August 31, 2010

Del Mar CRUEL AS EVER! August 28 Protest

We had a great turnout and enthusiastic participation for our Del Mar Races Third Annual Protest. Thanks to everyone who came to stand up for the victims of the horseracing industry -- the horses. Our protest was covered on three San Diego TV channels -- 8, 10 and 6. We also had pre-protest coverage on Channel 10 the night before. Someone who works at the track gave an undercover interview, essentially confirming our allegations. That video is also available on this website as well as the Channel 6 coverage. 

Over 300 racehorses died last year in California alone. Thirteen horses died at Del Mar in 2009 and as of the date of our protest, August 28, 2010, eight horses have died this year with two weeks left in the season.
Despite the fact that Del Mar has a new "safer" synthetic track, horses continue to be injured. It is estimated that 15,000 thoroughbreds were sold at auction last year to be slaughtered in Canada or Mexico and processed for human consumption. These animals have served the entertainment industry AKA the racing industry for their lifetimes and are then slaughtered in the most inhumane ways imaginable.
Racehorses are given numerous drugs to mask pain and improve perfromances. Steroids are currently banned, but the non-steroidal pain medications and muscle relaxers are still legal in certain doses.

A surgical procedure known as "heel nerving" or Posterior Digital Neurectomy involves severing the nerves along the back of the lower leg. This allows the horse to continue running through pain. This also reduces sensitivity, making racing more dangerous for horses and jockeys.

Racehorses often suffer from a condition known in the racing comunity as EIPH-Exercise Induced Pulmonary Hemorrhage, or bleeding into the air passages and lungs. Each horse must receive a therapeutic dose of a diuretic called Lasix (furosemide) prior to a race in order to decrease the risk of EIPH. The goal is to allow the horse to run faster. It also causes rapid fluid loss.
Contact The California Horse Racing Board, The National Thoroughbred Racing Association, The Jockey Club, The Del Mar Thoroughbred Club. Tell them that as a compassionate public, we are tired of the unnecessary suffering of these beautiful sensitive animals and want this to stop! This is suffering for entertainment, not sport! Boycott the races and tell them why. Visit, a non-profit that assists in the placement of retired racehorses. Tell our local media you want more information about horse deaths and injuries in our news coverage. Most don't report them at all.
                                                                                --Thanks to Darlene for your important research

Del Mar's To-Date Death Toll
#1. Conato, broken left hind ankle July 28
#2. Beach Bottom Bay, broken front leg July 31
#3 Tuscan Evening, heart attack Aug. 8
#4 Love at the Bay, broken left front leg Aug. 13
#5 Fantasy Free, broken right front leg Aug. 14
#6 Rockstar Ben
#7 Roos On The Loose
#8 Ukandoit

Urgent Alert for California

California Assembly Bill 2012 will increase the amount of jail time a judge may issue to a person convicted of animal neglect. This ASPCA-supported bill has already passed both houses of the California Legislature by large margins with bipartisan support. Governor Schwarzenegger has less than a month to sign this important legislation into state law.

Animal neglect is a form of cruelty that is both more insidious and more common than the beatings, fights and acts of torture that tend to grab headlines. Neglect causes extreme, prolonged suffering—sometimes resulting in death—and is just as serious an offense as intentional physical cruelty.

The maximum jail sentence for a neglect conviction in California is currently six months. AB 2012 would raise that maximum sentence to 12 months, bringing the penalty for animal neglect in line with the current penalty for intentional cruelty.

What You Can Do
Please be the animals' voice and contact Governor Schwarzenegger to urge him to sign AB 2012 into law. You can reach his office at (916) 445-2841.

Visit the ASPCA Advocacy Center today for some tips on what to say when you call, and remember to thank the person you speak with for considering your views.

August 28, 2010

Racehorses -- Bred for Death?

From the LA Times
As we explore the limits of physical performance, sports trend toward the more extreme, even if it harms rather than enhances the athlete's health. Steroids in baseball, eating disorders in prepubescent gymnasts, whatever it takes to win, until there's a public pushback that threatens the sport. Without industry reform in the near future, it's easy to imagine such a pushback against the biggest athlete of all -- the racehorse.

No one knows how many fatal racing injuries occur nationwide, which is troubling all by itself. How can the horse racing industry control the problem without a firm count and an analysis of what the circumstances were in each case? The most prevalent estimate is 1.5 such accidents per 1,000 race starts. That amounts to roughly two per day. As awareness grows, it's unlikely the public, ever more concerned about animal welfare, will calmly accept the death by racing injury of more than 700 horses each year.

Some obvious suspects in the injuries have been dirt tracks, the intensity of training and the breeding for speed: muscular, 1,000-pound bodies coming down on ankles as thin as ours. A story in Friday's Wall Street Journal took an even closer look at breeding, prophetically wondering whether the prevalence of Native Dancer's DNA in today's top racehorses is raising the chances of leg injury. Native Dancer, which died in 1967, was known for heavily muscled legs and a "violent, herky-jerky running style" that left him and many of his progeny with a tendency toward foot problems, the Journal reported. Overbreeding has exacerbated the problem.

For all the anthropomorphic talk about racehorses being "family" and "valiantly" striving to win or overcome injuries, the horses have no choice in this multibillion-dollar industry. The racing world would be smart to put a higher priority on reining in horse injuries and deaths, before public outrage leads to calls for more draconian controls.

August 21, 2010

How San Diego Shelters Evaluate Animal Behavior Discussed at Summit

By RAY HUARD - North County Times - Californian Posted: Friday, August 20, 2010 6:16 pm

Too often, dogs and cats brought to animal shelters are euthanized because behavior problems make them unsuitable for adoption, according to officials with the San Diego Humane Society.

The Humane Society itself has come under fire from some volunteers at the former North County Humane Society for being too quick to kill animals that they said could be retrained and saved. The San Diego group absorbed the North County agency in January.

To get a better handle on behavior problems of shelter animals, the Humane Society assembled national and international animal behavior specialists for a two-day animal behavior summit that started Friday at the society's San Diego headquarters, said Renee Harris, the Humane Society's executive vice president of animal services.

The big question that behavior specialists will try to answer at the summit, Harris said, is "How can we address the animals in our shelters that are exhibiting behavior problems?"

Although the summit will deal with some of the issues raised by former volunteers at the North County shelter, Harris said it was planned well before agency took over the facility on San Luis Rey Road in Oceanside.

"We really want this to be a think tank to work through our issues," she said.

Critics have complained that animals that would have been put up for adoption in North County before the merger were shipped down to the Humane Society's San Diego shelter, where their behavior was assessed and those found wanting were put on a list to be euthanized.

Harris and Humane Society President Mark Goldstein have insisted that no healthy, adoptable animals are killed at the Humane Society.

"We have not had to euthanize a healthy or treatable animal for the past 10 years," Goldstein said.

The difficulty is defining what constitutes "treatable," Harris said. She said that's one of the things that will be refined coming out of the summit.
Typically, dogs and cats brought to an animal shelter are under stress.

With dogs, that can come out as aggression, or as fearful, submissive behavior and what animal control workers call "kennel stress neurosis."
"They may be licking the walls and won't stop. You even get a glassy look in their eyes," Harris said.

The challenge for organizations like the Humane Society is determining whether that stressed behavior is something that can be overcome with training, or whether the animals have been so stressed that their behavior has become ingrained.

"Maybe there's something we can do differently for those dogs to make them comfortable," Harris said. "What do we need to provide to make them different?"

Harris said the experts at the summit will look at the ways the Humane Society and other organizations assess animal behavior in determining whether a dog or cat is suitable for adoption, Harris said.

The whole issue of animal behavior in shelters "is sort of an evolving, unofficial science," said Michael Baehr, Humane Society marketing and communications director.

The seminar, which was scheduled to conclude Saturday, is part of the Humane Society's Paws to Success program, started in 2008, with a goal of developing programs so that by 2020, euthanasia of treatable animals will not be practiced in any San Diego County animal shelter, Goldstein said.

Conclusions and recommendations coming out of the seminar will be used by the Humane Society and other members of the San Diego Welfare Coalition to tailor programs to save more animals, Harris said.

Coalition members include the Escondido Humane Society, Rancho Coastal Humane Society, Chula Vista Animal Care Facility, San Diego County Department of Animal Services and El Cajon Animal Shelter, Harris said. She said the information would also would be shared with organizations that deal with abandoned and stray animals.

"We'll build our piece and then somebody else builds on that," Harris said.

Call staff writer Ray Huard at 760-901-4062

August 18, 2010

Puppy Mill Legislation to be Proposed for Hawaii

LCA Exposes Hawaiian Puppy Mill Cruelty!

Hawaiian State Senator Proposes Legislation!

Last Chance for Animals has just exposed a major Hawaiian puppy mill operation located in Waimanolo, HI. The LCA special investigations unit received a tip that a puppy mill was operating in an otherwise idyllic setting 30 minutes outside Honolulu. The SIU sent an undercover operative to the island to see if he could get a job at the mill. Once on site we discovered multiple breeds of dogs and dozens of puppies being bred and sold wholesale to island pet stores. At one pet store, The Pet Spot in Pearl City, owned by the same woman who operates the puppy mill, customers were being misled about the origin of the animals they purchased.

Our investigation uncovered dead puppies born in squalid conditions, dogs with severe medical problems and major rodent infestation. In the words of LCA's investigator, "For seven days every day I asked the same question when are you going to fix the poodle (that had a cancerous tumor)? And they said today it's going to the vet, so I got that answer for seven days straight. It never went."
LCA shared our footage with a reporter at Hawaii News Now. They ran a two part expose' regarding our investigation and the lax laws that have allowed a festering dog breeding problem in Hawaii.

LCA is pleased to announce that as a direct result of our investigation Hawaii State Senator Clayton Hee (D) stated he will be introducing legislation to address the issue. We will keep you updated when that happens. Also as a result of the investigation and a follow up by the Hawaiian Humane Society, two dogs that were rescued from the mill have been rehabilitated and adopted to good homes.

August 16, 2010

Del Mar Horserace Protest August 28 11:30 AM

The Animal Defense Team has scheduled its third annual protest outside of the Del Mar racetrack entrance. PLEASE JOIN US! EVERYONE IS WELCOME AND NEEDED! Bring signs, water and your compassion for the victims of an industry based on greed, drugging, deception and death.

Saturday, August 28, 2010
11:30 AM - 1 PM
This is the $1 Million Pacific Classic Day, the biggest purse of the season. Post time is at 1 PM

The intersection of Jimmy Durante Blvd. and Via de la Valle, under the Del Mar marquee at the corner.

Horses are now bred for speed not strength, raced too young and legally (and illegally) drugged to run through pain and others problems like bleeding into the lungs. Every year, Del Mar loses many horses who break down on the track or in training.

The losers of Del Mar's richest "betting" day on August 28 will far outweigh the winners and death is imminent. Seven out of ten horses are slaughtered in the U.S., not because they are in pain, suffering or living with a terminal illness -- they are slaughtered because their owners don't want them anymore. For the thoroughbred, the risk of death is greater if they are injured or they finish last where the turf meets the surf in Del Mar. If your favorite horse doesn't make a good showing in the race, chances are the next stop is the slaughterhouse. Horses are trucked across the border into Mexico and Canada where they are slaughtered under the most inhumane methods imaginable.

Information: and the Racehorse Memorial Wall
The San Diego Animal Defense Team denounces all forms of "animal entertainment" for human pleasure. Whips, beatings, starvation and isolation are all a part of "training" an animal for human command and control. There is nothing exciting about suffering and pain. Please do not support animal entertainment of any kind, beginning with horse racing.

August 12, 2010


The Boxer dogs confiscated from Boxer Rescue in San Diego are now released and ready to be adopted. PLEASE consider taking one of these great dogs into your family. They have been held at Animal Control for 5 months and are desperate to go to forever homes.

What you can do:

Go to the Central Shelter of Animal Services.
5480 Gaines St. San Diego CA 92110

Complete one of the applications. Only a few of the Boxers are on the floor for public viewing. Most are not.                                                                                                  
You will be contacted for an appointment time to meet the dogs
and possibly choose one that is best for your family.

They range in age from 2 to 9 years old. Most are purebreds, some are mixes. The adoption fee is $69.00. A home inspection is required.

HELP THE BOXERS GO HOME! This is an absolutely wonderful breed.  Fun! Playful! Smart! Great with families!

If you want a dog to be your best buddy, this is the breed for you. Save a life and give yourself a treasure.

August 09, 2010

El Paso City Council to Vote on Puppy Mill Ban

August 9th, 2010

From Animal Legal Defense Fund

Megan Backus, Animal Legal Defense Fund
Tom Linney, Animal Legal Defense Fund

El Paso, Texas – Tomorrow morning, the El Paso City Council is voting on Mayor John Cook and the Animal Welfare Advisory Committee’s proposed ban on the sale of non-shelter dogs and cats at pet stores – effectively banning the sale of animals bred at filthy “puppy mills.” A representative of the national non-profit Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF), which has advised the Mayor office on the ordinance, will appear before the City Council to speak in support of the ban. The ordinance, which would be the first of its kind in Texas if passed, allows for an exemption for the adoptions of shelter and rescue animals and for people who purchase animals directly from a breeder.
When: Tuesday, August 10, 2010, 8:30 am
Where: Council Chambers, City Hall, 2 Civic Center Plaza, El Paso

El Paso joins a growing list of cities in America to consider retail pet sale bans. Since Albuquerque, N.M. passed a similar ban, animal adoptions have increased by 23 percent and euthanasia at city shelters has decreased by 35 percent. South Lake Tahoe and West Hollywood, Calif. have both passed bans, and other cities in Florida, New Mexico, Missouri, and elsewhere are currently considering similar bans on the sale of dogs and cats from pet stores.

Puppy mills are commercial "factories" where the "product" is puppies and dogs who are treated as machines. “Breeding” dogs are kept in overcrowded wire cages for their entire lives with little, if any, human contact or veterinary care. If the puppy mill is outdoors, the dogs are unprotected from the cold of winter and the heat of summer. They live with the stench of their own urine and feces and, if the cages are stacked on top of each other, the dogs on the lower level are hit with excrement from above. “Puppy mill puppies are sold in pet stores,” explains ALDF attorney Tom Linney, an El Paso resident who will speak before the City Council in support of the ordinance. “The simplest way to assure concerned El Paso consumers that they are not supporting puppy mills is to ban the sale of animals at pet stores, and to encourage ‘pet stores’ to serve as facilities for adoptions from shelters and rescue groups instead.”

ALDF was founded in 1979 with the unique mission of protecting the lives and advancing the interests of animals through the legal system. For more information, please visit

August 05, 2010

Outrageous! Urge Homeland Security Not to BUY Dogs

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced that it wants to buy 3,000 dogs from breeders in order to increase its force of canines who sniff out explosives, cash, and drugs. With thousands of homeless dogs who would make excellent candidates for the program already in animal shelters across the country, the DHS should follow the lead of New England Assistance Dog Services and many police departments and fill its ranks with dogs adopted from animal shelters and breed rescue groups instead.

We are in the midst of an animal overpopulation crisis in the U.S., and yet the DHS plans to pay breeders to produce more dogs! Only 20 percent of dogs who are selected for service programs successfully complete the training process, so this plan could actually result in another 15,000 dogs ending up homeless!

The "success rate" of service dogs adopted from animal shelters and rescue agencies is the same as that of dogs who are bred for certification jobs. Animal shelters everywhere have the type of dogs the DHS is seeking—dogs who are outgoing, alert, active, extremely people-friendly, and of certain breeds, such as Labrador retrievers, golden retrievers, and German shepherds.

If the DHS adopts homeless dogs for the program, it's a win-win situation. It would save taxpayers thousands of dollars because adoption costs at animal shelters are far lower than the prices that breeders charge for puppies. The average price that the DHS paid for the 322 untrained dogs it purchased between April 2006 and June 2007 was $4,535 per dog! Adopting dogs from animal shelters would also help curb the animal overpopulation crisis, while giving the dogs an opportunity for an exciting and fulfilling life.

Please take a few moments to contact DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano and ask that the agency adopt dogs from animal shelters and breed-rescue groups rather than buy dogs from breeders.

Campaign letter writing information is available at Action Center.

August 02, 2010

From the New York Times: The Animal Cruelty Syndrome

Please check the link below. This article should be read by everyone!

Declaring Freedom for Animals from Harm, Illogic and Wrongheadedness

From the Animal Legal Defense Fund:

Posted by Dana Campbell, ALDF Attorney on August 2nd, 2010

“We hold these truths to be self-evident” begins the famous line from the Declaration of Independence. I’ve got my own version: We hold these truths to be self-evident: that one and one is two, that the sky is blue, and that abused animals should not be returned to their abusers. Yet I must live in an enlightened animal law bubble to think the last concept to be self-evident, because plenty of others do not think it so obvious, or even consider the idea at all. What am I talking about? Judges and attorneys who see nothing wrong with returning animals back to defendants who plead guilty to animal cruelty or are convicted of it after a trial, thus putting the animals right back in harm’s way again, sometimes after having recovered in foster homes from their horrific ordeals.

In what I hope does not portend a trend, twice this year in separate New York counties (Erie and St. Lawrence) judges went so far as to order animals to be returned to their abuser before trial, and unbelievably, without even having a hearing on the matter! That’s right, no inquiry as to the basis for the criminal charges supporting the animal’s seizure from the abuser, even though the law provides for such in the form of a bond or forfeiture hearing. No effort made by the court to even ascertain whether the conditions had improved since the charges were filed and were now adequate to support the return of animals to their accused abuser. Such judicial arrogance is not only legally improper, it is shockingly inappropriate.

One way to combat this is to pass legislation taking away discretion to hand back abused animals, in the form of mandatory forfeiture of all animals upon conviction, and prohibiting convicted abusers from having contact with animals, as Oregon and several other states have done. ALDF has model laws that may be used as samples for legislation here.

Surely I am not the only one who thinks returning animals to their tormenters is self-evidently wrong?