From Emma Nutt to Girls Around the World

By Qin Sun Stubis

Girls grow up confidently these days, knowing they can do almost anything and everything boys do. They can scale mountains and become astronauts. They can design machines and become sea captains. And some day, one of them shall become the first female President of the United States.

But Emma Nutt lived in a different era. It was a time when women did not compete with men for jobs. Instead, they were taught to take care of household chores and groomed to become stay-at-home mothers. And, they learned to obey rules and their men.

Then Emma broke a taboo. She challenged America by becoming the first female telephone operator. And, she excelled. When her company realized how well she could do her job, it would soon hire many more other women. It all happened in Boston in 1878.

It was a story of an ordinary woman showing our nation her courage by stepping into the male job world, setting a milestone in gender equality and women’s rights. Now her daring feat is imprinted on our September calendar as National Emma Nutt Day.

As a girl growing up in China during the Cultural Revolution, I could have used Emma Nutt as a role model. Though I didn’t need to have my feet bound and mouth covered when I laughed, I was bound and gagged by many of our old cultural beliefs against girls.

In theory, I was taught by Mao, women were capable of holding up half of the sky, and men and women were equal; in reality, I was given a very clear message that girls were not important and valued. My paternal grandmother often hugged my boy cousin and rewarded him with candies while casting cold stares at me and making comments such as “Girls are only raised for other families.” I saw my mother cry when she was being bullied for not having any boys.

It was hard to grow up with confidence when I felt being a girl was a defect and I had to face rejection by my own extended family. “Mom,” my younger sister, Min, once comforted my mother when she was just five years old. “I’ll have a boy for you when I grow up.”

Thanks to many “Emmas” who have risen to challenges and faced prejudices, girls in America today don’t have to live like second-class citizens. They attend school, learn special skills and work side by side with men, whether on land, on the water, or in space.

Finally, we can feel great to be women in America and around the world. From Asia to Latin America, from the South Pacific to Northern Ireland, more and more girls can now grow and excel with confidence and pride, not just on Emma Nutt Day, but every day.

Qin is a longtime columnist at The Santa Monica Star (reprinted with permission)

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Hurricane! Keeping Yourself and Your Pets Safe

Tropical Storm Harvey is expected to become a Category 3 hurricane, threatening Texas and Louisiana with torrential rains, dangerous winds, and flooding. As it has done for 100 years, the American Humane Rescue team is standing by to help save and shelter animals in need. In the meantime, here are some potentially lifesaving tips from the team’s experts to keep yourself, your family, and your pets safe during a hurricane:

Before the storm

• Microchip pets or put a tag on their collar with your name, address and cellphone number so they may be returned quickly in case you are separated from your pets. Be sure that any microchip information is up-to-date.
• Tie down or anchor outside objects that might fly about and injure someone.
• Know a safe place where your pets can go if you need to evacuate or seek shelter. Evacuation destinations may include a friend or family member’s home, going to a pet-friendly hotel, or temporarily housing your pet(s) at a boarding facility. Plan multiple routes to your safe destination. Review your evacuation plan and double-check emergency supplies – including bowls, water and food.
• Evacuate your family and pets as early as you can and remember to take your disaster preparedness kit for your pets (i.e. First Aid kit, leashes, and pets’ carrying cases, bowls, sanitation materials, chew toy, minimum 3 days, ideally 7-10 days of food, meds, water, your veterinarian’s contact information, a photo of your pet).
• Bring pets inside; bring outdoor animals inside with a carrier ready large enough to turn around and lie down comfortably.
• Have a carrier at the ready. The portable carriers(s) should be large enough for your pets to stand-up and turn around in ready to go at a moment’s notice. Practice loading cats and dogs in pet carriers before you have to.
• If your family must evacuate, take your pets with you.

During the storm….if you cannot evacuate

• Choose a safe room for riding out the storm—an interior room without windows – and take your entire family there, including your pets.
• Stay with pets. If crated, they depend on you for food and water. Don’t leave pets in vehicles.
• Keep your emergency kit in that room with you (food, water, litter, meds, etc).
• Know your pet’s hiding places. That’s where they may run; keep them with you.
• Secure exits and cat doors so pets can’t escape into the storm.
• Do not tranquilize your pets. They’ll need their survival instincts should the storm require that.

After the storm

• Make sure the storm has fully passed before going outside and assess damages before allowing children or animals out.
• Keep dogs on a leash and cats in a carrier, and children close at hand. Displaced objects and fallen trees can disorient pets and sharp debris could harm them.
• Give pets time to become re-oriented. Familiar scents and landmarks may be altered and cause a pet to become confused or lost.
• Keep animals away from downed power lines and water that may be contaminated.
• Uncertainty and change in the environment affect animals, too, presenting new stresses and dangers. Your pet’s behavior may change after a crisis, becoming more aggressive or self-protective. Be sensitive to these changes and keep more room between them, other animals, children or strangers. Animals need comforting, too. Comfort your pet with kind words and lots of pats or hugs. If possible, provide a safe and quiet environment, even if it is not their own home.

About American Humane and the American Humane Rescue program

American Humane is the country’s first national humane organization, founded in 1877. For more information, please visit

The legendary American Humane Rescue program has been involved in nearly every major relief effort over the past 100 years, including World War I when they rescued wounded horses on the battlefields of Europe, the Great Ohio Flood of 1937, Pearl Harbor, Hurricane Katrina, the eruption at Mount Saint Helens, the terror attacks on 9/11, the Japanese earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster, Superstorm Sandy, the killer tornadoes in Joplin and Oklahoma, the Louisiana and West Virginia floods, and the Tennessee wildfires. The American Humane Rescue program has rescued more than 80,000 animals in just the past ten years alone.

For more information and tips, or to support American Humane Rescue’s efforts, visit or call 1-866-242-1877.

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Giant Gift of Hope Delivered to Louisiana’s Animals

A gigantic gift promising safer, healthier, and happier lives for animals throughout Louisiana rolled into Baton Rouge to gasps of awe, curiosity and, mostly, relief from pet owners.

One year after the disastrous floods that struck Louisiana and separated thousands of pets from their families, American Humane, the country’s first national humane organization and the first to serve animals in disasters, unveiled a giant 50-foot-long emergency rescue vehicle designed to provide help and hope to pets throughout Louisiana and the Southwestern United States in times of disasters.

Made possible through a remarkably generous donation from the Walmart Foundation as announced on the Ellen DeGeneres Show, the highly sophisticated rescue vehicle is the latest addition to the national American Humane Rescue program, which rescues and shelters animals in disasters and cruelty cases. The program began in 1916, rescuing and caring for 68,000 warhorses each month wounded on the battlefields of World War I, and has been part of every major disaster relief effort since, from Pearl Harbor to 9/11, Hurricane Katrina, the Moore, Oklahoma tornado, Superstorm Sandy, and the Louisiana floods.

“This new rescue vehicle is a major investment in the families and animals of Louisiana,” said Dr. Robin Ganzert, president and CEO of American Humane. “The newest member of our American Humane Rescue fleet is specifically designed and outfitted to provide a wide array of emergency services and will be staffed by four certified and specially trained responders, carrying supplies and equipment to shelter up to 100 animals. The vehicle will be dedicated to the region so it may respond to emergencies quickly in the entire area. This strengthening of our nation’s emergency operations is a gift to all those who live here, and we thank Ellen DeGeneres and the Walmart Foundation for this major resource to help the most vulnerable in times of need.”

In the wake of the 2016 Louisiana floods, American Humane rushed its rescue team, a veterinarian, and 60,000 pounds of equipment to Louisiana to assist hard-hit Livingston Parish, where 75 percent of the homes were reported to be destroyed. In addition, American Humane worked with Chicken Soup for the Soul to deliver 80,000 pounds of free food for the lost, frightened and hungry animals who have been displaced by the devastating flooding. Since then, American Humane has held four major emergency service trainings and has been providing hundreds of thousands of dollars in lifesaving support, training, and grants to help in the recovery of local Louisiana shelters that have done the most for area animals in the wake of the disaster, including St. Landry Parish Animal Control, City of Walker Animal Control, Dog People of Livingston, CATNIP Foundation at Big Sky Ranch, Companion Animal Rescue of Ascension, and the Companion Animal Rescue of Ascension. The team also spayed and neutered more than 1,200 local animals this year.

As its unveiled its new rescue truck at the East Baton Rouge Parish Animal Control and Rescue Center, American Humane delivered a major grant to the Purrs of Hope shelter – part of an effort to help the local animal shelters that did so much to help animals following last year’s deadly floods.

“American Humane has worked to help the animals of Louisiana many times,” said Dr. Ganzert. “Our deployment following Hurricane Katrina was the largest in our 140-year history and over the years we have continued to provide hope, help and healing to the animals here. We are pleased to be able to take a step toward better protecting the most vulnerable and keeping more four-legged family members safer during the next disaster.”

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Battle Buddies Reunited With Help of American Humane, Hallmark Channel and Hormel Foods

After being separated from his closest friend and battle buddy, Military Working Dog Rick, who bravely served for six years as an explosives detection dog protecting our troops in South Korea, was finally reunited with his handler U.S. Air Force Staff Sergeant Amanda Cubbage in an emotional reunion in Tucson near Davis-Monthan Air Force Base where SSgt Cubbage is now stationed.

The 7-year-old German Shepherd worked tirelessly to sniff out explosive devices in one of the most tense hotspots in the world, protecting the lives of U.S. soldiers. MWD Rick patrolled for bombs, VBIEDs (car bombs), performed security sweeps throughout the installation, searched the vehicles of important dignitaries, swept postal facilities, and swept the travel routes for EOD during bomb threats. SSgt Cubbage and MWD Rick did more than 30 explosives sweeps for distinguished visitors and military officials.

Helping Military Work Dog Rick—whose health has declined due to old age and years of demanding military duties—and other four-legged heroes retire on U.S. soil with their best friends is a top priority for American Humane, which joined with Hallmark Channel and Hormel Foods to bring Rick back from South Korea to the healthy, happy retirement he so richly deserves.

“Rick is my partner, friend, brother, and son,” said SSgt Cubbage. “I needed him more than anyone that isn’t a K9 handler would ever be able to understand. He was there for my happiest days in Korea and the saddest days that I ever had there. It broke my heart to leave him. Thank you for bringing my boy back.”

It is estimated that each military dog saves the lives of between 150 to 200 military service members. American Humane, the country’s first national humane organization, has been working to support the U.S. military, veterans, and military animals for more than 100 years. One of their many efforts is working to bring retired military dogs back to the United States and reconnect them with the people who care most about them – their former handlers.

“I had many days in Korea that I needed emotional support due to family issues in the States,” said Cubbage. “He helped me through missing my husband’s military retirement, family members being diagnosed with several health issues, and the loss of a friend in the line of duty. He was my support. He was there when my family couldn’t be.” They were so close, Cubbage even ended up taking photos with Rick as her date for the Air Force Ball (after sweeping it for bombs).

Despite the heroic service provided by America’s military dogs and the unbreakable bond between our two- and four-footed warriors, they don’t always end up with their battle buddies. Through its Lois Pope LIFE Center for Military Affairs, American Humane stepped in, and with the generous support of Hallmark Channel and Hormel Foods, sent one of its top veterinarians to South Korea’s Osan Air Base to pick up and escort MWD Rick back to the States.

“These heroes have served their country with valor, and saved the lives of our servicemen and women while risking their own,” said Dr. Robin Ganzert, president and CEO of American Humane. “It is essential that now we step up and do the right thing for these warriors so they can benefit from the remarkable bond that safeguards and connects them, not only in war, but in peace.”

“The relationship between a military working dog and its handler is as deep as the human-canine bond goes; they are inseparable in war and it’s only right that they be allowed to stay together on the other side of the battlefield,” said Bill Abbott, president and CEO, Crown Media Family Networks. “As part of Crown Media’s corporate pet initiative dedicated to emptying our nations’ shelters and celebrating the joy pets bring to our lives, we are incredibly honored to support American Humane’s efforts to ensure that these heroic partners, like Amanda and Rick, are reunited forever here at home.”

“Hormel Foods is inspired by those who serve and have served our country. This commitment is part of our history and who we are today,” said Jim Sheehan, chief financial officer and chairman of Hormel Foods veterans’ employee resource group. “We couldn’t be more proud to be part of this special day, and to support American Humane’s efforts to reunite service men and women and the animals that served our country. We thank Staff Sergeant Amanda Cubbage and her loyal companion Rick for their service – they have truly inspired us.”

“I couldn’t have been any happier than the day I got the email that I could bring him home forever,” said Cubbage. “I can’t wait to pick up where we left off. He was my buddy and I missed him each and every day. There is just something about having your partner finally home with you that can’t be explained. He deserves the life of ease and luxury that I will give him. He is a part of my heart that I will be able to get back. I need him as much as he needs me.”

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Simply Essentials Given Humane Seal for Treatment of Chickens

Simply Essentials has earned humane certification for the treatment of its chickens from American Humane, the country’s first national humane organization and the largest certifier of animal welfare in the world.

In order to qualify as an American Humane Certified™ producer, Simply Essentials had to meet the program’s rigorous standards, which include meeting some 200 science-based standards covering everything from adequate space to proper temperature, air quality and much more. In addition, they voluntarily agreed to undergo rigorous, yearly audits by professional auditors to ensure the standards are being implemented.

“Consumers are rightly demanding that the food on their plates is raised in line with their values,” said Dr. Robin Ganzert, president and CEO of American Humane. “By becoming an American Humane Certified producer, Simply Essentials helps assure their customers that the food on their plates was raised humanely under the science- and evidence-based protections established by American Humane. We applaud them for their extraordinary commitment to good animal welfare.”

“We are thrilled to have earned the American Humane Certification,” said Dennis Krause, CEO of Simply Essentials. “Today’s consumers are increasing their demand for great tasting proteins that are healthy, produced with an emphasis on increase environmental sustainability and, importantly, raised in a humane system. Simply Essentials was founded on providing consumers with authenticity and integrity they can rely on. We are proud to have our chicken products display the American Humane Certified seal.”

The American Humane Certified program is the nation’s first and largest farm animal welfare certification and audit program, developed by the organization to advance protections for farm animals and ensure they are raised and handled humanely. Independent, third-party audits cover more than 200 species-specific criteria which are rooted in the internationally accepted Five Freedoms of animal welfare. These science-based standards are set and regularly reviewed by an independent Scientific Advisory Committee of the nation’s top animal experts, animal behaviorists, veterinarians and animal advocates, including luminaries such as farm animal welfare pioneer Dr. Temple Grandin and Dr. Joy Mench.

For a full list of American Humane Certified producers and more information about the program and other American Humane initiatives, visit

For more information about Simply Essentials, please visit

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Farewell to a Hero

U.S. military hero dog Cena, a 9-year-old Black Labrador who served as a bomb detection dog in Afghanistan and saved the lives of his handler and uncounted other American warriors, ended his service to Mankind today after a battle he could not win with bone cancer. Cena died peacefully in the arms of his battle buddy, former United States Marine Corps Corporal Jeff DeYoung, at their home in Muskegon, Michigan.

The two first met during Improvised Detection Dog training in Virginia in July 2009. They were deployed to Afghanistan later that year and during their service together, the two were part of Operation Moshtarak in February 2010 that was the largest joint operation up to that point. Corporal DeYoung and Cena typically led the way as U.S. troops trudged through the rugged and treacherous sandscapes of Afghanistan. Cena was trained to detect more than 300 different types of explosives and if he smelled something suspicious on patrol he alerted DeYoung, who would then call in an explosives technician to safely remove or detonate the bomb.

Cena and DeYoung ate together, slept together, and fought together, forging a deep bond between them. “Once I laid down on top of him to protect him from gunfire,” said DeYoung. “I carried him through a freezing cold, flooded river on my shoulders.”

DeYoung’s protectiveness of Cena was repaid many times over. Each military dog is estimated to save the lives of between 150-200 servicemen and women during the course of their career, and one of those lives was DeYoung’s. Suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress and the recent loss of several close comrades in combat, DeYoung decided to take his own life. Cena intervened and saved his comrade from committing suicide.

Despite their seemingly unbreakable bond, Corporal DeYoung and Cena were separated unceremoniously without even the chance for a goodbye when DeYoung left military service and Cena continued working through three deployments. For four years, DeYoung suffered nightmares and flashbacks, missing Cena every single day. Finally, when Cena was retired for a hip injury, the two were brought back together in an emotional reunion made possible with the help of American Humane, the country’s first national humane organization, which has also been working to support the U.S. military, veterans, and military animals for more than 100 years. The reunion in 2014 was covered by media across the nation and Jeff and Cena’s story has been carried in hundreds of countries around the globe.

Since then, Corporal DeYoung and Cena have served as military ambassadors for American Humane, traveling around the country to raise awareness about the importance of reuniting service dogs with their handlers, and how the dogs can improve and save the lives of veterans with Post-Traumatic Stress.

“Military Working Dog Cena is a true American hero and an inspiring testament to the life-changing power of the human-animal bond,” said Dr. Robin Ganzert, president and CEO of American Humane. “He will be greatly missed by all those who knew and who owe their lives to him. His work and his example will live on in the memories of all who knew him and were touched by his story.”

“Cena was family to me,” said DeYoung. “It’s always been him and me against the world, and losing him has devastated me to my core. Goodbye, my most faithful friend. I will never forget you.”

About American Humane and its support of the U.S. military
American Humane is the country’s first national humane organization. The group began working with the U.S. military more than 100 years ago when they deployed to the battlefields of World War I Europe to rescue more than 68,000 wounded war horses every month. Following World War II they advanced the field of animal-assisted therapy to help returning veterans cope with the invisible wounds of war, and aided children of military families during their parents’ deployments. Through their Lois Pope LIFE Center for Military Affairs, American Humane has helped change the law to make sure we bring our military hero dogs home to U.S. soil when their service to our country is finished. They also work to provide veterans with lifesaving service dogs, reunite retired war dogs with their former handlers, and provide them with free specialized healthcare so they can enjoy the happy and healthy retirement they deserve.

To learn more about American Humane and all its lifesaving programs or to support their efforts, please visit

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Legislation Seeks More Healing Service Dogs for U.S. Veterans

American Humane, the country’s first national humane organization, which has been working to support the U.S. military, veterans, and military animals for more than 100 years, applauds the introduction of H.R. 3335, the “Pups for Patriots Act of 2017,” by Congressmen Gus Bilirakis (R-FL) and Henry Cuellar (D-TX). The bill directs the Department of Veterans Affairs to create a pilot program to provide more highly trained lifesaving service dogs to the nation’s veterans struggling to cope with Post-Traumatic Stress (PTS) and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), and establishes the requirement to adhere to national standards on the selection, training, and assessment of the service dogs.

“We thank Congressmen Bilirakis and Cuellar for working to serve those who serve our country by providing veterans with sufficient numbers of service dogs, rigorously trained using the first set of national standards developed by top experts from across the country,” said American Humane President and CEO Dr. Robin Ganzert. “The Pups for Patriots Act will get more healing leashes into the hands of America’s veterans in greatest need.”

As co-founders and co-chairs of the Caucus for the Humane Bond, Congressmen Bilirakis and Cuellar are committed to promoting life-changing and life-saving interactions between humans and animals, in particular between veterans and service dogs.

Every day 20 veterans take their own lives. Vast anecdotal evidence and a growing body of scientific research show that specialized service dogs offer support to affected veterans in managing the symptoms of PTS and TBI. However, there are obstacles standing in the way for veterans in need of service dogs. Waiting lists are unconscionably long at 18 to 24 months, and the training process is time-consuming and expensive, costing as much as $30,000 per dog.

“We must supply a greater number of better-trained service dogs more quickly to America’s veterans grappling with Post-Traumatic Stress and Traumatic Brain Injury,” said Dr. Ganzert. “The Pups for Patriots Act is a vital step forward in helping protect those who have given so much to protect us and our freedom.”

“Our veterans are some of the bravest men and women alive today,” said Congressman Cuellar. “It is our duty as Americans to provide these heroes with the support necessary to aid their adjustment back into everyday life. I thank Congressman Bilirakis for his support in helping to introduce this bill.”

“The benefits of service dog therapy can in some ways go beyond anything that comes in a pill bottle,” said Congressman Bilirakis. “Our legislation would help support service dog therapy as an alternative treatment by connecting the VA to the many qualified nonprofits nationwide who train and provide service dogs. Many of us have known the unconditional love dogs bring to our lives. This bond can do wonders to help our nation’s heroes as they deal with their invisible wounds.”

About American Humane
American Humane is the country’s first national humane organization, founded in 1877. American Humane began working with the U.S. military more than 100 years ago when they deployed to the battlefields of World War I Europe to rescue more than 68,000 wounded war horses every month. Following World War II they advanced the field of animal-assisted therapy to help returning veterans cope with the invisible wounds of war, and aided children of military families during their parents’ deployments. Recently, American Humane worked with lawmakers to strengthen U.S. law to ensure we bring our military working dogs home to U.S. soil when their service to our country is finished. They also work to reunite these four-footed warriors with their former handlers, and provide them with free specialized healthcare so they can enjoy the happy and healthy retirement they deserve. For more information, please visit

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