ANIMAL NEWS AND VIEWS
LOS CHAVEZ ANIMAL RESCUE
Los Chavez Animal Rescue in Valencia County has been in operation for over 5 years but is in danger of closing due to lack of funds and volunteers. The recently built feline shelter, the largest in Valencia County, drained resources--personal and organizational. Consequently, all the cats at the shelter must be adopted now. Each cat is spayed or neutered, vaccinated and healthy. This is a great opportunity for you to help some deserving felines and the people who are now caring for them.
The shelter will close so that volunteers can concentrate on fundraising with the hope of reopening in early 2003. Los Chavez Animal Rescue is a 501(c)3 corporation so any donation is tax-deductible.
Check the website at www.Loschavezanimalrescue.org to learn more about the shelter, volunteer needs, fundraising events, or how to sponsor a rescued animal.
A.C.A.T. CALENDAR OF EVENTS
Adoption Clinics: Every Saturday, 11-4, PETCO on San Mateo/Academy. A.C.A.T. holds adoption clinic for cats/kittens.
Gift Table: December 14 & 21, 11-4, PETCO on San Mateo/Academy. Visit A.C.A.T. Gift Table to purchase wonderful gifts for the cat lover!!
Entertainment Books: December 28 is the last day to purchase your Entertainment Book from A.C.A.T. (all proceeds benefit A.C.A.T.'s feral program). Books available every Saturday at PETCO, San/Mateo/Academy, from 11-4, or you can order a book by calling 323-ACAT.
Holiday Gift Wrapping: December 19, 2-11pm; and December 24, 2- 6pm at the Westside Barnes and Noble, located at 3701 Ellison Drive. All donations received in exchange for gift wrapping will support A.C.A.T.'s medical program.
ANIMAL HUMANE ASSOCIATION OF NEW MEXICO
Donate a Phone: Through December 31, 2002 we are collecting used cell phones as a fundraiser for the animals. This prevents the cell phone batteries from hurting the environment in the landfills, and helps the animals at the same time! Bring your used cell phones to AHA at 615 Virginia SE, Albuquerque, NM, or call 505-255-5523 ext. 105 for other drop off sites.
Great Getaway Raffle: Tickets are available through January 25, 2003 at $2 each. You could win a 2002 Chevrolet S-10 truck or one of four fabulous getaway prize packages! Call 505-255-5523 ext. 105 for tickets.
Art for the Animals Auction: On January 25, 2003 there will be a live and silent auction to benefit the animals. The auction will be held at the New Mexico State Fair Grounds, and we will be drawing the winner of the 2002 Great Getaway Raffle at this fun event. For more information, or to donate a work of art (all media accepted), call 505-255-5523 ext. 105.
SAN JUAN ANIMAL LEAGUE EVENTS
Christmas Parade Float: Volunteers are needed to decorate the float and/or walk a pet alongside the float in the evening parade through downtown Farmington.
Christmas for Needy Pets: This will be the 3rd year that SJAL has collected gifts of food, toys, beds, leashes, collars, etc. for needy San Juan County pets in conjunction with the Salvation Army. This year the 5th grade students at Sacred Heart School are helping out.
If you would like to get involved with either of these events, contact Kristin Langenfeld at email@example.com or call 505-325-8229.
LOCATE YOUR PET
The new Animal Services website is up and running. It's a great way for people to locate lost pets.
If you have lost your pet in the Albuquerque area, check out our website at: www.cabq.gov/animalservices and follow the prompts.
EX-COULSTON LAB NOW THE CENTER FOR CAPTIVE CHIMPANZEE CARE
In September, Alamogordo’s infamous and financially strapped research facility, the Coulston Foundation, was finally forced to close. Its 327 resident chimpanzees and monkeys-- 16 of them the famous Air Force “space chimpanzees”--were “retired” and handed over to Dr. Carole Noon’s Florida-based Center for Captive Chimpanzee Care, backed by a $3.7 million grant from the Arcus Foundation. The closure was facilitated by eight years of campaigning by the advocacy group In Defense of Animals (see Milagro Awards article on page 4), as well as Animal Protection of New Mexico.
The monkeys will be turned over to a Texas sanctuary, and Dr. Noon has begun the arduous process of socializing the long-isolated chimps. Eventually she hopes to move them to her spacious sanctuary in Florida. If you would like to donate supplies or cash to the efforts of the CCCC, please go to www.apnm.org for more information about what’s needed. And check our Spring issue for an inside view of the CCCC in Alamogordo.
TIME TO END COCKFIGHTING IN NEW MEXICO
by Danielle Bays
They don't look like Foghorn Leghorn or any rooster we might, as a child, have imagined living on the mythical Old MacDonald's farm. Their distinctive red crowns and wattles are sheared off at an early age, as they'd get bloody in battle and impair the fighters' vision. Ice pick-like gaffs or dagger-like knives are affixed to their heels, metal talons reminiscent of Freddy Kruger. The two males are held face to face, sparking the territorial aggression that selective breeding has heightened well beyond natural instinct. The roosters are let loose. Feather talons hack into rooster flesh causing deep and deadly wounds. When one involuntary participant tries to bow out, the handlers intervene and instigate the continuation of the fight. The losers, and even some of the winners, end up in the pile of dead or dying fighters just beyond the back door.
Add to this brutal mix a collection of spectators, calculating bets and exchanging fistfuls of cash. Then add the children who have been brought along, who learn that violence and brutality are pastimes and that life is disposable. Now place the scenario in a remote area, for even in places where bloody rooster fights are legal, cockfighters tend to stay out of the public eye. This secrecy appears to be an admission of guilt, a nod to the lack of public support for what they call "tradition."
So many people are shocked to hear that cockfighting is still legal anywhere, let alone in their own backyard. Bans on the blood sport date back to 1836 when Massachusetts enacted a law prohibiting cockfighting. Twenty-nine more states and the District of Columbia followed before the end of the century. The total number of states banning cockfighting rose to 43 plus the District of Columbia before the country entered World War II. Today, only New Mexico and Louisiana allow cockfighting.
Yet New Mexicans haven't simply accepted cockfighting. Thirteen of our 33 counties have banned the activity, as have 28 municipalities. An overwhelming majority--81 percent--of New Mexicans supported the outlawing of cockfights in a 2001 poll conducted by Albuquerque's Research & Polling, Inc. If given a choice, New Mexican voters would certainly chose a statewide ban as Oklahomans did in November when a decisive 56.2 percent voted to ban cockfighting when the question was placed on the general election ballot. Arizona voters did the same thing in 1998.
Our federal officials have even spoken out against animal fighting. Just this spring, Congress bolstered enforcement of cockfighting bans by outlawing the transport of roosters across state lines for the purpose of cockfighting. That means that our Texas neighbors will no longer be able to bring their birds to New Mexico to battle. Even Texas is strides ahead of New Mexico when it comes to cockfighting, with a ban dating back to 1907!
It is time for New Mexico to outlaw all violence against animals. A bill to ban cockfighting will be in front of our state legislators in January. To ensure the bill becomes law, your voice is needed. There are two things every compassionate New Mexican needs to do. First, get your state legislators to commit to voting for a cockfighting ban. Second, attend hearings on a cockfighting ban at the Roundhouse to show your support. Don't think this violent blood sport can be outlawed without you taking these two actions. The roosters -- and all animals that are intentionally brutalized, need you.
To learn more about what you can do to stop cockfighting, contact Animal Protection Voters at 505-954-4262 or Danielle.firstname.lastname@example.org.
Danielle Bays works to build political capital for animals through Animal Protection Voters, as well as serving as campaign manager for Animal Protection of New Mexico.
VOTERS OVERWHELMINGLY SUPPORT ANIMALS AT THE POLLS
Great news! The 2002 animal protection state ballot initiative campaigns resulted in six victories and only one defeat for the animals on November 5th.
ARIZONA: Proposition 201 -- VICTORY (20%/80%)
The defeated Proposition 201 would have expanded gambling at greyhound racing tracks, providing more profits for the abusive greyhound racing industry, which mistreats and kills thousands of dogs a year. Surplus dogs and dogs that do not meet racing standards are often shot or bludgeoned to death (see our Fall 2002 issue for more information on greyhounds and the racing industry).
ARKANSAS: Initiated Act 1--DEFEAT (38%/62%)
This act, which would have made extreme acts of animal cruelty a class D felony, failed because of propaganda disseminated by the Arkansas Farm Bureau and other animal use industries. The act also would have toughened laws against cockfighting. Opponents misinformed voters that Initiated Act 1 banned all hunting, fishing, and animal research.
FLORIDA: Amendment 10 --VICTORY (55%/45%)
Amendment 10 is a historic measure, the first to be adopted in the United States prohibiting the excessive confinement of animals on factory farms. Specifically, it bans the caging of pigs in gestation crates, tiny 2 foot by 7 foot cages in which pregnant pigs are housed for almost all of their lives, unable to even turn around, causing physical and psychological illness in these very intelligent animals.
GEORGIA: Amendment 6 --VICTORY (71%/29%)
Amendment 6 creates a special spay/neuter license plate, which will generate funds to subsidize low-cost companion animal sterilization programs, preventing the birth and inevitable euthanasia of tens of thousands of unwanted cats and dogs. Georgia is now the 19th state with an animal-friendly license plate.
OKLAHOMA: State Question 687--VICTORY (56%/44%)
SQ 687 makes Oklahoma the 48th state to ban the brutal blood sport of cockfighting, providing stiff felony penalties for its violation, leaving New Mexico and Louisiana as the only states that still allow it (read the article on cockfighting on page 15). Governor Frank Keating endorsed SQ 687, stating, "Cockfighting is cruel; it promotes illegal gambling, and it is simply embarrassing to Oklahoma to be seen as one of only a tiny handful of locations outside of the Third World where this activity is legal."
OKLAHOMA: State Question 698 --VICTORY (46%/54%)
SQ 698, an anti-animal measure, was denounced by the Daily Oklahoman as "shameful" and "dishonest." It would have amended the Oklahoma Constitution to require nearly twice the number of signatures to qualify an animal protection measure for the ballot.
WEST VIRGINIA: Sunday Hunting--VICTORY (6/6 counties rejected)
Sunday hunting, on the ballot in six Virginia counties, was soundly defeated. (In the May primaries, all 35 counties voting rejected Sunday hunting). Sundays are the only days during hunting season when hikers, campers, and other nature lovers can enjoy the outdoors without fear of being shot. Sunday hunting was opposed by a diverse coalition of farmers, wildlife advocates, and citizens. (Information provided by the Humane Society of the United States.)
If you have men who will exclude any of God's creatures from the shelter of compassion and pity, you will have men who will deal likewise with their fellow men.
-St. Francis of Assisi
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