Friday, October 26, 2012

The Animal Anthology Project Published!

Featuring stories from the nation's most reknowned authors of animal tales, The Animal Anthology Project has been published. Contributors include notable Lois Duncan (Hotel for Dogs), Bob Tarte (Kitty Cornered), Sy Montgomery (The Good Good Pig), Irene Pepperberg (Alex & Me), Carl Safina (Song for the Blue Ocean), J.A. Jance (NY Times bestselling author of the Ali Reynolds series), Dr. Marty Goldstein (Starring in Oprah as America's premier holistic veterinarian), and Hugh Warwick (A Prickly Affair: My Life with Hedgehogs).

To buy the book either head to your local bookstore or go on To help The Animal Anthology Project and the Best Friends Animal Society buy a book today! Out of more than 1,000 submission we have selected our favorite 50 to appear in print.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

UPDATE: The Animal Anthology Project

The first Animal Anthology Project is set to be published! Information and results will follow before Tuesday, February 21st.

Friday, November 19, 2010

A Humane Angle on Thanksgiving

From Zoo Too News:

NASHUA, N.H. ─ Please pass the squash and cranberry to Reese, a shelter turkey enjoying Thanksgiving feast.

That’s correct, according to Michelle King, spokeswoman for Farm Sanctuary. The animal welfare organization is selling tickets for Nov. 20’s “Celebration FOR the Turkeys,” a holiday alternative going off at Orland, Calif. and Watkins Glen, N.Y.

“The highlight of the event, of course, is our unique Feeding of the Turkeys ceremony,” she said, when the people treat the turkeys to helpings of squash, cranberry and pumpkin pie.

Or join the “Adopt-a-Turkey” campaign, King said, and save a turkey, instead of eating one. Talk show host Ellen DeGeneres is this year’s spokeswoman.

“It’s a way to celebrate a more compassionate holiday by being grateful and thankful over plant food, instead of over the carcass of a bird,” Farm Sanctuary founder Gene Baur said.

Several other animal rights groups also are hoping to draw attention to inhumane treatment of turkeys at factory farms. Farm Sanctuary started the first Adopt-a-Turkey campaign back in 1986. Initially, it was a hard sell, but Baur believes the alternative Thanksgiving is catching on. As proof, he points to sales of “a lot more non-meat products,” such as Tofu Turkey. He sees “more energy around a plant-based Thanksgiving.”

Turkey production did drop two percent this year, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture projections. But the $3.6 billion industry was still expected to raise 242 million turkeys.

Forty-six million will be slaughtered for Thanksgiving, said Farm Sanctuary spokeswoman Meredith Turner.

Indeed, a vegetarian Thanksgiving is not typical, according to Sherrie Rosenblatt, spokeswoman for the National Turkey Federation.

“Nearly all Americans celebrating Thanksgiving will have turkey at the center of the plate,” she said, but added people who don’t have the turkey will choose from other traditional side dishes.

But Farm Sanctuary has put six turkeys up for adoption this year, King said. Some people actually take their adopted turkey home, King said, but most send a $30 contribution.

Christina Alvarez-Correa, 11, of New York City, said her family sent a donation and adopted one of the babies.

She’ll celebrate the holiday by eating other dishes.

“I’ll have some mashed potatoes,” she said. “I’m just thinking how many people are in the U.S., and they’re all eating turkey,” she said. “Me not eating, it’s one less. More turkeys will be alive.”

Twenty-two turkeys currently live at the New York shelter; seventeen are in the California shelter, King said. Some came to the farm after being seized as evidence in animal cruelty cases, according to Baur. Slaughterhouse workers, who wanted to put a stop to the suffering, delivered a few others, he said.

Farm Sanctuary has since 1986 saved more than 1,000 turkeys from slaughterhouses and other deplorable conditions, King said.

Asked about the factory farm issue, Rosenblatt said the turkey farmer’s top priority is the flocks’ “health and well being,” so they can deliver a quality product to market.

According to Baur, turkeys lead a miserable existence.

“They can’t even reproduce naturally,” he said. The males are so fattened up for breast meat, they can’t mount; as a result, the birds are “milked” for semen.

“That’s where it starts,” he said, but the mistreatment doesn’t end there. At birth, babies are debeaked, so they won’t injure other birds. They’re packed tight together in pens. Some farms cut off parts of their toes.

“People want to be compassionate,” he said, “but the more like us animals are, the easier it is to relate to them. It’s easier for people to relate to mammals. Birds are not so well understood.”

Animal behavior experts say turkeys are social animals, Turner said. They recognize each other’s voices; they bond and show affection and emotions.

“Turkeys,” Baur said, “have feelings and deserve to be treated with compassion and respect.”

For more information about Adopt-a Turkey, go to:

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Rescue Ink: A New Style of Animal Rescue

From Zoo Too News

When you think of animal rescue advocates, you may not immediately picture tough-looking, tattooed guys educating children and families about the mistreatment of animals. However, that’s exactly what the guys at Rescue Ink are doing.

Rescue Ink is a dedicated animal rescue group focusing on saving animals from abuse as well as neglect. The gentlemen at Rescue Ink are indeed tattooed, tough-talking, intimidating bikers, and they use their strengths and passion to change the lives of animals every day.

Composed of a retired New York City Police Department detective, club bouncers, and security guards, Rescue Ink’s members are all animal activists on an admirable mission. Some of their journeys have been somewhat turbulent, but much like the animals they fight for every day, they persevere and believe in second chances.

Rescue Ink’s shelter is a 25-acre rehabilitation center located in upstate New York. The purpose of the shelter is to provide a stable and safe environment in which the animals housed there can learn trust and allegiance. Rescue Ink is currently in the process of expanding their shelter, and with it, their rehabilitation efforts.

Rescue Ink prides itself on its many programs and areas of focus. The organization currently has a volunteer program for the foster care of animals, as well as behavioral training for troubled animals requiring rehabilitation.

Rescue Ink also features a “Jr. Ink” Members program. This initiative specializes in Humane Education as it pertains to the younger generation of pet lovers. The guys at Rescue Ink teach children about compassion and responsibility when dealing with their non-human friends.

In addition to these programs, Rescue Ink also has a Domestic Abuse program which focuses on the unfortunate link between animal and domestic abuse in households as well as an Adoption Program. Rescue Ink likes to believe in second chances—and their adoption program is living, breathing proof of this.

To find out more about the wonderful work of Rescue Ink, visit

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Great Escape Stories

From Zoo Too News:

NASHUA, N.H.─ His great escape story made national news this summer, reported along with a spate of transport accidents that left livestock dead on the road or scrambling for their lives.

Jay, the bull, cheated death and arrived to a “hero’s welcome” earlier this month at his new home in a New York shelter, according to Meredith Turner, spokeswoman for Farm Sanctuary, the animal protection organization..

The 2-year-old escaped the slaughterhouse when a transport truck exploded on Interstate 94 last August. Eyewitnesses described the scene as “the worst they had ever seen,” Turner said. Eighteen cattle died in the crash and the fire.

Jay survived. Then he outwitted state police. According to officers, he tried to jump a three-foot high concrete barrier. When that failed, he bolted down the highway, she said. Six other cattle also tried to escape, but only Jay succeeded.

“Jay was gone four days. He ran 25 miles,” Susan Coston, director of Farm Sanctuary’s National Shelter, said. “He wanted to live.”

The bull did suffer burns in the accident. He underwent three weeks of treatment at Cornell University’s veterinary hospital before the trip to Farm Sanctuary. He is being kept away from the herd until his wounds have healed, she said.

“He has no hair on one side,” she said. “Some of the burns went down to the muscle. But

he’s bucking in the air; he’s happy,” Coston said.

For every Jay, dozens of other livestock caught in transport crashes are not so lucky. Their deaths are typically not even noticed unless the accident tied up traffic, Coston said.

No one knows how many U.S. livestock die in transport trucks or by falls onto the highway, but the industry expects to lose a certain percentage of “the product” on the way to market, she said.

“It’s carelessness,” she said. “People have become so desensitized to them, and that’s what happens when you make an animal a product and put a monetary value on its head. When I transport animals from here to California, I expect no deaths,” she said.

The government does not regulate livestock transports, according to both Coston and Rebecca McNeill, ASPCA media coordinator. McNeill said the ASPCA is supporting a new effort to protect horses during interstate transport. Cong. Mark Kirk of Illinois is the Horse Transportation Safety Act’s sponsor.

Meanwhile, Jay’s story may raise awareness about the cruelty animals suffer during a transport, Coston said.

“This process is probably one of the scariest in their lives,” she said. “It’s loud – with metal hitting metal. They can see out into traffic, so that’s terrifying. They pack them in so tight; some of them suffocate or are stepped on.” Coston has seen chicken crates loaded like bales of hay.

“Heads are sticking out; legs are sticking out; some of them are dead,” she said. “There’s no care, concern or sensitivity. I don’t know if we think they want to be eaten. They all have a will to live.”

Here’s a roundup of the latest animal escapes from transport accidents and slaughterhouses.

“Bob Harper,” piglet

“He was ten pounds, a tiny, tiny thing,” Coston said, “and he fell right into traffic. A car pulled over and grabbed him.” His rescuers took him to the local SPCA, and from there he went to a Chicago area rescue for farm animals before the staff made arrangements to move him to New York this September. He’s named after Bob Harper of reality television’s “Biggest Loser,” Coston said. Harper has volunteered at Farm Sanctuary.

“Kim Gordon,” piglet

Six-week old piglet “Kim Gordon” fell off a transport truck in South Dakota last July and was left behind. A couple on a rock ‘n roll concert tour stopped when they saw the animal running around a Mitchell, South Dakota back road. Lanore Hahn and her boyfriend put the piglet in their car, Turner said, and tried to find the owner.

An animal control officer examined the piglet and suggested it fell off a truck. The piglet was sunburned and covered with road rash. Hahn took the piglet home when she realized authorities would likely shoot it if she surrendered it. “Kim Gordon,” named after the Sonic Youth vocalist, arrived at Farm Sanctuary at the end of July.

“Little Orphan Angelo,” baby lamb

In September 2009, Angelo was born in a transport truck, Coston said. A family spotted him while they watched workers unload a trailer at a Yonkers, N.Y. market. The baby lamb went home to their apartment but eventually found a home at Farm Sanctuary.

“Molly,” cow

In May 2009, Molly slipped out of a Queens slaughterhouse and led police on a chase through Jamaica, according to Joseph Pentangelo, of the ASPCA. Pentangelo helped transport the 500 pound cow to a Calverton, Long Island farm.

She was delighted to find herself on a 60-acre organic farm, he recalled.

“When she got there, she bolted out of the trailer,” he said.

“Annie Dodge,” the cow

Annie Dodge lived through a Vermont winter by eating at bird feeders, she said.

“I couldn’t survive eight months outside in Vermont,” Coston said. “She just wanted to live. And she’s still here.”

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Amazing Pet Rescues

Here are some amazing pet rescues from Zoo Too News.

Every pet thinks that their human is a hero. The unconditional love that bonds an animal to their family is immeasurable. But certain humans have gone above and beyond traditional loyalty to prove their love for our four-legged friends.

A Frozen Rescue. When the poodle-mix Buddy went racing onto the ice-covered Little Lake Butte des Morts in Menasha, Wisconsin, he only thought of one goal — reaching the ducks he was chasing. But Buddy didn't count on the thin ice 300 feet from shore, and broke through to the icy waters below. His owner, Angie Bray, attempted to head onto the ice herself, but realized with her first step that she could not save her dog on her own. The Neenah-Menasha Fire Rescue arrived just 15 minutes later with self-inflating wetsuits. In no time, firefighter Jason Phillips was in the water headed toward Buddy. After being pulled from the water, Buddy was rushed to the hospital, where he was treated intravenously with warm fluids and recovered fully.

Saved From Drowning. After hearing a commotion in her neighbor's apartment, Ashley Chase decided to investigate. She found an unimaginable sight — a 10-month-old Shih Tzu, Toby, unconscious in the bathtub, the victim of his owner's senseless abuse. Ashley performed mouth-to-mouth on the pup and rushed him to a nearby vet clinic. Toby was alive, but still in danger. En route to the clinic, she got caught in a traffic jam, at which point Ashley left the car. From there, she ran to the clinic, Toby in her arms. Authorities arrested Toby's owner on one felony count of animal cruelty, and thanks to the heroics of Ashley and her sister, Toby was no worse for the wear after his harrowing experience, and was kept safe from his former owner.

A Mother of Eight Saves a "Furbaby." When Gabe Seim was walking his dog Porter on a pond in Salina, Kansas, he had no idea what would happen when the black lab pulled away from him. After Porter fell through the thin ice, Gabe made numerous attempts to save his dog, but was no match for the icy water himself. He called the authorities, and Jane Trostle, herself a mother of eight, was among the other animal control and police officers who responded. From the shoreline, officers attempted to lasso the dog, who was only 30 feet away. But the struggling lab was too far for their rope. Finally, Officer Trostle got on her stomach and slid out to Porter, with only an extension cord tied to her for safety. But the drastic move was necessary, as the animal was nearly exhausted from trying to keep afloat. As Trostle neared Porter, the ice beneath her body cracked and she became submerged. She was wearing layers of clothing, which were immediately soaked and weighed her down. Yet she was able to grab hold of Porter and help him to shore. Once the duo neared land, Gabe jumped in and pulled his weary canine the rest of the way. Following a quick check-up, both Gabe and Trostle were given a clean bill of health. Porter made a full recovery.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Pets at Work: Labor Day Stories

In honor of Labor Day, we celebrate some of our favorite service animals.

Pets and animals provide humans with so many gifts — fun, companionship, and love. But some extraordinary animals go above and beyond the bond between humans and pets. In honor of Labor Day, here are a few of our favorite working animals:

Alyna, a rabbit who was born paralyzed, has brought inspiration to countless children at the ALYN Hospital in Jerusalem. Because her two hind legs are paralyzed, Alyna moves around with a special brace, custom fitted for a rabbit’s frame. Children who are also facing mobility challenges because of congenital obstacles, or trauma and injury, are helped along the rehab process by Alyna, who shows them the benefit of using a brace. Read more about Alyna at

The amazing canine lifeguards from the Italian Coast Guard rescue approximately 3,000 people each year along the country’s coastline. Trained for this specialty through a three-year program at the Italian School of Canine Lifeguards, these fearless dogs jump from helicopters in order to pull swimmers to safety through rough currents. Read more about these incredible canines at

have protected our nation’s armed forces since World War I. In the present day, these brave canines continue to act as a crucial part of military operations, from detecting explosives to protecting handlers. Once they are retired from service, the dogs go to loving forever homes, living with families chosen through a painstaking process. Read more about military service dogs and see photos of these canines in action at

All service animals deserve our recognition and praise, and we are proud to salute their incredible contributions to our lives. Do you know a working animal that you would like to recognize? Let us know your stories.

-Courtesy of Zoo Too News at