Archive for the ‘Washington DC’ Category

Animal Fighting: It’s Not Just About Those in the Ring

Friday, February 15th, 2008

If anything good has come from all of the attention focused on the Michael Vick case over the course of the past several months, it’s that the issue of animal fighting is drawing more public and legislative attention. Not only are both banned in most states (dogfighting is illegal in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, cockfighting in 49,)  there appears to be a trend now toward going after spectators at these blood sports. The thinking is that, if stiffer penalties are brought for paying money to attend fights, that people will stop going, and animal fighters’ financing will dry up.

While it is not, in fact, that clear-cut an issue, the increased attention by legislators is a step in the right direction.


One Monday Night

Thursday, January 3rd, 2008


“Honey,” came the IM on that gray, December afternoon. “Grim doesn’t look so good.”

The message was from my boyfriend, and it was about my oldest cat, Grimalkyn, a black cat about 20 years of age.

“Well, he’s an old cat, and he’s diabetic. Did you check his blood? Did he eat anything today?” I responded, not overly concerned…

Until, that is, he came back with, “No, I mean he’s bright yellow, and he’s having trouble standing up.”

My boyfriend went on to tell me that Grim had wandered into the kitchen a little bit before. Thinking he was hungry, my boyfriend gave him some food, and that was when he noticed Grim’s unusual color. He said Grim ate a little bit, but then when he walked away from the bowl, he staggered.

Armed with that information, I called my vet immediately. She told me the possible causes and said Grim should be seen as soon as possible. That night when I got home from work, we grabbed Grim and his diabetic supplies and took him to the emergency clinic. As Grim was a very old, sick, cat, I had made peace with the fact that his time would come soon. I knew it was very possible that this night would be his last. (Make no mistake: His quality of life was very good — the best I could give him. He was, however, diabetic, had kidney failure, and was visibly slowing down each day.)


Rocker’s Cat Forced To Smoke Crack Cocaine

Saturday, September 8th, 2007

Pete Doherty’s Cat Forced To Smoke Crack Cocaine

A picture of a cat addicted to crack cocaine was leaked by friends of the frontman for the band The Babyshambles. Pete Doherty, who was dating Kate Moss, is said to be regularly getting his cats high on drugs. “They said it PASSES OUT with its paws in the air, suffers MOOD SWINGS and even thinks it can FLY,” according to the description in the UK’s The Sun tabloid. The leaked picture of the cat Dinger — named after a slang term for a syringe — is shown above.


Video Of Redskins Players Defending Michael Vick

Friday, July 27th, 2007

On May 25th, we brought you the story of a fellow NFL star who got in trouble for defending Michael Vick’s alleged involvement with dog fighting. This video is the actual interview with Clinton Portis, running back for the Washington Redskins, that got him in trouble. It was shocking to read about what he said, but as this video shows, the lack of Portis’ respect for animals is mind boggling. Does he own a dog?

The graph overlay shows research conducted by a media relations firm in reaction to the interview.

States With Dangerous Dog Legislation Weigh Public Safety With Rights Of Dog Owners

Tuesday, July 24th, 2007


Earlier this month, the state of Virgina established the online Virginia Dangerous Dog Registry. This site allows residents to find dogs in their county that have attacked a person or an animal, and that a judge has decided could cause injury again. Two pictures of the dog (front view and side view), address of the owner, and the incident are public information on the registry.

Officials in Virginia created this registry after dogs killed a toddler and an 82-year-old woman in separate incidents during the past two years. The registry was created for the state to deal with dogs deemed dangerous. 33 states and the District of Columbia hold owners legally liable if their dogs injure or kill.

Under Virginia’s new law, dogs must wear a special “dangerous dog” tag, and when he goes out in public, he must also wear an orange “danger” collar. The owner must also display a dangerous dog sign in the window of the house. Also, a $100,000 liability insurance policy on the dog must be bought. All of this is in effect “until proof of death of the animal.”

Amidst the growing legislations, lawmakers struggle to balance between the fine line of public safety without invading the privacy and property rights of dog owners. Many national dog owner and veterinarian associations say the specific breed bans are difficult to enforce and ineffective since, they say, if one breed is banned, dog owners seeking aggressive dogs will simply begin fostering fierceness in other breeds.


Update On Custody Battle Over Pet Monkey

Thursday, June 21st, 2007

ArmaniLast month, Maryland animal control officers seized a woman’s pet capuchin monkey from her house under the suspicion that her monkey was illegal according to Maryland’s wild animal law.

The owner said that Armani, her monkey, was born last May and would not be illegal because she had him before the law was put into effect. Authorities believed that the monkey was only five months old and that the woman bought him after the law was passed. Armani has been in temporary custody at the Catoctin Zoo.

A decision has finally been made in the custody case. The Montgomery County Animal Matters Board has decided to not give her pet monkey back. They ruled that Armani was only five months old and that his owner could not have owned him before May 2006. Armani’s owner plans to appeal the decision arguing the Montgomery authorities improperly mixed state and county wild-animal laws. She has also sued the Montgomery County Police for seizing Armani.

More about the custody case after the jump.


Animal Protection Amendment Act of 2007

Monday, June 18th, 2007

The Animal Protection Amendment of 2007 is currently being reviewed by the DC City Council. It contains a wide range of animal-related legislation, among others.

Highlights of the significant items in this amendment:

  • Establishes economic and non-economic damages for vet malpractice
  • Establishes liability for economic and non-economic damages for the death of a companion animal
  • Mandatory spay/neuter of dogs and cats over 6 months
  • Requires reporting of animal cruelty by law enforcement officers
  • Makes it a felony to be a spectator at an animal fight, and sets standards for kennels and catteries

More information about the Animal Protection Amendment Act of 2007 after the jump.

(Thanks Karen)


Portis Apologizes For His Comments On Dogfighting

Wednesday, June 6th, 2007

Clinton PortisClinton Portis is apologizing for his comments that he made on May 21 in regards to dogfighting.

He says: “I didn’t know it would affect that many people, didn’t think what I said was that offensive. But after doing research and seeing how serious people take this, I shouldn’t have made the comments.” He says that now he realizes that some people “are crazy over pets”.

I guess that’s an apology. Sort of.

WP: Online Chat With Vet. Toxicologist

Tuesday, May 8th, 2007

The Washington Post posted a transcript of their online chat with Dr. Robert Poppenga, a board-certified veterinary toxicologist and professor of clinical veterinary and diagnostic toxicology at the University of California at Davis.

The chat includes information on safety of melamine in dish-ware, scientific investigation into the toxicity of melamine, connection with liver failure and more.

(Thanks to reader tips)

I Left My Heart In San Francisco

Wednesday, May 2nd, 2007

San Francisco DogTony Bennett sang about San Francisco and now The Humane Society of the United States is singing praises about this city. Thanks to San Francisco’s pet friendly hotels, off-leash dog parks, vegetarian restaurants, it is ranked as America’s most humane city. Seattle, Portland, Washington D.C, and San Diego followed in ranking after San Francisco. Some of the factors that were used in the ranking were: the number of fur retailers per capita, the number of puppy mills, and the ratio of wildlife watchers to hunters.

WP on Why a Pet Food Recall Has Troubled So Many

Sunday, April 15th, 2007

One reporter for the Washington Post writes about the rising importance of pets in the American family and how a recall of 99-cent cans opened his eyes to the industry’s practices. A highlight below:

A 99-cent unit of “cuts and gravy” is the signal product of global industrialized food, where nothing is wasted, a brutal efficiency rules and ingredients are assembled from a relentlessly competitive international marketplace. There is no accident in a can of dog food. Just the opposite. The contents have been supplemented and fortified for nutritional, mineral and vitamin balance, the foods precisely engineered for smell, texture and palatability.

More highlights after the jump.

Go Orange!

Monday, April 9th, 2007

ASPCA DayApril is Animal Cruelty Prevention Month (apparently Menu Foods didn’t get that memo). To highlight this great month, ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) will be celebrating ASPCA Day on Tuesday, April 10 and are encouraging pet owners to “Go Orange For Animals”. Buildings and landmarks in several cities like New York, Chicago, LA, Austin, Washington, DC , Tampa and Philadelphia will be lit up orange in support of the day.

If you live in New York, come to the ASPCA Day Festival in Union Square on April 10 from 4-8pm. There will be music, pet tips, food, photos with your pet and much more.

How can you celebrate? Light up your house orange. Wear and hand out orange glow sticks (it will remind you of all those raves you went to). Tie orange bows on trees, doors or even on your dog. You and your dog can wear orange — get out all of that orange clothing that you thought was cool when you first bought it but haven’t worn it since. Don’t worry, people won’t make fun of you because it’s for a good cause.

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