Funds needed for this poor little puppy

Horseshoe crab BLOOD in high demand for vaccine and drug testing – and they could go extinct


Conservations warn horseshoe crabs could go to extinct because their blood is being used in Covid vaccines and for drug testing: Up to 30% of the crustaceans have already been killed off in the US

By Stacy Liberatore For Dailymail.com 12:44 EST 17 Dec 2021 , updated 16:42 EST 17 Dec 2021 +7

  • Horseshoe crabs have bright blue blood that is a natural source of Limulus polyphemus
  • This is used to test vaccines, including those for COVID, and drugs for dangerous bacterial toxins before the products hit the market
  • The horseshoe crabs are drained for up to eight minutes and returned to the ocean
  • However, data shows up to 30% of the marine creatures die shortly after 

Horseshoe crabs have been around for 450 million years, surviving mass extinctions and several ice ages, but conservationists say the creatures could soon go extinct because their bright blue blood is vital to pharmaceutical companies.

The blue blood has immune cells, known as Limulus polyphemus (LAL), which are sensitive to toxic bacteria and can be used to test vaccines and drugs for dangerous bacterial toxins before products hit the market. null

The coveted blood has been used for nearly 20 years and has been vital tool in testing the coronavirus vaccines currently on the market.

Scientists drain the horseshoe crabs of their blood and return them to the ocean, after which most of the creatures die – one South Carolina lab says crabs are drained for up to eight minutes. 

‘As it is now, the entire supply chain for endotoxin testing of drugs rests upon the harvest of a vulnerable or near extinct sea creature,’ Kevin Williams, a scientist who manufactures synthetic LAL told The Washington Post.   

Convationists fear the Atlantic horseshoe crabs could go the way of the Asian horseshoe crab that is extinct in Taiwan and disappearing in Hong Kong, as a result of mainly biomedical testing.

While the US horseshoe crab is not currently endangered – they are near threatened – data shows up to 30 percent of the crabs harvested for their blood die when returned to the ocean.

Ryan Phelan, co-founder and Executive Director of Revive and Restore, a wildlife conservation group based in California that lobbied for the synthetic, told Yahoo News: ‘You’ve got a very large, biomedical bleeding industry with a vested interest in keeping those horseshoes crabs coming in and basically protecting this monopoly.’

‘In the US, 525,000 horseshoe crabs per year were captured during 2013 to 2017 and the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission estimates short-term bleeding-induced mortality to be 15 percent (4 percent to 30 percent), resulting in mortality of approximately 78,750 horseshoe crabs annually in recent years comprising a minor portion,’ according to a study published in Frontiers.

The Atlantic Marine Fisheries Commission also estimates that in 2019 US labs extracted blood from 640,000 horseshoe crabs. 

The Atlantic Marine Fisheries Commission also estimates that in 2019 US labs extracted blood from 640,000 horseshoe crabs

The Atlantic Marine Fisheries Commission also estimates that in 2019 US labs extracted blood from 640,000 horseshoe crabs
The coveted blood has been used for nearly 20 years and is being used to test the coronavirus vaccines that are currently on the market. Above is someone pointing at the part where the blood is drawn for use
The coveted blood has been used for nearly 20 years and is being used to test the coronavirus vaccines that are currently on the market. Above is someone pointing at the part where the blood is drawn for use

According to The Verge, horseshoe crab blood has become a $500 billion industry – it can bring as much as $15,000 per quart – and a South Carolina lab that still clings to the old practice is worth $13 billion because of it, The State reports.

Representatives from Charles River previously said that more than 80 million LAL tests are performed each year .

Dr James Cooper, who founded the Charleston facility in 1987, wrote in a company publication last year: ‘The horseshoe crab blood donation is similar to human blood donation.

‘The crabs are bled for a few minutes and returned to sea unharmed.’ 

A Charles River representative told The State: ‘Eight minutes is unofficially recognized as the maximum bleeding time across the industry.’

Scientists drain the horseshoe crabs of their blood and return them to the ocean, after which most of the creatures die - one South Carolina lab says crabs can be drained for up to eight minutes
Scientists drain the horseshoe crabs of their blood and return them to the ocean, after which most of the creatures die – one South Carolina lab says crabs can be drained for up to eight minutes
While the horseshoe crab is not currently endangered, data shows up to 30 percent of the crabs harvested for their blood in the US die when returned to the ocean
While the horseshoe crab is not currently endangered, data shows up to 30 percent of the crabs harvested for their blood in the US die when returned to the ocean

Research conducted at the College of Charleston shows that half of the horseshoe crab’s blood can be drained within those eight minutes and this much harvested can the creatures to move slower when returned to the ocean.

Never mind the stress of being captured, hours spent out of the water and mishandling in the lab – all of which experts say contribute to their deaths. null

A 2011 study conducted by the Department of Natural Resources (DNR), conservation officers responsible for enforcing the environmental and conservation laws and policies, found 20 percent of the crabs died, according to records obtained by The State.  

READ MORE

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-10321773/Horseshoe-crab-BLOOD-high-demand-vaccine-drug-testing-extinct.html

Newzit

WATCH: Florida Man Banned From Airline For Wearing Women’s Underwear as Covid Mask

thedcpatriot.com

A Florida man has finally put into use what many men have been discussing in lorckerrooms for quite sometime. Yes ladies, President Trump is 100 percent right, we’ve discussed this a lot, because it makes more sense.

The Florida man was booted off a United Airlines flight for wearing women’s underwear as his Covid-19 comfort blanket, also known as a worthless and useless face mask. But wait, there’s more.

He was also reportedly banned from the airline for failing to comply with the federal mask mandate. You know, since the masks are made from the same damn thing as women’s underwear that most people are wearing on their faces. That’s how ridiculous this scamdemic has truly become.

Adam Jenne was a passenger aboard a plane flying between Ft. Lauderdale and Washington, D.C. on Wednesday. However, the flight crew notified Jenne that his “face mask” which was actually red panties, was not compliant with the federal mask mandate that is currently in place until March of 2022.

Jenne argued that his underwear on his face was in compliance with the mask mandate and covered his mouth and nose.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

All passengers on public conveyances (e.g., airplanes, ships*, ferries, trains, subways, buses, taxis, ride-shares) traveling into, within, or out of the United States (including U.S. territories) as well as conveyance operators (e.g., crew, drivers, conductors, and other workers involved in the operation of conveyances), regardless of their vaccination status, are required to wear a mask over their nose and mouth. Unless otherwise required by the operator, or federal, State, tribal, territorial, or local government, people are not required to wear a mask when located in outdoor areas of a conveyance (if such outdoor areas exist on the conveyance).

“People must wear masks that completely cover the mouth and nose,” the CDC states. “Masks should fit snugly against the sides of the face.”

Jenne was removed from the flight and greeted by the oh so friendly Broward County Sheriff’s Office. He said he was at the gate in the Fort Lauderdale – Hollywood International Airport for “about 45 minutes.”

Jenne says that other passengers followed suit by peacefully protesting the mask mandate and taking off their face coverings. Video appears to show other passengers taking off their masks and heading to exit off the plane.

“I think it’s a testament to passengers having had enough, citizens having had enough,” Jenne told WBBH-TV. “This is just nonsense.”

United released a statement of the incident:

“The customer clearly wasn’t in compliance with the federal mask mandate and we appreciate that our team addressed the issue on the ground prior to takeoff, avoiding any potential disruptions [in] the air.”

Jenne told WFTX-TV that he received an email from United informing him that he is banned from using the airline until his case has been reviewed by the Passenger Incident Review Committee.

Jenne said he had worn the thong face mask on previous flights during the pandemic as well.

“Every single flight has been met with different reactions from the flight crew,” Jenne said. “Some with a wild appreciation, others confrontational.”

Jenne railed against the mask mandates, “It’s nonsense, it’s all nonsense. COVID doesn’t know that we’re cruising at altitude. It’s stupid, the whole thing is theater.” 

Jenne was refunded for his flight and was going to try a different airline on Thursday. 

“Hopefully, Spirit Airlines has a better sense of humor tomorrow,” he said.

Coincidentally, in the same week that Jenne was kicked off a flight for a protest against the mask mandates, CEOs of two major airlines also questioned the necessity of masks on flights.

American Airlines CEO Doug Parker and Southwest CEO Gary Kelly both said that they don’t believe masks significantly prevent the transmission of COVID-19 on flights because most planes have HEPA filters

You can watch the full video from Jenne below, it’s phenomenal!

WATCH:

Thanks to our friends at The Blaze for contributing to this article.

https://thedcpatriot.com/watch-florida-man-banned-from-airline-for-wearing-womens-underwear-as-covid-mask/

Petition: Save Rare Dolphins From Human-Caused Extinction – ForceChange

forcechange.com

Caleb Macduff

Target: Janet Coit, NMFS Administrator

Goal: Label the Atlantic humpback dolphin as an endangered species to ensure their survival.

You have likely never heard of the Atlantic humpback dolphin, and unfortunately, it’s for a horrible reason. This little-known dolphin is on the brink of extinction, with less than 3,000 left in the wild. The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) is considering listing them as protected under the Endangered Species Act, but for now, they are still in the midst of a status review, meaning they still don’t get any federal safeguards. We must apply pressure until these dolphins are officially protected.

It’s no secret among conservation groups that this species is struggling – the NMFS status review stems from a petition by the Animal Welfare Institute, the Center for Biological Diversity, and VIVA Vaquita asking for help for the Atlantic humpback dolphin. In fact, these marine mammals are listed as critically endangered internationally, just not protected under the U.S ESA.

We need your help to get them there. A big part of conservation is achieving a higher profile, and name recognition for species in peril. Without public knowledge, it’s wildly difficult to get the financial, legal, and political assistance that conservation efforts need. Because global awareness of the Atlantic humpback dolphin’s fate has been lacking while human activity has been threatening them, their numbers have gotten incredibly low.

One of the largest issues affecting these dolphins is a phenomenon called “bycatch”. Fisheries use massive nets to catch the fish species they can sell, but often other species get trapped and killed, too; including the Atlantic humpback dolphin. Dying as bycatch is horrible – since they are mammals, these dolphins drown when they become tangled in nets and cannot surface to breathe. The netting can also cut into their flesh, causing wounds and infection.

In addition to the threat of bycatch, other human activities threaten the Atlantic humpback dolphin, which lives exclusively in shallow, coastal waters, at risk of human interaction. Coastal development depletes their habitat and noise pollution inhibits their ability to communicate, travel, and can cause injury and death.

The good news is that because these threats are all human-related, regulations and policies will make a major difference in the fight for these dolphins’ survival. But that’s only if we can get the right protections for these vulnerable creatures.

Please, sign the petition telling the NMFS to protect Atlantic humpback dolphins before it’s too late.

PETITION LETTER

Dear Mrs. Coit,

The NMFS is currently reviewing the status of the Atlantic humpback dolphins under the Endangered Species Act based on petitions from the Animal Welfare Institute, the Center for Biological Diversity, and VIVA Vaquita. There are less than 3,000 of these animals left in the wild, due mainly to human influence.

This letter is to let you know that I support the petitions put forward by the aforementioned groups, and urge you to include these dolphins in the ESA. Because these creatures are being hurt by human influence, regulations and policy changes will make a major difference in their survival.

Please, follow through on these petitions and ensure the Atlantic humpback dolphins’ survival.

Photo Credit: Mandy

https://forcechange.com/597494/save-rare-dolphins-from-human-caused-extinction/

Onlookers “Tag Along” with Southbound Swallow-tailed Kites

abcbirds.org

Media Contact: Jordan Rutter, Director of Public Relations| jerutter@abcbirds.org | @JERutter

American Bird Conservancy (ABC) and partners are following the migratory journeys of three Swallow-tailed Kites to gather data that will help inform conservation measures across this bird’s range, to help assure a brighter future for the kites and their southeastern forest habitats. Photo by David Spates

(Washington, D.C., September 17, 2021) Swallow-tailed kite is one of North America’s most beautiful birds of prey, with distinctive black-and-white plumage, narrow wings spanning four feet, and a forked, elongated tail. Although the U.S. population of this migratory raptor is considered stable, it is much-reduced from numbers of the past. American Bird Conservancy (ABC) and partners are following the migratory journeys of three Swallow-tailed Kites to gather data that will help inform conservation measures across this bird’s range, to help assure a brighter future for the kites and their southeastern forest habitats.

ABC collaborated in June with International Paper and the Avian Research and Conservation Institute (ARCI) to successfully capture, tag, and release the three  kites near Georgetown, South Carolina. Other partners included Resource Management Service, Forest Investment Associates, and White Oak Forest Management.

Each bird was fitted with a GPS transmitter that will track its movements throughout the year. Swallow-tailed Kites are long-distance migratory birds, spending their spring and summer months in the southeastern U.S. and wintering in Central and South America.

“Since early spring, these kites were roosting, feeding, and nesting within the same working forest landscape where International Paper and other forest companies produce and procure the wood fiber that goes into many of the products we use every day,” says Emily Jo Williams, ABC’s Vice President for the Southeast Region.

“The data these birds provide will help us ensure that these sustainable working forest landscapes provide society with renewable forest products and critical habitat for Swallow-tailed Kites and a host of other wildlife species,” Williams says. ”We look forward to what the kites can tell us about their wintering grounds over the next few months, and to learn more when they return to the southeastern U.S. in spring 2022.”

A map of the tracked flight paths for three Swallow-tailed Kites that were successfully captured, tagged, and released through ABC’s collaboration with International Paper, Avian Research and Conservation Institute, Resource Management Service, Forest Investment Associates, and White Oak Forest Management.

Over the past two months, the team has been “watching” the three tagged birds, each carrying the name of its nesting location along with its GPS transmitter. As of September 2, all three kites departed breeding areas in South Carolina, traveled through Florida, and successfully crossed the Gulf of Mexico.

According to ARCI, the timing and tracks across the Gulf for these Swallow-tailed Kites are shaped by the prevailing winds of hurricanes and tropical storms that were active in the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico at the time. These birds apparently can sense related changes in the atmosphere and respond by using favorable tailwinds to cross the open water as fast as possible.

“Despite all the tropical storm activity in late August and early September,” says Williams, “we have witnessed ‘textbook’ migration pathways used by our tagged Swallow-tailed Kites that have carried them across the Yucatán Channel and western Caribbean.”

The bird known as Carver’s Bay left Florida on August 13, crossed the Gulf for an astounding 41 hours before landing in southern Belize, and last checked in from Honduras on September 5. Big Branch left Florida on August 17, stopped over in Mexico, and is currently also in Honduras. Peters Creek was the last to leave South Carolina on August 30, traveling over Naples and the southern tip of Florida, stopping for a night in western Cuba, and then crossing to the Yucatán Peninsula in Mexico, where he arrived on September 2 and remains for now. As the birds continue into South America, they will have to traverse the Andes Mountains to finish their journey to wintering areas in Brazil and Bolivia.

You can follow along and keep track of these Swallow-tailed Kites at ARCI’s blog or on their Facebook page.

Read more about ABC’s and partners’ work with Swallow-tailed Kites here.

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American Bird Conservancy is a nonprofit organization dedicated to conserving wild birds and their habitats throughout the Americas. With an emphasis on achieving results and working in partnership, we take on the greatest problems facing birds today, innovating and building on rapid advancements in science to halt extinctions, protect habitats, eliminate threats, and build capacity for bird conservation. Find us on abcbirds.org, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter (@ABCbirds).

https://abcbirds.org/article/onlookers-tag-along-with-southbound-swallow-tailed-kites/

New Search for Lost Birds Aims to Find Some of the Rarest Birds on Earth – American Bird Conservancy

Worldwide effort will support expeditions to find 10 birds that haven’t had a confirmed sighting in a decade or more

Media Contact: Jordan Rutter, Director of Public Relations| jerutter@abcbirds.org | @JERutter

Pictured above are the top ten most wanted lost bird species, as designated by the collaboration that aims to find them. The Top 10 most wanted lost bird species, listed by row from left to right. Top: Himalayan Quail, Negros Fruit-Dove, Itwombwe Nightjar, Santa Marta Sabrewing. Middle: Vilcabamba Brushfinch, Siau Scops-Owl. Bottom: Jerdon’s Courser, Cuban Kite, Dusky Tetraka, South Island Kōkako. Illustrations © Lynx Edicions

(Washington, D.C., December 17, 2021) A new global search effort is calling on researchers, conservationists, and the global birdwatching community to help find 10 rare bird species that have been lost to science. The Search for Lost Birds is a collaboration of Re:wild, American Bird Conservancy (ABC), and BirdLife International, with data support from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and its eBird platform used by birders around the world. It’s an extension of Re:wild’s Search for Lost Species program, which launched in 2017 and has since rediscovered eight of its top 25 most wanted lost plant and animal species. As its name suggests, however, the Search for Lost Birds focuses exclusively on rediscovering enigmas in ornithology.

“During the past five years, since we launched the Search for Lost Species, our list of species that could be considered lost has grown to more than 2,000,” said Barney Long, Director for Conservation Strategies for Re:wild. “We never planned to look for all of them alone, but to encourage others to search and develop partnerships to help. Through this new partnership we’ll be able to get more targeted expeditions in the field. If we can find these lost birds, conservationists can better protect them from the threats they face.”

The Search for Lost Birds is hoping to harness the collective power of the global birdwatching community to help search for species on the top 10 most wanted lost birds list. Cornell’s eBird platform provides an example of what the global birding community can accomplish: eBird currently has more than 700,000 registered users who have collectively submitted more than 1 billion sightings of birds from around the world. However, none of those observations have included any of the top 10 most wanted lost birds.

None of the top 10 most wanted birds have had a documented sighting in the wild in at least 10 years, but they are not classified as “extinct” on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. The reasons behind their disappearances range from habitat destruction to invasive species. In a few cases, species may have gone missing simply because scientists don’t know where or how to look for them, or don’t have access to their habitats, which may be remote or in places that currently have travel restrictions. Many of the lost birds are native to areas that are rich in biodiversity, but also urgently need conservation efforts to protect their biodiversity.

“By working with partners and collaborators from around the world, the Search for Lost Birds hopes to engage the knowledge and expertise of the global birdwatching community to solve these conservation challenges,” said John C. Mittermeier, Director of Threatened Species Outreach at ABC. “By directly reporting sightings and information through eBird, birdwatchers and citizen scientists from anywhere in the world can help us find and learn more about these lost species.”

The 10 birds span five continents and a variety of groups of species, from hummingbirds to raptors. Some have recently been lost to science, while others have been lost for more than a century. Two species, the Siau Scops-Owl and the Negros Fruit-Dove, have only ever been documented once, when they were originally described in the mid-1800s and in 1953, respectively.

The top 10 most wanted lost birds are:

  • Dusky Tetraka, last documented in 1999 in Madagascar
  • South Island Kōkako, last seen in 2007 in New Zealand
  • Jerdon’s Courser, last seen in 2009 in India
  • Itwombwe Nightjar (or Prigogine’s Nightjar), last seen in 1955 in Democratic Republic of Congo
  • Cuban Kite, last seen in 2010 in Cuba
  • Negros Fruit-Dove, last seen in 1953 in the Philippines
  • Santa Marta Sabrewing, last seen in 2010 in Colombia
  • Vilcabamba Brushfinch, last seen in 1968 in Peru
  • Himalayan Quail, last seen in 1877 in India
  • Siau Scops-Owl, last seen in 1866 in Indonesia

Two expeditions, led by local and national partners and funded under the Search for Lost Birds partnership, are preparing to head into the field during the next year. The expeditions will focus on the Siau Scops-Owl in Indonesia and the Dusky Tetraka in Madagascar. Expeditions for other species are expected to be underway in the coming year as well.

The Siau Scops-Owl was last seen 155 years ago, when it was first described by science, but there have been unconfirmed reported sightings and calls of a bird that potentially matches the description of the owl during the past 20 years. Much of the forest where it was originally discovered has been destroyed, but given how challenging it can be to detect small forest owls, conservationists believe that there is a chance that a small and as-yet-overlooked population may still survive.

The Dusky Tetraka was last definitely seen in Madagascar 22 years ago; before that, there had been very few confirmed sightings of the species in the humid understory of the forests of eastern Madagascar.

One species on the list, the South Island Kōkako, has already been the focus of an on-going search. The South Island Kōkako Charitable Trust has been leading a community-driven search for the bird for the past 11 years, following up on possible sightings and reports of people hearing what sounds like the bird’s haunting call. They launched a public search campaign in 2017 that has drawn nearly 300 reports of possible encounters with a South Island Kōkako, which, in addition to historic reports, they have rated and mapped.

“We are optimistic that the Search for Lost Birds will lead to exciting rediscoveries, but ultimately it’s about conservation,” said Roger Safford, Senior Program Manager for Preventing Extinctions at BirdLife International. “We know that with good conservation efforts, species can be rescued from the brink of extinction, but only if we know where the last populations are. We hope these expeditions will capture people’s imaginations and catalyze conservation.”

ABC supports field expeditions to search for these species and works with partners to conserve rediscovered birds. For example, ABC is supporting Brazilian partners’ efforts to recover the population of the Blue-eyed Ground-Dove, rediscovered in Brazil in 2015.

Other recent rediscoveries of bird species have fueled hope that expeditions for the top 10 most wanted lost birds will be successful. An expedition in Colombia in March 2021 seeking the Sinú Parakeet, one of Re:wild’s top 25 most wanted lost species, didn’t find the parakeet, but did document dozens of species that had never before been recorded in Cordóba Department. In Indonesia, the Black-browed Babbler, a bird that had only had one documented sighting, was rediscovered after 170 years in February 2021. The data that expeditions for the Search for Lost Birds collect will be shared with eBird.

The Search for Lost Birds may also help bring to light previously overlooked records of some of the birds on the top 10 most wanted list that have not been fully documented or confirmed. The Search for Lost Birds will work to follow up on records that may have remained in biologists’ field notebooks and memories, and attempt to collect photographic confirmation that the species still exist. If those sightings can be confirmed, it could help conservation efforts for those species.

The rediscoveries of other lost birds have also led to conservation efforts that helped them recover from threats to their survival. The Madagascar Pochard in Madagascar is another example of a lost species that was once lost, but is now increasing in population thanks to conservation efforts following its rediscovery.

ABC would like to thank the Constable Foundation and the estate of Phyllis Brissenden for their support of the Lost Birds program.

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American Bird Conservancy is a nonprofit organization dedicated to conserving wild birds and their habitats throughout the Americas. With an emphasis on achieving results and working in partnership, we take on the greatest problems facing birds today, innovating and building on rapid advancements in science to halt extinctions, protect habitats, eliminate threats, and build capacity for bird conservation. Find us on abcbirds.org, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter (@ABCbirds).

BirdLife International is the world’s largest nature conservation Partnership: a global family of over 115 national NGOs covering all continents, landscapes and seascapes. BirdLife is driven by its belief that local people, working for nature in their own places but connected nationally and internationally through the global Partnership, are the key to sustaining all life on this planet. This unique local-to-global approach delivers high impact and long-term conservation for the benefit of nature and people.

Re:wild protects and restores the wild. We have a singular and powerful focus: the wild as the most effective solution to the interconnected climate, biodiversity and pandemic crises. Founded by a group of renowned conservation scientists together with Leonardo DiCaprio, Re:wild is a force multiplier that brings together Indigenous peoples, local communities, influential leaders, nongovernmental organizations, governments, companies and the public to protect and rewild at the scale and speed we need. Re:wild launched in 2021 combining more than three decades of conservation impact by Leonardo DiCaprio and Global Wildlife Conservation, leveraging expertise, partnerships and platforms to bring new attention, energy and voices together. Our vital work has protected and conserved over 12 million acres benefitting more than 16,000 species in the world’s most irreplaceable places for biodiversity. We don’t need to reinvent the planet. We just need to rewild it—for all wildkind. Learn more at rewild.org.

Copyright 2021 © American Bird Conservancy. All Rights Reserved. American Bird Conservancy is a 501(c)(3) organization. EIN: 52-1501259

https://abcbirds.org/article/top-10-most-wanted-lost-birds-2021/

The ARM & HAMMER™ Feline Generous Program Announces the Winners of its Unsung Heroes Awards

katzenworld.co.uk

Marc-André 8 – 10 minutes

Grab some tissue because the ARM & HAMMER™ Feline Generous program just announced the winners of the ‘Unsung Heroes’ Awards and shared several inspiring stories of staff and volunteers who go above and beyond to care for purrfectly impurrfect cats at cat welfare organizations.

As for prizes, a total of $30,000 will be donated to the winning shelters, plus each unsung hero will receive a year’s supply of ARM & HAMMER™ cat litter. The campaign ran from October 29 – November 20, 2021 and brought in nearly 4,500 nominations from the U.S. Virgin Islands to Alaska.

“Purrfectly impurrfect cats are often overlooked for adoption due to their age, illness, appearance or misunderstood personalities so the Unsung Heroes Awards were designed to honor the staff and volunteers at shelters who work behind the scenes performing miracles to make sure these cats have their physical, medical and emotional needs met,” said Pam Johnson-Bennett, Certified Cat Behavior Consultant. “My fellow expert judges and I had the impossible task of selecting the winners from the thousands of wonderful nominations and we’re proud to share the incredible stories of our unsung heroes.”

Here are the 2021 Unsung Heroes Awards winners.

AdvoCAT of the Year Award (Prize: $15,000)—A staff or volunteer who exemplified BOTH compassion and creativity towards purrfectly impurrfect shelter cats and served as an outstanding advoCAT for this cause beyond their shelter.

Winner: Kris Kaiser

Shelter: Bitty Kitty Brigade

Location: Maple Grove, MN

“Kris fosters disabled kittens, many of whom have moderate to severe cerebellar hypoplasia (aka CH, and aka wobbly kitten syndrome). She doesn’t just take care of disabled cats, but she helps them thrive and live their very best lives. Specifically, she has been fostering a disabled cat named Snapple. He has CH and other neurological and physical disorders. His front paws are bent and have limited movement, so he is unable to walk without assistance. His CH has his head wobbling the majority of the time, so eating can be very difficult. Her creativity in helping him overcome his walking and eating challenges are stellar: She got him a cart to allow him to move around more independently and build strength in his back legs. In his cart, he runs around like a sweet little rocket. Aside from the cart, he is sometimes carried in a comfortable sling on Kris’s chest or belly, so Kris can get work done while keeping Snapple engaged and monitored.

She also created some imaginative eating set-ups for Snapple and other severely wobbly cats to help them eat: the set-up is much like a small horse stable or corral, with walls to keep the cats from falling side to side, and also some padding up front to steady their heads and keep them from face-planting in their food. She keeps some wonderful Instagram accounts (@tuxonwheels) to document the progress of specific foster cats, highlighting the importance of caring for and loving disabled cats, and teaching her followers how to creatively support such kitties. She is making it more attainable for disabled cats to find loving homes by destigmatizing and demystifying what their lives are like. As a pet parent to a mildly CH cat myself, I am in awe of her epic compassion and creativity.”

Compassion Award (Prize: $7,500)—A staff or volunteer who showed tenderness, patience and extra care to purrfectly impurrfect cats to make sure they received specialized comfort and attention.

Winner: Erin Insinga

Shelter: Delaware Valley Humane Society

Location: Sidney, NY

“91 cats and kittens were in an abandoned trailer. Erin, the manager of DVHS, got the call and brought together two other shelters to help since DVHS is a small shelter in upstate New York and did not have the capacity to take in all the cats. These cats were sick, pregnant and scared. They had many health issues like upper respiratory and neurological problems, since they were inbred. Overwhelmed with grief for these poor cats, Erin did what she does best for them. She pampered the sick ones that would probably not survive. She held them dearly and spoke to them telling them that she would not leave their side. Many of the females had kittens shortly after arriving, and the mothers did not survive. Erin found nursing moms within her own shelter and through her Facebook page to give the kittens a chance. I watched Erin resuscitate kittens that were just born and never give up. The 91 cats were saved because of her efforts. The ones that lived were vetted, spayed and neutered and adopted.

There is also the story of Joe, an adult tomcat found by a woman on the side of the road hit by a car. She called Erin and brought that cat to DVHS. Paralyzed from his abdomen down to his legs and unable to walk. Joe was examined and the vet told Erin, if you work with him he will probably walk again. The staff and Erin, massaged him, wiped his butt and gave him free rein of the corridor. After three weeks Joe started wobbling. Then began walking like a pro. He was adopted by a local business and is the store mascot. Erin saves so many cats from horrific conditions and nurtures them until they are ready to find forever homes.”

Creativity (Prize: $7,500)—A staff or volunteer who executed the most creative solution to comfort a purrfectly impurrfect shelter cat or to find them a forever home.

Winner: Ashley Mazrin

Shelter: Cats League & Assistance of the Western Slope

Location: Grand Junction, CO

“Ashley is one of those people with a special touch that catches and socializes feral cats to make them adoptable. She builds trust in the cat by being patient and caring. She is creative in finding new ways to communicate and reach these cats. She creates interactive games with the cats using toys or creating ramps/devices to assist the cats in becoming comfortable with staff. In the wobble baby room, she has helped to make it a safe environment that allows the cats to be free from injury but then takes them out on supervised runs through the shelter to ensure they are stimulated and active. The cats really seem to enjoy seeing other cats and areas of the building that they would not normally see due to their disability.

Ashley has a special bond with several of the special needs cats, but Reed is unique. Due to a severe injury, his back legs were removed. Every day he needs to have his bladder expressed and requires special bathing and play interaction. Ashley provides him with social interaction and physical therapy. He will have to live out his life at the shelter, but he knows he is loved and cared for on a daily basis. When there was a special needs transfer out of state, Ashley and her family made the trip out of her time and pocket to get the cat the care they needed. Ashley is a paid worker, but spends way more time than she could ever be paid for by taking cats home that need special care, coming in whenever needed and dropping things just to help out. Ashley has helped design and manage events to help raise funds and find new ways to help the cats and the clinic. Ashley also dedicates her free time outside of working at the shelter and helping cats in the community.”

“The ARM & HAMMER™ Feline Generous program is thrilled to congratulate all our 2021 Unsung Heroes Award recipients,” said Rebecca Blank, Group Brand Manager, ARM & HAMMER™ Pet Care. “The work that they each do day in and day out takes dedication, compassion, creativity and a huge advocat heart. With the enormous response we received in nominations we’ve decided to name four additional Honorable Mentions and each recipient will receive a year’s supply of ARM & HAMMER™ cat litter as well.”

2021 Unsung Heroes Awards Honorable Mentions

Compassion:

https://katzenworld.co.uk/2021/12/17/the-arm-hammer-feline-generous-program-announces-the-winners-of-its-unsung-heroes-awards/