New Hampshire says ‘never again’ on puppy mill abuse

By on August 18, 2017 with 0 Comments

Yesterday, in the company of three adorable puppies whose mother had endured the misery of a Wolfeboro mansion that doubled as the nation’s most unusual puppy mill, New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu announced his support for comprehensive reforms to strengthen the state’s animal cruelty laws and update its commercial breeder regulations.

At the Wolfeboro property, 84 Great Danes had been living in a mansion that looked grand on the outside but was rotten on the inside. Animal waste covered the walls and floors, remains of raw chicken parts were strewn about, and the smell of ammonia hung thick in the air. Some of the dogs had been confined in cages. Many were riddled with infections, open sores and cuts, and were in extremely poor health. Some had irritated eyes, made bright red or swollen shut like human boxers who had taken too many hits in a long fight.

Many of the dogs have a long road ahead to full recovery, but they are all now safe and caregivers are enjoying the experience of seeing their individual personalities emerge. Almost every day is better than the one prior, and the dogs are enjoying a variety of toys and enrichment activities, including obstacle courses and scavenger hunts at their temporary shelter.

Gov. Sununu, who pledged his full support for stronger animal cruelty laws, is also aware of and will address the enormous financial burden placed upon taxpayers and non-profit animal welfare organizations that care for animals seized in cruelty investigations. The governor’s executive order directs authorities to begin “determining possible funding sources for animal-cruelty related costs.”

We estimate that care for the Great Danes, by the time the case runs its course, will cost The HSUS half a million dollars, even though our organization has long warned lawmakers and citizens about the evils of puppy mills and demanded policies to prevent these animal crises from developing. The HSUS is holding the animals at an emergency shelter, and the trial against the home owner is not slated to begin until October, due to a delay instigated by the defendant’s lawyer. Without laws in place to provide for such expenses, the cost of caring for animals seized in cruelty cases during lengthy court proceedings is borne by taxpayers or, in this case, a non-profit animal protection organization. The costs should be borne, instead, by the individuals directly responsible for the mistreatment of animals. The current situation puts the rescuers in a position of enormous financial risk, and can bankrupt organizations that rush in to help.

“Animal cruelty will not be tolerated in New Hampshire,” Sununu said, adding that he would revamp the Governor’s Commission on the Humane Treatment of Animals, making it easier for the commission to recruit members, as well as expand their duties to include tracking and promoting current legislation. “I look forward to working with the commission, advocates and legislators to pass commonsense legislation that protects animals, ensuring that the type of situation that took place in Wolfeboro never happens again,” Sununu said.

Under current law, the New Hampshire Department of Agriculture licenses breeders who sell 10 litters or 50 puppies in one year. Breeders that are still selling many dogs but fall below the threshold are not regulated, leaving the door open for unsanitary and dangerous environments for animals and people. State Sen. Jeb Bradley, R-Wolfeboro, intends to introduce legislation in the 2018 session to redefine what constitutes a commercial breeder and to mandate that all commercial breeders be inspected on an annual, unannounced basis.

We applaud Gov. Sununu and an array of state lawmakers, including Sen. Bradley, for promising to lead the effort to ensure that cruelty such as these dogs endured is never again repeated in New Hampshire. It will be important for the people of the state to remind lawmakers that policies are overdue and that the lessons of this incident should not be squandered and the dogs’ plight never forgotten.

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Humane Puerto Rico’s latest offensive – saving older dogs by adopting them on the mainland

By on August 17, 2017 with 0 Comments
Humane Puerto Rico’s latest offensive – saving older dogs by adopting them on the mainland

In our latest maneuver of this type, The HSUS is helping engineer, with some incredible partners, the transport of more than 200 dogs in need from Puerto Rico to the mainland United States. Next week, two planes will depart from Puerto Rico – one set to land in Florida, the other in North Carolina – . . . 

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In China, activists work with authorities to chip away at dog meat trade

By on August 16, 2017 with 2 Comments
In China, activists work with authorities to chip away at dog meat trade

As we build momentum for U.S. legislation to ban the trade in dog and cat meat in the United States (H.R. 1406 now has 150 cosponsors in the U.S. House), Humane Society International and its partners on the ground in Asia continue to save dogs and build the case for ending the entire, miserable trade. . . . 

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British Columbia’s hunting ban on grizzlies the latest in rapid-fire series of gains for animals

By on August 15, 2017 with 1 Comment
British Columbia’s hunting ban on grizzlies the latest in rapid-fire series of gains for animals

This week, British Columbia’s newly formed government, responding to the will of an overwhelming majority of the province’s citizens and following through on its own campaign promise, announced a ban on all trophy hunting of grizzly bears there, starting in November. Under the prior Liberal government, B.C. had become the world’s grizzly-bear-hunting hub, with trophy . . . 

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The HSUS unites with family farmers and food retailers to drive positive reforms in animal agriculture

By on August 14, 2017 with 2 Comments
The HSUS unites with family farmers and food retailers to drive positive reforms in animal agriculture

Since a dozen or so hoofed mammals and the red jungle fowl were domesticated for use in agriculture starting 10,000 years ago, humanity has put animals ever more squarely at the center of the human experience. By conscripting other species for meat, eggs, labor, and other purposes, ancient civilizations assumed duties and responsibilities to animals, . . . 

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XOXO to Sodexo, Darden, and others for hitting their marks on animal welfare commitments

By on August 11, 2017 with 0 Comments
XOXO to Sodexo, Darden, and others for hitting their marks on animal welfare commitments

In 2015, Sodexo—one of the world’s largest food service companies—worked with The HSUS to announce that it would eliminate cage confinement of chickens from its egg supply by switching to 100 percent cage-free eggs. The company was an early mover in an industry-wide shift toward cage-free purchasing practices. But because conventional cage production came to . . . 

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Farm Bill should ban eating dogs and horses, along with instituting other key animal welfare reforms

By on August 10, 2017 with 4 Comments
Farm Bill should ban eating dogs and horses, along with instituting other key animal welfare reforms

Americans shouldn’t butcher dogs or horses, or enable the activity, and then sell the meat for human consumption, and Congress can make that the law of the land as it pieces together the far-flung provisions of the Farm Bill in the coming months. Our thriving agricultural sector is successful enough that we as a nation . . . 

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Super Sonic progress for chickens, even as some in the poultry industry attempt to dig in

By on August 9, 2017 with 0 Comments
Super Sonic progress for chickens, even as some in the poultry industry attempt to dig in

Today, the national fast food chain Sonic has announced new policies to bring about better conditions for all the chickens in its supply chain. The Oklahoma-based company serves food to more than three million customers each day at its 3,500 locations, so this announcement will surely reverberate through the poultry sector. Sonic joins the surging . . . 

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From Bambi to Charlotte’s Web to Nut Job 2, film is a powerful force for animal protection

By on August 8, 2017 with 0 Comments
From Bambi to Charlotte’s Web to Nut Job 2, film is a powerful force for animal protection

Films have long been inviting us to rethink the way we view animals—a studious spider who weaves words about saving a pig from the dinner plate, a terrified baby elephant yanked from his mother and forced to perform in a circus, a clownfish who journeys far across the ocean to rescue a son swiped from . . . 

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Tamping down the war on wolves

By on August 7, 2017 with 2 Comments
Tamping down the war on wolves

Wolves are in the crosshairs of trophy hunters, commercial trappers, ranchers, state and federal lawmakers, and state and federal wildlife managers in established areas of their range throughout North America. We are a counter-weight to those threats, particularly in the United States, and last week, The HSUS won a signature battle for wolves. The U.S. . . . 

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