Thursday, 20 October 2011


Thanks to our wonderful supporters, we have GREAT NEWS!!!

When we rescued 32 sheep from the University of Guelph, we rented a barn to house them.  The sheep shared the barn with 8 bulls and 1 cow, owned by an absentee farmer and destined for slaughter.  Back in July, we e-mailed our supporters, asking for help finding a farm sanctuary for these nine cattle.

The cattle lived ankle deep in their own feces and were without clean water.  Siobhan Poole, of Cedar Row Farm Sanctuary, who was taking care of our sheep, was devastated by their condition and began to care for the poor guys.  She fell in love with these nine gentle giants and could not face their fate.  So we worked together to find them homes.

On October 14, our nine beloved cows and the final five sheep were moved to their permanent loving home, the Wishing Well Sanctuary, run by Brenda Thomas.  Their journey went smoothly and everyone is doing well.  Brenda is thrilled.  Without her generosity and commitment, this rescue would not have been possible.  And without Siobhan’s tireless work, we could not have saved so many farm animal lives.

Thanks to Jo-Anne McArthur, we have this beautiful photo of one of our boys, Allastair, enjoying his new home.


Lia, Liz and the AAC / AAEVPC crew

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Ontario Elections - Vote Vegan!

For voters in Ontario, you can go cruelty-free and vote Vegan!

The Vegan Environmental Party of Ontario is newly formed and has three candidates running in this election:
Mississauga South - Paul Figueiras

Don Valley West - Rosemary Waigh

Toronto Centre - Harvey Rotenberg
You can visit the Party's facebook page via the link below:

Monday, 19 September 2011

Shop Cruelty-Free!

Cruelty Free Consumer officially launched and is now open for business!

Shop with peace of mind by visiting

Thursday, 8 September 2011

Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources Killing Habitats

Peaceful Parks Coalition

For Immediate Release

Ontario Election - Honesty Press Release

McGuinty issues carte blanche exemptions to the ‘Endangered Species Act 2007.

September 8, 2011 Toronto, Ontario:  Since Dalton McGuinty plopped Linda Jeffrey into the chair of Minister of Natural Resources in 2010, there have been two hundred and fifty five (255) permits issued to contravene the ‘Endangered Species Act 2007’.  An unprecedented number compared to her predecessor who issued twelve (12) in two years.  

On April 8, 2010, the McGuinty govt. issued two carte blanche exemptions – 1) to eighty-three (83) municipalities in south and central Ontario for infrastructure work, and 2) one hundred and three (103) aggregate companies. (EBR # 010-9526 and EBR # 010-9527) 

Typical individual exemptions include Metrus Development who in March 2010 received a permit to destroy the habitat of the Redside Dace , an endangered fish, to build a school and park as part of a subdivision inBrampton. (EBR # 010-9085)   

“I wonder how those children would feel if they knew their park destroyed the habitat of a species struggling to survive on this planet,” muses AnnaMaria Valastro of Peaceful Parks Coalition.

In April, 2011, the McGuinty government issued a permit to the City of Guelph to destroy a nesting site (an old chimney)  of the threatened Chimney Swift for the purpose of establishing a temporary parking lot and a new library.  (EBR # 010-3168)

“I guess Minister Jeffrey couldn’t figure out how to incorporate an old chimney stack currently being used by Chimney Swifts into the overall design of the temporary parking lot,” speculates Ms Valastro.

The number of species affected from all the exemptions is vast, including species on the brink of extinction such as Jefferson Salamander (endangered), American Ginseng (endangered), Butler’s Gartersnake (endangered), Mudpuppy Mussel (endangered), Redside Dace (endangered), Round Pigtoe (endangered), Eastern Flowering Dogwood (endangered), and so many more.

“This government is reckless with Section 17 (2)(c), a loophole which allows the minister to issue exemption permits,” concludes Valastro.  

“What’s worse, is that on the Environmental Bill of Rights Registry, these exemption notices are listed as an ‘overall benefit’ permit to a species.  So unless a person actually opens and reads the notice, one could conclude that McGuinty is protecting hundreds of species at risk,” says Valastro. 

This couldn’t be further from the truth. 

The McGuinty government is also considering a proposal to exempt the forestry industry, the hydro electric industry and the mining industry from the ‘Endangered Species Act 2007’  as it relates to the protection of Woodland Caribou – a species reliant on ancient forests to survive and whose population is rapidly declining in Ontario.

Monday, 22 August 2011

Enough of this!

Please see below, from the Canadian Wolf Coalition, of which Animal Alliance is a part.
As of mid June this year, wolves in the Cariboo Region of British Columbia have been exposed to even more threats:
Bag limits were removed so that hunters and trappers can kill as many wolves as they want and the hunting and trapping season was extended from 9.5 months to year-round.  This means that wolves can be killed in the summer months when their young are with them and their coats are not even used.  This type of killing is barbaric and senseless.  It must be stopped.  It can, if you will help by speaking out against it.  Demand the BC government stop this unnecessary killing.
Recent government cuts to the Predator Prevention and Compensation Program have lead to badly informed ranchers taking things into their own hands at perceived threats from wolves and other predators.  Insufficient government money has been invested in educating ranchers about responsible and predator-friendly husbandry practices, nor the importance of wolves ecologically.  Neither subsidies nor incentives have been provided (such as guardian dog grant programs, or rebates for electric fencing).   This is contrary the help ranchers receive when protecting crops from ungulates such as deer and elk feeding on them. 
It is within this same region, wildlife management unit five, that wolves are being experimentally sterilized and killed in government-hired trap-lines in the name of mountain caribou recovery.  This year, the government plans to kill fifteen wolves and sterilize another ten in a very small portion of region five called the Quesnell Highlands.  Everywhere surrounding is now OPEN SEASON UNFAIR GAME – BAITING IS ALLOWED AND WOLVES WITH PUPS CAN BE KILLED.  Apparently current decision makers do not know about the social bonds that wolf families share, nor that indiscriminate killing of wolves as a reaction to conflicts with livestock does NOT HELP the situation for livestock producers, as decades of wolf and coyote bounties across North America have proven.
Please let these officials know.  Send an e-mail to the following decision makers to tell them that their regulations for killing wolves are shameful and need to be improved.  In this Decade of Biodiversity wolves play an important role within ecosystems and should be protected and preserved in their most natural form.

SAMPLE LETTER : cut and paste.  ADD YOUR OWN COMMENTS and edit to make it personal and have more IMPACT!
The Honourable Steve Thomson, BC Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resources

The Honourable Terry Lake, BC Minister of Environment

The Honourable Don McRae, Minister of Agriculture and Lands

Dear Minister:
I am writing to let you know that I am against the recent decision to extend hunting seasons and remove bag limits for wolves in region five for the purposes of the livestock sector.  Killing wolves indiscriminately is not the solution!  This can lead to problems at the ecological level as well as continued conflicts with livestock and thus producers.  Funding is required for education about prevention of livestock-wildlife conflict and this needs to be a priority.  Please ensure that this goal of funding and education is undertaken as soon as possible.
Please stop the needless killing of wolves.  These animals are highly intelligent and social, and they have a right to live fearlessly in what portions of British Columbia and Canada remain wild enough to support them within an ecosystem.  In this Decade of Biodiversity please protect more habitat for wolves and other wildlife, and ensure that our province maintains large predators such as wolves as a part of our culture and natural heritage.  As resource extraction claims more nature each day, please ensure that protected wilderness areas are created large enough for several wolf packs to survive unthreatened by humans.
I also raise that you put an immediate end to the Wolf Sterilization and Removal Experiment in the name of mountain caribou recovery in this same region.  The war zone atmosphere you are creating for these animals is unnecessary and cruel.  I would hope that wildlife management in British Columbia would be more responsible, as what remains is precious from a global perspective.
Please let me know that you will update these practices to include moral principles and wildlife stewardship.

Coordinator, Canadian Wolf Coalition

Friday, 5 August 2011

Animal Lib

Our detractors often argue that we work to protect only the cute and cuddly animals.

Just for the record, today we liberated two adolescent cockroaches (who probably ran back inside the office through some crack in the building).  We live as gently as possible and do not draw the line at "vermin".  We are not speciesist.

If I sound a little jadded, it's because it has been that kind of week, with all kinds of calls from people wanting to give up cats, for a whole variety of reasons (all of which we've heard before).  I better stop before I rant.

Have a wonderful compassion-filled weekend, everyone!  I will do my best to extend my compassion to my fellow man.
Lia and the AAC crew

Monday, 25 July 2011

Heat Advisory for Animals

Are your cat's or dog's gums suddenly bright red? Is the animal lethargic? Is she panting excessively, even when the temperature is cooler? These could be signs of heat stroke, a potentially fatal condition, says the Animal Protection League of New Jersey, and you should bring your cat or dog to the veterinarian immediately.

Even before bringing your animal to the veterinarian, your immediate goal is to cool the animal down. Place the animal in tub of cool water (not cold), wrap her in cool, wet towels, ice-packs, or simply use the hose to bring down body temperature. Take your animal immediately to the veterinarian in an air-conditioned car.

Never leave companion animals outside or in enclosures on hot days, and provide cold, fresh water at all times. Dogs, cats, rabbits, and all other animals are all susceptible to heat stroke.

Never leave your dog or cat unattended in a parked car. If you see a dog or cat in a parked car, enter the closest store and ask that the owner of the car be paged. If the animal is obviously under duress, immediately call the local police because it's against the law to leave an animal in a car in extreme heat.
 In a relatively mild 85-degree day, it takes only 10 minutes for the interior of a car to reach 102 degrees-and within 30 minutes, the inside of the car can be a staggering 120 degrees. New Jersey is under an extreme heat wave, where the temperature is reaching 100 and above and cars can get much hotter and quicker.

Leaving car windows open a few inches does not help. Dogs cool down mostly by panting and the car can become an inferno with the addition of hot panting breath. In only a short amount of time a dog with a high body temperature can suffer critical damage to his nervous system, heart, liver and brain, resulting in death.

For more information about Animal Protection League of New Jersey and our programs, please visit

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Sheep Moving!

This weekend, Liz will be delivering six more sheep to their new permanent home in Kingston.  Yay!  We knew that getting all 30 sheep into sanctuaries would take some time, but now that most of them are in homes and this process is winding down, it's a bitter-sweet feeling.

So four more sheep are scheduled to go to their new home in August, leaving the last three guys for a final lucky adopter.

One home that adopted two sheep decided to adopt two more.  Apparently the reunion was quite a sight!  The boys ran to each other and chatted up a storm (awwww!).  The new arrivals got a guided tour of their new home and seemed to have no difficulty adjusting to their new environment.  Next time we'll have to try to capture that on video!

Tail wags,
Lia and the AAC crew

Monday, 4 July 2011

Project Jessie Shelter Challenge

A New Shelter Challenge Starts Today

Thank you for voting!

The few challenges ago, because of YOU Project Jessie came in first place (for Canada) in this challenge and won $1000. Last challenge we came in third.

Perhaps we can try to push for first again?

If you are going to vote from multiple sites, you do need to "setup" each page once.

Search under "Project Jessie", city "Caledon" "ON" just like you did the first time, but after that, it will take you back to "the shelter you last voted for".

If you keep this email, you can click from any of the links below every day. You can vote up to 17 times a day if you have the time - I REALLY appreciate it!

And feel free to pass this email along to friends and family.

Thank you SO MUCH for your help!!!

Shelly and crew =^..^=

These are all the places where you can go EVERY DAY to vote !!!

Thursday, 30 June 2011

Pound Seizure - tonight at 6pm on Global

A little while back, 13-year-old Brittney Johnston contacted us, wanting to know more about Pound Seizure. She and her friend, Ines, made a documentary for their class project and did a fantastic job. You can view their documentary by clicking on the following link.

As a result, Liz, Brittney and Ines are going to be on Global News tonight at 6pm. Please tune in if you can!

Brittney will be joining us this summer, volunteering her time for the animals by making more documentaries on a variety of issues. We can't wait to have her as part of our team!

Have a safe and wonderful long weekend everyone!

Tail wags,
Lia and the AAC / AAEV crew

Monday, 20 June 2011

This is Ziggy.

He needs a home.

Ziggy is a 1 year old orange tabby. He has been neutered, viral tested (negative), been dewormed and is up to date on shots.

Ziggy would do very, very well in a loving home where he's the only cat, or possibly with one other cat. He's a sweet, affectionate cat who loves having his head rubbed. Because of his rough start in life (he spent all of his kitten hood living outside) he just needs time to feel warm, secure and loved so he can trust his new family completely and relax enough to be the sweet kitty he is inside.

With the right environment and lots of love, Ziggy would make a loving companion for someone.

Please e-mail / call us today if you would like to know more about Ziggy.
On his behalf, thank you!
Meow for now,
Lia and the AAC crew

Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Hello Veggie Lovers and Animal Lovers Friends!

Reminder that the Second Annual Joyful "Toronto Veggie Pride Parade” is this upcoming Saturday, June 4th, 2011! We will be meeting/starting on Asquith Avenue (one street north of Bloor) at 11:30am, and then at 12pm we will begin marching south on Yonge Street, all the way to Queen Street and then finishing the parade portion of the TVPP over at Trinity Square for a post-parade event with entertainment, guest speakers, and vegan food!

If you loved last year's 1st Annual Toronto Veggie Pride Parade event (first ever in Canada), then you'll love this year's 2nd Annual TVPP, as it will be even bigger and better than last year's event. Just like last year, our vibrant, Kimberly Carroll, TV Host, will be our Parade MC (and post-parade event MC), leading the joyful parade down Yonge Street.

The Toronto Veggie Pride Parade is for Everyone, so whether you're a veggie (vegan or vegetarian), or a closet wanna-be veggie, or veggie-friendly - YOU ARE ALL MOST WELCOME TO ATTEND THE PARADE, and help us celebrate the "Veggie Lifestyle"! Come and see how diverse and desirable the Veggie Diet/Lifestyle IS! :)

Just like last year it will be a joyful, fun, family-friendly, diverse, and inclusive event that is welcoming to ALL, yet still great, meaningful, diplomatic vegan advocacy! :)

We are a 'real parade', with a float and all, that just happens to be a parade with a social justice cause attached.

For more details please check out our website!

It would be very helpful if you were able to cross-post this email and/or cross-post our attached promotional poster. On our website we also have multilingual posters. And if you are able to print off our poster and post it around town too, then that would be super helpful!

Thank you!

Holly :) on behalf of the Toronto Veggie Pride Parade Directors

Monday, 16 May 2011

Show your Veggie pride!

Hello Everyone

We are super excited to be hosting the 2nd annual Veggie Pride Parade on June 4th. This is our chance to show the world what a vibrant, fun, caring, environmentally conscious group of people the Veg community is. PLEASE JOIN US. Last year we had 300 people in attendance, this year we want double, triple or quadruple that. This is going to be fun day so put on your best costume (we will be giving our prizes for best costumes) or come as you are. You are welcome to bring along your four-legged creatures to march along in the parade. If you feel you are unable to walk the distance of the parade we can find you a ride in one of the parade vehicles.

The parade starts at 12pm on Saturday, June 4th. Further info can be found at

Also, we are sending out a plea for donations for the Veggie Pride Parade. We still need to raise a significant amount of money to cover the many cost.

As most of you know, we are holding the Second Annual Toronto Veggie Pride Parade Saturday, June, 4, 2011. The Toronto Veggie Pride Parade (TVPP) is a non-profit, all volunteer event. All participants, including performers and speakers, are there on a strictly unpaid volunteer basis. However, the parade is an official legal event and as such has significant fees for permits, rentals and other professional fees. The parade can only take place and be a success for the celebration and outreach for the veg lifestyle with the financial support of the veg community.

If you are able to make a monetary donation towards the TVPP, then we'd be very grateful! :) You can donate by going on to our website and making a contribution via our Pay Pal System (, or if you prefer then you may also mail a cheque to the TVPP at our mailing address which is:

Toronto Veggie Pride Parade
c/o Panacea,
588 Bloor Street West,
Toronto, Ontario, M6G 1K4

Thank you very much in advance for your support. :)

The TVPP planning committee

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

3 Minutes to Help 3 Elephants!

From Zoocheck Canada


Please get involved & voice your opinion ASAP!

On May 12, 2011, the Toronto Zoo Board of Management will be considering the future of elephants at the Toronto Zoo.

In 2008, the Toronto Zoo conducted a feasibility study that looked at how their existing elephant exhibit could be upgraded and improved. In 2010, they hired a company called Lord Cultural Resources to look at other aspects of the elephant issue. The Lord study is complete and their report has been forwarded to the Zoo. It has not yet been released publicly.

It's no secret that Zoocheck Canada has been critical of keeping elephants in cold climates and that we think the Toronto Zoo elephants should be moved. But taking that position should not be seen as an attack on the Toronto Zoo. It's not. In actual fact, many zoo supporters, including the zoo's former Executive Director of Support Services, who accompanied the first shipment of Toronto Zoo elephants from Africa back in the 1980s, no longer believe Toronto is an appropriate place for elephants.

In a nutshell, here's why we think the elephants should be moved:

  • Toronto's climate is too cold, forcing the elephants indoors for significant periods of time;
  • The indoor elephant enclosure is outdated, small and needs refurbished;
  • The outdoor elephant yard is less than 1 hectare (2.4 acres) in size, devoid of pasture and other living vegetation and lacks significant structural enhancements and furnishings to keep the elephants mentally and physically stimulated;
  • Even if the outdoor exhibit was expanded, there is no way to mitigate the climate issue (there is some talk of heated stations in the exhibit, but these are a stopgap measure- the entire outdoor space should be elephant-friendly);
  • Out of 10 elephants at the Toronto Zoo, seven died before reaching old age (the two oldest were middle aged at 40, the youngest was just several days old);
  • Records show the elephants have suffered from a variety of infections and are displaying abnormal stereotypic behaviours;
  • Expanding the exhibit (reportedly to just a few acres in size) will cost an estimated $40 million or more - funds the zoo does not have;
  • According to a 2010 study conducted by Zoocheck, visitors spend less than 2 minutes looking at the elephants (a result similar to studies in other zoos), too short a time for any positive educational impact;
  • Other urban zoos that have phased out their elephant displays did not experience a downturn in visitor numbers, and some actually experienced an increase (a Toronto Zoo visitor survey said 85% of people would return to the zoo if there were no elephants);
  • The Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) and other zoo and elephant organizations all agree there is no need or intention to breed elephants for reintroduction to the wild, as this will not address the problems that wild elephant populations face;
  • The Performing Animal Welfare Sanctuary in northern California has offered the elephants a permanent home, with hundreds of acres to roam, at no cost to the Toronto Zoo.  
It seems the Toronto Zoo has three options:

1) Keep elephants and spend millions of dollars upgrading their existing exhibit and, at some point, expanding it (estimated at upwards of $40 million - funds they do not have);

2) Relocate the elephants to a more elephant-friendly facility in a warmer climate and use the vacated space to expand and enhance the living situation for other species in the Africa section of the zoo;

3) Relocate the elephants and replace with an interactive, high technology Elephant Learning Center, a stand alone facility of displays, actitivies and experiences for both kids and adults.
Zoocheck Canada is pushing Option 3. We believe that by following through on it the Toronto Zoo has an opportunity to move forward in an exciting new direction that will not only be good for the zoo and the animals, it will better fulfill the zoo's educational mandate and save money at the same time. To see our proposal for an alternative display called the ELEPHANT LAByrinth, visit
Please take a few minutes to get involved by politely expressing your opinion about the future of elephants at the Toronto Zoo. Now is the time for your voice to be heard. Please send your opinion and comments to:

Toronto Zoo Board of Management
c/o Dela Ting
City Clerk's Office
Toronto City Hall
2nd Floor, 100 Queen Street West
Toronto, Ontario, M5H 2N2
Fax: (416) 392-1879 / Email:
Please send Zoocheck a copy as well. We'd like to know your views.

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Thank you!!!

We won the Pepsi Challenge!  Thank you all SOOO much!

This money is going to be so great for the animals.  Words really cannot how thankful we are to all of you who support Project Jessie.

If anyone would like to continue voting, The Responsible Animal Care Society (TRACS) in BC is entered in the $25K category.  AAC Board Member Sinikka Crosland is the co-founder of TRACS, a wonderful group doing great things on Canada's west coast.

To help TRACS follow the link below.  THANK YOU!!!

The Responsible Animal Care Society (TRACS)
Visit us on Facebook

Friday, 29 April 2011

We're in 1st!


Project Jessie is in 1st place in the Pepsi Challenge!  With only one more day of voting, we have our fingers crossed that we will be granted $10,000 for the animals in our care.

This money would be used to pay our hefty vet bills and to upgrade some of our primary foster places.

For the past 20 years, Project Jessie has been helping animals thanks to an amazing network of compassionate drivers, veterinarians, and fosters - Project Jessie saves hundreds of animals every year, primarily dogs and cats in pounds that would otherwise send them to research or euthanize them unneccesarily.  Thank you to all of our supporters for making this all possible.

The shortcut to our entry is

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Tail wags and purrs,
Lia, Shelly and the AAC / PJ crew

Monday, 25 April 2011

A Letter is Better

Write to your MP and MPP That You Care About Animal Welfare

If you care about animal welfare and want to improve their lives, write a letter and mail or email your concerns to your federal Member of Parliament and your Member of Provincial Parliament.  We need to educate our political representatives about animal/environmental issues.  Even if you think that the politicians won’t change anything, by writing to them we are letting them know what we care about, and that this is how we decide who we vote for.

It is more effective to write a letter to your MP than it is to hand-sign or e-sign a petition. The problem with a petition is that it may not be directed to the person who has any authority to deal with it, and there is often no assurance that anyone is actually collecting or delivering the signatures. 

Sources in Ottawa admit that at best, a petition might be tabled in the House of Commons, but thereafter, it is often put on the shelf.  The only time signed petitions have a hope of making a difference is if they are part of a larger, highly coordinated and focused strategic plan.

However, when you write your own letter to your MP or MPP, the Minister’s office will write back. The number of letters a Minister receives on any given issue is tallied and lets the Minister know what constituents are concerned about.

In addition to writing to elected officials, it is very effective to donate regularly to a charity, not-for-profit group, or political party that shares your vision, such as the Animal Alliance Environment Voters Party of Canada.  At Animal Alliance, your donation will be used to further the goals of animal welfare with genuine, tangible results that you can actually see over time.

Lynda Spencer

Thursday, 21 April 2011

Concert in Support of Pet-Friendly Homeless Shelter

A few things...

Everyone is invited to attend a meeting of the 'fringe' parties.  Liz will be there, to represent the animals and the environment.  Please feel free to come by and say "Hello!"
Saturday April 23, 2011

Scheduled 2-5 pm

Main Floor Auditorium
Ontario Institute of Studies in Education (OISE)
Downtown Toronto
252 Bloor St. West

For those coming by transit, OISE is at the St. George Subway Stop

Shelly and crew are at the All About Pets Show this weekend, at the International Centre.  Again, please feel free to stop by our booth, chat and meet a few small critters in Project Jessie's care!

And finally, for those who will be in Toronto on May 7, 2011, a concert is being held, with a donation to the Fred Victor Centre, a pet-friendly homeless shelter.

Visit for more info.

Monday, 11 April 2011

Wildlife Rehab in Ontario

By Barry Kent MacKay

A supporter recently wrote about an all-too-familiar problem.  He had an adult raccoon in the attic and called an animal control service.   The company live-trapped the animal in order to relocate it.  But after catching the animal they called back to say “...they had killed the raccoon for no apparent reason.”

I won’t name the company, but I will say that I have had complaints about the same company before.

Then, according to the correspondent, the company called back to say they thought the animal they had killed had babies.   That should have been determined before trapping was even considered.

The writer checked the attic and found six baby raccoons.  He wrote, “This seemed like a very sketchy company from the get go and when my mom had told them that we found the babies and were looking for a  home for them, they immediately came and picked them up (I was not aware of this).  I talked to a good friend who works for the ministry [of natural resources] and she informed me that the babies cannot live without the mother and since the mother was already dead, the babies were killed as well.  I am absolutely furious that they killed the mother knowing it had babies.”

The writer claimed he had “found a place that would have taken care” of the baby raccoons, but that the wildlife control company “...told us that it is illegal to posses these wild animals and that they had to pick them up right away.”

The story illustrates exactly what is wrong in Ontario and with the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources.

The “good friend” who works for the Ministry was wrong.  Orphaned raccoon babies can be raised by humans who are properly trained and equipped to do so, in a manner that allows them to survive in the wild.  The process by which this happens is called “wildlife rehabilitation”, or “wildlife rehab” and it and the knowledge and procedures to do it successfully for raccoons are very well established.  Success, in terms of giving the orphan babies a chance equal to what they would have experienced had their mother been left alone, has been confirmed by research.

Of  course the mother animal should never have been removed, let alone killed, and a reputable service would never have done any of this, seeking first to leave the animals in place for the short time it takes until the mother could tend to the young away from the attic, and then rendering the attic raccoon-proof.

But here is the irony.  In order to qualify for a license to do animal control, you face virtually no restriction, and can pretty much do as you please, and neither the public nor the animals are protected against unscrupulous companies providing bad, and lethal, “service” and lying about it, as well.

But to qualify for a license to do wildlife rehab one must face onerous restrictions and control, some of which seem designed to prevent people from ever wanting to acquire the necessary permit.  Also, some of the restrictions do not allow, in the opinion of many wildlife rehabbers, the best likelihood of the animals surviving.  Many would-be rehabbers have been forced to either quit providing this service, or to go underground, meaning they can’t make their services known, and thus are not known to the public who needs them.   The result of this is that many people who lack proper training and equipment try to raise orphaned animals on their own, often with disastrous results to the animal.  It is illegal to move an animal more than a kilometre from where it was captured so even if the animal control company were to move the animal, it would return.

I am as angry as our correspondent is at the wildlife control company involved, and others who are no better, but to stop them requires better legislation than exists, and that includes laws that support, not oppose, the practice of wildlife rehabilitation, the most important part of which is educating the public about the nature of “problem” animal situations and how to deal with them effectively and humanely.  But mainly I blame Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty and his government for reneging on promises to reform the situation to allow a more balanced approach with wide representation from the wildlife rehab community to address the problems and work out resolutions.   It was a sham, and results in the deaths of animals who could be and should be saved, and in putting the public at risk to the shoddy charlatans who too often inhabit the animal control industry.

Thursday, 7 April 2011

Help Us Help the Horses!

From The Canadian Horse Defence Coalition, of which Animal Alliance is a part.


Election 2011 – what you can do to help horses!

Dear Horse Defenders,

The federal election is just around the corner, and we can use this opportunity to bring the issue of horse slaughter to the forefront.

On behalf of the horses we fight for it is our hope that you would take a few minutes to send the form letter shown below to each of the candidates in your riding. Please feel free to modify it as you see fit.

Your local candidate can be found here:

Please forward any responses you receive to:

Many thanks from the Canadian Horse Defence Coalition

Dear ______________:

With the federal election pending, I would like clarification from you and your Party on an issue that is of great importance to me – the slaughter of horses for human consumption.

My view is that horses are companion animals and, as such, should never be slaughtered as a food item.

The cruelty inflicted upon these animals can be viewed here:

I am also concerned about food safety, as horses are regularly given drugs that are known to be unsafe for human consumption. One of these drugs, Phenylbutazone, is strictly prohibited and should never have been administered to horses that are to be slaughtered for meat. In addition, virtually every dewormer or other equine medication has a warning printed on the label, “Not for use in food animals”. These concerns should be reason enough to ban the slaughter of horses in Canada.

As you may know, Bill C-544 was tabled by MP Alex Atamanenko in June 2010. This bill called for an outright ban on the import and export of horsemeat as well as the live export of horses for human consumption:

As a voter and a concerned citizen, I would like to hear from you regarding your views on horse slaughter.
 Thank you. I look forward to hearing from you soon.


Tuesday, 22 March 2011

ACTION ALERT ! Big Lakes Alberta Wolf Bounty.

On behalf of the Canadian Wolf Coalition, of which we are a part.

Please help us put an end to this misguided cruelty.

Problem: Rural Municipality of Big Lakes Alberta began offering a $300 bounty on wolves in September 2010. In just In just 7 months 63 wolves killed and claimed!

Why?: Because not all of these wolves have killed livestock, and many likely never would have.

Because the executives of the Big Lakes rural municipality refuse to respond to our concerns and recommendations, or even those of Fish and Wildlife who presented to the council about alternative solutions.

This is $18,900 paid out in tax dollars which could have gone to prevention through improved husbandry practices, education about how to reduce conflicts between predators and livestock, or many other areas in need of funding???

Will the bounty work? No! Because decades of research show that bounties are not effective in the long term for reducing livestock losses to predators, so wolves are being killed needlessly. Other wolves will move in to fill vacant territories. Remember that not all wolves kill livestock.

Issues: What right does this municipality have to disrupt a top predator that is a natural resource to You? The ecological role of wolves as top predators and keystone species means they help maintain biodiversity and healthy ecosystems.
· This unethical act in the name of livestock protection is NOT being supported by Alberta Agriculture.

· Livestock producers need to take some responsibility and promote responsible husbandry practices.

· Many of the wolves being claimed are not even by livestock producers! This is a cash grab.

Action: Phone or e-mail the following people to let them know that you do not support these unnecessary actions in the name of livestock loss prevention. Wolf bounties are immoral and irresponsible.  Please politely urge them to do what they can to see this stopped!

Please cc: on all emails.

People to Contact:

Municipal council through the executive secretary of the Big Lakes Municipality (Amanda)

780-523-5955 or toll free 1-866-523-5955

Association of Alberta Agriculture Fieldmen for Municipal District of Big Lakes 780-523-5955 780-523-5955

Alberta Minister of Agriculture Jack Hayden 780-427-2137

Alberta Sustainable Resource Development Mel Knight 780-415-4815

Alberta Minister of Environment Rob Renner complaints: 1-800-222-6514

Alberta Premier Ed Stelmach  780-427-2251

Alberta Fish and Wildlife program manager enforcement field services

Visit Canadian Wolf Coalition’s website for more information:

Thursday, 24 February 2011

Deer article from "Ancaster News"

Deer kill may spur more breeding, zoologist contends MNR report supporting hunt lacks science, committee told


Feb 23, 2011

There are many good reasons to leave the deer at Iroquoia Heights Conservation Area alone, a zoologist for a leading animal-welfare group says – including that they will just breed more if threatened by hunting.

Dr. David Lavigne, science advisor to the International Fund for Animal Welfare, told a committee studying the situation that whether the area has too many deer is a value judgment, not a scientific one.

For that reason, he objects to York University forest ecologist Dawn Bazely’s recent assertion that support for a deer hunt must “overcome the emotionally rooted perception of deer as Bambi.” Lavigne said although Bazely’s assessment of the ecological impact of deer overpopulation is based in science, her conclusion that a hunt is necessary is no more scientific than an anti-hunt “wanted” poster featuring a frightened deer in gun sights.

Scientific discourse “It is full of emotional and political discourse, not scientific discourse,” he told the Hamilton Conservation Authority’s deer management advisory committee.

“People purporting to be scientists will accuse those who are defending the animals as being emotional. Well, humans are emotional, but I don’t think Bambi lovers are any more or less emotional than those who promote culling.” The Ministry of Natural Resources conducted an aerial survey in January 2009 that counted 102 in a 66-hectare section of Iroquoia Heights – 90 more than it considers healthy – and is recommending a cull.

In a presentation last October, Bazely told the committee it’s “not debatable” that deer populations of more than 10 per square kilometre kill future trees because they eat any new growth up to two metres above ground.

While she said any decision to kill deer to save trees is a value judgment, she also accused the Animal Alliance of Canada of exploiting the “Bambi” factor to oppose any hunt and of ignoring the damage deer are doing at Iroquois Heights.

Lavigne, a former University of Guelph zoology professor, said killing the deer may have unintended consequences, including that they will breed more if their numbers drop, requiring ongoing hunts to keep their population down.

But he also cautioned the committee against using a single survey to justify the hunt, criticizing the MNR’s conclusion that failing to act will only see numbers rise.

“How can you talk about a population increase or increased damage when you haven’t established a baseline, collected a series of data points and done the analysis?” Lavigne said.

“This, I would argue, is not science.” Tony Perri, who lives in the area and sits on the authority’s board of directors, said he agrees whether or not to allow a hunt is a value judgment, but his decision will be based on what’s best for humans.

He said there may be ways to avoid a hunt, like better lighting on dark stretches of road where they pose a traffic hazard, but public safety is his priority.

“I can live with them eating my vegetables and I don’t have a vegetable garden anymore.

We still get excited when one of the kids says, ‘Oh, there’s a deer in the backyard.’ Everybody jumps up,” Perri said.

“What I don’t want on my conscience is some parent saying to me the worst thing happened because you guys didn’t do anything about the deer overpopulation.” The conservation authority is seeking the public’s input on the deer debate, including through surveys mailed to about 400 homes in the immediate vicinity of Iroquoia Heights.

The survey is available online at heights-community-survey.

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

The Weeks Ahead

It has been a busy few weeks to say the least!

Liz was just in Ottawa and will be back there again for another Human - Wildlife Conflict Committee meeting on Tuesday.

The following Wednesday we'll be back on Hamilton for another meeting of the Iroquoia Heights Deer Management Advisory Committee.  Dr. David Lavigne, Science Advisor for IFAW Canada, will be making a presentation on 'overabundance'.  There were a number of residents present at the meeting in January because of the controversy surrounding the Dundas Valley deer hunt that happened in December.  I suspect that there will be several residents present again.

This Thursday Liz will be at a Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) meeting regarding geese.  The TRCA has been very progressive on cormorants, so it is our hope that a similar approach will be taken with geese, indeed with all animals under the purview of the TRCA.

We continue to work with residents in Howley, NL to care for a colony of feral cats.  Just this morning we were contacted by a resident of Corner Brook on the same issue.  There are so many good people working to help these unfortunate creatures, it gives us great hope that things are moving in the right direction.  Rescue groups all over the world are scrambling to help these homeless cats, and a number of excellent documents have been produced in the process.  A number of municipalities and rescue groups in the United States have set the bar pretty high!  For 2011, both Toronto Animal Services and the Toronto Humane Society have a goal of sterilizing 500 feral cats each.  We have confidence that this goal can be met and exceeded in the years to come.

And all this amidst other on-going issues...Thank you to everyone for making this work for the animals possible!

Lia, Liz and the AAC crew

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

How to Know You've Won the Argument

Bambi has a lot to do with it

By: Barry Kent MacKay

Recently I got into one of those silly online debates, this one with a guy who believes that feeding birds is bad for the environment. It started with a gentleman in Los Angeles enquiring of a list for birdwatchers about what to feed a hummingbird in his very urban neighbourhood. Anyway, while there are certainly risks involved to the birds from things such as mouldy food, picture windows and cats – even disease transmission risks that can be enhanced when birds concentrate at garden feeders – to categorically dismiss bird feeding and bird feeders seems a bit much. But that is what one correspondent did, and I took him on.

We moved the debate offline and I knew I had won, although he wouldn’t say so, when he wrote: “For you it seems, the boundaries of your yard form the limits of the universe; what you can witness, the limit of reality; and the present consequences, the only ones there will ever be. For you it seems, looking at a situation from a scientific point of view is being biased, there is no distinction between the natural and the artificial, and an impact is only of concern if it involves disease or death.”

To this he added: “At least this exchange has allowed me to gain some more insight into how bird feeding enthusiasts view themselves and the world.”

Of course it had done no such thing. There is no solid, ideological block of “bird feeding enthusiasts”, and his earlier comments are simply condescending. And they are only comments, not arguments. The only argument he had mounted was a vague reference to a study in Alaska that showed a ten percent rate of beak deformity in chickadees and apparently suggested that perhaps the high fat content of bird feeder food was in some way responsible. My response to that was to point out that my mentor, the late Dr. J. Murray Speirs, had colour-banded the chickadees that had come to his feeders in Pickering over many years, keeping meticulous notes, and had noted no such morbidity. I remember him casually pointing to one colour-marked chickadee and saying it was into its eighth year, a good age for a small songbird.

I find that when one is debating on behalf of, well, anything, but certainly animals, it’s a good indication one has won when the other side resorts to insults.

One insult we, who work daily to try to protect animals from various forms of abuse and persecution, often hear is reference to “the Bambi Syndrome”. It refers to a Walt Disney movie released to theatres in 1942. I have a confession: I’ve never seen it. I don’t know if it is based on a written story, but if so, I’ve never read it. I’ve seen enough trailers to know it’s a feature length cartoon about a make-believe fawn who is orphaned, I think to a forest fire, but even as a child I wasn’t that fond of anthropomorphic stories about animals.

But it is much, much easier for our critics to assume that we have somehow been corrupted and misdirected by a 69 year old film than to address the merit, or lack thereof, of the arguments we present.

Don’t misunderstand me; there may be people on all sides of any issue who will defend their goals from positions of weakness, from misunderstanding. Nature is infinitely complex and we who seek to defend wildlife are all continually learning new things about the interrelationships between animals and the environment and people. But that is why issues should be argued on the basis of what is known, and why values must be identified as something distinct from always developing information, said information being judged on merit.

And we have to avoid falling into the insult trap. If I had any advice to advocates it would be to keep to what you know and critically analyse the arguments made against your position; take nothing for granted.

And finally, be prepared, if you work to help wildlife, to be told you have a “hidden agenda”. It ties the “Bambi Syndrome” as the most often heard accusation in place of solid debate. There’s nothing “hidden” about it. We are here to work against the destruction of wildlife; we can’t always succeed, and we know the value we place in compassion is far from universal. But that is what we do, what are supporters demand of us, and our best assets are facts. When the insults start it’s a good sign the other side has run out of reason; it’s a good sign we’ve won the debate, whether or not that translates into a win for the animals.

Barry Kent MacKay is a Director for AAC, Zoocheck Canada and Born Free USA United with The Animal Protection Institute. He is an author and artist. Barry assists AAC primarily on various bird and wildlife issues.