In a major victory for wildlife, the Big Cat Public Safety Act, (H.R. 263/S. 1210), which prohibits the private possession of big cats and makes it illegal for exhibitors to allow direct contact with cubs, passed the U.S. Senate.
As previously reported by WAN, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the crucial bill by a vote of 278 to 134 in July. The bill now advances to President Biden’s desk for his signature.
“Today the Senate took a major step toward protecting tigers, lions, and all big cats who have been vulnerable to inhumane treatment through a patchwork of private ownership laws across the country. The lack of federal regulations for big cats leaves first responders to situations involving animal escapes and the public at risk,” said Animal Legal Defense Fund’s Executive Director Stephen Wells. “We are encouraged to see support for the legislation from both chambers of Congress and hope the President moves quickly to sign this bipartisan bill into law.”
“The Big Cat Public Safety Act will end the horrific exploitation of big cats and bolster public safety,” said Senator Blumenthal. “These beautiful but powerful predators deserve to live in the wild, not be kept in captivity for people’s entertainment — even as cubs. I’m thrilled that, after a groundswell of public and bipartisan support, this bill I’ve long advocated for will become law.”
In the spring of 2020, the Animal Legal Defense Fund teamed up with Blackfish Director Gabriela Cowperthwaite to launch an online petition urging Congress to pass the Big Cat Public Safety Act to help end this cruel wildlife trade.
While some states have restricted or banned the private possession of certain wild animals, other states have virtually no regulations, leaving big cats vulnerable to abuse. The Big Cat Public Safety Act closes this gap and also makes it illegal for exhibitors, such as circuses and zoos, to allow direct contact with cubs.
Some facilities actually encourage visitors to interact with cubs, such as bottle-feeding tiger cubs, for an extra fee, endangering cubs and visitors alike. Cub attractions lead to perpetual breeding, to maintain tiny cubs while others grow too large to be handled and controlled. Aged-out cubs are often sold to private individuals or killed when they are no longer a source of additional income.
Big cats belong in the wild or, in situations where captive animals can no longer safely be returned to the wild, in reputable sanctuaries. Depriving wild animals of the ability to engage in their natural behaviors, separating them from their newborn cubs, and forcing them into dangerous interactions with humans is both cruel and a recipe for disaster.
Dozens of Hollywood stars signed the online petition urging the passing of the Big Cat Public Safety Act, including: Kate Mara, Rooney Mara, Joaquin Phoenix, Edie Falco, Hilary Swank, Iggy Pop, Ireland Baldwin, Kim Basinger, Ruby Rose, Paul Wesley, Christian Serratos, Nikki Reed, Ian Somerhalder, Teresa Palmer, Glenn Close, Anjelica Huston, Justin Theroux, Christopher Walken, Mena Suvari, Steve Aoki, Alan Cumming, Ed Begley, Alison Pill, Jane Lynch, Olivia Wilde, Kate del Castillo, Charlotte Ross, Kristin Bauer, Sarah Silverman, Whitney Cummings, Jenny Slate, and Jackson Galaxy.
Street Cat Bob, Who Helped His Human To Overcome Addiction, Has Passed Away
James Bowen, who was a recovering heroin addict, first met a beautiful ginger cat in 2007. At first glance, the cat was clearly abandoned and had injuries, so James took him in. Every morning, James had a positive reason to wake up; Bob.James would take Bob with him on the streets to go busking and selling ‘The Big Issue’ around London. A couple of years later, in 2012, James published a book through Hodder & Stoughton called ‘A Street Cat Named Bob’. The book detailed their lives together and became a best seller. The popular book spurred on the sequels ‘The World According to Bob’, ‘A Gift From Bob’ and ‘The Little Book of Bob’.
These books were not only best sellers but were published in over forty languages, becoming a hit worldwide. In 2016, James and Bob’s wonderful partnership inspired a film to be released starring Luke Treadway as James. Bob the kitty also made a feature in the film.
Later in 2020, we can expect a sequel to the film called ‘A Gift From Bob’. We hope that kitty cat Bob has all the catnip treats in the world up there in kitty heaven as he continues to watch over his human James. Rest in peace, Bob.
Bob passed away on June 15th 2020, leaving behind a legacy only most of us could dream of pursuing. For a cat, he touched so many lives in so many ways.
“Bob saved my life. It’s as simple as that. He gave me so much more than companionship. With him at my side, I found a direction and purpose that I’d been missing. The success we achieved together through our books and films was miraculous. He’s met thousands of people, touched millions of lives. There’s never been a cat like him. And never will again…I feel like the light has gone out in my life. I will never forget him.”
Hi fives all around for a job well done!
Mr. Bob was clearly royalty-worthy
Bob hi-fived anyone that deserved his love
Busking on the streets of London
Rest in Peace
Fans of Bob and Bowen expressed their sympathies to the duo
A Cute Foster Kitty Smiles for the Camera and Breaks the Internet
Blossom the cute foster kitty has had a rough time since she was born. The cute kitty never gave up, though. Her foster mother, Lauren Boutz, didn’t gave up on the cutie as well. Just look at the kitty – such a smile can disarm anyone. Not only it can disarm everyone, it’s also quite contagious. As soon as Blossom’s pics were uploaded by Lauren online, her smile almost broke the Internet.
In the post, Lauren said that Blossom isn’t her sole foster kitty. She helps the Albuquerque Animal Welfare Department often, taking in kitties that need the help. She calls the gang Powerpurr Girls. Apart from Blossom, the other kittens are called Bubbles and Buttercup. How cute!
All kittens are around 5 weeks old and have a smile that can make your day.
Aren’t they adorable?
A Dog Runs Through Flames to Save His Kitten Buddy
In the hectic world we’re living in, positive news often go unnoticed. We’re so obsessed with tragedy and drama that we miss heroic acts every day. Take this one from Ukraine for example – not a month ago, a hero dog ran through a burning house to save his kitten buddy. If you ever needed one more reason to love dogs, this story it a pretty big one.
Last month, a fire in a house in the city of Donetsk broke out, spreading clouds of smoke and ash over the sky. As soon as it broke out, the residents headed out in panic with their dog. They forgot about the kitten though – it was unfortunately trapped inside and no one could get to it.
Well, no one but the dog. While the poor owned cried unable to save the kitty, the dog ran through the flames to save his buddy from certain death. He got out in minutes with the kitten in his mouth. Miraculously, both were unharmed. The dog and kitten were best friends and spent whole days playing with each other. Thanks to this dog, the owner was relieved to have both his buddies come out alive from this tragic event.
The dog took a massive risk to save his little buddy. It’s fair to say that people wouldn’t do the same, but dogs are special creatures. The moral of this story is that we should never leave anyone behind. If a hero dog could do it, so could you.