Colorado lawmakers are trying to save wild cats by banning trophy hunting

By on January 19, 2022 with 0 Comments

Earlier this month, an emaciated mountain lion found his way into a condominium complex in Vail, Colorado. Images show a very scared, skinny cat with light spots, indicating that he was still very young and not old enough to survive on his own. This mountain lion, with no mother in sight, was likely starving to death as a result of being orphaned. Instead of sending him to a wildlife rehabilitation center, law enforcement officials killed him.

In 2019, when a trail runner in Fort Collins killed a mountain lion kitten in self-defense, Colorado Parks and Wildlife data showed that three adult female mountain lions had recently been killed in the area—two by trophy hunters and one in response to a livestock loss. The evidence made clear that the dead kitten, and two of his littermates later discovered by authorities, were in fact orphaned, with vegetation in their bellies, not something cats can digest. They had been desperate, eating anything they could find to survive.

Trophy hunting of wild cats is incredibly cruel, harming not only the individual cats who are maimed or killed, but also their entire social communities. When a trophy hunter kills a mother bobcat or mountain lion, her kittens are left to fend for themselves. Orphaned wild kittens often come into close contact with humans or starve to death without the care of their mothers. This terrible fate is preventable. Yet, as long as the trophy hunting of these animals occurs, the stories of wandering, orphaned kittens coming into close contact with humans will just keep surfacing.

Thankfully, people are joining us in our efforts to stop this injustice. Lawmakers in Colorado recently introduced Senate Bill 31 to end the trophy hunting of wild cats throughout the state. We at the Humane Society of the United States are leading the campaign to support this groundbreaking legislation, working closely with our bill sponsors to draft SB 31 and coordinating a large coalition to help pass this bill. If passed, SB 31 will end the recreational hunting of mountain lions and bobcats in Colorado, which would be groundbreaking progress in our fight to protect wild cats from trophy hunters. Currently, hunters are permitted to kill hundreds of mountain lions and thousands of bobcats in Colorado each year for nothing more than a trophy or bragging rights. These hunts can not only lead to wildlife conflicts with humans and livestock but are grisly acts in themselves. Hunters typically chase the cats down with packs of hounds, and bobcats are frequently trapped and then shot at close range to preserve their soft belly fur which is then sold on overseas markets.

And while Canada lynx are currently protected as a “threatened” species under the U.S. Endangered Species Act, the Colorado bill also includes lynx to protect them from trophy hunting in case they lose their federal protections. While the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recently attempted to remove protections for Canada lynx, a coalition of wildlife conservation organizations recently won a lawsuit that maintained protections, for now. SB 31 ensures that Canada lynx will never be trophy hunted in Colorado, no matter their future federal status.

The majority of Colorado voters support a ban on trophy hunting of wild cats, and we are hopeful that this groundbreaking legislation will soon pass. We are so grateful, too, to the champions of this bill, a powerhouse coalition of legislators including Sen. Sonya Jaquez Lewis (Boulder County), Sen. Joann Ginal (Fort Collins), Rep. Monica Duran (Wheat Ridge) and Rep. Judy Amabile (Boulder). If you are a Colorado resident, you can reach out to these bill sponsors and thank them for introducing SB 31, and sign this action alert stating your support of this bill. Learn more about our fight to protect Colorado’s wild cats.

Follow Kitty Block on Twitter @HSUSKittyBlock

Breaking: 110 dogs saved from slaughter arrive in Canada to find homes

By on January 13, 2022 with 0 Comments
Breaking: 110 dogs saved from slaughter arrive in Canada to find homes

After a harrowing start in the world, more than 100 dogs once destined for slaughter are starting to arrive in Canada, at a temporary shelter run by Humane Society International/Canada, to start their search for new lives in loving forever homes. Each of these individuals . . . 

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By on January 12, 2022 with 0 Comments
How Petland is trying to keep puppy mills in business

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Tiger King takeaway: It’s time to end big cat breeding and trafficking

By on January 11, 2022 with 0 Comments
Tiger King takeaway: It’s time to end big cat breeding and trafficking

The original “Tiger King” Netflix series was a pandemic phenomenon with a train-wreck fascination for millions of viewers and a whole cast of unsavory characters. But the sideshow weirdness of the personalities involved kept many viewers from focusing on the big cat industry’s epidemic of cruelty.  . . . 

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HSUS colleagues make it a special holiday season for sick puppies relinquished by New York pet store

By on January 6, 2022 with 4 Comments
HSUS colleagues make it a special holiday season for sick puppies relinquished by  New York pet store

The holidays were busier and happier in at least three HSUS households this season, as colleagues stepped up to care for three puppies relinquished by the American Kennels pet store in New York City. The relinquishments of Rocky, an Akita, Rosie, a Morkie and Pogo, . . . 

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Good news to start 2022: These new laws are now in place to protect animals

By on January 5, 2022 with 2 Comments
Good news to start 2022: These new laws are now in place to protect animals

We begin our work in 2022 encouraged by the knowledge that a handful of significant animal protection laws at the state level have now taken effect across the country. That makes for a great start to a year in which we hope to extend the . . . 

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How wild animals won against trophy hunters in 2021

By on December 30, 2021 with 3 Comments
How wild animals won against trophy hunters in 2021

Every year that passes sees hundreds of thousands of wild animals in the U.S. and around the world killed by trophy hunters, whose main motivation is to display whole animals or their body parts for bragging rights. Given all the threats facing wild animals, including . . . 

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Major progress for animals in laboratories in 2021 signals a more humane future

By on December 29, 2021 with 1 Comment
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The world is moving toward a future dominated by sophisticated methods that use human cells, tissues and organs, 3D printing, robotics, computer models and other technologies to create approaches to testing and research that do not rely on animals. These methods are often faster, less . . . 

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Breaking: Massachusetts passes law to end cruel, immobilizing cages for egg-laying hens

By on December 22, 2021 with 3 Comments
Breaking: Massachusetts passes law to end cruel, immobilizing cages for egg-laying hens

Today, we celebrate great progress for egg-laying hens, which caps off a year of wins for farm animals across the country. Here’s some background about what just happened for hens in Massachusetts: In 2016, the Humane Society of the United States and a coalition of . . . 

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Breaking: Italy to shut down all fur farms and permanently ban fur farming

By on December 21, 2021 with 8 Comments
Breaking: Italy to shut down all fur farms and permanently ban fur farming

A major win for animals in Italy caps off a year of remarkable progress toward a fur-free future. Today, the Italian Senate Budget Committee approved an amendment that will shutter the country’s 10 remaining fur farms within six months and enact a permanent ban on . . . 

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Our rescuers are on the ground to save animals after deadly Kentucky tornadoes

By on December 17, 2021 with 1 Comment
Our rescuers are on the ground to save animals after deadly Kentucky tornadoes

It’s shocking how much can change in only a few moments: The tornadoes that recently struck Kentucky brought tragedy and devastation to communities. And while the recovery will take a long time, I am honored to be on the ground in Mayfield, Kentucky, to help . . . 

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Win! Puppy mills slammed with major setbacks in 2021, spelling a brighter future for dogs

By on December 15, 2021 with 2 Comments
Win! Puppy mills slammed with major setbacks in 2021, spelling a brighter future for dogs

It’s no secret that puppy and kitten mills treat dog and cat mothers and fathers like moneymaking machines, bred over and over with little to no regard for their health or well-being. It is simply no way for a dog or cat to live. The . . . 

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