Sea World Won’t Phase Out Business of Captive Orcas, Dolphins

pawsdownPaws Down!
To SeaWorld San Diego for continuing its captive orca exhibit and dolphin shows.

Dolphins deserve the freedom to live out their lives in the wild.

Dolphins deserve  to live out their lives in the wild.

In the wake of documentaries such as “The Cove” and “Black Fish,” many tourists no longer wish to see captive orcas and dolphins perform for crowds. Some major tourist attractions currently in possession of cetaceans like orcas and bottlenose dolphins have responded by reconsidering the concept of cetaceans in captivity. For example, the Baltimore Aquarium still holds captive dolphins, but ended its dolphin shows in 2012. Furthermore, Baltimore Aquarium CEO, John Racanelli, announced last summer a plan to potentially build an off-shore dolphin sanctuary  where the center’s eight captive dolphins could retire in peace. Meanwhile, SeaWorld San Diego has responded to emerging public concern and dropping attendance by implementing public relations damage control measures. In December 2014, SeaWorld demoted CEO Jim Atchison  to Vice President and instituted lay-offs to cut operation costs. According to a recent news article, the company is attempting to warm public opinion by enlarging the aquatic enclosure for the company’s eleven captive orcas. However, SeaWorld San Diego has not expressed any intention to end or phase out the attraction’s orca exhibit or dolphin shows. Both orcas and bottlenose dolphins are extremely intelligent, long-lived, and social animals who form close-knit family bonds. Both species have strong instincts to hunt as well as migrate. No fish tank, no matter the size, is an appropriate setting for these magnificent animals.

Take Action: Contact  Sea World San Diego and express your desire to see bottlenose dolphins and orcas in the wild.
Sea World San Diego
500 Sea World Drive
San Diego, CA 92109

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Captive Chimpanzee “Tommy” May Gain Freedom as Legal Person

pawsup

Paws Up!
To attorney Steven Wise for representing chimpanzees in a New York Supreme Court appeal that could free imprisoned chimps.

Photo by the Nonhuman Rights Project

Photo by the Nonhuman Rights Project

According to a recent news story, a chimpanzee being held captive in New York may be freed from a life in a small cage on the premise that he is a wrongly imprisoned person. The 26-year-old chimpanzee named “Tommy” is currently living alone in a small concrete enclosure with a television set on the property of a sales lot for transport trailers near Gloversville, NY. He is being kept as a pet, and has no interaction with others of his own species. Steven Wise is the attorney representing Tommy. In October, Wise made the argument to the New York Supreme Court that Tommy, along with three other chimpanzees located elsewhere in New York, are persons being unjustly imprisoned. Recognition as a legal person would not grant Tommy and the other chimpanzees the rights and freedoms of human beings, but would grant them the basic legal right to not be imprisoned. The panel of five judges is expected to rule on the case in the coming weeks. Wise has recommended to the judges that the chimpanzees be relocated to North American Private Sanctuary Alliance located in Florida.

The designation of animals as persons is not entirely new. Last year , the national government of India recognized dolphins as ‘persons’  having their own established society and culture.  Dolphins therefore, cannot be held captive in India. Steven Wise is not representing all chimpanzees as a species, but if judges recognize Tommy’s personhood, this case could offer a legal platform to help captive chimpanzees throughout the United States.

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Update! DE Amends State Code to Save Victims of Dog Fighting

pawsupPaws Up!
To the State of Delaware for passing an amendment to state code that aims to save the lives of dogs seized from dog fighting operations.

In June, we encouraged our Delaware readers to support SB 245, An Act to Amend the Delaware Code Relating to Dangerous Dogs and Animal Fighting and Baiting. This amendment has since passed and modifies Titles 3, 9, and 11 of Delaware State Code to end the state’s policy requiring automatic euthanasia of any dogs seized from dog fighting operations. Governor Jack Markell signed the amendment into law on July 31, 2014. Under the newly modified code, any canines seized from dog fighting operations will undergo behavioral and physical evaluation. Any dogs who are found to be good candidates for rehabilitation and adoption will not be euthanized but instead transferred to a qualified rescue organization.

An amendment to DE state code  gives canine victims of dog fighting opportunities for new lives in adoptive homes.

An amendment to DE state code gives canine victims of dog fighting opportunities for new lives in adoptive homes.

Take Action: Delaware residents, please contact your governor and thank him for signing this life-saving bill into law.

The Office of the Governor – Dover
150 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. South
2nd Floor
Dover, DE 19901

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Support the Pets and Women’s Safety Act.

Dogs, cats, and other pets need protection in domestic violence situations.

Dogs, cats, and other pets need protection in domestic violence situations.

The new bill H.R.5267, also known as The Pets and Women’s Safety (PAWS)  Act would increase protection for the companion animals of women in domestic abuse or stalking situations. The bill was forwarded to the House Committee on Agriculture and the House Committee on the Judiciary this month. If passed into law,  H.R.5267  would include measures to set up a grant program that would provide emergency shelter to the pets of victims. The PAWS Act would also include the cost of veterinary care as a damage for which victims could legally claim restitution.

The connection between animal abuse and domestic abuse is well documented. Abusers might physically harm a pet to “punish” the partner or threaten to kill or maim the pet as a means of controlling a partner or family member. Other times violence towards a person’s companion animal occurs as revenge for a divorce, separation or refusal to participate in a relationship.

Take Action: Contact your representatives and senators to express your support of H.R.5267.

 

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Amendment to Delaware Code Would Save Victims of Dogfighting

With proper care, many rescued victims of dog-fighting can live long and happy lives.

With proper care, many rescued victims of dog-fighting can live long and happy lives.

If passed into law, a new bill in Delaware would protect victims of dog fighting from being automatically euthanized following confiscation. The bill, SB 245, was assigned to the Delaware Senate Health and Social Services Committee in June 2014. Currently in Delaware, the law requires that any dog suspected to have been the victim of dog fighting must be humanely destroyed. SB 245 would change the code so that that dogs confiscated from an animal fighting situation would first be evaluated. Any dogs found to be good candidates for rehabilitation and adoption would then be transferred to a rescue organization.

In many cases, dogs who have been removed from animal fighting situations have gone on to be adopted and live long, happy lives with new families. Many dogs are excellent candidates for recovery, but they must first be given the chance.

Delaware residents, please contact your legislators immediately and let them know you support SB 245.

The Honorable Bethany A. Hall-Long
Senate Chairman of Health and Social Services
411 Legislative Avenue
Dover, DE 199013

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Protecting the Helpless

 

Disaster preparedness should extend to animals too.

Disaster preparedness should extend to animals too.

HR 4525, the Animal Emergency Act, would require “a research facility, dealer, exhibitor, intermediate handler, carrier, or Federal research facility” to “follow a contingency plan to provide for the humane handling, treatment, transportation, housing, and care of its animals in the event of an emergency or disaster.” Without such plans, many animals could be a risk for losing their lives. Additionally, human lives are put at risk when people try to rescue the animals who have not been protected.

Contact your representative and ask him or her to support HR 4524.

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When you think about it…is there glory in winning the Triple Crown?

Horse racing is not fun or beneficial to horses.

Horse racing is not fun or beneficial to horses.

California Chrome didn’t go down in history as a Triple Crown winner. Should we care? Should we be upset that the prize was lost? No, we should not. Instead we should be outraged at the treatment horses in the racing industry must endure to make it to any race let alone the major races of the year. Horse racing is a dying industry—but it seems no one has told racing officials. People still buy horses with the thought of becoming the next millionaire; and with the winnings California Chrome brought to his owner, you know there are others who are just dying to get a piece of the action. Unfortunately, there are many horses that are dying because of horse racing. There’s nothing about horse racing that supports the horses—all the support is for the money people can make off the backs of magnificent animals. Racing is not a sport—the horses don’t agree to “suit up.” The owners, jockeys, trainers, and everyone else who might make a buck off a stallion or filly have a say—but not the horse. It’s time we realize that when we really think about it…there is no glory in winning the Triple Crown or any other horse race.

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