Category Archives: Animals Used for Entertainment

Ask the New Owner of the Miami Seaquarium to Let Lolita Go

The Miami Seaquarium has recently been purchased by a California-based amusement park company called Palace Entertainment. Among its many captive animals is the orca Lolita. This is a great opportunity to demand that she be released back into the waters of her birth, something Seaquarium’s present owners have always refused to do.

Lolita has lived at the Miami Seaquarium for almost 45 years, in the smallest orca tank on the entire continent (35′ x 80′ x 20′ deep — although she herself is 20′ long). For the first 10 years of her captivity she had a male companion, Hugo, who apparently committed suicide in 1980 by repeatedly bashing his head against the tank walls. Now she lives a solitary life, forced to perform in depressing daily shows for the public.

She was caught in 1970 in Puget Sound, taken from the L pod of the Southern Resident orca community in an 80-whale ….what? roundup? theft? kidnapping? Her mother and extended family still live there. Marine mammal experts have proposed a plan in which Lolita would be transferred to a coastal sea pen, and once she relearns the skills necessary for independent survival, she would rejoin her family in the wild.

Please, contact Palace Entertainment and ask for her release:

Fernando Eiroa, President and CEO
Palace Entertainment
4590 MacArthur Blvd., Suite 400
Newport Beach, CA 92660
Email: feiroa@palaceentertainment.com                      (cc: administrator@palaceentertainment.com,marketing@palaceentertainment.com)

Online comment form.

Sample text (it’s best to use your own words):

“I am writing in response to the recent announcement that Palace Entertainment has signed an agreement to purchase the Miami Seaquarium. I’m sure you are aware of the controversy surrounding Lolita, an orca at the Miami Seaquarium who for decades has lived in a small concrete tank, without the company of another orca. I urge Palace Entertainment to allow Lolita to be rehabilitated and released into her native waters. Such a decision would bring tremendous positive publicity to your company!”

Also contact Miami-Dade County’s Mayor and Commissioners and ask that, as a condition of the sale of the Miami Seaquarium to Palace Entertainment, that Lolita be released back into the waters of her birth. Contact:

Mayor Carlos Gimenez and Commissioners
Stephen P. Clark Government Center
111 NW 1st Street, Suite 220
Miami, FL 33128
Email: mayor@miamidade.gov
Online comment form.

Sample text:

“I am writing in response to the recent announcement that the Miami Seaquarium has agreed to be bought by a California-based amusement park company. I’m sure you are aware of the controversy surrounding Lolita, an orca at the Miami Seaquarium who for decades has lived in a small concrete tank, without the company of another orca. I urge Miami-Dade County to request, as a condition of the sale of the Miami Seaquarium, that Lolita be rehabilitated and released into her native waters.”

Please take a couple of minutes to write a letter that could change her life..GIVE her a life…what’s left of her life.

lolitaWe sure owe it to her, after what our species has done.

Speciesism: The Movie is coming to Seattle

In less than a week, the Seattle premier of Speciesism: The Movie will be showing at The Varsity Theater.

Speciesism

I bought a copy if the documentary a couple of months ago and I loved it! I’ll be at the movie theater to see it again. The film follows Mark Devries across the country, as he sets out to figure out why humans see ourselves as the most important species and how we decide which animals are “food” and which are “pets.”

Devries learns a lot on his journey, and you’ll get see his awakening as he talks to animal rights experts, people on the street, and people in the “food animal” industries.

Lucky for us, Mark Devries will be in Seattle for the showing of Speciesism, and will be leading a Q&A session afterwards. You won’t want to miss it! Hear first-hand how making this movie shaped and changed his ideas. Maybe it will change yours too!

When: Thursday, April 3rd at 7 pm
WhereVarsity Theatre, 4329 University Way NE, Seattle, Washington 98105

You can RSVP on Facebook, but be sure to get tickets as well.

Woodland Park Zoo sued over elephant records

FOWPZEAlyne Fortgang, co-founder of Friends of Woodland Park Zoo Elephants, recently filed a lawsuit against the Woodland Park Zoo.

The suit asks the Court to declare that Woodland Park Zoo is acting as a “hybrid” pubic agency and, as such, should be subject to Washington State’s Public Disclosure Laws. This means the Zoo would have to tell us how they spend the millions of tax payer dollars we give them AND answer our questions about Bamboo, Chai and Watoto’s quality of life.

Over the past 7 years FWPZE has filed many Public Disclosure Requests with the Zoo.  The zoo has repeatedly refused to share important information about the welfare of the three elephants living there.

Woodland Park Zoo claims it isn’t subject to public disclosure requests. However, the Zoo’s operations are funded with $10.4 million taxpayer dollars and uses city-owned buildings and land at no cost.”

“Woodland Park Zoo can’t have it both ways; if it chooses to take our generous tax dollars, then it must be held accountable on how it spends our money,” said Fortgang. “I am simply asking that the Zoo be transparent with tax payers, which is why public records laws exist.”

Action:

While the suite is underway, please write a polite email asking for Bamboo, Chai and Watoto be retired to a sanctuary immediately.

Here are addresses for the Seattle City Council, King County Council and zoo management and Board. If you’ve already written, please write again and please cross post.Ed.murray@seattle.gov, Jean.Godden@seattle.gov, Sally.Bagshaw@seattle.gov, Tim.Burgess@seattle.gov, Sally.Clark@seattle.govBruce.Harrell@seattle.gov, Nick.Licata@seattle.gov, Tom.Rasmussen@seattle.gov, Mike.OBrien@seattle.gov, Kshama.Sawant@seattle.gov, larry.gossett@kingcounty.gov, kathy.lambert@kingcounty.gov, larry.phillips@kingcounty.gov, julia.patterson@kingcounty.gov,  jane.hague@kingcounty.gov, pete.vonreichbauer@kingcounty.gov, joe.mcdermott@kingcounty.gov, rod.dembowski@kingcounty.gov, reagan.dunn@kingcounty.gov, dow.constantine@kingcounty.gov,Deborah.jensen@zoo.org, Darin.Collins@zoo.org, zooinfo@zoo.org

ASAP: Oppose Law Permitting Raccoon Torment in Georgia

In Georgia, a bill is under review which would permit the use of live raccoons for field trial competitions. Time is running out — the bill, HB423, has already been approved by the State House and has now gone to the Natural Resources Committee, where it could be discussed any day. Please help stop this Bill – if passed, hunters will be allowed to train their dogs using caged live raccoons. Every minute in confinement is already a terrifying eternity for them. In addition, they are flung high into trees or hauled across fields and bodies of water as frantic dogs give chase. They must repeatedly endure this hellish ordeal, often for hours on end, and many are badly injured or killed during the trials. Survivors risk developing chronic and contagious stress-induced disorders, which are also often fatal.

URGENT ACTION! Please contact the members of the Natural Resources Committee and urge them to oppose HB 423.

Send an email (one to all is fine) today to: ross.tolleson@senate.ga.gov; rick.jeffares@senate.ga.gov; bill.cowsert@senate.ga.gov; frank.ginn@senate.ga.gov; steve.gooch@senate.ga.gov; diana.hauser@senate.ga.gov; stevehenson@mindspring.com; jack.hill@senate.ga.gov; freddie.sims@senate.ga.gov; curt@curtthompson.com; tommie.williams@senate.ga.gov

THANK YOU ALL!

Don't Give Up on Wolves, Please!

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) recently stripped wolves of their Endangered Species Act protections in the Northern Rockies and Great Lakes. As a result, these states have opened trophy hunting and trapping seasons, and thousands of wolves have been mercilessly slaughtered.

The FWS has also proposed removing protections for wolves in the rest of the lower 48 states, which would lead to even more killing. Thanks to feedback from nearly A MILLION citizens and a host of conservation biologists, the FWS recently convened a new panel of experts to revisit the issue. This new panel found that the FWS relied upon ONE SINGLE — faulty — paper in deciding to remove federal protections from wolves.

A new comment period is open and the FWS needs to hear from you before March 27.  After a previous such comment period in Michigan, 10,000 pro-wolf comments were deliberately deleted; we trust that this will not happen with the Secretary of the Interior, Sally Jewell. (Sample letter/email below, but personalizing it is always a good idea!)

Dear Secretary Jewell,

I value wolves and I want to see them protected by the Endangered Species Act. Without these federal safeguards, wolves are pitted against an unfair arsenal of traps, snares, baits, hounds, and shooters who kill them from low-flying aircraft. Killing wolves puts their family packs in disarray and leaves young pups to starve.
Most Americans love wolves, and wolf-watching tourists spend millions of dollars to see them in places like Yellowstone National Park. After receiving pressure from the livestock industry and extreme groups, the government has given up on wolves and literally put them in the crosshairs before they could recover to most of their historic range. It’s quite simple: wolf populations are still recovering, and the best available science does not support their removal from the protections afforded to them by the Endangered Species Act. Please provide adequate protections for this iconic and beautiful species.

Mailing Address:
Department of the Interior
1849 C Street, N.W.
Washington DC 20240

Phone: (202) 208-3100
E-Mail: feedback@ios.doi.gov
Web: Feedback form

Your action can save a lot of lives. And a lot of suffering. Wolves are seldom killed instantly with a single clean shot. Remember hunters who shoot anything that moves; remember bowhunters and traps. Please give up 15 minutes for this. Don’t put it off.

Please OPPOSE the SPORTSMEN'S BILLS

In Defense of AnimalsThis week, we desperately need every U.S. citizen to call and send a letter to both of your US Senators to help protect wildlife and public lands from those who enjoy killing wild animals including hunters, anglers, and trappers.

Two bills, the Bipartisan Sportsmen’s Act of 2014 (S. 1996) and the Sportsmen’s Act (S. 1335), are currently pending in the Senate, while the latter has already passed the House.

The goal of this package of bills, collectively called SHARE (Sportsmen’s Heritage and Recreation Act), is to further “sportsmen’s” interests — although we know that in fact there is nothing sporting about killing other for FUN. The bills have provisions that, if passed, would open more federal land to hunting, fishing, and trapping, allow the importation of polar bear “trophies” from Canada, interfere with the Toxic Substances Control Act and allow hunting in National Parks.

What you can do:

  1. Please send the letter below (or preferably a personalized version of it) to both of your U.S. Senators.
  2. Follow up with a call and say: “Please OPPOSE S.1996 the Bipartisan Sportsmen’s bill, S.1335 the Sportsmen’s bill, and all related bills.” That is ALL.

You can look up your US Senators here

Sample letter: I urge you to vote against S.1996 the Bipartisan Sportsmen’s bill, S.1335 and all related bills.

The overall goal of these bills is to further the interests of “sportsmen,” a minority compared to the overwhelming majority of the public who do not hunt, fish, or trap. Furthermore, these bills, if passed, would undermine provisions of existing conservation statutes, including the Marine Mammal Protection Act and the Toxic Substances Control Act. These bills would interfere with the exercise of authority by federal agencies responsible for managing federal lands and protecting public health.

By favoring the interests of a minority against those of the majority of the taxpaying public, who use public lands for nonviolent and peaceful enjoyment, these bills seek to take control of wildlife and public lands away from federal agencies and the public and hand it over to hunters, anglers, and trappers. This will not be tolerated by the majority of the public who use these lands, and who finance the protection and maintenance of them through our tax dollars.

I am strongly opposed to S. 1996, S. 1335 and all related Sportsmen’s bills, and I urge you to vote on my behalf against these bills, which would compromise existing protections for wildlife, public lands, and public health.

THANK YOU SO MUCH!  YOUR letter may be the one that tips the scales!

Remember the emails you wrote against the last donkey basketball?

Dig them out. Copy and paste them for this one, and then keep them handy for next time.

Donkey Basketball This Friday, March 7, Rosemary Clarke Middle School and Pahrump Valley High School in Pahrump, Nevada, are hosting a cruel “donkey basketball” game,  and participants will reportedly include students, teachers, and school district administrators as well as members of the Nye County Sheriff’s Office, Pahrump Valley Fire and Rescue, and Nye County’s  Juvenile Probation Department.  Donkeys used in these events are repeatedly exposed to deafening crowds, blinding lights, and general chaos as they are jerked by the reins, screamed at, whipped, kicked, and ridden frantically. Your voice is needed!

Please politely urge school and county administrators to replace this cruel and dangerous event with one in which all participants choose to be involved.

Please call and send polite comments to:

  • Tim Wombaker
    Principal
    Rosemary Clarke Middle School
    775-727-5546
    Click here to email.
  • Max Buffi
    Principal
    Pahrump Valley High School
    725 727-7737
    Click here to email.
  • Thomas Metscher
    Chief Juvenile Probation Officer
    Nye County Juvenile Probation Department
    775-751-7007
    tmetscher@co.nye.nv.us
  • Fire Chief Scott F. Lewis
    Pahrump Valley Fire and Rescue
    775-727-5658

 

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]

 

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

 

VALENTINE'S DAY DOLPHIN DEMO

Sea Shepherd Conservation Society & Sea Shepherd Cove Guardians NEED YOU on Valentine’s Day!

Demonstrations To Take Place in the U.S. and Overseas Against Taiji’s Brutal Dolphin Hunts

World Love For Dolphins Day

Sea Shepherd Conservation Society and the Sea Shepherd Cove Guardians are inviting supporters and all concerned individuals to join in targeted demonstrations on February 14, 2014  — VALENTINE’S DAY — against Taiji’s brutal capture and slaughter of dolphins.

There will be demonstrations at the Embassy of Japan in Washington, D.C. and Japanese consulates in cities across the country, demanding an end to the bloodshed in Taiji. The appalling dolphin hunts have been in the public eye so much recently for a variety of reasons, and we need to keep up the pressure. This may be the beginning of the end! PLEASE DO WHATEVER IT TAKES TO BE THERE. I know it is Valentine’s Day, and you didn’t plan to spend it holding a sign, but what BETTER way could there be?!

Valentine’s Day Demonstration, Feb 14th, 2014, 12:00pm-1:00pm ET/PT, outside the Japanese Consulate at 601 Union Street downtown (Union St. exit).

You can download & print a poster on Sea Shepherd’s website here .