Friday, August 11, 2017

Victories & Successes, Dog Confiscated, New NJ Law, Utah’s Ag-Gag, Animal Legal Defense Fund, more...

Dog Confiscated After Video of Owner Abusing the Animal on the Subway Goes Viral. Thanks to animal lovers worldwide who voiced their concerns over a viral video that shows a woman biting and hitting a dog on a train in Toronto, Canada, the dog has now been seized by the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
The video (warning: it’s graphic) shows the woman repeatedly yanking on the dog’s leash, grabbing the dog by the back of his/her neck and biting the dog’s face, resulting in her getting fur stuck in her teeth.

This certainly wasn’t a situation to take lightly. Animal abuse is strongly linked with other forms of abuse, such as domestic violence and child abuse. One study found that animal abuse occurred in 88 percent of homes where child abuse had been discovered. In fact, animal abusers are five times more likely to abuse people.

Understandably and rightfully, passengers on the train were appalled and immediately called the police and filed a report. The police came to the train station and interviewed the woman, as well as witnesses, and gave her a warning, releasing her with the dog due to insufficient evidence.

But thanks to the good Samaritan, Roxy Huang, who took the now viral video footage, police then brought to the troubling incident to the attention of the Ontario SPCA. From there, the dog was seized and placed in protective custody. The owner now has charges pending for animal cruelty.

Thanks to the compassionate people on the train, as well as millions of online commentators who voiced their outrage, the dog is now out of harm’s way and will hopefully find a loving, peaceful forever home.

Please always speak up if you see animal abuse by calling the proper authorities. It’s important we speak up for those who cannot! Image source: Roxy Huang/YouTube.
New Jersey Just Passed a Law to Cut Down on Chaining Dogs! Animal lovers in New Jersey are rejoicing over the passing of a new bill signed into law by Governor Chris Christie. The Governor recently signed more than 50 new bills but this one specifically is targeting the “cruel restraint” of dogs, making it a criminal offense.

The new law seeks to crack down on keeping dogs chained outside for prolonged periods of time unattended, using inhumane restraint methods, and/or tethering during harsh weather conditions. More specifically, a dog can no longer be chained or tethered outside overnight between the hours of 11 pm and 5 am. Additionally, if a dog is chained more than 30 minutes during the day, they must be attached to a lightweight chain or rope that is at least 15 feet long and have access to clean water and adequate shelter. Also, during harsh weather conditions, a dog can’t be tethered outside for more than 30 minutes without supervision.

According to animal advocate Janice Fisher, even though the law goes into effect immediately, dog guardians will be given a chance to adjust to the new laws and they will also be given a warning with time to correct offenses. When it comes to keeping dogs tethered overnight, the state is granting 180 days for guardians to find a safer alternative for their pets.

“Dogs are social animals”, stated Fisher, “a highly social animal and they are not lawn ornaments, so for me, for a dog to be tethered up 24/7, I think, is cruel.”

The Garden State couldn’t agree more and “chain dogs” in New Jersey have a brighter future ahead of them! Image Source: Pixabay
In July, the U.S. District Court of Utah declared Utah’s Ag-Gag statute unconstitutional. This is the second time a state Ag-Gag statute has been struck down as unconstitutional, both rulings the result of lawsuits led by the Animal Legal Defense Fund. This victory follows a landmark decision from August 2015, when the U.S. District Court of Idaho ruled that Idaho’s Ag-Gag law violated the First and Fourteenth Amendments. Ag-Gag laws seek to “gag” would-be whistleblowers and undercover activists by punishing them for recording and disseminating footage of what goes on in animal agriculture. They were originally designed to prevent the public from learning about animal cruelty.  Read more on the victory in Utah.
Taking Ag-Gag to court and pushing legislation to protect animals are huge projects that can take years of steady, careful work. You are the reason the Animal Legal Defense Fund can take on these tough cases to help more animals. The support from our Partners in Protection makes it possible for us to put in the round-the-clock work that goes into scoring major victories for animals. When you pledge your monthly support, we use your donations wisely in our fight to protect the lives and advance the interests of animals through the legal system. Become a Partner in Protection today.