The ASPCA, along with horse-lovers from near and far, headed out to Bridgehampton, New York, this week for the prestigious and star-studded 40th Annual Hampton Classic Horse Show.
For the ninth consecutive year, the ASPCA partnered with this iconic week-long show to promote animal adoption and raise awareness of critical equine cruelty issues with two special ASPCA-hosted events.
Things kicked off on Monday with our annual ASPCA Adoption and Animal Welfare Day, during which spectators got the opportunity to meet rescue horses face-to-face, hear their rescuers’ stories and learn ways they can make a difference for equines. Several local animal shelters and rescue groups were on site throughout the day to find loving homes for adorable, adoptable animals, including dogs, cats and, of course, horses. Even some formerly wild mustangs made an appearance!
Attendees were invited to the ASPCA Equine Town Hall just days later to hear experts from the ASPCA’s Government Relations department and Our Farm Equine Rescue discuss critical issues impacting horses today, like horse slaughter, homelessness and neglect, and how to rescue, rehab and re-home horses from the slaughter lot.
To make the events even more special, the ASPCA Equine Welfare Ambassadors team of top international riders, including Georgina Bloomberg, Brianne Goutal, Hayley Barnhill, Stacia Madden and our newest ambassador, Jennifer Gates, were on site during the week to answer questions and greet show-goers. Network correspondent and animal advocate Jill Rappaport, who is also an ASPCA Equine Welfare Ambassador, hosted Monday’s event.
The protection of horses has been a core part of the ASPCA mission since our founding nearly 150 years ago. The Hampton Classic allows us and our Welfare Ambassadors to share that passion with the equine community and spectators of the show, and to encourage them to serve as a voice for animals.
Alicia is a spirited and affectionate cat who is looking for a loving home. Although Alicia suffered head trauma that led to some trust issues and behavioral challenges, her distinctive personality, signature “chirping” sounds and ability to persevere through her challenges have made her a staff favorite. She’s curious, quirky, and loves to be the center of attention!
Our Behavior team has worked to identify some of the things that make Alicia uncomfortable, such as unfamiliar spaces or having her paws handled, and can work with an adopter on ways to help her navigate those discomforts and acclimate comfortably to her to her new home.
Alicia is not a climber or a jumper, in part due to impaired coordination. This means she prefers to avoid stairs and doesn’t jump on furniture or perch on window sills. As such, her food, toys and water should remain at ground level. She would do best in an adults-only home with an experienced, cat-savvy adopter. Adopt Alicia today!
Some animals are people-pleasers: they love everyone they meet and aren’t afraid to show affection. Some animals are shy, and instead prefer to devote themselves to one or two close confidantes who have earned their trust. Cheerio, a one-year-old Maltese rescued from cruelty, was the latter. Fortunately, she found the perfect companion to share her life—and her love—with after being rescued by the ASPCA. Here is her Happy Tail.
When Cheerio was rescued in February 2015, she had a hair band embedded deep in her neck and head. Although her skin had started to repair itself, the band had caused damage to her left ear canal. At the ASPCA Animal Hospital, Cheerio received medical care, along with dental and spay surgeries, before heading to our Adoption Center to search for a home.
But the abuse Cheerio had endured left her emotionally drained—she was nervous around strangers and other dogs and cried when left alone. Underneath the scared exterior, though, Cheerio was a sweet pooch eager for affection. Once she warmed up to someone, she would stick right by their side. The true definition of a “lap dog,” she loved to be stroked and cuddled. We knew that some adopter would be very lucky to have her, and fortunately, we met Jacqueline A. just a few months later.
Jacqueline admits that she wasn’t always eager for a new furry friend. “When our Bichon Frise passed away after being part of the family for 16 years, I decided to never have a dog again,” she confesses. The heartbreak was more than she could handle. But Jacqueline’s son had a different point of view. “He argued that our dog, even though a family dog, had been rather mine,” she says. “He said he wanted to go through the experience of adopting a dog and having a dog that would follow him, like my dog followed me around the house. A dog that he could call his own.”
Moved by her son’s request, Jacqueline began “window shopping” on the ASPCA website, and less than a month later they were at our Adoption Center meeting available pups in person. “We wanted a small dog that could come with us everywhere we went,” Jacqueline says, and it wasn’t long before they spotted Cheerio. “As we walked through the ASPCA, we saw her through a glass wall, all curled up and shaking. We couldn’t see her face, just a number of gray, black and taupe spots on her shaved, white body.” Cheerio had just been released from the Hospital and wasn’t ready for adoption yet, but Jacqueline’s son took one look and said “THAT ONE” without hesitation. “We decided to wait as long as it took for her to be ready for us.”
On April 10, Cheerio was finally ready. Jacqueline and her son adopted her and gave her a new name, Piccola, which means “small” or “little” in Italian. Jacqueline says, “From the moment she came home, she displayed a great personality. She is friendly, vivacious, sometimes naughty, and so cute that we can’t take a walk without being stopped every few steps with a petting request.”
What’s more, Jacqueline adds, “From the first day, she determined that my son was her ‘person.’ Even though I am the one who feeds her and bathes her, it is my son whom she follows around the home.” In other words, it sounds like both Cheerio and Jacqueline’s son got exactly what they both wanted: a best friend to call their own. Congratulations to this happy new family!
The words “horse auction” may not mean much to you, but for thousands of American equines, they are a death sentence. At these weekly events, horses are auctioned off to buyers who can use them for any purpose, which means that kill buyers—those who make money selling horses for their meat—are lurking around every corner. Many owners who take their horses to auctions have no idea that they might meet this awful fate.
While investigating a recent rural horse auction, Stacy Segal, Director of Equine Initiatives at the ASPCA, spotted a young chestnut horse. He engaged her with playful nuzzles, and that’s when she noticed the unusual marking on his head: a white heart. When his number came up, Stacy was devastated to see that kill buyers were among those doing the bidding. She couldn’t bear to see him sent to death, and—thanks to some fast action and the assistance of a horse rescue organization—was able to intervene and help save Heart’s life.
Today, Heart is happy, safe and loved. His life was spared that day, but hundreds of other horses weren’t so fortunate. For them, the horse auction was a death sentence. But saving one horse at a time is not that solution—and that’s why we need you to get involved right now.
When you make a donation to the ASPCA today, you can support our life-saving efforts, including those focused on ending horse slaughter once and for all. Your gift can help us continue to fight for legislation that will prevent horse slaughter from returning to the U.S. and ban the export of our horses for slaughter abroad, and can also help us continue to provide grants and hands-on assistance to rescues and sanctuaries all around the country.
We have great news, blog readers! Earlier this month, Random House Children’s Books and Dr. Seuss Enterprises hosted a very special social media campaign to promote pet adoption and help raise money for animals in crisis in honor of the newly-released Dr. Seuss book, What Pet Should I Get?
As part of the campaign, Random House asked you to share the love you have for your furry friends by posting a photo of your pet to Instagram or Twitter. For every photo posted using the hashtag #whatpet, Random House and Dr. Seuss Enterprises would donate one dollar to the ASPCA, up to the first 15,000 photos—and the results were pretty amazing!
Thanks to animal-lovers like you, the 15,000 photo goal was reached within just 6 days! Even big name participants like BigCatDerek and AmyPoehlerSmartGirls both joined in on the fun. The funds raised from the #whatpet campaign will go towards supporting the ASPCA’s lifesaving services that help animals in need nationwide every day.
This is no small feat, and we’re so thankful to pet parents like you who shared photos of your animal companions! We again want to thank Random House Books and Dr. Seuss Enterprises for this amazing opportunity to remind readers that pet adoption is always the best option.
Already shared your photo? Check out all the photos and see other pet parents with their four-legged friends at www.whatpet.com.