Displaying items by tag: press release

 

(Washington, D.C., February 14, 2020) The Commonwealth of Virginia has announced plans to help waterbirds displaced by construction on Hampton Roads’ South Island, which has been used by more than 20,000 birds as annual breeding habitat since the 1980s. American Bird Conservancy (ABC) applauds Governor Ralph Northam and the Virginia Secretary of Natural Resources for their emergency measures, which include the creation of alternative breeding habitat for this critically important waterbird colony.

First, ABC is extremely grateful to the administration for proposing a set of measures designed to help migratory birds both in Hampton Roads and across Virginia. In particular, Virginia’s steps to create a new regulation to protect migratory birds from future industrial development will position the Commonwealth as a leader in bird conservation at a time when federal regulations to protect birds are being weakened.

Second, ABC welcomes the following package of specific measures designed to help Hampton Roads’ waterbird colony, which is the Commonwealth’s largest and includes many declining species:

  • The creation of breeding habitat at nearby Rip Raps Island (formerly known as Fort Wool) and potentially on artificial barges, which is equivalent to the area currently being utilized by terns (Common, Gull-billed, Sandwich, and Royal) on South Island; and a plan to attract the birds to the new habitat and to control predators.
  • The development of a plan to carefully discourage birds from attempting to nest on South Island this spring, since paving and construction activities will render the habitat unsuitable. Instead, the Commonwealth will encourage the birds to move to the newly created nesting habitat at Rip Raps Island.
     
  • A commitment to restore habitat on South Island post-construction to allow birds to return to nest there.
     
  • Plans to create an additional, alternate nesting island in the longer-term, which taken together with the other alternative breeding habitats created will represent a net gain for overall bird habitat in the area.

“We’re optimistic that this plan will effectively provide immediate habitat for the birds to save the 2020 nesting season, as well as a net gain of habitat in the longer term,” said Mike Parr, President of American Bird Conservancy. “Many individuals and groups have participated in the effort to help the Hampton Roads bird colony. We’re grateful for their concern and support, and we look forward to continuing our work with the Commonwealth and other public and private partners to further benefit waterbirds nesting in Virginia and elsewhere.”

 

 

New York, NYTo celebrate the dogs who do extraordinary things in the service of humankind, the AKC Humane FundSM is seeking YOUR nominations for its AKC Humane Fund Awards for Canine Excellence (ACE). Nominations are open now through July 31st and winners will be announced in the fall of 2020.  

Each year, the AKC Humane Fund pays tribute to five dedicated, hardworking dogs for making significant contributions to an individual or entire community. Since its creation in 2000, 100 ACE awards have been presented. Former ACE recipients have included a Poodle who helps his young autistic owner gain confidence each day and a Doberman Pinscher, who dedicates his life to Search & Rescue despite his own battle with Wobbler’s disease, among dozens of other extraordinary dogs.


“There are so many remarkable dogs to recognize with these awards,” said Doug Ljungren, President of the AKC Humane Fund. “Canines touch the lives and hearts of their owners and the world around them each day. We are proud to honor five of them each year with an ACE Award in recognition of their contributions.”

One award is given in each of the following five categories:

Uniformed Service K-9

Eligibility: Full-time working K-9s in the realms of city, county, state, or federal law enforcement; the military; firefighting; customs and border patrol; emergency services.

Exemplary Companion

Eligibility: Dogs without formal training or certification that have nonetheless distinguished themselves in some way and have made a meaningful contribution to their owners or communities.

 

Search and Rescue

Eligibility: Dogs certified to assist in wilderness and urban tracking, natural disasters, mass casualty events and locating missing people.

Therapy

Eligibility: Certified therapy dogs working in hospitals, schools, disaster sites, war zones, and wherever else the affection of a good dog can provide comfort.

Service

Eligibility: Service dogs who enrich the lives of physically or mentally disabled owners, including, but not limited to, guide dogs for the blind, seizure-alert dogs, hearing dogs, balance dogs.

**(Note: Nominees doing therapy work without certification are considered in the Exemplary Companion category.)

Honorees will receive an engraved sterling-silver medallion and an all-expenses-paid trip for dog and owner to Orlando, Florida, to be honored at the AKC National Championship presented by Royal Canin in December. A donation of $1,000 will also be made in each recipient’s name to the pet-related charity of their choice.

Anyone, including the dog’s owner or handler, may submit a nomination form.

Submissions for the AKC Humane Fund Awards for Canine Excellence for 2020 must include:

  • A digital photograph of the dog. Files must be larger than1MB in size and a minimum of 300 dpi. The photo should feature solely the nominated dog.
  • A 500-word-or-less description of how the dog has demonstrated excellence.
  • Dog’s call name, breed, age and sex.
  • Owner’s/Nominator's name(s), address and phone number. E-mail address if available.

Nominations will be accepted through July 31, 2020 and should be submitted here, with a photo sent to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

For more information about the ACE awards or to nominate a dog, visit the AKC Humane Fund Awards For Canine Excellence (ACE) page.

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The AKC Humane FundSM promotes responsible pet ownership through education, outreach and grant-making. Through its programs, the AKC Humane Fund supports Parent Club Rescue activities; assists shelters for domestic abuse victims that permit pets and provides resources for responsible dog ownership education. Contributions to the AKC Humane Fund are fully tax deductible as allowed by law under Section 501(c)(3) of the IRS Code.

 

The American Kennel Club, founded in 1884, is a not-for-profit organization which maintains the largest registry of purebred dogs in the world and oversees the sport of purebred dogs in the United States. The AKC is dedicated to upholding the integrity of its registry, promoting the sport of purebred dogs and breeding for type and function.  Along with its more than 5,000 licensed and member clubs and its affiliated organizations, the AKC advocates for the purebred dog as a family companion, advances canine health and well-being, works to protect the rights of all dog owners and promotes responsible dog ownership. More than 22,000 competitions for AKC-registered purebred dogs are held under AKC rules and regulations each year including conformation, agility, obedience, rally, tracking, herding, lure coursing, coonhound events, hunt tests, field and earthdog tests. Affiliate AKC organizations include the AKC Humane Fund, AKC Canine Health Foundation, AKC Reunite and the AKC Museum of the Dog.  For more information, visit www.akc.org.

AKC, American Kennel Club, the American Kennel Club seal and design, and all associated marks and logos are trademarks, registered trademarks and service marks of The American Kennel Club, Inc.

To become a fan of the AKC on Facebook, go to http://www.facebook.com/americankennelclub. To follow the AKC on Twitter, go to http://www.twitter.com/akcdoglovers.

 

The Guidelines and accompanying Client Brochure provide a guide to veterinary practitioners in the pathogenesis, diagnosis, and treatment of these common infectious diseases in cats

[HILLSBOROUGH, NJ – January 2020] On Thursday, January 9, the American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP) will release updated Feline Retrovirus Testing and Management Guidelines to the veterinary community, which will be published in the Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery. In publishing these Guidelines, the AAFP aims to provide the most current information about feline retrovirus infections to veterinary practitioners so they may optimize the care and management of their feline patients. In addition, the Client Brochure provides cat caregivers with information regarding transmission, testing, prevalence, and precautions. These Guidelines focus on feline leukemia virus (FeLV) and feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) infections, which are found in cats worldwide. The spread of these viruses can be minimized through education, testing, and vaccinations.

The updated Guidelines represent a consensus of current information compiled by an international panel of researchers and practitioners, and is an update of the AAFP’s heavily referenced 2008 Retrovirus Testing and Management Guidelines.
 
“Education and early testing can greatly assist in the treatment and management of feline retrovirus infections. Routine veterinary care, when cats are well and when they are sick, can lead to better care and decrease the spread of infection. We are pleased to present these Guidelines to support both veterinary professionals and cat caregivers in the management of these illnesses. We further stress the partnership between veterinarians and cat owners in caring for infected cats because with regular healthcare and reduced stress, cats infected with retroviruses, especially FIV, may live many healthy years,” said Heather O’Steen, CEO, AAFP.
 
“The 2020 Feline Retrovirus Testing and Management Guidelines contain much new information about feline leukemia and feline immunodeficiency virus infections. The Guidelines were written by an international panel of experts and included not only retrovirus researchers, but veterinarians working in private practice and in shelters. We hope these Guidelines will be of practical use for all veterinarians. The panel is especially proud to have endorsement of the Guidelines by the International Society of Feline Medicine,” said Retrovirus Guidelines Co-Chair Susan Little, DVM, DABVP (Feline).
 
Julie Levy, DVM, PhD, DACVIM, DABVP (Shelter Medicine) added, “These guidelines address rapidly evolving knowledge about how testing results, clinical expression, and prognosis for FeLV may change over time relative to the cat’s current immune response and resulting levels of virus in circulation, how quantitative testing may be used to better inform clinical decision-making, and an emerging trend in which screening for FeLV and FIV is increasingly shifting from animal shelters, where cats are adopted, to veterinary practices, where animals receive comprehensive care.”
 
 
 
More About Retroviruses:
These Guidelines and Client Brochure represent current knowledge on the pathogenesis, diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of retrovirus infections in cats. Infections with FeLV and FIV are associated with a variety of clinical signs and can impact quality of life and longevity. Although vaccines are available for FeLV in many countries and for FIV in some countries, identification of infected cats remains an important factor for preventing new infections. The retrovirus status of every cat at risk of infection should be known. Cats should be tested as soon as possible after they are acquired, following exposure to an infected cat or a cat of unknown infection status, prior to vaccination against FeLV or FIV, and whenever clinical illness occurs. It might not be possible to determine a cat’s infection status based on testing at a single point in time; repeat testing using different methods could be required. Although FeLV and FIV infections can be associated with clinical disease, some infected cats, especially those infected with FIV, can live for many years with good quality of life. There is a paucity of data evaluating treatments for infected cats, especially antiretroviral and immunomodulatory drugs. Management of infected cats is focused on effective preventive health care strategies and prompt identification and treatment of illness, as well as limiting spread of infection. 
 

Prevalence and the Spread of Retroviruses in Cats:
FIV: Feline immunodeficiency virus is more commonly found in male cats and cats that fight with other cats. It is found less often in kittens and neutered adult cats. The virus is spread primarily through saliva and is usually passed to other cats by bite wounds. In North America, about 3 to 5% of tested cats are found to be infected with FIV.
 
FeLV: Feline leukemia virus infection is more commonly spread from mother to kittens. The virus can also be spread between cats that live together or those that fight. It is mainly spread in saliva during grooming and when food and water bowls are shared. The virus is less often spread through urine, feces, or nasal discharge. In North America, 4% of tested cats are found to be infected with the virus.
 
 
Prevention:
There are no vaccines marketed in the United States or Canada that can protect cats from FIV infection.
 
Vaccines to protect cats from FeLV infection are available. The vaccine is recommended for all kittens, again one year later, and for cats that have ongoing risk of infection. Adult indoor-only cats living alone or with uninfected cats may not need to be vaccinated after the first two years. Veterinarians will help assess an individual cat’s vaccination needs.
 
To access the Feline Retrovirus Guidelines, visit catvets.com/retroviruses. Cat caregivers can learn more about feline retroviruses at catfriendly.com/felv and catfriendly.com/fiv.


Retrovirus Guidelines Press Preview


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BETHESDA, Md., USA – Oct. 13, 2017 – Alley Cat Allies will celebrate the international premiere of Global Cat Day on Oct. 16, 2017, as a day for people around the world to stand up for policies that protect all cats in their communities. Participants are signing a pledge on GlobalCatDay.org to support advocacy efforts for all cats, including the cats who call the outdoors their home.

With the campaign already racing toward a goal of 100,000 people taking the pledge by year’s end, Alley Cat Allies president and founder Becky Robinson explained that the lasting impact of Global Cat Day will be a powerful message about protecting cats who live outside.

“Too often, local policies lead to cats being taken from the only home they’ve ever known – the outdoors,” Robinson said. “Community cats are no different from raccoons, otters or deer in that they are self-reliant animals who are totally comfortable outside with no need for human companionship. Global Cat Day is a turning point in helping more people to understand these essential facts about the cats living outside in their communities.”

GlobalCatDay.org includes short videos explaining the nature of community cats, plus the Global Cat Day pledge:

“I pledge to be an ally to cats, including those who call the outdoors their home. I will advocate for compassionate policies that protect every cat in my community.”

Global Cat Day has evolved from National Feral Cat Day®, which Alley Cat Allies created on its 10th anniversary in 2001 to raise awareness about community cats, promote Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR), and recognize the millions of compassionate Americans who care for them. Because compassion knows no borders, international participation in National Feral Cat Day grew each year, reaching at least 20 countries with last year’s edition. That mark has already been eclipsed this year, with engagement for the inaugural Global Cat Day coming from more than 40 countries, from Australia to the United Kingdom, Belgium to Brazil, Saudi Arabia to South Africa and many more.

“It’s very exciting that interest in advocating for outdoor cats is coming from so many corners of the globe, because it’s more evidence that this is now truly an international movement,” Robinson added.

Follow all the excitement for Global Cat Day on social media with the #GlobalCatDay hashtag.

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About Alley Cat Allies

Alley Cat Allies, headquartered in Bethesda, Md., is the global engine of change for cats. We protect and improve cats’ lives through our innovative, cutting-edge programs. We are seen around the world as a champion for the humane treatment of all cats. Founded in 1990, today Alley Cat Allies has more than 650,000 supporters and helps tens of thousands of individuals, communities and organizations save and improve the lives of millions of cats and kittens worldwide. Its website is www.alleycat.org, and Alley Cat Allies is on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+ and YouTube.

 

Logging loopholes threaten old-growth forests; Marbled Murrelet’s protected zone reduced by 98 percent

Advisor, 202-888-7490

(Washington, D.C. August 5, 2016)The Bureau of Land Management has approved a logging plan for the forests it manages in Oregon, significantly weakening protections for the threatenedMarbled MurreletandNorthern Spotted Owl. These protections were put in place in 1994 as part of President Clinton’s Northwest Forest Plan.

“The BLM plan is huge step in the wrong direction that ignores science, the dangers of climate change, and the successes of President Clinton’s Northwest Forest Plan,” said Steve Holmer, Senior Policy Advisor for American Bird Conservancy. “The BLM is now planning to log mature forests that are needed to recover populations of the threatened Marbled Murrelet and Northern Spotted Owl, and that provide for clean water and carbon storage.”

American Bird Conservancy (ABC) submitted aletterto BLM providing feedback on the plan; ABC also urged Obama administration officials to shelve the proposed plan, instead keeping the Northwest Forest Plan in effect until it can be updated in conjunction with the U.S. Forest Service.

“The Marbled Murrelet, a species listed under the Endangered Species Act, will be placed at great risk by the BLM’s plan to increase logging in mature forests,” said Holmer. “The Northwest Forest Plan provided for half-mile buffers around nesting territories. These are needed to ensure sufficient protected habitat around nests in a heavily fragmented landscape. This common-sense safeguard is being abandoned at the same time BLM is proposing to ramp up clearcutting.”

The Marbled Murrelet nests on large branches of mature and old-growth trees. It is listed as a threatened species under the ESA because of habitat loss caused primarily by logging of old-growth forests. An estimated 19,000 birds remain, but the Washington State population is currently in a steep 5.9 percent annual decline, and long-term population projections indicate a high risk of extinction in California and Oregon within the next 100 years.

Marbled Murrelet nests suffer heavier predation in areas where the forest is not intact. Clearcutting proposed in the BLM plan for Oregon will further fragment the landscape. The current buffers protect a circular area of 503 acres of habitat based on a half-mile radius from the nest site. The new plan provides for only 6.5 acres of protected habitat,a 98 percent reduction from the current standard.

Meanwhile, the Northern Spotted Owl—also listed as a threatened species under the ESA—is in decline across its range, including in Oregon. A recent study showed that the owl population has decreased by 31-68 percent in Oregon since 1985, due to the dual threats of habitat loss and competition from Barred Owls. The BLM plan calls for commercial logging in areas designated as reserves for the owl by the Northwest Forest Plan, in particular in late-successional and riparian habitats. This raises doubt that the new reserves will function properly.

The BLM plan is proposing a five-to-eight-year moratorium on Spotted Owl take until a Barred Owl control program is initiated in the planning area. (Research on the effectiveness of Barred Owl removal has just begun, and uncertainty remains as to how much Barred Owl control the public will support over the long term.)

“The Northern Spotted Owl will benefit from the proposed moratorium on take, but its habitat is at greater risk over the long term because of the extensive logging planned in late-successional areas of the reserves,” said Holmer. “We advise placing a much longer moratorium on owl take. In about 30 years, a large amount of new, suitable owl habitat will become available under the Northwest Forest Plan as forests mature. We need to stay the course and be as protective of the Northern Spotted Owl as possible until then.”

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American Bird Conservancy is the Western Hemisphere's bird conservation specialist—the only organization with a single and steadfast commitment to achieving conservation results for native birds and their habitats throughout the Americas.  With a focus on efficiency and working in partnership, we take on the toughest problems facing birds today, innovating and building on sound science to halt extinctions, protect habitats, eliminate threats, and build capacity for bird conservation.

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ASPCA Assists Lake County Animal Care & Control in Rescuing 
Displaced Animals from Devastating Wildfire in California

 
Professional responders conduct field rescues to save pets and livestock left behind,
assist local agency with sheltering effort

Lakeport, Calif.—Following a devastating wildfire in Lake County, the ASPCA® (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®), at the request of the Lake County Animal Care & Control and its animal disaster response team Lake Evacuation & Animal Protection (LEAP), deployed professional responders to conduct field rescues to save badly burned animals, as well as check individual residences for pets and livestock left behind. The ASPCA will also be assisting the local agency shelter displaced animals in its 30-foot disaster response trailer customized to house animals in an event of an emergency.

The unforgiving Valley fire swept through and burned 67,000 acres, destroying nearly 600 homes and leaving approximately 13,000 people displaced in the community. Pet owners were ordered to evacuate immediately by local officials as the fire spread quickly throughout the area, which resulted in many pets and livestock being left behind. Reports indicate that local authorities are now escorting residents to their homes in certain areas, allowing them to retrieve or feed the animals.
  
“The Lake Evacuation & Animal Protection team has been receiving numerous requests from concerned pet owners who asked us to check on their pets and make sure they have enough food and water,” said Bill Davidson, director of Lake County Animal Care & Control. “It’s hard to say how many pets are affected at this point, but we will continue to go out into the field to search for lost or injured pets and hopefully reunite them with their families.”

“We’re pleased to be working alongside the Lake Evacuation & Animal Protection team to help pet owners and displaced animals in the community, as well as support local agencies identify resource needs,” added Dick Green, senior director of Disaster Response for the ASPCA, who has been on the ground since Sunday. “The destruction caused by the fire is indescribable, and our hearts go out to everyone who has been affected by this disaster--people and pets alike.”
 
Animals rescued by the LEAP and the ASPCA are being examined and treated by veterinarians at the Lake County Animal Care & Control at 4949 Helbush Drive in Lakeport. Pet owners looking to report lost pets or rescue needs should contact the Lake County Animal Care & Control at (707) 263-0278.


About the ASPCA®
Founded in 1866, the ASPCA® (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.

About Lake Evacuation & Animal Protection
LEAP is Lake County Animal Care & Control’s animal disaster response group. It is made up of the Animal Care & Control staff, as well as a group of highly trained volunteers.  All volunteers have completed the necessary applications, submitted copies of their driving records, completed the ICS training series 100, 200, and 700, as well as attend our annual training.  Most have even been through a two or three day animal disaster preparedness course offered by NVADG or a similar humane organization.

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Action Alert
A Lifesaving Model TNR Program is Under Threat

Sidebar_DC_TNR-092015.jpgDear Cat Advocate,

I need your help to protect Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) and community cats in the nation’s capital.

D.C. is considering a plan that would roll back decades of progress and set a dangerous precedent for TNR programs nationwide. The “Wildlife Action Plan” from the District Department of Energy and Environment (DOEE) calls for D.C. to “revisit” its longstanding TNR policy, and states that all community cats should instead “be taken in by several adoption facilities operating in the District”.

Act now: sign the petition to demand protection for D.C.’s cats and TNR program.

Community cats will be killed in shelters—all in a misguided attempt to protect wildlife. DOEE Director Tommy Wells thinks euthanizing community cats is a viable option to “promote biodiversity and not just population control.” Killing cats will do neither of these things and wastes lives. Only TNR humanely and effectively reduces the community cat population.

Human activity, pollution, and habitat destruction are the true threats to wildlife. Catching and killing cats is not only cruel, it’s ineffective: removing cats is counterproductive and creates a vacuum effect where cats repopulate. 

Take action: Ask D.C. to keep supporting TNR.

Ending TNR will kill cats and do nothing for wildlife. Our nation’s capital is a model for the whole country, and its current TNR policy is both effective and cost-effective. Tell D.C. to protect that policy.

Becky Robinson

Sincerely,

Becky Robinson
Becky Robinson
President, Alley Cat Allies 

P.S. Every voice counts. Forward this email to your friends and family.

Copyright 2015 Alley Cat Allies | 7920 Norfolk Avenue, Suite 600, Bethesda, MD 20814-2525
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Charity NavigatorAlley Cat Allies is proud to have earned the highest rating of four stars from Charity Navigator, the nation’s largest and most respected charity evaluator. Join us and our more than 500,000 supporters at www.alleycat.org.

Ambassadors Georgina Bloomberg, Brianne Goutal, Hayley Barnhill, Jessica Springsteen, Stacia Madden and Jennifer Gates will help raise awareness about equine welfare and pet adoption

NEW YORK—For the ninth consecutive year, the ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) will partner with the Hampton Classic Horse Show to raise awareness of critical animal welfare issues and find loving homes for local shelter animals, including dogs, cats, and horses. The ASPCA will be joined by ASPCA Equine Welfare Ambassadors and top international riders Georgina Bloomberg, Brianne Goutal, Hayley Barnhill, Jessica Springsteen, Stacia Madden and the newest ambassador, Jennifer Gates. The group will host two events during the week-long horse show, held in Bridgehampton from August 23-30: ASPCA Adoption & Animal Welfare Day on Monday, August 24, and the “Be Their Voice” ASPCA Equine Welfare Town Hall on Wednesday, August 26.

“We are proud to team up with the Hampton Classic Horse Show once again to raise awareness about critical equine welfare issues and help find loving homes for animals in need,” said Nancy Perry, senior vice president of ASPCA Government Relations. “The protection of horses has been a core part of the ASPCA mission since our founding nearly 150 years ago and we look forward to partnering with our Equine Welfare Ambassadors to share that passion with the equine community and spectators of the show to encourage them to serve as a voice for animals."

The ASPCA Equine Welfare Ambassadors will join award-winning animal advocate and network correspondent Jill Rappaport to host the Sixth Annual ASPCA Adoption & Animal Welfare Day on Monday, August 24. This event will focus on helping rescued horses, dogs and cats find permanent homes, and several local animal shelters and rescue groups will have animals on site throughout the day, including formerly wild mustangs who now serve as ambassadors for wild horses. Participating groups include:

  • Gimme Shelter Animal Rescue
  • Ruff House Rescue
  • Animal Rescue Fund of the Hamptons (ARF)
  • Southampton Animal Shelter Foundation
  • Tails of Courage
  • Last Chance Animal Rescue
  • Brookhaven Animal Shelter and Adoption Center
  • Kaeli Kramer Foundation Horse Rescue and Sanctuary
  • SquirrelWood Equine Sanctuary, Inc.
  • Lucky Orphans Horse Rescue
  • Spirits Promise Equine Rescue Program
  • Our Farm Equine Rescue
  • The Cana Project
  • Akindale Thoroughbred Rescue
  • Second Chance Thoroughbreds, Inc.

“It means so much to be a voice for animals who need our help, and I am excited to join the ASPCA at the Hampton Classic this year to raise awareness, inspire action and find homes for animals,” said Jessica Springsteen, ASPCA Equine Welfare Ambassador.

The newest ASPCA Ambassador, Jennifer Gates, said, “As an equestrian and life-long animal lover, I am honored to lend my voice to this worthy cause.”

At the ASPCA’s “Be Their Voice” Equine Welfare Town Hall on Wednesday, August 26, the Ambassadors will join ASPCA experts to discuss critical issues impacting horses today, including horse slaughter, homelessness and neglect, inspiring attendees to help make a difference.

Other highlights during the week include the ‘Jump for the ASPCA’ fundraiser, sponsored by a generous donor, which will trigger a donation to the ASPCA to help animals in need every time a rider clears the ASPCA fence on the show grounds. Visiting public figures and top riders are invited to join the ASPCA throughout the week at the “ASPCA Patio and Animal Advocacy Station” located near the VIP parking and across from the public grandstand of the Grand Prix Ring, where they can take part in ”#Voices4Horses selfies” to raise awareness and inspire action for horse welfare.

The ASPCA’s long history of equine protection includes supporting equine welfare through legislation, advocacy, rescue, and targeted grants. In 2014, the ASPCA awarded over $1.1 million in grants to support 169 equine rescues and sanctuaries across the country. The grants were primarily awarded as part of the ASPCA Equine Fund, which provides life-saving resources – including financial assistance, in-person and online training, and sharing of best practices – to support non-profit equine welfare organizations.

To learn more about the ASPCA or to join the Advocacy Brigade, please visit www.aspca.org

For more information on the Hampton Classic, please visit www.hamptonclassic.com.

About the ASPCA® Founded in 1866, 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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SMITHTOWN, NY – (April 6, 2015) – Most people are aware that we have soldiers overseas in Afghanistan. But what most are not usually aware of is that many times they become attached to dogs that they find roaming in the area. For some, it’s the bond they create with those new pets that keep them feeling happy and hopeful. Yet when their tour of duty is over and it’s time to go back home to the U.S., they find themselves having to break that bond and leave the dog behind. Guardians of Rescue, an international animal rescue organization, works to change that by reuniting soldiers with the dogs they had to leave behind.

"Through our No Buddy Left Behind Program, we have helped numerous soldiers to be reunited with the dogs they were caring for in Afghanistan,” stated Robert Misseri, founder and president of Guardians of Rescue. “It’s the least we can do for these soldiers, who miss the dogs and worry about their fate. But we can’t do it alone; we need the public’s help in order to make it a successful mission.”

There are costs involved in bringing the dogs back to the U.S. from the Middle East. This expense is one reason that Guardians of Rescue reaches out to the public for donations in order to help make it possible. The group is working with the only Afghanistan-based animal shelter, Nowzad, to make the mission possible and successful. The dogs will be flown into John F. Kennedy International Airport at the end of April, and then will be transported on to Portland, Ore., where they will be reunited with the soldiers they were with in Afghanistan.

The dogs being reunited were found and rescued by a couple of U.S. Army soldiers. When they spotted the mom she had four puppies and a wounded paw, and they saw the way other stray dogs had been mistreated in the area. They decided to help nurse the wounded leg back to health, and went on to care for and bond with the mother and her puppies. The platoon medic will be adopting her, while another soldier takes two of the puppies, and a third soldier has expressed interest in another one of the puppies.

“These soldiers have given us so much, the least we can do it is reunite them with these dogs they bonded with,” said Dori Scofield, vice president of Guardians of Rescue. “Every little bit helps, and it all adds up to meaning so much for them and the dogs. Together we can save them!”

The cost to bring the dogs back to America and deliver them to the soldiers is estimated at $6,000. Guardians of Rescue is seeking donations from the public to help with this mission. Those who would like to learn more and make a donation can do so by logging onto: http://guardiansofrescue.org/banners-view/no-buddy-left-behind/.

About Guardians of Rescue Based in New York, Guardians of Rescue is an organization whose mission is to protect the well being of all animals. They provide aid to animals in distress, including facilitating foster programs, rehabilitation, assisting other rescue groups, and providing support to families, both military and not, who need assistance due to economic factors. To learn more about Guardians of Rescue, visit the site at www.guardiansofrescue.org.

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Bird Conservation Group Calls for Changes in Collection of Data at Wind Developments

MEDIA RELEASE

(Washington, D.C., March 6, 2015) American Bird Conservancy (ABC) has called on the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) to institute a new system of pre-construction risk assessment and bird and bat mortality data collection in connection with hundreds of thousands of bird (and bat) deaths being caused by wind turbines and the likelihood that that number could substantially exceed one million deaths when the industry reaches its full build out capacity by 2030 or before.

The ABC proposal was made in a letter to Department of Interior and FWS pursuant to their request for comments on information collection in connection with their land-based wind energy guidelines. It follows the entering of a guilty plea on January 6 from PacifiCorp that will require the company to pay $2.5 million in fines, restitution and community service for violating the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act by killing 38 Golden Eagles and 336 other birds at two Wyoming wind farms.

ABC is asking FWS to institute a pre-construction risk assessment and bird mortality data collection that are based on:

  1. studies conducted by independent, qualified experts selected by the FWS or a trusted consulting company hired by FWS;
  2. costs being borne by wind energy companies;
  3. all reports sent directly to the FWS, and not through the wind energy company, which would then have no opportunity to edit or alter the reports to their advantage;
  4. reports being made available to the public to add an additional layer of scrutiny; and
  5. mandatory requirement to conduct independent Environmental Assessments (EA) and obtain incidental take permits under the Endangered Species Act and the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act when protected species are present.

The ABC letter commended the FWS for formally recognizing, in their comment solicitation, that there may be serious problems with their current voluntary system of siting and operational guidelines for the wind industry, which is based largely on self-reporting.  The solicitation said that: “We are currently in the process of evaluating the efficacy and use of the Guidelines and the Service is considering regulatory options. Based on feedback from the wind energy industry and from Service staff, the Guidelines are often successful in improving communication and lead to development of wind projects that are safer for wildlife, but in other cases are not successful in preventing wind energy facilities from being constructed in areas of high risk to wildlife.”

ABC objected to the statement “often successful,” asserting that there are no data to support such a statement. ABC is calling on FWS to “trust but verify” in regard to bird mortality data collection and monitoring, citing a wide range of problems with the current system, including:

  1. industry-paid consultants that downplay the potential impact of wind energy facilities on federally-protected birds and bats during the Environmental Assessment development process;
  2. attempts by the wind industry to site wind energy in highly sensitive areas for birds (e.g., Mill Creek in Missouri, Camp Perry in Ohio, Apple Blossom in Michigan, etc.);
  3. industry-paid consultants who collect data on post-construction fatalities and report unverified and potentially incorrect data to regulators;
  4. lack of fatality reporting by existing wind energy facilities; and
  5. efforts to hide bird and bat fatality data from the public. 

The ABC letter charges that “…wind energy companies should not be collecting their own fatality data, as it is a direct conflict of interest.  Industry does not share mortality data with the public and FWS contends that the data are owned by the companies.  ABC contends they only ‘own’ the data because of the system that FWS has set up, which is based entirely on self-reporting.”

ABC had additional concerns with current federal plans to have the American Wind and Wildlife Institute (AWWI) retain bird and bat mortality data. Under that plan, AWWI would sign a confidentiality agreement with wind energy companies and would not be subject to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests. “This seems like a less-than-veiled attempt to continue to keep the public and concerned NGOs in the dark,” said Dr. Michael Hutchins, National Coordinator of ABC’s Bird Smart Wind Energy Campaign and author of the letter.

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American Bird Conservancy is the Western Hemisphere’s bird conservation specialist—the only organization with a single and steadfast commitment to achieving conservation results for native birds and their habitats throughout the Americas. With a focus on efficiency and working in partnership, we take on the toughest problems facing birds today, innovating and building on sound science to halt extinctions, protect habitats, eliminate threats, and build capacity for bird conservation.

 
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