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!