Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Abruzzo earthquake forgotten victims

L'Aquila kennel dog, Italy
The earthquake in the Abruzzo region of central Italy of a few days ago has affected animals too. Animals suffering from natural disasters have to rely primarily on the efforts of volunteers for their survival.

Italy’s largest organization for dogs protection, Lega Nazionale per la Difesa del Cane, is helping through its local section of L’Aquila in the distribution of food to the dog pound, to the only kennel of the area and to private individuals who need food for their own dogs or for strays they are looking after.

Through its website, aptly and hopefully named Cuccefelici (Happy Doghouses), the Lega Nazionale per la Difesa del Cane reports that its kennel in L’Aquila, holding 400 dogs, has been left intact by the earthquake because it has no brickwork buildings and all the dogs in it are safe.

Thanks to its volunteers and to the part of the staff capable of getting to work, the dogs have been looked after, fed and given water every day. Elderly and sick dogs are receiving all the necessary treatments as usual.

Whoever needs dog food can contact them by phone. They are also working in close cooperation with the local Veterinary Authority, who people can contact to report any lost, injured or trapped dog.

Even before the earthquake L'Aquila and its area had approximately 4,000 to 6,000 stray dogs, and this is the only public kennel of the district.

L’Aquila dogs protection people, together with the firefighters of the town of Paganica, have saved four female boxers that had been without food or water for days, trapped in a garden surrounded by rubble. The dogs, after being fed, will be returned to their human companion who has evacuated in a hotel on the Adriatic coast.

The local Veterinary Authority has also found many dogs who have been immediately transferred to the Lega Nazionale per la Difesa del Cane kennel in L’Aquila, where they are now still taken care of.

Despite that, in the region there is a real emergency of dogs and cats still locked inside homes or wandering alone after the death of their human companion, sometimes badly injured.

L'Aquila’s dog pound, the private kennel of the area and members of the public all rely on the dogs protection organization’s help.

Both food and medical supplies are insufficient. The dog food is now necessary in greater amounts, because the organization not only must feed the dogs in its kennel but is also donating dogs food to whoever needs it. Large quantities of dog food have been ordered from the usual supplier and already delivered but are still unpaid for.

So, what the dogs protection organization needs most at this moment is funds.

They need your help.

If you can help, you can send them money through Paypal from their website: Cuccefelici


Anonymous said...

Co. Kilkenny,

Re. Bad Hare Days

I would like to tell you about a book I have written and had published on the controversial subject of live hare coursing in Ireland and the campaign to protect the Irish Hare. It’s called Bad Hare Days (published by Olympia Publishers of London) and in it I recount the ups and downs of campaigning on the issue over three decades.

In addition to exploring the nature of hare coursing from my own perspective as an animal protection campaigner, I also describe the social and psychological impact on campaigners of engaging in a difficult and tension-wrought campaign aimed at changing public opinion on this and other animal protection issues.

As I lack the resources to mount a huge promotional drive of the kind one associates with celebrity authors, I am doing what I can to “spread the word” about the book.

I’m not sure if it would be possible for you to mention the book on your website or in a newsletter. If not, I’d appreciate if perhaps you might tell someone about it. The “Bush Telegraph” can be most effective too!

If interested, you might like to read a review of the book and some further details at the following link:
> http://www.amazon.co.uk/Bad-Hare-Days-John-Fitzgerald/dp/1905513674

I’m also on Facebook and I have a web page relating to the anti-hare coursing campaign and the book at

Reproduced below is what the publisher’s promotional piece has to say about the book:

Bad Hare Days by John Fitzgerald

> In Ireland the 'humble hare' has been the subject of great controversy.
> After years of an abusive sport, which resulted in its child-like death
> screams being heard regularly throughout Ireland, a result was achieved.
> For those few dedicated people trying desperately to save the gentle
> creature from the horrors of the cruel sport of hare coursing, the
> struggle was painful and fought against great odds. The author writes
> about one of the 'world's most barbaric blood sports' continuing during
> a deadly period for the hares, the 1980s.
> His own peaceful and non-violent action and that of, initially, a few
> others' did arouse the public and achieve what at first appeared to be a
> hard-won benefit to the hare. But the hare's troubles were - and are -
> far from over. Though it can no longer be torn apart by greyhounds, now
> muzzled, it can still be mauled, injured, and tossed about like a rag
> doll on the coursing field.
> In addition to highlighting the hare's sad plight, this is also a
> campaigner's story. The author recounts vividly the ups and downs of his
> own fight against cruelty. He paid a major price in suffering as a
> result of being persecuted for his beliefs. The gentle hare, apart from
> its use and abuse in coursing, has now become an endangered species in
> Ireland, and this book reinforces its right to be protected.

Thanking you for your kind attention,


John Fitzgerald

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