- 1. Get Fit and Help End Animal Cruelty with Team ASPCA!
- 2. Animals in Flood-Ravaged Areas Receive Comprehensive Disaster Relief
- 3. States Seek to Criminalize Investigations of Farm Abuse
- 4. Evacuation Planning for Pets: Are You Prepared?
1. Get Fit and Help End Animal Cruelty with Team ASPCA!
This October, we’re rolling out the red carpet and welcoming animal lovers from across the country to sunny California for the Rock ‘n’ Roll Los Angeles® Half Marathon benefiting the ASPCA. You’ll experience non-stop energy and excitement as more than 400 members of Team ASPCA hit the streets of Los Angeles for the second annual event. With ideal weather, live bands every mile of the course and a red carpet finish, you’ll feel like the ultimate rock star! Plus, you can join Team ASPCA for exclusive access to celebrate, refuel and enjoy a post-race concert with Bret Michaels!
Still not convinced? Meet Becky, a Team ASPCA member, who ran in last January’s 2011 ING Miami Marathon®.
ASPCA: What made you decide to join Team ASPCA?
Becky: I had always wanted to run a marathon. I had planned to wait a few years before I committed to signing up for a full marathon, but then saw on Facebook that the ASPCA had the Team ASPCA program. I knew it was the right time to sign up, since there was a cause I could support while doing it.
ASPCA: What was it like to run as a member of Team ASPCA?
Becky: Running as a member of Team ASPCA was a blast. I received a lot of support in my community. People from all over the country supported me by making donations. I was able to exceed my fundraising goal. I also met some great people while doing the marathon, people with whom I have remained friends. It was a very gratifying experience, emotionally and athletically. Team ASPCA rocks!
ASPCA: What role do animals play in your life?
Becky: I have always loved animals since I was a child. I adopted both of my pets. My older dog is 12 years old and the younger one is around two and a half. The unconditional love that a pet provides is priceless. Of course, my two dogs (Killian and Wyatt) are my children!
ASPCA: Why was participating in Team ASPCA so important to you?
Becky: I wanted to raise money for a cause that I personally believe in and support. I also knew that signing up to race for a cause would hold me accountable to complete the race as well as get the word out. Doing the marathon with Team ASPCA got me more involved with the animals in my community and made me more aware of what the ASPCA does nationally for animals in need.
Join Team ASPCA today!
2. Animals in Flood-Ravaged Areas Receive Comprehensive Disaster Relief
Regular readers of News Alert know that the ASPCA has been in the field for several weeks rescuing thousands of animals affected by severe storms and flooding along the Mississippi River, offering temporary shelter for pets whose families have been evacuated, and working with PetSmart Charities to provide emergency supplies to local animal welfare groups.
Photo: PetSmart Charities
Now, through our new Animal Relocation Initiative, we’re going one step further and transporting homeless animals from overcrowded shelters in the disaster areas to regions of the country that can accommodate these resilient pets. In turn, overburdened shelters will be able to help house even more local animals.
Last weekend, 46 dogs traveled from eastern Arkansas shelters to facilities in Kansas and Colorado. Then, 70 dogs from parts of Georgia and South Carolina devastated by tornadoes were transported to the Mohawk and Hudson River Humane Society in Menands, New York, and New Jersey’s St. Hubert’s Animal Welfare Center (pictured below). Several transport companies stepped forward to help move the animals to their new shelters, where they’ll soon be available for adoption.
“The help we received from the ASPCA was integral in getting our adoptable animals to reputable shelter partners,” says Kim Adkins, adoption coordinator for the Humane Society of Eastern Arkansas/West Memphis Animal Services. “This allowed us to turn our attention and resources to those animals in imminent need within our community.”
Though the program’s debut was part of our disaster-relief efforts, the ASPCA’s new relocation initiative will extend to safely, efficiently and humanely transporting animals anywhere there is overcrowding, with an eye to relocating animals as close to home as possible.
“Our new program is all about supply and demand,” says Sandy Monterose, ASPCA Senior Director of Community Outreach, explaining that the team will take homeless pets to places where few, if any, similar animals are available for adoption. That means that overcrowded shelters will have more room to accept other homeless pets—room they badly need.
Adds Monterose: “A natural disaster like flooding creates immediate hardship in a community. By collaborating with other groups and using our resources strategically, we can respond to shelters and animals in need, creating a safety net. It’s part of the fabric of animal sheltering.”
To find out more about the ASPCA’s rescue efforts along the Mississippi River and elsewhere, as well as how you can help, please visit ASPCA.org.
3. States Seek to Criminalize Investigations of Farm Abuse
Third-party investigations into large-scale agricultural enterprises, and the benefits they reap for society, have a long and storied history in this country dating back over century, when publication of The Jungle exposed conditions inside meatpacking plants and led directly to federal regulation of that industry. Indeed, many of the advances in animal protection laws have succeeded because of the clear documentation provided by concerned individuals. But due to the many undercover videos that have shown the public how animals are mistreated at factory farms, some agribusiness enterprises are working to make sure such evidence can no longer be gathered without serious consequences, including jail time.
So-called “ag-gag” bills were introduced in Florida, Iowa and Minnesota this year—and we can expect to see more states introduce these bills in the years to come, warns Ann Church, ASPCA Senior Director of Legislative Affairs for the Southeast Region.
“This is a trend that is not going away,” says Church, “and to grant factory farms this level of protection is not only bad for the animals, it’s deeply concerning from a First Amendment, free speech standpoint. When the safety of our nation's food supply is at stake, we should all be working for more transparency, not less.”
From the massive recall of Hallmark beef in 2008, the result of video depicting workers forcing downed cattle into the meat supply, to the recent video of calf abuse at a Texas ranch, we’ve seen time and again the vital role undercover investigations play in policing an industry that is unwilling or unable to police itself. Laws to cover up animal abuse do not make it go away: Rather than stop animal cruelty, ag-gag bills will simply ensure that the public never learns about it. Adds Church: “If big agribusiness would put as much effort into providing humane care as they do trying to justify and cover up cruelty, animals and consumers alike would benefit.”
Minnesota’s ag-gag bills are still pending; Florida’s and Iowa’s have died, but not before garnering great support in their respective legislatures. Please help the ASPCA fight ag-gag bills and join our Advocacy Brigade to stay up-to-date on this disturbing legislative trend.
4. Evacuation Planning for Pets: Are You Prepared?
Do you live in an area that is prone to natural catastrophes, such as tornadoes, earthquakes or floods? Disaster can strike at any time, so it’s important to have a clear evacuation plan in place well before you need it. The ASPCA recommends arranging a safe haven for yourself and your pets, and if you must evacuate your home due to a crisis, plan for the worst-case scenario. Most importantly, do not leave your pets behind. Remember, if it isn't safe for you, it isn't safe for your pets.
To minimize evacuation time, please follow these simple steps:
- Store an emergency kit—with items such as three to five days’ supply of pet food, bottled water, medical records, a blanket, a flashlight and leashes—as close to an exit as possible.
- Make sure all pets wear collars and tags with up-to-date identification. Your pet's ID tag should contain his name, your mobile telephone number and any urgent medical needs. Be sure to write your pet's name, your name and contact information on your pet's carrier.
- The ASPCA recommends microchipping your pet as a more permanent form of identification. A microchip is implanted in the animal's shoulder area, and can be read by scanners at most animal shelters.
- Always bring pets indoors at the first sign or warning of a storm or disaster. Pets can become disoriented and wander away from home during a crisis.
- Consider your evacuation route and call ahead to make arrangements for boarding your pet outside of the danger zone at the first sign of disaster.
For a complete list of disaster planning tips, or to receive a free “Animals Inside” window sticker, please visit ASPCA.org.