Jason

Jason

A New Home for Snowy

I love animals and will make every effort to protect them if I can. Snowy is a wonderful white polar bear I helped relocate from an abusive environmental center. I heard about it through the grapevine. Volunteers at the center reported that animals were variously victims of mistreatment and the press got hold of the story. In fact, Snowy himself had been tased by his caretaker. I cannot tolerate this kind of horrible news. I devote myself to rescuing endangered species, but this role can certainly apply to one lone animal.

Snowy was beloved to the staff, but somehow this cruel employee with the Taser stun-gun was out of control. I can’t imagine that the polar bear had done anything to provoke the frequent shocks. I think the caretaker must have enjoyed his “power.” Maybe he lacked it with people so he took his frustration out on helpless animals. This kind of thing happens in zoos, animal preserves, pet stores, etc. We must be vigilant and put an absolute end to it. The best way is to make your voice heard. Hence, I am presenting this issue in my blog today. I hope there will be a groundswell of outrage.

Snowy did get a new home in a local zoo known for its kind care and treatment of all its “guests.” I am so happy to tell you about this positive outcome. It is not always the case. Meanies are everywhere in the animal business. As kids, they probably pulled the tails of dogs and cats. For the life of me, I can’t imagine why they take jobs in animal centers or pet shops. They are impatient, quick to anger, mean-spirited, and have a power complex. I can do an entire psychological profile on them.

A Taser can inflict pain and discomfort in an animal, just like afflicted people. It should only be used in the case of a wild animal on the attack, or within the guidelines issued by Self Defense Guide. Think of the people who were assaulted by a grizzly bear in Montana. They were lucky that they lived to tell the tale. They regretted not taking precautions while on a camping trip. They didn’t own a rifle or even a hand gun and a Taser would have been an easy alternative choice.

Snowy survived his assault and loves his new home. Because of the publicity, visitors come to the zoo from far and wide to see the major attraction. Kids bring him gifts and set them in front of his cage. He is not aggressive and never snarls. He often drifts close to the bars so he can see who is out there. I might even dare to pet him if it were allowed. It is not. Given his abuse, the zookeeper does not want to take chances. Meanwhile he is the subject of many photos and has appeared on Facebook and Instagram numerous times. He is pure white and unmistakable in his glowing glory.

Becoming a Foster Home for Shelter Animals

If animals are your priority, you are a kindred spirit and have come to the right blog. It is all about focusing attention on the proper care and treatment of animals so that they thrive and continue to populate the planet. Everyone can make a difference, and millions are trying. There are vast numbers of pet owners. However, there is still animal cruelty and abuse. There are abandoned newborn cats and dogs. Then there is the huge problem of endangered species. We must address this issue before it is too late. Media attention, word of mouth, advertising, blogs—whatever works. If you consider the size of the earth, so many animals are in jeopardy. You can support the preservation of these creatures with monetary donations or you can volunteer for organizations that care. For today, I am going to stay close to home and talk about fostering animals.

We have all heard of foster parents of children in need. There are also foster homes for animals as well. You house a pet for a short period of time until they find a permanent, forever home. Sometimes you adopt them yourself, but it is not mandatory. It is a good way to “try out” a new member of your family, especially if there are other pets present. I can’t tell you how rewarding it is. I can tell you this first hand, having hosted many cats and dogs. I once took in a pet that just had surgery to remove an infected hind leg. The pet adoption placement agency needed someone to help a female cat learn to walk and eventually run. She came to me skinny as a rail and weak overall. In a month, she was leaping and running about the house. It was easy for her to jump on the bed, her preferred place for napping. She was sweet and adorable and my sister eventually gave her a home. I love a story with a happy ending.

When you foster an animal, you are responsible for its feeding and care. If you have never owned a pet, you learn fast. You find out what it is like without making a long-term commitment. If you want to be well prepared, you should read online about the breed and what typically to expect. The animal agency or shelter will surely help in this regard. You need a bowl for water and one for food, the kind recommended. You can usually select the brand. I also find a small cordless portable vacuum is handy to get rid of any shedding hair whenever you want to do a Pet Hair Clean Up.

You never know what you will get once you volunteer, and it could well be a long-haired breed. Some pets lose hair seasonally so you might not know for a little while. I encourage you to be open to this inevitable chore. Even a small, but powerful, appliance can do the job with the right attachment. Get several tools (they come with most units) and try them out.

That’s one Cool Cat

I want to save the earth, one animal at a time. I have a big task before me. One creature that doesn’t need saving is a very resourceful, cool black cat. I fostered him for a few months until I found that I couldn’t part with his company. Magic is now an adopted member of the family. Anyone who has become attached to a pet knows the feeling. Your mood rises every time he or she walks into the room. My little guy prefers to trot. He is super light on his feet and can jump from great heights and land on all fours. He has many talents. He knocks knickknacks off the shelf and catches bugs with one paw. He talks (not unusual for a cat), fetches like a dog, stands on his hind feet, and runs around in circles chasing a red laser dot. I haven’t even given you his best trick yet. The cat, believe it or not, is toilet trained and I didn’t even do it.

The cat was able to understand the workings of the toilet on his own. I hate to say from observation, but who knows? One day I spied him sniffing around the Kohler and he jumped with agility onto the closed seat. Otherwise he would have fallen in and mistaken the toilet for a bathtub. Amidst my laughter, this cool dude used the facility and flushed it with the easy-to-use handle for which this brand is known. I’d spent ages trying to find the right one back when I bought it, which was when I discovered this web site. I had to rush over to my mother’s house down the block and get her to come and watch. It took time since he had already done his business. I gave him some water to encourage the process.

In time, she watched the show. Ha! she gasped. I wish my cat would do that. I would love to get rid of the smelly box and the constant litter changes. You are so lucky! I agreed. Maybe the cat could teach mom’s the basics. I told her to bring Fluffy over. This large mama cat is not that cleaver and is a bit slow on the uptake. No special tricks for her. She will just sit in your lap. Fluffy came to visit for a day. I sat around trying not to watch and deter the training. Fluffy followed Magic like a long-lost sister and at last they made it into the bathroom.

My cat didn’t hesitate to use the Kohler and he seemed to give me a wink as I stood just inside the door. Fluffy followed suit but couldn’t figure out the handle. We all waited with bated breath. Finally, Magic did the honors as he had given up on Mom’s prissy miss. I roared with glee. Magic is a gentleman. Fluffy went home that night and I waited for a phone call. It came in a few hours. Mom was ecstatic with her newly-trained cat. How did you do it? She queried. I didn’t, I explained. It was the cat. Ohhhhh I heard on the other end.

Anti-Cosmetic Cruelty

If you love animals and are concerned about helping those who are in danger and cannot help themselves, you have found the right site. We are passionate about doing all we can to help endangered species and we know that we can make a difference…one animal at a time. Every problem has a solution. This includes cruel testing of cosmetic products. It is not exactly endangering a species, but it is anathema to animal lovers nonetheless. You can do something about it by writing to your congressman or congresswoman and creating a petition to seek support for your cause.

You can also talk to representatives from the big companies that do the testing and let them know how the public feels. I personally have researched alternative methods of finding out whether a cosmetic product is harmful and it can be done. We don’t need to kill a million rats to find out how to market mascara. It is also important to make sure that products are carefully labeled so buyers can know which are the vegan and cruelty-free items. This goes for lipstick, foundation, makeup, hand cream and even eyelash glue removers. If, on behalf of the animal kingdom, we boycott the offending products, we will change the face of the industry. It can then trickle down to others and we will have far-reaching effect.

Many vendors have recognized the importance of this issue and only stock products that are not tested on animals—yes, even eyelash glue. You can find anything you want at a store like Whole Foods. There are also specialty beauty shops that stock vegan and cruelty-free cosmetics. You won’t have a problem finding what you need. You can feel less guilty about using self-improvement products including soaps and cleansers. Some farsighted manufacturers have stepped up to the plate. There are people out there who care more about animals than the profit motive. Thank you for your concern; it is much appreciated.

People like me are often accused of being over sensitive and caring about pests like rats. Lab rats are grown specifically for scientific purposes. Proponents say that testing saves humans a lot of grief. We need to know if a solution will burn the eyes or cause allergic reactions. I understand and it is, indeed, a dilemma. Since there are cruelty-free products, I see that some companies have gotten around the problem. I have never visited a testing lab and do not know exactly what happens to the subjects. I assume it is not good. Meanwhile, we can fight the old-fashioned people who are perpetuating old methods of assuring the safety of things like cosmetic products. I am as concerned as anyone about applying these items to the face and eye area. I know that this can engender reactions. It is rare these days, however, and women who know they are hypersensitive simply avoid using certain products. In effect, the problem corrects itself.

Mosquitos Mean Malaria

The word mosquito is often synonymous with malaria, especially in certain parts of the third world. It is the bane of many people’s existence. Pest control is costly and limited when the menace is widespread. It takes preventative measures and constant vigilance to keep pace. In areas of sub-Saharan Africa or tropical countries such as the Middle East, Asia, Central and South America, malaria is a topic of constant discussion. World organizations have taken Haiti, the Dominican Republic, and some Pacific Ocean islands under wing — warm climates that have a lot of rain and humidity. Poor countries are the most vulnerable as one might expect. That’s three billion people with children under five at high risk.

Malaria can cause more than a half a million deaths in a year, and twenty percent of these are sadly children. The disease is transmitted by parasites through the bite of an infected mosquito. Netting and spray have been the most common remedies. Travelers to the top malaria regions know to come equipped or change their vacation dates. Even though it is not contagious, visitors have a low degree of immunity if bitten. There are no vaccinations yet available in spite of the existence of medications.

The United States is a small minority percentage in the malaria equation. Maybe 1,500 cases a year come to light and are brought in by immigrants or travelers to an endemic country. It is easy for Americans to turn their heads away from something that has a low threat ratio. Mosquitos seem to be merely an annoyance in the summer, although their bites can cause welts, rashes, and allergic reactions.

When a mosquito carries malaria, the recipient of a bite can have more severe symptoms such as headaches, chills, high fever, and swollen glands. At its worst, it can cause jaundice, coma, and death. It takes from a week to a month to show these signs. It is comforting to know that prevention and control are on the rise with more knowledge about the signs of mosquitos, malaria medications, mosquito netting, and bug sprays. As a result, mortality rates have dropped 25% worldwide over the last decade. Officials are wising up to this persistent mosquito-borne infectious disease because it is not over yet.

Without proper or sufficient treatment, the symptoms can recur. The good news is that a second or third exposure will be less severe due to increased immunity. For those who want the gory details, malaria arises from the injection of a parasite from the mosquito’s saliva into the human blood stream. So what can be done? Draining standing water is a big issue. Insecticides is another more controversial one. It is all about the cost of prevention and it is not always available to the world’s poorest populations.

Control is not enough, but is at least on the path to ultimate elimination. To cite one statistic, an adequate program in Tunisia would add up to one-fifth of the total public health budget. As a rule, where malaria is rampant, the economy has taken a hit and development is slow. Funds to be used for production and growth are deferred to healthcare and it is not a small bill. It’s time to sit up and take notice.

What Happened to the Tecopa Pupfish?

What Happened to the Tecopa Pupfish?

Tecopa Pupfish

We’ve all heard of the Endangered Species Act, where animals and other creatures can have hope of being protected from an untimely demise.  When we hear of the endeavors to save these poor critters, what comes to mind is the elephants of Africa and Asia, Polar Bears and the likes, but who will be there to save the Tecopa Pupfish?  Sadly, no one was.

Before we can answer the question of who could have and should have saved the Tecopa Pupfish, we must first answer the question, “What IS the Tecopa Pupfish?”

The Tecopa Pupfish lived in the Mojave Desert in the outflows of water in South and North Tecopa Hot Springs.  The males were bright blue and females were striped.  They were small and ate larva. The fish was heat tolerant which was a good thing given the area in which is lived in.

The fish was first brought to the public eye in 1848 by a man named Robert Miller.  He had studied the fish for seven years.  Along with the Tecopa Pupfish, he had discovered other subspecies of it as well.

The pupfish is of the genus Cyprinodon, or pupfish, which is thought to have diverged in the lakes in the course of the past 10,000 years.  One thing that hurt the species was the drying up of the lakes in the region.  Another thing was when non-native species were introduced to the area which is often the cause of trouble.

In the 1950’s bathhouses became popular in the area which boasted hot springs that people flocked to in order to enjoy a nice soak.  The springs were wildly popular in the 60’s as well.  The spring pools were enlarged to accommodate those who came to enjoy them which lead to outflows of the water.  That caused the fish to be pushed downstream.  The currents were much swifter and  the waters were colder.

The Tecopa pupfish became extinct in or around 1970.  The last sighting was on February 2, 1970. There was a large search that went out to find even one fish but nothing showed up in the search and no one has seen one since.

It was later deemed that the extinction was totally avoidable.  The lesson was one that did bring attention to the fact that we as humans are responsible to save the creatures that we cause endangerment to.  It was further stated that if the projects which led to the fate of the fish would have been more carefully planned, the fish would still be gracing the waters it once lived in.  The Tecopa pupfish became the first ever animal that was in the provisions of Endangered Species Act that was later taken off the list because it was…extinct.

Although it is not missed by that many for not many people were even aware that there was such a fish, there still is a sinking feeling to realize that this fish is…no longer.  It will never come back.

Endangered List: How To Help Save the Animals

You see them everywhere, animal activists trying to save the world, or at least the animals that are endangered within it.

While these extremists may seem a little off their rockers at first, a deeper look into the causes show that they are good people on a quest to do good things for…good animals that are otherwise helpless against the conflicts between man and nature.  But…what can we do to help these causes?

There are group efforts that you can join up with online such as group funding organizations.  You can follow the progress on the site and watch the money that comes in.  It is important if you are going to take part in one of these groups to be sure it is operating through a reputable site.

You can purchase items that fund to saving wildlife.  Many companies give a portion of their sales to benefit and save endangered animals so be sure to watch for these and support them and the same is true for the opposite.  Please be careful not to support companies that are actually doing the endangering.

You can also give to groups that are not online exclusives like the Nature Conservancy.  The Nature Conservancy actually makes a difference in that they work with the public such as individuals, businesses and entire communities to make changes.  They have protected millions of acres and have a green, live and let live, philosophy to help with the issues. In my opinion, they are one organization worth donating to because they make a difference.

The Sierra Club is another group you can donate directly to.  It has been around a long time, since 1892 actually.  They focus on ecological changes that make a huge difference in the possibility of animals in danger being able to come out of the danger alive.  It is a practical approach like helping with the development of coal alternatives and ideas for clean energy and transportation done green.

For those with a passion for saving the creatures of the ocean, there is the group, Oceana.  Over seventy percent of the proceeds goes to actually help.  Focusing on protection of the oceans around the world, Oceana works to make healthier oceans so that the life within them can sustain.

Efforts can be made on an individual basis too.  You can take the feat on yourself and do what you can although that may be hard to do.  It is not impossible though.  If you live in an area where sage grouse abound, you can do what you can to help sustain them like not letting your dog go after them.  You can make choices that do not negatively affect endangered animals like choosing to go green.

There are a lot of problems in the world today and the fact that we have all but stomped out much of the nature and wildlife that we have been gifted with is a harsh but very true reality.  It doesn’t have to be that way though.  We can help, one dollar, one effort at a time and together, we can make it happen.  We CAN save the world AND the creatures in it.

The Problem is Us

The Problem is Us

Bears  extinction

With the threat of global warming and the exploration of oil and natural resources, poachers and predators, Polar Bears are in grave danger of extinction.

As if it’s not enough to survive in the conditions a Polar Bear exists in, man has gone in and made matters worse.  Now…it’s time to clean up our mess.

The World Wildlife Fund for Nature has nailed the antagonists.  All the fingers point right back to us, the humans who are pushing the bears right out of existence.

Polar Bears are amazing creatures.  They live around the areas of the Artic circumpolar on ice packs that are located near the coastal areas or even on islands surrounded by icy cold waters.  They have adapted through the course of time to live in the climate and have even taken on the color, for protection against natural predators.

Through the works of man, though, the Polar Bear has made its way to being proposal t be placed on the Endangered Species Act.  It takes an act of Congress, literally, to even get on the list so the news is not good for that means that the situation is extremely grave to make it for that far.

As of 2006, The World Conservation Union has made way for the Polar Bear to be on the Red List of Threatened Species. But there are miles of red tape and lots of expenses that are standing in the way.  Even the argument of whether global warming is real or not is interfering in the process.  As usual, man is in the way, yet again.

The problem lies with man and the solution does as well.  Will we take responsibility for the evils we have done to the Polar Bear or turn a cold shoulder?  Only time will tell.

Sage Grouse Conservation: Something to Strut About

Sage Grouse Conservation:  Something to Strut About

sage grouse

Southwest Colorado is passionate about conserving the sage grouse.  The…what?  Yeah, that’s what I thought too when I first heard about the effort.  I had never heard of the sage grouse and could not imagine what was so important about preserving them…whatever they were.

The sage grouse is bird of North America.  It mostly lives in the western United States area stretching from Canada to California.  They love to be in areas with sage brush, thus their name.  They also like basin areas.

The fully grown grouse have pointy long tails and their feathers go all the way down to their toes.  Males dawn a yellow eye patch and a white breast with a gray top, throat of brow and black on their belly.  They gets two yellow sacs upon their neck area when they are wanting to mate.  The females are light brown on their throat, have bellies that are dark in color and are a mottled brownish-gray.

The grouse like to eat sage and insects too.  They like to stay pretty close to home and become permanent residents.  They can be amazing creatures to watch with their strutting and other amazing behaviors.  But they are in grave danger of going away forever.

The areas they live in are being changed due to grown in areas and industrial growth.  They also have many predators.  It has been recorded that development of energy and residential building is responsible for much of the sage grouse decline.  Hunting is another reason that the grouse is in trouble.  Strict restrictions are in place now in many areas that the grouse calls home.  It has gone from 16 million down to somewhere between 500,000 and 200,000 in just 100 years.  With that kind of statistics, the bird will not be with us much longer.

While the grouse is not on the endangered species list yet, it is up for it and already, in the areas the bird frequents, it has made the sensitive list.  There are measures underway to try to save the bird from extinction such as protecting certain areas.

Southwest Colorado has a species of grouse known as the Gunnison sage grouse.  The area holds the Gunnison and the traditional sage grouse dear to their hearts and activists are taking great measures to keep the bird around.  There are lands that are protective of the grouse that don’t even allow dogs onto them for fear the dogs will eat the birds.  While some argue that the protective measures are too extreme, sage grouse activists worry that the regulations they have in place are not near enough to save the endangered bird.

Funds have been set up and groups and individuals alike have plans in motion to rescue the grouse from the fate of demise.  Also in Colorado, the Department of Parks and Wildlife orchestrated a Candidate Conservation Agreement with Assurances in 2006.  The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service joined in the act as well and the BLM (Bureau of Land Management) is doing what they can in the crisis too.  Many individual private land owners have taken interest as well.

Because of the efforts of many, the future of the sage grouse is looking more positive in areas of concern such as in Southwest Colorado.  Now that gives the grouse something great to strut about.

Elephants: When Is Enough Enough?

Can you imagine living in a world without elephants?  Can you fathom hearing tales of elephants like we do about dinosaurs?  “Years ago, when elephants walked the earth…”  It sounds crazy but it very well could come to pass.

There are two main types of elephants in the world today.  One is the African elephant and the other is the Asian Elephant, or Indian Elephants.  Although all elephants are in trouble, the Asian Elephant is the one to worry about, first at least.  It is so near extinction, it’s not funny.

So what’s the reason behind the uncertain fate of elephants?  Ivory.  Ivory hunters are killing elephants so fast and furiously, they are close to wiping out the largest of mammals on the planet.  In the past sixty to seventy years, the population of elephants has met a steady decline.  There are under 50,000 elephants living in the wild now and only about 15,000 in captivity within the zoo or controlled environments.

It is estimated that around 700,000 elephants met their demise by the hands of poachers in the 1980’s alone.  Not only are the ivory hunters killing off the elephants, the demolishing of the forest and other non-conducive environmental actions are acts that are quickly having a devastating effect on elephants across the globe.

The statistics are staggering.  As populations grow and industry does as well and as ivory hunters and poachers continue their reckless kills, the elephants grow closer to being a thing of the past, a memory like the dinosaur.

There are actually a number of species of elephants that are extinct.  They were bigger than the elephants we have around today.  These elephants were located in most every country, aside from Australia.

Elephants are majestic animals.  They have huge ears which flap to control the temperature within their body and possibly to keep flies and other insects away.  They have tusks which can be weapons or tools and can grow very long and strong.  Their legs are huge, like pillars and can hold extreme weight.  They have long trunks that they use for multiple purposes as well.  Male elephants can weight in at 15,000 pounds at maturity.  They can reach13 feet high.

Elephants aren’t just awesome to behold, studies have proven that they have many likenesses to man.  They are mammals.  They obviously have emotions and can be quite smart as well with intelligence levels being very remarkable.   They can form bonds with humans too, just like out pets do.

There have been a number of great books written about elephants and movies too.  One of the most well-known is the Disney movie, “Dumbo”.  Elephants have been worshiped through the years too.  They have also made great team workers for men, moving large objects and assisting in heavy labor.

The time is now to act in order to save the elephants.  We must save them for the elephants’ sake but also for our own sake and for that of our children and their children.  The elephants…must be saved!  We must stop the madness.