Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Kellan Lutz Stars In New PETA Ad!

Twilight hunk Kellan Lutz has come forward and is encouraging his Twilight fans to adopt thier pets from animal shelters through a new Peta ad! It looks like Kellan found his four legged love at a shelter when she was very scared and probably on death row. Kellan took her for a walk despite being warned that she was a puller (pulled tightly on her leash) and decided that it was love at first sight! Kola is such a cutie! Look at the smile on her face! I hope Kellan has inspired all of his Twihards to support their local animal shelters and rescue groups!
To read the full interveiw on People please click here

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Pretoma Tags A Turtle!

*Randall with Hawksbill jewellery confiscated in a market in San Jose*

I have many friends at the wonderful conservation group Pretoma in Costa Rica. They do so many wonderful things for marine life and work tirelessly to eradicate the shark finning industry in the town of Puntarenas CR, combat sea turtle poaching and stop the completion of tuna farm off their country's coast in the Pacific. I just love what they do and I am so happy I had the privilege to meet the President, Randall Arauz, and drop off some supplies to the organization while visiting San Jose. Last week they were fortunate enough to attach a satellite transmitter to a Pacific Green Sea Turtle. Please enjoy the story:

*Randall cleaning & prepping her shell*

Last Friday, February 19, Pretoma researchers tagged a juvenile Pacific green turtle in the Caletas Ario Wildlife Refuge, with a satellite tracking device that allow the monitoring of its movements for the next few months. The Caletas Ario Wildlife Refuge hosts a nesting beach for olive ridley sea turtles, as well a foraging ground for juvenile hawksbill turtles. Pacific green turtles nest sporadically, and are rarely seen in the Marine Protected Area of the Refuge. Last Friday, a team of Pretoma researchers (Randall Arauz, Erick López and Javi Carrión) caught a female juvenile Pacific green turtle in a hawksbill foraging site, and decided to equip it with the satellite transmitter. Hopefully, the information generated will help establish management strategies for this species along the North Pacific coast of Costa Rica, and will tie in nicely with a Pacific green turtle migration study that Pretoma is directing in Cocos Island National Park.

Click here to see the migration of this turtle!


PRETOMA is a Costa Rican Civil Association of Public Interest (Decreto Ejecutivo 34150-J), and is an active member of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature IUCN and the World Society for the Protection of Animals WSPA.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Why Can't We Have This In Toronto?!

How cool is this! An actual SPCA adoption centre located in a huge and very busy mall! (Walden Galleria, Buffalo NY) Why the heck can't Ontario come up with this brilliant idea with either our OSPCA or Toronto Humane Society? Can you imagine how many more animals would be adopted and find their forever homes rather than face euthanasia!? It wouldn't only help the animals but it would also allow the general public (who may not be educated in animal rescues) to realize that there are countless healthy, happy and beautiful animals who have found themselves in a not so good situation. Unfortunately many people believe that all animals in shelters are either frothing killers or old & dying pets that will cause thousands of dollars in veterinary bills. Of course this is not the case and we need to educate the public on this! It would also help put and end to the pet stores that sell kittens and puppies bred in disgusting puppy mills all around Ontario.

Do you think it would be a good idea to add adoption centres to our most popular malls??


Bottle Water Free Day Ontario!

Ontario Campuses Start Challenge: Which Ontario Campus will be the First to kick the bottle and back the TAP?

Campus organizers from across Ontario are racing to see whose campus can go bottled water free first. The Ontario Bottled Water Free Campus Challenge is a challenge initiated by more than 20 Ontario campuses that are actively working to restrict bottled water while promoting accessible public water infrastructure on campus.

Over the last 12 months three Canadian campuses—The University of Winnipeg (Manitoba), Memorial University (Newfoundland & Labrador) and Brandon University (Manitoba)—all signed water declarations to end the sale and distribution of bottled water and promote public water on campus. To date no Ontario campus has banned bottled water.

Joanna MacDonald, from TapIn at the University of Guelph says, “Ontario Campus organizers are taking things to the next level with this challenge. There is no better way to convey the urgency for action to the administration and students on our campuses then by including them in a race to the finish line!”

The Ontario Bottled Water Free Campus Challenge commences three weeks before Canada’s first Bottled Water Free Day on March 11th, 2010 ( Public awareness about the environmental, health, social and economic impacts of bottled water is increasing, and the momentum to move away from bottled water and get back to the tap is growing.

Elly Adeland, Water and Energy Campaigner of the Polaris Institute and organizer of Bottled Water Free Day says, “The bottled water industry is less regulated than municipal water systems, consumes more energy and releases more harmful toxins into the environment than tap water—yet the question remains which Ontario campus will be the first to kick the bottle and back the tap? “

For more information please email Elly at:

My school will be participating in this event by displaying posters and making morning announcements!



Tuesday, February 16, 2010

1 Hour Before Death.....

One of my good friends Beth was able to rescue a very deserving young cat today. The story literally had my heart jumping out of my chest.........please take 3 minutes to read her posting and realize that when people come together innocent lives can be saved!

I thought today would be a pretty ordinary rescue day. I really looked forward to it, because I would be able to rescue FOUR cats. It's exciting when people contact me or the rescue and are ready for another foster cat.

I've had my eye on a very sweet neutered boy at the shelter with a VERY broken leg over the past few days. I figured he would be euthanized with this morning's "vet day", so was surprised to see him there:

You can tell in the picture his front right leg is in pretty bad shape.

One of the reception staff came into the back to announce that "Peter" owner was there to claim him! (The percentage of cats being claimed by their owners is very low, so when an owner actually finds their cat, it's really exciting.) The man puts Peter in a box and pays the $101.00 to the city for the impound fees.

THEN....the reception staff tells him that Peter is in a lot of pain and he'll need to go to the vets right away. The man looks at her and says, "No. I'm not taking him to the vets. I'll just wrap it up myself."

Holy Crap. He's going to wrap a compound fracture himself?

I'm hearing all this going on and am desperately trying to keep my mouth shut. Fortunately, the shelter would contact the SPCA and have them call on this guy to insure that he takes the cat to the vet.

Done deal, right? WRONG!

An hour later, I'm still at the shelter and this moron comes back with the cat in the box and tells the receptionist, "This is not my cat. Sorry."

Oh. My. God.

I couldn't stand it and I went into the lobby and took a peek in the box. "Peter" looked up at me with his mangled leg dangling and he started to purr. I could feel my eyes burning and I knew the tears weren't far off.

The vet tech at the shelter tells me that Peter has been in pain far too long and that he would be "sent out" to a vet clinic immediately for euthanasia. Peter was out of time.

I sat in my car for a few minutes in the shelter parking lot. I frantically started dialing numbers of people whose numbers I had memorized. I was crying. The injustice that this cat was *almost home* was more than I could stand.

Understandably, I can really get hurt while at the shelter, but once I leave the intense hurt will some times dissipate. Not this time. I drove the newly rescued cats to the veterinary clinic for their spay and neuters and started to cry when I saw the vet. He was disgusted with Peter's story, as was I.

When I arrived home, I called the shelter and asked them to give me 1 hour - ONE HOUR to try to find someone to help Peter. He was already at the vets, but they could give me one hour before he was euthanzed. Peter would no doubt need his leg amputated. He would need a foster home that could help him medically, and have a place where he could recover.

I went to Facebook and begged: "I have ONE hour to help a very sweet deserving cat with a broken leg. The shelter has given me 1 hour to find placement for him or he'll be euthanized. Please let me know if you can help. It's 1:30 pm now....There isn't much time left for this sweet boy. He was purring when I left him and I cried all the way home."

The messages and prayers started coming in immediately. Many thanks to Jenn L., Allison, Renee, Kate and Brandon who all came forward and asked the important questions and offered to help.

Then my phone rang.

It was Steve. Steve is the man that adopted my little blind Travis and Bucky. He saw my plea on Facebook and wanted to help Peter. Steve was the perfect solution for Peter! He's retired and has a small sunny spare room for Peter to recover. Bless his crazy heart!

I called the shelter and Peter is safe. :) All this transpired in less than 45 minutes. For one cat. I'm picking him up and taking him to the vets tomorrow.

Can somebody tell me how to explain all this to the rescue in which I volunteer? Peter is going to be an expensive cat....maybe I need to set up a donation fund for him....Any help for Peter's surgery would really help take the edge off things. Ahh...I'll deal with that tomorrow...

For now? Tomorrow is a new beginning for Peter - thanks to a lot of people who cared enough to save his life.

If any of you out there are able to donate even a few dollars to assist in the veterinary cost of amputating his leg please let me know and I can provide you with the information. All donations over $20 will be given a tax receipt. Thank you



Friday, February 12, 2010

How Green Are The Olympics??

Tonight I am sitting at home in my family room surrounded by my parents and best friend. Being the proud Canadians that we are of course we are glued to our TV watching the Vancouver 2010's Opening Ceremony for the Winter Games. Considering the millions of tourists, athletes and media visiting the West Coast I began wondering to myself if the Olympic committee and the city of Vancouver had done anything different or made a conscience effort to be environmentally responsible. Even though I live on the other side of Canada, Torontonians have been bombarded with the Olympic spirit and we have absolutely embraced it however I surprisingly hadn't thought of the environmental impact the Olympics would have on one of Canada's most Eco-friendly and nature inspired Provinces. I did a bit of searching and came across this video from CNN and was very surprised and excited to hear how the medals would be created! Take a look believe and see for yourself!!

Pretty cool EH!?!?!?!


Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Can A Green Valentines Be A Good Valentines?!

OF COURSE IT CAN!!!! A pink valentines day is so passe!! In order to do things right this year it has to be GREEN! There are so many ways this year to lessen and curb your carbon footprint when it comes to celebrating with loved ones on February 14th! In my opinion Valentines Day puts too much pressure on what to buy and how much to spend! I honestly believe that a picnic in a park, love "coupons" and homemade cards are the most special and genuine. However if you do want to go out and spend some money why not try to do it in a more sustainable way this year. Heres a list of places and things you can purchase for your sweetie:

Kakayo is passionate about chocolate. Their mouth watering truffles are made from
premium, organic, fair trade ingredients. In addition, they also do NOT use any preservatives!
They are located at 1585 Queen Street East, Toronto

The uncompromising beauty of Canadian diamonds derives from their pure history. Brilliant Earth's Canadian diamonds are mined, cut, and polished with environmentally responsible and fair labor practices. Diamonds from Canada are wholly free from violence and human rights abuses.

Organic Bouquet is a mission-based company that cares about environmental, social and economic sustainability. With every purchase from Organic Bouquet, you are improving the life of a grower or artisan and protecting the environment for generations to come.

Whatever you do this Valentines and whomever you celebrate it with (furry friends incld.) please do so while considering the health of our planet and the amount of waste you might be contributing to it!

Love Nicole

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Check This Out!!

A little thank you from my friend Julie in Rwanda: HERE

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Toronto Cat Rescue FurBall Fundraiser!

I would like to extend an invitation to all my Torontonian readers to attend the 3rd annual Toronto Cat Rescue FurBall! It will be taking place on Friday February 26th from 7:30pm -midnight at the Berkeley Church in Toronto (315 Queen St East) Entertainment will feature stand-up comedian (and animal lover) Maggie Cassella and musical guests Scott McCord and the Bonafide Truth!

All money raised will go towards the care and veterinary treatment of the hundreds of cats and kittens that come into the Toronto Cat Rescue each and every year. TCR is a no-kill, non-profit, volunteered run organization dedicated to the welfare of abandoned, rescued and feral cats/kittens running all across the Greater Toronto Area.

The dress is semi-formal and delicious hors d'oeuvres will be served followed by a scrumptious dessert table. Vegetarians and Non-vegetarians will equally be delighted!! I will be there all night long helping out to make sure the food is set out and replenished often! Apart from the entertainment there will also be a silent auction running from 7:30-10:00pm

For more information and to purchase tickets please visit:

A New Read............

I have just begun reading a book that was recommended to me by a good friend; "Eating Animals" by Jonathan Safran Foer, and I am really enjoying it. It is a very interesting read and has so far not made me feel guilty about the fact that I DO still eat chicken and turkey. It starts off with Jonathan explaining that he had gone through many times in his life as a young adult going veggie off and on. Some months he would see himself as a strict vegetarian while others he would be sitting with College buddies chowing down on Buffalo wings and 12oz cheeseburgers. I was a little hesitant about picking up this book as many animal lovers know that we are often called hypocrites when we try and be advocates for various animals and creatures when in fact we still eat some of them. It is something that I even personally struggle with everyday. I used to be vegetarian when I was around 17 years old, however still living at home and not knowing how to properly eat while avoiding meat, caused many arguments with my parents at the dinner table and definitely caused me to gain a bit of weight seeing as though I only knew how to make spaghetti, Mac & Cheese and veggie dogs. Oh those were the days when my metabolism was MUCH faster! Damn if I were to try that "diet" now I wouldn't be able to fit through my bedroom door!! hahaha

In the book, Jonathan has just realized that he and his vegetarian wife are pregnant with their first child and they are going through the pro's and con's of raising their child without any meat. I really like how Foer is being very realistic (he talks about how North Americans would never eat dogs and people in India would never harm a cow or how we can tolerate fishers hooking a swordfish by its eye but would be in utter outrage should this happen to a kitten). I look forward to continuing this book and seeing how the author can educate me on factory farming, hypocrisy and living a vegetarian lifestyle!

For more on Jonathan and his book please visit:


Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Emma Watson Debuts Her New Eco Friendly Clothing Line!

Check out this first shot of Emma Watson in swag from her new collection for fair-trade fashion label People Tree. The 19-year-old actress (and face of Burberry!) served as a creative advisor for People Tree and put together a collection of knitwear with cotton shirts, jersey dresses and shorts. “I wanted to help People Tree produce a younger range because I was excited by the idea of using fashion as a tool to help alleviate poverty,” Emma said (via People). “I think young people like me are becoming increasingly aware of the humanitarian and environmental issues surrounding fast fashion.” The line will benefit the People Tree Foundation, supporting fair-trade farmers in developing countries, and will ship to the US starting this week! Lets hope it hits Canadian markets soon!

Thanks to JustJared for the info!


Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Offical News From Panama!

Panama in 2009

All the Leatherback turtle projects we either manage or supervise had record nesting numbers this season, a wonderful turnaround from the recent years when the beaches were unprotected and littered with the carcases of slaughtered turtles.

Soropta beach counted over 550 nests, the highest yet. Poaching was less severe this year owing to the absence of The Prince, a famous poacher from further along the beach, who was drowned in the floods in the early part of the year. Managing Soropta on your own is a difficult and demanding job and we were fortunate to have such a good leader and biologist as Ana Maria Vasquez from Colombia. It is excellent news that she is coming back to Soropta in 2010. As usual, we employed guards from Finca 60, a nearby banana plantation, and 8 local people were employed by the project.

While we were being flooded at Pacuare, heavy rains were also causing floods in Panama. The Changuinola river, which reaches the sea near to our Soropta station, became so powerful that it washed away the big spit of sand which formed a large part of the nesting beach we protected. In order to cover the same length of beach, we had to patrol a further 3 kms to the East, making the patrols longer to cover the same length of beach.

Volunteers and visitors to Soropta come mainly from nearby Bocas del Toro, many at short notice for a night or two, but not long enough to be of support to the resident team. Soropta is a difficult project to manage. It is isolated, and bringing food or people from Bocas is very expensive but it is most important that we maintain it.

Soropta was the worst of the killing beaches until we set up the project to protect and patrol the beach in 2001. It led the way to the protection of the adjoining beaches San San and Sixaola, both of which are subsidized by Rainforest Concern and supervised by our Mexican biologist Cristina, though run by the local communities.

On the Sixaola beach, which is isolated and inaccessible, a good local man, Huascar, has been trained to work with turtles, and he has recruited and trained 6 other locals to work on the beach during the season. They are paid for every night they patrol and they are glad of the chance to earn a salary in an area where no work is available.

Huascar and his team counted 520 leatherback nests this season, the highest number since we started. San San recorded nearly 450 leatherback nests, making a total of over 1500 nests for the 20 kms of the three mainland beaches which stretch South-west from the Costa Rican border.

There is a fourth beach we protect, Playa Larga, quite separate from the others as it is on the island of Bastamentos. It is a lovely short golden beach facing onto the open sea and is visited by Hawksbill turtles as well as Leatherbacks. Isobel Petersen from the US ran the project this year, supported by a local Research Assistant.

Life is basic on Playa Larga. Unlike Soropta, there is no cook or flush toilets. Food is brought from Bocas once a week. Volunteers love this simple Robinson Crusoe life. They recorded 135 leatherbacks.

Panama continues to be a great success story and vital to the survival of the Leatherback. People reading this please think about making a donation
via Rainforest Concern to help fund this work. If you want to get really involved, think about volunteering (see links under Costa Rica and Panama on the left) or just email Carlos Fernandez.

To visit their official website please click here

I don't think I will be able to make it back to Panama this year but here's to a successful and exciting leatherback season for 2010!! I love and miss all the local boys, biologists and of course the big mama's who so graciously allowed me to watch them lay their precious eggs! I hope they all return to Playa Soropta again this year!


Monday, February 1, 2010

Before & After!

I just wanted to share the before and after shot of my last foster Jacob; a black kitten I rescued from euthanasia along with his sister Bella. Unfortunately Bella passed away from unknown complications which was truly devestating for me, however, I am so thilled to see Jacob thriving in his new and loving home!!

*Jacob & his sister stuck on death row in a shelter*

*Jacob, now know as Sammie, living the life!!!*

A HUGE thank you to his adoptive mama who has given him a second chance at life even though her circumstances changed at the last minute. Congratulations Sammie!!!

Barebum Betty Saved!!

Well well well! A little "girl" who I have been networking to get out of a high kill shelter in Ontario was RESCUED TODAY!!! Woo Hoo I couldn't be happier and this news has made my day! For the past few weeks I have been posting "her" picture on facebook and telling all of my friends and co workers about the helpless (and for some reason almost hairless) black angel who was at risk of being euthanized at no fault of "her" own. You may be wondering why I keep putting her in brackets is because today it was found out that it is actually a neutered boy! Thats ok as long as he is safe and warm thats all that matters!! I know the staff at the shelter and they do their best to sex all the hundreds of cats and kittens that come through their doors everyday and of course everyone makes mistakes!

Reasons to why he is missing so much fur is unknown at this time. It could be that he had a flea allergy in the summer and scratched it all off, he may have a food allergy or even a nervous OCD licking problem. Whatever it is I am sure he can overcome the obstacles and turn into the most beautiful and glorious cat ever!! YAY!!!!!!!!! I AM SOOOOO HAPPY!

Till next time..........


Earth Song

Last night Celine Dion, Carrie Underwood, Usher, Jennifer Hudson and Smokey Robinson all got together during the Grammy Awards for a beautiful tribute to Michael Jackson. Instead of singing and dancing to one of his many ultra pop hits such as Thriller or Billie Jean they sang a remarkable version of MJ's "Earth Song". I really had no idea that Michael was interested at all in the planet and how we need to protect it. I knew he donated to various charities but I always thought he was too self-absorbed to even think of the rainforest and the other animals that share their world with us. I just continuously had visions of him on those notorious Las Vegas shopping sprees purchasing anything and everything he could, however, my opinion last night completely changed. Michael had prepared the "Earth Song" video shown behind the performers and was supposed to be a part of his "This Is It" Tour in London. Watch the video below and let me know what you think!

I think that little girl in the video is just too precious!! Its wonderful to see MJ cared about the planet as well and I am sure he passed that passion along to his beautiful children!