Blogging About Critters Since 2007

Saturday, February 28, 2009

The Cookie and Coco Caper

If you get an email that someone has been evicted from their home and desperately has to find homes for their beloved labs Cookie and Coco, don't hop on your computer and contact everyone you know. It's a hoax.

How do I know? Let me tell you my short tale.

Yesterday my boss told me that he'd forwarded an email to me about an evicted couple that was trying to find a home for their two labs Cookie and Coco who were totally attached to each other. They only had until March 5 because the apartment they were moving to would not allow dogs. My boss couldn't take the dogs because he already has a very needy dog, a cat and a new baby. But he was worried.

So, I read the email and there was a contact and everything. I have 5 cats and 3 hamsters, but still emailed my husband asking if we could take 2 labs. It was a very effective email and so believable. So many people are being evicted and my boss received the email from someone he knew so it had to be true right????

Luckily, I have a coworker who volunteers with Seattle Purebred Rescue. Before I did anything else, I went over to ask for suggestions.

Apparently, she had received the same email from someone else and she had contacted Seattle Purebred Rescue to speak to the Lab rep for help. The Lab rep told her that the email was real...but TWO YEARS OLD. They had rehomed Cookie and Coco and they were fine. She was being inundated with calls in the meantime by concerned rescuers.

Later in the day, we found out that the message is surfacing as far away as ENGLAND. It morphs in dates and circumstances to make it sound like a local rescue. People are wasting a lot of time with this.

Apparently someone is responsible because someone is responding to the contact email.

Why would someone do this?

It boggles the mind. There is no money to gain. Some rescuers think it's simply a dog-hater. Who knows? But what a stupid, idiotic thing to do.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Thursday, February 26, 2009

"Sick" Vick to Get Out of Jail

Already?
Imprisoned NFL star Michael Vick will be allowed to finish his sentence under home confinement because there is no room at a halfway house for him, a government official told The Associated Press Thursday.

Vick is serving a 23-month sentence at the federal penitentiary in Leavenworth, Kan., after pleading guilty to bankrolling a dogfighting operation at a home he owned in eastern Virginia's Surry County. He also admitted to participating in the killing of several underperforming dogs.

Vick's lawyers have said they expected him to be moved any day into a halfway house in Newport News. But because of a lack of space, Vick will be released instead to his Hampton home at some point on or after May 21...

Vick will be on electronic monitoring and will only be allowed to leave home for activities approved by his probation officer, the official said. He is eligible for release in July.

He plans on resuming his NFL career. Jerk.

The Other Side of the Egg Debate

I am a firm supporter of reforming factory egg farming. I believe that chickens should have room to stretch and walk around. And I'm willing to pay for more expensive eggs if it allows for that.

However, I'm also aware that I'm fortunate to have a job that allows me to pay for that. Not everyone has that luxury. Organic eggs are more expensive than the standard egg carton. It's unfortunate and, hopefully, short-term, but it's the current reality. I'm not willing to compromise my beliefs, but I can sympathize with concerns of those who fear the possible rising cost of anything. Especially in these economic times.

This short article reports that Vancouver, BC is considering a measure similar to Prop 2 in California, but there are concerns amongst advocates of the poor.

Hetty Alcuitas, a volunteer with Grassroots Women, said she sympathizes with the environmental and animal-rights arguments against caged chickens. But with battery eggs costing about $2 a dozen and organic free-range eggs costing between $5 and $6 a dozen, the impact of the proposed change goes beyond poultry.

“For some families who are struggling, eggs are a common staple that you can feed a lot of mouths without a lot of money,” she told the Straight. “This is not the best time to be putting these kinds of restrictions on affordable food.”

The motion, which comes to the Metro Vancouver board on Friday (February 27), encourages stores and restaurants to promote organic free-range eggs; makes Metro Vancouver caterers and operators use organic free-range eggs; and will result in letters to Victoria, Ottawa, and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency opposing current practices “based on the inherent cruelty of confining egg-laying hens in battery cages”.

Vegan Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies!

A great dessert from Vegan Nutritionista!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Quote of the Week

"For as long as men massacre animals, they will kill each other. Indeed, he who sows the seed of murder and pain cannot reap joy and love."

~ Pythagoras, Pre-Socratic Greek Philosopher

Montana Legislature Proposes Horse Slaughter Facility

Great, just after we managed to get rid of the last one
"It doesn't mean you have to do it. It's that if you don't have the funds, and you don't have the feed, and don't have the place to keep them, and they are old, and they are no longer going to work for what you need them for, it's a place for them to go," said Billings Livestock and Horse Sale's Jenn Parker.
A place for them to go? Maybe then can call it Horse Haven.

National Justice for Animals Week

From the better late then never category, the ALDF is having a National Justice for Animals Week to raise awareness about animal abuse. They sent me an email on the 21st, but I just got around to reading about it.

Here is the full press release:
During its first-ever National Justice for Animals Week, February 22 – 28, 2009, the national non-profit Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) is recognizing some of the top law enforcement professionals in the nation for getting real justice for animals who are victims of abuse. With the theme “Fighting Animal Cruelty, Honoring Animal Victims,” the week will be an annual event dedicated to raising public awareness nationwide about how to report animal abuse—and how citizens can work within their communities to create stronger laws and assure tough enforcement. The week, co-sponsored by Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09), the author of Tennessee’s T-Bo Law (named in honor of his beloved Shih Tzu) and numerous other successful pro-animal laws, will also celebrate significant legislation in the push for animal justice in the halls of Congress.

The mascot for this year’s National Justice for Animals Week is Adam, a spunky black cat who was set on fire by two teenage girls in a vicious attack in Santa Rosa, California, as an eight-week-old feral kitten. Adam survived third-degree burns on 45% of his body and the case grabbed headlines around the world. Adam was rescued by an 11-year-old boy who also later identified the girls who committed the crime, allowing them to be charged with felony animal cruelty. ALDF is honoring Adam and all those who came to his rescue with a special video profile that will be available on www.aldf.org.

The week, also co-sponsored by former California Assemblyman Lloyd Levine, who sponsored a California bill that would have required mandatory spaying and neutering of cats and dogs, will encourage all citizens to get active in their own communities, and ALDF is providing downloadable resource guides designed to help animal advocates navigate the criminal justice system. “Animal victims of abuse cannot speak for themselves—so concerned citizens and our legal system must speak up for them,” says ALDF Executive Director Stephen Wells. “From the young boy who rescued Adam and identified his abusers to the prosecutors who oversee a unique Animal Cruelty Prosecution program within the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office, ALDF wants to applaud those who are fighting animal cruelty and honoring animal victims during National Justice for Animals Week.”

ALDF was founded in 1979 with the unique mission of protecting the lives and advancing interests of animals through the legal system. ALDF’s Criminal Justice Program provides free legal assistance—including legal research and strategy suggestions, location of expert witnesses, and sample pleadings—to prosecutors handling cruelty cases and works to strengthen state anti-cruelty legislation. Camera-ready artwork and web banners for National Justice for Animals Week are available upon request. For more information, please visit www.aldf.org.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Cameroon Sets Up Park for Gorillas

Let's keep our fingers crossed that it provides effective protection.

Cameroon, with one of Africa’s highest rates of deforestation, has set up a new national park to protect gorillas, chimpanzees, elephants and a rare type of antelope called bongo.

Deng Deng National Park extends 580 square kilometres (224 square miles), an area about the size of Chicago, and will help conserve some 600 western lowland gorillas, one of four sub- species of the great ape, said the New York-based Wildlife Conservation Society, which helped in the park’s creation.

Western WA Puppy Mills Had Troubled History, But Still Allowed to Operate

This is a good article about the puppy mills operated by a Western Washington woman and her parents. She kept being given "one more chance" with the end result of about 600 dogs finally being seized from the establishments.

This is definitely a situation that could have been stopped early on. How much suffering and death resulted from this family's practices?

The article is particularly thorough and damning.

Captive Primate Safety Act Passes House

The Captive Primate Safety Act was passed by the US House by a vote of 323 to 95. Mark Markarian, as usual, has an excellent roundup.

Special shout out to Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and Mark Kirk (R-IL) for sponsoring the measure that will prohibit the trade in non human primates. The bill amends the Lacey Act to include non-human primates as prohibited species for which:

`(1) IN GENERAL- It is unlawful for any person to import, export, transport, sell, receive, acquire, or purchase in interstate or foreign commerce any live animal of any prohibited wildlife species.

There is a list of reasonable exemptions, which you can read about here.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Canadian Fishermen Save Trapped Dolphins

Yay! I had read about their predicament a few days ago, but didn't have the time or the heart to post about it.

Glad to see they've been rescued!

Fishermen and a teenage boy from an eastern Canadian town rescued three exhausted dolphins that had been trapped behind drifting pack ice for nearly a week, the wife of the town's mayor said Friday.

Sadie May said the men cut a path through the sludgy ice in Newfoundland's Seal Cove harbor with their 18-foot trawler Thursday night, freeing the dolphins from an oval-shaped hole in the ice they had been swimming in for days.

Two dolphins followed the open channel immediately, but the third was too weak and tired, May said.

"He could barely swim about, the little guy, and the men knew something had to be done. A kid, 17 years old with a survival suit, jumped into the water and the dolphin just kind of attached to him and wrapped his flippers around him, like a friend or a mate," the mayor's wife told The Associated Press.

The teenager, Brandon Banks, helped tow the animal to open water, where it swam away, said May.

House Bill to Prevent Primates as Pets

No! Ya think?

House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Nick J. Rahall (D-WV) announced that, at his request, the House of Representatives will consider on Monday, February 23, the Captive Primate Safety Act (H.R. 80). Consideration of the needed legislation comes just one week after a woman was critically injured in a vicious chimpanzee attack in Stamford, Connecticut - leaving no doubt that the danger of nonhuman primates in homes and to communities must be addressed.

Keeping primates as pets threatens public health and safety, as well as the welfare of the animals. The legislation is a proactive federal response that would amend the Lacey Act Amendments of 1981 to prohibit individuals from buying or transporting primates across state lines as pets. While the bill does not prohibit possession of chimpanzees and other primates, it would serve as a needed complement to state laws outlawing primates as pets and to federal health regulations banning the import of these animals into the country. H.R. 80 would not affect the transportation of animals for zoos and licensed research facilities.

The Captive Primate Safety Act is bipartisan legislation introduced by Reps. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and Mark Kirk (R-IL), along with 17 other co-sponsors.

Environmental Groups Call For End To USDA Wildlife Killing

Environmental groups have called on Obama to get rid of the USDA's Dept. of Wildlife Services, which is involved in mainly predator control programs (coyotes are a big target). Ranchers oppose the move.

From WildEarth Guardians:
WildEarth Guardians’ research reveals this agency is:

• Biologically Unsound - Wildlife Services uses a “sledgehammer approach” to wildlife management, meaning over one million animals are killed each year using non-selective killing controls such as poisons, traps, and aerial gunning. Animals killed also include threatened and endangered species, a number which has steadily increased since 2005. The number of carnivores killed has also increased since 2005, which is of particular concern to conservation biologists, since these animals play vital roles in ecosystems;

• Dangerous - Between 2002 and 2006, Wildlife Services failed several federal audits to safely inventory, store, and control access to chemical weapons, and in 2007 the agency itself admitted that it had experienced a “wake of accidents.” The aerial gunning program has killed at least 10 agents and injured 28 more. In 2008, the Environmental Protection Agency charged Wildlife Services for its illegal placement of a sodium cyanide M-44 (a highly lethal booby trap) on public land, which harmed a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service biologist and killed his dog. Additionally, Wildlife Services puts little emphasis on using non-lethal methods, and puts few resources towards developing new, ethical non-lethal research;

• Unnecessary and Fiscally Unsound - Taxpayers are paying the bill for these activities, and Wildlife Services fails to protect the businesses it supposedly helps. The USDA National Agricultural Statistics Services shows that most livestock losses come from weather, disease, illness, and birthing problems, and not predation. Carnivores killed less than 1% of cattle (0.18%) and approximately 3% of sheep produced in the U.S.;

• Out of Step with American Values - Americans value wildlife and abhor animal cruelty. Yet, Wildlife Services not only kills tens of thousands of targeted wild animals annually, their activities also result in the unintentional deaths of many others, including pets, using indiscriminate and agonizing poisons, torturous traps, and even dynamite.

This is what the USDA APHIS website has on the program:
The goal of the WS program is to manage the damage caused by wildlife, not to eradicate wildlife populations. Upon request, WS wildlife professionals implement or recommend effective management methods to alleviate or minimize predation. WS employees strive to remove only the predators that are causing the damage. To accomplish this goal, they direct control methods at only the specific animal or local wildlife populations in the area where damage has occurred. The WS program operates in accordance with its program wide Environmental Impact Statement, local environmental assessments and workplans, and Federal, State, and local laws and regulations, including the National Environmental Policy Act, the Endangered Species Act, and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.

Estimates of predator populations by State fish and game officials indicate that the number of predators removed by WS is small compared with overall predator numbers. Lethal control efforts of WS professionals typically remove less than 5 percent of a species' overall population. In many situations, the number of animals removed amounts to less than 1 percent of their total population. This amount is considerably less than the number of animals taken by hunters and trappers annually. The USDA's extension service, APHIS' National Wildlife Research Center, and the Federal Government's General Accounting Office confirm that lethal controls used by WS do not unduly threaten the well-being of Statewide predator populations.

Washington State to Cut Fish and Wildlife Jobs

I expect we'll see this in a lot of other agencies as well.
More than 100 employees at the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife could lose their jobs.

Fish and Wildlife managers will tell employees this week that their jobs may be eliminated to meet an expected multi-million-dollar budget shortfall.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Palin's War on Beluga Whales

Salon has a pretty good piece up about Sarah Palin's attempt to deny protection for beluga whales all for the sake of the oil industry.

Ellen Degeneres' Mystery Cat

Ellen Degeneres has a 24 hour webcam on her set. For some reason, a cat kept showing up at night. So, Ellen put out food and water for the cat. You can see the footage here. Very strange. If this is a truly feral cat, I think the best thing to do would be to trap her and give her a good home.

Here's a link to her webcams.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Travis the Chimp is the Victim

There has been so much said about Travis the chimp this week. It's 1) a gory story with 2) the bizarre tie-in to the New York Post's inexplicable use of Travis' image in a cartoon about the stimulus package. (What were they thinking?)

That image was wrong on so many levels. But let's stick to the animal rights issue. His death was a tragedy and should not be mocked. Nor should the woman who was attacked. This is serious stuff.

His owner, crazy Sandra Herrold, should be prosecuted and made to pay medical costs for the victim. And Connecticut needs to pass some serious laws to stop this kind of ridiculous behavior.

She dressed Travis in some pants and shirt, gave him wine and, possibly, Xanax (now she denies it?) Are you kidding me? This animal was seriously compromised by being in unnatural conditions and given unnatural substances. She actually thought he was her son??

What is sad is that Travis' mother was also shot and killed for aggressive behavior. But see what kind of conditions SHE was in...

The bizarre incident in April 2001 began when the trio of apes broke out of Mike and Connie Casey's compound, the Missouri Primate Foundation. In addition to running a business that supplied simians for parties, the couple bred and sold chimps, sources say.


Cruel and insane. As bad as it is, let's not the New York Post idiocy overwhelm the fact that this is a sad and inexcusable tragedy.

The Internet and Kenny Glenn

Good article in the Irish Times analyzing the role of the Internet in the the crime and capture of Kenny Glenn, cat torturer.

Extinct Bird Found Before Being Eaten

Figures. A precious thing, possibly the last of its kind, enjoyed for a few minutes by a human being, then destroyed by another.

A rare quail from the Philippines was photographed for the first time before being sold as food at a poultry market, experts say.

Found only on the island of Luzon, Worcester's buttonquail was known solely through drawings based on dated museum specimens collected several decades ago.

Scientists had suspected the species—listed as "data deficient" on the International Union for Conservation of Nature's 2008 Red List—was extinct.

Socks the Cat Dies

The Clinton cat Socks has died.

Former First Cat Socks, one of the world’s most famous felines, died Friday at the age of 20 after battling throat cancer since November. A stray cat rescued by the Clinton's daughter, Chelsea, Socks lived in the governor’s mansion in Arkansas and later moved with the family to the White House.

"Socks brought much happiness to Chelsea and us over the years, and enjoyment to kids and cat lovers everywhere," the Clintons said in a statement, released first to PEOPLE.COM. "We're grateful for those memories, and we especially want to thank our good friend, Betty Currie, for taking such loving care of Socks for so many years."

Currie, the president's personal secretary, and her husband, Bob, took over care of Socks after the Clintons left the White House. It was near their home in Maryland that Socks was put to sleep Friday morning. "He could no longer stand and wasn’t eating," according to family friend and presidential historian Barry Landau.

Animal Rights Activists Arrested in UC Attacks

From the looks of it, they aren't charging them with any firebombings or anything like that.
Crimes arrested activists are accused of

Oct. 21, 2007: A group of 20 protesters demonstrated outside of a UC Berkeley professor's home in El Cerrito. Some wore bandanas to hide their faces. They trespassed on his front yard, chanted slogans and accused him of being a murderer because of his use of animals in research.
Jan. 27, 2008: Demonstrations, including chalking, in front of the homes of several UC researchers.
Feb. 20, 2008: A group of five protesters tried to forcibly enter the Westside home of a UC Santa Cruz researcher during a child's birthday party. The researcher's husband was hit during the demonstration.
July 29, 2008: Fliers left at Caffe Pergolesi in Santa Cruz that contained the names, addresses and telephone numbers of several UCSC scientists. The fliers said the researchers were 'murderers and torturers alive and well in Santa Cruz' and stated 'We know where you live. We know where you work. We will never back down until you end your abuse."
The home invasion is bad, but leaving fliers? Chalking? I've got no problem arresting violent protesters and jailing them for years, but most of this case sounds pretty lame.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Too Sleepy to Post

I'm calling it an early night. There's been a LOT of animal stuff out there this week and I am woefully behind, between work, school and social life.

But I'll catch up!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Funny Samsung Ad

OK, this is one of those "viral" ad campaigns, but I'll bite anyways because it's funny.

Texas May Allow Aerial Hunting of Wild Pigs

This doesn't sound good.
Millions of wild pigs weighing up to 300 pounds have been tearing up crops, trampling fences and eating just about anything in their path in Texas. But now they had better watch their hairy backs. A state lawmaker is proposing to allow ordinary Texans with rifles and shotguns to shoot the voracious, tusked animals from helicopters.

For years, ranchers in the Lone Star State have hired professional hunters in choppers to thin the hogs' fast-multiplying ranks. Now state Rep. Sid Miller of the Fort Worth area wants to bring more firepower to the task by issuing permits to sportsmen.

Getting Your Fat Pet to Lose the Pounds

If you can't afford liposuction for your pet like the big Hollywood stars, Best Friends has some tips on how you can get your pet to lose weight.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Arkansas Out of the Dark Ages with Cruelty Law

It's not perfect, but it's progress in one of the more animal welfare-challenged parts of the US.

Gov. Mike Beebe has signed into law new animal-cruelty restrictions that make aggravated cruelty to cats, dogs and horses a felony on the first offense...

Arkansas becomes the 46th state to make cruelty to animals a felony, according to the Humane Society of the United States....

The law, which will take effect 90 days after the Legislature adjourns, makes aggravated animal cruelty on first offense punishable by a fine of up to $10,000 and up to six years in prison. The bill also includes a five-year sentencing enhancement for anyone convicted of torturing an animal in the presence of a child.

In exchange for the stiffer penalties, animal welfare groups made several concessions, including a change in state law so only certified law enforcement officers can arrest someone for animal cruelty.

Experts Baffled About Why Wild Animal Behaved Like Wild Animal

I don't care if a chimp has tea with you every day at 3, watches TV, drinks whiskey and smokes cigars, it is still a wild animal. They should not be in people's homes any more then lions or tigers should. They are wild animals. And, there is nothing wrong with that. Wild animals are some of the coolest animals around.

Just because they sort of look like us, doesn't mean that they are like us. And if you think so, you or someone you know just might be on the receiving end of a face-ripping attack. Don't take it personally if it happens to you. That's what animals do sometimes. That's what makes them so wild. The better course of action though, is to not allow people to get into these situations.

Woman Gets 12 Sentences for Animal Abuse

That's a pretty stiff sentence.
An eastern Missouri woman is sentenced to 12 year in prison for neglecting her dogs.

The sentence for 46-year-old Tamara Lynn Benscoter of Park Hills was handed down Friday.

Police in Iron Mountain were called to Benscoter's former home twice in September. Six dogs were seized. Authorities said the animals were infested with fleas and lacked adequate food and water.
This was her second offense.

Quote of the Week

In fact, if one person is unkind to an animal it is considered to be cruelty, but where a lot of people are unkind to animals, especially in the name of commerce, the cruelty is condoned and, once large sums of money are at stake, will be defended to the last by otherwise intelligent people.

-- Leo Tolstoy

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

PETA to Target Vancouver Olympics Over Seal Hunts

It will be PETA's first Olympics!

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals says Vancouver's Olympic organizers have the clout to convince the Canadian government to end the controversial seal hunt on the East Coast.

"All eyes are going to be on Canada as it's preparing to host the 2010 Winter Olympics and we think that all that extra attention comes with an increased responsibility to set a positive example for the rest of the world," said Lindsay Rajt, PETA's manager of campaigns.

The group will launch a new campaign on Wednesday featuring the 2010 Inukshuk logo clubbing a seal, with the five Olympic rings dripping blood.


Let's see how far they take it.

Kenny Glenn Story is Far-Reaching

I came across this story about it in Russia Today, an English language Russian newsite.

By the way, here's a petition to have him tried as an adult. It claims that his brother was in on the abuse as well...maybe he was the camera guy?

Lovely kids.

Ringling Brothers Circus Faces Lawsuit Over Elephants

Four animal welfare groups brought suit against the circus back in 2003. A decision will soon come in a DC courtroom.
The charges state that “Ringling Bros. engages in these unlawful activities by routinely beating elephants to ‘train’ them, ‘discipline’ them, and keep them under control” and that the elephants are chained in place for long periods of time and frequently hit with bullhooks, a wooden pole about two feet long that has a sharp metal hook at one end.

The lawsuit is bringing to light what many elephant experts and animal advocates have known for years: that these large, powerful and intelligent animals cannot be confined, subdued and forced to perform without a significant amount of physical force.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Get Ready for the Kenny Glenn Apologists

I'm thinking they'll start coming out tomorrow.

It will fall into two camps.

1) Poor, poor Kenny Glenn. He's just a poor screwed up kid with low self-esteem. He needs a second chance to rehabilitate himself. He's a young boy who made one mistake.

AND

What, are you kidding me? It's just a cat. Why should we care so much about a cat and not about the abuse of a child? Are cats more important than people? What kind of world is this?

We saw it with Michael Vick and we'll see it with this kid.

Kenny Glenn Abuses a Cat on Youtube

This is the news story that's sweeping the Internet. The video below is from the local news station and shows some edited footage of the abuse.

The worthless piece of excrement abusing the animal is Kenny Glenn, from Lawton OK. He's been arrested, but then remanded into the custody of his parents. The police will meet with him and his lawyers. I'm sure there's a sob story being concocted...he's just a kid, he's crying for attention, blah, blah, blah.

He knew what he was doing and he is a sick piece of work. In fact, he's an excellent subject for a medical experiment.

By the way, the cat Dusty is with a vet pending the results of the investigation. He should NEVER be returned to that family

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Shelters Fill Up Due to Wildfires in Australia

Pets have been displaced as well as their owners in the recent wildfires.
ANIMAL shelters are searching for the owners of hundreds of dogs, cats, horses, rabbits and other pets displaced by fires.

Shelter workers fear many owners may have assumed their animals died or they could be looking for them in the wrong places.

They are urging anyone who has lost a pet to register with their council.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Australian Fireman Honored by Animal Rights Activists

The fireman who saved Sam the Koala is now an international Youtube star. And getting recognition he deserves for his kindness.

...Mr Tree, 44, has been rewarded for his compassion by rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta) which gave him its Hero to Animals Award.

'The compassion that David Tree showed in caring for Sam is an inspiration to others throughout the community and beyond,' said Peta Director Jason Baker.


I also agree with PETA that the guy they've arrested for starting the fire should face animal cruelty charges. He is the responsible for the deaths of possibly millions of animals.

If there is a hell, there should be a special place in it for this guy.

Peta called on authorities to add cruelty to animals to the arson charge laid against a 39-year-old man on Friday in connection with a bushfire in rural Victoria state that killed 21 people.

'The defendant faces 21 counts of murder, and Peta also wants to see him charged with cruelty to animals (as) it has been reported that over a million native animals may have been killed in the fires in Victoria, including kangaroos, koalas, possums, lizards and birds,' Peta said in a statement.

'This tragedy has shown the best and worst in people,' Mr Baker said. 'Because scores of animals weren't as lucky as Sam, Peta is strongly urging the prosecutor to pursue cruelty-to-animals charges.'

Georgia Dog-Fighting Law Having an Impact

This is a good thing. The American Southeast is a hotbed of blood sports.

This information is from Best Friends.

Before 2008, only one person had been incarcerated for dog fighting in Georgia. Considering the state had one of the weakest dog-fighting laws in the nation, that's no compliment.

But since a new and tougher dog fighting law was passed in May 2008, multiple arrests have been made, with more on the horizon....

Georgia's new dog fighting law makes it a felony to train, transport, sell or own a fighting dog, or to advertise, promote or bet on fights. A first conviction means one to five years in prison, a fine of at least $5,000, or both. The law also makes attending a dog fight a high and aggravated misdemeanor on the first offense, a felony on subsequent ones.

Bill Introduced in Congress to Protect Wild Horses

Nick Rahall and Raul Grijalva have introduced a bill that would protect healthy wild horses from being killed by the BLM.
In a written statement, Rahall says the intent is to help spur alternatives to killing excess wild horses that are in holding facilities. He says it's unacceptable for wild horses that embody the spirit of the American West to be slaughtered.
They don't have the text of it on Thomas.gov, but here is a link to HR 1018 on the site.Here is what Rep. Rahal said in his introduction of the bill:
* Mr. RAHALL. Madam Speaker, in the 19th Century, it is estimated that as many as 2 million wild horses and burros ranged freely across the American West. Some of them were of noble birth, with blood lines stretching back to the horses which carried Spanish explorers into the New World; all of them were part of the fabric of the romance and the history of the American West.

* As wild animals living on public land, management of these horses and burros fell to the Federal government, acting through the Bureau of Land Management, BLM. Unfortunately, many decades of underfunding and inhumane management practices combined to destroy these wild herds, leaving fewer than 25,000 wild horses and burros on public lands by the early 1970s.

* Starting in the 1950s, the American public became aware of the cruelty, disease and death suffered by these iconic animals, thanks in large part to the actions of one woman, Mrs. Velma Bronn Johnston--better known by the nickname she earned--Wild Horse Annie. The crusade she started--which included a massive letter-writing campaign and eventually a beloved children's book--culminated in 1971 with enactment of the Wild Free-Roaming Horse and Burro Act. The Act stated clearly that:

Congress finds and declares that wild free-roaming horses and burros are living symbols of the historic and pioneer spirit of the West; that they contribute to the diversity of life forms within the Nation and enrich the lives of the American people; and that these horses and burros are fast disappearing from the American scene. It is the policy of Congress that wild free-roaming horses and burros shall be protected from capture, branding, harassment, or death; and to accomplish this they are to be considered in the area where presently found, as an integral part of the natural system of the public lands.

Friday, February 13, 2009

The Value of a Life

Even though I consider myself to be a pretty cynical person, I still marvel at how people choose to prioritize life. This life has more value than that life. This is particularly the case with animals. These beings have LIFE and for that mere fact alone, I believe they deserve respect.

Their lives are as precious to them as ours are to any of us. Why are we so callous in taking it away from them?

For example, why should an animal with years of life be sacrificed so someone can have a meal that may last 30 minutes and which gets flushed down the toilet shortly afterwards? I’m married to a meat eater and he can’t provide a better answer than “It just tastes good.”

Why should an animal suffer excruciating pain so a women can dab makeup on her face? Most of the women I know don’t even benefit from the makeup. Either you have beauty or you don’t. Get over it.

I just don’t understand it.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Baghdad Zoo Wants Animals

It's bad enough to send animals to zoos, but to a zoo in Baghdad?? No way. It makes me sick thinking about the animals already there (numbering 1,500 including lions and tigers.)

Whaling Compromises Of Little Use

This sucks.

The packages, announced by IWC Chairman William Hogarth, would either phase out Japan's scientific whaling programme in the Southern Ocean in exchange for Japan being allowed to take a unspecified number of Minke whales off its own coast in the North Pacific or would allow Japan's scientific whaling programme to continue in the Southern Ocean if it adheres to annual limits set by the IWC's Scientific Committee.


What about Norway and Iceland? Nada. And they flagrantly continue killing.

Iceland recently announced a quota of 100 fin whales - an endangered species - which is a dramatic increase its original self-assigned quota of nine.

They also almost doubled their quota of Minke whales. "

Many Animals Dying in Australian Wildfires

We sometimes overlook a story even when it's right under our noses. Not only did we not think about the impact of the Australian wildfires on wildlife, but we didn't see the AP story on our very own sidebar.

We are losers.

The story says millions of animals may have died.
The official human death toll stood at 181 from the weekend's deadly fires and authorities said it would exceed 200. While the scope of the wildlife devastation was still unclear, it was likely to be enormous, {Jon Rowdon, president of the rescue group Wildlife Victoria} said.

"There's no doubt across that scale of landscape and given the intensity of the fires, millions of animals would have been killed," he said.

Hundreds of burned, stressed and dehydrated animals — including kangaroos, koalas, lizards and birds — have already arrived at shelters across the scorched region. Rescuers have doled out antibiotics, pain relievers and fluids to the critters in a bid to keep them comfortable, but some of the severely injured were euthanized to spare any more suffering.

"We've got a wallaby joey at the moment that has crispy fried ears because he stuck his head out of his mum's pouch and lost all his whiskers and cooked up his nose," Rowdon said. "They're the ones your hearts really go out to."

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Australian Firefighter Rescues Koala

Lots of people have died in the wildfires in Australia, and I'm sure a lot of animals have suffered too. Here's a video of an Australian firefighter making a big difference to one little koala.



This critter was lucky, and was rescued. Here is a link to a story about her (now named Sam) and her new friend Bob.
(David) Tree, a volunteer with the Country Fire Authority Victoria, has visited Sam since her rescue and was delighted to see she had found a boyfriend in Bob.

'They've really taken a shine to each other as they are both burnt and share the same burnt smell,' he said.

'My heart goes out to the people in these fires and this was so innocent so people have used this to distract them from all the sad stuff that has gone on.

'It gives people a bit of hope.'

Very Funny

Vegan Cosmetics Are Out There

I like this post from morbidoutlook.com. I haven't checked to see how many of the links are still active, but it's still a good read, especially if you like more daring makeup.

Injured Deer Finds Clinic

Lucky deer! She was treated and then released.

Workers at an Ohio pet shop are used to worried pet owners bringing their animals in to be treated in the store's clinic. But an unaccompanied visit Saturday by a deer to the PetSmart in Rossfield was a first for the store.

Manager Trudi Urie says the wounded doe was hanging out behind the store and then ran through an open door into a stockroom.

Staff members made sure the animal couldn't enter the shop area and called police and a veterinarian.

ABA has Animal Law Committee

The American Bar Association has an animal law committee. Here's the link.

From the webpage....

Animal law is broader than laws pertaining to animals. It is the body of law reflecting the efforts of people to create a just world through the rule of law. The status of animals in our legal system is in flux and attorneys are discovering creative and interesting ways to use legal arguments in the face of increasingly complex scenarios. Our clients are legally impacted by a vast array of human/animal interactions. They range from the legality of estate planning for companion animals, to changing liability standards and insurance coverage in dog bite cases, to compensation beyond fair market value when an animal is killed, to public and private conflicts about where an animal can be, and finally, to the competing interests of wild animals and urban, farming, and recreational land use.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Animal Control Officer Shoots Cats Because They Hissed at Him

Seriously, how stupid and cowardly is this guy? A couple of cats hiss at him and he freaks out, gets out a gun and shoots them?
Lackawanna animal-control officer Frederick S. Grasso finally got his day in court Monday, testifying that he shot and killed three cats last June only after they had hissed and spat at him from the basement of a Lackawanna apartment complex.

“I opened the door, I took two steps downstairs, and three cats — the mother and two kittens — came at me,” Grasso testified at his daylong trial on two misdemeanor charges. “They were all hissing and spitting at me.”
My god, he must have been terrified. A mother and TWO kittens mind you. How scary is that?

I've captured a number of feral cats. Cats hiss when they are frightened. If they are aggressive, they growl. This guy is an ANIMAL CONTROL OFFICER and we are to believe that he doesn't know this? And I seriously doubt a mother with kittens is going to "come at him". She was telling him to keep away as any threatened mother would. If he doesn't get convicted he should be fired for general stupidity.

Monday, February 9, 2009

People Think There Are a Ton of Chimpanzees Out There

The public in general has a warped understanding of chimpanzees. If you go by the media, there are a ton of them out there. They are in zoos, circuses, commercials, movies, etc. If they are members of an endangered species, why are there so many of them around?

It's a bad perception problem for chimps.

And, of course, if they are so severely endangered, why are so many carelessly exploited for medical experimentation? They must be cheap and plentiful right?

PETA Protest Westminster Dog Show in KKK Outfits

The stupid. It burns!

Humane Society Event Calendar

Here is a link to the Humane Society's Event Calendar for events near you.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

PETA Petition to Stop Animal Torture at Defense Department

Hah! Good luck! But it certainly raised my awareness that animals are used in military trauma-training exercises.

Days after President Barack Obama signed an executive order banning torture during military interrogations, PETA wrote to the president calling for the ban of another form of military torture: trauma and chemical-casualty training exercises conducted on animals.

Thousands of live animals are shot, stabbed, dismembered, burned, and poisoned every year in Department of Defense (DoD) training exercises designed to train medics and infantry in how to treat various human battlefield injuries. PETA is asking President Obama to issue an executive order requiring the DoD to replace animals with non-animal methods. These methods are readily available and already in use at several military installations. The non-animal methods include rotations in military trauma hospitals and the use of the DoD's own Combat Trauma Patient Simulator.

Please help animals who suffer for military training by asking President Obama to extend his ban on torture to include animals used in military trauma-training exercises.

Please send a polite e-mail to your Congressional representative asking him or her to urge President Obama to issue an executive order requiring the DoD to replace the use of animals in trauma and chemical-casualty training exercises with available non-animal methods.

British Hospitals to Offer Meatless Alternatives

It's all part of a campaign to cut carbon emissions.

Meat-free menus are to be promoted in hospitals as part of a strategy to cut global warming emissions across the National Health Service.

The plan to offer patients menus that would have no meat option is part of a strategy to be published tomorrow that will cover proposals ranging from more phone-in GP surgeries to closing outpatient departments and instead asking surgeons to visit people at their local doctor's surgery.

Some suggestions are likely to be controversial with patients' groups, especially attempts to curb meat eating and car use. Plans to reuse more equipment could raise concern about infection with superbugs such as MRSA.

Sea Shepherd Continues Battle with Japanese Whalers

I admit I haven't been paying attention to what has been going on with the Japanese whaling fleet. Sea Shepherd has been following them for some time. From their news release:
Despite repeated assaults by frustrated and increasingly violent Japanese whalers, the Sea Shepherd ship Steve Irwin continues to stand guard behind the Japanese floating abattoir called the Nisshin Maru. The three Japanese harpoon boats are not in the area but the Sea Shepherd crew is prepared to obstruct them should they return.

The Japanese have been accusing Sea Shepherd of trying to obstruct their props with ropes yet the whalers have been trying to do the same thing to the Sea Shepherd ship Steve Irwin. They are accusing the Sea Shepherd crew of throwing rotten butter (which the Japanese refer to as "acid") at them yet the whalers are throwing golf balls and chunks of metal at the Steve Irwin crew. In addition, the Japanese are blasting the Sea Shepherd crew with water cannons and Long Range Acoustical weapons - a sonic gun that causes disorientation, nausea and deafness.

"I find it interesting that so called experts and politicians are quick to condemn Sea Shepherd's tactics for upholding conservation law yet say not a word about the escalating physical violence directed at us by the whalers who are breaking the law," said Captain Paul Watson. "Their position of siding with the poachers seems to be that if we did not put ourselves in this situation we would not be experiencing such violence. The same could be said for any policeman and Sea Shepherd is not down here to protest whaling, we are down here to obstruct illegal whaling as defined under international conservation law. We are down here to enforce the law, not to break it."

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Friday, February 6, 2009

Things Continue to Look Up for Mountain Gorillas

Not only are there new babies in Virunga, but also the arrest of the Congolese rebel leader General Nkunda has brought some peace to the area.

The Rangers in Virunga can continue their daily routines of removing poachers snares (536 snares were found during the recent census taking), filming newborn gorillas and simply enjoying the results of their tremendous sacrifices to protect the gorillas. Over 150 rangers have been killed on duty in this park in the past decade. Many worked for years without receiving a salary.


And did you know...

Rangers are able to identify individual gorillas because each animal's nose is uniquely patterned. We have finger prints, gorillas have nose prints.

Ringling Brother Accused of Violating ESA

Good. I don't care what anyone says, I can't stand circuses. And they certainly have no right to use endangered species as performers. These are ENDANGERED species. We can't afford to waste any individual member, whether it be for entertainment or experimentation.

The treatment of circus elephants went on trial in federal court Wednesday with animal rights groups accusing Ringling Bros. of violating the Endangered Species Act when it uses bullhooks and chains to control its performing pachyderms....

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, the Animal Welfare Institute and other activist groups say they will prove that Asian elephants are injured physically and emotionally by their treatment in the circu

Thursday, February 5, 2009

"The Cove" Is Getting Attention

We posted about "The Cove" a few months ago. It's a documentary about an annual Japanese dolphin hunt that occurs in the village of Taiji. It's gruesome, bloody and disturbing. It has just been screened at the Sundance Film Festival.

Here is a glowing review from Joel Reynolds with the Natural Resources Defense Council. The review is on Huffington Post.

Blog for Rescued Dogs in Western Washington

Remember how we posted about the raids on puppy mills in Mount Vernon and Gold Bar, Washington? Here's a blog for people who are trying to help them. About 600 dogs were seized from horrible puppy mill conditions. Our pet sitter alerted us to the site.

Walrus in Trouble Too

I'm finally getting caught up on some reading and came across this article in the Defenders of Wildlife wildlife. I'm very proud of supporting Defenders because I think they do great work and they have a really good magazine too. Very depressing sometimes though.

The summer issue had a good article about walruses. Surprisingly, they are overlooked in discussions of Arctic species threatened by global warming. We tend to talk about penguins and polar bears, but these guys are important too.

Luckily, I found the article online.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Quote of the Week

In the wilderness is the preservation of the world.

-Henry David Thoreau

Calendar Facts

As I changed my calendars to February, I saw all this information printed on the January spread. Amazing what these calendars can contain.

From National Wildlife Federation...

The majestic gray wolf once roamed the United States from coast to coast and from Mexico to Canada. However, persecution by humans and loss of prey virtually eliminated the wolf from its natural habitat. Thanks to the Endangered Species Act and a successful reintroduction program in which NWF played a major role, the wolf is thriving again in the Yellowstone and Great Lakes areas. However, NWF continues to work to restore the wolf in areas where it still struggles. Visit www.nwf.org/endangered to find out how to protect more threatened species.

From the Ocean Conservancy....

Less than 5 percent of the ocean has been explored.

90 percent of the world's biggest fish are gone from the ocean due to overfishing.

73 Arrested for Cockfighting in North Carolina

Disgusting.
More than 70 people have been arrested in a cockfighting ring that secretly gathered in central North Carolina to watch a $40,000 tournament so gruesome that one of the roosters splattered blood on the investigators' search warrant, authorities said.

Deputies didn't expect to find so many people crammed into three chicken houses that had been cleaned out to provide hidden parking spaces and a cockfighting pit, Randolph County Sheriff Maynard Reid Jr. said in an interview Monday. Authorities arrested 73 people, ranging in age from 16 to 79, and charged them all with cockfighting and cruelty to animals, both felonies.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Ashley Judd Denounces Palin Wolf Killing Policies

Here is a good commercial by Ashley Judd for Defenders of Wildlife on aerial wolf killing in Alaska.

Calgary Zoo Feeling Economic Pressure

They had to cancel a big project that would have showcased polar bears and seals.

But don't feel too bad for them. Dr. Clement Lanthier, Calgary Zoo president and CEO (is this a corporation??) sounds like a real jerk.

Lanthier, a veterinarian and walrus researcher who took the helm in Calgary two years ago, says the cancellation of the polar bears exhibit might please some animal-rights extremists, but the reality is a blow to Canada's white bears.

"It's off the table until somebody comes to the zoo and says, I want this and I'm willing to pay," said Lanthier.

That will happen, says the vet who's spent the past 15 summers in the arctic, when polar bears reach a point where only captive breeding can save them from extinction -- a day that's on the horizon.

Lanthier doesn't hide his contempt for animal rights groups who lash out, without considering the role zoos play in conservation.

"They are people with opinions, but their credentials don't exist -- they're opinionated, but that's it," he said.

"We need to ask them, what have they done for research, conservation; what have they done for those animals?"

He's a staunch defender of Calgary's record, despite some well-publicized misfortune, such as the death of 41 stingrays and a baby elephant last year.

"One thing for sure -- all of the animals in the zoo will die eventually," said Lanthier.

"We have to recognize they don't live forever."

PETA Sponsors Lobster Liberation!

Following up on my post yesterday about releasing lobsters, PETA has a website on this very subject.

Lobster Liberation!

Animal Rights Activists Attack Berkeley Vet

This via the ALF Press Office:
As he left his car parked in a garage on campus, he was whistling and had no idea he had been followed. We preceded to vandalize his shiny new Audi, paid for with blood money. We would have reduced the Audi to ashes; if not for the fact that tailing him prevented us from grabbing the instruments that would have set his sh*t aflame. But there's always tomorrow.

We acted against Timmel because he is a veterinarian in UC Berkeley's vivisection labs. Hey Gregory, time to become a real vet and help sick and wounded animals recover; not ensure the smooth functioning of the torture chambers by assisting vivisectors in callous and fraudulent experiments on fourty-thousand beautiful, innocent beings per year.

And to Nina Hahn, David Rieger, Walter Brown II, Stephen Friet, Helen Diggs, Delonzo Starks, Quig Driver, and the rest of the Office of Laboratory Animal Care sadists; don't think that you or your property will be spared.

This action was carried out with full dedication and solidarity to the SHAC-UK prisoners. Liberation's crusade has begun.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Who's Better?

What is the difference between these two?

1) The religious fundamentalist who believes animals are inferior because they have no soul, that God put them here to serve his beloved humans, and that they should be used for human comfort.

and

2) The atheist who believes animals are inferior because they have little intelligence, that evolution has placed them in a position of serving the top species, and that they should be used for human comfort.



There is no difference as far as I'm concerned. So, I think many atheists should review their superiority complexes.

Lobsters Are Smarter than Many Think

My stupid Albertson's stopped selling lobsters a few months ago, but I bet they'll start up again. After reading this article, I'm rescuing the next ones I see.

It's about George the 140-year-old lobster who was set free by PETA. There's important information about lobsters in general.

Lobsters are fascinating animals that, like George, can live to be more than 100 years old, recognize individual lobsters, remember past acquaintances, have elaborate courtship rituals and help guide young lobsters across the ocean floor by holding claws in a line that can stretch for many yards.

And although theories abound, no one has ever come up with a satisfactory way to give lobsters a painless death.

A study in New Scientist gives chefs who insist that crustaceans cannot feel pain "claws" for concern. When researchers at Queen's University in Belfast daubed acetic acid on the antennae of 144 prawns, the animals reacted by vigorously rubbing and grooming the affected antenna for several minutes. Dr. Robert Elwood says that his study shows that prawns and their crustacean cousins -- lobsters and crabs -- are sensitive to pain.

Even before the New Scientist study, the European Food Safety Authority's Scientific Panel on Animal Health and Welfare had concluded that lobsters and crabs are capable of experiencing pain and distress and are worthy of legislative protection.

The Inuit Point of View on Polar Bears

Here's an article in the Nunatsiaq News that talks about polar bear conservation from the Inuit point of view. The Inuit harvest, or hunt, polar bears in Canada.

"In the past, Inuit always considered the WWF Canada as our friend," {Nunavut Tunngavik Inc.'s director of wildlife, Gabriel Nirlinguyak} said, recalling that the two had cooperated on bowhead whale management issues. "But not with polar bears."

He said that a lot of Inuit feel betrayed by the animal rights movement, and by some biologists when it comes to polar bears.

{World Wildlife Fund's polar bear point man Peter Ewins} has been calling loud and long for more restrictions on the harvesting of polar bears, particularly in Baffin Bay and Hudson Bay.

The polar bear is the WWF's poster animal in its campaign against global climate change, said Nirlungayuk, and "the Inuit are caught in the middle."