When Sarah first came to the ASPCA, she was the epitome of a “scaredy cat,” with the exception of one small detail: She’s a 30-lb. pit bull! Rescued from a life on the streets, Sarah was timid and fearful of nearly everything, until the perfect adopter came along and proved that love heals all wounds, even those we cannot see. Here is Sarah’s Happy Tail.
Sarah was found abandoned and wandering the streets of Bedford Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, in July 2014. Amid the sweltering summer heat, she was taken to the ASPCA Animal Hospital where she spent eight days under our care, which included a deworming treatment, spay surgery and all of her vaccines. To all appearances she looked like a strong, healthy dog, but Sarah was afraid of nearly everything. When out for a walk, she would get nervous and pull hard on the leash. She was unsure of other dogs and suspicious of new surroundings, and staff at the ASPCA noted that when scared, she would “stick to you like Velcro.” The sweet dog was clearly looking for guidance and love.
In October, Madeline H. came to the ASPCA Adoption Center in search of a new pet after her previous dog, Luna, passed away. “I was lonely and feeling very sad,” she recalls, “and there are plenty of dogs that need a good home.” At the ASPCA, Madeline met a number of adoptable pups before connecting instantly with Sarah. “She was there lying with one of her toys. She looked at me and got up and I said ‘Hi,’” she recalls. “Those eyes got me!”
Madeline adopted Sarah that day and never looked back. “People say, ‘How did you know she was your dog?’ and I say, ‘How did she know I was her mommy?’” Madeline beams. Back at her apartment, Sarah proved what we had suspected all along: With one-on-one attention and a home to call her own, the precious pittie soon came out of her anxious, timid shell. “Sarah is doing fantastic. She is a great dog, smart and very loving,” Madeline says. “All she needed was love.”
On Tuesday, July 21, the ASPCA will be celebrating national No Pet Store Puppies Day, and we're asking for your help! This is a great chance to educate your friends and family about what happens in puppy mills and remind them not to buy puppies, or any pet supplies, from pet stores that sell puppies—and adopt from a shelter or rescue group instead!
Puppy mill cruelty is a national problem. Tens of thousands of breeding dogs spend their lives in puppy mills, large-scale commercial breeding operations where profit is given priority over the well-being of the dogs. Dogs in these facilities are typically housed in tiny, overcrowded cages in unsanitary conditions, without proper veterinary care of adequate access to food and water—and many live out their entire lives without ever experiencing human affection. Female breeding dogs are bred at every opportunity with little to no time between litters for their bodies to recover, in order to produce as many puppies as possible and generate more profit for the mills.
What’s more, their offspring may suffer from behavior, congenital and hereditary problems as a result of irresponsible breeding practices. Puppies are typically sold to pet shops as young as eight weeks of age. Since most pet store puppies come from puppy mills, this cruelty is perpetuated every time a puppy is purchased from a pet store.
The ASPCA estimates that there are between 6,000 and 10,000 commercial breeding facilities in the United States—and we refuse to rest until every single mill dog is safe.
If you’re ready to stand with us against puppy mills, here are a few ways you can raise awareness and help puppy mill dogs right now.
Check out our revamped No Pet Store Puppies website. Visit NoPetStorePuppies.com to find out if your state regulates commercial breeders and how you can help end the cruelty. Sign the pledge that you won’t buy anything from pet stores that sell puppies—and tell everyone you know not to shop at those stores, either!
Spread the word. Watch the video below to meet Molly and her faithful pup, Joey, and learn why you shouldn’t shop at pet stores that sell puppies. Then share it with your friends and family on all your social media channels.
Make a donation today. We believe that no dog should suffer for profit, and we are making progress toward ending the abuse, but we can’t do it alone. You can help the ASPCA continue our fight against puppy mills, and all animal suffering, bymaking a donation today.
Puppy mill dogs are counting on us. Thank you for your support on Tuesday and every day!
Turk the cat arrived at the ASPCA in early April after being rescued by a Good Samaritan. Scarred on his face and legs from life on the streets, he was also suffering from an ear infection and ringworm. At the ASPCA Animal Hospital, the five-year-old, black-and-white cat spent more than two months undergoing treatment. He also had three teeth extracted.
Then, on June 23—78 days after he arrived at the ASPCA—Turk was made available for adoption. And within the hour, he was on his way home with Julie B. and her boyfriend, Jason, of Hamilton Heights in Manhattan.
“We were finishing up our visit, not sure if we were going to leave with a pet, when we overheard the staff and volunteers talking about a cat who had just become available for adoption and was ‘an absolute love,’” remembers Julie. Jason asked to meet the former street-fighting feline, and the moment they opened his cage, Turk begged for attention and flopped onto his back.
“We found the combination of his big, jowly, mob-boss tough looks and unbelievably affectionate personality irresistible, so we took him home on the spot,” Julie says.
Although she never had pets before Turk, Julie admits, “I've become that lady who's obsessed with her cat. He is the friendliest, most affectionate cat I've ever encountered. When people visit, he immediately wants to be their best friend and coerces them into giving him belly rubs. He still has the scars from his street-fighting days, but we can't imagine our little love bug being aggressive at all. He's a dream companion.”
Animal care technician Laurie Daniels, who helped care for Turk at the ASPCA, recalls how he was “insatiable” and loved to be touched. “He seemed to have no limits—no moments when he wanted to be alone,” Laurie says. “And what a heart he has! He is the quintessential diamond in the rough; an absolute treasure down on his luck who only needed a bit of compassion to get back on his feet.”
Julie, a singer and actress, and Jason, a jazz pianist, renamed their new feline friend Thelonious Monk after the pianist and composer. They call him Monkey for short.
“We wanted Monkey to feel like he fits in here, and it seems like he does,” Julie says. “In fact, he's already composed a few avant-garde, free-jazz style tunes walking across the piano keys toward his window perch. And he likes to sing along with me in his Louis Armstrong growl when I practice, though admittedly he may be telling me to shut up!”
Welcome to The Paw Print! In this recurring feature, we highlight the latest news affecting animals and animal-lovers around the country. Here are some of the top stories right now:
Dog Flu Outbreak Causes Concern: New cases of canine influenza have spread across several states and veterinarians are urging vigilance. Learn more about the outbreak including causes, symptoms, and preventative actions. [CNN.com]
Experts Divided on Cat Classification: Although cats have lived with humans for nearly 10,000 years and are the world’s most popular pet, many experts disagree about whether they’re actually domestic animals. A recent scientific paper examines just how “wild” our feline friends are. [Slate.com]
Pet Food Recall: Pet food maker Stella & Chewy’s® is recalling some of its products because a routine test found Listeria in a sample of its chicken freeze-dried dinner patties for dogs. The bacteria can be life-threatening to humans and to pets. [NBCNews.com]
Blame It On the Bulldog: When a pet parent came home to a mess, she asked her two dogs which one was responsible. In a hilarious video, her Bullmastiff points his paw (and his blame) at his French Bulldog brother! The video has gone viral and received over 1.7 million views. [HuffingtonPost.com]
Guest blog by Nancy Perry, Senior Vice President of ASPCA Government Relations.
On Wednesday, the U.S. House of Representatives’ Appropriations Committee approved an agriculture spending bill with some positive notes for animal welfare, although it failed to protect our nation’s horses.
By a single vote, the Committee failed to approve an amendment offered by Rep. Sam Farr (D-CA) that would have maintained the status quo by barring the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) from using taxpayer dollars to inspect horse slaughter facilities. Congress renewed this ban last year, prohibiting the cruel and unnecessary horse slaughter industry from operating anywhere in the country. Without further action to extend this ban beyond this September, Congress opens the door for a possible return of horse slaughter to the United States.
It’s disappointing that the House Appropriations Committee could allow such an irresponsible, wasteful use of taxpayer dollars to resume. The ASPCA is working with leaders in the House to include the ban on horse slaughter funding when the bill reaches the House Floor. The Senate Appropriations Committee is expected to consider a similar amendment when it meets next week.
“A total lapse in management at every level” was the word from the Committee on another critical animal welfare matter. Referencing the U.S. Meat Animal Research Center (USMARC)’s failures after a shocking New York Times exposé detailing egregious cruelties at the facility, the Committee took strong action to address the problems. The legislation approved this week provides funding for inspections of USMARC and other federally operated agricultural research centers and mandates improvements for animal welfare at these facilities. In fact, the legislation withholds $56.1 million dollars of the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service budget until the agency offers official assurances to Congress that it is adhering to the Animal Welfare Act (AWA) and following necessary reporting requirements.
Additionally, the bill blocks funds for licensing of Class B animal dealers who sell “random source” dogs and cats, often stolen or lost household pets obtained from disreputable and difficult-to-trace sources, for use in research. This language, championed by Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA), was added as part of a non-controversial manager’s amendment to the bill.
Finally, the agriculture spending bill maintains current funding levels for enforcement of the Animal Welfare Act and the Horse Protection Act. These funds will go toward AWA inspections and enforcement of provisions for dogs in puppy mills, and will enable the USDA to crack down on the cruel practice of horse soring.
The Agriculture Appropriations bill may move to the full House for consideration in coming months. Find out how you can help make sure it includes protections for our nation’s animals: Join the ASPCA Advocacy Brigade today.