Monday, June 30, 2008

Where's Dave? Director of HSUS NRRO

Eastern Montana Habitat for Hounds

Rescues with Dave's Daughters Helping:

Hello my animal artist friends... Where in the world have I been?

Well most my travels have been in Eastern Montana laying the groundwork for an exciting Habitat for Hounds project in August with the Eastern Montana Humane Society in Baker. The EMHS attempted to build a humane society building there last fall but ran out of funding, and energy before the project could be completed. The frame above has been sitting idle for months. My visit is jump starting the event to have a community ole fashioned barn raising in August to finish this building and get it ready to accept animals from around Eastern Montana. This will be the only Humane Society in the entire South Eastern portion of Montana.

There is much planning and networking to be done. The HSUS innovations section is offering a grant to help pay for the concrete work , utilities, extra floor drains for a total cash donation of about 12K. We are asking a state animal welfare group to issue a challenge grant and if they do... we should be locally able to raise the funds needed to give this community a modest but effective humane society. A few days ago the EMHS came to Billings to pick up my emergency animal shelter trailer to set up temporary housing for the animals already in their care. So we really are hoping everything comes together to push this project along the right path.

After Baker I kept going east to Dickinson and Bismarck ND where i met with an official of the Fair Chase hunting movement who are trying to pass a ballot initiative to ban "canned hunting" practices in North Dakota. This is where ranchers or elk farmers put animals into small enclosures and those with more money than ethics can pay four or five thousand to shoot the tame elk, deer, zebra or exotic goat when the animal is not wild or cannot escape. We helped pass a ban on this egregious practice in Montana in 2005 and are supporting similar goals in Idaho and Colorado. There is a strong agricultural and personal property rights lobby that is trying to derail the publics opportunity to decide if they want this unethical form of trophy shooting ( note not using hunting) in their state. The signatures have to be in by the end of July so I stopped at shelters and activists homes along the way to encourage them to support the ballot initiative.

Ahhhh but it is also when I travel my menagerie of orphaned and rehab critter care fall to my lovely bride of 19 years and my two daughters. Here Maggie, my eldest at 16, is helping to care for one of the many raccoons and other critters that pass through the Pauli home. This spring, so far we have handled or rescued, five raccoons, one fox with broken elbow, on Raven, more than Forty entrapped ducks and duckling (most are rescued and released immediately), one nighthawk ( a bird in the Whipper Will family), and a half dozen rattle or other native snakes. As we close in on July...we are hoping things slow down... but the first two weeks with fireworks, activity in the wild...we always see an increase of "orphaned baby everything's"

In my next Blog entry I will tell you about some exciting upcoming projects building fences for Prairie Dogs in South Dakota, Live-trapping Badgers and Wolverines for research projects, and my upcoming trip to D.C. for the Taking Action for Animals conference and to visit the infamous and not approved Pony Penning Days at Chincoteague Island , VA.

But for now... i have some critters to go care for. Dave

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1 comment:

stella said...

WOW !!! The building looks pretty good! May the funding come in soon to finish- and the energy!!

The babies are so cute!

Thank you so much for the update and for all you do!