Monday, December 19, 2011

Farm Sanctuary Makes Room at the “Inn” this Christmas for a Special Mother and Child

Goat gives birth at slaughterhouse and gets second chance at life for her and her kid

WATKINS GLEN, N.Y.December 19, 2011 – For a lucky mother and child, all is calm and all is bright this holiday season. This week, just in time for Christmas, Farm Sanctuary (, the nation’s leading farm animal protection organization, will make room at the “inn,” i.e. their New York Shelter in Watkins Glen, for a special mother goat who was destined for slaughter and the tiny “miracle” baby she gave birth to at the slaughterhouse who saved her life.

Farm Sanctuary was first alerted to the miraculous birth by a local Binghamton vet, Melissa Hayes, whose relative owns the slaughterhouse. Hayes’ relative had recently bought some “spent” dairy goats at a stockyard, having no idea that one was pregnant, and brought them to his facility to be slaughtered. After witnessing the birth and the tender devotion between the mother goat and her child, he decided to ask for Hayes’ help finding a good home for the pair.

“I immediately called Farm Sanctuary,” says Hayes, who first became acquainted with the organization as a veterinary student at nearby Cornell University, where many of Farm Sanctuary’s animal residents are treated following rescue and throughout their lives. “As a student, I helped treat some of their rescued animals and I was deeply touched by their commitment to protecting these often overlooked animals from cruelty. Whether it was pigs who had fallen off a transport truck or an elderly steer with arthritis, Farm Sanctuary was always there to comfort these animals and prove that their lives matter.”

“We are overjoyed to welcome this special mother and child to our sanctuary just in time for the holidays,” says Farm Sanctuary’s National Shelter Director Susie Coston, who is known as the “Farm Animal Whisperer” for her unique bond with farm animals and for her deep understanding of their complex emotional lives. “Goats are very affectionate, social beings who, just like us, want nothing more than to be among their family members. It is always a great joy for us to enable mothers and babies, who are typically immediately separated, to stay together. This will make our holiday at the sanctuary even more precious and it wouldn’t have been possible without the help of our members.”

A double miracle!
When Farm Sanctuary arrived at the slaughterhouse last Friday night, they discovered that a second goat had also just given birth. Despite taking a financial loss, the slaughterhouse owner decided to also allow this mother goat and her child to live out their lives together at Farm Sanctuary. The baby, however, was born prematurely and both mother and child are very sick and currently undergoing treatment at Cornell University Hospital for Animals.

About Farm Sanctuary
Farm Sanctuary, the nation's leading farm animal protection organization, promotes legislative, policy, and individual lifestyle changes to help farm animals. Farm Sanctuary’s shelters in New York and California provide lifelong care for nearly 1,000 rescued farm animals. For more information, please visit

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Happy Holidays from A Voice 4 Animals

2011 has been a wonderful year for A Voice 4 Animals.

I started a podcast on iTunes, and recently joined forces with Santa Varbaro @ SantasVeganCooking to film some vegan cooking shows to show everyone how easy it is to live a vegan life.

2012 holds lots of promise and I can't wait! I just want to take this opportunity to wish all of you a safe, and happy holiday season. Whatever holiday or tradition you celebrate, make it a good one.

And please remember, the most generous thing we can do is to have compassion for those who are the most vulnerable and at our mercy, non-human animals. I ask that you seriously consider leaving animals and their by-products off your menu.

May all your wishes come true this holiday season!

Love and thanks for all your support,

Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary is a non-profit organization and shelter that works to end the systematic abuse of animals used for food.   At the heart of our mission is the hands-on work of rescuing, rehabilitating and caring for farm animal refugees-as well as educating the public about the treatment of animals who are raised for food and the many benefits of a plant-based diet.  Visit for more information or call 845-679-5955.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Friday, December 2, 2011

Santa's Vegan Cooking on YouTube

My friend Santa decided to start a Vegan Cooking show on YouTube.  Please check out her pilot episode here.  Feedback is encouraged!  Thanks very much!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Horses Could Soon Be Slaughtered for Meat in US -by JUSTIN JUOZAPAVICIUS Associated Press

Horses could soon be butchered in the U.S. for human consumption after Congress quietly lifted a 5-year-old ban on funding horse meat inspections, and activists say slaughterhouses could be up and running in as little as a month.

Slaughter opponents pushed a measure cutting off funding for horse meat inspections through Congress in 2006 after other efforts to pass outright bans on horse slaughter failed in previous years. Congress lifted the ban in a spending bill President Barack Obama signed into law Nov. 18 to keep the government afloat until mid-December.

It did not, however, allocate any new money to pay for horse meat inspections, which opponents claim could cost taxpayers $3 million to $5 million a year. The U.S. Department of Agriculture would have to find the money in its existing budget, which is expected to see more cuts this year as Congress and the White House aim to trim federal spending.

The USDA issued a statement Tuesday saying there are no slaughterhouses in the U.S. that butcher horses for human consumption now, but if one were to open, it would conduct inspections to make sure federal laws were being followed. USDA spokesman Neil Gaffney declined to answer questions beyond what was in the statement.
The last U.S. slaughterhouse that butchered horses closed in 2007 in Illinois, and animal welfare activists warned of massive public outcry in any town where a slaughterhouse may open.
"If plants open up in Oklahoma or Nebraska, you'll see controversy, litigation, legislative action and basically a very inhospitable environment to operate," predicted Wayne Pacelle, president and chief executive of The Humane Society of the United States. "Local opposition will emerge and you'll have tremendous controversy over slaughtering Trigger and Mr. Ed."

But pro-slaughter activists say the ban had unintended consequences, including an increase in neglect and the abandonment of horses, and that they are scrambling to get a plant going — possibly in Wyoming, North Dakota, Nebraska or Missouri. They estimate a slaughterhouse could open in 30 to 90 days with state approval and eventually as many as 200,000 horses a year could be slaughtered for human consumption. Most of the meat would be shipped to countries in Europe and Asia, including France and Japan.

Dave Duquette, president of the nonprofit, pro-slaughter group United Horsemen, said no state or site has been picked yet but he's lined up plenty of investors who have expressed interest in financing a processing plant. While the last three slaughterhouses in the U.S. were owned by foreign companies, he said a new plant would be American-owned.

"I have personally probably five to 10 investors that I could call right now if I had a plant ready to go," said Duquette, who lives in Hermiston, Ore. He added, "If one plant came open in two weeks, I'd have enough money to fund it. I've got people who will put up $100,000."

Sue Wallis, a Wyoming state lawmaker who's the group's vice president, said ranchers used to be able to sell horses that were too old or unfit for work to slaughterhouses but now they have to ship them to butchers in Canada and Mexico, where they fetch less than half the price.

The federal ban devastated "an entire sector of animal agriculture for purely sentimental and romantic notions," she said.

This is a reverse to what President Obama promised in 2008 when he was a candidate.  He promised to keep the ban in place PERMANENTLY.  Please follow the link below to send a letter to President Obama and let him know how you feel about his decision to start murdering horses. 


Source :

Monday, November 28, 2011

Critics say animal cruelty law keeps cases secret

Monday, Nov. 28, 2011 | 3:07 p.m.

The sponsor of a new law intended to toughen penalties against severe animal cruelty said Monday the purpose of a late-session amendment to the measure was to allow people to report cases anonymously _ not to keep abusers and cases confidential.

But some animal rights activists say the bill's good intentions may have backfired.

The Reno Gazette-Journal first reported Sunday that the final version signed into law makes animal abuse cases confidential and gives criminal penalties to officials who release reports or talk about cases.
"The provision makes the investigation confidential, even the report," Jerry Shay, Washoe County deputy district attorney, told the newspaper.

Contacted Monday by The Associated Press, state Sen. Mark Manendo, D-Las Vegas, an animal lover and prime sponsor of the bill, was surprised to learn about problems with the amendment's language.
The intention was to allow people to report crimes without fear of retaliation, not to "stifle public knowledge of events," Manendo said.

"The report itself ... that is not confidential," he said. "Why would that be any different than if some got caught committing any other kind of felony?"

The measure, SB233, took effect Oct. 1. Known as Cooney's Law, it was named after a dog that died after being gutted by its owner. At the time, such crimes were misdemeanors. SB233 makes it a felony to maliciously torture, maim, mutilate or kill a companion animal.

The questionable provision states: "Any person, law enforcement agency, society for the prevention of cruelty to animals or animal control agency that willfully releases data or information concerning the reports, except for the purposes of a criminal investigation, is guilty of a misdemeanor."

Bonnie Brown, the Nevada Humane Society's executive director, said "people just now are realizing" that the amendment's wording is broader than the intention.

"I don't think any of us disagree that the reporting party should be protected," she said. "The way it's written right now, it seems to me ... that simply speaking about the case could make you in violation of the law."
That could be a problem for animal welfare groups that often publicize severe abuse cases to raise money to help rescued animals or seek information to aid law enforcement, Brown said.
"For us, the generosity of the public is what helps us afford to treat those animals," she said.
Tom Jacobs, executive director of northern Nevada's Society to Prevent Cruelty to Animals, agreed.
"We are concerned about the ability to educate people and make them aware of what's going on," he said. "If an individual murders somebody, it's all over the place. But if someone mutilates an animal, we can't comment on it."

Holly Michael Haley, Humane Society state director, said Cooney's Law provides much needed improvement to Nevada's animal cruelty laws.

"But this one amendment provides protections for those accused of animal abuse that other criminal defendants do not receive," she said. "That should be rectified in the next legislative session."
Manendo said he may ask legislative lawyers for an interpretation on the law's scope in light of legislative records.

Minutes from legislative hearings on the amendment requested by Sen. Shirley Breeden, D-Henderson, indicate the intent was to protect those who report animal abuse by keeping their identity confidential "except to appropriate law enforcement or government agencies for prosecution."
Lawmakers also could correct the language in 2013, when the next Legislature convenes.
"The good news is it can be remedied," Jacobs said. "The question is, how soon can it be remedied?"


Sunday, November 27, 2011

No jail time for animal abuse - by Jami Kinton

SHELBY -- A man accused of having sexual relations with animals received no jail time in Shelby Municipal Court on Wednesday morning.

"I believe you have a very severe problem," Judge Jon Schaefer said to Peter Bower, 31. "My first impulse is jail time, but jail will not help you."

In addition to 80 days of community service and two years probation, Bower must undergo a sexual evaluation, take sex addiction classes and pay a $500 fine.

Bower was ordered to not own any animals.

In May, the Shelby man was charged with animal cruelty after authorities discovered a history of sexual activity with his 3-year-old shepherd mix, Aurora.

Investigation revealed Aurora was not the only animal Bower had abused. He posted photos and stories of his encounters on multiple bestiality websites.

Bower's attorney Gordon Eyster met with Shelby Law Director Lee Shepherd, Richland County Humane Society agent Missy Houghton and Richland County Dog Warden Dave Jordan behind closed doors at the court Wednesday for about two-and-a-half hours.

At about 11:30 a.m., Bower walked into the courthouse lobby. Five minutes later, court resumed in public session.

Wearing hunter green cargo pants, a white button down shirt and green jacket, Bower took the stand with Eyster to his left and Shepherd standing nearby.

Eyster entered a no contest plea of for his client in reference to a charge of injuring animals.
Schaefer found him guilty of the charge, a first-degree misdemeanor.

Thirty states have laws prohibiting bestiality, distinct from other forms of animal cruelty. Ohio is not one of them, but since this incident, lawmakers have started working on such legislation.

Houghton said a proposal is almost ready to be introduced to the state House of Representatives.

Bower, who seemed dazed, kept his head down, swallowing hard as the judge read his fate.

His one-word responses to questions were always delayed, and sometimes had to be prompted by his attorney.

Houghton and Jordan said they were satisfied with the outcome.

"He's not going to get any treatment if he's in jail," Houghton said. "Considering that there is no law in the books, I thought this outcome was very fair."

"I'm really happy that he's not allowed to own any more animals, and hopefully now we'll be able to find a home for Aurora. We had to hold her here for months for evidence," Jordan said, noting that the dog is doing OK. "She's been in a kennel for months. Now she's been walked every day, but there's a certain amount of stress that goes along with that."

Jordan said he's glad awareness was brought to the issue.

"I think the classes will be beneficial to him," he said. "At least he'll have a good shot at getting better, because I do think this is an illness. I hope this helps him get his mind right and lets him know his behavior is not normal, isn't moral and is just plain wrong."

Bower and his attorney declined comment after the hearing.

Source :

Dimondale man accused of animal cruelty pleads no contest - by Kevin Grasha

A 24-year-old man accused of leaving a dog bludgeoned and hog-tied in a wooded area early this year pleaded no contest Tuesday to a misdemeanor charge.
Ray Emmanuel Potter of Dimondale pleaded no contest in 54A District Court to abandoning/cruelty to an animal, officials said. He faces up to 93 days in jail. A sentence hearing is set for Jan. 9, 2012.
The dog, a pit bull, was found in January of this year by a man walking his dog. The female pit bull’s four legs had been bound together with heavy-duty electrical tape. The dog’s muzzle also was taped shut. The dog also had severe head injuries — the result of blunt-force beatings, officials said.
The dog, known as Tatiana, has recovered from its physical injuries, officials said.

The sad truth about stories like this is the possible punishment that the accuser faces.  93 days in jail?  For assault and attempted murder of a living being.  What if this was a human child?  I hope one day the punishment for animal abuse will be the same as human abuse.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

New York Celebration FOR the Turkeys : Live Stream Event!

For the first-time ever, by popular demand, Farm Sanctuary’s famous Feeding of the Turkeys Ceremony will be live streamed from their New York Celebration FOR the Turkeys in Watkins Glen THIS Sunday, November 20, at 2:30 p.m. Eastern (11:30 a.m. Pacific) on FARMSANCTUARY.ORG Tune in and enjoy the heartwarming sight of rescued turkeys feasting on silver platters of THEIR favorite Thanksgiving treats (stuffed squash, cranberries, and pumpkin pie) from wherever they are in the world!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

US circuses circle wagons against elephants law - By Sebastian Smith

NEW YORK — US circuses are circling the wagons against a proposed law in Congress that would ban using elephants under the big top, a tradition that animal rights activists say causes terrible suffering.
The bill, introduced this month in the House of Representatives by Virginia Congressman Jim Moran, aims directly at traveling circuses by seeking to outlaw exotic or wild animals from performances if they have been traveling within the previous 15 days.
That would mean an end to the days of elephants balancing on stools, tigers and lions jumping through fiery hoops, monkeys on wheels, or other popular staples of the ring.
"It is clear that traveling circuses cannot provide the proper living conditions for these exotic animals," Moran said in a statement.
He noted that zoos, aquariums, horse races and permanently housed animals used for shooting movies and other filming events would not fall under the ban.
The law is the first attempt for a decade to put an end to the iconic circus routines, which animal rights activists say are based on cruel training methods and harsh, unsafe living facilities.
America's most famous big top outfit, Ringling Bros and Barnum & Bailey, sent out an email appeal to supporters this week, saying "the Greatest Show on Earth" needed help "to make sure this family tradition continues."
Stephen Payne, a spokesman, said the bill was not pro-animal, but simply against circuses.
"It's to do with putting Ringling Brothers and other circuses out of business," Payne told AFP.
"This is just anti-circus legislation that's really not necessary because we're already inspected and regulated under federal laws, state laws and local laws in almost every state we play."
Payne said animal rights groups did not understand the circus business and were out of touch with Americans.
"They are at the fringe: they don't want animals for entertaining, they don't want them for food, they don't want them for pets," he said.
"What we get are millions and millions of families coming to see Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey."
According to Ringling Brothers, their circuses not only treat elephants well, but help preserve the Asian elephant breed, thanks to a self-sustaining, 50-strong herd that has seen 23 births since 1995.
The company also funds elephant conservation programs in the United States and in countries such as Sri Lanka.
"Asian elephants have been part of Ringling Brothers for 141 years," Payne said. "P.T. Barnum once brought his elephants across the Brooklyn Bridge to convince New Yorkers it was structurally sound."
But Ed Stewart, from the Performing Animal Welfare Society, or PAWS, said Ringling's elephants are not nearly as happy as their gaudy outfits and circus tricks are meant to suggest.
"There is no state of the art keeping animals in captivity. The state of the art is Zimbabwe and India and the wild, the hills of Virginia, but not in cages," he said at a press conference after the bill was introduced.
Stewart said children should stop being shown circus animals altogether.
"Real educators have to overcome what children see in the circus. It would be better if they didn't even have an experience with an elephant or a tiger or a lion if that's the experience," he said.

The circus, the zoo, the aquarium........All the same.  They all use animals for profit.

News Source:

Monday, October 31, 2011

World Vegan Day 2011

I live my life with the belief that all animals, both human and non - human should be allowed to live their life in peace.  Free of pain, suffering and exploitation.  This is why I am VEGAN.  Novemeber 1st is WORLD VEGAN DAY. 

World Vegan Day is an annual event celebrated on 1 November, by vegans around the world. The Day was established in 1994 by Louise Wallis, then President & Chair of The Vegan Society UK.
2011 marks the 67th anniversary of the term 'vegan' (and thus the verbally clarified concept of 'veganism' and of the Vegan Society).

There are many things you can do to help promote VEGANISM all throughout the year!  A few things that I like to do are:

* Cook vegan meals for family and friends

* Bake vegan cookies for co-workers

* Take friends and family to sanctuaries for farmed animals

* Speak openly and honestly about why I'm vegan.  And why it's the right thing to do by the animals

* Leave information flyers on message boards at the supermarket and other public settings

* Try new vegan restaurants and invite friends to come along to see what their missing

* Wear message gear (T-shirts, caps) that have a vegan message on them

These are just a few of the things I like to do to get the VEGAN word out there and try to inspire people to look deep inside themselves and make a change.  For themselves and for the animals we share this world with.  Follow the link to my personal message for World Vegan Day 2011.  Thanks!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Ellen DeGeneres Wants You to “Adopt” a Turkey This Thanksgiving

Farm Sanctuary’s Adopt-A-Turkey project celebrates 25 years of changing the way America thinks about turkeys

WATKINS GLEN, N.Y.October 25, 2011 – Who can resist the adorable faces of turkeys gobbling for compassion at Thanksgiving? Not Ellen DeGeneres. That’s why she’s back for the second year in a row to serve as Farm Sanctuary’s Adopt-A-Turkey Project spokesperson, inviting everyone to save, not eat, a turkey this holiday season.

Says DeGeneres: "Did you know that every year between 250 and 300 million turkeys are bred for slaughter in the United States? More than 46 million for Thanksgiving alone. So, this Thanksgiving instead of eating a turkey, please join me in adopting one from Farm Sanctuary’s Adopt-A-Turkey Project and you can give a turkey something to be thankful for."

For 25 years, the Adopt-A-Turkey Project has put smiles on the faces of both carnivores and vegetarians alike, while providing support for the care of more than 1,000 rescued turkeys and inspiring people everywhere to make more compassionate choices. For a one-time donation of just $30, adopters or a recipient of their choice will receive a special Adopt-A-Turkey certificate complete with color photo of a rescued turkey who resides at one of Farm Sanctuary’s shelters and fun details about their adopted turkey.

This year’s irresistible flock of “adoptable” turkeys include Skip, who advises prospective adopters “When preparing Thanksgiving dinner, skip the turkey!;” Antoinette, who declares ”Let them eat squash!;” Elizabeth, who demurs “This Thanksgiving, give a turkey the royal treatment;” Victoria, who proclaims ”A holiday feast that’s cruelty-free is one fit for a queen;” Payton, who counsels “In a ton of ways, compassion pays;” Amelinda, who reveals “I’ll be having a happy Thanksgiving, thanks to kind people like you;” and Raphael, who pleads “Picture a more compassionate world. Start with Thanksgiving.”

“We’re thrilled to have Ellen’s support again this year,” says Farm Sanctuary President and Co-Founder Gene Baur. “Here at Farm Sanctuary, we live with turkeys, so we know they are interesting and intelligent and have complex emotional lives like dogs, cats and other animals. Sadly, the meat industry subjects turkeys to intolerable cruelty and treats them like inanimate objects with no feelings or personalities. Fortunately, each one of us can choose not to support this cruelty by adopting a turkey at Thanksgiving instead of eating one.”

You can learn more about Thanksgiving’s toll on turkeys here.

To join Ellen DeGeneres in starting a new tradition by adopting a turkey instead of eating one and to view this year’s “adoptable” turkeys, visit or call the Turkey Adoption Hotline at 1-888-SPONSOR.

Farm Sanctuary, the nation's leading farm animal protection organization, promotes legislative, policy, and individual lifestyle changes to help farm animals. Farm Sanctuary’s shelters in New York and California provide lifelong care for nearly 1,000 rescued farm animals. For more information, please visit

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

A Voice 4 Animals Podcast - Episode 9 - Smoking

Second-hand smoke and it's affects on the innocent lives of children and animals.

Please subscribe to my podcast on iTunes and leave feedback if you like it.  Or you can listen by clicking the link below.  Thanks!


Sunday, October 9, 2011

My Vireo Rescue Story - by Michael Tiedemann

On October 1st, I found this little bird waiting for me as I got home from work. He was shivering and wouldn't fly away when I tried to coax him to. There were no visible signs of injury that I could see, so I sat with him for about an hour. Then decided to put him in a shoe box, brought him inside the warm house and called the wildlife people. They told me that it is the time of year when the Vireos (I didn't know what kind of bird he was) are migrating and sometimes they fly into windows and get concussions. After a 2 and a half hour wait, going outside every half hour to see if he will fly, my little friend pecked at me and flew away. THIS is why I'm VEGAN. 

Below are pictures of my new friend and the website to the Animal Kingdom USA Wildlife Rescue.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Animal group claims it set fire to Idaho fur store - By Laura Zuckerman

(Reuters) - Animal rights activists claimed responsibility on Monday for a fire that caused $100,000 in damage to a Boise-area store that sells fur coats and fireworks, authorities said.
No one was injured in the early morning blaze at Rocky Mountain Fur & Fireworks, a retailer in Caldwell, Idaho, about 30 miles northwest of the state capital.
The North American Animal Liberation Press Office, which says it conveys messages for unnamed animal advocates, distributed a statement from a group calling itself the "arson unit" that said it set fire to a store stocked with "chemically treated skins of thousands of tortured animals".
"By oppressing innocent life, you've lost your rights. We've come to take you down a notch. Stay in business and we'll be back," the unit said.
Investigators were taking the arson claim seriously, and it was one of several leads in the case, said Mark Leiser, assistant special agent in charge of the Seattle Field Division of the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
Leiser said evidence collected at the fur shop by the bureau, the FBI and the Canyon County Sheriff's Office in Idaho would be thoroughly analyzed "before we can make a determination of the veracity of the statement."
A woman who answered the phone at Rocky Mountain Fur & Fireworks, which bills itself as a full-service fur company selling "luxurious fur coats" from chinchilla, mink, rabbit or fox, declined to comment except to say: "We're all OK."
Jerry Vlasak, spokesman for the North American Animal Liberation Press Office, said the arson unit may refer to a branch of the Animal Liberation Front, an underground group of animal activists who promote economic sabotage.
"It has proven effective: Fur stores have closed, fur breeders have closed," Vlasak said, adding that the press office was supportive but not affiliated with the organization behind the claimed arson, the first action of its kind in Idaho.
The press office said on its website it was founded "to communicate the actions, strategies, and philosophy of the animal liberation movement to the media and the public," adding that many of those actions were illegal.
A first offense on a federal arson charge stemming from the destruction of property and involving interstate commerce carries a prison sentence of at least 10 years.

I am an ethical vegan who believes in ahimsa and I don't like when I read stories of arson and violence.  I know these people who set fire to the fur store had the animals in their mind while doing it, though I really feel they can better serve the animals by trying to help educate people about how these animals are killed for these furs and help to change the "buying" public to not spend their money on these items and to purchase vegan alternatives. I realize it sends a message to the owners of the fur store to maybe change the products they are selling to something that are not animal skins, but if there is a demand for these items, they will just rebuild and continue selling them.  We need to educate the public to stop the demand.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

'Casper' Case Ends With Stiff Sentence - Jeremy Campbell

TAMPA - He's the dog that broke our hearts and then captured them.

When we first met Casper, he looked like nothing but an abused bag of bones. On Friday, the man accused of the abuse found out his punishment -- and it was unprecedented.
Judges had the option of this stiff sentence in other animal abuse cases, but it took Casper's case for that punishment to stick.
Wilmer Fernandez will serve a 15-month prison sentence.
"There was so much attention on this animal in this case in this community, and the good thing --even though it's been three years -- is it's kept everybody kind of holding hands for three years. So maybe it's made us all stronger for us to push forward with these prosecutions," said Dennis McCullough of Hillsborough County Animal Services.
An appellant judge upheld the 15-month sentence. It's one of the stiffest punishments ever issued for an animal abuse case here.
Historically, judges rarely call for the maximum punishment for animal abuse, but Casper's case is anything but ordinary.
The boxer was found three years ago in Carrollwood -- chained, starving, and looking a little ghostlike. But Casper survived.
He was adopted in 2009. He's up to 80 pounds now, more than twice his weight when investigators found him.
In court, Fernandez's attorneys were pushing for a lighter sentence, but the judge denied their appeal.
The ruling could change how judges sentence future cases of animal abuse.
"Today is closure and we send a strong message, I hope, in Hillsborough County: If you commit animal cruelty, you'll be punished," McCullough added.

'Casper' case ends with stiff sentence:

New NY Law: Attending Dogfight, Cockfight a Crime

Submitted by The Humane Society on Sep 13, 2011

SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY -- In New York, anyone who knowingly attends a dogfight or cockfight will now be charged with a misdemeanor crime punishable by up to three months in prison and a $500 fine. A second offense will carry up to a year in prison and a $1,000 fine. The new law will be highlighted this week at the New York State Sheriffs’ Association and New York State Sheriffs’ Association Institute’s 10th annual “Law Enforcement Supervisors' Training Conference” during a workshop conducted by Sgt. Michael Gabrielson of Ohio’s Kettering Police Department on behalf of The Humane Society of the United States, the nation’s largest animal protection organization.

“Animal fighting is closely associated with other violent crimes and criminal activities such as gangs, drugs, and illegal weapons possession,” says Patrick Kwan, New York state director for The HSUS. “The Humane Society of the United States is grateful to the New York State Sheriffs’ Association for the opportunity to share our knowledge and resources to aid in the anti-crime and anti-cruelty efforts of Empire state’s top law enforcement officers.”

While dogfighting and cockfighting are felonies in New York, the spectators who fuel the economy of animal fighting with their admission fees and gambling wagers faced only a traffic-ticket style violation. Signed into law by Gov. Andrew Cuomo in August and taking effect this month, S.3237a/A.4407a passed unanimously in the legislature and was championed by Sen. Kenneth LaValle, R-Port Jefferson and Assemblyman Joseph Lentol, D-Brooklyn with 70 total state legislators as co-sponsors. Introduced at the urging of The HSUS, the bill raised penalties against animal fighting spectators and closed a major loophole that allowed some dogfighters and cockfighters to escape punishment by masquerading as spectators.

“Animal fighting is a serious crime, and new legislation in New York will give police offi
cers more tools to prevent these terrible incidents,” said Thomas Mitchell, counsel to the New York State Sheriffs’ Association. “We know that there is often a close connection between animal abuse and other very serious crimes, and want to make sure that our Sheriffs and their law enforcement supervisors know about this new law.  That is why we asked The Humane Society of the United States to speak at our annual training conference this week.”

To assist law enforcement efforts, The HSUS offers rewards of up to $5,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of any person involved in illegal animal fighting. The HSUS asks anyone with information about animal fighting criminals to call 1-877-TIP-HSUS (1-877-847-4787). Tipsters' identities are protected. Learn more at

Animal fighting facts:
-- Spectators pay hundreds or thousands of dollars in admission fees and gambling bets, generating the bulk of the revenue for this illegal enterprise. The fights would not occur without the crowd betting on the outcome and enjoying the bloodletting. Spectators provide cover for animal fighters, who weave into crowds to evade prosecution at the first sign of a police raid.

-- Animal fighting is closely associated with other criminal activities such as gangs, narcotics, illegal weapons possession, public corruption and various violent crimes. A three-year study by the Chicago Police Department found that 70 percent of animal offenders had also been arrested for other felonies, including domestic and aggravated battery, illegal drug trafficking and sex crimes.
-- The United States Congress is considering H.R. 2492 which would amend the federal animal fighting law to include spectators. This would allow for cases prosecuted in federal court to include the entire cast of characters that participate in animal fighting ventures.

-- In 28 states, it is a felony to be a spectator at an animal fight.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Dead Boy, 200+ Animals Found at Berwyn Home

Officials discovered massive case of animal hoarding after responding to call of a dead teen

More than 200 animals were rescued from a Berwyn home Thursday and Friday in a major case of animal hoarding discovered during the investigation of a teen boy.

Officials on Thursday were called to a home on the 2800 block of Lombard Avenue after a 14-year-old boy was reported to have died. A Friday autopsy revealed the teen, Matthew Degner, died of bronchopneumonia. His death was ruled natural, the Cook County Medical Examiner's Office said.

A law enforcement source with knowledge of the investigation said three other teens -- aged 15, 16 and 17 -- also lived in the home. All three of the surviving children have been quarantined because they are "suffering from flu-like symptoms," the source said.

The mother told investigators that all of her kids got sick on Sept. 4 with stomach problems, but she said that everyone seemed to be getting better, the source said.
Officials refused to confirm some details, but neighbors told NBC Chicago that someone living in the home took the teen's body outside, presumably so investigators wouldn't go inside.

They did, and investigators said they found more than 200 animals in the roughly 1,100 square-foot bungalow. The menagerie included dogs, cats, birds, rabbits, squirrels, at least one raccoon, two monkeys and two kinkajous.

"The place was colorless. There were no rugs on the floor. There were birds flying loose on the second floor. There were cats running loose on the first floor," a source told NBC Chicago.
The cats -- dozens of them -- are in particularly bad shape, said Terri Sparks, the Animal Welfare League's marketing and public relations director.

"They're riddled with disease, sick and mean," she said.
The more exotic animals will be taken out-of-state to an undisclosed rescue sanctuary, said AWL Director Linda Estrada.

Crews from the AWL, the region's largest humane society, were on the scene in hazardous materials suits.
"They're hungry. They're thirsty. The cages aren't cleaned. It's bad," Estrada said of the animals.

"Our animal control officers who have been in some pretty horrific and disgusting environments said this home was easily the worst they’ve been in," said Cook County Sheriff's Office spokesman Steve Patterson.

The three surviving children were in the care of Department of Children and Family Services personnel Friday night. It's believed they were kept in isolation.

"Social isolation is one of the most powerful risk factors for serious harm to children. If we, as a community, never knock on that door, that no one ever seems to open, we may never know how bad it is, or how we can help," said DCFS spokesman Kendall Marlowe.

Neighbors said the children never went to school and that the family had lived in the home for about eight years. The children were extremely malnourished, neighbors said, and it's suspected they never saw medical care.
The mother was being held at the Berwyn police station Friday night. No charges have been filed.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Python bitten by Sacramento man is on mend - By Whitney Mountain / McClatchy Newspapers

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- A pet python that underwent surgery after being bitten by a Sacramento, Calif., man is "looking a ton better," Sacramento animal control officials said Saturday.
The man who allegedly bit the female snake, 54-year-old David Elmer Senk, has been in custody in the Sacramento Jail since Thursday on $10,000 bail. Police arrested him on charges of maiming/mutilating a reptile.
Gina E. Knepp, acting animal care services manager for the city of Sacramento, said surgery that the snake received Thursday saved her life.
"She is looking a ton better, she was really dehydrated," Knepp said, adding that the owner of the snake has not yet made contact with animal services. "We would very much like to place the python in an appropriate rescue."
Knepp said the snake is "very touchable" and "not the kind of python that sinks its incisors in you."
According to police and animal control officials’ accounts, a few people were admiring a woman’s pet python outside a liquor store in Del Paso Heights Thursday evening, passing it around and getting a feel for it.
And that’s when Senk allegedly took two big bites out of the python, Knepp said.
Sacramento police responded to the 3600 block of Marysville Boulevard about 6:30 p.m. Thursday on a call about a man who had been assaulted and was not responsive.
The owner of the snake allegedly had beaten Senk up after she said he bit her pet, said Sgt. Andrew Pettit of the Sacramento Police Department.
When police arrived, a witness told them about the man’s scaly tastes, and animal control was called to treat the snake.
"While it was being passed around, the snake was just dangling, limp in their hands. That’s very unusual for this kind of snake; they like to ball around your arm," Knepp said. "It was clearly not healthy. Apparently the woman keeps it in her backpack and takes it everywhere with her."
The snake lost a couple of ribs, Knepp said, and has several stitches. She is receiving antibiotics.

Python bitten by Sacramento man is on mend

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Please support the 2011 Dutchess County SPCA Annual Pet Walk

 I am raising money for the Dutchess County SPCA 2011 Pet Walk which is going to be held on October 1st, in Poughkeepsie, New York to benefit all the animals at the shelter. I have been a volunteer there for a few years and I love it. I would like to bring awareness to the fact that there are so many animals in the world that are homeless and need a good home. So before you go to the pet store to buy a "puppy mill" pet, please think adoption first.

Please consider donating to this great cause. Visit to make a donation. Thank you so very much!

You can also send me a check made out to : Dutchess County SPCA, in the memo section put NEMO'S PACK and you can mail it to me at:

Michael Tiedemann
PO box 1935
Poughkeepsie, NY 12601

Many thanks for your support -- and don't forget to forward this to anyone who you think might want to donate too!


For more information on the Dutchess County SPCA, please visit WWW.DCSPCA.ORG


My poodle buddy, Nemo.  I adopted Nemo from the DCSPCA in 2008

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

New Podcast Episode! Episode 8 - Winter's Tale & Clearwater Marine Aquarium

A Voice 4 Animals - Episode 8

Please subscribe to my podcast on iTunes! If you don't use iTunes, you can listen here.

Please rate on Itunes and please give me feedback for my podcast, I would greatly appreciate it!

Visiting Winter, the dolphin who lost her fluke in a crab trap in 2005.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

GRAPHIC IMAGE: Bond set for man who allegedly tried to decapitate dog - By Elizabeth Klynstra

MONROE COUNTY, GA (CBS ATLANTA) - Bond has been set for a Forsyth man who allegedly almost decapitated his mixed-breed dog. As of Saturday afternoon, he was still in jail.

19-year-old, Monterion Dionte Davis, made his first appearance Friday morning and has a $15,000 bond. He cannot be see with animals, according to Judge Davis, with Monroe County Magistrate Court.

Law enforcement officials called this the worst animal abuse case they have ever seen in Forsyth.

A spokesperson with the Monroe County Sheriff's Office said Davis was arrested Thursday after an animal advocacy group found out about his severely injured dog.

That group, Save-A-Pet, took the dog to the Caldwell Veterinary Hospital where it underwent emergency surgery to repair its severed trachea and other life-threatening injuries.

Shane Smith said he was at the pound when he saw dog. The pup walked up to him and he saw her throat was severed. Smith rushed the dog to Dr. Butler Caldwell who is amazed she is alive.

Caldwell said, "Most of the musculature up here was severed, the trachea was severed. Fortunately, the major arteries were not severed or the esophagus."

Dr. Caldwell performed the emergency surgery and is overseeing the dog's recovery.

Smith has named her Hope. "She'll just go up to anyone she's just a good dog," said Smith.

Monroe County Sheriff John Cary Bittick said that this was the worst case of animal abuse he'd seen in his 29 years as sheriff.

"Cruelty to animals is a crime I do not take lightly and all such cases will be investigated and perpetrators will be charged," he said.

Bittick said good detective work led them to Davis. He said Davis admitted to using an electrical cord to tie the dog in the woods. The sheriff's office said Davis told investigators he left the dog to die.

Davis is being held in the Monroe County Jail. The sheriff's department will continue to investigate the case.

It is unclear at this time how long Hope was tied up, who brought her to the pounds or why Smith was the first person to get her help.

Smith said Hope is not up for adoption. He and his wife have adopted her and will make sure she never suffers again.

It is very difficult to understand what is going on inside the head of another human being.  Especially when they do something cruel and hurtful.  If you wish to view the photo of what this young man did to this dog, please follow the link to the story main link below.  I think we need to do a petition to make sure this man gets the proper sentence in court.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Summertime Tips to Keep Your Pooch Safe

It's summertime!  Time to get out and enjoy the outdoors with your dog.  Please just remember a few simple tips to help keep you and your best bud happy and safe.

Bring water for both of you!  You must keep hydrated in the heat.  Dogs can't regulate their body temperature through sweating so they heat up even faster than you.  Animal supply stores have cool travel water bottles for dogs.  Get one!

You wear sneakers, your dog doesn't.  Make sure that you keep your dog safe from burns on their paws by walking in the grass rather than on the hot pavement.  The sun burning down can make the pavement like a frying pan in summer.  The best times to walk your dog would be early morning or right near sundown.  It will be more comfortable for both of you! :)

Sunscreen is good for both you and your dog!  Use it so no one gets burned!!!

Last but not least, NEVER leave your dog alone in the car during the hot summer, no matter what!  Not even with the windows cracked.  The temperature skyrockets and the dog will die within minutes!

Please visit  for more information on how you can help your dog stay cool this summer!

Have a great summer everyone!


Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Candle Cafe™ Frozen Meals Melds Compassion, Convenience

With so many people choosing to go meat-free for health, environmental and animal welfare reasons, and with Oprah, Ellen and Martha Stewart all recently devoting entire shows to the subject, it was only a matter of time before a gourmet vegan frozen dinner arrived in grocers’ freezer sections to make the transition just that much easier. Move over Lean Cuisine, step aside Hungry Man — not only are the newest frozen dinners healthier and more decadently satisfying, but they also protect innocent farm animals from abuse in a single bound. That may seem like a tall order for a frozen dinner, but that is exactly what Candle Cafe™ Frozen Meals are doing.

Inspired by the chefs and recipes of world-renowned New York City vegan restaurants Candle Cafe and Candle 79 — in partnership with The Hain Celestial Group, Inc., a leading natural and organic foods company, the new Candle Cafe Frozen Meals follow the restaurant’s mission to better the individual and the planet by serving delicious vegan cuisine rooted in eco-friendly practices and compassion for animals.

Priced at $5.99 and sold in 9 oz. trays, the Candle Cafe Frozen Meals offer an inexpensive and convenient way for consumers to enjoy the restaurant’s mouthwatering signature dishes, like Seitan Piccata with Lemon Caper Sauce, Ginger Miso Stir-Fry, Tofu Spinach Ravioli, and Mac & Vegan Cheese, in the comfort of their own home.

Convenience with a Conscience

In a frozen dinner first, the all-natural, certified organic*, gourmet vegan meals proudly tout their support of Farm Sanctuary, the nation’s leading farm animal protection organization, on their packaging. For Candle Cafe founder Bart Potenza, the decision to wear his heart on his sleeve, so to speak, was a no-brainer; he credits the formerly abused cows, pigs, chickens, and other farm animals who reside at the organization’s shelters in New York and California as the inspiration behind his work. “The frozen food aisle has traditionally been a pretty chilly place for farm animals,” says Potenza. “We wanted to prove that not a single animal needs to suffer for you to enjoy the decadence of a gourmet meal and the convenience of a frozen dinner.”

“Candle Cafe is a renowned leader in fine vegan dining, and its commitment to making the world a more compassionate place through the distribution of delicious, convenient and affordable vegan food is inspiring,” says Farm Sanctuary President and Co-Founder Gene Baur. “The vegan movement is going mainstream.”

Candle Cafe Frozen Meals are available nationwide in the frozen food section of Whole Foods Market.

For more information about Candle Cafe restaurants and the brand’s mission, log onto For more information about Farm Sanctuary and its commitment to protecting farm animals from cruelty, log onto

* Mac and Vegan Cheese is not certified organic

About Farm Sanctuary

Farm Sanctuary, the nation's leading farm animal protection organization, promotes legislative, policy, and individual lifestyle changes to help farm animals. Farm Sanctuary’s shelters in New York and California provide lifelong care for rescued farm animals.


Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Kayli the Cow Escapes Slaughterhouse - New Home at Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary

Kayli, a young white cow, made a dash for her life from a slaughterhouse just outside of Philadelphia.

June 18th: She was being loaded into the holding pen of the Madina Live Poultry market where goats, sheep, turkeys and other animals awaited death. This particular market is a Halal slaughterhouse catering to Muslim customers, but such “live kill” markets are extremely common in urban areas — they serve people from many different cultures. She saw an opportunity and made a break for it! Within hours she was captured by police and brought back and led into the same pen with the other doomed animals.

Animal activist Marianne Bessey, a Philadelphia attorney, heard how the cow had run for her life and was moved to help. She went to the slaughterhouse, and begged for Kayli’s life. When it seemed hopeful she might be released, WFAS Farm Manager Sheila Hyslop took our horse trailer and made the 4-hour journey there with dedicated volunteer Mike Stura. But the slaughterhouse workers became intimidated when the press and other activists arrived and refused to release the cow. They locked the doors and left the premises.

Elissa Katz, an animal advocate and close supporter of WFAS, contacted the Council on American-Islamic Relations to act as a go-between. The Executive Director, Moein Khawaja, heard her pleas and stepped in to help. After all-day negotiations with state officials and the slaughterhouse owner (who was out of the country at the time), the eventual release of the young white heifer to WFAS was approved! In fact, she was officially “pardoned” by PA Gov. Tom Corbett’s office and the state’s Department of Agriculture, which waved a law that requires an animal be killed within 10 days of arriving at a slaughterhouse.

Now named Kayli, she has been checked by the vets and is undergoing 2 weeks of mandatory quarantine before she can be transported from Pennsylvania to our New York sanctuary, where we will greet her with open arms! Here, she will spend the rest of her life unharmed, care-free and surrounded by loving people who see her as a life to be valued—here WITH us and not FOR us.

It's amazing what wonderful work the Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary does!  Please visit the link below to see more pictures of Kayli, and how you can help!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

New Podcast Episode! Episode 7 - Saving Nemo

A Voice 4 Animals - Episode 7
Please subscribe to my podcast on iTunes! If you don't use iTunes, you can listen here.

Please rate on Itunes and please give me feedback for my podcast, I would greatly appreciate it!



Friday, June 17, 2011

San Francisco Considers Ban on Goldfish as "Pets" to Prevent "Inhumane Suffering" - story by Todd Starnes

The San Francisco Animal Control and Welfare Commission wants to take away your goldfish, proposing a bill that would also include a renewed ban on pets like puppies, kittens and hamsters.

The proposed ban is meant to discourage “impulse buys” of pets that sometimes end up at shelters, said commission member Philip Gerrie.

He said goldfish, guppies and other tropical fish were added to the proposed ban because of what he called the “inhumane suffering of fish” and the way the fish are harvested.

“It causes animal suffering,” Gerrie told Fox News Radio. “Whole reefs and ecosystems are being exploited for whatever might be marketable or sellable.”

The Board of Supervisors considered a similar ban last year that would have included dogs, cats, hamsters, mice, rats and guinea pigs – but not fish. That proposed ban was tabled last August. The supervisor said they were going to reconsider it in January of this year – but did not.

The proposed fish ban has local pet store owners up in arms.

“The city is taking more and more control,” said Ocean Aquarium owner Justin Hau in an interview with the San Francisco Chronicle. “They are very stupid.”

Gerrie said that’s the response he expected from pet store owners. “They have a very strong interest to say it’s stupid,” he told Fox News Radio. “That’s the basic thing with human beings. We exploit everything in the world until it’s exhausted.”

Gerrie accused the “human” species of exploiting the environment – and the fish.

“Humans are overfishing for food,” he said. “There’s a huge market for aquarium fish. That creates a demand.”

As for people who would argue that it’s just a goldfish? “That’s how we are in this society,” Gerrie said. “Some people say, ‘It’s just a human’ – when it comes to some that kill. It’s a matter of degree. Where do you stop?”

The recommendation from the commission could be a tough sell among the Board of Supervisors. Supervisor Sean Elsbernd told the San Francisco Chronicle he had doubts the new proposal would pass – calling it “another Animal Welfare idea that will end up in the dustbin of history and go absolutely nowhere.”

Read more:

Friday, June 10, 2011

Wanna Know Why I'm Vegan?

I have a blog and a podcast to help be a voice for animals and to help people learn of the ways in which we humans exploit those who are the most helpless and vulnerable among us.  Please watch this beautifully presented video by

Monday, June 6, 2011

Vegan Race Car Driver Spencer Pumpelly Visits Farm Sanctuary

WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. – June 3, 2011 – Motorsports and farm animal protection do not generally go hand in hand, but on Thursday, June 2, Watkins Glen’s two star attractions came together when vegan race car driver Spencer Pumpelly, a two-time winner of the Glen’s six hour race, paid a visit to the rescued animals of Farm Sanctuary (, the nation’s leading farm animal protection organization.

“I am very passionate about both animals and health, and I want to do more to promote both,” says Pumpelly, who is returning to the Glen this Saturday as the defending GT champ. If he takes the top prize again, he plans to donate his share of the winnings to the organization to support their work on behalf of abused and neglected farm animals. “I am honored to support Farm Sanctuary and the people who are devoted to defending others.”

Pumpelly, who races sports cars professionally in several different series, has been a vegetarian for over eight years and a vegan for just under a year. He contacted Farm Sanctuary after seeing the Watkins Glen-based shelter and the organization’s President and Co-Founder Gene Baur featured in Forks Over Knives, a groundbreaking documentary examining the profound claim that most, if not all, of the so-called “diseases of affluence” (heart disease, stroke and diabetes) can be controlled, or even reversed, by rejecting the predominate menu of animal-based and processed foods. Pumpelly immediately made the connection between Farm Sanctuary’s shelter for abused and neglected farm animals and the nearby Watkins Glen Speedway, to which he travels every year to compete in races.

“I knew vegan was the right thing to do, but I always figured it would be too hard with all the traveling I do,” says Pumpelly. “I decided to give it a try last summer when several things, including my favorite local pizza joint starting to carry Daiya non-dairy cheese, seemed to point me in that direction. After a few weeks of adjusting, I now find it quite easy no matter where I go.”

“We are excited to have Spencer Pumpelly’s support,” says Baur. “We hope his dedication to protecting farm animals and compassionate living will inspire other race car drivers and racing enthusiasts to pay us a visit the next time they are in Watkins Glen.”

For updates on Saturday’s race, follow Spencer Pumpelly on Twitter @SpencerPumpelly.

Farm Sanctuary is open to visitors from May through October. Guided tours are offered Wednesday through Sunday on the hour. The first tour is at 11 a.m. and the last tour is at 3 p.m. Admission is $5 for adults, $3 for children under 12, and children 3 and under are admitted free. Directions to the New York Shelter in Watkins Glen are available here.

About Farm Sanctuary

Farm Sanctuary is the nation's leading farm animal protection organization. Since incorporating in 1986, Farm Sanctuary has worked to expose and stop cruel practices of the "food animal" industry through research and investigations, legal and institutional reforms, public awareness projects, youth education, and direct rescue and refuge efforts. Farm Sanctuary shelters in Watkins Glen, N.Y., and Orland, Calif., provide lifelong care for hundreds of rescued animals, who have become ambassadors for farm animals everywhere by educating visitors about the realities of factory farming. Additional information can be found at or by calling 607-583-2225.

New York's Animal Care & Control Agency : Special Investigation!!! Audio Special!

This is a "Dog's in Danger Hour" Special report and investigation into the New York Animal Care & Control Agency.

Please listen and share with your friends!!!
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