A Hero’s Wine: Making This World More Humane With Every Sip

Thanks to Our Sponsor Cru Vin Dogs!

A Hero’s Wine
How often do we drink a fine wine that’s not only exquisite in taste but helps make this world a more humane one? We’ve had the pleasure of working with and getting to know the family behind the label at Cru Vin Dogs who provided us with the first ever pinot noir labeled after Inaugural American Hero Dog Roselle. Additionally, artist Jay Snellgrove, the brilliant artist behind each of the Cru Vin Dog labels, created a one of a kind portrait in honor of 2011 American Hero Dog Roselle, a Guide Dog extraordinaire who led her guardian to safety on 9/11.

The family behind the Cru Vin Dogs label are artistic and passionate about the human-animal bond and we’re thankful for all they do for the community. The Story of Inaugural American Hero Dog Roselle On Sept. 11, 2001, guide dog Roselle and her guardian Michael, were working in the World Trade Center on the 78th floor of Tower One when the airplane crashed into their building. From the outset, Roselle guided and did her job perfectly, as they went to the stairwell and traveled down 1,463 stairs. After leaving the building, Roselle and Michael were across the street from Tower Two when it collapsed.

Despite the dust and chaos, Roselle remained calm and totally focused on her job, as debris fell all around even hitting them. They found a subway entrance where they could escape the heavy dust. Roselle worked tirelessly and flawlessly that day. She saved Michael’s life and was his angel during a time of tragedy. Roselle led a beautiful fulfilling life and left this earth in early 2011, but her vivid, heroic spirit remains in her successor, Africa.

Join the conversation!

Steps for Families to Consider in Aftermath of Shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School

MILLIONS OF KIDS ARE SENT TO SCHOOL EVERY DAY with the expectation of a safe return home. Our notion of this guarantee has been shattered, leaving adults feeling as though their children are not safe and children feeling vulnerable to danger. Since it is the job of the adults in a society to keep children safe, this tragedy will lead many to experience a range of emotions. Some of the emotions many adults will move back and forth between include fear, sadness, anger, helplessness, and even denial in the struggle to process the senselessness of how these lives were lost on an elementary school campus last week. Children and adolescents may experience a range of emotions but often do not have the ability to identify or express their feelings. In this case some children may even feel their own lives are in danger, since the main target of these mass murders was children.

Adults can help children and adolescents through this difficult time by:

  • Not becoming over anxious (children pick up on your anxiety and that can add to their stress).
  • Model how to express feelings of sadness and grief and explain how you feel to your children.
  • Reduce the amount of time you and your children watch TV and Internet reports of the tragedy.
  • Find ways to comfort your children and provide strength for your children.
  • Hugs and cuddling are known to reduce stress. Include your pets in group hugs. If your child is feeling very fearful they may benefit from sleeping in close proximity to you for a couple of nights (in your bed or in a sleeping bag nearby).
  • Maintaining normal habits such as dinner time and a bedtime ritual helps provide structure.
  • Play can help reduce stress, especially games you can play with your children (coloring, board games, card games, etc.). Drawing can also be a way for children to express their feelings.
  • Reassure your children that they are safe and that you are safe too. Children may become clingy, not wanting to leave your side for fear that something bad will happen to them or to you.
  • Maintain a connection to the community. Visit the local recreation center where families gather and share comfort. Visit your local religious establishment offering comfort and connection.
  • Offer to volunteer as a playground monitor at your child’s school for a few days, especially if you are a coach of a community youth team or a regular presence at the school, as this will help children feel safer while they are coping with shock and fear reactions resulting from this tragedy.
  • Keep communication open by being present and available for your children. You don’t need to have all of the answers, just be there.

Don’t force children to talk about their feelings. Be ready to listen when they are ready to talk. All feelings are valid. A child may be more “clingy” than usual and this is normal behavior under the circumstances. Adolescents in particular have moments when they are open to engaging in a discussion with parents or guardians. In general, you may have noticed your child or adolescent is best at communicating on the ride home from school, at dinner, or via text message. Often during the long process of their own identity development, children and adolescents can become less talkative and moody, leaving parents and guardians frustrated over difficulties with communication. This is where it is up to the adult in the relationship to discover the best time to share meaningful communication with their child or adolescent. Children and adolescents will experience healthier outcomes when they are not left alone to process powerful feelings and emotions. Find a way into their world where you can help them identify and normalize their experiences. Sometimes it starts with sharing how you feel.

Some children and adolescents may already be dealing with a crisis such as parents divorcing, loss of a pet or significant person in their lives, family member in the military, etc.  This tragedy may amplify difficult feelings they are already struggling with. Some children may experience severe reactions like crying, shaking, and regression (bed wetting, thumb sucking). If your child or adolescent demonstrates impaired functioning in concentration and school performance, aggression, isolation, changes in appetite, and lack of healthy connections and relationships then it is time to visit the pediatrician and ask for a referral to consult with a child and adolescent mental health specialist.

This tragic event takes a toll on everyone. Help the vulnerable in your community who may be less able to cope with this tragedy if you are able. If you feel overwhelmed, stay connected to friends and family, consult with your general medical practitioner, and seek guidance from a mental health professional if needed.

In the days to come we must continue to focus on what can be done to prevent these avoidable tragedies. Clearly, firearm-related mortality among children and adolescents must be recognized as a major health problem in this country. With high levels of suicidal tendencies among adolescents, easy availability of extremely lethal means, and low levels of mental health support, it is incumbent on policy makers and health care professionals to determine how to effectively translate research into life-enhancing outcomes for society’s youth.

Caren Caty, Ph.D.

American Humane Association’s Mission? Protecting Animals of All Kinds

Prairie Dogs near my home in Denver (Stapleton area), Colorado

SOMEONE RECENTLY ASKED ME what types of animals are included in American Humane Association’s mission. I replied that all animals in our world deserve humane treatment and are important to American Humane Association. While we often work on behalf of our pets (dogs, cats), horses, farm animals and animal actors used in movies, American Humane Association also advocates for the wildlife amongst us.

For example, I have been working during the past year to save the lives of prairie dogs in my neighborhood. Over 100 native birds and animals depend upon the rich ecosystem that prairie dogs create, like ocean fish depend on coral reefs. Prairie dog colonies have been referred to as “the coral reefs of the sea of grass”. Like giant earthworms, prairie dogs move soil beneath the ground, allowing for aeration and nutrient cycling.

Although the number of prairie dogs in the U.S. has declined to over 95 percent in recent decades, urban developers continue to poison the animals to make way for commercial and residential buildings. In my community, the animals were also poisoned to make way for a 25 acre park.

As we look to the animals in on planet for clues about our own existence, such as those clues for preventing and treating disease, we must first save animals from extinction. I am now working with regional and national experts to develop innovative park plans that are safe for our children and our pets (i.e., no dangerous poisons) and allow the wildlife amongst us to also survive. Join us in our efforts!

Jenna Dale, Mississippi State University | AHA Humane Scholar Series

Humane Scholar Jenna Dale

Mississippi State University

Development of Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP) Database

FELINE INFECTIOUS PERITONITIS (FIP) is a highly fatal disease in cats that has no known cure. Diagnostic tests can predict if a cat has been exposed to coronavirus, but not if the cat has been exposed to the specific viral strain causing the deadly disease. With the support of the American Humane Association, Humane Scholar Jenna Dale designed a survey-based database to track nationwide incidences of FIP, hoping to better understand the risk factors for acquiring the infection and why some cats are susceptible and others are resistant.

A 15-question survey was emailed to 500 veterinary clinics and organizations across the U.S. and data are now being analyzed to determine percentage of domestic cats with disease who were previously vaccinated for FIP, outdoor vs. indoor cats acquiring disease, age at time of disease onset, regional difference, seasonal trends, etc. A comprehensive database that might provide clues for future research is greatly needed.

Humane Scholar Jenna Dale designed a survey-based database to track nationwide incidences of Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP), hoping to better understand the risk factors for acquiring the infection and why some cats are susceptible and others are resistant.

Please consider sponsoring a student in the 2013 class. A grant of $6,000 funds one Humane Scholar, fully underwriting a stipend to the student and the cost of implementation and management of the program. With American Humane Association’s Humane Scholar program, veterinary students are supported in their academic undertakings and given every opportunity to advance in the fields of veterinary medicine and animal welfare, without incurring additional debt to participate in those opportunities.

For more information on supporting American Humane Association’s Humane Scholar program, please contact René Gornall at 202.677.4224 or reneg@americanhumane.org.

Click “expand” to view Jenna’s report

or CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD PDF.

The 2012 American Humane Association Humane Scholars

Announcing the 2012 American Humane Association Humane Scholars

WHILE ANIMALS HAVE LONG BEEN USED IN RESEARCH, too little research is conducted on behalf of animals. Of the research that is conducted, few studies focus on the health, welfare, and well-being of animals, and the results are not reaching those who care for them. Animals today face multiple threats, including cancer, genetic disorders, pet food recalls, and environmental toxins, and the research needed to address these issues is sorely lacking. Indeed, this research may also hold translational benefits for human populations as well. Additionally, the National Research Council has warned that too few veterinary scientists are trained in scientific research on animal welfare.

That is why in 2011 American Humane Association launched its Humane Scholar program (formerly Veterinary Student Scientist program). Students who participate in this program are more likely to develop careers in animal welfare science, and will be among the next generation of leaders to transform how animals are cared for in the United States and beyond.

2012 American Humane Association Humane Scholar Chelsea Anderson's study, funded by a grant from AHA, was designed to assess anthrax in the buffer villages surrounding Ujung Kulon National Park.

The 2012 Humane Scholar program featured 13 students representing 11 veterinary schools. This year’s globetrotting group studied a number of diverse species including dogs, cats, cows, horses, pigs, goats, chimpanzees, and the critically-endangered Javan rhinoceros, and they did their research in such far-flung corners of the Earth as Indonesia, Zambia, and Grenada.

Over the next 13 days we are going to unveil the students’ research to you, so you can read about their exciting discoveries and conclusions. We’ll include a brief summary paragraph of their research and will link to the full report. Prospective students for the summer 2013 edition of the program should check www.americanhumane.org soon for the full application.

Please consider sponsoring a student in the 2013 class. A grant of $6,000 funds one Humane Scholar, fully underwriting a stipend to the student and the cost of implementation and management of the program. With American Humane Association’s Humane Scholar program, veterinary students are supported in their academic undertakings and given every opportunity to advance in the fields of veterinary medicine and animal welfare, without incurring additional debt to participate in those opportunities. For more information on supporting American Humane Association’s Humane Scholar program, please contact René Gornall at 202.677.4224 or reneg@americanhumane.org.

~ The 2012 Scholars ~

Chelsea Anderson – Cornell University

Alyssa Blaustein – University of Pennsylvania

Michelle L. Crupi, Western University

Jenna Dale – Mississippi State University

Whitney Joy Engler – University of California Davis

Carlie Gordon – Washington State University

Charlotte Elaine Jordan – Western University

Jennifer Ladd – Oklahoma State University

Lauren Larsen – Iowa State University

Maggie Placer – Purdue University

Abbey Sadowski – Colorado State University

Stephanie Wells, St. George’s University

Alexandra Zierenberg-Ripoll – University of California-Davis

 

 

Chelsea Anderson, Cornell University | AHA Humane Scholar Series

Humane Scholar Chelsea Anderson

Cornell University

Surveillance for Anthrax in Water Buffalo Sympatric with the Javan Rhinoceros in Indonesia

The Javan rhinoceros is the most critically endangered of the five rhinoceros species, with 27 to 44 individuals remaining in the world, with the sole remaining population residing in Ujung Kulon National Park, Indonesia. The surviving animals are at-risk for anthrax – a highly lethal disease – with anthrax organisms existing in some soils.

The disease can affect cattle, water buffalo and humans. With the support of American Humane Association, this study was designed to assess anthrax in the buffer villages surrounding Ujung Kulon National Park. Twenty-three soil specimens were collected from water buffalo terminals in each village, and when possible specifically from areas with a history of sudden water buffalo death. In order to safely translocate Javan rhinoceroses in the future, it is imperative to know the diseases that are common in the water buffalo populations that will ultimately share common habitat and to understand safer soils for translocation. The student worked closely with Indonesian veterinarians, local governments and villagers.

Read More

2012 American Humane Association Humane Scholar Chelsea Anderson's study was designed to assess anthrax in the soil of buffer villages surrounding Ujung Kulon National Park. Understanding safer soils for the translocation of Javan rhinoceroses.

Please consider sponsoring a student in the 2013 class. A grant of $6,000 funds one Humane Scholar, fully underwriting a stipend to the student and the cost of implementation and management of the program. With American Humane Association’s Humane Scholar program, veterinary students are supported in their academic undertakings and given every opportunity to advance in the fields of veterinary medicine and animal welfare, without incurring additional debt to participate in those opportunities.

For more information on supporting American Humane Association’s Humane Scholar program, please contact René Gornall at 202.677.4224 or reneg@americanhumane.org.

Click “expand” below to view Chelsea’s report

or click here to download as pdf.