Laughing together, and standing up for animals

By on June 24, 2019 with 0 Comments

Almost a week later, many of us are still smiling. That’s how much fun we had at our HSUS Stand Up for Animals event last Wednesday night at the Avalon Hollywood in Los Angeles. It was a memorable night, as host Carol Leifer, along with fellow comedians Jay Leno, Feraz Ozel and Sarah Silverman, kept hundreds of friends and supporters of the HSUS laughing the whole time. The evening’s proceeds went directly to support the full range of HSUS programs, helping companion animals, farm animals, wildlife and animals in laboratories, among others. It wasn’t just a fun evening; it was a shot in the arm.

There’s something special about humor, as the comedian and political speechwriter Robert Orben once observed: “If you can laugh together, you can work together.” At Stand Up for Animals, Jay Leno may have said it best. “In these divisive times there’s one thing that brings all people together; republican, democrat, libertarian, no matter what you are, and that’s animals. I mean, all humans just have a need for animals. They help cure people, they help us have fun, they put us in a good mood, and here’s a chance for us to do something for them.”

Feraz Ozel sounded a similar note, stating simply, “Animal welfare is something everyone should be able to get behind. The Humane Society does essential work!”

Jay, Feraz and Sarah were there not simply because they all love animals and want to help them. They were also there because of their respect for and their close ties with Carol Leifer, who with her wife Lori Wolf, has been a stalwart friend and supporter of the HSUS for years. Carol was the magnet for this event and what a magnet she was, drawing together a handful of friends who happen to number among the greatest comedians around. Carol may be best known as a four-time Emmy nominee and a current writer and producer for HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm, but it’s her compassion for animals that truly defines her.

Last year Carol hosted the first comedy show for us bringing together the talented Paul Reiser, Arsenio Hall and Kevin Nealon. It was such a success that I asked her to do it again. We could not be more appreciative for all that she has done and I’m personally delighted to learn that Carol had so much fun doing the show that she’s thinking of taking it on the road with us in the future.

The day-to-day work we do carries great challenges, the challenges of having to face animal cruelty directly, of having to operate on a frequently grim landscape for animals in the world and of having to fend off a disturbing array of threats. Given that burden, it’s good to be able to come together with friends and laugh a little. We’re grateful to Jay, Feraz and Sarah for standing up with us to help animals, and we’re especially indebted to Carol for giving so generously of herself and bringing us all together for a splendid evening of joy and laughter for a good cause.

Arizona moves to ban wildlife killing contests

By on June 21, 2019 with 0 Comments
Arizona moves to ban wildlife killing contests

Arizona’s Game and Fish Commission has voted to ban wildlife killing contests: gruesome spectacles in which participants vie for cash and prizes for killing the most or heaviest animals within a specific time period. This is a wonderful development because Arizona has been the site . . . 

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Breaking news: Canada bans shark finning and shark fin trade

By on June 20, 2019 with 1 Comment
Breaking news: Canada bans shark finning and shark fin trade

Canada, the largest importer of shark fins outside Asia, has passed a landmark bill that includes measures to prohibit the trade in shark fins nationally as well as finning in Canadian waters. Humane Society International/Canada joined Canada’s Minister of Fisheries and the Canadian Coast Guard . . . 

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Dog meat ‘festival’ begins in Yulin, China; Activists rescue 62 dogs from slaughterhouse

By on June 19, 2019 with 1 Comment
Dog meat ‘festival’ begins in Yulin, China; Activists rescue 62 dogs from slaughterhouse

The dog meat festival in Yulin, China, begins this Friday. However, dogs and cats, either stolen from their owners or plucked from the streets, are already being mercilessly bludgeoned to death or electrocuted before being cooked and served up as food in the city’s restaurants. . . . 

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EPA gives factory farms a free pass on toxic air emissions

By on June 18, 2019 with 1 Comment
EPA gives factory farms a free pass on toxic air emissions

By Kitty Block and Sara Amundson In an unlawful move, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has decided to exempt massive factory farms from reporting their toxic air emissions — released from animal waste created by these facilities — to state and local authorities. The rule, . . . 

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Horse deaths at Santa Anita underscore need for racing reform nationwide

By on June 17, 2019 with 1 Comment
Horse deaths at Santa Anita underscore need for racing reform nationwide

By Kitty Block and Sara Amundson The number of horses dying at the Santa Anita racetrack in California since December 2018 has led to widespread concern in the horseracing world and beyond, and prompted California Gov. Gavin Newsom to call for closing the racetrack until . . . 

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HSUS rescues nearly 200 cats, several dogs from alleged neglect situation in Texas

By on June 14, 2019 with 3 Comments
HSUS rescues nearly 200 cats, several dogs from alleged neglect situation in Texas

It was the smell that hit them the hardest as staff members from our Animal Rescue Team entered a house in Killeen, Texas, this morning, to help local law enforcement agents remove nearly 200 cats and kittens and several dogs from a situation of alleged . . . 

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Instead of cleaning house, Petland wages a losing battle against puppy mill reform

By on June 13, 2019 with 1 Comment
Instead of cleaning house, Petland wages a losing battle against puppy mill reform

Our eight-month investigation into six Petland stores has revealed heartbreaking stories of puppy mistreatment and deaths. It has led to hundreds of customers contacting us with personal stories of buying animals from Petland, only to have them fall sick and even die; it has caused . . . 

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Oregon passes controversial plan to set the stage for trophy hunting of wolves

By on June 11, 2019 with 23 Comments
Oregon passes controversial plan to set the stage for trophy hunting of wolves

Oregon has just made it easier for trophy hunters and trappers to go after the state’s small population of wolves. In a move strenuously opposed by scientists, environmentalists and animal protection groups, the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission on Friday updated its Wolf Conservation and . . . 

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Breaking news: Canada bans captivity of whales and dolphins for entertainment

By on June 10, 2019 with 7 Comments
Breaking news: Canada bans captivity of whales and dolphins for entertainment

In a powerful affirmation of the rising global tide against the use of marine animals in performing acts, Canadian lawmakers today voted to end the captivity of whales, dolphins and porpoises for entertainment. The Ending the Captivity of Whales and Dolphins Act or the “Free . . . 

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China takes a step toward joining global cruelty-free cosmetics revolution

By on June 7, 2019 with 1 Comment
China takes a step toward joining global cruelty-free cosmetics revolution

China has, for a long time, been on the sidelines of the global campaign to end animal testing for cosmetics. Animal tests have, in fact, been a legal requirement for many types of cosmetics made and imported into China, and authorities have traditionally required pre-market . . . 

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No science behind war on wolves, coyotes

By on June 6, 2019 with 6 Comments
No science behind war on wolves, coyotes

Scientists have long cautioned against the indiscriminate hunting of wolves because of the harmful effects it can have on the natural balance of an ecosystem. But this has not stopped states or the federal government from conducting a war on these beautiful native carnivores. The . . . 

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