Category Archives: animal care

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.

ASPCA

World Wildlife Fund

Care2 Petitions

PETA

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!

Enjoy!

Cora’s Rescue

Byron’s Story – Animal Cruelty Case of Kyle Voissem

*** FOR MOST RECENT UPDATE, PLEASE SCROLL TO BOTTOM***

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

Trying to Stay Strong and Positive

I’ve been away from my own site for a long time, which was not my intention.  There was a moment when I felt defeated, burned out, helpless, hopeless about my campaign in protecting and caring for animals.  I felt that no matter how hard I tried, the message was barely coming across.

I love and want to care for animals of all species, breeds, shapes, and sizes.  With my upbringing and educational background, I thought that I had the capability to make a difference.  However, animals are still being abused, neglected, and abandoned.  Shelters continue to fill up and more animals are being euthanized for lack of room.  Abusers and dog fighters are still on the street and puppy mills are still in business.  I was starting to feel that my mission was going nowhere but that moment is now gone. Continue reading

USPS NEWS RELEASE!

On April 30, widely known celebrity animal lover Ellen Degeneres will join Postmaster General John E. Potter for the official stamp dedication ceremony for the Animal Rescue : Adopt a Shelter Pet commemorative postage stamps and kick off the Stamps to the Rescue promotional campaign.

For more info about the campaign:
Stamps to the Rescue

For the press release:
USPS Press Release: Stamps to the Rescue