A horse represented by the Animal Legal Defense Fund won't get his day in court.
A judge has denied a first-of-its-kind lawsuit by ruling that the horse, Justice, can't be a plaintiff.
Justice's former owner has previously pleaded guilty to animal abuse. The abuse allegedly left Justice with expensive and ongoing medical needs.
Animal rights group Animal Legal Defense Fund attempted to sue for $100,000 in economic damages and its future costs of care on his behalf.
On Monday, a Washington County judge ruled that since animals can't accept legal responsibility, they can't file lawsuits.
The court finds that a non-human animal such as Justice lacks the legal status or qualifications necessary for the assertion of legal rights and duties in a court of law
It isn't clear if Justice and his lawyers plan to appeal the decision.
A Tennessee man used a school bus to deliver 64 dogs and cats to safety as Hurricane Florence approached the East Coast.
Tony Alsup picked the animals up from South Carolina animal shelters located in the path of the storm, the Washington Post reports. He purchased the bus to help transport animals after Hurricane Harvey last year.
Alsup, 51, has helped many "leftover" animals, the Saint Frances Animal Center in Georgetown, SC, noted in a Facebook post. That means "the dogs with blocky heads, the ones with heartworm ... the ones no one else will ever take," according to the post.
Alsup took the 53 dogs and 11 cats to a private shelter owned by Angela Eib-Maddux in Foley, AL. From there, they were handed off to other shelters throughout the country or to foster homes.
He was planning to head to North Carolina to try to help more pets.
An extremely disturbing video of animal abuse has been circulating the internet and now the Las Vegas community is working together to make sure the man in the video is held accountable.
The video shows a man beating up a dog and making threats to family members. It was originally sent to Animal Advocate Gina Greisen with Nevada Voters for Animals.
"When I clicked on the video to watch it, it was utterly shocking. I mean I was horrified not only by what was happening to the dog but by the threats that were being made," said Greisen.
Greisen immediately began making calls to figure out more about the man in the video and why he was still a free man according to his family and friends. She also posted about it on her Facebook page.
"When someone video tapes themselves that violently beating a helpless animal and then making threats to rape and kill and slit throats and throw bodies in rivers, why is this person not being arrested?" asked Greisen.
13 Action News called Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department and the Clark County District Attorney's Office to inquire about the status of the investigation. Both agencies told 13 Action News this is now a federal investigation being handled by the FBI, so neither agency could provide any further details.
We did reach out to the FBI but did not hear back before deadline.
Greisen confirms she is in touch with family members who say the dog is alive and well.
Pet industry spending grew 14.6 percent last year to a record $77.13 billion, according to new data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
John Gibbons explains on his Pet Business Professor blog that the pet food segment was up 17.4 percent to $31.1 billion. The veterinary
segment grew 14.1 percent to $20.67 billion. And the pets and supplies category was up 17.3 percent to $18.58 billion.
The pet services sector, meanwhile, decreased 1 percent to $6.77 billion.
Data for the newly released U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Expenditure Survey was gathered by the U.S. Census Bureau from over 42,000 interviews and spending diaries, Gibbons explains.
He notes that the rise in pet food spending "was the second largest increase in history, trailing only the +$5.4B lift in 2015."
The trend of "humanizing" our pets "is very accurately reflected in the evolution of Pet Food," Gibbons writes.
The start of the academic year and football season brings thousands of students, families and fans to University Park, and Penn State wants to make sure those visitors are not chauffeuring a certain unwanted guest.
The gatecrasher in question is the spotted lanternfly, an invasive insect that first arrived on the scene in 2014 in Berks County, Pennsylvania. The planthopper, native to Asia, has the potential to take a big bite out of Pennsylvania's economy by damaging crops, landscapes and natural ecosystems, including the grape, tree-fruit, hardwood and nursery industries.
So far, the insect has been contained to a quarantine zone consisting of 13 counties — Berks, Bucks, Carbon, Chester, Delaware, Lancaster, Lebanon, Lehigh, Monroe, Montgomery, Northampton, Philadelphia and Schuylkill — and those on the front lines of combating the pest want to keep it that way. "Spotted lanternflies are crafty hitchhikers," said Heather Leach, Penn State's spotted lanternfly extension associate. "They also will lay their eggs pretty much anywhere, including on the undercarriages of vehicles, on luggage racks and on items that folks might bring to a game, such as tailgate chairs and tables.
"With the influx of visitors to campus this time of the year, we are concerned that they may unknowingly spread the insect during their travels," she said. "And keeping the spotted lanternfly from invading other parts of the state and beyond is imperative while we work toward developing long-term management and control solutions."
Penn State has launched a multimedia public awareness campaign asking visitors to the University Park campus, especially those coming from southeastern Pennsylvania, to take the following precautions before traveling:
- Walk around your vehicle and check closely for any spotted lanternfly adults and/or nymphs; particularly check the windshield wiper area, bumpers and wheel wells. In fall and winter, also look for egg masses, which have the appearance of mud splatters. On RVs, check the roofs as well.
- Check any piece of equipment or item that you will be transporting that has been outdoors in the quarantine area — such as grills, tents, tables or yard games.
- Do not park your RV or other vehicles under trees. Keep your windows up at all times.
- Check yourself before getting into any vehicle to make sure there are no spotted lanternfly nymphs or adults on you.
"Citizens can make a big difference by taking these small actions," said Leach. "Working together, we can reduce the spread of this destructive species." For more information about how to identify and control spotted lanternfly, how to report an infestation and how to comply with quarantine regulations, visit the Penn State Extension website at https://extension.psu.edu/spotted-lanternfly.
A Washington County non-profit animal rescue says zoning regulations and a new exotic animal ban that went into effect earlier this week may force them to move.
The organization, called Walk on the Wild Side, takes exotic animals to different places to help educate the public about them. The organization has been featured at different events, including the Rose Festival.
Steve Higgs, one of the organization's owners, says they have appealed a zoning violation by the county and are waiting to see what will happen. At the same time, they are looking at options to possibly relocate to Marion County, Higgs says.
It was in 2016 that the non-profit moved from the Canby-area following a three-year battle with Clackamas County officials over zoning issues and code violations. Now, two years later, they are facing the same battle, but in a different county. “We’ve never had an animal escape, never had anybody injured," Higgs said.
He says most of the animals, including a lion, a tiger and a bear, have been rescued and are used to help teach others about their dwindling habitat and way of life. “Most of these animals can’t go back to the wild, because there is no wild," Higgs said.
Washington County contends the exotic animals being kept on the property off Highway 26 were not approved when it comes to land use. They also say the property the non-profit is on is zoned as farm land. Higgs says they have hay, farm animals, and even produce tiger manure. He adds the tiger manure is used to deter coyotes and other predators in places like sheep pastures.
This latest battle has been going on since March of 2016. A hearings officer found in June the organization was in violation of three county codes. Higgs is appealing that decision.
"Every way we turn, they try and come up with something that will counter what we are trying to do that is good," Higgs said.
California Governor Jerry Brown signed Assembly Bill 1776 on Sept. 6, establishing a pilot program that would authorize medical technicians to provide emergency, ground-based transportation to a veterinary facility for police dogs injured in the line of duty.
This bill would authorize the County of San Bernardino to work with the Inland Counties Emergency Medical Agency to conduct a pilot project starting Jan. 1, 2019, in which they collect specified data about the results and submit a report to the Legislature by Jan. 1, 2022.
As an exception, there must be no person requiring medical attention or transportation at the scene when the request is made, and the ambulance must have a policy permitting the transportation of an injured police dog.
The Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation, and Forestry announced Sept. 14 that a York County horse has tested positive for West Nile virus (WNV). This is the first confirmed case of WNV in Maine horses on record. The horse began exhibiting neurologic signs of disease last week and is currently undergoing supportive veterinary care. The horse was not vaccinated against the disease.
“WNV and Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE), which are carried by mosquitoes, are viral diseases that cause similar signs, and are often fatal in unvaccinated horses,” said Michele Walsh, DVM, Maine state veterinarian. “Both viruses can affect human beings if they are bitten by mosquitoes that carry the viruses. People cannot acquire WNV or EEE infection from sick animals, only from the bite of an infected mosquito.” West Nile virus is transmitted to horses via bites from infected mosquitoes. Not all infected horses show clinical signs, but those that do can exhibit:
- Flulike signs, where the horse seems mildly anorexic and depressed;
- Fine and coarse muscle and skin fasciculation (twitching);
- Hyperesthesia (hypersensitivity to touch and sound);
- Changes in (mentality), when horses look like they’re daydreaming or “just not with it”;
- Occasional drowsiness;
- Propulsive walking (driving or pushing forward, often without control); and
- Spinal signs, including asymmetrical weakness; and
- Asymmetrical or symmetrical ataxia (incoordination).
West Nile has no cure, however some horses can recover with supportive care. Equine mortality rates can reach 30-40%. “WNV and EEE are preventable in horses through vaccination,” said Walsh. Horses vaccinated in past years need an annual booster shot, but veterinarians might recommend two boosters annually—one in the spring and another in the fall—in areas with prolonged mosquito seasons. In contrast, previously unvaccinated horses require a two-shot vaccination series in a three- to six-week period. Full immunity takes several weeks to achieve. In addition to vaccinations, owners should work to reduce the mosquito populations and possible breeding areas and horses’ exposure by:
- Removing stagnant water sources;
- Dumping, cleaning, and refilling water buckets and troughs regularly;
- Keeping animals inside during the bugs’ feeding times (typically early in the morning and evening); and
Enerkem Inc. (www.enerkem.com), a world-leading waste-to-biofuels and chemicals producer, announced today at the G7 Environment, Energy and Oceans Ministerial Meeting in Halifax, Nova Scotia, that it will be exploring opportunities to take action on ocean plastics waste and marine litter.
Following the successful commercial launch of the world's first waste-to-biofuels facility in Edmonton, Alberta, converting mixed household waste and unrecoverable plastics into fuels and chemicals, Enerkem is now seeking to leverage its carbon recycling technology expertise to help solve the ever-growing issues related to ocean plastics waste.
The company has engaged discussions with The Ocean Legacy Foundation, a Canadian non-profit organization which conducts recurring coastal cleanup expeditions, to explore ways in which soiled plastics can be recuperated from oceans to produce low carbon transportation fuels and chemicals by leveraging Enerkem's disruptive technology.
"Our breakthrough waste-to-biofuels and chemicals technology is already addressing the issues related to urban waste, including plastics. Through this innovative collaboration, we are committed to looking at concrete local initiatives to turn ocean plastics waste into valuable products", explained Marie-Hélène Labrie, Senior Vice President, Government Affairs and Communications, Enerkem.
According to the World Economic Forum, around 150 million tonnes of plastics are floating in our oceans, with an additional eight million tonnes entering the water each year. Despite plastics waste reduction and recycling efforts by government, municipalities and communities, the amount of plastics littering the world's marine environments is expected to triple within a decade.
Under the theme of Working Together on Climate Change, Oceans and Clean Energy, the G7 Ministerial Meeting underscores the importance of engaging and supporting ways to tackle climate change, improve the health of the world's oceans and transform the way we produce, transport and use energy.
The National Retail Federation has released a list of the top Halloween costumes for pets.
It's based on a new survey in which the group asked 6,961 consumers about Halloween shopping plans. The annual survey was conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics.
Pet costumes continue to gain popularity, with nearly 20 percent of celebrants planning to dress their pets in costumes this year up from last year’s 16 percent.
- Pumpkin - 11.2%
- Hot dog - 7.4%
- Bumble bee - 4.9%
- Devil - 3.2%
- Cat - 3.1%
- Dog - 3.1%
- Lion - 2.9%
- Star Wars character - 2.8%
- Super hero - 2.7%
- Ghost - 2.5%
“One of the biggest trends this year is the growth of spending on pet costumes,” Prosper Insights Executive Vice President of Strategy Phil Rist said. “Out of the 31.3 million Americans planning to dress their pets in costumes, millennials (25-34) are most likely to dress up their pets, the highest we have seen in the history of our surveys.”
In all, spending for Halloween is expected to reach $9 billion, the second highest in the survey’s 14-year history.
“The economy is good and consumer confidence is high, so families are ready to spend on Halloween this year,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “Retailers are stocking up to supply children, pets and adults with their favorite decorations, candy and costumes for the season.”