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Inquirer Daily News

Archive: April, 2009

POSTED: Thursday, April 30, 2009, 1:33 PM

Animal health experts say that the swin flu virus appears to present a low risk of infecting cats and dogs, but you should make sure your Potbellied pig has had his flu shot.

Here's what the ASPCA said on the subject today:

To date, only humans have been affected by the new A/H1N1 virus, and it is unknown whether the virus will impact other animals. Although the virus is being termed "swine flu," researchers have not confirmed that this new strain evolved in pigs and are working to determine more about its origins.

POSTED: Thursday, April 30, 2009, 12:22 AM

While President Obama was gearing up for the town hall meeting in St. Louis to mark his first 100 days in office, the PBS show, the Newshour with Jim Lehrer held a panel discussion in the same city  - which aired last night - to give their critiques of his presidential performance so far.

When asked what he should have done differently, one panelist said Obama sent too much money to Wall Street. Another panelist said he didn't pump enough funding into community grants and a third said he needed to craft an exit strategy for getting the government out of its leading role in solving the economic crisis. 

A fourth panelist, community activist Chris Krehmeyer, said what many animal welfare activists have been thinking since the Obama family decided against adopting a dog and picked out a Portuguese Water Dog puppy from a Texas breeder instead.

POSTED: Monday, April 27, 2009, 9:49 PM

Legislation that would make it a crime for a non-veterinarian to perform virtually all surgeries on dogs sailed through the state House in February with unanimous support.

The bill would require that only veterinarians perform debarking, surgical births, ear cropping and tail docking on dogs over five days old - an effort to halt the botched surgeries performed in the unsterile environment of a commercial kennels by untrained people. 

So what's stopping it in the Senate?

POSTED: Monday, April 27, 2009, 8:36 AM

*Tune in tonight at 10 p.m. for the Animal Planet special "Puppy Mills: Exposed." The show - a special edition of Philadelphia Animal Cops - examines the horrendous conditions investigators found inside a Chester County kennel last July. That's when the Pennsylvania SPCA raided the facility and seized close to 100 dogs - many of them sick and injured. Limestone Kennel owner John Blank pleaded guilty to animal cruelty and his kennel license was revoked. It was Chester County's Main Line Animal Rescue that alerted the PSPCA to problems at the kennel.

*State House Rep. James Casorio sponsor of  Act 119, the new commercial dog breeding law, writes a blistering letter in response to a column in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette complaining about the attacks on "responsible" dog breeding in the wake of President Obama and his family's decision to obtain a dog. Casorio writes:

The point is that these dogs are being bred in the first place -- for sale and for trade -- when there are already hundreds of thousands of dogs in shelters that don't have homes and never will. You cannot advocate for shelter adoption -- as Ms. Fuoco has -- while still defending unnecessary and irresponsible breeding.

POSTED: Friday, April 24, 2009, 6:53 AM

A Chester County veterinarian whose clients include some of the largest commercial kennels in the state, will stand trial on animal cruelty charges.

A Lancaster County district judge ruled yesterday that there was enough evidence against Dr. Tom Stevenson for allegedly amputing without anesthesia the tail of a nine-week-old puppy to warrant a trial.

Lancaster assistant district attorney Christine Wilson called the act "beyond cruel" and "reprehensible," according to the Lancaster Intelligencer. Stevenson, who operates Twin Valley Veterinary Clinic in Honey Brook, could face up to five years in prison and $10,000 fine - and the loss of his veterinary medical license - if convicted.

POSTED: Wednesday, April 22, 2009, 10:17 AM

A Florida company wants to make the skies a little friendlier for our four-legged friends. 

Pet Airways will begin offering first class air transportation for pets in five U.S. cities - alas not Philadelphia - starting in July. "Pawsengers" will ride in lighted, climate-controlled cabins of turbo-prop planes with an attendant to care for them.

Pet owners are not allowed to travel with their pets, but can monitor the flights on a Web site. The average fare will be about $250 each way, but special introductory rates start at $149.

POSTED: Wednesday, April 22, 2009, 5:20 PM

A preliminary hearing is set  for tomorrow for a Chester County veterinarian accused of animal cruelty.

Tom Stevenson, of Twin Valley Veterinary Clinic in Honey Brook, was charged with a first degree misdemeanor charge of animal cruelty for allegedly cutting off a puppy's tail while holding it under scalding water with no anesthesia. Charges were brought by a Pennsylvania SPCA investigator who witnessed the incident at a Lancaster County kennel last month. Stevenson is the veterinarian of record for thousands of dogs housed in many of the largest kennels in Lancaster County.

Also charged with animal cruelty was Samuel King, the owner of Country Lane kennel, where the incident occurred, according to the criminal complaint.

POSTED: Tuesday, April 21, 2009, 9:59 AM

The following are some of the many recent cases investigated by the Pennsylvania SPCA. Headquartered at 350 E. Erie Avenue in Philadelphia, the PSPCA operates five branches throughout the state. For more information call 215-426-6300 or visit www.pspca.org. To report animal cruelty call 1-866-601-SPCA.
 

Stabbed Dog Recovering at Home
Frankford Avenue, 3500 block, April 4. Juice, a young pit bull was rushed to the PSPCA’s Rutherford Memorial Hospital, bleeding profusely. The dog was allegedly stabbed by neighborhood children. Juice suffered a lacerated femoral vein and, after surgery to repair the vein, is now recuperating at home. PSPCA humane officers are looking for leads in this case and ask anyone with information to call 1-866-601-SPCA.
 

Fowl Seized from Fighting Ring Find Homes on Farms
North Marshall Street, 2900 block, April 6. More than 20 hens and chicks seized during a raid are heading to farms after being removed from a North Philadelphia property owned by a man charged with tunning a cock fighting ring. Twenty-two fighting roosters had to be euthanized. The alleged ring operator was charged with animal fighting and surrendered the birds to the PSPCA.
 

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 aworden@phillynews.com.

Amy Worden Inquirer Staff Writer
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