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IDA eNews: 10/24/07
by Mat Thomas (mat [at]
Thursday Oct 25th, 2007 12:05 AM
IDA eNews: 10/24/07
- World GO VEGAN Days Is This Weekend!
- Fur Free Friday: Focusing on Furriers
- Congress to Consider Ban on Steel-Jawed Leghold Traps

- Raging Southern California Firestorm Endangers People and Animals
- IDA-Project Hope Adoption Spotlight - Lilah
- Victory: Cole's "Owner" Convicted and Fined for Animal Cruelty


World GO VEGAN Days Is This Weekend!
Send an IDA e-Card and win a prize in our contest

The 3rd annual World GO VEGAN Days presented by The American Vegan Society, Animal Acres, Animal Place, Association of Veterinarians for Animal Rights, CAPE, Compassion Over Killing (COK), Farm Animal Reform Movement (FARM), Farm Sanctuary, Friends of Animals (FOA), Go Vegan Radio, In Defense of Animals (IDA), Mercy for Animals, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), United Poultry Concerns, Veg Dining, Veg News magazine, Vegan Bean, and Vegan Outreach ( ) celebration is taking place this weekend, from October 26th through the 28th, so if you haven't already made plans to engage in some form of outreach, start now.

One of the easiest ways to start is to tell friends and family about the benefits of a healthy vegan diet by sending them a World GO VEGAN Days e-Card ( ). Not only will you be helping promote a compassionate lifestyle and opening people's eyes to a new way of seeing the world, but you will be automatically entered into a contest to win a World GO VEGAN Days prize package that includes:

• A $50 gift certificate from Alternative Outfitters ( );
• A $35 gift certificate from Food Fight! ( ) vegan grocery; and
• A Compassionate Cooks Vegetarian Cooking DVD ( ).

For each e-Card you send, your chances of winning increase, so start sending your e-Cards today!

Also get more ideas about how to promote compassion during World GO VEGAN Days and throughout the year ( ) and order a free vegan starter kit ( ).

Fur Free Friday: Focusing on Furriers
Alert: Tell Land's End to stop selling rabbit fur

Fur Free Friday ( ) is coming up on November 23rd, which means it's time once again to unite and take on the fur industry in the streets and markets where their cruel fashion wares are sold. Sure, they've cleaned the blood off their stolen pelts, but that doesn't mean every bit of fur isn't stained with the pain and suffering of innocent animals.

As we do every year, IDA will hold a large protest in San Francisco's Union Square, a small urban park bounded on each side by a city block lined with stores catering to upscale shoppers. This is also where fur-bearing merchants such as Neiman Marcus and Macy's have set up shop. Dozens of volunteers carrying signs around the commercial hotbed hand out brochures to passerby, while in the center of it all is IDA's huge anti-fur banner behind a display table of literature.

To have an impact, activists have to go where the stores selling fur are, because consumers are the ones who are going to decide the animals' fate by either buying or boycotting fur products. Pervasive advertising, window displays with manikins wearing fur jackets, and even the very fact that fur is being sold all serve to normalize the torture of animals on fur farms and snared in traps, so that few people ever stop to think twice about it. We have to remind them this Fur Free Friday that fur is cruelty incarnate (in clothing form), and show fur purveyors that we are serious about ending their shameful profiteering.

What You Can Do:

1) IDA has big plans to help animals this Fur Free Friday, November 23rd, with demos planned for Portland, Ore., San Francisco, and other cities (details to be announced soon), and we hope you'll join us. Please be a hero to animals by joining IDA and other animal advocates on this important annual day of action.

2) You don't have to wait until Friday, November 23rd to help animals skinned for fur: in fact, why not start right now? It has come to our attention that Land's End ( ) has started selling products made from rabbit fur in their online catalog ( ), including fur-lined boots and hats, fur-trimmed jackets, and even towels and bean bag covers made from fur. Please contact the company by postal mail, webmail, telephone, or fax to politely let them know that retailers such as J. Crew, Ann Taylor, and most recently Guess! have all vowed to stop selling fur, and that Land's End should set the same policy. Here are some talking points to consider:

• Rabbit fur is not a byproduct of the rabbit meat industry. Thicker pelts are required for fur products than can be obtained from the young rabbits slaughtered for their flesh. Hundreds of millions of rabbits are killed every year around the world specifically for their fur.

• Many people know the joys of having a rabbit companion: they are affectionate, smart, fastidiously clean, and litter-trainable. On fur farms, they are forced to live in cramped wire cages that are filthy with their own waste, and they never get to play or run on the grass. Farmers kill them either by smashing their skulls in or breaking their necks, then chopping off their heads.

• If you like faux fur, thank Land's End for offering slippers, gloves, and vests made with faux fur, and encourage them to offer more fake fur fashions while cutting out the real fur.

Mailing address:
Lands' End, Inc.
1 Lands' End Lane
Dodgeville, WI 53595

Webmail ( )

Telephone and Fax: (from the U.S. and Canada):
Tel: (800) 963-4816
Fax: (800) 332-0103

International phone and fax numbers ( )

Learn more about the lives of animals used by the fur trade at ( ).

Congress to Consider Ban on Steel-Jawed Leghold Traps
U.S. could join 88 other countries in abolishing cruel contraptions

A bill currently in Congress aims to end use of a sinister torture device that causes untold suffering to millions of coyote, bobcat, fox, raccoon, skunk, and other furbearing animals every year: the steel-jaw leghold trap. The Inhumane Trapping Prevention Act (H.R. 1691), sponsored by Representative Nita Lowey (D-NY) ( ) and Representative Chris Shays (R-CT) ( ), would ban use of leghold traps in the U.S., finally bringing the country up to speed with other advanced nations.

Steel-jawed leghold traps are notorious for the prolonged pain they inflict on their innocent victims. The suffering begins when an unsuspecting animal wanders into a hidden metal trap that snaps down on his or her limb, sometimes breaking the bone, and not letting go. Trapped animals cannot escape by pulling themselves out intact, and about one-quarter of them frantically chew off their own legs to escape the agonizing pain.

Leghold traps are not only cruel, but lethally indiscriminate as well. Trappers discard millions of "trash animals" not wanted for their fur, including animal companions and endangered species. For every furbearing animal caught in a trap, two non-target animals are trapped.

The use of leghold traps has been banned throughout the European Union for more than a decade, and dozens of other countries around the world have decided to prohibit them. The World Veterinary Association, the American Veterinary Medical Association, and the American Animal Hospital Association all consider them to be inhumane. Americans overwhelmingly oppose these traps, yet approximately 80% of the animals trapped for fur in the U.S. are caught by leghold traps.

What You Can Do:

Please Take Action to urge your Representative to co-sponsor the Inhumane Trapping Prevention Act (H.R. 1691) ( %takeaction-itpa% ). To have the most influence, edit the sample letter before you send it, and follow up by contacting your legislators by phone and postal mail ( ).


Raging Southern California Firestorm Endangers People and Animals
Get tips for keeping your family and your animal companions safe during this and other crises

For the past few days, deadly wildfires have spread throughout drought-ridden Southern California, leaving devastation in their ashen wake. More than 1,500 homes have already burned to the ground, forcing almost a million residents to evacuate and seek refuge. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has declared a state of emergency in seven counties, from San Diego to Los Angeles, and federal emergency rescue teams have been sent in to strengthen state and local efforts.

At least six people have died in the massive blaze, which continues to burn and widen its circle of destruction as gusting dry winds blow embers through the air. Fleeing refugees are living in tents or government-sponsored shelters, such as the one set up at Qualcomm Stadium, home field of the San Diego Chargers football team. Animal companions are not permitted inside this shelter, but authorities are referring guardians to other area shelters where they can get help.

If you live in Southern California, please make sure you do everything possible to safeguard your family from this disaster. The fire is still spreading, so if you have not yet evacuated your home, you may have to soon. IDA would like to take this opportunity to remind all of our supporters of the importance of planning ahead in ensuring the safety and welfare of your animal companions in the event of a large-scale disaster.

The best way to ensure the safety of our loved ones (both human and non-human) in the event of an emergency is to be well prepared before disaster strikes. Here are some tips for keeping your animal companions out of harm's way during a crisis situation:

Pack an Emergency Kit

Prepare a portable emergency kit for your animals that you can take with you should you need to evacuate, and put in the trunk of your car so you can leave on short notice. Your kit should include:

- Enough food (including treats) and water for at least three days preserved in airtight containers
- Food and water bowls
- A pan, litter, and scoop (for cats)
- A supply of any medications your animals need
- A first aid kit (with bandages and medical tape, antiseptic ointment, latex gloves, and a handbook on animal first aid)
- Collar with ID tag and a harness or leash
- Copies of vaccination papers and registration information
- A collapsible carrier or crate with bedding

Know Where to Go

Many emergency shelters will not allow animals, so you should be prepared to go elsewhere in a crisis. Staying with friends or family in a safe area is perhaps the best choice, but there are also hotels that allow animals ( and kennels where you could board them. In Southern California, you can stay at one of the government shelters that accommodate guardians and their animal companions ( ).

Disaster Relief Resources

American Red Cross ( ) - Red Cross disaster relief focuses on meeting people's immediate emergency disaster-caused needs, such as shelter, food, and health and mental health services.

Federal Emergency Management Agency ( ) - As part of the Department of Homeland Security, FEMA manages federal response and recovery efforts following any national emergency.

Animal Rescue Reserve ( ) - Volunteers for the San Diego Humane Society's Animal Rescue Reserve (ARR) assist people during disasters by rescuing and evacuating animal companions.

IDA-Project Hope Adoption Spotlight - Lilah
Friendly and adorable Pit Bull mix will win your heart!

As Director of IDA's Project Hope sanctuary ( ), I consider myself privileged to spend every day (usually, every waking moment) of my life working directly with and for animals. Project Hope is truly an oasis of calm for animals here in Mississippi because, just like in so many other places, the state doesn't yet provide the basic protections from abuse that they so badly need.

But over the years I've learned a lot of life lessons from my animal teachers, and one of the most important things they've taught me is that to get by in this world, you have to be resilient, and keep trying your hardest. Their example of grit and determination against the forces of indifferent exploitation is an inspiration to me, and helps keep me going as a rescuer and investigator of cruelty cases.

Take my good friend Lilah, an amazingly sweet American Bull and Pit Bull mix living at Project Hope right now. Lilah is super-sweet with both people and other dogs: just pure love. Pit Bulls get such a bad rap because certain violent people force them to fight and kill one another for "fun" and profit. Tragically, because of this, some communities in the U.S. today are passing breed-specific bans and taking people's beloved family dogs away to be put down. The assumption that being Pit Bulls makes these dogs natural born killers only compounds the misery from which this breed already disproportionately suffers.

Lilah sure proves that stereotype to be all hype. Having worked many a "Pit Bull" case, I consider myself somewhat of an expert on dog behavior, and I am confident that Lilah doesn't have a spark of ill will in her. She's not always certain about the proper etiquette for socializing with pigs, horses, and cats, but at least she listens to me when I coach her. That is, she definitely means well, and that means a lot. She'll make a really wonderful companion for some lucky guardian -- maybe you?

Lilah needs loving guardians who will baby her and make sure she's comfy-cozy. She was born with fused elbows, and the carpal on her left foot has play in it, so it is taxing for Lilah to play, walk, or run too much (trying to keep up with the "Grazers" at Project Hope completely wears her out). Yet she enthusiastically piles up with me and the group of dogs I'm socializing and is absolutely wonderful.

Lilah's ideal guardians would play with her in smaller spaces, and be willing to just lie down and hug her, which appears to be Lilah's favorite activity in the world. She's still a young dog who likes chewing on things, so she'll need lots of toys around. I would really like to see Lilah go to a special home, because she is a very special dog who truly deserves one!

What You Can Do:

- If you are interested in adopting Lilah, call me at (662) 237-0233 or email doll [at] Or pay an online visit to the other animals at Project Hope who are in need of loving guardians ( ).

- Financially sponsor a dog, cat, pig, goat, or chicken living at Project Hope. See pictures of animals and learn how ( ). Project Hope's Animal Sponsorship Program starts at just $25 a month.

Thank you for your support of IDA's Project Hope sanctuary. The animals and I truly appreciate it!

Doll Stanley
Director, IDA's Project Hope

Victory: Cole's "Owner" Convicted and Fined for Animal Cruelty
Abandoned dog was found chained to mobile home, starving and dehydrated

In our eNews on August 22nd ( ), we reported that IDA-Project Hope Director Doll Stanley had saved a dog named Cole from a slow death at the end of a chain in the harsh Mississippi heat. Tied to a mobile home, Cole's family had abandoned him when they moved away, and he had been there for at least a week in 100 degree-plus weather with little shade, no food, and only a small amount of filthy water. Doll brought him to a vet, who determined that Cole's advanced heartworm infestation made euthanization the most humane option under the circumstances.

Still mourning the tragic death of this sweet, long-suffering dog, Doll filed animal cruelty charges against Cole's previous guardian at the local sheriff's office several days later. On Thursday, October 18th, he was convicted and ordered to pay a $250 fine, the vet bill, and all court costs. The defendant demonstrated just how disturbed he is by demanding the court return Cole's chain to him for sentimental reasons.

Doll is glad to see justice done in this case, but asserts that the penalty for killing a dog through neglect and abandonment should be more severe. "The maximum fine for an animal cruelty charge is $1,000 in Mississippi, but it's always much lower for a first offense," noted Doll. "Montgomery County Judge Donald Bond did an ace job with the sentencing under the circumstances, but I just think it's really sad that our state statutes are so weak: a few hundred bucks is paltry when weighed against Cole's suffering and the loss of his life. The laws need to be strengthened to effectively deter and punish animal abusers."

What You Can Do:

Learn more about IDA's efforts to save chained dogs from lives of neglect and suffering ( ). Also support the important work of Project Hope by making a tax-deductible donation to IDA ( ).

IDA's Vehicle Donation Program

Did you know that your car, truck, boat, RV or motorcycle could save a life?

If you have an old vehicle that's taking up space in your driveway or garage, you could donate it to IDA through our Vehicle Donation Program to support our lifesaving work!

It's simple to do. Just click here ( ) to fill out an online donation form, or give us a call at (415) 388-9641, ext. 218, and Sage, our Member Services Assistant, will help you.

Please help us stop animal cruelty by donating your unwanted vehicle to IDA today!

Subscribe to IDA's Weekly eNews

Subscribe to IDA's eNewsletter to get the latest information on campaign developments and animal protection news from around the world. Visit to sign up.

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