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Thread: To Catlovers

   
  1. #1771
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    Default Re: To Catlovers

    Nathan Winograd
    17 tim

    When it comes to dogs, cats, and other animal companions, the coronavirus pandemic has brought out the best in people.
    Shelters have put out the call to the community for help with animals and the community has emptied out those shelters, by adopting and fostering.
    In New York, Georgia, Minnesota, Missouri, Texas, Nevada, Iowa, and more, shelters are find homes for every single animal in their facility.
    The placement rate is upwards of 24 times the typical number of animals. One of those shelters typically puts 10 animals in foster homes on a single day. During the pandemic, it placed over 250 in one day: https://bit.ly/33A8GDz.


    We live in a society in which most people want to maximize the happiness of cats and dogs.
    It is the job of animal shelters to provide opportunities for them to do so.
    With schools closed, people off of work or working from home, and seeing their communities in need and wanting to help in ways big and small, progressive shelters are embracing ingenuity, a "can do" attitude, and technology to save the animals, while also protecting the public and shelter workers.

    How?

    Some shelters are simply limiting the number of people who can come in at any one time.
    Others are getting creative, such as doing virtual adoptions both online and by telephone.
    At one shelter, "Staff members will complete the adoption virtually and help schedule... [curbside] pick-ups or deliveries.”
    These efforts have been so successful that entire regions are running out of dogs and cats to place in homes: https://bloom.bg/3dyIC0m.

    Unfortunately, whether a community realizes this kind of success depends on local “shelter” managers and the officials that oversee them, following a typical pattern, with regions that embraced innovation before the current crisis merely extending it to novel circumstances and those that had not simply closing to the public, putting animals at grave and mortal risk.

    Little innovation is coming out of many Kentucky communities, for example, where a 2018 report found that pounds are some of the most notorious abusers in the state, with only 12% in compliance with state law governing care of animals: http://bit.ly/2U5dWe9. That means roughly 9 out of ten Kentucky pounds routinely neglected or abused animals including:

    - Not feeding the animals every day;
    - Not providing clean water to animals;
    - Housing animals in cages too small for them to stand up or turn around;
    - Not providing heat or indoor housing during cold weather;
    - Keeping animals in dirty cages;
    - Keeping dead animals in cages with live animals; and
    - Not providing needed medical care.

    Kentucky is not alone. There are pounds across the country that are still not online, meaning if they close their physical facilities to the public, there is no way to do fostering or adoptions.
    Efforts to legislate mandatory posting of animals online in several states have failed, having been opposed by groups such as Best Friends, HSUS, and the ASPCA which sided with regressive facilities that did not want to modernize.
    On their behalf, Best Friends argued that shelter reformers should not second-guess the decisions of “shelter” managers and claimed that mandating online posting of animals was “unrealistic for some small rural shelters to meet”: https://bit.ly/3bum4Mj. Animals in those facilities have long paid the price. The stakes are even higher now.

    To the extent that these pounds, like those in Kentucky, were neglectful to begin with when the public (and, if allowed, volunteers) could see, now that they are closed to the public and closed to volunteers, there is no one to ensure the safety of the animals: No eyes. No ears. No community conscience providing some measure of oversight.

    With nurses protecting themselves with garbage bags, with hospitals weighing “do not resuscitate” orders for all patients, with lack of testing, lack of ventilators, lack of hospital beds, lack of basic supplies, and with refrigerated trucks in hospital parking lots being used to store the dead, the coronavirus pandemic has exposed deep insufficiencies in our country’s social and public health safety net for people. For those paying attention, it is also exposing — in too many communities — our total abdication of the safety net we owe dogs, cats, rabbits and other animals.

    As philosopher David Pearce writes, “Over the last century, a welfare state for humans was introduced in Western European societies so that the most vulnerable members of our own species wouldn’t suffer avoidable hardship.” “The problem,” as he notes, “is not just that existing welfare provision is inadequate: it’s also arbitrarily species-specific. In common with the plight of vulnerable humans before its introduction, the welfare of vulnerable non-human animals depends mostly on private charity. No universal guarantees of non-human well-being exist.”

    Ideally, animal shelters would provide those guarantees, through embrace of the No Kill philosophy and the programs and services which make it possible — programs that can save lives not only during ordinary circumstances, but extraordinary situations like the one we are currently facing: https://youtu.be/JCTt5JppNA8. Unfortunately, many communities are failing to live up to the debt and duty we owe and using this shared crisis to provide an automatic death sentence for animals.

    If this crisis leads to positive change, perhaps the position long held by Best Friends, the ASPCA, HSUS, and others that we cannot expect all shelters in all communities to enter the modern age will now be seen as what it always was: cruel and untenable. It is not unrealistic to expect all shelters in the 21st century to embrace 21st century solutions. It is also not unrealistic to force them to do so: http://bit.ly/2OjsxTM.

    One shelter, embracing 21st century solutions, has emptied out its shelter through online adoption and drive thru’ fostering. Every single animal in the facility is now in a home. A neighboring one has closed, choosing to empty its facility with 19th century methods: poison and garbage bags. We need to pass laws that take away that choice.
    "How much did I really know about life on earth? What responsibility did I feel for creatures outside my little space?
    How could I lead my life so that every cell of living matter was also benefited?" Michael Jackson
    "Love no violence ever, remember a beautiful future promise of tomorrow "MJ


    stop the killing of pets. Save lifes,spay and neuter your pets
    Adopt from an animalshelter
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=seEpf5L8x0M

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    Default Re: To Catlovers

    Time for breakfast
    "How much did I really know about life on earth? What responsibility did I feel for creatures outside my little space?
    How could I lead my life so that every cell of living matter was also benefited?" Michael Jackson
    "Love no violence ever, remember a beautiful future promise of tomorrow "MJ


    stop the killing of pets. Save lifes,spay and neuter your pets
    Adopt from an animalshelter
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=seEpf5L8x0M

  3. #1773
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    Default Re: To Catlovers

    "How much did I really know about life on earth? What responsibility did I feel for creatures outside my little space?
    How could I lead my life so that every cell of living matter was also benefited?" Michael Jackson
    "Love no violence ever, remember a beautiful future promise of tomorrow "MJ


    stop the killing of pets. Save lifes,spay and neuter your pets
    Adopt from an animalshelter
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=seEpf5L8x0M

  4. #1774
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    Default Re: To Catlovers

    Netflix’s ‘Tiger King’ is a wake-up call for ending private possession of big cats

    A decade ago, our undercover investigation delved into the bizarre world of Joseph Maldonado-Passage (aka Joe Exotic) and his roadside zoo, GW Exotics. For years, Joe and his band of untrained workers kept hundreds of big cats and other wild animals in captivity in barren conditions, bred them to provide infant animals for public photo shoots and “play time” sessions, and even shot animals dead when they were of no use to him anymore.

    Now, weeks after he was sentenced to 22 years in prison for killing five tigers and hiring a hit man to kill the operator of a Florida big cat sanctuary, the nation is riveted by a new Netflix docuseries, “Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness,” that takes a look up-close at the terror unleashed on animals by Joe Exotic and a notorious cast of characters, including roadside zoo owners Jeff Lowe, Kevin Antle and Tim Stark.

    Joe Exotic had a long history of breeding and dumping large numbers of big cats and bears. At his facility, as our undercover investigator discovered, it was routine to pull newborn cubs, some just hours old, from their mothers to be hand-raised for handling by the public. Customers were allowed to keep handling tiger cubs, even when the infants cried uncontrollably. And as you can see in our undercover video, tiger cubs were “trained” by being punched in the face, dragged by leashes and hit with sticks. Sick and injured animals were routinely denied veterinary care.


    Joe also sent animals to facilities with lengthy records of U.S. Department of Agriculture violations and paid hefty fines for violations. One of the facilities, to which Joe sent large numbers of lions and bears, was owned by Gregg Woody, an Illinois exhibitor who collected animals and then sent them to slaughter.

    In 2016, Joe sold his zoo to Jeff Lowe, a big cat exhibitor plagued with controversy. Before acquiring GW Exotics, Lowe was exhibiting a dozen lions and tigers at his flea market, which was closed down by the South Carolina county he was operating in.
    As the documentary shows, Lowe smuggled tiger cubs into hotel rooms in Las Vegas.
    The city confiscated a tiger cub, a liliger cub and a young lemur from him.
    Both cubs were underweight and suffering from several health conditions, including chronic diarrhea and urinary tract infections.

    Another character featured on the documentary, who Joe describes as a “mentor,” is Kevin Antle (aka Bhagavan “Doc” Antle). Antle runs Myrtle Beach Safari in South Carolina and offers public contact with wild animals, including tiger cubs.
    Countless tigers have been bred at his facility over the years for use in close encounters with paying customers. Myrtle Beach Safari has numerous USDA citations for unsafe caging and handling as well as for failing to provide veterinary care for animals.
    In 2010, while exhibiting at Jungle Island in Florida, a 500-pound tiger provided by this zoo escaped by jumping over a 14-foot-high fence, coming within 10 feet of a toddler.

    Finally, there’s Tim Stark, whose roadside zoo, Wildlife in Need (WIN) in Indiana, is now facing scrutiny from federal and state authorities. The U.S. Department of Agriculture revoked Stark’s exhibitor license and assessed a $340,000 civil penalty, and the Indiana attorney general filed a lawsuit against WIN alleging the facility deceived consumers who made donations while keeping animals in deplorable conditions.
    The charges against WIN allege more than 120 Animal Welfare Act violations such as beating a leopard to death with a baseball bat, swinging monkeys around by their tails, sick and dying animals going without veterinary care, multiple unexplained animal deaths, including an ocelot who was apparently strangled, and unsafe enclosures.

    Another big cat exploiter, Bill Meadows of Tiger Safari in Oklahoma, is also tied to this group of tawdry exhibitors.
    Meadows obtained tigers from Antle and had ties to Joe Exotic as well.
    One tiger cub obtained from Antle during the HSUS investigation of Tiger Safari was used for photo shoots with the public despite the fact that she arrived with a horrible case of ringworm. And both tiger cubs featured in our investigation died soon after the investigation ended.

    All of this may sound outlandish, but the fact is dozens of other roadside zoos like these operate with impunity across the country, with thousands of big cats and other large wild animals held in captivity for public display and interaction.
    Although they have been raised in cages, these are by no means animals who should be petted by anyone. The series, for instance, shows an incident where an employee’s hand was ripped off by a big cat at GW Exotics, and it shows other instances of the animals moving quickly—in their interactions with the humans, including Joe—from frisky and playful to powerful and violent: a natural instinct for any big cat.

    In addition to being a public safety hazard and a cost to law enforcement and other public agencies that must respond when incidents occur at these facilities, roadside zoos are also a burden on animal protection organizations and sanctuaries who take in these animals when those who run these facilities don’t want them anymore. The docuseries includes the Big Cat Rescue, run by Carole and Howard Baskin, who do highly effective and tireless work to end abuses by people like Lowe, Stark a-**nd Antle. Big Cat Rescue has taken in dozens of abused tigers, lions and other wild animals over the years and is accredited by the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries.
    It is also an important partner of ours in the Big Cat Sanctuary Alliance, a membership organization dedicated to ending the private ownership and exploitation of wild cats, and in pushing for the passage of the Big Cat Public Safety Act in Congress.

    This important bill would ban the possession of big cat species like tigers and lions by unqualified individuals, and it would prohibit poorly run animal exhibitions from allowing public contact with big cats, thereby halting the endless breeding of big cats for this harmful practice. The “Tiger King” is a reminder of why it is so crucial to get this bill signed into law this year. Please contact your lawmakers and ask them to cosponsor the Big Cat Public Safety Act, S. 2561 and H.R. 1380. No one should keep wild cats as pets or patronize roadside zoos. Let’s work together to end this madness.

    Sara Amundson is president of the Humane Society Legislative Fund.
    https://blog.humanesociety.org/2020/...qIoazSIJ2UBIRY
    "How much did I really know about life on earth? What responsibility did I feel for creatures outside my little space?
    How could I lead my life so that every cell of living matter was also benefited?" Michael Jackson
    "Love no violence ever, remember a beautiful future promise of tomorrow "MJ


    stop the killing of pets. Save lifes,spay and neuter your pets
    Adopt from an animalshelter
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=seEpf5L8x0M

  5. #1775
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    Default Re: To Catlovers

    Another view of Tiger King

    Why ‘Tiger King’ Is Not ‘Blackfish’ for Big Cats
    Critics say the popular Netflix series and its directors lost sight of the conservation and animal welfare problems at the heart of the story of Joe Exotic.

    By Rachel Nuwer
    April 9, 2020

    More captive tigers live in backyards, roadside zoos and truck stops in the United States than remain in the wild. This phenomenon is driven by people like Joseph Maldonado-Passage, the star known better as “Joe Exotic” in “Tiger King,” Netflix’s hit documentary series.

    Before his arrest and conviction, Mr. Maldonado-Passage was a major breeder and seller of tigers and other big cats. He churned out cubs for profitable petting and photo sessions, then disposed of them, legally or illegally, when they became too dangerous for play. Some were sold as pets to private buyers, some went to other roadside zoos for breeding and some simply disappeared.

    “I call it the breed and dump cycle,” said Carney Anne Nasser, director of the Animal Welfare Clinic at Michigan State University College of Law. The cub petting industry, she said, is “creating a tiger crisis in America,” driven further by widespread animal abuse and a lack of federal oversight.

    Many of the interview subjects featured in “Tiger King” say the story was presented to them as one that would expose the problem of private big cat ownership in this country, following in the tradition of many conservation-themed documentaries. Some in the film even say Eric Goode and Rebecca Chaiklin, the show’s co-directors and co-producers, claimed to be making the big cat version of “Blackfish,” the award-winning 2013 documentary that spurred widespread backlash against SeaWorld

    “Tiger King,” however, “is not the ‘Blackfish’ of the big cat world,” said Manny Oteyza, the producer of “Blackfish.”
    Instead, big cats and the issues affecting them are completely lost in the show’s “soap opera-esque drama,” Dr. Nasser said.

    Tiger King” tells the story of Mr. Maldonado-Passage’s rise, from small-time roadside zoo owner to one of the country’s biggest tiger breeders, then his fall as a felon. After being sued by Carole Baskin, a big cat activist and owner of Big Cat Rescue, an accredited sanctuary in Tampa, Fla., Mr. Maldonado-Passage became obsessed with destroying Ms. Baskin and plotted to have her killed.

    Critics fear that “Tiger King” creates a glamour around tiger ownership, and assigns a folk heroism to the “Joe Exotic” personality that could set back efforts to end the abuse and ownership of big cats.

    “We’re going to start seeing more selfies with cubs, more people wanting tiger cubs,” said Tim Harrison, a retired police officer and exotic wildlife specialist in Dayton, Ohio. He declined to be interviewed for “Tiger King,” because, he said, “it sounded like potentially it could be a freak show.”

    President Trump, when asked by a reporter on Wednesday if he would consider pardoning Mr. Maldonado-Passage, said he was not familiar with the case, but that he would “look into it.”

    When Karl Ammann, a documentary filmmaker whose work has focused on exposing the illegal wildlife trade, was invited to be interviewed for “Tiger King,” Mr. Goode and Ms. Chaiklin pitched the show to him as a chance to expose the plight of wild tigers. But he said the end product lacked any clear conservation message. “To totally ignore such key aspects was a real missed opportunity,” Mr. Ammann said.

    Mr. Goode and Ms. Chaiklin declined to be interviewed for this story, as did representatives from Netflix.

    Documentary films about animals and the environment are often lauded for their ability to engage viewers with the natural world and promote positive change.

    “Blackfish,” said Nancy Rosenthal, founder and executive director of the New York Wild Film Festival, is one of the clearest examples. Following the film’s release, SeaWorld’s stock prices fell and, in 2016, the company announced that it would end its orca breeding program and theatrical whale shows.

    In some cases, though, documentaries can have the opposite of their intended effect. The Oscar-winning 2009 documentary “The Cove,” about an annual dolphin hunt in the Japanese village of Taiji, sparked international furor.

    But Megumi Sasaki, director of “A Whale of a Tale,” a documentary exploring the aftermath of the first film, said it also provoked a domestic backlash that invigorated defenders of the Taiji fishermen.

    “When somebody comes in and says, ‘Hey, what you’re eating is not right,’ it really triggers emotions,” she said. “Everybody in Japan, even people who don’t care about whaling, felt that they were under attack.”

    What critics of “Tiger King” fear is that the conversation it has sparked, especially around its outlandish characters, might drive a similar dynamic.

    Mr. Maldonado-Passage, the series’ central character, is currently serving a 22-year prison sentence for 17 counts of wildlife crimes — including trafficking endangered species and illegally killing five tigers — as well as two counts of murder for hire.

    At his trial, the federal government presented extensive evidence supporting Mr. Maldonado-Passage’s guilt, including a 45-minute recording in which he discussed plans to arrange the murder of Ms. Baskin with an undercover F.B.I. officer.

    “The Department of Justice remains steadfastly confident that the court record, evidence and trial testimony fully supports the correctness of the jury’s verdict,” said Timothy Downing, U.S. attorney for the Western District of Oklahoma.

    The social media reaction to “Tiger King,” however, highlights the sympathetic interpretation of Mr. Maldonado-Passage that many viewers took away from the series.

    Hashtags such as #FreeJoeExotic and #JusticeforJoe have trended on Twitter and other social media platforms, which suggests many viewers believe he was framed in the murder for hire charges. Mr. Maldonado-Passage is “ecstatic” about “Tiger King’s” reception, Mr. Goode said in an interview with The Times.

    “I don’t know why anyone would side with someone who puts animals in a cage and then walks up and shoots them,” said James Garretson, who worked with federal authorities to gather evidence used to prosecute Mr. Maldonado-Passage. “People are just in a frenzy right now.”

    In the interest of entertainment and narrative arc, some documentary directors may find it acceptable to depart slightly from reality or to influence the participants’ actions, words or looks, said Steven Cantor, a documentary filmmaker.

    “Just because it has the word ‘documentary,’ doesn’t mean that everything in it has to be 100 percent truthful,” he said. “Certain stories you can enhance and not feel like you’re doing anything deceptive.”

    But critics of “Tiger King” assert that Mr. Goode and Ms. Chaiklin’s license went too far, at times taking quotes and shots out of context, presenting inaccurate information as fact and jumbling timelines.

    This problem, they say, was pronounced in the series’ portrayal of its other main character — and Mr. Maldonado-Passage’s intended victim — Ms. Baskin. She and other advocates are leading efforts to ban cub petting and phase out private big cat ownership through a bipartisan bill currently under review in the House.

    Ms. Baskin has been inundated with attention since the documentary’s release, she said, much of it hate mail and death threats. Mr. Maldonado-Passage’s fans have set up a dozen Facebook events threatening to storm Ms. Baskin’s sanctuary.

    Some of the animus toward Ms. Baskin might result from choices the filmmakers made in their storytelling. For instance, Ms. Baskin and other critics assert that footage was edited to imply that the animals Ms. Baskin cares for are kept in small, squalid cages. (In fact, the smallest enclosures on her property are 1,200 square feet, a size considered humane by the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries for the species that live in them. )

    These and other editorial decisions, according to Michael Webber, director of “The Elephant in the Living Room,” a documentary about exotic animal ownership, have the effect of making Ms. Baskin and her sanctuary appear “equally bad” as Joe Exotic — a narrative that Mr. Maldonado-Passage has promoted for over a decade.

    “They present a false narrative that people like Carole Baskin who have legitimate sanctuaries are no different than Joe Exotic,” said Mr. Webber, “which could not be further from the truth.”

    Court testimony also revealed that Mr. Goode and Ms. Chaiklin paid Mr. Maldonado-Passage and other sources. Unlike the makers of reality television, who regularly compensate participants, documentary filmmakers traditionally do not pay sources, Mr. Oteyza of “Blackfish” said.

    Ms. Chaiklin told the Los Angeles Times that she and Mr. Goode only paid sources for life rights, archival and personal footage and licensing locations — not for interviews.

    “Categorically, we do not pay people for interviews,” Ms. Chaiklin said.

    But six people interviewed for the film — including John Finlay and Mr. Garretson, both major figures in the story — claimed that they were paid hundreds to thousands of dollars in cash.

    Jeff Johnson, a former friend of Mr. Maldonado-Passage who runs a popular Joe Exotic watchdog group, said that Mr. Goode “flat-out told me he needed me to text him some stuff, send some pictures, so he could legitimize why he was paying me.”

    “Tiger King” is the product of a quickly changing film industry, one in which the lines between documentary and fiction are blurring.

    “It’s all getting mixed up: documentary, entertainment, reality TV,” said Marcia Rock, a documentary filmmaker and director of the News and Documentary Program at New York University. She added that because of the financial incentives provided by some streaming outlets, “producers are seduced into going in that direction.”

    As successes of shows like “Tiger King” potentially encourage more programming that blurs the lines between documentary and reality television, some filmmakers worry about the social toll this could take.


    “I believe film and TV are the most powerful medium there is,” said Glen Zipper, a documentary producer and writer. “If we’re delivering something to you that is factually inaccurate — particularly when it has to do with something that is critically important — that ultimately could be quite dangerous.”
    "How much did I really know about life on earth? What responsibility did I feel for creatures outside my little space?
    How could I lead my life so that every cell of living matter was also benefited?" Michael Jackson
    "Love no violence ever, remember a beautiful future promise of tomorrow "MJ


    stop the killing of pets. Save lifes,spay and neuter your pets
    Adopt from an animalshelter
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=seEpf5L8x0M

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    Default Re: To Catlovers

    "How much did I really know about life on earth? What responsibility did I feel for creatures outside my little space?
    How could I lead my life so that every cell of living matter was also benefited?" Michael Jackson
    "Love no violence ever, remember a beautiful future promise of tomorrow "MJ


    stop the killing of pets. Save lifes,spay and neuter your pets
    Adopt from an animalshelter
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=seEpf5L8x0M

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    Default Re: To Catlovers

    "How much did I really know about life on earth? What responsibility did I feel for creatures outside my little space?
    How could I lead my life so that every cell of living matter was also benefited?" Michael Jackson
    "Love no violence ever, remember a beautiful future promise of tomorrow "MJ


    stop the killing of pets. Save lifes,spay and neuter your pets
    Adopt from an animalshelter
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=seEpf5L8x0M

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    Default Re: To Catlovers

    "How much did I really know about life on earth? What responsibility did I feel for creatures outside my little space?
    How could I lead my life so that every cell of living matter was also benefited?" Michael Jackson
    "Love no violence ever, remember a beautiful future promise of tomorrow "MJ


    stop the killing of pets. Save lifes,spay and neuter your pets
    Adopt from an animalshelter
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=seEpf5L8x0M

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    Default Re: To Catlovers

    How many tigers are there in Europe?
    "How much did I really know about life on earth? What responsibility did I feel for creatures outside my little space?
    How could I lead my life so that every cell of living matter was also benefited?" Michael Jackson
    "Love no violence ever, remember a beautiful future promise of tomorrow "MJ


    stop the killing of pets. Save lifes,spay and neuter your pets
    Adopt from an animalshelter
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=seEpf5L8x0M

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    Default Re: To Catlovers


    Nearly 400,000 animals have been neutered and vaccinated all over Thailand during the last 17 years.
    Help to achieve a milestone of half a million neutered animals in Thailand before the end of 2020.
    "How much did I really know about life on earth? What responsibility did I feel for creatures outside my little space?
    How could I lead my life so that every cell of living matter was also benefited?" Michael Jackson
    "Love no violence ever, remember a beautiful future promise of tomorrow "MJ


    stop the killing of pets. Save lifes,spay and neuter your pets
    Adopt from an animalshelter
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=seEpf5L8x0M

  11. #1781
    Points: 28,567, Level: 99
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    Default Re: To Catlovers

    When TNR Utopia visited the Cat House of the kings
    "How much did I really know about life on earth? What responsibility did I feel for creatures outside my little space?
    How could I lead my life so that every cell of living matter was also benefited?" Michael Jackson
    "Love no violence ever, remember a beautiful future promise of tomorrow "MJ


    stop the killing of pets. Save lifes,spay and neuter your pets
    Adopt from an animalshelter
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=seEpf5L8x0M

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