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Archive for the ‘How We Connect’ Category

Animal Connection will be hosting an event on August 1, 2010 to help the wildlife affected by the oil disaster.  It will be at the Hyatt Regency in Sarasota Florida from 5-9pm.  The fee to get in will be $20 donation.  Kristy and Lindsey Landers will provide their band for entertainment.  They play at all of the big parties for Hugh Hefner, PETA and other well know venues.  People who attend the event will have their name placed on the “wildlife” page of my website specifically for this event.  Even if you send in your donation, your name will be placed on the site.

Yesterday someone said my event is not only for the wildlife but everything and everyone.  They told me that the oil disaster affects the wildlife, impacts the seafood, the life of the fishermen and our economy as a whole.  I NEVER thought of it that way.  It is so true.  That is the exact reason for my show, Animal Connection…we are all connected in many ways.

We have had a number of celebrities and professional athletes express interest in attending the event or helping to promote the event.  I will have the names of the attendees in the next week.

This will be a wonderful event.  Please check back next week for more specific information.  We will also have a Paypal account set up so you can contribute if you would like.

I want to thank you again for your continued support of Animal Connection and the animals that don’t have a voice in this world.

I have been very discouraged watching the news and reading articles about the oil disaster.  Every time I turn around I see, or hear, more negative.  My goal is to empower people, not bring them down. I have been making calls and doing research to find ways that people can help with the oil disaster. The information I get varies from source to source.  I got a call from Jeff Dorson today.  He is the Executive Director for the Humane Society of Louisiana.  He told me about a couple of groups that are actually qualified to help the wildlife in the Gulf.  Even though we have a long way to go, there are people who are able to make positive changes, if we help them.

I found out that there is so much red tape when it comes to helping these creatures. You need the proper training, an organization has been approved and the list goes on. Otherwise, you are not allowed to do anything with the animals.   In many ways that could be good.  We want to be sure the people dealing with these animals know what they are doing.  After all, this needs to improve the quality of life for the wildlife, not make it worse.  There are people who have had experience but don’t have the specific training needed to be approved for this mission.  Then there are those who are doing it for other reasons and it’s a good thing they are not allowed to be close to the wildlife.

Below are some wonderful organizations that could use your help.  You can give your time as a volunteer, send money or make calls/ send emails to officials that have the authority to make the changes needed.

1.  Operation Here to Help, is a joint effort launched by the Humane Society of Louisiana and Clearwater Wildlife Sanctuary to help wildlife adversely affected by the oil spill. Clearwater’s staff and volunteers are trained and certified wildlife rehabilitators who are working at the triage sites and administering direct aid to captured birds. They are providing logistical support by utilizing dozens of their volunteers who are transferring oiled birds directly from wildlife agents to the recovery centers. They’re also providing real-time information to state and federal agents by providing them with photos, notes, and coordinates. They are taking volunteers out on boats, contacting legislators, and more.

Operation Here to Help has staff and volunteers that have been out to the barrier islands in Barataria Bay, near Grand Isle, twice during the past several days. In the six total hours they spent surveying the area on boats, they spotted a mere three agents with nets with two large plastic dog carriers in the back of their boat. Meanwhile, they witnessed hundreds of oiled birds in distress. These trips made it clear to them that more aid is necessary to account for the significant number of birds currently in need of assistance.

That’s why they set up “Operation Here to Help”, a program of the Humane Society of Louisiana, with the goal of surveying the affected areas and providing coordinates to state and federal agencies. Although red tape still prevents them from handling oiled wildlife ourselves, They can provide critical information to the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries so that they can most effectively mobilize their extremely limited manpower.

The facts are sobering. They were told by a wildlife agent that, for the entire Louisiana coastal area, there are a mere 100-150 officers licensed to rescue oiled wildlife, on shifts from 7:30 AM to 6:00 PM and they do not work at night. These are incredibly inadequate numbers. Additionally, most of the barrier islands, including Cat and Four Pass Bayou, which are rookeries and home to tens of thousands of water birds, have already been contaminated with oil.  The utilization of booms as buffers is extremely ineffective and dates back to the 1960’s. That is why their team wants to be “here to help” direct officers to areas where their work will have the most impact.

They have identified several ways that each of you can help them save more marine life and wildlife, whose lives hang in the balance. Their goal is to complement state and federal agencies in order to achieve the results they want. As one of Louisiana’s most dedicated humane organizations, they cannot sit back and let a handful of government workers and BP contractors respond with disgraceful inadequacy to the worst disaster in modern history to hit our precious wetlands. Here are their plans; they need your help to implement them:

Advocacy:

Call Robert Barham, Secretary of the Louisiana Department of Wildlife, and ask that he assign more agents to the capture of wildlife and ask him to ask for reinforcements from other states or other agencies if needed. Please use their reports from the front lines as evidence that much more help is needed. Call 1-225-765-2800.  Remember that there are between 100-150 agents out in the entire Gulf Coast assigned to wildlife capture. These numbers are not sufficient for the task at hand.  In the six hours they have spent surveying the areas on boats, they have only seen three agents with nets on one occasion. They had two large plastic dog carriers in the back of their boat, both empty.  At the same time, they also saw hundreds of birds in distress.

Information Gathering:

They will be going out in chartered boats during the next several months to obtain first-hand information and photographic evidence of the mistreatment of marine life.  If you would like to join them, please write an email to contact us at stopcruetly11@gmail.com.  Cost of trip per person: $60.00 for a three-hour trip. They are currently scheduling one to two trips a week, out of Venice and Grand Isle.

Information Sharing:

They will be hosting a two-day conference in New Orleans at the end of July. They intend to invite representatives from BP, the Coast Guard, the White House, members of Congress or their staff, social justice groups, animal protection and environmental groups to attend, speak, and listen to one another with the intention of developing and implementing short- and long-term goals. They will send out additional announcements during the next several weeks. They plan on visiting the coastline on the second day as a group.

Fund-raising

Funds are needed to keep their chartered boats in the water, to underwrite their upcoming conference, and to help mobilize volunteers from around the country. Please be as generous as possible. Each of you can help by donating through their PayPal account at: http://www.humanela.org/bpoilspill.htm.

65% of those proceeds from their website link will go to Clearwater Wildlife Sanctuary, whose staff and volunteers are caring for the wildlife. They have pledged to support them. The remaining 35% will go to the logistical support their group is providing. You can also send them a donation by mail to: The Humane Society of Louisiana at P.O. Box 740321, New Orleans, LA 7017

2. Nature Conservancy

We can’t afford to wait. The damage done by this spill demands that we ramp up our efforts as rapidly as possible.

They know we could be building 20 to 30 miles of reef a year, and promote hundreds of acres of seagrass and marsh recovery in the process. Within 3 to 5 years, they could complete 100 miles of oyster reef and at least 1,000 acres of seagrass and marsh habitat. That’s conservative — it’s possible, perhaps even likely, that a properly designed restoration could support 10,000 acres of seagrass and marsh.

Rebuilding such a system will have huge benefits beyond kick-starting the oil spill recovery:

  • If designed properly, oyster reefs will slow, and in many cases, halt the massive erosion that continues to carve into Alabama shorelines.
  • Reefs will help to filter the loose sediment that turns Mobile Bay a dark chocolate every time the wind blows.
  • Light-loving seagrasses return, tying down still more mud.
  • And in the quit eddies created by the reef, marshes will get a toe-hold and spread rapidly.

Best of all, re-creation of these reefs, seagrasses and marshes will result in an explosion of life. It won’t just be old timers who remember what it was like to go floundering in the seagrasses along the shores of Mobile Bay:

  • Harvest of white shrimp, once Mobile’s prized catch, will almost certainly rebound.
  • Crab habitat will increase dramatically.
  • Tens of thousands of young speckled trout, redfish, sheepshead and other Gulf game and food fish will once again find a place to grow and thrive.

To learn more about this endeavor, and how you can help, click here.

3. The National Wildlife Federation has been on the front lines responding to the wildlife crisis unfolding in the Gulf since the BP Oil Spill started on April 20.

Their Louisiana-based staff–already working on existing Coastal Louisiana restoration efforts before the spill–was deployed to help with the initial response. They have been joined by national staff, affiliates in the region and a growing network of volunteers.

They believe strongly they have an obligation to find out what is happening, share this information with the public and do everything they can to help wildlife survive this tragedy.

You can learn more about their “Search and Rescue”, how they are raising awareness and what they are saying on behalf of wildlife.  Click here.



If you have dogs or ferrets, this is your lucky Friday. It has been a challenging week for me.  I have had a number of issues come up regarding dogs and ferrets.  I had to do some research and contact other rescues and shelters for help.  It’s amazing how animal people all stick together and help each other so animals can have a better life.  Thank you!!

One challenge I had were ferrets with fleas. I never had ferrets with fleas so I was not sure what to do about them.  I know they are delicate animals and it can be deadly if they are treated like dogs and cats for a flea problem. Here are some of the things I found out:

1. A flea condition is 100% fixable.  I spoke to rescues who told me that ferrets die from fleas. They are such small animals and it doesn’t take long for them to be sucked dry. The fleas are coming in from a source.  Once you find out what the source is, you can correct it.   Ferrets, being indoor animals, should not have fleas.

2. If you have dogs or cats that come in and out you can give them Capstar. You have to get it from a veterinarian.  This should not be given to ferrets, unless you just adopted them and need to get the fleas off this one time.  (Talk to your vet about dosage).

3. You can also get an 8oz. spray bottle.  Put about 2 tablespoons Skin-so-soft with 1 teaspoon alcohol (to cut the oil) and fill with water. You can spray that on the dogs and cats and rub it in.  This will kill fleas.  Again, be very careful not to use this too much with ferrets since they have very sensitive skin.

The one recommendation I got over and over again, get everyone and everything out of the house.  Fumigate the whole house and have the yard treated.  While you are gone, get all of the fleas off of all the animals.  When you return, you are starting new. Make sure all of the animals stay in the house.  If they must go outside, make sure they stay in your yard, if possible.  Give them Capstar before they go out to be sure they don’t get any fleas.  The ferrets should no longer have a flea problem, ever.

I also had people asking me about the proper food they should be feeding their dogs.  Since I have not had dogs in years, I was not sure what to tell them.  I have a friend, Greg Martinez, DVM who just wrote a book called, “Dr. Greg’s Dog Dish Diet”.  That book has a wealth of information when it comes to feeding your dog. It gives you histories of different breeds, what different breeds eat, how different foods affect different dogs, etc.  Did you know dogs are not suppose to have any corn or beef?

Here are a few tidbits I got from the book that I thought were interesting and I wanted to pass along:

1. A Tablespoon of olive oil or canola oil on the food daily, or an egg yolk in the food three or four times a week, can have a wondrous effect on health.

2. Never give your dog chocolate.  That goes for ferrets too.  Ferrets should not have any sugars or fruit.

3. The closest ancestor to a dog, the wolf.   99.8% of a dog’s DNA matches the wolf. To feed dogs well on a diet that resembles the natural diet of a wolf, make sure the mix of ingredients and nutrients are similar.

4. Wild game provides the wolf with a high-water, low-carbohydrate diet that is also high in protein and fat.   With the exception of a few of the newer diet; canned dog foods most closely match the wolf’s natural diet.

5. Ounce for ounce, canned dog food has about a third the calories of dry food.

6. A healthier diet may actually prevent, decrease and often cure many of the common chronic problems in dogs.

These are the top 10 claims for Veterinary Pet Insurance:

A.Ear Infections

B. Skin Allerfies

C. Pyoderma (hotspots/ bacterial skin infections)

D. Gastritis/Vomiting (stomach upsets)

E.  Enteritis/Diarrhea

F.  Urinary Tract Infections Benign

G.  Skin Tumors

H.  Osteoarthritis

I.  Eye Inflammation

J.  Hypothyroidism

7. Allergies in dogs are caused by three common allergen groups:

A. Fleas

B.  Pollens, grasses and molds

C.  Allergenic food ingredients (most often wheat, beef and corn)

8.  Wolves keep their teeth clean by chewing on the bones of prey animals. In that tradition, you can give your dog raw or frozen chicken theighs, smoked pork bones or beef knucklebones, and they’ll gnaw the tartar away.  PLEASE, be careful what you give your dog. They should be able to chew NOT eat bones.  The book goes into detail about this.

To learn more about dogs and their diets click here for Dr. Greg’s Book.

Then I had questions about adopting dogs.  The best timing in the world because I had information sent to me from “The Camping Dog”.

It specifically talked about adopting a shelter dog. They say one of the best gifts you can give yourself is adopting a shelter dog.  Are shelter dogs right for everyone?  Absolutely not.  You never really know what you’ve got until you get your new friend home.  And odds are even that your dog will need specialized attention and care for health or behavior issues for some period of time.  Unless you’re willing to be patient and work with your pup, you have no business having a dog at all – and especially not a shelter dog who may well have had traumatic experiences.

There is nothing more rewarding than watching a dog blossom into their true personalities. Seeing a dog learn how to play for the first time is a delight.  And watching them grow as they learn new behaviors and have new experiences is so much fun!  And they do thank you for it in so many ways!

If you would like to know the questions to ask yourself if you are thinking about adopting a dog click here.

Would you and your family like to really get away this summer?  How about becoming one with nature again, if you could sleep in a comfortable bed and take a nice hot shower?  There is a place like that in the North Carolina Mountains.  It is called Clear Creek Ranch. Nestled in a quiet valley in the Great Smoky Mountains at an elevation of 3,200 feet, Clear Creek Dude Ranch is surrounded by the beautiful Pisgah National Forest.  They welcome guests from April to Thanksgiving.  Some of the activities you will enjoy are horseback riding, camp fires, golf, fishing, hiking, swimming and many more.

It is owned by some wonderful friends of mine, Rex and Aileen Frederick. Rex was a great basketball star at Auburn University.  He became only the 3rd Auburn Tiger to have his jersey (#32) retired.  Rex is in the Auburn Hall of Fame.

Rex and his wife, Aileen, have always had a passion for animals, especially horses.  They decided to buy a dude ranch. It has been a wonderful experience for them but it is time for them to move on.  They are at that age where they want to travel and enjoy other things life has to offer.

They have been running this ranch 24/7 for many years.  It is not as easy, and glamorous, as you might think. Can you imagine having to get up at the crack of dawn to meet your guests as they arrive for breakfast every morning?  Then organize the activities, make sure everyone is having fun, oversee the business of the ranch, etc. At the end of the night making sure you are still awake to tell your guests, having a nightcap in the Cantina, good night before turning in?  Talk about a long day, everyday.  They have wonderful staff that come back year after year because of the way they are treated.  Even in the winter, when it is closed to the public, they need to care for all of the horses and other animals, as well as continue to run the ranch.

I hope you will visit Rex and Aileen before they sell this beautiful ranch.  If you go, tell them I said hi.  If you, or someone you know, has interest in buying this ranch, please let me know.   I’m selling the ranch for them.

Please enjoy this video of the ranch.


I got this from one of my animal supporters:

Please take a moment on this memorial Day to honor all of those dogs, horses and all of the other animals who have passed on in combat while saving lives and all of those who were casualties of war.

“America’s war dogs prevented over 10,000 casualties in Vietnam alone and brav…ely served our country in Operation Desert Storm as well as WWII. Yet, many of these K9 soldiers were declared “surplus armaments” and were unceremoniously euthanized or left to unknown fates in Vietnam.

America’s war dogs were trained to recognize booby traps, mine tunnels and weapons caches. They were trained for parachute landings. They warned troops about ambushes. They saved lives by dragging wounded soldiers to safety. These K9 heroes lived, bonded and fought side-by-side with our veterans.”
Taken from War-Zone dogs.

Wishing you and your family a happy and safe memorial Day Weekend.

Can anyone explain why the USDA will NOT step in and help the dogs and puppies in the mills? There has been so much evidence of mills abusing and neglecting these animals.  Many of these animals are dying horrible deaths.  Most people have heard about these atrocities.  The flip side, they go into a pet store to buy something for their animal. When they are there they see the poor puppy eyes looking at them.  At that very moment they feel they need to buy this puppy and give it a good home.  They forget where the puppy came from.   It is a vicious cycle.  I like what they have done in West Hollywood California.  The stores only sell puppies that come from shelters or rescues.  Click here to learn how you can do the same thing in your community.

This past week there was a report about the USDA failing to cut down on puppy mills.   They detail the horrific conditions and lax enforcement.  If you would like to read this article, click here.

There was also a show on Animal Planet that exposed Petland puppies. Since the airing of that show they have had so many people coming forward telling them stories about the health issues, and medical challenges, their puppies have had. In addition, the cost to care for these animals.

So many stories were sent in describing what it has been like for the owners of these puppies since they purchased their new family member.  The stories include Bailey, a Cairn terrier (pictured here), who became deathly ill and had to be hospitalized after she was purchased in Texas, and Little Red, who reportedly had the worst hip dysplasia her veterinarian had ever seen.

On the positive side, hopefully this show will get people to do more research on the stores and breeders of  puppies.  Even people in your community might have a small mill going and you don’t even know it.

If you would like to read more about this, or know of a puppy that you want to report because they have medical issues, click here.

Over the past few weeks I have had so many conversations regarding our world and where we are headed.  I have always said, “Humans are blessed with an exceptional brain.  We have made wonderful advances in technology, medicine, etc.  At the same time, we also seem to use it to destroy the world and harm innocent animals.  Right now we are harming and destroying at the same time (oil drilling, polluting the waters and killing all kinds of fish and wildlife).

I came up with the name of my show, “Animal Connection” because I know animals and humans are connected.  I never realized the timing of my show would be so perfect with the events going on in our society, in such an extreme way.  One major issue, once we destroy this earth that’s it.  No matter how much money anyone has, we can’t replace it!

The animals were here long before we were.  We should respect them and not use them for profit.  Someone said to me, “We should go back to the times of Little House on the Prairie”.  I’m starting to believe that’s not such a bad idea, although it was a very hard life!

I don’t know what the answer is.  We don’t seem to be able to get along and respect other humans (look at the wars).  How do we expect people to respect animals?

May is the beginning of summer.  For many it is also a challenging time because of the winter coat they have put on.

For those of us who have the pleasure of owning a pet, the benefits are fairly obvious. Pets offer unconditional love, listen to us without offering needless advice, and make fantastic snuggling companions. There is nothing like coming home to someone who is genuinely excited to see you and who wants nothing more than a chew toy for Christmas. But for all of the love we give them, we also seem to give them a lot to eat. Approximately 50 percent of the pets in this country are overweight—and with roughly 30 percent of the U.S. population also being overweight, we could all use a little more exercise! One possibility overlooked by pet owners is to recruit your pet as a workout buddy, which is odd, since pets will always show up and won’t complain about how hungover they are. Let’s look at some ways you can involve your furry friend in sweat-inducing activities that will leave you both reaching for the water bowl.

1. Get outside.

Most of us are aware of the vast benefits of spending time outside on a daily basis. If you have a dog yet lack a large yard, being outside becomes a requirement. So if you have to walk your dog several times a day, why not use the time to your benefit as well? Try to speed up your pace along your normal route. Try alternating your quick pace with some speed walking or a light jog. Find a route that includes some hills or other challenging terrain.  Add some high knee lifts, butt kicks, or lateral skipping if you are not embarrassed by public displays of exercise. Or simply try adding 5 minutes onto your quick-paced walk every week, until you are up to an hour. The added calorie burn will be worth it.

If you are a bit more daring, try hiking or running with your dog. There is the obvious increase in caloric expenditure for both of you, but also an increase in cardiovascular and muscular output that will definitely pay off. Look for soft surfaces—like a trail or dirt track—to help protect your joints, and remember that HOT PAVEMENT IS REALLY PAINFUL FOR DOGS’ PAWS. Also, there are special harness-type leashes out there that keep your hands free and make running with more than one dog much more bearable.

2.  It’s all Fun and Games

Playing with your pet can be great exercise and fun for both of you. If you have a yard, or live near a local dog park, all of this is much easier. Of course, it can be done in your living room, but it might be a bit dangerous for the furniture. Try playing fetch, but race your dog for the ball. Just throw and start running. Or play tag by chasing your dog around the designated area. If your dog is on the strong side, grab a rope and try some tug-of-war. If you’re considerably stronger than your pooch, try tugging while standing on one leg, and using only one arm. Create an obstacle course, and run it with your dog. Find a ball and a wall, and play a version of handball mixed with “keep away”—from your dog. Practice your tennis swing and let your pup retrieve the ball.

Just doing something playful can make a normal workout feel like you are back on the playground with your four-legged best friend. How can it get better than that?

3.  Train the Dog or Train the Owner?

This is not a section on teaching a dog to sit or training your spouse to get you a drink from the fridge. This is about using functional resistance training to manipulate your mutt’s musculature, along with your own. Try the following exercises with some help from Fido.

Balance Challenge
Stand on both feet, hips-width apart, with your dog’s favorite toy in hand, but hidden from view. Shift your weight onto one foot, keeping the other foot’s toes just off the ground. Now show your pet a favorite toy. Try bending your standing leg and lowering the toy to touch the ground in front of you. Once you lose your balance, or your pup gets the toy, switch to the opposite leg.

Squat and Toy Press
For this exercise, use your dog’s favorite toy or a small weighted medicine ball. Start with your feet hips-width apart, and in a parallel position. Bring the toy or ball to your chest. Squat down deeply with your butt going parallel to the floor, and your knees staying behind your toes. As you extend your knees to stand back up, throw the toy or ball into the air, and try to catch it before your mutt jumps up and grabs it! Repeat until one of you gives out.

Sumo Squats for the Critter
This workout is similar to the Squat and Toy Press. Only this time, you start with your toes pointed slightly outward, making sure that your knees line up with your toes. Hold the toy or ball in both hands, with arms extended straight down toward the floor. As you bend both knees, bringing your seat parallel to the floor and keeping your arms straight, lift the toy directly over your head. As you straighten your knees, jump off the ground a few inches and return the toy to the down position. Hopefully, your mongrel will continue to jump for the toy until your quads have hit exhaustion.

Fetching Push-Ups
The idea is to set yourself up in a push-up position, with whatever modifications you require to do many repetitions (on your knees, against a wall, etc.). Lift one hand and throw a ball. Do as many push-up repetitions as possible until your pet returns. Repeat the toss with the opposite arm.

Laser Creature Crunch
Domesticated animals seem to be fascinated by laser pointers. Get into a comfortable crunch position on the ground, and hold the laser pointer in both hands. Begin doing 10 crunches with the laser on your chest, and of course, pointed away from you. Watch your pet go nuts trying to chase it in the process. Every 10 reps, alternate arm positions behind your head, above your head, and even to your knees. Your dog will go insane, and you will have abs of steel!

Dog Curl/Dip/Press
These options depend completely on the level of stillness your pet can provide. For my two dogs, playing dumbbell just ain’t gonna happen. But I have many friends with extremely trusting animals that love to be bench-pressed. Should you try to press, curl, dip, or lunge your best friends, do it relatively close to the ground, just in case they change their minds.

There’s a study that shows people with terminal illnesses are three times LESS likely to suffer depression if they own a pet. Pets are amazing stress reducers and loneliness decreases, and have actually been proven to lower blood pressure. They also make us more social creatures, as we meet new people on walks, at parks, etc. If you add a pet to your household, your life will be dramatically enriched. If you are unable to make a lifelong commitment, borrow a friend’s dog for a day, or look into a short-term fostering program. And there are hundreds of organizations out there that could use volunteers to walk the dogs they are sheltering. That way, you get some exercise, and make a difference at the same time. Whatever you do, integrate some canine or feline time into your exercise regimen, and watch the change occur. Now that is doggone good! Information provided by Stephanie Saunders

Click here for more health and fitness ideas.


I want Friday’s to bring awareness to other organizations that are doing wonderful things for animals. I also want to empower people. Please pass this link on to bring awareness to these wonderful organizations, thanks!

1. A French Journalist contacted me.  She wanted to know if I could send her true stories depicting peculiar relationships between a child and one or several wild animal(s).

Some examples:

* They’re going to tell the story of a little girl in South Africa looking after elephants with her parents in a sanctuary.

* Two little boys in India who protect snakes with their father and who are not scared to handle them. They’re “working” with their father at freeing the snakes they find in the cities to protect them.

They’re looking for a young girl or boy (aged under 15), fond of scuba diving, swimming with dolphins, whales…. In the end a child passionate in marine life.   Any histories are welcomed!!

One important thing: Their aim is not to promote proximity between wild animals and humans. They DO NOT want promote people taming wild animals!  They’re just looking for extraordinary stories relating a peculiar relationship between a child and an animal at a specific moment.

If you’ve heard about such stories you are welcome to contact Mélodie TISSOT directly.

melodie@maijuin.com

+33 1 58 05 16 60

+33 6 77 24 58 03

Www.maijuin.com

tigers2. Emergency Situation at Wild Animal Orphanage, San Antonio, Texas

The Board of Directors of The Wild Animal Orphanage in San Antonio, Texas, announces the existence of a financial, personnel, and management crisis at their sanctuary where more than 400 wild, exotic, and domestic animals reside.  The sanctuary has been in operation for 24 years and the decline in contributions along with the recent discovery of severe personnel and management issues have created this crisis.  Steps have been taken by the Board of Directors to resolve some of the problems including replacement of the CEO with an acting director, Mr. Jamie Cryer, a Texas businessman, who has willingly agreed to work without compensation to assure the feeding and care of the resident animals.

Funds are needed immediately to continue providing food and care for the lions, tiger, bears, wolves, cougars, primates, and other species that reside at the 2 sites of the WAO. Compassionate animal care-givers are still reporting to work to feed, clean, and care for the animals, however, there are no funds available for payroll and their pay is already several weeks behind.  Six of the animal care-givers are temporarily working without compensation. The Board of Directors is reaching out to all caring individuals and humane organizations to please step up to the plate and help us take care of these 400 animals that have no one to depend on except generous people.  To learn more and find ways you can help click here.

“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be measured by the way its animals are treated.” — Mahatma Gandhi


3. Tragically, 50% of domestic violence victim’s delay seeking help for fear that an abuser will harm a pet… Animals are the silent victims of domestic violence. Most people treat pets as members of the family. Unfortunately, when it comes to domestic violence, pets are also deemed part of the family unit and forced to suffer in silence at the hands of abusers. Some studies estimate that: *50% of domestic violence victims delay seeking help out of concern that their pet may be harmed by the abuser. *88% of companion animals living in households where domestic violence occurs are routinely threatened, harmed or even killed. The ASPCA witnesses firsthand the connection between animal abuse and domestic violence. Just last month, police in Little Falls, NY, arrested Mark Beacraft, Jr., for assaulting a four-year-old child. The suspect has a history of violence—including a guilty plea in 2007 for murdering a neighborhood cat. He was sentenced to one year in a county jail but was later released under house arrest. This is unacceptable—and they need your help to keep criminals like Beacraft off the streets. The ASPCA works tirelessly to educate law enforcement and the public about the link between animal cruelty and domestic abuse and to lobby for stricter punishments for pet abusers. To help click here

4. May is National Arthritis Month

Just like humans, many dogs suffer from arthritis pain and inflammation as they age. Joints and bones naturally degenerate over time. Fortunately, arthritis can often be managed with the help of acupuncture, Traditional Chinese Medicine, supplements and nutrition. Natural and alternative therapies are generally safe, effective and can be used in conjunction with western medicine.

Ancient Solutions for Canine Arthritis is a site for dogs suffering from arthritis.

If you are an acupuncturist interested in learning more about treating arthritis in dogs with TCM, and getting continuing education credits, click here.

5. Best known for the  “I’m Tired of” bracelets, ITo introduced the No More Homeless Pets bracelet and now supports nine different animal causes. ITo will give half of every sale to Best Friends Animal Society to help support their efforts to dramatically reduce the number of homeless pets.

Best Friends Animal Society is guided by a simple philosophy: kindness to animals builds a better world for all of us. In the late 1980s when Best Friends was in its early days, roughly 17 million dogs and cats were being killed in shelters every year. Despite the commitment of shelter workers to the animals in their care, the conventional belief was that little could be done to lower that terrible number.  Read more about this on their site by clicking here.

6. If you live in California, or will be visiting, you might want to attend the “Power and Action for the Animals” May 9th Newport Beach, CA.

It’s a gathering of animal advocates, lovers, caretakers, guardians & protectors. Click here for more details.

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7. MOSCOW DOGS

I thought you might enjoy this story. Dogs are allowed on public transport in all of Europe, but generally with their master. This is even more interesting.

Here is a Canine commuter…. A wild dog waits on the platform!!

STRAY dogs are commuting to and from a city centre on underground trains in search of food scraps.  The clever canines board the Tube each morning.  After a hard day scavenging and begging on the streets, they hop back on the train and   return to the suburbs where they spend the night.

Experts studying the dogs say they even work  together to make sure they get off at the right stop after  learning to judge the length of time they need  to spend on the  train…

The dogs choose the  quietest carriages at the front and back of the train.  They have also developed tactics to hustle humans into giving them more food   on the streets of Moscow.

Scientists believe the  phenomenon began after the Soviet Union collapsed in the 1990s, and Russia’s new capitalists moved industrial complexes from the city centre to the suburbs.  Dr. Andrei Poiarkov, of the Moscow Ecology and Evolution Institute, said: “These complexes were used by homeless dogs as shelters, so the dogs had to move together with their houses”.

Because the best scavenging for food is in the city centre, the dogs had to learn how to travel on the subway to get to the centre in the morning, and then back home in the evening, just like people.

moscow dog 2

Here is an experienced dog enjoying a nap on the underground.  Dr. Poiarkov told how the dogs like to play during their daily commute.  He said: “They jump on the train seconds before the doors shut, risking their tails getting jammed”.  They do it for fun. Sometimes they fall asleep and get off at the wrong stop.

This dog is tired …  A mutt naps on tube seat in Moscow.

moscow dog 4

The dogs have learned to use traffic lights to cross the road safely, said  Dr. Poiarkov.  They use cunning tactics to obtain tasty morsels of shawarma, a kebab-like snack popular in Moscow.  They sneak up behind people eating shawarmas then bark loudly to shock them into dropping their food.

With children, the dogs play cute by putting their heads on youngsters’  knees and staring pleadingly into their eyes to win sympathy and scraps.  Dr. Poiarkov added: “Dogs are surprisingly good psychologists”.

The Moscow mutts are not the first animals to use public transport.  In 2006 a Jack Russell in Dunnington, North Yorks , began taking the bus to his local pub in search of sausages.  Two years ago, passengers in Wolverhampton were stunned when a cat called Macavity started catching the 331 bus to a fish and chip shop.

Stephen Dickstein

Stephen Dickstein

This is an article that Stephen Dickstein did on me and my show for the Examiner. Thanks Steve!

Combine a passion for animals with a keen business sense and you have the beginnings of a show called “Animal Connection”. While still actively engaged in the business world, Donna Paige has decided to also pursue a life around animals and has spent the last two and a half to three years putting the pieces together for Animal Connection.

Donna brings experience from social work, hospital marketing, financial planning, real estate and business development to this new venture that she wants to be both productive and make an impact for animal awareness. The “show” will be designed to bring information on animals to the public in a “non-judgmental” way. Says Donna, “I want to empower people to help in a way that feels right to them and fits into their lives.”

Donna’s original intention was to develop the show as a thirty minute television production, but found that to be cost prohibitive. Instead, a friend suggested utilizing the internet where it could be distributed around the world. The first series will consist of six four to five minute shows on different topics about animals; that may include issues on abuse, exotic animals as pets, pollution, climate change, loss of animal habitat, volunteering or others.

Donna Paige and her Ferrets

Donna Paige and her Ferrets

The show is scheduled to go online as soon as the final two sponsors are found to finish this series. The cost for a sponsorship package is six thousand dollars (one thousand dollars per show) and each sponsor has their logo and link placed on each show. They will also be able to have one show dedicated to a topic that is important to them. For example, a dog food company might be interested in doing a show on the proper diet for dogs.

At the end of each show Donna plans to recognize the sponsor by name and tie in their business need if they have a product that meets the requirements discussed about the show’s specific topic. Among the ideas Donna suggests for prospective sponsors of her show to bring more viewers to their site is to give away a gift certificate for products. Viewers would be instructed to register on the sponsor’s website.

According to Donna, if an ad is seen on the internet there is a three thousand percent increase in sales than ads on television and in print. That is a powerful incentive for potential sponsors and she wants to acquire those that will establish a long term relationship with the show. More importantly, they need to be doing good things for animals regardless of the product they sell and not be in the business just to make money.

The show will be a “fun and entertaining journey” that brings awareness to the inextricable link of all living things that inhabit the earth together. These “connections” would appear to embody an understanding of the “Circle of Life” so vividly spoken in Disney’s “The Lion King”.

For Donna, her “. . . show will reveal these shifting links between humans and animals; we will see through the eyes of the species whose lives are interwoven, either by design or circumstance.” It’s all about the never ending connection of life.

Donna defines animal rights as “doing the right thing for animals. My thought pattern is humans are animals. Treat animals with dignity. Animals and children have no voice and rely on adult humans to protect them.”

She has found her life to be energized by the people who care so much about animals. Their actions have helped to keep her quest for this show alive. “It’s just amazing what animal people will do, keeps me going. I am learning a lot of things through this experience,” says Donna.

The Animal Connection website or blog also hosts discussions on various animal topics. A recent discussion, for instance, titled “Animals and Science, Do They Mix?” emanates from a veterinarian in India who wanted to get feedback from around the world on the very controversial topic of using animals for the benefit of science. Donna says she now has over five thousand “animal people” in her database worldwide.

To become a sponsor of the show or to find more information, check the Animal Connection website (www.animalconnectionshow.com) or contact Donna Paige at paige@animalconnectionshow.com.

What are your thoughts about the Supreme Court ruling? There are two sides to this story.  I wanted to share some comments on both sides and their links.  I know your feedback and thoughts would very much be appreciated.  There is a never ending battle about what is “right” , our constitutional rights and what they really mean, views on animals and how they should be treated, etc.

The Supreme Court on Tuesday forcefully struck down a federal law aimed at banning depictions of dog fighting and other violence against animals, saying it violated constitutional guarantees of free speech and created a “criminal prohibition of alarming breadth.”

The 8 to 1 ruling, written by Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., was a ringing endorsement of the First Amendment’s protection of even distasteful expression. Roberts called “startling and dangerous” the government’s argument that the value of certain categories of speech should be weighed against their societal costs when protecting free speech.

The law was enacted in 1999 to forbid sales of so-called crush videos. They appeal to a certain sexual fetish by depicting the torture of animals — cats, dogs, monkeys, mice and hamsters, according to Congress — or showing them being crushed to death by women wearing stiletto heels or with their bare feet. While dog-fighting and other forms of animal cruelty are already illegal, Congress said the legislation was necessary to stop the production of videos for commercial gain.

Wayne Pacelle with the Humane Society of the United States states, “The U.S. Supreme Court dealt animals a serious blow in its ruling today, upholding an appellate court decision that invalidated the federal law banning the commercial sale of videos showing illegal and extreme acts of animal cruelty. The Court got hung up in a stream of hypothetical scenarios, imagining that the law as worded might sweep up the sellers of hunting, bullfighting, and other videos that the federal lawmakers never intended to address.

With Chief Justice John Roberts writing for the eight justices in the majority, the Court ruled that the statute was substantially overbroad, saying that the criminal prohibitions in the statutes were of “alarming breadth.” The justices did conclude by saying we “do not decide whether a statute limited to crush videos or other depictions of extreme animal cruelty would be constitutional. We only hold that §48 is not so limited but is instead substantially overbroad, and therefore invalid under the First Amendment.”  The Supreme Court also reinforced the important and compelling government interest in protecting animals from cruelty and abuse, noting that “the prohibition of animal cruelty itself has a long history in American law, starting with the early settlement of the Colonies.”

We look forward to your comments and suggestions on this issue.

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