He Wasn’t Much of a Hunter

He closes the door of the red pick-up truck, re-positions his gun over his shoulder, and sets off into the woods.  Despite trying to ease his weight onto the twigs and leaves, toe first then heel, his footfalls snap and crackle and echo through the pre-dawn forest.

A doe lifts her head from foraging, her button-black nose twitching with scent-taking.  With noiseless ease, she lopes off, her white tail high.  A groundhog stands on the crest of his mound-home squinting into the distance, his forepaws tucked up to his heart, his teddy-bear ears angled forward.  He squeaks and retreats inside his burrow.  A flock of quibbling sparrows wheels off into the sky.  Only the cat remains.   She is motionless except for the white tip of her tail.

The hunter walks on, pausing from time to time, looking around, then moving on.  The cat follows, unnoticed, at a distance.

When the sun has climbed well above the horizon, the hunter sits down on a large, sunny rock.  He opens a thermos of steaming coffee, crinkles flat the wax paper covering his sandwich, and munches thoughtfully, his head angled to the side.  Sun-warmed and drowsy, his shoulders relax and he closes his eyes.

The cats comes closer, soundlessly.  She sits a few feet in front of him and looks up.  The hunter opens his eyes and startles, then feels foolish.  He mutters something about cats—he’s never liked cats.  He glares at the cat and looks into her gold eyes.  She holds his gaze evenly.  He sighs, then he breaks off a small piece of cheese from his sandwich and tosses it on the ground.  The cat eats it and looks up expectantly.  The man breaks off a larger piece and holds it out to her.  She gracefully leaps onto the rock, and with one paw on the hunter’s leg, she gingerly takes the cheese from his hand.  The hunter slides his broad palm down her back, then offers her the rest of his sandwich.

After a while, he gathers his things, slings the gun over his shoulder, and sets off.  The cat jumps down and follows.  Twice he looks back over his shoulder.  He opens the truck door and sweeps his arm wide in a welcoming gesture. The cat jumps in, settles herself on the passenger seat, and washes her face.

Two seasons have passed since I found my hunter.  He wasn’t much of a hunter, really—I could read that much in the way he moved.  It was plain to me that he wasn’t really interested in hunting as much as he was playing a role.  It was also plain to me that he thought he didn’t like cats.  Most people who give cats a chance find they like them after all.

These days I wait by the window for my hunter.  He comes in with a blast of cold air.  I jump down and wind my way around his legs.  He stoops to pet me and says a word or two.  Then we pass a companionable evening in silence.  His gun is in the attic, tucked away forever.

 

• • • Have you ever rescued an animal?  Please tell us about it: Untoldanimalstories@gmail.com

Advertisements

Join us for Humane Lobby Day at the Harrisburg State Capitol–It Makes a Difference!

Pennsylvania Humane Lobby Day
April 29, 2019

The biggest day of the year for animals—and animal advocates—is almost here!

Please join us for this exciting opportunity to discuss ways you can make a difference in the lives of animals. You’ll also have the chance to meet with your legislators about Pennsylvania’s Pet Retail Sale bill dubbed Victoria’s Law, ending live pigeon shoots, and the ivory trade in our state. Also, on our agenda is to further protect dogs by establishing standards for outdoor shelter as well as to allow research animals to be adopted upon completion of their participatory studies.

No prior experience is required to get involved. We will provide the support you need to make the largest impact!

We will be joined by humane legislators as well as a few canine special guests.

RSVP today to make big changes for animals in your state!

Where and When

Monday, April 29
9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Pennsylvania State Capitol Building
N 3rd St., Harrisburg, Pennsylvania 17120
Cost: Free

Register

Last day to register is April 22.
• Each attendee must complete a separate registration.
• If you plan to register someone after yourself, they MUST have a different email address.
• Add your mobile number to receive a text reminder and other ways to help animals via your phone (standard rates apply). If you currently receive texts from us, great! You’re already set to receive your text reminder.
• If you have questions, please email your state director Kristen Tullo at ktullo@humanesociety.org.

The reservation limit per user is 1 guests.

PLEASE GO HERE TO REGISTER:

http://action.humanesociety.org/site/Calendar?id=116959&view=RSVP

Let’s reduce misery for bullocks, ponies, and horses during the Chinchali Fair

Animal Rahat

There’s still time to relieve suffering during the Chinchali Fair!

Photo of bullocks hitched to cart

 

In just a few days, thousands of bullocks, ponies, and horses will be forced on a grueling, days-long trek to the Chinchali Fair—an annual festival in India. Some of them will be forced to run for more than 200 miles, hauling carts jam-packed with families and their possessions. Along the way, some will collapse from exhaustion, while others will become injured as their wagons hit ruts or are run off the road. Most will endure dehydration and despair.

Animal Rahat is preparing to provide these animals with food, water, and vital veterinary care—and it needs your support to come to the aid of as many individuals as possible.

For 15 years, Animal Rahat has been working to provide animals forced to pull carts to the fair with the basic care and sustenance that they need. These animals absolutely rely on Animal Rahat for everything from food and water to emergency medical treatment for problems such as lameness, exhaustion, untreated wounds, and debilitating infections.

The team informs animals’ owners about effective long-term care, which benefits them long after the fair is over. The team will also once again enlist the help of police officers to confiscate torture devices, including whips, pointed sticks, wire nose rings, and yoke spikes.

Many animals are no longer forced to make the trip, because Animal Rahat has persuaded many villagers from all around the region to rest their animals and instead take buses—which the group provides or subsidizes! The team is working hard to make these vehicles the primary means of transportation to the festival.

Thanks to kind people like you, Animal Rahat is changing minds and improving animals’ lives.

Very truly yours,

Ingrid E. Newkirk
Founder

Freya Needs Your Help!

SPCA International
Sgt. Kerri has been serving in the U.S. military for 16 years and has been deployed to Iraq three different times. This tour has been brightened by Freya. He tells us she brings joy and companionship – not just to him, but his entire team.

These two adore each other. Sgt. Kerri always protects Freya – sheltering her from the violence and tough realities outside the military base. And Freya has repaid Sgt. Kerri with devotion, loyalty, and love. Now, Sgt. Kerri is depending on our generosity to get Freya out. Or she will die. Iraq is THAT dangerous.

Sgt. Kerri is about to redeploy back to the U.S. – if Freya is left behind, the only things that await her are abuse, starvation, blistering heat and disease.

Freya’s situation is dire. And URGENT. I’m asking you to help her. A $40.00 donation will help save her.

When you give today you are generously funding the vaccines, the flights, the on-the-ground transportation…the hundred things it takes to rescue a dog from Iraq.

Our missions are more complicated – more difficult – more costly than I can easily explain. Flights get cancelled without being rescheduled. Security requirements change on the whims of airport agents. And roads and checkpoints are closed without warning. What used to take hours can now take weeks. But if you donate, I promise you that nothing will stop us from rescuing Freya from Iraq and bringing her to North Carolina to live with Sgt. Kerri and his wife.

We can make her rescue happen – together. You are a critical part of this mission, of Freya’s fate…of her life. Please help save her today.

 

https://www.spcai.org/freya

Steps to Take to Help a Stray or Lost Dog

Most people assume that a wandering dog is owned and/or temporarily lost and will find his or her way home, but many do not. Rather than assuming things will work out for the dog, consider taking action. Yes, it’s a tad inconvenient for you, but what you’ve done is save a lost or abandoned animal from dehydration, starvation, exposure to the elements, fighting over scarce resources, and injury from animals or automobiles.

Here are some safe ways to help lost dogs.

If the dog is friendly:

  1. If the dog seems friendly and is willing to come to you, call him, and slowly move your hand forward palm down (palm up can signal that you might strike). Exude a calm confidence rather than fear. Talk to him, let him sniff you, and then stroke him gently.
  2. If he has a collar read the info and make the appropriate call.
  3. If he does not have identification, see if he will enter your (often calling him and simply opening the car door will inspire him to jump in) or corral him into an enclosed area, like a fenced yard or a room in your house. Provide water and food.
  4. Call your local SPCA, humane society, or police to notify them that you have found a lost dog. To find the number of your local animal rescue organization, search by “animal shelter,” “humane society,” or “animal control.” Public animal care and control agencies are often listed under the city or county health department or police department. You can use this link to find animal rescues in your area: https://www.petfinder.com/animal-shelters-and-rescues/search/
  5. Either deliver him to the shelter (where they can check him for a microchip with identifying information) or ask that someone pick him up.
  6. If you choose to retain him while searching for the owner, staple easily readable flyer (if possible, with photo) on telephone polls, put a free listing in the local paper and in the “pets” section of Craig’s list, rubber band a flyer to neighbors’ mailbox flags, and provide the local animal shelter veterinary offices with his identifying features so that they can check their database for a match.

If the dog seems unfriendly:

  1. If the dog seems unfriendly, do not put yourself at risk. Immediately call the police and your local animal rescue organization with information on his last-seen location.
  2. Put down a plastic, disposable bowl of water and food, which not only will slake his thirst and hunger, but help to keep him in that location so that authorities can find him.

Thank you for doing what you can to help animals.