Monday, March 31, 2008

Georgia Senate Unanimously Passes Dogfighting Legislation

The Humane Society of the United States applauds the Georgia State Senate for unanimously passing a bill strengthening the state's dogfighting law. On behalf of its 175,000 supporters in Georgia, the organization now urges Gov. Sonny Perdue to sign H.B. 301 into law.

Rep. Bobby Reese (R-Sugar Hill) and Sen. Chip Rogers (R-Woodstock) are the sponsors of this anti-dogfighting measure. If enacted, H.B. 301 would strengthen the current dogfighting law by increasing the penalties for dogfighting, banning the possession of fighting dogs and making it a crime to be a spectator at a dogfight.

"The Humane Society of the United States is thrilled that the State Senate has passed H.B. 301 unanimously," said Cheryl McAuliffe, The HSUS' Georgia state director. "We look forward to Governor Perdue's signature giving Georgia's law enforcement agencies the tools they need to stamp out this cruel blood sport."

Dogfighting is a felony in Georgia. Under H.B. 301, the penalties for dogfighting would be upgraded to a minimum fine of $5,000 or one to five years in prison.

In 2006, The HSUS compiled rankings of state dogfighting laws. At that time Georgia had the nation's third weakest law, but in the aftermath of the Michael Vick case, Idaho and Wyoming enacted stronger laws dropping Georgia to last place. The increased penalties will be effective as soon as Gov. Perdue signs H.B. 301, and will push Georgia up among the strongest state dogfighting laws.

About Dogfighting:

Dogfighting is a highly-organized criminal industry; more than 250,000 dogs are placed in dogfighting pits each year.

The HSUS estimates that 40,000 people are involved in organized dogfighting and an additional 100,000 are street-level fighters.

A Chicago Police Department study showed that 65 percent of people charged with animal abuse crimes — including dogfighting — were also charged with violent crimes against people.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Plans Well Underway For Fabulous Doggie Dash 2008!

What: 5K Walk (a shorter route will also be available) to benefit Georgia Heartland Humane Society’s work to rescue abused and abandoned animals

When: Saturday, April 12----Registration begins at 9:30 am----Walk begins at 10:30 am

Where: Shakerag Park, Peachtree City (directions available at our website)

Excitement about the Doggie Dash 2008 event has been growing and growing! We have some great things planned for participants. Prizes to the top pledge collectors include gift certificates for free stays at The Fur Pet Resort of Peachtree City, Airport Park ‘N Bark, and Camp Bow Wow; and a unique work of art in pottery, created by local artist Janet McGregor Dunn. Fayette Front Page has donated the pottery piece. (Ms. Dunn’s work is displayed at Fayette Art Center and Gallery, located in Peachtree City.) Just Dogs! Gourmet of Fayetteville will be there with free doggie treats, and Bark Busters Home Dog Training will offer tips on having a well-behaved dog. Pupcasso Painting will be back for the more artistically inclined dogs to enjoy. There will be tickets being sold to a very special sale at Belk Department Stores. And, our Master of Ceremonies will be Don Haddix, Peachtree City City Councilman.

Digger, our most recently rescued dog, whose owner gave him up after Digger had been hit by a car, will be there. This owner told us that after three weeks of having to look at Digger lie around with a deteriorating injury to his left front leg (it was deteriorating because the owner chose to not seek medical help for Digger), he decided to have the dog euthanized because he didn’t want to look at the injured leg any longer. Georgia Heartland took the dog in and paid for veterinary services to have the leg amputated. Digger is feeling much better and wants to find a forever home. The donations we receive from Doggie Dash will help us save more Diggers out there. Besides the top prizes for the most donations collected by an individual and a team, there will be door prizes and, of course, the Doggie Dash t-shirt, which you will receive if you collect at least $50 in donations.

Please go to our website, www.gaheartland.com, and download your registration form today. Our flier (attached) has a list of companies around the area that have registration packets you can pick up. Or, you can call (770-830-2820) or email us (gaheartland1@yahoo.com) and ask us to put a registration packet in the mail to you.

We’ll see you there!

Georgia Heartland Humane Society Doggie Dash 2008 Committee

Sunday, March 23, 2008

An Online "Shelter" Aids Pet-Adoption Process

(NAPSI)-There's good news for those who would like to adopt a pet but find visiting a shelter to be an emotionally draining experience. Now, thanks to a Web site, they can start their search online and make a considered decision. Plus, they can find more prospective pets to choose from than they would by visiting a single shelter.

Using Petfinder.com, a person can search for a pet from the comfort of his or her own home. He or she simply types in search criteria and a zip code, then back comes a list of pets matching those criteria. The available pets closest to the person's home will be at the top of the list.

There are more than 240,000 adoptable pets available on the Web site-Petfinder.com-at any one time.

The Petfinder.com Foundation, a separate entity and a public charity, was established in 2003 to assist animal welfare organizations in time of need.

Today, more than 11,500 adoption organizations post the pets on Petfinder. Each one of these agencies has a home page on the site. Each pet has a page of its own as well, with a description and photos. The shelters and rescue group members can now also add videos of their adoptable pets.

In 2006, Animal Planet acquired Petfinder.com, and the site became part of Discovery Digital Media. So popular is the Petfinder.com Web site that Animal Planet decided to create a new series all about animal adoptions. Airing on Mondays at 8 p.m. (check local listings), "Petfinder" matches shelter animals with families searching for their perfect pet. Whether the adoptee is a pig, a pug or a python, the Petfinder co-hosts and trainers help families (and viewers, too) understand the essential elements of figuring out just what pet will be right for them.

For more information about the "Petfinder" television series, visit www.animal.discovery.com.
Petfinder.com is free to adopters and to the pet adoption groups that post on the site. Adoption fees may be charged by the adoption groups. However, pets adopted from shelters and rescue groups often come with benefits that make that adoption fee a real bargain. The site also includes a library of pet-related information, videos, forums, a volunteer database and classifieds. To learn more, visit www.Petfinder.com.

You can now find a pet to adopt online regardless of your location. There are more than 240,000 adoptable pets currently available on Petfinder.com.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Marine, Iraq dog reunited in San Diego

SAN DIEGO - A San Diego-based Marine major was reunited on Saturday with one of his closest war buddies — a 2-year-old dog named Nubs. Nubs greeted Maj. Brian Dennis at Miramar Marine Corps Air Station when the fighter pilot returned from Iraq.
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080322/ap_on_re_us/marine_s_best_friend

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Investigation Reveals Raccoon Dog Most Misrepresented Fur Sold in America

Seventy percent of falsely advertised or mislabeled fur-trimmed jackets tested by The Humane Society of the United States contain fur from a type of dog species, according to an investigation released today by the organization. Over the last three winters, The HSUS has identified dozens of falsely advertised or falsely labeled garments—including new results released today—which contain fur from the raccoon dog, an Asian canine species. Retailers and brands associated with these latest jackets—the majority of which contain raccoon dog fur—include Eluxury, Dillard's, Dr. Jay's, Caché, Bluefly, Sears and Juicy Couture.


Laboratory testing has identified raccoon dog as the species on 26 of 37 fur-trimmed jackets that each contained at least one apparent violation of the federal Fur Products Labeling Act in their advertising or labeling. Among the incorrect names found being used were: Faux fur, Ecological fur, Polyester, Coyote, Rabbit, Canis Latranis, Raccoon and Finni Raccon.


"To our knowledge, no single furbearing animal has ever before been so mistreated and completely misrepresented to the public," said Kristin Leppert, director of The HSUS fur-free campaign. "Banning raccoon dog fur is the only way to protect American consumers and these animals from the systematic and horrific abuse—including being skinned alive—they undergo in China and other countries."


New test results released today on six jackets, purchased between September and November of 2007, are the latest additions to a long list of offenders. Click here to see a compilation of 38 jacket test results over the last three years.


In the U.S. Congress, Representatives Jim Moran (D-Va.) and Mike Ferguson (R-N.J.) have introduced the Dog and Cat Fur Prohibition Enforcement Act—H.R. 891—that would require labeling of all fur garments regardless of value, and would ban the sale of raccoon dog fur. The bill has 165 co-sponsors in the House, and The HSUS calls on Congress to act swiftly to pass this much-needed reform.


Facts:
"Asiatic raccoon," although not the accepted common name in use by the scientific community, is the name required under federal law in advertising and labeling of fur garments made from the raccoon dog.


Raccoon dogs are not raccoons (Procyon lotor) — they merely have facial markings that resemble raccoons.


Raccoon dogs (Nyctereutes procyonoides) are a member the dog family. Indigenous to Asia, including eastern Siberia and Japan, these small, fox-sized furry animals seem to enjoy social contact.


Timeline:
December 20, 2007 – The HSUS published results finding that many leading retailers—including Bloomingdale's, Neiman Marcus, Lord & Taylor, Dillard's, Saks Fifth Avenue and Yoox.com—were selling certain jackets with the brand names Burberry, Andrew Marc, Marc New York, Preston & York, Aqua, Ramosport and Adam+Eve that were falsely advertised or mislabeled as faux fur or "ecological fur" when in fact they are trimmed with real animal fur.


Aug. 15, 2007 – New York Governor Eliot Spitzer signs legislation requiring that all clothing that includes fur or faux fur sold in New York State be correctly labeled as being "faux fur" or "real fur." The law went into effect Nov. 13, 2007.


March 13, 2007 – The HSUS petitions the Federal Trade Commission seeking penalties against 14 retailers and designers for violation of the federal Fur Products Labeling Act. The petition is still pending before the FTC.


Feb. 7, 2007 – Reps. Moran and Ferguson introduce the Dog and Cat Fur Prohibition Enforcement Act in the U.S. House of Representatives.


Dec. 2006 – Tests commissioned by HSUS investigators find raccoon dog fur on jackets being advertised as "faux" and/or labeled as other species, such as raccoon or coyote.

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Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Celebrity Camel Boosts Troops' Morale in Kuwait

Photo: Army Sgt. Dale Carson with the 76th Brigade out of Indianapolis, Ind., gets a wild ride from Clyde the camel March 7, 2008, on Camp Buehring, Kuwait. Clyde comes to the base once a month as part of the Morale, Welfare and Recreation office's efforts to give the troops a break from their day-to-day routines. Defense Dept. photo by Samantha L. Quigley

Like devoted fans, about 100 servicemembers anxiously awaited Clyde's arrival here on March 7. And, like a true celebrity, Clyde was fashionably late.

"I wanted to take a picture with the camel, but where is the camel?" asked Army Sgt. 1st Class Darlene Brent, with the 106th Financial Management Company out of Bamberg, Germany. "You got all these people standing out here and there's no camel."

Clyde the camel was an hour past due for his gig giving brief rides to troops transiting through Camp Buehring into Iraq. There was wild speculation that he'd been stopped at the front gate because he'd forgotten is identification card.

"It's 3:45 now," Brent said. "The camel's supposed to have been here at 3:00."

Clyde and handler, Kadry, trotted up about 4 p.m. Both were in good spirits as the servicemembers, mostly soldiers, snapped pictures, fed the furry celeb walnuts and dates, and climbed a ladder for their ride atop the dromedary.

Regardless of his tardiness, Clyde provides a big morale boost for the troops, said Army Reserve Lt. Col. Sean Clark of the 2145th Garrison Support Unit out of Nashville, Tenn. The camel's services are provided by the camp's Morale, Welfare and Recreation services.

"MWR offers the soldiers, sailors and people who are here on Camp Buehring the opportunity to come out and ride a camel; get a little desert experience up close and personal," Clark said.

The novelty allows the troops to give family and friends a glimpse of their life during deployment, Clark added, noting that troops can't share many details or images with families back home for security reasons.

Clark said being able to share photos and stories of Clyde is "good because it shows them that we're not in constant danger all the time; (that) there are fun and exciting things that we can do, and a little on the humorous side."

Letting loved ones in on that side of deployment helps relieve their stress about what's happening to deployed servicemembers, Clark added.

Camel rides are a monthly occurrence on the base, said Michelle Larsen, an employee of the base Morale, Welfare and Recreation office, which organizes the popular event.

"Not too many people get to ride camels," she said. "It's something that the troops all really like to participate in, mostly for photo ops, and just an opportunity to ride a camel."

Judging by the troops' reactions to riding atop the trotting Clyde, or having him nibble snacks out of their hands, the experience was worth the long wait in the nearly 90 degree weather.

In fact, the camel's fame has spread internationally, it seems. A handful of those waiting up to two hours for a ride after Clyde showed up included some of the about 500 British soldiers on the base.

Clyde's next appearance will be at the beginning of April. Until then, transiting troops will have to make do with myriad other MWR programs including sporting and fitness events and karaoke nights.
By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service
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Thursday, March 6, 2008

Murphy Wins First Place in 13-in. Beagle Division; Uno Wins Best in Show

A recent dogshow at the Atlanta Exposition Center was the site of this face-off between the Beagle "Murphy" (AKC-name Swanlake's Dixieland Delight) and a giant European Great Dane. Murphy won first place in the 13-inch Beagle division, while handled by breeder Sharon Clark.
Fellow competitor Uno won the 15-inch division and went on to win Best in Show at the Westminister Kennel Club show in New York.
Murphy is the "Grand-dog" of Fred and Patsy Burdeshaw of Sharpsburg. He is owned by Galen and Jennifer Burdeshaw of Greenville, S.C.
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Doggie Dash 2008 is coming soon!

Dear GHHS supporter,

Get ready to walk for the animals! Doggie Dash 2008 will be here on Saturday, April 12th. Doggie Dash is Georgia Heartland Humane Society’s premier fund-raiser. Beginning this year Doggie Dash will be held in the spring, just the time to get out in your neighborhoods and communities and collect donations to help us in our mission. Thanks to our Doggie Dash participants and generous donors in previous years GHHS continues to rescue abandoned and unwanted animals and provide them with foster homes until they can be adopted. By arranging to have all of our adoptive pets spayed or neutered, we continue to do our part in solving our nation’s shameful pet overpopulation problem.

You can do your part, too, by participating in this year’s Doggie Dash. Please save the date, April 12th to come and join us at Shakerag Park in Peachtree City. Go to our website, www.gaheartland.com, and click on “Doggie Dash 2008” and “Register Now” links for more information. You can also e-mail us at gaheartland1@yahoo.com and put in the subject line “Doggie Dash 2008”, or call us at 770-830-2820.

Let’s all do this for our loyal companion animals. Remember, the more you help us the more we can help them.