This is the most popular post on my blog since I started in 2014. Thought I would repost for anyone who is struggling with keeping their Australian cattle dog entertained. You’re not alone!
If you live with an Australian cattle dog, aka a blue heeler, you may relate to my article, “How to Keep a Blue Heeler Busy.” Apparently, it’s one of the most popular dog articles I’ve written for this particular site, according to the traffic stats, and it means lots of people are searching for this information — if you know the breed, you’ll know why. Unfortunately, some people don’t research the breed of dog they acquire, and the dog always gets the short end of the stick. Often, a new canine family member who’s not a good fit for its humans’ lifestyle ends up at the pound. This happens often with cattle dogs, and sadly many end up in rescues along with other high-energy or ‘strong-willed’ breeds.
Scamp, pictured in this post, is going on six years old — this pic was when she was 10 months old. She…
When people tour our New York and California sanctuaries, they’re often most intrigued by the traits and behaviors of chickens—to them, it’s a surprise to learn that they are thinking, feeling beings. But countless studies are calling out the truth: “The evidence that chickens are intelligent and capable of feeling pain and suffering is overwhelming.”
PERFORMING ANIMAL WELFARE SOCIETYRescue. Advocacy. Sanctuary. For Life.Since 1984 March 2021 | Newsletter
The HBO documentary An Apology to Elephants, released in 2013, prominentlyfeatures PAWS and the elephants we care for at ARK 2000, including Lulu (pictured above).
“An Apology to Elephants” Revisited!
We often receive emails from people who have recently discovered the ground-breaking HBO documentary, An Apology to Elephants, and been inspired to take action. This hard-hitting film explores the abuse of elephants in circuses and the impoverishment of their lives in zoos – and how some people are working to bring about change. Award-winning actress, comedian, producer, and PAWS’ friend Lily Tomlin narrates the film and earned an Emmy for her work. The documentary remains as relevant today as when it was first released.(Pictured: Lily Tomlin with PAWS’co-founder, the late Pat Derby.)
When Lily Tomlin approached PAWS about the project, we were happy to provide our expertise. The film prominently features PAWS’ co-founders, Ed Stewart and the late Pat Derby, and the elephants we care for at ARK 2000. In fact, An Apology to Elephants was dedicated to Pat, who passed away in February 2013. Tomlin shared her Emmy win with Ed Stewart (pictured) and PAWS, stating, “This is a great acknowledgement of the work of Ed Stewart and Pat Derby, founders of PAWS, who have worked on behalf of elephants for so many years.” PAWS cares for eight elephants rescued or retired from zoos and circuses. They include Asian elephant Gypsy, who spent 40 years in at least a half dozen different circuses, and African elephant Mara who was originally held at a petting zoo in California. Unlike Gypsy and Mara, who were kidnapped from their families in the wild, Asian elephant Nicholas was born into the circus where he was forced to ride a tricycle and balance on a narrow wood beam. Maggie was the only elephant in frigid Alaska before she was transferred to PAWS.
Today, all of our elephants live far different lives. They traverse large, open pastures set among rolling hills dotted with oak trees, spending their days as they please. This usually includes foraging on grass and trees, enjoying a dust bath, and exploring their dynamic environment. Since An Apology to Elephants was released, we’ve made progress for captive elephants used in circuses. Legislation has played a large part, first with city and state-wide bans on the abusive elephant bullhook (PAWS co-sponsored the California bill and played a role in the Rhode Island ban) and through prohibitions on the use of elephants in traveling shows (New York, Illinois) and on the use of wild animal acts (New Jersey, Hawaii). Many more local municipalities have passed similar bans. Several states have introduced bills this year to prohibit wild animal acts. (Read more in article below.)
Zoos continue to confine and display elephants, though the number of zoos holding them in the U.S. has decreased. The number of elephants in zoos is also decreasing, as elephants do not thrive in captive environments. More captive elephants are dying each year than are being born. To make up for this, zoos have imported wild caught elephants – and will do so again – in order to stock zoo displays. PAWS will continue to stand up against the cruel separation of elephant calves from their mothers and wild families, only to spend the rest of their lives in captivity. Of course, there is much more work to be done before we can declare victory for captive elephants. If you need some motivation or just want to learn more about the plight of these iconic animals in captivity, watch An Apology to Elephants. It is sure to move you to action! An Apology to Elephants was directed by Amy Schatz, with narration written by Jane Wagner. You can find the documentary on HBO Max, Hulu Premium, Amazon Prime and YouTube.
Update: PAWS’ Exposé of Fort Worth Zoo’s $2 Million Elephant Deal
Last August, PAWS exposed a plan by the Fort Worth Zoo in Texas to purchase and import two female Asian elephants, Emily and Nellie, from African Lion Safari in Canada for the outrageous price of two-million dollars. (Read our press release here.) We had also filed comments with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS), asking that the agency deny the permit required for the import. Recently, we learned that the Fort Worth Zoo withdrew its permit request in September 2020.
The zoo’s aim was to bring in the elephants for breeding, even though the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ (AZA) own Population Analysis and Breeding & Transfer Plan for Asian elephants rated the pairing of Nellie with the two males at the Fort Worth Zoo as “genetically detrimental” and for Emily it was either “genetically detrimental” or “genetically neutral.” Shockingly, the AZA actually allows pairings of elephants for whom breeding would be genetically detrimental due to the “current demographic needs of the population” and “to meet offspring goals.” In other words, the number of elephants in zoos is diminishing and they need to produce elephants for display, no matter the cost.
In its letter to the USFWS, PAWS also expressed concern about the breeding of female elephants at a young age. Emily gave birth at age nine to a calf who has since died, meaning she was impregnated at age seven. Nellie is seven years old now. The mean age at first calving is 18 to 20 years in wild Asian elephants.
The population of Asian elephants in North American zoos has been shown to be unsustainable, without the importation of more wild-caught elephants. Breeding in zoos is a frantic attempt to bolster its declining elephant population, as well as boost zoo attendance and revenue. As one zoo director stated before importing wild-caught elephants from Swaziland to his zoo in 2016: “It’s not a question of ‘if’ but a question of ‘when’ we will have young elephant calves born here. . . That’s going to skyrocket the attendance like nothing ever has here before.”
No elephant born in captivity has ever, or will ever, be introduced to their range country, even though reintroduction of a species is a key part of legitimate conservation programs.
In the end, we are pleased that the Fort Worth Zoo’s deal did not take place. It would have created a considerable financial incentive for other countries to engage in live elephant trafficking and harmed elephant conservation efforts. However, we need to remain on guard. As zoos become more desperate, we will see astronomically high prices put on elephants’ heads, the breeding of elephants at very young ages, and more captures of wild elephants that traumatize entire families. Zoos always have been, and will continue to be, players in the wildlife trade.
“Owners of dogs will have noticed that, if you provide them with food and water and shelter and affection, they will think you are God. Whereas owners of cats are compelled to realize that, if you provide them with food and water and affection, they draw the conclusion that they are God.” – Christopher Hitchens
“What greater gift than the love of a cat.” – Charles Dickens
I am currently fostering/socializing a family of feral cats who found access to the crawl space under my house last winter. I have looked after momma Mist for about a year with round the clock feedings and a number of straw-filled shelters for her and her kittens.
Image and Story Excerpted from A Humane World, Humane Society of the United States Blog
Israel yesterday announced it intends to ban the fur trade. If successful, it would be the first nation to end the buying and selling of a cruel commodity that has fallen out of favor in the fashion industry and with consumers.
Israel’s ban would make only a few minor exceptions for religious purposes and tradition. While some European nations such as Austria and Croatia have already banned all fur farming, they continue to allow fur sales. The United Kingdom has also banned fur farming, and Humane Society Internationa/U.K. is now leading the #FurFreeBritain campaign aimed at ending fur sales in that country.
Making the announcement, Israel’s environmental protection minister Gila Gamliel did not hesitate to call the use of fur in fashion exactly was it is: immoral.
“How it is that animals understand things I do not know, but it is certain that they do understand. Perhaps there is a language which is not made of words and everything in the world understands it. Perhaps there is a soul hidden in everything and it can always speak, without even making a sound, to another soul.” ― Frances Hodgson Burnett
As a PETA Investigation and Rescue Fund monthly member, I check this list frequently to ensure I am not using any products from companies that continue to test on animals.
For example, I use Charlotte Tilbury makeup which is cruelty-free but was considering giving another brand, Clinique, a try because their moisturizer is less expensive. Well, Clinique is owned by Estee Lauder and is on the list of companies that do test so I will continue with CT and products on the below list.
My name is Yvette and Save the Chimps is currently fundraising for new climbing structures on my island home, through their Giving Day for Apes campaign!
I was born in Africa in approximately 1965 and spent over three decades being used as a breeder for laboratories, while being used in medical research in between births. In 2000 I became part of a small group of middle-aged females. When us high-spirited ladies first met there was a bit of drama and they needed a mediator. I brought a calmness to the situation and was described as the “go between girl.”
This is when I met my best friend Mandy and formed a friendship that brought both of us incredible joy and companionship over the years. I shared my food and enrichment with her and sharing is not a common characteristic for a chimpanzee, but it was so much more. We were inseparable. We were among the 266 chimpanzees rescued by Save the Chimps in 2002 and migrated to Florida in March 2011 where we spent our days exploring our beautiful island home and basking in the Florida sun together. We were often spotted watching the sunset together and at bedtime, we made fluffy nests and slept side by side every night. Sadly, Mandy passed away in 2016. The group seemed to know I was grieving and many of the boys were extra kind to me. Kendra, a young girl who adored Mandy and followed her everywhere, stayed close to me and transferred much of that affection toward me. The support meant a lot to me while I grieved the loss of my best friend.
I am a respected matriarch who provides guidance and comfort to many of the boys in the group. This is especially true for my relationship with Seve, a male who has struggled with a difficult past. When’s he’s feeling agitated, he will seek me out for comfort and solace. My soothing presence while I groom him can prevent him from escalating into self-abuse when he is experiencing extreme stress. I am also strong and have no problem stepping up and putting the boys in line when they need it. Drama seems to be a daily occurrence in chimp life and I will definitely express my opinion about the situation. I’m happy to be spending my golden years surrounded by the companionship of my chimpanzee family, the loving daily care by staff, and the freedom to choose how I would like to spend my days.
“Today, the nature that surrounds us is no longer admired, but “devoured”. We must return to contemplation; so as not to be distracted by a thousand useless things, we must find silence; for the heart not to become sick, we must be still.” Pope Francis
The first wolf pups in several years have been born on Isle Royale in Michigan, the National Park Service reported this week.
This is exciting news. We have followed the progress of the wolves on this remote island close to Canada for years and championed their survival. Albeit small, Isle Royale illustrates, in a microcosm, the important role wolves play in their ecosystems, and the harm that can ensue when they are removed from the habitats they have historically occupied. It’s an especially important lesson at a time when wolves elsewhere in our country are about to lose their federal protections, making them easy targets for trophy hunters and trappers.
Here’s an oldie, but goodie. I originally posted in 2014, the year I started this blog.
I write 99 percent of my “Ways to Be Amazing” posts. They are simple ideas that tend to shape my day. Today’s list is from the Good Life Project’s “Living Creed” by Jonathan Fields. You can see the whole poster at Good Life Project. It’s a dynamic (living) document that’s meant to evolve over time, and to reflect our commitment to certain choices we make in life. Of course, everyone has their own unique priorities and values, but I like this short list from the creed.
Expose your soul, vulnerability is a gateway to strength.
Choose gratitude over greed.
Align what you do with who you are and you’ll become what you need to be.
Build a tribe, people matter.
Move your body, feed your brain.
Lighten up, if you can’t laugh at yourself, others will happily do it for you.
Whales, dolphins and porpoises, known collectively as cetaceans, face momentous challenges to their survival today. Many of these animals are disappearing right before our eyes, like the Chinese river dolphin, declared possibly extinct in 2017, and the Mexican vaquita, a species of porpoise that is all but extinct with only 10 individuals likely remaining in the Gulf of California.
The scientists estimate that of the 90 cetacean species now around, more than half have a “concerning conservation status” and might be swimming toward extinction. Thirteen species have already been listed as “critically endangered” or “endangered.” Many discrete populations are also in trouble and could become locally or regionally extinct.
With great sadness we share the passing of Little Rock, a beloved member of our Save the Chimps family. Little Rock’s origins are a mystery, as is how she acquired her name. Her earliest records are from 1981, but she was already an adult by then. Her birthday is an estimate due to the lack of records of her earlier life. She was most likely born sometime between 1962 and 1969, possibly in the wild in Africa. What we do know is she belonged to a pharmaceutical company in Pennsylvania before she was sent to The Coulston Foundation, a research lab in Alamogordo, NM.
During her 20 years at The Coulston Foundation, Little Rock was used both as a breeder and in medical experiments. She had ten children, all of whom were taken from her shortly after birth. For all of those years, Little Rock lived in a steel and concrete cage; she never saw trees or felt the grass under her feet.
Save the Chimps rescued Little Rock in 2002, when The Coulston Foundation went bankrupt and Save the Chimps took custody of their 266 chimpanzees. Little Rock’s new caregiver noticed that she didn’t respond to her name or to sounds and noises like other chimps. Little Rock’s records were thoroughly checked and we found two written notations of her deafness, one recorded in 1998 and one in 2001. There is no information on how long Little Rock had been deaf or what might have caused her hearing loss. Little Rock was so attentive and attuned to her surroundings that it was easy to forget that she was deaf. She always communicated effectively with her human caregivers and other chimps, using gestures and body language as well as vocalizations.
Little Rock lived in a large group of chimps known as “Doug’s Family” and was a beloved member of the group. Together they shared a spacious island home with grass, trees, hills, and platforms. She was a very devoted and loyal chimp. Little Rock was often found with her best friend Tanya, who sadly passed away in 2013. After Tanya’s death, Andrea the Second, the younger of two Andreas in the group, became Little Rock’s new companion, lovingly watching over Little Rock and making sure she was never lonely. Over the years Little Rock also enjoyed friendships with Pepsi, September, Daisy, and Angie.
Although Little Rock was elderly, she had a zest for life. Her determination to overcome adversity and enjoy her retirement to its fullest is something that is easy to admire and remains an inspiration to us all.
Little Rock died from natural causes and will be sorely missed by all who knew her. We find comfort in knowing that she spent the last eighteen years of her life experiencing love and companionship and we thank you, our supporters, for making that possible.
Rest in peace, Little Rock. We will miss you always.
Today, on World Lion Day, we celebrate lions as an iconic wild cat species, and we recommit to our campaigns to halt their exploitation and destruction in the United States and abroad. We are giving it all we’ve got.
In the wild, of course, this iconic species is among the most imperiled of all with as few as 20,000 left in range nations.
In South Africa, a particularly grim industry has emerged to take advantage of tourists’ affinity for lion cubs. An estimated 11,000 lions are held captive there in more than 300 facilities, and the captive lion breeding industry undergirds activities such as cub petting, lion walking, canned hunting and the trade in lion bone and parts—all causing obvious harm to lions. Such facilities dupe unsuspecting tourists into spending time and money on volunteering at these facilities, under the guise of “conservation.” Substandard housing and welfare standards, inhumane slaughter and pending cruelty cases like one stemming from a 2019 investigation tell the sad story. Lions, leopards, tigers and caracals on the property were living in filthy and parasitic conditions. Many suffered from mange and/or neurological conditions and were unable to walk.
In an effort to give validation to my feelings as a younger woman when I incessantly wrote poems about each and every one of my experiences from my love of nature and animals to love, I am publishing these revealing footnotes of my life here in my blog.
I found these pieces scrawled on old, yellowed paper tucked away in an old cedar chest and decided to revive them.
Always a fan of nature, this one was written about 30 years ago when I was in around 40 years old — it’s about spiders, of course.
Nocturnal arachnids stalk,
they are gaunt predators,
spectral and silent in the luminous night;
shrouded by webs of mist
in multi-dimensional concentration,
they parachute into sand and grass; hunting.
There is an aura of immediacy
as miniature and naked
in the still chill of life’s balance,
spinning spiders dance
on the dewy threads of their home
their delicate, yet complex masterpiece, a geometric fantasy
Just over a century ago, there were more than 200,000 wild lions living in Africa. Today, there are only about 20,000; lions are extinct in 26 African countries and have vanished from over 95 percent of their historic range. Join the Pride and Help Us Save Lions
Ahold Delhaize, the company that owns some of the largest grocery chains in the United States, including Food Lion, Giant Food, the GIANT Company, Hannaford and Stop & Shop, has announced it will only sell eggs from cage-free chickens across all its stores by 2025 or sooner. The company will also eliminate any pork produced through locking mother pigs in gestation crates from its supply chain.
This is incredible news, coming as it does from what is the nation’s fourth-largest grocery retailer, with more than 2,000 locations. The company’s new animal welfare policy, which comes after dialogue with the Humane Society of the United States, eliminates two of the most heinous forms of intensive animal confinement in cages and crates. Cages used to confine egg-laying chickens are so small that the animals cannot express natural behaviors like running, exploring or even extending their wings. Each chicken is given less space than a sheet of paper on which to live. Gestation crates, used to confine mother pigs, are about the same width and length of the animal’s body, leaving them with no room to even turn around.
The announcement from Ahold Delhaize is the latest in a series of similar pledges that the HSUS, Humane Society International, and other animal protection organizations have secured from hundreds of major food companies over the last decade, including Kroger, Nestle and Unilever. With our Food Industry Scorecard, we are keeping track of the progress these companies are making toward achieving their cage-free goals.
Momentum for passing a federal law against animal testing for cosmetics continues to
grow, with some of the strongest support coming from the industry that makes and markets these products. This week, we reached an important milestone with 300 independent companies now officially endorsing the Humane Cosmetics Act, in addition to nearly 600 member companies of the Personal Care Products Council, which also supports the bill. The measure would, with certain exceptions, end all animal testing for cosmetic products and ingredients in the United States and prohibit the import of cosmetics that have been tested on animals anywhere in the world.
Most of the endorsements come from small businesses that are already proving that high quality cosmetics can be formulated without testing on animals. But the list also includes industry heavyweights such as Unilever and P&G, and known brands such as H&M and LUSH.
This is just the latest achievement in our efforts to engage with industry leaders to make the United States the next cruelty-free marketplace. The Humane Society Legislative Fund and the Humane Society of the United States worked closely with the Personal Care Products Council, the leading national trade association representing hundreds of cosmetics and personal care products companies, to propose language for the Humane Cosmetics Act. The bill has already been introduced in the House and the Senate, with sponsors from both sides of the aisle.
Pensamos demasiadamente e sentimos muito pouco. Necessitamos mais de humildade que de máquinas. Mais de bondade e ternura que de inteligência. Sem isso, a vida se tornará violenta e tudo se perderá. Charles Chaplin.