Archive for the ‘Animal Welfare’ Category

WEEKLY NEWS DIGEST (June 9-15, 2014)

Monday, June 16th, 2014

ANIMAL WELFARE

Palo Alto Humane Society proposes public-private partnership for new shelter.” By Jason Green. San Jose Mercury-News. June 14, 2014.

WEEKLY NEWS DIGEST (December 23-29, 2013)

Monday, December 30th, 2013

ANIMAL WELFARE

“’Animeals’ helps seniors, disabled and their pets.” Washington Post. December 27, 2013.

WEEKLY NEWS DIGEST (July 2-8, 2012)

Monday, July 9th, 2012

ANIMAL WELFARE

Grants help ailing pets as families struggle.” By Stacy Finz. San Francisco Chronicle. July 3, 2012. San Francisco Aid for Animals was founded by five local veterinarians who noticed a steep rise in the euthanasia of pets with treatable conditions because of the bad economy. It’s a project of the San Francisco Veterinary Medical Association and financially sponsored by Community Initiatives, a network of organizations dedicated to building healthy communities. This week the nonprofit began dispensing grants to 60 San Francisco veterinarians for $350 each. They can award them to pet owners of their choice. There’s only one catch – the vets have to match the money with their own services of equal value. “So that grant of $350 now becomes $700 to a pet owner,” said Dr. Anne Marie Benfatto, one of the founders of SF Aid, adding that the hope is fewer people will put their pets down or bring them to shelters. “It’s heartbreaking,” she said. “No one wants to put their pet to sleep, but for some they feel like they have no choice. What we found is there is help for homeless pet owners and for the very poor, but not for middle-class people who have hit on hard times.” Although no one collects statistics on the number of treatable animals euthanized in the Bay Area, Benfatto said she and her colleagues began noticing a rise in 2009, a year after the economy took a dive. Dr. Alan Stewart, another SF Aid founder, said VCA San Francisco Veterinarian Specialists, where he works, sees one to two financially related euthanasias every week or so. It’s become apparent that pet owners grappling with putting food on the table or keeping a roof over their head are being forced to turn away from their animals because they can’t afford the costly vet bills, Benfatto said. In order for pet owners to be eligible for the grant money, they must be in financial need and have exhausted other resources, such as pet insurance or low-interest pet-care loans. And their animals – reptiles, birds, even pot-bellied pigs are eligible – must be treatable (so no chronic illnesses) with a likely good outcome, Benfatto said.

WEEKLY NEWS DIGEST (January 23-30, 2012)

Tuesday, January 31st, 2012

ANIMAL WELFARE

Coop D’Etat: Farmers, Humane Society Partner On Chicken-Cage Revolution.” By Dan Charles. All Things Considered/National Public Radio. January 26, 2012. The Humane Society of the United States, a voice of outrage against all heartless exploitation of animals, is joining hands with the United Egg Producers, which represents an industry that keeps 200 million chickens in cages. This unprecedented partnership is asking Congress to pass a law (just introduced this ) that’s supposed to improve the lives of egg-laying hens. If passed, it would be the first federal law that takes into account the emotional lives of farm animals. Specifically, it would force egg producers to build new, roomier housing for hundreds of millions of birds. Ninety percent of America’s eggs are laid by chickens that live in long rows of metal wire cages. Each cage holds about eight hens, and they’re packed in pretty tightly. Each hen has, on average, 67 square inches — less than the area of a standard sheet of paper. But ever since cages became standard in the egg industry some 50 years ago, many people have been horrified by them. Despite their outrage, though, advocates of animal welfare weren’t able to do much against the cages. For egg producers, the cages made economic sense. They made egg production possible on an unprecedented scale, delivering cheap eggs to consumers. But over the past few years, the situation has changed dramatically. The shift started in Europe. In 1999, the European Commission approved a directive that orders egg producers to give their chickens almost twice as much room. The directive finally took effect this year, on New Year’s Day. Major food retailers, especially in northern Europe, have gone further, and now sell only eggs from cage-free operations, where hens run around loose in barns. Here in the U.S., California took the lead. In 2008, voters there overwhelmingly approved a proposition that the Humane Society of the U.S. drafted. “What Prop. 2 says is that laying hens must be able to stand up, lie down, turn around and fully extend their limbs. That’s it,” says Shapiro. The law takes effect in 2015. Does this mean that chickens have to be cage-free? Does it just mean bigger cages? How big is big enough? Regulators in California have provided no answers.

WEEKLY NEWS DIGEST (January 2-8, 2012)

Monday, January 9th, 2012

ANIMAL WELFARE

Mystery donor gives money for Detroit’s first no-kill shelter.” By Megha Satyanarayana. USA Today/Detroit Free Press. January 2, 2012. An anonymous California donor has given a fledgling animal rescue organization in Detroit a $1.5-million gift toward building the city’s first no-kill shelter, the group said Thursday. Detroit Dog Rescue, founded nine months ago by TV producer Monica Martino and hip-hop artist Daniel (Hush) Carlisle, received the gift in the form of stock options last week from the woman, who was moved by a news report showcasing their work in finding and rehabilitating some of Detroit’s thousands of stray dogs. DDR spokesman David Rudolph said the donor tracked the organization’s work after seeing it on TV in May, and decided to make the donation after watching the group deal with Ace — an emaciated pit bull found outside a hardware store in early November. DDR tried to get the dog released from the city’s Animal Control pound and got a temporary restraining order from a judge to prevent the dog’s death after a state-mandated five-day holding period to allow owners to surface. But Ace was euthanized anyway after people came forth claiming to be his owner, and after protests from members of the Detroit City Council and others. “This donation is just the beginning,” Martino said in a statement Thursday. “While Hush and I were working on the streets of Detroit, we saw firsthand the true scope and scale of the stray dog situation. This problem in Detroit is an epidemic and the system that is in place to control it is broken. The first step is to build a no-kill shelter.” DDR estimates about 50,000 stray dogs live in Detroit.

WEEKLY NEWS DIGEST (December 26, 2011-January 1, 2012)

Tuesday, January 3rd, 2012

ANIMAL WELFARE

Pet shelters struggle with glut of cats, dogs; Weak economy means more abandoned.” By John M. Guilfoil. Boston Globe. December 26, 2011. Donations to people charities are way down this year, and that’s a terrible sign for animal charities. Donations to major non-profits that deal with animals are down more than 50 percent this holiday season, compared to last year. And the rate of abandoned animals is skyrocketing as strapped owners can no longer accord to care for their pets.

WEEKLY NEWS DIGEST (February 28-March 6, 2011)

Sunday, March 6th, 2011

ANIMAL WELFARE

Pet Talk: Portland agencies operate pantries and clinics to help the pets of the homeless.” By Monique Balas. Oregonian. February 28, 2011. As one of Portland’s estimated 2,500 homeless people, Scott (who declined to give his last name) says he feels safer sleeping on the streets with Bear Dog than he does in a shelter. While the Portland Housing Bureau hasn’t kept track of pets in past counts, this was the first year the survey asked about pets, says Maileen Hamto, public information officer for the Housing Bureau. Results from the count won’t be available until April, but it’s obvious to many organizations dealing with the homeless and low-income that pets are taking on an increasingly important role for those population segments. As such, more are offering resources for both pets and people. Most are stretched to near-capacity but are doing their part to help where they can. The Portland Animal Welfare Team first began holding sporadic clinics in 1997, but the increasing demand meant the need clearly wasn’t being met, says Executive Director Wendy Kohn. The clinics provide basic health services and vaccinations, licensing and food for pets of homeless and low-income residents. Clients also can arrange for spaying and neutering at a variety of locations in conjunction with Multnomah County Animal Services and the Animal Shelter Alliance of Portland.

WEEKLY NEWS DIGEST (November 1-7, 2010)

Monday, November 8th, 2010

ANIMAL WELFARE

Strays, shelters feeling delayed bite of recession.” By Marisol Bello. USA Today. November 5, 2010. More private animal shelters are not accepting strays as they fill up with animals abandoned because their owners cannot afford to keep them. No one tracks how many shelters do not take strays, but “we are seeing more of it, especially with the economy,” says Pam Burney, vice president for community initiatives with the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. “Non-profit shelters are looking at the resources they have available.” The shelters are reaching capacity because more people who are losing jobs or homes are abandoning their cats and dogs, Burney says. Animals are dropped off by the owners or picked up on the street by the public or animal control officers. Shelters are ending their contracts with municipalities to get stray animals off the streets. That has put pressure on cities, also feeling budget constraints, to find other places for the animals, says Debbie Dawson, senior animal control officer in Edmonds, Wash., who is president of the National Animal Control Association.

WEEKLY NEWS DIGEST (March 15-21, 2010)

Friday, March 26th, 2010

ANIMAL WELFARE

More Food Banks Helping to Feed Pets.” By Stephanie Strom. New York Times. March 19, 2010. The exploding demand among the needy for food banks is rapidly expanding to desperate pet owners who can no longer afford to feed their animals, according to the Humane Society of the United States. Animal shelters around the country are being flooded with hungry pets, and to tackle the problem, charitable organizations are setting up pet food banks, with products offered within regular food pantries. “One of our goals is to keep pets in their homes if we can,” said Jane Hoffman, president of the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals, a nonprofit that works to find ways of limiting the number of animals in New York City that are euthanized. “It’s heartbreaking when an animal has to go to a shelter simply because its family doesn’t have the money to feed it.” The Mayor’s Alliance is working with the Petco Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the pet store chain, to build a national network of pet food banks supplied in part out of donation bins that Petco is putting in its stores.

WEEKLY NEWS DIGEST (February 15-21, 2010)

Thursday, February 25th, 2010

ANIMAL WELFARE

Pelicans eat through bird-rescue group’s budget; The San Pedro nonprofit is shoveling out $11,000 a month to feed hundreds of ravenous birds that turned up sick last month along the West Coast.” By Jill Leovy. Los Angeles Times. February 20, 2010. The San Pedro nonprofit group charged with treating sick pelicans is suffering an affliction of its own: strapped finances. That’s because a cold and starving pelican eats a whopping 6 pounds of fish a day — half its body weight. Hundreds of brown pelicans turned up dead or ailing along the West Coast in January after what researchers said was a miscalculation: They strayed to the far northern edge of their range, stayed too long and ran out of food. When they came south, they found food scant here too. So they turned up listless on beaches or begging for food in parking lots, and were rescued by San Pedro’s Oiled Bird Care and Education Center. The facility is run by the International Bird Rescue Research Center, which has a $1.1-million annual budget and is one of the largest in the state’s network of groups that rescue birds affected by oil spills. The group was able to save about two-thirds of the 435 pelicans it has treated so far at its two coastal centers, but the effort has meant shoveling out $11,000 a month for pelican all-you-can-eat seafood dinners.