX Channel 11), Laurie Dhue (Glenn Beck TV),  Charles Payne (Fox Business), Janice Dean (Fox News Channel), Bob Bowdon (Choice Media) Chris Serico (Newsday), and Dr. Manny Alvarez (Fox News Channel). 2012's NYFR Show Champion Clayton Morris (Fox News Channel) will be performing but, not competing.

Hosting the show will be comedian Mark Anthony Ramirez. Show judges will be Jane Velez-Mitchell (HLN), Mark Goldman, and Ryan McCormick.

Headlining the show will be 2013 NYC Mayoral candidate, Randy Credico.

Sponsors for this year's New York's Funniest Reporter show include Talkers, (http://www.talkers.com/), Team Investments Inc (www.teaminvestmentsinc.com), and EsqSpot (http://www.esqspot.com/),

Participants are offered the opportunity to work with a professional comedian and receive a crash course in stand up comedy. The Comedy Mentor also helps prepare them to prepare their material and iron out and pre-stage nervous jitters.

Previous NYFR show participants have included: Jane Velez-Mitchell (CNN Headline News), Courtney Friel (FOX News), Adam Shapiro (FOX Business), Greg Kelly (FOX 5 NY), Clayton Morris (FOX News Channel), Michele Steele (ESPN), Lauren Lyster (RT America), Marianne Garvey (In Touch Magazine), Greg Mocker (WPIX), Wendy Diamond (Animal Fair Magazine), Marlaina Schiavo (CNN), Taryn Winter Brill (Good Morning America), Mike Trainor (NY1), Lori Harfenist (The Resident), Rob Hoell (CW11), Noelle Hancock (Harper Collins), Cooper Lawrence (The Cooper Lawrence Show), Ellis Henican (FOX News & Newsday), Robert George (New York Post), Julia Melim (Hollywood.TV), Nikki Egan (NBC), Wendy Gillette (CBS), Cat Greenleaf (NBC), Paul Messina (NY1), Roger Clark (NY1), Julia Alison (Star Magazine), Lauren Sivan (FOX News), Mandy Stadtmiller (New York Post), Meredith Daniels (Newsday), Marianne Schaberg (CNN), Sean McCarthy (NY Daily News), Alison Rosen (Page Six Magazine), Debbie Nigro (FirstWivesWorld.com), Heather Kovar (New 12), Peter Kramer (The Journal News), and Tiffany McElroy (WPIX).

The cost of admission is $20. To make a reservation, please call (212) 861-9386.

Promotional Video for 8th Annual New York's Funniest Reporte Show


About New York's Funniest Reporter Show

Since it's inception in 2006, New York's Funniest Reporter Show (www.nyfunniestreporter.com) has featured over twenty six media professionals performing stand up comedy in order to raise money for worthy charities that include Operation Uplink and the Humane Society of New York. Participants have come from: NBC, WPIX, Good Morning America, CBS, NY1, Fox News, Star Magazine, ABC, News 12, MSNBC, CNN, The Resident, New York Post, and New York Daily News. Each Reporter does five minutes of stage time and at the end of the show, a winner is declared.

About the Humane Society of New York:

For over 100 years, the Humane Society of New York (http://www.humanesocietyny.org ) has been a presence in New York City, caring for animals in need when illness, injury or homelessness strikes. In 1904 they were founded to protect the city's horses against abuse. Members fought for laws to punish negligent owners and place watering troughs in streets and parks. As funds allowed the Society expanded to include a free medical clinic and a small adoption center for cats and dogs. Today their hospital and their Vladimir Horowitz and Wanda Toscanini Horowitz Adoption Center help more than 30,000 dogs and cats annually, and their numbers continue to grow

(May 20, 2013)—As we prepare to kick off summer this Memorial Day weekend, The Humane Society of the United States reminds everyone to keep pets safe during the warm months ahead.

“Summer is the perfect time to enjoy being with your pets,” said KC Theisen, director of pet care issues at The Humane Society of the United States. “But it’s important to keep your pets’ ID tags current in case they get lost, and beware of dangers associated with the warm weather, like hot pavement, hot cars and garden chemicals. With just a few extra precautions, you and your four-legged family members can have a happy and safe sun-filled season.”

The HSUS offers a few tips to keep your pets safe and healthy during summer:

Safer summer outings

  • While Fido may leap at the opportunity for a joy ride, leaving any pet—dog, cat, rabbit, etc.— alone in a parked car during warm weather can be deadly. On a warm day, temperatures inside a vehicle can rise rapidly to dangerous levels. On an 85 degree day, for example, the temperature inside a car, even with the windows cracked open, can reach 102 degrees within just 10 minutes, and after 30 minutes the temperature will reach 120 degrees. Even when the temperature outside is a balmy 72 degrees, the temperature inside your car can rocket to a fatal 116 degrees in less than an hour.
  • Your four-legged friend needs exercise too. However, exercising in the summer heat can be just as uncomfortable for your pet as it is for you. Take your walks in the early mornings or late evening, not in the heat of midday, and remember that hot pavement can burn the pads of your pet’s paws.
  • Keep your pet inside moving cars whenever you travel. A carrier is the safest place for your cat. Letting your dog travel with his or her head outside the open car window is dangerous—flying particles and debris can cause eye damage, and some pets have actually fallen out of moving vehicles. And dogs should never ride unsecured in the back of pickup trucks, regardless of how slow you are moving.

Environmental Hazards

  • Heartworms, ticks and fleas are more of a problem in warmer months and can cause serious health problems. Contact your veterinarian about products that will keep your pet healthy and parasite free.
  • Avoid using cocoa mulch, pesticides, fertilizers and other gardening products that can pose hazards to pets, and encourage your neighbors to do the same.
  • Summertime can also bring major weather events like hurricanes and tornados. Remember, never leave your pets behind – if conditions aren’t safe for you, they are not safe for your pets. Visit humanesociety.org/disaster for tips on disaster preparedness.
  • Sunburn is a hazard for pets who spend time outdoors. Use a pet-safe sunscreen to protect your pet from the sun’s harming rays, which can cause skin cancer especially of the ears and nose.
  • For pet owners in the East Coast, while cicadas may be a tempting treat for dogs, eating too many can cause digestive upset.

Avoid losing your pets:

  • Check that your pet’s ID tags and microchip information are current, and that their collar is secure. Tags and microchips are life preservers in the event you lose a pet, and will allow whoever finds your pet to notify you quickly.
  • Keep your feline friends safe and content indoors by providing them with cat grass and window perches that bring the great outdoors inside. Or consider screening in a porch or outdoor patio where you can allow your kitty some safe outdoor time. Also, cats can be trained to “walk” on a harness (never just use a collar and leash or tie your cat out), allowing you both to enjoy a little more leisure time in the yard.
  • Common summer noises like fireworks and thunder may startle pets. For many animal shelters, the day after a town fireworks display is one of the busiest days of the year, as family pets become lost fleeing the sounds. Before a storm or fireworks display, bring your pet indoors or put him/her on a leash or secure tether.

For more pet health and safety tips visit humanesociety.org/pets.

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