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Archive for the ‘Dogs in the News’ Category

Michael Vick Wants to Own a Dog as a Pet

December 16th, 2010 1 comment

Michael Vick Wants a Pet Dog

Professional football player Michael Vick, who spent time in prison for convictions surrounding his infamous involvement in dogfighting and animal torture, now says he would like to have a dog as a pet someday. 

Vick, who was reinstated into the NFL in spite of a public outcry at the time, says he now spends a great deal of his time working with the Humane Society of the United States and explaining to young people why dogfighting is wrong.  Michael Vick says he is working with HSUS and mentoring kids not because of a court order, but because of his own desire to help others.

Michael Vick told the website theGrio, “I would love to get another dog in the future.”  He stated, “I think it would be a big step for me in the rehabilitation process.  I think just to have a pet in my household and to show people that I genuinely care, and my love, and my passion for animals.”

Michael Vick pleaded guilty in 2007 for his role in running the dogfighting ring Bad Newz Kennels, a place where dogs were tortured in unthinkable ways.  Dogs were trained and forced to fight for the amusement of spectators who also placed bets on the animals.  Some dogs were chained to car axles and used as “bait” for the fighting dogs.  Dogs that showed little or no inclination to fight were shot, electrocuted, drowned, hanged or beaten to death.

According to a USDA investigative report, Michael Vick personally had a hand in hanging three dogs with a nylon cord tied to a tree, drowning three other dogs in a 5-gallon bucket of water, and repeatedly slamming another dog onto the ground until it died, breaking its neck and back in the process. 

HSUS president Wayne Pacelle, who has toured schools with Michael Vick since his release from prison, believes that Vick has changed and would now be a good dog owner.  Pacelle told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, “I have been around him a lot, and feel that he would do a good job as a pet owner.”

A federal judge sentenced Michael Vick to 23 months in prison and ordered that he serve three years probation after his release during which time he is prohibited from buying, selling or owning dogs.  So, until his probation is complete, there is no possibility for Michael Vick to own a dog.

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Microchipping Your Pet Can Bring Her Home Safely

December 8th, 2010 1 comment

Lost Cat Returns Home After Five Years

Reunited With Owner Thanks to a Pet Microchip

Five years after he wandered away from home in the confusion following Hurricane Katrina, Scrub the cat was reunited with his owner, Jennifer Noble of Mississippi, all thanks to a pet microchip

According to the Sun Herald, Scrub was brought to the Humane Society of South Mississippi by a woman who said she had been feeding him as a stray for a few months.  With cold weather moving in, the woman was afraid the cat would suffer if he had to be outside during the night.  Noble was contacted after the cat’s microchip was scanned and revealed Noble’s contact information. 

“This is the power of microchipping,” said Humane Society Director Tara High.  “There is no other way that cat would have found its family.”

According to High, the Humane Society has done more than 7,000 pet microchips and has seen its stray intake decrease over 34 percent.  “The animal control officers are scanning them before they even come in.”

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Trained Search and Rescue Dogs Assist in Haitian Relief Efforts

January 20th, 2010 No comments
Search and Rescue Dogs from Around the World are Helping Victims of Haiti's Earthquake

Search and Rescue Dogs Help Haiti's Earthquake Victims

Dogs trained in performing search and rescue services are being deployed from countries around the world in an effort to assist in relief efforts in earthquake torn Haiti.

According to Discovery News, hundreds of specially trained “sniffer” dogs and their handlers from the U.S., China, Russia, Peru, Mexico, the U.K. and numerous other countries, have made their way to Haiti to help in the rescue operations.  Debra Tosch, Executive Director of the U.S. organization National Disaster Search Dog Foundation, stated:

Our hearts go out to our neighbors in Haiti, and we’re honored to be able to help find survivors of this terrible tragedy as part of CA-TF2 (the code name for the task force). This is the day that our teams have trained for; when the unthinkable happens, SDF Teams stand ready to respond, bringing hope and comfort to victims and their loved ones.

Teams from NDSDF have been instrumental in locating and helping to rescue a number of victims buried under the rubble.  Five people were rescued on Sunday, days after the earthquake devastated the Caribbean nation.   According to Tosch, “The rescues in Haiti underscore the critical importance of Canine Search Teams in finding survivors in the  aftermath of major disasters.”

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Top Ten Animal Stories of the Closing Decade

December 30th, 2009 No comments
Greater Awareness of Puppy Mills and Laws Regulating Breeders

Greater Awareness of Puppy Mills and Laws Regulating Breeders

Wayne Pacelle of the Humane Society of the United States has compiled a list of the top ten animal stories of the first decade of the new millennium.  Among the top ten animal stories of the past decade are:

  • Hurricane Katrina, which “resulted in the largest animal rescue operation in history.”  The disaster spawned an outpouring of donations to animal rescue organizations and influenced the passage in Congress of the Pet Evacuation and Transportation Standards Act (PETS), as well as new legislation in a number of states that sets policies on responding to the needs of animals during a disaster.
  • Michael Vick’s arrest for dog fighting, which brought to light the horrors of forcing animals to fight for sport.  According to Pacelle, “The Vick case resulted in more than half of the states upgrading their laws and a doubling of arrests, as well as an upgrade of the federal law against animal fighting.”  Partly owing to the Michael Vick case, animal fighting is now illegal in all U.S. states.

    More Humane Treatment of Animals Used for Food Production

    More Humane Treatment of Animals Used for Food Production

  • Advances in the treatment of animals used for food production, including a federal ban on the mistreatment of “downer cows” (cattle too sick or injured to walk on their own), and state bans on the long-term confinement of animals on factory farms.
  • Oprah Winfrey’s series on puppy mills.  In 2008, Oprah Winfrey did a series of programs on her influential talk show exposing the horrific realities of puppy mills.  Since the broadcasts, HSUS has rescued thousands of animals from puppy mills, ten states have approved legislation imposing stricter standards on large-scale breeding operations, and public pressure has caused pet stores to either close altogether or to stop selling puppy mill dogs.

We hope that the coming decade brings about further advances in how we, as a society, treat the animals in our care and at our mercy.

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Categories: Dogs in the News