Here’s a message from the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals:
“On April 10th 2007, the ASPCA will be celebrating ‘ASPCA Day’ and encouraging animal lovers nationwide to ‘Go Orange for Animals’. In our hometown of New York City, many Big Apple buildings will be lighting up in orange—the official ASPCA color—on our birthday, April 10th. Other big cities, including Chicago, Los Angeles, Austin and Philadelphia, will be going orange, too.
But we can’t forget the most important participants of all. Without the support of animal lovers like you, we wouldn’t still be the oldest humane organization in the Western Hemisphere. Please join us in celebrating the work that we do and the animals that we serve by ‘Going Orange for Animals’ on April 10th.
To get you started, we’ve provided the following ideas on how you can ‘Go Orange’ in your city, town, classroom or community for animals on April 10. Whether you organize a pet parade in your community, petition to get your town hall to light up orange, or decorate your office door with an orange bow, we thank you.”
A message from Nippyfish:
Just like dogs and cats, Bettas are commonly victims of animal cruelty. Betta fighting is becoming increasingly more popular in Europe, North America and Australia, where they are more commonly protected under animal fighting and cruelty statutes. An activity that was relatively unknown just a decade ago is being perpetuated by video and imagery posted on online websites like YouTube.com, which are being flooded with these videos faster then their staff can remove them.
Pet store bettas are most commonly bred for their ornamental qualities with an emphasis on beautiful finnage and bright coloration. These fish, having not been bred for fighting, suffer immensely when paired against each other. The fights are brutal and the death of one or both fish is commonplace. Many die after the fight from wounds or secondary infections brought on after days of suffering. It’s not uncommon for fish to be purchased, fought and discarded after the fight. Most commonly documenting their fights are high school and college-age boys but Betta fights are gaining in popularity even among middle school age children. Most betta fighters will never be caught but those that are could face severe consequences. In many U.S. states, for example, fish are protected under the same fighting laws as pit bulls where fight organizers may be charged with a felony and fines over $25,000. Spectators, advertisers or those providing equipment or venues (parents of these kids) can be faced with misdemeanor charges and fines in many locations as well.
One question remains. Has anyone ever been charged or convicted of fish fighting? Truthfully, I doubt it but I have written the Director of Humane Law Enforcement at the Washington Humane Society in Washington, DC and am awaiting a reply. As soon as I hear back, I will post an update.
In the mean time… Let your voice be heard and stand up against animal cruelty and Betta fighting by wearing orange or displaying an orange light at your home or office on April 10.
For more information on how to go orange, visit the ASPCA Day link.