Michael Gove’s puppy-farm ban shows he gets the politics of pets | Animal welfare

amp.theguardian.comMichael Gove with police dog FinnShow caption
Michael Gove with police dog Finn: ‘Gove has pledged tougher sanctions against anyone who attacked service dogs or horses.’ Photograph: Stefan Rousseau/PA
Opinion Contributor image for: Anne Perkins

Is the environment secretary pandering to sentimentality – or on to the fact that our understanding of animals is changing?

Thu 23 Aug 2018 01.00 EDT

Ever since Michael Gove inadvertently found himself on the wrong side of a row over animal sentience at the end of last year, he has been all over animal welfare with the uninhibited enthusiasm of a python preparing its dinner. His latest move is a bid to stamp out the hideous cruelty of puppy farming by introducing a ban on the sale of kittens and puppies in pet shops. In future, would-be pet owners will have to go direct to the breeder or (so much better) to a pet-homing charity.

The Mirror, which has run an energetic campaign calling for the ban, is thrilled. Earlier this year, Battersea Dogs Home was equally chuffed when the environment secretary promised tougher sentences for animal cruelty, and the Express has only just got its breath back from cheering Gove on after he posed with Finn, the police dog who nearly died protecting its handler, and pledged tougher sanctions against anyone who attacked service dogs or horses. True, he has been persuaded that a total ban on electric collars for dogs and cats, used for restraint and training, might have the unintended consequence of leading to more pets dying on the road, but the direction of travel is unmistakable: in a world polarised by Brexit, pets can be the new politics.

I’m obviously not accusing Gove of cynicism. He is a pet lover himself. He has a dog, Snowy, who came second in a Westminster pet show a few years back, and reportedly a cat too (he looks more of a cat person than a dog person to me).

Britons are famously fond of animals and, with obvious exceptions like the hunting ban and the badger cull, their welfare is more often a question that unites than divides people, even politicians. When Labour recently announced a policy to prevent landlords banning tenants from keeping pets, the party was shrewdly revisiting an issue that was last aired when the Tories used it as an argument for giving social housing tenants the right to buy their council houses in the 1970s. Cats or dogs, house rabbits or rats, in a world where far too many people feel lonely, our pets are (usually) easefully uncomplicated and generously predisposed to love, even if only until the food is in the bowl.

But I wonder if there’s more to Gove’s new concern for animals than the normal politician’s desire for conspicuous ordinariness. Perhaps it is more, even, than a hasty reaction to the power of social media to generate a storm-force grievance that Gove experienced during the Brexit bill, when the government appeared to deny that animals are sentient. Maybe he has realised that the understanding of the relative place of human and other animal life is undergoing a transformation that is of a quite different order to the boom in small-animal vets and the rise and rise of shops selling stuff for pets.

The ethicist Peter Singer first published Animal Liberation in 1975. As is the way with radical ideas, its influence has slowly rippled out over the intervening 40 years, until it no longer seems wacky to question the universal privileging of humans over all other animals. His argument that animals should be part of the equation when considering the greatest good for the greatest number is finally beginning to seep into public attitudes.

The trend is reinforced by new work on animal intelligence, not least by Singer’s fellow Australian philosopher, Peter Godfrey-Smith, whose whole outlook was transformed by coming eyeball to eyeball with a cuttlefish. Scientists in New Zealand have discovered that octopuses can work out how to turn off a light, showing they do not just react to their environment, but try to shape it. We have the glimmering of an understanding of the social life of humpback whales. Elephants have a clear enough sense of their own bodies to realise they cannot complete the task of handing over a stick tied to a mat without stepping off the mat.

It is one of the most basic purposes of education to convey an understanding of other worlds in time and space – to realise that there are different, equally valid ways of ordering the world, and that they change over time. But comprehending that creatures as obviously different from us as elephants, or whales or cuttlefish, can still share with us a pleasure in society, a capacity to learn, perhaps even a moral sense – attributes we are accustomed to considering uniquely human – is a great dislocating jolt to our sense of the order of things.

Of course, it’s one thing to be entranced by an octopus working out a puzzle and quite another to abandon meat-eating altogether. Most of us live in complacent denial of the nastiness of the life of a factory-farmed animal. All the same, hearing whales sing to one another must make you at least think twice about the plump breast of a battery-reared hen. The knowledge of one, after such a period of ignorance about it, begins slowly to influence our attitude to the other.

Michael Gove might merely be pandering to the sentimentality of a group of voters who, some poll evidence suggests, are also likely to be Brexiters. It is not impossible to imagine that he has spotted a two-fer advantage in being pro-pet: after the furore over animal sentience (and the bizarre pledge in the Conservative manifesto last year to raise the possibility of re-legalising hunting) he is simply trying to neutralise a vulnerability, while promoting himself on a non-party issue at the same time. But he may be one of the first mainstream politicians on to a much more fundamental and lasting shift, one that will transform the way we think about the other animals we share the planet with.

https://amp.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/aug/23/michael-gove-puppy-farm-ban-politics-pets?CMP=share_btn_tw&__twitter_impression=true

What Caused Nearly 50 PetSmart Grooming Deaths?

care2.com

Since 2008, there have been 47 documented cases of dogs dying during or after a PetSmart grooming appointment in 14 states, according to a disturbing new report published Sept. 20 on NJ.com. The number of deaths is probably even higher, since dog grooming is an unregulated industry.

After the December 2017 death of an English bulldog named Scruffles at the PetSmart in Flemington, NJ, reporters Sophie Nieto-Muñoz and Alex Napoliello began a six-month investigation into the company. They reviewed lawsuits, media reports and veterinary records, and interviewed 100 pet owners as well as PetSmart employees, lawyers, grooming experts and veterinarians.

The interviews with the owners of dogs who died as a result of being groomed at PetSmart are heartbreaking. Among them are Nick Pomilio, who in February 2017 took his English bulldog, Capone, to a store in the Philadelphia area for what should have been a simple nail trim.

The appointment lasted nearly an hour, instead of the usual 15 minutes. Afterward, Capone was unable to walk, so store employees wheeled him in a shopping cart to Pomilio’s car. Capone died on the way home.

“I’ll never forget that last look he gave me,” Pomilio told NJ.com, crying at the memory. “You don’t take the dog to get its nails clipped and it winds up dead as a doornail.”

PetSmart Response to Grooming Deaths

PetSmart refused to answer any questions for the report, but insisted in a response that it has “the highest grooming safety standards in the industry.”

The company refuted the number and cause of the dog deaths. It said it had no records of grooming some of the dogs mentioned in the report, while other dogs may have had underlying health issues that contributed to their deaths. “Any assertion that there is a systemic problem is false and fabricated,” it stated.

So, how many dogs have actually died, according to PetSmart’s official records? Although one of the company’s stated core values is transparency, it will not release the numbers.

Most of the documented deaths – 32 of them – occurred in 2015 or later. It’s probably no coincidence that PetSmart was bought by the private equity firm, BC Partners, in 2015. Since then, according to some longtime employees, there’s been growing pressure to increase the number of dogs groomed each day.

The causes of these deaths are difficult to prove, partly because of nondisclosure agreements signed by PetSmart customers and confidentiality agreements signed by pet owners who reached court settlements with PetSmart. These are some of the potential reasons cited by the NJ.com report:

Nearly half the dogs were English bulldogs and other short-nosed breeds and mixes that can have difficulty breathing in stressful situations and hot environments, such as a dryer.
Trainees with little experience are sometimes put to work due to short staffing.
Groomers, pressured to meet sales quotas, believe there is retaliation for speaking up about safety issues.

In response to media attention to the death of Scruffles, PetSmart announced an action plan for improvement that went into effect in February. The company said an independent task force of grooming industry experts would review its training and safety standards. It would install cameras in grooming salons and and hold open houses, so pet owners could meet groomers and inspect the facilities. The company would offer specialized care for short-nosed breeds.

Despite these promises, one month later, a corgi named Abby died during a grooming appointment at the PetSmart in Toms River, NJ. An employee called Abby’s owner, Chuck Crawford, and coldly told him his beloved dog was dead and where to pick up her body.

Pet owners might want to consider Crawford’s pledge. “I’ll never take my dog to a PetSmart or Petco or any of them ever again,” he told NJ.com in April. “I’ll give them a bath in my garage.”

How to Find a Safe Groomer

You may be surprised that, unlike beauticians and manicurists who work on humans, pet groomers are not required to be certified or licensed (aside from a business license) in any U.S. state. Pet groomers are regulated in Miami and New York City, but there are currently no statewide or federal laws regulating this industry.

Due to this lack of regulation, “there’s a lack of transparency of safety records, enforced standard training and little public accounting when things go wrong,” according to the NJ.com report. “Causes of death can be hard to prove, lawyers are hesitant to take cases and, because pets are considered property, owners can recoup very little money in court. As a result, exactly how many pets die, and why, remains largely unknown.”

To ensure your pet doesn’t become a statistic, the Humane Society of the United States, PETA and other animal welfare groups recommend you ask a groomer the following questions before leaving your pet in their care:

Ask if the groomer has completed a training program and belongs to any professional groups, such as the National Dog Groomers Association of America.
Make sure the groomer has several years of experience and can provide references.
Check out the grooming facility to see if it looks and smells clean, is well-lit and the cages are the appropriate size.

https://www.care2.com/causes/why-have-nearly-50-dogs-died-when-groomed-at-petsmart.html

Take Action!

Please join more than 76,000 people who have signed this Care2 petition demanding a temporary halt to all PetSmart grooming until the company meets safer pet grooming standards.     https://nackpets.wordpress.com/2018/04/10/petition-close-petsmart-grooming-too-many-dogs-are-dying-there/

If you want to make a difference on an issue you find deeply troubling, you, too, can create a Care2 petition, and use this handy guide to get started. You’ll find Care2’s vibrant community of activists ready to step up and help you.

Photo credit: KaraSuva

Petition: Justice for OllieB, Dog Whose Face ‘Fell Off’ at Petco Grooming!

by: Kelsey B.
target: Petco

32,723 SUPPORTERS 35,000 GOAL
Oliver or OllieB is a beloved 1.5 year old cairn terrier. His mom dropped him off at Petco to be groomed and then she got a call informing her that a chunk of his face had somehow fallen off during grooming. Neither the groomer nor Petco can explain how OllieB sustained such intense injuries.

Please sign the petition to demand Petco installs cameras in all grooming areas so that this kind of abuse can never happen again.

OllieB is a healthy and vocal fur baby. That’s why his mom couldn’t understand why the groomer didn’t realize they were hurting him; she is confident he would have been vocal while sustaining the injuries. The fact that a groomer harmed a dog so much that it needed stitches is completely unnaceptable. What’s even scarier? The groomer and Petco can’t even figure out how it happened. That’s not very comforting to those of us leaving our animals in their care.

OllieB had to go to the vet, be sedated, and get stiched up. As the vet shaved him to see all wounds, they found injuries and cuts all over his body. None of the injuries were there before the grooming.

Please sign on to demand justice for OllieB! His mom is demanding cameras in all the grooming areas. Join us in calling for the same.

https://www.thepetitionsite.com/872/096/953/just-for-ollieb-dog-whose-face-fell-off-at-petco-grooming/

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Petition · American Association of Veterinary State Boards : Protect Pets from Cancerous Vaccinations Demand Titer Tests Exemptions & Safer Options · Change.org

Protect Pets from Cancerous Vaccinations Demand Titer Tests Exemptions & safer options
SmokeAlarmSafety.org Ban Ion Alarms started this petition to American Association of Veterinary State Boards and 3 others

According to several certified Veterinarians such as Dr. Schultz and others that have studied pet vaccinations there is a high rate of cancer that develops at injection site in dogs and cats. Many Vets believe and have proof that the ingredients and retro-viruses used in the vaccines are causing these cancers and other serious auto-immune disorders and other health issues as well as the same dose amount being injected in pets of all weights & sizes which is especially dangerous to the smaller pets. You can sign up to see the 7 part series thetruthaboutpetcancer.com/ and watch episode 3 regarding these dangerous pet vaccines.

Dr. Schultz and other Vets have done studies using titer tests that have shown dogs and cats have rabies antibodies for at least 7 years and believe a sufficient amount of antibodies remain for the life of your pets after one vaccination. Unfortunately most States and Counties require a rabies vaccine every 3 years and some Vets recommend a booster shot every year which is needlessly exposing 100’s of millions of pets to dangerous cancer causing vaccines which can either kill your pets or cause cancer requiring surgery to remove the cancer and sometimes requiring amputation of a leg costing $1000’s of dollars.

Many pet owners that are being required by law in most States and Counties to have their pets vaccinated for rabies and other diseases are opting to have the vaccines injected into the pets tail in case of an adverse reaction which would be less evasive to remove part of the tail if cancer were to develop at injection site. This petition will be sent to several Veternarian Regulatory Boards demanding that safer non-cancerous / weight to dose adjusted options to these dangerous vaccines be studied and manufactured and that titer tests be accepted as an exemption to the mandatory rabies vaccinations to protect pets from being over vaccinated with these dangerous cancer causing vaccines when suffiecient rabies antibodies are present.

For your family and pets safety sake see http://www.smokealarmsafety.org Ionization alarms that are in most homes will not wake your family up in time to escape safely and unmonitored alarms are a danger to your pets when left locked inside while you are away.

https://www.change.org/p/american-association-of-veterinary-state-boards-protect-pets-from-cancerous-vaccinations-demand-titer-tests-exemptions-safer-options?source_location=petition_footer&algorithm=promoted&original_footer_petition_id=13010811&grid_position=3&pt=AVBldGl0aW9uADT6xwAAAAAAWs%2BOBvbEL%2B9lNWY4YTkyYQ%3D%3D

Petition: Demand that Georgia Stop Selling Puppy Mill Pets at Pet Stores, Georgia


http://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/717/084/429/?z00m=29181225&redirectID=2420905771

Pets for Rent

 

This is just a big bowl of wrong.   I’m Renting a Dog? Bloomberg  “You mean to tell me I’m renting a dog?” And they were like, ‘Yeah.’ … . After her family’s shiba inu died o…

Source: Pets for Rent

UPDATE~Animal Groomer Pleads Not Guilty To Strangling Dachshund « CBS San Francisco


San Mateo Animal Groomer Pleads Not Guilty To Strangling Dachshund
June 24, 2016 1:03 PM
Filed Under: Animal Abuse, Animal Groomer, Crime, Dachshund, San Mateo
Juan Zarate (San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office)

REDWOOD CITY (CBS SF) — A pet store employee has pleaded not guilty to animal abuse and animal cruelty in the alleged strangulation of a 1-year-old dachshund last month in a San Mateo pet store, San Mateo County prosecutors said.

On May 15, Juan Zarate, 38, of Hayward, took the dog Henry to a back room to trim its nails but got angry when the dog was not cooperative, San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said.

Zarate rushed to the front of the store three minutes later with the dog, which was unresponsive and had blood foaming from its mouth.
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A veterinarian at the store was unable to revive the dog, prosecutors said.

Police responded at 5:15 p.m. to the PetSmart at 3520 S. El Camino Real on a report that a dog had died. Police arrested Zarate at the store the same day.

Henry came to the store with his owner, a 47-year-old San Mateo man, who brought two other dogs with him to have the dogs’ nails trimmed, according to prosecutors.

Wagstaffe said Henry’s owner was in court Thursday and indicated Henry was a beloved member of the family.

“It was such an impactful thing for them,” Wagstaffe said of Henry’s death.

A necropsy determined that the dog was strangled. A post-mortem X-ray showed the dog also suffered two broken ribs and a punctured lung.

Zarate has no other history of animal abuse, according to Wagstaffe. He is out of jail on a $50,000 bond.

A superior court review conference is set for 1 p.m. July 21 and a preliminary hearing for 9 a.m. July 29 in the county courthouse in South San Francisco.

CBS San Francisco
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Petco Food Bowl Recall

Pet Sitter

Complete details of the Petco Pet Food Bowl recall as reported by the editors of the Dog Food Advisor

Source: Petco Food Bowl Recall

petition: Indiana: Require all dogs and cats sold in pet stores to come from local shelters and rescue groups, Indiana

image

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/637/750/021/?z00m=27767402&redirectID=2056538894

End Puppy Mills by Demanding Pet Shops Only Sell Rescue Animals

 

A bill requiring dog breeders to be registered doesn’t go far enough to address animal overpopulation or protect dogs in puppy farms. Urge authorities to ban the sale of animals that don’t come from shelters or rescues.

Source: End Puppy Mills by Demanding Pet Shops Only Sell Rescue Animals

petition: Demand “Just Pups” to be Shut Down for Animal Abuse!, New Jersey

image

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/570/990/852/demand-%22just-pups%22-to-be-shut-down-for-animal-abuse/

Petition update · A Chewy Update! · Change.org

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Hold Pets Plus Inc. and the Hunte Corp. responsible for the animals they sell!
by Jody Reynolds · 56,604 supporters
Petition update
A Chewy Update!
Jody Reynolds
Stafford, VA

Mar 14, 2016 — Chewy is 11 months old today! We celebrated this past weekend by visiting some natural pet supply shops and getting him lots of treats, toys, and clothes! He even met some of you who have been very supportive by signing this petition. Trust me, those folks got lots of “Chewy kisses” (and then some!)
Unfortunately, we haven’t been able to eliminate the bacterial strain that is in his lungs. He still requires Enrofloxacin daily to prevent it from becoming worse. We are still awaiting the test results from Virginia Tech to determine the way forward.
No, Pets Plus Inc. has made no effort to contact us or any attempt to assist with Chewy’s healthcare. Ms. Bonnie Hickey’s attitude has been disappointing to say the least.
Some have asked how they can support Chewy. Forward this petition to your friends and family. Let Pets Plus Inc. know you support Chewy (and any others with this condition). Email, Facebook, and phone calls can be effective. Businesses like this usually listen to their accountant when they won’t listen to their customers. If you are in the area, there are TONS of local, family owned businesses that WANT your business and will cater to you and your pet’s needs. Most important, prayers are always accepted and appreciated.
As always, thank you for the support! – Chewy’s Pawrents
Look for Chewy on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/chewyreynolds
Pets Plus Inc Contact Information:
Telephone: (540) 659-6900 Fax: (540) 720-7874
Bonnie Hickey, Owner, bonnie.hickey@petsplusinc.com
Samantha Serafin, Manager, mermaidmaintenance@gmail.com
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Pets-Plus-Inc/128858563829426

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Animals Frozen Alive, Crudely Gassed at Petco, PetSmart Supplier Mill

PETA’s eyewitness found that small animals were deprived of basic care, terrorized by cats, and gassed en masse in a cooler at a supplier to PetSmart and Petco. Act now!

Source: Animals Frozen Alive, Crudely Gassed at Petco, PetSmart Supplier Mill

By Nancy Posted in Uncategorized Tagged

Save Parrots from Lives of Cruel Captivity

Parrots are complex, intelligent birds with an intense need for social bonding and a very long lifespan. They should not be forced to live emotionally stunted lives in a small cages, but every day they are sold at Petco stores across the country. Tell Petco to end the sale of parrots for good.

via Save Parrots from Lives of Cruel Captivity.

Save Parrots from Exotic Pet Trade

Save Parrots from Exotic Pet Trade.

Ban Sale of Abused Animals in Pet Stores – ForceChange

Ban Sale of Abused Animals in Pet Stores – ForceChange.