Animal Outlook released an exclusive exposé revealing the truth about Ventilation Shutdown (VSD) and Ventilation Shutdown plus (VSD+), methods of mass-killing thousands of animals at once on farms that raise animals for food. The footage, obtained by Animal Outlook through public record requests, shows researchers at North Carolina State University observing chickens in clear boxes as they used various combinations of shutting off airflow, pumping in carbon dioxide and increasing heat to test different methods of killing the birds.
The footage shows test subjects throwing their bodies against the sides of the boxes, gasping for air and struggling to escape before they collapsed and died. Many of them were attached to electrodes to measure biological data. The tragic irony is showcased in the footage as hens suffered for hours while lab workers were surrounded by fans and sipping bottles of water.
The poultry industry trade association, U.S. Poultry and Egg Association, funded the studies. The American Veterinary Medical Association’s (AVMA) “depopulation” guidelines later cited these experiments, approving the mass-killing method. The animal agriculture industry has used VSD to kill poultry in attempts to control disease outbreaks such as avian flu, which happen frequently in the poultry industry, and to kill pigs who could not be shipped to slaughter after COVID-19 outbreaks shuttered slaughterhouses at the height of the pandemic. An investigation by another animal protection NGO, Direct Action Everywhere (DxE), revealing VSD use on pigs in an Iowa farm in the summer of 2020 shocked the public, revealing pigs crying out as they were cooked to death over the course of hours, while succumbing to VSD.
The industry is using VSD today. Millions of animals are being killed across the country due to the most recent massive avian flu outbreak, with untold numbers being suffocated and overheated by the cruel method depicted in these videos. According to the USDA, VSD has been used in several of the recent avian flu “depopulations,” including one at a Tyson facility in Stoddard, Missouri where VSD was used to kill more than 300,000 chickens being raised for meat.
“The poultry industry knew full well that slowly cooking to death and suffocating birds was cruel,” said Cheryl Leahy, Executive Director, Animal Outlook. “Yet they funded university researchers to optimize this mass-killing method so large egg facilities could cheaply kill entire flocks on a routine basis—the research helped pave the way for VSD's approval by the AVMA.” Leahy further states, “We can now see this widespread inherent cruelty for what it really is, demand accountability under the law, and remove our support from this industry by refusing to buy animal products.”
Currently, a resolution is pending with the AVMA urging it to renounce the practice. Scores of veterinarians are outspoken in their support of the resolution. In 2020, Animal Outlook joined a number of other organizations to file an emergency petition with the USDA to end the use of these cruel practices.
Dexter's Kansas family was on vacation in Las Vegas when he escaped his pet hotel and walked 90 minutes back to his house to ring the doorbell.
The Hensons, ideally enjoying their Las Vegas vacation, were not expecting to see anyone appear on the doorstep of their home in the Kansas City suburbs—let alone their dog, Dexter.
He was supposed to be at a doggy daycare Feb. 16, but Jeremy and Sarah Henson soon received a notification from their home-security app. The doorbell camera showed Dexter at their front door, pawing the door and wondering why he couldn't get inside his house.
"It didn't surprise me that he was on our front steps. I was just concerned that they didn't know, so I called them. I was like, 'My dog's on your front porch, but I think he's supposed to be there,'" Jeremy Henson told WDAF.
Apparently, 5-year-old Dexter was able to jump a 6-foot fence to escape his pet hotel. From there, he set off on a 2-mile, 90-minute journey to get home through Lenexa, Kan., according to Inside Edition. For the uninitiated: Traveling by car through Johnson County is difficult enough, so I can't imagine doing it as a lonesome dog.
But Dexter did it. He got home and rang the doorbell to let his folks know he'd very much like to go back inside and sleep in his own bed. Many dogs have excellent navigational skills, and they can remember locations based on smells and sounds. Plus, the Hensons frequently take Dexter on long walks, they told WDAF, so he's plenty familiar with the area.
Someone from the kenneling service later arrived at the Hensons' to retrieve Dexter, WDAF reported. So how do the Hensons prevent this from happening again? They simply always have to take Dexter with them on vacation. Or never leave on vacation again. Those are the only two options!
A dolphin stranded on a Texas beach died after being harassed by a crowd of people who also tried to ride the animal, according to rescuers.
The Texas Marine Mammal Stranding Network posted on Facebook that a female dolphin was found stranded, but alive, on Quintana Beach in Texas last Sunday. Beachgoers pushed the animal back into the sea, but it was further harassed by people who attempted to ride the sick animal.
She got stranded on the beach “and was further harassed by a crowd of people on the beach where she later died before rescuers could arrive on scene,” the organization stated. “This type of harassment causes undue stress to wild dolphins, is dangerous for the people who interact with them, and is illegal – punishable by fines and jail time if convicted.”
The Quintana Beach County Park, which responded on scene, called the incident a “tragedy.”
“Park staff was called to assist in keeping the public away from the dolphin until rescuers could arrive from Galveston,” it posted on Facebook. “Unfortunately it was a retrieval, not a rescue.”
Heidi Whitehead, the executive director of the Texas Marine Mammal Stranding Network, told NPR over email that attempting to ride a beached dolphin is “thankfully not a common behavior that has been reported to us.”
Whitehead said the organization sees people attempting to feed or swim with dolphins, chasing groups of the animals with boats or jet skis, or trying to pet them — all behaviors that are illegal. Violations of the Marine Mammal Protection Act can lead to civil penalties of up to $11,000 or up to one year in prison, in addition to other penalties.
She said the illegal acts disrupt the animals’ natural behavior and can cause injury, entanglement or death of the dolphins, like in this most recent case.
The Quintana Beach County Park said the animal’s body has since been taken for a necropsy to try to determine the reason it was stranded on the beach.
University Products LLC recently reminded cattle producers of impending FDA implementation of Guidance No. 263, published in June of 2021, that forces over-the-counter antibiotics to be labeled as "Caution: Federal law restricts this drug to use by or on the order of a licensed veterinarian." In effect, this means that ranchers and producers are no longer able to legally purchase OTC antibiotics without veterinary oversite from a licensed veterinarian with whom the producer has an established relationship.
The products will still be available, but "stocking up" on them is not advised, as antibiotics have a shelf life and are sensitive to storage time and conditions. The FDA stated it was enforcing the measure to "…help guide the judicious use of antimicrobials and slow the development of antimicrobial resistance (AMR)...." Rampant, unrestricted use of OTC drugs has traditionally been the most common treatment for endemic herd diseases like anaplasmosis.
"We are getting calls everyday from Doctors that are changing to vaccine strategies and away from OTC to fight anaplasmosis," said Gene Luther, D.V.M., Ph.D. "They are realizing that the vaccine is the best protection, at the best price."
Anaplasmosis is a blood disease carried by parasites that infects red blood cells and causes severe anemia and death – resulting in an annual global cattle loss estimated between $14-$19 billion dollars. University Products produces the only effective vaccine against anaplasmosis that is USDA approved for experimental use and successfully deployed in the U.S. and Puerto Rico for over two decades.
"Our vaccine is a purified antigen of the organism that is actually causing the problem in cattle: A. marginale," Dr. Luther explained. "Rather than fighting infection after it happens with antibiotics, our vaccine keeps the organism from causing life-threatening symptoms in the first place. It is important to vaccinate against this specific organism, and keep up with yearly booster shots. Your cows can continue to be a carrier of the disease – acting as reservoirs of infected blood for both insects and needles year after year. The only safe herd is a fully vaccinated herd."
The American Pet Products Association announced that the industry reached $123.6 billion in sales in 2021, the highest level in history.
It was the second consecutive record-setting year for the industry, with continued growth expected for 2022, according to a press release.
“Following a banner year in 2020 when the industry exceeded $100 billion in sales for the first time, APPA was optimistic it would see continued strong sales in 2021, estimating growth would approach 6% and bring total sales to $109.6 billion by year-end,” the release explained. “Actuals eclipsed even bullish estimates at 13.5% growth year-over-year.”
“The numbers don’t lie: The pet industry has shown itself to be incredibly strong and resilient with a record-breaking two years,” said Anne Ferrante, APPA senior vice president of member relations and business development. “We expect continued growth as we look toward the remainder of 2022, although we anticipate it may be at a more moderate pace given the impact of volatile factors like inflation, supply chain issues and global relations.”
State of the Industry data for 2021 revealed increases in every spend category. Specifically:
- $50 billion was spent on pet food and treats, the highest spend category at a 13.6% increase
- At 17.8%, supplies, live animals and OTC meds saw the biggest increase, with a total spend of $29.8 billion
- Vet care and product sales landed as the second highest spend category at $34.3 billion, an 8.9% increase
- Other services (including grooming, dog walking and boarding) totaled $9.5 billion spent, a 17.3% increase
For more information about APPA, its annual State of the Industry data and other available market research, visit www.americanpetproducts.org
A new analysis suggests that most U.S. dog owners are unaware of — and do not follow — guidelines on safe pet food and dish handling from the Food and Drug Administration.
But better education and implementation of the guidelines could reduce contamination, the researchers say. Dr. Emily Luisana of North Carolina State University in Raleigh and colleagues present the findings in the open-access journal PLOS ONE on April 6.
Pet food and dish handling involves potential health risks for both dogs and people, especially those with compromised immune systems, according to a press release about the study. Multiple outbreaks of bacterial illness among dogs and humans have occurred as a result of contaminated dog food. The FDA has issued guidelines on protocols for safe pet food and dish handling, available online, but the information is limited, and the effects of the recommendations have been unclear, the release explains.
To help clarify, Luisana and colleagues surveyed 417 dog owners. They found that less than 5 percent were aware of the guidelines, and many owners did not follow many of the recommendations. For instance, only one-third reported washing their hands after feeding, and only two-thirds reported preparing dog food on separate surfaces from those used for human food. The latter fact is of potential public health importance, but is not addressed in the FDA recommendations, according to the release.
To better understand the effects of the FDA recommendations, the researchers tested 68 household dog food dishes for bacterial contamination. After initial testing, they divided the owners into three groups with different instructions for implementing food handling guidelines, then tested the dishes again after one week. They found significantly reduced contamination of dishes from owners who instituted the FDA’s pet food handling guidelines, either alone or in combination with the FDA’s human food handling protocol, versus dishes from owners who were not asked to implement either protocol.
The researchers note that their study was small and that future research could clarify optimal hygiene strategies and ways to communicate them.
Nonetheless, on the basis of their findings, the researchers outline suggestions to reduce contamination in pet food dishes for owners, veterinarians, pet food sellers and manufacturers. These include ensuring household members who feed pets adhere to FDA guidelines and including written information on guidelines with pet food sales.
The authors add: “Most pet owners are unaware that pet food bowls can be a hidden source of bacteria in the household. Knowing how to mitigate this risk and practice proper pet food storage and hygiene may make for a happier, healthier household.”
An investigation is underway into a possible case of animal cruelty involving several dead guinea pigs that appeared to have been dumped in a wooded area behind a Walmart store.
There were about 30 animals found in total Tuesday, including babies, with about half that were dead, Hillsborough County spokesperson Todd Pratt said. The Humane Society of Tampa Bay posted a video on its Facebook page of the graphic scene.
Some guinea pigs were found to be lined up, indicating they may have been killed and left behind. Volunteers with the humane society are working to capture others still alive and running around the area near West Waters Avenue and North Dale Mabry Highway.
A man came across the dead animals and notified the humane society, spokesperson Christine McLarty said. Those found alive will be taken to the Animal Health Center at the Humane Society of Tampa Bay for treatment.
"Again, no reason that anybody should treat animals this way," McLarty said in the Facebook video. "If these were cats or dogs, these were lives that mattered. For somebody to dump and or kill those animals out here, there's just absolutely no reason."
A necropsy will be performed on some of the dead guinea pigs to determine how they died, Pratt said.
Anyone with information about the animals is encouraged to contact the humane society at 813-876-7138 — a $1,000 reward is being offered.
The two employees were reported missing in March but in a video posted on Feldman Ecopark's social media today, the zoo confirmed their bodies had been found.
They claim the staff members were "shot by the enemies" who then "barricaded" their bodies in the back room of the zoo.
A statement reads: "War brings bad news. We have received confirmation that two of our employees who went missing in early March have died.
"When the war started, they stayed in the Ecopark and helped to feed the animals. We arrived at the Ecopark on March 7 and did not find them there.
"We searched for them for a long time, hooked up law enforcement officers. Until the last, we had been hoping that nothing irremediable had happened, and they were able to survive.
"But yesterday we received confirmation that their bodies had been found. Our guys were shot by the enemies, and their bodies had been barricaded in the back room.
"We’ll cherish the blessed memory of these wonderful and courageous people. Sincere condolences to their families and friends. We believe that inhumans who have committed this will definitely be punished!"
In the early days of the invasion the zoo was reportedly shelled "repeatedly" killing three employees and some animals.
On April 5, the Ecopark reported that as a result of mass shelling and bombing by the Russian Armed Forces, its infrastructure and many enclosures were destroyed.
They warned: "The infrastructure is down, the enclosures are down. The biggest problem is big predators.
"Their enclosures still miraculously maintain integrity, but one more shelling - and the lions, tigers, bears, may end up on the will and go towards Kharkov or to nearby villages. We just can't allow this."
The zoo said it caused them "unimaginable pain" to talk about euthanising animals if they could not be secured but said "the main priority now is the lives of people".
A Russian victory in the Donbas would deprive Ukraine of the industrial assets concentrated there, including mines, metals plants and heavy-equipment factories.
Military experts said the Russians' goal is to encircle Ukrainian troops from the north, south and east.
TobyKeith – no, not the singer but a chihuahua from Florida – broke the record for the world's oldest living dog.
Born on Jan. 9, 2001, TobyKeith was 21 years and 66 days old on March 16 when Guinness World Records confirmed he was the oldest dog alive.
"People can’t believe how good he looks for his age," the dog's owner, Gisela Shore, told Guinness.
She has had him most of his life and adopted him from a shelter when he was a puppy. Shore met the pup after an elderly couple surrendered him because they could no longer take care of the chihuahua.
"I was introduced to a tiny tan Chihuahua. They had named him Peanut Butter. I later changed his name to TobyKeith," Shore told Guinness.
Two decades later, friends and family of Shore's began to wonder if TobyKeith was the oldest living dog. The pup had long surpassed the average life expectancy of a chihuahua, 12 to 18 years. Guinness confirmed that TobyKeith was a world record holder.
Shore said good genetics, a healthy diet and a loving home were the secrets to his old age.
TobyKeith's day consists of a morning walk, then his favorite snack: a slice of turkey. He goes on a few more short walks and lies next to Shore while she is working.
He does have a heart condition, but Shore told Guinness it doesn't bother him much.
"The thought that my little guy has reached such a milestone is fantastic! I am thrilled," she said.
According to Guinness, the oldest dog ever recorded was an Australian cattle dog that lived 29 years and 5 months.
A Texas man is facing a felony animal cruelty charge for the fatal beating of a family member’s puppy. The Bexar County Sheriff’s Office identifies Michael Ruperto Uriegas as the man who killed a puppy named Ruger.
According to the authorities, Uriegas was “angry that the small dog had urinated on him and he threw the puppy into the kennel.”
But Ruger did not die because of a simple throw into the kennel – a necropsy on his little body revealed the brutal truth. He has been viciously beaten. The authorities describe the extensive trauma to the puppy’s body, writing “it was found that the dog had multiple injuries all over his body. The cause of death determined by the necropsy reported that there was blunt force trauma to 5 different areas of Ruger’s body.”
BCSO deputies issued a warrant for Michael Uriegas’ arrest on April 11, 2022, and Uriegas was subsequently arrested shortly after for Cruelty to Non-livestock Torture/Kill, a 3rd-degree felony.
What type of man can brutally beat a small puppy? What else is this man capable of? People who are aware of this deadly incident are heartbroken and outraged, and they want justice.
Alley Cat Allies President and Founder Becky Robinson praised Maryland for banning the declawing of cats through a bill supported by a bi-partisan group of legislators and signed into law today by Governor Larry Hogan. The law takes effect October 1, 2022.
“Delegates and senators heard from the people of Maryland and made a powerful decision that we will no longer allow cats in our state to endure this cruel, crippling procedure,” Robinson said. “Amputating the last joints from cats’ toes is excruciating, causing a lifetime of pain and unintended consequences that often lead to cats being relinquished to shelters.”
Robinson and The Paw Project, whose decades of education on the detrimental impacts of declawing inspired legislation in Maryland and many other states, also mobilized advocates in Maryland to ask their delegate and senator to stand against declawing.
Jennifer Conrad, DVM, founder and director of The Paw Project, says, “It is widely recognized that declawing cats does not reduce health risks for humans with health issues. Recently published studies have even shown that declawed cats are more likely to bite.”
Robinson explained that for cats, scratching with their claws is a very normal activity. “Scratching is a very natural behavior that cats need to keep their bones and muscles healthy,” she said. “Ending declawing will prevent major health problems for the cats who are spared from this procedure in Maryland.”
A declawed cat is more likely to exhibit increased aggression and biting to compensate for losing his protective claws, which are his first line of defense. Declawing leads to chronic pain, arthritis, balance issues, and back problems. It can also result in litter box avoidance. “Declawing can lead directly to cats being relinquished to shelters, since it causes disruptive behaviors in cats who lose this important part of their anatomy,” Robinson added. “Fewer cats being relinquished to shelters is good news for all of Maryland.”
Declawing, also known as onychectomy, is a surgical amputation that would be similar to cutting a person’s finger off at the last knuckle. Maryland joins New York as the only two states to ban cat declawing. However, Alley Cat Allies and The Paw Project are advocating for similar bills currently pending in Arizona, California, Delaware, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Washington, D.C. Cat declawing is already banned in several major cities in the U.S. including Los Angeles; San Francisco; Denver; Pittsburgh; Austin; and Madison, Wisconsin. Leading veterinary organizations in the U.S. also have positions against declawing. Outside the U.S., declawing is outlawed in over 40 countries around the world.
Galaxy Vets, the first employee-owned veterinary healthcare system in the U.S., launched a non-profit arm — Galaxy Vets Foundation. With a mission to improve access to care for underserved communities, prevent economic euthanasia, and provide animal disaster and humanitarian response solutions, Galaxy Vets Foundation is prioritizing its efforts in Ukraine. It is now raising funds and collecting supplies to deliver to the areas in greatest need. There are three ways to help: financially, by donating supplies, or by volunteering telehealth services.
"Ukraine is my motherland. We want to aid the best way we know how – helping animals," Dr. Ivan Zak, CEO of Galaxy Vets, said. "Russia's barbaric invasion murders thousands of people, wipes out entire cities and forces millions to flee their homes in search of safety. As savage shelling leaves whole families without a roof, thousands of pets become homeless and in desperate need of food, shelter, and veterinary care. Blocked from humanitarian aid, animals in zoos are freezing, starving, and dying. Shelters, veterinary clinics, and volunteers are striving to save every life but they are running out of resources and need support. We encourage individuals and organizations to donate to this good cause. This war is not just about the future of Ukraine. It is about the future of humanity."
Galaxy Vets Foundation will also provide free telehealth services to aid the people impacted by the war and the animals in their care. It is now seeking veterinarians and veterinary technicians who are willing to spare any amount of time to volunteer for this initiative without leaving their homes.
"We thoroughly assessed all the information we could get. We talked with volunteers, zoos, pet owners and veterinarians in Ukraine to understand the need and the gaps we could fill," Andrew Ciccolini, Galaxy Vets Foundation Director, said. "Currently, there is an acute shortage of funding and resources, primarily medications, pet food and supplies. Lack of access to veterinary care and professional advice on pet health is another issue we will address by providing free multi-lingual telehealth services and informational resources on our website. We want to ensure continuity of veterinary care in these difficult times."
Donate or sign up to volunteer at https://galaxyvets.foundation/.
A new study highlights the risks of cannabis poisoning for pets as the substance becomes legal in more areas.
It’s a problem that has mainly grown in dogs. It “appears to have increased following legalization of cannabis for recreational purposes in Canada in October 2018,” the researchers wrote.
Edibles were most commonly suspected to be the cause.
Other pets that have been affected by cannabis poisoning include cats, ferrets, iguanas, horses and cockatoos, Science Daily noted in a report on the study. Symptoms “included urinary incontinence, disorientation, and abnormally slow heart rate,” according to the report.
The researchers conducted an online survey of 251 U.S.- and Canada-based veterinarians to evaluate “the frequency, diagnostic criteria, clinical signs, and prognoses of cannabis toxicoses in pets in North America.” The study, published in the journal PLOS ONE on April 20, comes from Richard Quansah Amissah of the Ontario Veterinary College at the University of Guelph in Ontario.
“The legalization of cannabis use in Canada and the US is likely an important factor associated with the increased cannabis toxicosis cases in pets; however, the legal status may also increase reporting,” the researchers wrote. “The medicinal use of cannabis by pet-owners for pets may also contribute to a portion of the reported toxicoses.”
Most pets that experienced cannabis toxicosis recovered completely.
Some pets have died due to cannabis poisoning, but the researchers noted that “the presence of confounders such as toxins, and underlying conditions cannot be ruled out.”
A trophy hunter has killed one of Botswana’s few “hundred-pounder” elephants—elephants with at least one tusk weighing 100 pounds—who was critically important for stability in the elephant community and for essential wildlife tourism. This elephant was extraordinary because he had about 200 pounds of ivory on him which made him a true icon and star for viewing tourists.
Botswana’s former president Ian Khama was reportedly outraged at the news as there are only a small number of the world-famous “big tuskers” left in the world. Khama had banned trophy hunting elephants, but it became legal again in 2019.
Humane Society International released the following statements on this devastating news:
Teresa Telecky, vice president, wildlife, Humane Society International, said: “Killing such a magnificent animal for amusement is a moral and ecological tragedy. This elephant was an important influence in his herd and to the future of its younger males. Along with other big tuskers, he represented the promise and reality of exciting, educational and breathtaking wildlife viewing tourism as a dynamic revenue source for Botswana and other range nations. Trophy hunters must end their bogus, false claims that the money they pay for their so-called thrill to kill helps human communities. Their downright cruelty is not about helping anyone but about someone’s sick desire to hang a head in the living room.”
Audrey Delsink, wildlife director Humane Society International/Africa, said: “It is incomprehensible that one of the last great tuskers of Africa – said to number less than 40 – has been slaughtered as a trophy for a fee. There is no replacing the intrinsic value that this extraordinary, majestic being contributed to elephant society, genetics and natural history. Make no mistake – this once living icon was mowed down in the prime of his life, for the sake of a record book entry. This elephant’s death is not only a travesty on a biological scale, but an indication that man’s moral compass is in serious need of realignment.”
A fight broke out inside a Pennsylvania pet store, and two women are now facing charges.
The altercation happened at Critter Corner in New Castle, the New Castle News reports.
The news outlet reports that “the women were hitting each other with a metal three-tiered shelf.” The shelf was reportedly damaged and dog treats were spilled on the floor.
Olivia Marie Farah and Mirina Edana Silva face charges of disorderly conduct and criminal mischief.
Silva told the police that the fight started after she told someone during a phone call that the store smelled bad. Farah reportedly believed that Silva was talking about her.
Dozens of dead cats, and over 100 living but neglected cats, were recently found at an Ohio “no-kill” animal sanctuary. The Lake Humane Society found 49 dead cats, and seized 161 living cats, from “Caroline’s Kids Pet Rescue & Sanctuary.” According to a news release from the Lake Humane, the surviving cats were in “critical” condition and suffering from a slew of maladies, including, URI (Upper Respiratory Infection), Panleukopenia, Stomatitis, an infestation of fleas, and Ringworm.
This isn’t the first time that the no-kill sanctuary has had glaring problems. In fact, in 2017, Tom and Judie Brown, the founders/and/or directors of Caroline’s Kids Pet Rescue, and two of the sanctuary employees, were found guilty of 24 counts of animal cruelty after deplorable conditions at their rescue were discovered.
The most recent discovery at the “rescue” has not yet resulted in animal cruelty charges, but based on the information released from the Lake Humane Society, we believe that they are warranted! Not only should charges be filed, but a permanent ban on pet ownership must be mandated.
On Adopt-A-Pet, Caroline’s Kids Pet Rescue provides a description of the organization, stating, “We are a Rescue, Sanctuary and adoption center located in Concord Twsp, Ohio.” They add, “The Adoption Center houses adoptable cats in a free-roaming environment. Medical needs are provided for them including vaccinations, spay /neuter and socializing. We also provide for the intensive medical treatment for those in need.”
The conditions found at Caroline’s Kids are far from anything reflecting a reputable rescue, or sanctuary. And though the agency claims to provide “intensive medical treatment,” most of the cats seized in the recent raid showed no sign of receiving veterinary care. In fact, some were so horribly neglected that their condition was said to be “critical.”
Probation and plea deals are simply not good enough. For more information visit animalvictory.org