- 1. ASPCA Happy Tails: King of the World
- 2. NYC Woman Arrested for Allegedly Starving Two Terriers
- 3. ASPCA Grants $1 Million to Retired Racehorses
- 4. Three Dogs Die in Mysterious Meatball Poisonings
- 5. Carriage Horse Phase-Out Bill Introduced in New York City
1. ASPCA Happy Tails: King of the World
When King first arrived at the ASPCA, he was in rough shape. The elder pooch had been seized by ASPCA Humane Law Enforcement officers in September 2007, and suffered from an ear infection, hip dysplasia and various symptoms of neglect. After rest and treatment, he was eventually made available for adoption. Ashely Santana of New York, NY, was the lucky parent who fell for this big boy’s undeniable charm. We recently caught up with Ashely, who sent us a note detailing King’s happy adjustment to life in his cozy, new homehe even loves his kitty siblings!
In September 2008, I became an employee of the ASPCAlittle did I know I would end up adopting a great dog about two weeks later! King, an adult Rottweiler, had been at the Adoption Center for some time and had become a staff favorite.
The second I saw him I knew he was meant to be mine, but my family wasn't sure about adopting a dog who was so big. I brought in my Miniature Poodle, Phoenix, to meet King, and the two got along great.
Now over a year later, King lives with Phoenix and two cats, including a kitten with whom he plays all day. He is a neighborhood favorite, especially with my landlord, who says he feels safer knowing King is watching out for the house. No longer the reserved Rottweiler I first met, King loves everyone he meets and even plays with babies!
I am so thankful to the ASPCA for helping me adopt the most amazing dog and for all the help and advice over the last year. King has found his forever home, and I couldn't imagine my life without him.
2. NYC Woman Arrested for Allegedly Starving Two Terriers
When two severely emaciated Jack Russell Terriers arrived at the New York City Animal Care & Control (AC&C) shelter in Brooklyn, staff immediately suspected they had a cruelty case on their hands. Brooklyn resident Vera Osborne had relinquished the starving dogs, claiming that her niece could no longer afford to feed themand that she could no longer bear witness to it. One of the dogs, a two-year-old pup named Patches, died within hours of being admitted, despite heroic veterinary efforts to save him.
“Unfortunately, starvation is one of the most common types of cruelty we investigate,” says Stacy Wolf, Vice President and Chief Legal Counsel for the ASPCA Humane Law Enforcement Department. “Animal cruelty is a serious crime, and we are doing everything we can to see that the victims receive justice.”
AC&C contacted the ASPCA Humane Law Department for assistance with the case, and a necropsy performed at ASPCA Bergh Memorial Animal Hospital confirmed that Patches’ cause of death was indeed starvation.
Soon after, ASPCA Special Agent Joe Vais began investigating Patches’ death, traveling to Osborne’s East Flatbush home for an interview. When questioned, Osborne again stated that the dogs were under the sole care of her niece, Rlisa Youell, and that after several failed attempts to have the dogs properly cared for, she turned them over to the shelter.
On February 24, Special Agent Vais arrested Youell and charged her with one count of misdemeanor animal cruelty. She faces up to one year in jail and a $1,000 fine. The second dog has been treated and made available for adoption at AC&C in Brooklyn.
3. ASPCA Grants $1 Million to Retired Racehorses
On Monday, the ASPCA announced the Million Dollar Rescuing Racers Initiative to help rescue retired racehorses from neglect, abuse and slaughter. The two-to-three year initiative, which was made possible by a generous donor, involves six equine rescue groups and sanctuaries that have accepted the challenge of saving more thoroughbreds than ever before.
While healthy, well cared-for horses live an average of 18 to 25 years (and often much longer), a racing horse’s career generally lasts only one or two years. “Racing thoroughbreds rarely live out their final days in peace and comfort when their careers are over,” says ASPCA President & CEO Ed Sayres. “Too often, they end up at auctionsor worse, are sent to foreign slaughterhouses where their lives come to brutal ends. These grants will give organizations devoted to equine rescue the ability to save more horses and further advance their missions.”
The six grant recipients are: California Equine Retirement Foundation in Winchester, CA; Old Friends in Georgetown, KY; MidAtlantic Horse Rescue in Chesapeake City, MD; Kentucky Equine Humane Center in Lexington, KY; Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation headquartered in Saratoga Springs, NY, with contracted housing in 14 states; and Communication Alliance to Network Thoroughbred Ex-Racehorses (CANTER) in East Lansing, MI, with chapters in eight states. These recipients will use the grants to expand direct intake programs, incorporate physical therapy/rehabilitation programs, renovate facilities to accommodate more horses, create voucher programs to increase adoptions, and implement training programs for thoroughbreds to prepare them for second careers.
“The ASPCA truly values each group’s steadfast efforts to promote equine welfare,” says Jacque Schultz, Senior Director of ASPCA Community Outreach. “The thoroughbred that has given his all on the racetrack deserves to live out his life free of pain, fear and suffering.” For more information about helping horses and preventing equine cruelty, please visit ASPCA.org.
4. Three Dogs Die in Mysterious Meatball Poisonings
Spokane County Regional Animal Protection Service (SCRAPS), an ASPCA community partner, has launched an investigation into the recent deaths of three dogs at two different locations in the South Hill neighborhood of Spokane, WA.
On February 19, a woman reported to SCRAPS that she let her dogs outside at approximately 6:00 A.M., and when she went to feed her horses, saw one of the dogs eating something off the ground. She called her dog away from what was later identified as meatballs. Approximately 30 minutes later, the dog started having convulsions and was taken to an emergency clinic, where he died. Two other dogs were reported dead by another pet parent in the South Hill neighborhood on the same day.
Test results from Washington State University indicated that the meatballs were laced with strychnine, which was most likely from gopher bait or a gopher control pesticide. The gopher bait product was mixed with the meat and then cooked. This type of gopher bait product is a “restricted-use” pesticide in the state of Washington, but it is available for purchase at licensed pesticide dealers by those who are eligible.
“There are many ways an individual could have obtained this product, either legally or illegally,” said SCRAPS Lead Animal Protection Officer Nicole Montano, the primary officer investigating these crimes.
SCRAPS is urging everyone to help spread the word about the poisonings in Spokane, and is advising pet parents to keep a close eye on their furry friends and thoroughly inspect their yards and surrounding properties for foreign or toxic substances.
If anyone has any information related to these incidents, please call SCRAPS’s emergency line at (509) 477-2533. This level of cruelty can lead to a charge of animal cruelty in the first degree, a class C felony that carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
5. Carriage Horse Phase-Out Bill Introduced in New York City
On Wednesday, New York City Councilmember Melissa Mark-Viverito (District 8) introduced Intro. 86 related to the operation of horse-drawn carriages. The bill, supported by the ASPCA and our partners New Yorkers for Clean, Livable & Safe Streets (NY-CLASS), proposes a gradual phase-out of the city’s carriage horse industry.
Like taxi drivers, carriage horse operators must have a special license issued by the city. If passed, Intro. 86 would direct that as these licenses expire, they be replaced by licenses to operate hybrid-electric replicas of classic cars. Furthermore, no new carriage horse licenses would be issued after 2010, completing the phase-out by mid-2012. NY-CLASS and the ASPCA believe that elegant, “green” vintage cars are a humane alternative to carriage horsesthey will enhance the city’s beauty, create a cleaner environment and won’t take jobs away from drivers.
As the primary enforcer of New York City’s carriage horse lawswith firsthand knowledge of ongoing problems and violationsthe ASPCA has concluded that neither our city’s environment nor the current law can provide horses with the fundamental necessities to ensure their safety and well-being. To learn about legislation that supports animals in your community, join our online Advocacy Brigade, a free service that allows you to take action for animals right from your computer.