The Holley Fire Department�s 7th annual Hazzard County Squirrel Slam
began early Saturday morning with 1,000 registrants in two-person teams set
out to bag the heaviest squirrels. The event, which sold out at 200 tickets
last year, expanded to 1,000 this year
and sold out again. Prizes ranging between $50 and $200 will be awarded
to the first-, second- and third-place teams, as well the team to bag the
single heaviest squirrel. A prize also will be awarded for the heaviest
squirrel caught in a 14-and-under division, which is new to this year's
Annual 'Hazzard County' Squirrel Slam called nuts
Feb 13, 2013 -
Holley - The annual Hazzard County Squirrel Slam, a hunting event set to
be held this Saturday Feb. 16, in the town of Holley, New York is drawing
the ire of both animal advocates, powerhouse animal rights groups, and a
Currently in its seventh year, the Holley Fire
Department Squirrel Slam event pits together parents and children in a
squirrel shooting contest that looks to bag the heaviest grey and red
squirrels in the area. The event -- which is held to raise money for the
Holley Fire Department, could impact between 2,500-4,200 squirrels activists
Despite several petitions, pressure from Dem. State Senator Tony
Avella, plus local groups and the Humane Society of the United States
(HSUS), the hosts of the event still appear reluctant to cancel the slam.
Letters, phone calls, and e-mails from thousands of people have had
little impact on the Fire Department. And continued pleas to Fire Chief Pete
Hendrickson, asking him to "reconsider" the event, are no longer even
meriting a response. The main problem that animal advocates have with the
squirrel slam is that there seems to be no purpose to the killing, other
than for killing's sake. Furthermore animal rights groups say, children as
young as 12 years old are being encouraged to participate in a contest that
kills for cash and other prizes.
In addition to cash prizes, a raffle
will be held to give away several guns, including an AR-15 style "Assault
Weapon" in .22 caliber, a similar version of the assault weapon seized in
the Sandy Hook Elementary school shooting in Newton, Connecticut last month.
In speaking to
Times Union.com, District 11 (Queens) Senator Avella called the planned
slam, "Bad on so many levels." He also criticized the decision to include
preteen hunters in the event.
In a press conference Feb. 11, 2013, at
the Legislative Office Building in Albany, NY, Avella said:
little squirrel getting a nut and probably coming up to the individual to
try and be friendly -- and then the kid pulls out a gun and shoots it.
Avella was joined at the conference by speaker Edita Birnkrant, the NY
director of Friends of Animals, a group also campaigning to stop the slam.
Joy Benson, who is heading the
Halt the Holley
Fire Department Squirrel Slaughter campaign on Facebook, told Digital
Their main argument is that it is a "fundraiser" and it is
being promoted as a "bonding opportunity" between adults and children. They
have been doing this for six years, this is the seventh.
references an article about the impact on kids written by author Gay
Bradshaw, Ph.D. Called 'Bang
Bang, We All Fall Down'. Bradshaw, the author of Elephants on the Edge:
What Animals Teach Us About Humanity, says there are psychological
ramifications for children that are awarded and offered money to use guns
In a letter to the Fire Chief, HSUS NY Director Brian
Shapiro, wrote: Declaring someone a 'winner' for killing the most animals
influences children and the wider community to believe that wildlife is
unimportant and killing for a monetary prize is meritorious. The fact that
baby squirrels can become orphaned by this event makes it all the more
But Republican State Sen. George Maziarz of the 62nd
Senate District -- and thus Holley, gave his full support to the event. He
told the Times Union, "I think it's a great fundraiser for the Holley Fire
In response to Avella's concerns, Maziarz quipped, "It
shows how our downstate colleagues don't understand upstate New York. Our
lifestyle is very much hunting, fishing and shooting sports."
says Benson, the squirrel slam doesn't even need to happen. She told Digital
An account was set up and offered to the City of Holley to
call off the event. That account has
over $4,100 in
it. They refused it.
It remains to be seen whether the Holley
Fire Department will push ahead with the event on Saturday, but if so, it
won't transpire without protest.
Friends of Animals (FoA), the international animal advocacy group
founded in New York in 1957, plans to descend on Holley this Saturday to
demonstrate against the event. They will be joined by two local groups:
Animal Allies of Western NY, and Animal Rights Advocates of Upstate New
York, outside the Holley Fire Department from 3 pm - 6 pm.
just animal advocates that Holley Fire Department is drawing ire from. The
United Supporters of the Fire Department
(USFD), are also not happy about the event. The USFD raises support to send
firefighters to training and provide life-saving equipment to fire
departments. USFD President David Cook said of the event: If you want to
take your children hunting be my guest, if you want to give your child a gun
be my guest, however when the Fire Department decided to sponsor a hunting
event the USFD had a problem.
The law is very clear on this. Many
things must be kept out of schools, government and yes the Fire Department.
Fire Departments do not hunt they save lives. Firefighters are more than
welcome to do what they want, however the Fire Department has an image to
protect. The people have spoken and the Holley FD is not listening.
One thing is for sure, the USFD does not start campaigns to end squirrel
hunts; instead we conduct investigations into the inner workings of a FD and
the Government agency behind it. we follow the money and see who is actually
benefiting from this event.
We look for hidden agendas then we start
businesses in order to earn money to start a new higher trained Fire
Department with better equipment that will serve and respect the needs and
wishes of the citizens. And we will do it all without one single tax dollar.
I implore the Holley Fire Chief to reconsider this fundraiser before it is
Joy Benson, who has pooled
petitions under one roof, agreed. She said: "It is apparent to me that
the town of Holley is not interested in humane ways to raise funds for their
fire department. Many have reached out to them to offer assistance and yet,
they were turned away. We are in the 21st Century with so many options and
opportunities to raise awareness and teach children moral and ethical
respect for life. To me, this is just insanity on a whole new level."
The Holley Fire Department is still holding its "Squirrel Slam"
fundraiser on Saturday despite protests by animal activists.
Sen. Tony Avella, D-Bayside, held a news conference in Albany on Monday
calling for the event's cancellation after he was approached by Friends of
Animals , an animal rights group. Avella previously supported hunting as a
sport but felt that the Squirrel Slam went too far because it is open to
anyone age 12 and older with a junior hunting license.
Squirrel shoot fund-raiser in New York town goes on despite protests
Los Angeles Times
The New York City-based Friends of Animals
promised that its grateful supporters would donate �far more� than what the
hunt is now expected to rake in from ...
Friends of Animals
Friends of Animals
Darien CT 06820
CALL CUOMO RE SQUIRREL SLAM! SQUIRREL MASSACRE Planned for TOMORROW in
Holley, New York!
Squirrels in New York need your help NOW! The 7th
Annual "Squirrel Slam" will be held tomorrow in a town that is quickly
earning a reputation for animal cruelty, glorification of ...violence, and
disregard for public opinion. The "Squirrel Slam", which is annually
responsible for the slaughter of approximately 1500 squirrels, is intended
to raise funds for the Holley Fire Department. Animal advocates and gun
violence opponents have made multiple offers to host alternative fundraisers
for the fire department in their pleas to have the event cancelled, but all
offers have been ignored or rejected. Children as young as 12 years old will
be handed guns and encouraged to participate in the contest, teaching them
that killing is a game and taking lives is rewarded with prizes and
publicity. In the wake of tragic recent shootings, we are appalled by
Holley, NY's absolute disregard for both animal lives and human emotion.
Despite months of pleas for compassion from concerned citizens, the
event is still scheduled to occur tomorrow. The Holley Fire Department and
Mayor John W. Kenney are reportedly no longer taking calls, but New York
Governor Andrew Cuomo's office can be reached at **(518) 474-8390** or via
email form at
http://bit.ly/WriteCuomo. Whether or not this year's event is cancelled,
these officials need to hear from the public to stop any plans for next
year's slaughter. They need to hear that this celebration of violence and
mockery of life is not acceptable.
For continued coverage of this
event, follow the campaign working to STOP this massacre at:
Stop the 7th Annual "Hazzard County" Holley New York Squirrel Hunt (http://bit.ly/StopSquirrelSlam)
Please CALL and WRITE Governor Cuomo immediately, and then SHARE this
information! On behalf of the thousands of squirrels who have no idea what
horrors are in store for them tomorrow, Thank You.
HSUS and the Squirrel Slam, you won't believe it!
from H$U$ these days does should surprise us any more. If activists knew the
truth, I don't see how they could continue to support them, go to their
conferences, defend them, which many do. Farm $anctuary is no better, and
the truth be known, along with the A$PCA, $PETA and others, they are among
the biggest enemies that animals and the animal rights movement
face...because they are stealth operators, who have betrayed and co-opted
the AR movement and presume to speak for us and the animals. They are the
a response Brian Shapiro
[NY director HSUS] suggested that instead of a squirrel slam, the Fire
Department of Holley NY should have a pig roast to raise funds:
Squirrel Slam has attracted significant attention with hundreds of letters,
emails and phone calls being directed to your attention from concerned
citizens worldwide," the letter states. "We were recently contacted by
members of the Holley community who were upset about the event and requested
that we contact you directly. The HSUS shares their concerns; we believe
that a contest kill for cash or other prizes is not a sensitive way to raise
important funds for the Holley Fire Department and negatively reflects on
the life-saving services that your department provides to the community."
The letter, written by New York HSUS director Brian Shapiro, asks the
department to 'forgo sponsorship' of the event and stage a different
fundraiser, similar to the one held last year for local firefighter Cody Coopenberg, the brave young man who was critically injured while serving our
country in Afghanistan.' A pig roast and auction fund-raiser was conducted
for Coopenberg, 21."
An indian friend took her young children to Farm Sanctuary, thinking
it would be like a gaulshala (cow sanctuary in India)... she was shocked to
find people there eating hamburgers.... She never went back. "