It’s always a sad day when a great organization makes a bad decision. We know that it happens everyday because organizations are run by individuals and individuals are only human. None-the-less it takes other individuals to make change. I hope you will join me in writing and calling The Little Red Dog, an organization based out of Laguna Hills, CA, to tell them a balloon release event is not acceptable.
The Little Red Dog has a mission that I stand behind with all my heart. They claim the following:
Dogs are man’s best friend, but it is not always the other way
around. The Little Red Dog was founded in memory of a little red American Pit Bull Terrier who did not make it. If you are familiar with the Michael Vick dog fighting case chronicled in The Lost Dogs: Michael Vick’s Dogs and Their Tale of Rescue and Redemption. The Little Red Dog was brutally beaten to death by Vick and his cronies because she had the audacity to not to want to fight.
The Little Red Dog fights for all the dogs, red, blue, tan, white, brown, black and all colors in between. We do not discriminate against ANY breed; that’s because we are a real rescue, and we will help as many animals as we can. Our primary goal is to get them into loving homes. Our hope that some day all of
them make it out, but most of all, we will never forget the Little Red Dog and many others who did not.
I was living in Richmond, VA when Michael Vick was arrested and taken to trial. I value the efforts of all those who tried to rescue the dogs victimized by Vick and his dog fighting ring. None-the-less one right doesn’t cover a wrong.
On August 2nd at the organization’s Founder’s Day event they plan to sale biodegradable balloons for $5 to be released into the air by participants. This is wrong!
This is an event hosted by an animal rescue organizations that take on kill shelters, but now are participating in an activity that can kill countless marine life from fish and turtle to birds and other animal life.
As I explained an in email to the organization I support their mission with all my heart as an animal lover, owner of two beautiful dogs (one of which I rescued this year) and a supporter of no kill shelter. With that said I do not understand how an organization that doesn’t believe in harming, endangering or killing innocent animals would participate in a balloon release endangering marine wildlife.
With an organization having many dogs waiting to be loved and all of the dogs are said to have recently been rescued from kill shelters across Southern California (according to their website) I feel that the organization should care about the well-being of all animals and not just a select handful of dogs, as important as it is for them to be rescued?
I appreciate that The Little Red Dog has let it be known that they will not be using plastic or rubber balloons and do not wish to harm the environment.
Too bad they still will be harming the environment. Using “biodegradable” balloons doesn’t erase the problem you are creating. They don’t disappear overnight. Not to mention if you have ribbons or any plastic clips to close the balloons those also pose significant risk to marine life and birds.
To help The Little Red Dog straighten out their priorities, I strongly suggest they read the article “Plastics and Their Impacts in the Marine Environment” by Anthony L. Andrady, Program Manager and Senior Research Scientist, Chemistry and Life Sciences Division, Research Triangle Institute, North Carolina. He states:
“Latex rubber balloons are an important category of product in the marine environment. Promotional releases of balloons that descend into the sea pose a serious ingestion and/or entanglement hazard to marine animals. Based on the fairly on the fairly rapid disintegration of balloons on exposure to sunlight in air, the expectation is that balloons do not pose a particular significant problem. In an experiment carried out in North Carolina it was observed that balloons exposed floating in seawater deteriorated much slower than those exposed in air, and even after 12 months of exposure still retained their elasticity.”
Biodegradable doesn’t mean the materials vanish overnight. By releasing balloons into the air this nonprofit organization is trying to good but is actually doing a very bad thing. There are a hundred ways to remember those animals that may have passed away or to make a statement for your organization. Try bubbles for instance!
I have a lot of experience in the area of events like this and if you need help brainstorming last minute alternatives I would go as far as offering my help.
I, in good conscious, could never support this organization as long as it aligns itself with such reckless actions. I will also ask my friends, family and social networks to spread the word of this potentially horrible event that threatens our coastal animal life.
To let The Little Red Dog know that you are against the balloon release write firstname.lastname@example.org or call 949-378-6103. There is also a contact form that can be found on their website here: http://thelittlereddog.com/contact.