Posts Tagged ‘animal abuse’

Justice for Draco – The fight begins

January 7, 2015 15 comments

10917130_1514307598832911_7542187844083024648_nIn October of last year, a very ugly man did a very ugly thing. He killed the dog belonging to his girlfriend. But it was what he did before killing him that is so very ugly. He tortured and beat him. Three different times. And, he videotaped it. You can read the gory details in the story that first appeared in his Minnesota home town (Sheriff: Baldwin man tortured, killed family dog), but I will warn you that I could not read the full story myself. It’s bad. Really bad.

The sad thing is that Draco was originally listed as a lost dog. His owner did not know what had happened to him when she posted that he was missing. She was hoping that he would come home safely. Her boyfriend knew what he had done, but he played along. If not for him videotaping his acts, he might never have been caught. I am so glad he was because I suspect this is not the first time he has engaged in cruelty or abuse.

I have no words for what this man did. I cannot even imagine someone so evil living on this planet. But what I do know is that the group that fought for Justice 4 Millie, will be doing the same for Draco. He did not deserve this. Neither did the young woman who loved and cared for him.

If you would like to join us in this fight for justice, you can follow the progress of the court case on the Facebook page Justice for Draco. We will need your support and voice when the time comes for Anthony Sather to face judge and jury and account for his behavior. PLEASE ALSO SIGN THE PETITION (this will be given to the prosecutor on the case).

If you want to know a little more about Draco and how much he was loved you can watch the video his owner put together of him.

Godspeed Draco. May the pain you suffered now be forgotten. We will not forget. We will seek justice for you.

Animals do have a voice.

If you ignore their suffering, I will remind you of it.

If you don’t understand them, I will translate.

If you don’t hear them, I will be their voice.

You may silence them, but you can not silence me as long as I live. :

-Anita Mahdessian

What you don’t see when you buy your puppy online

November 26, 2012 24 comments

Thanks to the media, celebrities, and numerous animal advocates, the message about pet stores, and the puppy mill dogs that supply them, is starting to reach people. More and more pet stores are being shut down or have stopped selling puppies. It’s encouraging to see the tides of change coming.

However, there is another front in the fight against puppy mills that people don’t often think about – the internet. 

The internet is a relatively new marketplace for puppy mill owners, but they love it.

  • It’s an easy way to sell their puppies. Create a website, tell a great story about how much you lovingly care for your puppies, post a few cute puppy pictures, and you’re in business.
  • It also increases a puppy miller’s profit margins – no middle man to take a cut of the profits. They just ship the puppy directly to you.
  • The other attractive feature in using the internet is that it’s safer than selling your puppies to pet stores. Online sellers of animals are not subject to  USDA inspections. No licensing. No inspections. It’s a relatively safe way to hide those skeletons while preying upon the unwitting puppy lover.

What most people don’t realize is that puppy millers are some of the best grifters out there. They know how to build trust, tug on your heart-strings, and reassure you they are on the up-and-up, all in one phone conversation or email exchange.

The sweet stories they are telling you online is not what’s really going on behind the scenes – animal cruelty, abuse, starvation, minimal, if any, medical care, and no socialization for the dogs.

Using the internet allows them to fool you into thinking they are a wonderful family who breeds dogs because they love them so much. Of course, they will be sure to let you know all of their breeding dogs are “family dogs” and live inside with them as a member of their family. How sweet. How could you not trust someone like that?

It’s so easy for them to fool people.

One example came to light recently that I thought was worth sharing.

Example: Pedigree Pets

Such a cute picture of a sweet little puppy isn’t it? Such a beautiful website. Simple, but how can you resist that puppy?
Pedigree Pets-1

What a sweet little family. You can tell they care so much for their dogs and puppies. It’s so sweet that their grandchildren play with the puppies. And, I love how they “deliver each and every one of the puppies themselves.” I wonder how they do it with such loving care?

Pedigree Pets-2


Oh wait. What happened here? A raid? 241 dogs seized? What happened to that nice little family with the grandchildren that loved to play with all their cute puppies? The puppies they personally delivered by hand?

Examiner article-Pedigree Pets

I know it’s hard to believe, but that cute little family story puppy millers put on their website is just that, a story. Or, as I like to say… B.S. According to the sheriff, veterinarians and the Ohio SPCA, the dogs were starving, had no water and were in bad shape. At least those are the allegations. The owners plead Not Guilty today, so we will have to wait to see how many of the 723 charges they will  be convicted on. I’ll leave you to check out the video of the raid on and make your own judgement.

Here is an excerpt of the story from

Pedigree Pets was raided on Saturday, November 17, 2012 after an investigation by Deputy Cami Frey. Dogs and puppies were found living in horrid conditions and many were found to be ill, injured and emaciated. Several of the dogs had to be treated for wounds and infections.

The local sheriff that was involved in the raid on Pedigree Pets says it best…

“Online puppy mills are notorious for depicting their kennels as being wonderful places. In reality, they are massively breeding and housing dogs in cages and hutches for their entire lives”.

Don’t be fooled by those cute little websites featuring cute little puppies with fanciful stories of their wonderful families and family life. Buying a puppy online is just as bad as buying from a pet store.

Please Don’t Shop (not online or in a pet store), Adopt.

My sincere thanks to the Ohio SPCA for their hard work in saving these dogs and in seeing to their immediate care. Pedigree Pet’s breeding dogs, and their puppies, are now in the care of 22 wonderful Ohio rescues. The money it costs to care for all these dogs is not a minimal amount. Many puppy mill dogs are sick, undernourished, full of worms and have eye and dental issues. This case is no different. I am listing all of the rescues here. If you an donate to help with the care for these puppy mill dogs, please do so. It takes a village to help these dogs. One dollar is more than nothing. Please give what you can.

Peace for Paws (on Facebook)

Central Ohio Pomeranian Rescue (on Facebook)

WolfSpirits Toy Breed Puppy Mill Rescue (on Facebook)

Chihuahua Rescue and Transport (on Facebook)

Mid-Ohio Animal Welfare League (on Facebook)

Dachshund Rescue of Ohio

Great Lakes Westie Rescue (on Facebook)

Star-Mar Rescue

SICSA (Society for the Improvement of Conditions for Stray Animals)

Columbus Cockers (on Facebook)

Central Ohio Dog Rescue League (on Facebook)

Marilyn’s Voice (on Facebook)

Paws Ohio (on Facebook)

Stormy’s Place (on Facebook)

Lost and Found K9 Rescue (on Facebook)

Thirdtyme Rescue (on Facebook)

Ohio Fuzzy Pawz Shih Tzu Rescue (on Facebook)

Measles Animal Haven (on Facebook)

Silky Rescue (on Facebook)

Lucky Star (on Facebook)

Colony Cats (on Facebook)

Ohio Basset Rescue (on Facebook)

Permission to share this photo was granted by the Ohio SPCA.

Animal politics – Will North Dakota make animal abuse a felony?

November 4, 2012 13 comments

Update: By an overwhelming majority of voters, North Dakotans chose not to make animal cruelty a felony. One can only hope they will not become the only state to think setting a cat on fire is only worth a misdemeanor, but as of right now they remain one of two states who do – the other is South Dakota.

Yes. Election politics is definitely in the air. It’s hard to miss it these days.

I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait until Wednesday when all the political ads will go silent for another two years. (At least I hope they do, otherwise, we will have entered a new level of hell.)

I think I am pretty well-versed on the political issues up for a vote in Minnesota on Tuesday, but recently I started to wonder what political issues might be pending that had to do with animals and animal welfare. Thanks to my friend Paul, I discovered there was one. In North Dakota.

Unlike Minnesota and Montana, neighboring states, North Dakota does not currently make animal abuse a felony. In fact, the most an animal abuser in North Dakota can be charged with is a misdemeanor, even in the most extreme cases.

This year, North Dakotans will have the opportunity to vote on Measure 5, which will make it a felony to maliciously and intentionally harm a dog, cat or horse. The question is, will they?

They currently regard all kinds of animal fighting, not just dog fighting, as a felony. Why not malicious and intentional animal abuse?

The answer may lie with state and national agribusiness groups. They are fighting like mad to make sure it doesn’t pass and it appears they may be succeeding:

About three weeks ago the Valley News Live Mason-Dixon poll found that 66% of people surveyed said yes to Measure 5. Which would make it a class c felony for extreme cases of animal cruelty. The most recent poll found a substantial drop, 44% supported the measure with 49% saying no.

So what are state and national agribusiness groups opposed to? Most likely, the involvement of the Humane Society of the United States. HSUS has poured a good amount of money into this fight, and for many North Dakotans, this rankles their fiercely independent nature.

But is there more to be concerned about?

Opponents of the bill list these two items as problematic:

  • The language doesn’t cover the type of neglect or abuse most commonly seen in North Dakota – everyday abuse, neglect, and abandonment (Although, it appears they are covered by other state laws.)
  • It doesn’t cover all animals, just cats, dogs, and horses (The bill was specifically designed to exclude hunting, trapping, fishing, agriculture, animal research, and protecting personal property or safety – something I would think most North Dakotans would approve.)

I assume that most abused animals are dogs, cats and horses, but maybe the opponents feel other animals should be included? Farm animals? Wild animals? It seems kind of odd that the special interest groups excluded from the measure (hunters, trappers, fishermen and farmers) would argue the bill is too limited and should include other animals, but what do I know? Maybe that really is what they want. Huh. Who’d have thunk it?

One thing I know for certain, there are a great number of strong proponents and opponents on both sides of this issue. The list of those opposed to the measure includes – Ag, Cattle, Deer and Elk Coalitions, farm groups, and veterinarians. The list of those who support Measure 5  includes many animal welfare and rescue groups, veterinarians and law enforcement officials.

So will Measure 5 pass on Tuesday? Will North Dakota voters support making an animal abuse a felony? I don’t know, but we will certainly know by Wednesday, November 7th.


Animal Welfare – Wishing for days of old

April 9, 2012 14 comments

Do you ever get weary of all that is going on in the world today? Do you ever wish that you didn’t know as much about the pet world as you do?

I know I do. Sometimes I wish for the days of old; when I was oblivious to all the worries and concerns that I face as a pet owner today.

Back then, I knew so much less about dogs, animal rescue, puppy mills, dog shows, dangerous pet foods, tainted dog treats, lost dogs, etc. The world seemed so much less complex.

I could toss my dog a milk bone and not worry about whether it was from China or would make my dog fat. I could watch a dog show in total ignorance and just revel in the beauty of the various breeds without judgement about whether the dog was able to breathe or had a life span of six years. I could look in a pet store window and just laugh at the cute little puppy inside without thinking about where the puppy came from and what kind of conditions its parents lived in.

It’s so much easier today to become overwhelmed and weary by all that goes on behind the scenes. There is SO MUCH information out there nowadays. Of course, the benefit is that you can just about choose any interest and focus solely upon it, but always, just around the edges, lingering just outside your peripheral vision, is that other stuff. The stuff you don’t want to think about. The stuff you don’t want to know. The stuff you would rather ignore.

I know that educating people about puppy mills does make a difference – even if it only prevents one more puppy mill puppy from being sold or motivates one person to take action to close them down. I also know that sharing information about a dangerous pet product can make a difference, especially for that one person who might have lost their best friend if not for that blog post or status update to warn them. And, I know that sharing that one picture of a lost dog may be the one “share” that makes the all the difference to that lost dog and their owner.

But every once in a while, just for a second or two, I really DO wish for the less complex days of old.

I Want to Gag After the Ag Gag Bills Pass in Iowa. Is MN next?

March 1, 2012 7 comments

On Wednesday, I read two news stories that made me sigh with resignation. Just when I thought we were making progress in treating animals humanely, along comes the food industry to throw us another curveball. Worse yet, it makes me wonder if Minnesota isn’t far behind since the Republican-dominated legislature has introduced a bill to do the same thing here.

The two stories I read?

Iowa Senate approves measure to protect agriculture from ‘gotcha’ videotaping
Utah Ag-Gag Bill Passes House: Take Action Now!

For those who haven’t been watching these bills being introduced in many states across this country, it is time to sit up and take notice. The term “ag-gag” is exactly that. A bill to put a gag on those organizations who have been exposing animal abuse in the factory farming industry and big agriculture.

These bills place restrictions “on free speech about agribusiness, make it a crime to take photos or video on a factory farm without the written permission of the owner. The factory farming lobby has advocated these laws as a means of keeping the public in the dark about how its food is produced.”

Go undercover to expose cows being kicked and beaten and tortured on a large dairy farm, like Conklin Dairy Farms Inc., and you could be charged with a serious misdemeanor. Film the horrible conditions in a puppy mill (yes, dogs are considered livestock under the USDA definition of livestock) and face jail time.

“Variations on ag gag laws are already on the books in Montana, Kansas, and North Dakota, and bills have been proposed in recent legislative sessions in Florida, New York, Minnesota, and Iowa.”

The only purpose of these bills is to protect the corporate factory farms and the food industry. They have no interest in letting people know what really happens to the animals they eat or what is in their food. It makes me wonder if recent documentaries that examined our food industry, like Food Inc., King Corn and Super Size Me, would have ever been made if these bills had been in place a few years ago. It’s in our best interest to know where our food comes from, how it is being treated before is processed and what is involved in the processing, from end to end. These ag-gag bills will take away that right.

Knowing that the big ag lobby is making progress in their fight to prevent the American public from being educated and informed on how their food is being treated is sad. To me it means that the fight to save puppy mill dogs and to treat animals humanely just took a huge step backwards. I can only hope Minnesota won’t be next.

I encourage you to watch the video linked below. It first aired on the Ellen DeGeneres show. It has NO graphic images or pictures that will make you squeamish, but it does show you why these Ag-Gag bills are so detrimental to society as a whole. Feel free to share it with others.

An Amazing Animal Rescue

I also encourage you to find out if your own state legislators are introducing a similar bill in your state. Let your state reps know that you do not support these bills.

Dogs? Nope. It’s about Dairy Cows today.

May 27, 2010 10 comments

Normally, this blog is about dogs. Not today.

Today it is about cows. Dairy cows to be more specific.

On Wednesday night, I saw a news story and video so disturbing that I physically recoiled and flinched in horror. The video was taken by Mercy for Animals at Conklin Dairy Farms Inc. In it (the video) you see workers at the dairy farm abusing dairy cows with such ferocity that I can only think these people are not meant to be a part of society. Abuse didn’t just include adult dairy cows, but calves, and it included “holding down newborn calves and stomping on their heads…, one worker wiring a cow’s nose to a metal bar near the ground and repeatedly beating it with another bar while it bled”, kicking cows, stabbing them with pitchforks, and other abuse. Trust me. This video is one of the most disturbing I have ever seen.

According to the owners of Conklin Dairy Farms – “The video shows animal care that is clearly inconsistent with the high standards we set for our farm and its workers, and we find the specific mistreatment shown on the video to be reprehensible and unacceptable,” and “We will not condone animal abuse on our farm.”

Here is what I am wondering Conklin Dairy Farms: How is it possible that your company could have so little oversight over your workers that you could miss abuse such as this? How is it possible you didn’t know this was going on under your own roof? Are you so disconnected from your business that you don’t even know what goes on in a day-to-day basis? And, what are you going to do to ensure that this never happens again?

We await your answers.

In the meantime, I am grateful that one worker has been charged with animal cruelty, but with 12 counts of animal cruelty against him I know that his punishment will be much less gruesome than the abuse he meted out to these animals. What a shame.

If you as the reader can watch this whole video then you are bigger person than me.

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