Not long ago, an animal advocate contacted API for advice. Like many people, the caller was deeply troubled by the mistreatment of animals in circuses, and wanted to take action. She wasn’t exactly sure what she could do, but was considering trying to get her home state to pass a law restricting the use of wild animals in circuses and traveling shows.
The call that API received in the spring of 2004 started out like many of the others that we receive on a weekly basis: A suburban community was experiencing an increase in sightings of and encounters with coyotes. The resident who called us was concerned that local officials would advocate lethal control over more humane approaches to co-existing with the wild canids.
Big-eyed baby seals. Men swinging heavy clubs. White ice stained crimson.
These are some of the indelible images so ubiquitous in 1970s and 1980s, the heyday of the global “save the seals” movement.
During those years, animal protection groups from around the world joined forces to fight the wanton slaughter of baby harp and hooded seals that took place each year on Canada’s northern ice floes. Pictures from the hunt sparked outrage and, eventually, a measure of reform.
Today, the images are back, more haunting than ever. That’s because the Canadian seal hunt is back, bigger and bloodier than before. And animal advocates have come together once again to fight the senseless, barbaric killing.
It’s official: the holiday hullabaloo has begun! Throughout the autumn months, simply turning on the television or taking a stroll through a local mall means being inundated with celebratory songs, festive decorations, and advertisements promoting that “special something for a special someone.”
Wild at Heart: Birds in Captivity
“A forest bird never wants a cage.” — Henrik Ibsen, 1828–1906
Even when bred in captivity, exotic birds cannot properly be considered domesticated animals. They are the native species of other countries whose inherent behavioral and physical needs remain intact, even when they lose their freedom.
Commercial pet food is a great convenience for busy caregivers. You want the best for your companion animals, but with a bewildering array of foods and claims to choose from, how do you decide what’s best for your animals?
Our companion animals are truly part of our family, as anyone living with — or losing — a beloved cat or dog will attest.
That’s certainly been true for the many guardians whose companion animals have been injured, or even killed, by traps. Some of these people have written to API to tell us about what happened to their cherished friends. Their letters are filled with anguish that their animals suffered, along with outrage that these cruel traps can still be used legally in this country, in this day and age.
In December 1999, the day after an exhausting and fretful search for Soccer, the Gendrons received the phone call every companion animal guardian dreads. The family’s twelve-year-old cat was dead, his neck broken by a Conibear kill trap set by a “pest” control trapper in a residential community in California’s East Bay. A neighbor had hired the trapper to remove a raccoon who was raiding open garbage cans.