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AMONG THE ANIMALS: Seattle Animal Shelter gets upgrades

Artist concept of the Seattle Animal Shelter renovations (photo courtesy of SAS)

Artist concept of the Seattle Animal Shelter renovations (photo courtesy of SAS)

by Christie Lagally

Originally published in the Queen Anne & Magnolia News and City Living Seattle

December 2013

(c) Pacific Publishing Company

Most weekend afternoons are bustling with patrons at the Seattle Animal Shelter (SAS) as families visit in the hopes of adopting a furry family member. But recently, the shelter has been a bit quieter while the building undergoes renovation of its dog kennels, a project that requires most of the animals to reside in foster care for more than a month.

In November, SAS foster families were called upon to take not just dogs but also rabbits, guinea pigs and hamsters that were displaced by the renovation. Amazingly and generously, the shelter’s volunteer community rose to the occasion and took nearly every dog and small animal into its collective care.

Guinea pigs at SAS

Guinea pigs at SAS

Although few animals are currently residing in the shelter, fostered animals are brought in during open hours to meet with potential new families. On a recent Saturday, SAS volunteer Rose Torbin introduced me to some guinea pigs that were spending the day in the shelter lobby for an adoption event. Torbin is part of the Critter Team at SAS, and she is also serving as a foster parent to two rats, Lucy and Pixal, during the renovation.

Creating a better environment

It has been about a decade since the dog kennels had been upgraded. Thanks to an $80,000 grant from the Seattle Animal Shelter Foundation, $68,000 from the shelter’s Help the Animals Fund and $12,000 of city building funds, a three-phase project is being implemented to upgrade the entire facility.

Cat Condos at SAS

Cat Condos at SAS

As part of phase one, cat condos were purchased for the front corridor of the shelter just last year, and the in-progress kennel upgrades are designed to make the space more dog- and adopter-friendly.

Seattle Animal Shelter director Don Jordan explained that the kennels were once designed for a shelter where dogs did not stay long. But, today, the shelter boasts a 93-percent live-release rate for animals coming into their care. Live-release rates are a measure of how many animals can be successfully returned to their owner or re-homed upon arrival at the shelter, and this includes animals that are too sick or injured and must be euthanized.

The kennel upgrades were designed by SHKS Architects in Seattle, and major work was well underway by mid-November. The chain-link doors on each kennel were removed, and all poles and sound baffling were taken out so the floors and walls could be resurfaced.

Jordan explained that small dogs would often slip past the poles in the kennels; hence, the area was not safe for all dogs in residence. The newly renovated kennels will have glass doors with a visual barrier to calm dogs that are stressed by seeing other dogs nearby. Renovations are expected to be complete by mid-December.

Phase two of the shelter renovations will include upgrades to the facility’s HVAC system. Jordan explained that improving ventilation should help reduce incidences of upper respiratory infections (URI) that commonly inflict dogs and cats residing in shelters or kennels.

“Our goal is to create a healthy and happy environment as a whole,” Jordan said.

Rabbits, hamsters, guinea pigs and other small critters will be the beneficiaries of phase three of the renovation project. Additionally, upgrades to the shelter’s kitchen and laundry areas are planned.

Donations are needed to help fund phase three, and the shelter will work with the Seattle Animal Shelter Foundation for longer-term planning.

Currently, critters are housed in four dog kennels separate from the main kennel room. The space is not ideal for smaller furry friends that are primarily housed in larger rodent cages placed along the walls. Upgrades to this area will include a more enriching space for these special creatures.

Community partnerships

During kennel renovations, the shelter is not taking in animals, but it has provided the public with alternatives for dealing with stray or surrendered animals. If you find a stray, you are asked to hold the animal and check for tags or ask a local veterinary office to scan for a microchip. With this information, list the animal on SAS’s Reuniting Owners with Missing Pets System (ROMPS) online database (web1.seattle.gov/dea/romps).

You can also post the found animal on local blogs or put up flyers around the neighborhood to find the owner.

In the event the animal’s owners cannot be located, SAS has partnered with local shelters, including Seattle Humane Society and PAWS, which have offered to take in surrenders during the temporary intake closure.

Jordan said that people have been very understanding when they find they cannot surrender an animal during the renovation.

Once phase one renovations are complete, the shelter will host a reopening event; watch its website for more information.

In the meantime, animals in foster care and cats residing at the shelter are available for adoption. You can visit the Seattle Animal Shelter at 2061 15th Ave. W. in Interbay, and follow the shelter’s progress as it works to make our local animal shelter increasingly comfortable, welcoming and safe for animals and people alike.

To foster, volunteer or adopt at the Seattle Animal Shelter, visit www.seattle.gov/animalshelter. To learn more or donate to the Seattle Animal Shelter Foundation, visitwww.seattleanimalshelterfoundation.org.

CHRISTIE LAGALLY is a writer and the editor of Living Humane, a news site about humane-conscious lifestyles at livinghumane.com. She also writes a blog called “Sniffing Out Home: A Search for Animal Welfare Solutions” at www.sniffingouthome.org.

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AMONG THE ANIMALS: Doney clinic serves pets of homeless, low-income

Dr R (right) and Princess

Dr Radheshwar (right) and Princess

By Christie Lagally

Originally published in City Living Seattle and the Queen Anne and Magnolia News

Nov. 14, 2013

(c) Pacific Publishing Company

The Seattle rain poured down so hard on Pioneer Square this September day that only a handful of people were waiting outside of the Union Gospel Mission homeless shelter. I was told to watch for a long line of people with their dogs, cats, ferrets and other animals waiting on the sidewalk for the afternoon Doney Memorial Pet Clinic. But this Saturday was too wet, and instead, the group was indoors, enjoying each other’s company and waiting a turn for veterinary care for their animals.

For more than 28 years, Doney Memorial Pet Clinic has provided veterinary care to the animals of Seattle’s homeless and low-income residents.

As I took cover inside the Union Gospel Mission, the multi-purpose room was being arranged as an impromptu pet supply store, as Carol Dougherty and her fellow volunteers were frantically bringing in donated bags of dog food out of the drenching rain. Part of the mission of the Doney Clinic is to provide clients with pet supplies. Dougherty was setting up shop for the afternoon.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAVolunteers at the Doney Clinic have their hands full on the second and fourth Saturdays of the month as they coordinate more than 50 people (and around 65 accompanying animals) who arrive early and wait several hours to see a veterinarian. Some pet owners are homeless while others are low-income, but they all share the compassion for their animals and the responsibility to get them veterinary care.

Seattle resident Bill Smith was waiting for a diagnosis for his senior Malamute-mix dog, Princess, who was having trouble with stiffness in her legs. Smith has been coming to the Doney Clinic for roughly 20 years with dogs that he has rescued and taken care of until the end of their lives.

“There are always dogs that need a home,” Smith said of the many dogs he has cared for over the years.

Dr. Mona Radheshwar, DVM, was one of three attending veterinarians volunteering her time and skills for the clinic. One after another, Radheshwar saw cats, dogs and a tiny little kitten. Meanwhile, a veterinarian assistant who was there to hold animals, also attempted to configure better lighting in the rustic basement exam room, and other volunteers mopped up a rain-soaked floor and checked patients into the clinic.

What’s needed most

The Doney Clinic was started in 1985 by Dr. Bud Doney to provide veterinary care for the animals of homeless and low-income residents in Seattle’s Pike Street Market area. When Doney passed away, local veterinarian Dr. Stan Coe was instrumental in reviving this service in 1986. He and two fellow board members of the Delta Society, Louise Garbe and Don Rolf, took on the mission to run the clinic.

Twenty-eight years later, these dedicated visionaries continue to ensure this service is available. From her Greenwood residence, Garbe takes care of paying the clinic’s bills and accepting donations from the public, and Coe regularly sees patients at the Doney Clinic.

Back in the attending room, Radheshwar provides Smith with some arthritis medication but also recommends X-rays of Princess’ back. In these cases, when additional veterinary care such as x-rays or surgery is needed, clients are referred to a local veterinary hospital.

Garbe explained that to help low-income or homeless residents pay for ancillary veterinary care, the Doney Clinic pays the cost for services rendered, but each client signs a contract agreeing to pay those costs back over time. Additionally, the local vet clinic graciously discounts its services for Doney Clinic clients.

As Smith arranges final paperwork for Princess, about 30 people and their animals are still patiently waiting.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERANow, several hours into the clinic, many in the waiting room had picked up donated dog or cat food from the clinic pantry and were provided with leashes, pet beds, dog coats and other donated accessories to meet each animal’s needs.

A few new clients stagger in from the rain to see if there is any dog food left. Luckily, with today’s large donations, there was enough food to go around, but the shop was out of cat litter before the end of the day.

Donations of cat and dog supplies come from a variety of locations, including pet supply stores. All the Best Pet Care in Queen Anne maintains an ongoing collection bin for food and supply donations.

“[The Doney Clinic] often lets us know what they need most,” explained Amanda Fox of All the Best Pet Care. Fox said that when customers ask what would be helpful to donate, the store recommends items that the Doney Clinic needs. Donations of used leashes, coats and beds are also gratefully accepted from the public.

All playing a part

As the hectic afternoon began to wind down, I got a chance to pet a few dog ears and scratch the chins of some patiently waiting cats. I could not help but stand in awe of the enormous coordination it takes to bring the Doney Pet Memorial Clinic to life on these Saturday afternoons.

The volunteers, the veterinarians, the assistants and the dedicated pet owners each expertly played their part to ensure that this special community of animals gets the care they need.

To learn more about the Doney Memorial Pet Clinic or to donate or volunteer, visit http://www.doneyclinic.org.

CHRISTIE LAGALLY is editor of Living Humane (livinghumane.com), a news site on humane-conscious lifestyles. She also writes a blog called “Sniffing Out Home: A Search for Animal Welfare Solutions” at http://www.sniffingouthome.org.

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AMONG THE ANIMALS: Art for Animals’ Sake

artforanimalssake

Sign at the gallery

by Christie Lagally

Originally published in City Living Seattle

Oct. 17, 2013

(C) Pacific Publishing Company

Photojournalist David Walega knows how to capture a potent moment in time for people and animals alike. Walega’s career has taken him to Africa and back covering stories from war to homelessness.

In recent years, this Seattle photographer now shares with others how art — including drawing, painting, ceramics and photography — can help us discover our inherent empathy for all animals.

Walega is the founder of Art for Animals’ Sake (AFAS), a Seattle-based nonprofit that provides education to support animal-cruelty prevention and awareness of animal advocacy issues through art. Along with animal advocate Melanie Sears and art instructor Jessica Ishmeal, this organization holds art classes and provides other opportunities for young people to learn drawing, photography and painting as a way to connect with animals. The goal of AFAS’s workshops is to instill a sense of compassion toward animals through the intimate act of art and to help the artist make future life choices with kindness toward animals in mind.

‘Black cat syndrome’

I met in Walega and Sears at a fund-raiser hosted by Wallflower Custom Framing in West Seattle, where local glass artist Shannon Felix was selling custom-glass black cat sculptures to benefit AFAS.

Black cat figurine

Black cat figurine

Much like the featured cat figurine, Felix’s studio, Avalon Glassworks, creates unique blown-glass art with stunning colors and deep tones reminiscent of Impressionist paintings. Felix explained that her previous experience sculpting animals was inspired by her leopard gecko, but this was her first time sculpting cats.

Felix and Walega collaborated to feature the black cat sculpture to bring awareness to the issue of so-called black-cat or black-dog syndrome. This is a phenomenon anecdotally seen by animal shelter workers in which black animals are often overlooked for adoption despite equally pleasant temperaments, compared to their lighter-colored counterparts. Walega explains that this may be because darker animals do not appear as well in photographs on animal adoption sites.

Bea Hughes, a coaching professional and fellow member of the West Seattle Westside Professionals business association, attended the fund-raiser and was picking out one of the cat sculptures when we met.

“I love that he’s doing this,” Hughes said about Walega’s work as both an artist and an animal advocate. “Artists can depict an element of society to call attention to their needs.”

(To purchase a black cat sculpture to support AFAS, visit http://www.avalonglassworks.com.)

The human-animal bond

Peace for the Streets by Kids from the Streets (PSKS)

Peace for the Streets by Kids from the Streets (PSKS)

Following an assignment to document the daily lives of homeless youths in Seattle, Walega arranged one of the first AFAS workshops, where he taught drawing, fine art and painting to homeless youths and young adults at a shelter operated by Peace for the Streets by Kids from the Streets (PSKS) in Capitol Hill. PSKS (www.psks.org) offers support services to homeless youths and young adults, as well as to their companion animals. This workshop helped participants focus on their love for their companion animals by depicting them in works of art.

In 2012, AFAS began their “Day in the Life” project to document the relationship that homeless people have with their animals. With guidance from instructors, images produced by young, amateur photographers using disposable cameras tell a compelling story of the importance of the human-animal bond for homeless residents of Seattle. (Images of this ongoing project are on-line at http://www.artforanimalssake.com.)

AFAS recently received a grant from the World Peace Earth Foundation (worldpeaceearth.com) and the Pollination Project (thepollinationproject.org) to offer its Animals R. Terrific (ART) workshop this October. The event will focus on teaching compassion for all animals through art, and the event includes a plant-based lunch free of animal products. Trader Joes and Seattle’s Field Roast Grain Meat Co. are providing in-kind donations for the event menu.

The muses for the workshop will be chickens Pearl, Millie, and Gertrude, whose human caretaker will bring the gals to the studio for the afternoon. Although backyard chickens are legal in Seattle, most chickens in the United States live in cramped and cruel conditions in factory farms and are used for egg or meat production.

The ART workshop is a rare opportunity for teenagers to observe these animals in an art studio and learn to replicate their colorful feathers in paint and pencil.

According to Walega and Sears, this workshop gives students the opportunity to see chickens as individual beings rather than a meal.

The Animals R. Terrific Workshop is on Sunday, Oct. 20, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., and is open to kids 10 to 15 years old. Visit the Art for Animals’ Sake website to learn more about this organization or to register for the workshop.

Another avenue

While animal advocacy comes in many forms ranging from direct rescue, sheltering, protesting or working toward legislation, using art to help people connect with animals opens up another avenue to share the reasons we must protect animals.

Art for Animals’ Sake is working through art to help people find the emotional awareness and empathy to consider the well-being of all animals in the choices of our daily lives.

CHRISTIE LAGALLY is a writer and the editor of Living Humane (livinghumane.com). She also writes a blog called “Sniffing Out Home: A Search for Animal Welfare Solutions” at http://www.sniffingouthome.org. To comment on this column, write to CityLivingEditor@nwlink.com.

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AMONG THE ANIMALS: Foster care: ‘A shelter without walls’

mo-001

Mo, a foster cat from PAWS

Sept. 19th, 2013

Originally published in City Living Seattle and the Queen Anne News

(c) Pacific Publishing Company

My husband, Eric, and I had presided over a two-dog, one-cat household for a long time before one of our dogs passed away in May. We were not ready to commit to another dog. Instead, we decided to foster cats and dogs from a local rescue group and help out one animal at a time.

We signed up with the Progressive Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) since its shelter is close to our North Seattle home. There are also foster programs through the Seattle Animal Shelter (SAS) and numerous private rescue groups. Smaller rescue groups also depend on foster families to care for homeless pets because they do not have a brick-and-mortar shelter.

Eric and I acquired the requisite training to volunteer and to learn how to engage with the foster-care system. We learned about pickups, drop-offs, vet appointments and how to encourage good behavior in the home so our foster animal will be adopted.

I was ecstatic when PAWS’ foster-care coordinator Rebecca Oertel called to say she had a dog needing care for two weeks. By the end of the day, our confident yet tiny foster dog, Mariah (a Chihuahua mix), was firmly established in our home and was spending her Friday night in a rambunctious play session with our dog, Toby.

Toby loved every minute of his new playmate’s company. They chased and played tug of war (with both sanctioned and unsanctioned socks). At times, my cat Buca would sit high on the counter and watch Mariah bounce around the living room like a ball in a tennis match.

Toby and Mariah

Toby and Mariah

As a puppy, Mariah needed guidance on house training, but she quickly absorbed new commands like “sit” and “stay.” She was a joy to have in our home.

When I got a voice mail that a family was keen on adopting Mariah, I was overjoyed, yet I braced myself to miss her petite and energetic spirit. Toby, Eric and I took Mariah back to the shelter together, and the abundance of kisses and hugs were natural at such a moment to say goodbye.

New foster family members

That day, Oertel introduced us to Mo, a 20-pound Maine Coon-mix cat with a positive outlook and polite disposition. In our extra bedroom, Mo hunkered down in the closet. But within a day, he found the lounge chair and amply filled it as if the space between the arms was destined for a giant, long-haired, white cat.

Mo was a perfect gentleman toward dogs, cats and people. He even graciously notified me when it was time for his litter box to be cleaned, and he kept himself and his surroundings in order. Indeed, he was a perfect houseguest, complete with good “meow” conversations in nearly comical tones.

We found it exceptionally difficult to take Mo back to the shelter so that he could meet some potential adopters. Mo awaits adoption at PAWS Cat City in Seattle’s University District.

Our current foster dog, Choco (a Chihuahua mix), is about 2 years old and started out timid around new people. Within days, she learned that life at the Lagally house is safe for dogs, and she found good company in my cat, Buca.

Choco and her shoe pile

Choco and her shoe pile

Like Mariah and Mo, Choco’s unique personality is a delight to discover. Chaco loves shoes, and she collects them from all over our house — from closets, shoe racks or the back porch — and piles them on the couch. No shoe is ever damaged — just displayed as yet another glorious find. As we take joy in and offer respect for Choco’s shoe pile, she seems to learn that people are not so scary after all.

Rewarding connections

Animals at SAS or PAWS typically need temporary foster care to recover from a cold or surgery or to take a break from the shelter. Foster families come from all walks of life, including working people, families, apartment dwellers and homeowners.

“We literally have all lifestyles represented, said SAS spokesperson Kara Main-Hester.

Main-Hester said that SAS regularly has about 130 to 200 animals in foster care and more during kitten season, and more than 700 animals per year are cared for by foster parents serving our local city shelter.

Similarly, PAWS placed around 1,600 dogs, cats, kittens and puppies in foster homes last year alone.

“The foster-care program creates a shelter without walls,” explained Oertel, who emphasized that PAWS can always use more foster families, which, in turn, helps PAWS care for even more animals.

For me, not only do foster-care programs serve an important role as part of the companion animal-shelter system, such programs also give foster parents the rewarding, heartwarming chance to connect with some very precious souls who we might otherwise never get to encounter in our journey through life.

For more information on local foster-care programs, visit the Seattle Animal Shelter website at seattle.gov/animalshelter, or contact PAWS at paws.org/foster.html

CHRISTIE LAGALLY is a writer and the editor of “Living Humane,” a news site providing information on humane-conscious lifestyles at livinghumane.com. She also writes a blog called “Sniffing Out Home: A Search for Animal Welfare Solutions” at http://www.sniffingouthome.org.

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AMONG THE ANIMALS | Walk and dine for the animals

Cats City Bobcats at PAWSwalk 2012

Cats City Bobcats at PAWSwalk 2012

Aug. 30th, 2013

Originally published in City Living Seattle

(c) Pacific Publishing Company

September is around the corner, and our favorite outdoor fund-raisers for animals are coming soon. Take down these dates to join the Greater Seattle community as we muse in our love of animals. On Sept. 7, 21 and 22, you can walk or dine to help dogs, cats, farm animals and wild animals — simply pick your event or perhaps events!

PAWSwalk

On the morning of Sept. 7, you and your dog may wish to take the bus to Marymoor Park in Redmond, Wash., for the Progressive Animal Welfare Society’s PAWSwalk. This annual fund-raiser supports the work of PAWS Companion Animal Shelter and PAWS Wildlife Center. Their joint facility in Lynnwood, Wash., is designated to receive wild animals for rehabilitation and release, and they find homes for more than 3,000 cats and dogs per year.

PAWSwalk registration opens at 8 a.m., and the walk starts at 10 a.m. Snacks of vegan and vegetarian food will be available for purchase, and a beer garden and mimosa garden open at 11 a.m.

If you register for PAWSwalk early, you can start or join a fund-raising team. Kara Gerhert, a volunteer at PAWS Cat City adoption center in Seattle’s Roosevelt neighborhood, serves as team captain for the Cat City Bobcats. Their team is one of PAWSwalk’s top fund-raising teams, but they are looking for more team members.

Gerhert explained that her team is named for the “Bobcats” comic written by Seattle resident and author of “The Oatmeal,” Matthew Inman; hence, the Oatmeal Bobcats logo on its fundraising page.

To donate or join a fund-raising team, visit http://www.pawswalk.net.

Eric the Pig at Farm Sanctuary - Photo Credit Matthew Prescott

Eric the Pig at Farm Sanctuary – Photo Credit Matthew Prescott

Walk for Farm Animals

Sept. 21 is Seattle’s Walk for Farm Animals at Green Lake Park. This event is a fund-raiser for Farm Sanctuary, an organization providing rescue and sanctuary for abused farm animals and educating the public on the atrocities of factory farming.

Accompany your dog for a walk around the lake and, afterward, gather at the Green Lake Community Center (7201 E. Green Lake Drive N.), where local vegan and vegetarian restaurants — including Araya’s Vegetarian Place, Pizza Pi and Veggie Grill — will offer their specialties.

Ben Greene, co-author of “The Vegan Athlete: Maximizing Your Health and Fitness While Maintaining a Compassionate Lifestyle,” will be a guest speaker, and local pianist Gary Finkelstein will perform.

There will even be vegan dog treats from Pike Place Market proprietor and Adventure Days owner Melody Price. Price will offer four flavors of “nuggets,” including fruit, calming (lavender), peanut butter and breath (with parsley).

Seattle’s Walk for Farm Animals is held from noon to 3 p.m. Visit walkforfarmanimals.org to register.

Veggie Grill is also hosting a pre-walk fund-raiser at its South Lake Union location on Sept. 7, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and it will donate 50 percent of proceeds from your meal when you mention the fund-raiser for Farm Sanctuary.

Veggie Grill is a Los Angeles business transplant that offers focuses on giving back to the community. “We love to work with local nonprofits, especially those aligned with our values,” said Keith Treiman, general manager for the South Lake Union restaurant. Treiman said the restaurant has also had fund-raisers for the American Heart Association and the Special Olympics of Washington.

Walk for the Animals, FidoFEST

On Sept. 22, University Village hosts Seattle Humane Society’s (SHS) Walk for the Animals and FidoFEST. This annual fund-raising event supports SHS’ mission to provide medical care, shelter and loving homes for homeless dogs and cats and offer pet spay/neuter programs for low-income residents. SHS also provides an extensive program of dog-training classes, including Puppy Head Start, Canine Good Citizen and Doga: Yoga with Your Dog. SHS even holds Kitten Kindergarten.

The SHS Walk for the Animals starts at 10 a.m. (registration at 9 a.m.), with walkers heading south through the Union Bay Natural Area trails.

Bring your dog, because FidoFEST is after the walk. This event features a “Top Dog” contest. The entry fee is $10, and you can sign up during on-line registration or the day of the event. The winning dog will be featured on SHS’ promotional materials in the coming year, but competition could be tight, with more than 1,000 dogs expected to attend.

If you register early for the Walk for the Animals, you can develop your own fund-raising page on the SHS website and raise funds ahead of the walk. Visit http://www.seattlehumane.org/walk to get started.

Needing your help

The hardworking staff and volunteers of our local animal organizations like PAWS, Farm Sanctuary and Seattle Humane Society do much of the animal advocacy, rescue and adoption services in Seattle. However, people may not realize that these organizations depend almost entirely on fund-raising events and donations from citizens like you and me.

I can’t think of a better way to spend a September weekend than a walk around the park and a chance to share good food and great company with Seattle’s vast community of animal supporters.

CHRISTIE LAGALLY writes the blog “Sniffing Out Home: A Search for Animal Welfare Solutions” at http://www.sniffingouthome.org. She also hosts the new “Living Humane” radio talk show on KKNW 1150AM. To comment on this column, write to CityLivingEditor@nwlink.com.

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Donate and take action against the dolphin slaughter and kidnapping happening now in Japan

Right now as you read this, Japan is hunting some of the most intelligent beings on earth, dolphins, and kidnapping some of them for captivity!   Please take a moment to help stop it by donating, protesting and letting the world know we will not tolerate this despicable slaughter.  You can see the live stream video from the dolphin slaughter/ capture site in Japan happening now.

As recounted in the documentary, The Cove, dolphins are brutally harvested in a blood bath and some kidnapped from their families to be taken to aquariums for public display.   You can watch The Cove now and take action.   Even more importantly, you can help fund the efforts by Sea Shepherd Conversation Society to stop the slaughter and kidnapping of the world’s dolphins.

Visit the Sea Shepherds Cove Guardians webpage.  You can see the live stream video from the dolphin slaughter/ capture site in Japan happening now.

Please donate to Sea Shepherd now to help expose this horrific blood bath.  And there is more you can do…

Contact the Authorities:

Help us end the brutal Taiji dolphin slaughter by voicing your concerns to the authorities in Taiji as well as Wakayama Prefecture and the Japanese Embassy or Consulate in your area.

Japanese Embassies Worldwide:
http://www.mofa.go.jp/about/emb_cons/mofaserv.html 

Mr. Yoshiki Kimura – Governor of Wakayama:
TEL:+81-73-441-2034
FAX: +81-73-423-9500

Wakayama Prefecture Office, Fishery Division:
TEL +81-73-441-3010
FAX: +81-73-432-4124
Email: e0717001@pref.wakayama.lg.jp

Mayor – Taiji Town Hall:
TEL+81-73-559-2335

Taiji Fishermen’s Union:
TEL: +81-73-559-2340
FAX: +81-735-59-2821

Hotel Dolphin Resort / Dolphin Base:
TEL: +81 0735 59 3514
FAX: +81 0735 59 2810

Japan Fisheries Public Content Form:
https://www.contact.maff.go.jp/maff/form/114e.html

Contacts via Twitter:
US Ambassador to Japan @AmbassadorRoos
Japanese Prime Minister @JPN_PMO
US Embassy in Tokyo  @usembassytokyo
Political Minister at Japanese Embassy in London @norishikata

Spread the Word:

Follow Operation Infinite Patience on social media and share with your friends and family. Ask them to help us end this atrocity.

Cove Guardian Facebook
Sea Shepherd Facebook
Twitter
Google +

Educate others on the link between the captive dolphin industry and the Taiji dolphin slaughter. Discourage your friends and family from visiting dolphinariums or participating in captive dolphin programs. More info here.

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Comments mean a lot when we are learning about animal rescue

Puppies from shelterI appreciate everyone who reads this blog, and I’m truly grateful when I get thoughtful comments.  Just last week, I received this comment (below), and I wanted to respond because the person made an effort to find out what was going on with pet stores, and check it out for him or herself.

I’m confused why you aren’t attacking the mills. Putting people out of a job, people who genuinely care for the animals that they are taking care of at the store seems a cruel and ultimately ineffective way of solving the puppy mill issue. Especially a store that has a rather strict no-mills policy in regards to any animal they import.

I visited this store a few weeks ago to see if any of the rumors I’d heard were true about Pet Habitat, and what I found was an environment where the employees truly care for their animals. I asked to see their “Olde Bulldog”, and the gentleman that showed her was truly fawning over her. You can’t fake that kind of emotion. The bulldog also returned the affection equally, which showed me that their animals are happy.

“Why aren’t you attacking mills” is a good question, and I’m glad you commented.  I’m also glad you took the time to see what the pet store was like in Burnaby.

The reason that animal advocates ask cities to ban the sale of dogs, cats and rabbits in pet stores is because these pets stores are purchasing these animals from animal mills, like puppy mills. The store you visited, Pet Habitat, was featured in a CBC Documentary showing them to be a purchaser of dogs from puppy mills working with Hunte Corporation. See that documentary here.

I encourage you to look into the Hunte Corporation and their record as a distributor of puppy milled dogs.

However, I know that it can be confusing when you go to the pet store and they tell you that they do not buy from puppy mills (i.e. a strict no-mills policy) because it may seem like they are being honest.  However, do your homework and look at what that undercover investigations revealed.   Additionally, some people who work at pet stores genuinely do not know they are selling dogs from puppy mills, but they have also not taken the time find out.   Those who do know they are buying dogs from Hunte or other puppy mills, have been recorded on camera denying it.  For example, in Richmond, BC animal advocates had actual pedigree papers that could trace the dogs bought at a Richmond Pet Habitat store back to puppy mills in Missouri and Kansas and imported by the Hunte Corporation into Canada even through the store kept denying that they buy from puppy mills.

The second reason that we ask cities to stop retail pet sales is because most of the puppy mills supplying dogs to Canada are not located in Canada, but in the US.  Therefore the only way to stop the sale of puppy mill dogs is to stop it at the retail store.  Additionally, while pet stores will tell you that stopping retail sales is ” “putting people out of a job”, all you have to do is note that many pet supply stores are very successful even through they do not sell animals.  Pet stores in Burnaby can do the same, but are choosing not to do so.

Finally, I also appreciate your comment about how much the staff at the Burnaby pet store “truly care for their animals”.  It is possible that they do, indeed, care for the animals at that store, but are not considering the impact that their business has on all the other animals still locked away at the puppy mills.  Many people believe that they love animals, and they truly do, but they don’t realize that by eating meat they are hurting that very animals they love … like dogs.  See this link.

Finally, you should do your research into Pet Habitat.  According to their own website, “Pet Habitat” is only their “doing business as” or DBA name.  Their corporate name is International Bio Research Ltd which alludes to an animal testing company that does product testing on animals confirmed to a lab.  I can’t think of a more horrible life for animals.

I urge you to do further research into Pet Habitat and ask even more questions.  Then I urge you to check their answers and see which ones are true.  I’m commend you for going to see if the “rumors I’d heard were true about Pet Habitat”.  But not all your questions have been answered. Keep looking.

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