Tuesday, 8 December 2009

It's December Already!

It's hard to believe that it's already nearing the end of 2009. This has been another hectic year, filled with all kinds of ups and downs. Horrible things are still happening to animals all over the world, with progress inching forward at a glacial pace. We remain hopeful that the animal movement will one day become trendy, like the green movement.

In the interim, we're reminded that there are good humans in the world. Alice is triving in her new home with her wonderful people - yay! We received a Christmas card from a woman who adopted a Project Jessie dog in 2003 and they're both doing very well - yay again! We are receiving e-mails of encouragement and thanks for speaking out on behalf of those with no voice. And everyday we come to the office, we are greeted by four happy, bounding, purring little kittens. That's Morris and his helper, Little Morris, in the pic = ) Little Morris follows Morris everywhere he goes, even up ladders! It's hard to be down when you're surrounded by kitties who don't have a care in the world!

We still have our fingers crossed that some kind humans will open their hearts and homes to these four babies - they have FIV which makes things slightly more difficult in terms of adoptions because of the stigma surrounding feline aids. We're always touched when we are proven wrong, when someone realizes that these kittens would make a great addition to their family, no matter what may happen down the road.

Adoptions have been slow, however, and not just for us. This has been a terrible year for cats. I just hope things are better in 2010. We'll be doing our part, that's for sure!

That's it for now. Thanks for reading!

Lia and the AAC office crew

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Meet the Rugrats!

That's Hannah, asking me to play. Her brothers (Shiloh, Isaac and Morris - named after our wonderful volunteer, Morris) were busy elsewhere in the office, causing trouble no doubt!

They have been settling in great, as is Alice in her new home with her new and fantastic family. We're so happy for her, the sweet girl.

We have high hopes for finding homes for these new members of the Animal Alliance family - but finding a place for kittens can be hard, especially these kittens who have tested positive for FIV.

They are perfectly happy and healthy but are carriers for Feline Immunodeficiency Virus. Like human HIV, FIV is not likely transmissible through casual contact with other cats. Still the stigma of FIV makes people hesitant to care for these special little guys. We're going to try our darnedest to find them the loving homes they deserve, but if these kittens end up staying with us forever, we won't complain = )

Project Jessie has been busy with some pretty tough cases - visit the Project Jessie blog for the stories.

We are awaiting a decision regarding the Environmental Assessment of Presqu'ile Provincial Park, which we began in order to protect deer, cormorants and restoration projects.

We continue to help out TRACS with the Kelowna bunny situation. TRACS has been doing a fantastic job, providing a humane model which can be used in other cities with similar issues.

And we continue to try to mitigate human / wildlife conflict issues in Ontario, working with the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources to provide advice about progressive and humane resolutions.

Finally, we're gearing up for our annual open house, during which we reconnect with supporters and local community activists. This is a busy time of year for us, to say the least!

Thanks to all who have called and written in support of our campaign to protect bears in Quebec - we will keep you up to date as the issue unfolds.

And a big thank you to everyone for allowing us to continue to protect ALL animals and the environment - our work can be really difficult at times, but we are comforted when we remember that the world DOES have caring people like you, making a difference and speaking out for non-human animals.

Thank you SO much,
lia and the office crew

Saturday, 17 October 2009

New Office Foster Kitties!

The past few weeks have been super busy with meetings and reports and mailings. There are bear issues in New Brunswick and Quebec; ongoing shelter issues with municipalities across Ontario; cormorant and other wildlife sagas in our provincial and national parks; and closer to home, our two office fosters will be leaving to make room for other kitties in need.

Alice will be going with Shelly and Bobby (that's him in the pic) to another foster home, in order for us to accomodate four kittens with feline aids. The liklihood of these kittens being adopted is slim to none, but at least they'll be able to grow up in the (relative) peace and security of the office. They came to Project Jessie during the municipal strike. We hoped and hoped that the tests would come back negative but it looks as though they're going to have to live with the stigma of aids. We have to be realistic in that they could be with us their entire lives. I just think it's sad that someone wouldn't want to open their heart and home to a wonderful companion because of possible medical complications and expenses. I would take them home if I weren't so damn allergic to cats!

Still, I'm going to keep my fingers crossed that some kind human will surpise us all and adopt them.

My next task will be to say good-bye to Bobby and Alice, wishing them all the best on their next part of their journey through life.

Stay warm everyone!

Till next time,
lia and the office crew

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Hurray for Kitties!

As hard as it was for me to let them go, the four orphaned kittens I was fostering during the municipal strike have now all gone back to the shelter. Even though I have fostered before, it was particularly difficult this time to say goodbye.

Shelters and rescue groups all across Ontario are having a hard time finding homes for cats - there are simply too many abandoned cats and still more being born everyday. I sent back my fosters not knowing how long they would remain in the shelter, but I was comforted to know that we would be called should the shelter become crowded or should the kitties become depressed / ill.

I have thought about the kitties everyday for the past few weeks and received great news yesterday. The two most rambunctious kittens have been adopted! Hurray! The other two girls were being spayed yesterday, and after they recoup, they will be up for adoption. I'll cross my fingers that they are just as lucky to find their forever homes. As much as I want to, my allergies simply would not permit me to integrate two more cats into my home ( I have a hard enough time with my two rescues as it is! ).

Shelly reports that a few of her fosters have also found homes. Yay!

The office cats, Bobby and Alice, have been together now for over a month. They still do not like each other but seem to be tolerant enough so that no major battles happen. Even though Bobby is bigger, he was declawed by his previous people, so Alice could put him in his place if she chose to. But she's a lover, not a fighter, one of the most gentle cats we've ever had in the office.

On top of dealing with cats in need of homes, we've been working on some pretty big issues, including cormorants, human / wildlife conflict, and barn fires. But that's for another day. I'm just so happy that, after a long wait, cats are finding their forever homes. I'd like to wrap up on a happy note = )

Tail wags, everyone!

lia and the AAC office crew

Monday, 31 August 2009

Special Needs Cat in Need of Special Home

Picasso is a well cared for socialized grey and white deaf cat with a back leg deformity. He was found in a stray cat colony in the winter and rescued by AAC Board Member, Marie Crawford, and a colleague. The twisted back leg led us to believe he was badly injured, but an x-ray proved that the defect was either there since birth or due to a bad injury that healed without medical assistance. He was checked for disease, neutered, given all shots and deworming aid. The vets' decided that amputation of the back leg would not help his mobility since he seems to use it to get around just fine. We decided to not place him back in the colony since it would seem he had a hard enough life as it was. The fact that he was also deaf made his little story that much more incredible. He survived for two years in the wild like this!

He was terribly fearful of people and it took a year for Marie to gain his trust. Now he is a changed cat and is a lovable companion. The only problem is that he is terribly lonely. Marie owns her own business and is gone for the most part of the day - every day. He cries constantly when he can't see her and she can hear his screams (boy - deaf cats sure have a pair of lungs!!) for a block down the street when she leaves the house. Marie would like to find him a home where he can enjoy the company of another cat and/or the presence of a person who is home a lot.

"A large part of me does not want to lose this lovely little guy, but I know he could have a much richer life elsewhere - since he is a special needs cat he needs a special home!! Would perhaps do well with lots of other cats. If anyone could recommend a home for him I would be grateful," Marie. mariecrawford@sympatico.ca

Friday, 14 August 2009

Our New Office Foster

With the municipal strike over, our fosters are slowing being returned to the shelter. The bunnies we were fostering at the office went back = ( Other bunnies found homes (yay!), some kitties are going back and others are staying in the Project Jessie programme until we find them a permanent, loving family. All in all, it has been a great group effort, which has saved over 50 lives.

Alice (Ali for short) is our new office foster kitty. And she's SO cute! Apparently her owners died and the family didn't want her, so she ended up at a city shelter. She wasn't doing well so shelter staff called us for help. She is SO sweet and SO friendly, in just a couple hours she was playing and following us around the office! Ali's an older girl (about 12) but doesn't look a day over 8. She will remain here at the office until she finds her forever home.

It's been a busy summer so far, but a good summer. And having Ali here is a nice way to end the week.

Enjoy the sun, everyone!

Thursday, 30 July 2009

Municipal Strike affected City Shelters

There was a lot of talk during Toronto's municipal strike about garbage but not a whole lot about the city shelters. The last time the city was on strike, shelter staff was reduced, and as a result, many animals that needed special care either died or were euthanized.

This year, we were ready. The first day of the strike, Project Jessie Coordinator, Shelly Hawley-Yan, and long-time volunteer, Andrea, rescued dozens of "special needs" animals. In total, Shelly, Andrea, our main office and our wonderful volunteer foster homes have been caring for over 50 animals: rabbits, guinea pigs, orphaned kittens, kittens with moms, you name, we have it!

Some are going to start going back to the shelters, like the bunnies who will have a better chance at finding their forever homes. Some of the mama cats and their babies will be staying with us. All in all, it was a wonderful group effort - shelter staff were great, volunteers stepped up and offered their homes for these animals, and Shelly and Andrea provided amazing support, checking in to make sure everyone is okay and making themselves available around the clock to answer questions.

The little kitty in the pic above is Rosie, a little purring machine, who has been with me and her other foster brother and sisters for about six weeks.

Like I've said before, we're always looking for foster homes and forever homes for these sweet little snuggle bugs. If you, or someone you know, is thinking about opening their hearts and homes to a four-legged friend, please call / e-mail us today.

Main Office: 416-462-9541

Shelly: 519-940-4712




Tuesday, 16 June 2009

"Burned Alive" - Help save Farm Animals!

Hi everyone,

We just recently started working on the issue of Barn Fires. According to the National Farm Building Code, only farm buildings with high human occupancy (greater than one person per 40 square meters) are required to be fitted with sprinklers and smoke alarms.

A Winnipeg Free Press article on January 02, 2009 reported that last year seven barn fires in Manitoba killed more than 30 000 pigs - about eight times more than the previous year. In 2007 more than 3 500 pigs died in six fires.

Large scale intensive farm practices mean that more animals are housed in small spaces, therefore fire prevention and animal evacuation are paramount to ensuring the health and well-being of animals.

Currently, Manitoba is considering making changes to provincial regulations on farm buildings. Please, for the sake of the animals, take a moment to read the documents below and mail in a sign-on letter.


Letter to the Standing Committee on Fire Protection.pdf

Loss of Lives by Fire.pdf

Appendix II - Data from Ontario.pdf

Sign-on Letter.pdf


Contact Info for the Manitoba Fire Commissioner:

Office of the Fire Commissioner
508-401 York Avenue
Winnipeg MB R3C 0P8
Telephone: (204) 945-3322
Fax: (204) 948-2089
Toll Free: 1-800-282-8069
Email: firecomm@gov.mb.ca

Thursday, 11 June 2009

Piglets Pounded Against Concrete

Dear all,

Footage was released today from a fantastic animal advocacy organization in The Netherlands called Varkens in Nood (Pigs in Distress) showing a still-live but suffering piglet thrown into a garbage bin at a farrowing operation. See www.varkensinnood.nl .

Unfortunately, The Netherlands is not the only country where this horrific practice happens. Each year in Canada, millions of piglets are PACed (Pounded Against Concrete) and thrown into garbage bins. Please see our latest video shot in Manitoba and Quebec which shows the practice here in Canada. So many still-live piglets are disposed of in this way that one rendering company in Ontario has had to send letters to pig producers reminding them to please ensure all piglets are dead before being thrown away. This is an enormous welfare issue that we should all be concerned with.

Please forward and cross-post widely!

Thank you.

Twyla and the CETFA Team
cell: 204-296-1375

Monday, 25 May 2009

Thank you all!!

Hi everyone!

Just a quick "THANK YOU!" for all you make possible. We've made some progress on a few campaigns, and we could not have accomplished this without your support for the animals. We've delayed the cormorant slaughter in Presqu'ile Provincial Park and saved thousands through our presence in Point Pelee National Park. We saved the Sifton Bog deer in the city of London from a fall hunt. We worked together in conjunction with other groups to have seal products banned in the European Union and to have a horse slaughterhouse in Saskatchewan closed down after being caught on video violating regulations, negative exposure from the media, and after the Canadian Food Inspection Agency was pressured to investigate. And we continue to rescue orphaned dogs and cats through Project Jessie.

During these difficult times, we really cannot thank you enough for being a voice for the animals.

With gratitude,
Lia Laskaris
Donor Relations / Treasurer

Friday, 15 May 2009

5th Annual Project Jessie Doggy Fun Day!


The Project Jessie doggy fun day is this Saturday!!!

Are YOU going to be there? Please come!

This year's Project Jessie reunion is going to be held Saturday,May 23rd from 11am to 2pm at the Caledon Community Complex (directions below).

We are REALLY excited about our fifth Project Jessie reunion and doggie fun day - because the others were great!

We are inviting all Project Jessie adopters, drivers, fosters, volunteers and anyone else who even likes dogs, to a day of fun and joy! Well behaved doggies (on leash please!) are very welcome to attend, but you don't have to bring a dog in order to come!

We will have goody bags for the first 50 people to arrive, raffles and silent auctions, demonstrations and displays, and best of all - we hope that YOU will be there!

Please consider attending - we would dearly love to see you! The event is being held at the Caledon Community Complex - 6215 Old Church Road - in Caledon East, ON. It is about an hour north west of Toronto, an hour east of Guelph and an hour north of Mississauga.

To look up directions on Mapquest, you need to use "Get map of [6133-6167] Old Church Rd, Caledon East, ON" (The actual address is Caledon Community Centre, 6215 Old Church Road, Caledon East, ON but Mapquest doesn't seem to recognize that address for some reason!)

From east or west, take Hwy 401 to 427 north. Hwy 427 ends at Hwy 7 (QUEEN Street) in Brampton.
Turn left (west) onto Hwy 7. Turn right (north) onto AIRPORT Road.
You will travel north about 35 minutes. Once you are in the town of Caledon, you will come to a set of stop lights.
(There will be a liquor store on the west side of the street and a large log building on the south-east corner). This is OLD CHURCH ROAD).
Turn right (east) onto OLD CHURCH ROAD. You will pass a fire station on your right, then a police station. JUST past the police station, turn into the driveway. The Community Complex shares the driveway with the police station and is set behind it.

For more information, to volunteer to help at the event, or if you would like to donate something to the raffle or silent auction, please contact me directly - thank you!!!

It should be a great day and we really hope to see YOU there!

Shelly Hawley-Yan
Director, Project Jessie
221 Broadview Avenue, Suite 101
Toronto, ON M4M 2G3

email: shelly@animalalliance.ca
Phone: 519-940-4712 or
Phone: 416-462-9541

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

Victory for the Seals!

Victory For Seals! The European Union Bans the Trade in Seal Products

May 5, 2009 by The HSUS: Rebecca Aldworth

I have watched history being made today. The European Union has closed its borders to products of cruel commercial seal slaughters, removing a primary market for Canada’s globally condemned sealing industry. Many believe this ban will deliver a blow from which the Canadian seal slaughter may not recover.

The Canadian government tried every trick in the book to try to derail the ban: sending massive delegations to lobby on behalf of the sealing industry, misinforming decision makers, and even threatening trade reprisals. But the EU acted on behalf of its citizens and, in doing so, has saved millions of defenseless seals from a horrible fate.

We’ve Made History

I grew up in sealing country, and I have observed the commercial hunt for 11 years. In that time, I have witnessed cruelty that no thinking, compassionate person could ever accept. It has been difficult, often heartbreaking. But I have always known that in bearing witness to this slaughter, we can stop it.

Every year, the ProtectSeals team has endured hazardous conditions to document the seal hunt. We are committed to showing the world that the Canadian government is lying when it claims that the hunt is humane.

On our trips to the ice, The Humane Society of the United States and Humane Society International have brought key opinion shapers such as Paul McCartney and Swedish Member of the European Parliament Carl Schlyter. Neither has wavered in speaking out against the hunt. Shortly after seeing the seal hunt, Schlyter introduced a resolution in the European Parliament, calling on the EU to ban trade in seal products. Our footage of the seal slaughter and our testimony were key in convincing the rest of the EU to agree to the ban. It gives me enormous satisfaction to know that we played a central role in making history for seals.

What Does It Mean?

This is the beginning of the end for the Canadian seal slaughter. The EU was a primary market for Canadian seal products, and the Canadian government estimates the loss of the EU market will cost Canada’s sealing industry $6.6 million (CAD) annually. Given that the landed value of the Canadian seal hunt last year was less than $7 million, the implications are enormous.

With this ban, the EU joins the United States (which outlawed seal products in 1972) and Mexico and Croatia, which ended the trade in 2006. Soon there will be nowhere left to trade the products of cruel commercial seal slaughters, and seals will be worth more alive than dead.

Seals' lives have already been saved. Just the promise of an EU ban was enough to drive this year's price for seal fur down to $15 (CAD) per skin—a decline of 86 percent since 2006.

As a result, many sealers stayed home. Out of Canada’s quota of 338,200 seals, fewer than 60,000 have been killed to date. By the regulated closing date of the seal hunt—May 15—it is likely more than a quarter of a million baby seals will have been spared a horrible fate.

Now that the EU has banned its trade in seal products, countless more seals will live their lives in peace from this year forward.

What’s Next?

We must remain vigilant. With generous government subsidies, the Canadian sealing industry may soon develop new markets for seal products. We must ensure that other nations follow the example set by the EU. The ProtectSeals campaign is working in several key countries already to ensure that there is nowhere left for the Canadian sealing industry to market its products.

To provide an economic incentive for the government to act, a global boycott of Canadian seafood products was launched in the U.S. in 2005. Since that boycott began, the Canadian fishing industry has suffered a $750 million (CAD) drop in the value of snow crab exports alone to the United States.

Now we are expanding the campaign to European Union, and I believe the Canadian government will soon take action to protect the fishing industry by ending the seal hunt forever. If you haven't joined the boycott, please sign on now.

The only way to permanently end Canada’s commercial seal slaughter is for the Canadian government to pass a strong law prohibiting commercial seal hunting. Senator Mac Harb has introduced such a ban, but no other senator has been brave enough yet to step forward and support it.

We are working hard in Canada to turn public opposition to the seal hunt into political action. The overwhelming majority of Canadians want the slaughter to stop, and it is time for the government to take action.

There is still much work to do, but we should all take a moment to celebrate this historic achievement. We have won this victory as a movement, and it is one we will remember for decades to come.

I am grateful to the European Union for rejecting cruelty, and I am grateful for everyone who has worked so very hard to make this day possible. The seals could not ask for stronger allies.

Rebecca Aldworth is Director of Humane Society International Canada (HSI Canada). For the past decade, she has been a firsthand observer of Canada's commercial seal hunt, escorting more than 100 scientists, parliamentarians and journalists to the ice floes to witness the slaughter.

Wednesday, 22 April 2009

London Deer Saved! Thank you!!!

After seven long months of fighting to protect the London deer, City Council voted unanimously not to proceed with the killing of all but 8 deer who frequent the Sifton Bog. THANK YOU all who spoke out to protect the deer! The London Free Press article below summarzies the result.

Thank you!
Liz White, Director


Deer dodge bullet once again

LONDON CITY HALL: Council has rejected killing deer this fall in Sifton Bog pending a report due in February


London city council has rejected the killing of deer this fall in Sifton Bog, voting unanimously last night to delay consideration of a cull until the results of a key study are completed next February.

"I don't want London to become the first city in Canada to support a deer hunt," Controller Gina Barber said. "It's a great day, indeed."

A week ago Barber was on the losing side of a vote as four politicians on the city's environment and transportation committee recommended a cull in the fall.

The majority argued any delay could irreparably harm the bog.

But much has changed in the past seven days:

- Though neighbours of the bog and some environmentalists lobbied for a cull, politicians were deluged by those opposing the kill, with more than 400 people signing a petition submitted yesterday.

- The city ecologist said she favoured delaying consideration of a cull until a key study is finished and the deer population in the bog is counted in the fall. Last year the numbers dropped by about 30%.

- Politicians who supported a cull went to the city's acting chief administrator to complain about the city ecologist, a tactic criticized inside and outside city hall.

"Needless to say, this has become a very emotional, explosive and sensitive issue on both sides," Coun. Paul Hubert said.

The bog is in Hubert's backyard and ward, where the deer have long been a source of complaints by neighbours.

But for Mayor Anne Marie DeCicco-Best, the issue was one so controversial it shouldn't be considered until all the evidence was in on the harm caused by deer to the bog.

"We should . . . do our homework," said the mayor, whose proposal for a delay was then backed by all of council.

For most of the past century it has been people, not deer, who have posed a threat to a bog that environmentalists say is an ecological treasure and rarity in Southern Ontario.

People drained the bog, flooded it, stripped its peat, cut its black spruce for Christmas trees, surrounded it with development and gravel pits and planted an invasive plant that is likely its biggest threat, buckthorn.

It has only been the past decade those protecting the bog turned their focus to deer. Though a citizens' committee and city staff once recommended a cull, council has not gone that route.
Yesterday's recommended delay included some more immediate elements.

The city will ask Ontario's Natural Resources Ministry for permission to consider options beyond a cull that aren't allowed without ministry approval, such as sterilizing deer or trying to drive them out of the bog and erect a tall fence with space underneath for smaller animals.

Tuesday, 7 April 2009

Government needs to Audit Horse Slaughter Plants!

CHDC Calls for Audit of Horse Slaughter Operations After Plant Shut Down Over Food Safety Concerns

REGINA, April 7 /CNW/ - With the news that the Natural Meat Company (formerly Natural Valley Farms) in Neudorf, Saskatchewan has been shut down by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) for food safety concerns, the Canadian Horse Defence Coalition (CHDC) is calling for a complete audit of Canada's remaining horse slaughter operations by the CFIA.

Graphic evidence of animal welfare violations was documented at Natural Valley Farms in April and May 2008 and aired to the public a month later. At the time, government officials made repeated assurances regarding the plant's operations.

Over six months later, the CFIA quietly ordered the plant closed citing food safety concerns.

"Despite the attention given to this operation, this action shows that there are major problems in Neudorf and quite possibly elsewhere," said Sinikka Crosland, CHDC's Executive Director. "Only a full audit can begin to deal with the real concerns that the public has with Canadian horse slaughter operations."

"This is exactly the kind of problem that arose in the United States and the reason, along with concerns associated with inhumane treatment, that saw the US close every single one of its slaughter houses," added Ms. Crosland.

For further information: Sinikka Crosland, CHDC, (250) 768-4803 or visit www.defendhorsescanada.org

Monday, 6 April 2009

Great News for Horses!

Natural Meat Company Shuts Down

We are pleased to inform you that Natural Meat Company (formerly Natural Valley Farms) in Neudorf, Saskatchewan, closed its doors in mid-February. No more horses are being slaughtered in that facility!

According to the Director of Parliamentary Affairs for Canada, Natural Meat Company was shut down by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency for food safety concerns. At this time we are attempting to clarify details surrounding the closure.

Graphic evidence of animal welfare violations was documented at Natural Valley Farms in April/May 2008. This footage was released to CHDC by undercover investigators, and the concerns were aired on CBC's No Country for Horses the following month: http://www.cbc.ca/national/blog/special_feature/no_country_for_horses/no_country_for_horses.html .

In September 2008, CHDC Western Region Director, Twyla Francois, filmed horse blood from the slaughter plant being illegally dumped on the banks of a nearby river: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=udbD6OeiUBY .

Further Good News from the U.S.

On April 3, 2009, the governor of Montana issued an amendatory veto on a bill that had already been passed by the Montana House and the Senate and simply needed an official signature. That bill was intended to stop any citizen from launching a lawsuit that might prevent a horse slaughterhouse from being built in the state. On April 2, 2009, CHDC had assisted U.S. horse defenders by supplying proof of the closure of Natural Meat Company for food safety reasons. This evidence then found its way into the hands of the governor. As a result of the veto, the amended bill will now go back to the legislature for consideration, thus opening up an opportunity for debate. With such strong evidence of food safety and environmental concerns, to say nothing of animal welfare violations that are inherent in the horse slaughter industry, it is clear that step-by-step progress for the horses is being made.

We applaud the Equine Welfare Alliance for serving as an intermediary between our efforts and the many wonderful grass roots groups involved in the state and federal initiatives in the U.S.

Remember the Horses

In order to commemorate the lives lost in Neudorf and to pay homage to the suffering that occurred there, we plan to visit the massive horse graveyard on site--resting place for former pets, race horses, rodeo horses, and other unfortunate animals who, one way or another, were sent to a fate that none should ever have to endure.

Anyone wishing to submit a poem, blessing or memorial message for this occasion can e-mail it to Twyla Francois by April 8, 2009: twyla.1@mts.net . Your tribute to the horses will be placed where their remains lie...and where each strong and graceful spirit moved forth...away from the pain, away from the crippling fear, and away from the betrayal of trust that marked this final and brutal interaction with humankind.

But no matter what has gone before, horses continue to have friends...in all of us who defend them. And our numbers are growing.

May the equine spirit be the wind beneath our wings until slaughter is ended forever.

Canadian Horse Defence Coalition
P.O. Box 26097
Westbank, B.C.
V4T 2G3
Ph/fax: 250-768-4803

Monday, 30 March 2009

TRACS granted contract to save Kelowa rabbits

Sinikka Crosland is one of our wonderful Board Members, doing all she can for the animals of BC. Visit www.tracs-bc.ca for more information.

Greak work, Sinikka!


TRACS clear for rabbit rescue -- March 27, 2009

Kelowna‘s remaining feral rabbits should be caged, sterilized and cared for, rather than killed, city council will hear Monday. Staff recommend an $11,550, one-year contract be awarded to The Society for Responsible Animal Care, a volunteer-group that‘s been highly critical of a city contractor‘s effort to kill hundreds of rabbits.

“This is wonderful news that has been a long time coming,” TRACS executive director Sinnika Crosland said Thursday. “I‘m really happy the city is giving us the chance to get involved in this way. There aren‘t many of the bunnies left now, but if we get this contract we‘ll do what we can to save them.”

The money can only be used for the “monitoring and control” of the rabbits, according to a city tendering document circulated to nine contractors and groups. TRACS was the only one to submit a proposal. What the condition means, in practise, is that TRACS can only use the money to sterilize any rabbits its volunteers are able to trap. The money cannot be used for the ongoing feeding of the animals. With sterilization costs of about $70 per animal, TRACS could use the $11,550 to neuter or spay about 165 rabbits. Estimates of the remaining wild rabbit population vary from two dozen to about 100. TRACS volunteers intend to trap the remaining animals, have vets sterilize them, then place them either in foster homes or in secure pens. To deal with the burgeoning population of wild rabbits last year, most of which were concentrated along Enterprise Way, the city awarded a contract to EBB Environmental Consulting. The company killed hundreds of rabbits, sparking protests from animal rights groups. Meanwhile, volunteers with TRACS were also out capturing rabbits, caging about 450 of them. The group raised about $30,000 in donations to help cover the cost of sterilizing the animals, and putting them in foster homes or pens. The contract to be considered Monday includes a provision that city staff be satisfied the rabbit problem is abating. If municipal officials believe the rabbit population is on the increase, the contract with TRACS could be cancelled.

If city council awards the one-year contract to TRACS, the group will appeal for more volunteers to help out with the caging of and caring for the rabbits, Crosland said.

“We‘ve had a consistent group of about eight volunteers, but with the weather improving and the nights getting longer, I hope the numbers will go up,” she said.



Monday, 16 March 2009

Thank you! (and Horse update)

BIG THANKS to everyone who came to our office to be a part of our "visual petition" to save the seals. We had a great turnout, and it was so nice to meet and chat with you all. Thanks also to those who were at the Yonge/Dundas Square demo. While Liz and I were here at the office, it sounds like it was a well-organized and well-attended event.

It's not too late to send letters to the European Parliament. Harpseals has great information and contacts listed on their website (click on link below).


As well, please send comments to Diana Wallis (click on link below).


AND finally, on March 11, an MP called for a ban on horse slaughter (see below).


PARLIAMENT HILL – David Tilson, Member of Parliament for Dufferin-Caledon, rose in the House of Commons today to table a petition calling for a ban on the slaughter of horses and on their export for the same purpose.

When asked about the petition, Tilson said, “This is an issue of deep concern for many of my constituents – not just those who own horses, but also those who recognize that horses occupy a special place in our heritage and are an important source of companionship for a large number of Canadians.”

The petition, signed by hundreds of residents of Dufferin County, notes that horse slaughter is not humane euthanasia, and that a majority of Canadians do not eat horse meat and do not breed horses for consumption. The petition also highlights the horse industry's significant contribution to the economy, supplying millions in revenue for local farms and stables and providing thousands of jobs in Canada.

Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Help Stop the Commercial Seal Hunt

This Saturday, March 14th, a rally is being planned in Toronto by the International Fund for Animal Welfare, Zoocheck and other animal welfare groups as part of the International Day of Action Against the Commercial Seal Hunt.

Join with local environmental and animal protection advocates in your area and across the country and register your opposition to Canada's annual slaughter of harp and hooded seals, set to get started in just a few weeks.

Toronto Anti-Seal Hunt Rally
March 14th, 2009
1:45 - 3:00 pm
Yonge & Dundas Square
Facebook event page
RSVP Contact: Ellie Dickson, edickson@ifaw.org

The 'Harper Seals' band will be performing for 30 minutes as a way to raise awareness about the commercial seal hunt. Songs include 'Do you really want to hurt me' and 'Staying alive'. So bring your friends and family, make your own posters and signs and come out to the event to have your voice heard!

To find the most up-to-date information on the event being planned for your area as well as other events being organized across the country visit the website of the International Fund for Animal Welfare. Interested in knowing who else in your area is participating? Each event has its own page on Facebook.

Animal Alliance of Canada will be at the rally with a video camera for those who'd like to record a personal message of opposition to the seal hunt. These video messages will be sent to Members of the European Parliament who will be voting next month on a resolution which could ban all harp and hooded seal products from Canada. If you are unable to attend the rally on Saturday, you can schedule a time to be videotaped at Animal Alliance of Canada's office at 221 Broadview Avenue anytime between 10am - 7pm this Saturday or Sunday by contacting Lia at 416-462-9591x 24 or email lia@animalalliance.ca.

The World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) supports the efforts of those groups that are working to end Canada's commercial seal hunt, on the grounds that the hunt, as it's being conducted, is exceedingly cruel and unnecessary.

This message was sent by:
World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA)
90 Eglinton Avenue East, Suite 960 Toronto, Ontario, M4P 2Y3, Canada

Tuesday, 3 March 2009

Project Jessie - Sad News and Happy News

Sad news - and we could really use your help.

Monday, February 23rd, 2009

Although we are always careful as to how we spend our dollars, this program has never been focused solely on the costs. For example, we have never euthanized an animal in the program solely because the vetting costs were going to be high. We have never refused to help an animal that we knew would cost us money because they needed extra help – dental work, medications, extra vetting etc.

This past week was a shocker. Cameo came into our program from a high kill shelter that would have sent her to research, or killed her using gas. She would have spent her last days either in a lab, or gasping out the last moments of her life with burning lungs.

She was a young dog, just over a year old, and seemed to be in good spirits and in good health. She spent a few fine days at her foster home and everything seemed to be going well. She was eating well, loved going for walks, and was playful and silly with the other dogs when the mood struck.

She went to the vet for the same treatment that all Project Jessie dogs undergo – an over all examination, basic bloodwork, spaying, vaccinations and microchipping.

Everything looked good – until the vet actually had her on the table and made the first incision.

Cameo stopped breathing.

Not sure what was happening, the vet manually breathing for her, they took an x-ray and found something astonishing. Cameo had been brutally traumatized at some point – her diaphragm was ruptured and most of her abdominal organs were up inside her ribcage instead of where they belonged. Her liver was wrapped up and over her heart.

This was a major issue. We either needed to euthanize her on the spot – or try and perform heroic surgery on her. Because she was young and very sweet, we felt she deserved a chance.

Two vets spent the next 4 hours putting everything back into place, and repairing the damages. Based on the type of injury and the fact that healing had started to take place (for example her liver was adhering – starting to grow attached to her heart), it was surmised that she was likely hit by a car or had some similar type of blunt force trauma happen to her 3 or 4 months previously.

She did well – seeming to recover well from the anesthetic and going on the next day to eat, get up and wander a bit, and to follow the vet outside for a bathroom break. In fact she had just had a little wander, had come back to her bed to rest and about 20 minutes later – she suddenly and quietly died. We were all devastated.

Despite everyone’s best efforts, poor Cameo wasn’t strong enough to make it. She is a perfect example of the types of sad surprises we encounter when dealing with animals. There was no indication that anything was amiss, and no indication that she would be such an expensive girl. Despite very deep discounts that our vet gave to us, her bill was almost $4000.

Should we have spend that much money on one dog when we could have covered routine costs for probably 20 other Project Jessie animals with the same money? If my crystal ball was working and I knew that she wouldn’t make it – obviously I wouldn’t have put her through the long surgery. It would have been kinder to let her go.

But we didn’t know. We didn’t know she was damaged before she came in and we didn’t know that the surgery wouldn’t work. She was already in the program, and we had already made the commitment to help her be healthy and adoptable and to find her a home.

How could we not try?

Unfortunately, it didn’t work, and unfortunately we now have a big vet bill that needs paying. I don’t normally ask for money in this newsletter, but I am asking today.

I know that times are tough for everyone. We are already seeing a slow down in adoptions and hearing from people who are giving up their animal companions because of the economy.

If everyone reading this message would consider donating a mere $10 we would more than cover Cameo’s bill – as well as the other Project Jessie animals.

We rescued dear Aldwin – a very sweet senior shihtzu just a couple of months ago and his vet needs amounted to about $1200. The beautiful Himalayan with the strange bump on her nose needed it removed because it was cancerous. Her bill was $500. A lovely little American Eskimo came in 2 weeks ago. Although he was already neutered, he needed 23 rotten teeth removed and his bill came to $400.

Although most of the animals that come into our program only need the basics (spay/neuter, vaccinations, microchipping) every little “extra” needs to be covered by donations. Yes, we do charge an adoption fee. But in most cases, it does not fully cover the vet bill. We rely on compassionate people like you, who believe that these animals deserve to have a second chance at a nice life.

You can make a one-time donation online using our secure server via the website https://wwws.vex.net/aac/jessieform.py or by mailing a cheque, or credit card info to the main office 221 Broadview Ave., Suite 101, Toronto, ON M4M 2G3 or please consider becoming a monthly donor.

Every little bit helps so much!

Thank you for caring, and for helping us to help the animals!


For more information about the program, please visit www.ProjectJessie.ca Thank you!!!


Thank YOU!!!

Animal Alliance supporters are the very best!

Thank you so, so much for your help! Donations big and small have been coming in and as of this morning we have covered Cameo's bill.

I am so grateful to all of you. Thank you from the very bottom of my heart!

Although the financial support was much needed and VERY appreciated, I was also incredibly touched by the kind words of support and love that were included as well.

This type of work can be emotionally draining, and you can feel like you are slogging away and no one notices. It is SO nice that you would take the time to write such wonderful and supportive messages. It really means a lot to know that you are all out there quietly supporting us, and thinking about the animals.

Thank you!!!

Thank you for caring, and for helping us to help the animals!


For more information about the program, please visit www.ProjectJessie.ca Thank you!!!

Monday, 19 January 2009

Take the New Year's Pledge to Go Cruelty-free!

Well, another year has passed and a new one has just begun. However, it’s never too late to make a pledge to go cruelty-free!

We are asking you to add your voice to the growing list of North American consumers who have pledged to purchase products that are cruelty-free. The Pledge was initiated by the Coalition for Consumer Information on Cosmetics’ (CCIC) - a collection of animal protection groups that have come together to establish a clear and concise definition for “cruelty-free” and “not tested on animals”- .

Animal Alliance is proud to be an international partner of the CCIC, and as such, we are encouraging our supporters, friends and compassionate consumers to take the Pledge by clicking on the banner below.

The CCIC’s Leaping Bunny Program is the only internationally recognized certification program that ensures that manufacturers of cosmetic, household and personal care products are TRULY free of animal tests. Tests like the Draize and other skin irritancy tests are becoming obsolete as companies have bend to consumer pressure and found ways to test the safety of their products without the use of animals.

The CCIC website is a great resource for compassionate shoppers who want to purchase cruelty-free products. Over 200 companies, including over 12 Canadian manufacturers, have been certified by the CCIC and the list is constantly updated as more companies become certified. For a list of Canadian companies that are on the CCIC’s list, please visit our website.

Please ask your friends, family and co-workers to sign the pledge.
TOGETHER WE CAN... make a difference for the thousands of animals who are needlessly suffering in laboratories.

Look for Leaping Bunny Logo when shopping.

Thank you!

Wednesday, 7 January 2009

Calm Before the Storm

Things are getting back to normal, whatever "normal" is around here. The office was "closed" for a couple weeks at the end of December, but we were still here for Cajun and Spice and to receive the mail. Now we're back to our regular schedule, and it's quiet, relatively speaking. I have a bad feeling this is the calm before the storm.

We're preparing for our upcoming annual audits -- our regular audits, not political party campaign audits -- and I'm certain that we'll soon be inundated with calls about cats, once all this snow melts.

In December, my colleague Jacqui attended a feral cat meeting at which she learned about the North American stray / feral cat situation. Our neighbours to the south have a very different way of handling the issue: they run highly organized, large scale "Trap, Fix, Return" days during which large numbers of cats are sterilized simultaneously. It's impressive, and one would think this would make a greater impact on the stray cat population, but their hard work has about the same results as the Toronto method of independant groups / people catching and steralizing one cat at a time.

We still advocate for the implementation of the techniques employed by the city of Calgary, which has the best run animal services program in North America, if not the world. To date no municipality has heeded our advice, and, to date, no municipality has cared for their city animals as well as Calgary. There are solutions to help these animals -- it's just a matter of finding city councils willing to listen and to act in the best interests of the animals.

If anyone has the time to talk to their city councillors about this issue, PLEASE speak up, on behalf of the animals. For more information on Calgary Animal Services, please click on the following link.