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Phil Brindley
If you come to a fork in the road, take it.
If you come to a fork in the road, take it.

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Heart Wrenching!
SONG DOG UPDATE - Her foot is healing beautifully! Here is a segment from the veterinarian's journal written about 10 days ago. Her words demonstrate how rewarding - and how wrenching - the commitment to an injured wild animal can be:


Without me, I think her foot would have festered and she would have died. With my care she has a chance. Halfway into this endeavor she is healing nicely – I expect to release her in 2 weeks – with four feet!
The saving of a foot, maybe a life – it should be enough. But though I am honored to have been gifted this task, it is not joyful. For this coyote is miserable. I am her jailer, her tormentor, the dungeon master. And though I bring her food, and the medicine and care I have given have made it possible for her foot to heal, she does not know my ultimate plans.

After all, people trap coyotes, release them into the back of trucks and feed them, only to sell them for “penning” - being chased to exhaustion by dogs outside the pen, then dogs turned loose on them inside the pen to tear them apart. Perfectly legal in 20 states.

Does her kind have an innate fear of my kind, for all the horrid things we do to coyotes? I have many friends that recoil instinctively when they see a snake or spider. Song Dog has the same look when she sees me. The cats and dogs I treat mostly understand my intent. They may be frightened or snappy, but if I ask to take blood or check a sore spot, and listen to their response, reformulating my approach if need be, there is a very subtle acquiescence. Mostly, I have their permission.

I do not have Song Dog’s permission, and it makes me sad. Only once have I seen a look that was not cowering in fear. It was when I took her outside in the cage. She was intensely interested in the world, but started to frantically dig to get out and chew the bars of her cage.
I can only tell her, “when your foot is healed, I will set you free, back with your family even”. But she does not believe me."

(Note: Reminder to page down and read the post about state laws regarding wildlife rehab! Good intentions are NOT enough. You need to be in the know and follow the law. The following is a worthwhile read!)

What is Wildlife Rehabilitation? (

The goal of wildlife rehabilitation is to provide professional care to sick, injured, and orphaned wild animals so ultimately they can be returned to their natural habitat. Wild animals that sustain injuries or illnesses preventing them from living successfully in the wild usually are euthanized (have their suffering ended in a humane fashion). Occasionally, individual animals that have recovered from their injuries but are not able to survive in the wild are placed in educational facilities.

Wildlife rehabilitation is not an attempt to turn wild animals into pets. Patients are held in captivity only until able to live independently in the wild. Fear of humans is a necessary survival trait for wild animals and every effort is made to minimize human contact and prevent the taming of rehabilitation patients. Often wildlife rehabilitation is an elaborate and time-consuming process.

Wildlife rehabilitators work with veterinarians to assess injuries and diagnose a variety of illnesses. Due to the important differences between wild animals and domestic animals, rehabilitators need extensive knowledge about the species in care, including natural history, nutritional requirements, behavioral issues, and caging considerations. They also need to understand any dangers the animals may present to rehabilitators. Rehabilitators must also be able to administer basic first aid and physical therapy, and understand any dangers the animals may present to rehabilitators.

Almost all birds are protected by federal law; state laws protect most other kinds of wildlife. To work with mammals, reptiles, and amphibians, wildlife rehabilitators must be issued special permits from their state wildlife agencies. Before receiving these permits, individuals must meet various requirements such as specialized training, participation in mentorship programs, facility inspections, and written or oral exams. Rehabilitators who wish to care for birds also must get permits from the US Fish & Wildlife Service. Once they receive the permits, conscientious rehabilitators continue their education by attending conferences, seminars, and workshops, keeping up with published literature, and networking with others in
the field.

Because of their training, wildlife rehabilitators can help concerned people decide whether an animal truly needs help. Young birds and mammals should be returned to their families if at all possible; even well trained rehabilitators are not equivalent replacements for biological parents. Rehabilitators can provide instructions on how to reunite wildlife families, keeping the safety of the animals and the rescuers in mind, and they can suggest humane, long-term solutions when conflicts arise between humans and their wild neighbors.

Photo shows Song Dog's "meant to be wild" eyes.

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This is a good time to point out that although the House session ended before the H-1144 got to the floor on Friday, July 1st (the Senate also adjourned without addressing the bill), this bill could be introduced again. STAY TUNED. We will alert you immediately if we learn that the bill has been resurrected!

ALSO - We ask that in your comments you not address red wolf conservation as a partisan issue. The political atmosphere is so charged with negativity and confrontational language right now, and the blame game is in full swing as we all know. This page is not the place for that. Thank you!

Reminder: Here is the language contained in H-114 (S-884):

The General Assembly of North Carolina hereby expresses its support for the Wildlife Resources Commission's resolution dated January 29, 2015, requesting that the United States Fish and Wildlife Service declare the red wolf (Canis rufus) extinct in the wild and terminate the Red Wolf Reintroduction Program in Beaufort, Dare, Hyde, Tyrrell, and Washington Counties, and the Wildlife Resources Commission's resolution dated January 29, 2015, requesting that the United States Fish and Wildlife Service remove red wolves released onto private lands in the red wolf recovery area located in Beaufort, Dare, Hyde, Tyrrell, and Washington Counties.

Thanks to long-time supporter Michele Jankelow in the U.K. (formerly South Africa) for alerting us to this article!

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In the 1990s, gray wolves were reintroduced to Yellowstone National Park and the U.S. Northern Rockies by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service to replace those that were killed off decades before by hunting, trapping, and poisoning. However, responsibility for wolves has recently been turned over to state game agencies. They quickly opened wolf hunting and trapping seasons near the park. As a result, many park wolves have been killed, and wolf families have been destroyed or severely disrupted.

Like the wolf, grizzly bears were historically driven to near extinction in the U.S. (outside of Alaska). Beginning in the 1980s, a major effort was made to rebuild the small surviving population of Yellowstone grizzlies. Now, despite much scientific and public controversy, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service seeks to turn the grizzly bear over to state management. This would mean “sport” hunting of grizzly bears as well as wolves.

Trophy killing of wolves and grizzly bears benefits a mere handful of hunters and outfitters operating near Yellowstone’s national parks. The practice is grossly unfair to many millions of park visitors from the U.S. and around the world that go to Yellowstone wanting to see and enjoy these magnificent animals in their natural environment (1).

People cherish individual park wolves and grizzly bears, and many visit the park repeatedly to see them and their families. Others follow the lives of these amazing animals through social media. Research shows that nearby wolf hunting can reduce wolf viewing in the park (2).

It is simply wrong to allow hunting of park wolves and bears that have grown accustomed to the presence of admiring park visitors, and have come to trust us as a harmless, ordinary part of their Yellowstone home.

It is also senseless from an economic standpoint to allow hunting of these popular park animals: Visitor spending due to wolf and grizzly presence in Yellowstone Park amounts to tens of millions of dollars each year that benefit surrounding communities and businesses.
Please sign our petition. It calls upon top officials in both federal and state governments to work to create a no-hunting and no-trapping buffer zone for wolves and grizzly bears around Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks. Achieving such protection would be an historic milestone for national park conservation!

Thank you for speaking out on behalf of your national park wolves and bears!
Campaign for Yellowstone's Wolves & Bears

1 “Compassionate Conservation for Yellowstone’s Wolves” by Tony Povilitis, Natural Areas Journal. July 2016.

2 “Implications of harvest on the boundaries of protected areas for large carnivore viewing opportunities” by Bridget Borg and others PLoS ONE 11(4) online.

The Petition:

To the U.S. Secretary of the Interior; the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture; Officials of the U.S. Forest Service; Officials of the National Park Service; the Governors of Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming, and their respective state Wildlife Commissioners.

We are outraged that gray wolves of Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks can be trophy hunted and trapped when crossing park boundaries in search of food or a mate. Likewise, we are appalled that park grizzly bears may soon suffer the same fate.

We ask that you work to create a no-hunting and no-trapping buffer zone for wolves and grizzly bears around the national parks in order to protect these cherished animals.
Park wolves and grizzly bears are both a national treasure and world-class feature of Yellowstone’s parks, drawing millions of tourists each year with great economic benefits to surrounding areas.

There is much more to wildlife management than simply sustaining populations and “harvests” of game. People place great value on individual park wolves and grizzly bears and their families, and countless go to the park repeatedly to see them or follow their lives in the media.

Ethically, it is simply wrong to allow trophy hunting of park wolves and bears that have grown accustomed to the presence of admiring park visitors, and have come to trust us as a harmless, ordinary part of their Yellowstone home.
Please act in the greater public interest. A positive response from you to this petition will encourage us to continue visiting the Yellowstone area and eagerly support its tourist industry and local communities.

Thank you.

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