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Category: Animal Cruelty

Starving Malaysian cats spark call for animal-cruelty crackdown

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia — Malaysian pet owners and activists who found nearly 300 starving cats caged and soaked in excrement at pet-care centers demanded sterner laws Tuesday against cruelty to animals.

The felines had been left with a company in Malaysia's central Selangor state that was supposed to take care of them while their owners returned to their hometowns for a week to celebrate the Muslim festival of Eid al-Fitr.

Many owners became worried when they were later unable to contact company representatives. Rescue volunteers broke into the company's two facilities Sunday and discovered the emaciated cats lying in their own feces and urine in cages stacked atop each other.

Activists estimated that at least 12 cats were dead and that dozens more were missing. Police have questioned the company owner and an employee, but no arrests have been made.

The case has energized activists to push for stronger prosecution against people who mistreat animals, said Christine Chin, who heads the Malaysian Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

"There is no deterrent in this country for animal cruelty, so the problem just spreads," Chin said.

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Patrick the pit bull: Judge decides abused dog should stay at animal hospital for now

NEWARK, N.J. -- Accusations of greedy motives and arguments over visitation rights made it easy to forget that a recent court hearing centered not on the child of warring parents but on a four-legged animal, albeit one with his own Facebook page and thousands of fans worldwide.

When the rancor had subsided, state Superior Court Judge Joseph Cassini III on Thursday ruled that Patrick the pit bull, the popular pooch found nearly starved to death in a Newark trash chute in March, will stay at an animal hospital while the criminal case against his owner proceeds.

The ruling ended -- for now -- a custody battle that has raged since the end of April, when Cassini issued an order that Patrick would stay at Garden State Veterinary Specialists, the Tinton Falls facility where he underwent surgery after he was discovered in mid-March at Newark's Garden Spires apartment complex.

"The judge considered the law and the evidence and ruled accordingly, and that means justice for Patrick," hospital administrator Patricia Smillie-Scavelli, who has been overseeing the dog's recovery, said outside court.

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Patrick the pit bull: New Jersey woman pleads not guilty to charges relating to animal cruelty

Patrick the pit bull

NEWARK, N.J. — A New Jersey woman pleaded not guilty in court Friday to charges of starving and abandoning a 1-year-old pit bull that has since become an Internet celebrity.

The judge in the case judge warned animal advocates that he would not let emotion rule the case.

Kisha Curtis entered her plea through an attorney during a brief hearing in state Superior Court attended by several news outlets and some members of an advocacy group that is seeking stronger animal abuse laws. About 40 people demonstrated outside Essex County Veterans Courthouse in support of the dog, nicknamed Patrick because he was found the day before St. Patrick's Day.

Curtis didn't speak in court, but  Superior Court Judge William Cassini departed from protocol and addressed the notoriety the case has attracted.

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Patrick, 'miracle' pit bull who survived fall down garbage chute, is on the road to recovery

A 1-year-old pit bull nicknamed Patrick sits next to flowers sent by a supporter in Alaska as he recovers at Garden State Veterinary Specialists in Tinton Falls, N.J., after being found starved and dumped in a trash chute.

A New Jersey pit bull named Patrick, starved and subjected to horrific abuse before his rescue last month, is being called a "miracle dog" after he survived being placed in a trash bag and thrown down the garbage chute of a Newark apartment building.

A maintenance worker removing the garbage to put it in a trash compactor noticed a bag moving slightly, opened it and discovered the emaciated dog inside. Patrick -- so named when he survived through the night into St. Patrick's Day after being found in the garbage chute March 16 -- was rushed to the local Associated Humane Societies shelter, where "veterinary staff immediately put him on intravenous fluid," according to a post on the society's website. "His temperature was so low that it did not even register on the thermometer. He was covered with heating pads and blankets. Society vet tech Gina DeSalvo held the pit bull in her arms -- she soothed him, gave him warmth, comfort and bits of food. From that moment on, he looked up with gratitude in his eyes to all of the staff."

Patrick was soon moved to a 24-hour emergency veterinary hospital, where he received a blood transfusion and other treatment. His condition is reportedly improving. Kisha Curtis, 27, the woman identified as his owner at the time of his abuse, has been charged with two counts of tormenting and torturing a living creature by failing to provide sustenance and two counts of abandonment, according to the New Jersey Star-Ledger. She has pleaded not guilty to the cruelty charges and maintains she didn't throw Patrick down the garbage chute, but has reportedly admitted that she failed to provide proper care for the year-old dog, New Jersey Newsroom reported.

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Iowa agriculture committees approve bill that would limit animal groups' undercover investigations

HyLine

DES MOINES, Iowa — Angered by repeated releases of secretly filmed videos claiming to show the mistreatment of farm animals, Iowa's agriculture industry is pushing legislation that would make it illegal for animal rights activists to produce and distribute such images.

Agriculture committees in the Iowa House and Senate have approved a bill that would prohibit such recordings and punish people who take agriculture jobs only to gain access to animals to record their treatment. Proposed penalties include fines of up to $7,500 and up to five years in prison. Votes by the full House and Senate have not yet been set.

Doug Farquhar, program director for environmental health at the National Conference of State Legislatures, said Iowa would be the first state to approve such restrictions but Florida is considering similar legislation. The Iowa measure was introduced after a number of groups released videos showing cows being shocked, pigs beaten and chicks ground up alive.

"It's very transparent what agribusiness is attempting to do here," said Bradley Miller, national director of the Humane Farming Assn., a California-based group dedicated to protecting farm animals from abuse. "They're trying to intimidate whistleblowers and put a chill on legitimate anti-cruelty investigations. Clearly the industry feels that it has something to hide or it wouldn't be going to these extreme and absurd lengths."

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Wildlife experts suspect intentional cruelty behind recent string of seagull injuries in Orange County

Seagulls

Wildlife rescuers at the Wetlands & Wildlife Care Center in Huntington Beach say they suspect intentional cruelty to animals in the injuries of 22 seagulls found in Orange County over the past month. The birds were all found with broken wings -- the right wing in all 22 cases -- primarily in Huntington Beach, with a few cases in nearby Laguna Beach.

"These are healthy birds, and the bones look like they’ve just been grabbed and snapped," wildlife center technician Kelly Beavers told The Times' local news blog, L.A. Now.

All 22 of the birds were euthanized because their injuries were deemed too severe to attempt to keep them alive. The spate of seagull injuries is reminiscent of a similar series of incidents in 2008, in which 11 pelicans were injured. Ten of those pelicans did not survive.

A person found guilty of injuring seagulls could face a maximum of six months in jail or a $15,000 fine, according to L.A. Now.

The wildlife rescue center is asking anyone with information on the suspected seagull attacks to call (714) 347-5587.

RELATED BIRD NEWS:
Federal agency proposes voluntary guidelines for wind power developers to avoid bird deaths
Hawaii attorney scoffs at animal cruelty charge for client who beat peacock with baseball bat

-- Lindsay Barnett

Photo: Seagulls in Huntington Beach in 2003. Credit: Los Angeles Times

Puppy nearly sent through the mail has a new home

Guess Puppy Adopted

MINNEAPOLIS — A Minnesota puppy that made headlines when it was saved from a likely deadly trip through the mail went home with a new owner Friday -- an exuberant Minneapolis woman who was thrilled to welcome the fuzzy black dog into her life.

"I never win anything," said Terri Ford, who threw her arms in the air in excitement after learning she had won the drawing for Guess, a 5-month-old schnauzer-poodle mix.

Nearly 50 people went to a Minneapolis animal shelter Friday in hopes of adopting Guess. Animal control officials held a drawing for the puppy's new owner -- Ford's name was drawn first, and she passed the application process.

Ford, who wouldn't give her age, said she lives alone and is unemployed, so she has plenty of time to housebreak a dog.

"I think it might be good to get out of my pajamas and out of the house," she said before the drawing.

Dressed in a long, pink coat, glittery boots and earrings with the word "rebel" on them, Ford said she heard about Guess on the news.

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Chinese animal advocates ask state TV not to air magician's goldfish trick

Goldfish trick

BEIJING — Animal activists in China say a now-famous magic trick with goldfish swimming in sync for the Lunar New Year may have involved abuse including implanted magnets, and are asking the state broadcaster not to air it again.

Hundreds of millions of people watched the magic trick during a China Central Television gala on the Jan. 30 eve of the Lunar New Year festival. The gala is China's most-watched broadcast of the year.

Goldfish are a symbol of wealth in China, but the image of six of them swimming in perfect sync under magician Fu Yandong's direction alarmed some Chinese, who worried that magnets were implanted in the fish or that they were controlled by electric current.

Fifty-three animal rights groups and other groups have sent a letter to CCTV asking it not to let Fu perform the trick again during Thursday's broadcast of the Lantern Festival, which ends the Lunar New Year events.

"We should stand for nonviolence, harmony and tolerance, but to my great surprise CCTV, the state broadcaster, tells the public we can use animals for entertainment. I think this is just wrong," said Qing Shaona, director of the Capital Animal Welfare Assn.

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Puppy that narrowly missed being mailed from Minnesota to Georgia goes up for adoption

GuessPuppy MINNEAPOLIS — A puppy that escaped a possibly deadly trip through the mail and won the hearts of admirers worldwide will be available for adoption this week.

The city of Minneapolis says a drawing to adopt Guess, a 5-month-old schnauzer-poodle mix, will be held Friday. People who are interested have to be at the Minneapolis Animal Care and Control shelter, and animal control manager Dan Niziolek says he's expecting a line.

Guess was saved from a trip through the mail to Georgia that officials say probably would have been fatal when postal workers opened the package.

Shelter official Jeanette Wiedemeier Bower said hundreds of people from across the U.S. and the world have asked to adopt Guess. She says the agency hopes the attention will encourage people to adopt other animals.

RELATED POSTS ABOUT ANIMAL CRUELTY CASES:
Woman charged with animal cruelty for trying to ship puppy in a sealed box asks for the puppy back
U.K. 'Cat Bin Lady' pleads guilty to animal cruelty charge for dumping cat in trash bin

-- Tara Bannow, Associated Press

Photo: Guess in an undated photo provided by the City of Minneapolis. Credit: Associated Press

Woman, charged with animal cruelty for trying to ship a puppy in a sealed box, asks for the puppy back

The Minneapolis woman recently charged with animal cruelty for attempting to mail a live puppy to Georgia in a sealed box asked for the animal to be returned to her in a hearing Monday.

Stacey Champion, 39, has said she intended to give the puppy, named Guess, as a birthday gift for her 11-year-old son in Atlanta. She claimed at the hearing that she made attempts to provide for Guess' welfare by punching air holes in the box and placing water bottles in it, but postal officials denied the presence of water bottles and said the holes were covered with packing tape, negating their purpose.

Postal workers reportedly noticed the box moving on its own and heard noises coming from inside when Champion brought it for shipment. Champion admitted telling a postal clerk that the box contained a "toy robot" to account for its movement, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

Because the puppy didn't arrive in Atlanta as she planned, "I was deprived of my son not receiving his gift for his birthday," Champion said at the hearing. "I felt really, really bad as a mom."

Administrative hearing officer Fabian Hoffner denied Champion's request to have Guess returned to her, saying he doubted her ability to provide proper care for him. (You think?) For now, the puppy remains at a Minneapolis-area animal shelter. Multiple potential new owners have expressed interest in adopting the 4-month-old poodle mix, but he won't be made available for adoption until the conclusion of Champion's animal cruelty case unless she fails to pay a bond to provide for his care.

RELATED ANIMAL CRUELTY NEWS:
San Diego County groups to offer rewards for information in animal cruelty cases
U.K. 'Cat Bin Lady' pleads guilty to animal cruelty charge for dumping cat in trash bin

-- Lindsay Barnett

Video: Minneapolis Star Tribune

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