Category Archives: animal ethics

Justice for Byron and all other animal victims

It was over 17 months ago when Byron was scalded with hot water by his previous owner, Kyle Voissem, and it was over 15 months ago when Voissem was  arrested for the crime.  It has been since the arrest that his case has drawn out for as long as it did.  But, finally, it all came to a conclusion yesterday after a 2 day bench trial.  Voissem was found guilty of criminal intent of animal cruelty, a felony charge that includes up to 3 years in prison.  Voissem’s sentencing date was set for May 20th.  However after a long extension granted by the Judge due to a psychological evaluation, Voissem’s sentencing was finally on July 11th.  He was sentenced to 1 year probation.

Although the sentencing was very light and that Voissem basically cried as victim due to the petitioning and action by all animal lovers, the felony conviction alone is a great victory for both animals and animal rights groups because not only does it set a precedent for other first-time offenders but it also sets the precedent that a split-second decision out of anger can change the course of an abuser’s life in an instant.

Another animal cruelty case that I have been following is that of Derek Fierro. I will post the details and update on this case soon.


Ireland Sets the Bar

On January 1, 2012, 2 new laws – the Welfare of Greyhounds Act and Dogs Breeding Establishments Act – were introduced in Ireland to control puppy farming (ie. puppy mills).  For so long, Ireland was known as the Puppy Mill of Europe and  after years of animal welfare activists fighting legislators, the legislators finally listened.  These 2 new acts created new legislation specifically aimed at banning all puppy farms/mills.

With this new legislation, there are 3 key points:  1.) Veterinarians now have the right to inspect all breeding locations and immediately shut down any facility that does not meet the new strict standards  of care and environmental conditions.  2.) Just as in shelters,  all puppies are required to be microchipped so that history can be traced directly to the breeder.  3.) All breeders must be registered with their local authority.

Although this new legislation still allows commercial breeding, Continue reading

Victories in 2011 paving the way for 2012

From shutting down puppy mills to rescuing animals from disaster-stricken areas to creating stricter laws in animal protection, what cause did your donation help in fighting for a victory?  What petition did you sign that reached it’s goal?  In 2011, many of the worldwide organizations dedicated to caring, rescuing, and protecting all animals accomplished more than expected and thus paving the way for more victories in 2012.

Each year we (animal advocates) get closer and closer to the greater good and so we must continue fighting the good fight and be the voices for those who can’t speak.

Click on any of these org’s links for a recap of what you helped accomplish in 2011:

Humane Society of the U.S.


World Wildlife Fund

Care2 Petitions


Whether it be any of these organizations or your local shelter/rescue, please continue to donate what you are able to afford.  Even $10 goes a long way.

Thank you and Happy New Year!  Let’s accomplish more in 2012! 

Just a Dog, by Richard Biby

From time to time people tell me, lighten up it’s just a dog or that’s a lot of money for just a dog.  They don’t understand the distance traveled, the time spent, or the costs involved for just a dog.  Some of my proudest moments have come about with just a dog.  Many hours have passed and my only company was just a dog, but I did not once feel slighted.  Some of my saddest moment have been brought about by just a dog and in those days of darkness, the gentle touch of just a dog gave me comfort and reason to overcome the day. Continue reading

Where does your state rank?

Two weeks ago, the Humane Society of the United States released a state-by-state ranking of animal protection laws.  The ranking was based on 65 different animal protection issues in 10 major categories, such as animal fighting, puppy mills, and animals used in research laboratories.

Where does your state rank?
Alabama – Missouri
Montana – Wyoming
Total Scores of all 50 States

Designer Breeds are my Pet Peeve

While on vacation in Hawaii (and already knowing that Hawaii ranks near the bottom of the Humane Society’s list of animal protection laws), I was curious to see the problem for this lack of animal welfare.  One of the major problems I noticed early was all the mixed breeds being sold as designer breeds.  Everywhere I looked and all the dogs and dog owners I approached, a majority were all mixed breeds sold by breeders as designer breeds.  One designer breed dog that I met, which is the one that sparked this rant, was a “Schnug” (schnauzer-pug mix) that was bought from a breeder.

“Breeders” selling designer breed pups to unsuspecting buyers.  It’s one thing to cross breed but it’s another thing to sell to the public as if the pups were intentionally cross bred to make a brand new breed.  To me and many others, ‘designer breed’ is just another fancy term for mixed breed or mutt used so that breeders can prey off the general public.  There are so many of these designer breeds abandoned at shelters too.  Continue reading

Mass Euthanasia might as well be considered Pet Genocide

A close family member who is a veterinarian had to partake in mass euthanasia via gas chambers because he was simply told to do so. It was part of the job. He had bills to pay and mouths to feed and so did what his boss told him to do regardless of all the suffering and trauma afterwards.

Having to do this daily task eventually takes a toll on one’s own psyche and becomes an event in your life that you just refuse to talk about in the future. No, it’s not as extreme as war. But any animal-loving veterinarian wouldn’t and shouldn’t have the heart to partake in such cruel euthanasia of strays. Pets abandoned by their owners and left to die in the hands of those who are supposed to protect them. If high-kill shelters disclosed to pet owners what exactly would happen to their pet then hopefully they will think twice and instead go to a no-kill shelter. However, unfortunately, there are those type of owners who have the mentality ‘If I can’t keep it then no one should’ and would prefer to euthanize their healthy pet. And the reality is: gas chamber is cheaper than lethal injection.

So what’s the solution?  Why should veterinarians be made to mass euthanize healthy pets when they were taught to help and save them?  Is watching them choke to death for the sake of saving money really worth it?  What about the owners who abandon these pets?  It’s one thing that they can’t even take care of their pet, it’s another thing to make the pet suffer for it.  Why should pets pay the ultimate, horrible price? 

The only way is to ban mass euthanasia via gas chambers altogether.

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn is against it and didn’t sign the proposed bill to legalize it.  Where does your governor stand?

Illinois S.B. 2999

Pet Overpopulation, Puppy Mills, Dog Fighting, Oh My!

Did you know…..

* Almost 4million homeless cats and dogs are put down in shelters in the U.S. each year. That’s 1 every 8 seconds.

* Thousands of buyers unknowingly support puppy mills and non-licensed breeders, who are more into making money than caring for animals and reducing pet overpopulation.

* Refusal of spaying or neutering your pet can add to the overpopulation of pets.

* AKC registered dogs are NOT guaranteed as healthy dogs. The AKC registered certificate just states that the dog had parents of the same breed HOWEVER these papers can very easily be falsified.

* “puppy mill rejects” (in other words, non-profitable puppies) are either put down or sold to research laboratories Continue reading