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.