- 1. Planned Giving: IRA Charitable Rollover Is Still Available
- 2. Summer Shedding Solutions from Dyson, ASPCA
- 3. Victory: Texas Gets Its First Puppy Mill Law!
- 4. ASPCA Happy Tails: Shoo-In for Your Love
- 5. Start Your Engines…The Joplin Adoption Event Is This Weekend!
1. Planned Giving: IRA Charitable Rollover Is Still Available
Great news, seniors: Congress has extended the IRA Charitable Rollover for 2011. The IRA Charitable Rollover allows individuals ages 70½ and older to make direct transfers from their IRAs—up to $100,000 per year—to organizations like the ASPCA. This is a great way to help animals in need without having to count the transfer as income for federal tax purposes.
The rules for making a gift from your IRA:
- You must be 70½ or older at the time of the gift.
- Your gift must be made directly from your IRA custodian to the ASPCA. If you have retirement assets in a 401(k) or 403(b), you must first transfer those funds into an IRA and then you can direct the transfer to the ASPCA.
- Your gift counts toward your required minimum distribution.
- You will not pay federal income taxes on the withdrawal for the gift, so you cannot claim an income tax charitable deduction.
Certain states may not exclude gift amounts withdrawn from an IRA for state income tax purposes. When planning your gift, please be sure to check with your plan provider or tax preparer on whether your state of residence will tax your intended charitable distribution.
To learn if an IRA charitable rollover is right for you, please visit ASPCA.org or contact Marsha Pierson at (212) 876-7700, ext. 4505, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
2. Summer Shedding Solutions from Dyson, ASPCA
Nearly 40 percent of U.S. households have a dog, and for some, shedding is a constant concern, especially during the steamy, summer months. But not to worry, pet parents, you can help prevent excessive shedding—and save your home from furry tumbleweeds—with regular grooming sessions.
Dr. Kat Miller, ASPCA Director of Applied Science and Research, notes that regular grooming sessions will help remove dirt, prevent tangles and keep your pet’s skin clean and irritant-free. Plus, grooming time is a great time to check for fleas and flea dirt, those little black specks that indicate a pet is playing host to a flea family.
In support of the ASPCA, Dyson, makers of pet-friendly vacuums, have donated products and funding to help pets in need. Together with Dyson, we’re pleased to present additional grooming tips below.
- We recommend bathing your dog at least once every three months. Your pet may require more frequent baths if she spends a lot of time outdoors.
- Using a shampoo formulated for pets is best. Human shampoos aren't toxic to pets, but some may contain fragrances or other substances that can irritate pets' skin.
- If your pet is shedding excessively, please check with your veterinarian to determine if your dog’s hair loss is part of the normal shedding process or is a symptom of an underlying disorder.
- If your dog has a long, luxurious coat, she’ll need daily attention to remove tangles.
The Dyson Groom tool, a self-cleaning vacuum accessory designed to capture a dog’s hair before it spreads around the house, is made for use on medium to long-haired dogs. The Dyson Groom has stainless steel bristles and removes loose hair from your dog, and then hygienically transfers the captured hair and allergens to the vacuum.
The Dyson Groom joins a full range of pet hair solutions by Dyson, including the Dyson Animal vacuum, designed to remove dirt and pet hair from the home and car.
For more pet hair care hints, please visit our Grooming FAQ.
3. Victory: Texas Gets Its First Puppy Mill Law!
On Friday, June 17, Texas Governor Rick Perry signed into law the Commercial Dog and Cat Breeders Act (CDCBA), which establishes minimum standards for the humane handling, care, housing and transportation of dogs and cats kept by large-scale Texas breeders. Texas’s commercial dog and cat breeders have always operated free of state oversight, meaning the animals at most of these facilities are unprotected.
Lack of state inspections meant that Texas was becoming a haven for bad breeders—but once the new law goes into effect this September, many commercial breeding facilities will have to open their doors to inspectors for the first time.
The new law applies to cat and dog breeders who maintain 11 or more female breeding animals and sell 20 or more animals per year. It requires that breeders be inspected and that enclosures have adequate drainage, are made out of safe materials and have adequate space for animals to comfortably stand, sit, turn around and lie down in a natural position.
“As evidenced by their strong support of the Commercial Dog and Cat Breeders Act, Texans truly care about their pets,” says Jill Buckley, ASPCA Senior Director of Government Relations. “Texas was one of the last states without a law concerning commercial breeding operations; this bill marks a new era in the Lone Star State.”
The final version of the law did not include all the humane provisions we had worked for—namely, language to prohibit wire flooring and the stacking of cages was removed. However, the new law is a very important first step, and the ASPCA will continue to work with legislative leaders to address the problems associated with wire flooring and the stacking of cages in puppy mills.
For more information on the ASPCA’s efforts to fight puppy mill cruelty nationwide, please visit www.aspca.org/puppymills.
4. ASPCA Happy Tails: Shoo-In for Your Love
When ASPCA Humane Law Enforcement Agents removed two-year-old Cleo (formerly named Lena) from a Brooklyn home in May 2010, she was emaciated, had several infections and a large wound on her hip. By the time Micah Ilowit and Emily Treubig-Ilowit first saw the small Pit at the ASPCA in November, she was shy and fearful, “but she had these eyes that looked out at us helplessly,” says Emily.
Cleo tugged hard at the Ilowits’ heartstrings, but they needed time to think. A week later they returned to Cleo’s enclosure, but this time with ASPCA Senior Behavior and Training Manager Victoria Wells, who had been working with Cleo for months. “Cleo saw Victoria and she just came to life,” Emily says. “It was like a different dog.”
Seeing the trust and love Cleo had with Wells, the Ilowits knew that Cleo could one day trust them, too, though they’d need to earn it. They were sold.
Soon, Cleo started accepting snuggles from her new parents. Then, the Ilowits noticed their dog expressing her love in a peculiar way: She started collecting their shoes. “She doesn’t chew them—she just lies on them,” explains Emily, adding that soon, Cleo was storing all their shoes on the couch.
These days, “for Cleo, the sun rises and sets with us,” says Emily. “She’s constantly happy, and she’s always excited to see us—more than any other human being!” Emily notes that Cleo has become so well-adjusted that she’s even helped socialize a Pit puppy a friend adopted from the ASPCA in February, and now the two dogs regularly hike together.
“Rescuing a Pit Bull has made me such an advocate for this breed,” says Emily, who urges new adopters of abuse victims to be patient. “She trusts us till the cows come home—but it took awhile.”
For more adoption success stories, check out our Happy Tails archive.
5. Start Your Engines…The Joplin Adoption Event Is This Weekend!
It’s almost here—the huge Joplin adoption event is this weekend! On June 25 and 26, the Joplin Humane Society and the ASPCA invite you to hop in the car, head to Joplin and adopt one of the hundreds of animals left homeless by the May 22 tornado that devastated the town.
Last week, News Alert readers learned that the dogs available for adoption in Joplin come in every shape and size, and that they did extremely well on their behavior evaluations. But what about the cats? June is Adopt-A-Shelter-Cat Month, after all, and tons of snuggle-able, lovable felines—both kittens and affectionate adults—are available in Joplin.
In fact, with more than 300 kitties to choose from, there’s a new friend in Joplin for every kind of feline fan—just be prepared for a case of extreme cuteness-overload when you enter the cat adoptions area. (Symptoms include swooning, falling in love with a kitty, and bringing one home.)
“Adopters should know that these cats are very sweet and extremely people-friendly,” says ASPCA Shelter Operations Manager Bonnie Dean, adding that the kitties will do wonderfully in their new homes.
Every pet available this weekend comes spayed or neutered, vaccinated, microchipped, and ready to join a family. So whether you’ve got your heart set on adopting a cat or a dog (or both!), set your GPS to Joplin this weekend, and be sure to save a spot in the car for the pet of your dreams!
For all the important details on the Joplin adoption event, like where to go, what to bring and when to arrive, visit www.aspca.org/joplin. For minute-by-minute updates on the adoption event, don't forget to follow the ASPCA on Twitter! We'll be live-tweeting the kickoff from 10:00 A.M. to 1:00 P.M. CDT on Saturday, June 25, and providing updates throughout the weekend.