Since our Animal Blog, in its' previous incarnation, had some wonderful posts, we thought it was important to move a selection of the old posts across to get things started on this site. You can see these posts below.
The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) and private physicians are asking local prosecutors to stop animal abuse at Johns Hopkins University and the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Maryland.
PCRM, along with Martin Wasserman, a pediatrician, and his wife Barbara, an internist, who are both graduates of Johns Hopkins’ medical school, are arguing that the use of live animals at both schools to practice surgery and other techniques not only causes unnecessary suffering, but is in violation of the state’s animal cruelty laws.
The two schools are among a very small number of programs that still use live animals to teach students, as most have made the switch to simulators. According to PCRM, Johns Hopkins already has one and USUHS could use of the National Capital Area Medical Simulation Center.
“Simulation is not just an alternative but better training" as well as "an opportunity to teach medical students about compassion," said Wasserman.
Wasserman, who also happens to have a law degree, points out that while animals used in research are exempt from state law, it does not exempt animals who are used in surgery or who are used for students to practice on.
Animals, such as pigs and gerbils, are used to teach students surgical, suturing and intubation techniques, among other things.
For some reason, these schools are sticking with tradition instead of joining the majority of accredited medical school programs in the use of alternatives, while clutching the thin argument that they’re following applicable laws and guidelines.
A spokesman for the state attorney's office said they received the request for an investigation and will determine what to do after they review it.
Send a letter to Dean Edward D. Miller, M.D., and Chair of the Department of Surgery, Julie A. Freischlag, M.D., at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine asking them to stop letting students practice on live animals.
Japan Rescuers Pull Together To Save Pets
While international relief organizations are pouring into Japan to help people after the catastrophic earthquake and tsunami, a handful of animal welfare groups are pulling together to take care of the nation’s displaced pets.
Japan is a country that loves pets so it is no surprise that rescue groups have teamed up to help the estimated thousands of cats, dogs and other animals that were injured or left homeless after the quake.
Assisting pets after a natural disaster is nothing new for Animal Refuge Kansai (ARK.) The organization which has locations in Tokyo and Osaka took in 600 animals after the Great Hanshin earthquake in 1995.
Elizabeth Oliver who chairs the group said, “Here at ARK we are preparing for what might be a huge influx of animals. We already have some facilities in place and a team of experienced staff able to deal with traumatised animals. We may have to build emergency shelters as well.”
Ms. Oliver explained that rescuing many of the animals will be more difficult than the previous earthquake.
“The logistics of getting animals from the Tohoku/Sendai area is immense since roads and other transport links have been cut and may take time to restore. Our only means to get animals down to Osaka may be by helicopter, which was one method we used after the Kobe earthquake.”
Three other rescue groups have joined together to save animals.
Japan Earthquake Animal Rescue and Support is a collaboration of 3 No-Kill animal welfare organizations in Japan: HEART – Tokushima, Animal Friends Niigata and Japan Cat Network. The coalition quickly joined forces after the disaster struck.
Japan Cat Network posted on their website, “We are all greatly saddened and have been continually horrified by news of the devastation, following the recent earthquake here in Japan. We, the kitties at the JCN Kansai shelter, and the shelter itself, are all fine. However, we remain very concerned about the animals in the severely affected areas who may be overlooked in the midst of so much immediate need to address human concerns. We are working with two other no-kill organizations to coordinate plans for getting animals from these areas out to safety, and have already begun helping people with pets in crisis.”
Organizations outside of Japan are coming to the aid of injured and homeless pets. World Veterinary Association, a nonprofit organization that provides global veterinary care has sent a first-responder team to treat animals.
The World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) is sending their own team of veterinarians on Tuesday. Their goal is to help pets whose
families can't take care of them while they are being housed in temporary emergency shelters.
Dr. Ian Dacre and Dr. Damian Woodberry from WSPA are both veterans at saving animals after natural disasters.
The vets also have a meeting with the Japanese Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries to save wildlife caught in the aftermath of the quake and tsunami.
WSPA is coordinating their efforts with Kanagawa Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals – another Japanese based organization.
And as with every disaster, heroes from the Search Dog Foundation are already on the ground with six Canine Disaster Search Teams locating people who are trapped in fallen buildings and other debris.
Melissa Breyer link (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Ways to Help Japan's Animals-
So many of us want to do what we can to help the victims of Japan’s catastrophe, and fortunately there are numerous ways to do so that are being widely publicized. But what about the animals? They may not be first and foremost on many people’s minds, but I can’t stop thinking about them. The Conscious Cat has collected a group of places where you can give your support to the four-legged victims, here are the recommendations:
• World Vets is a non-government organization (NGO) providing veterinary aid around the globe in collaboration with animal advocacy groups, foreign governments, US and foreign military groups and veterinary professionals abroad. They are getting supplies and a first responder team ready to deploy to Japan.
• The American Humane Association’s Red Star Animal Emergency Services Team is monitoring the situation closely and is reaching out to its international partners in order to provide a joint response to this global emergency.
• The National Disaster Search Dog Foundation has deployed search and rescue teams to Japan.
• The Animal Refuge Kansai is an organization in Kansai, Japan, that is preparing for a huge influx of animals from the disaster areas.
• Japan Cat Network, together with Heart Tokushima and Animal Friends Niigata has formed Japan Animal Rescue and Support.
• The Animal Miracle Network Foundation is collecting cell phones to send to volunteers helping animals in Japan.
Many thanks to The Conscious Cat, and you can check back at their site for regular updates.
Read more: http://www.care2.com/greenliving/help-japans-animals.html#ixzz1GlG0Sn8O
6/4/2011 Stephen Messenger
Although it has been well over three decades since Georgie Seccombe first met Sally, a baby chimpanzee that had been rejected by her mother at a nearby zoo -- the passing of time has done little to weaken the bond they formed back then. Their story begins in the 1970s, when Georgie's husband, the head-zookeeper, brought home orphaned Sally as a way to offer the animal a chance at life. Over the next two years, Georgie served as foster mother to the young chimp, hand-raising and doting on her with the affection she required. Eventually, Sally was relocated to be among her kind and the pair lost touch. Just recently, however, now 95-year-old Georgie and 38-year-old Sally had occasion to reunite -- and it seems in all that time they haven't missed a beat.
Georgie, now well into her Golden Years, recently made it to Sally's home for a visit with her former ward after decades apart. Despite the fact that Sally has been residing at New Zealand's Hamilton Zoo, among other chimps for most of her life, the memories of her earliest years with her foster mother have yet to escape her mind.
"She's just really lovely. She knew my voice straight away. She was up on a hill and I called out 'hey Sal' and she came bounding down," Georgie told The Waikato Times. "They are really intelligent," she added, as proud mothers are prone to do.
Sally's keeper at the facility, primate specialist John Ray, says that he was "blown away" by the chimpanzee's ability to recognize her foster mother after so many years. "[To] be part of this reunion has been an incredible experience."
Some might question to what extent the emotional experience of primates mirrors our own, but for those who work with chimps on a daily basis, their feelings are often as transparent as ours.
"She got very excited. When she gets excited she'll do a bit of a dance, put her hands in the air, reach out to people that she wants to get closer to ... It's her happy dance, which she did when she saw Georgie," Ray told The New Zealand Herald.
It could be said that the less-than-human status of primates like chimpanzees is what makes them subject to the less-than-humane treatment they experience in their ever-dwindling natural habitats -- or worse, in test labs throughout the world -- but both formal research and informal observations seem to challenge these notions of a profound difference between our species.
Such realizations aren't uncommon in folks like Georgie, who opened her heart and home to an orphaned chimpanzee decades ago, or Sally for that matter as the beneficiary of this uncommon-human bond.
Reflecting on the experience after being reunited with the chimp she raised for a time in the 1970s, for Georgie it seems the words and labels that divide human and animal emotions lose their footing in light of their bond -- a lesson so simply expressed by the oldest and wisest among us.
"It was pretty hard to give her back," says Georgie. "She's just like a human being."
Dog Washed out to sea for three weeks on rooftop by Tsunami reunited happily with owner! (clip posted on Animal Welfare and Info Page)
Out of the rubble of earthquake- and tsunami-devastated Japan comes a happy tale!
On Friday, April 1, while the search continued for survivors, a brown mixed breed dog was found floating on the roof of a house washed out to sea about one mile by the tsunami wave. It is believed the canine may have been surviving there for the past three weeks.
It took the Japanese Coast Guard--aided by U.S. rescuers on the scene--several hours to rescue the pup. Initially, a helicopter lowered a man to the rooftop, but he was unable to coax the shy dog into joining him. As the helicopter started running low on fuel, the project was turned over to coast guard personnel in a nearby boat. Mission successful!
The initial hope of the helicopter crew was that the dog would lead them to his humans, but none were found among the debris.
Local news reported on the amazing discovery and then the unexpected happened. The dog's owners saw the broadcast and delightfully claimed their beloved dog. His name is Ban and he is two years old. The owners wish to remain anonymous.
After the horrors of experiencing such a natural disaster, this story is giving hope to those searching for their loved ones. The expectation of finding many alive after three weeks is diminishing. Ban's special rescue warms the heart.