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Because the heart beats under a covering of hair, of fur, feathers, or wings, it is, for that reason, to be of no account?
— Jean Paul Richter
Voice for Animals Humane Society (V4A) is an Edmonton, Alberta-based non-profit organization dedicated to protecting animals, through advocacy and education, from neglect, abuse and exploitation.

Current Issues:

The Campaign to Free Lucy

Calls for Lucy to be Moved to a Sanctuary Come From Far and Wide


Celebrities, people from across Canada and even Europe are joining in the fight to get Lucy moved to a sanctuary. Attempts to get the city to listen have included a post card campaign, hundreds of letters, protests, bill board and bus ads, court action and a very public plea from Bob Barker. Now other high profile people are speaking out and a Facebook site with members from all over North America and Europe have joined in.



Georges Laraque supports Voice for Animals' campaign to send Lucy to a sanctuary in a warmer climate where she can be with other elephants.

In early December, former NHL (Oilers) hockey player and humanitarian, Georges Laraque sent a letter to Mayor Mandel offering to donate $100,000 to the City of Edmonton if they moved Lucy to a warm weather sanctuary. Read Georges letter here.

The reception from the city was to give him the cold shoulder. Despite his sincere and generous offer, Mayor Mandel has refused to meet with Georges.
Other Calls to Set Lucy Free.

On another front, a number of people have set up websites about Lucy or with information about her. As well there is a link below to sign a petition to set Lucy free. Please help Lucy by signing it.

Friends of Lucy

Lucy the Elephant - Beginnings

Friends of Lucy - Holiday Greetings

Asian Elephants Today


On May 4th, 2010, PETA, Zoocheck Canada and Voice for animals launched a court action against the City of Edmonton for violations to the Alberta Animal Protection Act, claiming that Lucy, the elephant at the Valley Zoo, is kept in an environment and in a state of health that breaches provincial law. This application was subsequently struck down due to a technicality i.e. we had not gone through the proper channels such as lodging a complaint with the Edmonton Humane Society. In fact, we had complained to the EHS but they had taken no action.

Latest News:

September, 2011


Lone Elephant at Valley Zoo Continues to Suffer From Illness and Climate and Must Be Transferred to a Sanctuary, Say Experts
Edmonton, Alberta — This morning, PETA, Zoocheck Canada, and Tove Reece, president of the Edmonton-based Voice for Animals Humane Society, asked the Supreme Court of Canada to allow them to sue the city of Edmonton to transfer Lucy—the lone and ailing Asian elephant at the Valley Zoo—to a warm-weather sanctuary for rehabilitation, where she will also have the company of other elephants. The move follows the recent decision by the Court of Appeal of Alberta to refuse to reinstate the lawsuit over what the appellants believe are Lucy's grossly inadequate and illegal living conditions on the grounds that they lacked standing to sue. In her strong, 43-page dissent, Chief Justice Catherine Fraser disagreed and wrote that PETA and Zoocheck did show "a prima facie case of the City's unlawful conduct vis-à-vis Lucy." Lucy and the appellants are represented by renowned attorney Clayton Ruby.
"Every day that Lucy spends at Valley Zoo, her condition continues to deteriorate," says Jeffrey S. Kerr, general counsel to PETA. "By denying our standing to sue, the court has given Lucy a virtual death sentence, so we hope that the Supreme Court will reverse the appeals court's short-sighted decision and reinstate this case."
Lucy suffers from arthritis, obesity, chronic foot ailments, and upper-respiratory problems—all of which are further aggravated by Edmonton's frigid climate, which is ill-suited to an Asian elephant. Lucy has also been alone for more than three years, spends most of her time in a small, barren barn, and exhibits behaviour that indicates severe psychological distress. Elephant experts who have reviewed medical records obtained by the groups have stated that Lucy's health will continue to deteriorate if she is not moved to a sanctuary, where she would enjoy a suitable climate, ample space, and the companionship of other elephants.
The Valley Zoo has failed to properly diagnose and treat Lucy and continues to deny independent experts access to examine her. TV icon Bob Barker has offered $100,000 to the city of Edmonton to use as it chooses if the city will allow independent elephant experts to examine Lucy—but the city remains implacable.
The 23-page appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada is available upon request. For more information, please visit PETA.org.

Local Voices:

Dr. Debi Zimmermann, a local Edmonton Veterinarian, myth busts the top 10 myths perpetuated by zoos.  Read her report here.

<Read more about Lucy>

Voice for Animals Humane Society
P.O. Box 68119, 162 Bonnie Doon Mall, Edmonton, AB   T6C 4N6 Canada
Phone: 780-490-0905   Fax:780-922-5287  E-mail: info@v4a.org