Shared Blog Post – Midstate (PA) woman says kennel used shock collar on her dog

< Updated – 1APR19 >

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This story from WHTM ABC 27 in Harrisburg, PA dated March 27th, 2019, interviews Stephanie Hastings who left her dog Becker in the care of a boarding kennel in Pennsylvania. Becker came home from the kennel acting withdrawn and, “… he looked broken when he came back.” “She took her dog Becker to a veterinarian who concluded the injuries were related to a shock collar or shocking incident.”

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He had marks on his neck that looked like burn marks of what I initially thought were bite marks, but it turned out to be shock collar burns on his neck and he didn’t go in with them,” said Hastings.”

Hastings later learned that it is legal in Pennsylvania for a boarding kennel to use a shock collar on a dog. Stephanie Hastings is now on a mission to strengthen animal cruelty laws in Pennsylvania.

I’m sharing this report because this same thing could happen in Maine as there is nothing in Maine state law to prevent this type of abuse. When you board your dog, please verify that your kennel would NEVER use or recommend shock collars or any aversive for any reason. I suggest that you ask the same of your trainer, groomer, daycare, veterinarian and basically any pet care facility including shelters, humane societies and rescue groups.

You can also ask your pet care professional if they are a member of the Pet Professional Guild (PPG) and comply with the PPG Guiding Principles which explicitly prohibit the use of pain, force, or fear in the care, confinement, and training of pets. The PPG is the only USA based organization of pet care professionals that have policies in place that require compliance with their guiding principles.  When I am asked to recommend another pet care professional, the first thing I look for is one that is a member of the PPG. < Click to Find A PPG Member >

The PPG and the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) both have policies in place that state aversives (alpha rolls, beating, cattle prods, choke collars, dominance downs, electronic shock collars, lunge whips prong (pinch) collars, shock collars, anything aversive) should NEVER be used with pets.

You can watch and read the report by Logan Wilson at < >

Recommended Resources

Articles on Don’s Blog

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Say No To Shock! – A list of Scientific Articles, Laws and Regulations, Mass Media Articles, Blog Posts, and Articles on Websites, Podcasts, Position Statements, and Website and Social Media Pages that address the abusive use of electric shock in the training, care, management, and containment of pets. –

The Unintended Consequences of Shock Collars –

Podcasts from The Woof Meow Show

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 The Woof Meow Show: The Pet Professional Guild and the Shock-Free Coalition with Niki Tudge

The Woof Meow Show: The Unintended Consequences of Shock Collars


Web Sites and Social Media Pages

The Shock-Free Coalition

The Shock-Free Coalition on Facebook –

The Shock-Free Coalition/Maine Chapter

The Shock-Free Coalition/Maine Chapter on Facebook

Shared Facebook Post – Don’t “Ace” the Fear

The Use of Acepromazine with Dogs

Yesterday I shared a Facebook post from and Veterinary Behavior Consultants of Alabama and Roverchase addressing the use of the sedative Acepromazine for treating firework, thunderstorm and noise phobias in dogs. The graphic from Facebook explains that “Ace” does not really resolve the dog’s anxiety and suggest you ask your veterinarian for a better, more humane alternative.

In this YouTube video [ ] Dr. Karen Overall, a veterinary behaviorist, discusses Acepromazine in a presentation for the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior (AVSAB). She explains why Acepromazine is not good pharmacological support for thunderstorms or noise phobias and indicates that it actually can increase noise sensitivity.


Shared Facebook Post – Mighty Dog Graphics – Making sense of scents

Learn to Appreciate Your Dogs Nose!

Mighty Dog Graphics (  ) is located in Dublin, Ireland. They create some excellent educational posters for pet parents and pet care professionals. They have graciously allowed us to share some of these posters with you.

Spring has finally sprung, and in case you have not noticed, your dog is probably attracted to all of the new scents in the air. Rather than let your dog’s busy nose frustrate you, why not revel and rejoice in your dog’s amazing olfactory abilities.

Sniffing is essential to your dog’s very existence. Dogs use their nose to survive and for the pure joy of discovery. Not allowing your dog to use their nose, or getting upset when they stop to take a whiff while on your walk, is like someone preventing from you doing something you find essential in your life.

If you find your dog’s need to sniff slows you down on your walk, then leave your dog at home and walk for your enjoyment. However, remember that when you get back home, you owe the dog a walk that is solely focused on their needs. Let your dog sniff and explore. Your dog will be both mentally and physically stimulated and happy.

Please do NOT forbid the sniffing!

< Click to download this poster >