Friday, February 29, 2008

Hillary Clinton for President

I am taking a momentary break from the usual animal welfare issues on this blog to urge people to vote for the candidate who is most deserving to be the next President of the U.S. of America. It's no time for a beginner. Speeches and promises are cheap. A long history of public service is not, 35 years, in fact. A promise of Hope does not safeguard our national security, but experience does. Hillary is the Change we all need.



PETA Demonstration Against Barnum & Bailey Circus in East Rutherford, New Jersey. March 4, 2008

Wearing nearly nothing, a local PETA activist will defy chilling winter temperatures to bring attention to Ringling Bros.' abuse of animals. Demonstrations like these are making an impact. Many potential circus goers turn around and go home after finding out how animals suffer in the circus. We need your help to spread the word that circuses are no fun for animals.

What: Caged Tiger Demonstration
When: Tuesday, March 4, 12:00 noon.
Where: Intersection of Ridge Road and Park Ave., East Rutherford

All materials will be provided. To RSVP or for questions about this event, please email Ashley Byrne at AshleyB@peta.org.

Thank you for being on the activist network and for everything you do for animals.

Sincerely,

David Salisbury, Assistant Activist Liaison
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals
DavidS@peta.org

Sen. Zubiri's Privilege Speech to the Senate of the Philippines. Calls for Action. Animal Welfare and the Protection of Philippine Wildlife.

Here's the full text of Sen. Zubiri's speech to the Senate delivered on 27 February 2008. Thanks to Josef Sagemuller for providing the text. The senator's staff have been in touch with the Wild Bird Club of the Philippines and the e-group formed by Mr. Sagemuller after he initiated his now well-known petition to stop the killing of Philippine wildlife.

Pictured here
is Senator Zubri and Senator Pimental together with and several members of the Wild Bird Club of the Philippines.

I believe that this is not a knee-jerk reaction nor a passing fancy of the Senator. I believe that he is sincere in his interest and concern for Philippine biodiversity and wildlife. The Senator has proven to be one of the more enlightened minds in the Philippine government. I am immensely pleased that the Senator spotlighted the Mindoro Safari and has called for action against it. The alerting emails I sent to the DENR, the Philippine National Police, and the Governor of Mindoro have all gone unanswered. So, here is the Senator's wonderful speech:




Senate of the Philippines

Privilege SpeechBy Sen. Juan Miguel F. Zubiri
27 February 2008

A Tale of Two Hunters

Mr. President, on a number of occasions I rise on this August Chamber,in defense of the environment and to expose violations of our environmental laws. Today is no different from those instances. I will not cease to stand on this floor as long as our environmental laws continue to be flagrantly violated. I ask our distinguished colleagues to bear with me on this crusade, if only to call everyone's attention, especially the public and the executive branch, which is supposed to zealously implement our laws. And, we too in the legislative can do something, to amend the law, if necessary, or in the exercise of our oversight powers, to look into the culpability or neglect of our law enforcers and executive officials. This humble representation is not only passionate about environmental advocacy, it is a way of life for me.

Bird Massacre

On December 13, 2007 an article in Philippine Daily Inquirer by columnist Juan Mercado tackled the "slaughter of the birds" in several towns in Negros Occidental purportedly by the members of a loose organization called Bacolod Air Rifle Hunting Club. The grisly photos of shot birds displayed on the internet by some members of the Bacolod Air Rifle Hunting Club led to the accidental discovery of this illegal activity by Mr. Josef Sagemuller while surfing the internet insearch of information on birds in the Philippines. He then alerted the Wild Bird Club of the Philippines represented by Mr. Michael Lu and his members present at the gallery today, together with Ambassador David Pine of New Zealand, and some members of the diplomatic corps, who share a passion for conservation. The discovery sparked the drive for 10,000 signatures by the Club to curb this slaughter and call the attention of authorities. The photos displayed hundreds of slaughtered doves, mallards, whistling ducks, snipes and other endemic and endangered species, according to Mr. Lu. In an attempt to cover uptheir illegal deeds, after the photos posted in their website caught the attention of environmentalists, the Bacolod Air Rifle Hunting Club shut down their website.

What is worse is the blatant denial of some of its members that it ever happened, well, a picture speaks a thousand words! And at this point, distinguished colleagues, let me show you some of these gruesome photos of massacred birds which were downloaded before the website was pulled-out. (Play slides.)

So that the authorities would have something to start their investigation with, let me name their group: some members of the Bacolod Air Rifle Club and some members of the Philippine National Shooting Team. A certain Mr. Gino Castandielo was the one who postedthe photos in the internet, one of which shows Ms. Tet Lara, Mike and Jade De Guzman of the Philippine National Shooting Team who had posted their own lame excuse for the compromising photos. These people's names cropped up in their own website, just before they shut it down. Others were even interviewed and admitted to this illegal activity but pleaded that they were not aware of RA 9147 or the Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act. Have they not heard of the legal maxim "ignorance of the law excuses no one?"

What frustrates me the most Mr. President is the inaction ofour DENR officials at this brazen violation of our wildlife laws. I will get to that later on.

Mindoro Safari

In another hunting expedition, this fellow from New York by the nameof Jay T. Carlson is enticing foreign tourists for an exciting and different hunting activity in Mindoro. He is the outfitter for the hunting activities and advertises his hunting expedition in the internet as the Mindoro Safari.

According to reports posted in the website: www.huntingreport. com, The Mindoro Safari is a 12 to 14-day itinerary with 10 hunting days in thefield and for a fee of US$10,500. to US$12,500. The hunt is done totally on foot in the thick jungle of Mt. Halcon in Mindoro with the help of the Mangyans. Mr. Carlson started this hunting expedition in2002 and has pioneered some fascinating hunts for Asian water buffalo and Philippine sambar deer. They also take wild boar and bearded warty pig as hunt trophies. "Clients may take a second buffalo for an additional US$1,200. A fit client should expect to collect two primary species with additional species collected as time allows. Most clients shoot three animals. Hides are prepared for shipment/dipand pack. All paperwork is processed for export," says the report published in April 2005.

Mr. Carlson's first client in 2002 was Hunting Report Honor Roll subscriber Truman Clem, who took an Asiatic water buffalo. According to Mr. Clem, "the hunts are best marketed to the Safari Club International (SCI) hunter/collector who is looking for unique species found nowhere else."

Mr. President, what they romantically call as Asiatic water buffalo isnothing but our hard working domesticated carabao, the poor animal was probably standing by itself or even tied to the ground when it was killed. It may not fall under the CITES list of endangered species but nevertheless, it would violate RA 8485, The Animal Welfare's Act, a law against cruelty to animals.

And if the November 2007 report posted in their website is to be believed, it is still ongoing with a possibility to include in thehunt the 12 to 18 foot crocodiles that have been seen in their hunting grounds.

These crocodiles Mr. President are one of the most endangered freshwater crocodiles in the planet. They are known as Crocodilus Mindorensis and are numbered only in the hundreds left in the wild. If these reports are true, then Mr. President, this fellow should be prosecuted, fined and should serve his sentence in our jails as stipulated in Section 28 of RA 9147. After which, he should be deported as a menace to the environment.

I would like to also ask our Bureau of Immigration to look into Mr.Carlson's immigration status as we have reports that he has over stayed his tourist visa.

Wildlife roles in our ecosystems Birds and wildlife have important roles to play in the chainof life. Decimating their populations would threaten the viabilityof all ecosystems. Birds play a key role for the Philippineenvironment. They eat fruits and disperse the seeds over wide partsof land that are crucial in revitalizing our forests. Some nectar-feeders such as the olive-backed sunbird are important pollinators. Seabirds improve the ecology of small islands by producing large amounts of guano which enriches the island's soil, allowing less adaptable plants to root.

More than 200 Philippine birds, out of 600 resident and migratory species, are included in the World Conservation Union's redlist of critically-endanger ed species. Among them are the Philippine cockatoo, the Negros fruit-dove and the Philippine eagle, considered as the world's largest eagle.

The most unique animal feature of Mindoro must be thetamaraw (Bubalus Mindorensis) , or dwarf water buffalo. The tamaraws are endemic to Mindoro. There were around 10,000 tamaraws in Mindoroin the 1900's. By the 1960's only about 300 had been counted in thewild making it rarer than the black rhinoceros of Africa, China'spanda and the tiger. It was listed as critically-endanger ed in 1970.The latest official count placed their numbers to 263.

The World Conservation Union cites habitat loss from cattle ranching and farming, hunting and diseases as the major threats to thetamaraw's survival.

Another threat to biodiversity conservation Mr. President, are the continuous poaching activities for the pet trade. It still saddens me to find out from my friends that they still see the rare Philippine Cockatoo or Katala or even Mouse Deer being sold at stalls in Cartimar, Arranque Market and other provincial markets were these species are found. Once again, in clear violation of our laws.

Mr. President, I strongly condemn these illegal hunting and poaching activities which could lead to the extinction of many birds and mammal species which are endemic to the Philippines.

I would like to remind these violators of the provisions of RA 9147--- Wildlife Conservation Act, which I had the honor to author in the11th Congress together with the distinguished members of this Chamber, particularly:

Section 27 of Chapter IV on Illegal Acts:

a. killing and destroying wildlife species;

f. collecting, hunting or possessing wildlife, their by-products and derivatives;

Section 28 of Chapter V on Fines and Penalties:

a. imprisonment of a minimum of six (6) years and one (1)day to twelve (12) yeard and/or a fine of One HundredThousand Pesos (P100,000) to One Million Pesos(P1,000,000) , if inflicted or undertaken againstspecies listed as critical.

b. imprisonment of four years (4) and one (1) day to six (6)years and/or a fine of Fifty Thousand Pesos(P50,000) to Five Hundred ThousandPesos (P500,000), if inflicted or undertaken against endangered species

I ask our Committee on Environment to investigate this issue and determine the gross negligence and responsibility of our environment officials, particularly the Regional Directors of these areas and theProtected Areas and Wildlife Bureau Personnel. Why do they allow these illegal and immoral activities to continue? When will they muster the political will to prosecute these people?

I suggest Mr. President that we, together with the environmental groups file cases with the Green Ombudsman Task Force to look at cases involving environment officials who commit gross negligence of their duties and mandates.

I also ask the Philippine Sports Commission, if the members of thePhilippine National Shooting Team mentioned in this privilege speechare still part of the present National Shooting Team to suspend their financial and logistical support to the Philippine National Shooting Team until an investigation is conducted and those responsible havebeen identified. Even before they could bring honor to the country ininternational competitions, they already brought disgrace to our people and to the entire sports community by their illegal hunting activities.

Mr. President, this is not just about conservation. It's about biodiversity, natural heritage, legacy and ecological balance. Instead of putting out life, these poachers should modify their motivations to that of creating life. Instead of seeking gun permits, why not apply for breeding permits and set up wildlife breeding farmsfor conservation, trade and/or scientific purposes.

Mr. President, we must put a stop to these illegal hunting activities that threaten the survival of species which are endemic to the country. We must seriously look into this issue and prosecute those who would be found violating our laws.

In Psalm Chapter 104, Verse 24: "How many are your works Oh Lord! In wisdom you made them all; the earth is full of your beautiful creatures."

And here they are, ladies and gentlemen, destroying God's beautiful creation.

Thank you.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Killed for Your Fur

So you feel special because of your fur coat? Or, is it someone else's fur coat? You think it's classy and chic? How do you think the animals feel about losing their fur coat?.


Help Stop the Cruel Fur Industry.

Dogs Slaughtered and then Transported

Here is a link to GMA News TV reporting on a new tactic by dog meat traders to avoid detection and arrest:

http://www.gmanews.tv/story/82522/Baguio-cops-seize-slaughtered-dogs-from-Pangasinan

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

" Good Morning Kuya " Needs to Wake Up. Spay Neutering for Host Rene Jose.

Something reprehensible happened on Good Morning Kuya last week. This is a show that touts itself as a font of information on the myriad of social issues confronting Filipino society. They've got segments on employment, news, biblical issues, legal and medical advice, cooking, etiquette, and pet ownership, to name a few. Several hosts take turns at the helm as the subject matter morphs through time, four hours in fact. If the segment on animal welfare is any indication of the show's understanding of the issues, you could do yourself a big favor by donning some ear plugs and just watch the visuals. Quite contradictory, isn't it? But it isn't an exaggeration. Let's consider Rene Jose's segment on the spaying and neutering of stray animals.

A few days ago, a post in the Philippine Animal Welfare Society's e-group raised red flags among animal lovers and activists. It was almost like a plaintive cry for help, reaching out to those who might explain the bizarre behaviour and shocking ignorance of this man, Rene Jose. Mr. Jose, it was reported, strongly disagreed with the capturing, spaying/neutering, and releasing of stray animals by the non-government organization called Compassion and Respect for Animals (CARA). This is a group of private citizens who have taken it upon themselves to address a problem that the government has done nothing about---animal control through humane means.

There are thousands, if not millions, of stray dogs and cats in the Philippines particularly in large urban areas like Manila and Quezon City. There simply isn't any initiative on the part of the government to control the strays, as if they did not exist. I might dare say that the government relies mainly on the inevitability of road kills and other forms of attrition like the dog meat trade and outright killing of the animals. Sad and irresponsible, isn't it?

But CARA is out there, the lone life boat in a sea of ignorance, enduring the incredulity of the general public and scorn and ridicule of the uneducated like Mr. Jose who had the gall to invite them to his show only to be excoriated publicly as to the uselessness and wastefulness of their efforts. An email to me from the President of CARA expressed these sentiments. I'd say, why even invite them to the show?

Mr. Jose, quite conveniently, criticized CARA's trap/spay/release program but did not offer an alternative solution. This is what irks me the most. In my book, that was a shameless setup. No societal good came out of that episode, only misinformation and a few laughs at the expense of animals and those who care for them. Worse, it was reported, Mr. Jose turned to his coterie of television yes men to validate his opposition to this universally accepted form of humane animal control. There is no better example of a wasted opportunity to further the cause of animal welfare than Good Morning Kuya.

I ask the self-proclaimed fountain of wisdom what his idea of animal care and control should be, minus the spaying and neutering that is so unacceptable to him. How do you propose Filipino society deal with the over population of strays, Mr. Jose? Please, spare me the song and dance about the homeless, and therefore worthless, animals.

If there are people in the media who choose not to embrace a social consciousness and a compassion for animals, then the least they can do is to NOT oppose those who are blessed with it.

Let's take a real life example of the benefits of spaying and neutering in controlling the animal population. Here's a quote from the website of Spay-USA , a group based in San Francisco:

" The City of Palo Alto opened a low-cost spay and neuter clinic in 1972 as part of a new animal control and care facility. Promotion of spaying and neutering was a relatively new concept in our area of the time, and the City Council was skeptical that a spay and neuter clinic would have much of an impact on the numbers of animals handled at the public animal shelter. However, though an extensive public awareness campaign of pet overpopulation, the positive effects of the spay clinic were realized within two years of the opening of the clinic. The number of dogs and cats had increased every single year from 1955 to 1973. In 1974, in the second year of the clinic's operation, the number of dogs and cat received dropped every single year from then until 1996 (when there was a large human population spike in Palo Alto. Communities surrounding Palo Alto, who also use the clinic, have reported similar reductions in animal population since the opening of the clinic in 1972. "


This same group posited that If you don't spay a female dog, that dog plus her mate and their puppies, if all remain unneutered/spayed, the exponential growth could add up to 67,000 dogs in 6 years. That's a population explosion that cannot be ignored. Now, let's take a look (below) at chart reflecting the drop in shelter intakes in New Hampshire between 1988 thru 2000. You can see the benefits of a rigorously enforced trap/neuter-return programs. Click on the diagrams to make them bigger.


















Now, let's take a look (below) at Spay-USA's chart depicting the changes in shelter intake, adoption and euthanasia rates in a metropolitan area like San Francisco when a trap/neuter/return program is in effect:


Take note of the drop in the intake numbers, allowing a rise in the percentage of adoption in relation to it. The number of animals euthanized also dropped as the number of intakes decreased.

I must admit that the shelter and rescue system in the Philippines is not as extensive and developed as in the USA, but these numbers nevertheless point to the fact that a trap/spay/release program can be very effective in controlling the animal population. This program should not even be an option left to civic-minded citizens, but a must-have program run by the government considering the magnitude of the problem in the Philippines. In the meantime, animal welfare groups continue the fight against overwhelming odds. There is dignity in their work and hope for the animals.

For those of you who want to start a spay/neutering clinic, here is Spay-USA's page for the upstarts:

http://www.spayusa.org/main_directory/03-programs_and_clinics/start_a_clinic.asp

Credit: Spay-USA for charts.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

New York: Petition to Get Charlene Pedrolie OUT and AWAY from the Animals

Dear Animal Lovers:

I would like, first of all, for you to scroll down to the post just before this one relating to Ms. Charlene Pedrolie 's appoinment by the New York Health Department as Executive Director of the Animal Care and Control of New York City, Inc late last year. Since then, Ms. Pedrolie has quickly earned the ire and horror of local animal groups and rightly so. For example, Ms. Pedrolie stopped allowing antibiotics to be administered to shelter animals, leaving them very vulnerable to upper respiratory illnesses. When they do get sick, they are considered unadoptable and that puts them straight down death row. Ms. Pedrolie also banned seven rescue groups from pulling animals from the shelter. In effect, that's like shutting the door on animal rescue and adoption. Her strong-arm tactics do not belong in animal welfare where compassion is the underlying thread and not cost-saving.

Please sign this petition and make this world a better place for animals:

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/this-is-a-petition-to-get-charlene-pedrolie-out-of-acc-please-help-save-animals-from-being

New York : Charlene Pedrolie, New Director at ACC has brought us BACK to the DARK AGES

* Post by Laurie Bleier, Director, http://BrooklynAnimalFosterNetwork.org

If you are having trouble viewing this message, please go to http://community.icontact.com/p/bafn-event/newsletters/event9-29.

VERY DISTURBING NEWS -- PLEASE CROSS POST

After a 9 months search to hire a new executive director, the Department of Health hired Ms. Charlene Pedrolie, a nationally-recognized business consultant with NOT a shred of sheltering or animal medical experience.

Within weeks, 3 veteranarians and several vet techs resigned because of her misguided change of protocols. To add fuel to the soon to be raging fire, Ms. Pedrolie fired Ursula a head vet tech. Last week I was told by an insider that many of this medical team who resigned were bribed into returning with offers of large pay raises at a huge cost to this already grotesquely underfunded system that euthanized 20397 dogs and cats in 2006. Since Ms. Pedrolie's arrival more than 13 people have resigned and many are looking for new jobs. An enormous turnover of staff. The core of what was a decent organization.

The resignations came from:
Liz Keller Director of Operations
Dr. Cruse, DVM
Dr. Lordes, DVM
Dr. Demmerli, DVM
Dr. Opperman, DVM
Dennis Owen Behavior
Katie Dawson New Hope Coordinator
Peg Guilotta
Adrian Brown
Daniel Valentine
Christine Torezz
Maria Onorato
Jenny Temba
Charney Fayer
Lisa Boden
Mark Halvorsen

This massive kill shelter system with a yearly intake of more than 44,000 animals is now under the control of a woman who’s egregious errors in judgment have thrown the system into chaos. ie. Euthanasia which was normally done in the morning, was now directed by the corporate-saving business woman to be done at night with skeleton crews on hand. Fortunately, this was reversed. In another cost saving measure the administration of antibiotics to prevent upper respiratory infections was discontinued. Ms. Pedrolie was warned by the Cornell Institute that this program's demise would be very bad for the animals but she ignored them. And now the animals are sicker then ever. Which puts them on the euthanasia list. Of course their numbers don't show up as euthanasia because the shelter "rarely" puts down adoptable animals. Sick animals are not considered adoptable.

But this was not enough damage for Ms. Pedrolie and the Department of Health.
A few weeks after she arrived, 7 major NYC rescuers and groups were banned from pulling animals from the shelter as partners of the New Hope Program. The animals these hard working people pull are the larger or older dogs, many Pit Bulls, Pit mixes and shepherds, the animals at the most at risk of euthanasia.

My name is Laurie Bleier and I am the director of the Brooklyn Animal Foster Network. My group is one of those now banned. In two years we removed more than 1,000 animals from NYCACC as New Hope Partners and through our Care-A-Van adoption events with State Senator Erik Addams. Every weekend Spring Summer and Fall you could see us on Seventh Avenue in Park Slope with 15 or more animals we just picked up from the shelter on Linden Blvd. My group would stay until every one of those homeless dogs, cats, puppies or kittens found safe homes. It was extremely rare that anyone went back to the shelter. And if one did we put a hold on the animal and pulled him/her a day or two later.

Ms. Pedrolie told me that my group was banned because one of my dogs in foster care was found to be emaciated. After a thorough investigation by the ASPCA’s Humane Law Enforcement those charges were found to be baseless and the case was dropped. You can call Joe Pentangelo at (212) 876-7700, ext. 4450 for confirmation of this. Just as a reporter for a major ny newspaper now working on this story did. In my estimation, Ms. Pedrolie made this story up in an effort to discredit a group that pulls pits and mixed breeds.

Now 9 weeks after our exoneration we still cannot pull from the shelters. She refuses to give us back our New Hope status. http://nycacc.org/newhope.htm We have 33 new applications to foster and we have no animals to deliver to them. MANY MANY dogs and cats are needlessly being put down because 7 rescuers are being unjustly prevented from doing what they have been doing for years. And doing it quite successfully.

Where is the due process in my case? No response to letters written to the board members.
Lastly, in the last two years my company, Brainstorm LLC redesigned the nycacc.org website pro bono. The website which could not be found on google searches a year ago now gets more than 4 million hits a month. Brainstorm produced countless fliers, e-blasts and posters for NYCACC. All pro bono. I tell the Board of Health, the board members of nycacc and Charlene Pedrolie -- if this is how you treat your allies I shudder to think how you treat your enemies.
The famous journalist H. L. Mencken once wrote that the job of any good journalist is to "afflict the comfortable and comfort the afflicted." That being said this letter and the postings I see at Craigslist today are going out to every media outlet in the boroughs.

I ask you good people of NYC, what happened to the NO-KILL MANDATE of NYC?

PLEASE call Charlene Pedrolie on her direct line and demand the rescuers and groups who have been suspended from the New Hope Program be reinstated.

Here is her direct number 212 442-2059 or on her cell phone 732-939-7948 .

Laurie Bleier
Director
http://BrooklynAnimalFosterNetwork.org
718 –789-6865
718 789-1465 Fax


Sheltered Animals Aren't Criminals
Please visit http://www.victimsofcircumstance.org/

This message was sent by: The Brooklyn Animal Foster Network, 392 14th Street, 4B, Brooklyn, NY 11215

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Wednesday, February 20, 2008

DasMarinas Village Great Cat Massacre Revisited. Investigation Stalls. Gov't Officials Play Dead. Mayor Binay Should Act.


The DasMarinas Village Great Cat Massacre occurred in mid- December 2007. People were naturally horrified by the execution-style killings of helpless animals. Click HERE
to see my first report on the massacre. The airgun shooting of caged cats recuperating from their spaying procedures meant that a monster was on the loose in this upscale neighborhood. The local television news covered the story and by early January the Makati police and the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) got involved in the investigation. Things looked promising back then-- the pellets examined, the visitors' log at the subdivision perused for any abnormal activity, and a suspect questioned. Even the Mayor of Makati, Jejomar Binay , condemned the killings on January 6th and promised to get to the bottom of it. Animal lovers were pleased with all the attention and activity. Finally, authorities were acting from the sheer force of their professionalism. But two months into the investigation, the case remains unsolved. Nancy Cu Enjieng, the President of Compassion and Respect for Animals (CARA) seems to be the only one keeping the victims' memory alive. Emailing and calling, she continues to appeal to the authorities for whatever it's worth.

In a recent email from her, I got the impression that those who previously championed the cause have practically abandoned it and there isn't a will nor the interest to proceed. The previous actions of the Makati police, the NBI, and even the Mayor have come down to helpless saber rattling. The Mayor's once promising declaration could become nothing but a selfish grab for publicity if he does not act decisively. If Mayor Binay ( pictured below ) does not get things moving again, then he would have basked in the media's attention at the expense of murdered cats. The authorities'
collective inaction favors the guilty for every second that they sit and wait. Crime fighting, it seems, may not be their top priority in this case. The impetus to go forward will not come from a sense of professionalism that we normally assume police officers have burning in their hearts, but from some other form of encouragement.

How could it be that two government authorities and an elected city official are unable, or simply refuse, to proceed with the case? What are they waiting for? What would it take for them to attend to their moral and legal responsibility to enforce the law? No, I am not confused. These are only rhetorical questions. What a shame!

To Declaw or Not to Declaw a Cat?

There is only one correct answer: NO! Declawing is very much misunderstood. Some people think it is nothing but a nail clipping. Actually, it is more than that.

In many countries, declawing is considered inhumane. The claws are not toenails, but a part of the bone. So, declawing is more than just a nail job. It is a serious surgical operation because it is like cutting off the last joint in your cat's toe. There is pain involved in the recuperative period because of the sore wound, and from walking which the cat must still do. Imagine cutting off your finger at the base where it connects to your hand. It's not a pleasant thought, isn't it?

There is also the psychological, or emotional, side effect of declawing. Claws are your cat's weapons for self-defense, out in the yards or among other cats. Declawing them makes them more insecure and vulnerable. Maybe some doctors would disagree with me, but I don't think they know all the things that needs to be known. Plus, other doctors would diagree with them as well. More than once, in friends' homes where several cats live, I've found that the one that was declawed lived a life withdrawn from the rest. What a price to pay just to keep the furniture scratchless.

The countries that have declared declawing inhumane and illegal are: England, Scotland, Wales, Italy, France, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Norway, Sweden, Netherlands, Northern Ireland, Ireland, Denmark, Finland, Slovenia, Portugal, Belgium, Brazil, Australia, New Zealand, Yugoslavia, and Japan. Could they be telling us something?

Need more information with some very enlightening diagrams? Try this site:
http://www.declawing.com/htmls/declawing.htm

Please, don't even consider declawing your cat!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Tammy Grimes Speaks about her Conviction

Listen to Tammy Grimes, founder of Dogs Deserve Better, speaks about her conviction for theft and receiving stolen property. The property? A dying dog, chained outside, too weak
to even get up. Here's the story:
http://www.dogsdeservebetter.org/doogie.html



" On December 14, 2007, I was convicted of theft and receiving stolen property for coming to the aid of this dog, who lay chained, unable to stand, and suffering in an East Freedom, Pennsylvania backyard.

Despite overwhelming evidence of cruelty on the part of the dog’s caretakers, no charges were ever brought against them by either the humane officer or the police. A private criminal complaint filed by myself and Dogs Deserve Better languishes unaddressed on the desk of DA Richard Consiglio.

Both video evidence of the dog struggling to get up and after-photos and video of the dog walking were suppressed from the jury. These videos are currently available for viewing on YouTube and our site.

I am to be sentenced by Judge Elizabeth Doyle on February 22, 2008. I am expected to receive a fine and/or community service, as well as probation for this supposed crime. I am morally and ethically unable and unwilling to pay any fine that goes to pay the salaries of those who use power wrongly; those who punish citizens for helping animals and allow animal abusers to go free will not receive monetary support from me.

The DA has taken flack in the opinion columns of local newspapers for wasting Blair County taxpayer money on my trial. His solution? To charge ME for the cost of the trial, reported to be over $1000. He expects me to pay costs for a jury who knew nothing of jury nullification, and knew not that they were free to exercise their own judgment based on their consciences rather than follow the advice of those in power just because they said they had to. They were therefore railroaded into a conviction by the actions of the DA and Judge Doyle.

It is not enough for Mr. Consiglio to drag my name and the name of Dogs Deserve Better through the mud in order to distract our citizens from the fact that cruelty laws were already being broken, and that the humane officer and the police failed to do their jobs. He would have me foot the bill for it. As a taxpayer of Blair County, Pennsylvania, I have already contributed my share to this trial. I will contribute no more.

As founder and director of Dogs Deserve Better, I do community service virtually ever day of my life. If fact, I was performing community service the day I picked an aged and dying dog out of the mud and got him the veterinary care he was entitled to by law.

I am a law-abiding citizen of both Pennsylvania and the United States of America. I have served my country as a top-secret cleared linguist in the U. S. Air Force, reaching the rank of Staff Sergeant at my first available opportunity, and honorably discharged in 1988. I strive very hard to obey all laws that seem fair and do not cause harm to others. I stop short of obeying any law that would force me to watch a dog die in the dirt, just because he is considered mere property of another. I will continue to fight for better laws for man’s best friend, as well as shine a light on the current lack of enforcement of existing cruelty laws.
This dog was not just another piece of trash that a Pennsylvania couple could allow to die unassisted, chained, and flailing about in the mud and his own feces in their yard. Doogie had the right to live or the right to a death free from cruelty, and the right to veterinary help by Pennsylvania law.

It is incumbent upon Blair County voters to remove from office anyone who by their actions or inactions condones animal cruelty and abuse and punishes those who seek to help these animals. This includes Judge Elizabeth Doyle and DA Richard Consiglio.

Martin Luther King, Jr. stated that “noncooperation with evil is just as much a moral obligation as is cooperation with good.” And Thoreau stated “Under a government which imprisons unjustly, the true place for a just man is also a prison…where the state places those who are not with her, but against her-the only house in a slave state in which a free man or woman can abide with honor.”

The only way for me to maintain a clear conscience is to choose prison as punishment for my crime. I hereby request that Judge Doyle jail me for however many days I should be imprisoned for the taking of a piece of property who’s value, while stated in the misdemeanor charges at 0-$50, after vet fees was more like negative $960.65. However, as one of our supporters said, Doogie’s freedom from abuse and restoration to health was truly more valuable than any precious gem; it was indeed priceless.
"

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Adopt or Sponsor Dogs to Save Lives. 14 Dogs to Die. Help Save Them.

From the Newnan-Coweta Humane Society:

PLEASE CROSSPOST WIDELY! WE HAD A MIRACLE WEDNESDAY AND GOT 9 OUT, NOW THERE ARE 14 MORE THAT WILL DIE ON FRIDAY, IF WE DON'T FIND RESCUE, OR ADOPTION!

PLEASE, IF YOU CAN TAKE EVEN ONE INTO RESCUE, ADOPT ONE, OR FOSTER, CONTACT US IMMEDIATELY!!


Please don't wait! There are no reprieves: if not adopted or rescued, these, and possibly more animals will die Friday at 8:30 A.M.

Click
HERE to see them. Their videos here: http://www.shelterrescue.org/id1.html

Furthermore...

PLEASE go to the website at
http://www.shelterrescue.org/ to see videos of some of the wonderful, friendly Coweta dogs ! You can REALLY see their personalities shine through in their videos ! They are in the shelter through no fault of theirs and are so deserving of a chance to live! If you are a GA resident, and can go to the shelter, please don't wait. You can also contact:

(In State Help): Georgia

If you are in state, and wish help with pulling or adopting please contact:

"Donna" dfrossi@bellsouth.net or
"LouAnn" laj818@aol.com
We can help to arrange pull, boarding, vetting and transport to approved rescues.

(Out Of State Help): Outside Georgia

If you are out of state, and wish to rescue, please contact :

"Gail" newsweeq@aol.com for help. She can walk you through the process of arranging pull, boarding, vetting and transport to approved rescues.


UPDATE: 02/15/08
All dogs, except for one who had to be put to sleep due to health reasons, were either rescued or adopted !!! Thanks to the exceptional and dedicated work of the Newnan-Coweta Humane Society. Keep supporting the Good Guys/Gals!!!

Dog for Adoption : Emil


Emil
Written by Celine Quijano
Edited by Alya Honasan. Photos by Elsie Araneta and Sherwin Castillo

THE DOGS knew someone was approaching, and a barking frenzy commenced. One dog managed to keep his calm amid the excitement, however, lazily turning his head. It was the quiet and dignified Emil, estimated to be about five years old, and a long-time resident of the shelter.Emil moved closer and looked at me curiously. His white coat was mottled with soft brown patches in the sunlight. His beautiful green eyes stood out; when I first met him, I thought he had one of the most unforgettable stares I had ever seen.



Emil is a deep thinker, a doggy philosopher. He seems to listen to your every word, and it’s almost as if he wants to say something important in return. Emil is easy to handle on a leash, and a good walk cheers him up. Small things, like a gentle stroke or a caring human voice, can make him happy. He likes to cross his front paws while lying on the ground before closing his eyes to get some sleep. But his senses are incredibly sharp; move close to his spot, and his eyes quickly open.Sometimes I wonder if Emil is still haunted by whatever ghosts inhabit his past. Like other dogs in the shelter, Emil went through many hardships before he was rescued from the streets. He was frail, and had to fight for his life. It took a lot of strength to survive—that, and a will to live.


Suddenly, I saw scaffolds forming at the corners of Emil's mouth. Emil smiled lazily—and such a handsome smile, too. Was he remembering a good memory? Or imagining a future to look forward to?Emil is a wonderful dog. He also happens to be one of my own adopted dog Mario’s best buddies, back when he was still a resident of the shelter. They were always together—and it pains me to see Emil still searching for his forever home.In the months that I have known Emil, he has grown lonelier and more indifferent with each visit. Won’t you please keep the light burning in this gentle philosopher’s eyes—and welcome him into your heart and home?

You may email us at philpaws@yahoo. com or call up PARC (the PAWS Shelter) at 475-1688.

NOTE: Emil is located in the Philippines.
UPDATE: adopted on April 12, 2008!!!

Newnan-Coweta Humane Society and Shelter Rescue. Angels on Earth. Animal Rescuers.

When I said, " Angels on Earth, " I truly meant it. The other day, I was surfing around the web and I came upon the website of the Newnan-Coweta Human Society and Shelter Rescue . I found myself looking through their list of urgent dogs, unfortunate beings who were facing euthanasia on Feb. 12, 2008. There were nine dogs in all. The society does not have possession of the dogs at their website except those who are listed in foster care. What the society does is to showcase animals held at different animal control centers in the Georgia area, appeal to the public for support, look for foster homes or other animal shelters in which these dogs/cats can be placed. During less urgent times, if such times really do exists, the society runs public adoption programs and fundraisers. Whatever and whenever, all their efforts are focused on saving the animals from a homeless and love-starved life which will ultimately lead to a lonely and untimely death at the animal control center. It's all on their website. You will be impressed by their work, and they have certainly, many times over, made this world a better place. More power to these people!

Please check out the link for Urgent Dogs/Cats. Their time is running out, and you can help in many ways without breaking your bank.
Going back to the nine dogs, back a couple of days ago, I sponsored one of them by sending a small amount of money to the society. I emailed them at nchs_rescue@bellsouth.net, and a prompt response came from someone named Gail. She lives in NYC and handles out of state support for the group. I had great communication with her, answered all my questions without delay. In the end, I got what I wanted---sponsored one of the dogs on the list via Paypal. It's a great feeling everytime I help a needy animal, and I can never get used to it. I regularly donate to many animal welfare societies, and how I wish I had more money to give. It's an opportunity to share and to help. I know that one person cannot do everything, but that one person can, at least, do one good thing. And that one good thing could mean a world of difference to another living being, be it a human or an animal.
Both animals pictured here were rescued by the society, taken off death row.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Fatal Hunting Accident in the Philippines. Careless Shooting of a Human Being.

Sosimo Lagasa of Barangay Butac, Suyo, Ilocos Sur, a farmer, would still be alive today if someone just abided by the law. Hunting is illegal in the Philippines unless you are a member of an indigenous tribe. It seems that Villar Marcelo, 40, of Barangay Sto. Rosario, Sigay isn't one of them and he's the hunter who shot Lagasa dead with a 12-gauge shotgun. Marcelo was hot on the trail of a wild boar when he saw some movement in area of tall grass. Assuming it was the boar, he fired into it, killing the farmer. Marcelo surrendered to the authorities.

What else can we expect from hunting in the Philippines? If it isn't wasted, protected wildlife, it's an innocent farmer blown to pieces. Not only does this case involve illegal hunting, but it also violates one of the cardinal rules of the sport. Don't shoot at something you can not see. It's as simple as that. Heck, I am not a hunter and I know this rule.

Give up this destructive sport. Hunting disrupts the circle of life, and tramples on the biodiversity of the Philippines. It's also a very selfish thing to do since the personal pleasure derived comes at the expense of a greater number of people to whom this wildlife also belongs. Obey the law. Leave the helpless wildlife alone and try your hand at conservation. Be part of the solution, not the problem.

Support the online petition against the hunting of Philippine wildlife. Stop the killing. Stop the wasteful hunting of Philippine natural treasures.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Faces of the Dead. Euthanized Pets. A Plea for Responsible Pet Ownership and Shelter Adoption

We've heard about the animals who were put down in shelters because their time had ran out. They were killed to make room for new arrivals who themselves lived a short time at the shelter before they met the same fate. It is a circle of death, a slide down the slippery slope of survival into the jaws of death with a few exceptions. What a sad world we live in when you consider the thousands of animals put to death in any given day because their families no longer wanted them, because no one adopted them, because they did not have homes to begin with, because they did not have a sponsor to prolong their stay, because only a few cared.

The national (USA) statistics are staggering. According to Business Wire Feaures (1999), over $2 billion a year are spent by local governments to house and ultimately euthanize 8-10 million adoptable cats and dogs because of a shortage of homes. The Humane society of the U.S. (HSUS)estimates that 7 dogs and cats are born every day for every person born in the United States; only 1 in 5 puppies and kittens remain in their original home for his/her natural lifetime; the other 4 are abandoned to the streets or end up at a shelter. If you don't spay a female dog, that dog plus her mate and their puppies, if all remain unneutered/spayed, the exponential growth could add up to 67,000 dogs in 6 years. ( Spay USA ). Again, the HSUS estimates that only 14% of the public acquire their pets from shelters; 48% get their pets as strays, from friends, from animal rescuers, and 38% buy their pets from breeders or pet stores. These numbers make clear the importance of spaying, neutering, and responsible pet ownership.

If the numbers shock you, then the images of those who have ran out of luck and time will disturb and forever haunt you. The numbers pale compared to the actual faces of those no longer with us. Here is a page from the website of the Newnan-Coweta Humane Society and Shelter Rescue in Newnan, Georgia, USA. The pictorial list represents animals euthanized in one county alone, and most of them went to the gas chamber. Behold the true cost of irresponsible pet ownership:

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Dog for Adoption : Jorgia


Here's a cutie named Jorgia. She must have some Dalmatian in her, judging from the spotting. I like the way her face is white and both ears are black and drooping. Unfortnately, Jorgia was abandoned by her former owner at the shelter. She's two years old, and has been at the shelter since August, 2007.

To learn more about Jorgia and how to adopt her, go to Me.Find.Home HERE . Photo by Sherwin Castillo.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Therapy Dog, Miracle Dog, and Dr. Dog

Do you believe in miracles? Well, there was an event in the upstate New York town of Mahopac that could be considered a miracle. There's a 6-yr old boy who attends the Austin Road Elementary School in Putnam County whose name is Marc Oliviere. For some unknown reason, Marc does not speak. With a 6-yr old who hasn't spoken yet, any parent would be passed the point of speculation. There's definitely something not right. Until, a dog named Boo came to visit.

Boo is a Labrador mix and a therapy dog. Boo's handler brought him to the elementary school last month where he was introduced to children with special learning needs. Evidently, that was enough to get Marc out of his shell and into the world of communication! But, the biggest surprise was yet to happen after school when Marc's mom heard her son speak for the first time.

April Oliviere, Marc's mom, told a local newspaper that she still gets chills when she recalls the afternoon when her son jumped off the school bus, holding Boo's picture and talking about him. Since then, Marc has learned to speak in complete phrases. On recent visit by Boo, Marc told him that he was a good boy.

Although I presented Marc's story as a sort of minor miracle, I actually don't think so. I believe that innumerable good comes from the use of therapy dogs for both medical patients and people with special needs. Marc's case isn't as isolated as it seems. We just don't hear about them as often as we should.

Marc's case reminds me of the Dr. Dog program of the Philippine Animal Welfare Society. The Dr. Dog Program is the brainchild of AnimalsAsia, and PAWS serves as their Philippine coordinator.

It has been referred to as a win-win program, a program designed to provide emotional comfort and joy and to engender a healing process for disabled children. It seems that the general public has not been spared from the outreaching benefits of Dr. Dog. The program continues to enlighten the public about the societal value of animals, and the respect they deserve. It is through programs like Dr. Dog that the people can realize one of the great practical benefits of dogs which in turn could help reverse the tide against dog-eating and cruelty in general. According to PAWS, in the beginning, there was ambivalence on the part of the hospital staff to allow the dogs into their premises, believing that they were unclean and likely carriers of bacteria. However, a breakthrough similar to Marc's opened the door for the better. Dr. Freckles, an original Dr. Dog, managed to make an autistic child speak, one who had not spoken to anyone before, and that convinced the hospital staff to give the Green light for the program.


Support PAWS. Spare the Animals from the brutality.