About Me

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Stephenville, Newfoundland, Canada
SCAPA is a NO-kill, NO-cage animal shelter serving the Bay St. George area of Western Newfoundland. SCAPA survives solely on the support of the community and it's volunteers.

Saturday, 30 April 2011

Feral Cat Houses.

These are the shelters we build for the stray and feral cats that we care for.Even thogh it takes a new cat a little time to get used to going into these shelters,in time they are very comfortable hanging out inside where they are warm and protected from the cold, with lots to eat..

But, WE NEED MONEY to build those shelters!

The Sad Little Stray

Dear Lord,

Please send me someone who'll care!
I'm tired of running,I'm sick with despair.

My body is aching,it's so racked with pain.
And Dear God I pray as I run in the rain,
That someone will love me and give me a home,
A warm cozy bed I can call my own.

My last owner neglected me and chased me away,
To rummage in garbage and live as a stray.
But now God I'm tired and hungry and cold.
And I'm so afraid that I'll never grow old.
They've chased me with sticks and hit me with stones,
while I run in the streets just wanting a home!

I'm not a bad kittie, God,please help if you can.
For I have become another "VICTIM OF MAN!".
I'm now full of worms and ridden with fleas,
but all that I want is an family to please!

If you find one for me God,I'll always be good,
I won't run away and do as I should..
I don't think I'll make it too long on my own,
cause I'm getting so weak and so all alone.

Each night as I sleep in the bushes I cry,

I'm so afraid that I'm so gonna die!
And I've got so much love and devotion to give,
so please could you give me another chance to live.

So Dear God PLEASE, PLEASE answer my prayer,
and send me someone who really WILL care....

Author Unknown.

Friday, 29 April 2011

Heaven On Earth

The SCAPA Animal Shelter is located in Stephenville Newfoundland, and if anyone is ever in that area, drop in  to visit, offer to foster or adopt a "FUR-ever"  companion animal, buy them some pet food, or give a  whopping big donation. The  Shelter manager has a huge heart, and the SCAPA Shelter is  heaven on URth...so they DESERVE  a big donation.

Some months ago Shelter Manager,  Gwen Samms , was informed about a feral cat colony in Barachoix Brook, Newfoundland.....Did she say that she was unable to  help? Did she leave them there starving? The answer  is "NO! NO! NO!". Just mere hours after  learning of the plight of those pitful little creatures, Gwen arrived there with bags of food, and searched the community until she found someone who was willing to  put out this food daily.

SCAPA not only feeds the animals that are in the Shelter, but it also feeds the animals who are fostered out awaiting "FUR-ever" homes. On top of all that, SCAPA has to monthly find food for several feral cat colonies in the Western Newfoundland area. It is a MONUMENTAL job, and takes someone with the love and enrgy of  its Shelter Manager, Gwen Samms, to carry the great burden of all this.

Can you help ease some of this burden? Can you donate food or money? Can you foster or adopt a companion animal?  Can you help SCAPA with its Trap/Neuter/Release program that it wishes to put in place for ferals??????

A few years ago, on a cold winter's day, two dogs were adopted out of the Shelter. They were only gone one night.  The next morning they were found in the outside Shelter runs awaiting their breakfast....during the night they had run away from their new homes, travelled many miles,  climbed up the snow-bank behind the Shelter, and dropped down into the runs......they regarded the Shelter as their home, and had returned there...must be a pretty good place, right?

That tells you a lot...that the SCAPA Animal Shelter, in Stephenville, Newfoundland,  is Heaven on URth !!!

                                                       Written & Submitted by URth ORDER of the BLACK ROSE


Cats are such agreeable friends. They ask no questions. They pass no critisisms. And they do not care whether you  are rich or poor.
Cats are conscious of comfort.
One cat leads to another.
The real measure of today's heat is the length of a sleeping cat.
I have studied many philosophers and many cats. The wisdom of cats is infinitely superior.
Cats always know whether people like or dislike them. They do not always care enough to do anything about it.
A cat  is a puzzle for which there is no solution.
A cat is always on the wrong side of a door.
There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life...music and cats.
A cat has too much spirit to have no heart.
If there is one spot of sun spilling onto the floor, a cat will find it and soak it up.
Which is more beautiful, feline movement or feline stillness?
It always gives me a shiver when I see a cat seeing what I cannot see.
Two things are aesthetically perfect in this world...the clock and the cat.
You cannot own a cat. The best you can do is be partners.
People who love cats have the biggest hearts around.
To love a cat is to open your heart to heartache.

We Need FUR-ever Homes

Zeus is waiting....and waiting...waiting for a FUR-ever Mom or Dad to take him home.

Sasha & Homer want FUR-ever homes.

Hi ,my name is SAGO and I am hoping that someone out there in computer land will see how handsome and sweet I am and will welcome me into their heart and home...You see my family tossed me out of my home..Instead of taking me to the vet to have something done, called neutering so I wouldn't smell they just tossed me out like I had no feeling or wasn't worth anything..It was very cold (winter) when they threw me away.I was hungry and cold all the time.I was always trying to find food and a warm safe place to keep warm so I didn't have time to groom myself and my once beautiful fur became shabby and my skin began to hurt because all of the fur on my back became matted and was pulling my skin... I was scared and oh so tired all the time,my body ached from hunger and matted fur.I was loosing weight and hope each day that passed.I missed my home but most of all I missed being loved...I don't understand why my family just threw me away..Didn't they know how much I loved them,didn't they care about me,are they not worried about me?I guess not because they wouldn't let me back in my home no matter how many times I begged them when they came to the door.. Thank god a nice lady found me and called SCAPA...The volunteers at SCAPA came and rescued me from the cold mean streets and took me to the shelter...As you can see I am once again a beautiful big boy...well thats what the volunteers tell me every day.My skin doesn't hurt anymore because the volunteers cut away that big mat that was on my back..I have gained weight and my fur is beautiful once again. The volunteers took me to the vet where they did a test for something called Fiv/Felv and I am negative (They tell me that is good news),then I was NEUTERED,vaccinated, given worm treatment .. I am so happy to be safe ,warm and loved once again here at SCAPA...I worked hard posing for all these photos in hopes someone will see just how loving,sweet and precious I am and come and adopt me...SCAPA would like to save more kitties that are down on their luck just like I was but in order to save more they need loving people to adopt us.... And I wouldn't mind going to a loving FURever home to make room at SCAPA for more kitties in need.....PLEASE ADOPT ME,I PROMISE TO LOVE YOU FOREVER.. My number here at SCAPA is 709-643-2811 Hope to see you soon,with love from Sago....
Cuddle Bugs


My name is Pepper, and I am very grateful to the SCAPA Animal Shelter for rescuing me.

But, my agony is not yet over. I have a growth on my back, and it hurts. Sometimes I whimper at night, but I do not want to disturb the other animals so I try not to do it too loudly.

I am four years old and they say that I am a grey brindle color, and that I am very handsome.

I am a little shy, but also gentle and sweet....I would make a great companion for you if you would allow me into your home and your heart.

Meanwhile, can you please help me to get the surgery that I need?

I will ask the Shelter Manager to put this in our blog, hoping that someone might want me, or help me.



Factory Farms

Eighty-five percent of the fur industry’s skins come from animals living captive in fur factory farms.(1) These farms can hold thousands of animals, and their farming practices are remarkably uniform around the globe. As with other intensive-confinement animal farms, the methods used in fur factory farms are designed to maximize profits, always at the expense of the animals.
Painful and Short Lives
The most commonly farmed fur-bearing animals are minks, followed by foxes. Chinchillas, lynxes, and even hamsters are also farmed for their fur.(2) Fifty-eight percent of mink farms are in Europe, 10 percent are in North America, and the rest are dispersed throughout the world, in countries such as Argentina, China, and Russia.(3) Mink farmers usually breed female minks once a year. There are about three or four surviving kittens in each litter, and they are killed when they are about 6 months old, depending on what country they are in, after the first hard freeze. Minks used for breeding are kept for four to five years.(4) The animals—who are housed in unbearably small cages—live with fear, stress, disease, parasites, and other physical and psychological hardships, all for the sake of an unnecessary global industry that makes billions of dollars annually.
Rabbits are slaughtered by the millions for meat, particularly in China, Italy, and Spain. Once considered a mere byproduct of this consumption, the rabbit-fur industry demands the thicker pelt of an older animal (rabbits raised for meat are killed before the age of 12 weeks).(5) The United Nations reports that at least 1 billion rabbits are killed each year for their fur, which is used in clothing, as lures in flyfishing, and for trim on craft items.(6)
Life on the ‘Ranch’
To cut costs, fur farmers pack animals into small cages, preventing them from taking more than a few steps back and forth. This crowding and confinement is especially distressing to minks—solitary animals who may occupy up to 2,500 acres of wetland habitat in the wild.(7) The anguish and frustration of life in a cage leads minks to self-mutilate—biting at their skin, tails, and feet—and frantically pace and circle endlessly. Zoologists at Oxford University who studied captive minks found that despite generations of being bred for fur, minks have not been domesticated and suffer greatly in captivity, especially if they are not given the opportunity to swim.(8) Foxes, raccoons, and other animals suffer just as much and have been found to cannibalize their cagemates in response to their crowded confinement.
Animals in fur factory farms are fed meat byproducts considered unfit for human consumption. Water is provided by a nipple system, which often freezes in the winter or might fail because of human error.
Poison and Pain
No federal humane slaughter law protects animals in fur factory farms, and killing methods are gruesome. Because fur farmers care only about preserving the quality of the fur, they use slaughter methods that keep the pelts intact but that can result in extreme suffering for the animals. Small animals may be crammed into boxes and poisoned with hot, unfiltered engine exhaust from a truck. Engine exhaust is not always lethal, and some animals wake up while they are being skinned. Larger animals have clamps attached to or rods forced into their mouths and rods are forced into their anuses, and they are painfully electrocuted. Other animals are poisoned with strychnine, which suffocates them by paralyzing their muscles with painful, rigid cramps. Gassing, decompression chambers, and neck-breaking are other common slaughter methods on fur factory farms.
The fur industry refuses to condemn even blatantly cruel killing methods such as electrocution. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, electrocution causes “death by cardiac fibrillation, which causes cerebral hypoxia,” but warns that “animals do not lose consciousness for 10 to 30 seconds or more after onset of cardiac fibrillation.” In other words, the animals are forced to suffer from a heart attack while they are still conscious.(9)
Would You Wear Your Dog?
When PETA conducted an undercover investigation into the dog and cat fur trade in 2005, investigators went to an animal market in Southern China and found that dogs and cats were languishing in tiny cages, visibly exhausted. Some had been on the road for days, transported in flimsy wire-mesh cages with no food or water. Animals were packed so tightly into cages that they could not move. Because of the cross-country transport in such deplorable conditions, our investigators saw dead cats on top of the cages, dying cats and dogs inside the cages, and cats and dogs with open wounds. Some animals were lethargic, and others were fighting with each other, driven insane from confinement and exposure. All of them were terrified.
Investigators reported that up to 8,000 animals were loaded onto each truck, with cages stacked on top of each other. Cages containing live animals were tossed from the tops of the trucks onto the ground 10 feet below, shattering the legs of the animals inside them. Many of the animals still had collars on, a sign that they were once someone’s beloved companions, stolen to be bludgeoned, hanged, bled to death, and strangled with wire nooses so that their fur can be turned into coats, trim, and trinkets.
Undercover investigators from Swiss Animal Protection/EAST International toured fur farms in China’s Hebei Province and found that foxes, minks, rabbits, and other animals were pacing and shivering in outdoor wire cages, exposed to everything from scorching sun to freezing temperatures to driving rain. Disease and injuries are widespread on these farms, and animals suffering from anxiety-induced psychosis chew on their own limbs and repeatedly throw themselves against the cage bars.
The globalization of the fur trade has made it impossible to know where fur products come from. Skins move through international auction houses and are purchased and distributed to manufacturers around the world, and finished goods are often exported. Even if a fur garment’s label says that it was made in a European country, the animals were likely raised and slaughtered elsewhere—possibly on a Chinese fur farm, where there are no penalties for abusing animals.
Environmental Destruction
Contrary to fur-industry propaganda, fur production destroys the environment. The amount of energy needed to produce a real fur coat from ranch-raised animal skins is approximately 20 times that needed to produce a fake fur garment.(10) Nor is fur biodegradable, thanks to the chemical treatment applied to stop the fur from rotting. The process of using these chemicals is also dangerous because it can cause water contamination.
Each mink skinned by fur farmers produces about 44 pounds of feces.(11) Based on the total number of minks skinned in the U.S. in 2006, which was 2.86 million, mink factory farms generate tens of thousands of tons of manure annually.(12) One result is nearly 1,000 tons of phosphorus, which wreaks havoc on water ecosystems.(13)
What You Can Do
The U.K. and the Netherlands have banned fur factory farms.(14) In 2006, there were 279 mink farms in the U.S., down from 324 farms in the previous four years.(15)
Consumers need to know that every fur coat, lining, or piece of trim represents the intense suffering of animals, whether they were trapped, ranched, or even unborn. This cruelty will end only when the public refuses to buy or wear fur.
Do not patronize stores that sell fur, and let the stores’ owners know why you won’t buy from their establishments. Write letters to the editors of fashion magazines that splash fur-clad models all over their pages and explain how wearing fur supports a cruel industry and why faux fur is a much more compassionate option

Fur Facts..On the Trapline

Inside the Fur Industry: Trapping Maims

Although the majority of animals slaughtered for their fur come from notoriously cruel fur factory farms, trappers worldwide kill millions of raccoons, coyotes, wolves, bobcats, opossums, nutria, beavers, otters, and other fur-bearing animals every year for the clothing industry.

How a Trapped Animal Dies
There are various types of traps, including snares, underwater traps, and Conibear traps, but the steel-jaw trap is the most widely used. This simple but barbaric device has been banned or is restricted in a growing number of states across the United States, including Arizona, Colorado, California, and Washington.(1) The European Union has banned both the use of the trap and the importation of furs from countries “that catch [wild animals] by means of leghold traps or trapping methods which do not meet international humane trapping standards.”(2)

When an animal steps on the spring of a steel-jaw trap, the trap’s jaws slam on the animal’s limb. The animal frantically struggles in excruciating pain as the trap cuts into his or her flesh, often down to the bone, mutilating the animal’s foot or leg. Some animals, especially mothers desperate to get back to their young, fight so vigorously that they attempt to chew or twist off their trapped limbs. This struggle may last for hours. Eventually, the animal succumbs to exhaustion and often exposure, frostbite, shock, and death as well.

If trapped animals do not die from blood loss, infection, or gangrene, they might be killed by predators. To prevent this, pole traps are often used. A pole trap is a form of steel-jaw trap that is set in a tree or on a pole. Animals caught in these traps are hoisted into the air and left to hang by the caught appendage until they die or the trapper arrives to kill them.
Conibear traps crush animals’ necks, applying 90 pounds of pressure per square inch. It takes animals three to eight minutes to suffocate in these traps.(3) Victims of water-set traps, including beavers and muskrats, can take more than nine agonizing minutes to drown.(4)
‘Accidental’ Victims
Every year, dogs, cats, birds, and other animals, including endangered species, are crippled or killed by traps. Trappers call these animals “trash kills” because they have no economic value. State regulations on how often trappers must check their traps vary from 24 hours to one week. Some states have no regulations at all.
In one case, a dog named Delilah was trapped for 48 hours in Pennsylvania after a steel-jaw trap snapped down on her leg; the local paper said she “used her free legs to scrape a hole to sleep in and gnawed on bark, hoping for nourishment.” Her leg had to be amputated.(5) Another dog suffered for at least five days in Nebraska, where trappers are legally supposed to check traps daily.(6)
During a four-month period, 12 dogs were reportedly caught in traps in western Montana; three of them died.(7) In Middleboro, Massachusetts, the body of a skinned dog was found with his front paw missing. Evidence led the investigating officer to conclude that a trapper caught the dog in a trap and then shot and skinned him.(8)
Animal Populations Self-Regulate
Contrary to fur-industry propaganda, there is no ecologically sound reason to trap animals for “wildlife management.” In fact, trapping disrupts wildlife populations by killing healthy animals needed to keep their species strong, and populations are further damaged when the parents of young animals are killed. Left alone, animal populations can and do regulate their own numbers. Even if human intervention or an unusual natural occurrence caused an animal population to rise temporarily, the group would soon stabilize through natural processes no more cruel, even at their worst, than the pain and trauma of being trapped and slaughtered by humans.
What You Can Do
Compassion is the fashion! You can discourage trapping by discouraging fur-wearing. When you see people in fur, tell them the facts about trapping; many people incorrectly assume that fur-bearing animals are killed humanely. If you already own a fur garment, please consider giving it to PETA as a tax-deductible donation for use in educational displays, anti-fur demonstrations, and fur giveaways to the homeless. Write or call businesses that sell furs or give furs away as prizes, and ask them to stop promoting cruelty. Ask your legislators to introduce bills to ban trapping. Contact PETA for literature that will inform others

Animal Experimentation Factsheet

Animal Experiments: Overview

Facts and Figures
 United States (2009)(1,2)
  • 1.13 million animals used in experiments (excluding rats, mice, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and agricultural animals used in agricultural experiments), plus an estimated 100 million mice and rats
  • 76,001 subjected to pain without pain relief
 Canada (2008)(3)
  • 2.27 million animals used in experiments
  • 98, 633 animals subjected to “severe pain near, at, or above the pain tolerance threshold of unanesthetized conscious animals”
 United Kingdom (2009)(4)
  • 3.6 million experiments on animals
  • 2.7 million without anesthesia
Each year, more than 100 million animals—including mice, rats, frogs, dogs, cats, rabbits, hamsters, guinea pigs, monkeys, fish, and birds—are killed in U.S. laboratories for chemical, drug, food, and cosmetics testing; biology lessons; medical training; and curiosity-driven experimentation. Before their deaths, some are forced to inhale toxic fumes, others are immobilized in restraint devices for hours, some have holes drilled into their skulls, and others have their skin burned off or their spinal cords crushed. In addition to the torment of the actual experiments, animals in laboratories are deprived of everything that is natural and important to them—they are confined to barren cages, socially isolated, and psychologically traumatized. The thinking, feeling animals who are used in experiments are treated like nothing more than disposable laboratory equipment.
Wasteful and Unreliable
While a Pew Research poll found 43 percent of adults surveyed oppose the use of animals in scientific research, other surveys suggest that those who do accept animal experimentation do so only because they believe it to be necessary for medical progress.(5,6) The reality is that the majority of animal experiments do not contribute to improving human health, and the value of the role that animal experimentation plays in most medical advances is questionable.
In an article published in The Journal of the American Medical Association, researchers warned that “patients and physicians should remain cautious about extrapolating the finding of prominent animal research to the care of human disease … poor replication of even high-quality animal studies should be expected by those who conduct clinical research.”(7)
Diseases that are artificially induced in animals in a laboratory are never identical to those that occur naturally in human beings. And because animal species differ from one another biologically in many significant ways, it becomes even more unlikely that animal experiments will yield results that will be correctly interpreted and applied to the human condition in a meaningful way.
For example, according to former National Cancer Institute Director Dr. Richard Klausner, “We have cured mice of cancer for decades, and it simply didn’t work in humans.”(8) And although at least 85 HIV/AIDS vaccines have been successful in nonhuman primate studies, as of 2010, every one of nearly 200 preventive and therapeutic vaccine trials has failed to demonstrate benefit to humans.(9) In one case, an AIDS vaccine that was shown to be effective in monkeys failed in human clinical trials because it did not prevent people from developing AIDS, and some believe that it made them more susceptible to the disease. According to a report in the British newspaper The Independent, one conclusion from the failed study was that “testing HIV vaccines on monkeys before they are used on humans, does not in fact work.”(10) 
Ninety-two percent of drugs—those that have been tested on animals and in vitro—do not make it through Phase 1 of human clinical trials (the initial studies that determine reaction, effectiveness, and side effects of doses of a potential drug).(11)
In addition, the results of animal experiments can be variable and easily manipulated. Research published in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine revealed that universities commonly exaggerate findings from animal experiments conducted in their laboratories and “often promote research that has uncertain relevance to human health and do not provide key facts or acknowledge important limitations.”(12) One study of  media coverage of scientific meetings concluded that news stories often omit crucial information and that “the public may be misled about the validity and relevance of the science presented.”(13) Because experimenters rarely publish results of failed animal studies, other scientists and the public do not have ready access to information on the ineffectiveness of animal experimentation.

Funding and Accountability
Through their taxes, charitable donations, and purchases of lottery tickets and consumer products, members of the public are ultimately the ones who—knowingly or unknowingly—fund animal experimentation. One of the largest sources of funding comes from publicly funded government granting agencies such as the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH). Approximately 40 percent of NIH-funded research involves experimentation on nonhuman animals, and in 2009, the NIH budgeted nearly $29 billion for research and development.(14,15) In addition, many charities––including the March of Dimes, the American Cancer Society, and countless others—use donations to fund experiments on animals. Visit HumaneSeal.org to find out which charities do and which do not fund research on animals.
Despite the vast amount of public funds being used to underwrite animal experimentation, it is nearly impossible for the public to obtain current and complete information regarding the animal experiments that are being carried out in their communities or funded with their tax dollars. State open-records laws and the U.S. Freedom of Information Act can be used to obtain documents and information from state institutions, government agencies, and other federally funded facilities, but private companies, contract labs, and animal breeders are exempt. In many cases, institutions that are subject to open-records laws fight vigorously to withhold information about animal experimentation from the public.(16)
Oversight and Regulation
Despite the countless animals killed each year in laboratories worldwide, most countries have grossly inadequate regulatory measures in place to protect animals from suffering and distress or to prevent them from being used when a non-animal approach is readily available. In the U.S., the most commonly used species in laboratory experiments (mice, rats, birds, reptiles, and amphibians) are specifically exempted from even the minimal protections of the federal Animal Welfare Act (AWA).(17) Laboratories that use only these species are not required by law to provide animals with pain relief or veterinary care, to search for and consider alternatives to animal use, to have an institutional committee review proposed experiments, or to be inspected by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) or any other entity. Experimenters don’t even have to count the mice and rats they kill. Some estimates indicate that as many as 800 U.S. laboratories are not subject to federal laws and inspections because they experiment exclusively on mice, rats, and other animals whose use is unregulated.(18)
As for the approximately 9,000 facilities that the USDA does regulate (of which about 1,000 are designated for “research”), only 99 USDA inspectors are employed to oversee their operations.(19,20) Reports over a span of 10 years concluded that even the minimal standards set forth by the AWA are not being met by these facilities. In 2000, a USDA survey of the agency’s laboratory inspectors revealed serious problems in numerous areas, including “the search for alternatives [and] review of painful procedures.”(21) A September 2005 audit report issued by the USDA Office of the Inspector General (OIG) found ongoing “problems with the search for alternative research, veterinary care, review of painful procedures, and the researchers’ use of animals.”(22) The OIG report estimated that experimenters failed to search for alternatives at almost one-third of facilities.(23)
Even animals who are covered by the law can be burned, shocked, poisoned, isolated, starved, forcibly restrained, addicted to drugs, and brain-damaged—no procedures or experiments, regardless of how trivial or painful they may be, are prohibited by law. When valid non-animal research methods are available, no law requires experimenters to use such methods instead of animals.
The Way Forward
Human clinical, population, and in vitro studies are critical to the advancement of medicine; even animal experimenters need them—if only to confirm or reject the validity of their experiments. However, research with human participants and other non-animal methods does require a different outlook, one that is creative and compassionate and embraces the underlying philosophy of ethical science. Animal experimenters artificially induce diseases; clinical investigators study people who are already ill or who have died. Animal experimenters want a disposable “research subject” who can be manipulated as desired and killed when convenient; clinicians must do no harm to their patients or study participants. Animal experimenters face the ultimate dilemma—knowing that their artificially created “animal model” can never fully reflect the human condition, while clinical investigators know that the results of their work are directly relevant to people.
Human health and well-being can also be promoted by adopting nonviolent methods of scientific investigation and concentrating on the prevention of disease before it occurs, through lifestyle modification and the prevention of further environmental pollution and degradation. The public needs to become more aware and more vocal about the cruelty and inadequacy of the current research system and must demand that its tax dollars and charitable donations not be used to fund experiments on animals.
What You Can Do
Tell research-funding agencies to kick their animal experimentation habit.
Virtually all federally funded research is paid for with your tax dollars. The NIH needs to hear that you don’t want your tax dollars used to underwrite animal experiments, regardless of their purpose. When writing letters, be sure to make the following two points:
• Animal experimentation is an inherently violent and unethical practice, and I do not want my tax dollars used to support it.
• Funding for research into health and ecological effects should be redirected into the use of epidemiological, clinical, in vitro, and computer-modeling studies instead of laboratory experiments on animals.
Please ensure that all correspondence is polite:
Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D., Director
National Institutes of Health
Shannon Bldg., Rm. 126
1 Center Dr.
Bethesda, MD 20892

Say "NO!" to Elephant Rides !

The Santa Ana Zoo continues to offer elephant rides despite learning about the abuse of elephants in the industry as well as the public safety risks associated with the rides.
Elephants used by the company Have Trunk Will Travel, which provides the rides at the Santa Ana Zoo, were wild-caught in Southeast Asia where baby elephants are routinely separated from their frantic mothers and beaten until their spirits are broken. Companies such as Have Trunk Will Travel subject them to cruel training using ropes, bullhooks (devices resembling a fireplace poker), and electric prods. Trainers strike the elephants in the most sensitive areas of their skin—behind the ears, on the legs, and on the trunk—so that the animals will perform tricks and obey commands under the threat of punishment.
Elephants in captivity sometimes rampage and injure or even kill their trainers and members of the public. An elephant used by Have Trunk Will Travel went on a rampage in Denver, knocking over a mother and her baby and injuring the baby. It took a few hours to recapture the elephant. Elephants are also carriers of a strain of tuberculosis that is highly transmissible to humans.
Please contact Santa Ana Mayor Miguel Pulido, Santa Ana Zoo Manager Kent Yamaguchi, and Friends of Santa Ana Zoo Executive Director Cathi Decker and ask them to immediately end the cruel elephant rides at the Santa Ana Zoo. If you are a Santa Ana resident or if you have a few extra moments to make this letter more personal (and therefore carry more weight), please feel free to alter the text before sending it.


Circuses: Beyond The Glitter And Pagentry
Billboards and notices announce that the circus is coming to various places on the island, and actually has been to some areas. Advertising statements say that local families are in for a real treat. Perhaps human audiences are in for a treat but I express a considerable amount of doubt as to whether the animal performers consider the whole thing a treat.
Audiences see the glitter and pageantry of the show. They are unaware of what goes on behind the scenes at some circuses. They do not know ,and in many cases do not want to know. Behind the scenes, things are not always so pretty. Pain and stress is often the daily companion for many animal entertainers.
Many people are unaware of the suffering inflicted upon animals who are exploited for our entertainment. Animals who are used in carnivals, circuses, rodeos, animals races, etc., are often denied comfort and freedom. Their basic needs and desires are ignored. Animals are taught to perform unnatural acts, or tricks, by learning that failure to do so will result in physical punishment.
Animals used in travelling shows and menageries are often subjected to severe abuses to provide entertainment at county fairs, shopping malls, theme parks, and stadiums. The variations of entertainment are limited only by the imagination of exhibitors out for an easy dollar.
As human consciousness grows, more people are learning to support entertainment which does net involve animal acts. In England local councils have banned animal acts from public lands. In Finland use of elephants in circuses is illegal. In the U.S. demonstraters are drawing attention to the plight of animal actors who have no voice to protest. In many parts of Canada charges have been brought against some circus owners.
Here are some abuses frequently perpetrated by circus owners:
  • Animals are often without proper veterinary care. They are listless, have diarrhea, are underweight, have sores and missing hair, are lame or self mutilated.
  • Cages are too small.
  • Cages are unsanitary.
  • Enough food and water is not always provided.
  • Animals are confined to tiny transport cages. Exhibition animals endure the stress of being trucked (and bound and slammed around) for hundreds of miles at a time.
  • Often without heating and air conditioning, animals suffer from temperature extremes.
  • Without exercise, they became listless and susceptible to illness.
  • Animals are often trained with the use of electric prods, whips, tight collars, and muzzles.
  • Even under the most ideal conditions, animals are expected to leam and perform unnatural acts in an unnatural environment.
Consider the following:
  • The Moscow Circus puts its animals, including a pregnant tiger, through a gruelling 17 day ocean voyage in the hold of a ship to bring them to this continent. The Moscow Circus Dancing Brown Bears weigh up to 300 pounds but are confined for as many as 20 hours per day in cages measuring 3 by 5 by 4 feet. They are trained using electric prods. whips, tight collars, and muzzles. They have been left without water in their cages in the summer heat.
  • Since 1951, Tim Rivers has travelled the U.S. with his high diving mules act. The act includes 3 mules, a pony, a dog, and a capuchin monkey. The mules climb a 30 foot ramp, then dive into a pool containing six feet of water, sometimes with other animals chained to their backs. The animals hit the water at 38 mph, resulting in 1500 pounds of pressure per square inch against their bodies. The animals climb out of the water visibly disoriented, and stumbling as they walk.
  • It was 99 degrees farenheit at the Hybla Valley Shopping Center in Virginia when a humane officer released more than 40 animals from the stifling heat inside metal trailers. Stuffed into a single trailer were a baby African elephant, eight Shetland ponies, 17 goats and sheep, a zebra, a llama, 2 ostriches, a minature horse, a calf, an exotic turtle, five oriental ducks, and a Burmese python. The elephants were found to be suffering from lack of adequate food, water and space. Nora, the baby elephant, was 300 pounds underweight, her backbone protruding under her skin. The Wonder Zoo traveling animal show had come to Fairfax Virginnia. The zoo owner gave up ownership of the animals rather than go to court for violating the law.
Everyone loves a circus, right? I am sure if the animal performers who are exploited for our entertainment could be consulted, their reply would be negative.
The animals are treated as a mere means to a human end. Sometimes in the case of housing and transporting performing animals, the animals are subjected to severe and often protracted deprivation. They are often expected to mimic human behaviour (ride bikes, jump through hoops, balance on balls, and wrestle) and are punished for failure.
When observing the synchronized, meticulous, often faultless performance of animals, members of the viewing audience should ask themselves this: What did this animal go through? How much stress, pain, prodding, and beatings did it endure, to learn and be able to perform this act?
When we patronize these forms of entertainment, we support the commercial interests that reduce the value of animals to the status of purely instrumental - more often than not at a cost of great stress and pain for them.
We do not have to train, exploit, out-wit, out-wrestle, or out-muscle animals . . . or support those who make a profit from doing so. The beauty of the animal world can be appreciated without them dancing on balls for our pleasure.
We have come a long way from the days of bear baiting in the Middle and Dark Ages . . . or have we?