Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Archive: March, 2009

POSTED: Tuesday, March 31, 2009, 1:32 PM

In the absence of Amy Worden, our regular Philly Dawg blogger, we were very fortunate to get celebrity pet expert Andrea Arden to answer questions you may have about popular breeds, training a new puppy or adoptee, diet, or any other topics you'd be interested in exploring.

About Andrea Arden

Andrea Arden has written five books including Dog Friendly Dog Training (Wiley, 2007), Train Your Dog the Lazy Way (Macmillan, 1999), and The Little Book of Dog Tricks (IDG, 2002). She has been the behavior columnist for Dog Fancy and The New York Dog magazines as well as a contributing writer for the AKC Gazette, Modern Dog and numerous other publications.

POSTED: Saturday, March 21, 2009, 11:49 AM

Like swallows to Capistrano, the American robins have returned to the Adams County fruit orchards. Their morning chatter is a wonderful reminder that spring is upon us. The federal government issued a gloomy report this week about the harm new energy development  - coal, wind, biofuels - is causing to bird populations, but did you ever consider how many birds are lost in vehicle collisions each year?

Some birds seem more susceptible to encountering car windshields than others. Have you ever seen a dead starling by the side of the road? Probably not. But hawks unfortunately love to perch on highway wires and swoop in on prey in the median. They dive low, with no regard to tractor trailers in their paths. Alas, Pennsylvania highways are littered with hawk carcasses.

POSTED: Thursday, March 19, 2009, 1:03 AM

The medical director at the Pennsylvania SPCA was fired yesterday after shelter officials learned he was the attending veterinarian at a Philadelphia kennel, according to a Fox 29 report.

Dr. Ravi Murarka was employed by the PSPCA for two decades and his work saving sick and injured animals was featured prominently in the recent Animal Planet series, Animal Cops: Philadelphia

But he apparently also worked as a veterinarian at a local licensed kennel that had recently received a poor inspection report. A state inspection on March 5 revealed Blood Brothers kennel kept eight dogs in a poorly lit basement with broken fencing that posed a threat to the dogs. The kennel owner was cited for failing to have proof of rabies shots for two of the dogs. The shelter said it dismissed Murarka because of a conflict of interest. 

POSTED: Tuesday, March 17, 2009, 12:38 PM

A Philadelphia law firm has filed a class action lawsuit on behalf of consumers it says were defrauded by nation's largest pet store chain and its suppliers.

The firm, Saltz Mongeluzzi Barrett & Bendesky, along with the Humane Society of the United States is suing Ohio-based Petland Inc, alleging the company and its suppliers, including the Hunte Corporation of Missouri, violated federal and state laws - including Pennsylvania consumer protection act - by selling unhealthy puppy mill puppies to unsuspecting consumers.

In the 34-page suit filed in Phoenix today, the plaintiffs contend Petland "orchestrated and executed a scheme to defraud consumers by manufacturing a fictitious market for puppy mill puppies."

POSTED: Monday, March 16, 2009, 1:13 PM

Help Bocci get home to Utah. This six-year-old chihuahua was so traumatized during her life at a Lancaster County puppy mill that Humane League of Lancaster felt the last and best chance for her to find peace was the legendary Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Utah.

Last year Bocci was removed by humane agents from Ervin Zimmerman's kennel in Ephrata, suffering from severe wounds to her ears and back. (Zimmerman was convicted of animal cruelty and lost his kennel license last year.)

Here's how the shelter describes Bocci one year after being rescued:
Bocci's physical wounds have healed but the trauma that she suffered from years of neglect has left her a shadow of a normal dog. If you have ever tried approaching a feral cat then you would understand Bocci's behavior; she runs when people come towards her and will not let anyone touch her. She is not housebroken, does not walk on a leash, and will only eat her food in the middle of the night when her foster mom is asleep and she feels safe enough to venture out of the corner of the kitchen that she prefers to stay in.
Shelter operators contacted Best Friends after being unable to place Bocci with a local rescue because of the lasting effects of her severe trauma. Two shelter staff members will drive Bocci 2,288 miles to Utah and return home by plane. The Humane League is seeking monetary donations, gas cards or frequent flier miles.

Donations may be sent to the HLLC or made online by selecting "Help Bocci get to Utah" from the drop down designation menu. If you are interested in donating frequent flyer miles, gas cards, or covering the cost of a rental car please contact the shelter at (717) 393-6551 or e-mail

POSTED: Tuesday, March 17, 2009, 12:32 AM

A Bensalem attorney has filed a complaint against the Philadelphia Gun Club alleging the club violated the township's order banning live pigeon shoots on club property.

Elissa B. Katz in a letter, asked township solicitor Joseph Pizzo to enforce the 2002 cease and desist order. 

Katz said she witnessed club members shooting pigeons at the property along the Delaware River last Saturday and reported it to township police. She said they told her they knew nothing about the cease and desist order despite Pizzo's assurance that the township's Public Safety Director had been informed and would notify all officers that the shoots were illegal.

POSTED: Monday, March 16, 2009, 7:28 PM

Remember the sad tale of Prince Chunk, the tubby New Jersey feline found roaming the streets of Voorhees last August? At last, the fairy tale ending has arrived.

The white-haired cat, whose large girth gained him worldwide attention, was left homeless after his owner lost her home to foreclosure. We learn today that he has officially been adopted.

The Damiani family of Washington Township finalized the paperwork in February, though they've been caring for the cat since last summer, according to the Associated Press. Chunk's fifteen minutes (or more like 22 pounds) of fame landed him appearances on several talk shows and the New York tabloid covers.

POSTED: Friday, March 13, 2009, 1:02 AM

Citing repeated unsatisfactory inspections, the Bureau of Dog Law Enforcement has so far rejected seven applications for kennel license renewals in 2009. Six are kennels in Lancaster, Berks, Lycoming, Lehigh and Bradford counties and one is a pet store in Cumberland County.

They are: Paraglide Kennel in Bradford County, Petz Unlimited, a pet store in Cumberland County, Allegheny Ridge in Lycoming County, Burkholder Farm Kennel in Berks County and Country Lane in Lancaster County.

On Monday, a rejection notice was sent to Samuel E. King of Country Lane kennel, which has a history of poor inspections and citations, according to state officials. 

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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