I launched this blog in January 2009, only a few months after Gov. Ed Rendell signed into law legislation creating the toughest law in the nation governing commercial dog breeding kennels - widely known as "puppy mills."
The bill signing did not come without a fight. The battle waged between dog breeders and their supporters and animal welfare advocates raged for two years and generated more public comment than any other single piece of legislation in state history.
Since then, the tide has turned dramatically for animals in the Commonwealth. Most of the largest kennels and the worst violators shut down. Humane PA PAC, which tracks animal-related legislation, has counted a record number of pro-animal bills moving through the legislature and lawmakers are vying for the PAC's endorsement.
One of the nation's largest food service companies is going totally cage free.
Philadelphia-based Aramark said late Thursday it will phase out by 2020 the use of liquid (or pre-cracked) eggs from suppliers that keep hens in battery cages.
The company, which purchases 20 million pounds of liquid eggs each year, is already poised to complete its transition for purchases of 30 million shelled eggs from cage free producers by the end of the year.
Elephants soon will no longer star in "The Greatest Show on Earth."
Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey circus, whose treatment of endagered Asian elephants has been the target of protests and investigations by animal welfare groups, said after 145 years it would phase out elephants by 2018 and focus on their conservation.
"There's been somewhat of a mood shift among our consumers," Alana Feld, executive vice president of Feld Entertainment, the circus' parent company, told the Associated Press. "A lot of people aren't comfortable with us touring with our elephants."
With record low temperatures and weekly wallops of snow and ice, animals and their people are going a bit stir crazy right now.
Enough of frozen water troughs and slippery footing. Don't we all have dreams of spring?
While gardeners gather at the Philadelphia Flower Show to get their bloom on, horse enthusiasts in the region will be heading to Harrisburg next weekend for the 13th annual Pennsylvania Horse World Expo.
A lawsuit alleges Beneful brand dog food contains toxins responsible for causing severe illness in thousands of animals and in some cases death.
Plaintiff Frank Lucido filed the suit in federal court in California on Feb. 5, citing more than 3,000 complaints posted by dog owners on the Internet about dogs becoming seriously ill with a range of symptons from internal bleeding to vomiting and seizures after eating the food.
Millions of viewers were riveted to their TVs Tuesday night as Ms. P, the beagle from BC (British Columbia) took home the coveted "Best in Show" trophy at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show.
After making the talk show tour, she will begin her career as a breeder of future champions. so said her owner shortly after the victory.
But there is a dark side behind the fanfare.
Can a new family get a little peace around here?
Apparently not, if you are a bird or almost any other species these days. Wildlife cams are proliferating around Pennsylvania and beyond and who can resist them? You can watch grizzly bears fish in Alaska or gaze at fish flitting about a reef in the Cayman Islands, and oh, the birds - cranes, owls, eagles, hawks - that taken over the Internet. There is live streaming galore out there to guarantee you get little else done in a day.
One of the newest cameras in the Commonwealth was mounted in a tree high above Codorus Lake in York County by the Pennsylvania Game Commission and gives animal lovers a, well, bird's eye view of a bald eagle's nest. This morning the female was busy straightening the nest which got a dusting a snow last night, covering a single egg laid on Valentine's Day.
When I woke up this morning the temperature on my IPhone read 3 degrees and the windows rattling in my old farmhouse told me the wind was likely making it feel even colder.
My Jack Russell terrier mix Olivia was curled at my feet on the quilt.
Thousands of dogs in Pennsylvania are not so lucky this morning.