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Debbie J's Thread #3
5 years ago
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5 years ago

Thanks, Val. Hello, all. Hope all's well.

tiger cubs



HSUS Releases Update on Missouri's Worst Puppy Mills
5 years ago

puppy mill dog




JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — The Missouri Senate gave its preliminary approval last night to SB 113, sweeping legislation that repeals every core provision of Proposition B, the Puppy Mill Cruelty Prevention Act, and reverts back to the weak laws that allowed the inhumane treatment of thousands of dogs in Missouri’s puppy mills. Prop B was favored by voters in 18 of 34 Senate districts. The Senate is expected to take final action on the repeal bill tomorrow.

“Some lawmakers are not only thumbing their noses at a statewide vote of the people, but are also voting against their own districts,” said Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of The Humane Society of the United States. “Whether you care about protecting dogs from abuse, or care about the democratic decision-making process, this assault on the will of the people must be stopped.”

While the leaders of the repeal effort repeatedly claimed on the Senate floor last night that licensed breeders are not a problem and they want to focus only on unlicensed operations, Missourians for the Protection of Dogs released a new report today demonstrating major continuing problems in licensed puppy mills. The new report on “Missouri’s Dirty Dozen”—reportedly some of the worst licensed puppy mills in Missouri, including six new licensed kennels of concern—demonstrates that many of the worst puppy mills in the state are still licensed and in business six months after their histories were made public. Advocates say the improved standards in the new Puppy Mill Cruelty Prevention Act (Proposition must be allowed to take effect in November, as approved by Missouri voters, to address the cruelty.


Nine of the 12 “Dirty Dozen” puppy mill producers identified in October 2010 are still state and/or federally licensed in 2011, according to the report.  According to their most recent USDA inspection records, many are still depriving dogs of the basics of humane care, such as shelter from the bitter cold, adequate food and water, and basic veterinary care for illness or injuries. The 26-page report, compiled by The Humane Society of the United States, was released at a press conference in Jefferson City.

“The licensed puppy mills identified in this report have an undeniable record of flagrant disregard for even the most minimal humane care standards for dogs,” said Pacelle. “The legislature should help with enforcement of Prop B by providing more funding for the inspections program, rather than working to dumb down the law and reverse the decision by voters for stepped-up attention to the dog-welfare problems at mills throughout the state.”

The violations, drawn directly from federal kennel inspection reports, include sick or dying puppies who had not been treated by a veterinarian; dogs and puppies found shivering in the cold in 28 degrees, dogs with oozing, open lesions and injuries that had not been treated by a vet; puppies with their feet falling through wire cage floors; and dogs so emaciated that their bones were clearly visible through their skin. At Hidden Valley Farms in Greencastle, USDA inspectors found six puppies with “raw, moist, red” open wounds on their tails with “what appeared to be bone/ cartilage” exposed to dirt and flies after the breeder allegedly performed botched home surgeries on them rather than taking them to her vet.

Six new kennels of concern were added to the list, including one kennel (Simply Puppies in Hannibal) where a dog was found dead in an outdoor enclosure in bitter cold temperatures of just 28 degrees, and another facility (Sunset Ridge Kennel in Princeton) where dogs were found last summer with signs of “heat stress” and “heavy respiratory effort” inside a building with a heat index of more than 114 degrees, according to USDA inspection reports. A dog at Sunset Ridge Kennel was found “sprawled and flattened on the wire floor of the cage” as she panted in the heat, according to inspectors.

The cruel conditions noted in the report, such as dogs suffering and sometimes dying in extreme heat or bitter cold, dogs suffering from untreated injuries, dogs confined in cramped cages with no exercise, and dogs deprived of adequate food and drinkable water, will be addressed by Proposition B -- but only if it is allowed to go into effect as written and passed.

In November 2010, nearly one million Missouri citizens voted to pass Prop B, the Puppy Mill Cruelty Prevention Act, and the measure passed in a majority of state House and state Senate districts. Prop B simply requires that commercial puppy producers provide breeding dogs with daily access to nutritious food, continuous access to drinkable water, veterinary care for illness or injury, safe housing, adequate space, and room to exercise.  Prop B will increase and facilitate local law enforcement because it provides clear standards that sheriffs and prosecutors can understand, as compared to the existing vague and highly technical puppy mill regulations.  Prop B does all this without wiping out or eliminating the existing laws and penalties.

The protections outlined in Prop B will apply to all large-scale commercial dog producers whether the owner is licensed or not, and will ensure that dogs in large-scale commercial breeding facilities receive basic humane care.




5 years ago

Click here to see full report

Four-page summary of the report can be found here.

More information is available at  

Game-Changing Puppy Mill Bill Reintroduced in Congress
5 years ago




On March 1, U.S. Representatives Jim Gerlach (R-PA), Sam Farr (D-CA), Lois Capps (D-CA) and C.W. Bill Young (R-FL) introduced the Puppy Uniform Protection and Safety (PUP Act. The bill would require any breeder who sells or offers to sell more than 50 dogs annually directly to the public—including over the Internet—to be licensed and inspected by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Currently, only breeders who sell dogs to pet stores or to puppy brokers are subject to federal oversight.

“Many are skeptical about the USDA’s ability to inspect thousands of additional dog breeders, perhaps rightly so. However, it’s crucial for people to understand that in many states, no one is checking up on these facilities,” says Cori Menkin, ASPCA Senior Director of Legislative Initiatives. “Without a legal authority, federal inspectors cannot inspect these breeders. As the ASPCA has seen firsthand, the photos of happy, healthy puppies posted on a breeder’s website often grossly misrepresent what conditions are really like for these puppies and their parents.”

Now making its third consecutive appearance in Congress since 2008, the PUPS Act would require all licensed dog breeders to exercise every dog every day. Commercial breeders often keep their dogs in tiny cages for their entire lives. Requiring exercise could dramatically improve the lives of hundreds of thousands of dogs suffering from endless confinement at the hands of the commercial breeding industry.

Please take action in support of the PUPS Act today! To be alerted when animal-friendly legislation is introduced in Congress and your state’s legislature, become a member of the ASPCA Advocacy Brigade, a free service that allows you to take action for animals right from your computer.


5 years ago

Thanks for all this Debbie. 

Common Pet Poisons Lurking in Your Garden
5 years ago

dog garden


Happy National Poison Prevention Week! As pet parents honor this week by assessing animal toxins in their homes, the ASPCA wants to remind folks to take care when planning (or planting) their springtime gardens, too. Whether you’re blessed with balmy weather already or are patiently awaiting the first day of spring (March 20, holla!), please be mindful of the season’s toxic obstacles for our furry friends.

Last year, the ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control Center fielded tens of thousands of calls related to pets who accidentally ingested or came in contact with garden-related products, including insecticides, weed killers and pet-toxic plants. Don’t let your furry beloved become a victim of your green thumb—read our expert tips below.

  • When designing and planting your green space, keep in mind that many popular outdoor plants—including sago palm, rhododendron and azalea—are toxic to cats and dogs, and may cause liver failure or heart problems.
  • When walking your dog, take care to keep Fido off the grass and away from toxic lawn and garden products. Cocoa mulch—a byproduct of chocolate—is especially problematic because it attracts dogs with its sweet smell and can cause them gastrointestinal distress or more serious neurological problems if consumed in large quantities.
  • Always store pesticides in inaccessible areas. The most dangerous forms of pesticides include snail bait with metaldehyde, fly bait with methomyl, insecticides with the ingredients disyston or disulfoton, mole or gopher bait with zinc phosphide, and most forms of rat poisons.
  • Unattended garden tools may seem like no big deal, but rakes, tillers, hoes and trowels can be hazardous to pets and cause trauma to paws, noses or other parts of a curious pet's body. Please leave all unused tools in a safe area, not haphazardly scattered on the ground.

For a complete list of tips, check out our online guide to Pet-Safe Gardening. Now, get thee to a nursery and have a safe spring season!


5 years ago

pit abuse




After seizing 13 allegedly abused dogs in April 2010, Baker County, Florida police charged Cletus Gaskins and Omar Aldridge with animal cruelty and dogfighting. Reportedly running away from the officers on the scene and leaving his four-year-old son behind in the process, Aldridge was also charged with child neglect.

Dogs raised for fighting are forced to live desperately, repeatedly suffering ruthless and gruesome abuses as well as systematic neglect. Tragically, it is not unusual for children to be victimized by this culture as well -- either taken to fighting events by the very adults they should be able to count on to shield them from harm, or chronically exposed to squalid and dangerous living conditions.

On March 8, 2011, Gaskins and Aldridge entered no contest pleas to charges of both cruelty to animals and fighting or baiting animals -- both felonies under Florida law. The prosecution will present its sentencing recommendations to Judge Rosier at a hearing on Wednesday, April 27, 2011 at 2:00 p.m.

Take Action!
Please send a polite letter on ALDF's website in care of Assistant State Attorney Geoff Fleck, encouraging Judge Rosier to hand down aggressive and meaningful sentences which clearly reflect the Court’s recognition of the cruel violence and attendant criminal activities which dogfighting inflicts on communities.

Local residents are encouraged to support the prosecution by attending the court proceedings. The sentencing hearing is currently scheduled for Wednesday, April 27, 2011 at 2:00 p.m. Court information can be found on ALDF's website.

Thank you for speaking out against dogfighting!

For the animals,

Stephen Wells
Executive Director
Animal Legal Defense Fund


5 years ago

Thanks for all your information Deb. 

5 years ago

email sent. thanks so much

5 years ago

Animal Legal Defense Fund Demands Clarification of Pet Evacuation Policies for U.S. Military Families in Japan

Desperate Pleas from Fearful Military Pet Owners Prompt Inquiries to Departments of Defense, State

As the first U.S. charter flights evacuating the families of military personnel begin to leave Japan, the Animal Legal Defense Fund is asking Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates to clarify the U.S. government’s policy on whether or not military families can bring their pets with them—or must be forced to choose between staying in harm’s way and abandoning a beloved companion. ALDF has received desperate emails from the families of active military in Japan, terrified of what fate awaits their animals if, as they have recently been informed, pets will not be allowed on evacuation planes chartered by the U.S. Department of State.

The increasing threat of radioactivity in the wake of last week’s unprecedented earthquake and tsunami have led the military to begin voluntary evacuations today for the families of U.S. military stationed in Japan. It is at the discretion of the agencies overseeing these evacuations whether or not to allow pets—beloved family members to hundreds of U.S. military families in Japan—to evacuate with their owners.

“In a context of terrifying natural and nuclear disasters, with military personnel and their families already being separated from each other, we would hope that the U.S. government would not place an additional burden on military families by disregarding the very real bonds they have with their animal companions,” says Carter Dillard, ALDF’s director of litigation. “It is our hope that the tragedy of people forced to abandon beloved pets in order to evacuate to safety, which we saw play out on a heartbreaking scale during Hurricane Katrina, is not replicated during the current crisis in Japan.”

A copy of ALDF’s letter to the Department of State and the Department of Defense follows:


March 17, 2011

Hillary Clinton
Secretary of State
U.S. Department of State
2201 C Street NW
Washington, DC 20520

Robert M. Gates
Secretary of Defense
U.S. Department of Defense
1400 Defense Pentagon
Washington, DC 20301

Dear Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Gates:

The Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) has been contacted by family members of active duty U.S. military personnel stationed in Japan who are deeply concerned that they will not be allowed to bring their companion animals with them should they choose to leave the country as part of the voluntary evacuations authorized today. News stories corroborate their fears that pets will not be allowed on the State Department’s charter flights out of the country.

According to U.S. Department of Defense and U.S. Department of State official policy guidance (Annex M of the November, 2005, Joint Plan for DOD Noncombatant Evacuation and Repatriation), it “is clear that &lsquoets usually cannot be accommodated on an evacuation flight.’” ALDF is respectfully writing to inquire as to how the policy is now being applied to the evacuations underway in Japan.

According to the desperate emails ALDF has received from families stationed in Japan, many are hesitant to evacuate from the escalating radiation danger because they do not wish to leave behind their beloved pets.

ALDF has been told by the families of military personnel in Japan that veterinary clinic hours have been extended so that health certificates necessary for departure from the country can be obtained for these animals. However, should pets be denied passage with their families on evacuation flights, an uncertain—and likely, grim—fate awaits the hundreds of pets of U.S. active duty military personnel who are remaining in the country of Japan to assist with relief efforts.

The tragedy of Americans in the midst of disaster being forced to choose between leaving their beloved animals and remaining in harm’s way spurred significant legislation in the wake of Hurricane Katrina—2006’s Pets Evacuation and Transportation Standards (PET Act—designed to ensure that families can evacuate without leaving behind their four-legged members. Americans consider their pets members of their family; they should not have to choose between fleeing the current danger in Japan and abandoning their animals. Please clarify for us how the United States government intends to apply its policies regarding pet evacuation to avoid compounding the already-heartrending circumstances for these military families.


Carter Dillard
Director of Litigation
Animal Legal Defense Fund



5 years ago

Please take a moment if you can to thank Greg M. for this post 

The "humor" web site, "Funny or Die" posted ane incredibly cruel video made by someone who attached a cat toy to a ceiling fan. The cat, of course, jumped up to get the toy and was swung around over and over until it let go and hit the wall at high speed. This isn't funny. It's just another example of stupidity--and the message it sends is obvious: it's okay to torture animals (in this case, cats) in the name of entertainment. Please contact Funny or Die and let them know that this isn't okay. Thanks; pass it on. -G. Moreau


Here's the video:


Here's the link to their contact form (scroll to the bottom page):






This post was modified from its original form on 28 Mar, 20:10
5 years ago

Done thanks Debbie

5 years ago

Thank you Debbie! 

5 years ago


action alert


Alerted to a potentially violent situation in Hancock County, West Virginia on March 9, 2011, a SWAT team brought an end to Jeffrey Nally, Jr.'s alleged months-long abuse of his ex-girlfriend. Nally allegedly terrorized the woman by sadistically killing twenty-nine dogs -- mostly puppies which he reportedly obtained via classified ads -- over an approximately two-month period during which he allegedly kept the woman captive at the property.

"Mutilated, skinned, anything you can imagine," said Chief Deputy Todd Murray of the animals. "After the dogs were killed, he would make her clean up," Murray said. (WTOV TV 9, March 10, 2011)

With Nally facing charges of kidnapping, domestic battery and 29 counts of felony animal cruelty, this case provides a disturbing reminder of the link between cruelty to animals and domestic violence.

Take Action!
Send a letter to your legislators through ALDF's website! Let your legislators know that as a voting constituent you are concerned about animal cruelty and its effects on communities -- effects which are not only evident in the physical suffering these cases involve, but in the monetary costs which repeat offenders shift onto taxpayers by over-burdening animal shelters and other community agencies.

Also, educate your local newspapers and community on the dangers associated with “free to a good home” ads for animals by writing a letter to your local newspaper editor through ALDF's website.

Thank you for taking action and speaking out against animal abuse!

For the animals,

Stephen Wells
Executive Director
Animal Legal Defense Fund


5 years ago

Thank you Deb.

Polar Bear Knut Drowned
5 years ago
Drowning is declared the official cause of death as thousands protest plans to stuff his body. Fri Apr 1, 2011 12:03 PM ET
Content provided by AFP
knutKnut, the polar bear, shown shortly after his 4th birthday. A necropsy found the polar bear died of drowning on March 19. Click to enlarge this image.
  • The Berlin Zoo announced that the polar bear, Knut, died from drowning.
  • Knut drowned after falling into a pool after suffering a collapse from ecephalitis.
  • Thousands are mobilizing against the idea to stuff the bear and put him on display

Celebrity polar bear Knut died by drowning, the Berlin Zoo said on Friday.

The polar bear suffered from encephalitis, an inflammation of the brain, which caused him to collapse before he drowned on March 19, a necropsy indicated. Knut would have likely died from brain swelling if he had not drowned, zoo officials said.

"In the end, Knut actually drowned," Achim Gruber, managing director of the animal pathology institute at Berlin's Free University, told a news conference.Gruber explained that the bear had had "severe brain damage" for some time, causing uncontrollable muscle spasms.

Mourning over the four-year-old superstar polar bear is slowly but surely being replaced with a growing wave of anger -- and confusion.

Fans of Knut, who shot to nothing short of global fame as an ueber-cute cub in 2007, are planning a demonstration this Saturday in protest at plans for his body to be stuffed and put on display at Berlin's Natural History Museum.

Activists have been collecting signatures both on the Internet and on the streets, and an online condolence book provided by the zoo ( is full of angry missives.

"Knut cannot be stuffed. When are you going to get the message!," reads one from Michael S. "Leave him alone for once!! You cannot be serious. Let Knut rest in peace !!!"

"We're not in the 19th century any more," Doris Webb, who collected more than 30,000 signatures in 2009 for a petition to prevent Knut going to another zoo, as was feared at the time, told the Berliner Zeitung daily.

An open letter to zoo director Bernhard Blaszkiewitz says: "Nobody wants to look at a stiff, dead Knut."

According to a survey of more than 2,400 people published in the Berlin tabloid BZ, 73 percent of those questioned are opposed to him being put on show at the museum.

Campaigners accuse the zoo, which has already made millions of euros from Knut in merchandising and extra entrance fees, of wanting to milk him for even more.

Instead, they say, Knut should be cremated.

The campaigners are not put off by the fact that despite all the growling, Knut is not actually going to be stuffed: nowadays what happens is a plastic model of an animal's body is made with the fur, skin or scales pulled over.

And it is not sure that Knut will go on display at the Museum fuer Naturkunde alongside the world's largest mounted dinosaur skeleton and its other prized exhibits. A decision has not yet been taken, it says.

Heiner Kloes, in charge of bears at the Berlin Zoo, is defiant.

"When we have decided something, we are not going to let ourselves be swayed either by thousands of people, tens of thousands of people or hundreds of thousands," he said.

The zoo has given Knut's body to the museum, as it does with all its dead animals, so that it can help scientific research, he stressed.

"If he is cremated or buried in a coffin or whatever, nobody benefits. And if people say that want to remember him as he was and not see him, then nobody is forcing them to go to the museum."

Knut, pulled dead from a pool in his enclosure he shared with three females, was just four years and three months old, well below the average life expectancy for polar bears of around 35.

The bear became a national cause celebre after being spurned by his mother and brought up by hand by keeper Thomas Doerflein, himself slightly bear-like, who would strum Elvis Presley songs to the snow-white cub on his guitar.

The first public appearance of "Cute Knut" in March 2007 attracted 100 television camera crews from around the world, and the bear even made it to the cover of glossy US magazine Vanity Fair.

But once Knut grew into a strapping adolescent and then adult, animal welfare groups began to worry that he was displaying abnormal behavior because of all the attention. Doerflein died aged 44 of a heart attack in 2008.





5 years ago

Thanks Debbie for all the news. you do wonders collecting it together with all you other work.


Unfortunately I am limited by what I can do with The Animal Legal Defense Fund, but always keep an eye on it.


As for Knut.

You don't need to see the words that I am uttering. If I typed them my computer might crash. I am sure that you can guess. All I can say is that if he is stuffed, then he will be a permanent reminder, for all to see, of the mishandling that lead to his tragic death and a condemnation of those involved.

5 years ago

Thanks so much for your words, Simon, and for all you do to diligently speak out for animals.

Ooooohhhh, yes...I know all too well how tempting it is to write these people who are so irresponsible, abusive, apathetic,  and downright ignorant regarding animals...but then I don't want to give them the satisfaction of dismissing me as just another "ranting, raving animal nut"...or do I...?

5 years ago
ASPCA Urgent Alert

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

Dear Animal Advocates,

As Congress focuses on reducing spending, we need your help to make sure it doesn't slash funding for enforcement of vital federal animal-protection laws. While the amounts required to support these laws are quite modest, all programs—whatever their focus—are vulnerable.

Two members of Congress, Chris Smith (R-NJ) and Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), are asking their colleagues in the U.S. House of Representatives to co-sign a letter of support to protect the ongoing funding of important humane laws like the Animal Welfare Act. The letter will soon be submitted to the House Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee. It's an uphill struggle, particularly this year with so much budget tension.

We don't have much time: Legislators must sign the Smith-Blumenauer letter by Wednesday, April 13.

What You Can Do
Visit the ASPCA Advocacy Center right now to email your representative in the U.S. House and request that he or she sign the Smith-Blumenauer letter.

The Animal Welfare Act, the Animal Fighting Prohibition Enforcement Act, the Humane Methods of Slaughter Act and the Horse Protection Act are among the most important pillars of animal protection that our nation has, and we must make sure their enforcement is properly funded.

Thank you for taking immediate action, advocates!

Sled Dog Massacre Leads to Government Proposal to Improve B.C.'s Animal Protection Laws
5 years ago

Posted by Stephan Otto, ALDF's Director of Legislative Affairs on April 5th, 2011


The British Columbia government released a report today from a sled dog task force recommending a number of improvements to the laws protecting sled dogs and other animals – improvements the government said it intended to implement. The government task force was assembled in the wake of reports detailing last year’s sled dog massacre in which over a 100 dogs were reportedly slaughtered. Earlier this year, former Premier Gordon Campbell charged the task force with reviewing the circumstances related to the sled dog killings and make recommendations to prevent such an incident from occurring again.

“British Columbians have said clearly that cruel or inhumane treatment of sled dogs or any other animal is simply not acceptable,” said Premier Christy Clark in a government press release. “That’s why we are acting on all of the recommendations of the Sled Dog Task Force and sending a strong message that those who engage in that type of behaviour will be punished under tough new laws.”

Many of the recommendations mirror improvements that ALDF has noted and championed for B.C. in our annual Canadian rankings reports which analyze and compare the animal protection laws of all the provinces and territories of Canada. ALDF releases similar reports for the U.S.

Recommended improvements include:

  • Increasing the maximum penalties for offenses to up to $75,000 and 24 months imprisonment
  • Extending the statute of limitations for prosecuting offenses
  • Requiring mandatory reporting by veterinarians of suspected animal abuse
  • Creating a regulatory authority to define Standards of Care for animals 
  • Establishing a working group to develop a sled dog Standards of Care
  • Requiring that all sled dog companies operating on government land include in their management plans annual inspections by either the BC SPCA or a licensed veterinarian

The government also announced that a Crown counsel has been appointed with an expertise in the area of animal cruelty to increase awareness among prosecutors, and that a $100,000 grant has been awarded to the BC SPCA to enhance its capacity to undertake animal cruelty investigations.

ALDF commends the B.C. government for supporting these improvements and will continue to work to ensure that sled dogs and all animals are fully protected throughout British Columbia. In addition, ALDF’s $1,000 reward – for information leading to the arrest and conviction of anyone engaged in the illegal killing of sled dogs in the U.S. or Canada – is still active.


Posted in ALDF Blog


Add a Comment

Proposed Ban on Undercover Video Will Protect Abusers
5 years ago

April 7, 2011 Proposed Ban on Undercover Video Will Protect Abusers



Guest Blog by Ann Church, ASPCA Senior Director of Government Relations. Ann Church is a longtime animal advocate. She has worked for the U.S. Senate and has more than 20 years’ experience fighting for humane legislation.

I feel a cold shiver go through me when I think about what could happen to millions of cows, chickens, pigs and other farm animals. The Iowa Legislature is close to enactment of legislation that will protect animal abusers while incarcerating those who expose cruelty. Because big agribusiness is tired of having the inhumane treatment of animals exposed, it is choosing to trample on the rights of the public and media instead of taking steps to treat animals decently.

Two state-level bills that aim to prevent legitimate investigations into animal cruelty in farming operations will soon be voted on in the Iowa Senate. If passed, House File 589 and Senate File 431 will protect large factory farms as well as puppy mills by making all undercover investigations into animal care illegal.

If this measure becomes law in Iowa, it will set a precedent throughout the country. Our jails could become full of humane activists and journalists while animal abusers continue their actions in secret. Our country is founded on transparency and the belief that more information is better—that public knowledge is good. If passed, decent farmers will be tarnished by this effort. Most do not have anything to hide, but this law would condemn them all.

Take Action!
Please join our efforts to block passage of this chilling legislation. If you live in Iowa, please email your state senator and politely urge a no vote on SF431 and HF 589.

If you do not live in Iowa, please contact Governor Terry Branstad at (515) 281-5211 or Please do so in a reasonable and dignified manner.


5 years ago




I am dismayed -- and heartbroken -- to report that the last-minute budget deal agreed to by Congressional leaders on Friday night will strip endangered species protection from gray wolves across most of the Northern Rockies, leaving them at the mercy of states that plan to kill hundreds of them.

This stealth attack on wolves -- which circumvents the will of the courts and good science -- was inserted by Representative Mike Simpson (R, ID) and Senator Jon Tester (D, MT). It was approved by the leadership of both the House and the Senate, and it was okayed by the White House.

It is a shameful day for this nation when both parties unite behind the slaughter of an endangered species -- without public hearing or debate.

And there is another victim here as well: the Endangered Species Act.

Congress has never before removed an animal from the endangered species list. By replacing scientific judgment with political calculation, the House and Senate have struck at the very heart of wildlife protection in America.

We have to make sure that the political door is not thrown open to new attacks on other imperiled species.

Send a message to your Senators and Representative right now, expressing your outrage at this attack on wolves and telling them to keep their hands off the Endangered Species Act.

In the meantime, I urge you to keep faith with our shared dream of a sustainable future for wolves in the Northern Rockies. Tens of thousands of you made your voice heard over the past six months as we tried to stave off this worst-case outcome in Congress.

We fought the good fight but, in the end, we could not overcome the Beltway politics of cynicism and deal-making. We are left feeling terrible sorrow for the wolves that will now die as a result.

But make no mistake: we have fought too long and too hard for wolf recovery to give up. We always knew that achieving our goal could take years, perhaps decades. And as I write this, NRDC is already preparing for the next phase of this fight.

Our Montana office will be monitoring the states to ensure that they uphold their commitment to protect viable populations of wolves -- and we intend to hold those states accountable. We will also continue to promote practical methods for ranchers to end wolf conflicts without shooting these magnificent animals.

I’ve never been more determined that wolves be allowed to roam wild and free in the Rockies. I know you’ll stand with us.

Frances Beinecke
Natural Resources Defense Council

P.S. Part of what makes this defeat so hard to stomach is that the Senate and White House stood strong against 18 other anti-environmental riders. Thanks to your phone calls and emails, we staved off an attempt to cripple the EPA’s ability to control air and global warming pollution. That makes the bipartisan attack on wolves all the more unconscionable.

This post was modified from its original form on 12 Apr, 7:08

This post was modified from its original form on 12 Apr, 7:10
5 years ago

Thanks Deb - have the story posted in my petitions today as well along with the petition to sign - unfortunately only American residents can sign.  Thanks for all you do - have to run now. late.

5 years ago

Thanks for taking the time, Val. Have a great day.

5 years ago

No problem Deb - thanks for all you do!

ALDF Files Suit to Free Tony the Truck Stop Tiger
5 years ago

tony tiger


The stench of fuel. The deafening sound of diesel engines. The neverending boredom of captivity and isolation. Such are the conditions in which Tony, a 10-year-old Siberian-Bengal tiger, has spent every day and night of the last decade at the Tiger Truck Stop in Grosse Tete, Louisiana. It’s no life for a tiger, or any other animal. That’s why the Animal Legal Defense Fund has filed a lawsuit in Louisiana, arguing that the permit that allows Tony to languish in a roadside cage violates state law.

Tony’s Tragedy
In addition to being subjected to noise and diesel fumes 24-hours a day, Tony is also frequently harassed and taunted by visitors at the truck stop. His enclosure is devoid of adequate enrichment, such as logs, trees, or complex vegetation that would allow him to engage in natural tiger behaviors. He has no pool of water large enough to allow him to submerge himself to cool off in the blazing heat of the summer. As a result of the stress of his confinement, Tony constantly paces on the hard concrete surface of his enclosure, putting him at risk for dangerous and painful veterinary conditions. Michael Sandlin, the owner of Tony and the truck stop, has been cited by the USDA due to violations of the Animal Welfare Act, including a lack of proper sanitation and improper feeding practices.


 Year after year of living at the Tiger Truck Stop have taken their toll on Tony’s health. The ambient noise from the nearby freeway and the idling trucks, their diesel engines spewing noxious fumes directly into his enclosure, is painful and obtrusive to an animal with such sensitive hearing and an acute sense of smell, says veterinarian Jennifer Conrad, who has 16 years of experience with captive large cats and has visited Tony. “Based on what I have observed of Tony’s enclosure at the Tiger Truck Stop and his behavior from video and photographs, it is my professional opinion that this tiger is in poor condition and needs intervention on his behalf,” she says.

ALDF’s Argument
On April 11, 2011, ALDF filed a lawsuit against the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) and its secretary Robert Barham, arguing that he violated state law in granting a permit allowing Sandlin to exhibit Tony at the Tiger Truck Stop. Joining ALDF as a co-plaintiff in the case is former Louisiana Representative Warren Triche, who authored the state’s law which led to the ban on the private ownership of tigers. Two other Louisiana residents, also deeply concerned by Tony’s long-time suffering, are additional co-plaintiffs.

At the heart of ALDF’s position is the fact that Sandlin’s current housing of Tony violates state and local laws. In 2006, the Louisiana state legislature unanimously passed Act 715, which required LDWF to control the private ownership of big cats. The department enacted regulations prohibiting citizens from keeping a tiger as a pet or exhibiting a tiger in the state. In passing these regulations, the department rightly declared that possession of big cats and certain other exotic animals poses significant hazards to public safety and health and is detrimental to the welfare of the animals.

The regulations provided an exception, however: individuals who legally owned big cats as of August 15, 2006, were grandfathered in. These owners would need to apply for an annual permit from the LDWF. An ordinance passed in Sandlin’s parish of Iberville in 1993 made it illegal for anyone to keep a tiger or other large exotic cat on his or her premises for exhibition. In other words, Sandlin did not qualify for the exception because he was not in legal possession of Tony. In addition, Sandlin is ineligible for the state’s grandfathering provision because he does not live on the premises where Tony is kept, contrary to regulations.

Despite the fact that Sandlin was ineligible for a grandfather permit, the LDWF nonetheless issued him one. ALDF is taking the department to court to invalidate this illegally-issued permit.—and free Tony from his troubled life at the truck stop.

Take Action
Join the Animal Legal Defense Fund in urging the state of Louisiana to revoke the permit that allows Tony to be kept at the Tiger Truck Stop—a permit that violates both state and local ordinances designed to protect people and wild animals like Tony.

Sign the petition to the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries now


5 years ago

Signed - thanks Deb.  

Missouri Legislature Guts Prop B, Rolls Back Puppy Mill Protections
5 years ago



In an outrageous affront to the democratic process, on Wednesday, April 13, the Missouri House of Representatives voted 85-71 to reject the will of the state’s voters and eliminate all of the newly established humane improvements outlined in the Puppy Mill Cruelty Prevention Act (PMCPA). The PMCPA, which is scheduled to go into effect in November, was passed five months ago by popular vote as “Proposition B” to more tightly regulate conditions at the state’s thousands of commercial dog breeding facilities.

Missouri is the number-one puppy-producing state in the county, supplying pet stores from coast to coast with hundreds of thousands of dogs annually, and is notorious for its lax animal-care standards and proliferation of unlicensed breeders. Unless it is vetoed by Governor Jay Nixon, the bill the House just passed (SB 113) will not only supersede the PMCPA—which includes such humane provisions as increased cage size, prohibition on the use of wire flooring and restrictions on breeding frequency—it will make parts of the state’s commercial breeding law even weaker than they are now.

“In spite of decades of urging by the animal welfare community, the Missouri General Assembly remained silent on the issue of puppy mills until after the voters spoke. The failure of the General Assembly to address the problem is why we finally took this straight to the people,” says Cori Menkin, ASPCA Senior Director of Legislative Initiatives. “And as evidenced by the passage of Proposition B, Missourians care deeply about puppy mill reform. That state legislators are discarding Prop B and ignoring the will of the people they are supposed to represent is appalling, insulting and disrespectful.”

If the legislature succeeds in blocking implementation of the PMCPA, it could have consequences far beyond Missouri. States as close as Oklahoma, Texas and Nebraska and as distant as Hawaii are currently considering puppy mill-related measures of their own. Unfortunately, lawmakers in these states are regarding these developments in the Puppy Mill Capital of America as a bellwether of reform. If the PMCPA is gutted in Missouri, your state’s puppy mill law might be next.

The fate of millions of dogs now hangs on the decision of one man. The ASPCA implores all of our supporters to contact everyone you know in Missouri; ask them to call Governor Nixon to urge him to veto SB 113 (please do not call the governor if you live outside Missouri). You can also help by spreading the word about this injustice&mdashlease share this article via Facebook and Twitter.


5 years ago

I responded to this elsewhere.

It is hard to fathom who the winners are in this. Let's think about this.

It will not be the puppies.

It will not be the local government who will have to deal with unwanted animals.

It will not be the rescue centres who are already struggling every where.

Now I wonder who this leaves. Of course it is the owners of the mills who will make squillions of dollars. They can then help influential friends (of course no politicians), buy boats and think of all the happy families with Ford Model T production line puppies.

5 years ago

Quite right, Simon...Quite right...Catering only to those who see animals not for the sentient beings that they are but as profitable commodities. Disgraceful and disgusting but twas ever thus.

5 years ago




Your comments are needed by May 18th!

The Indiana Natural Resources Commission (INRC) is considering a proposed rule to legalize the practice of coyote/fox "penning" year-round. Penning involves capturing wild coyotes and foxes and then placing them in pens where they are mercilessly chased by packs of hunting dogs. This practice often leads to the coyote or fox being torn apart alive by the dogs. Penning enthusiasts claim the activity trains the dogs to better pursue and hunt foxes and coyotes in the wild.

After proposing rules to outlaw this abhorrent practice last year, the INRC reversed itself and is now proposing to legalize coyote/fox penning. Indications are that this switch in position was a result of political pressure.

Your voice matters -- we need to remind the INRC of how it came to its humane decision last year to end this practice. This cruel practice was recently outlawed in the state of Florida, and we can make it happen in Indiana too. INRC will be conducting two public hearings on their proposed rule changes and is accepting public comments until May 18.

Take Action!

Submit comments to the Indiana Natural Resources Commission in opposition to the proposed rules. Find a sample letter on ALDF's website and instructions for submitting comments.

Indiana residents only: Attend a hearing and speak out in opposition to this cruel and violent practice.

Tuesday, May 10
(6 p.m.) at McCormick’s Creek State Park, Canyon Inn, Sycamore Room, 451 McCormick Creek Park Road, Spencer (Owen County).

Wednesday, May 11 (6 p.m.) at Webster Recreation Center, Plymouth Park & Recreation Department, 110 Webster Ave., Plymouth (Marshall County).

Thank you for speaking out against this sadistic and cruel practice.

For the animals,

Stephen Wells
Executive Director
Animal Legal Defense Fund


5 years ago

Thanks Debbie. i keep an eye on your postings, but as you know much of it is very specifically U.S. and leaves no room for my involvement.

I did contact "Funny or Braindead", with this:

"If inflicting cruelty on animals is "funny" then it is a very sick world. Do you think the cat enjoyed this? Is there not enough humour without exploiting animals?

Perhaps you could review your idea of "funny" and exclude exploitation of animals.

It makes your, otherwise good site, look very sick, like the people who get off on this sort of thing.

Thank you"


(I was merely being polite by complimenting their site.)

5 years ago

     Thank you as well, Simon. Apologies for the U.S exclusives, particularly those from the Animal Legal Defense Fund. I'll make a point in future to expand my search to include more global animal issues. :::smiles:::

     As for "Funny or Die" (genius title for a website...Yeah...:::smirks:: , tis a twisted, desensitised mind that would find animal abuse "amusing", isn't it?  Good on you for being so diplomatic with those morons, anyway. Shows at least YOU have a conscience and a bit more class.

This post was modified from its original form on 04 May, 18:56

This post was modified from its original form on 04 May, 18:56
5 years ago

Having worked in the animal sheltering field for the past 6 years, this issue is especially close to me. Homeless, neglected, abused animals that are constantly brought into shelters nationwide...worldwide...deserve so much better than this.

This post was modified from its original form on 04 May, 20:44
5 years ago


5 years ago

Thanks Ana ,....

And thanks Deb for everything you do.

5 years ago

May 9, 2011

Florida “Ag Gag” Bill Fails

Bill to prohibit photographing farms is dead


Investigation after investigation by The Humane Society of the United States and other animal protection groups document egregious acts of animal cruelty in our nation's factory farms and slaughter plants.

The agribusiness industry has responded to these exposés not with efforts to root out such animal cruelty, but rather with bills to prevent Americans from finding out about that cruelty in the first place. In three states—Florida, Iowa, and Minnesota—the industry has introduced legislation to ban whistle-blowing at factory farms by making it a crime merely to take photos or video of what's happening inside these facilities.

Today, The HSUS is happy to announce that the Florida bill is officially dead, as the Florida legislative session ended this weekend without passing the bill.

Iowa and Minnesota, are you watching?

"These draconian bills to silence whistle-blowers show just how far the animal agribusiness industry is willing to go, and just how much the industry has to hide," said Paul Shapiro, senior director of farm animal protection for The HSUS. He added, "It's our hope that lawmakers in Iowa and Minnesota—the two other states with similar bills pending—will follow Florida's lead and reject these irresponsible proposals."

Undercover investigations by The HSUS and other animal protection organizations shine a light on abuses that helps prompt meaningful change for animals. Our 2008 investigation into the abuse of sick cows at Hallmark Westland slaughter plant in California led to the largest meat recall in U.S. history.

In 2010 alone, The HSUS released exposés of the three largest egg producers (Rembrandt, Rose Acre, and Cal-Maine), the largest turkey hatchery (Willmar Poultry), and the largest pork producer (Smithfield Foods).

Good show

Listen to audio from a recent Kojo Nnamdi Show on these "ag gag" laws. This show featured Paul Shapiro, The HSUS' senior director of Farm Animal Protection, and Mark Bittman, food columnist with the "New York Times."


5 years ago

Simon was here.

5 years ago



New Study Names Canada's "Best Places to be an Animal Abuser"

May 17th, 2011

Quebec and Nunavut Ranked Worst for Animals, Ontario Takes Top Honors in Animal Legal Defense Fund’s 2011 Report

For immediate release

Lisa Franzetta, Animal Legal Defense Fund  
Stephan Otto, Animal Legal Defense Fund

San Francisco – Quebec, Nunavut, the Northwest Territories, and Alberta are the best provinces and territories in Canada to be an animal abuser, according to a new report released today by the Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF). Based on a detailed comparative analysis of the animal protection laws of each jurisdiction, researching thirteen distinct categories of provisions throughout hundreds of pages of statutes, the report recognizes the provinces and territories where laws protecting animals have real teeth, and calls out those like Quebec and Nunavut—the worst in Canada this year for animal protection laws—where animal abusers get off easy. ALDF’s fourth annual report, the only one of its kind in the nation, ranks every province and territory on the relative strength and general comprehensiveness of its animal protection laws. For the third year in a row, Ontario held the top spot in the rankings due to its wide array of animal protection laws; Saskatchewan showed the most significant improvement overall, moving from seventh last year to fifth best in the country this year.

2011 Canadian Animal Protection Laws Rankings
Comparing Overall Strength & Comprehensiveness

Top Tier:1. Ontario
New Brunswick
4. Nova ScotiaMiddle Tier:5. Saskatchewan
British Columbia
8. Prince Edward Island
9. Newfoundland & Labrador
Bottom Tier:10. Alberta
Northwest Territories
13. Nunavut
Why are some provinces and territories in the dog house when it comes to getting tough on animal abusers? The legislative weaknesses seen in the jurisdictions at the bottom of the animal protection barrel include minimal fines and other penalties for offenders, a limited range of protections, and a lack of basic care standards for animals. Saskatchewan’s improved ranking was due in part to its enactment of stiffer penalties for offenses—animal abusers in Saskatchewan now face imprisonment for up to two years and a $25,000 fine. Manitoba regained its position as the second best province owing to stronger laws regulating the ownership of animals following a conviction or when an owner is determined by a court to be unable to care for an animal, and for requiring veterinarians to report suspected offenses. The Northwest Territories revamped its dog protections, leading to an improvement in its score.

“While we remain hopeful for additional improvements with the federal laws, much can continue to take place at the provincial and territorial level,” says Stephan Otto, ALDF’s director of legislative affairs and author of the report. “Animals do not vote, but those who love and care about them do. It is our hope that these ongoing reviews continue to garner support for both the strengthening and enforcement of animal protection laws throughout Canada.”

The full report, including a rankings map and overview of the strengths and weaknesses of the animal protection laws of each province and territory, is available here. Some highlights of legislative improvements since ALDF’s first report in 2008:

  • Seven jurisdictions have increased the maximum penalties for offenses (BC, NB, NT, NS, ON, SK, YT)
  • Five have improved the standards of care for animals (BC, NB, NT, NS, ON)
  • Three provinces have enacted provisions requiring veterinarians to report suspected cruelty (MB, NS, ON)
  • Three jurisdictions have broadened the range of protections (NT, ON, SK)
  • One now authorizes courts to require mental health counseling by offenders (ON)
  • Five jurisdictions have enacted stronger inspection/seizure/oversight authority (BC, NB, NT, ON, YT)
  • Three have increased restrictions on ownership of animals following a conviction (MB, NT, ON)

ALDF was founded in 1979 with the unique mission of protecting the lives and advancing interests of animals through the legal system. ALDF’s latest edition of the "Animal Protection Laws of the U.S.A. and Canada" compendium (on which the report is principally based), is also available at


5 years ago

Simon...Thank you so much for stopping by...:::smiles:::....Just found the above news on one of my favorite websites that I frequent faithfully. It would seem your...annoyance, for want of a somewhat stronger term, with the Canadian government regarding animal welfare has been justified. Is this honestly the reputation they seek...?

5 years ago

Awwww, heck...The links don't work in that article for some reason....No matter....Here they are....I hope...:

2011 Canadian Animal Protection Laws RankingsTM

A new in-depth survey of the animal protection laws of each province and territory confirms that there remain considerable differences in the strength and comprehensiveness of each jurisdiction’s laws. The Animal Legal Defense Fund’s fourth annual report, “2011 Canadian Animal Protection Laws Rankings” – the only one of its kind in Canada – was based on a detailed comparative analysis of the animal protection laws of each jurisdiction, researching thirteen specific categories of provisions throughout hundreds of pages of statutes. Each province and territory received a numerical ranking based upon its combined score and was also grouped into a top, middle or bottom tier.


5 years ago

Rockland County, New York Unanimously Approves Animal Abuser Registry!

Posted by Stephan Otto, ALDF's Director of Legislative Affairs on May 18th, 2011

Second in the Country to Adopt a Registry

Designed to keep convicted abusers away from animals, Rockland County’s animal abuser registry proposal was approved by a unanimous vote on May 17, 2011. Sponsored by county legislator Gerold M. Bierker, testimony in support of the registry was given by the general public as well as representatives of the Hi-Tor Animal Care Center in Pomona. The measure will become law once signed by county executive C. Scott Vanderhoef.

The online registry is to be maintained by the Rockland County Sheriff’s Department, with administrative costs being offset by a $50 fee paid by the convicted animal abusers who are required to be listed on the registry for four years. In addition to listing convicted abusers, the system seeks to make it a punishable offense for a pet dealer to sell or offer to sell an animal to anyone on the abuser registry.

In October 2010, Suffolk County, NY voted – also unanimously – to create the nation’s first animal abuser registry.

The gravity of animal cruelty is reflected not only in the physical suffering of the animals and the emotional toll on any humans touched by such crimes, but also in the high monetary costs these cases demand from local government agencies, and ultimately the taxpayers.  

The correlation between animal abuse and violence to people is well-documented, and animal abuser registries - in addition to preventing criminal conduct - offer to raise public awareness about the connections between animal cruelty and interpersonal violence.  

A measure which seeks to prevent crime is a measure which seeks, in part, to save taxpayer dollars. In the case of animal hoarders, for example, the recidivism rate approaches 100%. While the number of animals in each of these cases varies dramatically, veterinary care, property renovation and animal housing costs in even a modest hoarding case can be staggering for community budgets. By intervening in criminal abuse cycles, animal abuser registries have the ability to spare shelters and other city/county departments from having to absorb costs generated by repeat offenders.

ALDF drafted “Offender Registration & Community Notification” language for its Model Animal Protection Laws collection in 2001, and continues to encourage its consideration by state and local legislators. Find out more at


5 years ago

Terrible that they didn't pass the photographing of the farms.  Thanks for posting the Canadian info re animal abusers and at least some place is passing animal abusing lists - just wanted you to know I do lok at your thread.  Thanks for all you do. 

5 years ago

Eh...? The bill prohibiting the photographing of the farms didn't pass....and isn't that a good thing? The horrendous cruelty subjected to animals in these "factory farms" needs to be exposed, , not "out of sight and out of mind". What affects those animals ultimately affects we humans. No, I know I don't have to tell you that...:::smiles:::: I was just wondering whether you may have misread my news post on that issue? 


Yes, we really should have a more thorough survey here in the states of animal abuse. Many thanks for being so supportive, Val, and for all you do, yourself, for those who have no voice in this mad world.

This post was modified from its original form on 22 May, 21:15
5 years ago

Answers to Your Questions About ALDF's Win for Tony the Tiger

Posted by Matthew Liebman, ALDF Staff Attorney on May 16th, 2011

In the wake of ALDF’s recent victory in the Tony the truck stop tiger case, we’ve received a lot of questions about the ruling. ALDF staff attorney Matthew Liebman answers some of these questions.

Q: Why does Tony have to wait until December before he can leave the Tiger Truck Stop?
A: Michael Sandlin’s current permit is valid until December 2011. The court enjoined the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries from issuing Mr. Sandlin a new permit when the current one expires. Although ALDF argued that the court had the authority and the obligation to order the Department to immediately revoke the permit, the court disagreed. The court directed the agency not to issue a new permit, but the current permit will stay valid until it expires in December.

Q: Is there anything that can be done to get Tony released sooner?
A: ALDF is looking at all of its legal options to determine whether further litigation could change the timeframe for Tony’s release. In the meantime, we’re encouraging our supporters to sign our petition urging the Department to revoke Mr. Sandlin’s permit. Even though the court refused to order the Department to revoke the current permit, the Department retains the authority to do so on its own if it chooses. 

Q: Where will Tony go in December?  
A: Although ALDF asked for custody of Tony in our lawsuit, the court refused to award him to us. That means the decision of where Tony goes in December is out of our hands. But ALDF will do everything it can to recommend and promote Tony’s release to a reputable, established, and humane sanctuary that will meet all of Tony’s needs.

5 years ago
Animal-Rights Group Buys Vick's Old "Bad Newz Kennels" House

Animals  (tags: Michael Vick, "Bad Newz Kennels", animal rights group, dogfighting, property rights, rehabilitation center, anima abuse, animal shelter, Dogs Deserve Better )

- 57 seconds ago -
In one of the more interesting examples of turnabout we've seen in recent years, an animal rights group called "Dogs Deserve Better" from Tipton, Pa. bought the five-bedroom, Surry County Va. home once owned by Michael Vick for approximately $600,00.

This post was modified from its original form on 28 May, 18:47
5 years ago

Federal Jury Declares Calif. Egg Farm a Nuisance, Awards Damages

Neighbors to be paid more than $500,000


A federal jury in California ruled in favor of a group of Central Valley residents after a week-long trial. The case concerned noxious emissions from a massive factory egg farm that confines more than 600,000 birds in cramped cages.


The Humane Society of the United States and local residents filed the case in 2008, alleging that the horrific stench and painful effects of ammonia and other noxious emissions from the facility’s 13-acre liquid manure cesspool was destroying the local community.

The jury verdict, issued Tuesday evening, declared Olivera Egg Ranch a nuisance under California law, and ordered the operator to pay neighboring residents more than $500,000 in damages.

Air pollution and liquid waste

“The day of reckoning has finally come for one of the Central Valley’s most notorious air polluters,” said Jonathan R. Lovvorn, senior vice president and chief counsel for Animal Protection Litigation at The HSUS. “This facility crams hundreds of thousands of hens into tiny wire cages on just a few acres—day after day, year after year. The result is massive air pollution and liquid waste, and unimaginable suffering for both the animals inside and the people outside in the community.”

Olivera dumps approximately 133,000 pounds of manure from its caged hens every day into golf-course-sized cesspools that release large amounts of ammonia and other noxious gases.

Ammonia is classified as an "extremely hazardous substance." Inhalation of concentrated ammonia can cause irritation, lung damage, and even death to humans, and it causes chronic stress to farm animals. Ammonia can also stimulate excessive algae growth in water, degrading habitat for fish and other aquatic species.

Not a spotless past

In February of 2009, the San Joaquin Valley Unified Air Pollution Control District issued six notices of violation against Olivera related to its failure to obtain permits that could have lead to better waste handling practices. Olivera has also been sanctioned more than $143,057 by the court for willfully destroying evidence related to air pollution on its property after the lawsuit was filed.

The case was heard by a jury and before U.S. District Court Judge John A. Mendez in Sacramento. The plaintiffs in the case are represented by the law offices of Charlie Speer in Kansas City, Mo., and Richard H. Middleton in Savannah, Ga., and attorneys with The HSUS' animal protection litigation section.

For more information, visit


5 years ago

Thank you Debbie.

Stop the Soring of Tennessee Walking Horses
5 years ago



The high stepping gait or “big lick”, of the Tennessee Walking Horse often comes at a painful price. Many of these horses suffer excruciating abuses like chemical burning of their front legs, forcing them to step ever higher. This cruel practice, known as soring, was made illegal over 40 years ago when Congress passed The Horse Protection Act (HPA). Unfortunately USDA has not effectively enforced the act, and horses continue to suffer the pain of soring.

USDA is reviewing an HSUS-led petition to end the practice of soring by adopting new regulations and strengthening enforcement of the HPA. Now, USDA is requesting comments from the public on whether to put these changes into action.

Please fill out and submit the form below to urge the USDA to protect horses from abuse by adopting these new regulations. We encourage you to add your own thoughts or comments about this issue in the editable portion below, so the agency knows how important this issue is to you.


Death & Agony: Wild Horse Roundup
5 years ago

wild horses



Help stop the Bureau of Land Management’s mistreatment of America's wild horses!

Despite the public’s outcry against wild horses being run long distances in high temperatures during the height of summer, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) blazed forward with a plan to roundup 1,400 federally protected wild mustangs from Nevada’s Tuscarora region in Elko County in July 2010. Tragically, the roundup resulted in the death of at least 21 horses and several others being treated for painful colic and brain swelling due to dehydration and exhaustion.

The BLM is planning to repeat wild horse roundups in six westerns states this summer! Help stop this massacre of America’s wild horses! Contact your U.S. Representatives and Senators and urge them to:

  1. Call on the Interior Department and President Obama to halt the BLM’s summer roundups; and
  2. Use their appropriations authority to strip funding for this abusive practice while the National Academy of Sciences conducts its independent review of the program (to be completed by 2013).

Thousands of additional wild horses and burros are slated for removal in California, Colorado, Oregon, Nevada, Wyoming and Utah, paid for with your tax dollars.

Violating their own protocol of waiting until mid-August (after the foaling season) to begin helicopter roundups, the BLM started the Nevada roundup in July last year and is planning to do the same in 2011. Last year, adults and foals, some only days or weeks old, were chased up to eight miles over dangerously rocky and rugged terrain during the hottest part of the summer. In the winter of 2009, after being run over similar terrain, two foals suffered horrible deaths when their hooves separated from their leg bones.

While there is an ongoing debate around the reason for these summer-time gathers – the BLM claims it’s to protect the horses; wild horse advocates say it’s driven by helicopter availability, using taxpayer money before the end of the fiscal year and making public lands available for cattle ranchers – there is no question that the horses’ best interests should dictate the schedule and size of the roundup. Chasing mothers and their newborn foals across the desert during the hottest months of the year is clearly not protecting these majestic animals.

The BLM’s mismanagement must be stopped before another horse suffers and dies at the agency’s hands. Send a letter to your Representatives and Senators through ALDF’s website, demanding a moratorium on all summer roundups and stripping of all future funding for this abusive practice.


5 years ago

Sent letter, thanks Debbie.

5 years ago

Thanks for signing, Brenda.

Puppy Killed During Alleged Domestic Violence, Repeat Offender Charged
5 years ago




Santa Clara County, CA) Due to California’s Three Strikes Law, the felony animal cruelty and misdemeanor battery case currently pending against Bud Wally Ruiz could result in a sentence of 25 years to life in prison.  

Recently charged after a May 12, 2011 incident in which he allegedly assaulted his wife and killed her Chihuahua by throwing the puppy across a room, Bud Wally Ruiz reportedly has four previous convictions for assault with a deadly weapon, and is listed in the Megan’s Law online database of registered sex offenders.

The tragic connection between domestic violence and animal abuse plays out over and over again across the country. While law enforcement officials have become increasingly educated on this dynamic over the years, the work of expanding public awareness and accomplishing legislative tools remains imperative.

Take Action!

Contact your legislators and urge them to pursue laws which protect humans and animals from acts of violence. Legislative efforts which address this issue include protective orders for companion animals, cross-reporting requirements, animal abuser registries and enhancement provisions for animal abuse committed in the presence of minors.

Related resources:



5 years ago

All noted and forwarded not signed (US only). Thank you Debbie.

5 years ago

Signed and sent, thanks Debbie.

5 years ago

Thanks Deb - hope you are well - was missing you...

5 years ago

Thanks, Val. Doing okay. Just been busy. Lots on my mind. Getting more involved in wildlife rehabilitation (volunteering) and conservation issues lately. Very rewarding. Hope all's well with you. Great job on the fence.

This post was modified from its original form on 29 Jun, 6:44
5 years ago

You are doing great work - still have to paint the fence - but car leaking oil - should be 102 degrees anyway today so can wait.  Next week REAL busy though.  Enjoy the 4th - we have a fire ban here. 

5 years ago

Thanks again, Val. Kinda wish we had a ban here, too. We've got some idiot neighbors who keep setting off cherry bombs and something that sounds strangely, frighteningly close to what they must have used round the first Independence day. Yikes...Gotta be illegal...

5 years ago

$10,000 Reward Offered For Information Leading to Arrest of Hollywood Elephant Abusers

June 23rd, 2011

Animal Legal Defense Fund Seeks Information, Eyewitnesses to Abuse of “Trained” Elephants During Film and Television Productions

For immediate release:


Lisa Franzetta, Animal Legal Defense Fund
Megan Backus, Animal Legal Defense Fund

Cotati, Calif.–The Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) is offering an unprecedented $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of any person for abusing elephants in any film or television production and is putting out an all-points bulletin to the Los Angeles entertainment industry, seeking witnesses who have seen an elephant being neglected, harmed, or mistreated in any way on set in the past year. The reward offer comes on the heels of the release of disturbing footage from the animal protection group Animal Defenders International, showing shocking abuse to the elephant Tai during a training session with “Have Trunk Will Travel,” a Southern California elephant rental company. Tai appeared in the recent movie Water for Elephants and, according to reports, will also be in Zookeeper with Kevin James, slated for a July 8 release.

Footage from a “Have Trunk Will Travel” training session recorded in 2005 shows Tai, who played Rosie in Water for Elephants alongside Reese Witherspoon and Robert Pattinson, being beaten and shocked—conduct that California’s anti-cruelty law specifically addressing the treatment of elephants. Because the statute of limitations for this type of animal cruelty (i.e., Cal. Pen. Code § 596.5) is only one year (Cal. Pen. Code § 802(a)), no one can be held criminally liable for the conduct recorded in this video. However, according to research by In Defense of Animals, the use of bullhooks, electrical shocks and other painful training techniques appear to be standard practice in elephant training—and ALDF wants to be sure abusers are punished to the fullest extent of the law for any illegally cruel treatment of elephants. For this reason, ALDF is launching an online ad campaign targeting entertainment industry workers and taking out ads in select trade publications to publicize the $10,000 reward, noting that whistleblowers may choose to remain anonymous.

“The glamour of the big screen and television productions belies the suffering of elephants forced to perform on Hollywood sets,” says ALDF Executive Director Stephen Wells. “Elephants are wild animals, not actors, and the barbaric techniques routinely used to force elephants to learn tricks can qualify as abuse under California law. That’s why ALDF is offering a $10,000 reward to anyone—including actors, camera operators, make-up artists, and editors—who has witnessed mistreatment of elephants on set first-hand or can otherwise provide information leading to the arrest and conviction of elephant abusers.”

Note that what might look like standard training techniques can qualify as abuse—if you have witnessed any mistreatment of an elephant on set that you suspect might be abusive, please contact ALDF at 707-795-2533, x1035, or at You may remain anonymous.


5 years ago

Noted and forwarded. Thank you Debbie.

5 years ago

Action taken regarding puppy killer.  All others already done. 

Thanks Deb & Val.

Historic agreement reached for nation's egg-laying hensū
5 years ago




I am excited to announce a historic agreement that The Humane Society of the United States reached this morning with the United Egg Producers, which could result in a complete makeover of the U.S. egg industry and improve the treatment of the 280 million laying hens used each year in U.S. egg production. Thanks to your support over the years, through our state ballot initiatives and legislative and corporate campaigns, we now have a new pathway forward to ban barren battery cages and phase in more humane standards nationwide.

The HSUS and UEP have agreed to work together to advocate for federal legislation that would:

  • Require a moratorium at the end of 2011 on new construction of unenrichable battery cages -- small, cramped, cages that nearly immobilize more than 90 percent of laying hens today -- and the nationwide elimination of barren battery cages through a phase-out period;
  • Require phased in construction of new hen housing systems that provide hens nearly double the amount of space they’re currently provided;
  • Require environmental enrichments so birds can engage in important natural behaviors currently denied to them in barren cages, such as perches, nesting boxes, and scratching areas;
  • Mandate labeling on all egg cartons nationwide to inform consumers of the method used to produce the eggs, such as "eggs from caged hens" or "eggs from cage-free hens";
  • Prohibit forced molting through starvation -- an inhumane practice that is inflicted on tens of millions of hens each year and which involves withholding all food from birds for up to two weeks in order to manipulate the laying cycle;
  • Prohibit excessive ammonia levels in henhouses -- a common problem in the industry that is harmful to both hens and egg industry workers;
  • Require standards for euthanasia of hens; and
  • Prohibit the sale of eggs and egg products nationwide that don’t meet these above requirements.

If enacted, this would be the first federal law relating to chickens used for food, as well as the first federal law relating to the on-farm treatment of any species of farm animal.

5 years ago

Some of the provisions would be implemented nearly immediately after enactment, such as those relating to forced molting, ammonia, and euthanasia, and others after just a few years, including labeling and the requirement that all birds will have to have at least 67 square inches of space each. (Currently, approximately 50 million laying hens are confined to only 48 square inches each.) The bill would require that all egg producers increase space per bird in a tiered phase-in, resulting in a final number, within 15 years for nearly all producers, of at minimum, 124-144 square inches of space each, along with the other improvements noted above.

In order to protect Proposition 2 (a landmark laying hen welfare initiative passed in California in 2008 that many of you worked on), all California egg producers -- with nearly 20 million laying hens -- would be required to eliminate barren battery cages by 2015 (the date Prop 2 goes into effect), and provide all hens with environmental enrichments, such as perches, nesting boxes, and scratching areas. This will also apply to the sale of all eggs and egg products in California. And this agreement to pass comprehensive federal legislation on hen welfare puts a hold on planned ballot measures related to laying hen welfare in both Washington and Oregon.

Passing this federal bill would be a historic improvement for hundreds of millions of animals per year. We are grateful to all of our volunteers, supporters, and others who have helped to make the cage confinement of egg-laying hens a national issue, and we will keep you informed as we make progress on this issue. I hope you will contact your U.S. senators and representative today and urge them to support this federal legislation to end barren battery cage confinement and provide more humane standards for laying hens.

wayne pacelle
Wayne Pacelle
President & CEO 
The Humane Society of the United States



This post was modified from its original form on 07 Jul, 19:38
5 years ago

Letter sent. Thank you Debbie.

5 years ago

Thanks folks.

Good to hear that there are some moves in the battery hen world. Not much action in Australia, but you would'nt expect it as their recent capitulation to Indonesia over live trade tells you that they have no moral values when it comes to animals. As it happens I just adopted some ex-battery hens on Sunday. Poor featherless girls, but they are very happy now in the special "cottage" that I built for them.

5 years ago

Hello, Simon. So frustrated to hear of Australia's decision regarding live trade. Blinded by greed, they are. Blinded by greed. You're a good man, though, to have rescued those birds from a terrible fate. Thank you.

5 years ago

Hello Simon. Agree with everything Debbie says.

5 years ago

Noted and forwarded. Thank you Debbie.

Animal experiments increase again
5 years ago

lab rat

GM animals and "harmful mutant" animals largely account for the rise




The number of animal experiments carried out in the UK rose by 3% last year, according to government figures.

The rise was largely due to an increase in the use of genetically modified (GM) and mutant animals, a trend that shows no signs of abating.

The news comes as campaigners warn a new EU directive threatens standards of welfare for UK lab animals.

They argue that a number of the directive's regulations fall short of those already in place in the UK.

Just over 3.7 million scientific experiments on animals were started in Great Britain in 2010, an increase of 105,000 on the previous year.

The statistics show that breeding to produce genetically modified (GM) animals and harmful mutants (an animal with potentially harmful genetic defects) rose by 87,000 to 1.6 million procedures.

This rise, mainly due to the increased breeding of mice and fish, represents an increase of 6%.

Two-thirds of the genetically modified animals used are bred to maintain stocks and set up genetic crosses, and so are not directly used in experiments.

The growing numbers of fish used in experiments are because of an increasing reliance of zebrafish, which are transparent and therefore very useful for studying how bones and other tissues develop.

When GM animals are excluded from the statistics, the total number of procedures rose by 18,000, from 2.09 million to 2.10 million.

Home Office minister Lynn Featherstone commented: "The figures released today once again show the important work being done in this country to regulate animal procedures and ensure the highest standards of animal protection are upheld.

"The UK has one of the most rigorous systems in the world to ensure that animal research and testing is strictly regulated."

Neurobiologist Roger Morris at King's College London stressed that whenever possible scientists studied diseases in a dish, in an effort to avoid the use animals. But when studying the effects of a disease on the entire body, he said, there was currently no alternative to using an animal model.

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) has warned that a new EU directive could threaten this system.

"The RSPCA is deeply concerned and very disappointed that the numbers of animals used in research and testing has gone up yet again," said Penny Hawkins, senior scientific officer at the organisation.

It says that if the UK chooses to amend its own regulations in line with the minimum requirements of the directive, some animals could be allowed to suffer "severe" pain or suffering.

Dr Maggy Jennings, head of the RSPCA's research animals department, said: "Successive governments have made proud claims that the UK has 'the highest standards in the world' for animal research and testing.

"Now they seem prepared to weaken this legislation and take a step backwards on lab animal welfare."

However, Martin Walsh, head of the Home Office's Animals Scientific Procedures Division, said: "The directive does allow us to keep the higher UK standards that we currently have. It is not going to reduce the protection of animals in the UK."

Kailah Eglington, chief executive of the Dr Hadwen Trust for Humane Research, said: "It is very disappointing that there has been a 3% rise in levels of animal procedures since 2009.

Ms Eglington added: "Therefore, the recent announcement of a public consultation on the new EU Directive provides a vital opportunity for the Government to hold true to its Coalition pledge to reduce the use of animals in experiments and we urge the Government to focus on the development of techniques to replace animal use for scientific purposes."

Troy Seidle, director of research and toxicology for Humane Society International UK, said: "Britain is Europe's second largest user of animals for research, with the number of animal experiments having grown steadily over the past decade, particularly in the university sector."

In its statement the Humane Society International urged the government to reduce animal suffering and improve the quality of medical research by replacing "failing animal models with more advanced alternative techniques".

animal procedure



animal testing



5 years ago

Thank you for the post Debbie, how can we call ourselves an animal loving nation when we allow this to happen!

5 years ago

Noted. Thank you Debbie.

5 years ago





Your urgent help is needed to save monkeys and beagles used in research!

According to whistleblower reports, the Albuquerque-based Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute (LRRI) has begun exterminating 300 monkeys and an unknown number of beagles, allegedly for financial reasons. Last week, a whistleblower contacted the group Stop Animal Exploitation Now and reported that beginning on July 11, 30 monkeys would be killed each day, and following the slaughter of all of the monkeys, the beagles would also be killed.

Culls like this one illustrate how the animal research industry views animals as disposable research tools, and not the living, feeling beings that they are. Animals who are no longer used in experiments should be turned over to reputable sanctuaries or, in the case of domestic animals like these beagles, adoptive homes.

Send an email to the president and CEO of LRRI and urge him to stop killing innocent animals! Ask him to do the right thing and find new homes or sanctuaries for these animals after their lifetimes of forced service in this research facility.For the animals,

Stephen Wells
Executive Director
Animal Legal Defense Fund


5 years ago

Action taken. Thank you Debbie.

5 years ago

Message sent thanks Debbie.

5 years ago

pit abuse

action alert



Help make it illegal to attend or bring a minor to animal fights!

Organized animal fighting operations are very difficult for law enforcement to shut down. In order to stop the sadistic animal cruelty associated with both dogfighting and cockfighting, it is important to hold all of the individuals responsible for the ventures accountable, including sponsors, exhibitors, trainers, and attendees. Attendees fund cruel animal fighting spectacles with money they use for entrance fees and gambling; however, the part of the federal Animal Welfare Act that addresses animal fighting does not prohibit a person from attending the events.

To correct this deficiency, a bill was introduced in Congress that, if passed, would make it illegal to knowingly attend or to bring a minor to an animal fighting venture. Bill H.R. 2492 entitled the "Animal Fighting Spectator Prohibition Act of 2011" would amend federal law to provide a penalty of up to one year in prison for knowingly attending an animal fighting venture and up to three years in prison for causing a minor to attend an animal fighting venture.

Ask your Congressional Representative to cosponsor H.R. 2492 by sending an email through ALDF's website. It's time to close loopholes in the federal animal fighting law and give law enforcement the tools they need to hold animal abusers accountable.For the animals,

Stephen Wells
Executive Director
Animal Legal Defense Fund


5 years ago

Action taken. thank you Debbie.

5 years ago

Noted and forwarded. Thank you Debbie.

5 years ago

tony tiger

action alert


While the disturbing circumstances surrounding Tony the truck stop tiger have received enormous attention, there are an estimated 5,000 -- 10,000 additional captive tigers throughout the U.S. The majority of these big cats are classified by the federal government as "generic" tigers -- tigers that are not purebred and are not in the same classification as endangered tigers in zoos (Tony, for example, is a Siberian-Bengal mix). Most of these tigers are kept as exotic "pets" and are virtually unregulated by the federal government due to a 1998 United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFW rule that exempted "generic" tigers from the permit and reporting requirements that normally apply to endangered species. Due to the current lack of regulation by the federal government, there is not an accurate count of how many thousands of these tigers are living in the country, or whether they live in potentially abusive -- and dangerous -- conditions.

After years of pressure by tiger advocates, the USFWS, on August 22, published a proposed rule that would eliminate this generic tiger exemption. Should it be adopted, all tigers in the country, regardless of their lineage, would be better tracked and regulated by the federal government. People who own these tigers would be required to report annually on the number of tigers they have in captivity and on activities involving the tigers. Until this information becomes available, there is only anecdotal knowledge about the extent and whereabouts of the tiger population in this country. Such critical information could play a vital role in advancing laws that acknowledge and protect these currently "invisible" animals.

The USFWS is accepting comments on this proposed change through September 21, 2011 and your help is crucially needed! Please submit a comment in support of the proposal to eliminate the exemption for "generic" tigers today. Your support will help demonstrate to the USFWS that Americans are deeply concerned about better protections and oversight for captive tigers.For the animals,

Stephen Wells
Executive Director


5 years ago

shark fin



Your immediate help is needed -- one more vote to protect worldwide shark populations!

AB 376 would make it illegal to sell, trade, or distribute shark fins in California. Although not the only economic incentive for fishermen, the market for "shark fin soup" is a strong one, and California is one of the largest markets for fins outside of Asia. So-called “shark finning” has taken a horrifying toll on sharks.

Some of the numerous reasons to stop this abhorrent practice:

  • Shark finning is inherently cruel: sharks are often finned alive, then thrown overboard to sink to the bottom of the ocean and die a slow, agonizing death
  • As much as 90% of the world’s shark population has been decimated by overfishing, with shark finning accounting for up to 70 million shark deaths each year
  • Hawaii, Oregon, and Washington have all passed bills banning the sale of shark fins

AB 376 is now up for a final vote in the Senate after being overwhelmingly passed by the Assembly in May on a 65-8 vote. It will then be sent to Governor Brown to be signed into law.

Contact your state Senator through ALDF's website and urge him or her to vote "yes" on AB 376. As an increasing number of states are realizing, cruelty is intolerable, regardless of its place in any culture’s traditions.

Thank you for your crucial support!

For the animals,

Stephen Wells
Executive Director
Animal Legal Defense Fund


5 years ago

This action is not available to people in your area

5 years ago

Thank you, all noted, petion signed for Debbie - 'SPEAK OUT FOR TONY'

5 years ago

This action is not available to people in you area.

5 years ago

Thanks for all the news Deb.

The level of cruelty condoned, and actively encouraged, by our elected representatives continues to astound me. What happens to the "decent" few who are elected.? They disappear into the machine.

Factory farming get worse in Oz. My adopted ex-battery hens are evidence to me of the horrific eighteen months spent in Guantanamo bay. Worse, No sunlight. They are now opening like flowers.

5 years ago

Candidates with a conscience and a soul need not apply, it would seem. Frustrating...and speaking of a conscience and a soul, it's apparently an all-too-inconvenient truth to these meat and egg producers that the animals they would much rather view as merely "products", in truth, are thinking, feeling, living, breathing sentient beings. To say that it is so unfortunate that the factory farmers on your continent continue to shut their eyes and wash their hands of the cruelty inflicted upon these ill-fated creatures is an understatement...but to know that there are still a cherished few who care enough to save those they can does give me some amount of hope. Thank you, Simon.

5 years ago

Up to date on all

5 years ago

ALDF Files Legal Petition Asking USDA to Place Consumer Warning Label on Foie Gras Products

September 8th, 2011


Suggested Labeling Would Warn Consumers “Foie Gras Products Are Derived from Diseased Birds”

For immediate release

Lisa Franzetta, Animal Legal Defense Fund
Megan Backus, Animal Legal Defense Fund

ban foie gras


San Francisco – Today, the Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) filed a legal petition with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), urging that foie gras—the “fatty liver” of a force-fed duck or goose—bear a consumer warning label stating “NOTICE: Foie gras products are derived from diseased birds.” Because the USDA is responsible for ensuring that poultry products are wholesome and for approving only products from healthy animals, stamping foie gras products with the USDA seal without disclosing that those products are derived from diseased birds misleads consumers, contravening the Poultry Products Inspection Act.


5 years ago

West Hollywood Bans Fur

September 26th, 2011


West Hollywood loves its animals. The Southern California city, which operates as a “Cruelty-Free Zone for Animals,” has already passed a historic ban on the inhumane practice of declawing cats, and last year it banned the sale in pet stores of dogs and cats from cruel puppy and kitten mills. It’s now the first municipality in the country to outlaw the sale of fur.

Armed with model language provided by the Animal Legal Defense Fund, the City Attorney of West Hollywood drafted an ordinance prohibiting the sale of fur apparel products in the city limits. “West Hollywood is the country’s vanguard for advances in animal protection law,” says Stephan Otto, director of legislative affairs for the Animal Legal Defense Fund. “As with their retail pet sales ban, we worked to assist in pushing the fur ban proposal forward by providing the city with model language. We also supplied legal research on the proposal to help build support for this momentous new law.” On September 20, West Hollywood city council voted unanimously (5-0) for the ban.

Well known for its social justice legislation, West Hollywood has been at the forefront of progressive laws that protect animals. “West Hollywood has the opportunity to once again be a leader for animal welfare by becoming the first fur-free city in the nation,” says City Councilmember John D’Amico, who won his seat in March after promising voters that he would make banning fur a legislative priority. “We have pledged to be a place that is free of cruelty to animals, and we can no longer support the barbaric fur trade by selling the products of that cruelty in our city.”

Ed Buck, a West Hollywood animal advocate who helped bring together the people and pieces that made this ban possible, says ALDF’s help was invaluable. “Very often, the people in the political arena who want to resist change say, ‘Oh, I’d like to do that too, but it’s not legal.’ So we called Stephan and said, ‘We know they are going to tell us this is a great idea, it’s the humane thing to do, but you’ll get shot down by the commerce clause or something else.’ Stephan did some homework and provided a brief that eliminated all the potential arguments before they raised them, thus clearing the way to get this passed.”

“West Hollywood is poised to position itself as a humane, thoughtful place and to extend that invitation to people from around the world who visit here as well as those who do business here,” adds D’Amico. “This is about who we are and the way we live now.”

The Cruelty of Fur

Of the estimated 40 million animals killed by the fur trade every year worldwide, about 31 million are raised on fur farms. Here, mink, foxes, chinchillas and other fur-bearing animals are intensively confined in wire cages that deny them the ability to engage in even the most basic expression of their natural behaviors. These barren cages, covered only by open-sided sheds, do not protect animals from extreme heat, bitter cold, or insects.

As a result of the stressful conditions, animals on fur farms frequently exhibit a variety of abnormal behaviors, including pacing back and forth and gnawing on cage wire.Wild animals who have large territories in nature, such as foxes and sables, have a particularly difficult time in confinement. These animals routinely self-mutilate, chewing on their tails and limbs out of extreme frustration.

When their fur is deemed ready for market, animals face death through electrocution, lethal injection, decompression, gassing, or broken necks – all methods that ensure their fur remains unblemished. There is even evidence that some animals are skinned alive. The U.S. offers no federal laws that govern the humane treatment or killing of animals on fur farms, and state anti-cruelty statutes often exempt such practices for falling within “accepted industry standards.”



5 years ago

Victory for Sharks!

Posted by Stephan Otto, ALDF's Director of Legislative Affairs on September 6th, 2011


In a major victory for sharks, the California Senate approved AB 376 Tuesday, a bill that will make it illegal to sell, trade, or distribute shark fins in California. It is now on its way to Governor Jerry Brown to be signed into law.

California residents: Please call Governor Brown & ask him to sign AB 376 into law: 916-445-2841.

Although not the only economic incentive for fishermen, the market for “shark fin soup” is a strong one, and California is one of the largest markets for fins outside of Asia. So-called “shark finning” has taken a horrifying toll on sharks.

Some of the numerous reasons to stop this abhorrent practice:

  • Shark finning is inherently cruel: sharks are often finned alive, then thrown overboard to sink to the bottom of the ocean and die a slow, agonizing death
  • As much as 90% of the world’s shark population has been decimated by overfishing, with shark finning accounting for up to 70 million shark deaths each year
  • Sharks are a crucial part of the world’s ecosystems
  • Shark finning is banned in the coastal waters of many nations, including the U.S. (with the exception of North Carolina)
  • Hawaii, Oregon, and Washington have all passed bills banning the sale of shark fins

AB 376 was approved by the Senate Tuesday on a 25-9 vote and was overwhelmingly passed by the Assembly in May on a 65-8 vote. An increasing number of states are realizing, cruelty is intolerable, regardless of its place in any culture’s traditions.

Thank you to everyone who contacted their legislators and urged them to support this important bill!


5 years ago

Signed. Thank you Debbie.

5 years ago
Waiting 3 years for a home - meet Boots
West Columbia Gorge H.S.

Washougal, WA - For three long years Boots has waited for a family - for three long years nobody has stepped forward to offer Boots a home of her own.

Boots is housed at the West Columbia Gorge Humane Society - a no kill facility.

Boots came to the Humane Society as a dog in the prime of her life. 

Now, three years later, she has entered her senior years.

Boots is now 9 years of age...still waiting, still hoping.

Three years is too long - especially for a highly adoptable dog with so many positive attributes.

Boots loves to play ball, go for car rides, go for walks and be with people. She is good with other large breed dogs (but a cat household should be avoided).

Sometimes, someone just needs to know that a special dog exists.

This is where you, the reader, comes into play.


Can you help network Boots? Every comment, like, share or Tweet puts this beautiful dog one step closer to a family of her own.

At nine years of age, she deserves to have her own family to love - and someone to love her equally in return.

Please take a moment to share Boot's story - you never know where your "share" may lead.


5 years ago

I can't do it but please somebody somewhere give Boots a loving home! Thanks Debbie.

5 years ago

November 2, 2011: Great news from Baton Rouge, where Judge Michael Caldwell has ruled in favor of the Animal Legal Defense Fund and Louisiana taxpayers in our lawsuit to free Tony the Tiger from the Tiger Truck Stop in Grosse Tete, Louisiana.

Judge Caldwell agreed with ALDF’s argument that the permit that allows Sandlin to keep Tony was unlawfully issued by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries. The judge ordered the Department to revoke the current permit and prohibited it from issuing any new permits to the Truck Stop. “We are thrilled that the court made the right decision,” says ALDF Executive Director Stephen Wells. “We will continue to do everything we can to make sure Tony’s next home is a reputable, accredited sanctuary that can give Tony the life he deserves.”

November 1, 2011

Baton Rouge, La. – Tomorrow morning, the Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) and outraged Louisiana residents return to East Baton Rouge District Court to square off against the owner of the Tiger Truck Stop in Grosse Tete, La., where Tony, a Siberian-Bengal tiger, has been confined as a roadside exhibit for over a decade. The same court granted ALDF’s original request for a permanent injunction in May 2011, a ruling that would have prevented the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries from renewing in December the annual permit that allows Michael Sandlin, owner of the Tiger Truck Stop, to keep Tony on display. In August, the Louisiana Court of Appeals ruled that Michael Sandlin and the Tiger Truck Stop must be named as defendants in the lawsuit and ordered a new trial, vacating the trial court’s earlier decision. In addition to this new trial, the Court will consider a motion by the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries to contest the plaintiffs’ standing to bring the lawsuit to free Tony.


Wednesday, November 2, 9:00 a.m.

East Baton Rouge District Courthouse
Room 8B (Judge R. Michael Caldwell’s courtroom)
300 North Boulevard, Baton Rouge

Since ALDF filed its original lawsuit in April 2011, it has argued that the Department violated state law in granting the permit to Michael Sandlin. In tomorrow’s hearing, the Court will again hear ALDF’s argument that Sandlin’s permit to own and display Tony should be invalidated, and that Tony should be released into the custody of ALDF or an accredited animal sanctuary where he can receive care and treatment and live out his life in a more natural environment, free from the 24-hour exposure to noise and diesel fumes and the taunts of visitors. ALDF is requesting both a permanent injunction, which would mean the state could not renew Sandlin’s permit in December, and a mandatory injunction, which would require that Sandlin’s current permit be revoked. The Court may choose to issue a decision in the case immediately following the hearing.

Tony has been on exhibit at the Tiger Truck Stop since 2000; he has lived there with no other tiger companions since 2003. ALDF’s lawsuit to free Tony has drawn the support of high profile advocates like Leonardo DiCaprio and True Blood’s Kristin Bauer and has galvanized activists around the world. The law offices of Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell, & Berkowitz, P.C. are providing pro bono assistance with the lawsuit.

“The Animal Legal Defense Fund is confident that the trial court got the law right the first time around and will again make the best decision for Tony,” says ALDF Executive Director Stephen Wells. “We would like nothing more than for Tony to spend this New Year’s in the comfort of an accredited sanctuary that is far better equipped to meet his basic needs and to give him the kind of life he deserves.”




5 years ago

Thank you for the post Debbie.

2011 U.S. Animal Protection Laws Rankings
5 years ago

2011 U.S. Animal Protection Laws RankingsTM

December 13th, 2011

Animal Legal Defense Fund Annual Study Ranks Laws Across the Country
Illinois Remains on Top, Mississippi Shows Most Improvement


A new in-depth survey of the animal protection laws of each state and territory in the U.S. confirms that there remain considerable differences in the strength and comprehensiveness of each jurisdiction’s laws.  The Animal Legal Defense Fund’s (ALDF) sixth annual report, 2011 U.S. Animal Protection Laws Rankings – the longest-running and most authoritative report of its kind – is based on a detailed comparative analysis of the animal protection laws of each jurisdiction, researching fourteen broad categories of provisions throughout more than 4,000 pages of statutes. Each jurisdiction received a numerical ranking based upon its combined score and was grouped into a top, middle or bottom tier. The ranking also highlights the best five and worst five states overall.

>> Download the full report (PDF)
>> Download the state rankings map




For the fourth consecutive year, Illinois held the top spot alone in the rankings due to its wide array of animal protection laws. Mississippi showed the most improvement, moving from 50th – and one of the Worst Five states – last year to 30th overall this year. Mississippi’s improved ranking was due partly to its enactment of a felony penalty for repeated cruelty and neglect (three states – Idaho, North Dakota, South Dakota – do not have any felony penalties for animal abuse) and for authorizing mental health evaluations and counseling for offenders. Guam showed the second best improvement, moving up eighteen spots to 34th in the nation. Arkansas, District of Columbia, Maryland, Oregon and Texas all improved their scores, in part, from new laws that allow animals to be included in domestic violence protective orders. California, Maryland, Mississippi, Rhode Island and Washington added or strengthened laws restricting access to animals following an animal abuse conviction. Many other states moved up in this year’s report as well. Kentucky, once again, had the notorious distinction of having the weakest laws of any state in the nation—a position it has held for the past five years. 

“These annual reports identify what each state and territory is doing with respect to their animal protection laws,” says Stephan Otto, ALDF’s director of legislative affairs and author of the report. “Since ALDF began publishing these rankings in 2006, there has been a marked advance in the laws of many states and territories.”

In reviewing the results from ALDF’s rankings reports over the past five years, more than half of all states and territories experienced a significant improvement in their animal protection laws:

  • 27% improved 2-10%
  • 16% improved 10-50%
  • 11% improved by greater than 50%:
    Alaska:  53%
    Utah:  56%
    Guam:  63%
    Mississippi:  66%
    Puerto Rico:  91%
    Arkansas:  95%

These improvements included, among others:

  • Expanding the range of protections for animals
  • Providing stiffer penalties for offenders
  • Better standards of care for animals 
  • Reporting of animal cruelty cases by veterinarians and other professionals
  • Mitigation and recovery of the costs associated with the care and rehabilitation of mistreated animals  
  • Mental health evaluations and counseling for offenders
  • Bans on ownership of animals following convictions
  • Allowing animals to be included in domestic violence protective orders

One of the frequently-used measures for gauging the state of animal protection laws in the U.S. has been the presence or absence of felony-level penalties for the most egregious types of abuse. Since ALDF released its first U.S. rankings report in 2006, there has been noticeable progress in this indicator. Over the past five years:

  • Six jurisdictions added – for the first time – felony penalties for cases involving extreme animal cruelty or torture: Alaska, Arkansas, Guam, Hawaii, Mississippi, Utah
  • Six strengthened their existing felony animal cruelty laws: Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Nebraska, Nevada, Puerto Rico
  • Eight added felonies for repeated or aggravated animal neglect: Alaska, Arkansas, Indiana, Louisiana, Michigan, Nebraska, North Carolina, Puerto Rico
  • Six jurisdictions made repeated abandonment, or abandonment that results in the death or serious injury of an animal, a felony: Arkansas, Louisiana, Indiana, Michigan, Nebraska, Puerto Rico
  • Three added felonies for the sexual assault of an animal: Alaska, Puerto Rico, Tennessee


5 years ago

“We are very optimistic for additional progress in the upcoming year,” added Otto. “Nevertheless, even as many jurisdictions are making substantial steps forward, others are unfortunately not. Yet irrespective of where each jurisdiction currently ranks, every state and territory has ample room for improvement.”

Sizable majorities of all households now include at least one animal, and polls continue to show that the public cares deeply about these companions and their welfare.  ALDF’s goals in these ongoing reviews are to continue to shed light on this important issue, to compare and contrast the differences and similarities in the provinces and territories, and to garner support for both the strengthening and enforcement of animal protection laws throughout the country.

ALDF encourages those who care about the welfare and protection of animals to contact their elected officials about the importance of having strong, comprehensive laws in this field, and to alert law enforcement should they ever witness animal abuse or neglect.

For additional information, see our Model Animal Protection Laws collection and Animal Protection Laws of the USA & Canada compendium.

2011 State Animal Protection Laws Rankings Maps

PDF, Black & White | Download Map
PDF, Color | Download Map
JPG, Black & White | Download Map
JPG, Color | Download Map

Annual Animal Protection Laws Rankings Reports

United States: 2006 | 2007 | 2008 | 2009 | 2010 | 2011
Canada: 2008 | 2009 | 2010 | 2011


5 years ago

Thank you Debbie.

5 years ago

Thank you Debbie.

4 years ago

Sorry I haven't been contributing much lately. Life offline has been pretty challenging, to say the least. Now that things have simmered down somewhat, I'll do my best to do as much as I can for this group.

weekend dogs

4 years ago

Always good to hear from you Debbie!

4 years ago

Wonderful to see you here, Debbie!

4 years ago

Thank you both. Hope you're enjoying the weekend.

4 years ago

EPA Allows Widespread Lead Poisoning of Wildlife to Continue
EPA Allows Widespread Lead Poisoning of Wildlife to Continue

Environment  (tags: EPA, lead poisoning, wildlife, hunting, ammunition, federal regulation, petition, public health, rejection, Toxic Substances Control Act, exposure, ban, alternatives )

- 7 minutes ago -
Agency Rejects New Petition Asking for Nontoxic Hunting Ammunition; Wildlife Advocates Vow to Sue
4 years ago

Noted that Debbie- thank you- what IS that Lisa Jackson (administror of the EPA) thinking????

4 years ago

Hi Debbie, just wanted to thank-you for posting much valuable information:-0 I signed The Berger Blanc Petition, Left a comment on the Michael Vick Issue also I wanted to thank Greg M.for posting on the "Funny or Die" page. I could not bring myself to watch a video where a poor defenseless Kitty gets tied to the fan and gets thrown into a wall:-0 I love all animals and I know there is a lot of abuse done to these poor defenseless creatures! Watching it being done is another story. I am not angry at you Greg...just the ignorant people that think this behavior is funny:-0 Hope Boots finds a forever home soon. Financially I am not able but I can offer up prayers I have signed a lot of petitions and sent letters to Govt. Officials, If there is already a form letter within the information I would be more than happy to sign them I forgot to mention that my name is Barbara E. (my avitar is the Matrix Kitty) Again thanx for all you do your friend who is a voice for the voiceless ) ) )

4 years ago

No idea, Nyack. Doesn't seem to be using much logic, does she? I can't understand how the EPA could be making such careless, unconscionable decisions. They seem to have quite a record of that lately.

Hi, Barbara. Cute kitty. Thanks so much for reading, commenting on, and signing my posts....and isn't it disturbing, the things some people find amusing ("Funny or Die") ? Thanks for caring.

A New Pit Bull Study
4 years ago

March 15, 2012  

The author’s study shows pit bulls’ natural habitat is the bed and breed-specific behavior is cuddling

By Anna MacNeil




My heart was stolen by a Staffordshire Bull Terrier 17 years ago – a brindle ball of muscle we called Buster Brown. (photo right)

Breed-discriminatory legislation overshadowed our community, transforming me into a pit bull type dog guardian.

Media reports whittled at my peace of mind. Laying on his bed, barely raising an eyebrow, Buster was a threat to no one. Do I have the only sweet, tolerant pit bull in the world, I wondered? Or are there other pit bulls like Buster, living in sub-standard conditions? My heart broke. I needed to know the answer.

At my university, I visited campus libraries expecting to delve into a pool of pit bull literature. Instead, I found myself ankle deep in a mud puddle. There was nothing substantial!

The first handful of papers described seized fighting dogs or tallied bites from hospital reports or newspaper articles of dogs of unknown origin. The second handful described the flaws and weaknesses of the first bunch.

How could a global breed discrimination movement be launched from such a crippled body of knowledge?

I knew what was needed: a hands-on approach for gathering details on each dog, guardian and environment, and a control group for comparisons.

In The University of British Columbia’s Animal Welfare Program, my study began to take shape.

Shelter pit bulls were the perfect subjects. They had a variation of genetics and environments, and fit the breed-discriminatory definition of pit bull type dogs.

black pit

(photo above and below by Melissa Lipani)

As (82) dogs entered the shelter, they were placed in either the pit bull group or the control group of other breeds (similar size, age and coat length).

Aggressive behavior was measured at three points in the journey: in the shelter by euthanasia rate (for biting), by return rate for aggression and across 10 aggression-eliciting scenarios in the adoptive environment.

A questionnaire was used to guide face-to-face interviews in the adoptive home, exploring details of the dog, guardian and environment.


Pit Bull Guardians

The interviews revealed a unique pit bull guardian. They intended on adopting a different breed, but were wooed by a pit bull. They were average dog guardians who just happen to have a pit bull.


pit kiss


Further investigation showed that these pit bull adopters provided the same home life for their dogs as the other breed adopters. Dogs were acquired for companionship, lived indoors, were alone less than four hours a day, and had regular playtime and exercise with their families. Pit bull guardians were slightly more likely to take their dogs to the dog park (p<0.10).


This provided the perfect environment to study the behavior of pit bulls. Similar environments could neutralize typical environmental effects and expose any real breed-specific behavior.


A new profile of pit bulls emerged from the study: They were not more aggressive than the other breeds. Pit bulls were more likely to sleep on the bed [62% vs. 16%, p<0.05], more likely to cuddle with their owners (p<0.05), and less likely to show aggression to their owners (p<0.10) – three things associated with strong human-animal bonds. Pit bulls were more likely to pull on the leash (p<0.05).


There was no difference in the number of dogs euthanized at the shelter due to aggression. Likewise, there was no significant difference between groups for aggression to strangers, other dogs, cats, children under 12, skateboarders/cyclists, joggers, over food, when stepped over, or when moved while sleeping.


There was, however, a trend for the other breeds group to be returned for aggression (p<0.02). For those still in the home, there was a slight trend for the other breeds group to show aggression to their guardians (p<0.10).


Seven bites were inflicted on people: one by a pit bull, which did not break the skin, and six by the other breed group, four breaking the skin.


Keep in mind: No participants were informed that the study was pit bull specific!

4 years ago

Strong Attachments

The pit bull adopters have characteristics associated with strong attachments to pets. They were younger (under 30), tending to rent (rather than own) and adopting the first dog of their own (aside from family dogs). Strong bonds have been attributed to young adults (Roll et al., 1997) without children that live singly (Albert and Bulcroft, 1987, 1988, and Turner, 2001), and have previous experience with dogs (Serpell, 1996).


sleepy pits

(photo by Melissa Lipani)

Strongly attached owners: 1) will overlook undesirable behavior (chewing and pulling on leash) (Staats et al., 1996); 2) are less likely to relinquish pets due to housing issues (our pit bull adopters are renters) (Shore et al., 2003); 3) regularly visit veterinarians and buy pet insurance; 4) enjoy walking and spending time with their dog; and 5) are more content with their dog’s characteristics (Ledger, 2000) (Endenburg et al.,1994) (Patronek et al., 1996).

The unintentional (unexpected?) pit bull adopter and shelter pit bulls came together to create a super attachment!

Average Pit Bulls in Average Homes are Average Dogs

This study provides the much needed evidence proving that pit bull type dogs do not harbor genetic aggression. Otherwise, we would have seen aggression in the neutral home environment. Thus, legislation should focus on the environment and irresponsible owners.


His muzzle now grey, a handsome Elderbull, Buster suggests a new breed-specific law to ensure that pit bulls be allowed to sleep on the bed! (photo below)

papa pit

4 years ago

Encouraging article and info on Pitbuls Thanx for the posting

4 years ago

Thanks for this interesting thread.Signed or noted.I have met a lot of pit bulls in my life & they have all been gentle friendly dogs.Its a shame they get a bad rap because of some iresponsible owners.Pitbulls are banned in Ontario so we get a lot of owners move to our province so they can keep their animals(Who have Never done any one any harm) but how unfair to owners & dogs who have to move & change lifestyles.

Born To Be Wild Once More
4 years ago
17 May 2012, 4:08 PM
Bison are returned to their ancestral plains
Bison at Fort Peck, with one of the newest herd members. (Bill Campbell)

Home on the range, where the deer and antelope play? Forget about it. How about buffalo (yeah, I know they’re really bison).

After years of dreaming about getting one of the original Americans back out on the prairie where they belong, we’re a big step closer to seeing it happen.

After killing every last buffalo they could find, and starving the native folks who relied on them for food, 19th century market hunters missed a couple of handfuls of buffalo deep in the high country that would become America’s first national park, Yellowstone. The offspring of this small herd are among the last genetically pure buffalo (most other buffalo scattered across the country carry some cow genes).

Native tribes in northern Montana for years have sought to reestablish herds using Yellowstone stock. Until this year, they were blocked by cattle interests. But then the state agreed to move approximately 60 buffalo to the Fort Peck Indian reservation in far northeastern Montana. The Fort Belknap reservation, located in north central Montana, has asked for some buffalo and will hopefully get them soon.

Earthjustice attorney Tim Preso has worked for years on behalf of wild buffalo. Most of this work has been to ease rules unnaturally restricting buffalo to the confines of Yellowstone National Park. Outside the park, buffalo have for years been set upon by federal and state agents in helicopters, snowmobiles and on horseback—all intent on driving them back into the park.

Many cattle ranchers and their ally, the Montana Farm Bureau Federation, worry that buffalo will infect their cattle with a cow disease brought by cattle from Europe. The disease has largely been eradicated from cattle herds in the 20th century. Oddly, elk, which are big carriers of the same disease, somehow seem to escape the wrath of the cattle industry for reasons no one seems to be able to articulate but might have something to do with their value to hunters.


Earthjustice attorney Tim Preso has worked to ease rules unnaturally restricting buffalo to the confines of Yellowstone.

When Montana recently moved the buffalo from the Yellowstone area to Fort Peck, interests allied with the cattle industry filed a lawsuit to block the transfer. Earthjustice intervened in the court case to defend the right of the state to transfer these buffalo back to their original stewards, the native people. The judge in the case has issued a preliminary injunction telling the state and tribe to not move any more buffalo until the case can be decided. Earthjustice has appealed that order to Montana’s supreme court on behalf of its clients, the National Wildlife Federation and Defenders of Wildlife.

The case should be decided soon and hopefully the last barriers to putting buffalo back where they belong will fall. All Americans, including the very first ones, will be better off knowing these magnificent creatures, specially evolved to live on the wind swept, cold, blistering hot, and sometimes drought stricken prairie, will be back where they came from. Since the buffalo arrived at Fort Peck, at least five new members to the herd have been born. Not bad for an area that has been without this key native species for over one hundred years.


Two of the five calves who have been born at the Fort Peck Indian reservation. (Bill Campbell)



4 years ago

Thanks Deb!!!

4 years ago

Thanks Deb!

4 years ago

Noted all articles and signed or sent messages what I could :-0 A lot were closed!! Thanx for all the hard work you do Debbie

4 years ago

Signed and sent messages where needed. Thanks for some interesting articles Debbie

4 years ago

Thanks, all. Hopefully, care and responsibility of this herd will be restored to its original and rightful caretakers, the Native Americans.

4 years ago

Thank you Debbie!

4 years ago

Thanks Debbie for the article. Noted with hope.

4 years ago

All noted. Thank you Debbie.

4 years ago

Thanks Debbie.

4 years ago

Noted and sent Letters to MI Rep. John Walsh and Senator Glen Anderson through ALDF (29 Dogs Sadistically killed in Domestic Violence ) On a lighter note The Bison being reunited to their Ancestrial lands is Awesome Thanx for the Post Debbie Great to hear some Good, happy news for a change ) ) )

This post was modified from its original form on 21 May, 9:43

4 years ago

Thank you going through the ones I missed up until 2 months ago.

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