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Undercover humane investigations to be banned in Minnesota?

April 7, 2011- Two bills have been introduced in the Minnesota Legislature that would make it a crime to videotape and to show footage shot inside puppy and kitten mills and factory farms.

Senate File 1118 and House File 1369 would criminalize blowing the whistle on animal cruelty, food safety problems, or labor abuses inside puppy and kitten mills or factory farms by making it a crime to take video inside such facilities, or even for the news media to possess or distribute these images. Read the bills here.

Please take action to oppose these bills today.

While purporting to be targeted at actual interference or damage to farming operations, SF 1118/HF 1369 are worded so broadly that they criminalize videotaping or audio recording of activities inside ‘animal facilities’. An ‘animal facility’ includes farming operations, research facilities, veterinary offices, pounds or shelters, pet stores, and commercial kennels. These bills prohibit ‘animal facility tampering’ (which is already prohibited by state and federal law), ‘animal facility interference’ (defined, in part, as video or audio taping inside a facility without the owner’s consent, and possessing or distributing such videos), and ‘animal facility fraud’ (using false pretenses to gain employment at a facility). Some of the provisions in the bills, such as theft, trespass, and fraud are already crimes under existing law. In addition, the chilling effect  this proposed legislation will have, if passed, is detrimental to the public interest in knowing about abuses of animals and consumer product safety violations. The bills also define all equine species, including horses, ponies, mules, jennys, donkeys, and hinnies, as ‘agricultural animals’. Once defined as such, they may not receive the greater protections afforded to ‘companion animals’ under Minnesota’s cruelty statutes.

The bills prohibit usage of one of the most important tools the humane movement has to reduce and prevent animal suffering- undercover investigations that expose animal cruelty and inhumane conditions and practices that go on behind closed doors in Minnesota.

If these bills pass into law, taking undercover footage in Minnesota’s puppy mills, like that captured at Kathy Bauck’s facility by Companion Animal Protection Society, would be a criminal offense, as would taking undercover footage at Minnesota’s slaughter and factory farming facilities, like that taken by the Humane Society of the United States at the Willmar poultry processing facility. Both such videos revealed shockingly inhumane conditions and practices, and in the case of Bauck, led to her conviction for animal torture.  Similar legislation has been introduced in Iowa and Florida, following undercover investigations that revealed inhumane conditions and animal suffering there.

Undercover investigations protect the public

The public has an interest in knowing about consumer product safety violations. In states around the country, undercover investigations at farming and slaughter operations have revealed animal husbandry practices and conditions that threaten the safety of the food supply. In California, an undercover investigation there led to the the nation’s largest beef recall in history. In Iowa, where there have been several large egg recalls recently, overcrowded conditions documented by undercover investigators at egg production facilities revealed the risk to the public of egg-borne Salmonella infection.

Who is supporting these bills?

The chief authors of these bills, Representative Rod Hamilton (R, 22B), and Senator Doug Magnus (R, 22) are the Chairs of the House and Senate Agriculture Committees, respectively. As Chairs, Hamilton and Magnus have authority to choose which bills they will grant a hearing, and enjoy tremendous influence when it comes to deciding which bills will pass. In the House, the following Representatives have signed on their support: Cornish ; Davids ; Urdahl ; Dettmer ; Anderson, P. ; Drazkowski. In the Senate, the following Senators have signed on to support the bill: Rosen ; Skoe ; Ingebrigtsen ; Sparks.

What are they trying to hide?

The free flow of information and ideas is essential to a free society. Stifling awareness and discussion does not make the problems of an unsafe food supply or of animal cruelty and suffering go away. Legislators should focus on enacting animal welfare reforms, not on hiding what is occurring behind closed doors.

Bills aiming to lessen abuses at Minnesota’s commercial dog and cat breeding facilities have languished for years- currently, unlike most states in the country, there are no state laws regulating this industry in Minnesota.  Yet, instead of taking serious steps to address puppy and kitten mill cruelty, some lawmakers are choosing to shield commercial dog and cat breeders from public scrutiny. Minnesota legislators who do not support the Commercial Dog and Cat Breeder Bill insist the humane community use ‘exiting laws’ to regulate the dog and cat breeding industry. How is it possible to use ‘existing law’, which requires finding and documenting inhumane conditions at puppy and kitten mills, if it is made a criminal offense to do an undercover investigation and publish the results?

Responsible agriculture producers should welcome transparency regarding their animal welfare and food safety practices. Agriculture producers are ultimately responsible to the millions of consumers who buy their food, and they should not try to quell public discussion and discourse on these practices.

Please take action today

April 12, 2011 Posted by | animal abuse, Animal or Pet Related Stories, Animal Related Education, Animal Rights And Awareness, animals, Pets, Political Change, Stop Animal Cruelty, Stop Euthenization, We Are All God's Creatures | , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

USA: Bring All Commercial Dog Breeders under Federal Oversight!

ASPCA Urgent Alert

Dear Animal Advocates,

There is a giant loophole in U.S. law concerning the federal oversight of large-scale commercial dog breeders (commonly known as puppy mills). Currently, breeders who sell to puppy brokers and pet stores have to be licensed by the USDA, while those who sell puppies directly to the public do not.

However, a new bill before the U.S. House of Representatives, the Puppy Uniform Protection and Safety (PUPS) Act, will bring all commercial dog breeders in the United States under federal oversight by requiring any breeder who sells or offers to sell more than 50 dogs annually to the public—including over the Internet—to be licensed and inspected. The bill will also require all licensed breeders to exercise every dog daily.

The PUPS Act has been introduced in past Congressional sessions, but has always timed out. We’ve been given another chance at enacting this extremely important humane legislation, which would improve the lives of hundreds of thousands of dogs nationwide.

What You Can Do

It is vital that members of Congress hear that puppy mill reform is important to their constituents. Please visit the ASPCA Advocacy Center to email your U.S. representative in Washington, D.C., and urge him or her to support and cosponsor the PUPS Act.

Thank you for your continued support of the ASPCA and our nation’s animals!

March 8, 2011 Posted by | Adopt Just One More Pet, animals, Dogs, Fostering and Rescue, Just One More Pet, Man's Best Friend, NO KILL NATION, Outreach for Pets, Pet Friendship and Love, Pets, Political Change, responsible pet ownership, Stop Animal Cruelty, Stop Euthenization | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

USA: Bill for Nationwide Puppy Mill Reform Needs You!

ASPCA Urgent Alert
Dear Animal Advocates,

As you may already know, there is a large loophole in the federal law concerning USDA oversight of large-scale commercial dog breeders (known as “puppy mills”). Currently, breeders who sell to brokers and pet stores have to be licensed by the USDA, while those who sell puppies directly to the public do not.

Introduced in Congress in late May, a bill called the Puppy Uniform Protection and Safety (PUPS) Act will bring all commercial dog breeders in the United States under federal oversight by requiring any breeder who sells or offers to sell more than 50 dogs annually to the public—including over the Internet—to be licensed and inspected. The bill will also require all licensed breeders to exercise every dog daily.

The PUPS Act is extremely important humane legislation that will improve the lives of thousands of dogs across the country. We hope we can count on your support to help us get it passed.

What You Can Do

Now more than ever, it is vital that members of Congress hear that puppy mill reform is important to their constituents. Please visit the ASPCA Advocacy Center to email your senators and representative to urge them to support and cosponsor the PUPS Act.

Thank you for your continued support of the ASPCA and our nation’s animals!

Posted:  Just One More Pet

June 23, 2010 Posted by | Just One More Pet, Pets, responsible pet ownership, Uncategorized | , , , , | Leave a comment

Where did you get that dog!!

From today’s headlines:  West Hollywood bans dog, cat sales

By CHRISTINA HOAG, Associated Press Writer – Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The city of West Hollywood has decided to put a leash on dog and cat sales.

Now can you imagine this. While walking your dog or carrying your cat, the West Hollywood police pull next to you.

“Where did you get that animal?”

“I bought from a breeder in Riverside.”

“Do you have proof of purchase?

“Yes, the sales slip and certificate are in my wallet”

After the public safety officer reviews, the material he says,

“I’m sorry [at least apologetic], but you’re under arrest. You can only have a cat or dog here that was conceived in an ally, no pedigreed animals permited in our town.”

Posted by JP Crumrine at 1:10 PM

Source:  Idyllwild Town Crier

The point of this article is obviously the fact that we need to be careful in our goal to right one wrong… just to cause another.  Puppy Mills and Kitty Factories are horrible , abusive and wrong, but there is always a balance in every situation.  Let us not create a black market of sick dogs and cats from even worse facilities or a shortage of purebred pets that people want.  Let us think the problems through and work toward sensible solutions.  Hmmm… I think that advice might work in Washington DC, as well!?! ;-)

Ask Marion – Just One More Pet

February 18, 2010 Posted by | Animal or Pet Related Stories, Just One More Pet, Pets, Political Change | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

CA Action: Puppy Mill Bill + 2 More Bills Await Governor’s Okay!

ASPCA Urgent Alert

Dear California Advocates,

Good news! Three important bills that the ASPCA has been fighting for in California have finished their journeys through the State Legislature:

Assembly Bill 241, a.k.a. the Responsible Breeder Act, will limit the number of intact adult animals that pet-breeding facilities are permitted to own.
Assembly Bill 1122 would prohibit the sale of animals on streets and in other public spaces. (It exempts legitimate adoption events.)
Senate Bill 135 would prohibit the docking of cows’ tails.

All that is required for each of these bills to become state law is Governor Schwarzenegger’s signature.

What You Can Do

Take a few minutes today to contact Governor Schwarzenegger to ask him to sign these three bills into law.
Governor Schwarzenegger’s Office: (916) 445-2841

If you’d like to learn more about each bill, or see our tips on what to say when you call, please visit the ASPCA Advocacy Center online.

Thank you for your help advancing this humane legislation—we’re just one step away from victory!

Posted:  Just One More Pet

September 16, 2009 Posted by | Animal or Pet Related Stories, Animal Rights And Awareness, animals, Just One More Pet, Pets, Political Change, Stop Animal Cruelty, Success Stories, Toughen Animal Abuse Laws and Sentences, We Are All God's Creatures | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Puppy Mill Awareness Day 2009 – September 19th

SEPT 19 is Puppy Mill Awareness Day!!! In case you want to educate people on the existence of Puppy Mills and the harsh reality of what these dogs go thru or just learn more about Puppy Mills yourself… here is a great website where you can order br…Read More

Please read through this entire page — it will save us accounting nightmares and ensure your brochures arrive quickly and safely!

PetShopPuppies.org

Source: http://www.petshoppuppies.org


Puppy Mill Dogs Standing in the Cold

Puppy Mill Awareness Day 2009 is almost here! Please join us for this important event on September 19th in Lancaster, PA. We will gather to provide a voice for thousands of dogs that remain in puppy mills around the country waiting for a hero. While public awareness has drastically increased over the past few years but we still have a long way to go. On September 19th we will celebrate rescue, increase awareness to the cruelty within the mills, and provide a day of fun! Come a day early and participate in our “Dog Auction” where we will be auctioning off art that was created by puppy mill survivors. We promise laughter through tears during this unforgettable event. See you at PMAD!!!

Help us save them…..

Puppy Mill Awareness Day

Posted:  Just One More Pet

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As the ASPCA says… “We Are Their Voice!”  Please report all suspected abuse or neglect of any kind… and to anyone!!

September 1, 2009 Posted by | animal abuse, Animal or Pet Related Stories, Animal Rights And Awareness, animals, Fostering and Rescue, Just One More Pet, Pet Abuse, Pet Events, Pet Friendship and Love, Pets, Political Change, Stop Animal Cruelty, Toughen Animal Abuse Laws and Sentences, We Are All God's Creatures | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

California: Puppy Mill Bill to be voted on by Senate this week. We need you! ~~ Please Call Your State Senator: Yes on AB 241 ~~

ASPCA Urgent Alert

Dear California Advocates,

The California Responsible Breeder Act of 2009 is moving quickly toward becoming state law—the Senate is expected to vote on it as early as this week. It is crucial that your senator votes YES on this humane legislation that will help crack down on puppy mills.

If passed, the Responsible Breeder Act will limit the number of intact animals that large-scale breeding facilities are permitted to own. With this law on the books, law enforcement will finally have the authority to put an end to inhumane, overcrowded conditions at puppy mills.

Similar legislation limiting the number of dogs who may be kept by commercial breeders has already passed in Louisiana, Virginia and Washington. You can help California be next!

What You Can Do

We all hate puppy mills. This is your chance to really do something about them—call your state senator’s office today to urge him or her to vote in favor of the Responsible Breeder Act (AB 241).

Visit the ASPCA Advocacy Center to find your senator’s phone numbers and to let us know you called.

Thank you, California, for joining the battle against puppy mills.

Having trouble viewing this email? Read it online in your browser.

Posted:  Just One More Pet

August 26, 2009 Posted by | animal abuse, animals, Just One More Pet, Pets, Political Change, responsible pet ownership, Stop Animal Cruelty, We Are All God's Creatures | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

ASPCA Asks Court to Direct Helmsley Money Back to Dogs

ASPCA Asks Court to Direct Helmsley Money Back to Dogs

The ASPCA, along with the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and Maddie’s Fund, filed suit this week in New York Surrogate’s Court to intervene in the matter of the late Leona Helmsley’s $5 billion estate. The suit seeks to overturn an earlier ruling that allows the Helmsley Trustees—those responsible for issuing charitable grants from the estate—to disregard Mrs. Helmsley’s specific instructions that her wealth be used to help dogs.

“Just a fraction of the money involved in Mrs. Helmsley’s estate is a game-changer for animal welfare,” says Marsha Perelman, ASPCA Board Chair. “The fate of dogs in this country could very well rest on the decision of this lawsuit—it is that critical.”

No nonprofit groups involved with animal welfare were contacted or given an opportunity to register formal objections prior to the court’s controversial ruling last fall. As a result of that ruling, and in clear violation of Mrs. Helmsley’s wishes, less than 0.1% the trust’s initial round of grants was allocated to dog welfare-related charities.

“Dog fighting, puppy mills, pet homelessness and overpopulation are not $100,000 problems. But they’re not billion-dollar problems, either,” says Ed Sayres, President and CEO of the ASPCA. “Mrs. Helmsley understood the importance of animal welfare. She wanted her worldly estate to make our society better for dogs and animals—and if distributed as she intended, it definitely has the power to do so.”

This case has larger implications beyond the fate of the Helmsley estate. The three organizations believe that the court system has a responsibility to protect the wishes of any decedent, and also to protect the charity world from the whims of trustees who wish to ignore estate planning instructions. The misdirection of the Helmsley fortune should be of interest to everyone who hopes to provide for beloved pets after death, as well as to the multitude of organizations, from nonprofits to universities, that rely on bequests.

The groups involved in the lawsuit are not seeking grants for themselves, but do hope to work with the Helmsley Trustees in an advisory capacity to award grants to animal welfare groups of various size and scope around the country. “There has been a sea change in recent years in how we treat animals. It’s a shame that the Helmsley Trustees don’t understand or respect that change,” says Sayres.

Do you Twitter? Use this hashtag to tweet on this article: @aspca and #HelmsleyEstate

Posted:  Just One More Pet

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Order Your Copy Today

Every Dog’s Legal Guide: A Must-have Book for Your Owner

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August 15, 2009 Posted by | Animal or Pet Related Stories, Animal Rights And Awareness, animals, Just One More Pet, Pet Friendship and Love, Pet Owner's Rights, Pets, Political Change, responsible pet ownership, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Pennsylvania… Puppy Mill Capital, USA???

Thanks to “Nightline” for the episode about puppy mills in Pennsylvania.  Watch the video, and think about it before purchasing a puppy in a petstore.  Sadly by “saving” that one pup from the store, you are causing several more to suffer.  This will only stop if we quit shopping and supporting these types of stores!

Source: Sandi’s  K9  Management

Posted:  Just One More Pet

July 10, 2009 Posted by | animal abuse, Animal or Pet Related Stories, Animal Rescues, animals, Just One More Pet, Pet Abuse, Pet Friendship and Love, Pets, Political Change, Stop Animal Cruelty, Success Stories, We Are All God's Creatures | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Concerns lead to ASPCA raid at Wisconsin shelter

Thank You BannerASPCA Rescues Over 300 Animals!

Was it an animal shelter, or a puppy mill, or perhaps a little of both?

Whatever the case, the Thyme and Sage Ranch in Wisconsin is no more after 300 dogs were seized and owner and founder Jennifer Petkus was charged with 11 misdemeanor animal cruelty charges. The story sounds a little similar to the one we told you about earlier this week – Pendragwn Chow Rescue in Pennsylvlania.

In the Wisconsin case, the Richland County Sheriff’s Department executed a search warrant Tuesday at the ranch, seizing the first 100 dogs, eight horses and a goat. At least six dog carcasses were discovered and a ram needed to be euthanized, according to the Wisconsin State Journal.

According to a criminal complaint, Dr. Lisa Kerwin-Lucchi, a veterinarian with the Dane County Humane Society, used a hidden camera and temperature probe to record conditions at Thyme and Sage Ranch in rural Cazenovia in March, documenting dogs without access to food and unfrozen water, dogs with severely matted fur and inadequate bedding for unheated buildings.

Petkus was charged with one count of improper shelter to animals and 10 counts of intentionally mistreating animals — all misdemeanors. In addition, she faces five counts of unlawful deposit of animals carcasses.

Court records also show that Thyme and Sage, which has a contract with Richland County to serve as a shelter for lost and found animals, had already transferred 68 dogs and 10 cats to the Dane County Humane Society between Feb. 1 and March 27.

Kerwin-Lucchi started collecting the criminal evidence as early as February to obtain a search warrant and file charges “to make sure (Petkus) can’t do this again.”

She said she’s not sure what led to the conditions of her shelter because Many of the seized dogs look to be “retired breeders from puppy mills,” and the fact that she was adopting out large number of young puppies raised the suspicion she may also have been breeding, Kerwin-Lucchi said.

On Tuesday morning, May 19, the ASPCA was on hand in Cazenovia, WI, to assist in the raid of an animal sanctuary, the Thyme and Sage Ranch. The ASPCA Forensic Cruelty Investigation and Disaster Response teams, as well as our Mobile Crime Scene Investigation (CSI) Unit, are currently working alongside the Richland County Sheriff’s Department to collect evidence and evaluate the animals found at the site.

May 23, 2009 Posted by | animal abuse, Animal Rescues, animals, Just One More Pet, Pet Abuse, Political Change, Stop Animal Cruelty | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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