• Don Lichterman

Debarking? (Really?), Animal Crimes, Animal Abusers, New Legal Claims on Animal & Wildlife Report!

Hearing of the CA Senate's and Assembly's Govt. Organization Committees on Horse Racing

PETA and Social Compassion in Legislation call for an end to horse-racing deaths (May 22, 2019).

We have only a few hours before the Anti-Poaching Challenge ends.

Don't give poachers a pass when elephants, rhinos, lions, pangolins, and other beloved species are moving ever-closer to extinction.

Become 1 of 500 new donors to meet the Anti-Poaching Challenge before the clock strikes 12.

Last month, I shared with you the story of Michael Gallagher, who beat his dog Bella with a shovel so severely that she had to be euthanized — and then spent just four months in jail for his crime.

Abusers like Gallagher should be punished proportionately to their crimes — with a potent combination of prison time, fines, psychiatric treatment, supervised probation, and most importantly, strict bans on possessing animals.

When the punishment doesn’t fit the crime, more animals are forced to suffer. But you can help change that today by writing a message to your governor to demand that when it comes to cruelty, animal victims in NJ deserve justice.

Your letter will demonstrate your support for stronger animal protection laws in your state — strengthening our collective efforts to improve legal protections for animals across the country.

And these laws must be changed. Because sadly, stories like Bella’s are not uncommon. Just last year…

A banker stabbed his girlfriend’s dog to death and tossed the animal into a garbage chute…and only received 30 days in jail.A man who stabbed a dog, Onyx, more than 50 times and slit his throat received one year in jail, despite the prosecutor’s urging that he receive the maximum two-year sentence.

Can we count on you to join us today in demanding justice for abused, neglected, and exploited animals?

The clock is ticking on wildlife and wild places.

Without immediate action, more than a million species could face extinction.

Keystone species like wolves, grizzly bears and polar bears are on the front lines of this crisis. Without our top predators, whole ecosystems and the endangered animals that depend on them will collapse.

Only three days remain to have your gift to the Predator Defense Fund matched.

Thanks to an anonymous supporter, all gifts through Friday will be doubled.

When predators like wolves and grizzlies thrive, the web of life around them is stronger and more resilient. Their presence restores balance and integrity.

In Yellowstone, for example, wolf reintroduction led to fewer elk, in turn allowing willows and aspens on streamsides to flourish. Those vibrant rivers meant more songbirds, beavers, fish and frogs. Bears have the same effect by keeping down the number of herbivores.

And now, just when we desperately need to go all out to save the planet's biodiversity, the Trump administration is doing everything it can to wipe out protections for vulnerable species.

It has launched the worst attack yet on the Endangered Species Act, is gunning to strip protection from gray wolves, and is dragging its feet on grizzly bear recovery.

We face an extinction crisis that's deepening by the hour. But hope remains.

We're in court now for keystone predators — going up against a massive mining operation in southern Arizona that threatens jaguars and fighting for wolves across the country. Just last week we took legal action for eight endangered species the administration has failed to protect, including the Sierra Nevada red fox.

The Center was founded 30 years ago to save biodiversity, and since then we've led the fight for endangered species great and small. Now we need you with us more than ever.

Help with the Predator Defense Fund.

Which animal would you miss the most?

I've been asking myself that same question ever since the recent United Nations report confirmed our worst fears: up to a million species are facing extinction – some within the next decade – unless we take immediate action to save them.

It's painful to imagine a world where gray wolves have been hunted to extinction, the remainder of the southern resident orcas have starved to death, or the last of the polar bears simply couldn't keep up with the rapidly changing climate.

Wildlife needs your help. Support critical lifesaving conservation efforts today!

The truth is, vulnerable wildlife – and our very planet – are in an unprecedented crisis. For many of these species, the only thing standing between them and extinction is the passion and dedication of wildlife lovers like you.

It's not too late to fight back: Our team of legal experts, biologists, policy advocates and more are working right now in communities across the country to protect wildlife wherever they're threatened.

Defenders has been successfully helping species return from the brink of extinction for decades – but we need your help to keep winning for wildlife.

You can be a part of the solution for endangered species: Support efforts to protect the wild right now!

Whether we're challenging anti-wolf groups, Big Oil, corporate lobbyists, administration officials or other anti-wildlife forces, your support makes wildlife safer in the face of non-stop assaults on their lives and habitat.

Do you know which animal you'd miss the most? With your help, we may never have to answer that terrible question.

Please help change the future for so many species!

Ban The Inhumane Debarking Procedure!

This inhumane and cruel procedure is a harsh reality for many dogs. Known as debarking, this dangerous and unnecessary surgery is becoming more and more common. Not only is the pain and stress of the procedure hard on the dog, complications can include pneumonia, complicated breathing, coughing and a muffled sound.

Dogs communicate with us through barking and need their voice to alert us and communicate. Even if a dog’s barking may be overwhelming, it can be controlled with proper training and an exercise regime – not surgery.

You can put a stop to this and stand up for innocent dogs across the nation by signing our petition!

Michigan lawmaker introduces bill that would ban debarking of dogs

State Rep. Tim Sneller, D-Burton, has owned dogs all his life, including his current rescue pet Oscar, a miniature Dachsund whose woof is always welcome.

He wants to make sure that other pet owners appreciate that a dog’s bark is an essential multi-purpose signal —that they need to go out, eat or provide a warning of impending danger — and prohibit veterinarians from performing debarking procedures.

He’s introduced a bill that bans the procedure of removing tissue from a pet’s vocal cords in order to reduce or soften a dog’s bark.

“That’s the way the dog communicates with us,” he said. “To have this done just because you don’t want to hear a dog bark is cruel and unusual punishment.”

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, four states have laws in place that prohibit devocalization of dogs in most circumstances: Massachusetts, Maryland, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. And California and Rhode Island have laws that prohibit landlords from requiring devocalization or declawing of pets as a condition for renters.

Sneller doesn’t have high expectations that his bill will get much traction in the state Capitol.

“I don’t see it going anywhere, but it was really a point to bring the issue up and urge dog owners to think about it before you do it,” he said. "Before you rip out their vocal cords, take your dog to training.”

He also suggested that, while not ideal and not an option that he would ever choose, that a shock collar or electric fence could be another, less permanent choice for pet owners.

The veterinary association's official stance on debarking dogs is that it should only be done as a final alternative to euthanizing a dog after other behavior modification techniques have failed.

We deployed to the two properties at the request of the Indiana Gaming Commission. In addition to the dogs, who were eager for our attention, our team found hundreds of roosters. Some birds were kept in crude cages, unable to spread their wings, while others were tethered outside. Many birds had physical conditions that suggested the cruel bloodsport of cockfighting.

To betray any animals by forcing them to fight for their lives for so-called entertainment is despicable. After rescuing the animals, we are now assisting local authorities with evidence collection, medical assessments, and veterinary forensic exams. 

We never know what we’ll find in cases like this. But the only way we can be there for helpless animals is with you beside us. Please help us end cruelty and protect vulnerable animals from coast to coast. Thank you for your generous, unwavering support.

In a profit-first, quid pro quo kind of way, Petland supports the puppy mill industry.

With over 30 lobbyists across the nation, Petland is fighting hard to overturn legislation that keeps puppy mill dogs from being sold in pet stores—because puppy mills supply them with cheap puppies, quickly. They invest big bucks in legislation and passion alone is not enough to take them on. We’re doing all we can to keep those laws in place, but we need your help!

Our most recent undercover investigation at Petland, revealed even more horrors for the puppies in the chain's stores. The footage showed sick puppies languishing in cages with insufficient care. These sick puppies are often sold to unsuspecting families who are subjected to massive medical bills shortly thereafter. This is a tragedy and injustice for people and puppies alike.

More than 300 localities nationwide have banned the sale of puppy mill dogs in pet stores. If Petland has their way that number will be zero. Their interest is in getting the most money out of sick puppies, not improving welfare standards.

Petland is not unaware of the dark way their business is run. In fact, at least one of their franchises has people sign papers before they can buy an animal that make it more difficult to sue Petland. A Petland employee brags about this on camera.

We aren't letting Petland get away with this! We're continuing to fight for legislation to ban puppy mills as well as continuing our investigations to expose what Petland attempts to keep hidden. Your generous gift will help us continue to do this on local and federal levels and be able to take on the big fights facing ALL animals.

Please help us continue this fight so we can make puppy mills and other cruelties nothing more than an unpleasant memory.

The ASPCA deployed across two counties to the sites of a suspected animal fighting operation, where we found pit bull-type dogs chained outdoors in the mud, some with scars consistent with dogfighting.

Their water bowls were filthy, while only small, wooden houses and plastic barrels offered shelter for the dogs. Even in their heartbreaking condition, they still wagged their tails when they saw us.

Your gift now can have an immediate impact on our efforts to rescue animals like these, and provide medical treatment, food and care that animal victims need. 

This report will also update you on our lawsuit against California Carolina Dogs, a puppy mill in Vallejo, California. Today we are in court presenting our lawsuit to shut down this puppy mill, and I am hopeful that we will win.

I want to thank you for your support in our fight against animal cruelty and injustice — because we couldn’t have made it this far without you.

Thanks to your generosity, we extended the deadline for our matching gift campaign to allow more of our supporters to participate. You can take the next step in the two following ways:

Share this opportunity to make an impact for animals like the dogs at California Carolina Dogs!

Become a Partner in Protection today!

Your support will make a bigger impact in the fight against puppy mills like California Carolina Dogs that has bred dogs in overcrowded and unsanitary conditions for years — violating local ordinances and state laws that the Animal Legal Defense Fund is suing to enforce. Our lawsuit aims to shut down this inhumane facility for good — and with your help, we will win.

We’re fighting puppy mills at every level — suing exploitative businesses and working to pass laws like retail pet sale bans. By advocating for retail pet sale bans, we can prevent stores from selling puppy mill puppies in the first place and reduce the demand for these dogs.

STAND AGAINST PUPPY MILLS and become a Partner in Protection with the Animal Legal Defense Fund!

These Men Tore the Wings of a Live Pheasant — And That Was Just the Start

A hidden camera in Burnham, Buckinghamshire, set up to catch illegal dumpers, has caught something far more disturbing. An unfortunate pheasant was the victim of a brutal act of animal cruelty as three boys filmed themselves torturing it to death.

In the undercover film, one of the men holds the bird by its wings while the other one cuts it with a knife and uses a slingshot on it. They even tear its wings off it's still alive. Another creep films the entire thing.

Please sing to demand police find these hooligans.

The bird eventually dies but the hidden video reveals that, unfortunately, he was not their only victim. The thugs pull another dead, presumedly tortured, pheasant from the trunk. Then they jump on both of them as if they were stomping on grapes to make wine.

The entire scene is vulgar and it would bring any animal lover to tears.

All the evidence needed to find these men and bring them to justice is available in the video including their faces and their car license plates. Let's make sure this case of animal abuse isn't swept under the rug. Sign to ask Buckinghamshire Police to do all they can to find these abusers and bring them to justice.

Will You Help Threatened Marine Mammals?

I know you love marine mammals. And I also know that you would never do anything like what this lawbreaker did.

A few weeks ago, a Guadalupe fur seal pup was killed at Point Reyes National Seashore because someone decided to break the law and let their dog off its leash.

Guadalupe fur seals are threatened, and every individual is important to their recovery as a species.

Guadalupe fur seals rarely come to shore. So the fact that this pup was all alone in an unusual place is a sign that something is very wrong out in the ocean.

When we examined the pup after its death, our scientists confirmed that while this young seal died from severe trauma from the dog attack, she was also underweight. This seal pup would have stood a chance if the beachgoer had respected the posted signs. She would have been rescued and brought to the Center for rehabilitative care.

Yes, Friend, this story has a sad ending. And the law-breaker has not been found.

But I want you to imagine a story with a happy ending.

Yes, I want the next story to have a happy ending!

The one where you help solve the bigger problem marine mammals are facing – the reason this pup stranded on shore in the first place.

You can help our scientists find solutions for marine mammals like Guadalupe fur seals that are struggling to find food in their ocean home.

Lambs are prey animals who know that a sound could give them away to a predator, so normally, they suffer in silence rather than drawing any attention to themselves, but they are in such agony when farmworkers cut off their tails with a hot knife—without anesthetics—that they cannot stop themselves from crying out in pain.

We need YOUR help to protect animals from such horrific cruelty. Please, make a gift to PETA's "Save Our Skins" challenge right now to power our campaigns against wool and other cruelly obtained materials.

With support from kind people like you, PETA and our international affiliates have released 11 eye-opening exposés of the wool industry, each one revealing the rampant abuse of lambs and sheep. They've sent shockwaves around the fashion world and showed millions of people the suffering behind every wool sweater and scarf.

The tide is turning against the wool trade—and against all industries that exploit, abuse, and kill animals for their skin, fur, or feathers. But as long as ANY animal suffers, we must strengthen this vital work.

Please don't wait! Make a gift today to help PETA save the skins of lambs and other animals.

Thank you for everything that you do to help animals.

PETA eyewitnesses documented living conditions at more than 100 Petco stores across the country and found filth, sickness, and death for betta fish.

Millions of sensitive betta fish continue to suffer in the pet trade, as they're subjected to inadequate care and neglect from the time they're bred to the time they're sold. Please, never buy bettas from Petco or anywhere else. Take action today: https://investigations.peta.org/petco...

The world is turning its back on fur, and companies like Canada Goose know it.

But rather than doing the humane thing and switching to luxe, warm, high-quality faux fur as so many top designers and popular brands have done, certain companies simply claim to use fur obtained according to certified "humane" standards, some of which encourage the use of "padded" steel traps, which have a thin layer of plastic or rubber lining the jaws.

These traps are virtually identical to their nonpadded counterparts, which slam shut on the limbs of unsuspecting coyotes (or any other animals who step in them) and restrain them there, helpless, vulnerable, and terrified.

Just how much damage can a steel trap do when it has "padding" in place? Watch what a Canada Goose–approved "humane" coyote trap does to pencils, vegetables, and more—and decide for yourself whether any trap that kills animals can ever be "ethical."

Urge Canada Goose to be fur-free: https://support.peta.org/page/3398/ac....

"Corporations Are People Too My Friends."

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 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.

Activism and Sustainability:

  • Gun Safety & Gun Laws

  • Cruelty Free

  • Death Penalty

  • Demand Action

  • Sustainable Action Network

Fairness and Equality:

  • Grammy District Advocacy

  • Privatization

  • Voters Issues & Gerrymandering

  • Private Prisons & the War on Drugs

  • Finance, Housing & the Economy

Corporate Responsibility:

  • Candidates, Bills, Laws & Protections

  • Wildlife & Oceania

  • Labeling & Transparency

  • Comprehensive Captivity & Hunting Results Databases