I think there is nothing so beautiful as saving a life - be
it human or animal. This week I was touched a few times with stories of animal rescue which appropriately I saw on the show ANIMAL RESCUES.
The first rescue was that of a beautiful white horse being
pulled out of a muddy quagmire. She was no longer white now, but covered with mud.
I don't know how she landed there because I tuned in late, but
I do know that the firemen and volunteers worked very, very
hard to get her out. It was not easy. They had a cable
attached to her which they pulled on together. It seemed like
they were playing "tug of war." Sadly, this tug of war was not
a game or any fun- either for the white horse struggling and
flaying - trying to get out of the mud or for her weary and tired
Finally, success, and the vet on site was very happy that the
horse was none the worse for the experience. With the exception
of a small scraping wound near her neck, she was ready to rejoin
her blind horse friends in their enclosure. I wasn't sure about
her place there, but it obviously seemed to me that she was
their "eyes" and she took this responsibility seriously and happily.
So, these wonderful tired firemen and rescuers "saved" them as
well. As blind people need seeing-eye dogs, horses need seeing-eye
horses as well.
I am sorry that I didn't notice when the Animal Rescues show is
on because I did so enjoy seeing animals being rescued. I think
the people involved are very special- considering that there are
people who would rather hunt and kill animals instead of save
Ducklings -these adorable little creatures seem often to get into
trouble. This time they all landed in a grate. But I believe the
man who spotted a much agitated mother duck nearby was a policeman
who decided to investigate. Sure enough- when he walked to a
nearby grate and peered in -he saw 5 little ducklings waiting
to be rescued.
The grate was removed and this officer's huge hand scooped up each
little duckling and released it as each hurriedly made his/her way
to their anxiously awaiting mother. What a beautiful, touching
picture and what a beautiful caring man who seems to be the antithesis
of the men with guns pointing them at deers or wolves. Of course,
I would be disappointed to find out that he too is a hunter.
I don't believe that I ever saw a Spotted Dolphin before, but here
they were- three of them on Animal Rescues. Obviously, people in the
know had spotted them perhaps too close to shore and felt they were
experiencing problems. Sea World was called and they sent some
of their personnel to bring them in.
Naming them was the fun part, and of course, the names Linus, Woodstock,
and Lucy sounded just right. Watching them being rescued was an art,
and with the deft management of the people from Sea World, the three
spotted dolphins were now in slings and in a truck heading for Sea
All three were malnourished and in need of medical intervention.
Sadly for Lucy, the youngest, it was a little bit too little and
too late. She died.
However, Linus and Woodstock would rally, and when they were well
enough, they were taken by boat many miles from shore. When they
were released, all aboard the boat were heartened to see that
there was a pod of dolphins there who happily received them. It
was a joy to see all swimming happily together. I never thought
I would ever say -Thank you Sea World- but in this case, I have.
When I think of animal rescues, I always see the picture of a
fireman breathing into a rescued pup's mouth - giving him or her
the breath of life. I can see this fireman still though it
happened years ago, but he is always representative of the caring
firemen who do not hesitate to try to save a kitty or dog needing
resusitation from the fumes of a fire. They are all to be applauded
for recognizing that animal lives are precious too - not only to
their guardians but to them as well.
And now -SOME GOOD ANIMAL NEWS FROM HSUS
1. HUMAN TOXICOLOGY PROJECT. Even though in 2007 the National
Academy of Sciences proposed a new approach to assessing chemical
safety that moves away from animal testing, it was not implemented.
Many of us have always felt that it was terribly cruel to disperse
large doses of commercial chemicals, pesticides, and other substances
to groups of animals to observe them for symptoms of disease.
Finally, a government-sponsored collaboration called Tox21 is
to serve as a catalyst for the implementation of pathway-based
toxicology which will hasten the replacement of animal use in
2. CLASS B DEALERS. In 2009 the National Academies Institute
for Laboratory Animal Research began looking at the practice of
Class B dealers who were a llowed to round up dogs and cats from
animal shelters, (Pound Seizure) auctions, and other random sources
so they could sell them for experimentation. For most of us, the
practice of these "Bunchers" and "Pound Seizure" itself was
especially heinous because it took away all protection of dogs
and cats in "shelters."
At last, the National Institutes of Health has notified its grant
recipients that as of 2015 the use of NIH funds will no longer fund
Class B dealers and advises its grantees to identify new sources
for such animals. Too bad they didn't go further and tell them
that using animals is not even a good or necessary protocul.
Hopefully, one day they will.
3. PUPPY MILLS. The USDA's Office of the Inspector General (OIG)
issued a critical assessment of the lax oversight of the USDA
inspectors of commercial dog breeders in violation of the Animal
Welfare Act. Per HSUS "The report reviewed inspections and enforcement
actions taken against dog dealers and found that USDA inspectors
failed to cite or properly document inhumane treatment and brought
little to no enforcement actions against violators."
Since the audit report, the USDA has increased its inspections and
enforcement actions against noncompliant dealers.
4. HORSE SORING. In 2010 the USDA's OIG again released another audit
addressing the failure of the USDA to protect show horses under the
Horse Protection Program. This law, if correctly implemented, gives
the USDA authority to ensure that.. "Tennessee walking horses and other
breeds are not subjected to the abusive practice of soring - the
intentional infliction of pain to a horse's legs or hooves in order
to force an artificial, exaggerated gait."
Thankfully, two compassionate Congressional representatives - Ed
Whitfield, R-Ky, and Steven Cohen, D.-Tenn. have introduced the
Prevent All Soring Tactics Act (H.R.1518) which makes much needed
reforms to the Horse Protection Act. Hopefully, House Speaker Boehner
will introduce this act for deliberation. So far, I believe he has
done very little to introduce any humane animal bills. It seems we
really do need a new Democratic House Speaker if we ever want to
see humane acts be deliberated and acted upon in the House.
5. WILD HORSES. In June, the National Academy of Sciences reviewed
the Bureau of Land Management's Wild Horse and Burro Program. I was
so happy and relieved to read that they stated that the BLM's procedures
for monitoring and surveying wild horses and burros were flawed,
inconsistent, and actually contributed to high horse population growth
rates. I hope that this will mean the end of the cruel and punishing
BLM helicopter roundups.
There is good news for the long-suffering chimps as well. Many of them
will soon be released from the cruel confines of laboratory cages and
often cruel invasive research procedures. Now they will be able to live
normal and happy lives as chimpanzees and finally taste what freedom
is really like.
There are many beautiful thoughts re compassion, and I especially love
to read and reread Arthur Schopenhauer's beautiful quote in this
"Compassion for animals is intimately connected with goodness of
character, and it may be confidently asserted that he who is cruel to
animals cannot be a good man."