Tops on the list, and a burning issue that has so many frustrated and shaking their heads (and wringing their hearts) is the horror of puppy mills and the persistence of pet stores in perpetuating these inhumane businesses.
Mary Haight, author of Dancing Dog Blog and fellow staff member of Be the Change for Animals, initiated a petition through Change.org - requesting that Petland USA follow the example of Petland Canada and abolish their practice of selling dogs from puppy mills. We joined the movement, with It's Time and Fire Puppy Mills or Fire Petland.
When Petland dissed Mary and all petitioners with a response that was both arrogant and evasive, in addition to threatening Mary with a lawsuit, we joined the many who reacted angrily, with Occupy Petland.
Living in Illinois, we were proud of our own state's U.S. Senator, Dick Durbin, for his co-authoring a bill that would deter, if not eliminate, much of the heinous activity of the puppy mill industry. There was much confusion and misinformation about what was proposed, however, so we clarified the details in PUPS Act Controversy.
There is a great need for education in the general public about the issues surrounding pet stores, online sites, and puppy mills. It is encouraging that one guest post featured on our site comes up in our 2011 top ten posts! A true story, well-written and descriptive of what those preaching against buying from pet stores try to convey - Suzie: One Puppy Mill Dog's Story.
Being a cat lover myself, and having worked with and fostered many cats over the years, I was curious if there was a cat-version of puppy mills. After researching and coming up with very little information, I did find that Yes, There Are Kitty Mills.
The fight goes on to rid our society of the evils of indiscriminate puppy selling and the cruelty of puppy mills. Petland still tries to justify their puppy sales. The year brought much good news about many pet stores, even mall owners, making the choice to no longer sell puppies (and kittens) from inhumane sources - with many of them now working with shelters and pet rescue organizations to place their animals in forever homes. May 2012 bring us much more of that kind of news!
A second issue that remained a main focus throughout the year was that of pit bulls, BSL (breed specific legislation) and the discriminatory laws that have been enacted against certain types of dogs in the name of protecting the public.
Our good friend Leo, of Kenzo the Hovawart, wrote passionately against the extreme BSL in his own country of Denmark - Man On A Mission. We readily helped promote his petition to his government leaders, requesting reconsideration of these inane laws.
There was good news on that front, too. Many communities around the world took a second look at their laws, and many scaled those back (if not completely reversing them). In Holland, there is now different legislation, albeit flawed as Leo points out in his The Story of Ruby: Pit Bull on Death Row. In his own country, a repeal of the breed ban may soon become reality.
We had much to celebrate about, yet much to still be concerned about as well, on National Pit Bull Awareness Day 2011. The good news is that there is hope, and there are examples of a better way.
Dogfighting made national headlines again this year, only this time because of a game app Android was offering. Petitions and boycotting apparently did nothing to help Android see the error of its ways; the game's name was changed, and is still offered.
The horrific abuse and cruelty of dogfighting continues, and we even learned of a new way that those determined to profit from the suffering of dogs were doing, to avoid the notice of law enforcement officials - Secret Dog-Fighting Trend - Trunking.
Acknowledging the sheer stupidity of mankind when it comes to humane treatment of animals, we also credited some impressive people who step outside their human race and work wonders on behalf of animals in Is This What We Created?
What these people demonstrate, and what is a driving theme for us here at CindyLu's Muse, is that each and every one of us can effect positive change on behalf of our beloved animals, if we just do something. Thus, the question of Horrible, Disgusting. And - ?
And one for good luck...
With all the depressing, discouraging, and sometimes stomach-turning news about treatment of animals in our world, all I can say is thankfully one of our top ten posts brings smiles and a good feeling. Best Gift Ever exemplifies our belief in the importance of animals in our lives, and the need for adoption of homeless pets.
Here's to a new year, fresh start, and better lives for everyone - two-legged and four-legged alike!
Happy New Year!
CindyLu and Kim xx
1/1/12 Update: Initially, I incorrectly named Denmark as the country of Ruby's Story; it is Holland. Denmark is close to repealing their breed ban. Thanks, Leo, for the information!