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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

Bush and Barney, Just Like Old Times

Bush and Barney

You may have already read Bill Minutaglio’s piece about George Bush’s post-presidential life in this week’s dead tree issue of Newsweek, but you won’t see this quote in it: “And there I was, former president of the United States of America, with a plastic bag on my hand.” That’s what the former President told some graduating high school seniors in New Mexico Thursday, referring to some quality time he’s been spending with former first dog Barney. “Life is returning back to normal,” he added. He also told the graduates that he’d been relieved of the great sense of responsibility he’d had when in office. “And frankly, it’s a liberating feeling,” he said.

By: Katie Connolly

Source:  The Gaggle

Posted:  Just One More Pet  

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May 23, 2009 Posted by | Animal or Pet Related Stories, Just One More Pet, On The Lighter Side, Pet Friendship and Love, Pets | , , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Animal Protection Repression-Files Prove Political Motivation in Austria

10 chained animal activists in orange Guatanamo-suits staged a protest outside the Austrian Home Office this week to highlight police repression against animal protection

Vienna, 16th May 2009

The special commission set up by the Austrian Home Office in 2006 has carried out the most extensive investigation operation since the founding of Austria’s 2nd Republic against the animal advocacy movement. In this political move to wipe out legitimate work on behalf of animals, VGT has been particularly severely hit.

The political background to this case can be shown clearly by the following points:

  • Although legally obliged to present all evidence showing an accused person’s innocence, police have omitted all such findings from their final reports. This includes results of DNA tests, tracking devices, surveillance, bugging operations and under cover agents, as well as the existence of concrete alibis. These things are simply not mentioned. It is as if they never took place.
  • On 24 February 2009 a judge ruled that police were no longer allowed to restrict those accused having access to their complete files. Following this ruling the special commission completed the final reports even though the investigations have not been formally closed. Why? The law states that once final reports have been submitted it is permissible to restrict access to files and this is exactly what the police have now done! The police are fully prepared to undermine and ignore a court ruling.
  • In minutes from one of the special commission’s meetings from 19 June 2008 it is detailed how those present discuss how best to destroy VGT: taking away the organisation’s charity status is what they come up with. Without having charitable status VGT would have to pay tax on all donations over the last years, effectively financially destroying the organisation. And just this has happened: On 30 April this year police started actions to have VGT’s charitable status taken away.
  • In an internal report form the special commission dated 23. 1. 2008 it is documented that, from now on all information stands and events to do with animal protection “regardless of the topic“ are to be visibly heavily policed through out the whole country with the aim to “give the public the impression that animal campaigners are extremely dangerous”.
  • As a medium-term solution the commission orderd that all targets of information stands, for example, fur shops “are to be protected by a 100 m distance between information stand and shop”. This effectively prohibits any information stands within a 100 m radius, although there have never been any problems or aggression which could justify such a move. The head of the commission proudly announced these measures which totally contravene the right of assembly law: “The militant animal campaigners throughout the whole of Austria will experience resistance from the National Security Agency for the first time”.
  • The special commission has collected an extensive DNA database on campaigners. In a file dated 2 July 2007 it states that plain clothed officers stole bottles of drink from campaigners at information stands in order to have them DNA tested. Similarly, cutlery and plates were taken during the raid on the VGT office for DNA analysis. No legal authorisation was given for these procedures.
  • Green MP Peter Pilz was given access to confidential police documents in connection with this case. Peter Pilz exposed these documents on his website http://www.peterpilz.at. The documents show not only that police advised the animal protection movement’s political opponents how to represent themselves to the media, and recommended measures they could take against legal animal protection actions, but also that the head of Vienna’s Police Force was instructed to “utilize all administrative possibilities to stop information stands and protests taking place“.

VGT’s DDr Martin Balluch commented: “With these documents we can prove that the police allowed themselves to be used as a political instrument, carrying out politically influenced measures, which were in part unlawful, in order to attack the animal advocacy movement. This is an alarm signal for democracy. With today’s action here in front of the Home Office we call on all citizens and especially all those in positions of responsibility to ensure that the police be held to account for their actions and that we bring Austria back to being a constitutional state”.

If you live outside of Austria please write to the Austrian Minister of the Interior asking her to bring an end to the repression of Austrian NGO work on behalf of animals. You can see a sample letter/e-mail and find her address here:
http://www.vgt.at/presse/news/2009/news20090421m_en.php

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And this should be an alarming issue to Americans and aninal advocates everywhere!!  Animal Advocacy Groups are listed on U.S. Homeland Security’s rightwing extremists list…

     

    Vienna, 14th May 2009

    Misuse of Law Crushes NGOs

    Austrian animal advocates gathered this week on the steps of the Ministry of Justice to symbolize the misuse of Austrian Mafia law 278a crushing free speech and legitimate NGO work.

    The final police reports in this case leave absolutely no doubt that classic NGO-work is being criminalised. Be it school talks on animal rights, founding new groups, negotiating with companies and running legal campaigns, as well as animal rights conferences, investigations into animal abuse, actions of civil disobedience and computer encryption.

    25 activists were being squashed by giant “§ 278a”-symbols directly in front of the ministry of justice, where in the coming weeks it will be decided whether charges will be brought against the animal activists for forming a criminal organisation or not.

    May 23, 2009 Posted by | animal abuse, Animal or Pet Related Stories, Animal Rescues, Animal Rights And Awareness, animals, Just One More Pet, Political Change, Stop Animal Cruelty | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment