Displaying items by tag: animal welfare


American Humane, the country’s first national humane organization that for 140 years has been first to serve the interests of animals, was named the Outstanding Animal Welfare Organization of the Year by the Pet Philanthropy Circle at the glittering Pet Hero Awards gala in New York City, hosted by beloved voice of NBC’s National Dog Show David Frei and co-chaired by Georgina Bloomberg and Prince Lorenzo Borghese. Adding to the organization’s notable win, longtime supporter, American Humane board member and country music star Naomi Judd was named Humanitarian of the Year.

“Due to American Humane’s outstanding contributions to animal welfare, the organization has been selected by the Executive Board of the Pet Philanthropy Circle for the Animal Welfare Organization of the Year Award,” said Jewel Morris, noted animal advocate and founding president of Pet Philanthropy Circle. “Your commitment to animal welfare exemplifies the dedication that our Board evaluates worthy of this esteemed award.”

For 140 years, American Humane has been first to serve in the protection of animals in every sphere of life – in our homes and communities, on our farms and ranches, on the silver screen, and in human care at zoos, aquariums and conservation centers. The organization also works to save more of the 6-8 million animals relinquished each year to the nation’s shelters and get them into loving, forever homes. And in just the past dozen years, American Humane saved, sheltered and helped more than 80,000 animals caught in disasters and cruelty cases. The organization positively reaches some 1 billion animals with direct services each year – more than any other in its field.

Country star and American Humane Board Member Naomi Judd Also Honored

Adding to American Humane’s win, the Pet Philanthropy Circle honored the country star and the organization’s longtime supporter and board member as the Humanitarian of the Year. The award recognized her wide-ranging charitable work, including her advocacy for America’s military hero dogs. Ms. Judd worked with American Humane to have Congress change the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), mandating that these four-legged veterans be brought home and retired on U.S. soil and reunited with their former handlers after their service is finished. Congress changed and passed the NDAA, which was then signed into law by the President late last year.

“For nearly a century and a half the staff and volunteers at American Humane have worked to be the first to serve in the protection of animals,” said American Humane President and CEO Dr. Robin Ganzert. “We are deeply honored by this award and thank the remarkable and esteemed members of the Pet Philanthropy Circle board, which includes so many of the nation’s leading animal advocates. On behalf of the one billion animals we serve each year, thank you!”  

           

About American Humane

American Humane is the country's first national humane organization, founded in 1877. For more information, please visit www.americanhumane.org.

 

More than 800 fur items, worth an estimated $1.5 million and representing approximately 26,000 animals killed, have been donated and distributed to wildlife rehabilitation centers across U.S.

Washington, D.C.,  September 21, 2016, -- Today, Born Free USA, a global leader in animal welfare and wildlife conservation, announced its third annual “Fur for the Animals” campaign: a donation drive to collect unwanted fur coats and accessories, which are repurposed and sent to wildlife rehabilitation centers around the country to help comfort orphaned and injured wildlife.

Since the initiative began in 2014, more than 800 fur items, worth more than $1.5 million and representing approximately 26,000 animals killed, have been donated to Born Free USA and distributed to wildlife rehabilitation centers around the U.S.

According to Adam M. Roberts, CEO of Born Free USA, “Since we launched this campaign in 2014, we have seen an overwhelming outpouring of donations from across the globe: fur coats, scarves, hats, gloves, pillows, toys, and more. Frequently, the donations arrive with exceptionally moving thank-you notes from people relieved to find a worthy use for unwanted fur. These are often inherited items or regretted fashion decisions that have stayed in closets and storage units for years, until the owners heard about Fur for the Animals. The success of this campaign illustrates that consumers increasingly want nothing to do with fur in fashion. While urging people to not buy fur, we also provide an answer with fur already purchased: put it to good use by comforting wildlife.”

“Fur comes only from misery and death, and the demand feeds a barbaric and cruel industry. The fur that has come to our office over the past three years came from tens of thousands of animals who all suffered tremendously,” Roberts explains.

Born Free USA’s Fur for the Animals campaign comes two weeks after the organization released its shocking undercover trapping investigation, Victims of Vanity II, which reveals brutal, dangerous, and sometimes illegal trapping on both private and public land—all to supply the fur industry. Born Free USA hopes to reduce the supply, demand, and social acceptance of fur not only by showing the truth about trapping, but by taking fur out of circulation wherever possible and giving it back to where it belongs: with the animals.

Once collected, Born Free USA will continue to send the fur to wildlife rehabilitation centers and sanctuaries, including: The Fund for Animals Wildlife Center (Ramona, CA), Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation (Kendalia, TX), Blue Ridge Wildlife Center (Boyce, VA), and Born Free USA’s newest campaign partners: OPR Coastal Primate Sanctuary (Longview, WA), Cleveland Amory Black Beauty Ranch (Murchison, TX), and Wild Animal Sanctuary (Keenesburg, CO). For a full list of partners, visit www.bornfreeusa.org/furdrive. Additional wildlife rehabilitation partners are welcome, and they can learn more by contacting This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  

Fur for the Animals runs from September 21 to December 31, 2016. To donate, fur can be dropped off in person or shipped to Born Free USA, 2300 Wisconsin Ave. NW, Suite 100B, Washington, D.C. 20007 before December 31, 2016.

Born Free USA commends the growing number of fashion retailers vowing to go fur free.  In March 2016, Giorgio Armani announced it will be removing animal fur from its collections beginning with its Fall/Winter 2016 line. Armani has joined such brands as Hugo Boss, H&M, Steve Madden, Marks & Spencer, Topshop, and Zara. For a full list of fur free fashion retailers, click here.     

Born Free USA is a member of Fur Free Alliance: an international coalition of animal protection organizations working to bring an end to the exploitation and killing of animals for their fur. Fur Free Alliance represents more than 40 animal protection organizations in 28 countries, and has millions of supporters worldwide. 

Born Free USA is a nationally recognized leader in animal welfare and wildlife conservation. Through litigation, legislation, and public education, Born Free USA leads vital campaigns against animals in entertainment, exotic “pets,” trapping and fur, and the destructive international wildlife trade. Born Free USA brings to North America the message of “compassionate conservation”—the vision of the United Kingdom-based Born Free Foundation, established in 1984 by Bill Travers and Virginia McKenna, stars of the iconic film Born Free, along with their son, Will Travers. Born Free USA’s mission is to end suffering of wild animals in captivity, conserve threatened and endangered species, and encourage compassionate conservation globally. More at www.bornfreeusa.org, www.twitter.com/bornfreeusa, and www.facebook.com/bornfreeusa.

 

The More Pet Owners Learn about Scientific Research on the Benefits of the Human-Animal Bond, the Better They’ll Care for their Companion Animals

(Washington, D.C.) September 7, 2016 – The Human Animal Bond Research Initiative (HABRI) Foundation today announced the findings of a new survey on the impact of knowledge of the scientific benefits of the human-animal bond on how pet owners care for their companion animals. The survey asked pet owners about their awareness of research that shows pets improve human health and found that this knowledge has the power to motivate them to take better care of their pets in important ways.

“Scientific research shows that pets are good for our health, improving heart health, relieving stress and positively impacting conditions from autism to PTSD,” said HABRI Executive Director, Steven Feldman. “Now, for the first time, we have data to show that it’s a two-way street – when we know how good pets are for us, we are more likely to take better care of them!”

According to the survey, seventy-one percent of pet owners were aware of scientifically-documented health benefits from pets. Most importantly, when asked how knowledge of the scientific research on the human-animal bond would affect their actions:

  • 89% of pet owners said they were more likely to take better care of their pets
  • 75% of pet owners said they were more likely to microchip a pet to ensure it can be found if lost or stolen
  • 51% of pet owners said they were more likely to purchase pet health insurance
  • 62% of pet owners said they were less likely to skip visits to the veterinarian
  • 74% of pet owners said they were less likely to give up a pet for any reason
  • 88% of pet owners said they were more likely to provide their pets with high-quality nutrition
  • 92% of pet owners said they were more likely to maintain their pet’s health, including keeping up with vaccines and preventative medicine

The survey also examined how different generations of pet owners viewed and reacted to the human-animal bond. For millennials, in particular, learning about the scientific research on the health benefits of pets had a large impact:

  • 80% of millennials said this information makes them more likely to bring their pet along when they go out
  • 75% of millennials said this information makes them more likely to travel with their pets 
  • 74% of millennials said this information makes them more likely to get an additional pet
  • 74% of millennials think employers should consider allowing employees to bring pets to work

“When pet owners are educated about the scientific research on the human-animal bond, the response is tremendously positive for the welfare of the pet population,” said researcher Michael Cohen, Ph.D. “This research tells me that veterinarians and animal shelters should be talking about the benefits of pets to human health.”

The survey also asked pet owners about increased support for pet ownership in society:

  • 84% agree health and life insurance companies should give discounts for owing a pet
  • 87% would be more likely to buy products from pet-friendly businesses
  • 69% agree the government should help make it more affordable to own a pet
  • 88% agree doctors and specialists should recommend pets to patients for healthier living

“As HABRI continues to fund human-animal bond research, it will work hard to educate pet owners and the general public about the positive impacts of pet ownership on human health,” Feldman added. “As more people experience the healing power of the human-animal bond, more and more pets can get the highest level of care and welfare.”

The online survey, conducted by the Cohen Research Group, included 2,000 interviews and had a margin of error of +2.2%.

The HABRI Foundation maintains the world’s largest online library of human-animal bond research and information; funds innovative research projects to scientifically document the health benefits of companion animals; and informs the public about human-animal bond research and the beneficial role of companion animals in society. For more information about the HABRI Foundation, visit www.habri.org.

 

California becomes second state to outlaw cruel weapon used to control elephants

Washington, D.C., August 30, 2016 -- Born Free USA, a global leader in animal welfare and wildlife conservation, commends California’s Governor Jerry Brown for signing S.B. 1062 yesterday to ban the use of bullhooks and other weapons designed to inflict pain for the purpose of training or controlling the behavior of an elephant. Introduced by Senator Ricardo Lara (D-33), the law will go into effect on January 1, 2018.

A bullhook is a long, thick pole with a sharp metal hook attached to the end, used to inflict pain as negative reinforcement. It is a common, yet highly notorious weapon in the elephant trainer’s arsenal. California is the second state in the nation to pass a prohibition on bullhooks, following Rhode Island’s precedent-setting law in July.

According to Adam M. Roberts, CEO of Born Free USA, “We are seeing a groundswell of public support across the country for ending the use of cruel bullhooks as the public becomes increasingly concerned about the welfare of performing animals—and legislators from coast to coast are responding. Bullhooks and other weapons used by trainers produce unimaginable suffering in elephants who are forced to submit to unnatural acts before an audience day after day, year after year. There is no justification for causing this type of physical and mental anguish.”

In addition, numerous elephant experts claim that sharp implements can do severe damage to elephants’ thick but highly sensitive skin. Trainers often embed the bullhook into the soft tissue behind the ears, inside the ear or mouth, under the trunk and chin, in the armpit area, on the back of the legs, in and around the anus, and in tender spots around the feet. The fear that the bullhook instills in elephants means they will, under duress, do everything possible to escape further blows. Its cruel power to implement negative reinforcement techniques explains why the bullhook has historically been a ubiquitous weapon for circus trainers. After that type of abuse, simply holding the bullhook near the elephant when in front of an audience is threatening enough to compel obedience.

“We thank Senator Lara for sponsoring this crucial legislation and applaud Governor Brown for making the compassionate choice to sign it into law,” says Roberts. “This is a momentous step forward in the fight to end brutality against performing animals, and I hope other states will follow California’s example without delay.”

Born Free USA is a global leader in animal welfare and wildlife conservation. Through litigation, legislation, and public education, Born Free USA leads vital campaigns against animals in entertainment, exotic "pets," trapping and fur, and the destructive international wildlife trade. Born Free USA brings to America the message of "compassionate conservation": the vision of the U.K.-based Born Free Foundation, established in 1984 by Bill Travers and Virginia McKenna, stars of the iconic film Born Free, along with their son, Will Travers. Born Free's mission is to end suffering of wild animals in captivity, conserve threatened and endangered species, and encourage compassionate conservation globally. More at www.bornfreeusa.org, www.twitter.com/bornfreeusa, and www.facebook.com/bornfreeusa.


 

                              PET PHILANTHROPY CIRCLE ANNOUNCES
                                  The 2016 "PET HERO AWARD WINNERS"

 

The Pet Hero Awards™ are notably the nation’s most prestigious animal welfare award ceremony showcasing people, organizations, corporations, veterinarians and pets that serve to inspire others to promote animal welfare.  These awards showcase the causes and needs of those who protect animals.Co-Chairs, Georgina Bloomberg, Prince Lorenzo Borghese and myself invite all Media to cover an amazing event. Email Gregg Oehler directly at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.Pet Hero Awards ceremony at the elegant Gotham Hall in Manhattan on Friday October 7th, 2016.The 2016 Award winners include an all-star lineup.Naomi Judd will be receiving the Humanitarian of the Year Award for her tireless work in lobbying in Washington, DC to ensure the safe return of all service dogs that have served in the US Military.

 

Alison Eastwood, actress, daughter of Clint Eastwood, and Founder of the Eastwood Ranch Foundation, is the Animal Advocate of the Year, recognized for her outstanding success with saving animals from kill shelters in Southern California.
Dr. Robin Ganzert
, will be accepting the Outstanding Animal Welfare Organization award as CEO of the American Humane Association whose efforts have impacted hundreds of millions of animals. The Petco Foundation is being awarded the Foundation of the Year for helping 4.9 million pets find homes.  Katie Cleary, Executive Producer and Writer of the movie, Give Me Shelter on Netflix, President of Peace for Animals, and Founder and Editor in Chief of the Animal News Network is receiving the Animal Welfare Spokesperson Award. 

 

The Heart Organization has earned the Animal Welfare Education Award for their national youth education program that teaches compassion and respect for all living beings. Jamie’s Rescue in Miami brings focus on the challenges of rescuing street dogs in inner cities and is awarded the Rescue Organization of the Year.
Outstanding Junior of the Year, Matthew Talbot, proves we are never too young to make a difference in saving animal lives. The Outstanding Pet, Amazing Grace, a dog destined to a gruesome death in a gas chamber survived and inspires humans to end this cruel, unnecessary way of eliminating dogs. Tributes for all Pet Hero Award winners are available on the PetCircle.org website.

 "Humanitarian of the Year".... .......Naomi Judd                          

 "Animal Advocate of the Year"..... Alison Eastwood                 
"Foundation of the Year"...............The Petco Foundation 
 "Animal Welfare Spokesperson Award"....Katie Cleary 
"Animal Welfare Education Award"....The Heart Organization
"Rescue Organization of the Year"....Jamie's Rescue
"Outstanding Junior of the Year".......Matthew Talbot
"Outstanding Animal Welfare Organization"...American Humane Association, 
      Robin Ganzert...President/CEO

The Pet Philanthropy Circle will commemorate this special 5th anniversary with a VIP Cocktail Reception, the Awards Program, the Alex Donner Orchestra and entertainment by Beau Hulse.  This optional black tie event will be Co-hosted by Jewel Morris, Founder of the Pet Philanthropy Circle and David Frei, NBC Commentator and former Westminster Dog Show Host

 

Sponsors are welcome and currently include Subaru of America, the Park Lane Hotel, The Petco Foundation, American Humane Association, Hamptons Magazine, and Hamptons Pet "The Luxury Global Pet Magazine".

 

By showcasing these outstanding contributions, the Pet Philanthropy Circle hopes to inspire everyone to become involved in defending the rights of animals. Honorees and guests fly in from around the country to attend this enlightening and entertaining celebration of animals and the causes that protect them. 

For tickets www.petphilanthropycircle.com/tickets or call 631 255- 7911 

              

 

Born Free USA database shows that these incidents are part of a larger problem with captivity

Washington, D.C., June 10, 2016 -- A leopard named Zeya escaped from her enclosure at the Hogle Zoo in Salt Lake City, Utah this week, marking the latest in a string of recent escapes, injuries, deaths, and other disturbing incidents at zoos. Born Free USA, a global leader in animal welfare and wildlife conservation, calls for an immediate review of all safety and emergency protocols for the keeping of potentially dangerous wild animals in zoos across the U.S. and globally.

According to Adam M. Roberts, CEO of Born Free USA, “Zeya was simply demonstrating the curiosity, agility, and desire for independence you would expect from a leopard, within the thoroughly unnatural confines of her life at the zoo. The blame here does not lie with a wild animal for acting like a wild animal, but rather with the Hogle Zoo for both its long-term exploitation of this animal and its inadequate safety measures. It is fortunate that no one was hurt during this incident, although tranquilizing an animal is never without risk. However, many animals and humans do not escape unscathed from this type of event.”

In addition to Zeya the leopard at the Hogle Zoo on June 7, there have been several other incidents at zoos in just under two weeks: 

  • On May 27, a male wolf named Rebel at the Menominee Park Zoo in Oshkosh, Wisconsin was euthanized after visitors took advantage of an improperly opened gate and Rebel nipped the hand of a four-year-old child who stuck his fingers through the enclosure's chain-link fence.
  • On May 28, Harambe, a 17-year-old gorilla at the Cincinnati Zoo, was killed after a young boy fell into his enclosure.
  • On June 5, a male lion at Chiba Zoological Park in Tokyo, Japan was filmed crashing into a protective glass wall as he tried to pounce on a little boy.

These are not isolated or unusual events at zoos. According to the Born Free USA Exotic Animal Incidents Database, since 1990, there have been 224 instances of injury to a person by an animal at a zoo, and 128 human deaths. Additionally, 87 zoo animals have been killed by humans.

Roberts continues, “These staggering numbers are appalling and preventable. Zeya’s escape, Harambe’s and Rebel’s deaths, and countless other tragedies are caused by a severe lack of attention to public safety and animal welfare at zoos. There is absolutely no reason to imprison these wild animals in cages, and there is no reason why people should be in such close proximity at all to dangerous wild animals. These animals do not belong anywhere but in their natural habitats, in the wild.”

Born Free USA is a global leader in animal welfare and wildlife conservation. Through litigation, legislation, and public education, Born Free USA leads vital campaigns against animals in entertainment, exotic "pets," trapping and fur, and the destructive international wildlife trade. Born Free USA brings to America the message of "compassionate conservation": the vision of the U.K.-based Born Free Foundation, established in 1984 by Bill Travers and Virginia McKenna, stars of the iconic film Born Free, along with their son, Will Travers. Born Free's mission is to end suffering of wild animals in captivity, conserve threatened and endangered species, and encourage compassionate conservation globally. More at www.bornfreeusa.org, www.twitter.com/bornfreeusa, and www.facebook.com/bornfreeusa.

 

Fleetwood Mac drummer Mick Fleetwood and the Drum Workshop snare drum “Rumours” created in his honor.

Music legend and wildlife advocate Mick Fleetwood has chosen the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) as the benefiting charity of the Drum Workshop snare drum “Rumours,” created in his honor and named after Fleetwood Mac’s most iconic album. “Rumours” is a limited edition collection (only 250 produced) handmade with maple and custom gold hardware and created with input from the artist himself. The album’s cover art is recreated in hand-inlaid exotic woods.

Fleetwood, who is a long-time Hawaii resident and business owner in Maui, worked with IFAW to support passage of a state bill that cracks down on trafficking of ivory and other wildlife products from imperiled species. He joined other Hawaii-based musicians, actors and business leaders in signing an open letter in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser encouraging residents to support this legislation. In addition, Mick hosted an IFAW event at his restaurant, “Fleetwood’s on Front Street,” that was attended by notable Hawaii residents and wildlife supporters who wanted to learn about the issue and join the effort. Mick also submitted testimony to the House Committee on Water and Land Committee and the House Committee on Judiciary, urging lawmakers to protect wildlife and make Hawaii a leader in global conservation efforts.

In early May, the Hawaii legislature passed this landmark legislation, making it the fifth state in the nation to prioritize endangered species over trade in unnecessary wildlife products. Elephants, rhinos, tigers, and countless other species face unprecedented threats – from habitat loss to rampant poaching – but this successful fight shows that we can make a difference.

We sincerely thank Mick for his passionate support of this campaign and his leadership in raising awareness and funds for IFAW’s work to protect imperiled wildlife.

The Rumours snare drum can be purchased here.

 

“New Jersey is a major hub for imports and transportation of body parts of endangered species.” – Born Free USA CEO

Washington, D.C., May 3, 2016 -- Born Free USA, a global leader in animal welfare and wildlife conservation, commends Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey for signing S. 977 into law—a bill that would ban the possession, transport, import, export, processing, sale, or shipment of lions, tigers, leopards, elephants, rhinos, and cape buffalos. These animals are endangered species that fall victim to trophy hunting.

According to Adam M. Roberts, CEO of Born Free USA, “New Jersey is a major hub for imports and transportation of body parts of endangered species. We are thankful for Senator Raymond Lesniak’s leadership on this bill, which is crucial to protecting imperiled species. We commend Governor Christie for signing this bill into law. Born Free has studied wildlife trafficking for more than two decades, and we can conclude that trophy hunting does nothing to enhance conservation. In 2013, Born Free USA, along with partner organizations, commissioned Economists at Large to investigate the facts.  The study proved that the trophy hunting industry makes a minimal contribution to national incomes. As a portion of any national economy, trophy hunting revenue never accounts for more than 0.27 percent of the GDP."

Under this legislation, those violating the law will be guilty of a third degree crime and fines of up to $75,000. The law will go into effect Monday, May 26, 2016, after the Senate and Assembly concur with the governor's conditions.

According to Senator Raymond Lesniak (D-NJ), who sponsored the bill, “Our ban will send a strong message to those who would endanger the very existence of these majestic animals to avoid bringing their ‘trophies’ into New Jersey and better yet, give it up entirely.”

This critical piece of legislation comes less than a year after the tragic death of Cecil the lion, who was allegedly lured outside of Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe and killed by an American hunter. He was shot with an arrow, injured, and tracked for 40 hours before finally being shot with a gun, beheaded, and skinned. The U.S. is a significant market for hunting “trophies” like Cecil. State laws banning the importation of these products are aimed at reducing the demand. Roberts adds, “Born Free USA encourages other states to pass similar legislation in order to protect imperiled species from extinction and ultimately put an end, once and for all, to this horrific ‘sport.’”

Born Free USA is a global leader in animal welfare and wildlife conservation. Through litigation, legislation, and public education, Born Free USA leads vital campaigns against animals in entertainment, exotic “pets,” trapping and fur, and the destructive international wildlife trade. Born Free USA brings to North America the message of “compassionate conservation”—the vision of the United Kingdom-based Born Free Foundation, established in 1984 by Bill Travers and Virginia McKenna, stars of the iconic film Born Free, along with their son, Will Travers. Born Free’s mission is to end suffering of wild animals in captivity, conserve threatened and endangered species, and encourage compassionate conservation globally. More at www.bornfreeusa.org, www.twitter.com/bornfreeusa, and www.facebook.com/bornfreeusa.

 

 “It is immensely cruel and dangerous to keep them in captivity.” - CEO Adam M. Roberts

Washington, D.C., April 19, 2016 -- Born Free USA, a global leader in animal welfare and wildlife conservation, condemns University of Mississippi (Ole Miss) defensive end Robert Nkemdiche’s announced plan this week to purchase a panther “when he is drafted into the NFL,” and urges him to find a more compassionate way to celebrate. Defending his plan, Nkemdiche insisted, “They’re like cats,” and said that if a guest is scared, he’ll “put the panther away.”

According to Adam M. Roberts, CEO of Born Free USA and Born Free Foundation, “Panthers, like other exotic animals, may seem like a novel or stylish pet to buy, but the reality is that it is immensely cruel and dangerous to keep them in captivity. Nkemdiche is drawn to them because he believes a big cat will set him apart, but acquiring a panther would just mark him as callous and irresponsible. Not only would this purchase be devastating for the panther he acquires, but he is also using his celebrity status to set a terrible example. People like to emulate celebrities, and so he is encouraging others to participate in the brutal exotic pet trade, as well.”

The epidemic of big cat ownership threatens public safety. According to the Born Free USA Exotic Animal Incidents Database, reported incidents involving captive big cats have resulted in the deaths of at least 23 people since 1999, five of them children. In many cases, the animals were shot and killed, often by first responders who were neither trained nor properly equipped to handle the situations.

Private big cat ownership also subjects the cats to cruel mistreatment. They frequently come from a vicious breeding cycle in which babies are separated from their mothers and sold as cubs. Pet big cats are often declawed and defanged in an effort to "tame" them, and are kept in cramped cages, fed unnatural diets, and deprived of contact with other members of their species.

Roberts adds, “A panther is like a house cat as much as a hyena is like a Chihuahua: definitely not domesticated, and never suitable for life inside a home. I strongly urge Nkemdiche to find a more humane way to celebrate.”

Born Free USA is a global leader in animal welfare and wildlife conservation. Through litigation, legislation, and public education, Born Free USA leads vital campaigns against animals in entertainment, exotic "pets," trapping and fur, and the destructive international wildlife trade. Born Free USA brings to America the message of "compassionate conservation": the vision of the U.K.-based Born Free Foundation, established in 1984 by Bill Travers and Virginia McKenna, stars of the iconic film Born Free, along with their son, Will Travers. Born Free's mission is to end suffering of wild animals in captivity, conserve threatened and endangered species, and encourage compassionate conservation globally. More at www.bornfreeusa.org, www.twitter.com/bornfreeusa, and www.facebook.com/bornfreeusa.



‘ASPCA 150: Come to Their Rescue’ nationwide campaign and call-to-action honors America’s longest-standing animal welfare organization and its dedication to protecting animals in crisis

Public urged to take 150,000 actions for animals during ‘150 Days of Rescue’ and help their local shelters win a $150,000 ASPCA grant


NEW YORK, NY—The ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) today announced the start of a months-long celebration of its 150th anniversary this April with ASPCA 150: Come to Their Rescue – a national campaign honoring the ASPCA’s 150 years of animal rescue by inspiring public acts of compassion that will help save and protect dogs, cats, horses and farm animals from cruelty. The Come to Their Rescue campaign will feature multiple large-scale animal welfare programs and events, including a public action campaign and nationwide contest, a video featuring celebrity supporters, and the premiere of the ASPCA’s first-ever documentary.

“When Henry Bergh founded the ASPCA in April 1866, he was driven by a fierce dedication to stop animal abuse and suffering. That drive continues in our work, now supported by modern technologies and an increased awareness and respect for the true value of animals,” said ASPCA President & CEO Matt Bershadker. “But significant challenges to animal lives still remain, which is why this commemoration is as much about the present and the future as it is about the past. We encourage everyone to play a part in advancing Henry Bergh’s legacy by committing to helping vulnerable animals survive, thrive, and find safety in loving homes.”

Animal welfare advocates and supporters will have several opportunities to join the celebration of the ASPCA’s milestone anniversary over the next several months, including:

The “150 Days of Rescue” Action Campaign and Contest (April 10-September 7, 2016)
For 150 days beginning on the ASPCA’s April 10 birthday, the ASPCA will encourage animal lovers to visit ASPCA.org/150days and pledge at least 15 minutes of their time to helping animals in need, toward an ultimate goal of 150,000 acts of compassion through September 7, 2016. Possible actions include volunteering at a local shelter, fostering and/or adopting homeless animals, and advocating for stronger animal welfare laws. Those who log their actions on the campaign website will be encouraged to enter their favorite shelters or rescue groups in a grant contest in which one of these organizations will receive a $150,000 grant from the ASPCA.

The “150 Days of Rescue” campaign will be supported by a short celebrity video conceived and directed by photographer and filmmaker Dewey Nicks, featuring a notable entertainers speaking up for animals in need and encouraging the public to do the same. Celebrity participants include Jason Schwartzman, George Lopez, Adrienne Moore, Julie Bowen, Krysten Ritter, Miles Brown, Beth Behrs, Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson, Jennifer Coolidge, Kesha, Martha Stewart, Edie Falco, Nathan Lane, and Keith Stanfield. The soundtrack for the short film is provided by composer and musician Owen Pallett.

“Adoptapalooza” NYC Adoption Events (April 10, 2016)
In partnership with the Alliance for NYC’s Animals, the ASPCA will hold two public Adoptapalooza events on Sunday, April 10. Taking place in two different boroughs – one in Union Square and another at the House of Vans in Greenpoint, Brooklyn – the mega adoption events will showcase more than 300 adoptable dogs, cats and rabbits – all spayed or neutered and vaccinated – from local shelters and rescue organizations across the city. Adoption fees for all adoptions will be covered by Animal Planet, a generous partner to the ASPCA. In addition to facilitating adoptions, each Adoptapalooza event will feature activities, giveaways, and celebrity pet appearances. Leading up the event in Union Square, the first-ever “NYC Paws Parade” will honor the united efforts of the dedicated groups working to protect the city’s most vulnerable residents as representatives from the ASPCA, the Alliance for NYC’s Animals, NYPD, Animal Care Centers of NYC (ACC), FDNY and more march down Broadway from 26th to 17th Streets in Manhattan. The parade will include New Yorker and Broadway legend Bernadette Peters serving as Grand Marshal, as well as “Dog Marshal” (and her adopted parents) – canine cruelty victim Charlotte/Pip and Special Guest Marnie the Dog, a social media dog “celebrity” and advocate for senior dog adoption.

“Second Chance Dogs” Premiere on Animal Planet (April 16, 2016 at 9 a.m.)
The ASPCA’s first-ever documentary, “Second Chance Dogs,” tells the story of six fearful dogs rescued from cruel conditions and delivered to the ASPCA Behavioral Rehabilitation Center in Madison, N.J., the first-ever facility dedicated to providing behavioral rehabilitation to canine victims of cruelty and hoarding. Through innovative techniques, patience, and commitment, the staff at the ASPCA Behavioral Rehabilitation Center moves these animals from rescue to rehabilitation, and ultimately into safe and loving homes. The goal of this film is to educate the public about the long-term effects of cruelty and neglect, and to promote the adoption of shelter dogs. The documentary will premiere at 9 a.m. ET/PT on Animal Planet. More information about the film and the ASPCA Behavioral Rehabilitation Center can be found at www.secondchancedogsfilm.com.


About the ASPCA®
Founded in 1866 and celebrating its 150th birthday this year, the ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) is the first animal welfare organization in North America and serves as the nation’s leading voice for animals. More than two million supporters strong, the ASPCA’s mission is to provide effective means for the prevention of cruelty to animals throughout the United States. As a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation, the ASPCA is a national leader in the areas of anti-cruelty, community outreach and animal health services. For more information, please visit www.ASPCA.org, and be sure to follow the ASPCA on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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