- 1. U.S. Marines Enlist ASPCA to Keep Marine Corps Pets & Families Together
- 2. ASPCA Funds Help Care for 77 Rescued Arabian Horses
- 3. ASPCA Pet of the Week: Sad Songs Say So Much
- 4. Connecticut, Protect Your Pets—Trust Act Is Now Law!
- 5. ASPCA Happy Tails: A Home of One’s Own
- 6. Safety Tips for Hiking with Your Dog
1. U.S. Marines Enlist ASPCA to Keep Marine Corps Pets & Families Together
On October 6, a team of ASPCA animal behavior experts arrived in Beaufort, S.C., to conduct behavior assessments of more than 80 dogs living in Marine Corps housing units in the South Carolina Tri-Command area.
The visit by ASPCA behaviorists comes after these dogs became the subject of a breed ban recently instituted by Marine Corps headquarters. The policy specifically bans purebred and mixed-breed Pit Bulls, Rottweilers and wolf hybrids, as well as canines with "dominant traits of aggression" who pose a risk to people living in U.S. Marine Corps housing worldwide.
“Our goal in coming to the Parris Island base is to make sure safe dogs and their families are able to stay together,” says Dr. Emily Weiss, ASPCA Senior Director of Shelter Research & Development, “and so far, the results have been positive."
After assessing individual canines with SAFER (the ASPCA Safety Assessment for Evaluation Rehoming)a research-based tool that helps identify the likelihood of canine aggressionASPCA behaviorists report that of the 85 dogs assessed to date, only two were found to have a high enough potential for aggression to have to be removed from the base. "Two others showed aggressive tendencies, but one will work with a trainer and another will be neutered," comments Dr. Weiss. “The vast majority, however, are well-loved, well-behaved family pets.”
"Breed bans just don't work," continues Dr. Weiss, "These breeds of dogs have a bad rap. In most cases, they are safe, wonderful animals. We're hoping that we can work with the Marine Corps over the next two years to show them that we should be testing the aggression level of individual dogs and not just banning these three breeds. It's breed prejudice."
The families of safe dogs will be given the opportunity to apply for a waiver, allowing their dog to remain on the base until 2012. "We're very excited about the ASPCA’s assessment," says Army Capt. Jenifer Gustafson, the Officer in Charge of the veterinary clinic on Parris Island. "This is a welcome alternative to the unpleasant possibility of pet parents being forced to give up their dogs or leave base housing.”
The ASPCA is opposed to breed bans, which target entire breeds instead of focusing on individual dogs. Aggressive canines are often the result of owners failing to provide proper training. Our organization continues to work on identifying potential aggression in individual dogs, opening up opportunities for behavior modification. Read more about alternatives to breed-specific laws.
2. ASPCA Funds Help Care for 77 Rescued Arabian Horses
On August 14, the Humane Society of North Texas (HSNT) assisted the Denton County Sheriff’s Office in the seizure of 77 emaciated Egyptian Arabian horses, all living on the Renazans Arabians ranch in Pilot Point, TX. The ASPCA, upon learning about the case, awarded a $10,000 grant to HSNT to help care for the rescued equines.
A few days prior to the seizure, a visitor to the 40-plus acre ranch discovered 17 starved horses standing in several inches of their own waste and immediately called the Denton County Sheriff’s Department. Upon arrival, officers found 60 more neglected horses scattered around the property, in back pastures and locked in barns. In addition to being starved, the horses suffered from soft, overgrown and split hooves and sores from lying in their own waste.
“The Humane Society of North Texas has shown an extraordinary commitment and dedication to animals in its community, and this instance is no exception,” says Julie Morris, ASPCA Senior Vice President of Community Outreach. “We are glad to be able to provide them with support in their time of need.”
The funds will also be used to aid the group’s ongoing equine and livestock investigations and rescuesover the past 18 months, HSNT has taken in more than 500 abused and neglected horses. HSNT’s successful adoption program has placed nearly all of these rescued horses into permanent, caring homes.
“The rescued horses have been healing and gaining weight," reports Samantha Laos, a supervisor with HSNT. "They are calm and happy and not scared anymore."
The owner of Renazans Arabians, Gordon Dennis Key, 66, has been arrested and charged with one count of animal cruelty. He could eventually face 77 countsone for each horsewith each charge carrying a jail sentence of up to one year and a fine of up to $4,000. Key was also ordered to turn over all documentation for the horses and pay $5,000 in court costs, as well as all expenses for caring for the animals during their impound. He is currently free on $10,000 bail.
The horses are currently up for adoption through a unique online adoption event; visit www.hsnt.org for more information.
3. ASPCA Pet of the Week: Sad Songs Say So Much
Update: Rihanna was adopted! Check out other cats available for adoption in our Adoption Center.
Looking for a get-along gal? Check out Rihannashe's a petite, two-year-old kitty who enjoys life on the mellow side. She came to us with a bite wound on her tailouch!a result no doubt of her previous life on the mean streets of NYC. Now she's all patched up and healthy, and looking for a forever pal to make her happy.
If you're interested in adding some sweet sauce to your animal family, please call our Animal Placement department at (212) 876-7700, ext. 4120. Or to check out other animals looking for homes, visit our Adoption Center online.
****Got Facebook? Won't you please donate your status to Rihanna today? Just copy and paste the following message onto your profile status to help spread the word that this kitty needs a home!
[Name] is donating my status to Rihannaa cat at the ASPCA who needs a new home.
4. Connecticut, Protect Your Pets—Trust Act Is Now Law!
Thanks to a new law that went into effect last Thursday, Connecticut residents may now make legally binding arrangements for their animals. The law, titled An Act Concerning the Creation of a Trust for the Care of an Animal, allows pet parents to set up enforceable pet trusts to provide care and stability for animals in the event of their owner's death or disability. Governor M. Jodi Rell signed the act into law in Junebefore it became effective on October 1, animal trusts in Connecticut were not enforceable and considered merely "honorary."
Forty-two states, including NY and NJ, now have some form of pet trust law. Like any aspect of estate management, laws vary from state to state and creating a pet trust requires advanced planning.
"As the legal wrangling over the Leona Helmsley estate has illustrated, careful consideration has to be given to the language creating a pet trust in order to safeguard the pet owner's wishes," warns Debora Bresch, attorney and ASPCA legislative liaison to Connecticut. "If you are interested in setting up a pet trust, be sure to work with a legal professional who is familiar with themor at the very least, one who is comfortable with the concept, specializes in trusts, and is familiar with the care and maintenance needs of pets."
Visit our Pet Care pages to learn more about how to begin the process of creating a pet trust.
5. ASPCA Happy Tails: A Home of One’s Own
Our loyal readers will remember the fab five poodles who charmed us last year. They were the special pups who needed extra TLC after being rescuedalong with nearly 30 other dogsfrom a home in Queens, NY. All of these fortunate pooches were adopted, and we recently caught up with the new parent of the fab five’s lone lady, Bonnie. The eight-year-old was beloved at the ASPCA for her affection for other small dogs and calm, collected humans. Now she has a quiet home to call her own.
“My daughter and I first met Bonnie when we visited the ASPCA hoping to get a cat,” explains Patrice Mattia of Manhattan. “We did in fact have a cat in mind who we had seen on the website, but as it turned out, she wasn’t a match for us. My daughter, who had been looking at the dogs, said, ‘What about the little poodle?’ We were able to meet Bonnie that day, and thought she was adorable. I went back the next day to play with her.”
The shy pooch was a perfect match for the family, and they officially welcomed the little lady into their home on August 14. “She is the sweetest little dog in the world,” muses Patrice. “She’s a little on the quiet side, which is fine with me, and her favorite things to do are sleep and eat!”
That’s not to say Bonnie’s a bona fide couch potatoshe still enjoys her city romps. “Her morning and afternoon walks are energetic, especially if pigeons are around,” Patrice says. “Her night walk is a short ‘walk’ period, just to take care of business, and a long ‘carry’ periodwe stay out window-shopping for a long time. She only weighs five pounds, so I swoop her up in my arms.”
Clearly, urban wildlife is still a new and marvelous experience for the previously sheltered lass. “If she’s in the park, she is in heaven and walks and sniffs forever,” notes Patrice. “She almost never barks except when she sees pigeons. Then I think she surprises herself with her own bark, like ‘Where did that come from?’”
Patrice adds: “We totally love herit feels as though she’s always been with us.”
6. Safety Tips for Hiking with Your Dog
What better way to spend a fall day than hiking with your best friendyour best canine friend, that is! Sure, the fall season is a great time for hikers to get outside and enjoy the beauty of changing colors, but it’s also the perfect way to spend quality time with your pet. Dogs love to explore our country’s vast natural beauty as much their two-legged counterpartsnot to mention, hiking is great exercise for all. But remember, a hiking trail isn’t your average walk around the block. There are some real dangers associated with this seasonal pastime, including heat exhaustion, potential falls and the possibility of getting lost.
Lucky for you and your pooch, our experts have come up with a list of safety tips to keep your hikes safe and fun.
Here’s a sneak peek:
Use Proper Leashes
Extending leashes are great for wide open spaces, but if your romp is taking you through wooded areas, it’s best to leave the flexi-leads at home. Otherwise, you’ll probably spend more time untangling your dog’s leash from trees and brush than you will enjoying your walk!
Drink Plenty of Fluids
Both you and your pooch need to stay hydrated, so bring enough water for two. Don’t allow your pup to drink from puddles, ponds, lakes or streamsthey may contain parasites or toxins that could cause harm.
Whether you’re using a leash or not, don’t forget IDs, please! Always make sure that your current contact information, including your cell phone number, is attached to your dog’s collar or body harness. If for any reason your pet gets lost, a collar and tags and a microchip will increase the likelihood that he or she will be returned to you.
Keep Vaccinations Up-to-Date
You never know what you may encounter on a hikeso before setting out into the wilderness, check your pet’s veterinary records and make sure his vaccinations are up-to-date.
Read our complete list of hiking safety tips!