For any organization, ISAR included, to engage in overpopulation and spay/neuter public education in other countries requires enormous human and financial resources. As a practical matter, with so much to be done in the United States alone little overpopulation-spay/neuter public education can currently be done abroad. But there is something that can be done to send the spay/neuter message to countless people around the world, and at no cost to American animal rights organizations or the other countries themselves.
Issuance of a spay/neuter stamp by the hundred-plus countries throughout the world.
Stamps issued by sovereign nations serve the purpose of raising the consciousness of the millions who send and receive them. Foreign commemorative stamps carrying the “Spay/Neuter” message can provide a way to educate the public about dog and cat overpopulation.
In 2016, ISAR has contacted several nations’ postal administration departments throughout the world.
We have recently learned from Yael Koskas, of the Israel Philatelic Service, that our spay/neuter stamp suggestion will be considered during their November 2016 meeting. At that time, the Israel Philatelic Service Committee will vote on upcoming stamp issues for the year 2018.
The impact of such a stamp on dog and cat population could be substantial.
We will keep you posted!
Dear Friends and Supporters:
ISAR is taking our spay/neuter billboard campaign a step further. We are targeting those who currently hold office or are running for election, with hopes that these individuals will welcome the opportunity to utilize ISAR’s billboard campaign by sponsoring the spay/neuter message for their current or would-be constituents.
To show support for this campaign please forward the following message to your elected officials, and to political candidates, and to others, who may be sympathetic to our cause.
ISAR’s brightly-colored spay/neuter billboards are an opportunity for you and/or your campaign to inform your constituents just how much the scourge of dog and cat overpopulation troubles you!
ISAR’s Spay/Neuter Billboard Campaign has proved to be an effective means of raising awareness about pet overpopulation and a major solution: mandatory spay/neuter.
In just 2016 alone, more than 60 ISAR “Spay/Neuter. It Stops the Killing” billboards have been displayed in states from California to Pennsylvania, including South Carolina, Arkansas, Kansas, West Virginia, Indiana, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Alabama, Virginia, Florida, and New Mexico. ISAR’s Spay/Neuter billboard campaign has even crossed the United States border into Niagara Falls, Canada!
Available year-round, ISAR’s eye-catching billboards are a standard 10’5″ x 22’8″ with space to include the sponsor’s name.
Political candidates wishing to have an ISAR Spay/Neuter Billboard installed in an area of their choice anywhere in the continental United States should contact ISAR.
We’ll do all the work.
We’ll contact the outdoor advertising company and find out what space is available in or around the general area you choose and for how long.
We’ll order the billboard from our vendor, once you give us the sponsoring information you want to appear on your billboard.
We’ll have the billboard shipped directly to the outdoor advertising company.
We’ll make sure the billboard has been installed when and where it’s supposed to be installed.
All you or your campaign has to do is make a contribution to ISAR covering our $125.00 cost for the poster, plus the outdoor advertising company’s charge for installation labor and space rental. Because most outdoor advertising companies have a reduced rate for 501(c)(3) organizations such as ISAR, in our experience the total cost of this effective way to spread the spay/neuter message will usually be less than $500.00.
For you as a political candidate, ISAR’s “Spay/Neuter” billboards have a dual benefit: Reminding your constituents of your concern about the awful dog and cat overpopulation problem, and helping International Society for Animal Rights spread the “Spay/Neuter” message and prevent countless puppies and kittens from being born, thus saving countless numbers from a life of disease, pain, hunger, abuse, cruelty and, ultimately for many of them, a terrible death.
What do the titles, “Why is Dodger Stadium full of dogs?”, “All About That Spay”, “What is kitten season?”, and “Pet overpopulation is not cute” have in common?
Always searching for innovative ways to enlighten the public about companion animal overpopulation, these four titles are only a few of the many videos that ISAR has compiled in our new Overpopulation Video Library. Our new Internet resource provides links to, and descriptions of, scores of YouTube videos carrying the overpopulation and spay/neuter message, furthering ISAR’s efforts to reduce cat and dog overpopulation.
Since ISAR’s founding in 1959 our organization has not wavered in our commitment to improving the lives of animals through legal, legislative and educational efforts. The latter, public education about animal rights, both theoretical and practical, has long been a primary activity of ISAR, and will continue to be an important part of our programs.
ISAR is making a difference by working with others to enlighten the world about the needless killing of dogs, cats, puppies, and kittens that sadly occurs daily around the world because there are not enough good homes for them.
A comprehensive list of overpopulation and spay/neuter-related videos can be found on ISAR’s website here: http://isaronline.org/programs/animal-rights-education/spayneuter-videos/.
We ask our supporters to share our library of educational videos with friends and family allowing ISAR to continue to be a resource, a teacher, and a voice for companion animals everywhere.
If you have a favorite spay/neuter video that you would like to share with us, we may be able to include it in our library. Please send submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
In just the last few months, more than 50 of ISAR’s striking billboards have been posted in various locations throughout the United States including California, Indiana, Tennessee, South Carolina, Oklahoma, Alabama, Virginia, West Virginia, Florida, Arkansas, Pennsylvania and New Mexico.
ISAR’s brightly-colored billboards raise awareness about the plight of pet overpopulation, and promote spaying and neutering companion animals.
Because of our billboards, ISAR has received much positive feedback, including a message from a new supporter in Florida who came across several ISAR billboards during her travels. Marcelle C. told ISAR in a recent email, “In case you’re wondering, your billboards are effective because this is how I learned of your organization! I hope you are getting a great response.”
Other feedback from ISAR’s 2016 billboard campaign includes:
“I was thrilled to see two on hwy 98 between Navarre and Fort Walton Beach [Florida]!” — Michelle H.
“Thank you Lamar Outdoor Advertising for getting in the game to reduce the number of unwanted dogs and cats.” — Vicky P.
“Great marketing!!! We saw one of these billboards on our way to Florida!!!!” — Susan B.
ISAR’s billboards are a great way to advertise upcoming spay/neuter clinics, shelter events, International Homeless Animals’ Day observances, or simply to publicly sponsor the spay/neuter message.
Available year-round, ISAR’s brightly-colored, eye-catching billboards are a standard 10’5″ x 22’8″ with space to include an individual’s or organization’s name and contact information.
Once someone contacts their local outdoor advertising company and learns what space is available, here’s what happens:
* ISAR will order the billboard from our vendor, with the name and other information you want to appear on the artwork (two lines with 39 characters per line including spaces for the printing of your organization’s name, contact information and/or message.) See our website for examples.
* ISAR will have the billboard shipped to the outdoor advertising company in the designated location.
The cost of $125.00 per poster includes shipping and handling within the continental United States. Please note: the outdoor advertising company’s charge for installation labor and space rental is in addition and may vary per company. Because most outdoor advertising companies have a reduced rate for 501(c)(3) organizations such as ISAR, in our experience the total cost of this effective way to spread the spay/neuter message will usually be less than $500.00.
Please visit our website at www.isaronline.org to view ISAR’s colorful billboard designs and place your order today!
HOW YOU CAN HELP ANIMALS!
Another example of the “half-a-loaf” problem arose in Colorado Springs, the county seat of El Paso County, Colorado. The county is the most populous of the 64 counties in the state.
By a 3-2 vote of the county commissioners, the following law was adopted: “It shall be unlawful for any person to sell, trade, barter, lease, rent, give away, or display for any purpose a pet animal on any public street, road, highway, alley, sidewalk, or any other public place, or in open areas where the public is invited by the owner or person controlling such areas, including commercial parking lots, outdoor special sales, swap meets, flea markets, parking lot sales, or similar events.” Violation of the law resulted in a fine.
ISAR certainly approved of the law’s intention. For years, we have fought against, so-called “roadside sales” of companion animals.
That said, however, the El Paso County law raised once again the “half-a-loaf” problem.
While Section (a) of the law quoted above could have been better drafted, it would probably have been adequate if that was all there was to it.
The problem was that there was more. Section (b) was shot through with exceptions, which took much of the punch out of Section (a).
Under the statute, Section (b) expressly did not apply to (1) Agents of state licensed pet stores, (2) Events for the sale of agricultural livestock, (3) Shelters, and (4) Sales of pet animals on private property with the owner’s permission.
Cumulatively, these exceptions allowed for many animals to be sold at the “roadside,” to a considerable extent gutting the intent and express language of the supposed prohibition contained in Section (a). Here again, “better a half loaf than no bread?”
Although ISAR has long approved of, and fought for, mandatory spay/neuter laws, several years ago we were obliged to oppose a statute introduced into the California legislature because it, too, was gutted by exceptions to an unacceptable extent. (Mandatory Spay/Neuter Beat Goes On.) In that instance, we were unwilling to accept “half-a-loaf” because ISAR believed the statute’s enactment would have allowed the opponents of mandatory spay/neuter to resist further, proper legislation by arguing that the pro-mandatory spay/neuter forces had already received enough and that no further laws were necessary or appropriate. The companion animal overpopulation problem — one of ISAR’s five major programs — is so extensive, and of such crucial importance, that the proposed California statute was not worth accepting a compromise.
All of the laws discussed in this article, and many more like them, demonstrate that the “half-a-loaf” problem is a difficult one for the animal rights/welfare community. Because of moral, humane, strategic, and tactical considerations, it is often a close call to determine whether opposition to a proposed “mixed” law is appropriate because instead a “perfect” enactment might be possible, or whether support of such a law is better because the “perfect” is unobtainable while the non-perfect “good” can be achieved and at least ameliorate companion animal suffering and make a dent in overpopulation.
ISAR will continue to make those close calls, with betterment of animals always our prime consideration.
By understanding the animal rights/welfare movement’s “half-a-loaf” problem (Part III)
As ISAR’s supporters know, one of our major programs is “Stop Devocalization Now.” (Model Prohibition of Devocalization Statute, Understand that Maryland’s recently enacted anti-devocalization law, though well intentioned, is inadequate, Support Anti-devocalization Legislation, ISAR’s Stop Devocalization Now Video, ISAR gets out the word about our Stop Devocalization Project, Stop Devocalization Now)
Not long ago, California was poised to enact a statute prohibiting landlords from requiring tenants to declaw or devocalize their companion animals. According to Legislative Counsel’s digest of the bill, it “would prohibit a landlord that allows a tenant to have an animal on the premises from advertising or establishing rental policies in a manner that requires a tenant or a potential tenant with an animal to have that animal declawed or devocalized, for nontherapeutic purposes, as a condition of occupancy.”
All well and good, and ISAR supported the effort.
But the California bill illustrated the “half-a-loaf” problem, yet again. Yes, it was “the good” that some companion animals would be spared the barbaric practices of devocalization and declawing. But what about the countless companion animals not residing in rented premises who had been, and would continue to be, mutilated because of their annoying barking and scratching of couches? If devocalization and declawing were objectionable (let alone immoral) and should have been prohibited by California law in the comparatively minor landlord-tenant context, it is not possible to justify the imposition of those practices on any animals in any context whatsoever.
What to do?
ISAR supported the California bill, but with the same reservation we have expressed about tethering and other “mixed” animal protection legislation. We insist on making unmistakably clear that both as a moral and humane imperative we unequivocally oppose the practices of devocalization and declawing, and that our support of the California legislation was not intended, nor should it have been construed as, our sanction, approval, or any other endorsement of those barbaric practices.
If ISAR had its way, California and every other state would immediately enact broad anti-devocalization (and anti-declawing) laws, as Massachusetts has done, making devocalization of companion animals illegal, with severe penalties for violation of the law.
To be continued
By understanding the animal rights/welfare movement’s “half-a-loaf” problem (Part II)
In Part I of this article we highlighted the dilemma faced by serious animal rights/welfare activists, especially those who recall Voltaire’s famous observation that “the perfect is the enemy of the good” — meaning that while awaiting the “perfect” in human affairs, “the good” often doesn’t get done. Castration without anesthesia remains in Switzerland. Greyhound racing continues in Massachusetts [please note: this blog originally posted in 2008 when greyhound racing did exist in Massachusetts, but as of January 1, 2010, it no longer exists.] Farm animals can still be caged 24/7 in California.
While activists work toward “perfect” solutions, in Switzerland, Massachusetts, California, and elsewhere, “good” benefits that could have accrued for animals risk being lost because of opposition to proposed legislation.
ISAR was reminded of the “half-a-loaf” problem when we were asked to support anti-tethering legislation pending in Pennsylvania. (Tethering is the cruel practice of chaining a dog to a stationary object, thus severely restricting its freedom of movement.)
Should we have not supported the ameliorative proposed new legislation because in doing so we would be accepting the continued existence of certain still-allowed aspects of that cruel, indefensible practice even though the law would ameliorate some of the more egregious conditions under which tethered dogs live? In other words, should we have sought “the perfect” at the expense of the “good” while closing our eyes to the brutal reality that remained?
Or should ISAR and other organizations have supported the proposed legislation precisely because of the amelioration, ceasing to obtain “the perfect” in order to gain “the good”? In other words, should we have accepted the reality that “the good” meant reducing suffering, at the expense of “the perfect,” which in a utopian world would be an outright prohibition of tethering in all of its torturous aspects?
Recall the concluding question in this article’s Part I: “Better a half loaf than no bread?”
Well, if you’re a dog chained to a stationary object whose entire universe consists of several square feet, primitive shelter, little human contact, and infrequent interaction with your own kind, the answer is easy. Ameliorate the suffering, now, today, and keep working to end it entirely.
This said, however, at every opportunity ISAR made it unmistakably clear that both as a moral and humane imperative we unequivocally oppose the practice of tethering, and that our support of the then-pending Pennsylvania legislation was not intended, nor should it have been construed as, ISAR’s sanction, approval, or any other kind of endorsement of that cruel practice.
If ISAR had its way, Pennsylvania and every other state would immediately enact statutes making tethering of dogs illegal, with severe penalties for violation of the law.
To be continued
By understanding the animal rights/welfare movement’s “half-a-loaf” problem (Part I)
For the past few decades the animal rights/welfare movement in the United States and abroad has been awash in proposed legislation designed to better the lives of companion animals.
But is it cause for rejoicing when seemingly pro-animal legislation actually does become law? Surprisingly, the answer may not always be an unqualified “yes” because of what ISAR characterizes as the challenging and pervasive problem of “half-a-loaf.” As the old saying goes, is “half-a-loaf” really “better than none?”
To begin answering the question, let’s look at three examples which appeared within three months of each other several years ago.
The Swiss enacted a sweeping animal protection law. It included handling guidelines for cats, dogs, sheep, goats and horses. A six-hour time limit was required for the transportation of livestock. Piglets could not be castrated without anesthesia.
Massachusetts banned greyhound racing throughout the Commonwealth.
A California ballot initiative was approved that provided more living space to animals raised for human food: “Certain farm animals [shall] be allowed, for the majority of every day, to fully extend their limbs or wings, lie down, stand up and turn around.”
How could anyone who cares about the rights of animals and desires they be not treated cruelly oppose such legislation?
The Swiss law also allowed dairy farmers to keep their cattle tied up in stalls for 240 days of the 365 days in a year. Tie-stalls for horses were to be phased out, but not for five years. Zoo animals, such as rhinos, were allowed to be confined in small winter quarters. Wild animals were still permitted to be used in circuses.
The Massachusetts greyhound ban would not become effective for at least twoyears.
California’s “living space” initiative gave farmers at least sixyears to shift to more humane animal production systems.
Many in the animal rights/welfare movement rightly considered these measures not to go far enough, largely because of the compromises made in order to get them enacted.
These committed activists believed that when such “mixed” laws are proposed they should be fought. Their rationale is that enactment of such legislation, though useful in some respects, gives opponents of animal protection the ability to argue that “enough is enough” — that the movement clamored for animal protection laws, they were enacted, and that’s all the affected animals are entitled to, at least for years to come.
This absolutist position against mixed animal protections laws is arguably defensible, making for a hard choice: Wait for perfection while countless animals continue to suffer, or take what can be had when possible but continue fighting for perfection?
Better a half loaf than no bread?
To be continued
HOW YOU CAN HELP ANIMALS!
By suggesting to the Chairman of the federal House of Representatives’ subcommittee on Livestock, Rural Development, and Credit that important changes be made to pending H.R. 4525.
On April 30, 2014, Representative James P. Moran (D-VA) introduced the “Traveling Exotic Animal Protection Act.” Its stated purpose is “[t]o amend the Animal Welfare Act to restrict the use of exotic and non-domesticated animals in traveling circuses and exhibitions.” (See the entire text below.)
To amend the Animal Welfare Act to restrict the use of exotic and non-domesticated animals in traveling circuses and exhibitions.
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
April 30, 2014
Mr. Moran (for himself, Mr. Jones, Mr. Johnson of Georgia, Ms. Chu, Mr. Schiff, and Mr. Cárdenas) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Agriculture
To amend the Animal Welfare Act to restrict the use of exotic and non-domesticated animals in traveling circuses and exhibitions.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.
This Act may be cited as the “Traveling Exotic Animal Protection Act”.
SEC. 2. FINDINGS.
Congress finds that–
(1) traveling circuses are detrimental to animal welfare due to the adverse effects of captivity and transport;
(2) due to severe confinement, lack of free exercise, and the restriction of natural behaviors, animals used in circuses suffer and are prone to health, behavioral, and psychological problems;
(3) the tricks that exotic and non-domesticated animals are forced to perform require extreme physical coercion techniques, including the restriction of food, the use of elephant hooks (objects used to control and punish elephants), electric shocks, metal bars, whips, and other forms of physical abuse;
(4) the welfare of animals subject to the conditions in traveling circuses, such as constant travel, limited facilities, long periods of restriction of movement, stress, and physical coercion, will inevitably be compromised, which can lead to increased risks to public safety;
(5) animals in traveling circuses pose an additional risk to public safety because such animals have wild instincts and needs and have demonstrated unpredictability;
(6) the use of collapsible, temporary facilities in traveling circuses increases the risk of escaping exotic and non-domesticated animals seriously harming workers and the public;
(7) traveling circuses bring people dangerously close to exotic and non-domesticated animals by displaying animals in inappropriate, uncontrolled areas that are not suited for the exhibition of such animals;
(8) it is not possible to provide exotic and non-domesticated animals with facilities sufficient to maintain the optimum physical and mental health of the animals because of the suffering caused to the animals by the nature of circuses, in which restriction of movement, separation from natural groupings, restriction of food and water, and physical abuse are prevalent;
(9) due to the mobile and transitory nature of traveling circuses, law enforcement authorities cannot properly monitor the conditions of the animals or follow up on previous infractions by traveling circuses; and
(10) restricting the use of exotic and non-domesticated animals in circuses is the most cost-effective and efficient way to safeguard both animal welfare and public safety.
SEC. 3. USE OF EXOTIC OR WILD ANIMALS IN TRAVELING CIRCUSES AND EXHIBITIONS.
Section 13 of the Animal Welfare Act (7 U.S.C. 2143) is amended by adding at the end the following new subsection:
“(i)(1) No exhibitor may allow for the participation of an exotic or wild animal (including a non-human primate) in an animal act if, during the 15-day period preceding such participation, such animal was traveling in a mobile housing facility.
“(2) The restriction under paragraph (1) shall not apply to the use of an exotic or wild animal (including a non-human primate)-
“(A) in an exhibition at a non-mobile, permanent institution or facility, including an accredited zoo or aquarium;
“(B) as part of an outreach program for educational or conservation purposes by an accredited zoo or aquarium, if the animal used for such purposes is not kept in a mobile housing facility for more than 12 hours a day;
“(C) by a university, college, laboratory, or other research facility registered with the Secretary pursuant to section 6;
“(D) in film, television, or advertising if such use does not involve a live public exhibition; or
“(E) in a rodeo.
“(3) A traveling circus or exhibitor that fails to comply with this subsection shall be subject to the penalties provided for under section 19.”.
SEC. 4. EFFECTIVE DATE.
The amendments made by this Act shall take effect on the date that is one year after the date of the enactment of this Act.
Originally, there were five co-sponsors, now there are 14: Rep. Walter B. Jones, Jr. [R-NC-3], Rep. Henry C. “Hank,” Johnson Jr. [D-GA-4], Rep. Judy Chu [D-CA-27], Rep. Adam B. Schiff [D-CA-28], Rep. Tony Cardenas [D-CA-29], Rep. Jared Polis [D-CO-2], Rep. Sam Farr [D-CA-20], Rep. Jerry McNerney [D-CA-9], Rep. Anna G. Eshoo [D-CA 18], Rep. Jackie Speier [D-CA-14], Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton [D-DC-At Large], Rep. Raul M. Grijalva [D-AZ-3], Rep. Colleen W. Hanabusa [D-HI-1], Rep. Lee, Barbara [D-CA-13].
ISAR is pleased to note that Section 2 contains extensive “Findings,” the importance of which cannot be overemphasized. (See page 8 of ISAR’s Model Statute Prohibiting Commercial Retail Sales Of Dogs And Cats Monograph) The bill’s Findings are an impressive catalogue of reasons why animals in traveling circuses suffer, why they are a danger to the public, and thus why the proposed law is both moral and necessary. The last Finding, number 10, concludes with the statement that “restricting the use of exotic and non-domestic animals in circuses is the most cost-effective and efficient way to safeguard both animal welfare and public safety.”
Although ISAR applauds the bill’s underlying assumption that as a general proposition circus animals are treated cruelly and need protection, we strongly disagree with the bill’s solution: mere regulation of their conditions, not abolition of their use. Indeed, a regrettable irony is that the bill’s findings make a conclusive case for abolition, but then Section 3 ignores that case and simply imposes regulations on the suffering animals’ exploited use. In other words, the bill is a typical example of tweaking practices that harm animals instead of banning them outright.
ISAR supports such a ban, and urges our supporters to communicate to the bill’s sponsors and the committee’s chairman that immediately banning the use in all circuses of exotic and wild animals, including non-human primates, is morally and practically required if the bill’s own findings are to be believed and not merely window dressing meant to satisfy the circuses and their lobbyists and mollify animal rights activists.
ISAR was instrumental in supporting ANIMALS TODAY RADIO in its infancy, and we’ve watched with pleasure as it has, in just a few years, become the preeminent radio and Internet voice for serious discussions of the important issues affecting animals not only in the United States but throughout the world.
We’ll let ANIMALS TODAY RADIO speak for itself, just as it speaks about, and for, the animals.
AIA’s signature program is its weekly, one-hour radio show, Animals Today. Produced and hosted by Drs. Kirshner and Spiegel, it currently airs in 30 markets with a potential audience of more than 40 million listeners.
The show promotes increased respect, compassion and kindness for both domesticated and wild animals. It provides the latest thinking about animal rights with the goal of educating listeners of all ages about the current status of animals in society and how we can treat them more humanely. Animals Today emphasizes specific actions listeners can take to help animals locally and around the world.
The show’s hosts conduct interviews on a wide variety of animal-related topics with experts including authors, legislators, and celebrities, such as Bob Barker, Tippi Hedren, as well as frontline animal activists. Animals Today radio shows have focused on such diverse subjects as preventing dog bites, shark conservation efforts and language and communication research in non-human animals. The show also features timely animal-related news items from around the globe.
AIA operates two websites, www.aianimals.org and www.animalstodayradio.com. These websites provide information about its campaigns and activities, its radio show and audio archives, and essays and opinion pieces about animal welfare.
We are currently seeking to increase the educational impact of its radio show by expanding the number of markets in which it is aired and increasing the ease with which it can be shared by listeners by converting its archived shows to a YouTube format. The organization’s websites will be the communication hub for these changes and will expand the opportunities for listener involvement.