Iditarod dogs still need help

I recently wrote about the horrendous conditions the Iditarod dogs endure. Here are more Iditarod sponsors’ emails. Please write to them. A sample letter is below:

Sponsors:

If you’d like to write to the sponsors listed in my original post, here they are:

Sample letter:

Dear Iditarod Sponsor:

For the dogs, the Iditarod dog sled race is a bottomless pit of suffering. Please end your organization’s support of this event. What happens to the dogs during the Iditarod includes death, paralysis, frostbite, bleeding ulcers, bloody diarrhea, lung damage, pneumonia, ruptured discs, viral diseases, broken bones, torn muscles and tendons and sprains. Over 143 dogs have died in the race, including three who frozen to death in the brutal cold. For more facts, visit the Sled Dog Action Coalition website, http://helpsleddogs.org.

Iditarod mushers beat dogs who won’t run, or who don’t run fast enough. Dogs are beaten with shovels, bats, chains, two-by-fours or whatever else is handy. Dr, Jeanne Olson, who has been a veterinarian in Alaska since 1988, confirmed the brutality used by mushers training dogs for the Iditarod. She saw dogs with cracked ribs, broken jaws or skulls from mushers using two-by-fours for punishment. In an article published by the University of Alaska, Dr. Olson said, “There are mushers out there whose philosophy is…that if that dog acts up I will hit that dog to the point where it would rather die than do what it did, ’cause the next time it is gonna die.’”

Jim Welch says in his book Speed Mushing Manual, “Nagging a dog team is cruel and ineffective…A training device such as a whip is not cruel at all but is effective.” He also said, “It is a common training device in use among dog mushers…” Jon Saraceno wrote in his column in USA Today, “He [Colonel Tom Classen] confirmed dog beatings and far worse. Like starving dogs to maintain their most advantageous racing weight. Skinning them to make mittens. Or dragging them to their death.”

Iditarod dog kennels are puppy mills. Mushers breed many dogs and routinely kill unwanted ones, including puppies. Mushers have drowned, shot, bludgeoned and dragged many dogs to death. For example, Iditarod musher Dave Olesen drowned a litter of newborn puppies. Another musher got rid of unwanted puppies by tying them in a bag and tossing the bag in a creek. Mushers even have a saying about not breeding dogs unless they can drown them: “Those who cannot drown should not breed.”

Veterinary care during the Iditarod is poor. In the 2012 race, one of Lance Mackey’s male dogs ripped out all of his 16 toenails trying to get to a female who was in heat. This type of broken toenail is extremely painful. Mackey, a four-time Iditarod winner, said he was too stubborn to leave this dog at a checkpoint and veterinarians allowed Mackey to continue to race him. Imagine the agony the dog was forced to endure.

Here’s another example: Veterinarians have allowed dogs with kennel cough to race in the Iditarod even though dogs with this disease should be kept warm and given lots of rest. Strenuous exercise can cause lung damage, pneumonia and even death. To make matters worse, kennel cough is a highly contagious disease that normally lasts from 10 to 21 days.

Please end your organization’s association with this horrific race.

Sincerely,

[your name]

 

Navy wants bombing and sonar permits – Act now!

The Navy is looking to get permits to continue sonar and explosives exercises in the Pacific Northwest, a controversial exercise that risks the well-being and lives of marine mammals who swim through the Navy’s training range.

The Navy is gathering comments from the public comments on its draft environmental impact statement for the testing range, which occupies parts of the Pacific Ocean from Canada to California.

Interested in speaking up? Come to a hearing:

  • Feb. 26, 5-8 pm: Oak Harbor High School, Oak Harbor, WA
  • Feb. 27, Cascade High School, Everett, WA
  • Feb. 28, North Kitsap High School, Poulsbo, WA
  • March 3, Astoria High School, Astoria, OR
  • March 4, Isaac Newton Magnet School, Newport, OR

If you can’t beat a hearing, please leave a comment on the Northwest Training and Testing site.

For more info, read the article on the KCTS website.

URGENT: CALLS AND EMAILS NEEDED AGAINST IDAHO'S AG-GAG BILL

Every minute, every single call, counts! Idahos’s terrible ag-gag bill is on the way to the governor’s desk.

PLEASE email and  call the office of Idaho’s Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter… Let  him know the whole country is watching regarding Idaho’s ag-gag bill.  Tell him, politely, that no state should affirmatively support animal abuse or make it a crime to report animal abuse — we need to move in the opposite direction, and support compassionate and humane farming and freedom of speech (First Amendment of the Constitution). Crimes should be seen and punished, not hidden and enabled.

 I realize many of us do not believe in compassionate and/or humane farming, and most of us want NO slavery rather than just better CONDITIONS, but because a big argument being used in support of this bill is that its opponents want to see animal agriculture eliminated entirely, IT IS CRITICAL THAT ALL CALLS APPEAR TO COME FROM RESPECTABLE CITIZENS WHO “SUPPORT HUMANE FARMING AND FREEDOM OF SPEECH”.  For a better understanding and more information on what transpired at the Idaho House Agriculture Affairs Committee hearings, see

lhttp://www.foodsafetynews.com/2014/02/idaho-house-agriculture-affairs-committee-recommends-do-pass-for-ag-gag-bill/

Email contact and phone information for the governor is (all three would be great!):

Oppose Yellowstone National Park's Bison Slaughter

We recently learned from In Defense of Animals, that Yellowstone National Park plans to slaughter 800 wild bison. bison from http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:A_bison_in_Yellowstone_National_Park.JPG

According to park spokesman Al Nash, the park is seeking “opportunities to capture any animals that move outside the park’s boundaries.”

Please help the hundreds wild bison who are being brutally hazed into traps and sent to slaughter. This killing began on February 7th, with the capture of 20 bison. The scared animals were then shipped to a slaughterhouse in Ronan, Montana. Other bison are currently being held in traps inside the park, awaiting their fate.

This is a politically motivated move by the Montana livestock industry, which has no tolerance for wildlife.

Click here to take action.

We Stopped One Donkey Basketball Event

– so we can do it again! The massive response recently to the donkey basketball “fundraiser” at the Anacortes Middle School not only meant that the school pledged never to use this form of raising money again, but also had the planned game cancelled at the last minute (the school insisted it received threatening phone calls, which sounds like a last-ditch attempt to save face and discredit activists).

donkey-basketball-154

This time it is Clarkston High School in Clarkston, WA, that is hosting a donkey basketball event to raise money for the senior class on February 26th, 2014 at 7PM. Take 5 minutes to write an email to the folks below, asking them to cancel this event. During these supposedly ‘fun’ events, donkeys are forced to carry heavy loads, and are often dragged, jerked, kicked, hit and yelled at. For the sake of both animals and the adults these students later become, fundraising events should promote and showcase kindness, not cruelty.

Eric Anderson, Principal – Eric@csdk12.org
Darcy Weisner, Superintendent – WeisnerD@csdk12.org
Dan Lejameyer, Assistant Principal – LejameyerD@csdk12.org
Clarkston High School Phone: (509) 758-5591
Shannon Wilson, Athletic Director – WilsonS@csdk12.org

 

Action Alert: Stop Washington Cougar Hound Hunting Legislation

Thanks to Exposing the Big Game and the Mountain Lion Foundation (MLF) for the info listed below. Check out their websites for more info.

Washington state Senators Brian Dansel and Don Benton have coauthored a bill that would force the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) to allow trophy hunters to use hounds to kill cougars for fun.

Senate Bill 6287 states special “dangerous cougarwildlife task teams must be developed in each county […] and a kill season with the aid of dogs must be established,” ultimately claiming they will hunt lions to protect the public and increase research on the species. WDFW and the findings of numerous research projects have shown these hunting programs don’t work, and they can actually increase cougar-human conflicts.

WDFW already has the authority to initiate special public safety hunts with the use of hounds, if needed (WAC 232-12-243). But the agency has found that teaching the public about coexistence and only killing the cats who cause problems has proven to be a more successful policy.

Allowing groups of hound hunters to kill random cougars in rural areas has not yielded any positive results and is just an excuse for hunters who want to chase cougars with a pack of dogs.

Washington sport hunters (without dogs) already shoot more than 100 lions each year. As a result, the cougar population is declining and the mean age of the cats is lower. Young cats are more likely to come into conflict with people, pets, and livestock.

How to help:

Please contact your Senator NOW (before February 18th) and urge him or her to vote against this bill!

Write a short letter or email stating why you oppose Senate Bill 6287. Even a phone call will help. You can use this contact form if you’re short on time (but personal letters are best). If possible, please also send MLF a copy of your letter and cc emails to info@mountainlion.org.

Talking points:

  • Senate Bill 6287 is a redundant authorization of public safety hound hunts — WDFW already has this tool at its discretion if they think it’s necessary to use hounds to help kill cougars.
  • Senate Bill 6287 would force the Department of Fish and Wildlife to implement a wildlife killing program that they know is unsuccessful and potentially dangerous.  The legislation is not backed by the Department, scientific research, or the majority of citizens in Washington.
  • Washington residents have repeatedly shown we do not support the use of hounds to track, tree, and kill wildlife for fun. It’s a cruel and outdated unsportsmanlike hobby that needs to remain illegal.
  • This bill would allow hound hunters to kill cougars that have posed no threat to people, which may actually increase the percentage of problem cougars in our state.

Thank for taking the time to help protect Washington’s cougars!

QUICKLY: Urge Russian Officials to Halt Sochi Dog Massacre

dog in SochiYou have all heard of the Russian attempts to spot-clean Sochi for the Winter Olympics by killing the stray dog population  — thousands gunned down with poisoned darts that kill slowly by suffocation. This massacre would be shameful for any nation, let alone one that is trying to represent itself as progressive—yet the killing reportedly continues despite international protest. Individual Russian activists are doing what they can, but your voice is still desperately needed.  Please let officials know that the only responsible way to address Sochi’s stray dog population is through prevention: by implementing a sterilization program. Your own words will carry more weight, but if you also want to convey a message in Russian, please copy and send the following:

Это ужасно слышать что в Сочи бездомных собак, жизнь которых и без того тяжела, отлавливают и убивают. Это позорное поведение не соответствует попыткам России преподнести себя в роли прогрессивной страны. Кроме того, это совершенно не поможет разрешить проблему бездомных собак. Единственый цивилизованный способ решить эту проблему в России – это внедрить широкомасштабную программу стерилизации, которая бы предотвратила рождение новых щенков. Прошу Вас сделать все необходимое, чтобы остановить бойню собак в Сочи, которая придает кровавый оттенок Олимпиаде, отнимая жизнь у тысяч невинных животных.

Please call and e-mail the following officials and forward this alert widely!

  • His Excellency Sergey Kislyak
    Russian Ambassador to the U.S.
    202-298-5700

THANK YOU!!

Help pass a spay/neuter assistance program

Here’s a way to help overpopulation issues with companion dogs and cats: Ask Your State Senator to Vote YES on SSB 5202, the Companion Animal Spay/Neuter Assistance Bill.

Substitute Senate Bill (SSB) 5202 would create a statewide companion animal spay/neuter assistance program to help people with low incomes get free or very low-cost spay/neuter surgeries for their dogs and cats. The bill would also fund spay/neuter surgeries for feral and free-roaming cats.

SSB 5202 replaces the original bill, orange kitten in a barnSB 5202, which attempted to raise funds from the sale of pet food across the state. The pet-food fee funding part isn’t in this bill; it’s been replaced with a voluntary contribution of up to $1 per pet license from communities that license pets.

Please contact your state senator by phone or email and ask him or her to vote for SSB 5202 in the senate.

Your state senator can be contacted by filling out the comment form on the bill. It’s quick and easy. Be sure to click the buttons asking for a reply from your senator.

Here are some tips to help you write a clear message:

  • Ask your senator to encourage other senate leaders to schedule SSB 5202 for a vote on the senate floor.
  • Ask your senator to vote for SSB 5202.
  • Tell your senator that the bill will help reduce the amount of money homeless animals cost our cities and counties, and will help end the deaths of thousands of dogs and cats in our state’s shelters.
  • Tell your senator why the bill is important to YOU and others in your community.

It’s really effective to also call your senator’s office asking for a “yes” vote on SSB 5202, Companion Animal Spay/Neuter Assistance. You will find your senator’s phone number in this list.

Thanks to Save Washington Pets for the info listed here. If you have questions, please contact them at info@savewashingtonpets.org.

What? Animal testing might soon be REQUIRED in the U.S.?

There is a federal pending bill that, if it passes, will REQUIRE animal testing for cosmetic ingredients for the next ten years and will cost millions more animal lives in the process. http://leapingbunny.org/SafeCosmeticsAct.php *We cannot let this happen.* Sign and share: https://www.change.org/petitions/congress-stop-the-potential-for-the-u-s-to-require-animal-testing-that-would-occur-if-the-safe-cosmetics-and-personal-care-products-act-of-2013-scpcpa-is-passed and please also take a minute to write your representative: http://www.opencongress.org/bill/hr1385-113/show

Do YOU Object to Paying for Meat & Dairy?

The United States government spends $38 billion a year subsidizing industries that causes atrocious suffering for animals as well as environmental devastation, climate change and health issues of epidemic proportions. Animal rights advocacy group New York Farm Animal Save (NYFAS) has initiated a Whitehouse.gov petition to end US government meat and dairy subsidies. The goal is 100,000 signatures by February 21st, which would make an official response from the White House mandatory. HURRY!


The petition can be signed and shared at the following web address:
https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/stop-using-my-tax-money-subsidize-meat-and-dairy-industries/JhQcCCbF