Saturday, November 24, 2007

Wolf May Lose Endangered Species Listing


PRAY, Mont. (AP) — For rancher Randy Petrich, the removal of gray wolves from the endangered species list — a move that would open up the animals to hunting in the Northern Rockies for the first time in decades — couldn't come soon enough. On the same land where it was once rare to see the animal, Petrich has seen fresh wolf tracks almost every morning this fall — close enough to threaten his cattle.

"I believe that any wolf on any given night, if there happens to be a calf there, they will kill it," Petrich said. "In reality, to help us now, we need to be trapping them, shooting them — as many as possible."

Just 12 years since the wolves were reintroduced into Yellowstone National Park after years of near-extinction, federal officials say the sharp rise in the wolf population in the region justifies removing them from the endangered species list.

Critics, however, say the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is moving too fast, and could be setting the stage for a slaughter that would push wolves back to the brink in the Rockies. Read the rest here.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

I bought a new "throw" today, and sure enough, as soon as I draped it over a chair it became clear that I would not be the one sitting on it.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

A special holiday offer for our readers, and a way to help raise money for the Humane Society of the United States

Peggy Dey of Dey by Dey Studio lives in North Carolina. For the past year she has been building a home business through offering commissioned pet portraits, cards and other artwork. Peggy donates 10% of her animal portrait income to non-profit animal rescue and welfare organizations. She is a life-long animal lover with a very big heart.
Peggy has recently come out with a line of very special hand-etched and/or painted eggs that she creates in her studio. I have ordered a number of these unique and special items for holiday gifts, and I'd like to respectfully encourage my readers to consider doing the same if they appeal to you or might appeal to your friends and loved ones. The eggs can be free standing or designed as holiday tree ornaments. Peggy describes them this way:

"Unique hand etched and/or painted eggs. From the large African ostrich and beautiful dark blue-green emu, to the small Bantam, these eggs are hand etched and/or painted to compliment the beauty of this natural "canvas." The larger eggs such as the ostrich, emu, and rhea come with hand crafted and polished cedar stands, the smaller are offered either with a stand or if preferred, can be designed as a hanging ornament.

Wide variety of designs are offered or can be customized with your own preferred artwork! Prices range from $12.95 for the smaller eggs to $225 for the most elaborate of the ostrich eggs. Beautiful and very unusual gifts for the holidays! Will ship for you as well! Call (919) 542-1099 or email with questions or more specific pricing."

Peggy also mentioned to me that the earlier she gets in orders, the more likely she can craft the eggs in time for holiday shipping. And, if you just mention Our Place to Paws, you will get 5% off the cost of the gift. "Our Place to Paws" makes nothing from this transaction, but Peggy is a frequent contributor to our Web site, and her house is full of rescued cats and dogs (and that's not counting the occasional injured and rescued possums, squirrels, and raccoons she cares for). Therefore, Our Place to Paws will donate $1 to the Humane Society of the United States for every person who gives Peggy a holiday order and mentions Our Place to Paws when ordering.
Please feel free to pass this info. on to friends! Thanks for checking them out! And remember, mention Our Place to Paws if you make an order -- to receive your discount and prompt a donation to the Humane Society of the United States.

From Defenders of Wildlife

Please take a stand for black-footed ferrets today.

(To take action easily online, visit:

Dear Faye,

Larry and Bette Haverfield and other heroic ranchers want to bring endangered black-footed ferrets back to the Kansas prairie. But these dedicated conservationists need your support to make it happen.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service just issued a proposal to reintroduce endangered black-footed ferrets on the Haverfields' private lands in Logan County, in the heart of western Kansas, but some people are trying to stop it. Let officials know you think it’s a good idea.

Black-footed ferrets were thought to be long gone -- until a ranch dog named Shep made a surprising discovery while digging in a prairie dog hole in the early 80s. Ever since this chance discovery, it has been an up-hill battle to restore black-footed ferrets to the Great Plains.

They are making a steady recovery in captive breeding programs across the American west, but it's been challenging to find suitable habitat -- and enough of it -- to release this endangered species back into the wild.

Take action now -- tell officials that you support the black-footed ferret comeback in Kansas.

Fortunately, the Haverfields and several courageous ranchers in western Kansas are hoping to provide a home for black-footed ferrets on their private lands. Black-footed ferrets need lots of space and lots of prairie dogs in order to survive. And their properties fit the bill exactly. Together, the Haverfields and their neighbors have the largest prairie dog complex in the state.

And Logan County, where the Haverfields live, is a great site for reintroduction efforts because it's free of sylvatic plague -- a deadly disease that affects prairie dogs and ferrets -- giving the black-footed ferret an even better chance at long-term survival.

Prairie dogs and black-footed ferrets -- the predators that evolved with them -- are essential for healthy grassland ecosystems and draw an abundance of rare prairie species including swift fox, ferruginous hawks, burrowing owls and golden and bald eagles.

Help write an endangered species success story -- and defend good-hearted ranchers who are trying to do the same. Tell the Fish and Wildlife Service that you support their plan to bring black-footed ferrets back to Kansas.

The deadline to submit comments on the proposal is this Monday, November 19th, so please take a stand for black-footed ferrets today.

Thanks for doing all you can to make a difference for these endangered creatures and the people who are trying to bring them back to the prairie.


Jonathan Proctor
Great Plains Representative
Defenders of Wildlife

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Submitted by OPTP reader Donille M.

Hi, all you animal lovers....The Animal Rescue Site is having trouble getting enough people to click on it daily to meet their quota of getting free food donated every day to abused and neglected animals. It takes less than a minute (how about 20 seconds) to go to their site and click on the purple box 'fund food for animals' for free. This doesn't cost you a thing. Their corporate sponsors/advertisers use the number of daily visits to donate food to abandoned/neglected animals in exchange for advertising.

Here's the web site! Pass it along to people you know.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

It's cold in New England, and I can see where all of our heat is going

We received this notice; does anyone have information about this company?

(Note, this is re-printed with some spacing errors still in it)

Subject: Action Alert: Rent-a-Dog is Coming to Boston Flex Petz, abusiness that rents dogs to people who want the fun of a pet without theresponsibility or commitment, is coming to Boston this spring.It already has opened in LA, San Diego and NYC amid much mediafanfare--all of it positive. Indeed, Flex Petz has been so successful,it has spawned a business that rents dogs to hotels, as perks for their guests. (Apparently a chocolate on the pillow and a fluffy bathrobearen't enough anymore.)

We who genuinely love and respect animals know how horrific this is forthe dogs who are rented--deprived of the consistency and stability theyneed, the bonding and love they deserve. And consider how people treatthings they pay to use for a short time, like cars and hotel rooms.Under the Flex Petz model, dogs are "things" too.

The organization says aw shucks, we screen renters well. What they don'tdisclose is the fate of dogs who aren't rented as often as Flex Petz'bottom line dictates, or who bite (likely because they're scared and confused after being shuffled from one renter to the next) or who growold and ill, as all beings eventually do, and become an expense ratherthan a profit center. No business can hold onto excess inventory and remain solvent. But far more dangerous is what Flex Petz will do to the human-animal relationship over time by advancing the "disposable pet" mindset.It's a given: If Flex Petz takes root, knock-offs will follow.

And together, they'll pave the way for an epidemic of animal abandonment and abuse the likes of which we've never seen, at least not in New England,and won't be able to manage.We have a unique opportunity to prevent a new brand of animal crueltyrather than try to treat the problem after the fact.To do so, we must lobby vigorously to keep Flex Petz out of Massachusetts.

And we also need to conduct a broad-based public information campaign--letters to the editor, op-eds, public service ads, flyers, media outreach-- to accomplish two things:--Educate those who care about animals but don't appreciate how cruelrenting them is.--Shame the rest into not patronizing Flex Petz the same way theAmerican Cancer Society has made it uncool to smoke. And we have to do it now, before Flex Petz and its clones take hold. Orsuffer the consequences. Please, please pass this message to Coalition organizations and ask that they in turn pass it along to their members.Thank you.

Beth BirnbaumMassachusetts Animal Coalition, Inc.
PO Box 766
Westborough, MA 01580

Web site: www.massanimalcoali
General email: macadmin@massanimal coalition. org

MAChas received this information, has not taken any official positiononits merits, but as it may be of interest, MAC is passing it alongtoour members and friends. You and your organization may decide the merits of this information based on your own experiences and beliefs.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

From the Humane Society of the United States

Just passing along this opportunity to help raise money for the Humane Society:

Dear Faye,

Do you use instant messenger or Facebook to keep in touch with friends and family? If so, I invite you to help animals -- and your friends at The Humane Society of the United States -- by taking these two simple steps today. You could help us win a $50,000 donation from Microsoft for the animals!

Instant messaging is a great way to keep in touch with friends, family, and co-workers. You can support The HSUS every time you IM someone through Microsoft's i'mTM Initiative, because the company will share a portion of the program's ad revenue with us. We’re one of ten charities that benefit from this program. There's no charge to you, and you can support our many animal protection campaigns just by doing something you do every day.

This week, with your help, Microsoft might donate an additional $50,000 to help animals. To celebrate the new Windows Live, the i’m Initiative has issued a challenge: If more than 50,000 people join their “i’m Making a Difference” Facebook group by this Friday, they’ll give $50,000 to whichever organization gets the most votes. So please join the group, scroll down to vote for HSUS, and tell your friends. Every vote counts.

Thank you for all you do for animals.

Sincerely,Wayne Pacelle
President & CEO
The Humane Society of the United States.

P.S. I invite you to join The Humane Society of the United States on Facebook, too! Click here.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

The following letter arrived in our in-box today. We don't have any further information on this, but are posting the reader's letter in case anyone else knows about this and can tell us more, or needs to know:

To whom it may concern,

I am writing in alarm and concern about the Sergeant's Pet Care products for cats that are being sold on the market. I recently used a brand new bottle of Sergeant's® Skip-Flea® & Tick Shampoo for Cats. Within about 11 hours of using it, my cat was having seizures, and then went into some sort of coma. Her pupils were so big that her eyes were completely black. I took her to the vet hospital where I learned that the shampoo contained this chemical called Permethrin. This is a known PESTICIDE that is lethal and toxic to cats. This isn't the first case the hospital has had of cats coming in affected by this. Nine hours after getting her to the hospital she died.

My cat was perfectly healthy until this moment and was my little guardian angel. I have contacted the company and they are not quite willing to cooperate. I am looking for help in bringing awareness to other pet owners about these harmful products. I've done a lot of research and I found out that these following products are also hurting and killing pets. I have emailed several people whose pets have died and become injured. I have several pages of documents (as well as idocument about the chemical), with report of symptoms and reactions similar to what my cat went through and even worse. To read each story of what each animal went through is heartbreaking:Bio Spot, Advantage, Frontline, Sergeant’s Nature’s Guardian flea and tick products.

There an amazing amount of people that need help and don't know to go about reporting it and taking action.I've contacted the Department of Consumer Affairs, Department of Pesticide Regulation, PETA and other animal rights groups in search of help. I am trying to contact the FDA, but that is becoming more difficult. So far and have not gotten very far with getting help. I am looking for a way to bring this to government and community attention. I am also looking for any legal complaint sector that is open so that I may put my report into as well as anyone who could help me and lead me in the right direction.

Something should be done about toxic products being sold and harming animals. The numbers are too high and if this was happening to humans, something would have already been done about this. This is cruel and unjust to the animals. If there is anyway that you could help and possible bring attention to people, that those affected should contact the companies, write to every level of governmental regulation, and possibly a lawyer. Some of the companies are trying to pay us off (including myself) but in doing that we are giving up our rights to press charges or testify and they then can be allowed to continue selling these products. I feel that is wrong and I would great appreciate it if you could help. The pain that this company has caused others and myself is almost unbearable.

Sara Paredes

Sunday, November 4, 2007

We bought a humidifier today to deal with the cool, dry air that's setting in as winter approaches. As usual, the feline members of the household were much more interested in the box than in what had been inside it. I put a towel inside, and -- voila, new cat bed.