Justice for Byron and all other animal victims

It was over 17 months ago when Byron was scalded with hot water by his previous owner, Kyle Voissem, and it was over 15 months ago when Voissem was  arrested for the crime.  It has been since the arrest that his case has drawn out for as long as it did.  But, finally, it all came to a conclusion yesterday after a 2 day bench trial.  Voissem was found guilty of criminal intent of animal cruelty, a felony charge that includes up to 3 years in prison.  Voissem’s sentencing date was set for May 20th.  However after a long extension granted by the Judge due to a psychological evaluation, Voissem’s sentencing was finally on July 11th.  He was sentenced to 1 year probation.

Although the sentencing was very light and that Voissem basically cried as victim due to the petitioning and action by all animal lovers, the felony conviction alone is a great victory for both animals and animal rights groups because not only does it set a precedent for other first-time offenders but it also sets the precedent that a split-second decision out of anger can change the course of an abuser’s life in an instant.

Another animal cruelty case that I have been following is that of Derek Fierro. I will post the details and update on this case soon.


Byron is just 1 of many

Based on all of the comments about Byron’s Story, Facebook postings, various message boards all over the internet, it can go without saying that there has been an overwhelming reaction to the cruelty by Kyle Voissem.  Many have threatened acts of vigilantism against him.  While many others have expressed passion over getting justice for Byron.  It is because of all this attention that on January 26 Kyle was officially charged with a felony and his preliminary hearing for the new felony charge was February 2nd, where he denied “pouring” hot water and instead claims he only splashed or flicked hot water at Byron.  His next court date is set for February 28 now for 2 counts of aggravated cruelty instead of the previous 1 count. Continue reading

Ireland Sets the Bar

On January 1, 2012, 2 new laws – the Welfare of Greyhounds Act and Dogs Breeding Establishments Act – were introduced in Ireland to control puppy farming (ie. puppy mills).  For so long, Ireland was known as the Puppy Mill of Europe and  after years of animal welfare activists fighting legislators, the legislators finally listened.  These 2 new acts created new legislation specifically aimed at banning all puppy farms/mills.

With this new legislation, there are 3 key points:  1.) Veterinarians now have the right to inspect all breeding locations and immediately shut down any facility that does not meet the new strict standards  of care and environmental conditions.  2.) Just as in shelters,  all puppies are required to be microchipped so that history can be traced directly to the breeder.  3.) All breeders must be registered with their local authority.

Although this new legislation still allows commercial breeding, Continue reading

Victories in 2011 paving the way for 2012

From shutting down puppy mills to rescuing animals from disaster-stricken areas to creating stricter laws in animal protection, what cause did your donation help in fighting for a victory?  What petition did you sign that reached it’s goal?  In 2011, many of the worldwide organizations dedicated to caring, rescuing, and protecting all animals accomplished more than expected and thus paving the way for more victories in 2012.

Each year we (animal advocates) get closer and closer to the greater good and so we must continue fighting the good fight and be the voices for those who can’t speak.

Click on any of these org’s links for a recap of what you helped accomplish in 2011:

Humane Society of the U.S.


World Wildlife Fund

Care2 Petitions


Whether it be any of these organizations or your local shelter/rescue, please continue to donate what you are able to afford.  Even $10 goes a long way.

Thank you and Happy New Year!  Let’s accomplish more in 2012! 

A certified heart pleaser for…

…all animal lovers this Holiday season.  Of all animal rescue stories this year, this one definitely takes the cake.  I wish you all a very Happy Holiday season….Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and Happy Kwanzaa!


Cora’s Rescue

Byron’s Story – Animal Cruelty Case of Kyle Voissem


In early October 2011, Byron (pictured above) was scalded by boiling hot water for urinating on the floor by his owner Kyle Voissem , a student (gymnastics) athlete at the University of Illinois at Chicago.  Sadly, Byron suffered 2nd and 3rd degree burns but did not receive medical treatment until several days later when a neighbor tipped off the Anti-Cruelty Society, who later alerted authorities.  Kyle was not arrested with misdemeanor charges until December 13 and his story then spread like wildfire via The Huffington Post, CBS Chicago, Chicago Tribune, and of course social media outlets such as Facebook and Twitter.

This is a photo of Byron during his recovery.

(courtesy of the Anti-Cruelty Society)

While a petition is available online via Change.org to upgrade Kyle’s misdemeanor charge to a felony, Continue reading

Pets as Holiday Presents?

So, it’s that time of year again. Whether celebrating Christmas, Hanukkah, or Kwanzaa, many are rushing for the perfect gift for their loved ones. While getting pets would seem like the perfect gift, please remember that these ‘gifts’ are more than just a gift. Dogs, cats, rabbits, birds, hamsters, etc require not only tender loving care but also time, commitment, and patience. I’ve heard too many stories about familites giving up on their pets because they just became “too much work” or “it’s just too expensive”. Even though pets are a lot less expensive than human kids, they still require the same care and so adequate planning is needed. They are dependent on you to stay alive and especially live a quality life just as one would want for themselves, right?

When deciding on where to get a pet, please consider adopting from a shelter or rescue group. If you prefer a puppy or a specific breed, what many don’t know is that there are rescue groups for specific breeds. Please DO NOT buy from a pet store or online because a majority of these pets are bred in puppy mills and so operators/owners are more concerned about making money rather than caring for the animals or especially caring about where their animals end up.

With the holiday spirit within you, please adopt and don’t buy. Also please check out this video from the ASPCA, Home for the Holidays.

Athena and Stuart thank you and wish you a very Happy Holiday Season!!

Yoda and his Jedi mind tricks

Once again, I’ve been absent due to the demands of everyday life and became too comfortable with all of the successful pet adoption stories that would flood in online and through word of mouth.  Whether via Facebook or eblasts or educating one person at a time or new legislation in favor of humane animal treatment, all of the progress convinced me enough to step back for a bit.  The message was getting across.  People are listening.  Mission accomplished……..for now.

About 2 weeks ago, a friend was dropping off some donations at an animal shelter and came across an emaciated 3lb chihuahua.  Despite his condition and appearing to be the most sickly dog there, he had a spirit about him.  A forgiving and optimistic persona that despite what he most likely experienced, he wanted to show everyone that he was still loveable and that he believed there are loving humans out there. Continue reading


Dora, Harry and Daisy are a trio of playful, sweet, snugly and fun 12-week-old kittens looking for a loving home. The trio were dropped off at Chicago Animal Care & Control when they were only weeks old. They were lucky to get out of the shelter and into a loving foster home thanks to the Friends of CACC Rescue Group. Harry is the most outgoing of the family members. You can hear him loudly purring while he plays with his toys from across the room. Dora is an adorable cuddle bug. And, Daisy is just plain pretty and super sweet. These kittens are very healthy, neutered/spayed, up-to-date on vaccines, de-wormed, virus-tested, and micro-chipped. Their adoption fee of $65 each benefits the Friends of Chicago Animal Care and Control.
To meet and possibly adopt one, two or three of these adorable kittens, please contact Aimee at afagan522@hotmail.com or 312-287-5981.

Dora, Harry, and Daisy are up-to-date with routine shots, house trained and spayed/neutered.



Chyna and Sugar were saved from a life of sure torture in Lockport, IL by 2 brothers three years ago. They heard someone was selling pitbulls to fight, and readily purchased what ever puppies were left, Chyna and Sugar.  They soon found great homes for both girls: Chyna went to live with a family member and Sugar to a family with kids.  Unfortunately, the family member passed away at the early age of 43, and Sugar was returned due to allergies of one of the family’s kids.  So now, both girls are back with the original fosters.  
Like so many others, they are having financial hardships and need to move from a home into a smaller apartment.  With multiple jobs and barely having time to spend with the young children in the household, the family never has time for the  dogs who deserve so much more.  And financially, they cannot support the two sisters for much longer.  They would like to first concentrate on finding a home for Sugar because she is so much more active and needs a much more physically interactive home than laid back Chyna.  Sugar would do great with an active family or couple.
Both girls are spayed, around 3 years old, house trained, great with kids, up to date on shots.  They are both good with cats and other animals, but Chyna gets aggravated with other dogs when she is bullied or rough housed for too long.  Sugar has a higher tolerance and is great with little dogs, even those who are dominant and “crazy”.  They are both trained in basic obedience.

If you can foster or adopt one or both sisters, please contact Chris at 815-931-7378 or bandjsewers@yahoo.com.