ANIMAL RIGHTS: An Adventure at City Council

Proverbs 31:8 says “Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves…”

With a deep respect for this verse, Charissa and I joined twenty or so other citizens and demonstrators at City Hall tonight for a city council meeting. We were there to support our voiceless friends the prairie dogs.

Okay, so prairie dogs might not be at the top of your activist list, but I think it was good for us to go.

The city has been killing prairie dogs in “natural open space lands,” not just around housing areas in the city.

It is believed that they are being killed because (a) they pose a health threat to humans by carrying the plague, (b) the city wants to plant prairie grass to form native habitats and the animals just eat it, (c) there aren’t enough natural predators to keep their numbers down, and (d) relocation is expensive and there are limited alternative locations.

Our arguments were (a) only 1 person has died from the plague from prairie dogs in the past 50 years, (b) the few cases of non-fatal plague contraction from prairie dogs were from close and/or extended contact, (c) prairie dogs don’t kill people, their flees do, and insecticides (though I hate them also) are a better way to deal with that specific threat, (d) prairie dogs are as native as prairie grass, (e) we like prairie dogs more than grass, (f) without prairie dogs, other predator species such as fox, hawks, and coyotes will disappear as well, and (g) chasing the animals into their homes, fumigating them, and covering the holes so they can’t get out is cruel.

No one was arrested.



  1. Way to go! Thanks for sticking up for the little guys. They are still considered pests even though they have been exterminated from 98% of their former range. Some people have even suggested that they be on the endangered species list as a threatened species. The black-footed ferret nearly went extinct because, among other reasons, they prey primarily on prairie dogs and substantial coterie to survive. Prairie dogs also feed snakes and birds of prey and many other preditors. Prairie dogs also fill an important role in the prairie ecosystem as the turn the soil and provide holes for many other species to live in. “Studies have identified over 140 species of wildlife associated with prairie dogs towns. Many of these are declining, threatened or endangered species such as the burrowing owl, golden eagle, prairie falcon, ferruginous hawk, mountain plover, swift fox, and of course, the black-footed ferret. The survival of the black-footed ferret is inextricably linked to the survival of the prairie dog.”

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