The Cat Rescuers

ISAR Newsletter Autumn 2017

i November 15, 2017

President’s Message

Dear Friends,

ISAR is supporting a powerful new tool in the fight for one of our most important goals: ending the dog and cat overpopulation crisis. We are always searching for new ways to shed light on the overpopulation tragedy and the spay/neuter solution. We have found this in The Cat Rescuers (, a film documentary–in– progress that spotlights the epidemic of literally countless abandoned and feral cats on New York City’s streets, and the heroic efforts of four activists who hit the streets in Brooklyn to fight overpopulation.

ISAR recently had the opportunity to view the trailer of The Cat Rescuers. Believing it can help raise awareness of the plight of homeless animals not only in Brooklyn, but everywhere, ISAR provided a sizeable contribution through Kickstarter to put the funding for the documentary over the top.

The film’s producers told thousands of its social media supporters, “We made our Kickstarter goal, thanks to The International Society for Animal Rights (ISAR), one of the oldest animal rights organizations in the U.S. They came in with a sizable contribution, putting us over the top! Thank you, ISAR!”

Stay tuned to hear more about this moving and motivating film and how rescue groups can screen it in their communities.

Animal Rights Law Reporter


We are pleased to inform ISAR’s supporters that the Animal Rights Law Reporter– founded and edited by Professor Henry Mark Holzer, and published by International Society for Animal Rights – is now part of the online collection of the Animal Legal and Historical Center at Michigan State University College of Law. Read all about it here.

Professor Holzer, chairman of ISAR, conceived the area of Animal Law as a distinct legal practice in the U.S. Animal Law did not exist as a separate legal specialty until 1973 when Professor Holzer filed the landmark lawsuit Jones v. Butz, which advocated for animals’ rights by challenging an exception under the federal Humane Methods of Livestock Act of 1958.

Professor Holzer’s lawsuit served as the opening salvo in what is still the emerging field of Animal Law. Since then, the interest in animal law of lawyers, law schools, the legal profession, the public, and the media has burgeoned.

Spanish Language Billboard Update


Tucson, Arizona, immediately across from Nogales, Mexico, is the site of one of ISAR’s most recent Spanish language spay/neuter billboards.

Spanish language spay/neuter billboards.

ISAR’s most recent Spanish language spay/neuter billboard.


Since January, ISAR spay/neuter billboards in Spanish have spread across the U.S. in cities with sizable Spanish-speaking populations: Fort Myers, FL; Fresno and Los Angeles, CA; New Haven, CT; Philadelphia, PA (English); Denver, CO; Atlanta, GA; Allentown and Easton, PA; Dallas, El Paso, San Antonio, TX; Albuquerque and Anthony, NM; Chicago, IL; Springfield, MA; Providence, RI; Las Vegas, NV; Milwaukee, WI; and the above billboard in Tucson, AZ, which borders Nogales, Mexico.

In August, ISAR supporters in Patterson, NJ, and the New York metropolitan area saw a new Spanish language billboard in the neighborhood.

These billboards have caught drivers’ eyes, prompting numerous calls to ISAR requesting information on local low-cost spay/neuter programs.

Advocating for Animals: ISAR and Animals Today Radio


Animals – powerless and voiceless – have two committed and compassionate advocates in ISAR and Animals Today Radio. Since 2009, ISAR has been a major sponsor of the “Animals Today” radio program/podcast (, an influential national voice that addresses a variety of contemporary animal-related topics with warmth, knowledge and a fierce love of all animals.

Hosted by Dr. Lori Kirshner, founder and President of Advancing the Interest of Animals (AIA), “Animals Today,” a project of (AIA), features news about animals, interviews with veterinarians and other experts, as well as discussions on the important issues affecting animals in the United States and around the world today.

Dr. Kirshner and Dr. Peter Spiegel, the other founding member of AIA, promote respect and compassion for wild and domesticated animals while educating listeners with an appealing mixture of wisdom and warmth. For example, the September 23 show featured Laura Beven, Southern Regional Director for the Humane Society of the United States, who provided a firsthand account of the effects of Hurricanes Irma and Harvey and how animal welfare groups, government agencies and individuals are working to protect and rescue animals affected by the disasters. On the October 7 show, Lori discussed the origins of the field of Animal Law, sharing the recently published International Society for Animal Rights Special Report, Seeds, that describes how Animal Law began and what it has become. Lori express her appreciation to ISAR’s chairman Professor Henry Mark Holzer saying, “We’ve come a long way! Congratulations to Professor Holzer and our most sincere thanks.”

A previous show introduced listeners to Meera Gajjar, an attorney with the Wildlife Whistleblower Program of the National Whistleblower Center. She discussed how animal lovers and advocates can confidentially report if illegal wildlife trafficking, logging, fishing and other wildlife laws are being violated. She stressed that whistleblowers who disclose original information concerning wildlife crimes that result in a successful enforcement action may receive monetary rewards.

Pet owners always tune in to hear Lori and Peter share tips on pet care, such as how to protect pets in hot weather (think ice cubes in water dishes that are placed out of the sun and portable water bowls when you leave home). Before walking your dog in hot weather, do you “test” asphalt by putting your hand on it? You should!

Anyone with an interest in animals – wild or domestic – and their welfare should tune in to Animals Today Radio: Live shows air and stream on Saturday, at 1 p.m.; check your local market for the station. Podcasts of shows are posted on within 24 hours of airing and the page features archived shows.

So please, for some serious talk about animals and to hear what actions listeners can take to help animals locally, nationally, and around the world, listen to, learn from, and support Animals Today Radio!

International Homeless Animals’ Day® 2017: A Quarter-Century of Caring Continues


Across the world, Saturday, August 19 marked the 26th annual International Homeless Animals’ Day® (IHAD®). In more than 45 U.S. states and the District of Columbia and more than 25 countries spanning six continents, hundreds of animal protection organizations celebrated International Homeless Animals’ Day. Every year, more and more organizations and animal lovers come together on the third Saturday of August to raise awareness of the tragedy of pet overpopulation and the spay/neuter solution.




In Stowe, Vermont, the North Country Animal League Mutt Strutt attracted 60 people and their dogs of all shapes and sizes to Stowe Village for a parade through town followed by a festival on the events field in honor of International Homeless Animals’ Day.

The Mutt Strutt event raised more than $6,000 for North Country Animal League to support its mission to promote 3 4 responsible and compassionate relationships between humans and animals through adoption, humane education, and spay/neuter initiatives. At least 10 of the dogs at the event had found forever homes through NCAL.




Tri-County Animal Rescue in Clarion, Pennsylvania, hosted its fifth annual IHAD event in Veteran’s Memorial Park. Every year, the event draws more people for a day of fun and fostering love for animals and pet adoptions.

Festivities included a pet parade, pet blessing, animal advocate award presentation, and raffles to help raise money for the shelter.

Throughout the day, speakers from the Humane Pennsylvania Political Action Committee, Safe Haven Small Breed Rescue and Happily Ever After Rescue spoke on a variety of topics including the importance of spaying/neutering and banning puppy mills.

Participants ended the day by lighting luminaries (left) whose glow memorialized homeless animals’ suffering and brought the day to a close.

It was a day of hope and remembrance as Tails of Hope, which runs a low-cost spay and neuter clinic in Hermitage, observed IHAD with events that included a candlelight vigil, led by the Rev. Joe Yurka, (bottom left) to pay homage to the millions of dogs and cats annually put to death in shelters.

“What we want to do is end this senseless killing,” said Tails of Hope board member Maleia James, who is president of Cat Landers. With Tails of Hope, “There’s no excuse now not to spay and neuter animals,” she said.

Rev. Joe Yurka

Rev. Joe Yurka

The city of Hermitage commissioners signed an IHAD proclamation, State Representative Mark Longetti and candidates for local office attended the event.

A beautiful evening and musical entertainment set the scene for those attending the 20th annual International Homeless Animals’ Day Candlelight Vigil sponsored by Defenders of Animals.


Rhode Island

Rhode Island

The Rhode Island-based non-profit has endorsed pro-animal legislation on the national, state, and local levels since 1978, and many of its accomplishments were highlighted during the vigil.

“We have always believed in this credo: ‘The smaller the victim, the bigger the crime,’” said Dennis Tabella, director of Defenders of Animals, seen speaking at left. “I have always taken the side of the underdog, and there is no greater underdog than the dogs and cats that are waiting for homes at our shelters or those poor souls that walk the streets and throughout our neighborhoods without the love and security from a human being.”

“The International Homeless Animals’ Day/Candlelight Vigil was held in conjunction with the International Society for Animal Rights campaign and serves as an opportunity for animal advocates from around Rhode Island to band together on a special day and jumpstart new spay/neuter/adoption campaigns,” said Tabella.

Defenders of Animals is dedicated to keeping the issue of dog and cat overpopulation before the public. It’s crucial that Rhode Islanders have their cats and dogs spayed/neutered and support local organizations that work toward keeping the pet population down so that municipal and private shelters do not have to euthanize animal due to over population issues.



“Something good happens every time we hold this annual event – another cat or dog finds a home, another member helps to foster a dog or cat, or someone new volunteers to help out at an event,” said Tabella.

SOS Chats, held its 12th annual IHAD observance on the Place Pury in Neuchatel, Switzerland. Several guests came to show solidarity for animals abused and killed throughout the world, including a delegation from Kiev, Ukraine, journalists, politicians and celebrities. Each year, SOS Chats utilizes IHAD as a platform for gathering many signatures for their ongoing petition campaigns to protect the animals in Switzerland.



AnimaNaturalis Colombia, Humanitarian Management of Fauna Callejera, Donatón por los Animales, and The Spoon Revolution made the Donate for Animals 2017 IHAD event a day to remember at the Blue Pavilion of Plaza Mayor in Medellín. Music and fun set the tone but there was also a serious side as representatives of animal protection and adoption groups spoke about the need for spaying/neutering and laws protecting animals.




Using the power of social media and the internet, Red de Apoyo Canino observed International Homeless Animals’ Day with an E-Adoption (virtual adoption fair) on its social media channels, followed by a Google Hangout, where the organization provided information on adoption, fostering and spay/neuter campaigns.

Thanks to a generous grant from ISAR, Red de Apoyo Canino organized a three-day spay and neuter program in Sucre State, Venezuela (right), where 125 dogs and cats, many of them homeless, were sterilized, improving their quality of life and slowing the cycle of more unanted animals.



A matching grant from ISAR helped SpayPanama mark IHAD in the best way possible – with volunteers helping vets sterilize 200 mostly feral cats and 70 dogs (right) in the city of Parque Lefevre, Panama where many homeless animals live desperate lives. Said Patricia Chan, director and founder of SpayPanama, “Thank you ISAR for being our guiding light.”



SPCA Penang, Malaysia, alerted city residents to International Homeless Animals’ Day 2017 by sponsoring the SPCA Fun Photo Contest, themed “My Pet, My Best Friend.” City residents were invited to visit the SPCA Shelter to meet new animal friends available for adoption, learn how vital spaying/neutering is and considering volunteering.

The photo contest, winners and their best friends, (right), spurred interest in SPCA Penang, which houses 50 animals. Prizes of pet food were donated by a pet food company and a photo studio donated photo frames.

SPCA Penang added neutering vouchers prizes for each winner. SPCA administrator Leng Lily, was pleased with the turnout and press coverage by the Penang Star and Chinese media. “Events like our IHAD Open House encourage people to adopt pets instead of buying them.”



International Homeless Animals’ Day was observed at the Plaza María Luisa Bombal, Calle Villanelo, in Viña del mar, Chile, with a Venezuela Panama Malaysia Chile 7 responsible ownership pet fair. Mayor Virginia Reginato, participated in the open fair urging animal guardians to spay and neuter their companion animals.

Graduates of the local veterinary medicine college performed free veterinary check-ups for pets and provided information about caring for dogs and cats. Nonprofit associations related to the protection and defense of homeless animals also participated in the fair and provided information on responsible pet ownership and adoption of dogs and cats.




Calling for the protection of “our smaller brothers,” the Group for the Protection of Animals in Tver, a city 90 minutes northwest of Moscow, observed IHAD in Russia. Joined by several other animal rights organizations and with the support of the Gorky Library, a cultural mainstay in this city on the Volga River, the Protection of Animals’ supporters organized a successful pet food and medical supplies drive for animal shelters. Volunteers collected donated supplies at a booth featuring photos of animals for adoption in front of the Library and talked about the importance of spaying/neutering.

IHAD 2017 Proclamations


Recognition by local and state officials of the importance of each year’s International Homeless Animals’ Day is a vital part of keeping the issue of animal rights before the public and progressing proanimal laws through legislative bodies. Several animal protection organizations were presented with signed proclamations declaring August 19, 2017, as International Homeless Animals’ Day.

U.S. Virgin Islands Gov. Kenneth E. Mapp proclaimed Aug. 19 as International Homeless Animals’ Day in the Virgin Islands, consistent with the observance by the International Society for Animal Rights. He called attention to the suffering of abandoned and homeless animals and the issue of pet overpopulation awareness. Mapp’s proclamation noted that millions of unwanted dogs and cats are euthanized at U.S. animal shelters each year because homes cannot be found for them.

Michigan State Rep. Martin Howrylak of Troy promoted House Resolution 126, which declared International Homeless Animals Day throughout the state.

Sadly, Michigan is contributing to this troubling problem. According to a 2014 Michigan Shelter survey, nearly one out of every four animals that enter a shelter in the state are eventually euthanized.

“These are eye-opening statistics,” said Rep. Howrylak. “Unfortunately, many of these animals were loving companions who were ready to be adopted. Due to limited space at local shelters, these animals simply ran out of time to find a new home.”

The August 8 Washington Post featured an article on IHAD and quoted ISAR President Susan Dapsis: “Children can participate in IHAD by walking shelter dogs, grooming shelter animals and spending time with them. This will bring much happiness to the animals and prepare them for their journey to a new home.”

The article highlighted the work of the Soi Dog Foundation in Phuket, Thailand, where many of its 500 dogs are socialized and transported to North America for adoption.

ISAR is continually grateful to all those who help ISAR promote our annual International Homeless Animals’ Day observances and the important spay/neuter message. Many advertising outlets assist ISAR each year to shed light on pet overpopulation. We greatly appreciate every radio and television interview, newspaper article, letter-to-the-editor, blogs, YouTube videos, websites, and social networking sites, including Facebook and Twitter, all of which have helped ISAR to enlighten the public to the tragedy of pet overpopulation and its self-evident spay/neuter solution.

IHAD – August 18, 2018


Please join us in commemorating ISAR’s 27th annual International Homeless Animals’ Day!

ISAR extends a warm invitation to all our veteran event coordinators, as well as to a host of new ones, to join us on Saturday, August 18, 2018 for International Homeless Animals’ Day. Please contact ISAR by mail, phone, fax, or email to receive an IHAD 2018 planning packet.

Together we will continue to be a voice for the animals and continue to demand an end to the suffering and exploitation inflicted on animals each day.


Susan Dapsis
ISAR President