Animal Welfare Groups Celebrate the End of the Circus

Animal Legal Defense Fund pic
Animal Legal Defense Fund

Law student Maral Cavner plans to use her forthcoming legal credential in the field of animal law. A dedicated animal lover, Maral Cavner has already made great strides helping companion animals through her work at the Route 66 No-Kill Shelter, and she is an advocate for the freedom and well-being of animals everywhere.

The Animal Legal Defense Fund, the Humane Society, and other animal welfare organizations are eagerly awaiting the end of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus performances, which will conclude in May 2017.

Animal lovers have been increasingly critical of the circus for decades, as allegations of abuse and reports of animal deaths stacked up. In particular, the 1998 death of an elephant named Kenny sparked widespread discussion of the role of elephants in entertainment.

In more recent months, cities and states across the nation began to ban the use of bull hooks on elephants. Ringling announced its refusal to bring the circus to cities with such bans, and regulatory and economic pressures contributed to dropping ticket sales, forcing the circus to close after 146 years.


Three More Successful Gray Seal Rescues for the IFAW

International Fund for Animal Welfare pic
International Fund for Animal Welfare

Maral Cavner, a founding member of Route 66 Rescue Inc., a no-kill animal shelter in Missouri, is currently studying to become a lawyer. After she receives her law degree, Maral Cavner intends to go into animal law and protect animal rights. As part of her personal and professional commitment to animal welfare, she carefully follows the latest developments around the nation.

The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) has developed an effective system for rescuing gray seals from entanglements in recent years. Entrapments in aquatic hazards are responsible for the deaths of 75 gray seals a year in the United States alone. When a gray seal becomes caught in a net or other obstacle, researchers track it and sedate it with a special dart. This requires great care, as seals often swim close enough to touch one another. Each dart emits a signal, allowing rescuers to track the animal as it begins to grow drowsy.

It takes about 10 minutes to fully sedate a 200- to 280-pound gray seal. Rescuers move in quickly, using special nets to safely lift the seal into a boat. Over the next 45 minutes, they remove the entanglement, treat any wounds, and attach a tag so they can track the animal and follow up later.

This technique, developed over years, has led to an increase in seal rescues recently. Rescuers were able to save three seals in three days during October of 2016, a new feat for IFAW teams. The organization hopes to refine the procedure even further in the near future and would like to be able to save more than one seal per day.

Donating Your Vehicle to Teen Challenge

Teen Challenge pic
Teen Challenge

Maral Cavner attended Emory University, where she attained her bachelor’s degree in sociology with highest honors. Since 2011, Maral Cavner has also served as an executive board member for Teen Challenge, a nonprofit organization offering young people a new chance at freedom from life-controlling problems, like addiction.

As a nonprofit, Teen Challenge relies heavily on donations to meet its financial needs. One of the ways you can help is through donating a vehicle to the organization.

Teen Challenge works with a company called Insurance Auto Auction to collect donated vehicles from donors. After filling out the online form or calling the company, you can request a vehicle pick-up and thus not have to worry about the cost of transporting the automobile.

The vehicle you donate can be in any condition, drivable or otherwise. You will, however, need to provide a clear vehicle title upon donation. Once donated, your vehicle will be sold and you will receive a receipt in the mail to keep for your tax records.

To learn more about Teen Challenge and other ways to help, visit