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Jul 13, 2007
Focus: Environment
Action Request: Write E-Mail
Location: United States

New EPA Rule Means More Pollution for Parks

Al Gore knows it. The polar bears know it. All the world knows--Global Warming is happening. Now that we've come to grips with it, everyone is doing their part. Everyone, that is, except the EPA. In fact, instead of working to curb global warming and other pollutants from coal-fired power plants, EPA is trying to make it easier for them to set up shop near our national parks. EPA's proposed rule would invite coal-fired power plants to emit more pollution into our national parks and other treasured places. Take a minute to tell the EPA just what you think about this proposed rule. Take action!

Tell me more

Docket ID #EPA-HQ-OAR-2006-0888/Pollution in national parks

Dear Administrator Johnson,

(Edit Letter Below)

I am writing in regards to the proposed change to rules regarding air pollution in Class I areas. I was very disappointed to hear that the EPA is proposing a change that would give coal-fired power plants and other polluters the green light to increase emissions in national parks, wildlife refuges, and wilderness areas that have Class I protection.

In 1977, Congress amended the Clean Air Act to provide certain lands with the greatest level of clean air protection, realizing the importance of keeping these areas free of significant air pollution. Unfortunately, these proposed rules would be in direct conflict with the law. They would allow companies to submit inaccurate estimates of existing pollution in order to justify new pollution. The result would be more power plants emitting more pollution into Class I areas.

I urge you NOT to adopt this proposed rule. It would be in direct violation of the Clean Air Act, and more importantly it could have devastating effects on natural resources for generations to come. Thank you for your time.

Sincerely,
[Your name]
[Your address]

Click here to take action at NPCA website


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Posted: Jul 13, 2007 11:46pm
Apr 30, 2007
I am away from my routine on Care2. I am checking in, but just want to apologize in advance if I am slow in replying to requests and for being less visible for the time that I am here.

I wanted to also ask for a hold on forwarding via Care2 personal messages for the time being. Don't worry, I am taking action, but will not be posting as actively! Regular personal messages and emails are fine and very welcome.

Most of you already know I am one of those unlucky members who has an uncooperative Care2 personal message box. Putting a hold on forwards will help me from getting too far behind during this period when I am not able to be logged in as much. It will also help me see the non-forwarded messages much more easily. Thanks for understanding!

I will do my best to get back to routine as soon as possible.

I'm sorry to be communicating this way, through a share, but will have to do more of this, as a workaround, on a temporary basis.

My respect and gratitude to you all not only for your dedicated efforts to make this world a better place, but also for your kindness and friendship.

Take good care and keep fighting the good fight!





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Posted: Apr 30, 2007 11:20am
Apr 21, 2007

The House will be voting on a bill to reinstate protections for wild horses and burros here in the USA on this Thursday.

Please call your US Representatives and ask for their support to end the rounding up of wild horses for slaughter.

Take a look at this Share, where you may watch a video of a wild horse round-up (no graphic violence) and also read the full Vanity Fair article, "Galloping Scared" :


Blog: Wild Horses Rounded Up: Youtube video
(14 comments) — http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k9NLTcwwvOsFrom "Galloping Scared", published in Vanity Fair Magazine:"As the horses hit a straightaway at full stride, a camouflaged fence gradually funnels them into a trap. Close to the neck of the trap... more

The vote is April 26, 2007.

Take action here.

Thank you for using your voice for wild horses and burros,
Melanie

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Posted: Apr 21, 2007 6:30pm
Mar 15, 2007

It is March 16, 2007, the day the cull is set to begin.

Please, the news from China is not good. We need many, many letters emailed and faxed to President Hu Jintao. He halted the culls before. We must plead with him to intervene again and stop the current cull. Please ask him to show mercy to the dogs and cats of Chongqing and the people who love them.

We cannot give up! The people and pets of Chongqing are counting on all of us to be their voice! China is not a democracy and the people are limited in their ability to protest. We are the only voice they have! We must speak up for the voiceless and helpless!

You may contact Pres. Hu Jintao three ways. We ask you to please do all three and to copy all correspondence to your Chinese embassies:

1. Use the HSI webform

https://community.hsus.org/campaign/china_dogs_chongqing?rk=Ld%5fGfEF1iAf5E

2. Send an email directly

His Excellency, Hu Jintao
President of the People's Republic of China
9 Xihuang-Chenggen Beijie
Beijing, Peoples Republic of China
email: info@cppcc.gov.cn, info@china.org.cn

3. Send a fax via Lesley at ssdalrescue@gmail.com, her instructions:

I am sure most of you are aware of the Dog Cull that is going to be
underway soon in Chongqing. I have seen many bulletins about it. I am
offering to fax letters to the Gov't in Chongqing for anyone that does
not have a fax or cannot afford the overseas charges.


What I ask:

No profanity
No threats
PERSONALIZE YOUR LETTERS (even if it is just three sentences)
No spam in my mailbox

Send your letters to ssdalrescue@gmail.com and I will get them faxed ASAP. They will get lost if you send them anywhere else.

This is very important! It is going to take TON of letters to get them
to stop this mass murder. Get off your tush and write a letter!
PLEASE!!!

From a SOS letter of a dog owner to a volunteer in Tianjin yesterday, the owner said the information they've got is that the government team (with the policeman and many departments people) will use the force to open every family which has pets. And no matter the dog is healthy or has had rabies bacterin injection, all will be killed, including the cats. If the owner tried to hide their pets under the beds, they'll pull them out and kill them in front of the owner's eyes! Not to mention the homeless animals. They'll be caught and killed with electric shock - that's what they called "the humane way".

For background information on the campaign that led to President Hu Jintao halting the Beijing cull, please click here.



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Posted: Mar 15, 2007 9:00pm
Dec 7, 2006

Trouble with links or images? View this message online:
https://community.hsus.org/humane/notice-description.tcl?newsletter_id=4529621


December 5, 2006

Urge the Massachusetts Senate
to Crack Down on Animal Fighting

Dear Friend,

GREAT NEWS! The Massachusetts House has just passed H. 1765, which contains provisions to crack down on animal fighting! As you may know, the fight to end animal fighting experienced a setback when the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts struck the Dog Protection Act from the November 2006 ballot. With the passage of H. 1765 by the House, we still have a chance this year to strengthen animal fighting laws in Massachusetts. Click here to take action!
H. 1765 will prohibit breeding animals for fighting and authorize the seizure of animal fighting paraphernalia and animals used for breeding. The 2006 legislative session is drawing to a close, and it is urgent that the Senate pass this humane legislation immediately.
TAKE ACTION!
Call your state senator and urge him or her to support H. 1765 and crack down on illegal animal fighting.
Making a phone call is simple -- you will likely speak to a staff person who can take your message and pass it along to your representative. Be sure to leave your name and address so it is clear that you are a constituent.

Click here to look up your state senator, his or her phone number, and send an email.


Please tell your friends and family in Massachusetts how they can help stop cruel dogfights.

Thank you for taking action on behalf of animals.


Sincerely,

Mike Markarian
Executive Vice President, The Humane Society of the United States

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Posted: Dec 7, 2006 9:41pm
Nov 23, 2006

When writing to the Chinese authorities, please be aware of the following: 


Letters should be polite and point out the facts, explaining why more humane alternatives are also more effective.  If there is any particular action you are planning to take (for example, refusing to travel to China, boycotting Chinese products) please mention it. We know that it is very difficult not to become angry when the situation is so horrifying. However, letters should not be insulting – this will only make matters worse for the animals and people who are already suffering. Words such as barbaric, primitive, savage, uncivilised and evil should not be used. There could be severe repercussions for people in the country who are working on behalf of the animals if the government feels that they are responsible for verbal attacks by the international community. 
 


www.actasia.org











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Posted: Nov 23, 2006 10:02am
Nov 13, 2006









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Please visit ACTAsia's website, they are helping the Chinese people protest the government for this atrocity.  Links to recent news articles, press statements, photos, contact information, and guidance for constructive steps to take are all at:
www.actasia.org

Please sign the ACTAsia petition:

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/857535763

The killing is underway, and we need to raise 10,000 signatures quickly.

If you have any questions about how to help, please don't hesitate to contact me.  Please post your questions here, which is a discussion thread with additional information, or as a comment to this share. 

You may also refer to other entries in my sharebook.

Thank you so much for reading this and taking action!

For the dogs and their loved ones in China,
Melanie


 





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Posted: Nov 13, 2006 4:41pm
Nov 12, 2006
Philip Brasher's piece in the Sunday, November 12 Des Moines Register should make you smile. It is headed, "Animal activists step up political pressure" and sub-headed, "Lawmakers who don't support certain legislation find themselves targets as groups' clout grows."

It opens:

"Washington, D.C. - Republican U.S. House members Heather Wilson and Richard Pombo already had enough problems in their re-election races when a new set of opponents surfaced - animal-rights activists.

"The Humane Society Legislative Fund, a new political arm of the Humane Society of the United States, decided in September to actively work for the election or defeat of lawmakers based on issues key to the animal-welfare movement, such as banning the slaughter of horses.

"The group then spent more than $200,000 in the final four weeks of the campaign, most of it targeted at defeating two lawmakers who were in tight races, Pombo in Northern California and Wilson in New Mexico. Win or lose, the Humane Society was sending a message: Lawmakers could pay a price for their votes on issues of animal welfare.

"For a member of Congress such as Rep. Steve King, a Republican from a heavily agricultural district in western Iowa, that's no threat at all. King, an ardent opponent of banning horse slaughter, has little to fear from taking on the Humane Society.

"But to lawmakers who represent urban or suburban districts, the Humane Society is an opponent they could do without. And the livestock industry is alarmed about the organization's growing financial and political clout."

The article tells us that HSUS has been gaining clout by merging with other groups and it explains, "Unlike its parent, the Humane Society of the United States, the legislative fund is organized under a tax law that allows nonprofit groups to spend money actively campaigning for and against lawmakers. HSUS directs its spending to ballot measures and lobbying."

The piece ends with a quote from a spokesman for the National Pork Producers Council, "
"They are getting into the political game now. ...As big as they are, they are certainly a force to be reckoned with."


You'll find the whole article on line at:
http://desmoinesregister.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20061112/BUSINESS03/611120329/1001/NEWS OR http://tinyurl.com/y6az76

Though I sent the article out partly just to make you smile, I also urge you to follow up on the opportunity it presents for animal friendly letters to the editor. The Des Moines Register takes letters at http://tinyurl.com/cduqy 
That page has useful tips for getting published.

Yours and the animals',
Karen Dawn

(DawnWatch is an animal advocacy media watch that looks at animal issues in the media and facilitates one-click responses to the relevant media outlets. You can learn more about it, and sign up for alerts at http://www.DawnWatch.com. To discontinue, go to http://www.DawnWatch.com/nothanks.php
You are encouraged to forward or reprint DawnWatch alerts but please do so unedited -- leave DawnWatch in the title and include this tag line.)



Brasher: Animal activists step up political pressure

WASHINGTON FARM REPORT


Lawmakers who don't support certain legislation find themselves targets as groups' clout grows.


By PHILIP BRASHER
REGISTER WASHINGTON BUREAU

November 12, 2006

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Posted: Nov 12, 2006 6:56pm
Nov 7, 2006

www.actasia.org

ACTAsia is a new organisation set up by experienced Asian animal activists to develop and promote sustainable and professional animal advocacy in Asia.

Asia is the world’s most populous continent. Industrialised animal use is escalating here. However, animal protection is a relatively new concept, and there are very few animal activists tackling a multitude of issues. The challenges they face include social isolation and lack of support in some cultural contexts, severely constricted civic freedom in some countries, lack of funding and inability to professionalise their work through paid human resources. Although there are many international sources of information and funding, these tend to focus on specific projects and animal protection issues. Existing resources can require considerable adaptation to transfer this knowledge in a culturally relevant manner.

ACTAsia plans to tackle the challenges faced by Asian animal activists. The animal welfare movement benefits greatly from the sharing of knowledge and experience of its advocates, and ACTAsia welcomes support and guidance from organisations and individuals who would like to contribute to this endeavour.

Contact us at info@actasia.org.



ACTAsia Guidance in Writing Chinese Authorities

When writing to the Chinese authorities, please be aware of the following: 


Letters should be polite and point out the facts, explaining why more humane alternatives are also more effective.  If there is any particular action you are planning to take (for example, refusing to travel to China, boycotting Chinese products) please mention it. We know that it is very difficult not to become angry when the situation is so horrifying. However, letters should not be insulting – this will only make matters worse for the animals and people who are already suffering. Words such as barbaric, primitive, savage, uncivilised and evil should not be used. There could be severe repercussions for people in the country who are working on behalf of the animals if the government feels that they are responsible for verbal attacks by the international community.  



22-11-2006: Tragic fate awaits Beijing dogs

It is not only the dogs that are being confiscated – because they are unlicensed, ‘surplus’, too big or too dangerous – that are doomed to die in the government dog pound.

The same tragic fate awaits dogs that have been abandoned on the streets, discarded by their owners to avoid being fined by the police during their house searches.

Owners who cherish their dogs are trying to keep them away from the authorities. Some dogs in the danger zone are being kept permanently indoors. Others are being sent to farms in rural areas, in the hope that they will be safe there. Many of these dogs, however, have been reported missing and their fate is unknown.

One dog owner tells us:  “I have a one-year-old husky. My dog and I are still okay, but our lives have changed completely. Before the dog killing campaign we could go out twice a day, and on weekends we could go to the pet park, but after the dog control policy started, we dare not step outside the house, and I dare not open the door to any stranger. Even the pet park is now closed to dogs taller than 35cm, such as mine.

“My dog has now stayed inside the house for 15 days. He has become very nervous, but I have no choice. Many of my friends are sending their dogs to villages, but I don’t want to do this because I don’t want to be separated from my dog. I have also heard that some people’s dogs have been lost in the villages.”

As a consequence of the current policy, rescue groups in Beijing are flooded with roaming or unwanted animals. The dogs in the rescue centres aren’t safe either. The regulations, combined with the amount of increased work, make it impossible to have them all registered before adoption. On top of this, the new policy is also promoting a negative attitude towards dog-keeping, making it hard to get the public to adopt dogs.


Please sign our online petition to add your voice to our campaign.



12-11-2006: Concerned dogowners gather for protection of dogs.

On 11th November at 11am thousands of dog owners and residents of Beijing gathered in front of Beijing Zoo to sign a petition calling for the protection of dogs in Beijing. This is the first ever public gathering for the protection of humankind’s best friend in China, and was brought about by the recent action by the Beijing authorities of confiscating and killing pet dogs who are over 35cm in height or listed as one of 41 dangerous breeds. Homes with unlicensed dogs or more than one dog were also given the same treatment.

The Beijing authorities have made a direct connection between the size of a dog and the danger it poses to humans. This decision has created panic among dog owners, and they fear the killing of an innocent family member without any real justification.

According to the officials, this drastic crackdown is due to the increase of rabies in 2006. However, the Chinese Small Animal Protection Society points out that the dogs currently being targeted by the Beijing authorities have in fact the lowest opportunity to spread rabies, because the owners regularly have their dogs vaccinated against the disease.

Professor Zu, an epidemiologist, states: “The majority of the 318 rabies deaths in September 2006 were not in big cities like Beijing, Shanghai, or Kongzhou, but in rural provinces of China. Most villagers in these areas do not know that dogs should be vaccinated, and are unaware that they should be given treatment if bitten or scratched by a dog. This is why promoting mass vaccinations, improving the quality of rabies vaccines, public education and keeping rural animals out of urban areas are much more effective methods of preventing rabies than a mass killing of pet dogs.”



Once again ACTAsia urges the Beijing authorities to amend their current list of dangerous breeds, cancel height restrictions for licences and follow WHO recommendations on implementing mass vaccination of dogs to effectively control rabies.

Please sign our online petition to add your voice to our campaign.


News links:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/11/11/AR2006111100388.html

http://today.reuters.com/news/newsPhotoPresentation.aspx?type=worldNews&imageID=2006-11-11T092451Z_01_PEK157833_RTRUKOP_0_PICTURE1.xml

http://today.reuters.com/news/newsPhotoPresentation.aspx?type=worldNews&imageID=2006-11-11T092451Z_01_PEK157833_RTRUKOP_0_PICTURE0.xml

http://today.reuters.com/news/newsPhotoPresentation.aspx?type=worldNews&imageID=2006-11-11T092451Z_01_PEK157833_RTRUKOP_0_PICTURE2.xml

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/asia-pacific/6139046.stm


ACTAsia Press Statement - 07/11/2006

Over 35? Condemned to death

Panic hits dog owners in Beijing

What if you had to hide your dog from the authorities, or take it away from your home to stop it from being beaten to death? If you were a dog owner in Beijing, and you happened to own a German Shepherd, St Bernard, Golden Retriever, Husky, Collie, Shetland Sheepdog or even a Cocker Spaniel, you could get a visit from the authorities. They have been given the power to enter your home and drag your canine friend away. Your dog’s only fault could be its size – any dog above 35cm in height has been classified as ‘big’ in Beijing, and these dogs, along with others on the ‘dangerous’ list, are no longer allowed in major parts of the city.

Inhumane destruction of dogs is nothing new in China – in July this year, more than 50,000 dogs were killed by the authorities because of a rabies scare. Methods used included electrocution, strangulation, poison and even beating them to death. Beijing appears to be following up on this policy by enforcing a 2003 regulation which does not allow the keeping of 41 ‘dangerous’ breeds1 or any breed with a height of more than 35cm (14 inches) in its 8 focused management areas. From November 7th, the authorities will enter people’s homes to confiscate, and presumably kill, any dog that does not meet its regulations. All unlicensed animals, and any house with more than one dog, will also be affected in the same way. The city claims that it will remove all ‘big’ and ‘dangerous’ dogs from Beijing within a month. There an estimated 1 million pet dogs in Beijing, of which just above half are registered2.

It is admirable that Beijing is trying to enforce dog management policies to solve issues such as dog bites, rabies and environmental pollution - however, their inhumane and irrational methods are not going to improve the situation. The Beijing authorities have made a direct connection between the size of a dog and the danger it poses to humans. This does not appear to have any supporting evidence, as many of the breeds on their list are not seen as dangerous in other parts of the world. Also, any large dog is supposedly a danger, which is totally unscientific.

Ostensibly this sudden crackdown is due to the spread of rabies, increasing stray populations, and, according to one Beijing official, concern that ‘big dogs are causing fear in the public, particularly in the elderly, children and pregnant women, and they also attack other dogs.”3 However, that does not explain the sudden decision to enforce a 3-year-old regulation. Sceptics in China have put forward other reasons – it is possible that this is a step taken for the approaching Olympics, a precursor to banning pet ownership, or a reaction to the adverse media coverage of the summer’s dog massacre.

Thousands of dog owners in Beijing have reacted with concern and distress to this new action by the authorities. Pei Su, Executive Director of ACTAsia for Animals, commented: “This policy will cost thousands of friendly dogs their lives. It is likely that these unreasonable measures will spread to the rest of the country, causing many more inhumane deaths. We urge the Beijing municipality to amend its current list of dangerous breeds, and cancel height restrictions for licences.”

Professor Zu, Epidemiology Professor at An Huei University, comments: “There are many effective measures that can be taken to control and prevent rabies in China, for example, promoting responsible ownership, mass vaccination, improving rabies vaccine quality in China, and keeping rural animals out of urban areas. Mass culling appears to be an easy option for rabies control, but its ineffectiveness has been proved by collaborative studies with the WHO in many countries.”

ACTAsia urges the Beijing authorities to implement humane dog management and follow WHO-recommended mass dog vaccinations as an effective rabies control policy4. ACTAsia has also sent guidelines and suggestions on humane dog population management and rabies control to the Chinese authorities, and asks them to examine these guidelines and implement a more humane, effective policy in the country.


Email: info@actasia.org
Website: www.actasia.org

ACTAsia for Animals is an organisation set up by experienced Asian animal activists to develop and promote sustainable and professional animal advocacy. ACTAsia represents Action and Compassion Together. ACTAsia is currently based in India, Singapore and the United Kingdom.

Relevant news articles and image links:

News articles in Chinese

Beijing focuses on checking big dogs, aims to have no dogs over 35cm in height by the end of the year in Beijing’s prioritised areas: 03/11/06 http://beijing.qianlong.com/3825/2006/11/03/134@3491446.htm

Shen Yang City Police conduct major dog-culling exercise; beat unlicensed dogs on the streets: 02/11/06 http://www.news365.com.cn/gdtp/200611/t20061102_1158967.htm

From this month big (over 35cm in height) and unlicensed dogs found in prioritised areas of Beijing will be confiscated: 01/11/06
http://beijing.qianlong.com/3825/2006/11/01/2540@3488559.htm

Next month Beijing authorities will enter people’s homes searching for big and unlicensed dogs: 26/10/06
http://news.sina.com.cn/c/2006-10-26/010510325127s.shtml

Crackdown on homes with more than one dog in prioritised areas of Beijing: 26/10/06
http://news.sina.com.cn/c/2006-10-26/033511333989.shtml

Chang Chuan city cracks down on illegal dog keeping. From today dogs cannot be walked between 7:00am – 7:00pm: 13/10/06
http://news.sina.com.cn/c/2006-10-13/004411221998.shtml

Wu Hang city sets up a team of 300 people for culling: 25/10/06
http://www.wh.ccoo.cn/news/newsShow.asp?id=207913


News articles in English

Beijing starts to remove stray dogs from streets: 26/10/06
http://en.ce.cn/National/Local/200610/26/t20061026_9144341.shtml

Beijing reinforces supervision on dog ownership: 24/10/06
http://www.chinanews.cn/news/2005/2006-10-24/29161.html


References

1. List of dangerous dog breeds (Chinese) according to the Beijing Dog Keeping Regulations, 2003.
http://beijing.qianlong.com/3825/2006/10/08/2540@3448405.htm

2. Xinhua Online 22/10/06
http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2006-10/22/content_5235012.htm

3. Beijing Evening News Article 01/11/06
http://Beijing.qianlong.com/3825/2006/11/01/2540@3488559.htm

4. WHO “Controlling rabies in dogs: what to do – what to avoid doing?”
http://www.who.int/rabies/animal/dogs/en/index.html



List of campaigns to TAKE ACTION for the Beijing Dog Culls: Please read and complete all recommended actions, especially those by ACTAsia and Animals Asia Foundation

ACTAsia

Stop the senseless killing of dogs in China

Guidance when writing Chinese Authorities



Animals Asia Foundation

Response to China Dog Culls - 16 November 2006

Animals Asia offers 50,000 muzzles to save Beijing's big dogs - 24 November 2006

Kinship Circle

11/6/06: Beijing Dog Cull Begins 11/7. Write now and don't stop.

Sirius Global Animal Organization
 
CHINA PREPARES FOR 2008 OLYMPICS

International Fund for Animal Welfare

Tell Olympic Committee China Crack Down Must Stop


In Defense of Animals

Beijing Executes Dogs in Mass Cull / Urge Chinese Ambassador to US to stop the killing


Humane Society International
 
Secretary Gutierrez:  Please Stand Up for China's Dogs












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Click to view photos of the violence against dogs in China, WARNING: GRAPHIC!












 



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Posted: Nov 7, 2006 11:51pm
Nov 7, 2006

Puppy Power:
How Humane Society
Gets the Vote Out

Animal Welfare Is the Issue,
Not the Candidate's Party;
Loaded for Bear Hunters
By BRODY MULLINS
November 7, 2006; Page A1

DUBLIN, Calif. -- Wayne Pacelle marched up to a one-story house here last week, hoping to persuade the two Republicans inside to vote against incumbent Republican Rep. Richard Pombo.

"Beware of dog," read a nearby sign as Mr. Pacelle knocked on the front door. Suddenly, a pit bull charged from inside the house. Mr. Pacelle stumbled backward. The dog slammed into the door. A screen was all that separated the growling beast from the chief executive officer of the Humane Society of the United States.

"I may be with the Humane Society, but I prefer little dogs when I'm canvassing," said the 41-year-old Mr. Pacelle. For Mr. Pacelle, the pit bull is just one snarling obstacle in his path toward transforming the nation's largest group of pet lovers into a ferocious force in congressional elections. Call it puppy power at the polls.

For the first time in its 50-year history, the Humane Society is trying to elect candidates to Congress who support its animal-welfare agenda. After a series of mergers with other animal-welfare groups, the Humane Society counts 10 million Americans as members, an average of 23,000 in each of the 435 House districts. That's more than twice the membership of the National Rifle Association, which is considered one of the most effective single-issue campaign organizations.

More important, the Humane Society's motivating issue -- the promotion of animal welfare -- resonates with the white suburban women who could be the key block of voters who decide this election.

The Humane Society isn't campaigning for just one political party. Sen. Rick Santorum, a Republican from Pennsylvania, won its support this year for championing federal funding for animal-protection programs. Virginia Republican Sen. George Allen was endorsed for introducing legislation to require bitter-tasting antifreeze to discourage pets from lapping up spills.

In the House, the Humane Society is campaigning for several Republicans in close races, including Reps. John Sweeney of New York and Christopher Shays of Connecticut. Mr. Sweeney, who represents Saratoga's race track, pushed legislation through the House to ban the slaughter of horses for human consumption.

Among Republicans the Humane Society is targeting are Montana's Sen. Conrad Burns, who opposed Mr. Sweeney's horse-slaughter bill in the Senate, Rep. Heather Wilson of New Mexico and Mr. Pombo of California.

The Humane Society has endorsed more than 300 candidates for Congress. But it has spent money in just two dozen of the closest races where Mr. Pacelle believes he can swing about 5% of the vote.

"Animals are a part of the fabric of our culture, so it's inevitable that the organized network that protects animals would activate for political ends," Mr. Pacelle said in an interview. About two-thirds of households have pets. "We can be an incredibly influential political organization, as powerful as the Chamber of Commerce," Mr. Pacelle told a crowd of election volunteers in Las Vegas last week.

Carolyn Mathias, a lifelong Republican, learned from the Humane Society that the state's Republican governor, Bob Ehrlich, had approved the state's first bear hunt in 50 years. The Humane Society publicized the decision in television advertisements that featured graphic images of dead bears.

"I'm sure it must sound unusual for a Republican to suddenly not vote Republican based on one issue," Ms. Mathias says. "The way I look at this is that the bears have no political party."

It cuts both ways. When Mr. Pacelle knocked on doors in Las Vegas last week for Republican Sen. John Ensign, a veterinarian, all but one of the volunteers who accompanied him were Democratic women.

[chart]

Mr. Pacelle began creating the Humane Society political operation two years ago when he was named chief of the organization. Since then, he has quietly built a formidable election campaign machine. To comply with tax and election laws, Mr. Pacelle has created two offshoots of the Humane Society to focus on election campaigns. In total, the entities have spent $3.4 million on congressional elections and ballot initiatives, more than Exxon Mobil Corp. They have contributed $150,000 to candidates for Congress, which is more than Halliburton Co. has contributed.

The Humane Society has a long history of winning state ballot initiatives on issues ranging from banning cockfighting in Oklahoma to prohibiting hunting with steel-jawed leg traps in Colorado. This year, the Humane Society is battling the NRA over dove hunting in Michigan and big agriculture over the size of pigpens in Arizona.

The Humane Society first tested the waters in congressional elections in 2004 -- and then, in just one race. In that campaign, the group campaigned against Rep. Chris John in Louisiana when the Democrat ran for an open Senate seat against Republican Rep. David Vitter. Mr. John championed the state's legalized cockfighting industry, and the Humane Society didn't want to see him in the Senate.

Polls showed that nine in 10 women in Louisiana opposed cockfighting, so the Humane Society set about to tell 300,000 white female voters that Mr. John supported the practice. The group spent $400,000 on radio ads and mailings to get the message out. When Mr. Vitter won with 51% of the vote, the Humane Society knew it could be a force.

"If we could win in 'Sportsman's Paradise,' we can win anywhere," says Mr. Pacelle. A Yale graduate, Mr. Pacelle considered going to law school before dedicating his career to the protection of animals. Mr. Pacelle says he grew up with several pets and an "unusual interest in the welfare of animals." On his way to a recent news conference, Mr. Pacelle brought his fuel-efficient 2006 Toyota Prius to a halt to let a pigeon pass in front of him. "More than one million animals are killed each day by cars," he says. Divorced, Mr. Pacelle has no pets these days because, he says, he travels too much.

In the campaign's final days, the Humane Society focused on defeating Mr. Pombo, the California Republican who chairs the House Resources Committee. From that perch, Mr. Pombo has broad authority over environmental and agriculture legislation. The Humane Society backed Democratic candidate Jerry McNerney.

The Humane Society spent more than $100,000 on radio ads and $50,000 in mailings accusing Mr. Pombo of blocking legislation to promote animal welfare. A radio ad that aired last week accused Mr. Pombo of voting to "deny funding to crack down on the barbaric practices of dog fighting and cockfighting" and opposing legislation to outlaw the slaughter of American horses, "so the French can eat horse meat as a delicacy."

Such tactics "turned what might have been a snooze of a race into a nationally watched showdown," according to an Oakland Tribune article last week.

In Oakland last week, Mr. Pacelle embarked on his door-to-door canvassing tour dressed in tan khaki pants and a T-shirt that said "Get Political for Animals." After his encounter with the pit bull, Mr. Pacelle eyed a bumper sticker on a truck parked in a driveway: "Dog is my co-pilot," it read. "This is a good sign," Mr. Pacelle said, advancing to the door. In his typical pitch, Mr. Pacelle described Mr. Pombo as "so extreme he even actively supports commercial whaling."

A spokesman for Mr. Pombo predicted the Humane Society's effort would fail because voters would view the group as too extreme. "They are basically accusing members of Congress of clubbing baby seals and kicking puppies," said Brian Kennedy, the spokesman.

That sentiment was echoed by the Republican owners of the growling pit bull. Mr. Pacelle's speech about Mr. Pombo was cut off midsentence. "I don't think he kills dogs," the occupant said, shutting the door.

Mr. Pacelle fared better a few minutes later when he spotted a young couple getting into a black Ford Mustang. "She watches Animal Planet all the time," the man yelled as he drove away. "You've got our vote."

Write to Brody Mullins at brody.mullins@wsj.com

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Posted: Nov 7, 2006 3:07pm

 

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