Happy Tails from Valentine’s Day at the HSUS and HSI

By on February 15, 2019 with 0 Comments

Who doesn’t love a good Valentine’s Day tale, especially one involving dog rescue? We celebrated several such “tails” this last week, all tied to our global campaign to end the dog meat trade.

In the first instance, Humane Society International responders deployed to a dog farm in Hongseong County, 90 miles south of Seoul, South Korea, rescuing 200 dogs and puppies from squalor and neglect. Many of the animals were starving and emaciated, with matted fur, and some were suffering from untreated injuries and conditions. Our rescuers encountered a veritable United Nations of canine species at the farm, including chihuahuas, corgis, poodles, Pomeranians, Yorkshire terriers, French bulldogs, huskies and Shi Tzus. Now, they’re safe, and soon, they’ll be on their way to better things—and better lives.

This is the 14th dog meat farm we’ve closed since 2015, as part of an intervention strategy that works with farmers to find new occupations in exchange for a commitment never to farm dogs for food again. But this one embodied the pernicious connection between the dog meat trade and the puppy mill industry, both of which the farmer supplied with animals.

Here’s a brief account of conditions at the site from Senior Director of HSI Companion Animals and Engagement, Kelly O’Meara:

“Today was bitter cold in South Korea, and to look at the dogs shivering in their metal cages was a bit unbearable. It makes us all eager to get this rescue completed as soon as possible. We have piled straw into the cages in an effort to give the dogs some comfort and they are grateful, with wagging tails and playful response.

Most of the dogs on this farm are so desperate for attention of any kind. They bark and dance around their cages to be noticed and every member of the rescue team takes time to give them a gentle pet and some kind words. Their world is so lacking now, with cold metal bars surrounding them and frozen water in their metal bowls, I can only imagine how they struggle every minute of the day to just stay alive. I know they can’t understand it, but I keep reminding them that they will be in a good place soon, warm, comfy and with well-fed bellies.”

The news from South Korea was good, but there was still more good news from India this week. There, another HSI team celebrated Valentine’s Day by offering a dozen dogs for adoption into loving homes, each and every one of them a survivor of India’s meat trade. When HSI India took custody of the dogs in June 2018, they found them packed in gunny bags with their mouths mostly stitched up or tied to prevent them from making noise, and many starving and dehydrated. In India, dogs for the meat trade are generally stolen from the streets or from people’s homes. After a lengthy court battle with the dog meat sellers’ association, the first court case of its kind in India, HSI received complete custody of the dogs. After medical treatment and recovery, and spaying and neutering, these dogs have blossomed, as my colleague Alokparna Sengupta says, “into happy trusting dogs,” ready for adoption.

Whatever you did for Valentine’s Day, I hope it was a happy one for you. I’m glad I could report on the ways in which my colleagues made it a great one for animals in need. The transition of these dogs to lives where love will be the norm is really something to celebrate.

Fish and Wildlife Service fails in its mission to protect critically endangered species

By on February 14, 2019 with 0 Comments
Fish and Wildlife Service fails in its mission to protect critically endangered species

The other day, the Washington Post’s Pam Constable published a story about a wealthy American hunter who paid $110,000 for the right to kill a rare and magnificent mountain goat in Pakistan. There are just several thousand markhors alive, so it’s hard to see how . . . 

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Tiger found in an abandoned Houston home underscores dire need for state and federal legislation

By on February 13, 2019 with 0 Comments
Tiger found in an abandoned Houston home underscores dire need for state and federal legislation

When it comes to the private ownership of captive tigers in the United States, you just can’t make this stuff up. Through the years, we’ve seen reports of tigers kept in apartments, tigers in garages, tigers in gas stations, tigers in tattoo parlors, tigers in . . . 

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Zimbabwe rips 35 baby elephants from their mothers for export to Chinese zoos

By on February 12, 2019 with 15 Comments
Zimbabwe rips 35 baby elephants from their mothers for export to Chinese zoos

It is the worst kind of wildlife abuse, and it is happening right now – again – in Zimbabwe, where 35 baby elephants have been torn away from their mothers in the wild and are awaiting export to zoos in China. According to The Times . . . 

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From vaccines and spay/neuter to puppies stuck in tar, HSI helps hundreds of thousands of street dogs

By on February 11, 2019 with 1 Comment
From vaccines and spay/neuter to puppies stuck in tar, HSI helps hundreds of thousands of street dogs

In January, our Humane Society International/India team learned about eight puppies who were stuck in tar in the town of Tirur in the south Indian state of Kerala. The puppies, as you can see in the video below, were completely covered in the sticky black . . . 

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At South Florida Wildlife Center, staff rehabilitate pelicans, other wildlife hurt and orphaned by human actions

By on February 8, 2019 with 1 Comment
At South Florida Wildlife Center, staff rehabilitate pelicans, other wildlife hurt and orphaned by human actions

I was at the South Florida Wildlife Center yesterday when workers there released six pelicans back into the wild. The birds, who can be found wintering in South Florida this time of year, had all been brought in last month with injuries that need never . . . 

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Bill in Congress will require puppy mills, roadside zoos and other businesses to have emergency plans to protect animals during disasters

By on February 7, 2019 with 3 Comments
Bill in Congress will require puppy mills, roadside zoos and other businesses to have emergency plans to protect animals during disasters

By Kitty Block and Sara Amundson Weather-related disasters such as floods and wildfires are occurring more frequently and with increasing intensity across the United States. While there is a federal law that requires state and local authorities to consider household pets and service animals in . . . 

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At HSUS Faith Summit, religious leaders and family farmers discuss animal stewardship

By on February 7, 2019 with 0 Comments
At HSUS Faith Summit, religious leaders and family farmers discuss animal stewardship

The Humane Society of the United States’ Faith Outreach program partners with people of faith to fight animal cruelty and highlight the long and rich tradition of compassion for animals within the world’s major religions. This week, as part of this important program, we welcomed . . . 

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Bipartisan bill in Congress will crack down on puppy mill cruelty

By on February 6, 2019 with 12 Comments
Bipartisan bill in Congress will crack down on puppy mill cruelty

By Kitty Block and Sara Amundson A bipartisan group of U.S. Representatives today introduced a bill to crack down on puppy mill cruelty by closing loopholes in the law that allow problem breeders with severe and multiple Animal Welfare Act violations to continue doing business . . . 

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The state of the animal union under the Trump administration

By on February 5, 2019 with 8 Comments
The state of the animal union under the Trump administration

By Kitty Block and Sara Amundson As President Donald Trump prepares to deliver his State of the Union address today, it’s a good time to take stock of how his administration has dealt with animal protection issues of interest to us at the Humane Society . . . 

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Pets pour in for round 3 of Spayathon for Puerto Rico

By on February 4, 2019 with 5 Comments
Pets pour in for round 3 of Spayathon for Puerto Rico

I am participating in round 3 of Spayathon™ for Puerto Rico, an initiative launched to change the landscape for animals of the island by providing high-quality, high-volume spay/neuter services to the pets here, all at no cost to their owners, caregivers and guardians. The energy . . . 

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Petland behind attempts to stop localities from banning puppy mill sales in pet stores

By on January 31, 2019 with 7 Comments
Petland behind attempts to stop localities from banning puppy mill sales in pet stores

Hundreds of localities now ban the sales of dogs from puppy mills in pet stores because of how cruelly the breeders, transporters and pet stores treat the animals in their care. Our puppy mills campaign has been leading this fight and last month we released . . . 

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