Suffering: Giant Pandas YaYa And LeLe At Memphis Zoo Credit: Panda Voices
UPDATE! A huge victory for Giant Pandas YaYa, 22, and LeLe, 24, who will be sent back to their homeland of China, according to a statement from the Memphis Zoo. In Defense of Animals and Panda Voices, who have been lobbying for the pandas’ release for nearly two years, announced the news today.
“After far too many years of suffering in a grossly inappropriate zoo exhibit, YaYa and LeLe will finally get improved care at a specialized panda refuge in their homeland,” said Brittany Michelson, Captive Animals Campaigner for In Defense of Animals.
“We applaud the Memphis Zoo and Chinese authorities for making the ethical decision to return the pandas to China once the loan contract ends in April 2023. We thank Billie Eilish and our many thousands of supporters worldwide for helping us encourage the zoo…
SIGN: Help Stop Factory Farms from Cooking Animals Alive
Image via Alamy Stock
PETITION TARGET: United States Senate
Millions of animals were massacred amid the COVID-19 pandemic, as slaughterhouses shut down and disease broke out across the United States. With a return of the highly-contagious avian flu, farmers have killed millions more – and have often chosen to do so in the most inhumane way possible.
Ventilation shutdown, or “death by heatstroke,” involves the lengthy, horrific killing of birds through heat-induced asphyxiation. Millions of birds get crammed into sealed barns and are left to suffer and suffocate to death – some for longer than two days – as workers crank internal temperatures up to 170 degrees.
If passed, the bill would require factory farms to have a disaster plan in place that would ensure that if animals are massively killed, the methods used should be as humane as possible. The bill also would usher in more humane practices throughout food production processes and transportation.
The legislation would increase investments for inspections, starting with a pilot program to train and hire inspectors specializing in smaller meat processing plants. It would no longer allow the incessant slaughter of injured animals, and it would lead to tighter regulations for farmed animals being transported over long periods.
This legislation could transform the way sensitive and intelligent chickens, cows, and pigs are treated. It would prioritize the well-being of animals over “convenience” killings and their exploitation, and it would hold those involved in industrial agriculture operations accountable.
Sign our petition supporting this compassionate and commonsense legislation. Then, contact your U.S. senator today to urge them to cosponsor this bill.
Target: Michelle Cooley, Founder and President of Kaaawa K9 Rescue
Goal: Ensure health and safety of rescue animals at seemingly neglectful facility.
Five dogs allegedly had to be saved from a “rescue” facility in Hawaii. The Hawaii Humane Society took custody of the dogs from Kaaawa K9 Rescue after abuse allegations were made online and to local authorities about the organization. The accusations stated that animals were in poor health and possibly being neglected.
The owner of Kaaawa K9 Rescue claims the issues are due to a landlord dispute and a recent alleged arson on the property. While the local humane society found no outright evidence of abuse, the fact that they felt compelled to remove nearly half a dozen animals from a property charged with the care of these animals is disturbing. Even the owner herself reportedly admits difficulty in keeping up with care of these animals.
Sign the petition below to urge closure of an aid facility that has seemingly become a danger itself.
Dear Ms. Cooley,
No matter the source of your recent troubles with Kaaawa K9 Rescue, you have reportedly admitted that these issues are impeding your ability to care for at-risk animals. The mission of a rescue organization should always put the vulnerable living beings under its care first. Please honor this mission.
Close Kaawa until this organization can live up to its billing.
Target: Candice Hooper, District Attorney of San Benito County, CA
Goal: Prosecute animal abandonment case that led to death of small dog to fullest extent.
Last year, dozens of chihuahuas were mysteriously abandoned around Hollister, Missouri. The case raised questions about how and why the animals were left and prompted renewed discussion about the responsibility pet caretakers have to their animals. A similar situation recently unfolded when a chihuahua was dropped off overnight at a pet shelter in Hollister, California. While this Hollister is in another state, the same basic questions and debates remain.
The latest case, tragically, did not have a positive ending. The abandoned chihuahua was reportedly in such bad condition that the animal had to be euthanized. This type of incident is not new for the shelter. Just a few months prior, a suspect allegedly confessed to abandoning nearly two dozen dogs at the Hollister Animal Shelter’s overnight kennel. The person in that case faced a criminal citation, and the incident involving the chihuahua should be no different.
Sign the petition below to demand appropriate charges be filed when the party responsible for this deadly and neglectful act is identified.
Dear DA Hooper,
When the Hollister Animal Shelter discovered 23 dogs at its overnight kennel in recent months, the operation had to remind the public that abandoning animals is unlawful. Unfortunately, not everyone got the message. The shelter recently found another small dog in its kennel, and this animal tragically died because of poor health. The only way to begin preventing future acts of passive and lethal cruelty is to send a decisive legal message.
When a suspect is identified in this latest case, please pursue the maximum possible charges. Help stop another vulnerable animal from dying in vain.
Target: Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the United States House of Representatives
Goal: Demand stricter prosecution of animal abusers to protect animals and people from violence.
Each year, over 10 million animals are abused to death throughout the U.S., with countless others suffering from severe, human-inflicted physical and psychological trauma. While animal cruelty is typically regarded as an isolated issue, the link between animal cruelty and violence against humans and other illegal activities has been relatively well established. One study found over 71% of perpetrators of domestic violence abused their pets as well, while an estimated 88% of child abusers were also reported animal abusers.
The Animal Cruelty Enforcement Act of 2021 was introduced to the House in hopes of dedicating more substantial legal resources towards prosecuting animal abusers. This act recognizes that the lack of a dedicated animal crimes enforcement unit in the U.S. has resulted in an insufficient and delayed responses to animal cruelty crimes. If passed, Congress would establish an Animal Cruelty Crimes Section within the Department of Justice’s Environment and Natural Resources Division. This section would be able to enforce federal laws prohibiting animal cruelty to allow for more direct, and effective responses towards investigating and prosecuting cases of animal abuse.
Sign this petition to demand the Animal Cruelty Enforcement Act of 2021 be passed, and that animals receive greater legal protections under federal law.
Dear Speaker Pelosi,
Cruelty towards animals has been connected to violence towards humans and other illegal activities, including domestic violence, child abuse, sexual assault, homicide, and drug trafficking. However, current federal approaches to cases of animal abuse are slow and ineffective, and tens of millions of animals are left to suffer severe physical and psychological trauma at the hands of their abusers. The introduction of the Animal Cruelty Enforcement Act of 2021 to Congress provides a new hope for animals and people affected by human-inflicted violence. Through establishing an Animal Cruelty Crimes Section within the Department of Justice’s Environment and Natural Resources Division, this act would allow for more adequate investigation and prosecution of animal abuse.
We are asking you, Speaker Pelosi, to support this act and encourage more federal protections for animals throughout the country.
Target: Karl Mogensen, owner of Natural Bridge Zoo Goal: Release Asha (aka “Beautiful”) the elephant to an accredited sanctuary.
Asha the elephant has been imprisoned under torturous conditions her whole life. She is apparently forced to give rides to zoo visitors and is abused by painful bullhooks, all for the zoo’s profit. It is time to rescue this poor elderly elephant.
Recently, Asha was renamed “Beautiful” by the Natural Bridge Zoo, which is imprisoning her in Virginia. It is suspected that the name change was intended to hide the fact that Asha is still being inhumanely imprisoned after all these years of efforts to free her.
Reportedly, the Natural Bridge Zoo has faced numerous investigations regarding the neglect of Asha. She apparently lives in solitary confinement in a tiny enclosure, has received inadequate medical care, and has been forced to endure brutal Virginia winters, which is particularly cruel for an animal from Africa.
Furthermore, Natural Bridge Zoo was apparently fined for six violations of the Animal Welfare Act and was also cited for failing to have Asha under control while providing forced rides to humans.
All in all, Asha’s existence sounds tragic and must be remedied. It is long past time for Asha to be sent to an accredited sanctuary to live out her remaining years in peace.
Dear Karl Mogensen,
Your roadside zoo has kept Asha the elephant long enough. She has made you a lot of money and generated tremendous publicity for your business. It is time to let her go. Please release her to an accredited sanctuary as soon as possible.
Asha has lived a long and hard life. She has apparently been forced to give rides to humans, to live in solitary confinement in a tiny enclosure, has received inadequate medical care, and has been forced to endure brutal Virginia winters, which is particularly cruel for an animal from Africa.
If these allegations are true, Asha’s continued imprisonment in your zoo is terribly inhumane and must be remedied. Please release Asha (aka “Beautiful”) to an accredited sanctuary where she can live out the rest of her life in peace.
Every year, millions of healthy cats and dogs are euthanized in the United States. Animal shelters and rescues are overcrowded and there simply aren’t enough adoption opportunities. While there are plenty of amazing nonprofits and programs dedicated to tackling this problem, it’s affecting families with pets, too. The cost of spay and neuter surgeries for cats and dogs varies, but it can run between $50–$500 – a cost that cuts many families and their pets off from this vital care! Some states have implemented successful programs that help cut the cost of spay and neuter surgeries, but not every state provides this kind of access.
Sign the petition to urge all U.S. states to create affordable spay and neuter programs!
There are a few ways to make spay and neuter programs more affordable. Some states – like Vermont – have incentive programs funded through a small pet registration fee. Other states – like New Mexico – have passed a law that charges large pet food manufacturer’s a fee upon product registration, then reallocates that funding to spay and neuter programs.
The states that have implemented the law have all seen life-saving success – with euthanasia rates dropping drastically. It’s clear from the success and affordability of these programs that implementing an affordable spay and neuter program works. If spay and neuter surgeries become more affordable, it will allow more pets to stay with their families, and could save countless pets from spending their lives in shelters!
Sign the petition to urge all U.S. states to pass affordable spay and neuter programs to save millions of cats and dogs!
Target: Kevin Shea, Administrator, U.S. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS)
Goal: Demand zoos use only rescued animals for human display.
Zoos can be a wonderful place to visit. They give us exposure to animals we may never see otherwise in real life. Through these experiences, people can learn more about all the creatures found on the planet and their habits and connections to one another. Zoos also offer opportunities for animals who are endangered or injured and will not survive in the wild. Not only does this give us a chance to fulfill curiosity about other creatures, it gives those animals a second chance at life.
Unfortunately, zoos do not operate so altruistically. Out of the estimated 800,000 animals in zoos, those that are bred in captivity also end up behind bars with generations after them never getting to run free. While it is understandable zoos have an invested interest in staying stocked with animals, they should not lose sight of their goal to operate in the best interest of wildlife under their supervision. Using all or mostly animals rescued from unsafe circumstances is the best way to improve zoo operations.
Rescued animals can include those that are injured or healthy animals close to extinction. Injured animals who may die in the wild can live safely in captivity given they have care sympathetic to the adjustment from their natural habitat. Those facing extinction can be protected, too, chiefly in the event any safely bred in zoos are correctly reintroduced to the wild. According to PETA, animals facing extinction only make up 18% of those in zoos, evidence there is much work to be done to make these establishments a place to sustain species the world may lose otherwise.
Sign the petition below to urge Administrator Shea towards an understanding for how important it is for zoos to be about animal conservation, not just human recreation.
Dear Administrator Shea,
Every year, animal welfare is more important to people than in previous generations. U.S. zoos have always operated on a platform revolving around conservation, though not much has been done to improve animal welfare efforts at a reasonable pace. Their cages are stocked with wildlife that may not need human help whether from injury or endangerment. Those who do face extinction are bred more for entertainment rather than their survival. This is where APHIS needs to step in.
Because zoos will always be popular for children and interested adults alike, they still can survive with a shift in business model. Plenty of animals with permanent injury can be sourced from the wild and nurtured in captivity given fair and understanding care. In addition, with more animals facing endangerment and extinction every day, zoos have a fabulous chance to not only facilitate the survival of these poor creatures, but maintain a population for people to enjoy and learn about. Remember, zoos are first and foremost for the animals.
We urge you to reevaluate the guidelines governing zoos and to enforce a more animal-centric approach to their operation.
Two women have been arrested, jailed, and criminally charged for feedingand trying to trap feral cats on public land, with the intent ofreducing the community’s stray cat population in Wetumpka, Alabama.
Wetumpka police body camera footage shows three officers approaching Mary Alston, 60, and Beverly Roberts — an 84 year old, disabled veteran who served 20 years in the U.S. Army — as the two women sit in their cars on a vacant lot owned by Elmore County and prepare to feed and trap feral cats nearby.
One officer tells the women they have to leave the area, because “the city does not want anybody feeding the animals around here” and creating a nuisance. Alston responds that she has set a trap to catch and remove the cats so that they don’t become a nuisance. The officers then tell the women that if they don’t leave the area, they’ll be arrested for trespassing and taken to jail.
Roberts, the 84-year-old, asks officers “This is what you’re wasting city gas on?” and tries to give her car keys to Alston, at which point the officer says, “It’s going to get ugly if you don’t stop.”
The body camera footage, which was provided to The Montgomery Advertiser by the womens’ attorneys, then shows an officer dragging Alston out of her car by the arm and handcuffing her behind her back, while telling her she wasn’t listening “fast enough,” and that “You wanted to keep talking so now you’re going to jail.”
The video shows Roberts — who also has her arms pulled and handcuffed behind her — trying to enter a police vehicle before telling officers that her body isn’t able to move that way with her hands restrained behind her back.
An officer can be heard telling another officer that they almost tased one of the women.
Authorities have charged Alston with criminal trespassing and obstructing government operations, and Roberts with criminal trespassing and disorderly conduct — unbelievable charges for women who were simply trying to help innocent cats, said the women’s attorney, Terry Luck.
“There was no reason for any of this to happen,” Luck told news. “Beverly and Mary were actually helping the city out. By getting the cats spayed or neutered, they were helping to control the population of the feral cats.”
Both women spent several hours in the Elmore County Jail, where Roberts reportedly passed out because she was so upset, the Tuscaloosa News reported.
“I don’t know how anyone could see starving animals and not want to help,” said Roberts, whom news has reported is 5’4” and weighs 130 pounds.
Wetumpka Police Chief Greg Benton said that the arrests and the officers’ treatment of the women was “within policy” – which means that policy needs to change.
The police’s official statement about the incident starts, “When Officer Crumpton made contact with the occupants of the vehicle, it was foundthat both suspects were feeding and attempting to trap stray cats.”
Luck has alleged that nothing in local or state law bars people from feeding cats.
Trapping, spaying and neutering, and rehoming or releasing (TNR) stray cats is an act of compassion — not a crime.
Sign our petition urging the Wetumpka Municipal Court to dismiss these frivolous charges, and for the Wetumpka Police Department to thoroughly investigate the inappropriate use of force in this situation.
Target: Craig Alexander Newmark, Founder of Craigslist
Goal: Demand Craigslist and other online domains be more vigilant about the sale of puppy mill dogs on their sites.
Puppy mills are particularly cruel operations. At these breeding facilities, dogs are kept in overcrowded, unsanitary conditions, forced to live in tiny cages that are rarely—if ever—cleaned. Due to the close confines and lack of veterinary care access, dogs at these mills often fall sick and premature death is relatively common. Puppies are removed from their mothers shortly after birth, so that their mothers can move onto producing yet another litter. These dogs are often not even let out of their cages to exercise or interact with humans, leaving them unsocialized and anxious. Puppy mills largely neglect the needs of mother dogs and puppies, as the sole goal of their operation is to produce as many dogs as possible to sell for as much money as possible.
While many states have begun banning the sale of dogs in pet stores—as most of these dogs are supplied by abusive puppy mill operations—puppy mill owners have found creative ways around in person sales. Owners have grown increasingly reliant on online forums, such as Craigslist and Ebay, where they deceive customers with pictures of happy and healthy puppies in fields with bows—shielding the public from the harsh reality of their business.
While Craigslist has formally banned the sale of live animals on its website, backyard breeders and mill operators are still easily able to sell their animals on the site under false pretenses. Sign this petition to demand Craigslist pay more close attention to the sale of live animals on its site and forbid any further posts advertising available puppies.
Dear Mr. Newmark,
While Craigslist formally prohibits the sale of live animals, many illegal or unethical breeders have found ways around this ban and continue to sell their animals on your online platform. Craigslist has become a hotspot for puppy mill operators to advertise their dogs under the guise of being a reputable breeder. Though they advertise healthy looking puppies in spacious fields with bows in their fur, these images couldn’t be farther from the truth. Dogs at puppy mills suffer extreme abuse, as they are viewed only as vessels to breed and sell for profit rather than as animals with individual needs.
We are asking you, Mr. Newmark, to be more vigilant about the sale of puppy mill dogs on your site and to prevent Craigslist from being involved in illegal and unethical puppy trafficking operations.
Target: Alan Wilson, Attorney General of South Carolina
Goal: Demand the alleged operators of the largest known dogfighting operation in South Carolina history be prosecuted and punished to the full extent of the law.
Recently, over 300 dogs were rescued from what officials consider the largest dogfighting ring in South Carolina history. Over 60 state and federal officers reportedly interrupted a scheduled dogfighting match in Richmond County, in addition to executing search warrants at nearby properties rumored to contain dogfighting associations. Officers were stunned by the cruelty they seemingly witnessed at these locations. Dogfighting paraphernalia was reportedly scattered about, and emaciated puppies with their rib cages showing were apparently found chained to trees and shoved in filthy cages.
So far, more than 20 individuals have been arrested for charges relating to animal cruelty. According to the Animal Welfare Act, individuals can face up to five years in prison for dogfighting charges. While the dogs are currently being taken care of by the Humane Society of the United States and Bark Nation, the sad reality is that many of these dogs will likely have to be euthanized, since their sole life purpose up until this point had seemingly been to fight and they are too aggressive to be placed into loving homes.
Sign this petition to demand all found guilty of involvement are punished at the fullest extent of the law. Dogfighting has no home here in the United States, or anywhere else.
Dear Attorney General Wilson,
It has been brought to public attention that over 300 dogs were reportedly rescued from an undercover dogfighting ring in South Carolina thought to have been the largest such operation in the states’ history. Officials on site at the 20+ search warrant properties were stunned by the apparent cruelty they witnessed, and images taken depict starved puppies with their rib cages showing chained to trees by heavy metal links, with others shoved in filthy, barren cages. Unfortunately, although the dogs are in the custody of the Humane Society of the United States and Bark Nation, most of these dogs–who reportedly spent their entire lives being trained to fight and kill–will most likely have to be euthanized.
Dogfighting is a terrible crime, and we are asking you, Mr. Wilson, that all individuals found guilty of involvement be punished at the fullest extent of the law.
Goal: Help victims of domestic violence by protecting their pets.
An estimated 71% of women at domestic violence shelters report that their abusers also targeted their pets, according to Representative Angela Romero of Salt Lake City. Abusers also often exploit their victims’ emotional attachment to pets as a tactic of manipulation, and about 25% of domestic violence survivors say they return to their abusers because they are worried about the safety of their pets.
A bill that would provide vital protections for pets against instances of domestic abuse has passed the Utah House. If this bill passes the Senate, Utah will follow thirty-five other states which already have similar protections in place. Not only would this bill save animals from suffering, it would also provide psychological support to survivors of domestic abuse and stalking.
Sign this petition to demand the state of Utah stand up for their survivors and pass this protective legislation.
Dear President Stuart Adams,
A bill has recently passed the Utah House which would instate vital protections for pets targeted by acts of domestic abuse. In addition to helping to reduce animal suffering, this bill would also help survivors of domestic violence feel like they can escape their situations. About a quarter of domestic violence survivors say they return to their abusers because they are worried about the safety of their pets. With this bill, survivors can be assured that their pets will be taken care of.
We are asking you, Mr. Adams, to join thirty-five other states in prioritizing the physical and psychological welfare of animals and victims over domestic abusers. Pass this bill in the Utah Senate.
Our goal is to bring positive change to AHS Newark Animal Shelter. Animals there are being neglected, abused and suffering. Health code violations are EVERYWHERE. Disease is spreading. Uneducated shelter staff and volunteers are unknowingly endangering the lives of animals in their care. Adequate Medical treatment is not being provided to animals in need. Adoptions are being made that place animals in unsafe homes and situations, resulting in many returns or people simply abandoning animals. Indoor kennel temperatures are soaring near 90 degrees while pigeons spread disease throughout the building. Donations continue to be accepted with no explanation for where the money is going.
We hope with the support of our community we can push for an investigation by the Sheriff’s Office and Health Department.
The dog picture in this photo is Chloe, she arrived at AHS Newark in need of immediate medical care, which she was denied. By the time shelter eventually got her help it was too late and she died. Unfortunately, she is just one of many.
**I would like to clarify that this is in no way directed at or placing blame on any of the shelter volunteers. This problem starts at the very top. To those you dedicate their time volunteering at this shelter, we support and thank you!
Eleven seagulls cruelly and fatally run over in Prince George’s County, Maryland, received no justice from the Upper Marlboro District Court or the State Attorney’s Office, which prosecuted the case.
Nathaniel Thompson, whom Laurel Police charged with animal cruelty and aggravated cruelty, took an “Other” plea and opted to be placed on the state’s STET Docket for one year— meaning he’ll face no jail time, no fines, no restitution, and no probation unless he reoffends.
All record of the fatal and intentional animal cruelty also will be expunged after that one-year period.
The State Attorney’s Office told Lady Freethinker that the office was “unable to move forward with the prosecution of this case due to witness unavailability, including the State’s essential witness.”
“On the trial date, the State requested a continuance to allow the essential witness to travel back to the area,” a spokesperson said. “However, the court denied the request.”
That statement does not tell the full story – including that the reason the witnesses weren’t available was because the prosecutor had first contacted them a week before the trial, despite more than two years of court continuances.
The cruelty case inspired significant media coverage when first breaking in January 2020, with reports that someone had intentionally lured a group of seagulls with popcorn near the Dollar Tree in the Laurel Shopping Plaza and then run them over.
The police incident report from the time notes the responding officer found ten sea gull corpses, with popcorn visible in their ruptured intestines, when arriving on scene, and that the birds’ injuries included “broken necks, broken wings, broken legs, and some of the seagulls’ bodies were flattened.” The officer transported an eleventh sea gull, found nearby with a severely broken wing, to a wildlife sanctuary, but the bird also perished despite treatment, with a compound fracture and “excessive blood loss” identified as the cause of death, according to public records documents.
According to the police log, accessed via public records request, Laurel police officers preserved that dead seagull as evidence, assiduously tracked down surveillance footage from local businesses and street cameras to identify the individual responsible, and provided witness contact information to the prosecutor to help obtain justice for the birds.
The case was scheduled for multiple hearings in 2021, with delays attributed to COVID-19, and its first – and only – hearing finally happening on Feb. 23, 2022 — more than two years after news first reported the crime.
To learn more about the lack of accountability for such a truly heinous crime once the case hit the court system, Lady Freethinker ordered the court transcript from Thompson’s scheduled trial hearing on Feb. 23, 2022.
The 5-minute audio we received, spread across two short clips, details that State Attorney’s Office Prosecutor Jason Fields agreed to the STET Docket terms after his request for a later hearing date was denied.
The audio also indicates that presiding District Court Judge Katina Steuart denied the requested continuance because Fields had not given key witnesses adequate time to to testify at the trial — instead reaching out a mere week before the scheduled trial date.
During the Feb. 23 hearing, the State’s Attorney’s Office’s Fields acknowledged that the case was more than two years old but asked for an additional delay to allow for key witnesses – one of whom had moved to Georgia, and one who had a doctor’s appointment – to be present.
The judge then asked Fields when he had reached out to witnesses to check their availability.
He responded, “That was Wednesday of last week, your Honor.”
Thompson’s defense attorney objected to the request, saying that Thompson was 78 years old and that “having this case hanging over him has caused considerable stress” and that “the additional anxiety and stress of this case has continued to not help his health.”
Fields then reminded the judge that the intentional cruelty of the case had garnered “a lot of attention.”
“It is a highly concerning case for the community,” he said.
Steuart then asked Fields why he hadn’t reached out to witnesses sooner.
“With that being said, wouldn’t it have been prudent for the State to maybe have reached out to the witnesses prior to last week to determine their availability for trial?” she said.
“Everybody knew about the trial date as of December 2,” she continued. “I’m sympathetic to the fact that these witnesses do want to go forward. I think it’s obviously pretty difficult if you live in another state to say, ‘Yes, I can be in Maryland for a trial date that very next week,’ and I understand why they might not be able to make it.
“But the problem is, it is an old case,” Steuart continued. “There have been some delays due to COVID obviously, but Mr. Thompson is here, he has counsel, he’s ready, so to delay this any further because there was not adequate notice given to the State’s witnesses by the State would not serve the interest of justice.”
Steuart then denied the prosecutor’s request for a continuance, and the provided audio cuts out. A second audio clip, also provided via public records request, picks up with the court acknowledging the parties had reached a “resolution” of Thompson going on the STET docket for a year.
People who don’t want the stress or anxiety of criminal court proceedings shouldn’t intentionally and fatally kill animals.
There is absolutely no excuse for someone who commits an act of fatal and intentional violence to not be held accountable for that conscious act.
There’s also no excuse for contacting witnesses a week before a scheduled trial starts, when the case has been ongoing for more than a year, with other public records documents showing that the State Attorney’s Office repeatedly reached out to connect with law enforcement mere days before the scheduled trial dates.
We are extremely disappointed that this case involving multiple defenseless birds — and severe, fatal, and intentional violence — wasn’t taken seriously.
Prince George’s County State Attorney’s Office could have – and should have – done better by these birds. We hope that prosecutors, moving forward, will treat animal cruelty cases with the severity they deserve.
Tethering dogs is extremely dangerous and leaves them vulnerable to extreme weather, dehydration, and starvation. Being tethered restricts their movements and can even leave them vulnerable to attacks from other animals. Dogs are not meant to be on chains all day! North Carolina is working on passing a bill to make sure tethering dogs is illegal. We need to make sure that this bill passes in the state legislature.
Typically, Senate and House Republicans in the state of North Carolina are slow to pass animal welfare laws because of the hog and poultry industry ties all across the state. They fear that passing animal welfare laws will make them have to do more to protect animals in cruel factory farming as well. And they should! All animals are sentient beings and deserve to be treated fairly no matter what.
Twenty-three other states have laws that limit or restrict how dogs can be tethered. It’s time that North Carolina protects animals and passes the Fiona Mae Wagglebottom Act and bans tethering in the state!
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The program is open to registered nonprofits working on projects to rescue or care for animals or to raise awareness to improve the way animals are treated. This compassionate action could involve providing needed medical care, food, or housing for animals, or humane education programs.
Last year, Lady Freethinker awarded more than a cumulative $75,000 to a variety of organizations, including a safe haven for farmed animals, a therapeutic nonprofit that connected rescued animals to youth with trauma for mutual healing, and small dog and cat rescues.
This year, applicants are eligible to receive up to a maximum $10,000 to carry out their caring work.
To be eligible for the program, you must be:
Registered as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization in the U.S. or registered as an NGO in your country;
Established for at least 2 years;
Able to provide your most current Form 990, Form 990-EZ, or other NGO reporting form (if you are outside of the United States).
In order to complete the application, you’ll also need to provide an overview of your organization and your mission, a link to your organization’s website, a description of the specific project that the award would fund, and documentation of your organization’s tax-exempt status.
Grant applications are due by Sept. 23, 2022. Awards will be decided by Nov. 23, 2022.
You can apply here. Please send any questions about the Urgent Need Fund to: email@example.com.
PETITION TARGETS: Palma Town Council and Mayor José Hila
When a severely exhausted and brutally overworked horse used for carriage rides, collapsed in 104-degree heat on a street in Spain, the carriage driver responded by violently jerking the animal’s head from the pavement in an attempt to coax the horse to stand up, the Daily Mail reported.
The poor horse laid on the ground while the tourists in the carriage remained seated. Although at least one passerby begged the driver to give the horse water and let the tired animal rest, the horse instead lumbered back to his feet, according to news reports.
Horse-drawn carriage rides are a common cruelty in the tourist hub of Palma, the capital city on the Mediterranean island of Mallorca. A month prior to this horrific, documented incident, another overworked horse collapsed in the same area, and police halted a carriage pulled by an elderly limping horse that clearly should not have been working, according to news reports.
A Spanish advocacy organization reported that the horses were still being put to work in violation of new regulations prohibiting their use during high temperatures, according to the Daily Mail.
Palma’s city government is reportedly considering replacing horse carriages with some form of electric transportation, and this should be a priority before any more horses needlessly suffer.
Sign our petition urging the government of Palma to ban horse carriage rides. Tourist money is never an acceptable excuse for animal cruelty, and Palma officials should act swiftly to prevent any more horses from suffering such painful exploitation.
recipient: New York City Council & Mayor Eric Adams
Care2 Update(8/11/2022): Grueling bystander footage revealed that another carriage horse, a sweet 14-year-old named Ryder, collapsed in Manhattan from the brutal summer heat. The call for a ban on horse-drawn carriages STILL hasn’t been answers. Mayor Eric Adams & New York City Council must act now before another horse is hurt!
With greenhouse gas emissions climbing and temperatures rising, scientists are guessing each summer going forward will be incredibly hot. These temperatures have consequences for all of us, but we often overlook some of the animals who suffer the most from extreme heat: horses forced to pull carriages on hot asphalt and concrete. Animal rights activists say this life of captivity and labor is “fundamentally abusive.”
Sign now to demand New York City Council and Mayor Eric Adams work together to immediately ban horse drawn carriage rides in New York City!
For decades, animal rights activists have been pointing out just how dangerous these carriages are for the horses forced to pull them. A few years ago, a horse in Central Park tragically collapsed from exhaustion and had to be euthanized shortly after. While obviously devastating, this story should surprise no one — horses are not meant to walk on concrete day in and day out, towing heavy weights and breathing in dirty car exhaust. Even more recently, a car collided with a horse, knocking the horse unconscious, causing a bloody mess and a number of injuries for the poor animal.
Cities in the United States, like Chicago and Salt Lake City, and municipalities abroad have banned the use of horse drawn carriages because of their obviously harmful and abusive nature. There is no reason that New York City can’t do the same. In the past, Eric Adams has vocalized opposition to the horrific practice, tweeting with disgust that it makes no sense the practice is still continuing in New York City. Now, Mayor Adams has the chance to show that he’s not all talk, and that he’s willing to actually implement change to rescue these poor creatures from a life of unnecessary labor — a proposed bill from the New York City Council seeks to ban horsedrawn carriages by June 2023! All that needs to happen is for the city council to pass this bill and send it to the mayor’s desk to sign it, which he must do without delay.
Time is running out for the horses of New York City. We cannot allow any more innocent horses to suffer for the sake of entertaining humans in a city of endless entertainment. Sign the petition now to urge Mayor Adams and the New York City Council to protect horses immediately!
PETITION TARGET: Boris Johnson, Prime Minister of the UK
Elephants abused and exploited in the tourism industry are denied everything that is natural and important to them. They’re controlled and hit with sharp metalbullhooks and often are forced to give tourists rides and kept chained when they’re not working.
These gentle giants always suffer in captivity. That’s why the non-profit campaign group Save the Asian Elephants (STAE) is working to get a law passed in the United Kingdom to prohibit the advertising and promotion of unethical elephant-related tourist attractions.
In the wild, elephants can travel up to 50 miles a day with their families and can live well into their 70s. They are loving mothers, too— female elephants remain with their daughters from birth until they are separated by death. But in captivity, they spend much of their lives chained, typically die before they reach 40 years old, and are separated from their families.
STAE has discovered more than 1,000 UK firms that are promoting nearly 300 venues overseas that exploit and abuse elephants for entertainment and profits. Not only is this cruel, but it’s also incredibly dangerous.
In July 2022, a woman was killed in Thailand after a captive elephant charged at her during a demonstration in the park. Her family is now calling for an advertising ban, with the victim’s sister saying, “A ban on the advertising of these tourist sites would go a long way to preventing visitors from learning about these places and preventing humans from profiting from animal abuse.”
As long as cruel elephant attractions are advertised and promoted, elephants will continue to suffer for profits and more people could be killed.
Sign our petition today urging the UK Government to ban advertising tourist attractions overseas where elephants are abused and exploited!
In the state of Utah, as in much of the world during the COVID-19 pandemic, domestic violence rates are up. One non profit cited an increase of between 25-50% in domestic violence cases in the state during the pandemic. But right now, when a victim seeks a legal order of protection against an abuser, they could be putting their pets’ lives at risk. That’s why a new bill, HB 175, has been put forward that would allow those legal protections to extend to pets, the same way they extend to children.
Sign now if you want to keep at-risk pets safe from domestic abusers in Utah!
One such woman, Jessica, said it took her 2 years to leave an abusive situation with her dog, Roxie. When she finally did, her abuser tried to get Roxie back! But Jessica knew Roxie wouldn’t be safe with him. This is not an uncommon situation. That’s why the Humane Society of Utah and Ruff Haven have worked so hard on the bill that would allow orders of protection to include pets.
Research has shown that domestic abuse and animal abuse are linked. Studies show that people who abuse animal companions are more likely to act violently to their human partners. And we know that victims of domestic abuse often delay or avoid leaving a situation because their abuser may take their rage out on a pet. We need to make it easier for people and their pets to escape dangerous situations, together!
Suffering through domestic abuse is one of the worst experiences a person can have, coupled with putting your beloved animals at risk, the experience just gets more intense. Someone who abuses an intimate partner or family member would have no reason to stop at the family pet. Let’s make sure these vulnerable pets are safe!
Sign the petition to urge Utah legislators to pass this new bill and allow people who get legal orders of protection to extend those to their pets as well!
Hundreds of postcards, with visceral images of underfed golden retriever puppies living in filthy conditions, are flooding the governor’s office in New York. A huge email campaign has been launched by national animal rights groups.
The pet store industry and its lobbyists, however, have also mobilized. Zoom meetings have been held with the governor’s staff; a pet store employee has created an independent campaign of videos featuring well-treated puppies that have gone viral on TikTok.
Out of the hundreds of bills that Gov. Kathy Hochul must decide whether to sign before the end of the year, few appear to carry more emotional weight than the one affecting the welfare of a constituency that cannot even vote: puppies.
After years of debate, New York State lawmakers passed a bill in June with rare bipartisan support that would ban the sale of dogs, cats and rabbits in New York’s pet stores, leading to a fractious clash between animal welfare groups and the pet store industry.
Over the past few weeks, they have redirected their efforts toward lobbying Ms. Hochul, meeting with her office to plead their case as she decides whether to sign or veto the bill, with both sides trading accusations of lying and spreading misinformation.
If Ms. Hochul signs the bill, New York would follow the lead of California, Maryland, Illinois and other states that have passed similar bans meant to curb commercial breeders, sometimes called puppy mills or kitten factories.
The breeding facilities have for years been the source of intense controversy because, according to animal rights advocates, they operate with little oversight and raise dogs in cruel and inhumane conditions, often leading to the sale of sick puppies to consumers.
The bill seeks to close that pipeline by prohibiting the sale of the animals in New York’s 80 or so pet stores — ubiquitous for the window displays of puppies that can go for thousands of dollars — and encouraging New Yorkers to adopt pets from shelters instead. People would still be permitted to buy the animals directly from breeders, an attempt to allow prospective pet owners to visit and buy from responsible breeders.
“We know what it looks like when animals don’t get that care and certainly, from photos and documentation of what these facilities look like, that is not happening,” said Jennie Lintz, the puppy mill initiative director at the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. “New York remains one of the largest markets for these commercial facilities, so the bill could have not just an impact here, but across the country.”
Pet stores have fiercely pushed back against the legislation, arguing that the bill would put them out of business, lead to the unemployment of hundreds of workers, make it harder for people to obtain a pet in the state and potentially lead to an underground market of pet sales — arguments that supporters of the bill have dismissed as overblown.
One of the industry’s largest grievances is its contention that animal activists have demonized most of the breeding industry as abusive. It argues that the unsanitary puppy mills that have been the target of damning investigations are not representative of the entire industry.
“Let’s not pretend that there aren’t people out there who are doing this the wrong way, but they are few and far between,” said Mike Bober, the president and chief executive of the Pet Advocacy Network, a national pet trade association. “We’re deeply offended and frustrated by the fact that people willingly and intentionally misrepresent the state of breeding in the country.”
Ms. Hochul, a Democrat running for a full term in November, has not publicly shared her thoughts on the bill and her office said it was still reviewing the legislation.
In New York, the state attorney general’s office has filed lawsuits in recent years against a handful of pet stores, including those in Albany and New York City, accusing them of misleading consumers and selling puppies that were ill or abused and came from unauthorized breeders.
In 2021, Attorney General Letitia James sued Shake a Paw, which operates two stores on Long Island, for doctoring health certificates, saddling customers with unforeseen veterinary costs and selling at least nine dogs that died from serious diseases soon after they were sold. The store owners have vociferously denied the allegations.
The lawsuits have helped fuel support for a ban, despite the industry’s belief that prohibiting the retail sale of puppies will lead to a cascade of unintended consequences, including more online scams and fewer legal protections for consumers who adopt sick puppies.
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While New York is home to about 40 commercial breeders, according to the A.S.P.C.A., the majority of the puppies sold at pet stores in the state are imported from breeders elsewhere, mostly the Midwest.
Emilio Ortiz, a manager at Citipups, a pet store with two locations in Manhattan, said the company carefully sourced the hundreds of puppies it sells each year from about 30 different breeders across the country that he said exceeded federally mandated standards and provided “a great living situation for their dogs.”
Mr. Ortiz, who has met with state lawmakers and the governor’s office to lobby against the bill, argued that the largest obstacle for the industry is a “distorted view and public narrative” that all breeders and pet stores are bad actors. In response, he began creating videos that seek to show a behind-the-scenes look at how the stores treat the pets they sell. Mr. Ortiz has amassed over 300,000 followers on TikTok and his videos have garnered millions of views.
“It’s an uphill battle,” he said. “We’re just small businesses versus some of these big national organizations that raise millions of dollars and have this marketing machine behind them. Usually people hear only of these horror stories, so I wanted to show people like what actually goes on.”
He added: “We’d completely go out of business” if Ms. Hochul signed the bill, noting that about 90 percent of the store’s sales came from selling puppies.
The bill’s supporters have argued that stores that sell animals could adapt by shifting to selling pet supplies, though the industry contends that it would require stores to invest significantly to reconfigure floor plans originally designed to house live animals.
Pet stores would be allowed to collaborate with shelters and rescue organizations to host adoption events, though they would not receive any of the fees associated with the adoptions. Mr. Bober said that all but two of the 28 pet stores that sold puppies in California went out of business two years after the ban went into effect in 2019, according to data compiled by his trade association.
State Senator Michael Gianaris, a Democrat and self-described animal lover who introduced the bill in New York, brushed aside the industry’s business concerns, saying the ban had a more fundamental objective: to stop treating animals as commodities, or as “an item on a supermarket shelf.”
“I don’t think we should sanction the torturing of animals as a means to keep people in business,” said Mr. Gianaris, the deputy majority leader and owner of a rescue cat, Alley, and a Cavapoo mixed-breed puppy, Fred, that he said he purchased from a reputable breeder. “I hope it doesn’t take the governor as long as it took the entire Legislature to figure out the right thing to do.”
Though many Republican lawmakers voted for the bill, it didn’t gain serious traction in Albany until Democrats seized full control of the State Capitol four years ago. The legislation passed the State Senate in 2020 but stalled in the Assembly.
Some moderate Democrats in the Assembly opposed the bill and proposed more targeted alternatives to regulate the pet trade, while some animal activists loudly accused Carl Heastie, the chamber’s speaker, of holding up the legislation.
That changed on the last day of the legislative session this year, when the 150-seat Assembly passed the bill, which was introduced in the lower chamber by Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal, a Democrat from Manhattan, with only 15 votes against.
“The last bastion of nonpartisanship is puppies and kittens,” said Libby Post, the executive director of the New York State Animal Protection Federation, an organization representing animal shelters and rescue organizations, which support the bill.
The pet store industry has accused shelters and rescue organizations of hypocrisy, arguing that they operate with few regulations in New York, though a second bill on Ms. Hochul’s desk would aim to change that by implementing uniform standards for the veterinary care and housing of rescue animals.
Ms. Post said that banning the retail sale of the animals would ease the strain on New York’s more than 100 shelters and 400 rescue organizations, many of which she said are overflowing with dogs, including those that people obtained during the pandemic but may have abandoned after they were called back to their workplaces.
“What goes on in a puppy mill is absolutely inhumane,” Ms. Post said. “And New York is complicit in animal abuse as long as we allow the sale of milled animals.”
Two L.A. city councilmen called Friday for more resources for the city’s struggling animal shelters following a Times article about crowded kennels, shelter dogs that go for weeks without walks and staffing shortages.
“Angelenos deserve the services we pay for,” said City Councilman Marqueece Harris-Dawson, whose South L.A. district includes Chesterfield Square Animal Services Center. “We expect animals to be treated humanely and require the city to do better.”
Chesterfield Square is the most crowded of the city’s six animal shelters and houses some 300 dogs, some of whom face long confinement periods. The city relies on hundreds of unpaid volunteers to walk and exercise the dogs, but volunteers say that they can’t keep up with the influx of animals.
At the same time, staffing shortages are hurting the department. Animal Services lost more than 20% of its workforce through a program that encouraged older city employees to retire. It was launched in the first year of the pandemic in 2020 when it wasn’t clear that federal funding would be available.
Today, staff at Animal Services are frequently absent because of COVID-19-related issues, staff and volunteers told The Times.
Councilman Bob Blumenfield, who represents the west San Fernando Valley, said he was “horrified” to read about conditions at the shelters. “My heart breaks for the animals,” said Blumenfield, who said his family has both fostered and adopted shelter dogs.
Blumenfield questioned why more “red flags” weren’t raised about the shelter’s challenges.
Yet, members of the public regularly call into meetings of the Los Angeles Animal Services Commission, which is made up of Mayor Eric Garcetti’s appointees, to complain about conditions at the shelters, including the dogs’ long confinement.
And in May, an employee at the city’s San Pedro shelter emailed supervisors to alert them to overcrowding issues, including dogs that were being housed in shower stalls and in wildlife cages.
“We should be able to deal with this as a city,” Blumenfield said. “We have the resources and we have the know-how.”
He said the city shouldn’t be in a position where its dogs “are kept in shower stalls and not having walks.”
Blumenfield, who was critical at the time of the city’s retirement program because he feared a big loss in staff, also said the department needs more employees and better technology make it easier for the public to volunteer and adopt animals.
Animal Services’ interim general manager Annette Ramirez said in an interview last month that a new website will launch soon.
Harris-Dawson also said the neighborhood around the shelter “is filled with folks who love pets and are willing to give their time to turn the situation around. If Animal Services engages with the local community, they will show up.”
KTLA reported Thursday that Claudio Kusnier, a volunteer at the West Valley shelter, was suspended after he talked to the news outlet about conditions at the shelter.
Kusnier told KTLA that the shelters need to stay open past 5 p.m. so more people can volunteer. At one point — Kusnier was also interviewed after the suspension — he blamed department “mismanagement” for the loss of two key staff members who recently left. Both of those staffers are now working at other animal services agencies.
Jean Sarfaty, a former 911 city operator who volunteers at the West Valley shelter, told The Times that she was also suspended after talking to the media on Thursday. She said she was told she was suspended because she gave an interview without permission. She was wearing an Animal Services t-shirt at the time, too.
“I didn’t say anything negative,” Sarfaty said. “I said that the city employees work hard and that volunteers help to do the things that the city workers aren’t doing because they don’t have time.” The Times was not immediately able to get a comment from Animal Services about Sarfaty’s account.
Agnes Sibal, a spokesperson for Los Angeles Animal Services, said the department doesn’t comment on “staffing-related or personnel issues.”
Speaking generally about volunteer interviews, Sibal said volunteers need department approval prior to speaking to the media “when they are going to speak and represent the department [as a volunteer] to the media.”
Sibal also appeared on CBS2 this week and said that the dogs receive care, although some may not be walked for weeks.
“All the dogs in our shelters actually get daily enrichments,” Sibal told the news station. “That doesn’t necessarily mean that they get walked every day. However, they do get some form of exercise and interaction with volunteers or staff.”
Asked what exercise the dogs get every day, Sibal told The Times the animals get enrichment activities.
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“Dogs receive exercise through canine enrichment by engaging them in activities designed to stimulate their mind while also keeping them active,” Sibal said.
“Enrichment activities happen daily and vary day by day and may be outdoors via playtime in the yards or walks, or in their kennels, when they get their daily treats from staff/volunteers; receive Kong toys with treats inside; or when they enjoy frozen treats during hot weather,” Sibal said.
Other activities include blowing bubbles for dogs to pop and chase and reading to the animals, Sibal said.
She also said that city staff’s enrichment activities may not be reflected in any logs.
Former Animal Services supervisor Thomas Kalinowski, one of the staff who recently left the department, said that he personally interacted with dogs that hadn’t been out of their kennels in weeks or months.
Mike Long, communications director for SEIU 721, which represents some Animal Services workers, said Friday that “more animals will continue to suffer” if the city doesn’t act.
“We have to face facts — we need more dollars for staff and facilities because clearly, relying on the good will of volunteers and on private, one-time donations from pet-loving celebrities alone just isn’t enough,” Long said.
City Councilman Paul Koretz, who chairs a committee overseeing animal issues, has scheduled an emergency committee meeting next week to discuss conditions at the shelters.
Kali P. Wrote to Purina and they’ve confirmed – they’ve stopped production of the 13oz cans.
“Thank you for contacting the Nestlé Purina PetCare Company. We appreciate you letting us know your concern. We’re sorry to share that our 13 oz. Purina® Friskies® brand cat food cans have been discontinued. This was a difficult decision that was made in an effort to focus on expanding our Friskies varieties in 2020. We are still manufacturing these flavors in our 5.5 oz. can size…”
This change is going to adversely affect cat/kitten rescues, people who foster cats and kittens and the thousands of wonderful people who feed community cats, as well as many cat owners.
The apparent bravery of the woman, who was attempting an audacious evacuation across a broken bridge targeted by Russian fire, and the vulnerability of the animals, some of whom were strapped into dog wheelchairs, epitomised to many the cruelty of the war being waged by Vladimir Putin and the dignity of the Ukrainian response.
The full story of the trials of Anastasiya Tykha, 20, a veterinary student in the final year of her degree, and her husband Arthur Lee, 26, is perhaps even more striking than the photograph, which the couple discovered had gone viral when Tykha saw herself on the television news and listened to the presenter report that she was dead.
Anastasiya Tykha and some of her dogs attempting to travel from Irpin to Kyiv under Russian fire in March. Photograph: Handout
Speaking in Irpin, the town 13 miles north of Kyiv from where the couple had fled on 9 March, Tykha said they ended up making seven crossings of the bridge in total, each one under fire.
“We had too much to do to be worried or scared”, said Tykha, who has run an animal shelter in Irpin for four years, and who on that first journey was seeking to escape with 19 dogs, five cats, a turtle, a chameleon, two Triton lizards, an axolotl and a hamster.
It was Snizhana Bugryk, 35, a friend who was involved in finding abandoned and disabled animals for Tykha and Lee’s shelter, who persuaded the couple that they had no choice but to leave.
“Snizhana said we had to go or we would be killed, that this was our last chance for us and the animals to survive,” said Tykha. “And she was right”, added Lee. “Our house was later in the heart of the heavy fighting.”
It was a two-mile walk to the bridge where Ukrainian soldiers were helping people across.
An aerial view of the town of Irpin, 13 miles north of Kyiv, which has suffered heavy Russian bombardment. Photograph: Google Earth
Two of the dogs – Strong and Baileys, mongrel border collies with broken spines – were in wheelchairs, while Life, a four-year-old with amputated legs, had refused to be strapped in and was dragging herself on her stumps. “I did think at one point that we would not make it,” said Lee, “but Snizhana called and said there would be a minibus on the other side to help”.
It took three hours to get to the bridge. One dog, Pandora, a one-and-a-half-year-old mongrel Belgian shepherd, was so terrified that he bit off part of his tongue, while four of the others, including the couple’s own dog, Zeus, a beagle, became so worked up by the sounds of war they chewed through their leads and ran away.
Arriving exhausted at the Ukrainian checkpoint by the bridge, the couple and their animals drew the attention of press photographers, who crowded around them.
“That was when that photo was taken – I just wanted them to let us get through to the bridge,” said Tykha. “I was worried because there were burned out cars and lots of smashed glass and metal, and I didn’t want the animals to be cut up.”
A group of Ukrainian soldiers came to their aid, ushering the photographers away. “There were explosions and shooting but after two weeks of Russian occupation, we were used to it,” Lee said.
The couple found the minivan and it took them to a south-western district of Kyiv, where a sauna on the side of a house had been made available to them and their animals to stay in.
It was the next day that the couple discovered that their adventures were being talked about across Ukraine, and that Tykha was presumed dead.
They were determined to go back to find Zeus and the other dogs who had fled in fear.
“We were in the sauna for five days, but every one of those days Anastasiya went to the Ukrainian military checkpoint and demanded that she be allowed through to get the escaped dogs,” said Lee. Every day the commander at the checkpoint refused, and every day she came back. He was finally browbeaten into submission.
Anastasiya and Arthur have returned to Irpin, where they now care for 30 dogs and 10 cats. Photograph: Ed Ram/The Guardian
After crossing the bridge, again under fire, they faced a three-mile walk to a an abandoned animal shelter, where they knew there were hungry dogs who needed help.
“It was a hard walk because we had all this heavy food,” said Lee. They returned to their own home, where they found Zeus, and picked up some neighbours’ dogs, including a German shepherd, bringing their party of animals for the return to five.
They would make two further trips, and all the dogs that fled on the first escape were accounted for.
Lee said their final trip back to Irpin, on 29 March, was the scariest. “The council had said that the Russians had gone the previous day and that it was safe – but it wasn’t,” Lee said. “The bombs were landing just 2 metres from us. We hid between the minivan and a fence, but it was close.”
Now they are back in Irpin in a new, rented house. Because so many former residents have left, their collection of sheltered animals has grown to 30 dogs and 10 cats. They are, the couple say, just happy to be living the life they love.
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We dropped our dogs off for a long weekend boarding stay on Thursday, 5/5/22. We messaged the pet sitter thru the Rover app on Monday, 5/9/22 to let him know that we would be arriving at 11am to pick up our boys. No response. We arrived at 10:58am. No response upon arrival. He then came around the corner with one of our dogs on a leash, but not our lil’ guy Zukie/Mr. Magoo.
The pet sitter then claimed that our fur baby had gotten out 30 minutes earlier. He claims his father-in-law did not shut the gate. Our sweet boy had clearly been left outside unattended for him to access the gate.
The pet sitter searched for about an hour with us. Then stopped.
My husband and I continued searching into the night. Putting up flyers with a Reward. Going door to door. Posting all over social media. No luck. We resumed the search first thing the following morning.
We then received the call that all pet parents dread, someone had seen him dead on the side of the road. I drove to the scene and collapsed by his side . His vest/ harness ripped, his tags removed. I held his little lifeless body and wept. I wrapped him in a blanket and drove to the nearest vet where we were told that severe head trauma caused his death. We said our final goodbye.
He died alone.
The pet sitter did not contact Rover.com to advise of his disappearance.
The pet sitter did not notify us when our fur baby went missing.
The pet sitter did not respond to my husband when he messaged him asking for the video footage from the cameras on the house.
The pet sitter showed no remorse.
Now, Rover.com…who claims that “pet safety is our priority” , “backed by the security of a nationwide company” , and “premium insurance helps create a fun, carefree stay”… had the audacity to call and inform us that they would be willing to “reimburse us for the boarding stay” and would cover the cost of our sweet boy’s cremation/remains, and provided “condolences “ while then strategically stating that the pet sitter is an independent contractor.
Help us get #JusticeForZukie …
1) Demand that Rover.com release the number of wrongful pet deaths that occur due to pet sitter negligence. 2)Demand that Rover.com PERMANENTLY remove the pet sitter whose neglect and incompetence killed our fur baby. 3) Demand that Rover.com be held accountable for negligent and intentional misrepresentation of services.
What is happening there at this very moment is inconceivable , all domestic animals in Shanghai (cats, dogs, etc.) are taken from their owners by the Chinese army andkilled in cold blood , witnesses have filmed the facts.
Being very sensitive, sensible and committed, I can’t endorse this and I know I’m not alone! So no, I won’t just fall asleep with these horrible images in my head and you shouldn’t knowingly do the same.
Dogs killed, cats locked on top of each other in bags, it’s a sight from hell! And I weigh my words
, so yes, I am mobilizing with the little that I have, help me in this enterprise, perhaps we can prevent this massacre from continuing, think of these people who see their beloved animals being kidnapped and sentenced to death sure , it’s INHUMAN! I refuse to let this pass, join me, let ‘stry on our scale to move and change things , you who are undoubtedly committed to the cause and animal protection.
If you are looking to hit the open roads this summer with your cuddly companion, finding the ter-rufff-ic spot might be hard.
To celebrate National Pet Day on Monday, BestPlaces, an online resource for finding the best place to live, and Motel 6 have done some leg work for you. They chose 10 of the best cities by analyzing the availability of local dog parks, greenspaces, hiking and walking trails, pet stores, veterinarians and dog-friendly dining options.
“Local climate was also considered, because it’s a challenge to go exploring when the temperature is over a hundred or there are drifts of snow,” BestPlaces president Bert Sperling said.
They also determined the ideal place to stop for some rest, adventure or exploration.
“Each of these places are interesting enough that you may even want to make these your ultimate destination for sightseeing and relaxing,” Sperling said.
#10. Charlottesville, Virginia
Coming in No. 10 on the list is Charlottesville, Virginia, located 30 minutes from the northern end of the Blue Ridge Parkway, which stretches to the south along the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Temperatures on National Pet Day at the home of the University of Virginia and Thomas Jefferson’s famed estate, Monticello, will be sunny with a high near 70 degrees.
#9. Asheville, North Carolina
According to BestPlaces, Asheville, North Carolina, loves its dogs and has everything you’ll need on your road trip – which is why the town’s hip and laid-back, yet cosmopolitan vibe, comes in at No. 9.
Mostly sunny skies with a high near 73 degrees is expected Monday which will satisfy your pup on the hundreds of spots to walk or hike through the woods along the Blue Ridge Parkway.
#8. Bend, Oregon
Located in the drier high desert region of Oregon, east of the soggy Willamette Valley, the outdoor recreation hotspot of Bend, Oregon, has a strong dog-friendly culture, BestPlaces reports. There are ample opportunities for your dog to be part of your adventures like mountain biking, kayaking, hiking, skiing and climbing.
However, you might look to take a play date inside Monday because there is a chance of snow under partly sunny skies with a high near 45 degrees.
#7. Richmond, Kentucky
Don’t let the 20% chance of showers Monday stop you from exploring Richmond, Kentucky. A high near 72 degrees will greet you on your road trip through the South.
This best place for your pet hits at No. 7 and located near St. Louis and just south of Lexington, is ideal when the weather up north turns cold and icy.
#6. Gloucester, Massachusetts
Near the middle of the pack is the fishing town of Gloucester, Massachusetts located about an hour north of Boston. The No. 6 stop is steeped in New England history and scored the highest in BestPlaces’ list for the number of nearby hiking and walking resources, and there are plenty of pet amenities available.
Sunny skies, a high near 54 degrees and northwest winds at 10 to 16 mph are in the forecast Monday.
#5. Newport, Rhode Island
Fido will surely enjoy the brisk sea air and pleasant summer climate in Newport, Rhode Island, which has been a popular tourist destination along the Atlantic seaboard. You’ll find plenty of dog parks, greenspaces and parks to stretch your legs, BestPlaces reports.
Sunny skies, a high near 56 degrees is expected on National Pet Day.
#4. Mount Pleasant, South Carolina
Just north of Charleston, South Carolina, is the city of Mount Pleasant comes in at No. 4 on the list. Nestled along Highway 17 along the Atlantic coast, this city’s mild winter climate is a warm and welcoming change to the chilly Northeast winter. Monday will be sunny, with a high near 73 degrees.
#3. Santa Fe, New Mexico
Like BestPlaces’ other top picks, Santa Fe, New Mexico, has plenty of per-friendly amenities like pet stores, vets and a dog-friendly policy which allows them in outdoor dining venues. The city’s “dramatic high-desert setting has its own special beauty that you won’t forget,” BestPlaces reports.
Mostly sunny, with a high near 65 degrees, on Monday will be ideal for a lunch date with your dog.
#2. Rockville, Maryland
If you are looking to explore the Washington DC area with your pet, Rockville, Maryland has everything your they from dog parks, greenspaces, nearby state and national parks and local veterinarians.
Mostly sunny, with a high near 62 degrees, will make for a ter-rufff-ic beginning to the workweek.
#1. Santa Monica, California
And drumroll, please …
When you and your pet are on the road, BestPlaces said there is no better place to hang out than Santa Monica, California. Located on the Pacific Ocean, the city offers hundreds of hiking and walking trails in near-perfect climate.
You might think about sharing a meal with your fur-buddy by dining at any one of their popular open-air patios. While some there is patchy fog expected Monday, otherwise enjoy the sun and high near 64 degrees Monday.
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