*A York County man shot three of his dogs in his kitchen on Saturday - apparently in a drunken rage over their barking - killing two and wounding the third. Carl Kline, 49, was charged with discharging a firearm inside an occupied structure, state police told the York Daily Record. Police found two deceased dogs behind Kline's home and they found rifle shells and a wounded dog in a pet crate in the kitchen. The dog was taken to a vet hospital where it was expected to survive. A fourth dog, a Beagle, described as a hunting dog that Kline "took pride in," was found unharmed. It was unclear if Kline faces any animal cruelty charges. Shooting your dog is legal in Pennsylvania except for licensed kennel owners with 60 or more dogs. That provision was made part of the dog law last fall after a commercial kennel owner in Berks County shot his 80 dogs in August after he was ordered by state dog wardens to get flea treatment for some of them.
*Volunteers with the local chapter of Best Friends Animal Society have launched a pet food drive to help Philadelphia families in need. Until August 31 volunteers with the First Home Forevever Homes Four-Legged Food Drive will be collecting sealed and unexpired pet food for the Loaves and Fishes Food Pantry at the pantry in Prospect Park and Langguth's Gift Shop in Ridley Park. The food pantry serves families in Delaware County. The First Home Forever Home campaign, sponsored by the Utah-based Best Friends Animal Society, focuses on helping people make and honor a lifetime commitment to their pets. To volunteer contact Volunteer Project Leader and PA Team Leader, Nicole Saunders, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
*A bill approved by the New Jersey Assembly would prohibit the sale of any coat, jacket or other clothing item made of fur without a clothing label. The sponsor, Sen. Jeff Van Drew (D., Cape May), said the bill would give consumers the right to determine what they put on their bodies. The label would specify the type of animal or animals that produced the fur, as well as the name of the country of origin of any imported fur used. Van Drew said his legislation is aimed at helping end the torture of animals in China where a Humane Society of the United States study found many coats contain fur from dog, raccoon dog and fox that are skinned alive in the processing.
*The first ever flu vaccine for dogs has received a conditional license from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health said the drug will help protect dogs from the contagious respiratory illness known as the H3N8 flu virus, often found in places where dogs congregate including shelters and kennels. The virus, which can be fatal, was first recognized in 2004 after an outbreak among Florida greyhounds. It has now been detected in dogs in 30 states and the District of Columbia. Symptoms include a cough, high fever and nasal discharge.
* A toothy Boxer took top honors in the 21st annual World's Ugliest Dog contest at the Sonoma-Marin Fair in Petaluma, California. Pabst, a Boxer-mix and former shelter dog, is the first mutt to claim the title, winning over judges with his dramatic underbite and loveable personality. Pabst and his owner, Miles Egstad, won $1,600 and photo shoot with a professional photographer. Click here for a story by my colleague Peter Mucha who looks at the 2007 ugly dog champion from Sewell, NJ and other area contenders who scored well in online voting but who got muscled out by more frightful mugs in the final rounds.