Articles Archive

Flushing your animal welfare dollars

We will try to catch as many of these things as possible, but here’s the latest: over the last couple days, we noticed a few Facebook friends posting links to the FB Cause “Make Animal Abuse a Felony”. Upon closer inspection, we found that the group is “affiliated with” the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), sports their logo, has around 900,000 members, and that the HSUS is the direct recipient of all funds raised, a little over $7K as of this writing.

The catch? Animal abuse is already a felony. Specifically, 46 states as well as the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico have felony animal cruelty designations and penalties. Of the remaining four, three have legislation pending in current sessions; that leaves North Dakota. And, not to be a naysayer – there’s probably somebody in ND who’s mean to his dog – but I’d want to see some statistics to prove it’s a $7000+ issue.

We can’t say that the HSUS is deliberately misleading people about the law to raise money, though we can say we would not be surprised. Sadly, it’s just as likely the poor dupe who administers this page just doesn’t know any better and the HSUS isn’t likely to set him straight for 7000 (so far) obvious reasons. We do know that they already have about $500 million and that $7000 could keep a local shelter in food and blankets a good long time.

We have considered starting our own group, “I’ll bet I can find 1,000,000 people who don’t know animal abuse is already a felony” but it’s just too heartbreaking.

Prosecutor: Animal-control officer threw kitten that injured his child

10:00 PM PST on Wednesday, February 17, 2010
The Press-Enterprise
A suspended Riverside County animal control officer threw his family’s 12-week-old kitten off a second-floor balcony after the animal scratched or bit his child, a San Bernardino County prosecutor said this week.
“It appears he threw the cat in anger … and that the cat was found with a broken leg, wet and cold in a (nearby) storage facility,” Deputy District Attorney Melinda Spencer said Tuesday.
Animal Control Officer Jon Evan Wayne, 24, pleaded guilty Feb. 8 to misdemeanor animal cruelty, court records show. Two days after the guilty plea, Riverside County Animal Services Director Robert Miller announced that Wayne had been placed on administrative leave and told that he will be fired.
The kitten was injured Feb. 11, 2009. The storage facility manager found the cat and took it to a veterinarian, Spencer said.

RI man charged with operating on his own dog

The Associated Press
Friday, February 5, 2010; 11:21 AM
BARRINGTON, R.I. — A Rhode Island man who says he couldn’t afford medical care for his dog has been charged with illegally operating on the pet.
Alan MacQuattie recently removed a cyst from the leg of his 14-year-old Labrador mix. The dog was operated on again by professionals to deal with an infection from the first surgery.
E.J. Finocchio, a veterinarian and president of the Rhode Island Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, calls the surgery a “heinous crime.”
Court records show MacQuattie pleaded no contest last week to misdemeanor charges of animal cruelty and unauthorized practice of veterinary medicine.
A phone listing for MacQuattie could not be found. But he told WPRI-TV, which first reported on the surgery, that he didn’t think there was anything cruel about what he had done.

Pa. woman convicted in pierced kittens case

The Associated Press
Wednesday, February 3, 2010; 11:31 PM

WILKES-BARRE, Pa. — A northeastern Pennsylvania woman who marketed “gothic kittens” with ear and neck piercings over the Internet has been convicted of animal cruelty.
A Luzerne County jury on Wednesday convicted 35-year-old dog groomer Holly Crawford of one misdemeanor count and one summary count of animal cruelty, but acquitted her on two separate counts. She will be sentenced March 31.
Crawford was charged in December 2008 after animal welfare officers took several kittens and a cat from her home. Deputy District Attorney David Pedri told jurors that Crawford inflicted pain on three black kittens to make money by selling “gothic kittens” on the Internet.
Defense attorneys argued that parents allow children to get pierced ears at young ages, and it would be wrong to hold cat owners to a higher standard.