Feel Good Sunday: Benny the Therapy Donkey visits UT Law School

as published on The Statesman.com

“Leave it to the women of Wild Horse Freedom Federation to lead the way and shout volumes for the voiceless wild horses and burros.  Be it Debbie Coffey and her massive research and legal eagle stuff, Carol Walker out in the field documenting the beauty that is our wild equines, Terry Fitch behind the scenes keeping the books straight and donors informed to this week with our Director of Legal Affairs Dawn Reveley (also a law professor at the University of Texas) and our Director of Wild Burro Affairs, Marjorie Farabee…making news and ensuring that people, in this case law students, are getting the message.  Thanks to all of you for who you are and for what you do.  I am so privileged to call you my friends.” ~ R.T.


Click on Image to view video

Stephany Seay, Media Coordinator for Buffalo Field Campaign, on the fight to protect the last, genetically pure wild buffalo in Yellowstone National Park (Wild Horse & Burro Radio, Wed., 3/28/18)

painy

Wild_Horse_Burro_Radio_LogoJoin us for Wild Horse Wednesdays®, this Wednesday, March 28, 2018

5:00 p.m. PST … 6:00 p.m. MST … 7:00 p.m. CST … 8:00 p.m. EST

Listen to the archived show (HERE!)

You can also listen to the show on your phone by calling (917) 388-4520.

This show will be archived so you can listen to it anytime.

The Buffalo Trap

Our guest tonight is Stephany Seay, Media Coordinator for the Buffalo Field Campaign (BFC), the only group working both in the field and in the policy arenas to stop the harassment and slaughter of America’s last wild buffalo.

The buffalo of Yellowstone National Park, considered by many to be a living national treasure, are often harassed and killed by federal and state government agencies.  BFC serves the herds as defenders and protectors, helping ensure the survival of future buffalo generations.

This show will be hosted by Debbie Coffey (V.P. and Dir. of Wild Horse Affairs) of Wild Horse Freedom Federation.

To contact us: ppj1@hush.com

TO LISTEN TO ALL ARCHIVED WILD HORSE & BURRO RADIO SHOWS, CLICK HERE.

To find out more about Wild Horse Freedom Federation and our work to keep wild horses and burros wild and free on our public lands visit www.WildHorseFreedomFederation.org

Donate Here: http://wildhorsefreedomfederation.org/donate/

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Kirsten Stade, Advocacy Director for Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER), on Wild Horse & Burro Radio (Wed., 3/21/18)

painy

Wild_Horse_Burro_Radio_LogoJoin us for Wild Horse Wednesdays®, this Wednesday, March 21, 2018

5:00 p.m. PST … 6:00 p.m. MST … 7:00 p.m. CST … 8:00 p.m. EST

Listen to the archived show (HERE!)

You can also listen to the show on your phone by calling (917) 388-4520.

This show will be archived so you can listen to it anytime.

0                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Our guest tonight is Kirsten Stade, Advocacy Director for Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER).

For nearly 20 years, Kirsten Stade has worked on public lands ecology and conservation, and has published research with WildEarth Guardians on the impacts of livestock grazing on fire ecology and ecosystem health in the American west.  She has a Master’s degree in Conservation Biology from Columbia University and a Bachelor’s in Earth Systems from Stanford University.  Tonight, Kirsten will be talking about issues in connection with the Department of the Interior, wildlife, public lands and livestock grazing on public lands.

PEER combats the political manipulation of science, makes sure that laws are enforced, defends whistleblowers, protects public health, shields scientists from interference, helps local state and federal law enforcement agencies pursue violations of anti-pollution and wildlife protection laws, safeguards public lands, shelters wildlife and works to end giveaways of your public resources.

PEER is known to wild horse & burro advocates for the many reports they have published about the BLM’s skewed data minimizing the effects of livestock grazing on public lands.  PEER also published the famous PEER WHITE PAPER titled “Horses to Slaughter: Anatomy of a Coverup within the Wild Horse & Burro Program of the Bureau of Land Management.”

This show will be hosted by Debbie Coffey (V.P. and Dir. of Wild Horse Affairs) of Wild Horse Freedom Federation.

To contact us: ppj1@hush.com

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/marti-oakley/2018/03/22/kirsten-stade-advocacy-dir-for-public-employees-environmental-responsibility

TO LISTEN TO ALL ARCHIVED WILD HORSE & BURRO RADIO SHOWS, CLICK HERE.

To find out more about Wild Horse Freedom Federation and our work to keep wild horses and burros wild and free on our public lands visit www.WildHorseFreedomFederation.org

Donate Here: http://wildhorsefreedomfederation.org/donate/

1/17/18 – Carol Walker, Dir. of Field Documentation for Wild Horse Freedom Federation, on efforts to get the BLM to allow her to photograph wild horses at Axtell (Utah) and Bruneau (Idaho) off range corrals (where the public is not allowed to see them) to help facilitate adoptions.  Listen HERE.

1/19/18 – Erik Molvar, Executive Director of Western Watersheds Project.  Erik is a contributor to The Hill and his blog posts can be found here.  Western Watersheds Project (WWP) aims to protect and restore western watersheds and wildlife through education, public policy initiatives and legal advocacy.  Listen HERE.

2/21/18 – Ann Marini, Ph.D., M.D., and John Holland of Equine Welfare Alliance on veterinary drugs banned in animals (including horses) used for human consumption, food safety issues, and the banned drugs that the Bureau of Land Management gives to wild horses & burros.  Listen HERE.

3/14/18 – Jonathan Thompson, a Contributing Editor at High Country News and the author of River of Lost Souls: The Science, Politics and Greed Behind the Gold King Mine Disaster, on the 2015 Gold King Mine disaster, and the environmental, economic and social impacts of mining, energy development, and fracking in southwestern Colorado.  Listen HERE.

Activists: Government plan to kill wild horses is all a profit scheme

photo:  Carol Walker

Source:  Salon.com

Activists: Government plan to kill wild horses is all a profit scheme

Trump’s Interior Secretary has some ugly plans for America’s wild animals

by Matthew Rozsa

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has raised red flags for a number of reasons during his short tenure. He seems to care less about protecting America’s national monuments than allowing them to be exploited by special interest groups and has been caught up in one corruption scandal after another. You would think that it’d be difficult for a man like that to do anything else that could make people who don’t bleed money-green to despise him.

Unfortunately, the lives of 50,000 wild horses and burros are in Zinke’s hands, because Congress is preparing to negotiate appropriations for the Interior Department and whether to allow for the unlimited slaughter of wild horses and burros.

It all stems back to the Wild Free Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971 a bill that offered protections to the horses and burros that roam the United States — and, of course, was immediately opposed by special interests in Big Agriculture who were determined to erode its protections. The interests’ first major success in doing so occurred in 2004 after Sen. Conrad Burns, R-Mont., attached a provision to an omnibus bill that removed most of the legal protections established in 1971 and privatized the animals themselves.

That’s where Zinke comes into play. In 2009, the Montana State House introduce a bill to build a horse slaughterhouse in the state at a time the country had been two years without one.

Zinke wanted to bring slaughter back so ranchers and others in the horse business could dispose of their unwanted, unhealthy or inconvenient horses quickly and for a profit,” Susan Wagner of Equine Advocates and Debbie Coffey of Wild Horse Freedom Federation told Salon by email. “The [Montana] bill did not pass but fast forward to today, and now all these animals are facing extinction. The Interior Department’s budget being slashed by more than $1 billion also doesn’t help.

READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE HERE.

 

 

 

Urgent! America’s Wild Horse and Burros Need You to Take Action NOW!

“Our good friends and partners at Equine Advocates beat us to the punch on this news blast so we are re-blogging it here asking you to be the voice of the voiceless.  Let’s dig in and get this done…it may be our last chance!!!” ~ R.T.


The Lives of Wild & Domestic Equines Are Hanging in the Balance as Congress is Scheduled to Vote Friday, March 23rd!
 
Horse Slaughter Could Return to U.S. Soil
 
The Government Wants to Kill the 50,000 Healthy Wild Horses & Burros Being Held Captive in BLM Holding Facilities and Tens of Thousands More on the Range!

By making just three important phone calls, you can help save our horses!


 

This is the “Humane” process in Mexico

Last year, majorities in both the House and Senate Appropriations Committees voted on totally opposite sides with respect to vital issues affecting America’s wild and domestic equines:
  • The House Committee voted to fund USDA horse meat inspectors which would permit horse slaughterhouses to operate  in the U.S. and to allow our wild horses and burros to be stripped of all of their protections and be killed or sold without limitation – which means slaughter!
  • The Senate Committee voted to keep the language defunding USDA horse meat inspectors in the new federal budget so that no horse slaughterhouses can be built and operate in the U.S. Its members also voted to restore protections for our wild horses and burros so that they are not killed or sold for slaughter.
Because the two committees voted on opposite sides, the matters involving both of these issues are now before Congressional Conference Committees where lawmakers on both sides are fighting it out.
NOW is the time to call your three U.S. lawmakers to make sure horse slaughter does not return to U.S. soil and also so that our wild horses and burros are preserved and protected…And NOT “managed” into extinction!
 
FIRST – Remember, everyone has just one Member of Congress in the House of Representatives and two U.S. Senators – that’s only three phone calls you need to make. It’s easy and if you don’t know who your lawmakers are, just follow these instructions: Click here and type in your address and your zip code…and the names of your three lawmakers will appear along with their contact information.
SECOND – There are two things you need to tell each of your three lawmakers:

1. Please keep USDA Horse Meat Inspectors defunded so that NO horse slaughterhouses can open and operate in the United States.
2. Please call for the protection and preservation for ALL of America’s wild horses and burros so that NONE are killed or sold “without limitation” which means slaughter!
Please make these three calls right away. If you have already made them, please do so again!  Also, please ask your friends and relatives to make these calls as well. If you are not able to reach one or more of your lawmakers at one office, then please try one of their other offices.

Time is of the essence!
 
Thank you for taking action!
Sincerely,
Susan Wagner, President
Equine Advocates
We at Wild Horse Freedom Federation LIKEWISE endorse this action and thank Equine Advocates for their love, care and concern for the future safety and welfare of American Equines.
R.T. Fitch, President

Jonathan Thompson, Contributing Editor to High Country News and author of new book about the 2015 Gold King Mine disaster, on Wild Horse & Burro Radio (Wed., 3/14/18)

painy

Wild_Horse_Burro_Radio_LogoJoin us for Wild Horse Wednesdays®, this Wednesday, March 14, 2018

9:00 a.m. PST … 10:00 a.m. MST … 11:00 a.m. CST … noon EST

Listen to the archived show (HERE!)

You can also listen to the show on your phone by calling (917) 388-4520.

This show will be archived so you can listen to it anytime.

Our guest today is Jonathan Thompson, a Contributing Editor at High Country News and the author of River of Lost Souls: The Science, Politics and Greed Behind the Gold King Mine Disaster. In his new book, this award-winning investigative environmental journalist digs into the science, politics, and greed behind the 2015 Gold King Mine disaster, and details the environmental, economic and social impacts wrought by a century and a half of mining, energy development, and fracking in southwestern Colorado.

Jonathan is a native Westerner with deep roots in southwestern Colorado. He owned and edited the Silverton Standard & the Miner newspaper in the tiny town of Silverton, Colo., and was the editor-in-chief of High Country News from 2007 to 2010. After that he lived in Berlin, Germany, and then was a Ted Scripps fellow in environmental journalism at the University of Colorado in Boulder. In 2016, Jonathan was awarded the Society of Environmental Journalist’s Outstanding Beat Reporting, Small Market.

You can read Jonathan’s many articles in High Country News HERE.

This show will be hosted by Debbie Coffey (V.P. and Dir. of Wild Horse Affairs) of Wild Horse Freedom Federation.

To contact us: ppj1@hush.com

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/marti-oakley/2018/03/14/wild-horse-burro-jonathan-thompson-author-of-2015-gold-king-mine-disaster

TO LISTEN TO ALL ARCHIVED WILD HORSE & BURRO RADIO SHOWS, CLICK HERE.

To find out more about Wild Horse Freedom Federation and our work to keep wild horses and burros wild and free on our public lands visit www.WildHorseFreedomFederation.org

Donate Here: http://wildhorsefreedomfederation.org/donate/

1/17/18 – Carol Walker, Dir. of Field Documentation for Wild Horse Freedom Federation, on efforts to get the BLM to allow her to photograph wild horses at Axtell (Utah) and Bruneau (Idaho) off range corrals (where the public is not allowed to see them) to help facilitate adoptions. Listen HERE.

1/19/18 – Erik Molvar, Executive Director of Western Watersheds Project. Erik is a contributor to The Hill and his blog posts can be found here. Western Watersheds Project (WWP) aims to protect and restore western watersheds and wildlife through education, public policy initiatives and legal advocacy. Listen HERE.

2/21/18 – Ann Marini, Ph.D., M.D., and John Holland of Equine Welfare Alliance on veterinary drugs banned in animals (including horses) used for human consumption, food safety issues, and the banned drugs that the Bureau of Land Management gives to wild horses & burros. Listen HERE.

The BLM gives wild horses & burros substances that are banned in animals to be used for human consumption

Source:  Wild Horse Freedom Federation

By Debbie Coffey, V.P. & Dir. of Wild Horse Affairs, Wild Horse Freedom Federation

As Congress considers proposals in the Budget to kill tens of thousands of wild horses & burros, and to re-open horse slaughter plants in the U.S., it is important to note that the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) gives wild horses and burros substances that are banned in animals to be used for human consumption.

Be sure to send this article to your Congressional representatives.

If a wild horse or burro is given any of these banned substances, even only one time, the horse or burro should not ever be used for human consumption.  Dr. Ann Marini stated “Remember that it is the administration, not the blood level of the drug(s), that determine whether an animal, including horses, are eligible for slaughter.”

Dr. Ann Marini and John Holland, Pres. of Equine Welfare Alliance (EWA), were guests on Wild Horse & Burro Radio to talk about this topic.  You can listen to the archived radio show HEREDr. Ann Marini also spoke at the Equine Advocates’ American Equine Summit (2013) and you can watch the video HERE.

Here is a list of BANNED AND DANGEROUS SUBSTANCES COMMONLY GIVEN TO HORSES  SENT TO SLAUGHTER:  http://www.humanesociety.org/assets/pdfs/horse/drugs_given_horses.pdf

Using BLM records from FOIA documentation and other sources, below you’ll see an example of some of the drugs the BLM gives to wild horses and burros, (and one time use of any of them means wild horses & burros should not be slaughtered for human consumption):

READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE HERE.

Wild-Horse Overpopulation Is a Lie

Letter to the Editor of Mesquite Local News

BLM’s Big Lie: The “overpopulation” of wild horses is a concocted “crisis”. The government doesn’t have a wild-horse problem — wild horses have a government problem.


Arbitrary management level (AML):  The maximum number of wild horses that BLM declares the Western range can sustain — 26,715 — is a political construct.  Per 49,349 square miles of wild-horse habitat, the upper bound of the AML establishes a maximum stocking density of 1 wild horse per 2 square miles!  However, BLM manages down to the low bound of the AML — 16,310.  That creates a stocking density of 1 wild horse per 3 square miles!

Sparsely populated, widely dispersed:  Many herds are restricted even more severely.  Here are stocking densities to which BLM restricts herds in Nevada.

1 wild horse per  3,102  acres  — 5    square miles  —  Antelope Complex

1 wild horse per  3,566  acres  — 5½ square miles  —  Triple B Complex

1 wild horse per  6,606  acres  — 10  square miles  —  Eagle herd

1 wild horse per  9,591  acres  — 15  square miles  —  Silver King herd

Contrast with livestock density:  BLM allows 1 cow-with-calf pair (or 5 sheep) per 76 acres, which means 8 cow-calf pairs (or 40 sheep) per square mile.  Further, within dedicated wild-horse habitats, livestock are awarded most of the grazing slots (AUMs).  Examples from Nevada:

94% of AUMs to livestock — Triple B Complex

96% of AUMs to livestock — Antelope Complex

Normative annual herd-growth = at most, 5%:  Gregg, LeBlanc, and Johnston (2014) found the average birth rate among wild-horse herds to be about 20%; but 50% of foals perish.  The population-gain from surviving foals (10%) minus a conservative estimate of adult-mortality (5%) equals a normative herd-growth rate of 5%.

Fraudulent figures on the range:  BLM’s herd-growth figures are falsified.  Repeatedly, we find BLM reporting one-year increases that are beyond what is biologically possible.  Some examples from Nevada:

260%  —     52 times the norm — Shawave Mountains

293%  —     59 times the norm — Diamond Hills South

418%  —     84 times the norm — Black Rock Range East *

*  BLM claimed the Black Rock Range East’s population grew from 88 horses to 456 horses in one year, an increase of 368.  If so, to overcome foal-mortality (50%) and adult-mortality (at least 5%), that would mean each filly and mare gave birth to 17 foals.

Fraudulent figures off the range:  A comprehensive report was recently issued following a 5-year investigation by Wild Horse Freedom Federation.  It revealed that BLM has been publishing fictitious figures regarding the number of wild horses removed from the range and now supposedly boarded in private pastures.  BLM is paying, but where are the horses?  http://wildhorsefreedomfederation.org/white-paper/

No to birth control, no to euthanasia, no to slaughter:  The population-explosion exists only on BLM’s falsified spreadsheets.

Marybeth  Devlin

Carol Walker on BLM’s refusal of help to get Wyoming’s 1,968 captured wild horses adopted so they won’t be sold to slaughter (on Wild Horse & Burro Radio, Wed., 1/17/18)

painy

Wild_Horse_Burro_Radio_LogoJoin us for Wild Horse Wednesdays®, on Wednesday, Jan. 17, 2018

6:00 p.m. PST … 7:00 p.m. MST … 8:00 p.m. CST … 9:00 p.m. EST

Listen to the archived show (HERE!)

You can also listen to the show on your phone by calling (917) 388-4520, or call in to ask questions during the last half hour of the show, by calling (917) 388-4520, and then pressing the number 1

This show will be archived so you can listen to it anytime.

This beautiful Salt Wells Creek family is somewhere……
Axtell? Bruneau? Rock Springs? Mexico?

Our guest tonight is Carol Walker, Dir. of Field Documentation for Wild Horse Freedom Federation. Carol spent 3 weeks in September and October of 2017 observing the roundup and removal of 1968 wild horses from Great Divide Basin, Adobe Town and Salt Wells Creek, three of the largest remaining Herd Management Areas in Wyoming and the country.

The BLM sent the majority of these wild horses to be held on private property at the BLM’s Axtell (Utah) and Bruneau (Idaho) off range corrals, where the public is not allowed to see them. It’s also harder to get older horses adopted, and if they aren’t adopted, they’ll likely be sold and end up going to slaughter. The BLM is planning to offer many wild horses on internet adoptions, but this is a quick way to most of them to get 3 strikes and be sold to slaughter. Carol will tell you about the BLM’s cold-hearted refusal of the help offered to get these wild horses adopted and save them from slaughter.

You can write or call these people:

Lisa Reid, Public Information Specialist, Utah: lreid@blm.gov W 435-743-3128
cell: 435. 979.2838

Holle Hooks, Wild Horse and Burro Program: 405 579-1862 hhooks@blm.gov

Krystal Wengreen, Public Information Specialist, Bruneau, Idaho: kwengreen@blm.gov (208) 329-4534

Gus Warr, Wild Horse and Burro Lead, Utah: 801-539-4057, gwarr@blm.gov

Axtell, Utah Holding Facility Owner, Kerry Despain: 435-528-3990

You can read Carol’s article HERE.

Carol’s website is http://www.wildhoofbeats.com/ and you can see her photography of wild horses at http://www.livingimagescjw.com/

This show will be hosted by Debbie Coffey (V.P. and Dir. of Wild Horse Affairs) of Wild Horse Freedom Federation.

To contact us: ppj1@hush.com

TO LISTEN TO ALL ARCHIVED WILD HORSE & BURRO RADIO SHOWS, CLICK HERE.

To find out more about Wild Horse Freedom Federation and our work to keep wild horses and burros wild and free on our public lands visit www.WildHorseFreedomFederation.org

Donate Here: http://wildhorsefreedomfederation.org/donate/

6/21/17 – Bonnie Gestring, Northwest Circuit Rider for Earthworks, on contamination of U.S. waters in perpetuity, caused by mining. Bonnie is co-author of the report Polluting the Future: How mining companies are polluting our nation’s waters in perpetuity. Listen HERE.

9/27/17 – Stephen Nash, the author Grand Canyon for Sale.” An extraordinarily powerful few are controlling public lands that belong to all Americans. Grand Canyon For Sale is a carefully researched investigation of the precarious future of America’s public lands: our national parks, forests, wildlife refuges, monuments, and wildernesses. Listen HERE.

10/4/17 – Sam Jojola, a former Deputy Resident Agent-in-Charge for U.S. Fish and Wildlife (USFWS) Office of Law Enforcement, on wildlife trafficking, trophy hunting, Safari Club International, the poisoning of birds by the mining industry and kill permits for the wind energy industry. Listen HERE.

11/1/17 – George Wuerthner, Exec. Director of Public Lands Media (a project of the Earth Island Institute), Vice Pres. of the Board of Directors for Western Watersheds Project and author of 38 books, on the multiple ways that the livestock industry impacts the West. Listen HERE.

11/17/17 – Carey Gillam, an investigative journalist, a former senior correspondent for Reuters’ international news service, a Research Director for U.S. Right to Know (a consumer group whose mission is: “Pursuing Truth and Transparency in America’s Food System”) and a Board Member of Justice Pesticides, on her new book, Whitewash, about glyphosate, Monsanto’s Roundup, and corporate influence on our government. Carey Gillam’s website is careygillam.com Listen HERE.

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/marti-oakley/2018/01/18/ts-radio-wild-horse-burro-radio-wcarol-walker

 

 

Wild Horses and Burros: Twas the Night before Christmas

by Vicki Tobin and R.T. Fitch, Illustration by Kerry Kelly of the Houston Chronicle

“First published on Christmas Day in 2009; the evil characters may have changed but the message still rings true to this very day.  The roundups must stop so that we can appropriately care for and manage, if needed, our national treasures on their rightful range.  At Wild Horse Freedom Federation we offer the gift of our continued fight in support of the Wild Horses and Burros to live free with their families on their promised public land.  Merry Christmas to all and to all a good fight!” ~ R.T.

Twas the night before Christmas…

artwork by Kerry Kelly ~ Houston Chronicle

Twas the night before Christmas on our public land
not a Mustang was stirring, knowing what was at hand.
They huddled in fear hoping someone would care,
in hopes that the advocates soon would be there.

The foals hid in cover while Mom stood her ground
while stallions and bachelors, made sure Steed wasn’t around.
With Zinke lurking and Nedd so close by
the bands must stay quiet and not blink an eye.

When out on the range there arose such a clatter
The Mustangs all knew, what was the matter.
They ran to take cover, on wings they did fly
For surely they knew, that many would die.

The visions of million$ caused Cattoor a big grin
While Bolstad and Spencer high-fived a big win
More horses removed by ignoring the law
Hold on to your hats and stand back in awe.

The chopper did glisten on new fallen snow
Sealing the fate of the horses below.
When all of a sudden, the bands all stood still
And watched as the chopper came over the hill.

They stood in amazement, can it really be true
The advocates appeared right out of the blue
The horses retreated, not believing their eyes
For surely this is another, BLM guise.

Then leading the charge, lively and quick
were Kathy and Holland and Fitch with a stick
More rapid than lightening, Coffey followed in tow
with Simone close behind, directing which way they go.

Now Ginger and Paula and Ann times two,
Oh Marjorie and Dawn and Julie it’s you.
Now Vicki and Jerry and Susan and Daryl
with cameras in hand come Terry and Carol.

Down the hill they descended toward the horses with care
and watched as the chopper, fled into the air
The advocates came with injunction in hand
the decree shouted out, not on our public lands!

Enough is enough the judge did declare
the horses were saved by the breadth of a hair.
‘Our work here’s not done,’ the advocates cried
‘the choppers still flying, other herds could be spied’

It’s back to D.C. with a permanent plan
to ensure all the horses could live on their land.
So love was delivered to the horses with pride
but the warriors must leave so that no more would die.

They climbed up the hill and turned back to the band
who all now had gathered on what was their land.
‘We carry you with us,’ R.T. did say
‘as we go to the White House to show them your way.’

The horses all bowed with a sign of approval
as they all now knew that there was no removal.
They neighed and they nickered to the spirit above
‘Thanks for sending the people who give us their love.’

original artwork by Kerry Kelly of the Houston Chronicle