Monday, August 25, 2008

A stray dog shelters a newborn baby abandoned by it's 14 year old mother in an Argentinian field. The baby would have surely died in the 37 degree weather had the dog not been so heroic! Read more about the amazing story here.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

ASPCA Applauds Indictment in Tennessee’s Largest-Ever Puppy Mill Raid

NEW YORK – The ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) today applauded the indictment in the case of Tennessee’s largest-ever puppy mill raid of more than 700 dogs earlier this summer. A grand jury formally indicted Patricia Adkisson yesterday on 24 felony counts of aggravated animal cruelty, nine misdemeanor counts of animal cruelty, and more than a dozen other misdemeanors. Arraignment has been scheduled for September.

“We are honored to have assisted in the investigation of this case and are extremely satisfied with the indictment,” said ASPCA President and CEO Ed Sayres. “While it does not erase the horrible neglect and inhumane treatment these animals suffered through, we know our work continues to shine the spotlight on animal cruelty in this country as well as the importance of fighting against it.”

The ASPCA assisted in the June raid by lending a special forensic cruelty investigation team that includes two forensic veterinarians, as well as the ASPCA’s Mobile Animal Crime Scene Investigation (CSI) Unit. The ASPCA team was deployed at the request of the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), which led the raid, to assist in the collection of evidence for the prosecution of the criminal case. The team included the ASPCA’s Dr. Melinda Merck, the nation’s premier forensic veterinarian and “animal CSI,” and the ASPCA’s Disaster Response Team.

The 747 animals discovered in the raid were housed in various enclosures among the property’s 92 acres of hilly and rocky terrain known as Pine Bluff Kennels in Lyles, Tennessee. More than a dozen animals were found dead. According to Dr. Merck, the majority of the animals were dogs, including more than 200 puppies, suffering from a general lack of husbandry, such as little to no food or water, lack of proper ventilation in enclosed areas, and feces encrusted pens. Conditions such as matting, sores, broken limbs, hernias, abscesses, and a host of other medical conditions were also prevalent. Other animals discovered on the property included horses, burros, miniature horses, chickens, goats, parrots and purebred cats.

Animals in critical condition were examined immediately on the ASPCA’s Mobile Animal CSI Unit, which operates under the leadership of Dr. Merck and brings both state-of-the-art forensics tools and unmatched expertise to crime scenes. The specially-designed vehicle is also outfitted with medical equipment tailored for animal patients.

At the time of the raid, animals seized from the facility were placed into the official custody of the HSUS and transported to a nearby emergency shelter, eventually in the hopes of being placed in shelters and adopted into loving homes. Many of the other animals, including livestock, were in temporary foster care.

For more information about puppy mills and the ASPCA’s fight against animal cruelty, visit

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

A Sad Day in Animal Welfare

A U.S. woman received five puppies today cloned from her late pet pitbull. Read the full story here

I personally think commercial canine cloning is a big, big mistake. According to the Anti-Vivisection Society, " studies have shown that the multiple procedures involved in animal cloning not only cause pain and stress to the surrogate animals used in the lab, but the offspring - if they actually survive birth-do not look or act identical to the original animal." Thus, cloning is a mute point that only brings about possible damage! It would make just as much sense ( and would certainly be more natural) to purchase a dog  from the same bloodline through a reputable breeder. Your chances of a dog of similar temperament and physical characteristics are just as good.

It's a fact that the mast majority of clones suffer birth defects and die prematurely. Why else do you think that for the $50,000 fee the S. Korean company charged her,  the first woman to clone her dog received FIVE puppies! Will all five puppies survive and live long healthy lives? Doubtful.

I understand this woman's grief over the loss of her beloved pet. Apparently he was an incredible animal that saved her from another dog's attack and then later helped her when she was wheelchair bound. But I believe it would have been better for her ( and more respectful of her dog's memory) to have saved the life of a dog in a shelter rather than clone her departed pet. 

Cloning is dubious science at best and frankly quite scary to me. Just because we can clone animals doesn't mean we should.

What do you think?

Monday, August 04, 2008

First Whole-Pet Health and Wellness Web Site Launches

Search "pet health" on the
Internet and more than 16 million sites and references pop up. With somuch online clutter, it's no wonder a recent survey found three out of four pet owners would find a singular site for pet health and wellness information valuable. A new online platform that redefines how pet owners approach pet care launches today with WebVet (, the first whole-pet resource that brings together, in one trusted place, veterinarian-approved pet health and wellness information, as well as lifestyle trends and pet-centric news from leading animal health experts and award-winning reporters.

The survey, sponsored by WebVet, also revealed that pet owners visit anywhere from two to five sites or more before they find the right online pet health information, and nearly one-quarter of all pet owners feel they cannot find what they need at all. "In fact, nearly half of all pet owners told us they are skeptical of the quality of existing online pet sources," said Bill Zaccheo, chief executive officer of WebVet. "WebVet gives pet owners access to credible information that for the first time encompasses both the physical and emotional needs of their pets."

Trusted Experts In Pet Health and Pet Topics

WebVet does not diagnose health issues, dispense advice, or editorialize; rather, it is a neutral resource providing news, information and fact-based education from credible expert sources and partners. WebVet's Veterinary Advisory Council is composed of some of the most highly respected veterinarians in the industry, including Jan Trumpeter, DVM, deputy executive director, the American Animal Hospital Association, and Mike Cavanaugh, director, veterinary specialty team,
Pfizer Animal Health, among others.

WebVet works hand-in-hand with the nation's leading veterinarians to serve as a supplemental resource to help inform and educate pet owners. Unlike any other online pet resource, at least once a year all content on the site -- both medical and general interest -- is rigorously reviewed and updated by a veterinary member of WebVet's Editorial Review Board and then granted a "seal of approval" from the WebVet Veterinary Advisory Council.

"Without a doubt the veterinarian is the most trusted authority for pet owners, but the reality is that owners turn to the Internet on a daily basis for health and wellness information," said Hope Schultz, co-founder, president and chief operating officer of WebVet. "Owners are confused about where to go and whom to trust, and that's why WebVet's expert resources make it easier to be a better pet parent."

WebVet is supported by diverse partnerships with some of country's most respected pet industry organizations, such as the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA), Cat Fanciers Association (CFA), Sittercity, the Zoological Education Network, the Winn Foundation and Pfizer Animal Health. In addition, WebVet maintains a roster of dedicated, award-winning writers to research and report relevant pet news and human interest stories on an ongoing basis.

"Because WebVet offers one trusted and reliable place for pet owners to gather information about health care for pets, it is a tremendous asset to both consumers and veterinarians," said Georgette Wilson, DVM, manager, Veterinary Operations for Pfizer Animal Health. "A well-informed pet owner can be very helpful to veterinarians when making decisions regarding the best course of action for their pets' health."

Beyond Conventional Pet Care

WebVet is the first online resource for dogs, cats, birds and small pets (rabbits, ferrets, guinea pigs and more) that provides a unique "whole pet" platform that addresses both the physical and emotional needs of pets. "We want pet owners to have the resources they need to fully embrace and engage in their pet's health and wellness as they would their own," added Schultz. "WebVet is the first resource that
truly focuses on a pet's body, mind and soul, combining one's own personal knowledge of what their pet needs with their veterinarian's knowledge relative to their physical health."

Beyond arming owners with accurate, credible medical content and health and wellness information, WebVet keeps pet lovers at the forefront of new developments relevant to their pets' daily lives. On WebVet, pet owners will find:

* Health and Wellness Education -
With a roster of 25 dedicated writers and a network of more than 80,000 veterinarians via partnerships with some of the nation's most respected animal health and industry organizations, WebVet offers the most comprehensive,credible and unbiased resource for pet health and wellness information.

* Everyday Life Features -
WebVet provides pet owners with original content and access to the latest pet-related lifestyle trends. WebVet covers everything from global developments and local pet services to inspirational human interest stories and diet and exercise routines. WebVet also dives deeply into emerging trends, such as holistic care, offering a wide array of articles ranging from alternative medicine and treatments to how to create a non-toxic living environment.

* Community -
WebVet offers a community atmosphere with places for pet owners to connect with one another through opt-in WebVet Mail newsletters, tagged content and shared commentary. Forums allow users to join support groups as well as share experiences and knowledge that is relevant to their pet's health and well-being. In addition, WebVet counseling experts provide the latest information on a cross-section of topics, including animal law, pet loss and merging families.

WebVet is dedicated to providing pet owners with everything they need to be the best pet parents possible. In response to pet owner feedback, shortly after its launch, WebVet will integrate "Pet 311," a wellness and prevention hotline providing pet owners with the most current information available regarding seasonal and other timely health topics.

"Pet owners are deeply involved in all aspects of their pets' lives," said Janice Trumpeter, DVM, deputy executive director, American Animal Hospital Association. "WebVet provides an informative and credible resource outside of the veterinarian's office that educates pet owners about raising a healthy and happy pet."

As part of its mission, WebVet is committed to giving back to animal welfare and will create programs to actively engage users to participate in a variety of fundraising initiatives that will benefit both pets and those who love and support them.

For more information about this new online resource, pet owners and lovers can visit