Displaying items by tag: Puppy Mills

Talkin' Pets News

March 17, 2018

Host - Jon Patch (The birthday boy today)

Co-Host - Jillyn Sidlo - Celestrial Custom Dog Services

Producer - Lexi Lapp

Network Producer - Quin McCarthy

Executive Producer - Bob Page

Special Guest - Dr. Mitsie Vargas, author of Alt-Vet: The Revolutionary Pet Care and Longevity Solution by Dr. Vargas will join Jon and Talkin' Pets 03/17/18 at 5pm EST to discuss and give away her new book

 

puppies in a crate

By ASPCA President & CEO Matt Bershadker
 

Pets aren’t appliances. They are living, breathing, loving animals who deserve as much loyalty and compassion as they give. This is why we fight so hard to stop the cruel puppy-making factories that create “inventory” for pet stores at an incredibly inhumane cost. 

While awareness of the puppy mill problem is growing, humane regulation at the state and federal level has been slower to evolve. The federal government in particular has continuously failed to protect dogs in puppy mills. But some states are taking the initiative. In California, 36 local jurisdictions are among the more than 230 cities, towns, and counties across the country which have passed ordinances to stop the sale of cruelly bred animals at pet stores in their communities. 

Now, California lawmakers have taken the next big step, passing an unprecedented piece of legislation—The Pet Rescue and Adoption Act (Assembly Bill 485)—that would make California the first state in the nation to ban the sale of commercially raised dogs, cats, and rabbits in pet stores across the state. The bill awaits Governor Brown’s signature, and on behalf of millions of animal advocates and at-risk animals it would affect, I urge him to sign it. 

The brutality of puppy and kitten mills and their connection to pet stores is well-documented. These animals generally live in overcrowded and unsanitary conditions—sometimes in wire-floored cages stacked in tall columns—without adequate veterinary care, food, water or socialization. Animals bred in these conditions may also suffer from severe health issues, including contagious and deadly diseases and congenital defects, as well as behavioral challenges. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is currently investigating a multistate outbreak of bacterial infections linked to puppies from retail pet stores which has sickened 39 people. 

By cutting off the puppy mill pipeline that moves cruelly bred animals from across the country into California pet stores, A.B. 485 will also help prevent California consumers from being duped into purchases that contribute to unconscionable animal “production” and suffering. 

On a larger level, this law demonstrates how legislative action on animal welfare in general can advance from the local level to the state level, furthering the hope of creating a culture that values compassion over cruelty.

You can contribute to that progress. If you live in California, let Governor Brown know how much he can help vulnerable and victimized animals with his signature. And wherever you live, consider adopting or fostering an animal in need and telling your friends and family to do the same. That will accelerate the evolution of humane standards in your community and, in the meantime, multiply the amount of love given and received in your home—something an appliance can never do. 


Lawsuit alleges national pet store chain engaged in fraudulent scheme to sell sick “puppy mill” puppies to consumers at premium prices based on fraudulent health guarantees

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Today, the Animal Legal Defense Fund, the nation’s preeminent legal advocacy organization for animals, announced the filing of a nationwide consumer class action lawsuit against Petland, a national pet store chain, and the chain’s Kennesaw, Georgia location. The Animal Legal Defense Fund filed in United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia alleging Petland violated the federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization (RICO) Act and Georgia RICO Act.

The lawsuit is filed on behalf of a putative nationwide class of consumers victimized by Petland’s predatory business practices of charging premium prices for puppies Petland has “guaranteed” to be healthy—as certified by Petland’s veterinarians—when Petland knows full well it is selling puppies prone to illnesses and other defects, including “puppy-mill” sourced puppies.

A puppy mill is a large-scale commercial dog-breeding facility. Puppy mills produce the largest number of puppies as quickly as possible, without consideration of the care of the animals. Breeding practices and the crowded, unsanitary conditions in which puppies born in mills live during the first weeks of their lives put the dogs at risk of numerous genetic and hereditary conditions and deadly diseases. Additionally, many puppy mill dogs experience behavioral and psychological problems throughout their lives from lack of early socialization and being weaned too young.

The lawsuit also contends that Petland further inflates the animals’ price with phony services that exist only to line the company’s pockets, not benefit consumers or their dogs.

The lawsuit alleges that the plaintiff and the nationwide class were bilked into paying premium prices for puppies but did not receive the benefit of the bargain.  Petland’s fraud harmed all class members, regardless of whether they were sold a sick or healthy pet, because they were paying for a “certified” healthy puppy. The complaint alleges the certification was a sham—it would be by pure chance if a customer got a healthy puppy, which is not what consumers thought they were paying for—at a premium price. Petland has profited handsomely from its fraudulent scheme.

The lawsuit comes at a critical time for the puppy mill and pet store industry and its many victims. In Georgia this spring, consumers and animal advocates narrowly defeated a bill in the state legislature dubbed the “Petland bill,” a sweetheart deal which would have capped damages for consumers harmed by Georgia pet stores and precluded cities and counties in the state from adopting stricter standards or banning the retail sale of pets altogether, as scores of cities and counties around the country have done over the last few years. Similar pet store centric bills masquerading as consumer protection legislation are popping up nationwide, the industry’s desperate attempt to stem the growing tide of opposition to its puppy-mill-dependent supply chain.

Petland’s scheme has left a trail of defrauded consumers and deceased or sick puppies, with expensive medical bills, in its wake,” says Animal Legal Defense Fund Executive Director Stephen Wells. “Puppy mills put the bottom line ahead of the health and wellbeing of the animals, while Petland profits at the expense of its consumers and the sick puppies it peddles to them.”

The Animal Legal Defense Fund is litigating the case in collaboration with Georgia attorney Tamara Feliciano and attorneys from Andersen Sleater Sianni LLC.

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About the Animal Legal Defense Fund

The Animal Legal Defense Fund was founded in 1979 to protect the lives and advance the interests of animals through the legal system. To accomplish this mission, the Animal Legal Defense Fund files high-impact lawsuits to protect animals from harm; provides free legal assistance and training to prosecutors to assure that animal abusers are punished for their crimes; supports tough animal protection legislation and fights harmful legislation; and provides resources and opportunities to law students and professionals to advance the emerging field of animal law. For more information, please visit aldf.org.

Talking Points

  1. The Animal Legal Defense Fund has filed a federal consumer class action lawsuit against the national pet store chain, Petland, on behalf of consumers who allege they were harmed by Petland’s fraudulent scheme to charge top-shelf prices for puppy mill-sourced puppies and phony services.
  2. The lawsuit alleges that buyers were swindled into purchasing puppies purportedly “certified” as healthy by a veterinarian and paying even more for worthless services from Petland-directed veterinarians and a Petland front group posing as a consumer claims manager.
  3. In puppy mills, both mother dogs and puppies suffer serious neglect and cruelty. As more and more consumers purposefully avoid purchasing puppies produced from mills, it is crucial that pet stores be transparent about the origin of their dogs and be held responsible for selling sick puppies to unknowing consumers.

Talkin' Pets News, July 22, 2017

Host - Jon Patch

Co-Host - Jay Stutz - Good Dog U Animal Planet

Producer - Daisy Charlotte

Network Producer - Quin McCarthy

Executive Producer - Bob Page

Special Guest - George Burgess - Sharkfest 2017 on Nat Geo Wild - Weeklong Event Begins Sunday July 23 at 8/7c

Talkin' Pets News, July 22, 2017

Host - Jon Patch

Co-Host - Jay Stutz - Good Dog U Animal Planet

Producer - Daisy Charlotte

Network Producer - Quin McCarthy

Executive Producer - Bob Page

Special Guest - George Burgess - Sharfest 2017

I was on the ground with the Animal Rescue Team and what we found was unimaginable: 84 Great Danes had been living in and around a 15,000-square-foot home in New Hampshire, walls smeared with feces and wooden floors thick with their waste.

Rescue video

Watch this rescue footage -- and then please help save more animals by making a gift to the Animal Rescue Team today.

What our Animal Rescue Team accomplished on that rainy, dreary day was extraordinary...

...I witnessed remarkable teamwork as four of our Animal Rescue Team members tag-teamed to remove seven huge dogs from cages in a room filled with ammonia fumes and no ventilation. After dealing with one dog, the handler would get some fresh air while another rescuer went in to get the next dog.

...I watched the leader of our Animal Rescue Team, Sára Varsa, think fast when faced with a huge dilemma. Some of the dogs were literally too large for the largest cages we had. Even though we had three huge trucks, Sára knew we needed more. She made a quick call and before you know it -- horse trucks were delivered to the scene. Over and over she was met with variables and, with her team, found a solution.

From 5 a.m. to 11 p.m., our Animal Rescue Team worked tirelessly to save all of the dogs from this horrible situation. And by midnight, every dog was in a warm pile of shavings, fed and asleep in a safe place.

It’s only with the support of generous animal lovers like you that this lifesaving work is possible. Please make an emergency donation to save more animals who are suffering from cruelty.

All of the dogs have now received full veterinary exams, but they will continue to need ongoing care to address a range of medical conditions and to receive enrichment and training.

It’s heartwarming to see that these sweet dogs are already getting much more comfortable being around people -- regaining trust, despite everything they have gone through.

you can help give more animals like them a second chance at life.


Thank you,
Holly Hazard
Holly Hazard
Senior Vice President, Programs & Innovations

 

Lawsuit argues removal of online animal welfare records violates the Freedom of Information Act and the Administrative Procedure Act

SAN FRANSICO – Today, the Animal Legal Defense Fund filed suit against the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) for removing tens of thousands of animal welfare records from the agency’s website. According to the lawsuit, the USDA’s decision to remove the records violates both the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and the Administrative Procedure Act (APA). The removed documents revealed inhumane treatment of animals at thousands of research laboratories, roadside zoos and puppy mills across the country.

The lawsuit, filed in the Northern District of California on behalf of a coalition of animal protection organizations, contends that the USDA violated FOIA, which requires federal agencies to affirmatively disclose final orders and frequently requested records. It also argues that the USDA violated the APA, which prohibits agencies from taking actions that are “arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion, or otherwise not in accordance with law[.]” If the coalition is successful with its claim under the APA, the USDA would be required to resume posting the records online so they are available to the public.

The Animal Legal Defense Fund is joined in the lawsuit by Stop Animal Exploitation NOW!, Companion Animal Protection Society and Animal Folks. The USDA’s decision to stop posting records significantly burdens the organizations because they must now manage voluminous FOIA requests to access the same records, potentially pay large fees, and wait for several months or even years to obtain records previously accessible immediately online at no cost.

Public access to these records is especially important in light of the USDA’s chronically lackadaisical enforcement of the federal Animal Welfare Act (AWA). The Office of Inspector General, an oversight division of the USDA, regularly finds that the USDA renders its enforcement of the AWA largely ineffective by not aggressively pursuing enforcement actions against substandard facilities and by significantly discounting penalties even when it does pursue enforcement action.

“The USDA itself needs oversight due to its continual failure to adequately enforce the federal Animal Welfare Act,” says Animal Legal Defense Fund Executive Director Stephen Wells. “The information blackout is a tremendous blow to transparency and undermines advocates who are working to protect hundreds of thousands of animals across the country.”

The plaintiffs filing today’s lawsuit regularly utilized the USDA database and enforcement actions page to obtain records about the conditions of animals at facilities regulated under the AWA, such as research laboratories, puppy mills and zoos around the country. In turn, these organizations use the records to advocate for stronger animal protection policies, confront the USDA over inadequate regulation of substandard facilities, supply evidence for law enforcement action and build legal cases against especially egregious violators. The Animal Legal Defense Fund relied on these records in its groundbreaking Endangered Species Act (ESA) victory against the Cricket Hollow Animal Park (previously Cricket Hollow Zoo), a roadside zoo that cruelly confined endangered animals in inhumane conditions. It was the first victory applying the ESA to protect animals in captivity.

The organizations are represented pro bono by Margaret Kwoka, Associate Professor at University of Denver Sturm College of Law, and Perkins Coie LLP.

For more information visit, aldf.org.

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About the Animal Legal Defense Fund
The Animal Legal Defense Fund was founded in 1979 to protect the lives and advance the interests of animals through the legal system. To accomplish this mission, the Animal Legal Defense Fund files high-impact lawsuits to protect animals from harm; provides free legal assistance and training to prosecutors to assure that animal abusers are punished for their crimes; supports tough animal protection legislation and fights harmful legislation; and provides resources and opportunities to law students and professionals to advance the emerging field of animal law. For more information, please visit aldf.org.

About the Companion Animal Protection Society
Founded in 1992, the Companion Animal Protection Society (CAPS) is the only national nonprofit dedicated exclusively to protecting companion animals from cruelty in pet shops and puppy/kitten mills. CAPS addresses animal suffering through investigations, legislation, education, media relations, consumer assistance, and rescue.

About Stop Animal Exploitation NOW!

SAEN (Stop Animal Exploitation NOW!) is a national non-profit animal advocacy organization dedicated to the rights of all animals.  Our mission is to end the exploitation of animals imprisoned in laboratories by educating the public with the reality of what is happening inside the vivisection industry and engaging government agencies to enforce laws, issue citations, and levy fines against criminal labs.  Through in-depth investigations of laboratories and national media campaigns, SAEN exposes and ends the misery of animals.

About Animal Folks

Animal Folks is a nonprofit organization devoted to protecting the lives of animals by modernizing the animal law enforcement system in Minnesota. Animal Folks is focused on systemic change — finding new, innovative ways to prevent animal cruelty and improve how animal law is enforced throughout Minnesota. To achieve this mission, Animal Folks conducts research on animal cruelty issues and cases, creates training materials and resources, files criminal and civil complaints against abusers, and collaborates with state, local and national authorities and organizations for sustainable reforms. www.animalfolks.org.

 

The Pet Leadership Council (PLC), which is comprised of pet industry leaders, animal welfare organizations, veterinarians and academia, is announcing its support of a Purdue University Study currently underway to improve dog breeder standards.

The study being led by Candace Croney, PhD at Purdue University entitled assessing animal welfare: applications to dog care and welfare standards is expected to be completed by the end of the year. In an effort to facilitate best care practices via research and education, it will address proper guidelines for all aspects of dog well-being in commercial breeding operations including but not limited to: housing, nutrition, sanitation, health and vet care, behavioral well-being, breeding ages, end of breeding life and the outcome of healthy puppies.

“This is an extremely important step forward to ensuring that our nation’s puppies are coming from breeders that maintain high standards of care and provide consumers assurance that puppies and adult dogs coming from certified breeders have been raised with significant attention to their physical, genetic and behavioral health and a lifelong commitment to the dogs’ well-being,” said Bob Vetere, PLC Chairman.

While the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) does have commercial dog breeding standards and licensing in place, there is demand for additional measures to hold breeders accountable and help put an end to substandard breeders commonly referred to as “puppy mills”.  These standards will provide breeders with a voluntary option to obtain a recognized and trusted certification with regular inspections. Government regulations can take years to change and often become outdated and obsolete. The Purdue guidelines will allow for continuous improvement based on the latest advances in scientific study of the health and well-being of the animals.

"The PLC is encouraged by and strongly supports the work being conducted by Dr. Candace Croney and The Purdue University School of Veterinary Medicine to establish science based standards for breeders that will raise the care and welfare of their animals.” said Doug Poindexter President of the World Pet Association and PLC Trustee.

More information on the Purdue Study and several white papers already published can be found here - http://vet.purdue.edu/CAWS/engagement.php#projects.

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About the Pet Leadership Council:

The Pet Leadership Council is made up of pet industry leaders, animal welfare, veterinarians and academia and advocates for pets and those who serve and support them by promoting responsible pet ownership and educating the public on efforts to improve the health and well being of companion animals.

 

Dogs now receiving urgent medical care

Elmwood, Wis.—The ASPCA® (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) and Animal Humane Society (AHS) are assisting the Pierce County Sheriff’s Office with the seizure of 48 dogs from a substandard, unlicensed breeding facility in Elmwood, Wis. The dogs were seized from the property Friday morning after warrants were served, and the owner of the facility was booked into the Pierce County Jail for mistreatment of animals, not providing proper food to confined animals and improper animal sheltering.

The 35 adults and 13 puppies, all yellow Labradors, were discovered living indoors in small, filthy travel crates, with no access to food or water. Numerous deceased animals were also found on the property. The ASPCA believes the facility to be a puppy mill--a large-scale breeding operation designed to generate profits at the cost of the animals’ health and well-being.

“What we saw here is no way for a dog to live,” said Kathryn Destreza, director of investigations for ASPCA Field Investigations and Response. “The puppies at breeding facilities are sold for profit, but many people don’t realize that their parents are often kept there for years, subjected to incessant breeding and usually lacking basic care and socialization, resulting in a very poor quality of life.”

“Large scale animal cruelty cases are not something that we encounter often here in Pierce County,” said Pierce County Sheriff Nancy Hove. “When we are made aware of any animal cruelty issues we do the best we can to investigate and hold accountable those responsible. This case started with a complaint from a concerned citizen who was appalled by the conditions these animals were exposed to. Deputies responded to the complaint and determined the allegations had merit. Citizens are encouraged to contact law enforcement when they are made aware of these situations so they can be addressed accordingly.”   

The dogs have been transported to AHS (Golden Valley, Minn.), where they are receiving urgent medical treatment from ASPCA and AHS veterinarians. At this time, the dogs are considered evidence and will be cared for by AHS responders until their custody is determined by the court. The ASPCA is also collecting forensic evidence and providing legal support to strengthen the case and ensure the best legal outcome for these dogs.

"We’re proud to be known as the go-to resource for investigations in this region," said Janelle Dixon, President & CEO of Animal Humane Society. "Our humane agents investigate hundreds of reports of animal cruelty and neglect each year. As a result, we have the experience and ability to care for large numbers of animals, and the medical and behavioral expertise to provide the specialized care these vulnerable animals need."

The ASPCA Field Investigations and Response team has rescued thousands of dogs from puppy mills across the nation. Furthermore, the ASPCA’s Government Relations department has been active in promoting legislation at both the state and federal levels to strengthen regulations and raise minimum standards of care for dogs in puppy mills. For more information about puppy mills and how to fight animal cruelty, join the ASPCA Advocacy Brigade at www.aspca.org.



About the ASPCA®
Founded in 1866, and celebrating its 150th birthday this year, 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.

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1,800 miles, 56 hours, 3 rescue vehicles, 9 rescuers, 2 tiny superheroes, a motorcycle escort, and one fearless leader ... all with one mission: to save 110 dogs!
The National Mill Dog Rescue team will head out on Thursday, February 25 and return two days later with approximately 110 dogs on board - dogs who will finally have the chance to experience freedom for the very first time. For the last leg of their return trip home, an estimated 25+ motorcyclists will escort the rescue team from Limon to Peyton, Colorado. The escort is being organized by Mile High Harley-Davidson of Aurora, Colorado, strong supporters of National Mill Dog Rescue.The "Harley to the Rescue" team is led by a tiny, 14-year-old Chihuahua named Harley who is not only the American Humane Association's 2015 Hero Dog of the Year, but also an iconic figure in the social media world of puppy mill awareness. He spent 10 years as a commercial breeder in a puppy mill before being rescued. His one-eyed, grizzled image is immediately recognizable, primarily due to the fact he lost an eye when his cage was power-washed at the puppy mill. He actively uses his website, Facebook page (with 83,000+ followers), Instagram, and Twitter to spread awareness about the cruel realities of puppy mills and raise funds for non-profit rescue groups.Teddy, the designated "Harley to the Rescue" team driver, lived his first 7 years in a puppy mill before he was rescued by National Mill Dog Rescue. Teddy uses his Facebook page (with 31,000+ followers), Instagram and Twitter to spread puppy mill awareness and to share his experiences in learning about life outside the cage."Harley to the Rescue" began in 2013 as a campaign to raise the $2,500 needed to fund one rescue of approximately 25-30 dogs with National Mill Dog Rescue. To date, these two dogs have raised over $550,000 and have rescued 585 dogs from horrific conditions in puppy mills. This mission, their eighth trip, is called "Hearts 2 Hearts" and supporters have helped fund it through special tribute hearts which will decorate the kennel to celebrate their return.National Mill Dog Rescue is a Colorado Springs-based 501(c)(3) organization that rescues, rehabilitates and re-homes discarded commercial breeding dogs from puppy mills. NMDR relies on volunteers to care for the dogs from the moment they are surrendered to the time they are adopted and beyond. The organization depends on the generosity of the public to enable us to provide the high level of care for our dogs and continue our efforts to save more of them.National Mill Dog Rescue started with a single sentence in an e-mail received by Theresa Strader: "50 Italian Greyhounds in need." A large-scale breeding operation, or "puppy mill," was going out of business and all 561 dogs were going to auction. One of those dogs was a seven-year-old Italian Greyhound named Lily. The moment their eyes met through the wire of Lily's tiny cage, Theresa knew her life had changed forever and that this new life would include Lily and a mission to bring about lasting change.In honor of Lily, National Mill Dog Rescue was established in February 2007 to give a voice to mill dogs across the country. Since then, NMDR has rescued more than 10,500 puppy mill survivors. Every single dog that comes through the doors is spayed or neutered and given whatever additional medical care they need - without exception. They are groomed, many of them for the very first time. Years of filth and matted fur are removed, allowing the beautiful dog underneath to shine. Soon they learn about all the simple pleasures that they had never previously known - clean water, toys and treats, a soft bed, and most importantly, the love of a human companion.Harley's facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/harleyfreighttraintaylor
Teddy's facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/teddybearburchfieldNMDR Website: http://milldogrescue.org
 
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