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Don’t Leave Your Companion Animal in a Parked Car

Advice below adapted from the Humane Society of the U.S. (

1. On a warm day, the temperature in a parked car can reach 120
degrees in minutes – even with the windows partly open.

2. A companion animal can quickly suffer brain damage or die from
heatstroke or suffocation in these conditions.

3. Signs of heat stress: heavy panting, glazed eyes, rapid pulse,
unsteadiness, staggering, vomiting, deep red or purple tongue.

4. If your companion animal becomes overheated, begin immediate
steps to lower her/his temperature as follows:

* Move her/him to the shade and apply cool (not cold) water over entire body to gradually lower temperature;

* Apply ice packs or cold towels – to head, neck and chest

* Offer her/him small amounts of cool water or let her/him
lick ice cubes;

* Take her/him to a vet immediately; this could save her/
his life.

5. If you see an animal in a parked car alone on a hot day, try to
find the animal’s person right away. If necessary, call animal
control or the police or 911.

6. Another reason to avoid leaving your companion animal in a car
alone is that a thief might steal her/him.

7. When traveling in a vehicle, cats should be in a carrier and
dogs should be in a dog harness.

8. Each animal should have ID, such as a tattoo or chip.

RESOURCE: You can request cards with similar information that are easy to stick under a windshield wiper. Request from People for Animal Rights or from Red Rover at

ANOTHER RESOURCE: You can order from Animal Legal Defense Fund a car sunshade with the words: “Don’t Leave Dogs in Hot Cars. Call 911 to report trapped dogs.” It is flexible and durable. Go to

Hidden Danger: Keep Your Pet Safe from Electric Shock

(From ASPCA) Winter’s chill may have settled in your neighborhood, but your energetic pooch still wants to go for walks in the great outdoors. Take it slow and steady, pet parents. According to our experts, the danger of stray voltage on city streets can turn a simple stroll into a devastating event for our furry friends.

Most common in northern climes and urban areas, stray voltage occurs when dormant utilities leak excess electricity. Combined with wet streets and salt-based ice melts, this current can shock, injure or even prove fatal for those in its path. “Since salt used to treat icy streets is a great conductor of electricity,” says Dr. Louise Murray, ASPCA Director of Medicine and author of Vet Confidential, “the risk of shock from stray voltage is that much higher during the winter months.” The ASPCA offers the following tips to help you avoid potentially hazardous areas, and advice on what to do if your pet has suffered an electrical shock:

Keep your dog away from metal fixtures, such as lampposts, grates or manhole covers. While these spots may be your pet’s favorite place to relieve himself, they may also conduct hazardous electricity.

Your dog’s snazzy, rubber rain boots may look good, but they won’t protect your pooch from a strong current. Don’t depend on them to keep your pet safe. Some boots—those with metal studs, for example—may even make the situation worse.

Observe your dog’s behavior. Is he skittish, frightened, angry or upset for no apparent reason? These sudden behavioral changes could be an indication of electric shock.

If your dog is incapacitated due to shock, don’t try to touch or move him without protective gear. Your pooch may pass the current to you, rendering you both incapable of seeking help. Instead, call your local fire department immediately.

Syracuse New Times Essay

Here is an essay by PAR, which appeared in the popular weekly newspaper, SYRACUSE NEW TIMES:

by Linda DeStefano – Wednesday, January 22nd, 2014
It’s time to expand respect for animals

Editor’s note: Voices is a weekly column that provides a platform for Central New Yorkers to comment about the issues of the day. If you’d like to submit a column, email Larry Dietrich at

Koko, the gorilla, communicates with people through American Sign Language and her understanding of a large vocabulary of spoken English. She is gentle with her kitten, and hugs people she likes.

Although he can escape from the killer harpoons, a whale returns to his wounded mate and stays with her until he, too, is killed by the whalers.

A cow manages, incredibly, to jump a fence at a slaughterhouse. The media and people sympathetically follow her escape as she wanders the streets of New York City and cheer as she is brought to a sanctuary, where she can live out her life in peace.

During animal behavior experiments at Cardiff University, in Wales, a monkey stops pressing a lever that provides him with food when, at the same time, the lever administers a shock to another animal.

We humans sometimes deny in members of other species the existence of intelligent interspecies communication, self-sacrifice for another and the powerful will to live and enjoy life, even though the aforementioned examples are just a small part of a larger body of knowledge. Progress has been made in expanding our circle of understanding, compassion and justice when it comes to race, ethnicity, religion, sex and disabilities. That circle needs to be expanded to include other species.

This widening of our consciousness and better treatment of non-human beings is sometimes based on an appreciation of their intelligence, their beauty and behavior we see as moral. Yet what about non-human animals who are dumb (according to our standards), ugly (according to our biases) and amoral? The main consideration should be whether another being can suffer and can desire a life that is natural for that species. Even scientists who denied these qualities in non-human animals are opening their eyes to reality.

Some lucky animals are considered worthy of human protection and affection, but many are treated as slaves or commodities.

I think of elephants who work in countries such as India and perform in circuses in the United States. The babies are torn from their mothers and broken in spirit through extremely cruel methods of training.

I think of the animals who suffer and die because their flesh and bodily products (dairy and eggs) provide an unnecessary and unhealthy way of eating. As just one aspect, calves are taken from their mothers immediately after birth so humans can drink the milk meant for the calves, many of whom will be sent to slaughter. I personally witnessed this common procedure on a small dairy farm; the mother and baby were crying out for each other in a heartbreaking fashion.

I think of the animals who are blown away by the so-called sport of killing for fun.

I think of the dogs, cats, monkeys, rabbits, mice, rats and others who live their miserable lives in a lab cage and wait in fear for the next painful experiment.

I think of the dogs and cats who are abandoned on the streets by those who they trusted.

I think of the foxes who gnaw on their own limbs out of boredom and anxiety as they wait in filthy cages on fox farms for the owner to kill them by anal electrocution. Foxes are used particularly for fur trim in coats, jackets and gloves. Other animals are trapped or clubbed to death for their fur.

I think of the animals being driven toward extinction because of human overpopulation, overdevelopment and waste of natural resources. Animals need a place to live as much as we do, but we are taking more than our fair share of land and water, and we are fouling much of what is left.

The good news is that more and more people find this treatment of our earth companions unacceptable and are making changes in their own lives and working for societal changes.

To be part of this good news, here are some actions to consider.

Have your dog or cat spayed or neutered so he or she doesn’t add to the overpopulation of companion animals, which leads to death on the streets or death in the overcrowded shelters.
Move toward a vegan way of eating. Enjoy veggies, fruits, beans, grains, nuts, seeds and the many tasty and healthy dishes made from them.

Avoid any product that has fur trim or is made of animal skin (leather) or down (plucked painfully from live geese or ducks).

Move toward a lifestyle that is enjoyable but doesn’t use the Earth’s resources wastefully or excessively.

Consider that your choice whether to have children and, if so, how many, is not only a personal choice but also a choice that affects all of us. Earth’s limited natural resources cannot sustain such a huge human population.

Urge government officials and corporations to include laws and procedures that ameliorate animal suffering and death.

Join one or more animal welfare, animal rights and/or environmental protection organizations. Enjoy sharing your views and changes with like-minded people.

If you don’t want to cause unnecessary suffering and death to animals, please avoid these items:

Fur – whether a full-length coat or trim on a jacket or gloves or toys;

Leather (animal skin)



Products tested on animals. You can learn what companies do NOT test on animals by going to and looking for their list of cruelty-free companies and products.

Why not fur? Because fur is obtained by killing animals – and in very painful ways. Some animals are caught in steeljaw, leghold traps, which shut on their limbs with brutal force, and the animal may suffer for days before finally being killed by the trapper. Other animals are confined to small, filthy cages on fur farms, where they can go insane from boredom and fear and even self-mutilate. Death is often done by anal electrocution. And then there are the seals who are clubbed to death.

Why not leather? Besides coming from some wild animals (such as deer), leather comes from the skin of cows, calves, horses, sheep, lambs, goats, pigs and even dogs and cats (this may be the case if the product comes from Asia). Almost all these animals suffer confinement, crowding, branding, as well as unanesthetized castration, dehorning and tail-docking.

Why not wool? Much wool comes from Australia, where sheep are kept in huge flocks and are cut (without anesthesia) around the tail area to prevent infestation with blowflys. The shearing process is done with such speed and force (given the large number of animals) that the sheep suffer cuts and experience fear.

Why not down? Down is plucked painfully from living ducks and geese.

Besides choosing gifts which avoid the above cruelties, you could even take a positive step to help animals by giving a gift which promotes healthy, compassionate eating – such as a gift certificate to Strong Hearts Cafe.

Strong Hearts Cafe is a popular all-vegan restaurant in Syracuse and offers sandwiches salads, soups, shakes, tea, coffee and fabulous desserts. See

Winter Will Be Cold For Our Dogs, Too

(By Lou De Santis) Another frigid winter is coming to Central New York. It’s time to remember that every year, too many family dogs freeze to death in this country right in their own back yards. To prevent your dog from becoming a victim when the mercury plummets, bring your dog inside.

Puppies, kittens, elderly and small dogs, and short-haired dogs such as Dobermans, pit bulls, and Dalmatians are especially vulnerable to the cold. If you would like your dog to spend some time outside, limit it, and always provide proper shelter. An effective doghouse must be made of wood; plastic does not provide proper insulation.

To prevent cold and dampness from seeping in, it should be raised several inches off the ground. Putting foam sheeting, such as Tyvek, on the underside and in the walls is especially good for this. The door should have rubber flaps to prevent drafts, and the area where the dog lies should be offset from the door.

Also, be sure to use plenty of straw for bedding; rugs and blankets will become wet and freeze. Don’t be afraid to complain about constant barking; it is a sure sign of a neglected pooch. It’s a dog’s way of saying, “Hey, I’m lonely, bored and cold out here. Somebody, please help me!”

Throughout America, many municipalities now prohibit chaining of dogs. Tucson and New Orleans are among those. Many more limit time and tethering. If you would like to know more about such progressive legislation, go to

NOTE: You can request small cards from People for Animal Rights which warn people about the winter dangers to outdoor dogs.

Avoid All Fur, Including Fur Trim

(By Lou De Santis) November 28th is Fur Free Friday, an event that began over twenty years ago in this country and is now observed throughout the world. By the 1990’s, after exposing the brutality of fur production, animal advocates had succeeded in making the wearing of fur taboo in the eyes of many people. Recently, to counter this, department stores have been promoting clothing with fur collars and trim that consumers mistakenly believe is made from scraps of leftover fur. In reality, animals suffer and die for each article, whether fur-trimmed or full length. And that death is not pretty.

In the U.S., nearly four million animals are caught in traps where they suffer for days before trappers break their necks or even bludgeon them to death. Throughout the world, an estimated 45 million animals will spend their lives in small cages on”fur farms”. These animals’ short, miserable lives are ended by such cruel methods as gassing, neck-breaking and anal-electrocution. In China, where most of the West’s fur comes from, animals such as foxes, raccoons, cats and dogs are, unbelievably, skinned alive.

Fur trimmed items are now a half-billion dollar industry. The number of animals killed for fur trim is soon expected to overtake those killed for full-fur garments.

The holidays are meant to be a time of peace and kindness. Shouldn’t that compassion extend to our fashion decisions?

Fire and Ice

Feb. 1 – March 14, 2020

An art exhibit and many events on the theme of the climate crisis. PAR had a table of literature and vegan snacks

at ArtRage Gallery, 505 Hawley Ave., Syracuse on

Sat. Feb. 29 from 12 to 4.

This was organized by ArtRage Gallery. You can find the complete list of events at