Displaying items by tag: abuse

Best And Worst States For Animal Protection Laws, 2017 Report Released

Posted on January 18, 2018

Illinois holds on to first place, Kentucky bottoms out for eleventh year in a row 

SAN FRANCISCO—The Animal Legal Defense Fund, the nation’s preeminent legal advocacy organization for animals, released the 12th annual year-end report (2017) ranking the animal protection laws of all 50 states. For the 10th year in a row, Illinois is in first place—followed by Oregon (2), California (3), Maine (4), and Rhode Island (5). Kentucky holds firmly to last place for the 11th consecutive year. It trails Iowa (49), Wyoming (48), Utah (47), and North Dakota (46) as the state with the weakest animal protection laws.

The patchwork of state and local laws is animals’ primary protection. The strength of these laws varies widely, making the Rankings Report a vital resource for anyone interested in helping animals. The Rankings are based on a comprehensive review of each jurisdiction’s animal protection laws including over 4,000 pages of statutes. This is the longest-running and most authoritative report of its kind, and tracks which states are taking animal protection seriously.

Pennsylvania is the most-improved state this year, jumping 20 places up to number 24. This achievement is thanks to major improvements like a new felony provision for first-time offenders of aggravated animal cruelty (including torture), and granting civil immunity to veterinarians who report suspected animal abuse.

The 2017 Rankings Report also highlights a trend in laws aiming to end the tragedy of animals dying in hot cars. Public awareness campaigns have helped improve the situation, but legislation is also a key component. This year’s Rankings Report is promising, showing more states granting civil immunity for removing animals from hot vehicles. Immunity laws ensure that people who rescue animals from vehicles in emergency situations are not then faced with lawsuits from owners. Arizona, California, Colorado, Indiana, Massachusetts, Nevada, and Oregon all enacted these “reckless endangerment” provisions this year. In all, more than 25 states now have some type of “hot cars” law on the books.

More than half of all states significantly improved their animal protection laws in the last five years. Improvements come in many forms including stiffer penalties for offenders, stronger standards of care for animals, animal cruelty reporting by veterinarians, mental health evaluations and counseling for offenders, banning animal ownership following cruelty convictions and including animals in domestic violence protective orders.

“Unfortunately, laws protecting animals can vary widely from state to state,” says Animal Legal Defense Fund Executive Director Stephen Wells. “Our annual U.S. Animal Protection Laws Rankings provides a tool for animal advocates, shelters and even legislators to gauge the relative effectiveness of their state’s animal protection laws and provides guidance for making positive changes.”

The full report, including details about each state, is available here for download (PDF).  The Animal Legal Defense Fund’s complete “Animal Protection Laws of the U.S.A. and Canada” compendium, on which the report is based, is available at

Review written by Jon Patch with 3 out 4 paws

The Glass Castle

Lionsgate and Netter Productions present a PG-13, 127 minute, based on a true story, Biography, Drama, directed by Destin Daniel Cretton, written by Cretton and Andrew Lanham with a theater release date of August 11, 2017.

Sovereign Films and Adopt Films present a 108 minute, PG-13, Drama, directed by Richard Laxton and written by Emma Thompson with a limited release theater date of April 3, 2015.

LOS ANGELES, CA—A report released this morning finds that animal welfare violations are widespread and common in laboratories at University of California schools. The report, A Pattern of Abuse: Animal welfare violations in University of California laboratories, August 2010 - June 2013 tracks federal citations of the Animal Welfare Act over the past three years.
The Animal Welfare Act (AWA) is a federal law that protects some animals used in experiments. Most animals are not protected under this law; as the report highlights, at least 95% of animals used in experiments in the United States (including mice and birds) are excluded from protection under this law. The animals who do receive protection include cats, dogs, rabbits, and nonhuman primates.
According to Anthony Bellotti, Executive Director of the tax fraud watchdog group White Coat Waste, "Right now, Americans are being taxed to pay for wasteful and cruel animal experiments that directly benefit a small handful of UC professors on the big government dole. This new report exposes a disturbing pattern of waste, fraud, and abuse that we're all forced to pay for. For example, why does Washington, D.C. still need to study the effects of crystal meth and alcohol on mice and monkeys at UCLA? As budgets for air traffic controllers are getting slashed in tough economic times, how can we justify government waste like this?"
Despite the fact that the Animal Welfare Act only protects a very small minority of highly valued animals used in universities, UC schools have nevertheless been found to regularly violate even these minimal protections.
Study highlights:
 In the past three years, there are 28 confirmed violations of the Animal Welfare Act at seven UC campuses.
 UC Davis, UCLA, and UC San Francisco have received the most animal welfare violations from the federal government.
 UCLA received the most violations in this time period and has a history of violations for not allowing inspections of their facilities and failing to perform internal reviews of animal welfare.
 UC Davis was cited for inadequate sanitation and housing for cats and dogs and nonhuman primates.
 There is an Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) on each campus to ensure that all animal experiments avoid the use of animals when possible and adhere to the highest welfare standards. However, over half of the citations received by UC schools in the past three years were due to failures of the IACUC to sufficiently perform its mandated duties.
 There is a pattern of citations for a lack of appropriate veterinary care.
According to report author, Dr. Carol Glasser: “The pattern of animal abuse revealed by these citations is particularly disturbing because it represents violations of basic animal welfare to animals that are culturally valued, such as cats, dogs, and monkeys. If these animals are not being given proper veterinary care or sanitary housing, then the treatment of the other 95% of animals used by our state’s universities is likely much worse.”
Progress for Science is coalition of alumni and taxpayers opposed to the use of nonhuman primates in research experiments at UCLA.

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

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


Did You Know Mitt Romney is Listed in Two National Animal Cruelty Databases?

New Web Video from Dogs Against Romney asks: Should We Have a President Who Isn’t Even Qualified to Adopt a Pet?

Watch It Here:

Gulf Shores, AL -- Mitt Romney’s admission that he transported his pet strapped on the roof of his station wagon for a 12-hour drive has spawned countless late night jokes. Romney himself tries to laugh it off, but we’ve learned new information that is no laughing matter.

Abusing animals has consequences – consequences not even Mitt Romney can avoid. In the wake of his campaign’s 2007 revelation of the “dog-on-roof story,” Mitt Romney’s name was listed by two national animal cruelty registries used to track animal abuse offenders.

The first,, is based in Southfields, NY and is connected to the national Animal Abuse Registry Database Administration System (AARDAS). According to its website, the registry provides “a database enabling animal adoption agencies to research potential adopters for possible prior abuse history within and across state and national lines."

Mitt Romney’s listing in the registry is for “neglect/abandonment” and can be found here:

The second registry listing Romney is , a New Hampshire organization that is part of the New Hampshire Governor's Task Force for the Humane Treatment of Animals. It bills itself as "a resource for any organization that deals with animal adoptions.”

Mitt Romney’s listing in the registry can be found here:

Both registries are maintained so that animal welfare organizations, Humane Law Enforcement officials, animal shelters, rescue operations, and breeders can share information about animal abuse offenders and conduct background checks before allowing people to adopt or purchase a pet.

Bottom line: Should the United States of America have a president who isn’t even qualified to adopt a pet?

Dogs aren't luggage.

Join the pack.



Help In Suffering (HIS) Tends Animal Population in Jaipur

Despite making significant economic progress, modern India is a country where millions of animals continue to suffer severe neglect or abuse. Overpopulation, poverty, superstition, apathy and ignorance all contribute to their plight.
Fortunately, improvements are starting to take root thanks to the work of animal welfare organizations striving to provide immediate health benefits for animals, while fostering a more caring culture in Indian society.

Help In Suffering, Jaipur
A good example of this noble effort is Help in Suffering (HIS) { <> } a registered Indian charitable trust that for 30 years has championed animal care and welfare in Jaipur, a city of almost four million in the province of Rajasthan.
Located in a shaded two-acre compound on the outskirts of Jaipur, Help in Suffering provides shelter and medical treatment for injured and sick dogs, cats, cattle, donkeys, ponies, horses, camels, monkeys, and birds – and until recently even elephants! It also does its best to educate people to make a better world for animals in India.

HIS employs about thirty-five staff and has three rescue ambulances and two mobile clinic vehicles. Six separate animal welfare projects are conducted, each headed by a veterinary surgeon.
Chief Vet Dr. Jack Reece
Dr. Jack Reece, an English vet, has been the cornerstone of the HIS veterinary staff for the past 12 years. He is recipient of the first Trevor Blackburn Award by the British Veterinary Association for work in the field of animal health and welfare in a developing country.
“Working to help animals in India is no more or less important than helping animals anywhere else on the planet,” he says.  “The plight of animals is global and even in the more prosperous nations of the West there is still much to be done to improve their lot. The big difference is that India is a huge country with a rampant population of street, working, and wild animals and very few resources to help them. That’s why I chose to offer my services here.”
Some would cast Jack as a modern day James Herriot, the kind-hearted Scottish veterinary surgeon who wrote the best-selling book All Creatures Great and Small. Dr. Reece will have none of that and prefers to stay out of the limelight, selflessly going about his work and lavishing praise on others for the accomplishments of HIS. And certainly, there are others who are well deserving of credit.

Helping Camels
Dr. Pradeep Singhal heads the HIS Camel project. Each day his team visits parts of Jaipur and nearby villages where large numbers of working camels congregate. Pradeep’s team also organizes an annual treatment camp at the Pushkar Camel Fair and has helped build a Camel Treatment Centre at nearby Bassi.  Common among camel ailments are parasites, worms, infections, and incorrect use of nose pegs. “As much as we treat wounds and injuries, we focus on educating owners so that improved management practices can be introduced,” he says.


Equine Care
Dr. Sudhir Swami splits his time between work in the compound’s dispensary and traveling in a mobile clinic to minister to the working donkeys, ponies and horses of Jaipur.  Sudhir and his staff provide free care to these animals that frequently suffer from exhaustion, lameness, debilitation, and disease from cart overloading, inadequate diet and water supply, and general overwork in extreme heat. “We are reducing these problems, many of which are preventable,” says Sudhir.  “For example, daily hoof care helps prevent injury, infection and lameness and so we distribute hoof picks together with information on how to properly clean the hoof.”
Sudhir and his assistants also tend to hundreds of animals brought to HIS each year by concerned owners, or rescued from street accidents by its large ambulance with a hydraulic lift. Some of the suffering, crippled and injured animals with no hope of recovery have to be humanely destroyed.
Animal Birth Control/Immunization
The World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) provides technical support for an Animal Birth Control (ABC) and Immunization program pioneered by Dr. Reece to create a friendly, stable, rabies-free street dog population in Jaipur. To date over 68,000 dogs have passed through the program and the incidence of human rabies in Jaipur has been reduced to zero for the past four years.
According to Dr. Reece, 71 percent of the city’s female dogs are now sterilized and 72 percent of the entire street dog population has been vaccinated against rabies. “Visitors to Jaipur report that our street dogs looks extremely healthy and friendly, sharply in contrast with other cities and towns of India where such programs are not yet in operation,” he says.


Animal Rescue and Rehoming
HIS also operates an Animal Rescue program that makes at least ten animal rescues a day. Dr. Mukesh, a clinical surgeon who works in the dispensary says this includes monkeys (often injured or burnt on power lines), birds such as peacocks, pigeons, and raptors, ponies and donkeys, pigs and camels, cattle, dogs, cats and even squirrels.
“We treat about 450 cases a month, from a small boy with a sick pet rabbit, to a village woman whose goat has mange, to a family in tears because the street dog living at their gate has been injured on the road,” says Mukesh. “Animals are held at the clinic for treatment and recovery as needed, after which they are returned to their owners, placed for adoption or put down if their injuries or illness cannot be cured.”

Funding and Donations
Timmie Kumar, HIS managing trustee says that caring after India’s animals is a never-ending endeavor. “We are making progress thanks to many dedicated and kind people, who help fund and provide our medical supplies, food and equipment. However, having the resources to keep going and growing is always a challenge. Unfortunately, the only thing that is not in short supply is the number of animals in need.”
HIS receives funding from various government agencies in India as well as donations from groups such as Humane Society International of the USA, Animaux Secours of France, the Marchig Trust and ELSU Foundation of Switzerland, and the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) and Carpenter Trust of Great Britain.
HIS has organized an Adopt a Pet program, and also sells postcards of animals online as a means to raise funds. Donations from caring individuals are always welcome and can be made at <>;   
Volunteer Vets
Help in Suffering gladly accepts experienced or newly qualified veterinary surgeons to assist with surgery, radiography, treatment or nursing care. The organization prefers a minimum stay of three months. Veterinary students are also welcome and will find plenty of opportunity for “hands on experience.”  
However, due to funding challenges, HIS requires volunteers to pay for their own transportation, accommodations and meals. Veterinary surgeons and veterinary students interested in volunteering should email Dr. Reece at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
“At HIS we gladly share duties and responsibilities to look after the animals in this part of the world,” says Dr. Reece.  “It is a labor of love. We get immense satisfaction from what we do, and enjoy a strong bond of friendship among ourselves in helping the animals of Jaipur.”     


YouTube Video Link

HIS Website <>

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