With the arguments against horse-drawn carriages in Southwest Florida began with the area’s unforgiving climate and ended with potential leg injuries on hard pavement, with all kinds of inhumane treatment in-between…why did the city council of Fort Myers decide to allow the advertising of an ordinance that would allow horse-drawn carriages in the downtown? We have a big jeer to the city council today for not taking facts into consideration while making this decision that promotes the mistreatment of horses.


Several people at Monday night's Fort Myers City Council meeting — where the proposal to allow the carriages was discussed — made it clear they're not onboard with the idea.Madeleine Doran, an animal rights activist, was among them and told ABC news that the horses shouldn't be working in the state at all “Horse-drawn carriages are not romantic. They're not quaint,” she said. “They're cruel. The pavement is 50 degrees hotter than the weather reports for any given day.”


The city council did agree to reconsider the decision before October 19th and said in the meantime, city leaders will reach out to cities like Savannah, Georgia and Charleston, South Carolina, which have carriages. We would urge the council to pay close attention to the abuses carriage-horses face while living a nose to tailpipe existence and the huge potential for dangerous accidents to occur when mixing animals with busy city streets.


We have long protested the use of horse-carriages on city streets in New York and have succeeded in having Bill #573 introduced in City Council which would help get these abused horses off dangerous streets and into waiting sanctuaries. Fort Myers should choose to take a step forward into the 21st century instead of two steps backwards by allowing this cruel and out-dated form of transportation to exist on their city streets.

You can take action by contacting Fort Myers’ City Council and urging them not to allow this cruel and abusive industry into their city. You can send them our five facts about the carriage-horse industry right here or write your own message and email them via the addresses located below.



Thomas C. Leonardo, Ward 6


“The captain is responsible for all lives on board”…we have a big #cheer today for an airline pilot who took that sentence to heart, going above and beyond to make sure the furriest passenger aboard the plane made it to his destination safely and comfortably.


Simba, a 7-year-old French bulldog, was traveling in the cargo hold on a recent Air Canada flight from Tel Aviv to Toronto when a problem occurred in the normally climate-controlled compartment in which Simba was waiting out his journey and experienced a sudden drop in temperature that, if left unresolved, might have caused him to freeze to death over the hours-long flight.


Rather than risking the dog's life, the pilot decided to divert to Frankfort, Germany. Once on the ground, the crated dog was removed and placed onto another plane to continue his journey…much to the relief of his grateful owner who told City News, “It’s my dog, it’s like my child. It’s everything to me.”


The unexpected diversion added time to the passengers' travels, and it was costly—an estimated $10,000 in fuel was used because of the change of plans, but the priceless cost of one dog's life made the detour worthwhile.


We’re happy to see this show of compassion and believe it’s an excellent reminder that all lives are equal and that every life is worth saving.


When will the USFWS understand that the concept of massacring one animal while claiming to be protecting another species is never going to work? We have a huge jeer today for the Army Corps of Engineers and their ridiculous and shortsighted plan to kill thousands of federally protected migratory birds in Oregon to supposedly keep them from eating endangered juvenile salmon and steelhead at the mouth of the Columbia River.

We joined five conservation and animal welfare organizations in April and initiated a lawsuit against the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and USDA Wildlife Services to try and stop the slaughter of thousands of double-crested cormorants and find it unbelievable that despite strong public opposition, the Army Corps is going through with the killings.


Since May the agency has killed 358 birds and oiled more than 5,000 nests to keep eggs from hatching and plans to kill thousands more using shotguns as the birds forage for food over water. Snipers with night vision goggles and high-powered rifles will also shoot birds from elevated platforms as the birds care for their eggs and young on their nesting grounds at East Sand Island in the Columbia River.


This species of bird congregates on the island because it provides good nesting habitat and a steady source of fish to feed on. They also congregate there because they have been driven out of other traditional nesting areas due to concerns about fish predation. In the 1990s, the Army Corps even deliberately relocated a Caspian Tern nesting colony to the island, and the rise in the cormorant population is tied to declines in other tern nesting colonies up and down the West Coast.


This decision perfectly represents the entrenched shoot-first mentality of these agencies who regularly authorize the killing of millions of animals despite research showing the practices are inhumane and extremely ineffective. The agencies should be changing the way they “manage” wildlife by promoting peaceful coexistence between species instead of blatantly massacring wild birds and using salmon as justification. Birds are meant to eat fish…it's humans who are to blame for the devestation of marine life.  


How can you take action?


Call the U.S. Army Corps’ public affairs office at 503-808-4510 and let them know you oppose cormorant killing on East Sand Island.

Contact Governor Brown’s office and tell her you want the State of Oregon to promote non-lethal solutions to salmon recovery: Click here | 503-378-4582

Contact members of Oregon’s congressional delegation – by submitting a message online or calling them – and tell them you want the Corps to focus on promoting peaceful coexistence methods instead of killing.


At a recent Q&A at a coffee shop in Iowa, a woman asked Hillary Clinton an unexpected question. Instead of a question about hot political topics, it was about a less discussed, but equally important issue…puppy mills. Part of her question included the statement “When you become president, this is what I would like you to do, I would like to see every single dog and cat mill across the country shut down.”


We have a big #cheer for Clinton’s sympathetic response to the woman’s worries about the cruelties of puppy mills, saying “I share your concern about these mills. From everything I know about them, they really are terrible places for any animal, and particularly for dogs and cats. We do need to do more.”


We are very much aware of the problems and abuses that puppy mills create in this country. Virtually all of the puppies sold in pet stores come from puppy mills. In rural areas, where puppy mills are a cottage industry, puppies are farmed as 'livestock and are essentially viewed as a cash-crop, resulting in many health problems in both the puppies and their mothers.


So what can you do to take action against puppy mills? Adopt a dog or cat from a shelter! Do not purchase dogs or cats from pet shops. There is no reason to breed dogs and cats while millions are killed in shelters. Without pet shop sales, the market for puppy mills will disappear. You should also make sure you have your pets spayed and neutered to help reduce the homeless pet population. Check out our low-cost spay and neuter certificate program right here.


Since topics like puppy mills and animal abuse aren’t usually brought up during political campaigns, we’re glad to see them being discussed. Hopefully, questions and answers like this will drive real change that will help save the lives of dogs who are bred in puppy mills.