Monday, March 29, 2010

Ohio Effort to Ban Puppy Mills and Dog Auctions Disrupted by Opponents

A meeting at Millersburg, Ohio, aimed at training and educating supporters of a possible bill that would ban dog auctions in Ohio was canceled Saturday after opponents disrupted the meeting.

Millersburg Police and Holmes County Sheriff's deputies were called to the Holmes County Library this past Saturday morning where a "town hall meeting" was being held by the Coalition to Ban Ohio Dog Auctions to talk about possible legislation.

Opponents of the proposed legislation gathered outside the front entrance of the library to hand out literature titled "The Animal Rights Agenda," with one section highlighted in blue, stating: "You are attending today's "Town Hall Meeting" to discuss plans for a ballot initiative to shut down dog auctions in Ohio. There is only one such auction in Ohio. This initiative is a direct attack on that private business which is operated in Holmes County; and literally hundreds of your fellow citizens depend on this auction to either purchase or market their dogs and to obtain new bloodlines or offer new bloodlines to other breeders."

Mary O' Connor-Shaver, treasurer for the Coalition to Ban Ohio Dog Auctions, said the group has organized meetings in more than 14 counties and never had it "disrupted" like it was Saturday. She said the information contained in the flier was "sensationalism."

"The auction is serving as a distribution channel for disreputable buyers and sellers, and we feel it's not been good for the state, whether it's Holmes County or any other county, Ohio suffers as a result of these auctions and it's not any good," she said.

The Ohio Dog Auctions Act would be similar to a Pennsylvania law and would establish a statute to the Ohio Dog Law making it illegal for anyone to auction or raffle a dog in Ohio. It also would prohibit bringing dogs into the state for sale or trade that were acquired by auction of raffle elsewhere. Supporters are hoping to get it on the November 2011 ballot.

O'Connor-Shaver said the Hamilton County - Coalition Meeting on Ohio Dog Auctions Act has been rescheduled for Saturday, April 3 at 10:00 a.m. at the SPCA Cincinnati, Sharonville.

For more information on the Ohio effort to ban puppy mills and dog auctions visit:

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Duluth animal shelter adopts no-kill goal

The Duluth Animal Shelter and Animal Allies Humane Society are announcing a joint goal of not euthanizing a single healthy animal starting this year.

When Duluth Animal Control Officer Carrier Lane took her job in the early ’90s, the conditions she found at the city animal shelter were nothing short of deplorable, she said.

Animals were rarely let out of their cages, weren’t being spayed and neutered, and a dozen — if not dozens of — healthy animals were euthanized each day.

“That was easily the hardest part of the job,” Lane said.

But things have improved so much that the shelter and Animal Allies Humane Society are announcing a joint goal of not euthanizing a single healthy animal starting this year.

“If we can make that part of our job go away,” Lane said, “that would really help us. And separate from us, it’ll be good for the animals.”

That may not seem like such a challenge, but nationally the rate of animals euthanized at shelters can be up to 40 percent for dogs and 70 percent for cats, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

Euthanizing healthy animals at one point was a major problem in Duluth, said Animal Allies executive director Jim Filby Williams, who said about 25 years ago that 1,500 were euthanized in a single year. Last year, the number was 59.

The total of euthanized animals last year, 344, is thought to be a record low for the city.

Puppy Mills Don't Play in Peoria

The saying, "Will it play in Peoria?" is traditionally used as a metaphor to ask whether a given product, person, promotional theme, or event will appeal to mainstream America.  The following article suggests  “puppy mills” and related "puppy mill events" do not “play in Peoria”. Let's hope this is a good portent for the rest of the nation that this horrific industry will soon be a thing of the past:

Activists cheer cancellation of puppy expo

Missouri business denied license to sell dogs in Peoria

PEORIA — Animal rights activists claimed victory this week when a puppy expo planned for this weekend at Exposition Gardens was canceled.

Lauren Malmberg, director of the Peoria Animal Welfare Shelter, said Wednesday the event was canceled after the organizers' application for a transient business license to sell puppies in Peoria was denied.

"We were notified on the 18th that application had been made and discovered they were out of state," Malmberg said.

Organizers Joy Thomas, Judy Hodge-Smith and Kae Sherrill, operating under the business K9 Kabin, are from Missouri.

"I called the ag department to confirm they did not have the appropriate license to operate in Illinois as a dog dealer, or kennel or pet shop operator, so I consulted with our legal department," Malmberg said. "We denied their application based on the fact they did not hold a state license."

K9 Kabin officials could not be reached to respond to comments by Malmberg and others. But even if K9 Kabin had been granted a license, the owners probably would have met a hostile atmosphere in Peoria. Dozens of animals rights activists had been e-mailing and calling each other to protest its operation as soon as the advertisement appeared Sunday in the classified section of the Journal Star, Malmberg said.

A group called The Puppy Mill Project that monitors puppy sales has been mobilizing members all across the state.

The K9 Kabin group is licensed through the U.S. Department of Agriculture as a commercial dog breeder.

Activists had planned to stage a protest at Expo Gardens in Peoria.

"This is not the first time we've stopped a puppy expo," said Cari Meyers, who runs The Puppy Mill Project, based in Chicago. "I have a group of 150 warriors as I call them, and with phone calls and e-mails, about 900."

One of the "warriors" is Doris Mueller of Peoria, who formed Peoria Area Voices for Animals three years ago.

"We were just going to be holding signs and getting people to be aware of the situation and not be impulsive buyers," Mueller said about the protest they had planned. "The public doesn't have a chance to see the parents. Puppy mill puppy problems don't manifest themselves until the dogs are much older."

Animal rights activists use the term puppy mill to refer to commercial breeders with USDA licenses.

"They have hundreds of dogs which live outside in cages with wire flooring, and they are all bred to be sold," Meyers said.

Meyers said her group, in conjunction with other advocates from Illinois, did some investigation and found the Missouri-based K9 Kabin's owners had several U.S. Department of Agriculture violations.

"This has got to stop," Meyers said. "They are running puppy mills."

A recent report by Missouri's Better Business Bureau found that 30 percent of federally licensed dog breeders are located there, four times the number of breeders in the next-highest state.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Volunteers Open Kitten Room at No-Kill Shelter

A fresh paint job, a new floor and custom-built furniture aren't among things that a cat generally holds in high regard.

However, volunteers at Jeffersonville's Animal Protection Association, are hoping it's something that potential pet owners will.

The association – a non-profit and no-kill shelter on 11th Street in Jeffersonville – is putting the finishing touches on its kitten nursery with such improvements. The shelter is not like many others in that most of the cats roam free, climbing around cat trees and other furniture, instead of spending their hours behind bars.

“We wanted to make it cute and inviting for adopters and make it homelike for the cats,” said Susan Hammon, a volunteer who helped decorate the kitties' new digs. “The idea is that the cats are in this house, essentially running free.”

And it's not as though they have the full run of the building. There are rooms and some cages in which some of the cats are contained.

Andy Scott, of Louisville-based Candor Construction, volunteered to build the wooden boxes, beds and cage for the new kitten nursery.

“It was a lot of fun,” he said, noting that it became a project for he and his two sons. “I love to build stuff.”

Hammon said the room is being completed as spring time usually brings a lot of new tabby tenants and siamese squatters.

“Anytime now, we're expecting a flood of kittens,” she said.

Currently, according to association president Faye Hinton, the organization has about 40 cats, not all of which are at the shelter. In a given year it finds homes for about 200 cats, she said.

Those interested in adopting at cat can call (812) 283-6555 for an appointment. The shelter also has adoption hours between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays at 702 East Eleventh Street, Jeffersonville.

NASCAR Driver plans No-Kill shelter

Friends of the Animals, a non-profit group chaired by NASCAR driver Greg Biffle and his wife, Nicole, plan to build a 1.5-acre no-kill animal and education center will include a low-cost spay and neuter clinic.

The center will be in the planned $800 million Langtree at the Lake community off Interstate 77 Exit 31 in south Iredell, the Biffles announced this afternoon.

Friends of the Animals hopes the center will open within two years.

The animal sanctuary will house 150 animals -- 60 cats and 90 dogs -- that will be available for adoption.

The animal education and community center will also be available to churches, community groups and the public for birthday parties and meetings.

Langtree’s developers, including Rick Howard, CEO of The Langtree Group, are allowing Friends of the Animals to use green space fin the development or a community dog park and walking trails.

“Friends of the Animals searched for several years to find a location that would be easy for the public to access,” NIcole Biffle said in announcing the shelter plans. “ If the location is easy and friendly, we know it will increase adoptions and spay/ neuters for the animals.”

Nicole Biffle is president of the Friends of the Animals’ board or directors.

Langtree at the Lake will include lakeside condominiums, village-center lofts, specialty shops and boutiques, restaurants and small caf├ęs and Class A office space. The development will also have 40 acres of green space, including : 2 1/2 miles of walking trails around a man-made lake and over a mile of Lake Norman shoreline.

Read more:

Austin City Council adopts "No-Kill" plan

The Austin City council voted unanimously March 11 in favor of a plan to reduce animal euthanizations, and also approved a $12 million contract to build a new animal shelter in east Austin. 

The ‘no-kill’ plan aims to reduce euthanizations to 10 percent of the animal shelter population, down from about one-third now. City staff estimated the euthanization rate could be achieved within approximately two years. The city proposed moving toward a no-kill shelter program in 1997.

The reduced euthanization plan involves about 35 ideas, including more free sterilizations, expanded foster care programs and off-site adoption programs. If implemented the plan would cost about $1 million per year, tentatively. Many of the measures could be implemented at no cost, and council members did not commit to allocating any funding.

As part of the plan, council members approved a $12 million contract to build a new animal shelter at the Betty Dunkerley Campus of the city’s Health and Human Services Department, located at 7201 Levander Loop.

The new facility is scheduled to be finished by summer 2011, replacing he Town Lake Animal Center, 1156 W. Cesar Chavez St. Voters approved funding the new facility in a 2006 bond election.

City staff recommended keeping the Town Lake facility open for six months after the opening of the new facility.