‘TIS THE SEASON FOR CELEBRATION!
“The things that matter most of all are often close at hand —
A touch, a hug, a gentle look that says, “I understand.”
The smile that inspires us, the words that let us know
The way our hearts are leading is the way that we should go —
These right-before-us, simple things may seem to be so small,
But they’re what life is made of, and they matter most of all.”
Dear Bunny World Foundation Friends,
Historically, Thanksgiving began as a tradition to give thanks for a good harvest and to rejoice together with the rest of the community after much hard work. What better time to celebrate our three and a half year voyage and give thanks to ALL who have contributed to our struggle to bring to light illegal animal sales in Los Angeles. The road is still rocky with many challenges lurking, but continue we MUST!
Photo Courtesy of Diana Fleig
We would love to use this opportunity to give special thanks to our fosters, who carry the heaviest burden of all, and thank them for their patience, resilience, and humanity. We couldn’t keep up the fight without them. We would also like to thank Bona Tucker of PetSave Foundation for her continuous and unwavering support, Melanie Ramsayer, President of LA Board of Animal Commissioners, for taking our cause seriously and, along with her fellow Board members, for pushing forward with one ordinance after another, Brenda Barnette, Animal Services GM, for multiple proposals to the Mayor’s and City Attorney’s office to increase fines and bail amounts for the animal cruelty offenders, and last but not the least, to our friends at LA Fashion District Clean & Safe Team and LAPD's Central Division for continuing their hard work in this mission!
1500 Un-weaned Baby Bunnies Rescued/ BWF Featured on CBS, NBC News & in LA Times
BWF has taken in 1500 un-weaned baby bunnies since June 2008. We have an open door to the community and are eager to assist all unaware buyers who are lured into buying unweaned baby animals that in most cases die within a few days of purchase as they are not old enough make it without mother’s milk. The death of these animals causes a lot of distress for new bunny owners and their children, not to mention significant vet bills. For a lucky few who find us in time while the babies are still alive, we provide a protocol on how to properly take care of them. Others turn to us for advice and consolation. For more information about BWF and its efforts to stop animal cruelty in Downtown Los Angeles, please visit the News Section of BWF Website or click on BWF's Current & Past Efforts.
Recently, BWF was featured on NBC, CBS, and in LA Times.
Help us Give Thanks to Dr. Sari Kanfer!
We would also like to take this opportunity to give a special thanks to Dr. Sari Kanfer of Exotic Animal Care Center who has been crucial in providing medication for baby bunnies, emergency treatments of the adults, the free first exam to all BWF rescued rabbits, and a generous discount on the first exam for all the bunnies adopted from BWF. Please watch this YouTube excerpt from the Interview with Dr. Kanfer and her take on the Santee Alley situation. This video is NOT for the faint hearted but we urge you to watch it.
Sadly, we have not always been able to cover our medical bills at the time of need but Dr. Kanfer has never said no to BWF and Santee Alley babies. We are always struggling to raise funds for spay/neuter surgeries for our maturing bunnies, and we are still working to pay for past medical expenses such as Leia's eye loss, Lucy's broken leg, Romeo's head tilt treatment and many others. BWF is now faced with $4,000 in vet bills.
You can make a tax deductible donation on Givezooks or via PayPal, or if you prefer, you can contribute by paying our vet directly. Please call either Exotic Animal Care Center or Dr. Demotor’s Animal House Veterinary Hospital to donate towards the $3k and $1k bills respectively. Your tax deductible donation is always appreciated and will allow us to continue future medical treatments for our other rescues.
Other Ways to Help BWF
If you are interested in helping in other ways, please visit our BWF Boutique on Giftberry and look for Milena's exquisite smelling assortment of candles and Marlo Noel's unique jewelry. There are other ways to give to Bunny World Foundation and they're FREE to you! In fact, they are a simple click away!
For more BWF News about our documentary "The Deadly Secret of Santee Alley" at MY HERO International Film Festival, BWF Puppy Rescue, and Ordiance No. 181851 related to Illegal Animal Sales in LA Fashion District, please scroll down.
We are so very grateful for your taking time to read this letter and for your generous support. Please remember, no donation is too small and it's tax deductible! BWF needs you to continue its mission.
May you find time this Thanksgiving to enjoy the things you hold closest to your heart!
Warmest regards from all of us at Bunny World Foundation.
Lejla Hadzimuratovic & Valida Carroll
Founder & Co-founder
Bunny World Foundation, Inc.
4470 West Sunset Blvd, Suite 482,
Los Angeles, CA 90027
A 501(c)3 Nonprofit
"Never Underestimate the Power of a Bunny!"
Click here to go to Help BWF Reach Our 2011 Fundraising Goal!
AND NOW SOME EXCITING BWF NEWS!
The Deadly Secret of Santee Alley - Documentary - Finalist at MY HERO Int'l Film Festival in the Independent Features in Development Category.
BWF proudly invites you to the 7th Annual MY HERO International Film Festival at USC for a Sneak Preview of “The Deadly Secret of Santee Alley" documentary trailer about the illegal animal trade in the crime-ridden LA Fashion District. All screenings will allow for Q&A sessions at the end, and we would love the have a diverse audience that is engaged and interested in this ongoing issue. A BIG THANK YOU to talented Ciaran Vejby, USC Grad Student & BWF Volunteer, for editing the trailer and for his overall contribution to the feature documentary. We hope to see you at the screening to meet our wonderful team of filmmakers – Kasia Nabialczyk, Alison Litton, Sarah Johnson, Valida Carroll, and Patricia (“Patty”) Kotze, President & Co-founder at Diversified Risk Management, Inc., who provided PI footage instrumental to our documentary’s muckraking power!
Kasia Alison Patty
Ciaran Valida Sarah
BWF Rescues 22 Puppies from Lancaster Shelter /Bark Avenue Foundation Event
BWF is thankful to Melanie Pozez, Kimberly Zenter, Kim Sill, and Lorry Hutchins of Bark Avenue Foundation for including BWF as a Special Guest Speaker / Local LA Hero for the Animals during their “Get Your Licks on Route 66” event. Inspired, BWF collaborated with several dog rescues and our associate, sponsor, and angel Milena Popovich and rescued 22 puppies on a death row from Lancaster Shelter. This little girl below is one of the lucky ones. Even though our loyalty lies with bunnies, yes, we help whenever we can! Life is a life is a life.
ADVOCACY - LEGISLATION UPDATES
Update on Ordinance No. 181851: Signs?
An ordinance no. 181851 amending Section 53.42 of Article 3, Chapter 5 of LA Municipal Code (LAMC) to add a prohibition on the purchase of animals on public streets and sidewalks to the existing prohibition on the sale of animals on public streets and sidewalks in the City of Los Angeles was introduced at the meeting of the Council of the City of LA August 3, 2011, and was passed at its meeting of August 10, 2011.
A California law has already been in place for years banning the sales, but the efforts to stop the practice by the authorities unsuccessful. The new law voted in August and implemented in September 2011 was to carry a misdemeanor charge and impose fines from $250 up to $1,000 for anyone who buys, attempts to buy, or even barters for a live animal on city streets and sidewalks. However, illegal sales in LA Fashion District & Santee Alley are thriving.
One of the reasons sales are still thriving is the fact that there are no indicators (signs?) to alert the public that this practice is illegal. Animals are STILL sold in filthy conditions and many are sick and dying when sold as pets for children BY children. Children whose parents buy these bunnies are subjected to watching them suffer, seizure and die a violent death days or hours after purchase. The result is the same, legislation without implementation does not change the years of status quo in the most infected area of LA and our members have URGED the city authorities since 2009 to post signs in English, Spanish, and Chinese informing the public that animal sales and purchases are illegal.
Our members have sent many letters , but the bottom line response from the “above” is always the same: “there is nothing that can be done to stop the criminals from committing these atrocious acts of animal cruelty.”
The Response from the Mayor’s Office: Signs?
“The content of the signs is ready (in English, Spanish and Mandarin Chinese) but we're working with three different Council offices to determine where to post them in the several neighborhoods authorized by the City Council and that's taking a bit of time. We need to have that information so we know how many signs to manufacture, and we need to know how many signs we're making so we know how much money we need to pay for them.
Please rest assured that we all want to get this done ASAP. In the meantime, LA Animal Services and LAPD are fully authorized to enforce any applicable laws regarding illegal sales and purchase anywhere in Los Angeles and we encourage them to do so. The signage should add to the effectiveness of both prevention and enforcement efforts in the future.”
Update on Ordinance No. 181851 –Bail Amount?
At the May 10, 2011 of the Board of Animal Services Commissioners representatives of the LAPD and the City Attorney reported that one of the main impediments to the effective prosecution of perpetrators of illegal sales was the extremely low bail amount currently assigned to these types of cases (often as low as $20). As one of its action items, the Board determined to ask the LA County Superior Court to consider increasing the bail amount for arrestees in misdemeanor cases resulting from illegal animal sales in the City of Los Angeles. For more information click on the Board of Animal Services Commissioners Report of May 10, 2011.
On June 14, 2011, the Board recommended to the Mayor and City Council to amend sections of the Los Angeles Municipal Code (LAMC) to enable Animal Control Officers to issue Administrative Citations for violations of LAMC infractions. Brenda Barnette recommended: “That the Board approve a resolution calling upon the “bail committee” of the Los Angeles County Superior Court to increase the bail for arrestees in cases involving the illegal sales of animals to as much as $5,000, and in no case less than $500, in order to improve the prosecution of such cases in the court system.”
Finally, on August 9, 2011 the City Council transmitted to Mayor Brenda Barnette's Proposal of June 16, 2011, Subject: Resolution on Increasing Bail for Illegal Animal Sales Misdemeanors for consideration.
On November 8, 2011, BWF was informed that the bail was increased, but not to the desired $500 but $35? It took six months for the bail amount to increase from $20 to $35, and this is supposed to deter the illegal animal vendors to sell un-weaned babies for $20?
Come January 1, 2012, will SB 917 (Lieu) have any impact on illegal sales in LA Fashion District / Santee Alley?
Thank you to all BWF members who wrote to the Senators and urged them to vote for SB 917. SB 917 signed on July 26, 2011 by Gov. Jerry Brown sets tougher penalties for those convicted of animal abuse or cruelty, allowing a maximum jail sentence of one year in cruelty cases and a fine of up to $20,000. Sen. Ted Lieu said the goal of his bill is to improve conditions for animals sold in the state. "Because current health and safety regulations for animal sales do not apply to roadside sales, young animals are being sold that are often mistreated, ill or diseased and there’s no way to track the seller,” Lieu said. Lieu’s measure is co-sponsored by the State Humane Assn. of California, the Humane Society of the United States, the ASPCA and the SPCA Los Angeles. Click here for more detailed info on SB 917 (Lieu) Animal Abuse.
“…This bill would revise the punishment for this offense to provide that it is punishable by imprisonment in a county jail for not more than one year, or in the state prison, or by a fine of not more than $20,000, or by both that fine and imprisonment.” “…that it shall be a crime, punishable as specified, for any person to willfully sell or give away as part of a commercial transaction, a live animal on any street, highway, public right-of-way, parking lot, carnival, or boardwalk, or to display or offer for sale, or display or offer to give away as part of a commercial transaction, a live animal if the act of selling or giving away the live animal is to occur on any street, highway, public right-of-way, parking lot, carnival, or boardwalk.”
We are still waiting…while animals are dying!