Monday, November 23, 2009

ISAR's International Homeless Animals' Day 2009

ISAR’s International Homeless Animals’ Day® 2009 was commemorated for the 18th consecutive year on August 15th with Candlelight Vigil observances in 24 states and 6 foreign countries.

For the eighteenth consecutive year, ISAR has facilitated animal rights/welfare organizations in 24 states and 6 foreign countries in making their International Homeless Animals’ Day events a success.

In honor of ISAR’s International Homeless Animals’ Day 2009, ISAR was pleased to once again hold our Online Candlelight Vigil for the eighth consecutive year. Visitors to our website,, were invited to light a virtual candle in memory of those directly affected by the global tragedy - pet overpopulation.

Activities for this year’s ISAR International Homeless Animals’ Day included candlelight vigils, blessings of the animals, concerts, adopt-a-thons, microchip clinics, dog walks, open houses, award ceremonies, and raffles. Other activities included information stalls, “meet and greets” as well as speeches given by local council members, animal advocacy representatives, shelter personnel, veterinarians, and humane officers.

2009 Vigil Observances

ISAR encourages all vigil coordinators to contact us with feedback, photos, and video of their events. Through your comments and suggestions, our vigils will continue to grow. Due to space constraints, we’re not able to acknowledge the many observances held on August 15, 2009. Representative examples follow.

Four hundred people gathered for Bark In The Park held by Holly Help Spay-Neuter Fund in Bristol, Virginia in honor of ISAR’s International Homeless Animals’ Day 2009. To help increase attendance, Holly Help Spay-Neuter Fund incorporated many activities in addition to their candlelight vigil that included speeches, presentations, and distribution of flyers, contests, awards, a celebrity and pet walk with individuals from local governments from Virginia and Tennessee, and local media. One of the more effective components bringing to light the problem of pet overpopulation was the big rig depicting graphics of dogs and cats in shelter cages with brightly colored statements declaring “Crime – being born into a world without enough homes – punishable by death” and “To spay or not to spay…you decide!” According to Holly Help Spay-Neuter Fund Founder/Operator, Sue Williams, “judging by the reaction of those attending the event after hearing the local euthanasia statistics read out loud on stage the impact was very effective and was substantial by increased donations for spay/neuter.” With regard to increasing attendance at their vigil, Ms. Williams advises others to, “Invite local celebrities and individuals from local government along with media anchors to attend and participate in events.”

Sleeping with Dogs…One of Life’s Benefits was the theme surrounding eleven rescue/adoption/advocacy groups, three vendors and more than seventy-five participants at The Queenie Foundation Inc.’s fourteenth annual International Homeless Animals’ Day observance held in Connecticut on August 15th. M. Jodi Rell, Governor of Connecticut, signed ISAR’s Proclamation declaring August 15, 2009 as International Homeless Animals’ Day. The city council of Glastonbury, CT, wrote a proclamation based on ISAR’s and presented it to The Queenie Foundation, Inc. Events at this observance included an interfaith blessing of the animals, vegetarian cuisine, music and raffles, informational booths and a candlelight remembrance. Special guest speakers, Diana Urban, CT 47th District State Representative, and Sue Mercer from Bikers Against Animal Cruelty spoke on the importance of companion animal responsibility and a cruelty free society. No stranger to organizing an ISAR International Homeless Animals’ Day observance, Enid Breakstone, Founder and Executive Director of The Queenie Foundation, Inc., cannot stress enough the importance of working together for holding a successful event. Ms. Breakstone encourages everyone hosting an International Homeless Animals’ Day observance to, “invite all the rescues and advocacy organizations that you can find in your area/county/region to table at your event. It’s important for the public see that the most urgent issue facing companion animals is euthanasia, hence spay/neuter is paramount. The public needs to see that the reason there are so many organizations in operation is because there is a serious need to handle the volume of animals who find themselves homeless. If we depend solely on county and municipal shelters, millions more would die.”

West Virginia was the setting for the Mountaineer Spay Neuter Assistance Program’s (M-SNAP) first annual International Homeless Animals’ Day Candlelight Vigil on August 15th. With candles radiating with hope for a better future for companion animals, approximately fifty people gathered to bring attention to the plight of homeless animals while listening to enlightening speeches, live music, and participating in a blessing for the animals. When asked for her general impression of their vigil’s effectiveness in educating about the perils of pet overpopulation and the solution to spay/neuter, Nancy Young of M-SNAP stated, “We distributed our flyers to every bulletin board we could locate, published the invitation on our website and on Facebook. Volunteers also promoted by word of mouth. We sent a PSA to the local radio stations and a press release to the local newspaper. We presented a wonderful program and, although we didn’t have a huge turnout, everyone thought that for the first effort, it was a success. M-SNAP will definitely repeat the candlelight vigil each year.”

More than three thousand people gathered in Pretoria, South Africa to pay tribute to homeless animals during an International Homeless Animals’ Day observance held by Wet Nose Animal Rescue Centre. During the event, all animals under Wet Nose’s care spent the day romping and playing with the locals. Activities included live entertainment, flea market stalls, delicious food, dog shows, award ceremonies, and the dedication of their brand new animal hospital facility. Wet Nose Animal Rescue Centre was also presented with keys to a new vehicle for their animal inspection division. With regards to this year’s International Homeless Animals’ Day event, Tracy Forté, Managing Director of Wet Nose Animal Rescue Centre, said, “It was the most amazing experience to have so many loyal animal lovers and supporters here at once. This year was the best International Homeless Animals Day ever held by Wet Nose, we never expected so many people! Thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone who helped make this day so awesome. To all those who spread the word, forwarded the advertisement on the net and brought along family and friends – THANK YOU! We will be ready and waiting for even bigger crowds next year!”

Our Deepest Gratitude to Vigil Coordinators

Listed below are some of the countless organizations ISAR would like to thank for their efforts.

ISAR would like to specially thank KXCI 91.3 FM, Center for Animal Rescue and Adoption, HOPE Animal Shelter, Spay and Neuter Solutions, Inc., Citizens for a No-Kill Tucson, City of Glendale Building Safety Department Staff Members, Murphy Dog Park, Bryant Animal Control & Adoption Center, For the Sake of Dogs, Fort Bragg Feed and Pet, Animal Care Services, Fallbrook Animal Sanctuary, La Plata County Humane Society, inside/out, Rocky Mountain Alley Cat Alliance, All Breed Rescue & Training, The Animal Haven, Humane Society of Greater Miami, Cats Exclusive, Inc., Brevard County South & North Animal Care and Adoption Centers, Animal Guardians of Brevard, Cats Angels, Inc. SPCA, SPCA of Central Florida, Susan Buser, Orange County Animal Services, The Central Illinois Animal Welfare Coalition, Humane Society of Indianapolis, Humane Society of Elkhart County, Siouxland Humane Society, Lexington Humane Society, Chesapeake Cats and Dogs, Inc., K9Resque, Minnesota Valley Humane Society, College View Manor, Dellridge Health & Rehabilitation Center, New Rochelle Humane Society, Merlin’s Song, Edgecomb-Nash Humane Society, The Greater Triad Shag Club, Cleveland Animal Protective League, The Mutt Hutt, The Happy Dog, Great Lakes Brewing Company, Gress Mountain Ranch, BSA Troop 72, Helen O. Krause Animal Foundation, Hillside SPCA, The Greystone Restaurant, Bradford County Humane Society, No Kill Lehigh Valley, Defenders of Animals, Crescent Park Carousel Commission, Believe in Bristol, Green Mountain Animal Defenders, Greyhound Rescue Foundation, Animal Defense League, The Kanawha/Charleston Humane Association, Greenbrier Humane Society.

ISAR also truly appreciates the international participation of PACE, Canada, Estonian Society for the protection of Animals, Tallinn Environmental Board, Estonia, OIKOS KAI BIOS, France, SPANA, Jordan, SOS Chats, Switzerland.

Special Thanks

ISAR is grateful for the support from U.S. Governors and Mayors who acknowledged the companion animal overpopulation crisis by signing ISAR’s Proclamation declaring August 15, 2009, as International Homeless Animals’ Day. ISAR would also like to take this opportunity to encourage every elected official who has not participated in this year’s International Homeless Animals’ Day observance to please consider doing so for next year’s event. ISAR cannot stress enough the importance of having the support of all elected officials in combating pet overpopulation!

ISAR is extremely appreciative to all participating media for helping us to promote International Homeless Animals’ Day this year. ISAR also sincerely appreciates every individual who utilized their local media and online resources (blogs, online communities, etc…) to educate others on the importance of responsible pet care and the simple solution to the pet overpopulation crisis: spay/neuter. Media coverage included newspaper articles, radio and television interviews, and numerous online resources directing the public to International Homeless Animals’ Day observances in their area.

Organize a Vigil for 2010

As any past vigil coordinator can attest, beginning the planning process early proves indispensable in generating a bigger impact for a successful International Homeless Animals’ Day observance.

ISAR will be glad to welcome back all previous vigil coordinators as well as a host of new ones to participate in International Homeless Animals’ Day 2010. Together we will once again orchestrate a heightened awareness of the plague of pet overpopulation and on a global scale promote the importance of spay/neuter.

Individuals or organizations wishing to take part in ISAR’s International Homeless Animals’ Day 2010 observance on August 21st can receive a free vigil planning packet by submitting a request to ISAR by mail, phone, fax, or email. Our vigil packets include guidelines for organizing a successful vigil event with tips on site selection, suggestions for speakers and vigil events, reaching target audiences, poems, songs, and sample press releases are but a few of the items included in our packet. Beginning in 2010, you can also receive, for a donation of $5.00 to ISAR, our International Homeless Animals’ Day posters to advertise your event, Proclamations to be signed by your governor and mayor declaring the day as International Homeless Animals’ Day, coloring sheets and more. Your donation will also guarantee advertisement of your organization’s event to thousands of people on ISAR’s website, as well as promotion on ISAR’s online communities including Facebook and Myspace. Vigil packets are only sent upon request.

Together we will continue to be a strong voice for the animals.

Working together we do make a difference.

Friday, November 6, 2009

ISAR's Model Statute Regulating Dog Breeding, Facilitation and Sales

At this very moment, literally countless numbers of dogs, certainly hundreds of thousands, are held captive around the world in wretched conditions, while being used and abused as living breeding machines by conscienceless breeders, facilitators and commercial retail sales outlets whose only concern is for their own profit.

Because much of that abuse occurs in the United States, and because ISAR's self-imposed mandate is the protection of animals, we have prepared a comprehensive Monograph containing ISAR's Model Statute Regulating Dog Breeding, Facilitation and Sales. In effect, our Monograph is a brief in support of our Model Statute. ISAR's approach to the dog breeding problem is revolutionary because our goal is to end virtually all breeding of dogs in the United States and to prohibit the importation of canines bred elsewhere. End the breeding, not perpetuate it.

ISAR's Model Statute's imposition of tough regulations on breeders, facilitators and commercial retail sales outlets is unapologetically draconian. This is our intention and our goal, because only in this manner can the dog-trade's participants' appalling, and often illegal, conduct be regulated out of existence once and for all.


1. Breeders:
Types of breeders. Genesis of puppy mills in the United States.

"Life" in a puppy mill.
Puppy mills are a blight on civilized society.
The moral case against puppy mills.
Federal efforts to regulate breeders and others.
State efforts to regulate puppy mills.
The Petland case and the torturous road of litigation.
2. Facilitators:
ISAR definition.
USDA definition.
Examples of facilitators.
3. Retail sellers:
State laws.
4. Constitutionality of regulating dog breeding and sales.
5. ISAR's Model Statute Regulating Dog Breeding, Facilitation and Sales:
Animal Welfare Act.
Preface to ISAR's model statute.
ISAR's Model Statute Regulating Dog Breeding, Facilitation and Sales.
Part I. Definitions (annotated).
Part II. Breeders (annotated).
Part III. Facilitators (annotated).
Part IV. Commercial retail sales outlets (annotated).
Part V. Miscellaneous provisions (annotated).
A. ISAR's Model Statute Regulating Dog Breeding, Facilitation and Sales (unannotated).
Part I. Definitions (unannotated).
Part II. Breeders (unannotated).
Part III. Facilitators (unannotated).

Part IV. Commercial retail sales outlets (unannotated).
Part V. Miscellaneous provisions (unannotated).
B. Petland first amended complaint.

The entire monograph can be found here.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Half A Loaf, Revisited

One year ago we published the blog that appears below.

The animal rights/welfare movement here and abroad is awash in proposed legislation (see ISAR's Model Mandatory Spay/Neuter statute), much of which will never be enacted or, if enacted, never enforced.

So the question is whether it is cause for rejoicing when pro-animal legislation actually becomes law.

We have seen three examples in as many months.

The Swiss have enacted a sweeping animal protection law. It includes handling guidelines for cats, dogs, sheep, goats and horses. There is a six-hour time limit for the transportation of livestock. Piglets cannot be castrated without anesthesia.

Massachusetts has banned greyhound racing throughout the Commonwealth.

A California ballot initiative has just been approved that seeks to provide 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."

However, the Swiss law allows dairy farmers to keep their cattle tied up in stalls for 240 days of the year. Tie-stalls for horses are to be phased out over five years. Zoo animals, like rhinos, can be confined in small winter quarters. Wild animals in circuses are still permitted (though banned in neighboring Austria).

The Massachusetts greyhound ban does not become effective until 2010.

California's "living space" initiative gives farmers until 2015 to shift to more humane animal production systems. Yet, for some in the animal rights/welfare movement these measures are not only not enough (and they aren't!), but the laws are to be disdained because they don't go far enough.

These folks believe that when laws like this are proposed they should be fought, because passage of these useful but wholly inadequate enactments give opponents the ability to argue that "enough is enough"--that the movement clamored for these laws, they were enacted, and that's all the affected animals are entitled to, at least for years to come.

This absolutist position is 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?

In other words, is half-a-loaf better than none?

Much better—particularly, if you're a veal calf spending your entire life in a crate.

The blog highlighted the dilemma faced by serious people in the animal protection movement, especially those who recall Voltaire’s famous observation that “the perfect is the enemy of the good”—meaning that while one seeks utopia in human affairs, “the perfect,” much else, “the good,” doesn’t get done.

As to animal protection, while we wait (and work toward) much better Swiss, Massachusetts California and other laws (“the perfect”), the benefits that could have accrued (“the good), are lost.

We were reminded of this problem recently when 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 not support the proposed new legislation because in approving it we would be accepting the existence 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, do we seek “the perfect,” with not even a nod to reality?

Or do we support the proposed new legislation precisely because of the amelioration, abjuring “the perfect” to gain “the good”? In other words, do we accept the reality that “the good” means reducing suffering, at the expense of “the perfect,” which in a utopian world would be an outright prohibition of tethering?

After much soul-searching, we recalled the concluding two sentences of our earlier blog:
“In other words, is half-a-loaf better than none? Much better—particularly, if you're a veal calf spending your entire life in a crate.”

To paraphrase, as to tethering: Is “half-a-loaf better than none”? Much better--if you’re a dog chained to a stationary object and whose entire universe consists of several square feet (at best), primitive shelter (at best), almost no human contact (at best), and little interaction with your own kind (at best).

This said, however, ISAR insists on making unmistakably clear that we unequivocally oppose the practice of tethering both as a moral and humane imperative the practice of tethering, and that our support of the pending Pennsylvania legislation is not intended, nor should it be construed as, our sanction, approval, or any other kind of endorsement of the cruel practice of tethering.

If ISAR had its way, Pennsylvania and every other state would immediately enact laws making tethering of dogs illegal, with severe penalties. Let there be no mistake about ISAR’s position!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Animal Rights Books for Sale

ISAR has for sale a limited number of historically important books on the subject of animal rights. Individuals or organizations interested in purchasing books, either singly or in quantity, should Click Here and provide either an email address or telephone number so that an ISAR representative can take the order. Descriptions of each book, and the price per single copy (shipping and handling costs are added), are as follows:

Animals' Rights, Considered in Relation to Social Progress
By Henry S. Salt
Preface by Professor Peter Singer

Originally published in 1892, Salt's classic Animal Rights, Considered in Relation to Social Progress was rescued from obscurity by ISAR and republished in 1980. The book is, in the words of Professor Singer's Preface, "the best of the eighteenth- and nineteenth-century works on the rights of animals." ($5.00, hardcover)

The Struggle for Animal Rights
By Professor Tom Regan
Introduction by Colman McCarthy

Published by ISAR in 1987 and dedicated to its founder--the late "Helen Jones who understood animal rights before the rest of us"--Regan's book provides a clear statement of the animal activists' agenda--what they must do, where it should be pursued, and how they can succeed. ($3.00, softcover)

The Extended Circle
By Jon Wynne-Tyson

Lauding the author's anthology of humane thought--which contains commentary by personages from St. Francis of Assisi to William Wordsworth--Professor Peter Singer noted that it is "a marvelous collection of material which will bring encouragement and inspiration to every compassionate reader," while Professor Regan said that "this remarkable book should become the bible of all concerned with humane education and the concept of animal rights." ($7.00 hardcover)

Christianity and the Rights of Animals
By Andrew Linzey

It is no secret that that the Biblical and Christian view of animals was that they did not possess any rights that humans were obliged to respect. In this book, the author--Chaplain and Director of Studies at the Center for the Study of Theology, University of Essex--presents a comprehensive and well-argued theological case for the rights of animals, offering a challenging critique of modern insensitivy toward animal life. ($3.00 softcover)

All Heaven in a Rage
By E.S. Turner

In the nature of a factual/intellectual expose, this book describes how the British nation was led and forced into showing some compassion to certain animals. It illuminates the philosophical, legislative, and social components of that struggle. As one of the book's endorsers wrote, "it ends once and for all the smug myth that the British are the only nation that loves animals and that the only people who are cruel to them are foreigners." ($3.00, softcover)

The Duty of Mercy, and the
Sin of Cruelty to Brute Animals
By Humphrey Primatt
Richard D. Ryder (ed.)

Humphrey Primatt, a clergyman, lived in the Eighteenth Century and was among the first to address the issue of animal rights. Richard D. Ryder discovered Primatt's book in 1976 in an Oxford library. In Ryder's Introduction to it, he writes that "with unprecedented clarity, [here] was a complete book devoted to the moral treatment of animals and composed by a mind comprehensible to my own. This little known doctor of divinity displayed in the 1770s remarkable similar thoughts to those Peter Singer, Tom Regan . . . Andrew Linzey, myself and others had recently been expressing in the 1970s." ($3.00, softcover)

Moral Inquiries on the
Situation of Man and of Brutes
Lewis Gompertz
Peter Singer (ed.)

Lewis Gompertz (1779-1825) was, among his activities on behalf of animals, a founding member of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in Great Britain. In Professor Peter Singer's Preface to Gompertz's book, he writes that "Gompertz was an authentic pioneering exponent of the set of ideas that, a century and a half later, have been taken up by the animal liberation movement." ($3.00, softcover).