when it’s time to consider euthanasia

January 28, 2016

When it’s time to consider euthanasia
Veterinarian Rachel McNair explains that owners who can’t decide if euthanasia is best for their pet should spend some time observing the animal’s quality of life. Changes including less time spent on enjoyable activities might be a sign the animal’s quality of life has diminished. A veterinarian can help owners think through options and determine whether it is time to say goodbye. Pet owners should recognize that a loss often carries intense feelings of grief, and it will take time to recover. KTAL-TV (Shreveport, La./Texarkana, Texas) (1/26)

COLORADO, 260K settlement to owner-police shot dog

January 28, 2016


A Colorado dog owner received $262,000 in a settlement over a police shooting of his dog, one of the largest-ever settlements in this type of case.

Officer Robert Price of Commerce City, Colo., shot and killed a dog in 2012 during response to a report of a “loose, vicious dog” while the owner, Gary Branson, was out of town, Allison Sylte reported for USA Today. The officer was found not guilty of animal cruelty, but a neighbor filmed the encounter, and the resulting video showed the dog, Chloe, cowering before three officers.

The large, monetary settlement comes as society is demonstrating a decreased tolerance for offenses against animals – and police use of excessive force generally. Earlier in January, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) began the collection of data on animal abuse, The Christian Science Monitor reported. The FBI points to research showing criminals who harm other humans egregiously often begin by hurting animals.

Animal rights advocates and pet owners welcome the announcement, but agrowing body of people say preventing animal abuse is a priority in its own right, the Associated Press reported. Police often do not report, much less punish, officers who shoot dogs, but laws protecting animals are beginning to change. Only seven states had felony charges for animal cruelty in 1993, but now 46 states have instituted such laws.



10 things you should know about HSUS

January 27, 2016

Here’s the full list of things you should know about the so-called “Humane Society” of the United States, starting with the three in our ad. It’s a story of financial malfeasance and misrepresentation. But the local humane societies across America are not affiliated with HSUS. So, do your research, but please try to help your local shelter. Click on the links for more information.


10 Things You Should Know About HSUS

1. HSUS raises millions of dollars from American animal lovers through manipulative advertising. An analysis of HSUS’s TV fundraising determined that more than 85 percent of the animals shown were cats and dogs. However, HSUS doesn’t run a single pet shelter and only gives 1 percent of the money it raises to pet shelters while sucking money out of local communities.

2. HSUS’s own donors and local shelters feel wronged. A poll of self-identified HSUS donors found 80 percent thought HSUS “misleads people” about their connections to pet shelters and 75 percent were less likely to support the group when they found out the truth. And according to a poll of animal shelters most agree that “HSUS misleads people into thinking it is associated with local animal shelters.”

3. HSUS puts more into its pension plan and Caribbean hedge funds than it gives to pet shelters. Between 2012 and 2014, HSUS put over $100 million in Caribbean investments while also putting nearly $10 million into its pension plan.

4. While it raises money with pictures of cats and dogs, HSUS has an anti-meat vegan agenda. Speaking to an animal rights conference in 2006, HSUS’s then-vice president for farm animal issues stated that HSUS’s goal is to “get rid of the entire [animal agriculture] industry” and that “we don’t want any of these animals to be raised and killed.”

5. In May 2014, HSUS was part of a $15.75 million settlement of a federal racketeering lawsuit. Feld Entertainment sued HSUS, two of its in-house lawyers, and others under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act for bribery, obstruction of justice, fraud, and other torts. Court documents indicate that HSUS sent several checks as part of an alleged witness-payment scheme.

6. HSUS’s senior management includes others who have voiced support for terroristic acts. HSUS chief policy officer Mike Markarian has written that “A perfect example of effective rebellion is an Animal Liberation Front raid on a laboratory.” HSUS food policy director Matt Prescott, meanwhile, has written that “I also believe in the actions of the ALF and other such groups.” (Prescott is a former PETA activist.)

7. HSUS’s senior management includes a former spokesman for the Animal Liberation Front (ALF), a criminal group designated as “terrorists” by the FBI. HSUS president Wayne Pacelle hired John “J.P.” Goodwin in 1997, the same year Goodwin described himself as “spokesperson for the ALF” while he fielded media calls in the wake of an ALF arson attack at a California meat processing plant. In 1997, when asked by reporters for a reaction to an ALF arson fire at a farmer’s feed co-op in Utah (which nearly killed a family sleeping on the premises), Goodwin replied, “We’re ecstatic.”

8. HSUS receives poor charity-evaluation marks. CharityWatch (formerly the American Institute of Philanthropy) has issued several “D” ratings for HSUS in recent years over the group’s wasteful spending practices. Additionally, the 2013 Animal People News Watchdog Report discovered that HSUS spends 55 percent of its budget on overhead costs.

9. HSUS’s CEO endorsed convicted dogfighting kingpin Michael Vick getting another pet. After Vick got out of prison, HSUS CEO Wayne Pacelle told the press that he thought Vick “would do a good job as a pet owner.” This startling comment came after Vick’s new employer, the Philadelphia Eagle, made a $50,000 “grant” to HSUS.

10. Given the massive size of its budget, HSUS does relatively little hands-on care for animals. While HSUS claims it “saves” more animals than any other animal protection group in the US, much of the “care” HSUS provides is in the form of spay-neuter assistance. In fact, local groups that operate on considerably slimmer budgets, such as the Houston SPCA, provide direct care to more animals than HSUS does.

View article…

study suggests cats were domesticated at least twice

January 27, 2016

Study suggests cats were domesticated at least twice
A study published in PLOS One suggests cats living near farms in China were domesticated 5,000 years after cats were domesticated in the Middle East. Cat bones uncovered in Quanhucun, an early farming community in central China, were all related to the endemic leopard cat and showed evidence of domestication including slightly smaller bodies and signs of whole-body burial. ScienceMag.org (1/26)

OKLAHOMA bill seeks to block HSUS funding

HSUS has been facing setback in Oklahoma as the state’s attorney general, Scott Pruitt, opened an investigation into HSUS fundraising. Last year, one of Oklahoma’s U.S. Senators, Jim Inhofe, took HSUS CEO Wayne Pacelle to task in front of a subcommittee. And now the legislature is getting involved in trying to stop the deception-for-dollars scheme that HSUS runs.

A new bill by Rep. Brian Renegar (who is also a veterinarian) would only allow animal groups to fundraise for programs conducted inside the state. That’s not a problem to the Central Oklahoma Humane Society and other similar groups that shelter or rescue animals. But that is a problem if you’re HSUS, and you don’t run a single pet shelter in Oklahoma (or anywhere in the U.S., in fact).

You can read the full text of the bill, HB2250, here.

No doubt HSUS’s lawyers will be thinking of any way to claim this is unconstitutional. But the protestations will only highlight one thing: How much HSUS is benefitting at the expense of local animal groups in Oklahoma. The effort should be commended.

TENNESSEE Knoxville charge dropped against owner of dog that strangled

January 13, 2016

Deborah Ann Jenkins
By Jamie Satterfield of the Knoxville News Sentinel Dec. 04, 2015

A neighbor videotaped Deborah Ann Jenkins’ dog as it strangled and photographed the black Labrador dead on the ground, but Jenkins wound up the one accused of cruelty to animals.
On Friday, more than three years after the death of Jenkins’ dog became the subject of a petition drive and the topic of a vitriolic Facebook page dubbed “Justice for Theo,” the charge was quietly dropped. Jenkins wasn’t even in court ? nor were the animal rights advocates who accused her of lounging in her swimming pool while the dog died a slow death of dehydration and heat exposure.
Neither detail was true. Jenkins wasn’t home when the dog died. The cause of death was strangulation. A handful of neighbors at war with Jenkins and Knox County Animal Control advanced the tale despite their video of Theo’s death. They drew in scores of animal lovers who rose up against Jenkins and pushed for a prosecution.
The Knox County District Attorney General’s Office doesn’t dispute the same neighbors who videotaped and photographed the death could have prevented it, and prosecutors acknowledged the video would have been defense attorney Mike Whalen’s evidence at a trial.
“This was an accident as near as we can tell,” Deputy District Attorney General Kyle Hixson said.
Whalen was pushing for a trial when prosecutors offered Jenkins a deal to dismiss the case in return for a $100 donation to an animal shelter.
“(The neighbors) could have saved that dog at any moment,” Whalen said Friday.
But Jenkins, he said, was weary of the fight.
“They hounded this poor woman,” he said. “She’s been pilloried. They’ve called for her execution.”
Jenkins had two dogs in July 2012 when she wound up a single mother of two children. Whalen said she kept Theo in a fenced-in backyard with a perpetual water and food dispenser and a large doghouse. She tethered him to a pole to keep him away from the pool.
Records show three of Jenkins’ neighbors repeatedly called animal control in the months before Theo’s death, complaining the dog suffered from dehydration and heat exposure. Animal control officers investigated ? repeatedly ? but always concluded the dog was properly cared for, records show.
On July 3, 2012, Jenkins was at work when Theo began digging at the base of the pole, causing it to lean. That gave Theo a few extra feet of movement. As the dog explored this new territory, its leash tangled around a short pole or stump. The video showed the dog feverishly struggling to break free, a move that ultimately caused Theo to strangle himself. A necropsy confirmed the cause of death.

TENNESSEE, Chatanooga city council approves changes to pet licenses

January 13, 2016


January 13th, 2016 by Steve Johnson in Local Regional News Read Time: 1 min.

The Chattanooga City Council changed the rules Tuesday to make it easier for dog and cat owners to get licenses, but the council is still considering limiting the number of dogs pet owners could keep in the city.

The change will allow licenses to run for roughly 12 months from the day they are purchased. Previously, the licenses expired on Dec. 31 of each year.

All dogs and cats over the age of 3 months must have a license, purchased for $10 per pet either from the city’s Animal Center or a licensed veterinarian. Those licenses must be purchased by the last day of the month in which the animal receives its rabies vaccination, according to the ordinance. The licenses are effective from 12 months from the purchase date or until the day the rabies vaccination expires, whichever comes first.

If a pet owner has a three-year rabies vaccination, the license must still be purchased annually. There also is a $40 extra license fee for any dog or cat that has not been spayed or neutered.

Councilmen Chris Anderson and Jerry Mitchell sponsored the resolution, saying they wanted to make it easier for pet owners to buy licenses.

But City Attorney Wade Hinton is still researching a possible new ordinance that would limit the number of dogs a city resident could keep.

When Tuesday’s ordinance was first discussed in previous weeks, it included an additional section setting out fees for the owners of multiple pets, topping out at 20 dogs and cats. That led several council members to discuss whether that was too many animals for an urban environment. Councilman Russell Gilbert said he had received many complaints from constituents about barking dogs, and Councilman Mitchell said he thought a limit of five dogs per household might be appropriate.

The multiple-pet section was dropped from the ordinance and Hinton was asked to research how other towns of similar size have handled the issue. He told the council Tuesday afternoon he needs more time to complete his research.

Contact staff writer Steve Johnson at sjohnson@timesfreepress.com, 423-757-6673, on Twitter @stevejohnsonTFP and on Facebook, facebook.com/noogahealth.

Improving herd health makes for more robust calves

January 12, 2016

Improving herd health makes for more robust calves
Maintaining good herd health means calves will be hearty, helping producers’ bottom lines and creating a quality product for the consumer, says Purdue University veterinarian Mark Hilton. Treating an ill calf more than once increases costs substantially, Dr. Hilton notes. He recommends working with a veterinarian to prioritize proper care and nutrition during and after gestation, as well as vaccinations, deworming and other strategies to maximize herd and calf health. “Our goal is for zero sickness,” Dr. Hilton said. “With great nutrition, a good vaccination program and a good environment, we will see less sickness.” High Plains Journal (Dodge City, Kan.) (1/11)

Zika virus, melioidosis raise concerns

January 12, 2016

Zika virus, melioidosis raise concerns
A Texas resident who visited Latin America has been diagnosed with Zika virus, the first US case of the emerging mosquito-borne virus that may cause birth defects. The virus is raising concerns in the public health community, as is melioidosis, a bacterial illness that is often resistant to treatment. The soil bacterium Burkholderia pseudomallei causes illness and can be transmitted from Northern Australia and Southeast Asia, where it’s endemic, to new areas via animal carriers. Researchers should prioritize studies on Zika virus and meliodosis, experts say. The Telegraph (London) (tiered subscription model) (1/11), Reuters (1/11)