Monday, 30 April 2012

April: In Review

What a month it has been!  Amidst the April Showers (Or maybe it would be better described as April Floods?) there has been lots of excitement with both mine and The Animal News's birthdays, as well as Easter and lots of actions to catch up on.

I always like to try and start the month with some good news and I was able to this month with an update on the 8-Hours Campaign.  Thousands of people wrote to their MEP's earlier this year asking them to sign a Written Declaration calling for the establishment of a maximum 8 hour journey limit for live animals being transported, 396 MEP's signed the declaration which means it will now become an official position of the European Parliament.  This is excellent news but the campaign still needs your help, if you haven't already signed the petition you can do so here

As well as the Lunch Time Links and Fluffy Fridays throughout the rainy month of April I shared a story with you all about when Suki finally came face to face with Rusty the cat, it's well worth a read!

At the end of March, CIWF launched their Project Pig campaign which is aiming to pressure the EU nations to ensure the sow stall ban comes into effect before the 2013 deadline.  Find out how you can help here.

Just after The Animal News celebrated it's second birthday another exciting thing happened,...

Suki won the "Sweetest Staffie" award at The Mayhew Animal Home's Hyde Bark event!  I still can't stop smiling when I remember what a lovely day we had and how far Suki has come.  Suki has blossomed from an insecure, boisterous, clingy, obsessively licking dog to an award winning, calm, well-behaved and most importantly, happy dog (okay, she still obsessively licks!)  Due to the excitement I was experiencing at the time of creating the post I completely neglected to mention what the whole day was in aid of so please do visit The Mayhew's website and check out the fantastic work they do.

After I discovered an injured baby pigeon whilst walking Suki one evening I found the RSPCA so helpful I decided to post about it and include some very good seasonal advice about Spring baby animals just in case you came across any casualties.

There are so many examples of animals needing help all over the world, I know I should be used to it by now but each time I hear about a case of animals being treated unfairly I am still shocked.  I certainly wouldn't have thought that the bright lights of New York would hold a secret so upsetting.  Read about the horses forced to pull carriages through the busy city, day after day and the death and destruction this has caused.  There are many ways you can help, check out how.

There are literally billions of animals suffering on industrial farms, spending their entire lives confined without fresh air or sunlight.  The United Nations 2012 Earth Summit in Rio is the most significant global discussion on the planet's future, we need to ensure that H.E. Dr. John W. Ashe and H. E. Mr. Sook Kim (Co-chairs) are aware that the well being of farm animals need to be included on the agenda in the hope that this can influence the delegates who are attending on our behalf.  Find out how we can do this.

Thank you for all your support during this month, here's to a brighter (and dryer!) May.

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Friday, 27 April 2012

Fluffy Friday #57

I need something to cheer me up today, it has been a long and wet week!  Check out these questionable hair styles of some of our fluffy friends.

Do you think punk will ever be in again?

Perhaps I overdid it a tad on the back combing?

I'm always being complimented on my hair, if only I could see the people who said such nice things!

Water and electric does not mix.

That is the last time I visit that hairdresser!

Do you think pigtails make me look younger?

Bad dye job, huh?

I am all about bangs.

I think someone needs to explain that Movember is just in November.
It has taken years to grow my eyebrows this long!

No, I'm not going to an 80's fancy dress party.

Happy Weekend!

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Thursday, 26 April 2012

Help Change the Lives of Farm Animals

There are billions of animals suffering on industrial farms, spending their entire lives confined without fresh air or sunlight, can you imagine that?  I agree with WSPA wholeheartedly that "animal friendly farming is better for animals, people and the planet".

The United Nations 2012 Earth Summit in Rio is the most significant global discussion on the planet's future, we need to ensure that H.E. Dr. John W. Ashe and H. E. Mr. Sook Kim (Co-chairs) are aware that the well being of farm animals need to be included on the agenda in the hope that this can influence the delegates who are attending on our behalf.

Please click here to be directed to a ready prepared letter to Dr. Ashe and Mr. Kim, enter a few details and hit submit.

The lovely singer Leona Lewis posted the new WSPA campaign on her Facebook page and Blog last week, I hadn't heard about the Earth Summit until she mentioned it.  I love how she uses her high profile to raise awareness for the plight of animals around the world, you can really see how genuine her love of animals is and with Leona's millions of fans she will really be able to make waves!

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Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Lunch Time Links #18

April really is flying by, it's already the last Wednesday of the month!  Slow down, have a break and check out today's Lunch Time Links.

Ask the US Military to stop using animals for military training exercises (CAUTION: this link leads to an extremely disturbing video of animal cruelty and graphic descriptions of animal abuse, the animals still need our help so I suggest scrolling straight down to the bottom of the page to enter your details)

Ask the Chinese government to stop the practice of killing endangered species for Chinese medicine. (Please note that this petition site means you will need to enter a few details and click submit before you are taken to another page asking you to confirm your signature, just one extra click!)

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Tuesday, 24 April 2012

End the Cruel Carriage Horse Industry in New York City

Image from BanHDC
It might seem like a lovely idea to ride through Central Park, New York in a horse drawn carriage, but according to In Defence of Animals (IDA) and The Coalition to Ban Horse Drawn Carriages (BanHDC), behind the romantic fa├žade there has been a series of unfortunate incidents over the past nine months which have involved injury to horses and passengers and even the death of a carriage horse.  Horses sometime collapse or become entangled in their harnesses and carriages.  Charlie collapsed and died for no apparent reason in October 2011, his death has never been explained.  

Accidents occur when a horse becomes "spooked" (frightened) and taking flight whilst dragging the carriage along with it.  In a noisy and congested city like New York there are many things that can spook a horse, this is not a safe environment.  The horses suffer every day from pulling carriages in all types of weather and then returning to a barren warehouse where they spend their dark, lonely nights after their nine hour working day.  The law allows them to work seven days per week.

Image from IDA

Please click here to read more, then please spare a moment to enter a few details at the bottom of the page to send a readily prepared e-mail to George Fertitta, the CEO of NYC & Company which is the official tourist agency for New York.

Please click here to sign BanHDC's petition supporting a ban on horse drawn carriages in New York City.

If you live in the New York area and are available on May 1st, please sign up to participate in Lobby Day where concerned animal advocates will travel to Albany and urge people to support pending bills that would ban the carriage horses in New York City.

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Monday, 23 April 2012

Seasonal Advice ~ Spring

Cyril the Pigeon, apologies for poor quality.
Spring is well and truly here, April showers quench the thirst of the freshly bloomed bluebells, daffodils have given way to brightly coloured crocuses and the birds seem to be singing louder and longer.  Just after reading the RSPCA's newsletter a few weeks ago about what to do if you find an orphaned spring baby I stumbled upon a spring baby!  

I was walking Suki and noticed a magpie pecking at something on the floor underneath a tree, the magpie flew away as Suki bounded towards him and I noticed the "thing" he was pecking at was an injured baby pigeon.  I am not sure whether the magpie had inflicted the injuries on the pigeon (who I decided to name Cyril) or whether he was taking advantage of his vulnerable state.  I knew the mother must be close by and sure enough she was sitting in the nest above us watching the goings on closely, I moved away and watched from a distance  to see if she tried to assist the injured bird.  After some time Cyril attempted to limp towards the undergrowth and I could see he was in pain so decided to ring the RSPCA for some advice.

The lady on the phone was extremely helpful and after a 25 minute conversation it was decided that although the mother was close by it would be unlikely that she would be able to assist the baby therefore the RSPCA dispatched a member of their team to collect Cyril and rehabilitate him before releasing him back into the wild where hopefully he will go on to live a long and happy life, hopefully it won't involve him venturing to close to my Nan's bird feeder as she can be quite discriminative towards the pigeons who help themselves to her bird seed, "it's only for the little ones" apparently!

If you should stumble across a Spring baby of your own, here is some very useful advice from the RSPCA of what to do.  

Also here is a very useful article about Spring time dangers for pets.


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Saturday, 21 April 2012

We are TWO!

Happy Birthday The Animal News!

It was on this day two years ago that I made my first post on The Animal News, for some reason I feel like I have been part of this for much longer.  When I first created the blog I knew little about blogging in general and wasn't quite sure how I was going to proceed.  My goal has always been clear, The Animal News aims to raise awareness to the plights of animals all over the world and show people that it doesn't take a lot of time and effort to make a difference.  A few minutes signing a petition can make a big difference, a few more minutes asking some friends to sign the petition can make even more of a difference.  Soon, they may ask their friends and so forth, meanwhile the petition is growing and gaining more weight.

I am still learning as I go along and hope in the next year to find my feet a bit more and convince more people to spare some time to help the millions of animals in our world that have no voice of their own.

At times I find it frustrating when I feel like nobody is listening, and sometimes I feel overwhelmed when I receive a high volume of e-mails from Animal Welfare Organisations needing help and I am not able to respond due to work commitments.  All this is easily bearable when I see that you, the readers, are listening, taking note, showing interest and taking action.  I want to thank each and every one of you for your time and support and for continuing to read The Animal News.

Special thanks goes out to the people at BlogPaws for putting me in touch with so many like minded animal lovers and to the loyal Twitter followers who constantly promote my blog posts and take action alerts.

Here's to next year!

PS ~ I would love to hear any feedback you have to offer on how I could improve The Animal News.  What would you like to see on here?  Are there any causes you would like me to promote?  Would you like more posts, or less?  Please contact me on Facebook, Twitter or via E-mail on theanimalnews at googlemailcom.

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Friday, 20 April 2012

Fluffy Friday #56 ~ Suki "The Sweetest Staffie"

Last Sunday we took Suki to The Mayhew Animal Home's Hyde Bark event in, you guessed it, Hyde Park.  I am a big fan of the Mayhew and have been looking forward to the event for quite a while.  I was particularly excited about their Diamond Dog show as I love fun dog events and I was interested in entering Suki in the categories of "Prettiest Bitch" and "Sweetest Staffie".  In the end we only ended up entering "Sweetest Staffie" and I'm mighty glad we did, as she only went and won!  

Judges Joanna Page and James Thornton loved Suki's party trick back leg raise, happy nature and sweet smile.  Suki was awarded a rosette and a certificate, she wears the rosette with pride on her harness and I hope this encourages people to come and say hello to her rather than discriminating against the Staffie breed.

Us and the Judges, poor Suki blinked as the photo was taken!

Suki socialising with a distinguished looking Bassett Hound.

All images courtesy of The Mayhew Animal Home, more photos of the event available  on their Facebook page.

Happy Friday!
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Thursday, 19 April 2012

Project Pig

You may remember this post back in January about the EU Directive adopted back in 2001 aiming to ban individual sow stalls in order to improve the welfare of pigs.  Sow stalls are basically prison cells and restrict the movement of pigs so much so that a pregnant sow would not be able to turn around for the duration of each of her pregnancies - around 300 days per year!  Pigs are not able to forage, explore or interact with each other which is extremely cruel, the sow stalls can also lead to serious health and behavioural problems.

Sow stalls were banned in the UK back in 2009, the EU ban is due to come into force on 1st January 2013, the ban means it will be illegal to use sow stall after the first four weeks of pregnancy and that farmers will have to keep sows in social groups until a week before giving birth.  Unfortunately, it is estimated that over half of the 27 EU nations will not be ready in good time for the ban.

CIWF launched Project Pig at the end of March aiming to "put pressure on all 27 EU nations to ensure the sow stall ban comes into effect on time and in full".  They need our help to add weight to the campaign.  Please click here and add a few details to the readily prepared letter which will be sent to Agriculture Ministers in the countries where the illegal use of sow stalls is expected to continue after the deadline.

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Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Lunch Time Links #17

How is your week going so far?  I've had a lovely few days off work but it's back to the grindstone today, although it is half way through the week so it won't be long till Friday.  Here are a few lunch time links leading you to some very worthy causes, enjoy your lunch!

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Saturday, 14 April 2012

When Suki met Rusty

Despite adopting Suki the Staffie almost a year and a half ago it was only recently she became acquainted with Rusty the Cat.  (FYI, Rusty lives with my parents - or in Rusty's opinion my parents live with her!) Suki has been to my Parents house and stayed over on a number of occasions and although she can smell Rusty and knows she is there they have never actually met face to face, this is because we were told that Suki isn't a big fan of cats (and has a scar on her nose to prove it) so kept them separate.

All that changed during our visit home for Mother's Day weekend, an oversight on my part meant Suki casually trotted into the kitchen to check whether any of Rusty's food (or poop) was hanging around.  It wasn't just those items she happened upon, but little Rusty herself.  The rest is a blur of shouting (me), screaming (me), barking (Suki), hissing (Rusty) flying fur (both) and crashing cups of cold tea flooding the floor.  Suki was on top of Rusty and then Rusty was on top of Suki (it was like they were in a cloud of dust, just like in the cartoons I used to watch as a child) and I just remember dragging Suki out of the kitchen, somewhere quiet where I could inspect her scars and calm her down.

I must confess that I was more worried about Rusty, a small, delicate and thin but fluffy cat, rather than our well padded Staffie, however I seriously underestimated her.  When the dust settled and the tea was mopped up, I went up to check on how Rusty was.  Completely fine as it happens!  She was spitting and hissing whilst staring at the door seemingly wishing for round two.  In contrast, Suki was trembling with a sad and sheepish look on her face and a scratched tummy.  

The next day my Dad, who was first on the scene of the fight, remarked that it was in fact small, delicate and thin but fluffy Rusty that had spotted Suki ambling into the kitchen and started the whole thing!  

I think they are both sorry for how their first meeting ended and to make amends Suki is posting some yummy treats for Rusty to enjoy and says she is sorry for trying to steal her dinner (and poop).  Rusty has decided to sent Suki some of her favourite treats and wishes to apologise for overreacting and resorting to violence.

Happy Weekend everyone!
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Friday, 13 April 2012

Fluffy Friday #55

I am sorry that I have been away for so long, things suddenly were really busy at work before I went off on holiday and I am still catching up with myself.  My inbox is full of actions awaiting attention and I hope to be able to share these with you very soon.

I will dedicate this weeks Fluffy Friday to some of my animal related holiday snaps (Who am I kidding?  Nearly ALL my holiday snaps are of animals!) and hope to be back with you next week.

I apologise for the quality of some of these photos.

Happy Friday!

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