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puppy mill convictions - how the victims are doing

October 28th, 2005, 07:21 AM
From today's Toronto Sun - the victims story. Write (email) them and let them know you appreciate the time they took to write the article. Media interest is instrumental in gaining convictions. Contact information @

Jail for longtime animal abusers

As Ralph Misener, an animal abuser for decades, awakens this morning to face his fourth full day behind bars, two survivors of his "concentration camp for dogs" remain psychologically tormented by their years of internment.
There is Haylee, a 7-something keeshond who spends its day cowering in a hall closet -- afraid of any sudden move, any flash of light, any loud noise.
In its veins courses the blood of the Samoyed, the chow chow, the elkhound, and the Pomeranian, supposedly fearless breeds.
Haylee, however, is frightened of her own shadow.
If she were human, she'd likely be committed to a mental institution.
Then there is Molly, a 4-something Shih Tsu who shakes like a leaf and becomes rigor-mortis stiff whenever picked up, and who still finds it nigh impossible to look a human stranger in the eye -- particularly if that stranger is a man.
When Tammy Whitfield read here on Tuesday that 81-year-old Ralph Misener, convicted yet again for cruelty to animals, was led away in handcuffs to serve six months in prison, she felt no sympathy for the old man.
"The handcuffs were around his wrists, were they not?" she says. "They weren't around his neck."
Tammy Whitfield can hardly be blamed for thinking the way she does.
Haylee and Molly are now her dogs, adopted from the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals after being rescued in separate raids on puppy mills being run by Ralph and Rose Misener.
While her husband was heading off to jail on Tuesday, 65-year-old Rose Misener was heading back to the cottage-style bungalow north of Coboconk where she will spend the next 12 months under house arrest.
Tammy Whitfield has thoughts about Rose Misener, too.
"I can only hope that her time under house arrest will be as miserable and lonely as the animals lives were while in her care," she says.
At his sentencing in Newmarket on Monday, Ralph Misener brazenly ignored all evidence, and told Justice Simon Armstrong that, "I am here to state, categorically, her (Rose's) love for each and every pup."
Tammy Whitfield scoffs.
"If she loved all her dogs, Haylee would not be hiding in a closet today," she says.
Both Haylee and Molly were never for sale while being held in captivity by the Miseners. They were used as assembly-line breeders, churning out puppies virtually non-stop.
"If they were ever not pregnant, it wasn't for long," says Tammy. "Their lives were ones from hell."
It was OSPCA Insp. Mike Draper who described the Miseners' puppy mill in Vaughan as a "concentration camp for dogs."
When the place was raided in 2003, 43 dogs and puppies were found suffering in conditions so wretched that inspectors were nauseated.
Haylee was one of those dogs.
"Haylee was gravely ill and near death when she was rescued," says Whitfield, a 34-year-old Brinks dispatcher. "She was on an IV for a week before it was thought she would survive and be strong enough to put up for adoption.
"The OSPCA did an excellent job of nursing as many dogs back to health as possible.
"They also have a selection process that ensures these dogs are given the love and the attention they not only long for, but the love and the attention they deserve."
In the Scarborough home co-owned by Tammy Whitfield and her parents, there are five dogs -- all of them rescued from some sort of dire straits.
"If you love animals, you do what you can do," says Whitfield, who estimates that medical costs for Haylee and Molly alone have totalled close to $2,500.
"There were chronic respiratory infections to deal with," she says. "There were the skin sores and the eye infections.
"The excruciating pain and suffering that was inflicted on these poor, defenceless dogs should come with a far greater punishment.
"Perhaps the Miseners need to be put in a cage or a box without food or water, without heat or light, and then denied any loving contact with humans.
"Only then will they be able to understand," she says. "But that will never happen to the Miseners.
"It only happens to their dogs."

October 28th, 2005, 09:01 AM
Editorial from the Toronto Star - it's time for every pet owner out there to write to their MP! :thumbs up

Oct. 28, 2005. 01:00 AM
Editorial: Protect our animals

On first glance, sending an 81-year-old man to jail for six months and confining his wife to a year of house arrest might seem to be unusually harsh for an elderly couple.

That is until one puts their crimes over a 40-year period into context. Since the mid-1960s, Ralph Misener and his wife, Rose, 65, have made their living by raising and selling dogs. Both were sentenced earlier this week in a Newmarket court for neglect and cruelty involving dozens of sick and maltreated dogs.

Court records show Ralph Misener has been convicted four previous times and has served two jail terms. Rose has been convicted twice.

In fact, when Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals inspectors raided their farm in 2003 for which the latest sentences were meted out the Miseners were already facing charges relating to 231 dogs seized in 2001.

Given their convictions, the latest punishment seems pretty tame.

But it is the current federal laws dealing with animal abuse, not lenient judges, that continue to give puppy mill operators like the Miseners licence to continue operating with relative impunity.

Offences against animals fall under the federal Criminal Code. So it is in Ottawa where the remedy lies. Sadly, there has been no want of trying. Currently, a new bill on animal cruelty, C-50, is on the legislative agenda in the House of Commons. It is the fourth effort since 1999 aimed at updating existing legislation that goes back 113 years.

Except for a few minor revisions in 1956, the existing law is badly outdated, leaving authorities woefully ill-equipped to prosecute and punish serial animal abusers.

Bill C-50, if passed, would remedy a number of deficiencies in the Criminal Code. Among them, it would: Increase the penalty for intentional cruelty from a maximum of six months to five years; increase fines for summary convictions from $2,000 to $10,000 and place no cap on indictable offences; and remove the requirement to prove "wilful" neglect, a legal test that has hindered past prosecutions.

It would also allow judges to impose a lifetime ban on animal ownership rather than the present two-year limit, and permit them to impose restitution orders to recover medical and other costs incurred by animal-protection groups.

The unelected Senate has been the chief culprit over the last six years in blocking all efforts to update the current law. The delay has allowed a number of reasonable and useful amendments to allay concerns of hunters and anglers and protect the traditional rights of aboriginals.

The time for excuses is over. Canadians have a duty to let senators know that further obstruction is inexcusable and unacceptable.

Despite an election due early in 2006, there is still time to pass this much-needed modernization of animal abuse laws.

Prime Minister Paul Martin should tell the senators that their stubborn refusal to approve the measure must end, and give the bill the push it so highly deserves.

jesse's mommy
October 28th, 2005, 09:05 AM
These kind of stories make me so mad! I really hate people like this. I wish I could torture them as they have tortured these animals!

My Dad had words for me the other evening (after rescuing this kitty we have right now). He told me that I need to stop picking up these stray animals and that I should let it be someone elses problem. I told him if we all took that attitude no one would be there to help them! And to speak of my father, I don't understand where this attitude comes to play. There was a time when he brought home a rescued chicken, numerous cats, a snake, and the list goes on. My Mom doesn't understand why he is so hard on me considering the things he has brought home. So it's alright for him, but not for me? (Thanks for letting me have that little rant -- I needed it.)

The lack of hearts some people have kills me. I just don't understand how people can be so cruel to something so helpless. I just can't understand the concept. Why can't we put these people on an island together and see who survives? Let's see if these people can figure out how to really survive. No voting off the island, no pampering, nothing. If they get sick, let them find their own remedies or die. Just throw them on the island, set up satellite cameras and let them go at it. I would watch that realty show. :evil:

Thanks for letting me vent!

October 28th, 2005, 10:05 AM
These people should have charges with 231 counts of animal abuse. One for each dog the tortured.

October 30th, 2005, 02:42 PM
I think the brokers who work for puppymills should be charged as well!

These people should have charges with 231 counts of animal abuse. One for each dog the tortured.