Friday, February 29, 2008

We've had some tough news in the animal world this week, with the Bush administration pushing through legislation that would de-list the gray wolf as a species protected under the endangered species act. Eleven conservation groups plan to challenge that division in court; I know we'll all be throwing our full support behind them. You can read more about this soon on our Web site or at Defenders of Wildlife; our March updates will be coming soon, including the introduction of a new columnist, aptly named "Wolf."

On a more close-to-home note, a friend of ours had a real scare this week when her cat, Lilla, had to be rushed to the vet. Lilla was once featured when someone sent in an Honorable Mention photo of her for our site, and she is currently in our Photo Archives. It turned out that Lilla had very large bladder stones and needed emergency surgery a day later; thankfully, the last word is that Lilla is doing just fine and will be home today. Our friend wrote a poignant essay on the experience, which we'll be posting on our Cats. vs. Dogs page with our March updates. In this case, it's really not Cats vs. Dogs that she's writing about, it's just her love for cats, and her little girl in particular. We all wish Lilla well!

As I write our cats are lounging on the radiators, trying to soak up all the heat they can get during yet another cold, snowy day in Massachusetts. It's Leap Day, but they are considering it just like any other day -- a chance to lie around, have a sauna, maybe wrestle with a toy or two, and demand meals when required.

We're really in need of more photo and essay submissions for our site; March marks the one-year anniversary date of Paws and although our visitor rates are up, we're clearly not prompting enough participation from the outside world. We'd love to have more people on our email list and more submissions to our contests. It's just our way of sharing a love for animals and spreading the word about important issues when they come up.

Have a great Leap Day!

Monday, February 25, 2008

There is a beautiful husky that is often seen in our neighborhood, off-leash and running around unattended. Last time he came near my house, I got a phone number off of his collar, called the owners and ended up walking him back to his home, two blocks away.

They apologized, and said that their dog is "always escaping."

I've spoken to other neighbors who say they see the dog running loose all the time. The minor issue is that he "poos" in neighbors' yards, including ours. But the much more major issue is the dog's safety; I am so worried he will be hit by a car, get lost, or end up being rounded up by animal control.

Today when I saw him outside, I brought him into my house and called again. A gentleman came to retrieve him, but unfortunately he did not speak English, so I couldn't communicate with him. Instead I left a message on their home machine explaining the seriousness of the problem and asking that they please find a way to keep their beautiful dog at home.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Urgent call to Action from Defenders of Wildlife

I just tried to call and was put on hold, so I'm passing this on for now so others get the news:

As soon as tomorrow, Interior Secretary Kempthorne is expected to announce the elimination of federal protections for hundreds of endangered wolves in Greater Yellowstone and the Northern Rockies.

Please take a moment right now to call the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service at 1-800-344-WILD (9453) and deliver this simple message:

“My name is _____________ and I’m calling from City, State. I understand that the federal government may remove wolves in the Greater Yellowstone and Central Idaho regions tomorrow from the list of federally protected threatened and endangered species.

I want your department to know that I strongly oppose the weakening of protections for these wolves and expect you to fulfill your obligation to secure a lasting future in the Northern Rockies for these amazing animals.”

The lives of hundreds of wolves are at stake. Please call tonight before 8 PM Eastern Time or first thing tomorrow morning.

In a matter of hours, newspapers across the country could be reporting on the Bush/Cheney Administration's expected announcement … and its potentially devastating impact on some of America’s most beloved wolves.

But today I need your help to let these federal officials know that Americans love our wolves and want to see them protected.

Please call the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service at 1-800-344-WILD (9453) and speak out for our wolves. Leave a message if you can, and remember to let us know that you called.


Rodger Schlickeisen

PresidentDefenders of Wildlife

P.S. Stay tuned tomorrow for more details on this breaking news and Defenders of Wildlife’s action plan to save these wolves…

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

This one has been around the Internet many times, but someone sent it to me again today, and I'm posting it here. I just love reading it, every time.

The Dog's Diary

8:00 am - Dog food! My favorite thing!
9:30 am - A car ride! My favorite thing!
9:40 am - A walk in the park! My favorite thing!
10:30 am - Got rubbed and petted! My favorite thing!
12:00 PM - Milk bones! My favorite thing!
1:00 PM - Played in the yard! My favorite thing!
3:00 PM - Wagged my tail! My favorite thing!
5:00 PM - Dinner! My favorite thing!
7:00 PM - Got to play ball! My favorite thing!
8:00 PM - Wow! Watched TV with the people! My favorite thing!
11:00 PM - Sleeping on the bed! My favorite thing!

The Cat's Diary

Day 983 of my captivity. My captors continue to taunt me with bizarre little dangling objects. They dine l avishly on fresh meat, while the other inmates and I are fed hash or some sort of dry nuggets. Although I make my contempt for the rations perfectly clear, I nevertheless must eat something in order to keep up my strength. The only thing that keeps me going is my dream of escape.

In an Attempt to disgust them, I once again vomit on the carpet. Today I decapitated a mouse and dropped its headless body at their feet. I had hoped this would strike fear into their hearts, since it clearly demonstrates my capabilities. However, they merely made condescending comments about what a "good little hunter" I am. Bastards! There was some sort of assembly of their accomplices tonight. I was placed in solitary confinement for the duration of the event. However, I could hear the noises and smell the food. I overheard that my confinement was due to the power of "allergies." I must learn what this means, and how to use it to my advantage.

Today I was almost successful in an attempt to assassinate one of my tormentors by weaving around his feet as he was walking. I must try this again tomorrow, but at the top of the stairs.

I am convinced that the other prisoners here are flunkies and Snitches. The dog receives special privileges. He is regularly released, and seems to be more than willing to return. He is obviously Retarded.

The bird must be an informant. I observe him communicate with the Guards regularly. I am certain that he reports my every move. My captors have arranged protective custody for him in an Elevated Cell, so he is safe.

For now.

Monday, February 11, 2008

The Humane Society is holding a pet photo contest

But if you send them a pic, you have to promise to send us one, too! We need some pics for next month's Reader Photo Spotlight Contest!

To celebrate Spay Day USA and share the message that spaying and neutering improves pets' lives, The Humane Society of the United States invites you to enter our online photo contest for pets! It's fun and it's free.

To enter, simply upload a digital photo of your beloved pet and briefly tell us how he or she has made a difference in your life. Your furry (or feathered or finned) pal will then compete with other pets for a chance to win dozens of cool prizes!

There are two ways to win: Our celebrity judges will award fabulous prizes to 36 entrants judged to have the best photos and stories -- and the Grand Prize winner will receive a custom portrait of their pet, valued at $1,400, from premier pet photographer Amanda Jones. Ten runners up will receive custom pet portraits by one of two artists, and 25 honorable mentions will receive gift baskets featuring products from contest sponsors Nature’s Miracle and GPS-maker Zoombak. You can also get votes for your pet to win other prizes. After you’ve entered the contest, you can forward your pet’s photo to friends and family and ask them to vote.

The top 500 pets by popular vote will each receive a bottle of Nature’s Miracle and be entered in a drawing to win one of ten custom pet portraits by one of two artists. Check out our contest rules and enter your pet today!

The HSUS's annual Spay Day USA campaign highlights spaying or neutering pets as an effective and humane solution to the tragic problem of pet overpopulation. Spay Day USA is February 26, 2008. I hope I'll see your pet in the contest soon. Thank you for all you do for animals.

Wayne PacellePresident & CEO
The Humane Society of the United States

Thursday, February 7, 2008

We've uploaded some new content on the Web site! Check out:

Daisy's new column for humans who don't "get the concept" about breakfast-time.

An article by Defenders of Wildlife on the return of Gray Wolves to Oregon.

A new Kid's Corner animal art project

This month's winning reader photos!