I realized just a few days ago that I had not posted anything here since the holidays. With some really cold weather in Ohio, I’ve spent most of January worrying about all of the animals that are outside struggling to survive. Additionally, after finding out about the dolphin hunt in Taiji, Japan (and seeing truly gruesome images on Facebook), I’ve felt a bit depressed by all of the sadness that seems to exist in our world.
I always, always try to focus on the positive, so I thought I would use this posting to tell you how you can help chained dogs and dolphins just in time for Valentine’s Day.
The first wonderful project you can take part in will send Valentines to chained dogs.
If you have never heard of this, I’d like to encourage you to participate in a really neat event that Dogs Deserve Better does each Valentine’s Day. For the Have a Heart for Chained Dogs Valentine Campaign, Dogs Deserve Better (DDB) sends out Valentines to chained and penned dogs. Mailed along with the Valentine is a brochure about bringing dogs into the home and freeing them from their chained existence, as well as a coupon for a dog treat. This is the 12th year that Dogs Deserve Better has been sending out Valentines to neglected canines.
Last year, Dogs Deserve Better, whose mission focuses on freeing dogs from chained and penned lives, sent almost 20,000 Valentines. The goal for 2014 is 21,000 Valentines. In order to do that, DDB needs you!
First of all, they need you to make Valentines for the dogs. If you are a teacher, a student, a group leader (4-H, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts) or someone homeschooling their children, this is a great service project to teach kindness to animals. The Valentines should be no larger than 4″ by 8.5″ so they can fit into an envelope to be mailed. DDB is stressing Quality over Quantity–they want really neat Valentines that will make people think. You can visit their web site to see some of the cool Valentines people made in previous years and also to download high resolution chained dog images to use on your own Valentines. All Valentines must be mailed to Dogs Deserve Better, 1915 Moonlight Road, Smithfield, VA 23430 by February 5–yes, we are running out of time.
Secondly, DDB needs coupons for free or reduced cost treats or dog food. They are aiming at having a coupon to go with every Valentine, so 21,000 coupons. You can mail coupons to the same address: 1915 Moonlight Road, Smithfield, VA 23430.
And finally, DDB needs to know who to send these Valentines to. If you know of a chained or penned dog in your area (we have all seen them–the poor dogs that look miserable in summer heat and bring tears to our eyes when they are covered in drifts of snow), please find the addresses for those dogs and either email them to firstname.lastname@example.org, call the info in at 757-357-9292, or go online and fill out the information via a form on the web site: HERE. YOU WILL REMAIN ANONYMOUS!
You can also sponsor the cost of sending 21,000 Valentines by making a donation to Dogs Deserve Better online or by mailing a check to the address listed above. You can also purchase really neat Valentine merchandise when you visit the site to learn how to participate in the 2014 Valentine Campaign.
To find out more about the 2014 Valentine Campaign, go HERE.
To read the official press release, go HERE.
Like DDB on Facebook HERE.
The second thing you can do this Valentine’s Day will help the dolphins in Taiji’s Cove. If you have never seen the award winning movie, The Cove, (and, to be honest, I could not watch it), let me explain what happens each year in Taiji, Japan.
From September 1 to March of the following year, fishermen herd dolphins in to a cove where they cannot escape. They then brutally slaughter the dolphins for their meat and capture others for sale to marine mammal parks.
One thing to remember is that dolphins, after humans, are the smartest animals on the planet. They form strong bonds with their families and have been known to commit suicide when they are stressed or unhappy. A mother dolphin did just that when her baby, a rare albino dolphin, was captured during this last hunt in the cove. She went under the water and did not resurface for air after her baby was taken from her. These intelligent beings are subjected to the very, very brutal slaughter of their families as the cove waters run red with blood.
You can read a really good article about the dolphin hunt in a Huffington Post blog by Karen Dawn HERE.
The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society and Sea Shepherd Cove Guardians are declaring Valentine’s Day to be “World Love for Dolphins” Day. They are asking people to protest the inhumane dolphin hunts in Taiji, Japan by demonstrating at Japanese Embassies and Consulates.
If you cannot join a demonstration, you can send a Valentine for a dolphin to the Japanese Embassy. Print out a dolphin Valentine HERE and mail it to:
Ambassador Kenichiro Sasae
C/O The Embassy of Japan in Washington, D. C.
2520 Massachusetts Avenue, N. W.
Washington, DC 20008
To find out where and how you can participate in a demonstration on February 14 or to send a Valentine for Dolphin to the Japanese Embassy, go HERE.
You can keep up on all the notifications from the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society and their Cove Guardians as they monitor the dolphin hunt in the Cove by liking them on Facebook HERE and HERE.
I would also encourage everyone to make a short and respectful phone call to the Japanese Embassy in Washington. When the phone is answered, tell them you wish to leave your comments on the dolphin hunt. You will then be directed to the fisheries department where you will leave a message. Tell them you do not agree with the hunts and ask them to please discontinue this needless slaughter. While signing petitions is great, tying up the phone lines and making a nuisance for the Embassy will send a very loud message for the dolphins.
To call the Japanese Embassy in Washington, D. C.: 202 238 6700
Have a heart for all animals that suffer at the hands of humans. Do something this Valentine’s Day to make a difference!