- 1. ASPCA Happy Tails: They Call Me Mellow Yellow
- 2. Supreme Court Nixes Crush Act as Unconstitutional
- 3. Victory for Racing Dogs: New Hampshire Passes Greyhound Protection Act!
- 4. Go Orange Photo Contest: Last Call for Entries
1. ASPCA Happy Tails: They Call Me Mellow Yellow
The Siamese beauty formerly known as Mandarin was adopted from the ASPCA in October 2009 by Brooklyn resident Tiffany Calhoun. Now the gorgeous lap cat and “purr machine” is living the high life with her loving new family. We recently chatted with Tiffany, who described her first meeting with the funny feline and a few of Melo’s (as she’s now called) favorite things.
ASPCA: How did you first meet Melo?
Tiffany: I hadn't even planned on taking a cat home the day I visited the ASPCA. I just thought I’d see what they had and ask questions about five cats who I’d seen on the website and thought would be perfect. To my surprise, an Adoptions Team member recommended that I meet Mandarin, a Siamese with gorgeous blue eyes.
ASPCA: What did you think when you first met her?
Tiffany: I hadn't even noticed Mandarin on the website, and it turned out this was her second time at the ASPCA. She had previously been turned in as a stray, adopted out but returnedthis made me a little nervous. But when I went to visit her, she was really friendly, affectionate and calm.
ASPCA: How did your family react when you came home with a cat?
Tiffany: My boyfriend said he wasn't surprised when I walked through the doorhe knew I couldn't leave the adoption center without a cat!
ASPCA: What are some of Melo’s favorite activities?
Tiffany: Melo likes nothing better than waking up in the morning with a nice stretch. She also likes play time on her scratching post, sleeping during the day and cuddling up at night. She doesn't have any problems saying she wants to play, even when I’m studying. I am convinced she is a purr machine!
ASPCA: What does Melo mean to you and your family?
Tiffany: She never ceases to amaze me. Even at five years old, she is as playful as a kitten with her special catnip mouse toys. We love having her in our family, and I always look forward to coming home to see her.
To read more stories of happy endings, please visit our Happy Tails archive.
2. Supreme Court Nixes Crush Act as Unconstitutional
In its Tuesday ruling in U.S. v. Stevens, the U.S. Supreme Court permanently struck down the “Crush Act,” a 1999 federal law banning the creation, sale and possession of materials depicting genuine acts of animal cruelty. In the majority opinion written by Chief Justice Roberts, the court attributed its decision to the law being both unconstitutional and overbroad.
The Crush Act was designed to stop the commerce of crush videos and other depictions of illegal acts of animal cruelty “in which a living animal is intentionally maimed, mutilated, tortured, wounded, or killed.” The act depicted did not have to be illegal where it was filmed, only where the resulting product was sold. Stevens, who marketed videos of dog and hog-dog fightingsome of which he filmed overseaswas the first person convicted under the Crush Act.
In addition to violating free speech rights, the Court asserted that the Crush Act could be used to prosecute frivolous cases due to its overbroad language. An example it cited was the sale of hunting videos: hunting is illegal in Washington, D.C., so under the Crush Act, someone selling a hunting video in D.C. would be breaking the law, even if the video had been filmed in a state where hunting is legal. When he signed the bill into law, President Clinton recognized this potentially sticky issue and requested the Justice Department to limit prosecutions to “wanton cruelty to animals designed to appeal to a prurient interest in sex.” However, in the opinion of the Court, “We would not uphold an unconstitutional statute merely because the Government promised to use it responsibly.”
Although this verdict is disappointing, there is good news on the horizon. The Supreme Court left the door wide open for new, more narrowly drafted legislation to specifically target crush and animal fighting videosand there is already interest on Capitol Hill in getting such legislation passed. The ASPCA will gladly work with Congress to draft new language that can withstand tests of constitutionality to provide law enforcement with the tools to effectively combat extreme animal abuse.
Action Tip: To help enact state and national laws that protect animals from abuse, join our online Advocacy Brigade. It’s free and lets you take action for animals right from your computer!
3. Victory for Racing Dogs: New Hampshire Passes Greyhound Protection Act!
Last Wednesday, April 14, the New Hampshire State Senate voted nearly unanimously to pass the Greyhound Protection Act (House Bill 630) to permanently ban the racing of Greyhounds in the Granite State. The bill had already passed the state’s House of Representatives in March, so it now goes to Governor John Lynch, who is expected to sign it into state law.
Thanks for this legislative victory are due in part to the New Hampshire-based members of the ASPCA Advocacy Brigade, who sent 267 emails to their state senators urging support for the act, and to Senator Sheila Roberge, who took the Senate floor to tell the tragic story of Amber, a Greyhound who lost her life in a violent track accident. Amber was one of nearly 1,200 dogs injured while racing in New Hampshire between 2005 and 2008these injuries included broken legs, paralysis, cardiac arrest and head trauma.
The ASPCA opposes dog racing, which is an inherently cruel form of entertainment. Racing dogs are confined for 20 hours or more a day in small cages, often wearing muzzles; they are bred excessively in the quest for good runners, with the “excess” puppies killed or otherwise discarded; they suffer from inhumane transportation as they’re shuttled from state to state for racing purposes; and they regularly endure serious and fatal injuries.
The nine states that have banned dog racing are: Maine (1993), Virginia (1995), Vermont (1995), Idaho (1996), Washington (1996), Nevada (1997), North Carolina (1998), Pennsylvania (2004) and Massachusetts (2008, effective 2010). For more information about the plight of racing Greyhounds, please visit ASPCA.org/dogracing.
4. Go Orange Photo Contest: Last Call for Entries
For the past three weeks, we’ve been asking everyone to get active and “go orange” in celebration of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Month. As always, we’re seeking pics of your pets looking their carrot-y bestbut this year we’ve raised the bar, adding a twist to our annual Go Orange Photo Contest. We’re on the lookout for unique, one-of-a-kind ways that your pets or you have donned our favorite color! Did you get married, go skydiving, or hit the town in ASPCA gear or other orange apparel? Did you host an orange-themed pet parade? Send us your best shot! Entries in the ASPCA Go Orange Photo Contest are being accepted now through April 30. The top 10 winners will be featured on our website and receive an ASPCA Prize Pack.
For more information about Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Month, or to submit photos for consideration, please visit ASPCAApril.org.