In the course of our everyday lives, we humans encounter other animals in a wide variety of settings and situations. We may view farmed animals in transport trucks on the highways, companion animals in “pet” shops, and captive exotic or wild animals used for entertainment or kept as “pets” in the residences of friends or neighbors. If we are fortunate, we may encounter wild animals when hiking or exploring at wildlife refuges or nature preserves.
It is both convenient and comforting to assume that specially-written laws protect the animals in each of these situations from harm. Unfortunately, however, such an assumption is misguided.
The Animal Protection Institute is proud to announce the formation of the California Animal Association (CAA), dedicated to represent the interest of animals at the California State Capitol.
CAA is a coalition of 17 local, state, and national animal advocacy groups representing more than 275,000 Californians. API is a founding member of this association and, as is represented on the Board of Directors.
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.
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.
The pet shop seemed more like a pawn store, a place where disenchanted caretakers unloaded their birds for quick cash. During my visit, abandoned birds clamored for attention or followed me [Monica Engebretson] curiously with their eyes — except for a pair of Amazon parrots who sat motionless, side-by-side, with the most expressionless eyes I have ever seen in another living creature.
Disclaimer: Before you start to feed your companion animal a home-prepared diet, API strongly recommends that you discuss your decision with your veterinarian or a holistic veterinarian in your area. (For a list of holistic veterinary practitioners, contact the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association at 410-569-0795, or check the directories at www.altvetmed.org).