Connecticut State Representative Brenda Kupchick (right) speaks at Voices for Animals Day.
When Brenda Kupchick’s son was nine years old, he begged her for a puppy. Eventually, she gave in and purchased a female beagle at a pet shop. “Over the next 12 years, that dog cost us $16,000 in vet bills,” admits Kupchick, now a Connecticut state representative. “Not only did she cost us a lot of money, but a lot of heartache, as well.”
Rep. Kupchick, along with Rep. Auden Grogins, spoke at the ASPCA’s Connecticut Voices for Animals Day in Hartford on February 21, using the forum to renew their support for a state law that would address the inhumane treatment of dogs in the commercial breeding facilities—commonly known as puppy mills—that supply animals to Connecticut pet shops.
ASPCA-sponsored lobby days like Connecticut Voices for Animals Day give animal lovers like you the chance to meet your elected officials and tell them, in person, that you support animal protection and oppose laws that would allow animals to be hurt and exploited. Of the 31 animal advocates in attendance at Connecticut Voices for Animals Day, many were lobbying for their first time. Lisa King felt the trip was “absolutely worth it.”
“I had a nice conversation with an aide to my state senator,” Lisa said. She also left behind a personal note for Senator Cathy Osten. “It’s important for them to realize that people who vote for them have these concerns.”
We have several animal-welfare state lobbying events coming up: registration is currently open for Massachusetts, Florida, Michigan, Ohio and New Jersey, and details will soon be posted for Illinois and New York.
Stacey Doan of Protectors of Animals, Inc., Maya, a Chow Chow up for adoption, and Rep. Brenda Kupchick welcome a group of seventh and eighth graders from Cesar A. Batalla School in Bridgeport to Connecticut Voices for Animals Day.
The adorable pups, Bam Bam, Nautica and Wishbone, made their small-screen debut alongside hosts Kathie Lee and Hoda and U.S. slopestyle ski competitors Joss Christensen, Gus Kenworthy and Nick Goepper—recent gold, silver and bronze medalists, respectively.
We’re thrilled that all three dogs have started their new lives as beloved pets! Stay tuned for updates to come as Bam Bam, Nautica and Wishbone settle into their new homes.
If we had to pick one word to describe Basha, we’d probably have to go with “mischievous.” This energetic cat is very playful, as well as sneaky! She’ll make herself comfortable in your lap, and when you least expect it, she’ll leap down and stage a sneak attack on your feet—one of her favorite games.
Basha has been in our care since 2011! She’s part of our Office Foster Cat program, so our staff has really bonded with her over the years. We enjoy her outgoing demeanor and hilarious antics on a daily basis. But, while Basha has become a fixture here in our office, we can’t wait for her to find a loving home of her own. She’d do best with an adopter with cat experience in a home with kids 12-and-up. Adopt Basha today!
Basha is available for adoption at the ASPCA Adoption Center. If you are interested in adopting please call our Adoptions department in New York City at (212) 876-7700 ext. 4120. To learn more about Basha, please visit her page.
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You may have heard a lot of talk about Idaho recently, and it’s no small potatoes. Idaho’s governor, C.L. “Butch” Otter, recently signed into law a controversial anti-whistleblower “ag-gag” bill that punishes those who expose abusive conditions on factory farms. Though Governor Otter claims this law will keep agriculture producers “secure in their property,” we, and countless others concerned about the welfare of animals, are extremely concerned about the greater implications of ag-gag.
In passing this bill, Idaho became the seventh state to enact an ag-gag law. By effectively closing out journalists, investigators, and even the general public from animal production facilities, the agribusiness industry can continue to keep consumers in the dark about where their food is coming from.
We have seen countless instances of abuse on industrial farms, including the recent case of a Wisconsin dairy farm that produces cheese for the frozen pizza brand DiGiorno. Undercover footage taken by Mercy For Animals caught workers at this farm viciously kicking, stabbing, beating, and dragging cows, and the footage led to 11 charges of criminal animal cruelty. Without such footage, we may never have known of these horrors, and because of ag-gag laws, we may never learn of countless other, similar instances.
Stopping animal cruelty is difficult enough when it’s done in secret, but when it happens legally and out in the open, ending it can be just as challenging. A tragic case in point: Greyhound racing, a cruel and senseless “sport” that not only kills or injures thousands of dogs every year across the country, but loses money for the places that operate them. State governments are often losers too, having to spend more to regulate the sport than they get back in revenue. Florida alone lost between $1 million and $3.3 million on Greyhound racing in 2012.
So why is this abomination still in business? Because for some, Greyhound racing is still big business.
Greyhounds begin their lives on breeding farms, where only a select few actually become racing dogs. Unwanted pups, those who assessed as unfit for racing, are killed or sometimes sent to laboratories, which use them in experiments. Those chosen for the sport spend most of their lives stacked in double-decker cages in warehouse-style kennels for 20 or more hours a day. Most of the areas Greyhounds are kept are not heated or air-conditioned, causing many to suffer during severe weather temperatures. Many also suffer from fleas, ticks and internal parasites.
While this is enough for most states to turn their back on the ugly practice, Greyhound racing still exists in seven states. More than half of all active American tracks, 12 of 21, are in Florida, where a ridiculous law requires gambling institutions to maintain and run dog racing facilities. You read that right: If you want to run a gaming institution in Florida, you must, by law, race dogs as well. More about that oddity in a moment, but first know that when these dogs are sent out to race, many are actually sent to their deaths.
Making use of a recent Florida law requiring that dog track deaths be reported, the Greyhound protection group GREY2K USA, with ASPCA help, put out a report last month revealing that 74 racing Greyhounds died at 10 different racetracks in Florida over the last seven months of last year. Put another way, from June to December, a Greyhound died from a racing-related injury every three days.
And only two months into 2014, there have already been an astounding 18 deaths at Florida Greyhound tracks. If this shocking rate of deaths continues, Florida tracks will have more than 100 Greyhound deaths by the end of the year.
Causes of Greyhound deaths included including fatal injuries suffered during or after races, and heat stroke. Fifty-one of the dead Greyhounds were under three years old; the two youngest dogs were both 17 months old. These majestic, perfectly healthy, gentle and loving animals were essentially run to death.