Practical Issues > "To Do" Index > Activism
Protests Organizing Against Holley's Squirrel Slam

Official statement from Holley Fire Department ~ regarding Squirrel massacre... The Holley Fire Department supports the freedoms and rights of our citizens, protected by the government.

Our upcoming fundraiser has been in place for multiple years. We are diligent in making sure that all laws set by the State of New York are adhered to. Participants are licensed and are limited to the regulations of the state.

While we respect the opinions of the public, there are multiple opinions to every situation. As representatives of government, we have taken the opportunity to listen to all sides of this event and will continue to do so.

This event has shown to be successful for many years without a negative outcome to our community. Members of the community use the game gathered for food and for their pelts. Proceeds raised by the event are used to support the life and property saving efforts of the fire department.

The department has decided to proceed with our scheduled derby and raffle February 16. The Fire Company also hopes that citizens respect the freedoms and rights of those who choose to participate and support this event.

Posted to their website:

Your decision and justification for this event are beyond belief! Compassionate and caring people around the world have seen this as an example of out of touch Neanderthals who still thinking that killing living beings, because they are helpless animals, is OK!

SHAME! SHAME! SHAME! Times have changed, the world is evolving and clearly, senseless killing is off the table, or don't you follow the news? And what a disingenuous response to justify your hideous slaughter! " Members of the community use the game gathered for food and for their pelts. " Who in their right mind eats squirrels these days? and wears their pelts???? Stupid is as stupid does! It's time to evolve!

 ----- Original Message -----

 ~SOS: Save Our Shelter Animals: Like us on facebook!

 From: Please please share and write to end the mass squirrel slaughter for prizes in NY!


 The Holley New York Fire Department is holding a squirrel killing contest known as ‘Squirrel Slam’, a competition for children and their parents to senselessly shoot squirrels. Cash prizes will be awarded for… the biggest dead squirrels. I called the Fire Department at (585) 638-6884 to express my disapproval. I politely explained that this is not the image children should have of a fire department and suggested that rather than holding a competition to kill animals, they should host an event to raise money to save animals since they are in the business of saving lives. I encourage you to call as well. Thank you.

The event is scheduled for February 16th. There is still time to stop it.
UPDATE: Thank you all for your passion and concern. I just spoke with Holley, NY Fire Chief Hendrickson. He encouraged everyone to send an email via their website. He assured me the Board is reviewing all emails as they receive a CC. He told me they will consider not hosting the event depending on public feedback or not holding it again in the future. Please send an email via the link below:
Event contacts: Dennis Bauer (585) 794-3744
Wayne Moyer (585) 659-8063
Tina Reed (585) 331-3040
Holley, NY 14470

Also email the mayor of Holley:
As public pressure mounts, they may reverse course and decide it is not in their best interest to kill animals. If they cancel the event, the news media will likely cover the story, which will raise awareness about the importance of showing compassion for all animals. Let’s see if we can turn this incident into a positive for animals and the Fire Department.

Additional petitions and an FB event:

 To: Sent: Thursday, January 31, 2013 7:26 PM Subject: re: Squirrel Slam

 Dear Fire Chief Hendrickson,

 Mayor of Holley and Event organizers, What are you thinking? After the recent tragic events in Sandy Hook, Aurora, and so many other shootings that have stolen the lives of innocent children, and others, how could you even begin to consider that an event which is illustrative of ignorance, insensitivity and a depraved indifference to life (in this case the lives of innocent animals), would be an appropriate way to raise money for whatever cause or purpose? Studies indicate that animal cruelty is frequently a precursor and often accompanies violence toward people. It's time to wake up. As a society, we should be teaching our children compassion, concern for others and especially for the beautiful little creatures who bring so much joy into our lives, just because they are there.

 So many children want to grow up to be firemen, because they are our heroes. They SAVE lives! They are brave and care enough to risk their own lives. What message does a senseless massacre of squirrels send to children, who love all animals? As a teacher, I find the idea of a squirrel shoot to be appalling and antithetical to everything we teach as parents and humane educators who want children to value life, be it the life of a person or an animal.

 I urge you to act immediately to cancel this event. You have brought enough shame on your community as thanks to the internet, the news of this event has already circled the globe.

 Zelda Penzel, President
 People for the End of Animal Cruelty and Exploitation~PEACE NY, NY

on FEBRUARY 1, 2013 . 02/01/slamming_holley/#comments

HOLLEY-Friends of Animals (FoA), an international animal advocacy group
founded in New York in 1957, is descending on Holley, NY (in Orleans County
near Rochester) on Saturday, Feb. 16, outside the Holley Fire Department
from 3 to 6 p.m. to protest the town's annual "Squirrel Slam", a
squirrel-shooting contest for children and adults under the guise of raising
money for the Holley Fire Department.

"Holley officials are dead wrong in proceeding with this obscene killing
contest involving children as young as 12 - which offers cash and gun prizes
to participants who kill the heaviest squirrels," Edita Birnkrant, Friends
of Animals' New York director says.

"Firearms like an AR/22 Semi and other rifles will be raffled off as rewards
after dead squirrels are weighed at the Holley Fire Hall, 7 Thomas St. in
Holley, starting at 5 p.m. on Feb. 16th," Birnkrant adds.

"Squirrels are not shooting targets, and the NRA's brainwashing scheme to
indoctrinate children to seize guns - and then to create a spectacle of dead
animals for prize money and firearms is a disastrous, convoluted idea,"
Friends of Animals' President Priscilla Feral says.

Local groups, Animal Advocates of Western New York, and Animal Rights
Activists of Upstate New York will join the demonstration to raise the
conscience of people inside and outside the Holley community, FoA reports.

A national conversation on gun violence is happening now in our country, and
killing contests such as Holley's "Squirrel Slam" subvert a civilized human
culture - brainwashing children to think guns are cool and that terrorizing
and killing animals is a fun, rewarded activity, FoA says.

Birnkrant said Friends of Animals asked Holley officials to cancel the
squirrel-killing contest, while thousands of people across the country
signed petitions, sent e-mail messages and called the Fire Chief and Mayor
to object to the event.

The fire company has so far refused to cancel the event.

"On Feb. 16, Holley will be filled with animal advocates who believe that
violent, regressive events like the 'Squirrel Slam' need to bite the dust,"
Birnkrant says. "There are plenty of creative, entertaining ways to raise
monies that don't involve prompting children to kill animals with guns."

Regular access to The North Country Gazette is available by subscription
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right of this article. Complimentary subscriptions are provided to all
advertisers and sponsors. For more information contact

Edita Birnkrant
NY Director
Friends of Animals
1841 Broadway, Suite 350
New York, NY 10023

Phone: 212.247.8120
Fax: 212.582.4482

Web site:

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