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Investigation Uncovers Animal Suffering at PETCO and PetSmart Supplier

Dear Friend,

Video footage obtained in a new PETA undercover investigation reveals disturbing living and dying conditions for animals at Sun Pet Ltd., a wholesale animal dealer that supplies animals to numerous PETCO and PetSmart locations. At this time, PETA has turned over our findings to law-enforcement officials, and we are only able to release partial information while they investigate. However, we wanted to take a moment to share with you some of what we found.

PETA’s investigator documented cruel, extremely crowded, and filthy conditions that forced animals to eat, sleep, urinate, and defecate all in the same tiny space as well as the violent killing and rough handling of birds, rabbits, guinea pigs, gerbils, mice, and rats. One female worker put live hamsters in a bag and bashed them against a table in an attempt to kill them—a crude process that did not kill them outright. A supervisor trained PETA’s investigator to determine animals’ genders by forcefully squeezing their abdomens "like a … PlayStation controller handle"―to make their genitals "come out."

Learn more about where PETCO and PetSmart’s animal victims come from, and take a moment to speak up for the millions of animals who are bred and sold in the pet trade. Tell both companies to stop selling animals altogether, and let these companies know that you, your friends, and your family will not be giving them any business until animals are no longer part of their "inventory."

You can reach PETCO by calling 1-888-824-7257, and PetSmart can be reached by calling 1-800-738-1385. We will keep you updated as more details become available, and all the information from the investigation will be released pending the outcome of the case.

Thank you for your compassion and action in behalf of the pet trade’s animal victims.

Sincerely,
Daphna Nachminovitch
Vice President
Cruelty Investigations Department
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals

April 27, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Pint-Sized Pinto Born in New Hampshire May Be World’s Smallest Horse

FOXNews.com

A diminutive horse born in New Hampshire could lay claim to the world record for lightweight foal.

April 25: Four-year-old Garrett Mullen watches three-day-old pinto stallion named Einstein in Barnstead, N.H. (AP).

A pint-sized pinto born in New Hampshire could lay claim to the world record for lightweight foal.

The Union Leader reported Monday that the miniature stallion, named Einstein, weighed just 6 pounds and measured 14 inches in height when he was born Friday in Barnstead, N.H.

Those proportions fit a human baby just about right but are downright tiny for horse, even a miniature breed like Einstein.

Dr. Rachel Wagner, Einstein’s co-owner, said the Guinness Book of Records lists the smallest newborn horse as weighing in at 9 pounds.

Breeders say that unlike the current record holder, Thumbelina, Einstein shows no signs of dwarfism. Instead, he’s just a tiny horse.

Wagner reportedly told the newspaper that she has already sent an application to the Guinness Book of World Records to see whether the pint-sized pinto qualifies as the world’s smallest horse.

Click here to read more on this story from the Union Leader

The Associated Press contributed to this report

Posted:  Just One More Pet

April 27, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Big Government Now Going After Pets

Proving that there is nothing (other than subservience and parasitism) that the government won’t try to regulate out of existence, bureaucrats are now going after the practice of owning pets. While it waits for the gargantuan spending it has set in motion to sink the economy, Congress busies itself by once again reaching into your personal life with H.R. 669 — aka  The Nonnative Wildlife Invasion Prevention Act — a bill that could make many common pets illegal.

The idea is to ban animals and even plants that are not native to the USA. To save space, bureaucrats are listing what species are allowed, rather than all those that will be forbidden.

I’m guessing Comrade Obama’s Portuguese water dog will get an exception, but your tropical fish, exotic bird, boa, or even hamster might not be so lucky.

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Big Government’s plan for your tropical fish collection.

SAY NO TO BILL H.R. 669 !!!!!!

What is HR 669?
H.R. 669 stands for House Resolution 669 and is titled "The Nonnative Wildlife Invasion Prevention Act". It is a bill currently before Congress that if passed will change the way that the US Government classifies animal species that are not native to the United States. H.R. 669 will make it illegal to breed and sell many animals that are very common in the pet trade.

To view full text of H.R. 669 click on the link
http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/getdoc.cgi?dbname=111_cong_bills&docid=f:h669ih.txt.pdf

Why should you care about HR 669?
Anyone with pet fish, birds, reptiles, or small mammals will be affected by this bill. Any company selling product or services for pet fish, birds, reptiles or small mammals will be affected by this bill. Would you be impacted by "The Nonnative Wildlife Invasion Prevention Act"?

Virtually all fish in an aquarium are not native to the United States
Most pet birds are species not native to the US
Most reptiles kept as pets are not native to the US
Hamsters, gerbils, guinea pigs and ferrets are not native to the US

What can you do to stop HR 669?
Pet owners support the concept of a risk based approach to non-native imports, unfortunately H.R. 669 as drafted does not provide a constructive way forward.You can help by standing up and making your voice heard. Let your Representative know that you oppose H.R. 669 as drafted and the financial and/or emotional effect it will have on you, or your friends, or your family members if it passes. The link below will allow you to send an email to your Representative in Congress and even give you the option to follow up with a phone call.

What else can you do to help?
The best thing that each of us can to do help is to recruit! There is strength in numbers. Send a link to this site to friends, family, church groups, car clubs, and anyone else that might be willing to take a couple of minutes out of their day to send an email viahttp://www.rallycongress.com/no-hr-669/1733/tell-congress-no-to-h-r-669/ or contact your state congressman by email or phone our voice does count.

Visit www.nohr669.com for more info and tips on what can you do to stop bill H.R. 669

Support PIJAC.
PIJAC is the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council. They are a unified voice for the pet industry representing all of our rights in Washington. There is strength in numbers, so joining PIJAC here: http://www.pijac.org/i4a/pages/index.cfm?pageid=1 it will definitely help. Or you can just visit the link for updates here: http://www.pijac.org/i4a/pages/index.cfm?pageid=504

I want to keep my fish and continue with my hobby and I hope that you do too, so please take 5 minutes out of your time and do something about it. Doing nothing accomplishes nothing. Make your voice to be heard, stand up for your rights and rights of responsible pet owners. This bill won’t accomplish anything it has too many holes, people need to be educated instead. And government doesn’t need to spend all this money on something this stupid there is other ways to regulate non native species.

On a tip from John L. Hat tip: My Planted Tank Adventures.

April 25, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Mama Chimp

 

When hurricane Hannah separated two white tigers from their mother, Anjana came to the rescue. Anjana, a chimp at TIGERS in South Carolina , became surrogate mom and playmate to the cubs, even helping with bottle feeding, according to The Sun. But here’s the truly amazing part: This is something Anjana does all the time, having helped raise leopard and lion cubs on several occasions.

Look at the love in the chimp’s eyes and on her face – Priceless!!

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April 24, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

No Kill Conference – July 31st – August 1, 2010

____________________________________________________________________

The No Kill Declaration is a project of the No Kill Advocacy Center

www.nokilladvocacycenter.org

♦ To download or print a copy of the U.S. No Kill Declaration, click here.
♦ Learn how to end the killing of animals in your community shelters by clicking here.
♦ Be a witness to the truth by taking a visual and audio tour of U.S. shelters by clicking here.
♦ Stay up-to-date by subscribing to the free e-newsletter, The No Kill Advocate by clicking here.

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April 23, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Supreme Court strikes down law banning dogfight videos

A case before the court dealt with tapes showing pit bulls attacking other animals and one another.

A case before the court dealt with tapes showing pit bulls attacking other animals and one another.

STORY HIGHLIGHTS

  • Justices say banning the videos is an unconstitutional violation of free speech
  • Court threw out conviction of Robert Stevens who sold videos
  • Stevens was charged in 2004 with selling depictions of animal cruelty

Washington (CNN) — The Supreme Court has struck down a federal law designed to stop the sale and marketing of videos showing dogfights and other acts of animal cruelty, saying it is an unconstitutional violation of free speech.

The 8-1 decision was a defeat for animal rights groups and congressional sponsors of the unusual legislation.

The specific case before the court dealt with tapes showing pit bulldogs attacking other animals and one another in staged confrontations.

The justices Tuesday concluded the scope and intent of the decade-old statute was overly broad.

"The First Amendment itself reflects a judgment by the American people that the benefits of its restrictions on the government outweigh its costs," said Chief Justice John Roberts. He concluded Congress had not sufficiently shown "depictions" of dogfighting were enough to justify a special category of exclusion from free speech protection.

The high court threw out the conviction of Robert Stevens, a Pittsville, Virginia, man who sold videos through his business, Dogs of Velvet and Steel. According to court records, undercover federal agents found he was advertising his tapes in Sporting Dog Journal, an underground magazine on illegal dogfighting.

"This is what I was hoping for," Stevens told CNN just after the ruling was announced. "I am not nor have I ever been a dog fighter or a promoter of dogfighting. I am a journalist and an author."

Among the products Stevens advertised was "Catch Dogs," featuring pit bulls chasing wild boars on organized hunts and a "gruesome depiction of a pit bull attacking the lower jaw of a domestic farm pig," according to the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania-based appeals court that ruled on the case earlier.

Stevens was charged in 2004 with violating interstate commerce laws by selling depictions of animal cruelty. He was later sentenced to 37 months in prison, and promptly appealed. That sentence was put on hold pending resolution of this appeal.

He argued his sentence was longer than the 14 months given professional football player Michael Vick, who ran an illegal dogfighting ring.

It was the first prosecution in the United States to proceed to trial under the 1999 law.

The video marketer is not related to Justice John Paul Stevens, who turned 90 Tuesday. The court made no mention of the milestone as it held a two-hour public session.

Nearly every state and local jurisdiction have their own laws banning mistreatment of wild and domesticated animals, and usually handle prosecutions of animal cruelty.

Several media organizations had supported Stevens, worrying the federal law could implicate reports about deer hunting, and depictions of bullfighting in Ernest Hemingway novels.

Roberts agreed, saying, "We read [the federal law] to create a criminal prohibition of alarming breadth."

"Jurisdictions permit and encourage hunting, and there is an enormous national market for hunting-related depictions in which a living animal is intentionally killed," said Roberts. "An otherwise-lawful image of any of these practices, if sold or possessed for commercial gain within a state that happens to forbid the practice, falls within the prohibition of [the federal law]."

During oral arguments in October, the justices offered a number of wide-ranging hypotheticals over what the law could forbid, including: fox hunts, pate de foie gras from geese, cockfighting, bullfighting, shooting deer out of season, even Roman gladiator battles.

Only Justice Samuel Alito dissented in the case, and he focused on one of the most disturbing aspects raised in the appeal, the marketing of so-called "crush" videos, in which women — with their faces unseen — are shown stomping helpless animals such as rabbits to death with spiked-heel shoes or with their bare feet.

"The animals used in crush videos are living creatures that experience excruciating pain. Our society has long banned such cruelty," he said. The courts, he said, have "erred in second-guessing the legislative judgment about the importance of preventing cruelty to animals."

He predicted mores crush videos will soon flood the underground market, because the ruling has "the practical effect of legalizing the sale of such videos."

Roberts suggested a law specifically banning crush videos might be valid, since it would be narrowly tailored to a specific type of commercial enterprise.

Alito noted that would not help dogs forced to fight each other, where, he said, "the suffering lasts for years rather than minutes."

The government had argued a "compelling interest" in stopping people who would profit from dog attack tapes and similar depictions. Roberts dismissed suggestions by the Justice Department that only the most extreme acts of cruelty would be targeted.

"The First Amendment protects against the government," Roberts said. "We would not uphold an unconstitutional statute merely because the government promised to use it responsibly."

The Humane Society, other animal rights groups and 26 states backed the government.

If the law had been upheld, it would have been only the second time the Supreme Court had identified a form of speech undeserving of protection by the First Amendment. The justices in 1982 banned the distribution of child pornography.

This is the second time this year the high court has tossed out federal legislation on free speech grounds. The justices in January nullified parts of a sweeping campaign finance reform law, giving corporations, unions, and advocacy groups more power to bankroll federal elections.

By Bill Mears, CNN Supreme Court Producer – April 20, 2010 3:31 p.m. EDT

I am a free speech advocate and constitutionalist… but I don’t think that the Found Fathers approved of freedom of speech that directly could be connected to causing violence against living beings and creatures:  animals, pets, children, elderly etc.

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April 21, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Shelter Dogs Benefit From Volunteer’s Photographs

Seth Casteel, professional pet photographer

By Sue Manning for Associated Press

Maybe shelter dogs just need a Hollywood moment.

Seth Casteel, a professional pet photographer, volunteers a couple of hours each week at the West Los Angeles Animal Care Center, photographing dogs who need homes. The pictures replace the mug shot-like photos taken by shelter staff when the animals arrive.

“A lot of animals don’t understand what the deal is. They are coming off the truck, chained up, fearful, maybe fighting back. Some may not be healthy. That’s not the moment to take a photo,” said Casteel, 29.

Casteel photographs as many as 30 dogs a week at the shelter with the help of volunteers like Lola McKnight who fetch the dogs and play with them while he shoots. Those “personality shots” become the dogs’ first impressions on Web sites, newspaper ads, fliers, e-mails and social networks.

Shelter manager Capt. Louis Dedeaux said many visitors will come in carrying one of Casteel’s dog photos. There is no way to know how many of the dogs he’s photographed have been adopted or what else figured in a placement, but adoption numbers at the shelter are very high, Dedeaux said.

Casteel doesn’t have to take a lot of puppy pictures. “People want puppies so they go first,” Dedeaux said.

The dogs Casteel shoots are usually older and he works wonders with them, Dedeaux said. “He’ll get happy expressions, sometimes a perfect ‘take me home’ look,” he explained.

The photographer has saved more than one old dog’s life, Dedeaux said. It is a kill shelter so animals can’t stay indefinitely, he said. And Casteel said he hopes the idea spreads.

“We keep them as long as we can,” Dedeaux said, “but the longer a dog is here, the worse his chances are.”

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April 21, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Coke kingpin Douglas Spink busted for running bestiality farm in Washington State

Douglas Spink in Kuala Lumpur in 2003.  Spink is as an adrenaline junkie, listing rockclimbing and base-jumping off cliffs, radio towers and bridges among his hobbies.

Koon/AP

Douglas Spink in Kuala Lumpur in 2003. Spink is as an adrenaline junkie, listing rockclimbing and base-jumping off cliffs, radio towers and bridges among his hobbies.

SEATTLE  — A convicted cocaine smuggler has been arrested for running what authorities say appears to be a bestiality farm in Washington state in which visitors could engage in all sorts of twisted sex acts with animals.

Douglas Spink was arrested at his ramshackle, heavily wooded compound near the Canadian border along with a 51-year-old tourist from Great Britain who is accused of having sex with three dogs.

Dozens of dogs, horses and pet mice were seized, along with what investigators described as thousands of images of bestiality and apparent child pornography. The mice were euthanized, said Whatcom County Sheriff Bill Elfo, whose office assisted federal agents in the case.

"This stuff is just truly bizarre," he said. "These were mice that had their tails cut off, they were smothered in Vaseline and they had string tied around them."

It wasn’t immediately clear whether other zoophilic tourists had been to Spink’s farm, but Assistant U.S. Attorney Susan Roe said Friday, "I expect there may have been other people visiting the property."

Spink has not been charged with any bestiality or child porn charges at this point, only with violating the terms of his supervised release. Stephen Clarke of Peterborough, England, was arrested on state charges for allegedly abusing the dogs.

Spink’s lawyer, Howard Phillips, insisted there’s no evidence his client violated the terms of his release. "There’s no hard evidence he’s been engaging in bestiality at all," Phillips said.

Spink, who has a history of training and breeding dogs and horses, appeared in U.S. District Court in Seattle on Friday and was ordered detained pending another hearing, set for April 30. He calls his operation Exitpoint Stallions Limitee and expounds at length on its Web site about his philosophy.

"Are we unconventional in our approach to stallion care? Absolutely," he writes.

He later adds: "We don’t wall off sexual energy in our stallions as something dangerous or inappropriate, but rather channel that energy towards positive, safe, appropriate paths. There’s a proper time and place for it, and we work towards those sorts of skills rather than fighting un-winnable fights against deeply-rooted instincts."

Spink, 39, made a fortune in Oregon buying and selling small companies in the 1990s and was known as an adrenaline junkie, listing rockclimbing and base-jumping off cliffs, radio towers and bridges among his hobbies.

But by 2002 his wealth had evaporated. He filed for bankruptcy as creditors sought millions from him, and he began running cocaine and marijuana across the border for a local drug kingpin.

Spink was arrested in 2005 after investigators pulled him over with a load of nearly 375 pounds (170 kilograms) of cocaine, valued at $34 million. He was given a lenient, three-year sentence because of his extensive cooperation with investigators.

Since then, he has been on a five-year term of supervised release, during which time he must abide by all state, local and federal laws.

Under Washington law, it’s illegal to assist others in engaging in bestiality — and breaking any state law would be a violation of Spink’s release, punishable by up to five years in prison.

Authorities searched his farm Wednesday after prosecutors received a tip from a public defender’s office in Tennessee. The office reported that Spink had been calling them incessantly about a jailed defendant in a bestiality case in Tennessee.

That man, James Michael Tait, had previously admitted filming a man having sex with a horse in Washington state in 2005. The man Tait filmed died of internal injuries suffered during the incident. He received a minor sentence in the case because Washington had relatively weak bestiality laws at the time.

It’s not immediately clear why Spink was calling Tennessee about the Tait case.

When agents searched Spink’s home, they found a video of a man sexually abusing dogs — and that man, Clarke, was still on the property, wearing the same clothes as in the video, Elfo said. He was charged with animal cruelty and made an initial appearance in Whatcom County Superior Court on Thursday.

Clarke was given a court-appointed defense lawyer for that appearance only and otherwise does not yet have an attorney.

Roe said Friday that Clarke had admitted his involvement to investigators.

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

Monday, April 19th 2010, 9:49 AM – NYDailyNews.com

Related:  Supreme Court Strikes Down Law Banning Dogfight Videos

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April 21, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Southfield Implements Limit On Cats – Over Reaction

POSTED: Tuesday, April 20, 2010

UPDATED: 6:04 pm EDT April 20, 2010

Cat

SOUTHFIELD, Mich. — The Southfield City Council voted Monday to amend an ordinance, limiting the number of cats in the city to three per household. The city already limits the number of dogs per household.

Punishment for those in violation of the new ordinance has yet to be determined.

The changes were made after a woman living on Civic Center Drive was discovered living with 30 cats in her home. Southfield police took the animals from the home.

"We had to bath them. We had to feed them. A lot of them were really thin, they were frightened," said Gail Montgomery, a worker at the animal shelter that helped nurse the cats back to health.

Source:  ClickOnDetroit.com

This over-reaction is typical of our culture.  30 cats is ridiculous and crazy.  3 cats is not enough for many, especially if you foster, and too restrictive.  America has become a country that cannot deal with unusual situations directly.  We immediately legislate to handle every situation instead of dealing with problems directly on a case by case basis or speaking up before there is a problem… or to the perpetrator(s) directly.  4 cats is not too many… for some people with a big house, 5 or 6 aren’t too many.  And with the over-population at shelters rescuing just one more pet is a blessing for all.  And volunteering to be a foster home for cats or dogs saves many of them until they can find their forever home.

I hope that animal groups or concerned individuals stand up in Southfield, Michigan and get this legislation amended!!  This will just add to the death count.  We need to move to “No Kill Shelters” everywhere and start using common sense instead of Big Brother over-reactive legislation to deal with problems and challenges!!

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April 21, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | 9 Comments

Talking Dogs

April 20, 2010 Posted by | Adopt Just One More Pet, animal behavior, animals, Fostering and Rescue, Just One More Pet, Pet Friendship and Love, pet fun, We Are All God's Creatures | , | Leave a comment

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