Can One Lion Wake the World?

I don’t know about you, but my own personal FB feed has been flooded with this story. And I can’t seem to let it go, it just cuts so deeply.

I am equal parts saddened, enraged, frustrated, and dumbfounded at the senselessness of it all. But I’m also encouraged and hopeful as a result of the international dialogue that has taken hold. Because the reality is that innocent animals just like Cecil are hunted every day – animals that just as much deserve to live. But for the most part, their deaths are nothing more than a blip on the radar of the animal rights movement. In my humble opinion Cecil’s murder is no more – and no less – worthy of tears than the lion in the photo circulating that Dr. Palmer killed on an earlier hunt, or of any other animal murdered for sport whether it be Cecil, or Simba, or Buddy or the hundreds of thousands of unnamed victims. To me, (and it would appear to many others), this is not merely condemnation over an “illegal” hunt, but about the hunt at all. A hunt where a trusting, gentle, innocent creature was intentionally lured outside protective boundaries to be mercilessly killed in an unfair match. Reportedly, Dr. Palmer…. deeply regrets that (his) pursuit of an activity (he) loves and practices responsibly and legally resulted in the taking of this lion. “I had no idea that the lion I took was a known, local favorite, was collared and part of a study until the end of the hunt”. Apparently, he would have preferred to have murdered and mutilated a lesser known lion. He just doesn’t get it.

Cecil’s death has struck a chord with so many, and in this moment, there provides a stage to elevate the debate on this topic and hopefully serve to move the world toward a more compassionate place. This is an age-old debate between hunters and animal rights activists – never before resonating with the mainstream public so profoundly. So if it takes the kind of fame and special connection that Cecil had to get the public riled up about the sick “sport” of game hunting, then let’s make the most of it. This horrific incident and the worldwide outrage that has ensued, could be the galvanizing force to pave the way for much-needed reform related to big game hunting and the protection of wildlife. As a visibly shaken Jimmy Kimmel so rightly urges, “… it is important to have some good come of this disgusting tragedy”.

There is something disturbingly twisted about a cowardly, rich, well-armed tourist hiring minions to help him feel powerful and mighty by pulling out his high-powered weapon to take the life of one of the world’s most revered, magnificent, powerful creatures. Qualities the hunter so desperately covets, yet will never attain. His merciless killing and then vulgar display of the severed head will only appeal to a select few. He’ll boast of his exploits and puff out his chest as he chuckles about the victim of his most recent conquest. His heartless friends will admire his skill and “courage” over stiff drinks. The corpse of the animal once a mighty King, will stare hollowly, eyes wide open, down an empty corridor – selfishly stolen from the world for the benefit of a few. Never again to grace the plains with his majesty. Never again to bring joy to the many who ventured far and wide in awe of Cecil, to observe and photograph him in his home. Never again to lead his pride and to protect his cubs. Never again to feel the earth under his feet, the sun on his back or take a breath of fresh air. Because of one man’s greed and vanity, an innocent life was cut short. All Cecil wanted was to be left alone.

As a staunch animal rights advocate, I feel it is my responsibility to continue to share information as it surfaces and engage people in this conversation so long as there is momentum around the situation and people are interested. We all know how fickle the general public can be. So for now, if this story moves you, please share it, talk about it, express your views, sign petitions. SCREAM for Cecil!! Do all you can to ensure that Cecil’s death was not in vain. So that there will be a time when public sentiment won’t stand for this type of callous killing and when poor African nations won’t be exploited and feel they must do deals with the devil in a vain attempt to generate income to fund conservation. Sacrificing a few to save the rest. It is time to ban the cruel and barbaric practice of trophy hunting. Keep this story alive until something changes for the better. It begs the question I saw posed earlier today – “Can one lion wake the world”?

I certainly hope so.

True honor, courage, dignity and admiration come so naturally to the innocent victim of this crime. I have to wonder if the perpetrator derives some level of perverted self-esteem from a misplaced ownership of these qualities by overpowering (unfairly, I might add), the most powerful “king of the jungle”.  Overcoming his own cowardice and insecurities by slaughtering a magnificent creature.

There is something to be said about the justice of how this story is playing out, about watching the tables turn. The irony of the “fearless hunter” becoming the hunted in the court of public opinion is certainly not lost on me.

Enjoy your moment in the spotlight, Walter Palmer. You’ve earned it.

Alex zerba - August 4, 2015 - 1:37 am

Well said. Let us never forget.

The City Came and Decided He Couldn’t Have His Dogs Anymore

There is an ordinance in place that says Robert Wade can’t have his dogs. Not because they’ve done anything wrong, but simply because they exist. Read that again, SIMPLY BECAUSE THEY EXIST.

Robert’s rescue dogs, Diamond and Molly, do not run loose. They have not bitten anyone nor shown any signs of aggression. They are loved and well-cared for, they are part of a family. But the City of Dayton, Kentucky has decided that Diamond and Molly must go – simply because of what they look like. Because they have “characteristics” that deem them unworthy of a loving family in the City of Dayton. Mayor Virgil Boruske has stated that he is just enforcing the law, stating “We’ve got to uphold the ordinance… They cannot be in town. I’m just doing what I’m supposed to do.” That law is “BSL” (Breed Specific Legislation), which has been proven time and time again to be an ineffective tool in doing anything except punishing loving owners and innocent dogs in a feeble attempt to avoid the underlying issues.

If a law has been proven ineffective in achieving its stated objectives, then I would expect responsible lawmakers to seek alternatives that actually serve to achieve their purpose – in this case, keeping their constituents safe

On May 16, 2012, the City Council in Cincinnati voted to repeal the city’s breed ban, following the historic repeal of a statewide breed discriminatory statute in Ohio, three months earlier.  Over the past two years, more than 100 municipalities across the USA have overturned bans and other restrictions that target dogs in the pit bull family, and opposition to BSL comes from sources as diverse as the American Bar Association, animal rescue groups, the Center for Disease Control and even President Barack Obama, who said in August that the laws are largely ineffective while doing nothing to improve public safety, and are often a “waste of public resources”. Nineteen states have passed laws to prevent local governments from passing breed-specific legislation, (with a handful more considering similar prohibitions), making it illegal for cities to pass bans targeting pit bulls or any other breed. The White House has chimed in, stating “Breed Specific Legislation is a bad idea… and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention agrees, “We don’t support breed-specific legislation — research shows that bans on certain types of dogs are largely ineffective and often a waste of public resources…As an alternative to breed-specific policies, the CDC recommends a community-based approach to prevent dog bites. And ultimately, we think that’s a much more promising way to build stronger communities of pets and pet owners.” With so many US communities increasingly ditching pit bull bans, I would hope that Dayton, KY, and the State of Kentucky, will follow suit.

BSL is based on the idea that breed restrictions of any kind will result in increased community safety, which they have never done, wherever they have been implemented around the country and across the globe. These regulations are also based on the discredited belief that one kind of dog is more likely to bite or injure a human being than another kind of dog. A report released in April 2012 by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), based upon an analysis of 40 years of dog bite studies from Europe and North America, affirms this.

If you want to ensure a safe dog environment in the community of Dayton, why not address the real issue and step up to do the work that is needed to facilitate a safe environment for your citizens. Deal with Dayton’s reported drug problems which historically go hand-in-hand with illicit and abusive behavior toward dogs. Ensure there are no backyard breeders in the community. Punish the irresponsible owners and make an example out of them, (not innocent dogs and responsible owners), when specific situations and incidents arise within Dayton city limits.

Do the hard work necessary to do the job right – BE AN EXAMPLE of what is possible when you take the time to implement positive change. People will notice. If bully breeds and mixes can serve in our schools, nursing homes, and hospitals as therapy and service dogs, then they certainly have a place in our communities. This legislation is outdated and discriminatory, and the ways it is being enforced in communities are barbaric – forcibly removing family pets from their loving homes, and in many cases, holding them in isolation pens and then killing them. Please take time to be the voice for these innocent dogs.  Call Mayor Boruske (859) 491-1600 and ask the hard questions, let the Dayton City Council know this law needs to be repealed and Robert Wade reunited with his dogs.

Here’s an idea, take it old school and write a respectful, passionate letter, tell your story of the dogs you love and how you would feel if someone took them away? Write those letters and send pictures to the Mayor and members of City Council at 514 Sixth Avenue, Dayton, KY 41074.


(Once you are on the ‘Meet your Council’ page, simply click the name below each photo to send a note to Mayor Boruske and Council Members.)

We can make a difference, because we are animal lovers.  PLEASE SHARE THIS POST ANY WAY YOU CAN!

Kayla - May 8, 2015 - 2:54 pm

A dog isn’t just a dog they are like children belittling them and taking them away
From someone who loves them unconditionally just cause of how they look is cruel. They look like complete sweethearts!!

Trina holloway - May 8, 2015 - 5:51 am

They are beautiful dogs. They deserve to stay at home with lots of love. I hope he gets them back. Ii would be devastated if that happened to me what a sin!

julie hennessey - May 8, 2015 - 1:40 am

Let the man keep his beautiful dogs!

alexis villarreal - May 7, 2015 - 10:28 pm

This is ridiculous. Because they exist?! I would much rather get rid of everyone who judges this breed without knowing them. If they have done nothing wrong there is absolutely NO reason to make him get rid of his dogs.

Trisha Olson - May 7, 2015 - 8:37 pm

That is completely ridiculous. The dogs have done nothing wrong. Looks like it’s time to get rid of the mayor. He seems like a waste of space.

hannah - May 7, 2015 - 6:03 pm

This is stupid I personally have a pit bull around my 4 month old every day by the name of Prince and he is nothing but a push over and will do anything for their family. That his how the breed got labeled as a nanny breed because all they do is love if raised right and the pit bull breed itself has less jaw strength then a Rot, so why ban a specific breed or what looks like the breed.

Suzanne Happ - May 7, 2015 - 4:29 am

are you kidding me. Let him Keep his dogs.

Victoria Vandenberg - May 7, 2015 - 1:08 am

All dogs deserve a good home no matter the “reputation”. My neighbor has one and he is the kindest most gentle dog. A life is a life.

Jade Millette - May 6, 2015 - 10:47 pm

BSL is total BULLSHIT, and this is the stupidest thing I have ever seen, when are people going to realise it’s not the dogs, it’s the owners who male them dangerous. I don’t see golden retrievers being banned, even though they are number 1 on the bitting list. Get your heads out of your asses people, seriously. They tried to make me get rid of my pit bulls once, there intimidating did not worked and I won my case. Being a dog is NOT a crime.

Carolyn - May 6, 2015 - 10:22 pm

I wish Dayton, KY would take the lead from this Texas community! As the article explains,”an incredible group of people saw beyond her humble start to life and her blocky-shaped head. Now Libby, the pitbull who survived death row (sadly, she’s the only one of her litter not to have been euthanized at the Texas animal shelter where they wound up as young pups in 2011), has persevered, fought stereotypes, discrimination and prejudice that all “pit bull looking dogs face), and against all odds, is becoming a Police Dog!


Angelica Massaroni - May 6, 2015 - 8:21 pm


Summer - May 6, 2015 - 4:16 pm

Its a control issue .. Its not that pit bulls are bad its that theres one mother fucker who thinks everything he says is right and everyone around the world knows its bullshit ..who ever is making these laws was raised as a selfish individual and raised wrong .. Animals are just like humans , treat them right and respect them and theyll grow up fine , give them love and show them theres no reason to be aggressive .. And they wont be

Emily - May 6, 2015 - 2:36 pm

Well this is very disappointing to say the least, and seems like they are using the law as a tool to bully people. How can we help? I am so tired of these small communities using this outdated and ineffective law to punish dog lovers and good, responsible owners. Will calling the Mayor help? I will certainly take the time to do that if it will help bring a change.

Stephanie - May 6, 2015 - 1:51 am

This isnt right. The dogs should not be taken away from their owner that loves them and treats them good. A good idea would be to focus their time on people that are being cruel to their animals not rescuing them. I have a pitbull and i know they are great dogs it has nothing to do with their breed but everything to do with how they are raised just like any human being. Pitbull are amazing dogs and this man deserves to be with his dogs. I truely hope he can be reunited with them again.

Sandi Taylor - May 5, 2015 - 9:10 pm

Banning specific breeds shows your level of ignorance. Look at the facts. Responsible pet owners have responsible pets. Open your eyes and do your job!

Gwendolyn Boone - May 5, 2015 - 3:08 pm

Shame on Kentucky and any other state that would rip apart a family. Our pets become like our children and it’s sickening that discredited beliefs are being used as fuel to control what other people do. Let this man have his dogs. And stop trying to control what breed of dog someone chooses to have, especially when they’ve done nothing wrong. I refuse to live somewhere that any governing body decides they can destroy my family.

Suzannah Gjerde - May 5, 2015 - 2:57 pm

Get on board, Dayton!

Debbie Frank - May 5, 2015 - 11:41 am

Unfair and ridiculous

Kerry Wilson - May 5, 2015 - 7:40 am

this so stupid . It’s not the breed, it’s the owners and these guys are more than fine . They’re happy .

Debbie Ross - May 5, 2015 - 4:14 am

Leave our pets alone! You passed this stupid ineffectual law, so you are also able to repeal it. No one breed is responsible for vicious dogs, except humans. If someone came after YOUR pet/family member due to a law that should never have been enacted to begin with, how would you feel? How would you explain it to your children?

Carolyn - May 4, 2015 - 4:47 pm

Julie, thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts. I encourage you to take a moment, if you haven’t done so already, to click on the “Speak Up” link at the bottom of this page and send a note to the lawmakers in Dayton, KY. Even simply cutting & pasting what you’ve already taken the time to write would be extremely effective. Thank you for caring!

Julie robers - May 4, 2015 - 4:43 pm

This is sad and foolish. At least in 2003 when the city of Cincinnati foolishly made bsl. They allowed us to grandfather our existing pets. My dog lulu is 14 now. a lovely and gentle member of our family. My children love her, as she does them. They have both been raised with Her. They are 6 And 11 now. People are the problem. This man clearly has loving pets. don’t allow your fear and misguided prejudice take his family from him.

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