Displaying items by tag: HSUS

Purebred Registry Group Routinely Blocks Legislative Protections for Dogs

(July 9, 2012) -- The Humane Society of the United States released a report calling on the American Kennel Club to reverse course and support efforts to protect dogs from the worst abuses at puppy mills. The report also criticizes AKC for pandering to the interests of large-scale, commercial breeding facilities rather than serving smaller-scale, high-quality breeders who make up the majority of AKC.

The report notes that numerous puppy mill operators who have been charged with animal cruelty have been selling AKC registered puppies and some of them even passed AKC inspections.

“The American Kennel Club bills itself as ‘The Dog’s Champion,’ but our report shows a pattern of activity that is entirely at odds with that self-description,” said Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of The HSUS. “The AKC has opposed more than 80 bills and proposals in the last five years that would have implemented common-sense, humane standards of care at large-scale breeding facilities. We are shocked that a group that should be standing shoulder to shoulder with us is constantly lined up with the puppy mill industry.”

The report is based on information uncovered during HSUS-assisted raids of puppy mills, AKC “alerts” sent to breeders, materials published on AKC’s website, and AKC’s lobbying activities over the past five years.

Among the findings:

  • Humane organizations have assisted law enforcement in rescuing suffering dogs from large puppy mills whose operators regularly registered dogs with AKC. In just the past six months, this includes three facilities in North Carolina where more than 250 dogs were caged in squalor. Ironically, the AKC’s primary office is located in Raleigh.
  • Over the past five years, AKC has opposed more than 80 different state bills and local ordinances designed to provide stronger protections for dogs in puppy mills. The group has opposed landmark measures enacted in Missouri, North Carolina, Oregon, West Virginia, Texas, Washington and other states.
  • Since the end of the 1990s, when AKC was facing a boycott of its registry by large-scale, commercial dog breeding facilities, the group has dedicated significant resources to fighting laws that would regulate those facilities.
  • In 2012 alone, AKC asked its supporters to oppose laws in several states that would have required puppy producers to comply with basic care standards; legislation in three states that would have prevented the debarking of dogs without a medical reason; an ordinance in a Tennessee town designed to prevent dogs from being left in hot cars; a Rhode Island state bill to prevent people from chaining or crating a dog for more than 14 hours a day; and a Louisiana state bill that would have prevented breeding facilities from keeping dogs in stacked, wire-floored cages.
  • AKC has attempted to deflect independent regulation of large-scale breeders on grounds that it maintains an internal kennel inspections program, but standards for the program are unclear and its results unpublished. The HSUS report discloses that some puppy mills had been “inspected” by AKC but were still the subject of law enforcement-led rescues – with facility operators later convicted of animal cruelty on account of the poor conditions of their dogs.
  • Most recently, AKC has been lobbying breeders to oppose a proposed U.S. Department of Agriculture rule that would regulate Internet puppy sellers under the federal Animal Welfare Act. AKC’s chair described the regulations as "onerous," even though the proposal includes exemptions for breeders with fewer than five breeding female dogs as well as breeders who sell only to buyers they meet in person.

While the AKC does have beneficial programs such as an annual Responsible Dog Ownership Day and AKC Companion Animal Recovery disaster relief assistance, these make up just a tiny percentage of AKC’s annual outlays. Therefore, the report calls on AKC to distance itself from the large-scale, commercial dog-breeding industry and return to its original focus of representing small, premium, responsible breeders who belong to national breed clubs, participate in dog shows and other events, and have the welfare of their dogs as their top priority.

The report comes a week before the close of the public comment period on the USDA’s retail pet stores rule, a rule designed to ensure that large-scale puppy producers like this one who sell animals online or by mail or phone sight-unseen be regulated just like the producers who sell to pet stores. Concerned citizens can voice their support for the rule at humanesociety.org/usdapuppymills.


Follow The HSUS on Twitter. See our work for animals on your Apple or Android device by searching for our “HumaneTV” app.

The Humane Society of the United States is the nation's largest animal protection organization — backed by 11 million Americans, or one of every 28. For more than a half-century, The HSUS has been fighting for the protection of all animals through advocacy, education and hands-on programs. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty — on the Web at humanesociety.org.

 

(June 27, 2012)—The Humane Society of the United States encourages pet owners to take extra precautions to keep their pets safe while celebrating the Fourth of July.

While parades and fireworks displays are beloved Independence Day traditions, for many pets the noise and commotion can be overwhelming. In fact, so many pets become frightened and try to flee the sights and sounds that animal shelters around the nation report a dramatic increase in lost pets during the holiday.

“The loud fireworks and large gatherings of people at public Fourth of July festivities can be stressful for your pets,” said Inga Fricke, The HSUS’ director of sheltering and pet care issues. “It’s best to enjoy the Independence Day holiday by ensuring that your furry friends are safe at home.”

To ensure your pets stay safe this Fourth of July holiday, follow these simple tips:

Keep all pets safely confined indoors on the 4th and the days leading up to it when people may be inclined to set off fireworks. There are many family and group activities that are perfect for pets, but a public fireworks display or any other type of gathering where fireworks will be set off usually isn’t one of them. It’s best to leave your pets safely indoors, preferably with a radio or TV on to dampen jarring noises. Pets usually kept outdoors should be brought inside as an extra measure of safety. And if you do take your pet with you to an Independence Day event, keep her leashed and under your direct control at all times.

Never leave your pet in a parked car. On a warm day, temperatures inside a vehicle can rise to dangerous levels within minutes. 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; 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’s time.  

Consult your veterinarian if your pet is distressed by loud noises like fireworks displays. Your veterinarian may be able to recommend medications and techniques to help alleviate your pet’s fear and anxiety. You can also find tips for helping your dog cope with loud noises like thunder and fireworks at: http://www.humanesociety.org/dogs_loud_noises  

Ensure your pet is wearing a collar and identification tag with current contact information so you can be reunited quickly if your pet does escape. All pets, even those kept indoors full-time, should wear collars with identification tags at all times. Indoor-only animals can become so frightened during fireworks displays that they take desperate measures to escape the noise, such as breaking through window or door screens. As an extra precaution, it’s a good idea to have your pet microchipped, with your current contact information registered with the chip company. If your pet does become lost, contact your local animal control and surrounding shelters immediately. If you find a lost pet, either take her to the address on the tag or bring her to the local animal shelter so she can be reunited with her family.


Follow The HSUS on Twitter. See our work for animals on your Apple or Android device by searching for our “HumaneTV” app.

The Humane Society of the United States is the nation's largest animal protection organization — backed by 11 million Americans, or one of every 28. For more than a half-century, The HSUS has been fighting for the protection of all animals through advocacy, education and hands-on programs. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty — On the Web at humanesociety.org.



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Ohio now joins majority of states in restricting private ownership of dangerous exotic wildlife


(June 5, 2012)—The Humane Society of the United States, Born Free USA and the ASPCA® issued the following statements in response to Ohio Gov. John Kasich enacting the Dangerous Wild Animal Act into law. Introduced by state Sen. Troy Balderson, R-Zanesville, the bill was passed by the Ohio House of Representatives by a vote of 87 to 9 on May 22, and the Ohio Senate by a 30 to 1 vote in April. With Gov. Kasich’s signature, there remain only six states with little to no restrictions on the private possession of dangerous wild animals—Alabama, Nevada, North Carolina, West Virginia, South Carolina and Wisconsin.

Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of The HSUS stated, “Common sense, rather than tragedy, should drive public policy decisions, but sometimes it takes a high-profile event to focus the attention of lawmakers on issues not in the headlines. For all the states that have not adopted sensible policies on private ownership of dangerous exotics, the grim drama that played out in Zanesville should provide all of the evidence they need to get cracking and adopt strict and sensible policies. We are grateful to Governor Kasich and the legislature for standing firm on this issue, and working to protect animal welfare and public safety.”

“The ASPCA commends Gov. Kasich for recognizing the need to regulate dangerous exotic animals and ensuring the safety of Ohio residents, as well as the health and well-being of wild animals kept as pets,” said Nancy Perry, senior vice president of ASPCA Government Relations. “Safety should always be the paramount concern of lawmakers, and having dangerous exotic animals in our communities, without any regulation or restrictions, threatens us all and the animals pay the ultimate price.”

Adam Roberts, executive vice president of Born Free USA added, “Today marks a strong—and long overdue—step forward in protecting exotics and Ohioans from the dangerous and inhumane ‘pet’ wildlife trade. Born Free USA knows the cruel effects of the trade firsthand. Many of our Primate Sanctuary residents were rescued from abusive situations in which they were forced into captivity as someone's pet. There is an epidemic in this country of owning wild animals as ‘pets’ and it must stop. As documented by Born Free USA's Exotic Animal Incidents Database, numerous incidents involving death and injuries to humans from captive ‘pets’ occur regularly and nationwide. We commend Governor Kasich for signing this urgently needed public safety and animal welfare measure into law, and we urge other states to follow suit.”

The new law will:
• Ban new ownership of dangerous wild animals, including big cats, some smaller exotic cats, bears, hyenas, gray wolves, non-human primate species, alligators and crocodiles in Ohio;
• Grandfather existing animals so people who currently have them can keep them, as long as they obtain a permit;
• Require owners of exotic animals covered under the grandfather clause to acquire liability insurance or surety bonds ranging from $200,000 to $1 million;
• Require existing owners of exotic animals to comply with housing and safety standards that will be established by the Ohio Department of Agriculture; and
• Require criminal background checks to qualify for a permit for owners of existing exotic animals.

The exotic pet trade is a multi-billion dollar industry that contributes to the suffering of millions of animals, often threatening public health and safety, disrupting ecosystems and driving species to endangerment and extinction. Each year across the nation, countless numbers of exotic animals are purchased as pets at retail stores and from private breeders and dealers at auctions or over the Internet. Since the vast majority of people who keep exotic animals cannot meet their needs, the animals often become the victims of abuse and neglect—they are caged, chained, tranquilized or even beaten into submission.

Follow The HSUS on Twitter. See our work for animals on your Apple or Android device by searching for our “HumaneTV” app.
The Humane Society of the United States is the nation's largest animal protection organization — backed by 11 million Americans, or one of every 28. For more than a half-century, The HSUS has been fighting for the protection of all animals through advocacy, education and hands-on programs. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty — On the Web at humanesociety.org.

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. 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. 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 www.aspca.org. To become a fan of the ASPCA on Facebook, go to www.facebook.com/aspca. To follow the ASPCA on Twitter, go to www.twitter.com/aspca.

About Born Free USA
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; twitter http://twitter.com/bornfreeusa; Facebook http://www.facebook.com/BornFreeUSA.

(May 29, 2012)— The Humane Society of the United States urges residents in East Coast and Gulf Coast states to keep their pets in mind in preparation for a natural disaster. People can take some simple – but critical – steps to keep their pets safe and healthy in severe weather and possible evacuations. More than 35 million people, many of them pet owners, live in areas threatened by Atlantic hurricanes.

“More than 60 percent of American households have pets, and weathering a major storm requires an evacuation plan that includes our animals,” said Niki Dawson, director of disaster services for The HSUS. “If it isn't safe for you, it isn't safe for them. If you are ordered to shelter-in-place and not evacuate, bring your pets inside with you and make sure you have adequate supplies.”

The HSUS Animal Rescue Team has a fully equipped response team to assist communities impacted by a natural disaster. In 2011, The HSUS responded to natural disasters in North Carolina, Vermont, Mississippi, Missouri, Alabama, and North Dakota, helping to care for more than 2,000 displaced animals.

AccuWeather forecasters predict an average hurricane season from June to November. Pet owners can reduce their animals' chances of being at risk during a disaster by following the suggestions below.

Things you can do right now:

  • Put a collar with visible identification on your pets, including indoor-only pets.
  • Keep pictures of your pets on hand for identification purposes. Ideally, you should also be in the photo.
  • Create a pet emergency kit (see below) and refresh the items every few months.
  • Talk to your neighbors about how they can help your pets if you are not at home when disaster strikes.
  • Create a list of hotels that allow pets. Plan on evacuating about 100 miles inland.

Pet emergency kits should include:

  • Minimum of a three-day supply of food in airtight, waterproof containers, and drinking water.
  • Bowls for food and water.
  • Current photos and physical description of your pets, including details on markings.
  • Medications, vaccination records and first aid pet supplies.
  • Comfort items such as a toy and blanket.
  • Small garbage bags.
  • For dogs include: leash, harness and a sturdy carrier large enough to use as a sleeping area.
  • For cats include: litter and litter box and a sturdy carrier large enough for transport and for your cat to use as a temporary “apartment” for several days.

A Zogby International poll after Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast found that 61 percent of pet owners will not evacuate if they cannot bring their pets with them. In 2006, Congress addressed this issue by passing the Pets Evacuation and Transportation Standards (PETS) Act, which requires state and local emergency management agencies to make plans that take into account the needs of individuals with pets and service animals in the event of a major disaster or emergency. It is crucial that all pet owners reach out to their local government to understand their community's existing human and pet evacuation plans.

And finally, click here for a brochure on farm animals in disaster, including sheltering in-place preparations as well as evacuations.

For more tips on preparedness plans that include your pets, visit humanesociety.org/prepare.

World’s largest animal sheltering conference and tradeshow opens at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino May 21-24

(May 18, 2011)—Presented by The Humane Society of the United States, Animal Care Expo is celebrating its 21st year as the world's largest international education and trade show in the fields of animal care, sheltering and rescue. Animal Care Expo 2012 will be held at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. The conference includes more than 70 workshops, as well as exhibits and seven daylong certificate courses. More than 1,800 local leaders from animal shelters, rescue groups, and animal care agencies are expected to attend the HSUS training conference.

“Every year The Humane Society of the United States brings together the largest gathering of animal care, sheltering and rescue professionals from around the world to celebrate successes, share ideas and learn something new,” said Betsy McFarland, vice president for companion animal issues at The HSUS. “The annual Animal Care Expo is designed to lift up the entire field of animal sheltering and rescue by providing animal welfare workers with valuable workshops, exhibits and courses specifically devoted to the most innovative and groundbreaking developments in our field.”

The United States continues to move closer to the goal of ending the euthanasia of healthy and treatable pets in animal shelters. In the last two years alone, euthanasia in shelters has decreased by 10 percent and, despite a bleak economy, the proportion of pets in homes that were adopted from animal shelters and rescue groups has risen from 27 to 29 percent. On the international front, improvements are being made for the lives of millions of suffering street animals through spay/neuter, vaccinations, veterinary training and humane education. With a commitment to animal welfare steadily increasing worldwide, more pets across the globe share homes with caring families than ever before.

Expo workshops will cover a wide-range of issues, from creative marketing ideas to increasing adoptions and expanding the reach of the animal welfare field into under-served communities to exploring the latest advances in sterilization—such as nonsurgical sterilization—and implementing the Association of Shelter Veterinarian’s guidelines to improve shelter operations, improve medical care for animals, and, most importantly, save more lives.

A highlight of Expo 2012 will be a special book signing held for Expo attendees by The HSUS’ President and CEO, Wayne Pacelle. The Bond: Our Kinship with Animals, Our Call to Defend Them (William Morrow; On Sale Now) is Pacelle’s first book and has been listed as a best-seller on the New York Times’ non-fiction list. The book is a compassionate, insightful and comprehensive examination of our special connection to all creatures, written by one of America’s most important champions of animal welfare.

Visit animalsheltering.org/expo for additional information about The HSUS' Animal Care Expo 2012.

(March 12, 2012) ― The Humane Society of the United States, the nation’s largest animal protection organization, has ranked state laws protecting dogs at commercial dog breeding facilities and found that Virginia has the best anti-puppy mill laws, while six states fell at the bottom of the list. The HSUS reviewed laws regulating commercial dog breeding facilities and protecting consumers who purchase sick puppies to determine the best and worst state laws. 

Virginia earned the top spot with the strongest protections for puppy mill dogs and for consumers who purchase dogs from pet stores. Pennsylvania, Oregon, New Hampshire and Washington round out the top five states. Earning the lowest scores are Mississippi, Kentucky, North Dakota, Idaho, South Dakota and Alabama.

“Several states have made great strides in recent years, protecting dogs and consumers from the abuse and cruelty that is prevalent among large-scale commercial breeding operations,” says Melanie Kahn, senior director of the Puppy Mills Campaign for The HSUS. “Too many states still allow these puppy factories to operate with minimal or no oversight, resulting in suffering for the dogs and families that purchase these often sick puppies.”

Virginia, Pennsylvania, Oregon, New Hampshire and Washington all made the top five because of their strong standards of care, regulation of both small and large commercial breeding facilities, and consumer protections. Virginia, Pennsylvania and New Hampshire all require unannounced inspections of commercial dog breeding facilities two times per year. Oregon, Washington and Virginia all prohibit anyone from owning more than 50 breeding dogs.

The laws in states earning the lowest ratings - Mississippi, Kentucky, North Dakota, Idaho and South Dakota - all lack oversight of commercial dog breeding operations, don’t require any basic standard of care, and do not provide any protection for consumers purchasing a dog from a pet store. In North Dakota, Idaho and South Dakota, animal cruelty is only a misdemeanor charge, not a felony crime as it is in 47 other states. Felony cruelty provisions in other states can help provide some protection for dogs at commercial dog breeding facilities if law enforcement agencies have the resources to investigate and enforce the anti-cruelty laws.

In 2011 HSUS experts and supporters helped to pass seven new state laws and regulations to crack down on puppy mills. Lawmakers in several states are considering passage of new laws protecting dogs and consumers in 2012.

In 2010 voters in Missouri approved Proposition B, also known as The Puppy Mill Cruelty Prevention Act, only to have their state legislature controversially supersede Proposition B by enacting legislation that stopped short of providing dogs with all of the protections the voters intended them to receive. The new law was strong enough to earn Missouri a sixth place ranking – an improvement over the old law, but weaker than the second place ranking that Proposition B would have provided had the legislature not interfered.   

The HSUS is working with lawmakers to strengthen laws in states that need improvement while simultaneously reaching out to state agencies across the country to provide guidance or on-site assistance for dogs removed from substandard facilities.

States were assigned points based on key elements either addressed or not addressed in their laws, including: mandatory licensure, criteria for coverage, frequency of inspections, caps on the number of dogs an operator can keep, the standards of care mandated for each dog, consumer protection provisions, and the severity of penalties for violations.  

FACTS:

  • Seven states enacted laws to crack down on puppy mills in 2011; California, Maryland, Missouri, Nevada, Oklahoma, Texas and Wyoming. Hawaii legislators passed a resolution urging further study, and a new law is now pending. 
  • Since 2008, 26 new laws have been enacted in 21 states.
  • The HSUS recommends never purchasing a puppy from a pet store or Internet site, or from any breeder you have not carefully screened in person.
  • Dogs at puppy mills typically receive little to no medical care; live in squalid conditions with no exercise, socialization or human interaction; and are confined inside cramped wire-floored cages for life. There is little regard for the dogs' health or any existing genetic conditions that may be passed on to the puppies.
  • Breeding dogs at puppy mills must endure constant breeding cycles and are typically confined for years on end, without ever becoming part of a family.
  • The HSUS estimates that 2 million to 4 million puppy mill puppies are sold each year in the United States.
  • The HSUS recommends never purchasing a puppy from a pet store because puppies sold in pet stores typically come from puppy mills, including facilities where sanitation problems and disease outbreaks are common.
  • The HSUS encourages consumers who are ready to add a puppy to their family to visit an animal shelter or breed rescue group, or purchase only from a responsible breeder they have screened in person. For more information please see humanesociety.org/puppy.

Follow The HSUS on Twitter. See our work for animals on your Apple or Android device by searching for our “HumaneTV” app.

The Humane Society of the United States is the nation's largest animal protection organization — backed by 11 million Americans, or one of every 28. For more than a half-century, The HSUS has been fighting for the protection of all animals through advocacy, education and hands-on programs. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty — On the Web at humanesociety.org

Doris Day Animal Foundation Grant for World Spay Day Helps Subsidize Spay/Neuter Costs

WASHINGTON (Feb. 17, 2012)— In celebration of World Spay Day, The Humane Society of the United States’ Pets for Life program announced it will work with local partners to provide $75,000 in free pet spay/neuter services in underserved communities. The services will be provided throughout February as a result of a generous World Spay Day grant to The HSUS from the Doris Day Animal Foundation.

“Thanks to the Doris Day Animal Foundation, we are able to do even more this month to extend the critical services provided by our local animal welfare partners to even more people and pets who need them most,” said Cory Smith, senior director for Pets for Life. “This funding will help us build more humane communities and improve overall companion animal health and welfare by providing life-changing assistance for pet owners who cannot afford or access to these essential services.”

Pets for Life is an ongoing program that extends the reach of animal welfare services, resources and information to people and pets in underserved communities. In addition to funding the services, The HSUS’ PFL program helps communities effectively target resources to pet owners who would otherwise be overlooked. PFL also helps to provide transportation when needed, and conducts in-depth follow up to ensure that each scheduled spay/neuter appointment is positive and successful.

The following is a list of Spay/Neuter events being sponsored by Pets for Life:

Atlanta:

  • The HSUS’ Pets for Life Atlanta program and LifeLine Animal Project are holding a “Free Fix for Pits” campaign throughout February to provide free spay/neuter services for 100 pit bull type dogs from Fulton, DeKalb, and Clayton counties. PFL Atlanta will also sponsor $4000 worth of cat sterilizations for low-income owners and feral cats at Furkids throughout February.

Chicago:

  • Pets for Life Chicago and PAWS Chicago’s Lurie Clinic will sponsor spay/neuter surgeries throughout February for pit bull type dogs and other animals from underserved communities.
  • On Feb. 28 PFL Chicago will host a World Spay Day celebration at PAWS Chicago’s Lurie Clinic where they will provide spay/neuter information and offer free surgeries for animals from select zip codes.
  • PFL Chicago will sponsor spay/neuter surgeries at The Anti-Cruelty Society for underserved pet owners from the Pullman, Pilsen and North Lawndale communities. These owners signed up for the surgeries at vaccine clinics in their communities, done in collaboration with Chicago Animal Care & Control, the ASPCA, Safe Humane Chicago, PAWS Chicago and the Anti-Cruelty Society, as well as the alderman in each of the communities.
  • PFL Chicago and Chicagoland Bully Breed Rescue will offer free spay/neuter surgeries at the Woodlawn Animal Hospital in South Side Chicago for persons who cannot otherwise afford the service for their pets. 

Los Angeles:

  • Pets for Life Los Angeles, the Found Animals Foundation and Spay LA will host a one-day mobile free spay/neuter, vaccination and microchip clinic in Boyle Heights on Feb. 26.
  • PFL Los Angeles will also sponsor vaccines and sterilization surgeries at the Spay Neuter Project of Los Angeles clinic in Van Nuys from Feb. 27-29.

Philadelphia:

  • Pets for Life Philadelphia will sponsor free spay/neuter and vaccination services provided by the Pennsylvania SPCA and the Philadelphia Animal Welfare Society for low-income pet owners during the month of February, most reached through HSUS community outreach efforts.
  • PFL Philadelphia will also sponsor spay/neuter surgeries of animals brought into clinics by local trap neuter return groups throughout the month of February.

For more information about these events, visit worldspayday.org.

National Animal Welfare Groups Call for Accelerated Action by President Obama to Crack Down on Puppy Mills

(Dec. 30, 2011) – The Humane Society of the United States, the Humane Society Legislative Fund and the ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) have announced that the White House has responded to a petition submitted by the organizations in November asking President Obama to crack down on puppy mills. The official response to the online petition, which was signed by more than 32,000 people, outlines the United States Department of Agriculture’s plans to improve oversight of commercial dog breeders by issuing rules to regulate those breeders who sell over the Internet. The animal welfare groups were encouraged by the news, but urged the White House to accelerate the time frame, and adopt the puppy mill rule without further delay. 

The White House response also highlighted the USDA’s commitment to increase enforcement under the Animal Welfare Act and referenced the agency’s recent proposed rule to prevent young, and often sick, puppies from being imported into the United States.

“The Humane Society of the United States thanks the more than 32,000 animal lovers across the country who signed this petition and brought the issue of puppy mills directly to the President’s attention,” said Melanie Kahn, senior director of the Puppy Mills Campaign for The HSUS. “The changes outlined in President Obama’s response are a positive step toward closing the loophole that has allowed thousands of puppies to suffer for so long in unlicensed mass-breeding facilities. Much work needs to be done, since the draft rule has not yet been proposed, and we urge the Obama Administration to complete the process to crack down on abusive puppy mills and to allow no further delays in this process.”

The petition was submitted in October 2011 by The HSUS, The HSLF and the ASPCA® asking President Obama to help close a loophole in the Animal Welfare Act regulations that permits large-scale, commercial breeders who sell puppies online and directly to the public to escape basic oversight and minimal animal care standards. The petition quickly gathered more than 10,600 signatures in its first 30 days – doubling the threshold needed to assure an official response. It eventually became one of the most popular petitions on the White House website, and was the top active petition for several weeks in November.

“We applaud the USDA for taking this step,” said Sara Amundson, executive director of the Humane Society Legislative Fund, “For too long, the USDA has avoided regulating and inspecting commercial breeders selling puppies over the Internet to unsuspecting consumers.”

“The existing regulatory loophole currently allows many commercial breeders to operate without a license and without any inspection—meaning they are not accountable to anyone for their breeding and care standards,” added Cori Menkin, senior director of the puppy mills campaign at the ASPCA. “The ASPCA is encouraged that the USDA has committed to help end the suffering of millions of breeding dogs and protect consumers by finally closing this loophole.”

On December 7, The “Today” show aired The HSUS’ expose of Purebred Breeders LLC, thought to be the nation's largest online seller of puppies. The investigation highlighted the connection between Purebred Breeders and inhumane commercial-breeding facilities known as puppy mills, where dogs are often confined in small, stacked wire cages, with no exercise, veterinary care, socialization, or human companionship. HSUS attorneys, in partnership with Florida firm Leopold Law, have also filed suit in Florida state court on behalf of HSUS members and other consumers who received sick or dying dogs from Purebred Breeders. Anyone who has bought a sick dog online is urged to fill out The HSUS’ official complaint form.

  Follow The HSUS on Twitter. See our work for animals on your iPhone by searching “HumaneTV” in the App Store.

The Humane Society of the United States is the nation's largest animal protection organization — backed by 11 million Americans, or one of every 28. For more than a half-century, The HSUS has been fighting for the protection of all animals through advocacy, education and hands-on programs. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty — On the Web at humanesociety.org.

 

The Humane Society Legislative Fund is a social welfare organization incorporated under section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code and formed in 2004 as a separate lobbying affiliate of The Humane Society of the United States. The HSLF works to pass animal protection laws at the state and federal level, to educate the public about animal protection issues and to support humane candidates for office. On the Web at hslf.org

 

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 www.aspca.org. To become a fan of the ASPCA on Facebook, go to http://www.facebook.com/aspca. To follow the ASPCA on Twitter, go to http://www.twitter.com/aspca.

 

To learn more about the ASPCA’s campaign to eradicate puppy mills, please visit www.NoPetStorePuppies.com/Facebook.

 

 Helpful hints from The Humane Society of the United States
 
WASHINGTON — The Humane Society of the United States is reminding people that as we celebrate Thanksgiving- delighting in the hustle and bustle of whether to travel or to stay home, what to cook, and who to sit next to at the table- we can’t forget to make equally important plans for our canine and feline friends. Festive food and beverages, along with the commotion of large gatherings may pose hazards for our furry family members.
 
“Thanksgiving is a special time of year for many families, but it can also be hectic, so it’s important for people to plan for their pets,” said Adam Goldfarb, director of pet care issues for The Humane Society of the United States. “Whether your family is traveling or staying home, you can keep your pet safe and happy by thinking about their well-being ahead of time.”
 
With a few simple precautions, our pets can share this special time with us safely. The Humane Society of the United States offers these tips to keep our four-legged family members healthy and happy:
 
Is your pet partying with you at home?
 
  • Provide your pet with a quiet, out-of-the-way room during holiday parties. Though some pets may enjoy socializing opportunities, the excitement of a party may overwhelm others.
  • Avoid the urge to give your pets table scraps, especially bones. Bones easily splinter and can cause serious health problems, even death.
 
Is your pet traveling with you?
 
  • If you are planning to take your pet with you when visiting friends and relatives during the holidays, be sure to contact them in advance to find out if your pet is welcome. Because of the excitement during the holidays, it might be best to board your pet or hire a reputable pet sitter instead.
  • When traveling with your pet, attach tags with contact information for your mobile phone, as well as a phone number for where you are staying.
 
Is your pet taking a vacation from you?
  • If you are leaving your pet at home with a pet sitter, be sure to ask for references, plus written proof that he or she is bonded and has commercial liability insurance.
  • If you are leaving your pet at a boarding kennel, visit the kennel ahead of time to make sure that it’s clean, comfortable, and safe for your pet.
 
Humans are not the only ones who will be thankful at Thanksgiving. Shelter pets would be thankful for a new home and family to share their lives with this coming holiday season. Visit theshelterpetproject.org to search for a pet, find local shelters and learn more about the adoption process.
 
 
  
Follow The HSUS on Twitter. See our work for animals on your Apple or Android device by searching for our “HumaneTV” app.
 
The Humane Society of the United States is the nation's largest animal protection organization — backed by 11 million Americans, or one of every 28. For more than a half-century, The HSUS has been fighting for the protection of all animals through advocacy, education and hands-on programs. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty — On the web at humanesociety.org
 

***SAVE THE DATE***

The Humane Society of the United States, the nation’s largest animal protection organization, wants to remind pet media that next week is National Animal Shelter Appreciation Week, and encourages you to help us get the word out to the pet-loving public to support their local shelters and rescues. Next week, you'll receive a the full press release for the event, but here's an abbreviated version that should provide enough information for early coverage. You can also find more information about the Week here: humanesociety.org/sheltersrock. 

Approximately 3,500 animal shelters across the United States serve the estimated 6-8 million homeless animals who need refuge each year, and many more animals find themselves in need of the services provided by local rescue groups.
 
National Animal Shelter Appreciation Week is a perfect opportunity for community members to become acquainted with their local shelters and rescues to help homeless pets, and this year, The HSUS teamed up with the PBS KIDS’ television series “Martha Speaks” to provide resources and information about supporting animal shelters, understanding and caring for pets, and responsible pet adoption.
 
Here are a few ways everyone can get involved to help save the homeless pets that shelters serve:
 
  1. Adopt a pet. Find your next pet online at theshelterpetproject.org,
  2. Promote pet adoption. Become a fan of the Shelter Pet Project on Facebook at facebook.com/shelterpetproject.
  3. Volunteer.  Helping animals at a shelter or rescue organization can be an incredibly rewarding experience. Look on local groups’ websites for opportunities or visit VolunteerMatch.org.
  4. Donate funds or supplies. Shelters and rescues are often in need of towels, toys, and other supplies for the animals – and collect needed items from family, friends, and colleagues.
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