August 28, 2017
Natural disasters affect humans and animals alike, and Hurricane Harvey is forcing many families to evacuate to emergency shelters, where pets are not permitted due to possible allergic reactions from other people at the shelters. As a result, animal guardians are unwillingly relinquishing their beloved pets to animal shelters.
Austin Pets Alive! (APA!), an animal rescue in Austin, Texas, is working hard to keep up with the growing animal shelter populations, and as of this past Saturday, they have transported 235 animals to their shelter, and they anticipate many more.
APA! says they are humbled by the outpouring of support they have received, but they still need more assistance, and they are asking you for your help to save and care for these frightened and displaced animals who have been tragically separated from their families.
Due to the generous donations they have already received, APA! is running out of storage space for crates, bags of dry food, and other large items. They are asking for financial donations in lieu of these items, which will allow them to allocate funds as needed. If you are able, you can donate to APA! here. If you are in the Austin area, they will also accept donations of flea and tick treatment, bedding, and treats.
If you cannot make a financial contribution, you can help save these innocent lives by volunteering as a foster or adopting one of these animals. Fostering truly does save lives, and APA! is asking for volunteers who will be able to commit to fostering until the animals are adopted to forever homes. To learn more about fostering or adopting through APA!, visit here.
There is great power in a community joining together for a common good, so please share this with your network to help gain more support for the victims of Hurricane Harvey.
Image Source: Pixabay/pexels.com
A Rare Entity In Turkmenistan: Private Shelter Saves Stray Dogs
August 26, 2017 12:12 GMT
- Island of Hope has saved many animals from being poisoned or clubbed to death by roving municipal animal-extermination squads.
Turkmenistan has just officially registered its first animal shelter, which is in itself welcome news, but there is something else unique about it.
The Island of Hope shelter has been operating informally for several years as the result of private initiative.
In a country where the government controls so much of society and where the government seems to be the originator of every organization or so-called grassroots movement, it is interesting to see such personal initiative.
Suspect, however, is the timing of the announcement that officially registered the shelter.
Turkmenistan is hosting the Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games from September 17-27 and the country can certainly use all the positive press it can get.
Turkmenistan is best known as an isolated country where the government is a rights abuser, an enemy of the press, and, according to some reports in the run-up to the Asian Games, also a butcher of stray animals in the capital.
EurasiaNet did a great job of explaining the situation regarding animal rights, or lack thereof, in the Turkmen capital, Ashgabat.
The quandary at the Qishloq is how has Tatyana Galberg, her husband Nikolai, and daughters Irina and Katya been able to operate an unofficial shelter that cares for more than 100 dogs and some 50 cats found on the streets, without any seeming interference from officials.
OK — it’s an animal shelter and presumably a nonprofit venture, a charity really, so there’s nothing that would directly interest anyone in the Turkmen government.
But people in Turkmenistan are not encouraged to come up with plans or projects, no matter how well-intentioned, and enact them without any involvement of the authorities.
Now that the government has announced the registration of Island of Hope, Turkmen officials are also promising the shelter — located some 30 kilometers outside Ashgabat — will get a plot of land, a free supply of medicine, food, and materials needed to house animals.
The shelter could use the help, as currently the main source of food for the animals is macaroni. But help is likely not coming from the government anytime soon.
Turkmenistan is facing tough economic times, with some state employees not being paid on time.
At the Qishloq we are rooting for the Galberg family and their kindhearted project and we wish she could have spoken with us more than just to simply say she had been advised (she did not say by whom) not to speak with the press about the shelter.
Island of Hope has saved many animals from being poisoned or clubbed to death by roving municipal animal-extermination squads, as detailed in the EurasiaNet article.
And if the Galbergs can continue to care for animals at the shelter, as they have for several years, maybe the Turkmen government will promote the idea of local or personal initiatives aimed at improving the country and its society, especially if they pose no threat whatsoever to the regime.
RFE/RL’s Turkmen Service contributed to this report. The views expressed in this blog post do not necessarily reflect those of RFE/RL
Thousands of animals at understaffed shelters need more help from the community. Volunteering at an animal shelter would teach kids to care for another living being and to work together to achieve a common goal. Please sign this petition to help create an animal shelter community service project.
Therapy dogs provide important services to people everywhere. For hospitalized children, these dogs could truly make a difference by providing them with unconditional support and companionship. Please sign this petition to help create a therapy dog program for hospitalized children.
Since the producer of the now-controversial film ‘A Dog’s Purpose’ is an animal lover, animal advocate and ethically-inspired vegan, we thought our visitors and readers would want…
An animal control officer is accused of refusing to help two dogs and an emaciated puppy who were left to die in an abandoned apartment during a holiday. According to reports, the officer had to be threatened with criminal charges before taking action. Demand that she be severely reprimanded if found responsible.
When an animal rescue team came across a couple of horses tied, abandoned and wilting under the hot Louisiana sun, it must have seemed like a triumph.
They had gotten to the horses, left behind in the scramble to flee parts of the flood-wracked state, just in time.
But it didn’t take long for members of Guardians of Rescue to realize that finding these forlorn animals was only the beginning.
Where do they take them? Which shelter or sanctuary — already crammed beyond capacity — had room for a couple of horses?
Much like the Louisiana flood itself, it’s easy to chalk up the heroics in the first few days of America’s worst disaster since Hurricane Sandy as a victory. And move on. Many of the people who put their lives in danger to save thousands of animals did just that.
From his vantage on the sopping ground of the the Baton Rouge area, Robert Misseri has seen the rescue effort recede along with the high waters.
And it couldn’t come at a worse time.
“Now that the floods have receded, the aftermath is 10 times worse,” Misseri, who founded Guardians of Rescue in 2010, tells The Dodo. “It is total insanity.”
Instead, despite rescuing countless abandoned animals, Misseri’s team is being met, time and time again, by the same sad chorus at animal shelters: No more room.
Robert Misseri’s team arrived in the aftermath of the Louisiana floods.
Guardians of Rescue
The group did manage to find a temporary home for the pair of dehydrated horses. But as more and more animals appear — Misseri says many terrified pets are only emerging from hiding now — the problem of housing them becomes increasingly dire.
“A challenge we are dealing with is that all of these animal shelters are full,” Misseri explains. “We are out in the field trying to get animals and there are no place to put them.
Guardians of Rescue
Of course, it would help if more owners stepped forward to claim their pets. But Misseri says the disaster hasn’t yet reached that point.
In fact, he sees the overall rescue in several distinct phases. The first was the immediate response to fast-rising waters, which involved “anybody who could get animals to high ground or break them off of chains.”
The next phase, where Misseri says the effort is at now, is crucial. The floodwaters have receded, revealing the full extent of the catastrophe — and the toll it’s taken not only on the people who lived in these neighborhoods, but also their pets.
Humane Society of Louisiana
“We knew the aftermath was going to be complicated and many animals would be languishing,” Misseri says. “People don’t realize this. They think, OK, whatever is saved was saved in the flood. Whatever dies, dies.’
“But there are animals that need to be rescued this second. People forget about that.”
And even when you find animals, where do you take them?
Although Misseri says every available space is spoken for, his group is still finding tentative homes for them. But the waves of four-legged refugees shows no sign of abating.
Denham Springs Animal Shelter
“This is when you see dogs coming out of hiding and from the high points. It is way worse than it was,” Misseri says. “If they are left, these animals will suffer and die.”
And the people who are still spending every sleepless moment saving animals in Louisiana are not about to let that happen. But they will need another kind of hero.
Think that could be you? Consider making a donation of supplies or money to Guardians of Rescue through its Louisiana Rescue page. And if you know of any animal in the Baton Rouge area who needs to be rescued, contact the group at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 888-287-3864.
Heroes Are Saving Thousands Of Animals In The Louisiana Floods
People Are Risking Their Lives To Save Animals From Louisiana Floods
Shadow a male black leopard arrive at Peninsula SPCA in Newport News Virginia in 1999 when he was only three weeks old and they kept him as a permanent resident for a makeshift petting zoo in a concrete cage. Charging a dollar to pet him.
Paul Brummel UK Ambassador in Romania: Stop the killing of dogs in Breasta PS
by Diane Bird · 3,701 supporters
Yet Another Kill List At Breasta
West Bromwich, United Kingdom
Jul 28, 2016 — In just one week the rescuers in Romania and a group of dedicated volunteers are facing a 3rd Kill list at Breasta PS. The rescue shelters are reaching capacity , we are finding it harder and harder to find places for these dogs.How much longer we can keep saving the dogs without intervention is unknown but we are getting desperate. Please keep signing and sharing.If you know someone in the media, who can get our story out to the world and help force intervention by the UK Embassy in Romania + the Romanian Government , please share our story.
50 Dogs Leave Breasta To Safety
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An animal center in Miami allegedly uses caustic cleaning chemicals that cause burns. The dogs are forced to sit on the chemical-laden floors in pure torment as their flesh is burned away. Urge police to open an animal cruelty investigation against this center.
To donate –
About Small Shelter Nis – LINK https://www.facebook.com/SmallShelterInNis/
Please help our small private shelter in Nis, Serbia to take care for it’s animals;
need for another 40 euros for food, please you, if someone wants to help.
I know that many of you are preparing for the holidays, but I have to ask you to think about our orphan dogs, which depend solely on you, and also ask you to spare a few euros for our dogs food for the month of June.
We shall be immensely grateful and our dogs will not be hungry.
For our 30 dogs and 10 cats monthly food costs are about 250 euros.
This wonderful little shelter of ours regularly struggles to raise funds which are needed for every month, to feed all the dogs and take care of them which completely depends on us.
The street cats…
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Dozens of dead and malnourished animals were reportedly found at an animal shelter. Some of the rescued animals were in such bad shape that they had to be euthanized. Demand that those responsible are harshly punished.
Amid the debate over who was at fault in the death of a beloved animal, we need to step back and ask a different question
Harambe, a 17-year-old male western lowland gorilla, was killed at the Cincinnati Zoo to save the life of a four-year-old child who fell into his cage. Opinions vary as to whether the boy was really in danger and who was to blame, the zoo (why was the boy able to get into the enclosure and why wasn’t Harambe tranquilized?) his mother, or both? Playing the blame game will not bring Harambe back and for me the real question, while also considering why Harambe was killed, is “Why was Harambe in the zoo in the first place?”
As I watched footage of the event I was reminded of an incident that happened in 1996 at Chicago’s Brookfield Zoo in which a female western lowland gorilla named Binta Jua rescued a three-year-old boy who fell into her enclosure. She became a worldwide celebrity. I also thought about the movie King Kong.
People worldwide are outraged by Harambe’s death. This global interest is all part of a heightened awareness about the nature of human-animal relationships, the focus of a rapidly growing field called anthrozoology. People are keenly interested in how and why nonhuman animals – animals – are used by humans in a wide variety of venues, in this case “in the name of human entertainment.”
Harambe was in the zoo because he was captive born, and breeding animals who are going to live out the rest of their lives in cages raises numerous issues. However, that is precisely why Harambe was living in the Cincinnati Zoo. Being a zoo-ed animal, Harmabe lost all of his freedoms – the freedoms to make choices about how he was to live, what he would eat, when he would sleep and go to the bathroom, where he would roam, and if he were to become a father. While some might say Harmabe had a “good life” in the zoo, it doesn’t come close to the life he would have had as a wild gorilla, with all its attendant risks. Indeed, one might argue that the animal people were seeing was not really a true western lowland gorilla, surely not an ambassador for his species.
Harambe’s cage also was his home where he felt safe. When the boy fell into his home it was a trespass of sorts, and it’s most likely Harambe was startled, perhaps feeling vulnerable and unprotected, and wondering what was going on. Let’s not forget that gorillas and many other animals are highly intelligent and emotional beings and they deeply care about what happens to themselves, their families and their friends. In this case Harambe did what was expected, he picked up the boy, but he didn’t harm him. Of course Harambe could have killed the boy in a heartbeat, but he didn’t.
An analysis of Harmabe’s behavior published in another essay I wrote indicates that he was doing what one would expect a western lowland gorilla to do with a youngster. Harmabe’s hold on the child and his sheltering of the youngster are indicators of protection. He didn’t seem to be afraid. He examined the boy but also was attentive to the reaction of the crowd who saw what happened and the communication between the child’s mother and her son.
Along these lines, it’s essential that the people who work with zoo-ed animals know their behavior in detail, and those people who know individuals the best—the caretakers who interact with certain individuals daily—be called in in emergency situations. Each animal has a unique personality and this knowledge could be put to use to avoid what happened to Harambe.
For people who want to know more about what was going on in Harmabe’s head and heart, think about your companion dog, for example. How do they respond when someone trespasses into where they feel safe? I like to ask people to use their companion animals to close the empathy gap because people get incredibly upset when a dog is harmed because they see dogs as sentient, feeling beings. So too, was Harambe.
So, would you allow your dog to be put in a zoo? If not, then why Harambe and millions of other individuals who languish behind bars?
It’s not happening at the zoo
Captive breeding by zoos to produce individuals who are going to live out their lives in cages, in the name of entertainment and possibly in the name of education and conservation, raises many challenging questions. Did people who saw Harambe learn anything about what the life of a male western lowland gorilla is really like? No, they didn’t. Did they learn something about these fascinating animals that would help Harambe or his wild relatives? Clearly, nothing learned would help Harambe as he was forced to live in his cage; a large enclosure is still a cage. Harambe was not going to be put out in the wild and introduced to other gorillas.
Did people learn something about these gorillas that would help wild relatives? Once again, likely not. While some might argue that learning about Harambe is good for conserving his species, and while many of us know someone who went to a zoo and said they learned something new about a given species, there’s no hard evidence that these people then go on to do something for the good of the species. Indeed, a recent study conducted by zoos themselves, showed that what people learn is very limited in scope in terms of what the new knowledge means in any practical sense. While a very small percentage of people learn that maintaining biodiversity is important, they don’t learn about the need for biodiversity conservation.
Where do we go from here?
Harambe is dead and the boy is alive. I’m very sad, and also very happy. A gorilla’s life was traded off because a human child was in danger. What needs to be done in the future to be sure that events like this never happen again? First, zoos need to stop breeding animals who are going to live in zoos for the rest of their lives. Zoos also should be turned into sanctuaries for the animals themselves. Over time there will be fewer and fewer captive animals and zoos as we know them can be phased out. And, the money that is saved as time goes on can be used to preserve populations of wild animals and their homes. These sorts of changes will take time and we need to be very patient, but we need to move in this direction.
As we move on, the choices we make should emphasize preservation of wild animals and critical habitats, and we need to move away from captive breeding and the zoo mentality of keeping animals locked in cages for our entertainment—and supposedly for their own and their species’ good.
We humans are constantly making decisions about who lives and who dies, and we need to focus our attention on the animals themselves, and put their lives first and foremost. The rapidly growing international field called compassionate conservation comes into play here. The guiding principles of compassionate conservation are “First do no harm” and “the lives of all individuals matter.”
Turning a moment into a movement
I hope Harambe did not die in vain, and that this moment can be turned into a movement that is concerned with the plight of captive animals. Judging by what is sailing into my email inbox each minute and by worldwide media coverage, it already is. The publicity generated by killing Harambe can and must be used to save the lives of numerous other captive animals. We must face the difficult questions that arise because animals are “in” and the questions are not going to disappear.
Marc Bekoff is professor emeritus of ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of Colorado, Boulder. He has published many books. His newest, “The Animals’ Agenda: Compassion and Coexistence in the Human Age” (with Jessica Pierce) will be published by Beacon Press in 2017. His homepage is marcbekoff.com
By Marc Bekoff
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