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Feeling Isolated? Video Chat with a Puppy!

One non-profit is bringing the joy of live animals straight to your home with virtual pet visits. The Animal Farm Foundation recently launched a free virtual pet visit program called Pets Together.

The program aims to brighten spirits amid the isolation and loneliness brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. Video chats with puppies are just the beginning!

Kyle Hanson / via Unsplash / Unsplash

 “We designed Pets Together to adapt to these unprecedented circumstances by tapping into the power of pets to spread joy and bring people together.”

Stacey Coleman, AAF executive director, via T&L

Animal Farm Foundation is a New York based non-profit organization committed to helping people connect with animals. The Pets Together program does this with video conferencing software like Zoom, Skype, and Google Hangouts. You can book a virtual pet visit or donate at petstogether.org.

The virtual visit program is currently only open to nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and certain other group settings. The program is also accepting requests for live pet visits to medical professionals and others on the front lines of the pandemic.

Solving Social Isolation

Social isolation and loneliness can have a serious negative influence on your health. The negative effects are even greater on the elderly and those with pre-existing conditions. Virtual visits from dogs, cats, cows, and horses can be uplifting and even therapeutic.

Ryan Stone / via Unsplash / Unsplash

The Pets Together program is helping many people get social interactions that are hard to come by during the pandemic. A valuable mental health service provided free of cost is exactly the support people need right now. So, next time you are feeling lonely just remember there’s a puppy out there waiting to video chat with you!

For more information on the program, visit PetsTogether.org.

See how people and organizations are stepping up during the pandemic, straight from The Beaks.


How Ending Wildlife Trade Can Prevent Pandemics

Over the past 40 years, the most devastating pandemics have all come from animal origin but nobody seems to talk about reforming wildlife trade….until now.

Toby Prin via Pixabay

The Center for Biological Diversity and the Natural Resources Defense Council released an action plan detailing steps to end wildlife trade in the US. The plan includes four categories of actions that they believe should be implemented by Congress and federal agencies.

  • Lead a global crackdown on wildlife trade;
  • Strengthen U.S. conservation laws to fight wildlife trade;
  • Invest $10 billion in U.S. and global capacity to stop wildlife trade, while helping communities transition to alternative livelihoods; and
  • Resume the U.S. position as a global leader in international wildlife conservation.

A Global Problem

According to WAN, worldwide there are 224 Million live animals traded each year. The United States is a major contributor to this and can even be a hotspot for illegal animal trade. When ending wildlife trade is made a priority in the US, many other countries will follow suit.

Conservation organizations have always opposed wildlife trade because it is a major threat to biodiversity, but now its also a health threat.

Approximately one-quarter of human deaths worldwide are caused by infectious diseases. Of those, 60% are considered zoonotic — meaning they jump from other animals to people — and more than 70% originate with wildlife.

End Wildlife Trade Action Plan
Long-tailed pangolin (M. tetradactyla) by Brett Hartl / Center for Biological Diversity.

Hope For The Future

As a global community, we can prevent future pandemics such as HIV, SARS, and COVID-19, but we have to act. Ending wildlife trade could be the best way to keep the public and our wildlife safe. Take action by contacting Congress to express your support for the action plan! The Center for Biological Diversity provides an online tool to help you contact Congress.

Click here to learn how robotic sea-life can end animal captivity in aquariums.

Check TheBeaks.com for the latest news on conservation, charities, and more!


Arctics’ Largest Ozone Hole Closes

Scientists with the Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service (CAMS) recently announced their observations of the Arctic Ozone layer via Twitter.

A record setting hole in the arctic ozone layer formed earlier this month according to The Independent. Holes in the ozone layer cause the suns harmful radiation to penetrate the earths’ atmosphere and can accelerate the process of global warming.

Peter Fischer / via Pixabay / Pixabay

Ozone layer holes around the arctic and antarctic are actually usual occurrences. When freezing temperatures are brought on by the changing seasons the ozone layer is more likely to be damaged by chlorofluorocarbons(CFCs). The recent record breaking arctic ozone hole was brought on by one unusually strong polar vortex earlier this month, according to CAMS.

“Although it looks like the polar vortex has not quite come to an end yet and will reform in the next few days, ozone values will not go back to the very low levels seen earlier in April”

CAMS Twitter

The positive news about the arctic ozone layer comes after years of environmental efforts and regulations from countries and organizations around the globe. The ban on CFCs years ago has allowed the ozone layer to slowly recover, much more still needs to be done.

Coco Parisienne / via Pixabay / Pixabay

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a highly reduced rate of human pollution to the environment but when CAMS was asked if lock-downs have contributed to the closure of the ozone hole , they said,

“This Arctic ozone hole actually has nothing to do with coronavirus-related lockdowns, but rather was caused by an unusually strong and long-lived polar vortex.”

CAMS via Independent

Hopefully the closing of this arctic ozone hole is a sign that the people of this planet are finally taking environmentalism seriously.

What are your ideas for reducing your carbon footprint? Comment below!

How Ending Wildlife Trade Can Prevent Pandemics

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Arctics’ Largest Ozone Hole Closes

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