JustOneMorePet

Every Pet Deserves A Good Home…

Humane Society of the U.S. finally changes its policy on fighting dogs

 

Careful – you might get cuddled to death by this sweetie    Photo: BestFriends.org 

In a reversal of their decades-old stance, the Humane Society of the United States has reportedly decided on a new interim policy that all dogs seized from fighting operations should now be evaluated for their suitability for adoption on a case-by-case basis.  This is a reversal of longstanding HSUS policy that any dog impounded from a fighting situation was inherently too dangerous to be safely placed in a home and should therefore be killed by authorities as soon as legally permissible.

[Author’s note: Though it is common practice to refer to such government-sanctioned killings of animals as “euthanasia,” the Merriam-Webster definition of euthanasia is “the act or practice of killing or permitting the death of hopelessly sick or injured individuals (as persons or domestic animals) in a relatively painless way for reasons of mercy,” hence the term cannot truthfully be used to describe the killing of healthy animals who have not yet been determined to be irreversibly aggressive.]


Former Vick fighting dog Leo takes his job as a therapy dog very seriously  Photo: msnbc.com

The announcement of this change in policy came from the Best Friends Animal Society website, and has yet to appear on the HSUS website as of this writing.  A call to the Washington office of the HSUS was not returned.

The reversal comes in the wake of the recent killing of 146 pit bulls who were seized at or born after a raid on a fighting dog operation in Wilkes County, North Carolina.  Seventy of the dogs killed were puppies; nineteen of whom were born after the seizure had taken place.  The killings were ordered by Superior Court Judge Ed Wilson Jr. after testimony from local animal control officials and two representatives of the HSUS.  According the Best Friends website, Judge Wilson ordered that the dogs be killed “without evaluation to determine suitability for placement.”

Scarred ex-fighter, now therapy dog Hector snuggles with new mom Leslie Nuccio  Photo: Eric Risberg/AP

Prior to this incident, the Humane Society of the United States’ policy on fighting dogs came under public fire during the Michael Vick case, when HSUS representatives advocated the killing of all dogs seized from Vick’s “Bad Newz Kennels.”  Subsequent case-by-case evaluations ordered by Judge Henry Hudson revealed that only one dog was too aggressive to be safely placed with a rescue.  That dog was euthanized, another was euthanized due to severe health problems, and the rest were sent to rescues around the country.  Subsequently at least two of these dogs, Leo and Hector, who were considered experienced fighters due to their scars, have gone on to become therapy dogs who visit and comfort patients in hospitals.

I would like to note that I am a supporter of the Humane Society of the United States.  They have done unsurpassed work over decades to increase public awareness of cruelty to animals, including exposing the issue of puppy mills; their groundbreaking work in helping to pass Prop. 2 in California, which is an important first step in decreasing cruel farming practices; and their unparalleled work in exposing shocking cruelty to downed dairy cows headed for slaughter at the now-defunct Hallmark/Westland meat packing company, which led to the nation’s largest-ever beef recall. 

Their stance on fighting dogs, however, has been uncharacteristically rigid and inhumane and I am extremely glad that although it took the senseless, indiscriminate deaths of 146 dogs, HSUS is starting to reexamine their policy in this matter and the injustice of judging and condemning any creature without knowing them personally.

By:  Kate Woodviolet

Source:  Examiner.com – LA Pet Rescue Examiner

Posted By:  Ask Marion – Just One More Pet

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March 21, 2009 Posted by | Animal Rescues, Just One More Pet, Pets, Political Change, Stop Euthenization, Success Stories | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 28 Comments

Sago Palm Plant Kills Puppy

Sago

It’s hard to believe a houseplant could harm a tough cookie like the Woytek family’s Lab mix, Amber. A survivor of Hurricane Ike, the young pup was diagnosed with distemper in the months after her adoption from the Houston SPCA in September 2008. But according to Laurie Woytek, Amber defeated the often fatal virus—and went on to form a tight bond with her canine “sister” and partner-in-crime, Scout, a one-year-old Rhodesian ridgeback mix.

Early last month, Laurie discovered that Amber had eaten parts of a sago palm plant. Sago palm—with its dark green leaves and hairy trunk—has become a popular houseplant in recent years, but unbeknownst to many green-thumbed pet parents, it’s also highly toxic to cats and dogs.

Immediately ill, Amber was hospitalized at a nearby emergency clinic. Says Laurie, “I was very scared, but thought, ‘She’s tough—she’ll make it through.’” After several days in the hospital, the emergency veterinarian delivered the heartbreaking news to the Woyteks—Amber had developed jaundice and life-threatening liver failure.

“We took Amber to our regular veterinarian to discuss our options with him,” explains Laurie. “She suffered seizures in the car on the way, and we ultimately made the very difficult, yet humane decision to let her go.”  

Sadly, Amber’s story is all too common. Since 2003, the ASPCA has seen an increase by more than 200 percent of sago palm and cycad poisonings, and 50 to 75 percent of those ingestions resulted in fatalities. According to Dr. Sharon Gwaltney-Brant, veterinary toxicologist and vice president of the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center, all parts of the plant are toxic, not just the seeds or nuts, and common signs of ingestion include vomiting, diarrhea, weakness, depression, seizures and liver failure.

Before the Woytek family said their final goodbyes to Amber, they took her home to see her best buddy, Scout. “As Amber lay still on the floor, Scout kept nudging her as if to say, ‘C’mon, get up,’” Laurie says. “They weren’t just ‘sissies’—as we referred to them—they were best friends.”  

“It was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do,” reflects Laurie. “Amber is truly missed and will forever be in our hearts. She was our little princess.”

In memory of Amber, and to mark the end of National Poison Prevention Week, March 15-21, the ASPCA reminds all pet parents to stay informed about protecting pets from accidental poisonings. Please read our poison prevention tips online.  

Additional Common Names for the Sago Palm are: Coontie Palm, Cardboard Palm, cycads and zamias

Source:  ASPCA

Animal Poison Control Center

If you can’t reach your vet or don’t have a 24-hour local facility to call, they are your best resource for any animal poison-related emergency, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. If you think that your pet may have ingested a potentially poisonous substance, call (888) 426-4435.  However, a $60 consultation fee “may”  be applied to your credit card.  Have all your emergency numbers listed and handy.

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March 21, 2009 Posted by | Animal Rescues, Just One More Pet, Pet Health, Pet Nutrition, Pets, responsible pet ownership | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment