- 1. ASPCA Happy Tails: On Becoming a “Cat Person”
- 2. ASPCA Responds to Gulf Coast Oil Spill and Southeastern Floods
- 3. Educational Games, Videos and Activities for ASPCA Kids
- 4. New, Improved Crush Act Introduced—Contact Your U.S. Rep!
1. ASPCA Happy Tails: On Becoming a “Cat Person”
In March 2006, Laurie Premer of Brooklyn—a longtime dog lover—took the kitty plunge and adopted Oscar (formerly known as Mackie), a sociable, one-year-old Tabby, from the ASPCA. She recently sent a note to update us on Oscar's enviable life with his pet mom—now a self-proclaimed "cat person"—and his feline companion.
I thought long and hard about bringing a cat into my life. I had always loved cats, but had never had a kitty companion to raise, and felt I knew nothing about them. My family members are dog people, and I only had dogs growing up.
I realized I was ready to commit to a lifelong feline friend, but I had one strict requirement—I had my heart set on an adult girl cat who wasn't shy. I loved meeting all the cats at the ASPCA—they were so beautiful, and I wanted to bring them all home with me. But then I met Mackie, a beautiful, silver-striped, one-year-old male Tabby. He was a little cat, but full of spunk. I could tell he was feisty—he was very curious the second I walked in. When we opened his cage, the little guy jumped right out! It was love—I adopted him and named him Oscar.
Since that fateful day, Oscar has proven to be the best cat in the world—he is very active and curious, and gets into the highest places. He loves playing, and I have spoiled him with cat toys. Favorites are the cat dancer and those crinkly, sparkly mylar balls. He's a cuddler (on his terms!) and a burrower—on weekend mornings, he will walk over me, reminding me to wake up and cuddle with him.
I was so thrilled with Oscar, but felt so badly when I would leave him alone. I eventually adopted a kitten companion—Frankie, a black-and-white tuxedo cat. They bonded right away, and now cuddle and play the day away. They are my therapy, and I now consider myself a "cat person."
Check out more stories of furry fate in our Happy Tails archive.
2. ASPCA Responds to Gulf Coast Oil Spill and Southeastern Floods
As the Gulf Coast oil spill continues to threaten our shores and several Southeastern states are grappling with the effects of severe flooding, the ASPCA turns our hearts, minds and resources to our southern friends. Once again, the heroic members of the ASPCA Field Investigations and Response Team are on the frontlines to assist with rescue needs in both areas. From hurricanes and wildfires to puppy mill raids and animal cruelty cases, our team works with other emergency responders, humane associations and shelters to save animals from life-threatening situations and provide them with the essential care they need.
Southeastern Floods After two days of severe thunderstorms that brought devastating floods to the city of Nashville, TN, and forced evacuations across multiple states, members of the ASPCA have arrived in Tennessee at the request of the Dyersburg-Dyer County Humane Society. The ASPCA is helping local groups care for animals displaced by the floods and providing much-needed sheltering supplies. Our team is also putting together other resources to assist with recovery efforts as needed.
Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill Kathryn Destreza, ASPCA Southeast Regional Director, Field Investigations and Response, is on the ground in Plaquemines Parish, LA, to help prepare for different scenarios as the oil approaches land. She is working with representatives from the Louisiana State Animal Response Team (LSART), local shelters and federal and state agencies to assess ongoing rescue needs in the area. The ASPCA is also in communication with officials from Mississippi and Florida to monitor the needs of the entire Gulf Coast region.
Please stay tuned to the ASPCA blog for breaking news on these disasters and their impact on the region's animals.
Action Tip: Want to volunteer for the recovery efforts along the Gulf Coast or in Nashville? Sign up with the Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisianaor Hands On Nashville to lend your support.
3. Educational Games, Videos and Activities for ASPCA Kids
It's no surprise that kids are fascinated by animals, and teaching them compassion at an early age helps them to grow into compassionate adults. The ASPCA believes that there are many ways for kids to get involved in helping ALL animals—from endangered species to four-legged family members. That's why we've made ASPCA Kids—our website dedicated to the next generation of animal lovers—a treasure trove of colorful articles, animal-themed videos and fun activities.
Most important, ASPCA Kids teaches children the importance of treating animals with kindness and respect. Kids can find the latest tips on fighting animal cruelty and get the scoop on exciting careers in the animal field. Whether it's writing a letter to Congress or starting an animal club at school, the site is always coming up with cool new ways for kids to take easy actions for animals. Don't worry—we made sure to include plenty of interactive games, cartoons and contests, too!
Visit ASPCA Kids today for everything your child needs to be a hero for animals.
4. New, Improved Crush Act Introduced—Contact Your U.S. Rep!
Signed into federal law in 1999, the Crush Act banned the creation, sale and possession of materials depicting genuine acts of animal cruelty where such acts are illegal. The law had effectively dried up U.S. commerce in "crush" fetish videos (also called "squish" videos), which generally depict a woman's feet crushing to death small animals such as rodents and kittens. Unfortunately, three weeks ago the U.S. Supreme Court declared the Crush Act unconstitutional and therefore unenforceable. The Court's main concern was the broadness of the law's language, which could make the law applicable in many circumstances not intended by its authors.
The day after the Supreme Court's ruling, Representative Gallegly (R-CA) introduced H.R. 5092, a new bill designed to overcome the Court's decision to strike down the Crush Act. The bill amends the Crush Act to give it a much narrower focus, but would still prohibit selling or offering to sell any depictions of animals being crushed, drowned, impaled, or burned where such acts are illegal. Passage of H.R. 5092 will help ensure that the crush video industry is not revitalized in the absence of an enforceable federal law.
Since its introduction, H.R. 5092 has gained tremendous support in the House of Representatives. Out of the House's 435 voting members, 128 have signed on as cosponsors. H.R. 5092 is currently awaiting action in the House Committee on the Judiciary.
If you would like to help fight animal suffering and exploitation, please visit aspca.org/HR5092 to quickly send an email to your U.S. representative asking him or her to support the revised Crush Act. We also encourage animal lovers to become members of the ASPCA Advocacy Brigadeto receive important, timely news about pending animal-related legislation in your state and in Congress.