Archives for Speaking of Compassion

Teddy’s Law:  The good, the bad, and what we should do next

Teddy’s Law, recently signed into law by the Governor, was drafted so that dogs and cats used in laboratories can be adopted, instead of killed, when no longer of use. Big thanks to the lead sponsors, Senators Hertel and Polehanki, for working their hearts out to save animals who sacrifice so much. However, there were changes made before final passage that need our attention. Two bills were written to create Teddy’s Law: HB 148 requiring basic reporting on the number of animals used and released for adoption HB 149 requiring adoptions of research dogs & cats when no longer of
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Animals and COVID-19

As you may have recently heard in the news, a tiger in the Bronx zoo became mildly ill and tested positive for COVID-19. There have also been media reports about a small study just published suggesting that domestic cats are susceptible. Dogs may be vulnerable too, but the evidence points to this being less likely. In this study, a few cats and kittens were injected with mega doses of the virus, contracted the disease and infected other cats. Understandably, these stories are adding to the confusion and worry about how to keep ourselves and our animals safe.  But neither the zoo
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For those crying Wolf

If you’ve heard of Ann Arbor’s annual deer killing you have probably heard that deer are overpopulated due to a loss of natural predators, specifically wolves, leaving us no choice but to hire sharpshooters. Since it continues to be repeated by elected officials as the basis for expensive public policy, I guess it’s time to stop rolling my eyes and to review a bit of wolf history and explain why wolves are not at the root of our problem and could never be part of the solution. It is true that wolves once roamed our entire nation, including our state
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Food for Thought

Did you know that HSHV is a vegetarian organization? We don’t ever use donor money or sponsor events that entail meat (for human consumption, that is; feeding animals is a bit trickier) and are careful to avoid or to consider the sourcing of other animal-based food and products. We do this because not eating animals is another way we can help save lives. We do it also because of the rampant and pervasive cruelty in the industrialized farming industry, known as factory farming. It isn’t our job to tell folks what to eat, but it is our responsibility to increase
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In defense of the powerless

As Americans, we treasure our right to free speech and peaceably assemble. As animal lovers, we depend on these rights to speak out for those who can’t do so for themselves. Throughout history, sentient but defenseless animals have been treated as inanimate objects, used and abused by anyone with the desire to do so. Though we still have a long way to go, from wildlife to animals kept in confinement, protections from unnecessary suffering and mass extinction only exist because of courageous and compassionate people willing to stand up for them. Recently, members of Ann Arbor City Council tried to
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What would your dog’s note say?

Recently a news story about an abandoned puppy in Michigan “went viral” because of a sad note attached to that pup.  The note told a story of an owner who had a stroke and a puppy needing a new home because of it. While this is a heart-breaking situation, it is also very common.  This easily happens hundreds of times a day in Michigan alone.  The reality is that our companion animals get stuck in the crosshairs of our messy lives. The part of the note that bothered me was at the end, it read “Please don’t take me to
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One way to pick Michigan politicians: See how they treat animals

Gubernatorial candidate, Shri Thanedar, recently received some negative publicity regarding lab animals (beagles and monkeys) used at his former research facility.  The company filed for bankruptcy and the animals were abandoned, locked in the building with no care.  They were saved by former lab workers who broke into the building to provide food and water, and rescue groups who found placements in homes and sanctuaries.  The candidate claimed he was an animal lover and blamed the bank that foreclosed on the property. Political candidates face much public scrutiny to help voters understand their ability to lead.  Though very occasionally an inflammatory
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Adopter beware:  The word “rescue” may not mean what you think it means.

Recently the Washington Post investigated the alarming practice of so-called “rescue” groups buying puppies at auction from commercial breeders, known as puppy mills. Here’s what we know about the puppy mill industry:  Nearly all pups that come from a commercial breeder are the result of emotional and physical torture. Breeder dogs are kept in cruel conditions: tiny, dirty, wire-bottom cages, where they are treated as machines of production, churning out litter after litter. They receive no human companionship or comfort. They are barely able to move, let alone run or play. A sickening joke played on “man’s best friend.” Here’s what we know
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A call to the wild

On one of my first days at HSHV (nearly 13 years ago), I watched one of our Field Rescue staff deftly combing burrs and bugs off a small, young hedgehog. He had freed the poor critter from a fence in which she was stuck and then brought her back to HSHV to check for injuries. After making her a little better off than before he found her, he released her back into the wild. “Life is tough for wild animals” is something he repeated often. A very simple statement that carries heavy weight. During this severe cold snap, I think
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