Animal

Kingsport Animal Services Raises $2 million for New Animal Shelter

The city of Kingsport moved a step closer to opening its upgraded PETWORKS adoption shelter and community dog park, raising $2 million of its $3.5 million goal, the Kingsport Times-News reports. The 17,000 square foot facility will be housed on a 3.5-acre site, with an updated examination and clinical area that meets American Animal Hospital Association standards. It will feature dedicated adoption spaces with a quiet indoor adoption counseling area, a large multipurpose room for training, humane education courses, public pet training classes and a 1.2-acre dog park. Construction is expected to begin in the second half of this year, with the project to be completed in 2020.

read more »

Nashville Zoo Opens New Veterinary Sciences Center

The Nashville Zoo opened its new 23,677-square-foot HCA Healthcare Veterinary Center last week, replacing a 30-year-old facility that struggled to meet the zoo’s growth. The state-of-the-art center will feature upgraded medical equipment, remote-controlled lighting, cameras and other modern features, along with viewing windows into the animal nursery rooms to watch feedings and care of baby animals. Docents, keepers and veterinary technicians will be on hand to answer questions and explain the animal care guests are witnessing. You will have the opportunity to tour the facility at the Animal Law Section Forum on May 17.

read more »

Tennessee Horses Test Positive for Equine Influenza

Tennessee State Veterinarian Dr. Doug Balthaser announced last week that some horses returning from out-of-state events have tested positive for equine influenza virus (EIV), a highly contagious sickness that is spread by contaminated stable equipment and coughing horses. Symptoms of EIV include fever, nasal discharge, cough, loss of appetite and weakness, among others. The Department of Agriculture’s C. E. Kord Animal Health Diagnostic Laboratory offers free EIV testing for horses, in addition to screenings for equine infectious anemia, equine herpes virus, equine protozoal myeloencephalitis and eastern equine encephalitis.

read more »

TWRA Launches New App with Enhanced Features

The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) has created an app to make it easier for residents to check licensing status and get out to enjoy wildlife. “TWRA on the Go” will provide access to Tennessee rules and regulations, use geo-locating tools to enhance the recreational experience, determine sunrise/sunset times based on GPS location and feature an interactive map to find TWRA wildlife management areas. The app also features information about where to view animals across the state.

read more »

General Assembly to Consider Enhancement of Animal Abuse Crimes

Tennessee lawmakers seek to enhance animal abuse statutes, making a second or subsequent conviction of aggravated cruelty to animals, or a first conviction of aggravated cruelty to animals involving five or more animals a Class C felony, which comes with a mandatory minimum sentence of 180 days of incarceration. The charges are currently considered a Class E felony with no mandatory confinement. The bill — HB0852/SB1277 — is scheduled for consideration by the Criminal Justice Subcommittee on Feb. 27.

read more »

Wife of Man Who Committed Suicide After Alleged Animal Abuse Facing Charges

The wife of the Cleveland dog trainer arrested and charged with animal cruelty, who died by suicide shortly thereafter, is now facing charges of her own, the Cleveland Daily Banner reports. Morgan Kinder faces six counts of aggravated cruelty to animals because of five dead snakes and one dead lizard found in her home, with an additional 16 counts of animal cruelty related to neglected dogs on the property. Her husband and owner of Kinder Dog Training, Stephen Kinder, shot himself in a Cleveland parking lot on Feb. 7 after being released on bond for the crimes.

read more »

Greene County Groups Aid Dogs from Georgia Puppy Mill Raids

Animal rescue groups in Greene County are playing an integral role in the recovery of hundreds of dogs recently rescued from Georgia puppy mills, WJHL News reports. The Atlanta Humane Society rescued the dogs found in "extremely neglectful" conditions from properties in Georgia’s Montgomery and Candler counties. Thirty eight of the estimated 400 dogs were relinquished to the Greene Pets Foster Network, which worked with others in the community to ensure that the animals receive proper care and are safely transported to a specialty rescue program in Maryland. The owner of the puppy mills was arrested and charged with animal cruelty.

read more »

Concerns Raised Over Use of Live Animal Mascots at Sporting Events

A viral video from the Sugar Bowl showing University of Texas’ longhorn steer Bevo breaking through an enclosure and charging into an area where University of Georgia’s bulldog Uga was being photographed has renewed concerns for live animal mascots, The Knoxville News Sentinel reports. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) on its blog condemned the use of animal mascots, saying “It’s quite possible that Bevo was simply scared by the noise, lights, and chaos in the stadium and tried to flee from the confines of his makeshift pen. But that doesn’t change the fact that Uga or any of the humans standing nearby could easily have been trampled and killed.” The University of Tennessee’s coonhounds, called Smokey, have been docile and without injury since introduced in 1953, minus one incident in 2006 when Smokey IX nipped an Alabama receiver after the player fell on him while running out of bounds to catch a pass.

read more »

UT Releases Study Addressing Barriers to Veterinary Care

The University of Tennessee — through its study group the Access to Veterinary Care Coalition — released a report that addresses problems experienced by low-income households and young pet owners when seeking care for their animals. The Access to Veterinary Care: Barriers, Current Practices, and Public Policy report serves to identify these barriers, along with veterinarian attitudes and input, with the intent of identifying solutions to allow better access to veterinary services. Unsurprisingly, the greatest barrier to care is financial concerns, with 80 percent of low-income and younger pet owners unable to obtain preventative care due to financial constraints, 74 percent for sick care and 56 percent for emergency care. The study was paid for by Maddie’s Fund, a national foundation with the mission of creating a no-kill nation where every dog and cat is guaranteed a healthy home or habitat.

read more »

Gorilla Warfare Erupts Between Cincinnati Zoo, Ape Advocates

The Cincinnati Zoo is again making headlines, with another ape-related controversy hanging over the institution, Nonprofit Quarterly reports. The dispute stems from a disagreement with the Gorilla Foundation (GF) regarding custody of an adult silverback gorilla named Ndume — former mate and lifelong friend of the preeminent primate Koko, who was famously taught sign language by Jane Goodall. When Koko died in June, the zoo soon after requested that Ndume be brought back to Cincinnati, however, the foundation maintains that because of his age, it is too dangerous to transport him. The zoo subsequently filed suit against GF asking the court to return the gorilla to his former home. U.S. District Judge Richard Seeborg has ordered the parties to pursue a joint resolution, though communication between the organizations remains tenuous. The Cincinnati Zoo first came under fire for the controversy surrounding the death of the gorilla Harambe. The Association of Zoos and Aquariums and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals have both sided with the zoo because it is able to provide Ndume the necessary socialization with other gorillas, whereas GF has no other gorillas.  

read more »