SmartyKat® Launches Into the World of ‘As Seen On TV’ with Feather Whirl™ Electronic Motion Toy
San Rafael, CA (May 28, 2014) – SmartyKat is building their brand and educating consumers on the many benefits of SmartyKat products by entering the world of “As Seen On TV” with its popular Feather Whirl electronic motion cat toy. The Feather Whirl spot will air in the fourth quarter to leverage the holiday gift giving season for pets.
“We’re looking forward to a very successful campaign.” said Kevin Fick, CEO of Worldwise, the makers of the SmartyKat Feather Whirl, “We anticipate a substantial in-store sales lift on the Feather Whirl and increased demand for our electronic SmartyKat and Petlinks cat toys across all channels of distribution as a result of our TV offering.”
The Feather Whirl has a whisper quiet motor and weighted base which together create erratic swooping and swirling movements that provide cats with hours of entertainment and exercise. The included teaser feather wand is securely attached to the base to prevent it from detaching during play. Consumers will also be able to purchase interchangeable wands that provide cats with playtime variety.
Worldwise has designed a variety of in-store displays with strong brand messaging and the familiar “As Seen On TV” logo. These point-of-purchase displays will support retailers during the TV campaign and allow them to share in the increased consumer demand that the Feather Whirl spot is anticipated to generate for this and all electronic SmartyKat and Petlinks cat toys.
About the company
SmartyKat is a leading brand of consumer pet products. By developing unique, high-quality products made from natural, recycled, reclaimed and certified organic material, and distributing them through the nation’s largest retailers, SmartyKat is changing consumer beliefs about the look, feel, price and performance of environmentally-responsible products. www.smartykat.com.
(Washington, D.C., August 6, 2014) The Cerulean Warbler—one of the Americas’ fastest-declining migratory birds—now has more protected wintering habitat in Ecuador, thanks to a cooperative effort by Fundación Jocotoco, American Bird Conservancy, March Conservation Fund, and World Land Trust that safeguards rain forest at elevations preferred by the species.
Ecuador’s Narupa Reserve now totals 1,871 acres, including a new 117-acre parcel within the reserve in addition to a recently acquired 90-acre adjacent property.
Situated in the province of Napo at elevations ranging from 3,300 to 5,250 feet, the reserve includes Andean foothill rain forest with a remarkable convergence of lowland and highland wildlife species. Narupa Reserve, which is named for an elegant species of palm, is in the buffer zone of the Sumaco Napo-Galeras National Park and Antisana Ecological Reserve, which together protect 833,000 acres ranging from humid foothill forest to high Andean grasslands.
“It was absolutely a team effort,” said Rocio Merino, Executive Director of Fundación Jocotoco. “With the generous help of our excellent partners, we can now celebrate another milestone in our efforts to grow this reserve that provides such a needed haven for birds and other wildlife.”
Dr. George Fenwick, President of ABC, added: “It has been an eight-year effort and much like Rome was not built in a day, neither is a great reserve. It takes time and perseverance. The progress our collaboration has been making gives us hope that the birds and other wildlife we are trying to protect will continue to be here for future generations.”
“Partnership is essential for lasting conservation success, and I am delighted that World Land Trust has played its part in this concerted effort to extend Narupa Reserve,” said John Burton, World Land Trust Chief Executive.
Fenwick added: “The value of this reserve lies in its connection to forests at higher and lower elevations, which will allow animals, including the Cerulean Warbler, to move freely up and down slope as forests cope with climate change.”
Flagship Species: The Cerulean Warbler
The flagship species for the reserve, the Cerulean Warbler, is among the most threatened migratory land birds wintering in South America. It was formerly one of the most abundant breeding warblers in the Ohio and Mississippi River Valleys. Overall, Cerulean Warbler numbers have plummeted by almost 70 percent since 1966. This elusive bird winters in the northern Andes, while it breeds from the Great Lakes region to Georgia, and west to Wisconsin and Louisiana, with concentrations in the Appalachians and Central Hardwoods region.
Both the Cerulean’s breeding and wintering habitat are being lost. The eastern slope of the Andes, where Narupa Reserve lies, is one of the most important wintering areas for the species in Ecuador. During the winter of 2010-11, surveys in the reserve revealed that Cerulean Warblers are present at higher densities than is normally the case for this typically scarce bird. Identification of this warbler’s core habitat on the wintering grounds is a major focus of ABC’s Migratory Bird Program and will lead to additional conservation activities such as this acquisition at Narupa Reserve.
While numerous threats have been documented within the warbler’s breeding range, it was not until 2003 that threats to its limited wintering grounds were highlighted by “Grupo Ceruleo,” a coalition of avian experts. Contrary to the traditional assumption that wintering habitat was widely available, the coalition discovered that the Cerulean Warbler is a habitat specialist, relying on a narrow belt of subtropical forests between 2,500-5,500 feet in sheltered river basins of inter-montane Andean valleys, and that deforestation has cleared many important areas for the species. What little subtropical forest survives remains at risk, particularly from the conversion of traditional coffee plantations that provided suitable warbler habitat to “sun coffee” plantations, devoid of the shade trees on which the birds rely.
Within the reserve, more than 300 bird species have been recorded, and the list is still increasing. In addition to the Cerulean Warbler, other migratory birds that travel between the United States and South America’s humid forests include Canada Warbler, Olive-sided Flycatcher, Western and Eastern Wood-Pewees, Swainson’s Thrush, and Blackburnian Warbler. Several threatened species are also found in the reserve, including Black Tinamou, Military Macaw, Coppery-chested Jacamar, and Foothill Elaenia.
Narupa: Protecting Precious Forests
Fundación Jocotoco (FJ) established Narupa Reserve at an initial size of 250 acres in 2006. FJ has managed and expanded the reserve since that time with support from March Conservation Fund and American Bird Conservancy. In 2012, ABC funded mapping work for Narupa that guided the present land acquisition.
FJ also completed construction of a guard house and camping platforms in 2013 through a grant from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS) Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Act. Additional support from FWS, Amos Butler Audubon Society, Elisha Mitchell Audubon Society, and Southern Wings (Missouri and Indiana Departments of Natural Resources) will fund forest guards to patrol the forest and monitor regeneration on recently acquired lands that were previously pasture or farmland.
The reserve was established to protect a large block of eastern Andean foothill forest that bridges the large national parks, Sumaco Napo-Galeras and Antisana, one of the largest expanses of protected land in this part of Ecuador. These forests are globally threatened and have been the focus of extensive deforestation, as the elevation is optimal for development and agriculture. As a result, mid-elevation forests are globally under-represented in protected area systems in all Andean countries.
A nearby road was recently paved, increasing the economic factors that drive deforestation. Among the greatest concerns is cultivation of naranjilla, a plant that exhausts forest soils within a few years, leading to that plot’s abandonment and more forest clearing.
Exploring a Surprising Reserve
Because Narupa Reserve is fairly new, much of it is still poorly explored. New and surprising findings occur regularly, and a final list of birds using the reserve may yet grow to nearly 400 species. The variety of tanagers, tyrant flycatchers, and hummingbirds found on the reserve is also remarkable. A notable rarity is the Orange-breasted Falcon, a pair of which has bred for some years on a cliff immediately adjacent to the reserve; this represents the only known nesting in Ecuador for this globally threatened falcon.
Through camera trapping and analysis of tracks, several large mammals of note have been detected including puma, ocelot, and Brazilian tapir.
In addition to the variety of birds, the reserve features an expanding network of trails, and a new footbridge over the Río Hollín now provides access to primary forest at higher elevations. A few feeders are also being established. The river itself, complete with an area for swimming, provides a welcome retreat from the forest and offers a unique experience among FJ reserves.
American Bird Conservancy is the Western Hemisphere's bird conservation specialist—the only organization with a single and steadfast commitment to achieving conservation results for native birds and their habitats throughout the Americas. With a focus on efficiency and working in partnership, we take on the toughest problems facing birds today, innovating and building on sound science to halt extinctions, protect habitats, eliminate threats, and build capacity for bird conservation.
Fundación Jocotoco was established in 1998 to protect the habitat of globally threatened species of birds in the Andes of Ecuador, together with all associated biodiversity. It also carries out habitat restoration of deforested areas for this purpose, and to date has planted well over 800,000 native trees and shrubs.
World Land Trust (WLT) is an international conservation charity, which protects the world’s most biologically important and threatened habitats acre by acre. Since its foundation in 1989, World Land Trust and its overseas project partners have been instrumental in the purchase and protection of over 500,000 acres of tropical forest and other threatened lands. WLT celebrates its 25th anniversary in 2014.
Hotel Resident Feline’s Annual Celebration This Year Benefits
Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals
NEW YORK (July 16, 2014) -- “Matilda & FURiends Salute Broadway” brings new meaning to the word catwalk, as The Algonquin’s famous house feline Matilda hosts her annual summer celebration with a cat fashion show and animal adoption event, benefitting the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals.
On Saturday, August 2, the MEWdels will be dressed to the nines (one for each of their lives). The hotel will also welcome special feline guests Tara the Hero Cat, famous this year for defending her human family’s son from an attacking neighborhood dog in Bakersfield, California (see viral video); and Vito Vincent, animal actor who starred last year in the role of “Cat” in the Broadway show, Breakfast at Tiffany’s.
Just outside the hotel’s front doors, the Mayor’s Alliance Adoption Van will be on site from 3:00pm-7:00pm for some very deserving kitties to find their forever homes.
A reception and Feline Fashions by Ada Nieves for Pets will take place from 5:00pm-7:30pm. For entry, a minimum $40 donation is requested for the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC Animals.
Matilda & FURiends Salute Broadway
CATurday, August 2, 2014
The Algonquin Hotel -- 59 West 44th Street, New York City
3:00pm-7:00pm Mayor’s Alliance Adoption Van on Site
5:00pm-7:30pm Reception & Feline Fashions by Ada Nieves for Pets ($40 donation)
Facebook: Matilda – The Algonquin Cat Twitter: @Algonqueen
About Matilda: The longstanding tradition of having a “house feline” at The Algonquin began in the 1930s, when hotel owner Frank Case took in a stray. The first seven Algonquin cats were males, all named Hamlet, while subsequent felines have been females, all named Matilda. The current Matilda has reigned since December 2010, welcoming guests at the Front Desk, while still maintaining her modest if slightly haughty style. She is a beautiful Ragdoll adult cat who never reveals her age.
Special thanks to event sponsors: jetBlue, QPG (Quaker Pet Group), CAT FANCY, Sergeant’s, Sturdi Products.
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The special grants program has provided $1.7 million to equine rescue groups across the U.S.
NEW YORK—The ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) today announced that it has granted over $1.7 million to equine rescue groups assisting retired racehorses since launching the ASPCA Rescuing Racers Initiative in 2010. A major grants program, the ASPCA Rescuing Racers Initiative aids in the rescue and rehabilitation of retired racehorses to save them from slaughter. The program repurposes the horses for other equine functions and gives them a new lease on life for events or pleasure riding. Now in its fifth year, this total includes this year’s grants: $250,000 to 25 equine rescue organizations as part of the 2014 ASPCA Rescuing Racers Initiative.
“The ASPCA Rescuing Racers Initiative began with an anonymous donation of $1 million, and we’ve been fortunate enough to carry on this much-needed grants program thanks to the continued generosity of that donor and many other animal advocates,” said Jacque Schultz, senior director of the ASPCA Equine Fund. “We’re grateful to have the resources to assist these rescues, which provide sanctuary and after-care to retired racers, saving them from ending up at livestock auctions and slaughterhouses.”
The organizations joining the list of rescues and sanctuaries as part of the ASPCA Rescuing Racers Initiative for 2014 are:
- Akindale Rehabilitation & Land Conservation, N.Y.
- Brook Hill Retirement Center for Horses, Va.
- CANTER, Mich.
- CANTER, OH
- Equine Outreach, Inc., Ore.
- The Exceller Fund, Ky.
- FL TRAC, Fla.
- Friends of Ferdinand, Ind.
- Hidden Acres TB Rescue, Fla.
- Hooved Animal HS, Ill.
- Kearney Area Community Fdtn/Double R ER, Neb.
- Kentucky Equine Humane Center, Ky.
- Makers Mark Secretariat Center, Ky.
- MidAtlantic Horse Rescue, Md.
- Neigh Savers Fdtn, Calif.
- New Vocations Racehorse Adoption Program, OH
- Red Bucket Equine Rescue, Calif.
- Rerun Inc., Va.
- Second Stride, N.Y.
- Southern California Thoroughbred Rescue, Calif.
- Standardbred Retirement Foundation, N.J.
- Thoroughbred Athletes, Okla.
- Thoroughbred Placement and Rescue, Md.
- United Pegasus Foundation, Calif.
The selected recipients include a wide range of equine rescues from 14 states, and will each be awarded a grant ranging from $1,500–$25,000. The grant funding helps the groups increase capacity for rescuing more horses and this year primarily focused on training and rehabilitation costs such as veterinary care, therapeutic shoeing, and boarding to recover from career-ending injuries.
“We received 45 applications this year – the highest number of applications to date – and with so many strong candidates, it was difficult to select recipients knowing that lives hang in the balance,” said Schultz. “We are thrilled to provide this opportunity to these rescues to help them in their work to transition ex-racers out of the racing stable and into someone’s show barn or farm paddock.”
“Rescuing is only the beginning,” said Susan Peirce, president and founder of Red Bucket Equine Rescue, one of the grant recipients. “With deep appreciation to the ASPCA Rescuing Racers Initiative, we will be able to continue to rescue, rehabilitate and train deserving equines.”
In 2013, the ASPCA awarded $1.4 million in grants to support equine rescues and sanctuaries in 43 states and the District of Columbia. The grants were primarily awarded as part of the ASPCA Equine Fund, which provides grants to non-profit equine welfare organizations in the U.S. for purposes in alignment with their efforts to protect horses. The grants program seeks to award equine organizations who strive to achieve best practices, including sound horse care, maintenance of updated websites and robust fundraising practices. Since 2008, the ASPCA Equine Fund has awarded a total of approximately $5.5 million to over 450 organizations.
The ASPCA has an extensive history of equine protection around the country and continues to assist domestic and wild horses through legislation, advocacy and targeted grants. To learn more about the ASPCA, please visit www.aspca.org.
About the ASPCA® Founded in 1866, the ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) is the first animal welfare organization in North America and serves as the nation’s leading voice for animals. More than two million supporters strong, the ASPCA’s mission is to provide effective means for the prevention of cruelty to animals throughout the United States. As a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation, the ASPCA is a national leader in the areas of anti-cruelty, community outreach and animal health services. For more information, please visit www.ASPCA.org, and be sure to follow the ASPCA on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.
TPR NEWS - July 12, 2014
1979, a Chicago disc jockey held a "disco demolition" between a baseball doubleheader at Comiskey Park. The second game was called off because so much damage had been done to the field. More than 50,000 fans packed the stadium that day. They say this event started the deline of disco.