Wednesday, 17 December 2008

Kittens adopted during Open House, yay!

On Sunday we had our annual open-house for our volunteers, donors and colleagues and what a sucess it was! The best part was that a wonderful couple fell in love with Cleo and Coco and decided to take them home that night, yay!!

We had approximately 100 people file through the office, enjoying the company and the vegan food -- generously provided and prepared by several volunteers, particulary Board Member Kathrine Paterson. Many said it was our best party yet who knew? It's wonderful to be able to get together, reminding us that there are a lot of us out there, trying to make this world more compassionate. The animal protection movement may be hard at times, but at least we have like-minded people around to understand us when we need to vent = P

And we seem to be venting quite a bit lately. This time of year tends to be somber, reminding us that even though there are numerous animals who we've saved, there are countless more that won't be so lucky. Like I've said before, I hope that compassion at this time of year extends to people's dinner tables as they sit down to feast. I'm so thankful for my food as I prepare myself to eat, but I can't help cringing as my family digs into turkey. What a brief, difficult and cruel life those birds must endure. I'll have to make sure I bite my tongue before my convictions get the better of me! All I can do is hope that people are thankful and respectful of the lives that were involuntarily sacrificed for them.

(On that cheery note!) Wishing you all a safe and merry Christmas, happy Hanukkah, Solstice, Kwanzaa or whatever else you celebrate. And thank you again for all your support for our non-human friends = ^..^ =

Friday, 21 November 2008

Winston found a home!

A note from Winston's new human:

"Yesterday, I worked the whole day from home, so he did not hide at all. He spent the whole time talking to me and curling up on my lap or by my feet as I worked. He ate at his dish several times and is now consuming almost a good tin of wet food a day. I went out last night and when I returned, he wasn't under the bed, but greeted me from a chair in my living room.

He was also very playful....running around and chewing at his toys...running into his tent for his favourite game.

He now spends the whole night on the bed curled up beside me. He gets up occasionally for what sounds like a snack...and then returns. He was even less distressed when I ran the washing machine yesterday!

He's become a lot more curious and talkative as well. I'm really surprised by his progress and am very happy to see him starting to blossom. He is the softest, sweetest boy and I really love having his company."

We couldn't have asked for a happier ending!

We're having withdrawl here at the office but thankfully we have two new kittens to distract us from missing Winnie. Spice and Cajun are surrogate mothers to our new little girls -- if anyone is looking for an instant family, give us a call!

Hope everyone has as good a weekend as Winston = ^..^=

Below is a video of Cajun and Spice (Winston is in his tent, as usual)

Thursday, 30 October 2008

North America's ONLY Vegetarian Food Bank

Toronto is home to North America's ONLY vegetarian food bank! And they need help.

I was sent the article below over e-mail and recently had a brief phone conversation with Malan Joseph, the founder of the food bank. He's a wonderful and modest man, eager to help those in need. He said that even though they specialize in vegetarian food, everyone (including meat-eaters) who asks for help is given food. Since no one is turned away, they are in urgent need of donations. If anyone would like to donate food or if anyone has contacts in the food industry, please call Malan at the number below.


Canada's only vegetarian food bank is barely five months old and already serving more than 200 people from two locations, its founders say.

"We've been very busy," says Jessica Smith.

"And I have a feeling with the economy doing what it's doing, we may get more." Smith, a vegetarian, helped set up the food bank with Malan Joseph in May. It now serves 45 families, or about 220 people, from locations at 2370 Midland Ave. and 2400 Finch Ave. W.

Joseph is a Catholic but his wife worships at the same Hindu temple as Smith. He says he saw the need for the food bank as waves of Hindu immigrants moved to the city but had trouble making ends meet. They went to food banks but, as strict vegetarians, they could not use much of what they were given.

Smith says much of the fresh fruits and vegetables come from a Milton-area farm operated by a community of Sikhs for the sole purpose of donating the produce to charities and food banks. The group prefers to remain anonymous, she says.

The food bank is open Saturdays from 10 a.m. to noon at the Finch location and 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Midland.

Anyone interested in helping can call 416-744-4357.

Thursday, 2 October 2008

Wonderful Winston and his girls

Well, in all the excitement over the past few months, I neglected to tell you all about the latest additions to the Animal Alliance office.

Amidst all the chaos with Annabell and her kittens -- Tony still needs a home = ( -- we received a frantic call from one of our volunteers, Andrea. She was contacted by the shelter that Annabell came from; they had two terrified cats that didn't eat for 10 days. The cats had to be force-fed by shelter staff just to keep them alive. Staff said that unless we could help, they would be forced to euthanize them. We said of course we'll help, we'll find space for them here. So our wonderful volunteer Morris drove with Liz to bring back two very scared little cats, Winston (in the pic) and his sister Molly.

Winston and Molly's story is a sad one. The couple shared their home with Winston and Molly for seven years. The wife died and the husband developed dementia. For a year, Winston and Molly lived with stress and loss before being surrendered to the shelter. Their stress continued weeks after they arrived here. Both had lost weight and could not cope with all the change. Gradually they came out of hiding but a little too late for Molly. She eventually succumbed to her stress; she developed kidney problems and stopped eating and eventually had to be humanely euthanized. With yet another loss of someone familiar, Winston had to figure out a way to cope on his own. His solution was to retreat again.

With all his brothers and mother gone, Tony was also feeling lonely. We decided to try Tony and Winston together. Long story short, about a week later we received yet another call from Andrea asking us to take in two more cats from the shelter to save them from the needle. So in came mommy Spice and her daughter Cajun. But it doesn't stop there -- oh no, there's always something else! In comes Justice, a 19-year-old cat, with terrible health and a whole lot of attitude. We eventually are able to integrate everyone, much to Winston's chagrin. But in just a short while, Winston realizes that this is now his new family. Now he has really come into his own, playing, grooming and sleeping with Cajun and Spice.

The sad news is that now Justice has to be put to sleep; her congestive heart failure has progressed to the point where it would be cruel to try to keep her alive. She wants to go, so we let her.

Now we are left with the task of finding a home for THREE adult cats -- it would be too hard for Winston to be separated from Cajun and Spice, to lose his family again. Please, pass along our plea for a home for three amazing, affectionate, adorable cats. It would be an instant family that I promise you'll love.

Monday, 18 August 2008

The Passing of a Sweet Girl

It has taken me all day just to be able to actually compose this letter.

It is with great shock, and overwhelming sadness that I am writing to let you know that Bijoux has passed away.
The amazing little white cat that came into my life almost exactly one year ago, is no longer here.

Bijoux was the little cat with the squeaky voice that was rescued by Liz and Georges from Montreal - where she was to have been killed within the hour.

In the past year since she underwent her surgery, she blossomed into an amazing, joyful and beautiful cat.

We fell into a comfortable routine for managing her condition, and the two of us really have shared a very special bond. She has had a very good few months - playing with the other cats, (pushing Fluffy off the top of the cat tower was her favorite game!), cuddling with Murphy, acting the royal diva and hoarding all the crinkle balls. She had an incredible spirit and a feisty, mischievous approach to life.

In the past month or so though, she started losing a bit of weight. In the past week, the weight loss really accelerated, and in the last few days she seemed tired, and so I had booked her to see the vet on Friday to redo some blood work, and see if perhaps there was something else going on.
I was thinking perhaps a thyroid issue? diabetes? or???
In fact after doing bloodwork and an xray, we could see that there WAS something going on.

Bijoux had FIP. Her liver was nearly nonfunctional, she had fluid in her abdomen and a very large granuloma in her lung. She was dying and FIP is totally non treatable.
For those who don't know, FIP is a weird virus - cats can live with it for years and it might never be an issue. Or it can turn deadly.
Actually if Bijoux's mom was a FIP kitty, that might actually explain why she had the congenital issues that led to her megaesophagous. Regardless of why, the reality was that she was dying. The vet recommended euthanasia but I couldn't get my mind around it.

Besides - how many times had she bounced back from things that should have killed her already?
Maybe she could lick this too...., so we gave her a mild painkiller and I took her home.

We spent the day offering her all of the foods that she had craved and had been denied for so long because of her megaesophagus, but she was uninterested. That in itself told me something, since she has been a fierce little kitty about food. Always trying to steal stuff she knew she shouldn't have - but determined to get it anyway.
She had a great zest for living in the moment!

Anyway, I had a feeling that she did not have long, and since she didn't seem to be stressed or painful I decided to keep her here.
My darling kitty passed peacefully and gently in her sleep last night, laying in my arms.

This whole thing was so "out of left field" that I am having a really hard time believing it.
Bijoux has cheated death so many times that I keep expecting her to come peeking around a corner to tell me that she has done it again.
I guess this time it really is for keeps.

So many people who met her, felt the special spark that she carried inside of her.
She was greatly loved and is greatly missed.

Rest in peace darling girl...


Wednesday, 18 June 2008

An Interesting Article

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, June 2008

Addenda to Swinging Canadian elections keeps the sealers swinging clubs: Animal Alliance of Canada pursues electoral strategy

Commentary by Merritt Clifton

Long before University of Texas at El Paso philosophy department chair Steven Best became a popular speaker at animal rights conferences, noted for fiery defenses of "direct action" vandalism, film maker Stephen Best of Shelburne, Ontario became quietly known to animal advocacy insiders--and the political opposition--as one of the most astute strategists in the cause. When defenders of the seal hunt produced strategy papers, obtained eventually by news media, Best was repeatedly identified as one of the voices most essential to isolate and neutralize, even though few grassroots activists had ever heard his name. Grassroots activists knew his work. Best's 1973 documentary Seal Song, commissioned by the International Fund for Animal Welfare, "became part of the long-running British television series Survival," he remembers. More than that, Seal Song put the annual Atlantic Canada seal hunt into living rooms worldwide. Eighteen years earlier, film maker Harry Lillie brought back the first film of the seal hunt, inspiring an informed few to revive anti-sealing campaigns that had previously been waged in the early 1900s, late 1920s, and late 1930s, but it was Seal Song that turned the cause into a cultural phenomenon. Best produced wildlife documentaries through 1980, then accepted a full-time job with IFAW. From 1980 to 1984, Best "developed and managed various political, election, and public relation campaigns in Germany, the United Kingdom, and Belgium," he recalls. These campaigns won a ban on the import of baby harp and hooded seal products into the European Community. "The ban reduced the number of seals killed in Canada's commercial seal hunt from almost 200,000 per year to about 20,000," Best recounts. Best in 1985 helped other ex-IFAW staff to found the Inter-national Wildlife Coalition, but left IWC in 1998, after "finally admitting that the environmental movement was making no net progress," he says. "Despite 5,000% growth in monies and membership between 1970 and 1998," Best adds, "the international environmental protection community achieved a further 40% degradation in our environment." Best returned to screen production, while contemplating new approaches to ending the seal hunt.

The hunt, nearly history a decade earlier, had been revived in 1995 with higher quotas than ever before. Having heard nothing from Best in 10 years, and having been unsuccessful in an attempt to find him, I had no idea what Best had been doing since 1998 when I wrote my May 2008 ANIMAL PEOPLE commentary "Swinging Canadian elections keeps the sealers swinging clubs." I learned a month later that Best and Animal Alliance of Canada executive director Liz White had co-authored a similar essay in November 2002. Though distributed to mass media and posted to the Animal Alliance web site, it did not reach ANIMAL PEOPLE, and received much less attention than it deserved. "Despite decades of intensive, well-funded anti-seal hunt protesting," Best and White wrote, "the seal hunt is larger now than 30 years ago...more cruel, and is managed with less regard for science, conservation, and the survival of harp and hooded seals. What this dismal record of failure proves is that all the strategies and tactics used in Canada in the past to end the seal hunt don't work. "The only reason the anti- seal hunt community was able to secure the European seal import ban [in 1983] was electoral politics," Best and White observed. "For individual politicians in Europe, defending Canada and its seal hunt became an electoral liability." Almost a year later, in September 2003, Best produced a document entitled End the Seal Hunt Strategy Framework, also posted to the web, yet largely overlooked by anti-seal hunt campaigners. "The seal hunt will end--or be dramatically reduced--when two conditions are met in Canada: the political cost of the seal hunt to federal politicians and political parties exceeds its political benefit, and there is a plausibly justifiable reason for reducing the hunt, other than appearing to succumb to the pressures created by advocacy," Best wrote. "Politically," Best determined, "the Canadian seal hunt has a value of seven to a dozen federal seats in Atlantic Canada and Quebec. In the current Canadian political environment a pro-seal hunt policy is necessary for a politician or a political party to get elected in these districts. An anti-seal hunt policy would insure defeat. In the rest of Canada, the seal hunt is electorally irrelevant: seal hunt policy does not influence enough votes to matter. [Therefore] It is obvious to every politician and to all the federal parties that a pro seal hunt policy is good politics. "The political benefits of a pro seal hunt policy can be eliminated and turned into unacceptable political costs by direct involvement oin elections," Best projected. "Electoral involvement means conducting election campaigns in electoral districts that the voting history and polling suggest will likely be decided by 5% of the voters or less. The campaigns should have the objective of shifting votes from one candidate to another, i.e. influencing who wins or who loses. It is this kind of political activity that is of concern to politicians. "The federal government and all political parties have strong pro seal hunt policies," Best emphasized, "not because they believe sealing is intrinsically important, but rather because they are cognizant and wary of the political power wielded by the fishing community and, to a lesser extent, the sealing community...Power resides in the pro seal hunt advocates, not the seal hunt issue." Best was already mobilizing.

"In 1998," White told ANIMAL PEOPLE, "Animal Alliance founded Environment Voters, our political arm. The intent was that Environment Voters would reward politicians who had a supportive environmental and animal protection record and punish those who did not. Best was instrumental in helping us set up Environment Voters, assisting with strategic decisions and campaigning in a number of key elections. "We were involved in provincial elections and by-elections, federal elections and by-elections, and municipal elections," White continued. "In 2000, amendments to the Canada Elections Act were introduced that would eliminate any meaningful involvement of third parties in electoral politics at the federal level. The National Citizens Coalition through Stephen Harper," now the pro-sealing prime minister of Canada, "challenged this change right up to the Supreme Court of Canada. Although Harper won in all the lower courts, he lost in the Supreme Court. So, third parties can only spend just over $3,000 per riding [electoral district] and $120,000 to pay for general electoral information but not specific riding information. "Through Environment Voters," White said, "we demonstrated that we could shift 4% to 5% of the vote in any given riding. In ridings that were won or lost by less than 4% to 5%, a campaign to shift the votes could affect the outcome. The cost ranged from $15,000 to $20,000 in tight races and more in ridings that were not so closely contested. The effect of the amendments to the Canada Elections Act was to remove any possibility of influencing votes in the swing ridings. "Around the same time that the Supreme Court set strict limits on third party spending," White added, "the Court removed the barriers to forming a political party. The only way to be involved in an effective way now at the federal level in Canada is to become a political party. In December 2005, we achieved party status. We are now the Animal Alliance Environment Voters Party of Canada. We are in the process of building the party so that we can influence the electoral process around the seal hunt and other issues." The Animal Alliance supports the boycott of Canadian seafood called by the Humane Society of the U.S., "and we support the initiatives in the European Union to get a European ban on seal products," White added. But their bottom-line strategy now is swinging votes.

Wednesday, 30 April 2008

Cormorant cull protests to begin

Point Pelee National Park To Kill Over 7000 Birds In Four Days.

Beginning April 30, 2008, Parks Canada will shoot thousands of nesting double-crested cormorants at Point Pelee National Park. They have scheduled 4 days - April 30, May 1, 2, and 5 to complete the slaughter. It is going to be really bad and very sad.

Join Us In Protest against this killing of nesting birds.

Day of Action - Sunday May 18, 2008 (Victoria Day long weekend)

Point Pelee National Park – primary location


Ojibway Nature Centre – Windsor
Pelee Island ferry docks - Leamington
Rondeau Provincial Park – Chatham
Long Point Provincial Park – south of Kitchener
Ward’s Island - Toronto

The action is simple. It involves handing out information asking visitors to boycott Point Pelee National Park. For those visitors already at Point Pelee, we will ask them to wear black arm bands while in the park, and consider cancelling future visits to the park.

All action will occur outside the park gates and off park property.

The Peaceful Parks Coalition has called for a boycott of Point Pelee National Park because we believe a boycott would be effective. Visitors to Point Pelee are already at an all time low, and a strong rejection of park policy by supporters could halt the shooting of cormorants scheduled for the next five years.

Parks Canada is part of a broader partnership, that includes the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, Toronto Region and Conservation Authority, Canadian Wildlife Service and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, whose mandate is to kill double-crested cormorants at their nesting sites throughout the Great Lakes basin, leaving no place safe for these birds anywhere.

For detailed background information, please link to and

The information that will be distributed will be an updated version of the two factsheets included below: Boycott Point Pelee National Park – Protect Birds and Why a Boycott Will Work.

The Peaceful Parks Coalition will provide all information factsheets, organize transportation and billeting for those who can travel to Point Pelee National Park, and will provide all participants with a protocol on how to interact with the public.

If you can help, please forward your full name, address and telephone number.

Please circulate widely

Peaceful Parks Coalition W. E. T. toll free 1.877.785.8636

Tuesday, 29 April 2008

Cormorants to be killed as soon as tomorrow

The cormorants of Middle Island are to be shot as soon as tomorrow by Parks Canada. I would like to thank to everyone who spoke out on behalf of the cormorants. I will let you know what the next steps are as soon as we regroup. Below are the comments of Barry Kent-McKay, a board member and birder. His sentiments are shared by us all.

Dear Everyone,

I don't have the details, but apparently the judge ruled against us, and the cormorants, this morning. I haven't seen his ruling yet, but from the second-hand account I have it seems that he agreed on our legal argument, but still bought into the "ecosystem in peril" argument that Parks Canada presented. This is most frustrating to me, personally, since we are not allowed to present the "scientific argument", which at any rate is difficult for a lay person (which, outside matters of law, the judge is), to understand -- that we are not arguing that the cormorants won't alter the vegetation, even remove whole species, but that it does not matter as that is natural to the primal condition that Parks Canada is mandated to seek for the island. In other words I believe whatever the merits of our legal arguments that Parks Canada did not follow legally mandated processes, our "scientific" arguments are categorically valid. If Parks Canada's legal arguments fail (and like I say, I haven't read the comments, that's what I know via hearsay) and if we are not allowed to present scientific argument (or if we do it is automatically discredited) we don't have a chance.

Julie, Rob and Liz are either on Pelee Island, or will be there shortly. They, and other volunteers (badly needed, as is funding) will do what they can to document the killing. I can't believe that use of a .117 calibre rifle (that's the size of an air-rifle) that Parks Canada plans to use can do anything other than create an even higher wounding rate than the tragedy documented at Presqu'ile Provincial Park two years ago, using a slightly higher calibre (.222), with something like 30% wounding rates.

I honestly believe that some day people will have a more enlightened understanding of ecology, and the fact that natural ecosystems are not parks designed to conform to esthetic taste (not that I find a cormorant colony unattractive, but clearly others do). But it is a continuing, uphill battle. We have come a long way, but we have much further to go.


Friday, 18 April 2008

Annabelle's boys ready for their forever homes!

Well, spring has finally sprung and so have the kittens! Now that Earl has moved along in the adoption process, we have Annabelle and her boys here. Earl's home didn't work out so he's back with Shelly. If anyone is looking for a great cat who needs to be on his own, Earl would be a perfect fit.

Annabelle came to us from a shelter where staff felt they couldn't provide the best environment for a cat with newborns. There were just a couple days old (and looked like little gerbils!) when we brought them to the office. Now they're about two months old and full of spunk! They may look calm in the photo but don't let them fool you! They sleep for a couple hours then are tearing around the resource centre, climbing your legs (which we are trying to discourage -- it really hurts if you're not wearing jeans!), and pretty much getting into everything. The two little white guys are Sammy and Mickey McGee (with the darker ears). Then we have Tony the Tiger (the tabby on the left), Tiny Tim in the middle and Diego, the biggest and fuzziest of them all. They just got their vaccinations yesterday and the vet said they're perfect! Would you expect anything less = )

My allergies are running at full capacity with all these little furry bodies so if anyone is interested in a little bundle of joy (they're little trouble-makers but they're so darn cute!), PLEASE call or e-mail us at 416-462-9541 or

Monday, 10 March 2008

Cormorant Slaughter Set For April

New Slaugther Proposed!

Middle Island, part of Point Pelee National Park, is a small island in the western Lake Erie basin that is home to a wide variety of wildlife. But the ecological integrity of Middle Island is now being challenged by Parks Canada, the very agency charged with its protection.

A proposal to micro-manage, impair and possibly damage Middle Island’s natural processes, in ways that may include the slaughter and disturbance of wildlife, is now being considered. Insidiously proposed as a conservation strategy, the proposal will negatively impact on the natural evolution of Middle Island in an effort to maintain and control it in a static and artificial state. The Parks Canada proposal specifically singles out Double-crested cormorants, a native colonial water bird, by claiming that their numbers are threatening the island and that thousands of them need to be slaughtered.

Double-crested cormorants are a native Ontario water bird and a part of the natural ecology of Middle Island. The Parks Canada proposal to manage them is ill-conceived, short sighted, a waste of resources and enormously cruel.

Help Ontario's Cormorants Today!
Raise this issue today with Environment Canada Minister John Baird! Let him know that the proposal to slaughter cormorants on Middle Island, part of Point Pelee National Park, must be stopped. Tell him cormorants are a part of the natural ecology of Middle Island and that it should be allowed to evolve in a natural way. Remind him that their is no way to humanely kill large numbers of birds in the field and that doing so is an archaic, destructive and cruel method of wildlife management that has no scientific or ecological justification.
Les Terrasses de la Chaudiere10 Wellington Street
28th FloorGatineau, QC K1A 0H3
Tel.: 819-997-1441
Fax: (819) 953-0279

Raise this issue today with Premier Dalton McGuinty! Let them know that the killing of cormorants is an archaic, destructive and cruel method of wildlife management that has no scientific or ecological justification.

Dalton McGuinty, Premier
Legislative Building, Queen's Park
Toronto ON M7A 1A1
Tel.: 416-325-1941
Fax: (416) 325-3745

For more information, visit or call Animal Alliance of Canada at 416-462-9541.

Tuesday, 19 February 2008

Happy Ending!

Our little Earl has finally found a home! While it's not yet official, it seems that Earl has captured some wonderful person's heart. Shelly took him to the vet to have him microchipped and the vet couldn't say no! So for those who thought I was exaggerating...see! He really is a great cat! Here he is supervising Herb, one of our volunteers.

So to take his place, we have a couple more cats coming to the office: a mama cat and her new little kitties and a distressed cat who needs some TLC. Office productivity went back up for about a week and is sure to go back down once the new wiggly kittens arrive tomorrow.

We want them all to find great homes, but we always have such a hard time letting go. We fretted all week when Earl went with Shelly, calling her all the time to check up on him (we're such worry-warts!) It's easy to see how people can become cat collectors!

We have another sweet little guy, Pablo Picasso, currently in foster. He was picked up off the street because he has a bad leg. We thought it was broken but it turned out to be a birth deformity. He limps around and is also deaf, so he's quite a nervous cat. He's coming around, slowly, so we're looking for a special human who's willing to work with him. You can see his video at If you or someone you know can help Picasso, please call. We all like happy endings!

Tuesday, 22 January 2008

Still No Takers...

Earl is still at the office, but I'm not complaining! He is needier than ever and can't seem to get enough love from us. I thought since Buffy and Cujo are in their new home, office productivity would go back up, but I was wrong. Earl cries until you can't take it anymore and give in to playing with him. And it's hard to resist when you seem him jump and run after his toys -- he clears at least three feet! Here he is helping Morris with the mail = ) This great picture was taken by our wonderful co-op student, Carol.

Sorry for not writing over the past couple weeks; we've been busy preparing tax receipts for our monthly donors to our political party, the Animal Alliance Environment Voters Party of Canada. Yes, it is a mouthful -- we're working on it.

Liz just finished editing a paper written by board member and birder Barry Kent-McKay. The reason for the paper is Parks Canada's inclination to slaughter the cormorants on Middle Island, in Lake Erie, instead of leaving the native bird alone. All their reasons are scientifically unsound, so we're doing our best to talk some sense into them.

And it looks like Liz is on her way back to Guelph. They are close to a decision on the trapping issue. Please visit the link below and let council know that traps should be banned, once and for all!

Monday, 7 January 2008

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year, everyone! I hope everyone had a safe and restful holiday.

It was a flurry of activity here at the office over the past few weeks. Liz is madly trying to finish editing a paper, written by Barry Kent-McKay, that is to be submitted to Parks Canada. After we campaigned against the cormorant cull in Presqu'ile by the Ministry of Natural Resources, we must now campaign against Parks Canada, a branch of Environment Canada which seems determined to kill cormorants on Middle Island, in Lake Erie.

Jacqui was burried in requests for Project Jessie packages that people wanted to give away as Christmas gifts. With some help from our wonderful co-op students, she managed to send them all out.

I've been busy with our monthly donor processing, paying bills, and preparing to send out about 800 receipts for people's contributions to our political party.

The good news is that a few kitties found their new homes over the holidays. We still have Earl here at the office. He's as needy and demanding as ever! His pictures don't do him justice; you have to see him in action! For Christmas, we gave him an empty box, which he loves -- as they all do!

And just as an update, please visit for info on the progress of Toronto's first potential low-cost spay / neuter clinic.

The year has started off to be a busy one -- I hope for the animals' sake that it's also a successful one.