Webinar on Courtroom Animal Advocacy Program was held yesterday.
About this Event
Framing the legal and jurisprudential issues is Prof. David osengard of Lewis & Clark Law School;
Describing the LINK between animal cruelty and domestic violence is Phil Arkow, Director of the National LINK Coalition;
Team CONNECTICUT (where Desmond's Law was initiated and enacted):
Prof. Jessica Rubin, Univ. of Connecticut Law School who runs an Animal Law clinic, supervising students to become advocates for abused animals;
Diana Urban, Frm. Rep. of Connecticut who drafted and sponsored the bill;
Zilla Cannamela, Founder and organizer of Desmond's Army of volunteers
Team NEW JERSEY (bill S2868 has passed the Senate Judiciary and must pass the Assembly (A4533) Judiciary Committee, full Assembly and be signed by the Governor.
Sen. Raymond Lesniak describes New Jersey's legislative process and why the law is needed;
Sen. Nicholas Scutari recounts the bill's success in the Senate's Judiciary Committee (11:0) and the challenge of passing the full Senate;
Assemblyman Raj Mukherji tells us who is on the Assembly judiciary committee and how we can help him move the bill through
Team NEW YORK (bill S.3525 was re-Introduced for the 2021-2022 legislative session)
Assemblymember Linda Rosenthal traces New York's legislative process and why the law is needed;
Fmr. Judge Nicholas DeMartino introduces us to VALAC-- his Volunteer Advocate Lawyer for Abused Animals in Court.
WWF is thrilled to announce Alexa White as the 2020 Conservation Leadership Award recipient.
Established in 2019, the award sets out to recognize and support young leaders in conservation. Winners receive access to WWF's global network and experts and a financial prize to further their professional or academic goals within conservation.
Alexa White, M.S. (she/her) is a 4th year Ph.D. candidate at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. She is an agroecologist interested in the relationship between international environmental governance, and food sovereignty and food security. Her outstanding contributions to the fields of sustainable agriculture and climate activism distinguish her as an exceptional leader. At the University of Michigan, Alexa serves as the co-director of Climate Blue, a student organization with a mission to help the university community make better, well-informed decisions about climate policy and climate change mitigation.
On February 2 at 5:30pm EST, we hosted a virtual conversation with Alexa about her recent win and her future plans. She'll be joined by the 2019 Conservation Leadership Award winner, Maka Monture Päki. Join us on Facebook or Youtube.
A Dublin dog pound has become the subject of an ongoing investigation by the Irish National Police into alleged animal cruelty, with one arrest already and a number of legislators calling for change.
Ashton Dog Pound, located on River Road in Dublin, has served the city’s four councils with dog pound and dog warden services for years, with hundreds of thousands of taxpayer-supported Euros tied to each council’s annual service contract with the pound — the equivalent of a cumulative more than $1 million USD.
Over the years, multiple people, including those who have adopted dogs from the pound, have alleged animal cruelty by the pound staff.
Fingal County Councillor Tania Doyle shared some of their concerns after she paid the pound an unannounced visit — as allowed by the councils’ contract — and encountered conditions she said were befitting of the sordid squalor of a Dickens’ novel.
“In front of me on a very bleak afternoon, I saw numerous dogs on cold wet concrete floors with no drainage, heat lamps supposedly in place to keep the animals warm not operating, no appropriate bedding in place,” Doyle told the Dublin Gazette.
It was a whistleblower complaint, in June 2020, that brought the An Garda Síochána, also known as the Gardaí or Irish National Police, swooping into an investigation of shelter operations.
The whistleblower said that untrained staff were feeding Dolethal, a controlled euthanasia drug containing pentobarbital sodium, to dogs scheduled for euthanasia — resulting in painful, prolonged deaths marred by intense suffering as the dogs’ organs slowly shut down, according to local news.
The drug is supposed to be injected, by a trained vet only, to bring a swift, compassionate end for animals.
On their initial visit in June, Gardaí agents seized bottles of pentobarbital sodium from an unlocked cabinet easily accessible to staff in the pound. They also seized the bodies of five dead dogs, along with a computer and pound documents.
Local news coverage reported the veterinary surgeon allegedly responsible for providing the controlled drugs to the pound is under investigation. A man in his late 50s was arrested in connection with alleged animal cruelty on Jan. 27, according to the Gardaí, who don’t give out names during investigations.
A Gardaí spokesperson told Lady Freethinker the investigation remains ongoing.
The Sunday Times also recently dredged up claims from another whistleblower who had made similar claims three years ago about alleged malpractice, animal cruelty, and falsification of documents. The whistleblower, a former dog warden at the pound, alleged that seriously injured dogs weren’t given veterinary treatment — including a greyhound with a broken leg — and that pound staff were using lethal doses of medications to kill or sedate dogs at Ashton. The whistleblower said, however, that he was never interviewed about the claims, according to the Sunday Times.
What’s exceptionally odd about the situation is that hundreds of pages of veterinary inspection reports from 2015 through 2020– obtained by Lady Freethinker through Freedom of Information requests from the councils — show an almost solid-wall of “Satisfactory” check marks by veterinary inspectors. A lone “unsatisfactory” mark noted some of the lighting wasn’t working.
Other comments, none of which resulted in “unsatisfactory” findings or in recommendations to shift pound services, indicated a handful of dogs demonstrating health issues — a few were aggressive, one was thin, another had diarrhea but was being treated — or that the pound had maintenance issues — paint covered some of the kennel’s ventilation ducts, the kennel floors needed to be sloped to allow water drainage during cleanings — that subsequently were fixed by future inspections.
One page of recommendations for improvements also noted the inspector had “concerns” about public access to the pound when staff weren’t present and “the protocols in place for handover of dogs by the public.”
During a September meeting of the South Dublin County Council, the council’s executive authority referenced these satisfactory reports and the monthly, unannounced inspections.
“None of these inspections have revealed any issues regarding the welfare of dogs in the pound,” was the response recorded in the meeting’s minutes. “The existing contract continues to be monitored and reviewed as part of the contract management and oversight. Policies and procedures are regularly reviewed.”
The Irish Party for Animal Welfare (PAW), in correspondence with Lady Freethinker, had concerns about the conditions at the pound, which they described as “a festering carbuncle on Ireland’s psyche,” despite the reports, which they described as “carefully crafted.”
“From what we saw there were no recommendations on how to improve either in these reports, the writing was scant in every detail,” PAW said via email. “PAW are aware of the serious allegations, which span close on twenty years. Ashton sporadically rears its ugly head, inflicting the same torture of mind on animal lovers as it does on its unfortunate residents. Videos and photographs circulate regularly on social media and YouTube. Despite rigorous protesting outside its gates it has achieved nothing concrete in the way of progress.”
David and Carol Stone, the owners of the pound, did not respond to the allegations prior to publication of this story. But in an email, obtained by LFT through a FOIA request, Stone mentioned to inspectors that he was struggling with ramifications from the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This coronavirus is really challenging us, as it is everyone else, so if you have any special requirements or advice during this time, please let us know,” David Stone wrote in the public records document. “We are reviewing our procedures as required and will keep you informed as things change.”
The topic of the pound services has become especially heated recently since renewal or reassignment of the tender — or the official invitation to agencies to bid for the service contract — is coming up this spring and summer for three of the four councils.
Hanging like a guillotine over councillors’ heads, as voiced at recent council meetings, is concern about what options they will have if investigators deem Ashton — the sole contender for services in some recent years — unfit for continued services.
The South Dublin County Council chose to extend its service contract with Ashton Pound in January. But in light of the investigation, other councillors are demanding accountability — and change.
At a recent council meeting, Sinn Féin Councillors William Carey and Derren Ó Brádaigh called for separating kennelling and pound services. South Dublin County Councillor Alan Edge has gone a step further and asked the council’s executive authority to draft county-wide guidelines for animal welfare.
“We need to strive for excellence and ensure that animal welfare is the paramount consideration in determining who should provide this service for the county,” Edge told The Echo, a local Irish newspaper.
Councillors Shay Brennan, Donna Cooney, and Deirdre Heney also have voiced concerns about the pound to local Irish news.
Doyle, the Fingal councillor who has raised her voice on other animal welfare issues as well, told Lady Freethinker that the safety and welfare of all animals remains a priority for her.
“I am on record as stating that the physical infrastructure under which dogs at this facility are housed can only be described as ‘Dickensian.’ I say this having physically visited Ashton myself on an unannounced visit,” she told Lady Freethinker. “We have now reached a point where Fingal needs to provide these important services itself, as it will lead to greater oversight and better outcomes.”
The dogs at this Irish pound deserve justice. The four Dublin councils must take every possible step to ensure immediate and lasting change happens at this pound.
Sign Lady Freethinker’s petition asking the four Dublin councils to demand the immediate removal of any personnel found complicit or negligent in the dogs’ care, additional oversight of pound operations, and established and enforced animal welfare guidelines countywide.
Wisconsin Moves Forward With Wolf Hunt
Wolves in Wisconsin were just given a death sentence.
A judge has ordered that a wolf hunt must take place there this winter — just as wolves are beginning their breeding season.
You can help support our fight to protect wolves with a gift to the Wolf Defense Fund.
This is what happens when wolves lose Endangered Species Act protection. We're in court to get that protection restored — and we'll be fighting at the state level to stop these hunts.
The Center for Biological Diversity spoke out against plans for a winter wolf hunt in Wisconsin, and that hunt was initially rejected by a single vote.
But now a judge has ruled a hunt must go forward immediately. Even the state's Department of Natural Resources opposes the idea.
We'll be fighting this cruel decision every step of the way.
Trump stripped protection from gray wolves across the lower 48 last fall. Then the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recently doubled down on his decision — despite an executive order given by President Biden, in his first week in office, for a thorough review based on science.
It's simple: When states manage wolves, more wolves die...and more wolf families are shattered.
We need you with us to save wolves from persecution. Please give to the Wolf Defense Fund today.
Help Us Fight for Wolves! Please join the Center for Biological Diversity's efforts to…https://act.biologicaldiversity.org
Cruel horse fight organizers planning a comeback! Please help us stop them.
Recently, we got word from our informants that a covert cadre of gamblers may soon attempt a series of vicious and illegal horse fights in deeply remote, rumored locations on the Philippines island of Mindanao.
We are writing to ask if you could possibly give now to help us stop the fights and help the horses.
What’s happened is that while the spread of COVID-19 has meant little in the way of good news for humans and for virtually every animal being exploited on the planet, the horses being cruelly forced to fight one another for money on Mindanao have miraculously seen a small reprieve.
Coronavirus lockdowns have meant that the agonizing illegal gambling blood sport of horse fighting has had to remain inactive these past few months.
There are now indications that reprieve may soon end. The gore-fests known as horse derbies could be picking up, and with it, the untold suffering of horses!
We’ve met with the provincial police director of the landlocked province of Bukidnon, in the mountainous center of Mindanao. The plan is for him to inform the chief of police in the city where the fights are rumored to be happening that we are on to these gamblers, WILL conduct a raid if necessary, and if so, that there WILL be arrests!
Bets run as high as $20,000 (£15,000). Horses’ lives are at stake! That’s why we need to begin now AND build up additional funds BEFORE the horse derbies and horse suffering kicks back into high gear!
Please send whatever you can now to help the horses, shut down impending fights, shut down the entire blood sport, and bring peace to the horses at last.
Great news from Israel. Nicky the brutalized donkey will survive!
Nicky the donkey brutalized donkey will survive!
Children found an abandoned baby foal in a field near a small town in Israel (perhaps in this case, “monsters” is a more descriptive word because what they did is utterly sickening).
They found an old chair… and some sticks… and began…TO BEAT THE BABY DONKEY TO DEATH!
They pummelled the poor baby so hard that they…BROKE THE CHAIR ON HER BACK and her colon fell out!
The innocent foal’s life was spared thanks to some good Samaritans who saw what was happening and chased the children away before they succeeded in killing her. The witnesses called our partner, Starting Over, a donkey sanctuary - and volunteers immediately hurried to the rescue.
Her rescuers named the baby Nicky and rushed her to intensive care. It was touch and go but the good news is that we were able to save the little foal’s life!
Her treatment will be costly, and her recovery time will be long. But if you know anything about Network for Animals, you will have no doubt about our commitment to help animals - no matter how difficult the situation.
We urgently need to raise funds to continue treating Nicky. Please be as generous as you possibly can today - Nicky needs our immediate support now.
Nicky is in URGENT need of expert veterinary care (and generous love and patience) and with your donation, we will be able to give it to her.
Please sign this petition and demand that Rochester Animal Services re-open it’s doors to homeless cats in need. Demand that the HAAS Model immediately be removed from operation. The welfare of cats in the City of Rochester, NY is a VERY grave situation. Rochester Animal Services and the Verona Street shelter last year, very quietly implemented a new plan to close their shelter to abandoned and homeless cats living on the harsh City streets. They have now called ALL cats on the streets “community cats” and have used that term to their advantage to abandon them and refuse to help them. They implemented the HAAS (Human Animal Alliance Services) model without input from tax payers and animal advocates in the area and forced this new model upon the people that live there. This model includes massive changes to animal welfare and is the epitome of the story of The Emperors New Clothes. This model is NOT good for Rochester cats and it’s residents. This ruthless change has already shown devastating and long lasting effects to cats and local animal rescue organizations.
As of last year, any cat that has been abandoned on the city streets is now conveniently called a “community cat” by the City of Rochester Animal Services (RAS). The Verona Street Animal Shelter will no longer be allowed to intake any "community cats" to their shelter to be adopted or to receive veterinary care. This appalling new change has been verified multiple times by multiple sources and people are being turned away in need of placing homeless cats. Desperate people who see friendly, starving cats are turned away and told to find the owner themselves (despite the cat not having one) and to post to the internet to find its owner or a new home. Or they are told to call an already over burdened rescue to help them. No help is available for these cats anymore. The shelters are empty. They will not help or take in cats unless it is a proven owner surrender. Sadly, another very large shelter in the Rochester, NY area has also begun to implement this very sad model.
There are currently thousands of cats on the streets of Rochester, NY. Massive amounts of kittens will be born and they will be left to die or independent rescue groups will have to try to help. But these rescue groups receive no help or tax dollars like the City of Rochester does, who has turned their back to the plight that is now happening due to their intentional new change.
Here is one statement from a city resident... The current situation on my street. There are 3 males that have been coming around to eat- now a young black female. There was a gray tiny female they were chasing around I saw a few weeks ago. I called Verona St last week and a young lady answered and told me not to trap the community cats- would not give me an appointment for intake. Told me to take pictures and post on the internet to see if anyone claims them. Also said that the rule is if homeowners feed the cats and put out the huts for shelters we are claiming responsibility for them and it’s on us- other wise stop putting out food and shelter.
Demand action! Sign this petition and share with anyone who cares about cats! Call the City of Rochester and DEMAND that they make changes to once again take in homeless, friendly cats and kittens. The outcome of the City of Rochester’s recent action will result in a massive increase of suffering from kittens being born and then turning feral with no one to care for them. The suffering of friendly, abandoned cats forced to live on the city streets does NOT need to happen! Sign now with a click. Visit petition page.
Stop Supporting Animal Cruelty, Tropical Smoothie Cafe!
During this horrific pandemic, I have fully embraced ordering food “to-go.” One of my favorite places to order from—and one that was already kind of set up perfectly for this new takeout culture—is Tropical Smoothie Cafe. In fact, Tropical is based right near me in Atlanta, so there are a ton of locations here. I’m mostly into their smoothies, but they’ve got lots of food too. The thing is,I recently found out that Tropical Smoothie supports extreme animal cruelty by refusing to set proper animal welfare standards for the chicken it uses on its menu.
Additionally, the company has continually refused to answer questions that customers, like me, have about its chicken standards. I don’t know why Tropical Smoothie won’t listen to its customers or do the ethical thing. But here’s what I do know:
Currently, chickens raised for Tropical Smoothie Cafe’s supply chains live a life of pure torture.
They are bred to grow at an alarmingly unnatural rate, which causes leg deformities, organ failure, and heart attacks in these baby birds.
Each flock, which consists of tens of thousands of birds, are kept in dirty, windowless sheds.
They are forced to live in their own waste with ammonia levels so concentrated that many suffer from chemical burns.
When these birds are brought to slaughter, they are violently shackled upside down. Their throats are then slit, often while they’re still conscious.
But Tropical Smoothie has the opportunity to vastly improve the lives of the chickens it uses for the meat on its menu by adopting the Better Chicken Commitment, a comprehensive set of welfare reforms that address the worst abuses suffered by chickens on today’s farms. Over 200 companies have already signed on to this commitment, including one of Tropical Smoothie’s main competitors, Jamba Juice.
Consumers across the globe are demanding more transparency about the sources of their food—especially with regard to animal welfare. In response, restaurants, from Jamba Juice to Saladworks to White Castle are stepping up to the plate and committing to doing better. Why isn’t Tropical Smoothie Cafe?
Let’s convince a business that is actually thriving during the COVID-19 pandemic to do the right thing and adopt the Better Chicken Commitment! Sign now with a click. Visit petition page. 492 have signed Daniel Mejia’s petition. Let’s get to 500! Sign now with a click.
Majestic birds of prey are dying senseless, excruciating deaths. Iconic species of birds around the globe are at risk of being wiped out. Threats including habitat loss, poisoning, local superstitions, razor wire, traditional ‘medicines’ and climate change. These iconic animals could disappear from our skies altogether. Join us today and give threatened owls, hawks, eagles, falcons, vultures and kites a fighting chance. Please, can we count on you today to help us take urgent action t o change this tragic situation? Birds of prey are in terrible trouble! Numbers have dropped by 40 percent! Being trapped in wire leads to a slow death for birds of prey. Please, support our campaign today!
The latest research (published in the journal Biological Conservation, was led by biologists at The Peregrine Fund and in collaboration with nine scientific organizations ) is the first to focus specifically on the status of raptors. An analysis of all 557 raptor species led biologists to the shocking conclusion that 18 percent of these birds are threatened with extinction and 52 percent have declining global populations, making them more threatened than all other birds.
We are changing this dreadful situation and need your help. To begin, my team met with an organization called the Owl Orphanage in St. Helena Bay, South Africa, run by Jacques Nel. Jacques started the haven because of the desperate need - the drastic increase in injuries and horrific cases.
According to Jacques, among the most common issues he encounters is poisoning - a result of misguided superstitions about raptors.
In some local communities, owls are viewed as evil omens who bring bad luck, illness, or death to a family. These poor birds are often mercilessly killed by either ripping their heads from their bodies or stoned and kicked to death. Also, their body parts, feathers and blood are used by witch doctors for making a medicinal potion called muti, believed to protect an individual by warding off unwanted spirits.
Another terrible cause of indiscriminate raptor death is rat poison, commonly used in low-income communities to help keep rodent numbers at bay - unfortunately with severe ramifications for raptors. Birds often eat the poison and by the time they begin to show symptoms of poisoning, it is generally too late. After ingestion, the effects - disorientation, inability to fly and internal haemorrhaging - will typically be apparent for three to four days. Death is slow and agonizing. It can take 14 excruciatingly painful days for a poisoned bird to die!
Wire fences are deadly traps for owls and other birds. Once trapped, their lives will soon end in unbelievable pain.
The Owl Orphanage houses between 10 to 15 owls throughout the year, with this number sharply rising to 30 to 40 owls from July to March. It is during this peak breeding season that Jacques can rescue up to five owls in one day!
More chronic cases of critically injured and poisoned adult owls have led to a shocking increase in the number of owl chicks being rescued - without Jacques, these orphaned and injured owls would have little hope of surviving and have nowhere else to go. The Owl Orphanage is the only place in this area to look after these owls, and they are have asked us for help. All the birds who come to the haven are rehabilitated and, once ready, safely released back into the wild. We need your help to protect these birds from possible extinction.
It is only with your help and vitally important donation that we can start our essential work. One of the urgent things the orphanage needs is another aviary to accommodate the increasing number of rescued birds.
Please, join us to help build the rehabilitation aviary. The expansion project will enable more rescues, rehabilitations and release of distressed and suffering birds. It will also improve the breeding potential of recovered birds and increase populations in this area.
The Great Farm Sanctuary Tour
Go on a live virtual tour of 10 farmed animal sanctuaries (including Animal Place!) from New York to Hawaii all in one day! The event takes place this Sunday, February 14th. Enter to win prizes and see amazing rescued animals from all over the country in the comfort of your home. There's no better way to feel the love this Valentine's Day! You’ll only need one ticket per household/viewing device! This means your entire household can join the fun for the price of one! Register now!
"Corporations Are People, My Friend."
Our companies are known for creating products that enhance people's lives. Through Sunset Corporation of America and its companies, we’re equally dedicated to improving lives. Our commitment extends to helping local communities, fostering better educational systems, supporting the arts and culture, helping disadvantaged youth, protecting and improving the environment, animal welfare, wildlife issues and encouraging employee volunteerism.
The Sustainable Action Network (SAN), A Don Lichterman non-profit organization dedicated to building a global community raising awareness of corruption, injustice and the need for action across a full range of issues impacting people and animal/wildlife welfare around the world, such as conservation, climate change, campaign law, lobbying, government action and rescue work. SAN’s vision is to create safer world, free from political, environmental, and social oppression, where all the inhabitants of Earth can live in harmony within their own natural environments.
Our commitment extends to helping local communities, fostering better educational systems, supporting the arts and culture, helping disadvantaged youth, protecting and improving the environment, animal welfare, wildlife issues and encouraging employee volunteerism.
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