How Ray the Rescue Pony Came Home, and Could Help Change the Law

When a family in rural Washington found an elderly Shetland pony wandering along the road, they took him in and, if his owners weren’t found, hoped to keep him.

Because of a misguided state law, they couldn’t. He was sent to auction, where they paid a pretty penny to keep him, as Animal News Northwest recounts in the tale of Runaway Ray the Pony.

If no one had bought Ray, his fortunates would have gone the way of other stray livestock: to Mexico or Canada to be slaughtered.

Fortunately, State Rep. Michelle Caldier (R-Port Orchard) sat in on the auction and tried to change the law so that animals like Ray can be adopted, if someone is willing and able, rather than auctioned.

A hearing for House Bill 2500 is scheduled for this Thursday, Jan. 28, before the House Committee on Agriculture & Natural Resources.

Please contact bill sponsor Rep. Caldier to voice your support: (360) 786-7802 and/or

Committee Chair Brian Blake (D-Aberdeen) is a co-sponsor, as are Jesse Young (R-Gig Harbor), Tom Dent (R-Moses Lake) and Lynda Wilson (R-Vancouver).

Join us at Humane Lobby Day!

Have you heard about Humane Lobby Day? It’s one of the most important days for animals in Washington State and it’s happening on Wednesday, January 27th from 8-3.


Humane Lobby Day is an opportunity for us—constituents—to speak up for animals by visiting our State legislators in Olympia and letting them know about the changes that are needed to protect animals.

Learn more and sign up here.

Humane Lobby Day is hosted by HSUS. If you have questions, please email state HSUS director Dan Paul at

If you’re wondering if you can make a difference, the answer is yes!

Christie Legally, the HSUS Washington State Council secretary, explains, “People often worry that they don’t know anything about lobbying or the current bills.  The Lobby Day agenda includes time at the beginning of the day when we will all learn about the bills we need to support. Staff members from the HSUS and other animal welfare agencies will explain each bill and why it is important.  We will also be learning how to lobby by practicing lobbying for bills with other attendees. “

“Also, people often worry that they don’t know anyone in the animal protect movement, and therefore they hesitate to go to Lobby day alone. But I encourage folks to come to Lobby Day even if they don’t know anyone there. You will meet people who are a lot like you who are taking a stand to protect animals. You may even meet other people from your district when you attend your Lobby Day meetings together. This day will be a full, rich day of learning about animal protection and the role of our legislature to protect animals!”

Read more about the importance of attending Humane Lobby Day, and remember that January 22nd is the deadline to register, so sign up today!

Please Stop Showing Images of Birds in Captivity

2009ecard-2In honor of National Bird Day earlier this week, Born Free USA and the Avian Welfare Coalition called for websites and the public to stop sharing online videos of birds in captivity.

“While possibly entertaining to some, videos of captive parrots, parakeets, cockatoos, and others inadvertently promote the myth that birds are domesticated pets,” according to the National Bird Day site.

Birds are actually wild, intelligent animals with emotional and physical needs that cannot be met in captivity.

Laws protect blue jays, cardinals, crows and other native birds from commercial exploitation, but the pet industry allows such treatment of “pet, exotic” birds who even when bred in captivity are not domesticated and suffer terribly.

With nearly 12 percent of the 9,800 species of birds in the world facing extinction, including a third of the world’s 330 parrot species, which are among those that suffer from the illegal pet trade, it’s past time to start working to save them through activism and personal behavior.

Windows kill as many birds as cats. Learn how you can help prevent bird collisions with windows, like:

  • Keeping indoor houseplants and flowers away from windows where birds might see them and assume they’re outside
  • Installing new windows with a slight downward tilt so they do not reflect the sky and trees

Here are a host of other ways to save birds’ lives, including:

Before Thursday, sound the alert about a dairy expansion planned for King County

tall-chief-bannerAmazingly, King County has drawn up plan to sell land to the largest landowner in the Snoqualmie Valley — a confinement dairy that uses GMOs, Roundup and synthetic fertilizers — rather than to Seattle Tilth.

A King County Council committee will vote Thursday on the sale of the Tall Chief Golf Course to Keller Dairy, already the area’s largest landowner.

King County bought the property in 2013 for about $4.5 million to save it from development.

Despite a strong proposal from the highly respected non-profit Seattle Tilth, the county’s Natural Resources and Parks Department decided to sell the land for roughly $700,000 to expand the dairy.

Speak out against King County Ordinance 2015-0425!

It’s urgent: Messages must be sent before 8 a.m. Thursday:

  • Sign this petition.
  • Spread the word! Link to the Save Tall Chief website.
  • Write a quick email to council members, with the subject line “Vote “no” on King Co. Ordinance 2015-0425, the Tall Chief land sale for a confinement dairy” and a message like: “I’m writing to ask that you vote against King County Ordinance 2015-0425. This is not the best use of our government-owned property, particularly when Seattle Tilth has a better plan on the table.” Here are the email addresses, which you can paste all at once if you’re in a hurry: 
  • Attend the King County Council’s Budget and Fiscal Management Committee meeting at 11 a.m. on Thursday, at which members will discuss and vote on King County Ordinance 2015-0425. Double check  at this link before you leave to ensure it’s still on the agenda.  Here’s the address: King County Courthouse, 516 Third Avenue,  Room 1001, Seattle.

Thanksgiving week events

We’re ramping up for a busy week. Here’s a rundown of some of the ways you can get involved in the next few days.

Fri Nov 27 from 9am-11am
Vegan Outreach Downtown Seattle
Meet at 4th & Pine, in front of Starbucks

This is a chance to hand out vegan recipes and Why Vegan booklets to the crowds who will be congregating for the Thanksgiving Day Parade. People love the recipe books and it’s a great way to make a positive impact.

Fri Nov 27 from 11am-1pm
Fur Free Friday Downtown Seattle
Nordstrom Downtown Seattle, 500 Pine Street

After leafleting, it’s demo time! Hold a sign, hand out a flier, or simply be part of the group of people who oppose fur. There’s no need for cruelty in the 21st century.

Fri Nov 27 from 1pm-10pm
#BlackLivesMatterFriday 2.0 : The Quest For Freedom
Westlake Park, 401 Pine Street

After demos, let’s show solidarity with other groups. This event isn’t organized by NARN, but it’s important that we support our fellow activists. Oppression and injustices are rampant and we need to stand with others to make changes.

Sun Nov 29 from 6pm-9:30pm
No New Animal Lab Home Demos
Meet at Starbucks, 800 12th Ave, Seattle

This event isn’t organized by NARN, but we stand with the No New Animal Lab campaign and encourage you to attend protests at the houses of people involved in the plans to build a new underground animal lab at the University of Washington.

Tue Dec 1 from 6:30pm-8:30pm
NARN Letter Writing Party, Fur Free Friday Edition
Wayward Vegan Café, 801 NE 65th Street

Join NARN members, animal activists, and other vegans for a letter writing dinner at Wayward Café! We’ll be upstairs with stationery, stamps, and addresses. Just bring yourself!

Well, there’s no shortage of events in Seattle in the next week. Have a peaceful Thanksgiving, eat lots of delicious vegan food, and plug into the community however you can.


Free Trap-Neuter-Release Class in Snohomish

While Australia declares war on cats with plans to kill 2 million cats in the next two years — a violent campaign that will not accomplish its aims — there are legions of people in the United States trapping, neutering and releasing feral cats to ensure they will not proliferate.

The humane way, as usual, is the effective way.

Entire colonies of cats have been eradicated with TNR, in Seattle’s University District and elsewhere.

For those interested in helping, the Community Cat Coalition of Washington is holding a free class in TNR from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 6, at the Snohomish Library in lovely Snohomish, WA.

A potluck afterward will introduce newly trained trappers to mentors. If enough of us show up, maybe it can be a largely vegan potluck!


More info at the Community Cat Coalition’s website and on Facebook.


Black Lives Matter

i Nov 18th No Comments by

In light of our poster making party for the Black Lives Matter Rally, and of course next week’s Black Lives Matter Rally on Nov 27th, we’d like to share, and encourage everyone to read, this blog post from the Vine Sanctuary:

If you are interesting in learning more, please check out this additional resources:

On All Lives Matter:

On Allyship:

On White Silence and 18 Daily Resolutions for White People to Fight Racism

On Systemic Racism (video)

Wild elephants to be ripped from their families!

The Dallas Zoo in Texas, Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo in Nebraska, and Sedgwick County Zoo in Kansas want to rip 18 wild elephants from their families and home in Swaziland to fill their cages.

Please ask the Fish and Wildlife Service to deny permits to import 18 wild elephants to U.S. zoos. Just a few minutes of your time could spare these wild elephants a lifetime of misery in a tiny yard and in a barren barn cell. But hurry! The deadline for comments is Monday, November 23, 2015.

African Elephants

Please politely demand that the Fish and Wildlife Service NOT grant a permit to import these wild elephants. Some say there is no room for the elephants where they currently live. If so, they could be moved to another location in the wild. The elephants need to stay within Africa.

What you can do

  1. Submit a comment to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS). Just one line will do. Click here to comment.
  2. Make 3 phone calls to your 2 Senators and 1 representative.  Click here to find their phone numbers.

To learn more read Conservation Charade: U.S. Zoo Propose Importing Wild African Elephants and go to Big Rumble’s Facebook page.

Talking points from Big Rumble

  • I am shocked that these zoos intend to engage in the cruel and archaic capture of wild elephants for captivity. Science has told us about elephants’ sensitivity, their intelligence, and their strong family bonds, which zoos will tear apart.
  • It’s wrong to tear young elephants away from their mothers just to put them on display in zoos where they face considerably shorter life spans than elephants in protected wild areas.
  • Captivity is not conservation. None of the Swaziland elephants or any offspring will ever be released back into the wild to help populations in Africa. Zoos need to help protect elephants where they live — that is true conservation!
  • Culling has not been used in Southern Africa for two decades; non-lethal management alternatives are now considered best practice. Zoos should not be shamelessly exploiting threats to kill elephants and pretend to be “saving” them.
  • If you really want to “save” these elephants, then work with BGP to find space for them in Swaziland or elsewhere in Africa — rather than offering a cash incentive not to.
  • Killing is NOT the only alternative to capture. Even if we believe that elephants confined to a tiny part of Swaziland are doing significant damage to the land, there are other protected areas that they could be moved to.
  • There can be no justification for harming elephants, including conserving rhinos. A humane solution exists: Relocate the Swaziland elephants elsewhere in Africa and keep them wild!
  • Both Omaha and Sedgwick County are cold-weather zoos where the elephants would spend significant time indoors, endangering their health. All three zoos have limited space — nothing like the areas elephants naturally need to thrive.
  • Importing elephants from Swaziland has nothing to do with helping elephants. It is a shameless ploy to increase zoo attendance, at a cost to the elephants’ lives, freedom, and families.

Please share this widely. Let’s do all we can to assure a huge outcry over this barbaric scheme. Thank you!

Research Chimpanzees Headed to Zoo: Tell Feds Not to Issue Permits



Ideally, chimpanzees would no longer be used in lab experiments at all.

Barring that, the ones who don’t die in the labs at least deserve to live the rest of their lives in sanctuaries.

Emory University’s federal Yerkes National Primate Research Center instead plans to give eight chimpanzees — Lucas, Fritz,  Agatha, Abby, Tara, Faye, Georgia, and Elvira—to Wingham Wildlife Park (WWP), an unaccredited zoo in the UK.

To move them, Yerkes needs a permit from the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS).

Please go here to request that Fish & Wildlife reject the permit request — on any or all of these grounds, offered by the American Anti-Vivisection Society:

  • Health risks: The chimps will be sedated, and anesthesia can be dangerous, even under the best of conditions. The extended transport time will also cause much stress and anxiety.
  • Plans to breed: Yerkes has said the chimpanzees may be used in the future for breeding. There’s no need to increase the captive chimp population.
  • Not accredited: Wingham Wildlife Park is not an accredited zoo and is held only to minimal standards of care, which are not what these animals deserve.
  • Sanctuaries want them: Sanctuaries in the U.S. have offered to take them in. There’s no good reason for Yerkes to put their health and well-being at risk just to send them to a zoo in the UK.

Sample comment to FWS:

Please deny Emory University’s permit request for Yerkes National Primate Research Center to transport eight chimpanzees used in research to Wingham Wildlife Park, an unaccredited zoo in the UK.

Given the health risks involved in transporting chimpanzees so far, and the fact that Wingham is not an accredited zoo and has said it might breed them — after they’ve already given so much of their lives — it makes more sense to send these animals to one of the U.S. sanctuaries that has offered to take them.

Thank you,

Your Name Here

If you have another 30 seconds, go here to request that all chimpanzees be retired.

BLM Rounding Up 1,500 Horses in Oregon: What You Can Do

horses helicopter


The Bureau of Land Management, which is supposed to protect wild horses, sent nearly 1,800 of them to certain death in Colorado between 2009 and 2012.

The U.S. Office of the Inspector General issued a scathing report, the according to Denver Post coverage last week. The report said the bureau “failed to follow its own policy of limiting horse sales and ensuring that the horses sold went to good homes and were not slaughtered.” (Here’s the full report.)

That hasn’t stopped the bureau’s plan to descend early next month on Beatys Butte Herd Management Area in southern Oregon, where 1,500 wild horses live peacefully on some 400,000 acres of public land. Using helicopters, it will drive them out.

Such roundups appear to be legal, based on earlier Inspector General reports, which mention how difficult a job it is to carry out.

There are other ways.

Although BLM culls horses to “maintain rangeland health,” ranchers in southern Oregon acknowledge it’s to ensure there’s enough land for their cattle. As one rancher from Kiehly Brothers Ranch put it, “It’s starting to hurt the resource out there…. It’s just too many horses out there for the resource.”

Let’s tell BLM and the Department of the Interior, which oversees it, that that’s no reason to send 1,500 wild horses to their deaths. If horse populations need to be controlled, the fertility control vaccine PZP is a far more humane and more sustainable option.

Leave a message on BLM’s web site and for Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, the former CEO of REI who oversees BLM:

Call 202-208-3100, email and/or use an online feedback form.

Here’s a sample, but please tailor for yourself:

Dear Secty. Sally Jewell,
I’m writing from Seattle, where we’re watching closely what you and BLM do in Oregon next month with the horses at Beatys Butte.
You know that a fertility vaccine is a more humane, more sustainable option than what BLM has planned — and that such action will only call more attention to a program that’s been badly mismanaged and was embarrassed by an OIG report last week regarding illegal behavior in Colorado.
Please take the time to save these wild horses and to get this program on track.
I know you’re busy, but it’s time now.
Thank you,