Thursday, September 18, 2008

"Win For Wolves"

It's the best possible news! The Bush Administration has just announced it intends to withdraw its plan to strip gray wolves of their endangered species protection in the Northern Rockies.

What a huge win for wolves AND for hundreds of thousands of online activists like you who share the credit for this amazing victory!

Let me bring you up to speed. Last March, the Bush Administration declared the Northern Rockies' wolf population "fully recovered," then it handed off responsibility for the wolves to Wyoming, Idaho and Montana. Just as we predicted, a bloodbath ensued, with 110 wolves slaughtered by state agents and hunters in as many days.

NRDC, Earthjustice and 11 other conservation groups raced to court and won an injunction that put a temporary halt to the killing until the full case could be heard. We fully expected to fight a drawn-out courtroom battle in order to win a permanent victory.

But thanks to the Bush Administration's surrender, that battle will NOT happen. Instead, the wolves of Yellowstone and the surrounding region will remain protected by federal law.

That means Wyoming, Montana and Idaho will NOT be allowed to begin the extermination of hundreds of wolves this fall as part of a massive public hunt -- the first in more than three decades. Instead, those wolves will continue to roam the Rockies -- wild and free -- as nature and the law intended!

Why did U.S. Fish and Wildlife officials throw in the towel? They had to face up to the fact that their case against wolf protection would never hold up in court. Above all, they ignored the best available science showing that wolf populations had not fully recovered.

In the end, the Administration had little choice but to put its tail between its legs and beat a hasty retreat.

Make no mistake: the fight doesn't end here. You can be sure the federal government will be back soon enough with a new plan. And the states will learn their lessons and return with yet another scheme for killing wolves.

But you can be equally sure that, with your help, NRDC will stand vigilant, fully prepared to meet and turn back any new and deadly threat.

In the meantime, please join me and all of us here at NRDC in celebrating this red-letter day in the storied history of the Endangered Species Act. It happened because you and thousands of others chose to stand up in defense of embattled wildlife. Thank you!

Frances Beinecke
Natural Resources Defense Council


Continuing on with the Dogs of Thursday blog entry my aunt does, I'm writing about daisy. Daisy came up to join me in my apartment today, so this entry will be about her (- duh!). She's in need of a home, she's a wonderful and she's an adult Shepherd mixed dog that I brought up from Georgia - the same shelter that One-Eyed Jack and Finn came from.

It was a "gallbladder removal surgery" present to myself. After some back and forth conversations with my contact down in GA, she was going to pick a dog out for me. I had mentioned no money (my surgery meant no paycheck) and she found sponsor money for me, but by that time it was the morning OF my surgery! I told her I'd be recovering and unless it was a tiny dog, puppy or a coach potato, sponsor money or not, I couldn't do it. I couldn't take on a large dog that would drag my around while I recovered from my surgery. So, there it was - I was getting a dog and leaving the choice of which dog up to my contact - thank goodness she's good to me!

Oh, and I say "it" referring to the dog up to this point because I knew Daisy as a cute, MALE Shepherd mix until my parents picked her up and she was definitely not a boy. Needless to say, I was terrified that after she was assumed to be a boy dog and at an overcrowded shelter that she might be pregnant - thankfully, she was actually already fixed.

Daisy is sweet, pretty quiet and likes to be by your side or sleeping on the sofa. She's yet to jump up on the bed. She sits for her food, though when overly excited (meal time or meeting new people), she does jump up. We're working on that. Aside from needing to get over some awful sneezing after getting out of the shelter, she's been in great health and, oh, is housebroken too.

The only real flaw I've been able to root up is that Daisy doesn't seem to photograph well though. She's predominantly tan and does not have as much dark coloring as a Shepherd might. It might be this that affects it, but she comes off looking older in her photos. She's only about 2 to 2 1/2 years old.

She's just reached that point in her life where she's lost that "puppy hyper energy" and, unlike Jack and Finn, it is very obvious Daisy had a loving family at some point. Jack lost an eye and was terrified of people, especially men, and he had to build himself up to sleep in "comfy" spots (for the longest time, he'd just lay down on the hardwood floor, instead of the bed I had for him, as if that was what he was used to. Finn was so skinny, isn't housebroken, possibly has a long untreated allergy problem and didn't even know to sit when I said it, tried to push his butt down or use a treat for the behavior. Daisy wants to be with people, she's housebroken, she's fixed, she fit right into my family when we took her in to foster her and she jumps right up on a sofa.

I'm not sure what's been more moving and heart-wrenching - to watch dogs like Jack & Finn get used to love, comfort and happiness or a dog like Daisy who came into my house with almost a visual sigh of relief that she was back somewhere comfortable & safe.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Mobile Photo Upload

Cute little kittens. Cute, cute, cute!!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

More Controversy With Chunk?;jsessionid=8199C828730BBCE3EC4F47FB671D9D29?contentId=7105857&version=9&locale=EN-US&layoutCode=TSTY&pageId=1.1.1&sflg=1

Fat Cat Controversy: Owner Disputes Tabby Was Abandoned
Created: Thursday, 31 Jul 2008, 10:59 AM EDT

The real owner of a 44-pound New Jersey cat tells Fox 29 that media reports about how her gigantic cat wound up at a local shelter are only partially true.

The owner, Donna Oklatner, spoke with Fox 29 about how her hefty pet, Powder, made it to the Camden County animal shelter in Blackwood, and then into the national headlines.

The 68-year-old woman says she put Powder up for adoption and a shelter official picked up the cat, with her permission. (Recent media reports said that the cat was found abandoned and taken to the shelter.)

"It broke my heart to give him up. I could not take care of him. I love him. It broke me heart. I wanted him to have a good home," Oklatner said.

She and her husband had their South Jersey house foreclosed and the husband then had to go to a nursing home.

Because Oklatner is staying with friends, she had to make the decision for Powder to go to the shelter for adoption.

"Nobody would take him," Oklatner said. "And then one of the neighbors -- I'm not going to say where, but a friend of mine -- said, 'Listen. We know you can't afford to have Powder.' And it's not because he ate too much. It was because of the foreclosure and my not having a home, a place to go. So, they said they would take him and put him in a shelter."

A shelter official contacted by Fox 29 confirmed on Wednesday night that the cat was picked up for adoption, and not abandoned.

The official said the cat is 11 years old and a male.

Initial reports indicted that the cat, nicknamed by the shelter Princess Chuck, was found wandering the streets of Voorhees.

Officials at the Camden County Animal Shelter in Blackwood said they received the cat Saturday from Animal Control after the cat was found outdoors, without a collar, in Voorhees.

That directly contradicts the woman's story about how the cat came to the center for adoption.

The Shelter's newest resident quickly became an Internet sensation when it became known that he was almost as big as the world's biggest known house cat.

Hmmm, why would a KILL shelter seek out a cat to bring into their facility when they are soooo full? How did they not get the gender right when they got this animal from its owner (let alone for the fact they should be able to determine these basics when they're paid to!)? Why would the shelter post him all over the national news and think there would be no one that would hunt down the truth & reveal ALL their lies ... wonder if they had some sort of special surrender contract written up by a lawyer to try to keep the previous owner anonymous too!

If this whole thing is NOT extortion and disgusting, I'm not sure what is!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Chickens Saved by First Grader Expose Hatching Project Horrors

I'm taking the Dogs on Thursday idea and running with it so I've got more articles to add to my blog. Enjoy "Farm-life Friday!" :)

Original Story

As kids head back to school at the start of September, teachers everywhere are implementing curricula to enhance students’ learning experiences and instill knowledge in them to last a lifetime. Though well-intentioned these planned lessons may be, some will unfortunately involve students’ complicity in animal exploitation. Among those class assignments which seem harmless to many at first glance, but cause more damage than good – including zoo field trips and animal dissection labs – is the hatching of chicks to teach the life cycle.

Prevalent in schools both urban and rural, hatching projects not only contribute to the senseless suffering of countless animals, but also send a message to kids that living creatures are disposable. Regrettably, the hard-to-swallow truths behind these projects are not often realized by participants and their parents until it’s too late to change their outcome. That is, unless someone already knows to speak up to stop animal abuse when they see it – someone like Manhattan PS 234 first grader, Rose McCoy, who along with her mom, Emily, sprung into action after her class embarked on such a lesson, leading 16 ill-fated chicks to our New York Shelter.

According to Emily, proud parent of 7-year-old Rose, the hatching project, conducted by four PS 234 elementary school classrooms, began in April after being added to the curriculum earlier last year without her knowledge or consent. The lesson involved each class incubating about a dozen eggs. Of those incubated in Rose’s class, six hatched and only four survived. In another class all the chicks died. It didn’t take long for fatalities, Emily said, to become the hallmark of the lesson – a reality that disturbed, rather than educated, Rose.

“The problem we’ve seen with hatching projects like this is that since the chicks are being used like inanimate teaching tools instead of valued as sentient creatures, their welfare rarely enters the equation,” said National Shelter Director Susie Coston. “Add to that the fact that you’re dealing with extremely fragile chicks, who need very special care, and you get a recipe for disaster: high mortality rates, illness, deformities, and injuries. That’s a lot of suffering for life lessons that can be humanely and more accurately taught through alternative means.”

The PS 234 hatching project culminated with a school celebration originally intended to send the chicks off to a poultry farm outside of New York City, where they would have entered into production if they hadn’t been rescued by Rose and Emily. After negotiating the chicks’ release, the McCoys arranged for their safe transport to Farm Sanctuary, where the week-old birds – including one with a severely-injured leg from being handled incorrectly – were monitored closely and cared for ‘round the clock during their first critical weeks of life.

“The children, especially Rose, naturally felt affection for the chicks and were devastated when they died. The sad reality is that there is no real difference between the chicks who passed away in the classroom and the ones being raised for slaughter at the farm – the kids just haven’t gotten close to the birds at the farm and won’t witness their deaths,” said Emily. “I learned years ago that there is nothing natural about the way commercial chickens are raised, beginning with factory breeding practices and ending with the hatching of chicks who never know their moms. At the end of the day, the lesson plan failed to show kids the truth.”

In lieu of a PS 234 first grade class’ field trip to see chickens being raised for meat and eggs at a poultry farm in New Jersey, Rose, with family in tow, visited Farm Sanctuary instead, where, in addition to bonding with a rooster named Fennel, she checked up on the chicks and with the help of her father, Padraic, aptly named one Saoirse, a strong Irish name meaning “freedom.” Now, as the McCoys continue cultivating compassion with teachers and administrators at PS 234, Saoirse and the other chickens are sowing seeds as well – teaching visitors to the shelter about the hidden plight of animals raised for food and the miracle of all life.

Do you know or have a child in school? Visit today to learn more about how kids can promote alternatives to animal experimentation and help animals in their classrooms. If you are a teacher and you would like to sow some seeds of compassion with your students, order our Cultivating Compassion materials for lesson plans, hand outs and classroom activities!

Original Story

Thursday, September 11, 2008

More importantly than any silly shelter ...

The sky was falling and streaked with blood
I heard you calling me then you disappeared into the dust
Up the stairs, into the fire
Up the stairs, into the fire
I need your kiss, but love and duty called you someplace higher
Somewhere up the stairs into the fire

May your strength give us strength
May your faith give us faith
May your hope give us hope
May your love give us love

Dogs On Thursday - Help Mr. Bones Get Home!

My Aunt is always posting "Dogs On Thursday" entries. I'm not sure how to join groups, really, but here's my "Dogs On Thursday" posting all the same. :)

Help Bones Get Home!

"Everyone who meets Mr. Bones will tell you that there is just something special about him. And there really is! He has a look on his face, almost all the time, that looks an awful lot like a smile. When it’s hot outside, he likes nothing more than to recline in his doggy pool or to dance in the stream of water from a hose. His water dance has slowed down quite a bit over the years - but he is still willing to show some of this moves if the weather is warm enough.

He’s got his own fan club too! A wonderful group of ladies who call themselves The Jersey Girls who wear Mr. Bones T-shirts on their yearly visits to the sanctuary and take Mr. Bones on lots of sleep overs." -Best Friends DogTown "Mr. Bones"

Read more and please donate, if you can, here:

My friend, Joyce, has been a long time lover and volunteer for Best Friends Animal Society in Utah. She travels there with friends every summer ... and now one of her favorite dogs has finally found his forever home ... if we can get him to the east coast.

Bones has lived the past 13 years at Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Kanab, Utah. He recently met his new mom Sharon in August and now she needs help bringing him home. Due to his age and some health issues, he is not able to travel via air so that means ROAD TRIP! His new family is anxious to get him home before cold weather arrives.

*He was one of the stars in the National Geographic series, DogTown and the ONLY dog that hasn't been adopted from the three series.*

Read more and please donate, if you can, here:

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Mobile Photo Upload

I absolutely love this photo of Emma. Love it!

Monday, September 8, 2008

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Here's handsome Fuzzy all stretched out on a perch in a cat tree.

Monday, September 1, 2008

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Hmm, are kittens cute??? I can't recall :)