Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Pups seized from Tenn. Mill in NYC for Adoption

Adopting a purebred puppy in NYC isn't always easy. When they do land in the shelters or rescue groups, the once-pricey pet store pups are quickly scooped up.   But now 43 purebred puppies - including Shih-tzus, Chihuahuas, and Pekingese - rescued from a Tennessee puppy mill have been brought to New York City for eventual adoption.

ASPCA spokeswoman Emily Brand says the puppies are among 285 dogs seized last week in Sparta, Tenn. They were being bred for sale in pet stores and over the Internet.

The dogs that arrived in New York on Tuesday include tiny, 8-week-old puppies, their mothers and some adult males. They're being examined, groomed and socialized. They had been kept 5 or 6 per crate, and had never been walked on a leash.

Brand says some could be available for adoption as early as Friday. She says they'll need "extra TLC." The adoption hotline number is 212-876-7700, extension 4145.

Meanwhile, a coalition of animal welfare groups has formed to protest the court-order to kill all the 127 American Pit Bull Terriers—60 of them puppies—seized on Dec. 10, 2008, during a raid on Wildside Kennels in Wilkesboro, N.C.

Led by Best Friends Animals Society, the coalition includes BAD RAP (Bay Area Doglovers Responsible About Pit Bulls), Animal Farm Foundation, Villa Lobos Rescue Center, and Downtown Dog Rescue.

The Wilkesboro Superior Court order would put all of the dogs down after their owner, Ed Faron had been sentenced to jail for 8 to 10 months.

Best Friends attorney Ledy VanKavage says the coalition is urging North Carolina, and other states, to let go of old, discredited policies that assume all such dogs are inherently damaged or dangerous.

The groups point out that dogs raised for fighting shouldn’t be summarily doomed. For example, 22 of the Michael Vick dogs at Best Friends Animal Sanctuary , BADRAP, and other organizations have made great progress with dogs from the Vick fighting bust. Some of these dogs were condemned by other national humane organizations to be the most violent dogs in America. Now many have their Canine Good Citizenship and some are therapy dogs.

Best Friends is urging citizens to contact their state legislators to change North Carolina law and delete the clause in the law that makes it possible for dogs harbored for fighting to automatically be deemed “dangerous” dogs.

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