Wednesday, October 27, 2010

OMG This Commercial Gave Me Goosebumps!

I just saw this commercial for the first time today and all I can saw is WOW! I hope this is just the beginning for the electric car. Thank you Nissan!


Monday, October 25, 2010

Yesterday A "Pet" - Today Behind Bars

I saw this baby being surrendered last Thursday at the high-kill animal shelter I rescue from. This was the first time I had witnessed something like that! I asked the young girl and her boyfriend if they exhausted all their options and explained that there wasn't much hope for their "pet"......they said they did and now this kitten is on death row. Unfortunately because this was an "owner surrender" the shelter does NOT have to keep her alive for the mandatory 72 hours as they do with strays (gives owners a chance to find their lost pet). I feel like for every cat/kiiten I save there are 10 surrendered. It just never ever ends and I can't help but feel frustrated and defeated. I will go downstairs and give my fosters a kiss and remind them how lucky they were.I hope a rescue group comes forward to rescue this precious baby that has no idea her hours are numbered.


Thursday, October 21, 2010

Dr.Fred Saving Gorilla Babies!

My friend Dr.Fred (whom I tracked gorillas with in Uganda) just released this video of himself with fellow Gorilla Doctor vets saving a baby mountain gorilla from a poachers snare in Uganda. Enjoy!! For more information about these everyday heros please click HERE

Thanks Dr. Fred!!!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Have Travel: Will Volunteer

*Welcome Sign*

This past August I had the wonderful opportunity to travel to Cabo San Lucas Mexico with my mom for a one week relaxing getaway before work started again for the year. All-inclusive vacations are definitely NOT my first choice when it comes to traveling - I would much rather travel to a foreign country, rough it out in a small family-run motel/hotel and experience the culture first hand! However I knew how much my mom wanted to visit Cabo and as a bonus for me there turned out to be some pretty good scuba diving located not far from our hotel. As all my friends and family already know, whenever I travel I like to somehow support and volunteer for a local non-profit group that is trying to protect or conserve their countries local species and or animals. In this case I was pleasantly surprised to come across ASUPMATOMA which is a local sea turtle conservation group that works to protect the highly endangered green and leatherback sea turtles.

A little Bio from their website:

"The Association for the Protection of the Environment and the Marine Turtle in Southern Baja (ASUPMATOMA) is a non-profit organization dedicated to the protection of the endangered sea turtles of Baja California Sur, Mexico, and the overall environmental sustainability of Los Cabos’ beautiful beaches, lands and surrounding communities. ASUPMATOMA was founded more than 18 years ago by RenĂ© Pinal, a prominent real estate investor and conservationist in Cabo San Lucas, along with a team of biologists and local residents to address the pressing environmental issues facing Los Cabos. In particular, the organization is a leading worldwide advocate of the preservation of the endangered sea turtles, which are now at risk of destruction in the Sea of Cortez region due to rapid land development, pollution, and illegal hunting and fishing practices."

*ASUPMATOMA's San Cristobal Education Centre*

A few weeks prior to traveling I emailed the organization and got in contact with Carla Sanchez a representative for ASUPMATOMA. We corresponded almost everyday until I flew out and she provided me with a wish list full of items that would really help many of the workers and volunteers who work countless hours (both day and night) to help my favourite animals. Aside from a $50 donation I was able to pack a duffle bag full of backpacks, 2 sleeping bags, office supplies, medical supplies (gloves and syringes) and antibacterial lotions. Even though there was much more on the wish list these were items that I had lying around in my basement, kitchen and my moms office so it worked out perfectly. Many of the items from my basement (the backpacks and sleeping bags) were things I had wanted to throw out at numerous times but something always held me back and now I know why!!! They were meant to donate to ASUPMATOMA!!! :0)

*My mom and I delivering donations for the workers and turtles*

Carla was such an amazing and inspiring person! I thought she would just pick up the items from our hotel but instead she insisted that she pick us up in her personal car and take us to the two locations that ASUPMATOMA works from (with her mini conservationist son Narok who was too cute for words!!). My mom and I first visited the property that Mr. Pinal purchased 18 years ago which consisted of a beautiful ranch house that hosts school groups and visitors to educate them on the importance of conservation and the risk to our environment (particularly sea turtle of course). This circular all-white "house" was just gorgeous and took me by surprise. I have visited many volunteer sites and this was by far the most impressive and esthetically pleasing. We were able to chat with the San-Cristobal staff/biologists and find out more information about poachers and their day-to-day duties. During the day, when they are not educating visitors and groups that come by, they help maintain the ATV equipment and house duties. At night at least one staff member hops on an ATV and patrols the beaches up and down searching for nesting turtles and re-locating their eggs to a hatchery.

*Absolutely priceless!! I never thought I would see my mom so adventurous!*

The second stopover was 10 minutes down the beach at a de-salination processing plant that allows ASUPMATOMA to keep an old bus on the beach. This bus has been turned into a mini camp that houses two full-time turtle protectors. The two young men sleep, cook and eat in this old VW bus that looks like it came right out of Woodstock! Even though the two workers are very isolated day in and day out, they spoke of their conservation work and how much they are dedicated to keeping the turtles and their eggs safe. After taking a tour of their little camp we all walked over to the hatchery and excavated three nests that were supposed to hatch the week prior. We expected to find eggs that had not developed at all, however, we were pleasantly surprised to see egg shells that were cracking with little baby turtles making their way out!! We were thrilled that all three nests were alive!! The little babies were just taking a little bit longer to make their way out of the nest. We quickly filled all three holes with sand and were told that the babies would be making their way to the surface within a few days!

*The worlds youngest nest excavator - Narok!!*

My mom and I had such a great time!! For me the memory of my mom on an ATV was priceless!! Unfortunately my mom didn't get to see any hatchlings but I was proud of her coming along, braving the windy beach and learning about what biologists, workers and volunteers do on a daily basis to keep sea turtles from going extinct! This was definitely the highlight during my trip to Cabo - an experience my mom and I will definitely never forget!

*Only 4 years old but already doing more for his planet than most adults!*

*Me excavating a nest to see what happened with the babies!?!*

To contact Carla please email her at: and matter where you travel or how commercialized the city might be please check the internet before leaving or ask some locals and find out what non-profit organizations are in that area who could use your help - even for a couple of hours! It will be greatly appreciated!


Thursday, October 14, 2010

Feeling Overwhelmed

I am just so exhausted I don't even know why I am writing this blog when I should be going to bed........oh wait I know!! In 30 minutes I have to bottle feed my two little baby kittens "Rocky" & "Minnie", give them their antibiotics and apply their eye ointment. Last time you saw my youngest fosters they were jumping in and out of my Mickey Mouse slippers wrestling on my family room floor. Unfortunately now they are locked up in my bathroom fighting a terrible virus which has caused them a lot of sneezing and each has an eye that is completely red and closed. Last night I took them to the vet for the second time in the past week and he warned me that if their virus doesn't clear up soon they could go blind in their infected eyes. Needless to say I am going on little sleep and lots of stress. Last night I didn't eat dinner till 7:30pm and have been waking up an hour earlier to make sure I can take care of all their needs. I love these little guys so much and am doing everything possible to keep them happy, safe and on the road to recovery. Thankfully "Charlie", "William" and "Harry" are doing very well. With the exception of some very stinky and messy diarrhea that I am constantly cleaning up and treating with meds they are very active, playful and ready to go up for adoption very soon! On top of my rescues I am also babysitting my co-worker/friends foster kittens as she is on a business conference for a couple of days. I am feeling very overwhelmed and ready to throw in the towel but tonight I was shown an updated photo of little "Bradley" now re-named "Oliver" in his forever home:

*"Bradley" aka "Oliver in his new/furr-ever home!*

*You might remember "Bradley" waiting in a high-kill shelter to be rescued*

This is why foster parents do what we do! I am up to my ears in wet food, litter, diarrhea, money and eye puss however in the end pictures like this make it all worth it! Anyways I must go back and tend to "Minnie" and "Rocky" and then its off to sleep!! Goodnight!


Sunday, October 10, 2010

*Love* My New Purse!!

I am not a big shopper unlike many of my friends! I often like to save my money for upcoming trips around the world and experiences that otherwise would be spent on countless shoes, Saturday night drinks or the lottery. However last week I came across the cutest purse at Style Sense which just happened to be VEGAN!! Purses are one the accessory that I do enjoy collecting and so far I did not have a redish bag at home so I figured why the heck not?? It wasn't expensive AND I was also supporting a company that took pride in their merchandise not containing any animal products whatsoever!! For more information about the company Urban Expressions please click HERE


Thursday, October 7, 2010

How I Spent My Sunday Afternoon!

On Thursday September 30th my co-worker/friend Shelley and I headed to our local high-kill animal shelter right after work. Shelley has fostered in the past for Toronto Cat Rescue however this would be her first time actually visiting the animal control. Shelley walked up and down the rows upon rows of unwanted, stray and abandoned cats and kittens who were literally pawing at us to take them out of their cages. As heart-wrenching as it was, Shelley chose a litter of 5 babies to take home with her. They were soooo cute and completely covered with wet kitten food smooched all over their little faces!

I already knew from the website who I would be rescuing that day. Three of them were 6 week old orange buff boys from separate litters but not safe from the next day which would end their life. I was ready to leave with my three babies when Penny, the vet tech at the shelter, said "Oh Nicole I just HAVE to show you these two little guys that came in today!!" Ughhhhh I should NOT have looked because once I peered through the metal bars I spotted two little pip-squeaks who wouldn't make it past the first "vet day".

*In my PJ's feeding "Minnie"*

Ahhhh what the heck is two more little babies!?!?!?! I knew right away these siblings would be a lot more work for me as they were about 3 weeks younger than the cream boys. Two teeny babies means LOTS of poop, food, more poop and bottle feeding. Thankfully they were eating soft/wet food in addition to the kitten-milk that I was supplementing them with so the bottle feedings were only happening a couple times a day - not every three hours!

*"Minnie" eating lunch*

*"Rocky" eating lunch*

It is definitely a lot of work :0( Between disinfecting the floors, cleaning the litter-box, warming kitten-milk, nursing them and then doing it all over again when I get home from work is very time consuming HOWEVER it is definitely worth the headaches! Knowing that these little monkeys are healthy, safe and happy makes it all worth it!! Its just like those Mastercard commercials.........somehow everything becomes "priceless"!

*"Minnie" & "Rocky" chilling in my slippers*

I wouldn't be a good foster mom if I didn't show off my other foster babies whom I rescued that same day!! All should be available for adoption in a couple of weeks!

*"William" & "Harry" awaiting rescue*

*And last but not least-"Charlie" my little sweetie*


Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Manatees Rescued In Senegal!!

In August, Save the Manatee Club contributed $2,600 to help rescue a West African manatee mother and calf in Senegal. The pair had become trapped behind a dam, and the emergency funding was necessary to capture them and remove them from danger.

The dam was constructed two years ago on the Nawel River, a main branch of the Senegal River, and blocks the manatees’ migratory route. Manatees in Senegal have a migratory cycle that is dictated by the rainy and dry seasons. During the rainy season, manatees gain access to a valley with abundant food where they spend several months. Then, as the dry season approaches, they follow streams to return to the Senegal River.

“In August, we were contacted by Tomas Diagne, a West African manatee biologist, because the mother manatee and her calf had been spotted trapped behind the dam,” said Dr. Katie Tripp, Director of Science and Conservation for Save the Manatee Club. “The Club donation allowed Tomas to rent the equipment and gather the personnel he needed to carry out the rescue. On August 31st, I received an e-mail from Tomas stating that the rescues had been completed successfully and the mother and her calf were out of harm’s way.”
Save the Manatee Club members may recall that the Club recently gave $3,600 to rescue eight other manatees in Senegal. In December 2009, five manatees had become trapped upstream of the dam. Although the dam was not open at the time, the manatees were in danger because water levels had dropped, and there was no food available. In addition, there was a risk the manatees could be hunted. Food was brought in to sustain the manatees, and a guardian was stationed at the site to protect them until they could be rescued. A few weeks later, three other manatees were found in Windou Kanel, approximately four miles southeast of the Nawel dam. In May 2010, all eight manatees had been rescued, transported downstream of the dam, and released in the Senegal River.


To date, four manatees have already died at the Nawel River dam. Because manatees are mammals, they must surface to breathe air, and the manatees likely drowned when they were pinned underwater after the dam opened.

“We hope to meet with Tomas soon to help develop a long-range plan for protecting the migration corridors of manatees in West Africa,” said Tripp. “These two rescue events in Senegal highlight the critical importance of our Emergency Rescue Fund, and we want to say thank you to those people who have donated. It is crucial that we have funds available, so we can respond to calls for help from anywhere in the world. None of our work would be possible without our generous supporters.”

Thank you to one of my favourite charities "Save The Manatee Club" for their generous donation to help save this beautiful and highly endangered specie!! For more information and ways to donate please visit: Save The Manatee Club


1 Lionfish At A Time!

Approximately 100 divers collected 534 Indo-Pacific red lionfish during the first tournament dedicated to reducing the population of the invasive species in the Florida Keys waters.

The September 11 tournament in Key Largo, organized by REEF and the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, is the first of three Keys-based lionfish roundups. The event attracted 27 teams which competed for cash and prizes to collect the most, largest and smallest lionfish.

The winning team captured 111 lionfish during the single day event. The largest lionfish caught measured in at just under 11 inches, and the smallest at less than two inches. Lionfish can grow to lengths of over 18 inches in western Atlantic waters where they are not native.

“The sanctuary is thrilled by the response from the dive community,” said Sanctuary Superintendent Sean Morton. “The volume of fish caught during this single day event demonstrates that dedicated diver removal efforts can be effective at helping keep this invasive at bay.”

Team “Raaw Talent,” from the Upper Keys and led by Captain Al Wilson, captured 111 lionfish and the grand prize of $1,000 for most lionfish. The “Lion Killers” of Islamorada and Marathon netted the largest lionfish, along with $500. And with the capture of the smallest lionfish, team “Full Circle from Key Dives” also caught themselves $500.

Both teams “Raaw Talent” and “Full Circle” had been through REEF’s educational workshops on lionfish safety and handling and have been very active in reporting sightings to REEF and capturing lionfish for research purposes. These lionfish derbies are great events to reward those already involved in REEF’s lionfish control programs and to recruit more people to become active in lionfish control.

“The community participation in this event surpassed even our most generous expectations”, said REEF Director of Operations, Lad Akins. “Everyone came together for a great event, including sponsors, volunteers, organizers, and of course, the lionfish hunters. Even those who brought in a single fish contributed to the protection of our native marine life and deserve our thanks.”

Divers and snorkelers interested in participating for the remaining 2010 Keys lionfish tournaments may register online at

The second lionfish derby will be held October 16 at Keys Fisheries Market and Marina in Marathon, FL. The third derby will be held November 13 at Hurricane Hole Marina, in Key West, FL. A $100 registration fee provides each team with a pair of puncture resistant gloves — important protection from lionfish spines — and two tickets to the tournament banquet.

For complete results and derby information go to



Friday, October 1, 2010

October = Adopt-A-Dog Month!

*Quincey safe and warm*

October 1st not only brings the changing of the leaves, sweaters and Halloween but it also marks the beginning of Adopt-A-Dog month! Have you been thinking about adding a dog into your life recently?

Are you looking for:
  • an exercise buddy?
  • a best friend and confidant for your child?
  • a dog you can train with to learn animal-assisted therapy?
  • a partner in agility competitions?
  • a constant companion for your favorite senior citizen?
  • a fuzzy face to greet you after a hard day at work?

An adopted dog can be all these things -- and so much more!

Your local shelter is the perfect place to find dogs of every type, size, age and personality -- all waiting for a loving home. Or, if you prefer a particular breed that isn’t currently available at a shelter, go online to find a breed-specific rescue group in need of adopters like you.If so head over to your local animal shelter or contact a no-kill rescue group and start researching what kind of dog would best fit your lifestyle.

*Quincey at Christmas*

October 16th will be 4 years since I adopted my fur-baby Quincey from the Toronto Animal Services. Every single day he has shown me unconditional love, affection and most of all appreciation. Although we don't know exactly what had happened to Quincey in the past (he came in as a stray) we can tell that he was cruelly beaten and abused prior to joining our family. Even though he will never get over certain memories of his previous years he can now live out the rest of his life in peace. Adopting a dog is honestly one of the most rewarding things you can do. They know that you have saved their life and will forever be grateful. One of my favourite places to start looking for a new member of the family is Petfinder; a website dedicated to networking dogs, cats and small animals, that may or may not be on death row, get a second chance at life!!!

*Visiting the Beaches in Toronto*

A lot of times you may think that you are saving THEIR life but more often then not they will save YOURS!