- 1. Can You Tell If an Animal Has Been Abused?
- 2. ASPCA Happy Tails: Free Spirit
- 3. Visit the Facebook Marketplace and Help Save Animals
- 4. Dog Walking 101: Tips to Make Your Outings Safe & Fun
- 5. ASPCA Job of the Week
- 6. Next Thursday: Chat with Officer Annemarie Lucas!
1. Can You Tell If an Animal Has Been Abused?
April kicks off Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Monthbut you can't fight cruelty if you don't know what it looks like. Recognizing signs of abuse is simple, right? Not quite, say ASPCA experts. Many people interpret an animal’s aggression, fear or timidity as a surefire clue that the animal has suffered crueltybut looking solely at a pet’s behavior doesn’t tell the whole story.
“It’s almost impossible to make conclusions based on a pet’s behavior alone,” says the ASPCA Animal Behavior Center’s Kristen Collins, CPDT. “The best way to tell whether a pet is being or has been abused is to observe his body and the surrounding environment.”
ASPCA Special Agent Kristi Adams agrees. “The clues I look for when investigating a scene," says Adams,"are whether the animal is being provided with adequate food, water and shelter, and whether he or she appears injured or sick.”
Check out our complete list of telltale signs that an animal needs help.
Here’s a sneak peek at some physical and environmental signs of animal abuse:
- Collar so tight that it’s caused a neck wound or has become embedded in the pet’s neck
- Open wounds, signs of multiple healed wounds or an ongoing injury or illness that isn’t being treated
- Extreme thinness or emaciationbones may be visible beneath the skin
- Pets are tied up alone outside for long periods of time without adequate food or water.
- Pets are kept in an area littered with feces, garbage, broken glass or other objects that could harm them
If you suspect an animal is being abused, don’t keep it to yourselfreport it to your local authorities. “Reporting suspected animal cruelty ensures that animals in jeopardy receive prompt and often lifesaving care,” says ASPCA Supervisory Special Investigator Annemarie Lucas. “By making a complaint to the police or humane society in your areawhich you can do anonymouslyyou help ensure that animals in need are rescued and that perpetrators of animal cruelty are brought to justice."
Please read our Reporting Cruelty FAQ for more information, and have a safe and proactive Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Month.
2. ASPCA Happy Tails: Free Spirit
According to Melanie Higdon, founder of Hidden Springs Horse Rescue in Marianna, FL, winter 2008 was an unusually long, hard season. “We weren’t able to bale as much hay as we normally do and were struggling to care for a large number of rescued horses,” she recalls. That’s why she was relieved to receive a grant from the ASPCA's Emergency Hay Fund Program. “I applied in October and we were awarded the funds in November. We are extremely grateful, as the ASPCA enabled us to feed our horses through the winter.”
One eight-year-old mustang in particular benefited from the grant that allowed Hidden Springstostayin business.
In 2005, after being removed from his native California range, the wild horse was transported to Florida and adopted by a familythat unfortunately had no experience in equine care. Three years later, the mustang, who had been kept in a small, fenced enclosure, still showed signs of fear around humans. Unable to socialize him, his adoptive family contacted Hidden Springs to help find him a more suitable home.
The mustang’s new shot ata homearrived in the form of 21-year-old pre-veterinary student Stephanie Lynn. Says Higdon, “Stephanie visited our farm, and as we spoke I could see her genuine love and compassion for horses.”
When Lynn first met the horse, she gently crossed into his pen carrying a bucket of feed. The once-frightened animal came right over to her. “I could feel that he wanted out of his small enclosure to run and stretch his legs," she says.
Lynn grew up with equines, and learned from her Native American grandmother how to ride bareback. It was her grandmother who helped name her new horse Chevayo, a Native American word that means “Spirit Runs Free."
Chevayo is now boarded at a farm near Chipley, FL, and shares a pasture with his new herdLynn’s three other rescued horses. “I might never ride him,” she says. “If I do, it’ll be bareback, so he can run as free and fast as he wants.”
Comments Jacque Schultz, Senior Director, ASPCA Community Outreach and Equine Grants Officer, "Times are tough for equine rescues. Many have seen their donations drop by 50 percent, while hay prices rise sky-high. Thanks to generous ASPCA donors, we were able to distribute nearly $150,000 in hay grants in 2008 to groups like Hidden Springs Horse Rescue.”
Check out other horses up for adoption.
3. Visit the Facebook Marketplace and Help Save Animals
Spring cleaning meets fundraisinghere’s your chance to clean out your garage and your closet for a good cause! Just visit the Facebook Marketplace, where you can help us out by selling an item on behalf of the ASPCA.
You can sell anything you’d like, from clothes and toys to artwork, and donate all or some of the proceeds to us. Our Facebook friend Mike Oliver is putting up his graphic design services. Gyongyi Szucs is offering dog walks, and Katy Hansen is selling her Marc Jacobs handbag! Get creative and have fun!
You can also help us out by buying somethinghave we got some goodies in store for you! The ASPCA’s Victoria Wells (yes, of Animal Precinct fame!), Manager of Behavior and Training, is inviting you to spend the day with her at our Adoption Center in New York City! After a one-hour private training session for you and your dog, Victoria will take you on a personal tour of our shelter and let you watch her work with animals seized by our Humane Law Enforcement officers.
View this item and more on the Facebook Marketplace.
4. Dog Walking 101: Tips to Make Your Outings Safe & Fun
It can be ajob or a joy, pet parents, but we’ve all got to do ityup, we’re talking about walking the dog! The beginning of spring is a great time to consider some ways to reinvent this daily ritual and make it more enjoyable for the both of you. Whether you’re a proud new pup parent or a long-time, experienced dog handler, our experts have got some advice for you. Who says you can’t teach an old owner new tricks?
Among the tips you’ll find in the complete article:
- "Retractable leashes are best reserved for walks in the park, when it’s safe for a dog to explore a bit further away from her pet parent,” says the ASPCA Animal Behavior Center’s Kristen Collins, CPDT. NOT a good idea if you’re walking in an area with high foot traffic or off-leash dogs, as the long line may get wrapped around your dog, a person’s leg or another dog.
- Walk with buddies. If your dog likes other dogs, consider group walks. You can either borrow a friend’s dog to accompany you, or invite family and friends who have dogs to meet you somewhere.
- Even though popular spring plants like tulips and daffodils add much to our landscape, they can cause significant stomach problems for our furry friends. If your pooch likes to stop and smellor nibblethe flowers, keep him on a short leash during walks.
Read the complete article Dog Walking 101.
5. ASPCA Job of the Week
Calling all legal eagles! The ASPCA is searching for a Corporate Counsel to manage our legal department and oversee intellectual property matters, including trademark acquisition, reprint requests and copyright infringements. We’re searching for someone with five to seven years of corporate legal experience, a law degree and excellent judgment and discretion. If you’re a pro at drafting licensing agreements and establishing legal protocols, you could be the one!
The ASPCA offers generous benefit packages for full-time employees. Please submit your resumeand salary requirements for our prompt consideration.
6. Next Thursday: Chat with Officer Annemarie Lucas!
You’ve seen her on our hit series Animal Precinct, and now you can talk to her one on one! ASPCA Supervisory Special Investigator Annemarie Lucas will join us for a live, online discussion next Thursday, April 2. This is a special opportunity to chat with one of the ASPCA’s Finest and learn about preventing animal cruelty. Officer Lucas’s chat will kick off our ongoing celebrations throughout April, which is Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Month.
The discussion will take place on the ASPCA Online Communityfrom noon to 2:00 P.M. EST. Save the dateyou don’t want to miss this one!