Tag: Update

WAN Exclusive Update On A Controversial Case Of Alleged Neglect Of 20 Farm Animals In Colorado

After receiving a tip over the weekend about an alleged animal hoarding situation in Colorado that included starving pigs left outside in freezing conditions, WAN did some research and uncovered an abhorrent case of animal cruelty.

Sadly, the complex case involves a group of 20 farm animals and others that are innocent victims of severe cruelty and neglect, allegedly under the care of Halina Morley and Laurel Burchell.

One of the reasons this case is unlike most animal hoarding cases, is the small ‘manageable’ number of animals on the property. There are far more pressing issues involved in this case which local police and authorities have been investigating.

Yesterday morning, WAN had the opportunity to speak with the Founder and President of the nonprofit, Denkai Animal Sanctuary, Floss Blackburn, who was first alerted to this situation by Mary Stevens, the 80-year-old owner of the property located in Weld County, Colorado. Stevens leased a small portion of her land to Morley and Burchell, where they keep their animals.

As noted by Blackburn, Stevens is trying to evict her tenants and issued a call for help. Blackburn visited the property on February 3rd  and found the animals enduring subzero temperatures without proper bedding, food or water. Potbellied pigs, sheep, goats, chickens, ducks, a rabbit, and a dog were among the live animals Blackburn noticed suffering on the property among those that had already perished.

After finding the horribly neglected animals, Blackburn contacted authorities who reportedly stated that there was no evidence of wrongdoing. Blackburn then called Zachery Vaughn, an animal control officer with the Weld County Sheriff’s Office to request that they perform a necropsy on the dead animals because then they would have the evidence they needed.

The request was denied.

According to Blackburn, who stressed that animal welfare laws in Colorado are severely lacking, Vaughn explained that, “Morley is keeping the care for these animals at just barely the minimum allowed per the statutes, therefore there was nothing that the sheriff’s department could do other than continue to monitor the situation.”

“The bare minimum is not enough for animals to survive,” a frustrated Blackburn told WAN.

WAN also reached out to Joe Moylan, a Weld County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson about the situation and what can be done to save the animals on the property. Moylan stated that they have been investigating this situation for two weeks and recently went to the property but could not find any violations to warrant an animal cruelty charge.

“We considered seeking a warrant,” Moylan told WAN, further explaining that they “called in the state vet who said nothing was wrong.”

It seems as through so much is wrong in this case. Blackburn explained to WAN that people who were present during the visit told them that “the vet did not put hands on the animals to do an accurate assessment.”

The Weld County Sheriff’s Office has reportedly been flooded with calls and e-mails from individuals and rescuers trying to help. Yet, they continue to claim that the law has their hands tied in reference to seizing and providing safe care for the animals.

Unfathomably, as per a statement released by Denkai Animal Sanctuary, the Weld County Sheriff’s Office has reportedly also made it clear that individuals trying to help these animals by bringing food, providing water, posting about going onto the property, and calling in ‘false reports’ in regards to the well-being of these animals, will receive citations and can be arrested.

“The bottom line with this situation is that laws do not sufficiently exist to protect farmed animals from situations such as this. The minimum standard is not enough to keep these animals alive and will ultimately fail them, allowing repeat offenders to get away with continued neglect and abuse,” stated Denkai Animal Sanctuary.

Denkai Animal Sanctuary created a fundraiser to help the animals in need HERE!

You can help all animals and our planet by choosing compassion on your plate and in your glass. #GoVeg

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WAN Exclusive Update About Florida Manatee With The Word ‘TRUMP’ Etched On Its Back; $5,000 Reward Offered For Information

Photo by: Hailey Warrington, a boat captain for a fishing charter company in Crystal River, Fla.

Following yesterday’s disturbing news that a manatee was found in Florida on Sunday with the word ‘TRUMP’ etched on its body, WAN talked to Christina Meister at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service headquarters who confirmed that they are currently investigating the situation.

While it is an open investigation and updates are limited, Meister did share with WAN that, “The manatee does not appear to be seriously injured as it seems that the word was written in algae on the animal’s back.”

However,” continued Meister, “touching, harming or harassing West Indian manatees is still illegal and is a violation of the Endangered Species Act and the Marine Mammal Protection Act. Touching, harming or harassing manatees does cause harm as it can cause stress and or interfere with their natural behaviors in the wild.”

In the meantime, the Center for Biological Diversity is offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to the conviction of the person or persons responsible for the cruel act of the threatened manatee in north Florida’s Homosassa River. According to the organization, harassment of a manatee is a federal criminal offense punishable by a $50,000 fine and up to one year in prison.

“It’s heartbreaking that this manatee was subjected to this vile, criminal act,” said Jaclyn Lopez, Florida Director of the Center, in a statement. “It’s clear that whoever harmed this defenseless, gentle giant, is capable of doing grave violence and needs to be apprehended immediately.”

Protected under the Endangered Species Act since 1963, manatees are slow-moving plant eaters with no natural predators. Sadly, boat mortality accounts for an estimated 20% of manatee deaths.

“The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is aware of this incident and is working closely with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission,” Aurelia Skipwith, Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, said in a statement sent to WAN. “If you have any information regarding this case, please call our wildlife crime tips hotline at 1-844-397-8477 or email us at FWS_TIPS@FWS.GOV.”

The post WAN Exclusive Update About Florida Manatee With The Word ‘TRUMP’ Etched On Its Back; $5,000 Reward Offered For Information appeared first on World Animal News.

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Hundreds Of Species Of Sharks & Rays Are Now Threatened With Extinction According To An Update Of The IUCN Red List

A recently updated Red List analyses from the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) indicates that 316 species of sharks, rays, skates, and chimaeras, are now considered threatened with extinction, many of them as a direct consequence of overharvesting for their meat, fins, and oil. These species are members of the Chondrichthyes class which means that they have a flexible skeleton made of cartilage instead of bone.

Four species of hammerhead and angel sharks, all of which are either Endangered or Critically Endangered, are also at risk of extinction, making them among the world’s most threatened shark families in the world.

Preliminary analysis from the organization TRAFFIC have found that the total number of the global shark meat trade was fairly stable between 2008 and 2011, before increasing in 2012–2017. However, a serious lack of reporting and data collected on species that have been caught and traded obscures underlying trends in shark populations.

“On the outside, stable annual catches give the false impression that everything is fine, but in reality, they could be masking the serial depletion of species—as soon as one is fished out, the industry simply targets the next, so that one by one they disappear,” TRAFFIC’s Senior Advisor on Fisheries and Vice Chair of the IUCN Shark Specialist Group, Glenn Sant, said in a statement.

“Fisheries need to get serious about better data collection and reporting. How can you manage something if you don’t know what’s going on under the surface,” continued Sant.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a rise in shark and ray poaching, although the levels of monitoring have fallen due to social distancing requirements.

“This could be a recipe for disaster when overlayed with the already limited monitoring and management of these species,” concluded Sant.

You can help all animals and our planet by choosing compassion on your plate and in your glass. #GoVeg

The post Hundreds Of Species Of Sharks & Rays Are Now Threatened With Extinction According To An Update Of The IUCN Red List appeared first on World Animal News.

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WAN Exclusive Update With Beirut For The Ethical Treatment of Animals (BETA) About Pets Affected By The Devastating Explosion In Lebanon

Photos from Beirut for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (BETA)

Following the massive explosion that devastated the Capitol of Lebanon earlier this month, Beirut for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (BETA), the first no-kill shelter in the country, remains on the ground caring for animals impacted by the catastrophic event. SPCA International has committed to a $20,000 grant to support BETA’s work in the aftermath of the crisis.

WAN talked with BETA representatives today to get an update about the dire situation. Tragically, the number of injured animals found in the aftermath of the explosion continues to grow.

As per data from Dr. Ihab Chaaban, Head of the Lebanese Syndicate of Veterinarians, one week after the explosions, it was estimated that 123 injured dogs and cats have been found and are currently being treated for their injuries. Many experienced trauma from the blast being hit by shattered glass. Others tragically passed away near ground zero. This does not include animals who were taken outside of the city for veterinary care.

Currently, BETA’s dog and cat shelters are at full capacity. They are now caring for more than 1,000 animals, including: 850 dogs, 200 cats, three horses, one donkey, and one monkey.

As noted in an earlier statement sent to WAN, BETA is also continuing to care for approximately 80 dogs that remain in the region of the port; providing them with food and water, as well as treatments to remove and protect the animals from fleas and worms. They are also starting a campaign to spay and neuter homeless and displaced neighborhood dogs.

“SPCA International is sending an emergency disaster relief grant of $20,000 to BETA Lebanon. The staff and volunteers at BETA are looking after the animals left at the port, as well as those who have lost their homes in the wake of the August 4th disaster,” Meredith Ayan, SPCAI’s Executive Director told WAN. “We are proud to support their vital work as Beirut recovers from the devastating explosion at the port.”

Many people have and continue to request help from BETA to treat their pets, as well as to help those who cannot afford to feed their animals. BETA is expecting the requests to drastically increase as the shock is over.

Please help Beirut for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (BETA) save and treat more animals affected by the explosion in Lebanon by donating HERE!

You can help all animals and our planet by choosing compassion on your plate and in your glass. #GoVeg

The post WAN Exclusive Update With Beirut For The Ethical Treatment of Animals (BETA) About Pets Affected By The Devastating Explosion In Lebanon appeared first on World Animal News.

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