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.
The circus is coming to town! This familiar phrase conjures vivid images of amazing acrobats, capering clowns ... and exotic animals. Unlike the human performers who choose to work in circuses, however, exotic animals are forced to take part in the show. They are involuntary actors in a degrading spectacle, forced into an unnatural life.
Just imagine: You go out of town for a couple of weeks, your pet sitter doesn’t properly secure the gate, and your dog runs away. Where would you prefer your beloved companion wind up — in the local animal shelter, where you can claim him and bring him home safely, or in a research laboratory where he is caged and used as part of a cruel experiment? Few people realize that animal shelters and research labs may be connected. The connection is called “pound seizure,” and it’s one of this country’s shameful secrets.
As API members and supporters, know, we’ve actively campaigned to improve the lives of captive exotic animals for many years. In fact, API is widely recognized as a leading expert on the issue.