October 2008 Blog Home December 2008

27 posts from November 2008

November 13, 2008

Coming of Age for Animals

My work is a world of contrasts. I see the worst cruelty and the people who perpetrate it. And I also see the best people, who use their talents to do good. Tracie Hotchner is one of the best people. She's assembled tremendous information for the public in two wonderful books, "The Dog Bible" and "The Cat Bible," and she hosts the weekly radio shows Dog Talk and Cat Chat, which I've been lucky enough to appear on. Today, I cede space to this stellar animal advocate.

This honor of stepping into Wayne’s blog for a day has given me a rare opportunity to reflect on the long and twisting journey to where I find myself today, with two weekly national radio shows each devoted to dogs and cats. How did I get here? How did the place of dogs and cats in our culture become the center of my life?

Author and radio host Tracie Hotchner with her three dogs I grew up moving schools and cultural influences in three locations—Westport, Conn., where we had a veritable Noah’s Ark of farm animals; New York City, where our dogs walked on leashes, wore plaid jackets and traveled everywhere with us; and Rome, Italy, where the streets were filled with alley cats and household dogs were a rarity. My upbringing was filled with loved animals of every stripe at home, a family where animals inside and outside the house were shown tenderness to the point that every wild mouse or bird—as well as pet rodent or fish who expired—were given little funerals in cotton-lined boxes with a few words of farewell as we interred them in the garden graveyard.

But there was a paradox.

My passion for all creatures great and small is a road filled with contradictions. We would get out of horse-drawn carriages in Europe if the horses were not well cared for and admonish the driver; I would get off the skin-and-bones donkeys that were supposed to carry us up hillsides on Greek islands and walk alongside them (even when I weighed all of 35 pounds!). We lamented and cried when we saw bony cats and dogs slinking around garbage all over the world. But there was also the contradiction of a father who shot game with Hemingway to great social approval, an entire summer in Malaga, Spain, where my little sister and I cheered at bullfights and applauded our father who went into a bull ring with Antonio Ordonez on a dare—as well as family friends with proud trophies from African safaris lining their walls and floors in a social milieu where women had a closet of fur coats.

My own coming of age is a reflection of changing social mores and how dramatically attitudes and habits can be transformed in a matter of years. I have become a champion of everything HSUS stands for. Both because of and in spite of my unusual upbringing it explains how I’ve found myself in the privileged position of being an advocate and spokesperson for dogs and cats.

There is hope for animals in our society and often HSUS is that messenger of hope. Our uniquely American ability to evolve and change is what we need to focus on when things look bleak for animals in our towns, the farmyard or the wild. We need to appreciate how HSUS can take despair about the plight of animals and turn individual anger and frustration into collective, peaceful, effective social change.

November 12, 2008

Portrait of a Pet's Love

All animals have a story to tell and perhaps no one can tell their story more boldly than Ron Burns. Bursting with a kaleidoscope of colors, Ron's animal portraits have helped put a face to abandoned animals, and heroic ones as well.

A great friend of The HSUS and of companion animals, Ron most recently created a popular Prize, Not Fighter T-shirt to support our anti-dogfighting efforts. He's also generously donated his original work to raise funds for The HSUS, lent us his portraits to use in ads and a special line of HSUS postage stamps, and, for our smallest supporters, penned a special dog coloring page.

Here, in a moving blog exclusive, Ron shares the inspiration behind his art and his hope for homeless animals. Let me say, thanks Ron—thanks for everything.

Ron Burns and his late dog Rufus
Ron and his late dog Rufus.

From the first time I looked into the eyes of one of the best friends I’ve ever known, I wanted to share what I felt with the world. That best friend was my dog Rufus and the animal-human connection we shared is the stuff of dreams. I had rescued him from a ranch where he had been abandoned by an unknown, and would soon come to find out that he was rescuing me. I was working in corporate America, and spiritually unfulfilled with my life. When I moved to Sedona, Ariz. and began painting Rufus, life started to make sense.

After my wife, Buff, told me I was no longer allowed to sell my paintings of our “kids,” I decided to start visiting humane societies and animal shelters across the country, to paint the animals up for adoption. When the paintings sold, I returned a portion of the sale back to those animal rescue organizations, in thanks for the inspiration—it is a commitment to giving back that I continue to do with my artwork today. This dedication to my inspiration led The Humane Society of the United States to generously offer me the position of their Artist in Residence, which I humbly and gratefully accepted.

Although I am inspired by the innocence, compassion, and endless giving that orphaned, lost, or disregarded animals share with us humans, I wish there were less lonely and I-want-to-be-loved eyes looking up at me when I visit shelters. In fact, in my perfect world, there would be no dogs, cats, or critters looking for a new forever home, because they never would have lost their old one. 

Alex by Ron Burns I am truly blessed to have the opportunity to speak on behalf of the animals on issues ranging from spay and neuter to puppy mills and adoption. Millions of innocent animals are euthanized each year, because people either do not understand or choose to not care about the issues leading to pet overpopulation. If I can educate people myself, or raise money for organizations to spread the word, through my art, I feel fulfilled.

Over a year ago, Rufus left me to go over the rainbow bridge, but he still lives in my heart. His memory and boundless love constantly motivate me to keep helping thousands and hopefully millions of stray animals find their way to loving homes. If I can share even a fraction of the love Rufus gave me with animals and their people, I consider myself a success.

Remember to share your stories about what drives you in your work to protect animals. Offer a comment or send an email, and we'll post a collection of your accounts next week.

November 11, 2008

A Career of Kids and Kindness

Continuing with the guest perspectives about what drives each of us in our work to protect animals, today I’ll give the floor to Dorothy Weller, executive director of Humane Society Youth, The HSUS’s youth education division. As you’ll see, youth provide Dorothy’s inspiration. With The HSUS for more than 20 years, Dorothy has devoted her life to the welfare of animals—much of it to educating young people about kindness and respect for all animals, and activating youth into the cause. Here is her story:

I discovered my affinity for animals early on, bonding with many of the animals on my family’s dairy farm in Ohio. As a young adult I moved to Ponce, Puerto Rico, where the suffering of stray animals was overwhelming—a feeling that turned to despair bordering on helplessness upon learning there was no established local animal shelter in the area. It didn’t take long for one injured dog left lying on the street in the hot sun, unable to move for an entire afternoon, to move me to do something—not only rescuing him but with the help of other like-minded people, organizing a shelter operation from the ground up.

Soon after founding the Sociedad Protectora de Animales de Ponce, I watched with satisfaction as 15 kids from a low-income barrio joined us, dubbed themselves “Club Los Sabuesos” (which, loosely translated, means “bloodhounds sniffing out cruelty”) and fearlessly took on the challenges of promoting animal protection in their community. A contract with the city provided our initial means of funding, and established the first municipally funded animal control program on the island. As we began our rescue work the young “sabuesos” routinely ran alongside our truck in some of the roughest sections of town, passing out flyers about the shelter operation and calling out to everyone that we were there to help the animals, not harm them. They were our “security” patrol in a culture that was highly suspicious of anything that smacked of “evil” dogcatchers. They did more to establish goodwill and foster the adoption of “satos” (the local word for mutts) than anything we did as adults.

Students read The HSUS's KIND News
© Humane Society Youth
Students catch up on KIND News.

Seven years after forming the Society in Puerto Rico, life took me to Florida and Texas but not away from animal protection and humane education, working in city and community-wide youth education programs in both large and small shelter operations and ultimately the HSUS Gulf States Regional Office. In the ‘80s, a major source of satisfaction for me was helping to develop The HSUS’s Adopt-a-Classroom program from the ground up—a program that has provided millions of kids with gift copies of KIND News for nearly 25 years. Field work for The HSUS in the early ‘90s took me to dozens of investigations at cattle auctions and other livestock processing venues, taping countless acts of cruelty that, unfortunately, continue to plague us today. The whole situation left me heartsick and fueled my dedication to humane education and the fostering of empathy in our young as well as people of all ages. I’ve dedicated myself to that proposition for the past 20 years, working with many dedicated people to grow The HSUS’s humane education programs and materials. Today they’re the most widely used throughout the country and recognized for their strong messages that encourage empathy and support character education programs.

Nothing, however, in all of my many youth education experiences, has been more satisfying or productive than the results from the recent outreach initiatives of the newly established Humane Society Youth division, including the Mission: Humane program. Headed by Heidi O’Brien, director of outreach, these programs have inspired and guided thousands of kids and teens to get actively involved in animal protection issues and provide the resources and support that so many super-humane young people are hungry for.

Members of an HSUS Humane Teen club
© Humane Society Youth
Members of a Humane Teen club.

In 38 years of working in animal protection, youth outreach has always been a major focus of my endeavors to solve animal cruelty issues. It was very clear to me that without this visionary program component, significant long-term progress would be greatly diminished. While it’s been a hard fight, the rewards are what stay with me, not the least of which is the Club Los Sabuesos. All of the local “sabuesos” graduated from high school and went on to become well-respected citizens and professionals in their community, while continuing to support animal protection and other humanitarian causes. Today many of them have children and a few have grandchildren, some of whom have benefited from receiving KIND News in their classrooms. A plaque they gave to me hangs on the wall in a place of honor across from my desk and continues to inspire me and keep me going after all these years.

November 10, 2008

The Story of a Model Advocate

We each have our own reasons for why we work so hard for animals. This week I wanted to share with you just a few of these perspectives from a broad range of animal advocates. As you read these stories in the coming days, I hope you're inspired to share your own experiences. Offer a comment or send an email about what drives you, and I'll post a collection of your accounts next week.

Nigel Barker of America's Next Top Model at rally against Canadian seal hunt
© The HSUS/George
Nigel, far left, at today's rally against the Canadian seal hunt.

We'll kick things off today with some thoughts from Nigel Barker, renowned fashion photographer and judge on "America's Next Top Model." This afternoon Nigel joined The HSUS's ProtectSeals team and more than 100 advocates from the D.C. area at the Canadian Embassy for a rally against Canada's annual slaughter of seal pups for the fur trade. Nigel knows the cruelty of this hunt firsthand. This spring he used his brilliant photography skills to capture the beauty of Canada's harp seal nursery and, weeks later, the horror of the baby seals' death, juxtaposing these images in a photo exhibit and a moving documentary called "A Sealed Fate?".

With international outrage against the seal hunt growing, seal pelt prices dropping, and nearly 5,000 restaurants and retailers joining the boycott of Canadian seafood, we gathered today to help send the message that now is the time for the Canadian government to stop the commercial seal hunt for good. Let me turn it over to Nigel for more on the subject and why he's involved:

I grew up in London and was educated in the rural countryside of England and no matter the location I was always surrounded by animals. At school we had an active farm where I volunteered and at home we had our own zoo made up of dogs, cats, mice, rabbits and fish. My parents were keen for my siblings and I to grow up loving animals and understanding how important they are in the community. It's funny because every photo of me as a child, I am holding a lizard, a beetle, a spider, or cuddling a dog. I dreamed of studying marine biology or zoology at university, my heroes were Sir David Attenborough and Jacques Cousteau, but that didn't happen... Instead I started a modeling career and in the mid '90s a photography career, establishing my own studio in New York City.

Fast forward to now and I have been very fortunate. I am married with a son called Jack and a daughter due imminently, "America's Next Top Model" is filming its twelfth season, and earlier this year I was invited to become a spokesperson for The Humane Society of The United States. The thought of being able to use my ability as a photographer to celebrate animals was a dream come true. Also to be able to direct the celebrity I had garnered from 12 seasons of a hit show to helping animals in need is extremely rewarding. Animals can't speak up for themselves, so with the use of photography I can help give them a voice.

Photo of baby harp seal by Nigel Barker
© Nigel Barker
One of Nigel's photographs from the harp seal nursery in March.

In March of this year I flew up to the ice floes of Eastern Canada with The HSUS to witness, in my opinion, one of the wonders of the world. The largest mammalian birthing ground on Earth. Millions of harp seals gather annually in the Gulf of St. Lawrence to give birth to their "white coat" pups. It's an incredible sight and one that you'll never forget. Tragically and barbarically, hundreds of thousands of these seals aged 12 days-plus are slaughtered in the most brutal of manners using spiked clubs called hakapiks. So not only was my team and I there to document and photograph the spectacular baby white coat nursery on the frozen ice-scapes off Newfoundland, but we returned to the ice two weeks later to film the ensuing horror of these helpless creatures being bludgeoned to death for their fur. The methods employed by the hunters to kill the seals would cause such unrest if used on land that it makes even the strongest of us shudder. I witnessed personally many young seals being skinned alive as they were merely unconscious, not dead, at the time of skinning. The checks the Canadian government has in place were rarely to never demonstrated and that was when the fishermen knew they were being filmed...

In this day and age there can be no excuse for this type of atrocity. Stating financial hardship, economic woes or a country's right to hunt in a manner it has for hundreds of years are simply not good enough answers. Yes, local fisherman make approximately $2,000 a year from sealing, but that doesn't justify the manner in which these innocent animals are killed. Yes, hunters have used hakapiks to kill seals for generations, but there are many things we used to do that we have stopped or changed, as we now know better. The concept that the young men who hunt the seals can go home and comfortably sit in front of their families is deeply worrying to me. I believe the Canadian government owes it to its citizens to offer alternatives so that there can be no excuse to continue this hunt.

Every photographer, journalist and witness who traveled up to Canada to see the white coat seal pups left the ice with that once in a lifetime experience. I truly believe that the birth of the seals could be marketed as an ecotourism opportunity similar in nature to the whale watching programs that bring in millions of dollars for Canada. I would like to see the sealers' licenses be bought out by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans and a concerted effort made to revitalize the coastal regions of Eastern Canada. Canada is considered by most people around the world as a stalwart on environmental matters and this act of barbarity is an unnecessary smear on an otherwise good reputation.

I personally will not stop nor sleep well until I know we have stopped this horrendous slaughter. I invite you to sign the HSUS pledge calling on the Canadian government to ban the seal hunt and to boycott Canadian seafood products in supermarkets and restaurants wherever you are. Together we can stop this.

November 07, 2008

Talk Back: Election Elation

I just returned last night from California, and spoke to an assembly of our staff this morning. I told them how proud I was of their work for Prop 2 (to ban confinement of veal calves, breeding sows, and laying hens in cages and crates in California) and Question 3 to ban greyhound racing in Massachusetts, and also expressed my gratitude to our members for supporting us and for spreading the word on these measures. 

I also told them that there can be no doubt that our core values are mainstream sensibilities. It is the people who advocate for cruelty who are on the margins. The people in these states trust us and our judgment, and that is a solemn responsibility for us. I assured them that we must always keep the trust of the people of our nation.

These victories should give us hope that change is in the air. We have now helped to pass 91 news laws in the states this year (a record, eclipsing last year's prior record of 86 new laws), with the addition of these two statewide propositions. We are changing the world together, and it is important that we take stock of this progress and gather even greater strength for the battles ahead.

Here is some of your euphoric feedback.

Sometimes it is hard to live in this world as an animal lover with all the cruelty that goes on--it can be too much for a heart to bare. But then something like this happens and it gives me hope that most humans do care and that we can make this world a better place for animals. With greyhound racing being abolished in my state and with this factory farm bill passing, this election has definitely restored my hope in America!!! —Diane Field

What a monumental evening for animals and the people that love them! From coast to coast, I am so proud that Americans have stood up for the wonderful animals that bring so much to our lives. A big thank you to HSUS for being a driving force behind these initiatives. Your advocacy is so critical to bring these issues to light and I am thankful that we can all work together in a variety of ways on behalf of those who cannot speak for themselves. Congratulations! —Simran Noon, San Diego, CA

Thank YOU! I don't know when the last time was that there were tears of joy in my eyes. Watching the victories of Proposition 2 in California and Massachusetts' Question 3, as well as the defeat of Arizona's Proposition 105, fills my entire being with unrestrained joy. This morning, I'm so proud that Americans have voted so strongly with the compassion and care that is in their hearts. The animals’ voices truly have spoken, through our human hands. —Stacy Thomas

CONGRATULATIONS, WAYNE!!!! And congrats to us all— the animals have won! Wayne, I so appreciate all you've done for the HSUS and for giving us such great, easy, user-friendly opportunities to voice our opinions and change the laws! —Michelle Landes

In response to Prop 2’s passing, specifically:

The Humane Society, its members, and all who voted for Prop 2 have truly improved how farm animals are viewed and treated. This will have the largest positive impact on animal welfare in history since it will eventually spread nationwide. We are all very proud that HSUS led the way. —Richard Mains

Words cannot describe how deeply grateful I am for all of your tireless efforts to get Prop 2 passed in CA. This is such a meaningful and purposeful day for the animals, such a tremendous victory in fighting the cruelty to our innocent animals that sacrifice their lives for us. You have brought awareness to an ethical issue that a majority of this country still does not want to believe. You have trampled down the greed and corruption of the farming industry. YOU DID IT!! I live in N.J. and was so disappointed I couldn't vote on this issue myself—but I called and emailed all friends and family in CA to urge them to vote on this! Thank you, thank you—thank you so very much for your compassion, your fundraising efforts and for all the selfless diligent work to make this possible. YOU HAVE SUCCEEDED!! FANTASTIC JOB!!! —Victoria F.

Congratulations California! And on behalf of those millions of animals whose lives who have been made more bearable, THANK YOU! —Nancy

What big farming corporations didn't realize is that average Americans don't want cruel conditions and inhumane treatment of animals in order to get “cheaper food.” It's time America brought back some humanity to the farm animals who undeservedly had it taken away from them in the name of profit. Proposition 2 will pass without a doubt because it's fate is in the hands of ordinary citizens who have heart and who care and will undoubtedly show that they want change, not just for themselves, but for their animal friends as well. Early congratulations on Prop 2!! —Penny Moon, Aviston, IL

Continue reading "Talk Back: Election Elation" »

November 06, 2008

Yes We Can (Adopt)

Click here to thank the Obama family.

I’ll be blogging in the coming weeks and months about the new administration, and the appointments of President-elect Obama will have enormous implications for our policy work in animal protection, particularly his appointments for the top positions at the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Department of Interior. There will also be a raft of new senators and representatives in Congress, most of them Democrats, and we will be excited to share our agenda for the 111th Congress with them.

But for now I wanted to congratulate and welcome Barack Obama, and ask you to join me in signing this online thank you card. Mr. Obama and his wife Michelle had previously announced they would adopt the puppy they’d promised to their daughters—and here’s a chance to show our gratitude for that right choice. This is, after all, National Animal Shelter Appreciation Week, the perfect time to highlight the importance of adopting animals from shelters.

November 05, 2008

Further Reflections

When it comes to the political cycle, I didn't think it could get better for us than the last general election. Two years ago, we went head to head with the NRA and the rest of the extremist segment of the hunting lobby over dove hunting in Michigan and put a stop to dove hunting by securing 69 percent of the vote, winning every one of the 83 counties in Michigan. In Arizona, we went head to head with the agribusiness lobby and defeated them 62 to 38 on a measure to ban veal and gestation crates, despite a $2.5 million campaign against us.

White and tan greyhound
© iStockphoto

But with yesterday's victories, we have now rivaled the outcomes of November 2006. We banned greyhound racing in Massachusetts, with the inspired efforts of Carey Theil and Christine Dorchak of Grey2K USA and also our friends at the MSPCA. And in California, despite a $9 million advertising campaign against us by agribusiness companies throughout the nation, we garnered 63.3 percent of the vote on Prop 2, winning 46 of 58 counties in California.  We won throughout California—and with every demographic group in this very diverse state.

More than six million Californians rejected the fear-mongering campaign of the opponents of Prop 2 when they cast their ballots for farm animals. We are so grateful to them for siding with us and for doing something good for animals. And we are grateful to the thousands of volunteers who collected signatures, wrote letters, talked to friends, and campaigned for this remarkable outcome; these volunteers gave millions of Californians the opportunity to make the right decision.

After Question 3 takes effect in a little more than a year in Massachusetts, no dog will ever be treated like a racing machine and discarded or abandoned simply for not being "fast enough." And soon, very soon, in California, we'll see a new approach to animal care take root in agriculture, one with sweeping consequences for the rest of the nation.

YES! on Prop 2's Kath Rogers, center, gets out the vote
(and celebrates her birthday today with a Prop 2 win).

These outcomes are yet another measure of the entirely unique capability that The HSUS has in confronting institutionalized cruelty. There's not another group in the nation—in animal protection or any other field—with the tools and capabilities we possess. Under one tent, we have brought together the best political minds, field organizers, litigators, investigators, researchers, scientists, veterinarians, doctors, communicators, educators, and fundraisers.

When we put the machinery of The HSUS behind a campaign, watch out. Just look at the results.

I hope that you are savoring these two dramatic successes, and that you feel good about the crucial contributions you made to them as a supporter of The HSUS. I sure am. I am thankful to my colleagues, many of whom made extraordinary sacrifices to ensure the success of these ballot initiatives. I am even more proud of our members, who showed faith in our approach and whose unbending support has made such good things possible.

The People Have Spoken: YES! on Prop 2

Friends, take a bow. Open the window and give out a whoop. Don’t hold back. Let fly the corks.

In big, bold, indelible letters, you just wrote history. Proposition 2 passed with an overwhelming majority (now more than 62 percent, with 40 percent of the vote in), despite a massive, multi-million dollar campaign by the opponents.

© iStockphoto

Life is going to get better for millions of farm animals.

And that’s thanks to so very many of you—those of you who voted for California’s Prop 2, those of you who donated time and money and support in the campaign, as well as the countless others of you who cheered from other states. This is the most ambitious ballot measure for animals ever undertaken. The energy that propelled us to victory was incredible—and that’s not overstatement. From the thousands of people who helped gather the petition signatures to put Prop 2 on the ballot to those who staffed the phone banks and knocked on doors to get out the vote, this was a show of grassroots might.

As a result, you’ve brought forth a new, more compassionate age.

Giving farm animals a little extra room to stretch their limbs, to move like animals should, is a small matter for us humans. But it’s a very big thing for a hen who would otherwise be confined with a half-dozen other birds in a cage about as big as a filing cabinet for her whole life. It’s a really big thing for a sow who would otherwise be stuck in a crate so small she couldn’t turn around. It’s a way big thing for a calf who would spend life chained inside a miserably tiny crate.

© Tony Chang
With hundreds of  Prop 2 supporters gathered in Los Angeles.

Prop 2 will phase out those inexcusable confinement systems and usher in a new era. No state in the U.S. and no Agribusiness titan anywhere in the nation can overlook this mandate: people do not want their farm animals treated with wanton cruelty.

This proposition follows less sweeping but still significant ballot measures passed in Florida and Arizona in recent years. The trend is unmistakable, and it’s time for agriculture and those other businesses in the food chain to drop the last of their opposition and implement the future, starting now. That’s what animals deserve; that’s what voters insist upon. At The Humane Society of the United States, we’ll be ready to go to work tomorrow to make it happen.

Let me say plainly: We’ll engage constructively with farmers and businesses that take responsible steps to improve the welfare of animals. The others, unfortunately, will learn their lessons the hard way—beginning with the wrath of consumers. There is no valor in defending the abuse of animals.

For now, though, grab someone close by and give them a hug. In disturbing economic times against a deceitful, fear-mongering $9 million campaign directed by the regressive egg industry, millions of California voters chose stewardship, responsibility, mercy, care and selflessness.

Bay State Bans Dog Racing

I wanted to share with you the statement that The HSUS just released on Question 3 in Massachusetts. My thanks to all of you who were involved in this campaign and helped to get out the vote and offer greyhounds your support. Stay tuned for the latest from California.

Mass. Voters Say ‘Yes’ to Ending Greyhound Racing
November 4, 2008

Bay State voters passed Question 3 today, which will phase out the inhumane practice of greyhound racing by 2010. The measure is now winning 57 – 43 percent. Since 2002, there have been 841 reported injuries at the two Massachusetts tracks, and 80 percent of those injuries were broken legs.

Grey2K USA, the MSPCA, and The Humane Society of the United States were the primary sponsors of Question 3, and The HSUS was the largest financial backer of the ballot measure.

"This is a fantastic win for dogs in Massachusetts and it marks the demise of an industry that exploits dogs for entertainment and profit," said HSUS President and CEO Wayne Pacelle. "We are so grateful to the people of Massachusetts for establishing this humane policy."

At these tracks, greyhounds endure lives of terrible confinement, kept in small cages barely large enough to stand up or turn around for 20 or more hours per day. In recent years, the total amount gambled at the only two greyhound race tracks in Massachusetts declined by 65 percent and 37 percent.

Christine Dorchak, president and general counsel of Grey2K USA and author of the ballot question, said "tonight compassion overcame cruelty. Massachusetts voters stood up for dogs and sent a clear message we in Massachusetts will no longer tolerate an industry that causes thousands of dogs to suffer terrible confinement at racetracks."

This humane law was backed by dozens of community leaders, including The HSUS, Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, GREY2K USA, the Massachusetts Council of Churches, every major animal shelter in Massachusetts, dozens of lawmakers and nearly 70 Massachusetts veterinarians.

"Massachusetts voters said dogs matter. We dedicate this victory to those dogs who have died on Massachusetts tracks and also to those who will not have to in the future," said Carter Luke, president of the Massachusetts SPCA.

November 04, 2008

Early Returns for California's Prop 2

The first returns have been reported, and we are winning the vote on Prop 2! With 10 percent of the vote in, we are leading 62.5 percent to 37.5 percent. We haven't called the election yet, but the first results are promising.