Maryland legislature passes animal rights bills

Posted on April 19th, 2011 by katie – Be the first to comment

This just in from Maryland Votes for Animals:

List of 2011 Animal Bills (that MVFA supported) that Passed

PASSED! Puppy Mills, H.B. 940/S.B. 839: Requiring a person to obtain a kennel license if the person owns or has custody of 15 or more unspayed female dogs over the age of 6 months kept for the purpose of breeding the dogs and selling their offspring and sells dogs from six or more litters in a year; requiring each county to collect and maintain specified information for each kennel license issued; requiring each county to report specified information to the Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation on or before January 15 each year; etc.
House Votes (132 yeas, 7 nays cast by Afzali, Bates, Dwyer, McDermott, Miller, W., Parott, Smigiel)
Senate Votes (46 yeas, 0 nays)
PASSED! Animal Cruelty, H.B. 227/S.B. 115: Authorizing a court, as a condition of probation for specified violations concerning animal abuse, neglect, or cruelty, to prohibit the defendant from owning, possessing, or residing with an animal.
House Votes (138 yeas, 0 nays)
Senate Votes (47 yeas, 0 nays)
PASSED! Spay/Neuter Task Force, H.B. 339/S.B. 639: Establishing a Task Force on the Establishment of a Statewide Spay/Neuter Fund; specifying the membership, chair, and staff of the Task Force; requiring the Task Force to review specified spay/neuter programs, develop a specified spay/neuter program, and make recommendations regarding a spay/neuter fund; requiring the Task Force to report its findings and recommendations to the Governor and specified committees of the General Assembly on or before January 1, 2012; terminating the Act at the end of June 30, 2012; etc.
House Votes (129 yeas, 8 nays cast by Bates, Boteler, Dwyer, Frank, Hough, Impallaria, Miller, W., Ready)
Senate Votes (46 yeas, 0 nays)
PASSED! Pet Protective Orders, SB 747 & HB 407:  Authorizing a District Court Commissioner, in a specified interim protective order, and a judge, in a temporary protective order or final protective order, to award temporary possession of any pet of a person eligible for relief or a respondent.
House Votes (127 yeas, 10 nays cast by Bates, Dwyer, Fisher, Hough, Jacobs, Miller, W., Mitchell, Parott, Ready, Schulz)
Senate Votes (46 yeas, 0 nays)

Passed!Antifreeze Safety, HB 897,  Prohibiting a person, after January 1, 2012, from selling or offering for sale engine coolant or antifreeze that contains more than 10% ethylene glycol unless it contains not less than 30 parts per million nor more than 50 parts per million denatonium benzoate; granting immunity from liability to persons that manufacture, process, distribute, recycle, or sell engine coolant or antifreeze with denatonium benzoate in concentrations required by the Act, except under specified circumstances; etc.
 House Votes (135 yeas, 0 nays)
Passed!Dogs in Restaurants, HB 941,  Authorizing a restaurant with an outdoor dining area to allow a patron’s dog to accompany the patron in the outdoor dining area of the restaurant during specified hours; requiring specified restaurant owners to give notice to local health departments under specified circumstances; authorizing restaurant owners to make specified determinations and to limit the size and type of dog that may accompany a patron into the outdoor dining area; requiring specified restaurant owners to post a notice; etc.
House Votes (127 yeas, 10 nays cast by Bates, Dwyer, Fisher, Hough, Jacobs, Miller, W., Mitchell, Parott, Ready, Schulz)
 (46 yeas, 0 nays) 
2011 Animal Bills (that MVFA opposed) that Failed:

FAILED! Maryland Livestock and Poultry Care and Advisory Board, SB 254 & HB 676:  Establishing the Maryland Livestock and Poultry Care Advisory Board; establishing the membership and charge of the Board; requiring the Board to elect the chair of the Board; providing for the terms of the members and chair of the Board; etc.
House Environmental Matters Committee Votes
Senate Education Health and Environmental Affairs Committe Votes
FAILED! Extended Sunday Hunting, SB 45 & HB 129:  Repealing specified provisions of law authorizing a person to hunt deer on private property in specified counties on specified Sundays under specified circumstances; authorizing the Department of Natural Resources to allow a person to hunt deer on private property in specified counties on specified Sundays under specified circumstances; etc.
House Environmental Matters Committee Votes (no committee vote on this bill)
Senate Education Health and Environmental Affairs Committe Votes

Tsunami may have effected Japanese whaling industry

Posted on April 18th, 2011 by katie – Be the first to comment

An interesting article posted yesterday discusses the fact that the tsunami in Japan may have crippled the headquarters of a prominent whaling company. This article also mentions the efforts of Sea Shepherd, a group of anti-whaling activists who strive to thwart the Japanese whaling ships’ efforts while at sea.

Also see this article from the New York Times.

Very interesting article about whale and dolphin intelligence

Posted on April 15th, 2011 by katie – Be the first to comment

This is my favorite quote from the article:

“If an alien came down anytime prior to about 1.5 million years ago to communicate with the ‘brainiest’ animals on Earth, they would have tripped over our own ancestors and headed straight for the oceans to converse with the dolphins”

Click here for the rest of the article, titled: Whales Might Be as Much Like People as Apes Are

Breed Specific Legislation

Posted on April 4th, 2011 by katie – Be the first to comment

Breed Specific Legislation, or BSL, makes it illegal for dogs to exist in certain areas based solely on the way they look. For example, “pit bull type dogs” are euthanized on the spot after being brought to a shelter, and even loving, happy, friendly dogs are torn from their families and killed… just because of how they look. It makes me  sick to think that my little Fred would fit into this category because he looks like a pit bull, and that his existance would be “illegal” if we lived elsewhere, such as Prince George’s County in Maryland. According to the ASPCA, Prince George’s County spends more than $250,000 anually to enforce it’s ban on pit bulls.

This is not an effective way to enforce anti-dog fighting laws or protect people from getting hurt by dangerous dogs. BSL encourages dog fighters to go even more underground with their activities and even further out of the reach of animal control. The public needs to recognize that aggressive dogs are a product of their owners and their treatment, not their breed, and the laws need to reflect that. Breed bans do nothing more than placate people who are ignorant enough to think that just  because a dog looks a certain way, it is dangerous. It’s just as bad as a racist person who thinks that everyone with a certain appearance is dangerous! Many members of the public are convinced that breeds such as pit bulls, German Shepherds, Dobermans, and Rottweilers are dangerous no matter what. Based on my experience, I can think of more pit bulls and pit bull mixes that are way friendlier than other breeds. Pit bulls are dogs that crave human interaction and make wonderful companions. They behave well on temperment tests, and excel as therapy dogs and in search and rescue. So why are people so short sighted as soon as there is a bad news story about a little girl being attacked by a pit bull? (And why are these stories always propagated when there are just as many stories about other breeds attacking people)

It is imperative that government officials focus on punishing the conduct of the owners of dangerous dogs, rather than the cop out legislation that is BSL. Click here for a comprehensive listing of BSL in the United States and encourage your local lawmakers to consider alternatives to these cruel and unnecessary laws.

Rainbow Bridge

Posted on April 1st, 2011 by katie – Be the first to comment

In the past few months a number of acquaintances have lost beloved pets, and I am of course still missing my Cody. I wanted to share a poem that I think of often when contemplating the unfairness of our pets’ lifespans, which are so much shorter than our own.

Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.

When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge.
There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together.
There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.

All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor; those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by.
The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.

They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent; His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.

You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.

Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together….

Author unknown…

Dog rescued after floating weeks at sea after tsunami (via Unleashed)

Posted on April 1st, 2011 by katie – Be the first to comment

Wow, check this out!

The Howard County Cat Club

Posted on March 31st, 2011 by katie – Be the first to comment

A couple of months ago I started volunteering with the Howard County Cat Club, a No-Kill cat sanctuary that just recently relocated to my area. The HCCC takes in cats from other shelters that are running out of time, and lets them roam free. Technically it’s not a shelter, because the cats are placed in the basement of a private home, which is really nice! When they are first introduced to the group, the cats are in a large crate with their own food, water, and litter box, until they are acclimated and let loose in the house. Some of the cats have been really friendly, like Henrietta (pictured below) who only had one eye but was one of the sweetest kitties I’ve ever met. Henrietta was adopted after a few weeks, and so were five cats that had come in together. HCCC specializes in placing cats that are “siblings” or have lived together with a previous owner. One such pair is GiGi and CiCi, two super cute calico girls who boss everyone else at the basement around. Others are extremely shy, and it takes me forever to find them because they’re always hiding! It’s neat though to see them come around – ones that are acting super shy one day might be cuddly and playful the next time I’m there.

Click here to “like” the Howard County Cat Club on Facebook

Here are some photos I’ve taken of a few of the kitties:

Super friendly black kittes (adopted)



Henrietta (adopted)


A blog worth following: Lucky Dog Rescue Blog

Posted on March 29th, 2011 by katie – Be the first to comment

A woman in Mississippi is doing incredible things for dog rescue. I just read this post on her blog. Truly inspiring!


Posted on March 19th, 2011 by katie – Be the first to comment

A lot has happened over the past few months (well, over the past year+) and I have gotten out of the habit of posting to this blog. I hope to change that, starting now! 

I recently finished graduate school and have started a new job near DC, making it tough to get to BARCS except on weekends. I have however started helping out with a new organization, the Howard County Cat Club ( much closer to home. I go every other Sunday, and will wait until after my next visit to post more. I am also still volunteering with Community Cats Maryland ( when needed and assisting with their spay and neuter clinic for feral cats.

The last feral cat spay/neuter clinic I did was last month, and my job was to be the runner. They have it down to such a science, it’s really impressive! The cats are brought in in traps the night before and given food and water, which is then taken away overnight. Then in the morning they start knocking them down with sedatives. Once they are out, the cats are weighed, gender checked, and tested for diseases before having their picture taken. As runner, I escorted them, wrapped in a towel, to the OR where they were shaved in the appropriate area for surgery. Then they are put in front of the vets who do their thing and then they handed them back to me wrapped in the towel and I took them back to the garage where they got vaccinated and monitored for recovery. The really impressive thing was what an efficient assembly line it was. There were 2-3 vets working in the OR at a time (they each did about 3 hour shifts), and basically the vets just had one cat after another placed in front of them to work on. There were a few backups since we didn’t always know the gender of the cat, so if there were several females in a row it would take longer. But overall it went very smoothly and we did 60 cats in 6.5 hours. When you do the math on how many potential litters 60 cats can generate in their lifetime, and how many their offspring can generate, and their offspring, and their offspring, it’s quite atounding how many homeless cats were prevented from entering this world. Sadly, there were a few mommas that were pregnant (we had no way of knowing). It’s sad to see, but at the same time you have to focus on the overall good and that one less litter was brought to Baltimore.

Dog droppings light the way in park

Posted on September 23rd, 2010 by katie – Be the first to comment

This is pretty great