Feel Good Sunday: Dog and Horse Best Friends Are Inseparable

“We are a little slow on the draw, again, this Sunday but as my wife Terry likes to say, ‘Life Happens’.   So for today there is no need for fanfare or a lot of typed words, just sit back, relax, smile and let the pictures do the talking. 

Warning, though…you are going to feel good after viewing this.  If you want to continue feeling miserable, DON’T WATCH THIS VIDEO!!!” ~ R.T.


Dog Meat Soup for Sale in Shadow of Olympic Stadium

from CBS News

“This may not be equine related, specifically, but most horse and donkey guardians are helped or are the staff of a canine assistant.  Plus ‘slaughter’ of any sentient creature is an issue that touches our hearts and souls.” ~ R.T.


“Koreans have been eating dog for thousands of years, though the practice has waned recently and most in the country don’t do it regularly…”

In this undated photo provided by Free Korean Dogs, Canadian figure skater Meagan Duhamel poses with her dog Moo-tae, right, in South Korea.

PYEONGCHANG, South Korea — Canadian figure skater Meagan Duhamel is hoping to win a gold medal in South Korea this month – though no prize could be more life-changing than her previous Pyeongchang souvenir.

Not after last year, when the two-time world champion pairs skater brought home Moo-tae – an affable miniature dachshund mix with big ears, bowed legs and the bad luck of being born into the Korean dog meat trade. Duhamel, a vegan and animal lover, helped rescue Moo-tae by accompanying him on his flight from South Korea to Canada last February. The 2-year-old pup has been living with her and husband/coach Bruno Marcotte in Montreal since, spending his days doing yoga with Duhamel and making friends at the local dog park.

“He’s like a saint,” Duhamel said.

It’s been a different life for Moo-tae. Like roughly 2 million dogs each year, he was supposed to be raised on a Korean dog meat farm, where conditions are often poor. Moo-tae may have been locked in a cage, beaten or left without food or water. Certainly, he would have been sold and slaughtered, then probably served in soup at one of many restaurants still popular among Korea’s elderly population.

Koreans have been eating dog for thousands of years, though the practice has waned recently and most in the country don’t do it regularly. Many older Koreans believe dog meat aids virility, though younger citizens are largely either against the practice or indifferent to it. The country has begun shifting away from dog consumption as pet ownership has increased, with one in five households owning either a dog or a cat as of 2016. Some major dog meat shops – like the Moran Market in Seongnam – have been shuttered, and President Moon Jae-in even made a campaign promise to adopt a shelter dog if he won last year’s presidential election. He welcomed a 4-year-old mixed breed named Tory in July.

In a Dec. 12, 2017, file photo, Park Young-ae, owner of Young Hoon Restaurant, arranges dog meats at her restaurant in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

Still, the industry persists, and despite pressure from animal rights groups – particularly from Western countries – Pyeongchang won’t completely shelter Olympic visitors from the trade this month. Area restaurants were offered government aid if they stopped selling dog meat, but some declined to change their menus, fearing they’d spurn regular patrons and be left without customers once the tourists left town.

“I have been selling dog meat for decades. It is really difficult for me to change my menu just because of the Olympics,” said Park Young-ae, 60, whose Young Hoon Restaurant is nearly in the shadow of the Olympic Stadium…(CONTINUED)

Winter Olympics Shines Spotlight on Dog Meat Trade in South Korea

Martin Rogers  |  USA TODAY Sports

2.5 million dogs are bred each year in South Korea for human consumption.


Nami Kim, a prominent campaigner based outside Seoul, has sent more than 1,200 rescued dogs to the United States through her Save Korean Dogs program ~ Nami Kim

PYEONGCHANG, South Korea – As the Winter Olympics approach this week, figure skater Meagan Duhamel still shudders to think the dog she rescued from South Korea might have ended up on someone’s dinner plate.

Duhamel, a Canadian, is a contender with Eric Radford in the pairs competition and heads to Pyeongchang in search of gold, as well as another dog that she can save from slaughter.

Eating dog meat is common and legal in Korea, as well as many parts of Asia, and is mainly eaten by older people. Dotted around the country are thousands of restaurants serving “gaegogi” dishes that, according to folklore, have strengthening and medicinal properties.

“It is just sad because when the world is watching the Olympics little is known or spoken about the (Korean dog meat trade),” Duhamel told USA TODAY Sports. ”There are hundreds of dog meat farms tucked away and nobody is talking about this. The buzz will be about the Olympics.”

According to The Associated Press, restaurants “nearly in the shadow of the Olympic Stadium” are still selling dog meat meals. According to the Humane Society International, around 2.5 million Korean dogs are killed for their meat each year.

The Korean government, realizing the issue is sensitive for foreigners, has offered money to restaurants if they stop serving dog meat during the Games and has requested that signs advertising the meals be covered up or removed.

“This is an Olympics story,” Marc Ching, a Bay Area activist who founded the Animal Hope and Wellness Foundation, said. “I am half Korean. Koreans are very proud of hosting the Olympics. Why this has to be tied to the Olympics is that the government itself is actually paying to hide this from the world. Maybe if … they just said ‘this is part of our culture,’ it would be different.”

Animal rights activists claim that dogs, as well as cats, in the meat trade are subjected to horrific conditions and insist nothing is being done to end the practice. That is despite Korean President Moon Jae-in being a dog lover who recently adopted a pet saved from a dog meat farm. Campaigners are determined to use the Olympics to raise awareness and hope that support from athletes and international pressure may spark a change in legislation…(CONTINUED)

https://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/winter-olympics-2018/2018/02/07/dog-meat-trade-south-korea-winter-olympics-2018/310785002/

Feel Good Sunday; Hurricane Rescue Dogs Will Steal the Show at the 2018 Puppy Bowl

Raisa Bruner, Time

Here’s Everything You Need to Know

Pre-Game Show: https://www.animalplanet.com/tv-shows/puppy-bowl/full-episodes/puppy-bowl-xiv-pre-game-show

If football isn’t quite your cup of tea, fear not: the annual Puppy Bowl is here to save you on Super Bowl Sunday, offering an adorable dose of furry canine competition.

How do I watch the Puppy Bowl?

Team Ruff and Team Fluff will face off at Puppy Bowl time, 3:00 p.m. EST on Sunday, Feb. 4, making for a nice pre-Super Bowl LII taste of lower-stakes competition before the big game gets underway.

https://www.animalplanet.com/tv-shows/puppy-bowl/

The Puppy Bowl channel is Animal Planet, which is available to those with a cable subscription, and there’s also an online Puppy Bowl live stream with your cable login.

So how do I watch the Puppy Bowl without cable?

If you’re not a cable subscriber, you can check on services like DirecTV Now or Sling to get channels on-demand. PlayStation Vue also carries Animal Planet through its “Access” plan, which offers viewers a five-day trial.

https://www.animalplanet.com/tv-shows/puppy-bowl/

Who’s in the 2018 Puppy Bowl Lineup?

Before the show, you can familiarize yourself with the starting lineup of pups — like Blueberry Pie, a 15-week-old miniature poodle and chihuahua mix, or Buckalew, a 13-week-old chihuahua-dachsund — on the Animal Planet site.

What performances should I look out for?

And there’s even halftime entertainment of the animal variety: cat lovers will be pleased to see that a Kitty Half Time Show is scheduled to take place, echoing Justin Timberlake’s own performance.

A piano-playing chicken named Jokgu will kick things off with “The Star-Spangled Banner” and “an adorable blended bunch of baby barnyard cheerleaders, including ducklings, piglets and baby bunnies” will be playing cheerleaders on the sidelines. African grey parrot Meep the Bird will help host, too. It’s quite the menagerie.

What else should I know about the Puppy Bowl dogs this year?

The best part? The 90 dogs who will appear on the show are all rescues from different natural disaster zones, hailing from 48 shelters in Texas, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Miami and more. And they’re all up for adoption — and could even be yours, if you act fast enough.

Can I adopt Puppy Bowl dogs?

You can. But most will have been adopted by the time the puppy bowl airs. (The Puppy Bowl has a 100% adoption rate, according to an organizer, but often the dogs come from shelters with others in the litter who might still be looking for a home.) Meet some of the lucky pets who found homes here. And those cats from the Kitty Bowl are adoptable too.

Feel Good Sunday: Pics of Animal Companions Who Acted Like Real Jerks, And It Will Make You Laugh Out Loud

photos from WeLikeWorld.com

“If you are a guardian of horses it is all but certain that you are staff to other four legged creatures on your property, dogs, cats, birds, fish…somewhere out there are more critters conspiring to make your life either one of hilarity or continued suffering, it just depends upon your perspective.  Maybe some of the photos, below, will remind you of a similar ‘tail’ that you have lived in real time (if so, please share it with us).  None the less, sit down your coffee, tea, beer or adult beverage as some of these pictures are going to illicit a gag reflex from you, whether you plan on it or not.  Have fun.” ~ R.T.

#1 Are You Missing Underwear?

Are You Missing Underwear?

#2 She Looked Guilty For A Split Second, Then Continued With Her Rampage

She Looked Guilty For A Split Second, Then Continued With Her Rampage

#3 15th Century Cat Leaves Paw Prints On Owner’s Manuscript

15th Century Cat Leaves Paw Prints On Owner's Manuscript

#4 My Dog Drowning Me For My Raft

My Dog Drowning Me For My Raft

#5 One Of These Shapes Is Not Like The Other. One Of These Shapes Does Not Belong

One Of These Shapes Is Not Like The Other. One Of These Shapes Does Not Belong

#6 I Have A Longhair Cat Who Covers His Hairballs With Whatever He Can Find. This Morning, I Woke Up To This

I Have A Longhair Cat Who Covers His Hairballs With Whatever He Can Find. This Morning, I Woke Up To This

#7 Glad You Found Them Comfy

Glad You Found Them Comfy

#8 I’m Coughing So Hard I’m Breaking A Sweat And It’s Like A Million Degrees In My House And This One Won’t Stop Unplugging The Fan

I’m Coughing So Hard I’m Breaking A Sweat And It’s Like A Million Degrees In My House And This One Won't Stop Unplugging The Fan

#9 Was Woken Up By My Parrot Saying “Help Me Help Me” Which Is What He’s Says When He Gets His Foot Tangled In His Toy, Wasn’t Expecting This

Was Woken Up By My Parrot Saying "Help Me Help Me" Which Is What He's Says When He Gets His Foot Tangled In His Toy, Wasn't Expecting This

#10 Cat Pushes Brother Into Pool

#11 Welp, There Goes The Dog’s Food

Welp, There Goes The Dog's Food

#12 Cage Me Again Motherf*cker

Cage Me Again Motherf*cker

#13 This Kitten Don’t Mess Around

#14 Made A Pie Crust. Turned Around To Get Filling. Turned Back Around And This Is What I Found

Made A Pie Crust. Turned Around To Get Filling. Turned Back Around And This Is What I Found

#15 This Is My Life Now, But At Least I Have Pretzels

This Is My Life Now, But At Least I Have Pretzels

#16 Hey, Hey. For Real This Time

#17 She Always Has To Be The Center Of Attention

She Always Has To Be The Center Of Attention

#18 My Dog Is An Asshole

My Dog Is An Asshole

#19 This Jerk

#20 Dutchie Opened The Window During A Car Wash

Dutchie Opened The Window During A Car Wash

#21 Artie Found A Comfy Spot By The Fire

Artie Found A Comfy Spot By The Fire

#22 I Finally Caught Him In The Act

I Finally Caught Him In The Act

#23 Looks Like Dogs Are Jerks To Their Siblings As Well

Looks Like Dogs Are Jerks To Their Siblings As Well

#24 I’ve Altered Your Signal. Pray I Don’t Alter It Any Further

I've Altered Your Signal. Pray I Don't Alter It Any Further

#25 My Husband And I Can Officially Check “Pull A Balloon String Out Of A Cat’s Asshole At 11:30 At Night” Off Our Bucket List. Finally

My Husband And I Can Officially Check "Pull A Balloon String Out Of A Cat's Asshole At 11:30 At Night" Off Our Bucket List. Finally

#26 We Made Ourselves A Cat Door

We Made Ourselves A Cat Door

#27 Woke Up To Find Feathers In The Hallway. Possible Victim: Bird

Woke Up To Find Feathers In The Hallway. Possible Victim: Bird

#28 He Also Pooped On My Puzzle

#29 My Fish’s An Asshole

#30 My Girlfriend’s New Yoga Pose

My Girlfriend's New Yoga Pose

Feel Good Sunday: Chapter 1 – Living with Four-Legged Children

by R.T. Fitch

“Behind the scenes, here at Straight from the Horse’s Heart, are several volunteers who write while others scour the internet in search of equine related news and articles that will not only be entertaining but of value to our horsey readership. One such individual, Geraldine Bray, works seven days a week with no compensation in an effort to get the news about horses, burros, buffalo, whales, wolves, grizzles, dolphins and any other wild being that is downtrodden by humans out and in front of our readers so that they can have the information needed to make a difference when discussing such topics with family, friends and legislators. Likewise, Chief News Correspondent, Geri, endeavors to locate at least one story a week that might bemuse and uplift our audience as a Feel Good Sunday (FGS) installation so that we can wash our hearts and souls out for one day a week before we wade back into the fray on Monday. This week, I am kindly going to ask Geri to take the day off as I have found the fodder for FGS right within arm’s reach in our own backyard with our wild and wacky four legged charges who never cease to either entertain or amaze me.” ~ R.T.


Terry and I never copied ourselves by manufacturing two legged children that would be labeled as “ours”. Her reasoning harkens back to the grotesque video that public schools used to show to pre-pubescent girls during special sessions after hours in grade school, when they thought the boys had all gone home, fat chance of that. Plus, she was prepared to take a hit for the team when it came to population control as humans do NOT have the propensity to treat their world, or it’s other inhabitants, kindly. (She also says that she has been raising one over-sized kid, me, for over twenty years and that was about as much fun as she could stand)

Me, I was and still am convinced that if you mixed my genes with another human’s you would end up with some sort of individual that would grow hair on the palms of their hands and drink out of the toilet so in an effort to save humanity from a backwards trip down evolutionary lane I was gelded very early in my adult life. And no, I do not speak in a high-pitched voice.

So with that all being said, we have always been guardians to four-legged children who we have welcomed into our lives and been devastated when they pass on. It is tough being a parent who outlives their children but we have always had a very staunch rule when it comes to being a guardian to dogs, cats, horses and yes, even fish. When you enter our lives, we will never, ever give you up, your home is permanent and you shall always be loved; even if you are a butt-head, we will still love you and your uniqueness.

With all of that tone setting preamble behind us let me tell you about a little adventure that I had when attempting to accomplish some fencing repairs out in our pastures the other day.

Perhaps those who don’t live with horses might not understand, just like I don’t get cute baby stories, but those who do interact with ponies and donkeys on a daily basis will recognize and appreciate the curious and adventurous spirits that graze upon grass out behind their barn and home. We are blessed.

I had been absent from the farm for several months, earlier this year, working hard to supply an income that would allow for the purchase of hay for the horses and batteries for cat toys; it is what I do, I am a guy, it tis my job. But in my absence the electric rope that is strung across the top of our cross-fencing in an effort to stop one juvenile drafty from breaking fence boards while playing “Dueling Heads” with his TB brother mal-functioned and it did not take the giant, 1 ton, golden baby very long to figure out that he could begin to disassemble the inert electric rope and associated gate guards. So that is what I returned home to and set upon repairing the other day, WITH a lot of help from my friends.

My trusty, full-time companion, Roxy the Wonder Border Collie, goes everywhere with me, so much so that she has laid claim to the big, red Dodge Dually and does not allow me to take it on my extended domestic trips, instead, I have been instructed to take Mom’s much smaller Grand Cherokee; a 4X4 with panties. Sorry, I digress.

The other day Roxy and I entered the pastures with my bag of tools, roll of rope and wire in an effort to get as much of the fence-line back up and running before the temps would begin to kiss the 100 degree mark so I attempted to work quickly while she supervised me from a shady spot and I worked along the fence-line.

And we had help. As shown in the video that accompanies this tale of frivolity and mirth, one of our pasture ornament off the track TBs, Bart, came over to check out his girlfriend, Roxy. Bart is in love with Roxy and she just does not have any time for the giant suitor who is 20 times her size, in fact, she is rude and will sit with her back to him but Bart is not the Einstein of Equines and continues to try to win her favor, which works out well for me as it keeps him busy. He loves to stick his nose in my ear, while I am working, and say “Can you hear me now” which is immediately followed by stealing my straw hat and running away with it.

Not today, when he became bored of being stood up by Roxy he stuck his nose in my ear and said “I have a special present for you,” and before his words even stopped rattling around in my head I saw his tail stand up and heard the sound of well hydrated horse turds plopping upon the ground, but upon further examination, they never made it to the ground as they ALL landed right inside my canvas tool back where they exploded all over my drill, pliers, screwdrivers and hardware. “REALLY!?!”

If not for the look of total and abject amusement on his face and Roxy running over to partake of this fresh manna from heaven I would have been a tad bit pissed but instead I trudged back up to the house and garage and cleaned up the mess before going back down to the pasture to continue my work.

Once back down, I clamped off a section of rope and began the tedious task of wiring an underground section to pass under a gate so that I could leave the gate open yet the power would continue to pulse further downstream where it was needed. With mission accomplished I looked for my staple gun so that I could safely secure the traversing wire to the fence posts on either side of the gate but alias I could not find it in the bag where Moose, the juvenile drafty, had been nuzzling just moments before. It took a few moments for it to register as I gazed at his ample backside calmly walk away and cross into an adjoining pasture but the concept struck home when I called his name, he turned around to look at me and there was a glint of shiny metal between his lips, I had been robbed. Of course, this turned into a fun and exciting romp around the pastures with dog in tow for about 20 minutes in 90 degree heat but I finally picked the staple gun out of the mini-mud pond that the horses roll in when it gets too hot. The staple gun was no longer recognizable.

Tools back in the bag, rolls of rope and wire under my arms and towards the house I dragged myself.

Industrial sized Wrangler Iced Tea was made and I walked into the pool fully clothed to sit on the steps and let the coolness roll over me and down inside me. I was finished.

Not much later, Terry appeared at the side of the pool, covered with sweat herself from her continued gardening obsession and stood over Roxy and I sitting neck deep on the steps in the middle of a giant slick of mud and grease.

With hands on her hips she said, “You two sure did not work very long.”

To which I replied, with Roxy panting in agreement, “Time is irrelevant when working with your children, often, it seems like an eternity when working in the pastures…and for that I am grateful.” as I raised the 36oz tumbler, filled with Diet Arizona Tea infused with a good Texas vodka, to her in the form of a salute. “Might I interest you in a drink?”

Curtain closes, exit stage left.

And so goes another day and chapter in the life of the residents at “Laughing Horse Farm”.

Next episode: “Moose eats tractor seat and steals all shift knobs when fuel line breaks during mowing and I go to the barn for tools. Time away from equipment: 2 minutes.”

Stay tuned…the adventures continue.

Keep the Faith!

From Wolves to Horses to Dogs, This Big Law Partner Has Built a Practice Exclusively Defending Animals

Jenna Greene, The Litigation Daily

Bruce Wagman, Behind the Scenes Warrior for Wild Horses & Burros

“It is a very sincere pleasure to share with you this article about our legal consultant and my longtime friend, Bruce Wagman.  Bruce was the attorney that we pleaded with, almost a decade ago, to research for Terry and myself ways to stop the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) from zeroing out federally protected wild horse herds.  With no organization to back us up and zero history to bolster our dedication to the cause Bruce took up our case and to this day was the silent partner and legal consultant behind our BLM Long Term Holding White Paper…and there is more to come.  Thank you Bruce for all that you do for those who are recognized only as property and even if they could speak, would not be allowed to.  You are the voice for millions.  Rock On my brother!” ~ R.T.


Schiff Hardin‘s Bruce Wagman with dogs Kazi (left) and Tatu at his home in Stinson Beach, CA. Jason Doiy

Schiff Hardin partner Bruce Wagman has the best client list ever: birds, cats, chickens, chimpanzees, cows, deer, dogs, dolphins, ducks, elephants, elk, gorillas, horses, lions, mice, monkeys, pigs, sharks, turkeys, whales and wolves.

Okay, technically they’re not his clients, because, well, animals can’t hire lawyers.

But Wagman, who plausibly asserts he is the only Big Law partner in the country focusing exclusively on animal law, has carved out a unique practice defending and improving the lives of animals.

On Tuesday, he and Schiff Hardin partner Elizabeth Runyan Geise, along with co-counsel from the Humane Society of the United States, scored a big win when the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia upheld a lower court decision protecting gray wolves in the western Great Lakes region, which includes Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin.

They challenged a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service rule de-listing the wolves as a protected group under the Endangered Species Act.

The panel—Judges Thomas Griffith, Patricia Millett and Nina Pillard—held that the agency failed to reasonably consider the impact of partial delisting on the remaining portion of the species, as well the impact of historical range loss. Their decision will save the wolves from trophy hunting and commercial trapping, including hound hunting, snares, baiting, electronic calls and the use of leg hold traps.

Per the Endangered Species Act, the prevailing lawyers are entitled to an award of legal fees. Still, Wagman acknowledged one ongoing “tension” in his practice is getting paid. Because in addition to being unable to hire lawyers, animals don’t have any money.

But his partners at 300-lawyer Schiff Hardin have been “incredibly supportive,” he said. Wagman previously practiced with 35-lawyer Morgenstein & Jubelirer in San Francisco, which merged with Schiff Hardin in 2007. “I was in the right place at the right time” to build the practice, he said. “I’ve slowly picked up more and more clients.”

In 2015 when he was honored by the ABA’s Animal Law Committee, Wagman wrote, “I expected my tenure there would last a couple of years at most, and that this Chicago-based firm would not want this animal law weirdo as a partner. Well, I could not have been more wrong. … The firm’s validation of the work has been overwhelming and consistent.”

Among his big cases: defending a California law requiring humane treatment of animals too sick or injured to stand or walk; stopping commercial horse slaughter for human consumption; suing the federal government to stop untested surgical sterilization “research” on wild mares; upholding a ban on the possession or sale of shark fins in California; and negotiating the release of chimpanzees used for medical research. He also helped found two permanent sanctuaries for them.

Some of Wagman’s work, especially the big-impact litigation, is pro bono, he said. Some is “low bono,” for reduced fees. And some is full-fee work for private clients, including dog bite cases and custody fights over pets.

Under the law, pets are considered to be property—a discovery that people who call Wagman up wanting to sue for emotional distress after someone kills their dog find dismaying, he said.

“It’s ripe for change, but change is slow,” he said. Still, he sees subtle signs that more judges are taking into account what’s best for the pet in custody fights, looking beyond indicia of ownership. Who walks the dog? Who has a yard? “It’s happening without anyone realizing it’s happening,” he said.

http://www.litigationdaily.com/id=1202794647496/From-Wolves-to-Horses-to-Dogs-This-Big-Law-Partner-Has-Built-a-Practice-Exclusively-Defending-Animals?slreturn=20170704070805

Feel Good Sunday: Italian City to Use Quiet Fireworks Out of Respect for Critters

by R.T. Fitch

“More Companion Animals Run Away During the 4th Than any other Time of the Year…”

Living in an equestrian community it has always been the ‘law of the land’ to ban all types of fireworks at all times of the year for the sake of the horses and donkeys, but of course; there is always a drunk or unsupervised teenager who attempts to press the envelope during the 4th of July.  But all in all, we manage to stem the panic at a local level but are not exempt from the pops and booms from neighboring communities and our companion animals end up suffering stress from the surrounding commotion.

Years ago, when we had a quaint little farm in the countryside north of Lafayette, LA we were surrounded my neighboring farmers who would actually aim their aerial assault OVER our property just to watch our horses run as depicted in a story/chapter in our book, ‘Straight from the Horses Heart‘.

Even as I type, today, I have a little boarder collie glued to my desk chair as the pops and bangs from last night are still fresh in her mind.  This time of the year I am forced to sleep on the couch with one hand on my best friend, Roxy, to keep her settled during the nighttime explosions.  The couch is lower than the bed and she can nuzzle me with her nose when she gets too stressed.  Although this sleeping arrangement works well for her it does little for my rest during this holiday weekend.

But someone is doing something about all the noise.  Horses, donkeys, cats, dogs, and other companion animals living in the Italian town of Collecchio will now be able to rest a little easier during city-wide celebrations as the local government mandates that only silent fireworks be used out of respect for the critters.  Imagine THAT!

The town elders have figure out that more pets are lost, frightened, and stressed during holidays and special events in which fireworks are used in celebration than at any other time of the year. When spooked by a barrage of pops, bangs, and explosions, horses often bolt, running away to escape the blasts. Each year, hundreds of smaller pets such as cats and dogs never make it back home again.

That’s why the town of Collecchio in Italy’s Parma province has passed new legislation that mandates the use of silent fireworks as a way to minimize the fear and trauma equines, cats, dogs, and other animals experience during the celebratory displays.

One Italian company, Setti Fireworks, has already developed a quieter version of the brilliant displays and spectacular light shows, without the accompanying explosive sounds that send pets and wildlife into a panic. Similarly, fireworks companies in the U.S. have been developing quiet fireworks displays in anticipation of the trend toward respecting animals and wildlife expanding world wide…a trend that cannot come soon enough!

An interesting story on Quiet Fireworks: https://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/01/science/july-4-fireworks-quiet.html

Great News! New York Senate Votes to Increase Penalties for Animal Cruelty Offenses

Story by as published on One Green Planet.org

People convicted of serious animal cruelty crimes will now be banned from owning companion animals.

photo by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

We have some great news for animals! The New York state Senate passed legislation on June 6, 2017, that would increase penalties for those convicted of animal cruelty. This legislation was sponsored by Republican Senator James Tedisco, and it received support from both major parties. According to Tedisco, “It’s the most bipartisan, nonpartisan day of the session … It’s a privilege to have an animal; it’s your responsibility to take care of them.”

People convicted of serious animal cruelty crimes will now be banned from owning companion animals. Additionally, they voted to double the jail time and fines for these crimes, from two years in prison and a $5,000 fine to four years in prison and a $10,000 fine. Those convicted will also be required to undergo a psychological evaluation. There is also a bill before the assembly that would make harming an animal a felony during the act of another felony, such as a burglary.

This is amazing news considering so many cases of animal cruelty either don’t get reported or when they do come to court, the penalties are hardly enough to deter people from repeating similar offenses. We are thrilled New York has made this major step to fight animal cruelty, especially since cases of animal cruelty have often gone overlooked and underpunished. We hope this is a sign there will be more improvements in animal cruelty laws across the nation.

Please share this good news with your friends and family!

http://www.onegreenplanet.org/news/new-york-senate-votes-to-increase-penalties-for-animal-cruelty/

‘Horrific incident’: Family Speaks Out after Pet Dog Killed by ‘Cyanide Bomb’

By Shelbie Harris as published on The Idaho State Journal

“While at first glance this sad story might not appear to have much to do with wild horses and burros but it most certainly applies, with spades.  Some time ago, myself and fellow investigators from Wild Horse Freedom Federation were documenting BLM Contract long term holding facilities when we came across one contractor’s property, used to house former wild horses, with prominent signs indicating that like poison devices were in use on the very same property that captive wild horses were grazing.  To date, this finding haunts us as we continue to seek ways and means to stop the barbaric removal of protected wild horses and burros from their congressionaly approved, rightful range.” ~ R.T.


Signage on BLM contractor’s property housing former wild horses. (Click to Enlarge) ~ photo by R.T. Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

POCATELLO — As he walked his dog along the ridgeline of the hillside just south of his family’s home on West Buckskin Road, 14-year-old Canyon Mansfield noticed what he thought was a sprinkler head protruding 6 inches from the ground.

Like many curious teenagers would, he bent down and touched the pipe, which erupted with a loud popping noise that knocked Canyon off his feet. A hissing sound ensued and Canyon noticed his clothing and face were covered with an orange, powdery substance. After quickly washing his face and clothes in a nearby patch of snow, he called for his dog, a 3-year-old Lab named Casey.

But Canyon’s best friend didn’t respond.

“He just stayed on the ground mumbling,” Canyon said. “I thought he was playing with his toy, but I saw the toy a couple yards away from him. … So, I called him again and got really scared. I sprinted toward him and landed on my knees and saw this red froth coming from his mouth and his eyes turning glassy and he was having a seizure.”

Within minutes, Casey was dead.

“My little brother is lying in bed crying next to me,” said Canyon’s sister, Madison Mansfield. “He spent yesterday in the emergency room after stumbling upon an unmarked cyanide bomb in the woods directly behind my home. He watched his best friend suffocate as sodium cyanide was deposited in his mouth.”

Canyon was taken to Portneuf Medical Center, where he was treated and released. But he must continue daily follow-up appointments to check toxicity levels.

On Thursday afternoon, Casey joined thousands of other non-targeted animals — both wild and domestic — that have been mistakenly killed by one of the most lethal tools at the disposal of the U.S. Department of Agriculture — spring-loaded metal cylinders that are baited with scent that shoot sodium cyanide powder into the mouth or face of whatever or whoever touches them.

Known as M-44 devices, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) division of the USDA deploys these sodium cyanide capsules throughout the West to protect livestock from coyotes, wild dogs, and red and gray foxes.

M-44s are hollow metal tubes 5 to 7 inches long that are driven into the ground, loaded with 0.9 grams of sodium cyanide and coated with the smelliest bait possible…(CONTINUED)

http://www.idahostatejournal.com/outdoors/xtreme_idaho/horrific-incident-family-speaks-out-after-pet-dog-killed-by/article_93f3d07e-6ecb-5035-8d39-f27c791eb4b5.html