Help Fund Our 2013 Investigations

(From the desk of Anne St. Michael)

"Our dedication cards were read and our devotional candles were lit by these beautiful people"

“Our dedication cards were read and our devotional candles were lit by these beautiful people”

Animals’ Angels is pleased to announce new gifts for purchase that are available in our Cafe Press Store. Our merchandise is imprinted with beautiful photographs, taken during Light The Sky 2012! These items can be worn or used every day. Choose from hats, T-shirts, aprons, tiles, mouse pads, logo stickers and canvas bags. Every purchase made provides funding for our upcoming 2013 investigations. What a worthy cause! Your generous donations help insure Animals’ Angels will continue to publish their monthly newsletter, which includes in-depth investigative reports, plus the periodic updates that are provided on our Facebook page. If you have not yet done so, please Like Us (see side bar).

"A lovely reminder to say a prayer for those we will not forget"

“A lovely reminder to say a prayer for those we will never forget”

I love taking my time drinking my morning coffee and baking. My husband likes wearing sports shirts and hats, so we are going to buy some items for ourselves. Our products, featuring the ceremony of December 1, 2012, “Light the Sky, are a beautiful reminder to continue reaching out to friends. For example, those we meet standing in line at the grocery or department store, or waiting for the Metro, gives us the opportunity to introduce the difficult topic of the mistreatment of America’s horses and farm animals. There are so many people who have no idea these things are happening in the USA. People need to learn about these matters and you could be the one who will open their eyes … just by carrying a bag, or wearing a cool hat or a T-shirt!

"A great way to share an open discussion about these important issues"

“A great way to share an open discussion about these important issues”

This is your invitation to visit our non-profit store at Cafe Press to choose and order some cool articles today. Keep in mind every sale is important because it is for the benefit of horses, mules, donkeys, burros and farm animals. These betrayed animals need their story to be told loud and clear. Animals’ Angels presents us with documented footage that our farm animals and horses are not being treated with dignity or respect. With more and more people getting involved … even if it is just by purchasing a few items or making a donation through PayPal (see sidebar), progressive change will come. By joining together we will see improvements made by our insisting that the laws in place must be followed, and that The American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act will finally be passed into law. Every positive action taken on behalf of these animals is a step in the right direction. Be a part of this movement.

Come on over and Shop Today! Animals’ Angels depends upon supporter generosity and we thank you most sincerely. We certainly wish you a very joyful Holiday Season.

Angel Appreciation For All of You!

"Animals' Angels symbolizes outstanding guardianship for our equine and farm animals"

“Animals’ Angels symbolizes outstanding guardianship for our equine and farm animals”

(Below an interview w/ founder Sonja Meadows)

When Animals’ Angels began it was with the hope that change could be brought about and that the animals forced into the slaughter pipeline would be spotlighted. That the animals who suffered needlessly would have their stories told and that above all … somehow more people would get involved and care enough to sign petitions, phone their representatives and demand for this ugliness to stop.

"Animals' Angels symbolizes outstanding guardianship for our equine and farm animals"

“Animals’ Angels symbolizes outstanding guardianship for our equine and farm animals”

It’s been rotations of harsh winters, scorching summers, dangerous weather, and long vigils sitting and waiting for hours on end, in order to document the harshest and cruelest deeds against these animals. Animals’ Angels has courageously been there with the animals. It is most difficult to read their reports and even harder to watch the damning videos. I wonder … how much more difficult is it to purposely watch yet not be able to save these innocent victims … in monitoring the successive events leading up to the torment and death of these gorgeous, intelligent animals? What a price to pay in order to do something valuable and good for these equine and farm animals. Animals’ Angels supplies all of us with the necessary ammunition so we can make a conscious decision to become involved in this fight. They place strong emphasis on getting the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act passed. Because together we can help end the suffering of these equine and insist that the authorities enforce the laws already on the books for the protection of horses and farm animals.

"Personal words written by our supporters"

“Personal words written by our supporters”

Light the Sky 2012 fundraising is still ongoing through the end of the year. We appreciate each and every one of you that has made the decision to join forces, donate dedication candles and to help keep the investigations going strong. There is progress taking place slowly but surely and as these candles were lit in memory of our beloved pets we have lost, they were especially lit for those animals who were not saved. Every candle held significant meaning. Every donation from the smallest to the largest was given by those of us who want the unvarnished truth to be told. We want Animals’ Angels to know they are not alone.

"Angels on earth Amber, Brandi and Sonja"

“Angels on earth Amber, Brandi and Sonja”

They are the voice of the animals we care about and because of these investigators we learn what the animals are going through every time we see updates or read full-length reports included in Animals’ Angels Newsletters. If we did not support their efforts investigators would not be able to uncover the plight of these animals and the horses would be treated far worse than they already are! The auctions, kill buyers, feed lots and transporters need to be seen for what they are … and if no one is willing to watch them then we have failed as people to protect our equine. By donating and speaking out and speaking up and standing together we show the world there is hope to make a “Mighty Change“! Animals’ Angels is a major part of this hope.

"The spirit of man needs the spirit of our horses"

“The spirit of man needs the spirit of our horses”

Light The Sky 2012 event was successful because of you! We honored those we could not save. Many travelers and local citizens in Toyahvale, Texas, stopped to take a look at the wailing wall. They asked for and received information. They took time to read our dedication cards. They listened to the stories of slaughter and what our animals must endure. They stood on the road that transport trailers use when they drive our equine into Mexico.

"The wailing wall marks the trail of tears"

“The wailing wall marks the highway of tears”

These concerned people learned the event was a dedication for those poor souls who have been tragically slaughtered. Most of them decided to support Animals’ Angels and their efforts.

It’s so easy to donate. Click: Support Animals’ Angels Investigations and in about three minutes you’re done and you can feel good about the money you share. Giving is such a kind and generous thing to do for our animals. Thank you for caring and being a significant and growing hope for a better year ahead.

Chatting with Sonja Meadows

~~~

Anne: Tell me more about the weekend and have you reached your goal for your 2013 investigations yet?

"Loving and dedicated people reverently light the candles to remember our fallen equine"

“Loving and dedicated people reverently light the candles to remember our fallen equine”

Sonja: We don’t know yet since people are still sending in donations for the event. We will not have the final count until January. I would just say that the support was overwhelming and that we received hundreds of prayers, stories and pictures.

Anne: Did this event surpass the others in the involvement of the public and new supporters?

"People learned about how our horses, mules and burros are transported across our borders"

“People learned about how our horses, mules and burros are transported across our borders”

Sonja: Yes, it did. The location is just perfect and the prayers are very visible along the highway of tears. All weekend we had people stop and pull over with their cars and inquiring about the event and the significance of the location. Most people had no idea that it is this road that takes all these horses to their deaths. Lots of them took brochures and reports with them and promised to check out the website. I feel that we gathered a lot of new supporters that weekend and that local awareness was increased greatly.

Anne: Were there a few standout moments that impressed you or drew you in ceremony?

Sonja: I was impressed how committed people were to make the ceremony a success. Everybody worked so hard preparing everything, setting up thousands of candles, printing out reports and erecting signs. It was an incredible team effort. We all started lighting when the sun was setting behind the mountains. It was so beautiful and all of us were united in prayer. The feeling of hope for a better future was very strong.

Anne: Who lead the prayers?

Sonja: No one. Prayers were very individual, but everyone was united within the spirit. Micki Free was there to show his support for our organization and played a song for us that he had created just for this event.

Anne: What symbolizes how you felt … how you feel about another year that you and your team have worked so hard for the horses?

"There is reverence for our fallen animals ... They will not be forgotten ... Mickie Free lighting candles"

“There is reverence for our fallen animals … They will not be forgotten … Mickie Free lighting candles”

Sonja: Like every year, it was a very intense to remember all the animals that have crossed our path in 2012. My investigators and I had given them all names and recited those names while lighting candles on their behalf. I feel very good about what was accomplished this year for the animals. We have conducted more investigations than ever and have brought several offenders to justice. I think all of us renewed our vow to keep going while we were lighting candles. We will not rest until we have completed our mission. I am very excited about the Toyahvale location and while lighting candles I felt that this was the beginning of something great. I am already looking forward to next year’s event.

~~~

Be a part of the Mighty Change. Please support Animals Angels and donate today. Thank you it means everything for the animals.

A special event takes place tonight in New York City. The documentary “Saving America’s Horses” premieres. We are sending good wishes there will be a lot of positive news coverage to raise public awareness about this film. Animals’ Angels not only supported but provided important documentation and footage for the making of this film.

(Photography by: Nancy Smith-Blackwell)

Light The Sky 2012

"Light The Sky For The Animals"

“Light The Sky For The Animals”

I can hear the earth beneath my boots crunching the gravel, rocks and soil with every footstep I take. I feel the brisk December wind blowing across the land, pushing me along as I carry tokens of love in my canvas bag. I can hear the slight clanking of glass as it bumps against my leg. I switch the bag to my left hand and continue to walk up the hill towards a big oak tree. My companions and I have been hard at work assembling the thousands of candles to be lit tomorrow night. Their footsteps blend in accord with my own as we climb the hill with determination and purpose. These candles will be lovingly placed along the route our poor horses, mules and burros travel on their way to a misery we can only imagine. It is with solemn reverence that we place each donor’s candle and recall the words our supporters have written for their pets, rescued animals, family members, friends and for the farm animals and horses who could not be saved, but will be remembered during this event. These candles and these focused mementos of love is a serious matter … important in that every life has meaning and purpose and that all beings have souls.

In your mind … smell the tangy Texas air and walk alongside us as we place more candles beside the Highway of Tears. It will take hours to have everything prepared, for every card to be read and prayers said. The candles will be lit one by one sending our messages unto the night sky. We remember those animals that we have watched and followed and some we have touched. We remember the terrible days they spent, confused, frightened, neglected and abused. We remember how they were ultimately betrayed and some of them were even stolen away from their humans. We think about their heartfelt prayers that someone … anyone would save them from the dismal and horrible death they faced. We will remember them all because it would be a sin to ever forget them. Rest assured we will continue to investigate and work toward a resolution to end future suffering. We will continue to contact our representatives to enforce the laws on the books but more importantly, to outlaw the slaughter of our horses.

Animals must be respected as they are gifts to us and our earth. They should be treated tenderly and with love and compassion. These candles will burn brightly in the night sky, lighting up the way the trailers take them from our land into Mexico … and we will pray to end this cruelty. We promise to continue to get the government to pass The American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act. We will continue to press for the BLM and the DOI to stop rounding up our equine and to bring to light those people who intentionally overbreed horses. We will stand silent no more. We will Light The Sky with hope.

Please click this link and make your donation of hope and love right away! All donations are greatly appreciated and if you have not yet liked us on Facebook, please do. Thank you!

Crystal Clear Intentions

“Wall Of Hope … Light the Sky”

Light the Sky 2012 is just five-days away and you still have time to add your voice, dedication, prayer and donation to light your own candle. Imagine how brightly the night will shine for these animals we have loved and for those animals who are facing the impossibly cruel fate of an assured death. By coming together we stand stronger. The sharing of Animals’ Angels vital investigations, means that we citizens will not stay quiet about animal slaughter and animal abuse, nor will we turn away from understanding the escalation of these tortured animals and the deaths they face.

“Personalized Messages”

Our crystal clear intentions shine forth in the thousands of personalized messages from supporters who have taken the easy step to participate in Light The Sky 2012. We light candles in remembrance of our pets who have passed away and for those animals who travel the road to be slaughtered. We let the world know we want things to change and do what we can to end this unethical killing.

“Reflected Misery In Their Eyes”

Animals’ Angels conducts skilled investigations on behalf of our equine and farm animals. These dedicated messengers are paramount in uncovering and in bringing illegal practices to our attention. These reports remind us to stay vigilant, to never forget how these animals suffer each and every day. Did you know that every thirty-seconds another horse, mule or burro is killed? When I read the reports and see the horrid photographs I actually cringe. It feels as if death has squeezed my heart with long icy-cold fingers and then a dread comes over me because I feel as if I cannot do anything to stop this madness. I am but one person, one voice. But I am not alone. There are thousands of others who feel the same sadness and hopelessness and outrage and anger, too. Together we take a stand to keep the truth circulating, keep the horrors of what is being done out front and center. Together we tell the kill buyers that we will not go away.

“Animals’ Angels Light the Sky”

The purity with which these candles are lit shows our Crystal Clear Intentions. We remember the beauty and love we have received and shared with our furry creatures. We honor them and pray that the continued work of Animals’ Angels, combined with our donations supporting their work, will bring about the conviction of animal abusers and those who break the laws already set in place. We resolve to renew the pledge to bring about change for these animals and to keep contacting our representatives in order for better laws to be passed to end needless suffering of any animal. We remind the world that these beings have souls and integrity and possess a great capacity to love us humans.

Just below are a handful of dedications from people near and far who have already donated to have their candles lit on the eve of December First. Please read them and hopefully you will remember all of the animals who have touched your life. You may recall some you might have forgotten through the years. By honoring their memory with a donated candle, the love will grow bigger and the light will shine brighter. Add your dedication and show your love by making a donation to Animals’ Angels today. All donations received before 1:00 p.m. December 1, 2012, will be added to the wall. Just five days left to share this with your family and friends and contacts. Ask them to be a part of Light the Sky 2012 and to assure the future essential reports that only Animals’ Angels brings to us.

“Just Prior His Transport To Mexico September 2012”

Remember: A nation with knowledge makes the right decisions. Help the movement to end animal abuse and horse slaughter. Be a part of something good and bright!

Here are just a few of our 2012 supporters donation cards:

Charlyn, Port Angeles, WA

Yes, I would like to light a candle for the following animal(s): For my two horses: Rajah, a 23-year-old beautiful Arabian gelding who is also my best friend and Kip, a 12-year-old Arabian gelding who is a total character and my five cats who all came into my life through some miraculous ways. My heart breaks for these poor horses and other animals that are forsaken, abused and killed every year. Dear God, people NEED to DO something!!

This is his/her story I would like to share: Rajah entered my life 14 years ago. He had some scars on his legs and body but had healed nicely. I do not know his history prior to the people who owned him, that I bought him from, but he was that way when they bought him. If he was a victim of abuse, they never killed his spirit, his gentleness or his love of life! He is one of the BEST horses I’ve ever had. He has never placed a wrong foot on the trails and, thank God, he has me as his friend … someone who will love him forever.

Marilyn, Pagosa Springs, CO

Yes, I would like to light a candle for the following animal(s): These 3 candles are for 29 wild mares who were captured in Oregon and sold to slaughter by the BLM through Tom Davies, a Colorado kill buyer. They had no names, but were admired by the local people who came to see them. Then overnight they were gone and BLM gave no explanation!

This is his/her story I would like to share: This is for the 29 mostly pregnant mares that Oregon BLM had Tom Davis come and ship to slaughter. If I had known this would happen I would have done everything in my power to save them but we were never given a choice and so I could do nothing because this was illegal and done in the night. I think of these beautiful wild mares and the foals they did not give birth to because they were slaughtered. Thank you Animals’ Angels for all you do!!

“A light for the life of a beautiful animal”

“The worst sin towards our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them. That is the essence of inhumanity.” George Bernard Shaw

Lisa, Huntsville, AL

Yes, I would like to light a candle for the following animal(s): Dedicated to all the wild mustang stolen from their legal domain, ripped from their families, betrayed, abused, and murdered in spite of laws that are supposed to protect & preserve them.

This is his/her story I would like to share: Congress mandated the Bureau of Land Management to protect & preserve America’s Wild Horses & Burros but this agency violates that mandate and is committing genocide upon our treasured icons. Pray that Congress will pass HR2966 & S1176 banning transport to slaughter, giving equine the protection they deserve and ending this trail of betrayal and murder of God’s most exquisite gift.

Georgia, Huntington, NY

Yes, I would like to light a candle for the following animal(s): Trudy Golden Tyler Golden Ryder.

This is his/her story I would like to share: I found my little dog, Trudy, in the North Shore Animal League. She was a puppy mill rescue from Missouri, where she was rescued from a neglectful and inhumane life. Trudy had given birth at least one litter. It was clear that she had never lived inside with humans. I taught her to climb stairs, go through doorways and be around humans. She startled at every movement. Now through caring and calm training she is a happy, affectionate little companion. Puppy mills are inhumane and should be outlawed.

Lisa, Seattle, WA

Yes, I would like to light a candle for the following animal(s): The nameless who once had names.

This is his/her story I would like to share: My candles are for the 118 horses that were bought by kill buyers from the Eugene, OR livestock auction in the past four months. These were healthy, trained, affectionate horses who were kid’s horses, ranch horses, lesson horses, who were all so confused and scared as they loaded onto the trucks … wondering where their families had gone.

“Dedications In Memory Of Our Animals”

Mariza, Overland Park, KS

Yes, I would like to light candle for the following animal(s): Versailles.

This is his/her story I would like to share: We bought Versailles, an OTTB, when he was 5. He was skinny, neglected, & covered in rain rot but kind & loving. 2 years ago (age 7) he became lame & went to the vet for an ultrasound guided Stifle injection. Something went wrong & he couldn’t wake up from anesthesia. We had to put him down but held him in our arms. Autopsy did not reveal cause of death. He was such a wonderful friend. We miss him so much! We pray for him everyday & know we will see him at the Rainbow Bridge.

Robin, Bay Minette, AL

Yes, I would like to light a candle for the following animal(s): Windy – Half Arabian Mare (Faleh granddaughter).

This is his/her story I would like to share: Stolen from a Houston, TX boarding stable during the Texas slaughter years and never recovered! Thought to have been taken to the infamous auction house at that time in Spring, TX (Bud Woods). She was under the care of Texas A & M at the time she was stolen and with her medical problems probably sold as horse meat going for 0.80/lb. in 1979.

“Light The Sky”

Holly, Catasauqua, PA

Yes, I would like to light a candle for the following animal(s): Ferdinand, the Kentucky derby winner who was ultimately slaughtered after stud duties were ended, like Exceller, the racehorse that was also slaughtered.  And to all those beautiful creatures entrusted to us – I love you.

This is his/her story I would like to share: It is for all the racehorses I burn my candle and would like to acknowledge the thoroughbred racehorse particularly. These racehorses learn and perform their craft, some to perfection. And in doing so, line the pockets of their owners with wealth. They do this without promise of a sweet pasture in which to retire. Some end up slaughtered despite how victorious. My candle burns for all these regal creatures. The horse must be God’s personal animal. Burn little candle, and illuminate the heavens …

Get your candle now and Light the Sky for the animals!

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Candles Of Love

 

“Light The Sky”

~~~

Things I remember  

Most about you

Are not the recent

Times I mourned

But of days

Spent together

Moments we shared  

Unconditional love

~

You touched and

Warmed my heart

Your liquid eyes

 Pools of trust

Irresistible connection

From that moment

Until even now 

Your blessings remain

~

I’ll add my

Candles of love 

To numerous candles lit 

By those who understand

The indelible marks

Compassionate animals

Leave upon us humans

A mighty wealth of love

~

December First

Words spoken after sunset

Our candles lighting the sky

A glowing tribute

To all animal life

For the lives of

Those we shared and

For those we could not save

~~~

“Light in memory of the animals”

Please join with me and thousands of others who have set aside December 1, 2012, as a day of memory for those animals who have touched our lives and of all of the animals spoken about in our publications and investigations. Watch the video, read the announcement and be a part of this incredible journey of these great animals. The candles are increasing in number and from the comfort of your homes you can be a vital part of helping end the torment and abuse of our animals. Thank you. Donate a candle today and write a your personal dedication.

(poem written by Anne St. Michael 11-13-12) 

An Angel Doing Battle

Sitting Down with Sonja Meadows

~~~

“We are there with the animals”

We all have a reason to be here on Earth, and it can be for numerous things we are to do, achieve, accomplish or reach for. We are nudged quietly or it might be a slap-in-the-face wake-up call. Whichever it is, the moment of impact is what always intrigues me. For Sonja Meadows she feels the call of our animals, the peril they are in, the torment they endure and the real need to step up and take action.

The USDA does not have the budget or the investigators to handle the workload or enforce the laws concerning horses in the pipeline. This left an opening that begged the need for a natural leader to step in and take the reins. The in-depth investigative work Animals’ Angels conducts, is the kind that shakes the very foundation of our beliefs leaving most of us wondering why things are as they are, each time these heinous acts are uncovered. Sonja Meadows has answered the call and stood her ground to deliver the truth.

Anne: I have been longing to know precisely what occurred and why you felt compelled to take charge and help these poor animals. Would you please describe the beginning of your involvement in this supreme endeavor? When did you become aware of the plight of horses?

Sonja: Animals’ Angels was born out of the belief that bringing first hand information and reliable documentation of what farm animals endure at auctions, slaughter plants and feedlots to mainstream public as well as government officials would be a very efficient way to improve conditions for all of them. Creating awareness is the first step to bring about change.

When Animals’ Angels started this work in 2007, there was very little information out there about how kill buyers operate, their transport routes and the big collecting stations. We started putting them on the map and it has become much more difficult for them to operate under the radar. Several have faced or still face convictions due to our investigations and others have been forced into “voluntary” compliance.

Anne: I’ve noticed by the newsletters and reports that investigations take place in so many different locations, far from home. There must be a lot of travel involved in documenting the facts in these cases. How do you feel this has changed your life? What is a normal routine for you?

Sonja: To date, we have conducted 113 investigations in 28 states this year – so, yes, a lot of traveling is involved. I just returned from a ten-day investigation at the Mexican border and I am getting ready to head out again soon. The normal routine for an AA investigator is to prepare for the upcoming investigation by: researching location & target, booking flights, hotels, rental cars, and confirming all the extensive equipment needed for a successful investigation is ready.

During the investigation you never know what will happen. You must plan very carefully in order to be prepared for all scenarios. You could face a full forty-hours without sleep when following a truck, or you might sit in your car for days on end, waiting for something to happen. We have been caught in snowstorms and even flash floods. During last week’s assignment in Texas, I hid in some bushes while filming. To my chagrin I stumbled into a wasp nest and was stung multiple times.

“Sonja offers solace to those who need compassion”

But then there are nice moments when curious neighbors see you filming all day long, and they make kind gestures like bringing us refreshing glasses of lemonade and slices of cake to show their support for what we’re doing. This work has changed my life significantly. It’s now much more fast paced, exciting and there’s hardly any down time. I’m dedicated to making changes for these animals, so I have willingly grown accustomed to the demanding schedule.

Anne: Have you been a great lover of animals all of your life? When did you notice your attachment to them and your concern of their welfare? Which types of animals or family pets do you have?

“Hope was rescued from an abusive place”

Sonja: I have been an animal lover as long as I can remember. Currently, our family pet is a black lab. Her name is Hope and she was rescued from a very abusive environment. The visible scars indicate that she had been brutally beaten when she was a puppy. Having told you this I have to say that Hope is the most loving and protective companion you can imagine. It still amazes me that animals are so capable of trusting and loving again after enduring years of abuse. I notice that a lot during our investigations, too. Horses that are completely covered in scars that they resemble walking skeletons, walk right over to you to lick your hand. It is heartbreaking!

Anne: You are involved in the movement against horse slaughter. Last fall you attended Horses On The Hill, alongside celebrities that want to make a change. A year ago, you spoke at the International Equine Conference, where you mentioned an alliance with a cross-Atlantic campaign. The new October Newsletter mentions a large-scale anti-horse slaughter campaign gearing up in the spring of 2013. Can you elaborate on this subject?

Sonja: The details of this cooperation are still confidential; therefore I can’t tell you much. I am very excited about this cooperation though and believe that it will have a lot of positive impact for our horses.

Anne: Your investigations prove repeatedly that farm animals and horses suffer greatly in this country. Even with the laws on the books set down in order to give them a modicum of protection in this pipeline, can you point out a better direction for government auditors and tell us how are we going to stop this?

Sonja: I believe the key to a better future for the animals is to increase the public’s awareness, to fight for stronger animal protection laws and to insist on a more efficient enforcement of existing laws and regulations. We document what is going on in the USA in the middle of nowhere, in the middle of the night, and report our findings to the public. If we can get citizens to act on these issues and demand change with one unified voice, it is going to happen.

“Documenting as transportation laws are being broken”

Anne: There was such a good story about you and a horse named Hawser. What made you go over to that particular trailer that day?

Sonja: I walked over to the trailer because he was owned by a known kill buyer and I heard the horses kicking inside the trailer. When I saw that they were Thoroughbreds I knew that the only way to save these horses was to find out who they were. That’s the reason I immediately flipped up their lips in order to see their tattoo numbers. Hawser is such a sweet horse, I am truly happy that everything worked out the way it did.

Anne: I want you to tell about the play of emotions you and your investigators experience when you are monitoring. Especially that horrid instance two weeks ago in Texas, when the driver started accosting some downer horses with a pointed stick! Let our readers know how powerfully this affects the people documenting this abuse & trying to stop the chaotic madness. How difficult is it to refrain from physically stopping the abuse?

“This Angel is there with the oppressed and the dying”

Sonja: Sometimes it is very, very hard. However, all of my investigators are instructed to always remain professional with their words and actions. You can’t demand respect and initiate a constructive dialogue if you act like a maniac. Our organization is well-respected among government officials and industry is willing to work with us on improving conditions because they know that they can trust our fact-finding. If laws have been violated, we demand prosecution to the fullest extent. However, if someone does a good job, we put that in our reports as well and give credit where credit is due.

Anne: You videotape scenes that are not only excruciatingly difficult to watch, but they must be agonizing for you to witness. This is a traumatic thing you and your investigators do. It is a necessary thing in order to accurately describe what is really going on. Seeing the total removal of the kill buyers’ feelings, or the handler that doesn’t mind using an electric prod. The auctioneer who thinks it’s just another day. What kind of nation have we been reduced to? This undertaking is painful before, during and a long time after the experience. I don’t think the public realizes how hard this is on your mental, physical and spiritual well-being, so I want you to take off the hard armor of protection and confess what is in your heart.

Sonja: I do lay awake at night thinking about the animals I saw the day before, the suffering, the horrific injuries … the injustice of it all. I sometimes get very angry and frustrated that it takes so long for things to improve or to change, when it would be so easy to do the right thing. I still remember every single animal I have found dying or injured and I believe I always will.

I think that is how the idea for our annual fundraising event “Light the Sky” was born. Every year, our investigators and I light candles for all the animals that crossed our paths that year and give them names to remember them as individuals, not as the horse with Back-tag #4356, or Production Unit 112. Lighting these candles helps us cope, but it’s also a way to renew our vow that we will continue to fight for a better future for all of them.

Anne: When I asked about non-ambulatory animals you explained what they are and also the dreadful conditions where some of our “Dairy Cows” live. Would you tell us more about this please?

Sonja: A non-ambulatory animal is also referred to as a downer. This means that an animal is unable to rise or walk without assistance. There are many different reasons why an animal can become a downer, such as heat stress, exhaustion, injury, or being trampled by other animals in a packed trailer or pen.

“Sonja Meadows documents the evidence”

“Spent Dairy Cows” (as industry calls cows at the end of their productive milking period when they are shipped to auction and sold to slaughter), are likely to become non-ambulatory, because their bones are weakened from years of intensive milk production (calcium deficiencies) and break easily. If they slip and fall, chances are that they will not be able to rise again.

Animals’ Angels is working with auctions nationwide to establish protocols on how to deal with these non-ambulatory animals humanely, by ensuring that they are never moved with chains, skid loaders or other devices.

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Animals’ Angels Inc continues to “be there with the animals”. They outline the ongoing abuse of our animals, highlighting deplorable conditions, uncovering kill buyers, and documenting illegal acts. They videotape and photograph the lack of care by those handling animals in transit, right down to the outright neglect of some equine that are mercilessly and slowly starved to death.

The important news is that we all can act and get involved by sharing (on social networks) the links to our blog, our website, any news stories on this subject and by getting in touch with our State’s Representatives. If you want to help get these bills passed into laws and to stop horse slaughter of our horses, then you should act today. Write or phone your Representatives twice weekly.

Consider donating on a monthly basis to keep this team of Animals’ Angels defending those without a voice. Tell your family and friends to repeat what you do to lend support so our non-profit organization can continue to do what is important. Remember undercover investigations are quite costly and since most people would never dream of going to these auctions, feedlots or following transport trucks for hours on end, there is an easier way for us to insure this work continues.

Click the donate button and make a one-time donation or you may consider a monthly automatic charitable deposit that will allow your contributions to fund these reports and expenses. We rely on your aid to help fund in this vital work. The government is enforcing the laws we do have. We need to raise the roof so all of America can learn about the fight to end the abuse endured every second of every day by animals who have no voice. Make a difference. Get involved. Please … do it now!

 

 

Pro Slaughter Movement?

From the Desk of Anne St. Michael

“We believe horses are the backbone of American pioneers and in building our industries “

Until ten days ago I’d never heard this term. Jumping into the thick of investigations conducted by Animals’ Angels, Inc., watching videos, seeing photographs, exploring their website, made me want to keep learning. I dug deeper to expand my consideration and to understand more by reading government documents, visiting USDA.gov and reading report after report. I learned about laws I didn’t even know existed and most disturbing of all is the fact that until 2009 I never dreamed horses were being mistreated … not like this and never for food!  Since I have been visiting the social networking sites, like Facebook and Twitter, I have been learning a whole lot more from the new Facebook friends I have connected with. This whole new world of “Horses Bound For Slaughter” made me understand that it was time to put on my boxing gloves. Even though I could not look at the envelopes coming to my home (passing them off to be read by my husband), I did sign every petition, and mailed them off thinking (very naively I must add) that the law was passed and the bad stuff had just stopped. Gone away. When I’m wrong … I say I’m wrong.

Not only have I read and recently began writing about this subject, I have absorbed the depth of this struggle. It is overwhelming! Were it not for the dedication of the team of Animals’ Angels getting involved, taking risks, and standing up for the rights of these horses facing the unthinkable, I would have never been here lending my support. In early August, Animals Angels went to the Midwest and conducted a very important investigation into newly identified kill buyers. Their report details the largest horse sale at Kalona Horse Auction, giving us a behind-the-scenes look at the barnyards and the condition of the horses. They filmed disturbing footage of terrified horses passing through an electronic hydraulic gate that each horse must pass through to enter the loud auction ring. They tell about a worker striking the horses with a stick. Plus, earlier that morning, our investigators were almost killed or injured in the parking lot, but miraculously got out of harms way! Continue reading