Saturday, December 29, 2007

The World's Smartest Dog

I think you'll love this clip from about a very smart dog. World's smartest dog? Well, I don't know about that, but this is very amusing. I think you'll love it.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Kentucky Fried Chicken. Kentuck Fried Cruelty.

So, you like KFC? Ever wondered how that meat ever got to your plate? You should always ask this question of everything you eat. There's more than a good chance that the chicken you ate went through the very same process featured in this video . Take a look. It's not so delicious afterall. Here's Rev. Al Sharton speaking about better treatment for chickens.

Watch more videos at

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Leigh Lawson Pickets. It's not the Tiger's Fault.

Leigh Lawson picketing all by herself outside the San Francisco Zoo the day after Christmas. A Siberian tiger was shot to death by police officers on Christmas evening after it attacked and killed one person and injured two others. The attack is now under investigation, raising doubts as to whether the attack was accidental or not. Expert Jack Hanna argued that the tiger could not have leaped out of its confined area by itself. Because of this, the zoo was declared a crime scene by the police. Meanwhile, Ms. Lawson wished that the tiger was tranquilized instead of killed. News reports, however, stated that the tiger had begun to approach the police officers when it was shot to death. The death of a young man plus the injuries of two other people are deplorable, but how else should we expect a previously confined tiger to behave in public? All zoos practice animal cruelty by dint of animal imprisonment. Zoos are nothing but trouble. According to PETA, " Since 1990, there have been more than 220 such incidents—in 40 states—involving big cats. Four children and 15 adults have lost their lives, and more than 50 other people have lost limbs or suffered other injuries after being mauled. The animals involved are victims too: 75 big cats, including Tatiana, have been killed because of these incidents. "

I don't believe that the tiger could be faulted for attacking human beings after it had become loose. Animals pay the prize for mistakes committed by humans. It is always a loss-loss situation for zoo animals. God Bless You, Leigh Lawson.
Photo by AP Photo/Noah Berger.

Dogs & Cats for Adoption at PAWS Shelter

Just a reminder to those who are looking for loyal, lifetime companions...The Philippine Animal Welfare Society has cats and dogs for adoption. They come in all sizes and colors. They are waiting and hoping to meet their new Mom and Dad, to live in their permanent home where they are part of the family. These animals have had a tough start in life, but that is not indicative of their personal worth. As you already know, the love that cats and dogs give to their family is unconditional. They don't know how to pretend. Everything is sincere with them. Go ahead and make a big difference in their lives and in yours. Pictured above is Jasmine, the longest-staying resident of the shelter. The cutie on the right is 1-2-3. Photos by Sherwin of me.find.home.

Go HERE to begin the process.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Animal Welfare. Senator Zubiri Statement on Hunting Philippine Wildlife

Here is the Philippine Star's report on Senator Zubiri's statement in favor of Conservation and Animal Welfare:


Losing any of them to extinction would be breaking a link in the chain of life not only of those birds but all of us, said Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri, author of the "Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act" (RA 9147), on reports of bird massacre in Negros.

" These poachers should be punished and the penalties to be slapped should be strong enough to stop these practices and serves as a warning to others." Zubiri, a conservationist and executive director of the Philippine Cockatoo Conservation program and the Philippine Deer Foundation, was worried of the angry comments from signatories. The online global petition showed pictures of dead doves, mallards, whistling ducks and snipes.

This isn't just about conservation, it's about biodiversity, natural heritage, legacy and ecological balance, noting that collections of insects and agricultural pest also surged in recent years.

On top of penalizing poachers, we should put a stop to the massive destruction of their habitats to logging, human settlements and fire, among others.

Zubiri advised hunters who claimed they value wildlife, that "instead of putting out life, hunters should modify their motivations to that of creating life. It will be better for them to enjoy wildlife by setting up wildlife breeding farms for conservation, trade and/ or scientific purposes."

Instead of seeking a gun permit, they should apply for a breeding permit that's even available for commercial purposes under strict conditions.

Hunting is only allowed for indigenous people as part of their subsistence and hunting-and- gathering way of life and in very few circumstances only. The law is biased towards conservation not destruction as the strict permitting process could allow.

Zubiri explained that "no endangerd species should be hunted or captured except for research or conservation through breeding in captivity. We strictly ban the trade and killing of hundreds of species of birds."

Killing these birds for self-gratification or amusement is the height of insensitivity. Even the indigeous people have to follow strict traditions for hunting.

In 2004, the Convention of International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) Appendix I released by the Protected Areas and Wildlife Bureau (PAWB) listed 27 species of endemic and indigenous flora and fauna nationwide. It consists of 5 mammals,11 birds,9 reptiles,1 insect and 1 plant. This was in addition to the earlier list in 1995 under CITES I at 30 species. This includes the decline of protected mammals from 11 in 1995, to 5 in 2004.

Under Appendix II, flora and fauna species increased to 115 in 2004 from 104 in 1995. The 115 species consist of 21 mammals, 69 birds, 8 reptiles,2 insects and 15 plants. However, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and natural resources listed 265 species for priority protection.

Of the known 591 birds species in the country, 195 were endemic and 198 migrant. Of mammals, there are 107 endemic,71 resident and 7 migrant.

These flora and fauna are our country"s treasures. Some of our flagship species are the Cebu Black Shama, Tamaraw, Philippine Tarsier, Philippine Teak serving as icons of the provinces where their habitats are located.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

More Philippine Animals Under Fire. Mindoro Safari Kills Native Buffaloes

Mindoro is hardly the place you'd imagine when you hear the word SAFARI. I have fond memories of Mindoro, having spent a summer vacation there at a farm where my aunt cultivated sorghum. In Calapan, I hitched rides on the tractors as dawn broke and then swam in the cool pond all afternoon. This was in the late 1960s and early 70s. Now, a certain Jay T. Carlson lures hunters to the island offering nothing more than an opportunity to shoot a live animal. Anything to make a buck. We're not talking lions, tigers, rhinos and leopards here. We're talking about docile, non-aggressive, native water buffaloes who wouldn't even put up a fight if you walked up to them and cut them with a knife. What a pathetic way to get your kicks, and an unconscionable way to make a living! Unfortunately, some hunters have heeded his call, not knowing fully the personal danger they are in. Carlson downplays, quite unfairly, the presence of rebel forces in the area, and the possibility of kidnapping by local cutthroats. At his website, shooters posed beside their kill with utmost pride, proclaiming their unassailable manhood to the world. His WEBSITE is full of these dubious honors, photos taken in the Philippines and abroad. Once again, this is a clear violation of the Philippine Animal Welfare Act of 1998, and this guy should be prosecuted. Obviously, he has become quite comfortable in Mindoro since he built a lookout for his Mindoro Safari and some of the photos include native people, but that does not put him above the law.

The money part will make you even madder. This guy charges $11,500 US for a 12-14 day package, promising ten full days of hunting. Now, if you want to kill an extra buffalo, he'll charge you another $1200.00 US! This guy pockets all that money at the expense of Filipino wildlife ( they'll shoot boars too ). Those are OUR native animals, not his. I deeply resent it. Another dead buffalo pictured to the right. So, what good has come out from the killing of this Filipino animal? To add insult to injury, Jay T. Carlson is planning to open Filipino saltwater crocodiles to hunting in the near future.

Remember the Tamaraw? It is native to Mindoro where these guys hunt. Here's an excerpt from the Haribon Foundation's website:

" Even today when the hunting of Tamaraw is strictly prohibited, poachers continue to target this animal. In 2003, members of Bantay-Tamaraw arrested six people for hunting Tamaraw.
Humans have obviously done a lot of damage to Mindoro’s ecology in general, and to the Tamaraw’s survival in particular. However, humans can also do a lot to halt the decline of Mindoro’s environment and prevent the Tamaraw from becoming extinct.

In other words, Mindoro is a very fragile ecological area. High-flying and high-spending foreign hunters are the last thing Mindoro needs.

Join me in making a complaint with the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group of the Philippine National Police. They are the good guys. They have raided dog fighting rings before including one in Antipolo based on the provisions of the Animal Welfare Act.

Send an email or give them a call/tip. Here is their information:

National Headquarters, PNP Camp Crame Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines (0632)722 - 0877/722-0899/724-3956/724-8753 Email :

You should also send word to the Department of Environmental and Natural Resources (DENR) who can investigate this matter as well. You can send a message here:

Stop this unbridled killing of Filipino animals. Speak up for those who can't defend themselves. Mindoro Safari is bad for the Philippines. It's your country and your future! Don't let unscrupulous people trample on it.

Jay Carlson's email address :

UPDATE: Feb. 29 2008 Sen. Miguel Zubiri calls for the arrest of Mr. Carlson in his speech to the Senate. Read it here:

Friday, December 21, 2007

Now, It's Bel Air. Cats Trapped and Starved...

In my previous post, you heard about the cold-blooded murder of caged cats in DasMarinas Village ( they were recovering from spay/neuter procedures). Now, Bel Air has come up with their own rendition of that now very familiar song, " Animal Cruelty, You're always on My Mind."

It seems that the local barangay government set traps to capture six stray cats in the neighborhood. Having succeeded, barangay officials left the trapped cats in their cages for four days with no food and water. Take note, I didn't say FORGOT. Fortunately, some concerned citizens together with Vets In Practice arrived at Bel Air to provide what has become a very rare commodity, mercy. True to their mission, Compassion and Responsibility for Animals (CARA) worked out a compromise with the barangay officials in Bel Air. Yup, that's like a seeing-eye dog leading the blind.

You can follow the rest of the story at the forum of the Animal Welfare Coalition (AWC). Click HERE . Caution, disturbing photos at the site.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

DasMarinas Village Great Cat Massacre, Air Guns Used to Kill Innocent Animals

Some very chilling news comes out of DasMa Village where three kittens were shot to death and eleven cats euthanized by licensed vets due to the gravity of their wounds. Another group of six cats were taken to the clinic for further examination while eight seemed alright although they showed signs of being shot at. This is a very gruesome and cruel act of violence towards animals most possibly committed by more than one person using air guns. Dasmarinas Village security have not come up with any leads. However, a further investigation will be conducted. On Friday, the 21st, a representative of the National Bureau of Investigation will come to DasMarinas to investigate this horrific crime. The intrepid staff of Vets in Practice, based in Mandaluyong, provided immediate medical attention to the victims. Compassionate and outstanding people.

I picked up the story at the website of the Animal Welfare Coalition (AWC), a group of dedicated and kind-hearted organizations fighting animal cruelty in the Philippines in their respective ways. There are photos of the cats on their forum, but they are not for the faint-hearted. Click HERE.

Please, anyone with information about the shooting should contact the AWC with their complete information.

UPDATE: According to an email circulating among animal welfare people, the suspects are children of expats living in the neighborhood, taking wrongful advantage of their diplomatic immunity. They have, previously, been caught vandalizing neighborhood properties plus shooting frogs with airguns. No names were mentioned at this time.

UPDATE: Jan. 3, 2008 Here is more news about the massacre and the investigation:

UPDATE: Jan. 4, 2008 There is some progress in the investigation and more media coverage of the massacre. Two broadcast companies reported on the investigation last night, and here is one of them: This video report is in Tagalog, and so allow me to sum it up in English. The Village management questioned two individuals who are caretakers in the neighborhood. They rest and sleep in a building right next to the cages that held the cats (29, according to the report). When questioned, they didn't give a credible response. So, for now, they are considered persons of interest by the Makati police ( Makati is the city in which the subdivision is located). They are not yet naming names until the investigation is further developed. The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) is looking into the pellets that were recovered from the dead cats, and they will try to find out what kind of guns the pellets came from. The NBI is also investigating who came in and out of the village the day the cats were murdered. Nancy Cu Unjieng, President of Compassion and Responsibility for Animals (CARA) was interviewed, and she argued that the killing is a serious violation of the Animal Welfare Act and that a resolution is required.

This is a previous news report ( before the one featured above) on the massacre: It shows Nancy Cu Unjieng at the crime scene, imploring authorities to investigate the killing.

UPDATE: Jan. 6 2008 : Makati Mayor J. Binay gets involved in the investigation.

UPDATE: Feb. 20, 2008 : Please read my latest post on this matter:

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

PETA Asia-Pacific Appeals to PBN Foundation & Metrowalk Commercial Complex

November 29, 2007

Brenda Locsin, Chair
PBN Foundation
3/F Ersan Bldg. #32 Quezon Ave.
Quezon City

Dear Ms. Locsin:

PETA Asia-Pacific is an affiliate of the world’s largest animal rights organization, which has more than 1.8 million members and supporters. On behalf of our supporters, I urge you to reconsider your support of the Wonderful World of Dolphins show.

There is certainly no “wonderful world” for dolphins who are forced to perform for crowds. Although most traveling dolphin shows often claim that their “performers” have been rescued, most of these highly intelligent, sensitive, and social animals are forcibly abducted from their homes. As part of this notoriously cruel process, dolphins are surrounded, netted, and dragged onto boats. The dolphins who are discarded often die from drowning, shock, lung aspiration, or pneumonia.

In the wild, pods of dolphins can swim up to100 miles a day together. When captured, they are torn from their families and thrown into aquariums, where they can swim in endless circles in tanks. Forced to learn tricks, the dolphins who refuse to perform are often isolated or have their food withheld. Dolphins are highly social animals, and many go insane when their attempts to communicate with other dolphins by bouncing sonar waves create “boomerang” reverberations — the sounds literally bounce back at them. Chlorinated tanks can cause dolphins to go blind and suffer skin disorders. Living a mere 10 years when confined to aquariums — compared to 60 years out in the open seas — many captive dolphins succumb to pneumonia, ulcers, and other stress-related illnesses.

Marine mammal exhibits such as the one scheduled to appear at Metrowalk have already been banned in many places around the world, including Brazil and England. We hope that after reviewing this information, you will reconsider your support of the Wonderful World of Dolphins show. We hope that you’ll instead participate in fundraising efforts, conservation, or educational alternatives such as videos of dolphins and other mammals in their natural habitats.

If you have any questions, please contact me at 0920-497-4679 or via e-mail at Thank you for your time and consideration. We look forward to sharing your response with our members.


Rochelle Regodon
Campaigns Manager
PETA Asia-Pacific

* The same letter was sent to Ricardo J. Lim, General Manager, Metrowalk Commercial Complex, Meralco Avenue, Brgy. Ugong, Ortigas, Pasig City

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Dog Meat Trade Rescue, Adonis, Sends His Love and Thanks to All...

“My name is Adonis. When I was in PAWS shelter, I heard the volunteers say that I was the sweetest dog there. Today, as I survey my new turf — the garden owned by my new human Rhea Orpilla — I realize I am one lucky doggie. Rhea has a puppy named RJ, who is now my constant canine companion and playmate."

“I still find it hard to believe that I am actually here, ready to spend my first Christmas with a family who loves me. Several months ago, I thought I was a goner. I really did. I was crammed with 100 other dogs in a small van. When they opened the van, some of the dogs that were in the cage with me were already dead due to suffocation."

“Kelly, the blonde lady from Humane Society International who was there when we were rescued, was one of the first people who offered me a kind pat on the head. She kept calling me ‘Brown-Brown’ and kept on saying I was ‘a good dog’ in a soothing voice. I really liked that Kelly. I felt somehow that her nice, soothing voice was a sign of better days to come."

“PAWS could only take in eight of us because they didn’t have any more space at their shelter. One of the PAWS officers who came cried buckets of tears when she had finally picked us eight. She kept looking at the 78 who were left behind at the Manila City Pound. We heard that some of them made it to another shelter — the John Hughes’ Dog Shelter in Naguilian."

“PAWS had a difficult time trying to keep us alive. We had all sorts of health problems, on top of the fact that we suffered from dehydration and malnutrition. Of the eight, only three of my friends now remain at the shelter: Hiyas, Makisig and Likha. I was the very first to be adopted. I hope my friends find their forever-homes, too."

“So forgive me, please, if I wag my tail too much or fold my ears in glee everytime someone calls out my name. Makisig used to give me some brotherly advice at the shelter: I should try to show a little restraint, he said. I can’t help it. Rhea and the many people like her at PAWS have restored my faith in humankind. Every day is a day of celebration: a chance to wag my tail freely and tell the world that I found a human who will try to love me as much as I love her."

“I am happy to be among friends — safe at last. Thanks to all of you who cared.”
Photos by Liza Umayam, taken before adoption.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

America's Wildlife Needs Help. Wolves Slaughtered.

Take action online at

The Defenders of Wildlife (DOW) have called out to all people for support and financial assistance in their fight to save the wolves of America. They need your support to prevent the killing of hundreds of wolves in Idaho and Wyoming and ensure a healthy future for American wolves. The Yellowstone Wolf Legal Defense Fund needs $60,000 and you can make a donation of any amount HERE .

American wolves are in very great danger in several states. The Defenders of Wildlife tells us that in Alaska " state officials continue to allow airborne gunners to kill hundreds of wolves. Easy targets against the snow, hundreds of wolves have been shot from above or chased to exhaustion and then killed by aerial gunners who land and execute them at point-blank range. "

In the Northern Rockies, the Defenders of Wildlife tells us that " the federal government has put forth a proposal that could lead to the slaughter of hundreds of wolves in Idaho and Wyoming. Even Yellowstone wolves could be shot on site if they wander outside the park's boundaries! "

I have already sent in my donation. It's your turn now. Remember, they do the hard work. We support them with our donations. Make this world a better place. At the very least, go to the Defenders of Wildlife website and send a pre-written letter of support to your government representative.

Friday, December 14, 2007

The Philippine Eagle, Some Good News

Even as a child in the Philippines in the 1960s, I was aware of this great bird of prey that was the subject of reports by the National Geographic Society and Life magazine. The aviator Charles Linbergh came to the Philippines and helped focus the world's attention on this eagle and what has been its constant nemesis--- extinction. Through the dedicated work of conservationists and their backers, the future of the Philippine Eagle ( Pithecophaga jefferyi) is no longer as grim as before.

The Agence France-Presse recently reported on the 22nd Philippine Eagle born and bred in captivity. It is in good health and fed a nourishing meal of ground quail meat. It is still without a name. Evidently, the Philippine Eagle Foundation (PEF), organized in 1987 and situated in Davao, allows individuals or companies to name the chicks if they donate at a certain level. It's all for a great cause, obviously. The center estimated that only 600 of these eagles are left.

The Philippine Eagle is considered one of the three largest eagles in the world. When fully grown, the eagle's wing span can measure up to an awe-inspiring 6.6 feet. Another remarkable aspect of the Philippine Eagle is its longevity. The PEF reported that the Rome zoo took in a fully grown eagle in 1934, and that eagle lived till 1976. Another example comes from the Philippine Eagle Center itself where a young eaglet arrived in 1969 and it is still alive today.

If you want to learn more about the conservation efforts involving the eagle, please click on the link I provided above for the Philippine Eagle Foundation. Here is also some further reading:

Photo credit: Philippine Eagle Foundation

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Philippine Wildlife and the Bacolod Air Rifle Hunting Club

The alarm has been raised by nature-lover and bird conservationist Josef Sagemuller who unwittingly surfed into the website of the Bacolod Air Rifle Hunting Club. There, he found his worse nightmare. The site was filled with photos of gun-toting men proudly wearing garlands of dead birds, scores and scores of them, shot and killed for the joy of the hunt. The men sported gleeful faces while holding up their dead trophies as if they had just won an Olympic medal. One even proudly lined up his feathered victims on the floor alongside his two happy children. He wore a tee that proclaimed "one shot, one kill. "

You won't find these images on their website anymore because the club quickly took it down as soon as they got wind of the protest. One would think that the Bacolod Air Rifle Club would stand their ground and fight, but they opted to pack up and run. So much for the bravery of hunters when confronted with real live opposition.

It is argued that such indiscriminate killing of Filipino wildlife is like a death-knell for the already fragile ecology. The general area is considered to be one of the world's biodiversity hotspots, and hunting runs contrary to what should be the first priority---conservation. Instead, Sagemuller discovered quite the opposite, and I quote, " It was like being stabbed through the heart, hundreds of hundreds of massacred doves of all kinds, mallards. whistling ducks and snipes. It was unbelievable seeing all this. " Sagemuller has started an online PETITION to stop the killing, asking for 10,000 signatures, a petition he plans to submit to the media to raise public awareness and outcry. The press, however, got wind of this issue even before Sagemuller had collected all ten thousand signatures. Click HERE for a wonderful report by Juan Mercado of Inquirer.Net.

It is my personal opinion that, at the very least, the members of the Bacolod Air Rifle Club are in violation of the Philippine Animal Welfare Act of 1998 and this should be a police matter.

The photo above clearly illustrates that the killing of Filipino wildlife can be as casual and arbitrary as walking down the street. The argument that killing is food-base is just a convenient excuse for joyriding with the boys. Let's face it. We live in a time when we no longer have to hunt for our food.

If you would like to sign Sagemuller's petition, please click on the link provided above. Thanks for doing the right thing. Photos at the petition site.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Metrowalk Dolphin Show Demonstration a Success...Public Informed

Representatives from several civic-minded groups converged just outside the entrance to the show last Sunday, Dec. 9 2007 at 12:30pm, and made the public aware that not everything was fine and dandy at the show. Members of Kalikasan, Agham, and the Earth Island Institute-Philippines joined PAWS in distributing leaflets, staging a mock dolphin show, and a death-in where they laid on the ground with fake blood splattered on their white t-shirts. All this to illustrate the grim reality of animal shows where starvation is part of training and lifelong captivity is the norm.

The Inquirer, a local newspaper, wasted no time in posting their online report on the demonstration in which the managers were reported to have a permit from the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna (CITES). This bid for legitimacy seems odd and even misleading. CITES is based in Nairobi and it is a department of the United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP). It is not an international animal welfare organization as the dolphin show might want you to think. CITES is actually a trade organization with member countries including Indonesia and the Philippines. Their job is to regulate the trade of endangered species between countries, making sure that such a trade does not result in the extinction of any species of flora or fauna. They monitor, among others, the import and export of animal skin and fur which is a clear indication that they are not in the business of animal welfare. CITES' mission and operations are honorable since they guard against extinction of rare flora and fauna, but it is wrong to use this well-intentioned organization as a stamp of approval for the operations of the dolphin show at Metrowalk. None of the performing animals at the show are on the endangered species list. If there is actually a permit from CITES, then it is meaningless against the backdrop of animal welfare. CITES does not monitor the medical condition, feeding, housing and overall health of performing animals. They don't even have the time to answer queries via email or telephone due to a very small staff. This is what I learned when I tried to reach them.

In the meantime, please refrain from attending these shows where performing animals are severely starved to the point where they will do unnatural acts just to get fed. Their natural environment is an entire ocean and not a tiny, chlorinated pool. Chlorine blinds dolphins in a matter of several years. How would you feel if you were a captive for life and you had to exist at starvation point and had blindness to look forward to at the end of your useful life?

God gave you a conscience. Use it as God expected you to.

Photos by Emil Rebano.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Funding for New Jersey Animal Shelters

On Monday, Dec. 10 2007, New Jersey's Assembly Law and Public Safety Committee will be conducting a public hearing on bill A. 4482 which seeks to provide state funding for existing animal shelters as well as providing funds to build new ones. There are 566 municipalities in New Jersey and only 42 public shelters to serve them. These 42 shelters are almost always filled to capacity, and the only way to make room for new arrivals is to euthanize current residents. The existing shelters are also in need of funds to care and house animals seized from cases involving animal cruelty and animal fighting investigations. The sponsor of this bill is Assemblyman Gordon Johnson (D-37). The ASPCA has given their full support for this bill, and they believe that the absence of funding hinders the enforcement of animal anti-cruelty laws. The source of the funding will come from a 25 cent assessment on defendants in municipal court cases.

The hearing will be at the State House Annex, 125 West State Street, Committee Room 12, 4th Floor, Trenton, NJ 08625. 10 am.

Please write or call your state representative to support A. 4482.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Mikah, Champion Cat Stretcher and Yawner

Meet Mikah. She's the 2007 winner of the Stretch and Yawn category of the World's Coolest Cat and Dog Show conducted by Catster and Dogster. She's not in any pain in spite of the unnatural sleeping position. Evidently, this is how Mikah sleeps on a regular basis.
Mikah's luck changed for the better when her would-be mom was in Mandaue City in the Southern Philippines on a business trip. Mom stopped to pick up some bread, and saw a skinny and tired-looking stray. She offered the kitten some bread. As expected of a hard-up stray, Mikah readily consumed the manna from heaven. Right there and then, Mom decided to rescue her from her life in the streets. Because of her homelessness, Mikah was sickly and prone to diarrhea. In their early life together, Mom and Mikah found themselves at the vet's office several times. In time and through the constant care of her mom, Mikah got better.
Mikah's fortunate encounter with the kind-hearted lady isn't unique at all. Her mom looks after sixty cats and admits that Mikah is the sweetest cat of them all, often resting her head on her chest and shoulder. We don't know who is more fortunate, but we do know that love is abundant at Mikah's home.
From the very beginning, Mikah loved to sleep in her Mom's bedroom, assuming the pose you see above. It wasn't too long when Mikah had her very own kittens who are all grown ups now. Mom reported that Mikah wasn't remiss in her motherly obligations. As Mom continued to take in rescues, Mikah assumed the role of surrogate mom to those still too young to fend for themselves. Both Mom and Mikah now live in the southern Philippines in blissful harmony. A chance meeting that bore a wonderful fruit.
Please be kind to strays. They are God's children too.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

PAWS & the Earth Island Institute Protesting Dolphin Show at Metrowalk

The Philippine Animal Welfare Society and the Earth Island Institute (EII) will conduct a peaceful demonstration against an Indonesian-based dolphin show this Sunday, Dec. 9, 2007. This is not the first time they are going against this particular show. Here's more information:

"Dear animal advocates and friends,After our Christmas Get-Together on Saturday (3pm -PARC), PAWS is set to hold a peaceful picket on December 9, Sunday at Metrowalk in Ortigas and distribute flyers in front of the Dolphin Show entrance there.Please join us:

WHAT: Information- dissemination campaign-
WHY: People Shouldn't Watch Dolphin Shows
ACTIVITY: Flyering
WHEN: December 9 (Sunday) - 10 am to 11am ( New Time : 12:30pm - 2pm )
WHERE: in front of the "Wonderful World of Dolphins with Sea Lions" Metro walk Complex, Meralco Avenue Pasig City, Metrowalk, Ortigas

The organizers of this show are the same organizers of last year's show at SM Mall of Asia - Movers and Shakers- which we protested against.Both SM MOA and Movers & Shakers promised not to hold the show again since their "eyes were just opened" to the cruelty endured by these dolphins in such a show.

SM kept its promise, MOVERS & SHAKERS DID NOT.

Armchair activists may choose to make a polite phone call to the numbers indicated below to tell them (politely again) about how you feel about wild animals being used for entertainment; or fax a message to Movers & Shakers President, Eva Nono, requesting cancellation of the show in the name of Corporate Social Responsibility. 384-5432, 384-5327, 0916-9845255. Together, we can all make difference for dolphins.The less people watch these cruel dolphin shows, the more dolphins will be free in the wild.-The Philippine Animal Welfare Society (PAWS)"If you care about dolphins, don't watch dolphin shows."Join the picket. Help make this world a better place.

Further Reading...

Earth Island Institute-Philippines:

BANNED ENTERTAINMENT FINDS ITS WAY IN THE PHILIPPINES: While many countries are doing away with inhumane entertainment such as traveling dolphin shows, it is ironic that in the Philippines, these are treated with novelty. Packaged as “family entertainment”, performing dolphins in traveling shows are given cute names and made to perform seemingly witty tricks. What the audience does not know is that these animals are starved to obey their trainers, repeatedly subjected to the stress of transport and made to swim in chlorinated water that will blind the animals over time. Differentiated from the bigger and more expensive ocean parks, traveling dolphin shows are smaller and are actually temporary facilities where marine mammals, usually dolphins and sea lions, perform for a period of time after which they are moved to their next show location. The repeated transport of dolphins and other aquatic animals are particularly stressful as these animals have to be immobilized for the entire duration of the travel. If transporting terrestrial animals in circuses like lions, tigers and elephants is hard, it is even harder for aquatic animals as they have to be taken out of the water and completely immobilized. In the wild, dolphins never stop moving. They are always swimming, and any restriction on this movement is very stressful for the animal. Most dolphins that are subject to repeated transport develop bruises along their pectoral fins when they are carried and immobilized in hammocks. Dolphin experts such as Richard O’Barry (the former trainer of ‘Flipper’, the hit TV series of the 60s) confirm that dolphins actually die in the process of being transported. The inferior facilities of traveling shows—shallow pools, inappropriate water treatment methods and the stress of the repeated transport of the animals have actually moved countries like the United States to ban this type of show. Many other countries in Europe like the United Kingdom have also banned such shows. Latin American countries such as Brazil and Nicaragua have stopped the commercial showing of dolphins and Australia and New Zealand have also prohibited such entertainment in their territories.

NO GOVERNMENT STANDARDS: In the Philippines, there are no specific standards for the welfare of performing animals such as marine mammals. The Bureau of Animal Industry, (BAI), the government agency tasked to implement the Animal Welfare Act (RA 8485), does not have the experience, technical expertise and standards to evaluate dolphin shows. Worse, lobbying by environmental and animal welfare groups to adopt standards are all but ignored by BAI officials. Earth Island Institute-Philippines, an environmental organization working for the protection of dolphins in the Philippines has been lobbying at the BAI for years. They believe that government officials do not even know the issues behind traveling dolphin shows and do not know that these are already banned in many countries.

QUESTIONABLE EDUCATIONAL VALUE: Many groups actually question the educational value of dolphin shows. A growing number of educators and marine mammal experts believe that dolphin shows actually promote the “miseducation” of people on the actual lives of marine mammals such as dolphins and sea lions. In the wild, dolphins rarely approach humans, spend 80% of their time underwater diving at depths, and never associate with sea lions which are their natural enemies. The show being put on by the “Wonderful World of Dolphins” actually negates this natural behavior and life of these marine mammals.

AN APPEAL TO END CRUELTY: Both EII-Phils and PAWS urge the general public to look beyond the ‘cute’ image used as fronts by dolphin shows and see the cruelty that these animals have to endure for human amusement. They urge the general public to stop animal cruelty by refraining from patronizing such shows. These groups hope that one day the Philippines will join the ranks of the countries that have abandoned cruelty in their entertainment industry."

The Prison Pool...Dolphins live naturally in the Oceans w/o Chlorine

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Support the NJSPCA while You Drive

The New Jersey Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals ( NJSPCA ) has teamed up with Car-Tatts, a manufacturer of highly durable, high-quality vinyl graphics for cars, to help educate motorists about animal cruelty and what can be done to prevent it. A portion of the sales of Car-Tatts in the NJSPCA section on will help the group continue the fight against animal cruelty.

Captain Steve Shatkin of the NJSPCA said, "It is our hope that this effort will raise the profile of the NJSPCA, inform people where to report animal cruelty, and raise much-needed funds for an organization that has never received any state funding whatsoever." The NJSPCA handles approximately 3500 animal cruelty cases each year in the state of New Jersey, with about ten percent of those cases involving dog fighting.

So, let's give these wonderful people a helping hand. After all, animal cruelty degrades the society we live in. Reject cruelty wherever you see it, and take action.

Here is a sampling of tatts being offered at :

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Burberry Leafleting Demonstration, Short Hills, NJ. Dec. 9, 2007 at 1pm

Take a good look at Burberry:

Here are directions to the mall:

North: New Jersey Turnpike South to exit 14 for I-78 West. Follow to Route 24 West to exit 7C (JFK Parkway). Center will be on the right. Or, Garden State Parkway South to exit 142 for I-78 West. Follow to Route 24 West to exit 7C (JFK Parkway). Center will be on the right.

East: Take I-78 West to Route 24 West to exit 7C (JFK Parkway). Center will be on the right. Or, Route 80 West to Route 287 South to exit 37 for Route 24 East to exit 7. Follow signs for The Mall at Short Hills, (center will be on the right).

South: New Jersey: Turnpike North to exit 14 for I-78 West. Follow to Route 24 West to exit 7C (JFK Parkway). Center will be on the right. Or, Garden State Parkway North to exit 142. Follow u-turn signs to I-78 West to Route 24 West to exit 7C (JFK Parkway). Center will be on the right.

West: Take Route 80 East to Route 287 South to exit 37 for Route 24 East to exit 7. Follow signs for The Mall at Short Hills (center will be on the right). Or, I-78 East (local lanes) to exit 48. Follow signs for Route 24 West to exit 7C (JFK Parkway). Center will be on the right.

Monday, December 03, 2007

PAWS Holiday Wish List, 2007

The Philippine Animal Welfare Society has come out with their holiday wish list, and I encourage everyone, both in the Philippines and abroad, to chip in for a very good cause. Up front, PAWS' cattery needs repairs and renovation. Since 2001, the cattery has not received any significant upgrading due to a very tight budget. Your donations are a necessary resource in the fight against animal cruelty and a boost for animal welfare societies like PAWS. The structure itself is one of great simplicity and function. Here is a couple of photos taken by PAWs volunteer Liza Umayam during the blessing of the animals:

As you can see, the cats are not individually caged, but free to move around. If not for PAWS and its cattery, these cats would be in the streets, vulnerable and hungry. But, things could be better. So, here is the wish list and please consider it as an opportunity to make a difference:

PAWS' "Twelve Days of Christmas" Wish List:

1. dog cage - approximately P3,000/cage ($71.00)
2. kennel cab (L)- approx. P5,000/cab ($119.00)
3. cat cage - approx. P 400/cage ( $9.52 )
4. Spot-On Tick & Flea treatment - approx. P200/pipette ( $4.76)
5. Cat Food (canned) - approx. P40/can ( $ .95 )
6. Cat Food (dry/kibble) - approx. P800/8kg. bag ( $19.04)
7. Prescription Diet Dog Food A/D (canned) - approx. P80/can ( $1.90)
8. Vaccines or various medicine for cats and dogs - range: P100 to P600/drug or vaccine ( $2.38 - 14.28)
9. Canon iPIXMA 1300 black or colored ink cartridge - approx. P900/cartridge ( $21.42)
10. Powdered detergent soap - approx. P120/kg.( $2.85)
11. Energy-saving light bulbs - approx. P110/bulb ( $2.61)
12. Virgin coconut oil - approx. P120/ 250ml. bottle ( $2.85 )

Outdoor cattery renovation
Welded wire sponsor P500 ( $11.90)
Angle bar sponsor P500 ( $11.90)
Paint sponsor P200 ( $4.76 )
Labor sponsor P350 ( $8.33)

Complete breakdown of materials needed for new outdoor cattery
1. Welded wire - 22pcs x P500 = P11,000 ( $261.00)
2. Angle bar - 36 pcs x P500 = P18,000 ( $428.57)
3. Angle bar - 5 pcs (roof) x 5 = P 2,500 ( $59.52 )
4. Paint & welding rod = P 2,000 ( $47.61 )
5. Labor (max 3 weeks)
P350/day x18 days x2 pax = P 12,600 ( $300.00)
P 46,100 ( Total Cost $1095.00 )

Experience the joy of Giving...Please click on the PAWS link I supplied above for information about drop-offs or mail-ins. Their general email address is . You can donate via PayPal at the PAWS website.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Dog with Two Hearts

Can you believe it? This Chihuahua was born in Japan earlier this year, and the breeder is keeping the dog.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

PAWS heads to Court...Will Fight On

Now that December has arrived, there are more than just the multi-colored lights, the jingle of carolers, the trek to midnight mass, and the selfless gift-giving to look forward to for the people of the Philippines. The pursuit of animal welfare and the prevention of cruelty do not stop even when it's Christmas season. Amidst the holiday spirit, there is serious business that needs to be done.

The Philippine Animal Welfare Society goes back to court on December 13th to pursue a case against 14 people involved in gambling and vicious dogfighting in Antipolo, a city outside Manila. Dogfighting is a violation of the Philippine Animal Welfare Act, and this case will serve as the spearhead for all other legal cases relating to dogfighting in the future. The law is a wonderful piece of legislative engineering, but some criticize it as toothless because of weak enforcement. Well, this case caught the attention of the public and a victory in court will quantumly modify that perception for both violators and animal rights activists.

December 13th will be the second time that PAWS and the defendants will meet at the courthouse in Antipolo. Back in November 9th, the defense scored a minor victory by delaying the arraignment scheduled for that day to Dec. 13th, due to a technicality. Here is Anna Cabrera's ( Director of PAWS ) report on what happened that day:

" At the arraignment, the lawyer of the dogfighters (Danny Tan, - whose name is Atty. Julian Turcuator - objected to a private prosecutor (PAWS lawyer, Atty. Roy Kayaban) participating in the trial. He says that based on the Rules of Court-since this is a criminal case, there should only be the Public Prosecutor handling this case.

However, PAWS' Atty Kayaban cited jurisprudence that a private prosecutor can be directly under the public prosecutor and still be allowed to participate.

Atty. Turcuator said that they did not receive DOJ's denial of their Motion for Reconsideration (PAWS received a copy of said document last Oct 24, 2007) so they are asking for re-schduling of the arraignment on Dec 13, 1pm. At this point, Asst. Prosecutor Corazon Sampayo said that her office already sent out those notices and does not understand why the Defense did not get their copy. Sampayo said " to give them the benefit of the doubt" she is agreeing to the suggestion of re-scheduling. The Judge approved the re-sked to Dec13.

The Judge asked Atty Turcuator to put in writing his objection to the representation of private prosecutor Atty Kayaban and gave him until Dec 13 to get feedback on all "other legal remedies of the accused" (i.e. Motion for Rconsideration, etc).

... PAWS will be vigilant here because we want dogfighting stopped - starting with Antipolo City - where dogfights are rampant. "

It would be a serious mistake for the defendants to strategize their defense based on delays and the hope that both PAWS and the city of Antipolo would lose heart and interest in the case. Nobody is going anywhere but forward with this case. Incidentally, you can view the Joint Consolidated Reply Affidavit HERE.

Danny Sy, the alleged ring leader, is pictured to the right. There is a lot of video evidence against him and his co-defendants including statements attesting to the hideous condition of the dogs on fight night plus hard copy evidence like gate receipts. Those are pretty damming stuff. What's he going to say? That he was walking along one night, and unknowingly stepped into the stadium and found himself in center ring between fighting dogs? If you believe this stuff, I've got a flying saucer to sell you complete with registration and insurance.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Bullhooks and Elephants

What is a bullhook? It has been said many times before, be careful what you ask for! Well, in this case, we are just ascertaining what it is, and it is pictured on the right. Circus workers, particularly animal handlers, use this tool to " guide " elephants. That's what they say. So, why the hook and the pointed tip?

Obviously, for an elephant to follow the commands of a mere human, a level of coercion must be applied. Have you ever seen a human and an elephant engaged in a great persuasive debate? Who has? What better way to make an elephant faithfully follow an order than through the medium of pain, the circus people so believe. That's where the bullhook comes into play.

You have to ask the question, why not use a stick with blunt ends? Well, it doesn't work. Here's where circuses, like the Ringling Bros. Barnum and Bailey Circus, should level with the public. They shouldn't argue that the bullhooks do not hurt the elephants. They should come out clean and declare that application of pain is part of the handling and training of elephants. The application of this painful weapon allows the much smaller human being to impose his will over his gargantuan co-worker. I think this is all very obvious to us who do not have to earn a living this way. Those who do will deny it.

Let's read the testimony of biologist Dr. Joyce Poole, given to state legislators in Massachusetts, January 2007. Dr. Poole spent 27 years living among savanna elephants in Kenya's Amboseli National Park. She studied their behavior and methods of communication. Dr. Poole learned that the elephants use more than 70 kinds of vocal sounds and 160 different visual and tactile signals, expressions, and gestures in their day-to-day interactions. Her testimony is very enlightening. Here it is:

In my opinion the use of the use of the bullhook physically harms elephants. The bullhook is traditionally used on sensitive areas of the body. For example, a bullhook may be used behind the ears where the skin is paper thin, around the eyes where the skin is also very thin, and on the feet, trunk and around the mouth which are highly enervated. These areas are all extremely sensitive to the touch.

In my opinion the use of the use of the bullhook psychologically and emotionally harms elephants. People who use bullhooks often claim that these instruments are only a "guide". In the wild dominance between elephants is based on age-dependent body size thus older, larger animals rank above smaller younger animals. The only way a human being (approx. 1/60 the weight of an elephant) can rank above an adult elephant is either through fear, learned helplessness, or in rare cases through respect based on companionship and trust. By maintaining a fear of the consequences, bullhooks and other "guides" ensure that an elephant will engage in activities it would rather not engage in (such as stand still in a line; defecate on command; stand on two legs, etc). Instruments such as bullhooks are successful in "correcting" or "guiding" an elephant only because the animals have learned to be fearful of the consequences of not following instructions. The fearfulness is based on the experience of pain being inflicted. The fear of being jabbed, however lightly, ensures that an elephant obeys commands or follows a guide, if you will. In this process, however, the independent will, choice, autonomy and purpose so important to the life of an elephant are destroyed.

In my opinion the use of bullhooks constitutes harassment of elephants. In the wild elephants may occasionally be tusked, poked or jabbed by another elephant, but these interactions are relatively infrequent and are carried out in contexts very different from those observed in circuses. In my many years of experience, elephants do not harass or continually pick on another elephant in the manner that can be observed in circuses. In addition, if an elephant is tusked or poked by another elephant she or he receives support from close associates. Elephants in the wild receive physical and vocal solidarity, thus softening any physical and psychological blows received from other elephants. In the circus elephants are not only repetitively prodded and jabbed but have no recourse, no means of escape and no ability to receive support from companions.

In my opinion, the use of bullhooks, whips or other instruments on elephants can constitute handling in a manner that could cause emotional stress and trauma. Many circus elephants exhibit stereotypical behavior - the frequent, almost mechanical, repetition of the same posture or behavior as in the rhythmical rocking, swaying or bouncing of captive elephants. This unnatural behavior of elephants, seen regularly in zoos and circuses, is never observed in the wild and is pathological. Animals subjected to prolonged experimentally induced neurosis, or those who have experienced trauma, such as beatings or continual prodding, may show extreme signs of stress and their behavior may become pathologically abnormal including great anxiety and stereotyped behavior.

In my opinion the use of a bullhook on one individual has negative consequences for other elephants. Elephants are keen social learners. In other words, much of elephant behavior is not instinctive but learned from watching or listening to others. Such learning is seen in many aspects of an elephant’s daily life and is a vital component of learning. Elephants, too, are capable of empathizing with others and have even been observed to wince when a companion reaches its trunk out toward an electric wire. Consequently, when an elephant is jabbed or poked with a bullhook this action has negative psychological consequences not only for the individual elephant receiving the prod, but also for those around it. In other words, the routine use of the bullhook causes psychological harm to the elephants whether they are being hit or not.

In my opinion the use of bullhooks on elephants is inhumane. Elephants are capable of strong and complex emotions including joy, grief, compassion and empathy. Elephants are also capable of suffering from physical and emotional pain. Therefore, to treat elephants in a manner which inflicts both physical suffering and psychological suffering is inhumane.

Watch this video:

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Denny's Goes For the Circus

UPDATE: January 9, 2008 Denny's has finally agreed to drop their partnerhsip with Ringling Bros. Barnum and Bailey Circus. In fairness and appreciation, I have deleted my critical post of 11/29/07 about their partnership. This is victory for animal welfare and a step in the right direction for the business world. Thank you, Denny's. Wishing you prosperous times ahead.

A note on Tear Stains

During my daily meandering through online forums, I picked up an interesting question from a perplexed dog owner. This one relates to a natural phenomenon called tear stains.

The concerned dog owner asked what causes a tear stain and if it was true that changing dog food brands causes it. First of all, anyone involved in dog ownership, or in the appreciation of this wonderful branch of the animal kingdom, is not new to the sight of a tearful dog. Sure, but they are not tears of sorrow but an overflow of this liquid whose function is to clean the eyeballs. There are ducts that allow this liquid to drain into the nasal area where it is eliminated. When these ducts are clogged or closed, for whatever reason, the liquid overflows unto the cheek area and causes the stain that we are so familiar with. Many small dogs, like Chihuahuas, have protruding eyeballs. Tear staining is very common among them as well as in any toy class. In this case, the protrusion of the eyeballs stretches the ducts and prohibits the liquid from draining into the nasal cavity. Humans are no different. Ever wonder why our noses clog up when we cry? Excessive tearing, thus crying, causes an overload in the nasal cavity even if tears are overflowing unto our cheeks. That's when we reach for the tissue. For goodness sake, when you see these tears, please do not assume that the dog is emotionally distressed neither is it overjoyed.

As for changing dog food brands as the possible culprit, it seems to me that someone was trying a different angle on this issue, one with commercial interest.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Harlan UK , Animal Hell in the United Kingdom

There is a company in the United Kingdom called Harlan UK , and it is a horrific place for animals. The company breeds animals for research, and profit is of paramount importance to them. Nothing else. This is big time puppy milling. Who is Harlan UK?
" Harlan, founded in 1931, is a major international company with locations throughout the world, including the USA, Spain, Germany, Italy, France, Israel, The Netherlands, Mexico and the UK. It is a breeder and supplier of animals, animal diets and bedding for the research industry. Harlan UK Ltd. is the British arm of the parent company, Harlan Sprague Dawley Inc. The UK company has an annual turnover of £6.6 million.
According to the company's sales brochure it supplies more stocks and strains of laboratory animals to research than any other commercial producer in the world. Nine species (beagles, marmosets, rabbits, guinea pigs, rats, mice, gerbils, cats and hamsters) and over 225 stocks and strains of laboratory animals (including hybrid, mutant and transgenic animals) are produced. Harlan UK claim to have customers across 30 countries which include pharmaceutical and biotech companies, universities, and government agencies.
In recent years Harlan UK has expanded its services to offer a veritable supermarket of biological products including monoclonal antibodies, laboratory animal sera, plasma, whole blood, organs, glands and tissues. It also offers other services such as surgically altered animals, diagnostic services, health screening, genetic monitoring and contract services. " Quoted from BUAV.
The Lab Animals Buyers Guide listed Harlan UK at :
Harlan UK, Ltd. Shaw's Farm
Blackthorn, Bicester, Oxon OX6 OTP UK
Phone: +44 1869 243241
Fax: +44 1869 246759
The British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection (BUAV), exposed Harlan UK's merciless operations in an undercover investigation. Take a look at what goes on behind closed doors. Take a look at dogs who were born, raised, and killed without even experiencing a tiny bit of freedom. You have to know that this brand of cruelty exists in business. There is just so much to say that it is better to go to the investigation website. Read about Harlan UK here:

Kenya, Huruma, and the Animals...

First of all, here is my son, Buzz, who took time off from his cushy job in Wall Street to volunteer at an orphanage in Kenya last month. The orphanage is called Huruma, and it is located outside Nairobi in the Ngong Hills. Children from babies to 17 yrs of age are sheltered in Huruma, and a wonderful lady named Mama Zipporah is the head mistress there.

Here is Buzz on an outing with some of the children of Huruma.

Okay, here's a giraffe in the wild. All animals photographed here are living in the wild. That's a far cry from the caged or confined animals we see in the zoos that live in man-made environment. More giraffes form a group...

A couple of zebras. Nope, those are not prison stripes. These guys are free to roam.

More stripes here than the American flag...

Better keep a safe distance from this rhino. They can charge you with great speed and power. Impressive and powerful.

These rhinos are unfazed by vehicular traffic.They have the right of way by dint of their size alone...

More rhinos...

Several of them...where they're going, we don't know. Have a nice day, fellas.

Checking the tire pressure? Free to roam the grounds...

That left rear tire must be very interesting to them...

I don't know what these creatures are, but they are obviously fed by people...

I've seen this animal in those aweful hunting shows on television, shot and killed by cowardly big game hunters, usually while drinking water from a river. Aren't you impressed by their skill, using high powered and scoped rifles? This is the way to shoot them, with a camera.

A wild boar...

Who's checking out whom? This is a pretty close encounter with our wild relative.

He's off to join his group...

I think these are impalas...

Pelicans have a gathering...

Flamingos, aplenty... Isn't this just beautiful? God's creation at peace.

Humankind's best friends... No cages, collars, harnesses and it seems no energy for one.

If you would like to see photos of Kenya and the orphanage, Click HERE for Buzz's online gallery.