A dozen horses were found emaciated and suffering from starvation and dehydration on a veterinarian’s property, according to reports. Numerous dead horses and other animals were also recovered, say police. Demand that this veterinarian face the maximum punishment and is barred from ever possessing or working with animals again if found guilty.
Defenders of Wildlife
DEFENDERS OF WILDLIFE’S 7TH ANNUAL PHOTO CONTEST
You could win prizes worth up to $1,000 and see your photo in Defenders’ publications, websites and calendars.
One of Defenders of Wildlife’s main focuses is the protection and restoration of North America’s imperiled wildlife and wild North American landscapes. That is also the focus of our annual photo contest. To be eligible for judging in the 2016 contest, photographs submitted in the wildlife category must feature either imperiled North American wildlife (species that are state or federally listed as endangered, threatened or as candidates for listing) or wild North American landscapes. We are especially interested in images of the 25 key species and 15 focal landscapes that we have identified as priorities for our work.
Share your best photos of imperiled wild animals (images of captive wildlife are not acceptable) and wild landscapes with us, and you could win a $1,000 grand-prize gift certificate to B&H Photo Video or other prizes. Even if you don’t win, there is a chance you will see your photos on Defenders web pages, in our quarterly magazine, and in our calendar, annual report and other publications.
You can submit up to six images total in the categories of imperiled wildlife and wild lands. The deadline is Monday, February 8, 2016. Winners will be announced in mid-March 2016, and winning photos will be published in the summer 2016 issue of Defenders.
Table of Contents
Official Contest Rules
How to Enter
Eligibility and Judging
Frequently Asked Questions
Defenders of Wildlife is pleased to announce its seventh annual photography contest and invites all photographers to enter. The grand prize winner will receive a $1,000 gift certificate to B&H Photo Video, the largest independent photo and video equipment retailer in the United States, courtesy of Defenders of Wildlife.
Please read the following rules, terms and conditions before submitting any photos.
The Defenders of Wildlife photography contest (the “contest”) is open to everyone at least 18 years of age, except employees and board members of Defenders of Wildlife and their immediate families.
YOUR RIGHTS: You will retain the copyright and all other rights to photographs you submit except for those rights specifically listed below:
You are granting Defenders of Wildlife a non-exclusive, irrevocable, royalty-free license to publish the photographs you enter in Defenders’ editorial, educational, and promotional print and digital materials, in our promotional and educational posts to social media, and for all other lawful uses in furtherance of Defender’s mission. All published photographs will be credited with a copyright notice in the following form: “© Photographer’s Name.”
Your photo may be cropped, silhouetted, faded or overprinted with other graphic elements. You also grant Defenders of Wildlife the right to use your name in connection with the photograph as well as in promotions and other publications associated with the contest. At Defenders of Wildlife, we have the utmost respect for photography. If you are concerned about how your photograph will be reproduced, please contact us.
WHAT TO ENTER: The contest has two categories: wild lands and imperiled wildlife. We are looking for outstanding photographs of wild habitat and imperiled species that highlight the beauty and wonder of life in North America.
To be eligible for judging in the contest, photos must be of wild North American landscapes and wildlife that is state or federally listed as endangered, threatened or a candidate for listing. We are particularly interested in images of our 25 key species and 15 focal landscapes.
Images entered in the wildlife category must be of wild animals in the wild. Photos of captive animals taken at zoos or commercial game farms are not acceptable.
Photographs should accurately reflect the reality of the subject matter and the scene as it naturally appeared. Slight digital adjustments of color, contrast and exposure are allowed, as is cropping. However, photos that have been heavily digitally altered and/or digital composites, as determined by the judges, will be disqualified.
If people appear in any of your photographs, you must be able to provide model releases to Defenders of Wildlife.
How to Enter
All entries must be submitted electronically as JPEG files using our web-based entry form. Entries can be submitted starting on Monday, January 18, 2016. Deadline for submitting entries is 11:59 p.m. PST on Monday, February 8, 2016.
You may enter as many as six photographs to our contest using the entry form. The six photos may be any combination of imperiled wildlife and wild lands in North America. The photographs must be uploaded one at a time.
All entries must be high-resolution JPEG (.jpg or .jpeg) files. We suggest using a camera that can take photos between six megapixels and 18 megapixels to achieve maximum resolution.
You must fill out all of the boxes for your entry to be accepted. You need to enter your personal information only once, but you must provide a title and description for each photo you enter. Personal information will be kept private and viewable only by Defenders of Wildlife photo contest staff except as noted in the YOUR RIGHTS section above.
In the description field please identify the subject or species of your photograph, the location it was taken and any additional information that you think will be helpful in understanding the photograph. (Remember, any animal featured must be wild, not captive).
NOTE: Please refer to the “YOUR RIGHTS” section above to review the rights you are granting Defenders of Wildlife by entering our contest.
Eligibility and Judging
Entries may originate from film or digital files but must be submitted electronically as JPEGs.
Photographs will be judged anonymously on the following criteria: artistic value, content, composition, originality and technical expertise. A team of photography experts will judge the contest. This is a skill-based contest, and chance plays no part in the determination of the winners.
The team will select 10 finalists, divided into the two categories: imperiled wildlife and wild lands of North America. The prize winners will come from this group. The finalists will then be posted online for voting by visitors to our website. The voting by our visitors will determine the grand prize winner as well as the first, second and third prize winners for each category.
Entries can be submitted starting on January 18, 2016. Deadline for submitting entries is 11:59 p.m. PST on February 8, 2016. Winning photographs will be announced via an email from Defenders of Wildlife in March and featured on the Defenders of Wildlife website. Winning photographs will be featured in the summer issue of Defenders, our quarterly publication, which will arrive in homes mid-July 2016. Winning entrants may be contacted for an interview about their photo. Defenders of Wildlife reserves the right to adjust deadlines as needed due to circumstances beyond our control.
The grand prize winner, as determined by the visitors of our web site, will receive a $1,000 gift certificate to B&H Photo Video. The other prize winners will also receive gift certificates to B&H Photo Video: The first-prize winner in each category will receive a $750 gift certificate, the second prize winner in each category will receive a $250 gift certificate, and the third prize winner in each category will receive a $75 gift certificate.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the size requirements for my photos?
To be eligible for the contest, photos submitted must be high-resolution JPEG (.jpg or .jpeg) files. If a photo does not meet this requirement, it will not be entered into the contest. We suggest using a camera that can take photos between six megapixels and 18 megapixels to achieve maximum resolution. Ideal width is 5,175 pixels.
Can I enter the contest if I was a finalist in last year’s contest?
Yes. We welcome your new entries to the contest.
Is the contest open to international participants?
Yes. Anyone who meets our eligibility requirements can enter. But remember that the pictures must be of imperiled wildlife and wild lands in North America.
Can I submit photos taken within national parks or wildlife refuges?
Yes. These wild lands are preserved to be just that: wild.
Do the wild lands and wildlife have to be within North America?
Yes. To be considered for the prizes, all wildlife and wild lands must be within North America.
What type of animals can be photographed?
Photos eligible for judging in the contest must be of North American species that are state or federally listed as endangered, threatened or candidate species. We are particularly interested in images of the 25 key species and 15 focal landscapes central to our work.
How do I know if the animal I have photographed is a state or federally listed species?
You can reference the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service website for federally listed endangered, threatened and candidate species at http://www.fws.gov/endangered.
For species listed on the state level, visit the state fish and game department’s website. You can search for “[State] endangered species list”
My child is not 18, can she/he still enter?
No. Our contest is open to persons 18 years of age and older.
Can I mail photo prints to the Defenders headquarters for judging?
No. Defenders will only accept digital submissions via our online submission form.
Questions and inquiries about contest rules can be e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Helping share Absolute Data from Toronto
Young Gorillas Spotted Dismantling Poachers’ Traps For The First Time
Not long after a poacher’s trap killed a young mountain gorilla in Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park, researchers actually witnessed a couple of four year old gorillas working together to take apart other traps in the area. Large gorillas are able to use their strength to do this, but the younger ones aren’t.
“This is absolutely the first time that we’ve seen juveniles doing that . . . I don’t know of any other reports in the world of juveniles destroying snares. We are the largest database and observer of wild gorillas . . . so I would be very surprised if somebody else has seen that.” – Veronica Vecellio from the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund’s Karisoke Research Centre in Rwanda
It’s sad to think that thousands of snares are set up in these areas, leaving many animals to be caught and left to die.
As Science Alert Points Out:
While adult gorillas are large and strong enough to extract themselves, young gorillas often are not, and if they don’t die from being stuck in the trap, they run a very real risk of dying from injuries sustained during their escape, such as dislocated bones and gangrenous cuts.
Here is the brief version of how the events unfolded from National Geographic:
On Tuesday tracker John Ndayambaje spotted a trap very close to the Kuryama gorilla clan. He moved in to deactivate the snare, but a silverback named Vubu grunted, cautioning Ndayambaje to stay away, Vecellio said.
Suddenly two juveniles—Rwema, a male; and Dukore, a female; both about four years old—ran toward the trap.
As Ndayambaje and a few tourists watched, Rwema jumped on the bent tree branch and broke it, while Dukore freed the noose.
The pair then spied another snare nearby—one the tracker himself had missed—and raced for it. Joined by a third gorilla, a teenager named Tetero, Rwema and Dukore destroyed that trap as well.
Humans have strayed far from the teachings of our ancestors. We once knew the importance of preserving and respecting all living things on this planet. Now, with the rise of today’s consumerist culture, we focus instead on acquiring material possessions, only to discard them and acquire even more, newer versions of these possessions. Worse still, much of what we purchase today has its roots in child labor and animal cruelty/suffering, and all of this is done for the sake of economic growth and globalization.
As a result, as studies have recently shown, the Earth has entered into a mass extinction phase. Vertebrates are disappearing at a rate 114 times faster than normal. These include mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and fish, and there are several reasons for this decline. For example, an acre of land is cleared every second to graze animals and grow their food crops, resulting in the loss of over one hundred plant, animal, and insect species. Climate change, pollution, and deforestation seem to be the main culprits.
At the rate we are going, it seems unlikely that humans will be able to survive on this planet as close as one hundred years from now.
This entire experience, however, has served us in a way like no other. More and more people are starting to become aware of what is really happening on this planet and are starting to feel the urge to change. This is a good sign, and something that’s desperately needed at this time. I personally feel that our planet is actually shifting itself in the right direction, but it seems likely that it will be a challenging, if worthwhile, process for us all.
I joined the CE team in 2010 shortly after finishing university and have been grateful for the fact that I have been able to do this ever since :) There are many things happening on the planet that don’t resonate with me, and I wanted to do what I could to play a role in creating change. It’s been great making changes in my own life and creating awareness and I look forward to more projects that move beyond awareness and into action and implementation. So stay tuned :) email@example.com
Mayor Joe Matthews, City of Marietta OH: Help keep retired K9 Ajax where he…
by Greg Taylor · 27,513 supporters
K9 Ajax officially retired along with Officer Matt Hickey
Feb 5, 2016 — The City of Marietta has decided that under interpretation of Ohio Revised Code 9.6 that if a K9 Unit (dog/horse and their Officer/handler) is disbanded then the Officer has the right to purchase their partner for $1. So K9 Ajax is officially retired alongside Officer Hickey!! I am going to go ahead and claim VICTORY on this petition at this point so that I can download the signature and comments and be able to send to the Ohio Representatives who are drafting new legislation to have both ORC 9.2 and 721.15. Thank-you all who have supported this effort, our voices have been heard!!!
It looks like we were victorious!!!
Victory! Retired K9 Ajax and Retired Officer Matt Hickey are together!
This petition made change with 27,513 supporters!
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Time for local action: wildlife-killing contest in Marshall MN!
The Petition to “Prohibit Wildlife Killing Contests in Minnesota” has attracted nationwide attention. Interest and signatures have come in from Minnesota residents, natives, relatives, friends, and visitors residing in every State of the U.S.A. (and in other countries around the world). The regional subtotals of Petition signatures show an average response of about 14% per region in the US. Response was higher in the southwest, and lower in the central and northwestern States.
And now it’s time for local action!
Marshall, MN area residents! Southwestern Minnesota residents, visitors, and friends! Let your views be known!
In your own words, or quoting this Petition or other information, please speak up to the following people and organizations (at whatever level you’re comfortable with):
== City of Marshall, MN ==
Mayor Robert J. Byrnes, 507-337-2809, firstname.lastname@example.org
Ward 2 City Council Member David Sturrock, email@example.com
Ward 2 City Council Member Larry Doom, 507-537-1523, firstname.lastname@example.org
== Marshall Independent (local press) ==
“Story Idea” to request coverage of the issue: http://184.108.40.206/vnr/add_submission.asp?categoryID=993&publicationID=23
“Letter to the Editor” to speak up directly: http://220.127.116.11/vnr/add_submission.asp?categoryID=971&publicationID=23
== Affiliated Organizations (probably not officially in favor of any such contest) ==
National Wild Turkey Federation: http://www.nwtf.org/contact (and while you’re on this page, look in the upper-right of the page for the “search” box, and try a search for the word “predator” for further information).
Pheasants Forever: https://www.pheasantsforever.org/Contact-Us.aspx (and while you’re on this page, look in the upper-right of the page for the “search” box, and try a search for the word “predator” for further information).
Marshall MN Convention & Visitors Bureau, Marshall Area Chamber of Commerce: http://marshall-mn.org/main/index.php/about-us/contact-us.html, 507-532-4484.
== Contest Organizer (promoting this contest) ==
Ty Brouwer, 507-430-6473, email@example.com
== Petition Organizer (opposing all such contests) ==
Scott Slocum, firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you’d like to organize with others in your area, please drop me a line, and I’ll help connect you. Also, if I’ve made any errors or omissions in this Petition Update, please let me know, and I’ll correct them.
== Community Organizers (opposing all such contests) ==
If you’re a member of an animal-protection group like the Minnesota Humane Society or the Humane Society of the United States, please contact your group representative to coordinate action with them. Their involvement depends on yours!
== More information ==
Here’s some more local perspective on contests like these–and their potential, local solutions.
On February 20, 2016, participants in the “Save the Birds” Coyote Hunting Tournament will be bringing in their freshly-killed coyote carcasses to a parking lot in the City of Marshall, MN. There, the carcasses will be weighed–guts and all; fresh, not frozen; jaws blocked open. This is a competition for the most coyotes killed, heaviest killed, and smallest killed. If last year’s photographer is available again this year, contestants will have the opportunity to drop the carcasses onto the bloody sidewalk before them, and pose for “heroic hunter” photos.
The carcasses will be oozing bodily fluids, jumping with fleas, parasitized and infected. Some of their wounds will be gaping, inflicted by multiple, long range shots from high-powered, semi-automatic rifles. Some from close-range shotgun blasts. The animals will have been dropped in distant fields and wetlands. Since time is of the essence, they will have been shot at the first opportunity, by contestants eager for prizes. These contestants won’t necessarily have spent time calling the animals in closer for safer and more species-specific, accurate, and humane shots. The carcasses that are brought in will not include domestic dogs, game that might be taken out of season, or other wildlife that might be taken by way of other violations of hunting regulations or laws (most such animals, when and if they’re shot, are suspected to be left where they fall, or to be dumped in inconspicuous locations, so as not to arouse public anger or invite prosecution).
The numbers of predators taken will not be a significant percentage of the predator population, nor a significant percentage of the potential “problem animals” around livestock-production areas, nor of those that will take the wild turkeys as part of their natural hunting behaviors. The contest will not provide any form of support for non-lethal livestock best management practices or methods of sustainable coexistence with wild-living predator populations.
Although this contest will raise funds for wild turkey habitat restoration and maintenance (the actual goal of the National Wild Turkey Federation and its chapters including the sponsor of this contest); most of the financial activity surrounding the contest will center on door prizes, raffles, and tournament prizes; on the gear that’s on display; and on the “pro-staff” sales reps who are on hand to sell it: firearms, ammunition, optics, calls, clothing and other gear.
So, for residents of a city in which a contest like this is scheduled, the question is this: “what can we ask our neighbors and local officials to do?” Even if we don’t like them, these contests do seem to be legal, according to current City Ordinances and State gambling, game & fish Rules and Statutes.
And in answer, there’s the key word: these contests seem to be legal according to current Ordinances. Residents can request new Ordinances. For example, an Ordinance requiring prompt disposal of carcasses, or prohibiting their public display. A ban on the promotion or operation of killing contests in the City. Or the enforcement of an Ordinance against public obscenity.
Local residents can express their opposition to the local officials, sponsoring organizations, affiliated organizations, news media, and opposing individuals and organizations listed above. For example, the parent organizations–National Wild Turkey Federation and Pheasants Forever–did not come up with this idea for a wildlife-killing contest; their scientists, staff, and members promote a focus on habitat restoration and maintenance, and a stable coexistence with predators and the natural environment. They should be embarrassed to be associated with this contest.
Any or all of the above issues can be addressed privately or publicly; individually, or as part of a group, depending on what’s comfortable for each person. One secure, private option is to contact this Petition’s organizer, Scott Slocum, at his blog’s email address email@example.com
If you’re not in the Marshall, MN area, your local activism (in your own area) is still needed! Please feel free to adapt any of the materials above to your local situation. Thank you!
Dog Vanishes During Potty Break: 3 Days Later He’s Found Buried Alive
By: Laura S.February 4, 2016
Lisa Valkenburgh thought nothing of it when she opened her back door to let her 12-year-old German Shepherd Maverick out for a bathroom break last week. It was an ordinary event, something she’d done thousands of times before, but this day would be different. This is the day that Maverick would simply vanish.
At first Lisa was calm when she didn’t immediately spot Maverick in her Platte County, Mo., backyard, but minutes quickly turned to hours. Lisa called for him and began searching as a bubble of fear swelled inside her chest. And as the midnight hours brought a stillness across the neighborhood, Lisa just knew that something horrible had happened to her beloved dog. Lisa’s family canvassed the neighborhood for days, enlisting other residents to keep a look out for any sign of Maverick. No one had seen him. No one had heard him… until there came that faint howl rising up from beneath the earth.
Lisa and her family searched for Maverick for days.
“I didn’t give up,” Lisa said. “I had to go look one more time. I heard a faint howl five foot down and underground. There was my little old man.”
It took three firefighters from the Southern Platte Fire Protection District about 90 minutes to carefully extract Maverick from a roadside sinkhole where he’d been buried alive. They had to work carefully to avoid allowing more earth to slide onto his body and potentially suffocate him during the rescue.
‘They took shovels and they were actually able to get three firefighters to come from different angles and to shovel it out and keep the mud from compacting and compressing on him, to keep him from actually suffocating,’ Valkenburgh’s son Roman Alexander told Fox4kc.
The first couple of days were touch-and-go for Maverick who was severely dehydrated and unable to go to the bathroom on his own. There was significant concern that he had ingested a large amount of clay and that it might create an intestinal obstructions.
“Please keep him in your thoughts and prayers and thank you everyone for your kind words helps more than you know,” Lisa said on Facebook days ago.
But each day has brought progress for Maverick.
“Not out of the woods yet, but he’s drinking alot and he urinated on his own and pooped!” Lisa said two days ago, relieved that the fear of obstruction had passed. “Never been so excited for him to poop!”
The latest update reveals that Maverick is stable and on his way back home.
“Great news Mavey had a great morning!” Lisa reports. “He got up walked on his own and had a big breakfast! Blood work came back all normal! So momma is picking up her boy this evening he is coming home. Thank you everyone!”
A judge reportedly exchanged an animal cruelty charge for a $1 littering fine when 632 animals were found living with a man in a storefront. Some animals reportedly had no access to food and water. Their lives should be worth more than a $1 fine; sign this petition to stop animal abusers from getting away with these sick crimes.
The good news is that Ringling Bros. is going to retire its elephants. The bad news is that they’re being sent to Ringling’s own center where they could be abused with bullhooks and electric prods. Demand Ringling Bros. send its elephants to an accredited sanctuary to live the life they deserve.
A gas company is being forced to seal a massive leak that has released greenhouse gases and carcinogens into the environment for months. Demand that the entire facility be shut down to avoid future environmental disasters.
Source: Shut Down Leaking Gas Facility
BREAKING: Ben & Jerry’s Announces Four New Vegan Ice Cream Flavors!
February 3, 2016
In the Summer of 2015, Ben & Jerry’s announced that in 2016, they would launch a new line of dairy-free ice creams. While the initial announcement was that they would begin their line of almond milk ice cream by releasing one beloved flavor, the popular ice cream company has surprised their fans with news that they’re releasing not one, but FOUR flavors!
The drool-worthy flavors are none other than Chunky Monkey, Chocolate Fudge Brownie, Coffee Caramel Fudge, and P.B. & Cookies. It’s going to be tough trying to decide which one to try first!
While many were shocked at Ben & Jerry’s choice to release a dairy-free line, the fact is consumer demand for milk alternatives is on the rise. People are becoming more concerned about their own health and are also coming to realize the impact that their food choices have on the planet and animals. As a result, they are actively looking for alternatives that can not only replace the traditional animal products they grew up with– but also surpass them in taste and quality as well. With the entire market for dairy-free milks projected to reach $1.7 billion by this year, it seems like a total no-brainer that Ben & Jerry’s would come out with an awesome product to meet this rising opportunity.
“Americans, on average, drink 37 percent less milk today than they did in 1970, according to data from the USDA. That’s an astounding fact. What are they consuming instead? Plant-based alternatives like almond, soy, and coconut milk!” said Nil Zacharias, Co-Founder of One Green Planet. “If you stop to think about how consumer trends in the food space have been experiencing a monumental shift in recent years, it is pretty clear why Ben & Jerry’s would make this move.”
A woman accused of leaving her two elderly dogs outside in a New York blizzard finally turned one over to the Guardians of Rescue. Help us thank the rescue organization for providing special care to Prince who is old and extremely ill.
Giraffes are on the brink of extinction in the Congo with only 38 animals left in the nation. If even a few more are killed, the population may not be able to recover. Sign our petition to ask that President Obama sends help to conservationists to save these animals.
Source: Save Nation’s Last 38 Giraffes
A woman was found guilty of animal cruelty charges related to 80 animals hoarded on her farm that resulted in the death of at least four creatures. Help to encourage the prosecutor to pursue an appropriate sentence for her crimes.
Two elephants have died at the Oklahoma City Zoo in the past four months. One died alone and the other at the untimely age of four. Demand that this zoo close its elephant exhibit and transfer its remaining elephants to healthier and safer sanctuaries.
A new zoo located inside a mall confines numerous animals in small, barren, dark rooms with little to no enrichment. If nothing is done, these animals will never see sunlight again. Sign this petition and demand the animals be moved to an accredited sanctuary.
A man convicted of animal cruelty was released from jail early due to overcrowding. The sheriff said they chose to release non-violent offenders early. Demand they stop downplaying the importance of innocent animals’ lives and stop releasing these dangerous people early.
A police department is denying a police dog the change to stay with a loyal officer of 30 years who is retiring and compromised with the department to have his canine companion retire with him. Sign this petition and demand that the dog be kept with his rightful owner.
Source: Keep Police Dog With His Family
Yahoo is selling ivory from slaughtered elephants and rhinoceroses, fueling a market that’s responsible for the extinction of the western black rhino. If this isn’t stopped, elephants could soon be extinct as well. Demand that Yahoo end all ivory sales through its services.