- 1. Happy Birthday, Henry Bergh!
- 2. Busy Pets Are Happy Pets: Fun Ways to Keep Your Pet Active
- 3. Hurricane Season’s Here: Six Steps to A Rescue Plan that Includes Pets
- 4. ASPCA Rescue Tails: Kitten Survives Six Days in Duffel Bag
- 5. Serial Cat Killer Arrested After Four-Month Spree
1. Happy Birthday, Henry Bergh!
Pop a candle in your morning muffin, give your kitty a kiss and join us in celebrating the birthday of ASPCA founder Henry Bergh this Saturday, August 29. Born in 1813, Bergh dedicated his life to advocating for the protection of animals and in 1866, founded the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. The organization’s mission: to provide effective means for the prevention of cruelty to animals throughout the United States.
The comforts Bergh gained for creatures during his lifetime are enormous in scope. He helped pass the nation’s first anti-cruelty law, inspected slaughterhouses and stables, lectured in schools and spoke out against dog fighting, vivisection, horse racing and circuses. He advocated humane alternatives to live pigeons at shooting events, and supplied daily drinking water to the horses who pulled carts and streetcars in Manhattan. By the time of Bergh’s death in 1888, the idea that animals should be protected from cruelty had deeply touched America's conscience.
Thank you, Henry, and happy birthday! Join us in our celebration and send our special animated Henry Bergh eCard to all the animal lovers you know.
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2. Busy Pets Are Happy Pets: Fun Ways to Keep Your Pet Active
It seems like the most natural thing in the worldour pets need food, water, medical care and lots of love. But dogs and cats have other needs, too. Our furry friends need ample physical exercise and mental stimulation to lead truly full and happy lives.
“They need jobs,” says Kristen Collins, CPDT, ASPCA Animal Trainer. Dogs and cats need to stay busy and engaged, but unfortunately most pets are unemployedthey sit at home, chronically bored, waiting for their humans to return from work. And as we all know, an idle pet can quickly turn into a naughty pet when restlessness becomes overwhelming.
“With nothing to do, dogs and cats are forced to find ways to entertain themselves,” explains Kristen. “Their activities of choice often include behaviors we find problematic, like excessive barking or meowing, gnawing on shoes, raiding the garbage, eating houseplants and scratching furniture.”
To prevent behavior and health problems, Kristen recommends the following physical and mental workoutsboth when you’re there to join the fun and when your pet is home alone.
Move it! Healthy adult dogs need at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise twice a day. Jogging, swimming and playing at the dog park are all great ways to burn excess energy.
Get Their Games On: Engage in structured games, like fetch and tug-of-warthey’re not only great exercise but also teach your pet impulse control and strengthen the bond between you.
Engage in the Hunt: Keep your dog occupied when he’s home alone by giving him a food-stuffed puzzle toy, like the Kong, or some tasty chew toys.
Let’s Get Physical: Like their canine counterparts, cats also need plenty of aerobic exercise. Get kitty fit with rousing play sessions, such as chase and fetch with furry toys, small balls or toy mice.
Feline Pastimes: Encourage your cat’s favorite home alone activities, including bird watching, exploring paper bags or boxes, watching cat videos or spending time in secure outdoor enclosures.
Teach Your Cat New Tricks! Felines are quick studies and can learn practical skills like coming when called, sitting up, rolling over and even using the toilet!
Kristen adds: “The bottom line is that you're responsible for enriching your pet's life. Providing opportunities to exercise your cat or dog’s mind and body will keep her healthy and happyand enhance your relationship, too.”
For more information about enriching your pet’s life, please check out expert advice from our Virtual Pet Behaviorist.
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3. Hurricane Season’s Here: Six Steps to A Rescue Plan that Includes Pets
Katrina, Ike and Gustav are more than just names to those whose homes and families were devastated by these destructive storms. Even with the aid of disaster response teams, many evacuees permanently lost their companion animals. As hurricane season 2009 heats up, the message couldn't be cleareryou can help prevent losing your pet by putting emergency evacuation plans into place.
The ASPCA would like to offer a sneak peak at six steps to follow BEFORE you’re faced with evacuation. To read our complete list in English and Spanish, visit the Disaster Preparedness section of our website.
Get a Rescue Alert Sticker
Affix these decals, free on the ASPCA website, to the windows of your home to alert rescue officials that a pet lives inside.
Arrange a Safe Haven
Don’t leave your pet behind if you’re forced to evacuate. Find out if there are emergency animal shelters in your area. If not, take these steps to keep your pet safe.
Pre-Pack Emergency Supplies and Traveling Kits
Prepare an Evac-Pack and pet supplies before emergency strikes, and make sure that everyone in the family knows where they are. The kit should be clearly labeled, easy to carry and should include items such as a pet first aid kit, recent photos of your animal companion and food and water bowls. Read a more complete list of items to include.
Choose A Designated Caregiver
Take time to consider who you’d like to act as your pet’s temporary caregiver should you not make it home in time to retrieve your pet. Ask yourself these questions: is the person home often enough to care for your pet, do they have a key to your residence and have they spent time getting to know your animal companion?
Have an Evacuation Plan in Place
Plan for the worst-case scenario. Store an emergency kit and leashes as close to an exit as possible, make sure all of your pets are wearing proper identification and consider your evacuation route ahead of time.
Know Your Region’s Weather Patterns
If you live in an area that is prone to natural catastrophes, such as tornadoes, earthquakes or floods, know which rooms in your house can be used as safe havens, store up a supply of fresh water in advance and, in the event of an emergency, keep your pets with you, even crating them for safety and comfort.
Visit the Disaster Preparedness section of our website for a more complete list of emergency planning tips and to download the Ready Pets brochure on pet-friendly evacuation(pdf).
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4. ASPCA Rescue Tails: Kitten Survives Six Days in Duffel Bag
If one cat’s will to live could outmatch the strength of a heavy canvas bag, then surely one little kitten in Spokane County, WA, has the courage of a lion. Last week, two maintenance workers were testing garage doors at an apartment complex when they heard the muffled sounds of a distressed kitten coming from a large, heavy canvas duffel bag. The workers unzipped the bag only to find a second zipped duffel bag inside. When they opened the second bag, they discovered a frightened orange kitten, whom they promptly named Duff.
After giving him a much-needed bath, the rescuers called the Spokane County Regional Animal Protection Service (SCRAPS)an ASPCA Mission: Orange partner agencyto pick up and care for the tiny, suffering kitten.
“Duff was very lucky to be found,” says Animal Protection Officer Nicole Montano. “He probably would have died that day.”
SpokaneValley resident Donivan Crews later confessed to SCRAPS that he placed the kitten in the duffel bags six days prior to discovery. Crews was charged with confinement in an unsafe manner.
But this story of cruel abandonment has a very happy ending. One of Duff’s knights in shining armor adopted the lucky feline, who’s now recovering in a truly loving home.
“We are so grateful for the heroes who not only rescued this kitten but also took him into their hearts and home,” says Jackie E. Bell, SCRAPS Development Coordinator. “Duff will always have his name as a reminder of how he overcame such a tough start in life.”
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5. Serial Cat Killer Arrested After Four-Month Spree
On August 21, ASPCA Special Agents arrested Manhattan resident Sean Lynde, 36, for allegedly killing four cats and seriously injuring two others. The cats were owned by Lynde’s ex-girlfriend, Rachel Strate.
Lynde, who has a documented history of violent outbreaks, was indicted by a Manhattan Grand Jury on six counts of felony aggravated animal cruelty, seven counts of misdemeanor animal cruelty, three counts of aggravated harassment, one count of criminal mischief, two counts of criminal contempt and one count of stalking. He pleaded not guilty and is currently out on $5,000 bail.
“Incidents like these are especially chilling,” says Stacy Wolf, Vice President and Chief Legal Counsel for the ASPCA Humane Law Enforcement Department. “An individual who can commit such violent acts against multiple pets over a period of months is someone who the criminal justice system needs to take serious notice of.”
The four-month killing spree began last fall after Lynde moved into Strate’s Upper West Side apartment. Events unfolded as follows:
On October 5, 2008, Strate’s 15-year-old cat, Cleo, was found dead behind a dryer with her mouth full of laundry detergent. A necropsy confirmed she also suffered head trauma, including a broken jaw and bleeding eye. A short time later, her 12-year-old cat named Zoe was found badly beaten, suffered extensive head trauma and had to be euthanized.
In November 2008, Strate adopted two three-month-old kittens, Willie and Betty. Later that month, she came home to discover Willie was unable to walk and returned him to his previous owner. On November 24, she came home to find Betty on the floor dead. “Lynde stated that Betty fell from a countertop to the floor and stopped breathing,” says Assistant Director of ASPCA Humane Law Enforcement, Joseph Pentangelo.
On December 18, still not suspecting her boyfriend of any wrongdoing, Strate adopted two more kittens, Emo and Bonafide. Soon after his adoption, Emo suffered an unexplained broken paw and subsequently vanished. On January 23, Strate found Bonafide with a broken neckhe later slipped into a coma and died.
In January 2009, the ASPCA received an anonymous tip and began investigating the suspicious killings.
If you suspect that someone is committing an act of animal cruelty in your community, report it to the proper authorities immediately.
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