Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Whomever Reads My Blog Receives a Hug Certificate

A Hug Certificate For You!
If I could catch a rainbow
I would do it just for you
And share with you its beauty
On the days you're feeling blue.

If I could build a mountain
You could call your very own;
A place to find serenity,
A place to be alone..

If I could take your troubles
I would toss them in the sea,
But all these things I'm finding
Are impossible for me.

I cannot build a mountain
Or catch a rainbow fair,
But let me be what I know best,
A friend who's always there.

This is a Hug Certificate!!

Send One to All Your Friends  
Who You Think Deserve A Hug (

Life  is a coin, you can spend it anyway you wish, but  you can only spend it once.

Inspired by Pauline

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Polydactyl Cats - My Ping-Ping Who Is All Black - Her Sister Precious Is Black and White (Not Polydactyl)

*Ping-Ping died a couples of years ago.

Their names are Ping-Ping and Precious. In June 2004, I had two surgeries in one day. As you know, your body and your mind have to repair themselves after surgery. Since I had two surgeries in one day, my body and mind took more time to recuperate even though I do not have a full functioning body. One evening in early November, I called up a friend to see if he could do anything for me such as shopping or any errands due to a lack of caregivers at that moment in time. During the conversation with him on the phone, I was pushed into a flashback and I cannot remember November and December of 2004. He does not believe that I have flashbacks and that is the reason for the tragic misunderstanding. Due to the tragic miscommunication, they do not live with me anymore since November 2004.

For the persons that they are living with now; I would like to bring attention that Ping-Ping gets depressed, and Precious was very frightened and lived in my closet for a couple of months. They brought great joy in my life as well as the persons who lived with me.

Animals do have emotions. For the persons that they are living with now; I hope that you are paying attention to their emotions. Hopefully, you are taking great care of Ping-Ping and Precious as we took great care of them.

Ping-Ping and Precious, I send all my love to you each day. I do hope that the persons who Ping-Ping and Precious are living with now know the depth of emotional pain I am in not to be able to see them.

The reason that I put my picture of Ping-Ping and Precious on this post is that Ping-Ping's front paws were double paws. She had not pain when she walk. I knew that she was a "Polydactyl Cat". It was very sweet to look at Ping-Ping's front paws, due to they looked like "Mittens".

An article from Cornell University, Cat Watch (1998), cited studies into polydactyl cats from the 1940´s through to the 1970´s. The study indicated that the trait may have occurred in cats taken to Boston by English Puritans during the 1600s and speculated that the mutation developed in cats already in the Boston area rather than in cats in England. The progeny of these cats may have travelled on trading ships from Boston to Yarmouth, Massachusetts and Halifax, Nova Scotia, two areas which also have a high incidence of polydactyly. Charles Darwin wrote of polydactyl cats in his book "The Variation of Animals and Plants Under Domestication" published in the 1850's "I have heard of several families of six-toed cats, in one of which the peculiarity had been transmitted for at least three generations" pre-dating claims elsewhere that the first scientific recording of feline polydactyly was in 1868.

Polydactyl cats are said to be virtually non-existent in Europe, because "unusual looking cats" were destroyed due to witchcraft superstitions, practically eliminating the trait (Kelly, Larson,1993). I do not know whether Britain was included in the generic term "Europe" or whether it meant mainland (continental) Europe only. In Norway, polydactyl cats are known as "ship's cats" as the extra toes supposedly gave them better balance on ships in stormy weather; they are not uncommon and polydactyl kittens are sought after pets. Polydactyl random-bred cats have been reported in Sweden though other European cat lovers (locations not reported) had apparently never seen a polydactyl. They are common enough in Britain to be considered unremarkable.

Polydactyl cats were considered "lucky" by sailors. Sailors also believed polydactyl cats to be superior mousers and ratters. Employed as ships' ratters and lucky mascots, they would have reached America with early British settlers hence their greater frequency in Eastern states. A disproportionately high number of "lucky" polydactyl cats, compared to normal-toed cats, would have found their way there. This would lead to a greater proportion of polydactyls than usual for a random-breeding cat population. Back in Britain, with its large cat population of which the polydactyl formed only a small part, the trait remained less common (though there have been localised pockets of higher than average incidence). There is a higher incidence of polydactyly in South-West England, possibly associated with ports from which ships set sail for the New World.

Bjørn B Svingen, owner of a polydactyl cat, provided the following information on polydactyl cats in Norway and their associaiton with ships: "I have heard people say that these genes came to Norway long ago. The story was that the genes were inherited from Spanish or Portuguese ship cats with this "'disorder'. These cats were supposedly common on ships trading on the Norwegian coastline. They have again become popular, at least in our area, and are plentiful in Trøndelag in mid Norway." As a result, they are also known there as "Skipskatt" (ship-cat).

In a survey and detailed account of cats he found in Singapore in 1959, Searle had not noted any polydactyls. The only polydactyls I noted in the Malaysia/Singapore region were the Lake Chini cats.


There are two forms of polydactyly described by embryologists. Pre-axial polydactyly refers to extra digits on the inside edge (thumb-side) of the paw. Post-axial polydactyly refers to extra digits on the outer side (little finger side) of the paw and is uncommon.

One of the earliest inheritance studies was by Poulton (probably 1880s/90s) which is mentioned by Thomas Hunt Morgan (Professor of Experimental Zoology, Columbia University) in Experimental Zoology (Publ. Macmillan & Co, London, 1910): Poulton has given some records of polydactyl cats that appear to be exphcable, so far as they go, along Mendelian Hnes. Three young were produced from a polydactyl female by an unknown father. They were all polydactyl. If polydactylism dominates over the normal condition, this result is simple dominance. One of these individuals (F1) produced three litters (by unknown fathers), in which four normal and six abnormal kittens appeared. If the father was normal, five normal and five polydactyl young would be expected. Thus:- (P + N) + (N + N) = (2NP + 2NN) [P being poly foot and N being normal foot]

Sis & Getty (1968) describe polydactyly as an monogenic autosomal dominant trait affecting the pre-axial part of the limb. This is the typical and harmless form of polydactyly though other forms may exist. Both Danforth and Chapman & Zeiner proved in their research that normal feline polydactyly is a simple incomplete dominant gene with variable expression. According to geneticist and TICA Genetics Committee Chair Dr Solveig Pflueger "most polydactyl cats... have a form of pre-axial polydactyly with the extra digits(s) on the thumb side of the foot... " The Pd gene causes the entirely harmless form of polydactyl.

The main studies on feline polydactyly are Danforth's studies Heredity of Polydactylism (1947) and Morphology of the Feet in Polydactyl Cats (1947) plus Chapman & Zeiner's study The Anatomy of Polydactylism in cats with Observations on Genetic Control (1961). The Danforth and Chapman & Zeiner studies observed examples of both mitten-foot and patty-foot polydactyly in their studies (some refer to the patty foot as "snowshoes" but I avoid that term as there is a cat breed called the Snowshoe). Danforth, and Chapman & Zeiner, stated that polydactyly was never observed in the hind feet except when it was also present in the front feet. A hind-foot polydactyl must have extra digits on the front feet, though sometimes these are not readily discernible and can only be found by x-ray.

The gene(s) for polydactyly specifically affects the tissue formed at the very end of the limb (apical cap) of a developing embryo. This is the area where the toes will form. Danforth studied the way normal pre-axial polydactyly developed in embryos based on data from 150 cats. He discerned evidence of polydactyly in the 20th day of gestation in the form of excess development on the edges of the limb buds that would form the forelimbs. If the apical cap is larger than normal, extra toes will develop from it. It is worth noting that physical damage to the apical cap might also trigger the development of extra toes. Branching of the apical cap will lead to complete double paws or, if it branches early enough, to doubled limbs.

The first major study into classical polydactyly (thumb cats) was conducted in 1947. For his study "Heredity of polydactly in the cat" (Journal of Heredity 38, 107, 1947) Danforth studied two female polydactyl cats that he housed at his laboratory, The cats came from locations 85 km from each other in California, but the possibility of them being related could not be ruled out. He mated these females with different males and recorded the dates of mating and the physical traits of the kittens. He collated additional information from friends with polydactyl cats.

He noted that the effects of polydactyly could always be seen on the front paws and sometimes also on the hind paws. On the front paws, the first digit was at least enlarged in one front paw and might be doubled or tripled. If the hind paws were also affected, there was at least a rudimentary dew-claw and sometimes additional claws. Where there was a doubled first digit, it was sometimes incompletely formed with the additional digit between the first digit and the other claws. The position of the first digit was also changed a little from normal to resemble a thumb. The four images show different footprints: a normal-footed front paw and 3 expressions of polydactyly:

Danforth mated all possible combinations of his cats: Poly x Poly, Poly x Non-Poly, Non-Poly x Non-Poly. This confirmed that polydactyly was a dominant gene, because in every mating where at least one parent was polydactyly there were polydactyl offspring. In matings between two normal-footed cats there were never any polydactyl offspring. In 3 matings, all offspring were polydactyl and therefore one or both parents were probably homozygous for polydactyly.

In guinea pigs, one form of polydactyly is lethal when homozygous. Danforth's studies indicated that this was not the case in cats. In a mating Pp x Pp (heterozygous parents) on average 25 % of the young will be homozygous for polydactyly, 50 % heterozygous for polydactyly and 25 % normal-footed. If the gene was lethal, the 25% of homozygous offspring would die before birth and the litters therefore would be smaller than expected. Danforth found the average litters to be almost the same size (4.12 with offspring homozygous for polydactyly compared to 4.35 for litters where no offspring could be homozygous). This also affected the ratio of polydactyl and normal-footed offspring in a litter. If the gene was lethal when homozygous, there would be (on average) 2 poly kittens for every normal-footed kitten. Danforth's cats produced a ratio of 77 poly kittens to 22 normal-footed kittens.

Offspring polydactyl
Offspring normal

Probable Mating
PP x Pp
PP x pp
Pp x Pp
Pp x pp
pp x pp
From these studies, Danforth concluded that polydactyly was a variable expressed dominant gene with no reason to suspect it was lethal when homozygous: "these data lend no support to the assumption that polydactyly in the cat is lethal when homozygous" nor was it associated with the cat's gender "The trait is not related to sex, and no evidence is found that its gene is lethal" He did not find evidence of split foot or radial hypoplasia (also called radial hemimelia) in his studies though his second study into feline polydactyly ("Morphology of the Feet in Polydactyl Cats", 1947) found that cats with 6 metatarsals (toes) tended to have fusion at the ulna which caused varying degrees of rotation of the joint of the radius.
Useful Formula For Describing Polydactyl Front Paws
Normal front foot
Foot with extra toes that do not form a thumb (patty foot)
5; 6 (etc)
Mitten foot with thumb (single digit)
Mitten foot with 2 or more extra toes
4+2; 4+3 etc
Mitten foot where extra claws are tucked between the normal foot and "thumb":
(the numbers in brackets mean extra claws that aren't on a fully developed toe)
4+(1)+1; 4+(2)+1; 4+(1)+2 (etc)
In 1955, Albert C Jude, author of "Cat Genetics" (a book that had as much about mice and rabbits than cats!) documented two forms of polydactyly. He wrote that polydactylism (extra digits), and oligodactylism (reduction of toe number) were sometimes reported by the fancy, but were the exception (not selected for) rather than the rule within cat breeding. This meant little data was available on feline polydactyly to permit proper scientific study. He noted that polydactyly involving only the preaxial side of the limb had been documented in cats by Danforth in 1947 and was dominant over the normal form. Most cases of polydactylism in cats observed by Jude had affected the front feet only.

Jude also described another form of polydactyly, the type we now call "mitten cats" but which he called "posterior reduplication", in his 1955 book: Another interesting deformity - only very occasionally seen in cats, but more frequently seen in some other animals - is known as "posterior reduplication." The condition was found in a stock of mice by Danforth in 1923, and a description was published by him in 1930. This deformity is mentioned here mainly to show how information of a helpful nature can be given by fanciers. In this instance it came from Mrs. A. Winsor of Hull, a well-known English Abyssinian breeder. Before the war, says Mrs. Winsor, "I had two little black she-cats. One came into season, and a strange gray tom came to investigate. His feet were really amazing. His front legs were very thick and stout, big feet, with normal number of toes. On the inner side of each foot was another smaller foot. A sort of stalk grew from the ankle, as if the ankle bone had been split, and this ended in a complete foot which rested on the ground alongside the normal foot, and turned slightly inward, When sitting he had to advance one leg, as he could not possibly put all his four feet side by side, and when walking he sort of lifted one foot over the other. He mated my queen who was calling at the time and there were two black kittens whom we put to sleep, and two gray-striped, both females. One had just thumbs; the other had seven toes - four ordinary, and three extra where the thumb would be. There was no stalk, but these three toes had a separate pad; they were about the same length as the others, and her feet spread out like paws. She also had a sort of "thumb" half-way up each hind foot, with a claw on the end. The other gray-striped female - the one that had just thumbs - we kept for eight years and then she died. I managed to get a granddaughter who is now seven years old. She has had countless kittens, and about half of every lifter have the ‘Family Feet.’"

It is interesting that Jude differentiated between the 2 types of polydactyly in 1955; differentiating between the two forms has recently become a concern for cat breeders due to the occurrence of Twisty Cats.

According to the late Roy Robinson in his book "Genetics for Cat Breeders", polydactyly has been officially (scientifically) recorded as early as 1868, though it had been observed earlier and seen frequently since. The distinguishing feature is the presence of extra toes, most noticeably on the front feet. Robinson explains that there is considerable variation in the number of extra toes and in how well-formed they are. The trait ranges from an enlargement of the inside digit into a "thumb" to the formation of three apparently well formed extra toes (i.e. 7 toes on the affected foot). A cat may even have different numbers of toes on each of its front feet.

The hind feet are rarely affected and are only ever affected if the front feet are also affected. I have received a report of a Maine Coon with hind foot polydactyly and apparently normal fore paws; it seems likely that it was genetically polydactyl for all four paws, but that the extra toes had not been visibly expressed in the fore paws for some reason. I also received the following report about a random-bred hind-foot polydactyl with normal front paws.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Support the Great Ape Protection Act

Please, take action now!


On March 5, the Great Ape Protection Act was reintroduced in the House of Representatives. This landmark bill would ban invasive experiments on chimpanzees as well as breeding. IDA has been working for this since 1993.

Chimp_Laboratory2_jpgFor the past 16 years, IDA has documented and battled against abuse, fraud, waste and cruelty in chimpanzee experiments, both federally- and privately-funded. During this time, IDA shut down the world's biggest chimpanzee laboratory - the notorious Coulston Foundation - which resulted in the single largest effort ever accomplished on behalf of chimpanzees in labs: the permanent retirement of 266 chimpanzees and 61 monkeys by the state-of-the-art sanctuary SaveTheChimps. IDA also secured criminal cruelty charges against NIH-contractor Charles River Laboratories and got an entire laboratory disqualified by the Food and Drug Administration. These actions were unprecedented in the history of U.S. medical research, and helped lay the groundwork for this landmark legislation.

H.R. 1326 was introduced shortly after ABC’s Nightline aired an expose of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette’s New Iberia Research Center (ULL-NIRC) a lab that IDA has termed the “New Coulston” chimp ron at coulstonbecause it is the largest chimpanzee lab in the world, and in a published experiment tested various chemicals on chimpanzees. That study positively cited Dr. Frederick Coulston's 1982 toxicology tests of industrial solvents in chimpanzees, as well as Coulston's 1985 paper extolling chimpanzees as the "best possible model to test the fate and effects of foreign chemicals in man."

The Nightline expose prominently featured courageous whistleblower Narriman Fakier, a former ULL-NIRC employee who blew the whistle on outrageous cruelty and abuse at the lab. Her whistleblower lawsuit documents a litany of cruelty and abuse to chimpanzees and monkeys that was corroborated by the Nightline expose and the laudatory undercover video investigation by the Humane Society of the United States.

For years, IDA Research Director Eric Kleiman has provided legal assistance to Ms. Fakier as an official part of her legal team. ULL-NIRC has repeatedly tried to have the case dismissed, using one technicality after another in a vain attempt to prevent a jury and the public from seeing the evidence of cruelty and abuse that Ms. Fakier witnessed. The lab failed, and Ms. Fakier’s case continues. ULL-NIRC has complained in legal pleadings about the extensive media coverage of their cruelty and being, in their words, “bombarded” with letters from outraged citizens.

H.R. 1326 would end these horrors for the over 1,000 chimpanzees currently imprisoned in labs such as ULL-NIRC and the NIH-owned, Charles River-operated Alamogordo Primate Facility in New Mexico. Since 1993, IDA has repeatedly called for an end to chimpanzee experiments, documenting the pervasive cruelty that is not limited to ULL-NIRC but inherent in experiments on chimpanzees and other non-human animals. We urge you to support this historic legislation.

WHAT YOU CAN DO: We've made it easy for you! Just fill out the form below and send, to tell your legislators, and President Obama and Vice President Biden, that you support the Great Ape Protection Act! Feel free to edit, or send as is, and thank you for your support.


  • President Barack Obama
  • Vice President Joseph 'Joe' R. Biden Jr.
  • Your Senators
  • Your Representative


*Required fields


Please Support The Great Ape Protection Act - HR 1326

Dear [Decision Maker],

On March 5, the Great Ape Protection Act was reintroduced in the House of Representatives. This landmark bill would ban invasive experiments on chimpanzees. I urge you to support this bill and the introduction of a companion bill in the Senate.

H.R. 1326 would end these horrors for the over 1,000 chimpanzees currently imprisoned in labs such as ULL-NIRC and the NIH-owned, Charles River-operated Alamogordo Primate Facility in New Mexico. Since 1993, In Defense of Animals (IDA) has repeatedly called for an end to chimpanzee experiments, documenting the pervasive cruelty that is not limited to ULL-NIRC but inherent in experiments on chimpanzees. I urge you to support this historic legislation.

[Your Name]
[Your Address]
[City, State ZIP]

Monday, September 7, 2009

Chimp Behavior Mimics That of Abused Human Kids

By Keith Herrell
Published April 2009

When Linda Chernus heard about a chimpanzee attack in Connecticut that left a woman fighting for her life in a hospital, her thoughts went back almost four years and thousands of miles away to a chimp sanctuary near Girona, Spain.

Chernus, a clinical social worker and professor of clinical psychiatry at UC, worked for four days at MONA, a sanctuary for abandoned and abused chimpanzees, in July 2005.

Drawing on her experiences there, she wrote two manuscripts that were published in December 2008 in the Journal of Emotional Abuse.

The papers drew parallels between the chimps, many of whom had experienced maternal loss and social isolation after being taken from their native habitats, and human children who had been emotionally abused and neglected.

“We can learn from nonhuman primates about creating therapeutic environments for children who have been emotionally abused,” Chernus says.

MONA created an enriched family unit, Chernus says, by grouping a mother chimpanzee with five children—three of whom were not biologically her own—and adding a male chimp who had lost his mate.

The male and female—both of whom had been in captivity before coming to MONA—bonded well and nurtured each other, and the female emotionally abused and neglected. nurtured all five of the children as if they were her own, Chernus says.

“The important thing is to have an environment that’s enriched, ideally with siblings and peers,” Chernus says of the chimps. “It felt like home, so they were able to develop.”

Abuse of chimpanzees isn’t confined to physical abuse or being locked in cages, Chernus says.

“Humanization”—being dressed in clothing, or made to perform like children—is also a form of abuse, she says.

“People think it’s cute to dress little chimpanzees,” she says. “It may be cute for the people, but it’s really abusive. It’s a disruption of their normal lifestyle—what they need to grow and prosper. They’ve been traumatized by being humanized.”

The chimpanzee in the attack, known as Travis, starred in television commercials when he was younger, according to news reports about the incident. He had been born in an Arkansas compound in 1995 and was raised in the Stamford, Conn., household of Sandra Herold after his mother was shot and killed following an escape and rampage when he was three days old.

He attacked Charla Nash, a friend and employee of Herold’s, on Feb. 16, 2009, as she was trying to help lure him back into Herold’s house.

Herold has speculated that Travis attacked Nash because she Girona, Spain. Chernus, a clinical social worker and professor of clinical psychiatry at UC, worked for four days at had changed her hairstyle and was driving a different car.

Nash lost her hands, nose, lips and eyelids in the attack and suffered significant traumatic brain injury, according to the Cleveland Clinic, where she was transferred from Stamford Hospital. Doctors at the Cleveland Clinic performed the nation’s first face transplant in December 2008, but a statement from the hospital said it was too early to consider reconstructive surgery for Nash.

Travis was shot and killed by police following the attack. Chernus has been following news of the attack and is highly critical of Herold and a legal system that allows chimpanzees to be kept as pets.

“What she did is extremely bizarre; it’s very unfair to the animal, unfair to anybody,” Chernus says. “I was also surprised that the legal system had allowed that to go on for so long.”

Connecticut officials say they were aware that Travis lived in the Herold home but existing law did not give them the authority to remove him.

Since the attack, legislation has been proposed by the state attorney general that would ban primates, alligators and other types of wild and potentially dangerous animals from private homes.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Do You Want Phillip Garrido to Say Hi to Your Young Daughter?!

We must tell the persons who work in "local, state and federal governments", especially our judges to enforce our laws. They work for us, we do not work for them!
Let us take "Action" to Eradicate Child Abuse!

John Walsh speaks out:

I appreciate working with Congress in the past to give law enforcement the tools they need to go after criminals who kidnap and exploit children. In 2003, I signed the PROTECT Act, that expanded the use of Amber Alerts, that makes grants to all 50 states so law enforcement can quickly alert the public about missing children and their abductors. We also launched Operation Predator to help law enforcement track down and arrest foreign pedophiles and human traffickers and sex tourists and Internet pornographers who prey on our children.

Earlier this year, the Department of Justice, led by Al Gonzales, launched Project Safe Childhood to help federal, state and local enforcement officials investigate and prosecute crimes against children that are facilitated by the Internet and other electronic communications.

President Signs H.R. 4472, the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006
The Rose Garden

President George W. Bush, joined by Senate and House members, welcomes John and Reve Walsh prior to signing H.R. 4472, the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006 at a ceremony Thursday, July 27, 2006, in the Rose Garden at the White House. The bill is named for the Walsh’s six-year-old son Adam Walsh who was abducted and killed 25 years ago. White House photo by Paul Morse

The Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006. Twenty-five years ago today, Adam Walsh was abducted from a department store and he was later found murdered. In the years since, his parents, John and Rev Walsh, have become advocates for missing children. They've helped combat child abduction and exploitation across this country. And the bill I sign today will strengthen federal laws to protect our children from sexual and other violent crimes, will help prevent child pornography, and will make the Internet safer for our sons and daughters. I want to thank you all for joining us today, and thank you for your tireless crusade.

I'm pleased to be up here with the Attorney General, Al Gonzales. I want to thank all the members of the House and the Senate who have joined us. John, as you can see, you've attracted quite a crowd here.

MR. WALSH: S.W.A.T. team for kids.

THE PRESIDENT: Yes, it is, S.W.A.T. team for kids.

I appreciate very much the bill sponsors who have joined us, and the committee chairmen and the leadership that has made this bill possible. This is a good piece of bipartisan legislation, and I'm really going to be proud to sign it.

I want to thank all the family members of victims who have joined us today. I particularly want to say hello to Elizabeth Smart and Amie Zyla. Thank you all for coming.

You know, having someone harm your child is one of the worst nightmares a parent could face. And the families who have joined us today have felt that pain firsthand. In your suffering and loss, many of you have found the courage to become advocates for the safety of other children. Because of your efforts, this important measure is going to become the law of the land, and the children of parents you may never meet will be spared the anguish your families have known. So thank you for your contribution.

Protecting our children is our solemn responsibility. It's what we must do. When a child's life or innocence is taken it is a terrible loss -- it's an act of unforgivable cruelty. Our society has a duty to protect our children from exploitation and danger. By enacting this law we're sending a clear message across the country: those who prey on our children will be caught, prosecuted and punished to the fullest extent of the law.

President George W. Bush is joined by Senate and House members as he signs H.R. 4472, the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006 at a ceremony Thursday, July 27, 2006, in the Rose Garden at the White House, as John Walsh, center, and his wife, Reve Walsh, look on. The bill is named for the Walsh’s six-year-old son Adam Walsh who was abducted and killed 25 years ago.  White House photo by Eric Draper This new law I sign today builds on the progress in four important ways: First, the bill I sign today will greatly expand the National Sex Offender Registry by integrating the information in state sex offender registry systems and ensuring that law enforcement has access to the same information across the United States. It seems to make sense, doesn't it? See, these improvements will help prevent sex offenders from evading detection by moving from one state to the next. Data drawn from this comprehensive registry will also be made available to the public so parents have the information they need to protect their children from sex offenders that might be in their neighborhoods.

Second, the bill I sign today will increase federal penalties for crimes against children. This bill imposes tough mandatory minimum penalties for the most serious crimes against our children. It increases penalties for crimes such as sex trafficking of children and child prostitution; provides grants to states to help them institutionalize sex offenders who've shown they cannot change their behavior and are about to be released from prison.

Third, the bill I sign today will make it harder for sex predators to reach our children on the Internet. Some sex predators use this technology to make contact with potential victims, so the bill authorizes additional new regional Internet Crimes Against Children Task Forces. These task forces provides funding and training to help state and local law enforcement combat crimes involving the sexual exploitation of minors on the Internet.

Fourth, the bill I sign today will help prevent child abuse by creating a National Child Abuse Registry, and requiring investigators to do background checks on adoptive and foster parents before they approve to take custody of a child. By giving child protective service professionals in all 50 states access to this critical information, we will improve their ability to investigate child abuse cases and help ensure that the vulnerable children are not put into situations of abuse or neglect.

This is a comprehensive piece of legislation, and it's an important bill. Our nation grieves with every family that's suffered the unbearable pain of a child who's been abducted or abused. This law makes an important step forward in this country's efforts to protect those who cannot protect themselves.