Last Chance for Animals

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LCA Launches Billboard Campaign to Ban NYC Horse Carriages

LCA has launched a new ad campaign that forces city council members to confront the atrocities of the horse-drawn carriage industry, and urges them to vote for Mayor de Blasio's propsed ban on horse-drawn carriages.  From now until the end of June – or longer, depending on when the council votes on the ban – a billboard from LCA, NYClass and the Greenbaum Foundation will greet each council member as they walk from their office to City Hall.

The billboard (shown above) sits on Broadway, right atop the stairs of City Hall Station, where thousands of people pass by every day. The ad will be changed each month with a new message to underscore the many problems of horse-drawn carriages, including animal cruelty and public safety risk.

Meet the World's Most Endangered Cat

With its piercing gaze, tufted beard and sumptuous spotted coat, the Iberian lynx looks more like a fearless feline hunter than an animal on the brink of extinction. However, human activities and natural forces have nearly snuffed it out of existence. Only a few hundred Iberian lynxes still survive, making this the most endangered cat in the world.

What’s killing the Iberian lynx?

  • Habitat degradation leaves them dispersed and vulnerable. The Iberian lynx once roamed throughout the Mediterranean, but now they can only be found in a small section of Spain. Roads, dams, railways, and other human structures slice the size of Iberian lynx habitats and diminish mating possibilities by separating groups from each other. Scientists project climate change will further disrupt lynx habitats, making it even harder for them to adapt.  
  • Rabbit disease has robbed the lynx of its favorite food source. The Iberian lynx gets most of its sustenance from rabbits. Unfortunately, the deadly viral diseases myxomatosis and rabbit hemorrhagic disease (RHD) have ploughed through the European rabbit population. The Iberian lynx now struggles to find enough food among the dwindling rabbit population. 
  • Road construction has lead to vehicle strikes. The Iberian lynx doesn’t understand the threat posed by new roads and highways weaving through their habitats. Experts say over 10 lynxes have perished under car wheels in the last ten years, adding up to a large portion of their miniscule population.  

What you can do:

Iberian lynx populations remain too low for us to just sit around and wait for the situation to improve. Doing your part to save the Iberian lynx is just two steps away:

  1. Sign this petition to support important conservation efforts. 
  2. Write or email Sonia Sanchez Mula, Environmental Press Officer from the Spanish Ministry of Agriculture, Food, and Environment, encouraging the Spanish government’s full investment in conservation efforts like habitat restoration, captive breeding programs, and decreasing Iberian lynx traffic fatalities. 

Contact details:

Sonia Sanchez Mula,  Press Officer (Environment)

En la Plaza de San Juan de la Cruz (temas Medio Ambiente)

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

We haven’t lost a feline species to extinction since the saber-toothed tiger. Together we can stop the Iberian lynx from following in its long-forgotten footsteps.

Tell Canada: Stop the Bloody Seal Hunt!

While most of us welcome the end of winter, this time of year is a nightmare for Canadian seals. Every spring, pregnant harp seals flock to Newfoundland and Labrador on the Canadian coast to give birth. Seal hunters capitalize on this beautiful natural pattern to swarm the coast and slaughter defenseless newborn seal pups during Canada’s annual commercial seal hunt. This is the largest slaughter of marine mammals on the planet.

Past reports have shown that 79% of hunters neglected to make sure the seals were unconscious by checking for corneal reflexes after the first clubbing. That means many seals remain conscious as they’re bludgeoned, bled, skinned, and dragged onto dirty boats, leaving vivid trails of blood in the snow.

Hunters massacre thousands of seals every year, despite the dwindling demand for pelts. Data shows prices for seal pelts dropped $64.50 from 2006 to 2013, yet the hunt survives thanks to millions of dollars in Canadian government subsidies that blindly support a dying sealing industry. Among other activities, hunters may use the money to pay for aerial cameras that allow them to find as many seals as possible with minimal effort.

Powerful countries like the United States and the entire European Union stand against seal slaughter by banning trade on goods procured from commercial seal hunts. Still, the Canadian government spends time and money supporting commercial seal hunting – even though a ban would not kill coastal economies, as the government claims.

The profitable whale watching industry sprung from a similar situation in the 1970s, when Canadian whale hunting was banned.  Experts believe the Canadian government could escape economic damage by shifting funds from the hunt to ecotourism initiatives. The millions who speak out against seal hunting every year could easily become millions of tourists, eager for a glimpse of the captivating harp seal.

Please join the voices that stand against seal hunting by sending an email to the Media Relations team of the Newfoundland and Labrador division of Canada’s Department of Fisheries and Oceans at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

A Triumph for LCA as Arkansas Gag Bill Fails

Arkansas’ animals have a lot to rejoice over this week. Following a campaign by Last Chance for Animals, a workplace gag bill has failed miserably in committee long before being voted into Arkansas law. This means that our dedicated whistleblowers can continue to detect, record and thwart animal abuse without fear that crucial evidence will be tossed out of court – or that they will be jailed for recording it in the first place. 

On Tuesday, March 24th, Rep. Mark Lowery’s controversial bill ­– which required consent among employers, their representatives and employees for audio recordings in the workplace – failed in the Judiciary House Committee. Had HB 1774 passed, workers facing harassment or discrimination would have been unable to tape those crimes against them.

The bill would have also greatly affected animal rights groups like Last Chance for Animals, which send investigators to work in animal industries to gather evidence of cruelty.

LCA legal representative Zeynep Graves points out that, “Prohibiting employees from recording their conversations enables injustice to go undetected. Individuals are most vulnerable in the employment setting when they have information of, or are a victim of, unlawful activity.”

Only after LCA contacted Arkansas local ABC news and other regional press did Representative Lowery make concessions and amend the bill, greatly narrowing its scope. As the news story flourished and dissension grew, the bill was killed on the spot this past Tuesday.

Watch the video to see how it happened:

This action is a significant regional win, of course, in the ongoing fight against anti-whistleblower laws that eliminate our rights in the quest for animal abuse justice. It will also help set crucial precedence in other states that dare to introduce such animal and human rights-violating bills.

It’s important to note that Arkansas is a major farming state that supplies livestock to some of the largest meat manufacturers and retailers in the country, such as Tyson Foods and Walmart. In fact, both of these large companies have notably violated employment laws in the last decade, but have settled out of court with the Federal Labor Department. HB 1774 served the interest of these corporations, not the citizens of Arkansas, which is why its failure comes as a relief for the public.

KFC Attempts to Cover Up ‘Wretched’ Chicken Conditions in a New KFC Documentary

The BBC documentary Billion Dollar Chicken Coop is drawing worldwide attention, showing footage of the deplorable living conditions found on a British factory farm that provides chickens to the KFC brand. A single shed is shown housing over 34,000 chickens in an environment completely devoid of fresh air and natural sunlight. Birds are seen walking around in feces-and-sawdust-covered floors before being gassed to death in the name of commercial fast food. Their entire life span lasts only a brief 35 to 42 days.

Animal Rights activist Andrew Tyler of Animal Aid expressed his outrage to London’s Daily Mail. He stated that the chickens live a “wretched existence” while being crammed into “giant windowless sheds stinking with ammonia.” He went on to say that many of these birds will die from dehydration or starvation long before they reach the estimated 42-day lifespan. And he also believes that over 30 million perish in these British sheds every year without any medical care or oversight provided by the property caretakers.

In the documentary, the BBC reporter questions one chicken farmer named Andrew about the health of the animals. Andrew is quick to pick up one bird to show the cameras how wonderfully clean and healthy it is. He even goes so far as to state that if he were a chicken, he would love living at his farm. Meanwhile, a spokesperson for KFC maintains that the animal welfare of all its chickens is “essential for high quality food and is important to our customers.” KFC is also quick to point out that all of their suppliers either meet or exceed UK and EU animal welfare requirements.

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Photo Courtesy of BBC

But activist Tyler vehemently disagrees. He believes that the birds lead “a wretched existence” of deplorable living conditions, stench, and filth. He believes that the chickens “are deprived of everything that makes life worth living.” He notes that many of the birds endure broken legs and other bone fractures as they are mishandled by farm employees while being bundled up for the slaughter. And Tyler is only one of many animal rights activists who are slamming KFC for their abuse and mistreatment of animals.

The High Cost of ‘Cheap Meat’

Deep in the Nebraska wheat fields lies a gory, little tax-payer funded a factory farm called the U.S. Meat Animal Research Center.  What goes on behind these doors would make even the most avid enthusiasts of slasher movies sick to their stomachs. Incredibly cruel experimentation is conducted on livestock that includes cows, sheep, and pigs, all in an effort to maximize meat production for the dinner table. To put this another way, the United States has already legalized cruelty to animals as long as the cruelty keeps meat prices lower and the cruelty is government regulated.

Stories like this have been in the news before, but never of this magnitude.  60 Minutes should really conduct an investigative report on this place.  They could show footage where scientists regularly submit livestock to cramped and crowded living quarters, harsh and horrific health conditions, and experimental processes that are designed to increase the levels of meat production while simultaneously decreasing the amount of bones.   Animals are killed by inhumane trapping mechanisms, exploding poison-filled caps, and a series of other ghoulish processes that would make our blood curdle.  Show this on TV, and the American Public would be outraged overnight.

Why are we allowing this to happen?

When faced with the problem of “animals as a sentient beings” vs. “escalating world hunger”, it is easy to see why politicians choose the latter as the more critical issue.  But why can’t we solve both issues?  Why does it have to be an “either/or” situation?  Surely our technology has advanced far enough along that we no longer need to inflict cruel and inhumane treatment on any member of the animal kingdom simple to put food on the table.  But, as one scientist recently interviewed by the New York Times recently put it, “It’s not a perfect world.  We are trying to feed a population (that will soon reach) nine billion by 2050.”

Meat Consumption and Global Warming

Meat consumption and global warming are two issues that most of us would assume have no direct connection to one another whatsoever.  But a recent study by Chatham House released in December of 2014 demonstrates that meat production is the single, largest contributor to the release of greenhouse gases that leads to global warming.  Of course, politicians are also in disagreement as to whether or not global warming even exists.

So, it comes as no surprise that this argument carries very little weight with state and federal lawmakers.  The American Public needs to become more involved in the oversight and accountability of our wildlife services.  We must force our politicians to reject animal cruelty while using other methods of alternative research to solve the world’s hunger problems and issues of climate change.   We can solve both issues, but only if we demand change.

Service Dog ‘Burberry’ Fatally Shot by San Diego Police

A 24-year old man is demanding accountability after his beloved pet Burberry was fatally shot by a local San Diego police officer.  The incident took place on March 17, 2015 when Burberry and his master, Ian Anderson, were startled awake at 5 a.m. by officers pounding on the door over a domestic disturbance call. But the police officers had the wrong house, and Burberry paid with his life.

The 6-year old pit bull responded just as any loyal dog would.  When Anderson opened the door, Burberry barked.  The officers identified themselves as Officers “Jackson” and “Bennet,t” and Anderson immediately explained that they had the wrong address.  Surveillance video captured footage of Jackson reaching down to pet the pooch on the head.   And according to Anderson, Burberry then headed over to Officer Bennett simply to “say hello.” That is when the situation became deadly.

The second officer is seen backing away from Burberry while reaching for his firearm.   Anderson reports that Bennett then told his partner Jackson to “step aside.”  Seconds later, a shot is heard off-camera.  Burberry was killed by a single shot to the head.  The immediate reaction of his owner was to run over to his loyal dog, but the officer immediately restrained Anderson, preventing him from being with poor Burberry in his last dying moments.  

Burberry wasn’t just a loving family pet. Burberry helped Anderson overcome long periods of depression and anxiety immediately following his father’s death, when Ian was still in high school.  Burberry was also a trained service animal for children living with autism and Downs syndrome.

Understandably, Anderson is devastated. “My world’s destroyed…I wish I could have taken the bullet instead of (Burberry).”

Now Anderson is demanding action.  He wants the officer to be held accountable, and has initiated a petition that would require all SDPD officers take part in mandatory training classes for animal behavior.  He has also contacted the Huffington Post, who is calling for the identities of the two officers to be released.

Anderson is asking people to sign a petition to have SDPD offiercers take a course that is manditory in animal behavior.

New Avian Flu Outbreak Plagues Butterball Farms in Arkansas and Missouri

A highly contagious new form of avian flu has infiltrated Arkansas and Missouri farms, many of which supply turkeys to the Butterball brand. Butterball is one of the world’s largest turkey sellers, and this discovery has led to a nationwide panic as farmers rush to protect their flocks from possible infection. This new strain of bird flu is also drawing unwanted international attention as countries like China and Mexico demand harsher trade restrictions on U.S. poultry products.

A spokesperson for the Butterball Corporation confirmed that a “limited number” of turkeys from some of their supplying contract farms have indeed contracted the H5N2 avian influenza. The U.S. Department of Agriculture also confirmed, stating that one particular flock of over 40,000 commercially raised turkeys has been infected in Arkansas, with another similarly sized flock having already contracted the disease in Missouri.   

Smaller outbreaks in recent months have already been confirmed in several other states. Previous cases were reported in Idaho, Washington, Oregon, Minnesota, and California. States such as Alabama and Georgia are watching this story particularly closely, as their farms produce the largest numbers of broiler chickens in the U.S. Arkansas is also home of Tyson Foods, the third-largest supplier of chicken products and the second-largest of turkey. If H5N2 were to infect these flocks, the entire poultry industry could be affected.

This wave of sickness comes just as the Arkansas House has proposed a bill  that would make it more difficult to expose wrongdoing at poultry farms and other businesses. HB1774 would make it illegal to record audio in the workplace without the expressed consent of all parties involved. If passed, the new legislation would make investigations into worker or animal abuse extremely difficult to conduct in the state.  

Arkansas is not only the home of Tyson Foods, but of Walmart as well; both corporations have been exposed for animal abuse violations at supplier farms. This latest outbreak of bird flu highlights the need for these undercover investigations, as they are often the only way safety violations are exposed.

In response to the bill, animal advocacy group Last Chance for Animals is circulating a petition to stop the proposed bill and protect the right to record misdoings at factory farms and other businesses. The petition, as well as more information, can be found at endaggaglaws.com.

The Ugly Truth about Marineland of Niagara Falls

Once a vibrant sea creature with an infectious personality, Larry the Harbour Seal now sits nearly lifeless in his cage with red, swollen eyes. Housed at Niagara Falls' Marineland's Marine Park, Larry is now blind after repeated neglect and exposure to terrible living conditions that include filthy pool water and poorly maintained cages. Staff and visitors alike are in an uproar.

And Larry isn’t alone. Some eight different Marineland employees have been complaining for several years about the harmful living conditions of the majestic animals suffering within the gates of Marineland. Top Trainer Phil Demers recently quit after 12 years as chief caregiver to the beloved Swooshi the Walrus over his concerns about the park’s management and cleanliness policies. Demers and others complain of both staffing shortages and poorly trained employees as contributing factors to the diminishing health conditions in Marineland.

John Holer, owner of Marineland for some 51 years, denies any wrongdoing. When asked to respond to allegations of misconduct, Holes simply states, “All our facilities are legal.” But Canadian regulations for sea mammal captivity are all but non-existent. According to many of the park’s employees, the question of legality is not the issue. Marineland has a moral obligation to these animals.

  • In October of 2011, five dolphins named Tsu, Lida, Sonar, Echo, and Marina were forced to swim in a cramped concrete pool filled with murky, green water for months on end. Former staffers talk of the dolphins either laying at the bottom of the pool or thrashing about wildly in reaction to the infested water. Over the next eight months, their coloring began to change, their appetites decreased, and massive chunks of their skin began to peel off into the water. The water in their concrete pool was finally changed in May of 2012.
  • On May 28, a baby beluga named Skoot died in the park after a continuous two-hour assault by two adult male belugas. The entire event was witnessed by a single helpless tour guide. She immediately alerted two trainers who were away from the property at the time. During the two hours that it took for the trainers to arrive to help, Skoot’s head and body were badly bitten by the older belugas who then spun her round by the tail before smashing her into an adjacent rock wall where she lay lifeless. When the trainers finally arrived to intervene, Skoot began to convulse and immediately died in their arms.
  • Sea lions Sandy and Baker are also going blind. In 2011, they had to be pulled from the water completely and placed into dry cages to prevent further damage occurring to their eyesight. Baker completely lost the lens in his left eye, and Sandy is often seen sitting in a corner of the cage still and statue-like. A video even exists of them writhing in pain, racing to place their tiny heads into a nearby bucket of pure, clean water.

Many trainers and employees feel that they can no longer stand by and watch these poor creatures suffer. Many feel as if their inability to help affect positive change to the living conditions in Marineland is only enabling the situation to further escalate out of control. As a result, employees like Phil Demers have chosen to leave the facility altogether where they will be free to shine a brighter spotlight on the neglect and abuse going on inside the park. Conditions are slowly improving, but there is still a very long way to go.

Over Two Dozen Dogs Rescued on the ‘Underhound Railroad’

Recently, an Atlanta-based television company headed to Dothan, Alabama, to film a rescue mission of nearly 30 puppies and dogs in need. This is the first of many future rescues to come, each falling under the lifesaving coordination efforts of an inspirational program called “The Underhound Railroad.” 

Related Article: Animal Cruelty = Human Cruelty 

Many of these poor pooches had been sitting on death row inside area animal shelters for quite some time, sadly awaiting their fate.  So an Atlanta veterinarian named Dr. Michael Good came up with an ingenious plan.  Why not rescue these precious pups from these small rural communities and bring them back to the bustling metropolis of Atlanta, where they’ll have a much better chance of being adopted?

“All Aboard!”

Dr. Michael Good is partnering with Ed Coughlin of Chet Burks Productions to film the first of many rescue missions in hopes of drawing national attention to this important cause.  The first stop for The Underhound Railroad was Dothan.  As Dr. Good gently rubbed the head of a beautiful golden lab, the lifelong animal lover was heard saying, “You’re going to have a good time in Hotlanta.”   

Now official Georgians, the rescued dogs are pampered and nurtured by Dr. Good’s team of do-gooders, collectively known as the Atlanta-based Homeless Pet Foundation. 

Next Stop: Hollywood

Dr. Good is quick to heap praise on the Dothan Community for all of their hard work and dedication to the stray animal problem in Alabama. Shelter administrators and the Atlanta Doc have the same end goal in mind: to rid the country of pet euthanasia once and for all.  Both Good and Dothan officials believe that public awareness and education is an important first step in the process.  And how better to educate the public than with an inspiring and life-affirming pet rescue show on the Discovery Channel’s Animal Planet?

The filming of the Dothan visit is the subject material for the pilot episode.  While there is no guarantee that the Animal Planet will pick up the program, Dr. Good remains optimistic.  After all, who would pass up a puppy rescue show with a host named Dr. Good?

France Finally Admits that Animals are ‘Sentient Beings’

Pet-lovers of France are banding together and demanding positive changes in animal rights law. And thanks to their efforts, the legal status of all animals nationwide will likely be reclassified to “sentient beings” very shortly. Prior to 2015, an archaic law from several hundred years ago still refers to members of the animal kingdom as “movables.” This essentially gives dogs, cats, and all other living creatures the same rights and privileges as the family coffee table or the proverbial kitchen sink.

Related Article: Animal Cruelty = Human Cruelty 

To put this legal jargon another way, the precious pooches and furry felines are legally considered merely personal property in the eyes of the French government, even though our family pets eat, drink, and snuggle with us on a daily basis. But thanks to an organization called 30 Millions d’Amis (Translation: 30 Million Friends Foundation), this antiquated law is currently under advisement to be completely rewritten.

Advocates of the non-profit group surged to record numbers in recent months. Several noted members of the French scientific community, numerous highly regarded professors, and even a former member of the French Parliament threw their unyielding support behind the bill. It didn’t take long before nearly 700,000 French citizens were demanding a new law. The National Assembly took notice, immediately approving the proposed legislation. And if all goes as expected, the French Senate will soon sign off as well, and animals will officially be considered sentient, living beings.

Animal Rights Groups want even more change

While most activist groups consider this new change in legal stature a considerable positive step forward for the animals of France, a significant portion believes that the new legislation doesn’t go far enough. The newly standardized wording may have awarded animals a proper legal distinction, but many activists believe that the proposed legislation says nothing about the possible exploitation and abuse that animals face every day. And isn’t this the real issue?

Green Party MP Laurence Abeille is offering a more ambitious form of new law. Abeille’s bill will not only award animals the legal status of sentient being, but will also make the harmful actions inflicted against sentient beings illegal, such as cockfighting, bullfighting, and puppy mills. Of course, with every newly proposed change in law comes a surge of unwanted opposition.

Many in the French government are concerned about a possible flood of extra rights being bestowed to the animal kingdom. After all, cats and dogs can’t vote or pay taxes – like cattlemen, farmers, and the lobbyists who work for them do. So why should lawmakers even bother? As with any new change in legislation, money is a big part of the picture. But animal activist groups like the Brigitte Bardot Foundation are not giving up quite yet. Even though the new bill only changes the legal status of animals in France,  it is still concrete progress on which more positive change can be built in the very near future.

China Joins Fight to Protect African Elephants; Bans Ivory Imports for 1 Year

An estimated 100 African elephants are killed by poachers each and every day, leaving this majestic breed on the brink of extinction.  That’s about one elephant every 15 minutes.  By current estimates, only 400,000 of these beautiful animals remain on the entire planet.  If the massacre continues at this rate, the species could be wiped out in several regions of Africa within only a few years.  


Why are these elephants dying? Because the insatiable demand for their ivory tusks, particularly in the Asian markets, has led to the illegal trafficking of ivory products becoming increasingly more profitable.  In reaction to this global dilemma, the Chinese government has just imposed an immediate one-year ban against imported ivory in all its forms. This comes amid growing worldwide criticism that Chinese consumer demand is a significant driving force behind this escalating violence.  

At LCA, we applaud this new ban – and we hope it is well enforced.

The announcement was posted on the website of the State Forestry Administration on February 26, 2015.  A follow-up statement was issued by a government official stating that China would increase its efforts to prosecute those involved in illegal tusk smuggling to the highest extents of the law.  While the capital city of Beijing has consistently campaigned against illegally acquired ivory, China still remains the world’s leading importer of smuggled elephant tusks.  Over 6 tons of illegal ivory were seized just last year in the city of Dongguan alone.


In 2008, China legally acquired over 60 tons of precious ivory which has only increased consumer demand even further.  

Products that contain ivory have long been considered a type of status symbol among the more affluent communities in China, which is only fueling the poachers’ greedy ambitions to higher and higher levels.  The world has been watching as the African elephant has been slaughtered by the thousands, all in the name of status-conscious consumerism.  
In an open letter signed by several highly regarded conservationists including David Attenborough, a global call-to-action was made to Chinese President Xi Jinping to put an end to the mass killings.  Many are crediting this letter as the final push that resulted in the recent legislation passed in China, outlawing the buying and selling of all forms of imported ivory completely. 


Meanwhile, London’s Environmental Investigation Agency recently issued a scathing report that accuses certain officials of the Chinese government of direct involvement in the importing of smuggled ivory tusks.   Many in the activist community fear that the recent announcement for a one-year ban may only be a political smokescreen.  Is the Chinese government truly committed to ending this murderous rampage against the African elephant?  The world is watching.

Airline Animal Death Rates Demand Attention

A beautiful, black-spotted guinea pig named Oriole was traveling on a Delta flight from North Carolina to Oregon with his owner last June. But Oriole would never make his destination – his dead body was discovered during the connecting flight in Atlanta. A necropsy was immediately performed by veterinarians at the nearby University of Georgia, where it was determined that Oriole had died from pneumonia brought on by a combination of flight stress and a pre-existing inflammatory condition in the lungs.

Realated Article: Air France's Monkey Business

Believe it or not, the U.S Department of Transportation keeps very detailed records of all animal fatalities, injuries, and losses that result from travel on our nation’s airplanes.  The 2014 report was recently released, and the statistics show that we have significant room for improvement.  With 26 cases of animal injury, 17 cases of death, and 2 incidents of lost pets, most of the cases involve the transporting of dogs and cats.

5 Airlines are involved.

United Airlines reports the highest numbers with 5 pet fatalities and 13 cases of animal injuries. Alaska Airlines followed closely behind with 3 deaths and 11 injuries, while Skywest, Hawaiian, and Delta airlines were responsible for the remaining cases.  

According to the DOT, many of the incidents involved pets attempting to escape from their cages either before, during, or after the flight.  Some managed to successfully escape only to be hit by vehicular traffic at the airport afterward.  Others were bloodied or hurt during the flight, perhaps due to the fear and stress of flying in a confined space and without their masters.

While each of these airlines is committed to reviewing their current policies regarding animal travel, pet owners must remain aware of the difficulties that face dogs, cats, guinea pigs, and other companion animals.  While over 99 percent of airline pet transports result in completely safe transfers, some pets are simply more susceptible to injury or death than others.  A visit with your local veterinarian might provide some invaluable insights along with some beneficial travel tips that might reduce these health risks substantially. 

How the LA Zoo is Hurting Elephants (And What We’re Doing About It)

Succumbing to loneliness, frustration, and physical ailments, elephants at the Los Angeles Zoo die an average of 10 years younger than elephants at all other North American zoos. And sadly, the facility doesn’t seem to care: they recently spent $42 million to build a new elephant exhibit that greatly enhanced the experience for visitors, but did nothing to benefit the elephants forced to live there. 

Last Chance for Animals won’t stand for this atrocity, and our legal team is fighting hard to stop it. We recently filed an amicus curiae (friend of the court) brief in an appeal that seeks to end the suffering of three elephants at the L.A. Zoo:  Billy, Tina, and Jewel. The appeal is based on a taxpayer action filed by plaintiff Aaron Leider, requesting in part that the L.A. Zoo close their exhibit to elephants. LCA's brief was filed in the California Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District, in support of plaintiff Aaron Leider.

 At trial, Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge John L. Segal said, "the Elephants of Asia exhibit at the Los Angeles Zoo is not a happy place for elephants, nor is it for members of the public who go to the zoo and recognize that the elephants are neither thriving, happy, nor content."

"Captivity is a terrible existence for any intelligent, self-aware species, which the undisputed evidence shows elephants are," noted the trial court. “To believe otherwise, as some high-ranking zoo employees appear to believe, is delusional. And the quality of life that Billy, Tina, and Jewel endure in their captivity is particularly poor."

The trial court found that insufficient space, a substandard living environment, and inadequate expertise of zoo personnel has caused the elephants to suffer from multiple injuries, as well as unnecessary physical and psychological suffering. The court also found that the elephants exhibit severe stereotypic behaviors of stress and psychological disturbance, such as repetitive bobbing, swaying, and rocking in place for hours (and in the case of Billy, for nearly half of his observable life). These actions stem from boredom, frustration, and isolation in a stimulant-free environment.

Forced to stand on a hard, cement-like surface, the elephants suffer chronic foot and joint problems – which are only made worse by their stress-induced behaviors.

Despite these findings, the trial court failed to apply the facts to the law, offering only limited relief for the elephants held captive at the L.A. Zoo. Specifically, the trial court ordered the L.A. Zoo to cease using bull hooks or electric shock on elephants, to exercise the elephants at least two hours a day and to rototill the exhibit's soil. Last Chance for Animals argues that the only remedy is to close the exhibit and transfer Billy, Tina, and Jewel to a sanctuary where they may live out their days without suffering.

 

UPDATE:

On 1/14/2016, the court of appeal upheld the trial court’s injunctions requiring that the elephants have specific amounts of exercise time, and requiring the rototilling of the soil in the exhibit. The trial court’s injunction prohibiting the zoo from using bull hooks or electric shocks on the elephants was never challenged by the city, so that will stand as well. Unfortunately, it rejected Leider’s cross appeal, and declined to close the elephant exhibit. 

The Gruesome Dog Meat Festival You Need to Know About

Can you imagine your loyal, beloved dog kidnapped, trucked long-distance in a cramped wire cage, then butchered for meat in a filthy market stall? This may sound like a horror movie, but the corpses of stolen pets, strays and commercially bred dogs are on full display at the Yulin Dog Meat Festival in China, where throngs of people gather each year to gorge on canine flesh.

The scene is hauntingly barbaric, yet the government does nothing to intervene. That’s why Last Chance for Animals has teamed up with the Duo Duo Animal Welfare Project to stop the brutality. And you can help.

If you’re in Los Angeles, join us at a rally against the Yulin Dog Meat Festival. With expert speakers and a crowd of fellow animal lovers, you’ll help make a difference by speaking out for dogs who cannot speak for themselves. Here are the details:

Date: Thursday, February 19th, 2015

Time: 12 noon

Location: The Chinese Consulate General's office -
443 Shatto Place, Los Angeles, CA 90020

Once you see this video, you’ll understand why these dogs need us so badly (warning: the images are disturbing):

The Yulin festival is heartbreaking, but compassionate people are doing all they can to ease the suffering. Some people give the dogs much-needed water and affection, to make their last moments as comfortable as possible. Other activists gather in the streets holding signs to denounce the slaughter. Some even spend their own money to buy dogs from the butchers, then feed and soothe the distraught animals and send them to loving homes.

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The best way to save these innocent dogs’ lives is to convince Chinese authorities to shut down this gruesome festival for good. Help achieve this by sending a letter to the Chinese embassy urging them to stop the slaughter. You can use this sample letter – just send it to the embassy’s email or postal address, listed below:

Dear Ambassador Cui Tiankai,

I am adding my voice to thousands of other people
throughout the world in demanding that the Guangxi YuLin
government puts an end to the “Dog Meat Festival” that is
held on June 21.

I have great respect for the Chinese people and Chinese
civilization, but I am horrified to learn that the brutal
Yulin “Dog Meat Festival” still exists in a modern civilized society.
The Yulin “Dog Meat Festival” is internationally perceived as a
disgrace to China. I am adamantly stating my strong opposition to
this gruesome practice. I also urge that your office works with
China’s Department of Agriculture in passing an animal
protection law in China that bans the dog and cat meat trade.

Sincerely,

Name and City

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Postal Address:

Embassy of the People’s Republic of China
3505 International Place, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20008

Attn:Ambassador Cui Tianka

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