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From Jim’s Desk–1/29/2010: PETA Wants a “Robo-GroundHog”

We have breaking news from Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania [it’s taken me several minutes trying to spell that town correctly]. As reported by the SouthTown Star….
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) wants organizers of Pennsylvania’s Groundhog Day Festival to replace Punxsutawey Phil–known to many as America’s Official Groundhog-in-Charge-of Predicting-the date-for the arrival of Spring each February 2nd–with a ROBOTIC STAND-IN.
PETA said it’s unfair to keep the groundhog in captivity and subject him to the huge crowds and bright lights that accompany the tens of thousands of revelers each February in Punxsutawey, an hour’s drive northeast of Pittsburgh.
PETA is suggesting the use of an animatronic replacement.
However William Deeley, president of the Inner Circle of the Punxsutawey Groundhog Club (you think these guys really take this stuff seriously…) stated that the animal is “being treated better than the average child in Pennsylvania.”
The groundhog is kept in a climate-controlled environment and is inspected regularly by the Department of Agriculture. (There’s a patronage position if I ever heard one.)
Deeley said PETA isn’t interested in Phil from Feb. 2nd on and is just looking for publicity.
Punxsutawey Phil had no comment for this story and this reporter was referred to the groundhog’s agent for any further questions on this matter (I just made that last part up…LOL…)

From Jim’s Desk: 20 January 2010–Hero Cat Missing after Fire: Found

As Reported by the ChicagoBreaking News Center…

A cat that ran off after rousing a couple from sleep as their home burned has returned to the house and was reunited with her family this afternoon.
Baby, a 13-year-old white, brown and gray tabby, had woken Josh Ornberg as he slept next to his pregnant girlfriend on a couch in their Wonder Lake home around midnight Sunday night.
Once the couple awoke, Ornberg and his girlfriend, Letitia Kovalovsky, got out of the house safely, as did Baby, who ran out with the couple unable to catch her. Ornberg set a live trap for Baby on the front porch of the house Monday, and today, his employers, who live nearby, spotted the cat in the cage and stowed her in their car until Ornberg met up with them about 2:30 p.m., he said.
“I thought she would come back,” said Ornberg, who said he was happy when he got the call that Baby was found.

Tinley Park PAWS Animal Skate: Saturday, 1/23/10

PAWS Animal Shelter will be hosting its Skate for the Animals event from 4:30pm to 7:30 pm, Saturday– January 23, 2010 at the Tinley Park Roller Rink, 17658 Oak Park Avenue.
Admission is $6.00, but residents who donate an item on the shelter’s wish list–cat litter, dry dog food, cat food, postage stamps, white copy paper–will get in for $5. The event will also feature raffle prizes for children and a “Split-the-Pot” for adults. For information:www.pawstinleypark.org

From Jim’s Desk….12 Jan 2010… Down Economy Putting More Pets into Rescue Shelters

We’ve all seen the reports in the media about the effects the economic downturn has had on the number of abandoned and/or neglected pets locally and nationwide. The instances of pets requiring rescue are difficult to avoid…I came across at least three just today.

Personal responsibility is inherent in pet ownership; and no matter how economically difficult circumstances get, that responsibility still remains.

A survey conducted by Petfinder.com illustrates this point:
* 47 percent of shelters and rescue groups said the No. 1 economy-related reason pets are being surrendered is because of general financial difficulty.
* 18 percent said the driving factor was people having to relocate
* 16 percent said the No. 1 reason was foreclosures

Petfinder.com also uncovered in the survey that 37 percent of shelters and rescue groups have seen a decrease in pet adoptions over the past year.

I agree with Petfinder.com:
~~Please consider volunteering to temporarily foster a pet in need, donating your time or money to a local shelter or rescue group, and of course, adopting a pet in need.

Do what you can to help…it’s the very least we can do to carry out our responsibilities.