I just learned about the Claws for Paws event to be held December 3-5, 2010, sponsored by the Palm Springs Animal Shelter. I encourage them not to go ahead with their planned fundraiser. Lobsters and many animals who we think don't feel pain actually do (for a summary of research see this book, and this one), and surely lobsters don't like being dropped into boiling water (for a discussion of pain in fish see this link). Trading 'claws for paws' is an insensitive move that smacks of speciesism and I hope the shelter decides not to go ahead with their event. Surely, as a humane organization, they can find more ethically acceptable ways to generate income and not set a precedent for trading the lives of individuals of one species for the benefit of individuals of another species. In addition, the 'footprint' for bringing lobsters inland also is rather large. It's indeed an incredible shame there are so many unwanted companion animals and it's so difficult to raise money in these economic times, but these sorts of tradeoffs should not occur. To contact the shelter please click here.