- 1. Economic Forecast: One Million Pets May Lose Homes
- 2. ASPCA Success Story of the Week: Bandit Bounces Back
- 3. Top 10 Winter Exercise Guidelines for Dogs
- 4. TN Puppy Mill Raid Update: Puppies Take Manhattan!
- 5. ASPCA Job of the Week
- 6. 2008 in Review: The Nation’s Best New Laws for Animals
1. Economic Forecast: One Million Pets May Lose Homes
The current U.S. financial crisis has the potential to grow into a serious animal welfare issue, warns Executive Vice President of ASPCA Programs, Dr. Stephen Zawistowski. As households across the country are caught in the economic downturn, an estimated 500,000 to one million cats and dogs are at risk of becoming homeless.
“According to national financial estimates, approximately one in 171 homes in the U.S. is in danger of foreclosure due to the subprime mortgage crisis,” Zawistowski observes. “Considering that approximately 63 percent of U.S. households have at least one pet, hundreds of thousands are in danger of being abandoned or relinquished to animal shelters.”
To avoidor ease theheartbreak of losing ananimal companion due to economic hardship, the ASPCAurges pet owners who are faced with foreclosure to think of alternatives ahead of time:
See if friends, family or neighbors can provide temporary foster care fortheir pet untilthey get back ontheir feet.
Ifthey are moving into a rental property, get written permission in advance that pets are allowed.
Contacttheirlocal animal shelter, humane society or rescue group before they move. If a shelter agrees to takethe pet, they should provide medical records, behavior information and anything else that might helpthe pet find a new home.
“Everyone is being affected by the current economic crisis in some way,” says ASPCA President & CEO Ed Sayres. “Community animal shelters and rescue groups across the country may soon be seeing an increase in homeless pets or a decrease in the donations they rely on.”
We urgeASPCA News Alert readersto help in any way that you can:
Adopt a homeless pet.
Donate used blankets, towels or even tennis balls to your local animal shelter.
Foster adoptable animals until they find their forever homes.
Help community members who may be struggling to take care of their pets.
For more information on pets in the economic crisis, please visit our pressroom.
2. ASPCA Success Story of the Week: Bandit Bounces Back
Animal rescuer Richelle Blue first spotted Bandit during a scheduled visit to her local auto repair shop, where the owner of the garage kept him tied to a four-foot chain. “His head hung low and there was no life in his eyes,” Richelle tells us. “This was a dog who had simply given up.”
Richelle also noticed that Bandit had no food, water or shelter, and attempted to report his condition to the local authorities. “There is no SPCA or animal control in this rural part of Iowa,” she explains. “So I knew I had to find a way to help Bandit myself.”
That week, Richelle began spending time with Bandit. “He soon recognized the sound of my truck and would bound to the end of his chain, wiggling in anticipation.”
Even Bandit’s owner took notice of the change in his dog. “He saw my interest in Bandit and told me I could take him, that he was happy to be rid of him,” says Richelle. “And I couldn’t have been happier to get him out of there!”
After feeding Bandit a hearty meal at home, Richelle set to work bathing the dirt-encrusted pooch. “It took hours to wash and brush out his long fur,” she says, “but in the end he was just so handsome.” It seems like Bandit thought so, too. “When the grooming process was over,he began to prance around in circles!”
Over the next few weeks, Richelle taught Bandit all the important lessons a good dog should knowhow to sit, stay and relieve himself outside. In no time, Bandit blossomed into a happy and well-adjusted companion, and Richelle began looking for a suitable family for him. “Saying goodbye to a rescued animal is always heartbreaking,” explains Richelle. “But finding a loving home truly makes it all worthwhile.”
Regular updates and photos from Bandit’s new family confirm that he is one loved and very spoiled pooch! As Richelle tells us, “Bandit will always be an inspiration for rescuing other animals in need and a reminder as to why I do this work.”
3. Top 10 Winter Exercise Guidelines for Dogs
Does your pooch turn into a couch potato when winter’s chill settles upon your neighborhood? ASPCA experts assure us that while short-haired and smaller breeds may require cozy apparel to protect them from winter’s bite, others simply need a little training to learn how to enjoy a cold-weather romp.
"Getting pets who dislike the cold to go outside during the winter months can often be a behavior-related challenge,” observes ASPCA Animal Trainer Kristen Collins, “but with a few simple training tricksand the right attirepet parents can teach animal companions to be more enthusiastic about playing outdoors in winter.”
Wanna learn our insider's tips? Here’s a sneak peak at our Top 10 Winter Exercise Guidelines for Dogs:
Get your dog excited about outdoor exercise with off-leash play like tug or fetch, or let her romp with canine buddiesthe more aerobic the activity, the warmer your pooch will be.
While on a brisk walk, pop something delicious into your pooch’s mouthor feed her breakfast by hand as you go.
Winter is a great time to enroll in indoor training classes. Agility and flyball are often taught in heated facilities and are excellent exercise for your dog's body and mindyou'll enjoy them, too!
Consider walking your pet in wooded areas during the winter months. Forests not only provide protection from wind but, rich with smells, sights and sounds to investigate, they can be infinitely interesting to dogs and distract them from the chilly temperatures.
Keep your pet warmespecially puppies who have less body fat than adultswith a well-fitting coat that covers your dog's back and underside, where most dogs have no fur. (Fleece is nice!)
And please remember, if you’re cold, your pet probably is, toothat means it’s time to come home.
4. TN Puppy Mill Raid Update: Puppies Take Manhattan!
The hundreds of dogs liberated from a Tennessee puppy mill last Wednesday are ready to begin the next chapter of their lives. After spending a few days in a temporary shelter being evaluated and treated by the ASPCA’s cruelty investigation team, veterinarians and behaviorists, the dogs have now been transferred to multiple humane groups for continued care and eventual placement in new homes.
Although the criminal investigation into the breeding operation is ongoing and charges have not yet been filed, relocation of the dogs is possible because the puppy mill’s owner agreed to sign over custody to the White County Sheriff’s Department, which then turned them over to the ASPCA. Initially, 285 dogs were pulled from the propertyhowever, several of them were pregnant. A shih tzu gave birth to six puppies the day after the raid, and three more babies were born on Saturday, bringing the new total to 294.
Earlier this week, 43 of the small-breed dogssome puppies, some adultsmade the 13-hour journey to ASPCA headquarters in New York City. Many will be able to be adopted right away, although some will be best served by a longer rehabilitative stay. “It’s doubtful any of these dogs has ever been walked on a leash, and many have never been outdoors,” says Jeff Eyre, ASPCA Director of Field Operations. Potential adopters are asked to keep in mind that these dogs have led abnormal lives, and that they will require extra patience to assimilate as household pets.
Special thanks are due to all the agencies and individualswho participated in this giant effort, from the volunteers and veterinarians who came from all corners of the South to the White County Sheriff’s Department and American Humane Association, an exemplary partner that assisted in everything from rescue to assessment.
Adoptions of the White County puppy mill dogs begin today at the ASPCA Adoption Center in Manhattan (424 E. 92nd Street). For more information, please call (212) 876-7700, ext. 4145.
5. ASPCA Job of the Week
Help us help animals! The ASPCA is looking for a Fundraising Campaign Coordinator to assist with our online fundraising efforts, including outreach campaigns and e-solicitations. Our ideal candidate has at least one year of marketing experience in a tech-heavy environment, as well as direct knowledge of web editing software, HTML, Photoshop and Convio. If you’re an exceptional communicator with a flexible work style and a love of animals, we’d love to hear from you!
This position is required to work from a home-based, remote office. The ASPCA offers generous benefit packages for full-time employees. Please submit your resume and salary requirements for our prompt consideration.
6. 2008 in Review: The Nation’s Best New Laws for Animals
Looking back at 2008, championsof animal welfare throughout the United States have plenty to celebrate! Most of the 44 states that conducted regular legislative sessions last year passed at least one pro-animal lawon topics ranging from fighting and felony cruelty to pet trusts and abandonmentand many states passed several. For a quick and easy rundown of 2008’s coolest new laws, check out our new Greatest Hits feature in the ASPCA’s Lobby for Animals section. You’ll also get to see which animal-related topics were popular in multiple states.
Did your state score a Greatest Hit? To help enact laws that help animals this year and in the future, please join the ASPCA Advocacy Brigade.