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Read the ASPCA Newsletter - 12/27/00
Subj:   ASPCA News Alert 12/27/00
Date:   Wed, 27 Dec 2000 11:23:41 AM Eastern Standard Time
From:   ASPCA news-alert <news-alert@list.aspca.org>
To:   "ASPCA news-alert" <news-alert@list.aspca.org>
Welcome to ASPCA  News Alert, a weekly e-mail newsletter from The American
Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

AND THE WINNERS ARE.... TOP ENTRIES IN THE ASPCA 2000 CHILDREN'S ESSAY
CONTEST ANNOUNCED
If you could be best friends with any animal in the world, who would you
choose--and why? Earlier this fall, the ASPCA asked children across the
country to explore this topic in an essay of 100-200 words. More than
1,500 kids in grades 1 through 6 mailed in their answers to this question,
presenting the judges with a bit of a challenge as they selected the top
three essays in grades 1 to 3 and 4 to 6.

Katelyn Jo M. of Fisk, MO, selected the eastern chipmunk as her favorite
friend to-be, in an essay that earned her first place in grades 4 to 6. "I
would do everything to keep my friend happy, but I would never take it out
of its habitat," writes Katelyn Jo. "They are responsible like me, and
they like to get things done. The difference is that they are small and
I'm big, but who cares anyway?" Mylena V. took top honors in the younger
category for her essay on a cheetah. Explains the Miami, FL, third grader,
"I like the way cheetahs do not show prejudice like some people do. All
cheetahs have different patterns of spots, but that's okay with cheetahs."

Snagging second place, sixth-grader Margaret D. of Boardman, OH, addressed
her essay to her best buddy, a tapir. "I hear you are a swimmer. Well,
that's certainly a plus! I love to swim! Unfortunately, I'm not so super.
I know, maybe you could teach me some swimming techniques, and I could
teach you basketball!" Third-grader and second-prize winner Amelia E. of
Rexford, NY, would pick a pack of prairie dogs for pals. "They love their
families very much," she writes. "They know each other well because they
spend time grooming each other with their paws."

Taking third place for grades 4 to 6, Courtney S. of McClellandtown, PA,
tells of her flighty butterfly friend. "She makes a great friend because
she dances in the wind like I do and helps me if I get stuck on a dance
step." And tied for third place in the younger age group, Debbie G. of
Phoenix, AZ, and Thais C. of Miami Beach, FL, both chose their dogs to be
their best buds. Writes Debbie, "Bandit was a lot like me. He loved to
play all kinds of games with me, like ball and tug of war. He liked to
play with his toys and he would share them with me." And Chais' pooch
Porky has some great qualities, too. "I think Porky is the same as me
because I need him to protect and take care of me. He does what I tell him
to do. He waits for me when I am at school. We both have good manners."

Congratulations to all the winners--and thanks to every kid who entered
for sharing with us! Teachers wishing to receive information about next
year's contest can call the Humane Education department at (212) 876-7700
x4409.

COLD WEATHER TIP--ANTIFREEZE CAN BE HAZARDOUS TO YOUR PET'S HEALTH
As temperatures drop across much of the country, the ASPCA Animal Poison
Control Center (APCC) urges pet owners to step up precautions against
dangers your pets may face outdoors. Antifreeze, for example, can be fatal
to dogs and cats if ingested--even in very tiny doses. Unfortunately,
because of its sweet taste, animals are attracted to this commonly used
automotive chemical, so be sure to thoroughly clean up any spills from
your vehicle. You may also want to consider switching to a propylene
glycol-based antifreeze, which is significantly less toxic than
conventional ethylene glycol antifreeze. This will provide an added margin
of safety for pets and wildlife, but remember--no antifreeze is absolutely
safe.

If you suspect that your pet has ingested antifreeze--or any poisonous
substance--call your veterinarian or the APCC's emergency hotline at
1-888-4-ANI-HELP for round-the-clock telephone assistance. For more
information on poison prevention, visit http://www.napcc.aspca.org.

WRITE NOW: TELL VICTORIA'S SECRET TO STOP SELLING FUR!
Although mega mail-order merchant Victoria's Secret offers fun faux fur
coats in their current catalogs, they're also peddling real rabbit fur
coats, as well as fur-trimmed jackets and sweaters. ASPCA News Alert
readers, please write to Victoria's Secret, Client Services, PO Box 16589,
Columbus, OH 43216, and let them know that faux is just as
fashionable--and doesn't require the deaths of any animals. You can also
tell them that you'll be joining the warm-hearted ranks of compassionate
consumers who refuse to buy from any company that sells fur.

PETFINDER HAPPY TAIL OF THE WEEK: WOMAN FINDS LUCKY PENNY
Elizabeth O'Neal had absolutely no intention of adopting a dog. When the
Riverton, KS, resident logged on to http://www.petfinder.com, the ASPCA's
online partner and Internet database of more than 23,000 animals at 1,400
shelters and foster homes across the country, she was simpy searching the
list of pets at the Joplin, MO, Humane Society for her brother's lost cat.
But then up popped a picture of a mixed breed dog tagged with the caption,
"Please come get me. I don't belong here."

Unable to get "that little face" out of her mind for the next several
days, O'Neal finally went to the shelter to meet the dog in the
photograph. (Needless to say, the dog in the photograph came home with
her!) "I have now had Penny for nine months," says O'Neal, "and she's so
loving and wonderful."

WHY WALK WHEN YOU CAN WADDLE, STUDY SAYS
Researchers at the University of California-Berkeley have recently
discovered that emperor penguins conserve their energy by waddling instead
of walking. Because these flightless birds have such short legs, their
muscles must generate force quickly when they walk; this results in
movements that burn up twice as many calories as those of similar-sized
animals. By waddling side to side, however, a penguin raises his center of
mass, thereby cutting energy loss. Scientists says this may also explain
why waddling's the gait of choice for pregnant women.

WEBSITE OF THE WEEK
To find out how you can help animals exploited in the equine industry, get
your information straight from the horse's mouth at
http://www.equinerescueresource.com. The site was created to educate the
public on the many aspects of the business we don't always hear about--how
racehorses wind up at livestock auctions and slaughterhouses, conditions
on PMU (pregnant mare urine) farms and inhumane methods of transportation.
And for those wishing to get involved in horse rescue, the site offers a
bulletin board, information on alternatives to slaughter and tips on what
to expect at a livestock auction. "It covers a lot of bases," says ASPCA
News Alert reader Cee Segarra.

RING IN THE NEW YEAR RIGHT--HELP SPREAD THE ASPCA MESSAGE TODAY!
Know someone who cares about animals and wants to make a difference?
Please forward this issue of ASPCA News Alert to them. Anyone with an
e-mail address can subscribe at our website, http://www.aspca.org, or by
sending an e-mail with a blank message to
join-news-alert@list.aspca.org.To instantly contact your state and federal
officials about animal issues,visit http://www.lobbynet.com/ASPCA/.

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