Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
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
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.
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 (www.bottledwaterfreeday.ca). 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: email@example.com
My school will be participating in this event by displaying posters and making morning announcements!
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
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
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!!
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
Sunday, February 7, 2010
Saturday, February 6, 2010
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!
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
Wednesday, February 3, 2010
Tuesday, February 2, 2010
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.