- 1. ASPCA Assists Investigation of Alleged Cockfighting Operation
- 2. ASPCA Happy Tails: On the Road Again
- 3. Join Team ASPCA and Run the ING Miami Marathon!
- 4. Saving Animals’ Lives: $100K Challenge Update, Part Three
1. ASPCA Assists Investigation of Alleged Cockfighting Operation
On September 7, in what is being described as one of the largest cockfighting busts in Florida history, the ASPCA assisted with the removal of more than 600 fighting roosters, hens and chicks from two separate properties in Fort Myers. At the request of the Lee County Sheriff's Office and Lee County Domestic Animal Services, the ASPCA was on hand to assist with the removal and sheltering of the birds, who were voluntarily relinquished by their owners, and to lead the collection of forensic evidence for the investigation of a criminal case.
"The ASPCA was asked to support the efforts of the local authorities in this case, and toward that end have brought our expertise in animal fighting and forensic evidence collection to the table," says Kathryn Destreza, ASPCA Southeast Director Field Investigations and Response.
William Roman, 54, was arrested and charged with running the operation, and faces charges of animal fighting and baiting, housing distressed animals and animal cruelty. Pedro Lopez, 38, was also arrested and charged with animal cruelty, housing distressed animals, possession of animals for fighting and baiting, trafficking in cocaine, possession of marijuana and the sale of marijuana.
The seizure is the result of an eight-month-long investigation that is still ongoing, according to the Lee County Sheriff's Office. Many of the roosters were allegedly raised and prepared for fighting, and were housed in small elevated cages, inside wire fencing, in barns and running loose throughout both properties. Gaffs—long, sharp, dagger-like attachments used to maximize injury—as well as syringes and steroids were found at the scene.
"Cockfighting is a violent blood sport where the participants—the roosters—don't have choices," notes Tim Rickey, ASPCA Senior Director Field Investigations and Response. "These birds are forced to be killing machines for entertainment, during which time they die or are left to die a horrible death." In Florida, cockfighting—as well as the possession of birds for fighting, being a spectator at a cockfight and possession of cockfighting implements—is a third degree felony, punishable by up to five years in a state jail and a maximum $5,000 fine.
The seized animals—including 678 birds, three horses and two dogs—have been transferred to a secure location where forensic exams are being conducted by Dr. Melinda Merck and Dr. Robert Reisman of the ASPCA, Dr. Jason Byrd, Education Director of the University of Florida/ASPCA Veterinary Forensic Sciences Program in Gainesville, and Dr. Cynda Crawford, Maddie's Clinical Assistant Professor of Shelter Medicine at UF College of Veterinary Medicine.
Please stay tuned to ASPCA.org for more information on this developing story.
2. ASPCA Happy Tails: On the Road Again
A dreamy orange kitty named Cheddar arrived at the ASPCA in early August with a Good Samaritan who had found the two-year-old stray abandoned outside a Bronx apartment building. We all knew this feline looker wouldn’t be with us for long, but we couldn’t help but fall head-over-heels for her sunny disposition.
On August 25, Cheddarnow known as Daisywas adopted by Todd Thurston and his family at an ASPCA Mobile Adoption event at the corner of Ninth Avenue and 50th Street in Manhattan. The Mobile Adoption program is designed to be an extension of our Adoption Center, and provides the same full-service care and attentiveness. Says Eileen Hanavan, ASPCA Manager of Mobile Adoption Events, “For those who may be hesitant to come to a shelter, or have difficulty traveling to one, we provide a solution and a great experience.”
The ASPCA’s 26-foot vehicle travels six days a week to New York City’s five boroughs, focusing its outreach in communities that may not have clear access to adoption opportunities. “We work with event partnersprimarily pet-oriented or environmentally aware retail storesthat host us on an ongoing basis,” says Eileen. “Then we can build up our presence within the communities we visit, and the residents can come to expect and look forward to our events.” Potential adopters can spend time with a cat or kitten (and the occasional dog) and go home with their new furry friend the very same day. So far this year, the Mobile program has adopted out 191 animals to good homes.
Lucky for Daisy, at the end of her Mobile Adoption event, she didn’t need a ride back to the Adoption Center. She immediately bonded with her new familyaccording to Todd, “she settled right in and became a real member of the family from the very first day.” Her favorite activities include licking faces, especially in the morning to rouse her family from bed, and chasing her toy mouse around the house. Todd adds: “She absolutely MUST explore any open cabinet or closeteven the dishwasher!”
To meet your own furry love, find out when the Mobile Adoption van travels to your ‘hood. Don’t live in NYC? Check out our new national database of adoptable cats and dogs! Just enter your zip code to meet a pet near you.
3. Join Team ASPCA and Run the ING Miami Marathon!
Do you want to help homeless, abused and injured animals? This January, head to sunny Florida to save lives and cross the finish line in Miami with Team ASPCA, our new national marathon training and fundraising program!
On January 30, 2011, Team ASPCA will join more than 20,000 runners at the 2011 ING Miami Marathon & Half Marathon®, South Florida’s premier running event. The team will race through the streets of downtown Miami, Miami Beach and Coconut Grove. Cruise ships, neon lights, palm trees and plenty of spectators will line one of the flattest, most scenic courses in the country. The ING Miami Marathon & Half Marathon® has been ranked among the top 10 road races by USA Today. Register today and join an exclusive group of athletes raising money to help America’s neediest animals.
As a Team ASPCA ING Miami athlete, you will receive:
A personal online fundraising page plus guidance from professional fundraisers to help you reach your goal.
Endurance training from professional coaches from Terrier Tri and access to a virtual training schedule.
Weekend travel accommodations, including airfare to Miami, luxurious hotel accommodations and group ground transportation.
Official Team ASPCA merchandise including a Team ASPCA singlet, a Team ASPCA training shirt and more!
Access to Team ASPCA events, including our kickoff event, pre- and post-event celebrations and entry into the private Team ASPCA tent at the finish line.
Guaranteed race entry to either the ING Miami Full Marathon or ING Miami Half Marathonyou chose your race length!
Space is limited, so don't get left behindjoin Team ASPCA today! Download your application at ASPCA.org.
For additional information about Team ASPCA, please contact Kymberlee Setterberg at (212) 876-7700, ext. 4654, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
4. Saving Animals’ Lives: $100K Challenge Update, Part Three
Who says August is a slow month? Not our $100K Challenge contestants, who transformed the dog days of summer into a banner month for hundreds of animals. Check out what some of our Challengers have been up to, and stay tuned for even more action throughout September!
Things are definitely bigger in Texas, and the Humane Society of North Texas (HSNT) knows how to go big AND go home. With its 2010 Extreme Mutt Makeover, 15 dogs spent eight weeks with volunteers training and preparing for a little friendly competition on August 13 and 14 at the Will Rogers Coliseum in Fort Worth. More than 40 dogs were available for adoption at the event, and all of themincluding the 15 participantsfound homes. “Watching our dogs compete was amazing in and of itself,” said HSNT’s Nelda Corbell, “but to add in such a large number of quality adoptions to really great people, especially in the same day, made all the work worthwhile.”
HSNT isn’t the only agency putting its pups to work! Wisconsin Humane Society’s (WHS) spokesdog Gracie toured downtown Milwaukee to raise awareness about the $100K Challenge and motivate the city’s residents to make adoption their first option. The photogenic pooch posed for pictures next to a bronze statue of the Fonz and Milwaukee’s ultimate orange landmark, a sculpture by artist Mark di Suvero.
With some stellar sponsors by its side, the Atlanta Humane Society (AHS) is enjoying an exuberant show of support from its dedicated community. The Westin Hotel donated collapsible water bowls to be given out with each adoption, and when folks order a Bruster’s ice cream pie, half gallon or coupon book online, a portion of the proceeds will be donated to AHS.
Are your socks still on? Prepare to have them knocked off with this UH-MAZING video featuring the first episode of Pet-ertainment Tonight!from Tallahassee-Leon Community Animal Service Center (TLCASC). It includes coverage of the community’s Reaching for the Stars adoption event, in which the shelter’s animals were given names like Tomcat Cruise and Scarlett Johoundson. But it wasn’t all fun and punsa staggering 102 animals were adopted that night! Congrats, TLCASC!
Read all the minute-by-minute action on our $100K Challenge blog.