I am proud to share this update about the latest work of the Gregory J. Reiter Memorial Fund, which promotes animal rescue, vegan, and wildlife conservation causes that Greg and I supported together during his life.
During January-March 2018, the Greg Fund made grants to the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) Community Animal Project and Cruelty in Horse Racing Campaign, the White Coat Waste Project (WCW), and Food for Thought–A Program of Animal Place, continuing partnerships started in 2016 and 2017.
As I shared in the Greg Fund blog post “Saving a Monkey Named Gregory,”WCW scored a major victory on January 26, when Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Scott Gottlieb announced the permanent cessation of nicotine tests that caused four squirrel monkeys to die. WCW’s campaign to end these experiments had been endorsed by Dr. Jane Goodall and many U.S. Congresspeople. Now, with Rep. Dina Titus (D-NV) and others, WCW is working to send to sanctuary the surviving monkeys – including a 7-year-old named Gregory. (See the New York Times: “Citing Deaths of Lab Monkeys, F.D.A. Ends an Addiction Study”.) WCW also celebrated another big win for animals on March 22, when the final 2018 federal spending bill included language it had proposed that de-funds dog testing at the U.S. Department of Veterans’ Affairs (VA). (See the Military Times: “Budget act also addresses strip clubs, base closings, VA dog experiments, more”.)
Over at PETA, on March 7 the Cruelty in Horseracing Campaign filed a landmark lawsuit through which a harness-racing bettor seeks compensation for winnings he believes he lost after a doped horse won a New Jersey race. PETA aims through this lawsuit to open the gates for more bettor litigation, which would in turn curtail the widespread horse doping that results in deaths and injuries. (See USA Today: “Bettor sues harness-racing trainer for loss linked to doping”.) Meanwhile,the New York Racing Association just introduced a new technology proposed by PETA, through which racetrack bettors can contribute a portion of their winnings to care for retired Thoroughbreds, meaning fewer horses sold at auction and sent to slaughter in Canada or Mexico. (See “PETA-Proposed Technology Will Spare Horses Used for Racing”.)
PETA’s Community Animal Project (CAP), the primary recipient of Greg Fund grants, has continued fighting for animals not only through hands-on work in low-income communities around its Norfolk, Virginia headquarters, but also in the halls of the Virginia legislature. During January-March 2018, CAP’s many services included sterilizing 3,001 animals through its mobile spay/neuter clinics, and delivering doghouses and straw bedding to hundreds of outdoor dogs to help protect them against frigid temperatures. Meanwhile at the State Capitol in Richmond, PETA worked with more than two dozen members of the State Senate and House of Delegates on a bill to restrict dog tethering in extreme weather. Although the bill did not move to the Governor’s desk this year, it did pass the Senate–paving the way for fresh legislative work in 2019. (See PETA’s Local Quarterly Report: January-March 2018.)
Also this quarter, the California-based Animal Place Food for Thought program brought in twenty new organizational participants. Twelve of these organizations adopted new board-approved vegan or vegetarian policies for their events, to both reduce animal suffering and protect wildlife and the environment. An additional eight organizations with existing policies formally endorsed the program, making a total of over 330 endorsers from across North America. The program was described in the January 28 NPR piece “Helping Farmed Animals: High Impact Rescue.”
Much more work is in progress at these and other organizations which the Greg Fund supports. Stay tuned!