Making Burros Fly


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"An historically important book about the founding father of the modern animal protection movement, and the leader who continues to inspire the work we do to speak for those who can't."
-- Michael Markarian, President, The Fund For Animals; Executive VP, The Humane Society of the United States

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Making Burros Fly
Cleveland Amory, Animal Rescue Pioneer

(WASHINGTON) August 18, 2006 -- A new book by award-winning journalist Julie Hoffman Marshall, Making Burros Fly, is the first-ever biography of Cleveland Amory, a Boston wit and social critic who, as head of The Fund for Animals, gained fame for his acerbic criticism of opponents involved in cruelty to animals and for his groundbreaking, fearless, and headline-making animal rescues. Among other accomplishments, Amory orchestrated the airlift of 577 burros set for slaughter out of the Grand Canyon by helicopters, and painted hundreds of baby seals to protect them from being killed for fur.  He was especially skilled in using his own celebrity to attract the powerful and influential to his cause.

Before his rise to fame as one of the foremost animal crusaders and activists of the 20th century, Amory was a social satirist, a TV Guide critic, and a commentator for NBC's Today Show. In addition to his works of social criticism, and his pioneering Mankind (1974), a sharp indictment of hunting and other threats to wildlife, he was the author of best-selling books about his cat Polar Bear (The Cat Who Came for Christmas, The Cat and the Curmudgeon, The Best Cat Ever).

"Because of Cleveland, we are where we are today in protecting all animals," explains Michael Markarian, President of The Fund For Animals and an Executive Vice President of The Humane Society of the United States. "Making Burros Fly is the story of a true American crusader."

Amory, who died in1998 at age 81, made his strongest impact on the animal movement when he created The Fund for Animals in 1967.  During the 1970s, an energetic network of field representatives made the organization one of the nation's most dynamic advocacy groups, and in the 1980s and 1990s, Amory extended The Fund's reputation as the central opponent of cruel hunting and trapping practices in the U.S.  Building on his efforts to halt the large-scale removal of animals from public lands, Amory founded the Black Beauty Ranch in Texas, which became the final destination for hundreds of mistreated and unwanted animals.  This place of happy endings gave Amory special satisfaction, and was the inspiration for his final book Ranch of Dreams.

Today -- nearly 40 years after Amory founded The Fund for Animals – his organization is now a part of The HSUS, and functions as a direct animal care entity providing shelter and medical attention to animals at a number of sanctuaries throughout the United States.

Contact: Rodi Rosensweig, 203-270-8929,


The Humane Society of the United States is the nation's largest animal protection organization with more than 9.5 million members and constituents. The HSUS is a mainstream voice for animals, with active programs in companion animals, disaster preparedness and response, wildlife and habitat protection, marine mammals, animals in research, equine protection, and farm animal welfare. The HSUS protects all animals through education, investigation, litigation, legislation, advocacy and field work. The nonprofit organization is based in Washington and has field representatives and offices across the country. On the web at Making Burros Fly: Cleveland Amory, Animal Rescue Pioneer: $17:50; 192 pages; soft cover; Johnson Books.

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