Saturday, May 20, 2017

ASPCA files lawsuit against HUD following denial of fee-waived FOIA request

The ASPCA, with the assistance of Holland & Knight LLP, has filed a federal lawsuit against the U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) claiming that the agency's denial of its request for a fee waiver for a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request concerning pet ownership restrictions in select public housing units is unlawful.

In its original request, the ASPCA noted that the organization is entitled to receive these documents free of charge under FOIA's public interest provision because the documents would be used to educate the public about HUD policies that potentially prohibit pet ownership by thousands of tenants nationwide.

The ASPCA's suit argues that nonprofit groups will be prevented from using FOIA effectively if government agencies demand thousands of dollars of fees to fulfill each request.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Can you break a window to save a dog in a hot car?

As summer approaches and temperatures rise, the danger of dogs dying because negligent owners left them in a hot car grows as well.

Even on a day when it’s 70 degrees outside, the temperature inside a car can hit 90 degrees in just 10 minutes. On a hot day, the temperature inside a closed car can shoot as high as 116 degrees in the same amount of time.

What can you do, within your legal rights, if you see an animal in distress in a locked car? The Animal Legal Defense Fund, the nation’s preeminent legal advocacy organization for animals, has some tips.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Budget bill prevents slaughter of wild horses

The Humane Society of the United States and Humane Society Legislative Fund are pleased that the 2017 omnibus spending bill includes provisions directing the Bureau of Land Management to protect our nation’s wild horses and burros.

The bill prevents the BLM and its contractors from sending wild horses to be slaughtered for human consumption.

It further directs the BLM to review all serious proposals from non-governmental organizations and create a plan, within 180 days of enactment of the bill, to maintain long-term, sustainable populations on the range in a humane manner.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

HSUS assists in removal of more than 350 animals from Georgia property

The Humane Society of the United States and several Georgia-based organizations were called in by the Habersham County Department of Animal Care and Control to assist in the rescue of more than 350 animals from a Habersham County property.

HCACC personnel served a search and seizure warrant on the property on April 12 after receiving a barking complaint and conducting a welfare check.

During the execution of the search warrant, the officers found the animals in deplorable living conditions, with many of them living in filth and inches of feces and without access to clean water. HCACC is removing the animals from the property pending the final disposition of the case.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Coalition kicks off National Dog Bite Prevention Week - April 9-15, 2017

There are more than 77 million good dogs in the United States, but even the gentlest dog can bite.

The American Veterinary Medical Association, a founding sponsor of National Dog Bite Prevention Week Coalition, joined coalition representatives from the U.S. Postal Service, State Farm, the Insurance Information Institute, and American Humane at the Weingart East Los Angeles YMCA to share the latest dog bite statistics and demonstrate safety tips with a group of Los Angeles area school children.

"It is vital to teach children from a very young age how to read a dog's behavior," said Dr. Melissa Bain, board certified in veterinary behavior and animal welfare in the Clinical Behavior Service at the University of California–Davis School of Veterinary Medicine.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Animal welfare coalition applauds reintroduction of "Big Cat Safety Act"

Big Cat Rescue, Born Free USA, the International Fund for Animal Welfare, the Humane Society of the United States, and the Humane Society Legislative Fund applaud U.S. Representatives Jeff Denham (R-CA), Walter Jones (R-NC), and Niki Tsongas (D-MA) for introducing the Big Cat Public Safety Act (H.R. 1818).

The bill would advance animal welfare and protect public safety by prohibiting possession and breeding of tigers, lions, leopards and other big cat species by private individuals and unqualified exhibitors.This bill would strengthen the Captive Wildlife Safety Act, the existing federal law passed unanimously in 2003, by closing the loopholes that allow private possession of big cats by unqualified individuals.

Existing owners that do not qualify for an exemption may keep the big cats they currently possess so long as they notify the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The bill provides for reasonable exemptions for wildlife sanctuaries and exhibitors licensed by the United States Department of Agriculture that meet basic standards intended to protect the public and the animals.