Friday, January 30, 2015

POSTED: Friday, January 30, 2015, 11:51 AM

When New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie vetoed the pig gestation crate bill late last year, there was widespread speculation the move was less about what Christie thought was in the best interest of his Garden State constituents and more about what was best for his future national political career.

Christie called the bill, which would have prohibited the use of the body-gripping tight crates where sows spend most of their lives, "a solution in search of a problem." At the time polls showed nine out of ten New Jersey voters supported it.

After all, Christie said, there were only 9,000 pigs in all of New Jersey.

POSTED: Sunday, January 25, 2015, 11:10 PM

For the first time last fall animal-loving voters in Pennsylvania had the opportunity to choose a governor based on where the candidate stood on animal issues.

Both Democrat Tom Wolf and Republican Tom Corbett issued position statements on a wide range of issues affecting animals wild and domestic. Wolf was the Humane PA PAC endorsed candidate last fall and last week he took office as the new governor. Coincidence?

The animal lobby would like to think not.

POSTED: Friday, January 16, 2015, 7:55 AM
MIAMI, FL - MARCH 05: People order food in a Chipotle restaurant on March 5, 2014 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

The announcement this week that fast food retailer Chipotle had pulled its carnitas dishes from its menu after discovering that one of its suppliers violated the company's animal welfare policy sent shock waves in a number of directions.

Fans of the product were no doubt disappointed their favorite pork burrito was no longer available in the chain's 600 restaurants and some reporters predicted a financial fallout from such a drastic move.

But few may have been as surprised as animal welfare advocates who have been fighting for humane treatment of production food animals for decades.

POSTED: Saturday, January 10, 2015, 10:49 PM

A growing number of consumers are looking to labeling to help them make educated decisions about the food they buy. Witness the rise in "organic," "free range" and "antibiotic free" meat and dairy products.

POSTED: Wednesday, January 7, 2015, 12:24 AM
Customers enter Petco with their pets, Friday, July 14, 2006, in Beachwood, Ohio. Petco Animal Supplies Inc., the second biggest U.S. pet supplies retail chain, said Friday that it has agreed to be acquired for about $1.68 billion by a private investment group. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

Blockbuster news for pet owners came Tuesday from one of the country's leading pet retailers.

Pet product sales giant Petco has stopped selling pet treats made in China following an outcry from consumers over tainted treats that killed 1,000 dogs and sickened thousands of dogs and cats since 2007.

Petco said it has removed all China-made dog and cat treats at more than 1,300 retail stores nationwide. The chain's  main competitor PetSmart says it will do the same within months.

POSTED: Tuesday, January 6, 2015, 8:58 AM
Justice Thomas Saylor (Photo from

Supreme Court Justice Thomas G. Saylor takes the oath of office later today as the new chief justice of Pennsylvania's highest court - the oldest appellate court in the nation.

To court watchers Saylor is known as a thoughtful, deliberative and intellectual jurist.

What many don't know about this 17-year veteran of the Supreme Court bench, is that he also is an animal lover.

POSTED: Friday, January 2, 2015, 6:26 PM

A Lancaster County woman with a history of animal hoarding - who stored mother dogs and puppies in an Amish buggies among other places - is facing dozens of cruelty charges in connection with a raid last month.

Barbara Dienner, of Lititz, was charged with 72 counts of cruelty for unsanitary confinement and lack of necessary veterinary care, according to the Pennsylvania SPCA.

The charges stem from the rescue of 62 dogs and puppies from Dienner's property on December 16.

POSTED: Tuesday, December 30, 2014, 10:40 PM

Same headline, different dog.

The plot lines never seem to change.

A young pit bull mix is struggling for life at the Pennsylvania SPCA after being seized a week ago from a northeast Philadelphia home.

About this blog
Amy Worden is a politics and government reporter for the Inquirer. In that capacity she has explored a range of animal issues from dog kennel law improvements and horse slaughter to the comeback of peregrine falcons and pigeon hunts. From hamsters to horses, animals have always been part of her life. To pass along a tip or contact Amy, click here. Reach Amy at

Amy Worden Inquirer Staff Writer
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