New Bill Aims to Clean Up Great Lakes

If passed, H.R. 223 would allow for the cleanup and restoration of degraded habitats in the Great Lakes region.

If passed, H.R. 223 would allow for the cleanup and restoration of degraded habitats in the Great Lakes region.

Last month, H.R. 223: Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Act of 2015, was introduced and sponsored by Representative David Joyce (R) of Ohio. If passed, this bill would address the water quality of the Great Lakes, which contains 1/5 of the world’s fresh-water supply. The Great Lakes region provides fresh drinking water to over 40 million people, and provides jobs to approximately 1.5 million people. This water supply is undoubtedly an important resource to the community, but is also home to many species of wildlife and other living species that are suffering from pollutants.

If passed, H.R. 223 would allow Federal and non-Federal partners to work together to prevent and control existing invasive species, such as Asian carp, restore habitats in areas polluted by nutrient runoff and algal blooms, and reestablish healthy wetlands. Funding for this initiative would allow 300 million dollars annually through 2019, which, according to Joyce, would not add debt to the federal budget. This bill would promote a healthier ecosystem and support commerce, tourism, transportation, and agriculture in the Great Lakes region.

Take Action: Residents of the Great Lakes region, contact you legislators and urge them to support H.R. 223 for the sake of healthy habitats and a growing economy.

California Bans Confinement Crates for Hens and Other Animals

California has banned the use of confinement crates for egg-laying hens and other farm animals.

California has banned the use of confinement crates for egg-laying hens and other farm animals.

Paws Up!
To California legislators for passing a statewide ban on confinement crates.

As of January 1, 2015, California has banned the use of confinement crates for egg-laying hens and other farm animals under Proposition 2. This law, initiated in 2008, has given egg producers six years to comply with the new standards, which requires hens to be able to “stand up, lie down, turn around and fully extend their wings.” Calves raised for veal and pregnant sows are also included in Proposition 2, which states “a person shall not tether or confine any covered animal on a farm, for all or the majority of any day, in a manner that prevents such animal from lying down, standing up, and fully extending his or her limbs.” Furthermore, veal and sow gestation crates are now banned in the state of California. Companies such as Burger King, Kroger, Safeway, and McDonald’s have also joined in phasing out the use of these gestation crates.

Take Action: California residents, thank your legislators for passing a law that will end the use of inhumane cages and crates for farmed animals. Residents of other states, contact your legislators to express your support of laws that require humane care of farmed animals.

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Hotel Promotes Adoption of Rescue Dogs During Stay

Paws Up!
To Aloft Hotel in downtown Asheville, NC for partnering with local rescues to increase adoptions.

Photo credit Aloft Hotel Asheville Downtown Facebook

Photo credit Aloft Hotel Asheville Downtown Facebook

While most travelers are expecting a warm bed and cable TV while checking into a hotel for the evening, guests at the Aloft Hotel in downtown Asheville, NC are also greeted by a friendly adoptable dog at the front desk. Since Aloft Hotel began their parnership with Charlie’s Angels Animal Rescue in July, 14 dogs have been adopted and rescue placements have doubled. Charlie’s Angels Animal Rescue saves dogs from local shelters who are at risk for euthanasia.

Aloft Hotel has several dog-friendly areas designated throughout the hotel, and visitors can also spend some one-on-one time with the dog while exploring the downtown area. This also allows the dog for much-needed socialization and interaction with humans and the environment.

While more dogs have been placed in loving homes thanks to Aloft’s new program, the hotel has yet to receive one negative complaint regarding allergies, noise, or uncleanliness related to the dogs. It does seem, though, that visitors are rather fond of their warm welcome from a furry friend.

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Urge the Release of Lolita from a Life of Captivity

Lolita was captured and taken from her family more than 40  years ago.

Lolita was captured and taken from her family more than 40 years ago.

For more than 40 years, captive orca Lolita continues to perform and live a solitary existence at the Miami Seaquarium on the island of Virginia Key in Biscayne Bay, Florida. Captured in 1970 in Puget Sound off the coast of Washington state, Lolita was taken from her pod and has been living in North America’s smallest whale tank since. In that time, Lolita has had one tank mate, Hugo, who died in 1980 due to an aneurism from repeatedly slamming his head into the tank wall. Many experts have called this an “act of suicide.” Since then, Lolita has been the only orca to live at Miami Seaquarium. Orcas are social animals, and the lack of interaction with other orcas opposes her natural behaviors. Lolita’s family, including her mother, are still alive in the wild and are now protected as an endangered species.

Earlier this year, Miami Seaquarium was purchased by Palace Entertainment, and the National Marine Fisheries Services has considered protecting Lolita as an endangered species as well. If successful, this would enable Lolita the chance of rehabilitation and eventually could be released back into the wild with the rest of her family.

Take Action: Contact Palace Entertainment and the Mayor of Miami-Dade County and urge them to consider releasing Lolita from years of confinement and exploitation so that she may reunite with her family in the wild.

Fernando Eiroa, President and CEO
Palace Entertainment
4590 MacArthur Blvd., Suite 400
Newport Beach, CA 92660
Email: feiroa@palaceentertainment.com

Mayor Carlos Gimenez and Commissioners
Stephen P. Clark Government Center
111 NW 1st Street, Suite 220
Miami, FL 33128
Email: mayor@miamidade.gov

BLM Rejects Permit Request for Cash-Prize Killing Derby

The BLM has cancelled a permit requesting the use of their land for a "predator derby."

The BLM has cancelled a permit requesting the use of their land for a “predator derby.”

Pawpawsups Up! To the United States Bureau of Land Management for cancelling a permit for a predator-killing competition in Idaho. Earlier this year, the hunting group Idaho For Wildlife applied for a special-use permit to include Bureau of Land Management (BLM) property in a “predator derby,” in which contestants would kill as many animals as possible, namely wolves and coyotes, for a cash prize. The BLM initially planned to disperse the event through the Salmon, Challis and Upper Snake BLM field offices during the three-day event in early January. However, according to a recent news story, the BLM announced on November 13th that the permit was cancelled. Although the killing derby is still scheduled to take place, participants will not be permitted to hunt on BLM lands. In 2013, the event drew about 230 people, approximately 100 of them hunters, who killed 21 coyotes but no wolves. Take Action: Contact the Idaho Office of the Bureau of Land Management and thank them for not allowing the slaughter of animals on BLM land.

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Bullhooks Banned in Oakland

pawsupPaws Up! To the city of Oakland, California, for banning the use of bull hooks on elephants.

Bullhooks are often used to force wild animals such as elephants into performing unnatural tricks.

Bullhooks are often used to force wild animals such as elephants into performing unnatural tricks.

According to a recent news story, the Oakland City Council in California has banned the use of bullhooks on elephants. A bullhook, or ankus, is a steel rod with a hook at one end used to control elephants for circus performances. The hooks are designed to stab and pull elephants. The ban was passed even though representatives from the Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus previously threatened to skip Oakland during their U.S. tour if the ordinance was adopted. Los Angeles recently adopted a similar ban and other cities such as Richmond, Virginia, are considering banning the use of bull hooks on elephants. Take Action: Citizens of Oakland, California, contact the council member in your district to convey your support of the new law banning the use of bullhooks on elephants.

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Illinois Wildlife Find More Protection

pawsupPaws Up!
To Illinois Governor Pat Quinn for signing into law an amendment to the Illinois Wildlife Code, adding gray wolves, American black bears, and cougars to the list of protected species.

8.7.0rc3

Cougars, gray wolves, and American black bears are now among the protected species in the Illinois Wildlife Code.

Beginning January 1, 2015, gray wolves, American black bears, and cougars in the state of Illinois will be protected under S.B. 3046, an amendment to the Illinois Wildlife Code. These new protections will prohibit the killing of these animals unless there is an imminent threat to people or their livestock. If an animal is found to be a nuisance, a permit must first be granted by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources to kill that particular animal.

Over the past 150 years, gray wolves, black bears, and cougars have nearly disappeared throughout the state of Illinois. With populations slowly on the rise again, the careful management of these species is crucial to their recovery.

Take Action: Illinois residents, send a note of thanks to Gov. Quinn thanking him for his efforts in supporting positive management of protected species in your state.

Office of the Governor
James R. Thompson Center
100 W. Randolph, 16-100
Chicago, IL 60601

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