- 1. Year in Review: Best New State Laws for Animals in 2009
- 2. Three-Legged Pooch Wins Top Honors at the ASPCA Talent Show
- 3. ASPCA Saves 26 Severely Neglected Dogs—Six Others Found Dead
- 4. Shop Smart, Stay Warm at the ASPCA Online Store
- 5. Victory: Government Adopts Stronger Rules for Organic Milk
- 6. ASPCA Happy Tails: JoJo Phones Home
1. Year in Review: Best New State Laws for Animals in 2009
Looking back at our accomplishments in 2009, champions of animal welfare throughout the United States have plenty to celebrate! For a quick and easy rundown of last year’s coolest new laws, check out the Legislative Year in Review featured on ASPCA.org. You’ll also get to see which animal welfare topics were popular with legislative bodies in multiple states.
Did your state score a Greatest Hit? Want to make your state number one? To help enact laws that support animals, join our online Advocacy Brigade, a free service that allows you to take action for animals right from your computer.
2. Three-Legged Pooch Wins Top Honors at the ASPCA Talent Show
On February 12, a three-legged Pit Bull named Prince was crowned top dog at the ASPCA’s 5th Annual Talent Competition for shelter pups in New York City. The talented two year old wowed the crowd as a major league “catcher,” expertly retrieving three strikes from his equally skilled handler/pitcher.
Prince and eight other dogs demonstrated their diverse talents in front of a panel of celebrity judges and an adoring crowd at our Adoption Center. Judges included Grammy award-winning singer-songwriter Roberta Flack, Tony award-winning actress Bernadette Peters, ballroom dance champion and choreographer from So You Think You Can Dance Melanie LaPatin and Assistant Director of ASPCA Humane Law Enforcement Joseph Pentangelo.
“The talent show demonstrates the resilience of these wonderful dogs,” says Gail Buchwald, Senior Vice President of the ASPCA Adoption Center, “but the real prize will be finding their two-legged soul mates and homes to call their own.”
We’re happy to report that three of Prince’s fellow contestants were adopted in the days following the big show: Stormy, a big, beautiful Pit girl; Ted, a Saint Bernard mix; and sun-worshipping Sebastian, who delighted the audience with his limbo and skateboarding skills.
3. ASPCA Saves 26 Severely Neglected Dogs—Six Others Found Dead
On Wednesday, February 17, under the authority of the Washington County (GA) Sheriff's Office, the ASPCA Field Investigations and Response Team assisted in the rescue of 26 Pit Bulls near Sandersville, Georgia.
The dogs, allegedly used for fighting and breeding, were found chained to tire axles and posts scattering the 25-acre property. Left to starve without sufficient food, water or adequate shelter from freezing temperatures, all were severely emaciated and suffering from obvious neglect, including broken bones, wounds and a variety of infections. An additionalsix dogs were found dead and in various stages of decomposition.
"It's bad enough that these dogs were treated cruelly and raised in horrible conditions," said Tim Rickey, the ASPCA Senior Director of Field Investigations and Response. "But to leave them like this to starve is incomprehensible and speaks exactly to the kinds of heinous crimes the ASPCA fights day in and day out."
Authorities believe the dogs had been used for fighting. "They bear the battle scars consistent with those of fighting dogs," Rickey said. "Being chained 24/7 is no way to livethey have lived miserable lives, and are just starved for human contact."
With the help of other rescue organizations, including the United Animal Nations and Sumter DART (Disaster Animal Response Team), the dogs were safely transferred to an emergency shelter in Washington County where they received immediate triage by a team of veterinarians, including Dr. Melinda Merck, ASPCA Senior Director of Veterinary Forensics, and Dr. Robert Reisman, ASPCA Coordinator of Abuse Cases. They were assisted by ASPCA veterinary technicians and Dr. Jason Byrd, Associate Director of the Center for Forensic Medicine at the University of Florida.
Washington County authorities arrestedthe caretaker of the animals and have charged him with two felonies: one for animal abuse of a dog and one for being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm.He was also charged with 25 misdemeanor counts of animal abuse. Other arrests and animal cruelty charges are anticipated.
"We are grateful to be able to respond to this situation, and for the agencies assisting us," said Deputy Lynn Schlup of the Washington County Sheriff's Office, who contacted the ASPCA for assistance.
Video courtesy of Channel 6 WJBF
The dogs will be cared for at the temporary shelter by volunteers of United Animal Nations until a forfeiture hearing. For the latest information about the rescued dogs, please visit ASPCA.org.
4. Shop Smart, Stay Warm at the ASPCA Online Store
Brr…it's cold outside! Never fear, animal lovers, you can still shop smart and keep warm. Check out the ASPCA Online Store for a fun and easy way to help animals in need without setting foot in the snow! Our cozy winter apparel, personalized jewelry and fun, reliable pet toys spread the message that you love animals. Not to mention, all proceeds directly support the ASPCA’s efforts to end animal cruelty!
Be sure to use checkout code SHIPLOVE to get free shipping on orders over $50 (only in the Continental U.S.).
ASPCA Logo Black Fleece Zip Jacket
Declare heartfelt love for the animals in your life while staying warm in this super soft, heavyweight, anti-pill fleece. This jacket will keep you cozy while getting our message out.
“I Heart ASPCA” Dog Tee
The “I Heart ASPCA” dog tee is a fun and fashionable way for your dog to make a real statement on behalf of animals. These cozy tees are made of 100% high-quality, machine-washable cotton.
ASPCA Logo Full-Zip Hoodie
Everybody knows you gotta wear a hoodie if you wanna look cool. Why not sport a sweatshirt with our logo and let people know you care about animals, too? Substance and style!
Up to 70% Off Clearance Items
From squeaky plush toys and snazzy message tees to winter beanie hats and oversized mugstake up to 70% off all ASPCA clearance items!
5. Victory: Government Adopts Stronger Rules for Organic Milk
Good newsthe U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) proposed regulations for the care of “organic” dairy cows, which we asked you take action on two weeks ago, have been approved! The new rules, effective June 17, stipulate that organic milk and meat must come from livestock grazing on pasture for at least four months of the year; 30 percent of the cows’ feed must come from grazing; and ranchers must have a plan to protect soil and water quality.
“We are delighted to learn that so many cows will now have access to pasture and an opportunity to graze,” says Robert Baker, ASPCA Senior Manager of Farm Animal Welfare. “We hope this will be the first of many steps the USDA will take to align organic standards with humane standards. Consumers need to be given an opportunity to make a ‘humane’ choice as well as a healthy choice when they choose organic products. We welcome these initial measures toward this goal.”
We would like to give a big thanks to News Alert readers and members of the ASPCA Advocacy Brigade who took the time to email the White House from ASPCA.org. Over the span of 15 days, more than 33,000 emails were sent!
“Clear and enforceable standards are essential to the health and success of the market for organic agriculture,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack in a USDA press release issued last Friday. “The final rule published today will give consumers confidence that organic milk or cheese comes from cows raised on pasture, and organic family farmers the assurance that there is one, consistent pasture standard that applies to dairy products.”
For more information on the new rules for organic milk, visit the website of the National Organic Program.
6. ASPCA Happy Tails: JoJo Phones Home
On January 11, after a harrowing month spent in Ohio, a pooch named JoJo was returned to his pet parents, Mark and Alejandra Ryan of Manhattan, thanks to his microchip, HomeAgain membership and the ASPCA. HomeAgain is a microchip registration and lost pet recovery service that reunites missing animals with their families.
HomeAgain membership includes travel assistance for pets who are found more than 500 miles away from home, and covers the cost of flying these pets back to their families. “The ASPCA, acting on behalf of HomeAgain, manages these cases—coordinating travel and making connections to ensure that all goes well,” explains Mindy Bough, Senior Director of Client Services at the ASPCA. “It is a special and fulfilling way to contribute.”
No doubt JoJo is grateful. In 2009, the Ryans adopted the friendly Lab mix from an NYC rescue group, and all was rosy until the holidays, when JoJo traveled to Columbus, OH, to spend time with Mark’s family. While Mark and Alejandra were abroad, the energetic pooch bolted from his kennel, causing worried relatives to spend their holidays searching for the missing pup.
“There were several sightings, one on Christmas Day even, but nobody could catch him,” says Katie Lindquist, ASPCA Client Services Associate.
Finally, Franklin County Animal Control officials pinpointed JoJo’s whereabouts and caught the dog with a gentle trap. The pooch was scanned for a microchip, and his microchip number was called in to HomeAgain to identify his pet parents. A teary family reunion followed at the Franklin County Animal Shelter—JoJo was a few pounds lighter and had a minor paw injury, but otherwise seemed healthy and happy. Days later, he flew back to the Big Apple.
Microchipping can often mean the difference between temporary and permanent separation from your furry loved one. All animals who are adopted from the ASPCA Adoption Center come with a free microchip, which is injected under a pet’s skin between the shoulder blades. It’s important to remember that microchips are only as effective as the contact information provided to a company like HomeAgain, so please always keep your address and phone number up-to-date.
For more information about microchipping or HomeAgain member benefits, please visit HomeAgain.com. If you need help locating a furry friend, check out our Tips for Finding a Lost Pet.