Tuesday, October 9, 2012

A Rescue's Code of Ethics

When I first jumped into the animal welfare arena, I was quickly surrounded all types of animal rescue organizations. At the 2008 Pet Expo, they were turning each other in for unethical practices. Some were flipping dogs while others were selling puppies directly from the puppy mills offering an assortment of 8-week old popular breed dogs.

Rather than confusing the public with which red flags to look for, we developed a Code of Ethics for rescues to commit to. These ethics are part of a larger Michigan Rescue Certification Program designed to promote the good rescues. This will help everyone find the hardworking rescues that are truly operating to help the animals.

The Code of Ethics can be found at the end of the Best Practices Handbook for Michigan rescues. See Appendix A.

These four items listed in the Code of Ethics will help us fight the war on puppy mills. Please support Puppy Mill Awareness by working with rescue groups who avoid working with breeders and pet stores

1.      We will not support the breeding industry by any action that would serve to continue their operations, such as participating in events with or at pet stores that sell dogs or cats, buying or taking animals from an auction or relieving a breeder of excess stock.

2.      We will not participate in any “pet trafficking” by working with an animal broker or anyone where the source of the animals is unknown.

3.      As an all breed rescue, we will not import animals from out of state and contribute to the homeless animal problem here in Michigan.

4.      We will not engage in the practice of “flipping” which involves obtaining animals for free or at a low cost and then quickly selling those same animals for profit.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Pet Station Owner Sentenced

On October 3, 2012 the owner of Pet Station, Ramzi Dakhlallah, was sentenced to 5 years probation, restitution to-be-determined (over $10,000) and 20 hours of community service. He is not allowed to possess, harbor, sell, import, breed, or transport animals during this probation period. If he violates his probation, he could go to jail.

Ramzi’s attorney stated that Ramzi accepted responsibility and he suffered from “sloppy business ownership”. He was in over his head. His business was shut down and he can not earn a living. He is devastated. It has been eye opening experience. 

When the judge asked him if he had anything to say he said “I just want to put this behind my back”.

Judge Jackson said he sees 1-2 cases at this level. Troubled case. He did receive several letters from the community and organizations. 

For more details on the April 2012 seizure of 275 animals go to our Meetup discussion thread on this case.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Dogs Protest at the Capitol

Michigan dogs had a few barks at the Capitol this year for the fifth annual Puppy Mill Awareness Day – Pups Parade. Over 125 puppy huggers paraded around the Capitol drawing all kinds of attention including the local tv stations. Fox 47

Many law makers stopped to check out the rally including Senator Steven Beida, Senator Rick Jones, Senator Tonya Schuitmaker, Representative Chuck Moss, and Representative Morris Hood. 

We collected the BIG post cards from the co-hosts and will work on plans to strategically deliver them to key lawmakers. Thanks again Capital Area Humane Society, Ingham County Animal Control, Animal Placement Bureau, H.E.A.R.T., Annabelles and Voiceless-MI.

Vicki Deisner, our ASPAC Director and Jonelle collected personal hand written post cards from the other participants. We collected 83 cards.

Sunday Harvie made yummy vegan “animal friendly” sandwiches and dog shaped cookies for the bill’s sponsors along with a festive veggie pizza for the speakers. Thanks Sunday!

We were able to capture some survivor stories too including Darby, an Allegan County Puppy Mill Survivor. "He much prefers his blue Mohawk over several pounds of feces laden matted fur :)"

Photos / Videos