Body Parts From Endangered Wildlife Sold on Facebook-CEO Zuckerberg Silent (Video)

by N.Morgan 

This screen grab from a Facebook group and photographed on a computer screen in Washington, Monday, April 9, 2018, shows what appears to be a bucket of tiger teeth offered for sale on a Facebook page. In a complaint filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, wildlife preservation advocates allege that Facebook’s failure to stop illicit traders utilizing its platform for illegal activity violates the social network’s responsibilities as a publicly traded company. (AP Photo)

Facebook is under fire again, this time accused of allowing the body parts of endangered animal species to be sold globally on the website.

Watching the recent testimony of Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg leaves no doubt he has no issue with not telling the truth, even under oath.

Facebook is displaying advertisements for well-known American corporations on group pages operated by overseas wildlife traffickers illegally selling the body parts of threatened animals, including elephant ivory, rhino horn and tiger teeth.

In a secret complaint filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, wildlife preservation advocates allege that Facebook’s failure to stop illicit traders using its service for illegal activity violates the social network’s responsibilities as a publicly traded company.

Facebook didn’t respond to requests for comment.

The complaint, a copy of which was provided to The Associated Press, was initially filed in August on behalf of an undercover informant represented by the National Whistleblower Center, a non-profit legal advocacy group. The identity of the informant, who recorded video of face-to-face meetings with wildlife traffickers set up over Facebook, has been kept confidential out of safety concerns.

The SEC declined to comment Monday on whether the whistleblower complaint triggered an investigation of the company.

“Facebook is not an innocent bystander to these crimes,” said Stephen Kohn, executive director of the National Whistleblower Center. “Facebook sold advertisements on the very pages the illegal ivory was being marketed.”

Facebook is one of 20 technology companies that last month joined the Global Coalition to End Wildlife Trafficking Online, which was organized by Google and the World Wildlife Fund. Weeks after the March 7 announcement, an AP reporter was able to see scores of internationally banned wildlife products for sale in public and private Facebook groups, most based in Southeast Asia.

Among the items available were belts made from what appeared to be the fur of Bengal tigers, a critically endangered species with only about 2,500 still living in the wild. Also advertised were horns from black rhinos, a species heavily targeted by poachers with little more than 5,000 still roaming Africa.

Negotiations over price and delivery are often initiated by Facebook Messenger. Instagram and WhatsApp, two social media platforms also owned by Facebook, are also sometimes used by traffickers.

The allegations tying Facebook to the illegal trafficking of wildlife are surfacing while the company is already scrambling to recover from a privacy scandal that has wiped out $79 billion in shareholder wealth during the past three weeks.

The crisis stems from revelations that Cambridge Analytica, a data-mining firm connected to President Donald Trump’s successful 2016 campaign, had exploited weaknesses in Facebook’s privacy controls to collect personal information about 87 million people without their consent.

Zuckerberg will try to reverse the backlash against the company when he opens two days of testimony in Congress. His appearance will give lawmakers the opportunity to grill him about the Cambridge Analytica episode, as well as evidence that Russian agents manipulated Facebook’s network to spread false information that may have swayed the 2016 election.

The SEC complaint may trigger other lines of inquiry about how much of Facebook’s annual revenue of $41 billion has been generated by ads running on pages featuring illegal activity, such as the sale of elephant ivory and tiger teeth.

Facebook hasn’t disclosed that some of its revenue may be tied to illegal trafficking in wildlife in regulatory filings that are supposed to outline various risks and other threats that could crimp its profits or stock price.

Trafficking investigators say they have seen no drop off in the illegal products offered for sale on Facebook after prior public pledges by the company to crack down.

They are calling on federal security regulators to force Facebook to immediately freeze accounts being used by illegal traffickers and cooperate with international law enforcement to identify the individuals involved for prosecution.

[SOURCE]

References:

https://www.yahoo.com/news/body-parts-threatened-wildlife-widely-sold-facebook-234807698–politics.html

http://www.ap.org/

AP environmental reporter Michael Biesecker at http://twitter.com/mbieseck

More Stories Contributed By N. Morgan

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Pangolins Are Weirdly Amazing Creatures and Sadly Endangered (Video)

by N.Morgan

Pangolins are considered one of the world’s most heavily trafficked mammals roaming the Earth.

These defenseless little beings are being slaughtered to extinction – simply to meet a demand based on superstitions and exploited by greed.

Experts warn that the illegal trade in Pangolins will render them extinct within our lifetime – yet most people have never heard of a Pangolin!

Pangolins are mammals of the order Pholidota.

The one extant family, Manidae, has three genera: Manis, which comprises four species living in Asia; Phataginus, which comprises two species living in Africa; and Smutsia, which comprises two species also living in Africa.

Pangolins have large, protective keratin scales covering their skin, and they are the only known mammals with this feature.

They live in hollow trees or burrows, depending on the species.

Pangolins are nocturnal, and their diet consists of mainly ants and termites which they capture using their long tongues.

They tend to be solitary animals, meeting only to mate and produce a litter of one to three offspring which are raised for about two years.

Pangolins are threatened by hunting (for their meat and scales) and heavy deforestation of their natural habitats, and are the most trafficked mammals in the world.

To help protect endangered pangolins, you can support rescuers at Save Vietnam’s Wildlife: http://thedo.do/pangolins.

To help save endangered wildlife, you can support Project CAT: http://thedo.do/projectcat.

Special thanks to CTGN America (http://cgtn.com/america) for their incredible footage.

References:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCINb0wqPz-A0dV9nARjJlOQ

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pangolin

[Source]

 

Cruel Monster Sealed Pet Dog in a Bag and Left Her in the Middle of a Field to Die (Video)

(N.Morgan) Anyone who is capable of hurting/abusing an animal is a special kind of monster, who deserves to be punished to the fullest extent of the law.

This is Misty’s story and how this precious girl was zipped up in a duffle bag and left in the middle of a hunting field in Fort Winnebago to die wounded and alone.

A sheriff driving by the field noticed the bag and found a very sick and wounded dog trapped inside of the bag.

The wonderful and compassionate people at the Columbia County Humane Society and the Portage Veterinary Clinic are now caring for the poor dog.

The shelter workers soon discovered that, despite her wounds and obvious abuse, Misty was a very sweet and gentle girl who was desperate for love and affection.

Watch Misty’s story in the video below.

[SOURCE]

Reference:

http://www.heroviral.com

More Stories Contributed By N. Morgan

Little Girl Testifies Against Her Abuser- When She Gets Scared, She Gives Her Deaf Dog a Signal (Video)

(N.MorganWhen children are required to testify in a court case, it can be a very scary and traumatic experience which may leave scars that last a lifetime.

With that in mind, the K9 Circuit Program was developed to provide support to these little ones and the dogs that escort these children into court are some of the most extraordinary animals on the planet.

“Think about how a child must feel. They have to face the person who has hurt them, they have to sit in front of a bunch of strangers and tell a really painful story, and most of the time they’re not even with their family while they’re testifying,” said Joanne Rittenhouse, one of the dog handlers.

“All the dogs make everyone calm; they have a good presence,” she continued.

Studies have shown that people are better able to recollect facts and provide more accurate information regarding traumatic events when they are calm.

With the assistance of the dog teams, children and adults are able to relieve their anxiety about the underlying traumatic events and provide more precise testimonies in court proceedings.

These wonderful dogs allow children to feel comfort and security in the midst of these trying situations.

One very special therapy dog named Karl is one of 6 dogs in the K9 Circuit Program. He was born deaf, knows sign language, and is an amazing support to the kids he comes in contact with.

“Karl gave her the courage to go through with the trial. I couldn’t even get her out of the car when we first started and towards the end she was getting out of the car just to go and see Karl,” added dog handler Carol Feiner.

The Ninth Judicial Circuit is the first Florida circuit to utilize both pet therapy dog teams and a professionally trained, ADA certified dog and its handler. All pet therapy dogs and their owners must be TDI certified members of Companions for Courage, currently the only provider approved to work in the Ninth Circuit.

The Ninth Circuit is also fortunate to have been awarded a Courthouse Facility Dog who regularly works with children at the Juvenile Justice Center. This dog was bred, trained and provided through Canine Companions for Independence, a nationally recognized provider of service dogs.

If you’d like to know more about K9 Circuit Program see their website here: https://www.ninthcircuit.org/about/programs/k9th-circuit-program

(SOURCE)

References:

http://www.waggingtonpost.com/little-girl-testifies-against-her-abuser-when-he-walks-in-she-gives-her-deaf-dog-a-signal/

https://www.ninthcircuit.org/about/programs/k9th-circuit-program

More Stories Contributed By N. Morgan

Lonely Stray Dog Tried Everything to Get Adopted. Then One Day She Found a Woman’s Car (Photos and Videos)

(N.MorganBlue was one of the thousands of strays lost in the streets of Greece. Unlike most of the other strays, Blue was destined for great things. Blue the stray dog was so lonely that she used every opportunity she could to make friends.

But when the sun went down on the Greek beach where she lived, she would be all alone. Even when she chased people’s cars, in fact, no one would take her home.

However, little did she know that someone would finally come to her aid…

That remarkable someone was Valia Orfanidou, who in August 2016 was on vacation in her hometown just outside the Greek capital, Athens. She happened to be staying by the sea, so every day the animal lover would take her dogs for a stroll on the beach.

She usually did that in the afternoon, when the hordes of sunbathers had retreated. That way, her pooches could have the run of the beach.

It was during these walks that Orfanidou and her dogs were joined by another canine. One afternoon the gang had just been minding their own business when a lone pooch bounded towards them. It seemed as if she had spotted the group from afar and wanted to join in the fun.

Recalling the incident, Orfanidou wrote in a YouTube clip, “She was looking desperately for company.”

Valia’s kind heart, taking pity on the poor mutt, she decided that it couldn’t hurt to let the little dog play with her pets while they were on the beach.

Moreover, Orfanidou suspected that the dog, who would go on to be named Blue, was one of Greece’s many strays. In 2015 animal welfare charities estimated that more than a million dogs roamed the country homeless.

Unfortunately, the recent debt crisis in the country had made the problem worse, as many pet owners abandoned the animals that they could no longer afford.

So Blue’s predicament was not unusual in Greece. Her sweet personality, though, made her stand out from the crowd. Writing on YouTube, Orfanidou explained that the young dog, perhaps only six or seven months old, demanded human attention. Indeed, it seemed all the little puppy wanted in life was someone to love.

As Orfanidou later told The Orphan Pet, “She would spend her day on the beach, going from one person to another, wagging her tail and begging for attention.”

“She would follow people home and run behind cars driving by. She only needed one look from you, and she would come to you and stay beside you, as if this was where she belonged.”

But while Blue’s situation broke Orfanidou’s heart, she was still unsure whether she could do anything to help.

“When you are an animal lover living in Greece, you simply get used to lonely stray dogs wandering around everywhere and choose to rescue the ones that can’t make it on the streets: the sick, emaciated or hurt ones, the newborns and the pregnant females,” she explained on YouTube.

Although Blue didn’t seem to fit into any of these criteria, Orfanidou decided that she would have to help the dog find the love she so desperately needed. So, after a few days, Orfanidou returned to the beach to collect Blue.

She then drove the hound all the way to Athens.

Once they made it back in the city, Orfanidou took Blue straight to the vet to get checked out. She then dropped the dog off at a friend’s house until she could return to Athens for good. Now the hunt was on to find Blue her forever home.

It’s unknown what fate would have been waiting for Blue if Orfanidou hadn’t stepped in. According to Greek Animal Rescue, a U.K.-based charity focused on rescuing the country’s strays, there are no major organizations in Greece that provide help for homeless animals.

But, luckily for Blue, her fortune had changed. In fact, the once lonely and vulnerable stray was thriving back at home with Orfanidou. And given that the pooch was easy to handle, sweet and easy-going, Orfanidou was sure she would make the perfect pet for one lucky owner.

A few months later, she found her forever family in Holland! Blue is thriving in her new home and is loving all of the attention. She lives with other dogs and cats, and has a new life filled with all of the love she could have ever imagined. Her new owner has many rescues who are therapy dogs, working to help comfort people at hospitals and nursing homes, so becoming a therapy dog is something that is likely in Blue’s near future!

Blue’s new family, meanwhile, graciously kept Orfanidou updated on her progress in her new country. “She finally has the pack she always wanted, friends to play with, a warm bed to sleep in and everything she ever dreamed of, right there for her,” Orfanidou told The Orphan Pet. “She won’t have to feed off leftovers and garbage anymore, nor beg for attention and love. All the love in the world is there for her, to enjoy every day, for the rest of her life.”

In addition, Blue’s family set up a Facebook page for the dog and pictures posted there show that the pooch had settled in well at her new home. She also loved spending time with fellow rescue dog and new best friend Rincewind and began to accompany her new mom to physiotherapy.

See Blue’s incredible journey in the video below.

So why does Athens have such a big dog problem?

Greek-American Tom Mazarakis explained on his website:

I have been living in Greece for the last 33 years and am well acquainted with the recent history of the dog situation in Athens and the rest of Greece.

As in most civilized countries, in Greece too, every municipality had a “dog pound” and a “dog catcher”. And, as in most cities throughout the world, many domesticated dogs in Greece would one way or another gain their “freedom” from their owners.

Either they would run away on their own, or they would be “let go” by irresponsible owners. Whatever the case may have been, these stray dogs often would breed and have puppies and multiply accordingly.

The dog catchers in Greece used to step in and round up as many strays as they could. The strays were held in the local municipal dog pounds for a period of no more than 90 days, and if no one claimed the dogs, they were typically then put to sleep.

This system kept the stray dog population down to a manageable level up until about 10 years ago. At about that time, a local animal rights activist group found out about a particular dog pound that kept their dogs in miserable and inhumane conditions. They visited the pound and filmed the scene.

Then they took their evidence and presented it to the local District Attorney who in turn issued a warrant for the responsible mayor’s arrest. That mayor was charged with the crime of “maltreatment of animals” which is a very serious offense in Greek law. He was convicted and sentenced to several months in prison along with a stiff monetary fine.

As a result, almost every municipality in Greece dissolved their dog pounds and fired their dog catchers. As you can understand, this paved the way for the stray dogs to multiply without restriction, and today they have become a serious problem. Many people, and especially children, have been attacked and mauled by gangs of wild dogs. But, no one takes responsibility.

The local Humane Society has been making every effort it can to feed and take care of as many stray dogs as they can handle, but their numbers keep growing. They try to neuter as many of the dogs as they can, but they just can’t seem to put even a small dent into the problem.

A small cafe on the Greek island of Lesbos has recently opened its doors to cater for the areas ever increasing populace of stray dogs. Footage taken on Wednesday, show the animals strewn out across the cafe catching up on some much needed sleep.

The cafe closes down to customers at 03:00 local time and opens up as a dog bed sit, allowing the stray canines to use the building during the winter months. 

Reports suggest that there are over one million stray dogs scattered across Greece, most of which were once domesticated, however due to the recent debt crisis, many families have had to give up their pets, leaving many to become homeless. 

The suffering of one dog is too much for an animal lover to accept. The suffering of a million is almost unfathomable. The BBC reported recently on the dogs of Greece, becoming victims of homelessness and hunger, following years of financial crisis in the country:

There are more than a million strays in Greece because people are simply abandoning pets they can no longer afford to keep”

Ways you can help the stray dog crisis in Greece:

Brian Davies led the Network for Animals team into action, rented a van and set to work. We initially discovered stray dogs, wearing collars in the centre of Athens. These dogs effectively ‘belong’ to the city. They are neutered and cared for by city officials, good samaritans, and tourists who visit the areas around the Acropolis, and generally appear to be in good health.

The real issue is on the outskirts, where there are no tourists or city officials to support the dogs. Out here, it was clear that the scale of the problem hadn’t been overstated. In these areas, the dogs roam abandoned industrial parks, old factories, and in struggling neighborhoods. They are hungry, homeless, and often in need of medical attention.

We teamed up with volunteers from ‘Ghost Dogs of Aspropyrgos‘ who were doing their absolute best, with very limited resources to feed hungry animals, take care of their veterinary needs, and offer hope to animals facing overwhelming circumstances. Every day the volunteer group feed more than 300 starving dogs.

The dogs’ love of affection reminded us of the lives they might once have had. Many will once have known homes, and loving owners. They now live on the streets and are completely dependent on human generosity. Network for Animals need to do more, and with your support, we will. Please make a donation and help support the ghost dogs of Greece.

For volunteering, please email us your name, address and personal details, and confirm that you will be able to provide your own transport to Greece, as well as food and hotels/hostels. Being able to drive and hire a car is also incredibly useful, as the areas covered are remote.

Please also email us if you are from the UK and interested in adopting a dog from Greece or joining a fostering program, run in conjunction with Greek Animal Rescue.

(SOURCE)

References:

SBoone

http://scribol.com/a/environment/animals-environment/stray-dog-adopted-car/?utm_source=aol.com&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=pubexchange_module&utm_content=aol&utm_term=pubexchange_module-scribol-aol

http://www.petguide.com/blog/dog/stray-dog-finds-new-home-and-new-career-in-new-country/

http://familypet.com/blue-rescue/

http://www.reshareworthy.com/stray-dog-on-beach-rescued/

https://protectallwildlifeblog.wordpress.com/greek-coffee-shop-opens-its-doors-every-night-to-stray-dogs/

https://networkforanimals.org/an-update-on-the-ghost-dogs-of-greece/

http://www.straysofgreece.org/

https://www.athensguide.com/straydogs/

https://wildbeneaththeskies.wordpress.com/2014/04/15/the-stray-dogs-of-greece/

 

Dog Who Lost Her Legs Determined to Walk Again; See How She Is Now (Video)

(N.Morgan) Chi Chi, a beautiful Golden Retriever, survived insurmountable odds to overcome the scars left from her horrific past, and to find a loving and accepting family.

No one knew for sure if this golden retriever would ever walk again – but when one family refused to give up on her, she surprised everyone. Today she’s training for a very important new job.

Please be advised: The following contains information about Chi Chi’s history and treatment that led to her amputations and is graphic and disturbing: From Chi Chi’s Facebook

Chi Chi was born in January 2014 and was kept alive in immensely cruel conditions, all while her body was being prepped to one day be considered ready for slaughter and sold into the dog meat trade.

Chi Chi, whose legs had rotted from the extreme abuse, was thrown away in a trash bag in the South Korean countryside where dogs are traditionally killed for meat.

Her spirit must have surely been broken, and all hope lost.

Then she was saved.

These amazing people discovered her in that trash bag in a well-known dog meat slaughter region of South Korea. Her feet were barely attached and she was in immense pain with cuts and bruises all over her body.

However, what they also saw was this sweet girl with a bright spark showing in her eyes. They brought her to be evaluated by a veterinary clinic.

What they discovered was that her four legs were so badly rotted that in order to save her life they would have to be amputated immediately.

Due to Chi Chi showing her strong spirit and will to live, they went ahead with the surgery. 

This was made possible by The Hope Foundation (Nabiya/Irion Project to help injured Animals) when they contacted ARME to partner and find a home in America.

Chi Chi has since made a full recovery and is a joy to be around. She lights up the room, greets everyone with a happy wagging tail, and loves to share her sweet spirit with anyone who comes to see her.

She loves to be involved in everything the doctors and staff are doing, and happily scoots around the office, putting her sweet face in everybody’s business!

But Chi Chi’s journey had just started. She had been adopted by an amazing family in Arizona, USA, and was soon on her way to a new life.

Chi Chi is a true testament of what it means to be a survivor, moving from the darkest of places and coming out into the light with strength and love for all. She is THE dog saved by Dogs In The Dark with help from the guiding light that is Chula’s Compass by ARME.

Now Chi Chi is paying the kindness she received forward, and is currently training to be a therapy dog. Her new role will take her to hospitals and other facilities where she can interact with people of all ages and share her light of inspiration.

 (SOURCE)

References:

https://www.facebook.com/chichirescuedog/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZnE7A3x2DrI

https://www.instagram.com/chichirescuedog/

More Stories Contributed By N. Morgan

Southwest Airlines Fills Cabin With Pets Orphaned During Houston Storm in Dramatic Rescue (Photos)

Guest Contributor Earth Heal

After #Harvey, many existing shelter animals in affected areas had to be moved to other cities to make room for pets of displaced families.

– In scenes reminiscent of the Biblical story of Noah and his ark, Southwest Airlines took the extraordinary step this week of filling up the cabin of one of its planes with orphaned animals from flood-hit Houston.

Animal shelters all over Texas are at maximum capacity after Hurricane Harvey devastated the region, leaving many pets homeless and desperate. Enter Southwest Airlines, who together with animal rescue groups helped dozens of animals escape the floods, easing the burden on overworked shelters and creating room for more rescued pets.

Flying the orphaned animals to the Helen Woodward Animal Center in San Diego, California was literally a life-saving gesture. The Texas rescue group, Operation Pets Alive! had taken in an overwhelming number of orphaned dogs and cats who had inhabited shelters before the storm and were suddenly facing euthanasia simply because they had no place to go. The joint operation between the Helen Woodward Center and Southwest Airlines to relocate these animals allows Operation Pets Alive! to increase animal rescue operations in Houston, as it begins to recover from the effects of the devastating hurricane.

Volunteers helped board the animals into crates in the specially converted cabin of the aircraft, giving them a chance of a new life in California where it is hoped that they will eventually find homes. We don’t yet know if they had access to in-flight entertainment and meals, but we would like to think so!

 

(SOURCE)

More articles by Earth Heal

Reference:

http://www.earth-heal.com/news/news/55-human-animal-bonding-and-communication/3637-southwest-airlines-fills-cabin-with-pet.html