Thursday, November 3, 2016

Animal Cruelty & Animal Crime Report!

These Haunting Black and White Photos Reveal How Animals in the Circus Truly Feel. 

Here at One Green Planet, we are not oblivious to the allure of circuses. The bright lights, the vibrant colors, the fun costumes, the cotton candy and popcorn, the grandiose big top tent, the opportunity to see exotic animals close up … we get it. We know why moms and dads think that planning a trip to the circus is a fun and exciting event that the whole family can enjoy. However, we are also able to see past the dizzying array of color, the music, and the excitement of it all, and deduce that the “fun and exciting circus” may not be so fun and exciting for the animals forced to perform in it. After all, animals in the circus didn’t just join on a whim, they were dragged there against their own will. And once circus trainers have trapped the animals successfully, they employ a variety of cruel training tactics. This includes chaining animals to walls by their neck in order to get them to stand on two feet. Whipping them into submission and associating mistakes with pain so that they perform their routine perfectly come show time. And of course, starving them if they haven’t performed a routine “well enough.”

There are several organizations working tirelessly to put an end to circuses and all of the cruelty they encompass, and they go about this mission in a multitude of ways. Some organizations will finagle their way into circuses and set up hidden cameras to capture what goes on once the show is over. Others will write detailed articles outlining how dismal the lives of circus animals are compared to the type of life they would be living if they had been left in the wild. And some, choose to share powerful photographs aimed at giving people a better idea of what life in the circus is really like for animals.

Photographer Britta Jaschinski, for example, recently earned critical acclaim for some of the photographs from her collection titled “No Voice No Choice.”

Without color, these images capture the true essence of what it is like to be an animal trapped in a circus. This Bornean orangutan belongs in the wild but instead he has been drained of all dignity, forced to dress in ridiculous garb, and trained to act like he is having a grand old time when his face shows that he is clearly miserable.
Circus 1
These big cats should be patrolling their territory in the wild. Instead, they are forced to stand on stools as men with sticks taunt them. This is what circuses have reduced one of the fiercest species on Earth to. Heartbreaking.
Circus 2
The silhouette of this bear walking across a tightrope is much less exciting without all of the colors, lights, and music. No bear should be forced to do this.
Circus 3
These images diffuse any argument that these animals are happy. Their body language has only one message: I wish I could be anywhere but here.
Circus 4
These photos may be in black and white for dramatic effect, but the fear and misery on these animals’ faces is not dramatized, at all. These animals may not have the ability to speak verbally and tell us how depressed they are but these photographs speak for themselves. While there have been some strides made in ending the use of wild animals for circus acts, it is hardly occurring at the pace this issue deserves. The best way to help speed up this process is to boycott all circuses or acts that use animals for entertainment. Click here to learn more about how you can help end the use of animals in circuses. All image source: Britta Jaschinski

Dubrovnik’s Mayor wants to kill these dogs. Click to check it out!

Dogs Killed in Cruel Ways in Mauritius.
Mauritius wants tourists to think of it as an island paradise. But for dogs, it's hell on Earth.

PETA has teamed up with International Animal Rescue to release footage showing dogs killed in cruel and painful ways.

Workers restrain the animals using a crude noose on a stick and then give them a lethal injection – an apparent attempt to puncture the heart – without anaesthetics. All this happens in full view of other dogs who frantically try to escape before they endure the same fate. This procedure is condemned by the international veterinary community because it often causes dogs to die slowly and in extreme pain. 

Take action against this cruel killing method and urge the government to introduce humane dog-population management that focuses on sterilisation:

This Video of a Dairy Cow Dragged Away From Her Dead Calf is as Heartbreaking as it is Important.
Footage filmed at a Waikato farm last year by Farmwatch and newly released has shown the mistreatment of a cow, which was found suspended from a tractor by ‘hip clamps’ for some time, whilst her dead calf lay metres away. SAFE and Farmwatch say it demonstrates yet more failure by the Ministry of Primary Industries to take action on animal welfare issues.

Idiots ‘Surfing’ on Turtle Is What’s Wrong With How We View Animals. Just when we thought people were finally catching on to the whole idea that exploiting wild animals to take selfies is not cool … we came across the news that two Australian men posted a photo of themselves “surfing” on a turtle. Facepalm, anyone?! The photo shows the men holding what looks like beer cans as they balance on top of the turtle with the accompanying caption: “Surfed a tortoise on zee weekend.. gnarly detrimental (sic).” The photo has been shared widely on social media, understandably sparking outrage from anyone with even the slightest compassion for animals. Not only has the photo got people up in arms, but the RSPCA  even slammed the men as being “complete idiots,” for their action. It might seem like all fun and games for the “surfers,” but the reality is this photo likely cost the animal a fair amount of distress – not to mention, the men currently face fines of up to $20,000 by the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service.

Is it really worth it for this pic?!
Taking selfies with animals has sadly become a bit of a trend nowadays with people treating animals like they are nothing more but mere props. Unfortunately, the popularity of taking selfies with animals has caused many to experience physical harm and stress. In one recent case, tourists found a stranded, dying dolphin and instead of helping the suffering creature, they took selfies with the dolphin instead. In another incident, a woman killed a swan after pulling the bird out of the water just for a quick snap. In Costa Rica, hundreds of tourists prevented endangered sea turtles from nesting because they were taking selfies instead.

The Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service adds that it isn’t clear if the turtle is alive or not when the Australian men “surfed” on him, but what is clear is that taking selfies with animals sends a message that animals are ours to use for selfish purposes. Sea turtle populations have experienced a ten-year decline as a result of overfishing, growing levels of water pollution, and poaching but the past two years have shown the promise of recovery … however, this positive progress can only continue if people recognize the value of these animals. This is certainly not a message that is conveyed by surfing on these animals. The fact is, interfering with the animals to take a pointless selfie is not only detrimental to one animal but to the entire species in the message it sends to others.

We can do our part by being more conscious of how our choices impact the world around us. Selfies are fun to take, but please leave wildlife out of the picture. Image source: Facebook

Forty five years ago our nation’s legislature signed into public law The Wild and Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971, that:

"...wild free-roaming horses and burros shall be protected from capture, harassment, and death."
In Defense of AnimalsBut half a century later, under cover of a presidential election year, horses are being plucked from public lands and trucked into Mexico and Canada for brutal slaughter.

The horseflesh of a sentient, sensitive American icon, bound for sale in Europe ... Japan ... is also minced and mixed and marketed back to us as 100% ground beef, in the USA!

It's inexcusable. Unconscionable! And unless we press our lawmakers, it will continue.

To save America's horses and burros from export and certain slaughter, I need your help and your donation of any amount to IDA's Wild Horse Campaign today.
You were there to help shut down the madness when it happened on U.S. soil. Horse slaughterhouses are now banned in the USA.

I am beyond grateful for your help.

I am also sad and angry to report that a tiny committee on Capitol Hill with powerful pro cattle interests - just eleven lawmakers - has found a back door to the butchering.

These elitist reps are stonewalling a fair vote on a bill called the SAFE (Safeguard American Food Exports) Act.
And their political loophole is forcing horses to endure brutal, waterless, three-day hauls cross-border to slaughter.

In Canada. In Mexico. Out of sight. As barbaric as any methods you and I fought tooth and nail to stop on U.S. soil. Machetes to the spine. Stun bolts. Throat slittings.

In Defense of AnimalsThe SAFE Act bars any sale or transport of horses with the intent of consumption both in the U.S. and cross-borders. Nearly 200 reps on Capitol Hill want it passed!

It's not so much the amount you donate to save America’s iconic wild horses.

Although coming up against pro-cattle lobbyists will take everything we've got and then some. So, if you can also be generous, that would mean so much.

What matters most is that you give what you can and raise your voice as an American.

You see, with wild horses gone, ranchers pay peanuts for "welfare grazing" that lets cattle trample and forage on the same taxpayer lands once preserved for wild horses.

Your donation holds lawmakers accountable. You'll put the cattle industry on notice. You'll keep IDA working to save America’s horses and burros from slaughter.

You'll keep horsemeat off U.S. shelves. Protect public lands. You will make a difference.

In this blur of a presidential election year, they are hoping we'll turn a blind eye to the hidden suffering of America's freedom symbol: wild and domestic horses and burros.

Please act! Give as generously as you can, now, to keep America’s horses SAFE.

For many dogs and cats in the poverty-stricken neighborhoods of Metro Manila, even daily survival is a struggle.
Suffering in the Philippines
Yes, I want to help!
Homeless, injured, and neglected animals are left for much of their lives to scavenge for whatever meager scraps of food or sources of clean water they can find as they wander through the slum-like streets and alleys. This relentless misery is often passed down from one generation to the next, as unsterilized dogs and cats give birth to litter after litter of unwanted puppies and kittens. But with your help, PETA can begin to break that tragic cycle.
Yes, I want to help!
Will you support PETA's vital work for dogs and cats by making a much-needed gift today?

It's not uncommon for people to keep "unfixed" dogs as living alarm systems or for "owned" animals to be left to roam the streets, where they breed freely with other animals facing the same challenges. Many people in Manila live in deep poverty and can't afford any veterinary care for these animals—and in some areas, there isn't even a shelter to help address the flood of puppies and kittens they produce.

As PETA's team has seen over and over again, the issue of animal homelessness is truly a matter of life or death. That's why last year we held our first-ever spay-a-thon—the "Kapon/Ligation Immediately, Please" (KLIP) spay/neuter project—at which we sterilized and supplied essential veterinary care to more than 280 animals in one of the poorest neighborhoods of Manila.

While such vital work is alleviating some of the suffering in the Philippines, right now countless other animals still need our help in order to have a chance at survival. Your generous gift today can help ensure that PETA has the resources that we need to provide this support.

With your help, PETA will be able to cover the cost of the veterinary services and supplies, support staff, educational materials, and other items necessary to reach hundreds of animals who need spay and neuter surgeries. Your generous gift today can help ensure that PETA has the resources that we need to provide this support.

If you have ever shared your home with a beloved dog or cat, imagine how miserable that animal would be searching for scraps of food, without the care and affection of a loving home. This is what thousands of homeless animals in the Philippines are enduring right now—and they need our help.

By donating today,, you'll be strengthening PETA's vital work and helping us reach hundreds more animals before they give birth to more puppies and kittens who will be abandoned and abused.

Tell the Turkey Industry to Stop Scalding Animals Alive.

New undercover footage obtained by Mercy For Animals provides a shocking behind-the-scenes look at a turkey slaughterhouse owned by Lilydale—one of the largest poultry producers in Canada. The disturbing hidden-camera video reveals birds painfully shackled upside down, shocked with electricity, cut open while still conscious, and scalded to death in hot water tanks. Help stop this blatant animal abuse. Take action at and sign the petition here!

What is the Difference Between a Real Big Cat Sanctuary and an Abusive ‘Scamtuary’? It seems like “sanctuaries” are very much in the news lately. We keep reading and hearing about them being forced to close down due to so many reasons – passage of tighter regulations (as in Ohio), financial shortfalls, escapes or injuries by their captive animals, failure to meet minimal U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) standards, and so on. But, did these places ever deserve to be called “sanctuaries” in the first place?

The Difference Between a True Sanctuary and a False Establishment
When substandard facilities use this word, it takes away from true sanctuaries that strive to provide the best for their animals, like we do here at The Wildcat Sanctuary. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service defines a “sanctuary” as a tax-exempt, non-profit entity that doesn’t engage in commercial trade in big cat species, including their offspring, parts, and products made from them.  Breeding big cats and allowing direct contact with them is prohibited.

Minnesota, where The Wildcat Sanctuary is located, legally defines a “wildlife sanctuary” in similar terms, adding that a sanctuary provides lifetime care for the animals. Accreditation organizations, like ASA and GFAS, add that “sanctuaries” will not have animals on full-time exhibit, unescorted public visitation is not allowed, and wild animals shall not be taken from their enclosures or off sanctuary grounds for exhibition or education. It’s clear that many of the facilities we hear about that are in trouble were never true sanctuaries to begin with.

Setting the Standard

At The Wildcat Sanctuary, we’ve always strived to be the best.  From day one, we’ve held ourselves to the highest possible standard in order to do what is right for the animals we take in. Taking in an animal in need is just the first small step of being a true sanctuary. We provide high quality, lifelong care in large, free-roaming, natural habitats. Our keepers are required to have four-year degrees majoring in wildlife/biology.  Our interns must have at least two years of undergraduate program studies in zoology, animal management, biology or a related field. We have a non-biased board of directors that sets policy and develops strategic plans for sustainability.  We hold proper permits, as well as liability insurance and have thorough safety and natural disaster plans and policies.

What we do here for our animals is being recognized by leaders in the field.  A recent USDA inspection was conducted by inspector Dr. Debra Sime, DVM as well as Dr. Laurie Gage, DVM, DACVM.  Dr. Gage has been the big cat field specialist for the USDA’s APHIS (Animal & Plant Health Inspection Service) Animal Care Program for over seven years and found our facility in full compliance.

We are also extremely proud of the recognition we received when Dr. Ronald Tilson, the Senior Conservation Advisor and world-renowned tiger expert/researcher, visited our Sanctuary and inspected the animal areas. Dr. Tilson spent over nine years doing fieldwork on African and Asian animals, much of his time in Indonesia researching Sumatran tigers.  He began managing the Siberian (Amur) tiger population for North America in 1987 and serving as the Tiger Species Survival Plan Coordinator in 1992. Having published over 200 articles, co-editing several books on tigers, he has been a much sought-after speaker and expert in the field. After touring our Sanctuary, Dr. Tilson said:

“If I were to come back as a tiger, I would want to live out my days at The Wildcat Sanctuary.”
This is high praise indeed from a man who has known tigers so well!  It validates why we work as hard as we do, setting the bar as high as we possibly can, for any facility that calls itself a “sanctuary.”  It’s the right thing to do for the animals we care for, as well as the community we reside in. Thank you to all our supporters and donors who believe in our mission as a true sanctuary and have helped make us an industry leader.

Not All Fun and Games: What it Actually Takes to Run an Exotic Cat Sanctuary. At least weekly, I receive an email from someone asking me how to start a sanctuary. Some are good-hearted animal lovers. Many really only want to have exotic animals themselves, but think “framing” it as a sanctuary legitimizes their personal desire. But they really don’t understand running a sanctuary is all-consuming. You often sacrifice family, friends, and give up any semblance of life. You are the one making the agonizing decisions of who you can save, who you can’t, and when you have to let an animal go.

The Reality of Running a Sanctuary
Keep the Wild in Your Heart, Not Your Home: The Story of Tasha the Cougar
I think people are shocked to find out how difficult starting a sanctuary actually is. And as the years progress, the Founder is the one person who has little contact with the animals. It is the Founder/Executive Director who has to develop business plans, fundraise, know human resource and labor laws, zoning laws, insurance and permits, as well as accounting and legal.

In addition, being the Founder does not mean job security. The Founder/Executive Director is an employee and can be hired or fired by the Board of Directors. Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries puts it, “You should never invest more of yourself or your personal wealth in the nonprofit than you would be comfortable walking away from someday, as your gift.”

During the past 15 years, I have acted as Executive Director, animal care director, keeper, construction manager, fundraiser, financial manager, and overnight caretaker of the facility. Often all at the same time. Anybody who has started a business understands the commitment and sacrifice it takes. Starting a sanctuary is no different, except there are 100+ animals whose lives depend on us.
The Wildcat Sanctuary 1
When I started the sanctuary, for the first several years, I worked both a full-time job and also ran the sanctuary. I received no salary from the sanctuary and invested tens of thousands of dollars of my own money to build habitats and care for the animals. I also paid to build a home on the property so there was always overnight coverage at the sanctuary during the build-out of the new site. This is because it was, and still is, a labor of love.

My Advice to People Thinking About Starting Their Own Sanctuary
The best advice I can give someone is to get the business side in order. The animal rescue and care is the easier part of running a rescue/sanctuary, even with the heart-wrenching decisions we make day in and day out. Here is a good resource to building a sustainable sanctuary.

I have seen so many start-ups with good hearts and qualified animal care, only to fail due to a lack of fundraising or meeting legal business requirements. And when this occurs, their animals need placement.

I would recommend volunteering at an organization near you on the business end to see what it takes to start a sanctuary or rescue group. Only then will you really know what it takes to run a successful sanctuary and if you are willing to commit the remainder of your life to making it sustainable.

Other Ways You Can Help: Become an advocate for wild cats in need and Volunteer!

Support sustainable sanctuaries in your area. You can find them at American Sanctuary Association or Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries. All image source: The Wildcat Sanctuary

Fur Ripped from Rabbit 

Rabbit Used for Angora
Rabbits Are Caged Their Entire Lives So These Retailers Can Sell Angora Wool. Retailers Norm Thompson and Sahalie know that rabbits scream in pain as they're tied down and their fur is painfully torn out, yet they continue to sell sweaters and socks made with angora wool anyway. E-MAIL THE COMPANIES - Stop Selling Fur Cruelly Ripped Off Angora Rabbits

The Dark Side of Tiger Cub Photo Ops at Roadside Zoo Prompts PETA Lawsuit
Cubs are torn from their mothers within hours or days after birth, treated as mere photo props, and forced to swim with the public—one cub even struggled to hold her head above water. TAKE ACTION NOW

Strut for Cats in This Declawed Kitty Costume