Monday, April 30, 2012

U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand. Goose-Killing Roundup Proposed. Animal Holocaust.

I am crossposting a message from our dear friends at Keep Life in the Park.


Dear Friends of NJ Wildlife,
As we enter the warmer months with goslings appearing shortly, the following articles are relevant to us New Jersey too.  Intelligence and compassion can help us co-exist with the creatures that also call our outdoor space home.  The bird that survived the arrow is proof of how low some humans can stoop.  We take the high road promote non-violence towards all animals.
Oppose Senator Gillibrand's Goose-Killing NYC Wildlife Refuge

Birds striking planes up five-fold since 1990;

Sullenberger calls experience key

Captain Chesley Sullenberger, who landed his US Airways flight on the Hudson River after birds were sucked into both engines in 2009, interviewed with CBS Evening News anchor Scott Pelley, and revealed alarming news that New York City plans to build garbage facilities next to city airports, a dangerous move that will guarantee birds being attracted to those areas.

Pelley: Sully, why has the number of bird strikes increased so dramatically?
Sullenberger: Scott, the bird populations have increased and we’re flying more flights now that we’ve ever had before.
Pelley: What could airports do about this?
Sullenberger: Effective land-use planning around local airports is the best to prevent birds from roosting near the airport. It’s important that we not build anywhere near an airport anything likely to attract birds, especially trash facilities.
Pelley: You don’t want to build a garbage dump next to an airport, for example?
Sullenberger: Exactly. In fact, in New York City right now there are plans to do just that, and it’s a terrible idea to build something that is likely to attract birds.
After birds strike 2 planes, senator proposes allowing goose kills at NY wildlife refuge
By Associated Press, Updated: Thursday, April 26, 3:11 AM
NEW YORK — The problem of birds living near some of the nation’s busiest airports is coming under renewed scrutiny after two emergency landings in a week and more than three years after the famous ditching of a jetliner in the Hudson River .
U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand on Wednesday proposed making it easier to round up geese from a federal refuge near Kennedy Airport and kill them, an idea that’s meeting opposition from wildlife advocates.
A JetBlue plane bound for West Palm Beach , Fla. , made an emergency landing at Westchester County Airport north of New York City on Tuesday. A Los Angeles-bound jet made an emergency landing at Kennedy Airport after a bird strike on the right engine a week ago.

No one was hurt, but Grant Cardone, a sales training consultant who was on the flight out of Kennedy and was filming video from his window in seat 1D as the birds hit the plane, said it was scary.
“I felt like the plane was going to roll over on its right side,” Cardone said. “Those five or six seconds were terrifying.”
Cardone, 54, said he texted his wife that the flight was in trouble and added, “I love you and I love the kids.” Afterward, the pilot managed to stabilize the plane and land.
Gillibrand’s bill would empower the U.S. Department of Agriculture to remove Canada geese from the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge during June and July when they are molting and can’t fly.
“We cannot and should not wait another day to act while public safety is at risk,” the New York Democrat said in a statement.
But the idea of a goose roundup at a wildlife refuge that is part of the National Park Service has its detractors.
“It’s the only bird refuge that we have in New York City ,” said Edita Birnkrant , New York director of Friends of Animals. “If they can’t be protected in a wildlife refuge, then where can they be protected?
Friends of Animals 777 Post Road Darien CT 06820 203-656-1522

Goose survives arrow being shot through its head

OLD LYME, Conn. — Animal control officers are keeping tabs on a goose who has been wandering around with an arrow through its head.
The Day of New London has posted video of the bird, which was first spotted near Rogers Lake in February.
Old Lyme assistant animal control officer Lizabeth Gode tells the newspaper they have been using food and nets in an attempt to capture the bird. But she says that because it can still fly, those attempts have been unsuccessful.
“We’re keeping an eye out,” Gode told the newspaper. “If the arrow gets stuck on something or he gets sick, we can grab him . . . but he’s doing great.”
She said once the bird is captured a veterinarian will be called in to determine whether the arrow can be removed.

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Friday, April 27, 2012

Laguna & Cebu Pit Bulls. Philippines. Dog Fighting. Donations Needed.

It has been a while, over a month, since my last post. Shameless backsliding, I must confess. I can't even claim writer's block since I have been writing a lot, opining on  newspaper readers' comments, social networks, emails and tete-a-tetes with brethren animal lovers on animal welfare issues particularly in the Philippines. 

The standout, like a wart on a bald head, concerns the rescued pit bulls in San Pablo, Laguna, over 250 of them, used for fights held locally but broadcasted via internet to a betting and cheering public in Korea. The syndicate, ran by Koreans, was busted at the end of May 2012 by the Philippine National Police after months of surveillance. Much to their chagrin, the authorities discovered that the individuals they arrested in December 2011 on a similar raid were the very same ones running the San Pablo fights--while out on bail. Evidently, they have no fear of the law, counting on turnstile justice, in and out, easy peasy. Well, the Koreans nationals are now under custody, facing a stew of animal cruelty and gambling charges plus deportation for desserts. We'll see what happens to them.

The fate of the dogs, however, now depends largely on the selfless efforts of local animal rights groups like Compassion and Responsibility for Animals (CARA) and Island Rescue Organization (IRO). They took over the reigns from the Philippine Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) who were the first rescuers at the scene. Since then, private citizens, vets from a local veterinary school, and other dog-lovers have come out of the woodwork to chip in. You got to love these people, those who step up to the plate and bat for what they believe in. They are a cut above the curious onlookers who feign concern with their best wishes and prayers, but wouldn't have their time taken up nor be separated from any sum of money to help the animals directly...I realize that It takes a while to get people into gear; it requires a consistent effort to move people into a participatory role at any level. Well, the first raid on a dog fighting compound occurred months ago in December 2011. The raid in San Pablo came three months after December. For those who have not donated nor volunteered in person, it's time to get going. 


At this time, there are 214 remaining dogs. There simply isn't enough fluid money and manpower to deal with the demands for food, immediate and long-term medical care, housing, and relocation to a better environment. There have been private donors, like myself, but the big international animal welfare organizations have been silent. I thought they would be trampling over each other for this one. I expected the cavalry to arrive, to the rescue with standards fluttering in the wind and their wild-eyed horses at full gallop. I guess not. I get this picture in my mind of them watching the column of dust and smoke rise from a distant horizon while sitting in their saddles, unmoved.

As it stands, the people at the site, those who are doing the grunge work, they limp along and hack away at the problems with whatever resources they have. Overwhelmed, they have no better odds than chipmunks caught in a forest fire.

Beth Sizemore, the President of the Friends for the Protection of Animals (FPA), traveled in early April from California to Samar, Philippines and from there to San Pablo, Laguna to volunteer and get a first-hand look at the situation. She contracted five men from Samar to come with her and become caretakers, to remain with the dogs for a certain amount of time in San Pablo. Beth emailed the board of FPA on April 11th and I quote :

" Hello my friends!
Had a chance to connect to an internet just now and would like to update you on the pit bulls in laguna. there are 222 dogs alive. we do headcount in the morning and in the afternoon during feeding time. i stayed in the 'bahay kubo' at the site for 3 days with the 5 caretakers who came with me. as of yesterday, 3 additional caretakers came with nena from cebu, so there are 8 total caring for the pitbulls. there is one local guy who does labor work, ie, moving drums and driving chains to the ground so the 56 dogs that are in tiny cages are moved out of there. we are able to take out of the cages, since saturday, 23 dogs and working hard to get the remaining out. before saturday, there were 223 dogs alive, and sunday, one dog died because of heat stroke, so 222 remaining. monday, from 11: am. to 3:00 p.m., continuously, we kept hosing down drums and the ones that the hose can't reach we use buckets to wet the drums and ground to cool off the dogs. i had some of the older dogs directly hit by the sun moved to a shaded area. sorry, i have to go now. "


Here is a website for the Friends for the Protection of Animals (FPA). I served as Executive Director. We had been relying on our Facebook page so far until this last weekend when I received information that would-be donors wanted to see a functioning, official website before they could comfortably begin donating through us. Fair enough. I understand their trepidation. We could just be a bunch of clowns raking in the dough. We all have to be careful with our money. So, over the weekend, we rolled up our sleeves and wrote up the website... and we'll keep it up.

If you are located in the United States, donating through FPA makes sense because we offer a tax deduction for your donation. We are a 501 c(3) organization. Several donors have gone through us last December when the first raid took place on a dog fighting ring in Indang, Cavite. Those dogs have gone a long way. They are now in a sanctuary outside Cebu, but they still need our support as they continue on their rehabilitation. You can donate towards the Laguna Pit Bulls or the Cavite Pit Bulls. Both are good causes.

Otherwise, you can donate through CARA's Donation Page. Scroll down to the bottom for instructions on Emergency Rescue Donations. Every dollar or peso helps. No amount is too small. There are dogs whose lives depend on it.

Additional Reading:

Life's the pits for these Pit bulls
Worlds largest pit bull fighting ring