Shining a light on animal rights, abuse –

A story about an “animal scramble” at a Cottage Grove rodeo punctuated Scott Beckstead’s talk about animal abuse Tuesday to teenagers at the Saving Grace Pet Adoption Center.

Rodeo organizers two weeks ago released rabbits into the arena and let hundreds of kids run them down. Any kid who grabbed a rabbit got to take the animal home as a prize.

Many of the rabbits will end up discarded or at animal shelters after the kids tire of them, said Beckstead, an Oakland attorney and the Humane Society of the United States’ senior director in Oregon.

The animal scramble contrasts with an overall change in attitude toward animal rights noted by Beckstead.

“Society takes animals suffering much more seriously these days, even more than 10 or 15 years ago,” he said.

The story made an impression on Tabitha Giegler, 13, of Roseburg.

“This tells kids that (the rabbits are) just toys, that they’re not living entities,” she said.

Beckstead spoke to seven teenagers at the Winchester animal shelter about his advocacy for animal rights. The teenagers are attending a summer youth program at the center to learn about animal-welfare issues and how to take care for animals at the shelter.

Beckstead campaigns for animal rights throughout Oregon

Originally posted here: Shining a light on animal rights, abuse | The News-Review –