Loudoun County, VA, reported a placement rate of 91% for dogs, 92% for cats, and 95% for rabbits and other animals. Pittsfield, MA, banned the sale of commercially-bred animals in pet stores. Puppy mills, puppy brokers, and pet stores that fuel the trade in milled animals are trying to pass legislation in Florida that would prevent local cities and counties from doing the same. Divorce courts in Rhode Island would no longer consider animals property for purposes of determining custody if a new bill making its way through the legislature becomes law. Despite (false) promises that new reforms would end the era of horses dying at the track, 43 horses have been killed at Santa Anita in the last 14 months. Legislation pending in NY would require annual shelter reporting of statistics, a precursor to lifesaving success. After 30 years, the Denver City council voted to repeal a ban on dogs identified as “pit bulls,” but the Mayor vetoed it. A Federal Court has upheld Maryland’s ban on the pet store sale of milled animals. And finally, a new study finds that cows recognize each other by their unique voices, talk to each other, and express both happiness and distress.

In case you missed it:

And finally, a new study finds that cows recognize each other by their unique voices. They also have “very distinct personalities.” There are loud cows and quiet cows; shy cows and chatty cows. Moreover, since the cow has similar brain architecture to a human for the experience of joy, pain, and even social bonds, they experience things much like we do. So it should also be no surprise that they express happiness when they experience something positive (e.g., when food is offered) and they express distress when they are subjected to psychological or physical pain (e.g., when they are separated from their calves, isolated, or suffer some other harm). They not only tell each other, they try to tell us. We’ve just chosen to ignore it because it is easier to do so given what we do to them.

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