Tag Archives: Animal Rescue

Please Share This Artwork

Please Share This Photo

ElephantVoices campaign: EVERY TUSK COSTS A LIFE
This is from a press release from ElephantVoices, which is launching a campaign against the ivory trade.  The trade of ivory is causing the slaughter of tens of thousands of elephants every year. Elephant expert and Co-Founder of ElephantVoices, Dr. Joyce Poole, observes, “It is with a sense of déjà vu and deep sorrow, though little surprise, that following the torpedoing of the 1989 ban by the ‘one-off’ sales of ivory stockpiles, we find ourselves living through, and battling against, another elephant massacre.”

Each new tusk on the market means more death, trauma and destruction.

“We are asking people to help us reach out to potential buyers of ivory who don’t realize that elephants are dying in record-high numbers for trinkets and decorations. The only way to stop this wanton slaughter of elephants is to choke demand for ivory and stop the trade,” states Joyce Poole.

ElephantVoices is basing its campaign on two powerful pieces of graphic art by New York artist, Asher Jay. The artworks, with the slogans, EVERY TUSK COSTS A LIFE; DON’T BUY IVORY and EVERY TUSK COSTS A LIFE; STOP THE TRADE, target potential buyers and decision-makers, and are also specifically directed toward a Chinese audience. “ElephantVoices is doing something unique by making the graphic art available online in several versions, so they can be shared on social networks and be used for T-shirts, bumper-stickers, posters and banners”, says Executive Director, Petter Granli.

“We urge people to share these messages far and wide, making them go viral. The poaching is endangering elephants, jeopardizing biodiversity, and threatening tourism, people’s livelihoods and stability in elephant range states. The writing is on the wall for elephants and we must act now”, says Joyce Poole. The two pieces of art shown are avialble to download in several forms.

You Can Download the Artwork Here.

Yellow Stars Shed Light

There are too many people buying ivory in too many countries. The current demand for elephant tusks is unsustainable and is swiftly mining Africa’s elephants. The largest demand is in China and, hence, the Chinese government and her people have a special responsibility for taking a lead to end the decimation of elephants. China was permitted to buy a restricted amount of ivory from stockpiles, a decision by the international community that has caused immense harm to elephants. Ninety percent of the ivory available in China is from slaughtered elephants, illegally sourced, traded and sold. Chinese buyers deserve to know that tens of thousands of elephants are being killed to supply them with ivory. Every tusk costs a life.

China has the ability to raise public awareness and to enforce their strict laws to quickly strangle the trading, buying and poaching. China can stop her countrymen causing the destruction of Africa’s heritage and biodiversity, while concurrently protecting her enormous investments on the African continent. We urge China to take action now to end any trade in ivory – we cannot afford to lose Africa’s keystone species. 中国 Zhōngguó means China. Star power is needed to save Africa’s elephants from extermination.

Elephant Family Values

CLICK ON THE THUMBNAILS TO SEE FULL-SIZE PICTURES AND IVORY SEIZURE MAP

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March 27, 2013 · 4:08 pm

Free Lucy the Elephant

Today as I was editing (clumsily) some videos my husband took of a herd of elephants we saw in South Africa, I marveled all over again how magnificent elephants are. I was spellbound watching them as they moved silently through the forest.

So tonight when I saw a topic trending on Twitter: #FreeLucyElephant I had to click on it.

Lucy the Elephant has lived alone at the Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, zoo for most of her 35 years.

Lucy the Elephant has lived alone at the Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, zoo for most of her 35 years.

I saw this very sad photo of an elephant that has been living almost entirely alone for all of her 35 years in cold Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, with little room to roam. The fight to get Lucy moved to a sanctuary has been going on for a long while.

Click here if you want to sign a petition to send to the Edmonton Zoo to allow a panel of elephant experts to examine Lucy.

From Zoocheck:
Lucy is a 35-year old female Asian elephant living alone at the Valley Zoo in Edmonton, Canada.
All female elephants have basic physical, psychological and social requirements. They require very large spaces, complex natural terrain, pasture, lots of things to do, other elephants to socialize with and a moderate climate.

Lucy’s life at the Valley Zoo is deficient in many respects. She is socially isolated, lives in a tiny barren enclosure, endures a number of ongoing health issues that the zoo has not been able to resolve and is forced to live through Edmonton’s cold winters.

The Valley Zoo claims Lucy cannot be moved, that she is not a social elephant, is accustomed to Edmonton’s weather and is quite happy where she is. Many of their claims are nonsensical and some ignore established scientific fact. As well, Lucy’s continued social isolation is contrary to accepted management practices for elephants in captivity around the world.

While the Valley Zoo and the City of Edmonton try to paint a rosy, almost idyllic, picture of Lucy’s life, the reality is quite different. A highly social, extremely intelligent, wide-ranging animal that was born in the tropical forests of Sri Lanka should not live alone in a tiny, barren zoo exhibit in a northern city.

Zoocheck Website.
Save Lucy Website.

The Elephant Sanctuary in Hohenwald, Tennessee, will take Lucy at no charge to the Edmonton Zoo.
The Elephant Sanctuary in Hohenwald, Tennessee.

About the Performing Animal Welfare Society (PAWS)

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Thanks Be For Dogs!

Two years ago I fell in love with a puppy named Loki.  Among the many blessings I have in my life to be grateful for, I am thankful for this little dog.  Loki is probably partly a pitbull.  No one really knows.   A man was kicking Loki on a street in Huntington Beach, California, when she was rescued. She has a pitbull face, but the short splayed legs of a dachshund.  She’s the sweetest dog in the world!  She loves loves loves everyone.

Loki may be moving to New Hampshire soon with my daughter and her husband, which makes me sad.  I’ll sorely miss the three of them, but I’m happy to have been re-awakened to the wonderful world of dogs.

Do you have a dog or cat or other beloved animal companion in your life? I have two white cats, who are loving company and keep me well-covered with white hair.

You can never have too much Loki!

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Black Cats are Enchanting!

Sharpietoo is looking for his forever home. Black cats are a very popular motif during the Halloween season, but in real life, black cats have a harder time finding a home.

During the Halloween season, black cats are so, so popular — or so you’d think since they are everywhere in decorations and designs. However, being part of the scary Halloween motif perhaps isn’t such a bonus for black cats because they have a harder time being adopted year-round than any other color. The same is true for dogs.

Sharpietoo, featured here in three photographs, (Isn’t he gorgeous?) doesn’t know he has that strike against him. He’s extremely friendly, and not only that, he does tricks. He was one of the easiest cats I’ve ever photographed at Wayside Waifs in Kansas City, Missouri. He would stand or sit with the wave of my hand. Sharpietoo has a short, shiny coat and a patch of white at his throat. He’s a sweet, muscular cat of about 12 pounds, sleek like a jaguar. He’ll find a way to fit on your lap.

Sharpietoo poses. Isn't he adorable!

Sharpietoo has another strike against him. He tested positive for FIV, a virus that weakens a cat’s immune system. This doesn’t need to be a problem, even though an FIV positive cat won’t be able to get rid of the virus. An FIV positive cat can lead a long, healthy life if he is kept indoors, fed a healthy diet and gets regular vet check-ups. FIV can be spread to other cats through bites and scratches, so an FIV positive cat should be an only cat or live with other FIV positive cats. FIV is a weak virus that doesn’t live outside the body. Only cats can get FIV, so dogs, other animals and people won’t be infected.

Sharpietoo’s Felineality type is Personal Assistant, which means that he likes people and wants to hang out. Felineality is a feline personality assessment. People can meet their feline match by taking their own assessment. Check out the “Meet Your Match” survey here.

Sharpietoo was found as a stray, and was originally named Sharpie when he arrived because of his dark inky color.  But wouldn’t you know, another cat in the shelter was already named Sharpie. What are the odds?

To learn more about Sharpietoo and other cats and kittens (and dogs and puppies) available for adoption, click on Wayside Waifs.  Wayside Waifs, a no-kill shelter, regularly has about 300 animals available for adoption and places more than 5,000 animals a year in forever homes.

Sharpietoo shows off his sleek Jaguar-like physique.

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Hit a Home Run!

"Just like Stan Musial I'm an all star, widely considered to be one of the all time greatest snugglers of all time. I've compiled 3,630 purrs (the most in a career spent with only one team) 475 home runs for watching sporting events with my family, and was named the Most Valuable Pussycat by all my roommates."

Michelle Cour, volunteer at Wayside Waifs, interviews Stan, one of the new stars at the shelter.  Stan is looking for a grand slam into your home! Details on choosing Stan for your team are at the bottom of this post.

Stan the Man here! Just like Stan Musial I’m an all star, widely considered to be one of the all time greatest snugglers of all time. I’ve compiled 3,630 purrs (the most in a career spent with only one team) 475 home runs for watching sporting events with my family, and was named the Most Valuable Pussycat by all my roommates, I’d still be living there but the landlord in our new place allows only two pets and the dogs got to stay. I lived with only one family my whole life and I’m sad I had to go, but I just know I’ll find another family just as terrific. If you’re looking for a Hall of Fame Feline Friend, I’m your man!

You may have noticed I have only one eye. Kind of makes me look kind of rakish, like a pirate, I’m thinking Johnny Depp. Boy, is he hot! I hear the ladies really go for him. They go for me too! I have lots of fans here in the staff and volunteers at Wayside. I’m a people person and love to hang out with you, but do okay with small dogs. I lived with two small dogs for many years but I’m not good with big dogs as I’d been attacked by them in my past. Please don’t take me if you have a big dog. I’m very afraid. I shouldn’t go outside. I can’t defend myself well because I can’t see what’s coming on one side.

Inside I do great! I love to climb and my favorite place to perch is high up on the furniture. I respond well to my name, so please don’t change it when we go home. I’ve lost my people, my home and my dog brothers, so my name is all I have left that’s familiar and comfortable. I need something to hold on to, please. I’ve lived with a family the last 8 years so I’m having a little trouble adjusting to shelter life. I’m a bit shy and not as outgoing and friendly as I’d be with people I know and love. When we go home, I might go hide under a bed or in a closet until I feel comfortable joining the family. I’m affectionate and want to be buddies, but I’ll need a bit of time to adjust.

My family says I enjoy running water so if I can please have a kitty fountain or stick my head under the sink when you’re brushing your teeth or doing dishes sometimes, I’d like that. I have great hygiene habits and never have a litter box issue if you keep it clean for me. I eat dry food but shouldn’t have only dry food as it’s hard on my tummy. I need some wet food too. Thank you so much for honoring my requests. And don’t forget in these tough economic times, I’m a bargain, just $25 for a lifetime of friendship and affection. Such a deal I have for you!

I’m looking forward to joining your team and being your MVP. I’ll be at batting practice faithfully learning to swat my toy mice way, way out there… going going gone! Holy cow! See you around the ball park.

Stan

Stan can be found at Wayside Waifs, Inc., Kansas City’s largest no-kill shelter.  Wayside Waifs,  an independent, not-for-profit humane society and animal welfare organization established in 1944, is located at 3901 Martha Truman Road, Kansas City, Missouri, 64137.  The telephone number is 816-761-8151.  The website is Wayside Waifs.

Here’s a link to Sebastian The Sensitive Soul’s blog post about Bandit, another great cat in need of a home. He will steal your heart.  Bandit was fun to photograph!  Bandit.

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Filed under Animals, Cats, Kansas City, Pets

316 Pet Adoptions in Three Days!

So many happy people and happy animals at the Adoptathon at Wayside Waifs in Kansas City, Missouri!  Now, we absolutely, positively need to find a home for Virginia!

Ask Me About Virginia Button button

Most cats and kittens at Wayside Waifs find a home within a week or two of being made available for adoption, but Virginia hasn’t found a family yet.  Life at Wayside Waifs is pretty plush, but it doesn’t take the place of a “furr-ever” home.  Here’s what I wrote about Virginia previously.   “Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus…”

In the top photograph, Grace (left) stops to gossip with Virginia (on the chair) about the newest feline residents at Wayside Waifs. In the bottom photograph, Virginia waits at the door, hoping her "fur-ever" family will finally appear.

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Filed under Animals, Cats, Dogs, Kansas City, Life, Pets

Animal Rescue in Joplin, Missouri, after the May 22nd Tornado.

This is a slideshow of cats at the emergency tornado shelter annex in the care of the Joplin, Missouri, Humane Society.  As of  June 3, 2011,  nearly 1,000 pets had been rescued and almost 300 had been reunited with their families. The shelter is caring for animals whose families are currently unable to house them along with those  animals who are missing  from or have lost their families.

In Joplin on May 22, a powerful EF5 tornado killed at least 138 people and injured more than 900 people, some critically.  It also destroyed or damaged about 18,000 vehicles, more than 8,000 homes and 500 commercial properties, which was about 30 percent of the town. Among the buildings damaged was a hospital that employed 1,700 people.  The tornado was the deadliest single tornado in more than sixty years in the United States.

The YouTube slideshow above includes photos published by Joplin Humane Society on June 1 to give the public an inside view of the facility’s cattery section.  Thanks to Life With Cats TV for the information.  For links on how you can donate click on Joplin Tornado Cats.

Wayside Waifs volunteer Scott Cotter talks about his experience with animal rescue in Joplin:   After the disaster: Notes from Joplin.

Wayside Waifs is a Kansas City, Missouri, no-kill animal shelter. Staff members and volunteers from Wayside Waifs helped with the animal rescue and brought some of the animals who had already awaited homes in Joplin before the tornado to the Wayside Waifs shelter.

On June 1, the Joplin Humane Society director detailed the massive operation that took place. Below are excerpts from that letter.  Many of  the people helping were also dealing with the loss of family members and their homes and businesses.

“I can’t thank everyone enough for their offers to help and words of
encouragement. Many of you have offered assistance and asked what you can
do. Here’s an update:

Our shelter was not hit and we are intact. The ASPCA (I will refer them
here on out as the A) had their emergency response team on the ground THE
NEXT MORNING! One of JHS’s benefactors owns the property next door and
there are three empty warehouses. I called them and they were more than
willing to allow the use of those warehouses…

We just put the third warehouse into use to house the animals. There are pictures up on our facebook page which can be found by going to our website:

www.joplinhumane.org

At my and the A’s request, American Humane Association (AHA) deployed a team to help us out at the emergency shelter and at JHS so my staff can rotate a
day off. HSUS teams are also here at our request. PETPOINT sent a team out
immediately and they are taking care of all of the documentation of the
almost 600 animals we have received since Monday. We are at real time in
putting pictures up on our website. I’m guessing it will hit 600 today. We
have reunited more than 150 pets with their families.

Petsmart Charities sent two tractor trailer loads of supplies and equipment
so the emergency shelter could be set up and we are prepared to handle up to
1200 animals. We have everything from goldfish, hermit crabs, birds, boas,
33 chickens, rabbits, you name it!

We called regional shelters to empty the JHS (Joplin Humane Society) shelter
of adoptable animals so we could use ours for tornado victims. The triage
center is at JHS and we have had an army of volunteer vets taking care of
injured animals. JHS is also the hospital ward.

We are contracted with 17 municipalities and already intake about 12,000
animals each year so the surrounding areas keep bringing in more animals who
are not tornado animals. We are continuing to send them out to other
shelters as their stray hold expires.

We are so grateful to all of the national groups that have responded, all
the local groups who have helped, the food and supply companies that have
equipped the operations and all of the wonderful people who have offered and
actually come in to help. We are humbled and so appreciative.

I think we have enough supplies at the moment. Truckloads of food have
arrived along with sheltering supplies and droves of volunteers. We are
opening a food and supply bank for families affected by the tornado. What
we need now is money for medical supplies and equipment.

Some wonderful, anonymous person sent a swamp cooler for the warehouse.
That was met with applause as the warehouses are heating up.  We have lots of
industrial fans but warm air is warm air.”

The director, who lost a step-daughter to the tornado, asked  “So many in Joplin have lost so much. If you pray, please
pray for them.”

Video and story: Veterinarian Tells Own Joplin Tornado Firsthand Account.

Video of some of the dogs rescued and their injuries and treatment.

June 17, 2011, update on status of animals at the Joplin Humane Society, from the AP:

900 pets still homeless after Joplin tornado

By ALAN SCHER ZAGIER and JIM SALTER

The Associated Press, June 17, 2011

JOPLIN, Mo. | Hundreds of dogs and cats peer out from their cages at the Joplin Humane Society, some with cuts, infections and broken bones from the deadly tornado that turned their lives, like those of their owners, upside down.

Since the tornado, the Humane Society has found itself overflowing with animals, with about 900 now calling the shelter home — three times its usual inventory. One way or another, the pets became separated from their owners in the chaotic aftermath of the May 22 twister that tore through this town, killing 153 people. In some cases, the owners — scrambling to find housing for themselves after 7,000 homes were destroyed, leaving nearly one-third of the city’s 50,000 residents homeless — have simply given up their pets.

But the Joplin Humane Society is determined to find a home for every cat and dog. To that end, it plans an “Adopt-a-thon” the weekend of June 25-26, when animals that haven’t been claimed by their owners will be given away free to good homes, after being spayed and neutered.

“The reality is, a lot of these people aren’t in a position to come get these animals,” said Joplin native Tim Rickey, a field investigator for the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. “They’ve lost everything.”

Executive director Karen Aquino said it’s not that the Humane Society hasn’t tried to find the owners.

“We feel we’ve exhausted every avenue to get the word out,” Aquino said. “We’ve placed 250 yard signs. We have posters at food and donation distribution points, public service announcements on radio and TV, ads in the newspaper — everything we could think of to let people know their pets might be here if they’re missing.”

To handle the additional cats and dogs, the organization fixed up two vacant warehouses next to the shelter into air-conditioned kennels. A gravel parking lot outside a former used appliance store has been converted into an owner’s waiting room, with plastic chairs and Polaroid snapshots of unnamed animals stuffed into thick three-ring binders.

Aquino said none of the pets left homeless by the tornado will be euthanized.

“If all of them aren’t adopted, we’ll start looking to rescue organizations and ways to get some of them to larger cities, where they have a better chance at adoption,” she said.

More than 100 volunteers from across the country, many from other shelters, are in Joplin helping out — cleaning cages, providing veterinary care and exercising the animals. On most days, a half-dozen veterinarians are at the shelter tending to the wounded.

The work is exhausting, the plight of the animals sad. But spirits are buoyed by good news, such as the recent story of a cat found alive by its owner 16 days after the tornado.

“We’ve heard some amazing stories,” Aquino said. “Animals are pretty resilient.”

When Steven and Debbie Leatherman found their lost dog, Sugar, at the shelter, her back legs were paralyzed. Someone had apparently dropped off the 10-year-old cocker spaniel after finding her in a drainage ditch and about to drown. The University of Missouri said the Leathermans’ son, Daniel, drove the dog to its veterinary hospital in Columbia, where veterinarians performed spinal surgery that gave Sugar back the use of her legs.

But some owners, such as 47-year-old Linda Head, still haven’t been able to find their pets. Since the storm, Head has been looking for 2-year-old Isabel, a Labrador/Great Pyrenees mix, and 5-year-old Puddles, a cockapoo.

Both dogs hunkered down with Head, her 23-year-old son and a third dog, Max, in and around a bathtub in their home that was obliterated by the tornado. Head lost Puddles when the dog jumped through the shattered window of a car as Head’s son was driven to seek medical care. Max also jumped out in the tumult, but he turned up nearly two weeks later at a Kansas veterinarian’s office. Isabel hasn’t been seen since the tornado, though Head’s hopes were briefly buoyed when a neighbor thought he saw the dog running loose. He was mistaken.

Head visits the shelter twice a week, hoping her dogs will turn up.

“Honey, when I left here the first time, I bawled all the way home,” Head said during a recent visit to the shelter. “I’ll bawl all the way home today, because I don’t have my buddies.”

Read more: http://www.kansascity.com/2011/06/17/2956304/900-pets-still-homeless-after.html#ixzz1PXujAKM2

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Filed under Animals, Cats, Dogs, Life, Pets

Scarlet, Feline Princess

Scarlet awaits visitors in her beautifully decorated room at Wayside Waifs. As beautiful as the "hug" room is at the shelter, she wants a forever home.

By Michelle C. 

Hello, my name is Scarlet and let me stop you before you make any jokes about Gone with the Wind, or asking me if I did it in the library with the candlestick! Been there, heard that!

Okay, now about moi. Check out my photo. Are those not the most soulful eyes you’ve ever seen. (See photo below) I’m quite the lovey and a favorite of the staff and volunteers here. If they had Miss Congeniality here, I think I’d win, I really do. I’m also quite the fashionista. I’m wearing a lovely and soft brown, tan and white outfit. These neutral shades will go with everything including your drapes, couch and bedspread. They’re classics and never go out of style. I have a short, smooth coat, erect ears and a long tail. Stunning!

I have made one fashion faux paw, however. My footwear doesn’t match. One front paw is grey and the other is tan. I could really use someone with your fashion sense to help make sure I don’t have another embarrassing wardrobe malfunction like that again. When I strut my stuff through our home, I always want to look my best. After all, there might be a camera somewhere.

I’ll watch you while you get dressed to go to work and make sure your lipstick goes with your blouse or that your tie goes with your sport coat. I’ll meet you at the door when you get home to see what kind of day you had and will tell you all about mine. I’ll have spent time napping and eating, of course; watching the birds and squirrels outside, and supervising the front door to make sure those annoying junk ads weren’t left on our door. Luckily for me, there won’t be another cat living with us, so I can have all your attention when you get home.

A perfect pink decor for a little princess. Scarlet even has her own monogrammed pillow.

I’ll show you how much I appreciate you earning our living by rubbing up against your legs and letting you pet me. When I’ve had enough for a while, I’ll swish my tail a bit to say “enough already, save some for later”. I’m quiet and shy and I’m a bit hesitant to meet new people, so you’d have to give me a little time to adjust. I have to be cautious. I started to fall for a very nice woman and found out she wore white after Labor Day. No-no!

I like to play and hope you would too. My favorite toy is a green fleece spider they gave me here. The color doesn’t really work with my outfit, but these people here are so nice and have worked so hard to make me comfy and find a good home, I didn’t have the heart to say anything, especially since they gave me my own special bed. (Nobody else here has one like that, so you know I must be pretty special, huh?)

Princess Scarlet relaxes in her bed, waiting for someone to take her home.

I also have my own room now and if I do say so myself, it’s quite something. I am definitely the Princess of Pink: pink rug, pink stuffed animals, pink cat bed etc. Check out my photo of me in my special cat bed. That goes home with me too. Only the best for me – that’s why I’m picking you for my family. I can just tell by the way you’re reading my bio that we’re perfect for each other. Come get me and take me home to your castle now!

Fashionably yours
Princess Scarlet

As told to Michelle C. at Wayside Waifs by Scarlet.  Michelle writes many of the biographies of the cats at Wayside Waifs, a no-kill animal shelter for cats, dogs and small animals in Kansas City, Missouri.

I didn’t write Scarlet’s romantic biography above, but I did take her portrait, seen below.  I wrote this limerick in honor of the wonderful kitties in need of homes at Wayside Waifs.  If you think I’ve turned into a crazy cat lady, you’re right!

There once was a kitty from Wayside

Who groomed her fur with great pride.

When visitors came to call

Kitty knew how to enthrall

Soon finding a forever home in which to abide.

The last line is a little awkward.  Any suggestions?  I’d love to read any limericks or poems you might want to add in the comments. If you want to adopt a dog or cat from Wayside Waifs, click on Wayside Waifs.

Tabby Princess Postcard postcard

Princess Scarlet.

Scarlet relaxes in her Hug Room.

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Filed under Cats, Life, Literature, Pets, Writing

He’s Not Heavy, He’s My Brother

Hanky Warning:  This video might make you cry.

My mushiness over animals has increased exponentially since I started volunteering at an animal shelter.  I was already a big sap before I started work at Wayside Waifs.

I know it’s just a drop in a very big bucket, but I’ve donated money to Japan Earthquake Animal Rescue and Support.  The link is at the bottom.  If you’re on Facebook, search for “Japan Earthquake Animal Rescue and Support”.   It provides updates on the work it’s doing.

Some people may ask: “Why bother with animals when so many people are suffering in Japan?”

Here’s what Scott Simon of NPR had to say on March 19, 2011:

A news crew from Fuji TV saw a couple of dogs this week, lying in the wreckage of Mito, Japan.

A dog with brown and white splotches seemed to hover over one with gray, black and white splotches. Both dogs looked grimy. The second dog didn’t seem to move.

When the dog with brown and white splotches came toward the crew, they thought it was warning them to stay away. But it returned to the other dog, and put a paw on its head.

Then they understood: the dog was sticking by his friend, and asking for help.

Japan is a nation of pet lovers. Most families have a dog or cat, birds, a rabbit, or other pets in their apartments.

When I covered Hurricane Katrina in Mississippi, it seemed that the commonest reason people who stayed through the storm gave for refusing to evacuate was, “I couldn’t leave my pet.” But earthquakes strike suddenly. People can get stuck at work, school, or in panicked transit, leaving pets to fend for themselves.

Among the thousands of volunteers who have been mining the rubble of the earthquake are Japanese Earthquake Animal Rescue and Support, who look and listen for dogs and cats among the ruins.

To those who might find such relief work frivolous when so many people are hungry and homeless, Animal Rescue and Support says, “. . . helping the pets in Japan is to help people. All of us who are animal lovers can relate to what it would feel like to be reunited with a pet after a disaster.”

The dog with brown and white splotches and his friend with gray, black and white splotches were rescued, and are in a veterinary clinic in the Ibaraki Prefecture.

Kenn Sakurai, the president of a dog food company, who has been among the volunteers, says on Facebook:

“. . . The one which came close to the camera is in the better condition. The other . . was weak. . . But please know that those two are just the tip of the iceberg. There are more and we need help.”

I noticed another, smaller story this week. An 11-month old Tibetan mastiff puppy named Hong Dong, or Big Splash, went for 1.5 million U.S. dollars in China. Tibetan mastiffs are massive, fluffy status symbols there. Hong Dong has been raised on beef, chicken, abalone, and sea cucumber. His breeder told Britain’s Telegraph, “He is a perfect specimen.”

The million-dollar puppy that’s been fattened with abalone, or the grimy dog with brown and white splotches who stood over his friend until he found help: which do you think of as a perfect specimen?

How to donate to Japan Earthquake Animal Rescue and Support. The Humane Society also is providing aid to Japanese animals.

Here’s another link to donate: World Vets Prepares First Responders To Japan.

To help the Japanese people, you can give to the Red Cross and The Salvation Army. This is the link I used to donate to The Salvation Army in Japan.  Salvation Army Quake Relief.

Below is a photograph I took in 2002 of  The Temple of the Golden Pavilion in Kyoto, Japan.  The Japanese people have a long tradition of strength, beauty and endurance, and they will re-build.  Below the photograph is a translation of the Japanese in the video.

Temple of the Golden Pavilion, Kyoto, Japan Postca postcard

UPDATE: CNN and the UK Telegraph have both reported that the dogs have been rescued since the footage aired, and are both receiving veterinary care; the more seriously wounded dog is at a clinic in the city of Mito, while the protective spaniel-type dog is receiving care at a shelter in the same town.
Here is an English translation of the voiceover exchange between the two reporters in the clip (translation courtesy of Toshiyuki Kitamura):
We are in Arahama area. Looks like there is a dog. There is a dog. He looks tired and dirty. He must have been caught in the tsunami. He looks very dirty.
He has a collar. He must be someone’s pet. He has a silver collar. He is shaking. He seems very afraid.
Oh, there is another dog. I wonder if he is dead.
Where?
Right there. There is another dog right next to the one sitting down. He is not moving. I wonder. I wonder if he is alright.
The dog is protecting him.
Yes. He is protecting the dog. That is why he did not want us to approach them. He was trying to keep us at bay.
I can’t watch this. This is a very difficult to watch.
Oh. Look. He is moving. He is alive. I am so happy to see that he is alive.
Yes! Yes! He is alive.
He looks to be weakened. We need to them to be rescued soon. We really want them rescued soon.
Oh good. He’s getting up.
It is amazing how they survived the tremendous earthquake and tsunami. It’s just amazing that they survived through this all.

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Rizzie and Polly Paddlefoot — the Polydactyl Cats

 

Rizzie is a polydactyl cat, available for adoption at Wayside Waifs, a Kansas City no-kill animal shelter. She has an extra toe on each of her front paws, giving them a mitten appearance. Her extra toes are not very noticeable unless you look closely. Sailors favored cats with extra toes because they were thought to be more nimble, better able to climb and excellent hunters of rats on the ship.

The first time I ever saw six-toed cats was on a visit to the Ernest Hemingway House in Key West, Florida. More than fifty cats roam the Hemingway estate, about half of them with six toes on each front paw, all descendants from Hemingway’s first six-toed cat. Cats normally have five toes on each front paw and four on each back paw. There are many variations of polydactylism in cats, which you can read about in the link below. The record is 28 total toes! Normal is eighteen.

Rizzie's front paw shows the mitten shape of a polydactyl cat -- a cat with an extra toe.

A ship’s captain gave a six-toed cat to Hemingway, who became one of the more famous lovers of polydactyl cats. After Hemingway died in 1961, his former home in Key West became a museum and a home for his cats. Because of his love for these animals, “Hemingway cat”, or simply “Hemingway”, is a slang term used to describe polydactyls. There are also official breeds of polydactyl cats, including the American Polydactyl Cat and the Maine Coon Polydactyl.  Polydactyl cats are very common in the Cardigan area of Wales, where they are known as “Cardi-Cats.”

According to Wikipedia, polydactylism  seems to be most commonly found in cats along the East Coast of the United States and in South West England.  The most common variety of the trait spread widely as a result of cats carried on ships originating in Boston.  (The polydactyl cats must have gotten a weekend pass and fraternized with the local cats…)  Sailors valued polydactyl cats for their superior climbing skills and for their extraordinary abilities to hunt shipboard rats.  Some sailors also considered them to be extremely good luck when at sea.

Anne Boleyn was reputed to have a sixth finger, but detractors may have created that rumor, because polydactylism was supposed to be a trait of witches. But the only thing witch-like about polydactyl cats is that they will bewitch you!

About Polydactyl Cats.

Hemingway House cats.

Wayside Waifs.

Click here to go to Live Cam of Hemingway cats.

Polly Paddlefoot has an extra toe on each of her front paws, which are not very noticeable unless she stands. A lucky family took Polly Paddlefoot to a new home. Polydactyl cats bring good luck!

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