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News: Guest Posts
18 Legislators Fail Animal-Protection Test
Five senators and 13 representatives scored big fat zeros for their efforts to protect animals this year, according to the latest Humane Scorecard. Every year, the folks at the Humane Society Legislative Fund provide a neat and tidy breakdown of the action on animal protection measures in the U.S. Congress, and this year, citizens can see which members did right (through key votes and...
News: Guest Posts
Soldiers' Pleas for Pup to Leave Iraq
Five months ago, Sgt. Gwen Beberg and a fellow soldier saved a little black and white puppy from a pile of burning trash in Baghdad. Soon, Beberg will return home to Minnesota and she requested that her beloved dog, Ratchet, return with her. The Army said no, according to Defense Department rules. Worried that Ratchet would not survive the streets of Iraq, or worse yet be decreed a "nuisance" by...
News: Guest Posts
Does Petland Support Puppy Mills?
An eight-month-long investigation by the Humane Society of the United States alleges that Petland, the nation's largest puppy retailer, sells puppies from large-scale commercial breeders (otherwise known as puppy mills), despite telling customers that the pups come from reputable breeders. Last time I checked, reputable breeders do not sell puppies to be treated like retail merchandise, nor do...
Dog's Life: Humane
Dog Is in the Details
The many sides of temperament testing
In a gathering storm centered on the policies of animal shelters, temperament testing has become a lightning rod. Some resource- and space-starved shelters—which might have once chosen dogs for adoption based on such specious criteria as color, size, age, breed or length of time in the shelter—now use a series of tests that purport to evaluate a dog’s behavior and predict whether the dog will be...
Dog's Life: Humane
Santa Delivers
Chronicles of a red-coat midwife
I was halfway through attaching new trim to my Santa suit when the call came from the Humane Society. The pregnant dog they’d asked me to foster three weeks before had finally been brought in. Only now she was very pregnant, and they advised that I get the dog to my place as soon as possible, before she started “poppin’ pups all over the place.” I tossed an old quilt into the back of my van,...
News: Guest Posts
First Dog Bites Reporter
Reporters are always on the lookout for a sound bite, but I don't think this is what political writer Jon Decker had in mind. The Reuters reporter spotted First Dog Barney on a walk with his handler and asked if he could pet him. The dogwalker said sure but the Scottish Terrier wasn't as agreeable. Or perhaps he was making a political statement of some kind. Fortunately, Decker was treated by the...
Dog's Life: Humane
Treading Water
More than one year after hurricane Katrina devastated much of the Gulf Coast, humane organizations, shelters and resident dog-lovers struggle to survive.
On September 4, 2005, Trixie Levins and her family—husband Erin, 13-year-old daughter Erin (aka Spanky), Siberian Huskies Mirabeau and Meeko, and cat Johnny Rotten, Jr.—were airlifted out of New Orleans to escape the floodwaters. An army ground crew refused to allow them to take their dogs, but a navy helicopter crew offered to make room on board for the entire family, so none of their pets were...
News: Guest Posts
Greyhounds Are Also Big Winners
More election night news: Massachusetts voters decided to end greyhound racing in the state. Passed by a healthy margin, the Massachusetts Greyhound Protection Act puts an end to 75 years of dog racing and its attendant suffering. Woof.
Dog's Life: Humane
Street Dogs of Paradise
Grass-roots efforts to improve the lives of dogs
Led by Jacqueline, a small brown street dog, I walked the streets of Bora Bora. I had a purpose; so did she. Mine was to count dogs for a population estimate. Hers was to convince any cat foolish enough to show his face that keeping a low profile was wise. Jacqueline effectively yet benignly dispatched each one into hiding. Each time she did so, she looked back at me. By her expression I guessed...
Dog's Life: Humane
Africa Outreach
Humane educator Karen Menczer works at the grassroots to help Africa’s dogs
Skimming Uganda’s morning newspaper in April 2001 over my almost burnt toast and black coffee, I was struck by a story—or maybe by the picture. An American woman living in Kampala, working on conservation projects, was inspiring big changes at the Uganda Society for the Protection and Care of Animals (USPCA), setting up spay days and community education programs and helping to build a new animal...

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