- 1. Legislative Victory: CT Passes Pet Store-Related Bill
- 2. Itchin’ and Scratchin’: Does Your Pet Suffer from Allergies?
- 3. ASPCA Offers Nation’s First Animal Cruelty CSI Workshop
- 4. ASPCA Happy Tails: Her Name in Lights!
- 5. Teen Who Killed Kitten to Serve One Year in Prison
- 6. ASPCA Pet of the Week: Ziggy Stardust in Her Eyes
- 7. Vick Released from Federal Custody—ASPCA President Speaks Out
1. Legislative Victory: CT Passes Pet Store-Related Bill
Earlier this month, Connecticut Governor M. Jodi Rell signed into law Senate Bill 499, legislation spearheaded by the ASPCA and Connecticut Votes for Animals (CVA). The new law will help shoppers make more educated decisions when purchasing a pet by requiring all retail pet shops in the state of Connecticut to disclose where the puppies they sell came from. Each dog’s “certificate of origin” must be posted openly (no more than 10 feet from his enclosure)and, when a puppy is sold, a copy of his certificate must be given to his purchasers. Pet stores are also responsible for guaranteeing that their out-of-state animal suppliers are licensed by the USDA and appropriate state agencies. Violations of these measures can result in fines and jail time.
“This bill ensures accountability from both pet stores and the animal breeders that sell to them,” says Debora Bresch, ASPCA Legislative Liaison to Connecticut. “Sadly, puppies sold at pet stores are usually from puppy mills.” A puppy mill is a commercial breeding enterprise where dogs are mass-produced for profit without concern for their health or welfare. With your help, the ASPCA is working tirelessly to pass legislation in every state to ensure that all animals bred to be pets are raised in healthy conditions.
For more information about Connecticut's victory for animals, please read our press release. And a special thanks to Connecticut members of the ASPCA Advocacy Brigade, who worked hard for this legislative victory, calling and emailing their legislators on the bill’s behalf since February.
Want to have a hand in passing pro-animal legislation in your state? Join the ASPCA Advocacy Brigade!
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2. Itchin’ and Scratchin’: Does Your Pet Suffer from Allergies?
According to the ASPCA, more than 20 percent of pets may suffer from some sort of allergy. Allergic reactions in cats and dogs are caused by inhaling, ingesting or having physical contact with an allergen, and the resulting symptoms can cause great discomfort to our furry friends. Furthermore, dogs and cats may persistently lick and scratch itchy areas, causing skin irritation, hair loss and, in some cases, skin and ear infections.
We all want our pets to be comfortable and healthy, so it’s extremely important to determine the source of an allergy and treat it appropriately. Flea allergies are especially problematic during the summer months, and need special attention because they can cause serious health problems like anemia.
If you suspect your pet is suffering from allergies, talk to your vet about determining the exact cause and a specific treatment program. Here are a few common causes:
Tree, grass, weed, mold, mildew and dust pollens
Fleas and flea-control products
Rubber and plastic materials
Removing the offending allergen from your home is the best way to combat allergies. Check out our other expert tips for treatment:
Prevention is the best remedy for allergies caused by fleas. See your veterinarian for advice about safe flea control products for your pet.
If dust is the problem, clean your pet's bedding once a week and vacuum at least twice weeklythis includes rugs, curtains and any other materials that gather dust.
Weekly bathing may help relieve itching and remove environmental allergens and pollens from your pet’s skin.
If your pet suffers from a suspected food allergy, she may need to be given a prescription or hydrolyzed protein diet to determine the exact cause of the irritation.
For more information about pet allergies, please visit our online health center for cats and dogs.
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3. ASPCA Offers Nation’s First Animal Cruelty CSI Workshop
The ASPCA, in collaboration with the University of Florida’s William R. Maples Center for Forensic Medicine, recently offered the nation’s first Veterinary Forensics Crime Scene Investigations Workshop to help increase the number of professionals trained in the forensic investigation of animal cruelty cases and aid in the prosecution of crimes against animals.
The three-day workshop, which took place from June 17-19, offered studentsmany of whom were law enforcement officers, veterinarians, forensic specialists and emergency respondersa hands-on training experience. Through fieldwork and classroom instruction, students learned to detect and properly document a crime scene, including the collection of evidence, photography, mapping, sketching and the excavation of remains.
The program reaches beyond a workshop, as well. The University of Florida will soon be offering undergraduate and postgraduate courses in veterinary forensic sciences. The program will receive an initial gift of $150,000 from the ASPCA and three years of support from our organization.
“The development of veterinary forensics is in a similar place now that human forensics was a few decades ago,” says Dr. Melinda Merck, ASPCA Senior Director of Veterinary Forensics, who was on hand at the workshop with the ASPCA's Mobile Animal Crime Scene Investigation Unit. “Now there are special prosecutors and special courts that focus on violent crimesI expect that is where we’ll eventually get with animal cruelty.”
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4. ASPCA Happy Tails: Her Name in Lights!
Small-town girl makes a splash in the big citythat’s our pup Bella. When this black-and-tan Shepherd Mix arrived at the ASPCA Adoption Center in Manhattan from a shelter in Tennessee, she had no idea she would soon co-star with one of New York’s biggest stars of stage and screenBernadette Peters. On the morning of July 11, Peterswho co-hosts the annual, ASPCA-sponsored Broadway Barks adopt-a-thon, a benefit for New York City sheltersappeared on Fox 5 News with four ASPCA pooches, including mellow Bella. Later in the day, this sweet pup made an appearance at Broadway Barks, where she mingled with more than 7,000 theater lovers of the two- and four-legged kind.
But it wasn’t until the next day, when Bella was recovering from her matinee and evening performances, that she met her match. Dennis Sefiner of Manhattan had been searching for a dog to add to his family, but hadn’t met the “one” until he paid a visit to the ASPCA on July 12.
“I met a few dogs, but Bella was the one,” says Dennis. It seems he was particularly taken with the puppy’s Shepherd heritage and her youthful energy. Now four months old, Bella has firmly settled into her new home with Dennis and his family.
“She has a great personality!” says Dennis. “She's very, very playful, but when we decide to watch a movie or lounge around, she’s right in the middle cuddling up and hanging out with everyone else.”
But old habits die hard, and this sweet companion hasn’t totally lost her diva-tude. Dennis says, laughing, “When someone tells her no, she'll go and pee on something that belongs to that personusually a shoe!”
He adds: “Bella means quite a bit to me, and every day she becomes more a part of the family. She keeps the stress level in the house to a minimum, which is greatly appreciated.”
P.S.: Lest you think Bella misses her furry friends at the shelter, it turns out that she now has a feline sister. Dennis’ girlfriend’s father also visited the ASPCA Adoption Center on July 12, and adopted Betty, a three-year-old, grey-and-white Tabby!
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5. Teen Who Killed Kitten to Serve One Year in Prison
The ASPCA applauds the conviction of Cheyenne Cherry, a 17-year-old Bronx, NY, resident who admitted to the heinous act of leaving her ex-roommate’s kitten, Tiger Lily, in an oven to burn to death. On June 3, she was arrested by ASPCA Humane Law Enforcement (HLE) Agents for aggravated animal cruelty, burglary, criminal mischief and arson.
On July 16, in Bronx Supreme Court, Cherry unapologetically pled guilty to charges of animal cruelty and burglary. Waiving her right to appeal, she agreed to serve one year in prison and not keep a pet for the next three years. Currently jailed on a probation violation, her formal sentencing is scheduled for July 31. Cherry’s accomplice, a 14-year-old girl who allegedly placed the kitten in the oven, is facing charges in family court because of her age.
The horrific death of eight-week-old Tiger Lily garnered the public’s attention this past June, and justifiably so, as a clear connection has been established between acts of cruelty toward animals and potential future violence directed at humans. “Cherry appeared to show no remorse for her role in allowing an eight-week-old kitten to cook to death in a 500-degree oven,” says Stacy Wolf, Vice President and Chief Legal Counsel for the ASPCA HLE department. The teen also has a history of violent crimes against both people and animalsin 2008, she was arrested for committing the armed theft of a Yorkshire Terrier.
“The lack of remorse shown by Cheyenne Cherry, along with the complicity of a younger child in the crime, is alarming,” says Sheryl Pipe, ASPCA Senior Director of Humane Education. “It is crucial that legal, mental health and education professionals identify kids at risk of committing such acts and learn how to appropriately intervene.”
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6. ASPCA Pet of the Week: Ziggy Stardust in Her Eyes
Looking for a sweet-faced sister who will keep an eye on things? Look no further than Cora, a two-year-old Tabby cat who’s sitting at our shelter right now, waiting for your love and affection. Deemed a Private Investigator by our expert behaviorists, Cora is a mellow kindcontent to hang out and while away the long summer days watching the boob tube or examining your floorboards.
Though we think she’s perfect in every way, Cora does have a misshapen iris in her left eye. It doesn’t cause her any vision problemsit just looks really cool, like David Bowie, who famously has one pupil that’s smaller than the other. So why not get hip to the ways of this modern miss and adopt her today? Please call the ASPCA Animal Placement department at (212) 876-7700, ext. 4120, to set up an appointment. Or to view other animals looking for homes, visit our Adoption Center online.
****Got Facebook? Won’t you please donate your status to Cora today? Just copy and paste the following message onto your profile status to spread the word that this kitty needs a home!
[Name] is donating his/her status to Cora http://www.aspca.org/cora, a cat at the ASPCA who needs a new home.
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7. Vick Released from Federal Custody—ASPCA President Speaks Out
“The question isn't whether he deserves to earn a livelihood. The question is whether Mr. Vick should be able to re-join the ranks of elite athletes in the NFL.”Ed Sayres, ASPCA President & CEO
On Monday, July 20, former Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick, once the highest-paid player in the National Football League (NFL), was released from federal custody after serving a 23-month sentence for dog fighting. The investigation into the horrific activities that took place at Vick’s Virginia dog fighting operation, Bad Newz Kennels, and his 2007 federal conviction not only led to a sullied public image, but to the star quarterback being let go by his team and indefinitely suspended from the NFL.
In light of the ASPCA’s integral role in the investigationwe collected forensic evidence for the court case and led a team of behaviorists in the evaluation of the dozens of dogs rescued from Vick’s propertyEd Sayres, ASPCA President & CEO, offers his unique perspective on the release of Michael Vick and the question on everyone's mind: what will he do now?
The following are selections from Sayres's statement, which can be read in its entirety at ASPCA.org.
"…the facts are clear: Mr. Vick participated in a six-year pattern of illegal activity. His plea clearly stated that along with these activities, he savagely electrocuted and beat dogs to death after they lost their brutal fights[…]. This was not a one-time transgression or crime of passionthis was a multi-year pattern of behavior that demonstrates a startling lack of moral character and judgment.”
"Given the stature of what it means to be a part of the NFL, it is crucial that Mr. Vick first express remorse for what he has donesomething that he has yet to do throughout his incarceration.”
Read the rest of Sayres’s statement on Michael Vick.
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