Here’s to those who help animals

I want nothing to do with anyone who gratuitously allows animals to suffer, and much admire those who do their best to relieve that suffering. Not only were animals here before humans, but it’s palpably true that they suffer, and that alone gives us an onus to do something about it.  Matthew Cobb sent me this tw**t that contains a nice 1½-minute video of people taking risks to help our mammalian cousins.

Were I religious, I’d say “God bless these people.” As it is, I’ll just say that they’re great folks and we should follow their lead. Go fill your bird feeder—and don’t forget some nuts and seeds for the squirrels. It’s cold, the beasts can’t come indoors, and they’re hungry.

Happy New Year!

h/t: Nicole Reggia


  1. Posted December 31, 2016 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

    I’ve been a vegetarian for over 25 years and I just saved a spider today. My husband and I thought she was dead. For about two weeks, a very furry spider wandered around the house, mostly on the ceiling. When we got back from holiday visiting, we noticed her on the bathroom floor, presumably dead. But this morning, I realized she was on her back. I placed a tissue over her, she hooked onto the paper, then I set her free outside. Our good deed for the day. 🙂

  2. Posted December 31, 2016 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

    YES!!!! I get a good idea of one’s character by how they treat the vulnerable…especially animals.

  3. Randall Schenck
    Posted December 31, 2016 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for running that. Best thing to see today. Take care of your animals and feed all of them you can.

  4. mfdempsey1946
    Posted December 31, 2016 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

    Very moving — and so unlike so much (but thankfully not all) other kinds of human activity these days and down through the centuries.

  5. Ted Raymond
    Posted December 31, 2016 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

    I agree wholeheartedly. My only quibble is with “animals were here before humans”. Humans are animals! Humans were also here before all species of domesticated dogs and cats.

    • Randall Schenck
      Posted December 31, 2016 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

      That’s good. Have you ever notice that some on this site are somewhat anal retentive?

      • mordacious1
        Posted December 31, 2016 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

        You say that like it’s a bad thing.

        • Randall Schenck
          Posted December 31, 2016 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

          No No. I’m sure that PCC needed the information concerning humans and animals.

  6. gothamette
    Posted December 31, 2016 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

    Well, humans bred livestock. A cow isn’t an aurochs.

    That said, Jerry – what do you think about eating factory killed meat? I do, but I feel guilty. I think the animals suffer a lot.

    • Mark Sturtevant
      Posted December 31, 2016 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

      Absolutely right and true. We are unfortunately like angels should be only when the situation is right before us. We are, at heart, creatures of small villages.

  7. Posted December 31, 2016 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

    Feeding wild animals sure seems like a good thing to do. It’s enjoyable and gives one the good feeling of being a provider.
    Personally, I’m all for it.

    Still, there’s something that Richard Dawkins wrote that does worry me a bit:

    “If there ever is a time of plenty, this very fact will automatically lead to an increase in the population until the natural state of starvation and misery is restored.”

    • Carl
      Posted December 31, 2016 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

      Please don’t feed bears.

    • Jeff Chamberlain
      Posted December 31, 2016 at 9:43 pm | Permalink

      Wildlife experts are virtually unanimous that feeding wild animals is almost always a bad thing to do.

  8. Diana MacPherson
    Posted December 31, 2016 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

    I felt bad when my mystery snail escaped his tank and fell to his death, cracking his shell. He ate 3 of my plants but I was giving him broccoli so he started leaving them alone. He was a bit dumb though as I had to put him on it for him to notice. But still, I felt bad for a snail! My programming is clearly messed up.

    • Michael Waterhouse
      Posted January 2, 2017 at 1:55 am | Permalink

      I don’t think your programming is messed up.
      Have you seen Vi Harts crazy snail videos?
      If not, I recommend a look.

      • Diana MacPherson
        Posted January 2, 2017 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

        Haha! Just looked at one and it was pretty good. My mystery snail used to nom nom things.

        • Michael Waterhouse
          Posted January 5, 2017 at 1:34 am | Permalink

          Yep, cool.
          I think the last one, number 3 was the best, for the photography at least, especially the eyes, and two was good for her strange song about climbing.

  9. bluemaas
    Posted December 31, 2016 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

    From Flying Hawk of ~y1852 – y1931, this Oglala saw of long and long: “Nobody [as of very many Animalia] can be in good health if s(h)e does not have all the time fresh air, sunshine and good water.”

    And from Ms Versteeg, a dictó out of my ninth – grade junior high, first – year Latin lessons … … , quoting an ancestor of an ancient time: “Ostende con quién andas y te ostendar quién eres.” A rough translation in re, or .not., to wantonly permitting beasts to suffer being, “Show me with whom you walk, and I’ll show you who … … you are.”

    Timely, not? as the newest calendar year looms bringing with it that newest of USA administrations politically. One actual religious contemporary I can (stand to) read, Mr John Pavlovitz, wrote at the end of this one, “No, we don’t have to ‘get over’ anything.”


  10. rickflick
    Posted December 31, 2016 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

    A friend of mine works with a tiger protection group making cameras that can be placed in the jungle to catch poachers. The tiger population has increased for the first time in years from 3,200 to 3,890. I think he deserves some of the credit and our thanks.

    • Michael Waterhouse
      Posted January 2, 2017 at 2:06 am | Permalink

      That sounds great.

  11. BJ
    Posted December 31, 2016 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

    Hooray for animals and those who help them! Except spiders.

    Most of my best friends have been cats. I’m far more picky when it comes to humans!

    If anyone is interested in a great, comfortable, no-kill cat shelter where the cats don’t suffer inside tiny cages all day, but rather live a good life with loving caretakers, please check out and perhaps donate to my favorite cat charity:

    They also care for homeless dogs, pigs, bunnys, birds, and other animals, but what they do for these poor animals is wonderful. It’s the dream all of us furry critter-lovers have had: buy a big farm and give every homeless and unloved animal not just what they need to live, but what they deserve as creatures who need love and dignity.

    • BJ
      Posted December 31, 2016 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

      The way I typed that makes it sound like I’m a furry person who loves critters, entreating other similarly-furred people to join me in donating to this charity. I only meant that I love furry critters. I’m not particularly furry myself.

    • Mark Sturtevant
      Posted December 31, 2016 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

      Certainly one must agree that jumping spiders are cute.

      • BJ
        Posted December 31, 2016 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

        I don’t have to agree to anything, damn it! Especially when it comes to spiders being cute!

        • Posted January 1, 2017 at 2:39 am | Permalink

          But spiders eat the bugs that are really bad and other than be scary looking are really no danger to humans in almost all cases. (Yes, I’m aware that some spiders are poisonous). I prefer the spider in the corner of my basement than the fly.

        • Michael Waterhouse
          Posted January 2, 2017 at 2:09 am | Permalink

          But the Peacock jumping spiders are pretty cute.
          And small, so cuter.

  12. Posted December 31, 2016 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

    Meanwhile, here on the east coast of Australia, members of the wildlife rescue organisation I belong to are keeping watch over colonies of flying foxes. These beautiful animals, essential pollinators of our forests, have been suffering heat stress.
    Hot, dry weather has severely reduced the FFs food supply.
    A few weeks ago, mums carrying their pups were starving and began dropping their babies. The vaccinated (against Lissavirus) carers looking after these pups were soon overloaded and a halt was called to further rescues.
    The organisation put out a call for carers for the FF carers who were so busy they couldn’t find time to feed themselves and cope with the huge amount of washing that caring for bats entails.
    Now, just as the surviving juvenile FFs in the wild are becoming independent, we’re experiencing another string of 100 to 105 deg F days and still the rain is not coming.
    The colonies along the north eastern seabord have been decimated.
    Meanwhile the organisation is still operating its rescue hotline 24/7 helping to save birds, wallabies, echidas, snakes, lizards every day.
    Some of the rescues involve freeing flying foxes from barbed wire fences – traumatic events both for the animal and the people rescuing them.
    There are still good people – and a lot of them – in the world.

  13. Edward Hessler
    Posted December 31, 2016 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

    Each year I’m given a present at Christmas time which provides partial support for a kitteh–most of mine are not adoptable for one reason or another. And a couple have been very shy and wary of humans with painful reasons. They live out their lives there, deeply cared for and deeply loved.

    This year she is Memphis, a gorgeous and very friendly tiger. I’ve yet to visit her. I attribute this to the ice-filled walk but am likely deceiving myself.

    The agency, Feline Rescue, found homes for some 1000 moggies in 2016 as well as provided spaying for them and others.

    I once steadied an elderly woman over a snowbank in front of a fundamentalist church I walk by very often. Sometimes the walls of that church seem to throb from the music. She said “God bless you.” I think I know what she meant.

    So, however one expresses appreciation to those who care for animals when they are in trouble, sometimes including personal risk, I bow my head and say thank you.

  14. Linda Calhoun
    Posted December 31, 2016 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

    My bird feeders (five of them) get filled as soon as they run low.

    My bird water is heated (as are all my barn buckets and tubs – many thanks to the inventor of the electric bucket).

    My feral cats’ bowl is refilled every morning.

    I don’t get how everybody but me has squirrels to feed in the winter. Mine hibernate. Occasionally if we have an unusually warm day, one of them will venture out, but that’s rare. They still can get the dropped seed from the bird feeders and a warm drink from the bird water.

    I donate regularly to Animal Humane of NM. We TNR’d the female feral cat and trapped four of her five kittens, which were all tamed and placed in homes. (She was still sort-of nursing them when we trapped her, but they were old enough to be weaned.) The fifth kitten is still here (we couldn’t catch him), and I know he’s eating because he’s a normal size for a six-month old cat. I will be forever grateful to Animal Humane for their help, and I will continue to donate to them.

    I hope that’s enough; it’s all I can do. L

  15. Andrea Kenner
    Posted December 31, 2016 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

    Leaky eyes

  16. Posted December 31, 2016 at 7:22 pm | Permalink

    My feral cat bistro is open 24/7 365 days/year.

    • Posted January 1, 2017 at 2:42 am | Permalink

      Helping feral cats can be very rewarding. We had a feral cat in the area with five kittens. We got hold of the kittens and raised them. Meantime, the feral rescuers trapped the mom and got her spayed and released. We found homes for three of the cats and kept the other two. A lot of time and work, some vet expense, and totally worth it.

  17. nwalsh
    Posted December 31, 2016 at 7:52 pm | Permalink

    What a nice way to end the year.

  18. Damien McLeod
    Posted December 31, 2016 at 9:35 pm | Permalink

    Protect all animals from pain and suffering, wherever and and whenever you can, yes that is a good thing. People who cause animals pain and suffering, whether deliberately or through neglect are despicable.
    That said, I’m not a vegetarian, therefore, am responsible for some of that pain and suffering, I regret that and feel guilty but have not been able to change my behavior. When presented with a hamburger, some fried chicken,or fresh roast pork with mashed potatoes and gravy and a bowl of green peas on the side, I chow down enthusiastically, and suppress any feeling of remorse. Being human is a complicated issue. Would that not eating meat came naturally to me as it seems to the vegan and vegetarian friends I’ve had.

    • YF
      Posted January 2, 2017 at 9:48 pm | Permalink

      You can support humane slaughter.

      And before you convince yourself that vegans have some kind of moral high-ground just remember the millions of insects and other small animals that are killed and displaced by agriculture and urbanization.

      Do we have a moral duty to protect gazelles from being eaten alive by lions? Seals from sharks?

      It’s unfortunate that organisms must kill and eat each other in order to survive. But that’s how life works. It ain’t pretty.

      For those of us with a guilty conscience the best we can do is try to reduce suffering when we can. But it can never be eliminated.

  19. David Campbell
    Posted January 5, 2017 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

    More than 40 stray moggies trapped and spayed/neutered over the last 25 years. Some were so horribly abused that it took more than a year to work the fear of humans out of them. We found homes for 25 of them. The rest we still have, all indoor kitties. My wife says it is a good thing I haven’t figured out who is beating/abusing the local felines because the law frowns on what I would probably do to the perps.

    Any animal in distress deserves help, especially when humans helped cause the distress. I have even rescued rattlesnakes, cottonmouths, and cicada killer wasps. And spiders.

  20. arbrown1497
    Posted February 4, 2017 at 8:40 pm | Permalink

    Animal abuse is an issue that continues to occur. There are two types of cruelty; passive and active. Passive cruelty consist of failure to seek medical attention for the animal. Passive can also consist of underfeeding or allowing the animal to live in an unsanitary condition. Active cruelty consist of physical abuse to an animal. Kicking, forced trauma or even choking all fall under active cruelty. Many states prosecute those who abuse animals, but majority of states do little to help animal victims within their state. Since animals cannot speak up for themselves, it should be up to law enforcement to do something about the matter. These individual’s need to be aware of animal treatment and make sure they are well taken care of.

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