- 1. The Heat Is On: Cast Your Vote in the $100K Challenge
- 2. Neglected Arkansas Horses Move to Greener Pastures; Baby Born
- 3. ASPCA Happy Tails: Return to Me
- 4. On Our 145th Birthday, a Look Back in Time
1. The Heat Is On: Cast Your Vote in the $100K Challenge
That’s right, people—we told you it was on, and, boy, is it ON. The qualifying heat of the $100K Challenge is in full swing! Ninety-five animal shelters from across the country are battling it out for your vote and the opportunity to compete to save more lives and take home a cool $100,000 grand prize.
Visit www.votetosavelives.org to cast your vote each day and help decide which 50 animal shelters will get to compete in the 2011 ASPCA $100K Challenge. Even one vote can make a big difference to your favorite Challenge contestant!
Check out the full list of this year's qualifying organizations. Voting ends on April 15 at midnight, EDT, and we’ll announce the 50 winning contestants on April 18, 2011. Stay tuned to www.aspca.org/100k for all the latest Challenge news!
2. Neglected Arkansas Horses Move to Greener Pastures; Baby Born
Life just got a little sweeter for many of the once-neglected horses seized late last year from an Arkansas horse trader. On March 30, most of the equines were transported to a ranch in another part of the state that affords them more space, including a large pasture.
“Now, they’re able to get back into that herd mentality they were meant for,” says Bonnie Dean, Shelter Operations Manager for the ASPCA Field Investigations and Response Team. “They’re doing great.”
New foal April gets a snuggle from Bryan Hayes, an ASPCA Consultant.
(Photo courtesy of the Humane Society of the United States.)
Since the more than 100 horses were seized on December 9, the ASPCA and others have been working around the clock to care for them in the temporary facility, which was intended for only a month of use. Four months later—much longer than anticipated—we continue to await the final go-ahead to place the horses in new homes.
“The [Mountain Home] facility is not ideal for long-term housing,” says Kyle Held, Midwest Director of Field Investigations and Response. “The welfare of these horses is our priority, and the new sheltering facility will be able to provide the individual enrichment they deserve until the case is resolved.”
The 40 horses who weren’t moved to the new facility stayed in Mountain Home to await foster placement with ASPCA Shelter Partners. Horses not transported included stallions and those with certain medical conditions. Explaining that it’s safer to move pregnant horses after their babies are born, Dean says the Mountain Home facility also houses two expecting mares.
Watch the horses as they enjoy their new spacious pasture for the very first time.
(Video courtesy of the HSUS.)
As of Saturday, make that one. In the wee hours of April 2, one of the pregnant mares, Tara, foaled a healthy filly. A shelter worker arrived that morning to find Tara quietly nursing her offspring. The filly, named April, is already garnering lots of attention in Arkansas as she learns to run and kick. Says Dean, “Everybody’s all over her!”
The next hearing related to this case is scheduled for early May—stay tuned to ASPCA.org to find out what happens to baby April and the rest of the Arkansas horses.
3. ASPCA Happy Tails: Return to Me
Chris Harris, an NYU law student, was visiting Florida in late February when he got a call from his dog sitter that his five-year-old dog, Baby, had escaped. “It was overwhelming,” says Chris, who worried about how his pampered pup would survive on the streets of Brooklyn. “She’s like a little person in a dog’s body,” he says. “She won’t even eat a treat if it’s touched the floor.”
Distraught, Chris immediately called Baby’s microchip company, and upon returning to New York, he searched shelters and the Internet for his beloved pet. But after weeks had passed, Chris began to fear the worst.
Cut to a cold March night in Manhattan: ASPCA Adoption Center Senior Administrator Lindy Linder was getting ready to leave work when she saw a young woman with a dog waiting in the lobby. The woman had found the small, mixed-breed dog tied up outside, and she knew the ASPCA could help. It was past eight o’clock—the city shelter was closed and Intake team members had gone home—so Lindy called Senior Intake Manager Ben Li’Gon on his cell phone and together they improvised a solution. Animal Care Technician Jonathan Aguero would set up a temporary enclosure for the pooch, who was given the name Lindy.
The next morning, “Lindy” was examined and found to be healthy and microchipped. The microchip company was quickly notified, and “just as I was internally crowing about a dog having been named after me,” says Lindy (the human), “the most wonderful of outcomes occurred”: Our Intake desk received an emotional call from Chris, who couldn’t wait to retrieve his dog.
When Chris entered the Adoption Center, Baby “jumped up on two legs—she was so excited!” Chris says. “Everyone said, ‘She wasn’t acting like that before!’” Chris, “was in tears throughout the whole release process,” Lindy says.
“We were all so moved,” she adds. “My only teeny, tiny regret was the departure of a dog so briefly named Lindy!”
For more stories of furry fate, please visit our Happy Tails archive.
4. On Our 145th Birthday, a Look Back in Time
Sunday, April 10, marks the 145th birthday of the ASPCA, the oldest humane organization in the Western Hemisphere (but we’ve been told we don’t look a day over 100!). When our founder, Henry Bergh, first spoke up for animals in Civil War-era New York, America was not a very animal-friendly place—but Bergh, a gifted speaker with friends in high places, rallied people to the cause and succeeded in getting the New York State Legislature to pass the charter incorporating the ASPCA on April 10, 1866. Nine days later, the first effective anti-cruelty law was passed and, with a team of three, the ASPCA began working to enforce it.
Well before the days of radio, television and the Internet, the ASPCA quickly changed the way America thinks about animals. Within five years of our founding, SPCAs had sprung up in cities including Boston, Buffalo and San Francisco. By the time Bergh died in 1888, 37 of the 38 states in the Union had passed anti-cruelty laws.
From operating New York City’s first equine ambulance in 1867—two years ahead of the city’s first ambulance for people—to our veterinary advancements in the 1920s, the ASPCA has a proud history of innovation that continues today. Although there is still much work to be done, our society’s perception and treatment of animals really has come a long way in a relatively short period of time—we’re proud of the ASPCA’s role in making this happen, and even prouder of you, our supporters, for trusting and enabling us to do this meaningful work. Thank you for 145 years of humane compassion, and please join us this month in going orange for animals!