The Real News of 2016
Alas, this is the last Pet Column of 2016... I thought I would do quick year in review of national highlights until my web search resulted in a depressing list of top news stories all having something to do with violence, intolerance, and darkness. So instead I bring you a year in review from the perspective of homeless pets instead. They say darkness helps you to see the light – well so do animals.
Top Ten animal victory stories of 2016 include:
- Adoptions of homeless pets are up and euthanasia is down nationwide.
- A new study just found that wild reindeer herds have a positive impact upon the Arctic tundra which leads to a cooling effect on the climate, an important finding for animal lovers, environmentalists and believers of Santa Clause.
- The Greenland shark earned the title of longest-lived vertebrate on the planet, an August study found that the animal, native to the cold, deep waters of the North Atlantic, can live to at least 272 years—and possibly to the ripe old age of 500. Oh the stories they could tell…
- The Giant Panda was officially removed from the endangered species list (even though they do still remain highly vulnerable and are going to need continuous monitoring and care, the future looks much brighter than ever before)!
- In a longstanding animal cruelty case, legal advocates for an elephant named Mohan, who had been chained and abused for the past 50 years of his life as a working elephant in India, were successful in getting him freed and transported to the Elephant Conservation and Care Center (ECCC) in Mathura, India.
- A federal appeals court ruled against allowing the U.S. Navy to use sonar that could harm dolphins, whales, and other marine life.
- After years of bureaucracy, 600,000 square miles (almost as large as Alaska) in the Arctic region has just been established as a marine sanctuary.
- Hunters will no longer be allowed to bring back the heads, skins, claws, teeth, and other lion parts from those kills to the U.S. that had been taken from captive-bred lions in South Africa, which follows lasts years decision to add lions to the Endangered Species Act list.
- SeaWorld announced that it would phase out its captive orca program by no longer breeding or acquiring orcas. (SeaWorld will turn its attention to “new, inspiring, natural orca encounters” with educational programs emphasizing enrichment, exercise and health with its remaining killer whales).
There are countless more stories to boost the good vibes of animal lover’s worldwide – but I will end there. My point is - there are things you can control in life and things you can’t. The darkness that captivates and dominates national media is not something you can control. But working toward making a positive difference in the lives of others is something you can (for example, bringing more light, in the form of a cat named Pumpkin, into your life is something you can do….).
2016 was a rough year for me. My person I have known my whole life (I am 6) died and there were no family members to take me in so I am here at Second Chance looking for a new person or family. I purposefully excluded #10 from my Top 10 list above as I hope to fill it with the final good news of 2016 – that I found a new home…
Second Chance Humane Society Animal Resource Center and Thrift Shops service San Miguel, Ouray & Montrose Counties. Call the SCHS Helpline at 626-2273 to report a lost pet, learn about adopting a homeless pet, or about the SCHS Spay/Neuter, Volunteer, Feral Cat, or other Programs. View our shelter pets and services online: www.adoptmountainpets.org.