ACTIVISM's animal rights, animal activism, wildlife conservation section. Find ways to help animals and change animal welfare laws and legislation, including petitions. Read news about Sea Shepherd, Save Japan Dolphins, and endangered species.

Courts Lay Down The Paw: Abused Pets Get A Legal Voice

(PETS/ANIMAL LAWS) Last year, Connecticut became the first state to allow judges to appoint lawyers and law students as volunteer advocates for pets in cases involving cruelty, abuse, and neglect. Alternately, animal advocates can also be requested by a prosecutor or defense counsel. What's more, the volunteer advocates are authorized to conduct investigations in hopes of reinforcing prosecutors who are overburdened with cases or may consider crimes against animals to be less of a priority. Since Desmond's Law went into effect, volunteer advocates have been appointed in five cases, which are being closely monitored by lawmakers, legal scholars, and animal activists in hopes of adopting similar measures in other states. The groundbreaking legislation tackles the disconnect between how people treat animals and how the law treats animals in court, and ultimately aims to convince the judiciary to treat animal cruelty as a serious crime. After all, it's not "just a dog." Read on to learn more about Desmond's Law and the fight for justice for our furry friends. -- Global Animal

Polarizing Views On Climate Change Pave Polar Bears’ Path To Decline

(POLAR BEARS/WILDLIFE CONSERVATION) While the Arctic is warming twice as fast as the rest of the Earth, polar ice caps are melting at a startling pace--which, as you can imagine, does not bode well for the world's polar bear populations. In fact, a 2015 assessment predicted a 30 percent decrease in the number of polar bears by 2050. But numbers aside, scientists are noticing other, more subtle indications that polar bears are at an increasing risk, including changes in their physical condition, size, reproduction, and survival rates. As the Arctic ice continues to shrink and the number of ice-free days increases, bears are also entering nearby villages, and interactions between bears and humans are becoming more common--putting both the bears and people at risk. There's no doubt the loss of sea ice is linked to the unregulated release of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, yet climate change denialists claim the loss of ice does not pose a threat to the polar bears' survival. Read on to learn more about the plight of this endangered species, and click here for everyday ways to save polar bears from extinction. -- Global Animal

Vet Travels 900 Miles To Help Horses At Standing Rock

(HORSES/ANIMAL ACTIVISM) The controversial multi-billion-dollar Dakota Access Pipeline project continues to make headlines as an estimated 10,000 protesters remain on prairie land, despite growing calls for them to move elsewhere. While danger to both protesters and law enforcement is ongoing, one veterinarian is providing help to the Sioux and their horses amid the chaos. After receiving a phone call from a horse caretaker at the Oceti Sakowin Camp, Charmian Wright, DVM, owner and operator of Mountain Horse Medical, raised funds for medical supplies via GoFundMe, and proceeded to drive the 900 miles from Park City, Utah, to Standing Rock, North Dakota. Given that all of the Sioux horses are well cared for, and none have been killed, Dr. Wright's main incentive was to teach horse caretakers and riders how to treat emergency injuries and assess potential illnesses. She has since returned home, but continues to raise funds for the Sioux. Read on to learn more about Dr. Wright's trip, and click here to donate to help Native Americans and their horses on the Sioux Reservation. -- Global Animal

Heroes Of The Flood: How Two Vets Saved 33 Dogs In Louisiana

(ANIMAL RESCUE/NATURAL DISASTER RELIEF) Animal rescue efforts are still underway following the Great Flood of 2016. The Humane Society of Louisiana put out a call for help after the Louisiana floods devastated the Livingston Parish region. Dogs were found stranded on the roof of the flooded Denham Springs Animal Shelter, but luckily Dr. Liza Ledet and Ashley Geoghegan, two veterinarians from the Mandeville Animal Hospital, came to the rescue. The two vets and their staff members are being credited with saving the lives of more than 30 dogs rescued from the Louisiana floodwaters. This week, Jeff Dorson of the Humane Society of Louisiana thanked the dedicated vets by presenting them each with a special "Heroes of the Flood" award for their noble efforts. Not only did they save 33 animal lives, but they are also committed to caring for the animals--out-of-pocket---until they're adopted. "We had 17 dogs that were just rescued from the flood that needed immediate help, and who could help us,"Jeff Dorson said. "Their answers were, 'We can. Just bring them in and we'll figure it out.'" Thanks to Global Animal donors like you, so far we've distributed over $2,200 to help animals affected by the floods. Funds are being dispersed between the Humane Society of Louisiana (HSL) and Companion Animal Alliance of Baton Rouge (CAABR) to assist with field rescue operations and sheltering services. Learn more about the Humane Society of Louisiana and the Mandeville Animal Hospital's flood relief efforts in the article and video clip below. -- Global Animal

Flood Relief Donations: Helping Louisiana Out Of The Mud

(ANIMAL RESCUE/ACTIVISM) Last month, the United States witnessed the worst natural disaster since Hurricane Sandy when prolonged rainfall and catastrophic flooding devastated parts of southern Louisiana. The historic and unprecedented event was quickly declared a state of emergency as it submerged thousands of homes and businesses, displacing thousands of residents and their pets. Fortunately, rescue organizations--both local and national--have banded together to help animals in need following the disaster. The Global Animal Foundation quickly distributed an initial $1,200 to aid first responders on the ground helping animals affected by the floods. Thanks to generous donors like you, we are thrilled to announce that we've sent another $1,000 from the Louisiana Flooding Relief Fund. -- Global Animal

Have A Heart, Pay The Price? Activist Faces Jail Time For Helping Pigs In...

(ANIMAL ACTIVISM/FACTORY FARMING) In June 2015, animal activist Anita Krajnc stopped on the side of the road to help some slaughterhouse-bound pigs packed into a large trailer. The pigs were visibly overheated and dehydrated, so Krajnc did what any other humane individual would do in the situation and offered water to the thirsty animals. This ultimately resulted in a heated argument with the truck driver who proceeded to call the police and press charges. Now, Krajnc is being charged with criminal mischief and faces jail time or a fine of up to $5,000 for her compassion in action. The trial has gained widespread attention with many calling Krajnc's efforts heroic, while others say activists like herself are a nuisance and interfering with private property. But exactly how is it legal to torture animals and kill them, but it's illegal to give them water to relieve the animals' suffering? What are your thoughts? Continue reading for more details on the incident and view video footage of the confrontation below. -- Global Animal

Thank You, Global Animals! Louisiana Flood Donations At Work

(ACTIVISM/TAKE ACTION) In what's being described as the worst natural disaster since Hurricane Sandy, recent catastrophic flooding in Louisiana damaged or destroyed as many as 70,000 homes, displacing thousands of residents and their pets. Rescue organizations across the nation are banding together in a race against time to help animals left behind in the disaster. So far more than 600 animals have been rescued, and groups are working hard to help these animals become healthy again and reunite pets with their families or find them new homes. Thanks to Global Animal donors like you, so far we've distributed over $1,200 to help animals affected by the floods. Funds are being dispersed between the Humane Society of Louisiana (HSL) and Companion Animal Alliance of Baton Rouge (CAABR) to assist with field rescue operations and sheltering services. -- Global Animal

Lending A Helping Paw To Pets Of Orlando Shooting Victims

(PETS/ANIMAL CARE) Over the weekend, the U.S. witnessed the deadliest mass shooting in it's history after a gunman opened fire in an Orlando nightclub. With 49 people killed and another 53 injured, local animal groups are offering to care for pets affected by the horrific tragedy. Continue reading for a list of Orlando-based organizations volunteering their assistance during this difficult time. -- Global Animal

Join The Pack! Celebrate 150 Days Of Animal Rescue

(CELEBRITIES/ANIMAL ACTIVISM) Join the ASPCA in celebrating its 150th anniversary by pledging to help animals in need. In honor of 150 years of service to animals, the ASPCA is launching 150 Days of Rescue, a national campaign designed to protect homeless and abused animals. The 150-day campaign, which launched on April 10th, the ASPCA's birthday, and will continue through September 7th. -- Global Animal

5 Ways Students Can Stand Up For Animals

(ANIMAL ACTIVISM) You're never too young to make a difference for animals, so the Humane Society has outlined several ways for students around the world to become leaders for animals. The list includes videos featuring celebrities such as Jenna Tatum and Woody Harrelson, as well as an infographic on how to start your own humane, animal-friendly organization. Read on for the amazing things you or your child can do to be cruelty-free. — Global Animal
Livestock and their waste account for at least 32,000 million tons of carbon dioxide each year. Photo credit: Shutterstock

Save The Planet One Meal At A Time

(VEGAN/ACTIVISM/ANIMAL WELFARE) Ever wonder what you can do to help save and protect the earth's ecosystems? The animal agriculture industry is a critical factor in species extinction, habitat destruction, and pollution. By going vegan, you can refuse to contribute to the cruelty of the meat industry that destroys the earth's ecosystems. Increased greenhouse gas emissions and degradation of natural resources are among the many consequences of the agriculture industry. The future of the earth's ecosystems, however, does not have to be so bleak. Individuals can make food choices that not only promote their own health, but the health of the planet as well. Read on to learn more about the harmful effects of the agriculture industry and what you can do to help support smarter agricultural choices. —Global Animal
PETA is calling for orca whales to be placed in large-scale ocean sanctuaries. Photo Credit: Chris Gotshall/AP Photo

SeaWorld Makes Whale Of A Decision To Stop Bad Breeding Business

(SEAWORLD/CAPTIVE ORCAS) In a major victory for future generations of orcas, SeaWorld announced today they will no longer breed captive killer whales. This landmark decision follows the recent news of Tilikum, the park's most prolific breeder's deteriorating health, and comes three years after the release of the documentary Blackfish, which resulted in an uprising of anti-SeaWorld campaigns. Last year, the U.S. House of Representatives proposed legislation to phase out orca captivity, and even the California Coastal Commission moved to ban orca breeding at SeaWorld San Diego. This only placed more pressure on the company, leading SeaWorld to phase out theatrical orca shows at their San Diego location. In lieu of their orca breeding program, SeaWorld claims they will increase their focus on rescue operations to help stranded marine mammals like dolphins and sea lions who cannot be released back into the wild. While SeaWorld's current orcas will be the last generation of the mammals held in captivity at the parks, many believe the fight isn't over yet, and are urging SeaWorld to take their move a step further by opening their tanks to ocean sanctuaries. Read on to learn more on what Blackfish director Gabriela Cowperthwaite is calling a "truly meaningful" and "defining moment." -- Global Animal

Don’t Hide Your Head In The Sand: Save Ostriches From Slaughter!

(ANIMAL CRUELTY/OSTRICHES) It may be time to rethink your next designer handbag purchase. For years, activists have fought against using animal skin for clothing and accessories. Some individuals refuse to wear leather while others take a stand against fur coats; but many are unaware of the extent of the cruelty that occurs behind closed doors. Exotic animal skins come at a much greater cost to humanity than the number on their price tags. One lesser known industry that engages in horrific and cruel animal practices is the ostrich leather industry. -- Global Animal

DiCaprio: “Let Us Not Take This Planet For Granted”

(CELEBRITIES/ANIMAL ACTIVISM) During last night's 88th Academy Awards, Leonardo DiCaprio finally took home his first Oscar after being nominated six times in over two decades. Upon accepting the Best Actor award for his powerful performance in Alejandro González Iñárritu's The Revenant, the movie star took the opportunity to dedicate his award to a just cause: climate change. Using his high-profile moment as a platform for global change, the actor-activist referred to climate change as "the most urgent threat facing our entire species," and urged audiences to reject the “politics of greed," and support leaders willing to take action. While many are thrilled over the movie star’s advocacy, others claim DiCaprio has a long history as a climate hypocrite given his frequent use of private jets and yachts. What do you think of the star's speech? Read on for more on DiCaprio's environmental activism and share your thoughts in the comments below. -- Global Animal