Friday, January 20, 2012

Help needed for animals rescued from hoarders in Warroad

WARROAD, Minn. - Twenty eight dogs and two cats are being housed at the Pennington County Humane Society after they were rescued from the home of alleged dog hoarders in Warroad.

Police Chief Wade Steinbring confirmed to the Warroad Pioneer that the animals had been kept indoors for nearly 3 years, and that the basement of the home occupied by a male owner and his female companion was filled with an estimated two to three feet of feces.

There was also feces on the walls, stairs, countertops, and just about every surface in the home, according to Steinbring.

The animals were rescued from the home on January 10 by humane volunteers, who took them to the Pennington County Humane Society for care and evaulation.
Neighbors were reportedly not aware of the situation because there was no odor, little noise, and they never saw any of the animals outside.

The Warroad City Council met last week to declare the home a public nuisance and health hazard, and ordered board-up operations to begin.

Please send donations to:

Pennington County Humane Society
15598 U.S. Hwy 59 NE
P.O. Box 64
Thief River Falls, MN 56701

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Bill Banning Undercover Video Is Back

Two critical bills from last year’s legislative session, S.F. 1118/HF 1369, are expected to come up for a hearing very soon at the legislature. These bills criminalize anyone blowing the whistle (taking video) on animal cruelty, food and worker safety, labor abuses, and environmental crimes at puppy/kitten mills or factory farms in Minnesota. These bills even make the possession and distribution of this information (images) a crime, including possession and distribution by the news media.

It is because of such undercover investigation that breeder Kathy Bauck was charged and convicted of animal cruelty and, acts of cruelty occurring at Sparboe Farms in Litchfield, MN were revealed to the public. These bills would shield commercial breeders and agri- business from public scrutiny. Please call your State Representative and Senator to express your opposition to these bills (Find out who represents you).

Click on the following links for contact information for your Representative and Senator:

We must speak for the animals. Thank you for caring.

The Minnesota Humane Society is an education, advocacy and rescue organization dedicated to protecting the lives and interests of Minnesota's animals. Please help us continue our important work. As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, all donations are tax deductible.

475 North Cleveland Avenue Suite 100B | St. Paul, MN 55104 US

Friday, January 13, 2012

Feline Rescue's Free Cat Claw Clipping Clinics at Chuck & Don's Pet Food Outlets

Need a manicure for your fuzzy feline? Visit one of Feline Rescue's FREE cat claw clipping clinics, hosted by Chuck & Don's Pet Food Outlets around the Twin Cities.

In addition to a trim for your cat, you'll learn why cats scratch, get tips on doing the clipping yourself, and get information on the best scratching surfaces for your cat.

Clinics are Saturdays, 11:00 am - 1:00 pm at the following Chuck & Don's:

January 14 - Roseville - 1661 County Road C West (by Byerly's)
January 14 - Shakopee - 1270 Vierling Drive E (by Cub)
January 21 - Calhoun Village - 3246 West Lake, Minneapolis
January 21 - NE Minneapolis - 335 Central SE
January 28 - Highland Crossing, 2114 Highland Parkway, St. Paul
February 11 - Shakopee - 1270 Vierling Drive E (by Cub)
February 11 - Roseville - 1661 County Road C West (by Byerly's)

If you are interested in volunteering at a clinic, contact Marie at

For more information about Feline Rescue, Inc. check out their website ( and blog (

Monday, January 9, 2012

Cat issue at Wed. City Council mtg in Woodbury

Woodbury pet advocates decry cat's killing after owner's death
Article by: TIM HARLOW , Star Tribune
Updated: January 9, 2012 - 7:24 PM

Humane Society euthanized diabetic gray tabby in December. Advocates contend the city and the society did not follow state law.

Woodbury police took Jimmy to the Humane Society on Dec. 7.

. The death of a cat named Jimmy has pet advocates in Woodbury demanding changes in how the city deals with pets who have no one to look after them after their owners die.

They plan to speak out at Wednesday's City Council meeting because, they say, the city and the Animal Humane Society are not following state law.

"Jimmy would still be alive if Minnesota state statutes were followed," said Woodbury resident Debbie Long, who is organizing the rally. "We need these statutes enforced to protect animals to be sure they are taken care of."

The outcry stems from a December case in which the Humane Society euthanized a diabetic gray tabby cat whose owner had died. Her will stated that the cat should have gone to a no-kill shelter in Hastings.

Woodbury police took the cat to the Humane Society on Dec. 7. Police identified the deceased woman's estranged daughter as the rightful owner, and the society called her four days later. Ray Aboyan, the society's CEO, says the daughter gave the society permission to euthanize the cat, which the society could not place because of its condition.

Meanwhile, the executive director of Hastings' Animal Ark Shelter learned of the cat owner's death and called police to find out where Jimmy was. Mike Fry said he was concerned because the cat needed insulin. He also was its new guardian, according to the woman's will.

Fry contacted the Humane Society on Dec. 14 to learn that Jimmy had been killed.

State law requires shelters to hold stray animals for five days or until the owner comes forward, or 10 days if animals are victims of abuse, neglect or cruelty. Here, semantics come into play.

Aboyan said the Humane Society viewed Jimmy as a stray and held him for the required five days. Fry disagreed, saying Jimmy was a victim of neglect, which "can sometimes be unintentional," such as in the case of an owner's death, and thus should have been held 10 days. That would have been long enough for Fry, who was authorized by the woman's will to make decisions about Jimmy.

"Woodbury residents are upset because [the woman's] wishes were not carried out and the law was not followed," Fry said.

Aboyan said the Humane Society didn't know that Animal Ark was the cat's rightful owner. If it had known, "we would not have killed the cat," he said. "This is an unfortunate outcome. We were acting with the information we had. We followed the law."

Tim Harlow • 651-925-5039 Twitter: @timstrib

More on Woodbury cat

Woodbury woman left her estate to a "no-kill" shelter, but the cat was euthanized after a possible miscommunication.

By Zac Farber

Woodbury resident Mary Ray knew what she wanted to happen to her cat when she died.

Ray’s will left her entire estate, including power of attorney over the cat—Jimmy, a gray-striped tabby—to Animal Ark, a “no-kill” Hastings pet shelter she had admired since touring the facility in 2004, Animal Ark executive director Mike Fry said.

When Ray died on Dec. 7 from diabetes at the age of 71, Woodbury police took Jimmy to the local Animal Humane Society. After a telephone conversation with one of Ray’s daughters, Humane Society officials decided to euthanize Jimmy, said Laurie Brickley, Humane Society vice president of marketing.

By Dec. 9, Jimmy was dead.

“It was all done really poorly and unprofessionally, and I would assign responsibility with the city of Woodbury and the Humane Society,” Fry said.

It’s a sequence of events that both Animal Ark and the Animal Humane Society are calling unusual, and many facts are in dispute about whether the proper procedures were followed, whether the humane society needed legal paperwork to prove ownership and even whether Ray’s daughter wanted Jimmy killed.

Fry said that he went to Ray’s house and told her daughter, Susan White, that Jimmy was dead.

“She had this shocked look on her face and immediately started crying, saying ‘The Humane Society killed him’ and saying ‘Oh my god, she loved that cat so much, oh my god she loved that cat so much,’” Fry said. “What information may or may not have been exchanged in that phone conversation, I don’t know.”

The Humane Society defended the action, saying Woodbury police gave them the daughter’s name and they “did everything the way our protocol calls for,” Brickley said.

“We contacted this person and she made a decision based on the cat’s medical care, being a diabetic cat, that no one in the family would be able to care for that cat, so she requested our euthanasia and pet cremation services,” she said.

In response to a complaint from Fry, Woodbury Police Sgt. Neil Bauer wrote that Jimmy “was placed in the care of the Animal Humane Society until the next of kin could make further arrangements.”

“It is unfortunate that the decedent’s wishes were not implemented upon her death,” he wrote. “However, considering the information that was available at the time, the City made reasonable efforts to provide care for the cat until next of kin could act upon the decedent’s wishes.”

A Cat’s Journey
Marlene Foote, a co-founder of Animal Ark, met Mary Ray, who lived at the 6800 block Sherwood Road in Woodbury, in 2004 and spoke with her about her decision to leave her estate to the shelter.

Foote, who voiced her concerns during a recent Woodbury City Council meeting, said Ray was adamant on the point of not wanting either of her daughters to benefit from her will.

“She told me she had broken up with the man she was going to marry, and she wanted to leave her estate to Animal Ark, and she specifically mentioned that she didn’t want either of her daughters—and she mentioned them by name—to have anything to do with her estate,” Foote said. “She said, ‘I’m not omitting them accidentally, I’m omitting them purposefully.’ But her wishes simply were not carried out.”

(Fry said he does not place blame for Jimmy’s death on Ray’s family.)

Foote said she discovered that Ray was dead when she called her house on Sunday, Dec. 11, and a police officer answered. (Ray had called Foote on Dec. 4 to discuss getting a new pet.)

“She must have been feeling reasonably well because the Sunday before she had called me and said, ‘Marlene, I just really need to get a dog, I love dogs so much.’ And so I found a dog that she would have been willing to take care of—a dog we had that had diabetes,” Foote said.

The next day, Dec. 12, Fry started making calls to find out what had happened to Jimmy.

“I could tell early on that things were getting a little weird,” Fry said.

Fry decided to record a phone call with a Woodbury officer who explained why Jimmy was put down. The message says that police were under the impression that the cat wouldn’t have anyone to look after it. The officer said the Humane Society doesn’t provide insulin for cats, which was needed in Jimmy’s case.

“Jimmy can’t come back to life,” Foote said. “All he needed was a shot of insulin and the police said, ‘Well, the Animal Humane Society doesn’t give insulin.’ Insulin is cheaper than a shot of Fatal-Plus, but they chose to give him the Fatal-Plus.”

Brickley, the Humane Society official, said that there was no way they could have known that Animal Ark would be involved in the matter.

“Animal Ark contacted us three days later, saying they were the authorized power of attorney to make decisions about this cat, but unfortunately we could not be psychic and know that was the case,” she said. “We used the information the Woodbury police gave us to contact the appropriate family member to make a decision about the cat.”

Asking For Action
Foote and Fry said the Humane Society is required by law to hold impounded pets for a minimum of five business days, and Fry has written an open letter to the city of Woodbury asking it to bring its “contracted impound center into compliance with law.”

“We’re asking the city of Woodbury to look at who they’re using for impound because it’s really horrible for people who make a will thinking their animals are going to be cared for, and then having them killed,” Foote said.

Brickley said the five-day holding period applies only to stray pets and is not applicable in Jimmy’s case.

“This is an owner-surrender, this was not a stray, this was a family member making a choice about their individual cat on behalf of the mother,” she said. “There is no legal hold required.”

Brickley said that there is conflict between Animal Ark and Mary Ray’s family and that the Humane Society is waiting for the verdict of a probate hearing to find out who gets to possess the remains of the cat.

Cat euthanized despite will directing care

No-kill proponents, Humane Society clash over cat
9:09 AM, Jan 9, 2012 |

WOODBURY, Minn. - A euthanized cat has no-kill proponents and the Humane Society at odds in Woodbury.

When Mary Ray died last month, the Woodbury woman had willed her cat and personal belongings to the Animal Ark No-Kill Shelter in Hastings. But, the Humane Society and Woodbury police say they didn't know about the will.

Humane Society executive Ray Aboyan tells the St. Paul Pioneer Press the cat had no prospects for adoption since it was diabetic and in poor health. Ray's daughter, Susan White, agreed to have the cat put down because she knew it was in poor health and none of their relatives would want it.

No-kill proponents are planning to protest at Wednesday's Woodbury City Council meeting.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)