Displaying items by tag: Puppy Mills

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.

 

Responders provide daily care of animals in Garland County Sheriff’s Office’s animal cruelty investigation

NEW YORK—The ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®), at the request of the Garland County Sheriff’s Office, has spent the past three days managing the medical triage and sheltering of 175 dogs removed from a puppy mill facility on November 7 in Hot Springs, Ark. The animals are currently housed at an emergency shelter where veterinary and sheltering teams, led by ASPCA medical director Dr. Rhonda Windham, are assessing, diagnosing, treating and providing enrichment for the dogs.

Many of the dogs exhibited various signs of neglect and suffered from skin problems and flea infestation, among other medical conditions. Several deceased dogs were discovered on the property, and were sent for forensic necropsies to determine the causes of death.

“One of our concerns was the spread of deadly diseases, and we were able to complete forensic examinations and provide vaccinations to all dogs seized from the property,” said Dr. Windham, medical director of the ASPCA’s Field Investigations and Response team. “The forensic examinations are being processed and will be submitted to the Garland County Sheriff’s Office to support their investigation. We will continue to monitor the conditions of these animals and provide supportive medical treatments and environmental enrichment while they are being housed at our emergency shelter.”

A search warrant was executed on November 7 for the removal of the dogs, and Pam Thomas, the owner of the facility, was subsequently arrested and charged with three counts of felony animal cruelty. This came after a two-year investigation led by Garland County Sheriff’s Investigator, Corporal Angela Graybeal. The Garland County Sheriff’s Office, through undercover visits and purchases, and with support from investigators with the Humane Society of Garland County, in cooperation with Stop Animal Cruelty, determined that Ms. Thomas was operating a puppy mill.

“Any additional charges against Ms. Thomas will be determined based on the medical conditions reported by the ASPCA,” said Lieutenant James Martin of the Garland County Sheriff’s Office. “The Garland County Sheriff’s Office appreciates the outpour of support from the community, and hopes these animals can move on to a better place soon.”

The ASPCA’s anti-cruelty behavior team will be conducting evaluations of the animals in order to assess each animal’s personality and temperament. The ASPCA will work on placement of the animals once the final disposition has been determined by the prosecutor.

More than 30 responders are assisting with the daily care of the animals, including staff and volunteers from the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) and the Humane Society of Garland County. The operation is also being supported by PetSmart Charities, Inc., which provided much-needed sheltering supplies for the ASPCA’s emergency shelter.

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©(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.

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with Assistance from IFAW & PetSmart Charities

ASPCA manages forensic evidence collection & removal of animals
to support Garland County Sheriff’s Office animal cruelty investigation in Hot Springs, Ark.

NEW YORK—The ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®), at the request of the Garland County Sheriff’s Office, is managing the evidence collection and sheltering of more than 100 dogs living in a substandard commercial breeding facility—commonly known as a puppy mill—in Hot Springs, Ark., approximately 55 miles southwest of Little Rock. The operation is being supported by responders from the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), PetSmart Charities, Inc. and Garland County Humane Society.

A search warrant was executed Monday morning for the removal of the dogs, and the animals are being transported to a nearby emergency shelter where they will receive medical care and treatment. The ASPCA is also collecting evidence for the investigation as well as lending the services of its veterinary forensics teams, led by Dr. Rhonda Windham, medical director of the ASPCA’s Field Investigations and Response team. The owner of the puppy mill facility, Pam Thomas, has been arrested and charged with three counts of felony animal cruelty.

“The ASPCA has been invaluable in the coordination, investigation, processing and forensic evidence collection of the endangered and mistreated animals,” said Lieutenant James Martin of the Garland County Sheriff’s Office. “The successful completion of this operation would not have taken place without their experience, resources and expertise, as the magnitude of this operation is beyond the capabilities of Garland County resources.”

“The ASPCA is pleased to be in a position to lend our assistance and help the Garland County Sheriff’s Office put an end to abusive puppy mills in their community,” said Kathryn Destreza, director of Investigations for the ASPCA’s Field Investigations and Response team. “Puppy mill dogs suffer from living in extremely unsanitary conditions, without adequate veterinary care, food, water and socialization, and we appreciate the efforts of the local authorities in pursuing this investigation. Our goal is to help the local authorities by providing experts and resources to support the case, and see that these animals move on to a better place.”

Garland County Sheriff’s Investigator, Cpl. Angela Graybeal, began a criminal investigation in 2009 after allegations of health issues and charges had been brought against Ms. Thomas, owner of the Happy Times Kennel at 210 Barbershop Drive, also known as Rainbow Kennel and Spa City Pets, for violation of the Rabies Control Act.

During the two year investigation, Investigator Graybeal received numerous complaints regarding the living conditions, medical issues and mistreatment of more than 100 animals housed on the property. The Garland County Sheriff’s Office was able to determine that Thomas was operating a puppy mill through undercover visits and purchases, with support from the Garland County Humane Society, which connected investigators with the ASPCA for assistance.

The dogs—mainly small breeds such as Chihuahuas, West Highland white terriers, Boston terriers and dachshunds—were discovered living in feces-encrusted pens and deplorable conditions on the property. Many of the dogs exhibited various signs of neglect and appear to have severe skin problems and flea infestation, among other medical conditions.

The ASPCA is assessing and treating each animal by utilizing its fully equipped Northeast “Mobile Animal Crime Scene Investigation (CSI) Unit,” a specially-designed vehicle outfitted with state-of-the-art forensics tools and medical equipment tailored for animal patients. Additionally, the ASPCA’s custom-built animal transport trailer is also being utilized to help transfer animals to the emergency shelter.

More than 30 responders are on the scene, including staff and volunteers from IFAW, which is providing sheltering services and assisting with evidence collection; PetSmart Charities, which is providing much-needed supplies and helping set up the emergency shelter; and volunteers from the Garland County Humane Society, who will be assisting with the daily care of the animals housed at the temporary shelter.

“Upon learning of the deplorable conditions these animals were subjected to, IFAW took immediate action to help protect them from further suffering,” said Shannon Walajtys, IFAW Emergency Relief officer. “IFAW works around the world to ensure that dogs live in healthy conditions and we are dismayed to encounter, yet again, such appalling conditions here in the U.S.”

“Our Emergency Relief Waggin’ program offers assistance to animal victims, like these dogs, who need immediate care and attention,” added Susana Della Maddalena, executive director of PetSmart Charities. “Some of these dogs will experience, for the first time, what it’s like to be well fed, clean and comfortable. Our hope is that the pets rescued from cruelty cases, low-quality breeders and hoarders can be rehabilitated and placed into the caring homes they deserve.”

Tim Rickey, senior director of ASPCA Field Investigations and Response added, “With the support and collaboration of these agencies, the ASPCA is able to continue its life-saving work in the field. We truly appreciate our partnership with these national animal welfare groups to rescue animals like these from inhumane conditions.”

The ASPCA Field Investigations and Response team has rescued countless dogs from puppy mills across the nation and aided in the prosecution of their owners. Furthermore, the ASPCA’s Government Relations department has been active in drafting and promoting legislation that would strengthen regulations and raise minimum standards of care for dogs in puppy mills, most recently in Texas and Pennsylvania. Additionally, the ASPCA launched a national “No Pet Store Puppies” campaign, which seeks to raise awareness about the connection between puppy mills and pet stores.

For more information about puppy mills and how to fight animal cruelty, visit www.nopetstorepuppies.com.

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.

About IFAW (International Fund for Animal Welfare)
Founded in 1969, IFAW saves animals in crisis around the world. With projects in more than 40 countries, IFAW rescues individual animals, works to prevent cruelty to animals, and advocates for the protection of wildlife and habitats. For more information, visit www.ifaw.org. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

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***PRESS RELEASE***

Explosive campaign on Change.org calls on Petland USA to end the sale of pets in its stores; more than fifty bloggers join campaign.


WASHINGTON, DC – Thousands of people and more than fifty pet bloggers have joined a popular campaign on Change.org calling on Petland to stop selling commercially bred pets and support pet adoption instead.

Mary Haight, who owns the Dancing Dog Blog, launched the campaign on Change.org following an announcement from Petland Canada that it planned to end pet sales across its Canadian stores. When she tried to contact Petland’s U.S. headquarters in Ohio to find out their response to the announcement, she never received a call back.

"This is an opportunity for Petland to be a corporate leader,” said petition creator Mary Haight. “They claim to care about animals, but their actions don't match that claim when the foundation of Petland's business is based on buying from commercial puppy mills.”

“Petland can break with past cruelties, be welcomed in communities, and build a strong base for the future by embracing the adoption model,” Haight continued. “Now that Petland Canada has announced their plan to fire puppy mills and employ the adoption model, Petland USA needs to stand up and be counted. Millions of animals are waiting for their help."

Earlier this month, more than fifty pet bloggers joined a blog action day hosted by Be the Change for Animals in support of Mary’s campaign on Change.org, the world’s fastest growing platform for social change. News of the online campaign is likely to increase pressure on Petland, which has long been under fire for its connections to commercial breeding facilities referred to as “puppy mills.”

“What the pet blogging community has accomplished in just a few days is remarkable,” said Change.org Director of Organizing, Stephanie Feldstein. “Mary has managed to recruit thousands of supporters across the U.S. in her call for Petland USA to follow Canada’s lead in ending pet sales. Change.org is about empowering anyone, anywhere to demand action on the issues that matter to them, and it has been incredible to watch Mary’s campaign take off.”

Live signature totals from Mary Haight’s campaign:
http://www.change.org/petitions/petland-usa-stop-selling-pets-fire-puppy-mills-petland-canada-has

Contact information for petition signers in your area can be arranged upon request:

Stephanie Feldstein

Director of Organizing, Change.org

(734) 395-0770, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Blogs supporting Mary Haight’s Change.org petition:



For more information on Be the Change for Animals, please visit:
http://www.btc4animals.com/
Be the Change for Animals is a volunteer run website that highlights one animal cause per week and hosts quarterly Blog the Change events. See below for select list of blogs that participated in the blog action day.

For more information on Change.org, please visit:
http://www.change.org/about
Change.org is the world’s fastest-growing platform for social change — growing by more than 400,000 new members a month, and empowering millions of people to start, join, and win campaigns for social change in their community, city and country.

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Rescue groups in Ohio, New Jersey offer assistance in re-homing displaced shelter animals

NEW YORK—The ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®), through its Shelter Response Partnership network, is transporting 27 dogs from Rowan County Humane Society in Morehead, Ky. to Capital Area Humane Society in Columbus, Ohio and St. Hubert’s Animal Welfare Center in Madison, N.J.  The dogs’ transfer out of the shelter initially helped make room for 118 dogs that were seized during a puppy mill investigation led by the Rowan County Attorney’s Office in Morehead, and ultimately these dogs will be given a second chance for adoption through the receiving shelter partners.

The ASPCA’s Shelter Response Partnership network is a coalition of various national and local agencies that provide transport and a second chance for animals rescued from overcrowded facilities and cruelty investigations.

“To help communities with limited resources, the ASPCA works collaboratively with its response partners on cases where shelter animals need to be relocated,” said Joel Lopez, senior manager of operations for ASPCA Field Investigations and Response. “We appreciate Capital Area Humane Society and St. Hubert’s Animal Welfare Center for quickly stepping up to offer assistance and help provide positive outcomes for these 27 animals.”

The ASPCA animal transport trailer, a custom-built vehicle generously donated by the Silberstein Foundation of New York and the Grousbeck Family Foundation of California, will stop in Ohio to place nine dogs and then head toward New Jersey with 18 dogs, completing the transport operation.

ASPCA responders arrived in Kentucky last week to assist the Rowan County Attorney’s Office with evidence collection and sheltering management of 118 dogs that were seized on October 6 during a puppy mill investigation. The dogs—mainly small breeds such as Chihuahuas, Pekingese, miniature pinschers, papillons, dachshunds and schnauzers—were reported to be found living in deplorable conditions on the property. The dogs were transferred to a temporary shelter where they were triaged by veterinarians from other agencies and later evaluated by the ASPCA’s Anti-Cruelty animal behavior team.

The investigation was set into motion after complaints about the facility were reported to the Rowan County Attorney’s Office, which in turn contacted the ASPCA for assistance after removing the animals from the property. Charges against the puppy mill’s owner are currently pending as the Rowan County Attorney’s Office continues its investigation.

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.

About Capital Area Humane Society
The Capital Area Humane Society, a non-profit animal welfare organization founded in 1883, provides programs and services for animals and people in Central Ohio.  It is their mission to fight animal cruelty, help animals in need and advocate for their well-being. 

About St. Hubert's Animal Welfare Center
Founded in 1939, St. Hubert's Animal Welfare Center is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the humane treatment of companion animals. Its services to the community include pet adoption and animal rescue, animal-assisted therapy, humane education, dog training, low-cost spay & neuter and pet loss support. St. Hubert's animal shelters in Madison and North Branch, NJ provide care for approximately 3,700 animals every year. For adoption information please call: Madison shelter (973) 377-2295 or North Branch shelter (908) 526-3330. www.sthuberts.org

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