• Don Lichterman

This Week's Animal & Wildlife Welfare Report!

Updated: May 27, 2019

If the Trump administration's plan to strip wolves' protection moves forward, new hunting seasons could appear in Wisconsin, Michigan and Minnesota as soon as next fall.

Wolf hunts in those states aren't just permitted. In some places they're required. This is why we must keep up our fight to protect wolves.

Please help the Predator Defense Fund.

Wisconsin held three wolf hunts between 2012 and 2014 until a judge ordered gray wolves back on the endangered species list. But the law ordering those hunts remains. And if federal protection is lost, the state's Department of Natural Resources would be required to resume its hunts.

A similar law exists in Michigan. Despite voters approving a bill banning wolf hunts, anti-wildlife officials passed a state hunt anyway, and 23 wolves were shot in just two months. And in Minnesota, once wolves lost protection there, a full quarter of the state's wolves were killed during the very first hunt.

This is the future if we don't stand up now: Trophy hunting and trapping of wolves will hit the Great Lakes states once again and spread across the lower 48.

Last week our national wolf coalition delivered the largest number of comments ever received by the federal government on an Endangered Species Act issue — nearly 1 million. And now that the comment period has been extended, we're increasing the pressure.

It's clear what will happen to wolves if they lose protection. And it's just as clear that the public wants wolves to fully recover and be wild and free from traps and guns.

If Trump lifts wolf protection, we'll take him to court. Your help today will support that legal battle.

Please help the Center's Predator Defense Fund.

Wildlife on the Ropes

Endangered species such as grizzly bears and gray wolves migrate from Yellowstone National Park into the roadless areas of Custer-Gallatin National Forest. The Forest Service is deciding how to manage this forest for the coming decades, but its draft plan fails to adequately protect wildlife habitat.

Demand the best plan for our national forests and endangered wildlife.

Archie the chimpanzee lived and died alone.

We fought for years to rescue Archie from King Kong Zoological Park, a roadside zoo in North Carolina that kept him and dozens of other wild animals in filthy, inadequate enclosures. But instead of sending Archie to a sanctuary, the owners sent him to another roadside zoo — where he and 27 other animals later died due to an electrical fire.

Roadside zoos are dangerous and inhumane places for animals. Animals typically live in small, dirty cages, are fed inadequate food, and are denied proper medical care. Staff are usually inexperienced and ill-equipped to properly care for the wild animals who live there.

A roadside zoo is no place for animals, but we need your help to get them to the homes they deserve. Please renew your support for the Animal Legal Defense Fund today and your gift will go twice as far to help shut down roadside zoos.

With support from our donors, we were able to shut down the King Kong Zoo permanently. But there are many more roadside zoos just like it across the country — like Farmers Inn, a roadside zoo in Pennsylvania and Olympic Game Farm in Washington.

We’re fighting in court right now to rescue animals like Jack and Jill, two black bears being kept in horrible conditions at Farmers Inn — and to prevent any more animals from being neglected and exploited like Amadeus, a tiger at Olympic Game Farm that was left on display for the public to watch as he slowly died from an illness.

Your help will make twice the impact in our fight to shut down facilities like these.

These facilities continue to operate due to the lax enforcement of a patchwork of state and federal laws. But with your support, the Animal Legal Defense Fund will fight to secure better living conditions, and stronger legal protections for animals held in captivity. Your gift to the Animal Legal Defense Fund today will allow us to…

  • File high-impact lawsuits against roadside zoos that often result in the owners either being ordered to move their animals to sanctuaries, or choosing to do so voluntarily — saving countless animals’ lives.

  • Advocate for stronger state and federal laws to protect animals in captivity. The Animal Welfare Act is the chief federal law that governs roadside zoos — but the law, and particularly its enforcement by the USDA, frequently allow roadside zoos’ inhumane practices to go unchecked.

Cheetahs and black rhinos are racing towards extinction with only 7,100 cheetahs and 5,500 black rhinos left in the wild.

And yet, two American trophy hunters traveled to Namibia and spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to kill these endangered animals just so they could bring their body parts back home as "trophies".

They have recently applied to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to import these barbaric remnants back into the U.S. so they can use them to brag to friends about their exploits. But we have an opportunity to let USFWS know the American public will not stand for this wanton cruelty and ask them to reject these applications.

Tell the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to reject the importation of trophies of endangered species, including cheetahs and black rhinos. Please act fast—we only have until May 28 to make our voices heard!

If the cheetah application is approved, it would be the first time on record that the U.S. government would have authorized the import of a cheetah trophy under the ESA. This could set a terrible precedent and very possibly encourage more trophy hunters to go after cheetahs, exacerbating their already perilous existence.

Scientists warn that at the rate black rhinos and cheetahs are disappearing, they could be lost forever. And yet, this rarity makes it that much more likely a trophy hunter will try to slaughter one of these magnificent creatures—the rarer the animal, the more valuable the trophy is, and the greater the prestige and thrill of killing it.

As we've seen from the backlash against trophy hunters that usually follows when they post their conquests on social media, the vast majority of Americans strongly oppose trophy hunting. Let’s make sure USFWS knows that—with so few cheetahs and black rhinos left in the world, every animal counts.

Please join us and urge USFWS to do the right thing by rejecting these two applications by May 28.

As you know, Network for Animals (NFA) works around the world to improve the quality of life for animals living in impoverished communities.

In South Africa, NFA, with our partner Fallen Angels, rescues hundreds of dogs from lives of misery, hunger, and illness. Our rescue missions are frequently in dangerous gang areas. Often, we can’t take good photographs of the poor creatures because we need to get them to safety before the gangsters find us.

One day recently, we rescued three dogs and photographed them in a studio – so you can better see the poor souls we help. Denzel, Vanessa and Chopin are classic examples of why…

NFA and Fallen Angels desperately need your help!

Denzel was found starving and badly affected by canine scabies (mange) while attempting to escape nasty children who were throwing stones at him. We rescued him and are paying for his care.

Vanessa was rescued from an abusive home in a slum area. The owners had crushed her paw, and that of another dog so they couldn’t run away. We confiscated several animals found at the house.

Chopin was dumped at the side of the road. We rescued him, are paying for his medical care and will help find him a good home.

The areas where we found the dogs are extremely dangerous – our team has been threatened and shot at while rescuing dogs, but we will NEVER stop saving lives.

There are now 350 dogs who live at the Fallen Angels shelter in South Africa’s Western Cape and we care for them all. As many as possible are rehomed.

We really hope you will help the Network for Animals today, so that we can continue our vital work.

Dharmawangsa Group: Save the Tapanuli orangutan. Stop the Batang Toru dam.

We are alarmed by the central role the Dharmawangsa Group are playing in building the Batang Toru dam — a proposed hydroelectric dam on the Indonesian island of Sumatra which threatens the world's last remaining 800 Tapanuli orangutans with extinction.

This Dharmawangsa dam project poses an existential threat to the long-term survival of the Tapanuli orangutan. Modeling shows that if more than one percent of the Tapanuli population is depleted each year — just 8 individuals, the species will go extinct. We have no room for error.

Forest clearing, road building and tunneling have already begun.

The Dharmawangsa Group is a privately held collection of businesses which is also investing in developing "the next Bali" on Belitung Island off the coast of Sumatra, the Tapanuli orangutan's only home. The resort is set to draw in international tourists to enjoy the natural wonders of Indonesia. But, by soaking in the sunshine on the resort's sandy beaches, and enjoying the crystal-clear water, fresh and sweet sea breezes, they'll also be supporting the destruction of habitat for the critically endangered Tapanuli orangutan. The Dharmawangsa's choice of building a so-called ecoresort while condemning an endangered orangutan to nearly assured destruction reeks of hypocrisy.

If the Tapanuli orangutan is wiped out, this would mark the first time in written human history that a great ape species is brought to extinction.

Tell the Dharmawangsa Group: Save the Tapanuli orangutan. stop the Batang Toru dam.

These Bears in the Circus Live in Constant State of Fear

Over 165,000 dogs are being forced to breed in puppy mills across the country. The dogs are generally kept in crowded, unsanitary conditions.

They are often covered in mats — caked in feces and urine, have rotting teeth, and wounds and injuries that go untreated. They typically lack good food or even clean water.

Puppy mill operators maximize their profits by producing large numbers of puppies as quickly as possible — without concern for the animals’ health or wellbeing.

As a result, many puppies suffer from genetic and hereditary conditions, behavioral and psychological problems, and deadly diseases — and when the mother dogs can no longer produce puppies, they are usually abandoned or killed.

This kind of cruelty has no place in our society. Sign our pledge to boycott puppy mills and together we can shut down this inhumane industry!

The Animal Legal Defense Fund is working across the country to combat puppy mills by filing lawsuits against puppy mill breeders, and urging states to pass retail pet sale bans that would make it illegal for retail stores to sell dogs and cats sourced from large-scale commercial breeders — instead requiring them to offer animals available for adoption from animal shelters and rescue groups.

For puppy mill operators, profit is the only priority. It's time to make doing the right thing for dogs our priority. Sign our pledge to boycott puppy mills and take a stand for exploited dogs across the country. Together we can shut down the cruel puppy mill industry for good.

Afraid, in the dark, confined to cages to tight you're unable to turn around, desperately crying out as your young are taken from you after only a few short weeks.

This is the fate of many millions of mother pigs in factory farms being sold as pork to Walmart and elsewhere around the world. This is why World Animal Protection is calling on Walmart to stop selling pork products from low-welfare producers.

We’ve already had successes: last year we pressured Kroger, the largest grocery chain in the US, to end the use of tiny gestation crates for mother pigs. Now we need to keep up the momentum, but we can only do it with you.

Walmart’s annual shareholders’ meeting is coming up on June 5 and we will be there putting pressure on them to source better welfare pork and give pigs a better life. We are urging you to show your support before then.

Will you show your support and help fund our important work to improve the lives of pigs, and other animals? Together we can help mother pigs here in the US, and around the world.

Unconstitutional Ag-Gag Law Challenged in Iowa

The Animal Legal Defense Fund, leading a coalition of animal, food safety, environmental, and community advocacy groups, filed a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of Iowa’s new Ag-Gag law.

Critical Wildlife Protection Bill Advances Out of California Assembly

The California Ecosystems Protection Act is one step closer to law. AB 1788 would ban super-toxic rat poisons in the state, protecting animals like bobcats, barred owls, and Pacific fishers.

New Webinar on “The Link” is Available to View

Our latest webinar, “The Link” Between Violence Against Humans and Animals, is available to watch anytime.

In a Chinese slaughterhouse, the floor runs slick with blood and the air is thick with fear.

Dogs condemned to this living nightmare cower and whimper in terror as they watch workers bludgeon one helpless pup after another before tearing their skin off.

This year, hundreds of thousands of petrified dogs, much like those we share our lives with, will be killed in hellish facilities like this one, and their skins will be sold to factories where their suffering is turned into a pair of gloves or a leather belt.

Will you help us end such misery by making a gift to PETA's "Save Our Skins" campaign right now? 

Powered by compassionate, determined people like you, PETA is stopping cruelty and transforming the fashion industry:

Consumers are embracing animal-friendly fashion like never before, but we must ramp up our work to protect dogs and all other animals who are abused for their skin, fur, wool, and feathers.

Please make your special gift to the "Save Our Skins" challenge right now!

Dog Discarded to Die on Trash Heap: Starvation Deserves Maximum Sentencing!

A man who didn't even know the sex or age of his dog stands trial for starving her to the brink of death. The dog, now named Gladys Knight, had broken many of her teeth from eating rocks in her desperate attempts to live. Join us in demanding maximum sentencing for the unfathomable suffering this innocent animal who narrowly survived. TAKE ACTION

Tell CBS to Never Promote Extreme Elephant Cruelty Again

The fun and games of CBS reality competition show The Amazing Race have taken a dark turn as contestants were shown riding on elephants' backs. CBS must know that elephant rides are often the product of extreme animal cruelty including kidnap, full-body immobilization, and beatings with sharp hooks. Tell CBS that using and abusing elephants is never acceptable! TAKE ACTION

Alligators and Crocodiles Win in California!

We're thrilled to report a significant legislative victory for animals in California! Thanks to your calls and letters, Assembly Bill 527 lost, and alligators and crocodiles won in the state of California. Your help killed this bill and saved millions of alligators and crocodiles from becoming handbags, belts, boots, and jackets! READ MORE

88 Pounds of Plastic Waste Found in Whale's Stomach!

With over 88 pounds of plastic lodged in his stomach, a male Cuvier's beaked whale beached himself and died in March of this year. Unable to expel the plastic, the whale dehydrated, starved, and almost certainly suffered a prolonged and painful death. To protect cetaceans from these unnecessary and cruel deaths, we need to take a stance against plastics, especially single-use plastics! READ MORE

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