TEXAS Houston based company launches memorial space trip for pets

July 31, 2014

Company launches memorial space trip service for pets Houston-based Celestis offers memorial spaceflights for human remains and plans to offer a similar service for companion animal remains. The cost to send dog or cat remains on a spaceflight will start at about $995, a company spokeswoman said. The Associated Press (7/30)

OKLAHOMA. Oklahoma City owl deaths prompt federal investigation

July 31, 2014

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is investigating the death of two owls found coated in oil in northwestern Oklahoma, an agency spokesman said Wednesday.

Meanwhile, a report from the Oklahoma Corporation Commission shows a list of problems with the well site where the birds were found earlier this month.

Gavin Shire, spokesman for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, said he can’t comment on the investigation until it’s finished and it’s unclear when it will be completed.

“The Investigation has to take its course, and these things can take time, so we can’t make any predictions on time,” he said.


TEXAS licensed breeders advisory committee

Licensed Breeders Advisory Committee

Authorized by Texas Occupations Code, Chapter 802
Appointed by the Texas Commission of Licensing and Regulation
Composed of nine members serving four-year terms

Advisory Board Meeting Agendas, Minutes and RealAudio Files

Gayle A. Latham, Presiding Officer
Buda TX
Term Expires 2/1/15
Public Member

Richard Cordes, D.V.M.
Menard, TX
Term Expires 2/1/19

Babette Ellis
Austin, TX
Term Expires 2/1/19
Public Member

Natalie Lynch
Austin, TX
Term Expires 2/1/19
Animal Welfare Organization

Steve Epperson
Brownsboro, TX
Term Expires 2/1/15
Licensed Breeder

Sherry Ferguson
Houston, TX
Term Expires 2/1/15
Animal Welfare Organization

Term Expires 2/1/19
Licensed Breeder

Paul O’Neill
Midland, TX
Term Expires 2/1/19
Animal Control Officer

Melanie Mercer
Canton, TX
Term Expires 2/1/15

Licensed Breeders Advisory Committee Meeting Agendas, Minutes and RealAudio Files

Acrobat Reader is necessary to view .pdf files. If you need to obtain a copy of this program it is available as a free download for Windows or Macintosh operating systems.

Licensed Breeder Advisory Committee

Date Time Agenda Minutes RealPlayer
07/30/2013 9:30 a.m. HTML NA Video
08/21/2012 10:00 a.m. HTML MS Word Video
03/01/2012 9:30 a.m. HTML MS Word Video
01/04/2012 9:30 a.m. HTML MS Word Video
12/07/2011 9:30 a.m. HTML MS Word Video
11/15/2011 9:00 a.m. HTML MS Word Video


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COLORADO Freemont Humane Society inspector hired pressured not to do his job investigating

July 28, 2014

Freemont, CO, Inspector hired – pressured not to do his job investigate Free. Co. Humane Society


by Andy Koen

Inspector says he was pressured to not do his job

FREMONT COUNTY – A third party inspector hired by the City of Cañon City to look into accusations of animal abuse and mismanagement at The Fremont County Humane Society said he felt political pressure to not do his job.

Bill Lester, a retired inspector US Department of Agriculture, was picked by the council in December to make unannounced inspections at the shelter and look into the accusations against it.

In his latest report Lester blasts the shelter’s board of directors for changing governing documents so as to protect board members’ salaries and ensure nepotism among its ranks at the expense of animal care.

“This (Board of Directors) has set up a money train for themselves and for their relatives in the future that has amounted to millions in their pockets and the needles slaughter of tens of thousands of animals,” Lest writes

. He says in the five years between 2005 and 2009 that 10,587 animals were killed, an average of 5.8 animals a day. As an agriculture inspector, Lester said he watched over a slaughterhouse in Fremont County to ensure the animals were killed humanely.

“We would have had to kill livestock there over for 3 years to kill as many animals as the humane society killed in one single year,” he wrote.

His report describes how the Humane Society was first organized in 1950 by businessman and benefactor Ralph J. Wann. A separate trust was created by Wann is the primary funding source for the shelter.

Initial governing documents prohibited payments to board members, but in 1970 those bylaws were changed. Lester also discovered that in 2010 the documents were changed again to limit board membership to “individuals who are either spouses or descendants of Walter F. Jenks, Ruth V. Stimack and J.A. Carmack.

” Stimack, Carmack and Jenks’ son Christopher are the three board members who recently received payment.

Lester said the report was not well received by the city.

“I think everybody expected me to write everything is hunky-dory and all good so all the problems would go away and business could go on as usual,” Lester said.

He says the city attorney sent a letter and email trying to steer him away some of the negative findings, noting the number of euthanized animals has declined since 2009. It also asserts that the make up of the board of directors reflects the wishes of Wann’s widow Hazel.

“He’s always pushing me to say nice things, don’t say bad things,” Lester said.

Cañon City Mayor Tony Greer says no one is trying to influence Lester, but that his investigation went beyond the City’s interest in safe treatment animals.

“His opinion seems to have swayed a little bit, the more he has dug into the internal workings of the Humane Society, but as far as the treatment of animals, I think he’s pretty objective,” Greer said when asked if he still views Lester as a disinterested third party.

Greer believes Lester’s conclusions about the shelter board have an important role in the public discussion over the shelter, but don’t affect the City’s current contract with them for animal control services.

“We wanted to make sure they were doing the job that we hired them to do properly and that they weren’t mistreating animals,” Greer said.

When the City renewed its $30,000 annual contract with the Humane Society, it required that Lester would be given complete access to the facility and report his findings to council. The agreement also lets the City to backout at any time if it finds that animal abuse is occurring.

Lester says he was asked to investigate all accusations against the shelter and that the broken public trust can’t be restored under the current board.

“This isn’t going away until all of the allegations are address,” Lester said.

The Humane Society announced in June that the board stopped paying themselves and instead will spend the money on the animals. We reached out to the spokesperson Deborah Muehleisen for comment on Lester’s report. She said a prepared statement would be provided Wednesday.

TEXAS Austin No Kill documentary August 3rd at Stateside Theater

July 24, 2014

National Animal Rights Leader, Author, Brings No Kill Advocacy Center’s “No Kill” Documentary to Austin on Sunday, August 3rd, at the Stateside Theater,,Read more: http://www.digitaljournal.com/pr/2077657#ixzz38Tfxg0W4


Press Release National Animal Rights Leader, Author, Brings No Kill Advocacy Center’s “No Kill” Documentary to Austin on Sunday, August 3rd, at the Stateside Theater


Based on the award-winning, highly-acclaimed book of the same title, “Redemption,” a documentary film about the No Kill revolution in America by author and national No Kill advocate Nathan J. Winograd calls attention to the estimated four million animals that are losing their lives annually in animal shelters across the nation and, more importantly, offers a solution.

“Redemption tells the story of animal sheltering in the United States – a movement that was born of compassion and then lost its way,” explains Winograd, “But there is hope. Over the last several years, progressive communities across the country have put into place a series of innovative programs and services that have ended the killing of homeless companion animals in their communities. Their success proves that there is a blueprint for ending the killing, and it is incumbent upon animal lovers nationwide to ensure that they are implemented in every shelter in our country.”

The film covers the history of animal sheltering in the U.S., beginning with the 1866 founding of the first SPCA in New York City, the rise of the No Kill movement in the 1990s, and continuing to today’s No Kill success in diverse communities across the nation.

Austin, Texas, America’s largest “No Kill” city—meaning that its open-admission animal shelter saves at least 90% of all impounded animals— is heavily featured in the film. The documentary includes interviews with Austin Animal Advisory Commissioner Larry Tucker, Austin Pets Alive! Executive Director Dr. Ellen Jefferson, Council Member Mike Martinez, and FixAustin.org founder and local lawyer Ryan Clinton.

“We are elated that Mr. Winograd has selected Austin for the Texas premiere screening of ‘Redemption.’ Mr. Winograd’s leadership, advice, and expertise were a key secret ingredient to Austin’s ‘No Kill’ success, and we’re honored that he’ll be in Austin for the show.”

“Redemption” will be screened in Austin on Sunday, August 3rd, at 5pm at the Stateside Theater at the Paramount in downtown Austin. Tickets are $7 and are on sale on the Paramount Austin’s website at austintheatre.org. For additional information about “Redemption” as well as a list of upcoming screening dates and locations, visit nokill.org. Read the full story at

http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/07/prweb12041344.htm Read more: http://www.digitaljournal.com/pr/2077657#ixzz38Tfimwnd

HSUS lobbyist, congressional ally are under fire

July 24, 2014

Author: Humane Watch Team Subject: HSUS Lobbyist, Congressional Ally Are Under Fire

If you’re in Congress and your spouse works for a lobbying group, would you sponsor a bill that the lobbying group wanted you to support? Many politicians would likely be cautious due to the appearance of undue influence. But not in the case of one Congressman who is pushing a bill favored by the Humane Society of the United States, whose wife works for HSUS’s lobbying arm. And a new report is raising serious questions about his relationships with HSUS and other lobbyists.

The Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting reports that in 2002, U.S. Congressman Ed Whitfield (R-KY) and his wife, teamed up with a registered lobbyist named Juanita Duggan to buy an undeveloped lot at a West Virginia resort:

With some exceptions, House ethics rules prohibit gifts to members from anyone, including lobbyists. But in West Virginia, Duggan’s and Whitfield’s fortunes were linked in a six-figure land deal, a financial partnership that lasted more than a decade. [… ]

It doesn’t seem any laws were broken. But what’s interesting has been the response from Whitfield’s wife:

Connie Harriman-Whitfield also is a registered lobbyist, with the Humane Society of the United States’ Legislative Fund, which has championed at least one controversial bill that Whitfield actively supports. The fund has donated at least $8,000 to Whitfield since 2011, when his wife began lobbying for it.

Harriman-Whitfield exploded in anger when asked recently by KyCIR to discuss the Greenbrier property deal and the legislative interests that her husband and the Humane Society share.

“I’m so, so fed up,” she shouted in a brief telephone conversation. “Why don’t you spend your time on something people actually care about? You’re wasting your time. You’re wasting my time.” Then she hung up.

Harriman-Whitfield also went off on a radio station that asked her for comment:

“Do you think that every time you guys write an article about untoward dealings, or what you perceive to be untoward dealings, about a member of congress or a lobbyist, that people care anymore? They don’t care. People don’t care,” she said in an interview on June 9.

So the reaction from HSUS’s lobbyist is a mix of anger, defensiveness, and arrogance. That’s telling. An that’s also the attitude of HSUS and its CEO, Wayne “I don’t love animals” Pacelle, when they are asked about HSUS’s many shortcomings.

Her “so what?” attitude is remarkable given that we’re just a few years removed from the scandal of ex-lobbyist Jack Abramoff. Speaking of whom, Abramoff himself was asked to comment on the Whitfield situation, and he says it “doesn’t smell right”:

Abramoff also said he also thought it was inappropriate for Whitfield to involve himself in issues pertaining to his wife and the Humane Society.

“I would stay 100 miles away from anything my wife was doing,” Abramoff said. “There’s absolutely no reason he needs to be in the middle of it.”

Whitfield’s office, meanwhile, was contacted 10 times by the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting before offering a “no comment.” Make of that what you will.

Whitfield isn’t running for reelection, so regardless of this incident, there will be one less HSUS friend in Congress. The same is true for Congressman Jim Moran, who spoke at HSUS’s recent conference in D.C. And a third HSUS ally, Congressman Michael Grimm, was recently indicted.

It seems the “House of Cards” that HSUS has on Capitol Hill might be losing a level or two.

View article…

USDA continues to implement & enforce new pet breeder requirements

July 23, 2014

From AKC:

USDA Continues to Implement & Enforce New Pet Breeder Requirements


USDA Continues to Implement & Enforce New Pet Breeder Requirements

Sheila Goffe, Director, Government Relations

It’s been more than six months since the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) began implementing new federal regulations that narrow the definition of “retail pet store” <http://www.aphis.usda.gov/publications/animal_welfare/2013/faq_retail_pets_ final_rule.pdf>.

Prior to this rule change, most small/hobby breeders were considered by the USDA to be retail pet stores and thus exempt from licensing and regulation under the federal Animal Welfare Act (AWA).

Although clarifications to some aspects of the regulation are still pending, breeders should be aware that the USDA is enforcing new regulations that require some previously exempt breeders to now become licensed by USDA as pet dealers.

The American Kennel Club expects responsible breeders to know, understand and obey the laws to which they are subject, and recommends that anyone who has questions about whether they are subject to the licensing contact USDA APHIS directly at (301) 851-3751.


The USDA’s purpose in creating the regulatory change was to license and regulate internet-based pet breeders and sellers under the federal AWA. The regulations also expanded USDA oversight of pet breeders to include people who maintain more than four “breeding females” of any species /AND/ sell one pet “sight unseen.”

The American Kennel Club (AKC) shares the USDA’s concerns about substandard or unscrupulous pet dealers –including some that disguise themselves as rescue organizations—who mislead the public about the pets they sell. However, the AKC has also been concerned that the changes in the rule would unfairly subject many small-scale hobby breeders to the same requirements as large scale commercial breeding facilities. Although the rule provided exemptions for animals not sold as pets, it also potentially characterized and regulated many small breeders/hobbyists as commercial pet dealers because they breed an occasional litter and transfer even a single pet sight unseen to an approved home or participate in rescue activities.

To address these concerns, AKC worked with Congress to direct the USDA to clarify two key issues.


The first is that a “breeding female” is one that is both capable of breeding /and/ actively being used in a breeding program. The second is to exempt those that maintain more than four breeding females but do not transfer more than a “de minimis” (minimal) number of pets sight unseen. /USDA has been directed to prepare new regulat//ory language//that further address these //specifics. The new language, which is expected within a year, will provide /regulatory relief for some small hobby breeders but not change regulatory requirements for those who sell significant numbers of dogs online or sight unseen.

In the meantime, the USDA is enforcing the new regulations and expects breeders who are subject to licensing to contact the USDA and seek a licensing application packet. A general outline of whether you may be subject to licensing <http://images.akc.org/pdf/governmentrelations/documents/APHIS_Chart.pdf> under the new rules is available from AKC Government Relations. For questions about your own particular situation, contact USDA directly.

If you believe you may be subject to USDA licensing and regulation, here are a few important updates/items to consider. / * The USDA pre-licensing process allows for breeders to meet with inspectors and learn what they need to do—if anything—to bring their facility or those parts of their residence that house breeding animals into compliance. Click here to view a webinar on the pre-licensing process

<http://www.cfsph.iastate.edu/Education-Training/regulatory-compliance-for-c ommercial-dog-breeders.php>.

Last week, the USDA released information regarding a new process for USDA inspected kennels who wish to appeal an item cited on their inspections report. The goal of the process is “to bring about quicker appeals resolutions, maintain consistency in the appeal process and ensure that subject matter experts are involved in reviewing each appeal”. For more information view a new USDA Fact Sheet on the appeals process

<http://www.aphis.usda.gov/publications/animal_welfare/2014/appeals_process. pdf.> or AKC’s legislative update <http://www.akc.org/press_center/article.cfm?article_id=5574>.

* Facilities that are currently subject to licensing by the USDA must identify themselves and seek a pre-license inspection. Those who do so may continue to operate until their first pre-license inspection. However, they cannot continue to conduct a regulated activity if they are not in compliance after the first pre-license inspection.

* Breeders/Dealers who do not self-identify or seek a license but are found to be non-compliant will be subject to penalties without the benefit of pre-license inspection.

* USDA is continuing to identify breeders who may be subject to licensing through online resources, past USDA licensing records, the public complaint process and other venues. The first contact from USDA to a breeder will be via mail, email or phone call.

* Breeders may use their mailing address as their official address on their licensing records. The official address is the address that would be published. For its own records, USDA also requires an accurate address where the facility is located.

AKC Government Relations will continue to provide you updated information as more information becomes available. For more information, visit AKC’s Regulatory Resource Center <http://www.akc.org/governmentrelations/usda_aphis.cfm> or contact USDA APHIS directly.

TEXAS Houston, we have a problem with bird poisoning

July 23, 2014

Pacelle: Houston, We Have a Problem — With Bird Poisoning


703.html http://tinyurl.com/nrd59ja

Houston, We Have a Problem — With Bird Poisoning

11:17 am EDT Wayne Pacelle Posted: 07/22/2014 11:17 am EDT

Images of distressed birds writhing, seizing and flopping their wings, broadcast last week on Houston television, were tough for the public to see. Photographers for KHOU-TV recorded this horror show at George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) after a contractor hired by airport authorities, in cooperation with United Airlines, intentionally poisoned grackles, pigeons and other birds, with corn kernels mixed with the deadly toxicant Avitrol. Startled airport employees saw birds dropping out of the sky shortly after dawn on Saturday and the deaths continued through the weekend. Some birds being filmed took almost an hour to die.

Aviation safety must be a priority, given that so many human lives depend on incident-free flights, and there are times when aggressive management of birds at airports is warranted. But the plan executed in Houston seems particularly cruel and unnecessary. No management authority should be able to vaguely invoke public health and safety as a rationale for this kind of cruel killing, especially when it has allowed airport bird populations to reach into the hundreds and made a minimal effort to employ preventative and non-lethal strategies first…..

Stop fleas with these expert tips

July 23, 2014

Stop fleas with these expert tips Ridding pets of fleas and preventing infestation around the home requires knowledge of the flea life cycle, according to veterinarian Allan Paul, a parasitologist at the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine. In some areas, it takes roughly a month for flea eggs to be laid, hatch, enter the pupa form and emerge to bite their hosts, Dr. Paul said. The pupae can overwinter in homes, and heat and movement such as vacuuming can trigger them to hatch, Dr. Paul points out. A veterinarian should evaluate any pet with fleas to provide the best treatment and prevention. The News-Gazette (Champaign-Urbana, Ill.)/University of Illinois (7/20)