National Zoo Awareness Day 2008

National Zoo Awareness Day is held twice a year - Easter Bank Holiday and again during August, among the busiest days for zoos.

This bi-annual event raises awareness of the animal rights and conservation issues surrounding zoos. The whole concept of zoos is increasingly under question as our knowledge of animal behaviour, natural history and threats facing wildlife increases. Zoos have historically been about tourism, and providing a 'day out' rather than anything to do with education, conservation and research (the 3 'pillars' of the zoo industry).

Many people are now aware of the real lives of wild animal societies, through natural history programmes on TV, books and the internet. An increasing number of TV programmes focussing on wildlife has revealed the wonderful natural history of our own gardens, parks, woods etc, showing that wildlife in our own areas can be as exciting as that of other continents.

The increasing awareness of animal behaviour also reveals the impoverished lives of animals confined to zoos, and the physical and behavioural problems captivity creates. Zoos also play an insignificant role in conservation, with the protection of natural habitats being the only serious way forward to prevent further losses of species.

National Zoo Awareness Day aims to spread this awareness and encourage people to withdraw support for captive animal entertainment facilities.

Across the country there will be peaceful protests outside zoos, information stalls in town centres, and people will be writing letters to local and national newspapers to spread this awareness.

For more information on our opposition to zoos click here and to read opposition to aquariums click here
Don't visit zoos and aquariums - your money keeps them in business.Become a CAPS supporter - you can help to make a difference.

This bi-annual event is organised by CAPS and helps to raise the awareness of the animal rights and conservation issues surrounding zoos.

We would encourage as many groups as possible to hold peaceful protests outside zoos, to set up information stalls in city/town centres, send letters to newspapers etc.

The event is held on Easter Monday, what is traditionally seen as the start of the ‘season' for zoos. This day is one of the biggest days in any zoo's calendar. By participating in this years Awareness Day you can help educate the general public about the suffering caused to animals in zoos and help bring the day closer when ALL animals will be left where they belong - in the wild.

Please get in touch with CAPS to see if there is a protest organised at your local zoo. If there is not any planned CAPS can help you organise one. If you are unable to attend a protest, why not write letters to your local or national newspapers or you could even help spread the word in other ways.

CAPS produces leaflets, fact sheets, posters and a DVD to support our ‘Sad Eyes and Empty Lives’ campaign, which we will send to groups free of charge who plan to hold a demonstration or information stall. (Please allow enough time to process leaflet requests)

Please contact CAPS on 0845 330 3911 or via email if your need more information or help on National Zoo Awareness Day.


The truth about the pet trade

[article reprinted from Best Friend Animal Sanctuary; linkage provided @ the end of the article]
February 20, 2008 : 6:11 PM ET

For the nine-year-old sheltie, the breeders’ auction marked the end of a long and difficult road. She had lived her whole life in a dirty rabbit hutch, where she was forced to have litter after litter so the people who barely did more than keep her alive could make money from her offspring.

Someone who attended the auction said the sheltie just stood there in her cage, her face vacant. She showed no emotion at all. Maybe that’s how she survived those horrible years – by simply shutting down.

Dr. Frank McMillan, a veterinarian with Best Friends Animal Society, has seen that vacant look before in dogs from commercial breeding facilities. He likened it to the dissociation people sometimes experience after suffering major trauma.

“Some of them are horribly damaged emotionally,” he says.

The sheltie would never make it to the bidding block in the Missouri auction house. She had outlived her money-making capabilities and, for the breeders in the audience, she had no worth at all. To them, she was just a “dump dog.” Chances are she would have simply been taken out and disposed of at the end of the auction. But she got lucky.

Rescuers from several animal welfare organizations, including Wasatch Animal Rescue, based in Salt Lake City, Utah, and Mill Dog Rescue Network of Colorado Springs, Colorado, organized and partially funded by Best Friends, squeezed into two vans and headed east to America’s heartland – the commercial dog-breeding mecca. The rescuers were bound for an auction house in southwest Missouri that was getting ready to hold its first big sale of the year – an event in which more than 600 dogs would be put on the block and sold to the highest bidders.

Heather, of Wasatch Animal Rescue, was at that auction. She said it broke her heart to watch the animals being carried to the auction block. “They carried these dogs like toxic waste,” she says. “I carry garbage closer to my body. It showed their complete disregard for these animals.”

While some dogs sell for hundreds, even thousands of dollars, others – the older breeding dogs like the sheltie and the puppies older than 10 weeks, who won’t sell well at pet stores – end up being passed over. They’d be doomed to a horrible fate if rescuers weren’t there to take them.

The rescuers were there to save lives. The breeders were there to make a profit.

These auctions, which are held most every weekend during the warmer months, are for breeders to make a buck off the animals they no longer want. Perhaps they’re trying to get rid of their “dump dogs,” or they have too many of a certain breed or they’ve decided to get out of the breeding business altogether.

Of the dogs sold at the Missouri auction, the highest price was $ 1,750 for a French bulldog. Others sold for as little as $ 25. At some auctions, dogs sell for practically nothing – a quarter apiece.

It’s estimated that four million dogs are bred in commercial facilities every year to be sold in pet stores, over the Internet and through newspaper classified ads. Meanwhile, three to four million pets are killed in shelters each year.

One by one, the dogs were put on the auction block as the auctioneers shouted out things like “She’s ready to go home and work for you” and “These go for $ 1,500 to $ 2,000 on the Internet” and “She’s coming into season now. Bring her home and breed her tomorrow.”

Some of the dogs had missing teeth, eye infections and other ailments. But, as long as the dogs can crank out puppies, those things don’t matter to the for-profit breeders. One of the sheltie’s teeth actually fell out in her water bowl, Heather says.

Today, the sheltie and her seven-year-old daughter are now healing in the loving home of Barbara Edelberg and Jim Melton, both with Sheltie Rescue of Utah.

Barbara says the older sheltie’s muzzle was so swollen with abscesses and infection that her veterinarian cleared her schedule to perform an emergency dental. Since the sheltie and her daughter had never been separated their entire lives, they made sure her daughter was in the kennel with her when she woke up.

Barbara and Jim have nurtured many puppy mill dogs over the years, and she has high hopes for the shelties. She says when the dogs first arrived, they were very fearful, “almost catatonic.” They’re keeping them in a room with a dog gate so they have their own space but can still see the people and dogs on the other side. She says the other dogs will show the shelties what normal dog behavior is. They’ll show them that not all people are bad.

“We go really slowly,” Barbara says. “We don’t like to push them. They’re given space and comfort and other dogs.”

The shelties are already responding to yummy treats, and that’s a very good sign. “It’s a big moment of triumph when they first make eye contact with you,” Barbara says.

Thanks to some dedicated rescue organizations, 116 dogs are now on the road to healing. The hardest thing for the rescuers was that they couldn’t save all the dogs. Sadly, for the dogs sold to breeders, it was back to life in yet another cage in another breeding facility.

Written by Sandy MillerPhoto by Michael Delgado-Hand and Nanette Martin

Click here for more information about puppy mills, or to join the Best Friends Network Community called The Truth About the Pet Trade.

The work of Best Friends is possible only because of your generous support. Click here to help us reach our goal of No More Homeless Pets.

To check out more Best Friends news, click here.


As we mourn our bovine friends (the real hero's of this story) the innocent tortured lives. We at the very same time applaud the HSUS in getting mass media coverage of what we all know is not a unique case of animal torture.
[Warning: This video contains graphic images. Horrifying & Heartbreaking.]

[see more videos, if your heart can stand it: HERE ]
FROM: Peaceful Prairie Sanctuary
Because it is VERY worth posting
By now, you have probably seen or heard about the video footage of a slaughterhouse in California which has prompted the largest beef recall in history.

Two very important facts are being overlooked in the media coverage:

1. Those are spent Dairy Cows

Yes, the inevitable slaughter of millions of "spent" Dairy cows is one of the largest sources of hamburger and other beef products.This includes all cows and calves raised for the "Organic" or "Free-Range" labels as well. They all end up at the same slaughterhouses. Whether they are "Downed" or not, what happens to them once they are inside the slaughterhouse is even more gruesome and it is the ultimate act of violence.

Milk does not come from "Happy Cows" it comes from emotionally and physically destroyed, Grieving Mother Cows. They all end up being killed long before their natural lifespan. They are more likely to be crippled and "Downed" than "beef" cattle because of calcium depleted bones, mastitis, and extreme wear and tear on their overused bodies.

Dairy cows endure repeated 9 month pregnancies in order to lactate. They are forced to have a calf every year. Their babies are forcibly removed from them shortly after birth so that the mother's milk can be taken for humans rather than her baby. The calves are either sold for veal, or are used as "replacers" for their spent mothers and aunts, or are raised specifically for beef.

2. What YOU can do

If you don't eat meat because you do not want to support the most preventable and heinous animal suffering on the planet, then Please include all dairy (and egg) products in your boycott of cruelty.
The lives of these beautiful, loving cows and their precious babies, depend entirely on a commitment from each and every one of us to not buy the dairy and meat products that pay for their continued exploitation and inevitable murder.

It cannot be overemphasized: The same biological and economic forces apply to all methods of dairy production. Cow's milk labeled "Organic" comes from mother cows who are forced to endure the same amount of pain and suffering. Whether their milk is labeled "organic" or not, their babies are still stolen from them and sold for veal or beef, and the mothers themselves are all eventually trucked off to a horrifying slaughter.

Go Vegan Now!


Beastie biscuits are wholesome organic treats that you give your beast friend and they know that you love them.