- PRINT the DECAL at this link: decal-for-the-love-of-dog-nowolfcull
- Take a selfie with your dog- AKA Wolf descendant. (Or have someone else take the photo).
- Share your SELFIE with Wolf Awareness on Instagram, Twitter, & Facebook.
- Share it with your friends and family, and let them know they can print their own sign from the link above
- Why not ALSO show your local, provincial, and federal representatives HOW YOU FEEL about prioritizing compassionate conservation, ecological integrity, and the welfare of all sentient beings; INCLUDING wolves!
- Display the sign somewhere prominent so this important dialogue continues until wolf kill programs are stopped permanently.
Anyone who shares their life with a dog knows that these animals experience a wide range of emotions, thoughts and sensations that include love, suffering, happiness, fear, joy and pain. With the help of animal welfare organizations such as the SPCA, municipalities across the country have established basic bylaws against cruelty to domestic animals and the vast majority of public are strongly against unjust practices such as puppy mills. There are now fines for people who leave their dog in a hot vehicle, and rightfully so. There are even heated debates surrounding the use of electric shock collars when training dogs.
World-renowned large carnivore expert Dr. Paul Paquet has described dogs as “the wolf in your living room”. Genetically, dogs are grey wolves, save for a difference of about 0.2% mitochondrial DNA. Dogs and wolves are extremely close relatives. Many biologists disagree with Western Canada’s ruthless massacring of wolves, ancestor to all dogs and one of Nature’s greatest achievements. Why do we silently condone this harmful mismanagement?
Wildlife management policies in British Columbia and Alberta treat wolves like vermin. Allowable killing seasons are long (sometimes year-round), reporting of kills is often not mandatory, and killing methods such as bait stations are highly questioned for their morality. Current actions also include shooting wolves from an aircraft after chasing them down, strangling wolves to death using neck snares, and allowing the killing of pups and/or nursing mothers. In Alberta wolves (and coyotes) are subject to slow and excruciating death through the extremely dangerous poisons Strychnine and Compound 1080.
It is true that both Alberta and BC governments have a long history of brutality towards wild canids. Yet it is beyond time that we stop condoning these massacres in the name of wildlife “management”. There is more than irony involved when comparing current wolf management policies to domestic animal cruelty bylaws and accepted societal actions – clearly, there is hypocrisy.
In 2011 BC faced a moral blow when learning of the execution-style killing of 100 sled dogs in Whistler. All of Canada felt sickened with the event. Many asked the questions: What kind of person would do that? Who could sanction the cruelty these animals faced? Who could murder them?
These are important questions for every level of society. Indeed, even former BC Premier Gordon Campbell spoke of the Whistler occurrence as being tragic and disturbing.
Most dog-lovers know that their trusted companions are the living descendants of wild wolves, Canis lupus. It is often traits that have been inherited from wolves that we love the most in our canine friends; playfulness, loyalty, strong social bonding, protection, assistance in hunting, empathy, and more. Not including mongrels, mixes, or crosses, there are around four hundred recognized pure breeds of dogs that currently exist and they all have one common ancestor: the wolf.
While dogs are defended vehemently each time they mistakenly step into a baited trap, a local resident can bait, trap or shoot a wolf nearly every single day of the year in Alberta or BC. Many wolves and coyotes are killed and piled in high stacks during killing contests, legal events that wildlife authorities excuse and overlook. Although nearly one thousand wolves are killed in each province annually through hunting and trapping, no one claims to eat wolves. Many areas have no restrictions, or limits, on the number of wolves allowed to be killed. In Alberta, wolves are also subjected to prolonged and widespread suffering before death when they ingest either Strychnine or Compound 1080, reckless poisons that have no place on a natural landscape and can bring suffering and death to everything sharing a food chain. They are also wrongly killed for financial incentives in areas of Alberta hosting bounty programs, although this is known to be an ineffective management practice.
Animal behaviourist Dr. Marc Bekoff often asks people to pose the following question when considering the ethics behind an action: “Would you do it to your dog?”
Many people often wonder why he asks this questions or squirm when he does, and in most cases, the answer to this question provides a strong moral compass. If you won’t do it to your dog, why do you allow it to be done to other sentient beings? Why do we spend millions of dollars on puppy food and yet subject wolves that remain in the wild remnants of these provinces to a bloodbath? Haven’t we deceived our children long enough?
The following questions arise;
Will enough of us speak up to stop the suffering? Will we put an end to reactionary and ineffective killing programs? Will Wildlife Management stop ignoring contemporary science in regards of wolf social dynamics; ecological roles; habitat requirements; and conflict prevention. Will we stop practicing wolf kill programs and start preserving intact families of wolves. Ultimately: Will we allow wolves to be wolves?
Why not show the wolf in your living room how much you appreciate and respect their social nature, fascinating characteristics and wild ancestry. Wild wolves need all the help they can get from the guardians of their domestic canid-cousins.
This article appeared in the 2016 Summer issue of Pet Magazine, as well as our spring newsletter. HOWLS of gratitude to Pet Magazine for their help in spreading compassion for animals and awareness!
ADD YOUR VOICE!!! Contacting your local MLA and asking them to raise the issue at the provincial level is one of the best ways to provoke change.
Consider including your local editor and/or other newspapers too.
Here are some other relevant contacts that influence these decisions:
The Honourable Christy Clark, Premier
PO Box 9041, Stn Prov Govt Victoria, BC V8W 9E1
Phone: 250 387-1715 Email: Premier@gov.bc.ca
The Honourable Minister Steve Thomson, Sustainable Resource Development
PO Box 9049, Stn Prov Govt Victoria, BC V8W 9E2
Phone: 250-387-6240 Email: FLNR.Minister@gov.bc.ca
The Honourable Mary Polak, Minister of Environment,
PO Box 9339 Stn Prov Govt Victoria BC V8W9M1
Phone: 250 387-9870 Email:ENV.Minister@gov.bc.ca
NDP FLNR Critic and Harry Baines
George Heyman, NDP Environment critic
Green Party Leader Andrew Weaver
The Honourable Rachel Notley, Premier
Executive Branch 307 Legislative Building, 10800 97 Avenue Edmonton, AB T5K 2B6
Phone: 780 427-2251 Email: Premier@gov.ab.ca
The Honourable Shannon Phillips, Minister of Environment and Parks
Executive Branch 208 Legislature Building 10800 – 97 Avenue Edmonton, AB T5K 2B6
Phone: 780 427-2391 E-mail: email@example.com
Deputy Minister Bill Werry
Environment and Sustainable Resource Development
915 – 108 Street Edmonton, AB T5K 2G8
Phone: (780) 427-1799 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Travis Ripley Executive Director Fish and Wildlife Policy Branch
Environment and Parks 2nd fl Great West Life Building
9920 – 108 Street Edmonton, AB T5K 2M4
Phone: 780 427-7763 E-mail: email@example.com
Sue Cotterill ,Section Head Species at Risk, Non-Game and Wildlife Disease Policy Environment and Parks
2nd fl Great West Life Building 9920 – 108 Street
Edmonton, AB T5K 2M4
Phone: 780 422-9535 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org