Sad news to report from New Jersey. Prince Chunk, the once homeless feline who gained national fame for his prodigious girth, has died. Chunk, formerly known as Princess Chunk, was 10 when he succumbed to heart disease. More from the Inquirer's Bob Moran here.
The Philadelphia Water Department is launching a new campaign aimed at reducing the amount of dog waste in the city's waterways. My Inquirer colleague Sandy Bauers reports the agency is in the process of picking a "spokespup" to reach out to pet owners and remind them to scoop the poop. Targeted areas include Roxborough, Manayunk, and East Falls (home to the state's leading dog advocate, Gov. Rendell.) No word on whether First Dogs Maggie or Ginger auditioned for the role.
A guilty plea for a squirrel killer in New Jersey. A Freehold-based attorney pleaded guilty to animal cruelty after his wife turned him in for using a humane trap to capture squirrels before drowning them in their backyard pond, the Wilmington News Journal reports. Edward F. Colrick, 62, was fined $2,500 and ordered to cease trapping animals. Colrick's attorney, a fellow partner in the firm of McGovern, Provost and Colrick, said his client didn't know it was illegal to drown squirrels and that he did so because they were damaging the wood on his house. Colrick's wife finally turned him after a three- or four-year struggle over the squirrel drowning.
Animal welfare advocates were stunned last week to learn that a Lancaster County community was negotiating with one of the largest commercial kennel operators to provide animal control services. The Tri-County Record reported that East Earl Township was preparing to pay Loren Nolt $200 for each dog he picked up because the Humane League of Lancaster County was increasing its fees.
Jessie Smith, special deputy secretary for dog law enforcement, said Nolt had not been approved to "seize, detain, keep or feed licensed or unlicensed stray dogs. Nor has East Earl Township authorized him to do so, which of course it cannot without approval of the Secretary pursuant to Section 302 of the Dog Law."
Nolt's most recent state inspection reports show he has close to 500 dogs on his property and that veterinary exams were ordered for six sick or injured dogs at the last inspection in July. Nolt was cited last year for 17 "missing" dogs who were said to be euthanized. Under the law, only a veterinarian may euthanized dogs in a commercial kennel and records must be provided. Wardens also found dogs with eye and mouth discharge and "interdigital cysts," or painful growths on the paws, the result of standing on wire flooring.
The news was reported on North Penn Puppy Mill Watch website. (Hat tip to the person who found that news brief buried in the government roundup in the Tri-County Record.)