- 1. ASPCA Happy Tails: Two for One
- 2. The Five Things You Need to Know About Ice Melts
- 3. Partners in Miami-Dade Receive $139,000 Grant from ASPCA
- 4. Jury Fails to Convict Baltimore Teens Accused of Abusing Dog
1. ASPCA Happy Tails: Two for One
This week’s Happy Tail comes from Lara Bettger and Charlie Green, who visited the ASPCA Adoption Center in December and quickly learned that two happy tails are better than one:
We adopted 17-month-old Liberty (now nicknamed "Bert") and nine-month-old Kitty (now known as Gracie) on December 27, 2010. It was a very snowy day in New York City, and a perfect day to bring home something to snuggle! “Something to snuggle” quickly became "somethings to snuggle" when we fell in love with both Gracie and Bert.
Bert and Gracie didn't know each other at the ASPCA, so they had to acclimate not only to their new home and new pet parents, but also to each other. We took the good advice of the adoption experts at the ASPCA and did it slowly. They each had a few days to adjust to various parts of the apartment before finally meeting each other on New Year's Day. Life has been playing together, exploring closets together, looking out the window together and lots of napping together ever since.
Gracie is an absolute love-monkey. When our alarm goes off in the morning, she runs over and jumps onto the nightstand so that we have to get through her to turn off the buzzing. When she rubs her fuzzy little face against my hand, I'm in a good mood instantly...There's no better way to wake up! Bert's affection is given on his own terms. He lets us know when it's cuddle time by walking along the back of the couch and diving into our hair and neck with his face. Then he'll take turns between our laps, purring for hours.
It's been really fun to watch their friendship develop. Like any big brother-little sister relationship, there is a lot of play, and yes—the occasional hiss. But they truly show affection for each other, and we feel great leaving for work each day knowing they have companionship. The best is when they help each other with bath-time!
We look forward to many love-filled years and adventures to come with our new furry friends. Thank you ASPCA, for ALL that you do and for adding so much to our lives with little Bert and Gracie!
Check out our Happy Tails archive for more heartwarming adoption stories.
2. The Five Things You Need to Know About Ice Melts
Most of us know how to protect our pups in freezing temperatures (doggie sweaters, here we come!) but not everyone is aware of another winter danger for dogs: the ubiquitous rock salt used to melt ice. In the past five years, the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) has received hundreds of calls about ice melt exposure. Here’s everything you need to know to keep Fido safe from salt melts till spring:
1. Ice melts are poisonous to dogs if ingested. Dogs who lick their paws after a wintry walk may be exposing themselves to toxic chemicals like potassium chloride, magnesium chloride, calcium carbonate and calcium magnesium acetate that are present in many ice melts. Consumption of ice melts can be lethal, but only if your dog ingests large quantities.
“Larger ingestions can lead to an increase in the blood's electrolyte levels, weakness, lethargy, moderate irritation to the oral and gastrointestinal system, and even tremors,” says Nicole Martin, a certified veterinary technician and Client Services Manager at APCC.
Still, smaller quantities of ice melts can make your dog feel pretty sick. “We would expect a small ingestion, such as licking paw pads after a walk through ice melts, to lead to mild gastrointestinal signs such as hypersalivating, nausea and vomiting,” Martin warns.
2. Melts can irritate dogs’ paws. Dogs’ gastrointestinal systems are not the only part of their bodies that react badly to ice melt exposure. Though paw pads are tough, ice melts can cause them to burn, become irritated and even crack, turning a daily walk into a painful ordeal for your dog. “It's important to regularly check in between your pet's paw pads for signs of irritation,” Martin advises.
3. It’s relatively easy to protect your pup from ice melts. A few simple steps can keep your dog safe, but one of them is especially key: “After wintertime walks, pet parents should wipe their pet's paws off with a clean, damp towel,” says Martin. She adds that dog boots can go a long way toward protecting your pet from the perils of winter walks.
Other ways to keep your pet safe: Wipe down your dog’s entire body if she was rolling around in the snow, don’t let your dog drink from puddles of melted snow, and keep your dog from snacking on snow near any place where ice melts may have been used.
4. “Pet-friendly” ice melts are available, but they may not be the answer. “Although these types of melts tend to be considered safer, they, too, can lead to problems if the animal has been exposed to enough of the product,” says Martin. If you’ve got ice melts of any kind at home, keep them in sealed, pet-proof containers.
5. If you think your dog ate ice melts, please take action. Call your veterinarian or the ASPCA’s 24-hour poison control hotline at (888) 426-4435.
3. Partners in Miami-Dade Receive $139,000 Grant from ASPCA
As part our national outreach efforts, last week the ASPCA granted $139,000 to Miami-Dade County, Florida, and its partner animal welfare agencies. Miami-Dade joined the ASPCA Partnership program in October 2010, and its participating organizations include Miami-Dade Animal Services (the county’s only public, open-admission shelter); the Humane Society of Greater Miami (a private, not-for-profit limited-admission, adoption-guaranteed facility); and the Cat Network (a local spay/neuter, TNR and adoption group).
Our latest grant will support the partner agencies’ efforts to:
- Enlist veterinary medicine professionals to help identify areas for improvement in spay/neuter clinics;
- improve shelter medicine protocols;
- fine-tune agency operations;
- schedule special adoption events;
- fund staff positions to increase the number of lost pets reunited with their pet parents; and
- invest funds in the form of additional grants.
“More animals were adopted in Miami-Dade in 2010 than ever before, but our success continues to pale in comparison to our challenges,” says Dr. Sara Pizano, director of Miami-Dade Animal Services. “We are looking forward to launching improved programs and protocols in 2011 that will increase adoptions, reunite a greater number of lost pets with owners, and increase spay/neuter opportunities for the 37,000 animals expected to enter area shelters this year.”
In addition to Miami-Dade County, the ASPCA’s current partner communities are Austin, Buncombe County (North Carolina), Charleston, Cleveland, Oklahoma City, Sacramento, Shelby County (Alabama), Spokane and Tampa. The ASPCA’s investment in these partnerships—in the form of direct grants, capacity-building, training, ASPCA staff expertise and strategic planning—lasts from one to five years in each community. Since the ASPCA began its Partnership program in 2007, nearly one million animals have been adopted, returned to owners, or spay/neutered as a result of the exceptional collaboration among partner agencies in each community.
For more information about the ASPCA Partnership, please visit our Partnership pages online. Want to help save more animals in your town? Find out how your city can apply to become an ASPCA partner community. Hurry—the deadline for 2011 applications is February 15!
4. Jury Fails to Convict Baltimore Teens Accused of Abusing Dog
In Maryland, a shocking case of violence against animals has concluded, for now, with a whimper: A single juror prevented the jury in the Johnson brothers’ animal cruelty trial from reaching a unanimous verdict, resulting in a mistrial on February 7. The 11 other jurors reportedly were in favor of convicting the Johnsons.
Twins Travers and Tremayne Johnson, now 19, were accused of dousing a young Pit Bull in gasoline and setting her on fire in the streets of Baltimore in May 2009. Although the dog was saved by a policewoman and treated by rescue workers (who named her Phoenix), her injuries were so severe that she had to be humanely euthanized a few days after the incident.
Nearly two years after her death, Phoenix remains an enduring symbol and the face of animal cruelty victims nationwide—what’s more, the senseless attack served as a catalyst for change in Baltimore. With support from the ASPCA, the city created the Baltimore Anti-Animal Abuse Advisory Commission in November 2010. The commission, whose members include Dr. Randall Lockwood, ASPCA Senior Vice President of Forensic Sciences and Anti-Cruelty Projects, has pledged to provide training on animal cruelty to law enforcement, prosecutors and judges throughout Maryland.
The Baltimore City State's Attorney's Office is expected to retry the case against Travers and Tremayne Johnson—please stay tuned to ASPCA.org for further developments on this story.
UPDATE: The State's Attorney for Baltimore City has announced that Travers and Tremayne Johnson will be retried for animal cruelty. Their new trial is scheduled to begin on May 4, 2011.