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September 23, 2011

Talk Back: Flying Donkeys and Grateful Dogs

This week, the city council of West Hollywood banned the sale of fur within the community. It’s just the latest animal-welfare action by this forward-thinking council, which had previously taken aim at cat declawing and the sale of dogs and cats from pet stores.

It feels to me, as we begin to turn to fall, that we are gaining momentum on the fur issue. The advances are great and small, and they are all meaningful. It’s been so encouraging to see fashion designer John Bartlett speaking out against fur. And a few days ago, I wrote about O Magazine’s commitment to fur-free principles.

This week, I was so pleased to see that HSUS board member Jason Weiss, and his 8-year-old son Jonathan, went to a high-end boutique store in Pacific Palisades, Calif., to express their moral concerns about the store continuing to sell fur. The store’s owner was particularly struck by Jonathan’s concern for animals, and she heard them out. After they made the case, she told Jason yesterday that the store would discontinue selling fur. Kudos to the store owner for having the fortitude and flexibility to change, and kudos to you, Jonny, for having the courage to confront the issue.

Dog rescued from Quebec commercial breeding facility
Kathy Milani/The HSUS
One of hundreds of dogs we rescued in Canada.

That story reminds us that every one of us has a voice, even an 8-year-old boy.

While The HSUS brings power to the cause of animal protection, don’t leave it only up to us. Use your voice to speak up on important issues and live by your principles every day.

And many of you speak up by giving me plenty of great feedback on the blog.

Earlier this week, I told you about our latest deployments to help hundreds of animals in need. The HSUS joined with local groups and veterinarians to airlift 120 feral donkeys from Hawaii to sanctuary in California, and on the same day our international arm, Humane Society International, helped local officials save more than 500 neglected dogs from a commercial breeding facility in Quebec.

You can see how the donkeys’ trip went in our new video. Here are a few of your thoughts about this project:

To the Humane Society and all the helpers and caregivers: You are doing such wonderful things for God's creatures who certainly don't deserve what they had to suffer before you intervened. It made my heart sing when I read about the transfer of these donkeys to their new abode. Thank you so much. —KJ

This is a wonderful outcome—hats off to HSUS and all organizations involved in this wonderful process. —Nancy Hendrigan

I love the donkeys even if they don't fly. I fell in love with them at Black Beauty Ranch years ago. If I was younger and had more land, I would love to give 1-2 a good home. God bless the ones that work so hard to save these creatures. —Carolyn Miller

Many of you also wrote in about the Canada dog rescue:

It never fails to amaze me how forgiving these animals are. They've had hardships their entire lives, yet just hours after rescue they are wagging their tails. Just amazing. Here's to each and every one finding a wonderful forever home. And giant thanks to everything the Humane Society does, every day! —Kate Malone

There are not enough beautiful and wonderful words in the dictionary to describe this awesome, heartwarming event. Thank you Humane Society and the combined efforts of all the wonderful organizations that came together to achieve this wonderful miracle. Thank you. —Candice

Freedom! It's so good to know that these dogs will now be able to walk freely on grass, be able to have loving human contact, and be surrounded by people who genuinely care about them and their well-being...as opposed to being viewed as profit. I see the sorrow in their eyes, but I hope they know that everything will be OK. —Jessica Stehr

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