Category Archives: Animal Issues

From winning at the races to dog food!

By Kathy Guillermo

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Most race horses are raced down – sold from one owner to the next as they age/pass their peak racing days …they are raced in crumbier and crumbier tracks for less and less $$ as they grow less fast. All used up? Then the horses are sold to Canada, Mexico and overseas for dog food …

Did you watch the Kentucky Derby on TV? Viewers of the world’s most famous televised race heard trainers, owners and jockeys proclaim their love for the horses who might bring them a pot of money and a few days in the spotlight. But in December, PETA revealed that 2006 Kentucky Derby runner Private Vow was slaughtered in 2020 in South Korea for meat for human consumption. Some of his remaining body parts were processed into dog food or oil for cosmetics.

This echoed a scandal that many in horse racing promised would never happen again: the slaughter of 1986 Derby winner Ferdinand in Japan. It’s as true now as it was 35 years ago: Even Kentucky Derby entrants are not spared the fate of the thousands of U.S. horses exported every year to Canada, Mexico and overseas for slaughter. The truth is, horse racing is more “livestock” industry than sport.

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Horses are drugged up to mask their pain – and to allow them to race while their sprained and pulled muscles are not fully healed. Many horses die on the race track while they are over-raced by unscrupulous trainers and owners.

Private Vow’s Kentucky Derby trainer, Steve Asmussen, issued no statement of remorse, and as far as we can tell, neither he nor anyone involved in the horse’s life took action to prevent the slaughter of more Thoroughbreds.

Horse racing is scrambling to shore up an eroding fan base that increasingly views the sport, like bullfighting or the Iditarod, as cruel and anachronistic.

The industry’s marketing schemes to repair the public’s perception are failing because horse racing doesn’t clean up its most serious abuses and prevent suffering. Racing doesn’t just have an image problem — it has a reality problem.

The recent parade of scandalous viral images of a euthanized horse still wearing racing wraps on her legs, lying amid trash in a landfill, and of trainers and jockeys laughing while sitting on dead horses was appalling largely because it exposed a chillingly callous attitude toward the deaths of horses used for racing. It revealed what some insiders truly think of their horses – that they’re disposable – and it is in stark contrast to the disingenuous claims by trainers and owners on national television during every Kentucky Derby broadcast that they love their horses and that the horses are part of their family.

This was also what was most disturbing about PETA’s 2013 undercover investigation into trainer Steve Asmussen’s operation. While industry apologists tried to downplay Asmussen’s top assistant Scott Blasi’s foul language as just dirty words, it was precisely these obscenities that revealed the shocking disregard for horses by so many in racing. When one of his seriously injured horses, Valediction, was purchased after a race by an unsuspecting buyer, Blasi said he was so happy to unload the horse that “[he] could do a f-king cartwheel.” He called the horse a “rat,” adding that “if they ask you how he is, say he’s my favorite horse.”

Soon afterward, PETA rescued Valediction and retired him to a safe and loving home.

Many horses crossed the finish line at Churchill Downs this past Derby weekend. But there will be no winners. Every Thoroughbred is in danger of meeting Private Vow’s fate. Until the racing industry grapples with that and protects the horses it uses and abuses, it will continue to decline, and all the disingenuous claims of love will not save it.

🌸🌸Curb climate change and prevent global pandemics – EAT LESS MEAT!

By Heather Moore

We can help combat climate change — and prevent future pandemics — just by eating vegan foods. Some experts, including medical historian Dr. David Morens — who works at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases with Dr. Anthony Fauci — believe that climate change can accelerate and exacerbate pandemics.

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Factory farming – a bane to our air

Nearly a third of the emerging infectious diseases over the past 10 years followed a certain path, and the changing climate contributed to their rise. The climate may not have played a direct role in the coronavirus outbreak — which many scientists believe originated in a wet market that sold fish, poultry and exotic animals for human consumption — but our insistence on eating animal-based foods is contributing to climate change and intensifying the spread of animal-borne diseases.

Dr. Aaron Bernstein, the director of Harvard University’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health C-CHANGE program, has said that in order to reduce our risk of infectious diseases, “we should do all we can to vastly reduce greenhouse gas emissions and limit global warming to 1.5 degrees.”

But, are we doing all we can?

Far from it.

Many people still eat meat, cheese and other animal-based foods, which are a leading contributor to climate change. According to The New York Times, the U.S. is one of the world’s top greenhouse-gas emitters, with each person producing more than 15 tons of carbon dioxide, on average. That’s about three times as much as the British average and eight times as much as in India — two countries that have become increasingly vegan-friendly.

America needs to do better. The lead researcher on a University of Oxford study showing that the meat and dairy industries use 83% of farmland and generate 60% of agriculture’s greenhouse-gas emissions, has said that going vegan is “the single biggest way” to lower our impact on the Earth, much more so than flying less or driving an electric car.

So, let’s all give it a try.

A study by Uswitch, a comparison service in the U.K., shows that meat-eaters contribute nearly twice as much to climate change as vegans do, and a paper in Nature Sustainability indicates that shifting from animal-derived foods to plant foods could remove more than a decade of carbon dioxide emissions from the atmosphere.

A shift from animal-based to vegan foods has other benefits, too: Helen Harwatt, a fellow at Harvard Law School, believes that if we stop raising animals for food, we’ll not only restore native ecosystems and help halt climate change, we’ll also reduce the spread of diseases from wildlife to pigs, chickens, cows and other farmed animals and, ultimately, to humans.

So, if we want a livable climate, ecosystems that benefit both humans and animals, and fewer animal-borne diseases, we should all choose vegan. Doing so not only will help protect the environment and prevent more animal-borne diseases, it will also help stop animal suffering, as every vegan spares nearly 200 animals per year. Who’s with me?
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ANIMALS SUFFER ON FACTORY FARMS – THEY ARE CRATED IN TINY SPACES WHERE THEY CANNOT TURN AROUND OR WALK FREELY. THEY ARE ABUSED THEIR ENTIRE ALL-TOO-BRIEF LIVES.

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Remember: have compassion! Go vegetarian!

🌺A Bunny’s Story🌺

By Franny McKeever

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This past month’s CECELIA cover story!

In honor of bunnies, commonly exploited at Easter/Spring time, let me tell you about our bunny Stella. Stella is our “foster failure” bunny. We took her in temporarily, from our local animal shelter. The shelter is a tiny room filled with cats. A bunny was not a priority, which sums up the plight of rabbits in general.

Stella had been recently surrendered after peeing on her adoptive family’s living room couch. This is not uncommon for a three-month-old bunny, marking her
territory, wherever she happens to be.

As it came closer to the day of her spay, a necessary procedure for bunnies, we thought, how difficult could an adorable tiny fuzzball with helicopter ears be to bond with our pair of bonded bunnies, Greta and Linus, already living with us?

Impossibly so, turned out to be the answer. We learned quickly that Greta was downright angry at the new bunny Stella situation! Greta made it clear that no other bunny was meant to befriend Linus. She barely liked me, my husband and our children trying to pat her pal, Linus. This should have been a sign that tipped us off early on, but we continued to insert our human needs on their bunny feelings. We arranged carefully planned field trips to a small penned in area in the front hall of our house. I was the mediator. There were periods of hope and possibility, but it became clear we were at a standstill. We gave up and planned on housing Stella in our kitchen.

Stella has her own interesting personality. She was not happy about sharing HER space with my husband! Though she would sit with me and lick my fingers and enjoy the attention of our four kids, she would grunt at my husband. The thing is Stella is a pretty feisty rabbit and though not really skittish in a shy way, she flips out pretty easily. I believe she thinks the broom is alive! She chases the broom whenever we sweep up – tries to attack it. It’s downright cute – and a little weird. Sometimes we forget and start to sweep and seemingly out of nowhere our gray bunny will fly across the room and grunt at the evil broom.

So Stella has her own quirky personality that the average person would not
associate with a rabbit. In fact, all rabbits have distinct personalities, and anyone adopting a bunny needs to understand this and potentially meet the rabbit before introducing a bunny into their family.

It is also really important to teach children about the fact that a bunny is a prey animal, and we are all potential predators in their eyes. Rabbits want the safety of feet on the ground and usually don’t want to be picked up. I do pick up Stella on occasion to make sure that I can handle her in case I need to. I hold her feet firmly, and she seems to forget that she is off the ground until something startles her. One ear goes up and I see her thinking: “Hey! Wait a minute!” and she tries to jump down. I lower her down safely with conviction and support her so she won’t fall. Since bunnies have fragile bones, children need to socialize on the ground and never do the picking up. My children have grown up, also well educated about feeding a bunny, as rabbits are especially sensitive to the food they eat. Some rabbits are more affected than others.

We learned this with our first rabbit Greta: rabbits can have an intestinal shut down and stop eating, a state called GI Stasis. It can happen for a variety of reasons – sometimes related to their diet. This is essential information for anyone feeding a rabbit. We know that Stella is less sensitive, and we will allow her to meet us at the refrigerator for some lettuce or kale. Only certain leafy green vegetables are encouraged and that is only if you know your bunny is ok with them.

The most important part of the bunny diet is Hay. We use Orchard Grass Hay due to Timothy Hay allergies in our home. Hay helps their teeth from growing and provides the right amount of fiber.

As all animals depend on us to make decisions for them, bunnies can become a real issue at Easter time. On behalf of Stella and our past bunnies Greta and Linus and all the unwanted bunnies in small cages in animal shelters, I say: DO YOUR HOMEWORK ABOUT BUNNY ADOPTION AND CARE. Please think things through before committing to the 10-year lifetime of a pet rabbit. They are not meant for hutches in backyards – spay/neuter them, litter box train them – and they become part of your family, like a cat or dog would.

Bunnies are intelligent, fun and quite well worth your time and effort as pets. They are, however, animals and deserve our respect. They may be widespreadly used to abandonment and neglect and sometimes worse, but we can turn things around! We can learn to love them for who they are and make sure we understand their needs. We can teach our children to value rabbits as all animals should be valued and never treat them as an Easter holiday decorations … Rabbits are always going to look adorable but, as Stella has taught me and my family, there is more to these beautiful furry creatures than meets the eye!

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Rabbit Facts:

1. Rabbits need to live indoors

2. Rabbits are not a cheap low maintenance pet

3. Rabbits may make a better adult pet

4. Rabbits can live an average of 10 years

5. Rabbits need to be spayed and neutered

6. Rabbits need a careful diet of mostly hay

7. Rabbits need an exotic vet

8. Rabbits not properly bonded may fight and hurt each other

9. Rabbits are social animals

10. Small rabbits do not need less space

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The House Rabbit Network is an organization formed with two primary purposes: To rescue homeless rabbits
and find them good indoor homes and also to educate the public about rabbits and their care.

These activities may include: providing foster care for discarded domestic rabbits and arranging for adoption
to permanent indoor homes; assisting humane societies and shelters with rabbits; providing spay/neuter
surgery and veterinary care through arrangements with area practitioners; rehabilitating and socializing mis-
treated or neglected animals;permanently caring for animals who cannot be placed in adoptive homes due to serious health or behavioral problems; and educating the public on responsible pet ownership and humane practices.

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🌺🌺🌺For information about pet rabbits, volunteering or donating to The House Rabbit Network go to:

https://www.rabbitnetwork.org/ or call our hotline at 781-431-1211

We are happy to answer any questions.

We are always looking for volunteers and foster homes. We also accept donations …
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🐈Stop the spring “kitten curve” upswing: Please spay/neuter your cat!

By Lindsay Pollard-Post

Brace yourself — there’s another surge coming. But this one isn’t COVID-19. It’s kittens.

Tiny felines are undoubtedly more appealing than a spike protein-wielding virus, but the fallout from the annual surge of kitten births, known as “kitten season,” is devastating. And, just as with the coronavirus, there is no cure — only prevention. That’s why it’s vital for all of us to have our feline family members spayed or neutered now and to help everyone we know do the same.

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Rose’s Cece with pals in Rose’s old digs (owned by Chef Joey’s late dad). Cece was spayed three years ago, when she was pretty young. That is OK, say all veterinarians.

It’s not unusual for some shelters to take in hundreds of kittens a month during kitten season, which starts in early spring and lasts through the fall. With most shelters already at full capacity year-round, many are forced to make heart-wrenching decisions in order to accommodate the influx of kittens. Often this means that older cats who’ve been waiting for a while with no adoption prospects must be euthanized.

Other facilities dodge this responsibility by turning away animals when they run out of room. When shelters refuse to shelter animals in need, it leaves vulnerable kittens, cats and other animals in the hands of people who can’t or won’t take care of them or it leaves them on the streets — where they can starve, get hit by a car, succumb to extreme weather or face some other cruel fate.

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One victory – let’s promise to SPAY/NEUTER CATS to create another. … AND … ADOPT CATS AND KITTENS FROM YOUR LOCAL ANIMAL SHELTER!

According to a study published in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, 75% of free-roaming kittens observed disappeared or died before they were 6 months old. Trauma was the most common cause of death.

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Feral cats and kittens lead horrific lives outdoors – often dying so young! Cars kill them, people hurt them … THEY CANNOT FEND FOR THEMSELVES, as some people mistakenly believe!

Imagine these scenarios playing out in thousands of communities across the country, and the scope of the emergency becomes alarmingly clear. But the good news is that we have the power to end the “twindemics” of animal overpopulation and homelessness — and all the suffering they cause. Spaying just one female cat can prevent the potential births of 370,000 kittens over the course of seven years; neutering one male cat can prevent him from fathering untold numbers of litters.

If you’re one of the many people who’ve added a cat to your family during the pandemic, you might be surprised to learn that your new companion can become a mother while she is still a kitten herself — as young as 4 months of age. Cats are nearly as efficient at reproducing as the novel coronavirus is at spreading: They can go into heat every two to three weeks and can even become pregnant again while they’re still nursing — enabling one cat to give birth to multiple litters during kitten season.

Just keeping cats indoors — while vital to protecting them from the many dangers that cats face if allowed to roam — isn’t actually an effective means of birth control. Raging hormones can turn an otherwise docile kitty into an escape artist who bolts out the door in search of a mate at the first opportunity. If you haven’t gotten around to making a spay/neuter appointment yet, please don’t delay any longer.

It’s up to us to stop this catastrophe. If your own feline family member is already “fixed,” pat yourself on the back — and then offer a helping hand to a neighbor or friend who needs to have a cat sterilized. Many communities have low-cost spay/neuter clinics or offer vouchers for free or reduced-cost sterilizations at veterinary clinics, which make it easy and affordable for everyone to do the right thing.

Together, we can stop the spread of animal homelessness and save lives, by flattening the “kitten curve.”

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Cece was a rescue! Please rescue or adopt!

💜Victory! Saks Fifth Avenue Sacks Fur!💜

By Michelle Feinberg

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Read Ingrid Newkirk’s book – and share it with friends.

Over a decade of determined campaigning by PETA and grassroots activists has paid off: Saks Fifth Avenue is saying so long to its notorious “fur salons”!

The department store will stop selling rabbit jackets, mink coats, fox puffer coats and fur of any kind by the end of fiscal year 2022.

Saks’ decision follows a sustained siege by grassroots activists that included protests and disruptions inside and outside Saks locations, e-mails from more than 100,000 PETA supporters, countless calls to Saks executives, pressure on the store’s social media accounts and online and in-person protests during PETA’s recent Canada Goose Week of Action. (Saks was a retailer for fur-trimmed and down-stuffed Canada Goose coats.)

As PETA President Ingrid Newkirk eloquently put it, “May Saks’ ‘fur salons’ rest in pieces, for they won’t be missed by today’s shoppers, who no longer find it acceptable to drape themselves in an abused animal’s stolen skin.”

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Saks protest

Animals who are trapped in their natural homes for fur — like the coyotes who are killed for the fur used to trim Canada Goose jackets — may suffer for days with broken legs and bleeding wounds. Some have even been known to try and chew off their own legs in attempts to return to their young. Those who don’t escape are beaten or shot by trappers. On fur farms, animals are beaten, bludgeoned, electrocuted, and even skinned alive.

Saks joins a long list of retailers making the socially conscious choice to ban fur, including Nordstrom, Macy’s, TJX, Prada, Gucci, Coach, Calvin Klein, Topshop, Burberry, Michael Kors, Versace, Furla, BCBG, Diane von Furstenberg, INTERMIX, Gap Inc., H&M, Zara, Banana Republic, Ralph Lauren, Giorgio Armani, Vivienne Westwood and The Kooples.

This victory brings us one step closer to making the fashion industry entirely fur-free.

Exotic “Pets”: Suffering for Sale!

By Jennifer O’Connor

Some years ago, I heard a loud, rather frantic knocking at my door. I rushed to open it and found my next-door neighbor standing on my doorstep with gloves on and a pillowcase in hand.

He had stopped by to warn me that his “pet” python was on the loose, having escaped the small, inadequate tank that he was kept in. As if this weren’t alarming enough, he admitted that he had been out of town for “a couple of weeks” and wasn’t exactly sure when Bruno the snake had finally gotten hungry enough to make a break for it.

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Snakes and iguanas are just as EXOTIC as lions and elephants!

Could I keep an eye out for him?

I slept with one eye open until Bruno was found — weeks later, emaciated and dead, having starved to death behind the dryers in the apartment building’s laundry room.

Bruno met a ghastly end, but as Florida lawmakers well know, some lost or discarded pets manage to thrive.

Florida officials tried every trick in the book to rid the state of pythons and other non-native species. Roundups didn’t work. Killing contests with cash prizes failed. A recent decision by the state’s Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to ban the possession and breeding of pythons, iguanas and 14 other nonnative species is long overdue but may have come far too late.

Florida’s war on reptiles can be directly attributed to lawmakers — at both the state and the federal level — who have long capitulated to the exotic animal industry by refusing to ban wild animals from being kept as pets. Just a few years ago, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service caved to the U.S. Association of Reptile Keepers, which was fighting a bill that would have made some species of dangerous snakes illegal to import and sell. The proposed list was gutted by more than half — four species were banned rather than nine. The group then sued to overturn even that modest measure.

When you make it as simple as pulling out a credit card to buy snakes, alligators, iguanas and other exotic species, the cruel cycle, fueled by the exotic pet industry, begins again. These animals are often bought on a whim and are quickly disposed of when their specialized needs become burdensome. The thrill of acquiring a novelty pet can wear off before the check even clears.

Animals who have become “inconvenient” are often tossed out like trash or relegated to life at the end of a chain or in a tiny cage; others are passed from one owner to the next. A few “lucky” ones may end up in an already overburdened animal shelter, where they will at least be given food.

Unbelievably, there is no federal law prohibiting the private ownership of wild or dangerous animals, and that includes tigers, bears, lions and other large species.

Breeders and dealers market exotics as if they were little more than stuffed toys. But exotic species have precise dietary and environmental needs and require specialized veterinary care that even zoos, with their vast resources, sometimes have difficulty fulfilling. Reptiles need technical spectrum lighting, big cats require a fortified diet to prevent their bones from weakening and tropical birds need high levels of humidity in order to thrive.

Lawmakers owe it to their constituents to prevent people from breeding, selling and keeping reptiles and other exotic species, not only to protect the animals themselves, like poor Bruno, but also to protect public health and our ecosystems.

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These companies DO NOT TEST THEIR PRODUCTS ON RABBITS. Please support them!:
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Safe at the Elephant Sanctuary, Nosey Makes Her First New Friends!

By Danny Prater

For decades, an African elephant named Nosey languished in chains as she was carted around the country and exploited for entertainment.

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The BRUTAL training of elephants for traveling shows and circuses. WORCESTER MAYOR JOE PETTY AND WOO CITY COUNCIL – BAN ALL TRAVELING EXOTIC ANIMAL ACTS FROM WORCESTER!

She was denied the crucial companionship of other elephants, which was surely devastating for her.

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Nosey is safe and happy now.❤

But thankfully, her life took a turn for the better after officials in Lawrence County, Alabama, as well as PETA and tens of thousands of compassionate people took action. Nosey was freed from her longtime abuser and sent to rest and recover at her new permanent home, The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee (TES). And now there’s more good news! TES has announced that Nosey has been introduced to two new Asian elephant friends, Sissy and Tarra.

In their native homes, elephants live surrounded by family and friends.

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Mother and baby elephant

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Elephants playing …

By this point in her life, Nosey would’ve been an auntie and possibly even a mother. But humans took that opportunity away from her. When she was just a calf, her family was gunned down. She was captured and sold to the circus. Because she was alone for most of her life, she never had a chance to learn social skills or important life lessons from other elephants.

Because Nosey — like many elephants used in traveling circus-style shows — has a history of exposure to tuberculosis, she is not able to reside with other African elephants at the sanctuary, who have no history of exposure.

Nosey Meets New Friends

During the early days following Nosey’s arrival at TES, she began rumbling to and socializing with her Asian elephant neighbors from a safe distance. But recently, Nosey met Tarra and then Sissy through a fence. This allowed the elephants to become comfortable with one another on their own terms, with the added security that a barrier provides. After slowly getting to know one another, the three elephants even met all together — with careful supervision by TES staff — inside a barn.

Elephant introductions at reputable, accredited sanctuaries like TES are careful and slow. This affords each elephant the freedom to learn how to be around others and the option to leave the area.

TES detailed some of Nosey and her new friend Tarra’s heartwarming first interactions:

“When finally introduced, Nosey and Tarra were both very relaxed, and spent several minutes smelling one another’s trunk, face, mouth, ears, eyes, and feet. Tarra showed particular interest in Nosey’s tusks and mouth, while Nosey was taking in everything she could about Tarra! They rumbled to each other softly. The two were allowed supervised access to each other for three hours and were seen on four occasions meeting up for minutes at a time expressing the same relaxed, exploratory behaviors.”

We can’t wait to see Nosey’s relationship with Tarra and Sissy bloom!

Forty years ago, President Reagan was shot, and therein hangs a dog’s “tale”

By Ingrid Newkirk

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Forty years ago, on March 30, 1981, President Ronald Reagan was shot outside the Washington Hilton. So was James Brady, who later died as a result of his wounds, and two others: Secret Service officer Tim McCarthy and D.C. police officer Thomas Delahanty. With Officer Delahanty was a dog named Kirk.

Security was lax in those days. Just minutes before the shooting, my dog, Ms. Bea, and I had been directly across the street from that now infamous archway, visiting the Cafritz building, but my connection to the event was even closer than that. Not only was Kirk named after me, I was also responsible for his presence at the site.

Kirk was a handsome German shepherd. I knew him well because I was poundmaster of what was then the D.C. “dog pound,” which is where Kirk — called “King” then but not treated like one — had ended up. His owners had pushed him through the door and signed a form and were gone. In those days, we took in a lot of German shepherds. Working with the head of the Metropolitan Police Department’s K-9 unit, I instituted a program to save the lives of some of those who had been thrown away as if they were inanimate objects or who were unclaimed strays. The dogs were put through their paces, tested for temperament, and, if they passed the tests, went on to have a new, working life with the police.

There were three reasons I cherished that program: First, it gave those otherwise unadoptable dogs a second chance at life, as many had been so mistreated by their owners that they were deemed too aggressive to go into private homes. Second, Metropolitan Police dogs weren’t kept warehoused like mere equipment, kept in a cage somewhere, as some police dogs are; they all lived at home with their officer families and were considered fellow officers who did much the same work as their human partners. Third, the Washington Humane Society/SPCA was a place often frequented by K-9 officers, who provided a presence that protected the staff from human beings who could be far more aggressive than any dogs sheltered there, and in getting to know them, we learned that they loved their dogs too much to risk their lives. To a man (and they were all men back then), they would rather wait it out than send a dog into a situation too dangerous for them to go into themselves.

After the shooting, Office Delahanty retired on disability, and Kirk retired with him. There was a retirement party at the family home, and other officers took their dogs to it. It was supposed to be a somewhat melancholy occasion, but I remember everyone watching and laughing as the dogs jumped into the swimming pool in the backyard over and over again, chasing each other and having a whale of a time.

These days, the “pound” is an animal shelter, and the dog of the day — discarded, battered, bruised and sorely used — is no longer the German shepherd, but the pit bull, the most abused dog in the land. There are other lonely dogs there, too, as there are in all the shelters in the U.S., indeed around the world. Many were casually purchased from pet stores or breeders then equally casually discarded, which is why PETA has a campaign called “Adopt, don’t shop.”

It may be an unusual way to commemorate what took place 40 years ago, but there has never been a better time to do so by taking in a homeless dog—giving love and understanding, patience and a family, to someone who needs you. Breeders and pet stores contribute to the crisis of animal overpopulation and casual abandonment, but fostering or adopting a dog in memory of Kirk and Officer Delahanty would be a lovely way to chip away at it.

A US Marine’s take on Cobra Gold animal bloodshed: Cruel, Dangerous, Unacceptable

By Sydney Rader

The Pentagon calls it a “jungle survival training exercise,” hosted annually in Thailand and run by Thai military officials.

But videos taken by U.S. Marines themselves — and released by PETA — show that the exercise known as Cobra Gold is just a frenzied collective bloodlust, during which live animals are literally torn apart in a hellish atmosphere for military “training.”

As a former U.S. Marine sergeant, I stand with PETA. It’s time to stop using and abusing live animals during Cobra Gold.

More than 106,000 supporters have joined PETA in recently ratcheting up the pressure on the Pentagon and the Marines’ top brass by formally calling for a simple rule change that would stop troops from using animals during Cobra Gold. PETA’s international affiliates are also calling on armed forces around the world to pressure the organizers to end the barbarism, garnering global headlines. The pressure is mounting.

For its part, the Pentagon has claimed that it is powerless to act because the exercise is run by the Thai military. That’s transparently disingenuous. The rule change that PETA is asking for could wipe out the Marines’ participation in this deadly animal spectacle with a single stroke of a pen. The Canadian Department of National Defence confirmed this, stating, “The Royal Thai Armed Forces and the United States Pacific Command are equal partners in Exercise COBRA GOLD and decisions about this exercise are made in agreement between those two partners.”

PETA isn’t the only organization questioning the usefulness of Cobra Gold. Thai officials, according to an October 29, 2020, Congressional Research Service report for members of Congress, have “questioned the utility of the [Cobra Gold] exercises in recent years.”

Cobra Gold also poses myriad health concerns. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has confirmed that nearly three-quarters of recently emerging infectious diseases affecting humans started as diseases in other animals. Drinking the blood of beheaded snakes is, at best, tempting fate, and at worst, it could engender the next pandemic.

In a recent article in The Straits Times, a Thai snake catcher and former soldier warned of the health risks of drinking snake blood during Cobra Gold, stating, “All kinds of raw blood and meat are risky.” The article also quoted a Thai-based jungle survival training instructor who criticized the animal killings in Cobra Gold as dangerous and unrealistic, stating, “Plants don’t run away and plants don’t bite. … So hunting snakes would be a really, really silly idea. … I’ve seen maybe two or three cobras in 28 years. So when they are doing their Cobra Gold thing, they are bringing the animals to sacrifice.”

There are other ways to learn survival skills without tearing the heads off animals or risking the spread of infectious diseases. U.S. Army Survival Evasion Resistance Escape (SERE) instructors John and Geri McPherson wrote a book on it, Primitive Wilderness Skills, Applied & Advanced. SERE specialists use advanced virtual reality to prepare Air Force pilots for worst-case scenarios. And Air Force survival instructor Gretchen Cordy hosts a wilderness survival video series called Prepared to Survive.

If COVID-19 has taught us anything, it should be that handling animal body parts and secretions, such as occurs in the Cobra Gold animal blood fest, is a monumentally bad idea that risks public health. Moreover, it dishonors the uniform and promotes cruelty to animals. Pentagon leaders need to step up, shoulder their responsibility and demand an end to animal use during Cobra Gold.

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❤Victory! ❤Rite Aid Says “Farewell” to Greeting Cards Mocking Great Apes!❤

From PETA.ORG:

By Elena Waldman

Victory! After hearing from PETA, drugstore giant Rite Aid confirmed that it will remove all greeting cards from its store shelves that feature demeaning and exploitative images of great apes.

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AND – NEVER FORGET THE MONKEYS SUFFERING IN AMERICAN LABS! photos: PETA

The chain also directed one of its greeting card suppliers, American Greetings, to remove any ape-unfriendly cards from its shelves.

Degrading other animals for profit isn’t a greeting — it’s greedy.

For years, PETA has made it clear that the endangerment of great apes is no laughing matter. Clownish, patronizing depictions of chimpanzees and other great apes have served to minimize awareness of the dire threat of extinction that these species face. Greeting cards that make endangered animals out to be the butt of a “joke” not only make light of those who suffer from habitat loss and the global wildlife trade but also dupe consumers into thinking that these animals are plentiful rather than endangered. Misleading representations of apes may also increase the black market demand for these animals as pets, driving them further toward extinction.

When companies make a mockery of intelligent, curious chimpanzees and orangutans, they can actually hinder conservation efforts that are crucial to the survival of these endangered animals. Public perception is everything when it comes to wildlife conservation. By agreeing to remove greeting cards featuring misleading images of endangered great apes from their stores, Rite Aid is taking a stand that’s essential to the survival of our fellow primates.

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UC DAVIS monkey used in experiments – MOST of this “science” is POINTLESS/NOT APPLICABLE TO HUMANS!

Rite Aid Made the Right Move — Here’s What You Can Do:

Greeting cards featuring damaging images of great apes have been an eyesore in the card aisles of pharmacies for decades. Now that Rite Aid is pulling them off the shelves, PETA and compassionate people everywhere are calling on other retailers to follow suit.

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MONKEYS IN AMERICAN ROADSIDE ZOOS AND TRAVELING EXOTIC ANIMAL ACTS live horrific lives! Worcester mayor and city council, please BAN EXOTIC ANIMAL ACTS FROM OUR CITY!

Together, we can bring about a significant reduction in the reach of these harmful images. Greeting cards are seen every day by millions of people, and positive representations matter. Join PETA’s effort by urging American Greetings to make a conscientious decision that will have a significant, positive impact on great apes exploited for entertainment:

TELL AMERICAN GREETINGS TO RETIRE DAMAGING IMAGES OF GREAT APES!